July 4, 2002



The September bombings of the World Trade Center and The Pentagon were the beginning of the "War on Terror". The President has declared War and the people have applauded him for it.

The military success in the most dangerous region of the world is very real and hopefully not completed. The routing in short order of the Taliban and al-Qaida is the most positive event in the Middle East since the signing of a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Even more positive would be the forcible end of the reign of Saddam Hussein followed by free elections in a smaller Iraq. Even libertarians support a War that is just and necessary for self-defense.

But the corruption of the meaning of "War" here at home since September has been a further blow to the Republic. It is a word most deserving of a definitive meaning.

It is not primarily the fact that Congress has not declared a War: a power granted only to Congress by the Constitution. Congress has been defaulting on that duty since the War on North Korea. Hiding behind the dangers of the cold war, our courageous representatives have also been spared the pain of voting on the wars on Vietnam, Panama, Iraq and Serbia. Only the President engaged in "war" with those enemies. Those wars remain off the official books.

The real damage with this "War" is the new twist of declaring war against private entities, like the Taliban, a political party, and al-Qaida, another private association. President Bush could not have been clearer in his declaration: "The United States was not declaring War on Afghanistan or its people". Indeed, the War was not to be limited to within Afghanistan or even just the Middle East. The "War" would continue indefinitely against people with a background of politically motivated violence wherever they may be in the world. The President alone declared the War and would dictate who the enemy would be and when the War would end: no time soon.

Power Grabber

Not a single Congressman has noticeably objected to this huge Constitutional re-balancing of powers. Most of the honorables have fallen over themselves in support of the President’s new "War". This War is officially on-the-record (even though it is not).

So "on-the-record", the President is holding hundreds of persons in confinement indefinitely without benefit of a charge or access to the courts. The Attorney General is examining everyone’s e-mail and writing dossiers on dissenters. The Pentagon is imposing a zone of secrecy about our policies and activities that the KGB would marvel at. It’s the War you know. Our "conservative" federal judiciary zealously accepts the need to trash the very freedoms we stand for in this time of "War".

Even if the economy tanks and terrorism prospers, the Bushites have nothing to fear in the 2004 election. If the situation becomes dire, all the President needs to do is declare War on the Democratic Party and imprison its leaders for questioning. Maybe the Attorney General could purge the voter rolls of terrorist sympathizers and communist pinkos. The military could police the polling booths. After all, nothing can be spared in our government’s efforts to protect the American people.


Even hawks when it comes to Saddam should demand one thing before launching the missiles and invading the beaches: a vote in Congress on a Declaration of War against Iraq. It may be the only way to counter-attack in a War on the Constitution that has already gone way too far.


There is no better time than Independence Day to enjoy the philosophy and character of Thomas Jefferson: draftsman of the Declaration of Independence and of the Virginia Law of Religious Freedom.

We offer today an excerpt from Jefferson's First Inaugural Address. Many believe it is the greatest speech ever given.

"…though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate which would be oppression.

Let us, then, fellow-citizens, unite with one heart and one mind; let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions.…"

Power Grabber

"…every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all republicans; we are all federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union, or to change its republican form, let them stand, undisturbed, as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.

I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government cannot be strong; that this Government is not strong enough.

But would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a Government which has so far kept us free and firm, on the theoretic and visionary fear that this Government, the world's best hope, may, by possibility, want energy to preserve itself? I trust not.

I believe this, on the contrary, the strongest Government on earth. I believe it is the only one where every man, at the call of the law, would fly to the standard of the law, and would meet invasions of the public order as his own personal concern.

Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.

Let us, then, with a courage and confidence, pursue our own federal and republican principles, our attachment to our Union and representative government. Kindly separated by nature and a wide ocean from the exterminating havoc of one quarter of the globe; too high-minded to endure the degradations of the others; possessing a chosen country, with room enough for our descendants to the hundredth and thousandth generation; entertaining a due sense of our equal right to the use of our own faculties, to the acquisitions of our industry, to honor and confidence from our fellow-citizens, resulting not from birth but from our actions, and their sense of them; enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed, and practiced in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which, by all its dispensations, proves that it delights in the happiness of man here, and his greater happiness hereafter; with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and prosperous people?

Still one thing more, fellow-citizens, — a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities."

The administration of Thomas Jefferson between 1801 and 1809 was the only American Presidency to substantially reduce the powers and spending of the federal government. Jefferson and his chosen successor to the Presidency, James Madison, remain the only Presidents who were truly libertarian in their beliefs and their public achievements.

Americans can always look back to the words and deeds of Jefferson, Madison and other founders for the philosophy of individual freedom this nation needs as much now as it ever has.


n 1954 the American Pledge of Allegiance was changed to point out that God has been looking from above over we Americans all along the way. The move was thought at the time to be a blow against godless communism. Last week, forty-eight years later, two California judges decided to explode a 500-ton rhetorical bomb in an eternal cold war by checkmating "under God" in the Pledge. What the two judges may lack in judicial restraint is more than compensated for by their flair for inciting the powers-that-be.

Indeed, the barrage of hostile histrionics from almost all corners over the censoring of the Pledge has been deafening and quite laughable.

The eternal struggle so central in this farce is between ideologues: those that revel in stateism, but for different reasons.

True-blooded "conservative" talking heads propose severe punishment for the judges’ stating of their mind: from impeachment to prosecution to breakup. The outrage on the "right" is so vitriolic one would think that the churches were being padlocked and God himself was being forced to pay the alternative federal income tax. From this point of view, maybe the Pledge should be amended again to make clear that it was God who founded our nation and that God inspires our every action even today.

On the "left" the grandstanding is about the same.


Power Grabber

There is little more heartening to a "liberal" than a mandatory morning exercise pledging allegiance to the state. Including deification really adds to the thrill. It helps make one truly believe that democratic socialism is the means and the end of modern human civilization. "Under God" is what the public wants. By god, that is what they are going to have. Maybe those judges ought to be impeached for stupidity. This mess could even affect the next election.

What is missing from the Pledge debate is the sad fate of our now long lost freedom in America.

It should not be the concern of judges or legislators what children are taught to believe in school. That is a matter that should solely involve parents and educators. To arrogate to dictating which precise words of fealty must be recited by every student each day shows how infallible our public officials have come to see themselves.



Nestled in a mountain valley in the West Virginia Appalachians is the Greenbrier Resort: a most posh and stately venue for the rich and famous. It offers golf with Sam Snead, massages, personal trainers and rooms for $475.00/night.

But the most dignified of Greenbrier’s visitors had only a ghostly presence for forty years. That would be the 535 members of Congress and a small number of their entourage.

In the bowels of Greenbrier’s mansion laid until recently the Congressional bunker: a spot where our glorious representatives could safely relax and breath fresh air in the event of a nuclear war. These wise men and women would make the sacrifice of continuing to live comfortably only so they could continue to guide our nation (hopefully not to a second round of ICBMs). Never underestimate the self-importance of our leaders in Washington, D.C.


If one were to make a list of people best-suited to rebuild civilization following nuclear annihilation it probably would not be a group of largely older men who have not a clue on how to create anything other than hot air. Fortunately from their point-of-view, it is Congress who decides who will live in the bunker while the rest of the citizenry burns to death from radiation.

One might ask: How about procreation: the survival of humanity? Congress has only a couple of women of child-bearing age, after all. Never fear. Undoubtedly, our male representatives have been certain to designate many young interns to live in the bunker with them just for this purpose. They think of everything.

Wherever Congress has placed its new and improved bunker, it should proudly fly two flags. One would be the skull-and-cross-bones. The other should be a blue silk with gold lettering affair celebrating America’s new royalty