Saturday, December 12, 2009

2009 was 1765++. Will 2010 be like 1775?

The years 1765 and 1775 are interesting to ponder.
About Two-hundred and forty years ago. About 10 generations.

1765 was a year that was much like 2009. The majority of Americans “woke-up” to the realization that their government had become tyrants, obsessed with controlling them to control the products of their labor. Governments are instituted among men to secure the blessings of Liberty, not to enslave themselves.

1765 was the year that changed everything.
1765 Timeline

• March 22 The British Parliament passes the Stamp Act, which is the first direct tax levied from Great Britain on the American colonies.

• March 1765 Parliament passed the Quartering Act, as an Amendment to the Mutiny Act, which had to be renewed annually by Parliament. The Quartering Act required Colonies to quarter and provision British troops.

• August 26 In protest of the Stamp Act, Bostonians destroy home of lieutenant governor Thomas Hutchinson

• October 17 The Pennsylvania Gazette reports that a Mr. McCullough, the Distributor of Stamps for the Royal Colony of North Carolina, has resigned his post in protest of the Stamp Act. A Dr. Huston is appointed to the position.

• November 1 The Stamp Act goes into effect in the 13 colonies, in order to help pay for British military operations in North America.

• December 12 The Pennsylvania Gazette reports that Dr. Huston, the recently instated Distributor of Stamps for the Royal Colony of North Carolina, has resigned his post in protest of the Stamp Act.
Like 2009, 1765 was a year that transformed America.
Some bureaucrats resigned, but there were plenty of quislings to take their place.

Historian Gary B. Nash wrote:
"Whether stimulated externally or ignited internally, ferment during the years from 1761 to 1766 changed the dynamics of social and political relations in the colonies and set in motion currents of reformist sentiment with the force of a mountain wind. Critical to this half decade was the colonial response to England’s Stamp Act, more the reaction of common colonists than that of their presumed leaders. …

Both loyal supporters of English authority and well-established colonial protest leaders underestimated the self-activating capacity of ordinary colonists. By the end of 1765 … people in the streets had astounded, dismayed, and frightened their social superiors."
During the Stamp Act unrest of 1765 and early 1766, increasing numbers of soldiers were stationed in or near American cities. Some of those were new units brought from England; others were transferred from western posts, a move that enabled the Indians to regain the offensive on some portions of the frontier.

King George III was willing to lose the Indian Wars, as long as the people could be kept in their place and their money flowed into the government.

That’s a view of people as a resource to be extracted and harvested for the good of the State. Today, North Korea understands this mentality. China, Russia, and East Block Europeans understand this view of the State.

Forcing compliance, and making the victim pay for the means of his own enslavement.

There was a slower pace to life back then. The King never got on National TV to address the nation. There was no internet. Communications, travel, everything took longer to develop.

Incrementally, the liberty of the people was eroded by a long train of abuses. Tyranny needs money and obedience. That generation where trapped in a situation that repeats throughout history. They tried everything; speech, voting, courts, and could find no redress. Tyranny was relentless and intolerable. They came to understand that it was their duty to throw off such Government themselves. Washington, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Hancock, Hamilton and an much of the population banded together to resist tyranny. (About 30% resisted. About 30% remained neutral. And about 30-40% always remained loyal to the crown.)

By 1775, the government had dug in and was intent on pushing their wishes onto the people - whether the people wanted it or not. All this free speech and talk of Liberty was getting in the way of collecting money.

1775 Timeline

• February 9 - The Parliament of Great Britain declares Massachusetts in rebellion.

• March 23 – Patrick Henry, a delegate to the Second Virginia Convention after the Virginia House of Burgesses was disbanded by the Royal Governor, delivers his "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" speech at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia.

• April 18 – Paul Revere and William Dawes, instructed by Dr. Joseph Warren, ride from Boston to Lexington to warn John Hancock and Sam Adams that British forces are coming to take them prisoner and to seize colonial weapons and ammunition in Concord.

• April 19 – Hostility between Britain and its American colonies explodes into bloodshed at the Battles of Lexington and Concord on the 19th, which ignites the American Revolution.

• May 10 - The Second Continental Congress meets, elects John Hancock president, raises the Continental Army under George Washington as commander and authorizes the colonies to adopt their own constitutions.

• May 10 - Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold, leading the Green Mountain Boys of Vermont, capture Fort Ticonderoga.

• May 17 – The Continental Congress bans trade with Canada.

• June 12 – The British forces offer a pardon to all colonists who lay down their arms.

• June 14 – The Continental Congress names George Washington as commander of the Continental Army.

• June 17 – Two months into the colonial siege of Boston, British open fire on Breed's Hill on Charles Town Peninsula. After 3 charges, the British take the hill in the misnamed Battle of Bunker Hill.

• July 3 – George Washington takes command of the 17,000-man Continental Army at Cambridge.

• July 5 – The Continental Congress sends the Olive Branch Petition, hoping for a reconciliation.

• July 6 – The Continental Congress issues Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms, which contains the words: "Our cause is just. Our union is perfect... being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live slaves...".

• July 26 – The Second Continental Congress appoints Benjamin Franklin to be the first Postmaster General of what later becomes the United States Post Office Department.

• August 21 – Battle of Fort St. Jean: American rebels launch an invasion of Canada.

• August 23 – Refusing to even look at the Olive Branch Petition, King George issues a Proclamation of Rebellion against the American colonies.

• August 29 – September 12 – The Independence Hurricane from South Carolina to Nova Scotia kills 4,170, mostly fishermen and sailors.

• September 25 – Battle of Montreal: Patriot revolutionary forces under Maj. Ethan Allen attack Montreal, commanded by British General Guy Carleton. Allen's forces are defeated, and Allen himself is captured and held on British ships until he is later released.

• October – The Sayre Plotters attempt to kidnap George III of the United Kingdom.

• October 13 – The Continental Congress orders the establishment of the Continental Navy (later the United States Navy).

• November – Colonel Richard Richardson's South Carolina revolutionaries march through Ninety Six District in what becomes known as the Snow Campaign, effectively ending all major support for the Loyalist cause in the backcountry of South Carolina.

• November 10 – The Continental Congress passes a resolution creating the Continental Marines to serve as landing troops for the recently created Continental Navy (the Marines are disbanded at end of the war in April 1783 but reformed on July 11, 1798 as the United States Marine Corps).

• November 13 – Battle of Montreal: American forces under Brigadier General Richard Montgomery capture Montreal. British General Guy Carleton escapes to Quebec.

• October 26 – George III announces to Parliament that the American colonies are in an uprising and must be dealt with accordingly.

• December 5 – Henry Knox begins his journey to Cambridge, Massachusetts with the artillery that has been captured from Fort Ticonderoga.

• December 9 – Culpeper Minute Men and Virginia Militia defeat British army at Great Bridge, forcing British forces to abandon Virginia.

• December 31 – British forces repulse an attack by Continental Army generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold at Quebec.

Where prior to 1760 everyone was considered a loyalist, by the end of 1765 the King was acting against the good of the people, and the people started protesting vigourously.

By 1775 they saw that the abuses would continue and saw the government using force to make them obey. The change happened quickly, once they understood that the King sought to enslave them for his own puposes.

In March 1775, Patrick Henry proclaimed, "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!"  In April, the government tried a 'gun grab' that was repulsed by the people at the Old North Bridge across the Concord River.  By August, Patrick Henry was a Colonel with 150 'good men'. By December he was actively engaged and evicted the previous government from the state. A year later, he would be the First Governor of post-colonial Virgnia.

Once the will is in place, and the acceptance of death ... then pro-active people get shit done.

By 1776, the Revolution was in full swing. It has been estimated that never more than 3% of Americans were able to fight for the Revolution, while 10% actively supplied, fed, and armed the rebellion. At that time, many of the men we consider Founding Fathers had their businesses in ruins, had prices on their head, and they were fighting the strongest military power on earth. They made a Declaration, saying
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. …
And they made an oath to one another
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Reading slowly through the Declaration really strikes home today. What they were facing, and the principled position they took.

The Despot's view is that the machinery of state uses and controls the people.
The American view is that the people use and control the State.

Governance is a balancing act, and the framers gave the people enough power to contain the beast that they were creating. But the beast doesn’t like control, and wants to be fed more and more. Ten generations later, the State is a gigantic aggressive beast; and people scurry to stay out of it’s way while it plunders the accumulated wealth of generations, and robs our children’s future.

With a new year just around the corner, we all wonder what it will bring...

Will it be like 1766 or 1774 (start/end of continued train of abuses)?

Or 1775 (general secession/nullification/restoration/widespread use of force)?

1861 (civil war resolving into geographical regions)?

1973 (abandoning a war, riots, and impeachable offenses)?

And maybe some 1984 (Orwell), too?

Which year will 2010 most resemble?
1984 free polls

My 2 cents is on 1775.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Harold B. Estes letter to Obama

re-copied from Stand By Liberty
WW II Battleship sailor tells Obama to shape up or ship out !
This venerable and much honored WW II vet is well known in Hawaii for his seventy-plus years of service to patriotic organizations and causes all over the country. A humble man without a political bone in his body, he has never spoken out before about a government official, until now. He dictated this letter to a friend, signed it and mailed it to the president.

Dear President Obama,

My name is Harold Estes, approaching 95 on December 13 of this year. People meeting me for the first time don’t believe my age because I remain wrinkle free and pretty much mentally alert.

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1934 and served proudly before, during and after WW II retiring as a Master Chief Bos’n Mate. Now I live in a “rest home” located on the western end of Pearl Harbor , allowing me to keep alive the memories of 23 years of service to my country.

One of the benefits of my age, perhaps the only one, is to speak my mind, blunt and direct even to the head man.

So here goes.

I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do, but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish.

I can’t figure out what country you are the president of.

You fly around the world telling our friends and enemies despicable lies like:

” We’re no longer a Christian nation”

” America is arrogant” – (Your wife even announced to the world,” America is mean- spirited. ” Please tell her to try preaching that nonsense to 23 generations of our war dead buried all over the globe who died for no other reason than to free a whole lot of strangers from tyranny and hopelessness. )

I’d say shame on the both of you, but I don’t think you like America, nor do I see an ounce of gratefulness in anything you do, for the obvious gifts this country has given you. To be without shame or gratefulness is a dangerous thing for a man sitting in the White House.

After 9/11 you said,” America hasn’t lived up to her ideals.”

Which ones did you mean? Was it the notion of personal liberty that 11,000 farmers and shopkeepers died for to win independence from the British? Or maybe the ideal that no man should be a slave to another man, that 500,000 men died for in the Civil War? I hope you didn’t mean the ideal 470,000 fathers, brothers, husbands, and a lot of fellas I knew personally died for in WWII, because we felt real strongly about not letting any nation push us around, because we stand for freedom.

I don’t think you mean the ideal that says equality is better than discrimination. You know the one that a whole lot of white people understood when they helped to get you elected.

Take a little advice from a very old geezer, young man.

Shape up and start acting like an American. If you don’t, I’ll do what I can to see you get shipped out of that fancy rental on Pennsylvania Avenue . You were elected to lead not to bow, apologize and kiss the hands of murderers and corrupt leaders who still treat their people like slaves.

And just who do you think you are telling the American people not to jump to conclusions and condemn that Muslim major who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded dozens more. You mean you don’t want us to do what you did when that white cop used force to subdue that black college professor in Massachusetts , who was putting up a fight? You don’t mind offending the police calling them stupid but you don’t want us to offend Muslim fanatics by calling them what they are, terrorists.

One more thing. I realize you never served in the military and never had to defend your country with your life, but you’re the Commander-in- Chief now, son. Do your job. When your battle-hardened field General asks you for 40,000 more troops to complete the mission, give them to him. But if you’re not in this fight to win, then get out. The life of one American soldier is not worth the best political strategy you’re thinking of.

You could be our greatest president because you face the greatest challenge ever presented to any president.

You’re not going to restore American greatness by bringing back our bloated economy. That’s not our greatest threat. Losing the heart and soul of who we are as Americans is our big fight now.

And I sure as hell don’t want to think my president is the enemy in this final battle.

Harold B. Estes

"Losing the heart and soul of who we are as Americans is our big fight now."
- Harold B. Estes


Thursday, November 26, 2009

More Classic Reading

More classic reading for the holiday. Food for thought provided by The Federal Observer

Walter Mitty's Second Amendment
By Jeff Snyder

Once upon a time, there was a people who inhabited a majestic land under an all-powerful government. Now this government had the resources to control practically every aspect of human existence; hundreds of thousands of "public servants" could access the most personal details of every citizen's life because everyone was issued a number at birth with which the government would track him throughout his life. No one could even work in gainful employment without this number.

True, the government left certain domains of individual action largely free, particularly matters concerning speech and sex. These activities posed no real threat to the state. When not used to entertain and divert, the power of speech was used principally to clamor for more or better goods from the state, or for "reforms" to make the state work "better," thereby entrenching the people's dependency. And insofar as sex was concerned, well, the people's behavior in this area also really had no effect on the scope of state power. In fact, the rulers noted that people's preoccupation with matters of sexual morality -- whether premarital, teenage pregnancy, adultery, divorce, homosexuality or general "who's zooming who" -- diverted the people's attention from the fact that they were, for economic and all other intents and purposes, slaves.

Slaves, though, who labored under the illusion that they were free. The people were a simple lot, politically speaking, and readily mistook the ability to give free reign to their appetites as the essence of "personal freedom."

In that fruitful land, the state took about 50 percent of everything the people earned through numerous forms of taxation, up from about 25 percent only a generation earlier. However, this boastful people, who believed themselves to be the freest on earth, retained the right to keep and bear arms. Tens of millions of them possessed firearms just in case their government became tyrannical and enslaved them.

In that land, an astronomical number of regulations, filling more than 96,000 pages in the government's "code of regulations," were promulgated by persons who were not elected by the people. The regulators often developed close relationships with the businesses they regulated, and work in "agencies" that had the power both to make law -- and to enforce it.

The agencies were not established by the government's constitution, and their existence violated that instrument's principle of separation of powers. Yet the people retained the right to keep and bear arms. Just in case their government, some day, ceased to be a "government of the people."

In that land, the constitution contemplated that the people would be governed by two separate levels of government -- "national" and "local." Matters that concerned the people most intimately -- health, education, welfare, crime, and the environment -- were to be left almost exclusively to the local level, so that those who made and enforced the laws lived close to the people who were subject to the laws, and felt their effects.

So that different people who had different ideas about such things would not be subject to a "one size fits all" standard that would apply if the national government dealt with such matters. Competition among different localities for people, who could move freely from one place to another, would act as a reality check on the passage of unnecessary or unwise laws.

But in a time of great crisis called the Great Economic Downturn, the people and their leaders clamored for "national solutions to national problems," and the constitution was "interpreted" by the Majestic Court to permit the national government to pass laws regulating practically everything that has been reserved for the localities.

Now the people had the pleasure of being governed by not one, but two beneficient governments with two sets of laws regulating the same things. Now the people could be prosecuted by not one, but two governments for the same activities and conduct. Still this fiercely independent people retained the right to keep and bear arms. Just in case their government, some day, no longer secured the blessings of liberty to themselves or their posterity.

In that fair land, property owners could be held liable under the nation's environmental legislation for the cleanup costs associated with toxic chemicals, even if the owners had not caused the problem.

Another set of laws provided for asset forfeiture and permitted government agencies to confiscate property without first establishing guilt.

Yet the people retained the right to keep and bear arms. Just in case their government denied them due process by holding them liable for things that were not their fault. (The Majestic Court had long ago determined that "due process" did not prevent government from imposing liability on people who were not at fault. "Due process", it turned out, meant little more than that a law had been passed in accordance with established procedures. You know, it was actually voted on, passed by a majority and signed by the president. If it met those standards, it didn't much matter what the law actually did.)

Oh well, the people had little real cause to worry. After all, those laws hardly ever affected anyone that they knew. Certainly not the people who mattered most of all: the country's favorite celebrities and sports teams, who so occupied the people's attention. And how bad could it be if it had not yet been the subject of a Movie of the Week, telling them what to think and how to feel about it?

In that wide open land, the police often established roadblocks to check that the people's papers were in order. The police -- armed agents of the rulers -- used these occasions to ask the occupants whether they were carrying weapons or drugs. Sometimes the police would ask to search the vehicles, and the occupants -- not knowing whether they could say no and wanting to prove that they were good guys by cooperating -- would permit it.

The Majestic Court had pronounced these roadblocks and searches lawful on the novel theory, unkown to the country's Founding Forebears, that so long as the police were doing this to everyone equally, it didn't violate anyone's rights in particular.

The roadblocks sometimes caused annoying delays, but these lovers of the open road took it in stride. After all, they retained their right to keep and bear arms. Just in case their government, some day, engaged in unreasonable searches and seizures. In that bustling land, the choice of how to develop property was heavily regulated by local governments that often demanded fees or concessions for the privilege. That is, when the development was not prohibited outright by national "moistland" regulations that had no foundation in statutory or constitutional law.

Even home owners often required permission to simply build an addition to their homes, or to erect a tool shed on their so-called private property. And so it seemed that "private property" became, not a system protecting individual liberty, but a system which, while providing the illusion of ownership, actually just allocated and assigned government-mandated burdens and responsibilities.

Still, this mightily productive people believed themselves to live in the most capitalistic society on earth, a society dedicated to the protection of private property. And so they retained the right to keep and bear arms. Just in case their government ever sought to deprive them of their property without just compensation.

Besides, the people had little cause for alarm. Far from worrying about government control of their property, the more immediate problem was: what to buy next?

The people were a simple lot, politically speaking, and readily mistook the ability to acquire and endless assortment of consumer goods as the essence of personal freedom.

The enlightened rulers of this great land did not seek to deprive the people of their right to bear arms. Unlike tyrants of the past, they had learned that it was not necessary to disarm the masses. The people proved time and time again thaty they were willing accomplices to the ever expanding authority of the government, enslaved by their own desire for safety, security and welfare.

The people could have their guns. What did the rulers care? They already possessed the complete obedience that they required.

In fact, in their more Machiavellian moments, the rulers could be heard to admit that permitting the people the right to keep and bear arms was a marvelous tool of social control, for it provided the people with the illusion of freedom.

The people, among the most highly regulated on earth, told themselves that they were free because they retained the means of revolt. Just in case things ever got really bad. No one, however, seemed to have too clear an idea what "really bad" really meant. The people accepted the fact that their government no longer even remotely resembled the plan set forth in their original constitution. And the people's values no longer remotely resembled those of their Founding Forebears. The people, in their naiveté, really believed that the means of revolt were to be found in a piece of inanimate metal! Really it was laughable. And pathetic.

No, the rulers knew that the people could safely be trusted with arms. The government educated their children, provided for their retirement in old age, bequeathed assistance if they lost their jobs, mandated that they receive health care, and even doled out food and shelter if they were poor.

The government was the very air the people breathed from childhood to the grave. Few could imagine, let alone desire, any other kind of world.

To the extent that the people paid any attention to their system of government, the great mass spent their days simply clamoring for more or better "programs", more "rational" regulations, in short, more of the same. The only thing that really upset them was waste, fraud, or abuse of the existing programs. Such shenanigans brought forth vehement protests demanding that the government provide their services more efficiently, dammit! The nation's stirring national anthem, adopted long ago by men who fought for their liberty, ended by posng a question, in hopes of keeping the spirit of liberty alive. Did the flag still fly, it asked, over the land of the free?

Unfortunately, few considered that the answer to that question might really be no, for they had long since lost an understanding of what freedom really is.

No, in this land "freedom" had become something dark, frightening, and dangerous. The people lived in mortal terror that somewhere, sometime, some individual might make a decision or embark upon a course of action that was not first approved by some government official.

Security was far more preferable. How could anyone be truly free if he were not first safe and protected?

Now we must say goodbye to this fair country whose government toiled tirelessly to create the safety, fairness and luxury that all demanded, and that everyone knew could be created by passing just the right laws. Through it all, the people vigorously safeguarded their tradition of firearms ownership.

But they never knew -- and never learned -- that preserving a tradition and a way of life is not the same as preserving liberty. And they never knew -- and never learned -- that it's not about guns.

American Handgunner, Sep/Oct 1997, reprinted without permission

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Read the Classics

Randomly stumbled across this today elsewhere, unattributed. But we know who wrote it.
Mike Vanderboegh has always had a way with words. Here is a classic (with attribution).

What I Have Learned From the Twentieth Century
With thanks to Schoolmasters Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Mao Tse-Tung and Pol Pot

by Mike Vanderboegh
From the Liberty Pole, June, 1999

As an amateur historian of this sad century whose time is almost up, I would like to reflect upon six lessons I have learned in my studies. Folks who wish to live free and prosperous in the next century would do well to understand the failures of the past.

LESSON NO. 1: If a bureaucrat, or a soldier sent by a bureaucrat, comes to knock down your door and take you someplace you do not want to because of who you are or what you think -- kill him. If you can, kill the politician who sent him. You will likely die anyway, and you will be saving someone else the same fate. For it is a universal truth that the intended victims always far outnumber the tyrant's executioners. Any nation which practices this lesson will quickly run out of executioners and tyrants, or they will run out of it.

LESSON NO. 2: If a bureaucrat, or a soldier sent by a bureaucrat, comes to knock down your door and confiscate your firearms -- kill him. The disarmament of law-abiding citizens is the required precursor to genocide.

LESSON NO. 3: If a bureaucrat tells you that he must know if you have a firearm so he can put your name on a list for the common good, or wants to issue you an identity card so that you be more easily identified -- tell him to go to hell. Registration of people and firearms is the required precursor to the tyranny which permits genocide. Bureaucrats cannot send soldiers to doors that are not on their list.

LESSON NO. 4: Believe actions, not words. Tyrants are consummate liars, just because a tyrant is "democratically elected" does not mean he believes in democracy. Reference Adolf Hitler, 1932.

And just because a would-be tyrant mouths words of reverence to law and justice, or takes a solemn oath to uphold a constitution, does not mean be believes such concepts apply to him. Reference Bill Clinton, among others.

The language of the lie is just another tool of killers. A sign saying "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Make You Free) posted above an execution camp gate does not mean that anybody gets out of there alive, and a room labeled "Showers" does not necessarily make you clean. Bill Clinton notwithstanding, the of "is" is plain when such perverted language gets you killed. While all tyrants are liars, it is true that not all politcal liars are would-be tyrants -- but they bear close watching. And keep your rifle handy.

LESSON NO. 5: Our constitutional republic as crafted by the Founders is the worst form of government in the world, except when compared to all the others. Capitalism, as well, is a terrible way to run an economy, except when compared to all other economic systems. Unrestrained democracy is best expressed as three wolves and a sheep sitting down to vote on what to have for dinner. The horrors of collectivism in all its forms -- socialism, communism, national socialism, fascism -- have been demonstrated beyond dispute by considerable wasteful trial and bloody error. Leaders such as Bill Clinton who view the Constitution and inconvenient and ignorable are harbingers of tyranny.

LESSON NO. 6: While nations do not always get the leaders they deserve, they always get the leaders they tolerate. And anyone who tells you that "It Can't Happen Here" is whistling past the graveyard of history. There is no "house rule" that bars tyranny coming to America. History is replete with republics whose people grew complacent and descended into imperial butchery and chaos. Dictators count on the assistance of people who are complacent, fearful, envious, lazy and corrupt. While there is no "Collective guilt" to the crimes of a regime (all such crimes being committed by specific criminal individuals), there is certainly "collective responsibility" -- especially for those who watch the criminals at work without objecting or interfering.

A French journalist of the last century wrote: "I must speak out for I will not be an accomplice." Evil tyrants require, indeed they depend upon, willing and unwilling accomplices -- good people who would never think of harming a soul themselves. Lenin called such people "useful idiots."

De Tocqueville observed that "America is great because America is good. When America ceases to be good, she will cease to be great." As related in the Old Testament, God judged nations based upon the immorality and criminality of their leaders. Entire peoples were scourged because of their failure to remove corrupt leaders. As we move from the Twentieth Century into the Twenty-First, we should take care to remember the ancient story of Sodom and Gommorrah. If we wish to avoid the butchery of the Twentieth Century and the righteous judgment of the Good of our antiquity, we would do well to keep our Bibles, our Constitution and our firearms close at hand.

Classics stand the test of time. 10 years old, could have been written yesterday.