Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Terre Haute, IN – On the Dime, which was first created by the Coinage Act of 1792, and given its current design in 1946, with the head of Franklin D. Roosevelt on it, is engraved the word Liberty.

The word Liberty is one that has been fought over for centuries. Its derivative, liberal, once meant that you were a conservative, but eventually came to mean quite the opposite, although, according an Australian man I met recently, it still means conservative in his country.
When the Hippy movement came in the 1970s, during the Cold War, it hailed as a movement towards freedom and liberty. The Renaissance, although with very different styles of clothing, music, and hygiene, was also a movement towards freedom and liberty of thought and idea.
Many protests are about liberty. Men and women march the streets asking for liberty to do this or that; to abort their unborn babies, or, as it was during prohibition in the 1920s and 30s, to drink alcoholic beverages.
Also on the Dime, beneath the president’s face and the word liberty, is a set of words that there have been court cases to have removed. They are the words “In God We Trust.”
Liberty is seen by many as the lack of restraint of bonds. It is seen as the freedom to choose any way you want. However, those that believe in peace, in order, in prosperity, in law, and in the pursuit of happiness, recognize the danger of such an idea.
The book Death Raft shows, in the story of the ship Medusa, what happens when liberty is left unchecked. The ship struck a sandbar off of Africa. Without enough room in the boats, a raft was built, on which 150 men piled. They had two casks of water, but those fell overboard during fighting. They fought, killed each other, and fell overboard in a desperate struggle to survive. The other boats abandoned them in panic.
If men were left alone to do as they chose, we would have a world of Death Rafts. Constant civil unrest and bloodshed, and indeed, that is what a great deal of our history is, wars and madness because of appetites not held in check. If liberty is left without a restraint then there is no liberty at all. When there is too much liberty there is none. Law was created by God to defend man against himself. Liberty is only useful to those who know how to govern themselves.
“Liberty is not the right to choose, it is the result of making the right choices.”
Through His Strength We Will Conquer,
Andrew C. Abbott

Saturday, July 27, 2013

New Rome

Wadsworth, WI – It was the city of seven hills. Its architecture was known then for beauty, and is still remembered and recognized today. With an emperor and a senate, it was the seat of authority and power to all the world around it. It was also the site of one of the world’s largest churches. It housed a massive welfare state. It was the home of a proud people who felt complacently the most powerful people on the planet. Armies paid homage to them, but at the outskirts of their nation barbarian invaders lurked. But this mighty city was not Rome; this city of seven hills was Constantinople.
What is often forgotten about the fall of Rome is that when it fell it was not truly a world rocking event. It was a fizzle, a gasp, a last dying breath. When the city of Rome fell, the empire did not. The capitol of Rome had been moved in 330 by Constantine the great to “New Rome;” but the name put on the plaque erected by the city fathers was soon forgotten, and the first emperor to hold court there was the one after whom it was called.
Rome was now a social and political back water. What had once been considered an opulent province was now considered mediocre or worse compared to the Eastern provinces, rich with wealth. The history of this Eastern Roman empire, complete with its legions and purple clad emperors, began it history of over 1,000 years. The Western empire lasted, at the most, 500.
The eastern empire must not be forgotten when studying the fall of the Roman empire. Its history stretches through the crusades. It was not until 1453, when a massive army of Muslims besieged and, after a long and desperate fight which nearly turned them back, took the city. A little boy named Columbus had already been born two years earlier.
The empire of Rome eventually fell because of worldview. The war between East and West was brought the finale gasp, but that war also weakened the nation for many years before the finale battle. Dissentions and fighting also weakened it from within.
In the end, Rome fell because nothing lasts forever. The greatest pieces of architecture will collapse and someday be forgotten. Empires have come and empires have gone throughout the history of the world, from Babylon to the “eternal British empire” upon which the sun never set.
Now, Europe looks peaceful, and America secure in its greatness. But this is only a moment in time. The history of the world has had many peaceful moments, many treaties, but nothing will stand forever, not even Everest, it too will one day be washed into the sea. They cannot last because man always makes mistakes in all his kingdoms, his works, his ways. So in a way the one reason why empires fall is because they are made by men. The only thing that will last forever is the church of God, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail.
Andrew C. Abbott

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Fall of Rome

Wadsworth, WI – He was an obscure general.

In 453, having finished his training in Alexandria in Neo-Platonism, Anathemas was sent to the wild and untamed border of Danubia to clear up the problems with barbarians there, made ever since Attila the Hun had died.
Anathemas was soon the emperor. He was killed in a civil war in Rome not long after. His last stronghold was the basilica. After him one war after another took place for several years, but the empire was gone. Twelve year old Romulus Augustus was the last emperor to claim the title. It was fitting perhaps that first king and the last emperor should have the same name. One had, according to legend, lost his brother. The other had lost his empire.
Many, many hundreds of tomes have been written on Rome, its rise and its fall. The greatest and most well-known being Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, at over a 1,000 pages, it makes the case that Christianity destroyed the empire. The speculations have been endless.
But despite the fact that it toppled in the end, everyone knows about Rome. Even those who know nothing about history know about Rome, and they know it fell.
The fact that it fell is one of the first things that comes to mind when people think of the Roman empire. They will often say that it came about because of the barbarian invasions. Adam Smith, the famous economist and author of the magnum opus of classical economics The Wealth of Nations, asserted that the empire fell because of a lack of moving about of the soldiers. The legions, he says, lost their division of labor, had multiple jobs, and thus disintegrated.
Others, like Robert O’Connell in his book Of Arms and Men states that it was the lack of ingenuity in the army, and the absence of new weapons. A lecture I heard earlier this year in St. Louis stated that they fell in large part because they were dull, and had no inventions of their own.
But why did Rome fall?
That is the subject of another article.

Andrew C. Abbott

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Deeds, not Words

Delvian, WI – Henry Clay, (1777-1852) was a senator and presidential candidate during the time of American expansion and the politics leading to the Civil War. While still a lawyer, the story is told in The Essential American, that one night he stayed so long at the wine that in the morning he mistakenly argued for the wrong side. He won. The defendant said to him “you have ruined me!” Henry Clay then argued the case for the other side, and won again.
Facts are stubborn things, but theories are more stubborn. Nearly anything can be placed in any light. Just as things are seen through the color of the light shown on them, it is the same with facts.
Words are not only easy to use to manipulate facts, but so is the way they are said. St. Augustine said that speech making was completely dependent upon delivery. Many times in history troops have been moved to great actions by their generals. The generals used words to move them, saying only certain things, not mentioning the hardships to come, but only ones that are past.
It is the same with many army recruitment campaigns. Such songs as “You’re a lucky fellow Mr. Smith” of World War II, were a part of a campaign to make the army glamorous. But during the same war another campaign was used to frighten the men into signing by warning them of the Germans. It was the way the words were said and the words they used.
Words are powerful. But they cannot do everything. Many politicians can speak well of how they will save the world, but they have done that since the time of Greece and before. It is easy to sway people momentarily, or even for a period of years, with words and rhetoric. However, it is not words that will build a city, or a nation, it is deeds.
After a time words fade, the sounds begin to sounds hollow and old, and the once new phrases begin to sound cliché.  But actions must take place. In the end, they are all that will count. We only have the book the Acts of the Apostles, not the speeches of the apostles; it was the acts we were to remember. When it all burns up, our tombstones will not tell what we said; it will tell what we did.

Through His Strength We Will Conquer,
Andrew C. Abbott

Monday, July 22, 2013


Madison, WI – Today I went to the State Capitol in Madison. Within the central building, there was a group of protesters holding signs protesting Scott Walker, the Governor, who in recent memory ended the public workers’ union. The signs said “Wisconsin Jobs, R.I.P” and some other things that are unrepeatable.
I asked one of them, who refused to give his name, why he was holding a sign that read “Walker is a Power Hungry Drunk.” He responded that he had been a member of the union, but lost his job when it ended. “The government of America is a mess and corrupt. They are power hungry and power is all they care about. But we the people have no money. Conservatives like Newt “Get Rich” [Gingrich] take it. America should get rid of money.” Another protester, Mary, was not so loud.. Looking to be in her seventies, and carrying a sign that said “We the people” she was in a wheelchair.
“This nation,” she said, “Needs people to save it. It is everyone’s fault. We need to be progressive, we need to reform it.”
Before I left, I found a man with a thick Chinese accent standing over a balcony looking out on the lawn, reading a newspaper. It was his first American newspaper. Although we did not talk about it, I knew that jobs were a problem in his nation, where sweatshops still exist. There, if you do not like your wages, in many places, there are so many other people ready to work who will take the job that a strike will do nothing.
Near the grand staircase leading to the West Wing, where the Governor’s Office is, I met a group of entrepreneurs, who had just come out of a meeting with Walker. They arrived where they are through hard work, and by pulling themselves up slowly.
Work has long been an issue of difficulty. In Rome, there were so many unemployed that the brothers Gracchi began the institution of what would become the famous “Bread and Circuses.” There have always been unemployed, there always will be. The Scriptures say “the poor you have with you always.” (Mark 14:7)
Those born with no money and no connections may find it hard to reach their goals in life if they are very high, but it can be done. No one owes anyone a job. There is no equal outcome, but there is equal opportunity. Men may be unequal in what they get out of life, but they are also unequal in what they put into it. But anything can be accomplished by a person of average intelligence and ability. An Old Chinese Proverb, which my mother reminded me of today states “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”

Andrew C. Abbott

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Moon Landing

Portage, WI – July 16th, 1969, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a Saturn V Rocket took off from the launch pad “32 minutes past the hour.” Aboard were Buzz Aldrin, Michel Collins, and Neil Armstrong. The world was watching- in fact, up to that time it had the highest viewership of any television broadcast.
On July 20, 1969, 40 years ago today, the Lunar Module Eagle separated from the Command Module Columbia. Collins, alone aboard Columbia, inspected Eagle as it pirouetted before him to ensure the craft was not damaged. The Eagle’s sides were so fragile you could have put a pencil through them.
As the ship taxied down, Armstrong realized the computer was taking for a sea of rocks “Tranquility Sea.” He took manual control and piloted it himself to the ground. As they descended their fuel gauges began to run low-down to 25 seconds. Then the radio went through to Charlie Duke, the Capcom at Mission Control: “Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed.”
“Roger, Twan-- Tranquility, we copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again. Thanks a lot.”
They rested for two and a half hours. Then before beginning the EVA, Aldrin said "This is the LM pilot. I'd like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way.” Then he took communion.
The ladder came down. People all over the planet must have been shaking with excitement. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” And the Space Race was over. Man had walked on the moon. The American flag was the first one planted there, not the Russian one. An astronaut was the first one to make a foot print, not a cosmonaut.
It would go on, but Russia had lost the race. They had tired themselves out with the Space and Arms Races at the same time. The Communist economy could not sustain it. They would soon begin to decline, and then they would fall with a crash. But Communism did not die, it still lives on, but that one step did mark the beginning of the end.
Because the moon has no atmosphere, that print will stay there for a long time, perhaps forever. And so will the Print of the Cold War. It is still with us. We no longer talk about it, but the missiles are still there, Russia and America are not on the best of terms. While the wall would be years in coming down, one small step ended the Cold War. But the print is still there.

Andrew C. Abbott

“Grand Slam”

Madison, WI – On 28 April, a U.S. Lockheed U-2C spy plane, Article 358, was ferried from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey to the US base at Peshawar airport by pilot Glen Dunaway. The fuel had arrived the day before. The crew arrived, Francis Gary Power, and the backup pilot, Bob Ericson. On the morning of 29 April, the crew in Badaber was informed that the mission had been delayed one day. Then it was delayed again because of the weather
It was fifteen days before the East-West Summit in Paris. The mission’s code word was Grand Slam. Its purpose  was to overfly the Soviet Union, photographing targets including the ICBM sites at the Baikonur Cosmodrome and Plesetsk Cosmodrome, then land at Bodø in Norway.  It was May 1st.
However, Russia was on Red-Alert, they expected the fly over. Lieutenant General of the Air Force Yevgeniy Savitskiy ordered the air-unit commanders "to attack the violator by all alert flights located in the area of foreign plane's course, and to ram if necessary". A surface to air missile brought it down.
At first the Americans tried to cover up, the Russians called them out. The president at the time, president Eisenhower, had said at the beginning of his presidency that he would use the atomic bomb if necessary, and tension was high. At the Four Powers Summit, which ended the second day, Nikita Khrushchev rescinded his invitation to Eisenhower to visit Russia, and the summit ended. The American pilot was released less than two years later.
Such was the Cold War, an era of brinkmanship, an era of everyone being constantly ready for air raids. When the sirens went off, Time Square could be evacuated in two minutes. From The Cuban Missile Crises to the explosion of the H-Bomb Shrimp, it was one fear of annihilation of the planet after another.
However, the bombs were never used. Although the war was called a cold one, many died in the far reaches of the globe.  It was a massive mistake. A “century of man slaughter and mind slaughter.” It was a crime. Fear, greed, and misunderstanding, built massive surveillance states, and caused useless wars and weapons races. The Cold War was not quite over when Richard Nixon took the presidency, in fact, even in Ronald Regan’s time it would still go on, but not with the same vigor and fear. But there was still time, before the War began to slow down, for one more episode to take place.

Andrew C. Abbott

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Secret Speech: Cold War Part 5

“Stalin is excessively rude…I propose that the comrades consider the method by which Stalin would be removed from this position and by which another man would be selected for it…who above all , would differ from Stalin in…greater tolerance, greater loyalty, greater kindness, and more considerate attitude toward the comrades, a less capricious temper, etc.".- Vladimir Lenin

Madison, WI – It was given on February 25th, 1956, in secret, to the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Called On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences, Nikita Khrushchev, the premier of Russia, excluded the press, the guests, and anyone else who might make it public. The reason was because he was denouncing the late Stalin.
He spoke of him as bloodthirsty, overly loved, and as a man who had done much harm to his nation. But Khrushchev himself had worked in Stalin’s regime without much meaningful protest. A note was passed to him, “Where were you at that time?” indicating his hypocrisy. Khrushchev responded by saying “the one who wrote that note, please stand.” No one did. “Very well, I was then where you are now.”
As soon as the session was over, the entire text of the story was out. The Russian people were confused and shocked. Many in the West who had been at least sympathetic to the party turned away, many resigned their memberships. Stalin had been the great personality who had held them all together, and now his memory was being torn apart. Young boys growing up began to rebel against the ideas of Communism throughout Russia.
The old regime of Russia was coming to an end. But it was still alive and well for the time being. However, the bloodbath was over. Instead of having a bullet put to the political prisoners’ heads, they were now ferried off to the work camps much more often. In fact, for a short time, there was even a bit of congeniality for the West. Sputnik began the Space Race, and talk was even begun about a joint American-Soviet Space Station.
However, high above the city of Moscow, where Khrushchev had given his speech, in the night, possibly even the night he had given the speech, a motor of a plane could have been heard. Those planes were about to change the Cold War again. At the same time, the cold Atlantic waters washed the beach of Cuba. A “Grand Slam” was coming.

Andrew C. Abbott

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The First One To Go Up: Sputnik 1

New Lisbon, WI – It was 1957, the year Laura Ingalls Wilder would die. But something else would also happen.
October 4th, at Site No. 1, deep in the Russian Wilderness, operators waited to hear something over the radio. At 20:58 hours they heard it. A series of beeps came over the transmitter, they were from space. Sputnik 1, the first man-made satellite set in motion, had orbited the planet once. The artificial satellite had been launched as Russia’s contribution to the International Geophysical Year. Korolyov called Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev to confirm success. Then the world knew.
The news caused panic throughout the planet. It was seen as evidence that the Soviets were far ahead of the West in their technology. The Americans vowed to put their own satellite into orbit, while the Russians launched their second satellite, Sputnik 2, it was the first to carry a living thing, a dog named Lika. As an aside, at least one woman bought a life insurance policy, sure that the satellite would fall on her head. Another man was worried that its frequencies would open his automatic garage doors.
The Russians had gained world prestige, and, for the moment at least, had regained their seat at the table. Eisenhower formed NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Explorer 1 was launched the next year by the Americans.
The Space Race continued. In 1961 Vostok 1 went up. On it, was cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. The Americans had once again lost at achieving a milestone in the race first, and were still far behind.
The same year President Kennedy ordered NASA geared up. Kennedy predicted that a man would walk on the moon by 1970. It was three weeks after Gagarin went up that American Alan Shepherd orbited the earth. Americans were called astronauts, the Greek word for Star Sailors.
In the race there would be the loss of several men in training. There would be experiments and inventions. Plans and counter plans. There were the Gemini missions, in which the men on board the ships wore air tanks and space suits while still in side, afraid of losing their oxygen.
The race continued with the Russians hoping to be the first ones to land a man on the moon. But meanwhile they were exhausting themselves. The arms race and the space race were too much for a communist central planning system short on resources. The premiers were beginning to notice. And they were going to change something, in fact, the changes began even before the Space Race did, and it started with a “Secret Speech.”

Andrew C. Abbott

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Game of Risk: Cold War Part 3

“Communism would subject an individual to arrest without lawful cause. Punishment without trial, and forced labor as a chattel of the state. It decides what information he shall receive, what he shall produce, what leaders he shall follow, and what thoughts he shall think…The differences between Communism and Democracy do not concern America alone…We have sought no territory.” -Harry Truman, Inaugural Address.

New Lisbon, WI – The United States had vowed to fight Communism anywhere and everywhere it raised its head, be it at the state department, or in some Middle Eastern Country. Meanwhile the Russians tried to spread Communism to the world.
In 1947 and 48 Romania and then Czechoslovakia fell to Communism. The West would not watch the same thing happen in Korea. When in in 1950 the North Korean army swept across the 38th parallel, capturing Seoul, the Southern capitol, within three days, the UN Security Council sanctioned UN forces advancing on the Koreans. They were quickly thrown back across the line again.
The game began to span the world. Before it was over it would spread from Latin America to the Orient. The doctrine was that it was better for Western troops to hold a piece of land then for it to be held by the Communists.
Meanwhile in Russia Stalin was growing old and restive. He accused nine doctors, five of them Jewish, of assassinating him. He began to fear doctors in general. And he began to grow sicker. His heavy smoking was taking a toll at last.
On March 1st, 1953, Stalin arrived at his quarters after an all-night dinner and movie. With him were Georgy Malenkov, Nikolai Bulganin and Nikita Khrushchev. All of them would one day be the premier of Russia themselves.
Stalin did not get up at dawn. The guards however, were terrified of the consequences of waking him, and let him be. But, at 10 PM, Peter Lozgachev decided he needed to check the premier. He entered the room and found Stalin on his back, in pajamas, unconscious. He had been there all day. Peter immediately called the doctors, who took their time, and arrived the next morning.
Stalin died four days later.
In Russia, thousands filed past his mausoleum. For days afterwards, the street in front of where his body had lain in state was littered with trash and lady’s handbags, blown about by the wind.
The Russian radio had always before ignored bad news and only given good news, reporting state edited media. But now it was announced that Stalin was dead. The people were mortified, what would they do now they wondered. Their way of life was gone, their commander. The man who had led them to victory had died.
A new premier was chosen, Georgy Malenkov, one of the men who had come with Stalin that night from the theatre. It was early Spring, 1953, the Cold War was not over, it was only just beginning. And it was about to go out of this world.
Andrew C. Abbott

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fear: Cold War Part 2

New Lisbon, WI – Captain James Rice, Green Beret Special Forces, never made it into combat, he broke both his legs not too long after coming through Black Ops training. He described the training as “the hardest thing I ever did.”
Over a very American dinner of rolls, ham, and mashed potatoes, I asked him what the Cold War was like. “We just supposed the missiles were coming, of course it was going to happen. But we just learned to live with it, just like anything else, we were not afraid of it, we just accepted it after a time.”
But not everyone took it so easily as a boy who grew up on a military base.
America was afraid of the Reds. Truly frightened. Not only were they afraid of the bombs, but also of the spies.
Spy rings were discovered. Alger Hiss was charged with selling off state secrets. Joe McCarthy would make a list of Communists in America in places such as the State Department. But that would be later, at the beginning no one was quite sure what to do.
Communism was truly antithetical to everything the West had stood for. It had to be stopped.
On February 22, 1946, G. F. Kennan, US Ambassador to Moscow, was asked why the Russians were refusing the new ideas of America for world peace. He responded with what became known as the Long Telegram. He explained that Russia was not a member of the Western Club, they saw themselves in a perpetual war on capitalism, which they would fight with any means. In their mind, there was no possibility of long term peaceful coexistence with the West.
In 1947, a massive uprising took place in Greece by labor backed workers and Communist agitators. The Socialists there did not know the Soviets would not aid them. They had already said they were not interested in a Red Greece at the secret high level talks with the West. However, Britain asked the US for aid against the rising, not trusting Stalin's promises of no aid to the Communists there. President Truman asked Congress for funds, saying that they would have to fight Communism anywhere and everywhere it attempted to establish itself.
Russia, on the other hand, although they did not set up a Communist government in Greece, began to support Communist governments in Eastern Europe. The West realized that peaceful coexistence would not happen in the current state of affairs, and a world united under a Red flag was unacceptable. It would now be a race between Russia and the rest of the world to snatch up third world countries.
Meanwhile little children learned how to hide under desks away from H-bombs. No one told the children that it would never work, wood cannot stop hydrogen. The Russians were trying to hide behind iron and away from freedom, and Stalin had forgotten to tell them it also would not work.

Andrew C. Abbott

Sunday, July 14, 2013

It Is Mutual: Cold War Part 1

“Oh East is East and West is West,
And never the Twain shall meet.”-Ballad of East and West.
New Lisbon, WI – March 8, 1862. The War Between the States was barely a year old, but already the Northern Blockade of Southern ports was working, and imports and exports were becoming much less frequent.
At Hampton Rhodes, the place where several rivers met, a group of blockade ships had been stationed, until the Confederate ship the Merrimac, an ironclad vessel that cannon balls could not penetrate appeared. Sinking two ships, evening brought an end to the battle which the North could not hope to win. In the morning Merrimac prepared to sink the rest of the fleet, as their guns were powerless against them, when the Monitor appeared, a Union Vessel also ironclad. The two ships fired at each other for hours, but to no avail, no shots pierced the armor. Mutually effective weapon systems had been achieved. To win, one side or the other would have to come up with some new sort of weapon.
In 1945, America dropped an atomic bomb on Japan. For the first time in history a weapon of the magnitude to kill millions of people at a blast had come to be. Not long afterwards the hydrogen bomb came into existence, making the A-Bomb look like a fire cracker, as the new bomb had 100 times the old one’s power.
America was the only nation with this weapon, Word War II had ended, and the world was deciding how to rebuild. There were multiple conferences, from Casablanca to Burr Oaks, in which Churchill and Roosevelt and later Truman tried to appease Stalin, saying that “If we treat Uncle Joe as a part of our club, he may someday act like a part of our club.”
However, the Russians were not a part of the Western “club,” their leadership was altogether different. They began to build a wall, an “Iron Curtain” across East Europe. However, they dared not provoke war, because if they did, they knew that Moscow could easily look like Nagasaki.
So talks continued, the Allies conducted an over 300 day airlift of food to Berlin, the leaders met at conferences, and the people of Russia continued to go hungry. But the honeymoon was over between the allies. It was an alliance forged quickly in war. Churchill had said that if Hitler invaded Hell, he would have given the devil a favorable reference. Some thought he may have done just that when he joined forces with Stalin.
The modern ironclad sailed the air dropping bombs instead of cannon balls, raining death. It would have to be accepted.
On August 29, 1949, the Russians activated an operation codenamed First Lightning. They detonated their first atomic bomb that day. The honeymoon was not only over, so was the American superiority. The devil now had a bite.
Andrew C. Abbott

Friday, July 12, 2013

Muslims Today

Wisconsin Dells, WI – According to Wikipedia, 23% of the world population is Muslim, including a cousin of mine.
Recently while at a Library in Tennessee I met a women who is a Muslim, with all of the traditional clothing, who homeschools her children, her husband has a job, and they live quite normal lives here on the outside except for their clothing.
America was once a melting pot, but now it is a salad bowl. At once time in America it was illegal, basically, to be anything but a Protestant in many places. Now you can be an atheist, or a Mormon, or nearly anything as long as your understand the American contract.
The American Contract is that you have the right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the right to defend those rights, so long as you do not violate those of others. The freedom of speech includes the right to be offended. While we may not like something someone else is doing, they may equally not like what we are doing; power can never be used to remove our own right to be offended.
If someone wishes to be a Muslim, and to celebrate the month of Ramadan, which is going on right now, you have the right to do so. The American Contract protects that right. A religion that encompasses nearly a quarter of the world’s population will be as varied as the many different groups calling themselves Christian. Because one member in one place does something should not be seen as a reflection of the entire group. Sometimes they disagree with each other so much that they come to blows, as in Syria’s current Civil War.
The right to speak your mind bears with it the right to be contradicted.
Andrew C. Abbott

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Establishment

Chicago IL – In the three hundreds BC, Alexander the Great of Macedon faced off against one of the mightiest kingdoms of his time, the empire of Persia.  The Persian King would order his massive chariots to line up and prepare to roll over the outnumbered Greeks. Alexander wheeled his men away from the chariots, the sort of tanks of their time, and came in on the Persians from the side, something you did not do in old style warfare, and wiped them out.

In 1415, in France, on the plains of Agincourt the French knights swept forward. They were the great knights who decided the outcomes of battles. Infantry were cut to pieces by them. But here, they were blown out of the saddle by a simple weapon-a long bow.
Innovations, new inventions, have often turned the tide of battles. The old system, from Mamelukes fighting against the guns of Napoleon to cavalry fighting tanks in World War I.
The same can be said of politics. Richard Nixon as an old style trying to go against the young, new John F. Kennedy, could gain no traction. The Communists took China by storm with their “four news.” When Jesus came to earth, he did not go to the temple leaders, he did not go to the kings, he went to the peasants, completely sidestepping the establishment.
Seldom in the course of history has the old system had a resurgence without reform, and often new systems must be built to fight crises, the establishment bowing and buckling. Many times the ones with a simple new idea have ridden that to power or reform. The Romans did not use the old phalanx way of fighting, which at one time had been a great invention, but rather they used the new legion style. They conquered the world with it.
A Civil War general once noted that in battle there comes a lull, and whoever charges in that moment will win, no matter the circumstances. So it often is in the realms of social thought. The establishment is rarely the one to make the charge, and so they are often beaten. Just like French Knights stuck in their ways at Agincourt, the Old Federalist Party fell apart when they were unable to help America in the war of 1812. The old establishment seldom brings about the great reforms, usually it fights them.
We must always be the ones that are charging. The Romans lasted a long time, partially because they learned from their mistakes, changed their methods, and charged again. Like in the First Punic War, when they had no fleet, they built one, lost it, built an improved one, and after more loses and more improvements finally won the war.
New it is not everything, but it is often a great deal. Whether the reformers be good or bad, they will often win, at least temporarily, for little other reason than that they are new. That must be remembered. Establishments must be ready and prepared to meet new challenges, if they do not, they will sink like the stones of Atlantis beneath the waves.
Andrew C. Abbott

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


“Impossible is a word found only in the dictionary of fools.”-Napoleon

New Lisbon, WI – Hannibal was told he could not cross the Alps with his army, but he did. By all indications the thirteen little colonies clinging to the Eastern Sea Board should not have been able to win, it should have been impossible, but it worked.
Man could never fly-so everyone said. Automobiles and moving pictures would never generate enough interest. America’s roaring economy could never last, it was impossible.
The Apostle Peter could not have walked on the water, it should have been impossible, but he did it. He had to get out of the boat. The others could have held him back, but they left him alone.
If there is something that is in your mind impossible, then stand out of the way, and let the others who think they can do it try. For those that want to try, do not hesitate to get out of the boat.

Andrew C. Abbott

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Popular Lies

With the hopes that our world is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the moon was stilton,
They denied she was even Dutch,
They denied that wishes were horses,
They denied that pigs has wings,
So we followed the Gods of the Market,
Who promised the glorious things,
From The Gods of the Copybook Headings, by Rudyard Kipling

New Lisbon, WI - Only a handful of modern Americans today will recognize the names of Edmund Burk or Justin Moser. Even less have read the two hundred page letter Reflection on the Revolution in France. However, mention another old name-H.G Wells, and his works War of the Worlds or The Time Machine, and most will know exactly what you are talking about. Few have read the Communist Manifesto or Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, yet many have heard of and have read 1984.
The large tomes are good in their way, but they are not likely, at least now, to sway popular opinion. Few could understand a stander economic paper even if they tried.
Any idea or plan can be made to sound boring and tiresome by the right speaker. When purchasing something, it has been found that the package has a great deal to do with it. When speaking voice inflection is a great decider of emotions, it is how we speak, not what we say, that will most often be remembered later on.
The simple story of the naked emperor lives on, while the long and complex treatises are soon forgotten. Books that one man writes and ten men read. While the simple stories are the ones that one man writes and all understand.
Adolf Hitler, in Mein Kampf, makes fun of his opponents because of their five hours speeches, during which he nearly went to sleep, and the opposition's spies left, they were so bored. While not surrendering principle for power, the packaging of an idea, and thus it acceptance, can be made easier in many ways.
No matter how true a statement is, if it is couched in dull and uninteresting terms, with long drawn out phrases that no one knows the meaning of and illustrated with history no one reads it will easily be lost upon the hearer. While the bold faced liar writing a novel can make us believe pigs can fly or monsters can become men. The art of writing fiction is telling lies like they are true, and it is the same with propaganda.
When we give speeches we must leave our listeners inspired, not just knowing he heard something. People like to learn simple things, let them. Do not force feed them with long words. While the principles remain relevant throughout all time, different weapons are used at different times. Swords and smoothbores are no longer appropriate.
Capture their attention in the first five seconds, their love in the first five minutes, and their impact for the next five hundred years.

Andrew C. Abbott

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Brief Hiatus

For the next few days I may be without Internet, and so will be unable to write, however, I will have an article for July 4.

Thank You