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