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Food for thought 4

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by burmafrd, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    The American Revolution surely is unique in the sense that its ringleaders --
    Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Hamilton, etc -- were men of property,
    wealth and prestige; in other words, men with something to lose. Compare this to
    any other revolution in history, where the ringleaders were outsiders; plotters
    staring in through the windows of prosperity, powerless. The Russian Revolution,
    French Revolution, etc -- these were joined by desperate people fighting
    mind-numbing poverty and severe political repression.
    And yet the Founding Fathers were men who were as well-off as any men on earth
    at the time, and furthermore, any of them could have been (and were) political
    leaders under His Majesty's government. The average colonial farmer likewise led
    a life far more comfortable than those of his cousins in Europe, to say nothing
    of Asia or Africa.
    For all practical intents and purposes, these people had absolutely nothing to
    gain, and everything in the world to lose, by taking on the greatest military
    force the world had ever known. Why would they do this? What possible motivation
    could well-off, comfortable people have? Militarily, they seemed certain to
    lose, and they knew before they started -- and Patrick Henry made that
    abundantly clear -- that they would be hanged as common criminals if they
    failed.
    Of course, the answer is, they did it to be free. And they did it to make the
    rest of their nation -- the poor, the disenfranchised -- free as well. And it is
    clear as crystal from their collective writings that they took that risk to make
    Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore and the rest of us in their unseen posterity
    free, too. They could look down the dim, moonlit riverbanks of the future and
    see a society worthy of their sacrifice and determination. They knew that God,
    (or for me, chance perhaps) had put them together in a time and place where
    bold, courageous action, followed by much suffering, doubt, blood and fear
    could, perhaps, unleash in mankind an energy source the likes of which they
    could not imagine.
    So for me, a child of that bet -- that guess, that commitment, that roll of the
    dice -- for me, I owe them the defense of that freedom, and I will do my poor
    mite to pass it on as best I can. These men pledged to each other their Lives,
    their Fortunes and their sacred Honor. They pledged that to me. I owe them. I do
    not have the right to take away someone else's freedom and property -- it is
    offensive to me to even contemplate it. Of course, if someone breaks the
    freedom/responsibility covenant by committing a crime, then all bets are off. To
    that extent, I view handgun murderers not just as criminals, but as traitors as
    well.
    I hate seeing our kids get shot on the street, I hate it, I hate it. But that is
    the cost of freedom. People get horribly killed on Spring Break road trips to
    Florida at age 18. They're driving drunk. We could prevent them from going. We
    would save lives. Enron and MCI steal like the worst characters from Dickens,
    taking people's Christmas dinners so they can have gold plated faucets. We could
    regulate more, make things harder for the millions of honest businesses that
    build and trade honorably each day. The day may come when someone flies a Cessna
    into a stadium. We can ban the airplanes. Ditto for pleasure boats. We can ban
    and confiscate and regulate to our hearts content, and we will undoubtedly save
    many, many innocent lives by doing so. All for the price of a little freedom.
    I believe we should punish the perpetrators. I will not agree to restrict the
    freedoms of the vast numbers of people who abide by the concomitant
    responsibility and live lives of honesty and decency.
    And there is more than the physical restriction of freedoms: There is the slow
    erosion of self-reliance, self-confidence and self-determination among a nation.
    The more your government restricts your options, the more you psychologically
    look to government to keep you safe, fed, clothed, housed and sustained.
    There is a word for people who are fed, clothed, housed and sustained fully by
    others, and that word is SLAVES.
    If Congress were occupied by angels and Michael sat in a throne of glory in the
    Oval Office, I would listen to what they said for my own greater good. But I
    have noticed that no government is made of angels, and that many seem to be
    exclusively staffed by members of the opposite persuasion. So who determines how
    much freedom we trade for how much security? People do. People are not unknown
    to place their own interests above those of others. There is even a vanishing
    remote chance that Jean Cretien has at some point perhaps put personal interest
    above those of his constituents.
    The real genius of the Founding Fathers was that these great and good men had
    the foresight and the courage to look into their own darker motives, and
    construct a system that prevents the accumulation of power.
    The Constitution they created could only be torn up by force of arms. And that
    is why the Founders left that power in the hands of the people, who together can
    never be cowed by relatively small numbers of thugs holding the only guns.
    As PJ O'Rourke points out, the U.S. Constitution is less than a quarter the
    length of the owner's manual for a 1998 Toyota Camry, and yet it has managed to
    keep 300 million of the world's most unruly, passionate and energetic people
    safe, prosperous and free. Smarter people than me may disagree with that
    document -- I'm for not touching a comma.
    So as a proud son of those brave men, I'll take freedom -- all of it -- and
    because I accept the benefits of those freedoms, I'll solemnly take the
    responsibilities as well. I may someday lose a child on a trip to Spring Break,
    but I'll never lock them in the basement to keep them safe. And I'll accept the
    fact that living in Los Angeles puts me at risk for being shot to death because
    I feel the freedom is worth it. I breathe that freedom every day, and hey, we
    all gotta go sometime. I'll continue to fly experimental airplanes because I am
    careful, meticulous, precise and responsible, and yet the day may come when I am
    out of altitude, out of airspeed, and out of ideas all at the same time. Oh
    well. I have seen and done things up there that you cannot imagine and I cannot
    describe. Freedom.


    Our failures and disgraces cruelly remind us that we, like every other
    government, are composed of fallible men and women with no divine ability to
    read the future or foresee all outcomes. But these failures are failures of
    action, action borne of confidence and a belief in our way of life, and come all
    the more painful for their contrast to the everyday standards to which we hold
    ourselves as a people and a nation. For it is an undeniable fact that no great
    nation in history has held a shadow of our measure of power, and yet exercised
    it with such restraint, nor does any time in the bloody history of warfare
    reflect a people so magnanimous in victory against enemies sworn to their murder
    and destruction. From our first hour, we have been, and remain, the beacon of
    hope and freedom for a world desperate and longing for such an example, and we
    can measure our success in building such a place by the numbers of those who are
    literally dying in an attempt to come and be part of it.
    Our ancestors made their choice and here we are. I respect anyone’s right to
    chose differently. I only speak up to defend the choice we Americans made as a
    deeply spiritual one, borne of reflection and danger and a spectacular triumph
    against all odds. I cannot stand idly by to hear people denounce our freedoms as
    the dimwitted macho posturing of a mob of illiterate uncultured idiots who are
    so vulgar and uncouth as to still believe in Hollywood myths manufactured for
    our simple, complacent, unsophisticated nature.
    From the Revolution until today, the choice for full freedom with all its
    accompanying excesses and failures is a profoundly well-reasoned, moral and
    ethical choice, and the result has been national and personal success
    unparalleled in the history of this world.
    I am deeply proud to be a member of such a magnificent group of people. I hope
    to God I can give back as much as I owe.
    Posted by Proteus at December 22, 2002 09:47 PM
  2. ologan

    ologan Well-Known Member

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    :hammer: Thanks IV
  3. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    The problem with these posts is that they are ignorant.

    Ignorant in that they lack any knowledge of what examples he uses.
    In fact because of his examples they become painfully contradictory.

    Its just sophistry and jingoism.

    examples....
    We already ban flights and have non-fly zones. Has that crushed our freedom? Is it a worthy thing to have put into place? Perhaps we should not regulate air traffic at all. Just let pilots dodge each other....

    The wealthy men who had nothing to gain by rebelling against England????? ***??? They were the ones being taxed silly. They were much more wealthy at their deaths than when they agreed to participate in the Revolution. They did it to be free of a long distance oppressor to be sure but it wasn't in self-sacrifice that they battled. They believed it benefited themselves, their friends and all Americans. Trying to anoint them to some sainthood is just mocking them.

    ROFL. They also in many cases owned/held slaves. Did they do it to make them free? And Noam Chomsky is a complete and utter Anarchist. He is allllll about freedom. Why the utterly horrendous example? Because he is anti-conservative of course.

    These posts are a reflection of closed-minded utter nonsense believed by the far right. I can easily post stuff from Michael Moore much more eloquently written but equally as nonsensical and farcical representing the far left. Thankfully most Americans are not the extreme and actually use their brains.
  4. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal Insulin Beware

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    I read the first one and the first paragraph and haven't continued reading them since. I have no use in my life for sophistry.
  5. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    Which was why I challenged burma to offer up the author of these rants in the first place, to demonstrate that it was coming from a not particularly bright demagogue... this putz (not burma, the author, ol' "Proteus") goes on and on about how wrong it would be to ban all guns, to refer back to the thread in which I issued my challenge, and who in God's name is advocating THAT?? IOW, this putz apparently equates any attempt at gun control with an attempt to deny us the rights to have any guns...

    This is, of course, an asinine thing to believe, and would never, ever happen in this country... I'm in favor of some form of gun control, but would be stridently opposed if anybody ever TRIED to take our guns away from us... I strongly suspect that would be true for 90 per cent of Americans... but really, what's so unreasonable about requiring citizens to register their firearms?? This is an invaluable tool for law enforcement...
  6. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    :hammer:
  7. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    I offered my own challenge in that closed thread but it was summarily closed at request of the OP.

    I wasn't certain when the request was made but after seeing the number of times the OP asked for comments or challenges to the content of the writing I was surprised there was no rebuttal or response to my post which essentially pointed out as you mention the nonsensical leap of faith from some form of gun control to outlawing all handguns.

    There are dissenting opinions and I have had great debates with sharp conservative minds where they have made strong points but nothing in this writing suggests any desire for thoughtful discussion or political growth. Its dogmatic dreg meant to choke off debate and discussion while earning harrumphes from the far right.
  8. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    Forgive my ignorance, but what or who is the OP?
  9. Mavs Man

    Mavs Man All outta bubble gum

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    Opposing party?
  10. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    original poster, opinion provider.
  11. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Jterrel. You might want to look at the history of many of those who were our Founding Fathers. Those that wrote and approved the Declaration of Independence. Many of them were NOT more wealthy afterwards. Jefferson at his death was heavily in debt. John Adams was NEVER wealthy. And to be quite brutally frank, the TAXES were in reality nothing as regards their economic impact- it was the acts of a far off Parliament doing this without any consultation or representation that set many off. It was NEVER about the financial impact.
  12. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    IOW, pure demagoguery... and with the stilted writing, you wind up with a kind of
    Rush Limbaugh channels George Will kind of feel to it...
  13. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    burma.
    TJ is obviously an interesting case and yes any basic history course will say he died in debt. He did. He had offered to co-sign for a friend that lost much money. But Jefferson also died with some 50+ slaves and many acres of land. Those things he did not have when he was co-authoring the Declaration.

    By the definition 99% of current America is in debt.

    TJ is a political figure I both love and hate. His takes on corporations I find immensely appealing(and applicable now more so than ever before) but he had other takes which are completely abhorrent imho.

    One of the things Jefferson was most opposed to was inheritance. He left most of his belongings to the state and in the University of Virginia.

    Adams was the most bitter American opponent of TJ. Adams himself was wealthy. He attended Harvard and worked as a lawyer. He was involved in battling England as he fought legally for monies earned and controlled in America to remain here and not be custom'd to England then parsed out to the legislators.

    He reconciled with TJ in his later years but lived a very long and happy life and saw his own son win the Presidency.

    He did retire to his family farm but did so only because he was irritated with politics.

    When you go back and look at the American Revolution the biggest incidents were financially motivated. No one wanted to pay taxes/custom across the pond.
  14. Mavs Man

    Mavs Man All outta bubble gum

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    Wrong! I've watched The Patriot over five times, and the Revolutionary war obviously started because the British were evil Nazis who burned homes and churches and killed little children.

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