True and False America – Part 2

The wannabe MOTU are, generally speaking, unconcerned for We the People on Main Street in any benevolent way as they work to build a global empire by controlling the federal government, cunningly turning it away from its Constitutional framework and into support of their own self-serving goals and transnational enterprises. (See America, Freedom and Enlightenment appendixes.) The millions of decent, hard-working Americans who keep the country operating and the thousands of patriotic Americans who volunteer for military service are just fodder for their money mills.

Over the decades, Americans have been “dumbed down” and propagandized into thinking that the federal government has their best interests in mind. Consequently when they are told America has to go to war to protect our freedom, a lot of well-meaning, America-loving but brainwashed citizens start agreeing, when there is no threat to America and the real reason for beating the war drum is to advance Wall Street interests. I know; I myself was one of them.

The wannabes have so subtly intertwined their empire’s interests with traditional aspects of our government’s operations, and also many of our society’s—such as mass communications, education, foreign trade, philanthropic foundations and much of the scientific community—that activities which used to be genuinely patriotic and well-intended now actually work against the best interests of our nation. To a large extent the federal government no longer represents America. It represents the hidden interests and agendas of Wall Street. And to the extent that people accept it passively, without question or objection, We the People have become we the sheeple.

It’s as if there are two Americas existing within the same territory—one holy, the other profane. Discerning one from the other is critically important for our well-being and the future of our nation—indeed, of our world. It is also exceedingly difficult because both True America and False America fly the same flag, both claim patriotism and national interest as their motives and both use rhetoric referring to freedom and democracy to justify their actions.

(To be concluded)

True and False America – Part 1

True America is the America intended by our Founders on the basis of the ideals, principles and values they expressed and embraced. True America is We the People, the citizens of Main Street who work to build a more perfect union and implement the other objectives stated in the Preamble to the Constitution. True America is the good and virtuous folk who cheer for the red, white and blue, say “one Nation under God” and welcome legal immigrants to our shores and our way of life. True America is the land of the free and the home of the brave.

However, True America is being lost as We the People drift from our economic, social, political and spiritual moorings. America is declining in civility, morality and patriotism—three primary indicators of health or sickness in the body politic. It is becoming the land of the freeloaders and the home of the depraved. (An alternative suggested by an acquaintance: The land of the me and the home of the knave.) The reasons for that are numerous and varied, but collectively they amount to a radical departure from our foundation. Without understanding and honoring those ideals, principles and values, our nation will continue to degenerate into False America—the corruption of True America which produces ever-larger government, ever-decreasing liberty and sovereignty, encroachment on human and civil rights, fiscal insolvency, economic dependence on government, social divisiveness and decay, intellectual miseducation, spiritual confusion, and, because of the welfare-warfare mentality inherent in it, unhappiness at home and anti-American hatred abroad.

False America is the invention of people who seek to rule us. They reject the bedrock foundation of America. They want to subordinate our free, self-ruling society to uncontrolled government—or, more precisely, government controlled by them. They intend to make government our master and thereby enslave us. These wannabe Masters of the Universe (MOTU) are a relatively small group of superrich banking, financial and corporate elites located mostly on Wall Street—a street which historically and symbolically has been, and largely still is, an honorable and useful part of True America. But the wannabe MOTU have to a significant extent captured and corrupted banking, finance and commerce in the name of their gods, Money and Power. They have changed Wall Street from that which invests in the economy to that which controls the economy. The free market which produces real wealth has been morphed into a casino in which financial processes and stock markets are rigged, inflated, improperly supervised by lax regulators and overvalued by phony credit ratings. And by “owning” the casino, the wannabe MOTU have created a vastly skewed distribution of wealth in America. The rich have gotten vastly richer—unfairly and insanely so, some say—while the middle class has gotten smaller and poorer, and the poor themselves are practically off the low end of the graph of wealth distribution.

(To be continued)

The Medal of Honor Highway will go through Cheshire!

A few months ago I got an idea to designate Rt. 10 through the center of my home town, Cheshire, Connecticut, as “The Medal of Honor Highway.” Cheshire has an extensive relation to the Medal of Honor. Elsewhere around the state and the nation sections of highway are named in honor of individuals, military units and famous individuals and battles.

I pitched the idea to town and state officials (since Rt. 10 is a state highway), and it was approved at the Capitol by the Department of Transportation, thanks to Rep. Mary Fritz, a member of the Transportation Committee.

I said to them: Designate Rt. 10 from Bartlem Park to the Police Station as “The Medal of Honor Highway” and explained why.

Cheshire is probably unique among small towns of America (with population less than 30,000) because we have two residents who were awarded the Medal of Honor. They are Harvey C. Barnum, USMC, who received the Medal for his combat action in Vietnam, and Eri Woodbury, Union Army, who received the Medal for his combat action during the Civil War. So far as I know, no other small town can claim to have two such heroic awardees as residents.

That is why I initiated the Medal of Honor Plaza in Bartlem Park in 1993. That is why I created the Medal of Honor exhibit in Cheshire Library in 1999. These two residents are genuine military heroes and deserve public recognition.

I’d like Cheshire itself to be known as “America’s Medal of Honor Small Town.” And that is why I’ve asked for the DOT designate Rt. 10 as The Medal of Honor Highway as it runs through Cheshire from Bartlem Park to the Police Station. That section runs from the Medal of Honor Plaza in Bartlem Park, past the Cheshire Historical Society where Eri Woodbury’s Medal of Honor is displayed, past Cheshire Academy where Woodbury taught and was Headmaster after the Civil War, past St. Peter’s Episcopal Church where Woodbury is buried, and past the town library where an actual Medal of Honor is displayed.

It’s a simple idea, but carries great educational power. I’m tentatively planning a dedication ceremony on Saturday, September 12, when the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Fall Festival will be held. The director of the Chamber, Sheldon Dill, has offered full support. I’m thinking of mid-afternoon when attendance will be highest. I’ll have use of the festival’s stage and sound system. I think it should last no longer than half an hour. I’ve invited our congressional delegation to attend, and so far it looks like at least two Senator Chris Murphy and Representative Elizabeth Murphy—will be there (since they live in town).

I’ve also invited Col. Barnum, of course, but it’s not clear whether his schedule will allow him to attend. Fingers crossed.

The Name of our Country – Part 4

That explains the history of the last part of our country’s name. But what about the first part?

In February of 1776, Thomas Paine wrote of “Free and independent States of America.” The terms “United Colonies,” “United Colonies of America,” “United Colonies of North America,” and also “States,” were used in 1775 and 1776. However, the term “United States of America” was first used in 1776 at Philadelphia in the opening line of the Declaration of Independence, which begins “The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America…”

Although Columbus is credited with discovering America, there is ample evidence that he was not the first European to visit our shores. Native Americans, of course, have been in the western hemisphere for at least 20,000 years, and some evidence indicates their presence in one or both of the Americas for 100,000 years or more, although scientific opinion is divided on that. But an astonishing archeological find in Kennewick, Washington, in 1996 indicates caucasians—which originally meant people of the Caucasus Mountains in Europe—were here as early as 7,400 BCE. A skull and nearly complete skeleton of a 5’ 8” man (now called Kennewick Man) discovered there lacks the classical mongoloid characteristics of Native Americans.

As for modern Europeans, the earliest known contact is attributed to Phoenicians; at Mystery Hill, New Hampshire, Phoenicians from the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea apparently set up a colony about 480 B.C. which existed for several hundred years. In 551 A.D., Brendan the Bold, an Irish monk, reached the coast of North America; earlier in the same century, another Irishman, St. Finbarr, did likewise. Leif Ericcson, a Viking, sailed to Newfoundland about 1000 A.D. and Vikings lived there for more than a century. In 1171, Prince Madoc of Wales sailed to America. In 1398, Prince Henry Sinclair of Scotland led an expedition to the New World, reaching Nova Scotia, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. These claims are disputed among archeologists and historians, not completely settled, but it is almost certain that Columbus was not first.

The Name of our Country – Part 3

A challenge to this long-accepted view was made by Rodney Broome in The True
Story of How America Got Its Name (MJF Books, 2001). According to Broome, “America” most probably is derived from the name of Richard Amerike, a wealthy merchant of Bristol, England, who helped fund English explorations in the New World/ North American mainland in the late 1400s. Broome cites records which indicate that Bristol ships visited Newfoundland to obtain fish from the Grand Banks at least twelve years before Columbus sailed to the Caribbean. “A letter discovered in 1955 in the Spanish National Archives…established that Bristol merchant ships had sailed to America considerably earlier than Columbus had…” Broome writes (p. 107). The letter was written in Spanish by Johan Day, a Bristol merchant, to Christopher Columbus in 1497 or 1498.

Broome contends that Martin Waldseemueller’s attribution of the name America to Amerigo Vespucci was a mistake which Waldseemueller admitted and tried to correct by removing the name America and reference to Amerigo Vespucci from later editions of his map.
As for Amerike, he sponsored John Cabot’s 1497 voyage to North America, a territory which Cabot (a Venetian mariner whose real name was Giovanni Caboto) knew of even before Columbus made his initial voyage. It was customary for explorers to name new lands after their financial sponsors and Cabot, Broome says, promised Amerike to do just that, although he later reneged on the agreement, calling his discovery Newfoundland. But seafaring people around Bristol, Broome contends, were aware of Amerike’s role in Cabot’s visit to North America before Columbus ever set foot on Hispaniola.

Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean
Thus, Columbus was deprived of the great honor of having his name given to the new world he had discovered. However, in the early days of our nation, there was much sentiment in favor of calling it Columbia in honor of Columbus. A popular song expresses the sentiment: “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.” Likewise, Joseph Hopkinson’s poem “Hail, Columbia” names our land as such, and our nation’s capital, Washington, is located not in any state but in the District of Columbia. Cities such as Columbus, Ohio, and Columbia, South Carolina, honor Columbus, as does the university named Columbia. The first space shuttle was the Columbia.