Catholics, Protestants, Church of England, the Kirk, Presbyterians, Puritans, Divine Right of Kings and Parliament

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 1st, 2014

Politics 101

(Originally published January 26th, 2012)

English Catholics and Protestants were Fiercely Religious and willing to Kill or be Killed for their Faith

To understand the founding political structure of the United States you need to understand 17th century Britain.  The run up to the 17th century.  And the Protestant Reformation.  When Christianity split into Protestants and Catholics.  And their beliefs and practices.

Catholics are born with original sin.  Protestants aren’t.  All Catholics have a chance to go to Heaven.  God sorts out the Protestant’s going to Heaven before birth.  Doing good deeds can help Catholics make it to Heaven.  They won’t make any difference for Protestants.  Catholics burn away their sins in Purgatory.  Then comes Judgment Day.  Clean souls go to Heaven.  Unclean souls go to Hell.  Protestants go straight to Heaven or Hell when they die with no layover in Purgatory or judgment.  Catholics believe priests have special powers and the Pope is infallible.  Protestants don’t.  Catholics have saints, altar rails, candles, pictures, statues and stained glass windows.  Protestants don’t.  Catholics believe priests change the wine and bread at Communion into the actual body and blood of Christ.  Protestants think they just represent the body and blood of Christ.

These are some significant differences.  Especially in a time when everyone was fiercely religious.  And did everything in this life to prepare for the afterlife.  Even buy an indulgence from the Catholic Church to buy their way through Purgatory and into Heaven.  One of the pet peeves of Martin Luther that he included in his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517 Germany (which was then a collection of German princedoms).  This was serious stuff for the laypeople.  Who were willing to kill or be killed for their faith.  Which they did a lot of in Britain.

When Queen Elizabeth died King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England

King Henry the VIII hated Martin Luther.  Was a staunch defender of the faith.  But he wanted a divorce.  So he could marry a woman who would give him a son instead of more daughters.  But he needed the Pope to grant him this.  And the Pope refused.  Henry VIII also wanted to get the Catholic Church out of his affairs.  So he created an English church.  The Church of England.  With him as the guy in charge.  At first his church was going to be protestant.  Fully anti-Pope.  But he had Parliament pass the Act of Six Articles that made his Protestant Church very Catholic.  After Henry VIII died succeeding rulers pulled the Church back and forth between Protestantism and Catholicism.

Edward VI pulled it back to Protestantism.  Then that bread and wine issue came up again.  So they wrote a new prayer book that was deliberately vague.  Which caused the Catholics to riot.  When he died his sister, Queen Mary, took the throne.  An ardent Catholic.  Out went that new prayer book.  In came Catholicism.  And she arrested and burned Protestants at the stake.  Then she died.  And in came Queen Elizabeth.  A Protestant.  So the Church of England became Protestant again.  With a little Catholicism mixed in.  But it wasn’t Catholic enough.  So the Pope excommunicated her in 1570.  Angry, she oppressed the Catholics.  Yet the Protestants weren’t happy, either.  That little bit of Catholicism was just way too much for their liking.  Especially those hardcore Calvinist Protestants (the people we call Puritans even though at the time it was more a derogatory term).  Who Elizabeth then arrested and executed.

There was a Protestant uprising in Scotland and they, too, broke from the Catholic Church.  Without consulting their very important friend and ally.  Catholic France.  Which was home for an exiled Mary Queen of Scots.  A Catholic.  But she didn’t have the power to fight against the Protestants.  So she joined the fight against the Catholics.  But she had some Catholic baggage the Scottish couldn’t forgive and they forced her to abdicate anyway.  Her son, James VI, became king.  The Church of Scotland was Presbyterian (Calvinist Protestantism).  But Scotland had a lot of Catholics as well.  The Scottish Parliament made James the head of the Scottish Church.  The Kirk.  Which was a problem for the Presbyterians.  Because they said a king couldn’t be the head of their church.  When Elizabeth died James became King James I of England.  Changed the spelling of his name from ‘Stewart’ to ‘Stuart’.  And became the head of the Church of England.  Who the Presbyterians said was way too Catholic.

King James I believed in the Divine Right of Kings and Hated Parliament

When Mary Queen of Scots abdicated James VI was only a baby and raised by a Presbyterian handler.  His Regent.  Who ruled for James until he came of age.  Who must have been strict for James did not like the Scottish Presbyterians.  Who were very similar to English Puritans.  Elizabeth had oppressed Catholics and Puritans.  Who were now both looking for a little relief from King James I.  James met with some Puritans and Catholic bishops.  The bishops resented having to meet with Puritans.  And the Puritans wanted to do away with the bishops.  But James preferred Catholics over Puritans.  So he persecuted the Puritans.  Some of who embarked on a ship called the Mayflower and sailed to religious freedom in America.  Where they would allow anyone to practice any religion they chose.  As long as they chose Puritanism.

Now even though James preferred the Catholics there were a lot of Protestants in England.  And a strong anti-Catholic sentiment.  After all England’s two great enemies, Spain and France, were Catholic.  So he continued some Catholic oppression.  One Catholic took great offense to this and decided to do something about it.  Blow up Parliament.  And the king.  Robert Catesby planned the Gunpowder Plot.  But someone warned the government.  And they caught Guy Fawkes in the cellar surrounded by gun powder just before he could light the fuse.  They sentenced Fawkes and the other conspirators to death.

James was not a fan of Parliament, either.  It was different in Scotland.  There they did pretty much what he wanted.  But the English Parliament didn’t.  And this really bugged him.  For he believed in the Divine Right of Kings.  Parliament didn’t.  And they told him so.  Also, Parliament controlled the purse strings.  If he wanted money, and he did, he would have to work with Parliament.  Or find another means to pay for what he wanted.  He chose to find another means.  He forced people to loan him money.  And even sold a new hereditary title.  The baronet.  But it was never enough.  When he died the kingdom wasn’t as rich as Elizabeth left it for him.  Worse, he left a political mess for his successor.  King Charles I.  Who became the first king whose subjects put on trial.  And executed.  Following the English Civil War.  Which he, of course, lost.

The Radical New Ideas Sown in the 17th Century would have a Profound Impact on the American Founding Fathers

King Charles I ruled in 17th century Britain.  A momentous time of change.  In Britain.  The Old World.  And the New World.  A king would be tried for the first time by the people.  Religious scores would be settled far and wide.  Attempted, at least.  And new states would rise in the New World where they would live under the religion they chose.  Governed by representatives of the people.  Who governed at the consent of the people.  Radical new ideas.  That were sown in 17th century Britain.  And would have a profound impact on the American Founding Fathers.

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The Earth has been Warmer and Cooler before Man created his First Carbon Emission

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 9th, 2014

Week in Review

The left likes to attack religion.  Pointing out how those in power created all religions.  To control the people.  And to increase their power.  They note that these religions are not based in scientific fact.  But on faith.  And silly superstitions.  Not intelligent thought.  Which is why the left attacks religion.  To free people from these silly superstitions.  So they can control the people with their own silly superstitions and faith (see I Spent 28 Hours on a Bus. I Loved It. by Eric Holthaus posted 2/4/2014 on Slate).

For the first time, 195 nations backed a consensus statement saying that humanity is “extremely likely” (greater than 95 percent confidence) to be the dominant cause. That’s about the same confidence doctors have that smoking causes cancer…

That means we have no choice but to change our collective path right now.

There is no such thing as consensus in science.  We don’t take votes in science.  We use the scientific method.  And here’s how Merriam-Webster defines the scientific method:

principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses

Do you see anything about taking votes and forming a consensus?  No.  Because it’s not science when you take votes and form a consensus.  When empirical data and experimentation uphold a hypothesis what does that mean?  It means we haven’t disproved that hypothesis yet.  It doesn’t mean that hypothesis is a scientific fact.  It just means someone hasn’t come around to disprove it yet.

We don’t know what killed off the dinosaurs yet.  We have many hypotheses.  A massive meteorite hit the earth.  A period of volatile volcanic activity.  Continental drift cooled the planet.  Dinosaur flatulence warmed the planet.  Aliens killed them.  Or took them away.  There are many theories.  But no one knows for sure what happened.  And scientists haven’t taken a vote to settle the matter once and for all.  They are still working to figure that out.  Because that’s the scientific method.  Whereas the theory of global warming (let’s call it what it was before their warming predictions were proven wrong and they opted to use climate change) is the only ‘science’ the left wants us to accept as settled science.  Without any further inquiry.  And they even belittle anyone who believes in the scientific method as climate change deniers.  Because we don’t pray at the altar of global warming.  Turning our world over to those who want to regulate every aspect of our lives.

Climate was around a lot longer than dinosaurs.  Yet while we can only make educated hypotheses on what happened to the dinosaurs we can supposedly understand fully something that predates the dinosaurs.  Which is preposterous to say the least.  In the Seventies they were warning us about global cooling.  Then in the Nineties they were warning us about global warming.  Without ever saying that they were wrong when they said the planet was cooling.  Or why we should believe them now when they were wrong before.  And not just a little wrong.  They were the most wrong possible.  Changing from one extreme (cooling) to the other extreme (warming).

Climate doesn’t only predate the dinosaurs.  It also predates man.  And there was a lot of climate activity going on long before man created his first carbon emission.  Once upon a time there were no polar icecaps.  Then at another time glaciers reached down from the polar regions to near the equator.  These extremes happened long before the internal combustion engine.  Or the coal-fired power plant.  In fact, these things happened when there were no manmade carbon emissions.  So what caused these climate extremes that were much more extreme than the climate of today?  Whatever it was we do know one thing.  Man did not cause them.  Just as he is not causing global warming today.  For it may come a shock to liberals but man is not bigger than climate.  Climate is bigger than man.  And it can bring on another ice age and kill us in droves.

If you live in a northern clime look out your window at that snow and ice covering the ground.  Now ask yourself this.  How much food do you think our farmers could grow if their fields were covered with snow and ice all year round?  Or if the temperatures never rose enough to warm the wet soil enough to allow seeds to germinate?  None. That’s how much.  We can irrigate land during a summer drought.  But there will be nothing we can do to warm and dry the soil enough to grow food.  Which means the climate doomsayers were right in the Seventies.  Global cooling is the greater threat.  Not warming.  And anyone worried about manmade global warming should ask the climate ‘scientists’ to explain how the polar icecaps could melt, glaciers could extend down from the polar regions to the equator and then recede back to the polar regions without any manmade global warming around to cause this climate change.  And if they can explain how with a straight face than perhaps we should listen to them.  But not until then.

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Brutal Knife Attack in Britain demonstrates Fallacy in Gun Control Argument

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 27th, 2013

Week in Review

The political left blames an epidemic of gun violence on law-abiding people owning guns.  Creating a gun culture in the United States.  Where any kid can go out and buy an assault rifle without a background check.  They say this is the reason why people are walking into grade schools, universities, movie theaters and high schools, shooting unarmed people.  It’s the guns.  Not a failure of our mental health system.  Where the political left has made it more difficult to commit someone who is a danger to themselves or to the public.  And they don’t blame violent videogames.  Or societal decay.  Where people have little empathy for others.  Which is why they can spend hours killing people in videogames.  Or walk into a room full of innocent and unarmed people and start shooting them.

According to the left none of this would happen if only we got rid of our guns.  Like Britain did.  Where even the cops don’t carry guns.  Making for a peaceful and loving society.  Where the people would rather link their arms together and sing Kum Ba Yah than harm another living soul (see Pictured: The horrific arsenal of kitchen knives used by 20-strong gang to hack teenage boy to death in front of commuters at Victoria Station by Leon Watson and Amanda Williams posted 4/26/2013 on the Daily Mail).

The 15-year-old had his life cut short at Victoria station in central London when he was chased and killed by the gang of youths.

Detective Chief Inspector John McFarlane yesterday blamed the ‘blitz attack’ on Facebook and Blackberry’s messenger service which allowed his killers to organise themselves.

He said the teenagers had lost touch with reality because of violent computer games.

He told the Times: ‘You’ve got people playing computer games where they’re shooting and stabbing people. Where is the real world for them? There is a blurring between the real world and this false computer world…’

Sofyen [Belamouaddenw] was stabbed nine times in the body and suffered wounds to his heart, a lung and major blood vessels…

The attack was the horrific end of a minor confrontation the day before in the fast-food area of Victoria mainline station between pupils from the two schools, in which a youth received a bloodied nose…

Sofyen died after being chased by about 20 pupils across the Terminus Way concourse and into the Underground station.

A youth led the charge with a Samurai sword. Others were armed with a flick knife and a Swiss army knife, machetes and screwdrivers.

Apparently guns aren’t the only thing that cause people to kill other people.  If these people were in Chicago they would have used handguns.  And one wonders if they had no handguns in Chicago would they use knives?  Like they do in Britain?  Probably.  For not having guns didn’t stop these people from killing this 15-year old boy.

Obviously with an attack this brutal there is a societal decay in Britain just as there is in the United States.  People are somehow losing their empathy for other people.  And have no problem in harming them.  Or even killing them.  And if it isn’t guns causing this what is?  Is it coming from playing videogames?  Perhaps.  Either from that or from watching movies.  Television.  Or from listening to rap music that glorifies violence.  They’re learning it somewhere.  For no one is born that way.

If horrific acts of violence can occur even without guns then gun control is not the answer.  Guns are only a tool a sick or depraved person chooses for his or her heinous act.  If a gun isn’t available they’ll just pick up a knife.  Or some other weapon.  We need to determine what is causing this societal decay.  So we can address the root cause of this rise in violence.  Is it a breakdown of the family?  The lack of a father figure in these kids’ lives?  Abortion?  Which teaches kids there are no consequences in life.  And there is little value to human life.  Or is it Liberalism itself?  Which attacks conservatism.  Our faith.  And our traditions.  Leaving our kids to grow up in a world void of a moral authority instructing them to be good.  So they end up being bad.  For doing whatever you want is more fun than sticking to the straight and narrow.

The left blames conservatives for a gun culture that creates gun violence.  While it is far more likely that it is the left’s relentless assault on our faith and traditions causing the societal decay that allows someone to more easily harm another living soul.  So perhaps instead of gun control we should be legislating against liberals.  Preventing their harmful influence on the general public.  That results in acts of violence.  For these people aren’t born this way.  They’re learning this behavior from liberals.

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Expressing Conservatism Poorly loses the 2012 Election for Republicans

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 8th, 2012

Politics 101

Few Liberal Women would want their Daughter appearing in Playboy after all they did to Empower Women

After the massive Republican gains in the 2010 midterm elections Peggy Noonan wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Americans voted for maturity.  That is, the grownups voted and got their way.  While in 2012 it would appear the children voted and got their way.  More free stuff.  Regardless of the consequences of more massive deficit spending.

Children want their parents to buy them everything they desire.  And the parents have to say no.  Because most parents just don’t have the money to buy their children everything they want.  They have to make difficult spending decisions because of their limited income.  Children don’t understand this.  They just want their stuff.  It takes time for children to grow up and understand they can’t have everything.  This usually sets in when they start working and raising a family.  Until they do, though, they still want things without regard to their costs.  Which is why the Democrats go after the youth vote.  Before they start voting for maturity.

Young people often make errors in judgment.  Because they’re young.  Krysten Ritter who plays Chloe in Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 did a modeling job when she was 15 that she felt later was inappropriate for someone her age.  In a Playboy interview she said, “At the time I didn’t think about it, because kids don’t. They say your brain doesn’t develop fully until you’re 25. When kids do crazy stuff, it’s because they really are crazy. I just wasn’t aware; I had no fear. But I have not one single regret or feeling of resentment, because of where I am now. I have a good head on my shoulders. I learned all my lessons on my own.”  Kind of an odd thing to publish in a Playboy interview considering that a lot of the women appearing in Playboy are under 25 years old.  Who do crazy stuff.  Like objectifying themselves for money.  And voting Democrat.  For most women appearing in Playboy probably vote Democrat.  Even though few liberal women would want their daughter appearing in Playboy after all they did to empower women so they could build a career.  So they didn’t have to use their sexuality to earn a living.  Or to find a husband.  But when these kids grow up and get a good head on their shoulders they can learn their lessons.  And go on to great success.

Young Single Women were Voting Against their Future Married/Mature Selves

The Obama campaign successfully turned young single women away from Mitt Romney.  By saying that Romney would take away their birth control.  And their access to abortion.  Something they believed.  And it wasn’t just their birth control and access to abortion they were worried about.  Some liberals took to Twitter after President Obama won the election saying that they were relieved as they didn’t have to hoard tampons with the Romney defeat.  As well as birth control pills.  Don’t know how many or how serious they were.  But some were saying that.  For they believed a Republican administration would take women back to Victorian times.  Denying them everything except having babies, cooking and cleaning.

Meanwhile married women favored Romney.  Not by as large a margin as single women favored President Obama.  But a majority.  The difference being that maturity.  Married women raising children care more about how high taxes increase their cost of living.  How the growing federal debt will affect their children’s future.  How the high cost of gasoline is consuming more of the family budget.  And raising the cost of food.  That is, they are thinking like a grownup.  And as a grownup birth control pills, abortion and tampons are not high on their list of concerns.  For they were there since the Sixties.  When women empowered themselves.  And there have been a few Republican administrations since then.  Other things are more important to them.  Like making the mortgage payment.  Paying for braces for their children.  And taking care of an elderly parent.  Things few women think about until after the age of 25.  So basically young single women were voting against their future married/mature selves.

This is something that the younger generation doesn’t understand.  The generation they are voting/rebelling against?  It’s not a fixed constant throughout time.  The older people today were once the younger generation of a previous time.  And a lot of them voted/rebelled against the older generation then like the younger generation is today.  Just as many in the younger generation will become the very people they bitterly oppose today.  This doesn’t change.  The rift between the grownups and the children.  Just the people in these generations change.  And as they mature and grow wiser more responsibility and less having fun fills their days.  And they vote accordingly.

Hispanic Families are little different from the 1950s American Nuclear Family

President Obama got 71% of the Hispanic vote.  He did similarly well with Asians.  A common conclusion is that the Republicans lost these voters because of Romney’s more ‘extreme’ position on immigration than Governor Perry during the primary election.  And for using insensitive language like ‘illegals’ and ‘amnesty’.  Which may have turned Hispanics and Asians away from Romney.  While others say that a lot of these immigrants are here only for the free ride.  And will vote for the party that offers the most free stuff.  The Democrat Party.  And, yes, there may be some truth to that.  But those who are here for the free stuff are probably a small percentage of the total.  For most of these immigrants have strong conservative values.  Who don’t seek handouts.

The Hispanics breaking the law to come here are doing it to find work.  So they can provide for their families.   And will take some of the hardest and lowest paying jobs to provide for their families.  Working long hours in some of the most grueling conditions.  So their kids can have a better life.  Their labors and sacrifices for their family sustained by a deep religious faith.  A strong Catholic faith.  That respects life.  And opposes abortion.  Making Hispanic families little different from the 1950s American nuclear family.  And the Asian family is as strong as the Hispanic family.  Who work as hard so their kids can have a better life.  And their kids work hard and sacrifice, too.  Graduating college at the top of their class.  And this while taking the hard program degrees.  Not film.  Or gender studies.

So a good portion of President Obama’s voters seem to be conservative.  Or will become conservative over time.  Which means Romney didn’t lose the election because the nation is becoming more liberal.  He lost it because he did not articulate conservatism well enough.  Unlike Ronald Reagan.  Who did such a good job of explaining conservative policies (reducing costly regulations, lowering tax rates, keeping inflation from raising gas and food prices, etc.) that even Democrats saw that their lives would improve under these policies.  And they voted Republican.  Becoming Reagan Democrats.  If conservatives articulate these policies well enough they should appeal to the conservative values of Hispanics.  Asians.  Even single women.  Who eventually learn there is more to life than birth control, abortion and tampons.  But only if conservatives communicate this well.  Which Romney didn’t.  As proven by a lower turnout of Republicans than John McCain got in 2008.  In an election that was far easier to win.  As the Obama economy was little different from the Carter economy.  Allowing Ronald Reagan to sweep into office thanks to those Reagan Democrats.  Who understood his conservative message.  And liked it.

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Australia votes down Gay Marriage

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 7th, 2012

Week in Review

It would appear the Americans aren’t the only ones voting down gay marriage.  When it appears in a referendum the Americans have consistently voted against the measure.  While Left used the courts to go against the will of the people in some cases.  But, by in large, despite President Obama’s changing his position on gay marriage this election cycle, the Americans are not ready to redefine what marriage is.  A union between a man and a woman.  Just like in Australia (see Gay marriage ‘conclusively’ defeated, says Kevin Andrews by AAP posted 10/6/2012 on The Australian).

THE gay marriage debate had been “conclusively won” and the matter was “settled”, a Liberal frontbencher told a Christian lobby group today.

Opposition families spokesman Kevin Andrews addressed the Australian Christian Lobby’s national conference in Canberra today…

Outside the conference at the Hyatt Hotel about 20 marriage equality campaigners protested with banners and chanted “hey hey ho ho these homophobes have got to go,” as a sole policeman watched on.

I don’t know if those who oppose gay marriage are homophobes.  It is just a matter of conscience.  There are a lot of Christians in the world.  And the world is a better place for it.  Even those who fought their parents all during their turbulent teens will agree.  Which is why so many of them now take their children to church.  So their children will grow up without doing everything they did as a child.  And not make the same mistakes they did.  Despite all of their parents’ protestations.  It’s not because they are hypocrites.  Is just that they grew up.  And have learned that their parents were only trying to do what was best for their children.  As they are doing now that they are parents.  Funny how that works.

Faith is important.  And when their faith does not include gay marriage they cannot in good conscience vote for it.  Nor can their representatives.  But it doesn’t make them homophobes.  For they’re just saying ‘no’ to gay marriage.  They’re not trying to round up gays like they are in Iran.  They just want to keep marriage what it has always been.  A union between a man and a woman.  The partnership that makes it possible to raise a family.  Should a married couple choose to raise a family.

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The Murtha Airport is another Monument to the Folly of Keynesian Stimulus Spending

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 7th, 2012

Week in Review

Keynesian economists, and the current administration, strongly believe in the power of government stimulus spending.  Keynesian theory is all about the importance of consumer spending.  And everything about Keynesian stimulus should put more money into consumers’ pockets so they can spend money in the private sector economy.   For even the Keynesian will acknowledge that consumer spending in the private sector economy is the only thing that matters for real economic growth.  And anything that helps in this endeavor can and should be done.  Even if it means having the government pay people to dig a ditch.  Then fill it back in.  And then dig it out again.  And so on.  Because those people the government pays to do something completely worthless will take their paychecks and spend them in the private sector.  Thus stimulating the private sector economy.

Of course you can only pay so many people to dig a ditch.  But an airport, now that’s some real government spending (see Murtha Airport, brought to you by American taxpayers by Jonathan Karl, Richard Coolidge & Sherisse Pham posted 4/3/2012 on Yahoo! News).

Three years ago, we first visited the tiny airport, and found a monument to pork barrel spending: An airport with a $7 million air traffic control tower, $14 million hanger, and $18 million runway big enough to land any airplane in North America. For most of the day, the only thing this airport doesn’t have is airplanes.

We flew there on one of three flights that arrive there daily, all of them from Washington D.C. About half the cost of every ticket, $100, is paid by American taxpayers, a subsidy Congress voted to renew just this past February.

The place had a shiny new luggage carousel, a state of the art tower, and some very bored air traffic controllers — but very few passengers. The place is a tribute to the power of its namesake; everything from the reinforced runway to the radar facility to the new terminal, are all thanks to Democratic Congressman John Murtha, who died more than a year.

You see, that’s the problem of paying people to do something worthless.  Building this airport cost a lot of taxpayer money.  Those who built the airport did well.  While they were building the airport.  But now that the work is done that airport is one expensive filled in ditch.  For it’s as useful as a filled in ditch.  But even more costly.  For a filled in ditch at least doesn’t need employees to stand around waiting for something to do.  It doesn’t consume electricity and natural gas utilities.  And it doesn’t have to be maintained.  Unlike a runway.  Even if it’s not being used.

The government went into debt paying for this.  It’s part of the reason the debt ceiling has to be increased so often.  Because of all the John Murtha pork barrel spending out there.  Worse, the airport cannot generate enough revenue to support itself.  And requires government subsidies to keep it open so people can stand around waiting for something to do.  This and all other pork barrel spending adds up to be a terrible drag on the economy as it sucks money out of the private sector (where they don’t build airports where there are no airplanes to use them).  Where the only spending that counts for real economic growth is reduced by the amount of the stimulus taxed out of it.  And servicing the debt created by this stimulus spending further reduces economic activity in the private sector.  As the interest on the debt grows to a larger and larger line item in the U.S. budget.  Forcing the government to borrow money to pay the interest on the money they borrowed previously.

The worst thing about this is that those on the Left, the Keynesians, don’t see a problem in this.  For they have no fundamental understanding of economics and believe their Keynesian follies actually help the economy.  Despite having a failing track record for close to a century.  They believe.  They have faith.  And don’t need to see results.  For their faith is enough.  Yet they won’t stand for the irresponsible ‘spending’ of a tax cut that actually stimulates economic activity in the private sector.  That place where the only spending that counts for real economic growth takes place.  And has a very successful track record of success.  As Harding/Coolidge proved.  As JFK proved.  As Reagan proved.  And as George W. Bush proved.

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American Colonies, Freedom to Worship, East India Company, Tea Tax, Tea Act, Boston Tea Party, Intolerable Acts, Continental Army and an American Nation

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 1st, 2012

Politics 101

As Parliament passed additional Revenue Acts Anger grew in the Colonies, especially in Boston

Prior to 1775 the American colonies were many things.  But there was one thing they were not.  United.  Many people went to America to escape religious persecution.  To live with people of their own faith.  To practice their faith without fear of reprisal or oppression.  And that’s exactly what they did.  Often oppressing fellow colonists who didn’t practice the established faith of the colony.  But they were united in one area.  Their hatred of Catholics.  Papists.  Those who lost their way and began to worship not Jesus Christ but the Pope.  That Whore of Babylon.  The seller of indulgences to buy your way out of purgatory.  And virtue.  So they had that to unite them.  But not much else.

Live and let live, they said.  As long as you worshipped Jesus Christ you were okay.  And weren’t a Jew.  Or a Catholic.  So the different denominations of the Protestant faith lived among their own.  In their own colony.  Their country.  The only sense of country they had.  Virginians weren’t American colonists.  They were Virginians.  Who didn’t much care what was going on up there in Massachusetts.  In fact, they didn’t much like what was happening up there in Massachusetts.  For Virginians were planters.  Yeoman farmers.  People who put their back into their living.  Not like those northern merchants.  And money handlers.  Who reeked just a little too much of the Old World they left.  Sitting on their backsides and making money just by buying and selling the products of other’s labors.

Life in the New World was good.  Yes, there was famine.  Disease.  And the occasional massacre.  But they could live with that.  As long as they had the freedom to worship as they pleased.  But then all that trouble started up there in Boston.  Over taxed and broke Parliament turned to their American colonies to raise some revenue.  Which angered the British Americans.  Because they didn’t sit in Parliament.  The Americans had no representation.  And according to British law taxpayers had to approve all new taxes.  Giving consent to those taxes in Parliament.  The problem with the Americans, apparently, was that they were on the ‘wrong’ side of the Atlantic.  For Britons living on the far side of the Atlantic had those rights.  They didn’t.  As Parliament passed additional revenue acts anger grew in the colonies. Especially in Boston.  Where Parliament installed British administrators to enforce these new revenue acts.  To protect their agents the British sent in the Red coats.  A peacetime occupying army.  Something very un-English that the British Americans did not like.

In Response to the Boston Tea Party Parliament passed the Intolerable Acts and closed the Port of Boston  

But the trouble didn’t end there.  The British made further attempts to raise revenue from the American colonists.  And from the British East India Company.  By taxing their tea.  Making it more expensive than the tea you could buy in the Netherlands.  Where there was no such tax.  So people did what people do with high taxes.  They didn’t pay them.  And smuggled Dutch tea into Great Britain.  And the American colonies.  Which left the East India Company with some warehouses full of tea.  So Parliament cut the tea tax due in Britain to help them.  And tried to make up for these lost revenues by taxing the Americans.  One of the new taxes included in the Townshend Revenue Act of 1767.  In response to the new tea tax the Americans boycotted tea.  Which didn’t help sell any of that warehoused tea.  So Parliament repealed the Townshend Revenue Act.  Well, all of it except the tea tax.  For they didn’t want to appear that they didn’t have the right to tax their subjects.  Represented or not.  And Parliament taxed the tea in Britain again.  This, of course, resulted in lower tea sales.  And the mighty East India Company, that made Britain so wealthy with its vast trade network, was in some serious financial peril.

Lord North, British Prime Minister, didn’t much like this uppity attitude of the Americans.  The East India Company desperately wanted to see those tea taxes cut.  But Lord North did not want to give the Americans that victory.  It was a matter of principle.  At least for him and his fellow Tories in Parliament.  As well as the Crown.  For King George III and Lord North were pretty close.  The Whig opposition was much more sympathetic to their British Brethren on the other side of the Atlantic.  But Lord North was adamant.  They had the right to tax the Americans.  And tax they would.  Besides, cutting the taxes in the Townshend Act caused other problems.  It would also eliminate the revenue it raised to pay the salaries of the colonial officials enforcing these new acts.  And it was important to keep them loyal to the Crown.  No.  The taxes in America would remain.  So their answer was, instead, the Tea Act of 1773.  Which removed the taxes due in Britain.  And allowed the East India Company to ship directly to the America colonies.  Cutting out the middleman.  And bringing the price of British tea below that of the smuggled Dutch tea.  Problem solved.

Well, not exactly.  Because the one thing they did share on both sides of the Atlantic was principle.  And even though British tea was cheaper they didn’t want anything to do with it.  On principle.  Because those Townshend tea taxes were still in force.  And paying them was a tacit admission that Parliament had the right to tax the Americans.  Despite not having any representation in that esteemed assembly.  And this they could not do.  Then came the day three little ships came to Boston harbor in 1773.  Their holds full of that detested British tea.  And a mob in the guise of Mohawk Indians descended to the docks.  Boarded these ships.  And tossed the tea overboard.  In what we call the Boston Tea Party.  Infuriating Lord North, Parliament and King George III.  Who all agreed it was time to act against these uppity Americans.  And act they did.  Passing the punitive Intolerable Acts of 1774.  That closed the Port of Boston.  Replaced the Colonial government in Massachusetts with representatives of the Crown.  Royal officials accused of committing a crime against any American would receive a ‘fair’ trial…in Great Britain (pretty much giving them a license to kill).  Forced the Americans to find room and board for the British Army occupying their cities.  And gave large swaths of land around the Great Lakes and Ohio River Valley to the Province of Quebec.  Recently added to the British Empire during the Seven Years’ War.  After they defeated their most hated and foul enemy.  The French.  Who were very, very Catholic.  As were their colonists who remained in these once French lands that were now British lands.  So to keep them from causing trouble the Quebec Act made things very comfortable for Catholics.  Right in the backyard of Protestant British North America. 

It was in the Continental Army the Country united and fulfilled the Words of the Declaration of Independence

In April of 1775 General Gage heard that there were some arms stored in Concord, Massachusetts.  So he sent some Red coats to go capture or destroy these arms.  Things did not go well for the British.  Militia gathered and stood their ground.  Shots rang out.  No one is sure who fired first.  But whoever did fired the shot heard ’round the world.  On the march back to Boston the British were harassed and picked off by sharpshooters.  Until they limped back into the safety of their Boston garrison.  Where the militia fell upon them and laid siege.  These uppity Americans for all intents and purposes had just declared war against the world’s greatest superpower.  And there was no going back.

In response to the British actions in Boston the colonies assembled in congress.  The Continental Congress.  To discuss what they as a united people should do.  For if these outrages could happen in Boston they could happen in any of the colonies.  And now that they spilled blood they needed someone to lead the American forces in their fight against the Crown.  They selected George Washington.  Who left the Congress to take charge in Boston.  And as he walked the lines at Boston he saw Americans.  And when his army marched to Quebec (to get the now British French-Canadians to join in the good fight) he saw Americans.  It was in the Continental Army the country united.  Fighting alongside in the ranks Washington saw Virginians.  Massachusetts men.  Farmers.  Merchants.  Puritans.  Baptists.  Catholics.  Jews.  Even free blacks.

There was nothing a British American enjoyed more than burning an effigy of the Pope.  That would change in the Army.  And the Army would change the country.  Especially the men who served in the Army.  Men like Washington.  Who first glimpsed a new nation.  A united nation.  That transcended religion.  The states.  Even race.  Which really brought home the words of the Declaration of Independence.  That all men are created equal.  And there’s nothing that makes men more equal than suffering the privations and horrors of war.  Sadly, after the war when the common enemy was no more the spirit of these words became a little more symbolic for some.  But these army veterans would leave their mark.  And their vision would eventually become reality for everyone.

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Catholics, Protestants, Church of England, the Kirk, Presbyterians, Puritans, Divine Right of Kings and Parliament

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 26th, 2012

Politics 101

English Catholics and Protestants were Fiercely Religious and willing to Kill or be Killed for their Faith

To understand the founding political structure of the United States you need to understand 17th century Britain.  The run up to the 17th century.  And the Protestant Reformation.  When Christianity split into Protestants and Catholics.  And their beliefs and practices.

Catholics are born with original sin.  Protestants aren’t.  All Catholics have a chance to go to Heaven.  God sorts out the Protestant’s going to Heaven before birth.  Doing good deeds can help Catholics make it to Heaven.  They won’t make any difference for Protestants.  Catholics burn away their sins in Purgatory.  Then comes Judgment Day.  Clean souls go to Heaven.  Unclean souls go to Hell.  Protestants go straight to Heaven or Hell when they die with no layover in Purgatory or judgment.  Catholics believe priests have special powers and the Pope is infallible.  Protestants don’t.  Catholics have saints, altar rails, candles, pictures, statues and stained glass windows.  Protestants don’t.  Catholics believe priests change the wine and bread at Communion into the actual body and blood of Christ.  Protestants think they just represent the body and blood of Christ.

These are some significant differences.  Especially in a time when everyone was fiercely religious.  And did everything in this life to prepare for the afterlife.  Even buy an indulgence from the Catholic Church to buy their way through Purgatory and into Heaven.  One of the pet peeves of Martin Luther that he included in his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517 Germany (which was then a collection of German princedoms).  This was serious stuff for the laypeople.  Who were willing to kill or be killed for their faith.  Which they did a lot of in Britain.

When Queen Elizabeth died King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England

King Henry the VIII hated Martin Luther.  Was a staunch defender of the faith.  But he wanted a divorce.  So he could marry a woman who would give him a son instead of more daughters.  But he needed the Pope to grant him this.  And the Pope refused.  Henry VIII also wanted to get the Catholic Church out of his affairs.  So he created an English church.  The Church of England.  With him as the guy in charge.  At first his church was going to be protestant.  Fully anti-Pope.  But he had Parliament pass the Act of Six Articles that made his Protestant Church very Catholic.  After Henry VIII died succeeding rulers pulled the Church back and forth between Protestantism and Catholicism.

Edward VI pulled it back to Protestantism.  Then that bread and wine issue came up again.  So they wrote a new prayer book that was deliberately vague.  Which caused the Catholics to riot.  When he died his sister, Queen Mary, took the throne.  An ardent Catholic.  Out went that new prayer book.  In came Catholicism.  And she arrested and burned Protestants at the stake.  Then she died.  And in came Queen Elizabeth.  A Protestant.  So the Church of England became Protestant again.  With a little Catholicism mixed in.  But it wasn’t Catholic enough.  So the Pope excommunicated her in 1570.  Angry, she oppressed the Catholics.  Yet the Protestants weren’t happy, either.  That little bit of Catholicism was just way too much for their liking.  Especially those hardcore Calvinist Protestants (the people we call Puritans even though at the time it was more a derogatory term).  Who Elizabeth then arrested and executed.

There was a Protestant uprising in Scotland and they, too, broke from the Catholic Church.  Without consulting their very important friend and ally.  Catholic France.  Which was home for an exiled Mary Queen of Scots.  A Catholic.  But she didn’t have the power to fight against the Protestants.  So she joined the fight against the Catholics.  But she had some Catholic baggage the Scottish couldn’t forgive and they forced her to abdicate anyway.  Her son, James VI, became king.  The Church of Scotland was Presbyterian (Calvinist Protestantism).  But Scotland had a lot of Catholics as well.  The Scottish Parliament made James the head of the Scottish Church.  The Kirk.  Which was a problem for the Presbyterians.  Because they said a king couldn’t be the head of their church.  When Elizabeth died James became King James I of England.  Changed the spelling of his name from ‘Stewart’ to ‘Stuart’.  And became the head of the Church of England.  Who the Presbyterians said was way too Catholic.

King James I believed in the Divine Right of Kings and Hated Parliament

When Mary Queen of Scots abdicated James VI was only a baby and raised by a Presbyterian handler.  His Regent.  Who ruled for James until he came of age.  Who must have been strict for James did not like the Scottish Presbyterians.  Who were very similar to English Puritans.  Elizabeth had oppressed Catholics and Puritans.  Who were now both looking for a little relief from King James I.  James met with some Puritans and Catholic bishops.  The bishops resented having to meet with Puritans.  And the Puritans wanted to do away with the bishops.  But James preferred Catholics over Puritans.  So he persecuted the Puritans.  Some of who embarked on a ship called the Mayflower and sailed to religious freedom in America.  Where they would allow anyone to practice any religion they chose.  As long as they chose Puritanism.

Now even though James preferred the Catholics there were a lot of Protestants in England.  And a strong anti-Catholic sentiment.  After all England’s two great enemies, Spain and France, were Catholic.  So he continued some Catholic oppression.  One Catholic took great offense to this and decided to do something about it.  Blow up Parliament.  And the king.  Robert Catesby planned the Gunpowder Plot.  But someone warned the government.  And they caught Guy Fawkes in the cellar surrounded by gun powder just before he could light the fuse.  They sentenced Fawkes and the other conspirators to death.

James was not a fan of Parliament, either.  It was different in Scotland.  There they did pretty much what he wanted.  But the English Parliament didn’t.  And this really bugged him.  For he believed in the Divine Right of Kings.  Parliament didn’t.  And they told him so.  Also, Parliament controlled the purse strings.  If he wanted money, and he did, he would have to work with Parliament.  Or find another means to pay for what he wanted.  He chose to find another means.  He forced people to loan him money.  And even sold a new hereditary title.  The baronet.  But it was never enough.  When he died the kingdom wasn’t as rich as Elizabeth left it for him.  Worse, he left a political mess for his successor.  King Charles I.  Who became the first king whose subjects put on trial.  And executed.  Following the English Civil War.  Which he, of course, lost.

The Radical New Ideas Sown in the 17th Century would have a Profound Impact on the American Founding Fathers

King Charles I ruled in 17th century Britain.  A momentous time of change.  In Britain.  The Old World.  And the New World.  A king would be tried for the first time by the people.  Religious scores would be settled far and wide.  Attempted, at least.  And new states would rise in the New World where they would live under the religion they chose.  Governed by representatives of the people.  Who governed at the consent of the people.  Radical new ideas.  That were sown in 17th century Britain.  And would have a profound impact on the American Founding Fathers.

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Global Warming is more like a Religion than a Science for we must Accept Everything they Tell us on Faith

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 10th, 2011

Week in Review

We may be on the brink of something great.  Or at another dead end (see What if there is no Higgs boson? by Lisa Grossman posted 12/9/2011 on New Scientist).

Rumour has it they have found hints of the Higgs at a mass of 125 gigaelectronvolts, about 133 times the mass of a proton. What is known for sure, though, is that researchers from the LHC’s main detectors, ATLAS and CMS, will separately present the past year’s worth of data from the proton collider. That represents more than 300 trillion high-speed particle collisions, more than twice the amount of data reported at a conference in August. That is still not enough data to be able to rule the Higgs definitively in or out, but it should be enough to show hints of the Higgs if it exists in the mass range that had previously not been scrutinised.

Now this is science.  They have data from more than 300 trillion high-speed particle collisions and it’s still not enough to prove anything.  But it may give them a ‘hint’ that the Higgs Boson may cross over from the world of theoretical physics to the world of experimental physics.  Proven again and again by their peers throughout the world.  Those with access to large particle accelerators, that is.  But if they don’t see this ‘hint’ then they may discard their model.  And start all over with a different model.

“If we witness a lack of events in the full mass range, then clearly we will start disfavouring the presence of the standard model Higgs boson in LHC data,” says CMS spokesperson Guido Tonelli. “To really exclude it we would need additional data. But if in this amount of data we don’t see any indication that something is happening, the most likely hypothesis is that we have to look for another solution…”

“It’s the job of theoretical physicists to game out all the different possibilities, so that the experimentalists have all the tools that they need when they eventually discover or don’t discover whatever it is the LHC will or will not reveal,” says Ellis.

You see, physicists are real scientists.  You can tell by how they experiment and analyze the crap out of the resulting data.  And their experiments have included up to 300 trillion high-speed particle collisions.  That’s ‘trillion’ with a ‘t’.  Which is a lot.

Interestingly you don’t read anything like this in the global warming ‘scientific’ community.  We don’t hear about data compiled from trillions of experiments.  What we hear are the same things we hear from Al Gore.  A politician.  Who talks politics.  Not science.

And we never hear them questioning their models.  As if their models were not hypothesized by man.  But handed down by God.  And are beyond questioning.  Like a sacred religious text.  You know, when you think about it, global warming is more like a religion than a science.  Because we’re never allowed to question the ‘science’.  But must accept everything they tell us on faith.  Just like in a religion.

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Religion

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 14th, 2011

Economics 101

Living Together in Large Cities goes against a Million Years or so of Evolution

Agriculture advances gave us food surpluses.  Food surpluses gave us a division of labor.  The division of labor gave us trade.  Money made that trade more efficient.  By reducing high search costs inherent in the barter system.  And this efficient trade gave us advanced civilizations.  For these developments allowed great gatherings of people to live together in urban settings.  Well, these things, and something else.

For a million years or so man was a hunting and gathering species.  Which meant they traveled in small groups.  And followed food.  Why small groups?  Fewer mouths to feed.  Remember, hunters and gatherers need a lot of land to survive.  Because food wasn’t so plentiful in any one area.  And the last thing they wanted when they found food was to share it.  So when they weren’t killing their food they were killing those trying to take their food.  Which was the key to survival.  For he who eats today shall live to see tomorrow.  When the Europeans settled North America the Native Americans were still hunters and gatherers.  And they were a martial people.  Fierce warriors populated their tribes.  Why?  To protect tribal hunting grounds.  By killing any interlopers.  And they were doing this long before the Europeans set foot onto the continent.

So living together in large cities goes against a million years or so of evolution.  Which is why it didn’t happen overnight.  The transition from hunting and gathering to farming.  Before we could work together we had to learn to live together first.  And it all started with thinking.

Religion allowed People to Live Together like Family who were not Family

As we thought and developed better tools and better ways to farm we started thinking about something else, too.  Why are we here?  Who created ‘here’?  Why did the creator create ‘here’?  And what happens when we leave ‘here’?  After we die?  To answer these questions we developed religion.  And it brought us together as a people.

This is truly what separated us from the animals.  Because animals can use tools.  A bird can hold a stick in its beak to probe a hole for food.  But birds don’t worship.  They don’t have faith.  Only man does.  Because we started thinking about other things.  To see the bigger picture.  To understand this life.  And the next life.  Spiritually.  And this was the key to allowing great gatherings of people to live together in urban settings.  Religion allowed people to live together like family.  Who were not family.  Because we shared a common faith.  A religion.

Man was still cruel, though.  We spent a million years or so being cruel.  And that capacity to be cruel just didn’t go away.  But religion softened us.  It began a process to soothe the savage breast.  It allowed us to see something in people that wasn’t threatening.  And it allowed civilization to flourish.  Despite our cruelties.  Which were now reserved for those outside our own civilization.  Our enemies.  Heretics.  Especially those who attacked us.  And it was on these people, those who did not share our common faith, that we unleashed that repressed cruelty.

Religion Allowed us to Live in Crowded, Urban Cities Creating Commerce and Trade

A lot of atrocities have been committed in the name of religion.  This is true.  But sharing a common faith united us like nothing else could.  For our faith was bigger than us.  We learned to live by moral codes.  We worked together.  Voluntarily.  For the betterment of the cities we lived in.  And to serve our god(s).  In cities that priest-kings typically ruled over.  Guided by our religious beliefs.

Everything we did was for that spiritual journey.  Working hard in this life.  All the while preparing for the afterlife.  Bringing the people of a common faith together.  We became so close to each other that for the first time in history we could live in crowded, urban cities.  Creating commerce and trade.  In an advanced civilization.  None of which would have been possible if religion hadn’t softened up that cruelty within.  Instilled in us for the past million or so years.

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