The Jamestown Massacre – A Look Back

Jamestown Massacre

Recently I had a discussion with several other Americans of
various ethnicities about the treatment of the people that were living
throughout North and South America during the time that the first American
colonies were established.

I find that people are generally ignorant when it comes to
the colonists of the Americas, North America in particular, as that is what I
am most familiar with; English settlers to be more specific.

People are usually far more to one side than the other:
Either they think that the settlers were terrible people and should not have
been on the land in the first place, or they feel that the natives were
insolent savages and nothing more. I fall somewhere in the middle, seeing
obvious failings on both sides.

The people with whom I was having this discussion with all
fell to the side of thinking that all settlers were terrible people, taking
land that didn’t belong to them, and that the natives were apparently perfect
in everything that they did. No matter what, they felt that the Christian
settlers were in the wrong.

Sadly most of them had no clue what actually happened during
the first colonies and the Jamestown massacre until I either informed them or
refreshed their foggy memories:

 

Jamestown Settlement

Jamestown was the earliest lasting English colony in the new
world. It was founded by the Virginia
Company of London on May 14th, 1607, which was chartered by James I
a year earlier along with its sister company the Virginia Company of Plymouth.

Life in Jamestown was in no way easy. The land that was
initially settled was less than ideal and the Powhatan Indians were on the
attack almost immediately after the settlers made landfall. That is a fact: There
is clear historical evidence that the Powhatan made the first move in attacking
the English settlers just a week after they arrived.

Attacks from the Powhatan Indians were the least of the settlers’
problems: They had far worse to deal with, namely what is known as the Starving
Time during the winter of 1609-1610, when their supply convoy ran into a
hurricane, crops failed, and trade was cut off by the Powhatan Indians.

The Starving Time ended with the deaths of the vast majority
of settlers living in Jamestown and nearly brought the colony to an end. The
cause is clearly convoluted, but there is no doubt that the Powhatan played
their role in the deaths of a great many settlers that horrible winter.

Then in 1611 and 1612 John Rolfe planted and began exporting
tobacco from the colony. This breakthrough in trade firmly established the
colony and allowed it to thrive in comparison to the first few years of
struggle.

Issues with the Powhatan Indians continued into the
following years, as more and more land was used up the river to cultivate their
new crop, thus growing the colony and using more of the land that was formerly
occupied by the Powhatan.

 

Wahunsunacock, Chief Powhatan

After the succession and death of Wahunsunacock, the leader
of the Powhatan Indians and a seemingly level-headed fellow compared to those
that came after him, likely thanks to the marriage of his daughter Pocahontas
to John Rolfe 1614; relations with the Powhatan once again became a major issue
for the colonists to deal with.

Sometime after Wahunsunacock was succeeded his brother Opechancanough
ended up with power over the Powhatan. Opechancanough was by all accounts an
ignorant and hateful individual that showed extreme disdain and prejudice
towards the settlers from the very beginnings of the colony.

The Powhatan’s animosity and hatred towards the settlers
came to a head with an attack that was planned and led by Opechancanough in 1622;
this attack is known as the Jamestown massacre.

Even with much better relations between the settlers and the
Powhatan in the years following the marriage between Pocahontas and John Rolfe,
Opechancanough continued to carry his hatred for the settlers and the contempt
that he must have felt for his previous failings against the settlers.

Plotting and planning to destroy the settlers for years, Opechancanough
finally had his chance to launch his attack on every settlement along the James
River.

The sneak attack that Opechancanough planned resulted in the
deaths of approximately half of the settlers, huge amounts of destruction which
lead to the complete abandonment of many of their settlements, as well as the
enslavement of a great number of female settlers that were captured during the
attack.

 

Opechancanough

After the attack by the Powhatan under the command and
leadership of Opechancanough the colonists of course retaliated, which I
believe to be a completely valid reaction to such a heinously planned and
executed attack.

A couple of years after the Jamestown massacre the Virginia
colony was turned into a royal, or crown colony; thus removing the Virginia
Company of London from their previous involvement with the colony. This also
gave the English much more power in the new world, which in turn helped lead to
all future misdeeds towards innocent natives.

The decisions and actions of the Powhatan Indians,
culminating with the Jamestown Massacre, without a doubt deserve much of the
blame for the misdeeds directed towards those that were native to North America
during the time of the first English colonies, to the end of them and into the
creation of the United States of America.

Since we know that Opechancanough was entirely behind the
Jamestown Massacre, as well as many other hostilities between the settlers and
the natives, we can and should thusly blame him for the actions of the settlers
from then on.

The reaction after the Jamestown massacre by the settlers
was due to the actions of Opechancanough and those that followed him. They
carry the burden of any mistreatment that their people had to endure, as well
as the burden of the suffering of many thousands of other natives in the
future, thanks to the negativity that the Jamestown massacre allowed and
provided to current and future colonists.

Olympic Swimming – An Amazing Moment in Sport

Swim Team USA - AP Photo/Thomas Kienzle

Last night the American swim team won the gold medal in the
Men’s 4 x 100 metre freestyle relay in a fantastic finish that completed
without a doubt one of the greatest comebacks that I have ever personally
witnessed in a sporting event.

The win was made even sweeter due to that fact that we beat
the French team – who were amazing in their own right – after a member of the
French team named Alain Bernard decided that it would be a good idea to make
comments stating that he and his team would smash the team from the USA.

Swim Team USA was behind from the very beginning and for the
majority of the match, with Australia’s Eamon Sullivan breaking the world
record to start his team off, while Team USA’s Michael Phelps broke the
American record in the opening leg as well.

The USA briefly took the lead after Phelps finished with the
swimming of Garrett Weber-Gale, but gave it up during the third leg of the race
as the French team was simply much too fast for American swimmer Cullen Jones.

 

Jason Lezak, Hero - AP Photo/Thomas Kienzle

That’s when it happened: After Jones finished veteran
American swimmer Jason Lezak dove into the pool when it looked like the French
team had the gold medal all but locked going into the final leg with
world-record-holding trash-talking Frenchman Alain Bernard as their anchor
swimmer.

Even the American announcers seemed to think that there was little
hope for Swim Team USA, hoping that team USA could hold on to the silver at
least. Jason Lezak was simply too slow, too old to win, the amount of time that
he had to make up was just too great they said, there was little confidence in
Jason Lezak and little hope for Swim Team USA to bring the gold back home.

During the first 50 metres it didn’t seem that Lezak was
making up much ground on the speedy Bernard, but then in the last 50 metres it seemed
like Lezak was unstoppable, overcoming a nearly full length deficit with his amazing
46.06 second final leg for a .08 second win over the French team.

 

Michael Phelps Cheering

It was truly great to watch. The entire American team was
just fantastic and Jason Lezak is an absolute hero for his amazing anchor leg
of the race. It easily ranks as one of the greatest performances that I have
ever seen in any sport.

Five teams broke the previous world record, which was set by
the USA earlier in the day: Sweden, Italy, Australia, France, and of course the
gold medalist United States team. Every team that participated broke the
previous Olympic record, which is another amazing statistic and shows the level
of competition in the event.

Here’s a link to the video from the event on the NBC Olympic website. You’ll have to install Microsoft’s Silverlight browser plugin if you use Firefox, but it’s well worth it. The video is absolutely stunning:
http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/share.html?videoid=0811_HD_SWB_HL_L0194

Homelessness in America

A Homeless Person - Courtesy of Joshua Sherurcij

The number homeless people in the United States can vary
greatly at any single point in time. The vast majority of homeless Americans are
only homeless for a short period of time; and usually it is due to very specific circumstances,
after a natural disaster for example, or a long period without work after a job
loss, a death in the family, things like that.

Using the current flooding problems as a current example,
there will be a short term influx of homeless people in the United States
without a doubt, but the vast majority of those people will have a home again
very soon.

The real issue is all of the people that are homeless and
have been homeless for a very long time now. These people are not going to find
a home any time soon. The majority of them suffer from mental health issues,
often times very severe mental health issues, or they have substance
abuse problems; and the help available to them is vastly inadequate for how extensive
the issue is.

Another part of the equation that needs to be taken into
account is the fact that the amount of homeless veterans is hugely out of balance with
the percentage of American veterans as a whole of the population. It clearly
shows that veterans are not receiving the level of treatment that they deserve
here in the United States. Our veterans need and deserve proper care, no matter
what their problem is.

I have currently estimated the amount of actual homeless
people in the United States at over .0333% of the population, over one
hundred thousand of our fellow Americans. As I said above, the number of homeless people in the
United States varies greatly at any point in time; but what I am concerned with here
are real homeless people that have very little chance of getting out of their homelessness.

Real homeless people are what we need to focus on. Over one
hundred thousand Americans: Men, women and children, usually with extreme
mental or substance abuse problems, problems that they have little
hope in overcoming, problems that they have little support for.

Barack Obama Leaves Trinity

So Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama are leaving
their church, the Trinity United Church of Christ. I ask: What is the point of
leaving now?

Someone should have told Barack Obama that this is not
something that he can just walk away from. You can not erase the past Obama
buddy, I’m sorry to break the news to you. You’re going to have to live with
it. As much as you and your followers don’t like the idea of having to deal
with the consequences of your own personal actions; I know… It’s a hard
concept to wrap your head around.

Thankfully I have little doubt that the vast majority of my
fellow Americans realize the very same things that I do; as such there is no
way that Barack Obama will win the presidency; no matter whom he disowns.
Seriously, who’s next Obama, your wife Michelle perhaps?

This is nothing more than yet another calculated move made
by Barack Obama for his own personal gain. First he didn’t want to disown his
mentor and pastor, Jeremiah Wright; he then hypocritically does exactly what he
said he would not and could not do, but only after Jeremiah Wright made him
look bad in public.

Only after coming to realize, or more than likely being
told, that disowning Jeremiah Wright was the best decision for his presidential
campaign did Barack Obama do so. Only when he realized that there was more to
gain on a personal level by disowning him than by keeping him around did Barack
Obama do so.

Only after the polls and his handlers told him that leaving
his church would be beneficial did Barack Obama so do. That is hypocritical and
cowardly. Stand up for what you truly believe in Barack; you can’t sit in a
“church” for over 20 years listening to hate spew forth from the alter and not
believe at least some of is, can you Mr. Obama?

Of course you can’t. It’s clear to everyone that actually
wants to open their eyes and look at the situation logically and without
political prejudice, such as me, that Barack Obama is nothing more than a
politician, an empty suit, trying to do whatever is best for Barack Obama.

That is all Barack Obama cares about. He doesn’t care about
the American people or our country. He wants to be the President, it is all
that he has on his mind, and it is all that he cares about. Whatever he has to
smash through and trample to reach his goal, well they are just sacrifices that
must be made for the great good, isn’t that right Mr. Obama?

He doesn’t care about the Democratic Party or its members.
He doesn’t care about its leaders or its oldest supporters. He cares about
winning this election, above all else. This is extremely obvious, Barack Obama
would not have thrown his mentor Jeremiah Wright under his political bus;
Barack Obama would not have removed himself from his “church”, or which he was
a member for over 20 years.

Those are not things that people easily walk away from.
Looking back on Barack Obama’s much lauded speech on race only confirms this.

America’s Entitlement Programs Must End: Social Security

Yesterday Richard W. Fisher, the president and CEO of the
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, gave a speech concerning America’s entitlement
programs at the Commonwealth Club of California. He gave a run through of the
numbers that the future tax payers of America were going to have to deal with,
absolutely mind blowing numbers.

They were extremely sobering and inspired me
to write a series of articles about it, this will be the first article, covering Social Security.

America’s Entitlement Programs Must End: Social Security

The first issue, of course, is Social Security. It’s a hot-button
issue that everyone knows about, one everyone talks about; well, everyone aside
from most politicians, they don’t want to lose votes by stating the unpopular
facts behind the issue.

The amount of money necessary to keep our Social Security
system running as it is now is absolutely staggering. To simply cover all of
the unfunded liabilities of our Social Security system from now on would cost
the American tax payers an astonishing 13.6 trillion Dollars. Yes, that is an
amount nearly equal to an entire year of our nation’s Gross Domestic Product;
for those of you that don’t know, that is the yearly amount of all of the goods and
services produced in our country. This is well known of course, but seeing the
number represented in Dollars really hits home.

The problem is that there simply aren’t enough new workers
to take care of the aging baby boomers of our country. You see, our Social
Security system was not very well conceived, little foresight was used and little
consideration was given to future generations.

The issue now is that people are living for a much longer
period of time, yet they still retire and begin to receive their entitlements
at the very same age that they did during Social Security’s inception. So while in 1940 only 53.9 percent of American Males and only
60.6 percent of American Females survived from their adulthood all the way to
their retirement; in 1990 those numbers jumped to 72.3 percent for Males and 83.6
percent for Females. While that is undoubtedly a good thing, it is one of many
things that have put tremendous strain on our entitlement programs.

Not only are people living even longer thanks to our medical
technology; but thanks as well to the post-war baby-boom, the number of American
citizens aged 65 or older has more than quintupled since the inception of our
Social Security program. That number is huge on its own, but it is only half
the story, many baby boomers are still working and will reach their retirement in the coming years.

The population of the United States aged 65 and older is
also expected to double in size within the next 20 years. By the year 2030 it is
estimated that nearly 1-out-of-5 Americans, as many as 72 million people, will
be 65 years of age or older. The 85 and older age group is currently one of the
fastest growing segments of the population.

The fact is that there simply aren’t
enough workers to pay for that many retirees. The birth rate has decreased dramatically as well, for various reasons. All of these factors combined have led us to our current predicament. Something has to be done about this, we cannot continue passing our debt on to future generations.

Social Security is not the only entitlement issue: In my next
article I’ll discuss Medicare, as well as my views on how to fix the problem.