Slavery – Then and Now – Part One

I have wanted to write this for some time now.  It seems something else always gets in the way.  As I get in discussions with people I learn that many people do not understand the beginning of slavery in America, how it evolved, and modern day 21st century slavery.  At this point I am planning for a three part series.

Most people are not aware that very few African slaves were brought straight to the colonies, especially in the 17th century.  An extensive sugar trade had been built up in the Caribbean, nearly every African slave brought across the Atlantic went there.  The early slaves in the colonies were enslaved Indians.  In fact, it is estimated that South Carolina alone exported 24,000 to 51,000 captive Native Americans to the West Indies between 1670 and 1715. This was far more than the total number of Africans brought to all thirteen colonies during the same period.

The majority of Africans brought to the colonies came from the Caribbean sugar colonies.  Slaves were a commodity and used in trade, in fact some of the first African slaves brought to North America were brought on a Dutch ship that had captured them from the Spanish.  Up until later in the 17th century, the typical slave was a young white boy.

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Indentured servitude was used to the advantage of both parties.  Poor families often sold their sons into servitude, giving them a chance they could never have at home.  People seeking to come to America sold themselves.  The people in the colonies needing help could have the labor force they needed for the cost supplying transport, room and board and clothes.  The term was set, normally four to seven years, after which they were given cash, clothing, and tools or land in addition to learning a trade during their term.  They were then free to be an ordinary settler.

This was true regardless of color.  While much of the world looked at slaves as property, the colonies treated the Africans the same as the Europeans.  It was a legal contract.  The term of servitude could be extended by a couple of ways.  One was by choice or agreement between the owner and the slave and the other was as punishment for behavior, such as trying to escape or criminal activity.  Escape was breaking the contract, and years might be added by a judge and in extreme cases, life in servitude might be handed down.

It does not seem that race entered the picture until late in the 17th century.  There were a number of black slave owners, and it seems the first life-time slave was a black man owned by another black man.

Anthony Johnson was an Angolan who ended up in Virginia and finished his term sometime after 1635.  He was granted land by the colony.  As is often left out of the equation, Anthony was originally captured by an enemy tribe and sold to Arab (Muslim) slave traders.  Originally indentured to a merchant with the Virginia Company, he ultimately finished his contract while working for a tobacco farmer.  Contracts were paid off either by someone with the cash to buy out the contract, or by the labor of servitude.

In time, Anthony built his farm up to 250 acres with five indentured servants, four white and one black.  Anthony had bought the contract of John Casor, the black man, in the 1640s.  Casor complained one day to a neighbor that Anthony had kept him several years past his term.  The neighbor, Robert Parker, persuaded Johnson to release Casor.  Parker then offered Casor work and a term of indenture was signed.

In 1654, Johnson sued Parker in court demanding the return of Casor.  He originally lost the case, but on appeal won not only Casor’s return, but Parker had to pay the court fees.  This was the first instance in the thirteen colonies of a life of servitude given when no crime had been committed.

I remember being taught that millions of slaves were brought to the colonies.  A 1625 census in Virginia showed the number of negro slaves to be 23.  In 1649 there were 300 and in 1690 there were 900.  I have no intention of glorifying the idea of slavery, however we have to understand it was the way society was at the time, just as they would not understand our society today.  For the most part, buying and keeping a slave was an expensive proposition, and one way to maximize that investment was through breeding.

There are also those who will tell you the idea of Irish slaves is a myth.  The Irish slave trade began when 30,000 Irish prisoners were sold as slaves to the “New World”.  The Proclamation of 1625 by King James I required Irish political prisoners to be sent and sold to English settlers in the West Indies.  By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat.  In fact 70% of Montserrat’s population were Irish slaves.  Remember, slaves primarily were needed in the Caribbean at the time, the tobacco and cotton plantations had yet to develop into large scale industries.

Between 1641 and 1652, at least 500,000 Irish were killed and 300,000 sold as slaves, dropping Ireland’s population from 1.5 million to 600,000 in just eleven years.  Widows and orphans were sold as well.  During the decade from 1650 to 1660, more than 100,000 children aged 10-14 were taken from their families and sold to the West Indies, Virginia and New England.  Additionally, 52,000 (largely women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia and another 30,000 men and women were also sold at auction.  In 1656, Oliver Cromwell ordered 2,000 Irish children taken to Jamaica and sold to English settlers.   At this time in history, being an Irish Catholic was worse than being black.

African slaves were expensive, bringing 50 Sterling in the late 1600s, while an Irish slave would go for 5 Sterling, or less.  Due to this, the Africans were often treated better than their Irish counterparts.  Their masters also figured out that they could increase value through breeding.  A black slave bred to an Irish girl produced a mulatto child that was more valuable than a white child.  Another advantage was that when a woman’s term was up, she would seldom leave her child or children.  The children were slaves as well until they were old enough to work off their contract.

By 1681, the practice of intentionally breeding blacks to whites was outlawed.  It had become so widespread and profitable, it was infringing on the business of the slave traders importing from Africa.  Legislation was passed “forbidding the practice of mating Irish slave women to African slave men for the purpose of producing slaves for sale.” It was stopped only because it interfered with the profits of a large slave transport company.  Yes, history never changes, just follow the money!

As the nation grew west in the 19th century, many Irish went west as they had no reason to stay where they had been raised and hated.  While they were not loved much more in the west, there was more opportunity to be away from people.  Many of the early cowboys and ranch hands were Irish.  Many of the old campfire songs were originally Irish tunes with new words to fit their new life.  As the west grew, much of the hard labor was done by Irish and Chinese immigrants.

In Part Two, we’ll look at the explosive growth of slavery that ended after the Civil War, and maybe you will learn a few more things you did not know.  The point to take from Part One is that all slaves were treated as indentured servants until later in the 17th century.  Most history is written as if the trade was the same from the beginning.  As with most things, they evolved with time and the money involved.

Note: Much of this information is readily available, but there is also a lot of misinformation and rewriting of history so we have to be careful.  Much of the information is painstaking to uncover as it is court documents, state and local documents.  A significant amount that is well referenced is found in The Origins of American Slavery: Freedom and Bondage in the English Colonies by Betty Wood and Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White by David Barton.  Another source is The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South 1670–1717 by Alan Gallay.

 

 

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Consistency – What Do Pancake Batter and Progressives Have In Common – Or Not?

The English language is difficult at best for people to learn as a second language, so many words have the same or similar spelling with different meanings.  To, Too, and Two – Their, There, and They’re – Mail and Male – Plane and Plain – Genes and Jeans – Deer and Dear, to name a few.

 

Consistency has two distinctly different meanings with the same spelling.

 

One has to do with the thickness or viscosity of a substance, such as paint or dough – or pancake batter.

 

The other has to do with being consistent or agreement in action or behavior.  An athlete who averages the same goals or points game to game is a consistent performer, or a politician whose words and actions are in harmony from day to day.

 

Yes, I have finally reached to point of this article.  The consistency of politicians.  This is not a left or right, democrat or republican sort of thing.  It’s also not just politicians – we need to look in the mirror to make sure we have not succumbed to the tendency to follow our feelings regardless of the data, the truth and the larger picture.

 

This latest outrage over Roy Moore and the recent shootings have put me over the edge.

 

People from both sides of the aisle are guilty on the Roy Moore issue.  Suddenly the accusation is equal to guilt?  If truly guilty, he’s a disgusting piece of trash – however an accusation does not equal proof.  Remember Tawana Brawley with Al Sharpton at her side?  Remember the Duke Lacrosse team?

 

What of those who have been accused…in fact, their guilt is unquestioned yet there was no price to pay.  Ted Kennedy clearly tried to use the Russians to help sway an election, yet there is a witch hunt on the Russian/Trump “collusion”.  For that matter, Ted Kennedy killed his girlfriend and it cost him nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero.  Not only did the democrats not hold him accountable, neither did the republicans.

 

Are we really to always believe the women?  What of the women who have accused Bill Clinton?  Kathleen Willey, Connie, Hamzy, Juanita Broaddrick, Eileen Wellstone, Sandra Allen James, Christy Zercher, 22-year-old Yale student, University of Arkansas student, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, Gennifer Flowers … and this does not include those who admitted to consensual affairs.  At least Bill seems consistent.  Where are those who demand he admit and accept responsibility?

 

Jeff Sessions was accused of being a racist, yet Robert Byrd (Grand Wizard in the KKK) never was.

 

In Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste I outlined the inconsistency of the “left” regarding things that cause deaths.  Alcohol, drugs, medical malpractice, accidental falls, auto accidents, accidental poisoning, and certainly abortion all outpace gun deaths by a wide margin.  If safety and saving lives are important, then ALL lives are important.

 

Our society has become one in which we try people in the media, in the court of public opinion.  I have one question for you.

 

If you were charged with a crime or impropriety, would you want our justice system (no matter how flawed it may be), or would you be happy to let reporters and social media decide your fate?

 

While it is easy to see fault in others, I hope we will all attempt to see things from both sides and let the chips fall where they may.  The facts should decide.

 

Remember, truth has no agenda.

Oscar Made A Choice

As did most slaves of the day, Oscar shared the “family” name of his master. Oscar and his “master to be” were raised together, they played and learned together, with the exception of course that Francis would receive a formal education while Oscar went to work on the plantation.

 

The bonds that were formed in those early years would not be broken later in life. Possibly even more important, the times spent in the back woods and swamps of their native South Carolina would result in a turning point in the War For Independence.

 

Francis would begin his military career and experience under Captain William Moultrie fighting for the British during the French and Indian War. His allegiance ultimately was to South Carolina, and when tension built with Great Britain in the mid 18th century, Francis’ natural inclination was of course to continue to support and protect his native state.

 

After the defeat in Saratoga, the British looked to re-establish a strong foothold. There was a strong Loyalist sentiment in the Carolinas so it made sense to refocus efforts there. Possibly more in the south than in the north, the war was more of a civil war as Patriots took on the Loyalists.

 

The plan was to take advantage of the Loyalist support and secure Georgia and the Carolinas and meet up with forces from the north to put the Patriot forces in an impossible position in the Chesapeake region.

 

The fall of Charleston was a devastating loss for the Patriots, and subsequent British victories made it appear the British plan would be a success. In 1779, British General Henry Clinton issued the Philipsburg Proclamation, offering freedom to all slaves owned by revolutionaries even if they did not join the Royal Army. Other offers were made on a state by state basis offering freedom for service to the British. There are estimates of up to 100,000 slaves attempted to leave their owners during the course of the revolution.

 

Oscar was not one of those slaves. At a time when he might have sought his freedom, at a time when volunteers to the Continental Army typically served one year, Oscar served for seven years. Certainly above and beyond the call of duty. Oscar served as a personal aide to then Lt Colonel Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion, cooking in addition to fighting, scouting and intelligence gathering.

 

Initially, Marion was not well regarded by his superiors and was sent to remote areas to gather information and intelligence. In the beginning, his unit was only about 20 men. In a day when armies fought head on, force on force, Marion used guerilla tactics similar to what was later adapted by modern units such as Delta Force and the Green Berets. After the fall of Charleston, “Marion’s Men” were the only organized force opposing the British in the state.

 

Surprise attacks, hitting, pulling back, and hitting again, continually badgered the Loyalists and British. They defeated a large group of Tories at Briton’s Neck without suffering a single casualty. The British so hated Marion they sent “Bloody” General Banstre Tarleton to kill or capture him. After Marion and his men disappeared in the swamp for a 25 mile chase, Tarleton commented, “As for this damned old fox, the Devil himself could not catch him.” The name stuck and Marion became known as the Swamp Fox.

 

During the time of the fall of Charleston, Francis Marion broke his ankle. He was still trying to heal when he began his escapades tormenting the British forces. There is little doubt that his success and very survival at this point was due to his personal aide, indeed friend, Oscar Marion. The Mel Gibson movie “The Patriot” was in fact based on the history and lore of the Swamp Fox.

 

“Marion’s Men” were more than just volunteers. In many cases, they served without pay. They brought their own horses and frequently supplied their own food. Their loyalty to their state and new nation, and to their leader was indisputable. Their success most certainly helped turn the tide of the war so that the one trapped at the Chesapeake was Cornwallis, not Washington.

 

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In the early 19th century, a painting was done by South Carolina artist John Blake White, depicting Marion talking to a British officer discussing a prisoner exchange. Oscar is beside Marion cooking sweet potatoes on a fire. The painting was donated to the US Senate in 1899 by the painter’s son. Oscar was unnamed, referred to as a “Faithful servant negro”, until an ancestor did the research to uncover his identity.

 

Oscar Marion was recognized as an “African American Patriot” in a ceremony at the US Capitol in 2006. President George W Bush signed a proclamation expressing the appreciation of a “grateful nation” for Oscar Marion’s “Devoted and selfless consecration to the service of our country in the Armed Forces fo the United States”. This was certainly a wonderful event for his distant cousin Tina C Jones who did the research and uncovered his identity and searched for the honor due him.

An Auspicious Beginning

James was a small man, he’d been ill and in delicate health most of his life. The oldest of twelve children, three of his siblings died in infancy. The son of a landowner, he received an education that was the best available, primarily from private tutors.

His studies included the required classical and modern languages, he became especially skilled in Latin. In his day, fluency in Greek and Latin were a requirement for admission to college. Most young men of his day were expected to attend the College of William and Mary, however the area near the college was lowland and the infestation of insects would hardly have been in James’ best interest health wise.

At the age of 18, James enrolled at the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University, studying Latin, Greek, mathematics, science, geography, rhetoric and philosophy – with an emphasis on speech and debate. His study habits likely were detrimental to his health, but he graduated two years later in 1771.

James was not sure what he would do with his life. He believed his health was not conducive to a life of farming, in fact he doubted he’d live all that long anyway. He remained in New Jersey after graduation and studied Hebrew, becoming quite proficient, and political philosophy. At this time, the Anglican Church was the “official religion” of his home state of Virginia. Some Baptist ministers were jailed and friends said this deeply affected James.

It is not known for sure, but this may be why James stayed to study Hebrew and political philosophy, it might have been the impetus that pushed James Madison to enter political life. His health and stature would never stand for military life, so politics became his life and passion. Upon returning home, James studied law for public policy. It was never his intent to practice law.

James did serve in the county militia as a colonel, second in command to his father, however this was to to his family’s wealth and position. He was soon elected as a delegate to the Fifth Virginia Convention which drafted Virginia’s first constitution. While he supported the Virginia Declaration of Rights, he had argued for stronger protection of religious liberty. In time, Madison and Jefferson helped usher in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786.

We often think the tyranny our founders fought against was in England, King George III and Parliament. But tyranny has many faces. My post for “This Day In History” on October 27th was about two men, Quakers, who were hung for their religious beliefs. These men and their families left Europe to escape religious persecution and died in America…from religious persecution.

If you read the Virginia Declaration of Rights I mentioned above, you can see the similarities with our Constitution and Bill of Rights. In fact, most of the states held conventions and drafted constitutions in the years before the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia. In just about every case, the drafts were a protection of natural God given rights and a restriction on the overall power of the state. They believed the closer things were to the people, the more liberty they would have.

The whole purpose of the US Constitution was and is to protect rights. No other constitution has lasted as long as ours, even though it has been stretched thin by those seeking power, the republic at least has not suffered a violent end – yet. Historian Will Durant observed, “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has first destroyed itself from within. The essential cause of Rome’s decline lay in her people and her morals.”

The protection of our rights was centered around living Godly principles. Certainly the founders understood that there was evil in the world, both within our borders and without. There are numerous quotes by our founders who suggested that our form of government was suitable only for a moral and virtuous people.

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38 This is the great and [o]foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” -Matt 22:36-40 NASB

We also have what we call the “Golden Rule”. Certainly those who jailed and killed others for their religious beliefs did not follow these teachings, but they in their mind believed they were doing the right thing.

The founders, especially Madison, Jefferson, Adams, and Mason were driven to offer protection of government from government and from other threats to liberty. Where do threats against liberty originate? The big one is government itself, federal, state, and local. Criminals, terrorists, foreign governments, and regimes. How does government protect rights without infringing on that which is to be protected?

The urge is to be proactive, to prevent or stop the infringement of rights before they happen. However, the founders understood that to do that means compromising liberty. “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” ― Benjamin Franklin

Obviously, infringements on our liberty has to be addressed. If it is a foreign invader or terrorists, a criminal or our own government, it must be stopped and the guilty party punished. In a constitutional republic, the minority receives protection from the majority. There are those who believe the constitution only restricts the federal government, that a state or local government can restrict your rights. You as a people can either rise up against the tyranny or move to another state. I do not agree.

There is no way the founders placed state’s rights above personal liberty.

Article IV deals with the powers of the states and their responsibilities. Article IV, Section 2: The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

This of course was clarified in the 14th Amendment. From the first section: No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

If we as a people decide to leave the “first principles” upon which the republic was founded, we leave no option for government but to try and control the people. Government by its very nature seeks growth and more power, the very reason the only restrictions in the constitution are on government itself rather than the people.

From the warning labels on products, to seatbelt and helmet laws, to speed limits and licensing and on and on – we have given up our liberty to be protected – from ourselves in most cases. When we willingly exchange our essential liberties in exchange for perceived security we soon learn we have neither liberty nor security…and we deserve neither.

Harry-Truman

 

“The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount…If we don’t have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State.”
― Harry Truman

Second Amendment Cake – Part Three

In Part One, I discussed the infringement of our rights by government, in many ways the same as putting a frog in cool water and then slowly heating the water.  In Part Two, I looked at the danger of being uneducated (ignorant) of our rights and why our founders restricted government in the first place.

In this final part of the series, we will look at the fallacy of gun control, and in reality, the fallacy of any form of control whether that be speech, arms, or loss of due process.  We’ll also look at what the responsibilities are of “we the people”.

In Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste I pointed out how those who would take your rights use crisis to nibble away at at our liberty, all while ignoring things that are far more deadly.  They don’t care about life, they care about control.

The term “Assault Rifle” was developed in the 1990s in an effort to create fear among the ignorant masses.  It was successful in creating the “Assault Weapons Ban” in 1994 under the Clinton administration.  Thankfully, that law had a sunset date in ten years and enough people had been educated it was not reinstated.

Now, if you listen to the news, you’d think about every gun death was committed with an AR, AK or some other similar weapon.  The FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2016 tells a different story.

You are more than four times as likely to be killed by a knife and twice as likely to be beaten to death by someone with no weapon at all, than you are to be shot with a rifle of any kind.  Of the estimated 100 million gun owners, approximately 5 million own “AR Style” rifles.  The numbers alone tell us this is not the real problem or goal.

In case you have not noticed, the right to bear arms is not the only right under attack.  Progressives have been chipping away at all our liberties for over 100 years! When legislation cannot be passed, it is accomplished by a judge.  If that doesn’t work they use “Alinsky” tactics to shame or scare people into compliance.  They also have no qualms about resorting to violence as has been proven in several incidents at college campuses where a conservative is scheduled to speak.

I frequently repeat the words of the late Paul Harvey, “With increased liberty comes increased responsibility.”  We typically take that to mean we are to be responsible as we exercise our rights … and that is vital.  However, I believe we have been remiss in other responsibilities.

Social media has enabled people to become brash, vulgar, and uninhibited in many ways.  Our founding was built around freedom and liberty, along with personal responsibility and self restraint.  Just because you can do something does not always mean you should.  Unfortunately, common sense is not so common.  Personal filters seem to be a thing of the past as we watch people air their differences publicly on Twitter.

It bothers me when I see someone say, “I carry a gun because it’s my right.”  I agree it is a right, but is that the reason to carry or otherwise keep arms?  I view it as a responsibility.

Just as it is a responsibility to have the “right” to say something and refrain…or say something rather than refrain…judicious use of the right is always in fashion.  We have devolved into a society that waits for government, federal or local, to keep us safe.  That is a job they are neither equipped to do or are they capable of doing it.  From warning signs and labels –  to laws concerning smoke detectors, seatbelts, helmets, and car seats – to militarily equipped police.  Our due process has been taken away by civil asset forfeiture all in the name of “keeping us safer”.

Are we not the original “First Responders”?  I believe it was Jimmy Carter who coined that phrase, and I do not mean to diminish those who dedicate their lives to serving and helping others – my wife worked in EMS (emergency medical service) for over 20 years.  However, do we not understand that some essential knowledge of lifesaving techniques are a good idea for all?  I’m not a firefighter, yet I have smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.  I know basic first aid and CPR, I can do (and have used) the “Heimlich Maneuver”.

If we are the first on scene of a situation, WE are the first responder.  It is our responsibility to help our fellow man in need, and our limited assistance until those with more knowledge and equipment can arrive can make a difference between life and death.

Why is our responsibility to keep and bear arms any different?

“I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.”

“When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

Cute comments, and true.  While it is an important part of the right and responsibility, our personal safety is not the primary reason for the protection of the second amendment.  The ability to hunt for food or shoot for sport is a nice side benefit but not the reason for protecting the right.

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Regulated in the day meant equipped and prepared, so well equipped and prepared.  Militia was the common man, 16 to 50 years of age who was the “first responder” to threats from invaders.  Because the free state depends on this readiness, this right is not to be infringed, changed in any way.

“Every able bodied freeman, between the ages of 16 and 50, is enrolled in the militia. … The law requires every militia-man to provide himself with the arms usual in the regular service.” – Notes on the State of Virginia, written by Jefferson, published in 1781, updated in 1782

“…in this country, every man is a militia-man…”. –Thomas Paine The American Crisis series, # 9, dated June 9, 1780

“No free government was ever founded or ever preserved its liberty, without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state…. Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.” -Patrick Henry

Tyranny was a threat from without and within.  All military, elected officials and law enforcement take an oath to defend and protect…not the government… but rather the constitution.  That defense is against threats both domestic and foreign.

While there is nothing in writing to be found, it is said Japan and Germany were both hesitant to consider an invasion of our mainland because the American citizens were armed and known to be willing to protect their homes and homeland…after all, the revolution and War of 1812 were not done in a closet.

When you consider that all tyrants first disarmed their population before seizing complete control, they well understood there comes a point beyond which you cannot expect people to “just take it”.

The “Security of a Free State” depends on the personally responsible, self reliant citizen.  Not only bearing arms, but exercising speech, assembly, and redress  Governments are instituted among men to secure rights, not take them just in case someone “goes postal”.  Wake up America.  Laws and “compromise” never take us to more freedom, always less.

Second Amendment Cake – Part Two

In Part One I looked at the old adage “You can have your cake and eat it too” and compared it to a sort of proverb I saw on social media. There is probably not a more divisive issue in this nation these days than guns and the right to bear arms.

 

I honestly believe if we do not know and understand what our rights are, where they came from, and the related responsibilities of both us (the people) and government, then it will be easier for evil people with ill intent to take these rights.

 

Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” -James Madison

 

There were debates during the drafting of the constitution over who should be allowed to vote. In the end it was left to each state to decide. However, it was clear the framers understood the danger of ignorant (uninformed) voters, and those without “skin in the game”. Initially the thought was to give only land owners and/or taxpayers the right vote to avoid our present day issue of politicians “buying votes” with gifts from the treasury in the form of programs.

 

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” -Thomas Jefferson

 

The debate between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists was of course that of a central power. Madison believed all our rights were “Self-evident” and that the constitution limited the federal government to an extent that its powers were restricted from infringing on the people’s rights.

 

In Federalist 45 Madison says, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” Anti-federalists understood the likely evolution of central power and refused to support the Constitution until the Bill of Rights was added.

 

So, why a Bill of Rights? I think that today’s government in Washington DC tells us the addition was necessary. It is my estimation that 90% of what Washington does is outside the limited powers the constitution grants. That has evolved to where it is today because of the aforementioned issues, an ignorant populace and one that is able to vote money and benefits they will receive at the expense of others.

 

Did you applaud when President Trump threatened NBC recently? What about when President Obama attacked FOX News? Both scare me. Any government official or agency that diminishes any of our rights, diminishes ALL our rights. I post a daily quote on Facebook and Twitter. Today’s quote is appropriate: “The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.” ― John F. Kennedy

 

We tend to talk of our First Amendment or Second Amendment “rights”. We need to remember that ALL our rights are inherent, natural, God given. The Constitution and certainly the government does not give us these rights. The Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights are restrictions on government. “Congress shall make no law… and, “…shall not be infringed.” are pretty clear. Our protect rights under the Fourth Amendment are violated daily by the NSA.

 

Yet time and again, congress HAS infringed the people’s rights. Why? I believe there are several reasons.

 

Certainly, some reasons are our complacency, apathy, ignorance, and even fear on the part of the people. On the government’s side, it is either ignorance or evil intent. But first we must look at why it was believed so important to enumerate specific “rights”.

 

We really need go no further than the Declaration of Independence. Within that document the grievances are spelled out and this excerpt from the second paragraph: “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.”

 

There was of course a large percentage of the population and leadership that had no issue with the King and his rule. They believed that though oppressive, his rule was necessary for their own good and security. I believe that many today share this feeling with our current government and leadership.

 

However the King and his lackeys in the form of governors, bureaucrats and military violated many rights – especially those spelled out in the Bill of Rights.

 

There was an official “State Religion”. Now the state prohibits a simple religious symbol and prayer.

 

There was no right to speak out against the King, or publish criticism, or assemble, or seek redress of grievances. There are calls now to restrict and regulate our complaints.

 

There was an effort to disarm the population. There is today an ongoing effort to infringe and restrict gun ownership.

 

Troops were quartered in homes, in so doing they could look into your personal effects and listen to your conversations. Today’s NSA, civil asset forfeiture and more violate the 4th and 5th Amendments.

 

A long train of abuses and usurpations continue….

 

The government cannot keep us safe – no government can keep anyone safe. Even with the NSA recording every keystroke and voice transmission, they cannot prevent violence. When firearms are outlawed, illegal arms are obtained or different weapons are employed – knives, cars and trucks, bombs, clubs, etc.

 

I recently wrote Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste where I outline numerous ways in which people meet untimely deaths that don’t seem to be a problem to those who cry for gun control. This tells me their intent is evil.

 

Our founders were clear in numerous writings how important keeping arms was to the security of a free state.

 

“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.” -Noah Webster

 

In Part Three we’ll look at the fallacy of gun control and what YOU can do to help stop the madness.

The NFL vs Real Problems

Okay, full disclosure. I do not watch the NFL. I have not seen any player, coach, owner or anyone else, kneel during the National Anthem. Many years ago, I grew tired of the players antics on and off the field and made a personal decision to neither watch nor support any team or the NFL with my purchases. I give them no time or money, it is simply a personal decision and I do not ask anyone to join me.

Am I offended because some players take a knee? I honestly don’t care. Is there a difference between a highly paid athlete trying to make a point and a highly paid actor shooting their mouth off? Both offend me, but then I am offended by many things.

I am offended by politicians who believe themselves better suited to make decisions for me rather than making my own.

I am offended by a government (state and federal) that uses civil asset forfeiture to steal from people without due process.

I am offended that I am forced to buy health insurance, and that my choice is limited to what THEY decide.

I am offended by by a Republican leadership that believes it is more important to infringe on our rights than follow the restrictions of the Constitution.

I am offended by a Democrat party that denies the importance of God in our society.

I am offended by a Supreme Court that oversteps its limited powers.

I am offended by people who know more about reality TV than founding principles.

I am offended that 2% of Americans know the 5 liberties defined in the First Amendment, and that only 36% know the three branches of government.

This is in no way a complete list, I’m sure you get the point.

No NFL player has any direct impact on my life, politicians and bureaucrats do. Let’s focus our outrage on the real problems. The division and ignorance that exists within us as a people who are to be the sovereigns of our government only serves to keep those who “rule” us in power.

Are you involved in ANY organization that is educating and or acting to change this? If so, EXCELLENT! Keep it up and recruit more! If not, you are part of the problem. Time to “put up or shut up”. If you are only posting on social media and voting every 2 and 4 years, you don’t care enough.

“If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” -Samuel Adams

Photo:  https://www.flickr.com/people/johne777/

 

Second Amendment Cake – Part One

I think we all likely recognize the old saying, “You can have your cake and eat it too.” The suggestion of course is that we can have something and enjoy it as well. I know this is not news to you, but progressives tell you the answer is, “No, you cannot eat your cake, in fact you cannot even have your cake. Cake is not good for you or anyone else, so I will take your cake, for your own good – for the good of society.”

A good friend shared something on social media I just had to use. The original author is unknown or I would certainly give them credit. The story goes like this:

“I hear a lot about “compromise” from your camp … except, it’s not compromise.
Let’s say I have this cake. It is a very nice cake, with “GUN RIGHTS” written across the top in lovely floral icing. Along you come and say, “Give me that cake.”
I say, “No, it’s my cake.”
You say, “Let’s compromise. Give me half.” I respond by asking what I get out of this compromise, and you reply that I get to keep half of my cake.
Okay, we compromise. Let us call this compromise The National Firearms Act of 1934.
There I am with my half of the cake, and you walk back up and say, “Give me that cake.”
I say, “No, it’s my cake.”
You say, “Let’s compromise.” What do I get out of this compromise? Why, I get to keep half of what’s left of the cake I already own.
So, we have your compromise — let us call this one the Gun Control Act of 1968 — and I’m left holding what is now just a quarter of my cake.
I’m sitting in the corner with my quarter piece of cake, and here you come again. You want my cake. Again.
This time you take several bites — we’ll call this compromise the Clinton Executive Orders — and I’m left with about a tenth of what has always been MY CAKE and you’ve got nine-tenths of it.
Then we compromised with the Lautenberg Act (nibble, nibble), the HUD/Smith and Wesson agreement (nibble, nibble), the Brady Law (NOM NOM NOM), the School Safety and Law Enforcement Improvement Act.
I’m left holding crumbs of what was once a large and satisfying cake, and you’re standing there with most of MY CAKE, making anime eyes and whining about being “reasonable”, and wondering “why we won’t compromise”.
I’m done with being reasonable, and I’m done with compromise. Nothing about gun control in this country has ever been “reasonable” nor a genuine “compromise”.”
It’s interesting to note the comment recently from one of the most ardent anti-gun politicians, Dianne Feinstein. On CBS Face The Nation she was asked by John Dickerson whether any law could have prevented the Las Vegas massacre. “No. He passed background checks registering for handguns and other weapons on multiple occasions.” Yet she is pressing for a ban on “bump stocks” saying, “Regulations aren’t going to do it. We need a law,” she said. “It can’t be changed by another president. Right now we’re seeing one president change actions of a president that came before him. And that would happen in this area. And I would hope that Americans will step up and say ‘Enough is enough. Congress, do something.’ ”

Never mind that bump stocks were reviewed and found compliant with regulations and law under the Obama administration. Also never mind that she just told us that safety or lives have nothing to do with her actions. But I digress.

According to Pew Research, only 20% of Americans trust the federal government to do what’s right always or most of the time. That’s one in five. That lack of trust is well founded, yet we are supposed to trust them with our fundamental rights? Perhaps we need to examine the genesis of these rights. Is the 2nd Amendment outdated?

I recently wrote about how progressives Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste, outlining how there are many things that result in far more deaths yet receive no attention. No calls for, “Congress must do something” or “If we can save just one life it will be all worth it.” It this certainly proof they care nothing about lives and all about control. Has ANY COMPROMISE ever been one that moved towards the Constitution and Liberty? Has any moratorium or ban EVER worked?

I hope you’ll follow this series as we explore not only this right, but our rights in general. The 2nd Amendment is not the only right under attack and this is not a war in and of itself, but a battle in a larger war that has raged since the inception of our republic. The fight will continue until the ultimate failure of our society due to the people’s ignorance and apathy.

Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” – Rahm Emanuel

We all recall that statement made by the then White House Chief of Staff of Barack Obama.  Progressives have historically acted in this way, we just were not used to them coming out and saying it.

True to form, in the wake of the tragedy in Las Vegas, calls for gun control were being made before we even had a count on the dead and wounded.  A number of celebrities spoke up, as did Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Gabby Giffords and more.  Blame was cast on the NRA, supposition of how much worse it would have been if the murderer had a “silencer”.  Calls for congress to “act” and “do something”.  Elizabeth Warren tweeted, “Tragedies like Las Vegas have happened too many times. We need to have the conversation about how to stop gun violence. We need it NOW.”

I certainly do not ignore the pain and anguish the affected families must feel at this time, but I do wonder why these victims are so much more important than all the others.  What others?

First we need to define what a gun is.  Is it not simply a tool?  A tool is defined as a device or implement, especially one held in the hand, used to carry out a particular function.

We are made to believe those who speak out calling for gun control are concerned about the loss of life.  Are they really?

Nearly 100 people die every day in highway accidents.  While a car might be a useful tool, these deaths could be prevented if cars were outlawed.  At the very least we should do a better screening of who we allow behind the wheel.

There are 241 alcohol related deaths every day.  Is there a problem with the bottle as it sits on the shelf, or is the issue who consumes the contents?

There are more than 85 deaths due to accidental falls every day.  Perhaps we need stricter control on ladders and who is allowed to use them.

About 115 people are poisoned each day unintentionally.  We need better poison control without a doubt.

More than 175 die each day from drug overdoses.  Perhaps we should make drugs illegal.

More than 1200 die each and every day due to preventable medical errors.  Perhaps we should require a degree before someone practices medicine.  Maybe that’s the problem, they are practicing.

What about the 2500+ who die each day due to abortion?  Where’s the outrage?  And this brings up an odd comparison.

The Declaration asserts we have “certain” inalienable rights.  Certain – known for sure, established beyond doubt.  Inalienable – unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor.  And “among these” are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness – this is only a partial list.

I would note that “Life” is enumerated, as is the right to “keep and bear arms” in the Bill of Rights.  Of the five listed rights guaranteed in the first amendment, most seem to understand the freedom of speech and the press.  Are they any more or less important?

Clearly, the number of deaths or the fact there are deaths at all only matter to progressives in that they can use the crisis to accomplish a goal.  Aside from the fact they want to violate the constitution and fly in the face of the Declaration, their argument is a farce.

With abortion, their perceived “right to privacy” overrules the right to life.  With the second amendment, the right to life overrules the right to keep and bear arms.  None of their arguments looks at the real issue, people’s personal responsibility regarding their rights vs others.

“The order of nature is that individual happiness shall be inseparable from the practice of virtue.” -Thomas Jefferson

It is each one of us who is saddled with the responsibility of honoring other’s rights, government’s only job is the protection of those rights.  Government cannot give rights or permission to violate rights.

Arm yourself, with the power of knowledge and reason and when that does not work, arm yourself.

The historical reality of the Second Amendment’s protection of the right to keep and bear arms is not that it protects the right to shoot deer. It protects the right to shoot tyrants, and it protects the right to shoot at them effectively, with the same instruments they would use upon us. If the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto had had the firepower and ammunition that the Nazis had, some of Poland might have stayed free and more persons would have survived the Holocaust.”

“Most people in government reject natural rights and personal sovereignty. Most people in government believe that the exercise of everyone’s rights is subject to the will of those in the government. Most people in government believe that they can write any law and regulate any behavior, not subject to the natural law, not subject to the sovereignty of individuals, not cognizant of history’s tyrants, but subject only to what they can get away with.”

“Did you empower the government to impair the freedom of us all because of the mania and terror of a few?” -Judge Andrew Napolitano
Public trust in the government remains near historic lows. Only 20% of Americans today say they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right “just about always” (4%) or “most of the time” (16%).  Is this the same government we trust with our security?  Our healthcare?  Does this make any sense at all?  Ben Franklin was correct.  If we give up liberty for perceived security, we will neither have nor deserve either.

https://www.flickr.com/people/chanceprojects/

A Shooter’s Mind

I have tried to stay away from politics and controversial issues, preferring to write more educational and entertaining pieces.  The news of the Las Vegas shooting last night has shaken all of us.  Our first questions are of course WHY and WHO?


We know who and I’ll not offer him any fame by giving his name, it is available elsewhere and in the larger scheme of things is not all that important.  Why?  It’s possible we’ll never know truly why.  We may garner some leads and ideas in the days to come, but what really happens in a mind to plan such an act?


Early reports tell us he had ten rifles in his room and that he had rented the room on September 28th.  Obviously a planned attack, not a spur of the moment meltdown.  I listened to the video.  After reading reports of automatic gunfire, I assumed a typical mistake (intentional or ignorant) by reporters.  After listening to the video and hearing the staccato fire of a full auto rifle, I knew this was like nothing we have ever seen.

What was going on in this man’s mind?  I have not a clue.  I know what was NOT in his mind.  There was not love and concern for God, fellow man, or national pride.  Satan is the father of lies and hate, no doubt Satan was in control of his thoughts and actions.


Another thing we know is that an effort will be put forth to restrict access and ownership of guns and ammo by all the people who never did anything like this and never will.  Hillary Clinton has already come out and attacked “silencers” and the NRA, neither of which had anything to do with the event.


Prohibition or full control does not work.  Never does and it never will.  It did not work with alcohol.  It has not worked with drugs.  It has not worked with prescription drugs.


“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” -John Adams


“The moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. . . All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible”. -Noah Webster


“Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.” -Robert Winthrop


“Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.” -George Washington


“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”

“Whereas true religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness . . . it is hereby earnestly recommended to the several States to take the most effectual measures for the encouragement thereof.” -Benjamin Franklin


Control MUST come from within, or as Robert Winthrop said, “by the bayonet”.


We had a perfect world, the Utopia progressives seek, in the Garden of Eden.  Sin destroyed that perfection and it continues to destroy people and lives as it did last night in Las Vegas.  We will never be able to attain perfection on our own and no government can provide total security.  We can only strive to educate ourselves and and promote personal responsibility and caring for our neighbor.


May God bless our republic and may we strive to be honorable recipients of that blessing.  Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragedy.