Here’s an article from The Stream about the second Thanksgiving, by Dante Witt. I like this article because it tells us so much about the character of the United States of America. Why are we so conservative about economics?
She briefly retells the story of how the pilgrims were helped by Squanto, which I blogged about in a previous Thanksgiving Day post, then she talks about the troubles they had next.
Although Squanto’s farming techniques worked better than their old ones, the pilgrims still could not produce enough food. Was it bad luck? Bad soil? No. The Mayflower pilgrims were part of a joint stock company which stipulated that the pilgrims would pool their resources, and receive a share of the profit.
The strategy turned out to be deeply misguided, working about as well as various communist economic schemes hundreds of years later. The sad state of the colony after two years of communism, wrote William Bradford, “may well evidence the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s and the other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of property and the bringing of community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God” (p. 121).
So the pilgrims amended their contract so that each family was now responsible for its own provision. The difference was stark. Bradford explained:
This had good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so that more corn was planted than could have been by any other means the Governor could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.
In fact, it’s estimated the colonists planted about six times the crops they would have planted otherwise.
That shows where Americans get their views of economics, but what about the praying and the gratitude?
With new farming techniques and an amended government, the pilgrims did all they humanly could to ward off starvation. But they could not control the weather. A drought settled on the colony and threatened to kill the corn before the harvest. Recognizing with the Psalmist that “except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it,” the colonists turned to God. According to Bradford, they “set apart a solemn day of humiliation to seek the Lord by humble& fervent prayer, in this great distress.” What was the outcome?
And he was pleased to give them a gracious& speedy answer, both to their own& the Indians admiration, that lived amongst them. For all the morning, and greatest part of the day, it was clear weather & very hot, and not a cloud or any sign of rain to be seen, yet toward evening it began to overcast, and shortly after to rain, with such sweet and gentle showers, as gave them cause of rejoicing, & blessing God. It came, without either wind, or thunder, or any violence, and by degrees in that abundance, as that the earth was thoroughly wet and soaked therewith. Which did so apparently revive & quicken the decayed corn& other fruits, as was wonderful to see, and made the Indians astonished to behold. (p. 131)
Seeing the speedy results of the Puritans’ prayers, an Indian named Hobanak said, “Now I see that the Englishman’s God is a good God, for he hath heard you, and sent you rain, and that without storms and tempests and thunder, which usually we have with our rain, which breaks down our corn, but yours stands whole and good still; surely your God is a good God.” (pp. 64-5)
Then William Bradford again proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving to God, the forerunner of the American tradition of Thanksgiving.
So, this story explains why the United States has this character that values the free enterprise system, hard work, individual achievement, prayer, and gratitude. These are the values that make us American, that made us into such a great nation.
There was a short discussion recently on UK Channel 4 between Canadian university professor named Jordan Peterson, and a radical feminist with an undergraduate degree in English named Cathy Newman. While you watch, imagine that she is teaching some non-STEM course that you’ve enrolled in. Would you dare to disagree with her?
First, the video, which has over 11 million views:
Whatever else anybody might think of him, Professor Peterson is a man of remarkable learning and experience, and does not appear to have arrived at any of his views by the now common means of ‘I reckon’. Yet Newman, who approaches the interview with the trademark sourness she employs for everyone she expects to disagree with, treats this is just another chance to burnish her own social justice credentials and expose her guest as a bigot. Big mistake.
Storming straight in with the differences between the sexes, in the opening minutes it is clear that Professor Peterson is willing to back up all his views with references, data and calm analysis.
By 11 minutes in she is saying ‘I think I take issue with (that)’, before demonstrating that she can’t. Soon she is reduced to dropping the bombshell observation that ‘all women are different’. By 16.45 there is a palpable win, as Peterson points out that Newman has exactly the disagreeable and aggressive qualities that allow certain types of people to succeed. By 19.30 she is having to throw out things to him that he hasn’t even said, such as ‘You’re saying women aren’t intelligent enough to run top companies’. A minute later and she is reduced to countering empirical evidence with anecdote. Peterson presents the data about men in general and Newman responds with the ‘I know plenty of men who aren’t (like that)’ card. Shortly after that (at 22.25) Newman is reduced to spluttering and then silence. She tries to pull herself together. But she can think of nothing to say.
To be honest, Cathy Newman is nothing like the women I’m friends with. All of my closest friends are Christian women. All of them are anti-feminist to some degree, with the most successful one professionally (Dina) being the wisest and most anti-feminist of all. When I think of my panel of wise Christian women advisors – each with one or more STEM degrees – I don’t recognize Cathy Newman in them. But Cathy Newman does remind me of the radical feminists I encountered when I was doing my BS and MS degrees in computer science at the university.
In my experience, radical feminists debate using six tactics:
Deny facts or evidence because men were involved in researching them or discovering them
Countering empirical data with anecdotes and personal experiences
Taking arguments and evidence as if they are personal attacks
Becoming hysterical and crying
Claiming that disagreement with feminism will produce violence against women and women committing suicide, etc.
Trying to get you expelled, fired or silenced – often by making false accusations or faking hate crimes against themselves
It’s important for everyone to understand the views of others in order to know how defensible our own views are. In order to get the best scholarly case for radical feminism, I like to read feminist academics like Christina Hoff Sommers, Camille Paglia, Jennifer Roback Morse, etc. who evaluate and critique radical feminist scholarship. That’s how I encounter the ideas of those I disagree with (as well as listening to and watching debates).
Here’s a short Factual Feminist video:
I understand the claims that are made by radical feminists, but I am also aware of what the evidence says. I don’t try to stop feminists from making claims, I just study how to refute their claims.
But what about the radical feminists? Do they do a good job of understanding those who disagree with them? Let’s take a look at an example which I think is representative of feminist tolerance and open-mindedness.
The Toronto Sun reports on a sociology professor who gave her students an assignment – an assignment with some very peculiar constraints.
A Ryerson University student who wanted to write a paper on the “myth” of the male-female wage gap was told by her prof that not only was she wrong, she should only rely on feminist journals for her assignment instead of business sources which “blame women,” her sister says.
Josephine Mathias, 21, a fourth-year political science student at University of Toronto, took to YouTube Wednesday to criticize the assignment given her twin Jane for a sociology class.
[…]After Jane sent an email describing her intention to write about the wag gap, her instructor replied that her premise was wrong, Josephine said.
Here’s what the professor said:
“Perhaps you want to write your paper on the glass ceiling. You need to look at feminist sources on this issue…Do NOT use business sources. They blame women. The reality is patriarchy,” says the instructor’s email, posted online.
In a copy of the assignment provided to the Toronto Sun by Josephine, the instructor also notes that Ontario and Canada government websites and Statistics Canada will not be considered scholarly sources.
“Government websites state government policy that is devoid of analysis, and usually reproduces mainstream stereotypes, assumptions and misconceptions,” the assignment says.
What is interesting is that the professor makes about $167,000 a year – higher than the average professor’s salary. And she’s not teaching computer science or petroleum engineering. I find it interesting that another Canadian university reprimanded a grad student for showing a debate clip that offered both sides of the transgenderism debate. Leftist tolerance. Leftist open-mindedness.
Once you’ve paid your tuition, and the leftist has the grading pen, you lose every argument. Either you get an F, or you get expelled. If you’re in the workplace, you get fired. False charges are often made. Hate crimes are faked. Anything to play the victim, rather than address the arguments and evidence. This is how people on the left “debate”.
As I wrote previously, the more women embrace radical feminism, the more toxic they become to men. Not just in the classroom or the workplace, but in relationships. Who wants to marry someone whose only response to reason is fury? Men might be OK with temporary arrangements with abusive women. At least while those women have youth and beauty. But men don’t marry abusive women. At least, not if they have any wisdom.
I’ve said for some time that the mainstream media and the big tech companies discriminate against Christians and conservatives because they agree with secularists and progressives. Although the mainstream media and big tech companies want to present themselves as open-minded and fair, the truth is far different.
Take a look at this death threat by a young progressive fascist:
I used to listen to Dana Loesch’s podcast all the time. The “Florida Man” segments are the funniest. She’s very mainstream, and a solid Christian and conservative.
And here is how Twitter responded to Dana Loesch’s husband when he complained about the death threat:
They reviewed it carefully. Threatening to murder Dana’s children isn’t in violation of Twitter Rules.
Over the weekend, National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch received a flurry of despicable death threats on Twitter.
[…]One Twitter user wrote: “The only way these people learn is if it affects them directly. So if Dana Loesch has to have her children murdered before she’ll understand, I guess that’s what needs to happen.”
Loesch notified Twitter support who then issued this response: “Hello, Thank you for your recent report. We have reviewed your report carefully and found that there was no violation of the Twitter Rules against abusive behavior. (https://twitter.com/rules).”
All we have to do to understand how far the secular left goes to force their values and worldview on others is look at what has happened in history when the secular left has seized power. We know how this ends, because it’s happened before, in different times and in different places. You can even see it today in places like North Korea, an officially atheist country, where the state owns the means of production.
How do we know if Facebook, Google, Twitter, Apple, Youtube, etc. agree with the progressive who tweeted the death threat against Dana Loesch’s children? Well, at the time of writing (Monday night), his account was still functioning. Make of that what you will.
The headline is a bit broad, but give me a minute, and I’ll explain what the judges decided. For one thing, it’s only in Ontario and British Columbia where the ban is in effect. Also, the basis of the ban is that Christians cannot be lawyers if they believe that sex before marriage or outside of marriage is morally wrong. Let’s take a look at an article from the less leftist of Canada’s National newspapers, the National Post.
Trinity Western University suffered a stinging loss in the Supreme Court of Canada on Friday, which found that law societies in B.C. and Ontario were justified in not accrediting the university’s prospective law school because of its policy on premarital sex. But no one should harbour any illusions that the pain will be limited to the small Christian school in B.C.’s Fraser Valley.
The impact of the court’s decision against TWU will seriously afflict the engagement of religious communities with public life across this country, regardless of whether it’s the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army or Muslim and Jewish charitable organizations.
The Supreme Court was asked to decide whether TWU’s Christian “community covenant,” in which students and staff agree to the understanding that sexual relations must be limited to heterosexual marriage — which, by definition, excludes homosexual relations — was a legitimate prerogative for an accredited law school. In layman’s terms, the court had to discern the balance between Charter-protected religious freedoms and emerging rights of sexual minorities to live their identities freely and fully.
The court ruled that the refusal of the two law societies to accredit TWU’s law school was a “reasonable” balancing of rights. Its logic was that LGBTQ students would be unlikely to apply to TWU given the community-covenant requirement, so they effectively would have 60 fewer spaces available to them. Other students have access to the 16 current law schools, plus TWU’s 60 spots, and that therefore constitutes an inequality. By compiling that perceived inequality with the fact that students at TWU commit to reserving sexual intimacy for within traditional Christian marriage, the court concluded that the TWU covenant created a “public interest” harm to the reputation of and public confidence in the legal profession. These outweighed, in the court’s assessment, the “minor” consequences of denying religious freedom to the TWU community.
The effect of this ruling is that Bible-believing Christians who study law at the only Bible-believing law school in Canada cannot practice law in two of the most populated provinces. But Ontario is the province that contains the large city of Toronto, as well as the capital city of Ottawa. This basically means that Trinity Evangelical Law School graduates would be unable to be lawyers or judges at the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court is fine with LGBT people practicing law in Ontario and British Columbia, including at the Supreme Court, just not Christians who believe in the Bible. But those Bible-believing Christians should definitely have to pay taxes, including the taxes that go to pay for the salaries of their overlords on the Supreme Court. Basically, if you’re an evangelical Christian in Canada, then you’re good enough to be a slave, but not much else. You can work to pay for your secular slave masters, but you can’t have the same rights as people who don’t believe the Bible.
I think it goes without saying that the Supreme Court judges weren’t able to get this ruling from the text of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They just made it up from their own secular leftist values. This is actually normal for judges in Canada. There are no judges on the Canadian Supreme Court who accept that the Charter overrules the will of the judges.
“Perhaps most disappointing from our perspective, the majority failed to account for or even address the equality rights of prospective TWU students or TWU’s freedom of association. These were issues we raised in our oral and written arguments to the court,” says Schutten. “The majority says it need not address those rights claims, because it is sufficient to ask whether the violation of freedom of religion is justified.” ARPA Canada believes that these other rights should play an important part in the “proportionality” analysis of the law societies’ decisions.
There is no freedom of religion in Canada. And there is no freedom of association in Canada. From previous rulings by Canadian Human Rights Commissions, we know that there is no freedom of speech in Canada. There is no right to self-defense from criminals in Canada. And there are no parental rights to educate your own children according to your Christian worldview in Canada. In Ontario, the man who wrote the education curriculum is now behind bars for child pornography, and the Supreme Court had nothing to say about whether that was morally wrong. For a long time, there has been covert discrimination against Bible-believing Christians in Canada, and now the Supreme Court has just shown what has been going on for decades and decades in universities and in government, in order to keep serious Christians out of positions of influence. From classroom teachers, to business owners to Supreme Court judges, Christians have been banned from the public square. Just like what happened to Jews in 1930s Germany.
Any Bible-believing Christian born in Canada has one mission: to get educated in a STEM skill that America needs, and then get out of that godless country. Kudos to those wise Christians who saw what was coming and got out early. It’s not the place for Christians to have a full and meaningful Christian life.
I’m sure everyone has heard about the mainstream media’s embrace of North Korea’s charming smiles at the Olympics. I like to listen to the Ben Shapiro podcast, the Andrew Klavan podcast, and the Daily Signal podcast and they ALL talked about it. But I wanted to tell people the truth, and remind people that this isn’t the first time that mainstream media types have covered up atrocities in order to make their heroes look good.
The Daily Signal posted celebratory tweets from seven different mainstream media sources: CNN, ThinkProgress, The New York Times, Politico, Reuters, and a bureau chief of the Washington Post.
The New York Times tweeted: “Without a word, only flashing smiles, Kim Jong-un’s sister outflanked Vice President Mike Pence in diplomacy” and Reuters tweeted: “North Korea judged winner of diplomatic gold at Olympics”.
Before we go any further, let’s learn a bit about starvation in North Korea from a radically leftist source: Newsweek.
Roughly 18 million people in North Korea are not getting enough food, a United Nations report released this week found. That means 70 percent of the isolated nation’s population relies on food assistance to get by, including 1.3 million children under the age of five.
“Amidst political tensions, an estimated 18 million people across DPRK [North Korea] continue to suffer from food insecurity and undernutrition, as well as a lack of access to basic services,” the U.N. report said. “Furthermore, 10.5 million people, or 41 percent of the total population, are undernourished.”
North Koreans also need basic healthcare and sanitation, the U.N. report determined. Without safe water or better sanitation and hygiene, diarrhea and pneumonia have become the leading cause of death for children under five, the report said.
The radically-leftist NBC News reports on the concentration camps:
Atrocities committed by North Korea against its own people are “strikingly similar” to those perpetrated by the Nazis during World War II, the head of a United Nations panel said Monday after publishing an unprecedented report.
The year-long investigation called for urgent action by the international community to stop allleged crimes against humanity committed by Kim Jong Un and his regime.
[…]But the report also shed new light on the country’s darkest side – its labor camps.
As many as 120,000 North Koreans are thought to be imprisoned across the country, many of them in four large camps. This number may have shrunk in recent years, according to the report, but only because many of the inmates have been murdered or starved to death.
People and their families are held for arbitrary crimes such as “gossiping” about the state.
[…]The U.N. report contains more of this harrowing testimony, which it says is tantamount to “extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence.” It compared conditions to camps run by the Nazis during World War II and gulags set up in Soviet Russia.
This is what the mainstream media declined to mention while they were praising a woman smiling and Mike Pence frowning as some great evidence of moral equivalence between North Korea and the United States of America.
This is not the first time that the mainstream media has covered up for forced starvation, imprisonment and mass murders.
AT LONG LAST a Pulitzer Prize committee is looking into the possibility that the Pulitzer awarded to Walter Duranty, the New York Times Moscow correspondent whose dispatches covered up Stalin’s infamies, might be revoked.In order to assist in their researches, I am downloading here some of the lies contained in those dispatches, lies which the New York Times has never repudiated with the same splash as it accorded Jayson Blair’s comparatively trivial lies:
“There is no famine or actual starvation nor is there likely to be.”
–New York Times, Nov. 15, 1931, page 1
“Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda.”
–New York Times, August 23, 1933
“Enemies and foreign critics can say what they please. Weaklings and despondents at home may groan under the burden, but the youth and strength of the Russian people is essentially at one with the Kremlin’s program, believes it worthwhile and supports it, however hard be the sledding.”
–New York Times, December 9, 1932, page 6
“You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.”
–New York Times, May 14, 1933, page 18
“There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition.”
–New York Times, March 31, 1933, page 13
I would like to add another Duranty quote, not in his dispatches, which is reported in a memoir by Zara Witkin, a Los Angeles architect, who lived in the Soviet Union during the 1930s. (“An American Engineer in Stalin’s Russia: The Memoirs of Zara Witkin, 1932-1934,” University of California Press ). The memoirist describes an evening during which the Moscow correspondents were discussing how to get out the story about the Stalin-made Russian famine. To get around the censorship, the UP’s Eugene Lyons was telephoning the dire news of the famine to his New York office but the was ordered to stop because it was antagonizing the Kremlin. Ralph Barnes, the New York Herald Tribune reporter, turned to Duranty and asked him what he was going to write. Duranty replied:
Nothing. What are a few million dead Russians in a situation like this? Quite unimportant. This is just an incident in the sweeping historical changes here. I think the entire matter is exaggerated.
And this was at a time when peasants in Ukraine were dying of starvation at the rate of 25,000 a day.
And that is how mainstream media journalists think about the people who are harmed by their leftist policies – whether it be the unborn, children raised without one or more biological parents, families who cannot get make ends meet, innocent people murdered by terrorists and other criminals, etc. Kill them all, as long as big government is in control, making everyone “equal”. Journalists want to call evil “good”, and good “evil”, until the people are so confused that they lose the ability to judge the crimes of Marxist regimes.
You can get the facts about the forced starvation of Ukrainian civilians – in this article from the center-left The Atlantic, written by historian Anne Applebaum.
Here’s one quote:
In the years 1932 and 1933, a catastrophic famine swept across the Soviet Union. It began in the chaos of collectivization, when millions of peasants were forced off their land and made to join state farms. It was then exacerbated, in the autumn of 1932, when the Soviet Politburo, the elite leadership of the Soviet Communist Party, took a series of decisions that deepened the famine in the Ukrainian countryside. Despite the shortages, the state demanded not just grain, but all available food. At the height of the crisis, organized teams of policemen and local Party activists, motivated by hunger, fear, and a decade of hateful propaganda, entered peasant households and took everything edible: potatoes, beets, squash, beans, peas, and farm animals. At the same time, a cordon was drawn around the Ukrainian republic to prevent escape. The result was a catastrophe: At least 5 million people perished of hunger all across the Soviet Union. Among them were nearly 4 million Ukrainians who died not because of neglect or crop failure, but because they had been deliberately deprived of food.
Neither the Ukrainian famine nor the broader Soviet famine were ever officially recognized by the USSR. Inside the country the famine was never mentioned. All discussion was actively repressed; statistics were altered to hide it. The terror was so overwhelming that the silence was complete. Outside the country, however, the cover-up required different, subtler tactics. These are beautifully illustrated by the parallel stories of Walter Duranty and Gareth Jones.
Collectivization: that’s what the mainstream media loves. Everyone the same and equal, and no differences. Cogs in a machine, with no dissent from our watchful government above. When you look at North Korea, or Cuba or Venezuela, you’re looking at the Marxist atheist ideal. Free people are so unpredictable, they say, that we need a big government if we want to avoid catastrophes like global warming and overpopulation. This is how leftists think – or should I say, this is how leftists feel. They don’t think.
Leftism starts with a feeling of superiority over one’s neighbor, and the desire to be delivered from these inferior people by an infallible government. Those stupid neighbors with their religion and their values – they are wasting food and electricity on their large families. They should be thrown into a concentration camp, so that they don’t teach their children their mistaken values, e.g. – chastity, sobriety and natural marriage. Who can stop them from having views different from mine? The government can, if we enlightened people vote to make it big enough to control them.
It’s very important for people to understand what it is that they are consuming when they turn on television shows on CNN, or pick up a New York Times newspaper.