I am guessing you are tired of looking at bird pictures. If so, you are in luck because tonight’s post is a book recollection. My brother gave me this book as a gift (possibly Xmas or my birthday, I can’t remember), but in either case, I actually finished reading Michael Medved’s book awhile back. Now that the birds are done for a bit, I figured I better wrap up the recollection before I forgot everything. I was actually not familiar with Michael who apparently has a conservative talk show. The premise of the book is his attempt to refute some common misconceptions (translated liberal distortions of truth) about my country. It appears my brother has me correctly profiled since I did enjoy this read. It was more like a fire hydrant of interesting information regarding America’s past. My weakest subject is Geography (unless it is on a RISK board game). A close second has to be American history – in complete contrast to my academic success in Mr. Beagles high school History class where I achieved an A+ (amazing the amount of effort you are willing to put in a class when the instructor goes the extra mile to make it fun and interesting.
A few of the refuted lies hit close to home. The topic of America being founded on the genocide of Native Americans was relevant based on my university removing the most reverent symbol to American Indians that I am aware of (it was NOT a mascot, apparently it is okay if you buy them off – Florida State and explain to me how the professional teams don’t seem to get bothered by the so called activists – Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians come to mind). As a result I will never give another penny to my alma mater and will continue to display the honored Chief Illiniwek. Another topic regarded America’s guilt and supposed need to reconcile for past slavery. I appreciate him taking on this sensitive topic and coming from the Land of Lincoln, I am astutely aware of efforts that were taken to end this activity. I often find it interesting that people want to harp on the past without giving any credit to efforts that set the slaves free – America went to war over this and jeopardized the union of states to accomplish it. The other very relative topic concerned reaffirmation that America’s founding fathers were immersed in faith. My brother and I have had many discussions on this topic and both agree that the recent changes in coin design are covert attempts to rid our currency of the word “God”. The latest attempt at putting the In God We Trust on the coin edge is simply so it will get rubbed off and then slowly desensitize us to the point we don’t notice it missing in the next design.
Overall, I thought it was a very good read. I did not agree with all of his opinions, but to his credit, he did an excellent job of backing up his statements and supporting his opinions. Follow the jump for the list of things that stood out from the read.
Takeaways from the book:
- On 11/08/07 apparently Seattle’s public school teachers were sent a letter telling them not to celebrate Thanksgiving due to the hardship Native Indians have had to endure. Up to the moment I read this, I had no idea anyone even associated the two concepts before. Immediately after reading it I realized how absolutely asinine that statement was.
- Historical record shows the overwhelming majority of Indian deaths (75-95%) resulted from infectious disease and there was no endorsement or practice of Indian extermination
- Custer actually took prisoners and protected many of the women and children – contrasted with Custer’s Last Stand when the Indian forces left no survivors or prisoner yet outnumbered the government troops 10 to 1.
- Once again liberal entertainment decided to depict the Lakota tribes as peaceful natives in Dances with Wolves where reality is they were actually the most feared and ferocious of all native warriors
- There was a fascinating discussion on the general advancement of the Native American culture – the point being they were far behind other societies (wheel vs forged steel) and questions on whether they could have survived against any eminent invader
- Bill Clinton insists he is part Cherokee – Chief Ina-nada-hada-sexa
- Gotta love Iowa politicians – apparently Tom Harkin of Iowa thinks the government should step up and apologize for slavery… luckily the state redeemed themselves with the recent comment from their politician that said the AIG bonus getters should fall on their own swords
- Slavery was not invented by America, the acted retarded rather than increased overall American prosperity, America should be highlighted for ending slavery quickly, and there appears to be no evidence indicating that African Americans would be better off in America had their ancestors not been brought over
- It is odd that we do not hear similar rhetoric concerning Brazil (7 times the number of slaves than America and ended a century after it was ended in America) and the Arab world where this practice was perpetuated into the 21st century and as a total involved 20x as many as ever came to the US -Saudi Arabia outlawed slavery in 1962 (Let’s see Sean Penn go there and ask for an apology)- numbers come down to 3% of the total taken from Africa (yes, that is still bad as a number, but there appears to be a few more apologies required elsewhere before lobbying our politicians.
- At the height of Roman empire, 25-40% of the total population were slaves
- Washington was very concerned about slavery and the impact on the Union – so much that he put their liberation in his will.
- Africans have now willingly traveled to the US is now 5x the number brought over during slavery
- The US sponsored the colony of Liberia as an independent haven for liberated American slaves… but very few took them up on that offer to go “home”
- If it was not for the sacrifice of white soldiers and a white American president, blacks in America would not have obtained their freedom as early as they did
- Lincoln prominently featured scripture citations in many of his public speeches
- Early settlers came to America to establish, not escape Christian societies – 10 of the originalPr 13 colonies have religious purposes in their founding documents
- President Washington declared 11/26 to be devoted … to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be – as requested by Congress – Seems to me to have a Christian feel to it don’t you think as well?
- If you get a chance, read Justice Joseph Story’s (1811-1845 Supreme Court appointed by father of the Constitution Madison) explanation of the First Amendment – it makes it very clear in my opinion the intent of that amendment
- 6/30/1956 – In God We Trust became the official motto by act of Congress
- Irving Berlin donated all proceeds from God Bless America to the Boy Scouts
- Apparently VP Gore (and blatant personal green offender) stated that E pluribus unum means Out of one many – it really means out of many, one – hmmm seems like a foreshadowing of many lies to come
- Theodore Roosevelt – 1915 – There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American (in terms of nationality) – think about that and put that into context of the whole concept of a Republic/Union
- At the time of the constitution the population was 80% white – in 2006, the self identification is 80.1% white – note 79.8% of Americans identified themselves as Christian in 2001. This must really annoy San Francisco politicians – read Pelosi
- 50K black Confederates (mostly identified as “free) defended Dixie (note, 180K for the Union side)
- Somewhat timely statement from Medved – bring about less bureaucratic involvement in the free market not insist on more – there probably is a nice balance somewhere on the continuum, but in contrast to the current Democrat government, I believe it is definitely on the side of LESS government – Apparently Change in big government is not a Change we can bank on at it appears to be getting bigger and bigger as every trillion gets passed on Congress. I find it quite startling to daily deal with SOx issues in my own corporation when apparently the bodies that instituted this checks and balance on us (costing us millions by the way) doesn’t appear to apply to their own government funding policies – but then again, apparently Obama selections for his official positions do not have to pay taxes either… at least until they get caught.
- On April 12th, 1945 FDR died of a cerebral hemorrhage – like I said, I suck at American history
- In 1931 Hoover’s unemployment rate was 17.4% – 7 years later (5 from FDR) the rate was at 17.4%
- There is a very detailed discussion on whether the New Deal actually helped the depression – based on the facts provided like market stats and unbelievable spending by the government (government economy up 360% in just seven years) I would conclude Not -the question is, is the current government policies headed in the same direction?
- Nearly 60% of all schoolkids in the US are given free lunches from the government
- Social Security benefits are not transferable and thus not able to leave any of their investment to their heirs as opposed to general retirement savings
- Here is a quote from FDR that should have you shaking in your boots – […] we must frankly recognize the overbalance of population in our industrial centers and, by engaging on a national scale in a redistribution, endeavor to produce a better use of the land for those best fitted for the land – this must be a Democrats wet dream to have total control of where we get to live.
- Remember Pastor Wright? – you know, Obama’s Pastor… Medved quotes his sermon on the first Sunday after Sept 11, 2001. I highly recommend you read that particular vile to understand the kind of mentality that is apparently fine and dandy with our new president. As often as Ann Coulter is called out for her harsh comments (some I agree with some I don’t agree with), I find the media extremely lax on the balance front.
- Joel Stein LA Times columnist stated he does not support the troops [because they sign up to be a tool of American Imperialism]… which from my humble perspective appears to being in the line of fire (fortunately, real bullets and not the horrid stinging slap of say ink in a newspaper) in order to defend among other things, the freedom of speech.
- The US remained the only one of the major Allies that sought no territory or colonial enhancement at Versailles – they only asked for enough land to bury their dead. I wish I could remember something my brother commented on a few weeks ago where someone responded to a comment about Americans leaving France with – shall we bring our dead home too? If I remember I’ll update this, otherwise he could possibly provide a comment to this post with more details
- In 2000 when Pat Buchanan deserted to the Reform Party race, he actually selected a former LA high school teacher with a history of mental disability as his running mate)
- Vegas stats for 2007 – 40 million visitors – 87% Americans (average age 48 and middle class), only 24% had incomes over 100K, 46% did not graduate from college, 15% non-white, managed to spend over $1700 – now I want to know how they produced these stats – I’ve been going there every year for awhile now and not once has anyone tried to get any stats from me.
- Mrs. Clinton campaigned on a bus called The Middle Class Express while reporting a combined income of 109M and of course if you remember the past a very high value for used underwear given to Goodwill.
- The middle class median income has risen 33% (18K) since 1979
- 2004 – top 5th of income pay 25.1% of taxes and the top 1% pay 31.1% – the middle fifth paid 10.7% of income tax under Carter and only 4.7% in 2004 under Bush. The middle class being unduly forced to burden the brunt of the tax is clearly BS
- There is a premise that America is in the midst of a moral decline – I already know Thomas Jefferson’s affairs, but did not know Benjamin Franklin (born on my birthday by the way) had an illegitimate son, married a woman not properly divorced and apparently flirtatious in France.
- Average American watches 29 hours of TV a week. Hmm I watch .5 on M + 2 on T + 1 on W + 2 on TH + 0 on F + 3 SA (college fball) + 3 on SU (pro fball) = 11.5 but “watching” is probably a pretty loose word since I rarely ever just sit and watch TV as opposed to just having it on while doing something entirely more constructive.
Wow, that was a long post. I’m in Ixonia, Wisconsin (or BFN as my wife puts it) at a dog show and this allowed me a pleasant distraction. As I mentioned previously, this was a fire hose of information and I highly recommend giving it a read.