American Mind–Civics Class–Part 3

GSFP is trying to gt its readers to reengage with the civics that is needed to make accurate decisions…..Part Two and Part One can be accessed here…..https://gulfsouthfreepress.wordpress.com/2020/07/16/american-mind-civics-class-part-two/

Religion has played an important part in our “American Mind”……

This is a continuation of the series on Real Clear Public Affairs…..this part covers the religious aspects of the American mind…..

There is no doubt that religious attachments are declining throughtout the Western world, with many young people affirming an amorphous attachment to being “spiritual” while jettisoning the rules and rituals that belong to traditional religion. Many intellectuals have gone further and promote a militant and aggressive secularism at odds with the mainstream American political tradition. In an insightful discussion of the public role of religion in American democracy, the political scientist Carson Holloway demonstrates the essential place of religion in America’s political culture. None of the Founders were political atheists: for all their differences, they agreed that “the American regime cannot attain its ends. . . in the absence of widespread religious belief and practice among its citizens.” As the great Washington noted in his 1796 “Farewell Address,” “religion and morality are indispensable supports” for political prosperity as well as the “firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.” And yet the same Washington was a forceful and eloquent defender of religious liberty as among the first of our freedoms. As Holloway ably shows, the mainstream American civic tradition saw no contradiction between promoting religious belief and practice as one of the foundations of ordered liberty, and recognizing that religious faith and practice should never be coerced. The mainstream American tradition rejects both political atheism, or militant secularism, and any coercive fusion of Church and State. According to social scientists, traditional religiosity is in decline in contemporary America. Fewer Americans identify as members of long-established churches. Fewer Americans attend religious services on a weekly basis than in generations past. Some Americans view these developments in purely empirical terms, as evidence of a changing culture. Others, critics of traditional religion, take the decline of American religion as a desirable trend, a sign of liberation from outmoded beliefs and irrational superstitions unsuitable to a modern, rational age.

https://www.realclearpublicaffairs.com/articles/2020/02/14/religion_and_the_moral_foundations_of_american_democracy_484140.html

Do we truly need religion in these days?

Before we start…please this is a debate…..if you cannot logically and rationally state a case then move on…..

I read a piece in a journal entitle “Public Discourse”…..and I would like to hear opinions from my readers…..please read the article before going off on some mindless rant…… A great irony of the Jewish and Christian faith traditions: One must be willing to accept suffering and sacrifice for a greater purpose that transcends one’s particular material and sensual needs and desires. Counter-intuitively, it is these transcendent qualities of faith that eschew utilitarian aims for a greater purpose that create the circumstances for greater material well-being.

“Too much religion is bad for a country,” asserts Max Boot in a recent Washington Post op-ed. Boot cites a number of indicators—average GDP per capita, unemployment rates, poverty rates, homicide rates, life expectancy, infant mortality, education, and degree of political liberties—that suggest that “less religious nations are much better off.” Indeed, Australia, Sweden, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Japan, some of the least religious nations in the world, rank best in the aforementioned categories, while many of the most religious nations in the world (the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Thailand, India, Nigeria) are among the worst. America represents a unique case in this regard, being both wealthy and developed, but more religious than her Western counterparts. Would she be better off if her religious practice were to decline to levels found elsewhere in the developed world?

Would America Be Better Off without Religion?

I do not think it must be front and center of society…..it is a personal decision and should remain just that…..personal…..but I will say I do not think organized religion has done society any favors of the centuries from the past

Do you have any thoughts along these lines?

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“lego ergo scribo”

You Are a Damn Radical!

Labels!

Americans are famous for assign a label to someone as a form of insult.

Like the two parties accusing the other of Far Left activities….

The Biden campaign has a new Spanish-language ad out claiming that President Trump is cut from the same cloth as leftist leaders Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Nicolas Maduro. This is not the first time the Biden campaign has done this, with the same comparison made to Spanish-speaking voters in Florida ads last month.

The hashtag #ComradeTrump is trending on Twitter as of this writing because a well-funded Super PAC run by never-Trump Republicans put out an appallingly stupid viral video featuring footage of Trump splashed with red hammer-and-sickle symbols interspersed with images of Soviet leaders while an English-captioned narrator gushes about Mother Russia’s support for “Comrade Trump” in Russian. As of this writing the video has over two million views on Twitter alone.

This tactic of negatively associating Trump with communism and socialism, combined with the consistent pattern of attacking the president for being insufficiently warlike, would only work if it was directed at the members of a reactionary, jingoistic right-wing political ideology. And it does work, because that’s exactly the ideology of the Democratic Party.

America’s Two Right-Wing Parties Absurdly Keep Accusing Each Other Of Being Far-Left

Ah! Labels!

It is what we Americans do best…..label others.

I have been called many things during my decades of activism……pinko….commie….hippies…..etc….and even a RADICAL.

If that was to be an insult then they failed completely.

If you want real societal change then by god you need radicals…..or you are spinning your wheels in the mud of political manure.

America has a propensity for dismissing people and ideas with labels. Terms like “socialist” and “communist” are frequently hurled at those who dare to promote substantial programs that address poverty, or suggest that government provide what many other “developed nations” deem fundamental services – like universal healthcare. Anyone who openly identifies with such positions is assumed to have nothing legitimate to contribute to public debate, irrespective of the plausibility, merit, and true ideology informing their arguments.

It’s a similar scenario with “radical” – a word often used to evoke associations with extremism, instability and an absolutist approach to politics. But the popular usage belies the important role many radicals have played in promoting democracy and justice throughout history, not to mention the continued role radical ideas and activism have to play in unfinished projects.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/20/we-need-radicals-for-social-change

You say you want change….from what?

Once you decide what it is you want to change then start looking to the radicals to make it happen…….or STOP bitching!

Something that may help……https://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinnwhatisradicalhistory.html

“lego ergo scribo”

American Mind–Civics Class–Part Two

This is my little classroom to try and help or maybe even explain what the American Mind is all about…..

To help Part One can be accessed here…..https://gulfsouthfreepress.wordpress.com/2020/07/13/american-mind-civics-class-part-one/

Part Two is about a Moral Society and the thoughts of Pres. Lincoln…..during his tenure as president he had to face something that would have destroyed lesser men….the American Civil War…..

Abraham Lincoln was the most thoughtful and eloquent of American presidents, in some ways the philosopher-poet of the American political order. His prudent and principled leadership allowed for both the preservation of the Union and the abolition of slavery. As Lucas Morel capably shows, Lincoln drew on the wisdom of the American Founding in opposing slavery and working for its gradual abolition. He stated his political Golden Rule in a note he wrote to himself in 1858: “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.” This remarkable affirmation transforms the equality clause of the Declaration of Independence into a positive moral obligation. In doing so, as Morel writes, Lincoln “avoided not only the moral neutrality (and white supremacy) of [Stephen] Douglas’s popular sovereignty,” which proclaimed that each new state and territory was free to vote slavery up or down, “but also the moral absolutism of abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison” who would tear down the Constitution itself in a fevered effort to abolish slavery overnight. Lincoln, in contrast, was a constitutionalist who knew that the Constitution’s valuable “frame of silver” must ultimately be informed by the “apple of gold” which is the Declaration of Independence’s recognition that “all men are created equal.” Without this affirmation of a common humanity bequeathed to us by God and nature, the moral foundations of a free society are sure to wither.

https://www.realclearpublicaffairs.com/articles/2020/02/14/lincoln_the_american_founding_and_the_moral_foundations_of_a_free_society_484127.html

A Moral Society…..include truthfulness, patience, obedience, honesty, integrity, hard work, responsibility, respect, tolerance, loyalty, public spiritedness, freedom, respect for human life and dignity of persons. Others include justice, fairness and equality.

Now look at the list of moral values and tell me that this country has not fallen from the ideals of the Founders.

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“lego ergo scribo”

American Mind–Civics Class–Part One

In these trying times I thought that a good hard look at what can be termed as the American Mind or the American Identity or the American Experience……..you choose what you think this series is about.

This series originally posted in Real Clear Public Affairs…..a good chance to renew the Civics lessons for most people especially now with an important election looming.

The 1776 Series is a collection of original essays that explain the foundational themes of the American experience. Commissioned from distinguished historians and scholars, these essays contribute to the broader goal of the American Civics project: providing an education in the principles and practices that every patriotic citizen should know.

We start with the Constitution of the United States of America….”How Democratic Is The Constitution?

It’s hard not to notice that in the United States, political arguments frequently turn on questions that, in other democracies, nobody talks about. What are the powers of the legislature? What may the executive do? What can the states do without begging permission from the national government? Why can’t an idea popular with the public become a law?

For these and other questions, the answer will always involve the American Constitution, a document more than two centuries old that has been amended (not counting the Bill of Rights) only 17 times. In the wake of the 2016 election—in which, not for the first time, a candidate who lost the popular election entered the White House anyway—talk about the Constitution’s “defects” has become more insistent. Why can’t America be more like other countries? Do you worry about fracking? Boris Johnson was worried, so he banned it, because he is the Prime Minister of Great Britain and his party controls the House of Commons. He can do pretty much whatever he wants when he has a sufficient majority.

https://www.realclearpublicaffairs.com/articles/2020/02/14/why_is_the_constitution_not_democratic_484132.html Some say the Constitution is an economic document more than anything……https://www.fte.org/teachers/teacher-resources/lesson-plans/efiahlessons/constitution-econ-doc/

In fact, the inquiry which follows is based upon the political science of James Madison, the father of the Constitution and later President of the Union he had done so much to create. This political science runs through all of his really serious writings and is formulated in its most precise fashion in The Federalist as follows: “The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties in the first object of government. From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results; and from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors, ensues a division of society into different interests and parties… The most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society. Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors, fall under a like discrimination, A landed interest, a manufacturing interest, a mercantile interest, a moneyed interest, with many lesser interests, grow up of necessity in civilized nations and divide them into different classes, actuated by different sentiments and views. The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit and party of faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government.”

https://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/an-economic-interpretation-of-the-constitution-of-the-united-states/ Any thoughts or comments? Learn Stuff! I Read, I Write, You Know “lego ergo scribo”

Monument For Traitors

These days there is lots of ink being spread on paper about those monuments to the Confederate soldiers and leaders….some want to preserve their legacy….really?

The legacy that they were traitors to the United States….or the legacy that they fought to preserve the institution of slavery?

Which is it?

Yes these statues are a piece of American history….when these people left the United States Of America they became traitors to the oath they took to defend the union against all enemies.

And yet we have statues celebrating these people…..if we are gonna have statues for traitors where is Benedict Arnold’s or Aaron Burr’s statue?

Or for that matter……where is the statue of my grandfather?

I bring GW up because in the 1930s he went the Spain to fight the fascists and upon his return he was arrested and charged with treason for it was unlawful for American citizens to fight in a foreign countries wars….full disclosure the changes were dropped in 1940.

Remove all celebrations of treason.

Symbols are important to a culture. There is no reason for a culture to celebrate its enemies. America has reached an important moment – we are taking treason and individuals who advocate treason seriously. The leaders of the Confederacy went to war with the United States of America and they lost. Good destroyed evil and the advocates of evil don’t deserve statues on public lands.

Read More: Traitors Deserve No Monuments or Celebrations in U.S.A. [OPINION]

I disagree with Trump and his slobbering supporters……removing monuments to traitors is not the same as destroying our heritage…..
Conservative opponents of the drive to dismantle the many monuments neo-Confederates erected to honor Confederate leaders often resort to “floodgates” or “slippery-slope” arguments that taking this step will lead to some sort of national iconoclastic frenzy wherein history is defaced and national heroes are defiled. Such arguments received a large boost when a historic Virginia church decided simultaneously to relocate from its sanctuary plaques honoring Robert E. Lee and George Washington — who both at one time worshipped there.
Lincoln basically founded the Republican Party…..and now the GOP is defending the very traitors that Lincoln had to face……why is this?  Plus it is pointed out that many of our earlier presidents owned slaves……yes they did but not one of them fought in a war against the USA…..

The Senate majority chief, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, was extra outspoken in his opposition. On Tuesday, he derided brewing efforts to “airbrush the Capitol and scrub out everybody from years ago who had any connection to slavery” as “nonsense” and “a bridge too far.” He even felt moved to listing for reporters a few of the early presidents who owned slaves. “Washington did. Jefferson did. Madison did. Monroe did.”

None of these presidents, it ought to be famous, went to warfare towards the United States to defend slavery. Nor are all the 11 statues of peripheral figures who had simply “any connection” to the warfare for chattel slavery. The statues embody one among Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate States of America; Alexander Hamilton Stephens, the vp; and its most well-known basic, Robert E. Lee. There are different statues of males much less central to the insurgent trigger. But on condition that states can choose any person of note from their state, certainly there are numerous different males or girls who don’t have the Confederacy on their résumés.

Opinion | Why Is the G.O.P. Fighting to Preserve Monuments to Traitors in the Capitol?

Nothing about Confederates made them “patriots”….they were traitors plain and simple.

There are over one thousand seven hundred monuments to the Confederacy in America today, from the four corners of the continental United States to most of the states in between, and including several of the former Union states. The Confederate flag is commonly found almost exclusively in many white homes and businesses, as stickers on cars and trucks, and even as part of the Mississippi state flag.

This is notable because America is the only nation today where those who fought a civil war against that nation are memorialized and even glorified with government approval and at the taxpayers’ expense. Those who support keeping Confederate monuments on public lands commonly make the argument that Confederates were Americans. Below is one such example of the argument:

View at Medium.com

There is nothing left to say……traitors do not deserve monuments or admiration or some “patriotic” nonsense…

It is simple….they were traitors….PERIOD!

“lego ergo scribo”

Why Killer Cops Go Free

We have had a couple of decades of killer cops as newsworthy reports….and under normal circumstances with all the evidence out there and yet murderers still walk and retain their position…..why is that?

Counter Punch has an excellent piece trying to answer that question……

I watched Senator Tim Scott’s pitiful presentation of the Republican’s predictably weak answer to the murders of black men and women by the police. Can you imagine hanging out with Trump, McConnell, and Lindsay Graham? How Scott has to swallow his pride as they say dumb ignorant racist things? Senator Scott, like the television black pundits and guests, are seen as compatible with the interests of the networks’ advertisers. Like them, Scott is being promoted as a star. Many of the on-air black commentators are Baldwin clones, like Elvis imitators, who are attempting to appeal to the conscience of white Americans. They try to out eloquence each other instead of presenting facts. They lack Baldwin’s theatrical flair and depth. They are hemmed in by their networks’ salesmen. Whenever I become frustrated with the lack of a variety of black opinions in the media, I vent to my friend, the journalistic workhorse Richard Prince. He cited Don Lemon’s show as a sign of progress.

On June 10, 2020, Lemon said that if he said what he really wanted to say on CNN he couldn’t pay his mortgage. Don Lemon does the best he can, but most of those who referee and comment on race are white moderators and their guests, who anchor shows that take up hours of the day, which is why the truth can never be told on a media that lacks diversity.Even those who remain are in danger of being bought out or fired. If they speak up they’re in danger of receiving the Roland Martin treatment. The CEOs at CNN and Comcast, Jeff Zucker, and MSNBC’s Brian L. Roberts’ are responsible for the muting of Don Lemon and others. Zucker didn’t renew the contract of a pundit. Why? Because he talked about white supremacy too much. Both Zucker, Roberts, and their salesmen count on white supremacist cash to buy their advertisers’ products. Joy Reid has defied the requirement that the network tokens don’t come on too strong. Is that why they haven’t given her the show that was moderated by Chris Matthews? Ari Melber loves black people and loves rap. Why doesn’t he demand that she have that hour? Both CNN and MSNBC crowd their weekends with black, brown and yellow commentators, the journalistic equivalent of being placed at the back of the bus.

Why Killer Cops Go Free

For every cop that has to pay for his actions there are at least 50 that walk away Scott free.

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“lego ergo scribo”