Tag Archives: England

Lost and Found – August 31st Edition

What to remember about August 31st…

  • 1864  General Sherman’s 4-month campaign is complete; victory at Battle of Jonesboro leads to Union capture of Atlanta
  • 1886  Devastating 7.6 magnitude earthquake strikes near Charleston, South Carolina killing over 100
  • 1888  1st victim of “Jack the Ripper” is murdered in London
  • 1935  President Franklin Roosevelt signs Neutrality Act to avoid becoming entangled in emerging european conflict
  • 1939  Nazis stage fake attack on Polish radio station; Germans use this incident as an excuse to invade the following day
  • 1943  USS Harmon (DE-678) is commissioned; 1st U.S. warship named for an African-American; Leonard Roy Harmon posthumously received the Navy Cross for his actions at Guadalcanal in 1942
  • 1985  Serial Killer Richard “Night Stalker” Ramirez is seen and beaten by a crowd in Los Angeles before police arrest him
  • 1992  Randy Weaver surrenders; siege at Ruby Ridge ends
  • 1997  Lady Diana, Princess of Wales and boyfriend Dodi Fayed die in high-speed car crash in Paris

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Lost and Found – August 31st Edition

What to remember about August 31st…

  • 1864  General Sherman’s 4-month campaign is complete; victory at Battle of Jonesboro leads to Union capture of Atlanta
  • 1886  Devastating 7.6 magnitude earthquake strikes near Charleston, South Carolina killing over 100
  • 1888  1st victim of “Jack the Ripper” is murdered in London
  • 1935  President Franklin Roosevelt signs Neutrality Act to avoid becoming entangled in emerging european conflict
  • 1939  Nazis stage fake attack on Polish radio station; Germans use this incident as an excuse to invade the following day
  • 1943  USS Harmon (DE-678) is commissioned; 1st U.S. warship named for an African-American; Leonard Roy Harmon posthumously received the Navy Cross for his actions at Guadalcanal in 1942
  • 1985  Serial Killer Richard “Night Stalker” Ramirez is seen and beaten by a crowd in Los Angeles before police arrest him
  • 1992  Randy Weaver surrenders; siege at Ruby Ridge ends
  • 1997  Lady Diana, Princess of Wales and boyfriend Dodi Fayed die in high-speed car crash in Paris

Aristotle knew about Welfare Riots

The aftermath of the riots in England last week is still evident on many streets and in the faces of residents whose peaceful lives were shattered during the violence.  Massive cleanup efforts and long-term economic effects are still being evaluated while politicians posture before taking their first definitive actions.  Well, the history forgotten is what the government bureaucrats are dealing with now.

A contemporary of Aristotle once said that ” a person’s life persuades better than his word.”  I couldn’t agree more after watching the hooliganism unleashed on the communities of Hackney, Camden, Peckham, Stratford, and others.  Despite media assertions that the riots were caused by a questionable police shooting, I find that to be merely an excuse.

Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy. – Aristotle

How we react to the challenges and difficulties of life mark what kind of society we have become.  When tens of thousands of TEA Party activists can gather in cities all over America without incident the media calls it “incitement”.  When paid union thugs beat a black activist in public they are vindicated.  When government attempts to pull back from fiscal catastrophe it is called “terrorism” or “moronic”.  When eco-terrorists can stalk women and children or destroy millions in property it is hailed as freedom of expression.  What indication do these incidents give as to where western society stands today?

“Tipping point”  is a phrase popularized not too long ago that feels very appropriate to the emerging civil unrest.  The welfare class created by politicians and bureaucrats to ensure their own power is a smoldering engine with barely leashed destructive potential.  By allowing – even encouraging – citizens to stay out of the productive process of society and rewarding their indolence, the governments of these “liberal democracies” have attempted to leash the dependent to their will.  They hope to ensure that those on the dole will continue to listen to and vote for those that grant them their sustenance at someone elses expense.

He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god. – Aristotle

In fact, what the politicians have wrought is not a welfare class but an entitlement class.  This group sees the world through a prism shaped by self-indulgence, greed, and rights without responsibility.  They desire to attain all the benefits of a wealthy society without contributing to the formation of that wealth.  They seek to consume and reproduce without any regard to the prospects of others and the government rewards them for making these bad choices.  This is called a moral hazard (def: the tendency of people who are insured against a specific hazard to cease to exercise caution to avoid the hazard – Encarta World Dictionary 2009)

Jealousy is both reasonable and belongs to reasonable men, while envy is base and belongs to the base, for the one makes himself get good things by jealousy, while the other does not allow his neighbour to have them through envy. – Aristotle

But when the politicians beat their drums and shout that others want to take from the dependents what they now believe to be their right, they unleash an angry mob.  This mob, though they have no true claim on the freedoms or produce of others struck out last week at those they had been told for years the obstacle to their desires.

The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.  – Aristotle

All people are not equal in all ways.  We should hope that they never are.  Without our uniqueness we would never enjoy as a society the gifts of music, science, innovation, or discovery.  Likewise, we should seek to be dissatisfied with our current situation and seek to improve it through honest work and virtuous living.

Those who excel in virtue have the best right of all to rebel, but then they are of all men the least inclined to do so.  – Aristotle

There are great and weighty problems facing our world today.  Economies are in disarray due to profligate spending, compounding debt, and undeliverable promises.  Famine, poverty, and disaster stalk the world yet the most generous nations in the world are denigrated and attacked.  Extremist ideologies seek to  gather power and influence; taking advantage by fomenting societal unrest.

We praise a man who feels angry on the right grounds and against the right persons and also in the right manner at the right moment and for the right length of time.  – Aristotle

We have reason to be nervous and uncertain in today’s world.  Uncertainty causes fear and fear is a great driver of human passions.  However, by remaining steadfast to our principles and faith, the world can right itself.  Reasonable men can forge a path through the turbulence and put us back on the path equality of opportunity for all.  The promise of equal outcome for all is what got us here today.

Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.  – Aristotle

All should hope that this last observation of Aristotle’s serves as sufficient warning for us to avoid its dreadful outcome.

(See my Friday August 12th post “On Riots And Self-Defense…” )

On Riots And Self-Defense…

Our founding fathers looked across the oceans and the ages to assemble the philosophy on which this great nation would be built upon.  First they looked to their own Christian heritage for the authority for self-rule.  From there they examined the civilizations of the Greeks and Romans and their own european homelands to develop a form of governance that has become the longest standing republic known to man.  They enumerated these principles in our founding documents – the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.  Finally, the people then acted on these ideas and our nation as we know it came into being.

Our principles are reinforced by laws.  These laws are written down so that reasonable persons can have certainty in the conduct of their every day lives.  Contracts will be enforceable, our liberties protected, and order will be maintained.  If another person breaks the rules our society has established we have the right to seek protection and redress through our legal system.  However, that right of redress does nothing to abrogate the natural right of self-defense.  In the immediacy of the moment we have the inalienable right to protect our lives and our property.  The Founders had observed this principle in action through English common law and then the written 1689 Declaration of Rights.

John Adams rightly stated during his 1770 defense of the English troops on trial for the Boston Massacre…

“We talk of liberty and property, but, if we cut up the law of self-defence, we cut up the foundation of both, and if we give up this, the rest is of very little value, and therefore, this principle must be strictly attended to… if a robber meets me in the street, and commands me to surrender my purse, I have a right to kill him without asking questions; if a person commits a bare assault on me, this will not justify killing, but if he assaults me in such a manner, as to discover an intention to kill me, I have a right to destroy him.”

What we see in the riots occurring in England today is a failure on two levels.  First, the government and police are failing to prosecute criminals in so many cases that there is little fear of real consequences.  When society will not uphold its laws then the members of that society loses confidence in all aspects of that government.  By failing to uphold their portion of the social contract he government has lost its legitimate authority to rule in the name of the people it is supposed to protect.

Secondly, the government’s incremental elimination of its citizen’s natural right of self-defense makes criminals of honest men.  How can one have faith in governmental institutions that wont protect your life or property but then would take away your freedom for defending it?  If you are not allowed to protect your freedoms and liberties then you have none.

These riots in England (and Greece and France as well) are symptomatic of what occurs as government is allowed to control more and more of our individual lives.  The mobs of self-entitled miscreants protesting for more largess from the productive class of society are the “squeaky wheel”.  To quiet the mob the socialist elements of government will press for more support or aid for these downtrodden unfortunates.   Meanwhile, to pay for this generosity, the law-abiding citizens who lost property and were injured will be burdened with the taxes and debt to pay for it.

There have been some small instances of mob violence in America recently.  The approach that the government takes towards the criminals versus law-abiding citizens acting in their own defense will show us how far this nation has fallen from its founding principles.  We are a nation of laws, not of men.  However, when the government can’t or won’t enforce the law, we have the natural right as men to defend our lives and our property.  Pray that our leaders find the strength and courage to live up to their end of our social construct.  If they don’t, the Declaration of Independence is instructive as to the path we may take…

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.

London riots erupt - Lewis Whyld / AP