Seeing the Round Corners

HEADS UP, the new day for Seeing the Round Corners “GOING LIVE” is Tuesday each week.

June 9, 2020

The violence and destruction of property in recent days brings to mind a column(s) appearing on December 8, 2014 (from this writer’s archives). No one agrees more than this writer with the demand for changes in the way police deal with citizens such as George Floyd – a man only suspected of paying with a $20.00 counterfeit bill. It should also be pointed out, Floyd was an innocent citizen until proven guilty of a crime and showed no resistance.

December 8, 2014
As demonstrators against the police for perceived brutality and excessive force spread throughout the country, the voice of demonstrators is the only one being heard. If the facts do not justify a violent and destructive response, ignore the facts even when irrefutable proof is shown, and make up ones that provide the justification.

High school students marching in Denver last week most likely could not have imagined the consequences of their actions. By all news accounts, students joyfully jumped on the bandwagon (at urging of organizers) just for an excuse to get out of class - one student admitted on camera to not even knowing the reason or what the demonstration was about!

Much more is to be learned about the demonstration in Denver, but the account of a witness in a vehicle next to the Mercedes that ran down police, "alleged" the driver gunned the car right at the police, after honking and  waving.

Hopefully, the on-sight view students experienced of just how quickly the most innocent of intentions can turn so horribly violent will remain with them for the rest of their lives for this reason - the injured police officers were there to protect the students!

Second, hopefully students (and later as adults) will refuse to be used as ploys or duped by professional demonstration organizers who ignore the evidence (video camera footage in Ferguson, Missouri that was shown to the Ferguson Grand Jury). As is too often the case, once a mantra hits the airwaves, contradictory proof falls on deaf ears and blind eyes. Those looking for justification to loot and burn ignore contrary proof no matter how damming to their cause.

A column that appeared on this website on Civil Disobedience (July 26, 2010) is relevant to the demonstrations now occurring in America. Henry D. Thoreau wrote about "civil disobedience" after refusing to pay the poll tax imposed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As time passed, the idea became the mantra for those using the idea for their own purposes - violence and/or criminal.

Civil Disobedience . . .                                                              July 26 2010
Henry D. Thoreau will most likely forever be known for the term “civil disobedience.” Most “great writings” or memorable ones are written or triggered as a result of events, but with the passage of time, that momentum falls by the wayside.

Often ignored by history is that Thoreau was writing his well-known lecture after refusal to pay taxes for a period of time beginning in 1842 which resulted in a one-night stay in jail in 1846. He was released when the taxes were paid anonymously by a friend. Which tax? The poll or head tax placed on the people by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts! This country’s war with Mexico was also mentioned often by Thoreau. 

What is known today simply as “Civil Disobedience” was originally titled “On the Relation of the Individual to the State,” given as a lecture in 1848. Historians also found it referenced in Thoreau’s correspondence as “The Rights and Duties of the Individual in Relation to Government,” according to Walter Harding, an author who also wrote on the subject. For seemingly unexplained reasons, the lecture came to be referred to in writings by various authors with a title each chose to place on it. 

Disobedience is a curious term, one bandied about by many who have no real idea of what an oxymoron the term is. The meek among the population may say you can “civilly” disobey the law. In this writer’s opinion, those who resort to such tactics can offer no solution to what they perceive as wrong with government. Modern day protestors use the term as a rally crying, a mantra to end all mantras, but few recognize the contradiction in reality to their purported goal. 

The demonstrations of the civil rights movement are probably the beginning of the use of “civil disobedience,’ at least on a broad scale. Anti-war protestors then adopted the term. 

How does oxymoron apply? Using the term “lawful murder” while perhaps an extreme example, gives a clue. If the reader just experienced an epiphany, there just may be hope.

Ever think about the real meaning of the term “the majority rules?” Take heart, it does not mean what is so traditionally accepted, except when politicians offer it as a lame excuse for justifying their self-serving actions. 

Thoreau wrote about the majority saying, “it is not because they are most likely to be right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically strongest.” Thoreau went on to point out that such a method of governing leaves out conscience and sacrifices conscience to the legislator. 

Later in the lecture, Thoreau expressed his strong disdain for legislators with this terse statement:  “If it were left solely to the wordy wit of legislators in Congress for our guidance, uncorrected by the seasonable experience and the effectual complaints of the people, America would not long retain her rank among the nations.” 

Following that terse statement, Thoreau made this thought-provoking reference to the New Testament, “. . . where is the legislator who has wisdom and practical talent enough to avail himself of the light which it [the New Testament] sheds on the science of legislation.” 

Fortunately, in today’s world, the majority becomes the majority far too often by those who fail to become informed about the issues and what results from the radical solutions offered by the far right. 

History seems to take on a life of its own as time passes. The term “revising history” for one’s own purpose happens far too often today. How much of what is taught as history in schools today is the revised edition of history, history as today’s politically correct society would have the world believe? To this writer, the correct term for that is FICTION!

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