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:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Franklin Pierce: 'Bleeding Kansas'

Okay, so Franklin Pierce installed heating in the White House and reduced the national debt.  Other than that, his inability to allay tensions between the north and the south regarding slavery make him one of the worse presidents ever.

Pierce gained notoriety as an officer in the Mexican war, and for his ability to gain support for Lewis Cass during the 1848 presidential election.

Still, when you consider potential democratic presidential nominees for 1952 were Cass, Stephen A. Douglass, and James Buchanan, Pierce was a clear underdog candidate; a clear dark horse.  Yet those leading three candidates managed to take enough votes from each other for Pierce to escape with the nomination.

He ran under the platform of ardent support for the Compromise of 1850.  This worked, because, at the time of the 1852 election, there was general calm regarding the differences between the north and the south, and the Compromise was cited as the reason.  He was also a strong supporter of slavery, and would not sign any bill that would work to the detriment of slave states.

Pierce, a democrat, narrowly defeated Whig General Winfield Scott. During his inauguration he declared an era of peace and calm.  Of course, at the present time, it was peaceful and calm in the U.S. Helping matters was that the economy was flourishing. This was significant considering the tensions that escalated prior to the signing of the Compromise of 1850.

However, early on in his presidency he hinted at the idea of expanding the borders of the United States, thereby hinting at the idea of adding slave states.  This agitated northern voters.  Adding to the tension was his support for the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.  This Act was written by Stephen A. Douglas to reverse the Missouri Compromise of 1820.  The Act allowed white males in those territories to determine by popular sovereignty whether their territory would be a free or a slave state.

Douglas thought the Act would be well received because it created land for the expansion of the Transcontinental Railroad and allowed people living in the territories to decide on their own whether their state would be a free or slave state.

However, this Act completely backfired.  Instead of garnering peace, it created angst, particularly among northern free states who felt betrayed.  You see, the Missouri Compromise made Kansas a free territory, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act reversed this.

To make matters worse, in an attempt to influence how the people of Kansas would vote, both free and slave states send potential voters to that territory.  This ultimately gave rise to shootings and bloodshed, or what became known as "Bleeding Kansas" -- a prelude to the Civil War.

The Kansas-Nebraska Act was therefore considered a betrayal to the north.  Northern supporters of freeing the slaves were infuriated by Pierce.  This inspired many of them to organize and form the republican party, which had a platform to stop the spread of slavery.  It quickly became the dominant party in the north.

While his term began in a state of peace, it ended with tensions growing. While he championed for peace as a result of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, his fellow democrats refused to renominate him. They turned instead to James Buchanan.

Further Reading:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Modern Liberalism Began With Death of Kennedy

Most people do not realize this, but up until John F. Kennedy, and with a few rare exceptions (Woodrow Wilson and FDR), the democratic party was more conservative than the republican party. And, above all, most members of both parties loved, honored, and respected the United States above all else. If there was an enemy that needed to be dealt with, both parties were united in defending the nation. That all ended the day Kennedy died.

It is true that there were a rising number of liberal voices during Kennedy's term in office. Among them were Al Gore Sr. and John Kenneth Galbraith. These are people who believed in the zero sum game, that if one person or nation becomes wealthy it comes at the expense of other people and other nations. So they supported redistribution of wealth policies to share the wealth.

The say rich people, and rich corporations, as greedy. They even saw the U.S. as greedy. The reason other nations are poor is because the U.S. is hoarding all the money. They saw all evil in the world as the result of America being a bully. They believed if we scale back our military, get rid of nuclear weapons, and get rid of guns, that we wouldn't be seen as such a bully and people of other nations would love us more and peace would ensue.

This comes contrary to the traditional view of love of country and peace through strength, something Kennedy championed for. In order to win the cold war, he wanted to make America stronger and prouder. This is why he increased military spending. He believed the stronger our military is the less likely we would be to use it. And this is also why he increased federal funding of NASA and championed for a trip to the moon. He wanted to showcase to the world, to the Russians, American Exceptionalism.

He did this at a time of growing liberalism within the United States. He knew there were liberal voices in his own cabinet. In fact, he had to ignore John Kenneth Galbraith and Al Gore Sr. in pushing forth his agenda. And he succeeded. And he was very popular for his efforts, and continues to be hailed as a hero to this day, as his popularity still lingers around 80 percent. He is still ranked as one of the best presidents of all time.

But those liberal voices gained credibility the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a socialist by the name of Lee Harvey Oswald. The moment Kennedy was pronounced dead, the liberal Lyndon Baines Johnson was sworn into office, ushering in the era of modern liberalism.This was the day the democratic party went from being a mainstream, traditional American party, to a progressive/liberal/socialist/fascist party of nutcases who blame American greed for all the evils in the world.

Look! I wrote before on this blog how the first liberal president was Teddy Roosevelt, and how the liberal movement began with Woodrow Wilson, only to be put on steroids by FDR, Johnson, and Obama. Yet, as Rush Limbaugh discussed on his program on October 19, 2015, the modern liberal movement began with the death of Kennedy.

Here is what Rush said:
There have been many times that people have called here and asked me, "When did this current liberalism start? Was it Woodrow Wilson?" they ask. "Was it earlier than that? Was it Civil Rights? When did this stuff all happen? When did it start? Was it the sixties? The Students for Democrat Society and the Vietnam War?" And remember my answer has always shocked people.... My answer is the incarnation of the modern left as you and I know it today is a direct result of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
And I remember the first time I mentioned this, people could not believe that I was thinking straight. "You mean to tell me, Rush, you think the modern era of liberalism began with the assassination of JFK?" Yes, it did. I'll give you a brief summary of why.
We know -- the evidence is conclusive -- that JFK was killed by a communist, Lee Harvey Oswald. He was not killed by the right wing. He was not killed by extremists in Dallas or in the South or anywhere else in this country. He was killed by a communist with ties to Cuba. Lee Harvey Oswald was an avowed socialist and communist.
He had traveled to the Soviet Union; he was disappointed. He was expecting utopia. He was flat-out disappointed with what he found, but it did not persuade him to change his thinking. He remained an ardent communist, and after his disappointment with the discoveries in Moscow, he became an acolyte of the Castro regime in Cuba. He had traveled to Mexico City in an attempt to get to Cuba. But the bottom line is... I don't know, Warren Commission.
I don't care about anybody else. But Lee Harvey Oswald pulled the trigger. It was his gun. It was in the sixth floor window of what the Texas School Book Depository. He was nabbed. He was caught. There was no doubt Lee Harvey Oswald killed John F. Kennedy, and he was a communist. And what the left did, is they couldn't permit that. They couldn't allow that to be popularly accepted and understood. They could not take that chance whatsoever.
So in order to create the Camelot myth and to establish Kennedy as this mythical King Arthur-type character and his administration as Camelot, there was a calculated decision among opinion leaders of the day to blame America for it, to blame American cultural decay, American extremism -- John Birch right-wingerism and so forth. And that's the birth of the modern era of liberalism, blaming America. America got the blame for killing Kennedy, not an avowed communist, because they just couldn't abide that.

There's a great book out there. The guy is at the Manhattan Institute. His name is James Piereson. His book is entitled Shattered Consensus. And there's a chapter -- actually a couple chapters -- on the Kennedy assassination.
An ardent, full blooded, full-throated communist killed JFK, and the American left power structure of the time -- including Earl Warren at the Supreme Court, the New York Times, TIME Magazine, at the time the networks, three network news anchors -- just could not deal with it. They couldn't permit that to be the truth. There was an affection for the Soviet Union at the time. There was an affection for communism. But there was also an opportunity. They saw an opportunity to do what the left does best: Blame America.
I just want to read you these two excerpts from the book Shattered Consensus... "The widespread feeling that the national culture contributed to Kennedy's death encouraged an attitude of anti-Americanism that became a pronounced aspect of the radical and countercultural movements of the 1960s." Look, the simple fact of the matter is, for the longest time people would not accept that Oswald was the killer. It was too simple.
The KGB, by the way, was paying all these conspiracy... Not all. The KGB was paying a number of so-called conspiracy authors to write these alternative theories. The American left and Soviet Union, nobody wanted communists to blame for this. If a communist had killed "the most beloved president ever," what does that say about the left? It would have destroyed the modern-day Democrat Party. They couldn't allow that to happen. They made a concerted judgment. They made an effort to actually whitewash the assassination of Kennedy and blame people who had nothing to do with it in order to save their own skin.
And their own movement and then proceeded to cover all of that up by coming up with alternate conspiracy theories and an effort to blame right-wingers, gun-control freaks, John Birchers, and, you name it. And that is what gave birth to the modern left today, rooted in America is to blame for everything that's bad -- and the top of the list is, "America killed the most popular president ever." And by "America" they mean Republicans, conservatives, anybody that's not liberal...
So... "The widespread feeling that the national culture contributed to Kennedy's death encouraged an attitude of anti-Americanism that became a pronounced aspect of the radical and countercultural movements of the sixties. This was an outlook that never entirely disappeared from the worldview of the American left.
Now, by any logic the assassination of a popular president by a communist should have generated a revulsion against everything associated with left-wing doctrines. Yet something very close to the opposite happened in the wake of the JFK assassination, and for many of the reasons outlined. Within a few years, radical ideas and revolutionary leaders -- Marx, Lenin, Mao, and Castro among them -- enjoyed a greater vogue in the US than at any previous time in our history, converting college students by the thousands to an anti-American, anti-capitalist creed. Soon, those students were taking over campuses and joining protest movements in support of a host of radical and revolutionary causes.
"Socialism and revolution -- causes that Kennedy fought against -- were the watchwords of the new left that emerged within a few years of his death."
They could not sit by and have it known in a communist had killed JFK. So they had to create other assassins. They had to create alternative conspiracy theories. Whatever else anybody did or will come up with, it is fact that Oswald pulled the trigger and killed Kennedy. And if you don't believe it, it is a sign of how effective the plan has been to get you not to know what really happened. "In just a few years, from 1963 to 1968, the liberal movement -- under pressure from this new radicalism -- absorbed a skeptical disposition toward the American past and the major institutions of American society.
"It would not be an exaggeration to label this disposition, this new attitude of the New Left, as anti-American. Among those who maintained a foothold in the liberal camp, there was a tendency to accept the left-wing assessments of American society as vulgar, violent, and racist. The radicals and the liberals might differ on style and strategy, but they agreed that real change must come about not through programmatic reforms, but through cultural criticism that leads to a revolution in thought and conduct...
"Once having accepted the claim that JFK was a victim of the national culture, many found it easy to extend that metaphor into other areas of American life, from race and poverty to the treatment of women to the struggle against communism. These were no longer seen as challenges to be met and overcome but as indictments of the nation." JFK being assassinated by a communist was an unacceptable reality to the leftists of the day who had a love affair with the Soviet Union, who had a love affair with communism as utopia, as fairness, as all of these things that they claim that it is.
It's the birthplace of Che Guevara and Castro becoming heroes, and it was more than likely Castro who engineered, however he did it, the assassination of JFK, with a supporter, Lee Harvey Oswald...
What really has happened is this country was really severely, dangerously brainwashed after the Kennedy assassination, and it continued for decades. And what's happening now is an effort to cleanse that brainwashing and to unravel it, and the left has had a lot of success with it. Blaming America. Blaming the culture. Take any incident, any incident that happens in this country today, I don't care which. Name one. Name the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin thing, Ferguson, Baltimore, a school shooting. Name a thing that happens.
Whose fault is it? "Right wing culture! America! Bigotry! It's anti-gay, sexist, racism," what have you. It all... All of this got its energetic birth immediately after the Kennedy assassination, and they had such profound success with it following the Kennedy assassination that it simply became their identity. And in their minds it has stood the test. Well, JFK today would no more identify with the modern-day Democrat Party. He was for Reagan-like tax cuts and any number of other things.
Rush said that he often gets blamed by the left for "brainwashing" people in favor of conservatism and against liberalism and socialism. Yet, in fact, he said, "it's the American media and the Democrat Party and the left that brainwashed this whole country after the Kennedy assassination."

Further reading:

Monday, November 23, 2015

William Buchanan: The last pro-slavery president

Without the support of northern Whigs angered by his signing the fugitive slave act, Millard Fillmore lost the 1852 election to democrat James Buchanan.  He was the 15th president of the U.S., and the last president to succeed at avoiding a Civil War.  He was also the only president to remain a lifelong bachelor.

Shortly after his inauguration, a decision was to come about regarding Dred Scott, who was suing for his right to be a free man.  Chief Justice Roger B. Taney delivered the Dred Scott Decisions, claiming that anyone of African ancestry could never become U.S. Citizens, and could never sue in a Federal Court.  This included both slaves and free African Americans. It also ruled that Congress did not have the right to prohibit slavery in territories.  So Dred Scott remained a slave.

As a pro slavery president, Buchanan supported this decision.  This did not sit well with abolitionists in his own party, and anti-slavery republican party.

To settle disputes in Kansas, he pushed for it to enter into the union as a slave state.  But this angered republicans even more, and created a riff in his own party. His effort in this regard failed, and Kansas remained a territory.

To make matters worse in the nation, in 1858 republicans won a majority of seats in the House.  Every single bill they tried to pass met a political death in the Senate or by presidential veto.  Washington D.C. was in a complete stalemate.

Now, for his inability to avoid escalating tensions between the north and the south that would ultimately lead to the Civil War, and for his failure to stand up against slavery, he is often sited as a failed president. However, that aside, he was a classical liberal who championed for low tariffs and low taxes in order to stimulate the economy.

His democratic party was divided on slavery, and this resulted in the party dividing into southern democrats and northern democrats, and each nominated its own candidate for president: John Breckinridge and Stephen A. Douglas respectively.  The Whig party was destroyed.  This set the stage for the republican party president, Abraham Lincoln, to sneak into the office of the president.

Further reading

Friday, November 20, 2015

Trump gaining momentum, and here's why

Donald Trump was supposed to be gone by now.  Back in August fellow republicans were saying that Trump was the protest candidate, and that once the summer was over they would gravitate back to a candidate who was qualified.  They said that's what happened in 2008 when John McCain ended up getting the nomination, even though he was in third place in the polls when the primaries started.

But that doesn't seem to be the case this time.  Now we are three months later, and polls are showing that Trump is now at 42% in the polls among likely republican voters.  Why is Trump doing so well?

It's that 42% of republicans, or up to 70% of republicans if you add the polling percentages of Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson, are fed up with the republican establishment.  They do not like the fact that democrats are succeeding at advancing their progressive agenda.  They are ticked off at the fact that every republican voted into office since 2008 was supposed to stop Obama from advancing his agenda, and once they were elected they decided they needed to compromise.  They did not stop the democratic agenda. In fact, they agree with him on amnesty.  When it comes to amnesty, Jeb Bush and John Kasich are democrats.  The voters are sick of this.

The voters don't like the nuclear deal.  Republicans did not stop it.  The voters don't like Obamacare. Republicans did not stop it; have not defund it.  The voters hate amnesty. Republicans are not trying to stop it.

Republican voters gave republicans majorities in 2010 and 2014, and what good did it do. Why is Obama still able to move his agenda forward?  Who is standing in the way of Democrats? Why aren't any republican policies being pushed forth? Why have no bills to defund planned parenthood or Obamacare been placed on Obama's desk? Why is our agenda not being moved forward?

Why all the bipartisanship? Why the compromising? Why don't democrats ever compromise and allow us to move our agenda forward? Why does compromise always have to mean democrats getting what they want and us getting nothing? Why does compromise always have to mean more government?

Why not impeach Obama for his constant violations of the Constitution? Why not impeach him for his illegal executive orders?

Why is it that democrats control one chamber of Congress and they succeed in stopping republican presidents move forward their agenda, but when republicans own both they can't stop democrats?

Why? Why? Why?

So here comes Trump who says he will.  Here comes Trump who says he will put an end to Obamacare, he will stop the Iran deal, and he will fix the illegal immigration problem (the invasion) by building a way, enforcing laws, and deporting them.  He says he will do it; he will get it done.

That is why Trump is doing so well in the polls.  That is why Trump is not fading.  That is why republicans will not gravitate to another republican in name only this time like McCain or Romney.  They will not gravitate toward Jeb Bush or John Kasich.  They probably won't even gravitate to Rubio, because his immigration policy is also democrat.

Republicans have sent many candidates to Washington to stop Obama, and once they get elected they are afraid.  They are afraid of being called racist.  They are afraid of being called mean spirited.  Trump is not afraid of being called mean spirited.  He says he will do it.  The voters seem to think he will.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Millard Fillmore: A supporter of slave states

Milford Fillmore presided over Congress during the debates over the compromise of 1850.  Despite his support for it, he kept silent until only a few days prior to the death of Zachary Taylor when he told the president he would vote in favor of the bill if he was called to break a tie.  But, as it stood, Taylor was opposed to the bill, and it was not going to become law so long as he was president.

However, be it as it was, after attending a celebration on a cold day at the unfinished Washington Monument on the 4th of July in 1850, Taylor was struck with stomach cramps and died within 24 hours.  Fillmore became president, the entire staff of Taylor resigned, and were replaced with pro-slavery Whigs, including Daniel Webster as secretary of state. 

While Henry Clay wrote the original compromise, he left Washington for health reasons, leaving the bill in the hands of Stephen A. Douglas.  

With the support of the president, a compromise that now contained five bills aimed at easing tensions between the north and the south regarding slavery made its way through Congress:
  • Admit California as a free state
  • Settle the Texas border
  • Grant territorial status to New Mexico; allow it's legislature decide status of free or slave
  • Strengthen the fugitive slave law so that federal officers at the disposal of slave holders seeking to find fugitive slaves
  • Abolish the slave trade in the District of Columbia
Each bill passed Congress, and on September 29, 1850, all the bills were signed by Milford Fillmore.  The main problem that Taylor had with the bill was the fugitive slave act, which was an ardent violation of justice. Northern Whigs never forgave him for signing this bill, and for this reason they did not support him when he ran for re-election in 1852.  

He would end of losing the election of 1852 to democrat William Buchanan.  He would end up being the last president to be a member of any party other than democrat or republican.  

Further reading:

Monday, November 16, 2015

Zachary Taylor: Country first, slavery second

Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)
Zachary Taylor served as the 12th president of the United States. And even though he served for only 16 months in the office, he goes down in history as one of the best presidents of all time. This is because he did not abuse the office to advance an agenda, and did everything in his power to protect and defend the Constitution.

He was born in a log cab the son of a planter.  As he grew older his family prospered and moved to a larger home with 10,000 acres and 26 slaves.  He was educated, although he preferred the military over law or ministry. He had no college education.

He would spend most of the next 40 years in the military.  He lead troops in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, and the Seminole War.  He became a war hero in the Mexican War that broke out in 1846 after John Tyler approved the annexation of Texas, and after James K. Polk tried to buy New Mexico and California from Mexico.

Polk had accomplished the goal of expanding America from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the Pacific, and from Canada all the way to Mexico.  He was a very popular president, and he probably would have easily won the presidency in 1848 had he decided to run. But he opted not to.

So this set the stage up nicely for Taylor.

Taylor's political clout grew as a result of his heroics in the Mexican War.  He considered himself a Whig, despite the fact his party was opposed to the Mexican War.  He announced his candidacy only a few short weeks prior to the Whig convention.

The Whigs initially spend all their energy condemning Polk's war policies.  They had to reverse course quickly as Polk surprised everyone by signing the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which ended the Mexican-American War and gave the U.S. vast new territory. The Whigs in the Senate supported the treaty.

A new strategy was to nominate the war hero Zachary Taylor.  This was mostly a desperation move, as it appeared the democrats were well positioned to easily win the presidency unless Taylor was the Whig nominee.  It was thought that his military record would appeal to northerners, and slave owning status would appeal to southerners.  Also making him ideal was the fact he was a commoner who was born in a log cabin.

The democrats nominated Lewis Cass, and the Free Soil Party nominated former President Martin Van Buren.

Many Whigs did not like Tayler because he was not fully dedicated to Whig ideal.  Still, he was their best chance at gaining the presidency.  He did not condemn the war with Mexico.  He did not criticize Polk.  He did, however, promise no new wars.  The rest of the Whigs had no choice but to follow his lead. Instead of criticizing Polk, they decided to champion for new states to become free states.

The election of 1844 was the first election to take place on the same day in every state, and the first time it was held on a Tuesday.  Taylor won the popular vote by 138,000 over Cass, although he was 79,000 short of a majority (he won 47% of the vote).  He did, however, succeed in winning 163 of 290 electoral votes, giving the Whigs their second chance at the presidency (their last victory was in 1840 with William Henry Harrison).

As with their last victory, this one would also be short lived.

Taylor was elected in a time where tensions regarding slavery were high.  This was heightened as the country was expanding westward.  The creation of the Free Soil party had southerners worried that abolitionists might gain control of Congress.  The expansion of the union south had northerners worried about the addition of more slave states that would throw off the balance.

This balance was important for controlling Congress. Northerners feared if there were too many slave states, southerners would force slavery on the entire union.  Southerners feared if there were too many free states, abolitionists would eliminate slavery.

Thankfully, even though he was a slave owner, Taylor believed holding the union together was more important than slavery. In order to keep the peace, he championed for California and New Mexico to enter the union as free states.  Southerners, however, did not like the idea of two potential free states entering the union.

On January 29, 1840, fellow Whig Henry Clay offered a compromise that he thought would allay tensions between the north and south.  The compromise would allow California to enter the union as a free state, abolish the slave trade in Washington D.C., and strengthen the fugitive slave law.  New Mexico and Utah were able to decide the issue of slavery on their own.

Some viewed the compromise as generally good, especially considering it would have given both sides what they wanted and kept the union together.  Others viewed it as generally poor because it prolonged the institution of slavery in the world's greatest nation, further tarnishing its reputation.  Furthermore, the believed (and rightly so) that strengthening of the fugitive slave law was an ardent violation of natural rights -- it was a mockery of justice.

Despite the compromise being composed by a fellow Whig, Taylor joined those who opposed it.  So long as Taylor was president, the compromise was never going to become law.

Another thing he supported was the independence of the Utah territory from the federal government to alleviate the Mormon population's concerns over religious freedom.

He also had one small foreign policy success, although it had some saying that it was a violation of the Monroe Doctrine, which stated that no European nation could establish colonies, or interfere with interests, in North or South America.  He signed the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty with Britain, which said that any Central American canal linking the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans would be open to both American and British ships.

Then tragedy struck.  On July 4, 1850, Taylor attended a ceremony at the unfinished Washington Monument on a day that was chilly.  He suddenly fell ill with stomach cramps and died the following day.  He was 65. His vice president, Milford Fillmore, became president.

Fillmore was a fan of the compromise and immediately signed it into law.  It became known as the Compromise of 1850.

Suspicions continue to swirl that Taylor may have been the victim of murder by arsenic by his pro-slavery opponents.  One such theory suspected that his friend Jefferson Davis, who was at his bedside when he died and heard his last words, was responsible for his death.  Even after his body was exhumed in 1990 and tested for arsenic, the true cause of his death remains a mystery.

Further reading:

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Illegal Immigration: Myths, Facts, Solutions

In one pithy post here, I would like to allay any and all myths regarding illegal immigration. I would also like to postulate simple solutions to this problem.

Some Statistics.  At the present time it is estimated that 12 million illegal aliens live in the United States.  It is also estimated that about 700,000 are coming into our country illegally, and staying here, each year.  Most of these illegal aliens are unskilled and uneducated. They are not doctors, lawyers, mathematicians, or scientists, or people who will make our country better.  This is why they must come here illegally.

Here are the myths, the truths, and the solutions. 

Myth #1:  Illegal Immigration is not an economics issue.  False.  Illegal immigrants affect the economy in a negative way.  Even the New York Times acknowledges this. Minimum wage laws do not apply to illegal immigrants. So, rather than blue berry farmers (for example) having to pay $8.50 for seasonal blue berry pickers, illegal immigrants are willing to take $5 an hour. So, in this way, illegal immigrants drive down wages. Plus, economics 101 says that if you flood the market with people willing to do a job, wages will go down.  If you have a million low skilled and uneducated men willing to pick blue berries, this bodes well for illegal immigrants searching for work, and it also bodes well for the blue berry pickers who now pay less wages. But it does not bode so well for the American man who need that job to support his family. So, as you can see, the influx of illegal immigrants also explains why we have a record 94 million working age men and women no longer looking for work, and why the unemployment rate is as high as 40%.

Some more statistics.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that, between 2008 and 2010, over a million U.S. jobs were filled by illegal immigrants. Illegal aliens pay no taxes, but they are able to receive a free education, free healthcare, free housing assistance, and food stamp benefits. This comes at an annual cost that exceeds tens of billions of dollars each year.

Myth #2.  Illegal immigrants do the work no Americans are willing to do.  False.  Actually, this  is the argument that the republican establishment -- i.e. Jeb Bush and John Kasich -- used to support their proposals for amnesty (official pardons) for illegal immigrants already living here. They see illegal immigration as a necessity in order to fill the jobs that no one else wants to do.  They see this as the "nice" or "kind-hearted" solution to the immigration issue.  They think if they are seen as "nice" and "kind-hearted" that people will be more likely to vote for them. They also falsely believe that, once they become citizens, they will vote republican.  But it's not that no one wants to do these jobs. In fact, who do you think did these jobs before the influx of illegal immigrants? It was Americans. Americans who need to support themselves and their families, and cannot find jobs elsewhere, would be more than happy to do the jobs illegal immigrants are doing.

Solution #1.  Enforce immigration laws already on the books. Penalize employers who hire illegal aliens. This will make it so they cannot find work, and will be forced to leave on their own.  As you will see in a moment, this is a method Dwight D. Eisenhower used.

Myth #3.  Deporting illegal aliens would be impossible. False.  It is not impossible.  In fact, Dwight D. Eisenhower deported 1.5 million illegal aliens.  This was a point that Trump recently reminded Bush and Kasich about. You can add to this that Harry S. Truman deported 3.4 million illegal aliens.  So it is not impossible to deport illegal aliens, and it has been done before. In fact, Eisenhower did this during a post war economic boom.  He didn't want to slow down the economy by allowing illegal aliens to take jobs away from Americans.  He also didn't want to see wages go down.

Myth #4.  Deporting illegal aliens would be inhumane.  When people were deported in the 1940s and 1950s, sometimes inhumane methods were used.  Sometimes aliens would be deported to the middle of a dessert.  In one incident 88 died.  But Trump said those were isolated incidents.  He said he would be sure to use good management to make sure the deportations were done humanely.  But most would not have to be deported, because if the employers who hired them were penalized, there would be no jobs for them and they'd go home on their own.  Saying it would be inhumane to deport illegal aliens, or that we would be breaking up families, is just an excuse by people who don't want to do it.  Mexico deports illegal aliens all the time, and you don't hear sob stories about that.  Rush Limbaugh said that if 12 million tax payers decided not to pay taxes, the IRS would find them and not worry about the impact of putting them in jail on their families. Look, democrats and establishment republicans are constantly talking about compassion for illegal immigrants and their families.  What they don't talk about is compassion American workers who get "screwed because of all the unskilled, and uneducated workers that will work for dirt cheap," said Limbaugh.

Myth #5.  Illegal Aliens won't leave on their own.  False.  During the Eisenhower administration, 2.1 million illegal aliens went home on their own.  He was able to do this simply by enforcing laws already on the books and penalizing employers who hire illegal immigrants. When there is no work, illegal immigrants have no choice but to go home.

More Statistics.   Some are sick with infectious diseases and never would have been allowed legally. Likewise, many are criminals who never would been allowed in legally, so they sneak in and commit their crimes here. It costs states billions of dollars each year to incarcerate criminals who never should have been in the U.S. to begin with. They make up about 30% of prisoners in local, state, and federal prisons.

Myth #6.  We have always had an open borders policy. False.  Between 1924 and 1965 we had a closed border policy. This was why Eisenhower and Truman were forced to deal with an influx of illegal aliens.

Myth #7.  Deporting illegal aliens would be racist and mean spirited. False. It's not mean to deport people who broke the law. They are illegal.  They came here illegally.  They are ruining our economy.  They need to be punished. You know that Eisenhower had some illegal aliens taken home, and they came back.  So he took them back home, and they came back again.  So then he had them taken someplace way on the other side of Mexico, and they never came back.  This was a man who was referred to as a nice guy. Enforcing the law doesn't make you mean. Even the Bible teaches that those who break the law are sinners who should be punished. Punishing those who break the law is not being mean.

Solution #2.  Build a wall.  Building a wall would make it really tough for people to come in illegally.  There was a bill passed seven years ago by Congress allowing for a 700 mile wall to be built. During the Obama administration, less than 50 miles of this law has been built.

Myth #8.  Building a wall would be impossible.  False.  There is a wall in Israel and it works.  There is a wall in China and it works.

Solution #3.  Enforce the laws already on the books.

Myth #9.  There are no laws to deal with illegal immigrants.  False. There are enough laws on the books that, if they are enforced, would solve the immigration problem.  Penalize employers who hire illegal immigrants. Build a wall. Guard the wall. Send anyone who comes in illegally back home. These are all covered by laws already on the books.

Myth #10.  People who don't support amnesty hate immigrants.  False.  No one is opposed to people coming into this country legally.  In fact, this is a good thing.  And, very important here, just because I agree with Donald Trump that a wall needs to be built, and that the 12 million illegal immigrants should be sent home, does not mean I hate immigrants.  It does not mean I'm racist.  It does not mean I lack passion.  It does not mean losing my big heart. It does not mean I am against the idea of people coming into our country with the dream of making a better life for themselves. They can still come in. They can do it legally. I am anti illegal immigrant.  I am anti invasion of immigrants.  I am not anti immigrant.

Myth #11.  Illegal immigration is not a serious issue.  I think that Ted Cruz explained why this is a myth when he spoke at the presidential debate on Fox Business Network. He said: "I understand that when the mainstream media covers immigration, it doesn’t often see it as an economic issue. But I can tell you for millions of Americans at home, watching this, it is a very personal economic issue. And I will say the politics of it would be very, very different if a bunch of lawyers or bankers were crossing the Rio Grande. Or if a bunch of people with journalism degrees were coming over and driving down the wages in the press. Then we would see stories about the economic calamity that is befalling our nation. And I will say for those of us who believe people ought to come to this country legally and we should enforce the law, we’re tired of being told, it is anti-immigrant. It’s offensive."

Myth #12.  Illegal immigration is a civil rights issue.  False. Democrats, and those of the republican establishment, like Bush and Kasich, see immigration as a civil rights issue. They see them as people of color who just want to make a better life for themselves. So that is the reason they come here illegally.  They just want a chance.  And if we do not let them stay, if we don't grant them amnesty, then we are not being fair to them.  And, for the record, civil rights means that we enforce the laws equally among the people. You cannot grant amnesty to just people you like.  It's not a civil rights issue because the laws clearly state that anyone who comes in illegally, anyone at all, should be deported.  It's not a civil rights issue.  All illegal aliens have broken the law. All illegal aliens should be deported.  If you just let some stay because they are Mexicans, or some stay just because they are your friends, then it would be a civil rights issue.

Myth #13:  Illegal immigration is important to the economy.  False.  There is no economic value in allowing people to come in to our country illegally.  All the economic value from immigrants is achieved by the legal process.  The influx of illegal immigration has a negative impact on the economy, as I explained above.

And more statistics.  The cost of educating the children of illegal aliens was estimated to cost $12,000,000,000 in 2006. So here is another reason illegal immigrants are a burden on the economy.

And a scary fact.  Terrorist cells have been set up in Mexico, and they are making their way into the United States.  Illegal drugs are also crossing our borders and being sold to our kids. So while we are fighting terrorists around the globe, we are allowing terrorists to cross our borders without even blinking an eye.  While we are fighting a war on drugs here, we are doing nothing to prevent illegal aliens from carrying it into our country with them.

Myth #12:  Illegal immigration has no impact on social fabric of America.  False.  Illegal immigration does have a negative impact on American Culture. Many people who come in illegally do not love America the way we do.  They are coming here, and they are not learning our language, and they are not accepting of our culture. Rather than assimilate into our culture, they are holding onto theirs. And I'm not saying people have to give up their culture when they come here, I'm just saying they should be Americans first. Having people of other cultures in America is one of the many things that makes America great. But people who come here must be willing to accept our culture, not change it or water it down. Traditionally, immigrants yearned to assimilate into American culture.  People who came here loved this country so much they wanted to be a part of it.  Today, many immigrants, particularly illegal immigrants, are not willing to assimilate, and instead want us to change to accept their culture. Rather than them learning our language, they want us to learn theirs. The influx of illegal immigration is watering our country down to the point that we have no culture. Rather than being a great big melting pot with one culture, we have become a salad bowl of many cultures. This is bad, because the American culture was about a dream than anyone who had an idea and a desire could improve their lot in life.  The American culture was deeply ingrained in Christianity, and it is from this that our founding documents was established.  It was on the Christian culture that traditional American values and liberties were formed. It was from the Christian culture that made America exceptional.  Many aliens are not willing to accept this.  When they come in legally, we can make sure that the people coming in are willing to assimilate so that we can keep the fabric of our country, of our culture, together. Finally, one of the reasons for the fall of Rome was because Romans were no longer willing, or able, to stop the influx of Germans into Rome. Each German clan had it's own culture, and they were not willing to adapt the Roman way of life.  The fabric of Roman culture gradually ripped apart so that Roman Citizens were ultimately seen as nothing special. This, many believe, was one of the reasons for the fall of Rome. So we need to make sure that those we let in share a love for America. Those who come here legally, and who plan on becoming citizens, are far more likely to place their loyalty to their adopted nation above their loyalty to their birth land. Those who come in with the intent of making money are more likely to hold on to the culture of their native land and shun the American way of life. They are only taking advantage of our great economy for their own personal benefit, and have nothing else to offer. They may even hate America and wish to destroy it from within.

Myth #13:  Most Americans support Amnesty.  False.  In fact, 70% of Americans believe illegal immigration hurts U.S. culture, and 63% believe they have a negative impact on our economy.  In fact, as of April 2015, 65% of likely U.S. voters oppose Obama's plan to grant amnesty to 5 million illegal aliens and allow them to apply for jobs legally.  This is similar to similar polls showing most Americans oppose an open border policy and amnesty. This should explain why Trump has gained so much momentum as a republican candidate, because he is so passionately opposed to illegal immigration and has championed for a wall, deportation, and enforcing immigration laws. These are things both Obama and George W. Bush failed to do. It is also something John Kasich and Jeb Bush have said they would not do. For the record, Marco Rubio is pretty much pro amnesty as well.  Trump and Cruz are your anti illegal immigration candidates. For the record, and again, they are not anti immigrant, they are anti illegal immigrant. Most people in this country want to see a resolution to the immigration crisis (the invasion), and that's why Trump is doing so well in the polls. The truth is that, I don't think democrats and establishment republicans have a clue what a majority of Americans think about illegal immigration. They want to force their view on the people, and the people want nothing to do with it. The truth is that Trump's immigration plan is right on par with what a majority of Americans want. Every republican elected since 2010 has been elected to stop it, and yet, once elected, most republicans just give in to democrats. Trump is in unique territory here, because he says he will solve the illegal immigration problem when he is elected. Some say his immigration plan is out of the mainstream, but the polls show that he is right on par with voters.

Myth #14: Whoever (republicans or democrats) passes immigration reform (a.k.a. amnesty) will get the votes of Mexican Americans.  False.  Establishment republicans actually think if they support amnesty Mexican Americans will see them as the good guys and vote for them.  They see it as similar to when republicans passed laws making blacks citizens.  The truth is that in the 2010 midterm election 60% of Mexican Americans voted democrat, and there's no evidence to suggest that supporting amnesty would change this.  The way to get more votes from any subgroup in America is to support programs that make America better for everyone in it, and both amnesty and illegal immigration make things worse as proven above.  The truth is that immigration reform, or amnesty, or whatever you want to call it, will result in millions more democrats. This might be proof that the money people are running the republican party and the democratic party.  They don't even try to create programs the people want anymore. They don't even try to be on the same page as the public.  They don't even try to satisfy public opinion. If they did, they would all be opposed to illegal immigration and try to stop it.

Myth #15.  We need immigration reform.  False.  What we need to do is enforce the laws already on the books.  In fact, we really shouldn't be referring to this as a problem with immigration, as immigration has a system.  You come in legally, you come here with a purpose, you follow the laws, and then you either leave or, after a time, if you are deemed a good person who has something to offer, you can apply for citizenship. When you have people coming in illegally by the thousands on a daily basis, it's not illegal immigration, it's an invasion. We have people invading our country and we are doing nothing about it accept trying to pass amnesty laws. We do not need more laws.  We do not need immigration reform because there is no problem with immigration.  To say we need immigration reform is to assume we have no immigration laws, and we do. All we need is to enforce the laws already written to stop the invasion.

Myth #16. Deporting illegals and building a fence would be too expensive.  What is immigration reform?  According to most politicians, it is amnesty, open borders, and cheap labor.  Trump proposes that we do the opposite. He proposes to build a fence, enforce laws on the books, deport illegal immigrants or encourage them to leave on their own, end NAFTA and go back to tariffs, and end practice of granting U.S. citizenship to children of illegal immigrants.  I only mention this to give an example here.  The latest estimates suggest that Trump's immigration plan would cost $166 billion. So people say we can't do it because it's too expensive.  Well, Obama increased the national debt since he was elected by $8 trillion.  He has spent $4.5 trillion on quantitative easing. How much has he spent on food stamps? The media didn't bat an eye when that money was spent.  But here we have someone willing to secure our borders to make our nation safer and to boost our economy, and all of a sudden coming up with money is not possible. That $166 billion is chump change, especially considering it will result in healthcare savings, education savings, food stamp savings, increased wages, and less unemployed or less unemployed and no longer seeking employment. Plus it will also result in fewer undocumented diseased and fewer criminals and terrorists crossing our borders and hiding in the shadows within our own country.

Final Fact.  Republicans used to own California.  It wasn't long ago that republican who became governor of California would be prime candidates for president.  Ronald Reagan was one of them.  This ended in 1986.  Today republicans don't have a single seat statewide. Only a Rhino like Arnold could become governor.  Democrats have control of everything in California, and there is a greater divide between the richest and the poorest than any other state. Rush Limbaugh explained this. He said: "You can tie the end of the Republican Party in California to 1986, and that was the Simpson-Mazzoli amnesty immigration bill. Unfortunately, this was a bill Ronald Reagan signed.  It may have been his biggest mistake as president. We're talking back then 3.9 million illegal aliens granted amnesty. Since then it's been curtains for the Republican Party, which means constant victory for the Democrat Party. They have shaped that state, and it's a mess. And it's a harbinger of where we're going nationwide. The people of this country do not want that and they're scared to death of losing their country, and immigration is the top of the reasons why they think it can happen. And they see both parties in cahoots to make it happen, and they don't understand it. People that love America do not understand this. I mean, even when you tell 'em, "Well, big-money donors say this because they want X, Y, and Z," it still doesn't make any sense. How does that trump patriotism? How does all that matter more to these people, elected officials, than patriotism, love of country, America, shining city on a hill and all that, why does that not matter anymore? "

Bottom Line.  Amnesty for illegal aliens is unfair to those who came here legally.  It is not fair to the millions of Americans who are willing to do the work illegal aliens are being hired cheaply to do.  It's not fair to the American economy either, as wages are kept low and unemployment rates kept high. Deport illegal immigrants, prevent more from coming in, and all these problems are solved. Allow people who are willing to work, and who have a dream that might make America better, to come into our home legally.  We are a nation of laws.  We need to enforce the laws. People like Trump and Cruz are standing up for the rule of law.

Further Reading:

Friday, November 13, 2015

We get our news from many sources

So I was discussing politics with a friend of mine recently, and he said, "All you do is listen to like minded people all day; people you agree with."  I did not respond to that, although I wanted to say, "You don't know me very well then."

It doesn't even matter what we were talking about.  Every one of my liberal friends get their views from the same places. I can honestly say that.  I'm pretty confident none of them watch Fox News or listen to Rush Limbaugh.  They have no idea what people they disagree with think, other than what the people on MSNBC say we think.  

Okay, I'll give one example.  I was debating Planned Parenthood with my cousin.  He said the attacks on Planned Parenthood are unfounded.  I said that even the founder of Planned Parenthood was opposed to abortion, and so she would be appalled that her organization is killing babies in order to sell their body parts."  

This was when my cousin said that I live in a bubble, and that all I do is listen to people I agree with.  I was actually accused of doing this by an atheist friend of mine a few months ago as well.  So it's not new that I'm accused of only reading to, and listening to, things that I agree with.  

My cousin had no clue what I was talking about.  He had never heard the story from that angle before. In the world he lives, with all the smart people he talks to, with all the media he watches and listens to, Planned Parenthood is a noble organization, the only one of its kind, that is capable of helping women. He wasn't even aware that the founder, Margaret Sanger, abhorred the idea of killing unborn babies. He was clueless to this.

Yet rather than look it up on Google, rather than find a book, rather than debating me with facts, he took the usual Saul Alinski route and attacked me.  He called me dogmatic. And I don't deny that I am dogmatic, but he was saying it to hurt me; to break my spirits.  He said that I only hang out with people that I agree with, something he had no evidence of and is not true.  Sal Alinski would be proud of him. 

Look, I don't care what my liberal friends think of me. I don't care how they decide to debate, or not debate, the issues.  I don't care if they think I'm stupid.  The fact of the matter is, they enjoy discussing politics and so do I.  So we will continue to do it.  But, just because I can do it here on this blog, I'm going to defend myself.  I'm going to do it just this one time and be done with it.  

In the world my cousin lives, in the world my liberal friends live, Hillary never lies, Obama is a great president, the economy is doing great, or at least better.  In the world they live a video was the sole reason for Benghazi.  In the world they live, they have no idea that most Americans see Planned Parenthood as a wicked organization for nonchalantly, without even a second thought, killing unborn babies and selling their body parts for science.  Or maybe they kill babies for the sole reason of selling their body parts.  My liberal cousin not see this. 

He doesn't because his own media doesn't report those things, and he doesn't read media that he's not familiar with, like I do. If I were into defending myself, I would have told him him I read leftist media, centrist media, moderate media, mush media, and whatever else media is out there.  I read it all because I want to know what everybody out there happens to be thinking and saying.

I want to know what conservatives are saying, but I also want to know what liberals are saying.  I want to know what conservative republicans are saying, and I want to know what the establishment republicans are thinking.  I want to know it all.  I want to know it all because I think that's important.  And from there I make an informed decision.  

You see, that's what the media should do.  That's what an un-biased media should do: read all the news; get it all from different angles. That's what schools should do: teach all the different angles of thought.  But instead they only teach one thought: the liberal thought. They do this because it's all they hear by the people they hang with and the media they listen to and read. 

There's truth the the notion that journalists and teachers should be open minded in their thought, and honest in fair in their reporting and teaching. This is not possible unless you get all your news from many sources, and not just the mainstream media, and not just CNN, and not just MSNBC, and not just CBS, and not just Rush Limbaugh, and not just Fox.   

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

William Henry Harrison: An Average Presisident

William Henry Harrison, the 9th president, gave one of the longest inauguration speeches ever, and it would seemingly cost him his life.  As a soldier, farmer, and outdoorsman, he had spent much of his life in inclement weather.  Yet at age 68, he was far from the young man.

So, after talking for over two hours in rainy weather with no coat and no hat, Harrison developed a pneumonia that would cost him his life.  As of this day, he served the shortest term of any president: 1 month. There's really no way to judge a president who served only one month as president.

Despite having been born to a prominent family and having gone to college, his campaign had him being born in a log cabin.  This allowed him to peg Martin Van Buren as a wealthy, well-to-do president.  This was ironic, especially considering Van Buren was born of humble beginnings, and both Harrison and Tyler were born to prosperous families and went to college.

The Whigs succeeded in positioning Harrison as a champion of the common man.  This was similar to the approach used by Andrew Jackson, who said he was born in a log cabin.  Harrison's campaign said he too was born in a log cabin, even though this wasn't even close to the truth.

His campaign also positioned him as an Indian fighter, another strategy that worked for Jackson.  In fact, they ran under the slogan "Tippecanoe and Tyler too."  This was a reference to Harrison's leadership against a coalition of Indian forces in 1811.

It didn't hurt that he was born to a prominent family. His father signed the Declaration of Independence. He was able to get a good education from the University of Pennsylvania. His father died when he was only 18, he turned to the military for support.  During the 1790s he served in campaigns against against native American tribes.

He was selected by John Adams to become secretary of Northwestern Territories, and made a name for himself by penning several treaties with the Indians, securing land for settlement.  In 1799 he was elected to Congress.

In 1811 he led a an army into the Battle of Tippacanoe, where he defeated the Shawnee tribe.  This made him very famous.  So it only made sense that he would use this fame to catapult himself into the presidency.  During the war of 1812 he was a general who lead American forces to victory in Western Canada.

He was hailed a hero.  He became a Congressman again, and then a Senator.

He became the first Whig president, easily defeating Martin Van Buren. The fact that his sole accomplishment was having the longest ever inauguration speech does not bode well for his legacy.  He is often sited as one of the most forgettable presidents.

Further reading:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Do You Do Enough To Get To Heaven?

So as I listened to Father Wayne give his sermon this past Sunday, I wondered if I had been leading a selfish life.  Surely my wife and I give $10 to the Church in a small envelop when we attend Church, but is that enough? Am I being selfish? In other words, am I giving enough to get to Heaven.  Is there more I could be doing?

His sermon was regarding the Gospel (Mark 12: 38-44). A part of which reads:
He sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.
Many rich people put in large sums.
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
"Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood.
To put this in perspective, Father Wayne said that in the days of Jesus, women had no status in life unless they were tied to a man, be it their father or husband.  He said that when a husband died, this meant his wife had no source of income.  He said that widows were among the poorest of the poor.

Father said that essentially many rich people gave from their disposable income, but this poor widow gave everything she had.  She was putting all her Faith in God.  She was saying that she believed, and this alone was worth giving everything.

So here I'm thinking, "I just gave $10. I make a lot more than that.  Is this enough?"

Father Wayne then told a story that was said to him by another Priest.  (And, for the record, I might torture this story, but I think I get the basic idea right here.)  He said that priest had a dream that he was standing in a long line to get to Heaven.  When you got to the gate you were to tell of your accomplishments.  The Priest thought he was a Priest, so he had helped many people.  He should be able to easily get to Heaven.

However, in front of him was Mother Theresa.  When she got to the gate, she told of all her accomplishments.  She said that she had influenced many people.  The gatekeeper said, "You could have done more."

While the Priest had felt great about his chances of getting to Heaven, now he doubted himself.  Did he do enough? Could he have done more?

This got me to thinking.  I like to think I'm a good dad and husband.  I'm a respiratory therapist and I influence people every day, even save lives. So I'd like to think my accomplishments would be enough. But now I doubt this.  Now I'm thinking I could do more.

When we give a $10 tithe, is this from our disposable income or livelihood.  Do we give enough for this to be an accomplishment worthy of Heaven?

So I thought about this all day Sunday after Mass, and all day Monday as I was working.  Then this morning the answer came to me just after I crawled out of bed:
I do not know if we give enough to get to Heaven, only God can answer that question.  Still, I believe my wife and I both give from our livelihood, we always have.  
How did I come to this conclusion?  It's simple.

Since my wife and I met, we have given 100% of our disposable income.  We have sacrificed it all. Everything we have done, every cent we have made, has gone to our family.  We have a house we are not proud of because of this.  We have two old, dilapidated cars that our kids make fun of because of this. We have sacrificed our own hobbies for the good of our family.

Still, if we were to stand before God right now, or in front of the man by the gate, would our accomplishments be enough? Have we done enough to get to Heaven? Have I done enough to get to Heaven?

Now I pose to you this question: "Have you done enough to get to Heaven?"

Monday, November 9, 2015

John Tyler: A Champion of State's Rights

John Tyler was the first vice president to become president. This occurred after William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia after only serving one month of his term. Tyler was an ardent supporter of states rights, and for this reason he would go on to become one of the better presidents of all time.

Immediately following the death of Harrison, there was turmoil as to what would happen next.  Some thought Tyler should continue to be vice president acting as president, while others believed he should assume the role of president.  The ultimate decision came on April 6, 1841, when John Tyler assumed the office of the president. This caused some to dub him "Your Accidency."  He was 51 years old, making him the youngest president up to that time.  He did not have a vice president.

This decision set a precedent that would have the vice president assume the office of president should something happen to the president.  While various future vice presidents would assume the role of president following the death of a president, this issue was not be officially addressed until the passages of the 25th amendment in 1967.

The ascension of Tyler to the office of president caused quite a bit of turmoil within his own party.  This was because he ran for vice president under the Whig ticket, but he was in actuality a Democrat.  He was chosen in an attempt to appeal to voters in the south who supported state's rights.  This decision would come back to haunt the Whigs.

While Tyler kept most of Harrison's cabinet in tact, all but one would end up resigning after he twice vetoed legislation by Henry Clay that would have created a national bank.  Tyler would go on to clash with the Whigs to an extent that they would expel him from the party.  They also initiated in the House of Representatives the first impeachment hearings of a sitting president.

Despite being a man without a party, he would go on to have a rather successful presidency.  His major accomplishments were:
  • Signing the Preemption Act of 1841.  This allowed settlers to stake a claim on 160 acres of public
    land and purchase it from the government.
  • Ended the Seminole War in Florida in 1842. 
  • Signing the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.  This settled border disputes along the Maine-Canada border.
  • Signed the Treaty of Wanghia with China that gave Americans access to Asian ports and established trade with China.
Many Americans had set up homes in Texas and championed for the U.S. to annex the state.  Free states were opposed to this because they feared Texas would enter as a slave state.  Martin Van Buren was faced with this issue, and he wanted to annex the state.  However, in order to keep his party united, he decided against it.

Tyler would end up facing this same issue, and he would decide to approve the annexation of Texas in March of 1845, or just prior to the end of his term. And, as expected, this angered people living in the free states. It didn't help that John C. Calhoun, who Tyler chose to become his Secretary of State in 1844, linked the annexation of Texas with slavery. Calhoun said that the annexation of Texas was vital to the security of southern states.

This did not bode well for Calhoun or Tyler. Calhoun's linking of the annexation of Texas with slavery angered many northern democrats who were opposed to slavery. So, when the Tyler-Texas bill was up for a vote in the Senate, it was unanimously shot down by the Whigs (1-27) and resulted in a split among democrats (15-8), thereby falling by a vote of 35-15.

This decision, or these events, would eventually lead to war with Mexico.  This would become the only tarnish on Tyler's reputation.

While Tyler was a very successful president, he had the problem of not having a party.  The Whigs hated him, so he could not run as a Whig.  The democrats hated him because he ran as a Whig. So he would have to run as a third party candidate when he ran for re-election in 1844.  He would end up dropping out due to lack of support.  This set the stage for a dark horse candidate by the name of James K. Polk.