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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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News

Mental Preparedness!!

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Thinking first
Photo Courtesy of Patriot Outdoors, Inc.

Are YOU Mentally Prepared?

When it comes to defense, most often times people think of what Implement they will use a bat, a golf club, a shotgun, pistol, rifle even or maybe a knife!  But, what most students I’ve taught initially don’t think about the mental preparedness side of things!

What are you doing to prepare yourself for a potential conflict or act of violence? I’m not just talking about grabbing a gun and going out there to stop some bad guy! No, I’m speaking more to the reality of your mental abilities! How are you preparing yourself MENTALLY, EMOTIONALLY, SPIRITUALLY even to handle conflict?

It’s Not Always About The Gun!

I mean if you’re going to have it; you’re going to have to know how to use it! Like, I’m sure many have said, train with it until you forget it… It will become subconscious when you have enough “correct, continuous repetitions!

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However, what about all of those other scenarios that DO NOT require the gun?
Arguments with the public, someone who is having a very bad day and they’re taking it out on your verbally or in traffic. Parking Lot vagrants, bumming money, the crazy ex lover, or ex spouse gone wild, and the list goes on and on….

How have you set yourself up for success to handle yourself in a verbal conflict? Or understand how to de escalate a situation and avoid violence all together? What books have you read, conflicts you have faced in your past, training that gets you up to a level of comfortability with dealing with people unemotionally?

Or are you just relying on your gun skills, which may never be needed!

Wisdom is a Weapon!

To handle yourself in society, you will have to arm yourself with  the weapon of knowledge to succeed not just a physical tool of last resort.
Where are the common environments and scenarios that you could avoid all together?

  • Do you understand de-escalation of force?
  • How aware are you to your surroundings?
  • How would you profile the common criminal in your demographic?
  • Can I use psychology?
  • How do I look less like a victim?
  • Can I avoid the area or a person all together?

These questions and more are for you to evaluate today! You must train the mind, the body and spirit.

 

In Closing

DON’T EVER GO SOMEWHERE WITH A GUN, THAT YOU WOULDN’T GO IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE A GUN IN THE FIRST PLACE!  THINK ON THAT!!! Just because you have a gun and some training doesn’t mean you are fit for battle or you will WIN… Violent encounters are volatile and life ending…. If you can be aware and avoid, you are better off!

Remember, We train to help our subconscious performance become a reality and acceptable in the face of conflict! Train your mind, body and spirit to get you win the day, both In Life and On the Range and Definitely on the Street!  Stay Safe out There!

For Liberty,

Stephen D. Powell

The GunLife Coach

Please Subscribe to my Channel on Youtube and Follow On IG & FB!

 

 

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Faith

Flag Flying, Race Shaming and Revisionist History

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flag
Photo credit: Ussama Azam

The Pride flag is flying over some of our embassies. So is the Black Lives Matter flag. School boards are adding Critical Race Theory to public school curriculums. The president commended LGBTQ people for their “bravery” while ignoring D-Day.

How should we react to obscene overreaches from our federal government and school boards? If we’re people of faith, do we remain silent in light of Romans 12? Do we always submit to those in authority over us?

If I were a father, I wouldn’t stand by and allow my child to be indoctrinated. He need not feel shame for his skin color—nor for his country’s history.

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Hard truths

Every country—current or past—has its sins and foibles and mistakes and weaknesses. So does every people group. Native Americans subjugated others in competing tribes. Africans enslaved other Africans.

We’re all sinners living in a broken world. The human condition is the same today as it was in 1619, 1776, 1492 and 200 B.C. Yes, I said it—B.C.—before Christ—he who changed the world and triggered a new era in history.

There are no noble savages. Human beings are neither noble nor savage—we’re simply imperfect beings made in the image of a perfect God.

Nations begin when compacts are made, charters are crafted, constitutions are ratified. When principles are agreed upon, people come together and build something with which they can live and fight for. America did not begin when colonists imported slaves. Colonial slavery began.

Sins of our fathers

In 1619, America was not a nation; it was a group of colonies and vassal to a faraway king. Descendants of slave owners are not guilty of slavery. Nor are they guilty of white privilege or white shame or white anything.

Descendants of African kings who sold their fellow Africans to slave traders aren’t guilty of slavery. The guilty are those who committed the guilty acts. We are not complicit in the sins of our fathers.

Nor is our nation guilty of anything other than being flawed and founded by imperfect men. America remains the best hope for freedom and opportunity the world has ever seen. This truth is undeniable.

Lies and overreach

The only flag our government agencies can fly is Old Glory. Federal government has no freedom to show pride for anything other than the country they serve. LGBTQ is not a country; it’s a choice. LGBTQ is not a nation; it’s a sexual preference. LGBTQ people are citizens of America, not Pride.

Pride is what one feels for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice on the bloody beaches of Normandy. Pride that is proper is a mix of humility and courage. It’s not about anger or in-your-face, deal-with-me aggression. Pride isn’t loud and obnoxious. Nor should its flag be a co-opted rainbow. Rainbows are about promises, not preferences.

Black Lives Matter is a race-baiting grift operation. It’s built on lies like “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.” BLM does next to nothing to help life black Americans out of poverty and crime. BLM does everything to to garner power and bilk people and corporations out of money and support.

BLM’s founders are Marxists who seek to change America not for racial equality, but for social and economic equity. BLM is a political organization that’s free to fly its flag over demonstrations, marches—and even riots. U.S. Embassies and other federal government entities have no business flying BLM or Pride flags. It’s not their role.

Right role of government

Our federal government has no role in controversial societal issues like sexual preference. The federal government exists only to protect its citizens from all foreign and domestic enemies and to uphold their constitutional rights.

Anything more is overreach and unconstitutional. Our submission to those in authority over us is contractual. We have no king because we won’t be ruled. We have representatives to whom we lend authority based on a contract, a Constitution.

When that contract is violated, we’re free to resist violations like improper flag flying, school indoctrination and revisionist history.

Let’s exercise it within the law as long as the law doesn’t violate higher laws—God’s laws. After all, as Americans, resistance is our birthright. As people of faith, truth is our banner.

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