Columns by Charley Reese, April 19-30, 1998

To reform something you must renounce what currently exists

By Charley Reese
Published in The Orlando Sentinel, April 19, 1998

Abjure the realm.

People keep asking me what they can do, and so I offer the advice of Dr. Michael Hill, president of the League of the South: Abjure the realm.

In the old days, to abjure the realm was to make a formal declaration of renunciation. To put it into modern terms, we cannot reform something that we continue to support, though many Americans seem to be under the illusion that they can.

What is wrong with the country is not just that the wrong people got elected to office. It's the whole shebang, the whole matrix of cultural, economic and political thought that has been imposed on the American people by its elite. An elite, I hasten to add, that is defined by money, position and political power -- not individual merit.

The constitutional republic has been scrapped, the Constitution rendered meaningless by promiscuous interpretation, and there are now no limits on the power of the central government. And the trend is definitely toward authoritarianism at home and imperialism abroad.

The economic philosophy is not capitalism, as many suppose, but international corporate welfarism in which ``success'' is measured by stock prices, golden parachutes and corporate profits -- not by the prosperity, health and happiness of the American people. They don't count.

The culture is atheistic, materialistic and hedonistic. People are reduced to being rootless consumers of junk -- junk food, junk art, junk goods. There is enormous pressure on Americans to go into debt. By the time students are seniors in high school, their mailboxes are full of offers from credit-card companies.

Internationally, the Americans are conditioned to be cannon fodder for the empire while, at the same time, their own independence is being eroded so it can be replaced by a nonelected international governing body. Since World War II, the last time any nation declared war on us, Americans have died all over the world not in defense of America but for God-only-knows-what special interests and hidden agendas.

So, if you want to change all that, the first step is to abjure it -- renounce it, abandon it, withdraw from it and, in short, shove it right off your cotton-picking radar screen. Don't buy from it, attend it, watch it, vote for it; don't donate to it; don't waste time talking to it; don't spend any money with it -- ``it'' being this political-cultural-economic establishment.

Set about creating a better culture. Get out of debt and start thinking of ways to be financially independent of giant corporations that look upon you as an expendable ant. Associate only with people who share your values. Be civil and stop tolerating incivility; be moral and stop tolerating immorality; be loyal to your people and to your land and stop tolerating those who betray both. Buy local; think of ways you and like-minded people can support each other. Home-school your children or send them to a private school that you know teaches traditional American and religious values.

I refuse to believe that Americans cannot restore their republic. I believe that we can yet become the freest, happiest and most prosperous people on Earth. But to do that, we have to stop allowing an establishment elite to tell us what to think, what to buy, what to approve of, what to disapprove of, whom to make war on. We have to pry their greedy fingers off our government, our country, our monetary system, our economy -- and our throats.

The business of making real, as opposed to ersatz, change is serious and requires commitment and a willingness to make sacrifices. That has always been true and always will be. But we always have a choice.

I like it when Clinton travels overseas -- he should stay there

By Charley Reese
Published in The Orlando Sentinel, April 21, 1998

Noticed that the president has been doing a lot of foreign travel lately and plans to do more? Well, I don't blame him. I'm not partial to Washington, either. I turned down two good jobs in the past because I didn't want to live there. Still don't.

You will have noticed, of course, that everything has rocked along as usual whether the president is in-country or out. That's because our presidents are largely ceremonial. They make speeches. They attend or hold state dinners. They make appointments. They are supposed to administer the laws, but they appoint people to do that. They are the commander in chief of the armed forces, but the Joint Chiefs really run those operations.

The nice thing for Bill Clinton about foreign travel is that folks over there aren't used to him and may even believe what he says. He does make nice speeches, provided he doesn't drone on too long. I saw those pictures of him in Africa, jumping around and beating on a drum with a cigar in his mouth. Looked as if he was having a good time.

I think Clinton ought to go for a world record and stay out of the country longer than any president in history. I'm sure Al Gore, his wooden Indian of a vice president, would enjoy that. I know I would. I don't mean to seem disrespectful, but I'm rather glad it was the Chileans instead of me who had to look at him and listen to him during the weekend. As folks like to say these days: been there, done that.

Someone has said of our leader that he makes a great first impression. I think that's true. It's the second and third impressions that don't sit too well with a lot of folks. If I were his adviser, I would suggest that he never meet anybody more than once. That would ensure his popularity and probably result in fewer affairs.

Because there are 150 or more countries in the world, if you can call some of them countries, Clinton could no doubt spend more than a year going to each one of them and making a good first impression. That would probably improve America's image -- at least until all the people realized that the promises he made were just a passing breeze on their cheeks.

There is a second advantage to be gained for Clinton becoming a marathon traveler. He takes with him a good chunk of the Washington press corps, and having its members out of the country is certainly a benefit. The non-celebrity-types left behind might actually get a chance to report the news.

In case you don't know, the practice of having an army of journalists tag along behind the president wherever he goes began after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. There were only a few reporters traveling with Kennedy, so most of the press, especially the television guys, missed it.

They don't want to miss another assassination, so a whole planeload follows the president, even when he is going nowhere in particular to do nothing of any importance. Kind of like stock-car-racing fans. If you want to see the crashes, you have to sit through the races.

It's not a pleasant thought, but, then, the truth is sometimes as ugly as a worn-out bar girl in the brutal light of 10 o'clock in the morning.

Personally, I hope the president has a very long life. He's interesting. It will be fun to see what kind of escapades he pulls and trouble he gets into after he leaves office. He has too much energy to mope around like Jimmy Carter and fret about peace in various rat holes of the world. Still, I have no idea what he will do, and there is pleasure in anticipation.

The president sort of redeemed himself in my eyes, jumping around in that hotel room in Africa, flailing away on that drum. There's still some boy in that man. A brat, probably, but still a boy.

Confederate History Month: South's just waiting to rise again

By Charley Reese
Published in The Orlando Sentinel, April 23, 1998

April is traditionally Confederate History Month, and one of the nice things about that is that it annoys the politically correct crowd. Anything that discomforts those KGB-wannabes is a good thing.

Of course, all of us Southerners are used to our Northern friends saying, ``Hey, Bubba, the war's over. You lost. Get over it.''

To which I always reply, ``What makes you think the war is over, Bub?''

Truth of the matter is that the Confederate government never surrendered. It's still out there somewhere, waiting for us to rally around the flag once again. Most folks don't know that, but it's true.

The Confederate armies surrendered but not the civilian government. They just high-tailed it out of Richmond. I don't believe that the Confederate Congress paused long enough to pass a resolution of surrender. And the president, God bless him, never surrendered, even though he was captured and put into prison for a couple of years.

No, sir. Jefferson Davis, my last president, never surrendered, never apologized and never took an oath of allegiance to the Yankee government, which, my friends North and South, is the same government that today is taxing you out of house and pantry and trampling on the Constitution as if it were the grapes of wrath.

Most folks know that Lord Acton, a British peer, is the man who said, ``Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.'' But most don't know that the same Lord Acton wrote to Gen. Robert E. Lee (please stand to attention while you read his name) after the late unpleasantness.

Lord Acton told Lee, ``I grieve more for the government lost at Richmond than I rejoice for the one saved at Waterloo.'' In other words, Lord Acton knew which side was fighting for the principles expressed in the Declaration of Independence and which side was staging America's French Revolution. The new Robespierres were in Washington, not in Richmond.

Old H.L. Mencken, the Baltimore sage who was no friend of the South, nevertheless said that the one thing wrong with Abraham Lincoln's (you may remain seated) Gettysburg Address was that it was the Confederates, not the North, who were fighting for a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

The PC crowds think that they are going to intimidate us Southerners into taking down our Confederate monuments, renaming our streets and hiding the flag from public view. But Southerners aren't intimidated very easily. We are used to being hated.

Wendell Phillips in 1865 said there would be no peace until 347,000 men of the South were either hanged or exiled. Parson Brownlow got even more warmed up and said in a speech in 1866: ``If I had the power, I would arm every wolf, panther, catamount and bear in the mountains of America, every crocodile in the swamps of Florida, every Negro in the South, every devil in hell, clothe him in the uniform of the Federal Army, and then turn them loose on the rebels of the South and exterminate every man, woman and child south of the Mason and Dixon's line.''

I believe that fellow was a preacher, but Southerners don't exterminate very easily either.

No, sir. All the politically correct crowd has done is wake up the South so that Southern organizations are rising like biscuits in an oven. Some that had been practically dormant now have thousands of new members. Brand-new ones have sprung up, strong and feisty.

R.L. Dabney, chaplain for Stonewall Jackson (attention, please), told a group of young Southerners at a graduation ceremony long after the war, ``Sirs, you have no reason to be ashamed of your (Confederate) dead; see to it, they have no reason to be ashamed of you.''

That is our goal, Rev. Dabney.

Global warming? A bunch of hot air from political demagogues

By Charley Reese
Published in The Orlando Sentinel, April 26, 1998

Global warming is OK by me. I've always wanted beachfront property but could never afford it. If the environmental yahoos and Chicken Littles are right, the beach will come to me.

Unfortunately for my dream of sitting on the front porch and wiggling my toes in the surf, they aren't right. Since when has the Dull Prince from D.C., Al Gore, ever been right about anything?

Al Gore would be far more dangerous in the White House than the current occupant, who is a rake and a rounder but not really serious about government, even the bad government his wife advocates. But Gore? Gore is very serious. He's a Jesuit without a Jesus.

Beware of men with no sense of humor and doubly beware of men who try to fake it by reading jokes some staffer has supplied them. Gore has said explicitly that he wants to elevate environmental problems -- his scewball version of them -- to the status of war.

And what, pray tell, is the purpose of that? War is always the excuse for the central government to increase its powers and to strip its citizens of their rights and liberties. Our rights and liberties are already in tatters, and if government strips away any more, we'll be buck-naked and likely to be thought naturists. That's a crime in some jurisdictions. I don't know why it should be a crime to take your clothes off, but it is. Don't you go thinking I'm one of those nudists, though. I'm way too bashful for that fast crowd, and I've never liked volleyball -- even with my clothes on. Besides, sunburn is bad enough on your arms and back.

The Dull Prince has decreed that global warming is a certainty. It's not. He has said it threatens our very civilization. It does not. There is no scientific consensus that abnormal global warming is taking place or that, should an increase in average temperature occur, it would cause any harm.

The global temperature has fluctuated a good bit through the eons (remember the Ice Ages), and, according to Thomas Gale Moore in his new book Climate of Fear: Why We Shouldn't Worry about Global Warming, mankind has thrived during the warming periods and generally shriveled during the colder periods.

The question of global warming is a climatalogical question. When you hear the heated rhetoric of political demagoguery and extremism being applied to scientific questions, you should be warned that predators, slobbering for power, are on the prowl. If you lose your liberty, you will lose your prosperity because liberty is the cause, not the effect, of prosperity. And, trust me, prosperity for great numbers of folks is impossible without fossil-fuel energy and plenty of it.

Of course, for folks of my generation, who now have longer pasts than they do futures, it's not a big problem. I have got enough stashed away to keep me in bourbon, barbecue and bullets for as long as I will need any of those things.

It's you folks with long futures who had better get your heads out of your television sets, drop your brains into drive and straighten out this political mess. If you don't, you're going to end up with miserable lives.

War and poverty are the norm in human existence. Peace and prosperity are the exception. My generation, with our Celtic luck, probably has used up all the peace and prosperity that normally occurs in a 500-year-period.

So odds are against you, even without people such as Gore, whose ambition far exceeds their common sense. Gore's inbred self-righteousness makes him a perfect stooge for smart people who know how to play the power game from behind the scenes. Forget global warming; put his lust for office into the deep freeze.

Guard against being made a slave by the environmental elite

By Charley Reese
Published in The Orlando Sentinel, April 28, 1998

If you understand why slavery was once economically feasible, you will understand why the Senate should reject the agreement to cut the use of fossil-fuel energy. Those may seem like two unrelated topics, but there is a connection.

First, let's recall that all wealth is the product of energy applied to natural resources. Everything we can see was created that way -- buildings, machines, roads, clothing, you name it. The formula that energy applied to natural resources equals wealth is as true today as it was 10,000 years ago.

Second, to understand slavery, we have put aside two conditions that have been with us since the day of our birth -- the Industrial Revolution and the population explosion. We were born in an age of fossil-fuel-powered machines and in an age in which the primary problem is finding jobs for surplus people.

But not that long ago, there were neither machines nor a surplus of people. The only energy available to do work was human and animal. Wind could drive a ship, and water could turn a wheel to grind grain. But everything else had to be done with human and animal energy. And, scattered over the Earth, there just weren't that many people.

Imagine clearing 50 acres of forest to plant a crop. Each tree would have to be cut down and trimmed with an ax and then hauled off; each stump would have to be pried out of the earth and hauled away or burned; then the 50 acres would have to be plowed by hand, sowed with seed by hand, tilled by hand and harvested by hand. The amount of human labor required for survival was enormous. Imagine trying to build a Notre Dame cathedral, a Colosseum or a pyramid with nothing but human and animal energy.

Human labor in those days was an extremely valuable commodity. Hence, taking people as slaves as part of the booty of war was common. Slavery was global and dated back to the Neolithic Age. By no means was it confined to Africans. Practically everyone enslaved everyone he could. Rome's population at one time was 75 percent slaves.

Then came the steam engine powered by fossil fuel. It was a revolution. At last there was a source of energy to do work that was mechanical not human or animal. Steam was followed by the internal combustion engine, then the turbine and the electric motor -- all driven by fossil fuels. It was this fossil-fuel energy that produced the explosion of wealth in the world.

There is a direct correlation between the amount of fossil-fuel energy used and the level of prosperity. Hence, the fallacy of the environmental complaint that the United States uses a disproportionate amount of fossil-fuel energy. Of course it does -- to produce a disproportionate amount of wealth.

In the name of fighting global warming -- which is global baloney -- the environmental elite want to reduce the amount of fossil-fuel energy used. They do not say that this will reduce the amount of wealth available and will increase the amount of poverty.

The environmental elite are already wealthy. Those they intend to injure are at the lower end of the economic spectrum. With their hysteria and propaganda, environmentalists have eliminated nuclear energy as an American option.

If we allow this elite to reduce fossil-fuel-energy consumption, most Americans will end up living like the poor in the Third World who are poor precisely because they must rely on their backs to do work instead of fossil-fuel energy.

Remember, it is the energy of fossil fuels that liberated the slaves and created the unprecedented level of wealth. Do not let a cold-blooded, uncaring environmental elite make human slavery economically viable again.

The elite may aspire to be slave owners, but we common folks sure don't aspire to be slaves.

50 yrs. of independence? Ha, how about 50 years of injustice?

By Charley Reese
Published in The Orlando Sentinel, April 30, 1998

This is the 50th anniversary of the Palestinian catastrophe, when Zionists ``ethnically cleansed'' Palestine of 720,000 of its residents. Those people and their descendants have never been allowed to return and have never been compensated for the land, the businesses, the farms, the shops and the money they had to leave behind.

This is particularly ironic in view of the World Jewish Congress's attempt to extort billions of dollars from the Swiss government and banks on the grounds of compensating Jewish refugees from Europe.

The crime against the Palestinians was carried out in 1948, in the words of one historian, by a campaign of psychological warfare and terror punctuated with a few well-timed massacres, such as the one at Deir Yassin where villagers were slaughtered by gunmen from the Irgun and the Stern Gang terrorists.

This wrong done to a people who were peaceful and largely agrarian is the root of the conflict, the violence, the deaths and the suffering of the past 50 years.

You will note, as American Zionists celebrate Israel's 50th Anniversary, that they will take great care to ignore Palestinians. One television show has already trotted out the old Zionist lies -- Palestine was a land with no people for a people with no land, and the Jews made the desert bloom.

Palestine was well-populated with Palestinians long before the British decided to colonize the area under the guise of assisting Zionists. And the Palestinians had already made the desert bloom with citrus, olives and other fruits and vegetables. The birth of Israel, far from a miracle, was just the culmination of another European colonization plan based on the racist belief that indigenous people simply didn't count. There had not been a Jewish state in that area since 135 A.D.

The worst thing the Zionists did, however, was to blame the victim and, with incessant propaganda, attempt to make the Palestinians nonexistent. For years, Zionist propaganda studiously used the word ``Arab'' rather than Palestinian. The existence of Palestinians presents the Zionists with a problem. If they exist, then their land was stolen, and they were ejected from it. Better to foster the myth of an ``empty land'' -- or the other lie, when the empty land ploy became untenable, that Palestinians were just Arabs who moved in to enjoy the economy created by the Jews. If that had been true, then Jews would have owned more than only about 7 percent of the land as late as 1946. (John Chapple's Jewish Land Settlement in Palestine, 1964.)

``We came and turned the native Arabs into tragic refugees,'' said Nathan Chofshi, an honest and compassionate Zionist. ``And still we dare to slander and malign them, to besmirch their name. Instead of being deeply ashamed of what we did and trying to undo some of the evil we committed ... we justify our terrible acts and even attempt to glorify them.'' (Chofshi was quoted in an article published in the Spectator, May 12, 1961).

Tragically, 37 years later, the situation has not changed. Israel's government has no interest in making peace. It feels confident that, with the backing of the Jewish Diaspora, Israelis can continue to act, to paraphrase one Jewish critic, more like Prussians than Jews.

But let's at least inject one bit of honesty into this foreign-government-sponsored propaganda festival. The celebration is the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of Israel. It is not a celebration of 50 years of independence, for Israel has never been, and isn't now, an independent state.

It has from day one depended on superpowers (initially both the Soviet Union and the United States) and still depends on billions of dollars of annual subsidies from the American taxpayers, from German taxpayers and from Diaspora Jews. Prepare for another 50 years of conflict. There is no escape. No justice for Palestinians, no peace for Israelis.

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