Hillary as President? Heaven Forbid

It is mind boggling that the mainstream media, and the American electorate elevate political people to divine levels of love and respect based solely on image and exposure, but not on substantive achievements. Meanwhile, though red flags fly high, Americans ignore them as though they don’t even exist.

Would someone please identify one major accomplishment in the political career of Hillary Clinton, other than sleeping with a president and winning an election, and then flying around the world shaking hands with dignitaries and having her pictures taken for future campaign marketing.

To the exclusion of many more accomplished democratic colleagues among governors and senators, this woman is already fete accompli, the runaway nominee for the democratic party in 2016, already coronated by the constant barrage of love-Hillary publicity.

But let’s take a step backwards and examine the candidate beyond the façade.

Where do we begin?

Before and after becoming First Lady, Hillary was the subject of a number of investigations by the Office of Independent Counsel, dubbed:  Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate and Hillary Rodham Cattle Futures controversy. (See links below for explanation)

Many question her motives for staying with a man who had a well-known history of philandering, not only while governor of Arkansas, but in the Oval Office as well. Bill Clinton repeatedly denied his White House trysts, until a semen stain nailed him as an outright liar. Despite all the private and public embarrassment, Hillary’s lifelong quest to be the first female president trumped honor and respect. After all, she’s got the number one Democratic campaigner on her side. That’s a political insurance policy.

How does that speak of integrity?

For the sake of brevity, let’s examine all her accomplishments while serving New York State as a U.S. Senator for eight years. I researched. Couldn’t find any. It’s clear to anyone paying attention that she was basically holding a political position as a platform to run for president in 2008. It’s all about cosmetics.

When Obama became president, Hillary Clinton became the Secretary of State for four years. How would an objective person measure her major accomplishments during her time on the international scene?

Pathetic.

America’s relationship with every foreign power is worse off than it was in 2008. Beyond Afghanistan, the world has evolved into global chaos. Even where chaos has yet to erupt, respect for the United States has diminished, virtually everywhere. Things are worse off today in North Korea, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Syria, Jordan, Pakistan, Eastern Europe, and most every other nation in the middle east including Israel who no longer trusts us. Then there is China who owns us, Russia who embarrasses us, Africa, Mexico, Canada, and the European Union, where leaders are denouncing American wiretapping and find themselves at the low end of the priority totem pole.

The anti-Muslim Brotherhood counter-uprisings in Egypt, which brought secular government back to that country, saw many derogatory placards and signs in the streets of Cairo and other places, denouncing Hillary Clinton as pro-Muslim Brotherhood, calling her a terrorist sympathizer and more. She was clearly on the side of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, as was Barack Obama.

While we’re at it, let’s not forget that Hillary Clinton’s Number One confidante and traveling companion during her senatorial and secretarial years, was Huma Abedin, raised and schooled strictly Islamic in Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, daughter of parents closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, sister of a man tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, and who held a high-ranking position at Georgetown University in the Muslim Students Association, (MSA) a stepchild of the Muslim Brotherhood. This woman had open access to all of our most important national security secrets. How’s that for potential breaches of national security?

Americans want this woman to be our president?

The coup de gras, so to speak, is the despicable behavior of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before, during and following the Benghazi fiasco. Yes, despicable. That is not a strong enough term. This so-called leader did not have the conscience, yet the good judgment to provide much needed increases in security to one of the major hot-spots in the diplomatic world, despite all the pleas from consulate staffers, including Ambassador Stevens himself. If she says she was unaware, that makes her a very poor leader and incompetent at best. If she was aware, it not only makes her incompetent, it could even be described as negligent manslaughter.

When the attack was under way and shortly thereafter, despite the fact that information was coming in immediately, that this was no demonstration about a video, it was a terror attack by an al Qaeda affiliate. Yet, nothing was done. Everyone, including Hillary, sat on their hands. No one even sent investigators to the scene for two weeks thereafter.

When the smoldering rose smoke to the heavens and bodies were being bagged, Hillary ducked any and all questions, as did her boss. (How does one define “Obstruction of Justice?) Three days later, she blamed the attack on a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Muslim video, which she, Obama, and everyone else knew was false. Nevertheless, Hillary flew the coop – literally – and transferred her responsibilities to UN Ambassador Susan Rice to answer public questions and parrot the lies on five news shows as instructed.

For the next four months, rather than take a leadership role in the investigation, Hillary ducked all inquiries and went glob trotting for four months, avoiding congressional inquiries, (obstructing justice) shaking hands and accomplishing nothing, all in the interest of making herself unavailable until the heat died down. And when she finally had to appear before congress, she pulled off a typical Hillary and went on the offense with her despicable statement, “What difference does it make.”

Head shaking yet?

I ask democrats:  Is this really who you want to see as an American president? Don’t you have anyone in the government, or in the states, who is unquestionably honorable, who will not risk national security, who will respond to important inquires, who will put America first over politics, who will take a substantive leadership role as opposed to daily tasks of photo ops and hand shakes?

If she is the best you can come up with, I would hate to see the worst.

Ladies and gentlemen of all parties, let’s do the right thing.  We’ve already had a president whose loyalty, honor and integrity, and virtual identity, has been in serious question by millions. We don’t need to go through that again.

Or it is all about winning, and nothing else?

RELATED COLUMNS AND SOURCES:

SHOCK! Hillary Clinton argues – What difference, at this point, does it make about how it happened? – YouTube

Hillary Clinton’s record

Hillary Clinton Faces Criminal Charges In Egypt

Whitewater controversy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

White House travel office controversy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

White House FBI files controversy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hillary Rodham cattle futures controversy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Little Help for Sister Darla

DARLA DAWALD

Darla Dawald

A featured speaker at the rallies, Darla always inspired the crowds; preserve freedom, Constitutional principles, God, family and country. Darla is a fearless, courageous and true patriot folks. Thus, the reason I call her sister.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, America’s Toughest Sheriff, has given Darla a thumbs up with his endorsement.

Please allow me to get real with y’all. I have been feeling frustrated. Not hopeless, but frustrated. It seems like every day brings another new unprecedented incident of the Obama Administration ignoring a law it dislikes and creating a new law at will.

Charles Krauthammer said Obama has gotten away with breaking the law for so long that it has become no big deal.

Rush Limbaugh characterized the Obama regime as a Banana Republic.

The mainstream media is in total solidarity with Obama’s socialist/progressive agenda. Their mission is to portray anyone opposing the first black president, on any issue, as a rabid racist.

Despite five years of unprecedented power grabs, scandals and lawless behavior by the Obama Administration, Republicans are still petrified of challenging Obama.

In low moments, upon hearing on Fox News about Obama’s latest crime against the Constitution, I yell, “So what!” So what if Obama continues to act like America’s first king. If no one politically pushes back, so what!

I have been racking my brain and praying, “Dear Lord, How do we defeat this evil which is fundamentally transforming your great country?”

Then, I came upon this quote by Founding Father, Samuel Adams.

“It does not take a majority to prevail…but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”

I thought, Praise God! That is the answer. We simply MUST keep fighting. Each of us must do our part, using our talents, gifts and intellect — doing whatever we can to set brushfires of freedom in the minds of men. Doesn’t that just stir your soul?

As Chairman of Conservative Campaign Committee, my incredible team and I continue to do our part, tirelessly working to get conservatives elected in key races around the country; setting brushfires folks.

Tea Party Express, Tea Party Nation, Patriots Action Network, Tea Party.net, Tea Party.org, Tea Party Patriots and numerous other groups and patriot individuals are all fire starters; setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.

I am pleased to announce that a couple of black Tea Party leaders have started huge brushfires of freedom. Katrina Pierson is running for congress in Texas.

Niger Innis is running for congress in Nevada.

I am extremely proud of my patriot sister Darla Dawald for setting her brushfire in Arizona; running for State Representative.

Help these patriots folks. The cold reality is funding is a crucial component in winning elections.

This is how we win folks – keep setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men. We must remain irate (but controlled) and tireless; everyone doing their part, keeping our eyes on the prize — a restored America. Samuel Adams would be proud.

Difference Between God And Obama

Last night the most trending hashtag on Twitter was #DifferenceBetweenGodAndObama. Our Twitterer-in-Chief, Comrade General Secretary, posted these contributions, only scratching the surface:

God didn’t have a “Previous Administration” to blame
On the seventh day God rested; Obama rested for the other six
God spake unto Moses; Obama spake unto giggling college students
God commanded not to covet thy neighbor’s property; Obama commands to covet and redistribute it, too
God doesn’t force you to sign up for his religion and tell you “If you like your commandment, you can keep it”
God told Noah to build an ark; Obama told Noah “you didn’t build that”
God unleashed ten plagues on Pharaoh; Obama just signed him up for Obamacare
God’s chosen people wandered in the desert for 40 years; Obama’s people wandered in healthcare.gov for 40 weeks
God told Mary she was blessed with a child; Obama said she was punished with a child
God banished Lucifer; Obama’s mentor dedicated a book to him

Feel free to add your Difference Between God and Obama as a comment at the end of our column.

Ukraine: Playing for the Long Term

It is an unusual event when a German Chancellor speaks to a joint session of both Houses of Parliament.  This week Angela Merkel used the opportunity of her speech in Westminster to not only talk about the future of Europe but also – and very movingly – of the continent’s past.  She bowed her head to the sacrifices of British servicemen in both wars of the twentieth century.  And she spoke movingly of what might have been had the British nation not stood up to her own country in the darkest moments of the twentieth century.

Of course we are not all fated to replay the 1930s and most of Chancellor Merkel’s speech was rightly given over to the future.  But there could hardly have been a better time for a demonstration of shared values to take place.

Because as Britain’s Parliamentarians sat listening to the German Chancellor, the very future of a state on the outskirts of Europe hung in the balance.  After weeks of wrangling, Viktor Yanukovych – the elected leader of Ukraine – has fled. Part of his security apparatus literally got down upon their knees to beg forgiveness from the population it had been firing on earlier in the week, and the whole future of the nation remains in the balance.  What can we take from all this?  Many things.  One is that there is in Ukraine, as there is in so many countries, not just one struggle but a set of struggles.  It is not merely a divide between West and East, free and unfree societies.  But it is partly that.  The deposed Yanukovych now cropping up in Moscow is a reminder to us of that.

As every European state has learned at some time or another, the process of movement towards freedom is never smooth.  And the extent to which outside actors can engage in shaping futures is unarguable.  But in a struggle for values – a struggle for the hearts and minds of populations – one thing matters more than any other.

That is whether – when people say that they want to be part of what you are part of – you tell them to go away, or whether you embrace them and encourage them.  Russia’s President Putin believes that the Ukraine lies in his sphere.  Many people in Ukraine fervently disagree.  To that extent there is undoubtedly a struggle over, and flexing of, wills.  Of course autocrats can often seem reassuring in the short term, which is exactly when democracies can seem most distracted, flaky and worrisome.

But it is to the long term that we must all look.

And that is why it was doubly important to see Chancellor Merkel speaking in Westminster this week.  For it was testament not only to the long-term strength of the world’s democracies, but a reminder that even the worst totalitarianisms can falter before the best freedoms.

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“I Will Never Go Back” by Karl and Sandra Borden

In 1999 we attended the Rotary International conference in Singapore and sat on a bus next to a fellow Rotarian, a physician from Ukraine. Rotary had only established its first Ukrainian club a few years earlier and my seat neighbor introduced himself to us. A conversation and friendship ensued, and “Oleg” invited us to visit him in Ukraine if the opportunity arose. It did—later that year we had the extraordinary experience of spending two weeks in Ukraine just as the country was, it seemed, beginning a journey toward democracy and free markets.

Because Sandra practices medicine, and through my contacts with Rotary International, we had the opportunity to meet many Ukrainian medical professionals. We will never forget one evening in particular. Our hosts for the evening were an oncologist and his wife, a music teacher, and we were guests in their home—a small two-bedroom apartment where they lived with their son. The oncologist’s hospital, which we had toured earlier that day, was a converted horse barn; his office was a former stall. His colleague and other dinner guest was a cardiologist who had spent a few months in the 1980s in the United States on a medical exchange program—by chance at the same hospital where Sandra had been born 40 years earlier. Both were in their early 50s and had grown up in the Soviet system. To protect them now I will call them “Sergei” and “Vlad,” respectively.

Sergei, the oncologist, told us he had to lock his meager medical supplies and equipment in his office each night or they would disappear by morning. He also explained that “free medicine for everyone” meant in practice that actual medical supplies and services were so scarce as to be virtually nonexistent without a bribe or access to the black market. But it was Vlad’s stories that held a special poignancy and that we especially remember now.

Vlad told us what it was like growing up in fear of the secret police. He recounted how every day as a child he would come home from school and his mother would ask him, “What did they tell you today?” and then sort it out for him: “That is true. You may believe it. But that other is a lie—say nothing to your teacher, but you should not believe it.” He explained how the children’s job was to wait in line, sometimes for days, no matter what product was at the end. Anything that was available had potential barter value. Vlad told us how in one generation his country’s culture had devolved. His grandfather, he said, was an upright and honest man who had his farm taken from him by the State. His father would steal anything to survive and would sneak into the same fields his grandfather had once owned to purloin vegetables.

He darkly joked about the local building that was the KGB’s headquarters. It is, he said, the tallest building in the city: Occupants could “see Siberia from the basement.” He recounted his first experience in a U.S. grocery store, when his “KGB keeper” allowed him to go there to purchase toothpaste: “I stood in the aisle looking at every imaginable variety of toothpaste. An explosion of colors, sizes, and flavors. And I was paralyzed. I could not decide. I saw Americans walk to the display and easily make their choices—but I could not. I realized in that moment that I had never really made a choice in my life. The State had assigned me to my school, my profession, my apartment, my job. Even when consumer goods were available, I had only one ‘brand’ of shoes, soap, or . . . toothpaste. Standing there among these Americans so easily making decisions about matters large and small in their lives—I felt like a child among adults.”

He told how, when he returned to Ukraine, he had to “put his Soviet face back on. Appearing too happy was suspicious.”

Late into the evening, after entirely too much caviar and vodka, Karl asked: “Vlad, Ukraine is just beginning its journey to freedom. Do you believe it will stay the course?” This mild-mannered, soft-spoken, 50-year-old Ukrainian cardiologist was silent a long time, staring into his glass. Then he lifted his head and looked straight at me across the table. “I do not know,” he said softly. “But I do know this. I will never go back. I will pick up a gun. I will fight in the streets. But I will never . . . go . . . back.”

“Vlad”—If you’re among those who were in the streets—I hope you are well and safe.

Note: In this collection of images from Misha Domozhilov and Katya Rezvaya, you may find among them the face of “Vlad,” who apparently kept his promise.

ABOUT KARL AND SANDRA BORDEN

Karl Borden is professor of finance at the University of Nebraska-Kearney and a past district governor for Rotary International. Sandra Borden is a nurse practitioner.

Is fear of Islam unfounded?

Reza Varjavand is associate professor of economics and finance at the Graham School of management at Saint Xavier University in Chicago. In this short piece at Iranian.com, he asks a common-sense question that has been obscured by the fog of jihad-enabling propaganda pumped out endlessly by the likes of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Reza Aslan’s Aslan Media. His title, “Is Fear of Islam Unfounded?,” is of course prompted by the use of the term “Islamophobia,” which literally means fear of Islam; however, I think the best response to the atrocities he mentions is not fear, but resoluteness in the defense of freedom and human rights.

“Is Fear of Islam unfounded?,” by Reza Varjavand for Iranian.com, February 26:

Once again, a violent attack by Muslim extremists astounded the world, they murdered a number of innocent students in Nigeria just because they were attending school and learning what their attackers called Western education! Is this the religion whose prophet allegedly said “Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave”? I think the world have seen enough images of atrocities committed under the name of Islam: Blown-up buildings, burning cars, beheading, flogging, arresting innocent people for no reason, butchering of a British soldier in a street of London, Boston bombing, Train bombing in Madrid, fatal shooting of 13 people by army major Nidal Hassan, public executions in street, death threat against, or assassination of, writers or those who express their opinions just to name a few.

Sometimes I ask myself is this what Islam is all about?

In light of all of these, we, Muslims, keep telling others how peaceful our religion is which reminds me of that famed Wendy’s “where is the beef” commercial. Aren’t Muslim influential leaders guilty of implicit complacency by remaining silent and not publically condemning such atrocious acts or taking a firm position against them?

We may not be able to change this madness; at least we can say something about it.

Indeed. Stopping the victimhood manipulation and working for serious, genuine reform would be a good place to start.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of the flag of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

RELATED COLUMNS:

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Stupid, Evil or Both?

For a long time now I have been trying to determine whether the Obama administration is stupid, evil or both. In addition to its long list of scandals, its governance of America increasingly looks like and acts as if the power granted to it by two elections exists to intimidate and harass Americans, inflict endless new taxes, and granted it the right to destroy one of the best healthcare systems and military in the world.

Listening to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry constantly talk about the non-existent threat of global warming/climate change is both stupid and evil. There is no global warming. The Earth has been in a cooling cycle for some seventeen years at this point and the supposed “science” they cite—that carbon dioxide emissions will heat the Earth—is utterly bogus, based entirely on computer models that have been wrong from the day the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were first used.

In a recent article in Forbes magazine, James Taylor, editor of The Heartland Institute’s Environment and Climate News, noted that “More than 30,000 scientists have signed a summary of the science explaining why humans are not creating a global warming crisis.” He cites several other surveys that confirm that neither scientists nor the public regard global warming/climate change to be a concern.

What should be a major concern, however, is the way the Obama administration has transformed the Internal Revenue Service into an agency to thwart conservative groups from receiving non-profit status to advance their views. The Environmental Protection Agency has been let loose to generate all manner of regulations whose intent is to shut down coal-fired plants that produce electricity and deny the ability to build new ones. The amount of electricity that is being produced from these plants has dropped significantly from the 50% it once was.

The passage of the Affordable Health Care Act—Obamacare—is wreaking havoc on the economy and is the result of the lies told by the President and many Democratic members of Congress who voted for it without even reading it. The nation is suffering from losses of jobs and the reduction of full-time jobs to part-time. Americans are losing their healthcare plans and Obamacare plans have far higher premiums. Individuals and businesses who fail to sign up for one face fines.

This is worse than stupid. It is evil. It is a deliberate attack on the nation’s economic growth, rendering an estimated 100 million Americans without employment and forcing millions to apply for food stamps in order to put food on the table.

While the lies are evil, the stupidity of those like former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is demonstrated by things she has said in recent years.

“It’s almost a false argument to say we have a spending problem.” The nation has a huge borrowing and spending problem that currently adds up to more than $17 trillion in debt. Federal spending (25% of the Gross Domestic Product) is the highest since World War II as is the budget deficit (10% of GDP). The U.S. suffered the first downgrade in its credit rating in its history.

The administration’s “stimulus” program wasted billions on alternative energy companies that often filed for bankruptcy shortly thereafter. The promise of “green jobs” was as specious as “shovel ready” jobs that even the President admitted did not exist. Nancy Pelosi said at the time that “Every month that we do not have an economic recovery package 500 million Americans lose their jobs” but the U.S. population is currently around 317 million total!

This goes well beyond just stupidity. Obama’s, Pelosi’s, Biden’s and other administration member’s statements have been a consistent record of lies and that is evil.

When Obama took office in 2009 America was still regarded as the leading nation in the world in the arena of foreign affairs, but in the years since then nations and non-state enemies such as al Qaeda have concluded that it has demonstrated not just weakness, but dangerous stupidity as seen in its current efforts to negotiate with Iran to cease its quest of nuclear weapons. To this day its leaders still lead chants of “Death to America” and to our only true ally in the Mideast, Israel.

Claims that al Qaeda had been defeated were also false as it and other Islamic radical groups expand their activities.

One can barely find any evidence that the Obama administration has shown any success domestically or in foreign affairs and we still have three more years of it to endure.

The only hope at present is the forthcoming November midterm elections and, if power in the Senate can be acquired by the Republican Party and expanded in the House, efforts to thwart the deliberate destruction of the nation can be enacted. We have been living with a President who has refused to negotiate with Congress and with a Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, who has blocked debates and votes on any of the legislation initiated in the House.

The nation is just months away from either further decline or a reversal of policies that are either stupid or evil or both.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Evangeline Wanders by Sarah Skwire

Hardly anyone reads Longfellow anymore, but maybe we should.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Evangeline. 1847. 64 pages.

Nobody reads Longfellow anymore, except perhaps students at Bowdoin College, where Longfellow was a student and later a librarian and professor. But Longfellow’s poetry used to be read and recited everywhere. Memorizing it was a common exercise for school children. And you probably know a few lines of some of his poems, though you may not know they are his.

Listen my children and you shall hear

Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere

and

Under the spreading chestnut tree

The village smithy stands

and

Christ save us all from a death like this

On the reef of Norman’s woe!

Longfellow’s epic Evangeline was, according to my grandmother, one of my grandfather’s favorite books when he was a young man, and—for poetry—it sold like hotcakes when it first came out. Nearly 36,000 copies sold in the first decade after publication.

But nobody reads Longfellow anymore. So I thought I’d have a look at Evangeline, and see what it might have to offer readers of this column.

Certainly the story’s bare outline is promising ground for thinking about liberty. Evangeline tells the story of two young lovers separated by the expulsion of the Acadian people from Canada’s maritime provinces to the colonies and, in some cases, to France. (Later, some of the Acadians relocated to Louisiana and became known as Cajuns. The Longfellow reference is probably why, in The Princess and the Frog, the celestial beloved of the Cajun firefly Ray is named Evangeline.)

Modern scholars have rightly noted some of the historical problems with Longfellow’s poem. He absolves the American colonists of any blame for the expulsion in order to make King George more of a villain, constructs an ahistorically homogenous Acadian culture, and is often insensitive to the Native Americans he describes, for example. But Longfellow’s tale of expulsion, displacement, and the search for lost family, lost love, lost culture, and a place of refuge remains moving today. In fact, our contemporary awareness of such injustices as the forced relocation of Native American nations on the Trail of Tears and the signing of Executive Order 9066, which imprisoned Japanese Americans and stripped them of their property, should bring additional meaning and pathos to the poem.

From the poem’s opening words, “This is the forest primeval,” Longfellow situates the soon-to-be-destroyed Acadian culture in a timeless, golden world marked by peace and equality.

Thus dwelt together in love these simple Acadian farmers,—

Dwelt in the love of God and of man. Alike were they free from

Fear, that reigns with the tyrant, and envy, the vice of republics.

Neither locks had they to their doors, nor bars to their windows;

But their dwellings were open as day and the hearts of their owners;

There the richest was poor, and the poorest lived in abundance.

Longfellow claims later that the Acadians held all things in common, but the characters in the poem clearly possess private property, and one is designated as “the wealthiest farmer of Grand-Pre.” Like the above passage, that claim about common property is, I think, intended to accent the peaceful accord of the culture and the way its world runs easily and regularly, with a time and a place for everything, and no strife among the Acadians.

But all is not well. As the village of Grand-Pre prepares to celebrate the betrothal of Evangeline (the loveliest maiden in the village) and Gabriel (the best of the village’s young men), their fathers and fathers’ friends are worrying about the intentions of the armed English ships anchored near their harbor. The presence of the ships and their implicit threat has the men of the village debating questions of justice and power. The blacksmith argues:

“Daily injustice is done, and might is the right of the strongest!”

But, without heeding his warmth, continued the notary public,—

“Man is unjust, but God is just; and finally justice

Triumphs”

When the men of the village are called to the church to hear a proclamation from King George, the blacksmith certainly seems to have been correct in his concerns. The leader of the English troops announces:

To my natural make and my temper

Painful the task is I do, which to you I know must be grievous.

Yet must I bow and obey, and deliver the will of our monarch;

Namely, that all your lands, and dwellings, and cattle of all kinds

Forfeited be to the crown; and that you yourselves from this province

Be transported to other lands. God grant you may dwell there

Ever as faithful subjects, a happy and peaceable people!

Prisoners now I declare you; for such is his Majesty’s pleasure!”

It is a credit to the apparent simplicity and to the precision and conciseness of Longfellow’s verse that we can read this announcement a time or two without noting the depth of its horror. Bad enough that the land and homes and animals of the Acadians are, with a few brief words, stripped away and taken for the crown. Bad enough that they are transported to other unspecified lands. But they are also expected to remain happy, peaceful, and faithful subjects of the king who has done this to them. It is his pleasure to make them prisoners. He requires that it be their pleasure as well.

The blacksmith tries to rebel, but is rapidly subdued by the armed soldiers. The Acadian men are locked into the church until the village can be transported, and in the transportation Evangeline is separated from her betrothed. The remainder of the poem is the story of her lifelong search for him and their tragic reunion when she—now a nun—is called to nurse him on his deathbed.

At one point during her wanderings, Evangeline finds some of the resettled Acadians in Louisiana. She sees the culture in the process of rebuilding itself, and is told:

Here, too, numberless herds run wild and unclaimed in the prairies;

Here, too, lands may be had for the asking, and forests of timber

With a few blows of the axe are hewn and framed into houses.

After your houses are built, and your fields are yellow with harvests,

No King George of England shall drive you away from your homesteads,

Burning your dwellings and barns, and stealing your farms and your cattle.

And I think we are meant, as readers, to find the Acadians’ quiet rebuilding, like Evangeline’s quiet persistence and the lovers’ deathbed reunion, to be noble and comforting. I think we are meant to feel reassured that, while it may take a long time, “finally, justice/Triumphs.”

But I remain uneasy.

Given that King George has already shown his willingness to treat his subjects as his property and to relocate them for his own profit and his own purposes, and given that settlement in Louisiana puts the Acadians under the control of—at various times—the French, English, and Spanish monarchies, how secure should the Acadians really feel?

When lives and property are held at “his Majesty’s pleasure,” the blacksmith is always right. Injustice prevails, backed up by might. And Evangeline will always wander, looking for a home.

20121127_sarahskwireABOUT SARAH SKWIRE

Sarah Skwire is a fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc. She is a poet and author of the writing textbook Writing with a Thesis.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image originally appeared on the Foundation for Economic Education website and is reposted with permission.

What Is Polycentric Law? by Tom W. Bell

Do you like having options when you look for a new bank, dry cleaner, or veterinarian? Of course you do. You want to find the service that will best satisfy your particular demands, after all, and you know that when banks, cleaners, and vets have to compete they have a powerful incentive to make you happy. A monopoly, in contrast, can take its customers for granted.

Polycentric law simply extends that observation from commercial services to government ones. Just as competition makes life better for those who seek banking, cleaning, and pet care, it can benefit those seeking fair and efficient legal systems. Competition helps consumers and citizens alike.

Polycentric law regards the sorts of legal services that governments provide—defining rules, policing their application, and settling disputes—as a ripe field for competition. When a government claims a monopoly in the law, it tends to neglect the needs of its subjects. In a polycentric system, however, providers of legal services care more about what consumers want. They have to, if they don’t want to go out of business.

Our Polycentric World

But won’t competition between legal services lead to chaos? Evidently not. We already live in a world that offers us a fair degree of choice between the sorts of rules we live under. Polycentric law simply takes note of that fact, sees the good in it, and argues for more of the same.

It may not always seem as if you can choose the legal system you will live under. If you like the culture and climate of United States, for instance, but not the commands that issue from the federal government, you indeed face a hard choice: Suck it up or hit the road.

And even if you do decide to leave in search of a better legal system, you have no guarantee of finding one. Because they typically impose uniform rules across large geographic areas, governments tend more toward monopolistic law than polycentric law.

Even so, excepting totalitarian regimes such as the former Soviet Union and present-day North Korea, most governments allow disgruntled residents the freedom to escape to better legal systems. Most also allow movement within their borders, from one state, county, or town to another, affording the freedom to choose between local legal systems. To some degree, therefore, governments already compete against each other. But the influence of polycentric law goes deeper than that.

From Plain Old Law to Polycentric Law

To fully understand the extent of polycentric law, you have to understand the nature of law itself. Legal philosopher Lon Fuller aptly described it as “the enterprise of subjecting human conduct to the governance of rules.” So described, the law is not just a service provided by public organizations. It also issues from private sources such as homeowners’ associations, businesses, religions, clubs, and myriad other organizations that subject their members’ conduct to the governance of rules.

Consider a residential cooperative corporation, for instance. Such a co-op’s members both possess shares of it and lease their homes from it; in effect, they own their landlord. And like other landlords, a residential cooperative corporation subjects its tenants to the governance of rules. A residential co-op might specify quiet hours, for instance, and establish a committee to resolve complaints between member tenants.

That may not sound much like the sort of legal system offered by a conventional government—until you reflect that many residential co-ops rival cities in terms of their size and range of operations. The largest of them, Co-Op City in New York’s Bronx borough, houses over 50,000 members. In addition to shelter, Co-Op City provides an elected government, parks, streets, security, and just about every other service you might expect from a conventional city.

Homeowners’ associations (HOAs) likewise often grow as large and capable as cities. The largest HOA in the United States, Highlands Ranch, Colorado, includes over 30,000 homes and 90,000 residents. In all respects but its origins and legal status, it resembles a conventional municipality.

Other private organizations also effectively duplicate cities on a small scale. Malls and hotels, for instance, provide their users with transportation networks, shelter from the elements, utilities, fire protection, security, and (most pertinently for present purposes) rules of conduct.

The scale and scope of residential co-ops, HOAs, malls, and hotels make it easy to see how the private sector can rival the public one in providing governing services. Polycentric law is not solely the province of huge, private quasi-cities, however. Under Fuller’s definition, even a small organization that regulates only a narrow range of behavior—a church that imposes strict dietary rules on its members, for instance—also qualifies as a source of law. Size and breadth matter less than whether an organization subjects human conduct to the governance of rules.

For More Polycentricity

We thus already live in a somewhat polycentric legal order. Except when they completely imprison their subjects, governments have to compete against each other for financial and human capital. This means that, in the long run, governments that fail to supply adequate legal services tend to end up poor and unpopulated. Alas for consumers of governing services, though, that “long run” can last for generations. To make governments better sooner, we need to make them face more competition.

Except when a totalitarian government completely eradicates them, intermediary institutions also compete in the market for law. Towns compete with residential co-ops and HOAs to provide housing arrangements; main streets compete with malls to provide shopping environments; religious institutions compete with each other to provide moral instruction, and so forth. Because each subjects human conduct to the governance of rules, each of these institutions competes in providing the law. Here, too, though, we might benefit from more competition.

How can we make the law more polycentric? We can start by recognizing that legal systems do not differ in principle from banks, vets, cleaners, or other services. All face some competition and, insofar as they do, consumers benefit. Legal systems differ from other services not because they escape the effect of market forces, but because they have for too long pretended to do so.

Once we recognize that competitive forces already shape legal services, we can turn to increasing their influence. We should seek ways to make it easier for disgruntled subjects to flee, either physically or virtually, from bad governments to better ones. Bitcoin, for instance, seems likely to help on that front. And we should encourage the rise of special jurisdictions, such as the ZEDE/LEAP zones recently introduced in Honduras, where locals can opt into legal rules imported from abroad.

From a Good World to a Better One

Far from a mere theoretical ideal, polycentric law already shapes our world. We need only appreciate its latent power and invite more of the same. Once more fully realized, polycentric law can give to the consumers of legal services the same benefits that free and open competition already gives to the consumers of banking, cleaning, and veterinary services.

ABOUT TOM W. BELL

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Tom Bell

Tom W. Bell is a professor at Chapman University School of Law.

A Quest for Commonality

The Adult Catholic Education program, held recently at a local Catholic parish hall, was entitled, “Under Abraham’s Tent: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the World Today.” The evening, designed to “foster peaceful relationships” of three religions through their shared patriarch, Abraham, attracted about 200 guests.

The first speaker, Rabbi “J,” related the story of Abram, who smashed all but one of his father’s idols, leaving a hammer in the hand of the largest. When his father, Terach the idol carver, returned to the store and saw the damage, Abram alibied that a war had ensued among the gods, and the largest idol won. Terach scoffed, saying, “The idols have no life or power,” to which Abraham responded, “Then why do you worship them?”

Thus did Abram show the folly of idol worship and introduce the belief of monotheism into civilization. “J” further explained that the Jews, through Moses, were also the first to bring laws of morality and humanity to humankind, the rules by which civilizations have prospered since. Regrettably, she did not offer a definition of Judaism, the role of Jews in world history, or the significance of Israel to the Jewish people.

Although Jews had resided in Egypt, Iraq, Iran, and Mesopotamia, and despite their persecution through the centuries, they nevertheless did not declare these lands as theirs. She might have dismantled the accusation that Jews are colonialists, had she noted the Jewish claim to the land has very specific boundaries set forth in the ancient Torah – the same boundaries established by the League of Nations in 1920, and again by the United Nations in 1948. .

It may be that the rabbi simply forgot these exhaustively documented facts, or she felt compelled to abandon her own and her religion’s survival for the fashionable multiculturalism and diversity.

“J” related an anecdote about being asked about the origin of people Cain met after his banishment from Eden. The Torah explains that Adam fathered many children before he died at age 930, and Cain may well have met these others in Nod, where he married and built a city. Rather, she responded that she told “our story,” and that could be another’s story, thereby allowing for the intrusion of a revisionist narrative!

She also mistakenly said that Ishmael was Muslim. In this, her timeline was off because it is well known that Mohammad did not proselytize for Islam until the 7th century AD, some two and a half millennia later. In fact, Ishmael was an Arab, but not a Muslim.

Another fact is that Muhammad’s conquests for an Islamic people began with the slaying of Jews, Christians, and idolaters of Mecca and Medina – beheading the men and raping and enslaving their women and children. Hence, the first Muslims were children of all four groups in the Middle East.

To a prompt about the 1967 origin of “Palestinians” (in quotation marks because before that date, the term meant any Jew or Arab who lived in that geographical area), “J” replied, “I don’t want to go there.” It is a well-documented reality that Yasser Arafat began using that terminology to provide a false bond for these usurpers to the land, but she saw it as a threat to multiculturalism and Islamic revisionism.

A reminder to the rabbi: throughout history, Jews have argued that if they abandoned their traditions and rituals, and conformed to their host society, they would be less likely to face persecution. But during the Spanish Inquisition, Jews who embraced their heritage were either converted, murdered, or expelled en masse in 1492. And, of course, during the Holocaust, Jews who trusted the concept in the 1930s and ‘40s were savagely annihilated.

Father “C,” the second speaker, also referred to Abram’s belief system as the beginning of monotheism, and to Jesus Christ’s ministry for the beginning of Christianity. He seemed distressed when an audience member asked, “Do Muslims and Jews need to trust in Jesus to get into heaven?” Whereas the Catholic Church may mandate conversion as an entrée to heaven, the Father seemed to abjure an exclusionary viewpoint. He did not reference Catholic Charities’ efforts to convert Muslims to Christianity or Muslim efforts to convert Jews and Christians to Islam. Neither did he reveal that the Qur’an restricts Muslims from designating zakat (charity) to any but Muslims, except for outreach and conversion.

Imam “M,” the last of the three, speakers, stated he would discuss historical accounts, revisionism, the universalism of Islam, and the “pre-Islamists” (Jews and Christians) who rejected Muhammad’s message.

His claim that Islam’s history is akin to Judaism’s, and that the two religions “shared ethics,” is fallacious. The Jewish Bible exclusively introduced the early Noahide Laws and Ten Commandments that provided God’s universal and timeless standard of right and wrong for all civilizations. In stark contrast, Islam’s laws contain none of those ethics and morals, and their purpose, as stated by modern-day imams and throughout the Qur’an, is to require strict adherence to Mohammed’s stern teachings of Mohammed by virtually everyone.

Further omitted was that Islam combines both political ideology and religion; they are inextricably linked. “M” stated that Sharia law is based on scripture, words of the prophet, and human intellect (an ambiguous statement), but failed to inform that 83% of the Qur’an deals severely with the infidel. Shari’a laws are meant to regulate non-Muslim as well as Muslim life.

At this point, “M” reminded us of earlier statements – that Jews argued with God (that God must live up to His promise to the Jewish people), that Christians agree with Jesus, and that, “Under the Qur’an, all people would agree to be one faith, one religion, follow the laws of their prophet/role model, have the same behavior, attitude, and there would be no fighting. A quick check at the countries around the world disproves that easily enough. He also assured the audience that Muslims kill other Muslims more than they kill Jews and Christians – a hardly comforting gen.

He went on to say that Muslims have a high degree of illiteracy. It is a fact that domination and oppression thrive as long as the masses are kept in ignorance. The importance of education goes back to Biblical times and is inherent in our Constitution.

Before closing, the imam added, “The ethnic people of the Middle East includes Palestinians,” yet another invention left unchallenged. The Philistines from Crete are long gone, and the current Palestinians are traceable to Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen, from which they came to the nascent Israel in search of employment. Adopting “Palestinians” for their appellation was a stealth war tactic to provide a false bond to the region they coveted.

It became quite evident that a mountain of historical revisionism was required to create a very false and tenuous harmony. Only when the Jews diminished their history, when the Christians moderated their beliefs, and when Muslims eluded questions that there could be any semblance of sharing and understanding. So this was not educational, but in doctrinal.

If the church members brought these three philosophies together in the name of harmony and understanding, then at least harmony prevailed for a couple of hours. But I knew that the morrow would bring more news of violent Jew-hatred, church burnings, and other catastrophic acts of jihad, and the parishioners would remain terribly misinformed. In the name of multiculturalism, diversity, and political-correctness, they were left with dishonesty and self-congratulatory egotism.

Ukraine topples Lenin statues, meets quota ahead of schedule

Despite severe weather conditions, the plan to topple Lenin statues in Ukraine has been successfully completed this month, ahead of schedule. The government of the former Soviet republic is happy to report that the quota of toppling monuments to Vladimir Lenin and other communist leaders has been met and in some places exceeded, with toppling of a number of unrelated statues in the process, as well as ransacking headquarters of the local Communist Party in Kiev.

Leninoval_280_3.jpgAlthough many critics warned that the goal was unrealistic, irrational, and even mathematically impossible, the toppling of statues of the creator of the world’s largest planned economy still went ahead as scheduled, paced over the course of several Five-Year Plans, starting in 1991.

However, not everything went according to the Planning Committee’s projections. The first Five-Year Plan revealed a drastic shortage of ropes to pull the statues down, and of gasoline to power the moving machinery.

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The second Five-Year Plan was plagued by continuously bad weather, consisting of five hot summers and as many cold winters, with uncharacteristically wet rains in between, presumably the result of climate change caused by a disproportional use of fossil fuels in the United States.

During the third Five-Year Plan all work was put on hold by the newly created Local 11 Statue Toppler Union.

The union leadership demanded an increase in wages and benefits in addition to a restraining order prohibiting all non-unionized persons from approaching any Lenin statue within a 200 foot radius.
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The fourth Five-Year Plan was beleaguered by a nationwide strike and a media campaign on behalf of Local 12 Pigeon-Handlers Union, whose members feared permanent unemployment and demanded a fair treatment with guarantees of lifetime salaries and benefits should all Lenin statues be toppled and outsourced to Third World countries.

The number of Lenin statues in existence also appeared to have been grossly underestimated, factoring only statues with the iconic beard and omitting those representing the father of the socialist revolution in his teens or prepubescent years, prior to the development of Lenin’s facial hair follicles. Neither did the plan account for the number of Lenin’s busts, bas reliefs, and mosaics, as well as semi-professional carvings and drawings on the walls of public restrooms.

Lenin_Snowman2.jpgNo Lenin statues made of stone were ever toppled either, which was later blamed on the Planning Committee typist who mistook the word “stone” for “scone.” Amazingly, as many as twelve “scone” statues had been reported as processed and billed by government contractors.

A subsequent audit discovered instances where money was paid for the toppling of Lenin statues that never existed, or where the statues had been made on the spot out of snow or cardboard and then pulled by a bulldozer. In other cases funds were disbursed where no actual topplings occurred.

As a result, while the number of all reported topplings exceeded the initial projection, a visual observation by the auditors led them to conclude that nearly all Lenin statues still remained exactly where they had been placed by the erstwhile Soviet government.

At the time, Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich clarified the situation as follows: “More than twenty years of heroic and selfless struggle by our government to topple Lenin statues have exhausted the national budget and forced us to request a bailout from either the European Union or the neighboring Russia. Given that Moscow has more expertise than Brussels in toppling Lenin statues, we chose to side with a partner who better suits our historic needs.”

Leninoval_200_2.jpgIn the aftermath of certain events in Kiev earlier this year, the Ukrainian president modified his position, closely approaching that of the Russian president: “If you like your Lenin statues, you can keep your Lenin statues.”

In a final speech to the nation delivered from the steps of a charter plane Mr. Yanukovich stated: “Rather than burdening our economy with this pointless toppling, I should have followed the Russian model and granted myself exclusive powers to build more palatial mansions in every struggling region of the country. Now if you’ll excuse me, my baggage and I have a flight to catch.”

Leninoval_200_3.jpgInspired by the president’s farewell address, citizens of Ukraine enthusiastically poured into the streets, toppling Lenin statues completely free of charge, without troubling the overworked authorities and union contractors with requests to plan and coordinate their activities. After only several hours of work, volunteers around Ukraine were able to topple all of the remaining Lenin statues.

The next morning, as various government officials looked out their windows and didn’t see the familiar Lenin statues, they immediately knew that it was time to report a successful completion of the final Five-Year Plan, ahead of schedule and almost within the budget.

Hollande government chokes on “Gender Theory”

The French government’s attempts to have old-fashioned pink and blue sexual stereotypes replaced with a basket of new kinky stereotypes celebrating same-sex parents, homosexuals, transvestites and the like – have run into trouble.

France’s Socialist Hollande government, mired in unprecedented depths of unpopularity, was caught red-handed with its latest social engineering experiment: a pilot project in some 600 kindergartens based on gender theory. The issue had been stewing ever since the passage last spring of the same-sex marriage law that granted homosexuals the right to marry and raise children in wholesome families. Adoption rights are extended, children born in previous heterosexual relationships can be cuddled in recomposed matrimonially united 2-mother or 2-father families.

The implied promise of normalization of children brought into the world with the help of artificial insemination and womb rental and the eventual legalization of these methods in France rounded out the package. But widespread opposition to the indoctrination of male-female equality, starting with day care centers and kindergartens, has blocked the “social progress” momentum.

While tens of thousands of well-behaved citizens marched for five hours on February 2 in protest against the government’s “family phobic” measures, cabinet ministers, commentators and, for some reason, journalists, too, parroted government talking points: the demonstration was totally uncalled for. Neither womb-rental nor artificial insemination for lesbian couples is in the proposed Family Affairs bill. As for the decried gender theory, it doesn’t exist. Women’s Rights Minister & government spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem kept repeating: This demonstration is uncalled for, it’s based on fear mongering and vicious rumors, there is no such thing as gender theory, we are teaching male-female equality, helping children overcome stereotypes that lead to homophobia and violence again women while stifling their professional ambitions.

The Family Affairs bill is indefinitely postponed. Family values advocates are not reassured, the LGBT contingent is furious, and social engineering is alienating the Left’s Muslim clientele.

Farida Belghoul, who was in the forefront of the Beur [second generation Arab-Muslim immigrants] movement in the 1980s is back with JRE [journée de retraite de l’école]: Parents opposed to gender theory indoctrination keep their children home from school in a once-a-month boycott organized by Belghoul via her text message network. Farida Belghoul has forged an alliance with Alain Soral, France’s most unashamed National Socialist [= Nazi], 100 percent anti-Semite, and buddy-buddy with the comedian Dieudonné. Videos of her talks are posted on Soral’s Egalité et Réconciliation [Equality and Reconciliation] website, cheek to jowl with tirades against the “Jew-loving” Interior Minister Manuel Valls; the Minister of Education, Vincent Peillon, who is a Jew; and long winded exposés on the civilization Soral is defending… from the Jews.

Belghoul has no compunction about drawing French Muslims, including banlieue youths, into her coalition with Soral. A strong Catholic society, she declares, is the best protection for Muslims in France and worldwide. “If France falls, we all fall.” Her discourse and her physical appearance are frantic. Her plea for family reconciliation – husbands with wives, children with parents – seems to be fuelled by personal disappointments. She concludes her talks with a resounding “Vaincre ou mourir” [vanquish or perish]. Her claims about sexual indoctrination in the schools may be oversimplified and exaggerated, but when she displays a merry multiple family book that celebrates all combinations – mother & father + child, 2 mothers + child, 2 fathers + child, 1 female-female couple & 1 male-male couple + child, etc. – her exasperation is shared by multitudes outside of her unsavory movement.

Scores of titles were exposed in the aftermath of the February 2 demonstration. Opposition leader Jean-François Copé discovered “Tous à poil” [everybody strips]: everyone from the baby-sitter to the grandfather and including the postman, the teacher, the traffic cop is realistically drawn in explicit nakedness with full display of what used to be called the “private parts.” The publisher did a new print run of 2,000 to satisfy demand stimulated by the controversy. Vallaud-Belkacem said Copé is an Inquisitionist book burner.

Other titles emerged, celebrating same-sex parents, homosexuals, transvestites etc. via animals or human beings: Two male birds raise an egg deposited in their empty nest by an anonymous donor, a princess doesn’t like princes, a tomboy, a boy in frilly dresses, brother and sister toddlers playing tickly games in bed… in short, those silly old-fashioned pink and blue stereotypes are replaced with a basket of new kinky stereotypes. It turned into a game of ping pong: opponents of gender theory would display a title on official reading lists, national education authorities would deny it and simultaneously take it off the lists. The ABCs of Equality used in schools, they said, owes nothing to gender theory. It doesn’t exist.

Why do politicians keep lying in the old fashioned way when everything they ever said is available with one click of the mouse? Interviewed in August 2011 by the giveaway newspaper 20 Minutes,  Belkacem is asked how “gender theory” can help change society. She replies: “By showing that the socio-cultural context is as much a factor as biology in determining  ‘sexual identity’ gender theory raises the question of unacceptable, persistent inequalities between men and women, and homosexuality, and shows us how to educate on these subjects.” I noted Vallaud-Belkacem’s LGBT commitments in my profile [Dispatch International May 2013], and her intention to develop programs based on the findings of a commission she appointed to study sexual stereotypes. The report included an enthusiastic account of an experimental Norwegian kindergarten where the children were never identified as boys or girls.

Having copiously fawned over its Muslim clientele for decades – it is estimated that Francois Hollande got 80 percent of the Muslim vote to 14 percent for Sarkozy – the Left is alienating this electorate with its social engineering. On the other hand, voters attracted by the Left’s progressive agenda are drastically disappointed. The extent of the damage will be counted in the coming municipal elections (March 23 and 30).

Speaking of stereotypes, isn’t Najat Vallaud-Belkacem a sterling example of the use of feminine charm to defend anything and everything? Despite her boyish haircut and unisex style Vallaud-Belkacem is an attractive young woman with lovely eyes and French elegance. As befits her role, she speaks the words put in her mouth by the government, lies with disarming sincerity, attacks her opponents with a delicately sheathed blade.

As for President Hollande, he runs a full range of feminine attributes, from the fertility companion Ségolène Royal, mother of his four children, to Valerie Trierweiller, maturely glamorous journalist, to the sexy young movie star, Julie Gayet. And Najat asks kindergarteners why so few girls want to be stonemasons?

EDITORS NOTE: The featured picture is of François Hollande à Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire taken by Ludovic Lepeltier. The photo is under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

Hollywood Rediscovers the Bible

When I was growing up in the 1950s there were two blockbusters, “The Ten Commandments” and “Ben-Hur.” Together they pulled in $1.795 billion in adjusted domestic ticket sales. The power of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, to draw audiences is impressive and, in hard times like the present, many seek a message of hope in religion.

It’s worth keeping in mind that, according to Pew research, by the end of 2012, a large majority of Americans—77% of the adult population—identify with a Christian religion, including 52% who are Protestants, 23% who are Catholic, and 2% who affiliate with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mormons. Some 18% expressed no explicit religious identity and 5% identified with a non-Christian religion.

U.S. Presidents, particularly the Founders, were serious readers of the Bible. Tevi Troy, writing in The Wall Street Journal on February 14, noted that “Our earliest presidents, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison were all assiduous readers—of history and philosophy, and the Bible as well. Lacking many books in his earliest years, Abraham Lincoln “was among the most diligent readers of all U.S. Presidents.

I suspect that the Obama administration’s open attacks on the Catholic Church for its resistance to Obamacare’s demands that contraceptive medications be covered in healthcare insurance plans makes a lot of Americans, not just Catholics, uneasy at best, raising serious questions about the nation’s fundamental devotion to the free practice of religion.

In a statement about the National Day of Prayer, President Obama made no reference to Christianity, but acknowledged freedom of religion in its historic context. He is a far cry from his predecessor, George W. Bush, for whom his faith in Jesus was openly acknowledged and who found wide support in the nation’s evangelical community. Bush was an avid reader of the Bible.

A Marxist at heart, I doubt that Obama cares much for Christianity and his Chicago church was led by Jeremiah Wright who is most famous for having said “God damn America” and had to apologize for remarks critical of Jews. Obama has openly defended Islam and many believe he is a Muslim.

Hollywood is rediscovering the Bible these days after years of films based on cartoon characters like Batman and Spider Man. In 2014 it will release more big Biblically-based films than it has in the last eleven years combined and the trend is strong for more in 2015.

Debuting in February was “Son of God” from Twentieth Century Fox, culled from the History Channel’s 2013 miniseries, “The Bible”, produced by Mark Burnett who, along with his wife, Roma Downey, is a devout Christian. Debuting in March is “Noah” from Paramount, starring Russell Crow and coming in April is “Heaven is for Real.” On its way to the nation’s theatres are “Mary” and “Exodus.”

Burnett believes that people are seeking messages of spiritual uplift in the wake of the 2008 financial crash and I would add the five years of Obama’s failed management of the economy with its emphasis on socialist, Keynesian government spending that has proved to be largely a waste that has added six trillion to the nation’s soaring debt.

Having attended school when the day began with a pledge of allegiance and the reading of a prayer, I am among those who lament the court-imposed ban on the latter.

As a longtime book reviewer, I have seen a trend of books espousing atheism. Among the latest I have received are “Writing God’s Obituary: How a Good Methodist Became a Better Atheist” by Anthony B. Pinn, “The Original Atheists” edited by S.T. Joshi, and “The Transcendental Temptation: A Critique of Religion and the Paranormal” by Paul Kurtz, one of the most active critics of religion with fifty books to his credit. There are, however, many books that explore faith such as “Faith Afield: A Sportsman’s Devotional” by Steve Scott and “”What on Earth Do We Know About Heaven?” by Randal Rauser.

One can only hope that Hollywood’s rediscovery of the Bible will contribute to a resistance against those groups and individuals who protest any display of religious symbols such as the Cross, notable during the Christmas holidays.

America was founded by men who were believers in religious expression and faith. And tolerance. The drift from these values harm the nation and a renewal of them are the essence of hope.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

VIDEO: Son of God movie trailer.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/WcIXCok9HPg[/youtube]

Free Press Freely Distorts Black TV Ownership

Over the past few months there have been several news stories about no Blacks owning major broadcast TV stations anymore.  The cries have bordered on mass hysteria.  It turns out that the story is not true.

Most of this hysteria in the media has been created by a Free Press, a White, liberal advocacy group. According to their website, “Free Press advocates for universal and affordable Internet access, diverse media ownership, vibrant public media and quality journalism.” They released their first report on the state of TV ownership in 2006, and found that there were only 18 Black-owned and operated full-power commercial TV stations, representing just 1.3 percent of all such stations.

By December 2012, those 18 had shrunk to just five. And now, according to Free Press, they’re all gone. This report is false in many ways. First, there is the issue of context.  For example, what happens when Blacks decide to sell their stations like Bob Johnson did with BET or Mike and Steve Roberts from St. Louis (friends of mine) who were forced to sell their stations last year after they filed for bankruptcy? The problem is that Free Press, while deploring the state of Black ownership, does not factor in situations where Black owners voluntarily or involuntarily sell their properties.

Therefore, reduced Black representation in the industry is not solely attributable to slamming the door in the face of Black investors. As they say, figures can lie and liars can figure. Again, taking a look at Free Press, they claim there are no Black-owned TV stations and consequently favor some type of government action to swell the ranks of Black ownership. Well, it turns out that there is at least one Black, Armstrong Williams, who owns not one, but several TV stations.

Last November 28, Williams won approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to buy WEYI-TV, an NBC affiliate in the Flint/Saginaw/Bay City/Midland, Mich., WWMB-TV, a CW affiliate in the Myrtle Beach/Florence, S.C, and WMMP in Charleston, S.C. He obtained a $50 million loan from JP Morgan. Williams acquired the stations from Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., the nation’s largest independent owner of broadcast TV stations.

They own and operate programs or provide sales services to 87 television stations in 47 markets, reaching about 27 percent of U.S. television households. But Free Press does not count Williams as a true owner because Sinclair will provide some of the programing and sales support to his newly-acquired stations, which not an unusual arrangement, especially with a new owner. Williams, a well-known Black Republican media personality, is the owner and CEO of Howard Stirk Holdings, Inc. a Washington, D.C. media company. A  native of Myrtle Beach, S.C., he has extensive industry experience.  For more than 30 years, Williams has been a leader in media and content production.

He has developed and produced high quality television programs, including primetime specials with heads of state and key political figures. From 2001 to 2003, he served as Chief Operating Officer of the Renaissance Cable TV Network with responsibility for all programming, advertising and content development. Williams’ new relationship with Sinclair is akin to owning rental property or office buildings. It’s not uncommon to hire a property manager to handle the day-to-day business operations while all major decisions will be made by the owner.

In most cases, the owner is either too busy running other business ventures or is more comfortable with bringing in management with more specialized knowledge of the particular business. In this case, Williams has the knowledge to oversee these stations himself.  What is amazing is that Free Press tried to get the FCC to block approval of Williams’ purchase.

But wait a minute, they stated: “Free Press advocates for universal and affordable Internet access, diverse media ownership, vibrant public media and quality journalism.” Yet, they lined up to block one of the goals they profess to have – more diverse ownership. For the sake of argument, say they had some legitimate concerns about Williams’ management arrangement with Sinclair. Still, that wouldn’t warrant trying to prevent the sale of the television stations to an African American. Given these strange set of events, the only conclusion I can reach is that the liberal advocacy group that claims to seek “diverse media ownership” does not want politically diverse Black ownership.

There is no other way to explain it. There is no question that Williams is the certified owner of the aforementioned stations, the TV stations’ licenses are in his name and the loan from JP Morgan is in his name. That was enough to satisfy the FCC and should be enough to satisfy any reasonable person. Free Press has proven itself to be anything but reasonable.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is courtesy of Visitor7. The photo is of a black and white television console at Cafe Delirium in Gresham, Oregon. Visitor7 does not in any way endorse the author of this column or his views. The photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Mainstream media in Massachusetts starts campaign to normalize transgenderism and sex-changes for schoolchildren!

Pushing the transgender agenda to kids.These two men had a booth at the “Youth Pride” event in Boston last year. They were inviting middle school and high school students to a “Drag Gospel Festival”. [MassResistance photo]

MassResistance fights back on national radio.

This past year Massachusetts began to enforce its mandate that public schools fully accommodate the concept of “transgenderism” and cross-dressing by children. Now, a powerful campaign has been ramping up in the local mainstream media to normalize “transgenderism” and even sex-change operations for children in the eyes of the public.

As we reported last year and in our recent post on the “War on Children,” schools in Massachusetts are now directed to allow so-called “transgender” students — children who decide to “identify” as the opposite sex — to wear opposite-sex clothes to school, use opposite-sex restrooms and locker rooms, and be called by an opposite-sex name. (California now has also mandated “transgenderism” in the public schools, and several other states are not far behind.)

This boy was marching in the state-supported “Youth Pride Parade” in Boston in 2013. This is what happens when homosexual and transgender adult activists are allowed to push their agendas in the schools.
[MassResistance photo]

But this has been happening relatively quietly. The general public still knows very little about it. But even in Massachusetts, seeing children involved in this makes people disturbed and outraged.

Thus the radical movement felt the need for a slick, effective PR campaign to change the public’s attitudes. In other words, the current stream of articles and radio spots is no accident or coincidence. Like similar homosexual-themed PR campaigns, this has the fingerprints of the well-funded and well-connected homosexual-transgender groups all over it. These groups have long worked hand in glove with their allies in the mainstream. Their activists and hand-picked “experts” appear in almost all of the articles.

Softening up the public

Not long ago this concept was considered so fringe and demonic that no even the homosexual newspapers would barely touch it. But the public is now being softened up to believe that this is an everyday occurrence — and even a “normal” part of life. There’s even the constant use of the opposite-sex pronoun (i.e., “he” when referring to a girl) to play not-so-subtle tricks with your mind.

Just a few examples over the last month:

A four-part series by National Public Radio in Boston about “Nate,” a girl who has decided she wants to be a boy:

* Jan. 22 – National Public Radio/Boston:
 “Living Transgender – Part 1: Battling perceptions and pronouns.”
 Local NPR affiliate WBUR explores the “challenges facing transgender teenagers through the story of Nate, a 16-year-old transgender male” (i.e., a female).

* Jan. 22 – National Public Radio/Boston: “Living Transgender: Frequently Asked Questions, Resources” This is very frightening. It is mostly a collection of junk science, “queer theory,” and the opinions of radical “experts.” But it’s an example of what is being told to children as fact.

* Jan. 23 – National Public Radio/Boston:
“Living Transgender – Part 2: As A Transgender Teen, Nate Finds Acceptance At His School”
 The undertone is that normalizing transgenderism in schools is like integration and the Civil Rights movement.

* Jan. 24 – National Public Radio/Boston: “Living Transgender – Part 3: “Uncertainty Surrounds Medical Treatments For Transgender Youth.” A very distressing piece about medical procedures and body surgery to “change” a teenager from one sex to the other.

National Public Radio’s Boston affiliate, WBUR, did a four-part series celebrating this girl, who now calls herself “Nate” and dresses as a boy. She’s “uncomfortable” being a girl, and the radio report explores the “challenge” of getting people to call her “he.”
[Photo: WBUR]

* Feb. 9 – Boston Globe: “Transgender Revolutionary.” Article about a “male” teacher and coach at a boys’ private boarding school who is actually a woman with facial hair, who is “married” to a lesbian. She has written a book about a distant ancestor, a woman in the Revolutionary War who also dressed as a man, though later married and had children.

This woman, dressed as a man and taking testosterone to grow facial hair and lower her voice, coached the boys’ cross-country team at a private boarding school in Rhode Island. She is “married” to a lesbian, according to theBoston Globe article.
[Photo: Boston Globe.]

* February 18 – Boston Globe: “Transgender student takes national stage” One of three identical female triplets has taken hormones to grow facial hair in “his brave effort to become truly himself.”

The Boston Globe celebrates this girl’s so-called “transitioning” into a boy. This includes continually taking male hormones and an upcoming operation to have her breasts removed, according to the article.
[Photo: Boston Globe]

It’s also happening in California, which also passed a “transgender” school law:

* February 21 – San Gabriel Valley Tribune: (Also reported in the Los Angeles Times.“Azusa High transgender student-athlete Pat Cordova-Goff attends first practice.” A boy who “identifies” as a girl is allowed to play on the school’s girls’ softball team, because of new California law.

A boy (right) who says he now “identifies” as a girl plays on the girls’ softball team, as mandated by California state law.
[Photo: Watchara Phomicinda]

A particularly disturbing aspect is the tone of all of these articles: They arecelebratory of this horrible situation, as if it were a great social triumph. They include no substantial opposing viewpoints. And they are completely dispassionate about the destructive nature of the medical procedures done to these kids to “improve” them. It is pure propaganda meant to normalize something that is profoundly abnormal.

Ignoring the damage

Unfortunately, the Left only thinks about its political agenda. It has no interest in the horrible trauma and sometimes suicidal feelings down the road when a person who went through “gender change” procedures realizes that he/she made a terrible mistake that may be unrecoverable. (Among other things, some of the medical procedures given to youth cause permanent sterilization.) It doesn’t “fix” the underlying problem of gender dysphoria, it only prolongs it. This has been documented at length by people like Walt Heyer and others who had hormone treatments and surgical procedures.

MassResistance fights back on national radio

On Monday February 17, Brian Camenker of MassResistance was featured on the national radio show “Crosstalk”, one of the most prominent Christian radio shows in the US. The show is broadcast on 97 radio stations across the country on the VCY America network.

The daily Crosstalk show is broadcast on 97 stations across America on the VCY America network.

Most people across America are completely unaware of the extent of the homosexual and transgender assault on children in the schools — particularly in the East Coast and West Coast where it’s at its worst. But Camenker laid it out for the radio audience. It was pretty shocking to a lot of people. Afterwards, MassResistance got a lot of emails from around the country with very emotional reactions.

Listen to radio interview with Camenker HERE (33 min.).

The propaganda will continue

Unfortunately, you can expect to see more of this in the mainstream media, even beyond Massachusetts and California. They understand that this is necessary for acceptance by the public. Like homosexuality itself, every generation normally finds these concepts unnatural and repulsive unless there is a heavy dose of propaganda and social pressure to conform. We’ve seen that the homosexual and transgender lobby is prepared to provide that.

Unquestioned acceptance by the liberal establishment

But in our observation, probably even more difficult and frightening for conservatives to deal with is how readily the liberals in the press, the schools, and elsewhere unquestioningly accept this complete lunacy. There appears to be no lower limit to what those people will embrace as fact, no matter how ludicrous, if it falls within the realm of political correctness.

One wonders if this is how the horrors of the 1930s in Europe and later in China and other communist countries took place so easily. It makes it all the more necessary for good people to speak out as loudly as possible.

There must be no compromise

And unfortunately, we’re already seeing many pro-family groups cave in on the “transgender” issue. They disagree with it in principle but invariably refuse to challenge it with anything stronger than polite opposition to the use of “gender identity.” They’ll argue that “privacy” rights should be respected in restrooms and locker rooms or that “special rights” should not be granted in schools. That way, by arguing at the edges, they avoid a direct confrontation with the transgender lobby. But it’s the coward’s way out and in the long run hurts children terribly.

MassResistance doesn’t compromise on these issues. Neither should you. This can and must be derailed.

Pushing the transgender agenda to kids.These two men had a booth at the “Youth Pride” event in Boston last year. They were inviting middle school and high school students to a “Drag Gospel Festival”.
[MassResistance photo]

A closer look at the “Drag Gospel Festival” poster.


Rhode Island pro-life / pro-marriage activists put their words into real action: Marriage and now a baby!

And finally some GOOD news!

During the heat of the culture war battles in Rhode Island over the last few years two of the most prominent pro-marriage and pro-life activists in the state have been Kara Russo and Chris Young. We’ve worked with them a lot.

Sometimes the battle tends to spur us on to bigger things. As we reported back in September of 2012 Chris and Kara decided to collaborate on their pro-marriage activism by . . . getting married!

Well, they didn’t leave their pro-life work behind. On December 22, 2013 their daughter Immanuel Mary Katherine was born. On Feb. 2, she was baptized by at St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Galilee, Rhode Island, the same church where they were married.

Chris Young, Kara Young, and Immanuel Mary Katherine Young at the baptism on Feb. 2.

Now THAT’s what we call dedicated activism!!