Protecting America

It is often the case that those who claim to be protecting our nation are the very most dangerous threats to the people and the principles upon which this nation was founded. Among the greatest of those threats are fundamentalism and globalism.

There is no political will to confront either so what we hear about are false issues and what we get instead of leadership is posturing and platitudes.
With little public discussion or awareness, Democratic leadership has announced an agreement about upcoming trade negotiations without bothering to let any of us in on the contents of that agreement. What is really going on is that the Democrats are positioning themselves to get an infusion of cash for the elections of 2008 from big business just as the Republicans have done during their return to power in the past 15 years.

Under ‘fast track” rules, trade deals cannot be subjected to real discussions, modifications or amendment once they reach Congress but can only be voted upon “up or down.” What this means is that there is no real democracy with regard to one of the most important issues of our time – the globalization of our economy. Then again, given the servitude in which most members of Congress are held by Wal-Mart and other huge corporate interests, real debate is unlikely even if fast tracking was repealed.

Ever since the Democratic Party was seized by Bill Clinton and the “New” Democrats, the party that at one time put forth the interests of working class citizens there is no opposition to big money and corporate interests. With the recent trade “agreement” Rep. Rangel has positioned his party as a real alternative to the GOP for off shore, anti-worker corporations to get the big bucks the coming election will require.

The most direct and likely beneficiary of this will be Hillary Clinton, who while a member of Wal-Mart’s Board of Directors failed to utter a word against that company’s anti-union efforts. The senator will be, like her husband, a front for big business and the methodical transfer of jobs to the third world.

It must be remembered that the people who pay for free trade are American workers, all for the benefit of corporate shareholders and executives, many of whom are not even American. We have been sold a bill of goods about “free” trade and tariffs. How has that worked out? Real wages have been declining since the Clinton trade agreements were approved. While the stock market soars, workers are earning less than ever and basic costs soar.

It is time to reassess our trade policies and make certain that workers are protected. If that means lower share values and smaller executive compensation packages so be it.


Now on to the other great threat to American values, fundamentalism. One such threat is small in this country at this time even though it is looming larger all the time in Europe. That is the fundamentalist movement of Islam. In Europe, a tradition for inclusion and letting each person live their life free of interference is being turned on its head by the immigration of Islamic ideologues who insist on Sharia law as the only “true” religion. This ideology is intolerant of any variations and seeks to destroy the very tolerance that gave them a place to live and practice their faith.

We have our own native version in the form of fundamentalist Christianity. Less violent for the most part, it shares an intolerance for other lifestyles and practices with its Islamic brothers. Both are paternalistic, homophobic and misogynist. The Christian version has done its best to seize control of the Republican Party in recent years, although there are signs the effort may have seen its peak.

Despite the effort of fundamentalists to claim otherwise, one of the key elements of our traditions is the separation of religion and government. Fundamentalists do not honor this principle and instead insist that everyone adhere to their strict rules and precepts. This is un-American in every sense of the word.

Where are the politicians speaking out about these issues? Few dare raise their voice and those who do fail the test of consistency. When are Muslim leaders going to teach their fundamentalist co-religionists that Sharia law is un-American? When is the republican party going to tell the same thing to those who would deny all Americans basic freedoms, and that that the party of Lincoln will not be seized by those who sell hate as a religious value?

It is time we stop putting up with the rape of America in the name of corporate profits and the rape of the Constitution in the name of religion.


  1. Bat


    I always thought that the law of the land was the standard by which others were measured.
    If a city wants to make a law, it must agree with the State if such a state law exists.
    If a State wants to make a law, it must agree with the Federal law, if such a law exists.
    If no such Federal law, or state law exists, then the body wishing to make such law has laissez faire, the freedom– with no prior restrictions– to the right to make a law which it needs to have.

    The religions have no basis in law, but the religious have the right to worship freely within the law of the land. There is no religion legally responsible for the behavior of its people, at least not here in this country. The members of a given religion may choose to submit to their particular religion’s dictates, but that does not make the dictates into law on any books.

    This seems to be where Islam differs from other religions:
    People living under Islam are bound to obey Islamic law, (Sharia), first and the other laws, if any, of the country, second. Is that correct?
    If that is indeed the case, then what do the countries bound by a constitution and federal laws do about this? Because it is clearly contradictory; one cannot serve two masters–either the people agree to obey the laws of the country, or they agree that the laws of their religion are supreme over all, with federal law coming in second.

    If the National laws of constitutionally established countries are being laid waste by the religious laws, then, in order to survive, there is only one answer. Make the religious laws secondary and unenforceable in a court of law; make any, (including religious-law-infractions), of the Constitutional law of the land clearly criminal in the eyes of the state.
    In a nutshell:
    Make the churches obey the laws of the countries in which they are living (or have come to) in which, if the laws are different, the National law is supreme over the religious. Period.
    The Mormons learned to live with it. The Neo Cons had better learn to live with it, and the Mohammedans had better learn to live with it, too.

    If the religious leaders don’t like it, they can petition to change the federal law, or they can take their flocks to some other countries where they can be supreme. (Which the Pilgrims and other Sects did during the first settling of this country.)

    Which brings us back to square one: What are we doing in Iraq, besides trying to Democratize some people who clearly don’t wish to be under National (Constitutional) law as opposed to Sharia? The ones who do wish it stay and get killed, or move, the ones who like Sharia stay and become ‘terrorists’, killing everyone else.
    Perhaps Democracy is not for everyone.
    Certainly the Theocrats don’t think so!

    Just a little rant, tossing ideas, trying to clarify things in my own mind. This whole situation is a Puzzlement.
    And the biggest puzzle is: why do the states, especially in Europe, bend over backwards to be nice to people who don’t want to be nice to their own adherents, let alone anyone else?

    Stonings, subjugation of women, and putting out ‘hits’ on writers who don’t agree or abide with church law is not my ideal situation.

    Does anyone here want anything besides separation of Church and State?
    OK, I’m done…for today.

  2. Carl Nemo

    Phil, your editorial concerning these two nation destroying “isms” is one of the finest I’ve read in my time. Nothing corrupts as absolutely as the power of money over leaders; specifically our leadership and there doesn’t seem to be any force at work to turn the tide against these two aforementioned nation destroying forces. The Clintonistas and the Bushistas are NWO globalists to the core as well as the majority of Congressmen and Senators. They are all on the same “republicrat” team and “we the people” are left out in the cold with no one to either protect nor speak for our needs.

    Since many if not most of the electorate do not vote much less have “fire-in-the-belly” to follow their elected reps performance while in office, they end up getting the government they deserve.

    I’ll provide some duty links so folks can gain access to their reps and also sign up for an email service through that keeps track of how their reps vote while in office. My recommendation is if their votes aren’t inline with your needs or demonstrate they are protecting America, then dump them after single term. To keep them entrenched simply because of the “pulled pork” sandwiches courtesy of the U.S. Treasury “deli” isn’t worth the far greater damage they are doing to America as a result of their globalists ‘r us” agenda. So my advice is for folks to become proactive in their government and to keep a close eye on how their elected reps vote through; i.e., their “Vote Monitor” function found at the bottom of their main page. You’ll receive timely emails showing you how your elected officials are voting on the various issues. Keep their office numbers available via a shortcut on your desktop, notepad or wherever and don’t hesitate to call, email, or even snail-mail their offices on the issues. Once they know they are being surveilled by an ever increasing number of their constituents they’l be far more careful when it comes to compromising “we the people” ‘s interests. If in time, a pattern is set that none of them ever return after one term because of non-performance, things will begin to change. Incumbency leads to stale, business as usual politics, and it’s the number one reason we are our current fix as a nation. Since they won’t enforce term limits for Congress and the Senate then we can create a defacto policy by not sending them back twice if they fail to serve our needs.

    The issue of fundamentalism is even more complex because so many folks are controlled by their religious belief systems that they don’t seem to have the ability to separate church from state in their minds. Since they haven’t lived under a “theocracy” as found in many middle eastern nations or even in the West under the influence of the Catholic church in it’s heyday during medieval times through the inquisition etc., they have no idea of the horrors that will unfold with religious types calling the shots on a day-to-day basis concerning the business of running a nation. In Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other staunchly Islamic states they have “religious police” in addition to the civil police that go around rounding up people at will to be interrogated and possibly found guilty of some religious crime with the end result of brutal incarceration up to and including the loss of life via stoning, beheading etc. I know I surely don’t want live in a nation where there’s corruptive collusion between the church and state. Visualize a hybrid system of Christian Right Theocracy mixed with Corporatist Fascism…! 😐 The U.S. is not only a melting pot in terms of nationalities, but also of religions. There’s many religions co-existing under Old Glory and for the Christian Right or any other religious organization to exert their influence over this nations day-to-day governance is truly a horrific thought indeed.

    Carl Nemo **==