Sunday, May 24, 2009


This post is a response to an article posted on Forbes, entitled, "A Bill Of Federalism," by Randy E. Barnett, "A detailed proposal to redress the imbalance between state and federal power."

It was in John Wilson's Recommended reading, which he regularly sends to me. I'm glad John suggested it, because I think it's a great idea, although I have added a few needed changes. To view the proposed "BILL OF FEDERALISM" as written BEFORE my changes, go to the following link:

My version of the bill is as follows:

Whereas the Declaration of Independence states "All men are created equal (a right granted by and under God) and Article One of the constitution states, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States"; and

Whereas the United States has violated the rights of men and the congress conspired to define black slaves as fractions of a man, a fraction of one being less than one, and thus unequal, thereby exceeding the legislative powers granted by God and in the constitution, thereby usurping the powers that are “reserved to God," not the Congress or the leaders raised up by God to form a great nation, as the Declaration of Independence affirms the rights “retained by God," which King George disparaged, and

Whereas the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the United States could not confiscate the lands and possessions of the Cherokee Indian natives without their consent and lawful compensation, and President Andrew Jackson violated the Constitution by defying the Supreme Court, to which the Cherokee had lawfully and constitutionally appealed, and forced the Cherokee nation to walk on foot from Georgia to Oklahoma, during which 25% of the innocent Cherokee died and were buried in shallow graves along the way because the president of these United States ignored or misinterpreted the meaning of “ALL men are created equal by God," and because the Congress by its failure to impeach him for crimes against humanity upholding this usurpation, became equally guilty;

To restore a proper balance between the powers of God, and the self-serving, cowardly, politically motivated and inept Congress of the United States, including those of the several states who violated the rights of Black men, women, and children, and Indian men, women, and children, and to prevent the denial or disparagement of the rights retained by the people, granted by God, not subject to racial or religious prejudice, bigotry and vile hypocrisy of the U.S. Congress and those of the several states whose geographic boundaries include the lands taken by violation of lawful treaties with the Indian nations, the legislature of the State of ________ hereby resolves:

First, that Congress shall call a convention, consisting of delegates from the several States selected by procedures established by their respective legislatures, for the purpose of proposing the following articles be added as separate amendments to the Constitution of the United States, each of which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when separately ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States; and

Second, that any previous memorial for a convention under Article V of the Constitution of the United States by this legislature is hereby repealed and without effect; and

Third, that copies of this memorial shall be sent to the secretary of state and presiding officers of both houses of the legislatures of each of the several states in the union, the clerk of the United States house of representatives, the secretary of the United States senate, and to each member of the ________ congressional delegation; and

Fourth, that this memorial for a convention is conditioned on the memorials of two-thirds of the legislatures of the several states proposing the exact same language contained in some or all of the following articles, and is to remain in effect unless repealed by resolution of this legislature prior to the memorials of two-thirds of the states being reported to Congress:

Article [of Amendment 1] -- [Restrictions on Tax Powers of Congress ]

Section 1. Congress shall make no law laying or collecting taxes upon incomes, gifts, or estates, or upon aggregate consumption or expenditures of any member of a former Indian Nation as all territory of these United States was seized by violation of lawful treaties with said Indian Nations, or taxes upon incomes, gifts, or estates, or upon aggregate consumption or expenditures of any former citizen of an African nation from whom citizens were unwillingly taken from their families and sold into slavery in any of the several states, or upon any of their descendants, pure or of mixed race, any one of whose progenitors was an Indian or a black; but Congress shall have power to levy a uniform tax on the sale of goods or services;

Section 2. Any imposition of or increase in a tax, duty, impost or excise shall require the approval of three-fifths of the House of Representatives and three-fifths of the Senate, and shall separately be presented to the president of the United States, but shall not apply to any descendant of Indian or black heritage or any descendants thereof.

Section 3. This article shall be effective five years from the date of its ratification, at which time the 16th Article of amendment is repealed, and at which time all taxes ever collected from any person of Indian or Black heritage shall be retroactively returned with interest, either to them or their descendants. If the person from whom the taxes were paid is not extant, all such sums, which must be fairly and honestly calculated or estimated, shall be paid into a national fund providing a free University-level education of any Indian or Black person's choosing, during which they shall be freed from labor and provided with tutors without cost to ensure their graduation from said institutions in the field of their choosing.

Article [of Amendment 2] -- [Limits of Commerce Power]

The power of Congress to make all laws which are necessary and proper to regulate commerce among the several states, or with foreign nations, shall not be construed to include the power to regulate, usurp, or steal without compensation any property activity that is or was formerly confined within a single Indian nation's boundaries or present state regardless of its effects outside the state or the opinions of the several religious sects who would interfere in the personal decisions of those within such boundaries, including their own state, whether it employs instrumentalities therefrom, or whether its regulation or prohibition is part of a comprehensive regulatory or religious scheme; but Congress shall have power to regulate harmful emissions between one state and another, and to define and provide for punishment of offenses constituting acts of war or violent insurrection against the United States, and to order payment of reparations in lieu of the return of all lands obtained by Indian nation treaty violations.

Article [of Amendment 3] -- [Unfunded Mandates and Conditions on Spending]

Congress shall not impose upon a State, or political subdivision thereof, any obligation or duty to make expenditures unless such expenditures shall be fully reimbursed by the United States; nor shall Congress place any condition on the expenditure or receipt of appropriated funds requiring a State, or political subdivision thereof, to enact a law or regulation restricting the liberties of its citizens.

Article [of Amendment 4] -- [No Abuse of the Treaty Power]

No treaty or other international agreement may enlarge the legislative power of Congress granted by this Constitution under God, nor govern except by legislation any activity that is confined within the United States. By definition of this amendment, reparations shall be paid to the descendants of those slaves whose labor was forced by an evil, nation-defiling mandate, attributed to God (!), when the slaves were not abducted from Egypt or Ethiopia, inhabited by the cursed descendants of Cush, but from the innocent descendants of un-cursed sons of Ham, living in West Africa, and whose slave labor was thus falsely justified and thus, falsely presumed justified by God, and was not fully reimbursed, so that slave holders could enjoy license and ease and benefit financially and sexually (without even the benefit of knee-pads!) from such unfunded mandates of slavery and crimes against humanity; May God then forgive this nation for the blood on its hands, including the transgressions of the slave holders President Lincoln allowed to continue as the same in those areas that supported his attempts to preserve the Union, the states who at any time supported slavery, the Congress which nodded at the evil definition of a man with black skin as only a fraction of a man and an Indian as having no rights at all but expulsion from his land, a subject of genocide if he resisted or attempted to continue possess that which was his according to treaty and inalienable rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness granted by God, and not subject to change by King George, President Jackson, or any concurring or complicit Congress, and their nations as sources of plunder and unlawful expansion of these United States.

Article [of Amendment 5] -- [Freedom of Political Speech and Press]

The freedom of speech and press includes any contribution to political campaigns or to candidates for public office; and shall be construed to extend equally to any medium of communication however scarce.

Article [of Amendment 6] -- [Power of States to Check Federal Power]

Upon the identically worded resolutions of the legislatures of three quarters of the states, any law or regulation of the United States, identified with specificity, is thereby rescinded.

This shall, by example, include the return of all lands confiscated from the Klamath Indians of Oregon by the errant use of the power to declare it a national park, thereby confiscating the water rights of Oregon farmers and rendering their farms unproductive and of little value. Congress shall enact payment of damages to all such farmers and their families to reimburse them for the hardships and displacements they suffered as a result of such unlawful federal confiscation.

Article [of Amendment 7] -- [Term Limits for Congress]

Section 1. No person who has served as a Senator for more than nine years, or as a Representative for more than eleven years, shall be eligible for election or appointment to the Senate or the House of Representatives respectively, excluding any time served prior to the enactment of this Article.

Section 2. If during the terms defined in Section 1, any Senator is found guilty of corruption, all retirement and other benefits to which he may be normally entitled following his term(s) is herein rescinded. This shall also be applicable to any Senator or Representative of state legislatures ratifying this amendment.

Article [of Amendment 8] -- [Balanced Budget Line Item Veto]

Section 1. The budget of the United States shall be deemed unbalanced whenever the total amount of the public debt of the United States at the close of any fiscal year is greater than the total amount of such debt at the close of the preceding fiscal year.

Section 2. Whenever the budget of the United States is unbalanced, the President may, during the next annual session of Congress, separately approve, reduce or disapprove any monetary amounts in any legislation that appropriates or authorizes the appropriation of any money drawn from the Treasury, other than money for the operation of the Congress and judiciary of the United States, or necessary for payment of the reparations previously described. If such presidential power is hampered by the total of only those expenditures herein enumerated, the shortage shall be drawn entirely from the Defense budget to a maximum of 65%. The importance of campaign contributions from Defense interests shall not be taken into consideration.

Section 3. Any legislation that the President approves with changes pursuant to the second section of this Article shall become law as modified. The President shall return with objections those portions of the legislation containing reduced or disapproved monetary amounts to the House where such legislation originated, which may then, in the manner prescribed in the seventh section of the first Article of this Constitution, separately reconsider each reduced or disapproved monetary amount.

Section 4. The Congress shall have power to implement this Article by appropriate legislation; and this Article shall take effect on the first day of the next annual session of Congress following its ratification, and shall have equal effect upon the budget procedures of those states ratifying it.

Article [of Amendment 9] -- [The Rights Retained by the People]

Section 1. All persons are equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and unalienable rights which they retain when forming any government, amongst which are the enjoying, defending and preserving of their life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting real and personal property, making binding contracts of their choosing, and pursuing their happiness and safety. It is this fundamental assertion, which justifies the existence of these United States, which requires the reparations herein described, lest this nation be brought to an end by the wrath of the same God to which it appealed for existence and whose existence it attributes to that same God.

Section 2. The due process of law shall be construed to provide the opportunity to introduce evidence or otherwise show that a law, regulation or order is an infringement of such rights of any citizen or legal resident of the United States or individual impacted in any way by the actions thereof, and the party defending the challenged law, regulation, or order shall have the burden of establishing the basis in law and fact of its conformity with this Constitution.

Article [of Amendment 10] -- [Neither Foreign Law nor American Judges May Alter the Meaning of Constitution]

The words and phrases of this Constitution shall be interpreted according to their meaning at the time of their enactment, which meaning shall remain the same until changed pursuant to Article V; nor shall such meaning be altered by reference to the law of nations or the laws of other nations.

This concludes the modifications, but as Barrett thought it proper to return to the founding principles of this nation, I have modified it as Kicks Iron, the Sioux Indian Chief pictured as the logo of this site, might have, and as Kicks Iron, a CHEROKEE Indian and critical character in my novel, JIHAD, definitely would have. If you have read this post, you should also go to "my links" at the top of the side column which takes you to JIHAD, and read the portion free for reading there.

Please feel free to comment on this post.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


The title of this article may at first appear a bit overdone, but is actually a pitiful understatement. As one who has taught high school and been involved in the educational system from kindergarten through graduate studies, especially aware of how education has affected my personal growth, development, and my belief system, I have continually pondered this topic for many decades; pointedly, my thinking has evolved most markedly since early 1999. The last decade has led me to conclusions I would have previously envisioned as highly unlikely at best.

Anyone and everyone will acknowledge the importance of education, yet the commonality comes to an abrupt halt at that point. And I mean, ABRUPT! One would think the solution to most of the problems faced by individuals, families, social groups, nations and the entire planet is obviously more education. Not a little more; not a pat on the back to a priest, minister, or anthropologist who sets up a school in some remote corner of the Dark Continent and teaches a few children some of the basics: reading, writing, and arithmetic. All such feats are laudable, but they are like a Sumerian tablet found with a single indentation made by a stylus. What is needed is a vastly enlarged Peace Corp with adequate funding and technological support, not the occasional far-flung project. Droves of young Americans, as well as older Americans, would happily participate.

When I say, Education, I refer to a full-scale, in-depth, broad-spectrum, university level program, followed by a very focused graduate degree, or interdisciplinary program.

Anything less is, to be blunt, "pissing into the wind," and will accomplish little of meaning for the true advancement of America, let alone mankind. How can such an assertion be made? Let's consider a single, quite elementary, example, credit cards (and installment credit, generally), and see how it relates to the subject of this discussion.

In light of the recent collapse of of the credit card industry due to the appalling debt generated by Americans using them, subjected to Draconian interest rates, this calamity could have been almost entirely prevented if the same individuals had been educated beginning early, very early, in the basic principles of finance and accounting. If you know of such fundamental courses required of every student in a single elementary school in the entire nation, please tell me in the comment box at the bottom of this post. I don't.

If you know of a single one in a single Junior High school, tell me. I don't.

If you know of a single one in a single High school, tell me. I don't.

I'm not talking about electives, but at least one basic course required for advancement of EVERY student. Period.

Dare I extend this farther? If you know of a single junior college, college, or university, tell me. I DON'T!

Is it because parents want their children to gradate ignorant of such a basic requirement for economic survival, let alone prosperity? No! Is it because they want each of their children to end up in the ranks of the millions of bankruptcies in economic landslides like the current one? No!

Is it because educators could care less if their students know enough math and finance to survive economically? Some, perhaps, but for the vast majority, No!

Then what is it? What is the REAL reason?

There may be those I regard as fools who would argue that there isn't room in the required curriculum to place such a course. Rubbish! It should be required by law, and to hell with the Lender lobbyists who would violently oppose it! There may be those who would argue that it is a matter of personal choice. Rubbish! Would they argue the same for reading, for writing, for arithmetic? If so, they need to find employment as a ditch-digger, not in the educational system.

When at Brigham Young University many years ago, I was studying Egyptian hieroglyphs, and I had a good friend, Jim, who had great difficulty learning Old Kingdom Egyptian glyphs, the easiest of all to learn, far easier than the later hieratic script. I told him it was very easy-so easy that his wife and 8-yr-old son could learn it. He scoffed, so I challenged him and we agreed to a test that weekend. I would attempt to teach glyphs to his son, Jimmy, and wife, Sonia. In the interim, I prepared 3x5 cards with the English word on one side and the same in Egyptian glyphs on the other-flash cards.

When the appointed hour arrived, we gathered around their kitchen table, and I began the experiment. Not only did Sonia, but little Jimmy especially, have no difficulty in a single four-hour session memorizing fifty words, but they were also able to correctly construct sentences in Old Kingdom Egyptian. During the last hour, Jim became so enthused, he virtually assumed instruction!

What is my point?

If eight-year-old Jimmy could learn so much in so few hours, then equally rigorous material should be part of a very early education, about the Head Start program age, when children are most eager to learn, and fear nothing, including mathematics and finance. To enable the parents of disadvantaged children to escape welfare, the mothers could be employed in such a dramatically revised program, and a multitude of elementary education teachers could find sustainable employment. The hours of such a revised and extended program would not be the few of the current Head Start program, but from early morning until late at night, with shifts coordinated to enable the single parent to work, knowing that not only were their children learning, but attended to as necessary by mothers until they got off work at their job, whatever it was and whatever hours it required.

So why does such a program not exist? Almost no one, unless they are seriously inept in both thinking and vision, would argue that the children were too young to learn. I know for a fact they are not. Any Home Schooler knows that a child can effectively comprehend material quite complex from the point their grasp of language is sufficient to understand what is being taught. This point has been repeatedly and totally demonstrated and is unarguable.

So again, WHY NOT?

We now arrive at the ABRUPT halt I referenced early on, and I mean, ABRUPT. And remember, this is a single, simple example among dozens, perhaps hundreds. So from whence commeth the present paralysis?

Again, among dozens of reasons, I will cite one easy to comprehend example.

In 1994, my wife and I moved our family of eight children to Puerto Rico, where we remained through the year 2000. Although we Home-schooled, it was our wish that our children have the advantage of exposure to a different culture, a great advantage for any child, for they learn that, in large part, thinking and attitudes are principally provincial in nature. It would also generate the necessity for rapid assimilation of a new language, Spanish, which Home School could not produce quickly. English, or at least a significant comprehension of the language, is widely spoken in Puerto Rico. My eldest son, Rodney, in his senior year had friends who spoke English fluently and essentially without accent. Yet others of my children often had to correct their “English” teacher (English is required to be taught in the schools) not only in vocabulary, but often in simple grammar. The government of Puerto Rico during six of the six and a half years we lived there was the Statehood party, under Governor Rosello, who headed the U.S. Council of Governors and was widely respected. He brought more progress to Puerto Rico in six years than others in the prior twenty, and certainly the decade since the Commonwealth party assumed control after the U.S. Navy, who insisted on using half of the tourist island of Vieques as a bombing range (!) accidentally killed some Puerto Ricans, a horror story for another post.

It was proposed that Puerto Rico attract native English teachers from the U.S. to enable English to more adequately and correctly be taught. Here is where ABRUPT kicked in. The teacher's union in Puerto Rico caused such an outrage that the program was blocked.

THIS is the missing piece, very telling, which exposes why our educational system in its present form is doomed. Utterly doomed. It has NOTHING to do with the children victimized, which is criminal, but EVERYTHING to do with why we face the crippling dilemma we do, and from which, frankly, there may be no escape. Arnold Schwartzenegger, to his chagrin, encountered something very similar in California, though his object was very different indeed from mine.

Personal interest is the killer. I taught high school Journalism and Art during the 2001-2002 school year in Little Rock, Arkansas, participating in the state program to reduce the critical shortage of teachers by certifying professionals from other fields as teachers.

New Jersey has recently introduced a similar visionary program. See the following link:

However, as the recession under the first Bush was taking firm hold, notwithstanding the No Child Left Behind program of the second Bush, which the schools mostly sought to evade where possible, the school district faced a choice: They were already short many teachers, but had to choose between cutting jobs at the district (the bureaucracy), or actually terminating teachers, which one would think unthinkable. Not only did they terminate the eight of us in the state program; they terminated 36 teachers total to preserve the bureaucratic jobs. Sound familiar?

So disgusted were some of the finest, most dedicated, and longest-term career teachers, working beyond their eligible retirement year, that they retired immediately, leaving the kids in an even worse state. They knew that the already over-sized classes would have to be enlarged even more, making good education even more difficult.

Note that the above examples are in the United States, which should be the most capable nation on earth of a high-quality education with a very different No Child Left Behind emphasis. Yet, during recent decades we have fallen far behind many European and Asian nations who have grasped fully the arguments I am asserting, and from which an ever-increasing number of PhD-level scientific professionals is being drawn. They get it. WE DON'T!

Moreover, all above is merely the tip of a vast iceberg approaching at an exponentially accelerating rate. Why? If you have the slightest doubt, see the video, Did You Know, on the Internet, at the following link, if you have not already. The dimensions of that iceberg and why I use the expression, “exponentially accelerating,” will become immediately clear within three minutes!

Not only can we afford not to act. It may already be too late. The reason for this assertion is that the U.S. is entering a severe Demographic Winter. If this term is unfamiliar to you, see the video at the following link:

My hope is that those readers who care, and I mean, REALLY care, about the survival of the family, let alone America as we think we know it, and the future as we think we know it, but utterly do not, will become actively involved in the beneficial preservation of both.

The following is for those who went to both of the links given above, and who give a hoot. If you are not among them, or personal interest renders you useless to everyone but yourself, here is where you should go somewhere else.

For those of you still with me, there are a few things that could, if properly and fully implemented, prevent a virtual economic and social collapse of America, as well as other members of the family of nations. Science is exponentially progressing, and will continue to do so. Information is exponentially increasing, and will continue to do so. The Millennial generation, those between 18 and 29, are extremely technological, extremely well-connected, and extremely optimistic, as well as extremely progressive. Their parents will likely not be the generation to stem and manipulate what lies ahead, but they will. The only question is, who among them will most benefit? It will be those of their online-connected nations who recognize the absolute preeminence and power of education. Those nations willing to entirely scrap the current institutions as necessary, and build a fully informed, visionary educational future for their people are the ones who will most benefit. With so few births in the United States, the myth of the population bomb now exploded, here are some key things America could and must do, and which I think the Millennial generation, now voting overwhelmingly progressive and overwhelmingly Democrat, have the voting power to demand:

1)At the conclusion of the Spanish-American war, began and conducted because we wanted a coaling station for our ships in Asia, Spain was forced to cede control of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and most other U.S. "commonwealth” nations. The birth rate in many of these exceeds the collapsing birth rate in the United States. Every boy, and I mean, EVERY boy, and every girl, and I mean EVERY girl, in those nations should be made immediately eligible for a totally free, graduate-level education from kindergarten to the finest university available. We have NO time, and NO children to spare. A young, Philippine man or woman earning about $3 U.S./day has little chance of accomplishing this against such an enormous economic hurdle, especially with an unofficial employment rate exceeding 25%.

2)Every black child, and I mean, EVERY black child, boy or girl, should receive the same.

3)Every American Indian, and I mean, EVERY boy or girl, should receive the same.

4)Every other child, and I mean, EVERY other boy or girl in the United States, should receive the same. We have NO time, and NO children to waste.

5)The border bridges separating us from Mexico, rather than being fortified, should become Friendship Bridges like those of the Southern Cone. I have been there. I know the difference. Latin Americans, including Mexicans believe in the family. They believe in having children. Not an average of scarcely one, but several. They should not only be admitted once security checked, but should receive the same education while the money is readily available, which it is.

These are the steps which can preserve our population and slow Demographic Winter. Will they taken? Almost certainly not, unless the Millennial generation forces it at the polls. To understand just who they are, how they think, and how they interact and connect, see the following video:

Why do I mostly rely upon them, rather than those of older generations?

At once, it will be offered that this is a financial impossibility! While on the surface, it may at first appear so, it is not. The money is easily available from the Defense budget, which exceeds by a multiple of five to ten the maximum amount which can be arguably required to maintain our defense. Ours exceeds the combined total of all other nations in the world by an Alice in Wonderland margin, and people with sound mind and common sense have been persuaded that we actually need it! It is not a product of real defense needs, but an amalgamation of the military-industrial complex and political hunger for campaign contributions, which, if not reversed, will hasten a kind of economic and social collapse of America.

This is not prescient on my part, but perhaps uncommon sense. Once the Social Security excess is consumed by the Baby Boomers outside the starting gate of age 62, and the rapidly expanding interest on U.S. national debt reach the fulcrum, which could be as close as 10-15 years hence, it will become bitterly evident that we squandered our last nest egg. At that point, blame and chaos will force change, but not the change we might have most benefited from.

If we fail to act and act quickly, abandoning time-worn, petty social, political, and economic ideas for the sake of our children's future as well as our own, the following are some results many of you will not only live to see, but may have to endure at your peril, and far more, your children's peril, the Millennial generation, if you give a damn about them:

1)The United States and most Western nations will change dramatically in both population mix and social structure. The same will experience accelerating economic shrinkage, followed by virtual economic collapse. Blame will be rampant, needless wars may result, further draining what economic reserve remains.

2)India and China will rise as the next economic and scientific superpowers, accompanied by a large number of smaller but wiser nations than we, replacing the U.S. as we replaced England; like her, we have transitioned from the greatest lender nation on earth to the greatest debtor nation on earth. It is unalterable and inevitable if we continue to squabble down the present path. Like all great nations of history, including Rome, we will gradually fade into relevant obscurity compared to those nations which act. All of the great and wonder programs we might have funded, including the ability to do so, will pass to those nations, where they will be exponentially increasing in number and scope beyond anything currently imaginable.

Let's change our focus a bit. Millennium 2000 aside, which is ten times too little to affect change as dramatic as that needed, there are still nations like many in Africa, whose populations could be included in the programs I outlined above, and must, if we consider the future on the scale of mankind, not just the western world or the U.S. Although there are a great many worldwide who have the vision to make such an educational program as effective and well-funded as the United Nations programs to provide food and medical supplies to the enormous refugee populations, their hands are tied by prejudice and political strife among many nations.

This is very unfortunate. I know there are those in some quarters who hope to see such "doom" on the horizon, thinking it proves their savior is about to whisk them from the brink and set things aright. Other groups in other times thought the same, but those currently caught up in such a mystical mire will learn that we must save ourselves, not rely on some greater power to do it for us. We haven't been around that long, mere millions of years, a second of universal time. We have shown astonishing capacity for gradual and unlimited growth. We have also shown astonishing capacity for prejudice, hatred, slaughter, television war, and contempt for everything and everyone different from ourselves. Hopefully, enough enlightened now exist in the face of so much science and technology to seize the day, not hide from it.

It has been said that “Fools rush in where wise men fear to tread,” and there is the ancient proverb, “He that hath great knowledge hath great sorrow.” I'm sure there were many "optimists" around when Rome faced the same dilemma we now face. The wealthy thought themselves immune. They simply left the others to themselves and fled to remote locations. The lovely villas they built can still be seen on remote islands, but there are no Romans living there. I'm quite certain there will be many cabins and virtual fortresses built in the woods if things go really badly, but a later generation of archaeologists will find them empty. Another Dark Age is not the answer. Theocracy is not the answer. Becoming a police state is not the answer. They all move in the opposite direction from opportunity.

The only truly safe are those with the education to follow the need for their special skills and training. They will move where the action is. They are part of a connected, global community, Internet-based, not trapped within provincial boxes. If you love your children, see that they get the best education possible. If you “love thy neighbor as thyself,” bury politics and social prejudice and see that their children do too. If you're not sure just who your “neighbor” is, he is “the least among you,” whether next door, next town, next country, or next hemisphere.

There is no such thing as human dross, except perhaps those who cannot grasp these basic concepts. We can not only survive what looms ahead, but prevent and profit from it, but we must make sweeping social, economic, and political changes if we are to do so to the fullest.

I have mentioned elsewhere that the ancient Chinese glyph for CRISIS translates into English as, roughly, "Opportunity riding the dangerous wind." This is one of those times when it is clearly true. If we cannot rise as a people to that level, then at a minimum, we must begin or continue personal and community action and strive to see it taken nationally, not just in our church, not just in our community, then internationally, regardless of how stacked against us the deck may appear to be, and the powers that be have a killick around our neck as a nation.

It might be correct arguably that the impending consequences will be all that could ever have brought them down, and it will if we cannot.

Please feel free to comment on this article.

Friday, May 22, 2009


When I first began reading the former vice president's speech given at the American Enterprise Institute, posted prior to its delivery, I tended to generally agree with what seemed to be the thrust of his comments. However, farther in, I realized that six months of reflection after the Republicans were ousted from all political authority by an outraged country, he has learned nothing. At this point, I doubt he could. He is too set in his mentality, imprisoned within strictures of concept that permit no confrontation of his actions or beliefs.

To be brief, here are just a few of the most revealing of his comments; with the metaphors stripped away, they reveal an enormity of information, twisted patriotism, contempt for others, and much more:

“Another term out there that slipped into the discussion is the notion that American interrogation practices were a “recruitment tool” for the enemy. On this theory, by the tough questioning of killers, we have supposedly fallen short of our own values. This recruitment-tool theory has become something of a mantra lately, including from the President himself. And after a familiar fashion, it excuses the violent and blames America for the evil that others do. It’s another version of that same old refrain from the Left, 'We brought it on ourselves.'”

Fair enough on the surface, but what is Cheney really saying here? It resolves to two related assertions: The “recruitment tool” theory,

1)excuses the violent and blames America for the evil that others do.

2)It’s another version of that same old refrain from the Left, 'We brought it on ourselves.'”

The first point, stated as fact, is half fact and half fallacious. Neither O'bama or those like myself excuse the guilty. One night some years ago, while visiting relatives in Mabelvale, Arkansas, my brother and I were in front of my mother's home having a conversation when, suddenly, we heard a woman scream as though she were being murdered. Heinke road is sparsely populated and poorly lit at night. We couldn't see her or her presumed assailant, but we immediately began running as fast as we could in the direction of the scream, which continued as we ran. We had no weapons. Perhaps he did, but it wasn't a consideration. Our response was automatic, gutteral, and reflexive. Had he a gun, we could have been injured or killed, but certainly not before attempting to stop him-we would have killed him if necessary. It turned out that she was walking along the road in our direction and screaming at her husband who was driving along beside her after a violent altercation, trying to get her to get back into the car.

Upon reflection, NOT reflexion, we realized the woman was extremely intoxicated, seemed far more violent than her husband, and may indeed have been responsible for the altercation.

Thus it is with Cheney vs. O'bama. The Bush administration's post-911 policies were reflexive. Cheney would have us believe they were reflective, but it is obvious to most they were not. Virtually the entire congress-BOTH parties-initially approved of the “Patriot Act” and, although admittedly misled and lied to, the war against Iraq. All of these actions, including rounding up Arab nationals, the associated racial and human rights violations, and spying on Americans were clearly reflexive. They led to a host of actions: violations of the constitution, failure of Habeas Corpus, the slaughter of more Iraqi women and children than Hussein, accompanied by the complete decimation of the nation's infrastructure which we will never rebuild (that was just a promise to help us feel better about ourselves, but on the order of a treaty with the American Indians, not ONE of which we ever honored), destabilization of the Middle East with the probable outcome of an Iraq that is an Islamic Iranian Ally, the loss of some of the most valuable archaeological collections in the world, because our soldiers were instructed to run for the oil wells, not protect the museums from looting; etc., etc., etc.

O'bama, and everyone else since, now has the luxury of reflection. Because his hands are too dirty, and his self-interests in promoting the war became known to all and forced his removal, Cheney can take no other course than rationalization and self-justification

The second point, “. . . that same old refrain from the Left, 'We brought it on ourselves'” differs in that it has less to do with promoting policies to enrich himself and his friends, and more to do with a general contempt for others if they are perceived as different or less fortunate, particularly those of other religions and other countries. This places him on the ebbing side of a great, historical division occurring in America thought. To what do I refer?

In response to the question, “Are you prejudiced against Blacks?” I asked my mother some years ago, she responded, “Of course not!” Yet, only days after, upon learning that my girlfriend at the time was black and that we were about to live together, she responded, “If you stay with that woman, I will have nothing more to do with you!” Not prejudiced?

But less than a year later, when Ann insisted that I call and offer to visit mom and cook a meal for her that weekend (my friends and relatives love my cooking, especially my BBQ), she accepted. She had time to reflect. She received Ann openly, though I could tell she was watching and evaluating her very closely.

It has been a custom for many years, when possible, to have Christmas at my parent's home, though since 1994 when dad died, it was just mom's home. Christmas came not long after the day Ann and I had visited mom the first time. I was chosen to hand out the presents that year. I noticed as I was getting them from beneath the tree one by one and calling out the names, mom had left and gone to her room, later returning and inconspicuously placing another present in the limbs of the Spruce. There were presents for everyone, including from Ann to mom. Then, at the end, knowing it was there, I took the one from the back limbs of the tree. It was from mom to Ann. It was two small, ceramic angels, with which Ann was delighted. What Ann didn't know was that mom had told me a long time before, showing me those angels she had received as a gift, that they were her favorite possessions among so many. Mom wept at Ann's joy. Later, when I revealed all to Ann, we cried together.

Love is a wonderful thing, the greatest expression of the potential of mankind as a species. Hatred, prejudice, especially racial and religious, are deadly, and entirely unworthy of those who believe themselves to be good. Although we have the dreadful capacity to wink at the unthinkable, there comes a time when we cannot face ourselves if we really ARE good. Those whose love is not a lie know that an American life is no more valuable or sacred than that of any other country, regardless of how poor their family, what they have been raised from the innocence of childhood to believe, the economic system under which they live, or the color of their skin. The sweeping change in government and current deep reflection upon just who we are as Americans is a clear demonstration that most of us have not lost our ethical compass as human beings. There are and, barring much-needed and inevitable fundamental changes in our monetary system, political system, social system, and religious systems if we are to survive as a nation and as a species, probably always will be the petty, the hateful, the prideful, the condescending, the theocratic, the aristocratic, the holier-than-thou, those who hate the motes in the eyes of others but are incapable of seeing the beams in their own. But for a time at least, the good have prevailed, and many on the ebbing side of history are now switching to the flowing side. I cannot number how many who hoped O'bama would lose because he was black more than because he was a Democrat have told me how much they have come to respect him (some though with the tongue-in-cheek comment, "well, he's only half black").

We're still on Cheney's point 2 above, but let's add some flesh before continuing:

“It is much closer to the truth that terrorists hate this country precisely because of the values we profess and seek to live by, not by some alleged failure to do so. Nor are terrorists or those who see them as victims exactly the best judges of America’s moral standards, one way or the other. . . . terrorists may lack much, but they have never lacked for grievances against the United States. Our belief in freedom of speech and religion … our belief in equal rights for women … our support for Israel … our cultural and political influence in the world – these are the true sources of resentment, all mixed in with the lies and conspiracy theories of the radical clerics. These recruitment tools were in vigorous use throughout the 1990s, and they were sufficient to motivate the 19 recruits who boarded those planes on September 11th, 2001.

This comment is more loaded than a double-barreled shotgun. For starters, most of the 19 he cavalierly refers to were NOT from Iraq, but Saudi Arabia. But we needed their oil, and they had previously bailed Bush out of a serious business failure. How could we possibly attack them? Notice that his comment also adds some sub-points to point 2. He claims that terrorists hate us because of our beliefs in freedom of religion, women's rights, human rights (tongue-in-cheek on my part for adding that one in view of the Patriot Act), and freedom generally.

This is such a farce that a sixth grader could see it. Our two large neighbors immediately north and immediately south, believe in the same. Canada and Mexico are both much easier targets than we, yet we see no 9/11s occurring there. Ever wonder why? Because they aren't running around the world toppling regimes, exploiting resources, and using every diplomatic guise imaginable to benefit at the expense of others. Our CIA has not only toppled even democratically-elected governments, we replace them with dictators! Forty years of Somoza is a classical example. When the CIA toppled the democratically-elected president of Iran, whose primary policy was to rebuild and modernize the infrastructure of Iran, we replaced him with the Shah, who immediately signed over 40% of Iran's oil to the United States. To reward him for his plot, the CIA official responsible was made the new president of “GULF” Oil. It's called the Persian Gulf for a reason, the bombing of the USS Cole aside; what would Cheney do to someone who occupied the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of New Orleans and presumed hegemony over us? DUH!

Canada and Mexico don't do these kinds of things.

Many years ago, now, when I was entirely like Cheney in virtually every respect, I was troubled by a show on TV which covered the Canadian program in El Salvador during the war, where they showed them teaching El Salvadoran women that it was wrong to smash the testicles of Nicaraguan prisoners between two bricks. I don't need to point out that a man as honorable and “good” as I believed Reagan to be, for whom I certainly voted, could do the illegal Iran-Contra arms deal in order to fund a continuation of that war and the atrocities and thousands of innocent deaths it generated.

Is it any wonder that worldwide, I have encountered from Asia to the Southern Cone, from Egypt to Spain, and throughout this hemisphere people who love Americans and emulate our culture, yet hate our government? They don't hate it because it's a democracy. But during the last twenty years, more and more have reached the conclusion that you cannot completely sever the American from the American government, because we voted them into power and cannot assume complete innocence for their actions in our name. They ARE in our name. Yes, we love cheap oil, but if we knew what that actually required, most would turn away. Oil tycoons, no. “Good” Americans, yes.

The historical tide has turned, because in spite of enormous effort to keep the average American ignorant or somehow believing that “patriotism” and 3000 innocent American lives are important, while tens of thousands of innocent lives of “collateral damage” and the hopes and dreams of foreign families are of no consequence, have failed utterly; primarily because of the Internet. We owe Gore for that one, not just general awareness of global warming.

More and more, Americans, often in spite of themselves, are encountering an abundance of information long withheld or unable to conveniently obtain. In the face of such information, the “good” cannot continue believing they are if they do not alter their opinion and their vote. We just saw that happen. It's not a free pass for Democrats. Once the economic and international crises generated by the Bush Republicans are passed (if EVER-I won't even go there; that's a subject for another post), they will be evaluated based upon those policies unique to themselves which were not forced by the previous administration, but which they chose to pursue.

There is little hope for Cheney and others of his ilk, but there still is hope for America, especially the younger generation. Unfortunately, because of the Iraq debacle, and remember BOTH parties okayed it, which means you and I did by proxy, our children will have to deal with the big one, which is certain to come. Too many little boys have watched their fathers, their mothers, their siblings, their relatives, their friends KILLED. They know were they were innocent. America who killed them may have called the lad's mother, father, sister, brother, friend, etc. “collateral damage.” He called them “mommy, daddy, brother, sister, friend, aunt, uncle, etc. “

There was a reason ancient kings always killed all the sons of a deposed “enemy.” “THE GODFATHER” movies portray why. He will not always be a helpless little boy. One day, he will be a man. He now lives for that day, and he will have only one purpose in life for which he willing to trade his own: detonating a nuclear weapon in the country which destroyed those he loved. He IS innocent. We ARE guilty. The atrocity HAS been done. Only the most extraordinary changes in American policy and practice, including what that army of little fatherless or motherless boys will accept as true reparation, if such is even possible MIGHT change his mind.

The only thing that will (possibly) prevent or forestall a nuclear attack on America will be a pax americana, but I fear that, like the Romans, American civilization is too young to have learned the futility of war. The pax romana (Roman Peace) which lasted 600 years was a long time coming. If not, what I portray in my novel, JIHAD, will surely come to pass. You can read a good chunk of it for free by going to the following link:

You can read it for free in its entirety as it is being serialized chapter by chapter on Triond. Or you can purchase it.

Feel free to comment on this post.

This video shows how Cheney's mentality differs from O'bama's: