Saturday, March 26, 2016

We are not the cause of terrorism

There is a headline in Politico: "Why do they hate us?" It is in reference to the terrorists attacks by ISIS in Brussels. The media cannot understand why terrorists would attack Brussels. They are flabbergasted why this would happen. 

Brussels is the headquarters of European Democratic Socialism.  It is where peace talks occur. It is where all the elites who decide how all the people in Europe are going to live organize. It is where the European utopia is designed. And they truly believed they had created a utopia in Europe, and then this happens. How could it happen, they wonder? What did we do? 

They are just so sadly blind, and they will never solve this problem until they open them. ISIS is mad. They are terrorist thugs who have no respect for life. Their God teaches them to conform people to their religion, and all who refuse to conform must be killed. They pretend to be a religion of peace, but they are a religion whose God teaches to kill and maim non-Muslims.

They terrorized France. We finally caught the ringleader. And this angered them and they attacked Brussels. And liberals around the world are shocked that Brussels, the birthplace of European Utopia was born and honed, was attacked. They are shocked by this. They just cannot fathom why anyone would do this. So they ask the question, "Why do they hate us so much?"

They blame themselves. They blame America. That's who they are blaming here. Phooey on blaming the people who did the attack; it must have been something we did that ticked them off, prompted them to attack us. So what is it? What did we do? 

They are so ignorant. I am sorry to say it, but they just don't get it. You have these radical religious groups that have been around for years, centuries even, and they still don't get it. They still do not want to believe there are people who do not want any form of peace that does not involve the Muslim Caliphate. They cannot believe this. They are in complete denial. 

Look, the West is not the cause of terrorist. Europe is not the cause of terrorism. America is not the cause of terrorism. But if European and American politicians continue to keep an open border policy that continues to deny radical Muslim terrorism, it will continue to thrive. The only way to end it is to keep them contained, and to kill them -- the radicals I mean. 

But they won't do this. They won't because they naively think there is something they did, we did, to tick them off. They naively think that they can ignore them and they will go away. The naively think they can negotiate (see Iran deal) their way to peace. 

We will not call them out. We will not call them radical Islamic terrorists. Our president will not call them terrorists. To him they are just random acts of terror. We are doing everything to show them that we do not blame them, and so they just keep doing it. And then our elites ask, "What did we do wrong?"

Our liberal leaders don't call them out. They call terrorism work place violence. They call it random acts of terror. They do not criticize the terrorists. They just ignore the terrorists. Obama ignores the terrorists. While in Cuba, at a baseball game, he talked for 52 seconds about the terrorist act in Brussels.

Here is what Obama said:
The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the people of Belgium, and we stand in solidarity with them in condemning these outrageous attacks against innocent people. We will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally, Belgium, in bringing to justice those who are responsible.
What will we do? What did we do when there was a terrorist attack on France? What did we do when there was a terrorist attack in San Francisco? Nothing! We didn't do anything. So why are to believe we are going to do something this time around?

All we do is ignore terrorism. I think this is the Obama strategy.  It think this is the socialist/ progressive way to utopia; to world peace. They think that if we ignore our enemies, this sends a signal that we mean peace; that they don't need to attack us. Then they will be peaceful.

Then they attack us again anyway. And we continue to ignore them.

Then they open up borders, let anyone in who wants. They let Muslims in, even if they might be terrorist thugs. We let them in because, to liberals, this is a sign of peace. Ignoring the problem, to liberals, shows peaceful intentions. Then they blow us up anyway.

We keep ignoring them, they keep attacking us. This is so stupid!!!

Then Trump comes along, says we can't keep doing this. We need to close our borders. We need to resolve this problem. And he's called dangerous.

Keep this up, and they will just continue on their unhappy way.

Obama continued:
And this is yet another reminder that the world must unite. We must be together regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism.
How do you unite with terrorists? How do you unite with people who want to kill us? The problem is that we are united in our approach to terrorism, and it's being united behind an ideal approach that is supposed to create world peace and utopia. It's being united behind a naive view that ignoring and appeasing our enemies will somehow make them like us and not want to kill us.

They think that by Obama showing sympathy that that will solve terrorism. They think that by putting colors over your Facebook picture, that that shows sympathy; that that shows you care; that that shows we are united; that we are opposed to racism. They think opening our borders and letting anyone in who wants to come in shows we are not bigots, that we are not racist. Then among them come the radical Islamist terrorist, and they blow us up from the inside and from the outside. That's how they respond to our calls for national unity.

So, we are not the cause of terrorism. The Western way of living was not to blame for what happened in Brussels. What happened in Brussels happened because of the open border policy in Europe. Brussels happened because Europe stopped controlling its borders and did not require people coming into Europe to assimilate. This resulted in Europe giving up its sovereignty. It gave up its cultural identity, and now it can't do anything to control its borders because those who invaded the nation now control it.

And if we don't close our borders, the same will happen in the U.S.  And you have a guy named Trump who is the only one willing to openly criticize the current system, and he's called dangerous. Maybe the people who are dangerous are the people who want to keep our borders open. 

Note to elites: Radical Ismamic Groups do not want peace: they want to kill all of us unless we conform to their religion. They want a Muslim Caliphate. Period. If you don't realize that soon, they are going to annihilate us all. Then we will all be unhappy. Then we will have our liberties denied. We will not be free. We will all be miserable. You can't help thinking that's what these liberal elites want. So long as they get to keep their cushy jobs. I don't know. This is just sickening. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Media blames Trump for protests

Arizona protesters block road to Trump rally
The recent violence at Trump rallies is a quentisential example of why we need the conservative media. If you just pay attention to the mainstream media you'd think they were Trump's doing. They are not. Trump has organized rallies. And the protesters have developed strategies to disrupt these events.

So why is this going on? It's going on because progressives got their man in Obama. He is what they have been seeking for the past 100 years. He has helped them get their agenda pushed forth in Washington. He is helping them to fundamentally transform America from capitalism to socialism.

And they are not going to stand idly by and let whatever republican stand in the way. Since Trump is the likely nominee, he's who they're going after. And since the mainstream media is in bed with the transformation, they are going to do everything in their power to help the cause.

So the Conservative media is needed to set the record straight. They have let us know that the protesters who blocked traffic, the protesters who cause fights at Trump rallies, are not Trump supporters. They are in fact liberal, anarchist, socialist, democrats. They just try to make themselves look like Trump supporters so they can make Trump look bad. The media just plays along.

Okay, so you're saying: so why would they do this? Well, America is traditionally a conservative/ libertarian nation. Progressives have been trying for over 100 years to advance their agenda for the nation, and they have finally succeeded with the Presidency of Obama. They are succeeding in fundamentally transforming America from Capitalism to Socialism.  They know their agenda, their cause, would be devastated if any republican were to become President.

So that's the reason for the rallies. They fear Trump could win if he is the nominee. They cannot in any way take the chance of that happening, as it would be a major roadblock to their agenda, to what they have accomplished.

Look, think of it this way. Say these protesters were at Hillary Clinton rallies. They aren't because republicans have better things to do with their lives, like work. Still, if the same thing happened to Hillary, I would be defending her. She is not to blame for any protesters at her rallies

So these protesters protest under the guise they are peaceful protesters. The truth is they are not peaceful. They are global warming protesters, occupy Wall Street protesters, Black Lives Matter protesters. They are leftists. They are anarchists, like Leon Czolgosz. What they are doing is bordering on illegal. You are allowed to protest, but you cannot disrupt.

They are disrupting Trump rallies. When you disrupt events, you should be hauled off and jailed by police. But these people, because they pretend to be Trump supporters, are allowed to continue their protest No one is doing anything. And the media report that they are Trump supporters to make him look bad. They just play along. Again, this is why the Conservative media is so important, to tell the truth.

Look, recently they blocked a main highway to keep people from getting to a Trump rally, and that is illegal. Traffic was backed up for miles, a road that leads to the only hospital in the region, to prevent people from rallying for Trump. How many people were on their way to the hospital? You see, this type of thing is illegal. Police were not prepared. People were not prepared. Some people probably got hurt as a result of this illegal action. Yet the media brushes it off as Trump supporters to make Trump look bad.

Conservtives want to protect and defend the Constitution, to protect and defend the liberties our forefathers fought so hard for, and they want to change the Constitution -- claiming it is a living document that should change with the times -- in order to move their agenda forward, thus continuing the transformation from Capitalism to Socialism.

You see, if you listen to the mainstream media, you're going to hear how great these protesters are. You are going to have the media promoting leftist protesters. They are always going to categorize them as great heirs of the American tradition. They are going to promote them as great freedom fighters and free speech lovers, when what they really are is left wing thugs who have no respect for the rule of law.  Yet when they border on illegal they are Trump supporters.

For the first time someone is willing to call them out, and his name is Trump. if you read the media, you would think that Trump was the cause of all this. He is not. The enemy is not Trump. The enemy is leftists who cannot fathom having Trump as President. They cannot fathom having any republican to oppose their agenda.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

William Henry Harrison: A man who would become 'Old Tippecanoe'

William Henry Harrison at Tippecanoe
William Henry Harrison was not born in a log cabin, as his campaigners would later claim in the run up to the presidential election of 1840.  Yet like Andrew Jackson, who would later learn to hate Harrison, his life's journey earned him the executive experience, military experience, and fame needed to win a presidential election.  

He was born on February 9, 1773, on a Virginia plantation.  His father was one of the founding fathers, having signed the Declaration of Independence as a member of the Continental Congress.  He studied classics, history, and medicine before deciding to join the First Infantry of the Regular Army.

Here he served under General Anthony Wayne.  Many officers passed the time by drinking and fighting with fellow officers, yet Harrison passed the time by reading and studying the military situation.  He came up with suggestions that were supported by Wayne, who later promoted Harrison to lieutenant. He then accompanied Wayne during the Battle of Fallen Timber, which was a decisive victory for the Americans against the Shawnee and Miamis and their British allies.

Wayne praised Harrison for his bravery, and one officer said that if Harrison "continue (on as) a military man, he will be 'a second Washington."  Harrison then was one of 27 white men to sign the Treaty of Greenville.  It was a treaty brokered between Wayne and 92 chiefs, in which the chiefs agreed to lay down their weapons and hand over their land in exchange for $20,000.  One Shawnee warrior named Tecumseh condemned the chiefs for giving up land that belonged to the Indians, and he would later lead a resistance.

Harrison left the army in 1798 and was named congressional delegate to the Northwest Territory, a track of land that consisted of present day Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.  He brokered a deal that divided this land into two parts: The Northwest Territory consisting of present day Ohio and eastern Michigan, and the Indiana Territory consisting of present day Indiana, western Michigan, Illinois, Wisconson, and southeastern Minnesota.

Harrison was then appointed governor of the Indiana Territory, and it was his job to oversee efforts to gain control of Indian lands for settlers.  Of course the Indians usually resisted, and it was Harrison's task to defend the new settlements.

Tucumseh, now referred to as an Indian prophet, and his followers had built a village called Prophetstown at the mouth of the Tippecanoe River, which was about 150 miles north of Vincennes, the capital of the Indiana Territory where Harrison had built a home.  Harrison had already met with the chiefs of Miami, Potawatomi, and Delaware and brokered a treaty with them called the Treaty of Fort Wayne.  They sold about  million acres of land on the Wabash and White Rivers to the government.  This deal made Tucumseh irate.

Harrison had met with Tucumseh twice at his home in Vincennes, but no treaty was agreed upon. Harrison knew he had to do something to end the tension, so he, on November 6, 1811, had his troops set up camp near the Tippecanoe River.  The next morning the soldiers were awakened by whooping and hollering by an Indian attack.  After several hours of fighting the Indians were forced to flee. Harrison had his men burn Prophetstown to the ground.

Later historians would argue with this, but at the time this was considered a great victory against the Indians.  Harrison had earned the name "Old Tippecanoe."

Seven months later, on June 18, 1812, President Madison asked Congress for a war declaration against Britain.  During their war with France, the British had set up blockades to prevent French merchant ships from getting to past.  The British were also stopping American ships, and taking forcing sailors to work for the British.

After early defeats in the first weeks of the war, Madison called Harrison to active duty, appointing him brigadier general.  His job was to command armies in the Northwest Territories.  Harrison resigned as governor of the Indiana Territory and took command. Tecumseh and his followers joined the British.

In 1813, the U.S. Navy was victorious over a British fleet in the Battle of Lake Erie, weakening the British hold on Detroit.  Harrison then led 3,000 troops into Canada, attacked the British and Indian forces at the Thames River, and defeated them.  Among the dead was Tecumseh, thus ending his attempt at creating an Indian resistance against the Americans.

At the age of 41, and before the war had ended, Harrison retired from military service.  He now had both the executive and military experience needed to become a future president.  He also enjoyed the fame that was needed, and a nickname: "Old Tippecanoe."

In 1816 he ran for a seat in the House of Representatives.  He was concerned how ill prepared the U.S. was for war in 1812, so he initiated a bill that required that all young men be trained in the military. His bill was rejected, and the U.S. found itself still ill prepared 45 years later when the Civil War broke out.  He did not run for reelection in 1818.

However, he was not finished with politics quite yet.  In 1819 he ran for state senator of Ohio and won.  He served one term.  Then he ran for governor and lost.  Then he ran for the U.S. Senate twice, and lost.  In 1825 he ran for the U.S. Senate and won.  Fittingly, he sat on a Senate committee that dealt with military affairs. He wanted to be named Vice President in 1824, but was not chosen when the House decided on John Quincy Adams.

Adams appointed him as the first ambassador to Columbia, although as soon as he arrived in Columbia he learned that Jackson had defeated Adams.  When Harrison was in the House, he called for a censure of Jackson for advancing into Spanish Florida and capturing two spanish forts.  The censure failed to pass the House, but Harrison had made an enemy of Jackson.  So Harrison was out of a job.

Fortune for Harrison came when the opponents of Jackson came together and formed the Whig party in 1834.  Along with former president John Quincy Adams, and Congressional leaders Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, Harrison joined the new party.  He was now primed to run for a run at the presidency.  He also had the nickname: "Old Tippecanoe."

Monday, March 7, 2016

Andrew Jackson: The first Tea Party President

Andrew Jackson was the first Tea Party President.  He was a Thomas Jefferson, small-government democrat, who believed American Greatness did not come from government, but from the common people.  He was the first great conservative populist, even warning of the consequences of allowing the government to become too powerful.  

He was a democrat back in the days when the democratic party represented the common people by calling for a limited government that did not encroach on personal liberties. In fact, this was the view of the democratic party from the time of Thomas Jefferson all the way to the second Grover Cleveland Administration.

He was born in 1767, and fought in the revolutionary war as an adolescent. He moved to Tennessee, became a lawyer, bought land, made money as a merchant, and prospered.  In his 30s he was elected major general of the Tennessee militia, an office taken seriously because, at the time, white men, women, and children faced frequent attacks by Indians.

Military experience learned here would help him during the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812. Actually, the Battle of New Orleans was fought after the Treaty of Ghent had been signed, but word had not yet gotten back to Washington.  British Troops marched toward New Orleans in an attempt to capture that city, and Jackson prepared to defend the city.

On January 8, 1815, the British attacked.  Jackson gave an order, and cannon shells began to punch holes in British lines. Then American soldiers raked them with musket fire.  At the end of the day 192 British soldiers were dead, 1,265 were injured, and 500 were missing. The Americans lost only 13, with 13 wounded and 19 missing.  This was a stunning victory of the Americans, and even though it occurred after the war had already ended, it helped to make then President James Madison a very popular president.  It also helped to secure Jackson's spot as the nations greatest war hero.

One thing that would come back to haunt Jackson later in his career occurred in 1818. In response to the Seminole Indian's burning of a village on U.S. territory, James Monroe sent Jackson to Florida. Jackson may have misunderstood Monroe, believing that Monroe wanted him to occupy Spanish Florida. Jackson charged into Florida with a couple thousand men and occupied forts at St. Marks and Pensacola. He also had two British subjects hanged.

So, this was viewed harshly by the American public. The Spanish minister wanted Jackson to be punished. Secretary of War John C. Calhoun, Treasury Secretary William H. Crawford, and Vice President worked behind the scents in an attempt to get Monroe to censure Jackson for this horrible action. John Q. Adams sent a letter condemning the actions of Jackson.

All these men had political aspirations, and all wanted to become President. Jackson's popularity stood in the way. So this was a way to bring them down.

Jackson actually had to stand before Congress, where he was berated. One man who berated him was Henry Clay, of whom he was beginning to despise. In the end, Jackson was not censured. However, this event would back to have political implications for these men in the future. Keep in mind that Jackson did not know that Calhoun, Crawford, and Clay had secretly plotted to get this censure thing done.

However, it's possible that Monroe supported what Jackson did, but did not want to take the blame. So, in a sense, Jackson took full responsibility to save his president. This may not be what happened, but it's what some historians think. In either case, Jackson and Monroe came out of this situation without much of a political hit, as they both went on to have future political success.

Adams would end up negotiating a treaty that saw the United States purchasing Florida for $5 million. So, in the end, this turned out to be a good deal for America (and my mom and dad, who venture to Florida each October).  It worked out for Jackson too, who became the military governor of Florida.

Jackson was angered by the "corrupt" nature of government, and concerned that government officials were allowed to use their public offices for private gain.  He was so popular that his friends started talking about a Jackson presidency.  In fact, in July, 1822, a whole two years before the election, the state legislature of Tennessee nominated him for the presidency.

He believed that ordinary humans could abuse power, but that this was nothing compared to the abuse of power among government officials.  For one thing, ordinary humans were less likely to make risky ventures with the money they were responsible for because failure might result in personal loss of fortune, and the possibility of losing everything they had.  Government officials were more likely to make risky ventures because failure could be absorbed by the nation, and they would lose nothing personally.

He believed that if power were only given to a few elected officials, that would give the few too much power over the many.  However, if the power were spread out among many private individuals, it couldn't be directed to special favors and privileges to the few who always became elected to power. He believed a limited federal government would assure that power would be doled out evenly (as opposed to allowing an imperial president decide what is best for the people, the people could decide for themselves).

Jackson ran for president in 1824, along with John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and William Crawford. They were all democratic-republicans, as this was the only party at the time.  In fact, a democratic-republican candidate had won the last six straight elections over the past 24 years (Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe won twice each), only this time they couldn't decide on a single candidate.

At this time only white men who owned property could vote, so this eliminated many of Jackson's supporters.  Still, Jackson was able to win the popular vote.  He also earned the most electoral votes, although not enough to secure the presidency. The election was now in the hands of a House of Representatives where Clay was a very popular speaker.  

Clay was the 4th place finisher, so he was out of the race.  However, he was able to broker a deal in which states that voted for him would give their support to Adams, who would become president.  Adams would then choose Clay to become Secretary of State, at the time a job that usually set a person up nicely to becoming a future president. 

For obvious reasons, this did not sit well with Jackson.  His supporters got together and decided to do everything in their power to block any efforts made by Adams.  They also set their sights on winning the election of 1828.

He wrote a letter claiming it was a "corrupt bargain." He would ride this wave of outrage into the White House in 1828.  He won by saying that, by bartering public jobs for favors, these men had destroyed democracy, and I will get it back for you.

Jackson became the first president not born in Virginia or Massachusetts.  He was born in the frontier of Tennessee.  He did serve briefly in the House and Senate, although he spent very little time in Washington. He was a true outsider who was adamantly opposed to corruption in Washington.  He championed to clean up this mess.

It was a message similar to today's Tea Party, and it worked.

Like Tea-Party advocates and conservatives of the modern day, his opponents considered him out of touch; a backwoodsman.  He was a hot tempered warrior, and there was no way such a personality would work in Washington.

His opponents would be proven wrong. 

It was also about this time that Thomas Jefferson Democrats started to split.  Some continued to support the limited government ideas of Thomas Jefferson, while others started to follow the large central government ideas of John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay.  Jackson's followers became democrats, and Clay's followers became national republicans.

Jackson's democrats were mostly laissez-faire in their approach to government.  They were Thomas Jefferson's true heirs, and stood for small and limited government that believed in the power of the people as opposed to the power of the state.  They opposed government spending, especially spending that favored one group of people over another. They claimed that a large, central government mainly benefited the rich and privileged at the expense of humble working class Americans.

During the election of 1824, a U.S. Senator from New York, Martin Van Buren, supported Crawford, who had similar views as Jackson.  After the "corrupt deal" that put Adams in the White House, he put his support in Jackson's camp, working as his campaign manager.  He was one of the best political experts of his day, having built a powerful political machine in New York by rewarding loyal supporters of the party with government jobs. This system became known as the Spoils System, and was adapted by Jackson.  In this way, Van Buren made Jacksonian Democrats a formidable party.  They were the party of the common man, as opposed to the National Republican "aristocracy."

As any good limited government president would do, he used his veto power to put an end to any attempt to expand the scope and size of government.  The first thing he did was veto a bill that would expand the National Road from Maysville to Lexington, Kentucky.  This was the kind of project that fit nicely into Clay's national agenda (the American System), and it was just the kind of program Jackson was opposed to. So he nixed it. 

Mainly, Jackson was opposed to federal money going to local projects. This was the type of system he believed was doomed to become corrupt.  By giving federal money for local projects, this would allow federal government officials to bribe local government officials with such money.  Such a system would later segue into a system whereby federal money would be used to buy votes through federal programs.  

He did not think it was good to allocate money to one particular state.  He believed such an action was unconstitutional, and rightly so.  This, Jackson believed, would be similar to allocating money to certain groups of people while taking from others.  However, he would have supported such a program if all the states benefited.  He was not opposed to helping people out, although not by taxing the many for the benefit of only a few. 

He said a responsible way to spend money would be first to pay off the debt incurred in the War of 1812. He said that the way to do this would be with minimal taxation as to not have a negative impact on the economy.  Once that debt was paid, he said money would then be allocated equally to the states to spend on projects they deemed were necessary, such as building roads. 

Again, Jackson believed that if the federal government had the ability to choose certain states, or certain groups of people, to give federal money to, then federal officials (such as a future president named FDR), would be able to use this power to influence elections.  In essence, he believed certain people, or groups of people, would vote for a president who would, in return, give them favors (such as food stamps, more welfare checks, etc.)

As he worded it "a corrupting influence upon the elections... (to) make navigable their neighboring creek or river, bring commerce to their doors, and increase the value of their property."  He said this would prove 
"fatal to just legislation" and the "purity of public men."

A scar on his first term was when he almost went to war with South Carolina.  In 1828 and 1832 Congress voted, and the president signed, bills to increase tariffs.  John C. Calhoun was his vice president, and many thought he would go on to succeed Jackson.  However, he was a strong critic of the high tariff passed by Congress in 1828 because it helped northern merchants at the expense of southern planters. They thought it was unfair because they sold goods to Europe in return for payment, and that payment was highly taxed.

Calhoun talked about nullification, which meant that a state could nullify (refuse to obey) a federal law if it considered it unconstitutional.  He even suggested that a state could secede from union.  In response, South Carolina's State legislature voted to nullify the tariffs of 1828 and 1832.

Jackson was irate about this idea, and his old warrior intuition was sent into action.  He believed this was treason, and wrote a letter notifying officials in South Carolina that their action was illegal and might lead to war.  He ordered U.S. Navy ships to Charleston, South Carolina's harbor, with orders to fire upon the rebels if necessary.  He also said he was willing to negotiate a deal to save the union.

A compromise was brokered by Henry Clay that had Congress voting to lower the tariff over the next ten years.  

Jackson also opposed the Second Bank of the United States.  The bank was established in 1816 to print money, pay off debts, and create economic stability.  However, it's first president was corrupt, and used his position of power for his own personal gain at the expense of taxpayers. His successor sought to clean up the mess by calling in unsound loans, foreclosing on overdue mortgages, and redeeming overextended notes from the bank, but this only worked to cause the Panic of 1819. Banks went bankrupt, prices collapsed, and unemployment soared.  

Jackson, among other states rights advocates, hated the national bank on its face. They claimed that it gave the federal government too much power and influence over the states; it gave too much power and influence to too few people at the expense of the majority. They would end up taking the government all the way to the Supreme Court in a case called n McCulloch v. Maryland. The Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution granted the government to create such a bank, and that the states had no right to restrain that power.

Supporters of the bank took advantage of this fight.  As an example, Henry Clay convinced the bank's president, Nicholas Biddle, to apply for a new congressional charter (license to operate) even though the current one didn't expire until Jackson's second term. This was Clay's attempt to influence the election of 1832.  Clay gambled that if Jackson picked this fight with Congress the people would start to despise Jackson.

It's important to know here that the national bank was a private corporation, and therefore was not responsible to the states nor to the federal government.  It had the right to decide who needed loans and how much to give.  It also had the power to set interest rates.  At this time in our history the U.S. government did not print money, and this job was reserved to the banks.

The bank had many enemies who argued that the bank benefited the rich at the expense of the poor.  It benefited merchants at the expense of farmers.  In essence, they believed it worked to the detriment of the common men and women, especially farmers and other rural workers.

As Jackson feared, Clay was using power given to him for his own political ambitions, and to advance his own agenda.  Biddle was also abusing his power, using bank funds to lobby Congress for special favors and treatment. He offered loans at favorable terms to select members of Congress, such as Daniel Webster.  He also funneled bank funds to political campaigns that favored his agenda.  Jackson was on to all of this chicanery, and so vetoed the bill. 

He wrote:
"Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law… the rich as well as the poor. He believed the government should not punish the wealthy by taking from them because others were envious of their success.  
He believed it was unconstitutional to take from the rich, even if that meant helping the poor.  It was not the role of government, he believed, to choose to help one group of people at he expense of another.  He believed the government could only take an equal amount and dole out this money to programs that equally benefited all Americans.  

This pretty much defines the difference between liberals and conservatives of today.  Liberals hate it when people succeed, and they wish to brink the rich down.  They raise their taxes to help lift up the poor. Conservatives hold rich people up on a pedestal, claiming that American Exceptionalism makes it possible for anyone to succeed.  Jackson was opposed to government favors that benefited the poor, but he was equally opposed to government favors that harmed the rich.  

He said:
"(B)ut when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society -- the farmers, mechanics, and laborers -- who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their Government. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, [government] would be an unqualified blessing."
Clay's gamble backfired, as the veto made Jackson more popular than ever.  He rode his wave of popularity into the election of 1832.

Democrat Andrew Jackson faced off against National Republican Henry Clay. Jackson's Democrats claimed they were the party of the people. Clay's National Republicans claimed Jackson's veto of the National Bank was the act of a tyrant.  In the end, voters showed their support for Jackson by giving him 219 of the 269 possible electoral votes.  Martin van Buren became his vice president.

Jackson then used his landslide win as a mandate to cut off all federal funding for the National Bank, thus killing it once and for all.  He put all federal funds that were allocated for it to various state banks.  Despite last ditch efforts to avoid it, the bank went bankrupt.  The American people were happy with this.

He was a nationalist who championed for westward expansion, yearning for a nation that spread from the Atlantic cost to the Pacific coast.  He wanted to position America so that it would dominate global trade. While he made efforts to avoid wars, he was not afraid to use his his military prowess to stop any nation attempting to impede his national vision.

He recognized the new Texas republic when it broke away from Mexico.  While he coveted this vast territory in his efforts to expand the U.S., he made no effort to annex it in order to keep peace with Mexico. He knew that the War of 1812 made it so Madison was not able to accomplish his domestic agenda, and he did not want a War with Mexico to thwart his own domestic plans.

During his eight years Congress only passed one major law, and it was the Indian Removal Act of 1830 at the request of the president.  He signed it into law on May 28, 1830.  The law gave Jackson the right to grant unsettled lands west of the Mississippi in exchange for Indian lands within existing state borders.

Some Indians went peacefully, although others resisted relocation.  He basically used this law to force the removal of the Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw and Seminole Indians.  During the fall and winter of 1838 and 1839, after Jackson was out of office, the U.S. government would forcibly remove Cherokee Indians, with 4,000 Indians dying in what became known as the "Trail of Tears."

Considering the threat of Indians on frontier families, this action was very popular at the time.  Still, it would go down as a pretty serious scar on the Jackson era, causing some to severely punish Jackson in any ranking of presidents.

Other than the Indian Removal Act, Jackson would veto 12 bills, more than all six presidents before him.

While nixing the National Bank was well received by voters, it resulted in a recession.  Selected banks received huge amounts of federal money, and these "pet banks" as they were called, were able to lend out this money as they saw fit.  If they ran out of money they just printed more.  Borrowers were happy with this because it allowed them to buy land they never before could afford to buy.  They could also use the loans to expand their businesses, something they couldn't afford to do before.

Of course this caused a problem.  These "pet banks" were supposed to have enough gold and silver to cover the value of this money.  Soon it became clear that too many bills were printed, and there wasn't enough gold or silver to back it up.  This caused the value of the dollar to decrease.  This meant that anything you could buy for a dollar now cost two dollars.  People who saved money now found it to be worth less.

An executive order by Jackson called the Specie (coins or precious metal) Circular said that the federal government would no longer accept paper money from those who owed it money.  Instead, loans had to be repaid with gold or silver.  Settlers who bought land from the government returned to banks requesting to exchange their bills for gold or silver.  When banks ran out of gold or silver the value of the dollar went down even more.  This made it so people were unable to borrow money to buy land or expand their businesses. This caused unemployment to rise, resulting in many people who were out of work and hungry.

In 1834, Clay's National Republicans joined with other factions in hopes that by joining forces they could take advantage of the Jackson recession to defeat the democratic candidate in 1842.  The new party was called the Whigs.  Jackson chose Martin Van Buren to be his successor.

The Whigs chose to do something that was never done before or since: they nominated several candidates to run for president: William Henry Harrison, Hugh L. White, Daniel Webster, and Willie Person.  They chose one candidate from four different regions of the country in the hopes that each would receive more votes than Van Buren in their respective regions.

Van Buren rode the wave of Jackson popularity and easily defeated all the Whig candidates by garnishing a majority of both the popular and electoral votes. This assured the country once again would have a president who respected the Constitution.

Because his agenda was very clear, Jackson garnished public support through most of his presidency.  He was, in essence, a very popular, classical liberal president. He was a nationalist who made sound domestic decisions, and made every attempt to avoid conflicts with other nations, although he wasn't afraid to use force when necessary.  He broke apart a huge government bank and doled out its power to individual banks, thus getting the government out of the way so that individual entrepreneurs could prosper.

He opposed government involvement in personal or state interests unless it worked to the benefit of everyone.  He opposed high taxes that punished those who succeeded at the benefit of the few.  He understood that power had the potential to corrupt, and thereby recommended this power be spread among the populace.  He understood that flaws by government would bring down the whole nation, but flaws by individuals would only bring down the few involved.

Jackson would give the power to the people and let the chips fall where they may.  He was a proponent of making the U.S. a dominant force to be reckoned with.  He was, in essence, the first tea party president.  

Further reading:

Should I go to all my kid's sporting events?

I'm sorry to say it, but I do not believe it is necessary to attend every single one of your children's sporting events. I think it is a good idea to make it to as many as you can, but I do not think it is healthy for the child, nor the parent, to attend everything.

I think the most important part of being a parent is making sure kids are well taken care of.  So this means that work comes first.  If you do not work, your family will not eat. It is for this reason that you cannot keep skipping work in order to attend every sporting event.

If you sacrifice everything in order to attend every game, it makes children think the world revolves around them, and it doesn't. It makes them feel as though they are entitled to have their parents at every game cheering them on. It also limits the ability of parents to be adults.

Look! I remember my dad attending a majority of my baseball games as a kid.  I remember him coaching me.  But my dad was also not available at home most of the time due to his work.  He came home from the car lot at 6 p.m., ate dinner with us, maybe "wrassled" with us, and then had to go off to his second job.  He was a busy man.

As I look back on it, I'm not angry at my dad for working in lieu of spending more time with us.  In fact, just the opposite: I learned the importance of hard work and discipline. I learned that work is more important than play. On his off days, and on many evenings during the summer, he would spend time with us. But that didn't preclude his responsibility as the breadwinner in the family.

Things changed economically for my parents when my younger two siblings went to high school. By this time my dad was able to spend quality time at home.  So my dad did not feel so obligated to attend every sporting event.  I remember drinking beer with my dad at his cabin while my younger brother Tony was playing in a high school baseball games.

Dad was proud of Tony, even hung newspaper clippings on the wall of the cabin, but he didn't feel obligated to attend every game.  He did not have to. And I have never in my life, ever, heard my brother Tony complain about this. In fact, just the opposite.

So I do not believe it is essential for parents to be involved in every aspect of their children's lives. I think not doing so gives children a chance to be independent.  It shows kids that they are not the center of the universe.  It shows kids that work is more important than play. It shows them that taking care of other people, such as older relatives or younger siblings, takes priority over a simple sporting event.

Parents also need time to themselves too.  Parents need to have quality time together. Parents need to have quality time alone. Parents need to read and learn.  Parents need to have a social life. This is important for their own intellectual and personal development. Parents are adults who already have limited time to engage in adult pursuits. Stressing about every sporting event should not preclude your mental well-being.

Worded another way, life comes with priorities: God, wife, children, other people, and then other things. If you put your children's sporting events before your God, and before your spouse, problems are certain to ensue. It could mess up your marriage. It could mess up your psychological well being.

This means that there are other important aspects of life that are more important than children's sporting events that require time and effort. Attending every sporting event is an example of parents turning children into the center of their world, which has helped create a generation of children and young adults who feel self-entitled and expect everything to revolve around their wants and desires.

That said, if you can attend every sporting event, go for it! It's important to give your children attention, and to show them love, support and affection.  But there are also other important aspects of life that are more important than sports that require time and effort and take priority over sports.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

I am a literalist

I am a literalist. Most people are not literal. Most people speak in generalities and expect that people are going to understand them. I take people at what they say. And if they don't say it, then I don't think they have said it. And if they say something, I believe that they mean it.

You can take this any way you want. You can take it in a political sense. When I hear trump say that he is not going to let people die in the streets, then that's what he means. You can take it at the kitchen table. If I'm sitting there and I'm all quiet, it does not mean that I am angry. It just means that I have nothing to say. If anything, it means I'm happy and content with the flow of the conversation of the other people at the table. But, more than likely, it means that I have nothing to say.

I do not assume. I take people at their word. If they don't say something, I don't think they said it. If they say something, I take it for what it is. I do not assume because my wife is silent that she is mad at me. I don't assume that way. Yeah, sometimes assumptions cross my mind, but then I do my best to brush them off.

I truly believe that assuming does nothing but cause conflict. If see that I am silent all day and you make the assumption that I must be mad, then you're going to wonder what you did to make me mad. Then you might assume that I am mad because I didn't like what you cooked. Then you become mad at me based on this assumption. Now, I'm just making up a facetious example here to make the point that assuming causes conflict.

So it's better to live in the real world, to be literal, to not assume. It's better to be a literalist. It's not always easy, but it's better.