All you hear from Democrats is that we need to spend more on education. They call it investing in our future. Which is a lie. For ‘investing in our future’ is code for shoring up teachers’ pensions. And keeping higher education doing what those in control of higher education want it to do. Produce Democrat voters. Which actually starts in our public schools. Where they teach our kids to come home and tell their parents that they are ashamed of them. For all the global warming they’ve caused. And bringing them into the world in the evil, rotten United States.
These are the things our kids seem to know about. Global warming. Slavery. Stealing land from the Native Americans. American imperialism. But ask them to name the first four presidents of the United States? Four of the greatest Americans ever to live? Those in control of our public education don’t think knowing anything about them is important. Apparently (see Rolling Stone, Groupon Show The Viral Benefits of Historical Inaccuracy by Nathan Raab posted 4/11/2014 on Forbes).
In 2007, a US Mint poll showed that only 7 percent of those surveyed could name the first four Presidents in order. A later poll by Marist was not more encouraging.
George Washington (#1) kept the Continental Army together for 8 years under circumstances few could imagine today. Near the end of the Revolutionary War his character alone put down a mutiny in the officer corps. He turned down the offer to make him king. An unprecedented act at the time. King George of Britain had said if he turned down absolute power “he will be the greatest man in the world.” And Washington did. Twice. His presence was the only thing that got the states to ratify the Constitution. And his two terms in office was the only thing that gave the United States of America a chance of succeeding. This is why there is only one man we call the Father of his Country. And only one man we call the Indispensible Man. George Washington.
John Adams (#2) was a driving force for American independence. So much so that King George could not forgive him. Had they reconciled with the mother country the king would have pardoned many patriots. But not Adams. He would hang. Adams nominated George Washington to command the Continental Army. He chose Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence. He worked with Benjamin Franklin to negotiate the peace treaty that ended the Revolutionary War. And negotiated America’s first loan from Amsterdam bankers. The first nation to recognize and do business with the new nation (other than France). And he averted war with France following the French Revolution. Giving the fledgling nation a chance to survive.
Thomas Jefferson (#3) was the author of Declaration of Independence. The author of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom. And the Father of the University of Virginia. The three things Jefferson was most proud of and appear on his tombstone. As president his administration bought the Louisiana Territory from the French. More than doubling the size of the United States. And sent out Lewis and Clark to explore these vast new territories. And he slashed government spending wherever he could. A true believer in limited government.
James Madison (#4) is the Father of the Constitution. He wrote the Federalist Papers with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay to encourage ratification of the Constitution. The Federalist Papers are still referenced today in Constitutional law. He also helped the effort to ratify the Constitution in Virginia where he battled the great patriot Patrick Henry. Who feared a large central government. Madison served in the first Congress. Where he championed the Bill of Rights. And, later, supervised the Louisiana Purchase as President Jefferson’s Secretary of State.
It is indeed a sad commentary on our educational system that only 7% of those questioned could identify these great Americans. And it’s not a lack of money causing this. It’s a lacking in the curriculum. Choosing global warming, slavery, stealing land from the Native Americans, American imperialism, etc. Instead of teaching our kids why the United States is the greatest country in the world. Because of men like these. Who put the individual before the state. Who made freedom and liberty things we take for granted. Instead of things people can only dream of. Which is the case in much of the world today. And has been the norm throughout history.
Thanks to President Obama the United States is now the Rodney Dangerfield of Superpowers
The American public is consumed with the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. They can’t get enough of the news coverage that is anything but news. With cable news delivering 24/7 coverage of nothing but speculation. Even the networks are giving the speculation expansive coverage. They’d never give Obamacare, Benghazi, the IRS targeting conservative groups, etc., this kind of coverage. But they will give Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 this kind of coverage. For apart from the insufferable despair of the families who lost their loved ones it’s a great mystery people want to see unfold. And be the one to solve it. But while that is going on the world is becoming a less safe place. Thanks to Vladimir Putin.
President Obama’s ‘please like us’ foreign policy has failed. The reset with Russia has not improved our relations. In fact, they are about as bad as they were during the Cold War. With Putin doing some Cold War chess playing. Completely unimpressed with President Obama he’s making bold moves. And when he does all he gets from the United States is talk. He annexed Crimea without any real opposition from the Western Powers. Especially the United States. And he is probably looking at the Baltic States now. Seeing no reason yet to stop in his quest to put the Soviet Union back together. This is what the American people are missing. For the networks are barely covering it. And the people are blissfully ignorant of how the United States is now the Rodney Dangerfield of superpowers. We get no respect from our enemies. So our enemies make bold moves. Because that’s who they are. The creators of South Park made a movie called Team America: World Police (2004). This followed 9/11 and the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. When the United States began its fight in the global war on terror. Though a comedy the writers seem to have a better grasp on the real world than the Obama administration or the mainstream media. Who think in the 21st century that war no longer exists because world leaders now discuss their differences like rational and civilized adults according to international law. And honor their agreements. But what they don’t understand is something that’s been true since the dawn of civilization. There are three types of people in the world. As a drunk in Team America: World Police explains crudely but succinctly. (WARNING: The following video is for mature audiences only. For it’s pretty rude and crude and completely inappropriate for the workplace.)
If you’ve watched the video you’ll understand what the three types are. We’ll call them D, P and A (both singular and plural). In the context of this movie America was a D. And Kim Jong Il was an A. As were the Islamist terrorists. While the leftist ‘give peace a chance’ Hollywood liberals in the movie (who belonged to the Film Actors’ Guild) were P. As was the United Nations who sent Hans Blix to inspect Kim Jong Il’s regime to make sure he didn’t have any weapons of mass destruction (WMD). —SPOILER ALERT— Team America, the world police, go tear-assing around the world, blowing up parts of countries as they hunt and kill terrorists. Making the world a safer place. While Kim Jong Il plots to set off WMDs, using the Islamist terrorists to plant his WMDs. The F.A.G. actors publicly denounce Team America for their wanton destruction and call corporations the real enemy. Even going to North Korea to attend a peace conference that Kim Jong Il was hosting. Believing Kim Jong Il was a man of peace. And were willing to kill Team America to help Kim Jong Il go forward with his peace plans. Which was actually blowing up countries all around the world into third-world status.
Hitler promised the Naïve Chamberlain that the Sudetenland would be his last Territorial Acquisition
The movie showed the futility of diplomacy when you’re dealing with A. Because they will lie and say anything you want to hear to shut you up and make you go away. And when you do they’re just going to crap all over you and the world. Because that’s what A do. The P don’t understand that. They think they can negotiate and arrive at an agreement with people who lie. History is full of treaties that A have broken. Because they don’t respect anything but strength. And if all you got are words an A just isn’t going to respect you. And will crap on you the first chance he gets. Especially if you’re a P. The Russian people understand this. During the Sochi Olympics the Daily Show‘s Jason Jones interviewed Russians during the Sochi Games. And a woman told him they have a saying in Russia. Don’t be a P. Which is why they love Vladimir Putin. He’s not a P. He’s an A.
Communists are A. They just want to crap all over everyone. During the Korean War every time they were losing on the battlefield they called for a ceasefire to negotiate a peace treaty. Using the cessation in hostilities to reinforce their weakened positions. Proving you just cannot trust an A. Or negotiate with an A. Yet the leftist ‘give peace a chance’ liberals think you can. And that all George W. Bush did by being an A was make the world hate the United States. Even though Muammar Gaddafi, who was a first class A, respected George W. Bush when he invaded Iraq. Saw that strength. Respected that strength. And did not want to get his ass kicked by that strength. So he gave up his WMDs willingly. And joined the Americans in the fight against al Qaeda (Libya is a far less safe place today than it was under Muammar Gaddafi after the Iraqi invasion). This is what A understand. Strength. It’s the one thing that makes them act. Not words. As this funny scene in Team America: World Police illustrates so poignantly. (WARNING: The following video is for mature audiences only. For it’s pretty rude and crude and completely inappropriate for the workplace.)
We ended the war in Iraq with a ceasefire. Part of the terms that Saddam Hussein agreed to was to destroy his WMDs and document their destruction. He never did. In part because he didn’t have them anymore. Having sent them over the border into Syria (most likely) on trucks and in two converted Iraqi Airways Boeings before the invasion. Adolf Hitler promised the naïve Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain that the Czechoslovakian Sudetenland would be his last territorial acquisition. Chamberlain returned to Britain with a treaty signed by Herr Hitler promising “peace in our time.” Shortly thereafter Hitler launched World War II (the bloodiest and costliest war of all time) and removed Poland from the map. Because Hitler was an A. And you just can’t negotiate with an A. Especially if you’re a P who believes we can settle all our differences if we only communicate with each other. No. An A sees anyone who wants to ‘open a dialogue’ as a P. And they will laugh at how gullible they are. Getting a lot of concessions by making promises they have no intention of keeping. A love P. Because they are so easy to crap all over.
The Russians like President Obama in Office because he is the Anti-Ronald Reagan
The Obama administration confuses being liked with being respected. They think if people like America they will respect America. Nothing could be further from the truth. People respect people they hate. At least, if they fear people they hate. A key distinction. For Vladimir Putin has no love for President Obama. Who looks at him as a P. Which Russians just don’t respect. They even have a saying. Don’t be a P. So Putin has no respect whatsoever for President Obama. Because he does not fear President Obama. The recent sanctions President Obama issued by executive order only amused the Russians. They thought they were nothing more than a joke. Even replied with in-kind sanctions of their own. Oh they had a good laugh at President Obama trying to act tough. But they just don’t respect him. But you know who they did respect? Ronald Reagan.
During a radio check President Reagan was testing the sound levels before a radio address. And he made a joke. He said into the microphone, “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” This joke leaked out. And made it to the Soviet Union. And what do you think they did? Did they have a good laugh like they did when President Obama tried to act tough? No. They didn’t. They put their Soviet Far East Army on alert. For they did not like Ronald Reagan. But they sure as hell respected that crazy son of a bitch. And feared him. As well as the awesome military power of the United States. Which they knew President Reagan had no problem using. Unlike the current occupant of the White House. Who wants to shrink the size of the military to pre-World War I levels. Something only a P would do in the eyes of an A like Vladimir Putin. No. President Obama is more of an apologetic president for America’s greatness. While President Reagan made no apologies. He believed in American Exceptionalism. And was damn proud of it. The shiny city on the hill. The beacon of liberty. Defender of freedom. And he would broadcast the Team America theme song proudly at our enemies. Unlike the apologist now occupying the White House (WARNING: The following video is for mature audiences only. For it’s pretty rude and crude and completely inappropriate for the workplace.)
America may have its faults but it is still the best country in the world. Proven by the flow of immigrants (legal and illegal) to our shores. We may be arrogant but that’s only because we have a right to be. Because we are the best m-f’ing country in the world. F*** yeah. We’ve made the world a better place. And the world knows this. Which is why our enemies love having our country run by people who are ashamed of America’s greatness. Because they can crap all over the world and get away with it. Like Putin did by annexing Crimea. Because they know there is no crazy son of a bitch in the White House that will use the awesome power of the United States to stop them. Just a bunch of leftist ‘give peace a chance’ liberals who will wag their finger at them. And if they don’t quake with fear they will wag their finger at them again. Or write a letter. The Russians couldn’t be happier. And lament that if there were only people like the current administration running the United States in the Eighties the Soviets never would have lost the Cold War. But now Vladimir Putin, former KGB officer in the Soviet Union, sees his chance. He can put the Soviet Union together again. As they have the anti-Ronald Reagan in office now. And can do whatever the hell they want to. Because they aren’t P. They’re A.
The Roman Empire was one of the greatest empires of all time. It lasted some 500 years in the West. And another thousand years in the East. Give or take. As empires go they don’t come much bigger. Or last longer. The Romans ruled the world. It stretched from Northern Africa to Britain. And from Spain to the Middle East. It was huge.
There have been bigger empires. The British Empire. The Mongol Empire. The Russian Empire. The Spanish Empire. And others. But none of them lasted as long as the 1500 years of the Roman Empire. The British Empire lasted about 400 years. The Mongol Empire lasted about 50 years. The Russian Empire lasted about 200 years. And the Spanish Empire lasted about 500 years. Adolf Hitler said the Third Reich would last a thousand years. But it lasted only 12. Proving that empire building—and empire maintaining—are easier said than done.
Yet the Romans did it for 1500 years. Give or take. So they knew a thing or two about empire building. And maintaining that empire. Yet even this mighty empire fell. Why? Historians still debate this question today. As do the laymen. With a person’s political persuasion sometimes determining what they believe.
A Debased Coin and High Taxes made the Roman Citizenry very Unhappy
Empires are costly. As Rome built her empire she paid for it by conquering new lands. So as her borders pushed out treasure flowed back the other way to Rome. Which paid for her massive military. And her massive bureaucracy to govern that sprawling empire. So the Roman people went about their business. Shielded from the cost of empire. Farming and taking their goods to market. Safe within their empire. For her enemies were outside the borders of the empire. And those borders were pushed a very long way out.
But then something happened. Those borders stopped moving. They were not conquering new lands. And there was no more treasure flowing back to Rome. Which was a problem. For the Roman Empire covered a lot of land that they had to govern. And defend. So the cost of the Roman Empire was never higher than when her borders stopped pushing out. While her revenue to pay for that empire was never smaller. So they had to do something. And that something was taxes. Lots of them. All of a sudden the Roman citizenry was feeling the cost of their bloated bureaucratic state. And the cost of that massive military that defended the frontier.
So taxes soared. Making the Roman citizenry unhappy. But the tax revenue proved to be insufficient. So they started debasing their currency. Adding more and more lead to their silver coins. But not their gold coins. For they used gold to pay the military and to pay the government bureaucrats. So they only debased the silver coin. The coin of the Roman citizenry. Which, of course, resulted in inflation. As the coins had less and less silver in them they bought less and less. So prices soared. As did taxes. Making the Roman citizenry very unhappy.
The Cost of Mercenaries and the Roman Bureaucracy and Welfare State bankrupted the Roman Empire
So the Romans started building things to entertain the people. And they grew a welfare state to help feed those who could not afford to buy food. Public works and the new welfare state may have eased some of the animosity towards the state. But it only increased the costs of the state. Requiring higher taxes. So high that people lost money on their farms and businesses. So they quit. Causing food and goods shortages. So the Romans passed laws forcing them to stay in their jobs. And forcing their children to do the same work their parents did. Which eventually evolved into feudalism.
Eventually the Roman citizenry no longer wanted to serve the empire. Leading to the use of mercenary armies. Which were costly. And only increased the cost of empire. With the silver coin so debased the Roman government would not even accept it in payment of taxes. So the government took a portion of the food grown and goods made. Making it more difficult to pay for the welfare state (just imagine your employer paying you in food, toilet paper, soap, etc.). And the mercenary armies guarding the frontier. Which could prove troublesome. As they had no loyalties to the Roman Empire. They were just hired muscle. Their blood loyalties were often to people on the other side of the border they were guarding. Having come from those people.
So the massive cost of hired mercenaries and the massive cost of the Roman bureaucracy and welfare state basically bankrupted the Roman Empire. Of course the American left prefers not to think about this. As they are very fond of their large welfare state. So some on the left often cite the decadence of the Roman Empire that caused her fall. They talk about the feasts, the drink, the gladiators, the orgies and other acts of debauchery that caused a societal decay that eroded the empire from within. Even while they are in the business of societal decay themselves. Free birth control, abortion on demand, the decriminalization of marijuana, the rejection of virtue and morality, their extreme secularism to remove any vestige of restraint from their lives of excess, etc. The kind of things a debauched Roman citizenry no doubt would have enjoyed. So either way the Roman Empire fell because of principles the American left embraces. Which means if liberals keep winning elections the United States will fall like the Roman Empire.
The problem with a generous welfare state and porous borders is that they attract a lot of foreign-born people to your country to cash in on those generous welfare benefits. Some even make the journey while pregnant so their child is born in the country with the generous welfare benefits. And not the cruel, cold-hearted benefit-free country they are escaping. Giving them an ‘anchor’ in the country they’d much rather live in than the country they don’t want to live in. Their native country.
The United States has a porous border with Mexico. And many Mexicans give birth in the United States while in the country illegally just so their child doesn’t have to grow up in Mexico. Which when you think about is a statement on how these Mexicans feel about the ‘imperial’ United States. They must really hate them for not taking the rest of Mexico when they won the Mexican War. Had the Americans done so there would be no need for anchor babies. For they would already be enjoying American citizenship south of the Rio Grande. Based on the number of Mexicans entering America illegally, at least.
The United States isn’t the only country people want to live in. Canada, too, is a beautiful country with a generous welfare state. The winters are a little colder, though. But that doesn’t stop people from trying to become Canadian citizens with anchor babies. Only they call them ‘passport babies’ in Canada (see Canadian citizenship bill to be tabled Thursday by Susana Mas posted 2/2/2014 on CBC News).
Alexander said the proposed changes to the Citizenship Act would also aim to reduce the current backlog of applications and change the conditions for eligibility.
The government is also considering changes to tackle the problem of so-called “birth tourism” or “passport babies,” but Alexander told CBC News they would not be included in this bill.
Americans and Canadians aren’t better people. They just live in countries that allow their people to be better. Which is the problem in Mexico. Not the people. As the Americas were colonized Britain was further along in representative government than Spain. Free market capitalism replaced mercantilism quicker in British America than it did in Spanish America. And democratic institutions were more developed in British America than they were in Spanish America. Such that the foundation for representative government, free market capitalism and democracy was more robust in British American than it was in Spanish America.
Because of this when the Americans gained their independence great peace and prosperity followed. A first following a civil war. Allowing America and Canada (later granted their independence from the British Empire) to be lands of opportunity. With strong human rights. Ironically, in large part to the School of Salamanca. One of the greatest gifts Spain gave to the world. Which is why people want to have their babies born in these countries. So they can be as great as they want to be. Because only representative government, free market capitalism and democracy can make this possible. At least based on history.
But you can’t have people entering your country unchecked. Especially if they’re coming for the benefits. And your country has annual deficits and a growing national debt. For adding more people to the benefits roll when you can’t afford it will transform the country from that land of opportunity people want to come to into the country they are fleeing. Countries with high spending and devalued currencies that lead to black markets and lawlessness. The very things people want to get away from by having their babies in the United States and Canada.
The Communists built the Berlin Wall to keep her People from Fleeing their Communist Utopia
The West is the best. Based on history. The Cold War was East versus West. The Soviet Union and communist Eastern Europe faced off with NATO forces on the other side of the Iron Curtain. And all during the Cold War people tried to escape from behind the Iron Curtain into the West. Where there was no secret police. And a life of plenty. Instead of the life of poverty and perpetual want of the most basic of necessities behind the Iron Curtain. Which is why these people wanted to escape to the West.
Of course, that posed a problem for countries behind the Iron Curtain. If too many of their best and brightest escaped to the West the resulting brain drain would hurt their economies. Reduce the quality of their health care systems. Retard their scientific research. Diminish innovation. Leaving these countries frozen in time. While the West went on to create the modern world. If you visited East Germany in 1950 and again in 1960 and again in 1970 you would not have noticed great change. At least not anything near the kind of change you saw in West Germany.
This was a problem in Berlin. For although Berlin was wholly within East Germany the city itself was divided between East and West. And life was so much better across the street in West Berlin than it was in East Berlin. There were blue jeans. Transistor radios. Televisions. People just had to walk across the street and claim asylum. Board an airplane and fly away from the soul-sucking life of East Germany. And they, too, could have all of those wonderful things. As well as a full tummy. For the West could feed their people far better than they could behind the Iron Curtain. Which is why the communists built the Berlin Wall. Not to keep people out of their communist utopia. But to keep their people from fleeing it.
If Teddy Roosevelt didn’t give Cuba back to the Cubans there would have been no ‘Boat People’
The Soviet Union and their satellite countries behind the Iron Curtain are no more. For the East lost the Cold War. Thanks to Ronald Reagan. And Margaret Thatcher. Who decided to no longer accommodate the East’s belligerence. Instead of detente they chose to win the Cold War. For they saw what communism was. An economic system on life support. The Soviet Union could not even feed her people without U.S. grain. Despite having Europe’s breadbasket on their side of the Iron Curtain. The Ukraine. So they pushed. Hard. Spent more money on defense that the Soviet economy simply couldn’t match. Ultimately breaking the back of the Soviet economy.
That’s right. The West won the Cold War by living well. The economies of the West, in particular of the United States, were so strong that it could build the Strategic Defense Initiative (i.e., Star Wars) and still provide a life of plenty for their people. Which is why whenever someone living behind the Iron Curtain had a chance to defect to the West they did. It’s the dream of oppressed people everywhere to escape to the West. Especially to the United States. For when it comes to freedom and a high quality of life this is the ultimate destination. The United States.
When Fidel Castro turned Cuba communist people made ramshackle rafts to escape Cuba. Hoping to get to the United States. Where life was so much better. These ‘boat people’ no doubt wished the United States had kept Cuba when Spain ceded Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam to the U.S. For a large sum of money after losing the Spanish-American War. Spain left Cuba to the Americans, too, at the same time. But Teddy Roosevelt gave Cuba back to the Cubans. Which ultimately brought Fidel Castro to power. Creating those ‘boat people’ trying to escape his rule. Whereas had the United States kept Cuba it could be more like Puerto Rico or Guam today. Western. Where people wouldn’t board ramshackle rafts to get to the West. Because they would have already been living in the West.
The Ideas of the Enlightenment took Root in America and Flourished better than in all other Countries
Prior to the Spanish-American War there was the Mexican-American War. Where the Americans fought the Mexicans who had just recently won their independence from Spain. What started out as a war over Texas ended with a treaty (and a cash payment to Mexico as well as assumption of some of her debt) giving the United States not only Texas but California and what is approximately today the southeast United States. Moving the southern border of the U.S. south. But apparently not far enough south. At least, based on the illegal immigration from Mexico into the United States.
Life across the border in the United States is better than it is in Mexico. Based on those who leave Mexico and cross into the United States illegally. Who wouldn’t be doing this if life was better in Mexico than in the United States. Suggesting that these immigrants would have been happier had the United States pushed their southern border all the way to Mexico’s southern border at the conclusion of the Mexican-American War. So that Mexico would have been part of the U.S. Allowing them to enjoy living in the United States. Without being in the country illegally.
So while people speak out against American imperialism what this immigration tells us is that there was not enough American imperialism. For if the United States had made most of the world a part of the United States then these people would not have to immigrate here. For they would already be here. For whatever reason the ideas of the Enlightenment took root here in America and flourished. Better than in all other countries. Making her the leader of the Western World. And the ultimate destination of oppressed and impoverished people everywhere.
Because of Advances in Farming Fewer People could Grow more Food
Cold weather kills people. A lot of people throughout history have died during winters as they exhausted their food supplies. That’s why preparing for the winter was serious business. You had to store enough food to carry you through the winter. And if the fall harvests were poor it spelled big trouble. And famine. It’s hard to imagine what this was like. A long winter ahead of you with an insufficient food supply. It was scary. For it meant some people would die before the spring came. Hard to fathom this in a day where you can actually drive your car through a blizzard to your favorite greasy diner or fast food restaurant for a delicious hot meal to take off the chill of the coldest winter day. It wasn’t always like this.
And it wasn’t only long winters that killed people. Sometimes the long summers did. Where there were insufficient rains. And drought. That destroyed crops and drastically reduced fall harvests. You don’t hear much about famine these days in the U.S, Canada, Britain, France, Germany or other advanced nations. But underdeveloped and impoverished nations suffer famine to this day. Why? Two primary reasons. Improved crop yields. And improved transportation. The advanced nations have them. The impoverished nations don’t.
Improved crop yields create food surpluses. Key to civilization itself. Food surpluses allowed a middle class to arise because everyone did not have to grow food. Because of advances in farming fewer people could grow more food. Those who didn’t have to grow food could think about other things. Including ways to further improve crop yields. By creating better tools. Better techniques. Better food storage. And when you do all of these things you not only have enough food for yourself and for your surplus you have enough to export. To those who do not have enough food. Even allowing people to live in areas that cannot produce food. For they can trade for food. Thanks to these surpluses available for export.
Food is so Plentiful and Inexpensive Today that the Problem in America is not Famine but Obesity
Early farms relied on the fertile soil of river banks. The spring flooding of the rivers raised river levels. When the water retreated it left behind fertile soil. Eventually we learned how to take control of our water resources. And used it to make fertile land away from river banks. Using irrigation. Bringing the water to the land. Probably the next great development was the plow. Which let us take control of the land. We tilled the soil to aerate it. To control weeds. To mix in organic material. Such as manure. To prepare it for planting. And we used irrigation to bring those crops to harvest.
We then developed crop rotation to replenish nitrogen in the soil. And to control pests. Certain pests attack certain crops. By rotating crops pest infestation couldn’t spread and return year after year. Families of crops need certain nutrients. Rotation prevents the depletion of any single nutrient. Then we took control of the plants we grew. By creating new plants. Cultivars. Using selective breeding to increase grain size, the number of grains per plant, improve disease resistance, etc.
Then we turned to chemistry. Creating fertilizers. And pesticides. These two advancements alone exploded crop yields. Never before did so few grow so much with so little. We maximized the agricultural potential of land year after year. And then we mechanized the farm. Introducing the tractor. Allowing the same number of farmers to cultivate more land. So not only did their existing lands yield more they added more high-yield lands to explode yields. Creating huge food surpluses available for export. And slashing the price of food across the board. From the bread we make from wheat. To corn-fed beef. Food is so plentiful and inexpensive today that the problem in America is not famine but obesity. Obesity is bad but it takes a lot longer to die from obesity than it does from famine. And we enjoy all of those delicious things that are making us so fat. While there’s nothing to enjoy when starving to death.
We were able to Raise Crop Yields to such High Levels we have Food Available for Everyone in this World
As crop yields increased more food entered the market. Good for people. But bad for farmers. Because they depressed crop prices. Large farms that cultivated more land could still make a profit. But the small farmer who didn’t cultivate more land just saw his revenue fall. Until his revenue fell below his costs. Leaving him unable to service the debt he incurred to mechanize his farm. Causing bankruptcy. Which happened a lot in the Thirties. Causing all those bank runs during the Great Depression.
To fight this free fall in crop prices countries enacted tariffs and import restrictions. The British Corn Laws kept out the less expensive foreign food so the landowning aristocracy could maximize their profits. And when the British repealed the Corn Laws and adopted free trade everything the landowning aristocracy feared happen. Food became inexpensive and plentiful. In large part because of the United States. Who was maximizing their crop yields. And then using the railroad to ship their surpluses to the great rivers. The Ohio. The Missouri. The Mississippi. Where they loaded these surpluses onto steamships. Where it traveled down the Mississippi to the Port of New Orleans. Where they transferred it to ocean-going sail ships and steamers. Bound for Europe. And Britain. Where this food fed hungry people. And cut into the profits of the wealthy landowners.
But it wasn’t only in the United States. Soon other great agricultural countries produced food surpluses that they shipped all over the world. Winters still happen. Droughts still happen. But they don’t happen everywhere at the same time. And because we were able to raise crop yields to such high levels we have food available for everyone in the world. And truck, rail and ships can move that food anywhere it is needed. Which is why we can drive to our favorite greasy diner or fast food restaurant during a blizzard on the coldest day of winter and enjoy a fresh glass of orange juice, coffee, eggs, hash browns and sausage. No matter where you live. As long as you live in a country that supports free trade.
The Entrepreneurial Spirit gave America the Economic Prowess to spend the Soviet Union into the Ash Heap of History
Immigrants used to come to the United States with great enthusiasm. They were excited that they were going to be an American. They wanted to assimilate. They learned their American history. Better than most people born in the United States. When they took the oath of citizenship a euphoric joy filled them. For having fulfilled their greatest dream. If they heard their family members speak the language of their birth country they rebuked them sternly. And told them, “We’re American now. Speak English.”
Yes, there was great pride in becoming an American. As immigrants saw America as Ronald Reagan saw it. A shining city upon a hill. Whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere. People in the Old World yearned for the freedom of the New World. Religious freedom. Freedom from an oppressive government. Economic freedom. Where everyone had the same chance to be whatever they wanted to be no matter who their parents were. For in America there was no privilege. Just hard work. And the ability to keep the fruit of all your labors. This is the American dream. This is why they came to this shining city upon a hill.
Immigrants wanted to assimilate. They wanted to think of themselves as Americans. For it meant something. Something special. It meant you were a citizen of the greatest country in the world. For individual liberty unleashed great prosperity. An entrepreneurial spirit. American ingenuity. Making America the leader in new technology. Making work less tedious. And life more enjoyable. Giving America the highest standard of living. Great food surpluses that let America feed the world. And the military power to defeat Nazism and stand up to communism. And the economic prowess to spend the Soviet Union into the ash heap of history.
Our Public Schools teach our Children that we Stole the Land from the Native Americans and got Rich on Slave Labor
People came to America to be Americans. They remembered their culture. But their culture did not identify who they were. They were Americans. Not hyphenated Americans. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “In this country we have no place for hyphenated Americans.” We were not Italian-Americans. We were not Polish-Americans. We were not Irish-Americans. We were not German-Americans. We were Americans.
Our public schools once taught our children about the Founding. The abuses of European monarchies. Unjust taxation. And the perverse powers of privilege. Things the Founding Fathers found abhorrent. The Founding Fathers knew the history of Greece and Rome. King John and Magna Carta. And the English Civil War was not that distant from their time. They were students of the Enlightenment. They read Adam Smith. Believed in laissez-faire economics. And championed limited government. When they formed a new country they drew from this vast pool of knowledge. And made the greatest country in the world. One with religious freedom but based on Judeo-Christian values. A country so great that rulers of other nations wanted to hinder its ascension to further greatness. While the people living under those rulers wanted to be Americans.
This experiment in self-government had some growing pains. We were not perfect. But we were far more perfect than any other government out there. But our public schools don’t teach that today. Instead, they teach our children that the Founders stole the land from the Native Americans. That we stole our southern land and California from the Mexicans. Who gained their independence from Spain who colonized these lands. Land they had stolen from the native people who were living on it at the time. (Interestingly, when the Mexicans gained their independence from a European power the land belonged to the Mexicans. But when the Americans gained their independence from a European power the land belonged to someone else.) That we stole Cuba and the Philippines from the Spanish. Who stole it from the people living on these lands when they arrived and stole it. Yet it is the Americans who were an imperialist power stealing land. Never the Mexicans or the Spanish. And, of course, that America grew rich and powerful thanks to free slave labor. Despite that very same economic system causing the South to lose the American Civil War.
The American Educational System failed to make Dzhokhar Tsarnaev NOT burn with a Seething Hatred of America
Then the attacks on capitalism came. The system that made America great. All of a sudden it was unfair. It was unjust. And it exploited the poor to help the rich get richer. A better system was socialism. For it was fair. It was just. Because it put people before profits. (Just ask those who lived in the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China under Mao, North Korea, Cuba and the people who lived behind the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe how wonderful it was to live where they put people before profits. Here’s a hint. A lot of these people were shot while trying to escape their social utopia). Unlike the most evil thing in the world. The corporation. Who underpaid their workers. Raped the land of its natural resources. And polluted the environment. So not only were they evil for pursuing profits they were evil for exploiting both people and the planet. So we needed more government to regulate capitalism. And those evil corporations. So our children learned the evils of capitalism and the goodness of government in our public schools and universities. Where their teachers and professors taught them all of the badness of the United States. While glossing over all of its goodness. Imbuing some shame into our students for being American. Even making some burn with a seething hatred of the United States.
And so began the diversity movement. And multiculturalism. If America was so shameful we should not celebrate what unified us as Americans. But we should celebrate our differences. We no longer celebrated the things people immigrated to the United States for. But the things they fled in the countries they emigrated from. We are no longer Americans. We are now hyphenated Americans. And it was the thing preceding the hyphen that made us great now. Not being American. Because America had a shameful past. And had a long way to go to atone for her sins. Making a lot of hatred of America now home-grown. Especially in the American universities. Where radicals from the Sixties who wanted to overthrow capitalism and replace it with socialism now write the curriculum. And these radical professors disparaged judgmental Christianity every chance they could. For they liked the sex and drugs of their Me generation. Mocking the Judeo-Christian values that made America great. Something those who were not Christians ate up.
So the American university system is a hotbed of anti-American sentiment. Perhaps explaining why some of the greatest terrorist attacks on American soil were perpetrated by people educated in the United States. Such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Architect and mastermind of a series of terrorist attacks. Including the attacks on 9/11. Who attended college in North Carolina. Earning a degree in mechanical engineering. And Anwar al-Awlaki. Who earned a degree in civil engineering from Colorado State University. He also studied education leadership at San Diego State University. And worked on a doctorate at George Washington University. Then moved to Yemen and became the Osama bin Laden of the Internet. And then we have the Boston Marathon bombers. Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Who immigrated to the United States about a decade ago. With Dzhokhar being so young he probably has no memories of his native Chechnya. A hotbed of radical Islamist terrorism. Locked in a bitter war with Christian Russia. Where barbarous acts in that conflict have rivaled the atrocities of the Eastern Front in World War II. Yet he burned with such a seething hatred of an America founded on Judeo-Christian values that he could place a bomb next to an 8 year old child. A seething hatred he learned from someone while living in America. Either directly from the American educational system. Or indirectly as that educational system failed to make him NOT burn with a seething hatred of America.
For awhile there we had hope that Kim Jong Un might not be like his dad. Kim Jong Il. That maybe North Korea would change. Maybe loosen up a bit. And not be all about famine and nuclear weapons. But it appears that the new Kim Jong is as bad as the old Kim Jong. Perhaps even worse (see China calls for talks after North Korean threat by Barbara Demick posted 1/24/2013 on the Los Angeles Times).
With North Korea openly threatening the United States with nuclear weapons, China called Thursday for a new round of diplomacy and appears to be growing increasingly frustrated with its longtime ally.
Beijing’s calls for intervention come amid a torrent of belligerent language from Pyongyang, angered by a United Nations resolution earlier in the week expanding sanctions over its missile and nuclear program.
The latest escalation came Thursday when Pyongyang lashed out at the United States, which it called the “archenemy of the Korean people.’’
“We are not disguising the fact that the various satellites and long-range rockets that we will fire and the high-level nuclear test we will carry out are targeted at the United States,” North Korea’s National Defense Commission said in a statement released by the official news service.
“Settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words,” it said.
Not true. The United States likes the people in Korea. North and South. It’s the government in the North that the United States has a problem with. As do the good people suffering in North Korea. Who would like to escape the oppression of Kim Jong Un. And to know life without hunger. To have a home. Filled with the modern conveniences of life.
The Americans aren’t a threat to the people in North Korea. They are a threat to the regime that oppresses these people. We oppose the oppressive regime. As we oppose regimes everywhere that oppress their people. We are their friend. And they know that. Which is why the United States is the archenemy of North Korea’s ruling regime. Because we give their people hope. The last thing Kim Jong Un wants his people to have.
It is the inevitable destiny that the Korean peninsula reunites. But as the Germans learned at the end of the Cold War this is not easy. And is costly. Once the regime falls, and it will fall, South Korea will have a humanitarian crisis on their hands. China, too. Millions of people who need jobs. And food. Which is probably why China is in no hurry to see Kim Jong Un go. Even though they’re losing their patience with their longtime ally. What we need now is a plan to deal with post-Communist North Korea.
North Korea needs massive infrastructure investments. If you look at the Korean peninsula coastline at night you can tell where South Korea ends and North Korea begins. For there will be light and life in South Korea after dark. And only darkness in North Korea. Someone has to build up that infrastructure. Someone has to build housing. Someone has to build the goods to go in those homes. And someone has to build the factories to build those goods. North Korea has a lot of people. And a lot of things that need to be done. All they need is a plan. So they can hit the ground running. To speed up the unification process. While minimizing the pain of unification. And the cost South Korea will have to bear.
Or we can continue this dance forever. Sanctions. Nuclear threats. And aid. We try to punish them for advancing their nuclear program. They threaten something nuclear. We negotiate away the nuclear threat in exchange for more aid. The same old song and dance we’ve been doing for decades. It’s gotten so old that even the Chinese are tiring of it. Perhaps suggesting they may be open to a little regime change.
With the Steam Engine we could Build Factories Anywhere and Connect them by Railroads
Iron has been around for a long time. The Romans used it. And so did the British centuries later. They kicked off the Industrial Revolution with iron. And ended it with steel. Which was nothing to sneeze at. For the transition from iron to steel changed the world. And the United States. For it was steel that made the United States the dominant economy in the world.
The Romans mined coal in England and Wales. Used it as a fuel for ovens to dry grain. And for smelting iron ore. After the Western Roman Empire collapsed, so did the need for coal. But it came back. And the demand was greater than ever. Finding coal, though, required deeper holes. Below the water table. And holes below the water table tended to fill up with water. To get to the coal, then, you had to pump out the water. They tried different methods. But the one that really did the trick was James Watt’s steam engine attached to a pump.
The steam engine was a game changer. For the first time man could make energy anywhere he wanted. He didn’t have to find running water to turn a waterwheel. Depend on the winds. Or animal power. With the steam engine he could build a factory anywhere. And connect these factories together with iron tracks. On which a steam-powered locomotive could travel. Ironically, the steam engine burned the very thing James Watt designed it to help mine. Coal.
Andrew Carnegie made Steel so Inexpensive and Plentiful that he Built America
Iron was strong. But steel was stronger. And was the metal of choice. Unfortunately it was more difficult to make. So there wasn’t a lot of it around. Making it expensive. Unlike iron. Which was easier to make. You heated up (smelted) iron ore to burn off the stuff that wasn’t iron from the ore. Giving you pig iron. Named for the resulting shape at the end of the smelting process. When the molten iron was poured into a mold. There was a line down the center where the molten metal flowed. And then branched off to fill up ingots. When it cooled it looked like piglets suckling their mother. Hence pig iron.
Pig iron had a high carbon content which made it brittle and unusable. Further processing reduced the carbon content and produced wrought iron. Which was usable. And the dominate metal we used until steel. But to get to steel we needed a better way of removing the residual carbon from the iron ore smelting process. Something Henry Bessemer discovered. Which we know as the Bessemer process. Bessemer mass-produced steel in England by removing the impurities from pig iron by oxidizing them. And he did this by blowing air through the molten iron.
Andrew Carnegie became a telegraph operator at Pennsylvania Railroad Company. He excelled, moved up through the company and learned the railroad business. He used his connections to invest in railroad related industries. Iron. Bridges. And Rails. He became rich. He formed a bridge company. And an ironworks. Traveling in Europe he saw the Bessemer process. Impressed, he took that technology and created the Lucy furnace. Named after his wife. And changed the world. His passion to constantly reduce costs led him to vertical integration. Owning and controlling the supply of raw materials that fed his industries. He made steel so inexpensive and plentiful that he built America. Railroads, bridges and skyscrapers exploded across America. Cities and industries connected by steel tracks. On which steam locomotives traveled. Fueled by coal. And transporting coal. As well as other raw materials. Including the finished goods they made. Making America the new industrial and economic superpower in the world.
Knowing the Market Price of Steel Carnegie reduced his Costs of Production to sell his Steel below that Price
Andrew Carnegie became a rich man because of capitalism. He lived during great times. When entrepreneurs could create and produce with minimal government interference. Which is why the United States became the dominant industrial and economic superpower.
The market set the price of steel. Not a government bureaucrat. This is key in capitalism. Carnegie didn’t count labor inputs to determine the price of his steel. No. Instead, knowing the market price of steel he did everything in his powers to reduce his costs of production so he could sell his steel below that price. Giving steel users less expensive steel. Which was good for steel users. As well as everyone else. But he did this while still making great profits. Everyone was a winner. Except those who sold steel at higher prices who could no longer compete.
Carnegie spent part of his life accumulating great wealth. And he spent the latter part of his life giving that wealth away. He was one of the great philanthropists of all time. Thanks to capitalism. The entrepreneurial spirit. And the American dream. Which is individual liberty. That freedom to create and produce. Like Carnegie did. Just as entrepreneurs everywhere have been during since we allowed them to profit from risk taking.
The American Colonists kept moving into the Interior of the Country into Indian Lands
History has shown civil wars to be the bloodiest of wars. For when people you know and grew up with kill your friends and family, well, things get a little ugly. They escalate. And there are a lot of opportunities for revenge when people in towns and villages join different sides in the war. When friends and family fall in combat people retaliate by attacking the families left behind. Those who didn’t take up arms. The women and children. They destroy their crops. Burn their homes. Force them to flee for their lives. Then these acts are met with new acts of vengeance. They don’t force family members to flee. They kill them. Then these acts are met with new acts of vengeance. Instead of killing they rape, torture and mutilate their bodies.
When the American Revolutionary War broke out it tore families and towns apart. People remaining loyal to the Crown became Loyalists. Those rebelling became Patriots. It was not uncommon to find Loyalist and Patriot in the same family. And they hated each other. That hatred grew as the people they knew and loved suffered the horrors of war. Hardening them into merciless killers. The people you were fighting were not soldiers. They were fighting the lowest of traitors. So there was no need for honor. The people they were killing were no better than feral animals threatening their peaceful lives. They deserved to die. And worse. This was civil war. This was part of the American Revolutionary War. And it got worse.
During the French and Indian War (aka the Seven Years’ War) the French allied with the various Indian tribes against their long-time foe. The British. The Indians fought on the French side because it was the lesser of two evils. The French were sticking to the rivers and had small colonies. The British had larger colonies. And they kept moving into the interior of the country. Which the Indians wanted to stop. And in trying they made the war on the frontier a bloody one. And very cruel. The word used in official correspondence of the time used to describe them was savages. For the unspeakable cruelties they did to white men, women and children. They did not fight European style with bands and grand formations on the field of battle. They made people suffer and live in fear. The way they have always fought.
The British, the Loyalists and their Indian Allies advanced out of the Frontier into the River Valleys
Well, there was another war on the continent. This one between the British and the American colonists. Both sides tried to get the Indians to fight on their side. Some were friendly with the Americans. Some remained neutral. But a lot fought with the British because they saw them as the lesser of two evils. The American colonists were expanding further into the interior of the country. In violation of their British treaties that were to keep the Americans out of the Ohio country. Something the British agreed to without consulting their American colonists. Who had every intention of moving further west. So once again the Indians made the war on the frontier a bloody one. And very cruel.
Not all the British were on board with this. Edmund Burke denounced this policy. As did William Pitt, Earl of Chatham. Who said in the House of Lords, “What! to attribute the sacred sanction of God and nature to the massacres of the Indian scalping knife? To the cannibal savage, torturing, murdering roasting and eating…Such horrible notions shock every precept of religion, divine or natural, and every generous feeling of humanity.” Even the Americans had their reservations about using the Indians. George Washington wrote to the Commissioners of Indian Affairs, “Gentlemen: You will perceive, by the inclosed Copy of a Resolve of Congress, that I am impowered to employ a body of four hundred Indians, if they can be procured upon proper terms. Divesting them of the Savage customs exercised in their Wars against each other…” Both sides were worried about using the unpredictable and uncontrollable Indians. And for good reason.
The British had forts at Niagara, Detroit and Michilimackinac (on the northern tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula). From these strongholds they controlled the Great Lakes and the frontier. They, the Loyalists and their Indian allies advanced out of the frontier into the river valleys. The Allegheny, the Susquehanna, the Mohawk, the Schoharie, the Monongahela. Into the Ohio country. And the frontier of New York. Leaving a path of devastation in their wake. Smoldering homes. Ravished farms. And a lot of dead. The Loyalists and their Indian allies killing and torturing fleeing soldiers. Prisoners. Civilians. And taking scalps. There was a growing list of these massacres. Wyoming. Cherry Valley. German Flats. Blue Licks. In the end these massacres did not help the British. They just made the war more savage. And turned anyone on the frontier who were neutral or leaning Loyalists into Patriots thirsting for vengeance.
George Washington was no Better than King George and Parliament in Restraining American Expansionist Ambition
The Americans couldn’t control their Indian allies any better than the British could. They, too, were embarrassed by these savage acts that went counter to the rules of war and Christian teachings they were trying to adhere to. But their embarrassments were short lived as the Americans had fewer Indian allies. And, therefore, fewer atrocities. For it was the Americans that were trying to expand into Indian hunting grounds. And it was the British trying to restrain that expansion. So more of them fought on the British side. And thus the British had more of this blood on their hands. Which only served to hurt their cause.
The opening and closing of the American Declaration of Independence are familiar to many people. The stuff in the middle is not as well known. Which is a laundry list of “repeated injuries and usurpations” committed by King George against the American people. Including, “He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.” This British Indian policy was one of the items that pushed the Americans past reconciliation with the British. And into open rebellion.
Fast forward to the Washington administration of the new United States of America. Washington saw America’s relations with the Indians as a matter of foreign policy. He spent more time trying to negotiate with them then he did with the Europeans. For America’s future was in the west. He wanted American expansion. That would coexist with sovereign Indian lands. Hoping in time that these lands would become future states within the new and growing union. And the Indians would assimilate into the American way of farming and manufacturing. Giving up their hunting and gathering ways that require such great tracts of land. But, alas, that was not to be. For he was no better than King George and Parliament in restraining American expansionist ambition. The individual states ignored the new federal treaties with the Indians and negotiated their own treaties. Or simply moved onto their land.
Rather ironic, really. Washington fought with the British against the French and Indians to secure American westward expansion. He fought in the American Revolutionary War against the British to secure American westward expansion. And the first major failure as president of the United States was over American westward expansion. The subsequent treatment of the Indians would become what he feared. A policy of confiscation that he worried “would stain the character of the nation.” Which it has. For the conflicts on the frontier were as violent and vicious as they ever were. Forcing the Americans to send in troops to once again subdue these hostilities. And to protect the Americans living on or near the frontier. Which put the Americans and the Indians on the path Washington so wanted to avoid. War. Instead of conciliation. And assimilation.