Category: Good citizens
Weren’t We Always Extremists?
The US is criticized more heavily for its failures to uphold human rights because it was the first to come along and allege that we had them. Therefore, its hypocrisy when it fails to live up to the values it professes makes those failures all the more glaring. And again, I’m not coming to the government’s defense. I merely want to point out that before the US, poverty, inequality, indentured servitude, slavery, racism—all of these evils and more were the status quo, and no one really expected differently.
When we said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” the reality is that this principle had been self-evident to practically no one throughout thousands of years of history. When we said that all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” it got people’s attention, and suddenly others began to agree. When we said humans are entitled to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” it became a violation to impede such things. But make no mistake. These notions were not mainstream when our founders threw down the gauntlet with the Declaration of Independence.
As Barry Goldwater once said, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”
Source: Weren’t We Always Extremists?
Gypsy weddings and America’s fundamental rejection of racism – Bookworm Room
She was rather shocked when I told her that racism has been intrinsic in all societies since the dawn of time. It is a way to keep valued traditions alive and to keep the tribe viable. Early tribal societies were miserable, with incredibly high attrition rates from disease, accidents, and war. The only way to keep the tribe members intact, lest they think the grass was greener where the other tribe lived, was to convince them that the other tribe was inferior down to the bone.
It’s only in America that we are organized around values, rather than race. That doesn’t mean we haven’t had racism and racists. (Duh! It’s our early experiment with racism that planted the seed that Marxists have nurtured into the poisonous fruit destroying us now.) It does mean, though, that as racism mercifully mostly disappeared and racists became the marginalized people (until Obama and BLM came along), America had another unifying principle to hang onto: The Constitution and our belief in the good things that flow from adherence to that doctrine.
The Black Lives Matter movement, with its obsession with race and its hatred for the Constitution, is leeching from America the only thing that made us American. Unless we stop these racial obsessions and the drift to racial tribalism, America as a nation will cease to exist.
Source: Gypsy weddings and America’s fundamental rejection of racism – Bookworm Room
Elite Panic vs. the Resilient Populace
The Ohio State team produced a number of reports and helped influence the nascent study of humans and disaster. But the lessons of the Alaska quake tend to be forgotten when the world turns scary. In case after case, officials have reverted to the traditional view: that the civilian populace is not to be trusted in an emergency. Not surprisingly, this tendency towards elite panic is itself one of the key stumbling blocks to coping with disasters.
We certainly see it in the response to the coronavirus pandemic. From the first appearance of the virus in the United States, officials at the federal level, including the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration, tried to maintain tight control over the fight against the new disease. Undoubtedly, individual staffers at those institutions are deeply committed to public health. But those agencies’ policies implied that independent medical organizations shouldn’t be allowed to make major decisions about the coming pandemic.
History and the High Price of Forgetting
The reason we study history is because certain patterns repeat themselves. And this is where our education system has been failing us so terribly for decades, in part because of “multiculturalism.” Circa 1990, it became fashionable to condemn the teaching of history in our society as too “Eurocentric” and this academic trend, along with a general contempt for “dead white males,” had the effect of demoting the study of the history of our own culture in favor of “inclusive” history about African, Asian and Latin American societies. But this involves a misunderstanding of why we study history at all. The peasant living under a hereditary monarchy, or a goat-herder in a nomadic tribal society, would have no use for the study of history. In a non-democratic polity, it is only the leadership caste which has need to study history, as a guide to statecraft. However, in a republic, where every citizen is eligible to participate in the decision-making process — at the very least, as a voter — the study of history as part of a general education becomes much more important. How are we to participate intelligently in politics if we don’t know history? And the reason we study ancient Greece and Rome, rather than the Mayans or the Chinese or some other culture, isn’t because of racism or “Eurocentrism.” It’s because Greco-Roman civilization produced the earliest models for representative government, and because these civilizations left behind a written record, including such valuable resources as Thucydides.
At the beginning he asks “Have you ever read Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War?” Yes, I have. I also recommend it.
A new and deeply meaningful rite of passage
We have a new United States citizen. This guy did it right despite some government stupidity:
When I met Miss D. in 2009, she encouraged me to pursue the matter, and after we married, I did so – only to run into a bureaucratic roadblock. You see, the USCIS (which handles citizenship applications) wanted five years worth of tax returns, to prove I was paying my fair share towards our nation. However, because my income had been workers-compensation-related for several years (and thus not taxable), I hadn’t met the minimum taxable income threshold that requires one to submit a tax return. This did not satisfy USCIS, unfortunately – no tax returns, no citizenship!
I therefore approached the IRS and asked to file amended tax returns for the appropriate period, only to be told that this would be a waste of that agency’s time and resources (because I still wouldn’t owe any tax, after all), and therefore I should not do so.
See? Government idiocy. He waited five more years, filing the appropriate tax returns.
Becoming a US citizen will be a very solemn, moving moment for me. I take the oath of allegiance very seriously. I’ve already sworn part of it when taking the oath of federal law enforcement office as a prison chaplain, well over a decade ago. The citizenship ceremony will add to that an abjuration of any and all previous loyalties. In that sense, it’ll be a final, formal, legal and official severing of my ties to South Africa, where I’d spent almost two-thirds of my life so far.
An immigrant who did it right. A successful author whose books look interesting and are now on my ‘to buy and read’ list. Welcome, Peter Grant!
Armed Washington State Residents Stop Nail Gun Theives
(I know, the headline misspelled thieves.)
They didn’t expect to be surrounded by about six customers with guns raised.
One customer was standing in front of the car, yelling at the alleged thieves to get out.
“He won’t shoot, run him over,” one of the suspects reportedly said.
The driver pulled forward, causing the man confronting him to land on the hood, court papers say.
Another customer shot at the driver’s side front tire, according to documents. A third fired twice at the rear tire.
Well done. They should be given recognition for upstanding citizenship. But…
The Police in Marysville are looking to find the armed citizens who fired the shots that flattened the suspects tires.
The armed citizens are, with considerable justification, refusing to get involved further. These citizens should be found. They should be applauded. They should be celebrated.
But I doubt that’s why police in Washington State want them.
Source: Armed Washington State Residents Stop Nail Gun Theives