Sunday, November 15, 2015

It Should Come as No Surprise

The murder of innocent civilians in Paris attributed to ISIS is an atrocity to be sure, but sadly it is one more  event like so many others throughout history.  Atrocities against innocent victims, whatever the motivation are a disturbing part of the history of humankind.  Greed for land, resources and power, acute differences in spiritual beliefs, lack of trust and the egomania of leaders who feel they must impose their will to 'civilize' others, fill the history books.  And often the history books portray the victims as deserving of the atrocities, and glorify the perpetrators as advancing the cause of civilization.

The crusades sent soldiers, with the approval of religious leaders, to make war against the 'infidels' in their homeland.  And a little known sidebar is when English crusaders were sent to Ireland to rid the land of 'heathens'.  History is rife with examples of genocide, extermination, annihilation, imposed famine and disease and forced removal of indigenous people.  Man's inhumanity to other humans has always been with us, and does not seem likely to go away anytime soon. It is a sad commentary, and I wish I had an answer.  I don't.  But one place to start would be to have history books tell the whole story of figures like Henry II, Strongbow,  Christopher Columbus, Cortez, Pizzaro, Elizabeth I, Oliver Cromwell, Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson.

The so called advancement of civilization has been achieved by a long string of barbarous acts.


Monday, November 9, 2015

I Don't Get It

I know this is a little off message for what this blog is all about, but I feel the need to say it.

When I was in the work place (and I was for 50 years) I got paid for being on the job.  I didn't get paid for being somewhere else looking for another job.  So what I'd like to know is this:

Are the current Governors, Senators, and any others who are paid by the tax payers and  that are running president, still collecting their salaries?  I mean, how can you govern New Jersey or legislate for Vermont or Florida or Texas from Iowa or New Hampshire.  If they are not on the jobs they were elected to, why should they be paid?

Most employers would dock their pay, and some companies might even fire them if they were not doing their current job and were out looking for another job and still collecting their pay. 

How can we trust anyone who cheats their employer and has not the decency and ethics to suspend their salaries when they are not on the job?

I just don't get it.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Who Can You Trust?

One lesson in history is particularly true with the Irish and the Native Americans.  Be careful of your allies.  The lies and betrayals are many.  

The Irish in the 17th century allied with Royalists to fight against Cromwell's Parliamentarian New Model Army.  Money raised by both sides in the English Civil War came from 'adventurers'.  The debt was repaid with Irish land.  Lucky enough to survive the battles, and avoid slavery, many Irish soldiers returned to what was once their home to find that their land now 'legally' belonged to some English Earl.  And once victory came through Cromwell's terrorism, Irish Catholics were removed and pushed west of the Shannon River.
Likewise, later in the American colonies, what the history books call "The French and Indian War" took place with similar tactics. The war was actually between the French and the English, both of whom coerced natives tribes to join them.  And like in Ireland, the tribes were not rewarded, but driven from their land, which was given to white settlers.  Andrew Jackson, like Cromwell, mandated the removal of the tribes from the Southeast, and forced them to move west of the Mississippi River.  (And he never asked permission from the native tribes who had lived there since ancient times.)

So beware of your enemies, and keep a close eye on those who say they are your allies.