Search This Blog

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Obama is Obfuscating The War on Terror

“There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.” — George Washington, Fifth Annual Message — 1793.

The recent events in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and other Muslim controlled nations have brought our foreign policy once again to the forefront. With the constant clamor over taxing the rich, wealth redistribution, and polls our foreign policy and the way we are fighting he so-called war on terror had taken a back seat until our ambassador was murdered during a planned terrorist attack in Benghazi by al-Qaeda on September 11th.

At first the administration claimed the attack was the result of a spontaneous demonstration against a purported anti-Islamist film posted on You Tube. It took over a week for the facts to dribble out, many from international intelligence sources and news media. Our mainstream media, for most part, bought into the administration’s version hook line, and sinker.

As recently as yesterday, President Obama stood before the world at the United Nations and blamed the film "The Innocence of Muslims" for the unrest in the Middle East and, more specifically, the death of four Americans in Libya, including Christopher Stevens, our Libyan Ambassador. Obama refuses to acknowledge the assassination of Stevens was a terrorist attack, even though other members of his Administration, including his own Secretary of State, have already conceded it was exactly that.

In fact, every bit of intelligence also contradicts the President.

And now, Libyan President Mohamed Magarief is on the record declaratively stating the video had absolutely nothing to do with the attacks when he stated during an interview on NBC; “the trailer for the anti-Islam film had nothing to do with this attack."

Magarief said the deadly Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi, which also resulted in the deaths of three other Americans, was more likely pegged to the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

"Reaction should have been, if it was genuine, should have been six months earlier. So it was postponed until the 11th of September," Magarief told NBC’s Ann Curry in the exclusive interview. "They chose this date, 11th of September to carry a certain message."

Magarief noted that there were no protesters at the consulate prior to the attack, and that the incident was more of a clearly coordinated assault than a demonstration run amok. He noted the attackers used rocket-propelled grenades on the consulate and then fired mortars at a safe house where Stevens had fled.

It's just a fact that Obama refuses to acknowledge al-Qaeda launched a successful attack on the anniversary of 9/11 that resulted in the rape and murder of an Ambassador and three other Americans.

It's also a fact that our media is not only allowing Obama to get away with this charade, but refusing to hold him or the Administration responsible for the security lapses that left our consulate vulnerable and the subsequent cover up.

Five days after the attack on the Benghazi consulate that left four Americans dead, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, the Obama administration sent UN Ambassador Susan Rice onto five Sunday talk shows to insist that the sacking of the consulate was the result of a protest over a YouTube video that “spun out of control.” The government of Libya was already scoffing at that story, and by the end of the next week the White House began reluctantly admitting that terrorists had attacked the diplomatic mission. Today, however, Eli Lake reports for the Daily Beast that the Obama administration knew within 24 hours that the attack had not been a spontaneous event, but a well-planned terrorist attack:

Within 24 hours of the 9-11 anniversary attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, U.S. intelligence agencies had strong indications al Qaeda–affiliated operatives were behind the attack, and had even pinpointed the location of one of those attackers. Three separate U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said the early information was enough to show that the attack was planned and the work of al Qaeda affiliates operating in Eastern Libya.

The intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast did so anonymously because they weren’t authorized to speak to the press. They said U.S. intelligence agencies developed leads on four of the participants of the attacks within 24 hours of the fire fight that took place mainly at an annex near the Benghazi consulate. For one of those individuals, the U.S. agencies were able to find his location after his use of social media. “We had two kinds of intelligence on one guy,” this official said. “We believe we had enough to target him.”

Another U.S. intelligence official said, “There was very good information on this in the first 24 hours. These guys have a return address. There are camps of people and a wide variety of things we could do.”

A spokesman for the National Security Council declined to comment for the story. But another U.S. intelligence official said, “I can’t get into specific numbers but soon after the attack we had a pretty good bead on some individuals involved in the attack.”

In other words, either Susan Rice lied to the press, or was lied to by the Obama administration and sent out to the press deliberately. That leaves the national media in a quandary. Clearly, with only a couple of exceptions, the media hasn’t wanted to address the implications of a successful terrorist attack on an American diplomatic installation at least not during the Barack Obama presidency. Now it’s becoming very clear that the administration didn’t just tell them to “buzz off,” the White House actively lied about the attack in order to deflect further questions from the media.

So what did Obama do 34 hours after the attack? He jumped in Air Force One and flew off to Las Vegas for one his many campaign events where he compared his campaign workers to the “brave and courageous” Americans in Libya that had just died. And all the while his lap dog MSM kept Obama’s narrative alive as long as it could.

Now Two GOP Senators are demanding clarification on what security measures were in place for U.S. personnel there after reports that those who attacked the Libyan consulate may have had inside help.

Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Bob Corker (R-TN) have sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton which stated that they were "extremely concerned" over news of how security may have been handled in the days leading up to the attack.

Isakson and Corker have read reports that indicate the State Dept. not only failed to bolster security at the Libyan consulate as threats mounted but actually sought a waiver to circumvent their duty to so.

This squares perfectly with the scenario Libyan militia leader Fawzi Bukatef described when he claimed the Obama administration left all security measures in the hands of his militia, the February 17 Brigade. And it is feared that because of Bukatef's ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist factions, the February 17 Brigade may have actually stood down and allowed the attackers to reach Ambassador Stevens.

Isakson and Corker are seeking clarity on these things. To that end, they have asked for "all communications" between the State Dept. and the U.S. consulate in Libya that dealt with security "in the period leading up to the attacks."

This was not the most egregious terrorist even that went mostly unreported in Obama’s lap dog MSM.

Late on Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, a Taliban insurgent force of sappers attacked the NATO ISAF base, Camp Bastion, in Afghanistan, resulting in the worst loss of U.S. airpower in aAV-8B-Harrier-Landing single incident since the Vietnam War. Two Marines, including VMA-211’s commanding officer, were killed in the attack, and nine other personnel (eight military and one contractor, reportedly) were wounded. By the time the base was secured roughly five hours later, six U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) AV-8B+ Harrier “jump jets” had been destroyed, and two more “significantly” damaged. In addition, three refueling points were destroyed, and six “soft-skinned” aircraft hangers were damaged to some degree. As a result of this attack, the air strength of Marine Attack Squadron 211 (VMA-211 – “The Avengers”) presumably 10 aircraft, was almost completely destroyed. It should be noted that original cost for the out of production AV-8B Harrier ranged between $20 to $30 million per unit. This loss of ten irreplaceable combat aircraft cost the United States not only two lives, approximately $300 billion dollars.

Camp Bastion is a British-run ISAF base in Helmand Providence northwest of Lashkar Gah, built adjacent to Camp Leatherneck (the primary USMC base in the area) and Camp Shorabak (run by the Afghan National Army). Equipped with a 3,500-meter (11,482 foot) runway and servicing up to 28,000 personnel, it is the largest British base in Afghanistan. One of them, on Sept. 14, was an AH-64 Apache crewman named Capt.“Wales,” otherwise known as Harry, Prince of Wales. Along with the British Apaches and other U.K. aircraft, Camp Bastion also provides basing for USMC aviation units, including VMA-211, the only Harrier squadron then in Afghanistan.

The attack on Camp Bastion began at around 10:00 PM local time, when about 20 Taliban fighters (mainly goat herders) approached the perimeter, disguised in U.S. battle dress uniforms. One of the Taliban used his explosive suicide vest to blow a hole in the perimeter fence, which reportedly allowed three five-man sapper squads into the secured areas of the base. Armed with AK-47s, RPG-7s and explosive suicide vests, the Taliban fighters flooded into the U.S. area known as Camp Barber.

As they began to attack the flight line areas, however, the RAF security force began to react within just 12 minutes, when they established an MQ-9 Reaper UAV orbit over the camp. This was followed by the launch of a British Apache helicopter that immediately engaged the insurgents, killing several. In addition, the British ground security force began to fight its way toward Camp Barber over the main runway, reportedly expending around 10,000 rounds of ammunition in the process. It took five hours to secure the base and police up the insurgents

When the sun rose the next day, the deadly cost of the Taliban raid began to be seen. Fourteen of the 15 insurgent goat herder sappers were killed, along with two of their support force outside the fence. One insurgent was wounded and captured, and is providing useful information on this latest “Green on Blue” Taliban attack. The Allied casualties, however, are proving heartbreaking. Killed during the attack were Lt. Col. Christopher “Otis” K. Raible, USMC (the commander of VMA-211) and Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell (from Marine Air Logistics Squadron 13), both based at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma, Ariz.

Maj. Gen. Gregg Sturdevant, USMC, commander of Marine Aircraft Wing Three (Forward), has announced that replacements for the lost aircraft and personnel will be “brought forward,” suggesting VMA-211 will be reconstituted in place. While VMA-211’s executive officer, Maj. John “Strut” Havener, USMC, has been named the interim squadron commander, it is possible another Harrier squadron will be deployed and the Avengers returned to their home base at MCAS Yuma. The only “good” news about the attack was that Prince Harry was unharmed. He appears to have been one of the targets of the Taliban attack (his birthday was Sept. 15), and was taken to a “safe area” of the base and given extra security.

Whatever the organizational outcome, the Sept. 14, 2012 attack on Camp Bastion is arguably the worst day in USMC aviation history since the Tet Offensive of 1968. The last time VMA-211 was combat ineffective was in December 1941, when the squadron was wiped out during the 13-day defense of Wake Island against the Japanese. Eight irreplaceable aircraft (the AV-8B has been out of production since 1999) have been destroyed or put out of action – approximately 7 percent of the total flying USMC Harrier fleet. Worse yet, the aircraft involved were the AV-B+ variant equipped with the APG-65 radar and AAQ-28 Litening II targeting pods – the most capable in the force. Given the current funding situation, it’s likely that the two damaged AV-8Bs will become spare parts “hangar queens” and never fly again. A Harrier squadron commander is dead, along with another Marine. Another nine personnel have been wounded, and the nearby Marines at Camp Freedom are now without effective fixed-wing air support. The USMC’s response to this disaster will be a telling report card on its leadership and organizational agility.

Under the leadership of Barack H. Obama, though hardly noticed by the pro-Obama mainstream media, the U.S. Marine Corps has suffered its worst air squadron catastrophe since Vietnam, and its prized VMA-211 squadron has taken its worst hit since its defense of Wake Island in World War II.

Under Obama, the U.S. has taken 1,491 casualties in Afghanistan, over 70% of the total 2,125 casualties sustained since the fighting there began. Helmand Province, where Camp Bastion is located, has been the grounds for the lion's share of them, twice as many as any other region of the country. Things have gotten so bad that, in the wake of the attack on Camp Bastion, the International Security Assistance Force, which trains Afghan citizens to defend their country against the Islamic fanatics of the Taliban, suspended operations.

Indeed, it seems that the only possible objective of the attack that was not achieved would be the assassination of Prince Harry, who was stationed at British-administered Camp Bastion as a helicopter pilot and who was planning to celebrate his birthday the following morning.

Indeed, it seems that the only possible objective of the attack that was not achieved would be the assassination of Prince Harry, who was stationed at British-administered Camp Bastion as a helicopter pilot and who was planning to celebrate his birthday the following morning. It's believed that Harry was a collateral target of the attack.

Perhaps even more impressive than the raid's results is the sophisticated planning that must have been required to carry it out. How did this band of radicals even manage to approach a highly advanced multi-national military base without being detected, much less force their way inside en masse? How were they able to attack so quickly and efficiently that, even though nearly every one of them was killed in the effort, they were able to harm the mighty leathernecks more than they had been in half a century?

National Review has speculated that they may have had high-level advice from a national military force, most likely Pakistan, warning that the attack has "heralded a shrinkage of American power and influence in the region, demoralized our allies, and emboldened our enemies." Fevered and bloodthirsty anti-U.S. riots in Pakistan recently give considerable credence to this theory.

The attack was only one aspect, of course, of a recent wave of horrifying attacks on the United States by Islamic radicals, motivated purportedly by the display of an American-made film on YouTube that trashed them. With so many bold claims from the Obama administration about conciliation in the Middle East over the past four years, one might have hoped that its denizens could not be motivated to such bloodletting by the mere existence of an obscure internet movie with dubious ties to the U.S. But as with so many features of Obama's rule, his Middle East gambit has been exposed as total failure. Americans have seen their influence diminish considerably, but they have not reaped the benefits of the policies of appeasement Obama has followed — namely, a reduction in poisonous bile directed at them by the fanatics.

The same must also be said of Obama's policy in Afghanistan. Despite his campaign promises, U.S. casualties have soared rather than falling, and the hand held by the Taliban has strengthened, not weakened. Obama said he would achieve disengagement with honor, but instead he has escalated the violence and carnage without improving our strategic position, and it is clear now that if the Taliban fighters can achieve victories like the one in Camp Bastion against the mighty alliance led by the U.S., then the feeble Afghan army has no chance against it and will surely descend into chaos if the U.S. leaves the field. Then we can expect the terrorist camps to spring right back, targeting the new tower rising over Ground Zero in New York City and many others besides.

And the same can be said of Obama's policy in Iraq. No less a friend of Obama's than the New York Times was forced to admit in a recent article that Obama has fallen "frustratingly short" on his withdrawal objectives in Iraq. He has failed to create a stable successor government, failed to establish security patrol oversight, and failed to establish a training program for Iraqi security forces. The NYT itself admits that the MSM has largely ignored these failures and that Obama has attempted to sweep them under the carpet. The NYT admits that Iraq is now "less stable domestically and less reliable internationally" than Obama promised it would be. And of course, Obama didn't keep his promise to have all U.S. forces out of Iraq by the end of last year, so the U.S. is getting the worst of all possible worlds.

Moreover, Obama's policy of appeasement towards Russia hasn't stopped the Putin dictatorship from continuing to side with our enemies throughout the Middle East. That's because Obama failed to understand the fundamental dichotomy of interests between Russia and the U.S. Russia wants discord in the Middle East, and the rising oil prices that result from it, so that Russian oil exports generate more cash. The U.S. wants peace in the Middle East and low oil prices. Obama's relaxed attitude toward Russia has only left Putin with a free hand to liquidate American friends and values in Russia (USAID was just kicked out of the country, a bone-crushing slight to Obama) while giving the U.S. nothing of value in return.

The upcoming presidential debates will give Mitt Romney the opportunity to hold Obama's feet to the fires burning because of his reckless and failed foreign policy. Obama's record abroad is just as disastrous as his economic record at home, but so far Romney has not done enough to make Americans confront Obama's record. He ought to ask Americans whether they are prepared to tolerate more disasters like the one in Lashkar Gah, to watch American power fade and American values be trampled along with our flag under the feet of those who wish us ill. He ought to offer them the chance to once again make America a great beacon light of hope for those who struggle against oppression around the world.

Muslim nations are imploding against the looming backdrop of sequestration, the trillion-dollar budget cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act, passed by Congress last year. As of January 1, 2013, half of those cuts must come from defense, which amounts to about $600 billion over a period of ten years.

President Obama unveiled his sequestration plan, which calls for cutting discretionary defense appropriations by 9.4%, a $55-billion hit. Among the projected cuts: spending for weapons procurement and shipbuilding, money spent on the war in Afghanistan, a reduction of readiness for many non-deployed units, delays in investments for new equipment and facilities, and cutbacks in military research and equipment repairs.

On the one hand President Obama is embracing these defense cuts, and on the other hand is Mitt Romney, who stated, "We can always find places to end waste. But we cannot cancel program after program, we cannot jeopardize critical missions, and we cannot cut corners in the quality of the equipment and training we provide."

What these recent riots have shown is that this administration was unprepared, that the American overseas diplomatic institutions need to be made into fortresses, and that foreign governments cannot be depended on for security. President Obama deals with this obvious and costly problem through reducing the funding for embassy security, construction, and maintenance by 8.2% as part of his sequestration plan.

While Obama continues to fly around the country on campaign jaunts and making appearances on various TV shows like the View and the David Letterman show he is acting more like the entertainer in chief rather than the commander in chief. His lap dog MSM refuses to accurately report on his foreign policy failures and continues to focus on the polls.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

From Progressivism to Liberalism

“The thesis of the state socialist is, that no line can be drawn between private and public affairs which the State may not cross at will; that omnipotence of legislation is the first postulate of all just political theory.” — Socialism and Democracy, Woodrow Wilson, 1887.

Progressivism represents a radical departure from the Founders’john_dewey_400px understanding of the purpose and ends of government. Comparing and contrasting the arguments of the Founders and of the Progressives regarding six key principles of government — the meaning of freedom; the purpose of government arising from the meaning of freedom; the elements of domestic policy; the extent of foreign policy; the centrality of the consent of the governed; and the size and scope of government—shows decisively that Progressivism is not a logical outcome of the Founders’ principles, but rather a conscious rejection of them. The Founders argued that government exists to protect man’s natural equality and natural rights. The Progressives countered that government exists to achieve equality for individuals, particularly economically.

One of the leading Progressive scholar from the 1880s onward was John Dewey (1859-1952).Dewy taught mainly at Columbia University and devoted much of his life to redefining the idea of education. His thinking was influenced by the German philosopher G.W. F. Hegel, and central to it was a denial of objective truth and an embrace of historicism and moral relativism (Historical Relativism). As such he was critical of the American founding.

Dewey stated in his 1935 book, “Liberalism and Social Action.”

“Thus from various sources and under various influences there developed an inner split in liberalism. This cleft is one cause of the ambiguity from which liberalism still suffers and which explains a growing impotency. These are still those who call themselves liberals who define liberalism in terms of the old opposition between the province of organized social action and the province of purely individual initiative and effort. In the name of liberalism they are jealous of every extension of governmental activity. They may grudgingly concede the need of special measures of protection and alleviation undertaken by the state at times of great social stress, but they are the confirmed enemies of social legislation (even prohibition of child labor), as standing measures of political policy. Wittingly or unwittingly, they still provide the intellectual system of apologetics for the existing economic regime, which they strangely, it would seem ironically, uphold as a regime of individual liberty for all.

But the majority who call themselves liberals today are committed to the principle that organized society must use its powers to establish the conditions under which the mass of individuals can possess actual as distinct from merely legal liberty. They define their liberalism in the concrete in terms of a program of measures moving toward this end. They believe that the conception of the state which limits the activities of the latter to keeping order as between individuals and to securing redress for one person when another person infringes the liberty existing law has given him, is in effect simply a justification of the brutalities and inequities of the existing order. Because of this internal division within liberalism its later history is wavering and confused. The inheritance of the past still causes many liberals, who believe in a generous use of the powers of organized society to change the terms on which human beings associate together, to stop short with merely protective and alleviatory measures--a fact that partly explains why another school always refers to "reform" with scorn. It will be the object of the next chapter to portray the crisis in liberalism, the impasse in which it now almost finds itself, and through criticism of the deficiencies of earlier liberalism to suggest the way in which liberalism may resolve the crisis, and emerge as a compact, aggressive force.”

In essence Dewey believed the classical liberalism of John Locke and our Founders was an outdated way of thinking and not relevant to the social conditions of the day. This is what is meant by Historical Relevance. Dewey went on to state:

“The demand for a form of social organization that should include economic activities but yet should convert them into servants of the development of the higher capacities of individuals, is one that earlier liberalism did not meet. If we strip its creed from adventitious elements, there are, however, enduring values for which earlier liberalism stood. These values are liberty, the development of the inherent capacities of individuals made possible through liberty, and the central role of free intelligence in inquiry, discussion and expression. But elements that were adventitious to these values colored every one of these ideals in ways that rendered them either impotent or perverse when the new problem of social organization arose.

Before considering the three values, it is advisable to note one adventitious idea that played a large role in the later incapacitation of liberalism. The earlier liberals lacked historic sense and interest. For a while this lack had an immediate pragmatic value. It gave liberals a powerful weapon in their fight with reactionaries. For it enabled them to undercut the appeal to origin, precedent and past history by which the opponents of social change gave sacrosanct quality to existing inequities and abuses. But disregard of history took its revenge. It blinded the eyes of liberals to the fact that their own special interpretations of liberty, individuality and intelligence were themselves historically conditioned, and were relevant only to their own time. They put forward their ideas as immutable truths good at all times and places; they had no idea of historic relativity, either in general or in its application to themselves.”

When Dewey stated; “It blinded the eyes of liberals to the fact that their own special interpretations of liberty, individuality and intelligence were themselves historically conditioned, and were relevant only to their own time” he was in substance saying the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence were relevant only to the times the document was written. The terms Live, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness had a far different meaning to progressives like Dewey and Woodrow Wilson than our Founders. It was Wilson, a follower of Dewey’s progressivism, who stated in his 1913 What is Progress Speech:

“Some citizens of this country have never got beyond the Declaration of Independence, signed in Philadelphia, July 4th, 1776. Their bosoms swell against George III, but they have no consciousness of the war for freedom that is going on today.

The Declaration of Independence did not mention the questions of our day. It is of no consequence to us unless we can translate its general terms into examples of the present day and substitute them in some vital way for the examples it itself gives, so concrete, so intimately involved in the circumstances of the day in which it was conceived and written. It is an eminently practical document, meant for the use of practical men; not a thesis for philosophers, but a whip for tyrants; not a theory for government, but a program of action. Unless we can translate it into the questions of our own day, we are not worthy of it, we are not the sons of the sires who acted in response to its challenge.”

The answers to the following six questions illustrate the primary differences between the Founders and the Progressives.

1.) What is freedom? The Founders argued that adult human beings possess the right to be free from being ruled by others by the very fact of being born human (“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.) Additionally, the Founders argued that nature gives no human being a right to rule over, or to enslave, another human being. The Progressives argued that freedom is a product of human making, and not a natural right. The Progressives taught that there are two levels of freedom—negative freedom (freedom from subjection to the will of others), and positive freedom (or effective freedom, which requires both the forming of the individual in the ethical ideal as defined by government experts and masterminds, and also providing that individual with access to all the resources he needs to that end.) This is a radical departures from the principles of our founding.

2.) What is the purpose of government? The Founders argued that government exists to protect man’s natural rights. If it fails to do this, it is unjust. The Progressives, having rejected natural rights, believe that government exists to create rights and to ensure that human beings are made equal.

3.) What constitutes good domestic policy? The Founders conceived of domestic policy as those things required for the protection of natural rights in the context of relations among fellow citizens. This list includes the criminal law, the civil law, the protection of the family, and the promotion of minimal citizen morality through government support of education and religion. Most of this fell within the power of the state and local governments as put forth in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution. The Progressives countered that domestic policy should focus on equality and income redistribution, along with proper formation in the morality preached by Progressivism, because natural rights are nonexistent and true freedom requires “creating” people’s characters and giving them the necessary resources. They tasked federal and state government bureaucracies, rather than local governments, with achieving this end. In contrast to Madison’s belief than man was an imperfect creature with passions and ambitions the progressives believed man’s character could be molded and improved by government, especially through education and indoctrination.

4.) What constitutes good foreign policy? The Founders believed that foreign policy serves the same purpose as domestic policy: the protection of the citizens’ natural rights. A strong national defense and the protection of borders are necessary to achieve this end; imperialism is not. The Progressives, on the other hand, saw foreign policy as a tool for spreading democracy and for improving the lives of “inferior” races through imperialism. The first Progressive to hone this belief was Theodore Roosevelt by his actions in Cuba, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. To some extent even today those who claim the label of “conservative” believe this progressive doctrine of “spreading democracy.”

5.) How important is the consent of the governed? Consent of the governed, as the Declaration states, is the only just means by which government derives its power and authority. It can never be discarded or ignored without becoming unjust and tyrannical. The Progressives rejected this argument. Without rejecting consent altogether, Progressives wanted to separate the institutions of government as far from the people as possible. They favored removing political power from local communities and centering it in state and federal bureaucracies staffed by “experts.”

6.) Should government be limited or unlimited? The Founders believed in a government limited by its primary mission of protecting the natural rights of the people. Government was supposed to be powerful in regard to providing a strong national defense and to protecting individual rights by effective law enforcement and free markets. Beyond that, government was expected to leave people alone and set up self-governing private associations (families, churches, businesses, and clubs) to take care of the daily affairs of life. The Progressives completely abandoned limited government. The private sphere was no longer to be treated as private. An unrestricted government, they claimed, could effectively solve all social and economic problems, both for private institutions and individuals — in essence the “nanny state.”

In 1897 Wilson wrote in his essay entitled; Socialism and Democracy:

“The socialist does not disregard the obvious lessons of history concerning overwrought government: at least he thinks he does not. He denies that he is urging the resumption of tasks which have been repeatedly shown to be impossible. He points to the incontrovertible fact that the economic and social conditions of life in our century are not only superficially but radically different from those of any other time whatever. Many affairs of life which were once easily to be handled by individuals have now become so entangled amongst the complexities of international trade relations, so confused by the multiplicity of news-voices, or so hoisted into the winds of speculation that only powerful combinations of wealth and influence can compass them. Corporations grow on every hand, and on every hand not only swallow and overawe individuals but also compete with governments. The contest is no longer between government and individuals; it is now between government and dangerous combinations and individuals. Here is a monstrously changed aspect of the social world. In face of such circumstances, must not government lay aside all timid scruple and boldly make itself an agency for social reform as well as for political control?

'Yes,' says the democrat, 'perhaps it must. You know it is my principle, no less than yours, that every man shall have an equal chance with every other man: if I saw my way to it as a practical politician, I should be willing to go farther and superintend every man's use of his chance. But the means? The question with me is not whether the community has power to act as it may please in these matters, but how it can act with practical advantage — a question of policy.'

A question of policy primarily, but also a question of organization, that is to say of administration.”

Some 48 years before Wilson wrote his essay on Socialism and Democracy the French classical-liberal economist Frederic Bastiat wrote his famous essay. The Law in which he stated:

“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain."

Thus Wilson, like Dewey and other progressives of the day, believed in an administrative state that would, through the use of bureaucrats, experts, and masterminds, rule every aspect of life in the United States with the goal of making a better world for all. They saw the increase of immigration, especially from Eastern and Sothern Europe along with the increase in science and technology from the industrial revolution, and the rise of corporate power over politics as serious threats to the common man. Hey also believed that if property was left to the citizens it would mismanaged and it was the federal government’s responsibility to take control of as much land as it was able. Today in the western states the federal government controls nearly 50% of the land while in the northeast, where the original 13 colonies were established, a mere 3%.

As you can see from the comparisons progressives wanted more and more government control by experts and masterminds in the belief they could make a better world for all. While statists in every sense they were no fools. They still believed in a civil society with strong criminal laws and a fiscally sound government — even if they had to increase taxes to make it sound, which they often did.

Eventfully the influence of the Franklin Roosevelt era in progressivism finally morphed in today’s “liberalism” a far cry for the “Classical Liberalism” of our Founders. With the passage of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society Legislation in 1965 this new liberalism took roots in the United States. Things like the welfare state, federal control of education, multiculturalism, sexual expressionism, abortion, environmentalism, and borrowing in order to spend were on the rise both in the legislatures and the courts. The progressives of the 1930’s to the 1950’s would never have gone along with restricting the irrigation water to the farmers of California’s San Joaquin Valley in order to protect the Delta Smelt, am insignificant fish in the San Francisco Bay. They would have put humans before a subhuman fish. The progressives of the Dewey era in no way considered these as part of their progressive agenda.

If Bastiat were alive today, he would be disappointed with our failure to keep the law within its proper domain. Over the course of a century and a half, we have created more than 50,000 laws. Most of them permit the state to initiate violence against those who have not initiated violence against others. These laws range from anti-smoking laws for private establishments and Social Security “contributions” to licensure laws and minimum wage laws. In each case, the person who resolutely demands and defends his God-given right to be left alone can ultimately suffer death at the hands of our government.

To achieve this transformation the colleges and universities became the church of liberalism and the professors became the ministers, priests and pastors of this new theology of government. They have become the experts and masterminds of the Godless religion of liberalism.

Today we are in a battle for the soul of America. We can either return to the fundamental principles of our founders or continue on the path of liberalism and statism we are traveling today — a path that will lead to tyranny.

Monday, September 24, 2012

What is Happening to the NFL?

“I'm not claiming that football is the nation's salvation in this area, but it's one of them, one little thing that apparently has captured the imagination of a large sector of our society. But when football can't be a relatively pure outlet, a fun thing, then it hurts itself.” — Pete Rozelle, former commissioner of the National Football League.

In 1892 former Yale All-American guard William Heffelfinger was paid $500 by the Allegheny Athletic Association to play in a game against the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, making him the first ever professional football player. However it wasn't until 1920 that American football achieved a league of any true organization. The American Professional Football Association was formed on September 17, 1920 and included ten teams from four different states. However the APFA lasted only two seasons when it was reorganized on June 24, 1922 into the National Football League. Only two teams currently in the NFL, the Decatur Staleys (now the Chicago Bears) and the Chicago Cardinals (now the Arizona Cardinals), are founding members. The Green Bay Packers, founded 1919, (joined the NFL in 1921), is the oldest NFL franchise in continuous operation with the same name in the same location.

At the turn of the 20th century and on into the 1930’s college football was considered the game to watch. It was a game sponsored by alumni in coon-skin hats, vicuna coats and driving Stutz Bearcats. The game was attended by alumni and students waving the pennants of Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Rutgers, and other Ivy League elite universities. Fordham was a powerhouse and the two military academies fielded powerful teams. Of course there was that little college of Our Lady in Indiana. College football was considered a “gentleman’s” game that taught physical fitness and team work. As Knute Rockne, the famous coach of Notre Dame stated:

“Four years of football are calculated to breed in the average man more of the ingredients of success in life than almost any academic course he takes.”

On the other hand professional football was considered a game for the Model-T crowd. It was a game played on muddy fields by men who wanted to pick up a few bucks each week for knocking a few heads and not getting arrested for it. Players wore thin leather helmets and little padding. It was a game for boilermakers, not “gentlemen.”

This changed in 1924 when George Halas, the owner of the Chicago Bears signed Red Grange, the “Galloping Ghost” from the University of Illinois onRedGrangeGoudeycard the day he graduated from college. Halas believed he needed collage stars to draw people into the stadiums and bring a semblance of legitimacy to professional football. Soon after other teams like the Chicago Cardinals, New York Yankees (football), and the Green Bay Packers followed suit. The surge of recruiting college football players became so cut-throat that the new league, with Halas’ approval, instituted a rule that no college player could be recruited or signed until he had graduated for college. This rule stands today and is the basis of the NFL Draft.

I saw my first professional football game during World War Two when my father and uncle took me to see the Cleveland Rams (eventually the Los Angeles Rams and now the St. Louis Rams) at League Park in Cleveland Ohio. Both my father and uncle were rabid Ram fans (as I am today) even when the team left Cleveland in 1946 for Los Angeles when taxi-cab magnate Arthur B. "Mickey" McBride secured the rights to a Cleveland franchise in the newly formed All-America Football Conference. Due to Cleveland politics McBride was also able to secure the rights to the Cleveland Municipal Stadium for his new team the Cleveland Browns and drive the owner of the Rams, Dan Reeves, to move to the west coast.

The two competing leagues fought each other for players and stadium rights and in 1949 they reached a merger agreement of sorts, but many of the teams were still bleeding cash in the bidding war for top notch players. The rich teams were getting richer and the poor teams were getting poorer. This created an imbalance in the competition in both leagues causing some teams to go broke and bail out of pro football.

By the middle of the 1960s competition for players, including separate college drafts, was driving up player salaries. In 1965, in the most high profile such contest and a major boost to the AFL, University of Alabama quarterback Joe Namath signed with the New York Jets rather than the NFL's St. Louis Cardinals for a then-record $427,000. In 1966, the NFL's New York Giants broke an informal agreement and signed placekicker Pete Gogolak, who was under contract to the AFL's Buffalo Bills. Then AFL Commissioner Al Davis embarked on a campaign to sign players away from the NFL, especially quarterbacks, but behind the scenes a number of NFL team owners began action to end this detrimental rivalry.

Several NFL franchises led by Cowboys General Manager Tex Schramm asked to meet with AFL owners to negotiate a merger. In an agreement brokered by Schramm and AFL founder Lamar Hunt, the two leagues announced their merger deal on June 8, 1966. The leagues would thenceforth hold a Common Draft and an end-of-season World Championship Game between the two league champions (later known as the Super Bowl and reverting to simply an NFL championship game). Still another city received an NFL franchise thanks to the AFL, as New Orleans was awarded an NFL team after Louisiana's federal Congressmen pushed for the passage of Public Law 89-800, which permitted the merger and exempted the action from Anti-Trust restrictions. The monopoly that would be created needed to be legitimized by an act of Congress. In 1970, the leagues fully merged under the name National Football League and divided into two conferences of an equal number of teams. There was a financial settlement, with the AFL teams paying a combined $18 million over 20 years.

The competition really began ending in  1960 when a brilliant advertising and marketing executive named Pete Rozelle became the commissioner of the NFL. Rozelle held a series of public relations jobs in Southern California, marketing the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia for a Los Angeles based company. He joined the Los Angeles Rams as its public relations specialist. By 1957, Rozelle was offered the GM job with the Rams. He turned a disorganized, unprofitable team, lost in the growing LA market, into a business success.

After Bert Bell's death in 1959, Rozelle was the surprise choice for his replacement as NFL commissioner. According to Howard Cosell in his book “I Never Played the Game”, the owners took 23 ballots before settling onPete Rozelle Rozelle as NFL Commissioner at a January 26, 1960 meeting. When he took office there were twelve teams in the NFL playing a twelve game schedule to frequently half-empty stadiums, and only a few teams had television contracts. The NFL in 1960 was following a business model that had evolved from the 1930s. NFL sources credit Rozelle with bringing concepts such as gate and television profit-sharing, policies already in place in the rival American Football League, to the NFL. The revenue-sharing was a major factor in stabilizing the AFL and guaranteeing the success of its small-market teams. Rozelle recognized the value of such an arrangement, and following the lead of the rival AFL, Rozelle negotiated large television contracts to broadcast every NFL game played each season. In doing so, he not only deftly played one television network against the other, but also persuaded NFL team owners — most notably Carroll Rosenbloom of the Baltimore Colts and George Preston Marshall of the Washington Redskins — to agree to share revenues between teams. His business model, which emulated that of the AFL, was essentially a cartel that benefited all teams equally, from revenue sharing to the player draft. This was not wealth redistribution — it was wealth creation. Over the years teams that were valued in the millions are now valued in the billions. He established NFL properties, which shares the profits from every piece of merchandise sold with the NFL logo are distributed equally to all teams. Under Rozelle’s leadership the NFL grew into the most successful sport franchise in history.

The NFL was made for television. It’s a natural due to the many timeouts in play during the game allowing the TV networks to sell advertising to beer, automobile, and products men buy companies. A 30 second spot during the Super Bowl can exceed $3 million dollars. This is why the NFL can demand billions from the TV networks to televise their games.


Click here to enlarge this graph.

Rozelle’s vision for the NFL brought great wealth to the owners and players. Today a No.1 draft picks can sign a contract exceeding $50 million dollars. But Rozelle’s vision may be in jeopardy for three reasons. One was the player lock-out of 2011. Two is the pay for pain scandal and the suspension of the New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Peyton and some of their players. And third is the current contract battle with experienced NFL officials.

The former commissioner, Bert Bell, believed that the integrity of the game depended on qualified, experienced, and unbiased game officials. From the head referee to the time-keeper he wanted officials that knew the rule book backwards and forwards and could maintain control of the players and the game. The public wanted to watch a game that was fair and where penalty calls, ball placement, and player control was quick and decisive. To some extent the adoption of instant replay took some of the quick out of the game, but it allowed more fairness in the calls.

This season, due to a contract dispute between the owners and the officials over a pension plan, games are being officiated by “replacement” officials, some no more than high school officials. The pro game is so much faster and more violent that even the college game and the rules are very different. So far in the 48 regular season games played thus far there have been many examples of the inexperience and incompetence of these replacement officials. They can’t seem to manage the play or game clock. They give extra timeouts to teams (Vikings vs. 49ers). They are very inconsistent on holding pass interference, and personal foul calls (Steelers vs. Raiders — the head shot on the Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey by the Steelers’ safety Ryan Mundy was not only a violation, it was a dangerous career ending hit.) They allow coaches and players to intimidate them and they just don’t know the rules.

The most recent example happened last night when the Baltimore Ravens kicked a last second field goal to win the game against the New England Patriots and the coach, Bill Belichick, of the Patriots grabbed one of the officials by his arm wanting to scold him for what he felt was a bad call. Whether the call was good or bad is not the issue. Attacking a game official is. Bert Bell or Pete Rozelle would not have tolerated such actions by a coach or player.

But to put all of the blame on Belichick is not quite fair. Every sports page across the nation has criticized the replacement officials as have the radio broadcasters for the 32 teams. Even the TV announcers have taken shots at the replacements while being careful not to criticize too much and alienate their network bosses. Even the cautious Al Michaels, of NBC’s Sunday Night Football, weighed in on the ref situation, calling the league's standoff "ridiculous." The crowd at the game needed fewer syllables to express their discontent. If you read the comments sections of the various sports pages you will find a plethora criticism of the officials and the league. The game that Bell and Rozelle worked so hard to turn into a multi-billion dollar franchise is losing its integrity and public support over a contract dispute.

I have for a long time believed that the NFL institute professional officials like Major League Baseball. In baseball the umpires are professionals trained in the minor leagues and move up to the majors when they are deemed qualified and competent. They control the game and are almost always in position to make the proper call. Time after time slow motion instant replay has confirmed that they have made the correct call whether it’s a ball or strike or a bang-bang play at first base. They allow managers and coaches to express their opinions, but when the argument becomes heated or foul language is used they are ejected from the game. This gives baseball fans confidence that they are watching a fair game officiated by competent umpires.

Professional football should take a page from baseball and follow the same course. The franchise is too valuable to allow it to deteriorate over contract dispute. I am not familiar with all of the demands of the officials or the issues stalling the negotiations, but if the owners and commissioner cannot resolve this dispute soon the game will continue to deteriorate and the fans will become disenchanted with the game. The TV networks will not like this and the NFL could be relegated to the status of professional wrestling or the roller derby.

As Pete Rozelle stated:

“People are interested in pro football because it provides them with an emotional oasis; they don't want football to get involved in the same types of court cases, racial problems and legislative issues they encounter in the rest of American life. “

Pete Rozelle must be turning over in his grave.

Updated September 25, 2012.

I have just finished watching the most incompetent and unfair example of officiating in the history of the NFL. In this example not only was the game determined by the officials, the outcome of the season could be jeopardized for one of the teams by not allowing them to make the play-offs. The game was the Green Bay Packers vs. the Seattle Seahawks where the Seahawks were handed a 14 to 12 victory over the Packers due to a bogus call on a final second touchdown by the Seahawks.

Fox News reported:

“The furor over the work of replacement officials reached a fevered pitch during Week 3 in the NFL, especially Monday night when Seattle beat Green Bay on a desperation pass that many thought was an interception.

Seahawks receiver Golden Tate was awarded a touchdown on the final play after a scrum on the ground in the end zone. Packers’ safety M.D. Jennings appeared to catch the ball against his body, with Tate getting his arm around the ball.

After a few seconds, one official indicated a stoppage of play, but another signaled touchdown for a conclusion former NFL coach Jon Gruden, working the game on TV, called "tragic" and "comical."

To add further insult to the fans USA Today reported that one of the officials at the Packers-Seahawk game was fired from of all places – the Lingerie Football League: A spokesman for the LFL stated to USA Today:

“"Because of the LFL's perception it is that much more critical for us to hire officiating crews that are competent, not only for the credibility of our game but to keep our athletes safer. Due to several on-field incompetent officiating we chose to part ways with a couple crews which apparently are now officiating in the NFL. We have a lot of respect for our officials but we felt the officiating was not in line with our expectations. We have not made public comment to date because we felt it was not our place to do so. However in light of tonight's event, we felt it was only fair that NFL fans knew the truth as to who are officiating these games."

This was not the only example of incompetent calls during the game. There were roughing he quarterback calls that should not have been called, offensive pass interference calls that were not made, and improper ball placements.


Officials signal a touchdown by Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate, obscured, on the last play of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Monday, Sept. 24, 2012, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 14-12. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

The Great Exploration

“History by apprising [citizens] of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views.” — Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 14 — 1781.

206 years ago on this date (September 23, 1806) one of the greatest feats of exploration came to an end. Amid much public excitement, American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark returned to St. Louis, Missouri, from the first recorded overland journey from the Mississippi River to the Pacific coast and back. The Lewis and Clark Expedition had set off more than two years before to explore the territory of the Louisiana Purchase.


With the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the United States purchased approximately 828,000 square miles of territory (3 times the area of Texas) from France, thereby doubling the size of the young republic. What was known as Louisiana Territory stretched from the Mississippi River in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west and from the Gulf of Mexico in the south to the Canadian border in the north. Part or all of 15 states were eventually created from the land deal, which is considered one of the most important achievements of Thomas Jefferson’s presidency.

Beginning in the 17th century, France explored the Mississippi River valley and established scattered settlements in the region. By the middle of the 18th century, France controlled more of the present-day United States than any other European power: from New Orleans northeast to the Great Lakes and northwest to modern-day Montana. In 1762, during the French and Indian War (1754-63), France ceded French Louisiana west of the Mississippi River to Spain and in 1763 transferred nearly all of its remaining North American holdings to Great Britain. Spain, no longer a dominant European power, did little to develop Louisiana during the next three decades. In 1796, Spain allied itself with France, leading Britain to use its powerful navy to cut off Spain from America.

In 1801, Spain signed a secret treaty with France to return Louisiana Territory to France. Reports of the retrocession caused considerable uneasiness in the United States. Since the late 1780s, Americans had been moving westward into the Ohio River and Tennessee River valleys, and these settlers were highly dependent on free access to the Mississippi River and the strategic port of New Orleans. U.S. officials feared that France, resurgent under the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte would soon seek to dominate the Mississippi River and access to the Gulf of Mexico. In a letter to U.S. minister to France Robert Livingston, America’s third president, Thomas Jefferson stated, "The day that France takes possession of New Orleans...we must marry ourselves to the British fleet and nation."

Livingston was ordered to negotiate with French minister Charles Maurice de Talleyrand for the purchase of New Orleans.

France was slow in taking control of Louisiana, but in 1802 Spanish authorities, apparently acting under French orders, revoked a U.S.-Spanish treaty that granted Americans the right to store goods in New Orleans. In response, Jefferson sent future U.S. president James Monroe to Paris to aid Livingston in the New Orleans purchase talks. In mid-April 1803, shortly before Monroe's arrival, the French asked a surprised Livingston if the United States was interested in purchasing all of Louisiana Territory. It is believed that the failure of France to put down a slave revolution in Haiti, the impending war with Great Britain and probable British naval blockade of France, and financial difficulties may all have prompted Napoleon to offer Louisiana for sale to the United States. In essence Napoleon was in sorry need of cash and needed to sell some of his assets, assets he knew little about or believed he did not need.

Negotiations moved swiftly, and at the end of April the U.S. envoys agreed to pay $11,250,000 and assume claims of American citizens against France in the amount of $3,750,000. In exchange, the United States acquired the vast domain of Louisiana Territory, some 828,000 square miles of land. The treaty was dated April 30 and signed on May 2. In October, the U.S. Senate ratified the purchase, and in December 1803 France transferred authority over the region to the United States.

The acquisition of the Louisiana Territory for the bargain price of less than three cents an acre was among Jefferson's most notable achievements as president. American expansion westward into the new lands began immediately, and in 1804 a territorial government was established. On April 30, 1812, exactly nine years after the Louisiana Purchase agreement was made, the first state to be carved from the territory--Louisiana--was admitted into the Union as the 18th U.S. state.

Jefferson was no fool. He knew we had to expand the United States to the Pacific Ocean and was looking for the legendary Northwest Passage to link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans it the United States would be secure and our economy would expand.

Even before the U.S. government concluded purchase negotiations with France, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned his private secretary Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, an army captain, to lead an expedition into what is now the U.S. Northwest. On May 14, the "Corps of Discovery," featuring 28 men and one woman—a Native American named Sacagawea—left St. Louis for the American interior.

The expedition traveled up the Missouri River in six canoes and two longboats and wintered in Dakota before crossing into Montana, where they first saw the Rocky Mountains. On the other side of the Continental Divide, they were met by Sacagawea's tribe, the Shoshone Indians, who sold them horses for their journey down through the Bitterroot Mountains. After passing through the dangerous rapids of the Clearwater and Snake rivers in canoes, the explorers reached the calm of the Columbia River, which led them to the sea. On November 8, 1805, the expedition arrived at the Pacific Ocean, the first European explorers to do so by an overland route from the east. After pausing there for winter, the explorers began their long journey back to St. Louis.


On September 23, 1806, after two and a half years, the expedition returned to the city, bringing back a wealth of information about the largely unexplored region, as well as valuable U.S. claims to Oregon Territory.

According to Jefferson himself, one goal was to find a "direct & practicable water communication across this continent, for the purposes of commerce with Asia" (the Northwest Passage). Jefferson also placed special importance on declaring U.S. sovereignty over the Native Americans along the Missouri River, and getting an accurate sense of the resources in the recently completed Louisiana Purchase.

They were accompanied by a fifteen-year-old Shoshone Indian woman, Sacagawea, the wife of a French-Canadian fur trader. After crossing the Rocky Mountains, the expedition reached the Pacific Ocean in the area of present-day Oregon (which lay beyond the nation's new boundaries) in November 1805. They returned in 1806, bringing with them an immense amount of information about the region as well as numerous plant and animal specimens.

Reports about geography, plant and animal life, and Indian cultures filled their daily journals. Although Lewis and Clark failed to find a commercial route to Asia, they demonstrated the possibility of overland travel to the Pacific coast. They found Native Americans in the trans-Mississippi West accustomed to dealing with European traders and already connected to global markets. The success of their journey helped to strengthen the idea that United States territory was destined to reach all the way to the Pacific. Although the expedition did make notable achievements in science, scientific research itself was not the main goal behind the mission.

To lead this expedition Jefferson picked two men, one a scholar and his482px-Meriweather_Lewis-Charles_Willson_Peale personal secretary Meriwether Lewis. Lewis was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, in the present-day community of Ivy. He was the son of Lt. William Lewis of Locust Hill who was of Welsh ancestry, and Lucy Meriwether, daughter of Thomas Meriwether and Elizabeth Thornton who were both of English ancestry. After his father died of pneumonia, he moved with his mother and stepfather Captain John Marks to Georgia in May 1780.

During his time in Georgia, Lewis enhanced his skills as a hunter and outdoorsman. He would often venture out in the middle of the night in the dead of winter with only his dog, Seaman, to go hunting. Even at an early age, he was interested in natural history, which would develop into a lifelong passion. His mother taught him how to gather wild herbs for medicinal purposes. In the Broad River Valley, Lewis first dealt with American Indians. This was the traditional territory of the Cherokee, who resented encroachment by the colonists. Lewis seems to have been a champion for them among his own people. While in Georgia, he met Eric Parker, who encouraged him to travel. At thirteen, Lewis was sent back to Virginia for education by private tutors. His father's older brother Nicholas Lewis became his guardian. One of his tutors was Parson Matthew Maury, an uncle of Matthew Fontaine Maury. In 1793, Lewis graduated from Liberty Hall (now Washington and Lee University).

That year he joined the Virginia militia, and in 1794 he was sent as part of a detachment involved in putting down the Whiskey Rebellion. In 1795 Lewis joined the U.S. Army, commissioned as a Lieutenant, where he served until 1801. Among his commanding officers was William Clark, who would later become his companion in the Corps of Discovery.

On April 1, 1801, Lewis was appointed as an aide by President Thomas Jefferson, whom he knew through Virginia society in Albemarle County. Lewis resided in the presidential mansion, and frequently conversed with various prominent figures in politics, the arts and other circles. Originally, he was to provide information on the politics of the United States Army, which had seen an influx of Federalist officers as a result of John Adams's "midnight appointments". When Jefferson began to plan for an expedition across the continent, he chose Lewis to lead the expedition.

As co-leader Jefferson picked an Army captain, William Clark. Clark did not William_Clark-Charles_Willson_Pealehave any formal education; like many of his contemporaries, he was tutored at home. In later years, he was self-conscious about his convoluted grammar and inconsistent spelling—he spelled "Sioux" 27 different ways in his journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition—and sought to have his journals corrected before publication. The spelling of American English was not standardized in Clark's youth, though his vocabulary suggests he was well read.

In 1803, Meriwether Lewis recruited Clark, then age 33, to share command of the newly formed Corps of Discovery, whose mission was to explore the territory of the Louisiana Purchase, establish trade with Native Americans and the sovereignty of the U.S. Although Clark was refused rank when Jefferson asked the Senate to appoint him, at Lewis' insistence, he exercised equal authority, and continued the mission. Clark concentrated chiefly on the drawing of maps, the management of the expedition's supplies, and leading hunting expeditions for game.

For many years, Lewis' legacy was overlooked, inaccurately assessed, and somewhat tarnished by his alleged suicide. Yet his contributions to science, the exploration of the Western U.S., and the lore of great world explorers, are considered incalculable.

Four years after Lewis' death, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

“Of courage undaunted, possessing a firmness and perseverance of purpose which nothing but impossibilities could divert from its direction, honest, disinterested, liberal, of sound understanding and a fidelity to truth so scrupulous that whatever he should report would be as certain as if seen by ourselves, with all these qualifications as if selected and implanted by nature in one body for this express purpose, I could have no hesitation in confiding the enterprise to him.”

Over the years Lewis and Clark have been given short shrift in our K-12 text books while a minor player, the Native American wife of one of the guides, Sacagawea, has been played up — especially by the women’s movement. The National American Woman Suffrage Association embraced her as a female hero, and numerous stories and essays about her appeared in ladies' journals.

Sacagawea, sometimes called Sakajawea or Sakagawea (c. 1788 – December 20, 1812), was an indigenous woman who accompanied her husband Toussaint Charbonneau on the expedition to the Pacific Ocean. Her son Jean Baptiste Charbonneau was born in 1805 with the help of the expedition.

Though she has been discussed in literature frequently, much of the information is exaggerated or fiction. Scholars say she did notice some geographical features, but "Sacagawea was not the guide for the Expedition, she was important to them as an interpreter and in other ways.” The sight of a woman and her infant son would have been a reassuring sight to some indigenous nations, and she played an important role in diplomatic relations by talking to chiefs, easing tensions, and giving the impression of a peaceful mission.

In his writings, Meriwether Lewis presented a somewhat negative view of her, though Clark had a higher regard for her, and later on provided some support for her children in subsequent years. In the journals, they used the terms "squar" and "savages" to refer to Sacagawea and other indigenous peoples.

It has taken years for the story of true value of the Lewis and Clark to be told. These men with little foreknowledge of the route they would traverse did a remarkable job of recording the wonders, natural resources, and the value of the territory Jefferson purchased from France. This was not a romantic tale of a 15-year old Native American girl but a hard-header, tough journey of scientific exploration that would provide valuable information for the expansion of the United States to the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

Perhaps it is time for our K-12 schools to put more focus on the history of our nation and the men who risked life and limb to gather the data and knowledge of this great nation and less on diversity. (See what The Broward school district in Florida has endorsed what is being called a “groundbreaking” resolution encouraging K-12 students to celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History Month this October, as reported by the Sun Sentinel.)

For an excellent interactive Google Map of the route of the expedition click here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Rachel Carson — Environmental Hero or Fraud

“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. Subject opinion to coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors?” — Thomas Jefferson letter to James Smith — 1822.

On September 2, 2010 I posted a blog about Environmental Extremists in which I took a very negative view of Rachel Carson. Its rime to update that post in the light of several children’s books that have been released praising the work of this hero of the environmental movement.

The left wants to tell children a story about the founding of modern environmentalism, but their fairy tale version ignores the grim reality.

Storybooks abound about Rachel Carson, the marine biologist whocarson_400 wrote “Silent Spring” nearly 50 years ago. In fact, there are 130 children’s books about her available through that teach children to idolize Carson and how to become liberal activists, but without telling them the lives that could have been saved by DDT. Some of those books even promoted left-wing environmental groups like the George Soros-funded Natural Resources Defense Council.

The books are pro-environmentalist propaganda, sometimes targeted at toddlers and young children who would more typically be looking at books about animals and cars. One such picture book by Laurie Lawlor, called “Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World” tells little ones: “No one had taken a stand against big business, federal agencies that approved chemical use, or universities that performed shoddy research about the effects of chemicals. She knew she was walking into dangerous territory.”

Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World,” released in February, is just the latest of many books for children of all ages about the lefty environmental “hero.” Left-wing eco-activists laud Carson as the foremother of today’s environmental movement. Former vice president Al Gore even wrote the introduction to a 1994 edition of “Silent Spring,” and credited her as his inspiration to become an environmentalist.

Gore wrote: “Rachel Carson was one of the reasons why I became so conscious of the environment and so involved in environmental issues.” Of course, the environmentalists who idolize Carson and her 1962 book ignore the negative impact it. Without it, DDT could have been used to help prevent millions of people from dying a miserable death from malaria.

From beautifully illustrated picture books to young reader’s books, there is plenty of pro-Carson (anti-chemical) propaganda available to children. Many of these books come complete with sections dedicated to Gore and “An Inconvenient Truth” along with suggestions for how small children can become eco-activists.

Rachel Carson” by Marie-Therese Miller, part of a book series called: “Conservation Heroes”, is aimed at older grade school children. Gore also has a book in this series. This book outlined the lefts vision of what Rachel Carson accomplished and her history. In the final chapter dedicated to Carson’s supposed legacy, the author failed to mention the real lasting impression of Carson — a continual state of environmental hysteria.

Who on Earth is Rachel Carson? Mother of the Environmental Movement” by Glenn Scherer and Marty Fletcher, indoctrinates grade school children into thinking that population growth is bad. They wrote, “Rachel also saw what happens to nature when the human population increases rapidly and development takes place with little or no control.”

After sharing one-sided tales of Carson the hero, both “Rachel Carson”rachel-carson-lg and “Who on Earth is Rachel Carson? Mother of the Environmental Movement” teach kids how to become environmentalists like her. Both books end with suggestions on where a child can go to get involved in the environmental movement. A child could visit the website for Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a Soros-funded environmental extremist group, or they could get involved at their local Sierra club.

Henry Miller, scholar at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, argued in a Sept. 5th op-ed for called Rachel Carson’s Deadly Fantasies” that Carson’s real legacy lie in her disingenuous claims that stopped a useful life saver around the world.

“DDT was used with dramatic effect to shorten and prevent typhus epidemics during and after WWII when people were dusted with large amounts of it but suffered no ill effects, which is perhaps the most persuasive evidence that the chemical is harmless to humans,” Miller wrote.

Miller continues:

“We recently passed the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s best-selling book, “Silent Spring.” Widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement, it was an emotionally charged but deeply flawed denunciation of the widespread spraying of chemical pesticides for the control of insects. Today, the book is still revered by many, but its legacy is anything but positive.

As detailed by Roger Meiners and Andy Morriss in their scholarly yet very readable analysis, “Silent Spring at 50: Reflections on an Environmental Classic,” Carson exploited her reputation as a well-known nature writer to advocate and legitimatize “positions linked to a darker tradition in American environmental thinking.” The book “encourages some of the most destructive strains within environmentalism: alarmism, technophobia, failure to consider the costs and benefits of alternatives, and the discounting of human well-being around the world.”

Carson’s proselytizing and advocacy raised substantial anxiety about DDT and led to bans in most of the world and to restrictions on other chemical pesticides. But the fears she raised were based on gross misrepresentations and scholarship so atrocious that, if Carson were an academic, she would be guilty of egregious academic misconduct. Her observations about DDT have been condemned by many scientists. In the words of Professor Robert H. White-Stevens, an agriculturist and biology professor at Rutgers University, “If man were to follow the teachings of Miss Carson, we would return to the Dark Ages, and the insects and diseases and vermin would once again inherit the earth.”

In 1992, San Jose State University entomologist J. Gordon Edwards, a long-time member of the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society and a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, offered a persuasive and comprehensive rebuttal of “Silent Spring.” As he explained in “The Lies of Rachel Carson,” a stunning, point by point refutation, “it simply dawned on me that that Rachel Carson was not interested in the truth about [pesticides] and that I was being duped along with millions of other Americans.” He demolished Carson’s arguments and assertions, calling attention to critical omissions, faulty assumptions, and outright fabrications.

Consider, for example, this passage from Edwards’ article: “This implication that DDT is horribly deadly is completely false. Human volunteers have ingested as much as 35 milligrams of it a day for nearly two years and suffered no adverse effects. Millions of people have lived with DDT intimately during the mosquito spray programs and nobody even got sick as a result. The National Academy of Sciences concluded in 1965 that ‘in a little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million [human] deaths that would otherwise have been inevitable.’ The World Health Organization stated that DDT had ‘killed more insects and saved more people than any other substance.’”

In addition, DDT was used with dramatic effect to shorten and prevent typhus epidemics during and after WWII when people were dusted with large amounts of it but suffered no ill effects, which is perhaps the most persuasive evidence that the chemical is harmless to humans. The product was such a boon to public health that in 1948 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Dr. Paul Müller for his discovery of the “contact insecticidal action” of DDT.


The legacy of Rachel Carson is that tens of millions of human lives – mostly children in poor, tropical countries – have been traded for the possibility of slightly improved fertility in raptors. This remains one of the monumental human tragedies of the last century. It is shocking that Dunn, an assistant professor of biology, remains ignorant of Carson’s shortcomings, and deplorable that university students are exposed to a scientist who manifests such ignorance and failure to respect the norms of science. Likewise, Nature’s decision to publish Dunn’s commentary reflects either an antiscientific bias or a failure of peer-review.”

Henry I. Miller, a physician, is the Robert Wesson Fellow of Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at Stanford University’s Hoover institution; he was the founding director of the FDA’s Office of Biotechnology. Gregory Conko is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

Another expert, Dennis Avery, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute, said Carson is indirectly responsible for millions of preventable deaths noting “The absence of DDT had led to the needless deaths of at least 30 million people from malaria and yellow fever in the tropics — most of them were helpless African children.

On April 13, 2007 Dennis Avery wrote in the Canada Free Press “Rachel Carson and the Malaria Tragedy.” In his article he stated:

“If Rachel Carson were still alive, April 12 would have been her 100th birthday. All over the Western World well-meaning, but misguided, souls marked that day with choruses of praise for the woman who almost singly-handed created the modern environmental movement. Her book, Silent Spring, warned us that man-made pesticides would kill our kids with cancer and eliminate our wild birds.

Since Silent Spring was published, of course, massive testing has documented that synthetic pesticides are no cancer threat to humans. Dr. Bruce Ames, who received the National Science Medal from President Clinton, has found that 99.999 percent of the cancer risks in our food supply come from natural pesticides which Nature has put in the fruits and vegetables to ward off the pervasive insects, fungi and diseases. Even so, the one-fourth of our population which eats the most fruits and vegetables has half the cancer risk of those who eat the least produce. So much for the toxicity of pesticide traces.

Rachel Carson's major impact on the planet has been to discourage the use of a safe, cheap pesticide called DDT to suppress disease-bearing mosquitoes. North America and Europe used DDT to eradicate malaria. After our children were safe, we told the Third World not to use it because it might harm their bird populations.

The absence of DDT has led to the needless deaths of at least 30 million people from malaria and yellow fever in the tropics. (Five times as many as Hitler killed in his concentrations death camps, albeit inadvertently). Most of them were helpless African children. In addition, malaria has been allowed to blight the lives of perhaps 1 billion chronic malaria sufferers, who are too often unable to work and further erode economic resources by requiring family nursing care. The millions of malaria cases in the tropics may, just by themselves, explain half of the poverty and human degradation on the planet today.

It's not widely known that Ms. Carson originally had a co-author for Silent Spring. His name was Edwin Diamond, and he had been Science Editor of Newsweek. Early in the drafting of the book, he resigned from the project. He declared later that Silent Spring was an "emotional, alarmist book seeking to cause Americans to mistakenly believe their world is being poisoned."


One of the most effective Third World uses of DDT is to spray the inside of homes. It's the most cost-effective mosquito repellent known. Instead of a mosquito entering the home; biting someone; spreading the disease; and dying hours later, the mosquito never comes in. One application every six months is enough to reduce malaria rates by 60 percent. DDT is the only highly effective strategy we have for suppressing this massive problem. If malaria made a comeback in America, the EPA would have to re-register DDT.

The U.S. Agency for International Development is now offering modest funding for the indoor use of DDT in poor tropical countries--30 years late. Happy Birthday, Ms. Carson.”

Dennis t. Avery was a senior policy analyst for the U.S. State Department, where he won the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement. He is the co-author, with atmospheric physicist Fred Singer, of the book “Unstoppable Global Warming—Every 1500 Years”, available from Rowman & Littlefield.

In July 2007 National Geographic Magazine published a feature article on the increase of Malaria throughout the world. The article states; “The global eradication effort did achieve some notable successes. Malaria was virtually wiped out in much of the Caribbean and South Pacific, from the Balkans, from Taiwan. In Sri Lanka, there were 2.8 million cases of malaria in 1946, and a total of 17 in 1963. In India, malaria deaths plummeted from 800,000 a year to scarcely any.”

"In several places where malaria had been on the brink of extinction, including both Sri Lanka and India, the disease came roaring back. And in much of sub-Saharan Africa, malaria eradication never really got started. The WHO program largely bypassed the continent, and smaller scale efforts made little headway.”

"The ban on DDT," says Dr. Gwadz of the National Institutes of Health, "may have killed 20 million children."

I August, 2006 Brian Handwerk wrote an article for National Geographic News stating that DDT to return as weapon against Malaria:

“DDT, a notorious symbol of environmental degradation, is poised to make a comeback.

International experts are touting the widely banned pesticide as a best bet to save millions of human lives threatened by malaria.

The disease, which kills mostly children and pregnant women, is largely spread by mosquitoes.

The overwhelming majority—90 percent—of malaria victims live in Africa, where the disease plagues both human and economic health (Africa facts, maps, more).

In May the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) endorsed the use of DDT for indoor antimalarial treatment in the developing world.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to do the same in short order, according to a comprehensive report published in the current issue of the journal Nature Medicine.

The chemical's return is sure to raise some eyebrows, but people on the front lines of the malaria fight generally support the decision.

"It's about 20 years too late, but it's a good thing," said Don Roberts, a professor of tropical public health at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.

"I think it's going to make a huge difference in the health of people at risk of malaria."

I spent over a year working on a World Bank funded project in Sri Lanka, Two of the largest health concerns in that popular tropical island nation were malaria and dengue fever — both caused by virus carried by mosquitos. Dengue fever also known as breakbone fever, is an infectious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles. In a small proportion of cases the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs.

Dengue is transmitted by several species of mosquito within the genusAedes_aegypti_biting_human Aedes. The virus has four different types; infection with one type usually gives lifelong immunity to that type, but only short-term immunity to the others. Subsequent infection with a different type increases the risk of severe complications. As there is no vaccine, prevention is sought by reducing the habitat and the number of mosquitoes and limiting exposure to bites.

Treatment of acute dengue is supportive, using either oral or intravenous rehydration for mild or moderate disease, and intravenous fluids and blood transfusion for more severe cases. The incidence of dengue fever has increased dramatically since the 1960s, with around 50–100 million people infected yearly. Early descriptions of the condition date from 1779, and its viral cause and the transmission were elucidated in the early 20th century. Dengue has become a global problem since the Second World War and is endemic in more than 110 countries.

The only sure-file way of eradicating mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever is to kill the carriers. The most effective means of killing mosquitos is with DDT.

So, thanks to the environmental extremism of Rachel Carson and her fellow travelers in the press and the environmental movement millions of people — mainly children — have painful deaths from mosquito-borne diseases. For this reason Rachel Carson was a fraud who should not be eulogized and glamorized to our children. So when your child comes home from school with a book praising Rachel Carson tell him or her the truth.