UPDATE: One man shot by Upland police when partygoers allegedly attack officers

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UPLAND -- One man was shot and police used their Tasers on a teenager after officers responding to a loud-music complaint at a party Saturday night said they were attacked by partygoers.

When the two officers showed up at 11:55 p.m. in the 600 block of Fairwood Way and attempted to talk to the owner of the house, they were attacked by several party guests, according to a police news release.

Robert Trejo, 23, of Upland was shot and airlifted to a hospital. He was expected to survive.
Police did not know what hospital Trejo was taken to.

Trejo will be booked on suspicion of assault on a police officer, the news release said.

Residents of the home said Sunday they were confused about the incident.

One woman, who asked not to be identified, said there were more than 100 people at the party.

She said the owner of the house had a party last year. Police were called out twice because of noise, but she said the officers were "very polite" when they asked partygoers to lower the noise level.

On Saturday, the residents thought they were being cautious and alerted neighbors ahead of time so everyone would know they were having a Halloween party.

But when officers arrived Saturday, they seemed aggressive from the outset, the woman said.

"We were just shocked it escalated the way it did," she said.

Her younger brother was shot with a Taser and arrested, she said. He was cited and released. Police did not release his name.

Trejo lives at the house, the woman said.

San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies are investigating the shooting.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Arden Wiltshire said a special team is often called out to investigate other agencies' officer-involved shootings.

"They will prepare a report and submit it to the agency and the district attorney," Wiltshire said.

The Upland Police Department would not comment on the incident Sunday other than to issue the news release.


Colton police investigate officers cleared by prosecutors

By Michael J. Sorba, Staff Writer

COLTON - Two police officers are on paid administrative leave while the Police Department completes an internal investigation involving allegations of using excessive force.

Department officials confirmed last week that officers Khristopher Guerrero and Julio Miranda are being investigated.

"The Colton Police Department takes all allegations of police misconduct seriously," said Lt. Bill Burrows, the department's spokesman.

The investigation stems from two incidents in which excessive force was allegedly used, department officials said.

The first incident involving Guerrero and Miranda was April 27, and the second was about two weeks later, said Richard Young, a prosecutor with the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office.

Burrows, citing privacy regulations, refused to comment on when the officers were placed on leave or the circumstances of the allegations.

Police Chief Bob Miller is also unable to comment on personnel actions, Burrows said.

At the request of the Police Department, the officers were investigated by the district attorney's Bureau of Investigation for the alleged use of excessive force, Young said.

That investigation ended Sept. 3 with no criminal charges being filed against the officers, Young said.

In an unrelated incident, Burrows also confirmed Code Enforcement Officer Tim Weathers has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Weathers is also the subject of an internal investigation that is not associated with the investigation of Guerrero and Miranda, Burrows said.

He declined to state why or how long Weathers has been placed on leave, citing privacy laws.


(909) 386-3872

County pursues medicinal marijuana case

Board wants to resolve state-federal conflict

October 27, 2008
Despite batting .000 against a lineup of lawyers and judges across California, San Diego County is pressing its long-shot lawsuit against state medical marijuana laws toward the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Board of Supervisors voted to petition the nation's top court even before the California Supreme Court declined Oct. 16 to hear the county's argument that the state laws should be overturned.


The San Diego Union-Tribune contacted each San Diego County supervisor about the board's decision to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its challenge of state medical marijuana laws. Here are their responses:

Greg Cox: “When you get into a conflict between state and federal law, the only alternative is to go to court.”

Bill Horn: “Whether or not (federal agents) can enforce their law, that's their choice. My problem is I have something that's in black and white which my attorneys tell me is in conflict.”

Dianne Jacob: “Handing out ID cards at the same time the federal government considers marijuana illegal is not fair to those who think the cards would protect them.”

Ron Roberts: Did not respond.

Pam Slater-Price: “I do not consider I would be doing my duty if I accepted the idea that we were to issue these licenses for so-called medical marijuana. The way the law is set up practically anything qualifies, including having a bad hair day.”

For nearly three years, the supervisors have persisted in their legal fight rather than direct county health officials to issue identification cards to qualified medical marijuana patients as required by state law.

“This case is not about questioning the medicinal value of marijuana,” Supervisor Dianne Jacob said. “It's about resolving the conflict between state and federal law.”

For patients who rely on marijuana to relieve symptoms of cancer, AIDS and other illnesses, the ongoing resistance feels more like a slap in the face.

“What the county has been doing is straight-up prejudicial,” said Rudy Reyes, who was severely burned in the Cedar fire and smokes marijuana to relieve his pain.

“They don't want to see this as a viable medication,” said Reyes, who felt so strongly about the issue that he tried to unseat Jacob in the last election.

In 1996, 56 percent of California voters supported an initiative allowing sick and dying patients to grow and use marijuana to ease their symptoms. The law has vexed enforcement officials ever since because the drug remains illegal under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act.

The state sought to clarify its medical-use allowance in 2004 and directed counties to issue identification cards to qualified patients. The cards are designed to help police determine who is using marijuana legally and who is abusing the drug.

On a 3-2 vote in November 2005, county supervisors went against a staff recommendation that cards be issued. Greg Cox and Ron Roberts were in the minority on that vote, but the following week, when the board opted to challenge the state law in court, Cox sided with the majority. Roberts was absent.

“I supported the effort to issue the medical marijuana cards, but clearly in this case we have a conflict with federal law that says it's a controlled substance,” Cox said in an interview last week. “I felt the responsible thing to do was get through the courts.”

County lawyers filed their case in early 2006. San Bernardino and Merced counties joined as co-plaintiffs. Late that year, San Diego Superior Court Judge William R. Nevitt rejected the counties' legal arguments, ruling in favor of the state and two patient-advocacy groups.

San Diego and San Bernardino counties appealed, but Merced opted out. Instead, supervisors there began issuing the ID cards.

“We felt like we were going to be throwing good money after bad,” said Kathleen Crookham, chairwoman of the Merced County Board of Supervisors. “How far can you go? We thought we'd cut our losses and move on.”

About 30 Merced County residents have applied for and received the cards, Crookham said. Since then, “it's kind of quietly just moved on.”

San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn remains unconvinced, however. He does not believe there is any medicinal value in marijuana.

“I don't think it's right, to be honest with you,” he said. “Issuing the cards is condoning the use of marijuana. That's not a message I personally want to send.”

Legal experts tend to agree with the courts that rejected the position staked out by San Diego and San Bernardino counties. Those judges and scholars say the bottom line is that state laws do not prevent federal agents from enforcing the Controlled Substances Act, which classifies marijuana as among the most dangerous known drugs.

“California can do whatever it wants to do and the U.S. government can do whatever it wants to do,” said University of San Diego law professor Shaun Martin, who has argued three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and prevailed once. “The counties' position that there's a conflict on this is a minority – a very minority – view.”

Constitutional law expert Erwin Chemerinsky said the U.S. Supreme Court generally reviews only those cases that have divided lower courts.

“There's a lot of misunderstanding about federal law and state law and pre-emption,” said Chemerinsky, the founding dean of the University of California Irvine law school. “What the state law does is say it's not a state crime to have medical marijuana.”

The counties have 90 days from Oct. 16 to file what's known as a petition for a writ of certiorari, which formally requests a review by the U.S. Supreme Court. If the court agrees to consider the case, a ruling could come in 2009 or 2010.

More than 7,500 cases are appealed to the nation's top court each year; only 1 percent to 2 percent of the petitions are granted. Roughly half of those involve criminal cases, so the county's chances of being heard are slim.

No one in county government would estimate how much time and money has been spent working to overturn California medical marijuana laws.

Senior Deputy County Counsel Thomas Bunton, who is supervising the legal strategy, noted that his office has not retained any outside lawyers. But he declined to detail the public resources dedicated to the lawsuit.

“This hasn't cost the county any additional money,” Bunton said.

Jeff McDonald: (619) 542-4585; jeff.mcdonald@uniontrib.com

Congressional reform long overdue

By Tim Prince

Americans have important choices to make on Nov. 4 to define not just what character traits they want in a president and members of Congress, but who we are as a nation.

Each presidential candidate insists we must change the culture of corruption in Washington by seeking true ethics reform in Congress.

Only one of the two candidates in the 41st Congressional District agrees that we need to change Congress, and I am the one. To change the way Congress does business it is time to retire 30-year incumbent Jerry Lewis.

California Republican Party vice chair and publisher of the popular Flashreport.org, Jon Fleischman, calls for Lewis' ouster and said Lewis "symbolizes the `big spending mentality' of the House (and) should gracefully retire from Congress ."

Lewis has voted repeatedly to raise his own taxpayer-funded salary. In fact, Lewis has accepted nearly $100,000 in pay raises since taking office, while he has voted against bonuses for active duty soldiers and increasing the minimum wage, while voting for cutting veterans benefits and sending our jobs overseas.

Lewis continues to hire his wife to work in his Congressional office and gives her a taxpayer-funded salary of $130,000 a year. His stepdaughter was given a job by lobbyists whose clients received contracts worth millions of dollars.

Lewis was named one of the most corrupt members of Congress by the nonpartisan watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which called for him to step down from handling all spending matters. He has refused, however, and continues to direct millions of federal dollars to his cronies outside our district.

Lewis has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from big oil, drug companies, banks and the insurance industry and has consistently voted in favor of big business and against working families. He voted in favor of the $850 billion Wall Street bailout without offering financial assistance to middle-class Americans struggling through the economic crisis.

Lewis has been under federal investigation for his involvement with lobbyist Bill Lowery and former Congressman Duke Cunningham, who was sent to prison for accepting $2.4 million in bribes for big government defense contracts. Lewis has spent $1 million on criminal lawyers fighting the ongoing investigations by the U.S. Attorney, federal grand jury and the FBI.

He approved all of the same spending and accepted nearly $90,000 from the same corporation that bribed Cunningham. He gave multi-million-dollar contracts to the same lobbyists and their clients, and delivered hundreds of millions of federal dollars to friends and former staffers who are big contributors to his campaigns. He even earmarked $2 million for a park and flower garden down the street from his home in Washington.

Many of Lewis' out-of-district earmarks benefit defense contractor contributors who could not make their case to a congressional committee, the Pentagon or through competitive bidding. If our Defense Department determines that a proposal is unworthy of precious defense dollars because of other demands on national security, House Appropriations Committee members should not overrule them via an earmark benefitting their contributors.

Meanwhile, Lewis has not authored or sponsored one significant piece of legislation in multiple terms in Congress. He has done nothing to leverage our district's vast resources for renewable energy or reduce our dependence on foreign oil. He has done nothing to reform No Child Left Behind. He views his role in Congress as earmark distributor rather than a voice for the citizens in our district.

After all this, Lewis questioned my motivations for wanting to enter public service. With all the evidence against Lewis, I cannot understand why he would want to question someone else's ethics for public service.

Do we want a congressman who perpetuates the power of contributors and lobbyists, or do we want a Congressman who is part of the solution, fighting for ethics reform, renewable energy, education and other legislation which benefits our district?

My reason for running for office is simple. I think voters deserve better, and I want to clean up the corruption and restore principles and ethics to Congress.

I grew up here where my father, Ralph Prince, was elected seven times as San Bernardino City Attorney. My mother still lives in the house where I was raised, and my daughter attends kindergarten in the same classroom I did.

I defeated Measure S, a permanent property tax that would have cost millions to local businesses and citizens without accountability. As president of the downtown Rotary Club, I founded the Earth Day Fair & Expo and the San Bernardino Summit to create a framework for the revitalization of the downtown area as advocated by Mayor Pat Morris.

In this election the voters have a clear choice. If they want Congress to continue serving the lobbyists, financial industry and out-of-district contributors, they can vote for Lewis.

Voters who want ethics reform to change Congress for the better will vote for me.

Tim Prince is the Democratic candidate for the 41st Congressional District.


Anger Unveiled at Alleged Police Brutality

Anger Unveiled at Alleged Police Brutality

Thinly Veiled Anger

Daily Photo

Scarfed and swathed protesters mingled with braver souls at an afternoon rally in Eureka today. Chanting slogans and vibrant with somewhat unfocused passion, a group of forty to fifty people gathered in front of the Eureka courthouse today to express outrage over police brutality. Protesters carried signs memorializing those they perceived to be victims of violent law officers. Chris Burgess, Martin Cotton and Zachary Cooke’s photos appeared on signs and Cheri Moore’s death was also mentioned by activists there.

Dave Mako holding his own sign explained,”All across the country police are abusing people, especially latinos and blacks…whites, too. The poor are hit especially hard.” The group surrounding the courthouse were expressing outrage at this injustice.

“I’m here ’cause they killed my friend,” Juan Pedroza age 29 says. Another protestor who refused to give her name said that she was at the rally because “I’m tired of the police disappearing us.” A third whose entire head was wrapped in a t-shirt claimed to have been shot at by the police. “I have nightmares every night of my life.”

Though the protesters as a whole weren’t able to articulate what they hoped to accomplish, their anger was focused on law enforcement. For a few hours, they unveiled a rage which, while unfocused, was real.

More photos below the fold:

Students Speak Against Brutality

Members of MEChA and Students for Social Justice demonstrate in front of the C building.
Media Credit: Rolando Bugarin
Members of MEChA and Students for Social Justice demonstrate in front of the C building.

Signs posted in the demonstration area voice student opinions.
Media Credit: Rolando Bugarin
Signs posted in the demonstration area voice student opinions.

M.E.Ch.A. held its annual demonstration against police brutality in front of the C Building on Tuesday. Along with members of Students for Social Justice, the Chicano advocates protested against police corruption in America with chants of "No justice, No peace."

"Even if there are good cops, the system allows for racial profiling to be embedded within their departments," said Mayra Jaimes, officer of M.E.Ch.A.'s Internal Affairs and organizer of the rally.

This was the second year M.E.Ch.A held the event at PCC. It was designed to coincide with the October 22 Coalition, another annual showing of marches, rallies, and vigils against police brutality. Already in its 13th year, the O22 Coalition attracts thousands of marchers dressed in black to walk from the Parker Center downtown to MacArthur Park. MacArthur Park was the epicenter of the May Day controversy of last year where the LAPD allegedly used excessive force to assault and arrest protesters demonstrating in favor of immigrant rights.

This year's police brutality demonstration featured several speakers including Allegra Padilla, former PCC student and member of the O22 Coalition, who spoke about several victims of police brutality. "Let us not forget Javier Quezada Jr.," said Padilla. Pasadena police shot Quezada Jr., a former PCC student, 15 times in front of his parents at Las Encinas hospital after allegedly charging an officer with a pair of round-tipped scissors.

"Our country has deep, historical roots of white men being encouraged to join a service to catch runaway or undocumented slaves," said Jose Lopez, the director of community relations for M.E.Ch.A, "Never forget, past is prelude."

According to Lt. Brad Young of the Pasadena City College Police Department, if someone were to simply walk up to the front desk and file a complaint, it would be handled with the utmost professionalism. "There are strict laws in place that obligate [police] to investigate issues against police officers. We take all complaints here very seriously," he said.

Lt. Young was quick to point out the language used in the PCC Police manual which states that officers may use force that is "reasonable and necessary" when dealing with arrestees or suspects. "There are levels of force involved with this job," said Young, "Even putting someone's hands behind their back is a show of force."

The PCC Police department has not has an enforcement issue (such as brutality) in over five years.

When asked to comment on the district's current track record, Lopez responded, "People are not aware of all the fluffing up of evidence within police departments, so a lot of complaints are not heard. Besides, this is about police in general, not just Pasadena."

"PCC students are a part of a long tradition of student protest," said Roger Marheine, English instructor and president of the PCC Faculty Association, during his speech at the demonstration.

On Mar. 19, 2003, when people across the nation were protesting a potential conflict in Iraq, PCC was no different.

"Roughly half a dozen students who were protesting through these halls behind me were unlawfully attacked and apprehended by the campus police," said Marheine.

The half dozen students never filed a civil case against the school, but the board of trustees did hire a neutral, third party group to investigate the Mar. 19 occurrence and compile a report of the findings. The report was never released to the public.

M.E.Ch.A demonstrators passed out flyers and pictures of victims of police brutality and stressed the impact of Proposition 6, a statutory initiative that will appear on the November 2008 ballot in California.

"If this proposition passes, children as young as 14 who are convicted of a "gang-related" felony must be tried as an adult," said Patrick Benjamin, a member of M.E.Ch.A. "They are trying to steal our childhood now."

M.E.Ch.A members also promoted a book titled Stolen Lives: Killed by Law Enforcement, an encyclopedia of over 2,000 documented cases of police brutality throughout the nation.

"The only way to stop [police brutality] is through multi-racial unity and awareness," said Norma Delgado, a SSJ member.

Citizen Group Fights ID Checkpoints

By Mark Anderson

Real ID activist Sheila Dean of Austin, Texas, has announced an urgent effort to stop the implementation of random police checkpoints in Texas, under which citizens would be stopped to verify they are carrying "proper" identification. In a news-action bulletin, she said that such unconstitutional actions seem imminent unless an aroused citizenry protests aggressively.

Ms. Dean shared a statement with AFP about her recent correspondence withTexas Attorney General Greg Abbot; it says:

"We, the 5-11 Campaign, ask that you enter our letter as consideration in your decision making pertaining to random license checkpoints in the state of Texas.

"Please acknowledge our letter of refusal to the Department of Public Safety" since it is the political body "with sufficient powers to instill random license checkpoints in the State of Texas."

Ms. Dean added: "We opposed voluntary citizenship checkpoints throughout the state of Texas on the following grounds:

* "It is currently illegal in the state of Texas to expand the use of checkpoints ...

* "In the past three Texas Legislative sessions, [lawmakers have] overwhelmingly opposed the use of checkpoints in the state of Texas for DUI's or any other reason;

* "We oppose the expanded use of our police ... [which are] provided to fight criminal activity" to stop motorists without probable cause;

* "Random license checkpoints are a tenuous violation of the 4th amendment ,[constituting]unlawful search and seizure ...

* " ... We refuse all expenditures or resources ... to institute checkpoints in the state of Texas."

Ms. Dean said that Abbot should be contacted immediately at: 209 W.14th St., Austin, TX 78701. Email: PublicInformation@OAG.state.tx.us.

Ms. Dean can be contacted at (310) 857-8257.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." -- 4th Amendment to The U.S. Constitution.


Democratic Congressional Candidate Tim Prince Will Not Get Debate With 30-Year Incumbent Jerry Lewis

The Tim Prince for Congress campaign says they have delivered official proposals to Republican incumbent Congressman Jerry Lewis, our representative for the 41st District, to participate in a debate at the University of Redlands, prior to the November 4 election. Campaign representatives for Prince, a San Bernardino attorney, say that invitations were sent to Congressman Lewis on October 20, delivered in person to his Redlands office and mailed to his Washington DC office—these letters outlined three different dates and three different times, from which the incumbent could choose, and indicated that Gloria Anderson, President of the local chapter of the League of Women Voters, would organize the debate. Per Congressman Lewis's Redlands office, there is no debate planned between the two. Lewis's Chief of Staff Arlene Willis tells KBHR that the two candidates had discussed participating in a debate while at a San Bernardino Chamber of Commerce breakfast, though nothing definitive was planned. Chief of Staff Willis further tells us, “Congressman Lewis did not recall receiving the invite.” Now, she adds, given the limited timeframe before the November 4 election, Congressman Lewis's schedule will not allow for a debate with Democratic candidate Tim Prince prior to voting day.

Marines Corps' plans to acquire land raise residents' concerns

10:36 AM PDT on Friday, October 24, 2008
The Press-Enterprise

Desert residents said Thursday that they fear Marines Corps plans to expand the 932-square-mile Twentynine Palms combat training center will take their homes, curtail their off-road recreation and destroy wildlife habitat.

More than 50 people attended the first of three public meetings the military and U.S. Bureau of Land Management are hosting this week to answer questions about the proposal to expand the training center by as much as two-thirds.

"I'm very concerned," said artist Thom Merrick, of Wonder Valley, a rural area that borders the eastern side of the existing military land.

Story continues below

"It's like living next to a giant that knows no end to its hunger."

Merrick said he and several other Wonder Valley residents can't tell from the maps provided by the military whether their homes are inside the proposed expansion area.

In introductory remarks, Col. Wes Weston assured the crowd of about 100 gathered Thursday at Twentynine Palms Junior High School that nothing had been decided yet.

"It's very early in the process," he said.

There will be many public meetings and a thorough environmental study, and the final plan ultimately would require approval from Congress and the president.

The military contends additional land is needed to test weapons systems on the MV-22 Osprey vertical takeoff aircraft and the Joint Strike Fighter, the Marines' first stealth jet.

Military officials want enough space for three battalions to maneuver simultaneously using live ammunition accompanied by air support. Each battalion would have about 1,000 Marines aided by other troops performing command and logistics duties.

"This is to make sure we train the Marines and make sure they are ready for combat," Weston said.

But many of the residents who showed up Thursday were more worried about losing land than fighting wars.

The 424,000 acres identified by the military cover almost 76,000 acres of private property and most of the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area, a 189,000-acre playground for motorcyclists and other off-roading enthusiasts.

Veteran off-roader Pat Geer, of Yucca Valley, said she is worried about the possible loss of Johnson Valley to dirt lovers like her.

"I've been off-roading for decades, and it's in my heart," she said. "There's not much free land left."

The expansion area encompasses an array of geological features, such as Bristol Dry Lake, known for its salt mining; Amboy Crater and the surrounding lava fields; and the Sheephole Mountains and Cadiz Valley.

Several wilderness areas border the land the Marines are seeking.

D-Anne Albers, who lives in Wonder Valley and works with Defenders of Wildlife environmental group, said the expansion area includes prime desert tortoise habitat north of Johnson Valley and bighorn sheep habitat east of the training center.

The expansion could take territory the animals need at a time when desert wildlife habitat elsewhere is being claimed for solar and wind projects, Albers said.

"It would be very bad. The desert is just getting eaten up."

A Navy research group looked at 11 other potential training sites in the nation, including Fort Bragg and Camp Pendleton, but only Twentynine Palms has sufficient airspace and land, according to the Navy's application to acquire public lands.

Two additional public meetings are scheduled today in Victorville: 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, 12603 Mariposa Road.

Reach David Danelski at 951-368-9471 or ddanelski@PE.com

Former Calimesa City Councilman Jonathan Winningham suspected of parole violation

Former Calimesa City Councilman Jonathan Winningham, 52, was re-arrested on Sept. 24, 2008 for violating terms of this probation stemming from a previous arrest in early 2006 for charges of accessing child pornography via the Internet.

Winningham was convicted of 13 counts of penal code 311.1 A-“Bringing into the state material depicting child sex.” Nine charges were felonies, the remaining three misdemeanors.

Following Winningham's conviction and time served, probation was granted and conditional upon an issue of his sentencing. Winningham was required to register as a sex offender and not have contact with anyone over the Internet or even use a computer, with the only exception being for employment purposes.

In late September, the Sexual Assault and Felony Enforcement team, “Learned that Winningham was chatting online, (with a law enforcement adult decoy)” said SAFE team director Ron Garcia.

Sources report the decoy convinced Winningham to meet at a motel in Banning, where he was apprehended and taken in to custody for violation of his probation.

Winningham posted the $5,000 bail and an arraignment on the parole violation was held on Oct. 15. Neither Winningham nor his attorney from the office of Blumenthal and Associates, have issued comment.

Riverside County's chief deputy probation officer, Rick Quinata, said, “Winningham was not supposed to be using a computer to communicate, end of story, period.” Quinata added, “Winningham's 2007 conviction included a 360 day stay in the Riverside County jail and five years probation. He was released early and it's unclear exactly how much jail time he actually served.”

Winningham is currently out on bail and is expected to return to the Riverside County Superior Court, for a hearing on Dec. 4.


Guided missiles, misguided men

Amy Goodman: Election Day is two weeks away. This year may see one of the highest voter turnouts in US history, if not the highest. But filmmaker and author Eugene Jarecki argues that while voting is essential, it's not enough. He writes, "Unless we see our vote as part of a commitment to involve ourselves consistently and unrelentingly in the political process, our vote is wasted. This is because the forces that have led us to this economic, military, and political precipice exert such awesome power over the mechanics of Washington that no single candidate or group of legislators, whatever their intentions, can possibly go up against them unless armed with an irrepressible public mandate."

Eugene Jarecki argues American democracy has been undermined by the military-industrial complex. President Eisenhower warned about this in his farewell address to the nation in 1961.

President Dwight Eisenhower: My fellow Americans, this evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen. We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Three-and-a-half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. The total influence, economic, political, even spiritual, is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development, yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

Amy Goodman: President Dwight Eisenhower, delivering his final address as president of the United States in 1961. He is featured in Eugene Jarecki's film Why We Fight. He also did the film The Trials of Henry Kissinger. His new book, just published, is called The American Way of War: Guided Missiles, Misguided Men, and a Republic in Peril. He joins us in our firehouse studio.

Welcome to Democracy Now!

Eugene Jarecki: Thanks for having me.

Amy Goodman: The American way of war, what is it?

Eugene Jarecki: Well, the American way of war is usually a term used to think about sort of what America brought to war making that other countries hadn't done before, typically sort of mass production of equipment and weapons and logistics. And I sort of saw something evolve over our history that I thought was better represented by that term, "the American way of war," which is really how America lost her way through war making, what war has done, the best of wars, the worst of wars, wars that seemed, quote, "necessary" and wars that seemed frivolous or sort of shadowy motives, like the one we've just experienced. The wars of all kinds, they guide America away from her founding principles, from basic standard norms of decency and humanity. And I think the American way of war is a sort of-is a very tragic way, in a sense, that needs now to be fixed, needs to be rescued. And that's where I think the public comes in so necessarily.

Amy Goodman: Talk about President Eisenhower's last address.

Eugene Jarecki: Well, it's an incredible moment. Here you have a general turned president; the hero of World War II becomes a two-term Republican president. And he takes his last few moments in office to warn his fellow Americans about this extraordinary threat to democracy: the military-industrial complex, a term he really coins that night and leaves us with to now sit, forty years later, and think, well, what exactly did he mean, and how do we apply it to today?

Amy Goodman: Republican president.

Eugene Jarecki: Republican two-term president, and really the hero of Republicanism for the twentieth century in so many ways.

Amy Goodman: And general.

Eugene Jarecki: And general. And a guy who knew very, very well, from the absolute front lines of battle and then from the front lines of the battles of Washington-he was once overheard in the Oval Office; he got so exasperated with the way in which the defense sector was manipulating public policy and really, as he said, holding his public policy captive, that he said out loud in exasperation in the Oval Office, "God help this country when somebody sits at this desk who doesn't know as much about the military as I do."

Amy Goodman: Barack Obama, who is now ahead in the polls two weeks ahead of the election-early voting has begun in scores of states right now, so people have already cast their votes-has pledged to increase military spending-

Eugene Jarecki: Yes.

Amy Goodman: -and has called for a surge in Afghanistan.

Eugene Jarecki: Yes. Well, this is-you know, this is business as usual in Washington. And I think, you know, somebody like Barack Obama, you see somebody with what you would feel are probably very good intentions, and you get the sense that around the Obama kitchen table there's a lot of heartfelt, well-meaning thought going on, and yet the machine does not care how well-meaning Barack Obama is, doesn't care how well-meaning the voters are who hope that Barack Obama can make change. The machine is a cutthroat instrument of power. And all the rest of us are kind of cannon fodder in it.

And it's not because it's, you know, run by evil men like Dick Cheney. That's kind of incidental. What really is happening is that you have a machine out there that has a vested interest, that simply pulses forward. And the only thing that can slow it is what Eisenhower called an alert and knowledgeable citizenry, basically all of us being deeply engaged. And we're not, for several reasons that have to do with how our society evolved and how the American way of war took over the American way.

Amy Goodman: This call you're making at the Huffington Post, saying voting is, yeah, essential, but not enough, talk more about the activism that you're calling for.

Eugene Jarecki: Sure. Well, you know, it's an amazing thing. The one elephant in the room that's always there, that we all never talk about, is just what we can do. And I get asked this question everywhere I talk to audiences. People really are scratching their heads about, well, what can I do? I'm just an everyday person. I'm overworked. I'm torn between paying bills and trying to put my kids through school, and I've got the cell phone and the computer and mortgage and everything. And it's very hard, you know, to then say to somebody, "Well, your society is in peril. You need to be a Jefferson. You need to be a Madison. You need to think about this society."

But I dare say, no matter how busy people are, we all have two things that we can do that are very crucial. One is to figure out, honestly, candidly, that we all have a bunch of time we waste in life watching American Idol, surfing the internet, whatever we do that's our version of wasting time. And we all have something, no matter how busy we are. It's sort of human nature. You've got to take some of that time and figure out how to direct it toward social change, because if all you do is vote at election time and sort of wake up and go, "Oh, my god, something's happening; I'll throw my vote in," it services your conscience, it services your feel-your desire to feel like you're doing something, but the actual practical implications of that are that a single candidate, up against the incredibly tangled corruption of this system, is hopeless. And they're made more hopeless by the fact that we are disengaged, because without a public mandate, somebody like Barack Obama will enter the White House, and, as you see, it's already happened in the evolution of his policy paradigms, he'll enter the White House without a mandate. And if he doesn't have a mandate, those enormous forces of power will give him a mandate. They'll give him a very clear mandate.

Amy Goodman: Explain your example of the B-1 bomber.

Eugene Jarecki: Perfect example. You know, the B-1 bomber has a piece of it made, a piece of the plane made, in every single US state. Now, why? I mean, that's not an efficient way to make a product. So, it must be serving some end. And the end, it turns out, that it serves is that the B-1 bomber was designed by its makers according to a process called political engineering, fancy word for distributing the contracts and subcontracts to build a given weapons system to as many states, as many congressional districts as possible, not let's make it as efficient as possible, but rather, let's put it in as many districts as possible, so that if this thing ever comes up for review, everybody's getting a piece of the action, everybody's in on it. And as a result, when, you know, the questions arise-Do we need the B-1 bomber? Do we need to be spending this money?-there is a constituency built in in Congress that's going to keep that thing going.

And what does that tell us? That tells us that-first of all, the defense sector is not alone in that. Every industry has their version of politically engineering Congress. But what it does is it puts the congressperson in a position of being a professional pleader to that corporation, that corporate interest, on behalf of them to the federal government. And it suborns, it really undermines the purity of their decision making. It produces some of the very tragic and wrong-headed decisions that we've seen in recent years.

Amy Goodman: In both your film and your new book, The American Way of War, you interview Senator John McCain.

Eugene Jarecki: Yeah, I had the distinguished pleasure to interview John McCain.

Amy Goodman: Talk about that interview.

Eugene Jarecki: Well, you know, John McCain appeared in Why We Fight, and it was kind of an amazing story, because audiences across the country really loved watching him in the film, and a lot of people said, "Wow, he's like a modern-day Eisenhower." You know, he's outspoken in the film. He criticizes American imperialism. He criticizes the military-industrial complex. He even goes to the length in the film of commenting on Halliburton and the sort of shadowy feeling that was given off by the no-bid contracts. He says in the film at one point, when asked what he thinks about the no-bid contracts, he says, "It looks bad. It looks bad." And then, when asked, "Well, what should be done about it?" he says, "I think there should be a public investigation of what went on." Well, that was great, and the public loved watching that.

But again, if you watch how these forces of corruption transfigure and sort of disfigure our public policy and our public policy makers, within short order of having said that in the film, the film then came out, and I got calls from John McCain staffers, notably his lead staffer, Mark Salter, that were literally verbally abusive and were pressuring me, as a lowly journalist person-and they were the big guys-they were pressuring me to modify my behavior, to change the film or to give them the ammunition to have some sort of attack on me. They wanted to look into my files. They were extremely pointed in this attack. And why? Because the, as it were, Straight Talk Express had just started going. They were thinking, OK, this is going to head to the White House if we can play our cards right. And the last thing we need is a bunch of impolitic stuff that the maverick senator said in this movie. So they decided the point of least resistance was to go after me. They did that by smearing my name in the media. They went onto Roll Call, which is the Capitol Hill newspaper, and called me a slippery son of a gun and a bunch of other sort of funny adjectives. And, you know, it was an amazing window for me into-obviously, that the Straight Talk Express is a farce, but beyond that, it was more a window into just how powerful the Washington paradigm of corruption is, because what was he afraid of? He was afraid that he had offended Dick Cheney. And his staffers were afraid that by criticizing Halliburton-he never mentions the word "Cheney," I think they equate Halliburton with Cheney-that he had-that he had overstepped that kind of invisible barrier that exists in Washington that protects the interests, the joint interests, the collusion of interests.

Amy Goodman: What most surprised you in doing the film and now the book, The American Way of War? And why did you change the title from Why We Fight to The American Way of War? It reminds me of Jessica Mitford's American Way of Death.

Eugene Jarecki: Yeah. You know, I was going all over the country with the film, and I spoke to a lot of audiences, and, I mean, I've talked-spoken to thousands of people about this subject at this point, just in live audiences. And it was amazing to me the kind of questions I was getting and the kind of dialogue I was having with audiences. I had been teaching several times at West Point with this film, so I've been at military establishments and then in civilian audiences. And the range of questions spoke of a common humanity that we all share in trying to understand these very confusing issues.

This country has gone in a direction-I don't care who you are-that nobody really understands. And the confusion of that seemed to me to be explainable, at least to some small degree, by understanding the way in which our military system took over our peaceable goals and that basically, as Washington himself warned, he feared that overgrown military establishments-George Washington's term-were the enemy of republican liberties-small "r" republic, like the republic, like rule of the people, all those good things-that you can't really have that during a time of war.

Why? Because if you and I are sitting here right now and we're talking about democracy and we care about democracy on a global scale and a bomb dropped out on Lafayette Street right now, there's some small part of both of us that would say, "There's no time to deliberate, just do something." It's a human impulse, no matter how stupid it is. It's a human impulse. We all think that, for a certain moment. At that moment, when you move away from deliberation toward doing something, you move away from the legislative branch to the executive branch, because the executive does something. All of a sudden there's no time for the whole stupidity of like the gavel in Congress and "hear ye" and the honorable senator from wherever and all that stuff. That just seems inappropriate to wartime.

So, what Madison said early on is, therefore, war favors the executive. That means that the executive wants war. That means that that congressperson I mentioned earlier who's stuck in that conflict of interest where he's got to plead for his corporate benefactor, he's got to plead to the executive. Well, what does that mean? That means-and this is where the kind of the tragic joke ends-is that when he's pleading to the executive on a Monday, because he wants to continue some weapons system, and he's contacting the DoD, the Department of Defense, which is in the executive branch, well, on a Tuesday, when he's asking for that favor the day before, now the President is calling, saying, "I think there's WMDs in Iraq, and I'm hoping I can count on your support, Senator." Well, you're the guy asking for the favor, so-just the day before, and now suddenly you're going to stand and say, you know, "Show me the evidence"? You're going to go very quiet, which is what so many representatives did when their constituencies thought they might speak out.

That issue, that quiet, that silence-in the book I call it "the missing C," which is the missing Congress-has to do with how the American way of war came to trample the American way that many of us hold dear and raises the question how to find our way back.

Amy Goodman: Eugene Jarecki, I want to thank you for being with us. His new book, just out, is called The American Way of War: Guided Missiles, Misguided Men, and a Republic in Peril.

(Source: Democracy Now, War and Peace Report)

[Bohl - Penrod's wife]

Backup V-A-8-x
August 21, 2007
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This Agreement is made and entered into by and between The Counseling Team International (TCTI) and Riverside Community College District (RCCD). The parties agree as follows:
TERM. The term of this agreement shall be from July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2008.
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August 21, 2007
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NON-DISCRIMINATION. TCTI shall not discriminate against any person in the provision of services, or employment of persons on the basis of race, religion, medical condition, disability, marital status, sex, age or sexual orientation. TCTI understands that harassment of any prospective or current employee of RCCD with regard to race, religion, gender, disability, medical condition, marital status, age or sexual orientation is strictly prohibited.
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NOTICES. All correspondence and notices required or contemplated by this Agreement shall be delivered to the respective parties at the addresses set forth below and are deemed submitted one day after their deposit in the United States mail, postage prepaid:
Aaron Brown Nancy K. Bohl, Ph.D.
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Riverside, CA 92506-1299 San Bernardino, CA 92408
With a copy to:
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Riverside Community College District
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GOVERNING LAW. This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California.
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Administration and Finance Director
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Pentagon Spends $50K for 2nd Rummy Portrait

Speaking of the government's silly wall art, the Washington Post has a rather hilarious feature on the massive sums federal agencies pay to get their chiefs' portraits painted.

The Coast Guard in August awarded a $12,000 contract for a portrait of Adm. Thad W. Allen, a sharp drop from the $23,500 it spent in 2005 for a likeness of Allen's predecessor as commandant...

At the upper end of the scale, the Defense Department awaits the expected February completion of a $46,790 portrait of controversial former secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. It will grace a Pentagon hallway lined with portraits of his predecessors, as well as one from Rumsfeld's first stint as defense secretary from 1975 to 1977.

Refund the money, I say. This portrait, by Iraqi artist Muayad Muhsin, will do just fine:


Pentagon Wants Packs Of Robots To Detect “Non-cooperative Humans”

Experts warn technology could be used for domestic policing

Steve Watson
Thursday, Oct 23, 2008

The Pentagon has put out a request to contractors to develop teams of robots that can search for, detect and track “non-cooperative” humans in “pursuit/evasion scenarios”.

The request, which can be read on the Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program website here, calls for a “Multi-Robot Pursuit System” to be operated by one person.

The proposal describes the need to

“…develop a software/hardware suit that would enable a multi-robot team, together with a human operator, to search for and detect a non-cooperative human subject.

The main research task will involve determining the movements of the robot team through the environment to maximize the opportunity to find the subject, while minimizing the chances of missing the subject. If the operator is an active member of the search team, the software should minimize the chance that the operator may encounter the subject.”

It is seemingly important to the Pentagon that the operator should not have to come into contact with the person being chased down by the machines.

The description continues:

“The software should maintain awareness of line-of-sight, as well as communication and sensor limits. It will be necessary to determine an appropriate sensor suite that can reliably detect human presence and is suitable for implementation on small robotic platforms.”

Paul Marks at The New Scientist points out that given the propensity to adapt this kind of military style technology for domestic purposes such as crowd control, the proposal is somewhat concerning.

“…how long before we see packs of droids hunting down pesky demonstrators with paralysing weapons? Or could the packs even be lethally armed?” Marks asks.

Marks interviewed Steve Wright, an expert on police and military technologies, from Leeds Metropolitan University, who commented:

“The giveaway here is the phrase ‘a non-cooperative human subject’.

What we have here are the beginnings of something designed to enable robots to hunt down humans like a pack of dogs. Once the software is perfected we can reasonably anticipate that they will become autonomous and become armed.

We can also expect such systems to be equipped with human detection and tracking devices including sensors which detect human breath and the radio waves associated with a human heart beat. These are technologies already developed.”

Indeed, noted as PHASE III on the Pentagon proposal is the desire to have the robots developed to “intelligently and autonomously search”.

Earlier this year another top robotics expert, Noel Sharkey, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the University of Sheffield, warned listeners to the Alex Jones show that the world may be sleepwalking into a potentially lethal technocracy and has called for safeguards on such technology to be put into place.

Professor Sharkey stated:

“If you have an autonomous robot then it’s going to make decisions who to kill, when to kill and where to kill them. The scary thing is that the reason this has to happen is because of mission complexity and also so that when there’s a problem with communications you can send a robot in with no communication and it will decide who to kill, and that is really worrying to me.”

The professor also warned that such autonomous weapons could easily be used in the future by law enforcement officials in cites, pointing out that South Korean authorities are already planning to have a fully armed autonomous robot police force in their cities.

Perhaps one candidate for the Pentagon’s “Multi-Robot Pursuit System” proposal is Boston Dynamics’ rather frightening BigDog (pictured above). The latest version of this hydraulic quadruped robot can carry up to 340lb load and recovers its balance even after sliding on ice and snow:

Are we looking at the future of policing in America?


Homeland Security Assuming Broad Powers, Turning Vast Swaths of U.S. into "Constitution-Free Zone"

Barry Steinhardt,
Director, ACLU Technology & Liberty Program
Thursday, Oct 23, 2008


You’re driving along a remote, dusty road, when

You’re driving along a remote, dusty road, when suddenly you come upon a border patrol checkpoint. There, agents demand to see your identity papers, and search your car. You are taken by surprise, because you know you haven’t wandered across the Texas-Mexico border. In fact, you’re quite sure of that, because you’re driving through rural Wisconsin countryside west of Green Bay. Even the Canadian border is more than 90 miles away.

This scene is not as far-fetched as you might want to believe. The government is turning vast swaths of our country into a "Constitution-Free Zone" in which U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is allowed to exercise extraordinary authority that would not normally be permitted under the Constitution. The government says that "the border" — where there is a longstanding view that the Constitution does not fully apply — actually stretches 100 miles inland from the nation’s "external boundary." And increasingly, we are seeing DHS vigorously utilize that authority.

Today we held a press conference at the National Press Club here in D.C. to try to draw attention to this problem — and the fact that, as we showed, nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population live within this "Constitution-Free Zone." That’s 197.4 million people.

We calculated this using the most recent, 2007 numbers from the U.S. Census, and released a map showing the cities and states that are enveloped by this zone. It includes some of the largest metropolitan areas in the country: New York City, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. States that are completely within this Constitution-Free Zone include Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. When you say "border," they think "all of New England."

CBP has been setting up checkpoints far inland— on highways in states such as California, Texas and Arizona, and at ferry terminalsin Washington State. Typically, the agents ask drivers and passengers about their citizenship. People are also reporting that even after they provide passports or state driver’s licenses, CBP continues to interrogate them and try to pressure them into permitting a search.

At our press conference today in the National Press Club here in DC, two U.S. citizens described their experiences with CBP.

Vince Peppard, a retired social worker, told of being stopped and harassed by the border authorities at least 15 miles from the Mexico border with his wife, Berlant.

Craig Johnson, a music professor at a San Diego college, told how he participated in a peaceful demonstration near the border to protest against the destruction of a state park so that offense could be constructed along the U.S. border. CBP agents monitored the protest and collected the license plate information of those who participated. Since this protest, Mr. Johnson has twice crossed the U.S.-Mexico border and, each time, he has been pulled aside for additional screening. He was taken to another room, handcuffed and questioned. On his first crossing, he was also partially stripped and subjected to a body cavity search. A CBP agent also told Mr. Johnson that he was on an "armed and dangerous" list. Before the protest, Mr. Johnson crossed the U.S.-Mexico border numerous times without incident. It is difficult to believe that his subsequent harassment at the border is unrelated to his protest activity. If it is related, that would constitute a significant abuse.

Congress needs to hold hearings to investigate these egregious violations of Americans’ civil liberties, and then pass new laws protecting Americans’ rights.

I guarantee you that if these powers are not challenged, if the American people do not push back, sooner or later a factory worker in southern New Hampshire, a farmer in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, or yes, some guy driving across rural Wisconsin, will wake up to find that they have lost their right to go about their business, and travel around inside their own country, without interference from the authorities.

Christians and the Pro-Life Ploy

Leaders in the Catholic and other conservative pro-life churches are almost making it mandatory this presidential election that the faithful vote for McCain or, more to the point, vote against the pro-abortion Obama. But is this single-issue pro-life exhortation really in harmony with authentic Christian tradition? Are these leaders really showing that they are of the mettle of their predecessors, from the Apostles to St. Thomas Beckett to Cardinal Mindszenty? Or instead are these Christian leaders more aligned with those predecessors who all too often compromised the faith and kowtowed to political power, the world, the flesh, and the devil? This essay advances that it is the latter.

The Pro-Life Ploy

Indeed, the pro-life ploy is perfectly demonic: in holding out the illusionary possibility of destroying an evil an even greater evil is fed. But what can be more evil than killing babies? It is that which is the cause of this killing and myriad other evils. Indeed, as atrocious as abortion is, it is nonetheless a symptom. Our nation is not vicious because it allows abortion, rather it allows abortion because the nation is vicious.

It is good that church leaders are finally showing some spine in regards to politics and the crime of abortion, but this is neither remarkable nor prophetic. In doing so they are merely reacting to the most gruesome and sensational symptom of a systemic evil. But tragically the election of another Republican will not take care of the symptom; at the very best (don’t hold your breath) it will remand it back to the states. Abortion will remain, legal or illegal. However, it is certain that voting for either the Republican or Democratic candidate will strengthen the systemic evil that is the current Republican-Democratic political axis, and the powers that manipulate that government. Also be certain that the last thing the national government wants to do is remand anything back to the states, much less to the community, church, or family. Indeed, Roe v. Wade is the rotten fruit of the Federal government’s usurpation of state’s rights.

The systemic evil that must be primarily combated is the rise of the most omnipotent State in history, both on the domestic and international level. Under this State, and abided by mind-boggling advances in technology, totalitarianism has the potential of reaching an apex of power and control undreamed of by past despots. The future is ominous indeed, for already this State contravenes its own constitution. Already this State ignores international law in its kidnapping and torture of suspects. Already this State justifies its attack of other countries under the immoral concept of pre-emptivity. Already this State has free license to spy on its citizens. Already this State claims the right to intrude itself into the family, even to the extent of confiscating children. Already this State imprisons 1 in every 100 of its citizens, a quarter of the world’s entire prison population. In short, already this State is fascist, viewing itself as omnipotent and beholding to nothing.

While ultimately this unprecedented totalitarian State is an international-united-states, domestically it is the United States of America and is represented by the Republican-Democratic political axis. These political parties are but two sides of the same ticket; a tag team that take turns every four or eight years beating up on the hapless American populace who nonetheless continue to cheer them on with "USA, USA" thinking these parties are actually wrestling each other. Yes, the Democrats and Republicans are two sides to the same ticket: and that ticket is a one-way ticket to fascism. It is the ticket to the attempted destruction of any remnant of authentic Christianity and a ticket to the reign of an antichrist, if not the antichrist. Supporting this regime, this Republican-Democratic axis of evil, is not pro-life; it is pro-death, both physically and spiritually. It will not end abortion, but quite the contrary, it will metastasize the culture of death, killing the bodies of its opponents and the souls of its proponents.

The urgent case in point shows an example of this culture of death. One would think U.S. pro-lifers would care about the Iraqi unborn just as much as they care about other unborn babies. A baby in-utero is neither Christian nor Moslem, neither American nor Iraqi. In Iraq how many unborn have died along with the millions of civilians that have been killed or maimed by the USA’s destruction of infrastructure, aerial bombing, and depleted uranium bombs. These depleted uranium bombs also have the added "military" advantage of causing spontaneous abortions and birth defects. However, I’ve yet to hear one single denouncement of this from the "traditional Catholic" pulpits I frequent, and only extremely rarely from the "Christian pro-lifers" I encounter. Indeed, the pro-life movement’s new found darling, Mrs. Palin, is silent on the Iraqi special needs children debilitated by our special bombs. Of course, Bomb-Bomb-Iran McCain couldn't care less. He is the same fellow who bombed innocent civilians in North Vietnam when Nixon decided to stop risking our own soldier’s lives and concentrate our military efforts on terrorist blanket bombing of North Vietnam population centers. Anyone that supports a candidate that gleefully looks forward to the bombing of innocent civilians (born or unborn, Christian or Moslem) in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and the devil knows where, is not pro-life, and surely not a good Christian!

The Two Party Axis of Evil

"Vote pro-life." If only the battle between good and evil was so simple. But it’s not, for evil is deceptive and insidious. When one becomes myopic and single-issue oriented one is easily hoodwinked, for one’s field of vision is already curtailed. Indeed, he usually becomes blinded to his own personal issues, especially those that require real courage to confront.

Christian pro-life leaders are right, for aside from all the other issues, right or wrong Obama advocates, his abortion stance makes it a very simple and closed case: a Catholic or other pro-life Christian cannot vote for him or his running mate, the apostate Catholic Biden. So it is a no-brainer that one can’t vote for Obama, but it takes only a bit more brains (maybe a bit-of-brains should be a poll requirement) or a smidgen of true Christian spirit to see that one can’t vote for McCain either. An orthodox Christian must hold that voting for any overtly pro-abortion candidate is intrinsically evil. But so is voting for a totalitarian warmonger like McCain, though it seems that only wise or authentic or uncompromising Christians realize this.

The Christian single-issue advocates are in effect, if not always in intent, minimalists and compromisers. What they are urging is what a functional conscience with but the slightest sense of natural law and moral rectitude would urge. These single-issue Christians fail to see the bigger picture, the essence of the evil itself, because they compartmentalize their faith. It is safer than living that faith out in its totality and it is safely political and issue-oriented rather than dangerously militant and prophetic. Being pro-life becomes militant and prophetic, it becomes heroic and a personal encounter with Christ Crucified, most especially for those who endure a pregnancy that is somehow tragic. But for most of us being pro-life remains an issue, even the banner issue of our conservative politics and our Christian faith.

But Christianity can’t be reduced down to issues or politics. It isn’t liberation theology nor neo-conservatism nor dispensationalism, all of which fall under the category of a semi- or anti-Christianity. Not only is Christianity not merely political, it is not merely moral. You can’t reduce the faith down to a moral code much less one moral position, no matter how serious that position is. To do so does irreparable damage to that faith and, as such, best assures the defeat of the moral position one advocates.

Christianity is much more than politics or morals: it is a fully integral, all pervasive, all transcendent though eminently practical worldview. Both parties on the vast majority of issues, on their all-pervasive worldviews, are incompatible with, indeed hostile to, the Christian worldview. Thus there are many other issues that disallow a Christian from voting for either Obama even if he were pro-life or McCain even though he claims to be pro-life. True, one could be more easily deceived and not know that a vote for McCain is a vote for that which is antithetical to Christianity; but isn’t such deception in keeping with the insidious tactics of the demonic?

Means and Ends

In traditional Christian morality a good end never justifies an evil means, and even if it did an evil means never procures a good end that lasts. A strikingly relevant case in point was the Fascist government in Italy. Mussolini’s state banned abortion, birth control, and homosexuality activity. As a Catholic I hold these things as intrinsically evil and their curtailment good. However, supporters of Italian fascism, even those who supported it primarily for the advancement of these moral issues, are responsible for facilitating a cataclysmic evil. This evil culminated in Catholics sheepishly submitting to national conscription and participation in an unjust and horrifying war. In addition, it led to the subsequent weakening of Catholic culture, morals, and faith in Italy and to the final eradication of European Christendom. The result now being a de-Christianized Italy that fully accepts those very moral issues some sought to address by compromising with the fascist regime. If even a fraction of the effort and sacrifice that was squandered by Italian and other Catholics in World War II had instead been brought to missionary efforts the world would be looking at the rebirth of Christendom rather than its demise.

Moral decadence always comes in the wake of war. Indeed among Catholic countries, erstwhile totalitarian Italy and Spain have the lowest birthrates in the world due to rejection of the Church’s moral teachings on sexuality and marriage. Compare this to the erstwhile victims of totalitarianism, Ireland and France, which still have the highest birthrates. The lesson being, you can’t compromise with a totalitarian regime even for a single issue, for that issue, along with a host of others, will only be gravely exacerbated in the long run.

Catholic weren’t so taken in by the blatantly pagan Nazi movement and the Catholic regions of Germany remained the last bastion of opposition to it. Indeed, Catholics biggest weakness in regards to Nazism was tolerating it because it wasn’t as blatantly atheistic as Communism. Today Catholics and other pro-life Christians are asked by their clergy to tolerate McCain and the Republicans to avoid Obama and the Democrats. This tactic is akin to supporting Communism to destroy Nazism. However in this case the chances of eradicating the evil of abortion are zilch. Just as there was little difference between the Communists and the Nazis there is even littler difference between the American Axis of the Republicans and Democrats. They are both socialist and totalitarian. Indeed, it is a hoax being played on the American people to make them believe there is a difference. Unfortunately for a people raised on TV and other fantasies this hoax is easily perpetrated.

There is a Unifying Issue

We have abortion because of the break-up of the family and the ensuing moral decadence, not because of Roe v. Wade. Why do we have the breakup of the family? It is because the family has been supplanted by the State (and the corporation). In actuality families have absolutely no rights in the United States, indeed, children can be taken from the home on mere suspicions. Yet it is the family that is ever the last bastion against tyranny.

Christians must realize that the evil of abortion, like all moral evils, will only be eradicated when the populace converts from its neo-paganism. This is the job of the Church, not the current government, which itself is neo-pagan in its self-worship. Indeed, there is an indisputable correlation between the waxing of the State and vice and the waning of the family and virtue. As the State becomes more totalitarian its citizens become more vicious and as the citizens become more vicious the State becomes more totalitarian. Thus to end abortion we must defeat the totalitarian State and increase personal virtue. The most effective way of increasing personal virtue is to restore the sacrosanct status of the family. A strengthened family plus a weakened State equals a moral virtuous populace equals less abortion.

Note well that patriotism is not nationalism. Patriotism is a virtue, nationalism is a vice. Love of one’s soil, one’s family, one’s clan, one’s (in some way) homogeneous community is the essence of patriotism. But nationalism, and more so today than ever, undermines all of that. The central principle of traditional Christian social thought is subsidiarity. Subsidiarity holds that all social and governing functions should be implemented at the most local level possible. Thus the locus of authority should be the family, then the neighborhood, and then the community; as opposed to the State. It’s Dad’s responsibility and competency to police Junior not Officer Storm Trooper’s. In other words, the Christian principle of subsidiarity upholds regional rights, community rights, and family rights! It holds that the State (and even the police!) exists to serve the citizen and the family.

This cause of family, of community, and region – of subsidiarity – against the totalitarian State is the closest Christians have to a single issue. More exactly it is the unifying issue because all else flows both in morals and politics from this. Thus Christians should be fighting tooth and nail against the omnipotent national government, which means they should be in militant opposition to either major party, to either Obama or McCain, which are puppets of the State.

The Good Means to the Lasting Ends

The end of abortion is not a quick fix. It has taken 500 years for Christendom to be unraveled completely and it may take another 500 years, if God so wills it, for a new Christendom to fully arise. This rebirth entails a moral and spiritual dynamics, not a political and judicial one. For a Christian the most evil element of abortion is the mortal sin of the perpetrators – not the death of the infant, as sorrowful as that is. It is the spiritual death of this country and the choking out of authentic Christianity that is the essential evil we must confront. It wouldn't matter if all abortions were outlawed tomorrow, abortion would still remain and the evil that emanates from a decadent populace and an omnipotent state would continue to increase.

Fight abortion not by feeding the State leviathan so it can gobble up the saved unborn 18 years later in a draft or sooner in some other form of indentured servitude or indoctrination or incarceration; but rather by strengthening the autonomy of the family, the community, and the natural and sociological regions of this country. Fight abortion by reestablishing the sacrosanct status of the home, which is itself the womb of community and Christianity. Fight it by being uncowed by the police state. Fight it by rejecting legal positivism, the ideology that holds that just because the state declares something to be legal or illegal it is. Fight it by studying truth, especially the ancient truth of our Western Christian civilization. Fight it by becoming virtuous and holy. Fight it by heroically preaching the Gospel in lifestyle and words. Fight it by the prophetic witness even if it includes "civil disobedience." Fight it by being open to life and valuing of all human life even when those lives are deemed to be "enemies" or "non-persons" by the state. Fight it by establishing families united in sacrosanct indissolubility. Fight abortion by fighting the ungodly regime in Washington that rapaciously seeks to supplant both faith and family.


Dear Christians, refuse to offer a pinch of incense by refusing to punch the ballot for either official Republican-Democratic Axis candidates. Refuse to offer tribute to the gods of American socialism, totalitarianism, and imperialism and their incarnation in the president. Resist participation in this sham election. The USA is the most powerful and hence the most dangerous nation in the history of the world. Its potential for evil is absolutely unprecedented. If there is not a reversion to the constitution then totalitarianism is inevitable. If this reversion does not occur the only hope for our country will be in those willing to give their lives as witnesses to Christ against the antichrist of the State. Whoever occupies the Whitened Sepulcher House this January is a tool of the powers and principalities of this world and of the devil. And all who facilitate the legitimacy of this sham election are, at best, the devil’s dupes, at worst his minions.

October 23, 2008

G.C. Dilsaver [send him mail] is a clinical psychologist and director of Imago Dei Clinic in Harrisburg, PA. Dr. Dilsaver works with therapants both face-to-face and telephonically from throughout the country who are seeking an efficacious alternative to psychotropic medication and mainstream psychotherapy.