The Founding Fathers ? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I keep seeing the the phrase " The Founding Fathers" written in threads. They seem to be spoken of as gods or heros. I thought I might point out that they were wanted felons that were to be shot or hung on site. Thomas Jefferson was devoted athiest yet wrote of a creator. Ben Franklin was wanted for crimes in England before he came to america. His Fire insurance company in Philedelphia would be called racketeering today and he would face life in the penitentary under the rico statued. James Madison and Thomas Paine would be executed under our own laws for treason. The "WE THE PEOPLE" were slave owners every one. The constitution was an experiment in goverment --and it took them years to agree on that and none of them walked away happy. I think if we want some heroes we might look at a 75 year old appalachian woman who raised 13 children and educated them in a 1 room house. Or maybe a rich football player from Kansas City who couldn't swim but gave his life to save two children who were drowning. Perhaps it might be 3 million people trapped in a country they want little to do with -- who have withdrawn to the "beyond the sidewalks and civilization" There they raise their cows , chickens and children with a mutual understanding of dirt to rain ratios. Some might call this group the new founding fathers--we found out the experiment in goverment was a terrible waste of time and the best goverment is the one you apply on yourself !

-- Joel Rosen (, March 18, 2000


Granted, the FOUNDING FATHERS weren't perfect and the government has problems but they created a pretty good system of government (in its orignal state). We eventually corrected the slavery issue and are continuing to work out problems today. Though not fast enough for some people. Every government is imperfect because people are imperfect. The less self government and discipline people have the more a government has to apply it outwardly. Don't like it, but that's just the way it is. The Founding Fathers wanted an unintrusive government and at their time people were much more disciplined, self-controlled, responsible for self and their actions. Things have deteriorated since then. All those people you mentioned ARE heros. If everyone had the committment they do things would be better everywhere.

To quote the comic strip hero MALLARD FILLMORE "Political correctness says our plant's so "Diverse" It's wrong to think one country's any "Better" or one's "Worse." But to the smug sophisticates who hang on to that theory. I ask you merely to respond to this one simple query...When emigrants from every land leave everything they know..which is the place, above all others, where they want to go? God Bless America!"

-- Vaughn (, March 18, 2000.

Not gods, but yes, I think heros. At the least, visionaries. Every one of them sat together, with the other slave owners, and drafted a Declaration of Independece that was beyond the scope of any other political document of it's time. They came up with words like these:

"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 when any form of Government becomes desctructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter of abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form...."

To have stretched beyond the scope of their economy, philosophy, all frame of reference and establish these ground rules is impressive. This, in turn, lead to the drafting of the constitution, the Civil War, and the government that we enjoy.

My Grandfather was a Russian Jewish immigrant fleeing from pogroms. My mother was a four yr. old and in the train station on the day of the bombing of Dresden, Germany. I have deep and profound gratitude for having been born in this country.

Our founding fathers (and mothers) worked hard, and progressively, to get the U.S. to where it is today. I can be a homesteader, a Jew, a woman who speaks her mind, a homeschool teacher, whatever the hell I want. No fear. No repurcussions. Care to say that in another country?

Now, I haven't posted anything previously about our founding fathers, and I probably would list Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as mine, but give credit where it is due.

-- Rachel (, March 18, 2000.

Rachel........"BRAVO"..applause, applause,applause.....

-- Lesley Chasko (, March 18, 2000.

There is one part of this discussion that I disagree with and feel has been one of the main reasons we have too much government today. This is "The less self-government and discipline people have the more government is required". I don't believe that we have to enact more laws because undisciplined ones keep breaking the ones we have. This relates to many issues one of which is instituting more gun control because the criminals keep using them illegally and are not being prosecuted. We should be going after the lawbreakers not establishing more laws.

To put it in simpler terms, if you had a son and daughter and the daughter kept staying out after curfew, would you lower the curfew time for both children because the daughter was breaking the rules? No, most parents would be better about imposing punishment on the rulebreaker not the innocent son who is following the rules.

The same should be true for our laws. There is a need for some laws to keep a civilized society, but society should be insisting on harsher penalties and enforcement of the current laws rather than asking for more laws. Adding more laws does nothing to ensure discipline. It only serves to punish the law abiding.

This is true for almost any issue not just gun control. It is just a little more obvious with gun control. I would use as another example the law that they want to pass making all televisions be equipped with a child lock out feature. This is just a law that is being enacted for lax parents. They should be monitoring what their children are watching. If they can't be trusted to watch what they are allowed to, they should have to watch tv in the living room instead of their bedroom where they can be supervised.

Our society wants to make excuses for people that don't take responsibility for their actions and then make laws that they think will solve the problem when it is only hurting the law-abiding citizen. We need to stop this viscious cycle. Start punishing the law breakers. No plea bargains, no early release, no parole. Do the crime. Do the time. Period.

-- Colleen (, March 18, 2000.

I think that should read--All white men are created equal, they are endowed with certain unalienable rights such as life(if we can create a new country that won't kill us) liberty(since we built big plantations with slave labor)and the pursuit of happiness(since we are running for our lives)

I'm glad your Russian emigrant father wasn't an American Indian and your mother wasn't a captured african, because we made Hitler and Stalin look like school teachers in our quest for the american dream ! I home school for the very reasons you speak of--am I to tell my children that to be wanted by the law or to steal land is just if you have a small group that says so ? Or maybe--it's ok to pay someone 6.00 dollars an hour while you get rich because another group of thieves says it's ok ? Only the white trash of europe came here--there were no doctors or lawyers but still they managed to rape the land and steal most everything it had to offer--imagine that? Some ran from tyranny into the mother of it. Freedom becomes--nothing left to lose ! By your standards, Timothy McVie looks like a good choice for president. My heritage is the same with one side swedish--good govements?---Sweden takes half your money in taxes but you have no medical charges, no legal fees and no war--so what is different? It cost less to live in Sweden and you live longer

-- Joel Rosen (, March 18, 2000.

Joel, maybe you would be happier in Sweden. I don't think any one here would try to stop you.

-- Carmen (, March 18, 2000.

Actually Carmen, I would! You may not agree with Joel (I don't agree with everything he says) but that doesn't mean he hasn't raised some decent points, things we would all do well to think about.

On the other hand Joel, you are a trifle overstated.... not everyone from Europe was (as you so tactfully put it) white trash! And Sweden, while they may seem rather enlightened by todays standards, has had some pesky little problems in the past too...... Norway for example.

I do hope we can have discussions such as this here without too much flaming. Personally I learn a lot from them and they do make me reflect upon why we homestead and why I believe in (and participate in) public education instead of homeschooling. Thanks for all the stimulation folks! Kim

-- kim (, March 18, 2000.

"Only the white trash of Europe came here?" Please speak for yourself! Otherwise that is a ridiculous, inflammatory, and totally wrong statement; certainly not one which contributes to the goals of this forum.

-- Elizabeth Petofi (, March 18, 2000.

I hate the mirror also--the "whte trash statement --came from Thomas Jefferson. I still admire your points of view !Damn the history lesson. I only meant to make you look.

-- Joel Rosen (, March 19, 2000.

Wow. Joel, you only meant to make us look? Success!! However, T. Jefferson was a Deist not an atheist.God created everything and left would be the best short take on that. Also, regarding slave holding,aren't we all slaves to the illustrious government right now? If not slaves, at least serfs? If you read the personal journals of T. Jefferson you will see that the thinking of the day was that anyone that wasn't white was essentially inferior and somehow less human. A whole load of crap to put it mildly, but that was the consensus, and he agonized over that quite a bit in his writings...... Obviously, none of the founding fathers were gods, but they certainly had more thought and reason going into their daily lives than we in our advanced state have in ours! And they were willing to die for their beliefs. Are we? I see so many paralells between then and now that I find it frightening. All of these men criminals...Pretty much every day I break some law. Don't put on my seat belt, go a tic above the speed limit, don't bother to check if I need a permit to build a shed, have a bad thought....Frankly, there are too many laws and it's time that we stand up against this craziness and lack of personal responsibility for our actions. I could go on forever about the attrocities committed against the American Indians, none of it was excusable. But I guess that would lead to another forum, huh?

-- Doreen Davenport (, March 19, 2000.


My comment about Thomas Jefferson and George Washington was noting that they were both considered members of "alternative groups" at one time. I think you have made a point in support of that position...about being wanted felons that were to be shot on sight. Can't get more alternative than that, I guess.

My $.02: Agreed that the Appalachian woman and football player could be heroes, too. I don't know their political viewpoints or personal faiths, either. Maybe they are also atheists, or even revolutionaries and just happened to have done such good deeds. Who knows what other positions they might have...

I think some of us appreciate the good works that our Founding Fathers did because it directly benefitted so many of us here. They were also probably human jerks like the rest of us. But they are celebrated for some of their achievements, without which I doubt we would be having this little free speech conversation on line.

-- sheepish (, March 19, 2000.

Joel, I don't think I made any personal attacks against you, and I certainly hope you find a way to deal with your misguided hostility.

No, by my standards, Timothy McVie would not be a good candidate for President. Can't seem to follow your logic on that one. Please illuminate.

If you homeschool your children to hide the history of the world from them and the economics of our time, whatever truths you perceive those to hold, then what will they discover when they are young adults and have to function in that world? I applaud the fact that you have convictions, but perhaps a balanced view or a representation of various views would be more realistic than shielding your kids from what they will inevitably find out.

What should I say about slavery and the stealing of this country? You can't honestly believe that I condone it. People came to a place, they lied and killed the native people, and took the land. That is war, and not a very unique history to this land or any other. We don't have slaves now, and we can't repay the American Indians. It all happened before my white trash ancestory came here.

Joel, if you were in a foreign country, and your human rights were being violated, or those of your family, do you understand the power of these words: " I am an American Citizen" ? What would you have me say? That I denounce our government, though with all it's flaws it is the best chance at justice on the planet? That our democracy, in it's infancy, was penned by hypocrits? I think that they chose a better life for coming generations. That Abraham Lincoln, born into nothing, child of "white trash", demolisher of slavery, was some sort of criminal, rather than an example of what is possible only in the U.S.?

I don't see history the way that you do. I can't apologize for sins of others, and there is no way of knowing which events in U.S. history most pivotally affected the outcomes of today.

-- Rachel (, March 19, 2000.

Hi, Joel....I am the descendent of the poor white trash, some of them going back to the 1600's. One of them came to America as a cabin boy and grew up to be a long hunter. He took trips into the Kentucky wilderness, and probably exchanged gunfire with some of my Hubby's relations, who were Shawnee and Miami Indians. His grandma was the product of a rape by the county sheriff and the granddaughter of the Miami cheif, Little Turtle. But the child was taken in by a loving family and raised is a Godly, hardworking home, and they did a good job. Grandma was a lovely, sweet woman, with a lot of good things to pass on to HER family.

Guess that is just the point. In the United States we have a CHOICE to stay locked into the injustices of the past, or crawl out from underneath them and get on with this wonderful gift called life. We can be pretty much what we want to be. For myself, I think that it took a LOT of gumption to load yourself in the dark, smelly, cold hold of a ship and make the trek to America. Hey, they may have been considered trash, but they were trash with courage, for the most part! I will admit that the Founding Fathers were human, with a lot of inconsistancies in their world veiw (read up on Thomas Jefferson and Ann Hennings, for example--the stories have been verified, genetically)--but they had good ideas.

One bystander at the Constitutional Convention asked Benjamin Fraklin what the members had given the people. Franklin said, "a republic, ma'm...if you can keep it." Government is a tool, and George Washington said that "Government is like fire; it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." They had the right idea. If injustices happen, it is because we allow them to happen, for the gov't is OUR servant....unlwss we allow it to become our master. Andrew Jackson sent the Cherokees on the Trail of Tears, over the ruling of the Supreme Court, because the white folks wanted the Indian's land. A lot of the banished people were ones that fought with white Americans in the battles of 1812 against the British! Some gratitude, huh?

Guess what I am trying to say is that the gov't is only as good as the folks being governed will allow it to be.

"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 and Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the right of the People to alter or Abolish it, and to institute new Goverment, laying foundations on such Principles and organizing its powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Now, I am NOT calling for the overthrow of the government...tho' I have heard that some call the Declaration Of Independence a "subversive" document. What I am saying is that the Founding Fathers gave us a form of government that would enpower us to take care of injustices, if we have the guts to do the job. That was intelligent on their part, and calls for dilligence on our part. Go for it!

-- Leann Banta (, March 19, 2000.

Say, this isn't meant to be nit picky, but A. Lincoln WAS NOT the progenitor of the Civil War to end slavery. He was only interested in stopping the South from seceding from the Union. In other words, it was the first federal government infrigement on States rights. I find slavery and racism reprehensible, but I feel that the misinterpretted history that is being fed to us is even more reprehensible. There is book called "The South was Right", it is really interesting and illuminates the begining of the Fed Gov intrusions. I used to feel all warm and fuzzy inside over the Star Spangled and all the traditional patriotic stuff, and then....1984,oddly enough, I saw that Reagan had vetoed a bill that would "allow" the press to tell both sides of an international news item. First Amendment???? I started checking into things and slowly my idealism shriveled. I am still a patriot, but a wide awake one now. I know that crying "I'm an American!!" will get you killed more quickly in some parts of this world. Here at home they'll just demand your thumbprint and search you with no probable cause, and tell you that it's all for your safety and the safety of the children....(trigger locks for all my friends! Hold on Mr Burglar, and let me remember the combination or line my fingers up correctly, I am a law abiding American citizen!!!!) Just as an historical reference, my father's side came over on the Mayflower in search of religious freedom....(check out IRS laws regarding a 501C-3) and my mother's side came over in the early 1700's from France and I am part American Indian on that side-so I am definitely American by all methods of judgement. I'm not bragging just don't want anyone to think I'm "un" American. Sorry for the dissertation, but someone typed "Founding Fathers?" and got us all fired up here!

-- Doreen Davenport (, March 19, 2000.

"Ben Franklin was wanted for crimes in England before he came to america." Hmmm? Ben was born in Boston, Joel. He founded Philadelphia's fire department, but I can't find anything about an insurance company. Founding Fathers as "wanted felons?" Only by the British during the Revolution. Jefferson never described himself as an atheist, but as a Deist. And while both Jefferson and Washington were slave owners, a good many other "Founding Fathers" were not. Joel, if this is the version of American history you're teaching your kids . . . never mind. Your biases are obvious, if not altogether understandable.

-- Cash (, March 19, 2000.

Again--I love the diversty of the group. Rachal--I never take opinion personally. I admire opinions--may not agree but admire them. I want to clarify the Ben Franklin issue--He had business's in England and was wanted for what we now call racketeering. The selling of a service while holding a threat of violence over the buyer's head. His fire dept was the service and if you didn't buy his service your house usually and mysteriously caught on fire ! In England he was wanted for some of these mysterious fires. On the white trash issue--I stole those words from Jefferson's letter to his mother. I am the anchestor of the poor European that it referred to. Yes--The constitution gives me the right to overthrow an un-just government and I think you people collectively have written the warrant. For crimes--past , present and seeing no end to the present government's atrocities--We the People etc. These crimes include Murder,theft of land, theft of money belonging to the people,fraud, taxation by members who do not represent the people and just for fun-sex in publicly owned buildings during business hours. I abhore the statement--" It is still the best country in the world" To be the best and still be murdering raping scum is of no comfort to my humanity. and no --I didn't call any individual or group scum--I called a system of government --SCUM

-- Joel Rosen (, March 20, 2000.

I thought I'd stick my two cents in here. It is true that some of the forefathers owned slaves. In order to get a handle on this it has to be understood that at this time in the world and for thousands of years before slavery was an acceptable practice. The earliest historical documents mention it readily. While slavery was going on here it was also going on in Europe, South America, and yes Africa herself, Where it still continues to this day. Our Forefather's were but reflections of Europe and their time. It is true that in most places slavery died out sooner than in the US, but that is because slavery was by that time something that econmic growth in the US was dependent upon. Cotton and Tobacco were king and only free laor could keep it that way. This is not to say that slavery is or was good thing. In fact most southerners would agree it only hurt the south. I have a diary written by the wife of one of one of the civil war big wigs in the south and the prevailing desire in the south at the time of the civil war was to see slavery ended. The civil war was because the south was taking all their raw goods that the north needed for manufacturing and leaving the table. Slavery was just an issue to draw support. It is impossible to look at history without taking all of the issues in their context. This includes the US actions with Native Americans. It is almost funny to me how people today can look back on the actions of our forefathers and judge them when they ought to be sweeping their own doorstep. For thousands of years the way that countries gained more land was they won it in war. Which meant that they went in and occupied a land and when the current residents tried to kick them out they killed them and broke their stuff. Americans were not the first to do this and were not the only ones doing it in their time. It is still going on today in fact. Look at the Serbs. I think what happened to Native Americans was horrible, but it was an acceptable practice at that time. You don't change thousands of years of conditioning at one time. Sweden is almost a tyrannical government. They tell you what to do, and when to do it and take your money too. The reason the women in the Appalchians could do the things she did was because she was free. She was free to seek her own way without the infringement of others. Maybe you want to be a little swedish robot, but as far as I'm concerned I am going to stick with America and hope we can get some of our freedom back instead of giving it away like the Swede's have. Unfortunately America is following Sweden right down the road to slavery. You talk about slavery. What is it when my government takes all my money, makes my decisions, and tells me what to do. Is slavery only bad when it is an individual doing these things? In other words is it OK to be enslaved to government? Governments have tortured people, made them work for free, Beat people, killed people. No I'd rather take my chances in America where I at least have a shot at determining my destiny. My Forefathers may not have been perfect, neither am I. But My forefathers gave me a chance to say no to slavery for the future. They gave me a chance to give my children something better. They gave me the opportunity to boot out freedom grabbing liberal money stealers and I am so happy about it. So go to Sweden and if you have the time I have a long list of people to take with you. God Bless America and all the diverse, multi-racial, beautiful people in it. I hope we can make the future about correcting the wrongs of the past and taking our freedom back too, so that My children and yours can have a future of happines and joy.

Little Bit Farm

-- Little bit Farm (, March 20, 2000.

Actually, the genetic tests done on the Hemmings family revealed that A Jefferson was part of their ancestory, not conclusively that Thomas Jefferson was part of their ancesotory. The test only showed that a Jefferson male was involved, and tradition of the time indicated that Thomas Jefferson's nephew was greatly inamoured of Miss Hemmings. The reports of Thomas Jefferson fathering her children were spread by his political enemies. Surely, after watching this corrupt administration and how they toss around inuendo, everyone will understand the importance of that statement. The truth is out there, but we will never know for sure. The media only picked up on the Thomas-Sally slant because it gave them another chance to make another of our founders look evil and bad, and therefore the Constitution and Bill of Rights look evil and bad. Besides, smut sells more advertising than honor any day. Read the South Was Right. It will fill in a lot of the gaps about how we got where we are today. It will also change your opinion of Lincoln. It will also explain why the Confederate battle jack still flies in so much of the South. I am Southern born and Southern bred, and all ready knew.

-- Carmen (, March 20, 2000.

In our court system you cannot bring up prior bad acts unless A. your the government-- or--B. They establish a pattern that would point to motive. I used B. I too enjoy the freedoms that are left and I admire te courage it took to stand against the King. I cannot ever bring myself to the point some people resign themselves too. That being --criminal behavior when used to achieve your goals is all right if you have a consensus. Or In those days it was all right to kill and steal because it was the mood of the day. The same 10 rules I try to live by were the same 10 rules all law is based on. It was never all right to kill--it was never all right to steal--and it isn't all right to lie to save the north end of your south bound mule ! And I don't care what tree you hang me from--The United States is a corrupted form of government and the time to send it packing is now and has been since 1960. I loved it's history but it is time to correct that pattern of prior bad acts that goes to motive---GREED

-- Joel Rosen (, March 20, 2000.

As someone born and bred clear up here in the upper left hand corner of the contiguous U.S. (I am a proud descendent of northern European mongrel white trash, BTW) I have always been mystified by what has gone on down there in the opposite corner... Since it seems that most history books are revisionist, and we don't really know the "truth" anyway, would someone please enlighten me about the southern stuff. Why is the confederate flag still flying over a government building? Am I missing something? And while it would be simplistic to assume that Mr. Lincoln was only altruistically defending freedom for all Americans, what's the big bone of contention about Abe? I know that all war is economic, and the US Civil War was more about trade from southern states to Europe. But what's the "real" story? Thanks in reply for your answer.

-- sheepish (, March 20, 2000.

Sheepish, when I moved to the south, south east Texas (originally from Southern California (I should have had to get a Visa, to move her it is that different) I was appalled at the use of the confederate flag. You can slice it anyway you want, and sugar coat it and it comes down to raceism, period. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh (, March 20, 2000.

The Confederate battle jack (or St.Andrews Cross) does NOT represent racism. It represents states rights, and I am sorry Vicki doesn't understand it. Abraham Lincoln suspended virtually all rights guaranteed to Americans, not only in the South, but the North as well. It takes a long time to explain it, and I'll have to get back later on it, but Sheepish, maybe you could get the book from the library on the interlibrary loan system. Most libraries participate in it, and it usually doesn't cost anything. The interlibrary loan system is a system where if one library doesn't have a book, you can borrow it from one that does, they just send it to your library and you check it out like you usually would.

-- Carmen (, March 20, 2000.

This is a nice, lively debate. Just what I need during a snowy week in March. Joel, if we are thinking of the same ten rules, it actually traslates to "you shall not murder" (Exodus 20:13), which is different than you shall not kill. Just a side bar. There is a lot of killing in the Tanakh.

-- Rachel (, March 20, 2000.

I might recommend another book--America goes to war by Bruce Catton--- An indroduction to the civil war and it's meaning to americans today. Don't mess with a man's means of making a living--it becomes war in minutes. Man has yet to think his way into a war--he acts out of pure emotion. Yet, the government repeats it's original mistake and messes with the south's major cash crop. At the same time alienating their top tax payer who just happens to be the only financial institution with enough money to engage them in a prolonged war. Any more actions taken against tobacco may fuel the fire already smoldering in dynamite ! That flag flying from my pole has nothing to do with racism --vicki. That is my heritage ! I know many racists use it and the nazi flag too. You can't fight ignorance with a ban on stupity. Tommorow I'll start my field work and won't be able to continue this debate but I did so enjoy it. Thanks to everyone that spoke their mind. Take Care and Happy Homesteading !

-- Joel Rosen (, March 20, 2000.

Dear Little Bit Farm,

In Sweden I can walk down the streets of a city alone at night and have no fear for my safety...... tell me who has freedom.

In Sweden I can be educated at the best Universities by simply having academic ability........tell me who has academic freedom.

In Sweden there are no hungry children........tell me who has freedom from hunger.

Yes I choose to live in the U.S. but please don't criticize other countries until you have lived or work there. I bet you would find things you prefered in both places. Sweden has a longer life expectancy and a lower infant mortaility rate. It is a wonderful country. All of my Swedish colleagues ask the same question of the U.S. How can the richest country in the world allow so much suffering among its own people, especially the children. Kim

-- kim (, March 20, 2000.

WELL!!!!! That was the best forum I have read yet !!! Thank you all for your input - and for allowing me to stretch my winter-fog 'n snow-bound brain. Every time I have opened Countryside Mag or accessed this forum, I learned something new. And, today, I learned plenty. Can't add anything more to this discussion (and let us remember, it is a discussion), except my appreciation to you all and to the Lord for the chance to read all of these differing (and not- so-differing) opinions. Happy Homesteading!

-- Judi (, March 20, 2000.

Carmen, a states rights to what? To insult half of the population of the south? Thank goodness that this type of thinking is in the minority. Just because someone does not agree with you does not mean they don't understand. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh (, March 20, 2000.


Is the Tanakh also the Torah? As a Christian, I only know the Pentateuch, or expanded to include many more books, what is called The Hebrew Testament. But those tablets Moses came down with bind me as well.

Thank you for your cogent contributions.

-- sheepish (, March 20, 2000.

I cannot resist that one vicki because in it lies a peaceful resolution to our differences. A states right to make laws in direct conflict to Federal law. Each state or group of states has it's own agenda's. For instance-the south has issue's with tobacco and the midwest has issue's with corn and soybean markets while Washington State has apples and wheat issues. One central government has us about to seceed and start civil wars while a local government knows our needs and supports our cause. I have heard it said "for a stronger union--the south's cause would have served us better" Deep in my heart --I know that is true. A local government is much closer to the people's hearts and we can watch it's servents much closer

-- Joel Rosen (, March 20, 2000.


It makes you wonder why the Europeans decided to all band together, then. What do they know (or don't know) that isn't apparent over here? I know you are going outside soon, so sorry to request an answer, but there must be some reason for strong central government. It's been a while since I read Madison, et. al. Humor me....thanks.

-- sheepish (, March 21, 2000.

I went and did some research on Sweden. During the early part of the twentieth century The rise of communism and it's cousin socialism was reaching it's height. During the 1930's Sweden began to create a huge social system that many in the following decades admired. Sweden has quite a large social system and in fact in 1987 while the average income was 154,950 workers only took home 74,886. Many economists tried in vain to warn Sweden about the eventual effects of such a large tax burden on the nation. In the 1950s and 60s Sweden was proclaimed a model for other nations when it came to balancing socialism with a free market. The question is is socialism freedom? In my opinion the answer is no. It is not freedom in Sweden or the United States. The whole concept of the redistribution of income came from the minds of both Lenin and Marx and others like them. The idea is to "help" the poor through giving one persons income to another forcing the first to do without to give to the other. The idea was to take advantage of the bourgeoisie in favor of the proletariat. In other words steal from the rich and give to the poor. The only thing is that in any socialist society the rich are not the only ones stolen from. In fact often the very people the laws are supposed to help are the people that pay the ultimate price. A Good example of this is American zoning and building laws. originally these laws were put in place to make sure that the poor would not have substandard housing, but those same laws have since become the reason most poor people cannot afford to get beyond their current statis. We have state enforced homelessness compliments of socialism. This has been true also in Sweden where in the past thirty years socialism has led to a considerable recession and economic instability. Domestic Violence, rape and suicide is up sharply. Maybe not so safe walking the streets after all. Socialism is just another form of slavery. It binds with invisible chains and holds us back from achieving our goals. Strength comes from fighting for our livelihood. Having everything given to us makes us weak and unhappy. Hunger builds stronger people. It keeps us close to where our food comes from. The very things that we homestead for are the very things that should bring us to freedom. The fact that there are not more people on the edge of hunger has created this insatiable society we live in. I hear socialists constantly spouting horrible prophecies of starving children, but in the greatest depression America ever endured I have talked to no one who didn't call it the happiest time of their childhood. Needing, wanting, missing. All these things stretch us to greater heights of achievement. This is what freedom does. If you look at America's history you can see that the greatest achievements in American life Whether in the Appalachians or in the sunny state of California took place in times of hardship. People we must look beyond our physical comfort to the human spirit to see that just because something bad happens to us does not mean that it isn't good for us.

Little Bit Farm

-- Little bit Farm (, March 21, 2000.

Little Bit Farm - very well said!

-- barbara (, March 21, 2000.

Little Bit Farm - Very well said, indeed!

Nice, lively debate. As for Mr. Rosen, though I do agree with some of your points, on some I must disagree. As far as REAL history goes, weren't many black African leaders in cahoots with slave traders as far back as the 16th century? Slavery was literally developed into an art form on the African continent centuries before we Western Europeans got in on the act.

On the subject of the noble American Indians, why are they considered natives? They did not originate here, but mearly migrated earlier then my ancestors.

As far as we destroying them, they had been destorying cultures of their own kind for millenia. The ancestors of the Cherokees, here in my neck of the woods, wiped out the culture that preceeded their arrival in the Tennessee valley. As a matter of fact, in the early 19th century some Cherokees even owned black slaves.

Does that mean Cherokees are evil? Of course not. Like African chieftans, southern plantation owners, settlers moving west, greedy robber barons, Swedish communists or not so perfect founding fathers, they're just human is all. We are going to do some rather awful things from time to time. All we can hope for is that those who do see the error of their ways and change (South Africa comes to mind). What's important is that what's past is past. You can't change it as I cannot change the fact that my ancestors wholeheartedly supported a Southern Confederacy with the institution of slavery. It's over, it's done, learn from it, don't make the same mistakes again and move on. Those people were no better or worse than ourselves.

Nice point on States Rights however. It is really too bad that the issue had to come to a head over that peculiar institution. Had it been over purely economic issues outside of slavery, I doubt the north could have turned what to southerners was mearly an argument over the right of succession into a holy crusade, while at the same time millions of emigrants were inslaved to the economic system of the northeast, I might add.

-- Steve (, March 21, 2000.

Little Bit,

Just a few points here. I have never had so few personal freedoms as when I lived in a large U.S. city. Even living in rural Wisconsin, I upon occassion kept my children out of school when there were threats of school violence. I take it from your response that you have not lived in Sweden or experienced life outside of the U.S. Perhaps if you had that opportunity you would be more understanding. I have lived and worked Europe during the past 5 years, I have had very close Swedish friends both studying here in the U.S. and while I was working overseas. None of these people were slaves by any stretch of the imagination. All had come from meager backgrounds, educated themselves and were living comfortable happy lives. They very much liked their political system and as I said before were quite shocked by the lack of humanity in parts of the U.S. One major difference is that my Scandinavian friends do not buy into the excessive consumption that most Americans do. Goods produced or sold in these countries are of the highest quality. No Wal-Marts there!!!!! This frees them from the earn/borrow/consume treadmill that so many homesteaders are trying to escape.

Your point of the last depression while it may be true is no longer applicable. If you look at the demographics, during that time period, a far greater percentage of people farmed or had family farms they could return to. Most of the hunger today is in the inner cities, these people have no place to go when they are hungry. The urban agriculture programs in this country are almost non-existent (unlike Cuba's extensive urban agriculture system - but if you feel so strongly about Sweden I guess we really shouldn't discuss Cuba).

I also must dissagree that it is hunger which brings us to homesteading. While this may be true for yourself and some others on this forum, physical hunger has nothing to do with why we homestead. Personally we quit two well paid University positions (mine a faculty position) because we became disillusioned with industrial agriculture and credit based society. It became clear both in our research and in our teaching that the agriculture practiced in this country is not sustainable. Rather than be a part of the system we chose to sell up, simplify and farm in the most sustainable manner we can.

Wishing you a productive spring, Kim

-- kim (, March 21, 2000.

Well, Joel warmed up the weather prety well. I tend to agree with the conclusions but not themeans he uses to get there. One of our founding fathers stated somethin to the effect: 'He who gives up a little freedom for a little security, will lose both abd deserve neither'. I this country we have been in a mad rush for the past gew decades to give up freedoms for the purpose of "security". Many here want the process reversed. To do so requires not just participating here in such discussions but taking it into the political arena and making your desires know there. I know most of you consider politics far more dirty than spreading manure but, that is the only place you can expect to bring about change.

All men and women are human, that means we err. Heck, I don't even agree with myself sometines. Look at the time in detail and perhaps the actions are not the same.

-- Michael M. McFall (, March 21, 2000.

Sorry for the delay in an answer --sheepish. The days lack the number of hours needed to compete with mother nature this time of year(farmng). I believe the central government came about as a result of fear. After just winning a revolution by the thinnest of margins and still fearing for their lives it was their best alternative for survival. Patrick Henry and most of Virginia was infuriated by a central government. He said something like " what manner of treason is brewed there". He meant for Virginia to stand alone. As far as this getting active in a political system ( as some have mentioned) --I feel a lot of homesteaders left that behind--so--I wrote a question on our internet connection. Did your blood boil ? Did some patriot hiding deep in your heart come charging out ? Did you spend a moment and reflect on your history and how it applies to you today ? DID YOU HUG YOUR WIFE AND CHILDREN AND THANK GOD YOUR ALIVE. GOOD !! NOW GO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT---even if others conceive you to be wrong.

-- Joel Rosen (, March 22, 2000.

Everyone, This has been the most enjoyable discussion! There are a few things though. Regarding getting the word into the political arena, it is virtually impossible to do any longer. The US Army had PR officers at CNN during the Yugoslavian ombong telling what could and could not be aired.....Where can one find the truth any longer? Of the approximately 800,000 media outlets in this country 480,000 are owned by eight corporations. This is a problem We are so centralized any more that we can't find a differing view point on the 5:00 news.Just try. If we keep up discussions like this perhaps we can reach critical mass and get some real changes to occur. That is my hope. Check out the books mentioned by everyone, do some critical thinking while attending to the chores, start striving to live within your rights, which will put you WAY out of the system, look at the census form and only answer what the nosy little pencil pushers have a legal right to ask, STOP ROLLING OVER FOR BETTER HIGHWAYS! Thank you so much for letting me vent! God Bless all of you.

-- Doreen Davenport (, March 22, 2000.

You CAN make a difference at a local level. Even if not strictly via a political office, you can work for change at the school board level, through your local Lion's club, Historical Society, church or synogogue, etc. Even your local grange has a lot of influence. Our community is pretty tight (town of 7000) and we get stuff done! I dropped out of consumerism, but I didn't drop out of the whole world. Ican sleep at night knowing I am doing something beside soak up resources. 'Nuff said...

-- sheepish (, March 22, 2000.

Yo can make a political difference. I was in Texas in the early 90's and while it was small we did get better local judges elected, more intuned with the rights of individuals. It takes time to grow to affect the higher levels of politics.

-- Michael M. McFall (, March 22, 2000.


the founding fathers were men, very, very special and talented and brave men....they were better educated in the classical sense than we can barely even imagine, and their intellects on average were light years above most modern americans ability to adequately appreciate....the were intellectually brilliant, politically savvy, and absolutely committed to the idea of home rule....

your problem is, that you fail to get over this idiotic misplaced sense of moral outrage and oppressive guilt over slavery and the treatment of the american indian...

have you ever even begun to consider the facts??? were all the indians peace loving eco weenies living out idyllic little lives in their merry little bands of environmentally conscious communities??/ Not hardly, they were carrying out warefare, slavery, torture and killing on on another second to none!! It is not as if white europeans brought any atrocity upon them they were not bringing down upon one another before we got here you dope!! look at the indians in south america....hell the only 2 reasons most of them went to war was to get slaves and to get humans for human sacrifices for their rituals....the aztecs only went to war for slaves because that was the currency of the day...humans!!!

it is not as if whites invented slavery in the 1600's had been in practice by every society since before written time....and there were plenty of blacks even former slaves themselves who were slave holders themselves owning up to 200 slaves...the first frech ambassador to the us chronicles this in his letters home....even pointing out that the former slaves were even more cruel to their slaves than the whites...

the history of the world has been a history of military conquest...all the great masterly races have been great warrior teddy roosevelt so aptly pointed out...

the slaughter went both in maine the early settlement of york was wiped out and the surviving women and children marched over 500 miles in January mind you to canada and sold into slavery to the indian tribes there

don't bother us with your mindless went both ways!!

these men were the founding fathers because they designed the laws and institutionsl and the checks and balances and the guiding principles which have produced the richest, most productive, freest, most vibrant society and country in the world you think there are 56 men alive today who could duplicate that feat??? that is why some of us hold them in such reverance, though they are not gods they were so much better than our leaders today that we should make no qualms about teaching the present generation that they should be used as role models

-- andrew hanson (, March 29, 2000.

you think you know a good deal about what the founding fathers were like? They were men with a vision, they had a dream, they wanted to form a more perfect union. and that's what they did, I'm sure you have studied the Constitution, and that would lead me to this question: could you write that? In a world where everything was monarchy and aristocracy, could you break from the mold? Without any knowledge of what it would turn out like, could you construct a government for a new country? Do not use your hindsight to judge that which could not have foresight. I would hope you could find a glitch or two in the Constitution, you've had 200 years of records to look at it - of course everything doesn't always go as planned. Don't blame what we have become on who never intended it. You judge the Founding Father's character? Let him who has no fault cast the first stone - do you ever speed, or not wear a seatbelt, or litter, etc. Of course they weren't perfect, and neither are any of us. And you mentioned slavery - do you see any slaves now? That was a thing of the time, and passed. And even though it took so long to be removed, that wasn't the Founding Father's fault - that was society's fault! And you question a man's religious convictions - do you know the first thing about God, if you did, you would know that in the Bible it says: "Before you point out the speck in your brother's eye, deal with the plank in yours." I think it's obvious that your convictions are misplaced, and your history knowledge is misunderstood or misinterpreted. And about these heroes of yours: they are no more a hero than the caring mom that cooks everyday for her family while washing their clothes, or the loving father that takes care of his family with a paycheck every week. You want to talk about heroes, then look at anybody who holds on to truth in this wicked society today - they are the heroes in the faith. This country can be described as "The best of times and the worst of times": the best of times are because of what our Founding Fathers did for us; and the worst of times are from what we did to ourselves by loosely playing with words of the Constitution and redefing truth as a situational concept. You want to know why this government is so meesed up, then look no farther than your own back yard. This is not a personal, it is just a plain fact that we need to hear. For if we do not start making some changes in this country, there will be no place to flee...

-- Anonymous (, February 24, 2001.

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