1.26.05, Against Leviathan, Part II, a work that is part of a conversation with Wm. F. Buckley Jr., concerning the extraordinary National Debt introduced by President Ronald Reagan
Copyright © 1993-2005 Mel West. All rights reserved.
Opening the Bastille
I read somewhere that when the revolutionaries (Louis XVI called them rioters) entered the Bastille they found four or five disgruntled old men who resented having their internment disturbed. The disjointed masses are somewhat like that: like prisoners so used to shackles and abuse they are afraid to move when someone comes to free them. Regardless, the parable here addresses the cost to put down the revolt. The cost of government is inversely proportional to the pursuit of happiness; irresponsible governments are forced to spend a greater part of their revenues upon quelling the public rage. Even then philosophers change their by-lines. In times of trouble, government pundits change their arguments from the old sobriquets of success, of Horatio Alger, to new platitudes dealing with "self sacrifice" and all that rot. Again The Old Man of the Sea commented on this line of accord: the American people as a whole won't get involved in anything, except those affairs which concern other peoples. As I opined in this Tiny Book --perhaps you can now understand--The Old man of the Sea was right as pertaining to the futility of defending against Leviathan.
Didn't the Nürnberg Court decide that starving people is murder? We have been starving our people in many ways, and the money which we raised in personal taxes, rather than being used to employ, educate, or even shelter and feed them, has been eaten up by Leviathan! Compared to the days when we were reaching for the moon and got it, our personal tax revenues stretched further: everyone seemed to have a roof over their heads [sic. and pensions!] then...
Leviathan feeds where there is no purpose
The purpose of every government is to provide for the common welfare. When it ceases to do so it ceases to have a purpose and without purpose discontent brews. In truth the Reagan-Bush-Clinton Estate's purpose is to beget money from money, but we can see that those who have been using money to beget money have been hoarding the money, leaving everybody else without money and discontent.
When the Plebs begin to panic
If I have mentioned disconcerting thoughts others must be doing so also. I'm grumbling. I have no money, having lost it with my Porche, my house, and my secure profession in 1981. I, like many others, have nothing more to lose when the Pleb's begin to take their pitchforks, clubs, and shovels after the Marie-Antionettes; nor have I any reason to go to their rescue as they mount the gallows of Justice.
Throwing out the Women and Children
Those who have been gambling on this nation (I use a pun here; I mean to say, not investing playing the money and stock markets), have much to lose, and except for Switzerland no place to hide their money. As we all know, the big money people can move their investments off shore rather quickly and, as in the Titanic, throw out the women and children and take to the boats for themselves. But what of us who still cling to the life lines? What of our lands, waters, and forests they wasted? Even the furrows cry out against them! [re:Job]
King John, a petty thief?
I have no doubt that the US government believes that along with begetting money with money they conceived a population of idiots; but to the contrary there are many who know that the smoke and mirrors on the deficit is just that, and that President Clinton--known for not telling the truth--will soon find the pleb's discovering that on the Deficit he also has not been telling the truth. This, again, is Leviathan, for he lurks in dark waters, always hiding the truth. King John, who was forced to sign the Magna Carta, the ancestor of our Constitution, wasn't quite as equivocal as our leaders...
Lying and cheating as a way of life
The American People are by nature simple and trusting people, but they have been abused so much by their leaders, corporate and government on all levels, by lying and cheating, it is commonplace and accepted practice to lie and cheat--something Paul Revere would never tolerate. The more erudite consider this to be equivocating, a nicer word.
The Wrath of Paul Revere
If Paul Revere were to jump on his horse and ride through our streets today he'd halt, get down off his mount, remove his hat and rub his eyes and exclaim, "My word, I do believe I was too late!" Look at our cities. It appears to me that the Vandals have already ridden through. For the things Vandals leave behind are ruined cities, empty buildings and pillaged peoples. I speak of Leviathan. Cato and Cicero had similar thoughts on this, although Cicero could perhaps relate to this more, since he was a blue-blood, of Etruscan descent, and often warned Rome having their history in mind. The Etruscans, whose civilization lasted a thousand years--giving Rome an appetite for like longevity-- founded Rome and were extinct in Cicero's day two thousand years ago; gobbled up as it were by their juniors.
Fresh air to mitigate the wrath
The conditions which the [continuing] Reagan-Bush-Clinton Estate have put on this country are far worse than the list contained in our Declaration of Independence. Since the concerns I have listed are national in nature, it is obvious that what we need--failing the ability to enforce our Constitution is a Magna Carta for ourselves. For our enemy is ourselves. As for our ship of state, I know that in spite of the high water, we are not yet dead. And I know a responsible, public airing of this matter might yet eviscerate our scummy and stinking hold and perhaps prevent our extinction. I say this with certainty, because I know that no government as huge and consuming as ours can stand for long. For to exist it must feed, and lacking an ability to exploit others as the empires of the past it necessarily begins to feed on itself. This is Leviathan: It feeds on everything until there is nothing available to consume except its own body. Leviathan, I sincerely believe, is not a whale swallowing everything in its path but rather a parasite, a virus of sorts, a thing which only passes on when it has digested its host.
Rumors which Leviathan fears
I believe that a rumor soon to come from the darkened chambers of our over-priced stock market where most of our capital is inventoried is a soft spot on Leviathan and will surely scare the hell out of him. It appears to me that because of Leviathan's hit upon us, those who put all their trust in money not trusting in us may even more ship our inventory offshore to safer refuge.
I think if we the people are told the Truth before we discover it on our own--after all we are supposed to run this nation--a far more trustworthy foundation than stocks and tax- free bonds may be realized. In any event, I'm afraid the Truth will come out anyway, and the longer we stiff- arm it the greater the penalty we shall suffer when it comes.
Confucius said it rightly:
It is best to deal with problems while they are far off: deal with a thing while it is still nothing; keep a thing in order before disorder sets in.
The American people have been doing quite the opposite.
The Old Man of the Sea was correct; even if Jonah were here, America won't respond to warnings of being sunk. For she's like Nazi Germany, ailing Heirs of Rome (Roman emperor's returning in victory hired men to ride in their chariots to whisper in their ears, Glory is fleeting though it did them no good), and, of course, the Medes as well as many others who studied and lived for today but flunked history.
Who depend upon time
For us Heirs, Rabbi Epstein of Cracow (see The Miracle of Zer Anpin) struck the best note against those who have been living for today, as if there were no tomorrow: return to the world of time, he said. We use this admonition so that you can appreciate the consumption of our self by Leviathan.
As for me, I haven't been sitting idly by, listening to the charade of Leviathan, with his smooth words; nor have I been biting my lips as it were, wondering how to avoid his awfully hard, scaly tentacles, for he has had me in his slimy embrace for quite some time now; nor am I deluded by his neesings and his sultry eyes of the morning; nor do you see me joining the quick-money crowds who suddenly rejoice over the millions they have bled out of our woe-be-gone factories three of whom were even eaten right out from under me.
I should think my soul would have suffered far worse wear and tear had I done as most of those I see on the street: for rather than look upon the gorged out souls on Leviathan's path, they turn their head the other way. Yea, Leviathan's heart is as firm as stone, harder than a millstone.
Alone, midst a few boats on our churning sea, our harpoon waits for Leviathan to again raise his horrid jaws from the fathomless deep...
In Hobbes' Leviathan there is a comment towards the middle of the book where a new chapter begins (see also Cicero & Xenophon):
a people tend to resemble their leaders...
This illustrates what Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43B.C.), in the Roman Republic's last moments, countered in his oration against Lucius Sergius Catilina, a liar, murderer, cheat, debaucher, and a villain of the worst kind leading Rome to certain destruction. To those who supported Catilina, Cicero said:
..Surely you cannot imagine that amid the general devastation those possessions of yours will be in any way sacrosanct. Or are you hoping for a general list of cancelled debts? Anyone who expects that from Catilina is going to be disappointed. Certainly..there are going to be lists. But they will be lists of goods up for auction; for that is the only way in which these property-owners can ever pay back what they owe. If they had been willing to act in this way earlier instead of stupidly struggling to pay the interest on their debts out of the produce of their estates, we should now find them better and more prosperous citizens.
The struggle in Moby Dick hooks athwart decks the bulk of our hunt. Leviathan simply will destroy those who come against him. The real Leviathan was not the whale but a combination of Pride, thirst, and revenge: things mentioned in the opening of this book...
Response: to our letter of February 26, 1993
March 22, 1993
Jonah had three advantages. He was able to be specific about the immediate nature of the threat (40 days); and it was still relatively fresh in people's minds what had happened to Sodom; and nobody was yet sophisticated enough to think there was no causal connection between bad behavior and unpleasant consequences.
W F. Buckley Jr.
March 26, 1993
Dear Mr. Buckley,
Your reply of March 22, 1993 is heartily noted; and I am nonplused where to go from here, as I thought perhaps that if the situation is as bad as you and The Old Man of the Sea seem to agree, I should endeavor to be one of the survivors. To whom can I turn? My word! If these times are not blessed with intelligence as that which led Nineveh to heed Jonah, then America must be recreating the same conditions as seen by Noah [or Sodom] and more particularly in the time of Jesus, where Jesus said he came to Jerusalem as Jonah, mind you Jerusalem failed to heed his warning. Jesus seems to have misjudged Jerusalem. No doubt he had a better feeling for these times when he said that when he comes again it will be as in the days of Noah. Your perception, agreeing with Jesus, nevertheless doesn't tilt the Promise that through Wisdom good behavior will be rooted out (unlike the days of Noah):
Isaiah 53: ..by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many;
Isaiah 33.6-10: And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the Lord is his treasure..The earth mourneth and languisheth: Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down..Now will I rise, saith the Lord: now will I be exalted; now will I lift up myself;
Psalm 119. 97-104: ..Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts..Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way!
Those who incline to the obverse--as we see today and you have judged in your letter--will no doubt come to appreciate the connection between bad behavior and unpleasant consequences. Apart from The Old Man of the Sea, you seem to be my only contemporary who appreciates this need.
Perhaps I am inquiring into an area [truth] which I ought not to open, and-- unlike the simile I drew in Against Leviathan put away my harpoon. In truth, I am torn between doing nothing and being condemned and doing something and being condemned or worse ignored. For:
Revelation 11.18: And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come...and [thou] shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
My Word! Though my car's muffler leaks, I avoid identification with those who tutor our destruction. The phantasmagoria of today's American caprices, you no doubt must agree, though tempting, shed not light but dark days: desolation and despair. You know the difference: as one on a dark day who crouches to the chaff when the flint is struck: he picks up the tinder and gently breathes on it, knowing the result [sic. how a small flame becomes a fire, etc.]. Few know this.
I took this letter to The Old Man of the Sea to obtain his opinion on where to go from here. He answered in so many words that we ought to stop tilting lances and get on with the show [truth], asking, "When are you going to have a Firing Line debate called the Debt Revisited?"
Those who respire into the Hands of Wisdom carry the greater burden of Light, by which means change [sic. repentance] can be seen. Would you agree? Thus, I appeal to you.
Response: to our letter March 26, 1993
April 13, 1993
The Lord hasn't promised anything at all as to political bodies, only that he'll save faithful individuals. Whether we manage to turn ourselves into a nation in which faithful men are honored, in which faithfulness is the norm--into a nation that deserves his favor as a nation--remains to be seen. To the extent that you're interested in my opinion about your muffler, I'd offer the thought that in Talmud parnossah, the earning of an honest living to support oneself and one's family, is an honorable thing to do.
Wm. F. Buckley Jr.
April 20, 1993
Dear Mr. Buckley,
I received your cordial letter of April 13, 1993 yesterday, the 19th; a terrible footnote to American history, don't you think? I am referring to the massacre in Waco, Texas, which seems to be recalling the rectal logic of the Nazi ghettos. Bob Ricks and Janet Reno were surprised at the holocaust, just as many Germans supposedly were, relative to the ghettos and sieges they initiated. Which brings us to the idea of faith which opened your letter. I don't think the "faith" you were referring to had anything to do with the faith of the Germans (majority Catholics and the rest Protestants during the Nazi era), did it? Or Torquemada's faith? Or the Apostle Paul's faith (see our short commentary on Paul in Getting to the Promised Land, enclosed and the below commentary on Slaughtered Rabbits and Cults).
A small correction to our understanding
When you said "The Lord hasn't promised anything at all as to political bodies, only that he'll save faithful individuals," two matters are of concern here. The principal precept of the Kingdom of God involves a political relationship between God and all the nations, which the Apostle Paul seems to have reconfigured. On the other matter of faith, I think you were referring to Paul's axiom, "Ye are justified by faith, not works--Galatians 2.16, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ; Romans 3.28, therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law;", to which St. Peter and St. James replied:
1 Peter 1.17 And if ye call on the father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work..
James 2.14-17 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?...Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
James 1.25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Paul misquoted the Jewish (including Jesus's) precept of faith. The source Scripture is:
Habakkuk 2.4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
When we refer to the Lord's Promises we must come back to the Messiah whose faith we shall live by (sic. not Paul's-unless Paul is the Messiah). Though you are a Catholic (I--like Gandhi--heartily commend those who practice their religion) the real truth of the matter concerning faith refers to works (the Law of the Faith). We must always keep in reference the Messiah, as in Isaiah 42.21: The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honorable. I assume this is the Lord to whom you were referring. Apart from this concerning your ideas on faithfulness we are in agreement.
I was impressed when I saw you referring to the Talmud , but slightly nonplused in your use of the term, Parnossah. As I rely heavily on memory, sometimes I'm caught off guard, and I thought your statement referred to a book of the Talmud, which I did not recognize. So I (what a dummy!) went to my local bookstore's Judaica section to see if I could locate that book. Wouldn't you know it? a lady from New York was there, whose name was Mrs. Roslyn Grand (mother of Susan Grand) who was kind enough to point out that "Parnossah" is a common expression among New York Jews and that you seemed to have misplaced your punctuation mark, which should have read:
.."I'd offer the thought that in Talmud, parnossah the" etc.
Since Mrs. LaGrand's daughter seems to be an acquaintance of a new member of your National Review staff, I thought it worthwhile to mention the source of this correction, which can be easily verified by you; and I hope that I have not misplaced my intentions, of keeping to the course by which we have been steering, with a diversion to grammar.
You nailed me pretty hard--right in the breast-- I must admit, when you reminded me of the Torah's view of making an honest living. I am ashamed for being unemployed, and search hard for work; and if you can tolerate this small advertisement I should like to emphasize that I am still looking for work and thought that the creation of a job in supporting The Budget Deficit Revisited program might be considered. Although I do have many talents, I can write and research and am even willing to carry water to the thirsty (God knows the thirst of some sages is hard to quench). Notwithstanding this--and I surely would not impose upon you-- you may wish to help me connect my talents in San Francisco in some gainful enterprise...
In any event, when you [indirectly] quoted the Oral Torah I was impressed and am, according to the Oral Torah, coached to call you High Priest, even though you are a Gentile. This comes from:
Jeremiah, Sifra, # 143 to Leveticus 18.5: A gentile who observes the Torah is as good as a High Priest.
This follows Isaiah 42.21 mentioned above.
Thus, I bow to you sir, as you are a High Priest in my eyes. But I knew this before, as you contain Wisdom and I--like Socrates but for different reasons--am attracted to Wise Men.
In closing let us not forget what goes with your comment on "parnossah", which has to do with the most honest form of living: which is ultimately in study and application of the Torah (and Oral Torah ). Several thoughts can be related to this:
Talmud, Qiddushin 1.10A Whoever does a single commandment--they do well for him and lengthen his days [see also Zohar, Genesis. Prologue 4b, ed. note].
B. And he inherits the land. [see also Matt. 6.26 et al. ed. note]
Abott, R. Natham, ch. 11: Judah b. Bathyra says, if you have no regular work, find something to do--perhaps in a neglected yard or field [see also Mishna, Abott, 4.10, R. Meir ed. note]. and
Talmud, Sota, 21b, Jose b. Hanina says Torah abides with him who sacrifices all for it.
Following this is a comment similar to the one Socrates (referring to God = Truth) made:
Talmud, Sota, 49a. R. Abbahu says, Divine glory will satisfy him who devotes himself to Torah in poverty.
Working in neglected fields
Surely you can agree that the field I have been working [writing] in is one of the most neglected fields these days. But alas, apart from you, The Old Man of the Sea , and a few other souls we stand as if we were Zaddiqim: I lament:
Zohar: There is no man to join himself to me, to be with me, as it is said, "The Man of Elohim is to be on the level of Zaddiq".
After having been bludgeoned to the ground by you, I took your letter to The Old Man of the Sea who exclaimed, "This is wonderful", but wondered why you side- swiped me.
Your letter on faith and "parnossah"--the earning of an honest living--I take quite seriously and have faith that those who hold the most candle-power in this nation can be prompted to show the truth (whatever it is as pertains to the topics--Budget Deficit incl.-- we have coursed). Again, knowing your appreciation for scripture I rely upon:
Talmud Pesahim, 113b: The Holy One detests him who has evidence and withholds it! [This follows Jubilees, 4.5, The man who has seen and not declared it, be he accursed--see also Hab.2.11; ed. note];
Tosefta, Sanhedrin 1.8: Joshua b. Karha says, When you are in court and have evidence in favor of the poor and against the rich, you are not permitted to be silent.
Of Slaughtered Rabbits and Cults
The Sunday paper had an article on the Sound Tactics (no pun intended) initiated by the FBI [against the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas; ed. note]. Included in the sounds, said the article, were the shrieks of Slaughtered Rabbits. I suppose our argument is gravitating to the American Mandate (a cult in itself which was--if not still--at least only a few years ago willing to take the entire world down with it in a Suicidal Nuclear War), worshipped under the auspice, The end justifies the means. On close examination, as discussed in our Tiny Book , the people outside the Branch Davidian compound--from the souvenir sellers to the Media--who heard the slaughtered rabbits [ I think the Nürnberg verdict had some thoughts on this; I say this not to you but for others looking over our shoulders] ought to be examined more professionaly. Don't you think so? It seems to me that we could erase the date of the siege and substitute 1493 or an earlier date and it would fall within the other "cult" sieges in history: the Waldensians, Cistercians, Valentinians, Huguenots, Irish, Scots, not to mention Henry VIIIth's campaigns, etc., or not the least of all an early small cult following on the heals of the Apostle Paul, of whom Tacitus--a most respected Sage in his own right--said:
Tacitus, Annals 15.44: Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.
Tacitus' comment reveals quite a bit, doesn't it? I mean to say it reveals that Christians are man haters (they were also called "godless")! The teachings haven't changed and have continued from the pulpit from Paul's first sermons to every church and television evangelist in our land. What David Koresh was teaching was the Apostle Paul's "faith" (the world will soon be burned but we will be raised up [raptured]). Now this is what the American people as a whole seem to look forward to; and from this comes the attitude, to hell with everything we're getting out of here and a missionary zeal which justifies killing--or looks aside as others are being killed-- those who do not fit into our cult: who are usually Jews and Moslems. Except for Paul's early church, most cults tended to arm themselves because of the pressures (often a mixture of political and religious motives) brought to bear on them from the state. We include cult leaders from George Bush down to David Koresh. We mention George Bush here because he went to war with a Bible in his hand and several thousand people died in his cause (we do not here question causes; we question procedures). The principle we note here, however, is that what often is viewed as an exception to the norm becomes the norm in time. David Koresh--and I do not endorse his procedures--taught Paul's Apocalyptic views. Those views imbue a State of Siege which is maintained until the Lord comes and we are rescued, etc. This Messianic View is easily seen, by the way, in the Dead Sea Scrolls which cited procedures even how to deal with the Messiah when he comes, and is more particularly deeply imbedded in the Jewish Faith who have for the most part nonviolently waited for their Messianic Promise and Promised Land for these past two thousand years, and in part reaped that Promise. The Jews, of course, were an especially hated cult these past two thousand years because they refused to believe that Jesus was a Messiah and are responsible for his death. Imagine killing people--even an entire race, mind you! on behalf of God! I've held the view that if God wishes to kill people let him do it himself. He doesn't need the Pope Innocents, George Bush, Bob Ricks, Janet Reno and others like them to do it, though he has used people like them--Nebuchednezzar--from time to time. Those who wield the sword are reminded in the Bible that it will be turned back against them, as in Nebuchednezzar's case.
I know this is a shock to most Christians, but the Source of the Bible is an Advocate for Nonviolence. And although our nation tends to have faith in the Bible it neglect's its nonviolent advocacy, which we outline in the fine print of Getting to the Promised Land. The "wicked" mentioned in the fine print therein are, in my book, cults and not normal to the human condition. Janet Reno, Bob Ricks, David Koresh et al. might lead us to believe they are normal; the fine print in my book says they aren't. Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and I are of one mind in this regard, but to see this you will have to read the book and reflect upon the idea that there are other ways of maintaining law and order in a society besides the use of the sword [sic. guns]. The Bible uses the Sword of the mouth, for instance, which refers to the Spirit of Truth--who rests judgment on facts.
comes not by guns but by reflection. One is a mirror as most sages are and through one's faith and works one mirrors the Light of God. I think this is what you were saying. I close in reflection of the light you have shone my way and hope that through a renewal this nation may find its Promised Land: a nation in which faithful men are honored and faithfulness is not only the norm but reflective of God's Desire mentioned in Psalm 12 and particularly in Isaiah 58.4-10 which show how light may rise out of obscurity of some pertinance to our judgment [of who hurt the poor].
The other part of the problem exudes the relationship of the wealthy to the ever growing insecurity of our people. I discuss this in Getting to the Promised Land and enclose it should you be interested in the Waco, Texas affair. I wrote the book for Bob Ricks and David Koresh and sent six copies of it to Waco before the fire, assuring both parties that the book could be a nonviolent podium upon which to resolve their issues. I sent it by overnight mail April seventh.
When Bob Ricks and Janet Reno claimed that they had explored all alternatives to that issue, they lied, as the enclosed was in their hands, among other propositions for a nonviolent solution. Fearing the suicide, I hand-delivered copies to our local press (Dave McElhatton KPIX Channel 5) then and asked him to follow-up with me and Bob Ricks. No one inquired of me, however (my writings carry too many words or barbs, I suppose), and it seems now that if the survivors' families of the Branch Davidians should feel my work could have helped save lives, my evidence suggests that the consequences of murder may now rest upon the Media's and the government's shoulder. 90 some odd lives no longer exist, because of [in my case alone] my failure to make contact with those who make decisions these days. Those lives were lost when the wise men who make our decisions lost contact with us, humans. What do you think? I discuss this more, and what it is like to be looking for human beings as in Nazi Germany , in our Tiny Book, Validation of Truth.
You speak of faith and I speak about Truth which--existing in the Human Way cannot exist without works (re: Getting to the Promised Land). Truth, as we have seen and shall continue to witness, is a barren field in which to work in America. Yet, I know I dig in the right fields with my writings, though unworthy to most people; and if I am not published and realize no income from my writings it is not owing to my lack of desire to cultivate the truth or a light dedication to honest work in spite of my problems with mufflers (or who catch truth with a sieve, a related matter [I see here serveral views of our way of hearing things, not excluding the thought to send my witness on the Waco Spectacle to Senator Arlen Specter, but I think my witness alone would not get his staff's attention])...
I had hoped to keep this sweet and simple, as you so excel, but you, as usual, packed a lot of truth into your letter which needed clarification. In as much as the topics at our hand involve many lives, whilst multitudes are dying every day because of our ways, you must agree that when light is gathered to one's hands--even those as lowly as mine-- one must release it, not for riches or for glory but to save lives. Forget not:
Talmud Qiddushin 1:6H: One's word of mouth..to the most high is equivalent to one's act of delivery to an ordinary person.
Reminded of this in your works I remain,
encl. Getting to the Promised Land (2 cps)
Mr. Buckley's response to our letter of April 20, 1993
May 10, 1993
I didn't at all intend to hurt your feelings. I thought you sounded embarrassed about your muffler, and I meant that any productive work is honorable. Sacrificing for Torah may be seen as more honorable, since all our lives would be far grimmer if we were stuck with only natural law. The beatitude about those who hunger and thirst after righteousness surely applies.*
As to Torquemada, we should have been spared a lot of sin and suffering if we'd heeded Pope Gregory the Great (d. 604), who prohibited the desecration of synagogues and rudeness to Jews.
The comma was a plain old oversight. The best of luck, whatever you decide to do.
Wm. F. Buckley Jr.
*[see Matthew 5.6 ; ed. note]
May 12, 1993
Dear Mr. Buckley,
Captain, I just received your letter of May 10, 1993 and will surely pass on your best wishes to those for whom I tendered my plea and their survivors. As for my feelings, there was for my part never anything personal intended--so my person bears no grievance-- but this, I recall, was a general appeal on behalf of Truth and those who once trusted their lives to it.
As for the misplaced comma, there was really no error, for your intentions here as elsewhere were always clearly put. Thank God, I say, neither of us need muster all the commas of Thomas Pain's Common Sense ! many of which seemed terribly misplaced though his intentions were sound--as your's.
Were Virtue hereditary, of course, Pope St. Gregory and others might have populated this world such that guarantees concerning Human Dignity and Happiness need not depend upon a few good men (if we can find them) to enforce them, as is the case now. What turns out to have been hereditary (offices seem to be so) leaves our posterity a future vested by more narrow hearts and peddling politicians, all of whom plague the poor with their riches, as they pant through the courts of power with the trembling duplicity of spaniels. This is reflected in the idea that the more men have to lose, the less willing are they to venture; and thus they coddle to power. They argue over tax and spend and deficit reduction--bogged down in paltry sums, such as $16B to jump-start the economy--and neglectful of the waste of $300B in interest payments which have been stalling the economy. How ridiculous do the little, paltry cavilling of these few weak men appear, when weighed against the business of the whole world! Little do they discern that with the neglect of every Blessing of Liberty [re: Deut. 30.19] comes a curse!
May we lay hold of this wisdom, and leave our heirs with the tried resolve that government has no other purpose but to begin at the right end--representing the whole and not the few-- and ends not with the prolonged haunts of neglect and untended necessity. When a divinely inspired government such as ours neglects its purpose, of providing for our common welfare, it can no longer preserve the peace (how obvious!); and failing this is no government at all; and in that case we pay our money for nothing. Thus, the gulf between Washington and its people is an ever growing wasteland; and the separation between God and us is manifest. "Waste not, want not," Poor Richard said [Rev. 11.18]...
Our governors have become as men attached to prostitutes. Such men, as Thomas Paine so wisely pointed out, "are unfitted to choose or judge of a wife, so any prepossession in favor of a rotten constitution of government will disable us from discerning a good one". Although our Constitution seems a fitting system, it has been so prostituted by wealth and power there is no man to court the good virtues. This was illustrated (were others as shocked as I?) 5/10/93 when the MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour on PBS entertained us with a debate whether it is okay to lie and cheat in a campaign! Norman Orenstein pathetically argued: should lying or cheating be revealed after an election, the evidence should not be grounds for nullifying an election! While I support free press and stake my own claim upon it, the aforementioned show reflects how low a democracy can fall, when respected leaders actually believe that lying and cheating by government officials have arguable merits. I follow Thomas Paine's point of view: that there comes a time when we have to take a [just] stand for this continent and its people: where people vie for the badge of honor [through lying and cheating--once the art of courts] they ought to be rewarded with the badge of traitor. We who suffer this state of mishap deserve some action in this regard. There are many in Congress--far too many I think--who sold out to some one other than the people of this nation; and they ought to be tarred and feathered and at the least hung in effigy. And then sent on vacation without pay for a year or two to see what it is like to be in need of an honest job. Senator Dole and President Clinton seem eager for this distinction.
Parting in courtesye with the last entry in the log, having taken your reply in stride, I tremble: seeing the Lord Himself has dropped the burden of Egypt and Israel [ Deut. 30.7; Jer. 30.11; Ez. 38.23 et al.] upon this nation's head. And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask you the question posed in Jeremiah 23, saying, What is the burden of the Lord? Say unto them, "What burden? I will even forsake you", saith the Lord.
Virtue is the seed of a Holy People and is an inheritance which many people trust may manifest itself through the seed of Messiah [allegedly the Body of Christ]. May those who use the word of the Lord use it faithfully. This seed you, yourself, seem to have suckled. But we complained that most take no effort to distinguish the chaff from the wheat--in our language a Blessing from a Curse--and they try the fruit of the Lord with a sieve; and thus I rest this issue with the call at hand, what is the chaff to the wheat?* Pardon the mixed metaphor. There is no inheritance in the stuff caught in a sieve, no more than in a suckling babe banned from the breast and left to die...
There was a day when one would wish me good luck. That day is long passed and one might better pray--because of the gravity of our midrash--that Heaven too has not been reading over our shoulder!
I believe in giving Truth life, don't you? I mingled Thomas Paine's and others' voices here with mine, so they continue to live, as we remain,
encl. Against Leviathan (updated as above)
Letter to Wm. F. Buckley Jr.,
selected from Trial of a President
February 4, 1993
Dear Mr. Buckley,
I wish to thank you for your cordial and speedy response to my inquiry and enclosure, Financial Institution Credit Watch. I have updated the document to include the letter I sent to you (see enclosure) and with your advise and consent I will be happy to include your response of February 2, 1993 in the next issue. Perhaps, if you will bear with me yet once more, as a pupil to his sage, the light you have put on the problem in your letter can be further explored.
I cannot agree more that the argument posed in my letter to you can be divided between us. I give you the lesser part of the argument: that the National Debt long-haul affect and continuing deficits can be a push. The indebtedness created during the Reagan-Bush administrations is now a fact of life; whether it burdened the economy or benefited it can be left to the historians. As for those who benefit from the government's indebtedness, I heartily agree that they should not be condemned because they answered some calls on tax free bonds ( they had other incentives to buy bonds, such as the flatlining interest rates, reduction in Capital Gains tax, etc.). Surely we can agree that when the government needs credit we must not discourage those who would be our creditors. I would further give you the argument that "not even people who make more than $200,000 per year can compel the feds to borrow", as you said. But let us not be overly kind to the cause of usury, for Philo [Philo Judaeus of Alexandria (25 B.C.-45 A.D.; ed. note] did point out with good justification the disguises of usury, when he asked, "O you who lend on usury, why do you seek to disguise your unsociable disposition by an apparent pretence of good fellowship? And why do you in words indeed, pretend to be a humane and considerate person, while in your actions you exhibit a want of humanity and a terrible hardness of heart..."
Too often, when you can't make that interest payment, let alone the principal on a loan, the kind hearts of creditors turn terribly abusive, as we witness in the millions of the homeless in our streets (who were not born there but driven there). This is more trucked home when we ask what will happen when our Interest payment--perhaps a year from now--will be beyond our means.
As for the greater part of the argument the possibility that Presidents Reagan and Bush misled the country concerning the nature of the budget--you have attested in your own letter in favor of my argument. For you said--and I quite agree "If debt service is growing too high too fast, then the tax-and-spend-and elect crowd in the congress are the sociopaths." Leading them I would add Presidents Reagan and Bush based upon the following data we extracted from The Nation magazine, October 26, 1992, which was a collection of Congressional Budget Office figures (in Billions of dollars):
The greater part of the argument I posed to you was whether George Bush lied to you, us, and Congress and then topping it off blamed Congress for the growing debt; when in fact the record shows that Congress essentially gave the Reagan-Bush administrations every dollar they requested. Your use of George Bush's "tax-and-spend-Congress" euphemism shows the severity of his distortions.
The greater part of the argument deals with the issue focused in the Firing Line Debate, which was resolution of the Budget Deficit (as I said I heartily agreed with your side of the table!), but the debate was disoriented on the true solution of the deficit, that it (now at $327 Billion) is not composed of a $200 Billion Interest payment but a $292 Billion interest payment; the misinformation you had on the interest payment was the same I inspired from the dust-bins of President Bush's campaign. The $200 billion interest payment, "tax-and-spend-Congress," and "read-my-lips" quips fall into one bin: the one which holds distortions.
The greater part of the argument--recognizing that President Bush never hesitated to distort the truth--finally falls upon the 1993 Budget (Balance Sheet) he submitted to Congress and which had a missing line item in the tabulation of outlays (see page 32 of the enclosed). In short, the amount of money George Bush asked Congress to consider to cover all outlays--including 1991 actuals-- was distorted and did not contain the correct amount he really needed to borrow (to cover the red ink).
If there was a missing line item (051) on the US Balance Sheet, then the standards we apply to American Businessmen concerning fraudulent accounting practices ought to also apply to George Bush's 1993 Budget.
My word! It just occurred to me that the prison inmate who lied to Federal Agents regarding the case of a missing child may get another five years added to his sentence for lying to the Federal Agents. Why is it that lying to Federal Agents carries a five year prison penalty; but lies by Federal officials to Congress don't?
We know that lying to Congress is supposed to be a crime; we also know that obstruction of justice is a crime.
The greater issue at hand is not so much whether the deficit was needed and responsibly handled, or whether there are Sybarites and sociopaths who lurk in the halls of our democracy trying to make money by loaning the government money; but the issue is far more serious than that. For I was sucked in by George Bush's testimonies and like an ignoramus quoted the interest debt (in my work The Hidden Horror of the Budget Deficit 9/23/92) on our Deficit at $200 Billion when in fact our interest debt surpassed that number many years ago. So you must understand my surprise when I saw some of America's intellectual elite on your Firing Line Debate being conned as I was on that embarrassingly erroneous number.
Having received your letter with the "tax-and-spend" euphemism in it only heightened my despair; for I, as well as you, did believe George Bush's many campaign castigations, unloading the cause of our budget problems upon Congress. When I saw the record of the Reagan-Bush budget requests, noted above, its Truth crushed me, as a phony bill in the quagmire of George Bush's waste bin. In Paris they see this as merde.
Without appearing to patronize you--for a sage of your stature is far beyond the need for my praise--I must close with my most sincere respect for your person and your stimulation of the mind of America.
Your dialogue with me has its reward; for what others might ignore you might not. Once the intellect of the sage takes hold of a precept, he improves in reality by himself, and taking hold of some beginning or principle of knowledge, bounds, as it were, like a horse over the plain (so again said Philo; this is his eve).
Your occasion to answer me on this most grave matter was heartening, and where I usually fail to touch a nerve in most people (since Americans take for granted lying, robbery, and cheating as an every day fact of life), I feel I struck a nerve in one who is not so blinded as those whom truth cannot touch.
While we may not agree what ought to be done about the greater part of the argument George Bush's misinformation surely we agree upon the weight of the National Debt and how the country is reeling under the continuing dilemma of making our payment of $292 Billions in interest this coming year by the various options before us: reduction of Social Security, gas taxes, etc. Sir, you and I are sailors (I own a Tayana 37 Pilot House Cutter), and we both know that when the wind and the seas start to get heavy it is time to shorten sail and/or dump cargo. Staying with this analog I would say that at the moment our ship of state is overloaded, and I quite frankly am beginning to get overly sick.
The greater part of our argument attests that we have had [with Congress] two sociopaths at the helm of state, and it looks like a third (Clinton) has maintained their course. To prevent him from leading us even further astray, we need someone to point out the error of our way, as it were. You are in a position because of your steady hand to help us all; I speak for many passengers on our lurching ship of state, as I am not the only one wheezing at the rails....
There is an elixer to purge those of us wheezing at the rails of that thing which ails us. We propose a Television [mock] "Docu-Trial" called, Trial of a President. After a manner of speaking it would serve notice to future Presidents. All proposed participants have first right of refusal. Hoping to hear from you, I remain,
Encl. Financial Institution Credit Watch , Vol 1, Issue 3.
Trial of a President
I had not known where this book would end up. Certain that we are in serious jeopardy because of our debt, I believed that a few Sages should put us back on the right track. William F. Buckley Jr. surprised me when he answered my inquiry, and seeing our conversation growing, I, at each turn of the way, got completely, pathetically, nonplused. I sought out the counsel of The Old Man of the Sea whom I often had to chase down, as I used to chase my professors (to no avail) down in the halls of our colleges.
Both counsellors were complete gentlemen in the affair in the courtship, so to speak.
But this was more than a courtship. It was a plea for help on behalf of many who are wheezing beside me at the rails of our sinking ship of state. What we have to deal with here is not a mental exercise, a stoic repast, but a loud cry for help. Not for myself but for others. Often the cry for help gets muffled by the surrounding noise of the stock market, however.
As noted in our prologue, The Old Man of the Sea handed me some clippings with his comments, summarized below.
1) "Cities Explore Unusual Ways to raise Cash,", San Jose Mercury News, May 30. [I] Selected this because it shows us how far we have slid down the pathway to become a "Third World Nation"..
2) "The Clintonics Trap", Guy Alperovitz. [It] has about as good an analysis of where we are; and why things will be getting worse before they stand much of a chance (if any) of getting better.
3) "Coming to Grips with Clintonomics" by Mark Levinson .. bulletin of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Levinson takes on the myth of orthodox economics (or conventional wisdom) and does a good job of it. I found it stimulating.
4) ..Notes from the Editors is from the June 1993 issue of Monthly Review. The editors, Paul Sweezy and Harry Magdoff, do a very good job dealing with the conventional wisdom regarding the national debt/deficit and other sacred cows.
The first article mentioned above deals with the reality of Federal cutbacks. 24% of most local government revenues come directly from the Federal government. The people complaining about rising taxes and fewer government services--or pay as you go survival--might consider the option of defaulting on the $300 Billion interest payment and divert those monies, which are now being easy-loaded into fancy chariots and palaces, back to programs for the commoners, rather than a lucky few.
The balance of the articles argue the need to continue spending by government in order to promote growth (which is the argument the Reagan-Bush Estate used). Levinson mentions that every 1% drop in unemployment represents a savings of $50 Billion. Fine! Let's increase jobs by 1% and decrease the debt by $50 Billion. How about this formula: $300 Billion divided by 50 can be equated to 6%. We can almost achieve full employment (reducing from 7% to 1 %) by defaulting on that damnable interest payment!
Another article talked about the growth experienced during the 80's (called by others the Booming Eighties). If drawing upon the labor portion of that growth we were to isolate the salaries and incomes of our C.E.O.'s (average $1 Million per year now) from the common cost of labor, the numbers will show that the growth realized during the Reagan-Bush Estate trickled into fewer pockets than the real growth years of the previous two decades. Job skills, education, and technology trickled down [away!] too. Let's see the real figures!
Following this is the argument that the Government's Wealth over time has approximately kept pace with the increase in its borrowing. This is like saying borrowing isn't inflationary; a dollar today buys as much now as it did 50 years ago? Others chime in that our debt to GDP ratio is not as bad as (or no worse than) others (It's like the beggars on our streets feeling good because the Somalians are hungrier). Those who want to continue extending the debt (increasing our annual interest payment, mind you!) are heralded by a collective of Bush Beaters who insist that the more you spend the more the benefit, regardless where the money comes from (its better if stolen).
Arguments encouraging war often get mixed in here, using the growth (and near full employment in one way or another) of America at War in 1918 and again in 1942. These arguments are odd bed-fellows. Many of those who encourage more borrowing to cover more social services (to save and improve lives) use war to justify the borrowing, errr, investment. This harkens back to the steps of Russia, about 1500 B.C., when our Indo-European ancestors thought to invest their time and fortunes into raiding the fruitful and gold-laden valleys of the Mediterranean littoral, singing incantations: to rape, pillage, and burn is the way to success! Still the American Creed. Every unsuspecting city contains behind its vandalized walls a golden payback. Only those horses and their asses swaying off into the sunset, bowed down by the gold, got the girls, however. Few are told, in any event, that most knights, like Sir Lancelot, are unhorsed and may end up riding in an oxcart back to town (a sobering adventure too long to tell here).
Levinson argues that the higher deficit was in large part responsible for the economic growth. I wonder if he visited our Inner Cities and confirmed this by interviewing the homeless? who were born to the street at the height of this economic growth (1985-86). Levinson notes that the deficit is not the cause of our fiscal problems, it is the result. Let's keep our terms straight: the Deficit and the Interest Payment are essentially the same thing . He's wrong: the Interest Payment is the result of our fiscal problems. This is the issue few seem to reconcile: which came first the chicken or the egg? We support the argument expressed in the chickens: legislators afraid to pay for government services out of taxes. Afraid to increase taxes, they opted to borrow , hoping no smoke-screen the difference. They comforted the "let's spend more for growth crowd" on the upside and "let's not tax [the rich] crowd on the downside. Between what they hope to spend and what they are afraid to confess to We the People is the Interest Payment [carrying cost]. This cost in the $327 Billion Deficit is $292 Billion.
The burden of this debt is carried by people who lose their jobs, who have or had families, who have or had hopes and homes, who can't find a job nor success in making one. Our high-flying sages must come down to earth when they manipulate our numbers: the digits they confuse are on men, women, and children.
Most tyrannies seem to describe people as numbers, flotsam, jetsam, cannon fodder...So the high rollers all agree that when people fall out of their market they [the market] can make it up: find someone else to sell, etc. [or rob].
When our people find out they have been robbed by a lot of chickens who dropped a rotten Interest Payment on them, the cause of our fiscal problems will disappear. Money back guarantee on this. Let those who count people only as numbers donate $4.3 Trillion (I say let them pay back the money they stole out of our economy). I will stake my life (I think I already have, knowing the thieves in our government) on the fact that the homeless, the jobless, and the working poor of this nation--let's call a spade a spade (proverb from Lucian)-- the wretches, the drudges, the slaves, must rise up against their miserable lot; it's only a question of time. Those pot-bellied old codgers holding out styro-foam cups; are not they worse off than slaves? The miserable wretches who forced them into the streets, are they not worse than the tyrants of Sicily eons ago? Slaves to lying and cheating?
Ask Persephone. In Hell there are Gate-keepers and Cerberus the three headed dog, who strip you to the bones once you descend. They invite you to their showers and share their wine, but the showers spew not water but deadly gas; and the wine is poison. Enchanters who use other terms than interest to describe shortfalls are those Gate-keepers. Persephone saw this: someone forgot to put a coin in her mouth parting to Hades. She was lovely before she left, in her blue virgin samite sheath, three strings of pearls on her elegant, chamoise soft neck; cheeks slightly rouged. Sweet, innocent lips.....
Updated 4.13.02; 12.03.04
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Please send me over to The Second Coming of the American Revolution
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Books and More Books
Small Books bearing on Human Rights
- Agenda for a Reformation, 8 pp.
- The Second Coming of the American Revolution, 24 pp.
- Act of a Holy People for a Holy Land . . 8 pp.
- Against Leviathan, 28 pp; also as a Tiny Book.
- Understanding Zionism: Brief # 1 of Beulah. 12 pp.
- Of Fools and Wise Men: Letters to World Leaders: Brief #2 to astonish judges against Beulah. 32 pp.
- How President Bush must Deliver Peace to Jerusalem: Brief # 3 on Arab-Israeli solutions. 24 pp.
- Avoiding Chaos: a Letter to Mr. Gorbachev: Brief # 4. 20th Century leaders gone astray. 20 pp.
- An Open Letter and Petition to the United Nations: Brief # 5 on just enforcement of UN law. 20 pp.
- Opening the Golden Gate: .. to Jerusalem: Brief # 6. The stones which hold men captive. 4 pp.
- The Jews of Camelot: Brief # 10, 20 pp.
- Avoiding Condemnation: to Joe Weinberg. Brief # 8. How Nazi editors relate to our times. 4 pp.
- Letters on Human Rights: Brief # 9. Leaders who trampled on our Rights in the 20th Century. 32 pp.
- Letter to Jacob Neusner on the Sameness of Being: Brief # 11. Containing the Bahir of God. 16 pp.
- Letter to Joseph with the Yamikah Brief # 12. Are the Torah & its Prophets waters that fail? 20 pp.
- Letter to Edward Styles: Brief # 13. On Psalm 50.23: how time has a way of exposing the Truth. 28 pp.
- Understanding the Recital, Brief # 14. How the Hidden Message of the Koran can bring Peace. 44 pp.
- A Letter to N. David Gross, Brief # 15. How to make Jerusalem a suitable forum for Peace. 20 pp.
- A Handbook for the Poor, Brief # 16, Correct Priorities: Franchising the Poor, 24 pp.
- Name Change for Israel. Articles Promised in Israel's Redemption involve a new name, Beulah. 4 pp.
- Ministering to Moslems the Koran names Jesus Messiah. Christian pastors teach otherwise. 4 pp.
Big Books bearing on Human rights
- Hidden Pavilions, 1989, paperback volume of 580 pages. on the Two Anointed Ones of the Bible & the Tabernacle; letters to the ministry & outline on the Moslem religion.
- String of Pearls, 1989, paperback volume of 165 pages; prophesies of the Messiah of the future.
- The Tempting, 1989, paperback volume, 110 pages; on Maccoby's claim in The Mythmaker that Paul is a charlatan; examines Paul's negation of Peter's Gospel.
- The Tapestry of One, 1990, paperback volume of 170 pages, examining the creed of Buddha in light of the Brahmans, Bhagvad Gita, Taoism, Confucius, etc..
- The Son of Man, a Commentary on Immanuel and the Gospel of Truth, 1990 paperback edition in two volumes, consisting of 728 pp Vol. I and 274 pp Vol. II. Examines Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls, Oral Torah, etc. Conflicts in later Christian teachings notred.
- The Sword of Truth, 1991, 58 pp. fundamentals of the Bible; focusing on the Messiah, Light of the Gentiles., who defeats the nations with the Sword of his mouth.
- Savior of the Poor, 1991, 171 pp. of Jewish wisdom and ancient scriptures. Quotes of ancient and modern scholars support its thesis for a more peaceful world.
- Song of an Unicorn, 1991, 60 page paperback on the allegory of the Unicorn as the Bible's Messiah.
Tiny Books bearing on Human Rights
- Getting to the Promised Land, 112 pp.
- Against Leviathan, Who is eating us alive, 56 pp.
- Financial Institution Credit Watch, local institutions which can have a substantial impact if they fail 56 pp.; companion doc. Trial of a President, 12 pp.
- The Miracle of Zer Anpin, how principles behind the Small Face of God can lead us to love our Heirs, 32 pp.
- What Price Justice, when we must stop with the rhetoric and help the oppressed and the needy, 16 pp.
- When the Afflicted Soul is Satisfied , the simple truth needed to preserve Human Dignity: to Pastor Ted, 8 pp.
- The Hidden Horror behind the Budget Deficit, 16 pp.
- The Siege of San Francisco, a parable on the defense of Human Dignity and maybe a terrible prophesy, 24 pp.
- Validations of Truth, my simple need to examine the visionaries who have been misleading us, such as Sigmund Freud, St. Augustine and others, as a means to understanding my disorders: to Dr. Fidler, 72 pp.
- Liberating the Poor from exploitation, 72 pp.
- A True Historye of Unicorn Powder, a 12 part Romance after the tales of King Arthur and the Holy Grail, 460 pp.
- This is the Tent of Refuge , 8 pp.
Updated 9.21.97; 2.6.99; 5.27.2000; 4.13.02; 12.03.04; 1.26.05
Copyright © 1993-2005 Maravot. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1993-2005 Mel Copeland. All rights reserved.