Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Evangelical Left All Shook Up About Affordable Housing

Book Review by Wayne Lusvardi of Making Housing Happen: Faith-Based Affordable Housing Models by Jill Suzanne Shook, editor and co-author. Chalice Press, 2006 $34.99:

Through her new book, Jill Shook, a housing activist in Pasadena, California, has become the de facto spokesperson of the Evangelical Left's new social movement to combat the so-called "affordable housing crisis", mostly focused on the U.S situation. The book jacket contains endorsements by many leaders of the Evangelical Left - Tony Campolo, Ronald J. Sider, and oddly has a preface by Dr. John Perkins, who doesn't fit the label. Given that the November 2006 elections have energized the political Left, Shook, who fashions herself as the next Jane Addams, may very well be used as one of the centerpieces of the Democratic Party's missionary ventures to evangelical Christianity. As such her Biblically-populist book is important but problematic both on empirical and theological grounds.

In Shook's hometown of Pasadena the reality of housing affordability is the reverse of what Shook portrays. One-third of the population by the U.S. Census is low income, mostly migrants from Mexico (God bless them). If there truly was an "affordable housing crisis" for the poor, how could one third of the populace afford housing in such an upscale suburban community? By doubling-up in housing and gobbling up the lowest rung on the housing affordability ladder, migrants have driven up rents and have driven the working class out of affordable housing.

Contra Shook's notion that scattered gentrification drives the poor out of affordable housing, California court decisions such as Serrano vs. Priest (1971) and urban riots partly organized by those on the political Left have made migrants into a protected class in neighborhoods in the first concentric ring surrounding Los Angeles. Moreover, Shook has no comprehension that her advocacy of inclusionary housing, "smart-growth," rent control, and her opposition to gentrification actually will worsen the affordable housing crisis rather than lessen it.

Theologically problematic is Shook's disguising of the neo-Marxist advocacy model of Saul Alinsky and the Industrial Areas Foundation as what she calls the Biblical "Nehemiah Strategy" (Chap.15). The theological underpinning for her cafeteria of affordable housing models is mostly based on the Old Testament concept of "justice," by which she means wealth redistribution by coercive government. Shook and her co-authors fail to tell readers that nearly all of the "faith-based" affordable housing case studies in her book relied on government funding.

Shook is oblivious to Jesus' observation that "man does not live by bread (or housing) alone." As such she doesn't recognize that religiosity (i.e., Max Weber's Protestant Ethic) can be conducive to housing affordability in a capitalist society. Her advocacy of compulsory "inclusionary housing," which diminishes the value of land of small property owners (not real estate developers) without "just" compensation runs against the commandment "thou shall not steal." Even Shook's Biblical preference for homeless immigrants runs against the moral of the scriptural story of King David taking a sheep from a rich man to give to a traveler in II Samuel 12.

A responsible Christian approach to such a complex issue as housing affordability in a modern society should entail the necessity of economic and sociological competency but also an understanding that our best efforts may lead to unintended consequences for which one needs to rely on humility, grace and repentance. How so many affordable housing advocates from such institutions as Fuller, Denver and Gordon-Cornwell Theological Seminaries, Chalice Press, and many para-church organizations could unquestioningly contribute to and endorse this Marxist-based model of housing is indicative of how the Evangelical Left have already successfully infiltrated and co-opted formerly conservative Protestant institutions. Whether Shook's social movement, which will likely be funded by the new Democratic Congress, will run into opposition by The Minutemen and the property rights movements remains an open question.

California housing prices are twice what they are in some other large U.S. cities because of huge Greenie-inspired restrictions on development. Anyone sincerely concerned about housing costs would therefore be devoting major energies to rolling back such restrictions. I do not need to guess that the shaky one will not be exerting any energies in that direction, however - JR

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Ku Klux Klan was the Terrorist Arm of the Democrat Party

By Frances Rice

History shows that the Ku Klux Klan was the terrorist arm of the Democrat Party.  This ugly fact about the Democrat Party is detailed in the book, A Short History of Reconstruction, (Harper & Row Publishers, Inc., 1990) by Dr. Eric Foner, the renown liberal historian who is the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University.  As a further testament to his impeccable credentials, Professor Foner is only the second person to serve as president of the three major professional organizations: the Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association, and Society of American Historians.
Democrats in the last century did not hide their connections to the Ku Klux Klan.  Georgia-born Democrat Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan wrote on page 21 of the September 1928 edition of the Klan’s “The Kourier Magazine”: “I have never voted for any man who was not a regular Democrat.  My father … never voted for any man who was not a Democrat.  My grandfather was …the head of the Ku Klux Klan in reconstruction days….  My great-grandfather was a life-long Democrat….  My great-great-grandfather was…one of the founders of the Democratic party.”

Dr. Foner in his book explores the history of the origins of Ku Klux Klan and provides a chilling account of the atrocities committed by Democrats against Republicans, black and white.

On page 146 of his book, Professor Foner wrote: “Founded in 1866 as a Tennessee social club, the Ku Klux Klan spread into nearly every Southern state, launching a ‘reign of terror‘ against Republican leaders black and white.”  Page 184 of his book contains the definitive statements:  “In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic party, the planter class, and all those who desired the restoration of white supremacy.  It aimed to destroy the Republican party’s infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, reestablish control of the black labor force, and restore racial subordination in every aspect of Southern life.”

Heartbreaking are Professor Foner’s recitations of the horrific acts of terror inflicted by Democrats on black and white Republicans. Recounted on pages 184-185 of his book is one such act of terror:  “Jack Dupree, a victim of a particularly brutal murder in Monroe County, Mississippi - assailants cut his throat and disemboweled him, all within sight of his wife, who had just given birth to twins - was ‘president of a republican club‘ and known as a man who ‘would speak his mind.’”

“White gangs roamed New Orleans, intimidating blacks and breaking up Republican meetings,“ wrote Dr. Foner on page 146 of his book.  On page 186, he wrote:  “An even more extensive ‘reign of terror’ engulfed Jackson, a plantation county in Florida’s panhandle. ‘That is where Santa has his seat,‘ remarked a black clergyman; all told over 150 persons were killed, among them black leaders and Jewish merchant Samuel Fleischman, resented for his Republican views and for dealing fairly with black customers.“

Frances Rice is the Chairman of the National Black Republican Association and may be contacted at:  http://www.nbra.info/

National Black Republican Association

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Black comedian Paul Mooney Makes Anti-Semitic Remark about Michael Richards on CNN

Any mention of racial stereotypes is routinely denounced by the Left as "racist", so let us follow that rule here:

On the November 21st morning edition of Newsroom, CNN's Kyra Phillips interviewed Paul Mooney,a popular black comedian and activist, and Roland Martin, a Chicago radio personality, about Michael Richards' ("Kramer's") now notorious racist outburst. During the interview Paul Mooney referenced Kramer's appearance as "Jewish" and was not challenged.

CNN publishes transcripts, but removed this version after two hours and edited the remark out of the original interview when they re-ran it. CNN also removed the link to this original transcript on the official CNN Transcript page. They did not delete the actual page, and it remained available through the Google cache. So all references to this racist remark by a known black activist and comedian who specializes in racial humor were removed. I find it hard to believe that CNN would actually care enough to monkey-around with the transcripts but stranger things have happened. Below is given the relevant segment from the original transcript in case Google also loses it.

PHILLIPS: Roland, your reaction?

MARTIN: Kyra, Paul is correct when he says it was a weak apology. First and foremost, the "Letterman" show was the wrong forum for that kind of apology. He was not going to get the kind of questioning that he needed. If you heard the audience, they were laughing. They weren't quite sure whether to laugh at what he was saying, to be serious. And it was Seinfeld who had to say, hey, guys this isn't funny.

Not only that. Another piece is when you really examine what he said, he not only said 50 years ago we'd have you hanging upside down from a tree. Well, guess what, 50 years ago, Michael Richards would have been in some oven in Germany being baked because he's also Jewish. He also said that in his comments, that I'm a white man. I can go get the cops and have you arrested. And so, his comments went beyond that.

But Kyra, we're also making a very big mistake. He has said -- he said, he was heckled. In fact, the people who were there say he was not heckled. There was a large group that was talking. He was angered by them talking. Then after he addressed them, then a couple of the guys said, hey, my boy doesn't think you're funny. Darryl Pitts, who is from Chicago, who was on CNN on Sunday, he gave an eye- witness account. And so, trying to say, well he was being heckled when in fact he wasn't. He was angered because they were talking.

PHILLIPS: All right. Just to step aside for a second, I want to ask you about the 'N' word for a minute. Paul, I remember ...


MOONEY: Can I say something before you say this. Excuse me. He's not a Jew. He's not a Jew.


He's either Catholic or atheist or something. He's not that. And as far as blacks and Jews are concerned, I don't think that two men in a burning house have time to argue. That's my point.

MARTIN: I agree.

MOONEY: So he's not a Jew. So people make that mistake. He may look it, but looks are deceiving. Bush looks like he's sane, but anyway go ahead, ask what ...

PHILLIPS All right. I knew Paul had to get something in there. I was waiting for the ...

MOONEY: Of course.

Whether or not Richards is in fact Jewish, there is of course a history of bigoted remarks about "Jewish features" and "looking Jewish" (big noses etc.). The Nazis used such ideas frequently.

There was no chastising Mooney for his racist remark and no one seemed horrified, as they would if it were said about "black features." If Mooney were white, by now an intern would be reviewing hours of his old comedy shows to find inappropriate remarks that support the view that he is an anti-Semite. An American Republican or white man would have ended up with his own CNN segment the next day trying to explain what he meant and promising that he really isn't bigoted.

The "revised" interview transcript is here

Thursday, November 09, 2006

BOOK REVIEW of Conservative comebacks to Liberal Lies -- by Gregg Jackson

Review by "Ken", an Australian middle of the road reader

I could not find a more concise description of what you will find in this book than the one written on the cover…“Issue by issue responses to the most common claims of the left…”

Unfortunately, the title sets the general tone of the work. Mr Jackson is very fond of emotive language and uses it liberally when his passion gets the better of his analytical processes. To assume that the Liberal point of view is necessarily “lies”, is to visit an unjustified assumption on many well-meaning and honest Liberals. I can accept that Liberal views may be misguided or ill informed but, really Mr Jackson, lies? This implies some conspiratorial agenda on the part of Liberals or paranoia on the part of Mr Jackson. The abortion issue, for instance, is deeply emotional, but is it really necessary to substitute the word “abortion” with the phrase “…stick surgical scissors in a baby’s skull, suck out her brains with a vacuum, dismember her and throw her away in a garbage can…” unless you are resorting to emotional coercion rather than calm rational argument.

I am also unsure of Mr Jackson’s right to hijack the term “conservative” to encompass his own beliefs. I don’t believe that all conservatives are gun-toting, Christian zealots, intent on enforcing their wish to interfere with people’s lives through legislation.

Despite these and similar lapses that tend to provoke the reader rather than enlighten him, this book is invaluable in pulling together information and statistics to support Mr Jackson’s point of view. The conscientious reader, who likes to confirm what he reads, will be led into a bewildering realm of lies, damned lies and statistics when he attempts to verify the information offered as fact. In pursuing the truth, the researcher will be inundated with claims and counterclaims from academic, empirical and self-serving sources until his head spins.

To take one example: I tried to verify the stated statistics on gun laws (that violent crime increases as gun laws become more draconian) only to find that the definitions of violent crime were far from uniform, and murder numbers were confusing because accidental deaths were not included in some statistics and underreporting and deliberate manipulation was rife even from official police reports.

The following extract from -- Recorded Crime, Australia, 1998. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Jun 1999, is typical of refutations of “the gun lobby” point of view.
Assault and Robbery
Those who claim that Australia suffered a "crime wave" as a result of new gun laws often cite as evidence unrelated figures for common assault or sexual assault (no weapon) and armed robbery (any weapon). In fact less than one in five Australian armed robberies involve a firearm.
"Although armed robberies increased by nearly 20%, the number of armed robberies involving a firearm decreased to a six-year low."

Firearm-Related Homicide
"There was a decrease of almost 30% in the number of homicides by firearms from 1997 to 1998."
-- Australian Crime - Facts and Figures 1999. Australian Institute of Criminology. Canberra, Oct 1999
This report shows that as gun ownership has been progressively restricted since 1915, Australia's firearm homicide rate per 100,000 population has declined to almost half its 85-year average.
Homicide by Any Method
The overall rate of homicide in Australia has also dropped to its lowest point since 1989 (National Homicide Monitoring Program, 1997-98 data). It remains one-fourth the homicide rate in the USA.
The Institute of Criminology report Australian Crime - Facts and Figures 1999 includes 1998 homicide data showing "a 9% decrease from the rate in 1997." This is the period in which most of the country's new gun laws came into force.
Gun-Related Death by Any Cause
The Australian Bureau of Statistics counts all injury deaths, whether or not they are crime-related. The most recently available ABS figures show a total of 437 firearm-related deaths (homicide, suicide and unintentional) for 1997. This is the lowest number for 18 years.
The Australian rate of gun death per 100,000 population remains one-fifth that of the United States.
"We have observed a decline in firearm-related death rates (essentially in firearm-related suicides) in most jurisdictions in Australia. We have also seen a declining trend in the percentage of robberies involving the use of firearms in Australia."
-- Mouzos, J. Firearm-related Violence: The Impact of the Nationwide Agreement on Firearms. Trends & Issues in Crime & Criminal Justice No. 116. Australian Institute of Criminology. Canberra, May 1999; 6

Enough has already been written with regard to the pros and cons of this subject so it is probably prudent to leave further comment to your own research. I strongly suggest that you do the same for most of the arguments in the loosely alphabetically categorised “Lies” listed under ‘table of contents’

To be fair, solutions are outside the scope of the book which merely purports to respond to commonly held beliefs, which it does admirably by invoking statistics, information and reasoned argument. In itself this is an honourable undertaking, but when the author takes as his points of reference The Bible, The American Constitution, The Bill of Rights and The Declaration of Independence, the arguments lose some relevance if these documents are not sacrosanct to the reader.

While I enjoyed the reasoned arguments throughout this book (and some had me thinking very hard) I found myself being worried by the thought of a society run by ideas which sometimes appeared to fly in the face of common sense. What it did highlight for me, however, was just how difficult it is in this information age to gather valid, unbiased data on which to base a decision or an opinion.

This book succeeds in being very thought-provoking. It is well organised and the information is easily accessed through well laid out and self-explanatory chapters. It is by no means a comprehensive conservative philosophy but neither does it claim to be. It is exactly what the cover says it is.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Effect of breast feeding on intelligence in children: prospective study, sibling pairs analysis, and meta-analysis


    Geoff Der, statistician (Geoff@msoc.mrc.gla.ac.uk),
    G David Batty, Wellcome fellow,
    Ian J Deary, professor of differential psychology2


Objective To assess the importance of maternal intelligence, and the effect of controlling for it and other important confounders, in the link between breast feeding and children's intelligence.

Design Examination of the effect of breast feeding on cognitive ability and the impact of a range of potential confounders, in particular maternal IQ, within a national database. Additional analyses compared pairs of siblings from the sample who were and were not breast fed. The results are considered in the context of other studies that have also controlled for parental intelligence via meta-analysis.

Setting 1979 US national longitudinal survey of youth.

Subjects Data on 5475 children, the offspring of 3161 mothers in the longitudinal survey.

Main outcome measure IQ in children measured by Peabody individual achievement test.

Results The mother's IQ was more highly predictive of breastfeeding status than were her race, education, age, poverty status, smoking, the home environment, or the child's birth weight or birth order. One standard deviation advantage in maternal IQ more than doubled the odds of breast feeding. Before adjustment, breast feeding was associated with an increase of around 4 points in mental ability. Adjustment for maternal intelligence accounted for most of this effect. When fully adjusted for a range of relevant confounders, the effect was small (0.52) and non-significant (95% confidence interval −0.19 to 1.23). The results of the sibling comparisons and meta-analysis corroborated these findings.

Conclusions Breast feeding has little or no effect on intelligence in children. While breast feeding has many advantages for the child and mother, enhancement of the child's intelligence is unlikely to be among them.

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.38978.699583.55

Friday, October 20, 2006

Book review of Only In America An autobiography by Paul Oreffice with Tom Hanlon

(Review by "Ken")

This is an extraordinary life by an intriguing man, written in a page-turning style that that never flags. I could easily reiterate the comments on the back cover of the edition that I read, and laud an obviously gifted communicator and self-confident man of amazing fortitude and foresight -- but who am I in the exalted company of ex presidents and other luminaries? I thought it might be more interesting to look more closely at the book’s title.

While reading of Mr Oreffice’s privileged background and family support, I couldn’t help recalling the story of an interview with a self-made American millionaire who said he had arrived in New York with all of his possessions in a small brown paper bag. When a perspicacious journalist asked what was in that bag, he was told ‘1.2 million dollars in cash and bonds.’

Mr Oreffice came to America with many resources that helped him to achieve what he did; not least of which were an extraordinary set of talents, an extended family support structure and a circle of influential Italian acquaintances of his well-connected father. None of that, however, should be allowed to detract from his achievements and physical and mental acuity.

Mr Oreffice’s generosity in attributing his rise in the world to “America” is admirable and humble but every page of his book tells me that this is an extraordinary man who would have succeeded whatever environment he found himself in. Certainly the political and social atmosphere of America allowed him to express himself with impunity but it is not the only country in the world to offer those conditions.

I am an unqualified admirer of Mr Oreffice’s philosophy, drive and enthusiasm but I think those qualities were genetically imprinted by equally talented parents and a set of life circumstances that imbued him with special qualities.

It is interesting to examine the strange dichotomy that is American democracy; on the one hand citizens are encouraged to conform and to not ‘rock the boat’, whilst the real entrepreneurs do exactly the opposite by having no regard whatsoever for conventions or existing traditions.

Significantly, it is not until two thirds of the way through the book that Mr Oreffice finally lands in America to take a university course, by which time his personal philosophy had been well and truly formed by his life experiences. His father was able to start his own business wherever he went and use his entrepreneurial skills to build factories and provide a decent standard of living for his family. He could not have done this without money and nepotistic support.

So, back to the title; I believe that it is misleading in the extreme and suggests that, not only does America possess some magical property not found elsewhere but that this degree of success is available to everyone. In the highly competitive capitalistic economy that exists in the western world, to succeed requires intelligence, personality, dedication, talent and a degree of luck. Given these parameters anyone can make it in America (and, indeed, pretty well anywhere else in the world.)

As an autobiographical document, “Only in America” is an excellent read. It does trot out Carnegie-style platitudes but they still have validity in context, and good advice is always good advice. I found the early years in Italy far more interesting reading than the American years. Watching the war develop from within Europe allowed a different perspective for me and confirmed my distaste for sheep-like patriotism. Mr Oreffice’s distaste for unions and civil servants lifted my faith in humanity and my only hope is that America listens.

Friday, October 13, 2006

WAR OF THE WORLDS: Planet Civil Libertarian versus Earth

The article below by Australian lawyer James McConvill argues that the major threat to our security comes from an increasingly loud civil libertarian movement

American journalist H. L. Mencken once said: "The average man does not want to be free. He simply wants to be safe." Mencken's quote pretty much sums up the attitude of the average Australian. The average Australian cares little about fluffy concepts such as human rights, particularly the rights of others. Give average Joe the choice between a Bill of Rights and a plasma TV, and I think that you would have to place an order for a large amount of TV's.

In Australia, if you are wanting to win friends and influence people, you do it by appealing to their hip pocket, not to their moral conscience. Yet, if you are unfortunate enough to flick through the editorial pages of the Fairfax broadsheets (particularly Melbourne's Age newspaper), or turn on the ABC, you would think that I've lost touch with reality.

Well, in fact, it is the soft lefts in the media, and their civil libertarian friends in the social sciences faculties across the country, who left reality behind long ago. The result is a growing disconnect between the well-groomed elites and the hard-working average Australian.

The majority of Australians simply have little time for the misconceived bile stemming from the remote civil libertarians. That is why the circulation numbers of the Fairfax broadsheets are laughable. Apart from the precious academic and Camberwell housewives, nobody has time for the idealist dribble pumped out on their editorial pages day after day.

On Planet Civil Libertarian, every street corner has a shiny cafe with skinny lattes flowing like water. With people having very little to do in their day, with no responsibilities, and a constant hunger for blueberry muffins, everybody mingles around crying over coffee about the plight of the poor "refugees" coming for a visit, about how "Jihad" Jack cannot slip out for a smoothie at 1 a.m. due to the dreadful control order imposed on him from the bad people in Canberra, and then after a buzz of caffeine run over to the nearby garden park to jump for joy that Victoria will soon have a Bill of Rights.

It is not expensive to get to Planet Civil Libertarian. One simply needs to cruise down to the local newsagent to pick up a copy of The Age or The Sydney Morning Herald, open up the editorial pages and get a fix. If the newsagent is too far away, turn on 774 ABC.

Back on Planet Earth, things operate a little differently. While the cafes are springing up, people don't have pictures of Papuan warriors and bomb-buddies of Osama Bin Laden pinned up above their bed. Instead of drooling over a pretentious Bill of Rights document, most people actually get excited about such things as paying off a family home, having the ability to put their kids through good schools, and appreciate not getting bombed on their way to work.

Civil libertarians are becoming louder and more organised in trying to switch people over to their side. They have even convinced themselves that they are stepping up to protect the public from the conservative government. But the reality is they are grandstanding. They are becoming desperate. As Professor Mirko Bagaric argues in his new book "A Matter of Opinion", civil libertarians have now become the extremists.

The terrorists wage war through hijacking planes and bombing buildings; the civil libertarians have waged a war on mainstream public opinion through hijacking leftist newspapers and bombarding the ABC.

The average Australian wants just three things: national or military security, cultural security and financial security. If they were smart, the civil libertarians would concentrate on the possible human rights implications of the Howard Government's Work Choices legislation. This is where the average Australia might be prepared to listen because workplace relations affects their financial security.

While the civil libertarians preach from their taxpayer-funded Ivy Tower about the plight of queue-jumping asylum seekers and those who have trained with the likes of al-Qaeda, the Australian people will continue to turn a deaf ear. So they should.

Dr James McConvill is author of "In the Pursuit of Truth: Reflections on Law, Life and Contemporary Affairs" (Sandstone Academic Press, 2006)

Friday, September 29, 2006

Senator George Allen Insider breaks her Silence to reveal 18-month Investigation on the Senator

Senator George Allen is being politically assassinated. Over twenty years of outstanding political leadership and service is being erased by slander – researcher, talk show regular, author and columnist Kathy Antrim

Washington, DC— As political smear tactics reach an all-time low, independent researcher Kathleen Antrim reveals findings from her 17-month long investigation on Senator George Allen to “provide American voters with an unvarnished, honest look at this individual, warts and all.”

Antrim noticed a growing discontent in citizens who are fed up with the corruption, double-speak, and perceived hidden agendas of our government officials. Therefore, she decided to get an insiders view of Presidential forerunner George Allen and share her unvarnished findings in her upcoming book- good or bad- tentatively entitled Actions Speak Louder than Words.

Antrim has been granted unprecedented and unlimited access to the Senator, his wife, children, family, close friends, staff and colleagues for the past 17 months; resulting in hundreds of hours of interviews, which include accompanying Allen in his motor home on his 2,500-mile Listening Tours in 2005 and 2006. “He completely opened up his life to me,” says Antrim.

Antrim wanted to keep her findings secret until the launch of her book, but because of the accusations of Allen using racial slurs and threats (including one of a decapitated deer being stuffed in the mailbox of a black family) in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Antrim has decided to come forward. Allen told The Associated Press on Monday that Mr. Shelton’s accusations were “ludicrously false”.

Like sharks on a feeding frenzy, media outlets such as like Salon.com are positively gleeful in their misleading attacks. Antrim wonders, “Where is the police report that any victim would file if this deer incident happened? There is none. Where are the victims of this alleged incident? There are none. The police lieutenant in charge during the 70's believes it's a myth. Even the head of the Louisa County chapter of the NAACP admitted they had no knowledge of any such incident happening.”

Antrim find it incredibly convenient and suspect that Dr. Ken Shelton never said a word about this incident during the last 20 years of Allen's political career, but in the first election since the only other person who could refute his allegations has died suddenly, now Shelton is coming forward. Antrim comments, “It's disgusting and despicable that they are playing the race card against Allen, a man that grew up in an integrated family and considers many of his father's teammates family. Allen and his siblings consider [Hall of Famer Deacon Jones] their big brother."

Antrim concludes “I have remained independent and unbiased in my interviewing, documentation, and research.” If the media wants to know who George Allen is as a man and as a leader – I hope they ask questions before they take 30-year-old, never reported allegations, as fact.”

Friday, September 22, 2006

Three New Deals: Why the Nazis and Fascists Loved FDR

BOOK REVIEW:   " Three New Deals: Reflections on Roosevelt's America, Mussolini's Italy, and Hitler's Germany, 1933-1939". By Wolfgang Schivelbusch. Metropolitan Books, 2006.   Review by David Gordon

Critics of Roosevelt's New Deal often liken it to fascism. Roosevelt's numerous defenders dismiss this charge as reactionary propaganda; but as Wolfgang Schivelbusch makes clear, it is perfectly true. Moreover, it was recognized to be true during the 1930s, by the New Deal's supporters as well as its opponents.

When Roosevelt took office in March 1933, he received from Congress an extraordinary delegation of powers to cope with the Depression.

   "The broad-ranging powers granted to Roosevelt by Congress, before that body went into recess, were unprecedented in times of peace. Through this "delegation of powers," Congress had, in effect, temporarily done away with itself as the legislative branch of government. The only remaining check on the executive was the Supreme Court. In Germany, a similar process allowed Hitler to assume legislative power after the Reichstag burned down in a suspected case of arson on February 28, 1933." (p. 18).

The Nazi press enthusiastically hailed the early New Deal measures: America, like the Reich, had decisively broken with the "uninhibited frenzy of market speculation." The Nazi Party newspaper, the Völkischer Beobachter, "stressed 'Roosevelt's adoption of National Socialist strains of thought in his economic and social policies,' praising the president's style of leadership as being compatible with Hitler's own dictatorial Führerprinzip" (p. 190).

Nor was Hitler himself lacking in praise for his American counterpart. He "told American ambassador William Dodd that he was 'in accord with the President in the view that the virtue of duty, readiness for sacrifice, and discipline should dominate the entire people. These moral demands which the President places before every individual citizen of the United States are also the quintessence of the German state philosophy, which finds its expression in the slogan "The Public Weal Transcends the Interest of the Individual"'" (pp. 19-20). A New Order in both countries had replaced an antiquated emphasis on rights.

Mussolini, who did not allow his work as dictator to interrupt his prolific journalism, wrote a glowing review of Roosevelt's Looking Forward. He found "reminiscent of fascism … the principle that the state no longer leaves the economy to its own devices"; and, in another review, this time of Henry Wallace's New Frontiers, Il Duce found the Secretary of Agriculture's program similar to his own corporativism (pp. 23-24).

"Roosevelt never had much use for Hitler, but Mussolini was another matter. "'I don't mind telling you in confidence,' FDR remarked to a White House correspondent, 'that I am keeping in fairly close touch with that admirable Italian gentleman'" (p. 31). Rexford Tugwell, a leading adviser to the president, had difficulty containing his enthusiasm for Mussolini's program to modernize Italy: "It's the cleanest … most efficiently operating piece of social machinery I've ever seen. It makes me envious" (p. 32, quoting Tugwell).

Why did these contemporaries sees an affinity between Roosevelt and the two leading European dictators, while most people today view them as polar opposites? People read history backwards: they project the fierce antagonisms of World War II, when America battled the Axis, to an earlier period. At the time, what impressed many observers, including as we have seen the principal actors themselves, was a new style of leadership common to America, Germany, and Italy.

Once more we must avoid a common misconception. Because of the ruthless crimes of Hitler and his Italian ally, it is mistakenly assumed that the dictators were for the most part hated and feared by the people they ruled. Quite the contrary, they were in those pre-war years the objects of considerable adulation. A leader who embodied the spirit of the people had superseded the old bureaucratic apparatus of government.

    "While Hitler's and Roosevelt's nearly simultaneous ascension to power highlighted fundamental differences … contemporary observers noted that they shared an extraordinary ability to touch the soul of the people. Their speeches were personal, almost intimate. Both in their own way gave their audiences the impression that they were addressing not the crowd, but each listener as an individual." (p. 54)

But does not Schivelbusch's thesis fall before an obvious objection? No doubt Roosevelt, Hitler, and Mussolini were charismatic leaders; and all of them rejected laissez-faire in favor of the new gospel of a state-managed economy. But Roosevelt preserved civil liberties, while the dictators did not.

Schivelbusch does not deny the manifest differences between Roosevelt and the other leaders; but even if the New Deal was a "soft fascism", the elements of compulsion were not lacking. The "Blue Eagle" campaign of the National Recovery Administration serves as his principal example. Businessmen who complied with the standards of the NRA received a poster that they could display prominently in their businesses. Though compliance was supposed to be voluntary, the head of the program, General Hugh Johnson, did not shrink from appealing to illegal mass boycotts to ensure the desired results.

    "The public," he [Johnson] added, "simply cannot tolerate non-compliance with their plan." In a fine example of doublespeak, the argument maintained that cooperation with the president was completely voluntary but that exceptions would not be tolerated because the will of the people was behind FDR. As one historian [Andrew Wolvin] put it, the Blue Eagle campaign was "based on voluntary cooperation, but those who did not comply were to be forced into participation." (p. 92)

Schivelbusch compares this use of mass psychology to the heavy psychological pressure used in Germany to force contributions to the Winter Relief Fund.

Both the New Deal and European fascism were marked by what Wilhelm Röpke aptly termed the "cult of the colossal." The Tennessee Valley Authority was far more than a measure to bring electrical power to rural areas. It symbolized the power of government planning and the war on private business:

   "The TVA was the concrete-and-steel realization of the regulatory authority at the heart of the New Deal. In this sense, the massive dams in the Tennessee Valley were monuments to the New Deal, just as the New Cities in the Pontine Marshes were monuments to Fascism … But beyond that, TVA propaganda was also directed against an internal enemy: the capitalist excesses that had led to the Depression…"  (pp. 160, 162)

This outstanding study is all the more remarkable in that Schivelbusch displays little acquaintance with economics. Mises and Hayek are absent from his pages, and he grasps the significance of architecture much more than the errors of Keynes. Nevertheless, he has an instinct for the essential. He concludes the book by recalling John T. Flynn's great book of 1944, As We Go Marching.

Flynn, comparing the New Deal with fascism, foresaw a problem that still faces us today.

    But willingly or unwillingly, Flynn argued, the New Deal had put itself into the position of needing a state of permanent crisis or, indeed, permanent war to justify its social interventions. "It is born in crisis, lives on crises, and cannot survive the era of crisis…. Hitler's story is the same." … Flynn's prognosis for the regime of his enemy Roosevelt sounds more apt today than when he made it in 1944 … "We must have enemies," he wrote in As We Go Marching. "They will become an economic necessity for us." (pp. 186, 191)


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The daily tribulations of a Jewish French journalist in Paris

By Even Sabbagh

Translated from the French by Llewellyn Brown

It is difficult to be a Jewish journalist in the French media today... If your name is not Charles Enderlin, Edgar Morin, Dominique Vidal, Sylvain Cypel or even C‚cilia Gabizon, you have little chance of dealing with events in the Middle East without immediately being taxed as "partisan" by your entire editorial board.

Under these conditions, to be correctly informed, I advise you to turn to the Israeli press and the French-speaking press coming from this very small country, which is already considered to be responsible for driving the whole world to the brink of catastrophe...

But what an obstacle race you have to run, in a Parisian newspaper office, if you are Jewish and you affirm it without shame or chutzpah! And it is not enough to quote word for word in your comments the latest remarks of president Chirac at the G8 summit, though he does not hesitate sometimes to join his peers and point an accusing finger towards Hezbollah, a terrorist organization, the Iranian army's proxy that is guilty of asphyxiating the small paradise that once was Lebanon. That is because, in French news offices, they consider that the president is wrong and on the verge of senility when he errs in such a manner : Israel is guilty of wanting to destroy Lebanon, guilty of killing thousands of innocent civilians. Moreover, Nasrallah is a good guy, and Olmert, like his boss Sharon, is a butcher...

We already knew that Israel irritates but today, a Jew in a newspaper office is automatically a spokesman for the Israeli government : "You people, aren't you ashamed of pushing thousands of innocent people into exile ? Aren't you ashamed of violating Lebanese territory under false pretexts : all that for two kidnapped soldiers? By your actions you are manufacturing thousands of potential terrorists, who are turning bad because of you !" That is what I hear, day in day out; and I leave aside some of the spiciest remarks, regarding the vocabulary my colleagues use.

A Jewish journalist is always taken to task by his colleagues and his chiefs, being suspect of maintaining doubtful bonds with Israel. He is probably an agent of the Mossad, a traitor anyway... not a loyal French person!

It is absolutely out of the question to discuss Sarkozy [a right-wing candidate for the French presidency. Translator's note] who, as guest of the 8 o'clock News program, legitimized the Israeli action. And then... Sarko is the candidate of the Jews, right?

Any innocent comment written by a Jewish journalist is read, re-read and analyzed by the editorial person in charge, to detect if the culprit did not surreptitiously slip in subversive information. And even if they detect nothing, they try all the same to find a subject that will counterbalance the one prepared by "the Jew". Everything counts : words, images, the tone...

If the Jewish journalist is sharp and somewhat intrepid, he will manage to slip in some truthful information, picked up here and there, that even the dispatches of AFP are obliged to report... He will be able to play on translations and give meaning to the images. It amounts to perilous gymnastics, so true is it that in the French media (and it is absolutely necessary for Mena readers to know this) even a dead Jew no longer makes copy: after all, they are the aggressors, and their reactions are always "disproportionate"... Here in France they love the weak - or the dead - Jew, while the Jew who is alive and well is quite simply someone to eliminate, at least media-wise.

To be Jewish in a big national media, to say so, to assert it, is to voluntarily don the suspect's attire. It means, a priori, you are not sufficiently objective to deal with the Middle East. The editorial board will always prefer to choose a journalist of Algerian, Moroccan or Kabyl origin for these tasks, because such a person is "necessarily more objective" with regard to their view of this part of the world, and, of course, he toes the leading editorial line of these media outlets.

They will call at you in the corridor, sympathetically and extremely pointedly : "You are painful, you people, always bringing up the Shoah [the Holocaust. Translator's note]; as a journalist, I do not feel guilty for what happened to you" and then, in any event, what is Israel doing to `the poor Palestinians'!? "You are a cancer in that part of world, constantly seeking to humiliate and destroy; you are the aggressors : didn't you steal their land?"

To be Jewish in the French media means having to put up with this constant racist segregation... It means having to bite one's lip ten times a day in order to continue to do one's work.

Of course, there is Charles [Enderlin, France 2 television channel's permanent Jerusalem correspondent. Translator's note], the moral conscience; Charles, who stands for "since even a Jew and an Israeli says so"; Charles, the patent forger of the Al-Dura Case ; but the victim, what am I saying, the hero of all my colleagues! Yes but even Charles can slip sometimes. He can stumble and relapse into Jewish deviancy. The propensity to mistreat and humiliate is innate, right? [allusion to a newspaper article, published by Edgar Morin et al. in Le Monde (3 June 2002) accusing Jews of this propensity. Translator's Note]. This propensity constantly tends to resurface, which gives us the following result, at the newspaper office where I work (and I give you my word that I have invented nothing): "How did he [Enderlin. Translator's note] dare to show such drawn-out shots of Jewish blood on the ground? When the poor Lebanese civilians fall under the bombs, their bloody corpses are not shown; and now, because 8 Jews died [victims of a rocket that fell on a train depot. Translator's note] they make a big deal of it!!! But whom are they kidding? Everything is disproportionate, Lebanon is of no stature to fight against Israeli hegemony."

To be Jewish, in great red-white-blue media amounts to a constant fight, minute after minute; some of us pest-ridden journalists lie low; others forget that they are Jewish - or make serious efforts to do so, for example by appearing even more anti-Israeli and anti-American than our Nasrallo-Binladenist colleagues, until the day when, in spite of all their efforts, a non-compassionate soul will inevitably remind them where they come from.

As long as Jewish journalist does not express a desire to deal with Middle East issues, everything goes relatively well for him, but the moment he indicates to his editors that he wishes to tackle this subject, beware of the consequences! This subject is hot and he, he is... dangerous. After all, hasn't he pledged allegiance to this country? Does he not approve of these "murders" that always involve innocent victims - and to think that nobody in France has yet wondered why the Israeli army never kills those who launch Qassams on Sderot or Katiushas on Haifa, but only civilians! The Jews are thus not only monstrous by birth but also completely idiotic! - whether they be in Gaza or Beirut. The traditional answer he receives will be much like : "Come on, be reasonable, you people cannot kill all of them; these people have the right to live too, so why want to destroy them when you have already taken everything away from them...". You clearly have no scruples, everyone knows that you dream of extending your dominion ever further... stealing the lands of others, but just how far will you go?

You have put Bush in your pocket, but we warn you, you will not put Europe in your pocket : Christian-Democratic Europe, the Europe that feels for the oppressed, and at the same time - and too bad for a few collateral contradictions to the French exception - post- and para-Marxist Europe. And you imagine, that along with your American allies and bosses, you can give us lessons in democracy? Stop thinking we are imbeciles... we are not so easily deceived."

You will stop sooner or later, willingly or by force. "You speak about Jerusalem as your capital, but it does not belong to you; Jerusalem is Christian, Arab, but not Jewish. You conquered it 1967, but it will be never your capital; we could perhaps accept Tel-Aviv, until Villepin's parenthesis [the idea that the existence of the state of Israel is a temporary parenthesis of history. Translator's note] - in which almost the totality of my French colleagues believe fervently - closes again over your heads... You had it coming, so don't complain!"

So there you have it, good people, you who are so naive, and unaware of the degree of omnipresent and proud anti-Semitism that reigns here, this is what happens in a large French media office... with microscopic exceptions. So stop claiming to be astonished if the information they distil there is outrageously pro-Arab, and often even more extremist that in the Middle-Eastern media. The Arabs are victims, the Jews are vile persecutors. The latest example? Lebanon had hardly started to rise from its ashes and you are already hastening to destroy it... Vampires! Jews


Friday, July 21, 2006

National Cultural Profiles – Australia

National Cultural Profiles are your guide to the thinking patterns of all the world's major cultures. Below is an extract from the Australia profile

Introduction: Australia is the largest island in the world and the sixth biggest country in the world, yet it is one of the most sparsely populated places on earth. Geographical location and climatic conditions play a large part in shaping national character.

Self-image: The Australian self image is one of a “battler” - a person who had humble beginnings, but by sheer hard work, courage and a spirit of adventure conquered a huge, wild land and created a decent and prosperous society for self and family.

Concept of status: Australians are among the most democratic people in the world and any display of status symbols is risky. They love to cut people down in size.

Communication: Australia is the largest English speaking country in the southern hemisphere. Australian - the sixth largest variety of English (after American, British, Filipino, Indian and Canadian) - is a fascinating, young, vibrant, irreverent, humorous, inventive language. There are hardly any regional variations, no class pressures on one’s way of speaking, and people switch from broad to cultivated Australian at will.

Listening habits: It is inadvisable to be too serious or complicated. Australians are fond of jokes and anecdotes, preferably delivered in broad speech. A friendly and lively audience once they have decided to like you.

Leadership style: Australian managers must sit in the ring with the “mates”. From this position, once it is accepted that they will not pull rank, they exert more influence, as the semi-Americanised nature of Australian business requires quick thinking and rapid decision-making.

Cultural black hole: The Australian Cultural Black Hole is the Tall Poppy Syndrome. One version of this is: any Australian who achieves success will be brought down to size through a variety of abusive techniques. This leaves them either totally humiliated and regretting their achievements, or packing their bags and heading for those parts of the world where success is allowed to be overtly enjoyed.

How to empathise with them: Australians are totally cynical of people in power or with too much wealth, respecting the little person, “the battler”, rather than the winner. If you keep this in mind and don't oversell yourself or undersell your Australian hosts, success, friendship and good times will be yours down under.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Cameron takes ethnic advice for softer line on immigration

By David Charter, Chief Political Correspondent

THE Conservatives will next week ditch hardline policies on immigration that were widely seen to have backfired at the last election.

As they attempt to create a more “civilised” approach, David Cameron’s party will consult ethnic minority groups in big cities and begin to extol the benefits of migration, The Times has learnt. The change is expected to involve dropping controversial policies such as quotas for refugees, processing migrants on an island and withdrawing from the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees. These were put centre stage in the election under the leadership of Michael Howard, but the tactic was blamed for turning off some voters. Doreen Lawrence, mother of the murdered black teenager Stephen, said Mr Howard was “clearly pandering to the racists”.

Damian Green, the Tory immigration spokesman, told The Times that the tone during the election campaign “was perceived by many people as harsh”. He will meet Muslims in Coventry on Monday in the first of a series of consultations towards a new policy, which he said must have the consent of ethnic minorities.

Mr Green said: “We want to develop credible and civilised policies. We want to raise the tone of the debate and we think developing credible policies is the way to stop it being dominated by the extremist parties.

“We all agree that the immigration message was too high in the mix in terms of what people were hearing from us. That is now more than a year ago. The world has moved on.”

The appointment of Mr Green, who is on the left of the Tory party, as immigration spokesman will be seen as underlining Mr Cameron’s determination to dump Mr Howard’s policies. But Mr Green insisted that the party was still keen to increase the number of border guards and introduce a more rigorous points system to let in migrants with the right skills.

He added: “In developing an immigration policy, we want it perceived as firm and fair by everyone, including those ethnic groups who are likely to have family members who are recent immigrants.

“We welcome immigration, as long as it is intelligently controlled. It has enriched British society and widened the horizons of the whole British people to the rest of the world. It brings economic benefits and cultural diversity.

“We aim to develop a policy which has the confidence of all sections of the community. Many minorities in this country have a particular interest in how immigration policy works . . . so we are asking for their views and suggestions.”

During the election campaign, Mr Howard was accused of scaremongering when he raised the spectre of race riots if the immigration system was not toughened up. He said: “If people lose confidence in our immigration system and believe it is out of control, that breeds a sense of insecurity and that is damaging to good community relations.”


Thursday, June 15, 2006

The New Freedom: A Call for the Emancipation of the Generous Energies of a People

Woodrow Wilson

[Wilson, one of the early founders of 20th-century liberalism, rejects the principles of the founding in the name of Progress. — TGW]
[This book was based on Wilson’s speeches during his successful 1912 campaign for the presidency.]

There is one great basic fact which underlies all the questions that are discussed on the political platform at the present moment. That singular fact is that nothing is done in this country as it was done twenty years ago.

We are in the presence of a new organization of society. Our life has broken away from the past. The life of America is not the life that it was twenty years ago; it is not the life that it was ten years ago. We have changed our economic conditions, absolutely, from top to bottom; and, with our economic society, the organization of our life. The old political formulas do not fit the present problems; they read now like documents taken out of a forgotten age. The older cries sound as if they belonged to a past age which men have almost forgotten. Things which used to be put into the party platforms of ten years ago would sound antiquated if put into a platform now. We are facing the necessity of fitting a new social organization, as we did once fit the old organization, to the happiness and prosperity of the great body of citizens; for we are conscious that the new order of society has not been made to fit and provide the convenience or prosperity of the average man. The life of the nation has grown infinitely varied. It does not centre now upon questions of governmental structure or of the distribution of governmental powers. It centres upon questions of the very structure and operation of society itself, of which government is only the instrument. Our development has run so fast and so far along the lines sketched in the earlier day of constitutional definition, has so crossed and interlaced those lines, has piled upon them such novel structures of trust and combination, has elaborated within them a life so manifold, so full of forces which transcend the boundaries of the country itself and fill the eyes of the world, that a new nation seems to have been created which the old formulas do not fit or afford a vital interpretation of.

We have come upon a very different age from any that preceded us. We have come upon an age when we do not do business in the way in which we used to do business,—when we do not carry on any of the operations of manufacture, sale, transportation, or communication as men used to carry them on. There is a sense in which in our day the individual has been submerged. In most parts of our country men work, not for themselves, not as partners in the old way in which they used to work, but generally as employees,—in a higher or lower grade,—of great corporations. There was a time when corporations played a very minor part in our business affairs, but now they play the chief part, and most men are the servants of corporations.

You know what happens when you are the servant of a corporation. You have in no instance access to the men who are really determining the policy of the corporation. If the corporation is doing the things that it ought not to do, you really have no voice in the matter and must obey the orders, and you have oftentimes with deep mortification to co-operate in the doing of things which you know are against the public interest. Your individuality is swallowed up in the individuality and purpose of a great organization.

It is true that, while most men are thus submerged in the corporation, a few, a very few, are exalted to a power which as individuals they could never have wielded. Through the great organizations of which they are the heads, a few are enabled to play a part unprecedented by anything in history in the control of the business operations of the country and in the determination of the happiness of great numbers of people.

Yesterday, and ever since history began, men were related to one another as individuals. To be sure there were the family, the Church, and the State, institutions which associated men in certain wide circles of relationship. But in the ordinary concerns of life, in the ordinary work, in the daily round, men dealt freely and directly with one another. To-day, the everyday relationships of men are largely with great impersonal concerns, with organizations, not with other individual men.

Now this is nothing short of a new social age, a new era of human relationships, a new stage-setting for the drama of life….

We used to think in the old-fashioned days when life was very simple that all that government had to do was to put on a policeman’s uniform, and say, "Now don’t anybody hurt anybody else." We used to say that the ideal of government was for every man to be left alone and not interfered with, except when he interfered with somebody else; and that the best government was the government that did as little governing as possible. That was the idea that obtained in Jefferson’s time. But we are coming now to realize that life is so complicated that we are not dealing with the old conditions, and that the law has to step in and create new conditions under which we may live, the conditions which will make it tolerable for us to live.

Let me illustrate what I mean: It used to be true in our cities that every family occupied a separate house of its own, that every family had its own little premises, that every family was separated in its life from every other family. That is no longer the case in our great cities. Families live in tenements, they live in flats, they live on floors; they are piled layer upon layer in the great tenement houses of our crowded districts, and not only are they piled layer upon layer, but they are associated room by room, so that there is in every room, sometimes, in our congested districts, a separate family. In some foreign countries they have made much more progress than we in handling these things. In the city of Glasgow, for example (Glasgow is one of the model cities of the world), they have made up their minds that the entries and the hallways of great tenements are public streets. Therefore, the policeman goes up the stairway, and patrols the corridors; the lighting department of the city sees to it that the halls are abundantly lighted. The city does not deceive itself into supposing that great building is a unit from which the police are to keep out and the civic authority to be excluded, but it says: "These are public highways, and light is needed in them, and control by the authority of the city."

I liken that to our great modern industrial enterprises. A corporation is very like a large tenement house; it isn’t the premises of a single commercial family; it is just as much a public affair as a tenement house is a network of public highways….

[I] used to say, when I had to do with the administration of an educational institution [Wilson had been president of Princeton University—TGW], that I should like to make the young gentlemen of the rising generation as unlike their fathers as possible. Not because their fathers lacked character or intelligence or knowledge or patriotism, but because their fathers, by reason of their advancing years and their established position in society, had lost touch with the processes of life; they had forgotten what it was to begin; they had forgotten what it was to rise; they had forgotten what it was to be dominated by the circumstances of their life on their way up from the bottom to the top, and, therefore, they were out of sympathy with the creative, formative and progressive forces of society.

Progress! Did you ever reflect that that word is almost a new one? No word comes more often or more naturally to the lips of modern man, as if the thing it stands for were almost synonymous with life itself, and yet men through many thousand years never talked or thought of progress. They thought in the other direction. Their stories of heroisms and glory were tales of the past. The ancestor wore the heavier armor and carried the larger spear. "There were giants in those days." Now all that has altered. We think of the future, not the past, as the more glorious time in comparison with which the present is nothing. Progress, development,—those are modern words. The modern idea is to leave the past and press onward to something new.

But what is progress going to do with the past, and with the present? How is it going to treat them? With ignominy, or respect? Should it break with them altogether, or rise out of them, with its roots still deep in the older time? What attitude shall progressives take toward the existing order, toward those institutions of conservatism, the Constitution, the laws, and the courts?

Are those thoughtful men who fear that we are now about to disturb the ancient foundations of our institutions justified in their fear? If they are, we ought to go very slowly about the processes of change. If it is indeed true that we have grown tired of the institutions which we have so carefully and sedulously built up, then we ought to go very slowly and very carefully about the very dangerous task of altering them. We ought, therefore, to ask ourselves, first of all, whether thought in this country is tending to do anything by which we shall retrace our steps, or by which we shall change the whole direction of our development?

I believe, for one, that you cannot tear up ancient rootages and safely plant the tree of liberty in soil which is not native to it. I believe that the ancient traditions of a people are its ballast; you cannot make a tabula rasa upon which to write a political program. You cannot take a new sheet of paper and determine what your life shall be to-morrow. You must knit the new into the old. You cannot put a new patch on an old garment without ruining it; it must be not a patch, but something woven into the old fabric, of practically the same pattern, of the same texture and intention. If I did not believe that to be progressive was to preserve the essentials of our institutions, I for one could not be a progressive.

One of the chief benefits I used to derive from being president of a university was that I had the pleasure of entertaining thoughtful men from all over the world. I cannot tell you how much has dropped into my granary by their presence. I had been casting around in my mind for something by which to draw several parts of my political thought together when it was my good fortune to entertain a very interesting Scotsman who had been devoting himself to the philosophical thought of the seventeenth century. His talk was so engaging that it was delightful to hear him speak of anything, and presently there came out of the unexpected region of his thought the thing I had been waiting for. He called my attention to the fact that in every generation all sorts of speculation and thinking tend to fall under the formula of the dominant thought of the age. For example, after the Newtonian Theory of the universe had been developed, almost all thinking tended to express itself in the analogies of the Newtonian Theory, and since the Darwinian Theory has reigned amongst us, everybody is likely to express whatever he wishes to expound in terms of development and accommodation to environment.

Now, it came to me, as this interesting man talked, that the Constitution of the United States had been made under the dominion of the Newtonian Theory. You have only to read the papers of The Federalist to see that fact written on every page. They speak of the "checks and balances" of the Constitution, and use to express their idea the simile of the organization of the universe, and particularly of the solar system,—how by the attraction of gravitation the various parts are held in their orbits; and then they proceeded to represent Congress, the Judiciary, and the President as a sort of imitation of the solar system.

They were only following the English Whigs, who gave Great Britain its modern constitution. Not that those Englishmen analyzed the matter, or had any theory about it; Englishmen care little for theories. It was a Frenchman, Montesquieu, who pointed out to them how faithfully they had copied Newton’s description of the mechanism of the heavens.

The makers of our Federal Constitution read Montesquieu with true scientific enthusiasm. They were scientists in their way,—the best way of their age,—those fathers of the nation. Jefferson wrote of "the laws of Nature,"—and then by way of afterthought,—"and of Nature’s God." And they constructed a government as they would have constructed an orrery,—to display the laws of nature. Politics in their thought was a variety of mechanics. The Constitution was founded on the law of gravitation. The government was to exist and move by virtue of the efficacy of "checks and balances."

The trouble with the theory is that government is not a machine, but a living thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life. It is accountable to Darwin, not to Newton. It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life. No living thing can have its organs offset against each other, as checks, and live. On the contrary, its life is dependent upon their quick co-operation, their ready response to the commands of instinct or intelligence, their amicable community of purpose. Government is not a body of blind forces; it is a body of men, with highly differentiated functions, no doubt, in our modern day, of specialization, with a common task and purpose. Their co-operation is indispensable, their warfare fatal. There can be no successful government without the intimate, instinctive co-ordination of the organs of life and action. This is not theory, but fact, and displays its force as fact, whatever theories may be thrown across its track. Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice. Society is a living organism and must obey the laws of life, not of mechanics; it must develop.

All that progressives ask or desire is permission—in an era when "development," "evolution," is the scientific word—to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine.

Some citizens of this country have never got beyond the Declaration of Independence, signed in Philadelphia, July 4th, 1776. Their bosoms swell against George III, but they have no consciousness of the war for freedom that is going on to-day.

The Declaration of Independence did not mention the questions of our day. It is of no consequence to us unless we can translate its general terms into examples of the present day and substitute them in some vital way for the examples it itself gives, so concrete, so intimately involved in the circumstancs of the day in which it was conceived and written. It is an eminently practical document, meant for the use of practical men; not a thesis for philosophers, but a whip for tyrants; not a theory of government, but a program of action. Unless we can translate it into the questions of our own day, we are not worthy of it, we are not the sons of the sires who acted in response to its challenge.

What form does the contest between tyranny and freedom take to-day? What is the special form of tyranny we now fight? How does it endanger the rights of the people, and what do we mean to do in order to make our contest against it effectual? What are to be the items of our new declaration of independence?

By tyranny, as we now fight it, we mean control of the law, of legislation and adjudication, by organizations which do not represent the people, by means which are private and selfish. We mean, specifically, the conduct of our affairs and the shaping of our legislation in the interest of special bodies of capital and those who organize their use. We mean the alliance, for this purpose, of political machines with selfish business. We mean the exploitation of the people by legal and political means. We have seen many of our governments under these influences cease to be representative governments, cease to be governments representative of the people, and become governments representative of special interests, controlled by machines, which in their turn are not controlled by the people.

Sometimes, when I think of the growth of our economic system, it seems to me as if, leaving our law just about where it was before any of the modern inventions or developments took place, we had simply at haphazard extended the family residence, added an office here and a workroom there, and a new set of sleeping rooms there, built up higher on our foundations, and put out little lean-tos on the side, until we have a structure that has no character whatever. Now, the problem is to continue to live in the house and yet change it.

Well, we are architects in our time, and our architects are also engineers. We don’t have to stop using a railroad terminal because a new station is being built. We don’t have to stop any of the processes of our lives because we are rearranging the structures in which we conduct those processes. What we have to undertake is to systematize the foundations of the house, then to thread all the old parts of the structure with the steel which will be laced together in modern fashion, accommodated to all the modern knowledge of structural strength and elasticity, and then slowly change the partitions, relay the walls, let in the light through new apertures, improve the ventilation; until finally, a generation or two from now, the scaffolding will be taken away, and there will be the family in a great building whose noble architecture will at last be disclosed, where men can live as a single community, co-operative as in a perfected, co-ordinated beehive, not afraid of any storm of nature, not afraid of any artificial storm, any imitation of thunder and lightning, knowing that the foundations go down to the bedrock of principle, and knowing that whenever they please they can change that plan again and accommodate it as they please to the altering necessities of their lives.

But there are a great many men who don’t like the idea. Some wit recently said, in view of the fact that most of our American architects are trained in a certain École in Paris, that all American architecture in recent years was either bizarre or "Beaux Arts." I think that our economic architecture is decidedly bizarre; and I am afraid that there is a good deal to learn about matters other than architecture from the same source from which our architects have learned a great many things. I don’t mean the School of Fine Arts at Paris, but the experience of France; for from the other side of the water men can now hold up against us the reproach that we have not adjusted our lives to modern conditions to the same extent that they have adjusted theirs. I was very much interested in some of the reasons given by our friends across the Canadian border for being very shy about the reciprocity arrangements. They said: "We are not sure whither these arrangements will lead, and we don’t care to associate too closely with the economic conditions of the United States until those conditions are as modern as ours." And when I resented it, and asked for particulars, I had, in regard to many matters, to retire from the debate. Because I found that they had adjusted their regulations of economic development to conditions we had not yet found a way to meet in the United States.

Well, we have started now at all events. The procession is under way. The stand-patter doesn’t know there is a procession. He is asleep in the back part of his house. He doesn’t know that the road is resounding with the tramp of men going to the front. And when he wakes up, the country will be empty. He will be deserted, and he will wonder what has happened. Nothing has happened. The world has been going on. The world has a habit of going on. The world has a habit of leaving those behind who won’t go with it. The world has always neglected stand-patters. And, therefore, the stand-patter does not excite my indignation; he excites my sympathy. He is going to be so lonely before it is all over. And we are good fellows, we are good company; why doesn’t he come along? We are not going to do him any harm. We are going to show him a good time. We are going to climb the slow road until it reaches some upland where the air is fresher, where the whole talk of mere politicians is stilled, where men can look in each other’s faces and see that there is nothing to conceal, that all they have to talk about they are willing to talk about in the open and talk about with each other; and whence, looking back over the road, we shall see at last that we have fulfilled our promise to mankind. We had said to all the world, "America was created to break every kind of monopoly, and to set men free, upon a footing of equality, upon a footing of opportunity, to match their brains and their energies." and now we have proved that we meant it.

[From Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom: A Call for the Emancipation of the Generous Energies of a People (1913). (New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1913), 3-7, 19-22, 41-54. ] 

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Liberal, Progressive and Socialist Support for Eugenics

In the early years of the twentieth century, the political left was a strong supporter of eugenics, birth control, and forced sterilization. In this topic, they explain in their own words the close connection between their beliefs and the need for government to control who has children.

Malthus and Darwin Create Problems

For those who regard themselves as uniquely gifted to guide humanity into a more enlightened age, Thomas Malthus had defined the first of two problems they must overcome. A much improved society, he warned, would also be a society with a much lowered death rate. Since the human race was unlikely to give up its interest in sex and (at that time) birth control techniques were ineffective, that meant that eventually the population would grow to the point where no form of government, however well managed, could produce enough food for its people. Those who thought they held the key to an ideal society had no answer to the logic of his arguments.

A little over half a century later, however, Charles Darwin managed to put a progressive spin on Malthus' high death rates. Probably with the Irish famine of a decade earlier in mind, at the very end of The Origin of Species he excused nature's cruelty by describing a system of natural selection where "from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows."

At a time when the birthrates of the more privileged classes in Britain and the United States were high, those were reassuring words. A steady political evolution into a more progressive civilization was being accompanied by a parallel biological evolution in the nature of man. This meant that the "New Civilization" that H. G. Wells discussed in his introduction to Margaret Sanger's The Pivot of Civilization (covered in Topic 11) would be populated by a New Man, so enlightened that he would not longer be troubled by Malthusian difficulties.

Unfortunately for such people, the last decades of the nineteenth century brought a second problem, one born from two social changes. The first was a dramatic decline in death rates in all classes due, in part, to easy-to-implement public health measures such as clean water supplies. The second was a rapid decline in the birthrates of the well-established, wealthier and better educated classes. The fact that the poor no longer died like flies was alarming for those who believed that, in the evolutionary scheme, such people were closer to the flies than they were. Evolution, it seemed, had gone into reverse.

Four Scenarios

The problem is easier to understand if the various options for birth and death rates is simplified into four scenarios.

1. High Birthrate--High Death Rate

2. High Birthrate--Low Death Rate

3. Low Birthrate--High Death Rate

4. Low Birthrate--Low Death Rate

For most of human history, Scenario 1 dominated, and the human population had grown only slowly. Malthus had warned that, by lowering death rates without changing birthrates, an ideal society would enter Scenario 2 and eventually face over overpopulation and famine.

Darwin looked at the matter differently. Implicitly, he recognized that while (in his day) birthrates were high among all classes, the Irish and English poor remained in Scenario 1, while his social class (the country gentry) was in Scenario 2. In evolutionary terms that meant that the 'fit,' were reproducing faster than the 'unfit.' For Darwin and his followers that meant progress.

But in the late nineteenth century, even the poor in crowded cities entered Scenario 2 at the very time when the 'better' classes in Britain and America entered Scenario 4. In Darwinian terms, the collective abilities of the human race (in warding off disease and famine) had reached the point were the death rates of everyone in modern societies, 'fit' and 'unfit' alike, was relatively low. Which group would populate the future would be determined almost solely by differences in birthrates.

Since the entire political left, from liberal to socialist and communist, thought in Darwinian terms, that was disturbing. While a few cranky Social Darwinians wanted to take measures to see that the high death rates of the poor returned, advocating that was not usually acceptable to those who regarded themselves as progressive. For them, the only answer was to lower the birthrates of those they regarded as 'unfit' (Scenario 4). That is why those on the left never debated whether they should force down the birthrates of those they did not like, only the timing and techniques to be used. They assume without question that they have the right to decide who can have children with the same confidence that they assume they have the right to control the government and run the economy. And they assume that they have to right to conceal this agenda behind lies.

The problem of differing birthrates was compounded by other changes taking place at the same time. Increasingly complex means of production required more intelligent and better educated workers. Traditional societies had been rather callous toward those who did not measure up. There were, after all, lots of back-breaking jobs that required little intelligence. But with machines replacing manual labor, more was required to be a productive worker. What would happen to those who could not meet the increased demands.

Liberalism, socialism and communism promised to take care of everyone, irrespective of their ability to work, along with their children. (Marxism had the slogan, "From each according to his abilities to each according to his needs.") That raised a distinct possibility that, once it gained power, their government would be overwhelmed not merely by too great a quantity of people (Malthus), but all by too many people of too low a quality to be useful to society (the eugenic application of Darwin). Their ideal society would be swamped by millions who would live off others and do little more than breed yet more people as incompetent as themselves. The result would be a eugenic disaster as terrible as any in the warnings of Malthus. In their advocacy of eugenics, birth control and sterilization, that disaster was what those on the left were trying to prevent.

A Cross Section of Opinion

In the reading for this topic, we include a cross section of opinions from those on the political left about how best to deal with the problems described above. The number of writers who could be quoted on this topic is enormous, so the chapters below concentrate on those with close ties to Margaret Sanger. H. G. Wells, for instance wrote the Introduction to her The Pivot of Civilization and her initial interest in birth control was stimulated by the British Fabians. The others were people who knew and supported Sanger, including Lothrop Stoddard, a writer who was on the Board of Directors of her American Birth Control League.

Notice that, while these writers do not agree in every detail, their underlying beliefs are quite similar. If you take into account Sanger's greater use of coded language and contrived concern for poor and immigrant women, Lothrop Stoddard's 1922 The Revolt Against Civilization: The Menace of the Underman is quite similar in theme to her The Pivot of Civilization, which was published that same year.

Friday, May 19, 2006

How Has Islam Enriched Your Life?

Have any of you noticed over the past few years that page after page in your daily newspapers is filled with the latest dysfunctional happenings caused by - or as a result of - the seemingly maniacal Muslim world? Honestly, I cannot open a paper or turn on the television without seeing mobs of Muslim savages celebrating in front of burning embassies, a school, a restaurant or those stupid tires they seem to think are so impressive to burn . And, don't you just love those scenes of men in black ski masks, racing through the streets, shooting guns in the air or standing behind some terrified captive getting ready to be-head him or her?

Lord, did we have a life before the Taliban? I wonder. Is this an improvement from a few of years ago when we saw Western dignitaries sitting in yucky caves in Afghanistan, wearing Armani suits and Bally shoes; at the table sitting with them, a dirty rag-towel wearing ‘War Lords ' (tell me, isn't that an 7th century concept ?), eating road kill for din-din and making plans to stop the Al Qaeda. Come to think of it, before 9/11, we never heard of words like Al Qaeda, Taliban, Jihad, Homeland Security or any other of the new vocabulary that they've taught us.

I long for the old days when I turned on stupid comedy shows and the news would have reported the latest fashion shows, which Hollywood star was coming out of the closet and when people were learning to dance the Macarena . Homicide bombers? Never heard of them. Today, I wish I could see less glorification of anti-democratic fanatics. I had become accustomed to the sympathetic posters of Che Guevara, famous for helping Fidel Castro shape and export the failed Cuban revolution. But, I’m not ready for films like “Munich” , recently created by Stephen Spielberg and self-hater Tony Kushner, that give Muslims a platform for justification of their terrorism.

If I had even a remnant of a sense of humor left, I might find something funny in the fact that these Arab murderers are now killing their own ‘brothers’ in yet another of their frenzied, holy wars against their own. The Shiites and Sunnis are going at each other full force while the Kurds, also Muslims but not Arabs, sit safely on the sideline, watching the slaughter. The so-called 'Palestinians,' who now have territory of their own, are killing one another on a daily basis. And, don't forget those wonderful new politicians from Hamas unleashing terror against Fatah and others; reveling in the blood, terror and mayhem they hold so dear.

In between they somehow manage to find time to kill and injure scores of Israelis using homicide bombers. The Los Angeles Times headline reports: "Israel Opts for Restraint in Response to Bombing." The timing and theme of George Orwell's book, 1984 has come and gone while the world has gone mad. Love is Hate...and " Israel Opts for Restraint in Response to Bombing! " The only question that should be asked right now is which to bomb first, Mecca or Medina! At the very least, consider transfer as the only alternative. Unfortunately, the powers that be in Israel can't bring themselves to do that.

The time is long past to do something! I think it a good thing that they target and are able to pulverize the leaders of the terrorist groups while driving to place their latest bomb. How much more effective, though, would it be if they were to fly into the headquarters of the new government of Hamas and blow up everything in sight? Nothing, but nothing should be left standing! That, folks, just might get their attention!

Hamas, however, has made it very plain that their goal is total annihilation of the State of Israel and to fly the Palestinian flag atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Without a doubt, they would desecrate that just as they did Joseph's Tomb, the Tomb of the Matriarchs and even the Church of the Nativity given the chance. We must read the writing on the wall, while we still have The Wall...transfer the enemy out of Israel, NOW!

Is it really tacky of me to smile at the nightly scenes on TV showing Arab, Afghani and Pakistani Muslims bombing mosques and killing their Muslim brothers, sisters and children at a brisk pace because that's all they know how to do? Even more ironic is what I read recently in my evening paper, that Muslim leaders are seeking help from the Dalai Lama to "quell extremism." I question whether the Dalai Lama needs to be tested for dementia when he responded with: "These few mischievous ones do not represent the whole Muslim community." Oh really, how "few?" Who 's next for a consultation, The Pope, Billy Graham, Jimmy Carter or one of the Chief Rabbis of Israel? "Mischievous?" Cute. Misguided, foolish, but cute.

Then, there are the letters that I get from faraway readers who remind me that it’s not just the Jews who are currently longing for the "normal" days of just a few years ago.

One of my favorite readers, an Australian, recently e-mailed me:

“Damn, I can’t believe I am writing sentences with words like “Grand Mufti of Australia” in them. What the hell happened to my country? How did words like fatwa, Mufti, Imam, jihad, burqah, Koran etc. become part of our lexicon? I'll tell you, Arlene, that there is a huge growing anger here…and it is going to blow. I am what you would call a ‘moderate’ voice, I suppose, but I know people who aren’t. The number is growing rapidly on a daily basis."

But you get the idea. This, from a friend who is not Jewish...and certainly not an Israeli.

Here is a 'new' concept...it isn’t a Jewish problem! It never was. I have been writing, for more years than I care to count, about the world-wide threat to our Western civilization from these 7th century savages who actually believe that they are in a Crusade. Israel is only the "canary in the coal mine." It's an entirely new situation now that most of Europe has caved in and the influence and power of the World of Islam is growing at an alarming rate. Mainly because it is common for the men to have multiple wives, and harvest many children with each of his wives to train for martyrdom.

Remember the question, " Are you better off today than you were five years ago? " Hasn't all of this new information enhanced your life, just as it has mine?

The above article appeared here but has been reproduced above in case it gets taken down

Monday, May 15, 2006

Police alarm on hate books

Books of hate promoting suicide bombings, anti-Australian conspiracies and racism can be freely sold in the Muslim community after a ruling that they don't breach sedition laws. The material, found by The Daily Telegraph in Lakemba and Auburn bookstores last year, was judged by federal authorities not to incite violence in the first known test of anti-terrorism laws.

Police Commissioner Ken Moroney said last night he felt uneasy about the continuing threat posed by such material remaining on the streets. But he said NSW Police would abide by the "qualified and considered legal opinion" offered by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and Australian Federal Police.

The ruling comes despite British police establishing strong links between three of the suicide bombers involved in the July 7 London blasts and an Islamic bookstore in Leeds. There have also been links in Australia between the suburbs where these books were on sale and alleged terrorist plots here.

One of the books, Defence of the Muslim Lands, carried an endorsement from Osama bin Laden on its back cover and promoted "wiring up one's body" with explosives for "martyrdom or self-sacrifice operations". The Criminal West, written by Australian Muslim Omar Hassan, claimed to be called Australian was something to be ashamed of and Western culture is the culture of wolves, injustice and racism. It also claims Australian police are rapists who bash young boys and spoke of a conspiracy involving politicians to turn young Muslims into drug addicts. The Ideological Attack claims there was a barbaric onslaught against Muslims by Jews, Christians and atheists.

AFP spokeswoman Rebecca Goddard said the Commonwealth DPP found no offence had been committed under last year's anti-terrorism Bill. Ms Goddard also said the AFP judged the books are not in breach of either the Commonwealth Criminal Code or NSW Crimes Acts 1900. The AFP analysed the material in context "relative to the time the books were written and the fact that some of the material could be described as descriptive, rather than inciting any type of violence", she said. "No action will be taken by the AFP against individuals who possess copies of the 'books of hate' or sell them," she added yesterday.

A spokeswoman for Federal Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock said the minister was aware of the ruling. She said the material was hardly "inclusive" but the minister accepted the judgment of the AFP. The spokeswoman said the books did not meet the strict test of inciting violence – and offered this as proof that the laws were not a threat to freedom of speech. "The test is, does it advocate the use of force or violence, and on this occasion the AFP and NSW Police with the DPP have deemed the material does not," she said.

Other material analysed included the video Jihad or Terrorism by firebrand cleric Khalid Yasin. Another item, an audio cassette called Da'Wah in The West, includes a speech by Ali al-Tamimi, who was sentenced to life in prison in the US last year for soliciting others to wage war.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief Vic Alhadeff said: "While freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of our society, so is the right to live in peace."

The Islamic Bookstore at Lakemba, which sold Defence of the Muslim Lands, would not say whether it would sell the books again.

The above article is taken from here but is reproduced above because "Daily Telegraph" articles usually do not stay up for more than a few days