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Judging History

Posted by Roberta Grimes • December 04, 2021 • 75 Comments
Slavery, The American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson

“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.”

– Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), from “The Declaration of Independence” (1776)

I know from the emails I receive that our readership is worldwide. I never could have imagined that one day I would have friends in almost every country on earth! So I understand that this post which is aimed at Americans is going to disappoint some readers. I apologize, but it’s time for a bit of much-needed in-country shop-talk. Too many Americans have come to take for granted the government that was established some 230 years ago by a generation of giants so sensible and altruistic, so wise and so far-seeing that this remains a strong and stable nation still controlled by the world’s oldest continuing government. We can speak our minds and earn and keep our own wealth, and we go to bed peacefully each night under the protection and not under the boot of our leaders! But these gifts from our Founding Fathers have become just the water in which we swim. Not only do we take all our freedoms for granted, but we feel free to attack the long-dead authors of this brilliant experiment in citizen government. It makes sense to far too many Americans to call them out for the sin of not having lived by our twenty-first-century standards. How infantile this is! How inexcusably childish! And how dangerous it is for those who take for granted the incomparable worth of their daily freedoms to play at weakening the once-solid pillars of this nation.

Regular readers here know that I have a special fondness for Thomas Jefferson. The man was a polymath, a profound thinker and a prolific writer. He was barely 33 years old when he became the primary author of the American Declaration of Independence, which is the intellectual grounding of this whole experiment in freedom and self-government. And besides being one of the fathers of the American experiment, Thomas Jefferson was a primary founding American President. He pioneered the establishment of our coast-to-coast country with the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis & Clark expedition, and he established this young nation as a world policeman when he fought the Tripolitan War and ended the piracy that had resulted in the enslavement of more than a million Europeans on the North African coast. He gave his life to the establishment of this country, from serving as a Governor of Virginia during the Revolutionary War through his diplomacy in Paris and his service as the first Secretary of State and the second Vice President of the United States before he became this nation’s third President. If George Washington was the father of his country, then Thomas Jefferson was its doting uncle. So the fact that in this barbaric age his failure to also abolish slavery is held against him to such an extent that some see it as negating the value of all his service is a shame on us that must be called out.

I have a dear friend who is a professional historian. The only time that he and I ever butt heads is when he shares with me something he has written about the fact that Thomas Jefferson never freed his slaves. My friend calls his complaint a legitimate gripe, while I see it as a clueless demand that people who lived centuries ago had to have possessed all our modern knowledge and sensibilities or everything they ever did is tainted. To me, that is not doing history! How is it possible to understand the actions of anyone, living or dead, without at least making some attempt to empathize with the way that person sees the world, what he actually knows, and his motivations? I have written here about Jefferson’s attitudes toward slavery and race and also the Sally Hemings question, and I’ve written as well about the parity that exists between slavery in Jefferson’s day and abortion in ours, so we need not rehash any of that now. I only would say that until you have done enough research to be able to write about a historical figure with empathetic understanding, you have no business writing about him at all.

We know what Jesus said about judgment. He said, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.” (LK 6:37). Even more pertinently, He also said, “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye” (LK 6:41-42).

And the logs in our own eyes are as thick as a forest! From social and economic disparities through criminal justice cruelties and still-ongoing racial issues, modern Americans have no reason to feel superior to our founders’ generation. And the coincidence of the removal of a Jefferson statue from New York City Hall just as oral arguments about an abortion case are happening before the United States Supreme Court gives us an opportunity for some useful reflection.

For those not familiar with the American system, our Supreme Court’s role is to interpret and enforce the U.S. Constitution. And that’s it! The Supreme Court does not and cannot make laws. That is Congress’s role. And the rights enumerated in the Constitution must be safeguarded as the bedrock of our precious freedoms, so we need a Supreme Court that won’t interpret the Constitution according to changing cultural whims. If the Constitution itself ever needs revision, there is a careful process for that. Still, Supreme Court Justices are human beings with personal opinions, and their temptation to bend the rules according to prevailing cultural winds is strong.

Which is why we sometimes get truly appalling judge-made laws like these:

  • Dred Scott v. Sanford was an 1857 Supreme Court decision that decreed by a 7-2 majority that the U.S. Constitution was never intended to confer American citizenship on people of African descent, so a slave taken by his master into a state that didn’t allow slavery was still a slave and could be forced to return home with him. You read that, and your jaw hits the floor. There is nothing in the Constitution that might support such nonsense! Dred Scott was overturned by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1868.
  • Roe v. Wade was a 1973 Supreme Court decision that decreed by a 7-2 majority that the U.S. Constitution includes the right of a woman to murder her child in gestation. The Justices even managed to find nonexistent wording in the Constitution that includes not only the right to abortion, but also a division of gestation into three trimesters during which the balance of rights shades more toward the child as the pregnancy progresses.

Roe is an example of judge-made law by a Supreme Court under cultural pressure, just as was Dred Scott a century before. And like Dred Scott, it treats the lives of two human beings as if one is more important than the other simply because one is more powerful than the other, which was what I argued as a law student. But just like antebellum Southerners trying to keep their power over their slaves, my fellow law students shouted me down. So I felt somewhat vindicated this past week when Justice Kavanaugh said something similar during the Supreme Court oral arguments on possibly overturning Roe v. Wade. Justice Kavanaugh pointed out how hard it is to do what Roe tries to do, which is to balance the interests of the mother and the child. “You can’t accommodate both interests. You have to pick. That’s the fundamental problem. And one interest has to prevail over the other at any given point in time. And that’s why this is so challenging.”

It is indeed challenging. And it’s dangerous. The United States Constitution is a brilliant blueprint for a government of checks and balances that can truly be of, by, and for the people being governed. This was a radical idea 230 years ago! And Dred Scott and Roe illustrate for us how fragile our Constitutionally-protected rights still are. All those freedoms that we take for granted could be lost in a single instance of bad Supreme Court judge-made law. Just as the right to citizenship of people being held in slavery was arbitrarily taken away in the prelude to the Civil War, and the right to life of people who were in gestation was stomped when sexual freedom became the current fashion. There is an odd flirtation with collectivist government going on now in the United States. If that sentiment builds, and if sufficient people become enamored of some charismatic leader who will take care of us so we won’t need to work and we all can just play videogames, then what is there to prevent some future Supreme Court from finding that the Constitution includes the power of a duly-elected president to require citizens to give up their basic rights for the greater good of the nation, just as Roe took away the rights of fetuses to be protected in utero for the greater good of the mother? The truth is, there is no protection at all.  

The only way we can protect the rights and freedoms that were so brilliantly crafted by this nation’s founders is to support the processes that they set in place for the maintenance and protection of those rights. When Roe falls, as it must, it will be up to the people of each state in their own legislatures to decide when and to what extent the rights of the mother override the rights of the child. And if your own rights matter to you, then you will applaud that result.

Thomas Jefferson hated slavery. He began his public life with a determination to find a way to end it, and in fact his first draft of the Declaration of Independence called out Britain’s introduction of slavery here as one of its greatest crimes against the American colonies. But when his wife died at the age of 33, he was so bereft that he spent much of the rest of his life living away from the problem, returning to Virginia to live in old age.

Having studied Thomas Jefferson extensively, I can attest that he was a thoroughly good man. He didn’t end slavery because he couldn’t end slavery, and meanwhile he protected his slaves from the miseries that most freedmen of his day were suffering while he waited for a safer and more stable time to free them. In hindsight, you might argue that he should have realized how long that would take. Inevitably, his death intervened. But it remains beyond dispute that his service to this nation and to the freedom and elevation of all of humankind is almost without parallel. When we attack a primary author of the American experiment for having been a man of his time, we show ourselves to be clueless philistines. And we place at risk every one of the advances in human freedom and fundamental rights that he helped to foster. For the sake of our children and their children’s children, it is time for all Americans to start to think as responsible and far-seeing adults.  

 

“We the People of the United States,
in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice,
insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense,
promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty
to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish
this Constitution for the United States of America.”
– The People in Congress Assembled, the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution (1789)

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75 thoughts on “Judging History

    1. Oh my dear, thank you for that lovely view of a name that I always have thought was odd! I was named after my mother’s baby brother, and I’ve never known anyone else with this name, so your wonderfully positive view of it makes me smile 🙂

  1. Dear Roberta, Thank you for this wonderfully thoughtful review.

    Abe Lincoln’s Gettysburg address was such a compassionate, however brief, statement of where this country stood in fighting a ferocious civil war to free the slaves. Yet this single paragraph from the Declaration of Independence that you led with must be the single most important statement in all of civilization after Christ walked this Earth.

    Speaking as a lawyer, Antonin Scalia School of Law, class of ’96, I would assert that Roe v Wade was wrongfully decided. Justice Kavanaugh well addressed the guiding principle of stare decisis this week as the Supreme Court held oral arguments about it, and recited a litany of overturned cases that had been wrongfully decided with results satisfying all of us now.

    “Abortion” is simply a term that disguises it’s meaning — which is the murder of innocent life. Abortion is a human insult to God.

    1. Oh my dear Jack, with everything else you’ve got a law degree, too? I loved law school! It was like playtime for your mind.

      I share your admiration for that paragraph of the Declaration. And look at what it says about his attitude toward slavery! The standard formulation for basic human rights from prior even to his day was “life, liberty, and property.” But Jefferson knew that to say that would give comfort to those who considered their slaves to be their property, so instead – after having included the slaves in “all men” who possessed the same basic rights – he gave everyone the right to “the pursuit of happiness.” So much basic wisdom in one so young!

  2. Hi Roberta, hi everybody!

    I wasn’t sure I was up to commenting on this, a touchy subject that probably should not be, as I balk at the points made by 21st century folk who cannot allow for a person’s 19th century awareness. I myself have admired Jefferson since I was young. My most vivid memory of a visit to DC, when I was maybe 8, is of the Jefferson Memorial and that towering presence of a statue.

    I don’t resent any forward thinking person for not thinking forward “enough.” I don’t talk about Jefferson with anyone these days because I would rather avoid the need to defend someone who —in an era when most of the known world’s experience was to be “governed” by monarchy—conceived of a society that governed itself.

    1. Dear Mike, I try not to be irritated by anyone, but I do think it irritates me to encounter people who happily enjoy the fundamental American rights that have their roots in Jefferson’s ideas, and these people live in a nation that fosters generations of incarcerated black men and a horrifying school-to-prison pipeline for African American boys, and the people I’m talking to don’t even care when I bring that up; and yet they condemn Thomas Jefferson for having inherited slaves and not having abandoned them into a society that would have treated them like dirt. That does irritate me. He kept families together, he didn’t allow his slaves to be abused, he gave them weekends off, and I have personally handled the copybook where he kept the accounts of what he owed to his slaves for the chickens, eggs, and vegetables that he bought from them. Some slavery that was.

      1. Don’t forget the recidivism rates!

        The radical notion that a society can govern itself is something we take for granted today. Yet it seems we still need to figure out how to do it. I hope we can.

  3. While l enjoy your enthusiasm for history and concept of law, it should always be a woman’s right to choose childbirth over abortion. Why aren’t men and boys held accountable for their participation in the role played?? You can’t have it both ways! Keep politics out of a woman’s uterus! PERIOD

    1. Lil,
      You so indeed have the right to control medical care for your own body, but likewise the growing child is also a life, and by God’s law an innocent life not to be murdered. Once born, every state now provides for immediate adoption with no penalties if the Mother so desires.

      The subject of life and death is the single most important subject for political analysis and voting. As an issue of life and death it goes beyond the female sex as dispositive. Indeed there is a burden on the Mother’s body, but excepting rape the child is literally the product of both sexes.

      There are TWO live beings involved, not just the Mother.

    2. Oh my dear Lil, this post isn’t about abortion, but rather it is about protecting the Constitution which protects our rights. Once Roe goes the way of Dred Scott, it is estimated that perhaps 2/3 of the states will allow abortion into the second trimester at least, as well as for rape and for the health of the mother. As is happening now for economic reasons, people for whom abortion is important will gravitate to those states. But if we allow un-elected judges to freely make whatever laws they like, there will come a day when a corrupted Supreme Court will take away all our basic rights. And that will benefit no one!

  4. Wow your blog has become too political. The constitution ? When you live by a consutution, you are bound to it, therefore not free. Most politicians are corrupted by money, thus useless. When does the soul enter the body Roberta ? I thought not until the moment of birth

    François

    1. Dear Francois, you are right. Technically, if there are any laws at all then you are not “free” in an absolute sense. But freedom of an absolute sort is impossible in a settled society, since then we are talking about power in the strong and their license to wreak havoc on the weak. So the U.S. Constitution levels the playing field, but it doesn’t limit actions. For example, it states that speech and the right to own and carry guns are basic rights, but it doesn’t limit those rights. It’s up to lawmakers to impose reasonable limits (e.g. No yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater, and you can’t leave guns lying around).

      And yes, most politicians are corrupt. That is our fault! They work for us. If we want honest politicians, we easily can have them.

      It turns out that life begins before conception, with pre-birth planning. The individual then attaches to the chosen fetus at conception. So every aborted fetus is a human being, no matter how early the abortion happens. And we know that, because these babies are carried away by loving beings and are reared in the afterlife (takes maybe 5 years), and they lovingly watch over the mother who killed them and greet her at her death. Apparently they even call her “Mom.”

      I have harbored a forlorn hope that since there is no time where the planning happens, they maybe know which fetuses are going to be aborted and nobody attaches to them; but then, there are the descriptions of all those aborted babies being rescued from the rooms where they were killed.

      1. One of the many things I still don’t know Roberta is, before we incarnate into a new life, during the planning, which personality does our soul have ? What happens to that personality once we incarnate into a new life ?

        François

        1. Dear Francois, we all have a constant personality that is generally not a lot different from the more limited personality that we have right now; it is us, but in an expanded and more complex version. People who know us recognize us easily, even though we may at the moment choose to look different.

  5. Very political and moral issues here. I agree all life is valuable. However, I know for a fact that many women are not able to go through a pregnancy due to a family’s wrath, fear of losing a job (despite laws against being fired for being pregnant, women still lose jobs), feeling too tired or old or young to experience pregnancy. Or being too impoverished. Carrying a baby is stressful and emotionally traumatic especially knowing you will need to give the baby up for adoption. So, easy to stick to the moral and Constitutional laws when you are not in that women’s shoes.

    1. My dear Nan, I understand. I sympathize! And this post isn’t about abortion, but rather it is about the fact that under the U.S. Constitution, the making of any laws about abortion – and also about a great many other things! – must be left to the legislatures.

      My own view on abortion is that if you are old enough to get pregnant, then you are old enough to know how pregnancy happens. And how to prevent it. It’s not something like a cancer that simply grows in you! Everyone of both genders has a responsibility not to risk producing a child that they are not prepared to love and to rear to adulthood. And people who aren’t healthy enough to do that should for certain not be risking making a child! Period. End of sentence.

      1. There are a terrible lot of rapes going on all over the world, and also in marriages.

        No knowledge and much too often cries for help from police and other authorities cannot prevent all those rapes.
        So, heaps of unwanted pregnancies which must be endured? Gods will? God must be a man!

  6. Bravo, Roberta! You have the courage to address the issues of the day in a way that hopefully awakens those who will listen and understand. We have all been lulled to sleep with the constant drumbeat of these times, and not many of us are willing to think the subject through.

    Thank you for your rational discussion of legislating from the bench and for understanding and explaining the brilliant and elegant simplicity of our Constitution, forged by the real heroes, our founding fathers, who deserve to be honored.

    Personally, I think it’s an insult to me as a woman to hear others (mostly women) expound on the notion that our gender is so ignorant of the consequences of having consensual sex that we don’t know that birth control mechanisms are now more available than ever before and, further, that we don’t have a brain that can think these things through before we have sex without protection, e.g., loss of job, physical dangers of pregnancy, emotional and financial expense of giving birth to and raising a child.

    1. Oh my dear Janelle, this is so beautifully said! I wish that I had written it. Yes indeed, my dear, we do get tired of seeing women treated as idiots who don’t have the native motherwit to live in the world as responsible adults. Good grief. And the people protesting to keep Roe v. Wade, which is unsupportable judge-made law no matter how you slice it, are talking now as if striking down the law would mean no more abortions! At least half the states either already allow abortions through the second trimester, or else they will have such laws in place within weeks. Then it will be up to those who want to have abortion handy nearby to move to those states. Or… better yet… they will do what responsible people are doing even now, and take care to use birth control. Very well said!

  7. Thank you Roberta! I enjoyed your book , My Thomas and it nudged me to read more about Thomas Jefferson.
    Loved your blog today, wish every one in the United States could read it with their mind, soul & heart.
    Until next week, have fabulous days!
    marilynn

    1. Oh my dear Marilynn, you always make me smile! I hope your week will be wonderful as well. More than anything, I wish for you and for everyone reading this the peace and joy that is your birthright in this world, knowing each moment how perfectly you are loved!!

    1. Dear Gerda, reports are that most people who commit suicide feel tremendous remorse at having committed the act. Young people seem to get past that pretty quickly, and they forgive themselves; but those who kill themselves to avoid some stressor that they themselves of course planned into their lives seem to have a lot of trouble forgiving themselves for that.

      The problem with killing yourself is that you cannot kill your mind.

      1. First: Also, the earth would benefit from millions of less new births.

        Next: so, you too, like me, believe in a life in the spirit.
        Reports from those who have been to the other side and come back (not died after all) have also been that the aborted souls are not at all angry about it.
        They will probably get many more chances at earth life, if that is their destiny.

        I believe our real lives are in the spirit, but we are here to learn to love, first of all.

        If a dispairing pregnant woman could hand over the gowing life to the man who fathered it, maybe he would be very happy to carry it, even if it was very deformed and would have a difficult life? Yes? I think no!

        Gerda.

        1. Gerda, Do you believe that God would allow a deformed body to have life if such life had no value. One of the most intriguing common reports from those having an NDE who were born with malformed bodies, and too from those having misfortunes and unusually hard lives. is that they had volunteered for such grief as contributing to their spiritual development. It is simply not given to humans to take the life of any other. Life is not about never enduring hardships–but just the opposite. Heaven is an existence in bliss, and as such there is no reason to develop important qualities, such as courage, and loving even toward those that are also imperfect.

          If reduction of stress and strain were the goals here, then there would be no point to leaving Heaven to have an Earth life.

          1. There was a ten year old girl who of course had been raped, who was forced to go through with the pregnancy and birth, because of what the church wanted.
            Is that also Gods will or is it more the men who rule the church? I can’t remember what happened to the girl or her child.
            Many girls who should be at school get married to older men and have child after child. Gods will or the men’s?

            As for killing, every meat sausage has been the body of a precious life.

            Gerda.

            Roberta’s Response:

            My dear Gerda, it is hard for many people to understand what the upper-level dead consistently tell us is true:

            1) Human beings are part of the Consciousness which continuously manifests this universe. Other life-forms are somewhat consciousness, but they are not part of the Mind of the Godhead.

            2) This universe is a pure illusion. It is not solid, not objectively real, and neither as large nor as old as we believe it is.

            3) This universe exists as a place for us to experience negativity in order to elevate our individual consciousness vibrations.There is no other reason for it to exist.

          2. Right!. It would be like going on vacation to a place that had a house and yard just like your own, so why bother with the vacation? However, I am a little confused because if there is a state of bliss that comes naturally in the next world, what is the purpose of coming here to learn about love etc. if it already exists in what we call heaven? Why would we have to endure what are sometimes horribly tragic lives

            Roberta’s Response:

            My dear Lola, your answer is in your question! Our true home is pure love and bliss. Apparently in order for us to grow spiritually at our elementary level we need to be able to push against negativity and choose love, which is why this illusion of a place filled with negativity exists. A horribly tragic life on earth is not any more important than a bad day in school.

        2. My dear Gerda, the opinion that there should be fewer births is not at all shared by those who really know what is going on. In fact, the dead tell us that the population of the earth is soon going to peak, ad after that there will be a long and awful decline. What horrifies me is seeing that some of what they have been telling us will cause this problem already is happening! There is a dramatic drop in male fertility ongoing worldwide. And in addition, more than a third of those now entering their forties are apparently choosing to remain childless.

          The fact that aborted fetuses don’t hold their having been killed that way against their mothers and those who carried out the abortion doesn’t change the fact that each of them had carefully planned that lifetime with others, and now those plans are all fouled up.

          Perhaps the worst indictment of abortion is the fact that some 62 million Americans have been killed in utero since Roe was decided, and an outsize number of those people were African American. That is some 15% of the American population that is simply missing now, and a much larger percentage of the black population. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was a militant racist who wanted to use abortion to kill as many black people as possible. To be in favor of abortion in the United States is to side with her on that.

          1. Dear Roberta.

            Thanks for your reply.

            I still think it stands to reason that humans should be in a much smaller number.
            However, it should happen all over, not just in populations somebody doesn’t favour!

            We ruin everything being so many.

            How can we become less in numbers?
            There are diseases, there are wars, but after the wars, the numbers go up again, the climate could do it, a meteor or aliens!
            Then of course God, most likely with diseases or meteors. I am very unsure about this last suggestion!
            Oh, starvation. If we are not doing something very soon about the climate change, that might be it.

            That is just my opinion and I could be wrong!

            Gerda.

            Roberta’s Response:

            My dear Gerda, I can’t see how it stands to reason that there should be fewer people on earth! Why? On what basis? When the entire universe in fact exists as an illusory place for us to come to grow spiritually, how does it serve anyone or anything by any theory at all to arbitrarily reduce the number of people here?

            Without people to serve, this universe – which is actually being maintained by Mind, moment by moment – would simply cease to exist. It is here for our use! So, what are we ruining? I’m sorry to be so dense. I really can’t understand this line of reasoning. When it exists for us, why isn’t our existence here instead the earth’s perfection?

  8. Thanks, Roberta. My heart is full and I just don’t know what to say that would be meaningful. So I pray for peace on Earth and good will towards men (and women). May the One Infinite Creator bless us all through these turbulent times. David D.

    1. Gerda: The story of the 10 year old girl is sadly typical. What is even more bizarre is that in 1930, the church declared it a sin to use birth control. They called it evil and self indulgent and deemed it a “mortal sin.” Sex was for procreation only

    2. Oh my dear lovely David, thank you for your kind thoughts!

      You know, sometime when I pause and think about the depth and perfection of the Creator’s gifts of this life, this universe, and endless perfect care; and when I dwell on the dim glimpse that we are given while we’re here of the limitless and boundless love that the Godhead has for each of us individually as Its one best-beloved child; I feel as you do. My heart bursts with joy. There are no words!

  9. Another thought, sorry!

    Gods will. Maybe the Covid is gods will for us to be culled, since we are millions too many – no good for Mother Earth or the other living beings.

    So, maybe we should not vaccinate, after all, but get sick in heaps and die?

    Gods will or our?

    Gerda.

    1. Gerda,

      Covid is not culling out millions of Humans who are over taxing Earth’s resources. The politicians and their media allies have been using Covid as a scare to assert dictatorial control. Actual overall death rates for Covid 19 are less than 1%. Most deaths are from the elderly with comorbidities such that attributing death to Covid is a stretch; in fact, the common flu causes more deaths.

      Re the CDC count of “Excess” deaths attributed to Covid-19, they have intentionally biased the figure higher by a statistical manipulation. In a counting unit, such as a county, if the number of deaths exceeds the historical norm, they count that excess; however, if the count is below the norm, they toss the data and insert the number for the historical average. This creates a powerful upward bias.

      To the CDC’s credit, they also acknowledge that excess deaths may be attributed to other causes than Covid -19, such as lack of ordinary medical care, suicides, drug overdosing, and home violence instigated by the lock downs.

      1. If Covid is not going to cull us humans, what is?
        Infertility? In China the one child policy is now finished and it left more males than females, so there is now an unbalance.

        Earth cannot keep sustaining so many humans, who pollute and plunder the natural world.

        If there is a God who interferes, what good ideas can he/she come up with? If no god, or no interfering one, what will happen? I won’t be around to find out, unless I reincarnate. How could I help to find a solution?

        Gerda.

        1. Gerda, Fortunately, I do not think that any of us here (except perhaps a select few) have been burdened with the mission to save the planet from human desecration. Furthermore, when the data refused to validate models of the threat of “global warming,” the propogandists changed their mantra to Climate Change– another political hoax designed to gain political power over economies.

          We do have a responsibility here to honor our own mission and along the way to practice the Golden Rule– Roberta’s last post, the one on simple KINDNESS, was precisely about that. We ought be kind and loving here without frustration that we cannot by ourselves grandiosely change the world.

          1. Dear Jack.

            Maybe you don’t believe in climate change.
            I do, and I think it is up to each of us to do what we can to not pollute and rubbish earth.

            Maybe we can’t each individually do a lot, but there are many things we can do. Also talk about it and choose our politicians wisely.

            If not for our own sake in case we are old, as I am, then at least for the new generations, be they big or smaller.

            If we all say we cannot do anything, well nothing will be done then!

            I wish I could afford an electric car, but then again, I don’t drive very much these days.

            Cheers, Gerda.

            Gerda.

          2. Dear Gerda,
            My PhD concentration, for which I held a full predoctoral fellowship, was on the design or research and supporting applied statistics. I attained fellow status the two major scientific associations for my disciplines in psychology and human factors systems engineering. In other words, I am equipped to understand research design, data collection, analysis, and drawing valid conclusions. In plain language, I am reasonably able to tell the difference between BS (for propaganda) and good science.

            Two points to be made. First, Carbon Dioxide is not responsible for climate change or warming, and in fact it is a vital natural fertilizer for plant growth. And as mentioned before human production of CO2 is dwarfed by volcanic gas emissions. Second, measurement of warming over the past century (averaging across rises and falls of temperature) shows an increase so small that its well within the bounds of measurement error. Here is a good explanation from an honest scientist about what’s going on ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyyT8YOdXeM )

        2. Oh my poor dear Gerda, please stop worrying about any sort of pollution of the earth by human beings! The earth is an illusion within an illusory universe – as Albert Einstein himself actually said! – and it exists for human beings. How is it possible ever to see flowers as polluting the gardens that they grace?

          1. Hi, I did not mention flowers as polluters, did I? I see beauty in even the smallest weeds in my big bush garden. I marvel at the ants, huge or tiny, how busy they are.
            The earth does not belong to us alone. Especially not to pollute it as we do.
            Animal pooh is fine as fertiliser.
            But all the plastic and other muck, fishing nets drowning turtles etc. on a big scale – no, that can’t be right, and something should be done about that, and there are people who care.

            But I will shut up now!

            Cheers, Gerda.

      2. Dear Jack, we must also remember that the government pays each hospital a premium for each diagnosed Covid death. The theory is that hospitals need to be paid for all their pandemic-management efforts. But the result is that everyone who dies in a hospital is tested post-death for Covid, and if the test is positive, then the death from any cause – even accidents – is attributed to Covid. The actual Covid death rate is probably roughly equivalent to the death rate from the common cold.

    2. Dear Gerda, there is no need to cull us! Each person here is a perfectly loved aspect of the eternal Godhead! It is our vision of our fellows that is imperfect. When at last we can see clearly, we will see that each person on earth shines like a star!

    3. I’m sorry, dear Gerda, but I am finding your obsession with removing people from this world to be peculiar in the extreme. For you to hate humankind to this extent is your right! But how awful it must feel for you, to be surrounded by people going about their days and to revile them. To see them as pollution, when in fact every one of them is – with you – a part of the perfect Mind of the eternal Godhead. The earth literally exists and is being maintained from instant to instant for the sake of humankind! If we were not here, the whole universe would disappear in an eye-blink, so it doesn’t benefit anything for you to so devoutly wish us gone. But, more to the point, where does all this hatred that you harbor come from? Do you have any idea?

      1. Dear Roberta.

        Why do you think I hate humans? I don’t! But we are too many now, that is all.
        Don’t worry, I myself will leave in a few more years.

        Maybe you don’t like the word culling? But we don’t hesitate in culling wild animals to for instance make way for sheep or whatever. Kangaroo culling is taking place in big numbers.

        Talking about pollution, how come we fill even the big oceans with plastic to the detriment of the ocean animals and fish? Who is doing it? I am not, I am careful abou my rubbish.

        I don’t think we are the most important beings in the whole universe. Maybe we are, but how would we know? The universe, the one we know a tiny bit about, is so enormous.

        Time will show if we manage to ruin this lovely little planet or not.

        Cheers, Gerda.

        1. Maybe I am using wrong words? I don’t mean that people living now should be killed, but of course some will and we will all die when it is our turn. But we don’t stop existing in my belief.
          Maybe some of us, maybe many, will be reincarnated.

          Whatever happens to us individually, I think we should care about earth and the other animals. And plants! If we don’t, we too will suffer.
          But too many don’t care, and lots of species have become extinct already, because of us. Even giraffes are in danger! We as a species have been very selfish, but I have hopes that it will change, and that there will be a lot fewer of us, so the earth can again breathe freer.

          Cheers, Gerda.

          1. Dear Gerda, we get it. You have made your point. No need to keep insisting that there should be fewer people, because we already hear you, loud and clear!

            The evidence abundantly indicates that in fact human beings are aspects of the Godhead and the universe exists and is maintained only as a place for us to grow spiritually, but you haven’t looked at the evidence and you don’t care to consider it and all of that is your right. No need to keep hammering us with it.

            Please only know that if you did the research, it is possible that your opinions might change.

          2. Hi Roberta.

            I am not sure I understand what it is I have not researched or am not interested in.

            All my life, every day, I think of God and believe we are all part of God. We can create too.

            But never mind, I will back out of this since it is causing such irritation.

            Sorry, Gerda.

            ROBERTA’S RESPONSE:

            My dear Gerda, no one is irritated with you. I am grateful that you have taken the time to post your comments here, and I’m sure that others are as well!

            But yes, I am irritated. The fact that you have learned and become certain of things that are flat-out not true is such a tremendous indictment of our materialist and utterly anti-spiritual culture that I am irritated indeed to again meet someone who has been led astray by those she has so completely trusted. Now I better understand Jesus’s irritation in the Temple, when He overturned the moneychangers’ tables and called the Temple a house of robbers. He wasn’t angry with them at all! They didn’t know any better. But He was irritated, frustrated, outraged to realize that He was about to go to the cross, and the culture that He was leaving was still really no better than He had found it.

            My dear, I have spent the past fifty years learning with a lot of patience and care basic truths about reality that nothing in this benighted culture ever could have taught you. They are truths so fundamental that even though the evidence for most of them is in plain sight, without putting in the time and without a background similar to mine there are very few people who yet have found them. And these are glorious truths that would be of such tremendous help and comfort to you, and to everyone! But now my hour is late. I will soon be going home, and it grieves me more than you can imagine to know that I will be leaving this world so little better than I found it.

  10. Hi Roberta, hi everyone,
    As a guy who hails from the far south of the world, I can’t claim to know the American experience on the ground, as it were. Nor would I be so foolish as to do so by implication or inference.

    Yet as someone who ‘looks on’ and enjoys the looking thereof, I can’t help finding this brave and high minded blog post enthralling. The vision of Thomas Jefferson and the other founders of the American Republic has changed the world, and it has directly influenced popular and political thinking in many nations, my own not least among them.

    And the rise of the USA in prosperity and power over the succeeding centuries since its birth, has resulted in what shall forever be known in history as Pax Americana. The freedom, peace and prosperity of the post WW2 world is a direct outflow of the US’ ability and will to keep the threat of totalitarian states and empires in check, both effectively and continuously. Thus free countries are protected and people on every continent can trade, travel and enjoy a peace unblighted by world conflict; a peace that could only be dreamed of seventy-six years ago.

    If not for the US, who would have stopped the Soviet Empire from swallowing nation after nation, reducing human life to a faceless grey thralldom, ruled by a single cabal of elites and maintained by its minions of terror?

    Even now, as a ruthlessly ambitious dictatorship arises in the East and begins to bully and threaten it’s democratic neighbors, what keeps it in check but superior American power, and the fear of its hidden, advanced, military technology that makes war untenable?

    Whatever the faults and imperfections, whatever the inequalities and injustices that persist in the USA, (as they do in every nation) your republic has given us a time of extended peace that leaves us free of world conflict and totalitarian takeover. And your unique and enlightened Constitution is still a beacon of light for humanity.

    I don’t mean to be jingoistic here. I am not an American apologist. I am not blind to the gritty realities of how humans do – anywhere. But the reality is that the judgment of history will reveal one bright and shining idea that is unlike anything that came before it. Somehow, despite everything, it endures to this present day. I just hope that Americans hold to these founding principles and value them, especially now, for they are more precious than gold.

    1. Oh my dear beautiful Efrem, as always, you have spoken more clearly and directly than I ever could! Thank you. I think that everything you say here is true, and it’s glorious.

      The American Founding Fathers were aristocrats, as all the rulers in the world before them had been aristocrats and strongmen and people with the power and the will to lead; and yet they together conceived of the idea that only the common people had the right to rule. They fought for and seized control from the monarch who was then – as always before! – the ruler, after which they willingly gave up control to the farmers and shopkeepers and blacksmiths. Many (including Jefferson) impoverished themselves in the process. The American Revolution was, as Abraham Lincoln put it, a revolution of, by, and for the people, but it was led by aristocrats. Please read again the quotations that begin and end this post, both written by people with the power to be dictators, and realize that when these sentiments were first written they were profoundly new ideas on earth.

      1. The fact that these founding fathers did all this while restricted to their specific time in history is nothing short of amazing. We have to take into consideration that the times they lived in were far different than what we take for granted now, and this makes them extremely brave people to start these new ideas under the circumstances they were forced to live in.

        1. Lola, I agree wholeheartedly my dear. Imagine creating something so enlightened and different to everything you’ve ever known – and then fighting for it against the most powerful empire of the times. Simply outstanding.

          In this world of so much misinformation, spin and lies isn’t it great to focus on the rare few who were authentic in word, thought, heart and deed? I think that’s why I like your Founders so much. It kind of shows me that a more enlightened society can be born on earth. Such people though rare, can exist here on this troubled planet. 🌎 😉

          1. My dear Efrem, indeed the ungrateful ignorance of so many present-day Americans does somewhat frost me. As Benjamin Franklin said, the gift that the American Founders gave us is fragile, and it could be lost in one generation. One of them – can’t recall which – Franklin, too? – said that we must teach all our smallest children to lisp praise for freedom as soon as they can speak a word, and we used to do that. Today, not so much. The great gift left to us by a generation of giants is now in the hands of a generation that allows itself to be led by mostly moral midgets.

        2. Yes, my dear Lola. They were in fact the unlikely conquerors of a significant part of the British Empire of that day, and they fought their war for freedom with a noose around their necks. They talked about that fact. They were perfectly aware that if they lost their fight for freedom, the leaders would be hung as traitors. And they very nearly did lose the American Revolution! If it were not for Benjamin Franklin’s worldwide fame, his popularity in France, and his going there to plead for French intervention, there would almost certainly not have been a French fleet off Yorktown to drive the British ships away and force Cornwallis to surrender.

          Please stop and think about that for a moment.

          These men risked everything to fight and win that war, and by the universal precedent of every prior war in history they should have claimed the spoils. King George III was sure George Washington would rightly claim the crown he had won. And when he didn’t, but he just went home, George III proclaimed him to have been the greatest man in history.

          It astounds me to read the letters and other writings of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, and other leaders during that time – all of them wealthy and educated aristocrats – and to see in them never a hint of anything but the fact that they were happy to risk it all for the freedom of the farmers and shopkeepers around them. They were very new men indeed!

      2. Dearest Roberta,
        The second paragraph in your reply to my comment above is clear as a bell; being both straight forward and elegiac in its description of the American Founding Fathers. My dear, you can’t get better writing than that! I reckon this paragraph needs to be pondered and read several times.

        Your explanation above left me thinking of what these uniquely great men actually did; more than that – who they were deep at core. The more I learn about them, the more their brilliance, bravery, sacrifice, selfless love and absolute dedication to their people and their beloved, nascent nation comes home to me.

        I know that Abraham Lincoln said that most men can handle adversity, but if you really want to ascertain a man’s character give him power. (Paraphrasing here.)

        In the light of this statement, how great were the Founding Fathers who (as you point out) fought to seize control of the colonies, formed a new nation and then surrendered their power to the everyday people? And they did this willingly!!!

        In addition to that their new ideas were staggeringly different to everything that was accepted and familiar. I realize that the Founding Fathers (and those who joined them) broke the wheel of bondage to the aristocracy that everyday people had endured for millennia.

        Heck, I’m not going to be so facile as to judge the Founders by today’s paper thin ‘values’. Nor would I put their legacy through a mincer in the name of political correctness. Perhaps anyone who wishes to tarnish their legacy should:
        A – learn about the Founders from an array of different historical sources. Then, compare and contrast ideas raised during research of historical documentation, and come to conclusions for themselves. (One may need to resist the powerful urge to be swept along by; emotionality, other people’s destructive organizations and the compulsion to virtue signal.)
        B – do something as visionary and groundbreaking as was done by the Founding Fathers – before criticizing them in terms of the fractured mirror of Twenty-First Century understanding.
        🙏🏼🌅🦅

        1. Dear Efrem, this is some beautiful writing from you as well! I think this topic inspires us to reach for words, and that is a good thing.

          What especially gets me is how free people today feel to judge people of the past who did wonderful things but simply didn’t know everything that we know today. Take, for example, Jefferson’s attitude toward black people.

          Jefferson inherited something like 200 slaves. He didn’t trade in slaves – he didn’t sell them, and when I did a lot of research three decades ago I could find only one slave that he deliberately acquired… and that was a nursemaid with her children because his wife couldn’t produce enough milk to feed their firstborn. And then he bought Ursula’s husband besides, to reunite the family. He lived from soon after his marriage with his wife’s six mixed-race siblings and their mother as very close and much-beloved family members, and it is clear from his contemporary writings that this situation made him such an ardent abolitionist that if Patty hadn’t died as the Revolutionary War was ending I believe he would have devoted his life to abolition. She was ardent! But she died, that destroyed him, and in truth he never understood that the difference between the races was nothing more than skin-color.

          Jefferson was apparently a high-functioning Asperger’s person. That diagnosis was long ago made by others, but my husband and two of our adult children are also high-functioning Asperger’s people, and I concur! Those with Asperger’s are wonderful overachievers in some ways, but they lack some things, and one thing that most of them lack is the ability to identify with other people’s situations. They can’t put themselves in your shoes, which makes them seem to be unsympathetic, and that was the cause of some marital friction in our lives early on.

          In Jefferson’s case, his Asperger’s meant that the fact that all the slaves around him looked different and also acted servile and dull, and the few freedmen lived in poverty in the shadows, made him think that there likely were two species of people and those with darker skin were less capable and less bright. What an awful thing to have to deal with! So he didn’t free his slaves, but primarily because he wanted to protect them. Slavery at Monticello was a kind of congenial getting-along that included his paying his slaves for the vegetables, chickens, and eggs that they raised on their days off. He thought it might be best to send freed slaves either to Africa or to the American interior so they could establish their own societies. All of that sounds awful now, but back then – and with what he knew, or thought he knew – it was kindly and forward-thinking!

          1. If Jefferson let his slaves go. he would be signing their death warrants. They had what they needed with him, and he didn’t ignore their needs. Being free is fine, but without a plan for their future (which almost none of them had), their lives would have been a living hell. Of course, TJ was the exception rather than the rule. The power and money hungry plantation owners were entirely different than Thomas Jefferson.

  11. Efrem, Thank you for that overview. Myself, I have honorable discharges from service as a Marine Corps private and as an Army Officer, and the bulk of my career was spent as a USA DoD scientist, and after retirement in a follow on career as a chief scientist/engineer for one of the top US defense firms. So, I can speak from the inside about the USA military perspective. We are not a warrior nation out to conquer the world to serve USA interests. Just look at how the USA worked with Germany and Japan after they criminally treated other countries (such as Poland and China) during WWII. We nurtured them instead of damning them.

    The USA Constitution has been the bedrock for America’s growth and its very existence as a nation. We are under terrible stresses now from “identity” politics designed to create social division as preparation for a Communist revolution. The founders of Black Lives Matter (he title itself representing a valued goal) and their charter is expressly Communist.

    However, I have optimism that our ’22 elections will curtail the Democrat Party’s efforts to discard our Constitution in favor a Socialist agenda designed to draw votes by an appeal to economic security at the sacrifice of individual freedom.

    Given USA weakness now, Russia is poised to invade the Ukraine, China is saber rattling over Taiwan, and Iran is rapidly working to develop a nuclear bomb capable of threatening its select enemies, such as Israel and surrounding Sunni Muslim states. Perilous times now– but we always will have Heaven to return to whatever mistakes are made here.

    1. Dear Jack, again so wonderfully said! Thank you for your lifetime of service to all of us, and thank you for so succinctly expressing the threat to the freedoms of Americans that is currently so pressing. I know and love people who are devoted to the political party that is now courting a Communist takeover of this country, and I wonder what they can possibly be thinking! This isn’t political games anymore, just the red team and the blue team and we all go out to share drinks and laughs afterward. How is it possible for any American at this point not to see and fight against what you so clearly see and express?

    2. Hi Dr Jack,
      You have certainly had a ‘big’ life to date and you have no doubt made a significant contribution to your great nation and to humanity as a whole. I admire your lifetime of service, and I enjoy reading your wise and deeply considered comments. (Just wanted to say that at least once. 🙂)

      You know I agree with your overview of the US role in the modern world. Many people outside America agree with you. My mother and father held your view all their lives. And I’m glad you mentioned the ‘bedrock’ of American endeavor – the Constitution. It is the founding principles described in the Constitution, that gave rise to the US defense of freedom, and the nurturing of the long peace that has defined the modern world.

      The rebuilding of Germany and Japan after the devastation of WW2, shows how the ‘American idea’ created and enabled two prosperous, peaceful democracies to replace the highly toxic dictatorships that preceded them. This mammoth, rebuilding and regenerative effort, is only highlighted by the fact that so many Americans died fighting the Nazis and their collaborators, as well as the forces of the Empire of Japan. This massive rebuilding of one’s former enemies is unprecedented when you think about it.

      Dr Jack, I know you are much closer to this history than I am. However I wanted to share the point of view of this particular Australian guy, because I happen to know that many people outside America share this view too. In a real way, the US has become more important as a world force for freedom and democracy than ever, right now. As you say, we face growing problems to peace served up by Russia, China, Iran and various rogue states.

      And as to the erosion of American values from within, and the sinking of pride in what you stand for I can only say this: It would be wise for all of us in the free world to locate and reject the wolves in sheep’s clothing; those who serve a hidden, dark agenda while seeming to be loyal citizens of conscience. (Apologies to actual noble, beautiful wolves. 😉 🐺)

      There is a well documented Communist strategy that is used to overcome and destroy nations around the world. (Jack, you identified this in your comment above.) In essence it is this: First you infiltrate various institutions in a society and stand for the popular causes of the day. Then you discredit the ideas and heroes of that country. You emphasize teaching children, teens and young people to despise their country and eschew the values of their parents, while promising them a utopia of fairness and equality in an alternative, collectivist system. All the while you whip up human emotions and encourage the mob to follow wild feelings of anger and indignation. This is an incremental, multi-faceted process. In the end people will be so disillusioned by their own country that they will be easily overcome without serious resistance.

      I guess you are up to the statue demolition phase in the US at the moment…

      1. My dear Efrem, you here sum up pretty succinctly what is goiong on in the U.S. now, and it is indeed frightening! The plain ignorance that comes out of some young mouths here can beggar belief. But I think the Communists have pulled the trigger too soon. They were doing well, but they needed perhaps another twenty years and the dying-off of the postwar Baby Boom generation to soften this nation enough for a Communist takeover to work. But instead they have begun to try to pull it off now. One of our Founding Fathers’ greatest ideas – perhaps credit James Madison most for this – was to make the U.S. a confederation of states, and not one homogenized nation. I live in Texas, having spent a lot of my life in Massachusetts, and wow, what a difference in attitudes! Texans (and Floridians and the citizens of some other states) are very independent-minded, and we revere this nation’s founding principles. In addition, the Founders gave Americans the Constitutional right to be armed, which means that to take over all the states and impoose collectivism on them, a Federal Government bent on mischief would have to conquer this nation street by street using American soldiers against American citizens. Good luck with that!

        1. Dear Roberta, I have been born and raised in Australia, which is a democracy with laws to prohibit gun ownership. Any occupation related gun licenses are strictly regulated. (Gun permits of rifles for farmers and firearms for a few other occupations do exist though.)

          I do have Floridian cousins who, as you say, are very independent minded. They are extremely polite and peaceful people who are gun responsible to a fault. Their viewpoint contrasts sharply with Australian no-gun culture. So I’ve had to think about this issue since my youth.

          All I can say is that Australians in the main are very independent minded and self reliant like Texans and Floridians. There are many similarities here except for the right to bear arms. Maybe the right to bare arms was not added to our constitution because we are not a republic. Also, our nation was given independence by ‘parley’ with Britain, and was not born out of the fires of a long and bitter war of independence. So our different national origins may have shaped differences in thinking. (BTW: Australia only became independent in 1901.) So maybe that is why we are not aware of individual rights in the same way Americans are. Who knows?

          But Roberta, I’ve got to say this: There are many Australians who do believe that we need the right to bear (at least some) arms to defend ourselves, our families and our homes from criminals.
          And having grown up in eastern Sydney knowing more than a few Holocaust survivors, I’ve learned more than a few things from them: The survivors often said that when Hitler and the Nazis came to power, they swiftly confiscated all firearms from the citizenry. They were most thorough about it. Thus individuals were powerless to resist anything the Nazis did thereafter. History does show that the individual’s right to bare arms is needed to ensure freedom continues to exist. It does seem that yet again America’s Founding Fathers we’re right. They wisely chose their new nation to be a confederation of states and the right to bear arms was enshrined, so everyday people could protect themselves from the possible rise of totalitarian government.
          🕊❣️🌅

          1. Dear Efrem, all very wisely said! It is those two decisions by our Founding Fathers, more than any others – the preservation of individual states’ autonomy, and the basic civil right to own the means of self-protection – that have best preserved all the basic American civil rights.

            And you make a great point when you say that the first thing a government bent upon doing harm to the people it governs must do is to confiscate all the weapons in private hands. From Nazi Germany through modern-day Venezuela, that remains true today.

            In fact, guns widely held are the best protection that Americans have! Mass shootings and mischief can only really happen in gun-free places (churches, schools, nightclubs), so prohibiting guns anywhere obviously should be outlawed for the safety of the innocent. I feel much safer in Texas than I did when we lived in Massachusetts, because here many people carry guns every day!

  12. Thank you Roberta for the inspirational blog and also to your readers for their thoughtful responses.
    My question concerns your comment about the decline in male fertility. You indicated the cause of this problem might be happening now. Do you have any details? I would be concerned that giving Covid Vaccine to children could be a contributing factor to this future scenario.

    1. My dear Thomas, the start of the decline predates Covid and I don’t think they yet fully understand why it is happening. Best guess is apparently chemical pollution. But it is dramatic! And my Thomas says that within the next 200 years male fertility will drop so dramatically that natural conception will be almost impossible and all children will have to be conceived in laboratories. We don’t think much about the fact that a healthy economy requires a certain number of people, but apparently as the population drops the rate of poverty worldwide will rise to the point where few people can afford to pay for in vitro conception.

      I think it is safe to say that fighting for the right to kill unwanted children in utero is then going to be the least of our concerns.

  13. Hi Roberta. A provocative post this week. As the Spiritualists would say, there is no death. Yet unconditional love calls us to have compassion for all fellow expressions of God-mind, whether human, animal, or plant, whether a child awaiting birth, or a pregnant woman who may not feel free, for whatever reason, to have that child. We are in a world in which we cannot live without taking life. Just the same, even if this Earth is just an illusion, it is our home for the brief time we come here on our spiritual field trips, and love calls us to express kindness not just to each other, but to our fellow creatures, and even the Earth herself. So many conundrums and paradoxes – maybe that is why our souls like to come here. And although I’m not worried that the USA is going to turn into the Soviet Union anytime soon, I’m glad that our founding fathers gave us a Constitution that allows us the freedom to discuss these things freely, and it needs to be carefully protected.

    1. Dear Scott, the fact that human life on earth is full of all these challenges and stresses is apparently precisely why we come here! And it’s why we have free will. It is up to us to choose love over fear and negativity in each instance as we try to figure out what to do about poverty, inequality, crime, unwanted pregnancies, and so many other problems.

      And no, we aren’t going to lose the modern fight for freedom that has been going on in recent years, with few of us even realizing we were under attack. I think all the efforts to divide us by race (BLM, CRT) and the poisoning of our culture (“woke” ideas and other such nonsense) have together helped to awaken a sleeping giant. And as the amazing Virginia elections have lately indicated, the people together have the will and the resolve to protect their heritage after all!

      1. There is a huge amount of money to be made by selling drugs and guns illegally, and while people remain in that mindset, no law on earth will change it. The problem is that there is a huge demand for drugs and guns, and thus an enormous profit can be made.

        1. Dear Roberta and Dr Hiller. Back to climate change. Since ice has been melting since the last ice age; I wonder if any “climate models” tell us when the melting would have stopped, had it not been for the actions of humans. 😉

          1. Dear Ray, the climate is always changing. In the seventies, the big worry was the overdue ice age; and then that didn’t happen, so now the worry is warming. At this point, I guess I just don’t buy it. No prediction in the climate field ever has come true as predicted, and actually if any of them did come true it likely wouldn’t be harmful. Despite all the warming alarmism over the past 30 years, the arctic still freezes over every winter. Mt. Kilimanjaro still is snow-covered. And my husband and I moved from MA to FL and then to TX almost two decades ago, which was a change in climate much more extreme than any of the climate change predictions… and we have survived that just fine!

        2. My dear Lola, this is an excellent point. In fact, people are going to do what they are going to do. Prohibition never has been effective in any field, and it always causes rampant crime, so it seems to me at this point that it make no sense at all. What we should do instead at this point is to do away with all prohibition! No drug laws. No gun laws. Do public education. Expect people to be responsible adults. When the prohibition on drinking alcohol ended in the United States in 1933, the gang wars largely ended, and somehow civilization survived!

          1. Dearest Roberta,
            Oh oh. I can’t resist saying this even at the risk of getting too political and specific:

            Please relay that last, telling, prohibition comment to the PM of New Zealand: Jacinta Adern and her government are about to ban smoking by choosing a particular age-year and ban smoking for that age-year and younger age groups incrementally. Thus cancelling smoking altogether by phasing it out gradually.

            As a libertarian myself, I am opposed to this and I can’t see how this myopic decision will do anything but create a criminal black market for cigarettes!

            Sorry to say, but Australia & New Zealand have descended into overregulation by governments since the onset of Covid. It’s somewhat worrying to many people actually.

  14. Oh my dear Efrem, I have just seen mention of this absolutely benighted action. When we give people who are less than large-spirited and perfectly wise both power and a reason to feel self-important, we put all our basic freedoms at risk! This kind of stupid and arbitrary abuse of state power is the reason why every country should have a written constitution, and in fact Mr. Google tells us that New Zealand is one of only three countries on earth that lack one (Israel and the UK are the other two).

    We know what is going to happen as a result of this attempt to bully an entire country into giving up something that now in most places is losing its appeal for most people anyway. Cigarettes will be the new forbidden fruit! There will be black markets and criminal cartels and rampant smuggling, illicit fortunes being made while innocents are murdered and underage people take up a disgusting habit that has been dying out worldwide for decades. It happened with alcohol a hundred years ago, and it is happening with recreational drugs today. Smoking is the most benign of these three hobbies, and until last week it had largely lost its appeal almost everywhere. But now, thanks to a clueless woman who apparently is incapable of learning from history, in one country it is going to explode in popularity. How can she possibly have been so foolish?

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