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Human Beings: Earth’s Imperfect Caretakers

Since the dawn of civilization, no society has fully grasped what is necessary to live in harmony with its environment

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Before human occupation, forests, not deserts and barren plain, covered the uplands of Arizona and New Mexico. The mighty Mayan civilization, with a population of 200,000 in what is now Mexico and Central America, fell into ruin following human-caused depletion of the rain forests, heavy soil erosion, and internal warfare — 700 years before Columbus’ arrival in the Western Hemisphere.

Misinformation about how societies developed and how their people lived often leads to erroneous conclusions about how present-day society ought to be managed.   Accordingly, what we understand to be historical realities are often distortions of the truth.

Misinformation Abounds

Predictably, the volume of contradictory information and the associated discrepancies it spawns is rising. Annually, well over 40,000 scientific journals publish more than a million new articles.

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“The number of scientific articles and journals published worldwide is starting to confuse researchers, overwhelm the quality-control systems of science, encourage fraud, and distort the dissemination of important findings,” says New York Times science journalist William J. Broad.

Misinformation has become a major impediment to social progress. In these “politically correct” times, in the area of social history in particular, too often pseudo-historians dispense misinformation in the form of “feel-good history,” a term referred to by noted professor and distinguished historian Dr. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., in his award-winning book, The Disuniting of America.

Feel-good history is “history” designed to accent or embellish the accomplishments or nature of select groups for purposes other than conveying what historical records objectively reveal. Such accounts cloud the accuracy of historical accounts, presenting events in ways that might not be real or complete depictions of what took place.

American history, as a case in point, has become one of the most maligned of the historical disciplines. To be sure, the U.S. government reneged on treaties and, sometimes inadvertently, sometimes not,  destroyed cultures.

Nonetheless, do misinformed or overzealous teachers and leftist professors have the right to overturn decades of research and analysis in their efforts to present “the untold, untaught side of American history?”

Are they justified in making wholly unfounded assertions about the origins, nature, and achievements of ethnic groups that they represent or who they feel have been slighted by “Eurocentric” versions of history?

Erroneous Beliefs

Consider common beliefs about Native American populations. Evidence is mounting that Europeans pre-dated them in North America, but that is the subject of a different article. Many people today believe that the arrival of Europeans from 1492 was co-terminus with the introduction of disease to native populations.

Europeans did bring with them new diseases, such as smallpox, which proved to be more deadly to North American peoples than it was to Europeans, but by no means were Native Americans free of disease beforehand.

Karl Reinhard, Ph.D., a prominent pathologist, observed that “Native Americans had already accumulated quite a spectrum of parasitic diseases before the Europeans arrived. Take the Incas. We’re looking at no less than three species of lice, not to mention different varieties of fleas, tapeworms, hookworms, the works.”

Actually, all told, American civilization, with all its strengths and weaknesses, is as good and decent a society. Many Americans, however, believe that Native American cultures historically were superior in interacting with one another and in maintaining a harmonious balance with the environment. This view is naive at best and classically demonstrative of the perils of misinformation.

Environmental Novices

Archeologists find that since the dawn of civilization, no society has fully grasped what is necessary to live in harmony with its environment and for its people to live in peace with one another.

In the last 10,000 years of civilization, for example, remarkably little has changed in the way in which people treat their surroundings. Dr. William K. Tabb, one of my economics professors in college, remarked to our class that economics in essence was the “allocation of scarce resources.” Only when a society has to manage limited resources is it an “economic” society.

Let’s apply this to the case at hand. Some Native American nations starved during harsh winters. Some could not care for all their members. On a continent as large as North America, most Native American nations were blessed with vast stretches of land, often more than they could use.

In that sense they were not “economic” societies. In comparison to today, natural resources were plentiful. Because they did not live in economic societies, it is hard to determine to what degree many Native American nations practiced sound environmental policy.

Vast Stretches

Vast sections of the southwestern United States, for example, were completely decimated by over-cutting. Dr. Charles Redman, an anthropologist at Arizona State University, says, “The idea of the primordial paradise, that pre-European societies were somehow great environmentalists, is romantic history.”

The cliff-dwellers, with their elaborate wooden structures, likely sealed the ecological fate of their region for evermore. In the Eastern U.S., the Cherokee removed such large swaths of forest along riverbanks  — not coincidentally, some of the areas now most carefully protected by environmental legislation — that Europeans entering some areas thought there were no trees.

Illness and injury were treated with natural remedies, many of which worked and are still viable solutions for health problems today. It would be unwise, however, to surmise that all Native American nations at all times were populated by wise dispensers of health information that uniformly fortified their people.

For acute illnesses, major injury, and rare disorders, most nations could do little for the afflicted and, if they sought to do anything, would do more harm than good. Operations were crude. Medical hygiene was all but unknown. Many “treatments” hastened the death of the patient rather than alleviating the condition.

Human Rights or Tribal Mythology?

Many contemporary Americans believe that Native American nations were exemplary in their homage to human rights. This issue cannot be summarily concluded. Some groups were effective in upholding human rights; some were not.

Many people within nations paid homage to human and individual rights; many people did not. In some  nations, elders were cast out of the tribe to die on their own once it was believed that their final days were near.

Some nations, and many individuals within many nations, were intolerant of homosexual behavior or other sexual and personal orientations that deviated from the norm. Many nations maintained rituals and customs that forced individuals into predetermined roles independent of their individual aspirations or aptitudes.

As cited previously, some nations maintained elaborate rituals and rites of passage whereby young men were summarily cast into battle. Or, young men had to fight and kill a wild animal, perhaps with nothing more than a knife or a spear. They then would have to return with the animal’s vital organs to prove their “manhood.”

Paradise, Not

In many nations, everyone was expected to pull his own weight-not necessarily a bad idea, as societies go-but what fate befell those who proved to be less physically endowed?

Some nations permitted polygamy, whereby one man was permitted many wives, usually with no say on the part of the maidens thrust into service. Still, many Native Americans loved the earth, lived in harmony with it, and lived in harmony with each other. Their poetry and chants often reveal the kinship they felt with the earth.

Let us avoid the trap, however, of sanctifying those who were here before us because some of them, in some respects, embodied environmentally and socially redeeming virtues needed today.

Let’s not paint in our minds and post in our literature exalted, vague notions of environmentally and morally superior peoples whose ageless wisdom is somehow quintessential to our survival today.

Learning From Our Past

The lesser-known side of Native American history is one example of how history can be skewed to reflect a certain set of ideas. There are, of course, other examples throughout world history.

It’s vital that we draw what we can from the knowledge of such cultures and be respectful of their heritage. Let’s forsake the counterproductive mythology that seeks to rewrite history to match the flawed ideology of a few.

Instead, let’s learn what we can from the actual lessons and experiences of history, and use that knowledge to improve as a society.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Politics

Decades of Democrat’s Dirty Deeds and Disservice to America

Whether racist, treasonous, or law-breaking, Democrats have been at the forefront throughout our history

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May 30, 2024 is a day that will live in infamy as lawfare will now potentially plague every major election forevermore. In the continuing travesty of American justice in New York, it’s just as well that Donald Trump was found guilty on all 34 counts. It solidifies, for those citizens in the know, just how corrupt the Biden Administration, the George Soros appointed district attorney, and the judge are, and how totally biased the 12 ‘impartial’ jurors happen to be.

Many people don’t understand, however, that the Democrat party has a long history of dishonor and disservice to America, while be adept at covering its tracks.

Assassins in Arms

With the control of the big three television networks, the handful of major newspapers in the U.S., National Public Radio, the internet and other tech giants, and all the other ways in which the Left can manipulate public opinion and create narratives out of whole cloth, who among us has a true and accurate understanding of the Democratic Party?

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For instance, who murdered Abraham Lincoln? Almost anyone can tell you it was John Wilks Booth, but what is little known is that he was a member of the Know-Nothing group, affiliated with Democrats. Who murdered John F. Kennedy? Lee Harvey Oswald, and whether or not he was a patsy for the CIA, he was a Socialist and in league with Marxists.

Who murdered Martin Luther King? James Earl Ray. Whether acting alone or a patsy for the FBI, Ray was a southern segregationist. Hence, all three of these assassins leaned Left, or at the least, had affiliations with Leftist groups.

Stomping on the Rights of Others

Who owned slaves throughout the southern U.S.? It was Democrats. Generally speaking, Republicans or those who leaned Right did not own slaves. Who lynched blacks and white abolitionists? It was the Democrats. Some 4,200 people in the U.S. were lynched between the years 1882 and 1968, 3/4 of them black and 1/4 of them white, those who supported the Black Freedom Movement.

Who created the Confederacy? Democrats. Who launched the KKK? Although one cannot say that the Democratic Party initiated the launch, many members of the KKK were Democrats, some high-ranking, and, had strong affiliations with the Democratic Party. Republicans did not join the KKK, had no affiliations, and loathed the institution.

With Jim Crow and all of the indignities that went with it, including separate bathrooms, white versus colored drinking fountains, and such, it was Democrats. Who delayed women’s suffrage – women’s right to vote – for more than 100 years? Democrats. Look up the history of women voting in America, and you will see that Democrats stifled the process at every turn.

Who interned Japanese-American citizens? It was Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his administration, Democrats. Who upheld segregation from the 1930s straight through the 1960s? Democrats, not Republicans. Governor George Wallace was a Democrat. Senator Strom Thurman initially was a Democrat. Former Klan member Senator Robert Byrd was a Democrat.

Racist to the Core

Who enforced integration at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas? The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Topeka Board of Education, on May 17, 1954, that segregated schools are “inherently unequal.” Later, in September, 1957, with the backing and protection summoned by Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, nine African-American students enrolled at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Who said, “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”

“For if we don’t move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there’ll be no way of stopping them, we’ll lose the filibuster and there’ll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It’ll be Reconstruction all over again.” It was Democrat President Lyndon Johnson.

In reference to Barack Obama, who said, “A few years ago this guy would have been getting coffee for us?” It was a Democrat, former President Bill Clinton.

Who Gets Blamed?

Paradoxically, which party in the U.S. is deemed racist? Generally speaking, it is Republicans. Why? The Democrats control the narrative. The mainstream media is virtually in bed with them, carries their water, and espouses whatever prevailing narrative top Democrats choose to have widely disseminated. It has been this way for decades. In the words of Malcolm X, “The Democratic Party is more racist than the Republican Party.”

Whether racist, treasonous, or law-breaking, Democrats have been at the forefront throughout our history.

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Education

Leftists Know Little of History, Naturally

What starts as supposedly benign socialist movements prove to be anything but that

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We pause on this long weekend to honor the memory of U.S. military personnel, regardless of their political leanings, who died in service to our nation. Concurrently, it is increasing evident that ignorance is a key factor in being a Leftist.

You have to know little about history and be sufficiently gullible to believe that your own mainstream media is presenting fair and accurate information to you. You have to think that the politicians for whom you’ve voted have your best interests at heart and have the best interests of the nation at heart, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Those on the Left have perpetrated some of the great crimes that humankind has yet witnessed. A brief walk through recent world history reveals that what started out as supposedly benign socialist movements proved to be anything but that.

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Hopeless and Headless

The French Revolution in 1789 was a revolt by the bourgeoisie joined by commoners against the aristocracy. Their battle cry was liberty, equality, and egalitarianism. Yet, the regime that followed the French heuristic aristocracy proved to be barbaric.

The slightest transgression or suspicion that you were somehow against “the people” meant that it was off with your head. It is estimated that tens of thousands of people faced the guillotine in France between the years 1792 and 1977 (astonishingly the last year of beheadings in France).

In Denmark in 1803, then Great Britain in 1807, and America in 1808, the slave shipping industry came to an end. While slavery lingered on in Great Britain until 1837 and in America until 1863, there were no further slaves shipped across the Atlantic. Leftists would prefer that you didn’t know this. They want you to believe that America was not among the leaders in ending the Atlantic slave trade.

Always: Socialism Fails Everywhere

In 1917, as Vladimir Lenin returned from exile in Switzerland to Russia, and the Bolsheviks took power, their claims of egalitarianism also proved to be hollow. These socialists displayed that some comrades were “more equal” than others.

To be in the Russian government was to be in the ruling class; all others were deemed to be subservient. Lenin himself coined the term “useful idiots” regarding people who went along with the regime, not questioning the lies, subterfuge, bribes, cronyism, and outright theft of property, always for “the state” and never to be yours, no matter how hard you worked for it.

In 1933, headed by Adolf Hitler, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party came to power. It was a socialist movement, not a conservative movement as many would have you believe today. They had no intention of conserving numerous aspects of German government and German society. These Socialists were hell bent on overturning what came before them, similar to contemporary American Leftists. One of their chief objectives was to eradicate the nation of Jews, gypsies, intellectuals, and other undesirables.

Then, from September 1, 1939, when Hitler invaded Poland under false pretenses, until the time that the Allies were able to storm the beaches in Normandy and make headway through continental Europe, he held Europe and much of the rest the world at bay. All this was under the banner of socialism.

In all, Hitler reigned supreme for 12 years. Finally, he was defeated in the Spring of 1945 and allegedly committed suicide.

Bernie’s Democratic Socialism

Today in America, voices proclaim that socialism or, as Bernie Sanders calls it, Democratic socialism, is the only appropriate, moral, and effective way for our nation to proceed.

These Socialist advocates don’t want you to know what the net result has been around the world, over the ages, of those governments and peoples who have installed socialism. Socialism by its nature dampens the human spirit, rewards a handful of elites, and otherwise cripples entire economies.

Many believe that Scandinavian countries to this day, such as Sweden, are socialists. Actually, they did try socialism for a while and found it to be such a disaster that they abandoned the pretense.

Leftist Fairy Tales

Are the historical events and occurrences discussed above presented in high school history classes, or covered in college history classes? In college depending on what course you take it’s possible. In high school, I have never encountered anyone who has covered this ground.

High school history books and history teachers will talk about the Bolsheviks and the Nazis but don’t mention that they were socialist-based movements. As such, students remain ignorant of this historical reality.

And, the less you know, the more likely you can become a Leftist.

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