Thursday, December 27, 2007

Important Principles in Scholastic Moral Philosophy

By: Dr. J. P. Hubert

•The “ought” is grounded in the “is” i.e. the nature or essence of human being, (the ought must be perfective of human essence or nature).

•A morally illicit means (object rationally chosen) may never be utilized in the pursuit of a desired end (intent) codified in scripture (Rom. 3: 8) as “never do evil that good may come of it.”

•The means, end and circumstances must all be morally licit for the proposed moral action to be justified.

•Both the first and second principles of the Natural (moral) Law are presupposed; “do good and avoid evil” “treat your neighbor fairly.” The first categorical imperative of Emmanuel Kant’s ethic which addresses universality of applicability (only do those moral acts which you would wish to see universalized) is similar to and in a sense derivative of the first principle of the Natural Law and “right reason.” The second categorical imperative of Kant’s ethic (never treat another person as a “means” but only as an “end”) is roughly equivalent to the second principle of the Natural Law (treat your neighbor fairly).

•It is impossible for something to be morally right for one person and wrong for another. Such a relativistic formulation denies the existence of moral absolutes which flow from the Natural (moral) Law. It might be advantageous to act in a given way in a set of circumstances in order to achieve a goal which is non-moral in nature, e.g. heading east in traveling from Los Angeles to New York given the physical/spatial realities of each location. This is a non-moral calculation. Few circumstances in human life are completely non-moral in this sense. Most have some bearing on morality that is a moral component which must be duly considered.

US foreign policy is a good example; what might seem advantageous from a purely utilitarian (practical) perspective might upon careful analysis actually be immoral. For example, one might prefer that a given foreign government did not exist or could be replaced but to actually force such a thing to occur would violate well-accepted moral norms which should never be transgressed such as “it is never morally licit to intentionally kill the innocent” or “offensive wars of aggression are immoral in principle as they exceed the so-called right of self-defense” (to do so is to violate the first and second principles of the Natural Law or right reason) in this case an example of doing evil (an intrinsically evil act) that good might come of it.

•It is extremely enlightening to consider what would happen if everyone were to act as one proposes, while evaluating a moral question. This is to make use of the principle of universality one which flows from a fixed human nature or anthropology that is to say, we assume that all human beings (in the metaphysical not monetary sense) are inherently of equal value and worth.

In scholastic moral philosophy one must assume that all human beings are equal in this sense and that human nature (essence) is fixed not changing, evolving or alterable by external circumstances. This is the case first because it is true and demonstrably so but also to be certain in practice, that some human beings are not inadvertently or purposefully rendered "inhuman", sub-human or otherwise in some sense less than human for utilitarian purposes.

For example, under Nazism, the Jews were rendered inhuman or sub-human in order to make killing them palatable to the masses. In America, African slaves were considered property rather than human beings with an intrinsic human worth and dignity equal to any other; in order to justify their continued enslavement. Finally, many Zionist's in Israel consider Palestinian Arabs to be the equivalent of wild beasts--essentially sub-human nuisances (leading Israeli Zionists have said, "the only good Arab is a dead Arab") not deserving of equal treatment. Tragically, Israeli civil rights laws tend to reflect this immoral bias. All "3" examples illustrate the need to apply moral norms universally while assuming a fixed human nature.

•It is morally legitimate to be tolerant (respectful) of other persons as human beings but not tolerant (in the sense of accepting) of their immoral acts if on careful analysis those acts are clearly immoral. One must never be tolerant of immorality (actions of an immoral nature) since morally illicit actions are self-reinforcing--these behaviors eventually become normalized. It is unfair to all of our neighbors that is, the "common good” not to identify immoral behavior as such since it leads to a lack of human flourishing rather than the authentic good which should be each human being’s birthright.

One does not have the right in exercising one's personal freedom to behave immorally and to negatively impact the common good. To do so is to violate both the first and second principles of the Natural Law. There is much confusion today about this concept largely due to mistaken post-Enlightenment notions of moral relativism which are intellectually bankrupt; fundamentally because they are contradictory (self-referentially absurd). This is part of a much larger epistemological problem having to do with post-modern errors related to the nature of truth.

•A person’s humanity from the moral perspective cannot be altered including by the performance of immoral acts. It exists as part of that person’s being until death. As such, it is never morally licit to treat human persons as if they were not human because of circumstances or external conditions etc. For this reason, prisoner’s of war and other convicted felons (for example), must be treated humanely. Hence we have prohibitions against torture while cruel and unusual punishment are proscribed. Human Rights flow from basic human dignity and are derived from a fixed human nature or anthropology; otherwise they do not exist at all. As such, they cannot be legislated away without said laws being groundless.

Human rights are also universal to time and place and are applicable to all of humanity. The only moral philosophy which is capable of entirely grounding human rights is the so-called Aristotelian/Thomistic synthesis.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Editorial by Dr. J. P. Hubert

If the United States continues to lose the ever more diminutive manufacturing base it still has, where will the next generation of American’s go? Only a small percentage will be able to work as so-called “professionals”, attain fame, celebrity or become professional sports figures—the vast majority will be consigned to working in service industries at minimum wage. Virtually every great industry the US once possessed has been lost except for high tech munitions (being given to Israel and sold to our “enemies”) and civilian aviation (about to be challenged by China).

As our country becomes more “third world” signified by the complete loss of a middle class, it is more not less likely that minimum wage jobs will be lost, in favor of those which can charitably be termed slave labor. Moreover, without a drastic change in US trade policy including the erection of significant protective tariffs and control of at least the southern border, this reality will no doubt be upon us sooner rather than later.

The international corporatists who presently control US trade policy are wedded to an economic theory (free trade ala Milton Friedman) which however well intended is intellectually bankrupt [it could only function equitably if all trading partners were equally developed]. The present situation (unfair trade in which American workers must compete against sweat shop laborers abroad) has made the once great American manufacturing sector (presently on life-support) nearly moribund. It could not be resurrected now without exposing the populace to widespread suffering and distress particularly for those of lesser means.

Given that as a nation we can no longer produce the goods upon which we all depend for daily living, we are literally at the mercy of the nations (see this) , who currently supply them including China, Japan, and Korea among a few others. Unfortunately, China and Japan are also two of our most important bankers. We owe them at least 2 trillion dollars of borrowed money much of which is financing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq). At present we pay only interest. It is doubtful that we could repay the principle all at once (if it suddenly became necessary to do so—were either to call in their US Treasury Notes).

Many school-age children will no doubt need to seek employment opportunities abroad lest they be consigned to a life of economic depravation in the US. Barring a complete paradigm shift in US trade policy, border control, and a Manhattan Project-like dedication to rebuilding the manufacturing/production base of the nation, out-migration of many of our youngest American’s is inevitable with clearly negative implications for unfunded liabilities such as entitlements. Clearly, those with the most talent, intellect and initiative will be tempted to seek a better life elsewhere. The question is—where?

Monday, December 17, 2007

US Must Reevaluate Its Relationship With Israel

by Scott Ritter, Dec. 17, 2007
see original HERE

...As a firsthand witness to the remarkable vigor of the Israeli state and its people, and as someone who considers himself to be their friend, it saddens me to see just how poorly the current Israeli government returns this friendship, not to me personally, but to my country, the United States of America. The government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has embarked on policies that are questionable at best when one examines them from a purely Israeli standpoint; they are nothing less than a betrayal of the United States when examined from a broader perspective.

The insidious manner in which the current Israeli government has manipulated the domestic political machinery of the United States to produce support for its policies constitutes nothing less than direct interference in the governance of a sovereign state. The degree to which the current Israeli government has succeeded in this regard can be tracked not only by the words and actions of the administration of President George W. Bush and the American Congress, but also by the extent to which a pro-Israel lexicon has taken hold within the mainstream media of the United States. Witness the pro-Israel bias displayed when discussing the situation in southern Lebanon, the air strike in Syria, or the Iranian situation, and the retarding of any effort toward a responsible discussion of anything dealing with Israel becomes apparent.

One would expect such efforts to shape the domestic public opinion of a state deemed hostile, but when the target of these Israeli actions is its ostensible best friend, one must begin to question whether or not the friendship is a one-way street. And if this is indeed the case, then perhaps it is time for the United States to reconsider its decades-old policy of strategic partnership with Israel.

It must be understood that the government of Ehud Olmert is acting in a post-9/11 environment, with considerable facilitators in the administration of President Bush, including the vice president. These two factors combine to create a cycle of enablement that allows a purely Israeli point of view to dominate American policy. If the Israeli point of view were built on logic, compassion, and the rule of law, then this tilt would not constitute a problem. But the Israeli point of view is increasingly constructed on a foundation of intolerance and irresponsible unilateralism that divorces the country from global norms. In this day and age of nuclear nonproliferation, the undeclared nuclear arsenal of Israel stands as perhaps the most egregious example of how an Israel-only standard destabilizes the Middle East. It is the Israeli nuclear weapons program, including its strategic delivery systems, that is the core of instability for this very volatile region (emphasis mine).

The statements by Israeli officials concerning the recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran and its nuclear program are perhaps the best manifestation of this reality. Avi Dichter, Israel's public security minister, has condemned the NIE as a flawed document, and in terms that link the American analysis to a cause-and-effect cycle that could lead the Middle East down the path of regional war. Like many Israelis, including the prime minister, Dichter disagrees with the American NIE on Iran, in particular the finding that Iran ceased its nuclear weapons program in 2003. The Israelis hold that this program is still active, despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reached a conclusion similar to the NIE's based upon its own exhaustive inspection activities inside Iran over the past five years.

In threatening the world with war because America opted for once to embrace fact instead of fiction, Israel, sadly, has become like a cornered beast, lashing out at any and all it perceives to threaten its security interests. The current Israeli definition of what constitutes its security interests is so broad as to preclude any difference of opinion. Israel's shameless invocations of the Holocaust to defend its actions not only shames the memory of those murdered over 60 years ago, but ironically dilutes the impact of that memory by linking it with current policies that are cruel and intolerant. The message of Holocaust remembrance should be "never again," not just in terms of the persecution of Jews, but in terms of man's inhumanity to man. The birth of the Israeli state, as imperfect and controversial as it was,* served as a foundation for the pursuit of tolerance. However, Israel's current policies, rooted in ethnic and religious hatred, are the antithesis of tolerance.

Israel at present can have no friends, because Israel does not know how to be a friend. Driven by xenophobic paranoia and historical grievances, Israel is embarked on a path that can only lead to death and destruction. This is a path the United States should not tread. I have always taken the position that Israel is a friend of the United States, and that friends should always stand up for one another, even in difficult times. I have also noted that, to quote a phrase well known in America, friends don't let friends drive drunk, and that for some time now Israel has been drunk on arrogance and power. As a friend, I have believed the best course of action for the United States to take would be that which helped remove the keys from the ignition of the policy vehicle Israel is steering toward the edge of the abyss. Now it seems our old friend is holding a pistol to our head, demanding that we stop interfering with the vehicle's operation and preventing us from getting out of the car. This is not the action of a friend, and it can no longer be tolerated.

It is time for what those who are familiar with dependency issues would term an intervention. Like a child too long spoiled by an inattentive parent, Israel has grown accustomed to American largess, to the point that it is addicted to an American aid package that is largely responsible for keeping the Israeli economy afloat. This aid must be reconsidered in its entirety. The day of the free ride must come to an end. The United States must redefine its national security priorities in the Middle East and position Israel accordingly. At the very least, American aid must be linked to Israeli behavior modification. The standards America applies to other nations around the world when it comes to receiving aid must likewise apply to Israel.

Let there be no doubt: Israel and its considerable lobby of supporters here in America will scream bloody murder if their aid is trimmed in any fashion. But in the greater interest of what will best benefit the security interests of the United States, and indeed the Middle East and the entire world, the grip Israel has on American policymaking must come to an end. It is up to the American people to make this change, first and foremost by recognizing that a real problem exists in American-Israeli relations, then by electing officials to Congress who will deal responsibly with these problems based not on the behind-the-scenes lobbying of Israel and its proxies, but rather the legitimate interests of the United States.

If Israel decides it wants to be our friend, then it will change its behavior accordingly. Absent this, America has no choice but to declare its independence from a relationship that has destroyed our credibility around the world and drags us dangerously down the path toward another irresponsible military misadventure in the Middle East. If, in the future, Israel desires to reestablish a relationship with the United States built upon the principles of mutual trust and benefit, then so be it. Such a relationship is something I could embrace without hesitation. But one thing is certain: no such friendship can truly exist under the conditions and terms that are in place today, and for that reason the entirety of the American-Israeli relationship must be reexamined.

*Editor's NOTE:

I have written elsewhere that the way in which the state of Israel was formed was immoral as it expropriated land from Arab Palestinian inhabitants without their consent and without making proper remuneration. In addition the NAKBA (deportation and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians including genocide) carried out by the Haganah (pre-Israeli Defense Force) was a crime against humanity. These crimes are no justification for the killing of innocent Israeli's in retaliation which has transpired since however. No intentional killing of the innocent can ever be morally justified.

More Things Change, More they Stay the Same

By: Dr. J. P. Hubert

In the fall of 2006 much was made of the Democratic takeover of Congress. Pundits touted the purported mandate sent by voters to "end the war in Iraq." Despite a great deal of verbiage, the war continues; there being more US forces in Iraq today than were present when the Democrats resumed control of the US House and Senate over one year ago. The standard explanation offered by the leadership is that Democrats lack sufficient votes in the Senate to pass meaningful legislation.

As I have written on several past occassions, senate Democrats could easily stop all Iraq war funding by simply engaging in a filibuster--no further monies would be appropriated--the war would end. Democrats have made it clear that they are unwilling to employ this technique even as a last resort. Apparently, their desire to win the Presidency in 2008 is so strong that they will refuse to act despite the fact that clear majorities of American's want an end to the Iraq war. So much for moral principle, election promises and the all-important oversight function of Congress.

The pursuit of unbridled power has become the ultimate goal for Democrats, not doing the "will of the people" or even adhering to the common morality or common good. Copious data prove that the American presence in Iraq is destabilizing. Moreover the war is illegal and immoral by all applicable international and US legal standards and by a consideration of the standard Judeo-Christian Ethic [common morality which, for 200+ years was controlling in America].

Tragically it has become apparent that neither political party is willing to do what is morally and increasingly fiscally required--end the war in Iraq now. The British (who after years of attempting to preserve an empire finally recognized that they could either save the nation or keep the empire), wisely chose to save their country and divested themselves of empire. In a similar vein, they have now formally turned Basra over to the Iraqi's, ending their occupation of southern Iraq. If only the United States would do the same.

We face a critical choice as a nation, either end our empire now and possibly save our nation, or have it implode as we continue the futile attempt to maintain global hegemony. America can not do both. The United States no longer has the means (manufacturing base, intellectual capital, moral fiber etc.) to function as a global superpower. By virtually every conceivably relevant criterion, our country is in decline.

The recent sale of certain US interstate highways alone should establish that our economic situation is dire. (When a nation has lost its production capacity, it must sell off assets in order to remain liquid). The sale of US assets to foreign entities is beginning to look like a "fire-sale." Smart money is beginning to position itself for relocation off-shore. The elite finanacial class can afford to live anywhere now that they have utilized an immoral "free-trade" policy to enrich themselves on the backs of third-world slave laborers and unemployed Americans.

If the question of ending the American Empire is not addressed [to date, only Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel have discussed it--and the elite media has effectively dissed them] in the campaign of 2008, look for the status quo (continued American Hegemony) to continue irrespective of who wins the Presidency. If that transpires, regular Americans are in for some very tough times ahead.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

War is a Government Program

by: Sheldon Richman, see original HERE..

June 1 is the 227th anniversary of the birth of Carl von Clausewitz, the influential Prussian military theorist and historian. Clausewitz is best known for writing in his book, On War, “War is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means.”

These words come to mind whenever I hear conservative enthusiasts for the Iraq occupation complain about political interference with military operations. They don’t understand the most basic fact of war: it is a government program. So why aren’t people who claim to be suspicious of other government programs suspicious of war? I can see only two reasons, neither of them flattering: power lust or nationalistic zeal.

Many of us grow up believing that government reflects the will of the people. But skeptics know better. Government has assumed more and more control over private life not because the people demanded it, but because power-seekers and privilege-seekers sought outlets for their ambitions. They then propagandized the public until a sufficient number of people came to believe government control was good for them. (“Public” education has been remarkably effective in this regard.)

The story is similar with war. Politicians start wars for political reasons. They may seek to control resources or a foreign population. Or they may want to secure existing interests that could be at risk without war. The military is a means to political ends.

War always has a domestic side. Ruling classes hold power so that they may live off the toil of the domestic population. And because the ruled far outnumber the rulers, ideology and propaganda are necessary to maintain the allegiance of the subject population. War is useful in keeping the population in a state of fear and therefore trustful of their rulers. H.L. Mencken said it well: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

War is more dangerous than other government programs and not just for of the obvious reason — mass murder. Foreign affairs and war planning seem to justify secrecy, shutting the supposedly sovereign people out of the government’s scheming. Politicians would have a hard time justifying secrecy in domestic affairs. But it is routine in war-related matters. So much for government’s adventures mirroring the people’s wishes.

Most unappreciated of all is that war is the midwife of intrusive bureaucracy. James Madison understood this. “Of all the enemies of true liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few…. No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

On their own, people do not go to war, and without compulsion they would never pay for it — they have better things to do with their money. Herman Goering, Hitler’s second in command, understood this: “Of course the people don’t want war…. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it’s a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”

Mencken knew this too: “Wars are seldom caused by spontaneous hatreds between people, for peoples in general are too ignorant of one another to have grievances and too indifferent to what goes on beyond their borders to plan conquests. They must be urged to the slaughter by politicians who know how to alarm them.”

War is politics. And that’s no compliment

Most Americans Ignorant of US Imperialism/Militarism

Editorial by: Dr. J. P. Hubert

Many authors and academics have written excellent works (Andrew Bacevich comes to mind) detailing how militaristic the United States has become; particularly since the end of WWII.

Subsequent to his two terms, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned that a growing military industrial complex (MIC) was beginning to endanger the American Republic through the increasing control it exerted over Congressional spending. The elite media can now be added (MMIC).

The existence of a permanent army, then the post-Vietnam war creation of an all-volunteer force and recently a mercenary army component (in the form of military "contractors") all have contributed to a growing US militarism in support of an increasingly more hegemonic foreign policy.

Post 9/11, the current administration promulgated what has become known as the "Bush Doctrine", simply put; a commitment to waging foreign wars of aggression under the rubric of "pre-emption" as a form of "defense." In so doing the Bush administration has engaged in the worst form of sophistry--in contemporary parlance--spin. To label offensive wars of aggression defensive is to engage in language deconstruction a blatant form of intellectual dishonesty.

When a nation attacks another on the basis of nothing more than a presumption, in essence a probability calculation that at some future date, the other nation might either attack or make WMD's available to terrorists, it is not engaging in legitimate defense--rather, it is acting preventively and offensively in an aggressive manner. The latter of course is illegal under international and US law.

It is also immoral, based on the well developed corpus of Just War Theory which holds that war must be waged only in response to an actual or imminent attack, after all reasonable alternatives have been exhausted i.e. as a last resort, with proportionate force (only as required to match the threat) and with reasonable chance of success. Moreover, it is never morally licit to intentionally/knowingly attack non-combatant civilians something which occurs routinely in the waging of modern wars of aggression--preventive wars under the Bush Doctrine.

Regrettably, the vast majority of Americans are completely ignorant of the applicable international humanitarian law, US law and the relevant Just War Doctrinal principles with respect to waging War. Equally unfortunate is our blind presumption that America's intent and actions abroad are benign and admirable. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1989/1990 (over successive administrations), it has been the foreign policy of the United States to prevent any nation from ever threatening our now solitary global super-power status.

We have for almost 2 decades engaged in increasingly more threatening and bellicose rhetoric and militaristic behavior. Yet, we wonder why so much of the world hates us. As Patrick J. Buchanan has reasoned, they (the terrorists) hate us not for our values but because of our foreign policy. They are over here because we are over there. They want us out of their region and off of their land. We must admit that under similar circumstances, we would not wish to be occupied or controlled, by an outside foreign power.

The question then is why do Americans not rise up and demand that their government stop behaving in an immoral fashion--as a militaristic Hegemon? Is it fear, ignorance or simply sloth? This writer suspects it is a combination of ignorance and sloth. Unfortunately, many of our citizens are simply too preoccupied attempting to eek out a living what with the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs over the past 15 years--NAFTA, WTO, etc to properly educate themselves or engage in the necessary social action. The "dumbing-down" of an increasingly illiterate populace doesn't help.

No nation can long survive while horrendously in debt, over-extended militarily and incapable of manufacturing anything but weapons. We are now almost completely dependent on China and others for our daily consumer products and the money with which to purchase them. If this is not quickly corrected, we are in for some extremely trying times. The diagnosis is clear, the prescription bitter --END THE EMPIRE before its too late.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Weather Warfare: Beware the US military’s experiments with climatic warfare

‘Climatic warfare’ has been excluded from the agenda on climate change.

by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, December 7, 2007, See HERE.
The Ecologist, December 2007

Rarely acknowledged in the debate on global climate change, the world’s weather can now be modified as part of a new generation of sophisticated electromagnetic weapons. Both the US and Russia have developed capabilities to manipulate the climate for military use.

Environmental modification techniques have been applied by the US military for more than half a century. US mathematician John von Neumann, in liaison with the US Department of Defense, started his research on weather modification in the late 1940s at the height of the Cold War and foresaw ‘forms of climatic warfare as yet unimagined’. During the Vietnam war, cloud-seeding techniques were used, starting in 1967 under Project Popeye, the objective of which was to prolong the monsoon season and block enemy supply routes along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

The US military has developed advanced capabilities that enable it selectively to alter weather patterns, (emphasis mine). The technology, which is being perfected under the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), is an appendage of the Strategic Defense Initiative – ‘Star Wars’. From a military standpoint, HAARP is a weapon of mass destruction, operating from the outer atmosphere and capable of destabilising agricultural and ecological systems around the world.

Weather-modification, according to the US Air Force document AF 2025 Final Report, ‘offers the war fighter a wide range of possible options to defeat or coerce an adversary’, capabilities, it says, extend to the triggering of floods, hurricanes, droughts and earthquakes: ‘Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally… It could have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for deterrence purposes. The ability to generate precipitation, fog and storms on earth or to modify space weather… and the production of artificial weather all are a part of an integrated set of [military] technologies.’

In 1977, an international Convention was ratified by the UN General Assembly which banned ‘military or other hostile use of environmental modification techniques having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects.’ It defined ‘environmental modification techniques’ as ‘any technique for changing –through the deliberate manipulation of natural processes – the dynamics, composition or structure of the earth, including its biota, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere, or of outer space.’

While the substance of the 1977 Convention was reasserted in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) signed at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, debate on weather modification for military use has become a scientific taboo.

Military analysts are mute on the subject. Meteorologists are not investigating the matter and environmentalists are focused on greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. Neither is the possibility of climatic or environmental manipulations as part of a military and intelligence agenda, while tacitly acknowledged, part of the broader debate on climate change under UN auspices.

The HAARP Programme

Established in 1992, HAARP, based in Gokona, Alaska, is an array of high-powered antennas that transmit, through high-frequency radio waves, massive amounts of energy into the ionosphere (the upper layer of the atmosphere). Their construction was funded by the US Air Force, the US Navy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Operated jointly by the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Office of Naval Research, HAARP constitutes a system of powerful antennas capable of creating ‘controlled local modifications of the ionosphere’. According to its official website, , HAARP will be used ‘to induce a small, localized change in ionospheric temperature so physical reactions can be studied by other instruments located either at or close to the HAARP site’.

But Rosalie Bertell, president of the International Institute of Concern for Public Health, says HAARP operates as ‘a gigantic heater that can cause major disruptions in the ionosphere, creating not just holes, but long incisions in the protective layer that keeps deadly radiation from bombarding the planet’.

Physicist Dr Bernard Eastlund called it ‘the largest ionospheric heater ever built’. HAARP is presented by the US Air Force as a research programme, but military documents confirm its main objective is to ‘induce ionospheric modifications’ with a view to altering weather patterns and disrupting communications and radar.

According to a report by the Russian State Duma: ‘The US plans to carry out large-scale experiments under the HAARP programme [and] create weapons capable of breaking radio communication lines and equipment installed on spaceships and rockets, provoke serious accidents in electricity networks and in oil and gas pipelines, and have a negative impact on the mental health of entire regions.’*

An analysis of statements emanating from the US Air Force points to the unthinkable: the covert manipulation of weather patterns, communications and electric power systems as a weapon of global warfare, enabling the US to disrupt and dominate entire regions. Weather manipulation is the pre-emptive weapon par excellence. It can be directed against enemy countries or ‘friendly nations’ without their knowledge, used to destabilise economies, ecosystems and agriculture. It can also trigger havoc in financial and commodity markets. The disruption in agriculture creates a greater dependency on food aid and imported grain staples from the US and other Western countries.

HAARP was developed as part of an Anglo-American partnership between Raytheon Corporation, which owns the HAARP patents, the US Air Force and British Aerospace Systems (BAES).

The HAARP project is one among several collaborative ventures in advanced weapons systems between the two defence giants. The HAARP project was initiated in 1992 by Advanced Power Technologies, Inc. (APTI), a subsidiary of Atlantic Richfield Corporation (ARCO). APTI (including the HAARP patents) was sold by ARCO to E-Systems Inc, in 1994. E-Systems, on contract to the CIA and US Department of Defense, outfitted the ‘Doomsday Plan’, which ‘allows the President to manage a nuclear war’. Subsequently acquired by Raytheon Corporation, it is among the largest intelligence contractors in the World. BAES was involved in the development of the advanced stage of the HAARP antenna array under a 2004 contract with the Office of Naval Research.

The installation of 132 high frequency transmitters was entrusted by BAES to its US subsidiary, BAE Systems Inc. The project, according to a July report in Defense News, was undertaken by BAES’s Electronic Warfare division. In September it received DARPA’s top award for technical achievement for the design, construction and activation of the HAARP array of antennas. The HAARP system is fully operational and in many regards dwarfs existing conventional and strategic weapons systems. While there is no firm evidence of its use for military purposes, Air Force documents suggest HAARP is an integral part of the militarisation of space. One would expect the antennas already to have been subjected to routine testing.

Under the UNFCCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has a mandate ‘to assess scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the understanding of climate change’. This mandate includes environmental warfare. ‘Geo-engineering’ is acknowledged, but the underlying military applications are neither the object of policy analysis or scientific research in the thousands of pages of IPCC reports and supporting documents, based on the expertise and input of some 2,500 scientists, policymakers and environmentalists. ‘Climatic warfare’ potentially threatens the future of humanity, but has casually been excluded from the reports for which the IPCC received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

The HAARP system is fully operational and in many regards dwarfs existing conventional and strategic weapons systems. While there is no firm evidence of its use for military purposes, Air Force documents suggest HAARP is an integral part of the militarisation of space, (emphasis mine). One would expect the antennas already to have been subjected to routine testing.

Under the UNFCCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has a mandate ‘to assess scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the understanding of climate change’. This mandate includes environmental warfare. ‘Geo-engineering’ is acknowledged, but the underlying military applications are neither the object of policy analysis or scientific research in the thousands of pages of IPCC reports and supporting documents, based on the expertise and input of some 2,500 scientists, policymakers and environmentalists. ‘Climatic warfare’ potentially threatens the future of humanity, but has casually been excluded from the reports for which the IPCC received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.


The claims made by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky are very disconerting if true. I have no independently verified knowledge/proof that the assertions made herein are acurate.

It behooves anyone with the ability to further investigate these claims to do so, as the manipulation of climate or other natural processes would be an excellent way for the US to continue its current foreign policy of instigating preventive (spuriously termed pre-emptive) wars of aggression (the Bush Doctrine) while attempting to maintain global hegemony--both of which are immoral of course.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

Thursday, December 6, 2007

True Torah Jews Against Zionism

Our Mission More...

The relatively new concept of Zionism began only about one hundred years ago and since that time Torah-true Jewry has steadfastly opposed the Zionist ideology. This struggle is rooted in two convictions:

Zionism, by advocating a political and military end to the Jewish exile, denies the very essence of our Diaspora existence. We are in exile by Divine Decree and may emerge from exile solely via Divine Redemption. All human efforts to alter a metaphysical reality are doomed to end in failure and bloodshed. History has clearly borne out this teaching.

Zionism has not only denied our fundamental belief in Heavenly Redemption it has also created a pseudo-Judaism which views the essence of our identity to be a secular nationalism. Accordingly, Zionism and the Israeli state have consistently endeavored, via persuasion and coercion, to replace a Divine and Torah centered understanding of our people hood with an armed materialism.

True Torah Jews is dedicated to informing the world and in particular the American public and politicians that all Jews do not support the ideology of the Zionist state called "Israel" which is diametrically opposite to the teachings of traditional Judaism.

We are concerned that the widespread misconception that all Jews support the zionist state and its actions endangers Jews worldwide.

We are NOT politically motivated. We are motivated by our concern for the peace and safety of all people throughout the world including those living in the Zionist state. We support and pray for peace for the people of the Zionist state but have no interest in and do not support the Zionist government.

We seek to disassociate Jews and traditional Judaism from the Zionist Ideology by:

Providing historical and supporting documentation that Zionism is totally contrary to the teachings of traditional Judaism through the words of our Rabbis, Sages, and Holy Scriptures which oppose the creation of a state called Israel.

Providing historical documentation on the ideaology and creation of Zionism, the supporters of Zionism and the negative impact of their actions on the Jewish people in the past hundred years, including their involvement in the holocaust up to the present day.

Publicizing the efforts of traditional Jews to demonstrate that all Jews do not support Zionism, which is being ignored by the mainstream media.

Convince the news media, politicians and the public to cease referring to the state of Israel as the "Jewish State" but to call it what it is: the "Zionist State". (Emphasis mine).

It is our firm belief that when the state of "Israel" is recognized for what it is, a Zionist state which is not guided by the teachings of the traditional Jewish faith, Jews worldwide will be able to live in peace.


This group of orthodox Jews clearly teaches that Zionism is incompatible with orthodox Judaism. As I have written elsewhere, Zionism is not in the interest of Israeli Jews or the Palestinian Arabs not to mention the rest of the world. I encourage readers to visit their web site provided above.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Use Less Energy/Invest in Renewables=Fewer Wars of Aggression

Dr. J. P. Hubert

By now it should be obvious that the only credible reason (for the United States) to be waging wars of aggression in the oil rich Middle East is to satisfy our ever increasing appetite for cheap energy--the second important reason of course is to give Israel a lasting regional advantage as right wing Zionist policy conceives of it (obviously, without adequate energy supplies the American military machine is unable to wage wars on Israel's behalf in the Middle East).

Ironically, our invasion of Iraq has actually lessened available oil supply worldwide. Hence the price per barrel of oil is roughly triple what it was prior to our invasion and the cost of gas at the pump is over twice what it was before we invaded in 2003. Think of current gasoline/oil prices as a not so hidden war tax levied at the pump. Given the violence in Iraq, this situation is unlikely to change any time soon.

The necessary investment in oil related infrastructure which is required in Iraq will not be made until security is established there. Years of allied bombing and sanctions significantly ravaged Iraq's oil industry, yet to be repaired. As a result, oil production/exploration in Iraq lags far behind what is potentially achievable and required given exploding world demand (especially with the exponential growth in demand for energy in both China and India).

While most Americans can do little to directly alter foreign policy given the power of the Zionist Lobby and the MMIC, we can lessen hydrocarbon derived energy demand and thereby make it less necessary to pursue aggressive policies abroad.

Two ways in which to begin making a difference are to 1) make a concerted effort to conserve energy and 2) begin to invest in the development of alternative forms of energy (renewables). The "3" most promising are wind, solar, and geothermal. Other possibilities include water (taking advantage of tidal changes etc.), bio-diesel (soy beans) and ethanol (corn and sugar cane). None of these alone or in concert contain the energy density of fossil fuels but together can perhaps serve as a bridge to some heretofore undeveloped technology such as economically viable hydrogen fuel cell technology and hopefully cold nuclear fusion.

In the interim, everyone is capable of consuming significantly less energy. For a slight increase in initial price, many household appliances can be purchased which demand less energy than slightly cheaper competitors. It behooves us all to become knowledgeable about these and reflect that knowledge in our buying habits.

Few people realize that turning down the thermostat in the winter by only a few degrees markedly decreases energy demand which is reflected in lower home heating bills and a smaller carbon footprint. For every degree we set the thermostat above 70
degrees particularly in cold climates there is a non-linear rise in energy demand. Many people can comfortably tolerate 68 or 69 degrees indoors during the day (and 64-67 degrees at night) if attired appropriately and after becoming accustomed to it. Liberal use of weather stripping/insulation material can be achieved in most homes for a relatively minimal cost. These minor alterations can result in a remarkable amount of energy/cost savings.

Given that the majority of power plants in the United States are coal fired, reducing electricity demand by turning off lights in rooms not occupied, installing energy efficient light bulbs/rheostats and limiting running water all decrease energy demand and lessen the overall carbon footprint. Clean coal technology should be used to replace all standard but antiquated coal-fired power plants and increased research into and use of CO2 scrubbers should be aggressively pursued.

Many of us burn startlingly large amounts of gasoline by driving above 65 miles per hour on the highway. The fuel/monetary savings by driving 55-65 mph versus 70-85 are substantial on a consistent basis not to mention the marked increase in safety which can be had by driving more slowly. Rapid acceleration/deceleration also unnecessarily increase gasoline consumption. Slower speeds can save between 3-6 miles per gallon even in SUV's especially for 2 wheel drive models.

Four wheel drive SUV's are an obvious waste for most people who purchase them for the increased room available. A two wheel drive model can obtain 18-20 miles per gallon by a moderate alteration in driving habits including the liberal use of the cruise control while on the highway. Drivers of four wheel drive models who do not observe these recommendations infrequently obtain even 16 miles per gallon on average. The difference is remarkable (20% reductions in fuel use and cost are achievable through simple behavior modification) and most Americans do not require the extra space afforded by an SUV.

Moreover, many vehicles are now available which average 25-30 mpg on the highway and a few gas/electric (hybrid) models much more. It goes without saying that the federal government should raise CAFE standards back to those which resulted in significantly increased fuel economy in the mid to late 1970's.

There are many other examples which could be offered in the aggregate that can help us reduce our dependence on foreign oil and therefore make it less necessary in the eyes of political and other elites to wage offensive wars of aggression. It behooves us all to take better care of the created Earth and to utilize resources more wisely and carefully. These are all things that are part of treating our neighbor fairly and doing good rather than evil (adhering to the first two principles of the Natural Law).

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Consider Growing Own Food and Buying Products Made Locally

With fuel prices at an all-time high and no evidence that they will decrease significantly any time soon, it is wise for anyone who has the ability to begin growing some of their own food and seeking out local fish, vegetables and other markets which offer foodstuffs caught and or grown locally. By doing so, one is less dependent upon the high cost of transportation. Additionally, there is less associated pollution of the environment with CO2 (lowered carbon footprint).

As the larger economy becomes more affected by deteriorating economic conditions, local efforts become more important and efficient. It is critical that we all try to ban together in neighborhood and regional cooperatives and other vehicles through which private assistance can be provided--as federal funds to states and localities have been significantly curtailed. This may not change irrespective of the results of election 2008.

Many people are unaccustomed to looking for local providers who can supply staples at least exclusively or nearly so. It is surprising what can be accomplished and at very reasonable cost if only a little additional effort is expended especially during the summer months when fruit and vegetable stands are plentiful throughout much of the country. Start by avoiding Wal Mart if at all possible and rewarding local producers/manufactures of goods by frequenting their establishments--all those who can catch their own fish or grow their own food should definitely do so, and of course avoid eating large amounts of high cholesterol foods like shrimp and other shell fish.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

Inaugural Address by John F. Kennedy - January 20th 1961

"Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You speech"

Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, President Truman, reverend clergy, fellow citizens, we observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom - symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning - signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago.

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe - the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans - born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage - and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge - and more.

To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do - for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.

To those new States whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom - and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.

To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required - not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge - to convert our good words into good deeds - in a new alliance for progress - to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbours know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.

To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support - to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective - to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak - and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.

Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.

We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course - both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind's final war.

So let us begin anew - remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belabouring those problems which divide us.

Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms - and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.

Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.

Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah - to "undo the heavy burdens -. and to let the oppressed go free."

And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavour, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.

All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than in mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again - not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are - but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation" - a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shank from this responsibility - I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavour will light our country and all who serve it -- and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Daniel Ellsberg of "Pentagon Papers" fame says Silent Coup has occurred!

Pentagon Insider has dire warning
by Dr. Daniel Ellsberg

Global Research, November 19, 2007
See original article here

American Free Press

Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defense Department analyst who leaked the secret Pentagon Papers history of the Vietnam War, offered insights into the looming attack on Iran and the loss of liberty in the United States at a recent American University symposium. What follow are his comments from that speech. They have been edited only for space.

Let me simplify . . . and not just to be rhetorical: A coup has occurred (emphasis mine).

I woke up the other day realizing, coming out of sleep, that a coup has occurred. It’s not just a question that a coup lies ahead with the next 9-11. That’s the next coup that completes the first.

The last five years have seen a steady assault on every fundamental of our Constitution . . . what the rest of the world looked at for the last 200 years as a model and experiment to the rest of the world—in checks and balances, limited government, Bill of Rights, individual rights protected from majority infringement by the Congress, an independent judiciary, the possibility of impeachment.

There have been violations of these principles by many presidents before. Most of the specific things that Bush has done in the way of illegal surveillance and other matters were done under my boss Lyndon Johnson in the Vietnam War: the use of CIA, FBI, NSA against Americans.

All these violations were impeachable had they been found out at the time but in nearly every case the violations were not found out until [the president was] out of office so we didn’t have the exact challenge that we have today.

That was true with the first term of Nixon and certainly of Johnson, Kennedy and others. They were impeachable. They weren’t found out in time. But I think it was not their intention, in the crisis situations that they felt justified their actions, to change our form of government.

It is increasingly clear with each new book and each new leak that comes out, that Richard Cheney and his now chief of staff David Addington have had precisely that in mind since at least the early 1970s. Not just since 1992, not since 2001, but [they] have believed in executive government, single-branch government under an executive president—elected or not—with unrestrained powers. They did not believe in restraint.

When I say this, I’m not saying they are traitors. I don’t think they have in mind allegiance to some foreign power or have a desire to help a foreign power. I believe they have in their own minds a love of this country and what they think is best for this country—but what they think is best is directly and consciously at odds with what the Founders of this country [and the Framers of the Constitution] thought.

They believe we need a different kind of government now, an executive government essentially, rule by decree, which is what we’re getting with ‘signing statements.’

Signing statements are talked about as line-item vetoes which is one [way] of describing them which are unconstitutional in themselves, but in other ways are just saying the president says: ‘I decide what I enforce. I decide what the law is. I legislate.’

It’s [the same] with the military commissions, courts that are under the entire control of the executive branch, essentially of the president—a concentration of legislative, judicial, and executive powers in one branch, which is precisely what the founders meant to avert, and tried to avert and did avert to the best of their ability in the Constitution.”

Now I’m appealing to that as a crisis right now not just because it is a break in tradition but because I believe in my heart and from my experience that on this point the Founders had it right. It’s not just ‘our way of doing things’— it was a crucial perception on the corruption of power to anybody, including Americans.

On procedures and institutions that might possibly keep that power under control because the alternative was what we have just seen, wars like Vietnam, wars like Iraq, wars like the one coming.

That brings me to the second point. This executive branch, under specifically Bush and Cheney, despite opposition [even] from most of the rest of the branch, even of the cabinet, clearly intends a war against Iran, (emphasis mine) which, even by imperialist standards, [violates] standards in other words which were accepted not only by nearly everyone in the executive branch but most of the leaders in Congress.

The interests of the empire, the need for hegemony, our right to control and our need to control the oil of the Middle East and many other places. That is consensual in our establishment. …

But even by those standards, an attack on Iran is insane. And I say that quietly, I don’t mean it to be heard as rhetoric. Of course it’s not only aggression and a violation of international law, a supreme international crime, but it is by imperial standards, insane in terms of the consequences. (emphasis mine).

Does that make it impossible? No, it obviously doesn’t; it doesn’t even make it unlikely.

That is because two things come together that with the acceptance for various reasons of the Congress—Democrats and Republicans—and the public and the media, we have freed the White House — the president and the vice president—from virtually any restraint by Congress, courts, media, public, whatever.

And on the other hand, the people who have this unrestrained power are crazy. Not entirely, but they have crazy beliefs.

And the question is what then, can we do about this?

We are heading toward an insane operation. It is not certain. [But it] is likely.… I want to try to be realistic myself here, to encourage us to do what we must do, what is needed to be done with the full recognition of the reality. Nothing is impossible.

What I’m talking about in the way of a police state, in the way of an attack on Iran, is not certain. Nothing is certain, actually. However, I think it is probable, more likely than not, that in the next 15, 16 months of this administration we will see an attack on Iran. Probably. Whatever we do (emphasis mine).

And . . . we will not succeed in moving Congress, probably, and Congress probably will not stop the president from doing this. And that’s where we’re heading. That’s a very ugly, ugly prospect.

However, I think it’s up to us to work to increase that small, perhaps—anyway not large—possibility and probability to avert this within the next 15 months, aside from the effort that we have to make for the rest of our lives.

Getting back the constitutional government and improving it will take a long time. And I think if we don’t get started now, it won’t be started under the next administration.

Getting out of Iraq will take a long time. Averting Iran and averting a further coup in the face of a 9-11, another attack, is for right now, it can’t be put off. It will take a kind of political and moral courage of which we have seen very little.

We have a really unusual concentration here and in this audience, of people who have in fact changed their lives, changed their position, lost their friends to a large extent, risked and experienced being called terrible names, ‘traitor,’ ‘weak on terrorism’—names that politicians will do anything to avoid being called.

How do we get more people in the government and in the public at large to change their lives now in a crisis in a critical way? How do we get Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid for example? What kinds of pressures, what kinds of influences can be brought to bear to get Congress to do their jobs? It isn’t just doing their jobs. Getting them to obey their oaths of office.

I took an oath many times, an oath of office as a Marine lieutenant, as an official in the Defense Department, as an official in the State Department as a Foreign Service officer. A number of times I took an oath of office which is the same oath of office taken by every member of Congress and every official in the United States and every officer in the armed services.

And that oath is not to a commander in chief, which is not [even] mentioned. It is not to a Fuehrer. It is not even to superior officers. The oath is precisely to protect and uphold the Constitution of the United States.

Now that is an oath I violated every day for years in the Defense Department without realizing it when I kept my mouth shut when I knew the public was being lied into a war as they were lied into Iraq, as they are being lied into war in Iran.

I knew that I had the documents that proved it, and I did not put it out then. I was not obeying my oath, which I eventually came to do.

I’ve often said that Lt. Ehren Watada—who still faces trial for refusing to obey orders to deploy to Iraq which he correctly perceives to be an unconstitutional and aggressive war—is the single officer in the United States armed services who is taking seriously [the matter of] upholding his oath.

The president is clearly violating that oath, of course. [All the personnel] under him who understand what is going on — and there are myriad — are violating their oaths. And that’s the standard that I think we should be asking of people. (emphasis mine).

On the Democratic side, on the political side, I think we should be demanding of our Democratic leaders in the House and Senate—and frankly of the Republicans —that it is not their highest single absolute priority to be reelected or to maintain a Democratic majority so that Pelosi can still be speaker of the House and Reid can be in the Senate, or to increase that majority.

I’m not going to say that for politicians they should ignore that, or that they should do something else entirely, or that they should not worry about that. Of course that will be and should be a major concern of theirs, but they’re acting like it’s their sole concern. Which is business as usual. “We have a majority, let’s not lose it, let’s keep it. Let’s keep those chairmanships.”

Exactly what have those chairmanships done for us to save the Constitution in the last couple of years?

I am shocked by the Republicans today that I read [about] in The Washington Post who threatened a filibuster if we … get back habeas corpus. The ruling out of habeas corpus with the help of the Democrats did not get us back to George the First it got us back to before King John 700 years ago in terms of counter-revolution.

I think we’ve got to somehow get home to them [in Congress] that this is the time for them to uphold the oath, to preserve the Constitution, which is worth struggling for in part because it’s only with the power that the Constitution gives Congress responding to the public, only with that can we protect the world from madmen in power in the White House who intend an attack on Iran.

And the current generation of American generals and others who realize that this will be a catastrophe have not shown themselves —they might be people who in their past lives risked their bodies and their lives in Vietnam or elsewhere, like [Colin] Powell, and would not risk their career or their relations with the president to the slightest degree.

That has to change. And it’s the example of people like those up here who somehow brought home to our representatives that they as humans and as citizens have the power to do likewise and find in themselves the courage to protect this country and protect the world. Thank you.”

Saturday, November 24, 2007

"Free" Market Capitalism--the Imploding Myth

I wrote in a recent post re: the notion that markets are truly free in America is a common economic fiction due to the artificial protection (i.e. corporate welfare and lobbyist secured monopolies) afforded some in the "Big-business" community.

A minor but not insignificant example is the Gulf (of Mexico) Coast Sports-Fishing/Charter Boat business. Large commercial fishing interests and their lobbyists have succeeded in limiting the "red-snapper" season so severely (next year the season will be significantly shortened) for sport fishermen and charter boat small businesses that these are becoming economically nonviable while large commercial fishing concerns are being treated to increasingly monopolistic and predatory control of the Gulf salt water fishing economy. Under the false guise of protecting red snapper fish populations from over-fishing, commercial fishermen have been delivered a veritable bonanza of these fish through artificial legislative protection while small charter boat businesses and sportsmen languish.

Were a totally "free-market" to exist, all would have the right to compete for the same fish population(s) or in the event that a truly dangerous depletion of a given fish species occurred; commercial fishermen who take far greater numbers of fish would be limited before individual sports fishermen or small charter boat businesses were selectively curtailed. Obviously, the market is not really "free" or unregulated, it is artificially controlled in the interest of those who can afford to employ the most powerful lobbyists. The idea that the United States fosters free market capitalism is simply pablum for the uneducated masses.

All Americans of good will must understand that our markets are heavily regulated not free. Similarly, foreign trade is not free but heavily regulated in favor of large international corporations who enjoy a veritable monopoly which includes access to slave labor (Indian, Chinese, Bangladeshi, Korean etc) in which occupational and environmental conditions are substandard all so that unconscionable profits can be made for an increasingly small number of corporate internationalists. It should be apparent that the present system is highly immoral in the short-term and non-viable in the long term--should it continue the US will complete its rapid descent into third world status.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

Friday, November 23, 2007

Preparing for Life After Oil

Michael Klare discusses the undeniable link between growing global energy demand/depletion of reserves and increasing US military committments worldwide to "protect" American energy (oil as national security) access. For more details see my: 21st Century Global Challenges here.

By Michael T. Klare

11/18/07 "The Nation" See here
--- - This past May, in an unheralded and almost unnoticed move, the Energy Department signaled a fundamental, near epochal shift in US and indeed world history: we are nearing the end of the Petroleum Age and have entered the Age of Insufficiency. The department stopped talking about "oil" in its projections of future petroleum availability and began speaking of "liquids." The global output of "liquids," the department indicated, would rise from 84 million barrels of oil equivalent (mboe) per day in 2005 to a projected 117.7 mboe in 2030 -- barely enough to satisfy anticipated world demand of 117.6 mboe. Aside from suggesting the degree to which oil companies have ceased being mere suppliers of petroleum and are now purveyors of a wide variety of liquid products -- including synthetic fuels derived from natural gas, corn, coal and other substances -- this change hints at something more fundamental: we have entered a new era of intensified energy competition and growing reliance on the use of force to protect overseas sources of petroleum.

To appreciate the nature of the change, it is useful to probe a bit deeper into the Energy Department's curious terminology. "Liquids," the department explains in its International Energy Outlook for 2007, encompasses "conventional" petroleum as well as "unconventional" liquids -- notably tar sands (bitumen), oil shale, biofuels, coal-to-liquids and gas-to-liquids. Once a relatively insignificant component of the energy business, these fuels have come to assume much greater importance as the output of conventional petroleum has faltered. Indeed, the Energy Department projects that unconventional liquids production will jump from a mere 2.4 mboe per day in 2005 to 10.5 in 2030, a fourfold increase. But the real story is not the impressive growth in unconventional fuels but the stagnation in conventional oil output. Looked at from this perspective, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the switch from "oil" to "liquids" in the department's terminology is a not so subtle attempt to disguise the fact that worldwide oil production is at or near its peak capacity and that we can soon expect a downturn in the global availability of conventional petroleum.

Petroleum is, of course, a finite substance, and geologists have long warned of its ultimate disappearance. The extraction of oil, like that of other nonrenewable resources, will follow a parabolic curve over time. Production rises quickly at first and then gradually slows until approximately half the original supply has been exhausted; at that point, a peak in sustainable output is attained and production begins an irreversible decline until it becomes too expensive to lift what little remains. Most oil geologists believe we have already reached the midway point in the depletion of the world's original petroleum inheritance and so are nearing a peak in global output; the only real debate is over how close we have come to that point, with some experts claiming we are at the peak now and others saying it is still a few years or maybe a decade away.

Until very recently, Energy Department analysts were firmly in the camp of those wild-eyed optimists who claimed that peak oil was so far in the future that we didn't really need to give it much thought. Putting aside the science of the matter, the promulgation of such a rose-colored view obviated any need to advocate improvements in automobile fuel efficiency or to accelerate progress on the development of alternative fuels. Given White House priorities, it is hardly surprising that this view prevailed in Washington.

In just the past six months, however, the signs of an imminent peak in conventional oil production have become impossible even for conservative industry analysts to ignore. These have come from the take-no-prisoners world of oil pricing and deal-making, on the one hand, and the analysis of international energy experts, on the other.

Most dramatic, perhaps, has been the spectacular rise in oil prices. The price of light, sweet crude crossed the longstanding psychological barrier of $80 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange for the first time in September, and has since risen to as high as $90. Many reasons have been cited for the rise in crude prices, including unrest in Nigeria's oil-producing Delta region, pipeline sabotage in Mexico, increased hurricane activity in the Gulf of Mexico and fears of Turkish attacks on Kurdish guerrilla sanctuaries in Iraq. But the underlying reality is that most oil-producing countries are pumping at maximum capacity and finding it increasingly difficult to boost production in the face of rising international demand.

Even a decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to boost production by 500,000 barrels per day failed to halt the upward momentum in prices. Concerned that an excessive rise in oil costs would trigger a worldwide recession and lower demand for their products, the OPEC countries agreed to increase their combined output at a meeting in Vienna on September 11. "We think that the market is a little bit high," explained Kuwait's acting oil minister, Mohammad al-Olaim. But the move did little to slow the rise in prices. Clearly, OPEC would have to undertake a much larger production increase to alter the market environment, and it is not at all clear that its members possess the capacity to do that -- now or in the future.

A warning sign of another sort was provided by Kazakhstan's August decision to suspend development of the giant Kashagan oil region in its sector of the Caspian Sea, first initiated by a consortium of Western firms in the late '90s. Kashagan was said to be the most promising oil project since the discovery of oil in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay in the late '60s. But the enterprise has encountered enormous technical problems and has yet to produce a barrel of oil. Frustrated by a failure to see any economic benefits from the project, the Kazakh government has cited environmental risks and cost overruns to justify suspending operations and demanding a greater say in the project.

Like the dramatic rise in oil prices, the Kashagan episode is an indication of the oil industry's growing difficulties in its efforts to boost production in the face of rising demand. "All the oil companies are struggling to grow production," Peter Hitchens of Teather & Greenwood brokerage told the Wall Street Journal in July. "It's becoming more and more difficult to bring projects in on time and on budget."

That this industry debilitation is not a temporary problem but symptomatic of a long-term trend was confirmed in two important studies published this past summer by conservative industry organizations.

The first of these was released July 9 by the International Energy Agency (IEA), an affiliate of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the club of major industrial powers. Titled Medium-Term Oil Market Report, it is a blunt assessment of the global supply-and-demand equation over the 2007-12 period. The news is not good.

Predicting that world economic activity will grow by an average of 4.5 percent per year during this period -- much of it driven by unbridled growth in China, India and the Middle East -- the report concludes that global oil demand will rise by 2.2 percent per year, pushing world oil consumption from approximately 86 million barrels per day in 2007 to 96 million in 2012. With luck and massive new investment, the oil industry will be able to increase output sufficiently to satisfy the higher level of demand anticipated for 2012 -- barely. Beyond that, however, there appears little likelihood that the industry will be able to sustain any increase in demand. "Oil look[s] extremely tight in five years' time," the agency declared.

Underlying the report's general conclusion are a number of specific concerns. Most notably, it points to a worrisome decline in the yield of older fields in non-OPEC countries and a corresponding need for increased output from the OPEC countries, most of which are located in conflict-prone areas of the Middle East and Africa. The numbers involved are staggering. At first blush, it would seem that the need for an extra 10 million barrels per day between now and 2012 would translate into an added 2million barrels per day in each of the next five years -- a conceivably attainable goal. But that doesn't take into account the decline of older fields. According to the report, the world actually needs an extra 5 million: 3 million to make up for the decline in older fields plus the 2 million in added requirements. This is a daunting and possibly insurmountable challenge, especially when one considers that almost all of the additional petroleum will have to come from Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Angola, Libya, Nigeria, Sudan, Kazakhstan and Venezuela -- countries that do not inspire the sort of investor confidence that will be needed to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into new drilling rigs, pipelines and other essential infrastructure.

Similar causes for anxiety can be found in the second major study released last summer, Facing the Hard Truths About Energy, prepared by the National Petroleum Council, a major industry organization. Because it supposedly provided a "balanced" view of the nation's energy dilemma, the NPC report was widely praised on Capitol Hill and in the media; adding to its luster was the identity of its chief author, former ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond.

Like the IEA report, the NPC study starts with the claim that, with the right mix of policies and higher investment, the industry is capable of satisfying US and international oil and natural gas demand. "Fortunately, the world is not running out of energy resources," the report bravely asserts. But obstacles to the development and delivery of these resources abound, so prudent policies and practices are urgently required. Although "there is no single, easy solution to the multiple challenges we face," the authors conclude, they are "confident that the prompt adoption of these strategies" will allow the United States to satisfy its long-term energy needs.

Read further into the report, however, and serious doubts emerge. Here again, worries arise from the growing difficulties of extracting oil and gas from less-favorable locations and the geopolitical risks associated with increased reliance on unfriendly and unstable suppliers. According to the NPC (using data acquired from the IEA), an estimated $20 trillion in new infrastructure will be needed over the next twenty-five years to ensure that sufficient energy is available to satisfy anticipated worldwide demand.

The report then states the obvious: "A stable and attractive investment climate will be necessary to attract adequate capital for evolution and expansion of the energy infrastructure." This is where any astute observer should begin to get truly alarmed, for, as the study notes, no such climate can be expected. As the center of gravity of world oil production shifts decisively to OPEC suppliers and state-centric energy producers like Russia, geopolitical rather than market factors will come to dominate the marketplace.

"These shifts pose profound implications for U.S. interests, strategies, and policy-making," the NPC report states. "Many of the expected changes could heighten risks to U.S. energy security in a world where U.S. influence is likely to decline as economic power shifts to other nations. In years to come, security threats to the world's main sources of oil and natural gas may worsen."

The implications are obvious: major investors are not likely to cough up the trillions of dollars needed to substantially boost production in the years ahead, suggesting that the global output of conventional petroleum will not reach the elevated levels predicted by the Energy Department but will soon begin an irreversible decline.

This conclusion leads to two obvious strategic impulses: first, the government will seek to ease the qualms of major energy investors by promising to protect their overseas investments through the deployment of American military forces; and second, the industry will seek to hedge its bets by shifting an ever-increasing share of its investment funds into the development of nonpetroleum liquids.

The New 'Washington Consensus'

The need for a vigorous US military role in protecting energy assets abroad has been a major theme in American foreign policy since 1945, when President Roosevelt met with King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia and promised to protect the kingdom in return for privileged access to Saudi oil.

In the most famous expression of this linkage, President Carter affirmed in January 1980 that the unimpeded flow of Persian Gulf oil is among this country's vital interests and that to protect this interest, the United States will employ "any means necessary, including military force." This principle was later cited by President Reagan as the rationale for "reflagging" Kuwaiti oil tankers with the American ensign during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88 and protecting them with US warships -- a stance that led to sporadic clashes with Iran. The same principle was subsequently invoked by George H.W. Bush as a justification for the Gulf War of 1991.

In considering these past events, it is important to recognize that the use of military force to protect the flow of imported petroleum has generally enjoyed broad bipartisan support in Washington. Initially, this bipartisan outlook was largely focused on the Persian Gulf area, but since 1990, it has been extended to other areas as well. President Clinton eagerly pursued close military ties with the Caspian Sea oil states of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan after the breakup of the USSR in 1991, while George W. Bush has avidly sought an increased US military presence in Africa's oil-producing regions, going so far as to favor the establishment of a US Africa Command (Africom) in February.

One might imagine that the current debacle in Iraq would shake this consensus, but there is no evidence that this is so. In fact, the opposite appears to be the case: possibly fearful that the chaos in Iraq will spread to other countries in the Gulf region, senior figures in both parties are calling for a reinvigorated US military role in the protection of foreign energy deliveries.

Perhaps the most explicit expression of this elite consensus is an independent task force report, National Security Consequences of U.S. Oil Dependency, backed by many prominent Democrats and Republicans. It was released by the bipartisan Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), co-chaired by John Deutch, deputy secretary of defense in the Clinton Administration, and James Schlesinger, defense secretary in the Nixon and Ford administrations, in October 2006. The report warns of mounting perils to the safe flow of foreign oil. Concluding that the United States alone has the capacity to protect the global oil trade against the threat of violent obstruction, it argues the need for a strong US military presence in key producing areas and in the sea lanes that carry foreign oil to American shores.

An awareness of this new "Washington consensus" on the need to protect overseas oil supplies with American troops helps explain many recent developments in Washington. Most significant, it illuminates the strategic stance adopted by President Bush in justifying his determination to retain a potent US force in Iraq -- and why the Democrats have found it so difficult to contest that stance.

Consider Bush's September 13 prime-time speech on Iraq. "If we were to be driven out of Iraq," he prophesied, "extremists of all strains would be emboldened.... Iran would benefit from the chaos and would be encouraged in its efforts to gain nuclear weapons and dominate the region. Extremists could control a key part of the global energy supply." And then came the kicker: "Whatever political party you belong to, whatever your position on Iraq, we should be able to agree that America has a vital interest in preventing chaos and providing hope in the Middle East." In other words, Iraq is no longer about democracy or WMDs or terrorism but about maintaining regional stability to ensure the safe flow of petroleum and keep the American economy on an even keel (my emphasis added); it was almost as if he was speaking to the bipartisan crowd that backed the CFR report cited above.

It is very clear that the Democrats, or at least mainstream Democrats, are finding it exceedingly difficult to contest this argument head-on. In March, for example, Senator Hillary Clinton told the New York Times that Iraq is "right in the heart of the oil region" and so "it is directly in opposition to our interests" for it to become a failed state or a pawn of Iran. This means, she continued, that it will be necessary to keep some US troops in Iraq indefinitely, to provide logistical and training support to the Iraqi military. Senator Barack Obama has also spoken of the need to maintain a robust US military presence in Iraq and the surrounding area. Thus, while calling for the withdrawal of most US combat brigades from Iraq proper, he has championed an "over-the-horizon force that could prevent chaos in the wider region."

Given this perspective, it is very hard for mainstream Democrats to challenge Bush when he says that an "enduring" US military presence is needed in Iraq or to change the Administration's current policy, barring a major military setback or some other unforeseen event. By the same token, it will be hard for the Democrats to avert a US attack on Iran if this can be portrayed as a necessary move to prevent Tehran from threatening the long-term safety of Persian Gulf oil supplies.

Nor can we anticipate a dramatic change in US policy in the Gulf region from the next administration, whether Democratic or Republican. If anything, we should expect an increase in the use of military force to protect the overseas flow of oil, as the threat level rises along with the need for new investment to avert even further reductions in global supplies.

The Rush to Alternative Liquids

Although determined to keep expanding the supply of conventional petroleum for as long as possible, government and industry officials are aware that at some point these efforts will prove increasingly ineffective. They also know that public pressure to reduce carbon dioxide emissions -- thus slowing the accumulation of climate-changing greenhouse gases -- and to avoid exposure to conflict in the Middle East is sure to increase in the years ahead. Accordingly, they are placing greater emphasis on the development of oil alternatives that can be procured at home or in neighboring Canada.

The new emphasis was first given national attention in Bush's latest State of the Union address. Stressing energy independence and the need to modernize fuel economy standards, he announced an ambitious plan to increase domestic production of ethanol and other biofuels. The Administration appears to favor several types of petroleum alternatives: ethanol derived from corn stover, switch grass and other nonfood crops (cellulosic ethanol); diesel derived largely from soybeans (biodiesel); and liquids derived from coal (coal-to-liquids), natural gas (gas-to-liquids) and oil shale. All of these methods are being tested in university laboratories and small-scale facilities, and will be applied in larger, commercial-sized ventures in coming years with support from various government agencies.

In February, for example, the Energy Department announced grants totaling $385 million for the construction of six pilot plants to manufacture cellulosic ethanol; when completed in 2012, these "biorefineries" will produce more than 130 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year. (The United States already produces large quantities of ethanol by cooking and fermenting corn kernels, a process that consumes vast amounts of energy and squanders a valuable food crop while supplanting only a small share of our petroleum usage; the proposed cellulosic plants would use nonfood biomass as a feedstock and consume far less energy.)

Just as eager to develop petroleum alternatives are the large energy companies, all of which have set up laboratories or divisions to explore future energy options. BP has been especially aggressive; in 2005 it established BP Alternative Energy and set aside $8 billion for this purpose. This past February the new spinoff announced a $500 million grant -- possibly the largest of its kind in history -- to the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Illinois and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to establish an Energy Biosciences Institute with the aim of developing biofuels. BP said the institute "is expected to explore the application of bioscience [to] the production of new and cleaner energy, principally fuels for road transport."

Just about every large oil company is placing a heavy bet on Canadian tar sands -- a gooey substance found in Canada's Alberta province that can be converted into synthetic petroleum -- but only with enormous effort and expense. According to the Energy Department, Canadian bitumen production will rise from 1.1 mboe in 2005 to 3.6mboe in 2030, an increase that is largely expected to be routed to the United States. Hoping to cash in on this bonanza, giant US corporations like Chevron are racing to buy up leases in the bitumen fields of northern Alberta.

But while attractive from a geopolitical perspective, extracting Canadian tar sands is environmentally destructive. It takes vast quantities of energy to recover the bitumen and convert it into a usable liquid, releasing three times as much greenhouse gases as conventional oil production; the resulting process leaves toxic water supplies and empty moonscapes in its wake. Although rarely covered in the US press, opposition in Canada to the environmental damage wreaked by these mammoth operations is growing.

Environmental factors loom large in yet another potential source of liquids being pursued by US energy firms, with strong government support: shale oil, or petroleum liquids pried from immature rock found in the Green River basin of western Colorado, eastern Utah and southern Wyoming. Government geologists claim that shale rock in the United States holds the equivalent of 2.1 trillion barrels of oil -- the same as the original world supply of conventional petroleum. However, the only way to recover this alleged treasure is to strip-mine a vast wilderness area and heat the rock to 500 degrees Celsius, creating mountains of waste material in the process. Here too, opposition is growing to this massively destructive assault on the environment. Nevertheless, Shell Oil has established a pilot plant in Rio Blanco County in western Colorado with strong support from the Bush Administration.

Life After the Peak

And so we have a portrait of the global energy situation after the peak of conventional petroleum, with troops being rushed from one oil-producing hot spot to another and a growing share of our transportation fuel being supplied by nonpetroleum liquids of one sort or another. Exactly what form this future energy equation will take cannot be foreseen with precision, but it is obvious that the arduous process will shape American policy debates, domestic and foreign, for a long time.

As this brief assessment suggests, the passing of peak oil will have profound and lasting consequences for this country, with no easy solutions. In facing this future, we must, above all, disavow any simple answers, such as energy "independence" based on the pillage of America's remaining wilderness areas or the false promise of corn-based ethanol (which can supply only a tiny fraction of our transportation requirements). It is clear, moreover, that many of the fuel alternatives proposed by the Bush Administration pose significant dangers of their own and so should be examined carefully before vast public sums are committed to their development. The safest and most morally defensible course is to repudiate any "consensus" calling for the use of force to protect overseas petroleum supplies and to strive to conserve what remains of the world's oil by using less of it, (my emphasis added).

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

Friday, November 16, 2007

The “Fruits” of Legal Positivism: Utilitarianism in Action

by Dr. John P. Hubert
09 December 2005
First Published by Intellectual

For over 60 years, the United States Supreme Court has progressively departed from what was primarily a Natural Law-based understanding of its role in constitutional interpretation.

Many Americans have wondered about the unseemly charade that transpires whenever a nomination is made to the U.S. Supreme Court. High profile members of each political party make the usual inane comments about the judicial “mainstream” -- whatever that is -- and the need to insure “balance” on the court as if it were the legislative branch. One or the other party usually accuses the other of nominating an “extremist” -- understood as anyone with whom they disagree. It seems as if the object is to nominate a “blank slate” in order to avoid a lengthy and partisan fight. The nominees’ previous judicial opinions academic writings and speeches are “mined” for evidence of unsuitability. The two latest nominees (Chief Justice John Roberts and Harriet Miers) represent this new “blank slate” philosophy in action; both having been referred to as “stealth” selections. Each lacks a public record on the so-called contemporary hot button social issues. This is short-hand for; failing to take a public stance on moral issues foundational to the civil law. In other words, the candidates who are now being nominated to the highest court in the land are individuals who either have no opinions on moral issues as they relate to the law or purposely remained silent despite having them, presumably to position themselves for career advancement. The former suggests moral or intellectual impoverishment, the latter a degree of utilitarian -- ends justify the means -- cunning which frankly is extremely worrisome.

Utilitarian Calculus in Action

The notion that in order to successfully ascend to the U.S. Supreme Court one must purposely (premeditatedly) remain mute at a time when the civil law has never been more adverse to the Natural Law and the principles of the Judeo-Christian ethic is Machiavellian in the extreme. Such a candidate should be accused of being simply untenable.i While demonstrating amazing resourcefulness that individual has also evinced a frightening degree of moral turpitude. Ostensibly, for several decades post-Roe brilliant social conservatives and liberals with an interest in jurisprudence became wise to the nature of the game being played. They were apparently facile enough to recognize that being candid and forthright about their so-called deeply held convictions (code for moral and religious views) was a prescription for professional non-advancement. In typical utilitarian fashion, they did from their perspective the only logical thing -- “played the game.”

Had they applied the relevant Aristotelian or Thomistic moral philosophy rather than utilitarianism (Millsian, Hobbesian, Holmesian), they would have recognized the bankruptcy of employing a morally illicit means in the accomplishment of a potentially good end. Instead of meeting the perfidy head-on, which was obvious and apparent by the latter half of 20th century Supreme Court jurisprudence,ii too many of the best and brightest simply agreed to play by the new rules in which the ends were allowed to justify virtually any means whether morally licit or not.

This new Utilitarian calculus was nothing more than the personal application of a philosophy which had already been embraced in the judicial realm. That philosophy is Legal Positivism or pragmatism -- developed by Oliver Wendell Holmes and those who followed.iii It is based entirely on a Secularist worldview in which the controlling moral philosophy is utilitarian.iv Fundamentally it also means that American Jurisprudence is now held hostage to an alien judicial philosophy based not on the Natural Law or the Judeo-Christian ethic, but rather on the post-Enlightenment philosophies of Mill, Hume, Rousseau, Locke, Hobbes and Darwin.

Constantly Evolving Moral Code

Legal Positivism reduced to the lowest common denominator is the application of Darwinian Natural Selection (survival of the fittest) to a constantly changing moral code based on personal preference or “choice” in the realm of the civil law. Under this rubric, moral absolutesv do not really exist, since morality in general is determined by what is socially acceptable at a given period of time in history. What is verboten today can be made acceptable tomorrow through the ballot box, the courts, or social conditioning. Thus American civil law has held that some human beings may be considered property in one historical period and not in another, or that embryonic human beings or those in-utero are to be considered worthy of protection under some circumstances but in others nothing more than personal property to be disposed of for the sake of expediency when unwanted pregnancy occurs. For example, why it is legal for a woman to kill her unborn child -- and yet if a man kills his pregnant wife, he can be charged with “double homicide” and if convicted sentenced to the death penalty?

Americans should understand that for over 60 years, the United States Supreme Court has progressively departed from what was primarily a Natural Law-based understanding of its role in constitutional interpretation. That construct utilized the constitution as written, relying on the so-called original intent or a strict constructionist interpretation as a template upon which the tenets of the Natural Law were traced. For almost 100 years, the USSC has embraced Legal Positivism, in which no immutable moral principles are recognized, including the first and second principles of the Natural Law (do good/ avoid evil and treat your neighbor fairly). The only unifying principle allowed to permeate legal positivism is personal autonomy or choice, itself an expression of survival of the fittest (read selfishness) which has become the new judicial rallying cry. Thus it follows that virtually any new social/cultural experiment can be codified into law by the Supreme Court even if such a law could never be passed by the representatives of the people who still adhere largely to the principles of the Natural Law and the Judeo-Christian Ethic. Why? Because the court is simply not restrained or controlled by the observance of any moral absolutes such as; “it is always and everywhere wrong to purposely kill an innocent human being.” Rather, the United States Supreme Court has progressively indicated either by formal rule or by refusal to review certain lower court cases, that it is perfectly legal to kill some human beings for reasons of utility/expediency. This is especially true of the weakest and least powerful among us, including the unborn, infirm, disabled or retarded.

Circus of the Absurd

It should not be surprising then, that all manner of contradictory and illogical rulings have emanated from the Supreme Court in the wake of the full acceptance of legal positivism as an over-arching (foundational) judicial worldview. This alone should have been enough to demonstrate its total lack of foundation. But alas it has not been. Instead we are treated to what can only be charitably called the “circus of the absurd,” in which a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court is paraded before a group of Senate Judiciary Committee interlocutors attempting to discharge their constitutional duty to “advise and consent.” These public displays of intellectual dishonesty disparage the very constitution in whose name they are held. Senators on both sides of the aisle slyly engage in a delicate dance in an attempt to determine who is best able to entice the nominee into divulging what if divulged would lead to their being rejected. One side prosecutes, the other defends. The nominee tries valiantly to sound intelligent, humble and duly respectful without divulging anything of substance. There is simply no chance at all that the nominee will inform the American public of what he/she actually thinks is always and everywhere true, timeless and applicable with respect to the Natural (moral) Law upon which the civil law should be based in order to be Instead, the nominee may dutifully discuss his/her understanding of “original intent,” will likely refer to the importance of past precedent (stare decisis) and regurgitate the conceptual reasons for which a given law’s precedent could be reversed but avoid like the plague any comments regarding concepts, issues or cases which could conceivably come before the court. This would be laughable were it not so serious. Virtually anything could come before the Supreme Court and often does. The nominee is able to totally avoid a discussion of consequential matters while confining comments to second order largely procedural (trial tactic) questions of interest to lawyers and appellate court judges only.

Stare Decisis, a Convenient Ruse

It is worth reviewing that stare decisis is a concept in the law which literally means “to stand by things decided.” This tired old phrase from the common law is always trotted out at the time of Supreme Court nominations. The idea is that once something becomes decided by the Supreme Court it has become precedent that is in a sense “settled,” such that future courts should show due deference to it as if it is “written in stone.” The concept is “over-hyped,” however, when one looks at the history of the Supreme Court ,which has on numerous occasions overturned precedent in an attempt to either recognize newly identified “rights” or rectify historical “wrongs” (e.g. overturning of Dred Scott v. Sanford, which held that African Americans were property, newly recognized and invented human rights, e.g. Roe v. Wade, which for the first time held that women have a right to unrestricted abortion despite state laws which prohibit same, or Lawrence v. Texas, which found a new constitutional right to engage in sodomy, effectively overturning Bowers v. Hardwick, which was “settled law” and thus should have served as precedent.)vii

Unfortunately however, throughout the confirmation process during which the nominee appears at length before the Senate Judiciary Committee, there will be no discussion of the basis on which legitimate civil laws can be constructed.viii All such first-order philosophical questions will be rejected as “deeply held and personal,” that is, “religious,” rather than foundational or philosophically obligatory. Thus, lawyers and Supreme Court Justices become tacticians lacking in an overarching (organizing principle) or philosophical construct. Yet, in practice there is an organizing principle; Legal Positivism, which is essentially denied due to the fact that such questions are labeled religious and not philosophical, a convenient “sleight of hand” that. This is how a utilitarian judicial philosophy steeped in rabid autonomy has been foisted on the American public unknowingly. Few recognize that it bears no resemblance to the Judeo-Christian ethic which many still adhere to and practice.

Furthermore, it is assumed that if Congress passes a law, the USSC has the right to determine whether it is constitutional and morally permissible, as if the two were synonymous. It is simply presumed a priori that nothing which the court could declare constitutional for whatever reason could ever be immoral, despite obvious examples to the contrary. The entire process becomes an exercise in debate over second order questions without any first order foundation. Put differently, there is no transcendent -- in the metaphysical sense -- referent by which the moral licitness of a given law can be compared. Laws become whatever society at a given point in history wants them to be. The function of the Supreme Court then becomes one of “divining” what Americans presently think, feel or want, what common assumptions they have become accustomed to making and so on. Then a majority of Justices create a way or tactic -- whether logically coherent or not - -to justify the conclusion which they have already made. In the process, to a greater or lesser degree they attempt to demonstrate how the Constitution actually contains the warrant for their findings.

What is totally overlooked in the above scenario is that the moral licitness of any law is a totally separate question from whether it is constitutional; irrespective of whether it is or is not consistent with “original constitutional intent.” The original intent of a given law may always have been morally illicit from the perspective of the Natural Law, the Judeo-Christian Ethic, and the common morality. It may even have been immoral by virtue of any other applicable moral philosophy -- even utilitarianism. For example, slavery was arguably immoral by the Natural Law/Judeo-Christian Ethic, but yet was not originally considered unconstitutional. It is difficult today for most people to believe that African-Americans were once considered property. Slavery was codified in law, however, because even from the beginning of the American experiment, the civil law was not based entirely on the Natural Law. Utilitarian moral thinking began very early to insinuate its way from the Continent into the colonial experience.

We are left to believe, according to the tenets of legal positivism, that during the period in question, slavery was permissible and constitutional because it was commonly accepted, economically based and people were accustomed to it. At a later date, the “situation” changed and a different set of assumptions obtained. It also means that if in the future it becomes expedient for slavery to once again exist, the Supreme Court could again reverse itself and legalize slavery based on race, religion, class or any other criterion thought to be of utility. The reason this is so is that there are no absolute moral proscriptions which undergird the civil law according to the rubrics of legal positivism. One wonders how many Americans realize that the laws under which we live amount to nothing more than personal societal preferences or choices which vary from place to place and time to time. Such a situation is patently absurd.

It is simply moronic to believe that constitutional law exists without a pre-philosophy, a set of fundamental assumptions or overarching principle(s). Every discipline has a set of so-called pre-philosophical assumptions, also known as first-order philosophical questions/presumptions. For example, the question of what the law is in a metaphysical sense actually involves a first order philosophical question and is not a legal question at all. Every Senator who serves as an interlocutor on the Judiciary Committee and each USSC nominee who appears in the confirmation process have a “pre-philosophy” with regard to what the civil law should be grounded in, as well as a specific judicial/constitutional philosophy (e.g. original intent vs: an evolving constitutional standard). It unfortunately has become acceptable to simply deny this (as Judge John Roberts did at his confirmation hearing), as if the Supreme Court is able to divine the proper ruling virtually out of “thin air” without regard to first principles.

Roe: The Legalization of Murder as a Case in point

Ultimately what the court did in Roe was find a poorly reasoned way in which to legalize the indefensible “right” (nothing more than a claim or demand since it is not grounded in the Natural Law) to kill an unborn child due only to its location (within the body of the mother) in space, in order to provide back-up for failed or omitted contraception. The case was founded on the principle of rabid personal autonomyix (unbridled freedom to do as we please with our own bodies) which is the sine-quê-non of Secularist moral philosophy in general and that of legal positivism in particular. Nothing but social convention stops the Court from declaring that “undesirable” human beings (retarded, disabled or otherwise challenged or unwanted) who simply utilize too many economic and other resources -- should be killed in order for the “chosen fit” to preserve their own preferential status and autonomy. Roe v. Wade is an example of a USSC ruling which is without doubt ungrounded in any intellectually defensible principle. It epitomizes the utilitarian approach which is fundamental to legal positivism.

Social Darwinism Replaces Transcendent Truths

What we have done then as a culture over the past half century is to codify in the civil law, a legal system which is not only productive of illogical and contradictory rulings, but one which is totally arbitrary and grounded in the principles of social Darwinism rather than immutable truths. Decades ago it was incumbent upon those who understood -- that the USSC was attempting to radically alter the moral philosophical basis which had been foundational to the U.S. constitutional system -- to rise up and object in the strongest terms rather than remaining mute by “playing the game.” Had this been done in the mid-twentieth century, the present deceptive system for confirming a Supreme Court Justice would not exist. The result of failing to do so has meant that the entire process is now nothing more than a pretense in which interested candidates must either actively or passively agree to be involved in evil as a means to the potentially good end of being placed on the Supreme Court, the very definition of Utilitarianism.x Such a circumstance is incompatible with the truth that should be at the foundational center of justice and is not simply a matter of the Supreme Court legislating from the bench. Legislating by the rule of the majority in a way which is contrary to the Natural Law is also immoral. Rather than fairness, consistency and equality before the law, the present system is capricious and inherently unjust. It typifies a “might makes right” mentality achieved either through a tyranny of the majority at the ballot box, the appellate court or Supreme Court level as demonstrated in 5-4 decisions. Truth is the very last thing which is served under such a system and once truth is sacrificed at the alter of expediency, justice is vacated as well.

With respect to the USSC, the issue is not judicial activism alone (the court usurping the role of the legislature), nor is it a failure to adhere to stare decisis, original intent or a Strict Constructionist methodology. It is the failure of both the legislative and the judicial branches (but especially the USSC) to adhere to the immutable principles of the Natural Law as codified in the Judeo-Christian Ethic. Until this issue can be discussed vis-a-vis the foundational philosophical problem that it is; rather than the straw man indictment which labels it “a private or deeply held religious belief,” our laws will remain unjust and no one in America will be safe from tyranny. The fact that our laws are no longer based on the common morality which flows from the Natural Law as historically contained in the Judeo-Christian ethic is ultimately a philosophical not fundamentally religious problem. Once this is widely recognized we can then make progress in reforming the U. S. Supreme Court, something all true conservatives should be interested in.


i. What is the chance that an intelligent person has never discussed with anyone or written about the many “hot-button” social issues of the day, particularly one who is well educated in the law? To ask the American public to believe a qualified candidate has such a “blank-slate” is simply incredible.

ii. Legal positivism began to grow in importance in the early half of the 20th century. It is there that the traditional jurisprudence, based on the Judeo-Christian common morality was undermined. See Robert Bork. Slouching Toward Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline. (New York: Regan Books, Harper Collins Publishers, 1996), chapter 6. Justices Holmes and Brandeis began legal pragmatism by severing the Natural Law from American jurisprudence. See references below in number 3.

iii. Note that Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis Brandeis were influenced by J.S. Mill’s essay On Liberty and saw in his discussion of individual freedom or autonomy, a basis for the so-called “right of privacy” which the court progressively drew more and more broadly. For background see Mary Ann Glendon. Rights Talk: The Impoverishment of Political Discourse. (New York: The Free Press, 1991, p. 54. Justice Holmes advocated nearly total separation of law and morality as have subsequent Supreme Courts. Also see Glendon pp. 85-87 for a discussion of the role that Thomas Hobbes and John Austin played as forbearers of the American (Holmesian) approach, (anti-Natural Law stance); See also Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., “The Path of the Law,” 10 Harvard Law Review 457, 458-459, 1897 and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., “Natural Law,” 32 Harvard Law Review 40, 41-42, 1918.

iv. See my “The Rise of Secularism and the Contemporary Culture War” at for a discussion of the two contemporary worldviews which vie for control of the public square and the role of utilitarianism in the Secularist worldview.

v. Acts which are per se, and in themselves, independent of circumstances, always seriously wrong by reason of their object (means). See John Finnis. Moral Absolutes: Tradition, Revision, and Truth. Washington, D.C.: (The Catholic University of America Press, 1991), pp. 1-3 For example; all killing of unborn infants as a “means” to an end

vi. The principles of the Natural Law are immutable and applicable always and everywhere whether recognized or not. Failure to observe them always leads to chaos. For an excellent review of Natural Law and Natural Rights see: John Finnis. Natural Law and Natural Rights. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002) paper back edition, pp. 18-32 set out the rationale for the immutability of Natural Law as does C.S. Lewis in his Mere Christianity in which he refers to the immutable principles of the Natural Law as the Tau.

vii. Tony Perkins, “Stare Decisis: (stah-ree duh-sigh-sis) n.” Family Research Council, July 28, 2005. “The 1986 Supreme Court case upholding state sodomy laws, Bowers v. Hardwick, was ‘settled law’ until the 2003 Supreme Court roster, in Lawrence v. Texas, found a constitutional right to sodomy. The 1857 Supreme Court in Dred Scott v. Sanford decided that all African Americans are property and thus not citizens. Would Senators Leahy and Schumer, if they lived in the 1850's, honestly argue that Dred Scott was ‘settled law’? Those who believe in a constantly evolving Constitution might be the very worst people to ask if the law is actually settled on anything. By treating court opinions as though they are permanent law, we become unwitting abettors in ceding legislative powers to judicial officials. More importantly, the questioning of judicial nominees on topics that are very likely to reappear before them if confirmed is unconscionable.”

viii. The closest the Judiciary Committee comes to such a discussion relates to the questions which revolve around the constitutional roles of the Supreme Court vs.: the Legislative branch. The question of what to do if civil law is incompatible with the Natural Law (a concept never acknowledged) is simply never addressed as if such a circumstance is impossible. It is simply “assumed” that the Constitution has come to us from on-high and therefore could not possibly allow for immoral or unethical practices. The “trick” is to constantly alter what it actually says in order to conform to evolving societal standards.

ix. Had the USSC recognized the first two principles of the Natural Law and the Judeo-Christian common morality which includes an absolute proscription against purposely killing the innocent, Roe v. Wade would have been impossible since purposely killing the innocent is always and everywhere wrong under all circumstances. Roe repudiates the notion of acts which are evil on the basis of their objects despite intent or circumstances. See Mary Ann Glendon. Rights Talk: The Impoverishment of Political Discourse. (New York: The Free Press, 1991, pp.47-75 for a discussion of “rights” specifically the “right to privacy” and the concept of individual autonomy upon which it is based, and pp. 58-60 for a discussion of Roe v. Wade as an example of rabid personal autonomy overtaking the new judicial concept of “individual” as opposed to family “right to privacy.”

x. Utilitarianism is an inadequately powerful moral philosophy by which to structure human interaction.