Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Horton Hears a Who has conservative theme

Everything is political, and that includes every children's movie.  Part of the fun of watching movies is trying to figure the political angle.  While most movies (like the Lorax) tend to have a progressive themel, I saw "Horton Hears a Who" as having a conservative theme.

In fact, evidence comes from the many rants by feminists that the Mayor of Whoville had 99 daughters and one son, and the hero of the story was the son.  One blogger wrote:
A year ago, when the Jim Carrey/Steve Carrell version of Horton Hears a Who came out, feminists responded (see here and here and here) to what they saw as the blatant sexism within the movie’s over-emphasis on the single son as the hero and the 96 daughters as invisible. Why couldn’t one of the daughters save the day? Why does the mayor care more about his one son than his daughters? Why would the filmmakers add this sexist storyline?
Rather than use my own words, I have found an author who articulates better than me.  Keep in mind that I watched the movie several times, and already formed an opinion, long before I ever started surfing the net. The writers at Christiananswers most closely show the thoughts that formed in my mind.
As I watched this entire movie, I kept thinking this movie was made by pro-lifers... Kangaroo says to her son Rudy and to Horton—“If you can’t see it, hear it, or feel it, it doesn’t exist”. That is the argument made by pro-choice people all the time and as Horton points out repeatedly, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” ...Horton defends those too small to defend themselves. 
The concept of believing in something you cannot see is also a theme in this movie. The Mayor knows that something bigger is holding the clover. He places his faith in Horton to get them to safety. Children do not always understand God because they cannot see him. They don’t grasp that something bigger than us is out there. This movie can help explain that concept.
The author goes into more detail, although that pretty much is the gist of what I took from the movie.

I also noted some progressive themes in the movie.  For instance, this blogger, in a post titled, "Liberal Fascism in Horton Hears," says the movie has fascist themes as well (note that progressive is a daughter of the fascist movement).  The author wrote:
...the fascist elements leap off the screen. The main villain, a purple kangaroo, is all about conformity of thought and will not hesitate to threaten and punish those who don't toe the line. She even has to think it over for a moment when her son's life becomes part of the negotiation with another villain. And like any good fascist, she knows how to whip up a mob of thugs to do her dirty work.
Why a liberal fascist, though? For one, our menacing marsupial is clearly an empiricist. She keeps repeating that unless one can see, hear or touch something, it does not exist. She can't accept that there are other forms of evidence for why something must be true. Of course this does not mean that all liberals are empiricists; it's just rare that you find one that isn't. Moreover, it's rare that you find a conservative who uses that kind of narrow reasoning.
Another way I could tell the kangaroo was a liberal fascist is by the contrasts with other characters. Horton's best pal, Morton, doesn't believe there's a little world inside a speck any more than the kangaroo, and he tries to convince Horton that there isn't. However, he doesn't try to force his view on his friend, and when the chips are down, Morton is there to help Horton despite his disbelief. It isn't conservatives and libertarians who try to erode the beliefs of others through court orders and indoctrination.
Emphasis was added by me.  This is a key theme among liberals/ progressives/ fascists is that they don't just have ideas, they believe everyone should accept their ideas or they force their ideas on the people.  This was an accurate portrayal of the fascist movement.  However, ask a liberal if this were true and they'd adamantly deny it.

 The Bottom Line is that Horton Hears a Who is a rare conservative theme from Hollywood. It tackles the concepts of a higher power, life before conception, and portrays the fascist movement the way it should be portrayed.

Further reading:

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Lorax: Is he anti-capitalist?

Because she deserved a reward for good behavior, I took my daughter to see the Lorax. As a person who grew up in the 1980s where Saturday morning cartoons were it, I've become an adult who still enjoys watching cartoons. And I love the new computer animated cartoons, such as the Lorax.

I thought the Lorax was very entertaining. I thought it was a fast paced movie a kid of just about any age could enjoy. I think my 8-year-old was easily entertained by the movie. I actually think if I had taken my 3-year-old she would have been fine too. As far as me, well, I was entertained too, but....

As Pee-Pee Herman once said in one of his Big Adventure Movies (I think it was Pee-Wee's Big Adventure), "Everyone has a big But." As an adult, I see more than just the cartoon and the humor. I saw in the Lorax more than just the message, "Don't waste natural resources." I saw an anti capitalist film. I saw a moral that was not at all what Dr. Seuss had intended in his book, "The Lorax."

After watching the movie I surfed the net to see if I was alone in thinking this, and I was not. The Wall Street Journal wrote a good article, and Lou Dobbs chanted about how the movie was both anti capitalist and pro environment.

In a sense, the movie seemed like an attempt to brainwash kids into believing capitalsim was bad and that no tree should ever be chopped down for the good of anyone, even to feed the poor.

Now I'm not going to tell people not to watch this movie, in fact, just the opposite. It's not like Ron Howard's version of "The Cat in the Hat," which was full of sexual innuendos that were inappropriate for children. I would never recommend the Cat in the Hat movie to anyone.

The Lorax was a good movie with good graphics and... well, it was simply good. I can see how it made so much money on its opening. Yet Lou Dobbs is right that the message was definitely a socialist message, and an attempt by Hollywood to indoctrinate our children.

Go ahead and see it with your kids, just make sure to prepare yourself for a good discussion after the movie.

This article was originally published on April 6, 2012.

Further Reading:

Monday, December 21, 2015

The economy is not a Zero Sum Game, part 2

This is what they teach our kids in school.
This is the stuff Common Core Teaches.
This is why parents must be in control
of what our kids learn.
We must explain to them that,
the economy is not a Zero Sum Game:
that they can get rich too. 
So, as I wrote last week, the economy is not a zero sum game.  Still, progressives believe that it is. They teach that if one one person makes a dollar another person loses a dollar.  This is why they believe in taking from the greedy rich, or the top 1%, and redistributing it. This is why progressive programs are set up to punish those who achieve, even turn them into villains.

Yet it's not just rich individuals they despise, but rich nations as well.  They hate the United States because it has become a rich and prosperous nation at the expense of every other nation of the world.  This is why they aim to punish the rich United States, to bring it down to size.

It goes beyond just money. They believe if the United States is using up all the oil, that there is none left for anyone else. They believe we are taking advantage of poor nations to get rich.

Yet they are mistaken. There is enough money to go around for everyone. Likewise, there is enough oil to go around for everyone. At least, it's available to anyone who has a desire to obtain it. It's there for anyone who knows how to get it.

Look, poor nations are poor not because the U.S. is rich: they are poor because of the government they created. If they want to become rich like the United States, then they need to create a democracy, or a republic.  They need to create a capitalistic society.  They need to create a system whereby people with an idea and the desire and are willing to take risks can go with it and prosper; move up the ladder, so to speak; to get rich.

The Bible teaches capitalism. Most poor nations are not God fearing. That's why Muslim nations tend to be totolitarian and not capitalistic. That's why Muslim nations are poor. They do not preach the Bible. They do not preach conservatism.  They do not preach capitalism.  They believe that rich people are evil and should be punished.  They, like liberals, want everyone to be equally poor.

That's not our fault. That's not the fault of the United States.

Progressives believe in a Zero Sum Game.  Obama believes in a Zero Sum Economy.  Obama thinks of everything in terms of Zero Sum.  He believes if the United States has nukes then everyone else should have them, because if we have them no one else can.  If we have them it's unfair to other nations.  That's why he made the deal with Iran allowing them to get nukes.  That's also why they want to take them away from Israel, because they give Israel an unfair advantage over Muslim nations that surround them.

This is why he wants to bring down our military, and the military of Israel, and destroy our nuclear weapons.  He wants to make us equal to nations like Iran; to equal the playing field because it's not fair if we have them and they don't.  This is

Obama is an anti colonialist. This is the same reason Iraq can have nukes and America can't. They think that if America has nuclear weapons, if Israel has nukes, and other nations don't, then America, and Israel, have an unfair advantage.  That's because of the Zero Sum Economy that they believe in. This is what they were taught.  This is what their schools teach our kids.  

This is why it is so hard today to push forward with our conservative agenda. This is why the constant attacks on capitalism. This is why the constant attacks on the U.S. military. This is why he does not properly fund the military.  This is why Clinton closed military bases.  

This is why they complained when Reagan spent all that money to build up our military.  That's why they hate the idea of Trumps that he wants to likewise spend money on the military to "make America so powerful that no one will mess with us."  They believe if money is spend on the military that it will not be available for hard working Americans.  And they are wrong.

Look, the liberal solution is to come up with ways to take money from America. This is why they try to get us involved in agreements whereby we have to spend money to fight and prevent global warming.  They use this as an excuse to punish America; to get our money; to redistribute it to poor nations.  They want to take our nukes and our oil too. 

They attack individualism.  They believe it is your job as an individual to make sacrifices for the good of the state, or the collective.  They want to take any money that they decide you don't need and give it to others. They don't want you to invest money in things they decide you don't need.  They think if you are investing in this stuff, you are taking money from other people.  

What they don't see, however, is that you are spending money on that stuff, you are circulating it into the economy.  You are funding other people.  You are not just giving it to Walmart, you are giving it to the distributors, the manufacturers, and also all the people who work for those companies.  You are helping to fund their livelihood as well.

Bottom line, progressives believe in a Zero Sum Economy, and they are wrong.  They believe America is the cause of the worlds problems because of American Exceptionalism, Individualism, and Capitalism.  So they believe the solution to the worlds problems is to take away America's oil supply, take away America's nuclear supply, and and take away our money supply.  They do this by forcing us to agree to regulations that force us to make loans to foreign nations that we took advantage of.

This is the mentality of the people who are teaching our kids. This is the mentality of many members of the media.  This is why we must constantly remind our kids of the truth.  And in this case, the truth is that the economy is not a Zero Sum Game.  If you succeed, others can succeed too.  If America succeeds, other nations can succeed too. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

The economy is not a Zero Sum Game

A zero Sum Game is a situation where one person's gain is another person's loss.  Poker is a good example of this, considering the sum total of the winnings of one player equals the losses of all the other players.  It's any game, according to Dictionary.com, where the winnings minus the losses always equals zero.  Many people believe that the economy is a Zero Sum Game. This is a myth, and I would like to explain why.

Many people think the economy is a Zero Sum Game.  They believe if you have a rich person like Donald Trump, that every dollar he makes is a dollar taken away from someone else, or a dollar that is not available to someone else.  They believe that the rich do not need to spend their money, so it just sits in savings,and investments.  They have it invested in their million dollar houses and their boats.  It is not available for anyone else.

They believe if one person, or group of people (the rich, the 1%) has the money, if one person is hoarding it, that there's no money left for those who are looking for jobs; that there's no money to be distributed. They believe is the top 1% have 40% of all the wealth, that the rest of the population has to fight over the remaining 60%.

It is for this reason that progressives, liberals, socialists or fascists justify taking from the rich and giving to the poor, or redistributing wealth.  They do it to equal the playing field. They do it to give the poor an equal opportunity to have some of the money that the rich otherwise are hoarding.  This is why they constantly attack the rich as greedy and selfish.

The truth is, however, that the economy is not a zero sum game.  In order for the rich to enjoy their money, they have to constantly spend this money.  They have large houses, and so they must hire people, often at higher wages, to clean and maintain these houses.  They have airplanes, and they have to hire people to maintain them. So they are providing jobs for many people. They are creating work.

They are also constantly cycling money into the economy.  They are spending money on fuel to heat their homes, businesses, and planes.  They buy food.  They buy wedding rings.  They buy furniture.  They buy electronics, such as televisions and iphones.

Their money is not sitting in a lock box.  It is constantly being circulated in the economy.  This money is available to anyone who has a service, or a talent, that can be tapped into. This money is not distributed. If you want some of it, you have to earn it.  How much money you make is completely up to you.  If you work hard, if you are willing to relocate, if you have a talent, then you will make as much money as you want.

A good example here is the CEO of a hospital.  He makes triple digits.  I hear people complaining about this all the time.  They say things like, "It's not fair.  I make so little, and they make so much."  But it is fair, if you think about it.

One of my coworkers, I'll call him Dave, was a nurse.  While other nurses were content to just be nurses, and live on nurses wages, Dave was ambitious.  He went back to school.  He obtained a bachelor's degree in nursing.  Instead of stopping there, he went on to become a physician's assistant (PA). The next time I saw him he was a PA for a surgeon.

He didn't stop there.  He applied for and obtained a job as supervisor of surgery.  Then he applied for and obtained a job as vice president of the hospital.  He could have stopped there, but he didn't.  He applied for CEO of another hospital, and he got that job.  He was ambitious, he was willing to relocate.  Most people are not willing to do this. So it only makes sense that Dave should be rewarded.  He had a talent, mainly ambition, that should be rewarded.  He now makes triple digits.

You see, there is money available, and plenty of it.  If economics were a Zero Sum Game, people like Dave wouldn't be able to tap into the system.  They might as well just remain as nurses or respiratory therapists. But it is not a Zero Sum Game.  If you want to be like Dave, if you want to make more money, you have to have the talent, the desire, the ambition, of Dave.

You also have to be willing to take risks.  Dave took lots of risks.  He spend thousands of dollars to become educated, and the gamble was that this would pay off.  For Dave it did pay off.  Dave is now in the top 1%. Dave is now the envy of the poor.  Dave, and Donald Trump, and people like them, ought to be put up on a pedestal as examples of what can happen in America. They are examples of the American Dream.

This is what conservatives do.  This is what capitalism does.  Sure some people who take the risk, some with talent, will fall flat on their faces.  This is the risk. But many others will become the Donald Trumps and the Daves of the world.  The opportunity is there, you just have to tap into it.  The money is there, you just have to tap into it.

Liberals, however, and progressives, and socialists, and communists, and fascists believe, and falsely so, the economy is a zero sum game.  By teaching this, people develop an "it's not fair" attitude toward the rich, or toward those who achieve.  They think there is no money available, so they might as not even try to obtain it. So they become content to just be nurses and respiratory therapists. Some don't even try to get those jobs, and they sit around their homes waiting for a check to come from the government through government redistribution of wealth policies.

Look, I'm not mocking nurses and respiratory therapists or any other hard working American.  All those jobs are essential for the economic prosperity of the nation.  After all, I am a respiratory therapist.  I am not content with my job nor the money that I make, but I also don't have the ambition of Dave.  I also do not have the desire to sacrifice many years of schooling.  I am also not a risk taker. So it is my own fault that I am where I am in life.  And I am content with my lot in life.

Regardless, for those who want to tap into it, the money is available.  The economy is not a Zero Sum Game.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Legal Immigration: Myth Buster

Oh, there have been so many myths about immigration tossed around lately it's almost enough to make me puke. In this post I will allay many of them.

1.  Conservative Republicans are anti-immigrant.  False.  What we are opposed to is illegal immigration. We believe it is important to follow the rule of law. Crossing the border legally is following the rule of law.  Crossing the border illegally is not following the rule of law.  Letting illegal immigrants stay in this country, and receive entitlements paid for by citizens and meant to be for citizens is not following the rule of law.  Providing amnesty (official pardons) to those who came into our country illegally is not following the rule of law. If you do not follow the rule of law, what you have in anarchy.

2.  Putting a moratorium on legal immigration during times of war is unconstitutional.  False.  Trump called for a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants into the U.S., and the republican establishment, democrats, and the media just about went crazy. They called Trumps idea anywhere from "controversial," "racist," "un-American," "un-constitutional," "fascist," and simply "crazy."  None of these are true.  Pat Buchanan answers this call best in his column "Establishment Unhinged." He wrote:
The Constitution protects freedom of religion for U.S. citizens. But citizens of foreign lands have no constitutional right to migrate. And federal law gives a president broad powers in deciding who comes and who does not, especially in wartime. In 1924, Congress restricted immigration from Asia, reduced the numbers coming from southern and Central Europe, and produced a 40-year moratorium on most immigration into the United States. Its authors and President Coolidge wanted ours to remain a nation whose primary religious and ethnic ties were to Europe, not Africa or Asia. Under FDR, Truman and JFK, this was the law of the land. Did this represent 40 years of fascism?
2.  Closing our borders is un-American. False. Calvin Coolidge signed a law in 1924 closing our borders to immigrants. This was done because there was a massive influx of immigration, and coming in among these immigrants were anarchist terrorists. Perhaps the best example came on September 14, 1901, in Buffalo, New York, when William McKinley was assassinated by Leon Czolgosz (which ironically gave us our first progressive president). Czolgosz was an anarchist terrorist who had immigrated from Europe. Between then and 1924 there were various bombings committed by anarchists from Europe within our borders. Names of other socialist-anarchist-terrorists from Europe were Ferdinando Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzett. They were both tried, convicted, and executed for acts of domestic terrorism. In order to curb the trend, Congress and President Coolidge decided to close the borders in 1924. They stayed closed until Lyndon signed a bill reopening them in 1965. (For the record, progressives at the time claimed that Sacco and Vanzett were wrongly accused.)

3.  Illegal immigration is not an economics issue, as republicans say.  False.  Immigration, whether legal or illegal, IS an economics issue.  Immigrants have an impact on American supply and demand for jobs.  As the supply of workers for a specific job increases, the wages employers need to pay decreases. So not only are illegal immigrants taking jobs that Americans are willing to do, they are driving down the wages and salaries these jobs pay, thus rendering them about useless for Americans seeking employment. This in turn drives up the unemployment rates.  The total unemployment in the U.S. right now is about 40 percent if you include those seeking work and those who have given up. This is much higher than the 25 percent unemployment rate of 1933.  Of course those no longer seeking work are not seen in soup lines, and that's because they are living off welfare programs. So, as you can see, illegal immigration is too an economic issue.  It is for this reason it is important to secure the border and enforce immigration laws already on the books.

4.  It is bigoted, racist, and un-American to close our borders.  False.  As noted above, it has been done before to defend and protect the American people. The number one role of government is to provide for the security of the American people. If people live in fear of leaving their homes, they will stay in their homes and stop spending money.  If this happens, the economy will tank.  This is one of the reasons Coolidge signed a bill closing the borders in 1924. It is absolutely not un-American to do what is needed to protect and defend the American people.

5.  A religious test for refugees goes against everything America stands for. False. As a matter of fact, it is statutory (required by law) and we have always screened for religion. We have to. The reason is because, when refugees say they are fleeing their country due to religious persecution, we have to ask them what religion they are. They have to tell us, because that's the only way we can validate their story. We can prove that there is, say, religious persecution going on in Syria. What we cannot prove is that every person claiming to be fleeing Syria due to religious persecution is telling the truth. So we have to verify their stories. In order to do this, we have to ask them their religion. It is the law. We also need to make sure they are actually refugees, and not members of some terrorist organization. This is common sense. The people who say we cannot ask immigrants where they are from or what religion they practice are the ones who are not well informed. 

 6.  It is not compassionate to close our borders. False. It's compassionate to help out refugees, and it's compassionate to keep our borders open to legal immigration to allow aliens an opportunity to experience American Exceptionalism.  What is often not considered here is compassion for American men and women who can't find a decent paying job because illegal immigrants are flooding the market and driving down wages. What is often not considered here is compassion for citizens and their families who are victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens. What is often not considered here is compassion for tax payers who are forced to pay for entitlement programs meant to help Americans hard on their luck only to see this money going to support immigrants here illegally. What is often not considered here is compassion for the immigrants who take the legal path to citizenship only to see those who came here illegally shown more compassion. What is often not considered here is compassion for Americans who don't feel safe and secure. What is often not considered is compassion for traditional Americans who feel they are strangers in their own country

7.  We cannot let one group in at the expense of another. False. We can and we have done so in the past. You do not let people into your country who pose a threat. For instance, if we are at war with the people of one country, you don't let people from that country into our country. As a matter of fact, FDR closed the borders to Japanese, German, and Italian aliens. While he has allowed Syrian Refugees into America, TheHill.com reported in January of 2015 that Obama refused to allow Christian Refugees into this country.  While he plans to allow 10,000 Syrian Refugees into this country over the next  year, there are no Christian Refugees that will be allowed in.  Let me add to this. Passed by a Democratic Congress and signed into law by a Democrat President, was The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (number eight US Code 1182, inadmissible aliens).  It reads:
"Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by president. Whenever the president finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, the president may, by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate."
The law was first used in 1979 by Democrat President Jimmy Carter.  He used the law to prevent Iranians from entering the United States during the Hostage Crisis.  He also made Iranian students already here check in, and if they did not have appropriate papers he deported them.  And this was not done in secret either, as Carter announced to the world he was doing this on national television.

The very first US immigration law was the Chinese Exclusionary Act of 1882. Then there was the Anarchist Exclusion Act of 1903. So it is not un-American, nor racist, nor irrational, to prevent a group of people who might pose a threat to national security from entering our country.  As a matter of fact, it's the smart thing to do.

8.  We can properly vet refugees.  False. How can we do this when we can't even find illegal immigrants in our own country. How can we do that when we don't even know who is coming into our country illegally.  How can we do that if, as democrats say, we cannot ask them what their religion is.  How do we know they are really religious or political refugees if we cannot ask them where they are from and what religion they are? The answer is you can't. There is no database listing who is a refugee, so you have to ask them where they are from and what religion they practice.  In fact, as noted above, it's statutory. 

Conclusion.  The truth is, we have been at war with Muslim extremists since the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, and every president since has downplayed the issue. Clinton, Bush, and Obama have all avoided the issue of immigration. They have down played it out of fear that they might be seen as no compassionate or racist or bigoted.  The result is a border that is so porous we have no idea who is crossing it. The practice of continuing to allow porous borders is suicide.  It would be like living in an impoverished neighborhood with a high rate of gang violence and keeping your doors unlocked and windows open.  Why would we continue to let people into our country at such a dangerous time as this? 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Myth Buster: Evil Christians Started the Holy Wars

People of all classes joined the crusades for various reasons:
some to take Jerusalem back, some to be freed from landlords,
some to make money, and some to be freed from sin.
On February 2, 2015, at a National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama compared the current Islamic state to the Christian Crusades that occurred over a thousand years ago.  He used this as justification for his reluctance to identify the threat of radical Islam.

He said:
“Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,”
This sound all fine and dandy until you realize that the assumption by Obama is that the Christian crusades were an effort by Christians to force their religion on non-Christians.  But this is not what happened at all.

Most people don't realize this, and apparently Obama doesn't either, but the Christian crusades that took place during much of the 8th, 9th, and 10th centuries were peaceful. Christians believed the trek would absolve them from their sins, and the Muslims welcomed the Christians. (1, page 106)

This all went fine and dandy until the 10th century when the caliphs of Palestine imposed a tax on those seeking to visit the Holy Land.  It was this tax that ultimately lead to war between the Christians of Europe and the Muslims of Palestine. This was fine for Pilgrims with money, although the poor pilgrims often had to wait at the gates of Jerusalem for some rich person to pay their tax.  (1, page 106)

Historian Thomas Bradford explained what happened next: 
The sum from this tax was a mine of wealth to the Moslem governors of Palestine. At the close of the 10th century it was thought that the end of the world was at hand, the thousand years of the Apocalypse was near completion, and Jesus Christ would descend upon Jerusalem and judge mankind. Panic seized the weak, the credulous, and the guilty; forsaking their homes, kindred and occupation, they hastened to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Lord, imagining that their pious pilgrimage would free them from sin. The road from the West of Europe and Constantinople became a great highway of pilgrims and beggars; the monks, the almsgivers of the times, were obliged to refuse aid to the hordes; many lived upon berries that ripened on the roadways. Swarms besieged the Holy Land; the Turks were annoyed by the number that overran their country . . . they plundered them, beat them with stripes, and kept them for months at the Holy Gates in lieu of the golden bezant for admission. The day of judgment did not come, and so pilgrims a few at a time returned to Europe and told of their sufferings. These cruelities became the wrongs of Christendom. Fresh hordes now hastened on the difficult journey, sure of gaining the favor of heaven by visiting the holy sepulchre. (1, pages 106-107)
So you can see that the crusades were not an attempt by Christians to force their religion on the Muslim people.  It was merely an attempt to continue visiting the Holy land, something that the Muslims had no problem with for over 300 years.

It was these events that incited the wars.  Bradford said:
In 1095 there appeared one Peter the Hermit, a man enthusiastic, chivalrous, bigoted, and probably crazy. He had been a monk of Amiens, and previous to this a soldier. He had visited Jerusalem and was filled with indignation at the cruel persecutions inflicted on the Christian pilgrims. He returned to his home and began a crusade of wild preaching against the abominations of the infidels and their defilement of the Holy Places of Jerusalem and Palestine. He called upon the people to arm against the infidels, incited the clergy, and aroused the enthusiasm of the people and nobles. Musing in Palestine he planned to rouse the powers of all Christendom to rescue the Christians of the East from the thraldom of the Mussulmen, and the sepulchre from the infidel. Peter told his views to Simeon, Patriarch of the Greek church at Jerusalem, and this good prelate sent letters to the pope and to the monarchs of Christendom telling of the sorrows of the Christians of Jerusalem and urging that arms be taken up in their rescue. Peter now hastened to Italy. Pope Urban II. sat on St. Peter's throne. He listened to the sad story and read the letters and appeals. At the Council of Clermont Urban gave Peter full powers to go forth and preach his holy war to the Christian nations of the world. (1, page 107-108)
The crusade had now become an effort to help the Christians who feared that they would not be saved if they did not reach the Holy Land.  Bradford continued: (1, pages 108-109)
The nations were aroused; eternal rewards were promised to all who assumed the red cross; halt and lame, women and children, the pious, the fanatic, the needy, the dissolute, all enrolled themselves in this remarkable army. Walter the Penniless set out with the first army in the spring of 1096; each one was his own leader. Soon other bands were formed. It is said that 300,000 men, women and children of the lowest of Europe spread themselves over Hungary and Germany. (1, page 108)
They robbed and murdered, and in self defense the Hungarians were obliged to fight with them. Walter straggled on to Constantinople with his horde. Peter the Hermit was not far behind him. He led another rabble, and riot and rapine went with him. It was everywhere; all Europe was mad. This rabble did not conquer the Holy City, but a more orderly and soldierly expedition was organized under certain noble knights, among whom was Godfrey of Bouillon, duke of Lorraine, and count Raymond of Toulouse. Several armies were raised and marching by different routes united at Constantinople. He besieged several cities, among which was Antioch; at this place, when the Christian host were worn and tired, Peter had a vision in which he saw the lance that pierced the side of Christ, and telling where to dig they found it. He had another vision and was directed to carry the spear at the head of the army. Dreaming became contagious; other monks had dreams. So time passed; Antioch was taken, battles were fought, disruptions were prevalent. At last Godfrey set fire to his camp at Archas and set forward in the night. After a march of several hours the sun rose, and before our army lay the sun kissed towers of the holy city. The soldiers knelt upon the ground exclaiming, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem," in pious joy. After a long and bitter siege, on July the 15th, 1099, the city was taken, the Christians were free. (1, pages 108-109)
When Constantinople fell to the Turks in 1493, this is credited by many as the beginning of the Renaissance, a time when a dark ages of medicine occurred in the east, and the light started to shine again in the west. When this occurred, many other Greek classics made their way from Byzantine to Europe, thus opening the minds of Europeans. (2, page xxi)

So the Christian Crusades were peaceful until the Muslims decided to tax them.  The chaos the ensued due to Muslim actions is what lead to the Crusades, not an attempt by the Christians to force their religion on others.  So Obama was wrong to compare the current persecution of Christians by radical Muslims with what happened over a thousand years ago.

References:
  1. Bradford, Thomas Lindsley, writer, Robert Ray Roth, editor, “Quiz questions on the history of medicine from the lectures of Thomas Lindley Bradford M.D.,” 1898, Philadelphia, Hohn Joseph McVey
  2. Brock, John, "Galen on the natural faculties," 1916, London, New York, William Heinemann, G.P. Putnam's Sons
  3. Watch how Obama just compared Christianity with Islam
  4. Glenn Beck: Obama lectures Americans on Islamic State... because Christians did something wrong a long time ago

Friday, December 4, 2015

Reagan's Campaign caused fall of Berlin Wall

Mikhail Gorbechev is often credited with the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989.  However, if that were the case, you would have heard chants that day of "Gorby! Gorby! Gorby!"  And that did not happen. True credit for the fall of the Berlin Wall should go to Ronald Reagan.

In fact, Gorbechev did not want the wall to fall, and made gallant efforts to keep it up.  Instead, it was Ronald Reagan who was the first visionary who saw the writing on the wall (no pun intended) that it was time for the wall to come down.  He saw this as a great opportunity for democracy.

At the Brandenburg Gate in 1987, Reagan said:
"The advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace -- if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization -- come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
So, when the wall eventually did fall, it was a victory for democracy, and a failure for Communism. However, since the media is a champion of liberalism, a sister of Communism, they failed to see Reagan as being responsible; or at least failed to accept it.  So it's for this reason most history books won't give credit to Reagan.

Instead, Gorbachev was seen as a hero for pushing for reform in Russia. It is for this reason that he, and not Reagan, won the Noble Peace Prize in 1990.  He received the award "for his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community."

The truth is that Gorbachev did not push for reform by slight of his own desires, he did so because the Russian economy could not keep up with the United States.

The U.S. was able to accomplish this because Reagan created an economic environment whereby every person had an equal opportunity to improve his lot in life.  In the U.S. there was the incentive of making profits for those who took risks.  So Reagan was able to get the most out of the American people, and the economy thrived.

Gorbachev, on the other hand, was unable to accomplish this goal.  Because all people made the same amount of money regardless of effort made, there was no motivation to do more than the minimum needed to survive; there was no monetary incentive. The Russian economy faltered. There was plenty of food, but no means of getting it to tables.

So while the American capitalistic democracy thrived, Soviet Communism failed.  This is what lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall. It had nothing to do with Gorbachev, and every thing to do with Reagan.

The truth is, as Margarette Thatcher said, the Wall collapsed because the Soviet Union could not keep up.

But the truth doesn't matter to those with a political agenda. Most of our historians, journalists, and teachers tend to be liberal, and it is they who report the news and write the history books.  So they have a great opportunity to spin events to advance their liberal agenda.

Their version of the falling of the Berlin wall is that it was a symbol of strength of Communism and Socialism.  Since liberalism is the antithesis of capitalism and a sister of Communism and Socialism, the fall of the wall was reported not as a success of capitalism, but a failure of Communism.

Wall Street Journal's Anthony R. Dolen, on November 8, 2009, explained it best in his commentary, "Four Little Words."
Reagan had the carefully arrived at view that criminal regimes were different, that their whole way of looking at the world was inverted, that they saw acts of conciliation as weakness, and that rather than making nice in return they felt an inner compulsion to exploit this perceived weakness by engaging in more acts of aggression. All this confirmed the criminal mind's abiding conviction in its own omniscience and sovereignty, and its right to rule and victimize others.

Accordingly, Reagan spoke formally and repeatedly of deploying against criminal regimes the one weapon they fear more than military or economic sanction: the publicly-spoken truth about their moral absurdity, their ontological weakness. This was the sort of moral confrontation, as countless dissidents and resisters have noted, that makes these regimes conciliatory, precisely because it heartens those whom they fear most—their own oppressed people. Reagan's understanding that rhetorical confrontation causes geopolitical conciliation led in no small part to the wall's collapse 20 years ago today.
The Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union had waged since about 1947.  It did not end until 1991, and the brilliant campaign by Ronald Reagan that went against normal thinking is what caused the Collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War.  It's a shame he is not given rightful credit for this success.

Further Reading:

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Barack Obama: The dismal statistics

Some people claim Obama was the worst president in U.S. history.  Here is a collection of statistics (and related information) from various sources during the Obama administration to confirm this claim (along with links to their sources).
  1. Wages down 23% since 2008
  2. Obama on track to surpass Obama outings
  3. Record $2.6 trillion tax revenues
  4. Government runs 460 billion deficit that our children will have to pay for.
  5. Total debt rises to $18 trillion; up 70% under Obama. Our children will have to pay for this too.
  6. Feds take record $341,591,000,000 in tax revenue and spend most of it on entitlement programs for the me generation. We used to be concerned about us, and we are now concerned about me, me, me, me, me. "What will the government do for me? What free stuff will I get next? What bathroom should I get to use? 
  7. 51 million immigrants in 8 years; 82% of U.S. population growth. We don't know where most of them are, and when they are caught Obama's policy is to let them go. No background checks, means some of them may be criminals and terrorists. They do not make any pledge to assimilate, and this was why immigration was shut down from the Coolidge through the Johnson administration. If we don't do something we will lose our sovereignty like Europe has. 
  8. Record 20% of American Households on Food stamps in 2013. This might help explain how the 94 million working age Americans who are no longer looking for work are eating. 
  9. Loss of full time jobs in favor of part time jobs, and claiming net job gains. This is a direct result of Obamacare, which forces companies to pay a fine if they have more than 50 employers and don't offer them free health insurance. Part time work counts as full time work in Obama's economic numbers. For instance, Obama reported 160,000 jobs created in June of 2013. However, if you look closer at the numbers. 162,000 full time jobs were lost that month, and 322,000 part time jobs were created. You see, they give you the numbers, but don't tell you what they mean, so people just assume things are getting better when they are indeed not. 
  10. Median household income in 2013 was $51,900, according to recent reports from the US Census Bureau, 8% lower than before the recession began in 2007.  So, 2008, the last year of Bush and all of Obama's administration. Median household income has fallen about 8%.
  11. Economy slows to halt in first quarter of 2015: Grows at measly 0.2%
  12. 1 in 5 elderly dies broke
  13. 1 in 5 Americans on Welfare. Again, this is what the 94 million no longer in the workforce are using to support themselves and their family. They are sitting around watching game shows while the rest of us pay for it. This is another example of the me generation.
  14. Home ownership suffers 20 year low; blacks suffer most
  15. $2,446,920,000,000: Federal Taxes Set Record Through June... while only 50% pay taxes
  16. $16,451 in taxes per U.S. worker
  17. Under Obama, the U.S. has a post-Depression era record high number of citizens living at or beneath the federally-defined poverty line
  18. Under Obama, the U.S. has a record high number on the federal welfare foodstamps/SNAP program
  19. Under Obama, the U.S. has a record low workforce participation number. It has been around 94 million.
  20. Six-and–half years into the Obama presidency the economy has set yet another new statistical low.
  21. 46.7 million in poverty
  22. Immigration population hits 42.4 million -- record high; most are not immigrants, they are invaders (those who cross the border illegally are not immigrants, they are invaders). 
  23. Record 94,610,000 not in workforce; labor force participation rate lowest since 1977, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 
  24. 56,646,000 women no longer in workforce
  25. 63.2 million non-English speaking residents, a record number. You see, they are not assimilating. They are not becoming Americans. We are losing our sovereignty. 
  26. We've run up close to eight trillion additional national debt dollars since 2008, since Obama was inaugurated, and there hasn't been any concern for it expressed in the Media. Actually, when Obama took office the debt was $10 trillion. It is now (as of June, 2016) up to $10 trillion. Despite this, he brags how he brought down the national debt and reduced spending. 
  27. 17% of jobs now held by immigrants. This causes a spike in the number of workers and drives down wages. Due to low wages Americans can't afford to take these jobs, even if they need work. 
  28. 94,103,000 not in labor force. That's 27% of Americans not working. That's a 27% unemployment rate. But it's reported as 5.5%. Go figure. That 27% doesn't even include the 5.5% who are not working and still looking. So, when you total the two, you get close to a 40% unemployment rate. That's pretty bad, considering 24% was considered bad in 1930. Since these folks are on food stamps, are on welfare, and living in comfortable homes, you don't see them in long food lines like you did in 1930. So, for this reason, we get no public outcry. Even with these poor economic statistics, Obama continues to claim the economy is improving. When you look at the actual numbers, we are in an economic depression worse than the Great Depression. We are in a Great Depression. 
  29. Over 43 million Americans living in poverty, which is up over 8 million since Obama became president, according to Census Bureau.
  30. 43 million Americans on food stamps, which is 12 million more since Obama took office, according to USDA. This is one explanation for not seeing soup lines.
  31. 1 in 5 families do not have a single person in the workforce, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  32. 1 in 6 men between the ages 38-34, prime working years, are either incarcerated or out of the labor force. They are either in jail incarcerated or living with their parents. This is according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
  33. The death rate from drug overdose more than doubled from 1999 to 2013. This is typical of a depression. When they don't work they lose their self-esteem and feeling of self-worth. Suicide rates are typically higher in a depression. Yet the White House continues to talk about the economy as though it's getting better.
  34. 58% of Americans feel like strangers in their own country. This isn't all Obama's doing, although he has made the problem worse by refusing to build the wall that was already approved by Congress under the Bush Administration. He has also made it easier to enter our country illegally. He also refused to enforce immigration laws on the books, which would easily solve this problem. Of course his amnesty program encourages more to come in too. 
  35. First president not to see a single year of 3% economic (GDP) growth. This makes Obama the forth worst on record. This is sad, because "The rate of real economic growth is the single greatest determinate of both America’s strength as a nation and the well-being of the American people."
  36. Home ownership falls to third lowest on record. It's amazing how the economy is doing so great yet people can't afford to buy homes. 
  37. By the end of his two terms, home ownership was the lowest it had been in the past 51 years, according to the Census Bureau
  38. Despite the Feds collecting a new record of $2,139,254,000,000 in taxes, deficit, the debt is $407,099,000,000
  39. The number of U.S. police officers shot deat increases 78% in first half of 2016 alone. 
  40. Second quarter of 2016: Economy grows at a measly 1.2%
  41. Recovery weakest in post WWII era, or weakest recovery since 1949. The real gross domestic product growth averaging 2.1%. At 7 1/2 years and counting, it is also among the longest on record. But it hasn’t packed much of a punch. Cumulative growth of 16.5% since the trough is well shy of the 38.4% increase during the 1982-1990 expansion and 42.6% from 1991-2001, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  42. U.S. Debt up 122% under Obama
  43. 700 inmates have been released from Gitmo -- more than 200 have returned to the fight
  44. Crime increased 10% in 2015, and violent crime increased almost 4%. It's true crime rates have been higher other years, yet this is spike was the result of beurocrats preventing police officers from doing their jobs. It's also the result of an economy that is not as good as Obama says it is. During recessions and depressions, crime rates tend to rise. 
  45. 66% of kids 15-29 living with parents. That's up 6% between 2007 and 2014. 
  46. By the time he leaves office, the United States will have acquired more debt than all 43 presidents before him combined
  47. His Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and he ignored 600 separate requests for added security at the embassy in Benghazi, and all of them were ignored. This resulted in four Americans being killed in an act of terror. 
  48. Not necessarily a stat, although he told Americans they would save $2,100 per year under Obamacare, but the complete opposite happened: millions of people lost their doctors, millions lost their healthcare plans, Obamacare premiums surged by double digits. On average, since Obamacare went into place, there has been a $4,100 increase per family. 
  49. He signed the Iranian Nuclear Deal. This gave the world's #1 state sponsor of terror $150 billion and the ability to spin their nuclear centrifuges. 
  50. He let people from countries who do not support our values, and who did not pledge to support our values, into our country. He let people from nations who do not support women's rights and gay rights. They also don't respect other Faiths, especially Jews and Christians. 
  51. African Americans under Obama saw 58% increase in food stamps, according to USDA.
  52. African Americans under Obama saw an 18% increase among those not in the workforce, according to Bureau of Labor and Statistics. 
  53. In 2016, from January to November, Chicago saw 3,817 African Americans have been shot, according to the Chicago Tribune
  54. Since 2009, since Obama has been President, 3,656 people have been murdered in Chicago, and 75% of those victims were African American, according to the Chicago Police Department.
  55. Our educational system is failing, especially in inner cities
  56. High school graduation rates are 9% lower than the national average, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
  57. High school dropout rate for African Americans in 2014 was 7.4%, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This is higher than the national average. 
  58. As of November, 2011, the U.S. is ranked 4th in the world among developed countries, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. 
  59. The U.S. is ranked 4th in the world on per pupil spending, and that comes to $11,600 per student. Despite this, the U.S. is ranking among developed countries is 17th in reading, 19th in science, and 26th in math, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. 
  60. During the 8 year presidency of Obama, the democrats saw the number of democrat members of the U.S. Senate declined by 10.2%, democrat members of the U.S. House of Representative declined by 19.3%, democrat members of state legislatures declined by 20.3%, and democrat governorships declined by 35.7%. This shows a complete rejection of the democratic party agenda as a result of the Unconstitutional agenda of Barack Obama. This is according to the Washington Post
  61. In fact, after the election of 2016, democrats were only left with control of the Governorship and State House in only four states, or five states if you include Connecticut where there is a tie and the tiebreaker goes to democrats (compared to 25 for republicans). The four states are California, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Oregon. In this way, democrats now hold the fewest number of state legislatures in history (republicans hold 4,170 seats and democrats hold 3,129). 
  62. Worded another way, since 2008, democrats have lost 11 seats in the Senate, 60 seats in the House of Representatives, 14 governorships (in only 5 of 50 states do democrats have control of the governorship and the state House). Democrats have lost 900 state legislative seats across the country. They have also lost mayor's offices and city councils.  Compare this with republicans, who have 33 state Governors and full control of the governorship and state legislature in 25 states.
  63. Or, worded yet another way, during Obama's tenure, and despite his popularity, democrats lost over 1,000 seats. This includes the presidency, including a loss in U.S. Senate seats from 55 to 46, a loss in the House of Representatives from 256 to 194, a loss of governorships from 28 to 16, and a loss of 958 state legislative seats. The net loss was a total of 1,042 state and federal democratic seats. 
  64. To add to this, Republicans today hold 31 out of 45 lieutenant governor offices, they hold 31 of 50 Secretary of State offices, and they currently remain at 69 of 99 legislative chamber majorities – an all time record for the party. GOP control of 69/99 of the state legislatures (Nebraska’s is unicameral) is an all-time high, Beginning in 2017, republicans will have thoe most state-elected lawmakers in office since 1920.
  65. In 2008, Rush Limbaugh said, "I hope he fails." He was referring to Obama's policies. Obama succeeded, and that's why he was completely repudiated in 2016. 
  66. Life expectancy drops for first time in a decade, particularly among citizens less than 65 years old. This is an indicator of the overall well-being of a nation, so this is not good. This could also be an indicator of the rise in suicides, which usually goes up during depressions. The death rate tends to rise when the people see that there is little hope that things will improve. So, this is yet another indicator of the failed policies of Barack Hussein Obama.
  67. According to The Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Federal Register now exceeds 75,000 pages with over 90,000 regulations and from 2016 alone. In fact, on one day in November 2016, Obama handed down a whopping 527 pages of regulations, which made his total number of regulations the most of any U.S. President. In 2010, he created 81,405 pages. This was the old record, which has now been exceeded by a whopping 235 pages.  They are made on the premise that they will make people safer, although the true purpose of most of them is to make a few lobbyists and corporate interests richer and the American people poorer. 
  68. Americans businesses have paid over $873.6 billion in regulations. This has paid a significant tole on the economy. When potential employers have to pay these regulations, they have to do so at the expense of creating jobs. Many do not even open their doors because of the high burden of regulations. There was also $344 billion in EPA regulations alone. In total, Obama has created over 2,988 new regulations. 
  69. He failed to gain control of wage stagnation. People like your author here went four of Obama's year's in office without getting a raise, and his pay is now $4 below the market average for a respiratory therapist. 
  70. Democratic voter turnout dropped in 2010, 2012 and significantly in 2014
  71. Despite unemployment being at 4.7%, the number of working age people who have given up for work and are no longer considered unemployed is a record 95,102,000. This is up 18% since Obama took office in 2009. This is your proof that his economy is failing people. To all those who are not working, it is called a depression.
  72. Obama may have broken racial barriers when he became the first African-American president of the U.S., but his election did nothing to improve race relations. In fact, a majority of Americans (54%) say that race relations deteriorated under Obama, according to a recent CNN/ORC poll.
  73. He has refused to use the term "Radical Islamic Terrorism." There have been many random acts of terror on U.S. since Obama took office in 2009, although he continues to say there have been none. He has been na├»ve to terrorism. If we don't call it what it is, the problem will never be resolved. He calls terrorism things like "workplace violence." And, rather than going after the organizations responsible for their radicalization (such as ISIS), he has chosen to champion for stricter gun laws for law abiding citizens. So, basically we get punished because of the actions of a few nut cases.
  74. Trade deficit climbs to 6.8% in November, 2016
  75. Obama gave his final speech on January 11, 2017. He claimed the economy is good, and that race relations have improved. However, according to a Washington Post poll, 65% of Americans believe race relations have gotten worse. That's up from 48% in the spring 2016
  76. So, Obama gave his final speech on January 11. He claimed the economy has improved. He did not mention any of the above dismal statistics. He did not mention that we are experiencing the lowest home ownership rate in 51 years, He did not mention over 11 million Americans are on foodstamps since he became President (which explains why the 94 million no longer in the workforce are making a living, and why they quit looking for work). 
  77. In his farewell speech, Obama did not mention that over 43 million Americans now live in poverty, nor that 1 in 5 American families do not have at least one person in the labor force. He did not mention that 1 in 6 men (18-34) are either incarcerated or out of the workforce. He did not mention that he accumulated more debt than all other presidents combined (over $20 trillion). He amassed $9.3 trillion in debt over 8 years. While Obama brags about how many jobs he has created, America has lost over 301,000 manufacturing jobs, In 2016, America had a global trade deficit of over $732 billion. 
  78. Obama said you can keep your doctor. He said if you like your insurance you can keep it. Obamacare did the exact opposite. Millions of people lost their doctors and lost their health insurance, and were forced to pay more for Obamacare. In 2017, Obamacare costs are increasing by 25% on average. 
  79. Obama said average American family would save $2,500 a year. The exact opposite happened. In 2008, the average healthcare cost for families was $12,680. In 2016 it was $18,142. This was an increase of 42%. Deductibles are so high for most families they can't even use their plans. 
  80. The number of healthcare providers are evaporating. Many people buying on the exchanges have just a single doctor to choose from. 
  81. Many insurers are pulling out of the Obamacare exchanges because they are losing money. So not only are there fewer doctors to choose from, there are fewer insurance agencies to choose from. This was actually the intent when Obamacare was created. Obama wanted this to happen so people would crawl to government asking for it to bail them out. If Hillary would have been elected, this would have been an ideal time to transfer Obamacare over to the universal healthcare system Obama has wanted all along. 
  82. He gave Iran, the world's #1 sponsor of terror $150 billion. Lord knows what they are going to do with this money. 
  83. The CDC reported that 33,091 deaths resulted from opioid overdoses in 2015
  84. The $9,334,590,089,609.44 that the debt increased under Obama as of the close of business on Wednesday (January 20, 2017) is more debt than was accumulated by any previous president. It equals nearly twice as much as the $4,889,1000,310609.44 in additional debt that piled during the eight years George W. Bush served as President. This equates to approximately $75, 129 for every person in the U.S. who had a full time job in December (of 2016).

Friday, November 27, 2015

William McKinley: Entering the World Scene

During the election of 1896, William McKinley was poised to return the republican party to the White House. All he had to do was convince voters that he a better man for the job than William Jennings Bryant.

Democrat Grover Cleveland was the last classical liberal president. Near the end of his second term, populist democrat William Jennings Bryan succeeded in transforming the democratic party from a laissez-faire/classical liberal party to being more of a big government/ liberal party.  Bryan used this platform to champion for the reinstatement of the coinage of silver.

On the other side of the ticket was William McKinley. Like Bryan, he was a successful Congressman, as his name was featured on the 1890 tariff.  And even though this tariff was partially to blame for the panic of 1893 and the depression that haunted Cleveland during his second term, it did not hamper McKinley's campaign for president.  He would go on to win the popular vote by the largest margin since the election of 1872.

Nearly as soon as McKinley was elected the depression that haunted Cleveland was over.  It should be noted here that it ended without any governmental interference. This is significant, because Cleveland was vigorously pressured to intervene, and -- unlike future presidents -- believed the market would resolve on its own.

He was right.

But it was too late to help the fortunes of the laissez-faire approach to government: the age of classical liberals had ended. Nearly every president from McKinley on would use the office of the president to expand government, even if it that meant sacrificing personal liberties at the expense of the state objective.

McKinley began this quest not by advancing a domestic agenda, but by advocating a foreign agenda.  Some actually say he was pressured into doing this by his "political cronies."  However, others say he was a "decisive president" who made decisions on his own accord.

Either way, he would lead the United States into its first international war since the War of 1812.  Spain ruled Cuba, and the Cubans wanted to gain their independence.

That aside, in 1823 James Monroe declared that no longer would the U.S. allow European governments to colonize land in the Americas.  Spain involvement in Cuba was exempted.  Just prior to the Civil War southern interests tried to get the U.S. to buy Cuba and make it a slave state.  Then the war got in the way and interests fell elsewhere.

After the war, however, American businessmen became interested in the Cuban sugar market.  By 1894, 90 percent of Cuban exports went to the U.S., and 40 percent of U.S. exports went to Cuba.  So what happened in Cuba had a significant impact on the growing American economy.

Cubans total exports to the U.S. were nearly 12 times higher than exports to Spain. So, while Spain held political authority over Cuba, economic authority belonged to the Americans.

Likewise, in order to expedite trade routes, Americans had an interest in building a channel either in Nicaragua or Panama, and they would need naval protection to get this task completed.  A rising politician by the name of Theodore Roosevelt was the Secretary of the Navy in 1897-1898, and he was an ardent supporter of war with Spain War.

This set up the stage for the Spanish-American War.  However, it was also believed the newspaper business also played a role.  To increase sales, newspaper tycoons were reporting on actual events although exaggerating them to sell newspapers.  This was dubbed as Yellow Journalism.

Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World and William Randolph Hearst of the New York Journal saw a revolt that occurred in Cuba as a chance to make some flashy headlines. This sort of shaped an increasing derogatory attitude in America of the Spanish.  In fact, some found parallels between the Cuban revolt and the American Revolution.

While yellow journalism was often cited as shaping the opinion of the nation, other historians say that it was not present outside New York, and therefore should not have shaped opinion to the extend some speculate that it did.  Still, the national sentiment toward Spain was not good.

Regardless, their was a lot of pressure on the McKinley administration to take action.

At first he tried to end the situation peacefully.  He sent the USS Maine to Havana, Cuba, to maintain the safety of Americans and American interests in the area.  However, On February 15, 1898, the Maine sank after an explosion, killing 265 of the 355 on board.

McKinley called for patience.  But the media wanted nothing to do with patience.  In fact, war with Spain was exactly what the media wanted.  So, instead of reporting the truth about the sinking of the Maine -- that it remained a mystery who caused it to sink -- they reported it as a fact that Spain did it.  With such headlines as "Spanish Murderers" and "Remember The Maine," Americans were ready for war.

Such pressure made it difficult to find a peaceful solution difficult.  In the end, on April 25, 1898, Congress declared war with Spain, promising to declare independence for Cuba once the war was over.

To secure America's position, McKinley annexed Hawaii. It took only three months for America to win the war. As part of the peace treaty with Spain, Cuba was granted independence. America also ended up with the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam.  America proved it could be a powerful world presence.

Yet doing so opened the door for other problems.  For instance, almost immediately the U.S. entered into conflict with the Philippine residents who did not want to be controlled by the Americans.

McKinley didn't stop there.  He sent 2,000 troops to China to allay the Boxer Rebellion, and he intervened twice in Nicaragua to protect American interests.

So that all happened in his first term.  Just prior to the end of his first term his vice president, Garrett Hobart, died of heart failure. After his friends denied the offer, McKinley left the question of vice president open to the convention.

This is where Teddy Roosevelt comes into play again.  He was a former governor of New York, and he was a thorn in the side of the leaders of the New York republican party.  So they figured it would be a blessing if he could be the vice presidential nominee.  On the other hand, the McKinley campaign saw it as a boon to have a war hero on the ticket.

During the convention, McKinley easily won the republican nomination, mainly due to fact he was a popular war president who also presided over a booming economy.  Teddy Roosevelt was also nominated to be his vice president.

This was the last photo taken of William McKinley,
taken as he entered the Temple of Music
on September 6, 1901.
Despite high hopes, McKinley's second term didn't go so well.  Their were concerns about his safety after a series of assassinations by anarchists in Europe.  McKinley loved meeting people in public, and so he wanted nothing to do with efforts to stop meeting the public.

Despite added security, On September 5, 1901, after giving a speech before 50,000 people at the Expedition, Leon Czolgosz worked his way through the crowd, but hesitated to shoot the president out of fears he might miss.  However, the next day, Czolgosz waited at the Temple of Music as the Exposition where the president was to meet the public.  He shot the president twice in the abdomen.

As his last request, he urged his men to break the news lightly to his wife. He also urged his men to call off the mob in search of Czolgosz, a kindly action that probably saved the life of the assassin.

One bullet was found by the doctors taking care of him, but the second never was.  Even though there was a primitive x-ray machine on display at the Exposition, it was not used.  There was rising enthusiasm as the president appeared to be getting better after a few days.  But unknown to his doctors was that ganreine had grown in the walls of his stomach.  It was this gangrene that would take his life eight days after he was shot.

Roosevelt was sworn into office.  A new era in politics was born.  No longer did presidents put their country before their political ambitions.  The progressive movement was not born in that moment, but it had finally gained a podium that would allow it to grow and prosper into a full and flourishing tree.

Now, how must the legacy of William McKinley be judged.  Perhaps this is best said by the Miller Center: University of Virginia:
For a long time, William McKinley was considered a mediocre President, a chief executive who was controlled by his political cronies and who was pressured into war with Spain by the press. Recent historians have been kinder to McKinley, seeing him instead as a decisive President who put America on the road to world power. McKinley's difficult foreign policy decisions, especially his policy toward China and his decision to go to war with Spain over Cuban independence, helped the U.S. enter the twentieth century as a new and powerful empire on the world stage.
I think that quote pretty  much hits the nail on the head.  For those who are proud to see the influence of American Exceptionalism on the world stage, he is seen as a good president.  Others, not so much.

Further reading:

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The true story of Thanksgiving


There was no freedom of religion in the early 1600s. If you did not believe in the same religion that King James I wanted, and you worshiped God in the way you wanted instead of what King James wanted, you were treated as a common criminal. You were hunted down, put in prison, or even killed.

These individuals wanted to be left alone to worship the way they wanted, and in 1608 they moved out of their homeland of England to Holland. But there was much hardship in Holland too, so the Pilgrims decided to leave England for America. But they stopped back in England first to receive funding from the Virginia Company. Then in August of 1620, 102 Pilgrims set out for America in a ship called the Mayflower.

During the ride across the ocean much discussion ensued as to what form of government to create. While still on the Mayflower in 1620, the Mayflower Compact was signed, and one of the signers was William Bradford. The Pact said that all goods and services, and all land, would be owned by the mass community, and the profits would be doled out equally among the masses.

When they landed in November they found a land that was cold, shelter less, and not very welcoming. In fact, in that first harsh winter over half of the Pilgrims died. When Spring finally arrived, the Indians taught them how to build shelters and to plant corn, fish for cod, and skin beavers to be used as coats.

The fact that an Indian tribe, lead by Massosoit, was a blessing from God in itself, because without his blessing the other Indian tribes would have pulverised the Pilgrims. This was also a blessing because a pirate named black took advantage of his friendship and took many of his people.

They did better at this point, but things did not go as well as Bradford, the original governor of the community, had expected. He decided that while the Mayflower Pact sounded like a good idea, since no one owned anything, and there was no incentive to work more than the minimum, there were many crops that went unplanted, and much that wasn't taken care of, and productivity was very poor. People did whatever the minimum was needed of them, and then they quit. What the Pilgrims had created here was an early form of socialism.

By 1623 the harvest was so poor that starvation and death became a problem almost as bad as when the colonists first arrived. They had the know how and the potential for having good crops, but this wasn't happening.

Bradford realized this pact was not working. He wrote: "The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years...that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing – as if they were wiser than God." Yet he realized it did not work as expected.

Bradford decided to take an idea from the Bible. He gave every person a plot of land to take care of as their own. If they did well, they were able to keep part of the profits as an incentive to work hard. They were allowed to market and profit from what they sold. In effect, he turned loose the power of the marketplace. He created the worlds first capitalistic government.

The following harvest was abounding. It was not abounding because of help from the Indians, but because a socialistic government was replaced by a capitalistic one. On this, Bradford wrote: "This had very good success, for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been."

The Pilgrims did so well that they set up stands where they exchanged goods and services with the Indians, and they used profits from this to pay back their debt in England. In fact, the colony started to do so well economically that many Pilgrims decided to migrate to the colonies. This was called the Great Puritan Migration.

For helping them come up with a new system that worked to produce the bountiful crops, they decided to have a roast to give thanks to the Lord. There were some Indians at this celebration, but not as many as we and are kids are taught in school.

Now the Pilgrims were also thankful for the Indians for helping them and even protecting them. Yet that was not the main Intent of that celebration. The main intent was to thank God for teaching them an effective government.

The history books tell us that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated to give thanks to the Indians for helping the Pilgrims survive after that first hard winter. Sure the crops were improved that second November, but there was no celebration. There was no celebration until socialism was quashed and a capitalistic government was formed and the economy of the colony prospered. This is what the colonists celebrated on that first Thanksgiving. The date was August 9th.

However, since William Bradford's original notes were lost for many years, the story of  Indians saving colonists and this being the reason for the first Thanksgiving became common. And when Thanksgiving was made a national holiday by Congress in George Washington's first year in office, November 26 was selected as the day. And even while Bradford's journals were discovered, this false date and the false story of the first Thanksgiving were not corrected.

The unfortunate result of this fallacy not being corrected is that the lessons of Bradford were not learned. Carl Marx, Stalin, Lennon, Hitler, Mussolini, all played with various forms of socialism, and none of them worked.  Even today, in both the Europe and the United States, forms of socialism continue to exist. Perhaps if the true story of Thanksgiving were known, the failures of the past would not be repeated over and over again.

Further reading: