Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony A Survival Story



by Karen Lees

Few public school students remain who remember the true story of the Pilgrim’s first few years in Plymouth Colony. The historic record was at one time a valuable part of American education.  Essential lessons were learned from the failure of our nation’s first disastrous experiment with communism. The first settler’s failure actually birthed the implementation of free market economics in the new world.

The truth of much of America’s history simply does not support the politically correct narrative of today’s textbook authors, so the truth has dwindled into obscurity over the many years of revision.  J.R.R. Tolkien commented on how history can be lost when he wrote in “Lord of the Rings,” “History became legend. Legend became myth. [And after many years it] passed out of all knowledge.”
Language of Liberty

Children are led to believe a myth that goes something like this: That first Thanksgiving of 1621, because the Pilgrims were incompetent farmers and hunters, they nearly starved to death in their new home. The following spring, the kindly local Indians showed them how to plant crops and hunt wild game. When the next harvest season came around, their crops were so bountiful that the Pilgrims held a celebration to thank the Indians for saving their lives. Aside from being factually inaccurate, this narrative leaves out some important information essential to understanding principles of liberty. 

Plymouth Colony, founded in 1620, was governed by a pre-determined social contract.  The original charter, mandated by the investors who financed the Pilgrim’s endeavor, called for a system of communal property and labor.  Much like today, this system was the popular prevailing political theory at the time in Europe and Britain.

In a Forbes 2012 article, Jerry Bowyer writes, “The charter of the Plymouth Colony reflected the most up-to-date economic, philosophical and religious thinking of the early 17th century. Plato was in vogue then, and Plato believed in central planning by intellectuals in the context of communal property, centralized state education, state centralized cultural offerings and communal family structure. For Plato, it literally did take a village to raise a child.”

An English writer in 1844 described the devastation which existed when his nation experimented with communism: "Full one third of our population [in the United Kingdom] subsist entirely, or rather starve, upon potatoes alone, another third have, in addition to this edible, oaten or inferior wheaten bread, with one or two meals of fat pork, or the refuse of the shambles [slaughterhouses], per week; while a considerable majority of the re­maining third seldom are able to procure an ample daily supply of good butcher’s meat or obtain the luxury of poultry from year to year…On the continent of Europe, population is still in a worse condition…"

Human nature being what it is, the communal system lacks the essential built-in motivation to work.  The natural principle of incentives toward productivity cannot be thwarted - no matter how much man tries to get around it.  As old as mankind is the principle “If you don’t work, you don’t eat”. 

In order to find true satisfaction and happiness, each human in some way, big or small, must be as productive as they are able in order to gain satisfaction and enjoy the fruits of their labor.  Many youth, especially of earlier generations, learned a strong work ethic by earning an allowance, working an after-school job, working on the family farm, or by starting their own small business

Founder of the Plymouth Colony, Governor William Bradford, recorded in his diary Of Plymouth Plantation” that the people had been known for their “virtue and hard work”, but under the communal system, became “lazy and unproductive”. 

Many modern-day descendants of the Pilgrims observe a Thanksgiving tradition to remind themselves of their ancestor’s failed experiment and near extinction. Each family member around the table places three kernels of corn on their plate. This was the ration each Pilgrim had during the difficult early days of communal living in the Plymouth Colony.

After two and a half years, with more than half of the Pilgrim population taken by starvation and disease, the decision was made to ditch the charter promoting the system of communism and opt for a system where each should keep the fruits of their own labor. 

William Bradford then wrote, “All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with ye advise of ye chiefest among them) gave way that they should set come every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves… And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted then other ways would have been by any means ye Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into ye field, and took their little ones with them to set corn, which before would allege weakness, and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.”

As a result of applying a principle grounded in the natural right to keep the fruits of one’s own labor, the new colony not only survived but thrived.  Thus, the iconic first Thanksgiving of 1623 was celebrated with a feast that has endured as tradition for more than 400 years. 

Thanksgiving is part of our American heritage and is now imbedded in the DNA of our culture.  Of course, the Indians had come to the aid of the settlers, just as the settlers had also helped their native neighbors. The Indians were invited guests who contributed to the Thanksgiving feast to celebrate their mutual blessings together as friends and to give thanks to God. But it was the principle of liberty that saved the Pilgrim’s lives - keeping the fruits of one’s own labor - that fostered the settler’s ability to survive and thrive.

Bradford concluded, “Let none object this - is men’s corruption, and nothing to ye course itself. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in his wisdom saw another course fitter for them."

The “Language of Liberty®” series is a collaborative effort of the Center for Self Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. The authors include trainers, administrative staff, and selected students.  They may be contacted at info@tncsg.org

What's the Truth About the First Thanksgiving?



By Michael Medved for Prager University, Guest Columnist

Food, football, and…oppression. That’s what Thanksgiving has come to mean to many Americans.

Back in 2007, Seattle public school officials made national news by describing the holiday as a “time of mourning” and a “bitter reminder of 500 years of betrayal.”

This new narrative describes the Pilgrims as arrogant oppressors who fled persecution only to become persecutors themselves, depriving Native Americans of their land and their lives.

But this is wrong on every count.

First of all, the Pilgrims didn’t cross the ocean to flee persecution—or even England. They’d been living for over a decade in Holland, Europe’s most tolerant nation, and a haven for religious dissenters. Free from interference by the Church of England, they feared seduction—not persecution, worrying that their children would be corrupted by the materialistic Dutch culture.

That’s why they risked their dangerous 1620 voyage to a wilderness continent: not because they were running from oppression, but because they were running toward holiness—fulfilling a fateful mission to build an ideal Christian commonwealth.

They initially planned to plant this model society on the wild, wolf-infested island known to natives as Manhattan, but winds and tides blew them 250 miles off course, dumping the Mayflower on the frozen coast of Massachusetts.

Somehow, the Pilgrims saw their dire situation as a demonstration of providential power—especially after a giant wave picked up the flimsy boat of a scouting party on a stormy December night. The turbulent sea then deposited them safely—miraculously—on a little island within sight of the ideal location for their settlement. It was a deserted Indian village with cleared land, stored supplies of corn, and a reliable source of fresh water. 

No, these supposedly cruel conquerors never actually invaded that village. Instead, they expressed a fervent desire to pay the natives for the dried corn they found, if only they could find someone to pay. But the former inhabitants had perished during three years of plague—probably smallpox—that immediately preceded the Pilgrims’ arrival.

One of the few survivors of that devastation turned up several months later to welcome the English newcomers. Against all odds, he proved to be the single human being on the continent best-suited to help the struggling settlers, since he spoke English and had already embraced Christianity.

His name was Squanto, and he had grown up in this very village before a ruthless sea captain kidnapped him as a boy and sold him into slavery in Spain. After four years, he was freed by kindly monks, then made his way to England, and finally sailed across the Atlantic—only to find his friends and family all wiped out by disease. 

Over the next few months, Squanto helped the English newcomers plant crops and negotiate a friendly trade agreement with the region’s most important chief—Massasoit.

No wonder Pilgrim leader William Bradford called Squanto “a special instrument sent of God for their good.”

The celebration later known as “The First Thanksgiving,” actually involved a three-day harvest festival in October, apparently inspired by the Biblical holiday of Sukkot, or The Feast of Tabernacles. Ninety hungry Indian warriors joined the 53 surviving Pilgrims for this occasion (nearly half the colonists had died during the brutal winter).

The Englishmen provided some vegetables, fish, and perhaps wild turkeys, while the natives brought five recently hunted deer as house gifts. The preferred sport on this occasion wasn’t football, but shooting, with settlers and Indians sharing a fierce fascination with guns.

Though these hardy Pilgrims loom large in the American imagination, they never built their Plymouth settlement into a major colony. In nearby Boston, the later colony of Massachusetts Bay grew so much faster that it swallowed up the great-grandchildren of the Pilgrims in 1691.

But the sense of purpose of the original Pilgrims left a permanent imprint on the national character. They maintained unshakable confidence that God protected them—not to grant special privileges, but to impose special responsibilities. They saw themselves as instruments, not authors, of a mysterious master plan.

Today, with our continued blessings so obvious and so overwhelming, the only reason to treat this beloved national holiday as “a time of mourning” is that some foolish Americans actually think that’s a good idea. The Pilgrims knew better: they understood that people of every culture and every era can gain more from gratitude than from guilt.


Prager University helps millions of Americans understand the fundamental values that shaped America and provides the resources to articulate them. See the video “What's the Truth About the First Thanksgiving?” at PragerU.com.  Published with permission.

The Language of Liberty series is a collaborative effort of the Center for Self Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. The authors include administrative staff, selected students, and guest columnists. The views expressed by the authors are their own and may not reflect the views of CSG. Contact them at CenterForSelfGovernance.com



Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Uranium One noose is tightening



The following article appeared on the American Thinker on November 21st


Now that the FBI's informant on the Uranium One deal has been outed and the nondisclosure agreement formerly muzzling him abrogated, it is possible to see the outlines of the devastating case to be made against not just Hillary Clinton, but the entire Obama administration.  Two intrepid reporters, John Solomon of The Hill and Sara Carter of Circa News and Sinclair Broadcasting, are gaining access to some of the reported 50,000 documents in the possession of William Campbell, the whistleblower who went to the FBI with the scary details of what appeared to him to be an illegal attempt by Russian entities to take over the world uranium market, including even the uranium resources in our ground.

Reporting in The Hill, Solomon calls our attention to what could be a key to understanding the magnitude of the scandal: 
Putin

Campbell, who was paid $50,000 a month to consult for the firm, was solicited by Rosatom colleagues to help overcome political opposition to the Uranium One purchase while collecting FBI evidence that the sale was part of a larger effort by Moscow to make the U.S. more dependent on Russian uranium, contemporaneous emails and memos show.

"The attached article is of interest as I believe it highlights the ongoing resolve in Russia to gradually and systematically acquire and control global energy resources," Rod Fisk, an American contractor working for the Russians, wrote in a June 24, 2010 email to Campbell.

The Russian plot to "control global energy resources" was reported by Campbell to the FBI a year prior to approval of the acquisition.  There is every reason to expect – and the proof would be available to congressional investigators or (cough) a special counsel or U.S. attorney – that this information was passed up the chain to A.G. Eric Holder and even President Obama.  Yet CFIUS – the group of agency heads that must approve such transactions on which Holder and Hillary sat – went ahead and approved this sale that the U.S. knew was part of a Russian plot to control the world uranium and energy markets. 
Obama tool A.G. Eric Holder

Justice Department officials confirmed the emails and documents gathered by Campbell, saying they were in the possession of the FBI, the department's national security division, and its criminal division at various times over the last decade.  They added that Campbell's work was valuable enough that the FBI paid him nearly $200,000, mostly for reimbursements over six years, but that the money also included a check for more than $51,000 in compensation after the final convictions were secured.

The information he gathered on Uranium One was more significant to the counterintelligence aspect of the case that started in 2008 than the eventual criminal prosecutions that began in 2013, they added.

Solomon and Carter were interviewed last night on Hannity, along with Sullivan's lawyer, Victoria Toensing, and under questioning, they let us know that the money trail from Russia all the way to American political figures via cutouts will be exposed by documented evidence.

Now, contemplate the magnitude of a scandal that could demonstrate foreign money leading to the approval of a sale that harms national security and aids a hostile power (about whose danger the Democrats have been hyperventilating for the past year).  Here is a poor-quality bootleg video of the segment, which may or may not last on YouTube.  If a better copy becomes available, we will post that.  
Victoria Toensing/Sean Hannity youtube video HERE

But only if the Sessions Justice Department is willing to press the case, or is forced to approve a special counsel:

The memos, reviewed by The Hill, conflict with statements made by Justice Department officials in recent days that informant William Campbell's prior work won't shed much light on the U.S. government's controversial decision in 2010 to approve Russia's purchase of the Uranium One mining company and its substantial U.S. assets.

Campbell documented for his FBI handlers the first illegal activity by Russians nuclear industry officials in fall 2009, nearly a entire year before the Russian state-owned Rosatom nuclear firm won Obama administration approval for the Uranium One deal, the memos show.

This official reticence, whatever its origin, will be overcome as Sullivan's cache of 50,000 documents leaks out bit by bit.  Attorney Toensing knows exactly what she is doing here and how outside pressure can affect the grinding of the gears of justice.


Ed. Tens of thousands of original documents are now in the hands of reporters John Solomon and Sara Carter, issuing directly from whistle blower William Campbell. Campbell attorney, Victoria Toensing's youtube appearance with reporters Solomon and Carter on the Hannity show reveals the unquestioned corruption of the Obama Regime. Given the extraordinary depth of evidence available to the Trump Justice Department, will A.G. Jeff Sessions investigate and charge Hillary Clinton and others for the willful betrayal of the United States; for treachery and treason against her own country by the then sitting Secretary of State, by sitting Attorney General Eric Holder and by President of the United States Barack Obama?

The massive amount of available evidence makes it clear that the guilt of these people and a great many others is not in question. But will that evidence be used?



First leak from that $15-million harassment silencing slush fund in Congress hits iconic Dem



The following article appeared in the American Thinker on November 21st


It turns out that the effort to keep taxpayers ignorant of harassment claims paid to victims of abusive members of Congress – using our own money – may be futile in a least some cases.  The victims signed confidentiality agreements, and so did Congress.  So the two sides are mutually forbidden to spill the beans.   

But the veil of silence does not cover third parties who were aware of the harassment and settlements.  And people do talk among themselves about such scandalous doings.  Not only that, but once they see other people talking, those in the know are inspired to loosen their lips.  

Thus, we learn from The Hill:

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the longest-serving current House member, reportedly settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 after a former employee accused him of firing her for resisting his "sexual advances."
John Conyers
Four former staffers signed affidavits, three of which were notarized, saying that Conyers, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly made engaged in unwanted sexual behavior with his female staff, BuzzFeed News reported Monday night. 

Documents examined by BuzzFeed described a wide-range of inappropriate conduct, including making requests for sexual favors, caressing and touching, as well as having his staff contact and transport women they believed were sexually involved with him.

Four unnamed sources who were involved with the case confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the documents are authentic.
Conyers learning technique from the Master?
The following makes me wonder if criminal misuse of taxpayer funds might be an issue:

Two women wrote in their affidavits that they believed Conyers used office resources to pay for the travels of women with whom he was having affairs. 

If there was no business necessity for the women in question to travel, then their travel expenses were wrongfully obtained from taxpayers.  Even if not, it appears that there is a pattern:

Another staffer described the task of driving women to and from the lawmaker's apartment and hotel rooms.

The woman who claimed wrongful dismissal claims that Conyers would ask her to work with him in private rooms where he would allegedly start describing sexual fantasies to her, including encouraging her to "touch" his penis. 
Watch where you point that thing, John
Another former employee recalled a similar incident ...

This is just getting started, folks.  Stay tuned for reactions to Conyers and for more leaks from angry Capitol Hill staffers who watched bribes paid to female colleagues to buy their silence.  The anger the women have felt for years is cascading out.

Call me crazy, but I suspect that far more Dems will be implicated than Republicans.  One party celebrates libertinism and granted a famous pass to Bill Clinton's abuse because he supports abortion.  The other party is home to social conservatives and forces abusers out when their misdeeds become known.  So in which party are people more likely to give free rein to their sexual impulses?

Update (hat tip: Instapundit):

John Conyers settled charges of sexually harassing staffers during the time his wife was in prison for taking bribes on the Detroit City Council.