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Can Learning the Truth Unlearn the Lie? June 27, 2013

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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I have witnessed a teacher of Political Science in America require a class to watch Fahrenheit 911 by Michael Moore then write an essay outlining how many ways President Bush lied to trick America into invading Iraq. If you don’t find this assignment offensive you’ve already had you quota of Kool- Aid and you should step away from this article and dial 911. Tell them someone is about to tell you the truth and you aren’t prepared for what that might do to your world-view.

Conversely when I say we should have listened to the Anti-Federalists, echoing the message of my book The Constitution Failed I’m sure many who often turn to these dispatches from the History of the Future are ready to call the headquarters of the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy and report that poor old Dr. Owens has veered off the reservation. I was once hired to teach history in a high school devoted to promoting the Socratic learning style using the works of the Enlightenment in the hopes of molding another generation akin to the Founders, critical thinkers dedicated to the proposition that liberty is the fountainhead of achievement. I was fired before the semester started because I did not hold the Founders in enough reverence believing as I do that they were mere men and not demigods infallible and universally inspired.

Don’t get me wrong. I do believe that the Founders of American independence and the Framers of the Constitution were a unique collection of political geniuses who did their best to craft the vehicle for their posterity’s benefit and for this nation’s greatness. The limited government they founded allowed the forever pent-up abilities and longings of man to burst forth into the flowering of American Exceptionalism, the brilliance of the American experiment.

However, that experiment crashed upon the shoals when Abraham Lincoln and the newly birthed Republican Party decided to interpret the Constitution which had been freely entered into by sovereign States to say that no State could ever voluntarily leave even though this is not stated anywhere in the document. Having made that determination this minority government used the overwhelming majority they had in what was left of the Congress to shackle the power of the Industrial North to crush the seceding agricultural South. Slavery,

which cannot be divorced from its evil nor defended in any way, provided the spark, the rallying cry, and the effective explanation for a war which shattered the myth of a federal republic composed of sovereign states.

Since that war between brothers our nation has inexorably grown from the vision expressed by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence of a commonwealth of freemen into what is rapidly becoming a statist express highballing its way to the gulag of collectivist uniformity and shabby mediocrity. Gone is the meritocracy of the young republic. Gone is the equality of opportunity smothered in the cold dead grasp of the equality of outcome. Gone is the blind justice of a nation of laws devoured by the politically correct insanity of social justice. The Progressives and their coalition of mega-state lobbies have turned the protections of a Constitution written to limit government into a suicide pact wherein if the nationalist federal government chooses open borders in contravention of federal law and states are condemned for passing laws which requires police to enforce the law.

It is time to think the unthinkable and to embrace the abhorrent conclusion that the Constitution has failed. It was meant to limit government. This is proven conclusively by the 10th Amendment which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Without the promise of the immediate adoption of the first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution would never have been ratified by a majority of the States. This important though neglected amendment says, and means that only those powers expressly delegated to the central government are legitimate not the endless multiplication of powers which allows that government to intrude into every aspect of our lives as it does today.

The very reason for a written Constitution was and is to limit the government created by that document to the powers expressly delegated not to open the door for interpretation and precedent to expand infinitely until all limits are gone. If that wasn’t the intent why have a Constitution at all?

Though many trace the diversion from republican purity to Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressives the truth is Hamilton set the stage for a big government. He fathered the movement away from a decentralized federation of free people agreeing to disagree so that compromise would leave enough space for liberty to bloom. John Marshall the second Chief Justice of the Supreme Court manufactured the power of judicial review by exploiting political factions clearing the path for the rule of unelected black robed aristocrats with the power to turn a country of laws into a country of men.

This history lesson may not make my fellow Patriots glow with the satisfaction derived from accepting the Constitution as inviolable scripture received from on high. However, our current decent into the Progressive’s transformed America should make every lover of liberty ready to embrace the truth. The only question remaining: Can learning the truth unlearn the lie?

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

Let’s Learn From the Past and Stop Spending the Future May 31, 2012

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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Remember the BP oil spill? We can still learn a few things from that experience.

In the constantly multiplying days since the BP oil spill all we have received from President Obama are many nuanced, vetted, and parsed versions of Bart Simpson’s famous dodge, “I didn’t do it, nobody saw me do it, there’s no way you can prove anything!”  Not exactly the change those who voted for the only honest politician from Chicago had hoped for is it?  It makes me wonder, is there a sign on the President’s desk that says, “The Buck Stops Over There.”  More than three years into a national calamity and only six months away from what we hope will be change in 2013 and Mr. Obama still thinks his fingerprints aren’t on anything except the levers of imperial power and a big arrow that points to Crawford, Texas.

In his first address to the nation from the Oval Office President Obama sounded like a professor lecturing his self-indulgent students as to why they failed their test because they didn’t study, “It’s a bad result but it’s your fault.”  BP was responsible for the leaking oil because they are greedy capitalists, but America was responsible because we use more oil than we possess or are allowed to produce parroting the falsehood, “We consume more than 20% of the world’s oil, but have less than 2% of the world’s oil reserve.”   Mr. Obama went so far as to blame Mother Nature falsely saying “And that’s part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean — because we’re running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water.”

The safest place to drill for oil is on land and we have proven reserves in ANWAR a region that was specifically set aside for drilling, but the Green Police who now rule the nation won’t allow it.  There are also proven reserves in shallow water but the Green Police once again wag their petulant finger in denial.  We are drilling in the most dangerous places almost asking for a disaster because our ineffectual unrealistic leader and his fellow travelers would rather invest billions more on green technology in the hopes of creating green jobs.

Acting as Venture Socialists, the Progressives our President represents have been investing billions of our tax dollars for decades in windmills and solar panels, and they still aren’t viable.  And if Spain, the world’s leader in creating Green Jobs is any indication for every green job produced 2.5 private sector jobs are lost and most green jobs are either non-producing government jobs or temporary.  Where’s the leadership?  Our government has told us for forty years that they have been trying to achieve energy independence.  Now we know we have the reserves to make that a reality and what has our leader led us to?   President Obama has managed to lead us from a recession into The Great Recession.  Which at least qualifies as following the advice of a cartoon characters or as Hank Hill said to his near-do-well son, “Bobby, if you’re gonna do something wrong, do it right!”

Everyday drip, drip, drip another assault on American traditions another insult to the American people as our President bows to foreign potentates or apologizes for our history.  His poll numbers show this is wearing thin.  Even the shills over at MSNBC have begun to question the leadership of President Obama, “What are we trying to do in this administration?  Why does he want a second term? Would he tell us? What’s he going to do in his second term, more of this? Is this it? Is this as good as it gets? Where are we going?”  If this is leadership, as Dilbert once observed, don’t step in it.

Having spent the better part of two decades teaching, I thought I had heard every excuse ever to grace the mind of an evasion artist.  I’ve heard everything from “I know its plagiarized but I didn’t have time to check over the work of the guy I hired to write my paper,” to  “I didn’t know that no late submissions accepted meant I couldn’t turn in work after the due date.”  And in the comedy series category I have heard 8,000 versions of “Bill Gates ate my homework.” However, as creative as some of those have been President Obama’s endless variations of “George Bush did it” has now become the all-time longest running excuse.  Evasion isn’t leadership just as saying something doesn’t make it true.

Now Mr. Obama is telling us he is a fiscal conservative and a budget cutting tightfisted economically conservative red white and blue deficit hawk.  After three years of FDR on steroids we are supposed to believe he is really Calvin Coolidge, Ronald Reagan, and scrooge McDuck all rolled up in one.  Then again it isn’t class warfare; it is making sure everyone pays their fair share except of course for his supporters who pay nothing.  It isn’t helping establish Islamist regimes throughout the Middle East; it is supporting democracy.  And, oh yes, it isn’t out-of-control spending; it is investing in our future.  I guess since we’re investing in the future it makes sense to spend the incomes of our great great grandchildren.  Can anyone say taxation without representation?

The continual fog of political spin and deception is poisoning the already fractured dialog between America’s citizens and their perpetually re-elected representatives.   This lead from behind, managing the decline transformation of America has got to stop.  Just as no one ever gets to step into the same river twice no one gets to live in the country they grew up in because the times they are a changing. But what we are experiencing today is not normal change. This is a top down revolution that is designed to transform America into a social democracy.

Evading the problems will not make them go away.  We have got to face up to the hard choices that need to be made.  Are we all going to silently follow as we are led over a cliff?  Or are we going to stand for something before we fall for nothing.  What we need is someone who will tell us the truth: “We’re broke.”  We need someone who will stand for limited government, personal liberty, and economic opportunity.  We need someone who will stand up and be counted not someone who counts on others standing up to do the job so they can buy votes by expropriating the hard-earned fruit of their labor to pass the wealth around.

We don’t need another four years of evasion and trickery. We need to take a long hard look at the dire situation these Progressives have created, and then we need to plan ahead, put our nose to the grindstone, and work our way out of this hole.  Or as Hank Hill said, “If you plan ahead, then when things happen, you’re prepared for them.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future and the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

If I Wanted to Make America Prosperous Again April 26, 2012

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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First, I would ask myself how did our ancestors build America from an agricultural colony on the edge of civilization into the number one manufacturing and commercial nation the world had ever known.

Why reinvent the wheel if round ones still roll?

The early American colonies of the British were founded based upon the economic ideas of Mercantilism.  Governmental regulation of industries, trade, and commerce characterized Mercantilism as every aspect of the economy was utilized for national policy. This was especially true with foreign trade, which was determined more by national aims rather than individual or local interests.

The definition of wealth began to change in the sixteenth century.  During the Middle Ages, wealth was defined by the amount of productive land a nation possessed.  As transportation, especially by sea, improved so did the ability to conduct foreign trade bringing with it an increase in the amount of cash generated by that trade.  The definition of wealth came to be the amount of cash a nation possessed.  Therefore every nation sought to have a favorable balance of trade.  They also sought to develop monopolistic type environments wherein they provided their own raw materials thus avoiding imports which meant money flowing out and fostering the export of finished goods raising the level of money flowing in.  Defining wealth as the accumulation of cash, the nations of Europe desired to conduct foreign trade on a larger scale, and they began looking for foreign sources of gold, silver, and raw materials.

This brings us to the British effort to develop North America as a source of wealth.

The Chesapeake colonies of Virginia and Maryland were the first successful British colonies in what was to become the United States of America.  Though the initial colonists came looking for gold they soon learned that prosperity came not from a shovel but instead from a plow.  It was tobacco that primed the pump and lifted the colonies from a burden to a benefit for the mother country.  After years of mounting expenses for the British and years of starvation for the colonists the cultivation of tobacco brought prosperity.  Virginia’s production of tobacco grew from 200,000 pounds in 1624 to 3,000,000 pounds in 1638 overtaking the West Indies as the number one supplier of tobacco for all of Europe thus boosting Britain’s balance of trade.

The cultivation of tobacco fostered a plantation system based upon indentured and slave labor.  A gentrified class of great planters sought to replicate the social structure of Britain with a small number of very rich ruling a large number of small land holders who prospered to a certain extent but never enough to challenge the status quo.  The wretched poor of Britain who had come to the Chesapeake colonies to find a better life did find more opportunity and the ability to advance from the landless poor to the ranks of yeoman farmer.  However, there was little opportunity to enter the ranks for the gentry which became a type of American nobility.

New England, because of the soil, the climate, and the fact that there was no major cash crop that grew well in the area, did not lend itself to large plantations.  Most farmers were operating at a subsistence level.  If they did generate a surplus it was in crops that were not easily transported across the ocean, and they were also crops that could be grown in England and were not needed as imports.

This climatic and environmental adversity did not condemn New England to being a poor relation to the Chesapeake nobility.  Instead the New English diversified, innovated, and used individual enterprise to not only match but to surpass Chesapeake and every other colony in the British Empire.  Those who settled New England were Puritans who sought to purify the Anglican religion of ceremony and return it to what they saw as the simplicity of early Christianity.  They did not believe that good works brought salvation but they did believe that salvation brought good works.  Therefore they sought to occupy their time with productive activity to glorify God through their labors.  This was a manifestation of what the sociologist Max Weber later called , “The Protestant work ethic.”  Whatever you choose to call it, it was this drive to succeed no matter what the adversity that led the New English to look beyond the soil, beyond the climate and to the opportunity.

First they exploited the fisheries of the Northeast.  In 1641 the New English caught 600,000 pounds of fish much of which was exported to Britain.  By 1645 they were catching more than 6,000,000 pounds per year employing more than a thousand men on 440 ships.  They came to dominate the fish trade shipping not only to Britain and its empire but also to Spain, Portugal, the Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands.

By the end of the 1600s the merchants of the New English coast began to circle the globe trading the fish, surplus crops, and lumber of their area to all parts of the British Empire.  They became such shrewd traders that soon American ships were carrying trade from one colony to another even when the cargo didn’t originate in New England.  This secondary carrying trade generated a growing profit that in turn rebounded in a number of ways.  The increased profits brought home financed increased industry and growth at home, and it also spawned a shipbuilding industry which exploited the vast resources of the northern forests.

Between 1674 and 1714 the New English built more than 1200 ships, totaling more than 75,000 tons.  By 1700 there were fifteen shipyards in Boston which produced more ships than all the rest of the British colonies combined.  Only London had more shipyards.  This was a significant engine of economic growth.  To build one 150 ton merchant ship required as many as 200 workers, mostly skilled craftsmen.  The shipyards also supported the growth of numerous enterprises to supply their needs such as saw mills, smithies, barrel makers, sail makers, iron foundries, and rope makers. In addition, the farmers of New England benefited by feeding the craftsmen, supplying the ships, and providing the timber.

By 1700 Boston was the third city of the Empire behind only London and Bristol and the New English shippers were earning freight charges for carrying produce and material that was neither produced, shipped to, or shipped from their home colony.  The enrichment of the area spread prosperity far beyond the sphere of shippers, sailors, and their sundry suppliers.  According to Boston’s shipping register for 1697-1714 over 25% of the adult males in Boston owned shares in at least one ship.

All of these linkages produced an economy filled with diversification and development as opposed to the stratified monoculture of the Chesapeake colonies.

These trends continued as time went on leading to the industrial North eventually overwhelming the agricultural South.  The expansion and growth of America was based upon a foundation of hard work and innovation born of adversity.  Finding themselves in a hard place Americans found a way to prosper and grow like a young plant reaching for the sun.  Freed from the rigid restraints of the home country and then guaranteed freedom by the constitution and the limited government it provided America surged to the front ranks of nations.

Today, America labors under self-imposed adversity.  We are in the grip of an oppressive Progressive Movement that after 100 years of incremental advance is poised to transform America from what she has always been into what they want her to be.  America has traditionally been a constitutionally limited Republic operating on democratic principles providing individual liberty and economic opportunity.  The Progressives envision America as a centrally-planned highly regimented social democracy where the wealth is spread around from each according to their abilities to each according to their needs .

If I wanted to make America prosperous again I would take off the self-imposed shackles of a central government on steroids, stop imposing new regulations, and reduce taxes everywhere on everyone.  Then I would stand back and watch our economy takes off like a rocket and we take our place beside our ancestors as free people with economic liberty and a will to succeed.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future and the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

Where Are The Jobs? January 8, 2011

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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There were two reasons for the election of President Obama.  One, after one and a half terms of Bush the Younger, and a Republican shopaholic Congress and half a term with a Democratic shopaholic Congress people were desperate for change.  And two, the economy hit a speed bump in September of 2008.  Candidate Obama promised to control spending so our free economy could create new jobs.  President Obama has so far delivered the greatest spending binge in world history.

His answer to an economy stalled because of government induced bubbles and out-of-control spending was the massive omnibus stimulus filled with “shovel ready jobs” that it took him nearly two years to discover never existed.  Next he squandered his massive political capital seizing industries, ramming national health care down the throat of a protesting America, taking over the financial industry, the Internet, and establishing regulatory control over everything from cradles to graves.

Since his election, as the economy languished, the American people from across the political spectrum have sought leadership in the quest for a recovery.  And what has been the response of our Progressive President and his Progressive-dominated Congress?  Constant promises to focus on job creation to cover the enactment of a radical agenda designed to transform America.

In January 2009, seven days after taking office, President Obama gave his first state of the Union speech.  In this speech, after detailing how deep the Recession had become he said, “That is why jobs must be our number one focus in 2010, and that is why I am calling for a new jobs bill tonight,” and “People are out of work. They are hurting. They need our help. And I want a jobs bill on my desk without delay.”

In February of 2009 while some Progressive legislators were applauding President Obama for his focus on jobs others were petitioning him to actually focus on jobs.

By May of 2009 President Obama’s jobs deficit, which is the range between what has been promised and what has been delivered, reached 6.2 million and was growing by over 500,000 a month.  Holding a series of Jobs Summits at the White House the President continued to promise he was going to focus on jobs.  By October of 2010 the administration’s jobs deficit stood at 7.6 million.

In July of 2009 the promise by the President was for a focus on job creation.  And while Progressive think tanks such as the Economic Policy Institute lauded him for his focus on jobs, in December of 2009 Mr. Obama had to once again promise to turn his focus on jobs since the unemployment rate was stuck at over 9%.

In January of 2010 President Obama in his second State of the Union Address promised to renew his focus on job creation.  Also in January of 2010 the President announced he would spend billions to create green jobs even though no one is quite sure what constitutes a green job and they are projected to cost over 135,000 dollars apiece.  In addition, these are temporary jobs and many of them would be overseas?

By March of 2010 the President’s advisers were predicting an extended period of high unemployment.  Also in March of 2010 the President announced a multi-billion dollar bill to create jobs in small businesses. In April of 2010 the President promised to turn his focus on job creation. By September of 2010 some of the President’s key economic backers as well as over 300 economists were pleading with him to focus on jobs.  In December of 2010 The President announced that our economy is past the crisis point and that now it’s time to focus on jobs.

What has President Obama accomplished in almost two years in office?  One site proudly lists 100 accomplishments.  Another site lists 90 accomplishments.  An abbreviated list of nine is readily available. Another complains he is not getting credit for all he has done and lists the eight they feel are especially noteworthy.  Another site lists seven.

Taking the opportunity of one of his rare press conferences to remind everyone, “I am President,” he went on to list his latest lame-duck accomplishments, including passing the tax compromise package, ratifying the START nuclear disarmament pact with Russia, and repealing the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.  He took the opportunity of reviewing his recent accomplishments to place these bi-partisan legislative victories in the context of November’s election saying, “in the wake of the November elections that we have the capacity not only to make progress, but to make progress together.”  Is this the progress you voted for?

Though all these accomplishments have gone a long way in fundamentally transforming America, with the current unemployment rate frozen at over 9 % it’s hard to say they‘ve created any jobs.  Perhaps it’s time to tell a President whose only private sector job made him feel as if he was behind enemy lines that except for more bureaucrats and make-work temporary positions government can’t create jobs.  At best it can create an atmosphere of freedom and then get out of the way.

We cannot borrow our way to prosperity.  We cannot tax ourselves to solvency.  And we cannot take one hundred dollars from a productive taxpayer, siphon off fifty dollars in handling fees, pay fifty dollars to a make-work employee and call that a job at least not outside the beltway in the real world.  Quit trying to remake America.  Quit taxing and regulating business to a standstill.  Let freedom ring, and then perhaps you’ll learn where real jobs come from: free enterprise.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2010 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

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