The Real Story of Thanksgiving

"The story of the Pilgrims begins in the early part of the seventeenth century (that's the 1600s for those of you in Rio Linda, California). The Church of England under King James I was persecuting anyone and everyone who did not recognize its absolute civil and spiritual authority. Those who challenged ecclesiastical authority and those who believed strongly in freedom of worship were hunted down, imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their beliefs. A group of separatists first fled to Holland and established a community.

"After eleven years, about forty of them agreed to make a perilous journey to the New World, where they would certainly face hardships, but could live and worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences. On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible. The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example.

"And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work. But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found, according to Bradford's detailed journal, a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, he wrote. There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims – including Bradford's own wife – died of either starvation, sickness or exposure. When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats.

"Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper! This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of both the Old and New Testaments. Here is the part that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well. They were going to distribute it equally. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well.

"Nobody owned anything. They just had a share in it. It was a commune, folks. It was the forerunner to the communes we saw in the '60s and '70s out in California – and it was complete with organic vegetables, by the way. Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives. He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace. That's right. Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism. And what happened? It didn't work!

"It never has worked! What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years – trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it – the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild's history lesson. If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future. 'The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years...that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing – as if they were wiser than God,' Bradford wrote.

"'For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense ... that was thought injustice.' Why should you work for other people when you can't work for yourself? What's the point? Do you hear what he was saying, ladies and gentlemen? The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford's community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property.

"Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result? 'This had very good success,' wrote Bradford, 'for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.' Bradford doesn't sound like much of a Clintonite" I wrote then "does he? Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? Yes. Read the story of Joseph and Pharaoh in Genesis 41. Following Joseph's suggestion (Gen 41:34), Pharaoh reduced the tax on Egyptians to 20% during the 'seven years of plenty' and the 'Earth brought forth in heaps.' (Gen. 41:47) In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves.

"Now, this is where it gets really good, folks, if you're laboring under the misconception that I was, as I was taught in school. So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the 'Great Puritan Migration.'" But this story stops when the Indians taught the newly arrived suffering in socialism Pilgrims how to plant corn and fish for cod. That's where the story stops, and the story basically doesn't even begin there. The real story of Thanksgiving is William Bradford giving thanks to God for the guidance and the inspiration to set up a thriving colony. The bounty was shared with the Indians. They did sit down and they had dinner, and I think they had a turkey, but it was not the Indians who saved the day. It was capitalism and Scripture which saved the day."



Deficit Commission Proposal

What I think was a move to save face with the American people and to look like he was actually doing something or concerned with the National Debt, President Obama organized a bipartisan deficit commission to come up with ways of reducing this debt.

A couple of the proposals from the commission:
  • Reduce the annual cost-of-living increases in Social Security and curbing growth in Medicare
  • Eliminated popular tax breaks like the Mortgage or Child Tax Credit

Before looking more into these proposals let’s go back in time and look at some things that Barack Obama has said and what he has done in the first two years of his Presidency.

From January 20, 2001 to January 20, 2009 the debt held by the public grew $3 trillion under Mr. Bush. By comparison, from the day Mr. Obama took office the debt held by the public will grow by $3.3 trillion. In 20 months, Mr. Obama will add as much debt as Mr. Bush ran up in eight years! WSJ

By eliminated popular tax breaks like the Mortgage Tax Credit would mean the single largest tax increase on every home owner across the nation that has a mortgage! This would not go over well with the American people and would break Obama's no tax increase promise, which has already been broken with ObamaCare.

I have a few proposals of myself on how to reduce the deficit, that I think are common sense and am in awe that these ideas aren't on the table that I can see.

  • First and foremost, government spending has to stop or drastically reduced. To think we can spend our way out of debt or out of a recession is ludicrous and makes NO sense on so many levels that it makes you wonder about the compentency level of this administration and its advisors.
  • Second, and almost just as important as the first, is that our government should be required to be on a balanced budget. They would only be allowed to spend on the estimated revenue it receives in any given year.
  • Third, Timothy Geitner and Ben Bernake need to be fired and appoint Dave Ramsey to take either place and Dave's choice of team members to run the Treasury and Federal Reserve. Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover needs to be applied to the government - common sense principles of getting out of debt! I would be willing to bet everything I own that Dave Ramsey could do more to reduce the deficit in four years than all the administrations combined in the last 200 hundred years!
  • Fourth, entitlement programs need to be drastically reformed, reduced, or eliminated.
  • Last, but not least, fifth, pork spending and earmarks need to be eliminated and leave it to the states.
It wouldn't hurt to eliminate the progressive income tax while we're at it and have a flat tax for everyone across the nation so no matter how much you make you pay the same percentage in tax. That alone would incentivise business owners to invest and expand their businesses creating more jobs thus increasing tax revenue for the government.

Our country is headed down a path that is literally unsustainable. Drastic changes need to happen and happen soon or we may be facing what Greece and Europe is facing.

The Blaze


Being Prepared

All of my life I have been taught to be prepared both spiritually and temporally. I have always worked on my spirituality trying to live my Christian values and trying to be a better person. Temporally has always been on the back burner until recently.

I have been counseled all my life that I should have one-year of food storage available in cases of emergency. Not only food, but also getting my house in order, being out of debt, and have a reserve of cash as well. I have always known that I should work on it, but like I said have put it on the back burner.

Recently though, the past 1-2 years I have felt a sense of urgency of getting these temporal affairs in order. It is constantly on mind my mind every day and can't shake it off. Slowly, I have been stocking up on food and water and paying down our debt. My wife and I have made great progress and wish we could do more faster.

I don't know what the future holds or what emergencies will come where if I'm not prepared I'd be up a creek without a paddle, but I am listening to the still small voice that's giving me this sense of urgency and doing what I can to be prepared. Given the current state of our nation and economy I figure it's not a bad idea and would encourage any to do the same.

Here are some great websites I frequent that help with my getting prepared:

www.daveramsey.com (Common sense ideas to get out of debt)


Lack of Communication or the Policies?

Election Day on November 2, 2010 made history when Republicans took over the House of Representatives in a landside not seen in over 70 years! In addition to this, Senate Republicans picked up several seats further reducing the Democratic super majority they have held the past couple of years. Most governor races throughout the nation also turned red.

You would think that this would send a message to President Obama that the American people are not happy with the direction the country has taken with his progressive agenda and policies. When asked about it during an interview on 60-Minutes yesterday they President responded by saying he didn't think it was his policies, but a lack of communication, deliverance, and explanation of those policies to the American people.
"...leadership isn’t just legislation. That it’s a matter of persuading people. And giving them confidence and bringing them together. And setting a tone. Making an argument that people can understand. I think that we haven’t always been successful at that. And I take personal responsibility for that. And it’s something that I’ve got to examine carefully...as I go forward.”
In other words, he thinks that we, the American people, are too stupid to understand. To me, this shows me just how out of touch our President and his administration is with the American people. We fully understand Mr. President! We understand that you have increased the size and scope of the government at levels not seen since Woodrow Wilson. We understand that you are trying to "fundamentally transform" our country. We understand.

Mr. President, it seems like you are the one that doesn't understand. We don't want the government running the auto industry, our banks, Wallstreet, and most importantly our health care! We don't want the government regulating every aspect of our lives. We don't want the government spending trillions of dollars and debting this country that will enslave us for generations. We want limited government and policies that will promote economic growth like less taxes and less government instrusion!

Are you understanding us? No. You will continue down your progressive path and agenda. That's fine. You will be a one-term President. We will get a President in the White House that doesn't want to bankrupt our country. We will take back the House and Senate and repeal or defund your policies. If you don't think this Election Day on November 2nd was a direct message that we don't like what you're doing, in two years you will.


Economics 101: Supply & Demand

If there is not enough apples to meet the demand of the consumer the price or value of the apple goes up. If the supply of apples are greater than the demand the price or value goes down. Simple basic economics right? Same thing applies to the American dollar. If the supply of the dollar (more available in the system) the price or value goes down.

On November 3, 2010 the Federal Reserve headed up by Ben Bernanke announced that it will buy $600 billion of our own treasury bonds to "stimulate" the economy. Basically what this means is that the Fed in printing $600 billion to buy our own (America's) debt. This influx of available cash will cause the value of the dollar to go down. When this happens my hard earned money buys less than what it did before because of inflation...especially in commodities...expect prices to soar!

Businessweek.com published this article showing how this happening: Dollar Drops Most in Four Weeks as Federal Reserve to Buy Bonds

Please take a few minutes and read this article. It is very informative. Glenn Beck: Devaluing the Dollar
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