Corporations originally had limited lives, being temporary vehicles for conducting business. During the Civil War, war profiteering became an American science, and the corporation became the real power in America, and laws were rewritten to give corporations the rights of people and even unlimited life. Graft and corruption were on the rise.
All political systems have , and all those slave-owning Founding Fathers’ actions further highlighted that fact. In those pre-industrial days, unless one had slaves, or colonial lands and subjects to exploit, one could not live a life of leisure, to contemplate the affairs of state and other lofty issues. The ancient Greeks, in “democratic” Athens, had a similar philosophy, and slaves outnumbered citizens. In that respect, the allusions to ancient Greece in American government are accurate. The Founding Fathers saw the slavery economy as necessary to their livelihood, and no afflictions of conscience could persuade any of them to free their slaves and actually work for a living.
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Christopher Columbus died in obscurity in 1506, but when mercenaries discovered gold-plated civilizations on the New World’s mainland, Spain recovered Columbus from obscurity and he became a heroic figure, although few, if any, facts support such stature. Accompanying the rise in American nationalism, , a novelist, published a three-volume epic on the life of Columbus in 1828. It became a huge bestseller. Irving made up events from whole cloth, such as the Spanish Court doubting that the world was round and Columbus setting out to prove it. When the fabrications of Irving, and others were discovered, American ideologists defended them. The logic was that America needed its own mythology, separate from Europe’s. With all the fake hagiography being concocted by American mythologists, there was even an effort in the 19th century to make . In 1831, a poem set to the tune of a drinking song won a contest, and the became the USA's national anthem.
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As I discovered at age 12, nobody wants to hear that they have an unhealthy diet, especially one they are addicted to (in 2006, for the first time in my life, somebody to my influence). The American medical paradigm plays into people's sense of learned helplessness and their desire for immediate self-gratification. In believing their diets to be "adequate," they do not have to engage in any self-discipline to change. When the day comes that they face health problems, the doctor will make it better by giving them a pill or surgically removing the offending organ. Their worldview requires no self-discipline and puts their fate in the hands of a highly paid specialist who can easily remedy the problem. The medical racket relies on people's complacency and addictions. Modern medicine says, "Don't worry, your diet is fine, and if you get heart disease as a function of being alive, well, we have the answer to that, but your death may be 'normal.'" In 1970, by his doctor. Today, nearly the same thing is told to cancer patients. Modern medicine says, "Give us your responsibility, and we will make everything OK. You must trust us." One doctor friend encourages his patients to change their health habits to be healthy (mainly diet, exercise, and the obvious stop smoking), but they do not want to hear it. They want a pill to make them well.
Answers to the January 2014 Quiz
Spaniards remade the New World's ecological systems. Imported cattle, sheep, pigs, horses, and donkeys dominated the landscape. Chickens became a barnyard staple. Sugar, bananas, and citrus fruits were introduced and flourished. In many places, the landscape was altered beyond recognition. Spain was a land of shepherds and cattle ranchers, and many farmers in Spain were put out of business as the rich, herd-owning, land-owning aristocracy obtained the legal rights for their livestock to overrun the land. Spain's great herds helped make it such an arid land, and the same thing happened to New Spain. South of the great bison herds of North America, there were no large roaming herds of grazing animals. Huge tracts of farmland were destroyed throughout the New World by those imported European grazers, and areas previously cultivated or unused were quickly destroyed, leaving a desert-like environment behind. In Spain, sheep dominated. In New Spain, cattle dominated. Deforestation and mass grazing altered the landscape immensely. In a and eastern Atlantic islands, Spaniards noted that when they razed the forests for their lifestyles, streams dried up and eventually there was less rainfall. The desert-like environment of Mexico is not completely natural, but is partly the result of Spanish depredations. Not only was 75-90% of the human population exterminated, the first century of the Spanish invasion was also the greatest ecological catastrophe for native plants and animals in history, rivaled, and in ways exceeded, by what the English and Americans would later do to North America.