Thursday, December 31, 2009



December 31, 2009 | From

Events unfolding in Iran and the Middle East will help forge the German-led European superstate.

When the New York Times runs an op-ed making the case for a U.S. military strike on Iran, you know the Iranian nuclear saga is probably direr than most people know.

“We have reached the point where air strikes are the only plausible option with any prospect of preventing Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons,” the Times wrote last Thursday. “Postponing military action merely provides Iran a window to expand, disperse and harden its nuclear facilities against attack. The sooner the United States takes action, the better” (emphasis mine throughout).

As the sun sets on 2009, there is widespread consensus that Iran will dominate global headlines in 2010. “The year 2010 is the make or break year for stopping Iran,” Barry Rubin ominously warned this week. The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes agreed, insisting that “In 2009, we tried to engage the Iranian regime. In 2010, let’s try to change it.” “One way or the other,” noted Charles Krauthammer, “Iran will dominate 2010. Either there will be an Israeli attack or Iran will arrive—or cross—the nuclear threshold.”

Last Friday, Stephen Flurry addressed the prophetic significance of the U.S.-Iranian standoff, particularly as it relates to the future of America and Israel. “What is … possible, if not probable, is that for all our rhetoric, [America] will stand idly by and do nothing about the problem,” he wrote. Whatever happens, Mr. Flurry explained, Bible prophecy tells us that neither Israel nor America will eliminate the Iran threat, and that military action would ultimately serve to hasten America (and Israel’s) precipitous decline in global power and influence.

Yet as fruitless as military action by America or Israel would ultimately be, Bible prophecy “does not explicitly say that Israel or America won’t attempt to forcefully eliminate the Iranian nuclear threat.” So as conditions in the region appear to converge toward a breaking point, and the historically and prophetically significant date of January 16 edges closer, the Trumpet stands at its post, vigilantly watching, eagerly anticipating.

Beyond the continued abatement of America and Israel’s power, what else, exactly, do we anticipate could emerge from the Iran saga in 2010?

Regular readers know that the Trumpet watches Iran through the eyeglass of a prophecy in Daniel 11: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen …. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown ….” As we have explained for almost 20 years—and has been borne out repeatedly in real-world events—this “king of the south” is radical Islam, under the leadership of Iran.

Daniel’s prophecy illuminates our understanding of the Middle East. Indeed, no rational person would dispute that Iran rules this region like a king. If you read Daniel 11:40-45 carefully, it’s obvious that the king of the south’s emergence is merely the first chapter in this prophetic narrative.

Moreover, this passage clearly indicates that while the king of the south is a key actor in this end-time drama, it does not play the lead role. Actually, it plays a secondary role—which Iran is fulfilling even now—that primarily consists of aggravating the king of the north,” the protagonist in this prophecy. Notice, Iran pushes, and pushes and pushes, until eventually this great northern combine barrels into the Middle East, smashes the king of the south, establishes itself as the regional hegemon, and then “enters” peacefully into the “glorious land,” a biblical term for Jerusalem.

Ultimately, this prophecy in Daniel 11 is more about the king of the north than it is the king of the south.

This distinction is pivotal: Daniel’s towering prophecy informs us that the king of the north actually rises to a great extent out of the actions of the king of the south. If we want to grasp the ultimate significance of the Iran saga, we must look through events in Iran and study the king of the north.

Who, precisely, is the “king of the north”? As we have explained extensively, it’s the seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire!

The Trumpet agrees with the assessment that Iran will be a dominant feature in global affairs in 2010. But it most likely will not be the dominant issue of 2010. Why? Because Bible prophecy tells us that the closer the Iranian nuclear saga builds to a climax, and the more Iran pushes and prods and destabilizes the Middle East and the world, the harder and faster the king of the north will work to cement itself as a global power, after which it will roll into the Middle East and deal once and for all with Iran, the king of the south.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote a powerful article about the “king of the north” for the February 2010 issue. “We have been prophesying [about the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire] for 65 years!” he wrote. “Now it is here.

Perhaps it’s difficult for some people to see this reality right now. In 2010, we can expect world events—especially in Iran and the Middle East—to reveal the reality that the Holy Roman Empire is back!

Read “The Holy Roman Empire Is Back!” Written for our 20th anniversary issue, it is one of the clearest, most enlightening, urgent and emotionally stirring articles Mr. Flurry has written for the Trumpet. News gurus expect 2010 to be incredibly active, a year in which far-reaching and potentially historic events and transformations will occur in the United States, the Middle East, Asia and Europe—and in the relations between these countries and regions. This article sets the tone for the Trumpet’s reporting on these events and gives prophetic context to what is certain to be an ever quickening stream of significant news in 2010.

What better time to read this article than right now, the last day of 2009—the day before the Holy Roman Empire becomes official!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Psalms Chapter 109 תְּהִלִּים

א לַמְנַצֵּחַ, לְדָוִד מִזְמוֹר:
אֱלֹהֵי תְהִלָּתִי, אַל-תֶּחֱרַשׁ.
1 For the Leader. A Psalm of David. {N}
O God of my praise, keep not silence;
ב כִּי פִי רָשָׁע, וּפִי-מִרְמָה--עָלַי פָּתָחוּ; דִּבְּרוּ אִתִּי, לְשׁוֹן שָׁקֶר. 2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of deceit have they opened against me; they have spoken unto me with a lying tongue.
ג וְדִבְרֵי שִׂנְאָה סְבָבוּנִי; וַיִּלָּחֲמוּנִי חִנָּם. 3 They compassed me about also with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause.
ד תַּחַת-אַהֲבָתִי יִשְׂטְנוּנִי; וַאֲנִי תְפִלָּה. 4 In return for my love they are my adversaries; but I am all prayer.
ה וַיָּשִׂימוּ עָלַי רָעָה, תַּחַת טוֹבָה; וְשִׂנְאָה, תַּחַת אַהֲבָתִי. 5 And they have laid upon me evil for good, and hatred for my love:
ו הַפְקֵד עָלָיו רָשָׁע; וְשָׂטָן, יַעֲמֹד עַל-יְמִינוֹ. 6 'Set Thou a wicked man over him; and let an adversary stand at his right hand.
ז בְּהִשָּׁפְטוֹ, יֵצֵא רָשָׁע; וּתְפִלָּתוֹ, תִּהְיֶה לַחֲטָאָה. 7 When he is judged, let him go forth condemned; and let his prayer be turned into sin.
ח יִהְיוּ-יָמָיו מְעַטִּים; פְּקֻדָּתוֹ, יִקַּח אַחֵר. 8 Let his days be few; let another take his charge.
ט יִהְיוּ-בָנָיו יְתוֹמִים; וְאִשְׁתּוֹ, אַלְמָנָה. 9 Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
י וְנוֹעַ יָנוּעוּ בָנָיו וְשִׁאֵלוּ; וְדָרְשׁוּ, מֵחָרְבוֹתֵיהֶם. 10 Let his children be vagabonds, and beg; and let them seek their bread out of their desolate places.
יא יְנַקֵּשׁ נוֹשֶׁה, לְכָל-אֲשֶׁר-לוֹ; וְיָבֹזּוּ זָרִים יְגִיעוֹ. 11 Let the creditor distrain all that he hath; and let strangers make spoil of his labour.
יב אַל-יְהִי-לוֹ, מֹשֵׁךְ חָסֶד; וְאַל-יְהִי חוֹנֵן, לִיתוֹמָיו. 12 Let there be none to extend kindness unto him; neither let there be any to be gracious unto his fatherless children.
יג יְהִי-אַחֲרִיתוֹ לְהַכְרִית; בְּדוֹר אַחֵר, יִמַּח שְׁמָם. 13 Let his posterity be cut off; in the generation following let their name be blotted out.
יד יִזָּכֵר, עֲו‍ֹן אֲבֹתָיו--אֶל-יְהוָה; וְחַטַּאת אִמּוֹ, אַל-תִּמָּח. 14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be brought to remembrance unto the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.
טו יִהְיוּ נֶגֶד-יְהוָה תָּמִיד; וְיַכְרֵת מֵאֶרֶץ זִכְרָם. 15 Let them be before the LORD continually, that He may cut off the memory of them from the earth.
טז יַעַן-- אֲשֶׁר לֹא זָכַר, עֲשׂוֹת חָסֶד:
וַיִּרְדֹּף, אִישׁ-עָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן--וְנִכְאֵה לֵבָב; לְמוֹתֵת.
16 Because that he remembered not to do kindness, {N}
but persecuted the poor and needy man, and the broken in heart he was ready to slay.
יז וַיֶּאֱהַב קְלָלָה, וַתְּבוֹאֵהוּ; וְלֹא-חָפֵץ בִּבְרָכָה, וַתִּרְחַק מִמֶּנּוּ. 17 Yea, he loved cursing, and it came unto him; and he delighted not in blessing, and it is far from him.
יח וַיִּלְבַּשׁ קְלָלָה, כְּמַדּוֹ: וַתָּבֹא כַמַּיִם בְּקִרְבּוֹ; וְכַשֶּׁמֶן, בְּעַצְמוֹתָיו. 18 He clothed himself also with cursing as with his raiment, and it is come into his inward parts like water, and like oil into his bones.
יט תְּהִי-לוֹ, כְּבֶגֶד יַעְטֶה; וּלְמֵזַח, תָּמִיד יַחְגְּרֶהָ. 19 Let it be unto him as the garment which he putteth on, and for the girdle wherewith he is girded continually.'
כ זֹאת פְּעֻלַּת שֹׂטְנַי, מֵאֵת יְהוָה; וְהַדֹּבְרִים רָע, עַל-נַפְשִׁי. 20 This would mine adversaries effect from the LORD, and they that speak evil against my soul.
כא וְאַתָּה, יְהוִה אֲדֹנָי-- עֲשֵׂה-אִתִּי, לְמַעַן שְׁמֶךָ;
כִּי-טוֹב חַסְדְּךָ, הַצִּילֵנִי.
21 But Thou, O GOD the Lord, deal with me for Thy name's sake; {N}
because Thy mercy is good, deliver Thou me.
כב כִּי-עָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן אָנֹכִי; וְלִבִּי, חָלַל בְּקִרְבִּי. 22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.
כג כְּצֵל-כִּנְטוֹתוֹ נֶהֱלָכְתִּי; נִנְעַרְתִּי, כָּאַרְבֶּה. 23 I am gone like the shadow when it lengtheneth; I am shaken off as the locust.
כד בִּרְכַּי, כָּשְׁלוּ מִצּוֹם; וּבְשָׂרִי, כָּחַשׁ מִשָּׁמֶן. 24 My knees totter through fasting; and my flesh is lean, and hath no fatness.
כה וַאֲנִי, הָיִיתִי חֶרְפָּה לָהֶם; יִרְאוּנִי, יְנִיעוּן רֹאשָׁם. 25 I am become also a taunt unto them; when they see me, they shake their head.
כו עָזְרֵנִי, יְהוָה אֱלֹהָי; הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי כְחַסְדֶּךָ. 26 Help me, O LORD my God; O save me according to Thy mercy;
כז וְיֵדְעוּ, כִּי-יָדְךָ זֹּאת; אַתָּה יְהוָה עֲשִׂיתָהּ. 27 That they may know that this is Thy hand; that Thou, LORD, hast done it.
כח יְקַלְלוּ-הֵמָּה, וְאַתָּה תְבָרֵךְ: קָמוּ, וַיֵּבֹשׁוּ--וְעַבְדְּךָ יִשְׂמָח. 28 Let them curse, but bless Thou; when they arise, they shall be put to shame, but Thy servant shall rejoice.
כט יִלְבְּשׁוּ שׂוֹטְנַי כְּלִמָּה; וְיַעֲטוּ כַמְעִיל בָּשְׁתָּם. 29 Mine adversaries shall be clothed with confusion, and shall put on their own shame as a robe.
ל אוֹדֶה יְהוָה מְאֹד בְּפִי; וּבְתוֹךְ רַבִּים אֲהַלְלֶנּוּ. 30 I will give great thanks unto the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise Him among the multitude;
לא כִּי-יַעֲמֹד, לִימִין אֶבְיוֹן-- לְהוֹשִׁיעַ, מִשֹּׁפְטֵי נַפְשׁוֹ. 31 Because He standeth at the right hand of the needy, to save him from them that judge his soul. {P}

Monday, December 14, 2009


Pirates Prove America Won’t Fight to Win

December 8, 2009 | From

As the U.S. Navy frets over lawsuits, pirates park huge hijacked ships in plain view while they go off to divvy the plunder among their stock investors.

In 1808, a grand and powerful fleet mustered in the south of England. The ships appeared like mighty men-of-war, but these were merchantmen readying sail for India to transport home a priceless cargo of saltpeter. In the war against Napoleon, Britain’s very survival depended upon those supplies.

The British captains didn’t know it, but they were sailing into an ambush. Even as these ships prepared to leave port, British shipping in the Indian Ocean was already being ravaged—by fierce pirates. Many of these merchants would meet similar fates.

Two hundred years later, America is ignorantly sailing into the same trap. On November 29, another supertanker en route to America was hijacked by pirates—carrying the equivalent of 20 percent of Saudi Arabia’s daily oil production.

As the Somalis brazenly sailed their $150 million-plus prize home, the most powerful navy in the world sat impotent. Sadly, America’s impotence is not due to a lack of firepower, but willpower. Why is America so weak when it could be so strong?

The plight facing the world in the Indian Ocean today is not new. In 1808, it was French frigates and privateers (aka pirates) who were preying on English shipping with spectacular success. In one two-month spell, over 19 fully loaded merchantmen were captured as they attempted to run the gauntlet to get their valuable war stores—the ingredients of the most potent gunpowder known—around the south of Africa to the battlefields of Europe. Over the ensuing months, three more massive fleets would leave England for India. The few battered hulks that limped back told a tale that shocked the country. Combined with ships lost to storms and others that disappeared, never to be heard of again, it almost bankrupted the East India Company. The results threatened the war in Europe and Britain’s status as a great power.

Today, America faces a remarkably similar situation.

Back then, it was Britain’s link to India and its strategically crucial gunpowder supplies that were in danger. All these years later, in that same tract of ocean, it is America’s link to the Middle East and the single most important source of global oil supplies that is increasingly at risk.

Patrolling 1 million square miles of ocean is no easy task—a lesson Britain learned the hard way. French privateers could materialize like ghosts, blast English ships to pieces with cannon fire, then disappear into the vastness of the ocean—anywhere, any time. British Rear Adm. Sir Edward Pellew, probably Britain’s most brilliant and successful commander after Nelson, famously lamented: “For the most part, the first intelligence of their appearance … is announced by their success.”

And if British warships approached, the pirates would turn around and sail away. Standing orders for French ships were to focus only on Britain’s commercial lifeline. In 1807, the famous French pirate Robert Surcouf in his 18-gun sloop captured more than 30 prizes. Britain was being choked.

Back then it was the British Navy that the politicians and big merchant companies lambasted as impotent. The enemy brazenly sailed the captured vessels to the “Isle of France distant nearly 3,000 miles,” and “not a single instance of recapture has occurred,” they charged.

Pellew, a fighting man, was bitter—and rightly so. Two years earlier, he had been denied the opportunity of dealing with the piracy at its source. The problem lay with the so-called Gibraltar of the East, the twin islands of Île de France and Bourbon, or as they are now known, Mauritius and Reunion. From these pirate havens, located due east of the vast island of Madagascar, the pirates could sally forth to terrorize the seas and then return to safe harbor, sell their plunder, and refurbish their ships.

For various reasons, Pellew’s plan for a joint army and navy invasion to annex the pirate stronghold was shelved to gather dust. It would cost too much. It would be too difficult. The defenders were too well-equipped. Too many soldiers’ lives would be lost. The old familiar weakness. With familiar results.

It wasn’t until Britain’s very link to India was in danger because so many ships had been captured or sent to Davy Jones’s locker that politicians finally resolved to take meaningful action.

But when Britain did strike, it was swift and decisive. British ships blockaded the ports. Marines and soldiers stormed coastal batteries and boarded pirate ships in port. Pirates were executed. And after a few surprisingly small skirmishes, the local government sued for peace. Slaves were released, and the slave trade was abolished on the islands.

In fact, the resistance was so feeble that it was anticlimactic. Only 28 British soldiers died before the defenders asked for peace terms. Two to three times as many soldiers died just on the voyage to the islands.

As it turned out, the cost to Britain wasn’t in lives or money. The monetary cost of the invasion was more than offset by capturing the pirate lair and freeing the seas for trade. The cost in lives too was offset by the future lives saved due to the vast reduction in piracy.

The real cost was will. Britain had the power to stop the piracy; politicians just needed the will to use it.

But once Britain exercised the national will to defend its interests, the results were dramatic. Pirates and pirate-harboring nations knew that if they preyed on British shipping, one day a British man-of-war, or a fleet of ships, was going to show up and make them pay the price.

In 1808, at the height of the piracy in the Indian Ocean, the British East India Company had contracted to supply 6,000 tons of saltpeter to the government. In 1810, the year of the elimination of the pirate strongholds on Mauritius and Reunion, the company was able to deliver 12,000 tons. That supply was crucial to Wellington’s victories in Spain.

This is a lesson America should heed today.

It was almost one year ago that America lost its first oil tanker, the Sirius Star. This was the largest ship in history to be captured by pirates. But now America has lost a second one. At 300,000 metric tons, the Maran Centaurus is only slightly smaller and ranks as the second-largest ship ever taken. And still America will do nothing.

Pirates based out of Somalia and backed by local warlords now hold 587 hostages taken from captured ships. The list of stolen ships overtly anchored in Somali ports and awaiting ransoms include an oil tanker, a chemical tanker, bulk carriers, cargo ships, container ships, luxury yachts and fishing trawlers.

And unless someone acts, the frequency of pirate attacks may be about to go full-sail ahead.

Somali pirates are going corporate. A recent Reuters report indicates that Somali pirates are organizing as business enterprises, complete with ceos, accountants and recruiting staff. Impoverished Somalis faced with embracing strict Islam or joining the pirate life are swelling the ranks of wannabe pirates.

Pirate cartels based out of Somalia have even opened a “stock exchange” for attracting investors and raising capital to purchase more sophisticated weaponry and equipment. Each share purchased by an investor entitles the stockholder to a cut of whatever booty the company captures. One woman interviewed by Reuters says she received a $75,000 dividend just 38 days after investing in one pirate company.

Four months ago, there were 15 pirate companies operating on the Haradheere “stock exchange.” Today there are 72. According to the report, the stock exchange is drawing wealthy backers from around the world.

In 2008, there were 194 pirate attacks worldwide. As of October this year, there have been at least 174 just from Somali pirates. Globally, the total number of attacks has grown to 324—that’s a 67 percent rise, and the year isn’t over.

Commenting on the lack of success in deterring the pirates, U.S. naval officials describe the difficulty of protecting such a vast area. “It’s 2.5 million square miles we’re dealing with,” said Lt. Matt Allen, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain and charged with protecting the Gulf of Aden and the waters adjacent to Somalia. “It’s a very large area. It’s a daunting task.”

Yet, America knows exactly where the pirate lairs are. It knows where the ships are anchored. It even knows where many of the pirate bosses live.

Why is America not taking any meaningful action? Its oil supplies have been threatened twice now!

Even when America is successful in catching pirates in the act, many times, believe it or not, the pirates are just released. In fact, the U.S. Navy is very reluctant to even apprehend pirates, fearing that they will violate some aspect of human rights law. Because of this fear, and the fact that it is very costly to transport and prosecute captured pirates, most pirates are only stopped and released, reports the Cornel Daily Sun. Thus the pirates are set free to hunt the seas again.

Get that? America is more concerned about the rights of pirates than those of its own citizens.

Last month, the U.S.-flagged Mersk Alabama was attacked by pirates for a second time. This is the same ship that pirates captured in April, holding the captain hostage for five days until Navy sharpshooters freed him.

Pirates attacked the same American ship twice! What a slap in the face to the world’s “most powerful” nation. Obviously people don’t fear American power like they used to.

Unfortunately for American merchants, America’s general policy of weakness is set to continue, because America lacks the will to face the pirate problem head-on. What a far-reaching change from how America used to be.

America’s pride in its power is broken.

But it wasn’t always this way. As Stephen Flurry wrote when the Sirius Star was captured, there was a time when leaders were more inclined to act courageously against the forces of terror. When North African pirates, for example, demanded tribute from the U.S. government to ensure safe passage for American ships through the Mediterranean, Thomas Jefferson’s reply left nothing to the imagination: “The style of the demand admitted but one answer,” Jefferson said. “I sent a … squadron of frigates into the Mediterranean.” Those frigates waged war on the Barbary pirates until the North Africans sea lanes were freed for American ships.

And that was when the United States had a tiny fraction of the power that it has today. Back then, America had much less power, but a lot more pride.

There may still be plenty of power in America today, but the will to use it—as God has prophesied in Leviticus 26:19—has been completely crushed.

Don’t expect American ships to dock in Somalia anytime soon—unless they are brought in under the pirate flag.

Monday, December 07, 2009


Cass Sunstein

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Cass Sunstein

Born September 21, 1954 (1954-09-21) (age 55)
Residence Cambridge, Massachusetts
Nationality American
Fields Constitutional law, Administrative Law
Institutions Harvard Law School

University of Chicago Law School

Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Alma mater Harvard College
Harvard Law School
Known for soft paternalism, choice architecture, cyberbalkanization

Cass R. Sunstein (born September 21, 1954) is an American legal scholar, particularly in the fields of constitutional law, administrative law, environmental law, and law and behavioral economics, who currently is the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration. For 27 years, Sunstein taught at the University of Chicago Law School,[1] where he continues to teach as the Harry Kalven Visiting Professor. Sunstein is currently Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he is on leave while working in the Obama administration.


Early life and education

Sunstein was born on September 21, 1954. He graduated in 1972 from the Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975 from Harvard College, where he was a member of the varsity squash team and the Harvard Lampoon. In 1978, Sunstein received a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was executive editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and part of a winning team of the Ames Moot Court Competition. He served as a law clerk first for Justice Benjamin Kaplan of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (1978-1979) and later for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the Supreme Court (1979-1980).


Sunstein worked in the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department as an attorney-advisor (1980-1981) and then took a job as an assistant professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School (1981-1983), where he also became an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science (1983-1985). In 1985, Sunstein was made a full professor of both political science and law; in 1988, he was named the Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence in the Law School and Department of Political Science. The university honored him in 1993 with its "distinguished service" accolade, permanently changing his title to Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence in the Law School and Department of Political Science.

Sunstein was the Samuel Rubin Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia Law School in the fall of 1986 and a visiting professor at Harvard Law School in the spring 1987, winter 2005, and spring 2007 terms. He teaches courses in constitutional law, administrative law, and environmental law, as well as the required first-year course "Elements of the Law", which is an introduction to legal reasoning, legal theory, and the interdisciplinary study of law, including law and economics. In the fall of 2008 he joined the faculty of Harvard Law School and began serving as the director of its Program on Risk Regulation:[2]

The Program on Risk Regulation will focus on how law and policy deal with the central hazards of the 21st century. Anticipated areas of study include terrorism, climate change, occupational safety, infectious diseases, natural disasters, and other low-probability, high-consequence events. Sunstein plans to rely on significant student involvement in the work of this new program.[2]

On January 7, 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported that Professor Sunstein will be named to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).[3] That news generated controversy among progressive legal scholars[4] and environmentalists.[5]

In his research on risk regulation, Professor Sunstein is known for developing, together with Timur Kuran, the concept of availability cascades, wherein popular discussion of an idea is self-feeding and causes individuals to overweight its importance. Professor Sunstein's books include After the Rights Revolution (1990), The Partial Constitution (1993), Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech (1995), Legal Reasoning and Political Conflict (1996), Free Markets and Social Justice (1997), One Case at a Time (1999), Risk and Reason (2002), Why Societies Need Dissent (2003), Laws of Fear: Beyond the Precautionary Principle (2005), Radicals in Robes: Why Extreme Right-Wing Courts Are Wrong for America (2005), Are Judges Political? An Empirical Analysis of the Federal Judiciary (2005), Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge (2006), and, co-authored with Richard Thaler, Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (2008).

Sunstein's 2006 book, Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge, explores methods for aggregating information; it contains discussions of prediction markets, open-source software, and wikis. Sunstein's 2004 book, The Second Bill of Rights: FDR's Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More than Ever, advocates the Second Bill of Rights proposed by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Among these rights are a right to an education, a right to a home, a right to health care, and a right to protection against monopolies; Sunstein argues that the Second Bill of Rights has had a large international impact and should be revived in the United States. His 2001 book,, argued that the Internet may weaken democracy because it allows citizens to isolate themselves within groups that share their own views and experiences, and thus cut themselves off from any information that might challenge their beliefs, a phenomenon known as cyber balkanization.

Sunstein co-authored Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Yale University Press, 2008) with economist Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago. Nudge discusses how public and private organizations can help people make better choices in their daily lives. Thaler and Sunstein argue that

People often make poor choices - and look back at them with bafflement! We do this because as human beings, we all are susceptible to a wide array of routine biases that can lead to an equally wide array of embarrassing blunders in education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, happiness, and even the planet itself.[citation needed]

The ideas in the book proved popular with politicians such as Barack Obama, David Cameron, and the British Conservative Party in general (Cameron is party leader).[6][7][8] The "Nudge" idea has not been without criticism. Dr Tammy Boyce of public health foundation The King's Fund has said:

We need to move away from short-term, politically motivated initiatives such as the 'nudging people' idea, which are not based on any good evidence and don't help people make long-term behaviour changes.[9]

Sunstein is a contributing editor to The New Republic and The American Prospect and is a frequent witness before congressional committees. He played an active role in opposing the impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998.

In recent years, Sunstein has been a guest writer on The Volokh Conspiracy blog as well as the blogs of law professors Lawrence Lessig (Harvard) and Jack Balkin (Yale). He is considered so prolific a writer that in 2007, an article in the legal publication The Green Bag coined the concept of a "Sunstein number" reflecting degrees of separation between various legal authors and Sunstein, paralleling the Erdős numbers sometimes assigned to mathematician authors.

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (elected 1992) and the American Law Institute (since 1990).

Sunstein's confirmation had been long blocked because of controversy over allegations about his political and academic views. On September 9, 2009, the Senate voted for cloture on Sunstein's nomination. The motion passed in a 63-35 vote. The senate confirmed Sustein on September 10, 2009 in a 57-40 vote.


Legal philosophy

Sunstein is a proponent of judicial minimalism, arguing that judges should focus primarily on deciding the case at hand, and avoid making sweeping changes to the law or decisions that have broad-reaching effects. Some view him as liberal[citation needed] despite publicly supporting some of George W. Bush's judicial nominees, including Michael W. McConnell and John G. Roberts, as well as supporting rights under the Second Amendment [10] and providing strong theoretical support for the death penalty[11]. Much of his work also brings behavioral economics to bear on law, suggesting that the "rational actor" model will sometimes produce an inadequate understanding of how people will respond to legal intervention.

In recent years Sunstein has collaborated with academics who have training in behavioral economics, most notably Daniel Kahneman, Richard Thaler, and Christine M. Jolls, to show how the theoretical assumptions of law and economics should be modified by new empirical findings about how people actually behave.

Sunstein (along with his coauthor Richard Thaler) has elaborated the theory of libertarian paternalism. In arguing for this theory, he counsels thinkers/academics/politicians to embrace the findings of behavioral economics as applied to law, maintaining freedom of choice while also steering people's decisions in directions that will make their lives go better. With Thaler, he coined the term "choice architect."

First Amendment

In his book Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech Sunstein says there is a need to reformulate First Amendment law. He thinks that the current formulation, based on Justice Holmes' conception of free speech as a marketplace “disserves the aspirations of those who wrote America’s founding document.”[12] The purpose of this reformulation would be to “reinvigorate processes of democratic deliberation, by ensuring greater attention to public issues and greater diversity of views.”[13] He is concerned by the present “situation in which like-minded people speak or listen mostly to one another,”[14] and thinks that in “light of astonishing economic and technological changes, we must doubt whether, as interpreted, the constitutional guarantee of free speech is adequately serving democratic goals.”[15] He proposes a “New Deal for speech [that] would draw on Justice Brandeis' insistence on the role of free speech in promoting political deliberation and citizenship.”[13]

Animal rights

Some of Sunstein's work has addressed the question of animal rights, as he co-authored a book dealing with the subject, has written papers on it, and was an invited speaker at "FACING ANIMALS," an event at Harvard University described as "a groundbreaking panel on animals in ethics and the law."[16] “Every reasonable person believes in animal rights,” he says, continuing that "we might conclude that certain practices cannot be defended and should not be allowed to continue, if, in practice, mere regulation will inevitably be insufficient—and if, in practice, mere regulation will ensure that the level of animal suffering will remain very high." [17]

Sunstein's views on animal rights generated controversy when Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) blocked his appointment to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs by Obama. Chambliss objected to the introduction of Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions, a volume edited by Sunstein and his then-partner Martha Nussbaum. On page 11 of the introduction, during a philosophical discussion about whether animals should be thought of as owned by humans, Sunstein notes that personhood need not be conferred upon an animal in order to grant it various legal protections against abuse or cruelty, even including legal standing for suit. For example, under current law, if someone saw their neighbor beating a dog, they currently cannot sue for animal cruelty because they do not have legal standing to do so. Sunstein suggests that granting standing to animals, actionable by other parties, could decrease animal cruelty by increasing the likelihood that animal abuse will be punished.


Sunstein has argued, “We should celebrate tax day.”[18] Sunstein argues that since government (in the form of police, fire departments, insured banks, and courts) protects and preserves property and liberty, individuals should happily finance it with their tax dollars:

In what sense is the money in our pockets and bank accounts fully ‘ours’? Did we earn it by our own autonomous efforts? Could we have inherited it without the assistance of probate courts? Do we save it without the support of bank regulators? Could we spend it if there were no public officials to coordinate the efforts and pool the resources of the community in which we live? Without taxes, there would be no liberty. Without taxes there would be no property. Without taxes, few of us would have any assets worth defending. [It is] a dim fiction that some people enjoy and exercise their rights without placing any burden whatsoever on the public… There is no liberty without dependency.[18]

Sunstein goes on to say:

If government could not intervene effectively, none of the individual rights to which Americans have become accustomed could be reliably protected. [...] This is why the overused distinction between "negative" and "positive" rights makes little sense. Rights to private property, freedom of speech, immunity from police abuse, contractual liberty and free exercise of religion--just as much as rights to Social Security, Medicare and food stamps--are taxpayer-funded and government-managed social services designed to improve collective and individual well-being.


In a recent book, Sunstein proposes that government recognition of marriage be discontinued. "Under our proposal, the word marriage would no longer appear in any laws, and marriage licenses would no longer be offered or recognized by any level of government," argues Sunstein. He continues, "the only legal status states would confer on couples would be a civil union, which would be a domestic partnership agreement between any two people." He goes on further, "Governments would not be asked to endorse any particular relationships by conferring on them the term marriage," and refers to state-recognized marriage as an "official license scheme."[19]


In the 1980s and early 1990s, Sunstein was married to Lisa Ruddick, whom he met as an undergraduate at Harvard.[20] She is now a professor of English at the University of Chicago.[21] Their marriage ended not long after the birth of their daughter, Ellyn. He then began seeing Martha Nussbaum, philosopher, classicist, and professor of law at the University of Chicago.[22]

On July 4, 2008, Sunstein married Samantha Power, professor of public policy at Harvard, whom he met when they worked as advisors to Sunstein's friend, and former colleague at the U. of C. Law School,[23] President Barack Obama on his presidential campaign. The wedding took place in County Kerry in Power’s native Ireland.[24]

Sunstein had a pet Rhodesian ridgeback, Perry. During the Clinton impeachment hearings, Sunstein grew tired of appearing on news programs, and agreed to appear on Greta Van Susteren's CNN program only if he could bring Perry on the show with him; she agreed.[25] Perry died in the fall of 2008. The University Of Chicago Law School has created the Perry/Sunstein fund in Perry's memory, a scholarship fund for a student with an interest in animal welfare.

Sunstein is named after the 19th century American politician Lewis Cass.

Thursday, December 03, 2009





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Sunday, November 29, 2009


The Enemy Is Us

Rather than going after terrorists, Washington is attacking the CIA. By Joel Hilliker

What’s the next step in the Obama administration’s fight against Muslim extremists? Going after cia operatives.

It’s a radical step into murky territory that gives a number of advantages to avowed enemies of the United States. A strong case can be made that it could lead to former high-ranking Bush administration officials—even President Bush—being indicted by foreign governments.

This decision may have the appearance of righteousness—America atoning for its sins and so on. In truth, though, it reflects an astonishing failure to understand the seriousness of the war the nation is waging, and the nature of the enemy it faces.

As the U.S. argues over which interrogation techniques are torture, we are forced to confront the limits of American power: Possessing history’s most fearsome military does nothing to protect a nation whose leaders believe that battering and shackling its own intelligence agents will produce happier, mellower enemies and greater safety for its people.

“Death Sentence” on the War

Back in 2004, the U.S. Justice Department investigated several cia interrogations of terror detainees for possible abuses. It charged only one individual, and he was later acquitted. In August, however, Attorney General Eric Holder named a special prosecutor to reopen those cases. “A review is never going to be final anymore now,” lamented former Vice President Dick Cheney.

This action will have an obvious chilling effect on American interrogators. It means that even if they scrupulously follow the rules, someone could change the rules down the road. It means they face the axe or even jail time pending review of their actions by patently liberal officials.

To ensure that future interrogations are conducted according to the Obama administration’s exacting standards, a newly created organ called the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group will supervise them. The Wall Street Journal explained, “Interrogation techniques will be limited to those in the Army Field Manual or that are ‘non-coercive,’ which suggests more constrained than a big-city police department. … This means that the class of person who blows up skyscrapers, American embassies or the uss Cole would spend less time under a bare light bulb than a domestic robbery suspect” (August 26).

Of course, a detainee now knows exactly what to expect and how far his interrogator is allowed to go. He knows the president is looking over the interrogator’s shoulder, and that one false move would end this guy’s career. And this is supposed to make America safer.

“[I]t’s a death sentence for an effective war on terror,” wrote columnist Daniel Henninger. “It makes what’s left of the war—telephone wiretaps or monitoring money transfers—vulnerable to a steady stream of congressional and legal objection” (ibid.).

Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (Ret.), who has spent decades in military intelligence, contends that the clampdown “promises to do more damage to the intelligence community than even the crippling Carter-era shenanigans—whose effects are still felt today” (New York Post, September 2).

The people the president is trying to satisfy by implementing these steps do not want to make America stronger. They believe America deserves to be knocked down a peg or three. The policy of handcuffing interrogations and handing the agents’ slimmed-down playbook to future terrorist detainees should further their goals quite nicely. To the extent that these people have a constructive goal for America’s future, it is that the country would, having atoned for its arrogance, be able to take its seat among equals in what is supposedly a happy family of nations. This would, in their view, represent an improvement in America’s standing in the world.

Eric Holder and his boss are working diligently toward this end. With deadly effectiveness, they are succeeding.

The glaring problem, though, with the idea that a prostrate America is an improved America—that submission to other nations will earn their admiration—is that those other nations are basically hungry to see the U.S. go down. It is absurd to interpret their eagerness to help President Obama dismantle American power as a sign of friendship.

And the truth is, submission to man in place of submission to God will always lead to curses (Jeremiah 17:5). That is exactly what is befalling a United States that is betting its future on the goodwill of foreign states. But you don’t need the Bible to understand that. The signs are abundant and plain.

Submitting to Foreign Courts

While visiting Berlin last spring, Attorney General Holder was asked if he would cooperate with foreign or international tribunals to prosecute Bush-era officials for how they fought the “war on terror.” His answer was essentially that Washington wouldn’t arrest anyone or hand former officials over for foreign trials, but it would fulfill any “evidentiary requests” to help build legal cases.

In other words, if a foreign or international court wants to try U.S. officials, the White House is there to supply the evidence it needs. Whatever is necessary to “clean up” America’s international reputation.

“This is an administration that is determined to conduct itself by the rule of law,” Mr. Holder said. “And to the extent that we receive lawful requests from an appropriately created court, we would obviously respond to it.” By “rule of law,” the attorney general was referring to international law—laws written by nations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere—trumping the U.S. Constitution, the foundation of America’s national sovereignty.

You can be sure that Mr. Holder is going to start receiving those requests from foreigners eager to impose their laws on American officials. A number of foreigners are already getting busy.

For example, the United Nations “special rapporteur on torture” has said that George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld should be tried for torture. “Judicially speaking, the United States has a clear obligation” to put them on trial, Manfred Nowak told German television after President Obama’s inauguration.

A Spanish court is investigating Bush administration officials for torture of Guantánamo Bay prisoners. The case is being reviewed by the judge who successfully had Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet arrested in England in 1998.

Human rights groups in France and Germany have said they want to bring legal action against Mr. Rumsfeld. And surely there are some enterprising lawyers in the Organization of the Islamic Conference that would love to file a case or two as well.

All of these entities are being egged on by the Center for Constitutional Rights (ccr). This radical New York-based legal advocacy group, which sells “Torture Team” playing cards of Bush-era officials, “has been attempting to convince Germany, France, Spain, and other countries to file war-crime indictments against former Bush administration officials, including President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld,” Andrew McCarthy wrote in the National Review. “In representing America’s enemies, ccr has collaborated with many private lawyers, who also volunteered their services—several of whom are now working in the Obama Justice Department” (August 28; emphasis mine).

Yes, the new Justice Department is stacked with people who have legally represented al Qaeda and other Guantánamo detainees.

Is it any wonder, then, that they want to share evidence with foreigners eager to imprison former U.S. officials? That they want to put cia anti-terrorism operatives on the chopping block? That they want to prioritize the international legal order over America’s national law—and its clear national interests? No—it’s no wonder. Still, the speed at which they’re moving takes one’s breath away.

How do these events factor in to biblical prophecy? One way to answer that question is to see what prophecy does not say.

Invisible America

Daniel 11:40-44 could be considered the keynote prophecy of the Trumpet. And as Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains in The King of the South, this is an end-time prophecy about the clash of three distinct power blocs. Verse 40 discusses the first clash, which occurs when the king of the north (a German-led European empire) invades the Middle East and destroys the king of the south (led by Iran). This clash marks the beginning of World War iii.

The second major clash is mentioned in verse 44, when the king of the north, after clashing with the king of the south, is forced to turn and confront the “tidings out of the east.” This, as the Bible explains elsewhere, is the army of a great Asian bloc, led primarily by Russia and China.

Mr. Flurry spoke about this prophecy to students at Herbert W. Armstrong College in September, saying, “The most important part of this prophecy is what it doesn’t say.” Read the entire prophecy. The United States (identified in the Bible as Israel) is not mentioned once. Why?

Because at that time, America will not exist as a major political or military force in the world.

This spectacular prophecy is a forecast about the downfall of America as a superpower as much as it is about the rise and collision of the king of the north, the king of the south and the kings of the east.

Look at the Bible’s other key prophecies about major geopolitical events we are about to witness, including half of Jerusalem being forcibly seized by Muslims (Zechariah 14:2), and a destitute Israel asking Germany for military protection (Hosea 5:13). There’s an unseen but clear common denominator in all of these scenarios: the startling absence of the nation that, until recently, has been among the most active participants in these arenas: the United States.

Match those conspicuous omissions with dozens of other prophecies that foretell America’s downfall, and the truth becomes unequivocally clear: The world’s mightiest superpower is about to be conquered.

America’s will has been broken—a curse God promised to send upon our disobedient people (Leviticus 26:19). The belief that America’s war against Islamic extremism is best prosecuted by going after American intelligence agents stems from a broken will. It will hasten defeat for America.

Someday soon, war itself will be history. Scripture promises it. Swords will be beaten into plowshares; nuclear bombs will be melted into playground equipment.

But guess what: Even that time of peace won’t be brought about through negotiations and treaties, nor by gestures of goodwill. It will come only after the King of kings returns, “and in righteousness he doth judge and make war” (Revelation 19:11). He will fight with a sharp sword and rule with a rod of iron (verse 15). Once the nations submit—and only then—will He be able to teach and enforce the way of peace for all flesh.

God speed that day.

Request a free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy for a comprehensive scriptural explanation of America’s future.

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