Thursday, March 31, 2005
Are You Being Targeted For Non-Voluntary Euthanasia?
March 31, 2005
Dear NWV readers.
We are sending out this alert, because we feel this may be one of the most important articles you ever read. It may one day save one of your loved ones life. Print it out, make hundreds of copies and give it to every member on your city council and county government.
Are You Being Targeted For Euthanasia?http://www.catholictradition.org/targeted.htm
by Mary Therese Helmueller, R.N.
In 1984, while working as charge nurse in the intensive care unit, a 20-year-old man asked, “Can you give my mother enough morphine to let her sleep away?” I was horrified. “I can not kill your mother,” I responded. That was only the beginning. Recently, an 80-year-old was admitted to the emergency room and the physician said, “LET’S DEHYDRATE HER”; one more patient was sentenced to die in hospice with NO TERMINAL DIAGNOSIS and once again, THE LIVING WILL determined the death of a 70-year-old man regardless of how he pleaded to live. I can no longer remain silent.
Your life may be in danger if you are admitted to a hospital, especially if you are over 65 or have a chronic illness or a disability. The elderly are frequently dying three days after being admitted to the hospital. Some attribute it to “old age syndrome” while others admit that overdosing is all too common. Euthanasia is not legal but it is being practiced. Last year the New England Journal of Medicine reported that 1 in 5 critical care nurses admit to having hastened the death of the terminally ill! I believe the percentage is much higher. I have worked with nurses who even admit to overdosing their parents. No one knows the exact euthanasia rate in the United States, however Dr. Dolan from the University of Minnesota states that 40 percent of all reported deaths is probably a conservative estimation. If this is true then the United States is executing euthanasia at a higher percentage rate than the Netherlands where it is also illegal but widely practiced.
Did you know that many doctors and nurses whom we trust are speaking openly about their desire to practice euthanasia? In fact they are even speaking about ending their OWN lives when they reach the age of 65 or BEFORE if diagnosed with an illness. Some even admit to stealing the drugs for their own lethal injection. Think about it. These are the same people who will determine the value of YOUR life. If they do not value their own, how can you expect them to value yours?
I am a registered nurse in the St. Paul/ Minneapolis area with 15 years experience in emergency and critical care. My knowledge of euthanasia not only comes from my experience working in the critical care units throughout the Twin Cities, but also comes from a personal tragedy and loss in 1995. This is my true story. My hope is that you will educate others and protect yourselves and loved ones.
On Monday, February 20th, my grandmother was admitted to a local Catholic hospital with a fracture above the left knee. She was alert and orientated upon admission but became unresponsive after 48 hours and was transferred to hospice on the fourth day and died upon arrival.
I was in Mexico City conducting a pilgrimage and unable to be at her side so there were many questions upon my return. The doctors could not tell me the cause of her death so I began to search for the answers and was fortunate to obtain the hospital chart. It then became very clear that my grandmother had been targeted for euthanasia!
Carefully tracing the events it was evident that my grandmother became lethargic and unresponsive after each pain medication. She would awaken between times saying “I don’t want to die, I want to live to see Johnny ordained”; “I want to see Greta walk.” Johnny was her grandson studying in Rome to be a priest and Greta was her new great-grandchild. Even though over-sedation is one of the most common problems with the elderly she was immediately diagnosed as having a stroke. When she became comatose a completely hopeless picture of recovery was portrayed by the nurses and doctors who reported that she had a stroke, was having seizures, going in and out of a coma, and was in renal failure.
The truth however can be found in the hospital chart which indicates that everything was normal! The CAT scan was negative for stroke or obstruction, the EEG states “no seizure activity” and all blood work was normal indicating that she was not in renal failure! How were we to know that the coma was drug induced and that all the tests were normal? Why would they lie?
Looking over the chart it is clear that obtaining a “no code” status was the next essential step in executing her death. This is an order denying medical intervention in emergency situations. The “no code” was aggressively sought by the medical profession from the moment of her admission but was not granted by my family until it appeared that she was dying and there was no hope. Minutes after obtaining the “no code” a lethal dose of Dilantin (an anti-seizure medication) was administered intravenously over an 18-hour period. It put her into a deeper coma, slowing the respiratory rate and compromising the cardiovascular system leading to severe hemodynamic instability. The following day she was transferred to hospice and died upon arrival. The death certificate reads “Death by natural causes.”
My grandmother had no terminal diagnosis but the hospice admitting record indicates two doctors signed their name stating that she was terminally ill and would die within six months. How was this determined? The first doctor, who was the director of hospice, never came to evaluate her or even read the chart. More interesting is the fact that the second doctor was on vacation and returned three days after her death! Obviously these signatures were not obtained before or even upon her admission to hospice. How can this be professionally, morally or even legally acceptable? Can anyone therefore be admitted to hospice to die? It certainly seems possible especially if sedated or unresponsive. In fact, this hospice has recently been under investigation for accepting hundreds of patients who had no terminal illness.
It could happen to you
How can this happen? A serious problem lies in the definition and interpretation of “terminal illness” which permits the inclusion of chronic illnesses and disabilities. Terminal illness is defined as “an incurable or irreversible illness which produces death within six months.” The fact is that many chronic illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure are incurable and irreversible and without medical treatment such as insulin and other medications these illnesses would also produce death within six months. Therefore, those with chronic illnesses or disabilities can be conveniently denied medical treatment and even food and water to make them terminal. Typically it is the elderly who arrive in the hospital that are at the greatest risk. But it could be ANYONE! Especially those whose life and suffering is viewed as useless and burdensome.
Difficult to believe? Well it was for our prolife lawyer until his mother-in-law was admitted to a hospital several months later for a stroke. She became “unresponsive” and “comatose” a few days after her admission. The neurologist wrote an order to transfer her to hospice refusing an I.V. and tube feeding stating “this is the most compassionate treatment.” Remembering my story, our lawyer requested the removal of all narcotics and demanded an I.V. and tube feeding. This infuriated the neurologist. He began to accuse the family of being uncompassionate and inhumane. To prove his point he began a neurological assessment on the patient. Just then she opened her eyes and pulling the physician’s neck tie, forced his face to hers and said very clearly “Give me some water!” It was obvious that she was awake, alert and orientated. He angrily cancelled the transfer to hospice and ordered a tube feeding and intravenous. Several weeks later she was discharged and was exercising on the treadmill! She escaped the death sentence. Unfortunately many others like my grandmother have not. A stroke does not make you terminal but not receiving food and water does!
A clear understanding and definition of euthanasia is essential for a correct and moral judgment. Unfortunately the meaning is being altered by those who hold society’s values and by those who seek financial gain. According to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and reaffirmed by Pope John Paul II in his encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae euthanasia is defined as “an action or omission which of itself and by intention causes death, with the purpose of eliminating all suffering.”
The killing in hospitals today is commonly referred to as “the exit treatment” and disguised by the word “compassion.” Many doctors and nurses honestly believe that this is the most compassionate treatment for the elderly, the chronic and terminally ill, especially those whose suffering is seen as hopeless, inconvenient and a waste of time or money. Those who hold this twisted and corrupted idea of compassion actually believe they are doing good because suffering has no value and materialism is their god. For instance, how often have we heard that Medicare and Medicaid are “running out?” “So why not relieve pain and lighten the financial burden of our families and society?”
As a result, many patients are intentionally oversedated and forced to die from dehydration, starvation or over medication. “Death by natural causes” will be officially documented on the death certificate. Did you know that this is the exact same proclamation on the death certificate of St. Maximillian Kolbe? Everyone knows however that he died from a lethal injection in Auschwitz concentration camp after many days of dehydration and starvation!
Pope John Paul II states clearly in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae: “Here we are faced with one of the more alarming symptoms of the ‘Culture of Death’ which is advancing above all in prosperous societies, marked by an attitude of excessive preoccupation with efficiency and which sees the growing number of elderly and disabled as intolerable and too burdensome.”
Many souls are being denied the opportunity to reconcile with God and family members because their death has been hastened or deliberately taken. This is a grave and moral injustice. Pope Pius XII in his Address to an International Group of Physicians on February 24, 1957 stated, “It is not right to deprive the dying person of consciousness without a serious reason.” Pope John Paul II confirmed this in Evangelium Vitae saying, “as they approach death people ought to be able to satisfy their moral and family duties, and above all they ought to be able to prepare in a fully conscious way for their definitive meeting with God.”
Recently the Carmelite Sisters shared this tragic story of a friend whose husband was euthanized. Her husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer but was not expected to die for several months to a year. He had been away from the Catholic Church and the sacraments. He also was estranged from his children. One day he complained of pain that was not relieved by medication. The wife spoke to the nurse who then called the doctor. When the doctor arrived he gave an injection through the intravenous line. The husband took three breaths and died! The wife screamed, “I did not ask you to kill my husband!” “We needed time to reconcile our marriage and family.” She continued to cry, “He needed time to reconcile with God and the Church!”
It is evident that euthanasia is being even more cleverly planned and executed. A very holy priest from St. Paul was called to the hospital by a nurse to administer the last sacraments to a hospice patient. When the priest arrived he was surprised to find the patient sitting up in the chair! He visited with the patient approximately a half hour then heard his confession and administered the last sacraments. Just before he left the room the patient jumped up in bed and the nurse administered an injection. Perplexed and concerned, the good priest called the hospital upon returning to the rectory. The patient had already expired!
There is a good and legitimate purpose for hospice units, but how can it ever be morally acceptable to transfer patients to a unit to die when they have NO TERMINAL ILLNESS? How can sedating a patient and refusing a tube feeding and intravenous be considered compassionate? Dehydration and starvation is not a painless death! Has this become the Auschwitz of today? A convenient and economically efficient place to dump the unwanted, imperfect, and burdensome of our society?
Would a “living will” prevent these tragic events? The living will makes you a clear and easy target to be euthanized. A “living will” has nothing to do with living. It is your death warrant. It actually gives permission to facilitate your death by denying medical treatment. Did you know that it was originally developed by Luis Kutner in 1967 for the Euthanasia Society of America? It is the most cost effective tool for hospitals, insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid. Therefore, since 1990 it has been deceptively packaged and promoted as a patient’s right known as “the Patient Self-determination Act.” If cutting care for those patients who ask for it wasn’t so successful in saving money and controlling the budget, why then did it originate in the Senate Finance Committee and why was it supported by the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health? These are finance committees whose only interest is controlling the budget! It is obvious that the living will is all about saving money, not your life!
Many people fear the loss of control that comes with illness and hospitalization. Tragically, they are deceived in thinking that the “living will” protects them and restores this control in their lives. Nothing could be further from the truth. No one knows the exact condition in which they will be admitted to the hospital. The “living will” is written in very broad terms leaving it open to the interpretation of medical professionals and others who stand to benefit from your demise. Remember your best interests or your interpretation may not be theirs! Can you imagine writing general instructions or signing a legal contract for the care of your Mercedes Benz several years before any problem occurs? “Please do not give oil or gas”; “If in three days it can not be fixed stop everything and trash the car.” How absurd and ridiculous! It takes time to diagnose and treat even car problems! If we would not foolishly demand this for a car then how can we demand it for a human life which has an eternal value?
Recently, a 70-year-old was admitted through the emergency room in respiratory distress. He was placed on a ventilator and transported to the intensive care unit. He was awake, alert and orientated anxiously writing notes: “I don’t want to die”; “I changed my mind”; and “Please don’t take me off the machine.” He was very persistent and urgent with his pleading. I soon understood why! His family and physicians were meeting to discuss a serious problem. He had signed a “living will” declaring that he did not want “any extraordinary measures.” He was now viewed as “incapable” of making any decisions and they wanted to follow his wishes as stated in the legal document! Very convenient for those who do not want their inheritance spent on hospital costs and for those who do not want to be bothered with a “useless burden” to our society!
Today hospitals and health care facilities are required to ask patients if they have a living will or lose government funding! The question is proposed in such a way to create pressure on patients so that they think it is something good, desirable and necessary. “Do you know that you have a right in the state of Minnesota to possess a living will?” Please remember that the living will targets you for euthanasia by denying you medical treatment. Living wills kill; they do not protect you. Instead, I urge you to obtain a copy of “The Protective Medical Decisions Document” (PMDD) from the International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force, P.O. Box 756, Steubenville, Ohio 43952. Sign it and keep it among your records. Please get rid of your living will!
Can you or a loved one be targeted for euthanasia without a living will? The course of events and treatment in my grandmother’s short hospitalization are documented. She did not have a living will. Please know the following steps—it could save your loved one’s life.
1) Oversedation causing lethargy and unresponsiveness
Difficulty or inability to awaken a patient.
Some patients, especially the elderly, are very sensitive to pain medications which are slowly metabolized by the liver. Toxic levels build quickly with very small doses commonly producing lethargy and unresponsiveness. Elderly patients require approximately 20% less of the normal adult doses.
2) A hopeless picture of any recovery
The patient appears to be comatose and dying. The medical staff affirms this with overwhelming reports and statements.
3) No code status also referred to as DNR/DNI (do not resuscitate/ do not intubate)—The consent is obtained from the family.
It is a request to deny a patient delivered emergency care in a life-threatening situation.
4) Lethal doses of Dilantin or narcotics —(morphine)
This will hasten the death, shortening the hospital stay and expenses.
5) Transfer to hospice without tube feeding or intravenous
Due to sedation and inability to eat or drink the patient will die of dehydration and starvation.
If a loved one is lethargic or unresponsive demand to see the medical chart and medications sheet. If you do not understand the terminology and medications, consult a pharmacist. A computer printout is available at pharmacies on most medications. If you suspect over sedation speak to a prolife doctor or nurse and then ask to stop all narcotics and wait at least for 48 hours to see if there is any improvement. Contact prolife organizations such as National Right to Life—to obtain information and local phone numbers of prolife organizations, doctors, nurses or lawyers in your area: National Right to Life; 419 Seventh St. N.W., Suite 500; Washington, D.C. 20004; 202-626-8800.
Think twice before giving consent to a “no code status.” It has become too convenient for those nurses and doctors who hasten the death of their patients! Furthermore, it not only denies emergency medical treatment but many professionals also deny the following: antibiotics for pneumonia; medications and assistance to choking victims!
If your loved one is being transferred to hospice DO NOT assume there is a terminal illness. Ask to see the chart especially in regards to unresponsive elderly and comatose patients. Remember that “comatose” is not a terminal illness, but not receiving food and water will make anyone terminal! Always ask for a second opinion. Consult with prolife nurses or doctors.
If you need assistance in finding a prolife doctor, information, or just need to discuss your concerns on a particular case, please contact The Moscati Institute; 2901 Branch Street; Duluth MN 55812; 218-728-4608.
Your life may be in danger especially if you are over 65 and admitted to the hospital. Euthanasia is not legal in the United States but is being practiced. Recently, Dr. Kevorkian in a TV interview said “Why is everyone focused on me? There are many more doctors doing the same thing!” A pediatric cardiologist who interviews students for a prominent medical school on the east coast recently reported that more than 95 percent agreed with Dr. Kevorkian’s practices. The culture of death has permeated the minds of our doctors before they enter medical school! Obviously euthanasia is already being taught through the media, entertainment, primary and secondary schools and even in our families!
Euthanasia is embraced by the lack of Christian values in our society. It is the result of a culture that has accepted and promoted the killing of unborn children. The value of life is the extent of the pleasure and well-being it brings. Suffering, imperfection, illness, and inefficiency are viewed as unbearable setbacks, useless and burdensome. Death is viewed as a “rightful liberation.” As a result, euthanasia is packaged to appear desirable and then sold to the unsuspecting public as the “living will,” “death with dignity” and “the right to die.” Is it not logical that those who can kill the child in the womb will also kill their parents in their old age for the same reasons of convenience, compassion, money etc. . . . ?
It is our moral obligation as Catholics to promote the teachings and truths of the Church. As an authentic Catholic we can never promote euthanasia by saying: “I hope there is a Kevorkian around when I get older,” or “Just shoot me if I ever become like that.” There is a great spiritual value to suffering. Every human life must be valued and supported as a precious gift of God. We can not afford to patronize movies, TV programs, businesses or any forms of entertainment that promote, encourage and support the killing of innocent life. We must support and vote for prolife political candidates or we share the responsibility of killing. We must support prolife organizations with our available gifts and talents. It is our duty and obligation to be informed Catholics. We can not fight what we do not know or do not see. Please contact Human Life International and ask for their monthly newsletter. Human Life International; 4 Family Life; Front Royal, VA 22630; phone: 540-635-7884; FAX: 540-636-7363.
Most important however we must pray for the conversion of our government officials and medical professionals that their minds are enlightened and inspired to work in building the kingdom of Jesus Christ by seeking to protect all human life from the moment of conception to natural death.
It’s time to wake up! Euthanasia is here! We will be responsible to almighty God for doing nothing. You have escaped death by abortion but you are all being targeted for euthanasia!
Miss Mary Therese Helmueller, R.N. lives and works in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. She is a registered nurse with fifteen years of experience in emergency and critical care. This article originally appeared in Homiletic and Pastoral Review.
With special thanks to Christine,___________ who used to host her own radio program sent us this article. Christine said that the US Comgress should not only have subpoened Terri Schiavo as a witness, it should also have placed her in the Witness Protection Program. I second that!-----The Web Master
Terri Schiavo Is Dead
Schiavo Dies After Feeding Tube Removed
By MIKE SCHNEIDER
PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (AP) - Terri Schiavo, the severely brain-damaged woman whose final years tethered to a feeding tube sparked a bitter feud over her fate that divided a family and a nation, died Thursday.
Schiavo, 41, died quietly in a Pinellas Park hospice 13 days after her feeding tube was removed despite extraordinary intervention by Florida lawmakers, Congress and President Bush - efforts that were rebuffed at every turn by the courts.
Her death was confirmed to The Associated Press by Michael Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, and announced to reporters outside her hospice by a family adviser.
``It is with great sadness that it's been reported to us that Terri Schiavo has passed away,'' said Paul O'Donnell, a spokesman for the Schindlers. He said her parents would be making a statement later Thursday.
Dawn Kozsey, 47, a musician who was among those outside Schiavo's hospice, wept when she learned of the woman's death.
``Words cannot express the rage I feel,'' she said. ``Is my heart broken for this? Yes.''
A shy woman who avoided the spotlight, Schiavo spent her final months as the focus of a media frenzy and an epic legal battle between her husband and parents over whether she should live or die.
Protesters streamed into Pinellas Park to keep vigil outside her hospice, with many arrested as they tried to bring her food and water. The Vatican likened the removal of her feeding tube to capital punishment for an innocent woman.
Politicians repeatedly tried to intervene as her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, pleaded for their daughter's life, calling the removal of the feeding tube ``judicial homicide.''
``Something has to be done and has to be done quick,'' Bob Schindler said, a week after the tube was removed March 18, as the family's legal options dwindled. ``I think the people who are anxious to see her die are getting their wish.''
Although several right-to-die cases have been fought in the courts across the nation in recent years, none has been this public, drawn-out and bitter.
Schiavo depended on a feeding tube for more than 15 years after she collapsed and was left in what court-appointed doctors said was a vegetative state. Her husband, Michael, said she would not want to be kept alive artificially and courts agreed.
Terri Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, kept up their desperate appeals, maintaining that their daughter could improve. They said she laughed, cried, responded to them and tried to talk.
The case wound its way through six courts for seven years; the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene six times, the final time Wednesday. Schiavo's fate was debated on the floor of Congress and by President Bush, who signed an extraordinary bill March 21 that let federal judges review her case.
``In extraordinary circumstances like this, it is wise to always err on the side of life,'' the president said.
But federal courts refused to overturn rulings by state judges. The federal government has usually left right-to-die issues to the states, and the courts repeatedly found the parents' arguments had no merit.
Before people became obsessed with whether she should die, Terri Schiavo avoided the limelight.
Described by her family as a shy woman who loved animals, music and basketball, Terri Schindler grew up in Pennsylvania and battled a weight problem in her youth. She blossomed when the weight came off.
``Terri has always been beautiful from the inside out,'' a friend, Diane Meyer, said in 2003. ``And then when she lost all the weight, she really became quite beautiful on the outside as well. What was inside she allowed to shine out at that point.''
She met Michael Schiavo - pronounced SHI voh - at Bucks County Community College near Philadelphia in 1982. They wed two years later. After they moved to Florida, she worked in an insurance agency.
But recurring battles with weight led to the eating disorder that is blamed for her collapse at age 26. Doctors said she suffered severe brain damage when her heart stopped beating because of a potassium imbalance. Her brain was deprived of oxygen for 10 minutes before she was revived, doctors estimated.
Because Terri Schiavo did not leave written wishes on her care, Florida law gave preference to Michael Schiavo over her parents. But the law also recognizes parents as having crucial opinions in the care of an incapacitated person.
A court-appointed physician testified her brain damage was so severe that there was no hope she would ever have any cognitive abilities.
Still, her parents, who visited her nearly every day, reported their daughter laughed, cried, smiled and responded to their voices. Video showing the dark-haired woman appearing to interact with her family was televised nationally. But the court-appointed doctor said the noises and facial expressions were reflexes.
Both sides accused each other of being motivated by greed over a $1 million medical malpractice award from doctors who failed to diagnose the chemical imbalance. However, that money, which Michael Schiavo received in 1993, has all but evaporated, spent on his wife's care and the court fight. Just $40,000 to $50,000 remained as of mid-March.
Michael Schiavo's lawyers suggested the Schindlers wanted to get some of the money. And the Schindlers questioned their son-in-law's sincerity, saying he never mentioned his wife's wishes until winning the case.
The parents tried to have Michael Schiavo removed as his wife's guardian because he lives with another woman and has two children with her. Michael Schiavo has refused to divorce his wife, saying he feared the Schindlers would ignore her desire to die.
Schiavo lived in her brain-damaged state longer than two other young women whose cases brought right-to-die issues to the forefront of public attention.
Karen Quinlan lived for more than a decade in a vegetative state - brought on by alcohol and drugs in 1975 when she was 21 - until New Jersey courts finally let her parents take her off a respirator. Nancy Cruzan, who was 25 when a 1983 car crash placed her in a vegetative state, lived nearly eight years before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that her parents could withdraw her feeding tube.
In those cases, however, the family agreed to end life-saving measures.
Heeding her husband's wishes, a judge first ordered Schiavo's feeding tube removed five years ago, and it was briefly removed in 2001. It was reinserted after two days when a court intervened.
In October 2003, the tube was removed again, but Gov. Jeb Bush hastily pushed ``Terri's Law'' through the legislature, allowing the state to have the feeding tube reinserted after six days. The Florida Supreme Court later ruled that law was unconstitutional.
On March 18, the tue was removed for the third and final time.
© Copyright The Associated Press.
I Would Never Have Guessed This
March 30, 2005
You'd better sit down and firmly grip your bowl of Corn Flakes while reading this shocking news: College faculties are not only mostly liberal, but lean even further to the left than conservatives have imagined.
According to a study by professors at Smith College, George Mason University and the University of Toronto (they surveyed 1,643 full-time faculty at 183 four-year schools), 72 percent of professors at American universities labeled themselves liberal, while just 15 percent said they are conservative. 50 percent of faculty members identified themselves as Democrats and only 11 percent Republicans.
Political Science professors Robert Lichter of George Mason University, Neil Nevitte of the University of Toronto and Stanley Rothman of Smith College also found that 51 percent of those surveyed said they rarely or never attend church or synagogue.
These liberal leanings translate into liberal political beliefs. 84 percent of those surveyed are strongly or somewhat in favor of abortion rights, 67 percent think homosexuality is acceptable, 88 percent want more environmental protection "even if it raises prices or costs jobs" and 65 percent want the government to ensure full employment, which puts the professors to the left of the Democratic Party.
The study, appearing in the March issue of the online political journal the Forum, was funded by the Randolph Foundation, which donates to mostly conservative organizations.
Jonathan Knight, director of academic freedom and tenure for the American Association of University Professors, was asked about the study. He told The Washington Post, "The question is how this translates into what happens within the academic community on such issues as curriculum, admission of students, evaluation of students, evaluation of faculty for salary and promotion."
Knight added he is not aware of "any good evidence" linking the personal views of professors to what they teach. He must be living in an ivory tower without Internet access, or he believes surveys such as this one are "bad evidence" because they don't conform to his views.
A quick Google search of "liberalism on college campuses" brings a wealth of good evidence that what is being taught on many of them is anti-American, anti-religious, anti-Israel, pro-gay rights and pro-abortion, often to the exclusion and ridicule of opposing views.
In December, Columbia University appointed a committee to look into charges of bias and intimidation by faculty, particularly in Middle East studies. Columbia isn't the only university with bias problems when it comes to the Middle East. Checkout www.campus-watch.org for many more examples.
Ward Churchill, a tenured professor at the University of Colorado, is in the news for his grotesque characterization of the 9/11 victims as "little Eichmanns" who were not casualties of terrorism, but legitimate "military targets." His views are part of his teaching.
From "gay rights" courses, even majors, at an increasing number of colleges, to the usual anti-military and anti-free enterprise bilge that has been documented in numerous books and articles, only those who are in complete denial would claim there is no link between the mostly liberal views of professors and how they shape their subject matter in the classroom, at numerous forums and in campus advocacy groups that constitute modern academic life.
Thomas Reeves of the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute has said "conservatives are discriminated against routinely and deliberately" in faculty hiring, making some highly qualified teachers virtually unemployable because of their political and social views. This guarantees a perpetuation of a one-dimensional approach to most subjects.
In matters of race and gender, colleges practice affirmative action to employ more minority and female professors and attract more students with these characteristics. Why won't they do the same for conservative professors and students in the name of diversity, pluralism and academic freedom?
Why do so many conservative parents send their children to these colleges and often subsidize their tuition when so many undermine their beliefs and values? Stories are legion of young people who are sent to these schools and emerge with a far different worldview from when they entered.
Fortunately, there are many alternatives to these "reeducation camps" and parents would be well-advised to search for them if they don't want their kids to grow up to be liberals.
©2005 Tribune Media Services
What Is a Soviet?
What Is a Soviet?
by Michael Shaw
Advance Bulletin News & Commentary
March 30, 2005
People know that a soviet system of government is a dismal failure. A failure so bad, in fact, that its inconceivable to consider that soviet-style "change agents" might actually be Americans living and working in our own neighborhoods. Even worse, would be to discover that your smiling political leaders might also be "agents of change."
In these increasingly divisive and stressful times, a need for the basic understanding of political systems has become crucial. At a young age I learned that a "soviet" was a system of interconnected councils that worked to suppres destroy individual personality, suppress individual potential, and centralize power into the hands of those who sought to control human action and human production.
As a political science major and later as a law student, the definition of, or nature of a soviet social system was never addressed. But years later when "stakeholder consensus councils" began to swarm Santa Cruz County, I began to evaulate the subject in earnest.
Santa Cruz California establishes a national model
In early 2001 a proliferation of councils popped up all over Santa Cruz county. Among them were:
* A "Fire Safety Council" - created in order to impose a county wide Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). The plan was designed by the Federal Department of Interior and would have prevented rural landowners from reducing vegetation fuel loads on their land in the name of safety!
* "Watershed Councils" - established for nearly every trickling watercourse in order to regulate human action from the stream bank to the upland ridge.
* Special 'action' neighborhood councils - designed to control home size, tree pruning or removal, colors and more for existing and prospective private homes.
* A Federal ocean "sanctuary" - created to regulate and monitor the flow and use of all water between the mountain ridge and the sea shore.
Today, forest trees cannot be cut. The forest has become less healthy and more fire-prone. Farmers pay exorbitant taxes to draw water from their own wells. Commercial fishermen cannot fish the ocean. A ludicrious mass-transit system is being financed with federal and state money. dense government housing is being built along the coastal rail line. Rules and regulation covering all manner of human activity are sprouting like forest mushrooms after rains. "Consensus" rules the day; Roberts Rules of Order have ben abandoned (or substituted with phony versions intended to fool people.) Consistently each council is comprised of people (often the same ones) who are in agreement with a pre-arranged outcome.
I know that the outcomes are pre-arranged because I attended many of these "stakeholder" meetings. My perspective always included addressing the consequence of the planned program on private property and individual autonomy. Without exception an attempt was made by the paid "facilitators" to disregard comments like mine. After realizing that a pattern existed within these councils, some of us learned how to expose the "change agents" objectives, despite being massively outnumbered by other people getting paid to attend the meetings.
For instance, the HCP "consensus" was drawn from "stakeholders" including the Federal Department of the Interior, the Resource Conservation District, the State Department of Natural Resources, the County Planning Department, the Sierra Club, the Native Plant Society, Congressman Sam Farr's Office, insurance industry representatives, the county Fire Chiefs, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's), and local "environmental" activists. This council was defeated because the proponents could not stand up to the exposure of their irrationality by a small group of reasoned citizens. Why did so many people fight so hard to destroy citizen lifestyles at the risk of catastrophic fire in order to pursue a nonsensical land management policy?
The guidebook behind the Santa Cruz soviet system of "regional" councils is the Santa Cruz local United Nations Agenda 21 (Sustainable Development). I attended these meetings, too. We were told at the time (1996) that Agenda 21 was not connected to the U.N. and that the concept was developed locally. Although the policies were patently irrational, the local Board of Supervisors quietly adopted its provisions as local governing policy. Congressman Farr congratulated the local Agenda 21 committee "The 'Local Agenda 21' Action Plan will not only have local significance, it also will have regional and national impacts."
Agenda 21 is sweeping America under the nomenclature "Sustainable Development" using the environment as an ostensible front for the real purpose behind Sustainable Development Agenda 21 – implementing a partnership between business and government in order to seize America's natural resources and to excersize increasing control over the American people.
The definition of a soviet:
* A soviet is a system of councils that report to an apex council and implement a predetermined outcome, often by consensus, affecting a region or neighborhood.
* Members of a soviet council are chosen by virtue of their willingness to comply with that outcome and their one-mindedness with the group
* Soviets are the operating mechanism of a government-controlled economy, whether it be socialism or government-corporate ("public-private") partnerships
Change agents are working with oppertunists and other foolish people by coordinating government, business, NGO, and "non-profit" partners to implement a soviet system in your county, too.
Michael Shaw is an Abundance ecologist and a founder of Freedom 21 Santa Cruz
See "Understanding Sustainable Development Agenda 21 - A Guide for Public Officials."
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Mainstream Media Spikes Story of Soldier Deaths and Disabilities from Depleted Uranium
DU Death Toll Tops 11,000
Nationwide Media Blackout Keeps U.S. Public Ignorant About This Important Story
By James P. Tucker Jr.
The death toll from the highly toxic weapons component known as depleted uranium (DU) has reached 11,000 soldiers and the growing scandal may be the reason behind Anthony Principi’s departure as secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department.
This view was expressed by Arthur Bernklau, executive director of Veterans for Constitutional Law in New York, writing in Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter.
“The real reason for Mr. Principi’s departure was really never given,” Bernklau said. “However, a special report published by eminent scientist Leuren Moret naming depleted uranium as the definitive cause of ‘Gulf War Syndrome’ has fed a growing scandal about the continued use of uranium munitions by the U.S. military.”
The “malady [from DU] that thousands of our military have suffered and died from has finally been identified as the cause of this sickness, eliminating the guessing. . . . The terrible truth is now being revealed,” Bernklau said.
Of the 580,400 soldiers who served in Gulf War I, 11,000 are now dead, he said. By the year 2000, there were 325,000 on permanent medical disability. More than a decade later, more than half (56 percent) who served in Gulf War I have permanent medical problems. The disability rate for veterans of the world wars of the last century was 5 percent, rising to 10 percent in Vietnam.
“The VA secretary was aware of this fact as far back as 2000,” Bernklau said. “He and the Bush administration have been hiding these facts, but now, thanks to Moret’s report, it is far too big to hide or to cover up.”
Terry Johnson, public affairs specialist at the VA, recently reported that veterans of both Persian Gulf wars now on disability total 518,739, Bernklau said.
“The long-term effect of DU is a virtual death sentence,” Bernklau said. “Marion Fulk, a nuclear chemist, who retired from the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab, and was also involved in the Manhattan Project, interprets the new and rapid malignancies in the soldiers [from the second war] as ‘spectacular’—and a matter of concern.’ ”
While this important story appeared in a Washington newspaper and the wire services, it did not receive national exposure—a compelling sign that the American public is being kept in the dark about the terrible effects of this toxic weapon. (Veterans for Constitutional Law can be reached at (516) 474-4261.)
Not Copyrighted. Readers can reprint and are free to redistribute - as long as full credit is given to American Free Press - 645 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Suite 100 Washington, D.C. 20003
- by Dr. Richard Cawte
(c) 2004 Dr. Richard Cawte - Worldwide Rights Reserved
Here's some fun for you - although, there is many a true word spoken in jest, as they say!
I think it is very important that we teach our children about the true nature of government. Now, at last, there is a way to give your children a basic course right in your own home!
In my own experience as a father, I have discovered several simple devices that can illustrate to a child's mind the principles on which the modern state deals with its citizens. You may find them helpful too.
For example, I used to play the simple card game WAR with my son. After a while, when he thoroughly understood that the higher ranking cards beat the lower ranking ones, I created a new game I called GOVERNMENT.
In this game, I was Government, and I won every trick, regardless of who had the better card. My boy soon lost interest in my new game, but I like to think it taught him a valuable lesson for later in life.
When your child is a little older, you can teach him about our tax system in a way that is easy to grasp and will allow him to understand the benefits.
Offer him, say, $10 to mow the lawn. When he has mowed it and asks to be paid, withhold $5 and explain that this is income tax. Give $1 of this to his younger brother, who has done nothing to deserve it, and tell him that this is "fair" because
the younger brother 'needs money too'.
Also, explain that you need the other $4 yourself to cover the administrative costs of dividing the money and for various other things you need.
Make him place his $5 in a savings account over which you have authority. Explain that if he is ever naughty, you will remove the money from the account without asking him. Also explain how you will be taking most of the interest he earns on that money, without his permission. Mention that if he tries to hide the money, this, in itself, will be evidence of wrongdoing and will result in you automatically taking the money from him.
Conduct random searches of his room in the small hours of the morning. Burst in unannounced. Go through all of his drawers and pockets. If he questions this, tell him you are acting on a tip-off from a mate of his who casually mentioned that you had both earned a bit of spare cash last week. If you find it, confiscate all of that money and also take his stereo and television. Tell him you are selling these and keeping the money to compensate you for having to make the raid. Also lock him in his room for a month as further punishment.
When he cries at the injustice of this, tell him he is being "selfish" and "greedy" and only interested in looking after his own happiness. Explain that he should learn to sacrifice his own happiness for other people and that since he cannot be relied upon or trusted to do this voluntarily, you will use force to ensure he complies. later in life he will thank you.
Make as many rules as possible. Leave the reasons for them obscure. Enforce them arbitrarily. Accuse your child of breaking rules you have never told him about and carefully explain that ignorance of your rules is not an excuse for breaking them. Keep him anxious that he may be violating commands you haven't yet issued. Instil in him the feeling that rules are utterly irrational. This will prepare him for living under a democratic government.
He is too young to understand the benefits of democracy, so explain this wonderful system as follows: You, your wife and his brother get together and vote that your son should have all privileges removed, be caned, and confined to his room for a week.
If he protests that you are violating his rights, patiently explain his error and tell him that the majority have voted for this punishment and nothing matters except the will of the majority.
When your child has matured sufficiently to understand how the judicial system works, set a bedtime for him of, say, 10 p.m. and then send him to bed at 9 p.m. When he tearfully accuses you of breaking the rules, explain that you made the rules and you
can interpret them in any way that seems appropriate to you, according to changing conditions.
Promise often to take him to the movies or the zoo, and then, at the appointed hour, recline in an easy chair with a newspaper and tell him you have changed your plans. When he screams, "but you promised!", explain to him that it was a campaign promise and hence meaningless.
Every now and then, without warning, slap your child. Then explain that this is self-defence. Tell him that you must be vigilant at all times to stop any potential enemy before he gets big enough to hurt you. This, too, your child will appreciate, not right at that moment, maybe, but later in life.
If he finds this hard to accept, you can further illustrate the point as follows. Take him on a trip across town with you, to a strange neighbourhood. Walk into any random house you choose and start sorting out their domestic problems, using violence if that is what is required.
Make sure you use overwhelming force to crush the family into submission - this avoids a protracted visit and becoming involved for long periods of time. Explain to your son that only a coward stands idly by whilst injustice is happening across town. Tell him we are all brothers and problems left to fester will eventually spill over into your neighbourhood. Use some of the $5 you took from your son as bus fare and to purchase a baseball bat.
Drink a bottle of whisky and then lecture him on the evils of smoking dope. If he points out your hypocrisy remind him that the majority of people drink and that, as already explained, the needs of the majority are the only moral standard.
Break up any meeting between him and more than three of his mates as being an 'unlawful gathering'. If he strokes the cat without the cat giving its express permission, slap him hard for feline harassment.
Mark one designated spot in the yard where he can leave his bike. If he leaves it anywhere else, padlock it and demand $50 to release it. If he offends more than three times, confiscate the bike, sell it, and keep the money.
Install a CCTV system in your son's bedroom and also record all his telephone conversations. If he protests, accuse him of having something to hide. Explain that only criminals seek privacy and that good, dutiful children relinquish their privacy in exchange for the advantages which protective parenthood offers. Remind him of the boy across town who was caught smoking dope in his bedroom by just such a CCTV system, and explain that this case justifies installing CCTV in all teenagers' bedrooms.
Lie to your child constantly. Teach him that words mean nothing - or rather that the meanings of words are continually "evolving", and may be tomorrow the opposite of what they are today.
Have a word with his teachers at school and ask them to share any merit marks your son achieves, with any ethnic minority students who did not get any merit marks. If he questions this policy, explain that long ago we abused the ancestors of these people, and so it is only fair that he shares the merits around to compensate their descendants.
This is also probably a good time to tell him that his energy, talent and enthusiasm will not secure him a job if the quota of such 'abused' people has not yet been filled. Tell him talent stands for nothing - it is fairness and sharing which are important. Remind him that his primary duty is the happiness and welfare of people he does not know, and will never meet.
Ban cutlery from your home and make your son eat with his fingers. If he asks why, remind him of the youth who stabbed a cat to death last week with a fork. Explain that if just one cat is saved by the banning of cutlery, then this prohibition will be worthwhile. If he protests, question him closely about why he is intending to kill innocent cats, or accuse him of being a cat hater.
Issue him with a pass card which he must show before he can enter the house. Stand guard at the front door. When he comes home, politely but firmly take him into the spare room and question him about his movements.
Ask him how much cash he has on his person. If in excess of $50, confiscate the lot as it exceeds the house rule for maximum cash allowed. Then search his rucksack and pockets. To keep him guessing, do the occasional strip search. If he protests, detain him for longer and make the search more thorough. If he gets really angry at this, hold him in a locked room until he misses his next outing or party.
If these methods sound harsh, I am only being cruel to be kind. I think it is important for children to understand the nature of the society in which we live.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsel or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams
Monday, March 28, 2005
Dumbing Down the Bible
Dumbing Down the Bible: God Approved?
Alas, for those who thought "stoned" in biblical context meant smoking pot and "aliens" meant little green men, there is help. Do you think the new version would help woo the younger generation?
The New International Version [NIV] of the Bible has a new edition, Today's New International Version [TNIV] with changes that are meant to keep up with the evolution of English language -- as spoken by the youth.
"Aliens" have become "foreigners." Instances of "stoned" have been clarified with "stoned to death." And the Virgin Mary is not "with child" anymore. She is "pregnant."
One example of the evolution of the language used in modern versions can be found in Matthew 1:18.
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost," reads the King James Version.
The N.I.V.: "This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit."
The T.N.I.V.: "This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit."
Another notable change is the use of "Jesus the Messiah" instead of "Jesus Christ," a relatively modern convention in biblical terms. "Christ" is an English transliteration of a Latin word borrowed from the Greek Christos, which is a translation of Hebrew and Aramaic words meaning "the anointed one."
Despite concerns that the Bible succumbed to the feminist movement, "Man" and "brother" are no longer used to refer to a group of people. "God created human beings," not "Man," in the latest version. But "God" remains a male.
Another significant change is the elimination of "saints," a reference thought by the scholars who revised the Bible to be too "ecclesiastical."
Do you think the new version would help woo the younger generation?
[Views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of CompuServe, any government, agency, or news organization.]
Terri Schiavo and the Culture of Death (Theism vs. Atheism Part IV?)
Terri Schiavo and the Culture of Death
“But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.” (Proverbs 8:36)
America as of late has been inundated with a steady dose of death. Innocent blood is flowing unabated throughout our nation. It appears that the American dream of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness is hemorrhaging and becoming a nightmare right before our very eyes. The nightly news lists the litany of woe and murderous rampages that are savaging our land. “Four dead in Dallas,” “Four dead in Atlanta,” “Ten dead in Minnesota,” “Nine year old girl strangled in Florida” and on and on the headlines churn out the grisly details of America’s illicit love affair with death.
Our churches, schools, streets, and workplaces are not exempt from the carnage and have become targets for homegrown terrorists. America, it seems, has sowed to the wind and we are now reaping the whirlwind. As the prophet Jeremiah lamented, “Death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets (Jeremiah 9:21).”
The culture of death has been steadily marching in this nation since the infamous Roe vs. Wade Decision in 1973. It has become a juggernaut that slays the pre-born, seeks to euthanize the old, and kill off the disabled. In the case of Terri Schiavo, it seeks yet another prey. For over thirty- two years we have taught an entire generation through the practice of abortion that if you can’t exercise personal responsibility, then kill the “problem.” Now we stand in awkward amazement that our society has learned its lesson with a vengeance.
In the midst of this highly publicized and virulent case of Terri Schiavo, certain vital issues have emerged that may well mark a paradigm shift that will impact our future. Through the suffering and intentional starvation of this precious woman, America’s soul that has been deceived and enticed by the culture of death, may be showing signs of an “awakening.” The spell that has been cast over us for decades may be in the midst of going the way of all tyrannies that reject God, abandon His law, and devalue human life. Eventually, it will collapse under the weight of its own sins and crimes.
As hearts break, tempers flare, tears flow, prayers are uttered and pundits speak, the battle lines over life and death, truth and lies, and good and evil are being drawn. A vivid picture and a living parable is being displayed before the world’s stage. Terri’s plight is exposing the competing philosophies, worldviews, and politics that vie for the souls of men, the lives of our children, and the future of our beleaguered nation.
On one side you have those who hold to a secular worldview. Typically, they are the ones that demand, like Michael Schiavo, the death of Terri. The philosophy that underpins this godless worldview is called “quality of life.” In the abortion industry, it would translate “every child a wanted child.” The value of human life, according to this system of belief, is based upon one’s usefulness, productivity, or being wanted in this self-indulgent world of ours.
It was this worldview that ran rampant in Nazi Germany and is a fixed tenant in the philosophy of Eugenics. It is this philosophy that promotes the “Master Race” mentality. It views the world as a place with limited resources that are to be reserved for the elite, strong, and beautiful people of the world. Therefore, the less fortunate, the unfit, the downtrodden, certain minorities, and other outcasts need not apply. They have an obligation not to take up much space or use up precious resources. If these classes of “sub-humans” persist, however, to proliferate and prove a nuisance to our selfishness, greed, and lust, there are ways to handle these unnecessary burdens. Sometimes it is called the “Final Solution, “ and other times, its called abortion or euthanasia.
Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was greatly influenced by this particular philosophy. The following are just a sample of quotes that inspire her infamous organization to this day. “The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” “Eugenics is … the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.” “The unbalance between the birth rate of the 'unfit' and the 'fit,' [is] the greatest present menace to civilization… the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.” “Our failure to segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying… a dead weight of human waste… an ever-increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all.” “[Our objective is] unlimited sexual gratification without the burden of unwanted children...”
In Nazi Germany, terms like “useless eaters” carried the culture of death to a horrible new low in the bloody history of man. Hitler started with abortion and then swiftly moved to eliminate disabled persons. About 150,000 Germans who were crippled or mentally ill were murdered. They were considered “life not worthy of life.” Sounds strangely familiar, Terri Schiavo anyone? The madness continued to a full blown racial genocide that systematically murdered six million Jews, three million Poles, four hundred thousand Gypsies, etc. It took an entire world at war to end Hitler’s reign of terror. What will be the rising costs today as segments of America are becoming more and more infected with this same deadly philosophy?
Ideas have consequences and a belief system will lead us somewhere. The belief that the pre-born, the elderly, and the handicapped have only value and worth based upon their utility or usefulness is producing a fire in the minds of men hell bent on killing innocent people. Thus what has been Biblically and historically considered unlawful magically becomes “legal” in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Over against these vain philosophies of men, stands the time-honored worldview of life which is called the “sacredness of life.” It is this view that enshrined for Americans our first and most fundamental right, the Right To Life and all the subsequent blessings of liberty. Every human being has intrinsic value for we are made in the image of God. Beyond this common grace, the Savior of the world (Jesus Christ) shed His precious blood to conquer death, hell, and the grave on the behalf of the crown of His creation, mankind. Thus man has worth not based upon what he does or how he performs, but based upon who we are in relationship to our Creator. It is this understanding of life that inspired portions of the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It is this understanding of the nature of life that also compelled President Bush to declare that pre-born children should be “welcomed in life and protected by law.”
By quoting from one of our founding documents and founding father, Thomas Jefferson, it naturally raises the next crucial issue surrounding the plight of Terri Schiavo. And that is, what is the role of government as this woman deteriorates? There are many from all political persuasions that believe government has no role whatsoever in Terri’s case. It is a “private” affair that government need not meddle with. Isn’t it strange how much the culture of death has grown under the banner of “privacy?” Abortion is a “private” decision. Sodomy is a “private” decision between consenting adults, and now starving a vulnerable woman to death based on the hearsay of one man is a “private” decision. It may start out “private,” but it ends up public with horrific consequences. Jesus would call those who use the Constitution to legitimize its evil as blind guides who strain at gnats and swallow camels (Matthew 23:24).”
Thomas Jefferson made this statement about the role of civil government. Pay close attention to his words. He stated, “The care of human life and not its destruction is the one and only object of good government.” Hubert Humphrey, in recent years, echoed the same mentality concerning the role of civil government. On November 1st, 1977 he stated, “The moral test of a government is how that government treats those who are at the dawn of life -- the children; the twilight of life -- the elderly; the shadows of life -- the sick, the needy, the handicapped.” Currently, the sitting President, George W. Bush declared, “We will defend the rights of the aged. We will defend the rights of the infirm. We will defend the rights of the unborn.”
What do these quotes from civil leaders that cover the spectrum of history and politics in America have in common? They all had a Biblical worldview concerning the role of civil government. Biblically, the main function of civil government is to protect life and to stop the shedding of innocent blood. Civil government is to carry a “sword” to punish evildoers (as God Almighty defines evil) and protect those who are good in God’s sight (as God defines good.) With the advancement of abortion, sodomy, and now the execution through starvation of Terri Schiavo, the civil government of America continues to betray its sacred trust and deny the very purpose of their existence.
Because our civil government rejects their Biblical and historical role, Americans are being taxed to death to support a civil government that is out of control. They have their laws, rules, regulations, and influences in places they have no business or jurisdiction. They are supposed to carry a sword to defend the weak, vulnerable, oppressed, and victims of crimes. They are not to carry a teacher’s ruler nor a spoon to feed the poor. These aspects of life are to be left to the public sector, families, and churches. Thus, the one area where they are supposed to be, they are missing in action. On the other hand, they intrude where they need not be and have become a bureaucratic blob that is suffocating the life’s support system of liberty that is to sustain the United States of America.
The culture of death has flourished for two primary reasons. The silent consent of the church and the misuse of our courts. Perhaps, the plight of Terri Schiavo will finally build some backbone into our Executive and Legislative branches of government once again. They need to arise and place the “Constitutional Chains” back on the tyrannical courts of our day. For decades, judges in black robes have ignored the Constitution, thwarted the will of the people, and pretended the other branches of government did not even exist. They have made a mockery of our Representative Republic. They have become an Oligarchy that has unleashed a torrent of bloodshed and perversion that is drowning us in a sea of perdition. Their reign of terror must end or America will continue down the primrose path to ruin!
Perhaps, also through this travesty, the Church will once again reassert herself in the market place of ideas. We can no longer afford to be ashamed of God’s word nor the Christian worldview that has served us so well in our country’s history. It was this godly legacy that gave us the freest, most prosperous, and blessed nation upon the face of the earth. Church, we must find our voice once again and return to provide the moral guidance our nation desperately needs. We must come out of the caves of our church buildings and reawaken the conscience of a nation that has been taken captive by the culture of death. This stranglehold must be broken if we are to pass on the blessing of life and liberty to future generations. And if Terri Schiavo dies, let us make sure she does not die in vain, but let the culture of death die with her.
I’ll end this article with a quote from the great theologian A. A. Hodge. He stated, “The Kingdom of Christ is one, and cannot be divided in life or death. If the Church languishes, the State cannot be in health; and if the State rebels against its Lord and King, the Church cannot enjoy His favour. If the Holy Ghost is withdrawn from the Church, He is not present in the State; and if He, the only “Lord, the Giver of Life,” be absent, then all order is impossible, and the elements of society lapse backward to primeval night and chaos...I charge you, citizens of the United States, afloat on your wide sea of politics, THERE IS ANOTHER KING, ONE JESUS: THE SAFETY OF THE STATE CAN BE SECURED ONLY IN THE WAY OF HUMBLE AND WHOLE-SOULED LOYALTY TO HIS PERSON AND OF OBEDIENCE TO HIS LAW (Evangelical Theology pp.246-248).
IN KING JESUS’ SERVICE,
Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas
Founder and Director, Elijah Ministries
Assistant Director, Operation Rescue/Operation Save America
Founder and Director, Kingdom Leadership Institute
Founder and Director, Rachel’s Park Memorial
P.O. Box 3126
Waco, TX 76707
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.mttu.com/elijahmin
Friday, March 25, 2005
Cal Thomas on Terri Schiavo
Schiavo case matters in symbol and substance
by Cal Thomas
| Why does Terri Schiavo matter? Why has Congress made a federal case out of her situation? Why did the president of the United States return to Washington from Texas in order to sign a bill created for the express purpose of inviting a federal court to review the case and likely requiring her feeding tube restored while the judge gathers information?
She matters, not only because she has an endowed, inalienable right to life, but also because she is a symbol — like Rosa Parks was a symbol when she refused to sit in the back of that Montgomery, Ala., bus; like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who symbolized freedom by defying Soviet authorities and chronicling the inhabitants and victims of the gulags; like astronauts who brave death to explore space. Symbols have meaning. Terri Schiavo is a symbol in the battle over life-and-death issues that inconveniently, but necessarily, confront us.
Opponents of federal intervention cry "hypocrisy" because conservatives pushing for a federal court review claim to support states rights on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage and think these matters should be left to the states under the 10th Amendment.
But the hypocrisy label can be turned around. Didn't liberals reject states rights when it came to civil rights for African-Americans four decades ago, and didn't they make federal cases out of such things as integrated restrooms and universities? They supported sending federal troops to force integration on unwilling states. They were right to do so then, and conservatives are right to ask the federal government to intervene when a Florida judge has, in effect, ordered the murder of Terri Schiavo by denying her food and water.
Then, as now, when an individual's civil and constitutional rights are denied by a state, there are instances when federal action is required. This is such an instance. Terri Schiavo's life matters as symbol and substance. Her case is only the latest in a long series that forces us to choose between two philosophies of life.
One philosophy says we are mere material and energy shaped by pure chance in a random universe, evolving from slime with no Author of life, no purpose for living beyond what gives us pleasure and no destination after we die but the grave.
The other philosophy of life says we are created by an infinite, personal G-d who has a plan for every life in every situation and circumstance and that no one should take a life except under the most extreme circumstances and only through due process or in self-defense.
The Schiavo case should not be viewed in isolation. It is part of a flow that began in modern times with abortion-on-demand and will continue, if not stopped, with euthanasia. Once a single category of life is devalued, all other categories quickly become vulnerable.
Girls who became pregnant by a drunken father and sought abortions were the symbolic beginning of a process that has resulted in abortion for any reason at any stage. Now we are targeting the infirm, and soon the elderly will be in our sights because of the pressure on Social Security and Medicare. The "reasoning" will be: rather than raise taxes, reduce benefits or raise the retirement age, let's eliminate those who are the biggest "drain" on retirement resources — that is, the elderly and infirm.
Having been conditioned to accept killing, even killing by the state according to an arbitrary standard of who is "fit" to live and who is not, it will be a short step to killing Grandma and Grandpa in their "assisted living" centers, which quickly will be transformed into centers for assisted dying.
Someone will produce a document or hearsay testimony that the elderly person would have "wanted to die" in such circumstances and never intended to be a "burden" to their children. The lawyer will be called, the will read and the inheritance distributed. It will be larger than what would have remained had it been spent on the recently departed.
These are the stakes, and how the Schiavo case is decided will determine what many of us will face in the future.
Cal Thomas is syndicated by Tribute Media Services, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1500, Chicago, IL 60611.
Follow the Money
What You Didn’t Know About Taxes and the ‘Crown’
By Mark Owen
There are two Crowns operant in England, one being Queen Elizabeth II. Although extremely wealthy, the Queen functions largely in a ceremonial capacity and serves to deflect attention away from the other Crown, who issues her marching orders through their control of the English Parliament.
This other Crown is comprised of a committee of 12 banks headed by the Bank of England (House of Rothschild). They rule the world from the 677-acre, independent sovereign state known as The City of London, or simply ‘The City.’
The City is not a part of England, just as Washington [D.C. - District of Columbia] is not a part of the USA. The City is referred to as the wealthiest square mile on earth and is presided over by a Lord Mayor who is appointed annually. When the Queen wishes to conduct business within the City, she is met by the Lord Mayor at Temple (Templar) Bar where she requests permission to enter this private, sovereign state. She then proceeds into the City walking several paces behind the Mayor. Her entourage may not be clothed in anything other than service uniforms.
In the nineteenth century, 90% of the world’s trade was carried by British ships controlled by the Crown. The other 10% of ships had to pay commissions to the Crown simply for the privilege of using the world’s oceans.
The Crown reaped billions in profits while operating under the protection of the British armed forces. This was not British commerce or British wealth, but the Crown’s commerce and the Crown’s wealth. As of 1850, author Frederick Morton estimated the Rothschild fortune to be in excess of $10 billion. Today, the bonded indebtedness of the world is held by the Crown.
The aforementioned Temple Bar is the juristic arm of the Crown and holds an exclusive monopoly on global legal fraud through their Bar Association franchises. The Temple Bar is comprised of four Inns of Court. They are; the Middle Temple, Inner Temple, Lincoln’s Inn and Gray’s Inn. The entry point to these closed secret societies is only to be found when one is called to their Bar.
The Bar attorneys in the United States owe their allegiance and pledge their oaths to the Crown. All Bar Associations throughout the world are signatories and franchises to the International Bar Association located at the Inns of Court of the Crown Temple.
The Inner Temple holds the legal system franchise by license that bleeds Canada and Great Britain white, while the Middle Temple has license to steal from America. To have the Declaration of Independence recognized internationally, Middle Templar King George III agreed in the Treaty of Paris of 1783 to establish the legal Crown entity of the incorporated United States, referred to internally as the Crown Temple States (Colonies). States spelled with a capital letter ‘S,’ denotes a legal entity of the Crown.
At least five Templar Bar Attorneys under solemn oath to the Crown, signed the American Declaration of Independence. This means that both parties were agents of the Crown. There is no lawful effect when a party signs as both the first and second parties. The Declaration was simply an internal memo circulating among private members of the Crown. Most Americans believe that they own their own land, but they have merely purchased real estate by contract. Upon fulfillment of the contract, control of the land is transferred by Warranty Deed. The Warranty Deed is only a ‘color of title.’ Color of Title is a semblance or appearance of title, but not title in fact or in law. The Warranty Deed cannot stand against the Land Patent.
The Crown was granted Land Patents in North America by the King of England. Colonials rebelled at the usurious Crown taxes, and thus the Declaration of Independence was created to pacify the populace.
Another method used to hoodwink natural persons is enfranchisement. Those cards in your wallet bearing your name spelled in all capital letters means that you have been enfranchised and have the status of a corporation. A ‘juristic personality’ has been created, and you have entered into multi-variant agreements that place you in an equity relationship with the Crown.
These invisible contracts include: birth certificates, citizenship records, employment agreements, driver’s licenses and bank accounts. It is perhaps helpful to note here that contracts do not now, nor have they ever had to be stated in writing in order to be enforceable by American judges. If it is written down, it is merely a written statement of the contract.
Tax protestors and (the coming) draft resistors trying to renounce the parts of these contracts that they now disagree with will not profit by resorting to tort law (fairness) arguments as justification. Judges will reject these lines of defense as they have no bearing on contract law jurisprudence. Tort law governs grievances where no contract law is in effect.
These private agreements/contracts that bind us will always overrule the broad general clauses of the Constitution and Bill of Rights (the Constitution being essentially a renamed enactment of English common law). The Bill of Rights is viewed by the Crown as a ‘bill of benefits,’ conferred on us by them in anticipation of reciprocity (taxes). Protestors and resistors will also lose their cases by boasting of citizenship status. Citizenship is another equity agreement that we have with the Crown. And this is the very juristic contract that Federal judges will use to incarcerate them. In the words of former Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, “Equity is brutal, but we are merely enforcing agreements.” The balance of Title 42, section 1981 of the Civil Rights Code states, “….citizens shall be subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind…”
What we view as citizenship, the Crown views as a juristic enrichment instrumentality. It also should be borne in mind that even cursory circulation or commercial use of Federal Reserve Notes effects an attachment of liability for the payment of the Crown’s debt to the FED. This is measured by your taxable income. And to facilitate future asset-stripping, the end of the 14th amendment includes a state of debt hypothecation of the United States, wherein all enfranchised persons (that’s you) can be held personally liable for the Crown’s debt.
The Crown views our participation in these contracts of commercial equity as being voluntary and that any gain accrued is taxable, as the gain wouldn’t have been possible were it not for the Crown. They view the system of interstate banks as their own property. Any profit or gain experienced by anyone with a bank account (or loan, mortgage or credit card) carries with it – as an operation of law – the identical same full force and effect as if the Crown had created the gain.
Bank accounts fall outside the umbrella of Fourth Amendment protection because a commercial contract is in effect and the Bill of Rights cannot be held to interfere with the execution of commercial contracts. The Crown also views bank account records as their own private property, pursuant to the bank contract that each of us signed and that none of us ever read.
The rare individual who actually reads the bank contract will find that they agreed to be bound by Title 26 and under section 7202 agreed not to disseminate any fraudulent tax advice. This written contract with the Crown also acknowledges that bank notes are taxable instruments of commerce.
When we initially opened a bank account, another juristic personality was created. It is this personality (income and assets) that IRS agents are excising back to the Crown through taxation.
A lot of ink is being spilled currently over Social Security. Possession of a Social Security Number is known in the Crown’s lex as ‘conclusive evidence’ of our having accepted federal commercial benefits. This is another example of an equity relationship with the Crown. Presenting one’s Social Security Number to an employer seals our status as taxpayers, and gives rise to liability for a reciprocal quid pro quo payment of taxes to the Crown.
Through the Social Security Number we are accepting future retirement endowment benefits. Social Security is a strange animal. If you die, your spouse gets nothing, but rather, what would have gone to you is divided (forfeited) among other premium payers who haven’t died yet.
But the Crown views failure to reciprocate in any of these equity attachments as an act of defilement and will proceed against us with all due prejudice. For a person to escape the tentacles of the Crown octopus, a thoroughgoing study of American jurisprudence is required. One would have to be deemed a ‘stranger to the public trust,’ forfeit all enfranchisement benefits and close all bank accounts, among other things. Citizenship would have to be made null and forfeit and the status of ‘denizen’ enacted. If there are any such natural persons extant who have passed through this fire, I would certainly appreciate hearing from them…
Mark Owen is a freelance writer living in Toronto, Canada. He can be reached at email@example.com
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Will Students Be Able To Sue Intolerant Profs?
Capitol bill aims to control `leftist' profs
THE LAW COULD LET STUDENTS SUE FOR UNTOLERATED BELIEFS.
By JAMES VANLANDINGHAM
Alligator Staff Writer
TALLAHASSEE — Republicans on the House Choice and Innovation Committee voted along party lines Tuesday to pass a bill that aims to stamp out "leftist totalitarianism" by "dictator professors" in the classrooms of Florida's universities.
The Academic Freedom Bill of Rights, sponsored by Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, passed 8-to-2 despite strenuous objections from the only two Democrats on the committee.
The bill has two more committees to pass before it can be considered by the full House.
While promoting the bill Tuesday, Baxley said a university education should be more than "one biased view by the professor, who as a dictator controls the classroom," as part of "a misuse of their platform to indoctrinate the next generation with their own views."
The bill sets a statewide standard that students cannot be punished for professing beliefs with which their professors disagree. Professors would also be advised to teach alternative "serious academic theories" that may disagree with their personal views.
According to a legislative staff analysis of the bill, the law would give students who think their beliefs are not being respected legal standing to sue professors and universities.
Students who believe their professor is singling them out for "public ridicule" – for instance, when professors use the Socratic method to force students to explain their theories in class – would also be given the right to sue.
"Some professors say, `Evolution is a fact. I don't want to hear about Intelligent Design (a creationist theory), and if you don't like it, there's the door,'" Baxley said, citing one example when he thought a student should sue.
Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, warned of lawsuits from students enrolled in Holocaust history courses who believe the Holocaust never happened.
Similar suits could be filed by students who don't believe astronauts landed on the moon, who believe teaching birth control is a sin or even by Shands medical students who refuse to perform blood transfusions and believe prayer is the only way to heal the body, Gelber added.
"This is a horrible step," he said. "Universities will have to hire lawyers so our curricula can be decided by judges in courtrooms. Professors might have to pay court costs — even if they win — from their own pockets. This is not an innocent piece of legislation."
The staff analysis also warned the bill may shift responsibility for determining whether a student's freedom has been infringed from the faculty to the courts.
But Baxley brushed off Gelber's concerns. "Freedom is a dangerous thing, and you might be exposed to things you don't want to hear," he said. "Being a businessman, I found out you can be sued for anything. Besides, if students are being persecuted and ridiculed for their beliefs, I think they should be given standing to sue."
During the committee hearing, Baxley cast opposition to his bill as "leftists" struggling against "mainstream society."
"The critics ridicule me for daring to stand up for students and faculty," he said, adding that he was called a McCarthyist.
Baxley later said he had a list of students who were discriminated against by professors, but refused to reveal names because he felt they would be persecuted.
Rep. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, argued universities and the state Board of Governors already have policies in place to protect academic freedom. Moreover, a state law outlining how professors are supposed to teach would encroach on the board's authority to manage state schools.
"The big hand of state government is going into the universities telling them how to teach," she said. "This bill is the antithesis of academic freedom."
But Baxley compared the state's universities to children, saying the legislature should not give them money without providing "guidance" to their behavior.
"Professors are accountable for what they say or do," he said. "They're accountable to the rest of us in society … All of a sudden the faculty think they can do what they want and shut us out. Why is it so unheard of to say the professor shouldn't be a dictator and control that room as their totalitarian niche?"
In an interview before the meeting, Baxley said "arrogant, elitist academics are swarming" to oppose the bill, and media reports misrepresented his intentions.
"I expect to be out there on my own pretty far," he said. "I don't expect to be part of a team."
House Bill H-837 can be viewed online at www.flsenate.gov.
Letter by Michael Peroutka on Terri Schiavo
From the desk of Michael Peroutka, the Constitution Party's candidate for President of the United States in 2004.
The following "Open Letter" to President George W. Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush has been issued by myself and my brother Stephen Peroutka.
Dear Mr. President And Governor Bush:
Greetings, friends, in the blessed Name of our Lord, apart from Whom we can do nothing (John 15:5). We write to both of you as fellow Christians and beseech you, respectfully, to do everything within your considerable power to keep Terri Schiavo from being murdered in cold blood.
The New International Version translation of Proverbs 24:11-12, referring to those who are innocent, reads: "Rescue those being led away to death ... If you say, 'But we knew nothing about this,' does not He Who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He Who guards your life know it? Will He not repay each person according to what he has done?"
Explaining this passage from God's Word, the great Puritan Bible commentator Matthew Henry says that it requires "a great duty" from us, "that is to appear for the relief of oppressed innocency," that we ought "to bestir ourselves all we can to save them ... If any [innocent person] be set upon by force or violence, and it be in our power to rescue them, we ought to do it."
This Proverb, of course, applies to all of us. But, all of us do not have it within our power and ability to rescue Terri Schiavo, to stop her from being murdered in cold blood.
You, Mr. President, and you, Governor Bush do, however, have this power. And we intend no presumption, sirs, when we tell both of you that you must exercise the power you have to save Terri Schiavo's life because God commands you to do so and your oath of office makes it your affirmative duty!
Both of you have the power and ability to stop the murder of Terri Schiavo. If you do not act and use the power you have, her innocent blood will be on your hands.
Here, please, are some of the things we think both of you have the power and ability to do right away:
--- You, Mr. President, could order Federal marshals to be sent to guard Terri Schiavo, have her feeding tube reinserted, and arrest anyone who attempted her murder by removing this tube. If her case goes all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the ruling there is to take her feeding tube out, ignore this ruling and leave the Federal marshals there as long as is necessary to keep her from being murdered. Any court ruling that orders murder is illegal and binds nobody.
--- You, Governor Bush, could do, basically, the same thing --- order your relevant law enforcement personnel to take Terri Schiavo into protective custody; order her feeding tube to be reinserted; and arrest anyone who attempts to murder her be removing this feeding tube. And if any court, at any level, orders her feeding tube to be removed, ignore this order because no court order that orders the murder of anybody has any validity.
Mr. President, Governor Bush, you are men to whom much has been given; thus much is required of you. We pray fervently that you do your Christian and Constitutional duty (remember your oath) and act now to save the life of Terri Schiavo.
For God, Family, & the Republic,
Michael A. Peroutka
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
The Post Cheap-Oil World?
The global oil production peak and the arc of depletion that follows.
Remarks in Hudson, NY
January 8, 2005
James Howard Kunstler
My last three books were concerned with the physical arrangement of life in our nation, in particular suburban sprawl, the most destructive development pattern the world has ever seen, and perhaps the greatest misallocation of resources the world has ever known.
The world - and of course the US - now faces an epochal predicament: the global oil production peak and the arc of depletion that follows. We are unprepared for this crisis of industrial civilization. We are sleepwalking into the future.
The global peak oil production event will change everything about how we live. It will challenge all of our assumptions. It will compel us to do things differently - whether we like it or not.
Nobody knows for sure when the absolute peak year of global oil production will occur. You can only tell for sure in the "rear-view mirror," seeing the data after the fact. The US oil production peak in 1970 was not really recognized until the numbers came in over the next couple of years. By 1973 it was pretty clear that US oil production was in decline - the numbers were there for anyone to see, because the US oil industry was fairly transparent. They had to report their production to regulatory agencies. And low and behold American production was going down - despite the fact that we were selling more cars and more suburban houses. Of course we had been making up for falling production by increasing our oil imports.
1973 was the year of the Yom Kippur War. With encouragement from the old Soviet Union, Syria and Egypt ganged up on Israel and after a rough start, Israel kicked their asses. The Islamic world was very ticked off - especially at the assistance that the US had given Israel in airlifted military equipment. So a lot of pressure was brought to bear on the leaders of the Arab oil states to punish the US and we got the famous OPEC embargo of 1973.
But it was more than that. The OPEC embargo was effective precisely because it was now recognized by everybody that the US had passed its all time oil production peak. We no longer had surplus capacity. We weren't the swing producer anymore, OPEC was. We were pumping flat-out just to stay in place, and depending on imports to make up for the rest.
That was a tectonic shift in world economics.
That's exactly when OPEC seized pricing control of the oil markets. We had a very rough decade. 20 percent interest rates. "Stagflation." High unemployment. Stock market in the toilet.
We had a second oil crisis in 1979 when the Shah of Iran was overthrown. The 1970s closed on a note of desperation. Everything we did in America was tied to oil and foreigners were jerking our economy around, and it led the worst recession since the 1930s.
But we got over it and a lot of Americans drew the false conclusion that the these oil crises were a shuck and jive on the part of business and Arab oil sheiks.
How did we get over it? The oil crises of the 70s prompted a frantic era of drilling, and the last great oil discoveries came on line in the 1980s - chiefly the North Sea fields of England and Norway, and the Alaska fields of the North Slope and Prudhoe Bay. They literally saved the west's ass for 20 years. In fact, so much oil flowed out of them that the markets were glutted, and by the era of Bill Clinton, oil prices were headed down to as low as $10 a barrel.
It was all an illusion. The North Sea and Alaska are now well into depletion - they were drilled with the newest technology and - guess what - we depleted them more efficiently! England is now becoming a new oil importer again after a 20 year fiesta. The implications are very grim.
Now, some of the most knowledgeable geologists in the world believe we have reached the global oil production peak. Unlike the US oil industry, the foreign producers do not give out their production data so transparently. We may never actually see any reliable figures. The global production peak may only show up in the strange behavior of the markets.
The global peak is liable to manifest as a "bumpy plateau." Prices will wobble. Markets will wobble - as the oil markets have been doing the past year. International friction will increase, especially around the places where the oil is - and two-thirds of the world's remaining oil is in the states around the Persian Gulf where, every week, a half dozen US soldiers and many more Iraqis are getting blown up, beheaded, or shot.
The "bumpy plateau" is where all kind of market signals and political signals are telling you that "something is happening, Mr. Jones, but you don't know what it is." We'll only know in the rear-view mirror.
As of the past 12 months, Saudi Arabia seems to have lost the ability to function as 'swing producer.' The swing producer is the one with a lot of excess supply, who can just open the valves and let more oil out on the world markets, which inevitably drives the price down. Saudi Arabia has kept saying they would produce a million more barrels a day, but there's no evidence that they really have.
Well, the good news is that Saudi Arabia and OPEC can no longer set the price of oil. The bad news is that nobody can. When there is no production surplus in the world, that's a pretty good sign that the world is at peak.
Princeton Geologist Kenneth Deffeyes says that peak production will occur in 2005. We're there. Others, like Colin Campbell, former chief geologist for Shell Oil, put it more conservatively as between now and 2007. But by any measure of rational planning or policy-making, these differences are insignificant.
The meaning of the oil peak and its enormous implications are generally misunderstood even by those who have heard about it - and this includes the mainstream corporate media and the Americans who make plans or policy.
The world does not have to run out of oil or natural gas for severe instabilities, network breakdowns, and systems failures to occur. All that is necessary is for world production capacity to reach its absolute limit - a point at which no increased production is possible and the long arc of depletion commences, with oil production then falling by a few percentages steadily every year thereafter. That's the global oil peak: the end of absolute increased production and beginning of absolute declining production.
And, of course, as global oil production begins to steadily decline, year after year, the world population is only going to keep growing - at least for a while - and demand for oil will remain very robust. The demand line of the graph will pass the production line, and in doing so will set in motion all kinds of problems in the systems we rely on for daily life.
One huge implication of the oil peak is that industrial societies will never again enjoy the 2 to 7 percent annual economic growth that has been considered healthy for over 100 years. This amounts to the industrialized nations of the world finding themselves in a permanent depression.
Long before the oil actually depletes we will endure world-shaking political disturbances and economic disruptions. We will see globalism-in-reverse. Globalism was never an 'ism,' by the way. It was not a belief system. It was a manifestation of the 20-year-final-blowout of cheap oil. Like all economic distortions, it produced economic perversions. It allowed gigantic, predatory organisms like WalMart to spawn and reproduce at the expense of more cellular fine-grained economic communities.
The end of globalism will be hastened by international competition over the world's richest oil-producing regions.
We are already seeing the first military adventures over oil as the US attempts to pacify the Middle East in order to assure future supplies. This is by no means a project we can feel confident about. The Iraq war has only been the overture to more desperate contests ahead. Bear in mind that the most rapidly industrializing nation in the world, China, is geographically closer to Caspian Region and the Middle East than we are. The Chinese can walk into these regions, and someday they just might.
In any case, and apart from the likelihood of military mischief, as the world passes the petroleum peak the global oil markets will destabilize and the industrial nations will have enormous problems with both price and supply. The effect on currencies and international finance will, of course, be equally severe.
Some of you may be aware that the US faces an imminent crisis with natural gas, at least as threatening as the problems we face over oil. By natural gas I mean methane, the stuff we run our furnaces and kitchen stoves on.
Over the past two decades - in response to the OPEC embargoes of the 70s and the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island emergencies of the 80s -- we have so excessively shifted our electric power generation to dependence on natural gas that no amount of drilling can keep up with current demand. The situation is very ominous now.
The United States, indeed North America, including Canada and Mexico, is technically way past peak production in natural gas and there is a special problem with gas that you don't have with oil: you tend to get your gas from the continent you are on. It comes out of the ground and is distributed around the continent in a pipeline network.
If you have to get your natural gas from another continent, it has to be compressed at low temperature, transported in special ships with pressurized tanks, and delivered to special terminals where it is re-gasified. All this is tremendously more expensive than what we do now. Moreover, there are very few natural gas port terminals in the US and nobody wants them built anywhere near them because they are dangerous. They can blow up.
We have been making up for our shortfall in gas in recent years by buying a lot of gas from Canada. The NAFTA treaty compels them to sell us their gas, and they are technically in depletion too. They're not happy about this.
About half the houses in America are heated with natural gas. Nobody know what we are going to do when the depletion arc gets steeper.
Oh, another problem with gas. The wells run dry just like this (snap!). Unlike oil wells, which go from gusher to steady stream to declining stream, gas wells either put out gas or they stop. And there's no warning when they are close to running out. Because, the gas is coming out of the ground under its own pressure. As the gas wells of North America continue to deplete, we will have little warning
Right here I am compelled to inform you that the prospects for alternative fuels are poor. We suffer from a kind of Jiminy Cricket syndrome in this country. We believe that if you wish for something, it will come true. Right now a lot of people - including people who ought to know better - are wishing for some miracle technology to save our collective ass.
There is not going to be a hydrogen economy. The hydrogen economy is a fantasy. It is not going to happen. We may be able to run a very few things on hydrogen - but we are not going to replace the entire US automobile fleet with hydrogen fuel cell cars.
" Getting hydrogen
Nor will we replace the current car fleet with electric cars or natural gas cars. We're just going to use cars a lot less. Fewer trips. Cars will be a diminished presence in our lives.
Not to mention the political problem that kicks in when car ownership and driving becomes incrementally a more elite activity. The mass motoring society worked because it was so profoundly democratic. Practically anybody in America could participate, from the lowliest shlub mopping the floor at Pizza Hut to Bill Gates. What happens when it is no longer so democratic? And what is the tipping point at which it becomes a matter of political resentment: 12 percent? 23 percent? 38 percent?
Wind power and solar electric will not produce significant amounts of power within the context of the way we live now.
Ethanol and bio-deisel are a joke. They require more energy to produce than they give back. You know how you get ethanol: you produce massive amounts of corn using huge oil and gas 'inputs' of fertilizer and pesticide and then you use a lot more energy to turn the corn into ethanol. It's a joke.
No combination of alternative fuel systems currently known will allow us to run what we are running, the way we're running it, or even a substantial fraction of it.
The future is therefore telling us very loudly that we will have to change the way we live in this country. The implications are clear: we will have to downscale and re-scale virtually everything we do.
The downscaling of America is a tremendous and inescapable project. It is the master ecological project of our time. We will have to do it whether we like it or not. We are not prepared.
Downscaling America doesn't mean we become a lesser people. It means that the scale at which we conduct the work of American daily life will have to be adjusted to fit the requirements of a post-globalist, post-cheap-oil age.
We are going to have to live a lot more locally and a lot more intensively on that local level. Industrial agriculture, as represented by the Archer Daniels Midland / soda pop and cheez doodle model of doing things, will not survive the end of the cheap oil economy.
The implication of this is enormous. Successful human ecologies in the near future will have to be supported by intensively farmed agricultural hinterlands. Places that can't do this will fail. Say goodbye to Phoenix and Las Vegas.
I'm not optimistic about most of our big cities. They are going to have to contract severely. They achieved their current scale during the most exuberant years of the cheap oil fiesta, and they will have enormous problems remaining viable afterward.
Any mega-structure, whether it is a skyscraper or a landscraper - buildings that depend on huge amounts of natural gas and electricity - may not be usable a decade or two in the future.
What goes for the scale of places will be equally true for the scale of social organization. All large-scale enterprises, including many types of corporations and governments will function very poorly in the post-cheap oil world. Do not make assumptions based on things like national chain retail continuing to exist as it has.
Wal Mart is finished. [More below]
Many of my friends and colleagues live in fear of the federal government turning into Big Brother tyranny. I'm skeptical Once the permanent global energy crisis really gets underway, the federal government will be lucky if it can answer the phones. Same thing for Microsoft or even the Hannaford supermarket chain.
All indications are that American life will have to be reconstituted along the lines of traditional towns, villages, and cities much reduced in their current scale. These will be the most successful places once we are gripped by the profound challenge of a permanent reduced energy supply.
The land development industry as we have known it is going to vanish in the years ahead. The production home-builders, as they like to call themselves. The strip mall developers. The fried food shack developers. Say goodbye to all that.
We are entering a period of economic hardship and declining incomes. The increment of new development will be very small, probably the individual building lot.
The suburbs as are going to tank spectacularly. We are going to see an unprecedented loss of equity value and, of course, basic usefulness. We are going to see an amazing distress sale of properties, with few buyers. We're going to see a fight over the table scraps of the 20th century. We'll be lucky if the immense failure of suburbia doesn't result in an extreme political orgy of grievance and scapegoating.
The action in the years ahead will be in renovating existing towns and villages, and connecting them with regions of productive agriculture. Where the big cities are concerned, there is simply no historical precedent for the downscaling they will require. The possibilities for social and political distress ought to be obvious, though. The process is liable to be painful and disorderly.
The post cheap oil future will be much more about staying where you are than about being mobile. And, unless we rebuild a US passenger railroad network,a lot of people will not be going anywhere. Today, we have a passenger railroad system that the Bulgarians would be ashamed of.
Don't make too many plans to design parking structures. The post cheap oil world is not going to be about parking, either.
But it will be about the design and assembly and reconstituting of places that are worth caring about and worth being in. When you have to stay where you are and live locally, you will pay a lot more attention to the quality of your surroundings, especially if you are not moving through the landscape at 50 miles-per-hour.
Some regions of the country will do better than others. The sunbelt will suffer in exact proportion to the degree that it prospered artificially during the cheap oil blowout of the late 20th century. I predict that the Southwest will become substantially depopulated, since they will be short of water as well as gasoline and natural gas. I'm not optimistic about the Southeast either, for different reasons. I think it will be subject to substantial levels of violence as the grievances of the formerly middle class boil over and combine with the delusions of Pentecostal Christian extremism.
All regions of the nation will be affected by the vicissitudes of this Long Emergency, but I think New England and the Upper Midwest have somewhat better prospects. I regard them as less likely to fall into lawlessness, anarchy, or despotism, and more likely to salvage the bits and pieces of our best social traditions and keep them in operation at some level.
There is a fair chance that the nation will disaggregate into autonomous regions before the 21st century is over, as a practical matter if not officially. Life will be very local.
These challenges are immense. We will have to rebuild local networks of economic and social relations that we allowed to be systematically dismantled over the past fifty years. In the process, our communities may be able to reconstitute themselves.
The economy of the mid 21st century may center on agriculture. Not information. Not the digital manipulation of pictures, not services like selling cheeseburgers and entertaining tourists. Farming. Food production. The transition to this will be traumatic, given the destructive land-use practices of our time, and the staggering loss of knowledge. We will be lucky if we can feed ourselves.
The age of the 3000-mile-caesar salad will soon be over. Food production based on massive petroleum inputs, on intensive irrigation, on gigantic factory farms in just a few parts of the nation, and dependent on cheap trucking will not continue. We will have to produce at least some of our food closer to home. We will have to do it with fewer fossil-fuel-based fertilizers and pesticides on smaller-scaled farms. Farming will have to be much more labor-intensive than it is now. We will see the return of an entire vanished social class - the homegrown American farm laboring class.
We are going to have to reorganize everyday commerce in this nation from the ground up. The whole system of continental-scale big box discount and chain store shopping is headed for extinction, and sooner than you might think. It will go down fast and hard. Americans will be astonished when it happens.
Operations like WalMart have enjoyed economies of scale that were attained because of very special and anomalous historical circumstances: a half century of relative peace between great powers. And cheap oil - absolutely reliable supplies of it, since the OPEC disruptions of the 1970s.
WalMart and its imitators will not survive the oil market disruptions to come. Not even for a little while. WalMart will not survive when its merchandise supply chains to Asia are interrupted by military contests over oil or internal conflict in the nations that have been supplying us with ultra-cheap manufactured goods. WalMart's "warehouse on wheels" will not be able to operate in a non-cheap oil economy
It will only take mild-to-moderate disruptions in the supply and price of gas to put WalMart and all operations like it out of business. And it will happen. As that occurs, America will have to make other arrangements for the distribution and sale of ordinary products.
It will have to be reorganized at the regional and the local scale. It will have to be based on moving merchandise shorter distances at multiple increments and probably by multiple modes of transport. It is almost certain to result in higher costs for the things we buy, and fewer choices of things. We are not going to rebuild the cheap oil manufacturing facilities of the 20th century.
We will have to recreate the lost infrastructures of local and regional commerce, and it will have to be multi-layered. These were the people that WalMart systematically put out of business over the last thirty years. The wholesalers, the jobbers, the small-retailers. They were economic participants in their communities; they made decisions that had to take the needs of their communities into account. they were employers who employed their neighbors. They were a substantial part of the middle-class of every community in America and all of them together played civic roles in our communities as the caretakers of institutions - the people who sat on the library boards, and the hospital boards, and bought the balls and bats and uniforms for the little league teams.
We got rid of them in order to save nine bucks on a hair dryer. We threw away uncountable millions of dollars worth of civic amenity in order to shop at the Big Box discount stores. That was some bargain.
This will all change. The future is telling us to prepare to do business locally again. It will not be a hyper-turbo-consumer economy. That will be over with. But we will still make things, and buy and sell things.
A lot of the knowledge needed to do local retail has been lost, because in the past the ownership of local retail businesses was often done by families. The knowledge and skills for doing it was transmitted from one generation to the next. It will not be so easy to get that back. But we have to do it.
Education is another system that will probably have to change. Our centralized schools are too big and too dependent on fleets of buses. Children will have to live closer to the schools they attend. School will have to be reorganized on a neighborhood basis, at a much smaller scale, in smaller buildings -- and they will not look like medium security prisons.
The psychology of previous investment is a huge obstacle to the reform of education. We poured fifty years of our national wealth into gigantic sprawling centralized schools - but that investment itself does not guarantee that these schools will be able to function in a future that works very differently.
In the years ahead college will no longer be just another "consumer product." Fewer people will go to them. They will probably revert to their former status as elite institutions, whether we like it or not. Many of them will close altogether.
Change is coming whether we like it or not; whether we are prepared for it or not. If we don't begin right away to make better choices then we will face political, social, and economic disorders that will shake this nation to its foundation.
I hope you will go back to your offices and classrooms and workplaces with these ideas in mind and think about what your roles will be in this challenging future. Good luck. Prepare for a different America, perhaps a better America. And prepare to be good neighbors.