The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 
Ms. Crier’s book tackles the country’s big topics: education, the financial system, health care, national security, taxes, immigration.
 
‘Patriot Acts’

By EVE MARX

Catherine Crier, Emmy Award-winning national and international journalist for CNN, ABC News, Fox News and Court TV, and author of “A Deadly Game,” and “The Case Against Lawyers,” has written a new book, “Patriot Acts: What Americans Must Do to Save the Republic.” In her new work, Ms. Crier turns her attention to America in the dawn of the 21st century to present her case against corporate capitalism and power and how it has become a threat to American freedoms and prosperity.

“I truly believe Americans don’t understand what has to be preserved at all costs,” Ms. Crier said in an interview from her home in Bedford, where she has lived as a full-time resident since 1994. “We live in an ideological bubble,” she said as explanation for why she felt compelled to write her manifesto. In her book, she frequently harkens back to the wisdom of the Founding Fathers, wondering how their vision has been interpreted and how resulting policies and laws based on these interpretations have shaped the nation over time.

“These are issues that James Madison and Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin wrestled with,” Ms. Crier said. “If we don’t defend their work, everything that has been great will be gone.”

Ms. Crier’s book dares to tackle the big topics: education, the financial system, health care, national security, taxes, immigration. On the subject of the last, she writes, “Once we welcomed immigrants with talent and good skill sets. Students who came here to study were encouraged to stay, and we all reaped the benefits. Legal immigrants gave us Google, eBay, Intel and Yahoo. Despite the fact that they constitute only 12 percent of the U.S. population, immigrants have started 52 percent of Silicon Valley’s technology companies and contributed to more than 25 percent of our global patents. Today our doors are closing. When foreign students obtain degrees at our prestigious universities, most of them return home. Opportunities are increasing for them elsewhere, but instead of competing for these smart, innovative young people, we display attitudes and design policies that send them away. Why aren’t we actively recruiting these people to come and stay when innovation and new domestic business are the only ways out of our economic hole?”

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

When asked who she thought might have the vision to lead the country, Ms. Crier said, “The next wave will be from those who are driving for a constitutional amendment to get corporate money out of politics. Until we attack systemic corruption on both the right and the left, it doesn’t matter what the issue is. It’s doomed. Immigration, national security — all decisions now are driven by elite corporate interests. To preserve the republic, we’ve got to get elite corporate interest out of politics and strengthen the integrity of the process.”

Ms. Crier, who admitted she is often depressed by the current state of American affairs, said she believes many Americans have become deaf or bored or jaded because of what they hear from TV pundits or what they read in the news.

“You mention campaign finance reform and people’s eyes glaze over,” she said. “The original Tea Party guys were angry with Wall Street, and they had it right. The 99 percent have been protesting Obama events. We need to cut through the propaganda and talk about truths, what got us here.”

In her book, Ms. Crier makes a case for putting the Founding Fathers’ original concepts back into place as a guiding light. Her book is, essentially, a call to action and for reason, for anyone willing and prepared to put country above self-interest. She asks that people become real patriots, not in just words, but deeds.

“My argument is so unique. You don’t hear this from everyone,” she said. She refers often to the work of Adam Smith, a 18th-century Scottish social philosopher and pioneer of political economy and author of “The Wealth of Nations.”

“Smith wrote about mercantilism. He wrote about having never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good,” Ms. Crier said.

In her book she writes, “Today Smith’s ‘Wealth of Nations’ is an economic Bible, but in 1776 it was a blasphemous challenge to big government, big business mercantilism of Europe.” She said that what the politicians and Wall Street guys who quote Smith now as their Bible don’t tell you is that Smith was highly critical of concentrated wealth and power.

“He was British and had seen what happened when huge companies controlled an economy, particularly when they were befriended by the government,” she said.

Ms. Crier said it was disconcerting to realize how little Americans know about their own history.

“Conservatives swear they’re preaching founding principles, but until we admit that the current ideology is concentrated to benefit the wealthy class, we’re in trouble,” she said. “There cannot be any more marriage between government and big business.”

Her new book, she said, is not just based on her own ideas, but is heavily footnoted and relies on empirical evidence.

“When I write about politics, I am writing for the American voter,” Ms. Crier said. “I want to write things the average American can understand. I believe people want to preserve the country, but they’re given so much propaganda and false rhetoric, it’s hard to back up and say what’s the truth. Rethinking knee jerk responses is so difficult.”

Ms. Crier is not against the 1 percent. Far from it.

“It’s so necessary for the 1 percent to understand they will continue to thrive in a system that supports broad-based opportunity, instead of this growing divide,” she said. “This country was its most prosperous when we had a booming middle class. Continuing this accumulation of power and wealth at the top will destroy the domestic economy and kill the golden goose. People at the top must understand reforms must be made and appropriate regulations to encourage broader economic opportunity that will benefit all strata.”

Ms. Crier has been giving interviews and touring to promote her new book for several weeks.

“I’m getting a good response from the media, but I’m always dismayed by the lack of historical background my interviewers have,” she said. She herself is an avid student of American history. She is convinced it is time for true patriots to act. “They must do so armed with facts, not myths, and with a real understanding of the extraordinary but fragile system our founders established.”

“Patriot Acts” is published by Simon & Schuster.


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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

NEWSSTAND LOCATIONS

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Perks – 197 Katonah Avenue    

  4. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center;
    294 Katonah Avenue   

  5. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center;
    280 Katonah Avenue    

  6. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

  2. Connie’s at Northern Westchester Hospital
    400 E. Main Street    


South Salem/Vista

  1. JNR Pharmacy – 222 Oakridge Commons;
    Route 123   


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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DECEMBER 23, 2011