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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Joy To the World

How many people have sung this song at Christmas Mass?
How many people have sung the third verse, ever?


Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.


Seems odd we would miss out on that one so consistently, doesn't it?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

America's Servants

Phyllis Schlafley is a woman to admire, except when she is crazy. This thought came to mind as I read her recent column on the injustice of allowing an increase in the number of H-1B visas, the visa which permits high-tech industry to import foreign tech workers at incredibly low wages.

Now, it is certainly the case that industry’s latest attempt to skim the cream of foreign workers from their homelands is unjust, but Schlafley’s reasons for opposing the attempt are nothing short of ludicrous.

She claims that such an expansion amounts to indentured servitude, wage slavery, which is “a form of servitude that offends the free enterprise that made the United States the economic world leader.”

Let us leave aside the argument about whether H-1B visas actually create such indentured servitude, and just look at the history.

The New Deal: FDR's Story

The United States was founded on the backs of slaves and indentured servants. By one estimate, three-fourths of the white population were indentured servants when they arrived in the New World. Indeed, many sailed without a contract – if they couldn’t find work, the ship’s captain could sell them to whomever he pleased. Similarly, from the 17th century through the 1808 federal ban, slaves were sold throughout every one of the original thirteen colonies.

But America did not rise to greatness on contractual and legal slavery alone. We also used drugs to enslave foreigners.

The successful circumnavigation of the globe in 1522 fundamentally changed commerce. By the late 1700's and early 1800’s, global trade had become a real possibility. As it turned out, China had much to sell the West, but the West produced virtually nothing China needed or wanted. As British and American citizens consumed tea in great quantity but failed to produce anything the Chinese wanted, the threatening imbalance of trade between East and West became acute.

Both British and American companies solved the problem by illegally importing opium into the Chinese mainland. Chinese officials had long outlawed the drug because they recognized it as a poison. By the late 1700's, however, Britain had control of India’s poppy fields and her navy made it possible to smuggle tons of the stuff across the Chinese border and into Chinese harbors. American businessmen, having no access to Indian poppies, dealt themselves into the illegal drug trade by encouraging Turkish farmers to plant poppies so they, too, could grab part of the drug business.

China responded by confiscating and destroying the huge opium stocks in British warehouses on Chinese soil. Britain went to war to recover the cost of the lost opium, not once, but twice (1839-1842 and 1856-1860). The resulting British victories not only opened Chinese ports to the Western importation of opium, it also gave American citizen Warren Delano, FDR’s grandfather, the enormous wealth which FDR would use to such excellent effect in his own presidential election campaigns. In short, it is not too incorrect to say that FDR's presidency was made possible in part via drugged Chinese slaves.

A Made Hand

Of course, the story doesn’t end there. Even as legal slavery was abolished in the United States, the practice of wage slavery in Northern industrial factories mushroomed. By the time of the Great Depression, it was not at all difficult to find entire towns dedicated to soaking the factory employee. The factory town, occupied solely by factory workers whose every payment found its way back into the factory owners' pocket, is well-known in song and story. The factory might pay their workers a wage, but that wage was quickly swallowed up by rent payments to the company for housing, by food costs in the company store, and by the various fees the company town charged its virtually captive inhabitants.

Ultimately, this need for factory labor, men and women who were unable to produce anything apart from the factory, and would therefore consume all that the factory produced, was the driving force behind the creation of the public school system. Like their late 19th-century forebears, today’s schools are designed and intended to create needy, semi-skilled consumers, not educated, confidant, self-reliant entrepreneurs.

In short, it is a myth that America was built on the back of independent or entrepreneurial individuals. In fact, it was built on the back of various forms of slave labor. That is how it started, that is how it grew to greatness, that is how it maintains its greatness today. We are an economic powerhouse precisely because we have created the perfect society of slaves – men and women who seek happiness by building walls of consumable goods around themselves.

If freedom is money or creature comforts, than America is a free country. If there is something more to freedom than just raw economics, than America is not free. But in either case, we cannot assert that America is built on anything other than slavery and indentured servitude, for that is her history.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

War By Proxy

A dozen Saudi nationals fly planes into American buildings and we invade Afghanistan.

Saudi Arabia pumps billions into madrass schools and we respond by invading Iraq.

The resurgence of Salafi Islam lies at the center of the problems we are having with Islam, but the center of Salafi Islam – Saudi Arabia – gets a pass in every aspect of foreign policy.

Why?

Everyone insists that we are in the midst of World War III, but if it is true then we should be paying attention to some of the problems we faced during and after World War II.

Recall that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union started the deadliest war of the last century as allies. After Hitler outfoxed Stalin by invading first, the Soviets became our biggest ally and in more ways than one. It is rather interesting to read the editorials from the time – men who viciously attacked the USSR as an evil empire in 1940 were extolling the virtues of the Communist paradise by 1944. Of course, the euphoria didn’t last, as those same men were able to return to Soviet-bashing by 1950.

We spent the next forty years fighting a Cold War, a war by proxy, wherein the USSR – our former ally - would gain influence in a country and we would counter by attempting to gain influence in neighboring countries to contain the threat. At times, as with Vietnam, and to a lesser extent, Korea, the “containment” policy would flare into open armed conflict. However, most of the time, we were able to keep a lid on the number of body bags and broken buildings.

Our relationship with Saudi Arabia bears something of the same imprint that our relationship with the Soviet Union bore. The primary differences? Saudi Arabia has something we desperately want (oil, and lots of it), and it sits on top of the holiest sites of one of the largest religions in the world.

If it simply had something we desperately wanted and had not the holy sites, we would simply have destabilized and toppled the Saudi government. Even now, that wouldn’t be hard to do. Like Israel, Saudi Arabia exists primarily because it has been in Western interests to make sure they do not fall out of existence. The thought was that the Sauds would not bite the hands that kept them in power.

Unfortunately for us, the puppets have ideas of their own. When L. Ron Hubbard was asked how best to become wealthy, he replied, “Start a religion.” He promptly did – Dianetics, or Scientology is the result. Similarly, the Saudis have quietly created a plan whereby they become the dominant religion, and thereby the dominant force, in the world.

While we were combating the Soviets, the House of Saud quietly funded the spread of its own brand of militant Islam. This funding was enormously enhances as the post-1970s oil boom brought untold riches into the region. Even as our primary element disintegrated before us, our one of our primary allies in the Middle East became our enemy.

Unfortunately, we can’t afford to say it aloud because we can’t afford to lose the oil.

So, now the United States faces a much more delicate problem than it has ever faced. We have to fight the House of Saud in proxy states like Afghanistan and Iraq, we even have to maintain them in power, because we cannot afford to anger the 1.1 billion Muslims in the world by taking over the country or obliterating the holy sites which fuel Salafi Islam.

The real answer to the problem of Islam is to find moderate Muslims – if such creatures exist – who can simultaneously take the holy sites from the Salafis who currently control them and take down the House of Saud.

Finding moderates with revolutionary tendencies…. Hmmm…. That could take awhile.