Baldrick: I still can’t believe you’re leaving me behind.
Blackadder: Oh don’t you worry. When we’re established on our plantation in Barbados I’ll send for you. No more sad little London for you Balders. From now on you will stand out in life as an individual.
Baldrick: Will I?
Blackadder: Indeed. All the other slaves will be black.

Black Adder Amy and Amiability 1987

Ben Franklin:  First things first, John … Independence. America. If we don’t secure that, what difference will the rest make?

1776 1972

The final in my series of post on Why Washington Matters don’t miss Part one (Washington the Revolutionary) Part two (Washington the General) and Part three (Washington the leader/president)

If there is any post title that would cause confusion among readers it’s this one.  George Washington the Emancipator?  For most of his life, Washington owned slaves.  When he married his wife, she brought even more slaves to the marriage and at the time of his death the number of slaves he owned was considerable.

In this modern age where slavery exists only in Africa and parts of Arabia where Blacks and Muslims enslave other blacks (to the silence of the media) and the sex trade (where slavery by other names is an international scourge and also pretty much ignored) this concept doesn’t wash, but in the age of Washington Slavery was not only a norm but had been a norm in the world for the history of…the entire world.

And in addition to full slavery, there were indentured servants bound to masters by contract for years and other systems by which men were held by other men.  From Morocco to the Americas slavery and forced servitude was a norm of convenience and profit wherever you went.

To this world Washington was born and raised, in a culture where slavery was a total norm, yet look at the record as commander in chief:

In his General Orders of 30 December 1775, he gave “leave to the recruiting Officers to entertain … Free Negroes [that] are desirous of inlisting” should Congress approve the new policy. Writing to John Hancock the next day he couched his order in terms of military necessity: “free Negroes who have served in this army are very much dissatisfied at being discarded. As it is to be apprehended that they may seek employ in the Ministerial Army, I have … given license for their being enlisted.”

It would have been remarkably easy for Washington the Virginia planter and slaveholder to let this be.

At the Constitutional convention he spoke very little, how easy would it have been for Washington, slaveholder and southern to push for slavery, to argue against the constitutionally mandated end to the slave trade.  How much of a pull on the delegates would his voice have been if he choose to make the case?

As president although he singed a fugitive slave law he also signed a law  he signed a law affirming the ban on slavery in the Northwest territories. How easy would it have been for a unanimously elected Washington to argue against such affirmation? How many of his friends and fellow slave holders, involved in land speculation would have wanted to bring their “property” to those lands?

Then in the final act in his will.  He freed his slaves.

While it was acknowledged even by Confederate leaders such as Alexander Stephens that the founding fathers considered Slavery wrong:

The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away.

It was he and he ALONE of the slaveholders who would occupy the White House that would free his slaves. After carefully steering the ship of state that was in danger of splitting apart on its maiden voyage he took the act, which has great symbolic meaning at a time when it was least likely to produce an argument against but would shine as his final example at the period when an entire nation would be in mourning for him.

Some in the 21st century might look at this 18th century man’s act as trivial? Why not do this BEFORE death? One might as well condemn Lincoln for not pushing for women’s suffrage. Consider this. Just two years after Washington’s death William Henry Harrison who would later be 9th president was appointed governor of the Indiana Territory. The slaveholding Harrison pushed vigorously for the legalization of slavery there and his allies in congress managed to get article 6 of the Northwest Ordinance/ forbidding slavery suspended for ten years.

Imagine the difference in the close debate if Harrison won, imagine what the country would look like if Harrison’s foes in the debate didn’t have the example of Washington as emancipator to use?

Washington’s act was extraordinary and the proof is that Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Tyler, Polk and Taylor did not copy it. Lincoln among president might have been the great emancipator but Washington was the first emancipator.

In summary for all of these reasons:
Washington the revolutionary
Washington the General
Washington the Leader/President
Washington the Emancipator
I argue President’s day once again be known far and wide as Washington’s birthday.   I further submit and suggest that George Washington is and remains the greatest American who ever lived.

and I don’t think it’s even close.

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[thermometer raised=129 target=300 height =200 ]

We’ve reached Friday and while the thermometer moved a bit a little but I’m still less than half way to that elusive $300 weekly paycheck.

On weeks when I make the goal I’ve pulled the thermometer early after all I’d rather focus on the product and I suspect you dear reader would too.

As we are less than half way there with under 48 hours to go the thermometer will be on every post today.  As a wise man once said if you don’t promote yourself nobody is going to do it for you.

So if you think I’ve earned that $300 paycheck this week and you can afford it feel free to hit DaTipJar.

If not, well I’ll keep trying harder.




I’ve had a lovely evening, this wasn’t it

Groucho Marx

Words mean things

Rush Limbaugh

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

Lewis Carrol Through the Looking Glass 1871

I really enjoy the humor of language, because of the multiple meanings of so many English words language an excellent source of comedy.

Unfortunately today language,  specifically its perversion has become a weapon, not argument btw language.  A quick peek at Memeorandum this morning gives the example.

Marriage Equality Is a Conservative Cause

Laura Bush Objects To Being Quoted Accurately Supporting Marriage Equality

Jon Huntsman Endorses Marriage Equality: ‘We Must Demand Equality Under The Law For All Americans’

Note the Phrase:  “Marriage Equality” Who could be against “Marriage Equality“?

I’ve very pleased to see all of these people arguing for “Marriage Equality” for people of the Islamic faith, after all it’s completely unfair that Muslims who are allowed multiple wives in Africa, the Middle East and Asia are not allowed the same rights here.

And if you argue against such rights, you are “Anti-Muslim” and “Islamiophobic” and it goes without saying if you are part of any organized group against “Marriage Equality” for Muslims then you belong to an “Anti-Muslim Hate Group”

Do you see how it works?  There is absolutely no reason a person pushing to repeal bigamy laws could not use the same arguments as above.  All it take is to play with the language & violá you’ve got a meme that will associate the people who agree with you associated with words like “equality” and your opponents associated with words like “hate” not only in articles, but in search engines.

The left does this with a lot of words:

“Taxes” are redefined as “investments”

Spending increases are redefined as “cuts”

and the favorite “racist” redefined as disagreeing with anything the Democrat party disagrees.

Sometimes words are not so much re-defined as given a twist.  Let’s demonstrate

It is stigmatizing  to shoppers who fail to pay for their items as “shop-lifters”.  After all the people going into the store are no different that everybody else people going to the store to get the food, clothes and devices that everyone naturally wants.  In fact the word “shoplifter” is patently racist and discriminates against the poor since such people are usually from the poorest classes and often of color.

In order to avoid the racism and class discrimination we should avoid the term “shoplifter” and replace it with “unremitting shopper”

And that is the logic used to turn “illegal immigrants” into “undocumented immigrants”.

It’s all marketing, it’s all about selling people a reality different than, well reality.  No different that convincing you that Flo is different than the lizard when selling you insurance.

Why does it work?  Because of the left’s power in media, particularly the non-news media such as magazines and entertainment allows them to introduce these themes into the general culture movies, TV, magazines and cultural devices.  People find themselves indoctrinated into a language and a meme without even knowing it’s happening.

If we are going to prevent the country from going into a self-destructive directly we have to recognize this.  In the short terms we need to call out this behavior and help people recognize it.

In the long-term we need  influence within those same institutions from woman’s magazines to rap zines to advance our own message to the same disinterested crowd.

********************************************

[thermometer raised=127 target=300  height =200 ]

We’ve reached Friday and while the thermometer moved a bit a little but I’m still less than half way to that elusive $300 weekly paycheck.

On weeks when I make the goal I’ve pulled the thermometer early after all I’d rather focus on the product and I suspect you dear reader would too.

As we are less than half way there with under 48 hours to go the thermometer will be on every post today.  As a wise man once said if you don’t promote yourself nobody is going to do it for you.

So if you think I’ve earned that $300 paycheck this week and you can afford it feel free to hit DaTipJar.

If not, well I’ll keep trying harder.

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