Monthly Archives: February 2012

Greece – The Canary in the Coal Mine

By now, just about everyone is aware that Greece has issues. But what’s a bit appalling is how little we know about what is really happening with that country. The knowledge most people have boiled down to two points; Greece has run out of money and the people there are rioting in the streets. However if one digs a little deeper, you’ll realize that Greece is essentially no longer a sovereign country – it is a country led by a technocrat and more or less owned by the EU and ECB. Before I get into the implications of what that means, let’s first go through the brief history of how Greece got to where it is today.

Between 1999 and 2008, Greece’s real GDP was hovering between 3-4% while their debt percentage hovered in and around 100% until 2008 where it stood at 113% during the global recession. In 2009, the newly elected Prime Minister George Papandreou came into office and soon after revises the country’s budget projections, indicating the government had been understating its deficit for years. That year Greece’s debt percentage shot to 129% and is currently standing at 173% projected. After several credit downgrades in 2009 and 2010, Papandreou agrees to implement harsh austerity measures in exchange for $152 billion in loans from the European Union and the IMF. Riots ensue as the Greek population does not want to give up anything. Despite Greece meeting the austerity requirements of 2010, credit ratings continue to be downgraded so Greece pushes through another set of highly unpopular austerity measures June 2011 to qualify for a second bailout package for $157 billion in loans. Shortly after this, the Greek parliament agrees to new highly unpopular taxes, cutting public sector jobs, decreasing public sector wages, decreasing pensions for high-income workers and scaling back collective bargaining rights.

In addition to this very brief recent history, it is also important to note how Greece got to this point in the first place. Ironically, it began 30 years ago Papandreou’s father Andreas began building an unsustainable civil service in order to continue winning elections. Additionally, Greece had spent the last few decades erecting social safety nets producing cradle to grave benefits such as government healthcare, a generous welfare system and a retirement age of 61, (social security). In fact, the entitlement mentality is so firmly entrenched in Greek society, the population there does not understand anything else and seems perfectly willing to give up its’ national sovereignty while devolving into a cesspool of pain and misery grasping at the last reed it can find while drowning. And because they have no basis for understanding true freedom and liberty, they are willing to live through the degradation of their country in the hopes that things might magically get better. Here are a few of the things that are going on in Greece that are getting very little press in the US.

  • After the collapse of the socialist party in November 2011, an interim prime minister, Lucas Papademos was sworn in to lead Greece through the economic crisis. Papademos is a technocrat and was previously vice president of the European Central Bank. (Could you imagine Ben Bernanke being sworn in as interim President?)
  • Having lost its fiscal independence, Greece is now required have the permanent presence of a Eurogroup Task Force with strong onsite monitoring capabilities. (In other words, it’s their money and they have the right to manage their money. Who owns the bulk of the US debt?)
  • This EU presence will ensure that state revenues will flow into a segregated escrow account for state revenues.
  • The Greek constitution will be amended to ensure that priority will be given to serving debt payments. This includes the right for European banks to seize Greece’s gold reserves, 111.6 tons.
  • Public sector salary cuts are so deep and because they are retroactive to November 2011, up to 64,000 workers will have to work without salary for a month and some may even be asked to return money.

There is far more to the Grecian condition than what I can post in this blog but the point is obvious. Greece’s socialistic experiment has been a complete and utter failure and from a practical perspective, they are no longer a sovereign country. And despite all of this, Greece is virtually assured to default anyway, only now with zero gold reserves.

Socially, the Greeks are feeling completely hopeless and are turning bitter towards the EU and specifically Germany. There are riots and lootings in the streets. Well dressed Greeks have been reported rummaging through the garbage for food. Clinics that were set up to service the immigration population in Greece have seen a 22% jump in the domestic population. And still, they’re clinging on to an idea that didn’t work – hoping against hope that it will all just go away

Understanding what is happening in Greece is essential when looking at our current economic situation. From a GDP perspective, the US is in a worse economic condition than Greece but we have the ability to print money. However, eventually every country will have to pay back the debt that they owe and Greece gives us a better understanding of what can happen when we fail to make the tough choices today. We cannot afford our current social programs and Obamacare begins to hit its stride in full in 2013. That means higher taxes and still more debt. Despite what’s lacking in our current healthcare system, Obamacare literally means the destruction of economy.

We have an opportunity this year to elect real leaders that will face our issues head-on. We need to repeal the healthcare bill and we need to seriously manage the scaling back of all of our social programs – social security, Medicare, food stamps, etc. We either face up to our issues with honesty and determination, or we will wake up one day and realize our country isn’t even ours anymore.

A New Script for the Talking Heads This Week

“Santorum says he doesn’t believe in separation of church and state,” blared the headline in Sunday’s Yahoo News. Santorum seems to have a penchant for making statements that drive the left-wing media nuts. His latest, according to Yahoo was, “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute,” made during a campaign speech in Michigan last week. While his ability to send the left-wing media into hysterics should be celebrated by conservatives, unfortunately conservatives, independents and rank and file Republicans alike, who are not familiar with American History, are likely to be turned off by Santorum’s statement. The lack of knowledge concerning our own history by a majority of the American people is what is appalling, not Santorum’s statement.

The term “Black Regiment”, used during the Revolutionary War did not refer to the black soldiers who fought in the War for Independence. Instead, it referred to the large number of Christian Pastors who served in the Continental Army, not as chaplains, but as combat soldiers and officers. They were called the black regiment because of the black robes they customarily wore in the pulpit when preaching. It was not unusual for all the able-bodied men in a church to follow their Pastor’s lead in joining either the local militia or the army. Entire congregations often showed up at the recruiting office as a group and fought as a group in battle.

The First Amendment was never meant to protect citizens from incidental exposure to the religious view of their fellow Americans. In fact, for over a hundred and fifty years after the ratification of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, our Christian heritage was openly celebrated in practically all American institutions, schools, courts, government assemblies, and public gatherings of all types. Virtually all senior citizens of today who grew up in America can remember starting every school day with a morning devotional, led by the teacher. Why, we even said the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag. That “wall of separation” found in the First Amendment and alluded to by Thomas Jefferson in the famous letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802 was not a wall intended to keep out the influence of Christianity or religion in our public policies. It was intended to keep the national government from meddling in the religious affairs of the people.

It was not until the 1960s that the Supreme Court suddenly discovered new meaning in the First Amendment phrase, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”, that had never been noticed by any of their predecessors in the 175 year history of the court. The court deliberately ignored the second phrase in the clause, “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. In doing so, the court inadvertently or intentionally created the conditions guaranteeing exactly what the first phrase prohibited, the establishment of a national religion. In officially disconnecting the American culture from its Christian heritage, they created a vacuum that was quickly filled with another religious structure more compatible with the changing American mindset. Secular Humanism became the established religion of America.

Since that time, the courts have consistently ruled and legislators have routinely passed laws supporting the doctrines of secular humanism, America’s new established religion. Court rulings and laws supporting environmentalism, same-sex marriage, abortion, etc., etc., are all based on the doctrines of secular humanism. This shift away from the traditional American values embodied in our Christian heritage is rapidly leading to the destruction of our culture, our political system and our economic well-being. The eradication of Christian values is essential to the acceptance by our citizens of the socialist system envisioned by America’s new “ruling class”. Christianity is incompatible with socialism; On the other hand, secular humanism supports and even encourages socialist policies.

While the media will have a field day with Santorum’s statement in the coming week, patriots who understand America’s history and heritage should applaud him for his courage in standing firm on his and America’s traditional values. A politician who is willing to compromise his or her core principles in order to win an election is not worthy of the office they seek. One of the questions all Americans have to answer in the coming elections is do we prefer a leader who stands by and defends his principles or do we prefer candidates who have no principles? The future of America may stand or fall on the answer voters give to this question.

Who’s Defending the Constitution? Part Two

In part one of “Who’s Defending the Constitution” we discussed numerous examples of attacks on the Constitution at all levels of government, the media, universities, etc… I received several more examples via e-mail and Facebook from readers of the post so now the question is, why the public disdain from so many of our “leaders” in the government, school and the media? We’ll discuss a theory regarding  the constant barrage of attacks in a future post but for now, let’s go over why the constitution has become so easy for the left to knock around.

To begin with, so few people know the contents of the Constitution or the true history surrounding the writing of it. If it is taught in public education at all it is taught as this is the way our government is built, three branches, memorize that and move on. And that’s about all that people really know about the constitution. We have one and it was written a really long time ago. It means absolutely nothing to anyone without the context in which it was written. In fact, since it’s not really possible to understand the Constitution without understanding the true history of the times and the Declaration of Independence, I would suggest that it would be almost impossible to teach correctly in a public school system. It is not possible to teach the understanding of the Constitution without the subject of God entering into the conversation. And in these times, that would almost certainly land in the Judicial Branch of the government. Imagine this in a public education classroom:

  • Our Rights are unalienable and come from God.
  • The purpose of civil government is to protect our God-given Rights.
  • Civil government is legitimate only when it operates with our consent.
  • Since the US Constitution is the formal expression of the Will of the People, the federal government operates with our consent only when it obeys the Constitution.

And this segues straight into another reason why the Constitution is losing its’ prominence among our nation and the rest of the world. In the 1962 Engle vs. Vitale case and the 1963 Abington School District vs. Schempp cases, the Supreme Court ruled against school prayer and school sponsored religious activities. This essentially started the highway we’re on now, where every court case is ruled in such a way that it is freed from religion as opposed to the originally intended freedom of religion as stated in our founding documents. The result has been tragic. We are at the point now where we cannot express our religious freedoms on government properly for fear of a lawsuit from the minority of people who believe in no God whatsoever. So the foundational principals of our Constitutional Republic have been ripped out from under us. The Judeo-Christian values and the Ten Commandments. Without a firm understanding of these from the branches of governments that are supposed to protect them, the Constitution is just another “form of government document”.

So now we have multiple generations of people who see their rights coming from the government – not God. And we cannot in reality even teach the fact the sole purpose of government is to protect our God-given rights in a public school. Hence the extreme frustration our country has with our government and its’ inability to take “care” of us in a way that they see fit. This is why we continue to hear cries for democracy despite the fact that democracy is never mentioned in the constitution. And I contend it is a major factor why the increasing power of the executive branch is not just overlooked, but encouraged. (More on that in the future.)

I strongly encourage anyone that is reading this post to understand and study our founding documents and the history surrounding them. One of the purposes of Christian Patriots USA is to have a firm understanding of these and encourage and teach them in every way we can. We believe it is just as critical that we are able to reach and teach our children so that have a proper understanding of what the roles of the government are and what their roles and responsibilities are to keep what our Founding Fathers had intended.

Obama Giving America the “Bird”

In the midst of the Revolutionary War, Congress set up a committee to design a seal for the United States of America. The design they finally settled on and adopted by an act of Congress, June 20, 1782, included the Bald Eagle as our National Bird. The Society of the Cincinnati, An organization of Army officers in the Revolutionary War incorporated a crudely drawn Eagle into the symbol for its organization. To some, including Benjamin Franklin, the drawing resembled a turkey more so than an Eagle, prompting Franklin to comment to his daughter Sally, in a letter of January 26, 1784, his doubts about the choice.

“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labor of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

“With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country…

“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth is, the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”

Over two hundred years later, when reviewing the history of America in the context of the socialist policies adopted by our government over the past several generations, especially those promulgated by the Obama administration, it appears the Founders may have been prescient in their choice. Certainly the character of the eagle, as described by Franklin is more symbolic of a great number of the American people today than those of the Revolutionary War era. However, in place of the Turkey as suggested by Franklin, I would like to nominate the Ostrich as our national bird. I realize that the myth of an Ostrich burying his head in the sand when confronted with danger is based on fiction and not fact, but the image is an accurate description of a large segment of the American people.

During the 2008 election season, Barack Obama clearly communicated his socialist intentions to the American people who were paying attention. He was considered the “great orator” of the twenty-first century by many. Although he spoke in platitudes and clichés of “hope and change”, he made little effort to hide his intentions from the American people. The socialists among us understood his message and enthusiastically supported his candidacy. With the exception of a few Americans with some understanding of Constitutional government and history, many Americans “hid their heads in the sand”, figuratively speaking. Those who raised their voices in warning of Obama’s intentions were ridiculed and condemned as “conspiracy freaks” and “right-wing fanatics”. Their critics assured themselves and us that “those things could never happen in America” because of our Constitution and besides, “The American People would never stand for it.”

Three years later, we have socialism and new socialist policies forced upon us on an almost daily basis and still, the American Media and many conservative leaders refuse to take their heads out of the sand and look around at what is happening to the country.

Over the past three years, we have been tracking the governing style of Obama and comparing it with that of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela prior to his suspending elections and becoming Venezuela’s dictator President as he is today. It is evident for those who are paying attention that Obama is following Chavez’s pattern.

The most recent example of this fact is Obama’s “we can’t wait” initiative. By that he means that when Congress refuses to rubber stamp his socialist policies, he will ignore Congress and accomplish his goals through the bureaucratic system set up in the Executive Branch. Yesterday, Obama again clearly stated his intentions in a speech given at the Eisenhower Executive Building in Washington, and quoted in CNS news, Obama said;

“When Congress refuses to act, Joe and I are going to act,” Obama said on Tuesday, with Vice President Joe Biden at his side. “In the months to come, wherever we have an opportunity, we’re going to take steps on our own to keep this economy moving.”

Speaking to and about the “middle class” Obama said that, “With or without Congress, I’m going to continue to fight for them. These are the words of a would-be despot, not those of an American President who recognizes the constraints placed on him by the Constitution. The very first sentence in the body of the Constitution says. “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” For political reasons, Progressive Congresses have abdicated this power, willingly giving it to the Executive and Judicial Branches by establishing bureaucratic departments and delegating to them legislative powers not sanctioned by the Constitution.

The progressive (American socialist) Democratic Party now routinely uses the Federal Court System and the Bureaucratic systems in the Executive Branch to circumvent the wishes of the people and the Congress. These departments and their tyrannical actions are further isolated from Congress and the American people by being placed under the direction of Czars, (the Administration’s term, not mine), unaccountable to Congress and untouchable by the electoral process. The weak response of the media to yesterday’s speech by Obama and the ho-hum attitude of the American people serve as ample reasons to change out national symbol from the Bald Eagle to the mighty Ostrich.

Who’s Defending The Constitution? Part One

By Art Wilson

The US Constitution was put on trial this week in a public way such as I have never seen before. I would say that it has been under attack for quite some time, specifically beginning in 1962, but never before in such a public manner. The week began with the story of Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s January 30th interview in Egypt regarding the drafting of an Egyptian constitution. The Supreme Court Judge made a couple of statements that, too many Americans that pay attention to what is going on in our government found shocking. Courtesy of MEMRI TV:

I can’t speak about what the Egyptian experience should be, because I’m operating under a rather old constitution. The United States, in comparison to Egypt, is a very new nation, and yet we have the oldest written constitution still in force in the world.

You should certainly be aided by all the constitution-writing that has gone on since the end of World War II. I would not look to the US constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the constitution of South Africa. That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, had an independent judiciary… It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done. Much more recent than the US constitution – Canada has a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It dates from 1982. You would almost certainly look at the European Convention on Human Rights. Yes, why not take advantage of what there is elsewhere in the world?

Wait. What? Let’s go back over one of the two Oaths of Office she had to take prior to taking the bench in 1993.

The Constitutional Oath:

“I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.  So help me God.”

How does one reconcile the Oath of Office that she took and the statements that were made in Egypt? It seems quite apparent that for nearly twenty years we’ve had a Supreme Court Justice sitting on the bench that has a complete disdain for the rather old document the she wouldn’t even look at today if she could go back and do it all over again.

And then there was the New York Times piece that came out February 6, 2012 by Adam Liptak; “‘We The People’ Loses Appeal With People Around the World”. The piece references a study to be published in June in The New York University Law Review regarding the “ free-fall of constitutional similarity to the United States”. The study notes that the US Constitution was the most widely recognized and emulated documents for new governments up until the 1980 and 1990s. The writer then goes on to state the possible reasons why he feels this is the case:

The United States Constitution is terse and old, and it guarantees relatively few rights. The commitment of some members of the Supreme Court to interpreting the Constitution according to its original meaning in the 18th century may send the signal that it is of little current use to, say, a new African nation. And the Constitution’s waning influence may be part of a general decline in American power and prestige.”

He mentions an interview where Professor Law, one of the authors of the study, where he identifies a central reason for the trend: The availability of newer, sexier and more powerful operating systems in the constitutional marketplace. Nobody wants to copy Windows 3.1.”

Wow! Really? The Constitutional Amendment process isn’t good enough anymore? We just need an “upgrade”? Our Constitution just isn’t “sexy” enough anymore? This sounds eerily similar to the statements made by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria last June that the Constitution is “outdated” and should be “debated and fixed” and in an interview with Charlie Rose that “ America is parochial and there are countries around the world that do things better than we do.”. Then again, what can we expect from a man that lauded Finland for trying to come up with a constitution via Twitter?

We should by now know several examples of what many members of Congress feel about the Constitution. Maxine Waters congressional slip that she was all about socializing companies. Nancy Pelosi in 2009 degrading a CNS reporter when asked if she thought the health care was Constitutional. If they’re not outright expressing their disdain for the Constitution, their ability to ignore it in their actions pretty much sums it up.

While attacks on the Constitution are not new, they really came to light during the 2008 presidential campaign thanks to our current President. Appearing on a WBEZ-FM radio show, January 18, 2001, to discuss “The Courts and Civil Rights”, Obama laments the fact that

The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society” and “It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution…”

and finally the highly played,

“…the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.”.  In September of that same year on the same radio show, this one titled “Slavery and the Constitution”, Obama stated about the Constitution, “But I think it is an imperfect document, and I think it is a document that reflects some deep flaws in American culture, the Colonial culture nascent at that time.” and “I think we can say that the Constitution reflected an enormous blind spot in this culture that carries on until this day, and that the Framers had that same blind spot.”

Before we get to far down the “that was then and this is now” path, it’s not too difficult to Google the numerous times the President has bemoaned the fact that he felt constrained by the Constitution and the way our government works. I began noticing it as a constant theme beginning with the La Raza speech last July. And he’s carried this theme in many of his speeches since them included last months’ Presidential Address. (Note: This will be addressed in a future posting.)

So now we’re back to the original question. Who’s defending the Constitution? We have officials in all three branches of government, professors in our universities, the media and apparently the rest of the world that show contempt for the bedrock of the greatest nation in history. If our elected officials in government will not defend the Constitution who will? I believe the answer to that question lies in the preamble:

We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

In the actual Constitution, “We the People” was highlighted and written larger than any of the other words in the document. We are the people that will have to defend our Constitution if we wish for it to remain in place. That means studying the Constitution and understanding it. Only in doing this can we teach our families and friends and hopefully spark a grass roots interest in our founding documents. It is our responsibility to work from the bottom up since it has become quite evident that we can no longer depend on our leaders to defend the Constitution. But then, we should have been involved all along.

Note: This is the first part of a multi-part series regarding the attacks and defense of the constitution. If you would like to learn more about the Constitution, I’d like to recommend the following site: http://illinoisconservative.com/ . At this site, you’ll find the Constitution in both the standard format and the reference format.