4 Dec

War On Christmas? [Reader Post]

                                       

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‘Tis the time of year for the annual “war on Christmas” complaints.

The idea is that there is a secular plot to undermine Christmas through the use of terms like “Happy Holidays,” “Holiday Tree,” “holiday cards,” etc. People get downright incensed when department stores and such put up “Happy Holidays” signs.

Christmas was always a private religious holiday until President Ulysses S. Grant signed a law designating Christmas as a national holiday in 1870. At that moment, Christmas was officially secularized (First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion”). Congress had no right to declare a national religious holiday — by designating Christmas as a holiday for all Americans, it was, Constitutionally-speaking, declaring Christmas to be a non-religious, secular holiday.

The following Christmas songs were written by Jews (cribbed from a web site, but I first heard the story on a locally produced radio show of an NPR affiliate station):

The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) – Writers Mel Torme and Bob Wells…Jewish
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Holly Jolly Christmas and Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Johnny Marks was a Jew who specialized in Christmas songs.
Santa Baby – written by Fred Ebb and Joan Javits (both Jews, Javits of the famous family)
I’ll Be Home for Christmas – Walter Kent, who wrote the music and Kim Gannon, who co-wrote the lyrics…Jewish
Silver Bells – Jay Livingston and Ran Evans…Jewish
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – George Wylie (not his birth name) is also famous for writing the Gilligan’s Island Theme Song
Sleigh Ride – Mitchell Parish who wrote the lyrics, was Jewish and born “Michael Hyman Pashelinsky” obviously.
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – lyricist Sammy Cahn and music composer Jule Styne … Jewish
There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays – Al Stillman, the lyricist…Jewis
White Christmas – Irving Berlin wrote this one… his birth name Israel Isidore Baline

Of all the Christmas songs, the one with the largest national air play on TV and radio is the “Chestnuts roasting” song.

All this music was a direct result of declaring Christmas to be a national (secular) holiday. Were Christmas treated the same way as Easter (not a national holiday), it would have about the same impact, culturally speaking — i.e. an important day for religious Christians, but something on akin to Halloween or Valentine’s Day for the un-Churched.

Would we really wish Easter to rise to the level of Christmas, as a secular holiday?

Christmas is a huge holiday in Japan, where a grand total of ONE PERCENT of the people are Christian. On one of my trips to Japan, I was there for several days after Thanksgiving. On every block there was not just one but about a dozen public Christmas trees — everywhere in downtown Tokyo. Lots and lots of silver streamers and other decorations. Lots of TV commercials, promoting Christmas products. Enormous live Christmas trees in the lobbies of the big hotels. And everywhere you go it’s “Merry Christmas” (“Merikurisumasu” –> “Me-ree-koo-ris-mahs-u”). Not “Happy Holidays.”

Huge holiday. All “Merry Christmas” — but devoid of any and all religious meaning.

I personally think that “Happy Holidays” is a much better term for use in commercial advertising, secular decorations, greetings from non-Christian people, etc. The way to put the Christ back in Christmas is to take Christmas out of the secular culture, which means not to force secular people to say “Merry Christmas,” when all they are really trying to say is “Happy Holidays.”

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA
P.S. Merry Christmas

This entry was posted in Holidays, Religion, War on Christmas. Bookmark the permalink. Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 at 4:06 pm
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199 Responses to War On Christmas? [Reader Post]

  1. TOM
    like you said to retire05,
    I return it to you also, you are a poor ignorant a lot more than who you attack and claim to be, he knows a lot more than you.
    why did the poor young had to go fight the war,
    you can’t figure that out and YOU put the blame on the SOUTH, THAT IS TOO EASY,
    THE NORTH START THE WAR AND FORCE THE SOUTH TO FIGHT, JUST LIKE THE NORTH FOUGHT THE INDIANS TRYING TO ELIMINATE THEM, NOW PUT YOUR BLAME ON THE NORTH YANKEES
    FOR THEIR ENVY AND GREED TO OWN THE PROUD SOUTH, STILL PROUD TODAY.
    AND the blame for the BLACKS having to work for a living to survive and being hire by
    compassionate farmers with only two mules to care for their land, so to feed their family,
    they kept the blacks working and hang the black who where caught stealing, there where criminal BLACKS ALSO YOU KNOW,
    and the NORTH WAGE A WAR TO OWN THE SOUTH, THAT’S AS SIMPLE AS THAT,
    the NORTH where very bad for the BLACKS WHO COULD MAKE IT THERE, THEY DID NOT WANT THEM,
    THOSE BLACK WHERE STOLEN FROM THEIR LAND TO PROFIT THOSE ARABS WHO TOOK THEM AND STUFF THEM IN BOAT , FOR THEM TO SURVIVE OR DIE AND LEFT FOR THE LAND OF THE SOUTHERN AMERICA AND SOLD THEM
    TO FARMERS WHO NEEDED HELPERS, and took them to work the land as they themselves where doing, they fed them
    nothing wrong in there where is your outrage? to blame the SOUTH, IS IGNORANT, those blacks where bought all together, and the woman where helping in the house where people had many children and needed help so they use them, nothing wrong in there,
    I have met some of the SOUTHERN PEOPLE, and they are the nicest kind and compassionate people you could know, the AMERICA’S TREASURES,
    did you know that the many BLACKS who went NORTH,
    did not like the racist insults, from the YANKEES, and continue on their way NORTH AND LAND IN CANADA, where they lived free like other people, they have their own town and proud of it
    still today.

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  2. another vet says: 152

    @Tom: No one is denying that slavery wasn’t evil. Keep in mind that although you consider it to be a noble cause, as did the abolitionists, you are looking at it from a modern perspective. Times and attitudes were different back then. Blacks were thought of as an inferior race in the North and the South. If you were to research the opinions of those who served in the North and those who served in the South, you’ll find that the majority of those fighting in the North did so to preserve the Union. They could have cared less about the plight of the slaves. The majority of those fighting for the South did so for independence. Very few Southerners owned slaves. A good majority of slaves were owned by large plantation owners. The majority of Southerners therefore didn’t care about slaves either. Lincoln knew this and is one of the reasons he thought the war wouldn’t last long. He believed Southerners wouldn’t fight for slavery. Where he made his mistake was in believing that they wouldn’t fight for their independence, which again, research shows was the main reason for the majority of Southerners fighting. Naturally to the large slave owners the war was to preserve slavery but they weren’t the ones doing the fighting and they actually, in my opinion, helped cause the South to lose. When the prospect of freeing the slaves to fight for the South came up, they fought against the idea believing that possession of slaves was more important than independence. Those who favored freeing the slaves believed independence was more important than slavery. Included in that group were Lee, Cleburne, and eventually Davis.

    As for serving, blacks who fought on both sides were both volunteers and conscripted (impressed) just like whites who fought and just like Americans who served in other wars up to and including Vietnam. Blacks weren’t treated very well in the Union Army. Those who were freed weren’t exactly treated well either. Look at the black population in the South in the years following the war. There wasn’t a whole lot of movement north which is what you’d expect if the North welcomed them with open arms. They were subjected to racism there just as they were in the South. As a side note, check out the plight of the Irish when they migrated to the Northern states from Ireland. In many cases they had it worse than the slaves as did women and child laborers. The North wasn’t the squeaky clean society it’s portrayed as.

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  3. Tom says: 153

    @another vet:

    I’m from a Irish American background, so very familiar with what you’re referring to. Regardless of our differences, I appreciate you’re nuanced approach, and your acknowledgment of the amazing complexity inherent in any particular topic. It’s great debating with people like yourself and Skook.

    If you care to weigh in, I’d be interested in what you think would have happened had the Confederacy peacefully seceded. Sort of an alternate history exercise. I briefly made reference to perpetual war (or cold war) in North America, and no US involvement in WWII. What do think?

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  4. another vet
    yes you are right, and the IRISH HAD A BAD DEAL, when they left their COUNTRY
    so to survive, they went to ENGLAND, [I saw a movie of their tragic walk to save themselves ]
    in ENGLAND THEY STOOD IN LINE PATIENT AND SILENT AND SURELY HUNGRY,
    whole family some where separated from the group after they where look at their tongue revealing to the agent the sickness deadly carrier sign, sometimes it was the man , or the mother , the wife, the child put away and the order to to next of the lines.
    the sicks where put in a hospital to die shortly, the other some stayed to visit their loved one sick,
    the other where send in the then colonies of ENGLAND,
    ONE WAS CANADA, THE MARITIMES, with a unaccepted citizens afraid of the sickness,
    they did not want to mix with them, so it made them being isolated, they survived till today,
    they are beautiful and love life and song they create,

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  5. another vet says: 155

    @Tom: That one has me thinking. I think that slavery would have fallen by the wayside because it was essentially obsolete as a system of labor. In addition, the South would have needed to have gotten rid of it in order to get recognition from Europe, in particular England and France both of whom would have been essential to their commerce. Once the South would have dumped the “peculiar institution”, relations between them and the North probably would have improved with time. Economically, both would have still been dependent on each other, the North for the South’s agricultural products and the South for the North’s industrial capacity, although in due time the South would have had to figure out that they would be better off building their own industrial base and probably would have diversified their economy sooner than what they did. If there would have been a cold war so to speak between the two, it would have ended in due time. Remember that despite the differences, both sides shared a common history and culture meaning they had more similarities than differences. Reunification would have been a real possibility in due time.

    As for WWII, the North would have gotten involved because of Pearl Harbor. As for the South, when FDR was beating the war drums prior to Pearl, the South was the first part of the country to support him as they had done in past wars. Keeping that in mind, they most likely would have gotten involved because their major trading partners, which would have been the North and England, were involved. The implications of the North losing would have had severe consequences for them.

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  6. another vet says: 156

    @ilovebeeswarzone: In many ways the Irish were actually worse off than the slaves. However, the real people who suffered the most in this country were the Indians or Native Americans if you want to call them that. Going from a population of around 14 million down to around 200,000 by the turn of the 19th century means they almost became extinct. No other race or ethnic group in this country ever came close to being extinct no matter how bad they had it or thought they had it.

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  7. Smorgasbord says: 157

    @another vet: #156

    No other race or ethnic group in this country ever came close to being extinct no matter how bad they had it or thought they had it.

    The idea back then was to make them extinct. One way was the Trail Of Tears. We as a nation do have a lot of apologizing to do to some races and countries that we haven’t yet.

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  8. another vet
    yes, and like the CHEROKEE CHIEF mentioned not long ago
    on another COMMENT, there was a few JESUITES who arrive with the mindset to change their view and bring them to CHRISTIANITY, which the MAJORITY REFUSED,
    those JESUITES had influence on the settlers, and the settlers listened to them representing GOD,
    and hell broke loose when they claimed the IDIANS LAND for themselves,
    at this point they took the law which was only a free for all, into their hands,
    same happenned in CANADA under the BRITISH RULE,
    I read that one commander later had the typhus robbed onto their clothes,
    making their extermination wishes almost complete,
    that is the worse I ever read on the war on a people,
    in CANADA they are named ; THE FIRST NATIONS, they are the most tolerant people left,
    and we know we are on their land, but the immigrants are not all aware and advance on what is their now
    INDIAN’S LANDS more in the BRITISH COLUMBIA PROVINCE, WHERE THE GIANT MOUNTAINS ARE AND THE SKI RESORT ARE USING IT, SO THE LAST TIME I heard of a clash, was a few years ago, when the CHINEESE BUILT MANY CONDOS, AND AFTER THEY WHERE SETTLE,
    THE INDIANS told them to clear the place because it was their land,
    they kept their treaty from many CENTURIES and they still have to fight
    from the advance of immigration

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  9. retire05 says: 159

    @Smorgasbord:

    Ironic, isn’t it, that the very people who use their slave ancestry for political gain, never mention that it was those same ancestors that did something even worse than enslaving another race, they were the very force that tried to annihilate another race. Fort Clark, Texas was once such Buffalo Soldier installation. Their sole purpose was to either drive the Commanche into Mexico, or reduce the Indian numbers to the point they would no longer be a threat to the white settlers.

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  10. another vet says: 160

    @ilovebeeswarzone: The act(s) of rubbing germs into blankets and clothing and then giving them to the Indians is considered by some to be the first use of biological warfare. I haven’t done any research into the topic, but it wouldn’t be surprising if some form of biological warfare was implemented much earlier in another part of the world. Poisoning a water supply or food source with germs would qualify.

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  11. another vet says: 161

    @Smorgasbord: I agree with regards to the Indians. On the other hand if we destroyed people because of a war they started or helped start, then no. An example would be Truman’s decision to use the bomb. We didn’t start the war, they did.

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  12. retire05 says: 162

    @another vet:

    The story of blankets being deliberately rubbed with germs that would cause diseases that the Indians were not able to physically fight off is a false one. It was started by, among others, Ward Churchill, another faux Indian much in the mold of Elizabeth Warren.

    To begin with, those blankets would have been transported by soldiers, or others, who were also exposed to the very same diseases as it was in the days before rubber gloves and surgical masks.

    As to the Indians starting the wars; would you defend your land against intruders who had no claim to it? Would you allow someone to come into your home, take over a bedroom and claim it was his, and then claim that whatever was in the pantry was also his? That is exactly what white migration into Indian lands were. So the Indians fought against that invasion in the ways they had known for a 1,000 years. Unfortunately, they were under manned and under gunned.

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  13. another vet
    yes a leader must protect his own and if they attack as a nation it is right to reply the same way of SHOCK AND AWE
    there was more than two thousand people who where killed in the JAPAN ATTACK
    and multiply by the fact they where the nation guardians and WARRIORS, that raise the number by one hundred, so the president did because he was smart enough to know that,
    not today where the MILITARY ARE NOT SEEN THE SAME WAY, AND ARE SEND AS IF THEY ARE EXPANDEBLE, RECALLED MANY TIMES UNTIL THEY DIE OR COME BACK WITHOUT A LIMB.
    THAT’S THE MENTALITY NOW OF THE LEADERSHIP, AND REPLACE BY ILLEGALS COWARD WHO HAVE NO INTENTIONS TO GO FIGHTING FOR THEIR NEW COUNTRIES,
    some day near when they will pay dearly for having let the WARRIORS DOWN

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  14. retire05
    sorry for disagreeing with you ,
    but that story was real and killed many IDIANS FROM THAT VIRUS,
    i did not mentioned the name because I was not sure, but IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE TYPHUS,
    IT MADE HISTORY TILL NOW,
    they must have known that it took a spit from one affected to spread it,

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  15. Skookum says: 165

    I have traveled and studied many Civil War sites. One of the most interesting stops was a Confederate Hospital in North Carolina. It was sobering to see the instruments that were used for amputations, but one of the most intriguing parts was the Smallpox ward behind the hospital, which was a tent. No one other than the surgeon would care for the men. He had a concept of germs, but only a limited idea. He would strip naked outside the tent and put on his “Pest” clothing,(the name they used for the Smallpox patients) and then care for the patients. Upon leaving the tent, he would change back into his bloody surgeon’s clothing and continue with his hospital chores. Knowledge is gained through small steps over time and I am sure this brave man made his own contributions.

    My grandmother told me, there was a similar “Pest” house in Illinois for Northern soldiers. The windows were all closed up, because there was a theory that the germ could spread through the windows and infect the casual observer. She had a great aunt who called on the men carrying an oil lantern. The men called her the “Angel of Light” because there was no light in the house. She cared for them and survived the war. That is the story as told to me. Whether she had milked cows and had contracted cow pox previously, I have no idea nor can I say for certain the story is true, but little old grandmothers have no reason to boast of such stories.

    The point, disease and its causes were only beginning to be understood; people lived in stark terror of the dreaded disease Smallpox, because of ignorance and superstition, much like cancer today.

    Our native population had almost no natural resistance to smallpox and the the flu and the diseases wiped out whole populations, instead of a percentage.

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  16. SKOOKUM
    IT could have been that; smallpox,
    I said maybe thyphus, but you are with more clues on SMALLPOX
    BYE
    THANK YOU

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  17. Skookum says: 167

    Continued: Whether people could have understood the disease well enough to use blankets as a vector is debatable or whether they knew that survivors of smallpox and cowpox could handle the blankets without danger is another presumption. It would be difficult to find people willing to handle these blankets willingly, plus whatever government official who took this nefarious deed on would need to wonder whether the blankets would indeed end up at the site of the proposed victims. We are talking organization, transportation, planning, and intent spread out over a thousand miles. The chances for the plan backfiring and causing another epidemic were immense, if they even understood how to make such a plan work.

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  18. SKOOKUM I don’t see it complicated,
    they had INDIAN friends to supply the info of locations
    of some tribes warriors, the even might have use them to carry the package all folded neatly, to the target they wanted distribute. but unaware of its content,
    we know the INDIANS WHERE NOT AN HOMOGENIC NATION,
    THEY WHERE DIVIDED IN MANY CLANS SOME TOLERANT AND WISE, AND SOME TOLERANT BUT WISE AND SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW TO FIGHT THE INTRUSION FOR THEIR OWN SURVIVAL.

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  19. Skookum says: 169

    Bees, the Whites would need to contend with the logistics of using germ vectors, such as blankets. If we study the government response to Katrina and Sandy, we can see the idea of relying on government is a risky idea in this modern day, with the distances, transportation modes, corruption, and communication of the mid-nineteenth century it is going to be even more unreliable. We are speaking of handling contaminated blankets from the urban centers of the East and shipping them to the great-plains and trading or giving them to hostile natives. Not many of us would choose to invest in a business venture with so many chances for catastrophic failure. I am trying to be a realist, not just a skeptic. The Whites had the personalities for the deed, but whether they were stupid enough to attempt such a horrible act with so many opportunities for failure or whether they understood the technology well enough, that is a major presumption.

    If we had unscrupulous civilians untrained in organic chemistry attempt the same caper today without benefit of the internet, we could easily have an ecological disaster on our hands.

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  20. retire05 says: 170

    @ilovebeeswarzone:

    Bees, think about this: yes, Lord Amhurst did discuss trying to innoculate Native Americans with small pox tainted blankets. But how would he have controlled that and prevented his own from contracting the disease as they handled the blankets prior to giving them to the Indians? You see, knowledge of the transfer of diseases in 1831 was rudementary, at best.

    You see, it was not in the 1860-70’s that this is claimed. But 30 years earlier when the transfer of diseases, thru germs, was even less understood.

    The truth is that small pox had already seen outbreaks in Indian village populations in the 1830’s, mostly from association with whites who were already infected but not yet showing signs of the disease. There is no proof that the experiment was ever tried, much less done.

    Ward Churchill, who claimed to be of the Cherokee tribe and registered with the Cherokees in Tahlequah, , and who was proven by the Cherokee themselves to be a fraud, went public with an urban legend that no one has been ever able to prove. But mere medical knowledge at the time would have prevented Lord Amhurst from being able to infect only the Indians and not his own men.

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  21. the known facts are, the INDIANS not immune to any disease, and SKOOKUM mention his visit
    to an old hospital,and tools they where using,
    so that tell us at some point or another ,there was someone sick who arrived,
    and then other contracted the same as the first one, red spot on skin?or endless vomitting followed by death or lost of conscience, or any sign we can think of
    but it was notice enough by the doctor who checked it up, then other came with same , and died,
    among them where INDIANS, so the viscious commander had an idea, on the easy way to kill INDIANS,
    remember how they where thinking of INDIANS AS NON HUMANS, IT MADE IT EASIER TO THE COMMANDER TO THINK TO KILL THEM LIKE A INSECT,
    THE TRANSPORTATION IS NO PROBLEM, if we know the BRITISH patrol where visiting the NATIVES at random times, to influence them to cede their land to the KING OF ENGLAND,
    if they had that problem with the INDIANS, AND THOUGHT THEY WHERE NOT HUMAN
    AND IN THOSE TIMES life was not easy for the SOLDIERS,
    and they ran in to the hospital as the spread was on many deaths
    how easy is the next idea to eliminate their non humans enemies who where outsmarting them
    on their road, long road on horses,
    I say if it was put in history. it happened, maybe differently than my scenario, most probably so,
    they had no morality for the INDIANS FIERCE KILLERS AND SCALP EXPERT REMOVER,
    ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU BLOOD BOIL ENOUGH TO SEE RED,
    ENOUGH TO LOSE YOUR HUMANITY AND SOUL FOR SOME

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  22. another vet
    if he thought about it, he did not have any srupules for his men,
    and those blanket had not been soak in the germ either,
    they only needed to be rubbed in the center part, and folded many times or rolled that is a better way to put on horses, there was no need to have that many blankets, only one would have done the spread,
    and yes because the LORD AMUSRT WAS NOT EDUCATED IN GERMS SPREAD AND THE AWFULL CONSEQUENCES OF HIS IDEA, IT EVEN MADE IT EASY FOR HIM.

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  23. another vet says: 173

    @retire05: I wasn’t referring to the Indians as being the ones who started the wars. It was geared toward Japan, Germany, etc. As for the blankets, I never heard of Churchill being the one who brought that up. If it did start with him, it certainly destroys the credibility

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  24. retire05 says: 174

    @another vet:

    Ward Churchill simply repeated the urban legend of tainted blankets, but he stated it as if it were fact. Just as he stated, as fact, that he was part Cherokee. He’s not.

    The “tainted blanket” story has been around forever. But in spite of Bees determination, it never happened. It all stems back to lore about the Pontiac war.

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  25. retire05
    if my story did not really happen, and I was told IT in CANADA,
    quite a while ago, and I don’t remember from who, but I remembered the story
    because it shock my mind,
    you learned it in the USA, BUT some other denied it to be true,
    than both you and I are on the same level of it,
    who said it has as much credibility than who denied it,
    why did you believe the one who deny it,
    did he had more credibility than where I GOT IT
    we are even on it, but what about HISTORY, who propagated it,
    where does PONTIAC have to do in there
    I use to live on a PONTIAC STREET SOME TIMES AGO

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  26. Tom says: 176

    @retire05:

    Regardless of the tainted blanket story, there is plenty of evidence that infectious disease played a large role in the decimation of the native American population, a larger role perhaps than the European technological advantage. In the South East and Mississippi river area of the country, there are large disparities in the records of early European visitors regarding the number of native Americans. The very earliest records talk of large teaming cities and a generation later, they were all mostly gone.

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  27. TOM
    thank you for the info

    ReplyReply
  28. retire05 says: 178

    @Tom:

    Perhaps the “teaming city” you are referring to in the Mississippi River area is Cahokia Mounds. But the research has shown that it was being abandoned pretty much by the late 1,300’s, long before whites moved westward.

    Native Americans were killed off by a number of diseases, not just small pox. Measels and chicken pox were disasterous to them, as was the common cold. They did not have the immune system to ward off those illnesses and consequently, they sustained great losses from European illnesses.

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  29. retire05
    this alone is telling us that to mix many people in one COUNTRY, is not good for the locals, the INDIANS showed the basic lessons of the whole HUMANITY,
    THERE might be physical sickening , BUT I say also mentally sickening if you are mix with the wrong people,
    who wont allow other to live in peace and try to take your belongings. and your beliefs

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  30. retire05
    I found it, while I GOOGLE PONTIAC WAR, FROM YOUR LAST COMMENT
    IT SAID THE BRITISH TRY TO INFECT THE INDIANS OF SMALL POX,
    i came right back to tell you of it,
    now I’m going back to read more it’s WIKIPEDIA WHERE GOOGLE TOOK ME
    FROM ASKING ; PONTIAC WAR

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  31. retire05
    that was the time WHEN CANADA AND USA WHERE ONE COUNTRY,
    the BRITISH screw it up,
    we would have vote for MITT ROMNEY LAST NOVEMBER,
    yes you know PONTIAC was the one before AMERICA REVOLUTION BEGAN,
    and the fact that the BRITISH officer try to infect the NATIVES AMERICANS WITH SMALLPOX ON BLANKETS, TRIGGER A DIVIDE THAT MADE THEM LOSE THEIR OWNERSHIP OF THE SOUTH ,
    WHICH BECAME THE USA,
    PONTIAC is a very important name in history for AMERICA, HE WAS A FEARLES WARRIOR WHO TOOK ON THE BRITISH,
    thank’s for driving me there

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  32. Tom says: 182

    @retire05:

    Hi Retire. It’s possible I overstated with “teaming cities”, but I agree with your assessment of the impact of diseases on Native American societies. After some digging, here is one of the sources I was referring to from memory in my previous post:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2002/03/1491/302445/

    According to Charles Hudson, an anthropologist at the University of Georgia who spent fifteen years reconstructing the path of the expedition, Soto crossed the Mississippi a few miles downstream from the present site of Memphis. It was a nervous passage: the Spaniards were watched by several thousand Indian warriors. Utterly without fear, Soto brushed past the Indian force into what is now eastern Arkansas, through thickly settled land—”very well peopled with large towns,” one of his men later recalled, “two or three of which were to be seen from one town.” Eventually the Spaniards approached a cluster of small cities, each protected by earthen walls, sizeable moats, and deadeye archers. In his usual fashion, Soto brazenly marched in, stole food, and marched out.

    After Soto left, no Europeans visited this part of the Mississippi Valley for more than a century. Early in 1682 whites appeared again, this time Frenchmen in canoes. One of them was Réné-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle. The French passed through the area where Soto had found cities cheek by jowl. It was deserted—La Salle didn’t see an Indian village for 200 miles. About fifty settlements existed in this strip of the Mississippi when Soto showed up, according to Anne Ramenofsky, an anthropologist at the University of New Mexico. By La Salle’s time the number had shrunk to perhaps ten, some probably inhabited by recent immigrants. Soto “had a privileged glimpse” of an Indian world, Hudson says. “The window opened and slammed shut. When the French came in and the record opened up again, it was a transformed reality. A civilization crumbled. The question is, how did this happen?”

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  33. Skookum says: 183

    Tom, I have wondered about this mystery for many years, my explanation is not pleasant, but it definitely played a role in the genocide.

    After studying the journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, it was revealed that Clark was treating diseases he called “venereals” with mercury and other remedies. Of course his cures didn’t work, but the men engaged in fornication during remission of the diseases. Once they found the coast, he forbid the men to engage in relations with the coastal native women because they had been debauched by whalers and sailors and seemed to be severely infected with “venereals.” Of course STDs will make the carriers sterile and eventually cause insanity and death.

    The expedition did its share of genocide by taking advantage of the promiscuous nature of native women. It was a tragedy of epic proportions, and one that is ignored by educators. Of course the expedition was in the early days of the 19th Century, but the Spanish and French had already contributed to the genocide before the men of the expedition were born. None of them lived long after the expedition and Lewis seems to have suffered psychosis.

    That is my rather unpleasant explanation. Venereal disease has been a factor of history that has rewarded the less promiscuous with a longer life span and more children. A great influencing factor of culture and morality. In our modern age, the negative probabilities of promiscuous behavior has been altered because of penicillin and condoms, but perhaps the benefits are temporal in the final analysis.

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  34. Tom
    thank’s for the link
    I read further after you mentionned,
    between SOTO THE SPANIEL and LASALLE, THAT THE DISEASE, made the extermination of the INDIANS AND WHITES,
    in there,
    did you read that SOTO LEFT WITH MANY HORSES AND MANY PIGS,
    so some said the pigs carried the diseases which contribute to one part along with other diseases like typhus and smallpox and other those from EUROPEANS, to make it an epidemic catastrophe eradicate a whole community,
    95% DIED, they called it the worse demographic calamity
    in recorded history,

    ReplyReply
  35. Skookum
    yes you have another good point there,the INDIANS did not have a chance,
    the only one who could survive where the ones living on more NORTH GROUND,
    because of the climate colder temperatures, I think,

    ReplyReply
  36. Tom says: 186

    @Skookum:

    Skook, your grasp of history obviously exceeds mine, but I’m going to part ways with you on your assertion that morality played a defining role in the extermination (a harsh word, but apt) of the native American population. These societies were decimated much faster than VD could ever wipe out a civilization. So much lost. The America before Columbus was an incredibly advanced culture. How could they have ever suspected that microscopic germs from a world across the sea would be their downfall?

    ReplyReply
  37. Tom says: 187

    @ilovebeeswarzone:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the article. The author published a book entitled “1491”. It is a book about what the Americas were like before Europeans arrived.

    ReplyReply
  38. Skookum says: 188

    Tom, the morality part was in reference to our modern society. However, you must realize that STDs can be very prolific in a promiscuous society. A society that had no way to combat the disease, when the only way to prevent the diseases was through the moral influence of the church with its directives for abstinence and fidelity in marriage. These were powerful influencing factors in limiting the spread of STDs in Europe. Men wandering or sailing without women for years at a time are more likely to make use of promiscuous societies and bordellos, hence they become traveling vectors for diseases. In a promiscuous society, STDs can be just as prolific, but slightly slower than any other disease. Once the young women become infected and babies are born blind or the women become sterile, the jig is up, game over. People screw themselves out of a culture and a nation.

    Many of the early explorers were amazed at the number of coastal indians of the Pacific North-west who were blind. This was attributed to the hours spent fishing, but the blindness has never been associated with other coastal people. I attribute the blindness to STDs. The blindness can result from the natural pathology of some of the diseases and from touching the infected organs and then touching the eyes. It isn’t a pretty picture, but I maintain a culture can be destroyed in two or three years from STDs. Once a culture is decimated to a certain point, the survivors will move on to leave the “evil” influence and the culture becomes extinct.

    ReplyReply
  39. Skookum says: 189

    Tom, I don’t use the term morality in reference to ancient culture. If they were promiscuous, it was a reaction to surviving in their situation. The foundation of any culture is the effort to cope with the environment and each other. Morality to them is foreign to us; for example, the Cheyenne had no concept of a lie. The truth was the only way to communicate.

    ReplyReply
  40. Tom
    yes the book sound very interesting
    thank you

    ReplyReply
  41. openid.aol.com/runnswim
    as you notice , we did not forget anyone, on our good wishes for the war on CHRISTMAS.
    BYE

    ReplyReply
  42. Tom says: 192

    @Skookum: @ilovebeeswarzone:

    I really enjoy reading some of the new research that’s coming out about pre-Columbus Americas, but it’s always a bitter-sweet experience. These were incredibly complex and vibrant cultures that were largely wiped out by disease. How horrible it must have been for them to not even understand why they were dying off. How random it seems. I just wish we knew more about these people and the world they lived in.

    ReplyReply
  43. TOM
    yes, it is so tragic, just to read about it bring tears and torment to us the newer generations
    born out of such events,
    I did think of them, every time I run in to an NATIVE INDIAN it happened quite a few times, in different encounters
    on the road to the future, and after previous reading of their tragic lives,
    I’m left with a great respect for their way of having been able to be the last SURVIVORS, FROM THE FIRST GENUINE LAND OWNERS OF ALL THE AMERICAS NORTH AND SOUTH, and still kept the belief of the GREAT SPIRIT OWNER OF THE GREAT LAND WITH ALL LIVING ANIMALS WHICH WHERE ROAMING FREE AS THEY WHERE IN THOSE ANCIENT TIMES, WE DON’T EVEN KNOW THEIR BEGINNINGS TIME SET,
    THEY CARRY THEIR LONG AND HEAVY HISTORY AND YET THEY ARE PEACEFUL AND QUITLY ALSO KEPT THE WISDOM OF THEIR ANCIENT CHIEFS,

    ReplyReply
  44. Aqua says: 194

    @Tom:

    I’d be interested in what you think would have happened had the Confederacy peacefully seceded. Sort of an alternate history exercise.

    That is a question Civil War buffs have pondered considerably. I think AV is right, slavery would have gone by the wayside within a decade following the war. A majority of southerners were already upset with plantation owners over they way they handled the war and their attitudes in general. But I think the union would be reformed after a time, in the way it is supposed to be; as a republic. The north would have remained their normal pain in the butt liberal self’s. The south would watch their policies, and adopt some of them once they figured out the world wouldn’t end by doing so. But most importantly, we would have 50 different Petri dishes of democracy. States could see how things played out in other States, adopted the ideas that worked for them and make them better. The federal government would take care of national defense, treaties, and tariffs. It would be great.

    ReplyReply
  45. Tom says: 195

    @Aqua:

    I think reunification would definitely have depended on slavery ending. I am not as sanguine on the possibility of the South unilaterally ending slavery as you and AV are, although you both present excellent, logical reasons for it to be so. I think I fall into the camp that people with power do whatever is necessary to maintain power, logic be damned, and the Confederacy would be no different. North Korea is a country that makes no economic sense, yet their power structure endures while their people starve. I think we all agree that the US made a difference for good in the 1940s, and I can’t imagine that happening if the USA and CSA both existed at the time. What makes America the greatest nation ever to exist depends upon those disparate elements that only the North or South can provide. The two sides divided are diminished. I think a Nazi flag would have flown over London and we’d have found ourselves in a different type of cold war if we’d not been one country. Let’s be honest, it’s a horrifyingly expensive, ridiculously ambitious and pretty progressive idea to save the entire world from fascism, but America did it, and they couldn’t have done that without a bunch of conservatives and a bunch of liberals, a bunch of northerners and a bunch of southerners. I wrote my first high school term paper on Patton. I can appreciate the virtues of a conservative man who is laser focused on reinventing war tactics and kicking some serious ass.

    Edit: my mother’s uncle was personally dressed down by Patton for not wearing a tie on some random road in the Ardennes. I always loved hearing that story. Patton didn’t mess around when it came to formalities.

    ReplyReply
  46. one thing is right is the way we traveled here from the first POST ABOUT WAR AT CHRISTMAS,
    TO WAR ON A PEOPLE, it tell us of no matter the extermination of a NATION, or a religion
    there is always SOME SURVIVORS TO BECOME THE CONSCIENCES OF THOSE GENERATIONS
    WHO FOUGHT THEM TO a total extermination they thought,
    we think of HITLER wanting the extermination of the JEWS,there was some SURVIVORS to tell the world of the HOLOCAUST,

    ReplyReply
  47. openid.aol.com/runnswim
    are you among that new finding of using the PROSESED HIV VIRUS,
    TO CURE SOME CASE OF [GEEZ, I forgot the name] OH IT’S [ LEUKIMIA]
    any way you certainly know, the FOX NEWS showed a child so close to die was injected
    with that C virus, and along a few other SICK PEOPLE ,
    recover fully,
    I suspect you to have something to do in it
    just so you can play SANTA CLAUS IN THE MIRACLE OF CHRISTMAS,
    TO OPPOSE THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS,
    WHAT A GIFT TO END THIS POST WITH IT

    ReplyReply
  48. Tony says: 198

    Great idea Larry! I’ll just put my “Holiday Barn” up on the courthouse lawn, with my little “Holiday Figurines” and we’ll all have a Happy, oops… Merry… Oops… Bodacious Holiday!

    ReplyReply
  49. Tony
    good one yes,
    FIVE years ago, I saw an ad on the newspaper about plan to build a NATIVITY
    ALMOST FULL SIZE, to be MAIL order from TORONTO
    I DID ORDER IT, there was a paper roll containing all the 13 pieces of that nativity, folded in the roll
    to be each cut out, which I did and each one trace it to a plywood sheet, then cutting around
    the plywood each individual pieces beautifully designed by the ARTIST,
    and I glued it on the plywood cut out, it was almost full size, the Three CAMELS
    WHERE 6 FEET WIDE BY 6 FEET HIGH, AND ALL THE 13 PIECES 5 FEET HIGH LIKE THE THREE KINGS
    MARY AND JOSEPH, THERE WAS THE ANIMALS 2 SHEEP AND THEIR SHEPHERD THE DONKEY ALSO ,
    AND LITTLE JESUS IN THE CRECHE, THIS ONE GOT ME WORRIED, THAT JESUS HAD A FOLD ON HIS FACE VERY VISIBLE AND GOT ME WORRY , AND CALLING THE COMPANY, BUT IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN BACK FOR CHRISTMAS, SO I THOUGHT OF A WAY TO FIX IT,
    AND THEN I decide to print the little JESUS, and paint the face all over again, it turn out pretty good,
    and I put all the 13 parts outside, for my very sick husband to be so delightfully happy to see CHRISTMAS THAT WAY, IT WAS HIS LAST CHRISTMAS AND MY EFFORTS WHERE PAID OF JUST
    WATCHING HIS EYES AND SMILE,
    I moved out to a smaller place and gave the NATIVITY TO MY FRIEND THE FARMER, THEY PUT IT INSIDE THIS YEAR,
    all around their house, she is happy about it as she told me
    I’m glad my hard work make that worthy to go further
    BYE

    ReplyReply

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