If you have not encountered the Canadian philosopher Stefan Molyneux, it is time to get acquainted. This resonates with my current worldview on so many levels:
…let me know how his timely message strikes you. ◄Dave►
Here is a quick question that, I hope, will inspire more spirited exchanges. The question is: did Europe ask for the troubles it is now having with Muslim imports?
My answer is a definite YES, just as we are eventually going to pay for our own foolishness in that area. But Europe has far less excuse having already had years of conflict with and invasions by Muslims. Of course, part of the European problem is that a number of European nations colonized Muslim nations then allowed the citizens of those colonized nations to automatically become citizens of the colonizing nations. Another classic case of dumb being followed by dumber.
I have lately been reviewing the writings of John Stuart Mill, particularly On Liberty.
Mill proposes that a primary purpose of government is to prevent individuals from harming other individuals, and, when prevention fails, to impose appropriate punishment.
IMHO, our founding documents are totally compatible with this notion, even though common implementation often falls short of the stated goals.
Stated simply, each individual should be allowed, indeed, has a natural right, to live their life as they personally see fit, doing (or not doing) whatever they think best for their own purposes – so long as they are not harming others in the process.
Do any of you disagree with this concept? Do any of you think that this should NOT be a central tenant of our laws?
Assuming that you agree, then please allow me to raise my “Interesting Question”.
When I mention the notion of “harming others”, our first instinct is to think of overt actions intended to cause harm. Yet, there are myriad ways of causing harm, many of them resulting from things that were not done, from actions that were not taken.
In particular, I am thinking of the harm done to the young by those who caused them to be born and/or established themselves as their “official caretaker” (parent).
We have a large and very vocal group among us who insist on certain rights for those who have been conceived but are not yet born (the so called “abortion issue”). But, what about those who have been born? Do not those who caused their conception and birth (or who have voluntarily assumed parental status over them) have some very clear legal responsibilities toward these young lives?
I imagine most of you will agree that the young have a right to be physically cared for: fed, clothed, housed, etc. I submit that these young have an equal right to be emotionally and mentally cared for as well. Is it not a harm to fail to provide these young with the basic skills and knowledge required to function, at least minimally, in the society in which they will live as supposedly free adult individuals?
It is my firm opinion that those who assume parental duties, especially through the act of reproduction, have a legal responsibility to provide the minimal physical, emotional and mental support necessary to produce an adult person who is able to enjoy the fruits of individual freedom (obviously baring some unavoidable disability).
To be more clear, I think society in general has a legal responsibility to demand that such parenting be done and such needs be met, with appropriate punishments inflicted when it is not.
Further, I think that the current policy of rewarding people for producing offspring that they have no intention of properly parenting makes criminals of us all because we are accessories to repeated criminal acts.
How about this instead: if you bring children into the world then neglect them, the children are put into foster care and you are forced to labor, the fruits of which are then seized and used in support of the children?
The notion that we humans have the right to reproduce willy-nilly then leave the results to be seen to by society in general – or not seen to at all – is beyond inhumane.
Think about it – then offer your own thoughts in response.
Troy L Robinson
So, the totally predictable, indeed, the inevitable has happened yet again. This time in Paris. Next time ?? And we (or, at least our “leaders”) still try to act surprised.
The one terrorist captured alive now claims, not only to having been recruited by ISIS/ISIL but also to being a “Syrian refugee”. Who’d-a-thunk-it.
The latest proposal I am aware of is to allow 50,000 of these “refugees” into the USA. Now, let us be optimistic and suppose that only 1% of these “refugees” is actually an ISIS/ISIL convert bent on destruction. That would mean the intentional importation of 500 terrorists into our country. Now, consider the mayhem that 8 such just caused in Paris then multiply that by 60 and you begin to get some idea of the Obamanation’s latest proposed “gift” to America.
I realize that this monster’s term is supposedly coming to an end. Yet, seeing the amount of damage that can be done in a single day, then compounding that by the 600 or so days he has left in office, and…
He needs to be stopped immediately! We sent a GOP majority to the Congress to do just that. Now, let us demand that they get to it NOW or risk being replaced in the coming election. We have gotten rid of Boehner, which is a step in the right direction – but only a step, not a journey.
Think about it. Then please start a campaign to bombard your congressmen and senators with your demands for action.
Troy L Robinson
In a previous article, I mentioned that, while Donald Trump seems to say the right things, there was still something about his candidacy that bothers me. After hearing segments of his rant last evening, I clearly remember what it is.
Back in the 90’s, when Bill Clinton was running in opposition to incumbent president George H W Bush, my then wife and I both worked our tails off in support of H Ross Perot – as did many others who were equally taken in. Why? Because he seemed to be saying all the right things, making us believe he was just what the country needed. And, it seemed to be working. Indeed, his candidacy became so strong that he himself had to intentionally screw it up for apparent fear that he might actually win!
At that moment, we (and a lot of others) realized that we had been had. We had spent our time, our energy and our resources supporting a man who had no wish whatever to be president. In retrospect, it seems that all he wanted was to keep G H W Bush from being re-elected, because of some personal spat that should have concerned only them. However, H Ross Perot willingly did damage to our entire nation in pursuit of personal revenge.
My attitude toward Perot today is such that, were I walking down the road literally bursting from the need to urinate and I came across Perot sitting in the road engulfed in flames, I would hold it in a bit longer and walk right on by.
Hearing Trump ranting about Ben Carson in such an irrational manner brought all this immediately back to mind. Here is a candidate that sounds like he is trying to damage his own candidacy while, ostensibly, trying to take down his closest competitor – a competitor that, according to most polls, would handily beat Hillary Clinton in a national election. Indeed, a candidate whose reputation, manner of speaking and personal conduct would combine to make Hillary look like the piece of human waste that she actually is.
So, I cannot help but wonder if history is repeating itself in a way. That is: Is Donald Trump in the GOP primary for the express purpose of taking down other GOP candidates best positioned to beat Hillary (rather than actually seeking the presidency for himself)? The more I ponder this, the more comfortable it feels to my mind. After all, was not Trump a progressive Democrat until just recently? Don’t many of his current proposals still seem more progressive than conservative? Yes, I understand that Ronald Reagan is clear proof that such a change in political attitude and intent is entirely possible. But, unlike Trump, Reagan offered clear, simple to understand policies for fixing America where Trump, so far, offers only unlikely pie-in-the-sky promises delivered with an excess of bombast and almost no supporting substance.
My friends, our national condition is far too fragile to be the subject people who are simply playing games with us.
Yet, the idea of another GOP establishment wonk (like Romney or Rubio) at the helm is also fraught with danger.
What to think, what to do??? Will someone please tell me?
Troy L Robinson
As one can easily tell from the dates on the articles I have posted here, I have pretty much stopped contributing due to the obvious lack of interest.
Now, quite suddenly, this burst of comments, mostly on rather old articles. Why the sudden interest (or, if not interest, then why the sudden burst of activity)?
Some months ago, I opined in this forum that our president may well be a traitor. I offered several bits of evidence in support of this notion. Few of you responded, suggesting to me that the idea was not really taken seriously.
Now, this same president is closing a “deal” with the world’s primary supporter of Islamic terrorism that would guarantee that they obtain nuclear weapons along with intercontinental ballistic missile systems capable to delivering said nuclear weapons anywhere on Earth – including to your and my backyards.
What does the USA get out of this “deal” (other than a probable nuclear attack)? Nothing beneficial.
Even during the “negotiations” that led to this “deal”, Iran’s leaders loudly proclaimed their intent to “remove Israel from the face of the Earth”. They continued to refer to the United States as “the great Satan” and promised our eventual demise as well.
How can any sane person interpret this “deal” as anything other than treachery of the highest order. Indeed, a form of treachery that can only be called traitorous.
And, there are aspects of this “deal” that are beyond my admittedly limited comprehension. President Obama is no mystery. He is acting as nothing more or less than what he has been groomed to be, almost from birth (wherever that may have occurred). In other words, he was raised to despise this country and everything it has ever stood for. OK, I get that.
What I don’t get is the Secretary of State and those 40+ Democrat Senators who are openly willing to help this disastrous “deal” go through. Surely they cannot all be traitors. If not, then what are they? Are they so stupid and short-sighted that they cannot see where this is bound to lead? Do they simply not care? Are they so corrupt and self-centered that they put their short-term hold on power above the longer term consequences to the nation?
Or (and this is my personal theory), are they afraid? That is, afraid not to support Obama no matter what he does. If so, whence does this fear originate? Even though it must seem that I have an opinion about any and every thing, I admit to be totally in the dark here.
Folks, this is not a joke. Obama is about to release $150 BILLION dollars to the Iranians that, even supporters of the “deal” admit will be spent furthering the cause of Islamic terrorism. At the expense of the United States and its supposed allies. In addition, and as alluded to above, WE are virtually guaranteeing that Iran will become a deadly threat to the entire world in a very short time. Indeed, even other Muslim nations fear this “deal”. Yet, a number of powerful people in Washington DC claim to believe it is to path to world peace.
What can be seen here is horrible. Yet, what remains unseen is, no doubt, far more horrible.
Why are we-the-sheeple not marching on Washington DC with ropes and pitchforks?
I once thought Obama aspired to be dictator of the United States. I now realize that he will be content merely to destroy it.
Think about it. Then cringe.
Troy L Robinson
I admit to being totally conflicted and confused over the apparent success of the Donald Trump campaign for POTUS.
For instance, I find very little that Trump says or promises that I disagree with. However, in many cases, common sense tells me there is no way he could actually bring off what he promises. Even were he to win the election with the largest margin in history, the sold-out Congress will still be there, the ultra corrupt bureaucracy will still be there, the partisan court system will still be there, the appallingly ignorant population will still be there.
Yet, I reason, why not at least try?
Then there is that other thing. That thing that I cannon explain in rational terms. It is a creepy feeling skulking around in the shadows of my mind that there is something all wrong about all this. That Trump surging onto the scene may somehow be too good to be true. That he may be some sort of siren-song, poised to lead us to our ultimate destruction.
Truth is, I just can’t come to an attitude, a feeling about all this that sits easily upon my being.
Several things I know for sure: As noted above, I agree with much of what Trump suggests. Without a doubt, he has made most of the other candidates look and sound like warmed over spit – the possible exceptions being Cruz, Carson and Fiorina. I like the fact that The Donald says what he says without much concern for Political Correctness or what the Media might think or say in response. I also like the fact that he will attempt to answer any and all questions thrown at him, even if the answers are sometimes more wishful thinking than realistic plan.
I think that the first debate on Fox was an ambush from the word go and that The Donald handled it as well as anyone could have been expected to. As a side note, Megan Kelley’s part in said ambush was, IMHO, disgraceful. Not just the questions asked but the obvious venom with which they were hurled made me forever distrust and even dislike her. Chris Wallace was almost as bad but I already had categorized him as as weasel.
As for Fox in general, I can’t quite figure that out either, One the one hand, they seem to be anti-Donald while, at the same time, turning Fox News into The Donald Show. I am surprised that other candidates do not charge Fox with making a major contribution to the Trump campaign.
One area in which I vehemently disagree with Trump is his proposed way of dealing with China. I agree fully that China has taken much business away from the United States. However, I think it was and still is our own fault. Our corporate taxes are insane and we seem to think our regulatory system exists for the sole purpose of destroying any business that dares try to succeed within our system. It is also true that Asia, primarily China and Japan own a huge amount of United States debt. Again, whose fault is that? They certainly did not insist that we borrow such that we can live beyond our means.
Finally, a trade war, brought on by tariffs, would be insane. Can none of us remember that similar actions nearly a century ago helped turn a short-term economic glitch into the most devastating economic depression in modern history? We certainly do not need THAT again.
So, I have rambled and ambled about without any clear answer re: The Donald and whether I should support him. I guess a large part of my distress is this – I pride myself on using rational thought rather than emotion to guide my life. Yet, with The Donald, I have to be honest enough to admit that my reactions to him have, so far, been dominated by emotion rather than rationality.
I like most of what he proposes (emotion) while a rational analysis tells me that there is no way he can do most of what he says. Still, I like that he is saying it – I insist that it needs to be said (emotion). Could it actually be that, Reagan like, merely getting us emotionally involved with our nation’s wounds and its needs is, by itself, of sufficient value to support this curiosity of a candidate? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, it would be great to know what some of you folk think about all this.
Please respond. Perhaps, together, we can find something rational in all this.
Troy L Robinson
For some time, I have been amazed that, in spite of all the revelations of dishonest behavior, around 40% of Americans seem to believe that Hillary Clinton is honest.
Then I remembered that around 80% of them believe there is a god.
Maybe not so amazing after all.
Think about it.
Troy L Robinson
The tempest of the day/week seems to be the Planned Parenthood situation.
Before getting into that, a bit of a disclaimer – as I have written elsewhere in this forum, I am a bit conflicted on the abortion issue. For starters, I do not think it is a simple thing. That is to say, there is no way a blanket rule can effectively address all the possible wrinkles in any given abortion decision. For this reason, I consider the decision to be one that belongs to the individuals directly involved, hopefully with professional input to help them come to the best decision circumstances will allow.
That said, there are several aspects of the abortion issue that I am flatly against. First, I do not think abortion should be used as a sort of after-the-fact birth control method for the convenience of the irresponsible. There are simply too many effective ways to prevent pregnancy, many of them freely available to any and all who want or need them. Second, I object to the killing of any fetus that is developed to the point where it might well be able to exist outside the womb. Third, I think that the so-called “partial birth abortion” is simply a socially acceptable term for what is actually infanticide.
Now, the Planned Parenthood (PP) fiasco… Is there any thinking person in this country that does not understand that PP is primarily a collection of abortion clinics? And further, do any of us fail to understand that their operations have been considered legal by both the states and the federal government? Sorry, no mystery there and no news either.
This leaves us with only 3 valid points of contention in this matter:
First, should taxpayer funds be used to help support the operation of PP, and,
Second, should the byproducts of the abortion process be used to harvest potentially usable cellular material, and,
Third, should PP be allowed to sell said cellular material to help fund their operation?
IMHO, the first point is the simplest to consider. A large number of the women who want and/or need abortions are from the lowest income brackets in our nation. Callous though this may sound, it is much more cost effective for the taxpayer to fund such abortions than it is to fund the many expenses associated with unwanted babies born into poverty. Given the crime that almost always results as these unwanted, uneducated, un-cared-for babies mature, it is also, again IMHO, more moral in that it very likely results in less pain and harm to fewer people – over the long run.
The second point – the harvesting of potentially usable material from the aborted fetal remains – is, to me, the most interesting of the issues we are confronted with. Given that the fetus has already been rendered dead by the process, it seems to me that primary thing to which many might object to on moral grounds has already been done (the extinguishing of life). I fail to see how wasting material that potentially has great potential to help the living makes any moral sense. However could burning or even burying the remains add any moral value for anyone? It seems obvious, to me, that finding some potential value in an otherwise unfortunate situation is more moral than rendering the entire transaction a total waste.
The third point – the selling of the material in question – strikes me as an odd thing over which to find a point of contention at all, especially for those who wish to withhold taxpayer funds from PP. If the material can be sold, why not do so, thereby reducing the funding needed from taxpayers? After all, huge industries are based on the sale of dead animal parts for human consumption. Doesn’t the sale of dead animal parts for scientific/medical purposes seem more moral than wholesale slaughter simply for our dining enjoyment?
Of course, my answers to these questions are based on what I hope is a rational thought process whereas the tempest in this matter seems to be nothing more or less than conclusions reached through an emotional process devoid of rational thought. Sadly, this seems to be the way almost all of the issues of the day are addressed. But, what else might we expect from a population that has been intentionally “dumbed down”?
I still remember a conversation held some years ago where a quite sincere lady sitting across a dinner table from me tried to explain how it was an absolute sin to kill innocent creatures. This between bites of medium-rare cow flesh.
Just for the change, why not try thinking about these things instead of feeling about them? Otherwise, you subject yourselves to emotional herding.
Troy L Robinson
As anyone following this forum well knows, I have rarely passed up an opportunity to sharply criticize the Obamanation for past decisions which, in my opinion, were harmful – if not ultimately terminal for our Republic.
Ergo, it seems only fair to speak up when he makes a decision which, also in my opinion, is the right one.
I speak, of course, of the beginning of re-normalization of our relationship with Cuba. I fully believe that, had such re-normalization taken place decades ago, Cuba would long since have rejoined the ranks of free nations.
In other words, our lack of diplomatic relations, accompanied by an economic embargo which has helped cripple the Cuban economy for over a half century, helped the Castro brothers and their fellow thugs stay in power. And, one of their most effective arguments for staying in power was to oppose the “evil Americans” while our own actions gave this enough truth to make it totally believable by the Cuban people.
My reasoning is based on the firm conclusion that downtrodden people are much easier to subjugate than prosperous people.
For supporting evidence of this theory, one need not leave the USA. Simply consider the plight of so many Black Americans, especially those trapped in our inner cities… if they are not a subjugated people, then the phrase needs redefinition. And, the method of their subjugation is not by any means an accident, just as is true in Cuba. In the case of Black Americans, they have, in general, been intentionally entrapped by a system of political dependence that helps keep them subjugated. Add to this political support for a dysfunctional pseudo-culture that seems to value ignorance, misconduct, irresponsibility and the aforementioned dependence and you get an oppressive environment from which there is no “underground railroad” to freedom.
To extend my reasoning to Cuba, I think that, with normalized relations with the USA – and the economic activity that should accompany it, the relative prosperity of the average Cuban citizen can only rise. And, the more that prosperity rises, the less use they will have for Communist thugs who try to dictate their every thought and movement. At the very worst, we could end up with another China-type arrangement where a mostly capitalist, reasonably free citizenry are still partly ruled by a Communist-like government. At the best, we end up with a replay of what has happened in recent years in Eastern Europe.
I think the object lesson in Cuba (and possibly even Iran) is that when you leave a people with few choices, none of them good, you have condemned them to make bad choices. Could it really be that simple? That relying on the innate goodness of the common citizens of any nation can yield better results than trying to manipulate or defeat their governments?
Think about it.
Troy L Robinson
Would you believe there have actually been serious proposals to dismantle the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC? Possibly other memorials as well.
Why? Because the person(s) being memorialized owned slaves.
I am inclined to believe that this idea must have started as a joke but, these days, nothing is too loony for the ultra left so the idea is taken seriously. (Indeed, it may have been serious from the beginning but even yours cynically truly has trouble believing that.)
So, Mr. Jefferson was the arch supporter of slavery was he? Let us turn to the man himself for our first clue:
But, as it is, we have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other.
– Thomas Jefferson to John Holmes, (discussing slavery and the Missouri question), Monticello, 22 April 1820.
Sorry folks but this sounds more to me like a person who was caught up in something he knew to be morally wrong but did not know how an easy way out of. I have read or heard of similar sentiments on the part of other political leaders of the period.
This is not to excuse slavery. It was wrong and I highly suspect that, well before it ended, most everybody in the nation knew that it was wrong and should long since have been ended. They just did not want to suffer the pain that would come with any form of emancipation (remember the economic implications).
It is also interesting to note that, long before emancipation, slavery had ceased to be economically advantageous in most businesses – this is the primary reason it ended in the industrial north long before in the agricultural south. But, even in the south, it had lost much of its economic advantage.
From our modern perspective, we tend to assume that slave labor was free labor. This was simply not the truth. To begin with, a healthy slave was worth a relatively large amount of money. Then the slaves had to be housed, fed, clothed and provided with sufficient medical care to protect the underlying investment in their persons. There was nothing “free” about any of this.
Back to Mr. Jefferson and the supposed need to destroy his fame and his memorials because of the slave issue:
Was it not Thomas Jefferson who documented the notion that ALL men (humans) are created equal? Had he meant otherwise, he surely could have written: “all WHITE men” or “all FREE men”, or “all ANGLO-SAXON men” or any of dozens of other qualifiers that would have made clear that he did not literally mean “ALL men”. Yet, that seems to be exactly what he did mean. And, although his words were not effectively true at the moment he wrote them, the document he wrote surely gave a primary impetus to the movement that eventually made his words effectively as well as morally true. How could we not honor such a thinker (even if the thoughts in question were not totally original)?
Then there is the issue of Mr. Jefferson’s supposed intimate relations with a slave named Sally Hemings. In the first place, I have no doubt whatever that such a relationship did exist. The real question is whether this was just another example (and there must have been many) where a slaveholder used his power to force himself on his female slaves – or might it have been something less horrible? Might it perhaps have been a caring relationship between two consenting adults? Let us delve further…
First, I find nothing in the historical record to indicate Mr. Jefferson was a “womanizer”. He was married once and, by all accounts, was devoted to his wife Martha Wayles. Martha died relatively young and Mr. Jefferson never married again.
Allow me a bit of a digression here to explain that, in early America, having one’s spouse die young was quite common. Also common was the fact that the surviving spouse often married a sibling of the dead spouse. What, you may ask, does this have to do with the Jefferson / Hemings affair? Simply everything. It was hardly a secret that Sally Hemings was Martha Wayles half sister, her father being John Wayles (also Martha’s father) and Betty Hemings, a mulatto (half white) slave who had a relationship with Mr. Wayles somewhat similar to that between Jefferson and Hemings. Ergo, Sally Hemings was three quarters white, the half sister of Mr. Jefferson’s late wife, and, by contemporary accounts, looked very much like her half sister Martha.
This made a union between Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson fairly normal for the times – excepting the sad fact that, a single drop of Negro blood made Sally a Negro in the eyes of existing law, no matter who and what she may have looked like.
There is little evidence that Mr. Jefferson did much to hide the liaison – he simply could not consider marrying her because it was forbidden by law as well as by local custom.
Interestingly, to some extent this worked in their favor. Mr. Jefferson was one of several diplomats who spent long periods abroad, working to gain support for the rebellious colonies and later representing the new nation to foreign governments. Normally, a diplomat could not bring his wife along on these extended absences from home. However, Sally, nominally a servant, could (and did) accompany Mr. Jefferson on many of his travels. Ergo, they got to spend more time together that would have been the case if they were married.
There is one more issue we must deal with: Namely, why did Mr. Jefferson not free Sally and the children she bore him (and, indeed, all of his slaves) when he died? The answer is both sad and simple. When Mr. Jefferson died, he owned NOTHING whatever. He was long since bankrupt, having failed to manage his plantation while spending on credit to purchase the books and scientific gadgets that were the first love of his life. His creditors generously allowed him to live out his life at Monticello, as if he were still master of the place, because of their gratitude for his service to the emerging United States.
Yet today, some of us seriously consider destroying the memorials that properly acknowledge Mr. Jefferson’s contributions to humanity simply because he was, to some extent, what his times trained and expected him to be? This strikes me as more of that ignorant nonsense that seems about to take over our once proud Republic. One can picture ISIS thugs bulldozing monuments in the Middle East. Is that what we now aspire to?
Are we, as a people, incapable of understanding the difference between actions and ideas? Some of Mr. Jefferson’s actions, such as participating in the, at the time, generally accepted practice of slave ownership were limited to a single place and time. The ideas he helped instill in a new nation have transcended place and time and helped to build the freest, most prosperous nation in history. And, yes, this include Blacks as well as people of all ethnicity who have prospered under our system. Never forget that we are the only nation on earth who feel the need to build a fence around our borders to keep people OUT. If the nation our founders created is so bad, why are so many millions (including Blacks) willing to risk their very lives to come here and share our prosperity?
Think about it.
Troy L Robinson
Once again, despite my best efforts, I cannot remain silent. Today’s diatribe was triggered by recent crap concerning white supremacy, the Confederate Flag, and associated nonsense.
Before I begin, the following disclaimer/clarification: American slavery was a fact and it was wrong. What happened to most Black Americans in the years immediately following emancipation was equally wrong. Nothing said here is an attempt to justify or defend either.
Now, on to the diatribe…
A few days ago, several innocent Black Americans were slaughtered by an irrational person for no obvious reason other than the color of their skin. The perpetrator, who is white, associated himself with various forms of racism and intolerance including use of the image of an historical flag.
Let us digress a bit and discuss this flag. First, while it is one of the more recognizable emblems of the failed Confederacy of the middle 1800’s, it was not the official flag of that entity. Indeed, very few Americans, including those most proud of their southern ancestry, can accurately describe or recognize the actual “Confederate Flag”. The banner in question, the one that excites so much emotion, is actually the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. To southerners, this flag has long been the symbol of the valor and dedication of the thousands who suffered and perished while attempting to defend a principle they held dear.
Many of you will naturally assume that principle was the employment of slave labor. Is this true? Consider a few facts, largely ignored in today’s irrational arguments: At the time of the Civil War, less than 10% of the people in the Confederacy owned or employed slaves. Obviously, this means that over 90% did not. Let us assume that the makeup of the Confederate armies reflected this approximate 10%-90% makeup. The obvious next question is: if 90% of those willing to fight and die for the Confederate cause did not own slaves, what were they so willing to fight and die for? One might assume that the ignorant rednecks were totally willing to fight and die for a privileged minority whom many of them probably resented for obvious reasons. However, this strikes me as not only silly but totally illogical.
Indeed, the history of America is one of common people willing to fight and die to be free of the rule of an aristocracy or other form of “ruling class”. In a word, the common American wanted, above all else, to be left alone to make his/her own decisions and to live their lives as they chose. This was the principle than animated the Revolution and, I contend, it was this same principle that animated the Confederate cause in the Civil War. In a word, many people were willing to fight and die rather than be subject to an over-powerful central government, led by a “ruling class” (whether hereditary or wealth based). I further contend that this sentiment was far more prevalent in rural areas (like the South). Ergo, I contend that most of that 90% were willing to fight against big government in a cause popularly called “States Rights”.
There is no doubt that the issue of slavery was the catalyst that turned an internal quarrel into outright civil war. Aside from the fact that the slaves were human was the additional fact that they were a form of capital wealth. And, taken altogether, they represented a majority of the capital wealth of most Confederate States. So, what was seen by many as a moral issue – the freeing of enslaved human beings, was seen by the southerners as an economic issue – the collapse of the primary source of capital in their economy.
As a further digression, I often reflect on the fact that, if one understands the slavery issue from the economic angle, the real national tragedy is that the federal government could have bought the slaves then freed them for far less actual money cost than the cost of fighting the Civil War – and without the human and property losses war always involves. Of course, this would have had little long-term effect on what I contend was the real issue, leaving that wound to, no doubt, fester and erupt at another time.
So, I end these digressions and sum up to the present situation: Grandpa lost the great war but we have this flag to show that he fought and died bravely and we cling to whatever pride that leaves us with. Except, we are not even supposed to be allowed this going forward. Seems quite silly when summed up this does it not?
This brings us to the real issue. Does banning official display of any historical relic, does attempting to rewrite the narrative of a critical time in our history, actually improve the situation of millions of Black Americans? All rational people know the answer to that without further elaboration on my part. Indeed, given the hundreds of new laws and regulations and the trillions spent on programs intended to re-mediate the effects of slavery, how can there possibly still be a racial problem in America?
The sad but simple answer to that question is that racism still operates simply because so many people want it to. A few of these people, of all skin tones, are actually committed racists and probably always will be. But their numbers are so small they can be mostly ignored, albeit punished severely when their irrational ideas take physical form as they did recently in Charleston.
The bigger problem are those many who derive power and profit from the continuation of racial strife. Again, they exist on all sides of the color line. These include professional racists (Sharpton, Jackson, etc.), institutional racist organizations (the NAACP, the Urban League, the Congressional Black Caucus, etc.), and worst of all, politicians in general.
And, these last are by far the worst. They have repeatedly proven themselves willing to cast millions into a state of ignorance, poverty, economic slavery and government dependence simply to create a reliable voting group to help themselves continue in power.
And this is the real problem. Not some banner that most people ignore anyway. And, as long as we-the-sheeple allow this to continue, it can only get worse. Baltimore is only a preview of what we have coming. And, while we all abhor the violence and the irrational behavior inherent in rioting and looting, who can help but sympathize to some extent with the victims/perpetrators? Their frustration must be overpowering at times.
And in the end, so little has really changed:
→ A large group of people are systematically exploited for the benefit of others. Does it really matter whether they are picking cotton or forced into hopeless dependence on politicians?
→ The members of this exploited group are held in bondage partly by denying them the education necessary for self improvement. Does it really matter whether there are laws against teaching slaves to read and write or that schools are intentionally structured for political indoctrination rather than useful education? Or that politicians intentionally promote a dysfunctional culture that, among other things, discourages education, self-improvement and the formation of nurturing family units?
Many Black Americans are realizing their rightful share of the “American Dream” and they are doing so primarily by adhering to the mainstream culture that made America what it is. A culture that honors and rewards education, hard work, honesty, responsibility, civil involvement and the like. Meanwhile, a growing segment of our society which, for reasons beyond my comprehension, loathes America, is trying, with alarming success, to destroy that very culture that made us what we are and still could be.
As I end this screed, I ask you to remember this: It matters little what we have been because the past can never be changed. It does not even matter that much what we are SO LONG AS WE ARE CONTINUALLY GETTING BETTER. And, America always has been continually getting better – for all its citizens and will continue to do so if we will only let it.
Yet, there are many who would destroy us – mostly out of envy. The question is whether we will let them. Lately, I am very troubled by the answer.
Think about it.
Troy L Robinson
PS: Perhaps I can write another rant on the ISIS-like mentality of destroying the Jefferson Memorial but that can wait until the pressure builds up again.
Those conservatives who are inclined to dismiss Rand Paul as naive or insane regarding foreign policy, really ought to read and honestly ponder the 1963 essay, “War, Peace, and the State” by Murray N. Rothbard. I found it profound and most thought-provoking. As an example, one passage that really threw a monkey wrench in my patriotic thinking gears was:
“It has always been a source of wonder, incidentally, to this writer how the same conservatives who denounce as lunatic any proposal for eliminating a monopoly of violence over a given territory and thus leaving private individuals without an overlord, should be equally insistent upon leaving States without an overlord to settle disputes between them. The former is always denounced as “crackpot anarchism”; the latter is hailed as preserving independence and “national sovereignty” from “world government.” -Murray N. Rothbard
If you read it, let me know how it struck you… ◄Dave►
Recently, I have been spending far more time reading thought-provoking books, than paying much attention to real-time politics. A couple of very good reads have been “The Libertarian Mind” by David Boaz, and “The Conservatarian Manifesto” by Charles C.W. Cooke. Then, I read “The Great Divide – Why Liberals and Conservatives Will Never, Ever, Agree” by William D. Gairdner. While I highly recommend all three, they left me even more pessimistic regarding the possibility that America could ever return to the constitutional republic of Liberty-loving citizens that it once was. We certainly can never vote our way to freedom.
Thus, I decided it was time for my annual re-reading of my all-time favorite book, “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World” by Harry Browne, which I have read at least once a year since 1979 to keep me grounded. Just as I gratefully finished doing so, a new book I had pre-ordered from Amazon popped into my Kindle, which I have only just started reading. “By The People – Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission” by Charles Murray again suggests that the grand experiment in Liberty of our Founding Fathers is effectively dead. Yet, it promises to offer a way we might rebuild it in a new incarnation, by civil disobedience rather than with ineffective traditional political processes.
Then this morning I stumbled across:
Interviewed by Jonah Goldberg, another favorite of mine, it is an excellent presentation with a 20 min. audience Q&A session afterward. I know asking anyone to spend an hour watching a video is a lot; but I would suggest that one might get more out of it than any TV program, even on FOX News. Be prepared, however, to be inclined to buy and read his book. Of course, then we might have a useful subject for discussion hereabouts, that doesn’t require that we choose the lessor or two evil politicians. ◄Dave►
In my 72 years on this earth, I have never before seen such a demonstration of total incompetence and utter stupidity as what has transpired in Baltimore these last few days.
Evidently, the latest outbreak of brainlessness in Baltimore was triggered by the arrest of a young black man for the obviously egregious crime of making eye contact with police officers then attempting to ride away on his bike. These brave officers responded by shackling the young man, tossing him into a police van without seat belt or harness to keep him in place then, apparently, taking him on what is called a “rough ride”. Said ride must have earned its name because the young man emerged with a broken spine and sufficient spinal cord damage that he died of his injuries.
The geniuses that administer Baltimore reacted by suspending several police officers – with pay – then offering nothing by way of explanation, excuse or what have you. Exactly what did they think the reaction of the black community would be? Especially in light of several other well publicized incidents between police and young black men.
Even though there had already been some troublesome demonstrations in Baltimore with threats of more to come, the funeral of the victim, an obvious time for unleashing resentment, is held with there having been almost no preparation by city authorities for handling what was surely about to happen.
Then, at the end of the funeral, when the trouble is starting for real, local city transportation (subway and buses) are made unavailable to thousands of young blacks trying to get home from school, leaving them little else to do than join the demonstrations.
Next, the head genius (the mayor) tells her police force, in effect, to let them loot and riot, presumably to depressurize the situation. Of course, this has the opposite effect and the riots get even worse. Yet, the head genius waits until nearly dark, when the rioting is bound to go ballistic, to ask the governor to deploy the national guard.
It is now the next day and portions of Baltimore are still burning. Who’d a thunk it?
One might easily assume that Baltimore is run by a bunch of redneck whites who intentionally let all this happen – right? Not exactly. The mayor, chief of police and several other high administrators of the city are all black. We do not yet know the racial makeup of the police officers who started all this with an apparent illegal arrest and mistreatment of the victim but racism does not seem to suffice as an explanation for all that has happened.
How then is it to be explained?
With no other evidence to go on, I will offer my explanation: The same deadly mix of incompetence and corruption that is ruining government at every level in our once proud republic.
BTW, doesn’t a governor outrank a mayor? Why then did the governor of MD not take it upon himself to deploy the national guard early enough to have gotten the situation under control well before dark?
Why did the mayor not immediately invoke a curfew in an attempt to clear the streets instead of appearing to give the rioters freedom to riot and loot?
In a word, why do we have so many “leaders” who are quick to point fingers and place blame rather than step up to the responsibility they pledged to take when assuming power?
Again, I presume to answer my own question: We tolerate irresponsibility in our leaders because we-the sheeple are ourselves generally irresponsible.
My friends, we are letting, even helping, all this to happen over and over. It is not ISIS/ISIL, the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians or whoever else we like to blame for our woes. To again quote the great philosopher Pogo the Possum, “we have met the enemy and he is US”.
Think about it.
Troy L Robinson
Not that it matters much anymore…
… but, that these two guys were reciprocal best men at their weddings was news to me. That is a lot tighter than just having an obscure genuine “Black Muslim” half-brother on another continent. I suspect that Joel’s evidence that Frank Marshal Davis was most likely Barack’s real father may have come as a surprise and shock to both of them. The way Malik and the rest of his supposed Kenya family was simply discarded when no longer potentially useful, and probably more of an embarrassment, rather reminds me of what happened to Rev. Wright. ◄Dave►
I notice that there has been no discussion here of the recent Putin conquests and provocations.
May I have the satisfaction of knowing this is because, like me, the rest of you suspect this is nothing more or less than a sideshow meant to deflect international attention away from more significant activities – such as the treasonous activities of supposed “democratic” governments all over the world as well as the cowardice they display in regard to the Muslim threat?
For sure, innocent people are being slaughtered in this “sideshow” but, when did the lives of innocent people ever matter to those who truly wield power in this world? Truth is that we are simply utility objects to them. Sometimes our best use comes from helping increase their wealth or power through our work. Sometimes it comes from shedding our blood in whatever way seems to suit their current purposes.
On a side note, it makes me incredibly sad to realize that I once worked for what I am convinced with the best corporation in the world (IBM). During my tenure there, I saw it degenerate into just another corporation. I was born in what was undoubtedly the best nation in history. During my tenure here, I have seen America degenerate into just another country.
Consenting to become “ordinary” when you have been outstanding is such an insult to any enterprise.
Troy L Robinson