Tag Archives: Soviet Union

AMERIKA: Advocating, Advancing, & Advertising Conservative Creativity (Brett Stevens)

http://www.amerika.org/politics/what-terrifies-the-right-wing/

What terrifies the right wing
Apr 27th, 2014 by Brett Stevens.
ancient_hope

The right-wing exhibits all the signs of a defeated group.

They launch counterattacks, but do not expect them to succeed. Their highest goal — both aboveground and underground — seems to be to lessen the decline, or to hold out waiting for some magic future day when judgment comes.

The aboveground Right formed of the accepted right-wing parties talks glowingly of “bipartisanship” and “pragmatism” but these compromises never work in their favor. The underground right phrase their ideas in such antisocial terms that they guarantee they will never be supported, creating a clubhouse where they can say naughty words but will never affect any change.

These are at best actions to hold back the defeat from further expansion, but they’re strictly rearguard. There is no seizing of the initiative. That is because the right has no hope it can succeed.

On the surface, their pessimism is understandable. Since 1789, the West has steadily turned leftward. After the first world war, this habit really picked up, and gained steam with the Great Depression when many starved and socialism seemed like a tempting idea. Then WWII happened, and after that, the disaster of revelations about the Soviets who were out-of-the-closet totalitarians that the left had been cheering for for the previous three decades.

This is why the one thing that disturbs the Right, terrifies them and drives them into rage is a simple thing:

Hope.

They don’t dare hope for real change. That puts everything on the line. With hope, they have something to lose. With hope, there’s a chance they might fail. After years of feeling beaten, marginalized and thoroughly out-maneuvered, hope is too much to ask. Seeing it drives them into a tempest of doubt, resentment and neurotic self-criticism.

But perhaps they should reconsider.

As the saying goes, “it’s always darkest just before dawn,” and the right should take this to heart. Liberalism is like most terrible ideas a process that works so long as it is not tested. Whenever it comes up against reality, it implodes.

Most people support liberalism for social reasons. They want their friends to think they’re nice. They want to expand the franchise to as many people as possible, and attract people to their personal projects and ideas. Chanting popular ideas that make it seem like our society is not decaying inward, but actually succeeding, gives everybody warm feelings. And then out come the pocketbooks.

At the same time, people are tiring of perpetual war. Liberalism knows one mode: revolution. It phrases all of its reforms as wars for progress. After lifetimes at war, people stop believing. They begin to feel that sinking feeling, like the best years of their lives perhaps were misspent.

Right now, the West is experiencing a let-down. We were told in 1968 that when the hippies took over, human goodness would reign. What we got instead was endless corruption, a broken system and multiplication of the social problems we had in the past. The more we try to buy our way out of depressions with socialism, the more our money becomes worthless and our society breaks down.

People are ready for change. The Right isn’t ready for them.

There are two forms of hope. One is waiting for a god or outside force to intervene and save you. This doesn’t work so well, in my experience. The other is to take hope in the work of your hands, in your knowledge of reality, and the ability to apply logic and solve problems. That is the kind of hope that the Right needs.

And yet, they fear it. They fear taking those steps. As if the whole thing might unravel…

Let me distill it for them: you have nothing to lose. If the pattern continues, the progressives/leftists/liberals will run everything into the ground and leave you with a country that resembles a hybrid between Brazil and the former Soviet Union. They will do this to all of the West because liberalism is a pathological ideology and they will go swiftly into denial until the end.

With nothing to lose, it’s time for the Right to make its move. 200 years ago we were the establishment; now, we’re the counter-establishment. We represent a new (relative to what has been done) way of doing things. Our ideas have the grandeur of a historic past that was better in every way outside of the leftist ideology.

People like me enrage the Right. I bring to them hope based in the idea that we can solve our problem of social decay like any other problem: by studying it, figuring out a goal, and breaking down the problem into steps toward that goal.

To adopt that idea would mean that they would have to abandon their comfy clubhouses, and their bipartisan agreements that make everyone rich, and their nasty habit of screaming invectives at the TV screen and feeling superior about themselves but doing nothing. It would mean putting their beliefs on the line. Acting, not chattering.

They are afraid to give up what they have for an uncertain future. That’s understandable. But it’s also why we need bravery. In all areas of life, we must take a leap of faith from what we know to what is new, and conquer it.

When they hear me say that, their rage intensifies. In their minds, I am attacking what they have and trying to destroy it. But what they have is on a path to inevitable failure if they do not change course.

Instead of placing our future hope in events that will not happen, let us work to fix it. This requires relatively few steps, the first of which is to raise a bunch of noise and make it clear what we represent. It means getting out of armchair. But if we follow the path of hope, we can create a new future.

Posted in: Politics.
Tagged: bipartisanship · conservatism · decay · decline

A Prayer for True Memory and History on the 206th Anniversary of the Birth of Robert Edward Lee, Commanding General of the Army of Northern Virginia, President of Washington & Lee University

Since December 9, 2012, I have been staying in the French Quarter, about a 20 minutes to half an hour leisurely walk to Lee Circle where a high pedestal support’s a statute of one of Virginia’s most famous sons, forever looking north because “you never turn your back on the enemy.”  My grandparents raised me to celebrate Marse’ Robert’s birthday and remember and study his life and heroism, both before, during and after the War Between the States.  I have never had any problem keeping his memory because I think he represents all the good values that were and ever could be called “American”—he was an exceedingly intelligent man of principles including loyalty and devotion, hard work, individual responsibility, skill and excellence.

This year I have not yet visited Confederate Memorial Hall, just south of Lee Circle.  It is probably the longest I have ever been in New Orleans without paying at least a quick visit, and there are many reasons for this but one is that it is no longer officially called “Confederate Memorial Hall” but has been recently rechristened “Louisiana’s Civil War Museum at Confederate Memorial Hall.”

Nothing is more insulting to Lee’s Memory or to the Heritage of the South in general and the Confederate States of America in particular than to refer to the War of 1861-1865 as “the Civil War.”  From the Southern adn Confederate standpoints, that War was as much the “American Civil War” as World Wars I and II were the “European Civil Wars.”   The analogy is fair enough only to the degree that after World War II, first the European Economic Community (E.E.C.) and then the European Union both sought to transform Europe into a new, single Continental Nation.  

The first movie ever filmed to be seen commercially by more than a million people was D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation”, released in 1915, based on a historical novel entitled “the Klansman.”  The new nation born during and after the War Between the States was a centralized Republic with a top-heavy Federal Bureaucracy modeled very generally on the economic controls imposed top down from the Imperial Central in the later Roman Empire in a manner which has come to be known as “Byzantine.”

On this 206th Anniversary of the Birth of Robert Edward Lee, son of  Governor Light Horse “Harry” Lee of Virginia, I pray that the honour and integrity of the South will be properly remembered, along with Lee’s individual, unique and irreplaceable, un-reproducable honour and integrity.  

I pray that people will start learning history more fully and accurately, and above all critically, with the understanding that the victors always write history, but that victory in war is not in fact justice in the eyes of God, despite what many of us, including many of us Southerners, believe about the value of “trial-by-battle” in the Mediaeval sense of “Justice by Duel.”  

Even in Mediaeval legal theory, Duels were ONLY fairly calculated to result in a decision by God when the two parties to the duel are equally equipped, armed, trained and skillful.  The armor and the horses had to be comparable and equivalent, and a weaker person had the right to appoint a “champion” to fight in his or her place, as Ilsa von Brabant famously did in Richard Wagner’s opera “Lohengrin” which even preserved the notion of combat only coming “at high noon” so that the sun would be in neither combatant’s eyes at the outset.   The title of one of the finest Western movies about a duel, Gary Cooper’s “High Noon” (1950) also retains this reference to the equality of the Sun God (Shamash) who presided over such duels (judicially approved and jury-supervised “trials-by-combat”) even in Ancient Akkad, Asshur (Assyria), and Babylon.

I pray that even under the Dark Skies of the Obama Presidency and all the propaganda coming out in this day and age, that a more just and inquiring notion of history will prevail in the collective, cultural memory of America, and that the virtue and dignity of the Southern and Confederate Constitutional position be realized and recognized, and the glory given to the Victorious Yankee North be tempered by the reality that northern industrialism produced the same identical level of misery and deprivation among white workers as was chronicled by Charles Dickens in England and Victor Hugo in France.  

I pray that people will understand that if we weep for Fantine and her plight in Les Miserables (published precisely in 1862, during the first full year of the War Between the States), we must also recognize the condition of “Free” labor in the North and Europe was in a hundred ways worse and more depraved than the plight of black slaves in the South.  If in no other, this is true in one major regard: only an insane slaveholder would really work his slaves to death, without caring for them as human beings, in that slaves were wealth and capital, and senselessly to destroy the life or health of a slave was like throwing gold into the sea or burning paper money backed by real gold (unlike the trash Federal Reserve Notes we use today).

By contrast, as shown in Dickens’ writings and Hugo’s, and as analyzed by Karl Marx and Frederich Engels and their followers, “free” laborers in the mid-19th Century in the North had no life-long security whatsoever.  

As soon as the “free laborer’s” strength or health should start to fail, that free laborer’s productivity declined or perhaps he was eaten up by the very machines he tended due to “assumption of the risk” by accepting employment.  The “Free Labor” capitalist therefore had a strong motivation to dismiss his worn out workers and throw them into the streets, a version of the “hellish life” captured in Les Miserables was worse than death itself. This reality was revisited (1998) by Joss Whedon in an Episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer called “Anne” in which the residents of Hell work in a 19th Century style factory until they are exhausted and old (in just a short time as it turns out) and thrown back out on the streets of modern Los Angeles to live as homeless derelicts.

All these realities need to be weighed against the supposed virtuous abolition of slavery. And accordingly, I pray that people will begin to think and remember and reflect not only about the history of the 19th century, but of the 20th and even our own times.  Were we the victors REALLY the more virtuous parties in World Wars I and II, for example?  In World War I, the answer is a fairly certain absolute NO.  In World War II, the mythology has grown into a reality and even a political constitution and ecumenical social theory so thick that it is almost impenetrable.  

But if we look, again, at the details, and if we dare to compare the early German rockets or “Buzz Bombs” sent by Wernher von Braun against London in 1944-45 with the American A-Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I think we will see that the American weapons were a far more sinister manifestation of technology.  What about the senseless fire-bombing of Dresden in 1945 when the war was almost over?  

Then if we look at the Soviets, whom we supported, and what they did to their own populations (Stalin’s purge of “the Kulaks” for instance, beginning in 1928), was our side as a whole really better than the Germans?

Even if the worst stories are true about German antisemitism, “ethnic cleansing”, and other population reorganizations and purges, no one can state that the Germans actually moved or relocated anywhere nearly as many millions of people as the Soviets and their allies forcibly relocated from the German sectors of East and West Prussia, Silesia, Posen, Danzig, and Eastern Pomerania, even as millions of Poles were uprooted and moved East to replace the Eastern quarter of Germany, after 1945-46.  

The Germans of the Sudetenland were also expelled from their homes of time immemorial.  The thousand year old Eastern boundary of the German people was moved back across Poland and Czechoslovakia to fit Stalin’s plans.  Again, who was guilty of greater genocidal crimes?  Or did Stalin’s relocations of the Poles, the Belarus, the Ukrainians, and the Germans count for nothing?

An since the war, have not the Allied Powers faithfully reenacted the predictions of perpetual war as framed by George Orwell in “1984“?  Have not the Communists become indistinguishable from the Corporate leaders they supposedly fought to overthrow as Orwell similarly predicted in “Animal Farm“?  Is there not evidence that, at least since Pearl Harbor and possibly since the explosion of the Battleship Maine, the United States Government has staged more than a hundred years of False Flag attacks against its own people to make certain that this condition of perpetual warfare exists and that there are more and more justifications (like the Sandy Hook shootings in Connecticut most recently) to curtail the fundamental freedoms and liberties for which George Washington, and Robert E. Lee, spent their lives fighting?

I pray that Americans will start waking up and thinking about reality, and observe the contradictions inherent in all things, but especially in our official versions of history, and that we will work to examine our past, our present, and our futures to discover and establish deeper and more meaningful truths about the sad story which is the epic of human history.

May everyone in the World in fact look to Robert Edward Lee and the Confederate States of America as emblematic of justice defeated, of liberty lost, and of the dangers of using imbalanced thinking and propaganda as tools of social change. 

As I have written a thousand times if I’ve written it once: Chattel Human Slavery was abolished everywhere in the world (as an openly and officially legal institution, anyhow….) between 1790 and 1930. ONLY in the United States of America did the abolition of legal chattel slavery result in war, and what a coincidence that this happened 13 years after the Communist Manifesto, in a Republican Administration with so many German Communist refugees from Europe in charge, and with Karl Marx’ official blessings and endorsements—none of facts which are EVER taught in American Middle or High School history classes…

Argo, Iran, and the September 1-6 New Horizon International Independent Film Festival & Conference in Tehran

Three weeks ago, on September 29, 2012, I attended a lecture by Mark Weber at the Institute for Historical Review headquartered in Newport Beach, Orange County, California.  It was a major eye-opener for me, and I would encourage anyone and everyone interested in international politics to listen to what Mark Weber had to say:  http://www.ihr.org/audio/MWIran092912.mp3.  

As a matter of fact, as I told Mark Weber after his speech, I think this presentation should be required listening in every college, high school, and army and navy recruitment center in the USA…..especially the latter.

Weber’s address focused on the questions of whether Iran poses a threat of nuclear or convention aggression in the West Asian arena, whether Iran has or plans to acquire or develop nuclear weapons, and whether the Israeli Prime Minister’s recent “saber rattling” against Iran rests on any rational basis.  

Weber answered summarily and categorically “no” to each of these questions, and as background discussed his recent visit to Tehran to speak at the conference held in conjunction with the First Independent International Filmmakers Festival “New Horizon” sponsored by: http://indfilmfest.com/ujcke3, held from September 1-September 6 of this year.

Apparently very few Americans were in attendance, owing doubtless to Iran’s reputation in this country as part of what our penultimate President W. Bush called “Axis of Evil” along with current member North Korea and (former?) member Libya.

Weber’s portrayal of Iran was certainly not of an evil nation or of a people anxious for war or “jihad” against the West, but Iran has had the dubious distinction of straddling all world conflicts as the largest truly “non-aligned” nation in Asia, throughout the 20th and now 21st centuries.  Iran stayed out of World Wars I and was only drawn into World War II, “kicking and screaming” by a joint British-Soviet invasion to secure the oilfields of the country, and Iran declared war on Germany in 1943 and thus became eligible for membership in the newly envisioned but then only just barely nascent United Nations.

What happened after World War II in Iran was one of the least known but most decisive events in shaping the Cold-War and Post-Cold War environments in Europe.

To wit, in 1951, a Democratic-Social reformer  Prime Minister of Iran Mohammed Mosaddeq (also “Massaddegh”), appointed by the Shah, persuaded the Iranian parliament to nationalize the British-owned oil industry, in what became known in the international press as the Abadan Crisis.

The Shah owed his crown to British power and his wealth to British Oil, but he did little or nothing to stop or restrain Mossaddegh. Despite British pressure, including an economic blockade, the nationalization and seizure of all British Oil Interests continued. Mossadegh (the 60th Prime Minister of Iran) left office briefly 1952 but was quickly re-appointed by the shah as the 62nd prime minister, due to a popular uprising in Mossadegh’s support. The Shah himself went briefly into exile in August 1953 after a failed military coup by Imperial Guard Colonel Nematollah Nassiri.  

Then  on August 19, 1953, a successful coup was organized by the American (CIA) with the active support of the British (MI6) (known as Operation Ajax).   The nominal leader of this coup was headed by a retired army general Fazlollah Zahedi.   The coup included a propaganda campaign of disinformation and outright lies designed to turn the population against Mossaddegh, finally forced Mossaddegh from office.

These events of sixty years ago have lingered bitterly in the memory of Iranians of all classes until the present time. Mossadegh was arrested and tried for treason. Found guilty, his sentence reduced to house arrest on his family estate while his foreign minister, Hossein Fatemi, was executed. Zahedi succeeded him as prime minister.  The new British and American supported regime suppressed all opposition to the Shah, specifically the National Front and Communist Tudeh Party.

Last year on this blog I described Josh Tickell’s movie “The Big Fix” as the best documentary ever produced in the United States.  It covered the history of Mossadegh’s deposition by the British oil interests as one of the key starting points for understanding British Petroleum’s complete indifference to democracy and human life seen throughout the 2010 “Deep Horizon” Oil spill and its aftermath off the coast of Louisiana.  

Earlier this year, other pundits proclaimed Dinesh D’Souza’s “Obama 2016″ as the greatest documentary of all time, but D’Souza would clearly NOT have felt at home at the International Filmmaker’s conference in Tehran because of his vociferous support of Israel, and his criticism of Obama for taking a “soft” stance against Iran and the “threat” it poses.

All this brings up a very interesting point, ONLY radicals (of both the right and left) ever have anything good to say about Iran and/or anything bad to say about Israel.  Dinesh D’Souza singled out Dr. Edward Said (Ph.D. 1964, Harvard GSAS) as one of Obama’s personal “Founding Fathers.” Ironically enough Said was a nearly exact contemporary and sometime classmate (in English Literature) together with my late father.  According to Dinesh D’Souza, Said influenced Obama against Israel and shaped his thinking about the Post-Colonial World.  

Again, readers of this Blog know that I despise Barack Hussein Obama with the bloodiest of purple passions, but I cannot say a single bad thing about Edward Said, no do I think that Said was a socialist or anti-American in any of the ways Obama quite clearly is. Indeed, it is somewhat ironic to me that Dinesh D’Souza would attack Said, since they are both Christians born in populations which are overwhelmingly “something else”).

Quite aside from the fact that my father had known him in graduate school, and always spoke highly of him, I attended at least two dozen lectures by Said over the course of about 30 years from New Orleans 70118 to Cambridge 02138 and from New Haven 06511 to Chicago 60637.  I was never once less than overwhelmed by his erudition and articulate presentation of the relationship between the Arab-Islamic and Anglo-Christian worlds.  Said was born Jerusalem to Palestinian Christian parents (his mother hailed from Jesus’ town of Nazareth), and Said advocated justice for the non-Jewish Palestinian Arabs, both Christian and Muslim.  

Whether D’Souza has justly grouped Said with Obama or not, the perception of most “mainstream” conservatives (and centrist liberals) in the United States is that only radicals of the left or right could possibly say anything bad about Israel or anything good about Iran.  Despite admiring Edward Said almost as much as D’Souza claims Obama does, I am generally of a radical right-wing persuasion, if any at all.

Among the radical rightists who have supported Iran are David Duke of Louisiana, whose commentaries on the (in many ways inspiring, and technically irreproachable) movie The 300 (about the Spartan resistance at Thermopylae—a name which means “Hot Springs” in Greek) show how certain pro-Israeli propagandists were preparing to turn the American population against Iran by massive disinformation equivalent to the old American & British Campaigns against Mossaddegh.  See especially: http://www.davidduke.com/?p=2381 “The Movie 300: Neocon Racial Propaganda for War.”

Now I cannot sympathize in the least with David Duke’s obsessive antisemitism, but (again ironically), Duke in all his commentaries on Iran directly echoes Edward Said in his judgment that American perceptions of Iran rest on media disinformation and politically motivated mischaracterizations intended to dehumanize the people of Iran.  

I am probably the only person on planet earth to see a major analytical parallel between David Duke’s racial politics and Edward Said’s post-Colonial, post-modern deconstruction of American popular culture perceptions of Iran. But my analysis fits in with the routine conundrum it is to say that ONLY the radical left-and-right wingers oppose Israel.  

The late William F. Buckley once (back in the 1970s I think, during or shortly after the Henry Kissinger era) satirically commented that so central was Israel to American National Defense Policy that it would make sense to admit Israel as the 51st state of the Union.  Buckley noted in support of this proposal that the 4500 air miles from Washington D.C. to Honolulu are only approximately 1000 miles less than the distance from Washington to Tel Aviv…. and that Guam remains a recognized U.S. Territory at 9,000 miles from Washington….

Mark Weber highlighted, as has Representative Ron Paul, that Israel remains to this day the center of U.S. Foreign Policy—more critical in so many ways than the U.K., Germany, or Japan—

Men of my father’s and grandfather’s generation read the poetry of the East as part of a “Gentleman’s education” (only partly as Colonialists in Said’s interpretation, but also as men seeking deeper understanding of the wisdom of the world, especially in conjunction with the mysticism of their beloved Scottish Rite Freemasonry.

As Mark Weber emphasized, most modern American perceptions divorce the people of Iran from their deep historical traditions of literate civilization, which has produced some of the most distinctive poetry and philosophy of both the pre-Islamic (e.g. Zoroastrian Zend-Avesta) and Islamic (e.g. Ferdowsi’s “Book of Kings” or Shahnama followed by the Sufi [“Sophy”] poets Rumi [The Masnavi and Divan-e Shams], Sadi, Hafiz Shirazi, and Al-Ghazali [e.g. “Alchemy of Happiness”] not to mention Scheherazade’s Thousand and one Nights which I, like countless generations of schoolboys before me, grew up reading in awe and fascination of the “mysterious orient”).

The concept of “mysterious east, land of snake charmers and flying carpets” got at least passing message in Ben Affleck’s new movie Argo which I finally got to see last night (October 19)—delayed by my going on two weeks in Fresno—but Peyton and I finally discovered that they DO have cinemas here…. and we desperately needed a break from the Medical Marijuana/Federal vs. State power constitutional controversies we’ve been working on.  

Argo is an excellent movie, whether you remember just how ashamed you were to be traveling abroad during America’s most disgraceful 444 days in history from November 4 1979-January 20 1981, or whether you’re of the modern (born, like my own son Charlie, in 1992 or after) generation for whom even the name of President Jimmy Carter conjures up nothing more than a little bit of a vague and fuzzy memory that he might or might not have been the first peanut farming Navy Officer from Georgia ever to become President…. and the first (and last) U.S. President to be born in the DEEP South (which does not include Texas) since before the War Between the States of 1861-65.

I remember the Iranian Revolution distinctly and I remember thinking it was a very bad thing.  The Shah had favored the modernization and Westernization of Iran—women could wear dresses without veils and things like that.  

The outrages of the Oil-Based Political Economy became intolerable in 1973—but not only did the American people accept that status quo without revolution, they did not seek to punish the oil companies for their price-gouging and irrational profiteering and the wild fluctuations in the price of oil (with a steady and inexorable upward trend) that has become a permanent feature of our lives…..

In any event, Argo did not “trash” the Islamic Revolutionary Iranians but it portrayed them very much as I remember them from the “mainstream media” in 1979-1981.  They were definitely America’s enemies.  At Chichén Itzá on my archaeological project, one of my student assistants Rafael “Rach” Cobos Palma used to go around with a towel on his head (before “towel-head” was considered a politically incorrect racist epithet) chanting “Death to America” and periodically trying to rattle me by reporting fictitious news items that the price of oil had doubled or tripled and the dollar had accordingly collapsed…. He thought this was the funniest thing on earth since back in those days I was working in Mexico on that extremely advantageous dollar-to-peso exchange rate that prevailed throughout the 1980s.  

Argo was basically historically truthful in all details, so far as I can tell anyhow.  The cast and script were both beyond reproach, from Affleck’s heroic role as Anthony Mendez to John Goodman’s predictably brilliant and humorous performance as John Chambers [Clea Helen D’etienne DuVall has certainly had a fascinating career since she played Marcie Ross the invisible girl in the First Season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer—Episode 11 “Out of Mind, Out of Sight”.]

In any event—Argo reminded me of the first time I bitterly reflected on Iran as a true humiliation to the United States.  We (our UK and US governments and the American and British oil cartels whcih control our governments) created the Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlavi as an absolute monarch.  He had started out, during his early post-war years as a young King, apparently in favor of Mossaddegh and Constitutional Democracy) and supported him blindly, ignoring the unhappiness of the vast majority of the people of Iran.  

Reza Pahlevi ended his life and career envisioned by many of his people as a blood-sucking vampire.  But the US supported the Shah and, as Argo clearly showed, our intelligence did not anticipate, perceive, or recognize any threat to his rule as late as a month before he fell in 1978.  Our country was then humiliated by the Revolutionary Guard of the nascent Islamic Republic over and over again, not least when Ross Perot sent in a private paramilitary team which literally crashed and burned….

When I first heard that Ronald Reagan might have authorized or encouraged Oliver North to purchase Iranian weapons for the Contras of Iran, my first reaction was that Reagan was aiding and abetting the enemies of the United States and should be impeached for treason—and how could Reagan have done it when he knew all about the hostage crisis and how the Iranians had made us look like mental and moral midgets….McDonald’s munching morons whose only values were comfort and pleasure obtainable with the least possible effort….in thought or work.

Mark Weber’s perspective on Ahmadinejad marks the most major, thoughtful counterposition to the mainstream media views, which were (to the extent they were reasonable) formed and shaped by the Iranian Islamic Revolution and the Hostage Crisis, in which the Iranian actors played the parts of the most-grotesquely brutal haters of America.  As bad as the American role in the Shah’s rise and evolution as a tyrant may have been, there was not a single member of the embassy staff who could possibly have been held responsible.  The Iranians, as shown in Argo were just formulaically bullying their prize captive Americans as spies….and threatening them all with kangaroo trials and public executions…..

So Iran has suffered from its status as a Non-Aligned nation with significant oil wealth—it was reduced to a quasi-Colonial status right at the end of the Colonial Period, in the early 1950s—and was the first example of a nation colonized primarily for Oil—Oil at any cost, oil above all other human values.   

Mark Weber of the Institute of Historical Review gave a wonderful presentation—he is mostly conceived as a right-winger, although a much more academically respectable right-winger than “Dr.” David Duke with his degree from a rather obscure “Management” school (MAUP) in the Ukraine… 

Equally respectable and more directly politically active than Duke, currently, with less seemingly preposterous baggage, was another American in attendance at the New Horizon Independent Film-Fest in Tehran, Merlin Miller.  Merlin Miller is the Presidential candidate of the newly formed American Third Position “AP3” Party, which just came into existence in or about January 2010, formed and chaired by William D. Johnson, a Nippono-philic Los Angeles lawyer  currently running for Congress in Michigan’s “open” 11th Congressional District.  Merlin Miller has apparently only achieved ballot access in 3 states for the November election and California is not one of them.

What does it say about the United States that the only Americans of any note willing to attend a film festival in Iran are two solid right-wingers (Weber & Miller) and apparently several black film-makers and artists from the extreme left of Detroit and Miami?  Apparently, “core” Hollywood and Beverly Hills media figures were all but totally absent and unrepresented. 

And at this conference in Tehran, I get the impression that very little was said about the American popular conception of Iran—even a relatively positive perspective as formed in Josh Tickell’s 2011 The Big Fix, the mostly neutral but historically accurate portrayal in 2012’s Argo or the negative (but not particularly highlighted) view of Iran suggested in D’Souza’s Obama 2016.

Cultural exchange combined with political dialogue would, in my opinion, produce positive results between Iran and the US—and the American People MUST somehow become educated.  Mark Weber reports and I have independently confirmed that certain polls have shown that 71% of the U.S. population believe that Iran now possesses Nuclear Weapons.  

After the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” lies that roped us into Iraq—into COLONIZING Iraq—the American public DESERVE to hear Mark Weber and Merlin Miller speaking out about their recent first hand experience with the Iranian people and in particular with President Ahmadinejad. 

Curbing (Abolishing) Official Immunity for Federal and State Officers: Executive, Judicial, and Legislative, following where Senators Sam Ervin & Strom Thurmond of North & South Carolina led the way

The “law” of absolute judicial immunity not only cannot be found in the Constitution nor in any statute, but in fact offends the Constitution and common sense, when articulated as follows:

     Judges enjoy absolute immunity from liability for damages for acts performed in their judicial capacities.  Immunity exists for “judicial” actions; those relating to a function normally performed by a judge and where the parties understood they were dealing with the judge in his official capacity. 
      The policy behind this principle is that judges must be free to act in a manner they view proper without fear of subsequent personal liability.  This rule is deemed essential to preserve judicial independence.  
       A judge’s errors may be corrected on appeal, but he should not have to fear that dissatisfied litigants may hound him with litigation charging malice or corruption. Imposing such a burden on judges would contribute not to principled and fearless decision-making but to intimidation.
      The immunity afforded judges is quite broad and applies to all acts performed in the exercise of judicial functions. Judges are immune from liability even for corrupt or malicious acts. Liability exists only where a judge acted in the “clear absence” of all jurisdiction or performed an administrative task not embraced within the judge’s judicial duties.
Olney v. Sacramento Bar Association, 212 Cal.App.3d 807, 260 Cal.Rptr. 842 (July 28, 1989)(citations omitted).

Obviously, being a judge by these standards rights right up there with the Divine Right of Kings or even divinity itself!  Nice work if you can get it, I guess, but can we tolerate such immunity for judges, prosecutors, and even (effectively) for the police and other officers of executive and judicial function if we are to remain in any sense a free society?  “Jurisdiction” limits judicial power, as do doctrines of “judicial discretion”—but if immunity remains absolute, regardless, and only clumsy, indirect, highly technical, and cumbersome appellate remedies exist, do judges not in fact rise higher in the real power hierarchy of earth than all the gods of the Ancient Nile, Greek Olympus and Norse Valhalla combined, inferior only to the One Creator of the Universe, who for unknown reasons rarely intervenes directly in human affairs?

I oppose all sorts of official immunity: executive, legislative, and judicial, but I especially deplore and oppose absolute immunity for judges to take actions without jurisdiction which infringe upon or violate constitutional rights.  If elected to the United States Senate, I promise to fight vigorously to construe all civil rights laws to apply to judicial and prosecutorial misconduct, as well as to executive “police actions” and legislatively authorized derogations from the Bill of Rights and other fundamental constitutional protections.  I will work to strengthen and ensure the colorblind, race neutral, application and construction of 42 U.S.C. §§1983, 1985, 1986, and 1988, which the Courts currently only apply and construe in favor of African-Americans (and occasionally but atypically Hispanics or Asians) against Whites.   White Caucasian Americans must have equal rights to assert violations of their Civil Rights, even when the civil rights involve commercial,  contractual, or proprietary violations rather than race-based violations, but as I have often stated on this blog, I do contend that the judicial constructions of 28 U.S.C. §1443 and 42 U.S.C. §1981-1982 actually DO constitute race-based infringements upon the equal rights of White Caucasian Americans to invoke the provisions of these statutes in their own defense in cases of non-race-based discrimination and oppression under color of law.  But now on to the general concept of immunity, and the roles of Senators Sam Ervin and Strom Thurmond in fighting these concepts.

“POLITICAL PROCESS” labels the mechanism by which societies allocate decision-making authority.  “AUTHORITY” means “POWER”.  “POWER without CONSEQUENCES FOR ABUSE” defines “ABSOLUTE POWER”, and “ABSOLUTE POWER” equates (in societies possessing relatively well-developed judicial systems) with “ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY” from civil suit or criminal prosecution for official derogations, deviations, excessive use or application, infringement, or violations of any stated limits on power or action, especially when these result in the derogation, infringement, or violation of the rights or powers of others.   English Political language contains an ancient aphorism that “Absolute Power corrupts Absolutely.”  In my opinion, that aphorism needs to be expanded as a constitutional norm that “Absolute Immunity corrupts Absolutely.”  And the simple truth is that in modern America, both Federal and State Officers, Executive, Judicial, and Legislative, possess something very close to absolutely immunity for all crimes, torts, and violations of the constitution which they may choose to commit in their “official capacity.”  

This problem stands as a central focus of my life and career since at least 1995 when I first perceived that Family Court Judges in Texas possessed unreasonable power and discretion to infringe on the Constitutional rights of litigants in family court actions, and that the law itself, through such hopelessly vague concepts as the statutory power of Family Court Judges to rule “in the best interests of the child” when a marriage is “irretrievably broken” constituted a wild derogation from the constitutional norms of due process of law applicable in every other field.  “Best interests of the child”, and/or “irretrievably broken” as formally enacted statutory norms, constitute extreme legislative breaches and violation of constitutional rights to due process and equal protection, in my humble opinion.

On February 15, 2012, an opinion came down from a Florida District Court of Appeal which reversed a final decision rendered 19 days after my fiftieth birthday in 2010, on the grounds that “the circuit court did not have jurisdiction to render a final order disposing of the case.”  “A trial court lacks jurisdiciton to render a final order while an appeal from a non-final order in the same case is pending and, if the trial court does so, the final order is a nullity.”  “A trial court may proceed in a cause pending a non-final appeal and dispose of any matter not in form or effect interfering with the power and authority of the appellate court to make its jurisdiction effective, but the trial court may do so only short of final disposition.”  “This may all sound like legal gobbledegook to some…but jurisdiction is not a question a court can take or leave, and a judgment entered without jurisdiction is void.”  Many other aspects of this case offer promise and possess extreme interest to all who care deeply about the Constitution as a guiding light for the life of the United States of America, but those aspects must await the briefing of a Motion for Rehearing and, eventually, remand to the Circuit Court from whence this particular appeal arose.

In citing and quoting this very recent decision of an intermediate appellate court in Florida, I mean only to ask the question: should a judge so described by his immediate court of appeals not be held personally liable for acting in the complete absence of jurisdiction?  If his actions caused harm, why should any immunity at all attach to “judicial conduct” undertaken without jurisdiction, since “jurisdiction is not a question a court can take or leave, and a judgment entered without jurisdiction is void.”  

Only the bravest and most eccentric and idiosyncratic of all recent politicians have ever dared to confront the question of immunity head on.  Among these are Sam Ervin and Strom Thurmond.

The Senatorial career of North Carolina Senator Sam Ervin began and ended with questions of legislative and executive immunity, respectively, which rocked the nation between 1954 and 1974, respectively, namely the investigations into the conduct of Wisconsin Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy (1908-1957) and President Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1994).  

Ervin’s 1954 role in leading to the censure of Senator McCarthy for making irresponsible allegations constitutes a curious (and effectively unique) abrogation of or exception to the most basic and fundamental concepts of “legislative immunity” in that McCarthy’s conduct which Ervin’s inquiry deemed “censurable” occurred almost entirely in the context of Senate Debate’s and proceedings, and consisted entirely of verbal conduct.  In that sense, McCarthy’s censure differed from all but one of the other nine censures rendered by the Senate in United States history, which mostly commonly have concerned non-debate related issues such as financial irregularities (Hiram Bingham 1929, Thomas J. Todd 1967, Herman Talmadge 1979, and David Durenberger 1990), physically fighting on the Senate Floor (Benjamin R. Tillman and John L. McLaurin 1902) and breaches of secrecy (Timothy Pickering 1811 and Benjamin Tappan 1844).  Of these eight, only Pickering’s conduct, a breach of secrecy during 1811, actually occurred on the Senate floor during Senate debates, and even so was only very vaguely comparable to the censure against McCarthy.  Senator Sam Ervin’s role in leading the censure of McCarthy is notable as the most severe censure ever for conduct almost clearly within the meaning of the Constitution’s Article I “debates” clause (protecting members of the U.S. House and Senate as “be[ing] privileged from Arrest during their attendance at the Session of their Respective Houses, and in going to and from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.”  In this connexion I consider Ervin’s role in prosecuting McCarthy historymaking: it shows (or at least suggests) that members of Congress must be held responsible for their role in obstructing or interfering with justice (and other constitutional rights) even while participating in senate proceedings.

As important and historical as Ervin’s early work with the investigation of Joseph McCarthy may have been), Ervin achieved immortality by his monumental and most memorable role on the world stage as Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Watergate, 1973-1974. Richard Milhous Nixon’s extremely ambiguous place in United States and World history began as a communist-baiter (in the House, largely contemporaneous with McCarthy’s in the Senate), but ended as a communist-appeaser (seeking “Detente” with the Soviet Union and beginning the “sellout” of America to Maoist China), whom the Senate (including Republicans such as Barry Goldwater) forced to resign because of a twisted and bizarre serial episode of abuses of Presidential power in connexion with the Watergate Scandal.  Senator Sam Ervin earned worldwide reverence as  advocate for the nation’s conscience while this writer was in High School in Hollywood, California.  Senator Sam Ervin’s final year in the Senate oversaw the collapse of the Nixon Presidency, in large part due to Sam Ervin’s commitment AGAINST Executive Privilege (as Nixon referred to his claim of immunity from prosecution or even inquiry regarding his domestic actions taken as President against American citizens in the name of National Security).  

As an aside, I pledge that if I should achieve election to the United States Senate—Senator Sam Ervin would serve as my role-model on almost every issue.  I would fight both legislative and executive immunity and simultaneously uphold the Bill of Rights against all legislative infractions including the “no knock” laws which Ervin fought, which have now become routine nationwide.  Ervin, like his South Carolina cohort Strom Thurmond, feared the advent of the Police State in America long before it became fashionable or even acceptable to do so among most of the Southern and Western U.S. Middle Class—who have a terrible habit of confusing and conflating their perfectly reasonable political opposition to cultural social change with a need for legal repression and suspension of the Constitution.   All constitutionalists must deplore such confusion and conflation, for without the Constitutional protections for our freedom, no hope remains for our traditional cultural or social norms whatsoever.

Now, ironically enough, everything that Nixon did (and covered up) during Watergate is now not only legal, in the aftermath of Federal “National Security” legislation passed in 1996-2011), but Nixon’s (and his White House staff’s) conduct and career of constitutional infringements and violations pales and seems of little consequence or importance compared with what President’s now have “statutory authority” to do.  The recent National Defense Authorization Act, in particular, provides legislative statutory authority for the president to order “indefinite detention” of “terrorists” which (as a pair of connected concepts subject to wildly abusive application) is exactly analogous to the vaguest provisions of family law mentioned above regarding judicial authority to rule and render in the “best interests of the child” whenever a marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

I have in any event focused on the career of North Carolina Senator Sam Ervin because he was one of my first “media heroes” and I first dreamed of studying and applying myself to the resuscitation of American Constitutional Law while watching him preside over the Watergate hearings.

Less known and less famous (and much less politically correct in the modern context) to celebrate is Senator Sam Ervin’s role as the co-author of the “Southern Manifesto” with Senators Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Richard Russell of Georgia.   The “politically correct” way to look at this document requires calling it a reactionary racist response to Brown v. Board of Education and the subsequent orders of the Supreme Court of the United States requiring school desegregation.  But forced desegregation and integration caused social chaos, first in the South, and only slightly later in the North, causing murderous race-riots even in such “liberal” citadels as Boston, Massachusetts through the mid-1970s.   Just as I have often observed that Brazil never experienced anything approaching the level of racial hatred or tensions known in the United States, precisely because emancipation took place gradually and without force there in the Brazilian Empire (and in fact in every nation of the Americas EXCEPT first Haiti and then the United States), the use of force to accelerate the implementation of social change is almost always destructive.

The authors of the Southern Manifesto saw this destructive waive being unleashed by the Supreme Court in America, and they also perceived, correctly, that pitting black against white constituted a means of destabilizing society and increasing the power of the Federal government (in particular) over the people, and of accelerating the empowerment of the police state.  

The authors of the Southern Manifesto against forced school-integration rightly focused their criticisms on Chief Justice Earl Warren.  

As I like to point out, Earl Warren’s life-long commitment to civil rights manifested itself early on in his career as Attorney General and Governor of California when he supervised the hateful and purposeless, in fact counterproductive, internment of hundreds of thousands of (as the newsreels of the time and even early “Batman” movies recited over and over again) “shifty-eyed Japs”, the Second Generation or “Nisei” as they called themselves during World War II.  

In any event, Senators Sam Ervin and Strom Thurmond led the ultimately failing Southern Resistance against Earl Warren’s Court and what became, effectively, America’s Second “War Between the States”, although this time more ink spilled in the Courtrooms than blood on the streets.

For purposes of this present topic of immunity, I will end with my repeated hymn of praise to Senator Strom Thurmond for his crafty drafting of the 1996 Amendments to the Civil Rights Action, 42 U.S.C. §§1983, 1988(a).   The United States had handed down its most dramatic and emphatic “anti-Judicial Immunity” opinion in 1984, in the decision of Pulliam v. Allen, which has been my personal favorite Supreme Court decision for more than a quarter of a century now.  Pulliam v Allen 466 US 522 104 SCt 1970 80 LEd2d 565 (May 14 1984).  In 1996, Strom Thurmond proposed a relatively minor amendment to 42 U.S.C. §§1983 & 1988 to clarify the application of this provision to judicial officers.  Under Thurmond’s leadership, Congress amended the Civil Rights Statute to clarify that judges would only be liable for judicial actions taken “clearly in excess of jurisdiction” in the statute, and this language exactly tracks Justice Blackmun’s language in his opinion in Pulliam v. Allen (footnote 12) which reviews the tradition of limiting judicial immunity to matters “clearly within their cognizance” or “clearly within their jurisdiction”, in full (Blackmun here was in fact quoting Blackstone!).  Writing of the Judges of England, Blackstone in Volume 3 of his commentaries at pages 112-113 stated that if these Judges,

in handling of matters clearly within their cognizance, they transgress the bounds prescribed to them by the laws of England; as where they require two witnesses to prove the payment of a legacy, a release of tithes, or the like; in such cases also a prohibition will be awarded. For, as the fact of signing a release, or of actual payment, is not properly a spiritual question, but only allowed to be decided in those courts, because incident or accessory to some original question clearly within their jurisdiction; it ought therefore, where the two laws differ, to be decided not according to the spiritual, but the temporal law; else the same question might be determined different ways, according to the court in which the suit is depending: an impropriety, which no wise government can or ought to endure, and which is therefore a ground of prohibition. And if either the judge or the party shall proceed after such prohibition, an attachment may be had against them, to punish them for the contempt, at the discretion of the court that awarded it; and an action will lie against them, to repair the party injured in damages.

The Southern Manifesto co-authored by Sam Ervin & Strom Thurmond (and Richard Russell?) did not expressly cite Blackstone but began:

The unwarranted decision of the Supreme Court in the public school cases is now bearing the fruit always produced when men substitute naked power for established law.  The Founding Fathers gave us a Constitution of checks and balances because they realized the inescapable lesson of history that no man or group of men can be safely entrusted with unlimited power. They framed this Constitution with its provisions for change by amendment in order to secure the fundamentals of government against the dangers of temporary popular passion or the personal predilections of public officeholders.”

The consequences of this language include the assertion that public officeholders (including judges) must be liable for the consequences and injuries caused by their derogations from and violations of “established law.”  Just as in the recent Florida case decided above, where a judge enters a decision in violation of well-and-long established law relating to jurisdiction and scope of authority, that Judge renders nothing but a personal statement with personal consequences, for which that Judge should be personally liable.
I ask here: should any Judge enjoy immunity from prosecution for civil rights violations and/or suit for civil rights violations when that judge violates the letter of the Constitution, especially when a litigant points out that violation to the Court and no excuse (such as a Constitutionally declared war or surprise invasion) exists to suspend the Constitution temporarily…. and temporarily only… I have often had occasion to refer to 1996 USCCAN 4216-4217 which affirms that these amendments do not establish absolute immunity for judges.  I submit that Strom Thurmond authored the 1996 Amendments to the Civil Rights Action to ensure that Judges (like Chief Justice Earl Warren) could and would be held liable for their actions taken “clearly in excess of jurisdiction.”  Unfortunately, to date, neither the State nor Federal Courts have recognized the importance of these amendments, and continue to enforce Absolute Judicial Immunity.
The doctrine of “qualified immunity” also arose out of Watergate, particularly in the case of Mitchell v. Forsythe, 472 U.S. 511 (June 19, 1985) in which the Supreme Court limited former Attorney General John Mitchell to merely “qualified immunity” rather than “absolute immunity.”  Oddly enough, the standard the Supreme Court applied to the Attorney General of the United States involved a determination of what a “reasonable person” would know about the law (reasonably or unreasonably, most people in the United States today know almost nothing about the law, which explains why lawyers run amok and control the country).  Specifically, the Supreme Court held that the Attorney General of the United States would enjoy qualified immunity, “so long as his actions do not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.”
         Rather unsurprisingly, in practice, interlocutory appeal of any and every trial court determinations of qualified immunity plus a very pro-defense, anti-plaintiff judiciary means that even for prosecutors and police officers, “qualified immunity” is difficult to distinguish from “absolute immunity.” 

I know that my critics often accuse me of writing overly long-and-windy commentaries on my blog, and I suppose this will constitute one of my more offensive pieces.  I submit that the American public have become too used to short sound bytes and non-analytical thinking, and I hope I can encourage a more “in depth” and historically-based approach here.

Regarding legislative immunity, I recently discovered a very interesting and historically based article by a journalist name Chuck Murphy (Colorado Constitution and History of Legislative Immunity):

Murphy: Colorado’s legislative immunity rooted in 17th century England

Blame it on King Charles I.

He dissolved Parliament, made Oliver Cromwell famous and is as responsible as anyone for the get-out-of-jail-free card Rep. Laura Bradford of Mesa County used last week.

Bradford, R-Collbran, was pulled over Wednesday night on suspicion of driving while intoxicated after a Denver officer saw her make an improper lane change. But after failing a roadside sobriety test, Bradford mentioned that she was on her way home after a legislative function at a Colfax Avenue bar.

Those were the magic words.

Article V, Section 16 of the Colorado Constitution says:

“The members of the general assembly shall, in all cases except treason or felony, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of their respective houses, or any committees thereof, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either house, or any committees thereof, they shall not be questioned in any other place.”

That’s where Charles comes in.

By the time he took the crown in 1625, England had a robust Parliament and Charles was determined to put them in their place. He declared the divine right of the king to rule as he chose, and, after a series of confrontations, dissolved Parliament. Four years later, he did it again — and this time, he put much of the body’s leadership in prison. He was eventually defeated by Cromwell and lost his head — literally.

Say this for Brits — they have long memories.

It was 60 years later when Charles’ second son, James II (Dismal Jimmy), ascended to the throne. He wanted to impose Catholic rule on a deeply skeptical nation, and it did not go well. Within four years, he was deposed by his daughter Mary, and her husband, William of Orange. They are better known today as William and Mary.

Parliament had invited them to take over, but with certain conditions, partly based on the naughty behavior of Charles I. One of those was the 1688 Bill of Rights, which said in part:

“That the pretended power of suspending the laws or the execution of laws by regal authority without consent of Parliament is illegal;

“That the pretended power of dispensing with laws or the execution of laws by regal authority, as it hath been assumed and exercised of late, is illegal;”

And…

“That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament.”

A couple hundred years went by before 1876, when Colorado was working on its latest version of a state constitution designed to get us admitted to the union. By then, we had the U.S. Constitution and the work of several other states to crib from, including an 1859 effort from Kansas:

“For any speech or debate in either house, the members shall not be questioned elsewhere. No member of the Legislature shall be subject to arrest — except for felony or breach of the peace — in going to or returning from the place of meeting, or during the continuance of the session; neither shall be he subject to the service of any civil process during the session, nor for fifteen days previous to its commencement.”

Look familiar? It all leaps right out of 17th-century England.

Now, say what you will about Gov. John Hickenlooper — he is impetuous, and he does on occasion show signs of a temper — but he is not about to lock up members of the legislature, not even the House, if he doesn’t get his way. I’m certain of it.

These immunity clauses exist in a majority of state constitutions today (legislators know a good thing when they see it). Arizona has discussed getting rid of theirs after their former Senate majority leader avoided arrest on a domestic-violence charge by invoking legislative immunity. His girlfriend was arrested while he went home, provoking well-placed outrage.

Legislators have no right to any protections not enjoyed by every other citizen, period, and most don’t avail themselves of this constitutional provision anyway. Even Bradford denies that she intended to avoid arrest by mentioning where she was coming from.

So who in Colorado’s legislature will take up the charge to rid our constitution of this anachronism? We amend the document all the time, with mixed results, but this seems like a no-brainer in an election year.

All it takes is a proposal to get it on the ballot. A majority of Coloradans just might go along.

Chuck Murphy: 303-954-1829, cmurphy@denverpost.comortwitter.com/cmurphydenpost

Read more:Murphy: Colorado’s legislative immunity rooted in 17th century England – The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/murphy/ci_19849376#ixzz1mpThOiJt
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The Disastrous Origin and History of State-Licensed Marriage in the USA

The rubbish heap of history is a merciless and very unpleasant place, but few segments of time and space in history have ever been consigned to that rubbish heap with greater glee and happiness than that which greeted the collapse of the Soviet Union and the final defeat (in Europe) of World Communism (the Eastern Front remains open, obviously, in China, North Korea, and Vietnam).  USSR, 1917-1991, RIP.  But who REALLY won the Cold War?  I have the distinct impression that World Communism simply took deeper and more lasting root in the West than in the East, due (ironically enough) to the complicity of Western Corporations and Governments in the destruction of the Family, Private, Property, and the Bourgeois, Constitutional State.  Attached here are two articles on marriage and divorce in the Soviet Union, and how we in the West copied them, and implemented their programs, more successfully than the Eastern Block ever managed to do….I am more grateful to Judy Parejko than she will ever know for sharing her extensive research and knowledge with me.  I am happy to make her results and opinions more widely available by their inclusion here, but all the credit is due her: “credit where credit is due.”  Judy’s research is epic-and-eye-opening.  ANYONE who wants to develop a case against the constitutionality (and political ugliness) of the Marriage License will necessarily start with the two articles included here and Judy’s unpublished research summary.