Friday, December 28, 2012

The year of the settler: Israel, beore the revolution

by Bernie Quigley
For The Hill on 12/28/12

A day of destiny approaches in Israel; January 22, when the Knesset reforms to new cultural contours. A critical article by Lisa Goldman and Mairav Zonszein reveals the ascending paradigm: “The settlement movement registered major victories this year on various fronts. Its representatives are reaching new heights in politics, the judiciary and the media. One out of five residents east of the Green Line is a settler. The expansion of settlements continues unabated, and – most importantly – settlers are in full control of the Israel national narrative. In 2012, as more and more observers declared the death of the two-state solution, the settler became the new normal.”

Unless Bibi falls, and Israeli pundits say he is weakening, it may go unnoticed in America and in the MSM that a systemic change is occurring in Israel. 

Obama is sure to repudiate this change inside the most sacred heart of western antiquity. But the century ahead could be seen to have already taken shape last May with President Obama’s stunning claim – a wish really – that Israel repeal 50 years of history and return to its indefensible 1967 borders. It was followed by an address by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that shook the halls of Congress. Obama then, travelling in Europe, where he feels most comfortable, brought forth an op ed in The Times of London with England’s Prime Minister David Cameron, calling the “Arab Spring” a situation similar to the fall of the Soviet Union, and comparing themselves to be the modern day Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Possibly this helped Netanyahu. His speech to Americans was greeted with roaring applause and dozens of standing ovations. For the first time in my memory, an Israeli leader appeared as an authentic American patriarch; a strong and ancient Father Abraham here to speak – to intervene, perhaps – on our behalf.

Netanyahu’s speech in Congress in spring this year showed a deep psychological need for and link to Israel in America for Jews and non Jews alike. In a most primary way since 9/11 we have come to look to Israel for our Father Abraham and to experience in this Israeli leader the patriarch we cannot find among ourselves.  
When George H.W. Bush passes, and it appears and it may not be long, there will be a feeling here that the post-war era has passed and the balance, sincerity, seriousness and even-handedness that the senior Bush brought to America and the world is now out of our reach. But it has long been gone as Congress, the President and their press foster ennui today with fantasy benchmarks like the “fiscal cliff.” As Sarah says (quoting Ron Paul) we went over the fiscal cliff long ago. Then we may look elsewhere for strength and character; England perhaps, as we did with Churchill. But my hunch today is that America’s world will start again; will lurch forward, maybe, in Israel and very likely in 2013.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Grant D.C statehood: Move the nation’s capital to Louisville

By Bernie Quigley
For The Hill, 12/26/12

The Huffington Post reports that a bill to move the District of Colombia toward statehood has been introduced in the Senate. Buzzfeed says “the 51st state would be called New Columbia” and be granted full voting representation in the Senate and House. A group called DC Vote has launched a White House petition to call on President Obama to support. It is indeed time that DC voters become fully enfranchised as the 51st state. But it is also high time that the nation’s capital be moved from its quaint antiquarian, eastern enclave to the center of our country. Louisville would be the perfect spot for a “new District of Columbia.”
In earliest days Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. were correctly viewed as the centers of America; benign centers of countervailing regions, nominally North and South, with dividing overviews; industrialization and manufacturing in Hamilton’s NY, provincial agrarianism in Jefferson’s South. So Victoria balanced Canada and Washington the Colonies. It was the perfect marriage of “harmony and tension” with these organic opposites held together by a benign center; a center intended to be free of the anxieties and warring oppositions of either and providing a holistic connection to both. But once it was filled with its own warring forces, the center had been passed through.

And that was not today with Joe Lieberman’s bill, cosponsored by Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). I couldn’t help notice that these lions of the Senate are all liberals. Obviously, they seek new liberal Senators by colonizing DC, much as the Southern secessionists in the 1800s hoped to bring new states in from South America to counter the North. The center had already been compromised by then. It is obliterated today. The armies of journalists today who gather in D.C. are  fully partisanized; a “nerd prom” in Sarah Palin’s phrase, and Mark Steyn, who speaks passionately for mainstream conservatives, claims that there is not but one worth listening to.

Our states have lost their center and that is because the western states have risen to relevance since post-war and we are no longer a North/South country. But truly today we are an East/West country. We no longer look exclusively across the Atlantic to the rest of the world and not a day goes by when the Pacific doesn’t rise to greater relevance. It is elementary that America come into rebalance and greet face to face the rising century, coined the “Pacific Century” by Ambassador Mike Mansfield. The western states and regions must be met as equals in a new balance of east and west. Already there are grumblings in the heartland and the west, which clearly suggest those of the Jackson period and beyond.

My suggestion, a Supercommittee of Governors and former governors to discuss from those who have already brought the issues of western relevance and state sovereignty to the public forum: Arnold Schwarzenegger of California who compared California to Athens and Sparta in his inaugural address, Rick Perry of Texas who questions why a state  with a surplus must support those in deep and growing debt, Sarah Palin, who singularly rose  Tea Party issues of heartland America to relevance, Butch Otter of North Dakota, Jodi Rell of Connecticut who with Arnold challenged the feds on auto emissions and Nikki Haley of South Carolina. Three men, three women, to meet to discuss in Louisville on the great, historic Ohio River, the center of America and the world surrounding: East, West, South and the Great White North.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Michigan is free

By Bernie Quigley
For The Hill on 12/6/12

Ideas grow in time if they are worthy. Time obliterates them if they are not. The so-called Tea Party may have sunk already under its own hubris and been cooped by flag-waving gingos, boors like Glenn Beck, and posturing politicians on the right. But the original idea behind it - states' rights and constitutional government - has this week had its finest moment: This week the Michigan House voted 107 to zero to nullify NDAA, the most egregious, totalitarian and un-American assault on American liberty since John Adams’ Alien and Sedition Acts.

The new approach – states’ rights, sound money and constitutional government - which brought about this new dawn began with Ron Paul, the Gray Champion who singlehandedly championed this thinking. And the red state, red neck association with the Tea Party, howling like a ghost dog in the wilderness, was not his doing. This states’ rights approach was first used in opposition during the George W. Bush administration. That Michigan, by all means a blue state, in a fully bipartisan vote, votes to nullify today brings it back to original principles. And it brings this movement to a more mature plain of engagement.

At the close of 2011, Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for the year 2012. In it are what some constitutional experts consider to be some of the greatest constitutional violations in American history, writes Michael Boldin of The Tenth Amendment Center. The Obama administration has aggressively argued in court that the executive branch has this power.

“At issue are sections 1021 and 1022 which, in essence, create a new power for the federal government to ‘indefinitely detain’ – without due process – any person. Indefinitely. That’s little different than kidnapping.”

In response, there’s been a bit of a firestorm from people across the political spectrum. Local communities in Colorado sent out the first warning shots, passing resolutions and ordinances rejecting such power earlier this year. Then, at the close of the 2012 state legislative session, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed House Bill 1160, making that state the first to paw a law not only rejecting the federal act, but fully banning any state agency from cooperating with the feds on it. And Texas State Representative Lyle Larson introduced House Bill 149 (HB149), the Texas Liberty Preservation Act. This might be the strongest anti-NDAA bill introduced yet, writes Boldin.

Michigan’s bill HB5768 declares, “no agency of this state, no political subdivision of this state, no employee of an agency of this state or a political subdivision of this state acting in his or her official capacity, and no member of the Michigan national guard on official state duty shall aid an agency of the armed forces of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of any person pursuant to section 1021 of the national defense authorization act…”

Monday, December 03, 2012

The Kennedy Center Awards and the Crisis of the Times

By Bernie Quigley
For The Hill on 12/3/12

The Obamas’ theatrical giving of the Leftover-from-the-Sixties awards at the Kennedy Center - Led Zeppelin, which today provides the nerve-wracking background noise in grocery stores and Dustin Hoffman who hasn't had a real job since 1967 - fully manifests the crisis in Washington, D.C. South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint asked recently about something else with some honest frustration, "We need new people." You'd think President Obama would do better as he is second generation himself and doesn’t belong to this crowd and in his campaign autobiography clearly crowned the Leftover-from-the-Sixties Democrats as his target to displace so as to awaken again a new and vital liberalism. So how's that working out?

Markos Moulitas, with hopes of ushering in a generation of Iraq war veterans into the political process, well represented new and better thinking and suggested Virginia’s then governor Mark Warner, Virginia Senator Jim Webb, General Wesley Clark and Vermont Governor Howard Dean at a time when Obama began to rise and Hillary hovered around zero percent at Daily Kos (really).

"Will these Clinton-era Democrats ever go away?" asked Kos in a Washington Post essay in the day. The answer is not so easily will they go into the good night, and herewith lays the crisis. Young conservatives should ask today as well as once – oh, so long ago – governor of Florida Jeb Bush, who landed his helicopter near the White House last week in symbolism more course and conspicuous than any we have seen the likes of since the Soviets claimed to have invented corn flakes,  "Will these Bush era Republicans ever go away?"

The answer to both questions is YES but DeMint is right to ask. Conservatives are better off with a presence and suggestion of new people: Senator Rand Paul of Tennessee, Senator Mike Lee of Utah, Joe Miller sure to rise in Alaska and the most talented and energetic Ted Cruz, the new senator from Texas, and possibly the one to establish the new paradigm in conservatism. Because today’s Republicans are not conservative: They are anti-liberal.  And today’s Democrats are not liberal, they are anti-conservative. Like Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty they go over the waterfall together.

There is no conservative party in America today but Ron Paul is Gray Champion to the new thinking which arose in the Tea Party and will awaken in what Grover Norquist  calls Tea Party II: In six words, states’ rights, sound money, constitutional government.  It forms a new matrix for new people and a new generation.

We enter this month an end game as per the Mayan Prophecy. The fall is at hand, but things don't break because storms challenge New York or comets obliterate the earth. They break because cultures, liberal or conservative, refuse to let go. They cannot adapt to new thinking and cling instead to the old, the worn through, the irrelevant. And this year they marched David Letterman into the Kennedy Center. David Letterman? Previous awards have gone to Leontyne Price, Fred Astaire, George Balanchine, Ella Fitzgerald, Henry Fonda, Martha Graham, Tennessee Williams, Count Basie, Alvin Ailey, George Burns, Merce Cunningham, Isaac Stern, Cary Grant and Jimmy Cagney. These celestials today welcome Letterman into their sanga. Can there be any greater harbinger of the end times?