Tom Paine II: The American Crisis

In a previous blog, Thomas Paine 1776, I selected the very famous quotes as: “These are the times that try men’s souls…,” and one from Common Sense.  Here, Paine explains much about the slavishness of the Trumpsters and those who do not oppose them when their nation is in danger, and brings more encouragement to the struggle. But first a bit of Socrates on the point he has in common with Lao Tzu and Jesus about revenge:

Socrates: From Plato’s Crito (49c-d):

Socrates: Then no human being should do injustice in return or do evil, whatever he suffers from others…this seems and will seem so only to a certain few. So there is no common counsel for those who hold this opinion and those who do not; it is necessary that they will have contempt for each other when they see each other’s counsels.

Translated by Thomas G. West (my teacher!)

Tom Paine: The American Crisis:

I once felt all that kind of anger which a man ought to feel against the mean principles that are held by the Tories: a noted one, who kept a tavern at Amboy, was standing at his door with as pretty a child in his hand, about eight or nine years old, as I ever saw, and after speaking his mind as freely as he thought was prudent, finished with this unfatherly expression, “well! give me peace in my day.”** Not a man lives on the continent but fully believes that a separation must some time or other finally take place, and a generous parent should have said, “if there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace,” and this single reflection, well applied, is sufficient to awaken every man to his duty.

…The heart that feels not now is dead; the blood of his children will curse his cowardice who shrinks back at a time when a little might have saved the whole and made them happy. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm and whose conscience approves his conduct will pursue his principles unto death.

…I should suffer the misery of devils were I to make a whore of my soul by swearing allegiance to one whose character is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man. I conceive likewise a horrid idea in receiving mercy from a being who, at the last day, shall be shrieking to the rocks and mountains to cover him and fleeing with terror from the orphan, the widow, and the slain of America.

   There are persons, too, who see not the full extent of the evil which threatens them; they solace themselves with hopes that the enemy, if he succeed, will be merciful. It is the madness of folly to expect mercy from those who refuse to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war;* the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf, and we ought to guard equally against both.

   I dwell not upon the vapors of imagination; I bring reason to your ears and, in language as plain as A, B, C, hold up the truth to your eyes.

By perseverance and fortitude we have the prospect of a glorious issue; by cowardice and submission, the sad choice of a variety of evils- a ravaged country, a depopulated city, habitations without safety and slavery without hope, our homes turned into barracks and bawdyhouses for the Hessians, and a future race to provide for whose fathers we shall doubt of. Look on this picture and weep over it! and if there yet remains one thoughtless wretch who believes it not, let him suffer it unlamented.

*Note: reverse this in the proper way, and see the ground of our argument against torture. If “War is over” when ISIS fighters surrender to us, the 1/2 that do not want to be there may leave, and may help us voluntarily. But torture, and many more Americans captured will be tortured by them, us having failed to show that torture is wrong.

** “Peace in our time” is, shockingly, what Lord Chamberlain said after placating the Nazi invasion of Sudetanland Czech German speaking Austria- as in “Sound of Music.” Then They did not help Poland (if my History is right). But Winston Churchill was right, and when this was demonstrated by further Nazi advances, Churchill was elected Prime Minister.

How Did a Russian Spy Get Elected President of the United States?

Listen up, Canada, and tell the Queen!

Molly Joss Out Loud

Recently on Twitter we received a query from a lovely woman in Canada, let’s call her Betsy to help protect her identity. She asked, understandably, “How in the world did a Russian Spy (Donald Trump) get elected President of the United States?”

I promised Betsy an answer and here it is:

  • Donald Trump was aided and abetted by senior people in the Republican party. These people pushed legitimate, non-Spy candidates out of the way during the Republican primary in order to push Donald Trump forward. In other words, they colluded with a Russian spy against their own party: self before party.
  • Donald Trump was aided and abetted by other traitors who hold United States passports and who have served, or are currently serving, in senior government positions on the federal and state level: greed before loyalty.
  • Donald Trump was aided and abetted by Putin and his henchmen in Russia. They gave him…

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Thomas Paine: 1776

   These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from service of their country, but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of men and women. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that, the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

Thomas Paine, The American Crisis

For I have sworn on the Altar of God eternal hostility to every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

Thomas Jefferson

The cause of America is in great measure the cause of all mankind. Many circumstances have and will arise which are not local but universal, and through which the principles of all lovers of mankind are affected and in the event of which their affections are interested. The laying a country desolate with fire and sword, declaring war against the natural rights of all mankind, and extirpating the defenders therof from the face of the earth is the concern of every man to whom nature has given the power of feeling, of which class, regardless of party censure, is the

Author

Thomas Paine, Common Sense

   ‘Tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country. All nations and ages have been subject to them…Yet panics, in some cases, have their uses; they produce as much good as hurt. Their duration is always short; the mind soon grows through them and acquires a firmer habit than before. But their peculiar advantage is that they are touchstones of sincerity and hypocricy, and bring things and men to light which might otherwise have lain forever undiscovered. In fact, they have the same effect on secret traitors which an imaginary apparition would have upon a private murderer. They sift out the hidden thoughts of man and hold them up in public to the world

Thomas Paine, The American Crisis

   Our current crisis has been a while brewing, built up of many problems long railed against without effect- The internet integrity problem, payoffs to offices called “campaign Contributions,” prescription drug abuse, violations of the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments, education that aims only at wealth and power, the intimidation of organized crime, etc. We have warned of this coming tyranny, and now it is upon us. Our elected leaders have been deaf to our foresight, and now the blood will be on the pavement, as seems necessary for democracies to react. Perhaps now these things can be fixed, if we have a future in which to fix them.

Emmitt Till

There is a new book out on Emmitt Till, I’ll look it up. His anniversary was Friday, the day of the inauguration.

60 Years Later, Echoes of Emmett Till’s Killing

Charles M. Blow
Charles M. Blow

Friday was the 60th anniversary of the savage killing of Emmett Till.

Till was a black 14-year-old Chicago boy who was visiting his great-uncle in Mississippi during the summer of 1955.

It is said that the boy said something to, and whistled at, a white woman.

This was a line not crossed in those parts in this country. As I wrote in June when Dylann Roof killed nine black people in a Charleston, S.C., church after complaining that black people are “raping our women”:

“There is the thread of couching his cowardice as chivalry, framing his selfish hatred as noble altruism in defense of white femininity from the black brute. So much black blood has been spilled and so many black necks noosed in the name of protecting white femininity, and by extension, white purity.”

That thread seems altered but unbroken from Emmett’s time to ours.

In the wee hours of the night, two white men kidnapped Emmett from his family’s home, mercilessly beat him, took him to the banks of the Tallahatchie River and shot him in the head, then tied the metal fan of a cotton gin around his neck with barbed wire and pushed him in.

When Emmett’s body was fished from the river three days later, it had already begun to decompose. He was unrecognizable. His body was identified because he was wearing a ring that had belonged to his father.

His body was sent back to Chicago for burial. His mother, Mamie, collapsed at the sight of the coffin, just two weeks after she kissed her son goodbye.

His mother insisted that the coffin be opened so that she could see her son. As she recalled: “I saw that his tongue was choked out. I noticed that the right eye was lying on midway his cheek. I noticed that his nose had been broken like somebody took a meat chopper and chopped his nose in several places. As I kept looking, I saw a hole, which I presumed was a bullet hole, and I could look through that hole and see daylight on the other side. And I wondered: Was it necessary to shoot him?”

His mother insisted on an open coffin so that everyone could see what had been done to her baby.

According to Devery S. Anderson’s book about Emmett published this month, the night of the wake alone, “between 10,000 and 50,000 people” filed past Emmett’s glass-covered coffin to gaze at what was left of his face.

A little over two weeks after Emmett was buried, the men who killed him were acquitted, after only 67 minutes of jury deliberations. One juror is said to have told a reporter that the deliberations wouldn’t have taken that long if the jurors hadn’t taken a break to drink a pop.

After the acquittal the killers kissed their wives, lit cigars and posed for pictures.

And unfortunately, Emmett’s case was far from the only one. As the law professors Margaret A. Burnham and Margaret M. Russell wrote in The Times last week, there are hundreds of “disappeared” black people in this country “who were victims of racial violence from 1930 to 1960.”

But Emmett became the most pivotal. His death was immeasurable in its effect on young black people at the time. It activated and mobilized them. That is not so dissimilar from today.

Jesse Jackson is credited with calling Emmett’s murder the “Big Bang” of the civil rights movement.

But in an interview published earlier this month, a University of Illinois professor, Christopher Benson, co-author of the 2003 book “Death of Innocence” about the case, made a more direct comparison:

“Before Trayvon Martin, before Michael Brown, before Tamir Rice, there was Emmett Till. This was the first ‘Black Lives Matter’ story. It is no wonder, then, that each time we read about another young unarmed black male being shot down in the street — unjustly — by an authority figure, there is the mention of Emmett’s name. What we come to see with the loss of Emmett is just what racism has cost us in this country. What it costs us still, in the loss of so many bright, gifted kids. Partly through untimely deaths. But also in the limited opportunities many have to excel, because of mass incarceration or even unwarranted tracking in schools.”

Benson continued:

“When we begin to see the Emmett Till story in this context, we realize that we all lose something to racism. And we see that we all have something to gain by overcoming the obstacles to full participation that still exist. So, Emmett Till is a vital American story.”

Yes, Emmett’s story is a vital American story, and it feels like an all-too-present one as we see this cycle repeating itself: young lives are lost, the body itself is desecrated or neglected, killers are acquitted or not even brought to trial, and the effects of the feelings of terror and injustice galvanize a generation of young people who have taken as much as they plan to take.

Let’s Ban All Immigrants from Russia Too!

   The greatest threat to our Liberty is not even ISIS anymore, but Vlad Putin and Bright Bart, who want to check to see if Russia is allowing KKK immigrants from America. Ya, Syrian refugees is difficult right now ’cause some declared war on us, but Russia just got caught doing cyber-invasion! Hijacking our election to have us seat a friggin’ four year old atop US weapons, and we fell for it-we are still falling! Impeach Trump. Void the election of 2016, or find out what Putin has in store- war v. Islam, not just ISIS for US, while he tramples over Europe. Get out of the Ukraine! Take back Twitter. Send back spy-tech. Restore our Constitution!

   The Republicans have shown themselves fools and slaves unworthy of leading a free people. I am not a Democrat, but Centrist: CLC. 

Check out my man Tea Pain of the true America Party

   We need to help settle the sane Syrians, and protect them from evil. We will be repayed tenfold. Aleppo is a Russian Sin.

“Republicans” Do Not Need Donald Trump

   Donald Trump is not a republican, and the “republicans” do not need Donald Trump. We are lobbying the centrist republicans, those who do believe in the republican rather than tyrannic form of government, to join the Democrats in impeaching this man before a national crisis becomes a national catastrophe. All can see that he is guilty of the intimidation of the press, violation of his oath of office, conflicts of interests amounting to bribery, allowing and benefiting from foreign interference, and election fraud- much of which is indicated by his pre-emptory accusations. The many fall for these tweeter escapades one after another, though we need not. Conversely, Trump will destroy the Republican party, if not America, if there still is an America that is not a province of Vlad. Your sons will do his bidding in the Middle East and lay down their lives, while he rolls over Europe. Or, we could stand up and END THIS CHARADE!

   We have been invaded through the internet by a foreign power. We need to free communications and the press first. We need only step away from the corrupted internet companies, and turn to competitors with integrity, after we impeach Trump and the American president pushes the Russians off Twitter, Kaspersky out. Off Google, off Microsoft. Thanks Vlad, but we did not need your friendly help with ISIS quite that badly. See what happens when we let the FBI walk in and take over Microsoft and Google, Yahoo and Bing? Twitter and U- tube, WordPress and things? Where is George Soros when we need him? Warren Buffet, you wanna make some dough? Our trust of you is worth billions. Come and save free speech and free government. And don’t let Donney grab Putin! The latter thinks he’s the butch!

First Amendment First

   So, the Trumpsters now control the executive branch to some extent, and have openly begun to control the media with intimidation. We need to secure the First Amendment first, by re-opening the media and the internet. Some very odd things have been occurring on Twitter which demonstrate Trumpster control of that media. Perhaps a free bazillionair will see the opportunity to begin a competitor that promises not to allow naked Russian chicks and hackers popping in behind ones pages. Then we can get on with real American politics through this thing.

   Hey Putin, get out of the Ukraine!

Trump Interview: Take the Oil!

This exchange between and Trump on “keeping the oil,” sneak attacking Mosul and international law:

   Justice is important in foreign policy, more important than the oligarchs and Machiavellians might think. The Gulf war is not about oil, but about tyranny, as it was when George Bush saw a tyrant with the fourth largest army in the world seize one quarter of the world’s oil, in the first Gulf war. Maggie Thatcher, followed by our ow George, said, “This aggression will not stand,” and it did not stand.  Then Saddam violated the terms of the treaty ending the Gulf War, by which George would let him stay in Baghdad- since the international community did not want us to go there- if he let us make sure he did not have chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. That is the broader context of the flap about whether Saddam in fact had bad stuff when we went back, and all the way to Baghdad. Fine, we wanted to prevent those charming boys, Oudai and Kusai, from inheriting, you know, for our own selfish reasons- we could not stand to hear the things they did to their own people.
   Otherwise, in his interview Trump said some moderate or publicly admissable Republican platform-type issues, where the Republicans are half right, and we might give him credit for these, also to keep the mean in sight, in order to see his deviation in action. It is indeed a crisis in Chicago, and perhaps time for federal action assisting their State Police. It is also time to drive a wedge between legitimate and illegitimate gun ownership- to figure out how to tell between a gun used for protection from gangs and a gun used in gang violence. We do need to to watch for terrorists entering our nation, but was doing that just fine. In fact, Barack also deported some 2.5 million illegal and criminal aliens, while protecting many five year olds and their parents. The cities and states in fact will not allow this tyrant to harm any residents, and the citizens with rights will protect the aliens without rights. Where he is right, we need to recognize it- I do not yet see much wrong with what he said to that guy with the bad hair who was lobbing stuff into the pacific, that was pretty good- “It wont happen.” He also promised to investigate election fraud, since, you know, the integrity of the election process is so important.
   Where he is wrong is in saying that the world is as angry as it gets, so we need not worry if the Muslims get angry with our immigration policy. No, Mr. Trump, the world is yet no where near as angry as it can get. If we torture, our soldiers will be tortured, we will gain little or nothing, and it will cost us a great deal, as what one does to another is also done to him. Again, the question of whether the Russians turned the election to have a moron seated atop our military to their advantage is a bit more important than the battle field plans of some ISIS soldier who probably did not want to be is their team to begin. Do not fear to surrende! But the CLC says: When we capture you, “WAR IS OVER,” as Jim Morrison and John Lennon said.

Pope Francis Votes For Trump!

Beloved Pope Francis Just Issued A Dire Message Comparing Donald Trump To Adolf Hitler

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Something has gone horribly wrong if the Pope feels the need to make a statement to the world to beware of an incoming president.

Yet Saturday, that’s exactly what Pope Francis did. In a statement made to the Spanish newspaper El Pais, the Pope highlights the concerns he harbors about Donald Trump.

The reporter asked Francis “what he makes” of Donald Trump being sworn into office, citing that the whole world feels tense about it. He responds “…that we must wait and see. I don’t like to get ahead of myself, nor to judge people prematurely. We will see how he acts, what he does.”

The reporter then asked the Pope about the rise of populism and how he feels about it. They cite how fear and growing inequalities have led to the rise of leaders which are “so-called anti-system.” Claiming “Trump’s case is the most noteworthy,” that “[t]hey capitalize on the fears of an uncertain future in order to form a message full of xenophobia and hatred towards foreigners.”

The Pope responds without acknowledging Trump specifically, but going straight into a conversation about Hitler and 1930s Nazi Germany. He claims the most obvious example of populism in Europe was the rise of Hitler. He claims:

‘Germany is broken, it needs to get up, to find its identity, it need a leader, someone capable of restoring its character, and there is a young man named Adolf Hitler who says: “I can, I can.” And Germans vote for Hitler. Hitler didn’t steal power, his people voted for him, and then he destroyed his people. That is the risk. In times of crisis we lack judgement…’

Well, if America and the world weren’t afraid before, we certainly are now. Much of the context behind the election of Donald Trump certainly echo the problems facing Germany at the time they elected Hitler. It is true that in many ways Donald Trump claims to be a populist, and through the selection of his staff he has already demonstrated that it was only an election ploy.

The Pope went on to call out men who claim to be a savior, and who use tactics which create barrios among people:

‘A savior who [tries to] give us back our identity [by] let[ting] us defend ourselves with walls…is a very serious thing.’

Certainly, Trump’s vilification of immigrants and his steadfast commitment to building a wall along the U.S. to Mexico border is divisive. It speaks to Trump’s election tactic of inciting fear and that only he was able to protect Americans from the loss of their identity. The Pope, in this interview, condemns this type of methodology because he condemns the isolation and separation of people “from their neighbours.”

The rise of a man who promises to restore the country’s “greatness” with division and exclusivity with almost nothing but a charismatic personality, is congruent in the two cases.

The fact that the Pope felt it prudent to express his thoughts about populism and Trump by highlighting those similarities, however, is extremely ominous and concerning.

Feature Image via Getty Images/Franco Origlia.