It`s called the wisdom of the ages because the ages have shown certain selections to be the most enduring and therefore best selections for the preservation of a society.
- By what presumption can our current generations claim that radical change will be an improvement?
- Principles that have persisted for ages are due respect and should not be changed just for the sake of temporal popular whim.
- Minorities attempting to intimidate the majority have no greater inate wisdom.
Several decades ago, when I was working to help pay my way through college, I met a fellow named Patrick. He was a co-worker who had migrated from England. Patrick was about ten years older than me and we became friends, of a sort. More of a big brother - little brother relationship. He was amused by me, I guess and often used British idioms to try to knock a little sense into my head. One of the expressions that he used was, ``Don`t attempt to teach your grandmother to suck eggs, for she was sucking eggs long before you were born``.
Now, I`ve never sucked eggs and I`ve never tried to teach anyone, much less my grandmother, how to suck eggs. And, I assume that neither Patrick nor his grandmother had ever sucked eggs. But I understood what he meant. It`s the way that whipper-snappers attempt to give the wisdom of their imagination to those who have lived through a gauntlet of relevant experiences; and survived the tribulations of their ordeals. Teenagers are often made the butt of this joke, as know-it-alls who learn the error of their pretensions when they attain a little of life`s experiences.
I see much of the contention in today`s discourse as attempts to teach grandma to suck eggs. I`m not taking the stance of the nineteenth century supervisor of the US Patent Office who suggested that it be closed because there was nothing left to be invented. I recognize the beauty and dynamism of innovation which maintains the vigor of society. But, that doesn`t mean that everything in man`s recorded history is wrong and that this generation needs to change the building blocks of society. Some of the ideas that have survived for ages have survived because they were, and continue to be, the correct choices for society.
A knee jerk response - One man: One woman - but is this appropriate? Marriage HAS changed with times and societies. In pre-diluvian times, wives were chattel. As with other personal property, a man could have as many as he could afford. Gradually, this changed and limitations were placed to proscribe marriage with sisters, mother-daughters and incestuous bonds.
Hellenic culture accepted homosexual relationships but restricted marriage to monogamous male-female couples. Christianity accepted monogamous male-female unions and largely ostracized those who adopted other conventions. More than any other factor, it was the desire to assimilate and be accepted that led Rabbi Gershom, of Maintz, Germany, to ban polygamy for Jews about the year 1000. The ban was accepted, as if given from Mount Sinai, because people, in general, saw the wisdom of the ban.
The Prophet Mohammed may have initially believed in monogamous conventions but later changed to have as many as ten wives. It is believed that multiple wives helped secure his power base in trade agreements and influence.
In the US, Mormon founders adopted polygamy. It was only the desire to have Utah join the Union that led to the official de-recognition of polygamy (even if persisting, de facto). Most indigenous tribes accepted polygamy which appears to have been in the vein of capitalistic or chattel relationships, where more wives and more children were parlayed into more wealth.
If the concept of marriage changes, why not homosexual marriage? No major society in the history has allowed or accepted homosexual marriage. Sort of says something, doesn`t it? 5000 years and no society has allowed homosexual marriage. Even in ancient Greece where homosexuality was not just tolerated but accepted, there was no homosexual marriage. So, what`s the point of homosexual marriage? Can it truly be that the piece of paper changes the relationship? No. In our touchy-feely world, marriage might allow homosexual partners to delude themselves into believing that they are part of the norm. But, it`s just a delusion. Throughout history, homosexuality has been regarded as anathema. Even when accepted, homosexuals were not viewed as part of the norm. That will not change. Legislation does not change societal attitude, particularly when that attitude has been engrained throughout all of recorded history and especially when a large number of homosexuals are filled with self loathing. All the BS about being able to visit a dying partner in the hospital is just that, BS. This can easily be accomplished by a power of attorney. So, we`ve got to look for a different reason, money. Pensions, healthcare, enforced survivor benefits.
These are insufficient reasons to try to change the nature of marriage. Our grandmas and grandpas for thousands of years have accepted marriage as male-female. No valid reason to change that concept has been presented.
Strong fences make good neighbors. Why are we even questioning that concept? If nothing else, World War I should have taught us the strength of nationalism and peoples` desire to establish and maintain their borders. How it is that our leaders can now even question the wisdom of well defined fences with protection of one`s own over the unregulated entry of millions? Only by abdicating any semblance of statesmanship to whore themselves to a voting block. If our leaders allow this transgression to continue, history will see them not as visionaries or men of wisdom but as the individuals who stood by and allowed this nation to decay. It will be the death from within, a cancer that destroys the essence of America. Nero may have fiddled while Rome burned but, at least, he did not fan the flames. Our legislators are supplying the tender and matches which will be used burn this nation into embers. Their legacies will not be the defenders of liberty and freedom for all mankind but termites that tunneled through the framework of this nation to allow the American dream to collapse.
When in Rome, do as the Romans For a thousand years, no one doubted the wisdom of accepting the customs and language of the host city state. But, we`re now supposed to abandon that concept for the sake of cultural diversity and sensitivity.
This is one of the major flaws with illegal immigration, as well. Regardless of what the proponents of open borders say, many of the illegals have come to make as much money as they can so that they can return to their homeland and live wealthy. There is no thought of assimilation; no attempt to follow the customs and language of this country. They are the carpetbaggers of the twenty-first century.
Anything but a gun. Oddly enough, the words of the Confederate General who led Pickett`s Charge. The direction to his wife as to what gifts to get for their infant son. That a man who could be so cognizant of the horrors of war, and still lead the charge that resulted in one of the most vile slaughters of the Civil War, speaks of the emotional dichotomy which is war. The General hated war but saw its necessity to stem a force that would destroy a way of life if it were to prevail (whether or not that way of life should have been preserved is not the subject of this comment).
We are faced with a similar situation, though, thankfully, we are not in armed conflict with ourselves as was the General. Some in the South still refer to that war as the War of Northern Aggression, Today, we are in a true war of aggression. It is aggression against the United States, not by the United States. I choose not to belive the conspiracy theorists. None of their theories explain why Bin Laden would accept responsibility for the September 11 attack nor do they explain a continued chorus by al Queda as to their plans to continue the aggression against the West in general with the USA as a focused target. I choose not to believe that the governments of the USA, UK, Spain and Jordan would bomb their own citizens to create a straw enemy.
I accept that the invasion of Afghanistan was warranted as a massive police action conducted by our military. As was the action against Saddam Hussein. Those who argue that the action was unjustified did not live in the same world as I lived. They seem to forget that Saddam started a war by invading his neighbor and was defeated by military action. He was allowed to retain dictatorial control of Iraq, conditioned upon inspection and destruction of weapons which he admitted to possessing. They ignore the resolutions of the United Nations. And, they ignore the six weeks prior to the action where Saddam could have averted the war by allowing the inspections to which he had agreed. But he refused. His actions and implications were sufficient to confirm the intelligence reports of the entire global community. - If a known felon is reported to have guns in his home and refuses to allow his parole officer to search, do we just walk away? If that felon is next told that a SWAT team is going to be called if he continues to refuse and he not only refuses to allow inspection, doesn`t deny that he has weapons but hurls insults, do we just walk away? How did you miss what happened? There were bombings in Lebanon; two bombings of the World trade Center; bombings in Somalia; genocide of Moslem Africa by Moslems; bombing of our navy; do you really believe that it would have been all peace and love if US troops had not gone into Iraq?
I can agree with Michael Berg that we should morn the loss of any life. But history teaches that tyrants cannot be appeased. Every concession requires another, until the tyrant subjugates or kills you. Ask Neville Chamberlain; the Quislings of history; the Jews of the Holocaust. I can hate war and wish that it never were: but, I realize that it must be if the American experiment in liberty and freedom is to continue.
Biting the Hand
Don`t Bite the Hand that Feeds You. How long has that one been around? Can anyone not understand that if you bite the hand that feeds you, that hand is, at least, going to stop feeding you. It may even slap you silly.
Can anyone take seriously the Palestinian demand to continue receiving aid from the people that it`s threatening to destroy? It`s an absurdity that can only be sustained by people who think that they can shame the hand into continued feeding. They need to understand that a beggar cannot be tyrant.
For that matter, wasn`t that what happened with the May first, we`re gong to destroy your economy, demonstrations?