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Practical History

Looking for the next truck.  Gate guarding, LaSalle County, Texas February 2014

Looking for the next truck. Gate Guarding, LaSalle County, Texas February 2014

I am not a scholarly fella.  Just sayin’.    Sure,  I know a little about a lot of things but you won’t catch me pondering abstract thoughts the livelong day.  Give me something that is broke that I can put hands on and I’ll lay odds I can figure it out sooner or later.

It is just plain consternating to me to recognize we (collectively) are well and truly screwed and a good portion of folks just don’t see the train wreck.  Smart folks put a name to it  —  normalcy bias –;  Google that up if you care to.  I know, I know,  a fair number of y’all are gonna say ‘we have never had it so good’ or ‘we are still better off than most of the world’ or my latest favorite ‘You should just suck it up for the good of the people‘.  That last one is just a mite too socialist for me.  When each word uttered need be guarded less someone somewhere find it offensive;  when the education of our children is by government mandate,  when our Constitution, Articles and Bill of Rights are negated at will, trampled, ignored and obfuscated; I see a turd in the punchbowl.  Am I the only one?

History repeats itself.  The reason being man is an imperfect creature.   We are greedy and vainglorious at heart and there is some that let that get the best of them.   Almost two and half centuries ago the smart fellas that set this country on track did their best to square things up and they mostly got it right in my book.  What was written  back in the day still applies present day.

“I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the
industrious.” –Thomas Jefferson

“If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress. … Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.” –James Madison

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.  If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around(these banks) will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”  —  Thomas Jefferson

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”  — Thomas Paine

“When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny.”  — Thomas Jefferson

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom — go 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

Two major news articles this very week got my attention.  Congress is asking for a pay raise.   The Supreme Court struck down aggregate limits on Federal campaign contributions.   I do not have a hard time figuring out who our elected and appointed officials are serving.  Plain as the nose on my face.

End Note: Keep On Keepin’ On by Jack Ingram from the Electric cd

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14 comments to Practical History

  • Richard Boyd

    Good observations Andy. Nothing better than rattling our Sunday morning cages.

    Personally I believe we have already had, or in the midst of, a revolution orchestrated by corporations and the rich elite of this country.

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    • Andrew

      Ya think? 🙂

      Once they starve out the Middle Class I figger the can has been kicked to the end. Soon now……..

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  • Monte

    As much as I believe we had the greatest nation the world has ever seen, I am afraid it has fallen divided yet again. As much as I, and it appears, so many others like myself, have our strong feelings that this country can and should have the best schools, the best military, the best of everything we can muster, with the lowest budget practical, with the lowest unemployment practical, there is now a large segment of the population who feels differently. They feel that the state should provide for them, the government should take care of their needs, and provide them with cell phones. Even our elected representatives do not represent ALL of us, “We the People” anymore. The divide is very pronounced, and can be seen even in how the news is presented. What is now considered good for the people of California, or the people of New Jessy, is not what the people of Texas, or the people of Louisiana want or need. I am not calling for a rematch of the war of Northern Aggression, but asking the reader to contemplate what would it be like if we had no federal government, but we had our state level REPUBLIC to govern us, and we participated in that government?

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    • Andrew

      Would that not be what the framers of the Constitution envisioned? The Federals were tasked with collecting taxes on imports and exports which funded their endeavors. They were to see after our common defense, make sure interstate commerce ran smoothly and produce our coinage. Little else.

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      • joel

        Of course, the framers of our Constitution also envisioned slavery, no vote for women and no vote for people without property. The framers were organizing an agrarian society; they never envisioned a country where only 2% of citizens were farm/ranch families. They never envisioned multinational corporations and banks, automatic weapons, vaccines, a nation of 400 million citizens, thermonuclear warheads, air travel, interstate highways, the internet, high speed computing, global spread of disease, a standing army or global warming. We do owe a debt of gratitude to the framers for getting this nation off on the right foot as a nation without royalty. But they were also flawed and limited men (they were all men) and their solutions to problems were naturally limited to the problems of the day, wholly inadequate to unchanging operation 250 years later. As a long-time student of evolution, I can tell you that survival belongs to those most able to adapt to change, and the history of our planet is mostly one of extinction of those who failed to change and adapt.

        It is absurd and anachronistic to believe that an industrialized nation of nearly 400 million in the 21st century can govern itself, let alone remain a global financial and military power, as a republic restricted to taxing imports and exports.

        There is a difference between respecting our forefathers and fettishizing them. There is a difference between recalling our history and romanticizing it.

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        • Andrew

          I disagree Joel. The Constitution,Bill of Rights and Amendment revisions do not need to be treated as outdated documents that have lost meaning in today’s world. I think they should still be taken literally. The State Constitution movement is growing ( Article V ) and I hope the FIRST thing addressed is term limits. Obama/Romney collectively spent 2 billion on the 2012 campaign which is an abomination……… and then SCOTUS removes aggregate campaign contribution limits? The Fox is not just making the rules re: the hen house; he is ruling the entire barnyard via executive decree.

          It can’t last.

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          • joel

            “It can’t last.”

            Unsurprisingly, very little of the nation that the founding fathers helped establish has lasted. A small agrarian republic limited to the east coast of North America without a standing army didn’t last. Horse- and wind-powered commerce didn’t last. The Constitution as written didn’t last, but has been amended many times. Slavery didn’t last. Excluding women from voting didn’t last. Public schools, interstate highways, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health were created. The original inhabitants of the land were enthnically cleansed. The internet, multinational banks and corporations were created.

            Of course “It can’t last.” As I said, the story of life on this planet is that very little lasts. Change is the rule, and those who fail to adapt to change go extinct. That doesn’t place a value judgement on change, but practical history shows that it is foolish to expect anything to last in the same form.

            I take a back seat to no one here in my knowledge and appreciation of history. But I haven’t seen anyone here demonstrate a gift for prophecy that I would use as a guide to action. I don’t like where this country is headed in some ways; I didn’t vote for the presidents that appointed the SCOTUS majority who removed aggregate campaign limits. But the things that bind us as a nation are presently stronger than the things that divide us. There have always been extremists, and their reach is greater because of the internet. But so too are the flaws in their extremism more easily exposed on the internet.

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          • Andrew

            Still disagree Joel. The present course of the country is destroying the middle class and I have never seen the people more stratified. It is diverging toward the power elites with all the money and the politicians, the government entitlement group(s) and the disappearing working class. The elites will continue the looting until no one is left to rob. The entitlement groups will vote and keep the criminal politicians in office while the elites finance the campaigns.

            I lost most of what I had in 2008 and that was hard. The crash this time is going to be harder and it is NOT OK because the country has been stolen from the people.

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  • joel

    “It is diverging toward the power elites with all the money and the politicians, the government entitlement group(s) and the disappearing working class. The elites will continue the looting until no one is left to rob.”

    Sure seems that way, don’t it? But as a student of practical history, I’m sure you’re also familiar with the names J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, Jay Cooke, James Fisk, Jay Gould, Cornelius Vanderbilt and John D. Rockefeller. We’ve seen this story before, and that was 100 years ago. I share your concern about the loss of the middle class, but while it is deplorable (and I have consistently opposed the party that has advanced this erosion), it is not irreversible. I hope we won’t have to see yet another Great Depression before we get back to a more healthy level of union membership, federal regulation and wealth redistribution that has historically supported a robust middle class such as the one we knew in our youth.

    Yes, the country is once again being stolen from the people, as was attempted by the South in the Civil war and by the robber barons at the end of the 19th century. What we need is for the people to resist the forces to divide the 99% along racist, sexist, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic lines. The reason the power elites are prevailing is that they are successfully convincing the majority that the poor, minorities, Muslims and gays are their enemies and that the wealthy have earned all of their wealth and should be allowed to keep all of it for themselves. As long as that works to divide the majority into warring tribes, they can sit back and milk the very majority that keeps supporting their right to aggregate all the wealth.

    Where are the next Teddy Roosevelts and FDRs to reverse this latest backsliding?

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    • Andrew

      The Federal Reserve was formed in 1913 and wasn’t the 16th Amendment ratified around then as well? We are seeing the end play of a system that was put in place a hundred years ago.

      Sorry, but I am definitely not a fan of FDR, additional federal regulation, union shops or wealth redistribution. The power elites are prevailing because they have bought and paid for everything within the Beltway. Their voting majority are the folks on welfare, government assistance AND Social Security. Not a single one of them would ever vote against anything that endangers that monthly check. The government assistance roster just increased many fold with Obamacare and they will never be able to pay for it – ever.

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  • joel

    “Their voting majority are the folks on welfare, government assistance AND Social Security.”

    LOL! So you think folks on welfare, government assistance and SS vote Republican?

    Andy, the reason the power elites support the GOP-promoted voter obstruction is because they fear that folks on welfare, gov’t assistance and SS will vote *against* the power elites and for income redistribution. But they tell their sheeple that folks on welfare, gov’t assistance, Medicare and SS are their tribal enemies, and that keeps them distracted from who is really ripping them off.

    “We are seeing the end play of a system that was put in place a hundred years ago.”

    Wrong. We are seeing another act in a multi-century play. I realize you’re getting old (like me), but you need to resist geezer solipsism.

    “The government assistance roster just increased many fold with Obamacare and they will never be able to pay for it – ever.”

    I’m not a big fan of the ACA, but RomneyCare (= white ObamaCare) has been working out fine in MA. The ACA is the GOP alternative to single payer, which is what all the other industrialized nations on the planet have. Practical history shows that all other industrialized nations deliver healthcare to *all* their citizens, at about 50% of the per capita cost of the US healthcare insurance system, and with the same or better outcomes and nobody bankrupted by healthcare debt. But the ACA is still superior to what we had before. With the ACA, nobody need be bankrupted by healthcare costs, nobody can be denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions, and nobody loses healthcare coverage just because they lose their job.

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    • Andrew

      Joel
      I get the feeling that through this whole exchange you believe we are just going through another phase of history and that it is natural and things will eventually sort out…..and that it is nothing to be overly concerned with.

      I am not thinking that way. We can’t print enough money to get out of this mess and we can’t stop printing money either. The outcome is the same with either scenario and if we were going to effect a solution, we should have begun 15 years ago. The Bushes and Obamas and Romneys are not calling the shots, they are just the talking heads so the distinction of GOP or Republican matters little. People need to realize this act of the play is just about done and what comes next is going to be rough.

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  • Even the Founders couldn’t fix slavery. It took a war to do that and we’re still living with slavery’s reverberations. Obama was supposed to help put most of them to rest, but he turned out to be too small a man for it.

    Time was when Obamacare would have sparked a revolution. Now people just yawn. It’s hard to get too upset when you have enough to eat, clothes to wear, and air conditioning—and the entertainment choices keep proliferating.

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    • Andrew

      Sure ’nuff Dick. I enjoyed your post; the sorry bastards! Forgive me for paraphrasing it’s content.

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