Quotes of the week
“We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in.” – Thomas Paine
The fight Thomas Paine speaks of has never ended. It must be renewed with every generation, for while the good and honorable are born to each generation, so too are the corrupt and evil, and somehow the latter tend to gravitate to government and other places of high power.
NOTE: Any Soap Box material written by Buddy may be copied and forwarded to family and friends. Material from other sources is usually copyrighted but likely can be shared so long as it is not changed or abridged and the publisher is properly credited, including a link to their site.
Buddy’s Soap Box
A quick thank you to those of you who email me expressing your support for Soap Box. However, I had hoped a bit of back-and-forth dialogue would have developed by now, back and forth between those who share a similar perspective to ours, and those of an opposite or near opposite perspective. Two things seen to be impeding such a development.
Many people, regardless of their perspective, fear they might be cancelled in some way. If you feel so, simply comment under a “secret identity.” Super heroes have such. So can you.
We hope those with a different perspective aren’t commenting because they think we will cancel them. We won’t. We welcome your thoughts.
And now patriotic Texas howdy from Buddy,
I hope everyone had a great Independence Day, spending at least a part of the 4th thinking about and celebrating the blessing and freedoms we enjoy as citizens of these United States.
Our headliner for this week, “Black folks are not stupid,” runs counter to and repudiates the thinking of some few blacks, but mostly woke white people—the idea that blacks can’t do what whites do, at least not as well, unless given a helping hand.
While any given person of one color may be brighter or less bright than someone of another color, we ordinary folk—black and white and any other color—generally agree that the I.Q. difference between races is pretty much a wash.
But not everyone agrees. The woke left, epitomized by woke Democrats, evidently thinks that minorities are less bright. They don’t come right out and say, “Black folks are dumb,” but they put forth policies that argue exactly that. A couple of examples.
Achievement tests in various forms were around for a long time before they were discovered to be “racially biased.” To correct that, the first thing done was to remove any essay elements as, it was argued, a prejudiced white test grader would score a black student essay lower than a white essay. But removing the subjective and limiting tests to true/false, multiple choice, etc. failed to eliminate the test result disparity between blacks and whites. So, now we are at a point where all tests are deemed discriminatory.
On the above, Soap Box would argue that the problem never was the test nor those being tested. The problem would have been better addressed had the focus been on promoting the nuclear family and all the benefits that come with it—loving parents, valuing education, etc. Yes, blacks may do less well on tests, but not because they are inherently less bright. Bad policy, primarily bad government policy, has for decades now cheated many blacks of their full measure of success.
While we wait for a recognition of the value of the nuclear family, we might devise student testing that isn’t “racially biased.” Doing so would be simple. Current testing will always be suspect because whites are involved in their design, but why not look to an all-black team of academics to develop student tests that are in no way race biased?
Next, let’s move on to a bigger elephant in the room, and in “elephant” we are not referring to the Republican Party.
Nowhere does the Democrat idea that blacks are stupid take higher profile than in their argument that sane and reasonable efforts to prevent voter fraud and insure an honest vote amount to “minority voter suppression.” Such an argument holds water only if you assume a fundamental difference in the cognitive ability of blacks, the condescending suggestion that blacks can’t understand the basics of the voting process nearly as well as whites. Such an argument is both insulting to minorities and patently untrue.
What really matters to the gone-to-hell woke Democrat Party isn’t the people—whatever be their race. What matters is the aggregation of raw political power by any means possible, including the stealing of elections on a scale never seen in this nation.
So says Buddy Saunders, speaking on The Soap Box of Free Speech!
Other Items of Interest
Great Caesar’s Ghost! What will the teacher’s Unions think of next! Taking a breather (they need it) from hyperventilating over unmasked and unvaccinated children, as reported by The Associated Press, “One of the nation’s largest teachers unions on Tuesday vowed to defend members who are punished for teaching an ‘honest history’ of the United States, a measure that’s intended to counter the wave of states seeking to limit classroom discussion on race and discrimination. In prepared remarks obtained by The Associated Press, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten said her union is preparing litigation and has a legal defense fund “ready to go.” She promised to fight ‘culture warriors’ who attempt to limit lessons on racism and discrimination by labeling it as critical race theory.”
Sez the Soap Box: Critical race theory is pure hokum, and dangerous hokum at that. But given that mostly members of teachers unions will be teaching it—at least where citizens are dumb enough to want it—not much is likely to come out of it. Think about it. These are the same teachers who are turning out high school graduates who cannot read, write, and can’t do high-level math such as two plus two. Let’s hope they fail at teaching critical race theory as well.
Yet more good News! Freetalk45.com is a new web site fromOAN (One America News). FreeTalk45 is yet another site dedicated to filling the free speech gap created by Facebook, Twitter, and other anti-free speech sites that act as woke extensions of the Democrat Party. Sites such as FreeTalk45 will need time to debug, develop and build audience, just the process followed by their anti-free speech predecessors, but in time free speech sites will supplant Facebook, Twitter and other sites that practice shadow banning and censorship, just as Fox News and One America News are trouncing CNN and MSNBC, and papers like the Washington Times and Epoch New are supplanting woke newspapers.
Do Big Guy Biden and the Democrats care about anybody at all? People are dying on both sides of the nation’s border, drowning in the Rio Grande, perishing from the heat and lack of water, being killed in car wrecks, being suffocated in locked trailers, being killed by gangs. Women are being raped, drugs are flooding into our cities, and citizens on the border are being terrorized and their property destroyed.
All such wasn’t happening under President Donald Trump. Trump cared.
But does Big Guy Biden and his “Demorats” care? NO. They don’t give their rat’s ass. Their priority, that obliterates all other considerations, is getting the surviving illegals (as much victim as we are) into our nation where they will provide new Democrat voters and cheap labor for bloated woke corporations.
Bottom line. Biden does not have the best interests of the nation at heart. Cash in his pocket matters more.
Property Taxes Making Unlivable Cities. As Texas continues to have some of the highest property taxes in the United States, a recent report revealed more of the consequences on everyday Texans. Jacob Asmussen writes about a new report from Move.org finding three of the top 10 worst livable cities in America are in Texas: Plano, Dallas, and Austin.
Though a variety of factors affect the overall cost of living, one that certainly makes it harder is Texas’ local government officials constantly piling on higher property tax bills. For instance, the Democrat-run Austin City Council has raised taxes by a startling 150 percent over the last 13 years. Meanwhile, Plano and Dallas city councils have raised the average homeowner’s property tax bills a respective 41 and 65 percent over the last seven years.
What is happening in Texas is happening all across the country. Yet even as property taxes rise, government sees single family homes as “service vampires,” properties that don’t pay their fair share of taxes. Preferred are apartments that, according to urban planners, generate more tax dollars and are preferred by millennials, especially if the apartments are located in big cities.
Amarillo Council ignores the Voters. Even though voters said “no” to a new city hall, the city council has voted to issue $35 million in “certificates of obligation” – debt unapproved by voters – to go ahead and build it anyway. Thomas Warren has the details. Sez Soap Box: This sort of thing happens when citizens pay too little attention to their local government.
This week’s Aesop’s Fable: The Horse, Hunter and Stag
A quarrel had arisen between the Horse and the Stag, so the Horse came to a Hunter to ask his help to take revenge on the Stag. The Hunter agreed, but said: “If you desire to conquer the Stag, you must permit me to place this piece of iron between your jaws, so that I may guide you with these reins, and allow this saddle to be placed upon your back so that I may keep steady upon you as we follow after the enemy.” The Horse agreed to the conditions, and the Hunter soon saddled and bridled him. Then with the aid of the Hunter the Horse soon overcame the Stag, and said to the Hunter: “Now, get off, and remove those things from my mouth and back.”
“Not so fast, friend,” said the Hunter. “I have now got you under bit and spur, and prefer to keep you as you are at present.”
Moral of the story: If you allow Hunter and the Big Guy to use you for your own purposes, they will use you for theirs.
The following are excellent resources for those of us (way more than 75 million strong) who want full and honest news reporting. We’ll be adding to this list as we go along. Those who prefer filtered news—only the news deemed safe for them to know—can stay with the legacy media, such as it is.
Need a free nonpartisan site that can make you a well-informed voter in elections at the local level as well as state and national? We recommend Ballotpedia.
Here’s a great way to join thousands—and eventually millions—of others who are letting their government representatives know their thoughts on pending legislation. Heritage Action for America from the Heritage Foundation makes doing so super EASY! They do the research. They inform you. Then in almost the blink of an eye, you contact your federal or state representatives regarding pending legislation expressing your support or opposition.
Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) AARP is a shill for big government, AMAC isn’t.
The Epoch Times print newspaper and web site/email updates
Dennis Prager This man will help you find the mainstream conservative hiding inside you.
President Donald Trump’s Great America PAC is now up and running. Give to this PAC or to individual candidates you know to be truly conservative. Money given to the Republican Party is money down a RINO hole. https://texasscorecard.com/state/legislative-priorities-tracker/
Texas Score Card https://texasscorecard.com/state/legislative-priorities-tracker/
Morton Blackwell’s Leadership Institute.
Project Veritas, Fun and informative hidden camera videos exposing the secret agendas of the left in their own words.
Columns worth reading
Each week under this heading, Soap Box will feature columns or intros to columns you can read in full elsewhere on the internet. Each of these columns pretty much express Soap Box’s views, else we’d not be sharing them with you.
GUEST COLUMN #1: Why Is the 4th of July So Special? by Michael Quinn Sullivan at The Texas Scorecard. There was no difference between July 3, 1776, and July 5. By all outward appearances, the American colonies were no more free, no more independent. The governing structures were not different. (column continues below)
GUEST COLUMN #2: The Graph That Shatters CRT: July 4, 1776 Set Slavery on the Path to Worldwide Extinction An AMAC Exclusive by Daniel Roman AMAC Newsline Critical Race Theory is now the rage among those who hate their country in general and white people in particular. Mr. Roman’s column and graph sees matters differently. (column continues below)
GUEST COLUMN #1: Why Is the 4th of July So Special?
by Michael Quinn Sullivan
There was no difference between July 3, 1776, and July 5. By all outward appearances, the American colonies were no more free, no more independent. The governing structures were not different.
So, what makes the Fourth of July so special?
Think about it. We do not celebrate October 19, 1781, the date the war for American independence ended. There are no parades commemorating September 3, 1783, when the Treaty of Paris formally concluded the war.
No, we celebrate July 4, 1776. That is the day when our Founding Fathers firmly, finally, and officially committed themselves – their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor – to the cause of American liberty.
Now, make no mistake: many of them had done so personally and individually weeks, months, even years earlier. They already had an army, and blood had already been shed.
Yet, the Fourth of July is when they formally, out-loud, with one voice, declared their independence. They acknowledged to each other and a candid world that they were dissolving their political bands with England.
We celebrate their commitment to the fight. We recognize that in the most important ways by choosing to declare their independence, they had already achieved it.
Nearly all of our Founding Fathers were men of faith; they understood that the struggle upon which they were to engage may or may not be successful in the eyes of the world. That didn’t matter; they achieved freedom in their choice, declared on the Fourth of July, and the fight ahead was merely the necessary consequence.
On Independence Day we celebrate our Founding Fathers’ commitment to the ideals of self-governance. On Independence Day we celebrate their willingness to put their convictions to the test for themselves and for us.
On Independence Day we must recommit ourselves to fighting not as if our liberty depends on it, but because refusing to submit to the yoke of tyranny is the highest expression of our liberty.
GUEST COLUMN #2: The Graph That Shatters CRT: July 4, 1776 Set Slavery on the Path to Worldwide Extinction
Posted Thursday, July 1, 2021 An AMAC Exclusive by Daniel Roman AMAC Newsline
As America celebrates the 245th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence this July 4, the legacy of the Declaration is under attack like perhaps never before. Much of the American left has adopted the view—one even espoused by Joe Biden’s Ambassador to the United Nations—that the Declaration is a “white supremacist” document. This is among the central notions of what has become known as Critical Race Theory. Yet this idea, so crucial to the thinking of the modern left, is not only not true, but the clear historical record shows that the exact opposite is true. The Declaration of Independence did not forever enshrine slavery and racism into the soul of America—it set slavery on the path to inevitable global extinction.
The question goes to the heart of the faith which has animated liberal thought toward race since long before it was formalized in the New York Times’ 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory—a belief not just that America has sins, or was imperfect, but that America was and is uniquely sinful and worse than everyone else.
In this version of American history, the truth of 1776 is not merely that the Founders were forced to make pragmatic compromises with reality and take time to achieve the aspirations they set themselves. It is not simply that Thomas Jefferson, despite his repeated personal desire to do so, failed to see the elimination of slavery in his lifetime.
No, the 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory’s historical claim is much bigger than that. They claim that Jefferson and the Founders never cared to see the end of slavery at all, and above all, they claim that the American Revolution itself was fought specifically to entrench slavery, driven by fears that Britain might abolish it.
As has been noted even by a number of liberal and partisan Democratic historians, these claims are total nonsense.
The abolition of slavery in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia followed rather than preceded the Declaration of Independence and it did so for a simple reason. The British, far from being a force for emancipation, were a force against it. In fact, they opposed any move toward emancipation for the same reason the American Revolution was necessary in the first place. London sought control of all trade and economic activities in the colonies for revenue raising purposes. The British Exchequer profited from the buying and selling of slaves in American ports, and British banks invested heavily in loans to slave trading firms. Any attack on the slave trade would have been as much an act of rebellion against Britain as the attack on the tea trade was.
Reality is the inverse of the 1619 Project’s thesis. Rather than being an effort to avert any moves toward emancipation or restrictions on slavery, American Independence was a prerequisite for any legal limitations to it.
And the evidence is that far from being empty words, many of those who signed their names to the Declaration in 1776 meant what they said about all men being created equal. In 1776, slavery was legal in every single colony. In the years to come it was outlawed in Pennsylvania in 1780, New Hampshire and Massachusetts in 1783, and Connecticut and Rhode Island in 1784. After the Constitution was ratified, it was abolished in New York (1799) and New Jersey (1804).
Indeed, the period around 1776 marked a pivot point that set off a wave of abolitions around the globe. In his 2011 book Better Angels of our Nature, scholar Stephen Pinker illustrates this trend perfectly with a graph charting the progress of abolitionism worldwide:
What explains this remarkable chart, and the rapid succession of American states that abolished slavery shortly after independence?
One answer is that the ideas of the American Declaration of Independence did not emerge out of thin air. As countless scholars have argued, and Pinker explained in his 2018 book Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, America’s founding document represented an encapsulation of the ideas and values of the European Enlightenment, which challenged certainties about the social order and the world. All institutions—monarchs and Popes, empires and even slavery—were forced to justify themselves based on reason. In other words, simply having existed for centuries was no longer enough.
That’s one reason why the Declaration of Independence stood out at the time – its language was a radical departure from what had come before.
Previous British and European rebellions had generally tried to contest that they were in fact rebelling at all. Their proclamations often read like complex legal briefs, referencing obscure land rights cases from 1231. When America’s Founding Fathers issued their declaration, however, they did something different. They made bold appeals to Enlightenment ideas such as universal rights. In their declaration, all men were equal not because a royal charter said so, but because God created them that way. Their rights existed not because a King granted them or a Parliament passed them into law, but because they were unalienable.
These Enlightenment ideas generally, and the American Revolution specifically, set the end of slavery in motion in several very practical ways.
As we have seen, no territory in America outlawed slavery under British rule, and the British in fact did not allow any territory they ruled to exercise that sort of autonomy in any other case either prior to that point or subsequently. Meanwhile, every northern U.S. state was able to outlaw slavery by 1804, yet the British Empire did not do so until 1833.
“Aha” the leftists will say, “but slavery remained in the American South until the Civil War was over in 1865.” This is true, of course, but there is no reason to believe the British would have tried to abolish slavery if it would have risked conflict or cost.
On the contrary, it is almost impossible to imagine that there even would have been an abolitionist movement anywhere in the world without the success of the American Revolution.
For one thing, the British abolitionist movement itself emerged as a propaganda move during the wars against Napoleon. The French Revolution, which by the way was directly inspired by the American example, had abolished slavery throughout French territory. French slaveholders in the Caribbean resisted these decrees, and when slaves and supporters of the French Revolution tried to enforce them, the French slaveholders called in the British Royal Navy, which happily seized French sugar islands under the pretext of “suppressing a slave rebellion.” Public revulsion against this use of British military force to reintroduce slavery spread in Britain, driven by those who had sympathized with or supported the American cause. The first British abolitionists overlapped with the American sympathizers of the 1770s.
On a wider level, the abolition of slavery anywhere was the clear and direct consequence of those enlightenment ideas which inspired the American Declaration and which the American Revolution had given real credence in a non-theoretical sense for the first time, transforming the relationship between governments and the governed.
For centuries, political thought in Europe had been defined not in terms of the “rights” of individuals as people, but rather through the privileges of classes and offices. The Magna Carta of 1215 might have been progressive in that it restricted the power of the English King, but it restricted the power of the King over a class, his nobles. The right of nobles to govern their estates as they saw fit, to avoid taxation without their consent, and to be guaranteed a jury of their peers in any legal proceeding, meant that peasants unlucky enough to live on their estates, or Jews living in their towns, lost the ability to appeal to the King for protection.
In this environment—the pre-American Revolution environment—any effort by a King to abolish slavery would have been seen as an act of tyranny, one in which a despot stripped the property of “citizens” without their consent.
It is thus no coincidence that when slavery was abolished in U.S. states, it was done not by a King, but by governments that could claim to be elected by the people. In the new American republic, elected officeholders who abolished slavery were exercising the people’s sovereign right to self-government to fulfill the moral imperatives of the Enlightenment. It was the ideas and institutions put in place by the Revolution that made this possible at all.
Before the Revolution, no state had ever abolished slavery, and arguably no state could. After it, the pressure was irresistible, and it became seen as a requirement of republican self-government not just in America, but everywhere.
The authors of the American Declaration intentionally lit a beacon for the world, an example for other nations and peoples to follow. Nonetheless, unlike the French Revolution, the American Founders pursued their radical and uncompromising goals through conservative means, protecting property, respecting the rule of law, and giving American society enough time to actually realize the rights of human equality and freedom far beyond the dreams of the Founders.
The survival of their republic two and a half centuries later, and the total equality under the law of all men and women, races, and religions is a testament to that approach.
In time, America was able to abolish slavery in the 1860s in the bloodiest war of its history, and a century later bring about a civil rights movement which brought this final measure of equality. These events stand out as among the only times in human history when a society has drastically reformed itself, as opposed to being transformed by foreign invasion or a murderous dictator.
The historical fact is that the American project launched on July 4, 1776 was a work in progress which took time to reach its full potential. But if the American Declaration of Independence did not abolish slavery overnight, or bring about racial equality the following day, it set the nation on the path that made those things inevitable. In fact, it set the entire world on a path where they seemed only a matter of time.
Contrary to the claims of the 1619 crowd and the Founding’s other detractors, it is impossible to see how slavery or racial equality would have developed in a world in which the Americans failed, the authors of the Declaration were hanged, and the British proved that rights and power did not derive from the consent of the governed or God, but from what Kings felt inclined to grant. In that world, everyone would have remained slaves.
Daniel Roman is the pen name of a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.© AMAC Association of Mature American Citizens