Friday, October 31, 2008


Die-Hard Employees Who Work Immediately Following Disastrous Injury or Childbirth

By : Mrs. Dolores G. Ailingwife, Employee of the Month, Penobscot Information Industries, L.P.; Labor Spokesperson

At one time in our Nation’s history, Americans thirsted for work. They arose every morning with a true desire for employment. Today, however, all too many Americans no longer possess the burning work ethic that transformed our country into an international leader. Thanks to collusive labor unions and decaying morals, American employees complain more than they work. They complain about lunch breaks. They complain about sick leave. They complain about “work/life balance.” They complain about “family time.” They complain about wage rollbacks. In the olden days, workers showed up for work no matter what adversity they faced. If they suffered injury, they did not look to their employers for help; they grinned and bore the loss. True, employment creates risk. But employees receive rewards for their risk, namely, a paycheck. In return for that paycheck, they bear all risks associated with their work. Still, in recent decades employees have forgotten their roots. They want compensation for work-related injuries. They want time off—paid time off. If female employees have children, they want even more time off, even though they have not been hurt. They just want to be around their freshly-minted offspring for a few weeks. Paid. This is nonsense. We, Die-Hard Employees Who Work Immediately Following Disastrous Injury or Childbirth, promise to return decency to the employment relationship. We promise to restore respect in employees by immediately working after terrible personal hardships. We respect our employers and we want our jobs. We will make any sacrifices necessary to please our employers, including performing data entry while paralyzed from the neck down. If we lose a leg, we will be at our desks the next day—with a crutch. If we lose our arms, we will be in the office the next day—with skillful feet. We promise to restore resourcefulness to the American work ethic. If we lose an eye, we will see better with the other one. If we go blind, we will learn Braille and do the same job we always did. If we are diagnosed with cancer, we will not look for sympathy. We will keep showing up to work until they haul us out of the office, stone dead. If we have a child at 6 AM, we will put on our clothes, hop on the subway and be at work by 8:30 AM. We can wait until 5 PM to see the baby. It is time to save America from European employment liberalism. It is time to get back to work, no matter what difficulties we face. Because when America works, America succeeds. Let circumstances and adversity do their worst. We will keep on working—and we don’t need overtime, either. In 2008, vote for a simple principle: “Work comes first.”

Creditors’ Alliance to Legally Eliminate Death as an Excuse to Pay Your Bills

By : Mr. Owen H. Dewnau, Senior Collection Manager and Lobbying Coordinator

In this world, there are debtors and creditors. Debtors have legal obligations to pay money; creditors have legal rights to receive money. Rights and obligations drive our world. Without obligation, our entire economy would collapse. And without rights to receive money, no man of property would ever choose to risk his money in business. The law exists for two reasons: (1) to force debtors to adhere to their obligations; and (2) to vindicate creditors’ rights. Whenever the law tolerates excuses to obligations, it injures creditors’ rights. And when creditors feel that their rights will not be respected, they will no longer risk their money. That injures society as a whole. To prevent this, we must put an end to excuses. Forgiveness is for God. Earthly debts are perpetual. No longer may the law tolerate death as an excuse to paying your bills. If you owe $40,000 in back mortgage payments, the mere fact that you have shuffled off your mortal coil should not prejudice the rights of those who have not shuffled off their mortal coils. When you assume an obligation, that obligation lives on, whether your heart continues beating or not. There may be no such thing as everlasting human life, but an obligation lives forever—or at least until it is paid in full. Your life or death is a matter of complete indifference to us: the Creditors’ Alliance. In our view, you represent an account. An account does not live or die. It is either paid, or it is not. If it is not, we obtain a judgment in a court of competent jurisdiction and lawfully seize the amount owed. Whether you are dead or alive does not matter. We can take the amount to which we have a right. Rights are essential to commerce. It is time for the law to respect our rights even more than it does now. Sympathy has no place in the world of obligation. Death pays no bills, and it is about time that our law recognized that. If you assume obligations, you think you can just die and all will be forgiven? Think again. Soon, we will own everything you have—or used to have, until you died. This year, vote for rights—creditors’ rights. Creditors need assurance that nothing will impede their ability to get their money back, death or no death. Because when creditors are happy, we all win.

Thursday, October 30, 2008



By : Mr. Reginald A. Stewart, Official Party Spokesman and Republican Liaison

America needs Republican values. Without support for traditional family structures and traditional political ideals, this Nation will not survive. We need government that fosters private enterprise and keeps its hands off our money. We need government that protects children from pedophiles and punishes foreign enemies. We need a government of faith and justice. And we need government that does not promote diversity over effectiveness. As gay, black, Hispanic Leninist-Communist atheists, we strongly believe that John McCain and Sarah Palin will admirably advance these principles in 2008.

We express our unequivocal support for Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin. We understand that Republican values are the best values for our Nation, even if those values may lead to personal hardships for ourselves. We wish we were not gay, black or Hispanic. But we are, and we know that government must put us in our place. We wholeheartedly believe in Mr. McCain’s campaign motto: Country First; Party Second. We put country first. Country tells us that banning gay marriage is the right thing to do. Country tells us that affirmative action is wrong. Country tells us that Mexican immigrants must be stopped. Country tells us that Americans speak English, not Spanish. And country tells us that free market solutions are always superior to meddlesome socialist experiments. We realize that these positions may make life difficult on us. But we believe that they are the right positions. We are willing to suffer for our beliefs.

We do not believe in tolerance. True, tolerance may personally benefit us, but tolerance will not advance America or the Republican values for which she stands. Tolerance is weakness. Hispanics, blacks, communists, atheists and gays have no place in our political and social order. We recognize that intolerance will cure this Nation’s moral listlessness, even if that same intolerance may make life more difficult on us. We are willing to sacrifice our personal comfort for the good of the Nation. When we say “country first,” we mean it. We are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to save America. Are you?

We are confident in our belief that Republican values are superior to all other values. For years, this Nation has allowed traditional family structures to disintegrate. Same-sex couples raise children against nature. Interracial marriages spoil the Nation’s purity. Godlessness has infected national discourse. Inflated government has created a Nation of lazy, dependent beggars, draining the responsibility and self-reliance that once made America great. Bilingual documents and papers make a mockery of the English tradition that gave rise to our Nation. An overzealous commitment to “diversity” has poisoned our youth, crippling the strong Anglo-Saxon virtues that propelled America from hinterland to world power. We must stop the slide into ruin, even if we personally suffer in the process.

We believe that we are uniquely positioned to appreciate Republican values. As gay, black, Hispanic, communist atheists, we know that there are other ideals in the world. We are not part of the traditional Republican stock. We were not raised Republican, nor were our families Republican. Rather, we support Republican values because we soberly evaluated them and concluded that they are best for our Nation. We soberly concluded that government does not exist to help people or to correct social wrongs. Rather, government exists to allow unfettered economic exchange with minimal regulation. We soberly concluded that government does not exist to force-feed “diversity” to the population. Rather, government exists to preserve existing social order.

Put another way, we soberly concluded: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” America wasn’t broken in 1933. Yet beginning in 1933, government began “fixing” America with welfare programs, civil rights legislation and massive federal spending. These quixotic attempts to achieve social justice and “equality” have well nigh destroyed the values upon which America rose to prominence. That is why we must reverse the tide, even if we ourselves must take a back seat. We are prepared to demote ourselves as citizens in order to return America onto the right path.

We know we are gay, black, Hispanic, communist and atheist. We know there is something very, very wrong with us. But we know that Republicans will better lead our Nation by ignoring, humiliating, denigrating and marginalizing us than by tolerating our aberrant ways. For decades, Democrats tried to accommodate us. In consequence, they created a morally bankrupt, faithless, mulatto beggar Nation. We demand a return to normalcy. We demand a return to strength. That is why we support John McCain and Sarah Palin. If you are ready to stop the decadence of tolerance, you will support them, too. And when you do, you will make America a safer, better, more blessed and normal Nation. God bless America.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Normally I do not try to prophesize. When it comes to the future, we are all ignorant. All we can do is guess. There are serious limits to human sense; among those limits is the temporal limit. Thomas Hobbes explained this limit well more than 350 years ago: "The Present onely has a being in Nature; things Past have a being the Memory onely, but things to come have no being at all; the Future being but a fiction of the mind." Leviathan, Chap. III. Later, Hobbes says: "The best Prophet naturally is the best guesser; and the best guesser, he that is most versed and studied in the matters he guesses at: for he hath the most Signes to guess at." Id.

I am only 31 years old, but I have assembled some experience in life. I have studied history since childhood and I think I have gained some skill in judging the "Signes" Hobbes discusses in Leviathan. Experience is memory. I remember how a situation played out in the past, and when a similar situation arises in the present, I can "guess" at the result based on what I experienced in the past. Obviously this is always an imperfect venture, for it is impossible to sense an event that has not yet occurred. But there are certain future events that we can reasonably say "will happen" based on past events. For example, experience instructs that if we observe 4 teenagers getting extremely drunk, then pile into a car, we can "guess" an accident may occur after they drive away from the house. Even though we do not "perceive" the accident at the time, we can "prophesize" that it will happen later based upon what we "perceive" in the present.

Some could say that "predictions" or "prophecies" amount to little more than "common sense." If we collect experience, then that experience tells us how future events will play out under similar circumstances. But "common sense" implies a mean, everyday art. Still, no matter what we call it, we can make predictions about future events, even events that transcend our own limited experiences. If we remember circumstances, we can predict that similar results will flow from those circumstances when they appear before us again. For example, in 2000, I remember thinking that terrorists attacked American embassies in Tanzania in 1998, then attacked the USS Cole in 2000. I remember thinking that, in both those attacks, there were similar perpetrators, and they both publicly declared they attacked American targets because of overweening American foreign policy in the Middle East. On that basis, I predicted that a much more significant attack would take place on American soil, and that indeed came to pass on 9/11. Was this foresight? No. I merely analyzed historical circumstances and applied my analysis to likely future events. I knew that America did not change its foreign policy between 1998 and 2001, so there was nothing to stop the same perpetrators from wishing to commit the same violence in the future. They had the same motive in similar circumstances; the result should not have been unexpected.

This year, a black man is running for President in America. I don't think people appreciate how truly revolutionary this is: A black man is running for President in America. From its earliest history in the 17th Century, America existed to exploit black men. They provided an unskilled forced labor force that drove American commercial success. They did not choose to immigrate to America; they were captured in Africa and shipped here against their will. They were not even considered human beings at law until 1865. After 1865, more than 100,000 black men and women were murdered in "extra-judicial" proceedings in the South and Midwest. Today, black men and women make significantly less money than whites, they live shorter lives and they occupy death row cells and prisons in dramatically larger proportions than any other racial group. And all this is fact, despite immense legislative and constitutional efforts to level the playing field between the races. What does this mean? Simple: America has never stood for black men. In a strictly historical view, on balance, I would venture to say that America has expended tremendous energy subjugating, marginalizing and oppressing black men. Yet today, a black man is a candidate for President of the United States. This is remarkable. And it bucks history.

It is also dangerous for Barack Obama, precisely because it bucks history. Past events inform our appraisal of future events, and America's track record on race is no exception. Nor is America's track record on political violence. To our credit, as a formal matter, the American Constitution provides a relatively stable mechanism for political succession, unlike historical examples (such as Rome) in which the State devolved into chaos whenever a ruler died. Admittedly, American elections are anything but civil, but at least we have an agreed-upon, legal process by which we select rulers. Nonetheless, 4 American Presidents out of 43 have been assassinated. That is slightly under 10%. One out of ten Presidents has been killed because someone sufficiently disagreed with them on one political matter or another. Although we praise tolerance for opposing political views in principle, history has shown that when Americans disagree enough, they will kill. John Wilkes Booth disapproved of Lincoln's "crusade against the South" and "racial reordering," so he shot him. A disgruntled immigrant's son killed President McKinley. And while no one knows for sure who killed JFK, it is safe to assume that the killers did not like his avowed liberalism on racial, international and military matters. All these Presidents met violent ends because their policies inspired sufficient disagreement in a portion of the population. They were all white, although their compassion for blacks--at least in Lincoln's and JFK's cases--played a role in their deaths.

Americans kill Presidents who sufficiently arouse "critical resentment" in a portion of the population. Political violence has a long and vibrant history in America. So does racial hatred. In fact, the two are at least arguably linked, because the most contentious political issues in America commonly center around race. Race puts America's rhetoric to the test. And rhetoric usually fails.

Given these historical experiences, I predict that Barack Obama--if elected--could very well be assassinated, most likely in a State in which he inspires "critical resentment." It is my earnest wish that this does not happen. But history provides a strong basis for my prediction. True, we live in 2008, not 1865 or even 1963. We try hard to believe that America is different now, that it is less intolerant and less impulsive. Still, America's history of racial hatred and political violence has existed far longer than any discrete historical event. Hatred, intolerance and violence were the cornerstones of American colonization over Native Americans and the colonial economy that followed it. These are deeply-ingrained American characteristics. They do not vanish in a few generations. The fact that blacks continue to occupy a patently inferior position in American civilization only confirms that old wounds have not healed. I know for a fact that many, many Americans do not share these values of intolerance and hatred. But there are enough Americans who do, and they believe in them deeply enough to act upon them.

Obama's race and name (ie, "Hussein" and "Obama...only one letter removed from Osama") alone are sufficient to inspire "critical resentment" in a portion of the American population. His policies merely provide more fodder for hate. Obama is a true-blue liberal, the likes of which have not been seen since the 1960s. He is not a Clinton centrist or a Carter country-fried southern Democrat. JFK was a true-blue liberal and he was assassinated. His brother RFK was a true-blue liberal and he was assassinated before he could even be nominated for President in 1968. Liberal policies--like race--inspire "critical resentment." Thus, Obama has "two strikes against him" from a historical perspective: (1) He is black; and (2) He supports bona fide liberal positions. Either is sufficient to inspire "critical resentment." But together, they increase the chances for violence.

At this point, it looks like Obama will win the 2008 Election. A sufficiently large number of Americans are sufficiently dissatisfied with government to elect a black true-blue liberal. This is testament to changing times in America, but we cannot avert our eyes from history. There has been--and always will be--a strongly-motivated cadre of hateful people in this country, and they act violently when they disagree politically with a ruler. Their political views coincide with their racial views, and, taken together, that spells danger for Obama.

Obama's slogan reveals his intentions: "Change. Yes We Can." If America elects a black President, it will certifiably have made a "change" of the highest historical magnitude. But it is precisely the historical precipitousness of this change that could lead to violence. If history is our guide, precipitous change in America typically foreshadows reactionary violence, then massive, fundamental struggles that last for years afterward. I can only hold my breath to see whether my guess is correct.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008



By : F. Barnwell Denkenright, J.D., L.L.M., Ph.D., D.V.M., M.F.A., Acting Commissioner and Dialectician, American Legal Reasoning Institute


Syria is our enemy as a matter of law. America is committed to fair process and the rule of law. Both fair process and the rule of law dictate that Syria is our enemy. All relevant legal factors militate toward declaring Syria our enemy.

I. Governing Law.

“Enemies” of the United States are “hostile nations” that have “flags similar to Iran.” In Re Iranian Gulf Attack, 354 A.C.I.P. 123, 187 (2006). “Similar flags” include any “flags with substantially identical colors or images, unless they are French.” United States v. The Exxon Flying Mary, 534 U.S. 212, 217 (2007). Additionally, the American Court of International Policy has observed that “there is a strong presumption in favor of labeling a Nation an ‘enemy of the United States’ if that Nation’s official language is Arabic.” TWA v. People’s State of Libya, 298 A.C.I.P. 786, 801 (1991). Moreover, “official support for the Muslim religion constitutes strong evidence that a Nation is hostile to American principles.” Id., at 802. Geographically, “enemies” of the United States “are typically located in the Middle East.” al-Mushaf v. Wainwright, 510 U.S. 132, 139 (1993)(opinion of Thomas, J.). The law establishes a conclusive presumption that a Nation is an “enemy” of the United States if it “shares a border with Iraq, unless it is Kuwait.” Halliburton Co. v. 33 Gallons of Oil, 367 F.3d 512, 577 (Fed. Cir. 2008).

II. Argument.

Syria is an “enemy” of the United States under all relevant legal authorities. First, Syria has a flag similar to Iran. Cf. In Re Iranian Gulf Attack, 354 A.C.I.P. at 187. Iran has a tricolor flag with orange, green and white horizontal stripes. See Exhibit A (Flag of Iran). These horizontal stripes enclose an orange icon. Id. Syria’s flag has “substantially identical colors” to Iran’s flag. See Exhibit B (Flag of Syria). Syria’s flag is also tricolor, with black, red and white horizontal stripes. Like the Iranian flag, the horizontal stripes enclose an image, namely two green stars. Although the green stars are not identical to the orange icon on Iran’s flag, they are both symbols. This makes them “substantially identical.” Both flags have white colors. Both are tricolor. Red is “substantially identical” to orange. And to fit the legal definition, it is not necessary that an “enemy” Nation have exactly the same flag as Iran. It must merely be “substantially identical.” Because both Iran and Syria have horizontal tricolor flags with central icons, they are “substantially identical.”

Second, Syria’s official language is Arabic. See Exhibit C (Affidavit of Charles F. Johnson, Professor of English, Tidewater College1). This creates a “strong presumption” that Syria is an “enemy of the United States” under relevant authorities. Cf. TWA v. People’s State of Libya, 298 A.C.I.P. at 801. Additionally, Syria “officially supports” the Muslim religion. See Exhibit D (Affidavit of Mary J. Smith, Insurance Clerk, GEICO Insurance Company2). This constitutes further “strong evidence” that Syria is an “enemy” of the United States. Cf. TWA v. People’s State of Libya, 298 A.C.I.P. at 802. Syria has proffered no evidence to rebut the “strong presumption” that it is an enemy of the United States. Revealingly, its own counsel concedes that Syrians speak Arabic and worship Allah. See Exhibit E (Statement of Ibrahim al-Basraim dated October 20, 2008). Concessions do not rebut presumptions; they certify them. Fred H. Gellert Plumbing Co. v. Johnstown Sheet Supply, Inc., 227 F.3d 212, 230 (7th Cir. 2000). To that extent, Syria is an “enemy” of the United States.

Finally, Syria is located in the Middle East. See Exhibit F (MapQuest, as visited on October 27, 2008). “Enemies” of the United States are “typically” located in the Middle East. Cf. al-Mushaf v. Wainwright, 510 U.S. at 139 (1993). “Typically” means “usually” or “in the regular course of events.” Babelsberg Mfg. Co. v. Winnemac Steel Tubing Ltd., 278 F.3d 987, 998 (7th Cir. 2001). Although “typically” does not mean “always,” it indicates a “high probability.” United States v. One 2007 Cadillac Escalade With Words “Baby Boy” Stenciled on Rear Panel, 222 F. Supp. 2d 675, 677 (S.D.N.Y. 2002). Here, Syria’s mere presence in the Middle East establishes a “high probability” that it is an “enemy” of the United States. But there is even more conclusive evidence, namely, that Syria shares a border with Iraq. See Exhibit G (Affidavit of an American Oil Worker resident in Syria for two weeks in 2005 (CLASSIFIED)). If a Nation shares a border with Iraq, it is an “enemy” of the United States, unless it is Kuwait. Cf. Halliburton Co. v. 33 Gallons of Oil, 367 F.3d at 577 (Fed. Cir. 2008). Syria is not Kuwait. Thus, it is an “enemy” of the United States.

III. Conclusion.

For the reasons above mentioned, Syria is an “enemy” of the United States. All relevant legal authority militates inexorably toward this conclusion. Justice depends upon the detached application of sound legal principle. Here, sound legal principle indicates that Syria is an “enemy” of the United States. There is no partisan motive at work here. Rather, this result is the inevitable consequence of legal rules. We must hold fast to legal rules. When we follow legal rules, we validate the rule of law. And when we validate the rule of law, we vindicate freedom.

1 My name is Charles F. Johnson. I am a United States National. I declare under penalty of perjury that I have personal knowledge of the matters set forth in this Affidavit. I declare that I visited Damascus, Syria for 3 days in 1987. During that time, I saw signs written in Arabic. I heard individuals conversing in Arabic. I know the language was Arabic because my travel guide informed me that it was Arabic. I know my travel guide was Egyptian and was fluent in both Arabic and English.

2 My name is Mary J. Smith. I am a United States National. I declare under penalty of perjury that I have personal knowledge of the matters set forth in this Affidavit. I declare that I am an employee of Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO). In the course of my employment, I regularly receive telephone calls from insurance customers. I declare that, during several phone calls received in 2002, I spoke to several GEICO customers who were Syrian nationals. In these conversations, I learned that these customers were practicing Muslims. I noted this information in my daily call log, which I make available for inspection.

Monday, October 27, 2008



This is a standard greeting in the United States. People you don't even know ask you "how you're doing." For years, I thought nothing of it. It was just part of the greeting. You say "Hi" or "Hello," then "how are you doing?" I never really cared to know how the other person was doing, with some exceptions. If I knew the person well I would want to know how he was doing because I cared about him in some way. It would bother me if things were not going well, while it would hearten me if things were good. But if I met a complete stranger, it would not make any sense to ask how life was treating him. What possible context would I have to understand his answer?

Still, complete strangers ask each other "how are you doing?" on a regular basis. Go into a restaurant and a waiter will ask: "Good evening. How are you all doing this evening?" Walk into a car dealership and the salesman will say: "Hi, how are you today?" Call a customer care center in Bombay and a faceless operator will ask: "Hello, sir, how are you doing today?" And if you walk into a bar, chances are someone will address you with the line: "So how're you doing?" before the night is out. In these encounters, "how are you doing" simply extends "hello." It provides an initial conversational grounding. The speaker does not ask the question in order to obtain the information for which it calls. Unless, perhaps, the speaker is a doctor and he has to know "how you are doing" in order to treat your symptoms.

Why does this matter? I find it significant that there is so much artificial discourse in the United States. If a person asks: "how you're doing," shouldn't he really care to know your problems? After all, the question calls for an individual response concerning individual circumstances. But we all know this is not generally the case, with the exceptions mentioned above. Rather, a stranger asks: "How you're doing" as a segue into a more self-centered pitch, whether it's to encourage you to buy a product, beg some change or ask you on a date. It is formalistic. It has no substance. It is a question that does not seek information. It is a sound that signifies nothing. It merely fills the air until the real questions begin. Revealingly, your response to "how you're doing" is normally identically formalistic. You simply respond: "Fine," or "Good," even you're feeling neither fine nor good. You will only truly respond to the question when you know the person is actually concerned about you.

I never would have even noticed these things if I had not traveled abroad. I learned so much when I lived in Berlin, simply by observing how Germans went about their daily lives. When you completely immerse yourself in a foreign culture, you begin to deeply question all the traditions and customs with which you were raised. Even the simplest, most basic things--like American greetings--take on new meanings after experiencing a different approach to them. For example, in Germany, people say: "Guten Morgen" in the morning, "Guten Tag" in the afternoon, "Guten Abend" in the evening or "Gute Nacht" before they go to bed at night. But they only say: "Wie geht es? (How's it going?")" when they have some connection to the person they're greeting. I learned this early on. When I would walk into a store and greet people with: "Hallo, wie geht es?" they would give me puzzled looks. It was as if they could not understand why a perfect stranger was asking them how they were doing. Why would a stranger do that? What does it concern him?

At first I found this strange. After all, I was raised in culture where we said: "How are you?" immediately after "hello." Could it be the Germans did not do the same? It was difficult for my young mind to conceive that, but eventually it did. It was just one of the myriad subtle cultural distinctions that gave me a completely different perspective on life--and a healthy skepticism for all customs acknowledged as "universal" in the United States.

German greetings make more sense. They are more honest. After all, why do we really say "how are you" to a stranger, or even an adversary? We have absolutely no desire to know how a stranger or adversary is doing. We merely recite the words out of cultural habit. Of course, we are fully warranted in asking "how are you" when we have even a tenuous connection to the person we ask, whether it be a coworker, acquaintance or distant relative. In that case, we have a genuine interest to know how the person is doing because we care in some way. But in cursory, one-time exchanges with complete strangers, do we honestly care to know "how they're doing?" What would we say if they responded: "I'm doing awful. My father is dying and I have no money." That would take us aback, wouldn't it? Yet we would be mortified, because we were the ones who solicited the response. We asked: "How are you," and we received an answer. In that case, we fall back upon another social convention. We say: "I'm sorry to hear that," then move on to our own business. We do not even register what the person told us.

We express cultural habits through language. American greetings are an example. On the surface, it appears that all Americans care about one another. After all, they stop to ask how they are doing. They appear genuinely interested. Other cultures do not do this. But upon truly analyzing the dynamics, we see that the outward friendliness is merely an empty form. Sworn enemies may ask one another "how are you," then proceed to savage each other in word and in deed. It is just another insincere salve that thinly veils the brutally sincere competition that really dominates everyday existence in America.

Sunday, October 26, 2008



There are so many appealing ideas in Christianity. By reading only Christ's words in the New Testament, we receive an overwhelmingly compassionate, positive message. Indeed, it is hard to see how much intolerance grew from Christ's words. By reading only Christ's words, we receive counsel to "turn the other cheek" to our antagonists, to "love our enemies," to "love our neighbors as we love ourselves," to "judge not lest we be judged" and "to knock," so that "the door may be opened to us." Christ says: "Ask, and you shall receive." He says: "No one can be slave to two cannot be slaves to God and to money." And he says: "Whoever believes in me shall have eternal life in heaven." See generally, Matthew Chs. 5-7; John Ch. 3.

There is not a trace of rancor in these teachings. They say nothing about intolerance, hatred or violence. Indeed, they teach precisely the opposite. They admonish us to be kind, forbearing, patient, calm and tranquil, even in the face of provocation, injury and danger. Taken alone, Christ's words fill us with positive emotions. They encourage us to aspire to noble virtues even when the world tramples upon us. In the abstract, it is hard to express disapproval for Christ's teachings. After all, if everyone acted as Christ taught, there would be no discord or conflict in the world.

Martin Luther understood that. But in his treatise On Governmental Authority (1523), Luther demonstrates how worldly theologians can warp Christian teachings to suit intolerant political aims. Like so many second-hand Christian scholars--beginning with the apostles through St. Augustine and Aquinas--Luther inscribes worldly imperfection into pure Christian belief. After all, reading Christ's words alone, it is hard to imagine how Christianity could be transformed into an intolerant dogma that can justify genocide and hatred. How can this be done? Quite simply: By disingenuous logical gymnastics.

How can Christianity certify violent revenge when Jesus told us "to turn the other cheek" from an evildoer? Matthew 5:39. Taken in the abstract, this teaching categorically bans violence against others, even when they wrong us. Luther sought to evade this command and to certify violent justice against "criminals." To do this, he creates "dualities." He has no textual support for these distinctions; he simply "makes" them in order to fabricate a workable argument. First and foremost, he tells us that the gospel only applies to "true Christians," namely those who truly have faith and practice pure Christianity. But the law--not the gospel--applies to "non-Christians," namely all the rest. Luther makes his job easy by claiming: "Among thousands there is scarcely one true Christian," and "If all the world were composed of true Christians, there would be no need for...prince, King, sword or law." Further, all "non-Christians" are "wicked and subject to the law."

There is nothing in Jesus' words that qualifies the people to whom his teachings apply. As long as a person believes in Christ, he is a Christian. See John 3:16. Luther simply invents an artificial distinction to justify State-sanctioned violence while retaining a "Christian" veneer.

Luther engages in even more logical gymnastics. After neatly separating humanity into "true Christian" and "non-Christian" categories, he uses another Christian teaching to generate a justification for violence against criminals. Specifically, he reminds us that Jesus told us to "love our neighbors as we love ourselves." From that teaching, Luther reasons that a "true Christian lives and labors on earth not for himself alone but for his neighbor." Applying that principle, Luther observes that true Christians need protection from "wicked non-Christians," and legal violence against "wicked non-Christians" helps "restrain them outwardly from evil deeds." Thus, while a "true Christian" does not need the law--he will "turn the other cheek"--it is essential to restrain the wicked from evil deeds, thereby protecting defenseless "true Christians."

Luther does not stop here. He encourages "true Christians" to become "hangmen, judges, constables and prosecutors" because they can "help their neighbors" by killing wicked non-Christians. Luther tells us that a "true Christian" does not punish a criminal out of hatred for the criminal, but rather out of love and service to his neighbor, whom the law protects. In essence, Luther's teaching leads an absurd scene: The executioner whispers to the condemned on the scaffold: "I execute you not because I hate you, but because I love my neighbor." This is what happens when thinkers engage in logical gymnastics.

Luther is certainly not the only theologian, judge or philosopher who engages in logical gymnastics. Whenever transcendent, positive principles are at stake, writers will use logic to reconcile them with crass everyday human practice. Supreme Court justices engage in logical gymnastics all the time as they attempt to circumvent grand constitutional principles such as "freedom of speech," "Equal Protection" and "Due Process of law." No matter who performs the gymnastic feats, the result is always disheartening. After all, by reconciling principle with the imperfect exigencies of everyday human existence, the principles become hollow. They take on perverted meanings. For example, how can one say: "Turn the other cheek," with one breath, then say: "But send him to the gallows if he is a non-Christian so I can help my neighbor." This is disingenuousness. It cheapens the principle. One either turns the other cheek or one does not. There is no "qualified cheek-turning."

Luther would have stood on a better footing if he had simply admitted that Christianity has no place in criminal justice. Criminal justice is a human administrative institution created to address human concerns. In that sphere, it at least has plausible justifications. But pure Christian teachings do not concern everyday human administration; they concern ungovernable individual belief. It makes no sense to reconcile them with a human institution that serves completely different purposes. In fact, there is intractable conceptual conflict between criminal justice and Christ's words. How, indeed, do we "turn the other cheek" when we ruthlessly put a criminal to death? That is not turning the other cheek. That is taking revenge in its purest, most violent form. And that is exactly what Christ did not want to see.

Luther may have been right that there are very few "true Christians" in the world. But that should not discourage people from aspiring to treat their fellow man with respect and dignity. Sadly, the world provides few opportunities to act in a truly Christian manner. To succeed in the world, it is essential to compete for limited resources. Competition does not lend itself to "loving one's neighbor;" in fact, the great temptation is to ignore one's neighbor and focus exclusively on oneself. Different rules apply to the "life game." It makes no sense to force Christian ideals into a quintessentially non-Christian competition. It would be smarter simply to admit that, rather than use logical gymnastics in an effort to reconcile these two fundamentally divergent forces. I have no respect for disingenuous arguments, especially when they mock pure principle. It is simply not possible to turn the other cheek and slap it at the same time, just as it is not possible to promise free speech and prohibit speech at the same time.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Liberty Lovers for Freedom of All Speech They Agree With and No More

By : Mr. Milford H. Speakwell, Party Orator and Senior Policy Fellow

Intellectual exchange forms the bedrock of America’s success. Our Founding Fathers fought the Revolution to defend their right to speak out on important issues in their day, and today we continue that bold tradition. In America, we do not silence our citizens; we let them express their views. Our First Amendment declares: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.” Through pen, press and internet, every American may freely broadcast his views on any subject without governmental interference. By defending speech, we defend liberty. And America stands for liberty. Nonetheless, we disagree with a lot of speech that we hear. We are good citizens, and if we disagree with speech, it should not be allowed. While we have no problem with speech about patriotism and military affairs, we strongly disagree with jokes about terrorism and Republican Presidents, past and present. While we support speech that praises our free market economic system, we reject speech that advocates socialistic economic policies. Although freedom of speech is a wonderful principle, we must draw the line somewhere. That is why we, Liberty Lovers for Freedom of All Speech They Agree With and No More, promise to protect only agreeable speech. For too long, this Nation has tolerated immoral stand-up comedians, satirists, Islamists, left-wingers and criminals to say whatever they wish. In so doing, this Nation has permitted wrong-headed ideas to take root and flourish, harming our children and our future. This divides the Nation. If division is the price of intellectual liberty, then we must refuse to pay it. We must streamline our Nation’s thought process, and that means allowing only agreeable speech. Speech should cultivate good morals and tasteful behavior. It should not excite lust, inspire disobedience for prevailing social customs or rouse the masses to dangerous political positions. By outlawing disagreeable speech, we will realize the dream of a uniform national consciousness. And with uniformity, we can prevail against any foe, foreign or domestic. If elected, we promise to protect our children by censoring all disagreeable speech before it emerges. We promise to reunite our Nation and to speak with one voice. We love liberty, but only to the extent that we agree with what is said. Everything else is destructive libel. Vote for Liberty in 2008. Vote to put respect back in intellectual discourse. Vote to shield our children from bad ideas. And vote to put a firm cap on disagreeable speech once and for all.

Homeland Defenders’ Alliance to Torture those Muslim Sonofabitches

By : Col. Robert G. “Rack ‘Em” Rickenbacker (U.S.M.C.), Acting Staff Officer and Party Policy Delegate

We are losing the War on Terror. After liberating Iraq in 2003, al-Qaeda has steadily regained its power. Terror cells have sprung up all over the globe with renewed strength. Insurgents harass our forces in Afghanistan. Ungrateful Muslim tribes kill American soldiers every day as they struggle to give them liberty. Every day, the terrorists grow bolder. Every day, the threat to our country grows graver. Unless we act soon, the terrorists will surely strike again, this time with chemical, nuclear and biological weapons. What must we do? Simple: We need to get serious in the War on Terror and start really torturing those Muslim sonofabitches. Until now, weak-willed politicians have balked at the idea of using torture to extract vital information from terror suspects. Even the Supreme Court has meddled in our authority over enemy combatants. They say we must be “humane” and observe “habeas corpus.” Habeas, my ass. What we really need to do is lash a towelhead to an electric fence and run about 1000 low-wattage volts through him until he tells us where bin Laden is. Can you believe what Congress is doing? They are getting all queasy over “waterboarding.” Waterboarding! A terrorist should be so lucky that we’d only waterboard his ass. If we want to start winning the War on Terror, we need to start peeling some Muslim skin off. A Senator got all mad when he heard that we inflicted “sleep deprivation” on a terrorist. Give me a break, you wuss! If it were up to us, we would have rammed a bamboo pole up his rectum, not just denied him his beauty sleep. Politicians piss and moan that we are not making progress against al-Qaeda. Well, duh! You losers have not given us the tools we need to really start roasting some Arabs. We are ready to do what we need to do to win. We are ready to defend our homeland from terror. It is time to take power away from pussy politicians and put it in the hands of capable military commanders. We are in a war. Why should we trust civilians to lead us? To win a war, you need military commanders and you need military authority. There is no time to worry about international treaties and protocols or the stupid Constitution. We need to fight and kill our enemies. Because if we don’t start fighting and killing them, by God they will do the same to us. If you care about your country and your family, vote to Torture those Muslim Sonofabitches. Give the military the power it needs to protect you and your family from terrorists. The time for half-measures is over. It is time to finally win this war. Vote for Torture in 2008.

Friday, October 24, 2008


By : Dr. J. Emmett Billings, M.D., M.B.A., Chairman, American Physicians-in-Commerce League (APICL)

In poll after poll, Americans consistently rank health care as a pressing political issue. In this year’s election, voters will ask the candidates to repair the system. Americans worry about rising medical costs and prescription medication prices. With the employment market shrinking, more and more Americans find themselves without health insurance. And more and more Americans lament the fact that insurance companies increasingly dictate their care by refusing to cover visits to doctors outside their networks. In short, many Americans find it reprehensible that the wealthiest Nation in the world allows so many to fall through the cracks in our health care system.

But America’s health care system is not broken. We need do nothing to change it. Rather, America’s health care system represents the pinnacle of innovation and free market enterprise in a free market country. No other country on earth provides such lucrative incentives to pharmaceutical companies to develop life-saving new medications as the United States. If there were no money in health care, why would chemists toil their lives away searching for cancer cures and cholesterol thinners? And if there were no money in health care, why would doctors spend every waking hour on call? Humanity has nothing to do with it. Just ask a radiologist whether he cares more about your X-ray or the $950,000 base salary he earns. There is nothing wrong in this, because money is what we need to attract the best and brightest minds into health care.

If we take money out of health care, we face medical ruin. This is what the critics do not understand. Many such critics point to European Nations such as England and Germany, where the government provides universal health care at no cost. They even point to our northern neighbor Canada for the proposition that government can care for all its citizens. But those Nations provide shoddy, negligent care. In Canada, patients die in waiting rooms and transplant applicants must wait up to 76.2 years for a kidney. Similarly, prescription medications in Canada—while cheaper—do not even approach the quality standards American medications must meet. True, an average Canadian can always walk into a hospital and receive care, but he will wait interminable hours on a cold bench, receive substandard care and adulterated medications. The same goes for the British, Germans, Spanish, French, Russians, Italians and Cubans. Nationalized health care means bad health care for all. Considering the poor level of care in these Nations, it would be better to be uninsured in America than covered in England.

America provides top-notch care. Our patients receive superior treatment from world-renowned physicians in superior medical institutions all over the country—provided they can pay for it. Our medical equipment is first rate. We produce only wholesome and unadulterated medications that actually cure diseases, not cause them. In short, the American system heals—and it heals quickly. In America, patients receive treatment in due course. There are no lines or interminable delays. Why? Because there is money to be made in our system, and no company makes money by selling bad products or providing substandard services. In America, doctors know you could choose another hospital for your care. That is why they strive to outdo the competition and win your business. When doctors compete, you win.

America’s health care system is not just innovative. It also cultivates responsibility. In our Nation, there is no free lunch. No one can realistically expect to receive state-of-the-art professional services without paying for them. America’s health care system thrives because patients pay their bills. The miracles of medical science do not come cheap, and a responsible patient knows that. Responsible patients know in advance they might one day require medical services, and that is why they purchase health insurance. If they do not purchase health insurance, they must pay their bills. That is the way the system works. Just as it would be foolish to assume that you could walk off the sales floor with a car without paying for it, so too is it foolish to assume that you can walk into a hospital without paying for the service you receive there.

Health care is not a right. It is a commodity. It is no different from any other product for retail sale. To that end, we can only guarantee further medical breakthroughs and first-class medical treatment if every patient pays his way. There is nothing “unique” about health care, nor should we be constrained by notions of “humanity” when sober economic judgment should be our only guide.

America’s health care system works because it reflects a “tough-love” approach to care. Other countries take pride in the fact that they pay to treat every beggar who steps through a hospital door. But this is not charity; it is irrationality. Our system works because we allow beggars to die on the street, just as we refuse care to any uninsured person. We must resist appeals to institute “universal health care” in this country. We must insist on credit checks on all prospective patients to ensure that their assets will cover care. If patients obtain care without paying for it, we must prosecute them for fraud and theft. Furthermore, we must influence Congress to authorize the use of force in the collection of medical debts. These are fair and reasonable things to do. The critics must understand that our system reached its strength through its commitment to free market ideals, not humanity. And in the free market, everybody pays. If you can’t pay, you don’t get care. That’s the end of the story.

In this year’s election, we are confident that intelligent American voters will recognize that our health care system needs no overhaul. If health insurance is expensive, we trust that Americans will exercise their historical resourcefulness to find an alternative. By the same token, we trust that Americans will not whine when they find themselves rejected from medical care because they have no insurance. A responsible person accepts the consequences of his actions, and rejection from medical care is the consequence that flows from irresponsibly failing to obtain health insurance. Americans stoically bear their misfortune. We are confident that uninsured Americans will not take it personally when hospitals refuse to treat them for financial reasons. If death results, all we can say is: “You should have bought health insurance.”

In sum, let us remember that America’s health care system is a business. In order to maintain the highest level of innovation, profitability and care in the health business, we must resist every attempt to inject a “human” element into health care decisions. True, some will not be able to purchase health care services in America. Some Americans will always be unemployed and uninsured. They will not be able to access the fabulous wonders that medical science has unlocked. But this is a free market system: You can’t play if you don’t pay, and fairness is not the goal.

Fight for innovation. Do not change the way that health care does business in America.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Snot-Nosed Bankers’ Sons for Inherited, Easy and Well-Paying Desk Jobs With Benefits

By : Mr. Theodore H. van Gulders, Jr., Financial Director and Policy Coordinator

Dark economic times mean harder living for all. From coast to coast, Americans will have to forgo shopping, filling up their gas tanks and taking vacations. Frivolous spending landed America in this mess, and Americans must change their spending habits now. When there is less money in the economy, there are fewer jobs. That means more Americans will lose their jobs in coming months. Without employment, people will have less money to spend. Put simply, most Americans face a seismic shift in economic climate. But we are not your average Americans: We are Snot-Nosed Bankers’ Sons. For us, economic woes do not sting hard. Our fathers provide us comfortable jobs at Branch Offices that pay at least seven figures a year. Although we read about unemployment in the newspaper and even sympathize with millions of Americans who most cope with recession, we really could care less. After all, we still show up to the office around 9:30, leave about 4 (2:30 on Fridays), and get 8 weeks’ paid leave per year. We get cradle-to-grave health coverage, including plastic surgery insurance. While at work, we spend our time chatting with college acquaintances, emailing and occasionally saying hello to the tellers. How can this be? Simple: Our fathers own the banks. We have a hereditary right to employment at our fathers’ banks, and we aim to keep it that way. True, America stands for equal opportunity. But by the same token, America does not take success away from those who have already achieved it. This year, vote for a party that stands for hereditary success. We know you may face difficulties in this economy. But when you support Snot-Nosed Bankers, you validate the dream of success in America. This year, reward wealth. Vote to keep us at our desk jobs. It is the right thing to do. Vote Snot-Nosed Bankers in 2008. And keep success in the family—our family.

Unforgiving Landlords United for Harsher Anti-Tenant Laws

By : Mr. George G. Buckler, Managing Property Supervisor and Property Advocate

In America, every man gains by the sweat of his brow. Our earliest American forefathers worked hard because they knew they owned their land. They felled trees, cleared forests, planted crops and improved the soil. They defended their homes against the Indians and brought civilization to this Continent. Ever since those early times, our Nation has smiled upon the property owner. By pursuing property, man works his hardest. And when man works his hardest, all men benefit. When a man knows that he will own something as a result of his labor, he will double his labor. That has been our Nation’s recipe for success, and look at the marvels we have wrought. By dedicating ourselves to property, we have created the mightiest Republic the world has ever seen. Today, however, the scales are turning. Increasingly, those without property are dictating how property owners behave. Among many other rights, the property owner has the right to charge rents. When the tenant fails to pay, the owner has the right to evict the tenant. But now the law grants superfluous rights to the tenant prior to eviction. Now owners must swear out forms and appear in court before they may toss a lawless tenant from their lands. These troubling developments threaten to undermine the great spirit of property ownership in America. We, Unforgiving Landlords United for Harsher Anti-Tenant Laws, stand to reaffirm our Nation’s commitment to property owners. We must change the laws to remove all favoritism for tenants, who live on our lands by our grace alone. By extending indulgences to tenants, we cheapen ownership. No matter how pure the motive or sympathetic the sentiment, we must not allow the powerless to hold sway over the powerful. The owner has a right to rent on the first of every month. We demand our rents on the first; not a day later. If we do not receive our rent on the first, we will summarily remove the tenant from our lands at 12:01 AM on the second. We demand respect from our tenants. If a tenant slanders an owner, let him be thrown off our lands and let him forfeit his personal property. No longer must owners retain lawyers to demonstrate that a tenant has “breached the lease.” Our word must trump any allegation by the tenant. This is the right of ownership. The word “landlord” describes precisely who we are: “Lords of the Land.” No more will we tolerate courts that impose additional “duties” upon us, such as “the duty” to repair buildings or provide comforts. We sell only one thing: Possession. In return for possession, we take rent. It is the tenant’s responsibility to see to his own safety on our land. We are the lords; they are the subjects. We are the lords because we achieved ownership, and we have a right to act like owners. It is simply not our problem that you never had a chance to own property; life is not fair, nor can it be. This year, put an end to the tenants’ insurrection. These rebels must be stopped once and for all. In 2008, shout out that you believe in property rights. Vote for Unforgiving Landlords. And vote to maintain privilege in ownership.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Employment does the strangest things to people. People spend their early lives in the United States educating themselves, which in turn allows them to advertise themselves to employers. After some struggles and interviews, they "get their jobs" and spend the rest of their youthful years working. Then they hit middle age and keep working. Finally, they get too old and laid off. After all, they can't work as many hours as a 25-year-old graduate who has a studio apartment, debt and no family obligations. After the lay-off, they do not even bother looking for a job, because nobody hires people over 60.

During their work years, people have a strange relationship with their jobs. They spent their young lives preparing for work, so when they actually begin working, they take pride in the fact that they are fulfilling what they lived to do. This pride manifests itself in many subtle ways, such as talking excitedly about what they do, spending extra time at the office and even wearing their company's logo on leisure clothing after hours. And on a more basic level, people feel good to know that they "are making their own way" by earning a paycheck, paying their mortgages and achieving some measure of economic independence.

But there is a dark side to the employment dream. Despite all the good things people claim they get from their jobs, all too often they head off to work with stony, fixed, downtrodden faces. They trudge down the stairs to the subway, trudge back up the stairs to their offices, muster a laugh or two during the day, quickly eat a bag lunch, pore over some horribly boring papers while trying to look busy, then trudge back to the subway, trudge back home, eat, watch television, then go to bed and hopefully get enough rest to make it through the next, identical day.

On Fridays, however, they have a spring in their step. They cheerfully ride the subway and don't seem to mind the 8 hours at the office as much as they did on all the other days that week. They laugh more and deal with office crises with much more levity than they would have on, say, a Wednesday. On Fridays, there is no need to stress out, because tomorrow you can sleep until 8:30, cook breakfast, sit on the couch without being supervised, walk around your apartment naked, eat when you want, go to the bar to watch college football on Saturdays, then pro football on Sundays, and basically do whatever the hell you want when you want, as long as you didn't make plans to see your parents. This is the "Friday spirit." When people say: "Thank God it's Friday," "At least it's Friday," "I don't care; it's Friday;" "I have the Friday feeling," you know they are in the spirit.

What does the "Friday spirit" tell us about people's attitudes to their jobs? I thought people were proud of their jobs? They say they are, but when they jump for joy at the prospect of getting 48 hours away from their jobs, I question whether they actually believe that they like working. How can they wear company logos on their clothing one day, and happily run out of the same company's office every Friday? If they loved their employers so much, wouldn't they want to spend all their days with them? Apparently not.

I believe that most American workers fool themselves into believing that they like their jobs. They face enormous social and familial pressure to "have a job," and they know they will be at a desk for most of their lives. They know they will be ensconced in an unforgiving business hierarchy serving vice presidents, presidents and managers. They know they will face stress and performance reviews. They might even face dismissal for low output. These are all profoundly unpleasant things, and they are inescapable. Perhaps in an effort to avoid total discouragement at these thoughts, they convince themselves, however facetiously, that they "enjoy what they do." But the charade breaks down each Friday, when they truly feel glee in knowing they do not have to show up to work for the next two days.

Feelings do not lie because they are individual. The "Friday Spirit" is an honest expression about how individual people feel about their lot in life. It stands in perfect contrast to the halfhearted praise that people render unto their jobs for friends and family. Sure, people like having money to pay the bills, but they do not necessarily like the process by which they get it. People work in order to pay the bills. If they don't, they lose their homes. Therefore, people work because they must. Compulsion fosters negative emotions, and that is why people trudge to work on every day but Friday. But on Friday, the clouds lift and working people remember that soon they will be able again to do what they want. For a brief moment, there will be no more compulsion or supervision. From earliest childhood, we always were happiest when we did what we wanted. It expressed our own, unique desires from moment to moment. There were no consequences for failing to meet an external standard. That same childish joy seizes every worker's heart on Friday when he exclaims: "Thank God it's Friday!" In other words: "Thank God I no longer MUST show up at this dump and take demeaning orders for 8 hours; I can sleep, eat and loaf around all I WANT for the next two days."

But the weekend lasts at most two days per week. In today's employment market, many employees do not even get that much time off. There are seven days every week. Two out of seven is 28%. For an employee, that leaves 28% of his days for himself; he gives the remaining 72% to his employer. Is it any wonder that employees trudge to work with stony faces? They give their lives and their time for others, all for a meager "compensation" that enables them to avoid homelessness. They do not often get what they want; they do what they must. Friday represents an escape, a temporary reprieve from a life put on hold. It is only natural that people feel gleeful when it rolls around. And it is only natural that they fall into depression when Sunday night falls.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008



With each passing year, my faith in the United States Supreme Court dwindles. When I studied law, I respected the Supreme Court’s work. I had respect for the Supreme Court because it largely made decisions that attempted to redress historical wrongs in the United States. In so doing, the Court sided with individuals against the Government and expanded individual liberty against contemporary oppression. But my respect for the Court began to sour as I read more recent decisions. Beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, the Court began to dismantle many of the advances it made during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. In the 1990s and up to the present day, it retrenched even further. In days past, a “liberal” justice was willing to create new constitutional rights from the “majestic generalities (hats off to Justice Robert Jackson, writing in the 1940s)” contained in the constitution’s text. Today, a “liberal” justice merely refuses to overrule daring decisions made in an earlier time. And in most events, even a modern “liberal” justice will qualify, explain and limit older decisions until they lose all their force.

Interestingly, many people believe that the Supreme Court stands for justice. Before I studied law, I could name only one Supreme Court decision: Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 383 (1954). In that case, I knew the Court forbade racial segregation in public schools. That symbolized a bold, dramatic commitment to liberty, even when Congress and the President did nothing to correct the problem. When I later began learning the technical process by which the Court made its decision, I did not lose respect for the Brown justices. In essence, they took constitutional text and breathed contemporary life into it. Nothing in the Constitution’s literal words gave them license to forbid segregation in public schools. But they understood the spirit behind the words in order to do justice. That warranted my respect and admiration.

What words did the Court in Brown examine to forbid segregation in public schools? They examined the Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1, specifically: “No State shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Using those words alone—and some social science studies—the Court satisfied itself that racially segregated school systems branded African-Americans “inferior” and denied them “equal access to public education.” Without equal access to public schools, African-Americans did not enjoy “equal protection” under law, and therefore the segregated school systems violated the Constitution.

Very few Americans—even conservative Supreme Court justices—disagree with the result in Brown. But I wonder whether they agree with Brown simply because it is an old decision, or because so much popular mythology has grown up around it. After all, the Supreme Court was not simply deciding a technical constitutional question in Brown. It was deciding a much more fundamental question, namely, whether the United States stands for equality.

America has struggled in its relationship with equality. Equality represents an intractably awkward tension point between principle and practice. After all, The Declaration of Independence assures us that “all Men are created equal,” yet at the time, slaves of African descent made up 20% of the Nation’s population. Against that background, America’s rhetoric about equality, dignity and justice rang hollow. How could a Nation of liberty, after all, lay claim to justice when it practiced human slavery in its own borders? This critical gap between principle and practice chafed against moral sensibilities in the United States and culminated in the Civil War. It was simply impossible to maintain the tortured charade of “liberty for whites, slavery for blacks” without extirpating slavery altogether. It was simply too disingenuous for the Nation to continue along that hypocritical path.

After the Civil War, America made efforts to flesh out the “equality promise” it made in the Declaration. The Fourteenth Amendment represents the boldest legal step to secure equality for all in the United States. The American people—by democratic supermajority—declared that “No State shall” make laws disfavoring blacks. In large part, Americans fought the Civil War to correct the patent injustice of maintaining a slave class in a Nation of liberty. Now, they aimed to correct history’s error by enshrining equality in the Constitution.

Despite these legal efforts, practical equality never really took hold in the United States, at least for black Americans. Emerging from slavery, they faced rampant private discrimination, unemployment, mob justice and an unfair inability to integrate into white society. Rather than promoting the “equality principle” that animated the Fourteenth Amendment, the Supreme Court relegated it to mere “aspiration,” holding in numerous decisions that the Equal Protection Clause only applied to State actions, not private ones. The Constitution, in other words, did not require all men to drop their racist beliefs. In fact, it was perfectly legal to discriminate against blacks, as long as you were not wearing a State uniform or receiving a paycheck from the State. Although subsequent legislation attempted to remedy some private discrimination, the hard truth remained: Blacks were shunned, marginalized and excluded from mainstream American civilization, no matter what the Constitution said.

For decades, America went its merry way. Blessed by the Supreme Court’s decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896), States maintained a “double legal standard” for blacks. In Plessy, the Court explained that the Fourteenth Amendment does not require precisely equal advantages for blacks and whites; rather, States have a right to “regulate racial relations” within their borders, including segregating public and private accommodations. Not surprisingly, black facilities were invariably inferior to their white counterparts. But they were technically “equal,” and that allowed States to avoid restrictions under the Fourteenth Amendment.

In 1954, Brown took a bold, practical stance against this disingenuous, hypertechnical approach to equality. For the first time, the Supreme Court recognized that the racial assumptions behind segregation caused lasting psychological damage to black Americans. For its part, the Court recognized the desperation and frustration blacks felt attempting to compete in an ostensibly “equal” system that denied them every advantage at every turn. Without access to education, they had no chance to compete for jobs, nor could they transcend their largely inferior economic circumstances without employment opportunity. In essence, the Court saw that technical equality does not mean practical equality. In fact, technical equality was nothing but a thin veil obscuring a continuing, fundamental pattern of injustice against black Americans.

Brown thrilled me because it pierced to heart of the festering racial issue in the United States. Rarely has the Supreme Court ever so cogently “nailed” a question as it did in Brown. To be sure, its decision did not solve the racial problem in this country, but at least it announced that it saw through the legal charade of “technical equality.” And it saw the pernicious social effects that flow from maintaining a system that betrays the core principles that supposedly drive our Nation.

I believe that America’s race problem is the great skeleton in our Nation’s closet. All rhetoric about freedom, equality, prosperity and fairness must contend with the brutal truth that a large segment of the population does not enjoy the same advantages as all other ethnic groups. Blacks have shorter life expectancies, much higher delinquency rates and much lower incomes than whites. They consistently rank lower in academic scores and have much greater difficulties assimilating into “normal” economic circumstances. Glib critics say this is because blacks are “lazy” and “are too dependent on help from the government.” My response is that blacks suffer today because the legacy of slavery and State-sanctioned inequality is alive and well. And they struggle vainly against it every day.

There are very few true “Americans” anymore. Native populations are virtually nonexistent after centuries of European expansion, wars, plagues and forced relocations throughout North America. To be accurate, a white “American” today is actually a European. Immigrants from all over Europe populated this country. In recent decades, immigrants from Asia and Central America arrived in greater numbers. They all came to the United States voluntarily. They wanted a place to make more money or to practice their religion without persecution.

Black Americans, by contrast, did not come to this country because they wanted to. They were transplanted on this continent from Africa after a hellish trans-Atlantic crossing in which many died. Once the survivors arrived, they became commercial objects. They were used as cattle to maximize agricultural profits for white landowners. They had no rights at all; indeed, the law did not even regard them as human beings. They were “property.” As recently as 1857, the United States Supreme Court said exactly that. In sum, black Americans did not make a choice to be in the United States. They were forced here against their will, exploited, tortured, reduced to property then suddenly set free by Presidential fiat. Even after Emancipation, white Americans continued to marginalize them, lynch them, force them to sit in segregated restaurants and belittle them with obviously unequal treatment. Should it surprise us, then, that they continue to suffer disadvantages? History’s wounds do not heal quickly.

In addressing the race problem in America, the Supreme Court has enjoyed several opportunities to take a stand for principle, even if symbolically. By recognizing the practical, modern disadvantages engendered by historical discrimination against black Americans, the Court showed itself willing to infuse new meaning into the United States Constitution. Sadly, the Court’s momentary compassion quickly faded.

In the decades immediately following Brown, the Supreme Court struggled to invent practical ways in which to desegregate public schools. But by the 1990s, the fire was out. There was no longer any sympathetic rhetoric in the Court’s decisions about “equality” or the “inherent inferiority” created by State-sponsored racial prejudice. Instead, the Court mechanically applied numerous limiting precedents to the cases it encountered, repeatedly cutting down on the principles it so boldly announced in Brown. It refused to even consider cases in which private actors engaged in racial discrimination because “the Fourteenth Amendment requires State action.” Worse, it invalidated attempts to help blacks through legislation. In an ironic turn, the Court today uses the Fourteenth Amendment to help whites, not blacks. During the 1990s, the Court increasingly claimed that the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed “color-blind” governmental action, so that even governmental action intended to help blacks would not be allowed if it treated whites differently than blacks. While the words of the Fourteenth Amendment technically support this reading, a brief look at history illustrates its absurdity: Congress and the States did not pass the Amendment in 1868 because white people faced difficulties after the Civil War; they passed the Amendment to help newly-freed blacks find their way in white society. If the goal was to help whites, there would have been no reason to fight the Civil War or pass the Amendment.

In 2005 and 2006, two fresh conservative justices ascended to the bench: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. Not surprisingly, these conservative justices continued the perplexing approach to race questions that began in the 1990s. In 2007, the new Court grappled with a school racial desegregation case: People Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, 551 U.S. __ (2007). Here, the Court—by a 5-4 majority—invalidated two local school boards’ attempts to guarantee “racial balance” in their school systems because they wanted to ensure “diversity in education” for their students. The school boards reasoned that the best way to take action against the inherent inequality between blacks and whites was to guarantee an integrated educational experience at an early age. The school boards believed that “societal discrimination and its effects” made equality impossible, and societal discrimination began in racially imbalanced schools. For that reason, the districts took action against it by requiring racially balanced schools. In the boards’ view, integration was a reasonable way to nip discrimination in the bud by cultivating mutual understanding in children at an early age.

Chief Justice Roberts literally scoffed at the school boards’ principled purposes. Rather than addressing the reality of racial tension in the United States, Roberts coldly applied several conservative precedents from the 1980s and 1990s (many of which were 5-4 decisions that did not even remotely embody consensus on the Court). He decreed that the school boards had not met their “heavy burden” to invoke so-called “race-based remedies.” In the same vein, he said that “remedying racial imbalance” is not even a legitimate State goal warranting State action. Although he conceded that “diversity in college education” was a “compelling State interest” in the university and postgraduate spheres, “diversity in elementary education” was not. In fact, the school boards here went beyond the pale by simply fixing a racial “percentage” for each school district. For Chief Justice Roberts, “outright racial balancing” through “nonindividualized, mechanical means” was “patently unconstitutional.” In his view, the Fourteenth Amendment did not allow States to place “irrelevant reliance on race.” Rather, a State could use race in its decisionmaking only after “good-faith, genuine attempts” to apply “race-neutral alternatives.”

In a concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas went even further than the Chief. He said that there is a “fundamental distinction” between “racial imbalance” and “segregation.” Government has no business correcting “racial imbalance,” according to Thomas, because government is not responsible for that imbalance. Blacks and whites live in different areas because they make “innocent private decisions” and “voluntary housing choices.” Government had no role to play in those “innocent private decisions,” so government is not entitled to take action against the resulting imbalance. Rather, government can only take action against “segregation,” defined by Thomas as “intentional State action to separate the races.” Applying that definition, Thomas reasoned that government has “no legitimate interest in promoting racial balance” or “integration” because those are “private concerns.” In fact, he even scolded the school boards for “imposing” racial balance on one-race schools because they appealed to “classroom aesthetics” and catered to “[hypersensitive], elite sensibilities.”

In a word, both Roberts’ and Thomas’ arguments completely scrap Brown’s bold stance on race in America. Rather than viewing racial questions with a compassionate eye, Roberts and Thomas merely recite controversial Court opinions from the 1980s and 1990s to frustrate integration. They do not even begin to address the deeper questions of inequality and injustice that lurk behind the racial question. Appallingly, both Roberts and Thomas claim that they agree with Brown. This may be true as a matter of strict form, but certainly not as a matter of spirit.

There is no risk in saying that “State-sponsored, intentional racial discrimination is not allowed in public schools.” Indeed, such blatant, State-sponsored discrimination no longer exists on the statute books. Rather, discrimination in the United States today is far more subtle precisely because it is exclusively private. Today, laws all promise equality; but individual citizens do not. In the aggregate, private decisions continue to obstruct the ultimate equality enshrined in the Declaration of Independence just as much as public laws once did. Justice Thomas says that “innocent private decisions” are not a matter of constitutional concern. How can that be? If millions of private decisions land blacks in precisely the same spot in which they found themselves in 1954, how could that not be a constitutional concern? How can he say that “racial balance” is not a legitimate interest? Is racial balance not the ultimate goal? As long as blacks perennially live in the poor section while whites live in the rich section, where is the equality? It is sheer absurdity to suggest that black Americans live in ghettos because they made “voluntary housing choices.” They live in ghettos because low-cost housing is all they can afford. They lack the skills necessary to make sufficient money to “voluntarily choose” better housing. They lack those skills because they did not receive equal education and faced a lifetime of private discrimination. If our laws preach equality yet even a cursory glance down any urban street reveals a completely contrary reality, what good are the laws? In Justice Thomas’ case, the result is doubly shocking: This is a man who avowedly benefited from programs that enabled him to integrate into American educational and governmental institutions. Now he says that other members of his race do not deserve the same preferential treatment as he did. In other words: “I got mine. Now you get yours.” That is not principle. That is regression.

I fear that we can expect more such foolishness from our Supreme Court in the coming years. That is why I have steadily lost faith in the Court as an institution. I believe that the Court must strive to grapple with the larger issues that underlie any constitutional question. Only a blind man would say that this country does not have a grievously bad record on racial equality, and we have a very, very long way to go. Even if the Supreme Court ultimately has no power to decree an end to inequality, it has a duty to endorse principles that may one day lead to that result. The Court in Brown took a brief step on that moral high ground when it candidly addressed the legacy of racial wrong that continues to mock the equality principle in America. The Court should take up that mantle in the future. And it should look beneath the literal words in the Constitution to truly flesh out its principles in light of contemporary difficulties. Until that happens, however, I truly worry what the Court will do. If recent decisions are any harbinger, I expect nothing but cold, unforgiving, technical analysis that perpetuates injustice rather than fights it.

Monday, October 20, 2008



In my satires, I enjoy seizing upon virtues that involve “tension points” between principle and practice. Religious belief, for example, is a familiar “tension point:” A person may claim to “love his neighbor,” when in fact he cheats him and steals from him at any convenient opportunity. The gap between principle and practice yields hypocrisy—to laughable effect. Still, satire is not the only way to identify and criticize these “tension points.” Sometimes it is sufficient merely to discuss them. By understanding why tension exists in a concept, we can understand the values to which our society aspires—and fails to reach.

Patience is a “tension point” between principle and practice. Since childhood, we have been told that “patience is a virtue,” and that “good things come to those who are patient.” In commercial settings, people thank us “for being patient,” as if we had done something truly praiseworthy for them. Scripture tells us that “the fruit of the [Christian] Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, [and] self-control.” Epistle of Paul to the Galatians 5:22-23 (emphasis added). In other words, “good people” are patient. Conversely, “impatient people” fail to reach the standard.

If patience is a virtue, what does it entail? I always equated the word “patience” with “waiting.” My mother told me to be “patient” before dinner or before I received a gift. I eagerly expected something, yet had to uncomfortably wait for it. In those circumstances, “patience” meant nothing more than the “ability to wait without getting cranky.” After all, if I were impatient in these circumstances, I would have whined and asked: “When do we eat? Why isn’t the food here? How much longer is this going to take? It always takes so long to do this,” and so on and so forth. I would have been scolded for making such remarks, because I would have been “impatient.” If I were “impatient,” I would have refused to “wait without getting cranky.” I would have gotten cranky, and that is unpleasant for everyone involved.

But as time went on, I found out that there is more to patience than merely waiting. Like so many other apparently familiar words in our language, patience has additional dimensions. “Patience” derives from the Latin verb “patiare,” meaning “to suffer or endure.” The original root says nothing about waiting, although waiting in many circumstances implies a kind of suffering and endurance. In its purest sense, however, “patiare” implies physical or emotional pain. Waiting may be unpleasant, but it does not necessarily inflict physical pain.

In English, too, patience means more than “waiting.” The dictionary tells us that “patience” means: “1. Bearing or enduring pain, trouble, etc. without complaining or losing self-control; 2. refusing to be provoked or angered, as by an insult; forbearing; tolerant; and 3. calmly tolerating delay, confusion, inefficiency, etc.” Webster’s New World College Dictionary (4th Ed.). The primary definition involves “pain” and “trouble” without losing “self-control.” “Self-control” roughly corresponds to the unpleasant “crankiness” that used to overcome me as a child, but it could mean much more than that. The second definition lends meaning to “self-control” when it explains that “patience” involves a “refusal to become angered or provoked.” That suggests far more than mere “crankiness.” There are few things as trying as facing insults. They conjure powerfully negative, violent reactions in people. In general, violence is bad, and if a patient man refuses to react violently to unpleasant circumstances, he appears good. Christian theology confirms this when it tells us to “turn the other cheek” to our antagonists. In other words, “patience” is a core Christian ideal, perhaps because it is so tempting to react violently to an antagonist’s goading. Finally, “patience” can mean “calmly tolerating” delay, confusion and inefficiency. These seem to be the most common situations in which people admonish us to be “patient.” For example, waiters ask us for our “patience” when the chef gets “confused,” serves us the wrong dish, then gets it wrong again, leading to “delay” and “inefficiency.” The natural temptation in these circumstances is to get angry, lose self-control and start excoriating people. In fact, the waiter thanks us for not doing these things. He thanks us for being “patient,” or forgoing our naturally negative reactions to “delay,” “inefficiency” and “confusion.”

Patience, then, involves “calm tolerance,” “self-control,” “refusal to become angry,” “forbearance,” and “refusal to complain.” These are strongly positive concepts. A blessed aura surrounds patience; it is no wonder that both common social values and Christian doctrine extol “patience” as a virtue. After all, our world besieges us with maddening inconveniences large and small: irate coworkers, screaming children, long lines, crowds, traffic jams, rude customers, ungrateful friends, inefficient airline workers, delayed mail, forgotten orders, temper tantrums and unrealistic expectations, just to name a few. We face myriad stresses every day and we have limited time to overcome their demands. It is not surprising that we feel an urge to lose “self-control” and to “complain” when contending with such “pain, trouble, delay, inefficiency, provocation and confusion.” Indeed, the natural tendency is to throw up our hands and say: “Screw all of this; I’m out of here.”

Yet that would be a negative reaction. The patient man maintains his self-control throughout all life’s difficulties, even the ones that strike closest to home. For example, a person may profess love for another, yet may walk out after the first argument. That is not patience. Everyone has a limit before they say: “Screw all of this; I’m out of here.” That is the measure of patience. We say that the patient man is good because he controls himself. He does not surrender to the temptation to throw up his hands and run. Like a true Christian, he forgives the “inefficiency, confusion, delay, pain and inconvenience” that torments him. He “endures” it “without complaint.”

But this introduces several conceptual difficulties. After all, we live in an ambitious society. We move quickly. If we do not seize opportunities, we fail. If something goes on longer than planned, we could lose out on a job or an investment. If we are patient in these circumstances, we may be acting “virtuously,” but we will not get the job. Similarly, if we tolerate a person’s insults or poor treatment for too long, we cease to be patient and become “weak.” Where, then, is the line between “patience” and “weakness?” And is it always good to be patient?

Successful business owners thrive on impatience. They do not tolerate inefficiency in any circumstances and move swiftly to eliminate it; they do not “patiently endure it.” Employers do not tolerate delays in production or productivity. They do not “patiently wait” for it to end; they actively step in and complain about it until they achieve the results they seek. And in personal relationships, people rarely “endure” more than one slip-up in their mate before throwing up their hands and saying: “Screw it; I’m out of here.” In all these situations, patience was not the answer. In fact, if the business owner, employer, job-seeker or girlfriend applied patience over impatience, our society would have labeled them “foolish” or “weak.” If that is true, is patience really a virtue?

In my work experience, I observed that patience was actually a vice, not a virtue. In practicing law, it was better to impatiently insist on immediate results rather than to patiently endure inevitable delays. In looking for a job, it was better to impatiently call employers back to ask whether they had seen my resume rather than to patiently wait for them to call me back. Popular phrases such as “You snooze, you lose” exemplify the modern world’s take on patience. If you’re patient, you fail. Go-getters are impatient; that is why they are successful.

At this point, we see the tension point between “theoretical patience” and “practical patience.” At some point, we all have heard that it is good to be patient. We even hope that others will be patient with us when we make mistakes in our own lives. But in practice, how often do we reject patience in order to succeed? There is a vicious double standard at work here: We may pledge ourselves to patience, yet reap nothing but scorn when we observe it. If we give our opponents too much time to answer us in a legal case, people call us “weak cowards” and “do-nothings.” In contrast, if we impatiently bother every single potential customer to win accounts, our employers call us “enterprising.” Similarly, when someone insults us, our society expects us to return the hostility with a fresh barb; we praise people who lose their self-control in these circumstances. Yet if a person patiently refuses to lose self-control, we label him a “weakling.”

To be brief, it is hard to be patient in our world. Sadly, people regularly exploit and manipulate one another, and it would be foolish to be patient with a deceiver. It is extremely easy to lose control when confronting all the frustrating inefficiencies, hardships, delays and injustices that abound in modern life. Nonetheless, there is value in patience. It is possible to acknowledge people as self-interested and egotistic, while remaining patient in principle. Unfortunately, very few people observe patience when their own success is at stake. In our society, it is better to strike hard and fast than to “calmly tolerate” delay and confusion.

If everyone were patient and forbearing in our society, we certainly would live in a better world. But that is not the case. In the endless race for success, pushiness replaces self-control, aggressiveness replaces “turning the other cheek,” and complaint replaces forbearance. In the quest for success, delay is fatal. That is why patience is more vice than virtue in modern life. And that is unfortunate.