**Davos Man refers to a global elite whose members view themselves as completely international. Davos is an Alpine town in eastern Switzerland which became famous in the 1990s for hosting the World Economic Forum, an annual gathering of international politicians and financiers who represented a transnational elite.
"The members of this class are people who have little need for national loyalty, view national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing, and see national governments as residues from the past whose only useful function is to facilitate the élite's global operations. Huntington argues that Davos Man's global-citizen self-image is starkly at odds with the values of most Americans, who remain deeply committed to their nation. This disconnect creates a major cultural fault line In a variety of ways, the American establishment, governmental and private, has become increasingly divorced from the American people."
The following is taken from:
Dead Souls: The Denationalization of the American Elite
Samuel P. Huntington
...In today's America, a major gap exists between the nation's elites and the general public over the salience of national identity compared to other identities and over the appropriate role for America in the world. Substantial elite elements are increasingly divorced from their country, and the American public, in turn, is increasingly disillusioned with its government.
America in the World
How both America's elites and the rank-and-file define their country determines its role in the world, but how the world views that role also shapes American identity. Three broad concepts exist of America in relation to the rest of the world. Americans can embrace the world--that is, open their country to other peoples and cultures. They can try to reshape other societies in terms of American values and culture. They can strive to maintain their society and culture distinct from those of other peoples.
The first, or cosmopolitan, alternative involves a renewal of the trends dominating pre-September 11 America. America welcomes the world, its ideas, its goods and, most importantly, its people. The ideal would be an open society with open borders, encouraging subnational ethnic, racial and cultural identities, dual citizenship, diasporas, and would be led by elites who increasingly identified with global institutions, norms and rules rather than national ones. America should be multiethnic, multiracial, multicultural. Diversity is a prime value, if not the prime value. The more people who bring to America different languages, religions and customs, the more American America becomes. Middle-class Americans would identify increasingly with the global corporations for which they work rather than with the local communities in which they live. The activities of Americans would more and more be governed not by the federal and state governments, but by rules set by international authorities, such as the UN, the WTO, customary international law, and global treaties. National identity loses salience compared to other identities. In this cosmopolitan alternative, the world reshapes America.
In the imperial alternative, America reshapes the world. The end of the Cold War eliminated communism as the overriding factor shaping America's role in the world. It thus enabled liberals to pursue their foreign policy goals without having to confront the charge that those goals compromised national security and hence to promote "nation building", "humanitarian intervention" and "foreign policy as social work." The emergence of the United States as the world's only superpower had a parallel impact on American conservatives. During the Cold War America's enemies denounced it as an imperial power. At the start of the new millennium conservatives accepted and endorsed the idea of an American empire--whether they embraced the term or not--and the use of American power to reshape the world according to American values.
The imperial impulse was thus fueled by beliefs in the supremacy of American power and the universality of American values. Because America's power far exceeds that of other nations, America has the responsibility to create order and confront evil throughout the world. According to the universalist belief, the people of other societies have basically the same values as Americans, or if they do not have them, they want to have them, or if they do not want to have them, they misjudge what is good for their society, and Americans have the responsibility to persuade them or to induce them to embrace the universal values that America espouses. In such a world America loses its identity as a nation and becomes the dominant component of a supranational empire.
Neither the supremacy assumption nor the universalist assumption, however, accurately reflects the state of the early 21st-century world. America is the only superpower, but there are other major powers: Britain, Germany, France, Russia, China, India and Japan at a global level, and Brazil, Nigeria, Iran, South Africa and Indonesia within their regions. America cannot achieve any significant goal in the world without the cooperation of at least some of these countries. The culture, values, traditions and institutions of the other societies are often not compatible with reconfiguring those societies in terms of American values. Their peoples generally also feel deeply committed to their indigenous ways of life and beliefs and hence fiercely resist efforts to change them by outsiders from alien cultures. In addition, whatever the goals of their elites, the American public has consistently ranked the promotion of democracy abroad as a low-priority goal. The introduction of democracy in other societies also often stimulates anti-American forces, such as populist movements in Latin American states and violent, extremist movements in Muslim countries.
Cosmopolitanism and imperialism attempt to reduce or to eliminate the social, political and cultural differences between America and other societies. A national approach would recognize and accept what distinguishes America from those societies. America cannot become the world and still be America. Other peoples cannot become American and still be themselves. America is different, and that difference is defined in large part by its religious commitment and Anglo-Protestant culture. The alternative to cosmopolitanism and imperialism is nationalism devoted to the preservation and enhancement of those qualities that have defined America from its inception.
For almost four centuries, the Anglo-Protestant culture of the founding settlers has been the central and the lasting component of American identity. One has only to ask: Would America be the America it is today if in the 17th and 18th centuries it had been settled not by British Protestants but by French, Spanish, or Portuguese Catholics? The answer is no. It would not be America; it would be Quebec, Mexico, or Brazil.
America's Anglo-Protestant culture has combined political and social institutions and practices inherited from England, including most notably the English language, together with the concepts and values of dissenting Protestantism, which faded in England but which the settlers brought with them and which took on new life on the new continent. At the beginning, as Alden T. Vaughan has said,
"almost everything was fundamentally English: the forms of land ownership and cultivation, the system of government and the basic format of laws and legal procedures, the choices of entertainment and leisure-time pursuits, and innumerable other aspects of colonial life."
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., concurs: "the language of the new nation, its laws, its institutions, its political ideas, its literature, its customs, its precepts, its prayers, primarily derived from Britain."22
With adaptations and modifications, this original culture persisted for three hundred years. Two hundred years after John Jay in 1789 identified six central elements Americans had in common, one of these, common ancestry, no longer existed. Several of the five others--language, religion, principles of government, manners and customs, war experience--had been modified or diluted. Yet in their fundamentals Jay's components of American identity, although challenged, still defined American culture in the 20th century. Protestantism has been of primary and continuing importance. With respect to language, the efforts of 18th-century German settlers in Pennsylvania to make German the equal of English infuriated Benjamin Franklin, among others, and did not succeed.23 At least until the appearance of bilingualism and large concentrations of Spanish-speaking immigrants in Miami and the Southwest, America was unique as a huge country of more than 200 million people virtually all speaking the same language.
During the 19th century and until the late 20th century, immigrants were in various ways compelled, induced, and persuaded to adhere to the central elements of the Anglo-Protestant culture. Contemporary cultural pluralists, multiculturalists, and spokesmen for ethnic and racial minorities testify to the success of these efforts. Southern and Eastern European immigrants, Michael Novak poignantly commented in 1977, were pressured to become "American" by adapting to Anglo-American culture: Americanization "was a process of vast psychic repression." In similar language, Will Kymlicka in 1995 argued that prior to the 1960s, immigrants "were expected to shed their distinctive heritage and assimilate entirely to existing cultural norms", which he labeled the "Anglo-conformity model."24
These critics are right. Throughout American history, people who were not white Anglo-Saxon Protestants have become Americans by adopting its Anglo-Protestant culture and political values. This benefited them and the country.
Millions of immigrants and their children achieved wealth, power and status in American society precisely because they assimilated themselves into the prevailing American culture. Hence there is no validity to the claim that Americans have to choose between a white, racist, WASP-ish ethnic identity, on the one hand, and an abstract, shallow civic identity dependent on commitment to certain political principles, on the other. The core of their identity is the culture that the settlers created, which generations of immigrants have absorbed, and which gave birth to the American Creed. At the heart of that culture has been Protestantism.
Religiosity distinguishes America from most other Western societies. Americans are also overwhelmingly Christian, which distinguishes them from many non-Western peoples. Their religiosity leads Americans to see the world in terms of good and evil to a much greater extent than most other peoples. The leaders of other societies often find this religiosity not only extraordinary but also exasperating for the deep moralism it engenders in the consideration of political, economic and social issues.
Religion and nationalism have gone hand in hand in the history of the West. As the historian Adrian Hastings has shown, the former often defined the content of the latter: "Every ethnicity is shaped significantly by religion just as it is by language. . . . [In Europe,] Christianity has shaped national formation."25 The connection between religion and nationalism was alive and well at the end of the 20th century. Those countries that are more religious tend to be more nationalist. A survey of 41 countries found that those societies in which more people gave a "high" rating to the importance of God in their life were also those in which more people were "very proud" of their country.26
Within countries, individuals who are more religious also tend to be more nationalist. A 1983 survey of 15, mostly European, countries found that "in every country surveyed, those who said they were not religious are less likely to be proud of their country." On average, the difference is 11 percent. Most European peoples rank low in their belief in God and their pride in country. America ranks with Ireland and Poland, close to the top on both dimensions. Catholicism is essential to Irish and Polish national identity. The dissenting Protestant heritage is central to America's. Americans are overwhelmingly committed to both God and country and see them as inseparable. In a world in which religion shapes the allegiances, the alliances and the antagonisms of people on every continent, it should not be surprising if Americans again turn to religion to find their national identity and their national purpose.[Perhaps why "The Passion of The Christ was so controversial for some,]
Significant elements of American elites are favorably disposed to America becoming a cosmopolitan society. Other elites wish it to assume an imperial role. The overwhelming bulk of the American people are committed to a national alternative and to preserving and strengthening the American identity of centuries.
America becomes the world. The world becomes America. America remains America. Cosmopolitan? Imperial? National? The choices Americans make will shape their future as a nation and the future of the world."
The above analysis presents a problem: who is looking out for those in the last picture? Answer: nobody in government today. We have effectively been shut out of the governing process. Elections are effectively controlled by those with money and power, whose interests lie in either a Cosmopolitan America, or an Imperial America. The media is controlled by same. Who will represent the "overwhelming bulk of the American people [who] are committed to a national alternative and to preserving and strengthening the American identity of centuries"?
Ordinary Americans, like you and me, will have to turn to the true source of spiritual strength which lies within ourselves. To defend our values, we must live those values, in defiance of, and in spite of all the power applied to reverse our course.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Posted by No Apology at 11:33 PM
Plaxico Burress is led to his arraignment in Manhattan.
Wall Street Journal
DECEMBER 4, 2008
Free Plaxico Burress
New York City's gun law is unconstitutional
By DAVID B. KOPEL
New York Giants star receiver Plaxico Burress is facing a mandatory 3½ years in prison and the end of his football career. His crime? Not having a license, which New York City never would have issued him, for the exercise of his constitutional right to bear arms.
To be sure, Mr. Burress got caught because of what appears to have been stupid and irresponsible behavior connected with the handgun. But he does not face prison for shooting himself. His impending mandatory sentence highlights the unfairness and unconstitutionality of New York City's draconian gun laws.
Mr. Burress had previously had a handgun carry permit issued by Florida, for which he was required to pass a fingerprint-based background check. As a player for the Giants, he moved to Totowa, N.J., where he kept a Glock pistol. And last Friday night, he reportedly went to the Latin Quarter nightclub in midtown Manhattan carrying the loaded gun in his sweatpants. Because New York state permits to possess or carry handguns are not issued to nonresidents, Mr. Burress could not apply for a New York City permit.
At the nightclub, the handgun accidentally discharged, shooting Mr. Burress in the right thigh. He was not seriously injured, but he has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.
It appears that he put the unholstered gun in the waistband of his sweatpants, and when it slipped, he grabbed for it, accidentally hitting the trigger. To make matters worse, according to press accounts, he was seen drinking and may have been consuming alcohol -- which all firearms safety training (including the class he would have been required to take for his Florida permit) absolutely forbids for people handling guns. And of course Mr. Burress's handgun should have been holstered to prevent unintentional movement of the trigger. Fortunately, his negligent discharge did not harm anyone else.
Mr. Burress's behavior was bad. However, Mr. Burress is not facing prosecution for carelessness, but simply for carrying a weapon. This is unjust and perhaps unconstitutional. The legal issues are a bit tangled, but here is the background:
This summer, the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the District's handgun ban, and its ban on use of any firearm for self-defense in the home, violated the Second Amendment, which guarantees the individual right to bear arms. D.C. is a federal enclave, and the Court did not rule whether the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments. But as other cases reach it in the wake of Heller, it will.
The Heller decision did not say that requiring a license to carry a gun was unconstitutional. But in New York State, nonresidents cannot even apply for the licenses to possess or carry a handgun. Unlike most other states, New York refuses to honor carry permits issued by sister states. Most observers believe that the Supreme Court will eventually make state and local governments obey the Second Amendment. If it does, New York's discrimination against nonresidents will probably be ruled unconstitutional.
And then there is the issue of the permitting process for residents. In 40 states, including Connecticut, law-abiding adults are issued permits once they pass a fingerprint-based background check and a safety class. In New Jersey, carry permits are virtually never issued. In New York City, carry permits are issued, but to applicants with some form of political clout rather than on the basis of his or her need for protection.
The Second Amendment might not require New Jersey or New York City to issue as liberally as Connecticut does. But with a population of several million and only a few thousand (consisting mainly of politicians, retired police and celebrities) able to get permits, New York City's licensing process is almost certainly unconstitutional on a number of grounds, including sheer arbitrariness.
Some commentators contend that Plaxico Burress should have hired bodyguards, instead of carrying a gun himself. Mr. Burress might now agree. But people who aren't as wealthy as he is also deserve to be safe, and they don't have the money for bodyguards. New York City needs to regularize its carry permit system so that law-abiding people can protect themselves, especially if their circumstances (such as being a witness to a gang crime) place them at heightened risk.
The Burress case also shows why mandatory sentences are a bad idea. He was careless but had no malign intent. Legislators and mayors like to appear tough by pushing through such draconian laws. Yet the victims are people like Mr. Burress whose conduct may have been improper, but who do not deserve the same sentences meted out to robbers and burglars.
Mr. Kopel is a policy analyst with the Cato Institute, in Washington, D.C., and research director of the Independence Institute, in Golden, Colo.
Good post. Just wish he hadn't added: "...especially if their circumstances (such as being a witness to a gang crime) place them at heightened risk."
Why complicate matters? Unconstitutional is unconstitutional.
Posted by No Apology at 10:18 AM
Thursday, December 25, 2008
The Spread of Happiness
If you have a smile on your face this holiday season, you may take the time to thank your friends. But new research shows if you want to give thanks for your happiness you need to look beyond your own friends to their friends and to their friend’s friends.
In a study done by researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of California, San Diego, it was found that when an individual becomes happy the network effect can be measured up to three degrees. In other words, one person’s happiness is capable of triggering a chain reaction that extends beyond single person-to-person relationships. These effects can last up to a year.
On the flip side, sadness does not spread through social networks as robustly as happiness. On average, every happy friend increases your own chance of being happy by nine percent. Each unhappy friend decreases it by seven percent.
"One of the key determinants of human happiness is the happiness of others," Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School was quoted as saying. "An innovative feature of our work was exploring the idea that emotions are a collective phenomenon and not just as individual one."
Researchers used data from the Framingham Heart Study to recreate a social network of close to 5,000 people whose happiness was measured for 20 years. Christakis and fellow study author James Fowler of UCSD observed social and family ties and analyzed the spread of happiness through this group.
Fowler noted the practical implications of this study may lie in the importance of taking responsibility for your own happiness because it seems to impact dozens of others. "The pursuit of happiness is not a solitary goal. We are all connected, and so is our joy," Fowler was quoted as saying.
Posted by No Apology at 9:41 AM
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I bought my first handgun, a S&W 649 revolver, about 18 months ago. After sufficient training and practice, I got my CCW, about a year ago. My first handmade holster, a silver dollar variation of the pancake holster, was made by Rob at Simply Rugged, a small custom holster company in Wasilia, Alaska.
Recently, I decided I wanted a strong-side belt holster, for potential car-jackers when I'm traveling. When I went onto their site, I discovered we share more than an appreciation for well-made leather holsters: On one of their pages, called Gear Ready to Go, were some poignant sidebar comments about life and liberty. One of the sidebars, "I Carry a Gun", expresses my attitude better than I can. I have seen variations of this theme, but this one nailed it down for me. - NA
I Carry A Gun
August 14th, 2008
I carry a gun. I don’t carry a gun to kill people. I carry a gun to keep from being killed. I don’t carry a gun to scare people. I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place. I don’t carry a gun because I’m paranoid. I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world. I don’t carry a gun because I’m evil. I carry a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the world. I don’t carry a gun because I hate the government. I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government.As the saying goes, "When seconds count, the police are minutes away."
I don’t carry a gun because I’m angry. I carry a gun so that I don’t have to spend the rest of my life hating myself for failing to be prepared. I don’t carry a gun because I want to shoot someone. I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, and not on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon. I don’t carry a gun to make me feel like a man. I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones they love. I don’t carry a gun because I feel inadequate. I carry a gun because, unarmed and facing armed thugs, I AM inadequate.
I don’t carry a gun because I love it. I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful to me. “Police Protection” is an oxymoron. Free citizens must protect themselves. Police do not protect you from crime, they usually just investigate the crime after it happens and then call someone in to clean up the mess. I carry a gun because I’m too young to die and too old to take a beating. Anon.
Posted by No Apology at 11:59 AM