Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Will a Free World Will Ever Be Without War?

I’ve been thinking a great deal about peace and war.

We all want peace—it’s the dream of every parent for his children and every beauty queen—“I want world peace!” Peace is surely coming when Christ comes again to rule on the earth. Until that time, however, if we have freedom we will always have war.

The reason is clear as I’ve thought about it. War is what happens between nations when they make choices that don’t jive with other nations and compromise fails. Ditto with individuals: they can “go to war” when they don’t agree. The clash is the result of choices—of having the right to make choices. A tug-of-war over land ownership, resources, economic factors, ect. can lead to war.

So, one way to prevent war is to prevent choices—to take away freedom. If you can’t choose anything, you can’t get in a fight.

How do you eliminate war? I see two ways. One is that people are so good, so unselfish and wise that they don’t need to fight to resolve problems. We care about others as much as we care about ourselves; we compromise to find something that’s even better than what each of us could have had separately. That’s the good way to have peace. That we are likely to see only when the Savior comes again.

The other way isn’t so pretty. It brings “peace” when people completely lose freedom—when they have no rights, thus nothing to fight about. They’re told what to do in detail and they do it. They have no goals beyond what they are told to have. Government becomes the mind, heart and soul of every person.

What would you do with dissenters under that system? Once they proved incorrigible, they would have to be eliminated—they disturb the peace.  Only those who are “sheeple” could be left.

It was The Report from Iron Mountain that started me thinking.  The report is a book published in 1967 by Dial Press. It claims to be written by one of the attendees to a top-secret panel, assembled at the direction of an unknown authority to discuss this very issue—how can we structure a world without war? The report is available online at http://educate-yourself.org/nwo/reportironmountain1.shtml

The fifteen men on the study panel, each an expert in his own field, met for years to find a way to create a world without war. There were no holes barred in what they considered—morality was off the table. Their identities and the document would remain secret. The basic idea was that nations maintain control through power. If the power of war to unite a nation was eliminated, what could substitute for it? The consensus reached was that fear was necessary for control, and the philosophy with the most power to do that was the environment—the fear that the world is dying and we must submit to government power in order to save it.

Wikipedia says this about the book: it “was a New York Times bestseller…translated into fifteen languages. Controversy still swirls over whether the book was a satiric hoax about think-tank logic and writing style or the product of a secret government panel. The document is a favorite among conspiracy theorists, who reject the statement made in 1972 by satirist Leonard Lewin that the book was a spoof and that he was its author.”

Whatever. Whether a conspiracy or no, the idea of a world without war, and what it would take to get it, is compelling. Even if the book is fiction, it’s food for serious thought. A world without war would be a world without choice—without freedom. The whole idea puts war in a new context. 

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Friday, September 26, 2014

The Glory of Old Glory is the Mark of Honorable People

Few symbols showcase “America” like Old Glory on a breezy day. Freedom and liberty are the message, loud and clear.
We learned as schoolchildren that Betsy Ross of Philadelphia created the Stars and Stripes, our national flag, from a drawing given her by George Washington.

That’s likely legend, not fact. No proof exists, as Betsy’s papers were burned after her death. The family story has likely been enlarged, as family stories sometimes are.
Betsy was real, however, and she made flags — hundreds of them. She was born Jan. 1, 1752, the day the colonies switched to the Gregorian calendar, which made Jan. 1st the beginning of the year. She was the sixth of 18 children, several of whom died in infancy, including three of her four brothers. Twice widowed, she and her third husband, John Claypoole, raised seven daughters and several nieces, and ran a small upholstery shop on the ground floor of their three-story rented home.
Betsy sewed the fabrics of colonial life: mattresses, window and bed curtains, slipcovers and cushions — and flags. Independence rose around her. Family members, some rooted deep in the Quaker faith’s neutrality, stood on all sides of the freedom divide.
She knew those who gave birth to liberty and her artisan skills helped create colonial culture.
The pattern for our flag evolved over time. The design was set by law in 1777, but variations persisted for decades.
The final design’s blue field represents our national character. It took longer to decide on the stripes. At first they varied: horizontal, vertical, wide, narrow, even green.
They became 13 red and white horizontal stripes, one for each of the original colonies. The white star, with its five points — the likely contribution of Betsy Ross to the design — represents each state in the Union, a total of 50 today.

Flags were big in colonial life and colonial war. They declared authority. On the open seas, they announced nationality to friend and foe. They conveyed messages between ships, and the average ship carried two dozen different flags, each handmade by its creator.
Flags led troops into battle; ground troops, mounted troops and individual regiments all had their own flags, for a total of 500 different revolution era designs according to flag scholar Edward W. Richardson. Each became a rallying point in the chaos of battle.
The nickname Old Glory came later, from William Driver’s 1824 homemade flag, with its 24 stars sewn by his mother and female admirers.
At age 21, he was to command the ship Charles Doggett.
“It has ever been my staunch companion and protection,” he later said. “Savages and heathens, lowly and oppressed, hailed and welcomed it at the far end of the wide world. Then, why should it not be called Old Glory?”

America’s flag has steadied many battlefields. Those who lived rejoiced that it still stood; some who died took their last look at its colors.
Through America’s declared and undeclared wars, it has meant “home” to soldiers starved for home.
Visit Europe and you will see vast fields of graves — five in France alone — that hold the remains of the youth we gave to defend our friends. On each headstone flies a tiny American flag.
These warriors never came home. Who can forget the sight of 2,996 flags, one for each victim of 9/11, standing in orderly rows in Forest Park in St Louis on the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center bombing?
So many have lived and died for our nation and our flag! It is our privilege to honor them both.
As a nation, it is our responsibility to take our flag only to places where it will emerge with honor and respect.
It is the duty of our leaders to take it into war only where virtue, morality, and our sovereignty commend the fight.
Respect shown to the Stars and Stripes, and to the Constitution it heralds, is the mark of honorable people. School children in past were told: “Wave the flag and stomp your feet!” That is good advice. May we wave it for its greatness, and stomp our feet in support of its defense. Old Glory is glorious, indeed!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Women who Founded America: Martha Washington

Our respect for our Founding Fathers extends to the women who stood with them. Martha Custis Washington is one of them; she quietly carried the United States through its birth years. In her place beside the Father of our Country, she became our founding matriarch.
Standing a foot shorter than George, Martha was “fair to behold, of fascinating manners, and splendidly endowed with worldly benefits.” In an age of long courtships, they decided quickly, and married when George returned from the Fort Duquesne campaign in the French and Indian War. The young widow brought with her into marriage a four-year-old son and two-year-old daughter. She and George would have no children of their own.
Martha lost her only daughter to epilepsy at age 17. Mourning Patsy’s death, Martha wrote to her future daughter-in-law, who would wed their son, “Jackie”: “God took from me a daughter when the June roses were blooming. He has now given me another ... when winter winds are blowing.” Others — two grandchildren and a niece — later joined the family to fill the void left by Patsy’s death.
Martha, George, and children made their home at Mount Vernon, with its 9,000 acres on the scenic Potomac. George was a contented gentlemen farmer who directed a prosperous estate, and both expected a placid life together on the Potomac’s peaceful shores.
Destiny decided otherwise. When the struggling colonies began their climb to independence, George was called to be the commanding general of the Revolutionary War. It took eight long years to defeat the British Goliath. During that time, the general came home only once, for a few days, as the war brought him near. Martha raised her children alone at Mount Vernon. Her sacrifice was no less than his in the effort for liberty.
During the war, military campaigns were put on hold during winter, which allowed Martha to join her husband briefly at their encampments. A winter journey by horse and carriage was difficult. Martha disliked travel and had never gone far from home but made the journey each year to be with her husband. She lived at Valley Forge the winter of 1777-1778, when starvation, freezing temperatures and raging camp illnesses killed one-fourth of the Colonial Army’s 10,000 troops. A recalcitrant Congress, quibbling states and a derelict supply officer left thousands without clothing, food and medical supplies.
Martha helped; weather permitting, she went from tent to tent to give comfort. Some men wore only blankets for protection from near zero temperatures, their rotted rags having fallen from emaciated bodies. In bad weather, and if materials were available, she and other women knit and sewed for the destitute soldiers.

After the war, Martha and George had five years together at Mount Vernon. Both hoped it would last the rest of their lives. Again, destiny called. A new Constitution emerged from the Constitutional Convention in 1787. George Washington, by unanimous vote, became the nation’s first president, with Martha at his side. Her years as mistress of a bustling estate gave her the skills needed to carry out the exacting hospitality demanded of a new national executive. Mount Vernon would have to wait.
Finally, after eight difficult years, The Washingtons joyfully returned home. Martha wrote that she and George felt “like children just released from ... a hard taskmaster”. The estate had fallen into neglect, finances were strained and constant visitors, come to meet the nation’s great man, drained their finances and energy. George insisted that former soldiers who visited be fed and given a few dollars, and Martha obliged.
Their time together was short. In the late evening of December 14, 1799, a violent throat infection took Washington’s life. He and Martha had been home for less than three years. “Tis well”, she said. “I shall soon follow him.” Two and a half years later she joined her husband in death. Her steadiness had sustained not only our first president but the nation as well.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

“Oh Say Can You See…”

This is a re-print from: http://blog.utahscouts.org

This month marks the 200th anniversary of the fateful night which inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the words that became our national anthem. The story of how our national anthem came to be is not well-known and has even been fictionalized in strange ways. It is an old story and research can only reveal what history has preserved, but in honor of the day I would like to share with you the story as I have come to know it.
Star Spangled Banner as it looks today in the Smithsonian

The War of 1812 was a hard time for the newly formed United States of America. Less than 50 years after the American Revolution there was still uncertainty in how the “great experiment” in democracy would turn out. For reasons not completely clear to historians today the United States declared war on Britain and attacked the British territory that is now Canada, burning a large city and capturing territory in the beginning of the war. On another front US ships were sent to attack British ships because of disputes over US trade with France, an enemy of Britain at that time.

parade ground
300px-War_of_1812_MontageReenactment inside Ft. McHenry

By 1814 the war was not going well for the US. The British burned the national capital, Washington D.C, and British troops were moving through the countryside harassing the citizens almost without resistance. Dr. William Beanes who was a well loved US citizen had been captured and taken prisoner by British soldiers because of mischief he committed. The British imprisoned Dr. Beanes on one of the British ships, and his friends asked President James Madison to send Francis Scott Key, a well-known lawyer, to negotiate the good doctor’s release. The president agreed and Key was taken to a British vessel for negotiations on September 5th.
In September of 1814 the British focused their attack on the port city of Baltimore, Maryland. This was an important city to the United States and the home of many of the ships which had attacked British ships. A British leader was killed in a land attack early in the month and left the British cautious to make another land-only attack against the militia that protected the city. They determined to attack first by sea with a large  naval force and then the troops would attack by land. The date for the attack came on September 13, 1814.
fort mchenryThe British attack was well planned with 4500 troops and as many as 20 war ships. The British were known around the world for their mighty navy and the force gathered against Baltimore included 5 bomb ketches, 10 smaller ships for close combat with land targets and a rocket launcher ship. Their first target would be Fort McHenry guarding the Bay of Baltimore with 20 guns and 1000 men.
Key was treated well by the British and was successful in negotiating the release of Dr. Beanes but they were not allowed to return to shore until after the attack on Baltimore and they were forced to watch the battle from a ship positioned 8 miles from Fort McHenry. For perspective that is a little farther than the width of Utah Lake.

Fort McHenry returning fire.                                
ft mchenry
The attack lasted 25 hours and began with British ships firing more than 1000 cannon balls, mortars, bombs and rockets while carefully staying out of range of the canons of Fort McHenry. Without seeing success the ships moved closer to the star-shaped fort in an attempt to increase their accuracy and provide cover for 1200 troops in row boats attempting to move past the fort under a cover of darkness and smoke. 

Bombardment from both sides shredded the night sky with flashes of explosions and billows of smoke. By morning the British accepted their defeat at Baltimore and backed out of range again to survey the damage.
ft mchenry2
Flag over Fort McHenry 

If you had been there standing beside Francis Scott Key on the morning of September 14, 1814 you would have seen, with him not the smaller storm flag that flew through the night, but the magnificent star-spangled banner that fort commander, Lieutenant Colonel George Armistead had commissioned for a morning like this. Flying 90 feet above the fort the 42 foot by 30 foot banner was proudly waving, showing in defiance its’ 15 stripes and 15 stars representing each of the 15 states of this new republic.
The battle was won, and when a count was made the British had lost 330 men, killed, wounded or captured. Fort McHenry on the other hand found only 4 dead and 25 wounded.
I do not see any great strategy at work here. I do not see superior defenses or training. I do not see technology advances to justify the protection offered Fort McHenry that fateful night. In every case the argument could be made that the victory should have been to the British by a wide margin.
Could you have slept through that night safe in your ship at sea if you had been there with Dr. Beane and Mr. Key?
Painting (by LTJG James Murray) of Francis Scott Key penning the Star Spangled Banner, NHHC Photo NH 86765-KN - See more at: http://www.navyhistory.org/2012/06/war-of-1812-exhibit-june-10-maryland-historical-society/#sthash.JYc8K4oR.dpuf
Painting (by LTJG James Murray) of Francis Scott Key penning the Star Spangled Banner, NHHC Photo NH 86765-KN – See more here

No, you would have been watching and wondering as each bomb or rocket lit up the walls of the little fort. You would have been straining to measure the damage of each British strike against your homeland and fellow citizens. When morning came you would look searching for signs of life. Could anyone survive such an overwhelming attack?
I see, oh yes Mr. Key, I see with you the hand of God protecting the little fort through the night and sending a breeze on that glorious morning to clear away the smoke and display that beautiful symbol of our country; the inspiration for those words that we sing so proudly and hold so dear.
O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Article re-printed with permission from:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Conspiracies and Climate Change: Hopelessness vs. Hope

The two perspectives define hopelessness and hope — for the planet and mankind. The humanist argument says resources are limited; their exhaustion looms. Man is destructive, a spoiler; control him, reduce his numbers, curtail his activities to prevent exhaustion of the world’s essentials. Each new baby gobbles resources. Man-made climate catastrophe preaches scarcity. Doomers say Earth is fragile and delicate and can’t handle its human occupants so we must tiptoe on its tender turf.
The opposing philosophy — call it creationism — says the earth is for man’s use, to grow and prosper. It instructs us to enrich the land and make it better. Resources are plentiful and liberty is paired with the duty to subdue and improve the earth. Every baby is a welcome, never-before-seen collection of anticipated contributions. Creationism is faith-based — in mankind, in the planet, in its creator. The planet is strong and resilient; it has, and will, deal successfully with physical disruptions. Creationism carries the hope of growth and productive prosperity based on man’s wise use of natural resources and private property.
The humanist philosophy makes man so powerful that he can throw a planet off course, yet collapses his individual productivity and liberty by declaring his personal choices to be selfish. Humanism holds the political purse strings, occupies university podiums, buys the media, and stifles opponents. Creationism, by contrast, says that man makes mistakes and things aren’t perfect, then frees him to use earth’s bounty to make improvements and embrace opportunities.
Philosophical ruminations aside, gloom gurus say 97 percent of scientists accept their speculations. Many scientists originally saw the flaws in the theory, but have given up under peer pressure. Their support for natural, rather than man-made, climate change was shown by the signatures of 31,487 scientists on the Petition Project’s drive to reject man-made climate doom. The petition drive was conducted 15 years ago after Vice-President Al Gore signed the deeply flawed Kyoto Protocol of 1997. This inept treaty, which the Senate wisely refused to ratify, would have chained America to the UN’s global initiative to limit resource use.
The reality of a planet that can deal effectively with its occupants is common sense. “The alarmist predictions of man-made planetary doom are based on hypothetical mathematical models that have never been validated against the real world” according to Steve Milloy, founder of the Advancement of Sound Science Center and voice of junkscience.com. He and others point out that if the data used as the foundation of research are flawed, additional research mimics the flaws. The creators of The Petition Project decried “seeing the accomplishments of science demonized and one of the three most important molecular substances that make life possible -- atmospheric carbon dioxide (the other two being oxygen and water) -- denigrated as an atmospheric "pollutant".
While the two conspiracy camps clash, both agree that climate change is occurring. The salient question is why, with disagreement centering on man’s involvement in the change. The famous “hockey-stick graph” that “proved” man causes destructive climate change, was disqualified for “methodological flaws,” i.e. phony science, a few years ago. This major scientific turnaround displayed a real boo-boo. Deep errors were found by two non-professionals, resulting in a Senate hearing on the matter. The thorn in the gloom-and-doom theory is a centuries-long medieval global warming/cooling period called the Little Ice Age, beginning about 1000 AD. Doomers must eliminate the Little Ice Age to validate their theories, so they manipulate data and graphs to silence the damning evidence that earth changes on its own from time to time.

We are arrogant if we believe our puny knowledge encompasses all the reasons our planet could change. Many known and unknown events such as volcanic eruptions change our climate. We are doubly arrogant to declare that we are sure of the cause of climate change and then manipulate public opinion and policy to enforce our speculations. Idaho Falls high school student Nathan Zohner uncovered widespread fears of a fragile planet with his 1997 science project titled “How Gullible Are We?” He asked 59 fellow students if they favored banning “dihydrogen monoxide” from the planet and 43 answered yes. Guess again: dihydrogen monoxide is water. His story circled the globe with headlines such as “Scientific ignorance is no laughing matter.”
The mantra that people are polluters rather than contributors to a workable world offers big money and government control to those who preach fear. While we must insist on local enforcement of a clean environment, we are unwise to buy into “hypothetical mathematical models” that strip our right to use our resources. Earth was made for man, not the other way around.

Pamela's new Ebook, "Promises of the Constitution:"  http://www.amazon.com/Promises-Constitution-Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow-ebook/dp/B00LEWCS4E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407776265&sr=8-1&keywords=ebook+promises+of+the+constitution   

Monday, September 15, 2014

Can Government Get More Dishonest? Apparently! Make Way for Republirats!

Attorney General Eric Holder’s office has been caught with its hand in the cookie jar—again. One of Holder’s staff members mistakenly called the wrong office to work hanky-panky for the DOJ. Instead of reaching the intended Democrat, the call was accidentally placed to the office of Darrell Issa, (R-Calif), House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman, to ask them to leak confidential information to the press. The leaked info would be incomplete and inaccurate, giving the DOJ a media moment to “phony-up” its story before the real stuff hit the public. The info would look suspicious, dumb, invalid in the press and to the under-educated.

See the full story here: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/09/09/rep-darrell-issa-says-he-caught-the-justice-department-red-handed-conspiring-with-house-dems-on-irs-documents/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=ShareButtons

The infuriating thing about this—no, make that one of the infuriating things—is that it won’t change anything. In past administrations, when bloopers occurred, and they did—politics is a sadly dirty business—the officials involved apologized, repented of their shenanigans or covered them up better.

Not so with Obama’s Team One: they ignore it and press on to the next affront. It’s a flagrant “We don’t care about right, wrong, law, or the people” attitude that baffles the rest of us.

How do you contradict that? What happens when manners, ethics, and morals disappear? We’re based on morals and there aren’t any here!

Its time to play hardball. We need some impeachment here. This is when the two party system would come in handy—the Republicans would rise up and drive these unethicals out of office. What a pity that we are now under one party rule, with a few exceptions like Cruz, Lee, and Paul. The Republicans have become Democrats. They wail, whine, dilly-dally and are generally helpless. It’s obvious they’re all on the same side.

This new party needs a new name; progressive is getting stale. I propose we call them Republicrats. Nope, we can go that one better: how about Republirats.  Its hard to be very polite to those who let you down.

Pamela's new Ebook, "Promises of the Constitution:"  http://www.amazon.com/Promises-Constitution-Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow-ebook/dp/B00LEWCS4E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407776265&sr=8-1&keywords=ebook+promises+of+the+constitution    

Monday, September 8, 2014

Declining Population Part III: Why Do We Have a Declining Population?

In much of the world, people have stopped having the number of children society needs in order to grow and remain healthy and flourishing. Today we answer the question: Why?

We discussed in Part I that the fertility rate must be 2.1 in order for a population to at least remain stable: every woman in the society, on average, must produce one child to replace herself and one to replace a man. In addition, one woman in 10 must have a third child to compensate for infant deaths and slightly higher birth rates among males. Those numbers aren’t materializing; the US has a Caucasian birth rate of 1.65 with an overall US birth rate of 1.9. Much of Europe falls lower than that, with Italy at 1.26. These numbers are a serious concern as we face the prospect of cultures courting extinction if these numbers don’t change.

Population decline is also at the root of our economic woes.  W e are not producing enough people to consume goods and offer the needed services. Population growth produces economic growth; population decline creates a declining economy.

There are two major reasons for our alarming worldwide population decline.

The first takes us back to the economy. As prosperity falters, people fear they cannot afford to have children, so they don’t. Economic decline becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: We don’t have the money, so we don’t have the children, so we don’t have goods being consumed or new services being offered. Creativity and innovation stumble, optimism for the future wanes, and the population declines further in a circular progression that is hard to stop. Sweden has been locked into this spiral for generations, and even serious government intervention hasn’t helped. To encourage births, the Swedish government pays all prenatal and delivery costs, gives the mother a paid year off after a birth, and a monthly stipend for each child until age 18. With all that, Sweden’s fertility rate stands at 1.5, dangerously below replacement levels.

The second reason takes us to religion. Much of the Western world has abandoned Christianity to embrace secular humanism, the “religion” where man worships himself. Under humanism, man puts himself and his wants at the center of existence. These beliefs are opposed to Christian principles, which include a belief in God as a loving Father, a purpose for life and a hereafter, consequences for sin, and a time when we will account for our actions and our treatment of others. Those beliefs all lead us to create families, to think of others, and to structure our lives in ways that build society. Humanism, by contrast, accepts no God and no hereafter with accountability for personal actions. While humanists believe people should treat others well, without the moral force of a divine, universal authority to which we answer if we misuse others, there is little consequence for selfishness. Power-hungry people can rise to prominence, and selfishness expands. The divine, God-given reason for having children doesn’t exist, and children are a hindrance unless one happens to want them. In a culture where humanist principles are expanding, the reasons for having children are contracting.

Demographic experts tell us there is every reason to believe Western populations will continue to decline, probably at even steeper rates than the last 50 years, when population worldwide has decreased by 50%. With the ugly consequences of socialism coming home to roost in most of Europe, economies are, and will surely continue to, decline. With the US debt levels escalating rapidly our economy is guaranteed to take a serious nosedive, bringing economic and population troubles we can only faintheartedly imagine.

In addition, the world seems determined to abandon Christian principles for secular hedonism. As people become increasingly self-absorbed, children will become increasingly burdensome. The future possibilities for a thriving economy and a thriving birthrate appear gloomy.

For years, population fearmongers have flogged public opinion with their bogus issue. It was never real. Those of us who knew God doesn’t overpopulate the worlds He creates tried to tell them so. Worrisome declines in fertility rates have taken up the dialogue, and the statistics are hard to dismiss.

Pamela's new Ebook, "Promises of the Constitution:"  http://www.amazon.com/Promises-Constitution-Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow-ebook/dp/B00LEWCS4E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407776265&sr=8-1&keywords=ebook+promises+of+the+constitution  

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Freedom of the Press Keeps Us Free

The term “yellow journalism” refers to sensational or exaggerated news reporting that inflames emotions. It can also refer to media coverage that subverts freedom principles. Some of today’s news fits this description.

You can’t keep liberty without accurate information. With false reporting, good seems bad and bad gains favor. You don’t know who to vote for, what to support, or why. Bogus facts distort our perception of friend and foe and we lose hope if we are falsely told the fight is already lost. Greased by the misconceptions of a biased media, the truth becomes too slippery to maintain and slides from our grasp.
As an example, yellow journalism of two centuries ago worked against Thomas Jefferson’s reputation. Just after the 19th century dawned, newspaper reporter John Callender, “one of the most notorious scandal-mongers and character assassins in American history”, according to historian Dumas Malone, accused Jefferson of fathering at least one illegitimate child by his slave, Sally Hemings. The falsehood stuck. Jefferson never refuted the lie publicly; he said his enemies wouldn’t believe him and his friends already did.
In 1999, these accusations against Jefferson re-surfaced, driven by political mischief. President Clinton was under attack for the Monica Lewinsky debacle. To deflect criticism, Clinton supporter and historian Joseph Ellis reported that Thomas Jefferson’s paternity of Heming’s children had been proven through DNA research. The message was, “This is just what powerful men do.”
The story made headlines. Eight weeks later a quiet retraction was issued. There was no proof of Thomas Jefferson’s paternity, nor would there be. Proof requires DNA from a direct male heir and Jefferson’s only son died at childbirth. DNA from his uncle, Field Jefferson, was used in the tests, instead, and proved, not that Thomas fathered the child, but that one of ten possible Jefferson men was the father. Thomas’s brother, Randolph, who visited Thomas at Monticello during the appropriate time, cavorted at night with the slaves and Sally’s family claimed he fathered the child. A panel of noted historians from prestigious universities has since exonerated Thomas Jefferson.
The retraction to the original article by Ellis, with its false claims, was buried by the media; it received only minute press coverage, leaving the stain of yellow journalism on the integrity of an exceptional, innocent patriot. What a travesty!
Yellow journalism is still active. While the media is responsible to report events, it errs when it politicizes, inflames, or reports only one side of the issue. The media established saint and sinner in the Martin/Zimmerman case two years ago and a similar thing appears to be in progress in Ferguson, Missouri with the Brown/Wilson case. The pattern brings well-known figures to the area of a black person’s shooting. Accusations of racial bias, trumpeted in advance of or despite the facts as they emerge, are splayed across media headlines. Public emotions, fanned by media attention, convicted George Zimmerman and are poised to convict Officer Wilson, as well, without regard to due process of law. This reeks of deliberate racial conflict. Why is skin color even an issue in this reporting? We mourn the death, independent of ethnicity.

Why is it that a white against black incident creates chaos, yet a black against white attack is ignored? Do we have national outrage and microscopic media attention from anything but the conservative press when black men beat two men in Mississippi last week, several states away, in retaliation for their premature verdict against Officer Wilson? Young blacks randomly attacked white people in a McDonald’s in Baltimore in May of this year and police called it a “prank”, according to topconservativenews.com. What about the attack on a white family by a group of blacks in Savannah GA, also in May, as reported in New American? In that incident police showed up 25 minutes later, while the mob was still there, and the family saw no action taken. Where is the media outrage? Where are the national leaders converging on the scene?
The media is powerful. It can energize or tranquilize, inflame or pacify, educate or debauch. It reshuffles our fundamental principles as much by what it does not report as by what it does. In the process, the Constitution’s freedom of speech takes a hit. The Washington Times reported on the book “Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind” by Tim Groseclose of the University of California, Los Angeles. It said media bias substantially changes views and is “more significant, complex and pernicious than people realize.”
We need the press, the airwaves and the ether. Without them we are in the dark about events; without them we cannot remain free. When the media does its rightful job, it tells both sides of the story fairly. It protects those whose only avenue for justice and assistance may be an appeal through mass communication, but it does so with integrity and without a hidden agenda. An ethical media is a powerful source for good—one that we have some control over. When you see honest reporting, thank those responsible; when you see yellow journalism, ask that it stop. Media moguls listen to public opinion. Make your voice heard to create an ethical media.

Pamela's new Ebook, "Promises of the Constitution:"  http://www.amazon.com/Promises-Constitution-Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow-ebook/dp/B00LEWCS4E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407776265&sr=8-1&keywords=ebook+promises+of+the+constitution   

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How Do We Find the Truth?

The last few weeks I’ve been writing in my newspaper column (www.heraldextra.com, Opinions tab, or see reprinted columns on this blog) to debunk the myth of man-made climate change. It has led me to ponder the question: How do we find truth
That is the Question.
It’s an important question. As people and as a society we need truth. As a nation we need it, as well. We must have a source for truth because there are so many answers to find: about politics, social agendas, family matters, personal conduct, budgets and the economy—the list goes on. The world is one big debate of conflicting voices and beliefs. How can we know what’s correct: do we stop, go, or halt in the middle?

This is one reason why we need God—to be the source of truth. He is the final say because He knows everything. There is no question to ask, no dilemma to solve that He can’t provide an answer for. We’ve heard the saying: “The buck stops here.” God is that end point: what He says is where the buck stops. The answers are found not just in what He says but in how He does things. We follow His pattern.

Consider the dilemma of the atheist, who scorns this ultimate referee. Where does he get a final answer? Every issue is a tug-of-war between two opposing opinions. Without God as an ultimate source of truth, whoever wins the power grab sets the “truth”. When power changes, “truth” changes with it. Rootless and without foundation, it becomes relative—dependent on current events.

That would get confusing. In the end, there would be no need for truth; people would live for the moment and the current regime. Right and wrong would be erased because they would morph—what was once right would become wrong, and vice versa.

This describes secular humanism, the religion where man worships himself, not God. Truth is relative; different for each of us. God doesn’t exist. Neither does judgment, punishment for wrongdoing or an afterlife. (In a total flip flop, however, humanists say we should be kind and treat others well. These are Christian principles. In a major blindside, atheists root their atheism in Christianity.)

In some ways, life would be easier without Christian principles to live up to, providing, of course that your conscience was silent: no rules, no guilt, no need to improve. Long term and overall, however, it would be ugly, (especially when the consequences came due). We would be driftwood on an endless, purposeless sea. That picture is painted in the colors of hopelessness.

For this, and many other reasons, I’m glad there is a God. Because the Constitution of the United States is always close to my heart, I’m also grateful the Founding Fathers, and those whose works they studied, believed in God and followed His principles. Our original governing document rests on this Christian foundation. (I’m not so sure the changed version does, however—that’s why I work for a restoration of the original.) I have confidence in our Founders, in our original Constitution, and in the power of God to help us find the truth.

We need it. 

Pamela's new Ebook, "Promises of the Constitution:"  http://www.amazon.com/Promises-Constitution-Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow-ebook/dp/B00LEWCS4E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407776265&sr=8-1&keywords=ebook+promises+of+the+constitution