The ease with which the Obama administration obscured responsibility for the Benghazi tragedy and the casual acceptance of the contrived cover story by the press and by the American people signal a significant transfer of influence from the public forum to the secret chambers of the state.
America's synergy of democratic government and free market enterprise has not worn well in the twenty- first century
Just in case you're having one of those days when you can't seem get anything done and beating yourself up about it, it might come as a relief to hear that according to a recent study by the U.N. International Labor Office, American workers are the most efficient and productive in the world. Last year, U.S. workers each produced $63,885 in value-added labor, compared to $55,986 by workers in Ireland, the next closest economy.
One reason Americans are so productive is that in the 1990s, during the information revolution, business leaders invested boldly in information technology, resulting in a 25 percent increase in productivity since 1997, the envy of the world. Americans also take less time off. For example, in France six to nine weeks of vacation is the norm, while many Americans take none at all. Indeed, in America 60 to 80 hour work weeks, reminiscent of depression era sweatshops, are not uncommon.
America's puritanical contempt for leisure is not without its cost, most notably burnout. Workplace gurus and career mentors will tell you that the secret to a long and happy life is meaningful labor; that you should "do what you like best," "find your element," "enjoy the inner music," and raise a family. But if dream jobs were that common, there would be no need for psychiatric social workers. The fact is, many of us end up in dead-end jobs from which there is no escape, and that lead not to contentment, but exhaustion and despair. We come home too frazzled and demoralized to enjoy the family life we work so hard to support. Moreover, that statistically insignificant group of workers lucky enough find "job satisfaction," also neglect their families, but for the opposite reason: they find their work absorbing and fulfilling; so much so, in fact, that some HR experts have opined that corporate executives should belong to a celibate monastic order.
The bean-counters who recommend raising the retirement age three or four years (to avoid bankrupting social security) have not considered all the facts, such as skill erosion and the dispiriting prospect of an abbreviated retirement. And, while it is true that the population is living longer chronologically, those non-fatal but debilitating medical conditions that disqualify employees for work beyond their 60s, like chronic back pain, arthritis, and age-related cognitive disorders, have not decreased in either frequency or severity.
The Yankee obsession with getting and spending, and frenetic pursuit of material success, are not trends one associates with a healthy society. If the American worker has little time for his family, he has even less for his government. Your average working stiff is blissfully indifferent to the operation of democratic government, and would just as soon sort his sock drawer as fill out a voter registration form. Society evolved as an extension of the family; and just as the neglect of home life has caused a raft of social ills like divorce, crime, poverty, and moral breakdown, neglect of the our democratic institutions has given rise to dysfunctional government and political decline. Winston Churchill, who argued eloquently that democracy was the only viable government, also said: "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." If the popularity of some prime-time television programs is any indication, the viewing public spends a depressing amount of its leisure time laughing on cue to moronic sitcoms. Psychologically and physically exhausted in their pursuit of the elusive American dream, many workers choose to wallow in America's toxic slob culture when they could be boning up on pressing socioeconomic issues critical to the survival of democratic society.
According to a recent study, 71% of Oklahoma high school students could not name the first president of the United States. I'm not cherry-picking outliers; this is typical of the contempt students and their teachers have for American heritage, a shocking indictment of the American educational system. This indifference to American history is also generational. A new generation sees only compromise and flawed policy in the status quo. It aspires to a higher consciousness and quality of life, and is convinced it will surpass the success of all earlier generations--a tall order when the values and achievements of those earlier generations eclipse the success of any known civilization.
In his funeral oration to the Athenian people, Pericles said:
We do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business; we say that he has no business here at all.
Thomas Jefferson believed that the social integrity of democracy depended on non-commercial way of life:
Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God.... Corruption of morals in the mass of cultivators is a phenomenon of which no age or nation has furnished an example.... Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germs of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition
Jefferson may have been referring to the decline of the Roman Empire. Hannibal's invasion of Italy in the third century B.C destroyed Rome's agrarian economy, a deficit from which it never fully recovered. When it outsourced its grain production to distant colonies like Egypt, dispossessed farmers migrated to Rome's cities to be treated to circuses and cake, or in the vernacular of our time, popular entertainment and public assistance. The loss of republican values led to social upheaval, civil war, and a succession of brilliant, mad, but mostly inept tyrants, and costly military campaigns to shore up the disintegrating empire.
Once thought unassailable, America's synergy of democratic government and free enterprise has not worn well in the twenty-first century. Lulled into complacency by historic advances, the American public has acquired a mystical belief that representative government and free market capitalism constitute an autonomous, self-regulating social order; that the U.S. ship of state is endowed with a natural ballast that keeps it upright in crisis. This notion of a continuously evolving state originated with progressive social philosopher Herbert Spenser, and was to define the difference between the liberal and conservative points of view. In metaphysical terms, liberal- progressives and conservatives process time in distinctly different ways. Traditional and religious, conservatives believe that grace is immediately available to us in the here and now, and that it is possible excavate eternity in the moment. Secular liberal- progressives live in the future tense; like Marx, they believe that the universe is an autonomous clockwork tuned to social amelioration, and that paradise lies just over the horizon.
But Pericles and Jefferson understood that democracy was not a self-regulating and autonomous system, and that it could only succeed through the agency of transcendent human spirit. Or to state the matter in more secular language, the necessary and sufficient condition for a democratic society is the active participation of an educated electorate. Marx's dialectical materialism only resonated in the hollow clockwork universe of the industrial age, the 'universe of death.' Social determinism holds little appeal for the modern world where the new electronic media have restored man to integrated in-depth awareness, and reintroduced Western society to the transcendental dimension of life.
The Founding Fathers were proactive men, but they were also men of leisure and reflection, which they used to good advantage. The results were thoughtful and innovative solutions to the challenges of democracy. No recent political thinker has described this Anglo-American triumph better than Daniel Hannan:
We are still experiencing the after-effects of an astonishing event. The inhabitants of a damp island at the western tip of the Eurasian landmass stumbled upon the idea that the government ought to be subject to the law, not the other way around. The rule of law created security of property and contract which, in turn, led to industrialization and modern capitalism. For the first time in the history of the species, a system grew up which, on the whole, rewarded production better than predation. That system proved to be highly adaptable. It was taken across the oceans by English-speakers, sometimes imposed by colonial administrators, sometimes carried by patriotic settlers. In the old courthouse in Philadelphia, it was distilled into its purest and most sublime form as the U.S. Constitution. (Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking People Made the Modern World)
Hannan states that for continental Europeans, democracy had always been a means to an end rather than a guiding principle, and that "It is hard to avoid the conclusion that this distinction reflects a difference between the two ancestral cultures." But these broad strokes do not address cause and effect. Joseph Conrad, a stateless outsider, had an interesting take on this. For Conrad, there was no higher calling than the sea. He believed that shipboard discipline, the hardships of life at sea, and the dangers of sailing fragile wooden ships across the storm-tossed oceans of the globe, had transformed England's lower classes into a race of noble seafarers, and that this was the making of his adopted country as a political entity, the conscience of Europe, and a moral cynosure of the world.
Conrad's friend, H.G. Wells, ridiculed this notion as a naive and fanciful literary affectation. But time has sided with Conrad: modern historians are in general agreement that the ordeal of transmarine migration is a revitalizing influence, and that the demands of seamanship and shipboard cooperation, which are contractual in nature, became the cultural bedrock of England's democratic institutions, and constituted the spiritual discipline that released the Angles and Jutes, and later the Normans and Danes, from the ancient bonds of tribal kinship and oriental despotism that had enslaved the continental states, including Conrad's native Poland, long after England had achieved parliamentary government.
Faux Democracy: you can fool most of the people most of the time
There is, however, a growing sense that democracy is no longer an effective, bullet-proof model for governance, not only across the oceans but in America. To state the problem in purely mechanistic terms, there has been a profound loss of efficiency between decisions made in the voting booth and downstream policy generated in the legislative phase of the democratic process. When you depress a lever at a polling station, there is the reasonable expectation that there will be some correspondence between the candidate you have chosen and the implementation of governmental policy. But if you were to ask them, most Americans would probably tell you that they did not vote for unfunded entitlements, staggering debt, bloated bureaucracy, an incoherent tax code, autocratic regulatory agencies, failing schools, uncontrolled immigration, chronic unemployment, and economic collapse; nor for the continuation of the electoral college, gerrymandered congressional districts, and lifetime incumbency.
The recent conduct of government and industry, and decision-making in both the public and private sectors, have been so unprincipled, intellectually feckless, and random, that some actuaries have denominated events like the collapse of the securities markets natural disasters, or what insurance companies call acts of God. Retrospective analysis can, of course, explain how these disasters could have been prevented. But such postmortems, and the failure of government to respond with remedial legislation, tend only to magnify a sense of inevitability, as though such calamities were predestined and unavoidable, that things have spiraled out of control, and that we are no longer masters of our fate. How certain can we be that America has not lurched into a period of irreversible decline, similar to the convergence of events that destroyed the Hellenistic democracies? There are economists who will tell you flat out that any country with a national debt that is 75% of its GDP already has one foot in the grave, and that any appearance of vitality is to be compared to the growth of the hair and fingernails on a corpse.
The notion that the modern world has escaped the destructive cycle of success and failure is not based on empirical evidence. Whether the subject is the protracted and lingering decline of Egyptian society or the meteoric rise and fall of Athens, the history of civilization gives little justification for optimism.
[T]he most precious collective invention of civilization, the city, second only to language itself in the transmission of culture, became from the outset the container of disruptive internal forces, directed toward ceaseless destruction and extermination. (Lewis Mumford, The City in History, p.53.)
It is a mistake to think the current dominance of the Republic, the Pax Americana, is a harbinger of future success. In Tom Jones Henry Fielding declared the age of the Antonines to be a 'Golden Age.'
"[T]his state of their felicity continued during the reigns of five successive princes [the 'five good emperors,' Nerva, Trajan, Adrian, and the two Antonini, between AD 96 and 180]. This was the true era of the Golden Age, and the only Golden Age which ever had any existence, unless in the warm imaginations of the poets, from the expulsion from Eden down to this day."
But the so-called 'Golden Age' of the Antonines (considered to be an age of Plato's philosopher kings), was in reality the calm before the storm. For, as we now know, Rome was on the brink of collapse. Wrote Arnold Toynbee:
In the second century after Christ, when the Hellenic World was enjoying an Indian Summer which contemporaries, and even posterity, long mistook for a Golden Age, it looked as though Plato's most audacious hopes had been fulfilled and transcended. From A.D. 96 to 180 a series of philosopher-kings sat upon a throne which dominated the entire Hellenic World, and a thousand city states were living side by side in peace and concord under this philosophic-imperial aegis. Yet the cessation of evils was only a pause, for all was not well beneath the surface.
Indeed, the complacency and optimism engendered by this era of peace and plenty was a cruel illusion, for the sack of Rome was only two centuries away.
The Persistence of Populism
If, as the evidence seems to indicate, democracy is not working, it may be because our politics are populist in an era when instantaneous communication and the accelerated pace of the world require that politics be informational and data-driven.
There was a time in America's past when populism was a useful conceptual framework, when the issues of the day had a moral clarity that did not require book-learning or even literacy. Liberty, slavery, fascism, poverty, civil rights, etc. were matters of profound concern, but none required strenuous scholarship. Today, the political landscape is mined with convoluted and intricate socioeconomic problems requiring intellectual sophistication and deliberation. Unequipped to grasp the issues, voters increasingly depend on impressionistic data, like a candidate's cool factor or personal charm, to judge his fitness for office. This fetish for likability is not an encouraging sign. Charisma is the currency of demagogues, not of the chief executive of a democratic state. Leaders secure in their principles and confident of their executive ability do not pander to, or flatter their constituents. What, after all, is charisma but a projection of the voter's narcissistic self-regard?
While there will always be true believers fixated on ideology, who crave massive doses of flattery and self-deception, there are others whose political naivete is circumstantial: callow undergrads indoctrinated by liberal professors, and single-issue voters (gays, women, Hispanics, blacks, and the poor) focused on narrow political agendas and personal concerns, to the exclusion of big picture priorities. Because these concerns involve dramatic human interest themes that lend themselves to lurid headlines and simplistic formulas (class warfare, women's rights, race relations, etc.), single-issue voters are easy targets for populist demagoguery. These signature causes of the Democratic Party have instant name recognition and instant appeal, especially when compared to the abstract economic problems that beset America--mind-boggling debt, a fragile banking system, a Byzantine tax code, an incoherent energy policy, etc.--the study of which has been recommended as an effective remedy for insomnia. Driven by visceral identity politics and provincial self-interest, many of our less enterprising citizens have gravitated toward the liberal-progressive end of the political spectrum.
The Education-Truth Nexus
I know of no safe repository of the ultimate power of society but the people. And if we think them not enlightened enough, the remedy is not to take power from them, but to inform them by education. (Thomas Jefferson)
News Item: The U.S. Justice Department is suing Louisiana in New Orleans federal court to block 2014-15 vouchers for students in public school systems that are under federal desegregation orders. The first year of private school vouchers "impeded the desegregation process," the federal government says.
No, this is not a gag or misprint. The Obama administration, proud champion of educational reform, is suing the state of Louisiana to discontinue its successful voucher program.
Despite Secretary Arne Duncan's vaunted education initiatives, like Common Core, there is little enthusiasm in the Obama administration for true reform. Contemporary liberalism is a tribalist political philosophy that does not reward intellectual curiosity in its lower orders. Only consider the Democratic Party's unstinting support of the teacher unions, and its assault on the school choice movement. These aggressive scorched-earth policies are not prompted by an irresistible affection for corrupt labor unions. Liberal-progressive causes are poison plants that flourish in darkness but wither in strong light, and the left's education policies, which insure the continuation of a failed public school system, are designed to maximize and perpetuate the darkness.
The results of prolonged sensory deprivation are intense anxiety, bizarre thoughts and hallucinations. Information deprivation is no less insidious; it affects not only the cerebral cortex, but the limbic or emotional centers of the brain where attitudes are formed. The symptoms of information deprivation are a sense of helplessness, passivity, and inferiority--the antithesis of freedom. As Marshall McLuhan observed, freedom is less a political right conferred by a higher authority than a matter of individual perception and information: "Freedom, like taste, is an activity of perception and judgement based on a great range of particular acts and experiences." Freedom must first exist in the mind of the individual before it becomes a political reality; and the deprivation of information, which is the practical result of the left's obscurantist educational policies, is a denial of this freedom. For the benighted there is no burning bush or blinding spiritual revelation; to the ignorant, the modern world appears as a wilderness of sinister and incomprehensible forces that inspire paralysis, defeat, and dread, that can only be mitigated by an all-powerful paternalistic state.
Withholding knowledge crushes individual initiative and is the annihilation of free choice. For example:
It is not an exercise of freedom of choice to vote for office-holders who advocate taxing the rich. It is, relatively speaking, an exercise of free choice to vote for candidates who promise to break up the big banks (eliminate 'to big to fail'), regulate the derivatives industry, set minimum liquidity requirements for lending institutions, place limits on executive pay and stock options (link executive compensation to performance), increase the salaries of SEC attorneys, institute rigorous guidelines for the Big Three credit rating agencies, and introduce effective tax reform (a flat tax).
It is not an exercise of free choice to vote for a candidate who promises universal health care. It is, relatively speaking, an exercise of free choice to vote for a candidate who promises to enact legislation, like the "Patients' Choice Act," that provides built-in cost controls like tort reform, maximizes market competition (by allowing consumers to purchase health insurance across state lines), implements electronic medical record-keeping, criminalizes billing fraud (the "fee for services" racket), eliminates redundant testing, requires patients to have some skin in the game (reasonable deductibles and co-payments), and that provides means-tested subsidies.
It is not freedom of choice to vote for a congressman who promises immigration reform that rewards lawbreakers by granting unconditional immigration status to illegal immigrants. It is, relatively speaking, freedom of choice to vote for a candidate who promises to improve border security, enforce stiff penalties for companies employing illegals, in order to prevent another mass invasion of unskilled workers. The U.S. is the engine of technological innovation, global economic growth, and commerce; for it to maintain its leadership role as an effective advocate of democracy, free enterprise, and international security in an increasingly dangerous world, it is necessary to grant preferential immigration status to skilled engineers, technicians, farmers, businessmen, and entrepreneurs.
One need not be an advocate of conservatism to understand that education is the sine qua non of any twenty-first century democracy. This fact may help to explain the bland complacency of the left about the burgeoning dropout rate in our high schools, and why liberals are so welcoming of the millions of uneducated alien workers that have inundated the country: low-information voters constitute the largest voting block of the Democratic Party. The bronze plaque inside the Statue of Liberty says "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses...." A significant number of the "huddled masses" that migrated to America from Europe were, like the early American settlers, educated and highly skilled craftsmen, tradesmen, and farmers. The world must be weary of hearing America call itself the greatest nation in the world, but if this claim is true, it is because America has opened its doors to the most talented, industrious, and skilled workers the world has to offer.
It is not that minorities, the poor, and disadvantaged lack the capacity to learn; it is that we demand so little of them in our schools that they never develop the confidence and analytical skills necessary to truth-seeking and problem-solving. And where learning and truth are devalued, so is informed discourse, and that invaluable product of informed discourse, human solidarity. Without a respect for the fundamental truths of the human condition that regulate moral conduct, twenty-first century democracies are doomed to tribalism and factionalism.
Newt Gingrich recently remarked that "The greatest challenge in American politics and government is that liberals lie better than conservatives tell the truth." Because of the truth deficit of the Democratic Party, e.g. mindless partisanship, demagoguery, reflexive mendacity, etc., many conservatives feel a visceral antagonism toward liberals; an animus that is handsomely reciprocated by the left. All this partisan rancor has alarmed old guard 'political realists' like Joe Scarborough. Television anchors are notorious for conventional thinking and arguing from analogy, and Mr. Scarborough is no exception. Posing as the man from Mars, the former Florida Congressman solemnly lectures Tea Party Republicans on the need for moderation and compromise.
As examples of productive compromise Scarborough modestly cites his experience in Congress during the Clinton administration, which balanced the budget and enacted welfare reform. But it was also the Clinton administration that, in the generous spirit of bipartisanship, repealed key provisions of the Glass- Steagall Act prohibiting the consolidation of insured banks with investment banks, and that enacted the two pieces of legislation most responsible for the housing and credit bubbles--the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000.
Government is like religion: it is there to codify and enforce sensible conduct, and perhaps remind us of the better angels of our nature. Clinton's triangulation of the opposing factions did not yield sound policy. The confederacy of dunces that, in an orgy of self-congratulation, deregulated the financial services industry, came within an ace of wrecking the tightly interconnected global financial system. Nostalgic politicians are fond of recalling the good old days of Congressional partnership. But a feckless recourse to compromise as a magical panacea is collective irresponsibility masquerading as policy; more to the point, it is an abject admission of intellectual failure. If, in fact, moderation and compromise are such an unalloyed virtues, how did we get in such dire straits in the first place?
Bill Clinton Repeals Glass-Steagall
Producer-Consumer: the Flawed Model for the Dichotomy of Ruler and Ruled
"The producer-oriented or ruler-oriented version of the message of Gutenberg... is simply that it is the ruler's right to impose uniform patterns of behavior on society. The police state precedes the consumer society." -- Marshall McLuhan
It is a rare day at Fox News when a journalist, citing the rise in impoverished single-parent families, doesn't remind us that the nanny state encourages dependency. But as Jefferson correctly pointed out, the commercial state promotes dependency like gangbusters. A consumer society is intrinsically passive, compliant, and dependent. We are accustomed to having bright and shiny objects delivered ready-made to our doorsteps with the click of a mouse button. But it seems not to have occurred to the power elite and the ruling class that in matters of government, ready-made will not do, that the electorate must actively participate in the crafting of policy and law, i.e. get down 'in the weeds' with lawmakers. The adage that if you want something done right you must do it yourself, is applicable to government. The consumer protection and do-it-yourself movements were a spontaneous response to the manipulation by producers and a rejection of the concept of customer sovereignty, the belief of producers that they had the right to impose arbitrary patterns of commerce on customers, a phenomenon McLuhan first noticed in the Gutenberg era.
But before the Gutenberg press, there was no distinction between the producers and consumers of manuscripts, the information technology of the time. And this is true of our own information age: some of the best productivity software is donated by the user community (e.g. the not-for-profit Open Software Foundation); and the web affords ample opportunity for non-professionals to excel. Similarly, in an organic social order, that happy condition of civic life in which the perception of truth by an educated citizenry is shared by those who govern, there is no 'proletariat' and 'ruling class.' That the U.S. Constitution is an immutable masterpiece is beyond question, but the science of government is in a constant state of creative ferment due to the ever-changing requirements of a dynamic, technology-driven society. In such a fast-moving society, any barriers between government and governed, such as lobbyists, influence peddlers, publicists, biased journalists, etc. represent a threat to the democratic process.
In an organic social order, that perfection of governance to which all democratic societies aspire, the universal social truths that are the guiding principles of government, are understood and practiced by all, and the only difference between ruled and rulers is administrative; the affinities, priorities and expertise of the two are so interfused that the body politic is a continuum in which the parts are in a constant state of interplay. During the 1960s protesters chanted: "We are the people!" This was a claim of legitimacy, but it was also the assertion of a false dichotomy. Had these alienated protesters participated in some of the less glamorous activities of democracy, e.g. supported their local PTA, attended city counsel meetings, voted in regional and national elections, etc. they might have had a decisive influence on policy, and could have asserted with some truth: "We are the government!" That is, they could have shared in the triumphs of their society rather than taking to the barricades.
This may have been what Lincoln had in mind in the final flourish of the Gettysburg Address: "that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." There has always been some mystery surrounding the phrase, "of the people." It is clear that a government "by the people" is one run by commoners (as well as the landed aristocracy), and that a government "for the people" is one devised for the benefit of all (not only for a hereditary class of kings or oligarchs), but what exactly did Lincoln mean by a government "of the people"? I believe Lincoln recognized that insofar as we contribute to the common good, pay our taxes, endeavor to understand the issues and communicate our concerns to lawgivers, we are not merely passive spectators of the democratic process, but constitutive of democratic government itself. An informed public is in Congress in spirit if not corporeally, and our democracy would be in sounder health if lawmakers understood that they shared the House floor and Senate chamber with an enlightened citizenry.
A Partisan Scrutiny of the Liberal-Progressive Truth Deficit
When the public abdicates its duties as citizens, and when it surrenders its democratic prerogatives to the state, it is a perilous time for government; for it is the nature of the state to perpetuate itself as absolute power. The campaign of blatant mendacity surrounding the Benghazi attack illustrates the point. "What difference at this point does it make [how four Americans died]?" asked the Secretary of State in an operatic outburst of indignation. This spectacle of manufactured anger was apparently calculated to end further discussion. The operative phrase in the Secretary's intemperate rant was: at this point.
The premise of Hillary Clinton's question was that the statute of limitations on the assassination of Chris Stevens had expired, i.e. that so much time had elapsed since the incident that such details as the State Department's failure to respond to the Ambassador's repeated and desperate pleas for security, were no longer important. But if there were any delays in the investigation, they were due entirely to the Secretary herself. Mrs. Clinton's attempt to deflect attention from the dereliction of the State Department with undiplomatic bluster came after her prolonged absence from government. According to her spokesmen, Hillary was incommunicado for over a month because of a concussion sustained after a fainting spell brought on by dehydration.
The ease with which the Obama administration obscured responsibility for the Benghazi tragedy and the casual acceptance of the contrived cover story by the press and by the American people signal a significant transfer of influence from the public forum to the secret chambers of the state. The rationale for secrecy--to reprise Kafka--is that the conduct of government is a mystery too deep, esoteric, and complex for ordinary citizens to comprehend. But, there is no such thing as asymmetric democracy, i.e. a democracy in which the electorate places blind trust in the integrity, intelligence, and wisdom of its leaders. A 'democracy' that derives its power from a comatose public is a nominalist fiction.
In 1762 Rousseau published "The Social Contract," a meditation on the relationship between the sovereign people and the rulers in whom they invest executive power. The salient argument of the treatise was that government must acknowledge its responsibility to insure the rights of the people. I don't suppose it occurred to Rousseau at the time that the beneficiaries of these rights would ever default on their responsibility. If a people are not prepared to honor their half of the Social Contract and stay abreast of the critical issues of the day, if they are too distracted with getting and spending to discharge the obligations of citizenship, there is no political system known to man that will avert social decline. The institutions of a constitutional democracy for which the colonists fought so hard, a limited chief executive, an independent legislature and judiciary, and the codification of natural law, are so much empty ceremony without the participation of an educated and enlightened electorate.
The ease with which the Obama administration obscured responsibility for the Benghazi tragedy and the casual acceptance of the contrived cover story by the press and by the American people signal a significant transfer of influence from the public forum to the secret chambers of the state.
Pericles - "we do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business; we say that he has no business here at all." Obama: ""If You've Got a Business -- You Didn't Build That! Somebody Else Made That Happen.""
Charles Krauthammer, suggested that Roberts resorted to this semantic legerdemain to avoid politicizing the Court and weakening its prestige. But the Court and America have weathered more violent partisan storms than those of the current climate: just read some of the broadsides in newspapers written one hundred to two hundred years ago. To my knowledge, no Congressmen have been caned to within an inch of their lives in the well of the Senate (though, no doubt, some have deserved it), and no cabinet secretaries killed in duels in the past 100 years. A good rule of thumb: follow the law and let the chips fall where they may.
The point in providing these videos on behalf of the Clarion Project is to hopefully assist in getting the word out that the extreme liberal progressive ideology does not represent REALITY when dealing with the politically motivated fundamentalist Islamist plan.
Despite all the hysterical accusations made by the sociopathic ideologues, the reality is that REAL everyday Muslims who have left their homelands to settle in democracy loving western lands DON’T WANT to be controlled by Islamists. They more than anyone else know what living under Islamic (theocratic) political and social control means.
Politically Correct Ideologues are people who become so trapped inside fundamentalist thinking, that they lose contact with the real world and see nothing other than their ideology. In short, they are totally focussed on what is inside their own heads, which is why I constantly refer to such people as ‘sociopathic.’
In China, the rights of society take precedence over individual human rights. This, we Westerners call totalitarianism and from an ideological perspective, desire to destroy it right? But ask yourself this: “What does MY country promote?”
Since 2004 he has been writing academic articles, social commentaries and photographic 'Stories from China' both here at KingsCalendar, and formerly as a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News (Maine USA) where from 2009 to 2015 he was Stand-in Editor. He currently has a column at iPatriot.com and teaches English to Business English and Flight Attendant College Students in Suzhou City Jiangsu Province People's Republic of China.)
BenDedek originally created the site to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran.' Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah. Check the Chapter Precis Page to see details of each chapter and to gain access to the Four Free to Air Chapters
(The Download book does not contain a section on Seder Olam)
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]