Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Jerry Brown on Cavuto

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 7/27/10

Jerry Brown, CA’s attorney general who is running for governor, was on Cavuto last night going after the corrupt officials who are making up to $800,000 in city jobs. He is right is declaring Meg Whitman the superrich candidate, but she is not alone in this. He is wrong in calling for a federal bailout, saying some of the money “going to AIG” should go to CA. Arnold Schwarzenegger made the same point last year and Obama’s people rejected it quickly. They might have been watching Glenn Beck, who was making the important point that it would be the healthy internal states which would be bailing out the broke and debt-ridden CA with its $800,000 small-city managers. But Jerry Brown should be listened to. He brings to CA an opportunity.

Jerry Brown is an entirely different political species. He is and always has been an individual rare and true who speaks more than anyone alive possibly to the essence of California. He has the mind and heart of a radical and is fearless.

I constantly rail about “leftovers from the Sixties” but it is a reference to people like Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi. I am from the Sixties myself and see it as a moment of enlightenment and awakening in CA but possibly nowhere else. It was a moment betrayed by the most banal of minds, like Boxer, who saw political advantage and simply took old European Marxist-based ideas which had arrived in NY from Europe, on to CA. I happen to have been in CA and visited the famed Haight/Ashbury district in the Summer of Love on way to Tan Son Nhut when it was the busiest airport in the world. I saw CA when it was sparkling with light.

If as Mike Mansfield said, the rising century will be the Pacific Century, it should be obvious that it will be California’s century as well. It could be Jerry Brown’s century. Meg Whitman is a boss. She is the one you hire after you admit failure and enter bankruptcy. CA may have earned that status. But Brown can be a leader. He could be the one to lead California to its great fate.

The state sovereignty movement began here in Vermont as liberal opposition to the invasion of Iraq. It may have caught on in the red states but it was tailor made for California. It was tailor made for Jerry Brown. Brown should recognize that taking money from the federal government is, as was said in the day, taking money from the CIA. And as Secretary of State Clinton again leads war ships up the coast of the South China Sea which are certain on one day to engage in proxy war with China, he could stop this from happening as governor of CA. They cannot go there without California and he could deny California’s participation.

Five years ago I wrote for local and national journals a stretch of articles claiming states need not participate in foreign adventures like Iraq without permission of their governors. This was nothing more than symbolic action back then. Since then it has become the stuff of politics and think tanks and busy grad students everywhere . States are the only sure defense against federal dominance and malfeasance. To end it requires only one singular governor with a fierce heart in a state still waiting to be born like California.

Saturday, July 24, 2010



Hillary’s dark double, Kim Jong-il. Ron Paul makes sense.

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 7/26/10

America is wherever we look, wherever we’re going to be. – Don Draper

When will our two-party system, each party featuring strategies of world domination via image, economy or the gun, be seen to be what it is: totalitarian. When will citizens of the smaller place, the natural state and the normal life – New England, the Pacific Northwest, Arizona, Utah, Rick Perry’s Texas or Jerry Brown’s California - find the courage to collectively deny the neurotic abstractions of these mad leviathans who commandeer our fate like George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton? When will the horde mentality of Marx and Keynes yield to real citizenship and true statehood?

Fate turned on June 11, 1963, when the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, upright in yellow robes, burned himself to death at a busy Saigon intersection. But our first relevant contention with the East came when the British sank five Chinese junks in the Opium Wars in the 1830s. Today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton carries the flag in the continuing events and has come to her moment of crisis: Gunboat diplomacy, toe to toe with her equal and opposite counterpart: North Korea’s Kim Jong-il. The Dear Leader and America’s own Dowager Empress. Not since Godzilla challenged Mothra has there been such a clash of the titans.

Every great leader finds the dark double: Churchill/Hitler, Roosevelt/Stalin, Napoleon/Duke of Wellington. The Hindus say you share a room with him in heaven. Hillary has found hers: South Korea’s Kim Jong-il.

How much they have in common. They made their way through family connection. They have a cult followings. Their legacies have been riddled with corruption from the very beginning. They sympathized with totalitarian ideology and studied Marx in their youth – Hillary wrote her senior thesis on Alinsky during the social revolution ( ‘ . . . chicks up front!”) of the Sixties. They see the world as masses, not peoples. They won’t go away.

The world today resembles the yin/yang symbol with the river line between dividing North Korea from South Korea. The North, proxy agent for China, just to the left. The South, proxy agent for the United States over to the right. And there this weekend in the jewel heart at the center, the DMZ, Hillary and Kim Jong-il send their best people.

Hillary’s closest Democratic agents advise her – I have heard them – that America would be in a better place in these wars if we had a draft. It would be more democratic. Everyone would share the burden, the blame and responsibility. It would unite America. It would be just like the Roosevelt era, with Fred and Ginger dancing in top hat and tails. And they will need a draft to war again in Asia. The pathology beneath this thinking and the willingness of people to accept it challenges the legitimacy of our political process. Challenges the rational mind. It is inherently totalitarian and sociopathic.

But here is where Hillary is different from Obama. Obama is normal. There is now and always has been with the Clintons and their generation of followers, something corrupt and fundamentally unstable. It manifests in allowing the suggestion of war in Asia to even surface. But Obama could conceivable help; he could even turn this ship around.

With gunboats in the South China Sea and soldiers into the Punjab, we trail mindlessly in England’s fateful shadow. And every day in every way, Ron Paul, who served as a military officer in the war begun in western eyes when that yellow-robed monk heroically took his life, makes more sense.
Secretary Clinton: America’s Kim Jong-il. Ron Paul makes sense.

She has come to her moment of crisis: Gunboat diplomacy, toe to toe with her equal and opposite counterpart: North Korea’s Kim Jong-il.

Every great leader finds her or his dark double: Churchill/Hitler, Roosevelt/Stalin, Napolean/Wellington. The Hindus say you share a room with him in heaven. Hillary has found hers: South Korea’s dear leader, Kim Jong-il.

How much they have in common. They made their way through family connection. They have a cult following. Their legasy is riddled with corruption from the beginning. They studied Marx in their youth – Hillary wrote her senior thesis on Alinsky during the social revolution ( ‘ . . . chicks up front!”) of the Sixties. They see the world as masses, not peoples. They won’t go away.

The world today resembles the yin/yang symbol with the river line between dividing North Korea from South Korea. The North, essence and proxy agent for China, just to the left. The South, essence and proxy agent for the United States over to the right. And there this weekend in the jewel heart at the center stand Hillary and Kim Jong-il. Mano a mano, as it were.

Hillary’s closest Democratic agents advise her – I have heard them – that America would be in a better place in these wars if we had a draft. It would be more democratic. Everyone would share the burden, the blame and responsibility. It would be just like the Roosevelt era, with Fred and Ginger dancing in top hat and tails. And they will need a draft to war in Asia.

But here is where Hillary is different from Obama. Obama is normal. But there is now and always has been with the Clintons and their generation of followers, something corrupt and fundamentally unstable. It manifests in allowing the suggestion of war in Asia to even surface.

Gunboats in the South China Sea, soldiers into the Punjab . Every day in every way, Ron Paul makes more sense.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Obama’s Demagogues: We are watching you

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 7/22/10

Say what you like about America’s new Prince Andrei, “Mad Men”’s Don Draper, but he knows right from wrong. He chooses wrong because it if fun, because it burns through the mediocrity, because he is still a young man, but he knows. What a difference in America since the caps went on backwards. James Taranto’s description in the Wall Street Journal (“’Call them racists’”) of the journalists who conspired to peg the Obama opposition as racist shows a broody lot which makes no distinction. Like Pirandello’s six actors in search of an author, this group, more than six, appears to be in search of a police state. Obama is not their man. But it reveals something fairly ugly about race in America that these mainly white “journolists” – demagogues - would think that he would be. And Don Draper can write a clear and simple declarative sentence.

Obama has always been a better man than the people around him. But he does share the blame. This presidency, which understands neither decorum nor public relations, tripped up this time when Obama stood shoulder to shoulder with a Mexican president in opposition to a sitting American governor. It gathered speed when Michelle Obama (I am my husband’s sharp tongue!) was dispatched to egg on the NAACP and its message to those Tea Partiers, understood in heartland America to mean white people: We are watching you.

This has been the theme from the very beginning. When Hillary Clinton went up just a tick briefly against Obama in the primary, messages came immediately to my in box: See, America is too racist to elect a black president.

America is racist. America is racist. America is racist. That is the message of the demagogue bloggers and publicists Taranto describes. Stay on point.

Apparently not, but I was sure then that this would be the fall back position. The demagogues would be sent out as they have been and gather together for the unified message: White Americans are racists. But demagoguery as a defense is always a last resort.

Taranto writes: “Most damning is a long quote from a Spencer Ackerman, who worked for something called the Washington Independent: ‘I do not endorse a Popular Front, nor do I think you need to. It's not necessary to jump to Wright-qua-Wright's defense. What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger's [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear. Obviously I mean this rhetorically.’”

Taranto’s account of this conspiracy of liberal journalists constitutes a RICO-like pattern of racketeering. But race is today a card that no longer works, because America doesn’t care what they think.

Obama trips annually; now with Shirley Sherrod, last year with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Both times, wrong on the facts. Because America, black and white when you get out of New York and Chicago and Washington, D.C., knows itself better than Obama knows America. Don Drapper seems to as well. And Drapper’s world today and in the 1950s is much like Prince Andrei’s when Tolstoi created him: Accountability would come. The end was already in sight.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hillary in 2012? The Clintons and secession

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 7/21/10

“Hillary vs Obama in 2012?” asks Charlie Speight, the perceptive South Carolina blogger at The Garnet Spy who brought Nikki Haley to national attention. Pete DuPont said last week in the WSJ she could mount a formidable challenge to Obama. Have always felt she would bring a challenge. The Clintons can't help themselves. But it will fail as Ted Kennedy's challenge to Jimmy Carter failed. It will weaken Obama and he will lose in 2012.

The power model we are on now parallels that of the late ‘70s, early '80s. Obama, like Carter, is prelude to a strong long-term conservative run featuring Palin, Romney or Rick Perry and possibly Jon Huntsman Jr. I believe we are at a Jacksonian transition; heartland will rise up and leave the Beltway mediocrities - both parties – behind as it did in the 1830s. Thus Palin. But an attempted Clinton restoration will foster new secession movements.

Bill Clinton’s Presidency (or priesthood) advanced the two original American secession movements of our time, The League of the South and the New England Confederation, both of which were supported by academics of major universities like Emory and Duke. The New England Confederation retired itself when George W. Bush came into office. It then morphed into the Second Vermont Republic and found original support from George Kennan and John Kenneth Galbraith. This year it fields ten certified and credible candidates for state offices. Bumper stickers which read “Vermont, first to secede” are now common up here. Since February, 2009, when NH representative Dan Itsey proposed a state sovereignty resolution against the Obama bailouts based on Jefferson’s Kentucky Resolutions, more than 30 state sovereignty and Tenth Amendment movements have advanced across the country. The cat is out of the bag. Secession today – to paraphrase H. Rap Brown – is as American as apple pie. If Hillary is elected President the Southwest will secede.

(Reader caution: Compound sentences ahead.) What the Clintons brought was a change in cultural temperament. I’ve spoken to most of the leaders, including lawyers and academics from the original separatist movements and felt that the Clintons’ character; their seeing themselves as globalist god kings – cult figures – and their generation supporting this brought a rejection of them similar to that of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 in England which formed England’s future character. The Clinton culture was primarily a generational priesthood. A normal mortal like Obama following, no matter how stylish, doesn’t have a chance. But Clintonism will be repudiated if Hillary runs in 2012.

Bill Clinton was correct in his observation that “The age of big government is over.” What is most significant about our times is that the dialog between Keynes and Marx which expanded the world for more than 100 years has changed to a dialog between Keynes and Hayek. Politics of small government, meaning state and regional control, will inevitably follow, possibly for another hundred years. In this regard the Obama presidency, which hails back to Roosevelt, is a historic anomaly. He forms the background for a new political age which he will not be part of. Nor will Bill and Hillary be part of it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Comments on Israel, after the Revolution

I told my editor this morning that this essay, which went up this morning at The Hill, was the most important essay I'd written for them - out of several hundred - and possibly the most important I would write in my life. Anyone interested in why might look to my blog Water, Wood and a Wolf, to the right, but in a word, I've been saying that Israel is approaching a moment of distinction; a revolution of a kind, and in my opinion, Moshe Feiglin will be its leader.

I thought I'd put here a few of the comments that came up on it:

WHAT????

if you are a buddhist you are not a jew. has anyone changed the only true God for that which is not God?


I am not a Jew and do not want to convert. But I find that the conflicts which occur between Christian and Jew do not exist between Buddhism and Jewish orthodoxy. Particularly in terms of time and the afterlife. I guess that part about running parallel to Judaism as a Buddhist can be tricky. Those compound sentences can fool you. Buddhism is not a religion. It is an excellent discipline for those without sanga like myself. (That is, for those who go alone.) I find it a raft in a country where religion is politicized and divorced from place. And incidently,I don't go to church although I might if I lived someplace else. We sent our kids to Moravian play school in North Carolina and I liked them as a group.

I'm trying to find a point, a theme, a thesis, something in this. This may be the most incoherent thing I've read in years.

There may well be a profound thought in this that just didn't come across. That is the only guess I'm left with.
Israel, before the Revolution

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill, 7/18/10

The Clinton presidency was an aftermath; a time of building, growing and consolidating, like the prosperous times that follow a revolution. In Israel, there was investment and building but there had been no revolution. There was gradual progress to an advancing scale but there was no one moment you could call back to as you would in the Taoist parable of enlightenment: Before the revolution we cut wood and carried water. After the revolution we did the same. But we were different then. There was no Nelson at Trafalgar to mark a day. No Washington at Yorktown, no Crockett at the Alamo. No David. In my adult life the only one who approached even folk status was the brave Arab who rose to his bullet as confidently as a song bird rises to greet the dawn, Anwar El Sadat. But I have felt for a long time that it is just ahead for Israel and its definitive moment will come in the next 20 years and possibly very soon.

Some today, however, are beginning to feel unfriended. In an op-ed in The New York Times, “The Diaspora Need Not Apply,” Alana Newhouse, editor in chief of Tablet Magazine, which covers Jewish life and culture, writes that last week a Knesset committee approved a bill that would give the Orthodox rabbinate control of all conversions in Israel. If passed, this legislation would place authority over all Jewish births, marriages and deaths – and, through them, the fundamental questions of Jewish identity – in the hands of “ . . . a small group of ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi rabbis.”

The move has set in motion a sectarian battle that is not only dividing Israeli society but threatening to sever the vital connection between Israel and the American Jewish diaspora, she says.

“Who is a Jew?” she asks.

Israel is undergoing a change in temperament. It parallels a change occurring in America. A new cultural life force is rising that brings a challenge to left and right political traditions. In Israel, as in the United States, left and right traditions are converging to ward it off.

As a Buddhist I find I have much in common with my religious Israeli correspondents. More today in serious ways than with some of my oldest American friends who are Jewish. The path of Arjuna parallels in many ways that of Aaron and over time I become more “Jewish.” My American friends become more secular.

Newhouse’s essay is of vital importance to Jews and non-Jews alike, because the questions which will arise next are: Who speaks for Jews? Who speaks for Israel? Does Bill Clinton, George W. Bush or Barack Obama? Does Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? Does Joe Biden? Does New York’s former mayor Ed Koch? Does the UN’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon? Does the EU’s foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton? Does CNN? Do Thomas Friedman and Frank Rich and The New York Times? These we hear from. The assumption that they do could easily be challenged by a rising generation.

“This year, with God's help,” Moshe Feiglin, a native-born Israeli leader wrote recently, “there will be more Jews in Israel than anywhere else in the world. This is a sea change in the state of the Jewish nation and the first time since the First Temple era that the majority of Jews has resided in Israel. This summer we start the countdown to the end of the exile.”

Destiny will follow demographics, in Texas, in New York, even in the House of God.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sarah Palin and Andrew Jackson

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 7/16/10

Last night I was happy to be interviewed on the Lee Davis Show about my essay on Sarah Palin earlier this week and several points are worth repeating. The first is that Sarah Palin is an archetypal figure who challenges the existing establishment. As entrenched inside-the-Beltway interests including commentators, politicians, late night entertainers, demagogues and outright nut jobs react to protect the establishment by caricaturing the Tea Party as a brawling “Hee-Haw” lot of country bumpkins with Palin in the lead as Minnie Pearl with the straw hat with the tag still on it, Palin’s entry into a variety of races, particularly Nikki Haley’s in South Carolina and Carly Fiorina’s in California, brought the original ideas of the Tea Parties to a broader audience in a greater marketing package. In effect, she has been building her own political establishment. With a clever strategist on hand like Jenny Sanford, who should be running Palin’s program, Haley, a Tea Party original, now advances her ideas to a new regional and national level of marketing. Thanks to Sarah Palin.

The second point worth reviewing is the recent Republican primary in Texas when Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, George H.W. Bush and Karen Hughes on behalf of George W. Bush all lined up behind Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Governor Rick Perry had the support of Sarah Palin. What was interesting about this race is that Hutchison never had a chance. So why did such a group of respected establishment conservatives line up behind her? Because they weren’t so much opposing Perry as they were Palin. This was the definitive moment politics had been building forward momentum to since the NY 23 race with Doug Hoffman in the fall, and it brought substance to a newborn political direction.

Today conservatives are reading Hayek and supporting Ron Paul in opposition to the globalist post-war tradition of both parties. The 21st century is contained in this fledgling paradigm. In time, say by 2016 or 2020, this division within the conservative movement will be more important to our development than the 20th century’s “creative contention” between Democrats and Republicans, and strategists should take a long-term approach.

The change that is rising now with Palin, Ron Paul and the Tea Parties certainly contains Jeffersonian elements about placing limits on the federal government, but culturally it also resembles the rise of Andrew Jackson and the free people of the western regions demanding their place and coming into the country politically. The icons of the colonial period felt the same shock and awe that the entrenched interests and Beltway people do today.

“I had never any doubts of the stability of our institutions, till the subject given to Andrew Jackson in 1824 for President of the United States,” wrote Jefferson. “- a man who in every situation he has filled, either civil or military, has made it a rule to DISOBEY ORDERS and SUBSTITUTE HIS OWN WILL FOR LAW.” (His caps.)

Did I say demagogues and nut jobs? Best practices and summer reading today might include H.W. Brands excellent biography of Andrew Jackson because our new century today is developing the same internal dynamics as the age of Jackson. And regarding the procession of archetypes, their spirits embody generations as Jefferson did, as Victoria did, as the Kennedys did. Very much worth noting that when Jefferson died the Jacksonian movement was hard on his heels and we are at such a transition today.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sarah Palin arrives. May I call her Sarah?

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 7/14/10

Some hated her because she is beautiful. One prominent Washington Post columnist and TV commentator scorned her because she had a Garfield calendar on her desk. Others hated her because she is a hunter. A few on the margins even hated her because she is white. But it is too late now. Sarah Palin has arrived. But beneath it all – beneath almost two years of slander and disgrace on the part of the mainstream press – was a real fear. And for good reason, because Sarah Palin is a political genius.

While her detractors were in college reading Derrida and Michel Foucault, she was playing basketball. It made her a relentless competitor. It made her a great strategist. While the others were modifying the existing establishment to fit their own needs, she was building her own house with her own hands. And now she is building her own political establishment.

Supporters, like Dick Morris, say questions will arise about her quitting her job as governor of Alaska. But it was a bold, brilliant and necessary strategy. She wouldn’t have had a chance against such a hostile press and political establishment otherwise. Since then she has led the way at NY 23 – Rick Perry and Tim Pawlenty followed. Since then she faced off against mainstream party people George H.W. Bush, Karl Rove, Karen Hughes on behalf of “W,” Dick Cheney and others who supported Kay Bailey Hutchinson in a Texas primary. She supported Rick Perry and Perry won in a landslide. It was a definitive moment. Since then she has assumed all of the creative qualities of the Tea Party movement and left the rest behind. Without her it would have been a wandering horde of disgruntled red necks and peckerwoods. But most telling, when Mitt Romney went South to support Nikki Haley in South Carolina’s governor’s primary this past spring it barely made a bump. When Palin went, Haley jumped double digits and this week Haley’s picture is on Newsweek.

Now Levi Johnston, innocent and na├»ve but at heart a very good young man from Alaska who unknowingly became front man for the venomous horde of creepy things in the night which control the world has apologized. And The Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker, newly minted Pulitzer winner who on September 26, 2008, just days after Palin arrived in the lower 48 called her, “ . . . an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League” today writes: “For what it's worth, I get a kick out of Sarah. May I call her Sarah?”

Jut alors! The Palin phenomenon is “a new feminine mystique” she says now. Who knew?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Obama at the crossroads

by Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 7/13/10

If President Obama wants to win in 2012, and the race has already begun, he desperately needs some new friends. I would like to suggest four who like him and who have supported him: The senators from Virginia, Mark Warner and Jim Webb and Dave “Mudcat” Saunders who advised them, and Toby Keith. When Hillary quits in six months to run against him he should replace her as Secretary of State with China secretary Jon Huntsman Jr. And ditch the white guy from central casting standing in at VP, Joe Biden. Replace him in the 2012 campaign with Warner. But as he wanders alone this vacation in the pleroma of the Maine woods like the eight-legged Oracle of Oberhausen, he must with quiet confidence make one seismic shift: Replace Paul Krugman as his economic front man with Harvard economist Niall Ferguson. It is a better fit for him and a better fit for the times. His close ally, The New York Times, can help in this. They can join the century and replace Krugman with Ferguson.

There have been four essential presidents in the post-war period: Conservatives Eisenhower and Reagan and liberals Kennedy and Obama. The age could not have occurred and found fulfillment without them. But that age is ending. Obama is the closer. We face a new age of politics and economy and it is Obama’s task to segway into it. When Presidents fail to do this it happens anyway, but with anger. And the anger has already awakened.

Obama is the best of the liberal presidents in the post-war period. His failures are not his own, but are organic to a shift in the changing times. Obama’s burden is that he today carries the hopes and wishes of people and generations which need now to be passed by in politics as time has already passed them by. The first I ever heard of Obama was from the north woods few remaining Cheech and Chong liberals; he should encounter one or two around Portland, and Cheech and Chong have even made a comeback in his tenure. Most people know him better than that by now but it is one of several losing chains he carries. But the longest and heaviest chain he carries today is Krugman, front man all over the TV and the press for Keynes and the Roosevelt years. Nostalgia is the poison of politics. It was in the South for 80 years, and it still is today north of Boston. But even Boston, with Scott Brown, appears ready to be moving on.

With Krugman and co. Obama does not make his presidency his own. He becomes a footnote to Roosevelt, to Lincoln, to Kennedy. He fulfilled that duty in his first day in office. But it will not be enough in 2012.

Niall Ferguson is a better fit. Smart, full of new ideas, and young like Obama and likewise unburdened by the past. This reflects the better Obama. And Ferguson likes the aspect of America that is still awakening.

Last week, surprisingly, Obama publically warned about debt accrued by the dangers of the Krugman/Keynes position, as Ferguson has been warning all this past year. Obama appeared to be hovering like the Oracle of Oberhausen over the two positions: Krugman or Ferguson? Choose Ferguson.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Gone: America declares itself to be god - draft
The symbolism in itself is enough to gag a horse. Bill Clinton declares himself priest to perform a wedding between a Jew and a Muslim in NY, hopefully bringing peace to the Middle East via divine fiat. My Israeli friends want to break with America before it is too late. They are serious grownups with children and grandchildren. They who have always been a serious people no longer consider us to be a serious people and feel the shared relationship could now destroy Israel. This is why. But it is to be expected today in our country when we substitute pop stars for gods and politics for religion. We have declared ourselves to be gods.
Something ended this week. We clearly need a new beginning. It might start with a sacrifice: Possibly Buckeye state Governor Ted Strickland and Senator Sherrod Brown whose televised pleas in song to the Real King James were a public embarrassment to a free people could more humanely be sent to the Great White North and left on ice floes naked and alone.
It is hard to put into perspective now what has happened here and what has been happening here for a long time. “Time” magazine, for example, reports that the Tea Party movement was started by a Fox reporter, but journalists never start anything and MSM journalists never have. They prevent things from starting.
In the absence of real reporting, we are left like the Thermians in the clever movie “Galaxy
Quest” to discern what is really going on by the headlines and TV images. How were they to know that Star Trek was not a historic record and Captain Kirk was only wearing a costume, not a uniform?
Observations today from TV bring certain assumptions about America: Black people do really well here. Not only is the president black, but all the gods are black. Even the white god Clinton was declared black at deification. When he left his human form last year, The Gloved One officially played on the light media much longer that the death of Jack Kennedy, longer than the deaths of Victoria and Lincoln played in the papers. Within a year, altars spontaneously sprung up in Washington, D.C. To this day, they play his music everywhere: In grocery stores, in cars, in the bathroom and the kitchen, everywhere. Even in church. It is impossible to get away from it.
But banner headlines of newspapers tell the historic tale by their size and spread: The Death of Lincoln, the Signing at Appomattox. Twelve Days that Shook the World, Mao’s Long March. Victory over fascism in Germany and Japan. The assassination of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King, Jr. But there had never been a headline or a page spread in all of American history like the one last week when the very tall and competent Real King James left. The Cleveland Plain Dealer, which once was a real newspaper, pictured this god with his back to us walking away from top of the page to the bottom with nothing else on the page but this bold, historic headline: “Gone.”
And that apparently was the end of things. Too bad. The dance of light and honor was too difficult. The competition – China - too tough to face. Reality never had a chance.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Citizenship and the Man-Child President: Why I turned against federalism
In hindsight, I can see that I was turned against federalism by two things. First, when I’d walk up to get my first grader after school in the neighborhood of Duke University in Durham, NC, I had to keep my hand on my 3-year-old, to keep the students from touching her. They were not bad kids, but they were nervous and erratic because their mothers were addicted to heroin when they were born. The second was the President. Although I had voted for him twice, it appeared to be a mother/child relationship he had with Hillary. Lots of men – especially artists and musicians – have that because it works for them. But when it became approved by a good majority to run things it seemed that we had got to the end of the difficult work we started in 1776.
The first was a failure on a catastrophic scale. The nervous students had no chance and no doubt many of them are dead already. Except for my kids and maybe three others, the students were all black. The white liberals in the neighborhood, most of whom worked or taught at Duke, would try to get their kids in the “AG” classes in the public school, which contained only two or three students, and if they didn’t get in, they’d send them to private schools. President Obama is no man child like Bill Clinton. He is a fully mature and well-adjusted adult. But these children are no better off today. Their situation is worse. It is not the fault of Clinton, Bush or Obama. Their intentions were all honest. It is the fault of the system. It is the fault of central planning from outside the region.
But it was the second part that made a greater difference. What the country had come to want is a “rock star” for a President. My children’s’ public school colleagues were getting knocked up in the sixth grade and smoking reefer on the way to school and America wanted a rock star for President. I felt it left us defenseless. The government could and would do anything it wanted without consequences. Citizenship had become mush.
So when George W. Bush invaded Iraq I shared the general desire for revenge of 9/11 but felt the approach was illegal, unconstitutional and simply wrong. But I knew, as he and Vice President Dick Cheney did, that with a constituency which wanted a rock star as president, they could get away with anything they wanted for as long as they wanted. And they did. Here in New Hampshire and Vermont I proposed with a few others a states’ rights opposition. We used a model based on the Quebecois, which wanted to be considered its own nation within the Canadian confederation. It has since caught on all over the country, and this week the Obama administration brings a first challenge to it in Arizona.
Governor Jan Brewer’s challenged to the federal government is a cry from the heart, but it is only that. But it is a start.

States and regions should make their own determinations. It make the country stronger. Strong states keep the country honest. Canada was considered a “third world North American country” deeply in debt and culturally dependent to America 20 years ago. Since Quebec has declared itself a nation within a nation, Canada has a new interior dynamic which is obvious to anyone who is attentive to it. It is no longer the shadow of America and its economy has become the envy of the world.
Two Americas: The west is rising - draft
When Robert McNeil and Jim Lehrer first opened their new shop it was an a exciting time in America and their regular interviews with brilliant and moral observers like Faoud Ajami promised a rising age of character, responsibility and excitement. For a long while it proved to be so. That time has passed. We are today at the turning of a receding era and a rising era, ut the rsinig age proves to be just as auspicious. I think it will be an age of hard work and shirt sleeves. You could get a sense of it listening to Judge Andrew Depolitiano interviewing Rep. Dennis Kusinich on his new show, with Kusinich telling the Judge he believes power comes from “on high” and the Judge telling him he sounds just like Thomas Jefferson. Out time ahead will be Jefferson’s time.
I predict America has a great century ahead, but it will be a different century than the last and as the Lincoln/Roosevelt century was a suitiable one for the end of one millennium, the new one will be suitable for the beginning of a new millennia. Primary to this is the reality that althoguth we may have called it something different, in fact, the states have been in direct economic competition these past 400 American years and as we begin agains their competitive strength can be measured now by their states or surplus. And these are the hard facts: New York is deeply in debt and in parrallasis of politics and culture that it cannot get out of; the kind of parrallasis and poor spiritedness which crippled and weaked eastern European states 100 eyars ago, refledcted today be its reflec to elect the sons of old people who were never that good in the first place. Texas has won. It has a balanced budget. It runs a surplus. Eight out of every new job goes to a Texan. Texas will lead the way to health, welfare and awakening.
Summer reading: The Bostonians, The Burden of Southern History. Dual creation myths.

Nurture greiviences and come for the benefits and remain a burden of a system which was creative and effective at first but resounded here as a burden. I can only speak for my own South Boston family here, but when Mother of Exile called us wretched refuse to her teeming shore, the best of us indeed lifted the lamp beside the golden door. The others went to work as cops and government workers and didn’t gp through the golden door. As I recall on the way to my grandmother’s funeral 40 years, there were 40 cops in my town with my last name. they got great pensions too although some of them were barely literate and their only olther skill was twirling a nighstick. The government workers got nice pensions too. But those who got as far as Texas made the journey.
As Robert McCartney, the columnist for the Washington Post, wrote recently it would take weeks to read all the books and articles on America’s prewsumed decline in recent days. Most now and ever before compare with the rise and fall of Rome. I’ve always thought we should be compared with two empires, Rome and Athens. Or better yet, Rome and Constantinople, equal and opposite counterrforces for at least a 1,000 years after the empires fell. Anyone who has ever spent quality time in Texas or Oklahoma would know that they do not consider themselves to be an annex to New York, although NY may think it. But Ny has never been a good conquerer. It assumed that the regions it conquered wanted to be conquered by it. This is the fatal delusion.

Monday, July 05, 2010


Will Pat Robertson and Pastor John Hagee pay the way for New York and Chicago?

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 7/4/10

From Lou Reed to “The Office” there has been something in us which seemed to delight in the idea of falling apart. This could be our chance. Illinois’ “pension is the most underfunded in the nation,” Karen S. Krop, a senior director at Fitch Ratings told The New York Times. “They have not made significant cuts or raised revenues. There’s no state out there like this. They can’t grow their way out of this.”

For the last few years, California stood more or less unchallenged as a symbol of the fiscal collapse of states during the recession, writes Michael Powell in an article titled “Illinois Stops Paying Its Bill, but Can’t Stop Digging Hole.” Now Illinois has shouldered to the fore, as its dysfunctional political class refuses to pay the state’s bills and refuses to take the painful steps — cuts and tax increases — to close a deficit of at least $12 billion, equal to nearly half the state’s budget. Only an infusion of federal stimulus money allowed many states to deep layoffs last year.

Here is where the problem will be: Federal money, because it comes from more responsible states and goes to less responsible states. In its January 2009 update, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that ten states had balanced their fiscal year 2009 budgets: Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming. Texas had a surplus. As one renegade in Texas wrote recently, they – meaning Washington – are starting to use Texas as a cash machine.

And now the federal dollars are nearly spent and the feckless eloi of the primarily northern cities will ask the healthy and spendthrift country people to support them. The upscale and refined, basking on Nantucket this long, hot Fourth of July weekend, quiet-yet-opinionated types who watch Charlie Rose and read Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, are asking the hearty rural pilgrims of east Texas and the gnarly Midwestern truckers and their wives who watch Pastor John Hagee and Pat Robertson’s 700 Club to pay their way.

It is not that difficult to see, said Carly Fiorina in her first televised interview after she won the Republican nomination for Senate, that the problems plaguing Greece are not that different than the ones faced in California and Los Angeles. New York, Massachusetts and Illinois, she could have added. That we call it something else doesn’t make it different.

But our historical circumstances are different. And some, like Tim Bridewater and Mike Lee, Tea Partiers in Utah, who ran in the recent primary, recall the difference. Utah was brought into the American republic at the end of a bayonet in 1857. The northern conquest followed in the South and Texas shortly thereafter.

I’m sure we are all happy to be here now, but in our situation, the rich cities in the north, including New York, Boston and Chicago, made suddenly rich and powerful by the rapid onset of industrialization, agreed to a compact to conquer the poorer, striving agrarian regions. But now that the agrarian and resource rich rurals are doing alright and some of them are flush with cash, they will be asked to bail out the deeply indebted Chicago, Massachusetts, New York and its sister across the Mississippi, California.

So maybe this ain’t over.

Saturday, July 03, 2010




Eclipse: The ritual execution of Buffy the Vampire Slayer


Astute students of archetypal history will definitely want to see the third episode of the “Twilight” series, “Eclipse” which opened this week. I saw it this week with my daughter and was the only non-13-year-old girl in the packed theater. But Eclipse fulfills an archetypal need and destiny: The four book series follows the full moon cycle of the English Earth Mother tradition and this book and movie brings the ritual execution of Victoria. In fact, Buffy is clearly identified as the archetype of the English Earth Mother in her three phases (see Graves, “The White Goddess”), Victoria being the last phase, the Death Mother or eclipsed moon. In one of the last televised issues of Buffy, she is identified as the “Lady of the Lake”: A ghost woman appears to her from behind the veil and says, ”You pulled the sword from the stone. I was one of the women [Triple Goddess] who put it there.”

Twilight is a Buffy knockoff – better yet, it is a Mormon version of the Buffy/Angel saga. In the Buffy chronicles, The Slayer’s second boy friend – Angel is her real love and her first boy friend – is Riley. But he is considered never holding up to Angel. In Eclipse, a new Riley appears; the second lover of Victoria, implying that Victoria is a stand in or analog of Buffy. Victoria, the enemy in Twilight, has bright red hair – she is the Red Queen is seen in the Unconscious of Alice in Wonderland: She is England's great queen, Victoria, the last of the English Earth Mothers. She must die for the White Queen to be “born again” and the cycle of the Triple Goddess to awaken again. She dies in Eclipse, executed by Edward (head ripped off), and Bella represents the new White Queen. Most excellent, on the cover of the book Breaking Dawn, fourth and final book in the series, is a white chess piece: the White Queen. The goddess cycle begins again in Aquarius.

Coolest thing though is that Stephanie Meyers, the author, replaces the American borrowed Logos (English law, philosophy and procedures) and Eros (Italian romance, poetry and religion) with new Logos (Mormonism; the vampires are high Mormons with a striving work ethic) and a new Eros (Native Americans). It should be noted that Mormonism started here in the mountains of Vermont and New York when America was going through a fantastic religious revival in the 1830s. The Mormons rose from the English dissenters here in New England. When the original Anglicans started arriving after the revolution, the Mormons headed west to Utah. My claim has been that they took the Protestant Ethic with them. So you can see in Eclipse and in the Twilight series the English civil war echoing through the centuries, even to archetypal warfare today in Hollywood.

Will Pat Robertson and Pastor John Hagee pay the way for New York and Chicago?

by Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 7/5/10

From Lou Reed to “The Office” there has been something in us which seemed to delight in the idea of falling apart. This could be our chance. Illinois’ “pension is the most underfunded in the nation,” Karen S. Krop, a senior director at Fitch Ratings told The New York Times. “They have not made significant cuts or raised revenues. There’s no state out there like this. They can’t grow their way out of this.”

For the last few years, California stood more or less unchallenged as a symbol of the fiscal collapse of states during the recession, writes Michael Powell in an article titled “Illinois Stops Paying Its Bill, but Can’t Stop Digging Hole.” Now Illinois has shouldered to the fore, as its dysfunctional political class refuses to pay the state’s bills and refuses to take the painful steps — cuts and tax increases — to close a deficit of at least $12 billion, equal to nearly half the state’s budget. Only an infusion of federal stimulus money allowed many states to deep layoffs last year.

Here is where the problem will be: Federal money, because it comes from more responsible states and goes to less responsible states. Nebraska has a balanced budget. Texas last year had a surplus. As one renegade in Texas wrote recently, they – meaning Washington – are starting to use Texas as a cash machine.

And now the federal dollars are nearly spent and the feckless eloi of the primarily northern cities will ask the healthy and spendthrift country people to support them. The quiet types who watch Charlie Rose and read Vanity Fair and The New Yorker are asking the hearty rural pilgrims who watch Pastor John Hagee and Pat Robertson’s 700 Club to pay their way.

It is not that difficult to see, said Carly Fiorina in her first televised interview after she won the Republican nomination for Senate, that the problems plaguing Greece are not that different than the ones faced in California and Los Angeles. New York, Massachusetts and Illinois, she could have added. That we call it something else doesn’t make it different. The wealthy European countries, namely Germany, are being called on to support the weak countries, namely Greece. And the same thing is happening here now.

But our historical circumstances are different. And some, like Tim Bridewater and Mike Lee, Tea Partiers in Utah, who ran in the recent primary, recall the difference. Utah was brought into the American republic at the end of a bayonet in 1857. The northern conquest followed in the South and Texas shortly thereafter.

I’m sure we are all happy to be here now, but in our situation, the rich cities in the north, including New York, Boston and Chicago, made suddenly rich and powerful by the rapid onset of industrialization, agreed to a compact to conquer the poorer, striving agrarian regions. But now that the agrarian and resource rich rurals are doing alright, they will be asked to bail out the deeply indebted Chicago, Massachusetts, New York and its sister across the Mississippi, California.

So maybe this ain’t over.

Friday, July 02, 2010

The Hill's Big Question asked today: Is Economy heading for double dip.

My answer:

It is more than a double dip. The world economy is heading for a systemic change. As Harold Meyerson wrote in the Washington Post the other day, Germany and China should be seen as new economic leaders. But Canada should be recognized as well as approaching an ideal society in western eyes; excellent banking and infrastructure, 12 years surplus and health care to boot. What these three have in common is their own unique cultural and work ethics. America should think now how to be competitive in this new realm: The agricultural regions, which are vast in North America, have strong futures, the manufacturing sectors are not competitive nor are the financial sectors particularly competitive. This is the advice of commodities guru Jim Rogers. We in the U.S. should begin to think of what works for which region. And what is the roll of the cities? Do they have one? New tax systems should develop regional circles of economy in “natural states” like the Carolinas, the Virginias and Tennessee. A local economy for Vermont, New Hampshire and lower Quebec for example, focused on the Northeast Kingdom which is right in the center, should be given tax incentive. Keep cash local, trade locally when there is no need to globalize – nothing could be more wasteful in spending or worse for the environment than sending wool from Australia to Vermont via South Africa for carding to make a pair of socks, as it is done now. Think locally, act locally.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Will Arizona die from a drug overdose? Governor Jan Brewer for President?

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 7/2/10

Those who follow historical cycles are well aware that we are at the end of things. Political cycles erode after the third generation, in around the 64th year. From Eisenhower to the Dalai Lama it has been an astonishing half century. Yet history falls into troughs. It did with the death of Jefferson. It did in the 1930s and it has entered one now. The old gods are gone; the Kennedys are dead, but the successes have been great, the era ending with a victorious milestone: a black President. But at the Creation, the Monkey God, Bob Dylan, said he would not be so all alone if everybody would get stoned. So they did. Could we start again with that?

Nature wastes no time. The federal concept is in a shambles and is today being challenged on all fronts. It is failing in Afghanistan. It failed in Katrina. It is bankrupting the republic, it fails in the Gulf and it fails incredibly along the southwestern border. Invariably, history turns on the one person to stand up and say, no more: “Do your job!” Insisting that if he doesn’t she will do it herself. This is the Gray Champion, the senior statesman or woman who will go alone. Right now it is looking like Jan Brewer, governor of Arizona, who brings a legitimate challenge to President Obama and to the very idea of federalism as we have been practicing it since Alexander Hamilton designed it. A challenge which should send shivers through the whole bipartisan establishment.

As The Hill’s A.B. Stoddard writes, “Even Obama, with his ambitious agenda of sweeping reforms, knows the Congress can't tackle immigration this year. Or possibly ever.”

It is a complete and total abdication of responsibility. Almost two dozen people were killed on the Mexican border Thursday in a gun battle between rival drug gangs. Obama’s inaction and the continued federal incompetence is tantamount to leaving the southwestern states to die like a glamorous and tawdry rock star, of an overdose of heroin. As Mexico is dying of drugs, chaos and squalor. As Detroit, Newark, Philadelphia and hundreds of other smaller American inner cities have already died of drug overdose.

The federal approach has allowed these cities to die. It encourages people to go someplace else until there is no place else to go, but it is tragically irresponsible. Possibly only the governors of the southwest with or without the federal government can save the region. Possibly only the people can save it. Governor Brewer could gain a headwind in this and she should broaden her initiative.