Democrat


Other Issues


THE JOURNEY TO MARS























In my campaign of 2000 in New Hampshire, I proposed that we in the United States commit ourselves to landing men on Mars. One woman asked me why this was important. My answer at that time was that this was my position; that this is what I was going to do; and that the American people have a choice---if they don’t want a space program whereby we land astronauts on Mars, then they could vote for someone else; if they do, then they could vote for me.

Come to think of it, that was a poor answer. A trip to Mars is very expensive. President Richard Nixon refused to commit this nation to a Mars landing when he saw the price tag. It was in the billions of dollars (something like $450 billion). If you’re going to spend a lot of money going to Mars, you need good reasons for doing so. “Because it’s there,” just won’t work. For many Americans, billions of dollars spent to send men to Mars is a waste of money when it could be put to good use here on earth.

The speech I gave in New Hampshire mentioned the book from where I got all this information, which was The Case For Mars by Robert Zubrin. It contrasts the proposal that was presented to Mr. Nixon. The proposal Mr. Nixon refused included building a space station in orbit around Mars. Then from that space station, our astronauts would land on Mars, and then, after a stay of a week or two, they would return to the space station.


It also contrasted the return to the moon and building colonies on the moon to going to Mars and building colonies on Mars. Some the major contrasts included: 1) the day and night cycle - on Mars, the days and nights are almost identical. Mars rotates on its axis slightly slower than Earth so that its days and nights are slightly longer than on Earth. The days on Mars are 24 hours, 37 minutes, and 22 seconds long while the days on Earth are 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4 seconds.But on the moon, each day and each night lasts one month.


In addition to having day/night cycle similar to Earth’s, Mars has a thin atmosphere which aids in landing on the planet. When a rocket travels to the moon, more fuel is needed to land on the surface because a parachute cannot be used to slow down the space craft. Besides serving to slow down spaceships landing on Mars, the atmosphere, according to Robert Zubrin, would be converted to rocket fuel for the trip back to Earth.


Robert Zubrin’s plan for three manned missions to Mars would cost about $30 billion. His plan was to send a Saturn V - type rocket to Mars unmanned. There would be room for four astronauts aboard. The ship would land on Mars and refuel by taking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converting it to fuel. A second Saturn V - type rocket would be manned by four astronauts. It would land on Mars. The four astronauts would leave the second spaceship and take a road trip to the first spaceship. By the time the astronauts would be ready to leave, the first spaceship would be fully fueled and ready to take off. The second spaceship would remain on Mars, refueling from the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and be ready to take off when the second group of astronauts lands on Mars. They would do what the first group of astronauts did. They would leave the third spaceship, take a road trip to the second spaceship which is now completely refueled, and leave for Earth in the second spaceship. Then the third group of astronauts would take the fourth spaceship, land on Mars, leave the fourth spaceship and take a road trip to the third spaceship that is now fully refueled, and leave for Earth.


The astronauts traveling to and from Mars will not be in a state of weightlessness as the Apollo astronauts were who traveled to and from the moon. Their spacecraft will be spinning in a circle 330 meters (1,082 feet) in diameter once every 30 seconds connected to their upper stage booster rocket by a tether. This centrifugal force will give them artificial gravity that would equal the gravity of Mars. But is that enough? Is living in an environment for 2 ½ years in gravity that is only one-third that of Earth enough to keep these astronauts healthy? For that matter, can humans survive on a planet with only one third the gravity of Earth? After all, that is what colonization means--to spend your whole life on another planet. That is one of two questions that needs to be answered. The other question is solar and cosmic radiation. Robert Zubrin said Mars’ atmosphere will protect the astronauts from harmful radiation.

Armstrong and the Space Program

The Armstrongs were against the space program. In his booklet, The Wonderful World of Tomorrow, Herbert W. Armstrong describes what it will be like after the Second Coming of Jesus. One of the things he said will happen is, “a complete halt to the space program.”

Garner Ted Armstrong wrote an article in the Plain Truth Magazine entitled, “And Now, On To The Galaxies?” He mentioned Neil Armstrong’s famous first words on the moon, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” In his usual sarcastic writing, he belittled the moon landing as a tiny step into our vast universe. The moon is only 250,000 miles from earth; and it takes 3 days to reach it with our most advanced rocket. But the closest planets Venus and Mars are several million miles from earth. It would take several months to reach those places. And the other planets would take several years to reach. To reach the nearest star Alpha Centuri, it would take over four years if we could travel at the speed of light. Apollo 10 reached a speed of 25,000 mph, which is about 416 miles per minute, which is about 6 miles per second. The distance from here to Alpha Centuri, the nearest star system, is 25 trillion miles. It would take close to 100 thousand years to reach Alpha Centuri at that speed. So unless there is some major breakthrough in space travel, we are limited to our nearest neighbors-- the moon, Mars, and Venus.


Armstrong told us that the Bible says God made man to rule over all the earth and have dominion over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air and the beasts on the land. God did not give man dominion over the moon and planets. The Apostle Paul tells us in three places in the Bible that God has put everything under our feet.

However, the Bible tells us that even though man rules the earth, that’s all we rule. We do not rule the universe:

But one in a certain place testified saying, “What is man that thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man that you visit him? You have made him a little lower than the angels. You crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that he put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see NOT YET all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man. For it became him for whom are all things and by whom are all things in bringing many sons into glory… (Hebrews 2:8-10) 


Armstrong use this scripture and other scriptures in the Bible to show us that we will become children of God and will inherit and rule the entire universe.


Another thing the Armstrongs said about the space program was that we are human are creatures of earth. When we go into space, we have to bring part of the earth with us. We need air, we need food, we need clothing and shelter. We have to take all that with us when we go into space.


Robert Zubrin would agree with Armstrong that supplying earthly needs to our astronauts is a big problem and can be very costly. His direct-to-Mars plan would have our astronauts use as much of what is available on Mars rather than transport it all from Earth. He proposes that the colonists we send to Mars grow their own food under huge domes.


Gravity


It’s been a while since I’ve read Robert Zubrin’s book--over 17 years ago. I need to read it again in order to accurately critique it. I also need to find out if his direct landing approach is still part of his plan. As I mentioned, I question that men can stay healthy in gravity that is only one-third that of Earth. When I was in the hospital after my first heart attack, I was connected with all kinds of tubes and wires so that getting out of bed was a real hassle. So I didn’t bother getting out of bed. I stayed in bed all day for several days. When I did get up out of bed, I was weak. I had to learn to walk on my feet all over again. This was the result of laying in bed all day for several days in Earth gravity. I seriously believe that if our astronauts were to travel to space to Mars for several months in one-third Earth gravity, they would tremendously suffer from such bone and muscle deterioration that their very lives would be in jeopardy.


Robert Zubrin said his direct landing to Mars is better than having a space station in orbit around Mars. He said that on Mars, there would be one-third gravity, whereas on the space station, there would be zero gravity. That would be true if the space station were something like the International Space Station that is in orbit around the earth. But if the space station were in the shape of a wheel spinning to give artificial gravity through centrifugal force, then it might be better than staying on Mars with its low gravity. The space station could be made strong enough so that it could spin fast enough to provide artificial gravity equal to Earth’s gravity. Such a space station would be insulated enough to provide complete protection from the sun’s harmful radiation.

It is my opinion that there is no less expensive or cheaper way to journey to Mars. Neither is there a faster way to colonize Mars other than the slow way. We need to be careful in exploring and colonizing Mars. We need to take baby steps, not giant steps. We need to be careful and make sure that colonizing Mars is safe when we do settle down on Mars with its low gravity. At the very least, those people who are sent to colonize Mars would have to do a lot of exercising to make sure their muscles don’t deteriorate. They would have to bring barbells or gym equipment in which they can lift what would be equal to 300 pounds on Earth. Three hundred pounds on Earth would equal 100 pounds on Mars. Our colonists on Mars would have to regularly work out with 100 pounds to stay fit and healthy. If that is the case, I question if is safe for pregnant women, unborn children, newly-born children, and young children to live on Mars. 


Reasons For Going To Mars:

1) The Search For Life - Near the beginning of his book, Robert Zubrin says that one of the reasons we need to go to Mars is to search for life. Much of our space exploration is based on the search for life on other worlds. We are convinced that we are not alone in this vast universe. We can’t believe that in this vast universe, life happened only on this tiny Earth in this tiny part of the universe.

In the past, we imagined that Mars was more than just hospitable to life. It was not only home to people like us, it was the home of super aliens. Here are a few examples:

     a) One movie that came out was War Of The Worlds in which Martians in their indestructible space ships were zapping everyone and everything in their path with ray guns in their quest to take over the Earth. They were finally stopped only because the germs and bacteria in the air were fatal to them. This 1953 movies starring Gene Barry was based on a story was written by H.G. Wells in 1897.

     b) Another movie was made two years before that, The Day The Earth Stood Still, which tells about a spaceman who lands from another planet. He says he’s from 250 million miles away, which would be Mars at its farthest distance from Earth. His robot is able to vaporize gun, tanks, and people. His space ship withstand the heat of an acetylene torch and can neutralize electricity all over the world.

     c) I remember reading a book in the 7th or 8th grade at Holy Name about a Martian crashing on Earth. He was green, baldish, and mostly naked. The USA decided to take him back to Mars in one of our space ships. While Martian space ships can make the journey from Mars to Earth or from Earth to Mars in less than a day, it took Earth space ships months to make the trip. Along the way, there were collisions with meteors and other accidents that cost the lives of all the astronauts abroad the ship except our hero and the Martian they were bringing back to Mars. On Mars, our astronaut hero got into a fight with some of the natives. He whipped them all around like a bunch of pillows because as an Earth man, he had three times their strength. The author of the book never thought of muscle and bone deterioration after several months of weightlessness. The story ended when the Martian gave our astronaut hero a ride back to Earth in a Martian space ship and then flew back home.

     d) Another green Martian I remember is J’onn J’onzz (John Jones) The Martian Manhunter who was part of the Superman (DC Comics) family and a member of the Justice League of America. He was like Superman in that he was muscular, had super strength and could fly. Unlike Superman, he was bald and had green skin. He could change into his alter ego John Jones, an Earth man, in an instant. I could never understand how he got his great strength or his ability to fly especially since he came from a smaller planet with a weaker gravity. There was one panel in this one story I was reading in which I will never forget. To imitate thunder, rather than clap his hands, he would smash his fists together to made the thunder sound with the impact of his knuckles. Ouch!!! Even SUPER OUCH!!! You try doing that! I mean, don’t you try doing that! In another story, J’onn J’onzz went back to Mars to his hometown. The city was like a Krypton city that was super advanced with fancy skyscrapers of different forms and shapes.

     e) Another story about Mars was a movie I saw on TV. It was about a citadel on Mars that was stuck in time. When it’s time mode was corrected, it started to age rapidly and crumble into dust because it was thousands and thousands of years old. The narrator of the story kept repeating some kind of Martian truism which is a lie according to the Bible. He kept saying something like: “Life is meaningless without death.” Life in the God Family, according to the Bible, is precious beyond imagination. It is why God sent the Lord Jesus to die for our sins and to give us the gift of His Holy Spirit. Death is an enemy. The Apostle Paul says in I Corinthians 15:26, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

     f) In a story that was On Offbeat Cinama last Saturday night TV (June 10), Mars Needs Women, a few disappeared suddenly. Martians had come to earth in fly saucers and were instantly transporting women to their space ship. This is something like the Star Trek The Next Generation episode When The Bough Breaks in which children rather than women were instantly transported from the Enterprise to some mysterious planet. These alien abductions seem unnecessary to me because there should be someone on Earth who would be volunteer to go to another planet to help the alien race stay alive as long as they were safe. Anyway, if an aliens from space were to abduct Earth people--1) they would be demonstrating God-like powers to instantly transport someone from one place to another, and 2) God would be giving aliens from space dominion over Earth when He gave that to mankind.

     g) One of my favorite TV shows back in the ‘60s was My Favorite Martian. It was about a Martian who came to visit Earth in his small space ship and live with a young man named Tim (Bill Bixbie who played the alter ego of The Hulk on the weekly TV series). Tim called him Uncle Martin. Uncle Martin claimed to be of great age. He was a friend of Benjamin Franklin and Ulysses Grant in their days. He could raise a pair of antennas from his head and make himself invisible. He could also move objects through mid air just by pointing his finger. And he could read minds. At the beginning of each show, there would be a cartoon of Mars with Uncle Martin coming from Mars to Earth in his small space ship. The Planet Mars was made to look like a small globe with large dark patches which represented green vegetation. These patches of vegetation had lines extending to the north and south pole which were canals made by the Martians to bring water from the poles to the arid regions of the equator. That’s how we saw Mars back in 1963, back to the days of H.G. Wells, and a few years after 1963.

     h) Last night, (June 18, 2017, Sunday after midnight), I was watching an old Outer Limits story entitled, “The Invisible Enemy.” It started out in which two astronauts to Mars who were destroyed by some mysterious force. Then three years later, four more astronauts were sent to Mars to find out what killed them. Two of them died by the mysterious force. The other two astronauts (played by Adam West of the Batman TV series and Rudy Solari, a.k.a. Casino, of Garrison’s Gorillas TV series) found out that this mysterious force was an army of man-eating sharks that swam around in the Martian sands. The question I have is: What did the Martian man-eating sharks eat before the astronauts landed? None of the astronauts wore oxygen tanks. Near the end of the story, the two astronauts didn’t even bother to put on their helmets when they went out of their spaceship. There was enough air with oxygen on Mars to breath without the need for their helmets and oxygen tanks apparently.

The first flyby of Mars was July 14th and 15th in 1965 by Mariner 4. On November 14, 1971, Mariner 9 became the first space craft to go into orbit around Mars. The Mars Pathfinder landed on Mars in the summer of 1997. The prospects of finding life on Mars seemed very remote after we first received signals from our Mars orbiters and landers. Mars seems more moonlike than earthlike. One scientist said that there’s hardly enough water on Mars to wet a sponge.

There's no life on Mars. There's no Martians, no green Martians, no bald Martians, no mind-reading Martians, no super hero Martians, no levitating Martians, no invisible Martians, no man-eating shark like Martians. No green vegetation. No Martian canals. No super Martian cities. No flying saucers from Mars.

But is there primitive life on Mars? Perhaps there are microscopic forms of life like bacteria and germs. Maybe Mars doesn’t have any life, but maybe it once did.
Some scientists think Mars was once earthlike with a thicker atmosphere, a warmer climate, and much more water. They think Mars may have life even though it doesn’t now.

The reason for looking for microorganisms on Mars, and the only reason for looking for microorganism on Mars, is because the so-called theory of evolution tells us that all life began as one cell organisms. However, creationists like AnswersInGenesis and Creation.org tell us that is God who created life. It is even a scientific law that life can only come from life. There are only two ways there could be life on Mars: 1) God created it, and 2) it came from Earth. (t.b.c.) 



WAS OBAMA BORN IN HAWAII?

Mary 11, 2016 Wednesday. On his O’Reilly Factor show last night, Mr. O’Reilly assured us with a smile on his face that it has been proven that Barak Obama was born in Hawaii. Was he really? Or was he born in Kenya, and thus, was he ineligible to run for president and is ineligible to be president of the USA? We need to look into this even though there’s only eight more months remaining in his presidency. To be more specific--we need to see why Bill O’Reilly accepts as fact that Barak Obama was born in Hawaii.


Bill O'Reilly: I Investigated Obama's Birth In Hawaii; Found Factual Evidence
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErE9cor4pAg
The video starts off with Obama saying, “The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide.”

In this video, starting in time frame (:35), Bill O’Reilly says that the burden of proof lies on the shoulders of those who do not believe Obama was born in Hawaii, He also says, “By the way, the Factor investigated the president’s birth in Honolulu, and found factual evidence that he was born there.”

Bill O'Reilly: Doesn't Matter If People Think Obama Birth Certificate Fake
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGLRwGmK0aY
In this video, Bill O’Reilly is saying Obama’s birth certificate is real, and that’s all there is to it. Anyone who says it’s not is like a person writing graffiti on the wall--he‘s just lying.


The two pieces of evidence Bill O’Reilly says are proof that Obama was born in Hawaii are his birth certificate which the State of Hawaii says are on file and also the Honolulu newspaper announcement of his birth. So, in order to change Bill O'Reilly’s mind about Obama being born in Hawaii, we need to prove that his birth certificate in Hawaii is wrong and that the Honolulu newspapers were wrong about him being born in a Honolulu hospital. So that's what we're going to try to do.


This web site http://www.mrconservative.com/2013/07/21971-10-facts-that-suggest-obamas-birth-certificate-is-fake/  is titled: 10 Facts That Suggest Obama’s Birth Certificate Is Fake.

According to the first reason to believe Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud is that it was scanned nine times instead of just once. It was as though new information was added for each scan until after nine layers of scans, Obama finally had a complete electronically produced State of Hawaii birth certificate. The only other “facts” of the other 10 Facts we are concerned about at this moment is Fact #7 and Fact #10 which have to do with the investigation and verification by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona and the Alabama Supreme Court. They both say that the birth certificate, both the short-form and the long form, are forgeries or “likely” forgeries.


Bill O’Reilly said that Barak Obama’s birth certificate is on file in Honolulu in the state office building. He said they told him they do have it on file. So we go to the state office building in Hawaii, and we ask them if they have Barak Obama’s birth certificate on file.


Proving or disproving Obama was born in Hawaii is very difficult. There’s a pro for every con. One guy says Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud because there’s nine layers of scanning. Another guy says this is not unusual for a scanner to see nine layers. The one point I thought was the strongest case for Obama’s birth certificate being a fraud is that he paid one or two million dollars to lawyers not to show his birth certificate. Even Donald Trump brought up this fact. But one guy says this only looks like what happened. In reality, there was money Obama paid out to a lawyer for some other unrelated reason.


One of the best evidence against Obama being born in Hawaii, or at least, that his personal information is faulty, is his social security card. His social security number is a number that is used by residents of Connecticut. Obama never lived in Connecticut. Obama tries to explain this by saying his social security number was mailed from Connecticut.


In a web site (http://theobamafile.com/_exhibits/DraftNewResearch.htm) that is not too helpful in proving Obama’s selective service card a fraud, the author explained how hard it is to get background information on Obama. He said in his second paragraph with one sentence, “Never before has a sitting American president taken so many pains to hide so much of his background and actually hire attorneys to race around the country fighting anyone and everyone attempting to access records having to do with his life.” What can we say about such a president? Let Obama himself tell us again: “The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide.”



THE NATIONAL DEBT


March 4, 2016 Friday. This should be the number one issue in America today. It is obscene that we, the richest nation in the world, have the biggest debt in the history of the world. Supposedly it is now $18 trillion. Nobody knows how really big the national debt is. It could be close to $27 trillion. The $18 trillion is far greater than all the money in the world. This is a debt that we may never pay back. Our children will be paying it. Our grandchildren will be paying it. Our great grandchildren will be paying it. Because of this enormous debt, the dollar may soon collapse. This all ties in with our unfavorable balance of trade. American companies are either forced out of business or forced to relocate to Communist Red China. Hundreds, thousands, and millions of working Americans lose their jobs. This means lost taxes from lost companies and businesses and lost taxes from Americans who no longer have jobs. We, therefore, are in a vicious cycle of having to borrow more and more money from Communist Red China, Japan, Russia, and OPEC to support a growing population of unemployed Americans who lost their jobs to Communist Red China, Japan, and Mexico. God help us to get out of this mess.



GUN CONTROL

October 5, 2015 Monday. In the aftermath of every gun massacre comes the call for more gun control from the left. Is gun control the answer to all this insane violence? The ultimate answer is yes. In a perfect world, who needs guns? Isn’t that was what the Bible tells us? “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation neither shall they learn war any more." (Isaiah 2:4) But this world is far from perfect. We live in an evil world.

What if guns were outlawed like in Australia? Would violent crime disappear? According this video, armed robberies increased by 69%; assaults with guns increased by 28%; gun murders increased by 19%; and home invasions increased by 21%.


















Even if crime had gone down, it still seems unwise to have disarmed the general population. Smugglers from other countries could arm Australia's enemies and take it into captivity. This is why Hitler did not invade Switzerland during World War II. The civilian population of Switzerland was (and still is) well armed, and subduing that nation would have been no easy task.



RACISM


When I was in the Armstrong religion, we were taught that racism started way back with Adam, Cain and Abel. Adam was created out of clay. His name "Adam" means "red mud."  Therefore, his skin was red, like an American Indian. Adam possessed in his genes the whole gamut of skin color from white to black. He was right in the middle.  Cain was on the far end. He was black. Adam's second son Abel was red like his father. The Bible says Cain was evil. What Armstrong said is that Adam favored Abel over Cain because Abel was the same skin color. So because God favored Abel, and because Adam favored Abel, Cain killed  Abel.


But that wasn't the end of the red race. In Genesis 4:25, Eve bore Adam another son in the place of Abel who was named Seth.  Seth had children and grandchildren and great grandchildren until Noah was born. Noah was a descendant of Seth, and Noah was a red man according to Armstrong. Noah had three sons who married women of the three different races. Ham married a black woman. Japheth married a red / yellow woman. And Shem married a white woman. So after the Flood, the three women had children of their race; and so thus the three races were preserved after the Flood, according to Armstrong.


And according to Armstrong, Cain's sons (the black people) were dominant over the earth before the Flood. After the Flood, the black race continue to dominant over the earth up until the time of Nimrod. But because Noah cursed Canaan and blessed Shem and Japheth, the white and the yellow races started to dominant over the earth. God blessed Abraham and promised to make his descendants a great nation. According to Armstrong, God made great the Arabs (Ishmael), the Turks (Edom or Esau), the Western Europeans (the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel) and especially Great Britain (Joseph / Ephraim) and the United State (Joseph / Manasseh). So if you were in Armstrong's church (the Worldwide Church of God), and if you knew your ancestors came from England, then you knew that you were special. That's because Jacob blessed Joseph's sons and put his name Israel on them. Ephraim and Manasseh are the true Israel, which I think would make us pretty damn proud of ourselves. The Armstrongs claimed to be descendants of those who came off the Mayflower. Garner Ted Armstrong claimed to be a descendant of King David.


The Armstrongs were not racists, but they said the mixing of the races (racial integration) was not good. They said the races were 72 nations mentioned in Genesis 10. Each of us belongs with our own nation within our own borders which God has determined. And that's what Jesus will do after his Second Coming. He will put everyone back to where they belong as far as he is able in his infinite wisdom.


Answers In Genesis has a different understanding of what we are. We are all one race--the human race. Noah's children who came off the Ark all looked the same, which was light brown, tan or red. Those who migrated south became darker, while those who migrated north became whiter. Creationists believe in evolution, but only micro evolution, which is the slow but slight change that takes place within a species due to LOSS of information in the DNA rather than an increase in information in the DNA. So a white person with blue eyes and blond hair has LESS information in his DNA, LESS pigment in his hair, and LESS color in his eyes than a black person.


There are two other examples of racism in the Bible. One is where Moses' sister Miriam spoke out against his wife in Number 12:1 because she was an Ethiopian (black) woman. The Lord struck her with leprosy for a week. The other example of racism is in which the Apostle Paul rebuked the Apostle Peter when Peter did not want to be seen associating with Gentile Christians when there were Jewish Christians around. (Galatians 2:11-16) God will judge us by what we do and say, not what we look like.



THE CONFEDERATE FLAG


The Confederate flag stirs up a lot of mixed emotions. When I was in grade school, I was surprised that states like Florida, Louisiana, and the others left the United States. How terrible! So, Number One, the Confederate Flag is an anti-USA flag. On a history test, there was a question about what the cause of the Civil War was. My answer was slavery. But that was the wrong answer. The right answer is- to preserve the union. I thought that was crazy. The North fought the South because they didn’t want the South to leave the country? That’s like a husband beating up his wife (who is a black belt karate expert and knows judo) to save their marriage. Later on, I’ve read that it was the Midwesterners who did not want the South to secede from the Union. The North really didn’t care. The Midwesterners did not want to be isolated. They already had Canada to the north. Then they would have the Confederacy to the south. Who knows what the North would do and if the West would stay in the union.

Another thing I’ve read was that George Washington deliberately chose to put the nation’s capital in the South so that the North would have to fight for their capital. And they did. They took over Maryland, Delaware, and part of Virginia at the southern end of the Delmarva Peninsula.

When I was in Richmond, Virginia back in 1986, I got a job as a typist. I asked one of my co-workers what he thought of the Civil War. He said it was a different world back then. He was quick to point out that Massachusetts was the first state to consider seceding from the union during the War of 1812. He didn’t have nice words about the Carolinians, and he didn’t have nice words about Abraham Lincoln.

It’s been said that the Southerners were merely fighting for their homes. They were being invaded, and so they rose up to fight off the invaders. When Union officers questioned Confederate prisoners why they were fighting, the Confederates would reply, “Because you’re here.“

But the Confederate flag has 13 stars. There were only 11 states in the Confederacy. Why are there 13 stars on the Confederate flag? The answer is: Kentucky and Missouri had representatives in the Confederate capital.

I’ve also read or saw on TV that some of the Confederate troops from Texas marched into Arizona to claim that state for the Confederacy. Since New Mexico is between Texas and Arizona, most likely New Mexico would have been part of the Confederacy. Plus, it’s not likely there would be a West Virginia if the Confederacy had won the war. No doubt, the Confederacy would have had their own Manifest Destiny--from sea (Atlantic Ocean) to shining sea (Pacific Ocean). They probably would have wanted southern California. Not only that, I’ve read that if there were a Confederate States of America, they would have taken Cuba.

Which brings a question to my mind: If there were more than 13 Confederate states, how would they put all those stars on their flag? I guess the answer would be the same as it is for the USA flag. They would make the stars smaller and smaller so that they all fit in the little blue spaces.

My friend Michael Kowalski and I use to play a Civil War game called 1863. The board was a map of eastern United States and Confederate States east of the Mississippi River. I would always have the Confederate forces while Michael Kowalski would always have the Union forces. The game consisted of infantry pieces, cavalry pieces, and gunboats, along with small Union and Confederate flags to mark the cities we conquered. The two outstanding things I remember about playing that game was that he would always win, and, I loved the Confederate flag while I hated the US flag.

I remember when I was a boy and was watching a Civil War battle on TV with my friend. My friend asked his father which side was the good guys and which were the bad guys. His father replied, “They’re both good guys.” Yes, they were both good guys. The good guys were shooting at the good guys. And the good guys were shooting back at the good guys, bringing grief to each other.

One time I brought a Civil War book into the office. One guy said it was a stupid war. After reading three books on the Civil War--reading about the aftermath of a battle with bloated, stinky bodies lying dead all over the battlefield with both Union and Confederate soldiers crying over what they did--I could only agree that the Civil War was a stupid war.

I am deeply ashamed of how each side treated their prisoners. Conditions were horrible at Anderson prison in Georgia. Prisoners were crammed together. Many of them starved to death or died of some disease. In Elmira NY, prisoners were asked what they liked or disliked about the prison. The prisoners answered the questions hoping there would be an improvement. Instead, the prison commander did what he could to make conditions worse. This is in what was supposedly a Christian nation. Thankfully we have repented of this cruelty we have done to our own Christian brothers. And since that time we have treated our prisoners of war more humanely.

The burning of Atlanta was also disgusting. And the treatment of the South by the North in the so-called post war Reconstruction Era was likewise disgusting.

Abraham Lincoln is considered one of our greatest, if not the greatest presidents this country has ever had. It’s been said that both the North and the South were equal in strength. The big different was Abraham Lincoln. Whichever side had Abraham Lincoln, that side would win the war. He had the persistence to keep on fighting the war until it was won. He had wisdom to seek out the best commander for his army until he found Ulysses S. Grant rather than stay loyal to a few close friends like Jefferson Davis did.

Unfortunately, his wisdom did not prevent needless suffering, mainly with prisoners. Both sides at first agreed to exchange prisoners except the black prisoners. The South refused to let the black prisoners free. So Abraham Lincoln refused to let any of the Southern prisoners free. And the South refused to let any of the Northern prisoners free.

Abraham Lincoln’s heart went out to the black slaves. He was once on a river boat and saw the plight of black slaves on the deck of the river boat. But he was not so just when it came to compensation. The black soldiers in the Union army received lower pay than the white soldiers in the Union army simple because they were black.

The South fought the Civil War to preserve Southern culture. The election of Abraham Lincoln came about despite the fact that his name was not on the ballot of any of the Southern states. They thought they were losing control of their own destiny. But the Civil War brought an end to Southern culture as it was. The South was forced to industrialize to provide weapons and other war material for their military. They almost freed the slaves so that they could induct them into their army to fight off the North. They did lose their slaves, and thus, without slavery, the large plantations were unable to survive. They were broken up.

So now we know a little history about the American Civil War. So what’s the answer to the question about the Confederate flag being a racist flag? Well, Memorial Day started out as a holiday in the South to remember the fallen Confederate soldiers. Is Memorial Day a racist holiday?