Our Nation; what our youth know about it!

Posted: May 25, 2014 in News and politics, Uncategorized
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Our nations independence was July 4, 1776. Eight out of ten people on the street could not tell me the year, and almost half could not tell me the damn day! Which means they have no idea what July 4th is all about. The ones that did mostly referenced the movie Independence Day. When asked about why, most said it was over tea. After the successful conclusion of the French and Indian War in 1763, the British government decided to make its North American colonies pay more of the costs of governing and defending them. Over the next 12 years Britain imposed a series of new taxes and other revenue-raising measures on the colonies that aroused heated opposition. The American colonists resented the trade regulations by which Britain utilized American economic resources to its own advantage, and they likewise resented their lack of representation in the British Parliament. British intransigence to these grievances spurred a growing desire for independence on the Americans’ part. When was the civil war? The civil war was fought from 1861 to 1865. Not one single person was able to tell me the correct answer to that question. Most thought Washington was president during that conflict! They also thought the war was about political and economic issues not connected to slavery and that the only reason Lincoln freed the slaves was to help win the war and for no other reason. The truth is in the 1860 presidential election campaign led by Abraham Lincoln, he opposed the expansion of slavery into United States’ territories. Lincoln won, but before his inauguration on March 4, 1861, seven slave states with cotton-based economies formed the Confederacy. The first six to secede had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, a total of 48.8% for the six.[5] Outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincoln’s inaugural address declared his administration would not initiate civil war. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession. Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy. A peace conference failed to find a compromise, and both sides prepared for war. The Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on “King Cotton” that they would intervene; none did and none recognized the new Confederate States of America. Watch the movie that came out a year or so ago about Lincoln. It is historically accurate and a good history lesson.

The history of WWI and WWII, well I might as well have been asking questions about molecular biology. No one knew when, why, or how we got into each. WWI began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. The great powers in Europe had been at each others throats, so to speak, for about 4 decades. The defining moment that started WWI was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie by Gavrilo Princip, an ethnic Serb and Yugoslav nationalist from the group Young Bosnia, which was supported by the Black Hand, a nationalist organization in Serbia. The more immediate cause for the war was tensions over territory in the Balkans. Austria-Hungary competed with Serbia and Russia for territory and influence in the region and they pulled the rest of the Great Powers into the conflict through their various alliances and treaties. WWII was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, though some related conflicts in Asia began before 1939. It involved the vast majority of the world’s nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people, from more than 30 different countries. In a state of “total war”, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust, the Three Alls Policy, the strategic bombing of enemy industrial and/or population centers, and the first use of nuclear weapons in combat, it resulted in an estimated 50 million to 85 million fatalities. This made World War II the deadliest conflict in human history. The Alls Policy was something I was not familiar with. It was a Japanese scorched earth policy adopted in China during World War II, the three “alls” being kill all, loot all, destroy all! I will stop there, as my conversations with individuals about Nam and current or recent conflicts is something I am still studying. The history of the world in general gets into the age of the earth, evolution, religion, and would take volumes, plus is not a popular subject where I come from. So I may tackle that, as I have some strong opinions based on facts, science, and yes, the bible, but does not need to be discussed to prove my current point. My point is, people I talk to have never taken courses in local, state, and federal forms of government. They have no accurate sense of our history, or how we came into being. This includes people who are proud to cite parts of the constitution, especially certain amendments, but have no idea of how or what was going on when they were drafted. They think they do, and are sure they have the straight of it, but when pressed, actually have no clue. These, I believe, represent the majority of our voters. It is also why we follow whoever inundates us with the most information prior to our elections, and couches this information in a way that catches our imagination, but is neither factual nor true in even a minor way in most cases. Yet we follow like lemmings with no true idea of why we are running off of a cliff by the millions.

I have no problem with rich people; I think the fact that you can become rich is part and parcel of what America is about. But it cannot happen at the expense of the vast majority of the American public, the poor, or the middle class!  Their spending power is what makes the economy work, now, in the past, and in the future. If they don’t have extra coin in their jeans to spend, our economy will not grow. Plain and simple folks, it is how it is. So basing a company on profit only at the expense of the worker will cause economic failure. Shipping jobs overseas, hiding money offshore to keep from paying taxes here at home, this all has to stop, must stop. Most people do not even understand the difference between the national debt and deficit, they think it is one and the same. They also do not understand that the deficit comes first before the debt even comes into consideration, and the middle class pays the bill, not big business, and it never has except to create a growing prosperous middle class, not disassembling it. Understanding this means you have to also be a student of history, a student of the local, state, and federal governments and how it is supposed to work. Without both you cannot understand economics. And listening to a powerful rich person is also a mistake. Study after study shows most know nothing outside the realm of the business they are succeeding in. This means they should not be advising you, so you need to advise yourself. So take a careful look, if you cannot see the majority of the population thriving, not just existing, then the policies that make that scenario a reality are absolutely wrong.

There is a dumbing down of America. We have dropped to the bottom of the pile of industrialized nations in education. We are not one of the countries where the population is happy with its countries policies, and we are fast sliding down that list like an out of control bobsled on the Matterhorn. If you are a conservative, you need to round off the sharp corners, if you are a liberal, you may need to accept some realities that are harsher than you would like. But if you look at things with no preconceived notions, and try to improve the basic education I think is necessary, I firmly believe your decisions will be different, and better, regardless if your political beliefs are conservative, liberal, or other leanings that proliferate out there.

Comments
  1. Jennie Allen says:

    Nicely expressed. I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

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