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Not known ^ | Unknown | Linda Monk, JD

Posted on 12/23/2008 8:55:27 AM PST by Dick Bachert

This may be the SECOND bit of wisdom to flow from someone from Harvard since Santayana declared that those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

As I read it, Jefferson's warning rang again in my ears" "Yes, we did produce a near perfect Republic. But will they keep it? Or, will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path to destruction."

Mr. Jefferson was cautioning us that the free market/private property system they tried to leave us would produce incredible wealth. He and the Founders knew that that abundance COULD -- if we abandoned our character to greed -- be our undoing. It's happened. The familiar vernacular expression today is "Fat, dumb and happy.")


The Crash of 2008, which is now wiping out trillions of dollars of our people's wealth, is, like the Crash of 1929, likely to mark the end of one era and the onset of another.

The new era will see a more sober and much diminished America . The 'Omnipower' and 'Indispensable Nation' we heard about in all the hubris and braggadocio following our Cold War victory is history.

Seizing on the crisis, the left says we are witnessing the failure of market economics, a failure of conservatism. This is nonsense. What we are witnessing is the collapse of Gordon Gecko ('Greed Is Good!') capitalism.

What we are witnessing is what happens to a prodigal nation that ignores history, and forgets and abandons the philosophy and principles that made it great.

A true conservative (Rep or Dem) cherishes prudence and believes in fiscal responsibility, balanced budgets and a self-reliant republic.

He believes in saving for retirement and a rainy day, in deferred gratification, in not buying on credit what you cannot afford, in living within your means.

Is that really what got Wall Street and us into this mess -- that we followed too religiously the gospel of Robert Taft and Russell Kirk? 'Government must save us!' cries the left, as ever.

Yet, who got us into this mess if not the government -- the Fed with its easy money, Bush with his profligate spending, and Congress and the SEC by liberating Wall Street and failing to step in and stop the drunken orgy?

For years, we Americans have spent more than we earned. We save nothing. Credit card debt, consumer debt, auto debt, mortgage debt, corporate debt -- all are at record levels. And with pensions and savings being wiped out, much of that debt will never be repaid.

Our standard of living is inevitably going to fall. For foreigners will not forever buy our bonds or lend us more money if they rightly fear that they will be paid back, if at all, in cheaper dollars. We are going to have to learn to live again within our means.


Up through World War II, we followed the Hamiltonian idea that America must remain economically independent of the world in order to remain politically independent.

But this generation decided that was yesterday's bromide and we must march bravely forward into a Global Economy, where we all depend on one another.

American companies morphed into 'Global Companies' and moved plants and factories to Mexico , Asia, China , and India , and we began buying more cheaply from abroad what we used to make at home: shoes, clothes, bikes, cars, radios, TVs, planes, computers.

As the trade deficits began inexorably to rise to 6 percent of GDP, we began vast borrowing from abroad to continue buying from abroad.

At home, propelled by tax cuts, war in Iraq and an explosion in social spending, surpluses vanished and deficits reappeared and began to rise. The dollar began to sink, and gold began to soar. Yet, still, the promises of the politicians come.

Barack Obama will give us national health insurance and tax cuts for all but that 2 percent of the nation that already carries 50 percent of the federal income tax load.

Who are we kidding?

What we are witnessing today is how empires end. The Last Superpower is unable to defend its borders, protect its currency, win its wars, or balance its budget.

Medicare and Social Security are headed for the cliff with unfunded liabilities in the tens of trillions of dollars.

What we are witnessing today is nothing less than a Katrina-like failure of government, of our political class, and of democracy itself, casting a cloud over the viability and longevity of the system.

Notice who is managing the crisis. Not our elected leaders. Nancy Pelosi says she had nothing to do with it.

Congress is paralyzed and heading home. President Bush is nowhere to be seen.

Hank Paulson of Goldman Sachs and Ben Bernanke of the Fed chose to bail out Bear Sterns but let Lehman go under. They decided to nationalize Fannie and Freddie at a cost to taxpayers of hundreds of billions, putting the U. S. government behind $5 trillion in mortgages.

They decided to buy AIG with $85 billion rather than see the insurance giant sink beneath the waves. Unelected financial elite is now entrusted with the assignment of getting us out of a disaster into which an unelected financial elite plunged the nation.

We are just spectators.

What the Greatest Generation handed down to us -- the richest, most powerful, most self-sufficient republic in history, with the highest standard of living any nation had ever achieved -- the baby boomers, oblivious and self-indulgent to the end, have frittered away.

Added Comments:

How do WE THE PEOPLE put the villains who are responsible under oath and sit them down at public hearings to determine whose necks should meet the guillotine?

Hypocritically, those who had oversight responsibility such as Senator Chris Dodd [Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee] and Barney Frank [Chairmen, House Financial Services Committee] who helped get us into this mess are on every TV channel voicing their righteous indignation and pompously sitting on their elevated platform glaring down at those they are chastising and grilling, trying to pass the blame to others.

WE THE PEOPLE should be on the elevated platform in judgment and execution of the likes of Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and the rest of the band of thieves and conspirators who are responsible for the financial collapse of the USA .

To name just a few of the culprits:

Henry Paulson Jr, Secretary of the Treasury Alan Greenspan & Ben Bernanke -- Chairman Federal Reserve Christopher Cox, SEC Chairman.

But not to worry -- YOUR PUBLIC SERVANTS who fear being voted out of office will take their self-awarded Golden Parachute Congressional Retirement, give WE THE PEOPLE the finger one last time and head for their safe havens as the World Citizens they are.

However, before they waddle off into the sunset, they will go on record one last time denouncing corporate greed, lavish salaries, and bonuses for their key felons at Fannie May, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers & AIG

Meanwhile, WE THE PEOPLE fiddle while Rome burns and were too lazy and indifferent to vote them out of office.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: congress; crash; economy
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Linda R. Monk, J. D., is a constitutional scholar, journalist, and nationally award-winning author. A graduate of Harvard Law School , she twice received the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award, its highest honor for law-related media. Her books include The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution, Ordinary Americans: U. S. History Through the Eyes of Everyday People, and The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide. For more than 20 years, Ms. Monk has written commentary for newspapers nationwide, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune
1 posted on 12/23/2008 8:55:27 AM PST by Dick Bachert
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To: Dick Bachert

Another Harvard Law grad. Barney, Barack, Caroline. They seem to be a dime a dozen these days. They also seem to have avoided the courtroom.

2 posted on 12/23/2008 9:02:16 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: Dick Bachert

It doesn’t have to be like that. A wise president will agree, and will undo the Obamanations that will be put in place. If O really wanted to be a “messiah,” he could win the title by simply announcing an across-the-board ten percent tax cut, followed every other year by another ten percent. If he can do it, so can a Republican president. The one I have in mind wears lipstick.

3 posted on 12/23/2008 9:06:30 AM PST by redhead (If you want real PEACE, work for PROSPERITY.)
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To: redhead

He won’t. Because he doesn’t understand. All he understands is hate.

We need a leader.

4 posted on 12/23/2008 9:08:13 AM PST by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote.)
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To: Dick Bachert
Hatred and $2.05 will get you a venti drip coffee at Starbucks.

It solves nothing. The ones that deserve guillotines are those lightly suggesting them.

5 posted on 12/23/2008 9:10:00 AM PST by JasonC
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To: freekitty
We have leaders. No one follows them, they just believe all the blame-game hatred the left spews endlessly, and cover their own brave and responsible men in filth.
6 posted on 12/23/2008 9:11:10 AM PST by JasonC
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To: Dick Bachert

A typical liberal blaming tax cuts and capitalism for the nations financial woes. Government failed! The standard battle cry of a left which believes that its precious federal “Papa Smurf” simply didn’t exercise the proper iron-fisted control over those greedy, irresponsible free marketeers. “If only government had had the necessary power!” “If only government had...” fill in your own blank. Of course it was government which caused the problems with which we are currently faced. But don’t present the left with any such bit of information. Big Brothers solves problems, it doesn’t cause them. Only when sufficient federal power and authority are lacking, only when capitalism is permitted to exist...only them do we have any real difficulties. If you don’t believe me, call any Harvard professor.

7 posted on 12/23/2008 9:11:35 AM PST by Oldpuppymax (AGENDA OF THE LEFT EXPOSED)
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To: Dick Bachert

“A true conservative (Rep or Dem) cherishes prudence and believes in fiscal responsibility, balanced budgets and a self-reliant republic.”

How many Dems? 1 or 2? And why are they dem-o-rats if that is what they believe?

8 posted on 12/23/2008 9:12:27 AM PST by dynachrome (Barack Hussein Obama yunikku khinaaziir)
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To: redhead

It doesn’t have to be like this, but we get the leaders we deserve. When a country loses it’s moral compass, the rest is soon to follow.

9 posted on 12/23/2008 9:23:19 AM PST by stevio (Crunchy Con - God, guns, guts, and organically grown crunchy nuts.)
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To: Dick Bachert

Who’s responsible for all this?

The American Voter!
The conditions we will suffer will come from the irrational exuberant American who casts his vote to plunder and pillage the nations treasure without conscience.

Yes, sadly, the party’s over.

10 posted on 12/23/2008 9:23:27 AM PST by griswold3
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To: Dick Bachert
All these problems are becuase of 40 years of brain rot in the American public. The rot is our complete embacing of debt at all levels of society. I rarely see it directly addressed. As a society (including conservatives) we have decieved ourselves into thinking we can have something now, and then work to pay for it later. This model always results in defualt.

We borrow to pay for college, we borrow to build schools, we borrow to buy houses and cars and to eat out. We borrow to landscape our houses. We borrow to put granny in a nursing home. We borrow to pay pensions - government and private one.

We are mentally screwed up about how we purchase everything. It will right itself in the end, becuase this model is not naturally sustainable. This model cuase people to make bad decisions on what they buy, it cuases companies and governments to make bad decisions about allocating resources and it undermines overall trust, becuase at some point people/ institutions start putting forth energy to think about how they can get out of fulfilling their obligations. Society gets mentally messed up, they start to think they don't have to pay, and they don't pay (and quite frankly, they can't pay).

As a slight aside, Society even believes that their grandchildren are going to pay all the bills that have been incurred, even if it isn't fair to them. I have news, the grandchildren are not going to pay for all the bad debt issued so that old geezers can have a nice retirement before they were even born.

This system rewards politicians and bankers and other non-producers and takes away from the producers.

Until our minds are changed to really believe that it is wrong to buy so much stuff and fund so much stuff in debt, we are going to be in for a lot of hard times and a lot of hand wringing and troubled times

11 posted on 12/23/2008 9:25:19 AM PST by BRL
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To: Dick Bachert
What the Greatest Generation handed down to us -- the richest, most powerful, most self-sufficient republic in history, with the highest standard of living any nation had ever achieved -- the baby boomers... have frittered away.

On purpose. That's the absolute most important thing to understand about all this, and the thing so many people don't want to accept.

Great nations are never destroyed from within by accident. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to pull it off.

12 posted on 12/23/2008 9:31:02 AM PST by jpl (Episode 44: A New Dope - coming soon to a country near you.)
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To: Dick Bachert

“[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.” Samuel Adams

[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.” John Adams

“[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” Benjamin Franklin
“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God?” Thomas Jefferson

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions..... upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” James Madison
“The proptious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” George Washington

When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God. The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect this duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted.” Noah Webster

13 posted on 12/23/2008 9:33:48 AM PST by tflabo
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“Our” minds are “screwed up” because we have entrusted their formation for generations to government education and, secondarily, to the various forms of liberal media (including, especially, entertainment media).

Most conservatives won’t confront this and continue to collect on their favorite middle-class welfare entitlement, government schools. The money they save then allows them to pay their cable bill.

Change how we train up our children and we will change our minds.

14 posted on 12/23/2008 9:55:29 AM PST by achilles2000 (Shouting "fire" in a burning building is doing everyone a favor...whether they like it or not)
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To: Dick Bachert
We have met the Enemy and he is Us.

After all, who keeps voting for all of the windbags, thieves, charlatans, and extortionists who largely populate Congress? Ask yourself how it is that the United States Senate, formerly known as "The World's Greatest Deliberative Body", is currently host to a collection of cretins (Barbara Boxer), moral reprobates (Ted Kennedy), camera hogs (Chuck Schumer), security risks (Pat Leahy), self-promoters (John Kerry), carpetbaggers (Hillary Clinton), backstabbers (Harry Reid), turncoats (Arlen Spector) and Communists (Bernie Sanders)?

If I forgot bushwackers, cattle rustlers and sh!tkickers, it's only because Blazing Saddles took place in 1874, and people like that used to hang from the end of a long rope. But, as if the status quo weren't bad enough, to their numbers the Senate is about to add this exemplar of refinement, taste, and intellect:

Gee, ya think we're in trouble?

15 posted on 12/23/2008 9:57:48 AM PST by andy58-in-nh (Ronald Reagan had a vision of America. Barack Obama has a vision of Barack Obama.)
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To: griswold3

16 posted on 12/23/2008 9:59:01 AM PST by Dick Bachert
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To: griswold3

17 posted on 12/23/2008 9:59:11 AM PST by Dick Bachert
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To: achilles2000

You are so right. How do we overcome the indoctrination by government schools and the left wing media? Shut down the government schools, for starters! They are producing idiots who only know about Earth Day and Jimmy’s Two Daddies but are not educated.

We need a civil war. Throw out the incompetent morons who rule us. Shut down the traitorous left wing media. Overhaul the system from top to bottom.

18 posted on 12/23/2008 10:01:22 AM PST by Astronaut
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To: tflabo

I interviewed a well-known national theologian on one of my radio shows.

He warned that “Capitalism WITHOUT some underlying God-centered ethical/moral system (in his case and mine, CHRISTIANITY) is nothing more than a hunting license.”

And it will ever be thus.

19 posted on 12/23/2008 10:02:34 AM PST by Dick Bachert
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To: stevio


We, as a Nation, are becoming more degenerate by the minute.

Before obama leaves Office we will have mem marrying animals and women marrying animals. We currently have men marrying men and women marrying women. Sexual acts and marriages between adults and children regardless of the age of the adult or child will be commom place. To shorten the list , every sex act between mankind with man, woman, child , or beast will be approved and practiced. Once the floodgates are opened the waters will flow out.

20 posted on 12/23/2008 10:21:57 AM PST by sport
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