I’ve got a cold which is making it hard to concentrate on anything, so – in a bid to jumpstart my writing – I decided to write a political post instead. I’ve done my best to be even-handed, but – under the circumstances – a great many people are going to disagree with me. Please […]
From a Breitbart news article:
To read full article click below.
What can a chronicler of barbarian invasions, writing in the 18th century, explain to Americans in the 21st century? What lessons can we learn today from the fall of an ancient empire? Plenty. Many.
Indeed, as immigration is a hot issue today, we might look to long-ago scholarship to remind us that the basic patriotic loyalty of the home population can never be taken for granted. In particular, if the demography of the population changes, its loyalties will change.
Edward Gibbon’s famous work of history, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was published in six volumes, from 1776 to 1788. And the first appearance of that work, of course,—in that evocative year of 1776—has led many to consider its significance to American history. Could America ever fall like that? Could America collapse like the Roman Empire?
Gibbon was English, and yet even after the American Revolution, his work was widely read in the new republic known as the United States; we know, for example, that George Washington included Gibbon in his library.
Indeed, Gibbon’s conservative turn of mind made him particularly popular among the American Founders, who were, after all, themselves conservative. Yes, George Washington & Co. were revolutionaries, but they were definitely not radicals. They rebelled in 1776 to uphold their ancient liberties, not to try new fads.
Indeed, as recently noted here at Breitbart News, the Founders looked to history to tell them what could go wrong with a government; then, with that knowledge in mind, they sought to build in protective checks and balances. So to the Founders, Gibbon’s sober worldview—his statement, for example, that “history is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind”—coincided with their own thinking, which began with a basic mistrust of human nature. The world, after all, is Fallen; men are not angels.
Come to think of it, maybe American politicians today, too, should be reading Gibbon, because America today is under threat, not least from the sort of demographic transformation—some might call it an invasion—that toppled Rome.
We might consider, for instance, the evidence of President Obama’s Executive Order granting amnesty to millions. “Democrats bet on diversity”—that was the blunt headline in Politico. And we know what that means. If there’s one thing that Barack Obama, Al Sharpton, and La Raza can probably all agree on, it’s that it’s high time for the rule of Americans of European descent to come to an end.
Meanwhile, the Main Stream Media is doing its best to speed up the Multicultural Bandwagon. It’s to be expected, of course, that The New York Times would be cheerleading Obama’s effort, but here’s a similar headline from The Houston Chronicle: “Momentum gathers in Houston for Obama’s immigration order.”
So we might ask: In the face of this onslaught, what of the Republicans? Aren’t they supposed to be leading the opposition? For the most part, the Republicans seem strangely ineffective. Here’s another Politico headline: “Lack of immigration plan flusters GOP.” As the story puts it,
“Congressional Republicans woke up on Friday morning with no clear legislative response to the president and with their membership scattered across the country on a 10-day Thanksgiving break. Meanwhile, Obama headed to Las Vegas to begin selling his proposal to shield millions of young immigrants and some of their family members.”
Even those who recognize that Politico leans left might be hard pressed to identify any error in the above paragraph.
Yes, Republicans intend to do a lot of litigating, and they will be holding some Congressional hearings. But Iowa talk show host Steve Deace speaks for many concerned citizens when he describes this GOP wordplay as “Sound and fury signifying nothing.”
Indeed, as Quin Hillyer observes, it’s far from certain that many in the Republican elite really oppose what Obama is doing. Oh sure, top Republicans are good ’n’ mad that Obama went around them with that Executive Order, but many of them have already pledged themselves to “comprehensive immigration reform.” In other words, they’re mad at Obama over procedure, not substance.
And yet it’s the substance that matters most. It’s the substance that determines the fate of the nation.
Let’s return to that blunt Politico headline: “Democrats bet on diversity.” And let’s say it: Democrats envision a different America; they look forward to what they call a “Coalition of the Ascendant.” And of course, if one group is rising, then another must be falling—and so we come back to Edward Gibbon.
Gibbon begins his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire with a look at the ruins of the Roman Forum—once the vital hub of the Republic, then of the Empire. But many centuries later, he recorded, the Forum had disappeared as an urban center; the once-important public space was now just ruins, overgrown with petty farming and overrun by farm animals:
“The forum of the Roman people, where they assembled to enact their laws and elect their magistrates, is now enclosed for the cultivation of pot-herbs, or thrown open for the reception of swine and buffaloes. The public and private edifices, that were founded for eternity, lie prostrate, naked, and broken, like the limbs of a mighty giant; and the ruin is the more visible, from the stupendous relics that have survived the injuries of time and fortune.”
But Gibbon was much more than just a poetic tour-guide; he offered his readers a general theory of historical decline. He began his narrative in the second century AD, when the Roman Empire was at its peak, and then he chronicled the failures of feckless elites, the consequences of demoralized faith, and the disasters of military incompetence. And as we shall see, there was a further problem as well—the danger of outright treachery.
So what went wrong? Why did Rome fall? One problem, as Gibbon makes clear, was the emergence of a welfarist “bread and circuses” policy for the city of Rome. The Empire had been so rich for so long that Rome itself had become a magnet for those looking for a soft life. From around the Empire, people made their way to the capital city.
And so what to do with them when they got there? Inside the city, the governing elites found it easiest to simply buy off the motley population with free food, and to keep them entertained with free shows.
As Gibbon puts it, Rome’s rulers aimed to “relieve the poverty and to amuse the idleness of an innumerable people.” He explains: “For the convenience of the lazy plebeians, the monthly distributions of corn were converted into a daily allowance of bread; a great number of ovens were constructed and maintained at the public expense.”
Moreover, to further pacify the population, the authorities arranged free shows for the public: “The Roman people still considered the Circus as their home, their temple.” As a result,
“From the morning to the evening, careless of the sun or of the rain, the spectators, who sometimes amounted to the number of four hundred thousand, remained in eager attention; their eyes fixed on the horses and charioteers, their minds agitated with hope and fear for the success of the colours which they espoused; and the happiness of Rome appeared to hang on the event of a race.”
If this bread-and-circuses policy doesn’t seem like a policy built to last—you’re right. It wasn’t. The Empire’s Roman core had been hollowed out, and by the Fifth Century, barbarians had overrun much of the realm.
In 410 AD, the Goths besieged the city of Rome itself. As Gibbon explains, the Roman authorities were preparing a defense, but—and this is crucial—“they were unable to guard against the secret conspiracy of their slaves and domestics, who either from birth or interest were attached to the cause of the enemy.”
And so, as Gibbon records, at midnight, disloyal Romans silently opened one of the city’s gates. Thereupon, most Romans “were awakened by the tremendous sound of the Gothic trumpet,” as the enemy rushed in. The result:
“Eleven hundred and sixty-three years after the foundation of Rome, the Imperial city, which had subdued and civilised so considerable a part of mankind, was delivered to the licentious fury of the tribes of Germany and Scythia.”
Yes, of course, the sacking of the city was brutal and bloody. For a while, the conquerors made some attempt to limit the damage, but one thing led to another:
In the pillage of Rome a just preference was given to gold and jewels, which contain the greatest value in the smallest compass and weight, but, after these portable riches had been removed by the more diligent robbers, the palaces of Rome were rudely stripped of their splendid and costly furniture… The most exquisite works of art were roughly handled or wantonly destroyed: many a statue was melted for the sake of the precious materials and many a vase, in the division of the spoil, was shivered into fragments by the stroke of a battleaxe. The acquisition of riches served only to stimulate the avarice of the rapacious barbarians, who proceeded by threats, by blows, and by tortures, to force from their prisoners the confession of hidden treasure.
And so, in the end, the Goths’ conquest of Rome meant “promiscuous massacre to the feeble, the innocent, and the helpless.”
And while Rome had been weakening for many years, the decisive blow that lead to the fall of the city in 410 was betrayal from within.
We’ve been warned: Yes, the nature of the population—loyal or not—matters a great deal.
That’s one of the lessons that Edward Gibbon teaches us. And the Founders, those apt students of history, would most definitely agree.
The Alinsky wing of the leftists have the goal of total disarmament. They have carefully directed the narrative and successfully hardening the schools is antithetical to their aims. If school shootings stop with hardened schools they will push the narrative that schools are now prisons and the students rights are being violated. The children are pawns in the bigger game. The left has demonized a tool that has been part of American culture and uniqueness for hundreds of years. Make no mistake, the left is fascist and truly believe they have the right to direct peoples lives to fit their vision. True fanatics will not be swayed by logic or argument. The propaganda ability of the left is to be admired for the successful use of it to gain so many followers, Hitler would be proud. The loss of some children to the ultimate goal is a small price to pay in their minds.
More lives are lost due to drug abuse, texting while driving and obesity. Where is the outrage? Natural selection is working somewhat despite our best efforts to make the world as safe as possible. Risk is part of evolution. Adding risk in the guise of making people safer is insanity. Gun free zones add risk by advertising the vulnerability of the target. We protect airports, politicians and movie stars with armed security and physical barriers to unauthorized entry. We are not allowed the same measures to protect our kids. A pragmatic approach was needed in airports and government offices but the same approach is denied our kids. Humans are unpredictable and dangerous. Anyone who denies that fact is a moron.
Lives would be saved if the schools would become as secure as any corporate campus. Badges and controlled entry. Bottleneck the entrance to isolate and minimize the danger provided by free access. Screen all that desire entry. Doors should be alarmed if they open to the outside of the campus allowing these to be used in case of fire or other crisis requiring emergency exit.
Watching Zuckerberg in front of congress has begun an unsettling feeling in my gut. The 1st amendment was designed to protect ALL speech especially objectionable speech. The congresswimps and Zuck are falling all over themselves agreeing that any speech that could upset anyone is a target for banning. Hate speech, bullying and every other leftist trigger. They are going down the censorship road without a whimper. Any time an illegal act is posted it gives law enforcement a clue and a heads up rather than drive these knuckleheads underground. If speech offends you either move on or blast the speaker with your displeasure. This is a slippery slope to totalitarianism. NO Speech should be banned. Even offensive speech may spark a solution as people are actually discussing the issue rather than pretend it does not exist. If you are so weak minded that a Russian ad could throw an election, you need to give up your voter registration as you are NOT informed. Please pay attention. Some of the recent bans that FB has put in place such as Diamond and Silk is a warning to us all.
We are adults and do not need to be treated like helpless children with no minds of our own.
“Regarding the governments ability to impose “Reasonable Restraint” which has now become the mantra of our government. Supporters of the Amendment claim they have a constitutional or Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Opponents counter that even if that were the case, the federal government was granted the general power to place restraints on the right. Both of these assertions are based on a misconception concerning the intent of the document known as the Bill of Rights.
When the Bill of Rights was submitted to the individual States for ratification, it was prefaced with a preamble. As stated in the preamble, the purpose of the Amendments was to prevent the federal government from “misconstruing or abusing its powers.” To accomplish this, “further declaratory and restrictive clauses” were being recommended.
The Amendments, when adopted, did not create any so-called constitutional rights or grant the federal government any power over individual rights; they placed additional restraints and qualifications on the powers of the federal government concerning the rights enumerated in the Amendments.
If the Second Amendment is read through the preamble, we find it was incorporated into the Bill of Rights as a “declaratory and restrictive clause” to prevent the federal government from “misconstruing or abusing its power” to infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms.
Another way to understand the original intent of the Second Amendment is re-write it through the preamble:
“Because a well-regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State, the federal government is expressly denied the power to infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear Arms.”
The preamble and original intent of the Amendments has been suppressed by the institutions of government because it would expose their usurpation of power and perversion of Amendments contained in the Bill of Rights.
By advancing the myth that the Amendments grant the American people their individual rights, the federal government has been able to convert enumerated restraints and qualifications on its power into legislative, executive, judicial and administrative power over individual rights.
The federal government claims it was granted the constitutional authority to determine the extent of the individual rights enumerated in the Amendments and/or impose “reasonable restraints” on those rights. This assertion is absurd.
The federal government does not have the constitutional authority to ignore, circumvent, modify, negate or remove constitutional restraints placed on its power by the Amendments or convert them into a power over the individual right enumerated in the particular restraint.
A denial of power or an enumerated restraint on the exercise of power is not subject to interpretation or modification by the entity the restraint is being imposed upon. The restraints imposed by the Amendments, which were adopted 4 years after the Constitution was ratified, override the legislative, executive, judicial or administrative powers of the federal government. If this were not the case, then the restraints would be meaningless because the federal government could simply circumvent, modify or remove them.
Why would the States have requested and adopted enumerated restraints on federal power, subsequent to their ratification of the Constitution, if the federal government possessed the authority to nullify them?
When the federal government infringes on one of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights it is not violating anyone’s constitutional rights; it is violating the additional restraint or qualification placed on its power by the particular Amendment where the right is enumerated.
The distinction between rights and restraints is critical. [The right is not given by the Federal Government. Our rights are given by God and are inalienable. Therefore, they can’t be limited or taken away.]
As stated in the Declaration of Independence, the American people have unalienable rights that come from a higher source than government or a written document.
By acknowledging that people have natural rights, which are bestowed by a creator, the Founders laid the foundation for the principle that government does not have the lawful authority to take away or infringe on those rights.
This principle was incorporated into the preamble and structure of the Amendments to secure individual rights from government encroachment; that is why they were designed and imposed as restraints on the exercise of power.
If the individual rights of the people had been created by the Constitution or an amendment to the document, then they would cease to be unalienable because the right would depend on the existence of a document. If the document or a provision of the document disappeared, so would the right.
The belief that individual rights were created by a written document has opened the door for the federal government to claim the power to define the extent of any right enumerated in an Amendment. This has transformed constitutional restraints placed on federal power into subjective determinations of individual rights by the institutions of government.
By failing to understand the difference between amendments that create rights and amendments that impose restraints on government, the American people are watching their individual rights vanish as they are reduced to the status of privileges bestowed by government because the constitutional restraints placed on federal power are being replaced by government decree.
Opponents of the Second Amendment always try to diminish the right enumerated in the Amendment by asserting that rights are not absolute. This is just another straw man argument because the Amendment is about imposing a restraint of the powers of the federal government concerning a right: not granting a right or defining the extent of a right. In addition, a review of the Second Amendment shows that the restraint imposed by the Amendment does not contain any exceptions.”
The freedom of our nation is under attack. The duly elected president has inherited a mess and the mess makers want to stop him from fixing it. We all wanted a non-politician and by God, that’s what we got. That he is a smart man there is no doubt. That he means to keep his word? Ditto. Is he having fun tweaking the liberal sheep? I certainly think so. Does he need to do this? Not hardly. So why all the leftist hate?
Let me break it down for you;
- There has been a ruling elite for many years. Those that consider themselves above us and our laws. They manage to become multi-millionaires on a modest salary. That alone should give us pause. They threaten people with bureaucratic hell if they even think you disagree with them or fight them on anything. They use their power for their own benefit, not ours. Who in their right mind would do this job unless it was a huge payoff. And the bonus, they get to do social experiments on a bunch of witless fools, us.
- There IS corruption in government. Anyone who can’t see that is blind or willfully ignorant. Humans are driven to take the easiest route to their own comfort, security and legacy. Power is a driving force in our society and politicians and leaders have the mindset that their way is the only way to achieve that on a personal level. They also justify their positions as a benefit to the general welfare and good. This is actually sociopathic behavior. What is good for them is all that really matters. Altruism is a rare trait in humans. Altruism often has an underlying benefit to the altruist as they are loved and respected and become secure in their positions because they do good things.
- We culture alliances and friendships. This allows us to accomplish more than an individual. Whether in marriage, business or politics, it is easier to get things done if you have the backing of many others who are like thinkers. If you can convince people to follow a policy blindly because they believe in a personal benefit, that is the road to real power. Why are we constantly attempting to revise human nature? Is it because of a desire to improve ourselves or is it being shaped by the clever manipulators of our society. We are a species that seems to revel in self delusion, denial and fantasy theories of how the world really is. A person who has never been challenged will firmly believe that when you are really tested, you will come out with a good result and display all the courage and fortitude that you honestly believe is in you. This is true in some cases but not the majority. We have taken out of society the need to prove ourselves and our accomplishments. You can sit in front of a keyboard and anonymously spout whatever you wish as if it was gospel with little fear of a direct physical confrontation. When challenged too hard, you can run away or refuse to respond. There is no penalty to destructive thoughts and lies. Just throw something out there and see what happens. Is this evolution of our species? Perhaps. Everything that a species does is an experiment in survival. My view is we are getting ready for an adjustment.
- The adjustment; an interesting thought. We have advance technologically to the point where everything is taken for granted. The way we got there is seldom thought about, it just is the way it is. If a disaster to the power grid would happen we would be eating each other inside of a week. There are very few people under 40 that can build anything, grow anything or even fix something simple. The focus has been on gaining wealth through the manipulation of resources produced by others. This relies on power to run the computers, phones and industry that is becoming automated more and more. Our ability to respond to disasters is constantly being challenged and it needs improvement. The interesting thing about this issue is the roundabout way it is used to push other agendas. Global warming for instance. Those interested in this issue above all others would expend all the resources in a theoristic attempt to prevent these 100 years from now rather than use the resources to mitigate existing damage caused by these disasters and bring relief. The storms and disasters have always happened and they are actually decreasing in frequency but they hold attention when they are occurring. I believe we are headed for a big crisis, whether an EMP, terrorist nuke or biological attack soon. We are not prepared and it will not be pretty.
- Trump realizes that sometimes fixing things is painful all around. The leftist arguments I have been hearing are absurd. Shaking up the status quo is a good thing even if the leftists and globalists wet themselves.
If a politician increases his net worth while in office without a really good reason that is legal, they need to be marched to the nearest tree and hung until dead.