Posts Tagged ‘Tyranny’

Jewish owned shop in Berlin circa 1930 – Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team

Last weekend a dear friend invited me to attend the play, Cabaret, with a group of friends.  While I am far from being a sophisticated connoisseur of the theatre, I do enjoy a good story.  Moreover, this particular play, Cabaret, by Christopher Isherwood, really speaks to me in the ever-increasing irrationality that is our world today. Although I would never claim to be a film critic, I would be remiss not to mention that director, Derek Whitener did a superlative job.  The cast were all professionals and although I expected it to be good, I didn’t expect the story to grab me emotionally and not let go.  As a writer and a freedom activist, I consume far more of the tragedies and insanity that embody the daily news cycle.  The talented cast of musicians and actors flawlessly executed a story arch that took the characters and audience alike from a world of escapism that was the late 1920’s into pre-war Berlin on the verge of embracing Adolf Hitler’s militant fanaticism.  Not only did individual characters grow and change along with the times, emotionally, I found myself grieving for the Berliners from eighty-five years ago as they lived through the event’s first hand.

Rachael Robertson as Sally Bowles – Photo Credit: Michael Foster

The Cast really did a wonderful job, but in particular I was impacted by a few characters in particular. Emcee, played by Mikey Abrams was the central figure in the story and as such, it fell to him to carry the story from scene to scene.  I found him to be creepy, funny, frightening, and the end of the story tragic as events washed over him.  Mr. Abrams is clearly a talented young man.  Lindsay Hayward played an older woman, Fräulein Kost, who simply wanted to hold on to the world she knew. Like many Americans today, she was too afraid to risk what little she had to really live her life.  In a sense, she was a prisoner of her own reality bias.  How many of us simply refuse to accept the truth before us when that truth implies that everything we hold dear may likely be lost.  Finally, Sally Bowles, portrayed by an immensely talented Rachael Robertson, and her on-stage love interest, Clifford Bradshaw played by Billy Betsill depicted the quintessential questions we face today. What impacted me was most was the raw emotional surrounding the decisions faced by the couple as they did their best to cope as society fragmented around them.  Several days later and I still find myself reliving a gut-wrenching scene when Sally Bowles is devastated by events, and like so many of our neighbors, family and friends, she simply refused to accept that profound darkness was descending upon them.  For his part, Billy Betsill did a great job expressing his frustration at being unable to get those around him to realize what was coming.

They say that history repeats itself. Stories like Cabaret illustrate that in spades.  Director, Derek Whitener really did a wonderful job bringing those truths out in a way that emotionally connected with the audience.  I often say that art is the way to reach people.  This kind of story can inspire Americans to wake up to the abuses we are seeing by elites in Washington DC, even if only subconsciously.

The story is set in late 1929 – early 1930, only a few short years prior to the event which literally lit the fuse to full scale totalitarian rule in Germany. After the February 1933 Reichstag Fire, Hitler eviscerated freedom of the press, requiring all news to be approved by Joseph Goebbels’ Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.  Goebbels aim was to ensure that the Nazi message was successfully communicated through art, music, theater, films, books, radio, educational materials, as well as the press.  In today’s world we have leaders from both political parties working very hard to erode free speech in America with bills like the “Free Flow of Information Act” designed to give political leaders the authority to decide who may cover them and what can be said near an election.  In our America of 2014, how important would you say pleasure seeking is to the average citizen?  Obviously there are millions of concerned citizens from all political perspectives, but we have all cringed as we watched late shows doing so-called man on the street interviews.  Entertainers like Jimmy Kimmel asking people what they thought of the president’s State of the Union Speech, before it happened, and actually getting answers from people is really funny, but at the same time, tragic.  In Cabaret, Clifford Bradshaw has a great moment, where in frustration he asks the Sally if she ever read a newspaper. The truth is that like the characters in the play, too many Americans just want to tune out and leave politics to the politicians.  There are always so-called experts with impeccable credentials more than willing to tell us what must be done.

Rachael 2

Mikey Abrams – Emcee – Photo Credit: Michael Foster

While there is certainly nothing wrong with entertainment, how like Sally Bowles are so many of our neighbors, so unconcerned with the real issues of the day. After a hard day at work who could blame us for just wanting a little diversion.  The riots in Ferguson give us a hint at the underlying tension and division in the country.  Our Elections from this past century reflect this division.  The vitriol in the country continues to increase every year.  Political leaders will say and do almost anything to win.  Like Sally Bowles, Many Americans choose to be ignorant of the tough issues of our day.  The last two presidents have borrowed and spent vastly more money than all previous presidents combined.  While ISIS establishes a Caliphate in the Middle East, we have a border crisis with tens of thousands of people pouring into our country illegally, government abuses of our Bill of Rights, and the militarization of the police go unnoticed as emotionally detached citizens sit in front of their favorite television shows.  In a word, so many of our neighbors, family, and coworkers simply don’t care.  Life is a Cabaret, after all.  Leaders in both parties realize we no longer have a stake in defending our own freedom.  They know full well how easy it is to manipulate a witless population into promoting their agenda by convincing us to turn on each other, Republican versus Democrat, black against white, or men against women. Where will our apathy lead?  Sadly, as Clifford noticed in the play, apathy inevitably takes us to where it always takes us, into a period of profound darkness.  The question is, are Americans like Fräulein Kost, fatalistic with good hearts, but unwilling to stand up for what we know is right?  Are we willing to look past the hyped up, or even manufactured differences, with our neighbors to seek common ground with our neighbors?  Are we willing to live like men and women determined to be free!

 

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, By Erik Lawson

Additional Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Flow_of_Information_Act

http://www.businessinsider.com/jimmy-kimmel-pranks-pedestrians-on-obamas-state-of-the-union-2014-1

 

Advertisements

Battle of Lepanto

The Battle of Lepanto – Podcast, by Buck Sexton

A little over a week ago I posted a historical perspective of how Western nations in conflict with the Islamic Caliphate have led us to where we are today, with ISIS on the march in the Middle East, once again seeking to regain a Caliphate.  I get that many people find history to be boring and to have little relevance in today’s world, but regardless of American’s non-existent attention span, these events, lead us directly into the events we face today.  Some may say that things were different in the 1500’s.   This is very much a true statement, yet the overall sweep on history is undeniable.   We live in a modern world, and in the West, at least, citizens are typically quite tolerant.  In contrast however, Islamic extremists are killing men, women, and children on a daily basis, in pursuit of a world that is very based on the primitive societies dating back to the beginnings of the Islamic world.

As I noted in previous articles, while all Muslims are certainly not radical extremists, radical extremists exist in every corner of the world, including in the United States and Europe.  The notion of Muslim conquest in today’s world is just as real as in centuries past.  In fact, Jihad by Muslim radicals, is historically undeniable.  Christianity has it’s own brutal past, but the difference today is that Muslims have yet to have a reformation, moderating primitive instincts.  While listening to Buck Sexton’s rendition of the Battle of Lepanto, one cannot help but see the similar imperatives Jihadist seek today.  This is truly a wonderful bit of very relevant history.

Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Submitted by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market blog,

 

Like most Americans, I spent the last few weeks watching the drama of events taking place following a police officer killing an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.  On the surface this story is about race and police brutality, or perhaps it is about the militarization of the police, but these topics are not what are actually driving this story.  What if the drama we see unfolding has a root cause that goes deeper than what the pundits tell us the story is all about?  What if the events we are following on TV and social media indicate something about the nature of each of us that is leading us into a time of profound darkness.  America has always been great because America has been run by decent hard working citizens.  Today far many Americans abdicate our responsibilities to the so-called experts.  Today, our declining faith in God, our inability to even hold a debate about important topics, and our loss of trust make tragedy all but inevitable.

A few months ago the drama playing out before Americans was the stand off at the Bundy Ranch.  Before that Americans were witness to the drama of Occupy Wall Street.  Obviously, there have been similar events throughout U.S. History.  In the nineteen-sixties, I would even offer that the level of anger exhibited by citizens was as serious and wide spread as it is today.  Bill Clinton had Waco and the LA Riots surrounding the acquittal of a police officer for the beating of Rodney King.  George W. Bush had his war protests.  American history is full of strife including a civil war.  The question is how mush stress can the culture take before tragedy occurs?

Disgruntled Americans making their feelings known is part of American culture and American history, and our constitution guarantees our right to assemble and to petition the government.  It’s perhaps easy to believe that these issues today, Occupy Wall Street, the Bundy Ranch stand off, and the Rioting in Ferguson are simply more of the same and don’t indicate anything special.  Perhaps these events don’t portend anything dire awaiting America, but how sure are you that the fabric of our culture and our legal system will remain intact?  All things being equal, these events are not any worse on their own than other events in history that the nation has successfully navigated and survived to tell the tale.  On the other hand, I would like to point out that the history now taking place concurrent to these events may be of some concern.  The fabric of any culture can withstand only so much stress before it tears.  The protestors in Ferguson say they are angry at the injustice of a white cop killing an innocent, unarmed, black teenager.  What will happen if the facts determine that the teenager was the aggressor and that the officer acted appropriately?  I think most Americans would acknowledge that additional riots are possible, if not likely.  If the officer is innocent, will he receive justice, or will corrupt officials sacrifice him to maintain peace, or if you like, will he receive social justice?  If he is innocent and sacrificed for the sake of the collective, how willing will other officers be to do their jobs?  Unlike past events our nation has survived, the challenges occurring today are happening at the same time as multiple serious challenges to our way of life in the United States.

Western nations, including the United States are all but bankrupt.  The US is over seventeen trillion dollars in debt and has had to resort to relying on the Federal Reserve to create money out of thin air.  The Federal Reserve then turns around and buys US treasuries with these fictional dollars.  According to a US Border Patrol support group, over six million Illegal immigrants are flooding across the United State’s southern border every year, In the Middle East today, a well funded, well armed, Caliphate is being formed regardless of western nations spending trillions of dollars to plant the seeds of freedom in the region.  As you read this article, psychopathic fascist Jihadists are murdering, raping and torturing men, women, and children in appalling numbers.  Israel, as is so often the case in modern history, at war with an enemy who’s only real demand is that Israel not exist.  In Europe, the Russian Federation under Mr. Putin has invaded and taken over the Crimea from Ukraine, regardless of treaties guaranteeing Ukrainian sovereignty.  Russian soldiers are now firing artillery shells from Ukrainian soil at Ukrainian military units.  At home in the United States, government officials, supported by the media tell Americans not to worry about these things, while at the same the very same government officials violate existing law to promote a statist agenda seeking to make Americans dependent on government to survive.  According to the Senate Budget Committee approximately one in six Americans are now on food stamps.  The American President actually brags about this statistic as if it were a positive indicator.  The household income of Americans is falling while the cost of energy, food, education, medical care, and housing are increasing.  The federal government takeover of the health care industry now requires that Americans have medical insurance that costs dramatically more that most families can afford.  These new policies have deductibles that make the policy all but worthless to those who need it.  This insurance is of course subsidized by the government.  The truth in America is that the prices for the basics of life will continue to rise, how will Americans like those protesting in Ferguson react when they no longer afford that which they must have?

My point, you ask? America has always faced challenges and there have even been times of great strife in our history, but rarely have we faced this great a number of threats at the same time.  In the 1860’s and a hundred years later in the 1960’s the country faced simultaneous challenges that threatened our way of life in the US.  The country survived the Civil War, but at what cost?  The conflict caused the cultural fabric of the country to tear resulting in hundreds of thousands of American casualties.  How willing are Americans today to endure that high cost.  Even during the 1960’s America came uncomfortably close to disaster.  One might make the argument that we are still seeing the results of that conflict today as many of the same leaders still agitate for their collectivist and anti-American agenda.

60s RiotsThe riots in Ferguson paled in comparison to riots taking place in the 1960’s, but the underlying tension and division in the country is clearly in place for a disaster to occur.  Recent elections reflect this division.  The vitriol in the country continues to increase.  Political leaders will say and do almost anything to win an election.  I postulate that our governmental institutions are becoming more and more illegitimate every day.  Man on the street interviews reflect citizen’s apathy.  Many Americans are simply ignorant about key issues today.  Far too many of our country men and women are in fact emotionally detached from the country.  In a word, they simply don’t care.  Many Americans no longer believe in the great experiment that is the American Republic and they seem to no longer have a stake in defending their own freedom.  Our leaders know how easy it is to manipulate a witless population into promoting their agenda, so more and more, they put out propaganda that sounds good but resolves nothing.  The corporate – political elites know that the truth is irrelevant.

In an environment where trust is steadily being destroyed by the unreported stories, misrepresentations, and blatant lies of the media, government, and various civic leaders, low information citizens who only know that things are messed up, react badly when agitated by their media puppet masters.  They can see for themselves that their government violates its own laws with impunity.  They can see some citizens getting special privileges.  Americans know we are being lied to, but far too many of us still blame those the puppet masters tell us to blame.  We see the lies, but we dismiss them as routine.  We just don’t yet realize that leaders we identify with are part of the problem.  The risk present in today’s environment is that unlike previous times of great tension.  Americans no longer believe or trust anyone, and fewer and fewer Americans have faith in God.  We don’t trust the government or the police, we don’t trust business, we don’t trust the media, and we don’t trust each other.  This is a real problem because where there is no trust, and we have no faith that even our government will keep its word, how can we work together to resolve our differences?  When opposing sides in a debate cannot communicate, pressure builds and conflict becomes inevitable.  The problems we face in today’s world are not new, but they are serious. As Alexis De Tocqueville said, “America is great because she is good.  If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”  Today, American’s declining faith in God, and our loss of trust are like gasoline.  The only question is which of the many sparks will ignite a conflagration.  The only way to avoid tragedy is to care enough to look past the agendas and talking points, not only of our opponents but past the agendas and talking points of those we support also.  We must regain our faith in a creator and we must find ways to love each other before all is lost.

Alexis_de_tocqueville

Zero Hedge’s article, “When ‘Anti-Government’ Violence Erupts, Who Is Really At Fault?” really is a must-read. If we are to avoid the dystopian future I wrote about in Phoenix Republic from becoming fact instead of fiction.  We must understand where we are on the road to some really dark outcomes.

Photo Credit: George Roelofson

When nations are faced with the ramifications of catastrophic economic collapse, things can become dicey for citizens.  Let’s face it, life today is pretty hectic.  Typically, both parents in a family have to work full time to make ends meet, and that is assuming there are two parents and not only one.  In our routine day to day lives, we have kids and their school activities, social obligations, and of course family who require out attention.  It is easy to get lost in the day to day and not have the time or energy to take a step back to see the macro view of our lives.  It is easy to just accept the cliff-notes view that is handed to us by the mass-media.

Consider, if you will, a nation that has out-of-control spending and ever-increasing regulation.  This nation had suffered a financial collapse with ever-increasing unemployment, and as a result, it repeatedly attempted to use “shovel ready” public projects to get its citizens working again.  A recovery could not be achieved, so this nation’s leaders felt they had no choice but to begin printing more and more currency to artificially prop up the financial system.  As always occurs, this led to unprecedented levels of inflation.

This scenario above depicts a nation experiencing a catastrophic economic collapse.  Human beings being human beings responded by demanding security.  Leaders being leaders responded by seizing power and taking steps to control the situation.  Unfortunately the situation was uncontrollable.  As things became dire, this nation’s citizens were willing to grasp at any straw as long as someone would make their lives work again.  They were willing to accept almost any degradation.

The nation, vulnerable and financially bankrupt, was a fertile field for an opportunist to take advantage of.  This opportunist represented a party that was willing to make one segment of the population a scapegoat for the economic hardships that citizens were experiencing.  In effect, this leader blamed the rich.  As you might guess the strategy was fantastically successful.  The only problem was that the nation’s constitution guaranteed rights that were a problem for these parties’ plans.  The solution was to ignore those constitutional guarantees.

Picture from article by: Daniel Castillo By now you have likely guessed what nation I am referring to.  What is frightening is that when we see today’s news, how much of what happened then is taking place now.  I noticed on this week, on the first Friday of the New Year, a judge ruled that the majority of Americans were now subject to search and seizure of their electronic devices like laptops and iPhones.  That’s right.  If you live and work within 100 miles of the coast or a international border, this ruling says law enforcement can go through your belongings on a whim – no search warrant needed.  In similar fashion, earlier last week, Americas witnessed citizens lining up in Connecticut to register their weapons and ammunition.  This is another key step that earlier regime took.  I have noted other examples in earlier posts, but you get the point.  My thought is that it is our duty as American citizens to keep our eyes open and take note of the news items we see, not as an individual incident, but as a puzzle piece in a larger picture.  It is incumbent on each of us to resist the loss of freedom lest we find ourselves going down the same path that German citizens did in the 1930’s.  There is a threat out there from terrorism, but my question to you is this.  Are the government over-reaches and their ignoring our constitution really making us any safer?  I can only speak for myself, but I am much, much more afraid of unaccountable government thugs than I am of terrorists.  If nothing else, there are many more government thugs, who while ‘just following orders,’ who can ruin a person’s life than there are terrorists in America.

The reason I wrote Phoenix Republic was and is to get Americans to wake up to the big picture.  We all have things we believe in and we should all do what we can to win hearts and minds with regard to achieving the best for our country.  My point is that there is a bigger picture than left vs. right politics.  We do not all have to agree on individual policies but it is imperative that we all agree on defending freedom.

Additional Resources:

First hand accounts:

The first of these, a woman named Irma from Massachusetts talks about the comparison between today’s America and what she experienced in Germany.  This is very compelling and I highly recommend listening to it.  The second link is another woman who lived under the Nazis.  Her presentation is 46 minutes long.  It is instructive and compares Germany to the US today – with excerpts of current events juxtaposed with the historic events she is speaking to.

Irma Shares With Buck Sexton The Horror of Living Under Tyrannical Government 

Related news stories:

http://www.truthandaction.org/judge-reaffirms-constitution-free-zones-100-miles-inside-u-s-borders/

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/12/31/looks-like-weimar-germany-the-viral-photo-out-of-connecticut-thats-giving-some-gun-owners-chills/

http://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/marcuse/classes/33d/projects/1920s/Econ20s.htm

In Phoenix Republic the novel explores responsibility and decision ownership.  A disaster befalls the United States and Western Europe, and the question of how to cope is thrust on to the stage.  My goal in writing Phoenix Republic was to encourage readers to think about the world we live in and what may be coming.  Communism cannot tolerate any other master other than an all-powerful state.  When you consume the news every day, where do you think decision ownership lies in the stories you are viewing?  Is it with the individual or some so-called expert or leader?  Are Americans free or are we to fall into line with what our masters dictate?

Throughout the 19th century Communist, or if you will, collectivist movements have arisen in all parts of the world.  The Soviet Union in 1917, The Chinese 1949, Cuba 1953, and any number of Socialist or Communist take overs in since then.  What this typically boils down to is a simple question of who should decide how best to manage affairs of a nation.  Socialists believe in a collectivist approach – that a nation’s assets should be shared equally amongst all citizens.  In contrast, Capitalists believe in the individual, thus each person makes decisions regarding how their personal assets should be managed.  You’re thinking, “No Kidding.” Right?  This is patently obvious, but yet news story after news story in today’s media cycle boil down to the question of who decides.  Today’s culture is replete the attitude that so-called experts should decide everything and that common citizens are just not qualified to make judgments.  We see these stories related to medical decisions, to home schooling, and to government.  How often do you hear someone you are speaking with take the position that our political leaders are justified in their various actions because they are somehow considered to be more informed than we are?  The point I am trying to make is the tendency to let other have ultimate responsibility for your live or for the lives of your children is lazy and dangerous to a freedom loving republic.  Our republic is designed for free men and women to actively take a part in governance.  When this responsibility is outsourced the outcomes are often terrible.

justina pelletierThere is a case going on right now where a hospital, Boston’s Children’s Hospital decided they knew better than the parents and the girl’s primary doctors at another prestigious hospital, Tufts University.  The physicians at Tufts diagnosed the girl as having mitochondrial disease.  Unbelievably, Children’s Hospital managed to convince a judge that they knew what was best for the child.  This judge proceeded to terminate the parental rights of the girl’s mother and father, giving her care to the Children’s Hospital.  Understand that this is not a case where parents are denying a child medical care for religious reasons.  This is a case where parents sought out qualified medical help.  In fact, not only did they seek assistance from one hospital, Tufts, but they took their daughter to Children’s for a second opinion.   Then after deciding the best care for their child was to stay with Tufts, an all-powerful state was able to override their parental prerogative and kidnap the child.  Today the young woman is imprisoned in a psych ward at Children’s, where she has lived in captivity and in constant pain from her condition for almost a year.  She has gotten a couple of notes out to her parents to ask for rescue, and the parents have been allowed heavily supervised visits of like an hour a week, but that is the only contact that is now being permitted.  Unbelievably, it isn’t just the parents that are being denied contact with this young woman.  In addition to the mom and dad, Children’s is also denying her the ability to see officials from her school, her friends, and even her doctors from Tufts University Medical Center.

In another current story a German family legally moved to the United States for the right to freely educate their kids in accordance with their religious beliefs.  They had to leave Germany because a progressive law, initiated by Adolph Hitler, is still in force there that requires that all children must be educated by the state.  There are no exceptions.  The family sought asylum here in the US and it was granted.  Now however, the Obama Administration has decided that this family should be expelled from the country because in their collective wisdom, religious persecution, (which this nation was founded on by people who wanted to escape exactly the same thing) is not sufficient for them to remain here.  The other aspect of the story is that parents are not deemed worthy to “homeschool” their kids because so-called experts with a degree and state approved credentials must be given that responsibility.  Watch the accompanying video and tell me that this family should be broken up so that the state can prove its Orwellian power.

I think that the truth behind politics today, or if you will, the root cause of America’s trouble is that in any totalitarian regime the state must be the supreme authority on everything.  It isn’t acceptable for a family or the individual, or even God to be allowed to trump the all-consuming power of the state.  In all forms, tyranny must be complete because even the slight deviation from state authority leads to another.

When Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union began trying to have a little capitalism to compete with the west, my partner and I looked at each other wide-eyed.  You see, we had learned in college just a few year before that tyranny must be complete to seize or remain in power.  By relaxing control so that the Soviet Union could compete with the West, people who had no freedom experienced a taste of it.  Collapse was inevitable.  In our case, people here, who are not accustomed to the boot of tyranny on their necks don’t recognize central authority for what it is and blindly allow it happen to avoid the responsibility of self-determination.

Additional Resources:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/12/06/glenn-beck-explodes-over-latest-developments-in-case-of-boston-hospital-holding-teen-against-parents-will/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/10/25/european-socialism-why-america-doesnt-want-it/

Nuclear Option

Last week the senate controlled by the Democrats took the unprecedented step of changing senate rules so that judicial appointments now only require fifty-one votes to be confirmed.  For the past two hundred and fifty years that threshold has been sixty votes.  Watching the news last week, I noticed political pundits went on extensively about the meaning and impact of this unprecedented step.  While the change may not seem earthshaking, the results in coming years will be profound.  Regardless of the consequences of this action, only pundits and true political wonks will care, I fear.  The true impact however takes place after it’s too late to do anything to stop it.

Before going into the ramifications that this naked power grab represents; I think that it is worthwhile to define what the rule change is and what is impacted.  First of all, the rule change only effects presidential appointments, excluding the Supreme Court of the United States.  In other words the filibuster is still in place with regard to other legislation and the Supreme Court must still follow the traditional path with regard to constitutional requirement that the senate provide its advice and consent.  For this reason, I have had a couple of people ask me what difference it really makes.  Doesn’t a president deserve the right to appoint the nominees of his choosing?  Didn’t the Republican Party under President George Bush threaten to do the exact same thing for exactly the same reason? Generally, all things being equal, I would say that a president does deserve his nominees and yes, the Republicans did threaten to do the same thing.

The problem I have with these two points is that all things are not in fact equal.  For one thing, today the United States has a seventeen-trillion dollar debt, civil liberties are being destroyed, the federal government is ignoring the US Constitution, and the true unemployment rate is over thirteen percent, with young black males suffering the worst with over twenty-eight percent unemployment.  For another, the Republicans threatened to change the rules, but anyone who is paying attention is aware that they didn’t change the rules, did they?  Mr. Bush was guilty of pushing unwanted government on Americans too, but the current occupant of the White House is doubled down on Mr. Bush’s federal government over-reaches on an unprecedented scale.

The party in power has the absolute right to do a lot of things while they rule.  This rule change could have been enacted at any time in our history, yet it wasn’t.  The United States Senate operated under the sixty vote filibuster rule through the Civil War, both world wars, the Vietnam War, and the War on Terror.  I hardly think that any of these periods in American history were without controversy or disagreement regarding presidential appointments.  The problem as I see it today is that the world is approaching a nexus in history.  Although I believe that life’s pressures do cause history to repeat itself, we are not on a merry-go-round, we are in fact moving through time in a linear manner.  Key events do matter.

The problem with the Democrat Party taking this action now is that it unveils a clear strategy on their part to rule with no regard to the wishes of millions or American citizens.  This rule change will allow the President to change the makeup of the court, and or the ability to seat truly radical federal judges that will be in their positions for life.  Let me ask you something.  Is it a good idea or a bad idea to allow a president who has repeatedly expressed the willingness to go around congress with executive order the ability to stack the courts with appointees that may well support his extra-constitutional excesses?  The framers of the constitution specifically split power up amongst three branches and between the federal government and the states for a reason.  Absolute power corrupts, absolutely.

It seems to me that Rome went down a very similar path.  The Romans fought for freedom, established a republic, and became wildly successful.  Then, after a few generations of being the world’s only super-power, the culture became decadent.  Larger and larger numbers of Romans began to feel disenfranchised and the upper classes becoming lazy as the work ethic declined.  Eventually, it just didn’t mean that much to later generations to be a Roman citizen.  The moral decline in Rome is obvious.  We can see it represented in literature, and in public events such as took place in the Coliseum.  In a word, Roman lifestyles were more and more about instant gratification, gratuitous sex, and violence.  Any of this sound familiar?

Productivity declined causing the relative cost of government and the military to skyrocket.  Supporting the bloated cost of regulation and security became an ever increasing burden to the middle class, yet the entitlement culture in Rome demanded ever-increasing benefits, exacerbating Rome’s problems.  As it is today, some sectors of Roman society were under taxed while others faced confiscatory taxation.  It is today as it was then, all too easy to distract the masses by fomenting economic class warfare, pitting the rich against the poor.  Citizen’s allegiance to Rome diminished, and many supported the rise of a strong-man government over the individual responsibility inherent in a republic.

My point in this little jaunt through history is that when a culture declines it becomes very attractive for the ruling class to change the rules when events begin to become unmanageable.  Phoenix Republic is about western culture becoming unmanageable because it is simply too broken in too many places.  The culture in the twenty-first century United States is fragmented.  Millions of Americans feel that someone owes them something while millions more still cling desperately to the notions of individual, responsibility, and hard work.

By voting to change the filibuster rule with regard to appointments, the Democrats are poised to rubber-stamp judicial and senior administrative appointees with no consideration given to the minority party.  This move thus effectively silences the voices of millions of Americans who oppose Democrat’s progressive agenda of transforming this country.  In other words, I believe it’s credible to say that the United States is now transforming from a Republic into an Empire.  Every time the United States Constitution is disregarded for the sake of convenience or so-called safety, representative government is diminished.

Think about it.  How is an oligarchy of progressive leaders who dismiss the rights of citizens substantively different than the Roman Triumvirates that led to the end of that previous world super power?

Additional Resources:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/06/07/the-unemployment-news-is-worse-for-many/

http://www.usu.edu/markdamen/1320Hist&Civ/chapters/08ROMFAL.htm

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XnwBMoPll8