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Presidents Day weekend includes honoring the birthday of Abraham Lincoln for most Americans. He is considered among the top writers in our world’s history for eloquent and powerful precision. He is revered by Republicans as the father of their political Party. His commitment to the nation “of the people, by the people, for the people” is revered by all.
What most people do not know is that Abraham Lincoln is also a hero for his acts as a freshman member of the House of Representatives in the Congress of 1847-1849. Lincoln demanded that the President of the US provide specific evidence justifying the US invading a foreign country, suspecting that the President’s claims of a defensive war were lies to propagandize an offensive war for territorial control against a weaker nation. He did so despite the lack of support from most of his own political party. He demanded the facts despite his being painted by political opponents and the press as “unpatriotic.” The propaganda defeated Lincoln at his next election; his name slurred as “spotty Lincoln.”
Of course, we now know that Lincoln was correct that the US President had indeed lied about the cause of war.
In our current US wars of invasion, our own government committee investigations have revealed the exact evidence backing claims that these are defensive wars for our national security. We now know from the evidence that all of these claims were not only false, but known to be false at the time they were told to the American people and Congress.
We also have lying rhetoric for an offensive war in Iran, propagandized as “pre-emptive” defense, despite its illegality in the clear letter and intent of the law, and easily understood through analogy of the laws governing an individual’s use of self-defense on the street.
Lincoln’s advice on defending the US Constitution from such unlawful tyrants rings true today, and echoes the advice of our Founding Fathers.
The following six paragraphs are from Abraham Lincoln in his Lyceum Address, January 27 1838.
“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide...
I know the American People are much attached to their Government;--I know they would suffer much for its sake;--I know they would endure evils long and patiently, before they would ever think of exchanging it for another. Yet, notwithstanding all this, if the laws be continually despised and disregarded, if their rights to be secure in their persons and property, are held by no better tenure than the caprice of a mob, the alienation of their affections from the Government is the natural consequence; and to that, sooner or later, it must come.
Here then, is one point at which danger may be expected.
The question recurs, "how shall we fortify against it?" The answer is simple. Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor;--let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the character of his own, and his children's liberty. Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap--let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs;--let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.
While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.
…Passion has helped us; but can do so no more. It will in future be our enemy. Reason, cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason, must furnish all the materials for our future support and defence.--Let those materials be moulded into general intelligence, sound morality, and in particular, a reverence for the constitution and laws.”
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Local perspective: Part of my professional duties as a teacher of economics and government is to produce competent adult citizenry. This includes realization that our nation’s policies and money are managed at a broad community level, and these issues have tremendous local impact. Of course, we all want human beings to be individually successful and enjoy their unique, beautiful and powerful self-expressions. Concurrently, we recognize our commitment to local success is strongly dependent upon the success of the community, and that government policy and economics are drivers.
Our status in early 21st Century human history is that we suffer from a long history in government and money of human interrelationship well-described as vicious antagonism. Governments frequently use war as a foreign policy, despite its illegality and dependent upon public ignorance, with horrific consequences. Economic policy is still created within a “Robber Baron” paradigm to concentrate money to an elite few families. Two examples:
1. National taxes effect you dearly, especially the tax to pay interest on the national debt. This costs the American public over $400 billion every year. This is $4,000 per year for every $50,000 of income. Do the math to understand your household’s tax burden for a monetary policy invented by banks for banks to create our money supply as debt. Your competence in this area contributes to our collective voice to simply shift monetary policy to easily pay the national debt, enjoy full employment, collectively save us over a trillion dollars every year, and finally realize what our brightest American minds have been advocating for centuries beginning with Benjamin Franklin. This would have unprecedented local benefits, and requires collective power to accomplish.
2. Ending poverty everywhere on our planet would cost just 0.7% of our income and save a million children’s lives every month. This human accomplishment will cause unimaginable joy at our local level.
"If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective. No individual can live alone, no nation can live alone and as long as we try, the more we are going to have war in the world. Now the judgment of God is upon us and we must either learn to live together as brothers or we are all going to perish together as fools."
--Inscription on Dr. Martin Luther King’s statue, Moorehouse College, Atlanta
"The day that hunger is eradicated from the earth, there will be the greatest spiritual explosion the world has ever known. Humanity cannot imagine the joy that will burst into the world on the day of that great revolution." -- poet Federico García Lorca
I appreciate your attention to these facts and encourage your further study and action consistent with your own self-expression. My recommendations:
Policy response: Gandhi and Martin Luther King advocated public understanding of the facts and non-cooperation with evil. I’m among hundreds who advocate:
1.Understand the laws of war. These were legislated after WW2 and are crystal-clear that only self-defense, in a narrow legal meaning, can justify war. The current US wars are not even close to being lawful. Those involved with US military, government, and law enforcement have an oath to protect and defend the US Constitution, not “always place the mission first.” To fulfill their oath they must immediately refuse and end all orders associated with unlawful wars and military-related constant violation of treaties.
2.End the transfer of trillions of American taxpayer money to banksters and admitted as “lost” by our military. End poverty through global cooperation to achieve the UN Millennium Goals by developed countries investing 0.7% of their income. Support global security through cooperation, dignity, justice, and freedom. Create a US Department of Peace to help.
3.Communicate. Trust your unique, beautiful, and powerful self-expression to share as you feel appropriate. Understand that while many people are ready to embrace difficult facts, many are not. Anticipate that you will be attacked and prepare your virtuous response in the spirit of competition, just as you do in other fields.
4.Prosecute the war leaders for obvious violation of the letter and spirit of US war laws. Because the crimes are so broad and deep, I recommend Truth and Reconciliation (T&R) to exchange full truth and return of stolen US assets for non-prosecution. This is the most expeditious way to understand and end all unlawful and harmful acts. Those who reject T&R are subject to prosecution.
Comments policy: I welcome questions and comments that are civil and pertain to the article topic. Impolite and impertinent comments will be deleted.
Please consider that I’m among hundreds of writers who have documented our own government’s disclosure of propaganda programs to support their wars. I suspect my articles are under such propagandistic attack from comments that use typical rhetorical fallacies to distract readers from the facts. I invite readers to sharpen their ability to discern such propaganda. They are characterized by a combination of: never addressing the facts, diverting attention through unsubstantiated belief in an alleged expert, irrelevant data, straw-man attack that distorts the facts, ad hominem attack of insults to the messenger, vile comments to repulse readers, and lies of omission and commission.
I will use such comments to point-out the propaganda or delete them at my discretion. Again, all relevant and polite questions, and factually accurate comments are welcome. As a professional educator I’m in agreement with my experience and research: we learn best from multiple perspectives in mutual commitment to understand the facts, see those facts from diverse points-of-view, and consider various policy proposals of what we should do.
For those involved in support of US government-sponsored disinformation, I invite you to consider the quality of human relationships you wish to work toward. National security and a brighter future is not a function of fear, manipulation, and control. Our best security follows cooperation, justice under the law, dignity, and freedom. Working for your best imagined self-expression of virtue may include a unique contribution from the inside of your agency. Public attraction to the stories of Star Wars and the Harry Potter books/movies recognize that our society’s jump to civilized relations for all of us might require support from people within the “dark side” acting as covert agents for building a brighter future. Another option is becoming a whistle-blower; Project Camelot is a popular venue for people in sensitive positions. Ultimately, I recommend a Truth and Reconciliation process to exchange full truth for no prosecution, explained in detail at the link. Please consider the wisdom of your own “Scrooge conversion” to act for the benefit of all humanity rather than your self-proclaimed controlling, manipulating, and loveless “masters.”
“Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.”