Dumbest (uncorrected) Choices in American History: Shortlist

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My list of REALLY STUPID CHOICES made in American history; just a short-list I am afraid:

Diet Food” that is more chemicals than food

Having the Soviet Union an “ally” in WWII – better to have let them go it alone; email for full argument

The Electoral College in the Age of Communication; direct election of all offices should be the norm; Political Parties are OBSOLETE and COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE

Public Sector Unions

Adding “under God” to the Pledge making it a point of division instead of unity

Lotus and Apple’s Patent-the-Universe Syndrome making the courts accept patents on things never meant for patent

Failing to live up to Dr. King’s vision and refusing to stop being prejudiced regarding race

Private campaign donations of any kind other than labor

Campaign donations by businesses

Supreme Court deciding that money= a right to a louder voice for YOUR ‘free speech

Dropping the no-partisanship requirements for radio talk-shows and ‘interview’ programs

Letting Lawyers advertise

Supreme Court declaring that nothing of value is earned by the recipient of a military award or decoration

Women’s, Chicano, Black “Studies” propping up people selected, distorted and lionized with blatant prejudice; taking away self-respect while pretending to help by ‘giving the poor things a hand’, and White Studies designed to rip on Western Culture for the same purpose – removing its self-respect – it seems non-whites are too dumb or clueless to run their own lives or stand up to whites and that whites are just intrinsically demonic – welcome to the enlightened world of PC education

Failing to settle on the point in a pregnancy where a woman’s choice is MADE and she must be held responsible for an infant rather than a piece of owned tissue. (6 month preemies regularly survive today and the Radical Right’s agenda on abortion would make women all but chattel)

Worrying more about which consenting adults, what age, color or how many may legally get ‘married’; ignoring the concept of duty, honor and responsibility anyone brings to their marriages

Bilingual Education as a policy

Helmets, knee and elbow-pads for tricycle riders

Peer promotion in school

Affirmative Action after 1990 – where was the transition to color-blind government?

Worrying more about what actual people have DONE with their guns than trying to get law-abiding folk to not have any at all

Electing Andrew Jackson, Jimmy Carter, George W., and Obama

Forgetting that ALL countries do best with immigrants if they pick from the TOP of the pile instead of the bottom

Paying a private group to print/coin money like a product to be bought forgetting that money has no ‘intrinsic’ value’; dollars are just counters for the economic game; increasing or decreasing the supply by fiat to ACCURATELY reflect the production/wealth of a nation is the ONLY reason when deciding when or if to print more money, or let the cash pool contract

Deciding that political consensus and no working model or scientific theory that has been tested is sufficient when making decisions in haste that could wreck the world’s entire economy/infrastructure; in the 70’s it was the next Ice Age that was imminent… no models then either

Making an “eco-friendly” light-bulb containing hazardous amounts of mercury

Adults stealing Halloween from the children and making it another grown-ups party holiday

The Writer’s Strike

ANY serious university or college that “emphasized” sports to make money and enabled ‘tails’ that can wag Great Danes with ease

Why are Conservatives are just plain BORING?

There is a debate in the internet land of Punditia about just what is the “counterculture” and why do Leftists dominate it.  The conservative side is pretty well summed up by this quote from one Samuel, a commenter at NewsReal Blog: 

 “A Conservative, be s/he a Christian Conservative, Deist Conservative or an Atheist Conservative, all live by fundamental principles. At the top of the list would be, that individual freedom is unlimited under the level that it remains below the infringement of others freedom.” 

What so many Conservatives don’t seem to get, is that the counter culturist types describe themselves essentially the same way!!! They seek to maximize  individual freedoms that do not infringe upon other’s freedoms. 

Isn’t that JUST what most (non-politically active) people of a counter culture bent are all about? They are drawn Left simply because there they have more opportunity to express their creativity, whether it is art, music or writing. 

Why must pundits and leaders on the Right and Left equate artistic creativity with POLITICAL movements that seek to REMOVE traditional elements from society rather than make SOME of them more optional? Things like how you dress or what you can do for a living as a man or woman or minority, and what kind of art you can produce. 

It is the FAULT of the Conservatives as well as the progressives if Leftists dominate the creative world! Conservatism is a FACET of thought, not a religion that needs to be kept pure and un-tainted. 

The political progressives seek to change entire societal systems to THEIR model; not just allow more elbow room for expression and differences in style and tone; they seek to LIMIT other’s ability to express themselves, JUST LIKE THE CONSERVATIVE EXTREMISTS. 

Why else does David Horowitz so often make the point that he is a CLASSIC LIBERAL, not a classic Conservative?!? 

A pure Leftist or pure Conservative cannot form a healthy government. NEITHER ONE! 

Just look at one of history’s examples of a truly conservative group: The Catholic Church. 

Just when in the history of the Church can it be said that there were no Liberal influences moderating the harshness of the Conservative ones? Are those times you would want to live in? As I read history the less influence classic Liberal thought had the more corruption and evil the Church did to the societies it held under its authority. 

Can progressive expression of Liberal ideas go too far in shedding traditions? Of course they can, just like Conservative ideas can go too far when unmediated by LIBERAL thought. 

On the Left we have seen the brutality of the Protestants against Catholics in the wars of religion, the horrific acts by Communist inspired groups abetted by modern technology in the 20th, and The Terror after the French Revolution. On the Right we have the Spanish Inquisition and that whole mentality which extended all across Europe at one time or another including Conservative Catholic family outings like the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. Arguments can be made that Nazi Germany had elements of BOTH Left and Right; explain THAT one in black and white partisan terms if you can!!! 

The accident of history that gave the Nazis, Japanese and Communists modern weaponry and transportation to abet their crimes does not in any way alleviate the intimate similarities between Right extremists and Left extremists; it is hypocritical to claim that as an excuse to not be critical of your “allies’s” actions. 

The simple truth is that pure conservatism is not just boring, it is stagnant. The most purely conservative group in American history that I can think of off hand were the Puritans. Does anyone on the political Right really WANT to live in a society like that? Is that really your goal? Do not forget, to protect their “Godly” society these wonderful CONSERVATIVES had no trouble hanging a couple sisters for the crime of being Quaker. They also drove one preacher right out of their colony for the truly heinous crime of insisting that a forced faith was not true faith! If the colonies had not united in the U.S. how far do you think they would have gone? Are you all unaware that it was this very Conservative extremism that prompted the majority of colonies to endorse the whole freedom of religion ideal? 

IS. THIS. REALLY. WHAT. YOU. WANT? Is THAT the America that those Liberal bastards Franklin and Paine and Jefferson and yes, even Washington wanted? 

Frankly, one of the biggest reasons it is so hard for many moderates to embrace their Conservative side publically is just how BORING most True Blue Republicans are! Why do you think Huckabee got so much attention? He actually had NUANCE to his lifestyle. 

It may come as a surprise to a lot of culturaly isolated Conservatives but, the majority of people are not content with re-runs of I Love Lucy and a stack of Frank Sinatra records. 

Heck, if you eliminated all art produced by those Limbaugh woukd CALL “Leftist” and that produced by “active” homosexuals and “drug” users, just WHAT would you have left? 

No: 

Dickens, Twain, Melville, Shakepeare, Dumas, Wilde, Elvis, Judy Garland, Ella, Billie Holiday, oh, why bother with a list; almost ALL literature, music, art, plays, blah, blah, blah, is produced by those that the True Blue Conservative ™ would ELIMINATE FROM PARTICIPATION in society!!! 

The fact that LEFTISTS in total control would destroy the balance of society just as surely does NOT excuse the partisanship of the Right. 

It comes as a constant surpise to me that people actually try to defend the idea of eliminating the influence of Liberals(or Conservatives) from politics. Can anyone truly be that ignorant, to believe that that “victory” would end up in anything but a horrific tyranny of one sort or another? 

The label of Conservative is not a shield against immorality or abuse of power, nor is Progressive. Deal with it folks! 

Oh, and while I am on a rant, if Conservative Principals are what Republicans say they are, WHO are these people who are registered as Republicans and call themselves Christians who do not seem to GET the whole free speech and freedom of religion thing, not to mention the whole “if you allow one religion to use a public platform ALL must be allowed” thing that the Supreme Court has been so adamant about? 

It seems to ME, a MODERATE, that BOTH side’s partisans just love to supress others when they get a chance. Free speech for me but not for thee. 

Whether you call yourself Democrat or Republican, THAT ISNT ABOUT FREEDOM AND THAT ISN”T WHAT AMERICA’S CONSTITUTION IS ABOUT! 

(Pure Leftist Mind) “Things are not the way we THINK they should be so, we must tear down everything to make it as it should be. Those who stand in the way fully support ALL evil, real and imagined, done by the current system. We are not responsible for ANY evil commited in this noble pursuit.” 

(Pure Conservative Mind)”It Ain’t the way Daddy did it so it ain’t the way I gonna do it! It must be immoral and against God; it aint’ NATURAL! IT is a slippery slope. Those who seek ANY changes fully support ALL evil Our Party must not be charged with any evil commited by the status quo.” 

Get riled if you want, but that is JUST what most Conservative arguments against change come down to! 

This attitude has saturated the Conservative stance in debates ranging from slavery to child labor, women’s votes, black votes, EVERY new form of music and ALL new styles of dress and undress. 

The Leftist attitude has successfully co-opted much of the “Liberal” world due to the Conservatives opposing ANY creative changes to society, no matter WHAT the motivation for them may be. 

Is there a single creative change that can be listed that did NOT receive immediate opposition from the “Conservative” elements of society? 

It is not often that you get a “Liberal” change that does not find support even in the bastions of Conservatism. (Abolition, child labor, minority religious rights, minority racial rights, etc. etc. ad nauseum), and the truly immoral and heinous ideals, like NAMBLA’s agenda, unites Conservatives with people across the spectrum in defense of, not tradition, but life, children and the things that matter to a harmonious society. 

Counter culture is nothing more or less than a label for CREATIVE people who seek to express themselves in ways not allowed by the straight-jacket of strict Conservatism. 

At certain times politics can intertwine with these people but, do not forget that Leftists are just as authoritarian and CONSERVATIVE about THEIR principals as “real” Conservatives” are and usualy wll offend the most creative after a while. 

How do you tell the difference from the inside between a strict Stalinist society and a strict “conservative” one in terms of how the freedom of the individual and their families differ? 

Look at a “proper” Puritan household and see how they self edit and apply double-think, and are IN NO WAY SIGNIFICANTLY different from the 1950’s Russian family watching every word and action lest they “sin” and bring down the punishment of God (The State)

One extreme wants to tear down the Constitution and replace it with Marx, the other side wants to tear down the Constitution and replace it with THEIR interpretation of what the Bible says.

Neither side should be allowed to run a society alone without adult supervision.

Who was Thomas Paine?


By Brendan O’Neill

It’s 200 years since the British-born “father of the American revolution” died. His words also helped shape modern Britain and France and yet few people know much about him at all.

Remembered… in Norfolk at least
“Possibly the most influential writer in modern human history” – that’s the billing Thomas Paine got from one of his biographers.

Paine was an international bestseller long before the days of Dan Brown or Jackie Collins and is the only Brit to have been quoted in Barack Obama’s inauguration speech earlier this year.

There are statues of him in Paris and New Jersey and a monument to him in New York – though we still haven’t reached a situation where, as French leader Napoleon Bonaparte said: “A statue of gold should be erected to him in every city in the universe.”

Yet no high-level commemorations of his death have been planned. His writings rarely appear on the national curriculum in the UK. And ask a man or woman in the average British street who he is, and they are likely to reply “Er…”

Just who was Thomas Paine?

Born in Thetford, Norfolk, in 1737 (there is a statue of him there, too), Paine’s early adult life as a corset-maker and school teacher was largely unmarked by politics. But it was his subsequent job as an excise officer that inspired him to pen his first political work – a 21-page pamphlet that demanded better pay and conditions for his fellow workers.

A chance meeting with Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the US, in London in 1774 changed Paine’s life – and, in time, American history. Following Franklin’s advice to cross the Atlantic, Paine pitched up in America in November 1774, just as American revolutionaries were having heated debates about whether to break with Britain.

Paine threw his lot in with those Americans who were thirsting for independence from Britain. In January 1776 he published a short pamphlet that earned him the title The Father of the American Revolution.

Titled simply, Common Sense, the work has been described by the Pulitzer-winning historian Gordon S Wood as “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire [American] revolutionary period”. It put the case for democracy, against the monarchy, and for American independence from British rule.

It became a sensation, selling 120,000 copies in the first three months. Given that America had only two million free citizens at the time, that is the equivalent of an American author selling 15 million books in three months today.

It also altered history.

“In January 1776, only one third of the delegates to the Continental Congress [the political body of the American Revolution] were in favour of declaring independence from Britain,” says Cheryl Hudson, associate fellow at the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University.

“Then, Paine published Common Sense which argued for immediate and complete separation of the colonies from the ‘mother country’. His visionary and uncompromising words captured the public imagination, and under pressure from the people, individual colonies began to instruct their delegates to vote for independence.”

Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence followed soon after.

Not content with intellectually spearheading the case for American independence Paine went on to write a series of pro-revolutionary pamphlets, which were later published together as The American Crisis.

They were designed to lift the spirits of America’s supporters of independence in difficult times, and 200 years later were invoked by Barack Obama with a similar aim in mind. Though this time the difficulty lay in economic recession rather than a revolutionary war.

“Let it be told to the future world… that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive… that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]”, said Obama at his inauguration speech, taking his words from Paine’s Crisis No 1.

…his restless spirit and appetite for revolution led him to another mass revolt, this time in France.

But while Paine was elected to France’s first democratic parliament and Napoleon Bonaparte numbered among his fans, his next pamphlet, The Age of Reason, was a step too far for many of his early admirers.

An attack on organised religion and a defence of “free and rational inquiry”, the work saw him subtly edged out of founding father status in the US. When he died on 8 June 1809 in Greenwich Village, New York, there were only six mourners at his funeral.

Today, though, his legacy is enjoying a rehabilitation.

Harvey Kaye, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and author of Thomas Paine and the Promise of America, says Paine is “possibly the most influential writer in modern human history”.

“His words changed the world. His voice was essentially a voice of democratic progress.”

“And he is still relevant today”, says Kaye. “He put the case for political democracy AND social democracy,

Katherine Mangu-Ward, associate editor of the right-leaning, Washington-based magazine Reason, says Paine is enjoying a comeback amongst both left-wing and right-wing American thinkers.

“Everyone wants a piece of Paine these days. After languishing in obscurity for years, he’s enjoying a renaissance. He’s the Mickey Rourke of the Founders.

“The left loves him because he hated the Church. The right loves him because he’s a freedom-loving founding father.”

“He would have been a great supporter of the Freedom of Information Act [under which MPs’ expenses came to be revealed]. He always said there is nothing mysterious about government.”

Ms Hudson says there are similarities and differences between the disillusionment with mainstream politics today and the anger about politics that drove Paine and his supporters 250 years ago: “Paine and his contemporaries were just as scathing about the venal and corrupt nature of their politicians as people are today – the difference was that they, especially Paine, had something constructive to say about the alternative to that corrupt politics.”

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