Saturday, December 24, 2011


She decided that this would be the year of the white Christmas.

Snow on the ground. A chill in the air. A fire in the fireplace. Hot toddies and slow mornings snuggled beneath fleecy comforters.

So here we are in Harbor Springs, Michigan, our cottage clearly visible from the road through the naked hardwoods, a string of white lights surrounding the front door, deer tracks on the back deck, and the eighth hole of the golf course stretching forlornly east under its snowy blanket.

Fala, lala, la.

I was sent to the basement to fetch the crèche. It’s in a box, with a lot of little boxes inside, each one containing a figurine. Mary, Joseph, the infant. Cows, wise men. Maybe a shepherd or two.

I scoured the storage room. Looked in every box I could see. No crèche. I began to panic. Surely it is here someplace. She said it was, and she knows about such things.

I remembered the famous shower episode.

We were spending a couple of days with Dave and Lynn Michael at the place they had rented at Black Diamond golf resort. Dave and I had an early tee time. The girls were still sleeping.

I could not figure out how to get the shower to work.

Now I’m not a complete idiot. I’ve stayed in countless hotels and motels, stayed at the homes of many friends and relatives. I’ve managed to figure out how to route the water through the showerhead instead of the bathtub faucet many, many times.

It’s easy. All you do is pull up on the little lever. Or push down. Or sideways.

Of course, first you have to find the little lever.

Sometimes it’s on the top of the faucet. Sometimes, it’s underneath.

But in this case, I was at a loss to find any little lever. I felt the faucet all over. Top and bottom. No lever. No button. No nothing.

Dave appeared. I told him the problem. I also told him that I didn’t want to wake up my wife. She would, I told him, even though half asleep, simply touch something I had not seen and presto, the water would come out of the showerhead.

Dave agreed that such embarrassment should be avoided, but darned if he could get the shower to work either.

Of course, Polly could, and she did, half asleep and went back to bed.

So I kept looking for the crèche.

Polly could find it, I told myself. She said it is down here. It’s got to be here someplace.

When she called me for lunch, I climbed the stairs in defeat and humiliation. I told her I could not find it.

She said she knew it is down there and I should eat my lunch.

Overcome by pride, I insisted that she tell me exactly where the crèche was, so I could bring it up before eating. She described the storage area, said it was on the second shelf.

Downstairs I went. Determined. My search was limited to a single shelf. The crèche could not elude me.

But it did.

I came back upstairs, defeated, frustrated. Whereupon my dear bride led me downstairs and pointed to the box. Right there on the second shelf.

Growing old is uncomfortable in many ways, not the least of which is ineptitude in the ordinary activities of life.

There is no greater blessing than to be married to a woman who is an expert in the art of living.

Even if sometimes you feel a little foolish.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Driving along the Dan Ryan on my way out of Chicago today, my eye was drawn to a billboard advertising a local talk radio station.

The big, bold headline read “TAX THE BILLIONAIRES.”

At first, my conservative, capitalist, free enterprise, work ethic, Republican gut growled with disapproval.

They’re at it again, I thought. The class warfare people, trying to divide America. Playing on the cupidity of the masses. The politics of envy. 99 % versus 1%.

But then I had a second thought. As crass as that billboard sounds, it is in fact expressing a policy that I believe makes sound economic sense.

Bear with me here, this is not so unreasonable.

First off, I firmly believe that the 16th amendment was a mistake, and should be repealed.

For those of you who don’t know, the 16th amendment was passed in 1913. It’s the amendment that empowers the federal government to levy income taxes.

The constitution as originally written provides that all federal taxes levied on the American people must be proportional to the population of the states.

Basically, that would only allow a ‘head’ tax, and not a tax that takes account of wealth or income.

The 16th amendment is the only exception to that rule. A tax on billionaires or trillionaires or millionaires would be unconstitutional if it taxes their wealth and not their income.

I would favor repealing the 16th amendment and replacing it with an amendment permitting the federal government to levy a wealth tax.

A wealth tax would be levied not on what you earn, but on what you own. All of the states already have real estate taxes, and some of them have intangibles taxes which are levied upon the value of investments.

Why tax wealth instead of income?

Very simply because income which is earned and spent stimulates the economy. That’s why everyone cheers when the stores report record Christmas spending. The faster money moves around from buyers to sellers, from earners to businesses and back again, the better it is for everyone.

The worst thing anyone can do with money is to hide it under the mattress.

The parable of the talents teaches us about the social obligation of wealth. Matthew 25: 14-30. The servants who put their talents to work were commended by the master. The guy who buried his talent was condemned as wicked and lazy.

The second worst thing you can do with wealth is to buy gold. Gold doesn’t employ anybody, doesn’t make anything, doesn’t stimulate the economy.

The third worst thing to do with money is to buy government bonds. Unless, of course, you think that the government knows best about how to run the economy.

The total wealth of the United States is around 60 trillion dollars. To replace our income tax would require an averge asset tax of about four percent.

A graduated wealth tax would assure that money would be invested in income producing assets as opposed to being gambled on speculative holdings.

It would have to permit and encourage household savings for retirement, education, and rainy days of course, but, if properly graduated, it would be levied on those with the ability to pay and the obligation to invest in the community.

Capitalism is not a system that can be abolished or amended. It is instinctive human behavior. Free enterprise is nothing more than free people making free choices.

There are winners and losers in the marketplace, just as there are in sandlot softball.

The one thing winners can’t do is take their bat and ball and go home.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


My grandson wants to be an investment banker. A bright young senior at Marquette University, he was here for Thanksgiving dinner and a day of golf with the old judge.

Sitting in the hot tub, we got into a debate about money.

Not his or mine, or even his father’s.

No sir, we got to talking about the national debt, and what can or can’t be done about it.

The premise was a constitutional amendment I advanced in a blog recently:

The treasury of the United States shall issue currency which shall be legal tender for all debts, public and private, in sufficient amount to discharge all obligations of the United States incurred prior to the ratification of this amendment, and, annually thereafter to fund all appropriations of the Congress.

The Congress shall not otherwise have the power to borrow on the credit of the United States.

Joe insists that the plan would be a disaster, would cause hyperinflation, could sound the death knell of the United States as we know it.

I have to confess that’s a possibility, especially if the Congress decides that issuing fiat money is a viable substitute for fiscal integrity.

But if the Representatives and Senators we send to Washington cannot resist the temptation to spend money we don’t have, the federal government is doomed. It will go out of business sooner or later. Better we face up to the crisis and deal with it now, rather than leave it for Joe and his kids.

One thing is for sure: it isn’t getting any better and it’s getting harder to fix every day. Every time the sun goes down, Uncle Sam has borrowed another 4 billion dollars. If we can’t solve a 15 trillion dollar problem, how are our grandchildren supposed to fix a 30 trillion dollar problem?

In the days of the gold standard, there was only so much money because there was only so much gold. The problem with fiat money is that there’s no end to it. At least there’s no end to it unless the law or better yet, the constitution, sets the limit.

Right now, the only limit on our money supply is the decision of the Federal Reserve. Twelve unelected, largely unknown bankers have the financial fate of the nation on their agenda. We have been trusting their judgment for a hundred years, and it doesn’t seem to be working out so well.

Our current money supply is equal to about $7,000 for every American. Our debt burden is over $48,000 for every man, woman and child. Bottom line, there just isn’t enough money to pay off what we owe.

If we expand the money supply to retire the national debt, what would happen?

Wealthy people, big corporations, foreign governments, especially the Chinese, would find themselves with mountains of cash. They buy and hold T bills as a safe place to park their money. Eliminate their parking lot, and they have to invest elsewhere.

There would be no place for them to put their money except in the stock market.

Stock prices would soar. Dividends, as a percentage of stock prices would shrink. Interest rates on corporate and municipal bonds would go down.

Deprived of the safe parking place, money would be forced into riskier investments. Venture capital would become plentiful, as investors look for higher, though riskier returns.

As the market becomes more bullish and volatile, the winners will win less and the losers will lose more. The Occupiers will cheer. Money lost on Wall Street is the quintessential tax on the rich. That’s what the free market does.

My amendment will automatically balance the budget. Since the government won’t be allowed to borrow, it cannot operate in the red. The Tea party won’t be able to complain about government spending. Of course, they may have to start complaining about government printing if and when inflation hits the super market.

But hey, inflation is the free market’s income tax. If we are going to have music, everybody has to pay the fiddler.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


My Pal John Runyon sends me this email with a picture of a naked man squatting over an American flag, defecating for the amusement of several dozen onlookers.

It’s another wonderful day of occupying Wall Street, Oakland, San Francisco or Your Town, U.S.A.

Runyon says I ought to write a blog.

What the heck can you say?

I’m sure there are city ordinances against defecating in public places. The taxpayers have ponied up quite a bit of money to provide a sanitary sewer system to protect the public health, for good reason.

So this jerk doesn’t care about the public health. Doesn’t give much of a damn about his fellow citizens or himself, for that matter.

And quite obviously, he doesn’t like the United States of America.

Makes you wonder what he does care about. Why is he doing it? Why is he out there? Why are any of them out there, making a fuss, taunting the police, getting themselves pepper sprayed, camping out and refusing to go away?

What’s it all about, anyway?

I looked it up on Wikipedia, and I read about the founder of the occupy movement.

His name is Kalle Lasn. Born in Estonia in 1942, he migrated to Germany, then to Australia. In the 1960’s he moved to Tokyo, where he started a market research firm. Now he lives in Canada and runs a company known as Adbusters.

Best I can figure out, Adbusters is a non profit corporation, supported in part by Tides Center, a left-leaning clearinghouse for charitable donations, and by contributions from the general public.

It has to get donations, because Adbusters doesn’t do anything that makes money. They publish a magazine which carries no advertising and sells no subscriptions.

So what exactly does Adbusters do?

It describes itself as an “anti consumerist” organization dedicated to “jamming the culture” of western civilization.

Hard to figure out just what that means. The Adbusters logo looks like an American flag, except that the fifty stars are replaced by fifty familiar corporate logos.

Adbusters has done some good. They came up with “Joe Chemo”, whose last name was shortened from Chemotherapy, as a spoof of R. J. Reynolds’ successful cigarette advertising campaign starring “Joe Camel.”

But Lasn has come a long way from getting people to kick the habit.

Perhaps, at seventy years of age, he longs to return to the Woodstock hell raising of his youth.

Whatever. On August 13, 2011, Adbusters ran a centerfold challenge asking readers and followers to gather on Wall Street and protest the wealth and power it represents. The ad got a lot of attention, especially among young people. The date they picked was September 17, celebrated in the United States as Constitution Day.

Lasn says he got the idea from the riots in Egypt. Of course, he didn’t endorse that kind of violence, and he hasn’t openly called for the overthrow of the government.

But still.

Still you have to wonder what it is he expected his readers to do. This is a man who has said, “I have a feeling that right now, this human experiment on planet Earth is hitting the wall.”

He calls himself a ‘creative.’ That’s somebody who designs advertising. “We are the cool-makers and the cool-breakers,” he says. And he insists that ad men, more than any other profession, have the power to change the world.

His book is called, Culture Jam: How to Reverse America’s Suicidal Consumer Binge – and Why We Must.

I can’t wait to read it. Especially the part about how to make the world a better place by depositing human feces on Old Glory.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Let’s take a look at some history.

In 1944, 730 delegates from 44 nations met in Bretton Woods New Hampshire and agreed on an international monetary system.

Pretty simple idea. The United States had a lot of gold in Fort Knox and our dollars were pegged at 1/35th of an ounce of gold. Thirty-five dollars an ounce. Not hardly enough to interest Glenn Beck or Gordon Liddy.

The other 43 nations agreed to adopt fixed rates to exchange their money for US dollars.

The system worked pretty well until about 1970. The United States was involved in a prolonged and not very successful war in Viet Nam. Folks around the world began insisting on redeeming their US dollars in gold.

France demanded 191 million in gold. Switzerland redeemed 50 million, then on August 9, 1971 withdrew from the Bretton Woods system.

Congress began to consider devaluing the dollar.

Six days later, on August 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon imposed a ninety day wage and price freeze, a 10% import surcharge, and closed the gold window.

Historians call it the “Nixon Shock.”

Our Yankee dollar no longer represented 1/35th of an ounce of gold. We were officially using fiat money.

“Fiat” is Latin for “let it be.” Our currency is money because we say it is. Sort of like the banker in a game of Monopoly.

My grandson says fiat money doesn’t work because printing money causes inflation. In fact we did experience inflation in the 1970’s. By the time Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter squared off in 1980, 13 and 14 percent inflation was the norm.

Enter Ben Bernacke.

The Federal Reserve System was established by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. It’s a group of regional banks which function as the official bank of the United States. It’s the job of the Fed to prevent inflation and to ward off recession.

Something else the Fed does: it props up the banking system.

Nothing new there. Back in1907 we had a severe recession. People lost faith in the banks and lined up to take their money out. J. Pierpoint Morgan did a one man bail out, deciding which firms were too big to fail and saving the New York stock market.

Shortly after the panic of 1907, Congress formed a National Monetary Commission, chaired by Senator Nelson W. Aldrich of Rhode Island. Aldrich invited a group of bankers to a ‘duck hunt’ on Jekyll Island. They came up with a plan for a central national banking system.

Three years later the Fed was born.

Most Americans don’t know much about the Fed. It’s all a kind of mysterious economic hokus pokus. Seven bankers who are appointed by the President of the United States and paid $179,000 a year to decide what interest rate to charge the banks.

And some other things. The Fed controls our money supply. They don’t have to print dollar bills, or fives, tens and hundreds. No sir, they just write checks. They write checks that are drawn on the Federal Reserve.

That’s right. It’s a check that tells itself to pay money to somebody. If they want to put more money in circulation, they buy government bonds with those checks. The people they buy the bonds from deposit the checks in their banks and their banks deposit the money with the Fed.

If you or I did that, we’d be arrested for check kiting.

So what’s the big deal about owing trillions to the Chinese? When their loans come due, the Fed can just write them a check.

And what’s the big deal about deficit spending in Washington? The Fed can write checks and never be overdrawn.

Free food, clothing, shelter, health care, education? No problem. The Fed can write a check.

Ain’t Utopia wonderful? All we have to do is pitch a tent on Wall Street and elect Michael Moore President of the United States.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


The national debt has now passed the 15 trillion mark. There are lots of web sites which attempt to help us understand how big that obligation is. Pictures of a football field covered with hundred dollar bills stacked to sky scraper height, for example.

You get the idea. It’s mind boggling.

I’ve never been a big fan of fiat money. Seems to me that money ought to have some real value that people can count on when doing business with each other.

Still, the free market dictates otherwise.

Money, it turns out, is just another commodity. Its value goes up and down according to demand and supply. Sort of like speed and distance and mass and all those other things that Albert Einstein figured out. It’s all relative.

So money is just a chit. A marker. An I.O.U. Its value depends on the muscle of the guy who issued it.

The United States of America, ever since the middle of the last century, has maintained a nuclear arsenal. It has also maintained a very high tech, very sophisticated military establishment. We are often called the most powerful nation on earth. We think we are, and so does most of the rest of the world.

Because we, as a nation, have the most muscle, our markers, our IOUs, if you will, are regarded as the most valuable. U.S. currency is recognized and used all around the world. Our money is what the bankers call the reserve currency.

How much money have we issued? Here’s what Wikipedia says:

As of November 17, 2011 the Federal Reserve reported that the U.S. dollar monetary base is $2,150,000,000,000. This is an increase of 28% in 2 years. The monetary base is only one component of money supply, however. M2, the broadest measure of money supply, has increased from approximately $8.48 trillion to $9.61 trillion from November 2009 to October 2011, the latest month-data available. This is a 2-year increase in U.S. M2 of approximately 12.9%.

That’s a lot of dough, and it seems to be increasing very rapidly.

It’s pretty obvious that the increase in money supply is fueled by government borrowing and deficit spending.

Which brings me to propose this simple solution. A constitutional amendment which would say something like this:

The treasury of the United States shall issue currency which shall be legal tender for all debts, public and private, in sufficient amount to discharge all obligations of the United States incurred prior to the ratification of this amendment, and, annually thereafter to fund all appropriations of the Congress.

The Congress shall not otherwise have the power to borrow on the credit of the United States.

At the same time, the treasury should be charged with the obligation of devising forms of currency which are incapable of being counterfeited. Fiat money can have value only if it is real fiat money. Electronic technology should be employed to assure that when the Treasury issues currency it is the real thing.

No doubt this proposal will have the immediate, visceral opposition of many conservatives. The obvious argument against it will be that Congress will spend without limit to satisfy every political demand that comes from the left, while reducing taxes to placate the right.

So what’s new? Isn’t that what they are doing now?

At least with fiat money, the United States would not have to pay interest on a 15 trillion dollar debt. That would save us about half a trillion every year.

In any case, the Congress can’t repeal the law of supply and demand. If it cannot maintain a rational balance between spending and taxation, the good old yankee dollar will melt.

Inflation is the most regressive form of taxation. It shrinks savings, impairs investments, reduces wages. It affects everybody. The 99 percent. The one percent.

And camping out in front of city hall isn’t going to change that.


Almost nobody I know has ever heard of NAMBLA. It’s an acronym that stands for North American Man Boy Love Association.

Founded in 1978, NAMBLA describes itself as a support group for pedophiles.

Its web site lists a number of well known people who are supposed to have had sexual relations with young boys.

Replete with links to references in art, music, poetry, and history, it presents arguments in favor of consensual sex between men and boys and invites persons of similar views to join the movement.

Consensual. That’s the key word. When is a boy old enough to be a real, active homosexual?

Hey, our modern public schools are featuring sex education for middle school kids – age 10 through 14. They learn about anal sex and oral sex. They practice putting condoms on bananas, and are told that one’s sexual orientation is entirely a matter of personal choice.

Sexually active teen agers are apparently the norm. The dominant American culture makes no judgment about sex. It has no moral dimension. It is neither right nor wrong. Just a matter of personal choice.

Thanks to the radical cultural departure of our United States Supreme Court in the case of Lawrence v Texas, consensual sex between consenting adults is now a constitutionally protected activity, at least when done in private.

Now we have teen agers and even sub teens, engaging in sexual
experimentation with the not so tacit approval of the educational system.

By what logic do we rise up in righteous indignation when the activity is between adults and children?

The logic is that the kids are not really consenting. Approached by an authority figure; a teacher, a boy scout leader, a priest or a coach, a child is unlikely to protest.

Indeed, he may assume that the initiative is educational. Here is a gown up who teaches him about other things - arithmetic, grammar, religion, sports –demonstrating the bodily function of sex.

The public goes ballistic over Jerry Sandusky. The same media voices that lionize homosexual activists, that cluck with criticism about right wing condemnation of homosexual conduct, are the first to crucify pedophilic priests and coaches.

In my view, they have a problem. If right and wrong is nothing more than a function of the age of consent; if sexual activity has no more moral significance than push ups, what is the logic of condemning pedophiles?

If teaching a boy how to engage in sodomy or felatio has no greater moral significance than showing him how to brush his teeth, how is it to be condemned or criminalized?

NAMBLA may well be a congregation of sickos, but given the popular consensus that sex has no moral dimension, nor rightness or wrongness about it, it’s hard to fault their logic.

What is missing in the whole Penn State mess is the voice of reason, of history, of the immutable laws of nature.

Who steps forward to teach children that sex is the most powerful, significant, sacred function of the human body?

Who tells them that the function of sex is to procreate human existence on this planet? That it carries serious, moral, and personal responsibilities? That every person’s sexual attitudes and practices define them as human beings and the attitudes and practices of people in a community define their very civilization?

We live in a declining hedonistic society. Adultery and fornication are celebrated in our entertainment media. Abortion provides an inhumane escape from parental responsibility. Sexual perversion is glorified as an honorable alternative lifestyle.

Poets, writers, actors and musicians drive the cultural bus. They create the norm of political and cultural correctness.

Fifty years ago, the idea that an organization of homosexuals would have standing and credibility in the chambers of the United Nations would have been unthinkable. It isn’t any more.

I wonder how long it will take for NAMBLA to get the folks in Hollywood to wear lavender or some other color ribbons in support of pedophilia?

Friday, November 11, 2011


It’s 1998.

Hey coach, did you know that your defensive coordinator loves little boys?

Yeah. Isn’t it wonderful what Jerry does for the kids. You know, he started The Second Mile. They teach Commitment, Responsibility, Opportunity, Character, Potential, Positive Self Image.

No, Coach. I mean he really LOVES kids.

You can say that again. He buys gifts for them, takes them to football games, lets them sleep at his house …

No, no. That’s not it. He really loves the kids physically.

I know. He hugs them. Wrestles with them. Really loves to play with them.

Coach, your still not getting it. Jerry loves the kids sexually.

Jerry? Sexually? What do you mean? What are you talking about?

I’m talking about sodomy. Pedophilia. I’m saying that he is a homosexual

That’s terrible. I better call the Athletic Director.

In 1998 a boy involved with The Second Mile comes home with his hair wet.
His mother asks him why. He says that he took a shower with Coach Sandusky.

His mother promptly calls the police. Two officers come to the house, one a Penn State campus police officer, one from the community.

They tell her to call Sandusky on the phone. She does, and they listen on the extension. The mother asks Sandusky if he showered with her son. He admits it. She reprimands him, tells him he is never to do it again. He promises not to. She says he should promise never to shower with any little boys. He refuses, then asks her to forgive his indiscretion, says he feels bad about it, wishes he was dead.

The police officers report the incident to their superiors both at the university and the community.

I suggest that a report like that would not have been ignored. The head of campus security would tell the President. The President would talk to the Athletic Director. They would sit down with the head coach. They would all agree.

Can’t have pedophilia at the Pennsylvania State University.

Sandusky’s got to go.

It won’t be easy. Somebody’s got to tell Jerry. And it’s pretty obvious that somebody did.

Because about that time Jerry Sandusky started putting out feelers for coaching jobs at other universities. Nothing materialized. Maryland looked very interested, then suddenly hired somebody else.

Then, in 1999, at 55 years of age, without another coaching job to go to, Sandusky announces his retirement from Penn State University. That’s pretty young to retire. But he can manage. He gets $57,000 a year from The Second Mile.

The University gives Sandusky a huge public sendoff and an agreeable separation package. He still has an office. Still can use the gym and showers. Still gets tickets and other perks.

Three years go by. Then in 2002 Mike McQueary sees Sandusky sodomizing a ten year old boy in the shower. He goes home and tells his father, a good friend of Sandusky. The father says, tell Paterno. Paterno tells the Athletic Director.

Once again, the news goes up the line. Everybody knows. What to do? Tell Sandusky he can’t bring kids to the University any more. Tell The Second Mile that they have a problem with Jerry Sandusky.

After all, we can’t have pedophilia on the campus of Pennsylvania State University.

Not at Penn State. Penn State is squeaky clean. Penn State values character, responsibility, commitment. It supports charities like The Second Mile, where kids from broken homes can learn about life, develop a positive self-image and have positive interactions with adult role models.

And get some hands-on sex education from a sicko who is too good to sin.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


It’s right there on the Internet. A newspaper story back in 1999:

PHILADELPHIA. Who will take in the strays?

Who'll tend to the forgotten? Who will open their door to the throwaways, the runaways, the ones squarely in harm's way?

Those are the questions we'd rather not hear, aren't they? The ones that make us avert our eyes, squirm in our seats, wish desperately we were somewhere else.

For almost 20 years now, whenever a hand has been raised to volunteer in answer to those unsettling questions, it has belonged to Jerry Sandusky and his wife, Dottie.

They have adopted and raised six children. They started and nurtured The Second Mile, which began as a foster home and has grown to eight different programs that provide for more than 100,000 children who share this commonality: they are considered to be at risk, which is a chilling term that means their souls will drown if someone doesn't throw them a lifeline.

Jerry Sandusky, by the way, is a football coach.

Back in 1977, coach Sandusky founded the organization known as The Second Mile. To say that it has been a success would be a gross understatement. It has grown to be a multimillion dollar charity whose boards of directors read like a roster of who’s who in Pennsylvania business and society.

Literally thousands of boys and girls have experienced The Second Mile programs, and the positive impact of the program on their lives has been demonstrated and documented.

Sandusky chose the name of his charity from the Bible. Matthew 5:41-42 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

That’s where we get our phrase “going the extra mile.” Service above and beyond the call of duty.

I looked up the Second Mile on the Internet earlier today. Impressive site. Among the celebrity board members: Arnold Palmer and Cal Ripken Jr.

Then I looked it up again a few hours later. It appears to have been
completely redesigned. Palmer and Ripken are gone.

The home page features a letter from John Raykovitz, CEO of Second Mile.
In part, it reads:

As The Second Mile’s CEO Jack Raykovitz testified to the Grand Jury, he was informed in 2002 by Pennsylvania State University Athletic Director Tim Curley that an individual had reported to Mr. Curley that he was uncomfortable about seeing Jerry Sandusky in the locker room shower with a youth. Mr. Curley also shared that the information had been internally reviewed and that there was no finding of wrongdoing. At no time was The Second Mile made aware of the very serious allegations contained in the Grand Jury report.

Subsequently, in November 2008, Mr. Sandusky informed The Second Mile that he had learned he was being investigated as a result of allegations made against him by an adolescent male in Clinton County, PA. Although he maintained there was no truth to the claims, we are an organization committed first and foremost to the safety and well-being of the children we serve. Consistent with that commitment and with The Second Mile policy, we immediately made the decision to separate him from all of our program activities involving children. Thus, from 2008 to present, Mr. Sandusky has had no involvement with Second Mile programs involving children.

One has to wonder why Raykovitz thought Curley was telling him about Sandusky’s being in a shower with a youth if indeed there was ‘no wrongdoing.’

Did Raykovitz think Curley was just gossiping about Sandusky? C’mon.

So Sandusky continues to be involved with Second Mile children for six more years until he finally admits being under investigation in 2008. And then what? What does The Second Mile do?

It tells Sandusky he can’t play with the kids anymore. But he stays on the staff until he resigns in 2010.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett wants The Second Mile to be investigated.

Who knows what other horror stories will surface. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Back in 2005, Congress passed the Presidential $1 Coin Act. It requires the U.S. Mint to crank out nearly two million shiney one dollar coins every day.

So now the Mint has more than a billion of them. They’re building a new vault in Dallas – at a cost of $650,000 – just to store them.

Not very popular, these brass bucks. I have a friend who uses them to tip the bag boys at the golf club. I tried it myself. They look at you like you just stiffed them.

An editorial in USA Today says we ought to use the coins. Paper dollars last about 22 months. Brass bucks are still in circulation after 32 years. And they can be recycled. Old paper dollars get ground up and used for landfill.

The bucks cost about 30 cents to make. That works out to over 300 percent profit on very buck the Mint can sell. It won’t make a huge dent in a 3 trillion dollar deficit, but it would help a little.

I stumbled onto a blog the other day where some guys were talking about how to make easy money buying dollar coins. It seems that the Mint is so eager to put them in circulation that they ship them to buyers without charging freight.

And you can buy them with your credit card.

So here’s how it works: you buy $1,000 worth of coins from the Mint and charge them on your Visa card. That buys you $10 in cash awards. The coins arrive in a few days and you immediately deposit them in your bank account. You won’t have to pay Visa for another few weeks, so the bank pays you interest on the money.

Only in America.

I was still thinking about the brass bucks when I browsed over to see what the Occupy Wall Street people were doing. Looks to me like they are running out of gas. Apparently the New York assembly has degenerated into a free for all in which fun seeking teen agers mingle with street derelicts and radicals of all sorts tout inconsistent messages and demands.

Too bad.

There certainly is enough mischief on Wall Street to warrant attention. And whether or not the ratio is truly 99 to 1, it is pretty obvious that some of the top financial decision makers have screwed up and the vast majority of common folk are taking the hit.

In Orlando and elsewhere, the Occupy people are talking about taking all their money out of the banks and putting it into credit unions. Perhaps credit union managers as a class of people are more civic minded than bankers.

Still, many credit unions have gotten into the mergers and acquisitions craze that has produced huge banking conglomerates that are ‘too big to fail.’

And credit unions have the same kind of federal deposit insurance as the banks. So the bottom line is that your money, whether in a bank or a credit union, is as safe as the other fifteen trillion dollars Uncle Sam owes.

I seriously doubt that the current crop of demonstrators will have any impact on the ravages of human avarice. Wall Street will still be Wall Street in 2013.

But the frustration and outcry of the occupiers and the tea party can make a difference. If one step by one man on the moon can signal a giant leap for mankind, so can the individual actions of individual citizens affect the nation’s economy.

So what if you and I, and everyone we can email began using brass bucks instead of dollar bills?

What if each one of us started taking George Washington to the bank?
Turning in all our George Washingtons and using brass bucks instead.

Our constitution authorizes – indeed requires - Congress to coin money. Says nothing about printing bank notes for the Federal Reserve.

The dollar bill in your wallet is nothing more than a note from the Fed.

At least the brass buck is real money.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Some of you have seen me do it.

I plunk my air guitar, summon my best country western accent and sing the song I wrote. It goes like this:

I was born in Tennessee
In the Veerans family
Percy was my daddy’s name
And they christened me the same
Percy Veerans!
Percy Veerans!
Percy Veerans is my name
When the rest have given up
I’ll still be in the game.

There was a curio shop a block or so from the University of Detroit Law School. In the window, a plaque displayed a chronicle of Abraham Lincoln’s career. A tale of failure and frustration that culminated in the Presidency of the United States.

I passed that shop every day on my way to the street car. And I read the plaque. It was the most enduring lesson I learned in law school.

And so, I have persevered, often against wise counsel. I lost five elections before winning a seat on the Common Pleas Court of Detroit. I spent decades battling the American Bar Association to establish the Thomas Cooley Law School.

As the years have piled up and the testosterone diminished, I have learned to resign myself to the impossible.

But still…

Still, there is the flickering flame way down deep that says, “It’s the right thing. It can be done. It must be done.”

Two years ago, I launched a website called ConventionUSA. My idea was to provide a place where ordinary citizens, the good folks who save their money, pay their taxes, register and vote, could come together and talk about the future of our country.

Maybe even do something constructive.

Anybody who doesn’t think there’s a lot to talk about must be comatose.

The demonstrators who have camped out on Wall Street have inspired flash mobs in other cities.

Yesterday it was Oakland, California. We were treated to pictures of riot-geared police trying to stem an attack on city hall. It wasn’t London or Madrid, Egypt or Syria. It was right here in the good old U.S. of A.

Social networking on the Internet has gone bananas. Over 800,000,000 people on Facebook? That’s nearly three times the population of the United States, and almost nine percent of the population of planet earth!

Calls to action go viral in seconds. We are literally living in a tower of babel.

But the miracle of the silicone chip can work both ways.

The people out on the streets do not represent 99% of the citizens of our nation. The majority is still as silent as it was in 1972 when Nixon coined the phrase.

But things are different today. Today we have the Internet. We can talk to each other. We can speak up without ever leaving home. We can make ourselves heard without bull horns.

My vision for Convention USA is that it will become a permanent institution. Not just another think-tank or advocacy site for the Right or the Left, but an assembly open to all men and women of goodwill and civility, who want to protect and defend our constitution and prosper out beloved Republic.

Is that such a bad idea?

Is that something beyond the realm of possibility?

Is it an undertaking that can only succeed with a huge investment of money and vast array of hired hands?

Or is it a dream that can come true with commitment and perseverance?

I’m 82. I’ll keep at it a while longer.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Some days I wake up in the morning with a sudden realization. This is one of those days.

I got up, went right to my computer and jotted down four subjects to write about.
• 180
• 11%
• Can’t wait

Item number one is a thirty minute video I found on the Internet yesterday. You can view it at

It is the most moving and frightening thing I have seen in a long time. Hitler’s Third Reich. Marching, chanting mobs. Horrible scenes of the Holocaust.

And then the interviews. Young people who never heard of Adolph Hitler. Didn’t know who he was. Didn’t recognize the name.

A tattooed neo-Nazi nut case who denied that there ever was a Holocaust. Then a Jew-hating racist who insisted that the pogrom wasn’t so bad. And anyway, they deserved it.

The second item is the Congress of the United States. It now enjoys the worst public approval rate in the history of our country. Eleven percent.

That means eighty-nine out of every one hundred American disapprove of the body of elected officials who are supposed to represent the people of the United States.

The people of this country have lost confidence in their elected representatives. They have lost confidence in our constitutionally mandated republican form of government.

Members of Congress are seen as crooks, career politicians, greedy, self- serving liars who have sold out to multi national corporate lobbyists and who no longer represent or serve the people.

First the Tea Party. Then the Coffee Party. Then Occupy Wall Street and Main Street. Direct democracy is the byword. Forget electing representatives to govern us. We want to govern ourselves.

Benjamin Franklin said the United States is a Republic “if you can keep it.” Do we want to keep it?

Number three. FOIA is the Freedom of Information Act. It empowers the American people to have access to government records. At least that’s what the law says. Now the Attorney General issues ‘guidelines’ telling government agencies that they can lie to the courts about records they don’t want to disclose.

‘Guidelines’ that repeal laws enacted by the Congress?

Who needs Congress anyway? The Code of Federal Regulations which contains all the rules made by government agencies boasts 50 titles, nearly 200,000 pages and 25 feet of shelf space. In addition, the President issues Executive Orders which have the force of law. Barack Obama has issued 95 of them so far.

That brings me to number four, “Can’t Wait.”

This is the President’s new mantra. He can’t wait for the Congress to do what he wants them to do. So he issues orders.

Stroke of the pen. That’s how laws get made by dictators. Hitler did it in the 1930’s and the crowd cheered.

President Obama tells the American people they can’t wait for jobs and foreclosure relief. And he’s got that right. The American people just can’t wait. In a culture of instant gratification, we want what we want and we want it now.

Just do it. Make it happen. Or as a friend of mine said the other day, “What America needs is a benign dictator.”

That’s an oxymoron. Dictators aren’t benign.

The primitive cycle of human governance is playing out in the Middle East. Dictatorship. Revolution. Mob rule. Martial Law. Dictatorship. Revolution, etc. etc.

It can’t happen here. Or can it?

Friday, October 21, 2011


Article V of the United States Constitution, which tells us how it can be amended, ends with these words: “…no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”

The constitution is full of compromises. Small states versus big states. Commercial states versus farming states. Slave states against free states.

Some delegates, I suppose, were afraid that their state might actually be ousted from the union. Or perhaps downgraded to second class status.

The bicameral legislature was itself the grandest compromise of all. One house reflecting population, the other protecting the sovereignty of every state, even the smallest.

I’ve heard it said that the United States Senate is the most prestigious debating society in the world.

Maybe so. But I wonder sometimes if its prestige doesn’t get in the way of its primary responsibility. That is to represent the sovereign states of the American union. In fact, the Senate calls itself “the living symbol of our union of states."

Senators are elected for six year terms. Every two years, a third of them are up for election. That means two thirds of them are not. At every national election between 32 and 35 Senators are on the ballot. At least sixty five of them are not.

The purpose of staggering senatorial terms is sensible. The Founders wanted it to be a stable body of statesmen with institutional memory who would tend to soften any rash change in public policy that might come from the House of Representatives.

Fair enough. And leavening the Senate with a third of its members reflecting the current mood of the voters is another good example of the compromises made in Philadelphia.

But I think if falls a bit short. The Senate, in effect, takes the temperature of only a two thirds of the nation every two years. The voters in the other 16 or 17 states may be up in arms and ready to throw the rascals out, but since there is no senator on the ballot in those states, they have no place to vent their views.

Something like one hundred million Americans are disenfranchised every two years!

The solution in my view is simple. If there were one hundred fifty instead of one hundred Senators, one from each state would face the voters every two years. The turnover would still be limited to a third of the body, so continuity would be assured, but the changing mood of the nation would be better reflected in that august assembly.

And with three, rather than two Senators from each state one other important thing could happen.

The United States Senate could vote by states, rather than by individual Senators. With three Senators from each state, they could be required to agree on the vote to be cast for their state.

At present, the Democrats control 17 state delegations in the Senate and the Republicans have 15. Eighteen states have split representation.

The result? A majority of the Senators never means a majority of the states!

You cannot count 51 votes in the Senate without at least half of your votes coming from Senators elected in states with equally divided delegations.

Another, perhaps less obvious benefit is this: senatorial arrogance would be diminished. United States Senators perceive themselves to be pretty important men and women. They hold up judicial appointments, they threaten filibusters, they kill legislation which may have passed the House by a wide majority.

Adding fifty Senators would dilute their prerogatives. Instead of one Senator stymying legislative progress, it would take at least two out of three from a state to stall the wheels of progress.

The shrinking of senatorial egos would be a blessing to the nation.

Of course, just adding bodies to the chamber is not enough. There needs to be some outside discipline imposed to prevent some of the obstructionist rules under which the senate operates.

A parliamentary body is a deliberative assembly. It is intended to afford rational debate, discussion and compromise. The sight of a lone Senator delivering an impassioned speech to an empty chamber is the height of embarrassment to our system of republican government.

You can see the British House of Commons on the telly. It may be a bit unruly, but they are all present, accounted for, and obviously paying attention.

Our Senate could use more face time.


The folks milling around Wall Street are now talking about a national assembly in Philadelphia on July 4th.

They want 870 people – half men and half women – to gather there and draw up a list of grievances to be presented to the Congress, the President and the Supreme Court.

The 870 delegates, it seems, are to be chosen at mass meetings in each congressional district.

So in politics, as in war, the ultimate weapon is boots on the ground.

But boots cost money. Mass meetings have to be organized. And organizers can be hired.

The chicken and egg puzzle of politics: which comes first, the people or the money?

The Wall Street demonstrators seem to have spawned a cadre of anonymous leaders who put up their websites and presume to speak for the masses.

They have drawn up a list of suggested grievances, which will affect the public impression of what their national assembly might do. Candidly, it looked to me to be a Blue State platform, replete with federal spending programs and environmental concerns.

One example: they would outlaw all campaign contributions for federal offices. Presumably that would include individuals, corporations, committees and political parties.

They want all campaigns financed by the federal government. Bad idea. REAL bad idea. If the goal is to entrench career politicians in office, there’s no better way to do it than to let the incumbents decide who gets the campaign money and how much they get.

I don’t know anybody, liberal or conservative, who approves of the way money influences our national politics today. The unholy alliance between K Street lobbyists, corporate cronies and members of Congress as detailed in Professor Larry Lessig’s book, Republic, Lost, is the subject of all kinds of books, blogs and banter on the Internet.

Here’s my take: America has gotten too big for the Capital Building in Washington D.C.

Congress decided to cap the House of Representatives at 435 people in 1913.
We were a nation of 97,225,000 in 1913. Today we are over 312,000,000. Congressional districts average 700,000 constituents.

Bringing a message to 700,000 constituents cost money. Lots of money. Television. Postage. Staff. A campaign for Congress is a big, expensive operation.

And, obviously, a campaign for the Senate is even bigger. And more expensive.

The Founding Fathers set the number of people in a congressional district at 30,000. They could only see down the road as far as 50,000. Maybe that’s where it should have stopped. In a republic of 300 million people, having six thousand representatives doesn’t sound like too much democracy.

Candidates in small districts can go door to door. They can meet their constituents, see them, listen to them, speak to them and speak for them.

The six thousand wouldn’t have to go to Washington. In the 21st century they can assemble on the Internet. The can debate on the Internet. They can vote on the Internet. No big salaries, offices or staffs.

And if Wikipedia doesn’t have as many books as the Library of Congress, at least it’s easier to use.

Much of what Americans don’t like about our government boils down to the culture inside the beltway. Career politicians. A ruling class of elites who talk only to each other. An incomprehensible mumbo jumbo of alphabet soup. Abbreviations and acronyms that separate the insiders from the rest of the people.

Keeping Congress members at home would go a long way toward keeping our government responsive to the voters.

And it’s a lot harder to lobby 6,000 spread all over the country than to buy off 435 in one city.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Two news items crossing the screen today epitomize the culture war in America.

Item number one: Jamie Hubley, a gay 15-year-old commits suicide, leaving blogs on the Internet which chronicle his depression and pain.

Item number two: A Chicago Christian school is vandalized for hosting a pro-family event.

Hubley’s schoolmates plan a memorial performance in his honor. He is remembered as a happy kid, always smiling and giving everybody hugs in the halls.

His blogs paint a different picture. Peppered with F bombs, they reveal a troubled soul who indulged in self-mutilation and hated being the only homosexual in his school.

He expressed love for his parents. Didn’t blame them for his depression. But anti-depressants and counseling didn’t help.

In his final blog, entitled “You can’t break when you’re already broken,” he calls himself ‘a casualty of love.’

Raging teen age hormones, blotting out the call of reason, blotting out concern for parents, blotting out everything but self-loathing and despair.

Pathetic? Certainly. Teen-age suicide is always a tragedy. But the near epidemic of it among homosexuals should hoist a warning flag.

And it does. But the flag gives a mixed message. Some say the message is that universal acceptance and approval of homosexual conduct is needed so that the Jamie Hubleys of the world will not be lonely.

And some say that homosexual conduct is irrational and should be discouraged.

That’s the gist of the message being broadcast by Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, which sponsored a banquet and lecture at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, Illinois two days ago.

When the faculty and staff arrived on the morning of October 15, they found a number of windows and doors shattered with bricks. The vandals were not exactly shy. One brick carried a note which read, “This is just a sample of what we will do if you don’t shut down Scott Lively and AFTAH.”

Later in the day, an anonymous posting on the Internet boasted of causing the vandalism to protest the event, accusing Americans for Truth About Homosexuality of being a ‘hate group’ and accusing Lively, who was to be given an award, of founding another ‘hate group’ called Watchmen on the Walls.

An activist organization called the Gay Liberation Network tried to persuade the academy to call off the event, but has taken no responsibility for the damage.

Peter LaBarbera, founder and president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, characterized the attack as a ‘hate crime’ against people who espouse Christian values. “If this would have occurred at a gay church, there would have been a public outcry,” he said.

And so it goes.

Eight years ago, in the case of Lawrence v Texas, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down state laws against sodomy. It was a classic example of judicial legislation.

One of the problems with judges making laws is that they tend to get ahead of the curve. Six black robed geniuses in Washington are not competent to declare what is culturally acceptable or unacceptable.

To overturn centuries of human experience and attitude by a 6 to 3 vote is, to say the least, a rather expansive notion of the judicial prerogative.

Did they really expect to silence Mr. LaBarbera with a stroke of the pen?

Or create a welcoming freshman class for Jamie Hubley with their sophistic theories about what the 1789 Constitution ought to have intended?

I suppose there aren’t a lot of folks who would blame Jamie’s suicide or the Christian Liberty Academy vandalism on Justices Kennedy, Stevens, Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter and O’Connor.

But I do.

The Supreme Court never takes a case they don’t want to hear. They should have left Texas law and Texas culture to the people of Texas.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Just returned from the nation’s capital, where I attended an event at the Heritage Foundation.

Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank. Very prestigious.

On Tuesday, there was panel discussion with the imposing title, THE CONSTITUTION AND THE COMMON DEFENSE: Who Ensures America’s National Security?

Three heavy hitters led the panel, all former Attorneys General of the United States; Ed Meese, John Ashcroft and Mike Mukasey.

It didn’t take long into the question period before the issue of the drone bombing of Anwar al-Awlaki was raised.

Ashcroft was pretty direct. The President is sworn to protect and defend the nation, said he, and that meant doing whatever was necessary to defend the nation. Successfully, he added.

Neither of the other speakers took issue with that idea. As far as Awlaki is concerned, they all seemed to think that the main reason why he was killed was the same reason Osama Ben Laden was dispatched. The President didn’t want them at Guantanamo.

All of the speakers agreed that the courts have gone too far in trying to referee the war on terror. Apparently, the military now has lawyers in the trenches advising on tactics. Not a very efficient way to win a war.

That said, I was intrigued by a comment made by John Ashcroft at the private luncheon which followed the panel. He confessed to being at least ambivalent about a hypothetic case in which the CIA might take out someone like Awlaki in a Denver condo or an Arby’s in Atlanta.

I think too often we lawyers, and indeed the public at large, assume that only the courts can enforce the constitution.

Ed Meese said it well when he observed that, in the final analysis, the constitution belongs to the people and can be enforced by the people.

Every Congressman and Senator, indeed every elected official in the United States, and every soldier, sailor, marine and airman takes an oath to support and defend the Constitution.

If the President were to authorize the military or the CIA to knock off every suspected terrorist sympathizer with neither writ nor warrant, he should expect to be summarily condemned by the public and impeached by the Congress.

The Awlaki killing was apparently not an isolated event. Just today more American drones landed in Yemen, killing Awlaki’s 21 year old son and eight others suspected of being al-Qaida operatives.

This while 300,000 people demonstrated in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, demanding the ouster of 31 year President Ali Abdullah Saleh. For their insolence, eighteen protesters were shot to death in the streets.

Apparently what we are doing in Yemen is pretty much what we are doing all over the Middle East. We want to see the long time autocratic leaders ousted, but not by Islamic radicals. We want to build modern democracies in the sand, and turn Bedouin tribal sheiks into precinct captains.

That’s a pretty big finale to the 19th century notion of Manifest Destiny.

And it’s damned dicey.

How, indeed do you distinguish between the radical terrorist revolutionaries and the benign, concerned citizen-demonstrators when they are all mixed together in the park?

Here at home, the 99ers have called for world-wide demonstrations. It looks like they are getting their wish. They’re building tents in Minnesota, burning cars in Rome, raising hell in Madrid.

I went on their web site to see just what it is that they want. One fellow summed it up pretty well. His placard read:


Like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

Monday, October 10, 2011


The folks who have gathered on Wall Street these last few weeks describe themselves as “The 99 Percent”.

They have picked up on President Obama’s repeated insistence that the wealthiest one percent of Americans do not pay their fair share of the taxes.

Other than Susan Serandon and Michael Moore, the crowd seems to be largely made up of students and the unemployed. If they do have jobs, they are taking a lot of time off to demonstrate.

When the Tea Party folks took to the streets, I had a pretty good idea of what it was they were complaining about. Their grievance was the massive federal debt and the continuing federal deficit.

It’s hard to get a handle on the 99ers' complaint. It’s pretty clear that they don’t like rich people. With some exceptions.

Presumably they like movie stars, rock singers, basketball players and philanthropists, especially those whose generosity is directed toward environmental causes and endangered animal species other than homo sapiens.

But they sure don’t like stockbrokers, bankers, and other corporate executives.

Makes you sort of wonder what would change their chanting to cheering.
I suspect that if someone came out on the steps of the New York Stock Exchange tomorrow afternoon about 4 o’clock and announced that the Dow Jones Industrial Average had tanked and lost 98% of its value, a mighty cheer would rise from the milling multitude.

Good. The rich people have lost all their riches. Now we can all go home and live happily ever after.

I don’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong, here. I think there are plenty of good reasons for Americans to be concerned, indeed to join forces and demonstrate. The Tea Party, the Coffee Party, the 99ers and their friends are all pretty fed up with the mess in Washington.

Nobody likes the unholy alliance between well-heeled lobbyists and members of Congress who crawl up K Street begging for bucks.

Making a public fuss about it might just encourage some new leaders to step up and do something.

But I do worry about people taking to the streets for no better purpose than to express unbridled envy of rich people.

The tenth commandment teaches us not to covet the wealth of others. And anyway, who decides how rich is too rich? The President speaks glibly of ‘millionaires and billionaires” as though they both enjoy the same status, even though the “B’s” are a thousand times richer than the “M’s.”

I suppose it makes no difference to a factory worker, a store clerk or a college student. All they know is that however you define it, they ain’t it.

A demonstration without a defined purpose is very like a mob. Without a platform or a plan, it can easily begin to focus on people.

In Egypt and Lybia, Yemen and Syria political demonstrations have morphed into revolutions. Placards become guns. Shouting and shoving turns into killing.

It can’t happen here, you say? Guess again. Remember Newark and Watts and Detroit in the 1960’s. Remember Kent State.

On August 20, 1786, Louis XVI was told that the royal treasury was insolvent. Over the next fourteen years, the government of France came apart at the seams. The guillotine became the symbol of popular government. The Bolsheviks weren’t any kinder to the Tsarists in 1917.

Americans have a great tradition of political activism. Our constitution gives us the right to assemble peaceably and petition the government for redress of grievances.

We have a system of periodic elections. We don’t have to force the government to let us vote.

We also have a constitutional right to come together in convention and fix anything that doesn’t work properly in Washington. There’s no need for blood in the streets.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Back in the good old nineteen fifties, we used to have Congressional hearings to ferret out the bad guys. You know, the pinko Commie traitors who advocated the violent overthrow of the United States government.

Civil libertarians screamed and hollered. Eventually, the head witch hunter, Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy, was debunked, censured, and faded from the scene.

I reflected on those days as I read news reports about the killing of Muslim Imam Anwar al-Awlaki.

Here’s an example of what the mainstream media were saying about it:

An American-born cleric killed in Yemen played a "significant operational role" in plotting and inspiring attacks on the United States, U.S. officials said, as they disclosed detailed intelligence to justify the killing of a U.S. citizen.

Anwar al-Awlaki was killed early Friday in a strike on his convoy carried out by a joint operation of the CIA and the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command, according to counterterrorism officials. Al-Awlaki had been under observations for three weeks while they waited for the right opportunity to strike.

Another U.S. official said a second American citizen died in the airstrike that killed al-Awlaki. Two other men also perished.

The second American, Samir Khan, edited the slick Western-style Internet publication Inspire Magazine that attracted many readers.

The online magazine published seven issues offering articles on making crude bombs and how to fire AK-47 assault rifles. U.S. intelligence officials have said that Khan — who was from North Carolina — was not directly responsible for targeting Americans.

I wrote a blog three years ago called “Murdering Presidents.” It’s worth another look in light of recent events.

President Obama enjoyed a spike in public approval when Navy Seals killed Osama Ben Laden on his orders. No doubt the pollsters will note a similar boost to his popularity as a consequence of this latest Mafia style hit.

I got to wondering how the people of the United States would have felt if Awlaki had been found in a condo in Colorado rather than a convoy in Yemen. Does the government’s “kill or capture” list specify when and where to kill?

And what about companions and bystanders? Does the official hit list include anyone who might be hanging around with the targeted wrongdoer?

Anyway, who makes up the hit list and when do they do it?

I was surprised to learn that Imam Awlaki led Muslim federal workers in prayer after 9-11, and that he was invited to speak at the Pentagon about the same time, as part of the government’s outreach to Muslims.

So many contradictions.

Cop killer Troy Davis is administered a lethal injection, while hundreds pray and protest in the street. Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood terrorist who killed thirteen people in November of 2009 has yet to be brought to trial. Magazine editor Samir Kahn is killed by the CIA and nobody cares.

At the risk of being branded a constitutional curmudgeon, I have to say that a “kill or capture” list that is prepared by officials of the federal government who decline to identify themselves or speak only on condition of anonymity, scares the hell out of me.

And I am not at all comfortable with the idea that CIA assassinations are OK as long as they are authorized by the President of the United States.

Especially a first term President who is up for re-election.

In the last analysis, liberty is all about due process of law. Before we put up a poster that says, “Wanted: Dead or Alive” there ought to be at least enough evidence to issue a warrant.

Where the heck is the ACLU when their man is in the White House?

Thursday, September 29, 2011


One of the more interesting people who spoke at the Harvard Law School last week end was Professor Richard Parker.

Bit of a rebel, he. In the midst of a solid phalanx of progressive, nay liberal, colleagues, this fellow has the kahoonas to favor outlawing desecration of the American Flag.

What? A Harvard Professor who doesn’t think burning Old Glory as a political protest ought to be protected by the First Amendment?

Indeed. He may well have had something to do with the drafting of the simple, one line constitutional amendment which gets introduced in Congress every couple of years.

The flag fuss began back in 1968 when Viet Nam War protesters started burning flags in public to express their opposition to the war. Congress passed a law against it. So did 48 of the 50 states. In 1989, by a 5-4 vote in Texas v Johnson the Supreme Court declared those laws unconstitutional.

Undaunted, Congress passed another Flag Protection Act. It, too, was found to be in violation of the First Amendment by another 5-4 vote in the high court.

Ever since then, Congress has been flirting with a constitutional amendment to authorize flag desecration laws. To send a constitutional amendment out to the states for ratification takes a two thirds vote in both houses of Congress. The House of Representatives regularly approves the amendment by two thirds.

The Senate never does. Came within one vote in 2006.

Here’s what the proposal says:

The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.

Sounds pretty simple. Over seventy-five percent of the American people are in favor of it. And if it gets into the constitution, the Supreme Court can’t touch it. After all, the constitution can’t be unconstitutional, can it?

We’ve had flag laws in this country for years. The size and shape. The colors. How many stars and how many stripes. How it should be flown and when. Even how to fold it.

Laws prohibiting flag desecration bump up against the First Amendment’s protection of free speech only when it is done to send a message. If I burn the flag, alone in the alley behind my garage, because I’m ticked off at the post office, I’m not speaking to anybody.

But don’t do it in front of a crowd. A guy named William Thomas tried it in Dodger Stadium on April 25, 1976 and ended up making Chicago Cubs outfielder, Rick Monday, who ran up and saved the flag, an American icon.

The debate over flag desecration is classic constitutional science. The Founders got into it in 1787. Article 3 of Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution says:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

I have no doubt that burning the stars and stripes or flying a Nazi flag would have been considered giving aid and comfort to our enemies in 1943.

But what of 2011, when our enemies are an amorphous band of terrorists, some foreign, some domestic? Isn’t there a difference between politics and war? Between passionate debate and inciting to riot?

Constitutions are the ultimate form of popular law making. That’s why the constitution begins with the words, “We The People…”

Like Professor Parker, I am a populist. He says that the great division in America is not between the rich and poor or the right and the left, but between the elite and the regular folks.

I’m with him. I have faith in the intuitive wisdom of the great unwashed.

And I am a little leery of letting one vote in the United States Senate or one vote in the Supreme Court override three quarters of the American people.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Republicans and Democrats? Liberals and conservatives? The Left and the Right?

Fox News and MSNBC, for Heaven’s sake? Together? At the same place? In the same room?

It really happened. I was there at the Harvard University Law School along with more than 400 other folks who came from near and far to talk about the United States of America. About what’s wrong with our country. And about what can be done to fix it.

Billed as ConConCon, it was a conference designed to launch a campaign for calling a convention under Article V of the U.S. Constitution to consider amendments.

It would be a convention that could give the people of the states a way to change the way politics works in Washington D.C. It would be a convention that could talk about things and propose things that Congress will never talk about and never do.

Term limits. Balanced budgets. And the money. Money that flows like raw sewage from K Street to the Capital. Money that corrupts. Money that influences. Money that changes our nation from a democratic republic to a sinister oligarchy of career politicians, corporate fat cats, ward healing bosses, and the lobbyists who tie them all together.

I went like Marley’s ghost. Ten or fifteen years older than anyone in the room, I was writing and speaking about a convention when many of them were watching Sesame Street.

It warmed my heart to see and hear this new generation of patriots.

Larry Lessig, the brilliant, liberal, Harvard professor, leading an all star cadre of academics and activists, keynoting the conference from the left with a witty and passionate power point presentation.

Mark Meckler, the self-effacing small town lawyer from northern California, whose Lincolnesque eloquence has thrust him into the leadership of the Tea Party Patriots, making the case for his constitutents’ support of an Article V convention.

If the room was packed with citizens who came to listen and learn, to find out what can be done about the mess in Washington and see how they can lend a hand, it was also sprinkled with drum beaters who brought their own agendas, and touted their particular versions of the road to revival.

They all have high sounding names, web sites, plans and ideas. The Alliance for Democracy. Americans United to Rebuild Democracy. Public Check on Congress. The Madison Amendment. Move To Amend. WeThePeople. Rootstrikers.

A cacophony of solutions for the same laundry list of problems, looking for harmony. Trying to find the common ground. What can we do together? Where do we go from here?

Annabel Park, a co-founder of the Coffee Party said it was like being on a first date. So far, so good. Now, what’s next?

It was, indeed, a most remarkable coming together. The speeches were uniformly marked with civility and deference. While several, including the distinguished Harvard University Professor, Lawrence Tribe, were skeptical about the wisdom or efficacy of a convention, there was no debunking, no ridicule, no attempt to stifle the common effort.

Only one voice sang off key; a fanatic, radical socialist who used his minute at the microphone to hawk his Socialist Constitution and accuse the Tea Party of racism.

He got an audible groan from the crowd and an admonition from the chair.

Of course, I went to Cambridge with some flyers of my own, inviting conferees to register as delegates to Convention USA, a place on the Internet where ordinary people can work together to find the best solutions to our national dilemma.

If Harvard was a first date, maybe those good folks will want to go steady some day.

The vehicle is right there at

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Used to be everybody had family. Mom, Dad, Grampa and Gramma. Aunts, Uncles, cousins. And, before the word ‘sibling’ came into fashion, we had brothers and sisters, too.

For a lot of folks, family is still important. My brother, Ray, has become a genealogy guru. He’s one of millions who spend their days searching for their roots, finding every branch of the family tree.

But more and more, these days, family is losing ground.

A recent news story on the telly introduced us to a woman who had discovered that the sperm donor who sired her two children has accounted for more than seventy others.

The lady was shocked and dismayed.

How dare that rascal go about randomly spawning half- brothers and half- sisters of her offspring without her approval or consent?

What, indeed, is the world coming to?

Google turned up this:

Xytex Cryo International Sperm Bank provides a diverse panel of donors that meet strict criteria before being accepted into our donor program. Use our intuitive search features along with the extensive information we offer about each donor to find the perfect match.

The web site goes on to say that pictures of their stable of studs are available in various formats, as well as transcripts of audio interviews.

After all, at $500 a pop, you don’t want to be buying a pig in a poke.

You can pick a daddy with bright blue eyes and long lashes. With a dazzling smile. Maybe a cute little dimple on the chin. Tall. Athletic. A college graduate.

Of course, the guy might be on heroin. Or his mother an alcoholic. Or his father a serial killer. But hey, dimples matter.

Some sperm donors have sired over a hundred children. Nobody really knows. The industry is basically unregulated.

Ah, yes. Free enterprise. The free market. Supply and demand. The American way.

Isn’t it wonderful? Our omniscient federal nanny tells us what kind of light bulbs we can buy and what we must do with them when they burn out, but nobody much cares where our DNA comes from or where it is going.

Back in the day, folks had to get a license from the state to make babies. It was called a marriage license. Had to have a blood test. Two witnesses and a judge or clergyman signing off. The county clerk kept all the records and called them vital statistics.

Lots of young people are going online these days looking for daddy. And half- brothers and half- sisters. Some stranger who looks like them. Some stranger who can provide a sense of belonging. A feeling of indentity.

Now there are registries on the Internet. Places where you can go to find out who you are.

Sperm donors can make as much as $1,000 a month. It’s all very discreet. The clinic is usually located in a large office building. Lots of traffic. Nobody notices a guy checking in three times a week.

Donors are screened so that the most fertile are selected. High sperm count. Good motility. High performers are in demand.

Of course, not all studs are handsome. One web site says that it is natural to feel rejected if you are not chosen. Some sperm banks won’t tell donors whether they are daddies. Don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. And besides, it’s none of their business.

Anyway, in America, unborn babies are chattels. They belong to their mothers, who can abort them for any reason or for no reason.

You don’t need a father. You don’t need a family. You don’t need grandparents or a name. Or a history. You’ve got a nanny in Washington, D.C. And nanny will protect you, defend you and define you.

What else do you really need? A pedigree? Nah. Pedigrees are for dogs and horses.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


On September 24 and 25, I will be attending a conference at Harvard Law School, billed as ConConCon. It’s all about organizing people to work for a national convention to propose amendments to the U.S., Constitution.

I have been saying for a long time that people of all political views should support the idea of an amendatory convention as described in Article V. At this Harvard conference, it’s really going to happen.

There will be two keynote speeches. One from the left and one from the right. The liberal is Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig. The conservative is Mark Meckler, the National Coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots.

Strange bedfellows to be sure.

I’m not sure exactly what those two fellows are likely to agree upon. But it would seem that they both think it’s time to organize an Article V convention. That’s because they both think there is something wrong with the government in Washington that can’t be fixed just by electing new people.

Lessig has a web site called “fixcongressfirst.” He is obviously of the opinion that money talks too loud in the nation’s capital. He’s unhappy about the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case, and I suppose he would like to see an amendment that would reverse that decision or somehow address the problem of mendacious politicians selling their loyalty and their votes.

That’s an issue which would probably find support among Mr. Meckler’s people as well. The whole Tea Party movement was based on dissatisfaction with the Congress.

So the issue which a convention would have to address is this: what do you do about it?

Tough question.

The old saying is that all is fair in love and war. Add politics. I don’t know how you can legislate against political enthusiasm and effort. You can’t stop rich people from spending money to support their favorite candidates any more than you can stop poor folks from marching in the streets to support their candidates.

And really, who would be competent to do it? The government? The very same government that is being fought over at the ballot box? Not exactly an impartial arbiter.

Let’s face it, the money problem is a function of two things: the size of the constituencies and the size of the prize.

The Founders tried to require congressional districts of no more than 50,000 people. Today they comprise about 700,000. Hard to walk door to door. Television. Newspapers. Bulk mail. It all costs big bucks.

If we had districts of 50,000 people, the House of Representatives would need over 6,000 seats. Sounds unwieldy, but then you have to ask yourself whether 435 Congressmen and women can really represent over 300 million citizens.

A large part of the problem, of course, is the extent to which the government is involved in the economy. As long as Washington is a cornucopia, there will be competition among the greedy for the goodies.

Political contributions are usually made on a cost-benefit analysis. You give in order to get.

Maybe we need to think about a two tier system. Small districts in which the voters can elect representatives they know and trust, who in turn would send delegates to Washington when Congress is in session.

The delegates could do the committee work and the ceremonial duties, but the local representatives would vote on all actual legislation. With modern communications, they don’t need to be in the Capital Building to register their ayes and nays.

Something to think about.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


All the smart people on television are saying that the Massachusetts health care system, enacted when Mitt Romney was governor will be a mill stone around his neck in 2012.

As a matter of fact, they’re starting to call it RomneyCare and comparing it with ObamaCare.

RomneyCare, they tell us, will drive the conservative base of the Republican Party away from Romney.

For two reasons.

First because it proves that the former Bay State Governor favors socialized medicine, just like Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the rest of ‘em.

And second, because the Massachusetts plan has turned out to be enormously, prohibitively, expensive. Just like, so they say, the federal version is going to be.

It’s too bad. Too bad that the people of the United States will be distracted from the real issue.

It’s not about whether RomneyCare is better than ObamaCare. Or whether either or both systems are too expensive or too intrusive in our lives, or too restricting of the medical profession, or whether either or both systems restrict medical services for the elderly, or any of the other details where the devil is to be found.

No sir, the real issue is very simple.


Is the health of the citizens one of those things which were left to the exclusive jurisdiction of the individual states under the tenth amendment, or did the people who ratified the constitution in 1789 intend that every sneeze and cough and laceration and policy of medical insurance of every person in America is an incident of interstate commerce and subject to regulation by the government in Washington D.C.?

Mitt Romney owes no apology for the Massachusetts health care plan. Massachusetts is a liberal state. It has a liberal legislature. Romney was elected Governor of Massachusetts. He was a public servant.

If the liberal people of Massachusetts and their liberal legislators wanted to establish socialized medicine in their state, it was the proper role of their Governor to help them do it.

If the Massachusetts plan is not a successful blue print for health care that other states might want to adopt, so be it. It’s a state by state issue.

And Romney owes no apology to the Republican Party for getting himself elected Governor of the People’s Republic of Massachusetts.

On the contrary, it is one of the strongest arguments in favor of his election as President of the United States. The occupant of the oval office has to be the President of the whole nation. East to West. North to South. Liberal and Conservative.

The White House is not a place for an ideolog, a policy wonk, a guy with an agenda. It’s a place for a pragmatic Chief Executive, who can work with diverse representatives of the people in Congress, who can protect and defend the constitution of the United States, who can make sure that in its enthusiasm for doing what is popular with its constituents, the Congressional train does not jump off the constitutional track.

Framed as an issue between states’ rights and national powers, the RomneyCare v ObamaCare debate highlights and capsulizes the fundamental decision which will determine whether the United States of America will survive as a nation into the twenty-second century.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was split asunder after an embarrassing, inconclusive incursion into Afghanistan. It could happen here.

The dichotomy between the French Revolution and the American Revolution remains. What is not decided by civil debate and rational compromise will be determined by force of arms and blood in the streets.

It could happen here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


To hear the TV pundits tell it, the American people are currently awaiting President Barack Obama’s new plan to stimulate the economy.

From both sides of the aisle, the politicians are yelling, “Jobs, jobs, jobs.”

The economy is the big issue of the day. Unemployment is rampant. Real estate isn’t selling. Businesses are closing. Sales are lagging. Buying is postponed.

How in heck do you stimulate the economy? How do you get people to work, to buy and sell, to build, to get up and go?

Rumor has it that one of the president’s recommendations will be that the federal government extend unemployment benefits. Again.

Typical unemployment benefits last for 26 weeks. In New York, you can get another 33 weeks of ‘emergency’ benefits, and an additional 20 or so weeks of ‘supplemental’ benefits.

The theory of extending benefits to stimulate the economy is that the unemployed will spend the money and all that money being spent will create jobs, which in turn will create more spending and more jobs.

By this logic it would follow that giving every person over the age of say, 18, in Detroit a million dollars would result in a bustling, stimulated economy in that city.

I don’t think so.

I suspect that the casinos and the drug dealers would prosper, but it would be hard for all those millionaires to find anyone willing to cut the grass, paint the house or shine their shoes. And who would drive the cabs or the buses, or register the deeds? Millionaires don’t have to work.

I’m waiting to hear a politician who has the cahoonas to say, “The issue isn’t ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ the issue is ‘work, work, work.’.”

There’s a difference.

Rodney Dangerfield or Henny Youngman would explain it this way:
“My brother-in-law has a great job. He doesn’t have to work at all.”

That’s about the size of it. Everybody wants a job. Nobody wants to work.

Franklin Roosevelt put people to work with the WPA and the CCC. Bill Clinton touted ‘workfare’ over welfare. They were Democrats for heaven’s sake. Making people earn their daily bread is not some heartless capitalist, Republican idea. It’s just plain common sense.

Our goal should be to have a busy, industrious, productive population. To be a people imbued with a solid work ethic. To be builders and makers, and doers. Inventors and cleaners and fixers.

Somehow America has to go from an entitlement society to an opportunity society.

Here’s an agenda to start with:

We need urban homestead laws that will allow people to build up sweat equity in abandoned houses.

We need energy parks where young and not-so-young people can spend time generating useable energy through physical activity. In all the talk about clean sources of energy, nobody mentions human effort; walking, running, pulling, pushing, carrying, climbing. Make it fun, make it pay. The pyramids were built before there were bulldozers and cranes. Or entitlements.

We need to clean up our cities. Nothing destroys the work ethic more than seeing prisoners in orange suits picking up trash along the freeway while thousands of able bodied men and women draw welfare and watch television. Picking up trash is useful, honorable, manual labor. It isn’t punishment.

We need people to till the soil. To plant and prune and pick. In the 1940’s we had Victory Gardens. There’s lots of vacant real estate in America. And lots of hungry people in the world.

We need leaders. I don’t mean big shot political leaders in Washington and the state capitols. We need men and women who have the imagination to come up with useful projects and the chutzpah to organize teams to carry them out.

In short, we need to get off our butts and go to work.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


In 1982,I gave a speech at Yale University. I called it "The Last Prerogative."

In it, I called for a convention under Article V of the federal constitution to propose needed amendments to our national charter.

Reading it again, I could not help but think how pertinent the words are to issues that daily confound the people of this country, saturate television and dominate the Internet pages of 2011.

Here are a few paragraphs:

"Despite the befuddlement of Keynesian economics, government fiscal responsibility is not, as so often urged by "gliberals", a mere question of transient political or economic policy, better left to statutory or administrative regulation than constitutional mandate.

"The Congress is already empowered by the Constitution to lay and collect taxes for the purpose of paying the debts of the United States. I seriously doubt that any of the delegates who labored through that hot summer of 1787 to write the Constitution would have believed for a moment that Congress might someday neglect or refuse to lay and collect taxes to pay the debts of the United States and persist in that refusal year in and year out until more than a trillion dollars of unpaid obligations had accumulated.

"Indeed, I think that any fair reading of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution would yield the conclusion that if the common defense and the general welfare are things that ought to be provided for, debts of the United States are things that ought to be paid.

"Fiscal responsibility is not a matter of politics or economic policy. Capitalist states can be run on red ink, and socialist regimes can have balanced budgets.

"Fiscal responsibility is not merely the platform of a political party or the goal of a particular administration. It is a measure of the credibility and viability of the established institution of government itself.

"Nor is fiscal responsibility a matter of choice. The effects of fiscal irresponsibility are not immediate, but they are certain. We know that our government is deeply committed as the guarantor of the nation's economy. The government stands behind mortgage loans, business loans, and student loans. The government protects our bank deposits and bond issues.

"These secondary obligations are so immense that they dwarf even the monstrous primary public debt, not to mention the moral commitment which underlies our many national entitlement programs. If we default on these obligations, we can expect nothing less than civil disorder.

"This is an irrefutable lesson of history. Shay's Rebellion, the Whiskey Rebellion, the Veteran's March and the Welfare Marches show that the American people are not apathetic when they are hungry or homeless. They will not exchange a lifetime of savings for a fistful of worthless scrip without a fight.

"In such an extreme case, the American people will show no more restraint in preserving the institutions of government than they will be inclined to protect the unhappy temporary occupants of public office.

"In summary, I submit to you the following propositions. Since fiscal integrity relates to the stability of our system of government, the means of assuring it belong in our Constitution.

"The proper constitutional means of assuring the fiscal responsibility and integrity of the union can only be reliably proposed by a body of citizens which is not itself participating in the excesses to be guarded against.

"An amendatory convention called pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution is such a body, created and intended by our forefathers precisely for the purpose of enabling the sovereign people of the several states of the American union, without bloodshed, to assert their last prerogative as free men and women: to alter the form of the government (as it was said in the declaration of independence), '. . . laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.'

"Finally, I submit to you that the act of convening an amendatory convention under article V would in itself be more significant than whatever particular amendment or amendments 'might be agreed upon as a result of it. For the convention itself represents a return to first principles. It represents a reassertion of the right of self-determination, and a return to representative democracy in America. I can think of no cause more worthy of any responsible citizen's best efforts and total commitment."

That's what I said in 1982. I'll say it again at Harvard in September.

Friday, August 5, 2011


On November 18, 1978, nine hundred seven people died in the worst slaughter in American history until the attack on the World trade Center.

They were people who followed a charismatic leader who hated religion, capitalism, and rich corporations. A man who led them to the enlightenment of socialism.

His name was Jim Jones. He urged them all to drink the Flavor Aid laced with valium, chloral hydrate, cyanide and phenirgon .

They did. And they all died.

And so a sweet tasting sugar drink has become a metaphor for mass suicide.

To drink the Kool Aid is to accept without question the teaching of the leader, the shibboleths of the party, the political correctness of attitudes, opinions and choices.

Because everybody’s doing it. Until it kills you.

In her new book, DON’T LET THE KIDS DRINK THE KOOL-AID: Confronting the Left’s Assault on Our Families, Faith and Freedom, Marybeth Hicks has sounded an alarm that should ring loud and clear in every household in America.

In 192 tightly reasoned, fact-filled pages, Marybeth exposes the agenda of those who use our schools to indoctrinate children with secular humanist values that fly in the face of the Judeo Christian traditions upon which the United States was founded.

Some examples:

• Teachers who believe it is absolutely essential to teach their students to become activists who will seek to change our political system, but who do not think it’s necessary that they understand concepts like federalism, separation of powers, or checks and balances among the branches of government.

• A sex test administered to eleven and twelve year old school children in which they were asked about the difference between oral, vaginal and anal sex and if they know how to put a condom on themselves or their partner.

• A Sacramento boy who was told by his school authorities that he was not allowed to display the American flag on his bicycle when riding to and from his school.

• A New York middle schooler suspended for wearing a rosary around his neck, a Pennsylvania fifth grader barred from inviting her classmates to a Christmas party at her church, while Massachusetts fifth graders were taken on a class field trip to an Islamic community center and several non Muslim boys permitted to join in prayers with the Muslim men.

On page after page, the author exposes the subtle and not so subtle ways in which the political left has coopted the teaching profession, the public schools and the popular media to preach an orthodoxy of atheism, socialism, and hedonism.

Their target? Our children and grandchildren.

The little folks who spend as much as 7 or 8 hours a day glued to a television set, a computer, an Iphone and all the other gadgets that define the lives of generation M.

Sadly, the radical left is winning the minds and hearts of the kids. Here’s what the polls show:

They think socialism is better than the free market.

They think Christianity is judgmental and mean spirited.

They think America is the villain of world history.

They think family does not mean marriage.

The think gender is not biological, but a matter of personal choice.

They think human greed is destroying the earth.

Happily, Marybeth doesn’t leave us in nail biting despair. As the involved mother of four, a popular columnist, busy consultant and much sought after speaker, she has plenty to share with concerned parents and grandparents.

Her prescriptions resonate with common sense. See for yourself.