Updates for Tuesday, July 19th [2005]

Hindsight is 20/20

7/19/2005

Dear Readers,

I have recently heard a saying, that "hindsight is 20/20". Since my trip here, I have been experiencing that on almost a daily basis. My incorrect scholarship on the negro race, my own role in the formation of this union & its sustained history of 200 years, and even my failed elaborations on the powers of the people and their role in the government. In the meantime of these self-discoveries, I have continued to read up on the Phi Beta Kappa association, the subject of mystery in the disappearance of Sir Julius Rothsbard, a researcher possibly involved in my time traveling accident, however I have found little, as well as little with regards to St. George Tucker. The library is a massive entity, difficult it is to read through thousands of books in its archive.

I find today that it is still true, that the natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. The majority, an expression of the people, are not educated towards the principles of their liberties. They don't need to be, they live in opulence, and thus the liberties degrade. The government is a democratic republic. It is neither a democracy nor a republic, but both elements combined. There are elected representatives with limited duties, but they are voted upon by the people. It is only natural that a people who live in rich freedom will be quick to delegate their responsibilities to officials, who are always glad to accept them, whether the movement is principled or not.

Which begs the greater question, are these rights and responsibilities a whim of the people, or based upon a principle which is inalienable? Much rather the latter than the former, even if the people do not believe or understand it, for therein lays the hope that they can. Hope for the greater education of the people to learn these principles, and hope that it be the bedrock by which our government lays its future foundations. However, that is a future which is not today's.

The London attacks were both vicious and unwarranted. For as many years that I fought against an English king, I would have never thought of doing such a foul deed. Indeed, this is the plague of the muslim raiders who terrorize us, a civilization that is no less bandits on the high seas than mad bombermen.

There have been a lot of little incidents in the last two weeks, such as the one just last midday Friday,

Me: Daniel, Daniel?

Daniel: I'm busy playing Battlefield 2. What do you want?

Me: There are two men at our door, holding these pamphlets, will you explain this to me?

Daniel: Let me look at this, I hope it isn't the PGE guy... oh, Thomas, I think the word you are looking for is Jehovah's Witnesses. This pamphlet they gave you is called Watchtower, they're so desperate to shuck these things that they leave them all strewn about in public places. Tell them to go away.

Me: Well, that's curious. What are Jehovah's Witnesses?

Daniel: Annoying, but you can ask them if you're so curious. SHIT! (it was at this point Daniel held down a key on his keyboard and spoke into the microphone mounted on his head) Listen newbs, I'm your squad leader, you need to stop worrying about "flags" and "supplies" and worry about getting me a helicopter so I can whirly-bird their asses! GOD!

So talk to these Jehovah's Witnesses is just what I did.

Me: Hello, so I am told you are Jehovah's Witnesses?

John: Welcome brother, my name is John and my friend here is Jake, we are spreading the word of god. Are you interested in hearing the teachings of Jesus?

Me: Why yes, but I am already fairly well versed.

Jake: Then might we come in for a moment and share in the scriptures?

Me: Well, I don't see what harm it could do.

John: So brother, have you heard the Lord's teachings and the miracles of Jesus?

Me: The miracles of Jesus? All too familiar. His charlatanism has contributed much to the ignorance and decay of philosophy, in the minds of many.

Jake: How can you say that of the wonders of our Lord? Especially so close to the end of times?

Me: The end of times? We may be close to that, I don't know. Perhaps that's why I'm here, after all.

Jake: That is why we are all here, brother.

John: The Bible says that only 144,000 Christians will make it into the Kingdom of Heaven, that and the remnants of mankind who live from here till then. If you want to be able to survive the upcoming apocalypse, you must be willing to give yourself to the Lord's way, that is, if you believe in the word of Revelations, and of the God who inspired it.

Me: The whole history of these books, the Gospels, is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.

John: Well, we hope you find the word of God my brother.

Me: To entertain speculation where objection is rational is the heart of finding God's word. Is it not?

Jake: No, haven't you ever heard of "faith"?

Me: Yes, faith is a faculty of reason, like imagination is. It facilitates an understanding into that which is unlikely, it no more grants an understanding of the world than fantasy, nor does it inspire wherewithout the thoughts of its keeper. Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.

John: Well, America is a land of Jesus, I hope you appreciate what we do as Christian brothers for you, my atheist friend.

Me: I'm not an atheist. I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.

Jake: Yeah, right. We've heard that one before. Thank you for your time, and God Bless.

They left as quaintly as they came, however I doubt they shall return. I went out that day, to meet with Natalie, and we had an interesting discussion over dinner, of which a number of topics were covered.

Natalie: So, Thomas, you have been busy lately.

Me: I have been busy in research, I've lost myself in the everyday bustle. Even though writing is easier, especially now that I've accustomed myself to typing instead of writing by hand, I have spent little time doing any. Is this how everyone lives these days?

Natalie: Well it's certainly not remote and rural France, Thomas.

Me: About that, Natalie, I feel it is important to say, I am indeed an outsider, but I am not from a small French town, as I have told you before...

Natalie: What do you mean? Why would you lie about that?

Me: I don't think you would believe the truth.

Natalie: You can tell me! We've known each other for almost two years. You're certainly the most gentlemanly man I've ever met, I mean, you're nice, but not merely superficially nice - you have a true kindness, that kind which just doesn't exist anymore.

Me: Natalie, it's not something I can tell you now. Trust me.

Natalie: Okay... well, it's kinda hard to trust you when you're so secretive about something that isn't so important. Unless it actually is... well, I don't know.

Me: Let's change the topic. I've never had much of a way of words with our good ladies, as I do not with you, madam.

Natalie: Don't worry about it. Well, there hasn't been anything going on lately. I know you like to talk about the news, did you hear about Karl Rove?

Me: A little, but I found it difficult to really care.

Natalie: Yeah, it seems like the Democrats are really pushing it hard. Must be a slow news week. He should be fired but no one who actually votes really cares about it. It's not going to side people who were moderate against Bush, or side moderates who leaned against Bush any further against him.

Me: You know, for once in my life, I think that perhaps I could find a little solace in not discussing politics.

So it was, I spent a quiet evening, and to tell you the truth, I enjoyed it. In such a busy world, a little peace and quiet can be refreshing. For only so long though, the next day was a mess,

James: Fuck you Bush! Fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you!

Me: Are you okay?

James: No, not really, so long as people keep electing these fucking morons. God! Why do you always have this on FOX News, anyways? You know Bill O'Reilly grates on my nerves.

Me: I watch all the news stations, you just only notice this one. It's like you have a vendetta against it.

James: And why the hell is O'Reilly blowing off the Karl Rove situation? You can't play that down!

Me: Well, I think the criticism that the Karl Rove situation doesn't resonate with people is right... it seems like you care about it more than anyone else.

James: It's proof of corruption in the Bush administration!

Me: You needed proof of that?

James: You don't get what the world is like. When I'm talking to you I think you're some kind of old-age idealist. You don't understand the plights of today. People aren't equal, and animals aren't either, corporate bureaucrats rule over us while the people have fewer choices over our lives. Oil and money are the most important things in the world today. We're living under a bunch of corporate fascists. Don't turn the channel, I want to hear this latest bullshit he's spewing.

Me: I thought you didn't like this show.

James: Well, you have to know what bullshit the enemy spouts, if you remain ignorant it doesn't do you any good. Plus, it'd make a good blog update.

Me: Well, I'm rather sick of it, so if this is what you want to watch, you can keep the remote controller.

Before I could escape him, he started trying to argue that the Iraq War was the cause for the Al Qaeda bombings in London. However, I feel as though a weak Iraq is what Al Qaeda mercenaries would want, I feel that it is more likely the reprisal was for the aiding of America in general, and raids of the Afghanistinian hideouts, as that seems to make more sense, that is, if you can consider the culture-killing nature of militant Islam something to have any sense made of. I long for the humility of ignorance that I could have had in Monticello's fine walls, had I never been brought to this disparaging future.

your friend and servant.

- TH. Jefferson

Editor's Notes:

After suffering some momentary burnout, I decided to get back on the ball with updating the TeeJ journal with today's entry. The news is slow lately; the hot topics have burned up in the summer heat. Warm weather is an easy way to get nothing done, after all. Some of the Jefferson quotes sprinkled in today's update:

"The whole history of these books, the Gospels, is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills." - Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1814

"Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him, Jesus, by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being." - Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 1820

"That the natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground" - Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1788

I think it's important to understand Jefferson that he held complex ideas about virtually everything in his life. He was fairly open minded about everything, so you can rarely judge Jefferson's entire belief system on a few quotes, however you can always know he meant every word he said. This is what makes the man so excellent, in my mind.

One issue that I know I will differ with others on is that Jefferson's root philosophy was based not on a democratic sense of majority rule but instead on the practical method of creating self-rule, IE individual rights vs. majority rule. This is an important distinction when understanding the ideas in the Declaration of Independence and the intent of founders. While some might disagree with me, I hoped to use briefly in this update a couple of paragraph tackling the complex ideologies of Jefferson and applying it to that view... hopefully whether it's agreed with or disagreed with as accurate to our historical understanding of Jefferson, I believe I can say the approach to understanding his attitudes is very "Jeffersonian". Of course, we looking back on him today have that 20/20 vision, and there were facets of his personality even Jefferson never had time on this Earth to explore.

One thing that always annoyed me about Jehovah's Witnesses is that they use an improper translation of the Biblical "tetragrammaton" for their name for god, "Jehovah". It's just based on a bad 1518 grammatical translation of the Hebrew four-lettered name of god, "YHWH", which would best be translated to the term "Yahweh" instead. Yes, there are a million more terrible things about the JW's: their insanity about blood transfusions, idiocy in promoting biblical inerrancy, virulence towards abortion clinics, door-to-door harassment to the masses, and their apocalyptic worldview. However, this irritates me more, since it shows an institutionalized base idiocy of simple bad grammar. I suppose I should be fair and note that JW's are one of the few Christian sects to reject Trinitarian doctrine, who also reject popularized Christian holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas have little to do with the actual religion), and who don't outwardly accept the dogmatic ideas surrounding the supernatural nature of Heaven/Hell. Of course, I'm Atheist and shouldn't have to ever deal with these theological issues and distinctions. Secular society still doesn't protect you from idiots knocking on your door, and it never will.

As for dismissing Karl Rove, can you seriously tell me you care? He should be fired, but it's really not news. The reasons behind him exposing the CIA operative were juvenile. It's not news. I can't help but simply emphasize that dragging up old and tired issues would be more constructive for the anti-Bush crews than talking about Karl Rove, since, well, no one besides the dedicated anti-Bush personalities actually care. More important things are happening, and Bush kind of knows that, which is why he smugly walks around with Rove in tow in public. Rove is distracting people from actual issues, which always benefits the establishment.

I'm sure everyone will figure out little details like that in hindsight as well.


Bringing Old American Truth to confront the New American Myth

Creative Commons License

Real Time Analytics