The real story of the first Thanksgiving

You’ve no doubt heard the well-known story of the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts. But did you know that what you’ve heard is drastically inaccurate?

According to the writings of William Bradford, the colony’s first governor, the hardships and near-starvation of the entire population occurred because the colonists turned their backs on capitalism. They believed the old lie that an economy based on the concept of “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” can actually work. They instituted a socialist system, and found out that socialism causes disaster:

The harvest of 1623 was different. Suddenly, “instead of famine now God gave them plenty,” Bradford wrote, “and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God.” Thereafter, he wrote, “any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day.” In fact, in 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists were able to begin exporting corn.

What happened?

After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, “they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop.” They began to question their form of economic organization.

This had required that “all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means” were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, “all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock.” A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take out only what he needed.

This “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that “young men that are most able and fit for labor and service” complained about being forced to “spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children.” Also, “the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak.” So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.

To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of famines.

For more on the lessons the pilgrims learned, see this piece by Rick Williams, Jr.

Then read about the tragedy of the commons, and consider how that knowledge applies to America’s present disastrous condition.

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Ben Carson goofs on guns. Again.

In a wide-ranging radio interview with Hugh Hewitt, presumptive Republican presidential candidate addressed several aspects of the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. When the shooting of Mike Brown came up, Carson stuck his foot in his mouth on the subject of guns for at least the third time this year (boldface emphasis below is mine):

HH: Now you say “I don’t think that the police officer did anything wrong.” So you have reviewed and have come to the conclusion that the officer in fact should not have been charged with anything?

BC: Yeah, he had every right to protect his life. But I do think that there are probably other techniques that could have been used.

HH: All right, now if there were other techniques that could have been used, doesn’t that suggest he did something wrong?

BC: No, that suggests that he perhaps has not had the maximum training.

HH: Okay.

BC: You know, for instance, in a lot of places, police officers aren’t even allowed to go into the more dangerous areas by themselves. They’re always paired. Or you know, people use tasers, people learn how to shoot people in the legs to stop them from charging, things of that nature. And I seriously doubt that he’d been given that information.

This is just plain ignorant. No law enforcement agency anywhere in America, whether it’s a federal, state, or local agency, trains its officers to aim for a target’s legs. All of them train their officers to aim for the target’s torso.

Dr. Carson is woefully ignorant about deadly force encounters, about the laws of self defense, and about the mechanics of marksmanship, but educating himself would be relatively simple for a man as intelligent as he is. He can start at BearingArms.com and branch out from there.

“Aiming for the legs or arms” is a foolish myth that belongs only in Hollywood.

—-

For a previous unforced “foot bullet” from Dr. Carson on the subject of guns, see his interview with Dana Loesch, in which he tries to walk back a previous ignorant statement in an interview with Glenn Beck.

Do you see a pattern here yet?

Here’s a way to get rid of all that federal land

The federal government currently owns almost 30% of all land within the United States of America. That’s obscene.

Federal Lands

Look at how bad the situation is in the western states:

Who owns the West?

The only sure way to fix it is via an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Here’s one that should do the trick:


AMENDMENT __

SECTION 1: With the exception of unincorporated Territories, Indian lands, and the District of Columbia, the United States shall not own any more than ten percent of the total land area of the United States, nor shall it own more than twenty percent of the total land area within any State or Territory. The United States shall designate lands that it owns beyond these limits as Excess Federal Lands.

SECTION 2: The United States shall begin selling all Excess Federal Lands by public auction no later than one year after the ratification date of this Amendment, and the United States shall divest itself of all Excess Federal Lands no later than ten years after the ratification date of this Amendment. The United States shall make a good faith effort to auction all Excess Federal Lands, and all such auctions shall be open to all individual citizens of the United States exclusively. The laws and regulations of the States and the Territories shall govern the conduct of auctions of Excess Federal Lands within their borders. During this auction period the United States shall not divest itself of Excess Federal Lands by any method other than by public auction. All Excess Federal Lands that remain unsold ten years after the ratification date of this Amendment shall become the property of their respective States or Territories.

SECTION 3: Any acquisition by the United States of new lands that would otherwise violate Section 1 of this Amendment shall first be offset by divesting an equal or greater amount of lands in accordance with the auction procedures in Section 2. If such auctions fail to sell enough land to comply with Section 1, the United States shall divest the remaining excess lands by transferring ownership to their respective States or Territories.

Have I left anything out?

Mozilla reaps the whirlwind?

After the new Mozilla CEO, Brendan Eich, was forced out last week over his $1000 donation in 2008 to a group protecting marriage agains erosion by same sex “marriage,” users of the Mozilla’s web browser Firefox reacted in outrage by removing it from their computers and web-enabled devices. The firestorm of anger at Mozilla that kicked off late last week kept burning through the weekend, according to the organization’s own stats. Here are the feedback trends for the last 90 days, with “sad” comments in red and “happy” comments in green:

Mozilla customer comments in the last 90 days

Here’s a closer look at the last seven days:

Mozilla customer comments in the last 7 days

If this user revolt maintains momentum through this week, Mozilla may face a serious drop in its share of the very competitive web browser and e-mail market. I truly hope the backlash against Soviet-like mob action continues long enough to permanently cripple Mozilla. Corporate boards need to learn that caving in to a virtual lynch mob carries too high a price to bear.

So far, Mozilla’s strategy seems to be to hunker down and hope the firestorm fizzles. Don’t let it happen. Uninstall Mozilla products and let them know why.

I did.

The amnesty stance of Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH-7)

Bob GibbsI’m reaching out to the offices of Representative Bob Gibbs (R-OH) to see if he’s taken a stance on the amnesty scam floated by the GOP leadership this week. So far, no definitive response … which concerns me. He’s supposedly sympathetic to the conservative base, but his silence suggests possible squishiness.

I’ll keep monitoring his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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Why do Obama cultists ignore what he’s striving for?

Ace might have figured it out: politics is the MacGuffin in the heroic Obama “movie” that all of his mindless drones are watching. It doesn’t matter what the MacGuffin actually is. It’s just a plot device, something for the dreamy hero to pursue while the evil villains — conservatives, in this case — try to keep it from him.

Ace’s hypothesis has a plausible ring to it.

Thanksgiving: a holiday born out of an early American experiment with socialism

You’ve no doubt heard the well-known story of the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts. But did you know that what you’ve heard is drastically inaccurate?

According to the writings of William Bradford, the colony’s first governor, the hardships and near-starvation of the entire population occurred because the colonists turned their backs on capitalism. They believed the old lie that an economy based on the concept of “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” can actually work. They instituted a socialist system, and found out that socialism causes disaster:

The harvest of 1623 was different. Suddenly, “instead of famine now God gave them plenty,” Bradford wrote, “and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God.” Thereafter, he wrote, “any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day.” In fact, in 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists were able to begin exporting corn.

What happened?

After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, “they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop.” They began to question their form of economic organization.

This had required that “all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means” were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, “all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock.” A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take out only what he needed.

This “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that “young men that are most able and fit for labor and service” complained about being forced to “spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children.” Also, “the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak.” So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.

To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of famines.

For more on the lessons the pilgrims learned, see this piece by Rick Williams, Jr.

Then read about the tragedy of the commons, and consider how that knowledge applies to Obamacare.

Another Healthcare.gov design flaw

These are the geniuses to whom you’re entrusting your private health information, America. They promise to keep it secure. Pinky swear. Just like the prices for health insurance they’re trying to keep behind a login wall on Healthcare.gov so that nobody can see every available plan in America all at once until they’ve given up their private information … and … wait, what? They did what? Really??

Obamacare price list leak

Oops.

Will the federal government default?

If the President (and his Senate) fail to reach a deal on raising the debt ceiling on October 17th, will the federal government go into default? Only if Barack Obama wants it to, because it’s entirely in his hands.

Can the government fund essential obligations?

Monthly revenue can easily cover the amount America must spend to service its debt. On top of that, monthly revenue can keep Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid fully funded — even at the bloated and obscenely wasteful levels at which those programs currently operate. In fact, America can even maintain all of its defense spending at current levels too.

What will happen on the 17th if no deal is reached? The federal government will be legally required to stop borrowing more money and adding to the debt.

Look at it this way. If you earn $5000 in salary every month, but you max out your credit cards by spending $6000 every month, the bank will eventually refuse to bump up your credit limit any further. When that happens, you can respond in several ways. You can cut your spending by $1000 and stay forever at the limit. You can cut spending by more than $1000 and start paying off your debt. Or you can refuse to cut your spending by at least $1000, and you’ll be unable to make payments on your debt. In other words, you can choose to go into default. If the only thing keeping you from cutting your spending is your fondness for steak, single malt scotch, Italian shoes, fast cars, and weekends in Vegas … the blame for your default is 100% yours.

Sound familiar?

If the Obama Administration announces that they’ll stop making interest payments on the national debt on October 17th, then they’ve voluntarily chosen that course of action. Nothing will force them into it.

There’s plenty of revenue coming in every month to keep America from defaulting on the debt. We do not have a revenue problem. We. Have. A. Spending. Problem.

Good fences make good neighbors

What might the implications be for the United States if Mexico collapses? Before you answer, consider that a national border is nothing but a theoretical concept if it’s not controlled, and if one or both nations refuse to preserve a distinct national culture.

If America continues to ignore its borders and downplay its uniquely capitalist, Judeo-Christian, constitutionalist culture, the only thing separating people of common ethnic descent on both sides of the US/Mexican border will be the Americans’ willingness to resist a de facto invasion by Mexicans hoping for material security.

If you’re unsure what history can teach you about the pull of ethnic solidarity, fire up a search engine and plug in terms like “Balkan powder keg,” “Kurdistan,” “The Troubles in Northern Ireland,” or “Rwandan Genocide.”

Mark Levin Q & A on “The Liberty Amendments”

One week ago at the Reagan Library, Mark Levin explained why the only remaining nonviolent way to save the Constitution from the statists in Washington is an Article V convention.



You’ll find a link to a free copy of the first chapter of his book “The Liberty Amendments” here.

Rep. Bob Gibbs won’t defund Obamacare

I sent my Congressman, Bob Gibbs (R-OH) an e-mail urging him to join Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and millions of other Americans in their effort to defund Obamacare when the next Continuing Resolution comes up.

Here was his e-mailed reply (the highlights are mine). The vast bulk of his response is the same old “Obamacare is bad and I oppose it” language every Republican says but on which they rarely follow through. The substance is in the lines I highlighted.

August 21, 2013

Dear Alo,

Thank you for contacting my office regarding defunding Obamacare. As your representative in Congress, I appreciate your input on this important issue.

As you know, the federal government is currently operating on a continuing resolution through September 30, 2013. Unless the 12 remaining appropriations bills or another continuing resolution (CR) is completed most government functions will cease to operate on October 1st. This has lead to calls from some Senators and Congressman to not take up a CR and allow the shutdown of the federal government to prevent the implementation of Obamacare.

Although it is common misconception there is no dedicated funding stream for Obamacare in a CR. CRs only address discretionary appropriations, not mandatory spending, which makes up the bulk of Obamacare spending. In fact a recent Congressional Research Service report determined a government shutdown would not stop Obamacare due to the large amount of discretion the Administration would have.

I want to be perfectly clear, I oppose Obamacare and I have supported every vote to defund, repeal and stop it. Furthermore, I have co-sponsored over thirty pieces of legislation to repeal the most devastating pieces including the Independent Payment Advisory Board and 1099 provision.

Once fully implemented, Obamacare will cost more than $2 trillion (more than double what was originally estimated), raise taxes by $1.1 trillion, cut Medicare by $716 billion, and add over $700 billion to the deficit. Every day we get closer to its implementation it’s becoming painstakingly clear to Americans how bad this law really is.

Recently, the architect of the bill, Senator Baucus, referred to the law as a train wreck and Health and Human Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius stated she did not anticipate how complicated implementing the president’s healthcare law would be. In light of news the IRS was deliberately targeting certain Americans can we really trust them to be in charge of our healthcare?

Even more telling was the Obama Administration quietly announcing they would delay enforcement of a major provision in Obamacare over the July 4th holiday. By delaying the employer mandate provision, which requires companies with over full time 50 employees to provide healthcare, the President has admitted his healthcare bill is unaffordable and crippling to small businesses. Unfortunately, we will be in the exact same position next year because this does nothing to fix the underlying problems with the law.

Obamacare is not controlling costs as promised. In fact, despite the President’s statement premiums would decrease by $2,500, the average family premium has grown over $3,000 and climbing since 2008. Over 30 studies have concluded the law will make health care premiums more unaffordable in 2014. The Ohio Department of Insurance estimates the average individual-market health insurance premium in 2014 will come in around $420, representing an increase of 88 percent from 2013.

Another promise the President made was if you like your insurance you can keep it. In reality, seven million Americans will lose their job-based health insurance and 30 percent of employers will definitely or likely drop coverage for their workers in 2014. That number increases as employers become more aware of the law.

Then Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) promised that Obamacare would create four million jobs, including 400,000 almost immediately. Yet according to a study by the National Federation of Independent Business, Obamacare could eliminate 1.6 million jobs by 2014 (66 percent of these loses could come from small businesses). These losses are due to the 21 new or higher taxes and regulations contained in Obamacare that will further harm our economy. Even worse the study doesn’t factor in employees whose hours are being reduced in order to comply with these new regulations.

Currently, over 20,000 pages regulations have already been issued or about eight times the length of the original bill. The grim reality is there are hundreds of more regulations to come and no one knows what they will be. Our job creators are citing these unknowns as reasons for planned layoffs and why they cannot expand their business and hire new employees. A recent Gallup Poll of small businesses found 41 percent have frozen any new hires and 19 percent have reduced their workforce due to Obamacare.

While we must lower healthcare costs, Obamacare is not the answer. The President’s flawed healthcare plan does nothing to address rising healthcare costs while adding trillions of dollars in new government spending we cannot afford. Ohioans have overwhelmingly made it very clear that this government takeover of the health care system is not what they had in mind. That is why I voted 40 times to repeal or defund all or part of this harmful legislation since I have been in Congress.

I will continue to fight to repeal this job-killing law and find common ground for competition-driven reforms backed by a majority of Americans that will actually lower healthcare costs and make it more affordable for those who choose to purchase insurance coverage. However, with a federal government shutdown our military members would not receive their pay and certain beneficiaries would experience delays in the processing and payment of their social security benefits. That is just not an acceptable option.

Again, thank you for contacting my office. Please continue to keep me informed on the issues that are important to you. For more information on my work in Congress, or to sign up to receive my e-newsletter, please visit my website at: http://gibbs.house.gov.

Sincerely,

Bob Gibbs
Member of Congress

Unacceptable.

I’ll post a rebuttal of each highlighted claim, but since he’s on the record now, the voters of Ohio’s 7th District deserve to know where he stands.

A Simple Question For Progressives (#21)

Since we allegedly still live in a nation of laws and not of men, and since the U.S. Constitution is supposedly the supreme law of the land, I ask your to first read these small portions of that document, after which I’ll pose my question.

U.S. Constitution
Article I, Section 8

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

U.S. Constitution
Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

U.S. Constitution
Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Given the above supreme law of the land that sets out the enumerated powers of Congress, on what basis does Congress have the authority to do anything beyond what’s listed in Article I Section 8?

Don’t tell me that some new law is justified because it’s a good idea, because it’s fair, because it’s in my interest to want it, because some past overreach went unchallenged, because this will save money, because this will create jobs, because I’m a heartless hateful warmongering homophobic puppy-killing raaaaacist, because America wants Hopenchange© … just tell me how Congress can possibly have the constitutional authority to do it. If it’s not listed in Article I Section 8, where does Congress get the power to do it?