Category Archives: 2012 Election Campaign

Time to Abolish FDR’s “New Deal” Thanksgiving? (Only Hallmark Cards and Turkey Farmers would really object)

Originally Published on: Nov 25, 2011 @ 0:59

In the August 1942 Paramount movie, “Holiday Inn”, Bing Crosby’s character Jim is at his absolute low point of the year at Thanksgiving.  I completely concur.  Not even Irving Berlin could write a memorable song about this holiday, and now that I think about it, I know of no Thanksgiving songs at all—I suppose no one can really sing when stuffed to the gills with Turkey.  Eucharistic hymns of Thanksgiving in Church, to be sure, are songs of Thanksgiving, but not AMERICAN (United States Holiday) Thanksgiving.

As it happens, in 1942, Thanksgiving had just been set by Franklin D. Roosevelt on its modern date by proclamation signed on November 26, 1941, a little over a week before Pearl Harbor (the attack on which Roosevelt may well have been planning and of whose imminent occurrence evidence now shows, at the very least, Roosevelt to have been perfectly well informed and aware).

So THIS YEAR 2o12 is the 71st Anniversary of the “New Deal” Thanksgiving, and I think it’s high time to wipe this wretched artificial off the Calendar entirely.  The general concept of Thanksgiving may go back to George Washington, the Continental Congress, and the Pilgrims in 1621 some historically esoteric and metaphysical senses, but the Pilgrim association itself is one of English treachery.  How few Americans on Thanksgiving Day recall King Philip’s (the Wampanoag Grand Sachem Metacom’s) War of 1675-1676) and the resulting Genocide of the Wampanoag Tribe celebrated in that First Fabled William Bradford Thanksgiving in 1621. The Wampanoag was the Nation of Squanto and Massasoit who did so much to facilitate English Colonization “New England.”  All other subsequent associations, and the very timing of the holiday, are an insult to deeper values, including not just 500 years of Native American subjugation and genocide but the subjugation and (near) genocide of the American South, and the progressive secularization of the United States from a Christian into a purely materialist and grotesquely indulgent and commercial nation, culture, and society.

It had been not until 1863, four days after the Gettysburg Address, when President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to fall on the last Thursday of November, that the modern holiday was celebrated “nationally” (meaning, of course, in the Northern States).  With a few deviations, Lincoln’s precedent was followed annually by every subsequent president–until 1939. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt departed from tradition by declaring November 23, the next to last Thursday that year, as Thanksgiving Day. Considerable controversy surrounded this deviation, and some Americans refused to honor Roosevelt’s declaration. For the next two years, Roosevelt repeated the unpopular proclamation, but on November 26, 1941, he admitted his mistake and signed a bill into law officially making the fourth Thursday in November the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day.  Supposedly, Roosevelt had considered making Thanksgiving earlier in November but this was “booed down.”

Once it’s all over, and the sales of Alka-Selzer and Gaviscon at the all-night pharmacies have gone sky high, and are guaranteed to remain there during the consumption of leftovers for the next week: someone else needs to second the motion and go on record as saying that of all our American Holidays, Thanksgiving is the absolute worst. Thanksgiving not only epitomizes but stands as a worldwide symbol of corruption, oppression, gluttonous commercialism, materialist secularism, arrogant conquest, and a general depravity of state of mind.  “Thanksgiving” as celebrated in this Country obscures our heritage and confuses our history, celebrates the absolute worst in the human soul, and was created in relationship and in lock-step with two key wars leading to the abolition of freedom and the constitution, and the coincidental economic centralization and falsification which took place during those wars, namely the War Between the States and World War II.  

Thanksgiving isn’t so bad for me.  I have a wonderful dinner with a wonderfully energetic young blonde overlooking the Pacific planned in Santa Monica, and next week I go to Hawaii.  

But I wonder what Thanksgiving is like this year for those several million Americans who were either  recently or earlier this year, or even last year, evicted from their homes.  I wonder how Thanksgiving is like this year for the millions more among those who are facing foreclosure and eviction who have no hope, no certainty that they will still be in their homes next year.  

It is time to get back to that “Old Time Religion” of Truth and Honesty and Virtue—and the Fourth Thursday of November Thanksgiving we have celebrated since 1941, or 1863, depending on which starting date you want to call “the beginning” is nothing but an accursed day of the Calendar.

Proclaimed and first set as a National Holiday by President Abraham Lincoln only fours days after the elegant but totally fraudulent, duplicitous rhetoric of the “Gettysburg Address”, meant to disguise his true Marxist purposes in going to war with the “better half” of the nation for the primary benefit of a few industrial oligarchs up north, and for the ultimate purpose of subverting the original American Constitution, Thanksgiving has become a source of degradation to three sets of “Native Americans”: those descended from the First Inhabitants of these Western Hemisphere Continents we call North and South America (aka “The Indians”) and those who fought to preserve the Constitution of 1787 against usurpation in 1861-65, and to all Traditional Christians who would celebrate Adventide as a proper time of fasting.  

I wonder how many people (black or white) in Richmond, Charleston, Columbia, Atlanta, Memphis, Natchez, Vicksburg, or Savannah were stuffed to the gills after great feasts on the final Thursday in November 1865-1875?  I wonder how many Americans (northern or southern) felt Thankful to live in America in November of 1876, when the sitting President, Ulysses S. Grant, had announced that the man who received the majority of the popular and electoral vote, Governor Samuel J. Tilden of New York, would never be allowed to enter the White House without a renewal of open warfare between the States.  

That same year, 1876, I wonder how many Sioux Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors knew by late November 1876 that their victory over Presidential Aspirant George Armstrong Custer at Little Bighorn, June 24-25, 1876, had been turned into a rallying cry for the Republicans who needed a major distraction from the misery of post-“Civil War” Reconstruction America, and turned Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse into the scapegoats or major distraction for their own tyranny and failures back east.   Never did any victory have more devastating consequences for any race of people than the Battle of the Little Bighorn had for the Native Americans.  The remnant of that same coalition that defeated Custer was effectively wiped out within 15 years.  And what did November 1891, the first Thanksgiving after the Massacre at Wounded Knee, feel like in the Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, where the relatives of the murdered Sitting Bull and the descendants of Crazy horse were being either forcibly educated or trained for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show?  

To my grandparents growing up in Louisiana and Texas, there was no “Thanksgiving” in the early 20th Century because it was the enemy’s holiday.   The current setting of the Federal Holiday of Thanksgiving was not set until 1941—just as certain “insiders” in the government may have been planning for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to force the United States into World War II.  

After eight years of the New Deal, in 1941, the Country was being reshaped, and Thanksgiving was part of its reshaping.  Thanksgiving chronically conflicts with and distracts from the beginning of Advent (almost always the final Sunday of November) and from St. Andrew’s Day, November 30—Saint Andrew being not only one of the 12 Apostles but the Patron Saint of Scotland, Greece, (the ancient “Second Rome” known as) Constantinople, Russia, and Romania among other places—and the Cross of Saint Andrew being the central element of the flags of Alabama, Florida, and the Confederate States of America.  

What’s worse than anything about Thanksgiving is the day after, “Black Friday”, the Macy’s day parade and the gunshot “sooner” start of the race to maximize the secularization and commercialism of the pre-Christmas Season.  Thanksgiving has become part of the Federal Government’s conspiracy to abolish religion in America; the Federal Holiday is thoroughly despicable as an attack and infringement St. Andrew’s Day and Adventide and so on the Christmas Season, the Scottish and Greek Heritage of Western Civilization, and the real meaning of all of these things.

To traditional Christians all over the world, the Season of Advent is a “Little Lent” as my mother called it—the second longest “purple time” at Church in the entire year.  How many people remember to buy Advent Calendars or to keep the solemnity of Mary’s time before giving birth?  No, the grotesque overeating of Thanksgiving followed by the mad orgiastic commercial rush to shop for Christmas presents is a creature of the past 70 years only, fed by Television and contributing to the general secularization of America.  It is a very sad thing.   To my mind, Thanksgiving as celebrated in the United States of America is an insult and a curse to all that is holy, whether one is a Native American of “First American” origins… a Native American of “Southern Anglo” origins, or a Christian with origins anywhere in the world.  Luckily, the personality of “Scrooge” will forever be associated with Christmas, but I say “BAH HUMBUG!” to Thanksgiving.  It is time to do away with Thanksgiving as invented by the 16th and 32nd Presidents (did you ever notice that the 32nd President was Twice as bad as the 16th, but continued all the same basis processes and policies?)???  

Obama, if legitimately he belongs in the “King List” at all, is the 44th President, but maybe by the time of the 48th President *(3 x 16), there will be a recovery in America, a REAL and GENUINE “NEW BIRTH OF FREEDOM” which will truthfully realize the promise of the RHETORIC of the Gettysburg Address by wiping out the centralized banks, income tax, and other institutional baggage of the 16th and restoring the Constitution of 1787, and the Bill of Rights.

Much like the Gettysburg Address, the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments contain only noble sentiments, but have been misused and wrongly applied to destroy rather than guarantee Freedom and Equality.  I have often commented that the greatest irony of all is that the modern “Prison Planet” state of existence in America owes its origins to the 13th Amendment, wherein “slavery and involuntary servitude” are abolished “except as a punishment for crime.”  They started building prisons during the war of 1861-1865, and the “criminal justice industry” has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since.  I say to the American People: “let’s tear down the prison walls.”  

But even worse than the perversion of the 13th Amendment and most pernicious of all of these perversions is the use that has been made of the 14th Amendment: turn the quest for equality of a perpetual war of all against all in the United States, guaranteeing that equality will only ever be achieved once we are all perfectly enslaved……  

This is one of those points where I think the “right” meets the “left”—Thanksgiving is a testimonial to the corruption of all that is good.  I want to thank Dr. John Hoopes of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Kansas (“ku.edu”) a co-author of papers on the Early Classic Period in the Maya Lowlands from our Harvard Graduate Seminar Days with Gordon R. Willey for pointing out to me how close my position is to that of the “AdBusters” group which sponsored “Occupy Wall-Street” (which I confess I have mostly just been ignoring).   They call it “Buy Nothing Day” and it’s been going on for 20 years (originally organized in Mexico City and Vancouver, two of my favorite places):

http://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/bnd

The Thanksgiving of 2009, after I had just lost my two primary residences, homes in Texas and California, within several months of each other, I spent in a seaside suite in San Clemente overlooking the Pacific with my son Charlie and my assistant Peyton.  But not everyone has that kind of luck in life.  I am Thankful to say this and every day that I have led something of a charmed life.  And for that reason, and because it is customary, I always wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  But “enough is enough”.  This custom has got to stop.    Thanksgiving is like a gigantic perversion of the Calendar year, a gigantic dead skunk in the road of life every year in the same place—it is way too late in the year to be a Harvest Celebration except in places like Southern Florida and Southern Texas where winter crops can be planted and harvested.  

I personally live to fight for “corny old values” like Truth, Justice, and the American Way, for Family, Home, and Freedom, and to add one Senator for the Bill of Rights and against Indefinite Detention, against the PATRIOT ACT, and against the use of United States Troops in this Country against its own citizens.  

I give Thanks for the Beauty of the Earth, for the Splendor of the Skies, and for the Love which from our Birth, over and around us lies.  

But I do not give thanks for the election, re-election or even the existence of Barack Hussein Obama or the 93 Senators who voted for the NDAA this time last year—almost all of them (of those up for re-election) were reelected, including California’s own despicable hypocrite Dianne Feinstein, and there are some new Senators who would surely vote the same easy “pro-administration” way.

I do not give thanks that we live in a corporate-communist country where the boundary between corporate entities and the government is blurred beyond recognition in the unconstitutional “phony money” Federal Reserve Credit-Note economy.

A New Red Dawn Over America—Obamacare & the Police Power in Arizona are Upheld—the Constitution again ruled DOA at the Supreme Court (full text of the Supreme Court’s Worst Two Decisions of the Week attached)

Chief Justice John Roberts is rapidly becoming my least favorite U.S. Supreme Court Justice in history.  First, in 2007, the debut innovation of “the Roberts Court” was Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, then a followup kick in the face of freedom under the name of Ashcroft v. Iqbal and now this week (on Monday, June 25, 2012) Arizona v. United States (Arizona v US) and, today Thursday, June 28, 2012, yet another day that will live in infamy: NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS et al. v. KAREN SEBELIUS, SECRETARY OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES (NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS et al v SEBELIUS SECRETARY OF HEALTH).

It’s been a really bad week for the Constitution and for the American people, and a very good day for  Obama’s flourishing Dictatorship of the Proletariat.  Oh yes, and what a nice present for Hillary Clinton as she celebrates lasting longer as U.S. Secretary of State than any other of the 96 individuals to hold that office—and we were all sure she was just a joke back in the early 1990s when she was pushing a National Health Care System which looked an awful lot like what we’ve got now with Obamacare.

First with regard to Arizona v. US: The expansion of the American Police State seems never-ending, as the late great Strom Thurmond’s States-Rights Democratic Party Platform very accurately predicted in 1948.   The great triumph of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States over the past 64 years is quite simply this: all oppressive acts of government, so long as they are applied equally to White people as well as Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and all others without Racial, and only with Economic and Political, Prejudice, will be upheld.  But try asserting any constitutional right other than your right to be on an equal footing with all other slaves, and man YOU ARE DEAD MEAT!!!!  States Rights got a minor boost last year when an individual right to sue under the Tenth Amendment was recognized, but this year the 162 year trend towards the complete suppression of State Sovereignty marches forward unabated….

The main issue regarding Arizona’s immigration statutes was whether the individual states of the Union have any right to make more restrictive laws regarding residence and citizenship than the United States as a whole.  Under the expressly anti-States’ Rights 14th Amendment, the Supreme Court said NO.  But, if the Arizona police want to go around harassing people on the highways, they are free to do so, so long as they are willing to say they suspect that every blonde-haired & blue-eyed caucasian must have recently entered illegally from Sweden or Norway perhaps….  The Supreme Court, these days, never seems to miss an opportunity to enhance the power of the police to oppress the population at large.

With regard to the “Obamacare” case, I can only say I’m NOT even as surprised by this result as I was not by the result in the Arizona immigration opinion.  Ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt gave up his plan to “pack” the Supreme Court, there is no infringement on the economic liberty and personal choices of the American people which the Supreme Court finds too trivial to be worthy of Federal Enforcement.  The only comment-worthy deviation from predictions was that Chief Justice John Roberts in this case came up with the novel notion that the U.S. government can tax anything and anyone it wants to for any reason, including non-compliance with a mandatory insurance purchase requirement, and that this punitive tax or purchase choice makes it all “OK.”

Of all the commentary and punditry that came out on Thursday after the decision, two of the most “spot on” that I saw were first) the article describing John Roberts’ “Liberal Apotheosis”:

After Thursday’s Obamacare ruling, Supreme Court Justice John Roberts became a minor deity to some liberals for voting to save Obamacare. But just days before Roberts’ apotheosis, liberals lamented that the “conservative” Supreme Court was taking America down a dangerous path.  (http://news.yahoo.com/obamacare-ruling-liberal-apotheosis-john-roberts-035207618.html)

The “Liberal Apotheosis” of John Roberts?  “Apotheosis” of course, means transformation into a god—and what did the pagan gods of Olympia or Pharaonic Egypt do?  Exactly what any god can do:  A “god” can work Miracles,  first Make and then Bend the all Rules, Change the Natural Order of Things….   I suppose my own religious notions, such as they are, posit an unchanging God defined by the phrase from the old BCP: “as it was in the beginning, it is now and ever shall be, world without end amen” which seems curiously absent from most Episcopal services these days.   I equate God with Nature, and while I believe rather fervently in Evolution, I believe Evolution operates according to certain utterly unchanging rules, such as the laws of thermodynamics, which even the discovery of man’s ability intentionally to split or fuse atoms could never quite change.

And yet the Godlike role of the Supreme Court in making and bending rules seems more than a bit undemocratic.   So that is the second part of the analysis we need to perform today: Was Roberts’ decision to side with Obamacare entirely a matter of political strategy?

 The American Concept of Constitutional Judicial Review predates Chief Justice John Marshall. The Supreme Court’s decision Chisholm v. Georgia 2 U.S. 412 (February 1, 1793)(Chisholm v Georgia, 2 U.S. 419, February 1 1793triggered the (I would now say very unfortunate) move to enact the 11th Amendment during the First Term of the Presidency of George Washington.  But Chief Justice Marshall’s notions of judicial review shaped the Court, much to his cousin Thomas Jefferson’s dismay and disgust.   I recall hearing the story of Marbury v. Madison and judicial review in my Freshman year at Tulane, from Professor Jean Danielson in Political Science H103, where I met my long-time college years best friend John K. Naland, now a long-time veteran of the U.S. State Department.  Professor Danielson explained the political genius of Marbury v. Madison was that it empowered the Court while respecting the political boundaries of the time.  Chief Justice Marshall knew that, as President Adams’ last major appointee, any decision made in favor of the appointment of Adams’ minor “midnight judges” including William Marbury would simply be ignored by the new Democratic-Republican administration of Jefferson (with James Madison as secretary of state and the defendant in the case) as an act of political partisanship on the part of a Federalist appointee favoring Federalist appointees.  On the other hand, to uphold Secretary of State Madison’s power to refuse to honor the appointments made by President Adams would seem like craven capitulation without legal or moral integrity.  So, in a result which no one ever anticipated, Chief Justice John Marshall carefully reasoned and soundly declared the statute authorizing the appointment of Magistrates in the District of Columbia to be an unconstitutional act in excess of Congress’ power under the Constitution—and the role of the U.S. Supreme Court as Constitutional arbiter of the United States was established forever—or, at least, for a long time.

That particular “long time” ended in 1936, which, as a another commentator/pundit on the Obamacare decision pointed out, was the last time in history that the United States Supreme Court overturned a major piece of Congressional legislation as Unconstitutional.    Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term as President was unlike anything the United States had ever since, including George Washington’s First Term.   In Washington’s First Term, the constant debate in Congress was whether the Federal Government had power under the Constitution to do much of anything at all.  The spirit was decidedly “conservative” in the sense of cautious, even as a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal was being launched as a more formally organized “corporate” type of enterprise (the Articles of Confederation were much more analogous to a “partnership” among the States—with each partner having a nearly full veto power).

During FDR’s First Term, there were also many in Congress who asked whether the Federal Government had the power to do a great many of the things the New Deal proposed to do, from the NRA to the TVA (National Recovery Administration to the Tennessee Valley Authority).  But from 1933-1937, such questions were not asked in a cautious or even skeptical voice regarding what Congress and the Federal government could legitimately do, but in the desperate and panicked voice of people who saw and feared “you are taking our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor” from us.  Those people sought recourse against the reckless usurpation of Federal Power in the Supreme Court, and in the years 1933-1937, the Supreme Court struck down 29 Congressionally passed statutes signed by the President as part of the New Deal.

Roosevelt’s first hundred days and all that followed provoked an unprecedented clash between the Supreme Court Justices and the “New Deal” alliance of the legislative and executive branches. At Roosevelt’s instigation, Congress in the 1930s enacted a series of laws ostensibly, supposed, aimed at ending the Great Depression and restoring the nation’s economic well-being, but in fact aimed at shoring up the American Elite, especially the Banking system, from the threat of a Communist and/or Fascist revolution analogous to those taking place in Europe at the same time.  Of eight major “program” statutes to come before the Court, only two were upheld. Laws that were struck down included the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933, the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933, and the Bituminous Coal Conservation Act of 1935.  The Court came under heavy fire for its decisions, and Roosevelt proposed a controversial plan to increase the size of the Court, presumably to ensure a majority sympathetic to the New Deal.

Shortly after the plan was proposed, the Court defused the issue by upholding a series of revised New Deal laws.  Dominated by economic conservatives, to which group even late 19th/early 20th Century “Progressives” such as Oliver Wendell Holmes were (by comparison, anyhow) the Court threw out numerous laws Congress enacted to protect workers and consumers. The conflicts peaked in 1936. The Court threw out twenty-nine laws during that period, but the last of these was in 1936, when when the court invalidated a federal law that limited work hours and prescribed minimum wages for coal workers.

Everything changed in 1937 when, FDR Proposed the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937 on March 9 of that year in one of his legendary “Fireside chats” whereby he jumped over the Congress and all Constitutional Separation of Powers and asked the American people directly to endorse and support his programs.  The public reaction was overwhelmingly negative, almost the first time the 33rd President had seen any of his initiatives draw such opposition.  But the Justices of the Supreme Court saw the writing on the wall—mene, mene, tekel upharsin—and when faced with the two major cases challenging Social Security (the ultimate authority and most direct antecedent for Obamacare), the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the most massive fraud ever perpetrated on the American people—the law creating a “Social Security Trust Fund” with the bribed cooperation of the States—into which Social Security Trust Fund not one dime of real money (certainly not one dime of the 14 Trillion dollars paid since 1937 in Social Security Taxes) has ever been paid.

Helvering v. Davis (05-27-1937 Helvering v Davis 301 US 619 57 SCt 904 Jusice Cardozo endorses the SS Trust Fund Fraud) and Steward Machine Company v. Davis (Charles C Steward Mach Co v Davis) thus effectively marked the end of the Supreme Court as an independent branch of government.  The new mantra was not “that government is best which governs least” but instead, “The concept of the general welfare is not a static one”…. “Needs that were narrow or parochial a century ago may be interwoven in our day with the well-being of the nation. What is critical or urgent changes with the times.”   (Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619, 641, 57 S.Ct. 904, 909, 81 L.Ed. 1307, 1315 [1937])

From that time forward Courts held that there appeared to be only four (all extra-constitutional) prerequisites to a finding that a spending clause measure and condition attached to it are valid: (1) The federal power is used for a legitimate national purpose, i.e., promotion of the general welfare (Charles C. Steward Machine Co. v. Davis, 301 U.S. 548 at pp. 585–590, 57 S.Ct. at pp. 890–92 [1937], 81 L.Ed. at pp. 1290–1293); (2) the condition is related to a legitimate national goal (Charles C. Steward Machine Co. v. Davis, supra, at pp. 590–591, 57 S.Ct. at pp. 892–93, 81 L.Ed. at pp. 1292–1293; See also Note, Federal Grants and the Tenth Amendment: ‘Things As They Are’ and Fiscal Federalism (1981) 50 Fordham L.Rev. 130, 140–141); (3) the condition is related to the purpose of the federal funds whose receipt is conditioned (FCC v. League of Women Voters (1984) 468 U.S. 364, 104 S.Ct. 3106, 3132, 82 L.Ed.2d 278, 309 (Rehnquist, J. dissenting); State of Okl. v. Schweiker, 655 F.2d at pp. 407, 411); and (4) the condition is unambiguous (Pennhurst State School v. Halderman,  451 U.S. at p. 17, 101 S.Ct. at pp. 1539–40 [January 23, 1984])(Pennhurst State School And Hosp v Halderman).
It was in the spirit of such a “living constitution” that Chief Justice John Roberts allied himself with the enemies of limited government on June 28, 2012.  And it is in that sense, much like the Supreme Court in 1937, ruling in Roosevelt’s favor in both of the Social Security Cases, Helvering and Charles Steward above, that Chief Justice John Roberts “saved the Supreme Court” (http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/power-players-abc-news/did-chief-justice-roberts-save-supreme-court-103301790.html).  More likely, Chief Justice John Roberts just danced on Chief Justice John Marshall’s grave and said, “You think that failure to follow the Constitution is Judicial Treason?  Well, let’s see what you’re going to do about it now.”  According to that same article, Chief Justice Roberts had told the Senate at his confirmation hearings:
“Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules; they apply them,” said Roberts at the time. “The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules, but it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire.”

Now, strangely enough, Chief Justice John Marshall wrote a very different kind of opinion in 1820:

The judiciary cannot, as the legislature may, avoid a measure because it approaches the confines of the constitution. We cannot pass it by because it is doubtful. With whatever doubts, with whatever difficulties, a case may be attended, we must decide it, if it be brought before us. We have no more right to decline the exercise of jurisdiction which is given, than to usurp that which is not given. The one or the other would be treason to the constitution. Questions may occur which we would gladly avoid; but we cannot avoid them. All we can do is, to exercise our best judgment, and conscientiously to perform our duty.  Cohens v State of Virginia, 19 U.S. 264, 5 L.Ed. 257, 6 Wheaton 264 (March 3, 1820)

There is a great deal of confusion among the commentators and pundits, I think, about what “Judicial activism” really means.  I would NOT call Chief Justice John Marshall a Judicial Activist—although, indeed, he advocated throughout his 35 years on the bench a considerably more positive role for the Court in preserving the Constitution than Chief Justice John Roberts has shown to date.  “Judicial Activism” does not mean “striking down unconstitutional laws”—“Judicial Activism” as a term should be reserved for reshaping or restructuring the laws in the absence of Congressional Authority to do so.  The “Warren Court” from 1953-1971 was the epitome of “judicial activism”—the Supreme Court during those two decades effectively rewrote the laws of the United States and told CONGRESS and the STATES what to do, rather than vice-versa.

In the case of Obamacare, Chief Justice John Roberts acts his role as an umpire very poorly.  He has seen the foul, called it (under the commerce clause) and “covered it up” under the guise of the taxing power, which (in reality) is even less constitutionally justified than the commerce clause rationale (which at least has the past 75 years of tradition—however illegitimate, behind it).

And so was the U.S. Constitution rewritten in 1937 to allow for first the “relatively” modest program of Social Security and now, 75 years later—on the occasion of the 75th Annual Hunger Games (cf. Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire [2009] and Mockingjay [2010], both New York: Scholastic Press)—Obamacare comes forward to cap the fraud by, in Chief Justice John Roberts’ view—a non-coercive, mere “Tax” on those who do not buy governmentally mandated insurance… and of course, jail for those who do not pay their taxes.

SO WHAT IS THE SHORT-TERM SOLUTION?  NULLIFY OBAMACARE!  I should say that, without any hesitation whatsoever, I absolutely endorse and support the Tenth Amendment Center’s position on Obamacare (this Los Angeles based think tank is just one of the brightest stars on the Political Horizon—of our New Red Dawn):

Now that the Supremes have crushed Constitutional limits once again, the next step is to focus all our energy on a state and local level to NULLIFY this – and every other – unconstitutional act.
We have model legislation for yor state.  Ready to go right now.  Press your state reps to introduce this bill today, or for the next legislative session.
http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/legislation/federal-health-care-nullification-act/
Please SHARE this information widely!
*******
We need your help to continue this work, and help people take the next step at the state level.  Please join us, and help nullification happen!  Whether it’s $500 or $5, every bit of help right now is crucial!
Please visit this link to help now:
http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/donate/
*******
Thomas Jefferson told us that when the government “assumes undelegated powers” a nullification is THE “rightful remedy”
James Madison said that states were “duty bound to interpose….to arrest the progress of evil”
Today’s ruling is an assumption of undelegated powers, and evil is advancing.  The time to act in support of nullification in your area is NOW!  Please share the model legislation for Obamacare with as many people as possible, and please chip in as generously as possible to help us push this campaign aggressively.
While the task is difficult, our cause is just.
Concordia res parvae crescunt,
(small thing grow great by concord)
Michael Bolding
Tenth Amendment Center
==================================================
Our mailing address is:
Tenth Amendment Center
123 S. Figueroa St
Suite 1614
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Our telephone:
213.935.0553

AND WHAT DO I DO AS I WATCH ALL THIS TRANSPIRE?

I sigh.  I cry.  And sometimes I just want to lie down and die.  This is not the land of my birth, even though on the map it generally looks like it should be the same country as it was in 1960.

The transformation over the past fifty two years is simply horrific.  52 years was a key cycle of time among the Aztec, Maya, Mixtec, Tarascans & Zapotec in ancient Mesoamerica, and I can only say that I feel a certain sympathy for how an Aztec born in 1518 might have felt looking at the wreckage of his once proud nation in 1570 after 52 years of Spanish conquest, rape and pillage.  Like an Aztec born in the last year before the arrival of the Spanish, I have grown up and come to age watching my own people (the American Middle Class, especially Protestants of European descent) reduced to second class status, my people’s most attractive and beautiful women taken as prizes by the conquerors, my nation’s heritage and values denigrated, suppressed and taught in the schools as nothing but “heresy” from the New World Order.

I do speak Spanish fairly well and have spent many of the happier moments in my life in Mexico and elsewhere in the Hispanic World, from Bogotá to Barcelona, and I keep in touch with many friends and acquaintances of a Constitutional mindset from those parts of the world.  When they ask me what I consider to be the greatest single constitutional development under the Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama, I tell them without hesitation: N.A.D.A.  (aka Senate Bill 1867, you know, the statute that effectively repealed the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments that passed the Senate 93-7 last December).

Gary Kreep, ally of Philip J. Berg, Enemy of Orly Taitz, elected to California Superior Court in San Diego—this will be interesting to watch, and see what HE does with mortgage foreclosures, among other major issues….

OFFICIAL THIS WEEK: Gary Kreep Wins Judicial Election in San Diego—ORLY TAITZ WAS OBSESSED WITH FIGHTING KREEP AND PHILIP J. BERG—SHE HAD NO WISH TO FORM ANY ALLIANCE, only to destroy those alliances that already existed against Obama—and she managed to keep the article Ii eligibility movement very fragmented….for shame on orly!

Gary Kreep and Presidential Candidates / Birther Litigants John Dummett and Ed Noonan
Attorney Gary KreepJohn Dummett & Ed Noonan

Lawyer Gary Kreep, arguably famous (or infamous) for representing Wiley Drake and one or two other clients, claiming to represent Alan Keyes and fighting with Orly about who REALLY represented Alan Keyes (Orly did) in a lawsuit seeking to annul Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential victory, has won the judicial primary election in San Diego, California. The final 4,000 votes have not been counted, but Kreep has enough of a lead that it is statistically unlikely that his opponent can win. Kreep has a 1,000 vote margin over Garland Peed and will be the next Superior Court Judge in San Diego County.

SUPERIOR COURT – Office No. 34 [link]
GARY GEORGE KREEP 201238 50.14%
GARLAND PEED 200150 49.86%
 Precincts: 1643
Counted: 1643
Percentage: 100.0%

Last updated on: 06-15-12 at: 16:08:28
Source: http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov

Gary Kreep represents Ed Noonan in his case challenging Obama’s place on the California ballot in the 2012 Presidential election. [link]

Previously: Gary Kreep Leading Judicial Election in San Diego

In Memoriam, Stefan Frederick Cook

Originally Published January 14, 2012 at 5:49 AM—I am republishing this now (1) to keep alive the memory of a friend six months after his death, (2) because I received a scurrilous (that’s Latin for “squirrelly”) attack on his memory as a comment, and I felt honor-bound to remind the world of how dangerous it is to allow even the most unpleasant falsehoods to go unanswered.  Major Stefan Frederick Cook had an astounding resumé of service to his country.  Like Robert E. Lee, at the start of 1861, he was tortured by his conscience, the duty he had sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and by his feeling that, under Obama, there could be no justice, not even the pretense of American righteousness, because it was so painfully obvious that Obama was, and still is, a total fraud.  Yes, by the laws of the United States, Military Officers must all swear to uphold the Constitution, and Major Stefan Frederick Cook gave his long and distinguished career so that he might uphold his oath….  Whatever illusions anyone might have had about Barack Hussein Obama’s determination to destroy the United States and turn this country into a Socialist-Military Dictatorship died just 11 days before Stefan Frederick Cook, when the de facto President signed the NDAA, Senate Bill 1867, into law on New Year’s Eve…… which should now be remembered as the Day the Constitution Died…..

Stefan Frederick Cook, a good friend and treasured ally in the cause to preserve American Honor and to defend the Constitution since I first heard of and met him in June 2009, just died of pancreatic cancer in Tampa, Florida this past Wednesday January 11.
He was barely two months my senior, but his military resume was something astounding. There was hardly an action that had taken place or a medal he hadn’t won since 1980. He was exactly the kind of man that makes us so proud of the modern military. I had simply never seen a curriculum vitae that looked like a historical inventory of military events and achievements of the past 30 years.
And yet he had a Constitutional Conscience and a High Regard for his Oath even above his brilliant career. I had no idea he was sick. He and I had talked late last year about his coming out to California to help with the Campaign—I had suggested he run for Senate in Florida. What a brave and noble soul he was and will always remain in my mind.

I shall miss you, Stefan Frederick Cook: a brave man of vast integrity who stood up and said, “I will not serve an unconstitutional President in an unconstitutional war; I will not betray my oath or the integrity of my country and international law.”
There should be a monument to this man for all he was and all he did for his country, the indignities he suffered at the hands of pathetic worms, nullities, obots, fogblowers and politijabbers.  The actions he took in defying the President of the United States were the opposite of unprincipled ambition: Stefan Frederick Cook’s last stand as an army officer was in the highest tradition of personal self-sacrifice for the national good.
Ave atque Vale, Frater Meo Armis. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.

This must have happened very quickly.  I had been in touch with Stefan late last year during the holidays…the following article appeared in the Post & Email yesterday:

LT. COL COOK PASSED AWAY. HE WAS A GREAT PATRIOT AND A FIGHTER AGAINST OUR CRIMINAL USURPER OBAMA. MAY LT. COL COOK REST IN PEACE. MAY MANY OTHERS RISE AND FIGHT THE CRIMINALS IN POWER IN MEMORY OF LTC COOK

Posted on | January 13, 2012 |

19459073  Lt. Col.

The Post & Email has just learned that Lt. Col. Stefan Cook, about whose illness we reported yesterday, has passed away at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, FL at approximately 2:30 p.m. today of pancreatic cancer. Cook, then a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves, had challenged Obama’s constitutional eligibility to serve as president in July 2009 through Atty. Orly Taitz. After Taitz filed the lawsuit in Georgia, Cook’s orders to deploy to Afghanistan were rescinded by the Army, a move which Taitz had hailed as a victory. At the time the lawsuit was filed, Maj. Cook had expressed his concern that he might be carrying out illegal orders in the event that Obama was not constitutionally qualified to issue them. He had told WorldNetDaily, ”[Then] any order coming out of the presidency or his chain of command is illegal. Should I deploy, I would essentially be following an illegal [order]. If I happened to be captured by the enemy in a foreign land, I would not be privy to the Geneva Convention protections.” SNIP Previous article at the Post and Email. Free Republic prayer threads here and here. Link to roaddog727′s homepage on FR. He joined Free Republic on September 7, 2003. His last post was on December 21, 2011. YouTube video of roaddog727 speaking at the Free Republic National Convention on September 11, 2009. (Excerpt) Read more at thepostemail.com …

If there were no minimum wage in the United States, how low would wages go?

Revisiting a topic I’ve discussed on this blog before, there was a new article on UK Yahoo, much to my surprise:

http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/should-we-scrap-the-minimum-wage.html

If there were no minimum wage in the United States, how low would wages go?  Would inflation come to an end?  How far might price deflation go?   Would outsourcing of American jobs stop immediately?  Would the power of labor unions increase or decrease (assuming freedom of contract and freedom to strike were preserved as a matter of constitutional right)?  Would anyone ever bother to immigrate illegally into the United States again? 

According to Wikipedia, “Many countries, such as NorwaySwedenFinlandDenmarkSwitzerlandGermanyAustriaItaly, and Cyprus have no minimum wage laws, but rely on employer groups and trade unions to set minimum earnings through collective bargaining.”  Is it coincidental that these are some of the countries with the highest standards of living in the world?  Higher than the standard in the United States?

The minimum wage was instituted in the United States as a matter of Federal Law in 1938, five years into Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.  Richard M. Nixon tried to impose “wage and price controls” as an antidote to inflation in 1971-72.  Nixon’s program was an unmitigated disaster and has not been repeated, but because of the mythology that the minimum wage guarantees a “living wage”, the Federal Minimum Wage is updated every few years.  It is an absurdity that one of the causes of inflation is automatically adjusted upwards to inflation.

My position is that government regulations such as the minimum wage stoke inflationary fires and provide no real security to anyone.  If elected to the United States Senate, I would propose a repeal of the Federal Minimum Wage and add a statutory clarification that any state-imposed minimum wage would constitute an unconstitutional infringement on the rights and obligations of contract, an infringement on Freedom of Association and Freedom of Speech, and a taking of liberty without due process of law.  

Let’s try to bring America in line with the most prosperous nations of Europe—ABOLISH THE MINIMUM WAGE!  MAKE AMERICA COMPETITIVE AGAIN!  Require EXCELLENCE in PRODUCTIVITY before automatic rewards.  

Oh, by the way, adjusted for inflation and currency, the average worker’s wages in Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, at least (countries with which I have some familiarity and have studied recently) have higher EFFECTIVE wages and lower rates of inflation than the United States of America.  Finland supposedly has the finest education system in the world.  America’s public educational system is a nightmare failure and should probably be abolished all together as one of the first and principal failures of governmental compulsory “welfare” laws.

Confessions of a Lifelong-Heroine Addict….(oh well, since I was 6 or 8 I guess, probably not so much before that…)…from Dorothy Gale to Katniss Everdeen

The California Secretary of State having quite literally locked the doors to my running for Senate this year (at least in Tulare and Fresno Counties)—and the California Courts not seeming to offer a sufficient or accessible remedy—I now have time to indulge other (if related) obsessions my life, such as my sufferings from a lifetime of heroine addiction….  

Like almost every other aspect of my life, I blame my mother Alice and grandmother Helen almost equally….

It was my mother and father who, when I was very small, used to take me down by the Thames in Westminster near the Houses of Parliament and show me the statue of Boadicea (aka “Budica”), the last independent Iceni Queen of East Anglia who rebelled and died trying to evict the Roman Conquerors, in whose memory it was said and sung that “Britons never shall be slaves.”  We also took one trip out to Norwich to visit one of the woods where the Iceni supposedly worshipped their own goddess of Victory….called “Budika” in the Ancient British language of the Druids….(my parents were both heavily into historical and comparative linguistics).  Budika/Boadicea in A.D. 60-61 apparently burned Roman Londinium to the ground along with several other cities before being defeated and poisoning herself by the long Roman Road called “Watling Street” which we also visited…. She was a heroine and supposedly a great archer….  

Of course my parents also tried, as heart as their own agitated and addled lives would permit them, to make me aware of a very different heroine, regarding whom they required me to memorize “the Magnificat” from a very early age….”My soul doth magnify the Lord….Abraham and his seed forever…” And yes, the Virgin Mary was indeed a rebellious heroine… and she has remained a heroine to hundreds of millions of people up to the present time….  Later on, I learned to sing the Magnificat and other pieces of Anglo-Catholic “Maryolatry” as a choirboy in the junior Choir at the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, under the tutelage of the late, Great Russell J. Brydon (who died just a few months after this post was originally written, in September 2012 at the age of 88:

http://www.dallasnews.com/obituary-headlines/20120906-russell-j.-brydon-jr.-longtime-dallas-church-and-temple-organist-dies-at-88.ece

But it was my grandmother Helen who was something of a heroine in my young eyes herself, and it was Helen who introduced me to the very first literary  (as distinct from Historical or Biblical) heroines of whose stories I ever learned in detail: namely Dorothy Gale, Scarlett O’Hara, and the Roman Goddess Diana and her Sacred Temple by Lake Nemi  near Ariccia (Diana was also an archer…)

The path of fictional heroines from Dorothy Gale’s grey home in Kansas to Katniss* Everdeen’s equally grey home in District 12 of Panem took 108 years….from the first publication of the Wizard of Oz in 1900 through the appearance of archer Katniss Everdeen  Hunger Games in 2008**….is really the history of the idealistic dreams and ultimate failure of the 20th century (idealist dreams in Baum’s time giving way to a more cynical realism by 1939, passing through the somewhat confused “liberation” of the 1960s, sinking into the dark, pessimistic world of Buffy and Angel and finally coming to rest in the despair of District 12 in Panem in 2008—the year Barack Hussein Obama took over from George W. Bush…two different faces for the heartless, soulless, President Snow….)

But the difference in spirit between those two places traces indeed the tragic story of the Decline and Fall of Western Civilization (and of the American Dream) in the 20th Century. Major stopping points along the way (for me at least) include 1939 with the Dorothy Gale’s transformation in the person of Judy Garland and Scarlett O’Hara’s complete redefinition of the concept of “progress” in the late 19th century, Jane Fonda’s comic Cat Ballou and Barbarella in the 1960s, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer in movie and television from 1992-2003.  

At each of these intervals, the world is more cynical and darker, and the heroines more complex.  Many critics have observed that the “head injury/dream sequence” aspects of the 1939 Movie Wizard of Oz and the metathesis of real individuals to “dreamtime” residents of the Land of Oz (which was COMPLETELY absent from L. Frank Baum’s book) resulted directly from Freudian psychoanalysis and the early popularity of psychology.  The general effect is to radically weaken the power of Oz as metaphor or lesson—but the movie was a wonderful hit—a lightly comic Wagnerian gesammtkunstwerk of acting, visual art, and music, so nobody really cared.  

A lot of the verbal banter and humor in the movie likewise showed a certain “worldly” sophistication with which I think Frank Baum would only have been somewhat congenial. E.G. the Cowardly Lion’s song “there’s just no use denyin’, I’m just a DANDYlion…” and the Wizard’s closing comment to the Scarecrow:

Back where I come from we have universities, 
seats of great learning 
-- where men go to become great thinkers. 
And when they come out, they think deep thoughts -- 
and with no more brains than you have .... 
But! They have one thing you haven't got! 
A diploma!

As a former denizen of the great academic halls of Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 and Chicago, Illinois 60637 (from various halls of which august institutions I did, for all the good that it’s done me or the world, get diplomas), and a regular visitor to many other such places, I can tell you that the Wizard here is absolutely right: 

And when they come out, they think deep thoughts -- 
and with no more  brains than you have.... 

But such cynicism simply was not part of the original vision of Oz, and although Baum occasionally did occasionally turn such comments to ridicule life back in North America in later books, he did not at all in his first installment in which he remade European folk mythology and archetypes and reshaped them in a very idealized panorama of a world where death was rare if non-existent and even the most evil of men and creatures did not kill for sport or pleasure.

For all of L. Frank Baum’s futuristic visions, I do not think he could have foreseen the transition from the naïve and hardworking life of Kansas to the nightmarish dreamworld of Suzanne Collins’ grim opera—neither a soap opera nor a very lyric, although even in the written version (which I finally got around to reading), music plays an immensely important part in the methathesis of metaphor and character, from Katniss’ Father to Peeta, from Prim to Rue… as between the unnatural National Anthem of the Conquering Capitol and the free world of nature and the poor of the “outlying districts.”

L. Frank Baum’s Oz books in so many was shaped and defined the culture of early-to-mid 20th Century of a predominantly White Christian America, especially after the release of Judy Garland’s movie….***  The spirit of Dorothy Gale’s Kansas was stiflingly dull and harsh—the American dream had already, at that point, apparently kind of run aground and needed new life— The spirit of Dorothy Gale’s Oz was half atavistic throwback to the Middle Ages, half filled with futuristic wonders (such as Glinda the Good’s Magic Picture, which permitted her what we would now call “live video access” to whatever was going on in Oz or elsewhere earth she was interested.

Dorothy Gale was a simple, pre-teenage girl (Judy Garland was at least ten years older than the original character was portrayed as being in the First Oz Book, but Dorothy Gale remained essentially a-sexual throughout the series, never had a boyfriend or a beau…. perhaps recapitulating some archaic notion of “the Virgin Goddess”,  e.g. Diana Nemorensis or the Virgin Mary or the “Virgin Queen”, Mary again or Queen Elizabeth I) whose strength derived from common sense, great courage, love, and determination.  Dorothy Gale was a generalist who never specialized in anything or focused on any particular trade, profession, or way of earning a living (all throughout the long series of Oz books, in fact).  She was just flexible, imaginative, and practical—kind of a “Renaissance girl” in a very low tech way.

Being a non-specialized generalist seems to be the primary role of all feminine heroes.  Of the earliest three I knew (Dorothy Gale, Scarlett O’Hara, and Diana Nemorensis), if Dorothy Gale had the purest and most asexual identity, Scarlett O’Hara surely had the most impure and sexual.  

It was perhaps for that reason that I was never really taken with her until I was a teenager, even though with my grandparents I religiously had watched Gone with the Wind at every possible opportunity and my grandmother compared the mythic South with the real South over and over again.   Scarlett O’Hara was beautiful, flirtations, and OWNED men in a way that is both fairly realistic and quite cynical.  But the book and movie Gone with the Wind were brilliantly timed between the First and Second World Wars to show that the American War Between the States of 1861-1865 was the first really and truly modern war of total destruction.  

Throughout history, up until Abraham Lincoln loosed Sherman on Georgia and Grant on Virginia, the goal of Conquest Warfare had been to preserve as much of a conquered land’s wealth as possible—so that it could be stolen and appropriated for the victors.  There might have been a lot of talk in Ancient Rome about how “Carthage must be destroyed” and about Salting the Earth once it was vanquished, but Carthage was not only not burnt to the ground and left to rot by the Roman Conquest, it became one of the Great Cities of the Roman Empire, as 20-30 years of Harvard Archaeological excavations in Tunisia have so clearly shown.  Gone with the Wind showed something else when Sherman’s “wind blew through Georgia.”  The purpose was indeed, as the opening lines of both the movie and the book suggested, to wipe out an entire civilization, a way of life—to replace what Marxists call one “mode of production” with another.   NONE of Baum’s villains in Oz were as bad as that, although the movie version of the Wicked Witch of the West was pretty murderous in her general attitude….

One major innovation of Jane Fonda’s heroines Cat Ballou and especially Barbarella in the 1960s was the advent of “free love”, which never appeared even once in any of Baum’s pre-1920 writings, which was only very obliquely alluded to in Gone with the Wind, but which by the 1960s was all anyone really cared about.  

Like Dorothy Gale and Scarlett O’Hara before her, Cat Ballou and Barbarella were unspecialized generalists who could adapt to almost any situation.  They were strong, intelligent, sexy, deadly in a good cause, and then Jane Fonda went to Hanoi….  In retrospect she may have been right to do it because the Vietnam War was totally wrong, a seriously failed experiment in 1984-type “perpetual war”….but Jane Fonda’s actions did not seem positive at the time.  

In this defiance of the outward semblance of world order sense, Jane Fonda’s characters of both Cat Ballou and Barbarella somehow came to life as defiant outlaws….crossing boundaries that no one else would cross, and doing so with both impunity and (what seemed most shocking at the time) complete immunity from real official sanction.  Like the righteous killer Catherine Ballou who avenged her father’s death in the Wild West—Jane Fonda first enacted herself as a mythic reality and then, by going to Hanoi, remade herself as a historic metaphor—walking through the image of a treacherous act, unscathed, in essence to show that Vietnam was all a staged event….. a dramatic diversion to keep the masses simultaneously afraid, amused and absorbed….  

Fast forward 24 years from Jane Fonda as Barbarella and you arrive the first incarnation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a completely modern LA County San Fernando Valley girl with no hints of modesty or virginity about her…. followed by the much more intriguing evolution of Buffy Summers in the TV Series from virginal high school freshman to intensely sexual college freshman, in a world which is increasingly dark and where reality is increasingly concealed….. Buffy’s Sunnydale was a mythic place, a lot like Los Angeles, while her first boyfriend and lover Angel eventually goes to the real Los Angeles and sets up shop as first as a private detective and then director of a large law firm—two professions which, in Los Angeles at least, possibly in the movies generally, have almost acquired the status of modern Jungian archetypes….  

The increasingly dark and brooding, sad and depressed Buffy Summers never lost her general adaptability—she could never specialize in any profession or line of work any more than Dorothy Gale or Scarlett O’Hara or Catherine Ballou… but the realization that the dark forces of the world were effectively unbeatable and had pre-existed anything good in the world—these were major transformations of the American Dream from the Early 20th Century.  And it was during the 7 televised seasons of Buffy that the 20th Century, which came in with a little girl magically transported by a tornado from dull grey Kansas to a bright and beautiful alternative universe which knew no death, went out during Buffy’s Freshman year at UCLA with a young adult barely out of her teens who was alone in the world, with her small circle of more specialized friends, fighting vampires and the forces of darkness.

And five years after Buffy ended, Katniss Everdeen picked up the bow from her archetypal ancestors the Goddesses Inanna and Diana and Queen Boadicea, and began to hunt for meagre food in the desperately hunger fringes of District 12 (in what was once called Appalachia in what was once called North America).  

The gruesomeness of the Hunger Games apparently shocks some people—I would have thought that Americans had long since forgotten how to be shocked about or by anything.  Children murdering children for sport isn’t the most pleasant of ideas, to be sure. But in that 17-19 year olds have gone off to fight in every war America has ever seen….along with a few 16 year olds here and there, and since the History Channel periodically shows authentic news clips of 15-16 year old resistance “werewolves” in 1945 Post-World War II Germany being shot by firing squads of American Troops, and countless tens of thousands of teenagers have been silently snuffed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam, it is hard to believe that the idea of children fighting and dying is really such a big deal to our ever hypocritically squeamish population.

The Hunger Games resonate with so much in our history and culture—with the original Victor Hugo version of Les Miserables (hopelessly buried and lost in the Broadway Musical of the same name), and in Suzanne Collins’ own account with the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.  

But above all the Hunger Games resonates with the year 2012 in which America has taken so many steps towards being a brutal, repressive dictatorship like Panem, already—with idiot fake and fraudulent “Conservatives” like Lindsey Graham and Newt Gingrich competing with idiot truly fraudulent “Liberals” like Carl Levin, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama competing with one another to see who can shred the Constitution fastest.  

Interesting to me, given that I based my own doctoral dissertation at Harvard in large part on revisiting Frazer’s the Golden Bough and with it Diana’s Temple by Lake Nemi near Ariccia, are the parallels between the Hunger Games and the myths and rituals of Divine Kingship.  There is nothing in the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, however, about games or about Tributes being well-fed and allowed every luxury leading up to their deaths.  But precisely this treatment is common in the rites of Divine Kingship, where sacrificial victims, like the individual selected for sacrifice during the rites of Toxcatl among the Aztec, are equated with the God Tezcatlipoca (“Smoking Mirror”) during the last year of their lives, given wonderful food and drink, and then sacrificed.  Similar paradigms of sacrifice are found throughout the world—

And the sacrifice of children, likewise, is extremely common: to the rain gods in Mesoamerica, relic traces of this existed even among the modern Yucatec Maya who tie small children to the legs of the altar during the cha-chaac or rain ceremony—although the children have to do nothing more that happily chirp like rainy season frogs (but woe to the boy who croaks like a dry season Toad—he will be beaten, not sacrificed, but beaten).  The Hebrew Bible itself is filled with child sacrifice (all through the Books of Kings and Chronicles, in particular, are Kings who make their children “walk through the fire”—perhaps most famously the daughter of Jeptha…), and by way of archaeological parallel—the excavations at Carthage have revealed hundreds and thousands of child sacrifices…. Among the Natchez of Mississippi, families sacrificed their children in order to rise in social status from commoners (“Stinkards”) to “Honored” Nobility according to the French records by Dupratz and recounted by John R. Swanton….

And in this sense it is perplexing: sacrifice almost always lead either to elevation in status or to outright deification: why the elite of Panem would not have recognized the risk embodied in Golden Bough-Divine Kingship type of analysis: the sacrificial victim—like the Rex Nemorensis at Ariccia who becomes King by killing the old one in combat, will always become the next king.  

At the end of the first book of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, Katniss Everdeen is poised to become (with Peeta), Queen and King of Panem.  This was not only foreseeable, it was in comparative mythological terms inevitable—and yet Suzanne Collins’ trilogy does not allow this drama to evolve that way.  In part, this may be because technology and traditions of oppression have obliterated the natural succession of Divine Kingship….

But Sir James G. Frazer’s point in writing the Golden Bough was to show that Divine Kingship involving the deification of sacrificial victims and their elevation as Kings is a nearly world-wide phenomenon.  I sit here puzzling at the significance of all the trappings of Divine Kingship and the Golden Bough in the Hunger Games.  

Frank Baum had either borrowed or unconsciously recreated so many motifs from ancient mythology—the Four World Quarters with colors Winkie-yellow Quadlin-red Munchkin-blue and Gillikin-purple with Green for the Center of the Emerald City are like nothing so much as the mythological and symbolic organization of (1) Ancient Mesopotamia, “Land of the Four Quarters” centered on Uruk, (2) Celtic Ireland, Ulster, Munster, Connaught, Leinster, and centered on Midhe (Meath) at Tara, and (3) pre-Hispanic Yucatan which, at several Classic sites, is divided into quarters dominated (as recorded on Stelae A & H at Copan) by Tikal, Calakmul, Palenque, and Copan and which even now is divided into four quarters (Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Petén, with Belize claimed by Guatemala and Geographically appearing to be a southern extension of Quintana Roo).

But in Frank Baum’s Oz, kingship is never strong and is always frowned upon, as are all attempts at centralization or standardization of culture, customs, or laws among the four/five regions of Oz.  For that reason, I would assume, there are no hints or traces of divine kingship in Oz—it is a Federal egalitarian Democracy of sorts (even though no one ever votes).  

But by the time of Buffy, as the 20th century closes, the need for a leader has brought forward the Slayer—“one girl in all the world” who fights the Demons.  Now Joss Whedon optimistically ended his series with a devolution of power and prowess from Buffy through the magic of Willow to Millions of “potential” slayers—-but it didn’t quite ring true, in a Television series where even the most outrageous vampiric and magic witchcraft was somehow made to feel “emotionally authentic.”

In the Hunger Games, Dictatorship is the reality and the two victors of the Hunger Games, Katniss & Peeta, are set to become the Divine Kings and possibly the real sovereigns of their land.  Perhaps the need for leadership, the need for someone to save the population, is not yet great enough, but in terms of the political and emotional significance of our story-telling, I think that the journey from Dorothy Gale’s Grey Kansas to Katniss Everdeen’s Grey District 12 tells us the story of the loss of hope and impending doom and despair which was the 20th Century.

*  Katniss is named after a plant called Sagittaria, and my grandmother was born under the sign of Sagittarius—it could be that Katniss reminds me a great deal of my grandmother Helen—similar complexions and faces…. Actress Jennifer Lawrence certainly fits very precisely the image in Suzanne Collins’ book…. and the younger pictures I’ve seen of my grandmother with long hair as a teenager in the time before the U.S. entered WWI….growing up in a place very much like the defeated districts of Panem in the Southern USA.

** In some New Age texts, 108 years is said to be a Venus Cycle, the more ordinary astrological cycle is one of 104 years.  108 is used, but oddly enough, is four years longer than longest calendrical cycle and planetary identity of the Ancient Goddess of Love, namely Inanna/ Ishtar/Aphrodite/Venus.  The calendrical cycles of Venus and the sun are said to “bind” (i.e coincide) every 2920 days, but the ultimate binding of 5 Heliacal Cycles of Venus with 8 Calendar years …. (365 x 8 = 5 x 584 = 2920 x 13 = 37,960 = 2 x 52 years (my current age) = 104 calendar years/105 “tuns” or 360 day periods—the root of the Maya and Aztec Calendars).  Like her Roman Counterpart Diana, Aphrodite and Inanna were both archers—it seems to be the feminine weapon of choice, possibly for purely sexual Freudian reasons, possibly for some mixture of Freudian sexual and Jungian archetypal causation.

*** In the 1970s, Broadway Musical and 1978 movie “the Wiz” the just recently departed Diana Ross and the late Michael Jackson did their best to reframe and appropriate the Baum story for African-America in the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement (or Fraudulent Civil Rights Fiasco) of the 1950s-60s…. I have never been comfortable Easing on Down the Road with them in that direction…. although my grandfather was a great supporter of alternative all black productions (now almost extinct) because they upheld and even developed, really and truly, the old segregationist’s doctrine of Separate but Equal (we actually attended the Wiz at the Majestic Theater on Broadway as well as an all black revival of Guys & Dolls in my one major summer with him (ever in my life) in 1976.

The Only Responsible Vote in France on Sunday 22 April 2012 is one for Marine Le Pen

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2132611/French-elections-2012-Marine-Le-Pen-responsible-vote-France.html

By RICHARD WAGHORNE

PUBLISHED: 06:26 EST, 20 April 2012 | UPDATED: 09:20 EST, 20 April 2012

France’s politics would appear to be in deceptively rude health. As Sunday’s first stage of the country’s two-round presidential election approaches, the vital indicators return vivid signs of life.

Mass meetings in Paris and elsewhere have drawn numbers and passion hard to imagine in some parts of an exhausted Western Europe. Online politics has made an impact for the first time. There is a choice on the ballot paper of ten candidates, ranging as fully from right to left as from plausible to eccentric. 

France’s rarely quiescent intellectuals have offered their customary profusion of commentary on the country’s choices.  

Marine Le Pen, who heads France's National Front party, has highlighted the country's right to defend its national identityMarine Le Pen, who heads France’s National Front party, has highlighted the country’s right to defend its national identity

What France has not confronted honestly is the likelihood that this is the final French election for some time in which the country will vote on its future with an acceptable degree of control over its own destiny. The erosion of French self-government has been commissioned from within and awaits to be ratified from without.

Nicholas Sarkozy has campaigned on the theme of a ‘Strong France’. His speeches consciously allude to the Fifth Republic’s founder General de Gaulle, praising an ‘Eternal France’ Sarkozy himself has never been in danger of embodying. Rather, he is the latest architect of the decline of French democracy to something bordering on irrelevance.

The most urgent, the most assiduously avoided challenge facing France is the erosion of its self-government. Sarkozy’s European policy has abetted the long-desired European federalism of the French political class, through means of government by decree from Brussels and the outright replacement of recalcitrant governments in Greece and Italy. 

In other European countries, the surface pretence of politics as usual has only been perpetuated by the craven compliance of hostage governments, as in Ireland. The fundamental deceit is that France herself is immune from the consequences of her president’s betrayal of other ancient European nations.

As the election campaign has demonstrated, this is not so to any extent which would return decisions over economic matters and identity to the French people. France’s banking system is critically exposed to the debts of the delinquent European margins, confirmed in Sarkozy’s last year in office by the trauma of a sovereign downgrade in a country where banks hold a status akin to proxies of the State. This very central standing in French public life, with its implicit expectation of support in crisis, was not enough to convince ratings-agencies of their durability – precisely because it is in question whether the French State possesses the capacity to deliver such support if required. 

Although it is unlikely that this will come to pass, should Sarkozy secure re-election he would in all probability find himself faced with the appalling question of whether France herself could survive the humiliation of direction from Berlin and Brussels in the threatened eventuality of Spanish or Italian default.

Nicolas Sarkozy has campaigned on the theme of a ¿Strong France¿, but some feel he has helped to erode the country's independenceNicolas Sarkozy has campaigned on the theme of a ¿Strong France¿, but some feel he has helped to erode the country’s independence

Much as Friedrich Hayek caustically referred to ‘socialists of all parties’ in the age of British muddy centrism shared between Labour and the Conservatives before the rise of Margaret Thatcher, one might see the choice of leading candidates in France as that between Eurofederalists of various parties. Neither Nicholas Sarkozy nor the likely victor Socialist François Hollande differ in their deference to ever-closer union. Much of their respective programmes must accordingly be discounted entirely as the outlines of an agenda they would never give themselves the liberty to execute.

The insurgent hard-left challenger Jean-Luc Mélenchon numbers the old French Communist Party within his alliance, calls for revolution in Europe, and speaks to supporters who bring Soviet flags to his rallies. The only other candidates polling in double figures, save one, is the centrist François Bayrou who combines many of his opponents’ defects with few redeeming virtues of his own.

In present circumstances, given present choices, the only responsible vote in France next Sunday is a vote for Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front. This requires to be immediately qualified in several important respects:

Marine Le Pen believes France should leave the single currency in a bid to dodge any further fallout from the Euro crisisMarine Le Pen believes France should leave the single currency in a bid to dodge any further fallout from the Euro crisis

Le Pen’s protectionist economic policies are both foolish and futile. Her campaign has often been poor and indistinct. This is particularly culpable during a European crisis which ought to have given her party an opportunity unparalleled since inception and suggests serious limits in her own capabilities. 

Her efforts to regulate the political instincts of her party mitigate without cancelling out present reminders of its unacceptable past, most notable among which are her vocal and hot-headed father Jean-Marie Le Pen. 

Her stalwart defence of France’s right to perpetuate its national identity has forced Nicholas Sarkozy to give the issue a seriousness of attention he failed to grant it while office, but has sometimes been made by appeal to the lower instincts of the French electorate rather than the higher.

Marine Le Pen remains, among an imperfect choice in urgent times, the only candidate capable of saving France’s control over her finances, borders, and identity. 

She is the only candidate available to conservative voters advancing the case for an exit from the Euro, the one measure which if executed carefully might yet save France from being swamped by foreign debts amassed elsewhere in a European project largely of its own making. 

While Nicholas Sarkozy raises the prospect of securing French borders through withdrawal from the Schengen area, she possesses the requisite disdain for European entanglements which he all too comprehensively does not. Her defence of French national identity in the country with Europe’s most numerous Muslim minority is credible, whereas Sarkozy’s betrays his increasingly impotent opportunism. 

France next elects a president to the Élysée Palace in 2017. The most urgent question in this election ought to have been whether the next will matter much. There is no good reason as things stand to believe that France will escape the impotent slide into the morass of multiculturalism and bankrupt late European social democracy. 

COMMENTS:

I think he forgot to add that her party is the most democratic of them all. The FN is politically and ideologically closer to the UKIP and not the BNP! Marine Le Pen wants to cut down immigration to only a couple of thousand entries a year, I remember David Cameron having the same speech a couple of months ago. Does that make him a fascist too? Of course not, on the other hand accepting hundreds of thousands of immigrants a year in a country riddled with mass unemployment, with a serious housing, financial and social crisis would be an act of irresponsibility and is cruel to both French residents and future immigrants.- KT, Cambridge, 21/4/2012 15:44

what bothers me is peoples definition of fascism I think we need to look it up in a dictionary, the so called nazi party, were actually the national socialist workers party , so they were a national left wing party—when business and government come together, that is fascism .- the truth, wrexham, 21/4/2012 14:48

cp kent .Do you really believe that Adolf, the man of the volk and the leader of the National SOCIALISTS was ‘right wing’? Right wing means less State, not more. – chas warner, taunton uk, 20/4/2012 16:12———————————————————————————- I agree, but people think that right-wing means more state because socialist and the BBC keep calling anyone they don’t like, BNP, EDL etc… “FAR-RIGHT”. Anyone who has been on the BNP website and read their policies will know that they are left-wing. – Paul, Essex, 21/4/2012 14:16

Great – but this polemic is wrong about the F.N.’s protectionalist policies. It the LACK of protection against Chinese imports that has totally decimated our manufacturing industries – and brought great wealth to China and great poverty to the UK. I am all for international trade, but only when there is a level playing field. Our workers cannot be expected to compete against workers who are paid £2 a day, have no health and safety, who grossly pollute the environment, who have suicide nets around their factory, and have the greatest number of worker fatalities in the entire world. We cannot and should not, be forced to compete ‘on equal terms’ with such a nation, which is why the UK also needs protectionalist policies. Perhaps Madame le Penn could stand for the Westminster parliament too.- Ralphy, Salop, 21/4/2012 14:14

The Daily Mail should hope Mélenchon does well. The right would finally have a legitimate reason to moan about socialism!- Marcos, NW London, 21/4/2012 13:23

‘Ever wondered why the establishment hate the BNP so much? It’s not their immigration policy but their anti-banker/globalist policies!’ The Nazi Party was also anti-banker/globalist in its rhetoric. In the end though they colluded with heads of business in a corporatist state.– Marcos, NW London, 21/4/2012 13:19