Sunday, April 26, 2009

Obama Is No Patriot (II)

In an April 24, 2009 article for Human Events.com, Pat Buchannan has written of “The Rooted and the Rootless,” referring, among others, to Obama, his generation, aides, sycophants and supporters (http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=31587).

In his penultimate paragraph Buchanan wisely notes that “Obama may be popular today, but he will lose the country and his presidency if he lets the perception take hold that he, the personification of American sovereignty, does not react as a normal patriot.”

Although Buchanan seems to be hedging about whether he believes Obama is a patriot, the facts unequivocally demonstrate that the president is not.

A “patriot,” according to Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, is “[a] person who loves, and loyally or zealously supports, his own country.”

Before Barack Obama was elected president, I wrote an essay (now posted on my website, http://www.henrymarkholzer.citymax.com/barack_obama_is_no_patriot.html) entitled “Barack Obama is No Patriot.”

Not only was the essay damning for the time it was written, events following Obama’s election have compounded the proof of the president’s lack of patriotism.

I begin with a reprint of “Barack Obama is No Patriot” (below in courier font):

Throughout his presidential election campaign Barack Obama has, one way or another, repeatedly professed that he is a patriot.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Obama’s claim is a blatant, provable lie. It is a fraud on the American people—and an insult to the countless true patriots who, for over two hundred years, have loved and loyally and zealously supported the United States of America.

Indeed, the facts proving Obama’s lack of patriotism are overwhelming.

1. Relationship with, and support for, domestic terrorists

By now, most Americans have heard of Bill Ayers, the rabidly anti-American domestic terrorist bomber of the Capitol and Pentagon and conspirator in murder. Despite the attempted softening whitewashes by the mainstream media, there is no longer any doubt who Ayers is, what he believes, and what he has done in an effort to destroy America.

Nor is there any doubt that Ayers introduced Obama to Chicago politics, mentored the budding politician, supported him financially and otherwise, and put him nominally in charge of doling out millions to Left and far-Left organizations.

Andrew C. McCarthy has reported that Ayers and Obama funded a “Maoist associate of Ayers who . . . used to host a ‘social justice’ blog on Obama’s campaign website. With Obama heading the board of directors that approved expenditures and Ayers, the mastermind running its operational arm, hundreds of thousands of . . . [Annenberg] dollars poured into the ‘Small Schools Workshop’ — a project begun by Ayers and run by [the Maoist] to spur the revolution from the ground up.”


McCarthy added that “[p]recisely because they shared the same views, Obama and Ayers also worked comfortably together on the board of the Woods Fund. There, they doled out thousands of dollars to Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity Church to promote its Marxist ‘black liberation theology.’ Moreover, they underwrote the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) founded by Rashid Khalidi, a top apologist for Yasser Arafat. As National Review’s David Pryce-Jones notes, Khalidi once directed WAFA, the terrorist PLO’s news agency. Then, like Ayers, he repackaged himself as an academic who rails at American policy. The AAAN, which supports driver’s licenses and public welfare benefits for illegal aliens, holds that the establishment of Israel was an illegitimate ‘catastrophe’.”

The Ayers-Obama largesse that found its way to Khalidi was not limited to money. According to McCarthy, “[t]hey also gave glowing testimonials at a farewell dinner when Khalidi left the University of Chicago for Columbia’s greener pastures.”

One of the ways Obama repaid Ayers’s patronage concerned the terrorist’s published diatribe against the United States. McCarthy has written of “Obama’s breathless endorsement of Ayers’s 1997 Leftist polemic on the criminal-justice system, A Kind and Just Parent? As Stanley Kurtz has recounted, Ayers’s book is a radical indictment of American society: We, not the criminals, are responsible for the violent crime that plagues our cities; even the most vicious juvenile offenders should not be tried as adults; prisons should eventually be replaced by home detention; American justice is comparable to South Africa under Apartheid. Obama’s reaction? He described the book as “a searing and timely account” — a take even the Times concedes was a ‘rave review’.”

A patriot running for the presidency of the United States should have declined any association with, and support from, rabidly anti-American unrepentant domestic terrorist bomber Bill Ayers, should have written not a “rave review” of his Marxist tract but rather a denunciation of it, and instead should have expressly and unequivocally denounced Ayers for the dangerous terrorist he is. Barack Obama has done none of these things!

See, for example:

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NjY4YzdhMDBkZGQ3ZmU2MTUzYjdkMzc5ZjUzYmViZWM

http://backyardconservative.blogspot.com/2008/10/obama-ayers-khalidi.html

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/obama-ayers-partners-in-revolution/

2. Relationship with racists and anti-Semites

Jeremiah A. Wright

Chicago black church Pastor Jeremiah A. Wright is a rabid, racist, anti-white, anti-Semitic, black-separatist—and was Obama’s pastor for some two decades. Wright’s sermons and writing demonized Jews and defamed the United States of America. Yet, for perhaps one-thousand Sundays-after-Sundays over the course of some two decades Obama sat attentively, passively and silently and listened to Wright spew racial and religious hatred.

On the personal side of the Wright-Obama relationship, Wright performed the Obamas’ marriage ceremony, baptized their two children, and was the candidate’s self-described “spiritual advisor.”

In arguing that Obama is not a patriot it is not invoking “guilt by association” to note that Wright has repeatedly lionized Nation of Islam’s anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan (see below) because Obama knew of the Wright-Farrakhan relationship, and yet continued, even grew, his relationship with the pastor.

A patriot running for the presidency of the United States should renounce and denounce pastor/spiritual advisor Jeremiah A. Wright. Barack Obama has not!

See, for example:

http://www.jewishjournal.com/politics/article/obama_ties_to_separatist_pastor_raise_big_questions_20080321/
http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZTIxMjE0M2YwOGNiYjYzZjEyYTU4OTk4ZmMxOGE5ZDg

http://www.newsmax.com/kessler/Media_Farrakhan_obama/2008/10/11/139620.html

Louis Farrakhan


The leader of the Nation of Islam is among the worst anti-Semites in America. Merely to utter his name is to be reminded of his tirades of anti-Jewish filth. After Farrakhan’s junket to Libya accompanied by Wright, the “minister” continued to be an apologist for its terrorist regime.

Nothing more need be said about Farrakhan. His name is synonymous with hatred for Jews generally and for the State of Israel in particular.

Farrakhan has endorsed Barack Obama’s bid to be President of the United States.

A patriot running for the presidency of the United States should renounce and denounce Louis Farrakhan for the anti-Semite he is, and should expressly and unequivocally reject Farrakhan’s endorsement of his candidacy. Barack Obama has done neither!

See, for example:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=OowxMcVTjTE

http://www.stop-obama.org/?p=100

Michael Pfleger

The Rev. Michael Pfleger, a Chicago Roman Catholic priest, has been labeled “the white Jeremiah A. Wright.” He defends Farrakhan, he supports jihad, he denigrates Jews, he disdains whites, he abhors the existence of Israel. In short, Pfleger is yet another anti-American anti-Semite.

And Pfleger is a long-time supporter, and current endorser, of Obama’s candidacy for the presidency.

A patriot running for the presidency of the United States should renounce and denounce Michael Pfleger for the anti-Semite he is, and should expressly and unequivocally reject Pfleger’s endorsement of his candidacy. Barack Obama has done neither!

See for example:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/05/29/obama_again_apologizes_for_a_p.html

3. Relationships with, and influence
by, Communists and radicals

Just as Obama’s adulthood has been infested with relationships with domestic terrorists (e.g., Ayers) and Jew- and America-hating racists and anti-Semites (e.g., Wright, Farrakhan, Pfleger), for virtually his entire life he has been mentored and surrounded by Communists and radicals. Indeed, there have been so many such relationships, that an entire book could be devoted to this one subject. For the moment, however, the following five sketches will have to suffice.

Frank Marshall Davis

Frank Marshall Davis was a black writer who befriended Obama in Hawaii, and became one of the young man’s mentors.

Davis was a Communist, a member of the Communist Party of the United States of America, and was identified as such in the 1951 Report of the Commission on Subversive Activities of the Hawaii Legislature.

In addition, Congressional committees investigating Communist penetration of United States institutions named Davis as being a member of various Communist-front organizations.

Saul Alinsky

Alinsky, a Left-wing radical of the first order, was a powerful force in the shaping of the person Obama was to become, and the former’s influence profoundly influences the candidate today even from the grave.

According to a somewhat sanitized biography of Alinsky in the Internet resource Wikipedia, “Alinsky formed the Industrial Areas Foundation in 1940. * * * Since its formation, hundreds of professional community and labor organizers and thousands of community and labor leaders have attended its workshops. Fred Ross, who worked for Alinsky, was the principal mentor for Cesar Chavez . . . * * * Alinsky's teachings influenced Barack Obama in his early career as a community organizer on the far South Side of Chicago. Working for [the] Developing Communities Project, Obama learned and taught Alinsky's methods for community organizing. * * * Alinsky is often credited with laying the foundation for the grassroots political organizing that dominated the 1960s. Later in his life he encouraged stockholders in public corporations to lend their votes to ‘proxies’, who would vote at annual stockholders meetings in favor of social justice. While his grassroots style took hold in American activism, his call to stockholders to share their power with disenfranchised working poor only began to take hold in U.S. progressive (social liberalism) circles in the 1990s, when shareholder actions were organized against American corporations.”


In his best known book, Rules for Radicals Alinsky wrote that: “. . . the community organizer . . . [e.g., Barack Obama] must first rub raw the resentments of the people; fan the latent hostilities to the point of overt expression.”

The Chicago New Party

The New Party was a political party established by the Democratic Socialists of America. Its primary purpose was to promulgate and promote socialist principles by propagandizing and electing party-supported candidates in local elections.

Obama was a member.

Mazen Asbahi

Mazen Asbahi is a Chicago lawyer. Last July the Obama campaign appointed him volunteer national coordinator for “Muslim affairs”; his job was outreach to Muslims and Muslim organizations. He was also supposed to coordinate “Arab-American” matters.

All it took for Mr. Asbahi to resign from the Obama campaign was an inquiry from The Wall Street Journal about his background. Most likely, Asbahi resigned and never answered any questions about his background because of his connection with a dubious Islamic “investment fund” and various other questionable Islamic groups and Muslim fundamentalists.

Jodie Evans/”Code Pink”

Among the most reprehensible individuals and organizations that inhabit the far Left today most notable is Jodie Evans and her “Code Pink” organization.

It would be gross understatement to say that they hate America, wish for its defeat in the world, lionize our terrorist enemies, and support them with money, propaganda and raucous and violent demonstrations.

Jodie Evans is a money “bundler” for Obama and has contributed tens of thousands of dollars to his quest for the presidency.

A patriot running for the presidency of the United States should not have been mentored by a member of the Communist Party of the United States. Barack Obama was!

A patriot running for the presidency of the United States should not have been profoundly influenced in the major/social principles of his life by a rabble-rousing domestic guerilla warfare socialist.
Barack Obama was!

A patriot running for the presidency of the United States should not have been a member of a fringe socialist party. Barack Obama was!

A patriot running for the presidency of the United States should not have appointed to a responsible position in his campaign a man who refused to answer embarrassing questions about his connection to a dubious Islamic “investment fund” and various other questionable Islamic groups and Muslim fundamentalists. Barack Obama did!

A patriot running for the presidency of the United States surely should not have sustained a relationship with, and accepted campaign contributions from, perhaps the most vile anti-American organization in the United States. Barack Obama did!

See for example:

http://www.aim.org/aim-column/obamas-communist-mentor/

http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/09/barack_obama_and_alinskys_rule.html
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2103140/posts

http://michellemalkin.com/2008/08/05/another-obama-advisor-under-the-bus-shady-muslim-outreach-director-stepsdown/

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6149

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=AB6A5F46-2C84-4820-8E88-77B26E577734

4. Repudiating endorsements

Obama and/or his candidacy for President of the United States has been endorsed by some of the worst people and organizations on this planet, among them Cuba’s Castro, Libya’s Qaddafi, FARC, and even a North Korean newspaper.

A patriot running for the presidency of the United States should renounce and denounce these and all other despotic regimes, and should expressly and unequivocally reject these endorsements of his candidacy. Barack Obama has done neither!

See for example:

http://michellemalkin.com/2008/06/22/yes-the-ultimate-obama-endorsement/

http://freekorea.us/2008/06/22/obama-gets-another-unwanted-endorsement/

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/991948.html

5. Voter fraud and stealing elections

It is now indisputable that Obama has had a longstanding professional, political and financial relationship with the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN).

Among its other activities, funded in large measure by United States taxpayer dollars, ACORN is heavily involved in voter registration.

Obama’s presidential campaign has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to an ACORN affiliate for its get-out-the-vote services.

ACORN has endorsed Obama’s presidential bid. When he accepted the endorsement, Obama proudly stated that “I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues that you care about my entire career.”

On October 10, 2008, a retired justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, accompanied by a county district attorney and the state’s Republican chairman, that she is “not confident we can get a fair election” in the state this November.

According to the group, most of some 57,435 voter registrations submitted by ACORN have been rejected by the Philadelphia County Election Board because of fake social security numbers, incorrect dates of birth, clearly fraudulent signatures, addresses that do not exist, and duplicate registrations. In one case, a man was registered to vote more than 15 times since the primary election. Unfortunately, the Philadelphia county experience is a mere microcosm of what is occurring throughout the state and around the country.


Even before this presidential election, ACORN has been accused of criminal conduct throughout the United States in registering voters and various election intimidation and fraud.

Currently, ACORN is being investigated for voter fraud in no fewer than eleven battleground states, and has actually been accused of wrongdoing in others. Some election officials throughout the country have estimated that at least fifty-percent of ACORN’s voter registrations are fictitious.

Just this week, ACORN’s Nevada offices were searched by government officials (the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys somehow registered to vote in Las Vegas).

A patriot running for the presidency of the United States should refrain from employing criminals who tamper with the most precious right of a free people, voting, and should reject the endorsement of a left-wing criminal organization. Obama has done neither!


See, for example:

http://www.gop.com/ObamaAcornTree/

http://www.spectator.org/archives/2008/10/10/stealing-pennsylvania-massive

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=308358130652174

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6968

6. Hiding the ball


Today, every public official has, or ought to have, a lengthy paper trail—documents relating to his background, employment, and other activities as an adult.

Serious questions have been raised about Obama’s birth as it relates to the constitutional qualification for President of the United States. An absolutely unimpeachable birth certificate has not been produced by the Obama campaign.

Obama surrogates have made an issue of John McCain’s health, yet none of Obama’s medical records have been produced by the Obama campaign. Only a short, one paragraph summary conclusion has surfaced, from a man claiming to be Obama’s physician.

The Obama campaign has played down, even denigrated, John McCain’s military service, yet Obama’s Selective Service System registration, a legal requirement, has not been produced.

Serious doubts have been raised about the source and legality of considerable financial contributions to the Obama campaign, but it has refused to even address, let alone resolve, them.

A patriot running for the presidency of the United States should be open and honest about his constitutional qualifications and physical fitness for that office, about his compliance with the legal requirement that he be available for military service, and about the source and legality of campaign contributions he has received. Barack Obama has not been!

See for example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyspCRmJv7w

http://forums.hannity.com/showthread.php?t=961661

http://www.newsweek.com/id/162403

7. Intimidating opponents and the media


In the 2004 presidential election, Democratic candidate John Kerry’s alleged Vietnam War heroics were forcefully impeached by a coalition of Swift Boat and other veterans. One weapon used against Kerry was a documentary film that devastatingly proved that Kerry was, to use the title of a book Erika Holzer and I wrote, a “Fake Warrior.”

Obviously stung by the veterans’ case against him, Kerry unleashed the full force of Democratic Party lawyers against movie theaters and TV stations which were about to show the film. They threatened every imaginable sanction—including lawsuits and complaints to the Federal Communications Commission—if the theaters and TV stations had the temerity to exercise their First Amendment right of free speech by showing the documentary. Sadly, some caved in to the Democrats’ reprehensible intimidation.

Currently, the Obama forces have taken a sleazy page from Kerry’s anti-First Amendment playbook. They have tried to prevent a conservative author from being interviewed on a Chicago radio show about Obama’s long-standing close ties to terrorist Bill Ayers.

Instead of accepting the host’s offer of equal time, the Obama campaign tried to shut down the show by sending an “Obama Action Wire” email to its supporters. It said in part that: “[i]n the next few hours, we have a crucial opportunity to fight one of the most cynical and offensive smears ever launched against Barack. Tonight, WGN radio is giving right-wing hatchet man Stanley Kurtz a forum to air his baseless, fear-mongering terrorist smears. He's currently scheduled to spend a solid two-hour block from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. pushing lies, distortions, and manipulations about Barack and University of Illinois professor William Ayers. Tell WGN that by providing Kurtz with airtime, they are legitimizing baseless attacks from a smear-merchant and lowering the standards of political discourse.” (The Obama campaign falsely denied that it had been offered equal time.)

As a neutral witness to the show, present in the studio when it went on the air, wrote: “In a matter of hours, a major national campaign had called on its legions to bully a radio show out of airing an interview with a legitimate scholar asking legitimate political questions. Coupled with the Obama campaign’s recent attempts to sic the DOJ [Department of Justice] on the creators of a truthful political advertisement —which also happened to feature Obama's relationship with an unrepentant terrorist— last night's call to action represents an emerging pattern. Any criticism of Obama's unknown past is to be immediately denounced as a "smear," and the messenger is to be shut down at all costs.”

Michael Barone has reported that “[o]ther Obama supporters have threatened critics with criminal prosecution. In September, St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch and St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce warned citizens that they would bring criminal libel prosecutions against anyone who made statements against Obama that were ‘false.’ I had been under the impression that the Alien and Sedition Acts had gone out of existence in 1801-02. Not so, apparently, in metropolitan St. Louis. Similarly, the Obama campaign called for a criminal investigation of the American Issues Project when it ran ads highlighting Obama's ties to Ayers.”

A patriot running for the presidency of the United States should not attempt by intimidation, especially by public officials sympathetic to his candidacy, to silence his critics when they exercise their First Amendment rights. Barack Obama has!

See for example:

http://media.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZmRhYmE3NzFlMTljNTdmZGQ3MjhkYTVjNzdmMjVhMzE=

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_michael_barone/the_coming_obama_thugocracy

8. Undermining the military


Military spending

Article II of the United States Constitution makes the President of the United States Commander in Chief of the armed forces. Principally, that delegation of power charges POTUS with the solemn duty, as does his presidential oath, to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”—which means, among other things, to “preserve, protect and defend” the Nation.

It should be unnecessary to remind anyone that today the United States is under attack, literally and figuratively throughout the world. There are hot wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are lukewarm wars with Iran and in Northern Pakistan. There are covert wars in dozens of countries. There is an incipient mini-cold war with Russia.

It should be unnecessary also to remind anyone that nuclear weapons already exist in Russia, China, North Korea and Pakistan, and that while practical considerations could (and probably would) militate against their use, moral considerations would play no part in those four countries’ calculations.

Then there’s Iran, about which nothing need be said—except that it is a regime in which some of whose leaders avowedly wish for martyrdom, too easily obtainable by the triggering of a nuclear holocaust.

If ever the United States needed to be “preserve[d], protect[ed] and defend[ed] by a President of the United States, it is now.

To do so, Obama has plans for the defense of the United States generally, and for its armed forces in particular. He “will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. [H]e will not weaponize space. [He] will slow our development of future combat systems. * * * [H]e will set a goal for a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, [he] will not develop nuclear weapons; [he] will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material; and [he] will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert, and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenal."

In other words, Obama will marginalize one of our most effective weapons of self defense and remove our ultimate deterrent to aggression by others.

Withdrawal from Iraq

Time and again during the campaign Obama has supported, and even tried to legislate, a fixed-date withdrawal of American combat troops from Iraq.

Each time he has done so he has been pilloried, even by some Democrats, because of his plan’s naiveté, let alone its danger to American troops and to our country’s national interest. Losing, or at least being seen to have lost, the Iraq War has not concerned Obama. Indeed, the would-be Commander in Chief has repeatedly expressed pride in his cut-and-run scheme.

A patriot running for the presidency of the United States should not announce to our many enemies throughout the world that he intends to weaken substantially our military power, let alone that he plans to cut-and-run from a war that we have very nearly won Barack Obama has!

See for example:

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=297645696465868

http://tank.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NTRmNmVkOWUxMjg1NzQ4YzJlMmIzZjA3YzgwODRkMWE=

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2007/01/30/AR2007013001586.html

9. Meddling in America’s foreign policy


Surely no one who is even marginally awake needs to be told that America’s conduct of foreign affairs today is exceedingly complicated and dangerous, and that our situation in Iraq is, for want of a better image, a minefield.

Yet, while Obama has been only a mere candidate for the presidency but not yet president (though he has acted like one with his ludicrous presidential seal and Grand Tour of Europe), he met privately with Iraqi leaders to persuade them to delay a troop draw-down agreement until after the election. For good measure, he tried to convince General David Petraeus and other US commanders to establish a “realistic withdrawal date.”

Obama’s penchant for interfering in sensitive foreign policy matters has not been confined to Iraq.

Raila Odinga was educated in East Germany, and is now considered the major opposition leader in Kenya. He claims that Barack Obama is his cousin.

In August and September 2006 Obama made a one-man “fact-finding” trip to Africa.

According to the African Press International, “[w]hile in Kenya, Obama consistently appeared at the side of fellow Luo [tribe member] Raila Odinga . . . who was running for President. (
‘Senator Rebukes Kenya’s Corruption’ Chicago Sun Times 8/29/2006). Because of his African heritage, Obama was treated as a virtual ‘Head of State’ in Kenya. While campaigning with Odinga, Obama was openly critical of governmental corruption under President Mibaki—usually a fair, if undiplomatic, criticism from an objective observer.”

Note several things. According to API, Obama, a sitting United States Senator “consistently appeared at the side” of a Kenyan presidential candidate, who may be a cousin, while the American politician was “treated as a virtual ‘Head of State’” by his hosts. Obama was “campaigning” for his putative cousin and, not willing to let it go at that “was openly critical” of corruption in his host’s nation. “Undiplomatic”? To say the least!

A patriot running for the presidency of the United States should not try to make back-door deals with an American ally to undercut the current administration, should not inveigle our military commanders to make decisions providing political capital for his candidacy, and surely should not roam the world undermining a foreign government which, for better or worse, is an ally of the United States. Barack Obama has done all of that!

See for example:

http://www.nypost.com/seven/09152008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/obama_tried_to_stall_gis_iraq_withdrawal_129150.htm
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2101180/posts

http://africanpress.wordpress.com/2008/08/10/senator-barack-obama-in-kenya-obama-and-odinga-the-true-story/

10. Naiveté

Of the countless examples of Obama’s naiveté none speaks to its dangerousness more than his unequivocally stated intention to sit down with the worst despots in the world, “leader to leader,” with no preconditions whatsoever.

At a July 2007 debate Obama was asked whether he would “be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?”

His answer was that he “would.” He added: “and the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them—which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration—is ridiculous.”

The sad fact is that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bashar al-Assad, Hugo Chavez, Raul Castro and Kim Jong Il would take the Chicago community organizer to the cleaners, much as Nikita Khrushchev ate the young untested President John F. Kennedy’s lunch when they met after the U-2 incident.

A patriot running for the presidency of the United States should not express a willingness to sit down “leader to leader” with some of the world’s worst despotic sponsors of terrorism, with or without preconditions. Barack Obama has!


See for example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3Oj7Jn9rv4

http://www.johnmccain.com/mccainreport/Read.aspx?guid=8cd9cb1c-b9af-4938-994c-0301301f5d52

11. Patriotic symbolism

The American flag

The American flag is an icon. Its display, no matter how large or small, is a statement of patriotism. Immediately following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 American flags seemed to be everywhere, with miniaturized versions appearing in the form of pins.

During the Iowa caucuses an enterprising interviewer noticed that Obama wasn’t wearing a flag pin. Obama told KCRG-TV that he stopped wearing one shortly after September 11, 2001.

His reason?

Wearing the American flag was not a patriotic statement, Obama said, but a “substitute” for “true patriotism” which is speaking out on issues.

Obama neglected to explain why when he wore the flag pin he could not speak out on issues, or when he spoke out on issues he could not wear the flag pin.

Obama’s disdain for the American flag has manifested itself in another, more graphic, manner. Famously, at a primary stop in New Mexico during the rendition of our national anthem Senator Hillary Clinton and Governor Bill Richardson can be seen with their right hands over their hearts. Both of Obama’s hands are folded over his crotch.

A patriot running for the presidency of the United States should revere the America flag, display it proudly, and honor its presence with the appropriate gesture. Barack Obama does not!

See for example:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,299439,00.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU9iCANi02o


*

Patriots don’t associate with and derive sustenance from terrorists, America-haters, and anti-Semites; they don’t countenance fixed elections; they don’t keep secrets from voters; they don’t intimidate their enemies; they don’t denigrate and degrade our military; they don’t gratuitously interfere with their government’s efforts to protect our country; and they don’t disdain the symbol of this great Nation, which for over two centuries men and women have fought and died: the American flag.

Whatever Barack Obama is, we can be certain that he is no patriot!

* * *

Let me remind you that the essay above was written before Barack Obama was able to seduce, embarrass, mislead, threaten, and otherwise manipulate his way into the presidency of the United States.

His subsequent conduct simply adds to the evidence that the President of the United States in not an American patriot.

A patriotic American president does not:

-- Bankrupt his country and court massive inflation in order to implement his vision of a fascist/socialist nation.

-- Sit on his hands with a straight face while a South American thug insults his country.

-- Appoint America-haters to his cabinet, nor appoint an influence peddling, corrupt Washington apparatchik as Attorney General

-- Cozy up to a soon-to-be-nuclear-armed Iranian madman.

-- Impotently watch the probably-already-nuclear-armed North Korean Stalinists lob a ballistic missile across the Pacific.

-- Fail to stanch the flow of illegal aliens across the Mexican-United States border.

-- Cut the defense budget, let alone give some of the savings to idlers and crooks.

-- Strangle innovation, particularly during a serious recession, by raising taxes.

-- Abandon Iraq as it moves closer and closer to a stable government.

-- Throw more troops into the maw of Afghanistan with no clear idea of what our ultimate goal is or the tactics and strategy necessary to attain it.

-- Close Guantanamo Bay, without a clue of how to handle the enemy combatants incarcerated there.

-- Publicly announce what measures military and CIA interrogators can use to extract information from terrorists.

-- Release photographs of alleged abuse of guerilla captives.

-- Threaten to prosecute members of the previous administration for policy choices and legal advise not to the liking of the fascists/socialists/appeasers now in office.

-- Countenance official and media insults of his predecessor, and questions about his loyalty.

-- Appologize to the world for what has made America great, and grovel to persons, nations and institutions unfit to shine our shoes.

-- Fret and seek through negotiation to achieve a peaceful outcome when Somali pirates fire on an American vessel and kidnap an American sea captain.

-- Cede American sovereignty to the American-hating United Nations.

-- Defy the Second Amendment and a Supreme Court decision by making an end run that substantially reduced the supply of certain ammunition.

-- Repudiate the policy and practice of missile shield installation.

To the contrary!

A patriotic American president exercises his awesome power in the service of our Founders’ vision: individual rights, limited government, free enterprise and national security—all of which Barack Obama arrogantly disdains.

Which brings me back to Pat Buchanan’s article.

He is correct in observing that “Obama may be popular today, but he will lose the country and his presidency if he lets the perception take hold that he, the personification of American sovereignty, does not react as a normal patriot.” (My emphasis.)

I am often asked what individuals can do to fight the Obama avalanche. Buchanan has provided one answer: We must keep hammering from every platform available to us—articles, radio, TV, conversations, events—that Barack Obama never was, is not now, and never will be, an American patriot.

If we can beat that drum loudly and often for the next four years, and if Buchanan is correct (as I think he is) that patriotism is in Americans’ DNA, then perhaps we can make real his belief that Obama “will lose the country and his presidency.”

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Without A Will, There's No Way

Mackubin Thomas Owens, a recognized authority on military affairs and associate dean and professor at the Naval War College, has written an outstanding article on "How to Tackle Piracy" (http://www.fpri.org/enotes/200904.owens.piracy.html).

The article covers current piracy statistics, historical examples of piracy and how it was appeased and fought, competing views of how to deal with the problem, difficult policy choices, international law, and the moral dimension of robbery and kidnapping on the high seas. Owens faults "legalism and moralism" for twisting how we think about the law as applicable to piracy, and provides an example which underscores the perversion of modern legal concepts: "European navies have been advised to avoid capturing Somali pirates since under the European Human Rights Act any pirate taken into custody would be entitled to claim refugee status in a European state, with attendant legal rights and protections."

Pirates as refugees! What's next, the pirate captured last week and now incarcerated in New York seeking political asylum? Absurd? We'll see.

Meantime, Professor Owens concludes by reminding us that "Americans must understand that if we really wish to root out piracy today, we must be willing to take strong steps. But these steps will require us to change the current mindset, which does not distinguish beween war against legitimate enemies and war against [as Roman law put it] 'the common enemies of mankind,' which includes not only pirates but also terrorists." (My emphasis.)

He's correct about what's required.

But it's not going to happen until Barack Obama is out of the White House.

Barack Obama--who repeatedly disdains America, snuggles up to America-hating third-world thugs, who seeks a peaceful solution through negotiation with pirates about to kill an American ship captain, who delegated American sovereignty to the corrupt United Nations, who promises to cut the defense budget, who listens politely while a Castro-loving ignoramus verbally defames America, who promises to reduce if not eliminate America's nuclear deterrent, who threatens to prosecute the American heroes who kept us safe for the past eight years--lacks the will to take "strong steps" . . .

. . . except to turn federal regulators and law enforcement personnel into fascist goons, and our economy and cultural institutions into a socialist swamp.

To acheive this vision, Obama is more than willing to take strongs steps.

But to keep us safe from pirate scum who rob and kidnap Americans, from Islamic terrorists who would destroy us, from the failed states which facilitate them? No!

Obama lacks the head and the heart--and other attributes--which are indispensable to the survival of the United States of America.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ayn Rand In Court

As readers of this blog know, in the Sixties Erika Holzer and I represented author Ayn Rand.

During that time, we had occasion to sue the Hearst Corporation on her behalf (see Ayn Rand v. The Hearst Corporation, 31 A.D.2d 406, aff'd 26 N.Y.2d 806, involving unuthorized use of her name).

Other than that one state case and another that cites it, and a few federal cases that refer to Rand v. Hearst or simply mention her name, not a single reported case in the annals of American jurisprudence has relied on Ayn Rand’s ideas in support of a majority, concurring or dissenting opinion.

Until a few months ago!

Here’s how the Montana Supreme Court described what Buhmann v. State was all about.

The [parties who lost]in this case were owners and operators of alternative livestock game farms (Game Farms) within the state of Montana. The Game Farm industry is premised on the notion that individuals are willing to pay significant amounts of money to shoot captive animals, primarily elk, within the confines of a Game Farm. Since 1917, it has been lawful for individuals to own alternative livestock, such as elk, and keep them in captivity. Game Farms are heavily regulated by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) because of the threat posed by chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal disease of the central nervous system of captive and free-ranging animals such as mule deer, white-tailed deer, and Rocky Mountain elk. To operate a Game Farm, the owner/operator must possess an alternative Game Farm license and comply with the rigorous and extensive licensing requirements set forth in Title 87, chapter 4, part 4, MCA.

On November 7, 2000, the voters of Montana[utilizing the state’s Initiative process]passed I-143, which made two significant changes to the regulation of Game Farms in Montana. First, it prohibited fee-shooting on Game Farms in Montana. Second, I-143 prohibited licensees from transferring their alternative livestock licenses to others. These changes had a significant impact on the Game Farm industry in Montana because the vitality of the Game Farm industry was premised upon the profits derived from fee-shooting. The ban on the transfer of licenses was significant because it essentially prohibited Game Farm owners from selling those Game Farms to others, since a Game Farm could not operate without a valid license. I-143 did not, however, eliminate all uses of alternative livestock as it still permitted Game Farm operators to own herds, harvest the animals for their meat or antlers, or sell them in out-of-state markets where fee-shooting was legal.

Operators of “game farms” where helpless animals were “harvested,” like corn, sued claiming that the Initiative constituted an unconstitutional “taking” of private property without “just compensation” in violation of the Fifth Amendment of the federal Constitution and the comparable provision of the Montana constitution.

The majority upheld the Initiative.

Justice Nelson dissented.

A lower court judge—William Nels Swandal— sitting by assignment with the Montana Supreme Court joined the Nelson dissent, but added that “[b]ecause of the majority's circuitous reasoning, its disdain for private property rights, its endorsement of unprincipled and unfettered government action, which will result in the total loss of value, without compensation, of some of the property at issue, and its disavowal of the plain language of the Montana Constitution, I offer additional comments.”

Judge Swandal believed there had been taking “under both the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and . . . the Montana constitution . . . .

In support of his conclusion, the judge relied on the plain language of the Montana constitution, ridiculed the majority’s “reasoning,” quoted Thomas Jefferson, and turned to Ayn Rand’s views about the nature of “property”:

Ayn Rand correctly observed that the right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. These principles are embodied in the Montana Constitution in Article II Sections 3 and 29. I invite the majority to read them. The fundamental rights to acquire, possess, and protect property are not even given lip service by this Court. Under the majority's opinion, the State suffers no consequences for the exercise of coercive and unreasonable power in destroying these businesses. There is no serious effort to balance benefits and burdens. It may be too early to start asking, “Who is John Galt?” [FN2] but more decisions like this will seriously impact all private property and business owners in this State. [FN2]. In Ayn Rand's work Atlas Shrugged, the phrase becomes an expression of helplessness and despair at the current state of the novel's fictionalized world.

While those of us who have been influenced by Rand’s ideas are pleased to see her argument for property rights finally noted in an American judicial opinion (albeit a dissent), those of us who have concerns about the treatment of animals (a subject nowhere discussed expressly in her extensive body of writing and speeches) are not pleased to see those ideas enlisted in behalf of people whose business was the euphemistically named “fee shooting”—the practice of charging hunters to kill helpless captive animals in the name of “sport.”

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More On The "1-Ply" Law

I am proud to count among my friends former Soviet citizen Vladimir Bukovsky, a giant of the dissident movement. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Bukovsky.)

Vladimir receives this blog, and recently commented to my wife about the problems associated with 1-Ply-ism. I quote him:

Hi Erika! On toilet paper: please tell Hank that his piece had a great success among we Russians; a nostalgic trip to our Soviet past. As you may know, in that time we had no toilet paper at all. It was considered a luxury by the Kremlin. So, the whole vast country, 300 million asses, were wiped by "Pravda" and, believe me, a satisfaction was much bigger than the one Americans are likely to experience using New York Times or Washington Post. Except one thing: the ink was of bad quality and it smeared black your fingers as well as.... So, the great USSR was called by the population "the land of black asses". Can you imagine how many thousands of "black jokes" it generated?
Cheers. V

Perhaps all we can hope for when our “1-Ply” law is enacted is that the Times and Post use a better quality ink than the communists.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Holzer All-Ocean Shipping Company Terms of Employment

Notice to all current and future Holzer All-Ocean Shipping Company employees.

The events of last week have underscored once again the scourge of piracy in the Indian Ocean, a seaway in whose waters this company’s vessels regularly travel as we engage in our shipping business.

Although ever since President Thomas Jefferson laid waste to the Barbary Pirates the American flag flying on the High Seas has been feared (if not respected), the last couple years of piracy in that ocean, and last week’s attempted piracy there of an American flag vessel by Somali gangsters, has necessitated a change in the way this company will operate in the future.

We know that some of our competitors whose ships and crews have been kidnapped acquiesced to the pirates’ demands for ransom. With millions of dollars and the lives of innocent men an women at stake, and the so-called “international community” sitting on its hands and allowing the piracy to continue unabated, this company will pass no moral judgment on whether payment of those ransoms was, or in the future will be, appropriate.

That said, this company will not negotiate with criminals, nor pay even one cent in ransom to Somali, or any other, gangsters who hijack our ships and kidnap our employees. Not one cent, to anyone, under any circumstances, ever! We are removing the profit motive (and cancelling our anti-piracy insurance).

There is only one way to stop our ships from being hijacked and our employees being kidnapped: by taking the profit out of that criminality.

Accordingly, tomorrow morning at 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Savings Time, I will hold a press conference announcing this policy and distributing copies of this Notice.

Simultaneously, our public information department will disseminate this Notice to CNN, FOX NEWS, and all other internationally-received television networks.

In addition, we have made arrangements to have this Notice disseminated to newspapers and by airdrop throughout the major cities of East Africa in several indigenous languages, broadcast on major African regional radio stations, and publicized in other ways that I am not at liberty to disclose.

Having adopted this no-negotiation, no-ransom policy, the company recognizes that some of its ship’s captains and mariners may choose not to go to sea in the Indian Ocean. We understand and respect that choice.

Those company employees who choose not to crew on our ships in the Indian Ocean will suffer no adverse consequences. We will find other berths for you with the company and, failing that, provide generous separation benefits.

Those of you who choose to continue on Indian Ocean routes—whose salaries will now be doubled because of the risk—must understand that you will be akin to soldiers in a war.

From now on, our ships will be manned by reliable, experienced mercenaries who will stand guard duty 24 hours each day, seven days a week. They will possess automatic and heavy weapons, which will unhesitatingly be used for self-defense.

Pirate launches and other hostile watercraft within one mile of our ships which do not heed the first, and only, warning to leave our vicinity will be blown out of the water.

If you are captured, the company will use every means possible to liberate you. Rather than be specific, for obvious reasons, I assure you that whatever has to be done to free you will be done, no matter the cost in treasure or casualties.

I know you realize the seriousness of what we face as a company, and as a nation. I hope you understand why the company has adopted this policy, rejecting negotiation and blackmail, taking the profit out of the criminal act of piracy, and standing for a moral principle—while not minimizing the risk, nor forcing anyone to assume it.

Together we will fight these gangsters in our own way, hoping that others will join our cause. Unless they do, the cost will be measured not merely in money and lives, but in the abdication of the seaways of the world by the civilized to the uncivilized.

Bless you all, and bless the United States of America.

The Hostage Rescue: A Devastating Implication

There is a devastating implication in the Indian Ocean rescue of the American flagged vessel and its crew that I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere.

By all accounts, the Rules of Engagement for attempting to free the Americans and their ship, as established by President Osama’s White House, were that lethal force was to be used against the pirates who were kidnapping Americans and their vessel, but only if Captain Phillips’s life was in danger.

Do you grasp the devastating implication here?

If the piratical savages were only kidnapping Captain Phillips by heading for the anarchistic hellhole of Somalia, no lethal force would have been applied. That would have left Captain Richard Phillips, an American citizen, just one more of the 200-some captives being held for ransom by the sub-humans who apparently control much of that African coastline.

In our book “Aid and Comfort”: Jane Fonda in North Vietnam (http://www.henrymarkholzer.citymax.com/books.html), Erika Holzer and I discussed the criminal Rules of Engagement which turned many of our pilots into sitting ducks for communist SAM missiles and cost some of them their lives and others years of brutal captivity.

The stupidity, arrogance, cowardice, political correctness and other non-military considerations that were at the root of the Viet Nam Rules of Engagement informed the Rules for some of our forces during the Iraq war.

I have the following report from a Marine officer who served two tours in Iraq, one in a very dangerous part of the country, who told me that during his time there every Marine battalion had its own lawyer. (I wonder what Marine Chesty Puller would have done with lawyers assigned to him in places like Korea.)

When a Marine discharged his weapon, the first two questions were always "why?" and "what was the result?" Was it a negligent discharge or was it purposeful? What did the round(s) impact?

The answers to these questions guided the follow-on actions.

If it was a negligent discharge and no injuries were caused, the Marine was usually punished through non-judicial punishment, ranging from loss of rank to extra guard duty with remedial training.

If it was a negligent discharge that harmed someone (which was extremely rare), there would be a preliminary inquiry to document all of the facts of the situation and either the battalion commander (in minor cases) or higher (cases involving death) would determine what should happen next.

When a Marine deliberately discharged his weapon, including in combat situations, we immediately had to determine whether or not it was in accordance with our rules of engagement.

This meant asking very detailed questions of the Marines involved in order to collect the relevant facts and evaluate them.

“Did you have positive identification of an enemy performing a hostile act or demonstrating hostile intent? What made you decide that you did have such positive identification? How many rounds did you fire? What types of weapons did you use? Did the target fire first or did you? Did the target return fire? What collateral damage did you cause, if any? What collateral damage did the enemy cause, if any?”

The list goes on.

If there was any reason to believe that a Marine discharged his weapon in a manner that did not meet our rules of engagement, there would be a preliminary inquiry conducted by a commissioned officer on behalf of the battalion commander to determine exactly what happened.

The officer would usually visit the site of the incident, take pictures, interview the Marines involved and their immediate chain of command, and prepare a report with all the relevant facts and a recommendation for the battalion commander.

If this inquiry found that the Marine(s) violated our rules of engagement, a full investigation would be initiated. This again would require a commissioned officer to conduct interviews and site visits and prepare a much more extensive report to the battalion commander. This report would be used by the battalion commander to decide what further actions were required.

If anyone believed to be a non-combatant was wounded or killed, there would be an automatic inquiry conducted by a commissioned officer on behalf of the battalion commander.

If there was a situation with extensive collateral damage, there would be an inquiry to document the facts surrounding the incident for the battalion commander to use in his report to the regimental commander.

Many (if not most) of these investigations were done purely for the sake of documentation, to make sure that we had all of the necessary proof that we did nothing unlawful in case accusations were ever made.

These reports were also used to validate claims made by Iraqis, either for remuneration or for justice.

We tried to make it clear to the Marines that we were not nit-picking their decisions or Monday morning quarterbacking.

We tried to explain to them that documenting these incidents was in their best interest, but I know that it made them feel insecure and uneasy. Many complained that it felt like we were waiting for them to screw up, and eroded their confidence in their chain of command.

Officers complained that they were constantly conducting time-consuming inquiries, to the detriment of their regular duties, on perfectly legitimate engagements. I personally conducted several inquiries after such deliberate engagements and never found any evidence of unlawful behavior or recklessness.

The American military, charged with defending America's national security, cannot afford to fight with this kind of burdensome, politically correct Rules of Engagement--Rules retroactively applied to their actions by lawyers second-guessing what happened when a weapon was fired. This incoherent approach to war emboldens our enemies, gets warriors killed, captured and wounded, and undermines our efforts to kill those who would destroy us if we give them the chance.

But alas, none of this seems to bother our leaders, including the current President of the United States, whose idea of Rules of Engagement is “Don’t fire until ……………you check with a lawyer."

The Hostage Rescue: Grading President Obama

Accounts of the Naval rescue of American ship captain Richard Phillips from Somalia pirates are slowly emerging. Although we probably will never know all the details--nor should we, e.g., the role played by military special operators--we do know that the President of the United States did not speak, let alone act, proactively.

Not until the rescue had been accomplished--by the United States Navy, after a split-second decision by our ship's captain--did Obama come out of his caccoon and seize the spotlight by making a series of congratulatory telephone calls.

Now the president's spin machine is claiming that, in his own detached way, Obama was on top of the piracy situation from the beginning, albeit in the background.

Even if true, that's not good enough.

When an American flagged vessel, its American captain, and American mariners are captured on the high seas by pirates, it is the constitutional and moral duty of the President of the United States to lead--to unambiguously condemn the attack on his country, to promptly free the ship and its crew, and then to impose swift and severe punishment on the pirates.

Instead, Obama hid, seeking a "peaceful solution" through "negotiation" from assault rifle-toting savages with an unmistakable record of piracy and successful ransom demands.

In doing so, Obama has fulfilled the prophesy of our dimwitted Vice President, who famously said last November that within six months Obama would be tested in the international arena and be found wanting.

One has to wonder whether the gunmen were so stupid as to accidentally attack an American ship, especially since the Indian Ocean is full of other flagged vessels, or whether they were put up to it as a test of Obama's reaction.

Whether or not that's what happened, the world in general and our enemies in particular have now seen that when the chips are down--indeed, when our nation is attacked--our neophyte president hides and negotiates.

One way or another this was a test.

And Barack Obama's grade is F.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Emiliano Zapata and John Galt

Two events yesterday coalesced to give me the idea for this brief essay.

Last night Erika Holzer and I dined with friends who share our political values.

Because of all the current attention being paid to Ayn Rand's magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, our conversation turned to a discussion of the novel.

Our friends know that Erika Holzer and I had been Rand’s friends and lawyers in the Sixties, that we had discovered and restored the Italian version of her novel We the Living (http://www.wetheliving.com/), and that I had used many of her non-fiction political essays while teaching constitutional law at Brooklyn Law School.

So during the conversation they asked me what Rand would say today about how each of us can contribute to slowing down and eventually reversing the Obama-Reid-Pelosi steamroller that is crushing Americans' freedom and destroying our capitalism-based economic system.

Essentially, I told them that we must make our voices heard loudly in opposition to the altruist/collectivist/statist ideology that drives the current administration.

I added, sadly, that unlike in Atlas Shrugged today there are few heroes but many villains in industry, business and the professions, and so we were wasting our time waiting for an avalanche of productive Americans to turn their backs on today’s culture—let alone to take on the politicians and elite classes as Howard Hughes did in the Forties when he refused to be cowed by the crooks and non-entities who sat on a Senate committee.

I suggested that all each of us could do, is whatever each of us could do.

When I returned home, my new email included an essay by Dr. Jack Wheeler entitled "Where Is John Galt"? In it, he makes this point: "Today, the fascist nightmare that is destroying America is hideously similar to that described by Rand over fifty years ago. But if we ask today, not who is John Galt but where is John Galt, the question echoes in the wind with no answer." (Emphasis in original.)

In other words, Wheeler holds that there are no John Galts among us. As he says, today "most all corporate businessmen are not heroic giants but cowardly pussies. Two words should suffice as proof: Rick Wagoner," the late unlamented head of General Motors who rolled over and quit when Barack Osama ordered him to.

Wheeler's contempt for Wagoner is unrestrained, seeing him as a paradigm for virtually all businessmen in the contemporary United States.

Indeed, pulling no punches, Wheeler writes that "[t]oday, when we are facing the greatest fascist onslaught of our freedoms since Woodrow Wilson, there doesn’t seem to be one single major business leader in America who has the guts to tell [President Osama] to go to hell."

So where, then, is John Galt?

Wheeler has a profound, yet obvious, answer—one with which I agree, and one I believe Ayn Rand would agree with.

To quote Dr. Wheeler as to where is John Galt: He's inside you.

According to Wheeler, "you and each of us have the capacity to summon the courage within ourselves to fight government enslavement and tyranny—just as did our forefathers. * * * Thus true patriotism begins with you. It begins with all of us. Ayn Rand was a monumental genius. She saw clearly the consequences of fascist anti-capitalist liberalism in the halcyon days of the 1950s. We are now in 2009 living in the world of Atlas Shrugged—but without John Galt. Unless each of us takes responsibility for our own fate and chooses to be our own John Galt. Look inside yourself. That’s where you’ll find him."

Wheeler is correct. John Galt can be within all of us because he is an idea.

As I write these words, I’m reminded of the last scene in the brilliant film Viva Zapata, whose screenplay was written by John Steinbeck.

The government wants to kill the revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who has yet again become a thorn in the establishment's side. The Mexican Army induces him into an ambush and so riddles his body with bullets as to make it unidentifiable. The soldiers then dump the corpse in the town's central plaza, and the following dialogue ensures among the stricken peasants, some of whom had ridden with Zapata for years:

They can't kill him.
They never will.

Can you catch a river, kill the wind?

He's not a river, he's a man!
And still they can't kill him.

Then where is he?

He's in the mountains.
You couldn't find him now.

But if we ever need him again, he'll be back.

Yes. He's in the mountains.

The words Steinbeck gave his peasants made the same point that Jack Wheeler has just made: Even though John Galt is a fictional character and Emiliano Zapata was a real person, the common denominator linking them was that they were the embodiment of an idea. That idea is that tyranny, in Twentieth Century Mexico and Twenty-First Century America, must be fought by each of us in our own way. Zapata took up arms and sparked a civil insurrection. We have not come to that—yet.

In the meantime, by writing, teaching, voting, speaking, arguing, criticizing, and in every other forum open to us, exposing how our Constitution is being shredded, our legislative processes abused, our freedom being subverted, and our liberty being stolen, each of us can be—indeed, now must be—our own John Galt.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Bush Judge Strikes Another Blow For Terrorism

An April 3, 2009 editorial by the editors of National Review Online entitled "Imperial Judiciary Goes Global" explains why a decision of a federal judge in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, unless reversed on appeal, will be an unmitigated disaster for our national security and America’s ability to defend herself.

The judge ruled that "[t]hough [the recent Supreme Court] Rasul and Boumediene [cases] involved only the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Judge John D. Bates (a George W. Bush appointee) ruled that alien combatants detained by our military in Bagram, Afghanistan — an active combat zone — are entitled to petition the federal courts for their release."

The National Review Online editorial will soon be joined by similar commentary, once again exposing the devastating effect of the Rasul and Boumediene decisions and underscoring the culpability of the Republican presidents who appointed some of the justices responsible for the Court’s majority’s rape of separation of powers in those cases.

So I will pass on that commentary here (but see, for example my article at http://www.henrymarkholzer.citymax.com/boumediene_v_bush.html)%20%20to to make another point: This utterly indefensible decision was made by yet another Republican-appointed federal judge (perhaps vetted by Bush’s failed nominee, Harriet Miers), John D. Bates.

Much will soon be written about Bates, but in the meantime there is an interesting tidbit about his earlier life as a lawyer.

John D. Bates was a board member of the "Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs."

What’s that?

According to its anniversary-edition website, "[t]he Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs for 40 years has represented both individuals and groups seeking to vindicate their civil rights. It has handled over 5,000 civil rights cases, in employment, housing, public accommodations, and other aspects of urban life. It represents people with claims of discrimination based on race, gender, national origin, disability, age, religion, and sexual orientation. It assists immigrants seeking asylum and other help. It works for education reform in the DC Public Schools. Leveraging its own broad expertise in discrimination litigation with the resources of Washington, D.C.’s private bar, the Committee's litigation efforts have become nationally known for landmark court victories, record judgments, and precedent-setting consent decrees. Its capacity to mobilize the private bar has made it possible for the Committee to provide its clients more than 50,000 hours of quality legal representation every year."

The Committee is especially proud of its "D.C. Prisoner’s Project."

What’s that?

"As the successor to the D.C. Prisoners’'Legal Services Project, Inc., the mission of the D.C. Prisoners' Project of the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs remains to advocate for the humane treatment and dignity of all persons convicted or charged with a criminal offense under D.C. law housed in prisons, jails or community corrections programs, to assist their family members with prison-related issues, and to promote progressive criminal justice reform. Our Project remains the only legal organization with a mission of advocating for the interests of over 7,000 D.C. prisoners currently held in 99 different federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facilities across the country, in addition to more than 3,500 held in the D.C. Jail and the Correctional Treatment Facility."

What does the Committee do?

It has been busy "[i]nsuring access to constitutionally-adequate levels of medical and mental health care in both local jail and distant BOP facilities"; "recognizing the particular problems of women in correctional facilities"; "[r]esponding to, and working to prevent, acts of violence, including securing money damages for our clients where appropriate and to discourage conditions that lead to violence"; . "[i]nsuring prisoners' access to the courts and legal resources"; "[i]mproving the way individuals are released from jail and prison, and their tratment after release, with particular attention to their medical and mental health needs, but also including issues around employment, housing, and parole"; "[e]ngaging in public policy advocacy to improve our client's conditions of confinement and to support alternatives to incarceration."

Thank you, once again, Mr. Republican judge-appointer, for yet another liberal on the federal bench, and for another body blow to America’s ability to defend herself against guerilla fighters. Against irregular forces—once, but no longer, appropriately called "enemy combatants"—but who are now apparently just another bunch of garden-variety criminals operating not in Alabama but in Afghanistan.