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.

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.

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.

Increasing Food Prices Is A Serious Issue

Increasing
Food Prices is a Serious Issue

 

People are going to suffer due to the rapidly increasing
price of foods and other commodities. No, not American people, and not the
people in any of the more advanced countries. The people that are going
to suffer are those truly poor and downtrodden people in our world; there is
true poverty out there, people that simply do not have the opportunity to make
their lives better.

These people aren’t able to farm their own lands to feed themselves;
they have to deal with the current global commodity situation just as every one
of us does. But sadly these people, these many millions of people, they simply cannot keep
up with these rapidly increasing prices. These are people that live on the
equivalent of one dollar a day, one single dollar each day.

Living on a dollar a day is known as extreme poverty. Just imagine
having the spending power of one single dollar every day and you will easily be
able to see why these people can barely survive; that they do in fact go
hungry, often to the point of starvation. And it is only going to get worse as
the price of commodities continues to rise.

When we hear the politicians and our fellow Americans
complaining about the increase in prices through various forms of media, it’s
them complaining about petty things such as Milk increasing in price and how
outrageous it is. But the fact is that us Americans are not in any danger from
this increase in commodity prices; no, we are going to be just fine. It is the
truly poor in our world that will suffer.

All of us have heard the various reasons given for the
increase in prices: From the recent popularity of bio fuels to global warming
diminishing the harvests. Neither of these is the real reason for the increase
in prices, no matter what the politicians and pundits tell you and want you to
think.

Demand is the main reason behind the increase in commodity
prices. It’s as simple as that. Millions of people in both India and China, as
well as several other emerging countries, are eating a much higher quality diet
than they previously were. This is by no means a bad thing; we should all be very
happy for these people, people that have brought themselves out of poverty through hard
work and determination. It is a great thing.

We can’t blame anyone or single thing. From the
increased demand in countries such as China and India, to bio fuels and global
warming; we can certainly debate which of these things has a larger affect on prices, but that is only going to lead us to continuing the avoidance of
the real issue: That is the truly poor people in the world that are suffering
now, and will continue to suffer as these elements weigh on the prices of
commodities in the future.

Can we do anything about this? I’m sure that we can, yes.
For example, I simply consume less and waste less. There is an incredible
amount of waste in advanced countries; people don’t give it a second thought. I
witness people wasting without care every single day of my life. It’s a
terrible thing.

Knowing that our waste alone could feed millions of truly needy
people is a very sad thing. We’ve all seen the studies, some saying that half
of the food in the United States is actually wasted, never ingested by a human
being at all. The first time that I read that I was shocked, sure; but I knew
that it would be a staggering amount of waste based on what I have seen with my own eyes.

The fact is that less waste and more efficiency here in the
United States would dramatically drop the demand for commodities, and as such,
it would in turn drop the price of food throughout the world. This would allow
more and more people to eat, to eat a better diet, and be healthier in general.

So the next time that you’re in your local supermarket, don’t
complain about the increasing cost of your Eggs and Milk; instead think of the
poor people that are going to go without due to you continuing your wasteful
habits.

Why Are Atheists So Pompous?: The Problem With Atheism

The Problem with Atheists

 

The problem with modern atheism is that its followers do not
seem to have a firm grasp on the fact that religion is a part of our modern
culture. We have people making outrageous claims and making attempts at
refuting religious beliefs, and denying the fact that many religious values and
concepts are ingrained in our culture as a people.

Many atheists are so against having a belief in God that
they would infringe on the rights of others who do choose to believe in God.
Many atheists will persecute any and all people who freely choose to follow a
religion and have a belief in God. They will bring up petty, minor, nearly irrelevant
issues such as whether or not the word God is used in our Pledge of Allegiance;
or that In God We Trust is printed on our money and used as a motto; simply to
continue their efforts to persecute and look down upon those that choose to
believe in God and follow a religion.

Certainly some people are going to disagree with our
feelings on religion and beliefs in God, and they should of course be free to
do that without being persecuted for it. Just as you or I, or Richard Dawkins
should be free to at the very least state our feelings, our thoughts, and our opinions
on the subject. I just feel that a great many atheists are very invasive with
their beliefs, and that stems from the more popular atheists in the world.
People see Richard Dawkins being extremely arrogant with his opinion everywhere
that he goes, increasing his popularity with these extreme atheists, and indeed
they are building his ego up as they continue to follow in his footsteps, which
is just going to make the issue worse. It’s a vicious circle.

Of course there is an issue if and when religious beliefs somehow
change our policies and laws, in our free country, in these modern times. I do
not agree with that at all, and believe it to be a much greater issue than the
word God being in the Pledge of Allegiance, using the example above; or the
fact that many of our and much of the worlds holidays take place on dates that
are particularly important to various religions throughout history, or are for
various figures of Christianity and other religions. Religion is an undeniable
part of our history and culture as Americans and of humans as a whole, and it
should be respected as such.

The top three reasons why Oil prices are so high

Why Oil Prices are So High

 

  1. The first reason that I will mention is that Oil is
    priced in US Dollars. That’s why when you see the value of the dollar fall; you
    see the price of oil rise. The people that produce the oil are generally
    getting US dollars in return for their product. As such, when the dollar falls,
    they are making less money on their product, even if the amount of dollars that
    they receive for their oil is equal, and so the price goes up. This applies to
    the people buying and selling the oil beyond the producers as well, who are
    also simply trying to profit. There are of course several other reasons why oil
    continues to rise, and why the dollar continues to fall. I was just pointing
    out why the dollar and oil currently move together.    
  2. The second reason is that many people are and
    have been investing in Oil as it has had quite a run up as the US Dollar has
    dropped like a rock. Investors, having a good feeling that the Federal Reserve
    would continue to cut interest rates, have continually bought into Oil to make
    some profit off of the amazing bull-run that it has had. 
  3. The third is an ever increasing growth in the demand for Oil.
    This isn’t the 1970’s where we can simply stop using as much Oil here in
    America, and prices will fall in relation to our drop in demand. No, these days
    the entire world is using more and more Oil. As countries continue to develop
    and expand into modern times, there is an ever increasing demand for Oil. This
    is the key reason that Oil will never again be as it once was.

2. 

Those are the three main reasons as I see them. There are of
course other factors behind the rising price of Oil, such as turmoil and lack
of security in many Oil producing lands, to things such as the weather, which
can cause rather large jumps in the price of Oil in its own right. But those
three issues that I listed above are the key factors behind the current of Oil;
they should be known and understood by everyone.

We all realize that Oil usage is a problem for us here in
the US, and that we need to find a viable alternative, regardless of the
current price of Oil. The heart of the issue is how we move from our high use
of oil, to something better. Clearly the way that the US as a whole operates
has to change, the whole car culture that we have built and glamourized to the
rest of the world has to change. People need to realize how ridiculous it is in
the first place, they have to realize that it is not sustainable in the long
term, and that something has to be done about it, and the sooner something is
done, the better off all humans will be.

I don’t have all of the answers myself. But it is clear to
me that more public funds need to go to public transportation, and other,
better forms of transportation. A huge amount of money is spent rebuilding
roads in the US every year so more and more cars can drive on them. This is an
utter waste of public funding and in reality should not be done. That money
should be spent towards better forms of transportation for all people, not just
those that own cars. Sadly a majority of people want better roads, so they can
drive their SUV’s and other vehicles down the street.

Driving is a part of our culture and it’s what most people
want to do, but that in no way makes it right or good for the future progress
of our country, or humans as a whole. I realize that driving has given people
much more freedom than they previously had, and that is not a bad thing in any
way. But it is an undeniable fact that there are and were better options to
allow all people the freedom that they want and deserve, that is completely
sustainable for a very long length of time. I can’t blame past generations for
wanting to drive and to exercise their freedom to travel around on their own
will, as they didn’t have the insight that we do in our current time. But now
that we do have such information and understand that driving huge vehicles all
over the country on expensive roads is a waste of resources and is not
sustainable in the long term, then something must be done about it.

Every day that passes wherein people continue to go with the
flow and majority feeling is setting back humanity as a whole. It’s setting
back our future generations by hurting our stability and our environment. We
have to step up as a people and bring it to an end. We have to sit down and put
our minds towards progress, rather than selfish deeds, for the good of our
country and the world. We have to realize that suburban sprawl is not necessary
and has only led to us having to rely more and more on our vehicles to get us
away from and back to our homes.

There are better, more modern forms of transportation
available to us right now. They are more efficient and are more sustainable in
the long term, which will lead to a better life for our future generations.
Anything at all will help; simply moving away from overly large vehicles that
are completely unnecessary would be a huge improvement. And I do realize that
we are beginning to move in the right direction, but there is undoubtedly resistance
in many areas that we need to overcome. It has been too long already and it is
time to help our fellow citizens along.