Saturday, October 17, 2009
An important aspect of Republican rule from its first president in Abraham Lincoln was the idea that the government, and especially the federal government, was an important tool to help protect and promote prosperity. If government needed growth to keep up with a nation changing at the societal and economic level, then proper growth was done. Lincoln presided over the National Banking Acts which created a national financial system and then saw to the creation of the Department of Agriculture. Later Republicanism success stories such as the Sherman Anti-trust Act were passed by a republican controlled congress and Republican President.
In the 1900 election the Republican Party with President McKinley as its leader, who was regarded as generally an economic conservative, pushed for a party platform that would establish a Department of Commerce in order to keep the public informed on the behavior of corporations. McKinley being a business republican nevertheless saw the threat to the free-market that bad corporations could do and set the stage for Teddy Roosevelt’s administration by setting up the United States Industrial Commission to investigate and recommend a course of action on these “trusts”. This same commission returned when Teddy Roosevelt had ascended to the presidency after McKinley’s assassination and helped recommend the course of action that would help lead Teddy down the road of trust-busting.
This was just one example of how common sense Republicanism was present even in the industry conservative faction, a faction that compared to today’s extreme conservatism would have been considered moderate. His view was that the GOP was represented the unifying nationalism that had kept the nation from breaking apart in the Civil War against the wishes of the secessionists and of being the party that had led the nation from this disaster to become an industrial power. It therefore only seemed logical that this party was a party that believed in Federalism where the balance of power was needed between local, state and federal governments and that made it clear where the final power lay, a point made clear by Lincoln and the Union victory in the civil war. This was not a state’s right’s party and he believed that it was only natural for Republicans to keep the principles of their party intact by having the government employed with vigor and purpose to ensure that the benefits of the industrial economy that was quickly growing be available to all of society. Even many in the pro-business faction of the Republican Party believed in some needed regulations or protectionism in contrast to the laissez-faire democrats, although they being more conservative were not quite as progressive as Teddy Roosevelt and likeminded Republicans.
Teddy Roosevelt believed that it was necessary to regulate corporations so as to keep the fundamental belief of a working free-market society. He did not seek to punish any company that reached monopoly status, as it was seen that if a company had been so successful then it should have the right to reach the top of success. But he realized that many of these corporations had been employing tactics and measures to ensure that no other startup business that had the potential to challenge their supremacy could be able to do so. It was these trusts that he believed were in the wrong and threatened the free-market itself and therefore hurt the average consumer.
His pursuit of fairness in dealings regarding labor and industry and competition and necessary regulation against any entity considered to be powerful enough to pose a threat to fair competition in the markets was the basis of both his brokered deals and general support from union and business as well as sometimes breaking up a corporation and/or union that was considered to have become too dangerous. This ability to see the necessity of industry and workers rights but also knowing when either one could become a monster would form an important part of his domestic policies.
Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal, which famously settled the Coal Miner’s Strike of 1902, would set the precedent that the federal government and the president should never remain detached during any type of crisis be it war, natural disaster, or any domestic economic crisis. Instead of sending troops to settle the situation he had both sides come to the bargaining table and push away both extremes and settle for a fair or as he put it “square” deal.
He was also a great leader of the progressive movement, which believed that government should evolve to meet the needs of a changing nation and world. It also believed strongly in using the sciences including social sciences to be able to find ways to make government run much more efficiently with less corruption and respond to the demands of the people, to help develop new ideas and techniques to help educate the public in the sciences and education in general, and sought to make social justice such as industrial worker conditions and environmental/conservation matters important to deal with.
Hence Teddy Roosevelt was in every regard one of the leaders in this new view of government as well as the Republican Party which overall welcomed the new progressive movement at both the state and local levels.
Teddy Roosevelt also had the belief that Americans were the stewards of the natural environment and that the federal government as the elected representative and unified arm of the people should lead the way in creating nature reserves and parks would also be a prominent signature of progressive republicanism in the administration of Teddy Roosevelt.
What is important to note however that while the progressive republicans were the leading faction of the GOP that the conservative wing of this time period, “The Stay Puts,” where becoming increasingly cozy with major industry at times, was nowhere near the lunacy of the far-right today in any issue.
The “Progressives” and the “Stay Puts” that split the party in the 1912 election did much to hurt the GOP as the party of practical or pragmatic progressivism as the fight between Taft and Teddy Roosevelt turned into a party split. Taft was in fact disliked by progressives due to his industry supporting rhetoric and industry itself as a result of trust-busting that was continued over from the Teddy Roosevelt administration. Taft considered himself a progressive but due to miscalculations and general tactlessness would wind up alienating all sides, especially the progressives. This split would pull away from the party many moderate to liberal republicans who had made up an integral and mostly leading faction of the party under the term progressive and would thus enable the industry oriented conservatives to gain and keep control of the party apparatus for the next 20 years, although there was still many remaining moderate and liberal republicans from the progressive era that would still make themselves an important part of the GOP and who would end up retaking the party after the later conservative defeats.
So to conclude, those whom do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it and we are again seeing it today, a 100 years later, where the “Progressives” and the conservative “Stay Puts” within the party are going to split the Party. Until my fellow moderately progressive Republicans can purge this cancer of the ultra-fanatical, non-factually based on reason thinking, religious right wing movement within the Party; we will not have any influence in the political process. A fact that I will securely stand by and vote against my Republican Party until they do.
A recent survey conducted by Middle Tennessee State University demonstrates the extent to which "evidence and facts aren't enough to deter the perseverance of false beliefs." According to the survey, "34% of Tennessee adults believe that President Obama was born in another country. 47% of Republicans hold that belief. About a third -- 30% -- say Obama is a Muslim. 46% -- and this includes many Democrats and independents -- say he's a socialist."
"Evidence and facts aren't enough to deter the perseverance of false beliefs." Ain't that the truth?
In my last post, I showed the map of states [red] that did not give up their interracial ban on marriage until the Federal government forced them to do so. One clearly notes that these are the traditionally Republican states. The one to one correspondence begs comparison. What is it about 'The South' in general and 'false beliefs?' Do parents continue to teach their children these same 'false beliefs' from one generation to the next? Surely, the public schools do not spread such ignorant pap to the pupils.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Miscegenation is an interesting word in the English language which received much attention yesterday when a Justice of the Peace in Louisiana refused to marry a black and white couple. This is 2009, isn't it? No doubt Keith Bardwell, of Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana is a Bible-thumper, perhaps his favorite passage being Phinehas.
There exists an amorphous group of 'believers' here in the United States referred to as The Phineas Priesthood. The 'fellowship' is named for the Israelite Phinehas, grandson of Aaron. According to Numbers 25, Phineas personally executed an Israelite man and a Midianite woman while they were in the doorway of the Tent of Meeting, running a spear through the two and ending a plague said to have been sent by God to punish the Israelites for sexually intermingling with the Midianites.
Wikipedia reports that the The Phineas Priesthood (Phineas Priests) is a Christian Identity movement that opposes interracial intercourse, the mixing of races, homosexuality, and abortion. It is also marked by its anti-Semitism, anti-multiculturalism, and opposition to taxation. Wow! Sounds like the Republican Party.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
As a child I grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore. I remember well the excitement in 1958 when the “Greatest Game Ever Played,” was unfolded before us all in Baltimore. This is when the underdog, “The Baltimore Colts,” beat the much favored “New York Giants,” for the nationally televised championship football game.
So many future Hall Of Fame players like Frank Gifford, Rosey Brown, Sam Huff, Don Maynard, Andy Robustelli, and Emlen Tunnell played on this Giants team. On the other hand Baltimore had only been in the league for 6 seasons as an expansion team. Coached by Weeb Ewbanks who had future Hall Of Fame players like the GREAT Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry, Alan “The Horse” Ameche, Lenny Moore, Gino Marchetti, and Don Joyce. Football historians have given the credit to Johnny Unitas and Raymond Berry for inventing the “2 minute drill.”
Yes in 1953 the Baltimore Colts, (who use to be the Dallas Texans and were moved to Baltimore), were now here in 1958 playing for the National Football League Championship. The Colts name came about because of the tradition of Baltimore’s rich history with racing, and breeding of horses. The obvious example of this history being the second leg of the triple crown, “The Preakness Stakes.”
The game was played on December 28, 1958 at Yankee Stadium in New York. The 1958 game was the 26th annual NFL championship game. To add to this drama, this was the first nationally televised Championship Football game and the game played out better than if someone had written a suspenseful script. The Colts beat the Giants 23-17 in overtime, earning their first ever championship. The game would later be known as “The Greatest Game Ever Played!” Then as if to prove that they were not just a fluke, there was a rematch between the two teams in 1959 and the Baltimore Colts defeated the New York Giants again by a score of 31 to 16.
The Colts went on to play and win many Championships and later Super Bowls establishing many memories to the young “Engineer of Knowledge.” As a child playing quarterback in little league football teams in the area…I did not know any better than my heroes who played for the Colts….that they did not walk on water.
I remember all too well my father, a physical education major school teacher, surprised me one Sunday in 1967 and took me to Memorial Stadium to see the Baltimore Colts play the Minnesota Vikings. We sat on the 50 yard line, 6 rows back from the field, and I watched Johnny Unitas and Raymond Berry work their magic. The tickets cost $7.00 each and I can say that this day was one of the best days of my life!
Well I can only say that it is hard to describe the feeling when Bob Irsay, with Mayflower moving vans, snuck away in the dead of that cold, snowy night; and stole my Baltimore Colts along with my fondest childhood memories, to Indianapolis. Little did anyone know on that December 18, 1983, the Colts would play their final game in Baltimore. Almost after the season ending win at Memorial Stadium; Colts owner Robert Irsay began talking to other cities about moving the club. On February 13th he toured the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis and the rest is history.
To this day football fans in Baltimore still burn in effigy the image of Bob Irsay. Even though we are now Baltimore Raven’s football fans, “named after the Edgar Allen Poe poem, “The Raven,” still will not forgive and move on past their distain and hatred of anyone with the Irsay family name.
By now you must be asking, “Engineer, where are you going with this story and isn’t your title, “All Is Now Forgiven?” My answer to you is “YES.” I can say today that on a personal level, I can forgive the son Jim Irsay for his father’s sins of stealing my Baltimore Colts and childhood memories because Jim, as the owner of the Colts and with the foresight of what is best for the NFL; VOTED AGAINST RUSH LIMBAUGH FROM OWNING THE ST. LOUIS RAMS!!!!!
I want to say to Jim Irsay that he has single handily with his vote restored my faith in professional football and enabled me to release my resentment and inwardly held anger after these so many years. In closing I want to say “THANK YOU” and may nothing but good things happen for you in the future.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The fossil skull of the pterosaur Darwinopterus is about 19 centimetres long. (Lü Junchang) British and Chinese paleontologists found more than 20 fossil skeletons of the new pterosaur, which they've dubbed Darwinopterus, to mark the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, Darwin's founding book on evolutionary biology.
Darwinopterus, about the size of a crow, had long jaws with rows of sharp, pointy teeth and a long, flexible neck. The researchers said these features could suggest that it was a mid-air predator, catching and eating other flying creatures, such as other pterosaurs, gliding mammals and feathered dinosaurs.
The gap in the fossil record between these two types of pterosaurs was identified in Darwin's time, and the researchers were surprised to see Darwinopterus filling that gap.
"We had always expected a gap-filler with typically intermediate features such as a moderately elongate tail — neither long nor short — but the strange thing about Darwinopterus is that it has a head and neck just like that of advanced pterosaurs, while the rest of the skeleton, including a very long tail, is identical to that of primitive forms," David Unwin of the University of Leicester said in a release.
Unwin said the rapid evolution of groups of related features, or modules, seen in Darwinopterus support a controversial theory called modular evolution.
"Whole groups of features that form important structures such as the skull, the neck or the tail seem to have evolved together," Unwin said.
"It seems that natural selection was acting on and changing entire modules and not, as would normally be expected, just on single features such as the shape of the snout or the form of a tooth," he said.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The Creed of Christian Reconstructionism
Rev. Andrew Sandlin
A Christian Reconstructionist is a Calvinist. He holds to historic, orthodox, catholic Christianity and the great Reformed confessions. He believes God, not man, is the center of the universe--and beyond; God, not man, controls whatever comes to pass; God, not man, must be pleased and obeyed. He believes God saves sinners--He does not help them save themselves. A Christian Reconstructionist believes the Faith should apply to all of life, not just the "spiritual" side. It applies to art, education, technology, and politics no less than to church, prayer, evangelism, and Bible study.
A Christian Reconstructionist is a Theonomist. Theonomy means "God's law." A Christian Reconstructionist believes God's law is found in the Bible. It has not been abolished as a standard of righteousness. It no longer accuses the Christian, since Christ bore its penalty on the cross for him. But the law is a description of God's righteous character. It cannot change any more than God can change. God's law is used for three main purposes: First, to drive the sinner to trust in Christ alone, the only perfect law-keeper. Second, to provide a standard of obedience for the Christian, by which he may judge his progress in sanctification. And third, to maintain order in society, restraining and arresting civil evil.
A Christian Reconstructionist is a Presuppositionalist. He does not try to "prove" that God exists or that the Bible is true. He holds to the Faith because the Bible says so, not because he can "prove" it. He does not try to convince the unconverted that the gospel is true. They already know it is true. They need repentance, not evidence. Of course, the Christian Reconstructionist believes there is evidence for the Faith--in fact, there is nothing but evidence for the Faith. The problem for the unconverted, though, is not a lack of evidence, but a lack of submission. The Christian Reconstructionist begins and ends with the Bible. He does not defend "natural theology," and other inventions designed to find some agreement with covenant-breaking, apostate mankind.
A Christian Reconstructionist is a Postmillennialist. He believes Christ will return to earth only after the Holy Spirit has empowered the church to advance Christ's kingdom in time and history. He has faith that God's purposes to bring all nations--though not every individual--in subjection to Christ cannot fail. The Christian Reconstructionist is not utopian. He does not believe the kingdom will advance quickly or painlessly. He knows that we enter the kingdom through much tribulation. He knows Christians are in the fight for the "long haul." He believes the church may yet be in her infancy. But he believes the Faith will triumph. Under the power of the Spirit of God, it cannot but triumph.
A Christian Reconstructionist is a Dominionist. He takes seriously the Bible's commands to the godly to take dominion in the earth. This is the goal of the gospel and the Great Commission. The Christian Reconstructionist believes the earth and all its fulness is the Lord's--that every area dominated by sin must be "reconstructed" in terms of the Bible. This includes, first, the individual; second, the family; third, the church; and fourth, the wider society, including the state. The Christian Reconstructionist therefore believes fervently in Christian civilization. He firmly believes in the separation of church and state, but not the separation of the state--or anything else--from God. He is not a revolutionary; he does not believe in the militant, forced overthrow of human government. He has infinitely more powerful weapons than guns and bombs--he has the invincible Spirit of God, the infallible word of God, and the incomparable gospel of God, none of which can fail.
He presses the crown rights of the Lord Jesus Christ in every sphere, expecting eventual triumph.
UPDATE OCT. 14
Here is a bit more information about this 'secret' agenda of the Calvinist-Reconstructionists. It is from the essay,
individuals: the payroll tax paid by most
U.S. families and which amounts to around
15.3% tax rate; the income tax which amounts
to about 10% on most families, except up to
30% for the very wealthy; and the inheritance
tax which is in remission under the Bush tax
cuts for the very wealthy until 2010 when it
is to expire and be reinstated affect at most
2% of tax payers.
Republicans always decry the burden of federal
income taxes. However, interestingly they never
call for lowering the payroll tax which falls
heavily on lowerclass and middleclass working
families. It is from this tax which pays for
Social Security and Medicare and has been the
way the Republicans 2001-2008 paid the off
budget monies for the two wars and the
prescription drug plan. You see, they used
up the Clinton surplus and saddled the government
with a trillion dollar deficit, let alone the
collapse of Wall Street, Banking, and the
national economy, using the payroll tax of the
underclasses to pay for their off-budget spending,
while giving the tax breaks to the wealthy.
Republican tax relief always benefits the affluent.
It is not class warfare to say Republican tax cuts
disproportionately benefit the very wealthy. Cutting
taxes on the rich does not lead to economic growth.
We know far to well how our economy grew in the
BushII years, the repeal of Glass-Stegall. It was
not the tax cuts to the wealthy.
We know BushII's tax cuts were dishonest. Now, my
question is how dishonest will be the Democrats
and Obama. How much are they misrepresenting their
spending bills, especially the health care reform?
How are 25 million added to health insurance and we
don't have to pay for it. Obama tells us it will be
done by eliminating fraud, deceit, and abuse. Sure
thing? HOw many times in the last 60 years have we
heard that refrain?
Moreover, the CBO gives its estimate for the 10 years
apparently beginning in 2010. Yet, the reform doesn't
go into effect until 2014. Yep, there is that Washington,
D.C. funny banking at work again. If 2014 is correct,
as of this moment with the Senate Finance Committee
reported out bill, it would be important to have the
CBO score it for 2014-2024. Three or four years of no
expense certainly minimizes the cost. What was it that
Obama and the Democrats campaigned on? Transparency,
wasn't it? Where does the money come from?
Today, October 10th, is the World Day Against the Death Penalty. Morbidly ironic, Behnoud Shojaee’s execution on this day is a stark reminder of the brutality of Islamic Republic of Iran’s policies in executing its citizens on a whole host of criminal and belief-based charges.
The judicial system in Iran has proven time and again to be unfair, discriminatory, and perversely criminal itself in dealing with social maladies inflicted upon its own society through implementation of barbaric laws.
It almost sounds like Texas. The judicial system is "unfair, discriminatory, and perversely criminal itself in dealing with social maladies," could easily apply to any jurisdiction in the U.S., but down Dallas way, this description fits to a tee.
Perhaps I'm being too flip, though. The graphic provided on the Iranian.com site is most illuminating for putting things into perspective. When turning the death penalty stats into per capita numbers, we see a very different story than what we're used to.
Recently we discussed a report from Amnesty International which put China on top and the U.S. fifth. That was total numbers of executions. The Iranian stats show that Iran is tops with Saudia Arabia a close second. China is much lower than both of those in a per capita comparison, and the U.S. much lower still.
I don't feel this information changes much, since of the countries ahead of the United States, there is not a single one that I'd want to live in. The U.S. is still associated with a group of countries that it should be ashamed to be aligned with.
What's your opinion? How do you feel about that company we're keeping in the capital punishment lists?
Please feel free to leave a comment.