A Slave War?

According to some, Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery because he hated the inhumane institution. Others say he only abolished slavery because it undermined his enemy’s war effort.

The truth is Abraham Lincoln was a very shrewd politician and a very complicated man who went through lots of evolutions throughout his life. He’s often painted as a racist and a man of his times based on quotes where he says he does not think the black race equal to the white race. I mean, even after the war, what color was the race of the man (servant) that tied his shoe laces and assisted him in dressing everyday?

Lincoln also said he was waging the war not to abolish slavery, but to keep the country together. If the nation fell apart by the actions of a minority he thought the country was headed for anarchy and chaos. But as a result of the war being underway and at the end of said war, the country did slowly move towards abolition of owning slaves. Note: Lincoln and many Northern plantation owning states still kept their servants for many years after.

Lincoln was shrewd enough to bide his time. When early in the war one of his generals tried to abolish slavery in his district, Lincoln immediately prevented him from doing so and canceled this attempt. He drew a storm of criticism for this from anti-slavery factions in the country. The truth is at the time, it was the best thing he could have done. Several slaveholders were still loyal to the United States and if he had moved against slavery too early, they would have gone over to the other side, therefore bolstering the survival chances of slavery.

When Lincoln did abolish slavery, his timing was excellent. He did it right after a battle ranked as a Union victory. Why? Because if he had done it when the war was going against him, his action would have been perceived as the action of a desperate man.

The way in which Lincoln abolished slavery was also shrewd. His Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves only in the areas still under control of the Confederacy. He did not touch slavery in states still loyal to the Union or in areas under Union occupation, again to secure the support of loyal slaveholders. The proclamation made slaves run off with really no where to go- Lincoln never sent them back to their tribal owners in Africa. Interestingly, only one in four left their masters.

Slaves thought they should support the Union -even though there was plenty of racism in non-slave-holding states as well- and 180,000 black soldiers ended up serving in Union ranks. Ironically, there were many slaves in the same numbers who fought equally alongside the Confederate side.

Later in the war, Lincoln made sure slavery was eventually abolished throughout the entire country, even setting the stage to allow freed slaves to vote, but still never assisting any slave or ancestor of such, get back to their homeland. Odd to say the least.

The lesson here? Decide on your outcome, but be flexible about your approach.

*Thanks in part to Frank M.

Further Reading: Yes, There Were Black Confederates…(LINK)

Holt Collier, one of the African Southerners

who served in the Confederate Army during

the American Civil War.

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Big Failures

If you are scared out of your wits to make a mistake and lose face, guess what? You will fail and lose face.

If the Civil War produced one man who could never admit to any mistake and heaped all the responsibility for setbacks on others, it must be George B. McClellan.

What makes McClellan’s case extra sad, is the man had a very bright head on his shoulders. He was a superb organizer of men and can in some ways he is the father of the Army of The Potomac, one of the most important Union armies. He was extremely meticulous, his men adored him, and he did come up with a very good plan to defeat his opponent.

Fairly early in the war, McClellan devised an original plan to transport his massive host over sea and drop it on the flank of his enemy, where it was poised to take out the enemy’s capital at Richmond, Virginia. He had unfortunately taken a hell of a lot of time to put the plan in motion, because he was always afraid he didn’t have enough men.

Somehow, McClellan was struggling to achieve the impossible: he wanted to have 100 percent certainty his army would prevail. Of course, in war nothing is certain, and its common knowledge “no plan survives contact,” meaning as soon as armies clash there’s the inevitable factor we tend to call ‘luck’ or ‘chance’ which is out of our control. Usually because of miscalculations and human error.

McCellan’s huge ego could not allow for failure, so he moved at a snail’s pace. Although he vastly outnumbered his opponent, he insisted on dragging cumbersome siege guns to the front lines to blast his way through. His opponent was smart enough to wait till the last minute and retreat before the siege guns were finally ready to open fire. In this way, they deftly stalled for time, which allowed them to assemble more forces.

McCellan meanwhile kept clamoring for more reinforcements, almost pestering his superiors with requests and accusations, telling everyone who would listen how the authorities were doing everything they could to thwart him. Going so far as to say he was the only one who could save the army, in spite of the foolish decisions of all the other idiots in charge. He had this to say about Abraham Lincoln: ‘The President is no more than a well-meaning baboon. I went to the White House directly after tea, where I found “The Original Gorilla”, about as intelligent as ever. What a specimen to be at the head of our affairs now.’ That may have been the case, but McCellan was still walking in fear. Fear never wins the day.

His fear of failure also led him to believe that his opponent vastly outnumbered him, whereas the complete opposite was true. In the end, he did manage to come very close to the outskirts of his enemy’s capital. There his opponent, Robert E. Lee, decided to attack. McClellan got scared and retreated, even though the damage was rather minimal and he had far more reserves than his enemy. His self-fulling prophecy dictated his actions and ultimately, he retreated all the way back and abandoned his campaign.

On a later occasion, by an impossible stroke of luck, McClellan’s enemy’s precise marching orders fell into his hands. He knew everything his outnumbered and outgunned opponent was going to do and he still failed to destroy his enemy. To his wife he wrote: ‘Those in whose judgment I rely tell me that I fought the battle splendidly and that it was a masterpiece of art.’

Big egos, big, embarrassing failures

Credit: Frank M.

*Thanks Frank!!!

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We Let Them Run Amok

Make no mistake, there’s a deep state in the USA. And it may be our fault.

Think about what role the “culture wars” have in the structure of the Deep State.

The American public is bitterly and deeply divided over issues that ultimately boil down to, for some reason, identity crisis – i.e; race, religion, sex and the like. The internet is rife with stark animosity between a loose grouping of immoral secularist, LGBT and feminist progressives on the one hand vs. religious fundamentalists, gun advocates and conspiracy theorists on the other.

But is this cultural animosity genuine, or a sort of “permanent warfare” that reinforces the real political structure a-la the warring super-states in Orwell’s 1984?

Totalitarian systems have historically depended on the redirection (or misdirection) of popular discontent towards unpopular groups within the state and hostile foreign powers to maintain loyalty to regime among the public at large. This inevitably runs out, however, once the problems of the regime become intractable and the incompetence of the state can no longer be concealed, as happened in the U.S.S.R in the late 1980s.

Have the architects of the Deep State learned by now that having not one “official” ideology but two, and pitting them against one another in the public and in forums is, in fact, a vastly better way of keeping themselves secure in power?

Doing this maintains a veneer of political pluralism and fake democracy. Each side can simply blame the other for policy failure; or even gov’t failure. Public anger is directed towards one’s enemies in the culture war rather than at the corrupt political system; sad there’s that many stupid people in this country.

Most progressives have a LOT more animosity for low brow religious zealots, rural types and men’s rights activists than they do for defense contractors and Wall Street lobbyists, despite their own oft expressed disdain for GOP exploitation of cultural wedge issues to draw blue collar support away from the Demoncrats. Conservatives have a variation of the same theme wherein lower class white males blame minorities, atheists and feminism for their woes instead of deindustrialization. Of course, the later proceeds to be at least a woe in today’s society and is not preferred by most, but merely tolerated; which can be worse.

And all the while, the operations of the Deep State carry on almost completely unnoticed from any quarter on the political spectrum, and media conglomerates and their advertisers make out like bandits from stoking such controversies to increase viewer-ship and readership and possibly all out civil unrest.

We Let Them Run Amok; will we suffer for it as a people later;………..or sooner?

Credit in part to Derek P. with Moraldiplomat

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Outlaws

Once more on Robin Hood and the survival lessons we can learn from the legends of the Merry Men in the Sherwood Forest.

Realistically, surviving a typical medieval winter in Sherwood Forest might not have been much fun as an outlaw.

If a band of medieval outlaws in Sherwood Forest managed to survive the everyday threat of being captured or killed by the forces of (crooked) law and (dis) order, their next biggest worry would be simply how to stay alive in terms of shelter and finding something to eat and drink as medieval temperatures dropped far below the winters we experience today.

The outlaws would be by necessity nomadic, moving around within an established area unsettled in terms of any permanent storage capacity and so be unable to plant and nurture any crops or vegetables.

Staying in one place for too long risked detection by the authorities. In summertime a band of men could survive by eating as hunter-gatherers like their ancestors but with the approach of autumn and as the temperature began to drop other measures would clearly have to be adopted.

To physically exist a man requires food and drink – in cold weather he would also require a suitable shelter and a source of heat.

An outlaw band planning to stay in Sherwood Forest through the winter would have to have the means to provide themselves with all four.

The problem with not having made proper provision for winter is obvious; you will meet a cold, lonely and hungry death.

Sleeping in the open after a day spent in the open is risking hypothermia and exposure, and simply freezing to death in your sleep.

Any shortages of drink and food would result in a quicker fall in energy in the short-term and in the long-term the body’s natural resistance to cold and sickness and in both the brain’s ability to reason; death could be measured in hours. But without sleep, the body cannot function naturally.

Many people are surprised when they hear that hypothermia can occur anywhere and anytime when the air temperature is below 60F /16C the body needs to maintain a core of warmth and as the core temperature drops heat is taken from the head, resulting in a drop in circulation and energy being burned to provide heat rather than to feed the brain; the brain slows down, irrational behavior gradually grows until the subject doesn’t know what they are doing.

The effect is so gradual the subject will not realize it is happening without immediate help, they will die. A slight breeze can half the time a man could expect to be in trouble through hypothermia; a cool wind can reduce it by four times that. Our outlaws would quickly have to learn two things; to stay dry and to keep out of the wind.

In prolonged daytime temperatures of below freezing, living permanently outdoors is very risky unless you know what you are about; after dark in the same conditions, you sleep with the risk that you might never wake up again.

Credit: Jonathan C.

*Thanks Jonathan for all your contributions!

Cold Water Challenge – The Selection on HISTORY – How I Survived Hypothermia

*Thanks to Survival Lilly for all her informative videos – Subscribe and support Lilly!!! 🙂

A Lesson From Robin of the Hood

A quick plot synopsis for you: King Richard the Lionheart has been out of England, waging war as part of the Crusades. He is captured and held for ransom when he attempts to return home. His brother, Prince John wants to seize the throne and be crowned king. The prince is aided and abetted by the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Robin, or Sir Robin of Locksley, is a nobleman who can’t stand by while Prince John savages the countryside, torturing the people into compliance, stealing their crops and animals and daughters, and forcing them to pay ruinous taxes.

Robin assembles a band of Merry Men, and they fight to stop oppression, killing when necessary. They also redistribute income, taking from the rich and giving to the poor.

Eventually, Richard the Lionheart returns to England, and Robin and his Merry Men are crucial to Richard’s overthrowing Prince John and returning to his throne.

And just what are the survival lessons from all this adventurous activity?
Well, first, always remember ALL your stakeholders. Robin is looking out for everyone.

He could care less about class distinctions like Normans (Prince John and his evil gang) vs. Saxons (some English nobles, but mostly the oppressed poor). Even though most of Robin’s work falls into the anti-Norman field, he’s open-minded enough (and open-hearted enough) to fall for a lovely Norman noblewoman, the Maid Marian.

Also, be a straight shooter. Robin is a straight shooter, literally and metaphorically. He tells it like it is, no matter who the audience is, no matter how dangerous the situation. He blusters his way into a banquet of Prince John’s and proceeds to call him a traitor for wanting to depose Richard. He does this while surrounded by dozens of armed men all loyal to the prince. It’s unlikely any of us will face hostile audiences who are ready, willing and able to kill, so if honesty is the best policy for Robin, it’s the best policy, period. It is amazing what good will can do for you when you earn it through honesty.

Robin is a straight shooter with bow and arrow, too. In disguise, he participates in a tournament that he knows is a trap for him. But he shoots straight and wins. Once again, he is almost killed. Once again, the Merry Men help him escape. If you insist on being completely honest in every and any situation, you will find it useful to have the Merry Men around to help you escape tight places. If you don’t have any Merry Men available, be sure to have an executable exit strategy.

Robin succeeds at communicating in this straightforward style because he’s passionate about his mission and he communicates that passion to everyone he meets. The lesson here is obvious; Enjoy what you do.

For crying out loud, Robin’s gang is called the Merry Men. They spend inordinate amounts of time laughing and singing while they steal from the rich and give to the poor. How amazing is it a bunch of men enjoy stealing from much richer men and getting away with it? It’s almost beyond belief amazing. If the Merry Men’s mission is to steal from the rich and give to the poor, they have absolutely no profit. None. Zero. But they pursue the mission with astounding zeal, gleefully giving away all their stolen riches (their profits). They pursue their mission at the risk of life and limb, living at poverty levels in the forest.

If you can get people to enjoy the work at hand, they will put up with many things to accomplish the mission. They’ll even enjoy it.

And, you won’t have to give up all your profits the way the Merry Men did.

Credit: Jonathan C.

*As always, thanks Jonathan!!!

*Great analogy! Always liked Robin Hood. Could use a few people like that in the world. Possibly, quit possibly; they’re already near.

1 Tim 6:17 “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; …

Acts 20:35 “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Mt 19:21 “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

Lk 14:13 “But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: …

 

Deep Trouble

Does a Deep State exist in the United States?

To answer that, we must first understand what a deep state is.

The term comes from a radical criticism by the left about how deep the capitalist state can go – how networked it is, from the military industrial complex to all the features of the modern, Hegelian/Hobbesian state.

A deep state can exist in a democracy which lacks control over government economic, military and intelligence organizations. Such secrecy is destructive to a democracy that is supposed to be under an elected civilian political leadership.

When government organizations can implement operations in secrecy without public oversight (Which they have always done), they are effectively circumventing a democracy.

Does this exist in the United States? Let’s look at some historical events today.

Some of us baby boomers may remember COINTELPRO. The FBI began COINTELPRO—short for Counterintelligence Program—in 1956 to disrupt the activities of the Communist Party of the United States. In the 1960s, it was expanded to include several other domestic groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, the Socialist Workers Party, and the Black Panther Party. This action was actually done not to disrupt their agenda, but gain control of it for future usage.

All COINTELPRO operations were supposedly ended in 1971. Although limited in scope (about two-tenths of one percent of the FBI’s workload over a 15-year period- officially), COINTELPRO was later rightfully criticized by Congress and the American people for abridging first amendment rights and for other reasons.

You may or may not recall Operation Mockingbird. Operation Mockingbird was a secret campaign by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to influence media. Begun in the 1950s, it was initially organized by Cord Meyer and Allen W. Dulles, it was later led by Frank Wisner after Dulles became the head of the CIA. The organization recruited leading American journalists into a network to help present the CIA’s views, and funded some student and cultural organizations, and magazines as fronts. As it developed, it also worked to influence foreign media and political campaigns, in addition to activities by other operating units of the CIA.

A Project Mockingbird is mentioned in the CIA Family Jewels report, compiled in the mid-70s. According to the declassified version of the report released in 2007, Project Mockingbird involved wire-tapping of two American journalists for several months in the early 1960s. There was certainly more but you won’t get to read about it anytime soon and if you do it will be re-written for public.

The list goes on and on. Many incidents we hear about in the news have a more complicated history than most civilians could ever imagine. Government agencies hardly ever serve the people and this is contrary to democracy. The circumventing of democracy has a long history and is likely very careful and sophisticated in 2017.

The corporate-owned mass media will tell you the idea of a “deep state” is only “conspiracy theory,” but history is indisputable. This makes me think the mass media has been thoroughly compromised; and it has been for some time now.

The bottom line here is government agencies are acting in secrecy outside of the democracy. Unfortunately for democracy, a secret “deep state” does seem to exist and operate in the US and probably in other countries as well. Just be aware. Walking in the dark these days can get you in trouble or worse.

Credit: Derek P.

Thanks Derek!!!

Eph 5:12 “For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

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Busy

Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter ask for a job in a timber merchant, and he got it. The pay was really good and so were the work conditions and for that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.

His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was to work and the first day, the woodcutter cut down 18 trees.

‘Congratulations,’ the boss said. ‘Go on that way!’

Very motivated for the boss words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he only could cut down 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he only could cut down 10 trees. Day after day he was cutting less and less trees.

‘I must be losing my strength,’ the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

‘When was the last time you sharpened your axe?’ the boss asked.

‘Sharpen! I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut down trees . . . ‘

Our lives are like that. We sometimes get so busy that we don’t take time to sharpen the ‘axe.’

In today’s world, it seems that everyone is busier than ever, but less happy that ever. Why is that? Could it be that we have forgotten how to stay ‘sharp’. There’s nothing wrong with activity and hard work. But we should not get so busy that we neglect the truly important things in life, like our personal life, taking time to get close to our creator, giving more time for our family, taking time to read, etc.

We all need time to relax, to think and meditate, to learn and grow. If we don’t take time to sharpen the ‘axe’, we will become dull and lose our effectiveness. So start from today, think about the ways by which you could do your job more effectively and add a lot of value to it.

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