"Liberalism is the ideology of Western suicide," wrote James Burnham in his 1964 "Suicide of the West".
Burnham predicted that the mindless magnanimity of liberals, who subordinate the interests of their own people and nations to utopian and altruistic impulses, would bring about an end to Western civilization.
Was he wrong? Consider what is happening in Europe.
Serbia, Hungary and Slovakia, small nations sensing they will be swamped by asylum seekers from the Muslim world, are trying to seal their borders and secure their homelands. Their instinct for survival, their awareness of lifeboat ethics, is acute. Yet they are being condemned for trying to save themselves.
Meanwhile, the pope calls on Catholics everywhere to welcome the asylum seekers and Angela Merkel will be taking in 800,000 this year alone, though the grumbling has begun in Bavaria.
This is but the beginning of what is to come, if Europe does not pull up the drawbridge. For the scores of thousands of Syrians in the Balkans, Hungary, Austria and Germany are only the first wave. Behind them in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan are four million refugees from the Syrian civil war. Seeing the success of the first wave, they are now on the move.
Behind them are two million Alawites and two million Christians who will be fleeing Syria when the Bashar Assad regime falls to ISIS and the al-Qaeda terrorists who already occupy half of that blood-soaked land.
Now the Iraqis, who live in a country the prospects for whose reunification and peace are receding, have begun to move. Also among the thousands pouring into Europe from Turkey are Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Afghans. When the Americans leave Afghanistan and the Taliban take their revenge, more Afghans will be fleeing west.
Africa has a billion people, a number that will double by 2050, and double again to 4 billion by 2100. Are those billions of Africans going to endure lives of poverty under ruthless, incompetent, corrupt and tyrannical regimes, if Europe's door remains wide open?
What is coming is not difficult to predict. Europe is going to run out of altruism long before it runs out of refugees. For as The New York Times reported Monday, there is no end in sight to the coming Third World and Islamic migrations to Europe.
Humanitarian groups, said the Times, claim "successive waves of migrants ... are on the way, perhaps for months or even years, until the wars, poverty and other underlying causes of the dislocations have abated."
But with terrorism expanding from Nigeria to the Maghreb to the Middle East, wars spreading, and tyranny pandemic in those regions, will not a peaceful, prosperous and free Europe always be a magnet?
If Europe does not seal its borders, what is to stop the Islamic world and Third World from coming and repopulating the continent with their own kind, as the shrinking native populations of Europe die out? Will Old Europe even be recognizable by midcentury?
The inevitable reaction to what is happening has already begun. European nations will divide with anti-immigrant parties like the National Front in France and UKIP in Britain gaining adherents until the major parties embrace restrictions on immigration or are swept aside.
Already there is a backlash in Germany and Austria to the tens of thousands invited in. Eastern Europe, with shrinking populations of native-born, has shown little interest in admitting migrants.
Though attacked by his opposition, Israel's Bibi Netanyahu will not be admitting Arab and Muslim asylum seekers. Having built a fence from Gaza to Eilat to keep Africans from crossing the Sinai, a wall to separate the West Bank from Israel, Bibi is now building a fence on the Jordanian border.
The Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas says he would welcome Palestinian asylum seekers. Both sides know that, in this struggle, demography may very well be destiny.
The Schengen Agreement that guarantees "open borders" among EU nations is also unlikely to survive this invasion. The old national borders of Europe will be re-established.
And as divisions deepen within and between countries over how many to accept, and when to shut the door, the EU may itself crack up over this most momentous and emotional of issues.
The scores of thousands of migrants bursting into Europe and the hundreds of thousands and millions coming after them are going to force Europeans to address an existential question. Who are we? Are we unique and separate peoples of a particular race and tribe, history and faith, language and culture, identifiable to all the world and worth preserving at the price of our lives?
Are we Germans, Russians, Poles, Italians, Spanish and French first? Or are we simply Europeans, people who live on the world's smallest continent and share a belief in the equality of all peoples and cultures, and in secularism and social democracy?
Liberal Man almost alone excepted, every species of animal life reacts or recoils when another species intrudes upon its turf.
Thus, in the end, Burnham was probably right. Liberalism is the ideology of Western suicide.
(Syndicated columnist Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book "The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2015 06:59
In the old days, Labor Day was the kickoff to the fall campaign — that is, the fall of the election. I'll never forget the Labor Day kickoff in 1984, when it rained on the picnic in Wisconsin, and the sound equipment didn't work in California, and when someone in the crowd collapsed. I had the awful sense that the campaign was doomed. It was.
We are over a year away from the fall campaign, and Labor Day will hardly be its kickoff. The first caucus is still months away, but the truth is that the first primary has been going on for months. It's the money primary, and unless you're a fan of Bernie Sanders, non-millionaires need not apply. Or non-billionaires.
It all makes sense in a perverted sort of way. The Supreme Court has struck down the overall limit on contributions to political parties, which means the 591 people who maxed out in 2012 won't have to worry about what would have been a $123,200 limit for this cycle.
Who gives $123,200 to a political candidate?
People with views that are as strong as their wallets are thick. Yes. As much as the ideologues get attacked for trying to dominate politics, I don't really worry so much about them. Both sides have their ideological stalwarts.
Like most people who have worked in politics, I used to have a love/hate relationship with the rich people we depended on. On the one hand, when you're running a campaign, you desperately want support from the people who can write a six-figure check, because it allows you to get your message across and win points with the press as a serious candidate. On the other hand, it always bugged me that we had to spend so much time pretending that what some rich developer thinks about the tax laws should inform a candidate's environmental policies.
That's the sore spot.
I don't mind if people who care about global warming want to spend millions to stop it. I don't mind if Emily's List, the pro-woman candidates' PAC, spends big; and if the anti-woman lobby wants to have their own PAC, that's only fair.
It's the developer I'm worried about. You see, most people who give money in politics aren't acting out of ideological fervor but out of practical business sense. What they give is worth it given what they get. If you're a government contractor who stands to make millions in contracts, a donation — often to both sides — ensures that your calls will be answered and your concerns will get a hearing (even if it is from a cynical staff member like I used to be). I remember attending Mike Dukakis' first million-dollar fundraiser, a big deal in those days. I looked around the room and said to a friend: "Do all these people really believe he'll be elected president?"
"Of course not," was the answer. The room was packed with Massachusetts developers, who thought that when the campaign was over the governor would still be the governor, which was why they were there.
Now Mike Dukakis was about the most ethical politician I've ever met, which some have said is one reason he's still a professor and not a former president. He wouldn't accept unlimited contributions, even though we'd found a very good loophole, much to my chagrin at the time.
It is certainly true that whatever the law is, smart lawyers will always be looking for loopholes. Short of a constitutional revolution, we will not get the money out of politics. But you simply can't raise a billion dollars without selling your soul, or at least mortgaging it, and most of us know that — whether we support public financing or not. That is one of the reasons that this Labor Day most of us will be trying to think about anything other than politics, which is a far worse sign of the times than rain, or even a broken sound system.
(Susan Estrich is a professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law Center. A best-selling author, lawyer and politician, as well as a teacher, she first gained national prominence as national campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988.)
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 September 2015 07:16
I just read the CNN report on the Jury verdict concerning the charge of rape made against a St. Paul's prep school senior. According to the report, it appears that the jury did not believe the young woman's testimony that the act was against her will, nor did they believe the young man's claim that there was no intercourse. He was acquitted of the rape charge and the most serious verdict rendered by the jury was that the defendant was guilty of a felony charge of ". . . using the internet to seduce, solicit or entice a child under age 16 in order to commit sexual assault."
The (now) nineteen year old defendant faces a possible eleven years in prison and must register as a sex offender . . . for the rest of his life. Whether or not the young man will have to forfeit his acceptance and scholarship to Harvard is not yet known, but likely.
There are only two people who know exactly what happened. The rest of us can only speculate on what is the truth. The jury seemed not to believe either one of them, but the jurors were able to arrive at some sort of "compromise" verdict. But, is it justice?
In looking at some information on teen age sex, it appears that much of underage sex that results in a pregnancy never gets reported to authorities. There are "activist" websites that promote abortion, including for underage teenagers, and provide information about the fourteen states in which parental consent or notification is not required. (http://www.positive.org/Resources/consent.html) Such sites also provide information on how to bypass parental notification or consent requirements in those states that do have some notification requirements. And, there are numerous references that show that Planned Parenthood provides abortions to teenagers and, in some cases, do their best to avoid determining the age of the person who impregnated the young woman. Why? Because, if they knew the age, they would have to report that, at the minimum, statutory rape may have been committed. Apparently, they consider performing the abortion more important than notifying the teenager's parents that a "medical procedure" is going to be performed, or notifying the police that a rape has been committed. Has what passes for "political correctness" evolved to the point where parents have to cede their parental rights to some unknown person? Or responsible "health care" providers can avoid reporting likely felonies to the police? But, that same "political correctness" prevents a school nurse from giving a teenaged student an aspirin to relieve a headache?
In the case of the St. Paul's students, the young woman's name cannot be divulged. And, even though the jury evidently believed the sex was consensual, the young man may serve a long term jail sentence, lose his ability to study at one of the country's most prestigious universities, and will forever have to carry the label and be publicly identified as a sex offender; an unforgiving "life sentence". Equal justice?
A former classmate sent me an article on the latest creation in the world of Political Correctness . . . this time it's, "gender neutrality". Now the PC mavens at the University of Tennessee have determined that to use the terms, he-she-male-female-boy-girl-masculine-feminine is not nice. In fact, those erudite keepers and definers of what is politically correct speech have determined that to use any of those descriptors is biased and/or prejudicial. They suggest the person does not have to use their given name nor do they have to use any word that would identify their gender; a term such as "Ze" may be used as a substitute.
Can it be that some have determined it is better not to provide an education that would provide the student with marketable skills so that they could achieve a reasonable level of independence and, perhaps, some level of wealth? Rather, do they feel that espousing some theoretical; feel good measure of equality of outcome is more important? Or, are they simply obsessed with denying that the sexes are in fact, different, and are purposely so?
We have seen a number of academia's finest espouse "humanism" — a code word meaning atheism. They seem to not want to believe that some Almighty power may have actually caused what is now called the "Big Bang theory". That big bang is what caused everything known to man and beyond, to be created . . . the stars, the planets, the meteors, the gaseous clouds, the land and seas, and time and space, plants and animals, and thoughts and reason . . . everything.
And, as we look around, we see the bees that sting and the birds that sing, the fish in the seas and the leaves on the trees, Trees that abound and grass on the ground, the apes and the grapes, iron and copper and the Burger King Whopper, and Adam and Eve, for all who believe. You see, every living thing was made to live and to sustain life. The oak sheds its acorn to feed the squirrels and begin the growth of another oak. The seeds of the grapes will produce another vine. The bees move from tree to tree or plant to plant to make it possible for the fruits to grow. And men and women make children. You see, in nature, the natural thing for plant or animal (including humans) is to pro-create.
Let's see if "Ze" can do that without any help.
(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident.)
Last Updated on Monday, 07 September 2015 05:32
I walked into Beans and Greens the other day and saw a Zestar apple displayed at the pinnacle of a mountain of apples in an antique wagon. It was shinning red and gold. I could almost see a halo over it. The taste did not disappoint. Nothing at Beans and Greens disappoints. The quality of this apple represents the care taken by the Howe family to grow, harvest, wash, and prep their produce to offer the best to their customers.
Let me paint a picture for you. The road to Beans and Greens meanders through beautiful open meadows. It is idyllic farmland. This working farm has preserved the pastoral setting that is typical of the lovely Town of Gilford. The store is housed in an authentic New England barn with rough-hewn beams, classic board-and-batten siding and green metal roof. You can feel the earthy goodness.
Beans and Greens of Timber Hill Farms is one of the Lakes Region farms on the cutting edge of the "buy local, buy organic" movement. The NH Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food named it a New Hampshire Farm of Distinction. Andy and Martina Howe took over full operation of the farm in 1998. Martina and Andy's sons, Isaac and Alexander, and daughter, Katrina, are also active in the family business. According to Beans and Greens webpage, it is one of only three remaining active farms in Gilford. The farm store offers fresh produce and other New Hampshire products in abundance. Over the years Beans and Greens has grown in size and activities. Every time you visit, there seems to be something novel and innovative to enjoy.
Apart from providing farm products of exceptional quality, the farm store has a state-of-the-art bakery with a vast array of fresh baked pies, cookies, and specialty items. A section is allocated to egg free, dairy free, sugarless, and wheat free items. Have you dreamed of that unusual pie your grandmother used to bake? The staff in the bakery will do their best to recreate the pie and those memories for you. Adjacent to the bakery is the deli, which features many gourmet items on a clever menu. What hungry person wouldn't be enticed by a sandwich or wrap named 'The Tractor" or 'The Pig Pen?" Just so you're not wondering, 'The Pig Pen" ingredients include all natural ham, cheese, and fresh veggies.
A walk through the store is like a walk through a farm museum. The rafters are filled with farm antiques – wagons, plows, a horse drawn carriage, a sleigh, barrows, baskets, and farm implements. You are walking through a bit of the history of the farm, a history that spans over two hundred years from when the Honorable Ebenezer Smith first bought the land in the late 1770s. The land has been active farmland since that time. The barn store itself is one of the original Smith family barns. Built in 1838, it was beautifully restored by the Howe family. Apart from the history, the displays of produce and products in the store are works of art. The colorful fruits, veggies, and candies are arranged with great care. Everywhere you turn, you encounter a photo moment. One thing is abundantly clear as you move through the building and the surrounding displays of plants and flowers: the Howe family has gone out of their way to provide the quintessential farm store experience for their customers.
Outside the store are numerous greenhouses, which allow Beans and Greens to provide a large variety of annual and perennial plants and great activities. They have been gearing up for the grand opening of this year's corn maze. Other fall events beginning later in September include hayrides around the fields and a veggie sling shot. The farm also offers fun and educational fieldtrips for schools. Some of the activities available include petting and feeding animals, exploring a section of the corn maze with an opportunity for Q&A's, observation of the beehive, feeding the fish in the water garden, exploring the green house hay maze, picnicking, and pumpkin picking. Beans and Greens also hosts creative birthday parties and seasonal PYO flowers, strawberries, and pumpkins. Check the Beans and Greens website for more details on all these activities and more.
Near the store is the Beans and Greens Pavilion. This impressive timber frame structure is available for parties and other get-togethers. It also hosts seasonal farm dinners with intriguing names such as the Thunder Moon Pig Roast & Dance or the Blue Moon BBQ Dinner. Recently, a lot of the young princesses in the Lakes Region immersed themselves in the construction of fairy houses under the Pavilion. Beans and Greens provided all the necessary supplies, tools, and supervision. During the event, country music played in the background and created a perfect atmosphere for the young princesses to twirl around in their fairy costumes.
The Howe family also owns Timber Hill Farm, which has been in the family since the 1940s and is a short distance from Beans and Greens. The farm now consists of numerous plots around the Timber Hill location. The current operations include the Beans and Greens farm store, the greenhouses, timber framing, logging and forestry, haying, and other activities. There are no words to describe the expansive hilltop meadow with the backdrop of lakes and mountains, including Mount Washington on a clear day. Check out the Timber Hill Farm website for more information.
The Howes' farm is also a New Hampshire Community Supported Agricultural Farm. CSAs allow the community to support their local farmers by purchasing subscriptions for products at the start of the season. This provides money in advance to begin the arduous process of planting, caring for the crops, and other expenses. Membership subscriptions are available for Beans and Greens summer and winter programs called their Healthy Harvest Subscriptions. The subscribers share in the bounty of meats and produce grown at the farm throughout the season. Beans and Greens' program allows the subscribers to choose their own products, including those from their selection of all natural meats. This and other CSA programs are a perfect way to support your local farmers and reap the benefits of the best foods the Lakes Region farms have to offer. Other CSAs in the Lake Winnipesaukee area include Picnic Hill Farm in Meredith, Winnipesaukee Woods Farm in Alton Bay, Surowiec Farm in Sanbornton, and Still Seeking Farm in Gilmanton.
Beans and Greens, Timber Hill Farm and the Howe family reflect the old saying that necessity is the mother of all invention. Farming is a challenging proposition in New Hampshire even when the weather and economy are cooperating. It takes perseverance and hard work. It takes a great love for the land you're working. The Howe family has all these qualities and something more. They have a great sense of innovation that has allowed them to survive and adapt to the challenges. Ebenezer Smith, the original owner, would be surprised and pleased to see his beloved farm in such capable hands. Next time, when you walk amidst the beautiful displays in the farm store, listen carefully. You may be able to hear old Ebenezer say "Well done, Howe family."
Lake Winnipesaukee is surrounded by numerous farms and orchards open to the public. If you are in Meredith, check out Moulton Farm. Heritage Farm in Sanbornton offers a pancake breakfast. These and others are treasures waiting to be explored.
Last Updated on Friday, 04 September 2015 09:10
Peter Georgescu has a message he wants America's corporate and political elites to hear: "I'm scared," he said in a recent New York Times opinion piece.
He adds that Paul Tudor Jones is scared, too, as is Ken Langone. And they are trying to get the Powers That Be to pay attention to their urgent concerns. But wait — these three are Powers That Be. Georgescu is former head of Young & Rubicam, one of the world's largest PR and advertising firms; Jones is a quadruple-billionaire and hedge fund operator; and Langone is a founder of Home Depot.
What is scaring the pants off these powerful peers of the corporate plutocracy? Inequality. Yes, amazingly, these actual occupiers of Wall Street say they share Occupy Wall Street's critical analysis of America's widening chasm between the rich and the rest of us. "We are creating a caste system from which it's almost impossible to escape," Georgescu wrote, not only trapping the poor, but also "those on the higher end of the middle class." He issued a clarion call for his corporate peers to reverse the dangerous and ever-widening gulf of income inequality in our country by increasing the paychecks of America's workaday majority. "We business leaders know what to do. But do we have the will to do it? Are we willing to control the excessive greed so prevalent in our culture today and divert resources to better education and the creation of more opportunity?"
Right on, Peter! However, their concern is not driven by moral outrage at the injustice of it all, but by self-interest: "We are concerned where income inequality will lead," he said. Specifically, he warned that one of two horrors awaits the elites if they stick to the present path: social unrest (conjuring up images of the guillotine) or (horror of horrors) "oppressive taxes" on the superrich.
Motivation aside, Georgescu does comprehend the remedy that our society must have: "Invest in the actual value creators — the employees," he writes. "Start compensating fairly (with) a wage that enables employees to share amply in productivity increases and creative innovations." They have talked with other corporate chieftains and found "almost unanimous agreement" on the need to compensate employees better.
Great! So they'll just do it, right? Uh ... no. But he says he knows just the thing that'll jar the CEOs into action: "Government can provide tax incentives to business to pay more to employees." That's his big idea. Yes, corporate wage-hike subsidies. He actually wants us taxpayers to give money to bloated, uber-rich corporations so they can pay a dab more to their employees!
As Lily Tomlin said, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."
First of all, Georgescu proposes this tax giveaway to the corporate elite could "exist for three to five years and then be evaluated for effectiveness." Much like the Bush tax cuts that helped drive the economic divide, once the corporate chieftains get a taste for a government handout, they will send their lawyers and lobbyists to Washington to schmooze congress critters into making the tax subsidy permanent.
Secondly, paying to get "good behavior" would reward bad behavior, completely absolving those very CEOs and wealthy shareholders of their guilt in creating today's gross inequality. After all, they are the ones who have pushed relentlessly for 30 years to disempower labor unions, downsize and privatize the workforce, send jobs offshore, defund education and social programs and otherwise dismantle the framework that once sustained America's healthy middle class. These guys put the "sin" in cynical.
If we want to fix income inequality, Larry Hanley, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union, has a solution. In response to Gerogescu's offer of charity to corporations Hanley wrote: "Strengthen labor laws, and we can have democracy and equality again."
(Jim Hightower has been called American's most popular populist. The radio commentator and former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture is author of seven books, including "There's Nothing In the Middle of Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos" and his new work, "Swim Against the Current: Even Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow".)
Last Updated on Friday, 04 September 2015 08:34