Thursday, August 25, 2016

Letter To Son Danny Walking The Appalachian Trail, Reading "A People's History Of The US"


Did I mention that Tom M. admires your decision to read "People's History" while trekking the Appalachian Trail - partly because he thinks the book is good counterpoint to "The Official Story," but also because the book is additional weight you don't have to "pack." (Did you know Tom was a marine who was medivacked a number of times from Vietnam battlefields?)

Here is a useful assemblage of links, including a free, online copy of "People's History Of The United States."

Howard Zinn, World War II Bombardier

What Zinn focuses (to the benefit of us all) is that war - almost always - is a ruse perped by wealthy (disproportionately "conservative") people 1.) playing ego games, 2.) prolonging the bogus System that keeps them in power-and-money, 3.) securing their presumed "historical legacy," or 4.) who need another dose of plain ol' profiteering.

Here is a potpourri of links that are directly (or indirectly) pertinent. (Be sure to open "Republican Lawmaker." It cuts to the quick of right-wing "Christianity.")

"Do War's Really Defend America's Freedom?"
(Homage To Marine Commandant, Major General Smedley Butler)

Scare The Sheep
And They Will Applaud Military-Industrial Profiteering

Republican Lawmaker From Nevada Sends Christmas Card Featuring Fully Armed Family

The Age-Old Normalization Of Warfare Through Stupidity, Ego And Religion

"The Poor Are More Than Twice As Charitable As The Rich"

"Most Of The Rich Think The Poor Have It Easy," Washington Post

The Rich Believe They Are Rewarded Because They're Deserving. Not So The Scum

G.K. Chesterton: "The Anarchy of The Rich"
G.K. Chesterton and Warren Buffett's Class War

The Rich Are The Real Anarchists And Sully The World With Their Scum
G.K. Chesterton

Chesterton Considered The Rich "Oppressive" "Scum" And "Failures"

Chesterton: Many Books Denouse Lust But What Of Those That Encourage Greed?

Chesterton: Distributism Posits The Need To Distribute Private Property Until Everyone Has Enough

G.K. Chesterton Quotations... And More

Pax On Both Houses: Compendium Of G.K. Chesterton Posts

Jesus Open Carries. Why Not Me? | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

Another Day In Somalia | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

"Why We Fight"
A documentary film by Eugene Jarecki

(Unfortunately, this movie is no longer freely available online. Here is Wikipedia's review:

Love you


G.K. Chesterton's advice to Donald J. Trump:

"The merely rich are not rich enough to rule the modern market. The things that change modern history, the big national and international loans, the big educational and philanthropic foundations, the purchase of numberless newspapers, the big prices paid for peerages, the big expenses often incurred in elections - these are getting too big for everybody except the misers; the men with the largest of earthly fortunes and the smallest of earthly aims. There are two other odd and rather important things to be said about them. The first is this: that with this aristocracy we do not have the chance of a lucky variety in types which belongs to larger and looser aristocracies. The moderately rich include all kinds of people even good people. Even priests are sometimes saints; and even soldiers are sometimes heroes. Some doctors have really grown wealthy by curing their patients and not by flattering them; some brewers have been known to sell beer. But among the Very Rich you will never find a really generous man, even by accident. They may give their money away, but they will never give themselves away; they are egoistic, secretive, dry as old bones. To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it."  G. K. Chesterton  

Speaking about the instinct that makes people rich, Chesterton remarks: 

In the olden days its existence was fully understood. The Greeks enshrined it in the story of Midas, of the 'Golden Touch.' Here was a man who turned everything he laid his hands upon into gold. His life was a progress amidst riches. Out of everything that came in his way he created the precious metal. 'A foolish legend,' said the wiseacres if the Victorian age. 'A truth,' say we of to-day. We all know of such men. We are ever meeting or reading about such persons who turn everything they touch into gold. Success dogs their very footsteps. Their life's pathway leads unerringly upwards. They cannot fail. 

Unfortunately, however, Midas could fail; he did. His path did not lead unerringly upward. He starved because whenever he touched a biscuit or a ham sandwich it turned to gold. That was the whole point of the story, though the writer has to suppress it delicately, writing so near to a portrait of Lord Rothschild. The old fables of mankind are, indeed, unfathomably wise; but we must not have them expurgated in the interests of Mr. Vanderbilt. We must not have King Midas represented as an example of success; he was a failure of an unusually painful kind. Also, he had the ears of an ass. Also (like most other prominent and wealthy persons) he endeavoured to conceal the fact. It was his barber (if I remember right) who had to be treated on a confidential footing with regard to this peculiarity; and his barber, instead of behaving like a go-ahead person of the Succeed-at-all-costs school and trying to blackmail King Midas, went away and whispered this splendid piece of society scandal to the reeds, who enjoyed it enormously. It is said that they also whispered it as the winds swayed them to and fro. I look reverently at the portrait of Lord Rothschild; I read reverently about the exploits of Mr. Vanderbilt. I know that I cannot turn everything I touch to gold; but then I also know that I have never tried, having a preference for other substances, such as grass, and good wine. I know that these people have certainly succeeded in something; that they have certainly overcome somebody; I know that they are kings in a sense that no men were ever kings before; that they create markets and bestride continents. Yet it always seems to me that there is some small domestic fact that they are hiding, and I have sometimes thought I heard upon the wind the laughter and whisper of the reeds. 

At least, let us hope that we shall all live to see these absurd books about Success covered with a proper derision and neglect. They do not teach people to be successful, but they do teach people to be snobbish; they do spread a sort of evil poetry of worldliness. The Puritans are always denouncing books that inflame lust; what shall we say of books that inflame the viler passions of avarice and pride?  Democracy and Industrialism

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