Thursday, August 31, 2006

John Adams

John Adams

(President from 1796-1800)

By Richard E. Noble

John Adams - irascible, argumentative, haughty, aristocratic, demanding, domineering, yet whenever I read about John Adams something makes me smile. If it is possible, his actions speak even louder than his words. He was a pompous, rigid authoritarian but a failure as even a school teacher because of his inability to keep the kids in line. He obviously got no respect - the Rodney Dangerfield of the early presidency.
A lover of the British and a Loyalist at the core, yet he was an avid supporter of the Revolution; active in politics, but yet always threatening to quit; a male, chauvinist pig, but yet marries Abigail Smith, an outspoken, independent, feminist of her day. Not only does he marry her but their love affair and devotion to one another is an inspiration to the romantic novelist. In fact, Irving Stone wrote just such a novel.
The Boston Massacre and John chooses to defend the British soldiers who shot down his countrymen. He truly expected his political career to come to an end with this dastardly deed. But instead the American political constituency admires his courage.
He argues with his wife, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Pain, the French, the British, his fellow colonists, just about everybody around but yet somehow ends up, in my mind, as a guy who basically wants to be liked, himself. He was an intellectual, and nobody ever really knew whose side he was on. He was a tough person to deal with but was somehow recognizable of his own faults. He managed to keep Abigail on his side; he re-established his friendship with political arch rival, Thomas Jefferson; he actually got himself elected president of the United States with this aggravating, superior personality, even if only for one term; and though harboring a profound fear of an early death, lives to be ninety. I can just see him at home arguing with Abigail, and in the middle of it all, like Archie Bunker, falling into his chair while grabbing onto his heart and crying; My heart, my heart! Honey, Honey, I think I’m dying.
The first president to live in the White House and then come the Alien and Sedition Acts; laws which actually make it a crime to even say something derogatory about the president or the country. In 1799 a guy by the name of John Fries speaks out against a new tax and says, “damn the president, damn the congress, damn the Aristokratz.” And along with the women of the neighborhood and pots of boiling water, he chases away the president’s tax collectors.
Fries is then captured, tried and convicted and sentenced to death. Adams, going against his own party, grants Mister Fries a complete pardon. I’m sure he must have been thinking about himself and his own behavior with regards to the British and their Stamp Act. How could he be responsible for putting a man to death for having a big mouth; he being one of the biggest mouths in American History.
During his administration actual fist fights break out in the House of Representatives - Democracy in action. Can’t you just see all the loyalists and aristocrats shaking their heads and saying; “Sure, Democracy; government by the “common” man, yeah right! More like pure anarchy.” I guess that things really haven’t changed that much, have they?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

This is an excerpt from my book "America on Strike." If you would like to learn more about this book or how to purchase this book, simply click on book cover on the right of this page. Thanks.

Red Scare 1918-1920

[This period in American History seems to me to be the most comparable to our present day situation. I’m waiting for the PBS special documentary film on this era.]

By Richard E. Noble
The Red Scare is a term used, traditionally, to describe a period of politically contrived mass paranoia beginning around the years 1917-18 and ending in approximately 1920-21. It relates to the notion of a conspiracy to overthrow the American government. The main group alleged to be at the root of this conspiracy were Communist.
In truth The Red Scare began in 1840 with Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto and didn’t end until the recent crumbling of the Berlin Wall in East Germany; but 1917 through 1921 represents an exaggerated spike in the intensity of the overall government policy.
One would have to say that the seed of the panic was planted in Russia when in 1917 the Russian people “deserted” the Eastern Front during World War I and revolted against their traditionally oppressive Czarist government, precipitating a chaotic Civil War. The Bolshevist represented the workingman, the laborer, the struggling family man and international Unionism - Bolshevism was interpreted by the American Industrialists, and small and moderate business owners alike in the American historical tradition as an outright threat to their right to exist. And, of course, Communism being a radical and extremist point of view within the various political leanings of the social reformist did represent these fears. It was the stated goal of the Communists to end the Capitalist domination of the economic world. Their rhetoric was severe and threatening.
So if we take Communism as it was stated why would we then call the behavior of anti-Communists paranoid? In other words one would not be considered paranoid in trying to protect himself from people who were truly trying to destroy him. He would instead be “farsighted” and his behavior appropriate.
The action taken during this period in U.S. history is considered paranoid because the suppression of Communism was exaggerated into an excuse to stifle even legitimate and often patriotic necessary dissent and reasonable criticism of the government, the industrialist and the wealthy controlling elite.
A Quaker and a man who was considered a virtual pacifist during World War I - a man who had refused a national wartime position on his religious beliefs - by the name of A. Mitchell Palmer was appointed by then president Woodrow Wilson to be the Attorney General of the United States. Mr. Palmer turned out to be an extremist for the conservative point of view. He took patriotism to its far edge. He suppressed “inalienable” rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. He orchestrated inappropriate mass arrests around the country. His actions precipitated vigilantism, violence, brutality, mass imprisonment, even torture and murder.
Mr. Palmer’s new authoritarianism is attributed to a bomb being exploded outside of his home. There were a series of bomb threats in eight different States at this time. They were directed at prominent wealthy citizens. Though they had no evidence other than this fact the attacks were attributed to Anarchists and Communists.
Critics of Mr. Palmer accused him of being behind the bomb plantings for the purpose of establishing himself in the upcoming presidential election. Others suggested that these bombs were just more of the old Industrialist’s tricks. The big shots had been caught in the past blowing up their own equipment, promoting violence, and planting bombs to turn the general public against the usual and ordinary suspects. But an ounce of suspicion was worth more than a pound of proof and the repressive crusade proceeded.
With the end of the war the expected economic depression was set in motion. The end of war production meant severe cutbacks. At home 9 million had been employed in businesses directly connected with the war and another 4 million soldiers had returned home looking for work. The abundance of unemployed led to wage cuts and then lay-offs. The wage cuts and lay-offs then led to massive labor strikes. There were strikes everywhere - steel, coal, textiles; even the Boston Police Department went on strike - and with very good cause. The unemployment and job competition led to race riots and even women were protesting in the streets. The girls were fighting against child labor, and the oppression of women. They wanted the right to vote - and many were demanding sobriety from their husbands - outrageous! Prohibition was made the law of the land. Suffragettes were marching in the streets.
The rebellious attitude of the women, children, blacks, unemployed workers, striking employed workers, policeman, union members, socialist, reformers, pacifists, hoboes and bums, outside agitators (immigrants) and whoever and whatever were all attributed to the rise of Communism. They were all Communist - Reds! And they were all involved in the organized attempt to bring down the United States Government.
The American Legion was started in 1919 as a patriotic organization to protect “loyal” native born Americans from these ungrateful immigrants and outside agitators. In a very short time the American Legion had over 600,000 members. A law was passed in 32 States outlawing the display of the Red Flag. The Red Flag had been adopted by the Communists but in actuality represented the blood of the Labor Union martyrs who were executed in 1886 in Chicago in response to the Haymarket Square riots.
There was a massive labor strike in Seattle followed by an even bigger steel strike. There were mass arrests around the nation - 4,000 in one event and 10,000 in another. Palmer had hired a man destined to become famous for vice, J. Edgar Hoover, to head a new bureau designed to uncover Bolshevik Conspiracies. In no time at all Hoover had over 200,000 cards of dangerous, destructive, potential anarchist in his file cabinets - names of prominent blacks, reformers and intellectuals. The I.W.W. which had been nearly destroyed during the war - with all its leadership incarcerated - continued to be attacked. The Alien and Espionage acts were passed. Eugene Debs the famous Socialist Party leader had been imprisoned for speaking out against the war. People were now being arrested for saying anything against the government or even “looking like a radical”. Victor Berger a socialist who had been elected to Congress was denied his seat. And finally the Buford shipped off with its boat load of Anarchist being deported to Russia. The shipment included the famous anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman.
The fanatic crackdown didn’t slow down until the business community began to realize a shortage in their cheap labor market. With the horrid thought of higher wages confronting them the Red Scare finally began to dissipate - but like the “old soldier” it never did die and it could hardly be said to have “faded” away.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Courtly love

Courtly love

“The Evolution of Love”

By Richard E. Noble

Have you ever longed for those days of yesteryear when men were Knights and women were Ladies and Queens? When gallantry and chivalry ruled the code of male conduct? When men were noble and brave and woman were pure and set upon a pedestal? Yeah, right! Let’s have a quick reality check here, okay.
In Donald Day’s, “The Evolution of Love” he explains to us, many of the rules and regulations taught by custom and tradition, and somewhat codified by a guy named Andreas Capellanus, who was a chaplain to the King of France, and wrote down all these rules for Queen Eleanor sometime in the twelfth century.
The first and primary necessity for Courtly love was, of course, adultery. Adultery is made necessary because most Queens are married to some old fart through a financial arrangement or some Machiavellian consolidation of power. And besides, what was a Queen to do when the old fart was off on another of his Crusades. But really, as the Chaplain Andreas points out in his book, true love can not exist between married couples anyway. Because love must be given freely, and since marriage implies obligation and commitment there cannot exist true love in marriage, only the fulfillment of duties. (Boy, there’s one to think about, ain’t there?)
The Queen couldn’t just jump into the sack any night with any Knight. She had to play around, and sometimes for years. First a peck on the hand, then a tweak on the cheek, and then finally and at last the Big Bang (but this is in theory you understand). And the Knight had to win the Queen’s favor by performing noble deeds. This would include such things as pulling out a fingernail, or sitting on his sword for an hour or two. In the mean time though, the Knights were granted a few minor privileges because as we all know, rules be as they may, boys will be boys.
For example, a Knight could legitimately bop any chick who was not a Queen without breaking any code of Knightlihood or fidelity. Maidens of lower rank could be wooed free of charge. And if our Knight in shinning armor happened to be riding by on his white charger, and spotted a farmer’s daughter (or farmer’s wife for that matter) bent over in the field thinning out some pickle patch, look out Honey, because Peter Piper is about to pick a peck of pickles. And if a little force was necessary, this was perfectly Knightly because we all know how obstinate farm girls can be.
You know when you think of Sir Lancelot, that noble Knight, who followed all the rules of Courtly love and was finally granted the privilege of poking the lovely Queen Guinevere - pretty little Queen Guin was married at the time to King Arthur.
It does seem here that the secret to a woman’s fancy is contained, not so much in the imagination, as I have always heard claimed, but, as the Bridges of Madison County so aptly proved, in the excitement of adultery. Obviously we are not so far from those glorious days of old than one might be inclined to think.
You know, I think that I could have been a Knight - any day, man! Obviously it had many more advantages over just being a plain, old, boring - God forbid - husband. Being a farmer don’t look all that great either.
PS - It has recently been estimated that over sixty percent of all married woman have cheated on their husbands. If we then guess-timate that even more married men have cheated on their wives, our American Civilization is now a John Updike novel. And we all thought that he was a fiction writer - it seems he is an historian.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Noble Universe

Noble Universe

By Richard E. Noble

Space = that which surrounds, defines, and separates matter.
Matter = that part of the universe containing something other than space. Then;

Space + Matter = Universe

Where there is no matter, there is Space? Where there is no space, there is matter?
Where the universe is ‘empty’, it contains space.
If there is a ‘horizon’ to the Universe, or even an end to the matter contained in the universe, beyond the ‘horizon’ of matter there exists ‘space’.
Conclusion: The universe is infinite. It can not be round, flat, conical, or curved, etc. because shape demands dimension. Space is of necessity dimension-less. The matter of the Universe can be arranged into a shape, but when space is added, the Universe then once again becomes dimension-less or infinite.
By logical definition this must be true. If space can be contained what then would it be contained in? Space cannot be contained; it is the container.

Space + mater = universe = infinity.
Existence = Existence

IF all that exists could be turned into non-existence. Then the Universe, life and all existence would be over – and it would be over forever. For once something is “nothing” its capacity to become anything has been removed. This is the definition of “nothing” or non-existence … Having no capacity to ever become something.
If “nothing” has the capacity to become something … then it wouldn’t be “nothing”.
Nothing’ can not be turned into something. Even God, if He is, can not become “nothing”. For if He truly could turn Himself into nothing He would then not have the ability (now being absolutely nothing) to turn Himself back into something. Where would the power of transformation come from? That which exists cannot be made into nothing or annihilated. Something can only be changed into something else. Matter could be dissolved into space, and possibly matter could be diffused into space, transforming the universe into an infinity of light or energy, but it can not just disappear into ‘nothing’. Why? Because ‘nothing’ is ‘nothing’ . Conclusion; there is no alternative to existence.

Existence = Existence


Existence = Space + Matter = Universe = infinity


Time = lapses between events in the universe.
Because there is or was at one point no observer to an event in space, does that mean that such events never did, or do not occur?
I don’t think so. Stars explode in the heavens whether there is anyone to watch or not. Therefore Time, as defined, exists. It is the pause, no mater how calculated, observed, or recorded between events occurring in space. Then Existence contains not only space, and matter, but time.

Existence + time + space + matter = Universe = infinity

Motion could be interpreted similarly. But Time and Motion are concepts; they do not have existence in and of themselves.
Time is a measurement between the events of matter.
Motion is a description of the activity of matter; energy is a conversion of matter.
What then is space? Is Space a concept or a ‘real’ thing existing in itself? If space is not something in and of itself but only a contingency of matter then:

Existence = matter = universe = infinity

Matter = light + energy + mass + material + elements + space + time.
If space is not the container for matter, but a property of matter, then to remove all matter form the Universe would be the destruction of the Universe. For when all of matter would dissipate or disappear; so to would all of the properties of matter - space, for example, merely being the nothingness between an electron and its nucleus.
If space is something in and of itself, something that can exist even without the presence of matter; if matter could be turned into energy and energy then dissipated into nothing (non-existence); but space would remain; then space would be God - that which could exist in an of itself property-less, dimension-less; without beginning; without end.

If space is possible as an entity within itself, could it have consciousness?
If space could exist without dependency on matter or energy, and be aware of its own existence, then God would be possible and so would the soul. But then where would matter have come form? Something can not come from nothing.
The question remains, is space something?
A rocket ships travels in space. It floats between the earth and the moon. It takes time for the rocket to get from the earth to the moon, or from a satellite to reach Mars. If there is no such thing as space, why does it take time to get from one planet to another? What is the Satellite floating in when it is between destinations of matter?
If space exists, then it must be able to produce matter. Or space is in reality matter in a transitory form; space being a form of matter existing between matter and energy.

Space = matter = energy = light = existence = Universe = infinity

Then, what is motion and time?

Motion is the movement or activity of matter in space.
Time is the lapse existing between the various positions of a unit of matter in motion.
Is motion real?
Is time real?
They are not real things in themselves, but they do exist, and are observable properties of matter.

Do time and motion require and observer?
Ohhh, yawn, yawn ... see you in the morning, my thoughtful friends.

A new day.

If space, in another manner, is the distance between me and my computer, what is it that keeps me and my computer from becoming one? Something is separating me from my computer.
We call this “space”.
If we place me and my computer into a large tube and then we pump all of the air and atmosphere or whatever out of the tube, wouldn’t you think then, that I would be slammed into my computer, or that me and my computer would be blended into one?
If all the “stuff” that is between me and my computer has been removed, what would keep us apart?
Instead we both end up floating around in the vacuum. What is it in the vacuum that is keeping us apart? Space? What is space?
Albert Einstein said that the luminiferous aether as proposed by Lorentz even after the Michelson-Morley experiment would prove to be “superfluous”.
Is that the same as saying that the aether does not exist?
Or is that simply stating that as a part in a mathematical equation it has no significance?
I am unable to remove the thought of “space” as being ‘something’ from my mind. A universe of matter without a space between and all around is incomprehensible to me at the moment.
What stops things in orbit about the earth from simply combining and forming into one mass? What keeps one satellite or object separate from another? Space? What is space?
Whatever it is – it must be something.

Saturday, August 19, 2006



By Richard E. Noble

Bombs are dropping, but I can’t hear a thing.
Bombs are dropping, I can feel them ring.
BOOM! ... BOOM! ... BOOM! ... see everything crumble.
Buildings tumble, the grounds a rumble.

Bombs are dropping, but I can’t hear a thing.
BOOM! ... BOOM! ... BOOM!
Bombs are dropping, I can feel them ring.
I can hear them whistle. I can hear them sing.
But yet, but yet ... I can’t hear a thing.

Buildings are falling and crashing to the ground.
Children are screaming and running around.
But I’m all right in my suit and tie.
I’ve got my briefcase, and can’t seem to cry.

Bombs are dropping ... BOOM! ... BOOM! ... BOOM!
I’m cleaning up destruction with my little whisk-broom.
Hear them whistle ... hear them sing.
Bombs are dropping, but I can’t hear a thing.


But I can’t hear a thing.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Catch 22

Catch 22


By Richard E. Noble

It is rather shocking for me to think that here I am today a citizen of, without doubt, the greatest, most powerful, wealthiest, most culturally and scientifically sophisticated, nation state to be established to this date by mankind, and realize that two of its most basic sources of economic stability are provided by the proliferation of drugs, and the creation, manufacture, and sale of military weapons.
In the closing moments, and the subsequent years immediately following World War I, the peoples of the world were shocked and outraged to learn about the exploits of men such as Sir Basil Zaharoff, R. L. Thomson, Hirum Maxim, Alfred Krupp, M. Eugene Schneider, etc., arms manufactures and salesmen, to mention but a few, who were involved in the promotion and “marketing” of war on an international basis. They were labeled, “Merchants of Death”.
Their mercenary, profit hungry, competitive tactics turned nearly the entire world against the capitalistic system. German bodies were being strung along miles of barbed wire sold to the French by German manufactures just weeks before. Frenchmen were being slaughtered by bombs and bullets manufactured by French industrialists and sold during the war to their enemies at high profits. British arms merchants sold to all combatants while the patriotic sons of their proud island died by the hundreds of thousands to protect the right of these “Merchants of Death” to make millions and billions on the blood of a naive free market mankind.
The international marketing of arms went on right through the war, and was supported by all the arms producing nations of the world - including the U.S.A. These antics of international arms merchants when exposed to the world at large precipitated a disgust so great for the capitalistic system that the entire Russian army walked off the battlefield and into the humanitarian notion of a “not for profit” communist utopia, and the less drastic notion of socialism took root throughout the entire world. Hatred of War flourished in the aftermath of this our first world war, in the form of pacifism. Resistance to war, and the novel notion of conscientious objection to military service became organized, and was supported by some of the greatest minds in the world.
A dialogue between war haters and warmongers began in the twenties, and ran through the thirties - the “no war” notion being championed by men like Albert Einstein and Sigmond Freud, and the “pro war” campaign championed by the distinguished Winston Churchill, and the vociferous German champion of bombs and bullets, Aldolf Hitler.
Discussions were cut off with the outset of World War II. During World War II, it was business as usual. The international arms industry flourished. While London was being bombed by German planes powered by Rolls Royce engines, Americans were being killed on the beaches of Normandy and elsewhere, by material and weapons of destruction sold to Nazi Germany by powerful American companies.
The Historian, William Manchester points out in his History “The Arms of Krupp” that F.D.R. was well aware of this fact but did not expose it to the American people for fear of undermining the morale of the war effort, and consequently precipitating the victory of Adolf Hitler and his pure Aryan race advocates at home and abroad. Politically, Americans could have voted with their feet, just as the Russians had done in World War I and toppled America into a similar utopic, communist dilution. F.D.R. had his political hands full. Many right-wingers were already calling him a Communist and worse.
It now seems that World War II has settled the issue. America is the leading trafficker in the international arms market. And, from what I can see, most Americans consider the marketing and manufacture of bombs and bullets for an international market an acceptable economic necessity. After all, if we don’t sell it to them, someone else will. And it is true that we have stiff competition in the bombs and bullets marketplace coming from France, England, Russia, China, and elsewhere. War, its promotion and preparation for, has become our most profitable industry. Without which, we tell our top-secret-clearance defense plant workers, our American economy would collapse, and topple us and the world into a depression that would make the rupture of 1929 seem like a time of economic prosperity. So eat, drink, sell and drop bombs, and be merry, for tomorrow, as an economic necessity you, your children, and your grandchildren may be selected to die. Because, as we all should know, those who live by the bomb, shall also die by the bomb.
Understanding this evolution in the bombs and bullets international market place makes me think of our drug industry. Is it now also out of control in this truly Joseph Heller-Catch 22 world that we are living in today? Is it too, an industry, the promotion of which, our economic livelihood can no longer survive without? We now have whole nations of people who are involved in the production and manufacture of drugs. We have whole armies that are buying their bombs and bullets from the profits accumulated through illegal drug trafficking. The drug industry has been growing and profiting all of my life. It has not only infiltrated my culture and social existence, but my government and its agencies - you do remember Ollie North and Iran Contra - the business community, banking, real estate and finance. Though we pretend to be fighting it, as we pretend to be avoiding war, is it now true, as with war that it is now also an economic necessity - a business, the promotion of which we, as Americans, can no longer survive without?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Labor Day

Labor Day

Haymarket Riot of 1886

By Richard E. Noble

Labor Day for most Americans is the celebration of the End of Summer – that last week-end for fun and games. I would imagine that many other folks in the U.S. are of the impression that Labor Day has something to do with motherhood. It is only in the United States - in the land of “Business is our Business” – that this particular celebration is ignored and its political and historical significance forgotten and some might even say maligned. Contrary to popular opinion the United States fought no foreign war for the “Right to Free Speech”. This particular right was earned here in the streets of Chicago and in the mines of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Utah. It was won by the blood of Labor heroes – symbolized by that horrid Red Flag (blood) - and later by social activists (men, woman, and children) who were beat, clubbed and fire hosed in almost every instance in the state’s attempt to stop them from “speaking freely”. Labor Day – celebrated in the rest of the world on May 1st – is actually a day that has been put aside to remember a labor riot that took place in 1886 right here in the good old United States of America. Who would have believed it?

Chicago – Haymarket Square – 1886
What happened in Haymarket Square in Chicago in 1886 and the eighteen month controversy that followed, should be as commonly known to the general American public as the witch trials in Salem and the McCarthy hearings of the 1950’s.
August Spies, Albert Parsons, Sam Fielden, Adolf Fischer, George Engel, Michael Schwab, Louis Lingg, and Oscar Neebe were all arrested and charged with murder. The prosecution charged them with being involved in a conspiracy to incite a riot which culminated in the death of seven policemen and several citizens. On November 11, 1887 Spies, Engel, Fischer and Parsons were hung. Governor Oglesby had commuted the sentences of Schwab and Fielden to life imprisonment via their personal request and public apology. Those who were executed said that they were innocent of all charges and would not accept less than liberty and exoneration. Louis Lingg committed suicide. Oscar Neebe was given fifteen years. The men were all found guilty, based not on any direct evidence but on previous writings and public statements and comments. In effect, seven men were sentenced to death for speaking and writing their opinions and ideas in and unpleasant and admittedly aggressive and belligerent manner. They were avowed and admitted anarchists. An anarchist believed in the organized overthrow of what they considered to be a “classist” society and world. Like our Revolutionary forefathers before them, they did not eliminate violence as one of the possible tools which could be used in this theoretical revolution.
It has been accepted and confirmed in all the history books that I have read thus far, that the trial of these men was a farce. It was totally corrupted and illegal. The jury was hand picked, summoned by a special bailiff instead of by random selection. Witnesses for the prosecution were bribed, bought or willingly lied under oath. Witnesses for the defense were intimidated, threatened, offered bribes, even kidnapped and hidden away until the completion of the trial. Police officers falsified their testimony. Only three of the defendants could even be proved to have been at the assembly. Furthermore, the riot was not a riot until 180 trained, riot squad, armed policemen disobeyed direct orders from the mayor and proceeded to inflame and incite the crowd.
Chicago had been a “hot” town for labor riots and social discontent for over a decade. Before the Haymarket Square Riot at the McCormick Harvester Company, there had been a lockout. McCormick had called in the police, brought in Pinks (Pinkertons), hired scabs, strike breakers and agitators.
Discharged workers and locked out union members gathered outside of the plant a few days later for a protest rally. Mr. McCormick decided to call the local police under Captain John Bonfield, a substantiated and demonstrated violent union opponent, to come out and supervise the affair. At the same time McCormick decided to close down his plant for the afternoon, and announce a new, shorter, eight hour day to his recently hired scab employees. The men outside were fired and replaced by these scabs because they had petitioned Mr. McCormick for just such an eight hour day a few days before. When the scabs, the pinks, and McCormick’s hired thugs exited the gates to the plant, violence erupted. A half dozen, unarmed strikers were killed and several others were injured and maimed in the melee.
[It is interesting to note that Mr. McCormick was not arrested at this point for being a part of a conspiracy to incite a riot which ended in the death of several human beings - which was the traditional practice for union leaders involved in similar social disasters and would be the fate of the union leaders in just a few days at Haymarket Square.]
In response to this provocation and slaughter, the union wrote up and dispensed pamphlets calling for another rally - this time at Haymarket Square. Its members were advised to come prepared for violence.
Mayor Carter H. Harrison attended the meeting to monitor any problems. Later that evening as rain began to fall, and anticipating no trouble, he left. At the trial, he subsequently testified that everything was peaceful. Even the radical speakers he felt to be non-threatening - their speeches “tame”. The speakers were concerned with union recruitment, and potential future benefits. No one was being encouraged to riot or engage in violence. He stopped by the police station and told Captain Bonfield to dismiss the riot squad, no action was necessary. Bonfield disregarded the mayor’s orders and sent 180 riot squad policemen over to the area with orders to dismiss the crowd of trouble makers.
The relatively small crowd was already dissipating due to the weather and the late hour. The riot squad proceeded to the speaker’s podium and began their unwarranted, unnecessary and un-called for dismissing tactics when a bomb was exploded within their ranks. A Sergeant M. J. Degan was killed instantly, and six other officers were seriously injured and died later in the hospital. The Union was, of course, blamed for this act of individual violence - even though it was well known that management had a long record of sabotage, violence, and even tossing bombs, burning their own factories, railroad cars, and “insured” business assets. Management violence, since substantiated historically, was a common tool used to discredit and turn public opinion against union activism. But, in this instance, though unproved, and unsubstantiated, the Union was advanced as the culprit. None of the indicted defendants could be traced to the bombing. The actual bomber was never discovered. The trial garnered publicity from all over the country and around the world. America was divided. Teddy Roosevelt expressed in a personal letter that he wished that he and some of his boys with their rifles could get to these radical troublemakers. Samuel Gompers, not a supporter of union violence, condemned the strike but asked for the release of the accused. All over the world advocates for both sides were speaking out on the controversy.
No one doubted that a meeting had taken place. But the right to engage in lawful assembly was guaranteed by the Constitution, as the right of a free people. No one doubted that a bomb had been thrown. No one doubted that seven policemen were now dead because of it. But a good many doubted that the men currently under indictment were responsible. Nearly everyone who knew the facts agreed that there was no evidence to convict these particular men of any crime. Any nut cake could have thrown the bomb, non union or pro-union; management, strike breaker, hired thug or Pinkerton. But the business community and an outraged general public wanted somebody hung. They wanted somebody hung as an example that this type of behavior could not be condoned in the United States of America. This was America, the land of opportunity, the nation of immigrants. This was the land of the free and the home of the brave. This was the country that people escaped to, not escaped from. The German, Polish, ungrateful, new-comer, immigrant bomb-throwing radicals needed to be taught a lesson. Not here ... not in this country could such behavior be tolerated.
The convicted men were inspirational and courageous at their trial and the subsequent hanging. Spies gave a speech at the trial that would have made Patrick Henry, Tom Paine and John Adams sit up and take notice. In it, he invoked the spirits of Socrates, Jesus Christ, Giordano Bruno, Huss and Galileo. He quoted Venetian Doge Faberi … “My defense is your accusation; the cause of my alleged crime your history.” He condemned the State’s contemplated murder of eight men whose only crime had been to speak the truth. He named names; he accused his accusers. He exposed their lies, their bribes and their misrepresentations.
Albert Parsons had initially escaped, but nevertheless turned himself in, knowing that he would be murdered, or executed. He did so because he would not let his courageous and falsely accused friends stand alone. Oscar Neebe, who was only sentenced to fifteen years, requested the court to hang him also. He would rather be a dead martyr than an innocent man condemned to prison.
Fischer said; “I was tried in this room for murder and convicted of anarchy ... this verdict is a death-blow against free speech, free press and free thought ... A new petition for clemency was brought to Governor John Peter Altgeld in 1893. On June 26, 1893 Samuel Fielden, Oscar Neebe and Michael Schwab were given an absolute pardon.
The Governor explained his reasons in writing.
He stated that the jury had been selected inappropriately. Instead of the names being drawn from a hat, across class structures, a special bailiff had been appointed, Henry L. Ryce. Mister Ryce had stated his prejudices against the defendants openly. Ryce boasted that these men would be hung. Otis S. Favor, a potential juror and friend to Mister Ryce, filed a voluntary, unsolicited affidavit stating the truth and fact of Mister Ryce’ s unabashed and vocal prejudices against the defendants. Ryce had told potential jurors that it was his intention to provide a continuous supply of prejudiced jurors to use up the defense’s challenges and guarantee a panel of jurors prone to convict. The defense appealed to the court when they realized that all the potential jurors were hand picked for their prejudice and non labor status in the community. The judge denied the appeal. The jurors own answers to pretrial questioning provided witness to the fact that they were incompetent due to their personal prejudice.
Next, Governor Altgeld pointed out that the defendants had not been proven guilty of the crime charged in the indictment. They had been charged with the murder of patrolman Mathias Degan. Many of the defendants were not even present at the scene of the murder. No evidence was brought against the defendants proving any involvement in the crime. The defendants were convicted on their previous published anarchist’s literature. In some of this literature revolution and or violence was approved or advocated. Governor Altgeld further stated that if violence was the cause of Patrolman Degan’s death it was the uncalled for violence of Captain Bonfield who had his men attack a group of peaceful citizens who had assembled in a vacant lot to discuss their options. Captain Bonfield attacked this group on May 1 (traditional date of Labor Day celebrations). The union men not only dispersed as requested; they began running for their lives. Bonfield’s men shot a number of these men in the back as they ran. Four were killed and several were injured. If men could be convicted of murder for writing about violence, certainly men who created violence – Captain Bonfield and associates - and openly precipitated hatred and revenge in the hearts of the innocent, could be convicted with much greater justification.
Captain Ebersold, Chicago chief of police at the time of the Haymarket Riot, further condemned the actions of others in the police establishment of inciting the riot and seeking to cause more and additional trouble even after the bomb had been thrown on the fourth of May. A Captain Schaak, Ebersold claimed, wanted to plant more bombs and stimulate more violence - his motivation being notoriety, personal ambition and fame.
Neebe, shouldn’t even have been put in jail in the first place, according to Atgeld. Even the prosecution admitted, at the trial and in front of the jury, that they had insufficient evidence to convict Neebe. And on top of all of this, said Altgeld, the judge himself, was prejudiced. He allowed inadmissible evidence and testimony for the prosecution while denying necessary and pertinent information from the defense. Even the judge’s remarks were picked up on by the prosecution and used to sway the jury.*
The story of these men is a story of heroic proportions. In a time of flagrant social, injustice, they stood up with their lives. These men were true American heroes fighting for the rights and the dignity of their fellow men within the American structure. These are the men that have earned their fellow working men much of what every working man thinks, today, to be his birthright. The hanging of these men stands as a dishonor to our system. Of course, it was not the first such dishonor, and it would not be the last.*

* “The Annals of America, Vol. 11, page 117, August Spies: Address at the Haymarket Trial.
*The Annals of America Vol. 11, pp. 43 8-444. John Peter Altgeld: Reasons for Pardoning the Haymarket Rioters.
*Works used in this essay include; “Roughneck”, Peter Carlson; “The History of American Labor”, Joseph G. Rayback; “The Annals of America Vol.11, 1884-1894; “Recent American History”, Lester Shippee; “The Rise Of Industrial America”, Page Smith; “Attorney for the Damned” – Clarence Darrow in the Courtroom – edited by Arthur Weinberg; “American Economic History” 6th edition, Harold Underwood Faulkner.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Mein Kampf

Mein Kampf

Chapter 5 Part II

By Richard E. Noble
I do not know if there is anything to this notion of a Jewish conspiracy, but for the sake of my next point let us assume for the moment that it is a complete fabrication. So, in the light of this, how did Adolf create this phenomenal hatred for these people inside the borders of his nation?
Well, first he picked the scab of an already existing wound. There is a long world history of hate for Jews. He intensified the hatred by providing arguments that connected the Jew in some way to every existing problem of his country. Unfortunately he seemed to have a good deal of support in this effort from other writers, and propagandists of the day. He then demonized these people. Just as he explained the Allies had demonized ‘the Hun’. There is nothing unusual here. You can’t hate anything without turning it into something loathsome. If your goal is to hate women or men for example, you have to transform all of their positives into negatives. In the case of women you have to make them ugly, manipulative, insensitive, unfaithful, insincere, cruel, self-seeking and so on. We all do this every day in our relationships. If you are trying to create feelings of love you do just the opposite. Victor Hugo made a criminal the hero of his Les Miserables by giving him and heaping upon him all the qualities of a human being that we love and respect.
It is one thing to de-humanize a group of people to another group of people in order to arouse competition and hatred. Football coaches do this every weekend. But to turn this vindictiveness, or competitive antagonism into one that permits murder, torture and the like, is another thing. But yet it is a thing that is done throughout History, and in the daily lives of every nation. When I look at our own country, I ask myself where a scab such as this could be picked to the point of murder and torture.
The first area should be obvious to us all. The black and white relationship in America is an obvious one. Whether it is black on white or white on black, it is a wound that has been scabbing over for two hundred years.
I have heard white people accuse the black race in America of everything from the failures of our school systems to the loss of the war in Vietnam. How easy it would be to pick this scab and create an atmosphere of hate in the white for the black to the point of torture and murder. In fact, it has already been done in our past history. But could we raise this historical scab to the point of genocide? To the point where whites could take the black babies out of the arms of black mothers, toss them into the air and catch them on their bayonets, as the Germans have been accused of doing?
Well, what if we add to this country’s present list of woes, an economic depression, massive unemployment, political unrest, families distraught, broken and splintered by alcoholism and poverty. What if we created this situation by precipitating an economic collapse in order to accomplish this very goal ... to rid our nation of the ‘black plague’, and return them to their proper positions as slaves, and property to be bought and sold? We have to create an atmosphere that will produce deprivation and frustration in the white community. Get them all so hateful of their life situation that they are on the brink of despair, and then point them in the proper direction. Give them a rational, acceptable outlet for their hatred. Tell them that if it weren’t for ‘these’ people all of these horrible things wouldn’t have happened to them and their families.
I don’t think that the American people as a whole could do this. I really don’t think that any people could have done this, but yet it happened. And so in this same manner blacks have been lynched in this country, and murdered, but not as a part of sanctioned Government policy, Law, or National acceptance and participation. Of course, the ethnic Indian situation is another story. Could such a thing happen in our country?
I guess that is why I continue to analyze Adolf Hitler and his philosophy of hate. I want to know how he created monsters out of a whole nation of people. I want to know what type of thinking, what type of propaganda ... but even as I make these statements I listen to the news and hear of the atrocities in Bosnia, and Croatia, and Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq and I realize, I mustn’t be so optimistic about the goodness, and moral character of myself and my fellow citizens. I can only hope that no matter what the circumstances, I would not become a Nazi.
In Chapter eight, Adolf has returned home from the war. Germany is in a state of internal revolution. Adolf describes the situation in Munich.
“...The situation was untenable and urged necessarily towards a further continuation of the Revolution. Eisner’s death only hastened developments and led finally to the Soviet dictatorship, or, in other terms, to a temporary reign of the Jews as it had been originally intended by the originators of the whole revolution...”
In a footnote it is stated:
“... Hitler, with no home to which to return - he had been out of touch with his family for years - walked to Munich, and arrived there shortly after the murder of Kurt Eisner, who had headed the revolution that had driven the Wittelsbachs from their thrones and had then - up to the time of his assassination by Count Arco-Valley - been Prime Minister of Bavaria. Eisner, a Jew and not a native born Bavarian, was an idealist who had been jailed during the War for writing pacifist tracts ... he set about attempting to prove to the Allies that Germany’s workers fully acknowledged the guilt of the former imperial government in starting the War, and were therefore entitled to a just peace ... The Eisner regime was succeeded by a Socialist government which in turn was driven out of Munich by a ‘Soviet Dictatorship’ ... Several Moscow agents appeared in Munich, and two of them were Jewish...”
Well, do we need to say more? From Adolf’s point of view, there it is ... Jews, reds, Soviet Marxist, pacifists, sycophants, taking over by revolution at a point when the government was vulnerable, the rightful government of his country, and all trying to save their butts with the Allies by admitting their guilt in starting the war.
“… On April 27, 1919, early in the morning, I was supposed to be arrested; but in facing the rifle they presented, the three fellows lacked the necessary courage and marched away in the same manner in which they had come...”
Adolf walked away from three armed soldiers, basically telling them that they didn’t have the guts to shoot him. Obviously Adolf, by his own account and other accounts in the historical record, was a brave man - fearless in the eyes of death. He goes on to explain the feeling of he and some of his ex-soldier friends.
“… All of us were more or less firmly convinced that Germany could no longer be saved from the approaching collapse by the parties of the November crime, the Center party, and Social Democracy...”
So there we have it, a soldier comes back from a bitter and bloody war to find his homeland in shambles and in a state of revolution. The government is being taken over by a foreign country, with some kind of unpatriotic, non-nationalist gibberish about a world revolution of international workers. There’s fighting in the streets, and these revolutionaries even go so far as to attempt to arrest him, a hardened soldier who had just walked home from dodging bullets, bombs, and poison gas at the front. He laughs in their faces, turns his back on them and challenges them to shoot him in the back, if they have the balls. On top of all of this, this group of November criminals who are trying to destroy the nationhood of Germany by preaching a “Jew” philosophy is filled with other leading and well known Jews of the time. So he and his ex-G.I. buddies start their own revolutionary party which they name the ‘Social Revolutionary Party’.

[This is a part of a continuing series on this blog. Check out Search This Blog at the top of the page for more entries listed under the title Mein Kampf]

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Seafood and Franklin County

Seafood and Franklin County

Vibrio, Red Tide, Katrina, the Government and Seafood Bankruptcy

By Richard E. Noble

[As a retired Seafood worker here in Franklin Co., I consider this article that was published in the local Franklin Chronicle Nov. 2005 as one of my finer achievements as an aspiring “journalist”. It is recreated here without my boss’s deletions which I am happy to say were minor.]

Red Tide Update - David Heil
David Heil from the Dept. of Agriculture spoke to the Board this week concerning the present state of the Red Tide and its subsequent closure of Apalachicola Bay to oystering.
“The actual water samples from the Bay, in my opinion, are very low in the west end of the Bay - way below the level of five thousand cells per liter. That is a very good thing. The areas to the east are very high - 100,000 to 330,000 cells per liter. That is very high. We are taking meat samples in both the east and the west and it is not impossible for me to believe that from the low cell counts that we have in the west end, that Thursday or Friday morning a portion of the Bay may open. I don’t know if that is going to happen because the samples are just being shipped off today (Nov. 15, Tuesday). That is just my hope.” Mr. Hell then went on to explain that contrary to the impression left by Joe Shields at the last commission meeting, if water and meat samples from a particular area of the Bay meet proper standards, the Bay will open one section at a time if need be. “I’m thinking that there is a good possibility that the west end of the Bay may be opened, but I can’t guarantee it.” It was then explained that two months ago the meat samples from the west end of the Bay were less than twenty, but the water samples had returned to over 5000 cells per liter, so consequently that portion could not be opened as was planned. “That same thing could happen this time, we don’t know. The request that the County made last meeting about looking into the water discharges (water coming down the river) is no magic silver bullet but it certainly can not hurt at all. We are pursuing that. The letter that Joe Shields has drafted will actually go out of the office tomorrow.”
“Why did it take two weeks for that letter to get sent off? It should have been sent off that day,” said Mr. Putnal.
“It was actually drafted (that day) but it goes through a review process that is unfortunately necessary in our agency. I think the County is preparing a letter also - I hope. Your letter will be very instrumental, I think, (because it) will speak to a lot of the economic hardship. Our letter deals with the science, but yours speaks a lot more from the heart. 1 think that is a good thing.”
“Has this letter (from the County) been sent?” asked Mr. Mosconis.
“It is part of the report that we are signing tonight,” said Mr. Mahan. “We’re not sending it to the Corps of Engineers; we’re sending it to the Water District. We are going to ask the Water Management district to approach the Corps of Engineers.”
“That is the same response (advice) we got when we inquired,” David Heil informed the Board. “They will deal with the Corps as a part of their routine business.”
It seems that whether it is the County or the Department of Agriculture it takes two weeks to draft a letter. I wonder how long it will take to find someone in the government who will be able to read the letter.
“Let me ask you one question; How many people have gotten sick from the Red Tide?” asked Mr. Crofton.
“Red Tide is handled the same way in every state. It is closed when you get five thousand cells per liter and toxic meats. We have never had an illness associated with the commercial harvest because of those practices. We have had numerous illnesses from recreational harvests from people who are harvesting illegally. This year we have only had four illnesses associated with Red Tide. The Red Tide affects all humans and all mammals the same way. It is not like the Vibrio Vulnificus that only effects people with liver disease, for example.”
“That is four out of how many people who eat oysters - seven million two million?” asked Mr. Crofton.
“I hope more than that,” Mr. Heil responded.
“Are you talking about raw oysters or cooked?” asked Mr. Crofton.
“It doesn’t matter - raw or cooked (can get people sick). The toxin does not cook out.”
“What we need you to do is give us your assurance that you will help us to open the Bay as rapidly as possible,” said Mr. Crofton.
“I guarantee it. I will, and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation will as well.”
“Well how did they open the Bay in those other states where all those people were dead and floating around? They open that up; what’s the trouble with us?” asked Mr. Lockley.
“They went the extra effort to do ... extra testing. So they are now open and in my opinion those products are safe to eat.”
(In Louisiana, we all saw and read about the thousands of dead human beings and animals floating in the flood water; the oil and chemicals and muck mixed in, due to flooded refineries; the septic and sewage treatment being mixed into the flood waters from a city of millions; garbage, human waste, human remains, animal remains, oil, chemicals and whatnot - and their oyster harvesting areas are open? May I be so bold as to be the first to suggest that we send our water and meat samples to their lab? I would also like to add; if Mr. Heil will eat a dozen raw oysters from the state of Louisiana at the next County Commission meeting, the Franklin Chronicle would be more than happy to pay for them.)
“Two laboratories,” said Mr. Heil, “that I can find that are certified for the nuerotoxin for the type of Red Tide that we have - the Fish and Wildlife in St. Petersburg and the Texas Department of Health in Austin. Those are the only two that have the FDA certified nuerotoxic shellfish certification.”
“I thought that we were supposed to do a joint venture with the Dept. of Agriculture and the River Keepers and do a split sampling two or three weeks ago? What happened to that?” asked Ms. Sanders
“Texas was willing to participate with us in a split sampling up until the point where the Food and Drug administration suggested to them that two samples was not nearly enough to actually compare results. The Food and Drug Administration suggested to the Texas Department of Health that we need to do five, maybe ten samples in order to do statistics with overlapping confidence. That blew Texas’s mind and they said; We’re not going to participate.”
[An inquiring mind might ask why it only takes one test from a dubious government laboratory to close down an entire local industry and it takes ten tests or more to verify that lab’s results and re-open the Bay. If all of these laboratories are so unreliable and their results so dubious and inconsistent, how is it that we can trust the one we have here in Apalachicola in the first place?]
“What happened to Dolphin Island Alabama?”
“That is another option ... Dolphin Island is an FDA laboratory. They do have a test that they can run for the nuerotoxic shellfish poisoning. It is not a certified lab by FDA. It is not the method that is approved for shellfish management - but it is certainly a lab that we could always use for any type of screening, if we needed to.”
“But you say that the FDA don’t recognize what they do?” asked Mr. Mosconis.
“No. Their method has not been approved by the FDA.”
A motion was then made to use the Dolphin Island lab, even with its limitations, to do the screening. The motion was approved.
“We can’t do it this week, but we can do it Monday of next week. We will open it (the Bay) in sections, just like we close it in sections. If we get good water samples in the west, good water samples at Indian Pass, which we have, and if we get less than 20 mouse units in the sample we took today, barring that the water samples in those areas doesn’t go back up over five thousand - we will open that area.”
“This is all very confusing,” said Ms. Sanders.
“I think the more we talk about this the more confused that it gets,” offered Mr. Putnal. “Mr. Shuler did you ever find a legal firm for us who can investigate this stuff and let us know who’s lyin’ and who’s tellin’ the truth? We got some people who are starving to death out there that needs to go to work.”
Mr. Mosconis then asked Mr. Heil where the state of Florida was in regards to meeting requirements that had been set concerning the levels of tolerance for Vibrio Vulnificus.
[Vibrio Vulnificus is a bacterium in the same family as those that cause cholera. It lives in warm seawater and is part of a group of vibrios that are called “Halophilic” because they require salt. V. Vulnificus can cause disease in those who eat contaminated seafood or have an open wound that is exposed to seawater ... The bacteria is a naturally occurring marine organism that thrives in shallow, coastal waters in temperate climates throughout most of the world … Vulnificus may concentrate in clams, oysters, scallops and in finfish. It has been isolated from seawater, sediments, plankton and shellfish located in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Coast as far north as Cape Cod, and the entire U.S. West Coast.]
“We do have some challenges in front of us,” said Mr. Heil It has been determined ... that we will have forty percent reduction by December 31, 2006. If we don’t have that, then we have to ask our industry to post-harvest treat more product - clean the vibro out of them before they sell them to market - December 31, 2008 we must see a sixty percent in illness reduction in vibrio along the Gulf Coast. If we don’t do that then we have to start regulation. That would mean only allowing products to be post-harvest treated; only allowing harvest during the winter months; or anything else that we can come up with to meet that sixty percent reduction in the Gulf. We are making strides. In 2004 we actually had a forty-five percent reduction in vibrio. That sounds great. I’m encouraged. But when you look at it, we have had forty-five percent reductions before, when we were doing nothing about it. So, we will just have to wait and see if we get illness reduction. We will meet our reduction goal for 2005 because the exposures will be lower; we will not be harvesting much (due to disasters and Red Tide). In the entire nation so far we have only had ten Vibrio illnesses. That is at least half the amount that we have by this time every year on the average.”
There are two obvious problems with regards to these Vibrio shellfish regulations. First, percentages do not make sense when dealing with such small numbers. As Mr. Heil, himself, pointed out, a forty-five percent reduction could happen with no regulations or post-harvest treatment.
To exaggerate the point, let’s say that you make it a requirement that cases of Vibrio can not increase over fifty percent or the Gulf of Mexico will be shut down to oyster harvesting. If you had one case of Vibrio last year and this year you had two; that would be a 100 percent increase. You would have to shut down the Gulf Coast to oystering. On the other hand if you required that the percent of incidents be reduced by sixty percent it would be impossible. If you had only one case, you would be forced to reduce the incidence by 100 percent. There is no other choice - you have one case or you have no cases. When you are dealing with such small numbers (ten for this year) the use of a percentage is not only meaningless, it is ludicrous.
The second fallacy in relation to this regulation program is that Vibrio is caused by eating raw oysters. Vibrio is not caused by eating raw oysters; it is caused by ingesting Vibrio contaminated water. A person can be infected with Vibrio and not eat any shellfish or seafood from the Gulf of Mexico or anywhere else. All that he has to do is swallow some Vibrio contaminated water or have some Vibrio contaminated water seep into an open wound or cut.
You could post-harvest treat 100 percent of all the oysters from the Gulf of Mexico, and have a convention in Tampa with a thousand liver challenged or immune system challenged individuals and end up with a 10,000 percent increase in the incidence of Vibrio in the Gulf of Mexico.
[In the United States 60 percent of all V. Vulnificus cases are caused by wound infection. Exposing pre-existing wounds or open sores to seawater or acquiring a wound while engaging in a marine related activity ... Coastal recreational activities that may produce wound infections include swimming, wading, boating and fishing …]
So 60 percent of Vibrio cases come from swimming, wading, boating, and fishing and only 40 percent come from eating shellfish. If we had ten cases last year and we stopped all of those that were caused by eating shellfish, we would still have six people infected with Vibrio. We would have only reduced the disease by 40 percent.
Although there have been no studies done on this, it could be that if we could keep drunken sport fishermen, who may also be suffering from aids, liver problems, diabetes or kidney disorders out of Gulf waters we might have a better chance of controlling this Vibrio Vulnificus “pandemic”.
In April of 2003, California enacted a state-wide ban on the sale of raw oysters harvested from the Gulf of Mexico from April through October each year, unless they are processed to reduce levels of Vibrio Vulnificus to non-detectable (post-harvest processed oysters). These post-harvesting processes include; freezing, heat cool pasteurization and high hydrostatic pressure.
That is very interesting; especially when you consider that, according to, these processes may not kill all bacteria and viruses. It is not recommended that high-risk patients eat raw, post harvest processed oysters either. So, the state of Florida could post harvest process 100 percent of its oysters and if people with liver problems, cancer, gastric disorders, aids/HIV, chronic renal failure, alcoholism, and hemochromatosis/hemolytic anemia, diabetes and kidney problems continue to eat even post-harvest processed oysters, or swim, wade, fish, water ski and play in Vibrio contaminated water with cuts or open wounds, there could be just as many dead or more Vibrio victims as if no oysters were processed at all.
I also wonder what California and Florida are doing to protect their citizens and guests from the saltwater born Vibrio bacterium that infests the shoreline of their states - not to mention the East Coast shoreline, all the way up to Cape Cod? Remember 60 percent of nationwide Vibrio cases are not caused by eating any seafood product - from Florida or California.
I think that famous sage and social philosopher Johnny Mercer said it best: Who takes care of the caretaker’s daughter when the caretaker is busy taking care?
The best, and possibly the only realistic method of reducing incidence of Vibrio Vulnificus is education of those most susceptible to these infections and the general dissemination of the true facts in relation to this disease to the general public. As has been recently quoted on the national scene - “Half the truth is still a lie.”

Ronnie Davis - C-1 Zoning - Two Mile
Mr. Davis had a letter that had been sent to the Commission for a response. He received no response. Ms. Sanders said that she had not received any such letter. Mr. Davis then read his letter.
The letter dealt with the C-1 property owners at Two Mile and in Eastpoint who requested a rezoning of their C-I property status. C-1 zoning requires that only seafood related businesses be allowed in any area designated as C-1. This is an old zoning requirement with a long history. It was established by seafood business owners to protect the seafood industry and insure its longevity. Today with the virtual collapse of the local seafood
industry many of these C-1 property owners are seeking relief from the mandate of this C-1 zoning. What was once an advantage and a protection to these property owners has since become a noose around their neck. Many seafood workers are opposed to any change to this zoning status. They fear that if this zoning were changed they would have no place to dock their boats or unload their catch - thus, in effect, putting them out of business.
Months ago these C-1 property owners submitted a proposal for a new type of C-1 zoning that in addition to seafood would permit some sort of residential construction above their seafood related businesses. A public discussion was held relating to such a proposal, but no decision was made.
“We aren’t going out of business; we are out of business,” stated Mr. Davis who has been in the seafood business all of his life and whose mother and father, before him, were both seafood dealers. “We are in a hardship situation. My question is; What are you all going to do about it to help us out? Even the Armed Services makes allowances for hardship discharges. You going to do any of this for us? While (others) are selling out and making big profits, the Two Mile and Eastpoint C-1 property owners simply asked to be able to be allowed to make another use of their property - like a gas station that sells groceries in order to give them enough money to operate the C-i business. We were met with such opposition that we were accused by leaflets that we were killing the oystermen
“The Planning and Zoning Commission,” Allen Pierce explained, “has felt that the particular uses that these property owners would like are the kinds of uses that the Planning and Zoning Commission has been opposed to - those are residential uses and hotel uses. So, I will tell you right now that we have a built in conflict.”
A rather circular conversation then took place that ended right back where it had started. The question remained: Should the Board grant these C-i property owners additional uses besides seafood or not?
“We would like to see some changes,” Mr. Davis petitioned. “We would sure like to stay in business, and pay our bills and feed our families.”
“I tell you what; this decision is bigger than all of us. Let’s put this (the ordinance suggested by the C-i property owners) on the ballot and let the people decide,” suggested Mr. Putnal. “That’s what they do with issues like this. If it is too hard to make a decision, you put it on the ballot and let the community decide.”
“May I address that?” Mr. Patrick Floyd, attorney for the C-i property owners asked. “Some of my group have felt that maybe their point has not been understood. What we really wanted to do was be able to say thank-you for helping us. But we’re not there yet. The issue is this; are we going to preserve the few existing commercial seafood businesses that are on the Eastpoint waterfront and the Two Mile waterfront or are we going to let it continue to die? The time is running out ... What is the choice here? Don’t change the zoning; don’t do anything? The consequence of that is to let it go on down and let it go into non-existence. In order to preserve this, you are going to have to take some action. In order to preserve this area (seafood) and possibly bring it back, you are going to have to do something. We just want the help that other people have been getting. Something has to be done. You have had people up here who have shed tears over it, that have poured their hearts out - you know where they are. These are people who have been here for a long time. They want some help. You can’t to it by sitting there and just saying we’re not going to change the zoning; we’re not going to do anything. That is a death warrant for this particular area. This is not an ordinance that has been advertised, and it certainly can be changed some. So what has to be done is to put it to a motion, to advertise the ordinance, to put it to the staff, have them make the changes that they deem necessary, get input from you folks and move it forward to a point where it can be advertised for an ordinance. That is what we would like to have. Thank-you.”
“I’d like to say something here if I can,” requested Mr. Waverly Smith. “You know, I know this boy sitting here (Ronnie Davis) I’ve oystered with him. He’s been here thirty years; I’ve been here seventy. I’ve seen this industry go up and down, up and down, up and down. This industry is not finished. You know what is going to finish this industry? It is when the oysterman can’t bring his oysters to a dock and unload them because he ain’t got no ramp to bring them in on. Every time one of these people come in here and buys some land, they put a fence around it. There is no place over at Two Mile where we can unload. And there is not but one little place over at Eastpoint. It is very simple to solve this problem. If these land owners want to change this thing, all they got to do is build us a nice ramp at Two Mile and a nice ramp at Eastpoint and by golly if someone would buy us some land to build an oyster house on they can have that beach. But until they do, you don’t need to destroy one industry to make another one. You see you got the fishing industry here and you got the tourist industry moving in. We’ve lived all these years on seafood. But now this land has gotten real valuable and I don’t blame this poor boy from wantin’ to sell his land. We can’t even unload anywhere now. There’s no landing. So if
they want that land let them provide a landing for us. That is what I say.”
“This boy who is talking right now,” said a Mrs. Raffield a local oyster harvester, “about his terrible situation. Well, he has been out of business for several years and he hasn’t starved yet. Now this thing that they got goin’ now is just another step to get condos on our beaches - up and down the waterfront. Now the people of Franklin County do not want a waterfront covered in condos, hotels or whatever it is that they want. It is bad for our County. We don’t like it; we don’t want it. Now there are lots of other things that they could do with their land besides sticking a damn condo on it.” The audience erupted into applause and amens. “Now, I know this man, Mr. Davis. He has oystered. I got no quarrel with him whatsoever. I know he wants to use his land. You see everybody keeps sayin’ - Well, you got to understand, it is my land - it is true it is your land, but you can’t use that land if it is detrimental to the rest of the County.” Amen, amen. “Now I can’t go here to the Courthouse and put up a prostitution house. So how can they go and take our waterfront and stick condos all over it. Look at Pensacola. It used to be beautiful beaches out there. You can’t even see it (the beach) now. If you let one of them in (condos), you let the rest of them in. Now I know he (Mr. Davis) is not going to starve to death and none of the rest of them are going to starve to death. So you can put up your poor mouth all that you want to, but all that I am getting is that you want to ruin the County - AND I ... AM ... AGAINST ... IT!” Mrs. Raffield went to her seat amidst the sound of applause.
“I want to put this on the ballot,” repeated Mr. Putnal.
A man named Tony Johnston a property owner at Two Mile then came to the podium. “You know it is not all just about oystering. God bless you and I’m the last to say that I want to see condominiums along the water there, and that’s my water, I pay the taxes on it. It’s my property. I came here. I bought a Grouper boat and you all don’t want to know what has happened to that. I think that what people are missing is that we want to keep seafood downstairs, just like it is right today. We are actually trying to save the seafood. Without that Apalachicola is not Apalachicola. I’m probably the largest property owner on Two Mile channel and I’ll be the first person to tell you - save the seafood. But we have got to have some sort of help. I don’t have any seafood houses on my property and I lost my house with hurricane Dennis. What is your suggestion? What do you suggest that I do? I pay my property taxes there. We just came here to ask a little support. You tell me, what am I to do?”
“Commissioners,” interrupted attorney Shuler, “we’re not here to answer rhetorical questions. If he has a request for the Board for a specific action …; he’s making a declaration.”
“Well, it is very late and a number of us are very tired,” Mr. Pierce interjected in somewhat of an apology for the County Attorney’s abruptness. “But, the County has been in support of the C-1 district and it has been in support of alternative uses. Pete Wilson is here who did go through the process and got something other than what has been traditionally out there. He has a restaurant; he has a guide service; he has a raw bar; he has a number of things in that one building. Is it as far as he would like us to go? Well no, but the county has made an effort to expand the uses; the only thing that the County has not yet done, because it is so controversial, is that residential and hotel use.”
“Yes but you know that (Pete Wilson) is in violation,” added Mr. Crofton.
“Yes, he had rental units upstairs.”
“Okay,” said Mr. Crofton. “But that is a zoning violation.”
“Does your staff have any suggestions,” asked Mr. Mosconis of Mr. Pierce. They did not.
“That hotel and residential is like a cancer that is eating this County alive,” offered Mr. Putnal.
“We can not seem to find a way for the hotel/motel designation to be compatible with the C-1 district,” said Mr. Pierce.
“They need to think of compatible uses,” offered attorney Shuler.
“If we can get unloading facilities available ... if we actually find interior seafood locations and we have government sponsored unloading facilities then the argument will probably even become more intense - why do we need C-1 zoning then,” offered Mr. Pierce.
“Can we buy the land?”
“You have made a legislative request for three million dollars. We will have to wait and see if the legislature will give us that money.”
Ms. Sanders then asked attorney Shuler what he would recommend. Mr. Shuler recommended that no action be taken.
“Now wait a minute. That’s not fair,” interrupted Mr. Mosconis. “Forget about the hotel and condos; let’s look at some alternative uses including obviously seafood because that is the historical use for it.”
“That is not what they are proposing Commissioner,” Attorney Shuler argued.
“I don’t care about what they are proposing. They are not speaking for everybody who owns real-estate over there and in Eastpoint.”
“If someone came in there with a tourist orientated idea, like a restaurant - which we have already approved for C-1, yes they would have to get a special exemption ...” said Mr. Pierce.
“So they could be doing something like that?” suggested Mr. Mosconis.
“Yes, other uses that would fall under the category of tourist orientated uses; a restaurant would be one; a guide service would be another. There are other uses that could go in there besides a straight seafood house without changing the ordinance.”
“We have tried to write all those special exemptions in. It has all been rejected,” said Mr. Johnston. “We’re not standing here just saying condominiums. We’re just saying help us. We are open to whatever you all can come up with. We have the only deep water dockage between Apalachicola and St. Joe. It really shouldn’t be just wasted on residential.”
A Mr. John Carroll then stood up in the back of the room and asked if the County would be interested in trading with him. He suggested that he might be willing to trade one hundred feet of his property on the Two Mile channel for some county property adjacent to his.
“Would the Board be interested in something like that?” he asked.
“Of course,” Mr. Mosconis said with a big smile. “I will tell you, I would highly recommend and I will make a motion that we direct Alan (Pierce) to get together with Mr. Carroll and pursue this idea.” A motion was offered and approved unanimously.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

“The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair

Book Review

By Richard E. Noble

It was only recently that I discovered this book.
Upton Sinclair was born in Baltimore, Maryland - I was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Upton Sinclair was born into poverty - my roots were in poverty. Upton Sinclair was interested in the working class people of America - my interest were with the working class people of America. This book is about the meat packing industry in Chicago - I was trained as a butcher and worked as a meat packer in Massachusetts. My first attempt at my own business was a small butcher shop in my hometown.
The Jungle is a story about poor Polish immigrants who come to America to participate in the “American Dream”. I am a descendent of Polish immigrants (and Irish/English immigrants) who came to this country in that very time period for those exact reasons. Upton Sinclair was a Socialists - I have been studying the American Labor movement and the rise of Socialism in this country. In this book Upton Sinclair’s main character runs off and becomes a Hobo. I feel that I ran off and lived a Hobo life. Upton Sinclair was a writer who attempted to change his society and the world through the written word - I am of the same type; though my attempts have thus far been more of a fantasy and fiction rather than a reality; and unfortunately at this stage of my life I really do not believe that the world can be changed either by words or by deeds. I still believe that one can have an influence though; so I’m not a complete pessimist ... So you can see, I had a lot to attract me to reading this book.
I enjoyed this book. What I thought was extremely interesting was what this book accomplished socially or politically. It was due to the outrageous exposures in this book that “pure food laws” were passed in this country. But what is even more interesting an astonishing - as Upton himself has pointed out - this book with all of its outrageous treatment of the working man - got no laws passed for the betterment of the treatment of “human beings” - which, of course, was Mr. Sinclair’s main goal.
As a result of this book food was processed in a healthier manner for the protection of those who could afford to buy it. Yet nothing was done to promote the humane treatment of either the cows or the people involved in this horridly exposed industry.
This is exactly what feeds my skepticism. It does seem to me that no matter what deeds or actions have been performed for whatever cause - the eventual results are negligible. The world today has advanced somewhat technologically we will all agree; but, all in all, human civilization is about the same as it has always been.
If someone were to set up a graph and make a measurement of all the factors indicating primitive and advanced social existence - health care, education, disease, poverty etc., I have absolutely no doubt that such a graph would show virtually a straight line extending across all of human existence. No doubt some would be healthier, and some would be better educated but all things considered properly and fairly I would doubt that we would find that civilization has improved percentage-wise over the ages to any astounding or even modest degree.
All of which leads to a rather depressing conclusion.
I often think, for example, should I spend my time investigating war, its causes and how it might be prevented in the future; or would my efforts be better spent in discovering the most perfect technique for pickling an egg?
If I spent my time on the pickled egg, one day mankind may have a better tasting pickled egg. On the other hand, if I spend my time on war I get the Geneva Convention, the United Nations, Hiroshima, and the strike first – preemptive - preventative initiative.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Mr Noble Regrets

Mr. Noble Regrets

A Poem

By Richard E. Noble

It was the most unrewarding, unfulfilling
thing that I have ever done.

Why I devoted so much of my life to it
I will never understand.

For the most part
it only made me miserable.

It didn’t do much
for anyone else either.

I should have just ignored the whole thing
and let it die.

Who would believe all the time
and all the hours?

For a time
it was my whole life.

Every waking moment
was spent thinking, preparing, anticipating.

I thought it to be the most important
thing in all of life.

If I had never given it one second
my life would have been more rewarding.

But for that time it became more important to me
than life itself.

I wouldn’t be able to live without it,
I thought.

But live I did;
and life was better.

It was easier to handle, more sensible,
more focused and more realistic.

Not being able to let it go, I think,
made me into a creature other than myself at times.

When I reflect upon it now
I can’t imagine what I was thinking.

I made myself miserable
and for no reason whatsoever.

I say that I won’t ever let it happen again
but, you know, I think it is happening again - right now.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Carneades (c 213 - 128 B.C.)

Carneades (c 213 - 128 B.C.)

By Richard E. Noble

Carneades was a Skeptic and a one time head of Plato’s New Academy. Carneades was born in Cyrene, Cyrenaica - now a part of what we know as Libya. He went blind in his old age and is said to have lived until about eighty-five years of age. He wasn’t much of a believer in the clothes make the man theory. He dressed negligently - I understand that to mean he was a slob. He wasn’t much for MacDonald’s either. It is also claimed that he never accepted a dinner invitation; he was always too busy - thinking. Even when he fed himself at home he had problems. He concentrated so greatly on what he was thinking that he had trouble finding his mouth with his hands. It is said that some of his friends had to move his arms for him. He did a lot of thinking but not much writing - if he did write anything nobody has been able to find it. Most of what we know of Carnaedes comes to us via Sextus Empericus and Cicero.

He went to Rome in about 156 B.C. to try and get Athens out from a fine that had been imposed. While he was there he decided to give a couple of lectures. In his first lecture he expounded the views of Aristotle and Plato on justice. In his second lecture he refuted, with equal vigor, all that he had said in his first lecture. His point was to show that no matter what point of view you have it isn’t warranted.* To argue both sides of any argument was a Carnaedesian trademark.

Carnaedes believed that exact truth was undiscernible. As humans we can only approximate a probable truth. Even our sense experiences are lacking and can only supply us with approximation and probabilities. He precedes David Hume in his skeptical analysis of causes and causation.

In theology he challenged the credibility of the concept of God or the Gods. He argued that the powers and activities assigned to divine beings are not consistent with their being changeless and eternal; that the evils in the universe are not consistent with divine providence; that the occurrence of accidental designs, for example, a rock that has the form of a head, invalidates the argument that a design implies a designer; that no clear boundary can be drawn between what is divine and what is not divine; Consensus gentium* (consensus - accepted knowledge) “Everybody believes in God therefore God must exist.” Carnaedes said the existence of atheists and nations that we know nothing about disprove the notion that something is true because everybody believes it. Also belief may be universal but remain incorrect. A personal God need not be necessary to have created the universe and the things within it - nature could have formed them herself. If God is both infinite and unlimited, he would fill the universe but be unable to move. A God that would be incapable of movement would be limited. Therefore an unlimited, infinite God is impossible. God is defined as virtuous and perfect. Virtue implies overcoming both pain and danger and only for a being who can suffer or be destroyed are there pains and dangers. Neither suffering nor destructibility is consistent with perfection. God can not be both virtuous and perfect. If God is provident how can He allow so many men to use their reason faultily and in a way injurious to themselves and others? Moreover if He allows weaknesses and misery in the universe - whether intentionally or unintentionally - He is at fault, since intentional or unintentional neglect are both faults.

Carnaedes not only precedes Hume with regards to causation but Sartre with regards to free will. The will may be caused but it is caused by itself and moves by virtue of its own nature. Events precede a man’s action, but do not force him to act. A man’s will always has the last move.* Carnaedes obviously forgot to ask from whence this free will came and at what point in a human’s existence was it incorporated - do babies have it, do adolescents have it; do teenagers have it; do monkey and cats and dogs have it?

In general he taught that: Correct information about reality is impossible; truth does not exist, only degrees of probability; probability is the only guide to life; some beliefs can be rated as more probable than others; the higher that probability, the greater the chances of our belief being acted upon correctly; the more probable our belief, the more we should tend to accept it Bottom line - one does not need objective truth to act but only a probable understanding.

I don’t know, I guess - he’s probably right, I suppose.

1 History of Western philosophy, by Bertrand Russell - pp. 236.
2 Dictionary of the History of Ideas
3 Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Paul Edwards, editor, vol. 1 & 2.
4 Dictionary of Philosophy, by Peter A. Angeles - Skepticism.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Robert Green Ingerso

Robert Green Ingersoll


“The Great Agnostic”

By Richard E. Noble
When I read all the accolades and grand statements about Robert G. Ingersoll, I ask myself why is it that I have never heard of this man.
I stumbled upon his name somewhere in an obscure history book and then here and there as my reading progressed. But truthfully, I have stopped asking myself this question and I now laugh when I hear other of my friends make a similar comment. I realize today that there are more famous people in the annals of history who I have never heard of than those who I have heard of. And unless you are a very unusual and very gifted scholar - with a photographic memory - the same goes for you. But this does lead me to another curious question; How do those prominent historical names who we are all familiar with manage to gain their notoriety? But I will leave this question for another essay.
Robert G. Ingersoll is touted as being possibly the greatest public speaker in American history. When we think of names like Mark Twain, Frederick Douglas, Daniel Webster, William Jennings Bryan, Billy Sunday, Stephan A. Douglas, and Clarence Darrow one must be tempted to say ... Robert Inger - who? Is somebody making a joke here? But nevertheless I read this claim being made over and over in book after book. I don’t know what to say and since I have never heard any of these men speak, I will never know.
In any case I ordered a couple of books by Mr. Ingersoll and I am in the process of discovering Mr. Ingersoll’s “greatness”.
Mr. Ingersoll who is labeled as “the Great Agnostic” characterizes himself as an Atheist. He is the son of a Congregationalist minister.
Robert’s family was not wealthy and they did not come into wealth. Nevertheless Robert became super wealthy. Because of his latter fame in speaking against the Bible, God and Christianity one is led to believe that he made his fortune lecturing on these subjects.
Not true. He and his brother Clark both became lawyers in what seems to be the “old fashioned way” - they passed a bar exam. Neither of them had any education to speak of and very little training at law - but they took the bar exam and passed and from then on they seemed to be blessed - but by who or what they did not know and did not care.
They opened their own law firm, got involved in politics and the railroad business and the money rolled in. By the time Robert started on his very successful career as a public speaker he was already exceptionally rich.
He was a very sought after speaker. He lectured on Tom Paine, politics, social issues and history along with his anti-religious agenda. His remuneration for his speeches ranged between $400 and $7,000 per engagement which in today’s money was up to $50,000 per lecture. Believe it or not Mark Twain was a warm-up speaker for the likes of Robert Ingersoll - ain’t that something.
He became a super success as a lawyer defending the railroad robber barons of the later  1800s and then added to his fortune by marrying Eva Weld Parker, daughter of the very wealthy Benjamin Weld Parker of Tazewell County in Illinois.
Robert Ingersoll spoke out freely and without much reservation against God and religion especially in the later part of his career because he was rich and could afford to do so - not in order to become rich. Very few people have become wealthy speaking out against God or religion anywhere in the world - ever - as far as I know. Many have done well playing one religion against another or ridiculing a particular belief or type personality within the religious community. But I don’t know of anyone, off hand, who became wealthy because of popularizing their Atheism.
One would think due to the propagandizing going on today that Mr. Ingersoll was a forerunner of that dreadful class of individuals known and hated as “liberals”. But as unfortunate as this may be Robert was a Conservative and a Republican. It is difficult to imagine a Republican or a Conservative in today’s world who does not believe in the absolute truth of superstition and historical fable but the Republican Robert G. Ingersoll was one.
He fought in the Civil War and for the North. He was at the battle of Shiloh. He was taken captive near Corinth in Tennessee. He was then sent to St. Louis, Missouri and exchanged. After that he admitted to having seen enough of the “bloodshed and humiliation” of war and resigned his commission. From that time forward he provided good example for many of today’s Republicans by only preaching the honor and glory of war while avoiding any active participation.
He did eventually support Abraham Lincoln after first agreeing with Stephan A. Douglas but never totally with regards to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. He felt that blacks should be sent to live in their own country – somewhere else.
He was slow to come around to woman’s suffrage and though a multi-millionaire back in the days when a million was a million, he didn’t spend very much of his fortune on his daughter’s education. He had two girls; one he named Eva Robert and the other Maud Robert.
He was not in favor of Trade Unionism or of any protesting against the political order. He is quoted to have said in an interview with The Mail and Express, New York, November 3, 1887: “There is no place in this country for the Anarchist. The source of power here is the people, and to attack the political power is to attack the people. If the laws are oppressive, it is the fault of the oppressed. If the laws touch the poor and leave them without redress, it is the fault of the poor.”
But nevertheless Robert G. Ingersoll was a very rich, outspoken, Republican, conservative Atheist who fought in the Civil War but didn’t want to free the slaves; who believed in freedom, equality, and equal rights - except for woman, blacks, those who spoke out against the political system, and the poor; who believed and advocated war - but would rather have others fight it. He was against the repeal of the Comstock laws which were used to prohibit the distribution of birth control information via the postal system. He also had a reputation for public intoxication and drunken brawling. He had political aspirations but was not supported because of his unorthodox religious views.
It is clear that Robert felt very strongly about religion - or should we say his lack of religion. But he exhibited no strength of character on any other issues moral or otherwise. This man could have made a good Republican President then and now. One has to wonder why he was so determinedly un-Republican when it came to God, the Bible and Christianity. Certainly with a little less courage on this one issue he could have been a famous name in the annals of Republican history - a legend right up there in the ranks of Herbert Hoover, Gambrel Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush and George W. Bush. What a shame - a good Republican whose only legacy is his exceptional wealth and his disbelief in God, the Bible and Christianity. You know I’m sure that this man could have started a great war if he only had the chance and the proper opportunity.