Monday, December 26, 2011

The Unasked, But Easily Answered, Question For Ron Paul

Back in the day, when many of us were fighting for restoration of Americans’ right to own gold [](and use the Gold Clause []), I knew Ron Paul and many of the Paulistas around him.  Indeed, I testified before the Congressman when he was a member of the United States Gold Commission [].

Now,  from a sewer of his past, there have surfaced Ron Paul newsletters, containing scurrilous, racist, anti-Semitic, hate-filled diatribes against groups of his fellow Americans.  I’m not surprised, because of some of the people he associated with back in the day.

Though Paul has accepted “moral responsibility,” for the gutter words sent out below his name (and even signature), his “defense” is that he neither wrote nor read the newsletters and was thus ignorant of their content.

Americans can make up their minds about the nature and quality of Paul’s defense.

And so the focus shifts to the simple question I have not seen asked anywhere—one easily answered—which, if Ron Paul responds honestly, will, I assure you, have reverberations far beyond the current election campaign: Who was the author of Ron Paul’s newsletters?

I’ve used the singular, “author,” because I have a well-founded suspicion of who penned the diatribes that Paul should be held not only “morally responsible” for, but for which he should be held politically accountable as well.

Who has the courage to ask the question, and press for an answer?

Who was the author of Ron Paul’s newsletters?

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Supreme Court Opinions of Clarence Thomas, 1991-2011

Announcing the Second Edition

This is a link ( to my publisher’s web page for the second edition of my book on Justice Thomas’s United States Supreme Court opinions. 

The first pre-publication endorsement is in, from Professor Robert F. Turner, Co-Founder of the Center for National Security at the University of Virginia School of Law:

Holzer’s accessible book recounts the story of a highly principled, remarkably consistent justice who understands the importance of beginning interpretation of the Constitution from its language and the perspectives of those who wrote and ratified it.

This second edition of my earlier The Supreme Court Opinions of Clarence Thomas, 1991-2006 appears at a crucial time because among the most important cases pending before the Supreme Court this term are Obamacare and the federal government’s attempt to preempt state efforts to counter illegal immigration.

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas is bound to play a major role in these forthcoming decisions— not only because his vote will be crucial to the outcomes, but because as an acknowledged leader of the Court’s conservative bloc his opinions are bound to influence some of his fellow justices.

To understand how Thomas will vote on Obamacare and the immigration cases, and why he may even influence some of his colleagues’ votes, it’s essential to understand his constitutional jurisprudence.

The Supreme Court Opinions of Clarence Thomas, 1991-2011 is a “judicial biography,” dealing solely with twenty years of his written opinions, some 450 of them.  Many of those opinions provide a preview of his votes in Obamacare and the immigration cases.

I have a simple request of those of you who want to help others understand (and win arguments about) why Clarence Thomas is a great justice of the Supreme Court of the United States: Please forward this notice to as many people as you can, and ask them to do the same, especially by sending it to those who have their own extensive lists. 

Hank Holzer

(P.S.  Books should be available at the end of January, 2012, and review copies are available from my publisher,, for readers who can place a review in print media and/or on the Internet.  Also, please remember that once the book is available it’s easy to post a non-professional review of The Supreme Court Opinions of Clarence Thomas, 1991-2006 on Amazon. The readership of reviews there is extensive, and purchasing the book from Amazon is quite easy.)

Monday, December 12, 2011


I note the hysterical calls that Attorney General Holder be impeached.

As much as I detest him as a man, lawyer and public servant (and the political wave he rode in on), that impeachment is naive and laughable.

A bill of impeachment is the political equivalent of a criminal indictment.

Despite Holder's seemingly dishonest testimony to Congress, up 'til now it falls far short of being adequate for an indictment, let alone a conviction.

Those who are urging impeachment are wasting their time, and making it easy for their enemies to discredit them.

In a year Holder will fall with Obama, and can go back to his DC influence peddling.

Friday, December 9, 2011


If the following essay were to go viral, it would provide powerful ammunition to every Republican running for office in 2012.  Dr. Hanson identifies the nature of the empty suit that is Barack Obama, and the juvenile forces that animate his behavior.

The President Who Never Was

December 8, 2011 - by Victor Davis Hanson

A teen-age President in Search of an Adult Identity

Barack Obama keeps looking for a presidential identity not his own. In 2008, he wished to be JFK — whom he often referenced as a youthful and charismatic figure supposedly similar to himself. So we heard references to Obama’s father’s arrival to the U.S. during the golden Kennedy Camelot years. Caroline Kennedy herself came out of seclusion to assure us that Obama had the same Kennedy zest, and she flirted with a Senate run to help restore the lost age of grandeur. And at the Brandenburg Gate, Obama would have liked to electrify Europeans with another Ich Bin Ein Berliner speech. But even the left-leaning Germans sorta balked at that, and relegated the new Galahad to the Victory Column — a nice enough gesture that earned them a snub when a later President Obama chose not to go to Berlin for the commemoration of the twenty year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. (But flying ad hoc to Copenhagen to lobby for the Chicago Olympics is a horse of a different color.)

The New Gipper

Next candidate Obama channeled his inner Ronald Reagan. He reminded us that that he too had a sense of a new “trajectory.” His supporters swore that he had the same sunny disposition and eloquence. Obama liked that new persona. Soon he was talking about being the same “transformative” president, as long as we understood that Obama was going to be Reaganesque solely in the way he campaigned and soared with “hope and change” rhetoric — a sort of ironic payback to the Reagan Revolution as Obama mimicked the Gipper’s personal talents to undue his legacy.

Young Mr. Lincoln

That did not last long. When he won the election, Obama now referenced the Civil War, slavery, and the civil rights struggle as he became the Great Emancipator to finally bind up the nation’s wounds. So he was for a bit Barack Lincoln. I mean this literally and to such a degree that he chartered a slow train from Springfield to DC in December 2008, to remind us that it had been 148 years since a similar messiah had trained from Illinois to Washington to save the Union. Aides got copies of Team of Rivals, since Obama had long seen himself as a saintly Lincoln in magnanimous fashion bringing in former political opponents who perhaps were more experienced but surely less talented than himself. A Biden or Hillary as Seward or Stanton?

Hyde Park Redux

But when he assumed office, there being no Civil War, Obama of Chicago Hyde Park now channeled FDR of New York Hyde Park to meet the same crisis of yet another Great Depression induced by Bush/Hoover. The “100 Days” of 1933 were upon us again. Those were the glory moments, as the White House let it be known, when a new FDR would bookend Social Security with Obamacare. That did not last too long —given the fury over the health care machinations, the Tea Party, 9% plus unemployment, the horrendous new debt, and the greatest mid-term setback since Roosevelt’s own in 1938.

Axelrod as Morris?

In this search for another persona after the 2010 disaster, Obama flirted briefly with a Bill Clinton identity. He gave signals that he would be another triangulator of the Dick-Morris brand, who saved his presidency after the 1994 “shellacking” by moving to the middle. So in December 2010, a subdued Obama announced that these recessionary times were not the right moment to raise taxes on anyone. There was no more talk of “punish our enemies.” Remember Rahm Emanuel had wisely resigned right before the midterm wipeout, and Chicago fixer Bill Daley took his place as proof of the new pragmatism. The Left howled and soon even the New York Times was printing op-eds that Obama was more or less a fraud.

Missouri Obama

But given that Obama had, by his own advisors’ admission, already lost the clingers’ vote, triangulation passed. Obama had not Clinton’s political savvy or flexibility. So he dug in, searching for yet another identity — only to find it in Harry Truman circa 1948. “Give ‘em Hell” Barry now crisscrossed the country in campaign mode, damning another do-nothing Republican-controlled Congress that had tried to stall the fair deal. The premise was that if over $4 trillion in borrowed money had not jump-started the economy, someone should be blamed for not borrowing an additional half-trillion that surely would have.

Obama Versus the Trusts

And what mask now? Apparently it is to be Obama as Teddy Roosevelt, crusading against the modern equivalent of trusts, monopolies, and John D. Rockefeller zillionaires — and this from the largest recipient of campaign cash in presidential history, and the first candidate to renounce the public financing of presidential campaigns.

Note that Obama’s TR trust-busting does not include mention of tax-avoidance by a Timothy Geithner or John Kerry. Ill-gotten gains and unfairness do not include the many annual millions of Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, much less a Leonardo DiCaprio or Johnny Depp, still much less those who pony up $38,000 a head to meet with Obama. We are not to hear much about Jon Corzine’s missing $600 million. Nor is there reference to Bill Clinton’s firm’s charging $50,000 a month to a broke MF Global.
The evil “they” are not the liberal elite whose children are at Harvard, but the lesser, more uncouth folk who hustle to run three muffler shops, or operate barges, or own a timber company, lacking the grace that comes with government sinecure or inherited wealth and with no guilt over their success, and no desire to purchase psychological exemption from Obama.

A Better Mask

How odd that Obama has tried on every mask except one that naturally fits him, that of Jimmy Carter. Carter, remember, railed about luxury boats and three-martini lunches, as if that kind of indulgence had sent the economy into 8% unemployment, 12% inflation, and 15% interest rates. Our problem was always Nixon of old, never Carter of the present. Beneath the utopian Christian caring was the mean streak and petulance; Carter, you see, loved humanity but not humans.

Currently we also see a return of Carter’s foreign policy disasters. Do we remember them — the reach out to leftist enemies, the suspicion of Israel, and the drift away from Europe?

What happened with Obama’s natural resonance, as he promised in his Al Arabiya interview, with Muslim countries such as Pakistan and Egypt? Now reset is also over with Russia. The pressure is heating up with Iran, which not long ago we dared not slight when a million were on the streets trying to topple the regime.

Finally, there is furor rising against Syria. All this schizophrenic heat is also reminiscent of Jimmy Carter circa 1979-80. After three years of proclamations about having no inordinate fear of communism, of loudly elevating human rights in sanctimonious fashion as the adjudicator of foreign policy, of lecturing allies and reaching out to enemies, of blasting Kissinger realpolitik, the charade ended with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the communist expansion in Central America, the end of the Shah and the seizure of power by Khomeini, the hostage taking in Teheran and rise of radical Islam, general chaos abroad as China invaded Vietnam, and so on.

Carter, then, got angry that lesser folks had betrayed his trust, and suddenly we had defense increases, a new angry Carter Doctrine, and saber-rattling talk. That is natural, as we see too with Obama: those abroad did not appreciate his godhead, and now he too is furious that enemies are, well, even more enemies, and friends are less friendly. If they cannot see that he is not Bush, well then screw them.

As the Curtain Falls

What are we left with in the end? Empty soaring rhetoric of the day, as the president without an identity desperately searches for one about every three months. In the old days the masks were a Bill Ayers for revolutionary fervor, or a Rev. Wright for black fides. Now they are dead presidents.

Where does this lead? Nowhere. Obama’s TR persona is based on an untruth. The “rich” are not ruining his economy; indeed they pay an inordinate percentage of the income tax burden, and give us everything from iPhones to fracking. All their net worth, if confiscated, is not enough to match the trillions Obama himself has run up. For every extra $20,000 Jerry Brown can squeeze out in taxes from an about-to-leave California employer, three more deserving are waiting to gobble that up in all sorts of entitlements as their “fair share.”


It is true that Wall Street greed in 2008 helped crash the financial markets. But mold to appear needs moisture. And Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers were well watered by a corrupt Congress that empowered both Freddie and Fannie. Chris Dodd was the poster boy, taking Wall Street perks and covering them with liberal concern about housing the poor. These Fannie/Freddie troughs, in turn, were fed at by hungry ex-administration insiders and retired gadflies — a Jamie Gorelick, Franklin Raines, Jim Johnson, and, yes, for a bit, Rahm Emanuel and even Newt Gingrich. Even those were not the only guilty. “They” were also “us” — the millions who jumped into a hot real estate market to flip houses and make thousands with little labor in an endless round of musical chairs with the music supposedly never stopping, the chairs never one short. And there were the millions more — with lousy credit ratings, and no history of discipline or thrift. But they “deserved” “home ownership” and so bought a house that neither their income nor savings, such as they were, warranted. They walked away. They were innocent “victims.” And they let others pick up the tab as others “should.”


The next year will be nothing but more teenage petulance. The world has disappointed Barack Obama. Like any adolescent, he will keep reinventing himself, endlessly trying on new presidential masks and blasting “them” who were not so charmed. What else can a man without an identity do, a president who never really was?

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Among other comments and questions, yesterday's essay about December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001 brought me inquiries about why I haven't been writing for the public lo these several months.

Apart from personal business that needed my attention (e.g., moving from the Southern California desert to Denver), I have been writing briefs, continuing my MacArthur research, and finishing the second edition of The Supreme Court Opinions of Clarence Thomas, which covers the justice's last five terms (2006-2011).

Hence, the second edition now spans Justice Thomas's full twenty terms on the Court.

I am right now editing the page proofs, the book goes to the printer on January 3, 2012, and will be published next spring.

When the proofs are off to my publisher, I will take a brief rest for the balance of the year.

After that, I will turn my Con Law 101 lectures into a book, and practice some appellate and constitutional law.

In light of all that, and more, my days of writing long essays (see are over.

From now on, if I write public essays at all they will be bullet-type comments or questions.

Such as: 

  •  Has anyone noted that in all the seemingly endless "debate" palaver by Republican presidential candidates about the Tenth Amendment's reservation of power to "the States respectively, or to the people," not one of them has bothered mentioning what that power is?  (It's the power to legislate for the health, safety, welfare and morals--often called the "police power".) Why not?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


 Readers will notice that I wrote the following essay several years ago.  Today, the situation is worse.

In the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001, and from time-to-time since then, it has been said that the day was akin to the one about which President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke: December 7, 1941.  The comparison is apt—but not completely.  Despite the similarities, the differences in what followed each of those days are profound and the aftermath of September 11, 2001, may well portend far worse consequences than did World War II for the United States of America.
The esteemed historian Samuel Eliot Morison, in his The Oxford History of the American People, has written of December 7, 1941:
At the end of this sad and bloody day, 7 December 1941, the “day that shall live in infamy,” as President Roosevelt said of it, 2403 American sailors, soldiers, marines, and civilians had been killed, and 1178 more wounded.
In Hawaii, nearly 150 planes had been destroyed on the ground, at least six battleships had been sunk or rendered non-operational.
Soon, American air assets in Manila would be destroyed.  The Japanese would roll over the Malay Peninsula and take Singapore.  Guam and other islands in the Pacific would fall.  Hong Kong would be taken. The fate of Bataan and Corregidor would be told by the Death March and hellish prison camps.  And more.  Much more.
Morison, again, about December 8, 1941:
To millions of Americans, whether at breakfast in Hawaii, or reading the Sunday paper in the West, or sitting down to dinner in the East, this news of disaster after disaster, seemed fantastic, incredible.  As the awful details poured in, hour after hour, incredulity turned to anger and an implacable determination to avenge these unprovoked and dastardly attacks.  On 8 December, Congress with but one dissenting vote declared a state of war with Japan . . . .  President Roosevelt, in his war message . . . declared, “Never before has there been a greater challenge to life, liberty and civilization.”

Yes, on December 7th and September 11th there were sneak attacks.  Yes, each day was one of infamy. Yes, there were considerable losses of American (and other) lives.  Yes, substantial symbols of American power—the Pacific Fleet and the World Trade Center—were destroyed.  Yes, Americans fought back at Pearl Harbor and on United 93.  Yes, the news on those days was “fantastic, incredible.” 
And yes, then, as now, “Never before has there been a greater challenge to life, liberty and civilization.”
And yes, on December 8th and September 12th there was among our people “an implacable determination to avenge these unprovoked and dastardly attacks.”
But with these comparisons, the picture changes. 
In 1941, and for nearly four years after, we saw full mobilization of our great nation’s resources: military, economic, social, spiritual, political.  Every sector of our society was engaged. 
Men and women volunteered for the armed services.
Women went into factories
Rationing was imposed. 
Religious leaders prayed, and went into combat with their flocks. 
Politicians joined hands, giving FDR what he needed to fight ruthless enemies. 
Civilians willingly endured shortages and blackouts. 
Kids (like me) collected newspapers, tin cans, used fat and grease—all for the war effort. 
The radio, newspapers, and magazines supported the war effort, and exercised disciplined self-restraint about what they published. 
Celebrities, who hadn’t enlisted, sold War Bonds and entertained the troops. 
Images kept patriotic spirits high: Joe Rosenthal’s photo of the Iwo Jima flag raising; MacArthur wading ashore in the Philippines; repatriation of emaciated POWs from Japanese prison camps; Patton, with his pearl-handle revolvers; the London blitz; the liberation of Paris.  VE-Day.  Then, VJ-Day.  Times Square overflowing with joy.
And the man-in-the-street, and his wife, and his children, and all other Americans, knew that we were fighting Germany and Japan (and Italy) because, as FDR said, they posed a grave threat to “life, liberty and civilization.”
As do the radical Islamists who on 9/11 showed us a preview of their nihilism-driven corrupt religion’s vision for mankind, and who, before and since, have maimed and murdered thousands of innocent men, women, and children throughout the world.
But after President Bush’s rousing post-9/11 speech to Congress and the American people, after flags flew everywhere for a few months, after passage of some useful but inadequate legislation, do we see within our country Morrison’s “implacable determination to avenge these unprovoked and dastardly attacks”?
Sadly, we do not.
Indeed, we see the opposite.
We see a narrow Supreme Court majority, infatuated with the romance of international law at the expense of American sovereignty, giving due process rights to terrorists, ignoring established precedent to nullify military tribunals, and treating irregular enemy combatants as if they were mere burglars to be dealt with by our domestic criminal law system.
We see international busybody organizations inspecting our detainee facility at Guantanamo, and solemnly pronouncing a verdict on our treatment of Islamic murderers who would make American citizens their next victims.
We see those murderers coddled—uninterrupted sleep, prayer time, outside recreation, nutritious food, health care—by a soft administration bent on mollifying these international busybodies and their domestic crybaby cousins.
We see America-hating organizations such as the ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild, and the Center for Constitutional Rights enlisting thousands of lawyers whose task is to monkey-wrench the terrorist adjudicatory system, as if they were representing O.J. Simpson in a Los Angeles courtroom.
We see leading newspapers disclosing top secret defense information—surveillance, money tracing, secret interrogation facilities—not only with impunity, but to the cheers of America’s left and those in the world who would destroy us.
We see a mostly partisan Democrat Party—in Congress and at the National Committee—playing politics with laws essential to our national security.
We see a weakened Republican president proffering legislation for military tribunals that provides for terrorists process at once unnecessary and dangerous, only to be trumped by the likes of grandstanding Republican Senators McCain, Warner, and Graham, who, not content to provide Islamic murderers with all the due process enjoyed by domestic criminal defendants, want to provide them, as well,  with classified information about “sources and methods.”  We see this senatorial trio also determined to prohibit the time-tested “good cop/bad cop” technique of interrogation, sleep deprivation, loud music, dietary manipulations—apparently believing that our military and CIA are dealing with some Chicago street gang, not savages out to destroy us and our way of life.
We see public officials acquiescing to the demands of homegrown Muslim organizations, in an effort not to offend—blinding themselves to that religion’s core belief in jihad, martyrdom, and its ultimate triumph.
We see in America, according to a nationwide Scripps Survey Research poll, that more than one-third of our countrymen suspect the government “assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East.”  Worse, if that be possible, is that sixteen percent of those polled attribute collapse of the World Trade Center towers not to the jet planes hijacked by Islamic terrorists, but to agents of George W. Bush who somehow, clandestinely, blew up the buildings.
We see in our colleges and universities an inbred corps of fanatic intellectuals whose life’s purpose is to brainwash the young minds entrusted to their care into believing that the enlightenment, Western values, and the political philosophy that created and sustained our nation are all malevolent, and that Islam, the religion of nihilism and murder, is mankind’s true aspiration.
We, who at the Battle of the Bulge shot captured German troops wearing American uniforms and on Guadalcanal incinerated Japanese defenders with flame throwers, we who firebombed Dresden and Tokyo, we who dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, now send Senators to Washington who fight the president over “harsh” interrogation of terrorists who often have information that can save American lives.  We see the recruitment of radical Islamists in our prisons, aided and abetted by radical Islamic clergy—paid for by the American taxpayer.
We see politicians willing to turn over America’s national security, and perhaps the ultimate survival of our civilization, to unelected judges, responsible to no one, many of whom have been cloistered for so long that they lack an adequate understanding of the real world.
We see the much heralded publication of the Army Field Manual, providing Geneva Conventions protection barring “outrages against personal dignity” like “hooding,” forced nudity, and duct-taping eyes, to Islamic terrorists who behead, dismember, and disembowel captured Americans.
We see, in short, an utter, indeed a frightening, lack of understanding of the principles that animated our creation as the freest most successful nation ever to exist on this earth, principles that carried us through revolution, civil war, world wars, and a cold war.
We see that too many Americans have become ignorant and complacent, and thus broken faith with those who fought at Yorktown, died at Gettysburg, survived the trenches, landed at Normandy, froze at Chosin, and were imprisoned in Hanoi.
We see our country in thrall to pernicious ideas that have sucked from us the understanding of what we face and the will to face it. 
And time is running out. 
Unless America wakes up fast—parents, clergy, intellectuals, workers, educators, veterans, celebrities, students—one day, perhaps sooner than later, we will look up and no longer see Ronald Reagan’s “shining city on a hill.”
We will see a Mosque.