JimWes Thinks

November 11, 2019

Deep Hate

Filed under: hate, politics, Uncategorized — jimwes @ 9:34 pm

“Few people can be happy unless they hate

      some other

         person,

            nation, or

               creed.” ~                                                                                                                                                 ~ Bertrand Russell

Hate is the venom that poisons the soul. Yet, all too often, to hate is human. Why do humans hate? Why does hatred grow as a geometric progression once started? One dictionary defines hate as “intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury”

We are experiencing today a worldwide acceleration in the expression of hate. No nation…no human seems to be exonerated from these phenomena. In the Southern United States there is a weed called kudzu originally introduced from Japan in 1876 as an ornamental plant. Its nickname is “the vine that ate the South” because it grows faster than all other plants, covers them completely and causes them to wither and die. Today, kudzu is estimated to cover 3,000,000 hectares (7,400,000 acres). Hate appears to be a kudzu-like human feeling that grows faster than all other feelings, covers them over with distrust and vengefulness and causes feelings like kindness, charitableness and love to wither away and eventually disappear.

Hate starts out as an emotion. Then it becomes a belief. It may stop there or it may grow into a cause. Finally it may take the form of an action against its object or its supporters. Because humans are now more interconnected than ever before, the hate prevalent across the world is readily transmitted instantaneously digitally and visually, thus it can augment itself spectacularly across lands, seas and continents.

We now have progressed to the point that we have hate speech, hate crimes, hate groups and just about all we do falls into some possible category of hate. According to the FBI, hate groups are groups whose “primary (italics added) purpose is to promote animosity, hostility, and malice against persons belonging to a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin which differs from that of the members of the organization.”  Hate often becomes concentrated upon a single individual or a number of individuals with similar beliefs, dress, accents, traditions, customs or conduct.

Since there are many forms of hate it is obvious that there must be a great variety of initiatives that cause it to grow and expand its vile coverage from one human to another, one group to another, one class to another, one nationality to another, one ethnicity to another, one religion to another or almost any other type of associated interest.  Hate thrives on increased feeling of self or others having been wronged, hurt or insulted and grows into more and more animosity, anger and resentment. There is something mysterious that is extremely attractive about having a favorite person, thing, object or class of things upon which to concentrate one’s hate. Today it seems like everyone hates something and some individuals hate many things. Has it always been so?

Deep hate goes even further than a covering and penetrates the full corpus of civilization be it the family, the neighborhood, the city, the region or the state/nation itself. Deep hate knows no limit. It results is overt betrayal of beliefs, friendships, family ties, and the linkages of community, civic and governmental bonds and duties. Deep hate is the hate of the hypocrite, the betrayer, the traitor, the conspirator, the informer, the insider who breaks all bonds of duty, loyalty, decency, and love of persons, communities, cities, bonded groups, and even state/nations. Deep hate degenerates into detestation, hostility, revenge, loathing, abomination and abhorrence. It then is able to justify even more extremely hateful words and deeds. Deep hate seems to be more pervasive than ever as civilization becomes more complicated and frustrating than ever and as organizations in the private, governmental and non-profit sectors evolve into great bureaucracies.

Hate is usually obvious and apparent. It is easily recognized, quickly identified, readily expressed. Deep hate, to the contrary, is characterized by its innate obscurity. It is hidden deeply within. It is anonymous. It is careful. It is quiet. It awaits its proper turn to be unleashed. Then it may surprise its target, embarrass it, humiliate it, and most certainly betray it.

Deep hate is fertilized by contact and communication with other deep haters who form a bond of agreement upon what is to be hated. This bond augments the feeling that something must be done and justifies an act that might not be considered without the feeling of unity of cause. Deep hate is strengthened by the number of deep haters within an organization or group…persons who agree that there is something that must be strongly resisted. Deep hate is very often directed upward toward those in higher authority who may be initially disliked but eventually become despised for reasons that may differ from person to person. The common bond is the excessive growth of the hate impulse among the deep haters who consider their cause just and needed.

Deep hate becomes manifest when someone finally takes action felt to be supported by others as right, correct, just and badly needed. This person relies upon at least tacit support from those who likewise harbor similar hate thus providing a sense of bravado and hopeful security against reprisals.

Deep hate may simply be an action of rejection or opposition to higher authority or it may become an attempt to overthrow it. The more individuals that share the same deep hate, the more likely overthrow or severe embarrassment to higher ups. Needless to say, the greater the bureaucracy involved, the greater likelihood of a wide acceptance of similar deep hate. As a result we see the most glaring cases of deep hate involving labor/management issues and political issues.

Hate is somewhat ethical. It is usually open. It does not deceive nor hide. It opposes but does not betray. Deep hate takes unethical advantage of the trust with which it has been endowed. It opposes by unexpected betrayal.

Once unleashed, how can deep hate be eliminated, minimized or changed into more positive efforts and results?

That is a problem yet to be addressed subtly, carefully and gently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 22, 2019

I Won’t Sell My Soul

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 12:00 am

I am now at the midpoint of the ninth decade of my life so it is time to reflect upon the past and think about the future in which I will not participate. Here is a look back at my career when I was a young CPA in Atlanta. This is the chapter on Jim Wesberry from the book LEGENDS: Georgians Who Lived Impossible Dreams by Gene Asher published by Mercer University Press in 2005.
_____________________

In 1965, James P. “Jim” Wesberry Jr., son of the then renowned pastor of the Morningside Baptist Church, was on a political shooting star.

A member of the Georgia State Senate, he was chairman of the Fulton County Senate Delegation, a vital part of leadership Atlanta and respected by people like Cari Sanders, Ivan Alien, George Berry, and the late Dan Sweat.

He was the principal plaintiff in Wesberry v. Sanders, which laid down for the first time in writing the maxim that congressional districts had to be apportioned according to the ideal of “one man, one vote.” In this landmark decisión, the US Supreme Court mandated the reapportionment of the US House of Representatives.

Said Bill Shipp, then political editor of the Atlanta Constitution, “Wesberry was on his way to becoming mayor of Atlanta or governor of the state of Georgia.”

One year later, at the age of thirty-two, Wesberry quit the Senate and left the state of Georgia, decisions he never has regretted.

“I decided to be honest. That is why I quit. My brilliant decisions so far have been quitting politics and marrying my second wife. I would have become corrupt had I stayed and run for higher office. There was no cholee. I was not prepared to sell my soul.”

Today, Wesberry lives in northern Virginia and works for the World Bank in the Caribbean as the principal adviser in Accounting and Auditing for Latin America and the Caribbean. In plain, simple language, Wesberry’s Job is to uncover fraud and corruption, which he says there is plenty of both, and to pinpoint government accountability. “This work is a calling from God,” he said. “Eliminating corruption is my mission in life.”

It was following his second re-election to the Georgia State Senate that Wesberry realized that he would have to “give up my principies to stay in politics. You cannot raise money without compromising yourself. I did not want to sell my integrity. I hated humbling myself before friends and strangers. If someone gave me fifty dollars, I felt indebted to him. It was a compromising position. The guy who gave me money would come back to see me when he had a bill he wanted passed. Nobody gives you money because they believe in you. They give it to you because they want to own you. I couldn’t stomach it.”

To stay free of promised favors, Wesberry said he tried to pay political campaign bilis himself. “They cost me enough to send three children through college twice. My Senate career cost me $15,000 per year in lost potential income I could have earned as an accountant. Meanwhile, my personal net worth nose-dived. I was unable to pay creditors, people were threatening to sue me. I concluded that if I was going to stay honest and solvent, I would have to get out of politics.”

And what advice would Wesberry give today’s political aspirants?

“Stay out of politics. It is rotten. Political parties are rotten. Someone needs to come up with a better system. No matter how you look at it, votes are bought. There is no free lunch. One day the bottom will fall out. We are the most financially irresponsible country in the world. Miami looks like the forerunner of a series of bankrupt cities. Atlanta could well be next.”

For the state of Georgia, Wesberry predicts disaster due to the lottery.

The lottery is the greatest tragedy in Georgia’s history. It is run by criminals so the state is in bed with criminals. The lottery is a corrupt system which corrupts human beings. People embezzle from employers to pay off lottery losses. The lottery is nothing but a tax on the stupid. Only foolish people play the lottery. The state is supposed to protect the foolish and widows and orphans. Instead, with a lottery, it fools the foolish into paying a tax they cannot afford. The lottery is an addiction, just like alcohol, tobáceo and drugs. I cannot think of a worse idea for Georgia than a state lottery.

Wesberry fears no one but God. In his Georgia Senate days, he was called “the most controversial politician since Gene Talmadge.” Critics said he gave up effectiveness as a legislator for the luxury of saying what he thought. He often was called a “maverick, an independent and an original thinker.”

When Senator Wesberry resigned, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorial commented, “The state will miss him. We shall think of him whenever the public needs a champion at the Capítol and nobody volunteers for the job.”

James Pickett Wesberry Jr. was born in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1934. Al the age of nine, he moved to A t l a n t a where his father became pastor of the Morningside Baptist Church. He attended old Bass Junior High School in Little Five Points, and Grady High School in midtown, before moving to Washington DC and spending three years in the Capítol as a House of Representatives page.

Returning to Atlanta, he spent three years at Georgia Tech before transferring to Georgia State University where he earned his accounting degree. At the age of twenty-one, he earned his CPA designation.

His first marriage, which lasted twenty-three years and produced four children, ended in divorce. “The lowest part of my life was telling my father of the breakup, ” he said, “but I would not have survived had it not been for his understanding along with a good psychiatrist and an anti-depressant. My dad looked me in the eyes and said, ‘You can’t let this end your life. Why, if I looked at my congregants, 50 percent of them would be divorced. Now, get on with your life.'”

He joined the World Bank and moved to Perú where he met his present wife, Lea Esdras Castenada. “We have been on a honeymoon for twenty-two years. Lea is the most wonderful, compassionate person I have known. The Lord placed an ángel with me. We are like one person. Marrying Lea was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Jim and Lea have three children: Jonathan, nineteen, a student at Northern Virginia Júnior College; Perry, fourteen, who is deaf and a football player in his northern Virginia high school; and twelve-year-old Ruby Lea, who attends middle school in northern Virginia.

Jim’s four children by his first marriage are, James III, forty-seven, a stock broker; Elisa, forty-nine, a home health care nurse in Atlanta; Susy, thirty-nine, the wife of a musician in Atlanta; and Paul, twenty-eight, in the computer business in Las Vegas. There are five grandchildren.

Financially, Wesberry has come a long way since his early days in the State Senate where he made $2,000 annually. “I won’t say how much I earn but it is at least eighty times more than what I was earning when I left the State Senate.”

Four years ago, Wesberry received the US Agency for International Development’s coveted “Career Achievement Award” for “invaluable and lifetime contributions to the improvements of Financial management systems and the fight against corruption in Latín America.” He has been listed in Who’s Who in America since 1990 and Who’s Who in the World since 1976.

About his work, uncovering fraud and corruption, Wesberry says that white-collar crime is the fastest growing economic phenomenon on the planet. Prosecutors must divide resources between drug cartels, the Mafia, street crime, and business fraud.

“The shortages of jail cells has become the number one problem in American public administration,” he said.

“A Brazilian congressman is alleged to have processed $51 million through his personal bank accounts in less than five years. Cocaine-financed bribes give public officials in South and North America a choice between receiving more money than they could earn in 100 years or tortuous death for themselves or their loved ones. That is what we are up against.”

September 17, 2019

The End of Democracy by Christophe Buffin de Chosal

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 1:42 pm

(more…)

September 12, 2019

The Hardest Day of My Life

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 2:30 pm

It was a bright Spring morning in Atlanta in 1967. I left home a little later than usual that morning. Upon arriving at the Georgia State Capitol Plaza, I parked my car in the reserved area to which my official “SS 37” auto tag entitled me. I crossed the plaza to the Capitol Building and took the elevator to the governor’s office. His staff was expecting me and immediately showed me into the office of Governor Lester Maddox. He was sitting at his desk but immediately stood up. We  greeted and I  handed him a single sheet of paper, a letter,  written on my official stationary, the last one I ever wrote. On it was the following:

“I hereby submit my resignation as Georgia State Senator from the 37th District, Fulton County.  This is been the greatest privilege of my life.

              Yours truly,  James P. Wesberry, Jr.”

 Lester Maddox, who became governor after hotly contested Democratic primaries and an inconclusive general election that ended up with a special Constitutionally established joint legislative gubernatorial election session had been my worst political enemy during the entire time I served as Senator. He was the epitome of the term “segregationist” in Georgia at that time. I was then known as the most “liberal” State Senator due to my Atlanta constituency and my views on racial equality. Though I had been a lifelong Democrat, when my name was called I had shouted out my vote for his Republican opponent in the joint legislative session that elected him by an extremely wide margin.

 But Lester Maddox was a gentleman and he spoke kindly accompanying me all the way to the door of his outer office. I’ll never forget the last words he spoke to me. “Where was it you said you were going Jim?” “Peru,” I answered. “Boy! you must have a good job there,” he replied.

I went back to my car and drove to the Atlanta airport with tears streaming down my face all the way.  I had thus ended the greatest dream of my life.

My father has prepared me for public service. As a boy I had served as a Page on the floor of the US House of Representatives for three years. I had studied business and public administration, become a CPA and specialized in governmental financial management, accounting and auditing. I had audited many local governments, had served as a criminal investigator of corruption in state government, had been hyper active in civic and community affairs, had been elected three times to the Senate, chaired its largest delegation and was expected to run for higher office. I was 32 years of age.

At the airport my parents met me with my luggage and took my automobile back to sell it for me.  I boarded an airplane headed for Lima Peru.

So began a vastly different, but excitingly interesting phase of my life.

[For more see Why I Quit the Georgia Senate at http://jimwes.com/id14.html ]

September 11, 2019

Never Forget….Forgotten

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 3:56 pm

I had been in a Mexico City hotel for several days prior to the 9/11/01 attacks preparing to launch a new USAID-financed anti-corruption project in collaboration with the new Fox government. We anticipated much emphasis upon Mexico due to President Bush’s interest due to having been governor of neighboring Texas. The two presidents were to meet quite soon. Suddenly everything changed and the US President pretty well forgot about Mexico due to the pressing world crisis.

I was overwhelmed doubly with sorrow as we tried to salvage our anti-corruption plans amid little interest from Washington but I really had little contact with what was going on in the US until I returned many months later.

When I did return to the US I was absolutely stunned to see waves of patriotism everywhere. Flags, automobile stickers, patriotic symbols and acts abounded. I was immediately happily reminded of the similarity to the US I grew up in during and after World War II. Gone were the negative references to Vietnam, the criticisms of partisan politics and the undercurrent of anti-Americanism that had been prevalent especially since the Nixon administration.

It was truly delightful to see Americans young and old praising their country and participating in patriotic activities.

I returned to Mexico recharged with my own love of the US expecting a great change in the outlook of the citizenry.  Sadly that did not happen. By the time of my next trip home all the patriotic fervor had disappeared. Political hatred had resumed its growth and since then has gotten far, far worse than ever.

We did forget!

And as I see the numerous “one day” remembrances today on the 18th anniversary of 9/11, I am even more saddened than ever because our memory has faded and we have practically forgotten what we pledged to remember and only have cognizance of it once a year.

December 1, 2018

Supporting a Grief Stricken Friend

Filed under: Love — jimwes @ 6:08 pm

Today a friend posted a video on Facebook that brought back a very old memory of one of the most troubling episodes of my entire life. Through it I learned one of life’s most important lessons.

It occurred in the early 1970’s when I was working in Peru. It was the most uncomfortable day of my life in many ways. As background my father was a very prominent Baptist minister in Atlanta, Georgia. He had many God-given talents, but the greatest of all, that I saw demonstrated many times as I accompanied him while a boy, was the ability to share grief and comfort those of his church and community in their times of utmost grief.  His comforting presence and words during times of sickness, difficult times and death made him extremely beloved to all who knew him.  Folks he comforted at such times became his everlasting friends and admirers.

Unfortunately for me, among the very many talents of my father that I did not inherit or possess was that ability to comfort others. It seemed to me that I was almost the opposite of my beloved father in that respect. I was embarrassed, tongue-tied, frustrated, and practically speechless at any time I was confronted with the grief of a friend, and especially where there had been loss of life. I tried to avoid contact in such cases, skipped funerals I should have attended, and if I had to speak garbled some pitiful (at least to me) words of sympathy.

Finally in Peru when I was about half my present age I confronted the greatest challenge I could have imagined. A very close friend telephoned me at six o’clock one morning to tell me that his expectant wife had died while giving birth to their first child. The baby had survived and her mother was with him caring for it.  I have no memory of how I replied to him but was horribly embarrassed that I had not found words I believed could help.

I got dressed and went to work but on the way my conscience was tortured by my own grief for my friend. At the office I went straight to the executive, who was the Comptroller General of Peru, and told him the situation asking for the day off. He readily agreed and I drove to my friend’s home to find him.

Again I have no memory of what I may have said to him or his mother-in-law but I knew it was pitifully inadequate. He told me that he had much to do that day including getting the death certificate and many other papers, arranging the funeral (in Latin American countries burial is almost immediate after death), and paying hospital bills, etc.  In practically my only lucid moment I said “I’ll go with you.”

Though I offered mine, he insisted upon driving his own car so I sat at his side throughout the full day. I was totally speechless. I tried to say something comforting but simply could not get anything out of my own mouth. I waited in the car while he ran many errands and handled all his urgent tasks. While he was driving he did all the talking. He told me the story of his love, marriage and hopes, including many personal feelings about his own upbringing, his family and his experiences. I was relieved that he became so loquacious because I was basically stricken dumb by the shame of not having anything comforting to say.

Finally we parted at the end of the day and I shamefully went home to confess that I had been a complete failure in helping my friend in his time of grief.

The next day at the funeral I could not believe the overwhelming words of thankfulness that my friend expressed to me. He said “You were with me all the time. You listened to me. You comforted me more than I can say.”  Again I was speechless. And for the rest of his life whenever we met he profusely thanked me for comforting him. I had done absolutely nothing but listen all day long. Amazingly to me, that evidently was the thing he needed most on the day of his greatest grief.

So I learned a great lesson of life:

In times of severe grief a person needs the quiet support of a listening friend much more than any words that can be expressed.

That is why this video that I saw today reminded me to express my thankfulness to the Lord for helping me be just a tiny little bit like my father.  And that is why I want to share this video with you:  https://youtu.be/zW0-aT7B1XM

November 23, 2018

A 21st Century Declaration of Independence

Filed under: Honor, politics — Tags: , , , — jimwes @ 3:57 pm

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one person to dissolve the informational bands which have connected him with the present Current Media and to obtain from among the powers of the earth, a separate and equal source of knowledge to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle him, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that he should declare the causes which impel him to the separation.

I hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created intelligent, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Truthful Information and the pursuit of Honest Knowledge. — That to secure these rights, Instruments of Truthful Unbiased Media are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the Readers/Viewers, — That whenever any Form of Media becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to avoid or to ignore it, and to institute new means of obtaining news, data and information, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such a form, as to him shall seem most likely to affect his Integrity, Safety and Happiness. The history of the present Current News and Information Media is a history of repeated lies, distortions, injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over the receipt of Truthful News, Data, and Information. To prove this let Facts be submitted to a candid world:

The Current Media has ignored its own time honored principles and practices of Ethics and Honest Reporting.

The Current Media has often published Fake News, Distorted News, Biased News, and Wholly or Partially Untrue News.

The Current Media has ignored and not published, or conveniently and carefully obscured news with which it disagrees.

The Current Media has Viciously Attacked those with whom it disagrees.

The Current Media has spun the news and manipulated data to the benefit of ends that it supports.

The Current Media has united to form a Monopoly of Untruthful and Exaggerated Accusations.

The Current Media has persecuted unmercifully those with which it disagrees and/or hates.

The Current Media has Lied Over and Over relying upon such False Repetition to eventually be accepted as Truth.

The Current Media has lost its credibility by betraying the faith once trustingly placed upon it by myself and others.

I therefore, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of my intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of my own human rights, solemnly publish and declare, That my sources of information and news ought to be Free and Independent, that I am hereby Absolved from using all currently biased political and informational media sources and all political and informational use of printed, visual and digital Current Media Sourced Data, News and Information.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, I pledge to the public that I will avoid and ignore all Vengeful, Distorted and Untrue Media, upon my own Life, my Fortunes, and my sacred Honor.

     James Pickett Wesberry, Jr.

Citizen of the United States of America

 

November 5, 2018

USA IMMIGRANTS IN MY FAMILY HISTORY

Filed under: Immigration — jimwes @ 9:26 pm

At this time of great interest in the issue of immigration I happened to accidentally find out a bit about my own family’s immigrants of the 18th Century.

John Wolfe (1686-1759) and Ziblilla Witgens (1683-1759) were my great grandparents five generations removed on my mother’s side of the family. They immigrated to the United States from their native country, Switzerland, at the price of becoming bond servants having to work for three years as such in order to pay their passage since they were “too poor to pay passage-money.” They travelled from their home in Berne, Switzerland to a German seaport and endured a long and very trying sea voyage to their new home in America. Once free they were awarded land upon which to settle and farm in what is now Orangeburg County, South Carolina. It is estimated that as many as two-thirds of the people who came to the colonies between the 1630s and the American Revolution did so as indentured servants.

Emigrants from Europe like my 5th generation great grandparents were called “redemptioners,” a term that stems from the practice of an apprentice fulfilling his obligation to his master and therefore being “redeemed.”  Similarly, the practice of indenture, bonding, or redemptioners all stem from the much-accepted practice of apprenticeship, where a young man would learn a trade and in return serve a certain number of years in unpaid labor for the master.  The practice was common in England and in Germany.

The following extract indicates that my 5th generation grandparents were sold and located in Saxe-Gotha, Germany to fulfil their servitude and after their legal discharge they obtained the king’s bounty and a tract of land, the same as other settlers,

“Journal of Council, vol. xi, p. 486: ‘Petition of John Wolfe and wife, natives of Berne, Switzerland, too poor to pay passage-money, entered into the service of Anthony Stack, of Saxe-Gotha, Germany for three years, being now discharged from service, prays for his quota of land and bounty-money. Granted, on evidence of his written legal discharge.’ ”[i]

These forebears of mine were erroneously called “redemptionersbecause they could have been “redeemed” by payments made by other relatives who were already in the country, but in actuality they and very few others had such relatives, thus they were obliged to serve basically almost as white slaves, but only for a specified time period. Redemptioners were European immigrants, generally in the 18th or early 19th century, who gained passage to American Colonies by selling themselves into indentured servitude to pay back the shipping company which had advanced the cost of the transatlantic voyage. Most paid for their emigration with their own toil, tears, and sometimes their life. In America their labor was considered a good to be lawfully bought and sold until their indentures matured. The big differences between redemptioners and African slaves, were that redemptioners came of their own accord (even if misinformed) and that they had some legal rights and an “out of indentures” date to look forward to.

Unlike my more fortunate forebears, typical redemptioners were at a disadvantage because they were usually forced to negotiate their indentures with their future master at the worst possible time, before they were allowed to leave a stinking, vermin-infested ship at the end of a long voyage with no prospect to return to their homelands. Fortunately my 5th generation grandparents performed their contracted labor in Germany before their voyage. Abuse of redemptioners on board ship is well documented. If a person died after half way across the Atlantic, the surviving family members had to pay the deceased’s fare as well as their own. Their baggage was often pilfered by the crew. Many travelers started their journey with sufficient funds to pay their way but were overcharged so that they arrived with a debt to settle and they also had to be redeemed or work off their debts. If the ship needed to sail before some of the passengers’ indentures had been sold, an agent in the American port kept them confined until a buyer presented himself. In such cases they could be auctioned off just like slaves. The redemptioners who became indentured servants in the US ended up working as farm laborers, household help, in workshops, and even as store clerks. Involuntary servitude, along with slavery in the United States, was finally banned as a part of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1865.

Here is a description of the reasons for and conditions of this kind of servitude:

Dr. Bernheim, on p. 131 of his history, writing of the settlement of Redemptioners, says: “Some of our best and most useful settlers in the South were persons, who, too poor to pay their passage-money across the ocean, were sold by the captains of the vessels, that brought them to America, to any one of the settlers who felt inclined to secure their labor. The price for which they were sold in Carolina was usually from five to six pounds, sterling money, and both men and women were thus alike sold to service; and then, by hard labor, which extended over a period of from three to five years, they eventually redeemed themselves from this species of servitude.

“The advantages of such an arrangement to them and to their adopted colony were, upon the whole, important and salutary.

“1. Our infant colonies stood in need of a useful population which would prove a defence [sic] to the country in case of the execution of the continued threatenings [sic] of a Spanish invasion, and the sudden attack of hostile Indians.

“2. Besides, labor was greatly needed for the cultivation of the virgin soil, and these poor Germans-many of them excellent farmers, some of them useful artisans, and all of them hard-working people-furnished this labor, and at very cheap rates.

“3. The country also needed permanent settlers who would become habituated to the soil and climate, who would learn to love their adopted country, by being compelled to remain until they had fully tested all the advantages of the same; these the Redemptioners abundantly supplied in their own persons.

“4. Nor were the advantages to them of slight importance. They had nothing to risk in the shape of property, as they possessed nothing of this world’s goods, and thus they never became a prey to those landsharks which often despoil the less sagacious immigrants of much of the possessions which they brought with them to America.

“5. Besides, they were the poorer class of people at home in Europe, and would always have remained in this condition, had such an arrangement not existed: but now they enjoyed the flattering prospect of receiving competency and wealth at some future day.

“6. Then again, their servitude became their apprenticeship in America; in the meantime they learned the English language, they became acquainted with the laws and customs of the ‘new country, they discovered by silent observation what would in future be to their advantage, and thus in every way did they become qualified by sagacity, industry, and economy, for their new and independent sphere of life.

“Yet it must be confessed that they had to endure many hardships: often were they rigously [sic] treated by their ship captains: ill and insufficiently fed on their voyage across the ocean, and on shore before they were purchased for their services: exposed publicly for sale as the African slave: often treated harshly by their masters who purchased them, and compelled to labor in the broiling sun of a southern climate, and many, by disease and death, frequently closed their short earthly career.

“However, when our country had become sufficiently populated, the government interposed and put an end to this kind of servitude, on account of the severity of the lot of these unfortunate laborers, and thus abandoned this source of colonization.[ii]

[i] The History of Orangeburg County, South Carolina From Its First Settlement to the Close of the Revolutionary Warby A. S. Salley, Jr., 1998  http://www.genealogytrails.com/scar/orangeburg/history1.html#sec2
[ii] Ibid.

 

September 22, 2016

Thoughts at 82

Filed under: Opportunity, Optimism, Uncategorized, Wisdom — jimwes @ 12:27 pm

Today I am 82 years of age. That gives me a lot to think about.

I never planned to get this far in years as few in my family have lived so long. But here I am so I must make the best of it.

At this stage of my life:

  • Every day is Thanksgiving Day

  • Every breath is a new opportunity

  • Every sunrise is a new miracle

  • Every smile is a new sunrise

  • Every friend is a valued treasure

  • Every grandchild is a kingly jewel & every great grandchild a crown of gold

  • Every family contact is an unmeasureable blessing, and 

  • Every new task is a life transfusion

    Mother Theresa is credited with the following observation about life:

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.

Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.”

The “extra” days allotted to those who live longer than most provide a renewed opportunity that we should take advantage of.

Here is my theme for the rest of my time:

Look to the future, not the past,
Look forward, not back, 
Look up, not down,

and DO GOOD

February 21, 2016

OBAMA EXPOSED AT LAST

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 2:16 pm

I could never understand how as an Illinois State Senator Barack Obama voted “present” over one hundred times avoiding taking a stand on many issues.

Some years earlier I was a Georgia State Senator for about the same length of time as he. I never voted “present” one single time. I never even considered voting “present.” I do not remember any other Senators (including Jimmy Carter who was in that same Senate) voting present. I was at that time the undisputed “most liberal” Georgia State Senator. I was hated, despised, threatened and vilified because I supported civil rights in, at that time a very “white supremacist” state.

Horrified when the racist Lester Maddox was elected governor of Georgia I resigned and joined the Alliance for Progress in Latin America.

The only explanation I have for what I now consider the greatest electoral error in the history of democracy, the election of Barack Obama, is that he appeared on the scene at the very time when the American electorate, repentant and saddened over the tragedies first of slavery followed by white supremacy, chose to elect a young black whom we now know was adroitly pushed forward by dark sources that that fooled America by making him appear to be outstanding.

I considered voting for him myself, especially had he selected former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn as his running mate. He did not so I did not. After Obama’s election I was mortified at what I considered the “weird” charges against him, defended him in conversations with friends and hoped that he would be a good president and do more to heal race relations. With a broken heart I have watched him fail miserably and betray the United States of America.

I read the following 2012 article when it was first published and felt that it was too strong. Now I have reconsidered in light of the past four years and consider it exactly right and now extremely timely.

Here are the main points made in the article about the man whom I now consider to have been the worst US president in history:

  • unremarkable grades and test scores
  • a non-job as a “community organizer
  • a brief career as a state legislator devoid of legislative achievement
  • an unaccomplished single term in the United States Senate
  • no academic legacy in academia
  • authored no signature legislation as a legislator
  • a white-hating, America-loathing pastor who for decades served as Obama’s “spiritual mentor”
  • a terrorist who served as Obama’s colleague and early political sponsor
  • no evidence that he ever sat for the Illinois bar
  • held to a lower standard because of the color of his skin
  • thinks and speaks in the hoariest of cliches when he has Teleprompters; when the prompter is absent he can barely think or speak at all.
  • All his life, every step of the way, was told he was good enough for the next step, in spite of ample evidence to the contrary.
  • Not one original idea ever issued from his mouth — it’s all warmed-over Marxism of the kind that has failed over and over again for 100 years.
  • constantly blaming anything and everything else for his troubles
  • willing to advertise his own powerless-ness
  • comfortable with his own incompetence
  • a small-minded man, with neither the temperament nor the intellect to handle his job

But the greatest tragedy of this tragic president is that he has prepared the way for a Marxist follower, Bernie Sanders, who as an unemployed belligerent hippie, never earning a true salary in his life except by ruminating at the public trough, going to Cuba trying to meet Fidel Castro and to Nicaragua to also support it’s communist revolution, now comes to openly bring communism to an America whose gullible young people have no memory, not knowledge of its bloody and horrible history.

Here is the full article from Newsweek’s final issue by Matt Patterson:      NEWSWEEK CLOSED ITS DOORS WITH A BANG!

January 25, 2016

21st Century Men and Women “Without a Country”

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 11:49 pm

Just over 150 years ago the prominent American author, Edward Everett Hale, grandson of the Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale, published a short story in The Atlantic titled “Man without a Country.”  It is about a young army officer at the turn of the Century 200 years ago who in a fit of political disgust strongly renounces the USA while being tried by a military court for treason. He is sentenced by the court to never have contact with, or even news about, the country for the rest of his life. Under this sentence he is transferred from one navy ship to another, never being able to go ashore in any country until he is near death when a Navy officer is shown his stateroom filled with homemade memorabilia about the USA. An ultra-repentant homeless and sad old man begs for information about the major events that have happened to the U.S. since his sentence was imposed and at last is reconciled to his country by receiving from the naval officer a verbal historical summary covering the over 50 years of exile while he was literally a 19th Century man without a country.

Hale’s story became his masterpiece. Written during the Civil War it was intended to foster patriotism among its readers. In this it succeeded magnificently. It was taught in American schools for a century and became an American classic. It resulted in numerous reprintings, radio plays, several movies and even an opera. According to an essay by Alexander Zaitchick celebrating its sesquicentennial, “it was a cornerstone of America’s national religion, straddling literature, civic education, and popular culture.” He goes on the state that, “It’s not easy to imagine today a piece of short fiction occupying the perch long enjoyed by The Man without a Country.”[1] Like many other schoolchildren in the USA, I read it as a child and was greatly moved, especially because at that time World War II was going on.

What motivated this particular account is an article by Chris Jackson titled “The rise of Neo-Nativism[3] that discusses the results of a recent Ipsos poll on “nativist” sentiments and the 2016 election, but I do not expect to get into politics in this message. I expect to get into something far more important: morality…and the 21st Century “Man without a Country.” 

 The dictionary defines “nativism” as “a policy of favoring native habitants as opposed to immigrants.” The article sees “neo-nativism” as “The policy of protecting the interests of native inhabitants against those of immigrants.” Jackson’s article and the poll are obviously motivated by the now overwhelming 2016 election issue of illegal immigration and the consequent need for a functioning immigration policy. But here are the poll results that magnetically attracted my attention:

 1.   More than half (58%) of Americans don’t identify with what America has become. 

 2.   A majority (53%) feel like a “stranger in their own country”.

 3.   A significant plurality of the electorate holds “nativist” attitudes.

 Here are two excerpts from the article setting out the conclusions derived from the poll:

 There is “a deep, visceral fear among many that America’s best days are behind it. That the land of freedom, baseball and apple pie is no longer recognizable; and that ‘the other’—sometimes the immigrant, sometimes the Non-American , and almost always the  nonwhite—is to blame for these circumstances.”

 On the one hand, many people are scared about their economic future and that of their children as the rate of economic displacement increases with the globalization of cheap labor and technological innovation. The America Dream for many is a distant, foreign concept. On the other hand, many people no longer recognize the America of their grandparents—an increasingly nonwhite and correspondingly more liberal country. This is scary for many Americans. These concomitant trends are driving an increased sense of economic and cultural displacement among a large chunk of voters…”

 Now here’s my take on all of this. I believe the points made above regarding “nativism” and immigration are well taken, but there is more…much, much more, to the story.

 The poll exposes the current tragic situation…the 21st Century “Man (and Woman) without a Country,” and these persons who are now very numerous have many more reasons than those mentioned to “fail to identify with what America has become” and feel like a “stranger in their own country”.

 The country that most Americans living today grew up in was greatly different from America 2016 in which the 21 cultural principles enumerated below have been, or are being disavowed:

 ·        Shame, when appropriate, was recognized as a desirable, though painful social emotion resultant from comparison of the self’s actions with its own and the community’s standards that were inculcated from birth and throughout life. To be unashamed, to avoid accountability, to be proud of improper actions, to flaunt the violation of personal and community standards was neither acceptable not popular.

·        There was no question about the acceptance of the heritage of Judeo-Christian Values.

·        Bible reading and prayer in public schools, meetings and all type events was common and religious conduct was taught and respected.

·        Profanity was limited mainly to masculine gatherings and work and no gentleman used it before a woman, nor did books, periodicals, movies and other media use it.

·        Young women were carefully protected and all women were expected to be chaste, pleasant and good examples to their families.

·        Clothing, even though worn by hard work was clean, serious, proper and prudent.

·        Other than alcohol, all drugs were prohibited by law or by custom and little used by anyone.

·        Divorce was rare, frowned upon and considered something to be ashamed of as was “single parenthood.”

·        Abortion was a crime. Sex was considered an act of love and procreation among married adults.

·        Patriotism was honorable and unpatriotism unthinkable.

·        The country’s Founding Fathers and other national heroes were never criticized or ridiculed.

·        Young persons were expected to be obedient and respectful of their elders, their teachers and all others.

·        Sexual promiscuousness and perversion of sexual relationships and acts of any kind were abhorred and most were illegal.

·        Sexual activity other than between a married male and female was considered improper and often illegal and same sex marriage as well as other then considered abnormal sexual activity or conduct was totally unthinkable and unmentionable.

·        The arts, including music, painting, and entertainment were morally clean, pleasant and educational.

·        Celebrities in cine, music, sports and other areas were expected to be good examples and most were.

·        Government was rigidly confined to Constitutional actions and expected to be prudent and wisely protective of the populace.

·        Children, young people and adults were educated in the home, school and church to feel ashamed of any conduct or action that reflected upon the good name of their family or their community.

·        Socialism, and its close relative communism, having failed over the centuries, was considered unacceptable in political life.

·        The “four cardinal virtues” – justice, wisdom (prudence), courage (fortitude) and moderation (self control / temperance) were taught, respected and expected of all citizens and their governments.

·        Immigration, while occasionally opposed, was largely welcomed as a means of populating the country and stimulating its growth and immigrants and their descendants often made excellent citizens and community and state leaders. Immigrants rapidly assimilated and being an American became more important to them than their prior allegiances. Most immigrants were fleeing oppression or poverty and seeking freedom of opportunity. They filled a need for new workers in a growing country.

 America 2016 has, is abandoning, or already has abandoned all of the above 21 cultural traditions. This combination of dramatic and often very unpopular cultural changes is much more problematic than mere  “nativism” and most of the items enumerated above have nothing whatsoever to do with immigration. Yet the abandonment of these basic cultural items jointly and severally comprises drastic and dramatic changes in the culture of the United States that have occurred over a very few decades.

 Had there been only one or two such cultural changes, or had all 21 been spread over a greater number of decades, perhaps the culture shock would not have been so great. But the extremely rapid and unusually numerous changes in themselves have shocked the sensitivity of those citizens who grew up in a completely different culture. This is paradoxical at a time when in other areas sensitiveness to hurt feeling and avoidance of speech or action making people uncomfortable appears to be quite fashionable. It is also sad because those persons whose sensitivities are being ignored are the older generations of citizens. It is not too much to say that the accelerated cultural revolution has resulted in outright discrimination against those born in the 20th Century as well as those whose religious or other principles are in conflict with the changes imposed. This leads one to question: Are the civil rights or middle aged and elderly citizens, people of faith and persons with differing cultural principles being violated?

 An even greater paradox is posed by the fact that very many of the immigrants to the USA come from countries that still adhere to the all or many of the 21 disappearing US cultural principles.

 It is really the rapid acceptance of drastic cultural change that causes many Americans to feel that they are losing or have already lost their country. Thus it is not only the increased immigration from other lands, but also the departure from the above cultural traditions that give us situations such as reported in the Ipsos poll results that 58% “fail to identify with what America has become” and 53% feel like a “stranger in their own country”. These folks are, or soon will be, 21st Century Men and Women without a Country.”

 The Ipsos poll, though very interesting, failed to ask “why” of those persons who felt they were “a stranger” or “failed” to identify with their own country.

 At the possible risk of perceived redundancies let us look at the new culture of America 2016:

 ·        Shame is obsolete. No one is expected to feel shame about any act. Legal or cultural deviations all have some psychologically explainable cause resultant from parental of other mistreatment in earlier years. It is fashionable to express pride in having carried out or adhering to any outlandish or even illegal act. Disgusting acts are proudly and publicly performed to gain attention or support questionable causes.

·        Judeo-Christian Values are considered outmoded and often ridiculed. Frequently other values are praised and inculcated through the educational system.

·        Bible reading and prayer in public schools, meetings and all type events is illegal. Christian faith is shunned and ridiculed.

·        Profanity is prolific on the part of women as well as men in daily conversation, books, periodicals, movies and all other media.

·        Young women are free to do, act, dress and divert themselves in any manner that gives them pleasure.

·        Clothing has no standards and the more revealing or outlandish it may be, the more popular it becomes.

·        Drugs of almost any kind are popular and legal (or illegally accepted socially) to enhance entertainment, sexual pleasure and escape from the realities of life.

·        Divorce is commonplace, often repetitive, and “single parenthood” is fashionable and to some desirable.

·        Abortion is encouraged as a means of birth control. Those who oppose it are ridiculed and discriminated against. Sex has become the nation’s favorite recreation.

·        Unpatriotism is fashionable. Criticism of the USA is hailed as appropriate and educational. Textbooks are “cleansed” of patriotic acts and events once held up as good examples.

·        The country’s Founding Fathers and other national heroes are criticized and ridiculed for practices that were common in their time. Statues and historical monuments are removed. History is rewritten to support political causes..

·        Young persons are disobedient and disrespectful of their elders, their teachers and others in general.

·        Sexual promiscuousness and perversion of sexual relationships and acts of any kind are popular, highlighted in the media and considered normal.

·        Sexual activity is glamorized and considered a right of self satisfaction or recreation no matter whom or how many participate. Sexual activity, no matter how unusual is widely publicized and considered exemplar. Marriage does not restrict the right to sex with anyone else.

·        The arts, including music, painting, and entertainment are morally filthy, distorted, ugly, and provide despicable examples for youth.

·        Celebrities in cinema, music, sports and other areas are bad examples of every type vice.

·        Government subverts and distorts the Constitution, dictates its statutes without Constitutional authority, creates unpayable debt and does not protect the populace.

·        Children, young people and adults are no longer educated or inculcated with any kinds of values or morality in the home or school.  Churches are dying out. Whatever feels good is acceptable. Reputations are obsolete and never considered.

·        Socialism is becoming fashionable.

·        The “four cardinal virtues” – justice, wisdom (prudence), courage (fortitude) and moderation (self control temperance) are ridiculed and forgotten.

·        Immigration, legal or illegal, is extremely controversial and vigorously opposed by many because current immigrants are not considered to be seeking to become good citizens, but often violating the law, resisting assimilation by maintaining their original cultures and allegiances and taking jobs away from American citizens. Immigration is seen as being encouraged by supporters in the guise of benevolence but really supported in order to provide more votes assuring electoral victories.

In addition to the above, the American nation has changed in many other ways. “Three in four Americans now say that the ‘American Dream’ — broadly, the notion that through hard work and determination every American can have a successful life — is suffering…69% say the obstacles to realizing the dream are “more severe today than ever” — and note that a decline in work ethic is the primary hurdle to Dream achievement.”[4]

Top barriers to more people achieving the American Dream

Decline in work ethic

22%

Decline in values/moral standards

20%

Personal debt

20%

Rules favoring the wealthy

19%

Lack of economic opportunity

18%

Economic inequality

17%

Big government

17%

Decline of the middle class

17%

Cost of healthcare

15%

High government spending

14%

Source: 7th Annual American Values Survey[5]

 Most startling is that half the younger folks are the most pessimistic about the American Dream. “When Harvard’s Institute of Politics asked 18- to 29-year-olds if they considered the American dream to be alive or dead, the result was an even split. About half said they considered the American dream alive and well for them personally. About half said it was dead as a doornail.”[6]

 Corruption is rampant as evidenced by the numerous cases reported daily, some prosecuted, others ignored. A recent Gallup poll found that “three in four Americans (75%)…perceived corruption as widespread in the country’s government.”[7]

 According to an opinion article by Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO at Gallup, “This sense of corruption probably contributes to much of the extreme anxiety and unrest we see today — including protests, lower voter turnout and increased interest in guns…The perception that there’s widespread corruption in the national government could be a symptom of citizen disengagement and anger. Or it could be a cause — we don’t know. But it’s very possible this is a big, dark cloud that hangs over this country’s progress.”[8]

 The scale of unpunished or lightly punished narcotics importation, distribution, sale and use in the USA is clearly out of control and gives much credence to the unavoidable conclusion that there are many, many corrupt police, prosecutors and judges. This has not existed since prohibition and it appears that the ultimate solution will be the same…legalization.

 Political corruption is also out of control bringing back memories of the late 19th Century when democracy was previously imperiled by unscrupulous political bosses.

 Those persons, who were born in the first two-thirds of the 20th Century together with all persons of faith and strong ethical Judeo-Christian principles, are naturally prone to feel that their land has been swept away from beneath their feet. It is not surprising that they feel like asking: “Who stole America?”

 It is extremely ironic that at a time when colleges and their students are vastly concerned with the problem of language “hurting the feelings” of others, no one is concerned with the hurt feeling of the great segment of the population that is left feeling they are “without a country.”[9]

 It is no wonder the USA’s traditional political processes are being overturned and once unacceptable political declarations and personalities are gaining acceptance among much of the voting public.

 It is no wonder that there are many, many 21st Century Men and Women who feel they are “Without a Country” but who are willing to make one last desperate effort to regain it.

 That is why we are witnessing the astounding change in attitude of many American voters in this year’s presidential election.

__________

Notes

[1]   Alexander Zaitchick No Land’s Man: Edward Everett Hale’s “The Man Without A Country Turns 150,” Los Angeles Review of Books, https://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/no-lands-man-edward-everett-hales-the-man-without-a-country-turns-150

[2] https://youtu.be/24-_-73dVFU

[3] http://spotlight.ipsos-na.com/index.php/news/the-rise-of-neo-nativism-putting-trump-into-proper-context/

[4] http://www.marketwatch.com/story/white-people-think-the-american-dream-is-least-achievable-2015-07-02

[5] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/12/10/48-percent-of-millennials-think-the-american-dream-is-dead-heres-why/ttp://www.slideshare.net/BMGlobalNews/the-american-dream-summary-report-complete/1

[6] http://www.slideshare.net/BMGlobalNews/the-american-dream-summary-report-complete/1

 [7] http://www.gallup.com/poll/185759/widespread-government-corruption.aspx?g_source=corruption&g_medium=search&g_campaign=tiles

[8] http://www.gallup.com/opinion/chairman/188000/explaining-trump-widespread-government-corruption.aspx?g_source=corruption&g_medium=search&g_campaign=tiles

[9] http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/25845/

November 18, 2015

Get the Parties Over

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 11:32 pm

 

Political parties undermine and corrupt democracy

George Washington detested political parties.

This is his warning to the nation from his Farewell Address of September 17, 1796:

“In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western; whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection…

 All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.

 However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion…

 I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty…

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

 Recently a new research study from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve systems of democracy and justice has concluded that “targeted measures to strengthen political parties, including public financing and a relaxing of certain campaign finance regulations, could help produce a more inclusive and transparent politics.” This paper is primarily and rightfully concerned with one of the Achilles heels of democratic governance – the financing of political campaigns. Such financing is usually done directly or indirectly through established and recognized political parties and organizations (“pacts”, non-profits, etc.), that function in parallel to the parties. The Brennan Center paper is just one of hundreds of papers, articles and suggestions advocating strengthening of political parties to help in uplifting democracies from their current precipitous decline.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is the only hope of saving the collapsing democracies across the world is to abolish political parties.

Historically every political party that has ever achieved power on Earth has become corrupted, notwithstanding that many were originally founded with good intentions. Strengthening political parties as frequently suggested would strengthen political corruption. Political parties are creatures without morals. There is no way any political party can resist the temptation to achieve and retain power.

The politically correct misconception harbored by almost everyone (as indicated by the first sentence of the paper cited) is that “Political parties are a core ingredient of representative democracy.” This is a total falsehood. They are the worst enemy of representative democracy!

Not only Washington, but many of the founders of the USA feared that political parties, if created, would destroy the “democracy within a republic” that they were creating.

John Adams said: “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

Thomas Jefferson said: “I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.” 

The Founders apparently intentionally did not mention political parties in the Constitution. Notwithstanding they used many mechanisms to hopefully avert the creation of political parties knowing they would become corrupt and thus corrupt the nation.

The country’s second President John Adams, signed into law the Alien and Sedition Acts, making it a federal crime to criticize the president or his administration’s policies, an apparent attempt, among other things, to avoid the creation of an opposition party. This was not an appropriate way to solve the problem of political parties but it demonstrates the fear of them by the Founders.

These mechanisms worked only for a very short time. Political parties reared their ugly heads almost as soon as the first US elections were held and they have been corrupting the USA ever since.

The only solution to the problem raised is the complete and irrevocable prohibition constitutional and legal of the disastrous monstrosity known as “political parties!”

The “Father of the US Constitution” James Madison, in The Federalist No. 10, defined a faction as a number of citizens, whether a majority or minority, who were united and activated “by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” He and the “Federalists” believed in a single political structure – a one party or no party system.  But Madison soon changed his mind and abandoned the Federalists to become Thomas Jefferson’s most active lieutenant in organizing, in opposition to the Washington/Hamilton Federalists, a new Democratic-Republican Party, which was strongly Anti-Federalist and took power after 1800. Since then the USA has been cursed with political parties…and the word “adverse” from Madison’s definition understates their relationship from then until now.

While many tend to feel that the adversities of the parties are now worse than ever, a close reading of US history shows that the raging conflicts between the parties (usually two, but occasionally more) have existed from the 19th Century into the 21st. Notwithstanding their incessant turmoil and inherent corruption political parties have been, are, and probably will continue to be considered foundational to politics and democracy in the USA and across the world because no one so far has come up with an antidote to their poison..

In his outstanding book, The End of Power, Moises Naim very optimistically advocates the expansion and adaptation of parties to a more “networked world” with “relatively flat, less hierarchical structures” in imitation of NGO’s, gaining trust by making their members feel successful and even indispensable in making and impact. As a result he suggests that members will then see party leaders as “accountable, transparent and not beholden to dark or unknown interests.”  And, like almost all who write of the subject he insists that increased political participation will improve and strengthen democratic processes. With all due respect to a person I have long admired, Moises Naim is far too optimistic.

Here is how political parties corrupt their own. A young enthusiastic man full of good intentions, but not wealthy, is active in civic and community affairs and becomes interested in government and politics and seeks to become active. He joins a party and after proving himself a hard worker seeks public office eventually getting elected. At first all is well bit sooner or later a question will arise where his own sincere beliefs differ from the position of the party. What does he do?

If his beliefs are strong he will vote contrary to his party’s wishes. He may be able to do this on relatively minor issues but along will come an issue of grave importance to him and his party in which he strongly differs from the party line. His party advises him that should he break “party discipline, he will be punished by losing internal posts, losing financial support, being ostracized and if very serious being denied the future opportunities to seek office through the party or even expelled from it. Now he must choose between his conscience and his party.  The wrong choice may mean the end of his hopes to serve in office.

Most young politicians choose the party. Thus they become corrupted for the first time, perhaps on an issue where they feel less strongly. New issues arise, new choices between conscience and party. Each time the aspiring politician chooses party over conscience he becomes more corrupted within himself. But each time it becomes easier. He rises within the party and within the government. Issues become even more important but now he has lost the guiding compass of conscience and automatically follows the party line no matter where it leads knowing he has no alternative.

Further complicating this trajectory into corruption is today’s geometrically progressive increase in the costs of running for office. The party is first corrupted, then it members. They desperately need financial support to meet the high costs of publicity, polling and at higher levels paid staff. As more money is accepted first from legitimate and friendly sources, all is well. But the needs become incessant even at lower levels and insurmountable at higher levels without accepting financing from more and more questionable sources. Finally the young politician is led by his party into accepting money from just about any source foolishly believing that there are no strings attached. Once successful, the strings turn into ropes and the ropes into chains and the party and its candidates become trapped in every possible form of corrupt activity. Even when the party stoops so low as to steal elections covertly or openly, its candidates must go along and having already been corrupted, they do.

From this sad path into the depths of political corruption we derive two undeniable conclusions:

1.  The longer a political party exists and the more often it is successful, the more corrupt it becomes.

2.  The longer a politician serves in office and the higher he rises, the more corrupt he becomes.

There have been innumerable efforts, laws and mechanisms hoping to counteract the above. None has ever succeeded. Term limits, contribution limits, codes of ethics, public financing, anti-corruption laws have inevitably failed.

The only honest political party is the brand new one that has not yet begun to enter the political thicket.

The only honest politician is the brand new candidate that is seeking his first elective office.

Almost everything that can be conceived by the human mind has been tried to clean up corruption in politics. Nothing has ever succeeded for more than a very short time.

One thing, the abolishment of political parties, has never been tried nationally, though some municipalities successfully hold “nonpartisan” elections.

Gallup says that 43% of people now consider themselves Independent, compared to Democrat (30%) or Republican (26%). Maybe when independents become the clear majority something can be done to get these corrupt parties over and done with.

Somehow, some way, some place some on must find an effective way to kill political parties permanently assuring they do not arise once more if government by the people is to survive.

__________________

NOTE: Here are some references to the pros and cons of this issue:

http://www.consciousnessandculture.com/george-washington-political-parties/

https://www.brennancenter.org/publication/stronger-parties-stronger-democracy-rethinking-reforming

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2014/02/06/how-to-fix-our-polarized-politics-strengthen-political-parties/

http://ivn.us/2013/11/26/why-political-parties-control-elections-and-how-to-end-partisanship/

http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-political-parties-be-abolished

https://newrepublic.com/article/119305/simone-weils-abolition-political-parties-nyrb-edition

http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~hehner/Parties.pdf

http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/review-on-the-abolition-of-all-political-parties-by-simone-weil-1.2145931

October 17, 2015

⚡Presentation ‘Confucio Sabiduría para los Siglos de los Siglos.’

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 2:30 pm

Confucio Sabiduría para los Siglos de los Siglos.

Source: Presentation ‘Confucio Sabiduría para los Siglos de los Siglos.’

September 23, 2015

THOUGHTS AT 81

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 1:17 pm

A few months ago, upon learning I was 80 years of age, a fellow I had recently met who was 40 years old asked me a question?

“Are you afraid of dying?”

I was startled almost speechless at being asked that for the first time in my life. But in a moment I answered “No.” Then he seemed to be startled speechless.  I continued telling him that as a Christian I have no reason to fear death. He was still surprised as apparently  he had expected a different answer. We than continued an interesting conversation.

This experience reminded me of one of those circulating inspirational e-mails I had received and saved that illustrates why Christians don’t fear death:

D E A T H 
WHAT A WONDERFUL WAY TO EXPLAIN IT

A sick man turned to his doctor, as he was
preparing to leave the examination room and said,
“Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on
the other side.”

Very quietly, the doctor said, “I don’t know.”

“You don’t know? You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?”

The doctor was holding the handle of the door; on
the other side came a sound of scratching and
whining, and as he opened the door, a dog sprang
into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness.

Turning to the patient, the doctor said, “Did you
notice my dog?

He’s never been in this room before. He didn’t know what was inside.

He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear.

I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing….

I know my Master is there and that is enough.”

To tell you the truth, I never even think about death. I don’t know anything about it except what Christ Jesus said. So why should I worry?

August 6, 2015

5 Sites, 2 Myths : THE FIRST CRY OF INDEPENDENCE

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 12:20 pm

5 Sites, 2 Myths : THE FIRST CRY OF INDEPENDENCE.

July 6, 2015

THE FALTERING EAGLE: A speech made March 10, 1970

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 6:37 pm

THE FALTERING EAGLE

 WHY FOREIGNERS OPPOSE AMERICA AND AMERICANS

SPEECH BY

Former Georgia State Senator 

JAMES  P.  WESBERRY,  JR. 

DECATUR, GEORGIA,  LIONS  CLUB 

MARCH 10, 1970

    (Senator Wesberry resigned from the State Senate to go to Peru with the Alliance for Progress in May, 1967. He returned to Atlanta in June 1969 for one year, then returned to work in Peru. This speech was made during his time back in Atlanta)

The question I have been asked the most since returning from Peru is “WHY DON’T THOSE PEOPLE DOWN THERE LIKE US – AFTER ALL WE’VE DONE FOR THEM?” Why do they hate America – demonstrate against visiting politicians – write “Yankee go home”  on  the  walls – confiscate U.S. owned businesses and property?

First I would like to draw a distinction between the words “LIKE” and ‘RESPECT”.  Many Americans are liked by foreigners as individuals.  Almost all Americans who live abroad make friends among local people.  Many limit themselves too much to the”INTERNATIONAL SET “but on the whole there are no barriers to individual friendship.  On the national level the word “LIKE” is not really appropriate.  It would be better to rephrase the opening question to “WHY DON’T FOREIGNERS RESPECT THE U.S.?”  The  situation we  are  in with  respect to  the  rest  of the world  is  roughly that of the richest man in  a  small  town.  He may be  the  town’s  leading  citizen, donating much of his wealth to  local  charities,  leading in government  and business – but he will have  few, if any real  friends  in town.  His wealth bars close friendship. The wealth of the United States today is so great in comparison to that of other nations that real friendship is impossible.

 It  should be  obvious  to  anyone  that friendship cannot be bought –  either by the wealthy man’s  donations  to  charity – or by  a  government’s  foreign aid program.  On the other hand respect can be achieved by the wealthy man who is a good citizen and likewise by the wealthy nation.

 The United States for a number of years subsequent to World War             II enjoyed worldwide respect among nations.  In recent years that respect has been declining rapidly.  It is declining very rapidly in South America  and throughout the world.

 Here are what I believe to be the reasons for the growing lack of respect for our country:

The average foreigner has concluded that:

  1. The U.S. has abandoned its role of world leadership.
  2. The U.S. is on the verge of a complete collapse of
    its moral and religious values.
  3. The system of government in the U.S. is failing.
  4. The educational system of the U.S. is nearing
    destruction.

 As we discuss these points I would like to ask you to think about whether the  foreigners who have reached these conclusions  might be right.  Is the United States of America – having achieved the greatest successes in the history of mankind in the shortest period of time – about to collapse?

 Will our country survive this new decade? Will democracy survive? Will civilization survive? Will the United States • in 1980, if it exists  as  a nation,  resemble the U.S. of 1970?

 For if the foreigners are right, these questions will soon be answered.

 After World War II the U.S. assumed the mantle of leadership of the Western World from a rapidly declining Britain. While many people may not have agreed with all its policies, our nation was widely respected for this role.

 The  unsuccessful  conclusion of the Korean War  and the  adoption of the  concept of limited warfare  led  inevitably to  the present situation  in South Viet Nam where  the U.S. is now backing down and backing out.

 Few foreigners support our presence in South Viet Nam and few nations have supported our actions there.  However, the obvious lack of support of our commitment to South Viet Nam by the U.S.  tells  the world one-thing  in unmistakeable  terms –  the word  of  the  United States  of America  is worthless. 

 We pledged to support South Viet Nam against Communism.  There were no conditions  to  that pledge which were not  fulfilled – yet we are not  supporting South Viet Nam,  we  are  abandoning  it.Even though the rest of the world does not support South Viet Nam either, it is clear that no  country can expect the United States  to  commit men or weapons  to defend  it against Communism. In the present political atmosphere any U.S. President who sent troops  to  aid any of our  “Allies” would commend himself to political oblivion.

This is the way foreigners now see it.  This is the reason there is a new Russian Embassy in Lima, Peru – why numerous trade pacts with Eastern Nations are being signed throughout South America.

 Regardless  of their  own opposition to  our  involvement  in South Viet Nam  I  am convinced that  foreigners  consider  the backing down of the U.S.  there a real  sign of weakness  and  inability to continue  our  role of world  leadership.

Perhaps they are wrong.  Perhaps we  can  continue  to be  the major western  leader,  but this  is  one reason  for  a growing lack of respect  for  our country throughout  the world.  It is especially aided when U.S.  Senators and other prominent Americans not only oppose  their  country’s  policy,  but make  statements  and condone acts which would be treasonous  if war were  actually declared. Foreigners do not understand it when a public official attacks his own country.  They see this as a sign of decay.

 In my opinion, the only way the U.S. could possibly restore itself to the position of respect it once held among nations would be to unconditionally win the war in South Viet Nam as soon as possible.  This certainly does not appear likely.

 A few years ago the foreigner’s image of an America was  that of a man on  a horse wearing a white hat and two guns –  the  cowboy.  Today the foreigner views the average American as a sex maniac, a sex deviate or both.  The image is conveyed by Hollywood.  The closest contact a foreigner has with the U.S. is our movies.  First run U.S.  movies  are  shown  in Lima,  Peru, as  soon  as  they are  shown  in Atlanta.

 In my opinion the movie industry is doing almost as much to destroy respect for our country abroad as the Communist Party.  The rotten, filthy, disgusting, degrading products of our film industry are a real source of embarrassment to Americans abroad.  It is bad enough that the movie industry is corrupting our country.  Many foreigners deeply resent it when American pornography also corrupts their country.  The “God is dead” philosophy has horrified and amazed many foreigners.  They would have expected this from Russia, not the U.S.

 The flood of American pornography flowing into other countries, the well publicized drug problems among U.S.  youth and the general  abandonment of  religion by many Americans – magnified out  of proportion by  the passion of our press  for  publicizing these  trends  as  progressive  and  inevitable – has  convinced many  foreigners that  the United States  is  on the verge of a complete moral  and  spiritual  collapse.

 

It is no wonder they don’t respect us.

 Our country has  spent untold billions  of dollars  attempting to  sell  other  nations  on our  system of government         –  Democracy – as  the best  system.  We  continually  insist that our  “friends” hold  “free  elections” (even to  the point of the  election  in
South Viet Nam  in the midst of the war  and  the utterly ridiculous  suggestions  that there  should be  another one).

 Yet many foreigners feel they see signs that Democracy is collapsing in the U.S. 

 The currently popular protests against any and everything one doesn’t like are contrary to everything Democracy stands for.  The philosophy that some laws may be ignored because they are unjust or wrong or outmoded betrays and destroys Democracy.

The  tendency toward  idealistic but  impractical or impossible legislation which has  long  characterized South American Parliamentary Bodies  is  now prevailing  in our Congress  and our  State  Legislatures.

The violence surrounding recent U.S. political campaigns and conventions which was highly publicized throughout the world acts to destroy foreigners hopes that Democracy might work.

 In short the U.S.  political scene more and more resembles the political scene of our Latin neighbors.  Instead of selling foreigners  our  form of government we  are more  and more adopting theirs –  and getting  further  and  further  away  from real Democracy.

 In October, 1968,  as  I walked the  streets  of Lima,  Peru,  amidst the  tanks  and soldiers  armed with sub-machine guns who had just taken over there  sending the  President  into exile  and abolishing the  Congress, I wondered if such a thing could happen in my own country. Then I told myself no, it couldn’t.  Now, after being back in the U.S. for six months I am not so sure that an authoritarian Government may not be inevitable here.  The people will demand it to preserve order – if there is no  other way.

 Many foreigners  see  the hope  for  Democracy we have  tried to  exemplify vastly  dimmed by our present  failure  to  control protest  and violence within  the  Democratic  framework of the  citizen’s  right  to vote  as  he  sees  fit.  If our  citizens are  not  patient  enough to  accept  the  slow change  of Democracy
no  other  country’s  citizens  can be  expected to  accept our form  of government.

 Perhaps the timeliest topic of all is education.  Many South Americans see the U.S. system of higher education passing through a period which their universities passed through twenty or thirty years  ago.  Students and professors demanded and got from most South American Governments a policy of “Autonomy of the University”. Students were given a major voice in control, curricula and other matters.  The result was the complete destruction of the system of higher education in South America.  I talked to many heartbroken U.S.  students who had come to Lima on scholarships only to find that regular classes were rarely held,  professors were irresponsible  and  learning was practically non-existent.

 The present trend in U.S. coleges indicates that we will soon catch up to South America by destroying our system of higher education the same way they did.  It is  interesting to note  that  having  learned  their  lesson  the hard way,  most  Latin Governments  now  are  steering  as  far away  from University Autonomy  as  possible.

 Recent developments indicate that we will soon catch up with other countries in elementary and secondary education as well.

 In South America in general only the poorest of the poor families send their children to the public schools.  All wealthy and middle class people send their children to privately operated schools.  Many poor people make fantastic sacrifices to get their children out of the public schools.  The reason for this is that the public school system is no more than a political patronage vehicle. All good teachers teach in private schools where they are better paid and can better practice their profession.

 It would appear that the  same type  system may be  imminent in our  country where we have apparently become so infatuated with the objective of  integration that we have apparently lost  sight of the more  important objective of education in the public  schools.

 To  summarize the  average  foreigner’s view of the United States,  I would say that he  sees  this  once strong nation as  a nation growing weaker and weaker every day —  a nation which will  soon be too weak to be a world leader.

 Even in this  age  of advanced technology and supposedly advanced  civilization,  it  is  strength that  counts  in  foreign affairs —    as well  as  in domestic  affairs.

 Our country needs a strong foreign policy — a firm unyielding position which will be backed up by our Government. We must also be firm at home proving that our democracy does work and stamping out those who would destroy it from within.

 If we can do this, then foreigners will respect our nation and we can resume our rightful role of world leadership.

 In order to be strong a nation must produce strong leaders. No strong leader has come forth in American Government since Franklin Roosevelt.  Our leaders have been weak, flexible and compromising in recent years.  No wonder foreigners lose respect for us.

Charles DeGaulle, a strong man leading a weak nation, won more world respect than any leader the United States produced while he ruled France.

 We need a strong leader now in the United States more urgently than ever before.

 It is  too  early to  say  for  certain,  but one  strong  leader appears  to be  emerging.  As a Democrat I am sad to say that he is in the other party.

 ……….(reference to 1970 politics omitted)

 As  a  Democrat  I hang my head in shame that  the Democratic Party is  letting  itself be taken over by extremists,  anarchists  and traitors –  and not one –  no not  one  single voice  is being raised by prominent national Democrats  to object.

 The Democratic Party needs a  strong man – a  leader who will not  compromise with those who threaten the basic values of our nation.  Surely  some  prominent northern or western Democrat must be  so disgusted with violence,  with confrontation,  with conflagration, with the  sickening weakness  of his party  in  failing to stand up against those who tried to destroy Democracy at the Chicago convention.  Surely someone in the Democratic Party will have the courage to speak out for his  country.

 ………. (reference to 1970 politics omitted)

 Surely unless the responsible people in the Democratic Party regain control there will ultimately be a mass exodus of Democrats.  Many will become independents, perhaps many will even become Republicans.  The Democratic Party will be left in the hands  of radicals,  anarchists  and traitors  and  it will dwindle  and disappear.  For given an ultimate choice between responsibility and anarchy, this nation will choose responsibility.

 Many people have  asked why I  am now saying the  things  I am saying tonight;  the  fact  is  that my experience  in South America  opened my eyes  so that  I could see America and what  is happening to it and to realize that many Americans  are not yet aware of the serious  danger this  country  faces.

 Today the future is clouded,  but  it  is not too  late.

 The Eagle is faltering, but it is not beyond hope.  We can reverse the tide which is not only destroying respect for our country among foreigners, but is destroying our own self respect.

  WHAT  CAN WE  DO  ?

 *** We can win the war in South Viet Nam.

*** We can eradicate pornography, even if it takes an amendment                                to the U.S. Constitution.

*** We can stamp out drugs and their glorification.

*** We can end once and for all protests, demonstrations and harassments. A ten year moratorium on all forms of physical protest including strikes would be a start.

*** We can stop glorifying the “Right to Dissent”.

 *** We can save our educational system – by making education, not integration, its objective, and by solidly administering schools.

 *** We  can  stop putting the  rights  of suspected  criminals  ahead of      the  right  of all  citizens  to be  free  from violence  and the  fear            of  it;  and we  can  stop releasing convicted  criminals  on technicalities  unrelated to  their  crimes.

 *** We can give strong support to those public officials who speak out for decency, for loyalty, for honor, for law, for order.

 *** And, if we really get desperate, we might even consider turning to God and observing His Laws.

May 25, 2015

CONFUCIUS: Public Sector Ethics

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 2:55 pm

Confucius was the first and perhaps the greatest philosopher on the importance of ethics in the public sector and the importance of projecting an image of integrity and honesty by the highest officials.

Unlike many of the other philosophers one, Confucius, had a very special interest in ethics in the public sector. He often spoke of the “governor” or “ruler” posts that today we call the “chief executive or CEO.” His teachings survived over more than two millennia. Great interest in his teachings is currently resurging in China, after having been nearly abandoned under the Mao regime. He often directed questions to his disciples, but sometimes also gave his own response.

“What is the essence of good governance? Not resolving issues in haste and not seeking advantage. “

 “If one cannot govern himself, how will he know how to govern others?”

 “If proper in their own conduct, what difficulty would they have in governing? But if not able to be proper in their own conduct, how can they demand such conduct from others?”

“To govern is to correct. If you set an example be being correct, who would dare to remain incorrect?”

The most interesting thing about the teachings of the great philosopher is that his main criterion regarding public officials 25 centuries ago is still important and widely accepted up to now. He believed in the power of benevolence, arguing that rule by example rather than by fear would inspire people to follow an equally virtuous life. The same principle, in his opinion, should govern personal relationships.

 “If guided by virtue and regulated by the rules, the common people will have a sense of shame and abide by what is required of them.”

He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place when all the stars are rotating about it.

Confucius argued that the virtuous man is not just someone who is at the top of the social hierarchy, but one who understands his place in this hierarchy and embraces it fully. To define the different means of virtuous actions one must return to traditional Chinese values: loyalty; filial piety; ritual propriety; and reciprocity. ​​Confucius called the person who carefully observes these values a “gentleman,” “superior man” or “nobleman” meaning a man of virtue, education and good manners.

 “A superior man may be described as one who first puts his ideas into practice, and then preaches to others what he already does.”

 “The nobleman retains throughout his life the ingenuity and innocence of childhood.”

 “If the ruler is just, no one will be unjust; if the ruler is kind, no one will be cruel.”

 “When the ruler himself acts rightly, he will exercise influence over the people without giving orders, and when the ruler himself does not act rightly, all his orders will be useless.”

 Confucius emphasized trust – trusting your boss, your employee, your neighbor, your friend in the hope that this confidence will be returned. He believed that refraining from offending and building a decent reputation would encourage good teamwork, business success, and community spirit.

 Over the past 2500 years China has implemented the teachings of Confucius and each time it has worked over long periods. The times when it failed were when a corrupt emperor stepped in and used the laws to oppress the people.

 In summary, Confucius was an eternal optimist. He believed in people. He believed that if the ruler was a noble man, the people will not only follow him, but will imitate him. Confucius pointed to the “north” in the compass of governance and many of his teachings are still very applicable to governments, their officers and their employees.

(For more on this subject see: CHINESE ETHICS: http://flip.it/1OsLS )

February 28, 2015

How to reply to a “Nigeria Scam” Message (Part 3 of 3)

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 5:05 pm

Nigeria has become associated with a particular form of scam that’s very visible and known to everyone who receives “Dear Friend” emails originating from that country. Also known as “419 scams” or “advanced fee scams” they are among the most notorious scams in the world.  The victim is typically asked to pay in advance a sum in order to receive very attractive benefits. Reputed to be the most successful type scam in the world, estimated losses from such schemes totaled $12.7bn (£8.2bn) in 2013. And the number of scams is growing by 5% each year according to the BBC.

These schemes dubbed “Creative Diabolic Ways That Scammers Scam the Innocent”…“prey on people who are lonely, panicked, desperate, greedy, ignorant or look for rewards with little work input or who panic at situations without reading between the lines and double checking the email address before clicking to the phishing sites.”  Over the years they have evolved into quite well written and brilliantly conceived missives that subtly attract the potential victim. Some are now so eloquent that soon the Pulitzer folks may be compelled to add a new prize category.

The Dutch financial intelligence organization Ultrascan AGI categorizes victims in three groups according to losses experienced: small, medium and high loss.

Small loss victims are those who “have fallen for one of the many quick scams, examples are: lottery fraud, the job- study place -offer, inheritance scam or the relief fund scam. The total losses per victim vary between 200 and 30000 dollar over a period of a couple of months to half a year.”

Medium loss victimshave fallen for the request for help to move and/or invest millions…The total losses per victim vary from 15000 to 210000 dollar over a period of a year to one and a half year.

High loss victims are those that fall for a “fraudulent proposal based on a REAL business of multinational proportions (oil, gold, diamonds, medical equipment, vaccines, chemicals, investments, building and/or service contracts…The total losses per case, vary from 300 thousand to 12 million dollars over a period of one and a half to 8 years or longer…”

According to Ultrascan highest country losses are suffered in the US followed by UK, China and many others including  Japan, Spain, Korea, Germany, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, India, and most others countries. Educated folks like doctors, architects, engineers and other white collar professionals are apparently the easiest to successfully scam. Those who have suffered a recent bereavement are also more susceptible victims.

Here are some basic guidelines for answering a Nigeria Scam request:Upon receiving a “Nigeria Scam” e-mail or Skype message most reasonably intelligent persons will logically immediately delete it and block the sender from send more. But there is another interesting alternative: answer it with a competing request. Normally there is no concrete request for money in the first scam message. This comes inevitably in the second. Therefore one can get the jump on the scammer by asking him first for money before being asked. The trick is to use the scammer’s technique before he gets a chance to hit you up for money.

  1. Profusely thank the sender for their generosity and kindness in selecting you as a beneficiary of such a wonderful and remunerative opportunity.
  2. Emphasize your complete trust and reliance upon the sender as a person of honesty and integrity based upon the background information they have furnished and your admiration for such a well planned and presented opportunity.
  3. Give every indication that you will be absolutely receptive to the forthcoming proposal that will outline the next step toward the benefits intimated.
  4. Where possible cleverly and very cautiously include a veiled intimation that you may even have a source of riches even greater than that implied in the original message.
  5. Finally, conclude with a small request for funding that will permit you to be able to respond positively to the anticipated second message providing more details on the operation (and asking you for an advance payment of money).

Needless to say devising an appropriate reply may seem somewhat of a useless task for those who are very busy, but for those who have the time and the inclination, it can be great fun!

To illustrate here is copy (including typos and grammatical errors) of a real scam request received via Skype very recently together with my own (perhaps somewhat exaggerated) reply:

MESSAGE: [2/12/2015 1:30:22 PM] *** Aisha Gaddafi would like to add you on Skype

Dear Friend, I know you would be surprised to read from someone relatively unknown to you. My name is Aisha Muammar Al-Gaddafi the formal Libyan Goodwill Ambassador of the U.N. and the daughter of late Muammar Al-Gaddafi the former president of Libya. I am currently residing in Muscat the capital city of Oman, unfortunately as a Political refugee. At the meantime, my family is at risk and pains. 95% of our investments and bank accounts in several countries are freeze.

I am writing this mail with tears and sorrow from my heart asking for your help at this time, I got your contact via internet searching for a trustworthy person who will understand my present conditions and come to my rescue here in Oman .

I have passed through pains and sorrowful moment since the death of my father Muhammad Abu Minyar Gaddafi, Husband and brothers, all our Foreign and local accounts have been blocked by the western countries and we are not allowed to make transfer or receive money from any country or source. I have been commissioned to contact an interested foreign investor/partner who will be able to take absolute control of part of the vast cash available to private account for a possible investment in your country.

If this transaction interests you, you don’t have to disclose it to anybody because of what is going with my entire family, if the western nation happens to know this account, they will Freezing it as they freeze others so keep this transaction for yourself only until we finalize this transaction that will be when the fund is transferred into your account.

I want to transfer this money into your account immediately for onward investment in your country. I received an urgent email from the bank abroad that both their government and new Libya government are tracing hidden deposit and assets deposited by my family, I don’t want them to be aware of this particular fund deposited by Me. If you can be of any assistant to me kindly get back to me so that i can furnish you with the deposit details for verification and confirmation. I am willing to reward you bountiful 10% of the total sum. Therefore if you are capable of running an establishment and can maintain the high level of Secrecy required in this project, kindly respond with the following information for details of the project.
1. Your full names and address:
2. Your private telephone and fax numbers:
3. Your private email addresses:
4. Age and profession:
you can write me on AISHAMUAMMERALGADDAFII@YAHOO.COM note that, my discussion with you is strictly private no one else must know about this because if it get to the ear of the western nation the account will be freez immidiately as they have done to others, this is the only possible means i have to contact you because all calls here are been monitored my the Omanic government and the UN, Asylum banned was placed on me, which stop me from traveling and making of phone telecommunication for the now. ***

REPLY:  My very dearest Aisha (please excuse my familiarity, the reason for which will become immediately apparent):

I give thanks to Allah (May His Name Be Blessed) for the miracle that has brought your request to me. I who was your beloved departed father’s very closest friend and confidant salute you with sincere sympathy, love and compassion, placing myself fully and completely at your service. How anxious am I to dry those tears and loose the sorrow from your heart. How well I remember bouncing you on my knee when you were a mere child as I counseled with your father regarding his financial affairs. How well I remember your beauty as you grew from a child into a beautiful young girl in the tent of your father and how I missed you when you were sent away to school. How jealous I was when I learned that you had become married to your late and lamented husband. Please accept my profound condolences upon the loss of my dearly beloved friend, your father Muhammad, your husband and all of your close relatives. Ah! Had he only listened to me, he and all of you would have escaped on a timely basis with me to a new life beyond the reach of his enemies.

You would most certainly remember me more clearly if I could give you my name or you could see my photograph, but alas I have had cause to change not only my name and physical appearance but to isolate myself in a new country the name of which I cannot mention where through the power of wealth and the grace of Allah (May His Name Be Blessed) I am now Prime Minister and Supreme Governing Authority. I was able to leave Libya before it fell using a submarine to remove and transport 7,000 gold ingots representing the greater part of your father’s fortune. While we suffered great anguish getting the heavy gold laden submarine to resurface the fortune has been wisely protected and part of it invested to produce great profits. It is now clearly yours as the last living survivor of my dear friend and mentor, the great leader Muhammad Abu Minyar Gaddafi.

You may now safely disregard the pittance of your father’s fortune that you state is frozen since it is no longer needed and is indeed insignificant compared to the fortune that will now be yours that now through wise investment consists of 84.7 % of the world’s gold, similar amounts of other precious metals and the absolute control of the central banking systems of 68 of the world’s leading countries and all but six of the presently existing multinational enterprises. You may wonder how I have been able to accomplish this. It was very simple; I learned that in those so called “democracies” throughout the world politicians can easily be bought by contributing vast sums to the political campaigns of all parties and candidates. Thus, no matter who wins, the elected individual is profoundly indebted to me and my organization and thus under my control. Modestly speaking you will now become the wealthiest, most beautiful and most powerful woman in the world!

My beloved dove of summer, may I take this opportunity to request your hand in marriage as your family’s closest friend and confidant, notwithstanding the great difference in our ages. I am 80. However, through the genius of my personally endowed Body Transplant and Life Extension Institute in Italy, I am happy to advise you that praise be to Allah (May His Name Be Blessed),  I now have the body of a 19 year old athlete and (modestly speaking) the most handsome face on earth. If needed or desired these facilities will also be available to you upon the consummation of our matrimony. Although it will be a few more years before I can promise you eternal life, my brilliant Italian medical innovators assure me that even now we can be assured of at least a 2.000 year life span together.

I am anxious for you to join me as soon as possible but one small problem has arisen. Just as I was ordering my yacht (modestly speaking the largest in the world) to pick you up I learned that it has been captured by pirates in Somalia who are requesting a relatively modest amount of ransom not knowing to whom it belongs. Because my affairs are so massively involved in the intricate markets of the world, the amount requested of $100,000 is so infinitely minuscule and you are at present located in close proximity to Somalia, I am sure it would be a very simple matter for you to transfer by Western Union to Mr. S. U. Borno in Mogadishu that amount thus freeing my yacht to pick you up immediately and bring you into my waiting arms.

I must caution you that everything I have written and all our plans must be extremely confidential as our mutual enemies would take advantage of any information regarding us to thwart our plans. I know that I can count upon you for prompt action and we will soon be together for centuries to come.

Nigeria Scam Hijacked by Ghanaian Auditor (part 2 of 3)

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 4:54 pm

The Nigeria or ‘419” scam spread across Africa before it became fully globalized a few years ago. Still, the majority of the scam solicitations come from the appropriately named “Dark Continent.” Millions of scam e-mails are sent out from Africa across the spectrum of the Internet but Nigeria still is champion.  Advance fee romance scams,” fleecing lonely folks seeking love, are one of the top moneymakers for the Nigerian scam artists, but great ingenuity is displayed by a wide variety of nefarious solicitations preying upon the avarice of weak human victims.

According to an article published last year quoting from the 2011 Internet Crime Report : “In 2011, the FBI received close to 30,000 reports of advance fee ploys, called “419 scams” after the section of the Nigerian criminal code that outlaws fraud. The agency received over 4,000 complaints of advance fee romance scams in 2012, with victim losses totaling over $55 million.”  This is a truly growth industry. In 2013 the FBI received over 6000 complaints .Targeted victims are usually people aged 40 years and older, divorced, widowed, disabled, and often elderly.

Of the hundreds of disgusting (though often interesting due to their originality) Nigeria scam requests I have received via e-mail and Skype over the past few years, one finally pushed my button causing an eruption of ire. It was the first and only scam request I have ever received from an AUDITOR.

Now I happen to be a CPA and auditor having practiced, taught and written about my proud profession over the past 60 years and having been very active over the years in professional organizations like the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Interamerican Accounting Association. Thus the following e-mail from an allegedly traitorous auditor lit my fuse. (I know, of course, that the person and post mentioned are fictitious and the author is not an auditor but a crook, but it is the principle of the thing — the insult to my profession).

Here is the Skype message received followed by my reply:

“Charles Cofie. would like to add you on Skype

ATTN:

I am Charles Cofie director in charge of auditing and accounting section in Barclays bank Ghana, West Africa. With due respect and regard I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end of the transaction.

During our investigation and auditing in this bank, my department came across a very huge sum of money belonging to a deceased person who died on November 1997 in a plane crash and the fund has been dormant in his account with this Bank without any claim of the fund in our custody either from his family or relation before our discovery to this development.

Although personally, I keep this information secret within myself and partners to enable the whole plans and idea be Profitable and successful during the time of execution. The said amount was US$12.5M (Twelve million five united states dollars).

As it may interest you to know, I got your impressive information through my good friends who works with chamber of commerce on foreign business relations here in Accra Ghana. It is him who recommended your person to me to be viable and capable to champion a business of such magnitude without any problem.

Meanwhile all the whole arrangement to put claim over this fund as the bona fide next of kin to the deceased, get the required approval and transfer this money to a foreign account has been put in place and directives and needed information will be relayed to you as soon as you indicate your interest and willingness to assist us and also benefit yourself to this great business opportunity.

In fact I could have done this deal alone but because of my position in this country as a civil servant, we are not allowed to operate a foreign account and would eventually raise an eye brow on my side during the time of transfer because I work in this bank.

This is the actual reason why it will require a second party or fellow who will forward claims as the next of kin to the Bank and also present a foreign account where he will need the money to be re-transferred into on his request as it may be after due verification and clarification by the correspondent branch of the bank here the whole money will be remitted from to your own designated bank account.

I will not fail to inform you that this transaction is 100% risk free.

On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 35% of the total sum as gratification, while 5% will be set aside to take care of expenses that may arise during the time of transfer and also telephone bills, while 60% will be for me and my partners.

Please, you have been advised to keep top secret as we are still in service and intend to retire from service after we conclude this deal with you.

I will be monitoring the whole situation here in this bank until you confirm the money in your account and ask us to come down to your country for subsequent sharing of the fund according to percentages previously indicated and further investment, either in your country or any country you advice us to invest in. All other necessary information will be sent to you when I hear from you.

I suggest you get back to me as soon as possible stating your wish in this deal.

My personal email address: charlescofie633@gmail.com

Yours faithfully, Mr Charles Cofie”

—-

REPLY: Dear Mr. Cofie:

Words cannot express my intense feelings upon the receipt of your Skyped message yesterday. The degree of respect and regard for me that you declared are abundantly clear as well as the respective potential financial effect upon both of us as a result of the successful conclusion of the transaction you propose. I am certainly surprised and pleased that I am known to the chamber of commerce on foreign business relations in Accra since I have never traveled to, or worked in, Africa.

I regret that I cannot immediately assist you and your partners in carrying out the brilliant and intricately designed financial transaction you suggest. The fact is that I have recently been arrested by the prosecutorial authorities here having been accused, unjustly of course, of a similar activity. Thus at present I do not have the full freedom to act that you presuppose. Notwithstanding, the good news is that my bail is a mere $10,000; therefore upon paying it I shall be able to flee the country and join your illustrious and industrious group in Ghana.

What is needed, of course is that you forward to me immediately, at the address you already have, a cashier’s check in the amount of $15,000 to cover my bail and airfare. Based upon your profession of faith in my character and business acuity, I am sure that I shall receive the needed funds within the next few days.

I remain truly and sincerely your humble servant.

Ripe Pickens, CPA, CIA, CFE

February 22, 2015

The Nigeria or “419” scam has become globalized

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 9:28 pm

“…a fool is born every minute.” –  If P.T. Barnum actually said that time has now proven him wrong! Or maybe it was profound back in 1890 even if, as some allege, he didn’t say it. Perhaps it’s due to the population explosion, but now it’s pretty clear that a fool is born at least every second…maybe even more often.

The proof of this is clear from the vast number of Ponzi Schemes, Nigeria Letters, cases of health insurance fraud, telemarketing and senior scams and innumerable similar innovations now being successfully applied by fraudsters across the planet often successfully separating gullible fools from their money.

Nigeria, from where the original non-digital “Nigeria letters” originated, unfortunately gets the credit for inventing or at least proliferating the type scam that has now become an embarrassment to that great country.  Wikipedia describes the Nigeria (or “419” scam[1]) as follows: “The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, which the fraudster requires a small up-front payment to obtain. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim, or simply disappears.”

Scamwatch, an Australian website, provides some warning signs:

  • “You receive an offer out of the blue to ‘help’ someone from another country transfer their money out of their country (e.g. Sierra Leone, Nigeria or Iraq).
  • The offer sets out a long and often sad story about why the money cannot be transferred by the scammer. This usually involves an inheritance or profits from natural resources that the scammer might say they are trying to protect from taxes or a corrupt government.
  • You are offered a percentage of the total amount transferred in return for your assistance.
  • The amount of money to be transferred, and the payment that the scammer promises to you if you help, is usually very large.
  • The email or letter is in very polite, but broken English.”

I am apparently (and hopefully not deservedly) on the master list of the most ignorant fools in the world as I receive e-mail and Skype scam messages almost daily. I have received pleas for help from widows, divorcees, orphans, lawyers, executors of estates, bankers, current and former public officials, real estate investors, diplomats, senators, generals in the US Army, soldiers on duty in Afghanistan, the FBI Director, the US Ambassador in Kenya and most recently the exiled daughter of the late Muammar Al-Gaddafi the former president of Libya.  As a professional CPA and auditor, the one that finally became the last straw inciting my current ire was from the “director in charge of auditing and accounting section in Barclays bank Ghana.”

No one I know receives as many of these as I. At first I simply ignored them, deleting the e-mails and blocking the Skype messengers. But as they continue to proliferate in my inboxes I can stand it no longer. I am beginning to answer them. I can’t resist. Here’s one of the most recent with my reply below:

E-Mail Subject: “Re: Please Re-Confirm if you are alive or death: 16th Feb, 2015

Attn: Beneficiary,
Confirm This Information
It is totally against the ethics and civil service code of conduct in accordance with oath of secrecy for me to do this but I wish to do this on personal capacity believing you will not betray me but will surely come back to reward me for my sincerity, honesty and for my great effort made to secure a successful conclusion of this transaction in your favor.
Please confirm if truly the bank has communicated you regarding payment of your over due fund.
However, i wish to inform you that a woman submitted her name claiming that you were death and to be your next of kin, her details and banking particular was among the list certified for payments, see below and confirm for the account she submitted for transfer of your fund Valued at $5,400,000. 00 Million United States Dollars.
Beneficiary: Ms.Ronnette James
Bank Name: The Commerce Bank
Bank Address: 1072, Richmond av.
Staten Island, New York
Account Number: 4121097896,
Routing No:003-051-200,
Swift Code: CBNAUS33
I have inquired deeper to come to the conclusion that she and few powerful individuals are behind this dastardly act without due notices to you, As it stands now, you will certainly encounter enormous problems to convince the International Remittance Department that you have not been served with required number of direct notices.
You are therefore advised to submit your approval, as the bank will certainly not be held responsible for paying into a wrong account, It will serve you well if you would quickly get back to me so that i can issue instruction for re-verification on your payment file towards Online Transfer of your fund($5,400,000. 00) to you..
Please reply to my private email address : peterand147@yahoo.co.uk or call: +22891050877.
Yours faithfully,
Mr Peter Anderson.
Corporate and Commercial Banking.
(BSIC BANK OF TOGO).”

_________

Reply: “Dear Mr. Anderson:

Thank you so much for your most kind inquiry regarding the status of my health. I deeply appreciate the great trouble you have gone to in order to make contact with me regarding such an important financial matter involving my state of being as well as your admitted  sincerity, honesty and ethical conduct.  The woman you mention is NOT my next of kin and you are to be congratulated for bringing this matter to my attention.

However, it is my very sad duty to have to convey to you the news of my passage through the great door of eternity at 8:43 PM on the 29th day of February, 2014 in Quivilla, Peru where I unfortunately was drowned in the raging waters of the Marañon River. My body has never been found. May I rest in Peace.

Please be further advised that Ms. Ronnette James of Staten Island New York should rightfully receive the $5,400,000. 00 Million United States Dollars as per her claim. I will deeply appreciate your great kindness in collaborating with her to assure that she receives the aforementioned sum. While she is not exactly my next of kin, she was for 42 years my secret principal mistress through sickness and health, in good times and in bad, and I certainly desire that she receive the money as I have no other worthy heirs. As I am sure you have divined, the sum you refer to constitutes the proceeds of the insurance claim for my untimely death.

As inferred by you, I certainly wish to reward me for your sincerity in this matter. Therefore I have communicated to Ms. Ronnette James that she is to provide to you or the person you designate 20% of the $5,400,000. 00. In order to assure that this transfer takes place promptly please forward a cashier’s check in the amount of $10,000.00 to Ms. James at the address you indicated so that she may be able to expedite the transaction. Thereafter she will be in touch with you.

I do ask of you one additional great favor. Please keep this matter completely confidential as I naturally would not wish it to become known by my other mistresses, lovers, illegitimate children and ex-wives who might question it.

Please do feel free to contact me here below if I may be of any service to you in the nether regions. Thank you very kindly.

Ben. E. Ficiary, R.I.P.”

[1] The number “419” refers to the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with fraud.

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