Why Does Never Again Keep Happening Again April 30, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
Genocide is the systematic and deliberate attempt to extinguish a race, ethnic group, social group or religion.
After the most well documented and systematic act of genocide in recorded History, the so-called Final Solution to the Jewish Problem perpetrated by the death cult known as the Third Reich, the surviving Jewish people adopted the motto, “Never Again.” They had been the target of countless pogroms throughout History and this was their vow, this is their pledge to themselves, “Never Again!”
This seems to have been ratified by the victors of World War Two at the Nuremberg Trials where they convicted anyone they could find who was even remotely responsible and convicted them of crimes against humanity. It has been ratified over and over again since by war crime trials before the International Court of Justice in the Hague.
Never Again! As a world we have all affirmed it. Genocide is a crime against humanity and it cannot, it will not be tolerated and yet NEVER AGAIN keeps happening again.
Recently we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps by allied forces in WWII. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder wherever they happened to be world leaders once again joined together to pledge, “Never Again!!”
Yet here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave at a recent commemoration of an earlier act of genocide by the Ottoman Turks against the Armenians during World War One our Mr. O wouldn’t use the word genocide for fear of angering the Turks. This is like not saying Holocaust for fear of offending those hyper-sensitive Schicklgrubers.
Even the left leaning CNN reporter Jake Tapper noted, “For the sixth year in a row, President Barack Obama has broken his promise to the Armenian community, made when seeking their votes as a senator and a presidential candidate, to use the word “genocide” to describe the massacre of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire a century ago.”
In an even stronger condemnation Armenian National Committee of America executive director Aram Hamparian said, “It’s a sad spectacle to see our President, who came into office having promised to recognize the Armenian Genocide, reduced to enforcing a foreign government’s gag-rule on what our country can say about a genocide so very thoroughly documented in our own nation’s archives.” Mr. Hamparian continued, “We remain profoundly disappointed that he has, once again, retreated from his own promises and fallen short of the principled stand taken by previous presidents.”
Perhaps it is this politically correct mindset on the part of our leaders that allows these great crimes to continue. It often seems that no one has the courage to say anything until after the fact. Even when our 24 hour news cycle provides facts, pictures, and even pleas from the victims in the midst of a long and gruesome train of genocidal atrocities.
According to History.com the Rwandan Genocide:
From April to July 1994, members of the Hutu ethnic majority in the east-central African nation of Rwanda murdered as many as 800,000 people, mostly of the Tutsi minority. Begun by extreme Hutu nationalists in the capital of Kigali, the genocide spread throughout the country with staggering speed and brutality, as ordinary citizens were incited by local officials and the Hutu Power government to take up arms against their neighbors. By the time the Tutsi-led Rwandese Patriotic Front gained control of the country through a military offensive in early July, hundreds of thousands of Rwandans were dead and many more displaced from their homes. The RPF victory created 2 million more refugees (mainly Hutus) from Rwanda, exacerbating what had already become a full-blown humanitarian crisis.
The left leaning and usually dependable disseminator and supporter of government policies, PBS, had this to say about America’s response to the Rwandan Genocide, “From the very start, the United States resisted intervention in Rwanda because of national interests, higher priorities, and domestic and bureaucratic politics. Moreover, during the three months of killing, the U.S. blocked several opportunities, short of intervention, that could have diminished the slaughter.”
According to Samantha Power, author of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, “There was only one major editorial in The New York Times, one major editorial in the Washington Post for the entire duration of this genocide. These editorials were editorials that lamented the carnage, that used the word ‘genocide’ even to describe the carnage, but that never dared to suggest that the United States be involved in stopping it.” We stood by and did nothing when never again happened again.
Today there is a massive multi-country genocide against Christians in the Mideast being perpetrated by fanatic followers of the religion of peace and once again America says nothing.
Dr. Sebastian Gorka, the National Security Editor for Breitbart, said recently, “the West has done much to stand up for Muslims in the past two decades. Whether it was to save the Muslims in Bosnia or the Albanians, Kosovars, and Muslims in Serbia, it is now time for a humanitarian operation to save the remaining Christians in Iraq. It is time for the American people and our representatives to do something for our co-religionists remaining in the Middle East.”
According to Fox News, “Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city and was once the home of Iraq’s most vulnerable and persistent Christian community, tracing their lineage nearly to the time of Christ. Now there are no Christians left. All of this happened under the watchful eye of West, and while you’d hope that the humanitarian threat alone would have motivated the West to act, you would be certain that Mosul’s strategic importance would do so. Neither proved true.”
Fox News also comments, “The examples of Western inaction are unending. At present, as many as 300 Assyrian Christians remain in captivity having been kidnapped two weeks ago as ISIS assaulted ten Assyrian, Christian villages along the Khabour River in Syria. That assault was conducted by a group of ISIS fighters travelling in a convoy of more than 40 clearly marked ISIS vehicles directly toward these vulnerable, Christian villages. How is it possible that Western satellites didn’t spot a forty-car ISIS convoy in route to unarmed Christian villages in Syria, and if it was spotted how is that it wasn’t destroyed?”
The recently displaced archbishop of Mosul, Iraq said, “People in the West say ‘they don’t know.’ How can you not know? You either support ISIS or you must have turned off all the satellites. I am sorry to say this, but my pain is big.”
Recently Breitbart’s National Security Editor and one of the world’s leading experts on asymmetric warfare, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, on Breitbart News Saturday, hosted by Editor in Chief Alex Marlow on Sirius XM Patriot Radio also said, “When U.S. troops invaded Iraq in 2003, there were at least 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. Over the last ten years, significantly in the last few months with the emergence of ISIS, that figure has dropped to about 400,000. In a region where Christians predate Muslims by centuries, over one million Christians have been killed or have had to flee because of jihadi persecution, while America is basically standing by and watching.”
According to Catholic Online, “A massive humanitarian crisis is developing as the newly-formed Islamic State which spans Syria and Iraq, consolidates power. True to their militant, fundamentalist Islamic charter, the state has ordered Christians to convert or die and given them a deadline by which to flee. Those choosing to leave are not allowed any possessions.”
For Christians in the region, they face extermination. Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, head of the Catholic Church in Iraq, has called for “all who have a living conscience in Iraq and all the world to aid the victims of the Islamic State. The next step for Christians in Mosul appears to be genocide.”
Bishop Yousif Habash, a prominent Iraqi human rights activist living in the United States, has called upon the West to step in and prevent the pending genocide. He pointed out that the West stepped in to stop genocides of Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo, so he believes they can also prevent genocide in Iraq. However, any involvement there will require a substantial military commitment and so far President Obama has appeared entirely unwilling to commit that kind of force.
Robert Fisk of the Independent catalogs some of the other locations and instances of this inhuman attack upon Christians throughout the Muslim world: the enslavement of Christian women in Iraq, Christian children sold as slaves, the burning of Mosul’s ancient churches or the destruction of the great Armenian church of Deir el-Zour that commemorated the genocide of its people in 1915, the kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls, the latest massacre in Kenya where the numbers of Christian dead and the cruelty of their sectarian killers is of epic, Hollywood proportions.
In the face of all this evidence and all this carnage nothing is done.
Yet every time some poor misunderstood Muslim yells Allah Akbar, climbs up on a table and commits an act of workplace violence, or they set off a bomb at a marathon, or they massacre people for publishing cartoons we are immediately and constantly reminded that the most important thing is to make sure we don’t express our Islamophobia by profiling the young Muslim men who commit all these random acts of mayhem. Heaven forbid we admit that the source of terrorism and this latest round of genocide are identifiable.
While millions die, are displaced, persecuted, raped and tortured, while the latest round of genocide shows that crimes against humanity are occurring right before our eyes America does nothing, as never again happens again.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens email@example.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
If It Isn’t America First What Is It? April 23, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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The very words “America First” have gained a social stigma accorded few things in American History; things such as “McCarthyism,” or “America for Americans,” or “Reverse Discrimination.” These words that have been made politically incorrect by the media wing of the Progressive Republocrat Party.
The original America First Committee was painted with the broad brush of anti-Americanism for opposing America’s entrance into WW II. The committee was established on September 4, 1940, by Yale Law School student R. Douglas Stuart, Jr . along with several other students, including future President Gerald Ford, future Peace Corps director Sargent Shriver, and future U.S. Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart. Future President John F. Kennedy contributed $100, along with a note saying “What you all are doing is vital.” It also attracted many national leaders such as General Robert E. Wood, the aviator Charles A. Lindbergh, and Senator Gerald P. Nye. The committee was dissolved on December 10, 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought America into the war.
This was no insignificant student organization staging rallies on a few campuses. At its peak, America First claimed 800,000 due-paying members in 450 chapters. This was a mass movement of Americans who believed that entering WW II would not be in America’s best interests. Whether subsequent events lead you to believe that this was a correct position, it was a heartfelt belief of many and was certainly not based on anything other than seeking what they thought was best for America: America First.
Today we face another situation that many believe should lead us to the passionate cry for America First!
What is this situation? Is it the disastrous foreign and domestic policies of the current administration? While the first of these is forfeiting our position as world hegemon and the latter is eroding our economy and submerging our population in a migration invasion these are not the issues I am addressing today.
The issue that has me ready to climb on the rooftops and unfurl the flag of America First is the false god of free trade which has been the golden calf for the last four administrations. Ever since George the First declared that we were instituting a New World Order in 1991 America has been aggressively chasing free trade deals with nations from all over the world.
Using fast track authority to negotiate, wherein Congress cedes their authority to amend, international trade deals such as NAFTA, CAFTA, and KORUS FTA, the United States has opened its markets without tariffs or other barriers.
This has led to a massive flight of American industry overseas. Savvy industrialists could immediately see the value in manufacturing overseas with lower labor costs and less regulation as long as they still had unfettered access to the American market. Other countries also saw their new competitive advantage. They could subsidize home industries and then dump their products below cost on the American market until they wiped out their American competitors, captured the niche, and then raise the prices again. A good example of this is what Japan did to the American TV industry or what India and China have done to textiles.
Is this free trade? No it is free in only one direction. These foreign nations still restrict their markets to American goods. They also subsidize their industries and dump their products below cost as described above. Some might say this is good. Let foreign tax payers subsidize our purchases. Look at the great deals we are getting. Now everyone can have a flat screen, a smartphone, and a laptop.
However, it doesn’t seem like such a good deal if you drive through backroads America and you see the shuttered factories: the abandoned remnants of what was once the greatest manufacturing nation in the History of the world. It doesn’t seem like such a good deal when you look at all the millions of American workers who have lost manufacturing jobs that paid a living wage and have had to accept a lower paying job in the service industry or have adjusted to living on the dole.
We have allowed politicians who masquerade as statesman to follow their belief that free trade will bring about world peace. This belief can be traced back more than two hundred years and began to make a mark in the world with the repeal of the Corn Laws in Great Britain in 1846. This led eventually to the British Empire embracing free trade. They did this believing it would give them a competitive advantage, since at the time they were the number one industrial nation on earth.
However, it acted in the reverse and within a half century America and Germany both with heavily protected markets passed up Britain and took the lead in manufacturing.
Today America is following the British Empire. We have opened our markets and are being supplanted as the industrial leader of the world by China which protects its markets. The question is, are we going to follow the British Empire into the trash heap of History? Or are we going to make the hard choices, shoulder the heavy burden, and re-industrialize America so we can once again stand alone as the industrial behemoth that bestrides the world?
If we believe as my favorite president once said, “After all, the chief business of the American people is business” then we should rise up and demand that our leaders quit sacrificing American jobs and American living standards on the altar of their free trade idol.
For if the business of America is business we must stop the fire sale of our manufacturing sector to foreign nations, many of whom are actually hostile to us. We must remember that the duty of our government is to protect and enhance the lives and fortunes of Americans. It is not to promote world peace, raise the standard of living for the citizens of other nations, or create a world government. We are not an international aid agency. We are not a free trade advocacy lobbyist before the court of world opinion. We are the United States of America, and all our policies should work for the benefit of Americans first.
It is easy to complain. It is easy to say what others are doing is wrong. It is harder to offer concrete suggestions for how things should be done. Here are my suggestions for a way to re-industrialize America, end the Great Recession, and improve the living standards of Americans.
I call my program Equitable Trade. I advocate for 100% reciprocity in trade and 100% equity in international commerce.
Under this program America should deal with other nations on a case by case basis predicated on how they deal with us. We should impose tariff for tariff, fee for fee, and fine for fine. Domestically I call for an end to all subsidies. Let the forces of the market prevail. At the same time any nation that subsidizes their industries should face a tariff on the subsidized good equal to the subsidy.
Diplomatically the complimentary policy should be a return to the traditional American position. Established by George Washington during his administration and enshrined in his farewell address, “The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible.” With Jefferson, “Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations–entangling alliances with none, I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government, and consequently [one of] those which ought to shape its administration.”
So if it isn’t America first what is it? It is politicians seeking their own fame, their own counsel and their own benefit. It is those who want to be citizens of the world betraying those of us who are proud to be citizens of the United States of America. If we don’t stand up for what we believe do we think anyone else will? If we don’t rise up and demand that the leaders of America consider America first they will continue to consider America last. How do you think that will work out for your children and grandchildren?
Will we be the first generation of Americans to leave our posterity a nation poorer than the one we inherited? We will be unless we join together and declare it must be America First!
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
Is the Culture War Over ? April 9, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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Knowing that there is no fool like an old fool, the seasoned citizen trying to prove he hasn’t lost his grip on America’s rapidly changing culture says to his grandchild, “I’m not exactly your father’s Oldsmobile.” His grandchild looks at him like he is a dithering old codger and says, “What’s an Oldsmobile?”
If the latest tech wonders seem more like science fiction to you. If the Apple watch reminds you of Dick Tracey and 3-D printers of Captain Kirk’s replicator then the coming transformed America may remind you of the Oceania Eurasia and Eastasia of Orwell’s 1984.
Then again there are other things that remind me of 1984 in American society today. For instance the outpouring of vitriol unleashed against anyone who the Corporations Once Called the Mainstream Media finds to have transgressed the politically correct standards of the Progressive Elites.
The case of Memories Pizza in Walkteron, Indiania is a case in point. A reporter for a local TV station, Alyssa Marino, was out trolling for evidence to support a story she wanted to write. Crystal O’Connor, the co-owner of Memories Pizza, after being asked if she would cater a gay wedding told WBND-TV she would serve a gay or non-Christian couple at the restaurant, but would not cater a same-sex couples wedding.
How did this media feeding frenzy come about? According to Scott Ott of PJ Media:
Memories Pizza didn’t blast out a news release. They didn’t contact the media, nor make a stink on Twitter or Facebook. They didn’t even post a sign in the window rejecting gay-wedding catering jobs. They merely answered questions from a novice reporter who strolled into their restaurant one day – who was sent on a mission by an irresponsible news organization.
Next: ABC-57 anchor Brian Dorman leads the evening newscast dramatically with this:
Only on ABC-57 News tonight. We went into small towns looking for reaction to the Religious Freedom Act. We found one business, just 20 miles away from a welcoming South Bend…with a very different view….
Not only did ABC-57 News create that story ex nihilo (out of nothing), but the next day, the station’s Rosie Woods reported on the social-media backlash against the Christian pizza shop owners.
“Our Facebook page has been blowing up with comments after we aired that story last night,” said Woods.
You see, not only did ABC-57 manufacture the story with an ambush interview, it then doubled-down by making the reaction to the story into another story to give the sense of momentum, as if it were growing at its own impetus. Yet, everything about it is a fabrication.
Memories Pizza didn’t “publicly vow to reject gay weddings” as HuffPo says it. The O’Connors were just, quite literally, minding their own business.
Back in the ABC-57 studio, Rosie Woods read three negative social media comments attacking the pizza shop owners, and then said, “And that’s just one side of this debate that’s heating up as more people and business owners speak up about the law.”
She then quotes one (1) person, the owner of another business, who agreed with the O’Connors. Seems that “just one side of this debate” deserves more attention than the other.
Meanwhile, over at Yelp.com, more than a thousand “reviews” of Memories Pizza rapidly accumulated, quickly overwhelming the positive comments from actual customers who like the pizza, the hospitality and the small-town charm. Folks who never heard of Walkerton attacked Crystal O’Connor’s business, her morality, and her Lord. Many of the remarks included racially charged descriptions of genitalia and sex acts. “Reviewers” also posted pictures of naked men, of Adolf Hitler shouting “Ich habe ein pizza” (I have a pizza), and of Jesus gesturing with his middle finger. Over on Facebook, the restaurant’s 5-star average rating rapidly plunged to one star, as non-customers slammed away at Crystal’s little business.
In Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, a manifesto of political power, Rule No. 12 says, in part: Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)
The Left doesn’t care who gets hurt, so long as they get what they want. They’re willing — no, they’re eager — to sacrifice a small-town business, and its owners.
Lest you think I’m being too dramatic. Late Wednesday, word comes that Jess Dooley, a female coach at Concord High School 45 minutes away in Elkhart, has been suspended after tweeting:
Who’s going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me?
All of this reminds me of the 2 minutes of hate that was a tool of Big Brother. The Two Minutes of Hate is a ritual observance that is designed to use the collective rage of the people against supposed “enemies of the Party” to strengthen the Party’s position among the people. The ritual serves to unify the people in the observance of the ritual.
The Two Minutes of Hate also serves the purpose of religious observance by deifying Big Brother. It serves to channel the rage that persons may feel toward the lack of control over their own lives away from the Party and against purported enemies of the Party. Because Big Brother is proclaimed to be benevolent and good, any enemy is automatically evil and bad. While it is a “two minutes hate” the desired end result is less hatred of Big Brother.
This is very similar to what some politicians do to strengthen their position when they feel threatened. The politicians will invent an enemy and then channel the public rage against that enemy.
Then there is the double standard that shows this is not really about gay rights or gay weddings it is about attacking the religious liberty of Christians. For instance Muslim bakeries in Michigan refused to bake cakes for gay weddings. You would think that would be news like Memories Pizza refusing to cater gay weddings. No. Muslims are part of the liberal media protected class. If Muslims want to follow their own religious beliefs and not bake cakes for gay weddings, you don’t hear any big outcry about bigotry of ‘homophobia.’ Instead, these Muslim bakeries in Michigan are given a pass to practice their religion as they see fit, unlike Christians.
Then of course there is the direct opposite of the Memories Pizza case where gay bakers refuse to cater a Christian wedding.
Tim Richards and Cheryl Johnson reported they were recently turned down for a wedding cake by Stewart’s Cakes in Kettering, Ohio.
“When we told the man what we wanted and where we wanted the cake delivered, he turned us down,” said Richards. “We asked if he could deliver a 4-layer chocolate and vanilla wedding cake to the Holy Calvary Church, and he told us it was against his principles to serve us.”
The owner of Stewart’s Cakes, Stephen Hillstrom, who married his partner in Washington D.C. last year, told reporters, “We’re a private business, and we’re allowed to serve or not serve whomever we’d like. It would violate our beliefs to serve people like that.”
Have you heard a media storm about this? Don’t expect to because it isn’t coming. This is a one way street and a classic case of Christian bashing by the media.
Thus the culture war of the 80s and 90s has morphed into the triumphant Progressive Elites and their majority hating storm troopers smashing anyone left who dares to stand for values not baptized in the politically correct secular humanism of the of the ascendant minority. A coalition of Progressives in both parties, the left-wing media, various activist groups that live off the conflict, and the low information voters who empower it all ride rough shod over those who not long ago ruled the roost.
All this signals the last gasp of the once ruling majority as it accepts the control of the Progressive minority without even a whimper.
Let me ask one final question. If you are treated this way when you are still the majority how will you be treated once you really are a minority?
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens email@example.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
The Politics of Easter April 2, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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I love my country. I consider myself a patriot. I believe that the United States has provided more people with more freedom and more opportunity than any other nation that has ever existed. I think the United States has been blessed by God.
Having said all that I must admit that I am only a citizen of this country in a transitory and momentary way for I am but a pilgrim here, a sojourner whose ultimate home is another city, a kingdom, and that even here my ultimate allegiance is to my King.
Over the years I have had many conversations with people regarding the ongoing Progressive degradation of this great Republic. Often people will say, “I can’t talk about this anymore it is too depressing.” And often people ask me, “How can you dwell on this so much and be so happy?”
I’m not really happy. Happiness is a fleeting feeling that can be erased by not getting your pizza delivered on time. I have joy and peace and the contentment of security. I always answer this question with, “I spend a few hours every day immersed in the evidence of the deepening betrayal of America’s experiment in personal freedom, individual liberty, and economic opportunity, and I am never depressed. Because my hope is in Christ and my home is in heaven.”
This is the politics of Easter:
Paul, after warning us what the so-called leaders of this world are really all about said, “There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.” Paul also tells us, “But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.”
I am a Christian, unabashedly and unashamed. Jesus is my king, my Lord and my God. I look about me and I love my country and I love those about me. However at the same time I take to heart what Peter said “Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul” and I realize that as a Christian, we are visitors in this world of unbelievers. We may be the same on the outside as everyone else, but on the inside we are different.
- We don’t think like them.
- We don’t act like them.
- We don’t have the same customs as they do.
- We don’t have the same goals and desires.
- When they want to go partying and getting drunk and go carousing, we don’t want to join them…
- They use the Lord’s name in vain, participate in the deeds of darkness and are, essentially, the walking dead. We are not like them.
- They glorify themselves. We glorify God.
- Some glorify false gods. We glorify the true God.
- We are different inside. And it shows. Or at least it should.
If there was a trial today and we were charged with being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict? Or are we secret agent Christians? Instead of hiding in the shadows we should be holding aloft the light of Christ in a darkening world so that as Peter admonished us we, “Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.”
This world and its politics is a soap opera. Following the ins and outs of the progression from colonies to empire to utopia keeps us occupied and obsessed. We need to keep it all in perspective. Yes, it is good to stand for freedom for God created us to be free so that we could freely choose Him. Yes, it is good to stand for personal liberty and economic opportunity so that all people will have the opportunity to become all that they can be and so that they are not oppressed by the utopians in their mad drive toward a heaven on earth that will never and can never be reality. However it is the height of folly to allow the false god of ideology to cloud our vision until we become as doctrinaire as the utopians holding aloft democracy or national prestige as goals in and of themselves.
We must keep a godly perspective striving always to remember we are sinners saved by God’s unearned grace and so avoid becoming the Pharisees who drive people away from God. There is a band named Casting Crowns. Their lyrics touch me in the spirit, and I believe they express the situation that we believers find ourselves in when we try to be that light instead of reveal that light:
Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far away
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth’s become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You but they’re tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up I’m so double minded
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided
Jesus, friend of sinners, the one who’s writing in the sand
Made the righteous turn away and the stones fall from their hands
Help us to remember we are all the least of these
Let the memory of Your mercy bring Your people to their knees
Nobody knows what we’re for only what we’re against when we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and loved like You did
You love every lost cause; you reach for the outcast
For the leper and the lame; they’re the reason that You came
Lord I was that lost cause and I was the outcast
But you died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at Your feet.
Jesus said, “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness.” He also told us to take our testimony to the world, to share with them what has happened to us. It is as if Jesus told us to take this light (Him) to the world and we have spent two thousand years building a lamp and berating everyone who does not call the lamp the light.
Remember, we are citizens of Heaven. We are Pilgrims here, strangers in a strange land. As Easter approaches remember “Living He loved me, dying He saved me, buried He carried my sins far away, rising He justified freely forever, one day He’s coming oh glorious day, oh glorious day”
I pray with Casting Crowns, “Oh Jesus, friend of sinners open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers let our hearts be led by mercy help us reach with open hearts and open doors oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours.”
This is the politics of Easter: vote for Jesus who has already won the war and join the winning side.
Jettison the Empire to Save the Republic 2015 March 26, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
In 1951 President Harry Truman ignored the advice of General Douglas MacArthur who rightly perceived that it was China that was the real threat. Truman fired MacArthur and doomed American troops to a limited war which dragged on for two more years. Then when General Ridgeway and his meat grinder defense had bled the Chinese white, President Eisenhower refused to mount an offense and claim the victory instead settling for a peace that is no peace.
In 1973 the Watergate Congress took the lead in throwing away the victory our heroes had won in Vietnam. In 1991 President George Bush I threw away the victory in the First Gulf War by not going to Bagdad and deposing Salaam Hussein. Then he compounded the error by not supporting the Southern Shia or the Northern Kurds both of whom he had encouraged to rebel against the dictator.
Following this post-World War II tradition of not declaring war and not retaining victory George Bush II led us into Afghanistan but instead of finishing the job at Tora Bora or leaving once the Taliban were crushed he/we stayed on for a nation building exercise that has now cost more than 2,000 lives. After the attacks of 9-11 we had every right to chastise the Taliban for sheltering and protecting the al Qaeda terrorists. We defeated these Islamic fundamentalists in two months. We smashed their power structure and drove them out of the country, a just punishment for facilitating and shielding the perpetrators of the sneak attacks on our nation. We won the war but we never pacified the country.
That is when we should have declared victory and left with the admonishment, “If you do it again we’ll do it again.” Instead we have stayed and stayed and stayed for what has become America’s longest war.
There can be no doubt that our heroes have fought with skill and valor. And there can be no doubt that where Bush turned it into a nation building crusade to spread democracy among the tribal peoples of central Asia Obama turned it into a political prop for his re-election. All the while during both administrations our soldiers have been dying and being wounded for something other than the national interest. Our policies are subservient to the political ambition of the Progressives who have captured both political parties, of the cronies who control the major industries, and the life-tenured black-robed infallibles who decide what the Constitution means.
One sure way to end up in a bad situation is to fight the wrong war at the wrong time in the wrong place. The Middle East is disintegrating. Our so-called allies, the Sunni states want us to fight for them in a thousand year-old sectarian religious war between them and their Shia co-religionists.
This brings me to several questions. If the Shia states of Iran and Syria and their affiliated militias are such an existential threat to them why aren’t they willing to fight? If the Sunni Reaction to the Shia is ISIS whom we have declared to be the next BIG thing, the one we are sworn to degrade and destroy and our Sunni allies have been supporting them or at least refusing to fight them either, why should we? There is an old saying, “When your enemies are killing each other….let them.”
War is the deathbed of empires. Look at History and see how war has debilitated and destroyed empires from Rome to Britain to the USSR. Today we have been bled dry by endless wars for peace. Our economy cannot seem to recover from the late great recession. Our leaders are not really engaged in foreign affairs. We are adrift as they concentrate on fundamentally transforming us into a Progressive utopia.
Now is not the time for another war whether it is against the Shia states or militias or against the Sunni ISIS. Our allies seem to want us to fight both ends against the middle. A formula which will lead us to disaster: we can’t afford more war and our people will not support more war.
Let’s give peace a chance.
The crushing weight of maintaining hundreds of bases around the world which are akin to precinct houses for a world police department is draining us dry and not making us any friends.
Why should we still defend a Europe that has a GDP as large as ours? Why can’t they defend themselves? Why can’t South Korea with a GDP more than 40 times that of the North defend themselves? Some might say all right maybe we shouldn’t still be defending nations that can defend themselves but what about Russia?
Look at this situation. Russia did not annex Crimea, was a part of Russia for centuries, is the home to the Russian Black Sea fleet and is populated by mostly Russians, until after a western backed coup toppled the democratically elected government of the Ukraine. If Russia wanted to conquer and absorb all of the Ukraine they could have accomplished that within a few weeks at most. The Eastern part of the Ukraine, the part that is in revolt against the western imposed government in Kleve is populated by a vast majority of ethnic Russians who have always wanted to be re-united with the motherland. This is a European problem. Let the Europeans deal with it. We have enough problems of our own.
Entangling alliances were not a part of the original model for the United States. From the time of the Founders and for more than 100 years afterward we believed they would involve us in quarrels and rivalries which were really none of our concern.
This was more than a policy. This was an expression of the American people through their government that did not change no matter which political party occupied the White House. This expressed how we viewed ourselves in the world. We contrasted the virtues of our Republic with the corruptions of European power politics and imperialistic overreach. From 1789 until the WWII, except for our relationship with Panama, the United States did not enter into treaties of alliance with anyone. In the 70 years since the end of the war, however, in a dramatic reversal of national policy, we have allied ourselves with:
NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY PARTIES: United States, Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom. During 2004, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovak Republic, and Slovenia were added to the list.
AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND PARTIES: United States , Australia, New Zealand.
PHILIPPINE TREATY (Bilateral) PARTIES: United States, Philippines.
SOUTHEAST ASIA TREATY: PARTIES: United States, Australia, France, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.
JAPANESE TREATY (Bilateral): PARTIES: United States, Japan.
REPUBLIC OF KOREA TREATY (Bilateral): PARTIES: United States, Korea.
RIO TREATY PARTIES: United States, Argentina, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela.
Looking at this long list of people we have pledged to support with the blood of our finest and the treasure of us all I ask myself where were all these countries after 9-11? Where are they now? And why should we bear the burden of their defense. Critics of America love to point out that our defense budget is larger than the next five countries combined. And that is true. However it is true in large part because we have taken on the burden of their defense. Look at the people we have pledged to cover with our umbrella. Try to find one that is spending even 2% of their GDP for their own defense.
Enough is too much already. We are not Atlas. We cannot carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, and if we are Atlas isn’t it time that we shrugged?
I stand with our George Washington. He advised us in his Farewell Speech,
Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all….
Nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded…. The Nation, which indulges towards another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest….
Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence…the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republic Government….
The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign Nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little Political connection as possible….
‘T is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances, with any portion of the foreign world….
Taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments, on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies….”
I also stand with Thomas Jefferson who said in his first Inaugural Address, “Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.”
What’s to be done? Can I offer some solutions as well as comment on the problems?
Close the overseas precinct houses. Bring our troops home. Stand ever ready to defend ourselves. Offer fair trade with all; if you put tariffs or restrictions on our goods we will put them on yours. Defend our borders. Restore limited government, individual liberty, and economic opportunity at home instead of wasting ourselves building nations for people who want to be left alone.
In other words, jettison the empire to save the Republic.
Light One Candle March 19, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
Over the years I have used these articles to chronicle America’s slide from a nation based on limited government, personal liberty and economic opportunity to one based on an all-powerful central government, an apathetic public bought off with entitlements, and a regulated economy in free-fall to stagnation if not contraction.
The professional politicians, their casino capitalist cronies and the media/academic alliance that justifies and promotes their seizure of power have triumphed. The America we have known, the one we grew up in has been replaced by Saul Alinsky’s America and no matter how many times we click our heels and say, “I want to go home” you just can’t get there from here.
The political “game” is rigged. The two headed Progressive machine will not be defeated at the rigged ballot box. They have gerrymandered the districts and stacked the deck. And if that won’t work the import-a-voter campaign is designed to make sure of a permanent statist majority. The media which shapes reality for the majority of those Americans who are not enthralled by reality shows and sports either won’t mention anyone who isn’t part of the ruling apparatus or casts them as buffoons or lunatics wearing tinfoil hats. Unless they bow the knee to the causes and beliefs of the Progressive juggernaut’s PC pantheon successful people are shown and perceived as greedy graspers out to steal the food from orphans and widows.
In the midst of darkness the best any individual can do is generate all the light they can for in the dark of night even one single candle is bright. There are more than enough pundits available to comment upon the growth of totalitarianism in the Land of the Free and the home of the Brave I want to take this opportunity to speak about the need for us to be the light that leads the way.
Historically there have been numerous experiences and transitions that have been called the Second American Revolution. The current triumph of the Progressive Party of Power more closely resembles a counter-revolution. Take the Declaration of Independence and substitute President Obama for “He” in the list of particulars and anyone can gauge where we stand in the transition from limited government to tyranny.
When we recall that not only did this our founding document say, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” it also says, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Which leads us directly to, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect (sic) their Safety and Happiness.”
Philosophically this train of logic leads us to the same unmistakable conclusion so many reached in 1860 – 61. Knowing the result of that and looking at the now much greater power of the central government we are faced with a conundrum. How do liberty loving patriots stand for what this nation has always stood for, limited government, personal liberty and economic opportunity- in the face of 24/7 surveillance, cradle-to-grave social engineering and a military/industrial complex fueled by endless wars for peace? Are we whistling in the dark? Are we trying to convince ourselves that the fat can be pulled out of the fire?
I believe in American exceptionalism. I believe in the ability of our can-do nation to confront and overcome the challenges that the world throws in front of us.
When the world was owned by kings and crushed by empires we rose up, threw off the monarchy and established a new thing upon the earth, a republic operating on democratic principles. When our former colonial masters tried to keep us as a source of raw materials without the manufacturing base to change our continued economic dependence into the freedom of action we craved we erected tariff walls to protect our infant industries and we let a thousand ideas bloom. When foreign powers infringed upon us we made war to defend our rights returning to the peaceful pursuit of our national goals as soon as the fighting stopped.
In a record time we rose from a struggling hodgepodge of varied interests and cultures into the greatest industrial, political and military power this world has ever known. An American century looked like it was going to become a two-for and then after achieving a landmark unity after being attacked on 9-11 we stumbled.
A pre-emptive war shattered our unity resulting in the election of Hope and Change. Empty rhetoric filled with the promise to fundamentally change America. Fast forward 7 years and we are almost there a new America for new Americans. An America where the government can listen to and record everything a citizen says without a warrant and the person who tells us about it is a traitor. An America where the government’s bureaucracy can take over the internet using regulations carrying the weight of law since the elected legislature has surrendered their delegated power. An America where the so-called opposition party wins two off year elections in a row by historic margins and then acts like it lost as an imperial president rules by decree.
This is the darkness that is descending upon us an unlimited government, 360º personal surveillance, and economic regulation strangulation. So where is the light? Where is the one candle we can light?
The truth is we really can’t light it because if we could someone else could blow it out. The only light that will dispel the darkness and lead the way is the only light that cannot be dimmed, the light of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” An old song spoke about that light, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine” admonishing us, “Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine” and warning against allowing evil to extinguish what Jesus gave us, “Don’t let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine”
A modern song expresses this truth in a contemporary way.” Just to know You and to make You known we lift Your name on high shine like the sun, make darkness run and hide.”
So that’s it In a world filled with evil as we watch our precious birthright being stifled by central planning bean counters and their Progressive statist masters we must allow Jesus to shine through us so that in this gathering evening one candle can shine.
Does the Sun Set in the West March 12, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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I have taught the history of Western Civilization for many years. I praise God that I have taught at institutions that allowed me to teach this history without the disdain that is often heaped upon what some call Eurocentric culture. Personally I believe that Western Civilization which may have peaked before the beginning of our current Long War, brought humanity to the highest point so far attained.
Of course I am prejudiced. Of course my prejudice is informed and shaped by my heritage, my education, and my faith. Having made that disclaimer I still stand by my previous statement. Why? Because I believe that personal liberty, individual freedom and economic opportunity which have been the hallmarks of Western Civilization created the only framework in which man could become what man is meant to be. A child of God who freely chooses to be so and is able to develop his God given talents to their fullest extent.
For the vast majority of human history humanity has been in chains. They were crushed by oppressive governments and exploited by centrally-planned collectivist economies. They were trodden down by the rapacious descendants of barbaric conquerors who established plunder empires. They were uneducated, unarmed and unable to resist the power of the government.
Beginning with the Magna Carta and the evolution of English Common Law which flowered into the clearest expression of Enlightenment thinking in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States limited government was born. Suddenly it was the government in chains so that people could be free. Suddenly there was a new dawn and a fresh wind. Within the short span of 150 years 13 struggling colonies grew into the greatest, richest and most powerful nation the world had ever seen. All fueled by the release of humanity from the chains of oppression.
Today this 239 year old experiment in personal liberty, individual freedom and economic opportunity is in jeopardy. This is not a new development. It is the culmination of a long series of events that stretch back to our nation’s founding. From the beginning the forces of reaction have sought to re-forge the chains of oppression and regain their privileged positions with the whip hand driving humanity back into servitude.
This nation was founded upon and has stood upon the Constitution. It was the Constitution that limited government so that people could expand. It was the Constitution which set the limits for government and ensured the protection of the personal liberty, individual freedom and economic opportunity which the Declaration of Independence had proclaimed were the endowed upon humanity by God. Then came the Progressives and their concept of a living document that had made the Constitution a dead letter.
I have said in the past and I say again The Constitution Failed. People often ask me, how can you say the Constitution failed?
The short answer is:
If the Constitution was written to ensure a limited government and if today we have an unlimited central government my question is, “How can anyone contend that the Constitution hasn’t failed?”
The longer version explains that:
For the last 100 years the Progressives have sought progress by changing the Constitution, which was written to establish unbreakable boundaries for government, without recourse to the amendment process. The Framers knew that without these boundaries government would grow into a millstone around the neck of the American people. Instead of a document establishing solid limits the Progressives say it is a living document that can be re-interpreted with each passing year evolving into whatever the current leaders may desire.
Our twin headed Progressive party of power expands and twists the General Welfare, the Commerce, and the Supremacy clauses to sanction any executive, legislative, judicial, or regulatory action they wish to impose whether it’s a welfare state, energy policies, or the mandatory purchase of insurance. However, nothing is more symbolic of the current irrelevance of the Constitution to our leaders than the utter contempt they hold for the 9th and 10th Amendments.
Back during the original debate to ratify the Constitution these two sentinels of limited government were forced upon the proponents of a strong central government by those much maligned patriots the Anti-Federalists. The Constitution never would have been ratified without an assurance that the first order of business for the new government would be the ratification of the Bill of Rights. The capstone of these sacred rights is the 9th and the 10th Amendments which state:
The 10th Amendment, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
I present the following examples of how our Progressive central government infringes upon the rights of the States and the people:
While in almost every instance that voters have had an opportunity to voice their opinion they have overwhelmingly approved term limits, and the courts have just as consistently overturned the will of the people. Through ballot initiatives and Constitutional amendments to State Constitutions the people have spoken, but instead of the voice of the people we hear the commands of the elites.
The Supreme Court in a classic five-to-four decision in U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton (1995) said the states don’t have the authority to limit the terms of their own congressional delegations. They further ruled that unless the Constitution is amended neither the states nor Congress has the power to limit the number of terms members of Congress can serve. Dissenting Justice Clarence Thomas pointed out that the majority ignored the clear meaning of the Tenth Amendment. Since there is no explicit denial of the power to limit terms to the States in the Constitution the 10th Amendment clearly states this power is reserved to the States.
When the Governor and legislators of Arizona attempted to address the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who are pouring over their border with Mexico each year they first had to admit that the Federal Government was not enforcing their own laws. After the central government ignored their petitions and pleas for help for years the government of Arizona acted to protect their citizens.
Immediately, the Justice Department sued to block the law, contending it violates the U.S. Constitution. The Arizona law was subsequently struck down by the Federal Courts using the Supremacy Clause for their justification. Judge Richard Paez, said, “By imposing mandatory obligations on state and local officers, Arizona interferes with the federal government’s authority to implement its priorities and strategies in law enforcement, turning Arizona officers into state-directed [Homeland Security] agents.”
When it reached the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a three judge panel said, “Congress has given the federal government sole authority to enforce immigration laws, and that Arizona’s law violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution” The Federal Government has abdicated its responsibility to protect Arizona from invasion and in their opinion a law that requires law enforcement officials to enforce the law goes too far.
The intrusive actions of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA):
Legislators in Texas decided to take action to protect their citizens from what many considered to be overly aggressive pat-downs. The reaction of the TSA to Texas attempting to protect their citizens from the molestation the Federal Agency calls a pat-down is indicative of the attitude our central government has towards any infringement of their absolute power. On their website The TSA Blog the gatekeepers of the air said, “What’s our take on the Texas House of Representatives voting to ban the current TSA pat-down? Well, the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article. VI. Clause 2) prevents states from regulating the federal government.” This says it all. As far as our Federal masters are concerned there is no limit to their power.
Obamacare: Mandating action and penalizing inaction:
The Federal Government is attempting to enforce the mandatory purchase provisions of Obamacare alternately as authorized by the Commerce Clause and as a tax, depending on which argument they think a judge will uphold. This massive invasion of personal liberty is currently being challenged by 28 States as being beyond the bounds of the Constitution. Two judges have ruled it unconstitutional and three ruled it constitutional.
The Supreme Court upheld the right of the Federal Government and so this provision wherein not taking an action is considered either engaging in commerce and thereby subject to regulation or if a non-action is taxable what is left of our precious freedom? What other non-actions will now be under the power of the government. If a government can control our non-actions what does that say about their power over our actions?
By ignoring the unambiguous meaning of the 9th and 10th Amendments and by stretching and twisting the meanings of a few vague clauses the Progressive leaders of our Federal government have interpreted our Constitution to mean anything needed to do anything desired. Once the words lose their meanings, once the sentences can mean anything the Progressives want, what power does the Constitution have to limit government?
Ultimately this is a message of hope because I trust in the ability of the American people to solve any problem they confront. However, we have to admit there is a problem before we can solve it, and if we refuse to admit there is a problem we have no chance of solving it. The problem is our limited government has become unlimited and does whatever it wants. How can I say, “The Constitution Failed”? What I am saying is our system is broken, it is no longer functioning as designed, and we need a re-set button.
I believe that the United States represented the Apex of Western Civilization, the vanguard and the protector of that civilization among the varied expressions of humanity. However, Western Civilization without personal liberty, individual freedom and economic opportunity will become another example of what today we call State Capitalism, a system that has gone by other names in the past when governments rule and people obey.
The West began committing suicide in the two act disaster we call World War One and World War Two. He have swallowed the poison of political correctness. We have allowed contraception and abortion to lead us to a declining population. We have allowed unregulated and uncontrolled immigration to submerge the West in a rising tide from the South made up of people who have neither experience nor appreciation of our civilization.
If we aren’t dead already we certainly qualify for a suicide watch as we stick our head in a demographic noose, deny our own values and allow a minority of central planners to plan our own funeral and send our grandchildren the bill.
Every day must eventually end and we may be witnessing the sun setting in the West.
Chicago on the Potomac March 5, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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Back in the Dream Time, elders were honored because of their accumulated knowledge, if Pops knew a better way to saddle horses that knowledge helped Junior since he saddled horses. Today if Pops knows how to tune-up cars what good is that when cars don’t need to be tuned-up anymore? Now the old are relegated to extolling their own relevance while exclaiming, “I’ve never seen that before.” Doddering ancients who use their cell phones merely to talk wonder why their grandchildren never answer their emails as Gen Z tweet each other: “Don’t trust anyone over 15.”
The world is moving so fast not only is today tomorrow’s yesterday the generations are living in different todays today as we continue to charge our Chinese living standard to our grandchildren. Gen X and Y parents with their once hip lap-tops under their arms stare in wonder as their pre-teen Gen Zs text with one hand while Wii skydiving in the backseat. For these new additions to middle-age who’re just old enough to remember Star Trek imagine Captain Kirk visiting Captain Picard pointing at Commander Data and saying, “What’s that?”
After years of being treated as if the Wisdom of the Ages were as relevant as Confucius in a fortune cookie now that we have Chicago on the Potomac the wisdom gained in the City that Works is suddenly spot-on. Of course George the Second’s doctrine of pre-emptive war made one old saying make sense beyond the Southside, “Never start fights but if you have to hit someone back first once in a while that’s all right.” Then again ACORN before it morphed into numerous faceless organizations with the same mission and different names or just became part of the nomenclature exemplified the everlasting relevance of Chicago’s best known adage, “Vote early and vote often.”
With the Democrats large-and-in-charge even when they lose elections, Windy City Proverbs may help many understand what kind of change we’ve stepped in. Such as “Everybody cheats so if you don’t cheat you’re a cheater,” or “What’s mine is mine, what’s yours is negotiable.” Maybe the taxman could use, “They must not have wanted it they didn’t have their hand on it.” Looking at our Congress, “If you’re going to get mad at thieves you’ll never have any friends” comes to mind. Thinking of the proposed Green Home Efficiency Inspectors we may one day deal with when buying or selling a home are reminiscent of the Chicago Fire Marshal conscientiously telling a business owner, “We’ll save the city some gas money if we just do the inspection right here in my office,” while patting his desk indicating where to place the money.
The most transparent administration in history started off with some Southside swag calling the biggest earmark in history a stimulus, continued the virtuoso performance calling ward-heelers czars and followed a time-honored Second City tradition in Al Franken’s endless Minnesota recount by finding a bag of votes. Who says you can’t go home again? They may turn the old neighborhood into Yuppie Heaven by knocking down the middleclass housing and putting up three-story imitation Victorians but right here right now the machine that gave no-show jobs to half the wise-guys on the corner as well as Michelle at the hospital is in the process of not just fixing tickets but fixing everything else. The political descendants of Big Bill Thompson, Richard the First and Richard the Second parlayed community organizing into a national organization that should make the Five Families green with envy.
Having fixed the economy, health care, hate-crimes, immigration, and cap-and-trade BHO has also had the opportunity to fix the highest court in the land. In the Chicago justice system lawyers give out printed pricelists stating how much acquittals cost verses dismissals and the old saying concerning courthouses goes, “It may say justice on the outside but that doesn’t mean there’s any on the inside.” Since the Democratic Machine and their Me-To Republican allies rubber-stamped Mr. O’s picks for the A-Team how do the prospects for judicial restraint and the Constitution look? Fine if you fit the profile for the protected or promoted classes not too good if you naively look for that lady wearing the blindfold and holding the scales. Well at least we have Chief Justice Roberts there to stop the train on its way to totalitarianism, oh wait, we don’t.
Joining the sisterhood on the bench, Ms. Sotomayor feels her gender and her race make her uniquely qualified to reach wise decisions and believes international law should be consulted when weighing appeals. She should feel right at home with the former chief counsel for the ACLU Ruth Bader Ginsburg who apparently believes American Citizenship is the right of all mankind. In one decision she said, “You would have a huge statelessness problem if you don’t consider a child born abroad a U.S. citizen.”
Ah justice, what is it good for? Or as they say in Chi-town, “How much justice can you afford?” The difference between Chicago Prime and Chicago on the Potomac is in the original version Mayors serve for life, or as long as they want, followed by a power struggle. Hopefully in the DC version we will get a change in 2017. I wonder if it will be a Bush or a Clinton.
Vive la Différence! Or as the French also say, the more things change the more they stay the same.
A Rose By Any Other Name February 26, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
The main lesson we learn from History is that we don’t learn from History. The lack of historical perspective is, I believe, one of the major contributing factors in America’s current state.
People don’t realize that all of these novel fixes our collectivist leaders are shoving down our throats with regard to health care have been tried multiple times before. Or that they have failed every time.
People don’t realize that preemptive imperial wars of aggression and suppression have been disguised as endless wars for peace since Sargon the Great marched out of Akkad to found the first known empire.
Running true to form most people, apparently including our national leaders both political and military and the news anchors for the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media, do not realize that ISIS is not an aberration in Islamic History.
Neither are the other forms of Islamic terrorist groups which have plagued the world since the late 1960s when Palestinian secular movements such as Al Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) began to target civilians outside the immediate arena of conflict. These were self-proclaimed secular groups. As pointed out by RAND’s Bruce Hoffman, in 1980 two out of 64 groups were categorized as largely religious in motivation; in 1995 almost half of the identified groups, 26 out of 56, were classified as religiously motivated; the majority of these espoused Islam as their guiding force.
Political Islam, as opposed to fundamentalist or neo-fundamentalist Islam, posits a worldview that can deal with and selectively integrate modernity. In contrast, fundamentalist Islam calls for a return to an ontological form of Islam that rejects modernity; groups such as ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad are representative of fundamentalist Islam.
Unlike the “secular” national, radical, anarchist terrorism which have been sponsored by states such as Libya, Syria, Iraq, Cuba, North Korea, and behind the scenes by the former Soviet camp, most of the religious Islamic terrorist groups have never been sponsored by states. Many Egyptian organizations emerged from the Egyptian domestic landscape. Algerian groups likewise were not sponsored by foreign states. Hezbollah certainly can be viewed as an Iranian surrogate, but other movements, while open to state assistance, remain operationally and ideologically independent. ISIS is different in that it has declared itself to be a state.
This brings us to the willful disregard of easily accessible knowledge which brings all of our political and cultural leaders to constantly say:
- That the forces of ISIS and other Islamic terrorist organizations are not Islamic.
- That these groups have somehow hijacked Islam or that they are merely criminals hiding behind Islamic names and slogans.
For one thing who are we to judge another’s faith? If someone says they are followers of Muhammed who are we to say they aren’t? If someone says they are doing their best to live by their interpretation of the Koran who are we to say they aren’t?
This is one of the reasons it is so hard to get even the most “moderate” of Muslims to denounce ISIS and the other Islamic Terror organizations. Even if they personally disagree with their theology and their methods there is enough in their declarations of faith that align with traditional strains of Islam. It would be like a Catholic saying a Pentecostal isn’t a Christian because they have differing views of the actions of the Holy Spirit in the modern day.
This refusal to admit the Islamic nature of these groups disarms the West. We cannot understand what they want, what they do, or why they have such a strong hold on the lives of so many. Another aspect of our official blindness that prevents us from confronting this clash of civilizations appropriately is the oft repeated mantra that those Muslims who support the radicals is a tiny group, often mentioned at 1%. We are also reminded often that 1.6 billion people make up the Muslim world. If this second figure is correct the tiny minority of the first figure translates to 16 million people.
Sixteen million people willing to fight to the death, blow themselves up, or financially support them is larger than any army ever fielded by Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, or Stalin. Obviously this is a threat that should be taken seriously. It should not be dismissed by ignoring what they say about themselves. Imagine if the leaders of the western democracies had bothered to read Hitler’s Mein Kampf and believe that he meant what he said. They could have stopped him when he marched into the Rhineland with no trouble whatsoever. Instead they ignored what he said and fifty million people paid with their lives.
Today we stand in a similar place. We ignored Osama Bin Laden when he declared war on America in 1988 and 1996 with disastrous consequences. Now we are ignoring the inherent attraction of those who claim the Islamic world as their own when we say they are not motivated by their religion. It strips us of the ability to understand them, their objectives, their appeal, and their tactics.
Another disservice our leaders are foisting on us is the other mantra of their secular religion that Islam is a religion of peace. This flies in the face of historical reality. Islam did not initially spread as Christianity did by the power of its message and the blood of its martyrs. Islam spread as a conquering religion. Muhammed conquered Medina and Mecca, forced unity on the disparate Arab tribes before bursting forth from the Arabian Peninsula and spreading through military conquest and forcible conversions.
Rod Dreher in the American Conservative has done a masterful job of asking two important questions, “Is ISIS Islamic? How would we know?” Much of what follows is excerpted from his penetrating analysis.
To take one example: In September, Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the Islamic State’s chief spokesman, called on Muslims in Western countries such as France and Canada to find an infidel and “smash his head with a rock,” poison him, run him over with a car, or “destroy his crops.” To Western ears, the biblical-sounding punishments—the stoning and crop destruction—juxtaposed strangely with his more modern-sounding call to vehicular homicide. As if to show that he could terrorize by imagery alone, Adnani also referred to Secretary of State John Kerry as an “uncircumcised geezer.”
Adnani was not merely talking trash. His speech was laced with theological and legal discussion. His exhortation to attack crops directly echoed orders from Muhammad to leave well water and crops alone—unless the armies of Islam were in a defensive position, in which case Muslims in the lands of Kuffar, or infidels, should be unmerciful, and poison away.
The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.
Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal.
Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel contends that the ranks of the Islamic State are deeply infused with religious vigor. Of partial Lebanese descent, Haykel grew up in Lebanon and the United States. Haykel regards the claim that the Islamic State has distorted the texts of Islam as preposterous and sustainable only through willful ignorance. “People want to absolve Islam,” he said. According to Professor Haykel, “It’s this ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ mantra. As if there is such a thing as ‘Islam’! It’s what Muslims do, and how they interpret their texts.” Those texts are shared by all Sunni Muslims, not just the Islamic State. “And these guys have just as much legitimacy as anyone else” Haykel continued.
In Haykel’s estimation, the fighters of the Islamic State are authentic throwbacks to early Islam and are faithfully reproducing its norms of war. This behavior includes a number of practices that modern Muslims tend to prefer not to acknowledge as integral to their sacred texts. “Slavery, crucifixion, and beheadings are not something that freakish [jihadists] are cherry-picking from the medieval tradition,” Haykel said. Islamic State fighters “are smack in the middle of the medieval tradition and are bringing it wholesale into the present day” says Haykel.
According to one thought passed along by Rod Dreher what we call “Islamic fundamentalism” or “Islamic extremism” is so hard to defeat because it is so clearly rooted in Islamic history and Scripture. To tell the followers of ISIS that they are “un-Islamic” in their practices when they are doing, or trying to do, exactly as the Prophet and his early followers did, is a hard sell to fellow Muslims. It is also the kind of self-imposed blindness that stops us from effectively knowing what we are dealing with.
If we ignore what we know due to political correctness how will it ever be possible to do what needs to be done? If we refuse to name something does that mean it isn’t what it claims to be? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and an Islamic Fundamentalist is a follower of Muhammad no matter what we say or how we say it. There are none so blind as those who will not see, and when the blind follow the blind they both end up in the ditch.
We Need More of Moore February 19, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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The Ninth Amendment to the Constitution states that, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
This past Sunday Chris Wallace interviewed Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore. Chief Justice Moore is once again in the news for standing up for the rule of law, limited government, and the viability of the Constitution as a meaningful document as opposed to a Living Document that means whatever the nine black robed oligarchs say it means.
This happened once before. Back in 2000 he was elected to the position as Alabama’s top jurist on the promise that he would restore the moral foundations of the law in Alabama. Several months later he made good on that promise when he set a Ten Commandments monument in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building. He was promptly sued in federal district court by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State who complained that the Chief Justice’s actions were an unconstitutional “establishment of religion.”
The lawyers had charged the Chief Justice with illegally establishing “religion.” But what religion was he trying to establish? That remained a mystery since these aggrieved lawyers also argued that the court should not define the term “religion.” The federal district court judge, Myron Thompson, agreed with their argument refusing to render a definition of “religion.” Judge Thompson nevertheless found the Chief Justice guilty of establishing that which he himself could not define and ordered the monument removed.
The Chief Justice refused to comply with this order. Chief Justice Moore said, “The entire judicial system of the State of Alabama is established in the Alabama constitution invoking the favor and guidance of almighty God. The 10th amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits federal courts from interfering with that power to establish a judicial system. They have no power, no authority no jurisdiction to tell the State of Alabama that we cannot acknowledge God as the source of our law.”
At least in Alabama the Chief Justice did not stand alone. Another man elected by the voters of the State, Governor Bob Riley said, “I have a deep and abiding belief that there is nothing wrong or unconstitutional about the public display of the Ten Commandments and disagree with the court’s mandate to remove them.”
And yet this representative of the people of Alabama was removed from the Alabama Supreme Court in November 2003. A state ethics panel unanimously decided to remove him from the bench owing to his refusal to follow judicial rulings.
That was then. This is now.
In 2015 the courageous Chief Justice Moore (he was re-elected in 2012) has ordered probate judges in his state to ignore a Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex marriages to go forward over the state’s constitutional ban. Once again the Chief Justice is standing up for State sovereignty against a judicial system that believes they can make law. This time the battle is over gay marriage. The Alabama Constitution as amended in 2006 by Amendment 774, the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment, makes it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. This amendment was approved by 81% of the voters. On January 23, 2015, Chief Judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, Callie V. Grenade, issued a ruling striking down Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage as violations of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.
This brings us to the aforementioned interview of Chief Justice Moore by Chris Wallace on his Sunday Fox television program.
Chris Wallace seemed baffled by Chief Justice Moore’s arguments as if he had never heard such things before. When he questioned how anyone could dispute a ruling of a Federal Judge, Chief Justice Moore replied, “When federal courts start changing our Constitution by defining words that are not even there, like marriage, they’re going to do the same thing with family in the future,” Moore declared. The Chief Justice went on to say, “When a word’s not in the Constitution, clearly the powers of the Supreme Court do not allow them to redefine words and seize power. Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people. This power over marriage which came from god under our organic law is not to be redefined by the United States Supreme Court or any federal court.”
The look on Mr. Wallace’s face was one of bewilderment.
To support his argument that the words of Federal Judges are final Mr. Wallace appealed to President Obama who stated in an interview with Buzzfeed News about this controversy saying, “When federal law is in conflict with state law, federal law wins out.”
The Chief Justice answered, “I’d like to tell President Obama that he’s entirely correct, federal law does trump state law,” Moore said. “But what this Harvard professor who is president of the United States does not understand, is that a trial court’s decision on the constitutionality of a federal question is just that — it’s an opinion. It may be law of the case before her. It is not overturning the Alabama constitution. Federal law is not made by judges.”
Mr. Wallace looked at the Chief Justice as if he were speaking a foreign language. I believe that the reason for this disconnect is not merely Mr. Wallace’s. It is shared by many who have had the benefit of America’s progressive education. It has been drummed into generations of Americans that the opinion of judges about the meaning of the Constitution, and not the Constitution itself, is the law of the land. For them, whether conservative or liberal they have an allegiance to the judiciary rather than to the Constitution and the laws enacted pursuant to it.
A still apparently amazed Wallace then accused Moore of being “a little fuzzy” on whether state judges would have to adhere by a SCOTUS ruling in favor of allowing same-sex marriage.
To which Chief Justice Moore replied, “State courts are bound by the ruling of the Supreme Court,” Moore replied. “But when a strict interpretation of the Constitution…is abandoned in the theoretical opinion of individuals are allowed to control its meaning, we have no longer a Constitution. We’re under the government of individual men who for the time being declared what the Constitution is according to their own views.”
As if saying something is the same as proving something Mr. Wallace replied, When Mr. Wallace stated that, “When the Supreme Court Rules, It Rules.”
However, there is a fundamental principle of constitutional law that most Americans have never been taught. According to the Constitution Congress, and Congress alone, has the power to make law. According to the Constitution Federal Courts have the power only to apply law in particular cases and controversies. Yet in the face of the clear language of the Constitution, most Americans who have been progressively indoctrinated over several generations blindly repeat the platitude as if it is common knowledge that courts make law.
An error that flows from this false view that courts have the power to make law is the belief that the law is not what the Constitution says but rather what judges say about the Constitution. Through a distortion of the common law principles of precedent and stare decisis, a court’s holding in a particular case is converted into a law binding on all persons within the court’s jurisdiction and all inferior courts. The proper use of the principles of precedent and stare decisis is that holdings in past court decisions serve as a compelling guide in subsequent proceedings, but they do not bind unless they are themselves consistent with the law.
We have come to the place where the Progressives want to ignore the clear language of the Constitution as in the Second Amendment protection of citizens to own and carry guns. At the same time these same big government statists demand that citizens submit to decisions carrying the weight of law based on the partisan interpretations of words which are found nowhere in the document such as Privacy and Marriage.
The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution states that, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
With a vision of State Sovereignty, individual liberty, personal freedom and economic opportunity framed by the ninth and tenth amendments to the Constitution. Looking at the current crop of right and left wing Progressives and the coming crop of potential right and left wing Progressives my only reaction is, “We need more of Moore.”