Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 25, 2015

Swift—Essay upon the Art of Political Lying

Commentary

 
In 1710, Jonathan Swift writes an essay for The Examiner.


Besides, as the vilest writer has his readers, so the greatest liar has his believers; and it often happens, that if a lie be believed only for an hour, it has done its work, and there is no farther occasion for it. Falsehood flies, and Truth comes limping after it; so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late, the jest is over, and the tale has had its effect.

NUMB. 15.

FROM THURSDAY NOVEMBER 2, TO THURSDAY NOVEMBER 9.
1710.

—————

E quibus hi vacuas implent sermonibus aures,
Hi narrata ferunt alio: mensuraque ficti
Crescit, et auditis aliquid novus adjicit autor,
Illic Credulitas, illic temerarius Error,
Vanaque Laetitia est, consternatique Timores,
Seditioque recens, dubioque autore susurri.

Jonathan Swift.

I AM prevailed on, through the importunity of friends, to interrupt the scheme I had begun in my last paper, by an Essay upon the Art of Political Lying. We are told, “the Devil is the father of lies, and was a liar from the beginning”; so that beyond contradiction, the invention is old: And which is more, his first essay of it was purely political, employed in undermining the authority of his Prince, and seducing a third part of the subjects from their obedience. For which he was driven down from Heaven, where (as Milton expresseth it) he had been viceroy of a great western province; and forced to exercise his talent in inferior regions among other fallen spirits, or poor deluded men, whom he still daily tempts to his own sin, and will ever do so till he is chained in the bottomless pit.

But though the Devil be the father of lies, he seems, like other great inventors, to have lost much of his reputation, by the continual improvements that have been made upon him.

Who first reduced lying into an art, and adapted it to politics, is not so clear from history, though I have made some diligent enquiries: I shall therefore consider it only according to the modern system, as it has been cultivated these twenty years past in the southern part of our own island.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 22, 2015

News: Hector, Arkansas — “Our Jerusalem”

News

 
Dan Van Veen reports for PE News about the community service practiced by a Christian congregation in Hector, Arkansas.

 
 


What began with Williams’ trepidation in following God’s lead has now become the heart of the church. He believes God worked in the hearts and lives of the congregation to prepare them to serve their “Jerusalem” (Acts 1:8).

PE News.


Hector, Arkansas — “Our Jerusalem”

by  Dan Van Veen    on 22 July 2015

 

 

Two words: missions trip. What images come to mind?

Far away lands, destitute people, false gods, primitive conditions, hard labor?

Shane and Debbie Williams have been co-pastors of Hector (Arkansas) First Assembly of God for the past 5 1/2 years. Just prior to their arrival, the church had taken a missions trip to Ecuador. The Williams’ first missions trip with the church took them to minister at an Indian reservation.

But as the church began preparing for its next missions trip, God had something else in mind.

“This church has had very successful missions trips,” Shane Williams says, “but the more I prayed about this, the more I heard God saying ‘home missions’ and ‘community service.'” Williams felt the Lord directing him to make Hector the focus of their missions efforts.

Williams prayed about this direction for months. He admits he was not excited about announcing this new focus to the congregation, which averages a surprising 240 (in a town of 500), as it seemed a fairly drastic departure from what the church was accustomed to.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 16, 2015

Rufus Choate—To The Whig Convention At Worcester, Mass.

American Correspondence

 
After the collapse of the Whig Party in 1854—caused by their disastrous policy of extending slavery into new states—Rufus Choate joins the Democrats and offers advice to fellow Whigs.


To choose his political connection aright is the most delicate and difficult duty of the citizen. We have made our choice, and we abide by it. We join ourselves to no party that does not carry the flag and keep step to the music of the Union.

LETTER TO THE WHIG CONVENTION AT WORCESTER, MASS.

—————

BOSTON, October 1, 1855.

Messrs. Peter Butler, Jr., and Bradley N. Cummings, Secretaries, &c, &c.

GENTLEMEN,—

Rufus Choate.

I DISCOVER that my engagements will not allow me to attend the convention to be holden at Worcester to-morrow, and I hope that it is not too late to fill the vacancy.

I assure the Whigs of Boston that I should have regarded it as a duty and a privilege, if it had been practicable, to serve as one of their delegates. The business which the convention meets to do gives it extraordinary attraction as well as importance.

Whether we are dead, as reported in the newspapers, or, if not, whether we shall fall upon our own swords and die even so, will be a debate possessing the interest of novelty at least. For one, I deny the death, and object to the suicide, and should be glad to witness the indignation and laughter with which such a question will be taken.

If there shall be in that assembly any man, who, still a Whig, or having been such, now proposes to dissolve the party, let him be fully heard and courteously answered upon his reasons. Let him declare what party we shall join. Neutrality in any sharp civil dissension is cowardly, immoral, and disreputable. To what party, then, does he recommend us? I take it for granted it will not be to the Democratic; I take it for granted, also, not the American. To what other, then? To that of fusion certainly, to the Republican,—so called, I suppose, because it is organized upon a doctrine, and aims at ends, and appeals to feelings, on which one-half of the Republic, by a geographical line, is irreconcilably opposed to the other. Even to that party.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 13, 2015

National Day of the Cowboy

National Day of the Cowboy

 

National Day of the Cowboy.

 

Saturday July 25, 2015.
Celebrating the Cowboy.

The 11th annual celebration commemorating one of America’s most notable icons, the cowboy.

(List of Events)

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 10, 2015

Weekly Story: Water and Ammo in, Bodies Out

Weekly Story

 
Former Huey crewchief, James “Bud” Harton relates an experience from the Viet Nam War.


That’s when Ray Dussault became my friend. I heard him scream, not on the intercom, as he jumped into the cabin.


 

UH-1D Huey.
 

 

Water and Ammo in, Bodies Out


 

In early 1967, I was still with the 2nd Platoon slicks, crewing 6982, “Maid Mary.” 6982 was a brand new “D” model which the Company got to replace one of our aircraft which had crashed and killed the crew in December. I sweated over it everyday, trying to keep it clean, scrubbing the floors out,and a futile attempt to keep the carbon off the tailboom from the jet exhaust.

I had a lot of hours in, was kind of senior in the platoon, when my gunner rotated home. The Platoon Sergeant sent us out to the flight line early one morning for a Combat Assault. He promised me that he would bring my new gunner out to the ship.

I went on out and started getting ready. I popped the cockpit doors open for the pilots who were still being briefed, opened the engine cowling for the pre flight inspection and then got my gear ready.

The platoon 3/4 ton truck skidded to a halt and SSG Lawson dropped off a scruffy little guy wearing a boonie hat with the front brim pinned up. He got out of the truck, dropping his flight helmet to the ground, and then stood up and I got a good look at him.

He was OLD, at least 30. As he rambled over to me, I saw he was already wearing the red scarf that we all wore around his neck. As he came up to me, he stuck out his hand and said,

“Hi! I’m Ray Dussault, I’m your new gunner, I just transferred in.”

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 8, 2015

Commentary: Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition

Commentary

 
 
Eileen Norcross, writing for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, rates the fiscal solvency of the various states.

 


How financially healthy is your state? Most states are nearly back to normal since the Great Reces­sion, although there are troubling signs that many states are still ignoring the risks on their books, mainly in underfunded pensions and health care benefits.


 

Mercatus Center.



 

Ranking The States By Fiscal Condition.

Eileen Norcross | Jul 07, 2015

In new research for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Senior Research Fellow Eileen Norcross ranks each US state’s financial health based on short- and long-term debt and other key fiscal obligations, including unfunded pensions and health care benefits. The study, which builds on previous Mercatus research about state fiscal conditions, provides information from the states’ audited financial reports in an easily accessible format, presenting an accurate snapshot of each state’s fiscal health.

With new spending commitments for Medicaid and growing long-term obligations for pensions and health care benefits, states must be ever vigilant to consider both the short- and long-term consequences of policy decisions. Understanding how each state is performing in regard to a vari­ety of fiscal indicators can help state policymakers as they make these decisions.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | June 30, 2015

Weekly Story: Down In The Valley To Pray

Weekly Story

 
In 1899, Congregational minister William E. Barton publishes Old Plantation Hymns—a book of songs he collected during his time in Kentucky—”hitherto unpublished.”


It was the writer’s privilege to live in the South from 1880 till 1887, and to come into contact with a good many kinds of people. During the earlier years especially he made careful records of most that interested him, and he supplemented these records as the years went by with whatever came in his way. One of the things which never was allowed to escape was an odd song, secular or religious; and wherever possible the quaint air as well as the words was written down at the time. These have waited for eleven years, and it is time that they were printed if they are to appear at all. It is possible that some have been printed already; but even if so, the variations will be of interest. The most of them, however, are probably new to almost all who will see them here, and many, I am confident, have never been printed or even written before.


 

Down In The River To Pray—Alison Krauss

 

Down in the Valley to Pray.

—————

O BROTHER, less go down,
Less go down,
Less go down.
O brother, less go down,
Down in the valley to pray.

Refrain
‘S I went down in the valley to pray,
Stud-y-in’ a-bout dat good ole way.
You shall wear a starry crown,
Good Lord, show me de way.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | June 26, 2015

When They Came For The Southrons

When They Came For The Southrons

UPDATED 10 Jul 2015, added disclaimer.

When they came for the Southrons, I was not a Southron, so I . . .

 

Painting of the Confederate Battle Flag.

 

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.—Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.

Read More…

Public Service Notice

 
 
Lawfare has divided the Defense Department’s recently released 1204-page Law of War Manual into chapters and posted them on-line.
 
 


This manual reflects many years of labor and expertise, on the part of civilian and
military lawyers from every Military Service. It reflects the experience of this Department in applying the law of war in actual military operations, and it will help us remember the hardlearned lessons from the past. Understanding our duties imposed by the law of war and our rights under it is essential to our service in the nation’s defense.—
Stephen W. Preston, General Counsel of the Department of Defense


 



2015 Defense Department Law of War Manual, By Chapter

On June 12, 2015, the Department of Defense’s Office of General Counsel publicly released its long-anticipated Law of War Manual. For ease of reference, and as a service to Lawfare’s readership, we have broken down the extraordinary, 1204-page tome into more manageable, subject matter chapters, which can be found below.

. . .

(Read the rest at Lawfare)

Commentary

 
Kevin Gutzman comments over at the John William Pope Center concerning the new high school Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) courses.

 


Unfortunately, Americans generally pay little attention to these developments in the teaching of history. Few know that their young continue to be indoctrinated in hostility to America’s history, culture, and traditions.


 

Pope Center.


COMMENTARIES

Kevin Gutzman.

Why the College Board’s New Standards Would Make Teaching History Even Worse

By Kevin Gutzman

June 24, 2015

Since the 1960s, the academic history profession has changed markedly. Traditional fields such as military history, diplomatic history, intellectual history, religious history, and political history have been deemphasized, when not completely eliminated.

Whether in the typical college’s course offerings, on the typical academic conference’s panel program, in the books, articles, and talks they produce, or in the hiring of new colleagues, professors prefer to talk about “race, class, and gender.” That obsession now crowds out almost everything else in the field of history.

In general, the American past looks to such people like a lengthy symphony of class and racial/ethnic oppression with a leitmotif of sexism and occasional bows in the direction of contrary democratic or egalitarian principles. The only heroes of the story are the subject races, classes, and gender(s), besides the occasional critics of capitalism and Christianity, and anyone who can be cast as a spokesman for those who “should have been” aggrieved.

This is not a new development.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | June 18, 2015

Magna Charta, Epilogue

Background of the American Revolution

 
 
The barons force King John to sign the Magna Charta, June 15, 1215. Troubles await.

The ravenous and barbarous mercenaries, incited by a cruel and enraged prince, were let loose against the estates, tenants, manors, houses, parks of the barons, and spread devastation over the face of the kingdom.


 

 

Magna Charta, Epilogue.

—————

William de Albiney IV—From a drawing of his seal, Lansdowne MS, 203.

THE barons, after obtaining the Great Charter, seem to have been lulled into a fatal security, and to have taken no rational measures, in case of the introduction of a foreign force, for re-assembling their armies. The king was, from the first, master of the field; and immediately laid siege to the castle of Rochester, which was obstinately defended by William de Albiney, at the head of a hundred and forty knights with their retainers, but was at last reduced by famine [30th Nov 30, 1215]. John, irritated with the resistance, intended to have hanged the governor and all the garrison; but; on the representation of William de Mauleon, who suggested to him the danger of reprisals, he was content to sacrifice, in this barbarous manner, the inferior prisoners only. The captivity of William de Albiney, the best officer among the confederated barons, was an irreparable loss to their cause; and no regular opposition was thenceforth made to the progress of the royal arms. The ravenous and barbarous mercenaries, incited by a cruel and enraged prince, were let loose against the estates, tenants, manors, houses, parks of the barons, and spread devastation over the face of the kingdom. Nothing was to be seen but the flames of villages and castles reduced to ashes, the consternation and misery of the inhabitants, tortures exercised by the soldiery to make them reveal their concealed treasures, and reprisals no less barbarous committed by the barons and their partisans on the royal demesnes, and on the estates of such as still adhered to the crown. The king, marching through the whole extent of England, from Dover to Berwick, laid the provinces waste on each side of him; and considered every estate, which was not his immediate property, as entirely hostile, and the object of military execution. The nobility of the north, in particular, who had shown greatest violence in the recovery of their liberties, and who, acting in a separate body, had expressed their discontent even at the concessions made by the Great Charter, as they could expect no mercy, fled before him with their wives and families, and purchased the friendship of Alexander, the young king of Scots, by doing homage to him.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | June 13, 2015

News: Science to Parents: Let Your Kids Run a Little Wild

News

 
Jessica Leigh Hester report at City Lab on a new paper published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

 


The evidence from our systematic review indicates that the overall positive health effects of increased risky outdoor play provide greater benefit than the health effects associated with avoiding outdoor risky play. Although these findings are based on ‘very low’ to ‘moderate’ quality evidence, the evidence suggests overall positive effects of risky outdoor play on a variety of health indicators and behaviours in children aged 3-12 years.

City Lab.


A new literature review suggests that unsupervised play fosters resilient kids.

 
Jessica Leigh Hester @jessicahester Jun 11, 2015
 

Andrea Slatter/Shutterstock.com

Kids’ play spaces are too sanitized and too safe. That’s the takeaway from a new literature review published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The authors analyzed 18 studies on the benefits and consequences of unsupervised, exciting play for kids and teens ages 7 to 15.

Their conclusion: Missing out on “risky play” comes at a cost.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | June 13, 2015

Naseby—June 14, 1645

On This Date

“Cromwell and His Ironsides—Henry Ford.

Oliver Cromwell and His Ironsides Defeat the Twin Evils of Canon and Feudal Law.

 

 

The Battle of Naseby.

—————

THE last great contest of the Civil War, at which the fate of King Charles was really decided, was fought nearly three years afterwards, June 14, 1645, and but a few miles north-east of Edgehill, at Naseby, standing on a high plateau elevated nearly seven hundred feet. The Parliamentary forces had during the interval become by far the stronger, and were engaged in besieging Chester. The king and Prince Rupert in May left Oxford with their forces, and marched northward, hoping to raise this siege.

The king had gone as far north as Leicester, when, hearing that Lord Fairfax had come from the borders of Wales and besieged Oxford, he turned about to relieve it. His army was about ten thousand strong, and, having reached Daventry in June, halted, while Fairfax, leaving Oxford, marched northward to meet the king, being five miles east of him on June 12. Being weaker than Fairfax, the king determined on retreat, and the movement was started towards Market Harborough, just north of Naseby.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | June 12, 2015

Think on These Things

Considerations by the Way

 
 
An ancient philosopher advises a distant congregation.


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.


 

Two Jews Arrive in Philippi.

 

Think on These Things.

—————

FINALLY , brethren,
Whatsoever things are true,
Whatsoever things are honest,
Whatsoever things are just,
Whatsoever things are pure,
Whatsoever things are lovely,
Whatsoever things are of good report; Read More…

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