Category Archives: Politics

Why Do We Need Guns?

Statute of Liberty There have been several horrific events which have brought out the worst of humanity to take advantage of people gathered to either worship or enjoy themselves. Most, if not all, if my memory serves me, were perpetrated in designated safe zones. This is the hallmark of people who are predators.

The person attacking anyone with deadly intent is an angry and aggressive psychopath with no sense of the moral dimension of their crime. Their internal logic is different from yours.

Those thwarted in some criminal enterprise for profit, who use firearms to get gain, may recognize the error of their ways and stop. Those driven by compulsion won’t stop. You need a good tool to save you. Whether that tool is a firearm which you’ve been trained to use, or a baseball bat, the result needs to be the same. That psychopath needs to be stopped or the carnage will continue.

The second amendment was a recognition of human behavior in all its forms, both good and bad. It’s not there because, oh by the way, we may want to hunt, go to sporting events, or collect interesting mechanisms. It was written as an inherent right of every free person to defend themselves or their property.

Just as important as it is to be able to speak freely, gather together in common purpose, prevent unjustifiable search, arrest & property seizure, worship how we may choose; self-protection is absolutely fundamental to a free society. Without it, the other civil liberties can’t be guaranteed.

Eventually, without a second amendment, a greater form of tyranny emerges, and there’s no way to readily restore prior conditions. To keep pace with these real and constant threats, the law abiding citizen must be able to continue to legally possess and use the latest in weapons technology.

It’s not about sports, militias, parades, or historic relics of the past. It’s about each one of us being able to defend & protect against any aggressor, no matter their size, shape, or societal status with weaponry capable of matching that challenge.

Societies protect themselves, and so too should any free individual person, unless we accept our fate to the whims of criminals, and the providential timing of a benevolent government appointed employee.

Freedom comes at a price purchased by the observant, able to work, and willing to sacrifice for it.

George Orwell seeing in front of our nose


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Why We Still Debate the Civil War

Here we are, in 2017, we’re still debating the causes of the Civil War, which began in 1861 with roots that stem from centuries before. This blog post isn’t about statues, racism, social justice or the like, it merely is written to clarify the actual primary cause of the Civil War. No doubt there are many reasons, that were evident at the time, but those were subordinate in the grand scheme of events leading to the war.civil_war_stamp

The Civil War, also known as “The War Between the States,” was fought between the United States of America and the Confederate States of America. The CSA was a collection of eleven southern states who left the Union in 1860 and 1861 and formed their own country in order to protect their continued usage of the institution of slavery.

Slavery was introduced to North America by the British as far back as the early 17th century. The south believed in the dissolution of the Union after they couldn’t come to an agreement with the dominant north over the rights of states to control commerce. Slavery was a component of commerce, not in its entirety, but an essential component. It was legal at the time the country was formed, and the southern states saw no justifiable reason to change when they knew most of the northern leadership agreed with them. Negroes, as they were called, were not equivalent to Caucasians. They weren’t allowed to vote, own property, inter-racially marry, or if they lived in the south, couldn’t participate freely with the fruits of their labors.

The northern leadership believed, once the union of states were created, no one or more states had the right to leave that union. They were willing to negotiate, but when the matter came to a head, they willingly took up arms to preserve that union and stop the south from seceding.

events leading to the American civil war
The slavery extension question was thought to have been settled by the Missouri Compromise nearly 40 years earlier. The Mexican War, however, had added new territories, and the issue flared up again in the 1840s. The Compromise of 1850 provided a temporary respite from sectional strife, but the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, a measure Stephen A. Douglas sponsored, brought the slavery extension issue forward again. The Douglas bill in effect repealed the Missouri Compromise by lifting the ban against slavery in territories north of the 36°30′ latitude.

The Supreme Court decided a case brought forward by an escaped slave. He in effect was suing for himself and his family’s freedom. The Dredd Scott decision rendered in 1857, declared he wasn’t entitled to his freedom; that Africans were not and could never be citizens of the United States; and that the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which had declared free all territories west of Missouri and north of latitude 36°30′, was unconstitutional.

This further set in motion the events leading up to the Civil War. In effect, it supported the institution of slavery, and the southern states now believed it was their personal right of sovereignty. In effect, the Constitution was a voluntary agreement, as easily broken as it was initially agreed upon.

The Douglas doctrine of popular sovereignty, was to permit new territories and states the right to self-determine their status as a free or slave state. This slavery extension proposal, provided the background for the Douglas – Lincoln debates of 1858. Their debate, addressed the problem that had divided the nation into two hostile camps which threatened the continued existence of the Union.

Slave_kidnap_post_1851_bostonIn 1859 John Brown, an abolitionist, working in concert with others, formed a rebellion in Harpers Ferry Virginia (now West Virginia). Brown had previously met abolitionists, Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth while living in Springfield Massachusetts. Brown was convinced slavery wasn’t going to end through peaceful negotiations. Brown’s personal attitudes evolved in Springfield, as he observed the success of the city’s Underground Railroad and made his first venture into militant, anti-slavery community organizing. In speeches, he pointed to the martyrs Elijah Lovejoy and Charles Turner Torrey as whites “ready to help blacks challenge slave-catchers.”

The choice of allowing slavery for some admittedly was a compromise, so the fledgling nation had enough backing to form a binding union, and thereafter break away from British rule. As we see today in politics, challenging problems are pushed forward in hopes that someone will solve the problem in the future. Doing so, means a crisis builds until the inevitable fateful day, and it can no longer be ignored.

Flawed From the Beginning

Many of the Founders wished to abolish slavery in the Constitution. The irony and hypocrisy were not lost on them, and they weren’t shy about saying it. The compromises in the Constitution regarding slavery placed the short-term need to form a Union ahead of a contentious debate with no resolution. The alternative was two countries, one without slavery and one with. Several founders later emancipated their slaves.

In 1807, Congress passed a law and Jefferson signed banning the importation of slaves to begin on January 1, 1808, the very first day permitted under the Constitution. Some have argued that this only made existing slaves more valuable and the South already had sufficient slaves to breed to meet their needs. I give our Founders the benefit of the doubt. If for no other reason, a slaver would vote against this to maintain his right to hold slaves on principle.

After the law passed, US Naval forces commenced to patrolling the African coast and seizing slave ships. Great Britain was already doing the same.

Slavery, was officially ended by the British, and the US was trying to figure out how to completely eliminate it within its own borders, and not criminalize its own citizens. Those same citizens were part of the framers of the Constitution, and supporters of Independence. Virginia was the home of Thomas Jefferson and the cradle of independence. It was a natural place to be the capital state for the Confederacy.

tenth_amendment_states_rightsThe dilemma for America was from its very beginning. As an ideal, the framers and leaders knew that all men were created equal but their society, their practices, had accepted distinctive differences in race as a basis to allow slave holdings.

Slaves were the means by which the south could compete against the more industrial north. This economic disparity, along with punitive tariff’s against the south, created additional friction. After the insurrection by Brown, the southern states believed violent uprisings were going to part of their future, they also thought they had a legal right to secede, and no peaceful option in which to exercise that right.

“Historians agree that the Harper’s Ferry raid in 1859 escalated tensions that a year later led to secession and the American civil war.” Put down by Colonel Robert E. Lee of the United States Army, assisted by First Lieutenant J.E.B. Stuart the temporary insurrection was quickly suppressed.

There are many who insist the Confederate States of America were formed through a common cause theme just as the United States did against Great Britain decades before. They believe the south chose independence because of the continued encroachment against states rights by a central federal government. They see Lincoln as a dictator not an emancipator. Lincoln, despite his Illinois state speeches against slavery in the 1840’s, and his famous debate’s against Douglas in 1858, stated if he could keep the Union, he would have accepted slavery as a compromise. History shows that he didn’t.

That’s the historical irony, the individual states agreed to be part of the union at the Constitutional convention of 1783, as long as they could keep slaves. By 1860, after decade of debates, court battles, and slave rebellions, the south’s insistence that slaves were property, not equal as humans, and they had every right to decide what they could do with their property. This property kept the wealthy land owners in business. It also increased their wealth, a wealth which was the driving force for southern economy, seemingly threatened by the more industrialized north. As in all things, contemporary, or historical, there are many reasons, and aspects to conflicts.

compromise_of_1850As much as some people want to “window dress” the motivations of the Civil War, the overwhelming unresolved problem was slavery. To say it was over states rights, economic factors, or encroachment of federal law into individual states commerce, is by varying degrees, true. The long-standing tensions and disagreements about the use of humans as a means to an end, in providing an economic base were the ultimate catalyst. None of those would have been significant factors if not for the conflicting arguments over slavery.

Between election day and Lincoln’s inauguration in March, seven states had seceded from the Union: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. They were to be followed by four more: North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Missouri, and Tennessee were divided within specific geographic boundaries, depending on who were the predominant community leaders. Kentucky started out neutral, but voted to become part of the union. West Virginia broke free of Virginia in 1863 to become part of the Union.

Republicans captured over 60 percent of the Northern vote in 1860, and won three-fourths of its Congressional delegations. The Southern press said that such Republicans represented the anti-slavery portion of the North, “a party founded on the single sentiment…of hatred of African slavery“, and now the controlling power in national affairs.

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The cause of rebellion – Civil War 1861-65.

Opening volley – Why Fort Sumter?

The Top Nine Events Leading to Civil War

An Educators Guide to the Civil War

Here is an excerpt of the Declaration of Secession by the State of Georgia.

“The prohibition of slavery in the Territories is the cardinal principle of this organization.”

“For forty years this question has been considered and debated in the halls of Congress, before the people, by the press, and before the tribunals of justice. The majority of the people of the North in 1860 decided it in their own favor. We refuse to submit to that judgment, and in vindication of our refusal we offer the Constitution of our country and point to the total absence of any express power to exclude us.”

Continue to read this secession document.

” … It will be a glorious day for our country when all the children within its borders shall learn that the four years of fratricidal war between the North and South was waged by neither with criminal or unworthy intent, but by both to protect what they conceived to be threatened rights and imperiled liberty: that the issues which divided the sections were born when the Republic was born, and were forever buried in an ocean of fraternal blood.”

Lieutenant General John B. Gordon, CSA

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War is Failure to Win

Why would I start out with such a title? Isn’t war about winning? The movie about the life of General Patton started out with a speech. Among his remarks, this was said.

“America loves a winner, and will not tolerate a loser, this is why America has never, and will never, lose a war.” “War is the supreme test of man in which he rises to heights never approached in any other activity.”

Patton also said this; “Many soldiers are led to faulty ideas of war by knowing too much about too little.”

General_George_Patton_bwPatton enjoyed war, more than others and even he knew it’s terrible consequences.

War is a failure for people all living on the same planet, who don’t understand how to get along with each other. There have been despots, tyrants, dictators, and rulers of every type. Throughout history, we witness one battle or war after another. The United States, since the beginning has been involved in fighting amongst itself or other nations, over 90% of the time.

Unlike what Patton quoted, Americans will never lose a war, he was wrong about that. Check out the war of 1812 for a start.

War is stupid.

Those who advocate it are either without conscience or unable to grasp the realities of it.

In 1860, with the Southern states ramping up their rhetoric and threatening the union, this is what William Tecumseh Sherman wrote:

You people of the South don’t know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization! You people speak so lightly of war; you don’t know what you’re talking about. War is a terrible thing!

To advocate a pre-emptive war is the moral equivalent of shooting someone on sight because they might commit a crime. If you suggest or listen to the nonsense of a pastor who says, “God wants us to go to war“, you’re listening to the wrong people and misinterpreting the words of the Bible. You may as well be a heathen if you advocate going to war. War is only justified when all other options are unavailable, that means right up to the time they attack. Once they’ve made that choice, you can revisit the decision.

There are too many things that can go wrong in a war, especially when you have China as their immediate neighbor. Think Germany had logistical and manpower problems when they attacked Russia in WWII? Russia lost over 20 million people under arms with many more civilian deaths, fighting against Germany. In rough terms, they lost nearly 20% of their population. China has over 1 billion people, and approximately 300 million, which they could use in their military. Think long and hard what that means? They don’t have any more respect for the potential losses in their population than the Russians did in the 1940’s.

Here’s another person very familiar with the tremendous cost of war.

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A nun burned to death in the Spanish Civil War

Robert E. Lee

What a cruel thing is war; to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world!My heart bleeds at the death of every one of our gallant men.
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President Donald Trump has launched a verbal volley at North Korea. On Wednesday, Trump said he would unleash “fire and fury like the world has never seen” on North Korea.

Defense secretary James Mattis said on Thursday, “diplomatic efforts to contain the threat posed by North Korea remain the favored means for solving the crisis.” He noted that the UN Security Council, unanimously passed a resolution that tightened sanctions against North Korea.

Russia called on the Trump administration to keep calm, and on Friday Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told state media that his country was working with China on a “double freezing” plan to address the threat.

years_at_war_usa_chartIt may become necessary for the U.S. to go to war, but it shouldn’t do so without being first under attack. To shoot, bomb, or destroy someone, just because they have the means to kill you, isn’t justification to attack first. A person with morals doesn’t initiate conflict. Words are not conflict, even though they can aid an escalation of conflict.

Inside the borders of the U.S. we have strict laws which punish people who start fights or kill others. It doesn’t matter if someone swears at you or someone you know, or taunts you. They must first be the aggressor. Laws also don’t support revenge. Anyone advocating differently isn’t a moral person despite their claims to the contrary.

Whatever will happen, I hope cooler heads can prevail. Predictions of the outcome of any war are for fools and charlatans.

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A man shot and then run over by a tracked vehicle – Iraq

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Aftermath of Marines attacking Japanese soldiers