Posted by: Democratic Thinker | October 18, 2014

Shipley’s Speech—1774

Background of the American Revolution

Following the Boston Tea Party, Dr. Jonathan Shipley—Bishop of St. Asaph—writes a speech intended for the debate in the House of Lords over altering the charter for Massachusetts. Subsequently published, Benjamin Franklin—his good friend—deems it “a masterpiece of eloquence.”

Let us be content with the spoils and the destruction of the east. If your lordships can see no impropriety in it, let the plunderer and oppressor still go free. But let not the love of liberty be the only crime you think worthy of punishment. I fear we shall soon make it a part of our national character, to ruin every thing that has the misfortune to depend upon us.

of the
Bishop of St. Asaph.



A Speech intended to have been spoken on the Bill for altering the Charters of the Colony of Massachusetts-Bay.

IT is of such great importance to compose, or even to moderate, the dissensions which subsist at present between our unhappy country and her colonies, that I cannot help endeavoring, from the faint prospect I have of contributing something to so good an end. to overcome the inexpressible reluctance I feel at uttering my thoughts before the most respectable of all audiences.

The true object of all our deliberations on this occasion, which I hope we shall never lose sight of, is a full and cordial reconciliation with North America. Now I own, my lords, I have many doubts whether the terrors and punishments we hang out to them at present are the surest means of producing this reconciliation. Let us at least do this justice to the people of North America, to own that we can all remember a time when they were much better friends than at present to their mother country. They are neither our natural nor our determined enemies. Before the stamp-act, we considered them in the light of as good subjects as the natives of any county in England.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | October 12, 2014

Emerson—The Man with the Hoe

American Thought

Emerson’s essay on “Farming”—first published in Society and Solitude—was initially an oration given to the Middlesex Agricultural Society during the Cattle-Show on September 29, 1858. He originally called the address “The Man with the Hoe.”

“Not so, Mr. Malthus, but just the opposite of so is the fact.”




Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen:—I suppose there is no anniversary that meets from all parties a more entire good will than this rural festival. Town and country, trader and manufacturer, clerk and layman, sailor and soldier, men and women, all have an equal stake in the prosperity of the farmer. It is well with all when it is well with him. He has no enemy, and all are loud in his praise. Every wise State has favored him, and the best men have held him highest. Cato said, when it was said that such or such a man was a good husbandman, it was looked upon as the very highest compliment. Of all the rewards given by the Romans to great public benefactors, the most valued and the rarest bestowed was the crown of grass, given only by the acclamation of the army for the preservation of the army by the valor of one man. Since the dependence, not of the whole army, but of the whole state, rests on the tiller of the ground, the arval crown, the crown of grass, should be more rightfully awarded to the farmer. Let us then look at the condition of the farmer, or the Man with the Hoe, at his strength and weakness, at his aids and servants, at his greater and lesser means, and his share in the great future which opens before the people of this country.—Exordium to the Cattle-Show Address.

THE glory of the farmer is that, in the division of labors, it is his part to create. All trade rests at last on his primitive activity. He stands close to nature; he obtains from the earth the bread and the meat. The food which was not, he causes to be. The first farmer was the first man, and all historic nobility rests on possession and use of land. Men do not like hard work, but every man has an exceptional respect for tillage, and a feeling that this is the original calling of his race, that he himself is only excused from it by some circumstance which made him delegate it for a time to other hands. If he have not some skill which recommends him to the farmer, some product for which the farmer will give him corn, he must himself return into his due place among the planters. And the profession has in all eyes its ancient charm, as standing nearest to God, the first cause.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | October 11, 2014

Commentary: Jay—Essential for Understanding Survival


Jay—over at SHTF School—shares his some of his experiences surviving the Baklin Wars of 1992-95.


He was inspiration for many to fight on. And they were right. He was dangerous and fearless. But what they did not know was fact that he hide and save whole bunch of people from different enemy “group”. He did not do that for money, gold or anything else.



Essential for understanding survival is understanding reality of death and dying

October 11, 2014 0 Comments in Basic Survival by Jay


When I was young and under the influence of movies and books about fighting, war and dying somehow I adopted views that death and dying is something unavoidable and it is mostly noble and clean, and have some kind of cause and reason.

Soon I realized that truth is quite different, and mostly there is nothing clean about it.

People like to think that death in combat is something like they see on movies because it makes sense, it gives you some kind of comfort. I have seen death and dying many times, both in combat and in bed at peoples home when working in emergency services, and I can count on one hand when it looked clean and “noble”.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | October 4, 2014

Weekly Story: Great Transcontinental Air Race

Weekly Story

On October 8, 1919, the US Army initiates the first Transcontinental Air Race.

The Course of the Transcontinental Air Classic Is Dotted with Machines Which Came to Grief Because of Unsuitable Landing Places.


The Course of the Transcontinental Air Classic Is Dotted with Machines Which Came to Grief Because of Unsuitable Landing Places.


Air Race Across Continent.


Lieut. Maynard (at Right). Sergt. W. E. Kline and Their Mascot “Trixie”—the Pathfinders for Transcontinental Air Flights.

THE greatest endurance tests ever attempted by military airplanes began Oct. 8, 1919, when transcontinental flights by United States Army aviators were started simultaneously from New York and San Francisco by sixty-three planes. The rules of the race laid down three objectives: 1. The shortest airline time across the country. 2. Actual flying time. 3. Fastest flying time. Control stations were established in cities forming a chain across the country. The distance to be covered was 5,400 miles. Each machine, by actual test, was capable of attaining a minimum speed of 100 miles an hour.

The start occurred on schedule time, forty-eight contestants taking the air at Mineola, L. I., and fifteen from the West. The start was marred by three accidents, in which three of the aviators were killed and one injured. At sundown of the first day Lieutenant B. W. Maynard, a former Baptist minister, was in the lead. Various mishaps occurred to the two groups of planes flying respectively west and east, and other deaths occurred. After twenty-five hours’ flying at an average of 107 miles an hour Lieutenant Maynard maintained his early lead and landed on the Pacific Coast on Oct. 11 at 1:12 o’clock. Two easterly flying aviators, Major Carl Spatz and Lieutenant C. E. Kiel, landed at Mineola on the same day at 6 P. M., within thirty-one seconds of each other. In this first half of the race Lieutenant Maynard won first place, and Major Spatz the second.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | October 3, 2014

John Adams—To Abigail (April 26, 1777)

American Correspondence

John Adams—in a letter to his wife—expresses a few sentiments during the Continental Congress at Philadelphia.

Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom!— I hope you will make a good Use of it.— If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.—

To Abigail.


Saturday Evening, 26, April, 1777.

I HAVE been lately more remiss, than usual in Writing to you. There has been a great Dearth of News. Nothing from England, nothing from France, Spain, or any other Part of Europe, nothing from the West Indies.— Nothing from Howe, and his Banditti, nothing from General Washington.—

There are various Conjectures that Lord How is dead, sick, or gone to England, as the Proclamations run in the Name of Will. Howe only, and nobody from New York can tell any Thing of his Lordship.

I am wearied out, with Expectations that the Massachusetts Troops would have arrived, e’er now, at Head Quarters.— Do our People intend to leave the Continent in the Lurch? Do they mean to submit? or what Fatality attends them? With the noblest Prize in View, that ever Mortals contended for, and with the fairest Prospect of obtaining it upon easy Terms, The People of the Massachusetts Bay, are dead.— Does our State intend to send only half, or a third of their Quota? Do they wish to see another, crippled, disastrous and disgracefull Campaign for Want of an Army?— a I am, more sick and more ashamed, of my own Countrymen, than ever I was before.— The Spleen, the Vapours, the Dismals, the Horrors, seem to have seized our whole State.—

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | October 1, 2014

Mark Twain: As Regards Patriotism


Mark Twain comments on Patriotism.


… men can be trained to manufacture their own Patriotism. They can be trained to labor it out in their own heads and hearts and in the privacy and independence of their own premises.

As Regards Patriotism.
(About 1900)


IT is agreed, in this country that if a man can arrange his religion so that it perfectly satisfies his conscience, it is not incumbent upon him to care whether the arrangement is satisfactory to anyone else or not.

In Austria and some other countries this is not the case. There the state arranges a man’s religion for him, he has no voice in it himself. Patriotism is merely a religion—love of country, worship of country, devotion to the country’s flag and honor and welfare.

In absolute monarchies it is furnished from the throne, cut and dried, to the subject; in England and America it is furnished, cut and dried, to the citizen by the politician and the newspaper.

The newspaper-and-politician-manufactured Patriot often gags in private over his dose; but he takes it, and keeps it on his stomach the best he can. Blessed are the meek.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | September 30, 2014

Butchery of Seventy Protestants

Considerations by the Way

A Sixteenth Century Roman Catholic expresses his concerns over actions carried out under the Cloak of Infallibility.

We shall not presume to anticipate the judgment of our fellow-citizens throughout the Union on these important letters, by interposing any comments of our own.—Four Letters on the Important Subject of Government, 1802.



Butchery of Seventy Protestants.


IN the year 1560, Pope Pius the Fourth commenced a general persecution of the protestants throughout the Italian states, when great numbers of every age, sex, and condition, suffered martyrdom. Concerning the cruelties practised upon this occasion, a learned and humane Roman Catholic thus speaks in a letter to a nobleman:

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | September 29, 2014

The Rainy Day



The Rainy Day.


THE day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | September 24, 2014

Upon the Vine-Tree



Upon the Vine-Tree.


WHAT is the vine, more than another tree?
Nay most, than it, more tall, more comely be.
What workman thence will take a beam or pin,
To make ought which may be delighted in?
Its excellency in its fruit doth lie:
A fruitless vine, it is not worth a fly.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | September 20, 2014

Samuel Adams—September 27, 1722



Samuel Adams.
September 27, 1722—October 2, 1803.

His nature is too noble for the world:
He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
Or Jove for his power to thunder.—

—Shakespeare, Coriolanus, III, i.


For your use I subjoin the following creed of every good American:—

I BELIEVE that in every kingdom, state, or empire there must be, from the necessity of the thing, one supreme legislative power, with authority to bind every part in all cases the proper object of human laws. I believe that to be bound by laws to which he does not consent by himself, or by his representative, is the direct definition of a slave. I do therefore believe that a dependence on Great Britain, however the same may be limited or qualified, is utterly inconsistent with every idea of liberty, for the defence of which I have solemnly pledged my life and fortune to my countrymen; and this engagement I will sacredly adhere to so long as I shall live. Amen.

—Samuel Adams, from To His Majesty’s Commissioners (1778).

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | September 19, 2014

Commentary: Fred On Everything—King George Days


Fred Reed, over at Fred On Everything, comments on laws and culture.


You can’t impose decency, honesty, good behavior, or responsibility. They are in the culture, or they are not. If they are, you don’t need laws, police, and supervison. If they are not, laws won’t much help. And this is why the US is over, at least as the country we knew.



King George Days

When We Were America

September 16, 2014

I beg the reader’s indulgence since this is in a large sense a personal communication more than a column for all. It will resonate with many, or some, so I post it anyway.

I am preparing to fly to Fredericksburg, Virginia, for the—God almighty—fifty-year high-school reunion of King George High School. Perhaps we all do it eventually, unless of course we don’t. It is a curious thing, I have learned at previous reunions, to meet after half a century people you last saw when they were seventeen. They seem so little changed.

Mostly wooded, on the Potomac River, Dahlgren Naval Proving Ground the biggest employer, with a fair number of kids who got up at four-thirty in the morning to help their fathers with commercial crabbing on the river.

There was nothing special about the class of 1964, or about King George High, except for those of us who were in it. Our yearbook looked like ten thousand others across America, portraits with acne removed in the photo lab, the basket ball team exactly like everybody else’s, the cheerleaders conventionally glorious, conventional adolescent good-byes in ball-point pen—but without misspelling or bad grammar.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | September 18, 2014

Weekly Story: A Day on the Oregon Trail

Weekly Story

Enoch W. Conyers—early settler of Clatskanie, Oregon—describes in his diary a day of travel along the Oregon Trail.

This circumstance is only one of the many that has happened this season in crossing the continent.



A Day on the Oregon Trail.


August 23 [1852]—Monday.—We started at 8 a. m.

TRAVELING over a very rocky ridge for one and a half miles brought us to Burnt River again. This stream we crossed and traveled on seven miles over a very rough, dusty road, crossing this same stream twice more. Here we stopped for lunch.

After lunch we traveled three miles—very hilly—to a cold mountain stream of water. Three miles and a half more brought us to another cold spring of water.

Just below this last spring we found a family, consisting of husband, wife and four small children, whose cattle, as we supposed, had given out and died. They were here all alone and no wagon or cattle in sight, the husband sick and scarcely able to raise his head from the pillow, lying by the roadside in the shade of some small bushes to protect them from the burning rays of the sun.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | September 16, 2014

The Pilgrims Leave The Old World Behind

Freedom of Religion

William Bradford, Governor of the Plymouth Plantation, relates their reasons for leaving the Old World.

The other partie, though under many colours & pretences, endevored to have ye episcopall dignitie (affter ye popish maner) with their large power & jurisdiction still retained; with all those courts, cannons, & ceremonies, togeather with all such livings, revenues, & subordinate officers, with other such means as formerly upheld their Antichristian greatnes, and enabled them with lordly & tyranous power to persecute ye poore servants of God.


Church of England Heretics.



And first of ye occasion and indusments ther unto; the which that I may truly unfould, I must begine at ye very roote & rise of ye same. The which I shall endevor to manefest in a plaine stile, with singuler regard unto ye simple trueth in all things, at least as near as my slender judgmente can attaine the same.

1. Chapter.

IT is well knowne unto ye godly and judicious, how ever since ye first breaking out of ye lighte of ye gospell in our Honourable Nation of England, (which was ye first of nations whom ye Lord adorned ther with, affter yt grosse darknes of popery which had covered & overspred ye Christian worled,) what warrs & opposissions ever since, Satan hath raised, maintained, and continued against the Saincts, from time to time, in one sorte or other. Some times by bloody death and cruell torments; other whiles imprisonments, banishments, & other hard usages; as being loath his kingdom should goe downe, the trueth prevaile, and ye churches of God reverte to their anciente puritie, and recover their primative order, libertie, & bewtie. But when he could not prevaile by these means, against the maine trueths of ye gospell, but that they began to take rootting in many places, being watered with ye blooud of ye martires, and blessed from heaven with a gracious encrease; he then begane to take him to his anciente strategemes, used of old against the first Christians. That when by ye bloody & barbarous persecutions of ye Heathen Emperours, he could not stoppe & subuerte the course of ye gospell, but that it speedily overspred with a wounderfull celeritie the then best known parts of ye world.

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