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Special Foreign alliances threaten the American Republic

Written By Kenneth Brooks on 09-08-2012 | in Political, Human Relations, Critical Thinking, Economics,

I read President Obama's Democrat National Convention speech accepting the Democrat Party's nomination for president. I was doing fine with the speech until this part.

"Around the world, we've strengthened old alliances and forged new coalitions to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. We've reasserted our power across the Pacific and stood up to China on behalf of our workers. From Burma to Libya to South Sudan, we have advanced the rights and dignity of all human beings -- men and women; Christians and Muslims and Jews.

But for all the progress that we've made, challenges remain. Terrorist plots must be disrupted.  Europe's crisis must be contained. Our commitment to Israel's security must not waver, and neither must our pursuit of peace.

Why have we reasserted our power across the Pacific to stand up to China on behalf of American workers, but committed American resources to support the European Union's economic interests? Until the current economic crisis, the European Union strived to insert its monetary unit, the Euro, as the international currency in place of the U.S. dollar. This change would have degraded America's economy status, the value of the dollar and increased costs to American consumers.

So why is China the bad nation and Europe Union in need of protection? Like China, the European Union consists of a much larger population than the United States. Much of the chaos in Africa, Middle East, and Asia stem from centuries of European invasions and colonization. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, and even the United States forced treaties on China that reduced much of the area to a colonial status. European colonizers Britain and Portugal only recently returned control of Hong Kong and Macau to the Republic of China in 1997 and 1999.

Colonization destroys the culture and natural socioeconomic and sociopolitical balance of power of an area. Thereafter, areas often experience periods of chaos and autocratic rule as people shift from colonialism to self-rule. Europeans were impartial in their destruction of societies and economies including those of European people and nations.

Historians place European WWI casualties in the range of 37 million- 16 million deaths and 20 million wounded. They place WWII world casualties about 40 million people. Nevertheless, after those wars European nations reasserted authority over colonized African and Asian areas often with the support of the USA. Seven decades later, American leaders try to foist a new form of colonialism on African and Asian people that struggle, often violently, to reestablish natural sociopolitical and socioeconomic institutions free of European and American values. We try this irrational upholding of past European imperialism at the potential destruction of our constitutional republic.

Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution says, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in the Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion." President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney guarantee the defense of Israel as if it is the 51st state of the American Republic.

I can understand the commitment to stand by a friend in time of need. Nevertheless, no responsible family leaders give greater prominence for the security and economic welfare of a friend over the welfare of family. The 99 percent of law-abiding people living in low income areas of cities beset by crime would welcome Obama and Romney's assurance of safe neighborhoods for their families. Nevertheless, I did not read concern for them in Obama or Romney speeches.

Republican and Democrat national conventions are part of American cultural ritual for the selection of the national leader for the next four years. However, both political parties felt obliged to include concerns about the defense of Israel during this purely American sociopolitical ritual. All Americans should feel gravely concerned about the deterioration of our constitutional republican values that any foreign nation has this much influence over our government and both presidential candidates.

Rational American's should heed the founders' warnings about permanent foreign alliances.

"It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world... As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent Patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practise the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the Public Councils. Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences...constantly keeping in view, that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard."

-George Washington's Farewell Address, September 17, 1796

"The United States goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is a well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. If the United States took up all foreign affairs, it would become entangled in all the wars of interest and intrigue, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own soul." -President John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams.

Juneteenth travesty of a freedom celebration.

Written By Kenneth Brooks on 06-27-2012 | in Government, Race, Human Relations, Critical Thinking,

The travesty of another Juneteenth commemorating June 19, 1865, as African-American heritage day when the last slaves learned they were free is over. The slaves in Texas hearing from Union Army officers they were free may have been the last slaves freed by President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Nevertheless, they were not the last slaves freed, because slavery continued in parts of America not covered by the Emancipation Proclamation like Kentucky.

People disrespect their heritage with sham celebrations of false history. At minimum, one expects they would read the Emancipation Proclamation they cite as foundation for their heritage of freedom. No reader of the proclamation could mistake its terms as a mandate for ending American slavery. President Lincoln's proclamation did not declare the end of slavery in the United States, because the Constitution does not grant presidents this authority.

He wrote, "I Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, in time of actual armed rebellion against authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing the rebellion do. . . ." Then, he named the states in rebellion where the Emancipation Proclamation applied. He restricted its terms to states in rebellion against the United States. It did not affect slavery in other states like Kentucky, Delaware, and New Jersey that remained in the union. It even exempted sections of some Confederate states like the thirteen parishes in Louisiana and the seven counties in Virginia along with forty-eight other counties designated as West Virginia.

I do not deny the importance of the Emancipation Proclamation as a weapon against slavery or importance of the Juneteenth celebration as a symbol of freedom for Texans. However, Juneteenth as a national celebration of the ending slavery based on the Emancipation Proclamation distorts history and extent of federal power granted by the Constitution.

Lincoln knew his war powers ended with the defeat of the Confederacy and that slavery would likely continue where the Emancipation Proclamation had not applied and would rebound in the defeated Confederate States. He and some members of Congress wrote a proposed 13th Amendment outlawing slavery that Congress approved. Then, 27 of the then 36 States approved the 13th Amendment to the Constitution on December 6, 1865 and freed the last 40,000 or so slaves in Kentucky and other places in America.

People's misplaced reverence for the Emancipation Proclamation as the instrument of their freedom and end of slavery is distressing. I recall with mortification the decades that I held the simplistic belief of a magical document that freed all the slaves. I still believed this nonsense as a college graduate, because this is what schools taught and continue to teach. I learned differently from reading history outside school textbooks.

I was especial na?ve about the significance of the Emancipation Proclamation given that New Jersey, the State of my birth and upbringing, was a slave state exempted from its provisions. Additionally, states of New Jersey, Kentucky, and Delaware, not covered by the Emancipation Proclamation, voted in 1865 not to approve the 13th Amendment.

Although a bold move by Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation was only a meaningless paper promise of freedom that required Union Army victories to give it force. The history of 180,000 or so black-labeled soldiers in the Union Army fighting to enforce the proclamation's provisions of freedom is a more solid foundation for a heritage of freedom for people that rely on a race-based identity than commemorating Union officers telling slaves on a certain date they were free.

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