Hamilton Institute » Politics http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com Smart Content for Smart People Fri, 13 Jun 2014 05:23:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 Death of American Culture http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/death-of-american-culture/ http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/death-of-american-culture/#comments Thu, 31 Oct 2013 10:34:31 +0000 udey http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/?p=24032


Death of American Culture:
American Culture – how corporates sold America and forgot to be American.

Big Brother – Big Boss.

India and China are such big markets that biggest of brands have to adjust to local culture and taste to make a sale.

And everyone wants a piece of the action from two biggest unexploited retail markets in the world – China and India together represent half the human population of the planet.

MTV which prided upon never changing wherever it goes changed colours in India after just two years in Indian Television market. Today MTV India is unrecognisable to any American MTV fan. It airs only crappy Bollywood song-dance and cheap teenage reality shows where innovative public insults are their USP.

The Big Brother show of Endemol was adapted in India as BIG BOSS. It makes news every year as a new low in Indian Television’s display of crassness and crudeness aired on satellite television worldwide.

The reason Big Brother is called Big Boss is also interesting. In Indian culture Big Brother is a term associated with benevolent, generous, helpful and supportive elder brother/s.

So the show is called BIG BOSS in Indian TV screens. As a Boss is the most universally despised person in East and West. LOLz.

Woody Allen refused to release his latest movie in Indian cinema halls. Because the hypocrite Government of India which earns billions of US Dollars from taxes and excise from cigarette sales has a statutory mandatory declaration before each movie – which features horrible graphic videos of cancer patients and worse.

Bravo Woody Allen!

But all are not so idealistic. Most American Studios including Disney, Warner Bros, Universal, Fox Studios, etc are more than willing to bend over backwards to adapt their “content” for India, Indian Government and Indian sensibilities.

The American way is apparently a fallacy. The American culture is disguised and distorted beyond recognition in India and China.

No wonder there is so little goodwill for USA despite its booming sales all over the world. The corporates sold the product/service but forgot to sell the AMERICANA CULTURE to these worldwide moneybag audiences.

http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/death-of-american-culture/feed/ 0
Hope http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/hope/ http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/hope/#comments Thu, 14 Apr 2011 18:41:15 +0000 admin http://hamiltoninstitute.com/?p=187 There always exists dynamism, hope, driving energy in the culture of India across its ages. Be it industrial revolution, political revolution, cultural evolution, societal revolution. Now its all blended into a perfect mix that rises hope for better India in the future. Voices against corruption, need for a change, political turbulence always existed and co-existed in the good and bad times of Indian history.

There is always an era in corruption. The revolution in the indian intellectual minds opens doors of wisdom and leaves atleast me with many other questions that keeps me pondering. We want a rule to stop corruption. Really a good initiative!! Does it put an end to corruption that we see in day to day life. Will it actually work??

Do we really follow the rules and abide by law all the time Keeping all these totally aside, lets take a look at what is already existing in our book of law and how much we respect it. Starting with simple things that truly tests our mind set,

- Have we ever jumped a signal on our way to office?

- Do we actually wear helmets/ seatbelts while driving?

- Have we ever bribed a local traffic police for not possessing licence?

- Do all actually fuel their tanks with petrol/ diesel ?? Then why do we have so much smoke coming out of our vehicles?

- How many times the road has been laid on your street and eventually vanishes the next monsoon?

- Do we actually bin all the waste in the dustbin?

So many questions?????… May be its the time of elections that we come up with so many representations on dissatisfaction to our political management. What we public are actually upto?? Do we need a quality life or quantitative/ materialistic life?? Law is not a solution until the very basic attitude of the people can’t be fixed. The rules and laws are a solution as long as we respect it. Do we actually need a change in the political administration or change in the attitude of the people. May be either one of them or both??. Leading , being and driving the change within ourselves can only be the solution nothing else can. The energy we posses shouldn’t fade away as times goes by. We are good starters and we proved it now. Are we good finishers?? The real India blossoms from the real YOU in YOU.

http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/hope/feed/ 0
Quran Burning: The National Media’s Role in Turning Local Events into International Controversies http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/quran-burning-the-national-medias-role-in-turning-local-events-into-international-controversies/ http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/quran-burning-the-national-medias-role-in-turning-local-events-into-international-controversies/#comments Sat, 11 Sep 2010 18:45:15 +0000 admin http://hamiltoninstitute.com/?p=189 Florida Pastor Terry Jones threatened to burn copies of the Quran to protest the opening of a mosque on 9/11 in close proximity to Ground Zero. This has created an international reaction, in addition, it has caused a security issue among our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. But did it have to happen? And more importantly, was Pastor Jones the only responsible party?

Pastor Jones’s Quran burning on the ninth anniversary of 9/11 was a local story that was tied to a national controversy. The location and timing of the Mosque is an issue that many Americans are against. Let us first explore both sides of that issue for clarity, as the media has not provided a comprehensive picture of it.

The owners of the mosque have the Constitutional right to build a mosque anywhere any other religious building can be built, which is anywhere. The idea of putting the mosque so close to Ground Zero, and the decision to open it on the anniversary of 9/11, was not to inflame Americans, but to show that the majority of Muslims in America are moderates, and not the radical extremist jihadists who attacked America on 9/11. It was an attempt at a reconciliation of sorts, a way to battle stereotypes and misperceptions. After all, if Americans are okay with a mosque being built so close to Ground Zero, opening on the anniversary of 9/11, then surely we do not blame Islam for the attacks.

Or do we? The vast majority of New Yorkers who aren’t Muslims see this as an encroachment upon “holy ground” by the religion that attacked us. Most don’t question the Constitutional right, but the location and timing. So clearly the bulk of polled public opinion may infer that, subconsciously at least, Americans see Islam as an extremist religion, ignoring the fact that Christianity has its very own extremism.

One shining (or should I say burning?) example of Christian extremism is Pastor Jones’s burning of the Quran on the anniversary of 9/11. This was a local story, most likely first covered by a local news station affiliated with a major network. Now there’s a concept of “newsworthiness.” To that community, it was newsworthy. But there also a concept of the “24 hour news cycle”, “infotainment” and “corporate media.” These concepts determine that a story that can raise a reaction in the viewers are worth airing nationally, regardless of their national newsworthiness or their potential impact to inflame or polarize the American public, or the world. This Quran burning was a local incident. Once the national media picked it up, smelling a good, controversial “infotainment” story, it picked it up and ran with it. It also gave all kinds of other Christian extremists ideas to do the same thing, and forced the military to plead with a small local Pastor to stop.

The media, in reporting the news, was really making the news here. There was once a time when the news media could refuse to report on something it didn’t find “newsworthy.” A Governors press conference didn’t always make the papers if the Governor didn’t say anything newsworthy. That’s all different now. Sure, they still refuse to cover candidates for office that they don’t feel have a chance at winning, but if that candidate did something sensational, or controversial, they’d get covered. The mainstream corporately-owned news media has the same demands on it that a sitcom has on it. The news has to be interesting, or sensational or controversial, lest the viewer gets bored and changes the channel. If that happens enough, ad revenues go down, and the corporation loses money.

Pastor Jones should never have made it to the national media, and if he had, it should have been one blurb along the bottom ticker, not fodder for endless coverage and commentary.

As they say in the business; “It’s a slow news day…”

The media’s power to report the news, and the national media’s ability to create the news, cannot be understated. The failure of the news media to ask tough questions and do investigative journalism in the run-up to the Iraq War is the number one contributing factor as to why the public went along with the war in the first place. The news media’s inaccurate reporting of the situation in New Orleans after Katrina, as well as their swift dropping of the follow-up coverage afterwards, is still being unraveled in that city. They mention factories going overseas, but leave out trade-globalization treaties such as NAFTA, CAFTA and the policies of the World Trade Organization that made it much cheaper for large corporations to do so. The media is so unbalanced in their reporting of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that there is more sympathy for the Palestinian people in Israeli newspapers than in American newspapers.

To sum up, Americans need to be their own journalists. Most people have access to the internet, and, while there are many biased news sources on the internet and many stories on the internet are culled from mainstream sources, by using sources with multiple and conflicting biases to read the same story, you should have a better sense of the true story. I will leave you with one source for international news, as unbiased as I could find:

Free Speech Radio News: http://www.fsrn.org

http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/quran-burning-the-national-medias-role-in-turning-local-events-into-international-controversies/feed/ 0
Polemarchus’ Concession http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/polemarchus-concession/ http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/polemarchus-concession/#comments Sat, 07 Aug 2010 17:25:23 +0000 admin http://hamiltoninstitute.com/?p=235 In Book 1 of Plato’s Republic, Socrates’ refinement of Cephalus’ definition of justice is “speaking the truth and paying your debts”, which Socrates suggests to be wrong (331 d).  This however is objected by Polemarchus, claiming that, according to the poet Simonides, his father’s characterization is fitting; at this point, being the superficial man Plato portrays, Cephalus leaves the conversation (331 d).  Thus being the heir to Cephalus’ argument (and wealth), Polemarchus is bid by Socrates to elaborate upon his claim, offering a counterexample (331 e).  Socrates asks if justice is repayment of one’s debt, then such a definition should hold in all cases; however, Socrates enquires if a person were to ask a friend to keep a weapon, should the friend return the weapon even if the friend asks for it “when he is not in his right senses” (331 e – 332a).

Polemarchus replies this is not the case, instead refining his meaning to be “a friend ought always to do good to a friend, and never evil” (332 a).  Socrates then asks what of enemies, in which Polemarchus replies they are also to receive what is owed; instead of good, enemies deserve evil (332 b).  Thus Socrates refines Cephalus’ and Polemarchus’ definitions, equating “debt” with “giving to each man what is proper to him” (332 c).  Socrates then asks “what due and proper thing is given by medicine” and cookery, in which Polemarchus replies “drugs and meat and drink” and “[s]easoning of food” respectively (332 c-d).  Further, Socrates asks who is able to do good and evil in times of sickness, and who is likewise able during a sea voyage; Polemarchus replies a physician and ship pilot (332 d-e).  Socrates continues to offer various examples in which some form of specialized knowledge is required or at least desired, e.g. ship buying, horse selling, husbandry, etc., and Polemarchus concedes that those with authority in each matter are best suited (333 a – 334 a).  Thus by analogy, Socrates suggests justice to concur with some sort of specialized knowledge or authority, which in turn, Polemarchus also concedes.  But if justice is to be characterized in this manner, Polemarchus’ claim that it is “giving to each man what is proper” is rendered trivial in that no form of authority exists within this definition; it seems as if an individual can judge what is proper for another at a whim (332 b-c).  I agree with this particular point in Socrates’ argument; if justice is to be found in catering to friends and renouncing enemies, better yet if it is the business of giving good people good and bad people bad , it doesn’t seem as if “justice is not good for much” (333 e).  However, Socrates’ wants to claim that justice is found in some specialized skill set, which is rather contrary to both Polemarchus’ and contemporary notions of justice.  Here I disagree with Socrates in that justice, at least in simplistic cases, requires no specialized knowledge or authority.  Below I will elaborate upon both my contention with Polemarchus’ and Socrates’ definition of justice. I will conclude that Socrates is correct in claiming that Polemarchus’ characterization leaves justice trivial; however I will suggest that Socrates’ claim that justice requires specialized knowledge potentially allows for grave injustice.

Considering Socrates’ formulation of Polemarchus’ claim, “giving each man what is proper”, at first seems in accordance with justice (332 c).  After all, good people seem to deserve to have good bestowed upon them, and likewise bad people seem to deserve bad.  But an objecting question which I believe Socrates may be willing to accept, may be: How are we to tell good from bad people?  This isn’t explicit in Polemarchus and Socrates’ dialogue, however it seemingly can be placed in their discussion of doing “good to the just and harm to the unjust” which is opposed to Polemarchus’ original claim that justice is found in doing good to friends and evil to enemies (334 d-e; 332 a-b).  Here Socrates claims that it is possible to be “ignorant of human nature”, more specifically of a friends’ nature, and yet according to Polemarchus’ claims, albeit the friend is unjust thus deserving evil, simply because of the friendship the friend receives good (334 e; 332 a).  Aside from this speculation, it seems that the point here is primarily concerned with the likely partiality found in friendships, where justice is typically thought blind (to borrow a cheesy cliché).  So cases involving friends or enemies seemingly must be dismissed due to possible partiality.  Now, back to the above speculation; if this ignorance is granted in situations friendship, it is seems soundly deducible that such ignorance befalls strangers as well.  Such being the likely case, it is rather impossible to judge a person’s character if they are not known by the judge.  For example consider that a lady sitting across from me on a train just committed x action and x is unjust[1], but I have no way of knowing that she has committed x so am polite and courteous to her by given up my seat.  Although x was committed, ignoring the insignificant “good” bestowed, good was given to her when this lady deserved to stand, or much worse.  Such also works in reverse where I bestow bad upon a person when they deserve good[2].  So it seems impossible to judge whether a person deserves good or bad when considering complete strangers.  This impossibility seemingly renders justice trivial in that good may be given to bad people and vice versa.  However this seems to be a weak claim against Polemarchus’ definition; it is weak in that that it is laden with my indifference to the lady and what she deserves at best, but moreover it is clear that I am completely uninformed.    Stronger cases may be made if I witness the particular action or at least hear an account from a reliable witness.  Even these cases may falter in instances when information is lacking; imagine I see the lady commit action y which is good.  Witnessing y I am compelled to leave my seat, being the least I can do, since I consider her to be a good person, but little do I know that days before committing y she committed x and is undeserving of my seat.  My ignorance still hinders Polemarchus’ account of justice seemingly as much as my indifference; so let’s consider a case in which I am fully informed about the lady’s actions.  Also, to put aside any notions of possible infinite regress, consider I am now well educated in all of the lady’s actions either by observation or by reliable, well informed witnesses along with complete impartiality, i.e. I am something like an ideal observer, however this is not quite the case due to my finite, non-future-telling, etc. nature.  In this case, although I witness the lady’s good action y and assume it deserves reward, I also know of her past action x and all of her other past actions a through w, good and bad.  With such information it now seems possible to judge whether the lady justly deserves my seat.  It seems only such a case can render Polemarchus’ conception of justice actual or at least useful.  But this case seems utterly non-existent in that this pseudo-ideal observer account is unlikely to exist in the world.  It would take the mindset of a stalker to be so informed that an adequate judgment may be made not only about this lady but anyone else.  Thus I suggest, as a product of reality, I am not capable of effectively giving what is proper in this and like circumstances.  Therefore Polemarchus’ account of justice still seems trivial.

Above I have treated myself as if I have some specialized skill or authority to discern what actions are just and unjust; this seems reasonable in that for a judgment to be made by an individual, the individual should know their personal stance.  So it may seems as if not disagree as strongly with Socrates’ claims as originally stated.  However, in the above, I do not discount the lady’s equal ability to make judgments as well, which doesn’t seem to be Socrates’ aim.  Using Socrates’ analogy, if I were to go to a physician for some ailment, her opinion rather than mine actually counts.  The doctor has the specialized skill required to diagnose, I do not; since I am lacking in such authority, it doesn’t make too much sense to suggest both of us have equally sound diagnoses (excuse cases in which the doctor is wrong and patient right).  This also seems correct with other professions with respective professionals; there isn’t equal say between professionals and non-professionals.  Socrates’ argument rests in justice seemingly being the profession with a professional having authoritative say over non-professionals.  But even if this is granted, I feel that such is open to possible abuse, which may also render justice trivial.

This concern is addressed by Socrates, however for a different reason, when he asks Polemarchus “who is best able to do good to his friends and evil to his enemies in time of sickness?”, in which he replies a physician (332 d).  This is designed to show that Polemarchus’ definition of justice allows for injustice, but I am skeptical that this is anything more than a diversion away from his claim.  This aside, I think Socrates’ establishes a rather strong example against his argument from authoritative justice.  Extracting from Socrates’ question, those with specialized skill in some field seemingly not only have knowledge of their skill, but also of the negation of their skill.  Using the physician, she is capable of diagnosing and also misdiagnosing.  Suppose her diagnostic power is used for evil in that she recognizes a potential scheme to make extra money on various patients she treats.  She may diagnose exactly what one unlucky patient has, but not relay the true illness to them; withholding this information she is able to prescribe just the right medicine to keep the patient alive and coming back, assuring him that his ailment requires more time to be eradicated.  Such a case seems only likely in instances involving specialized knowledge, in which the one without such knowledge knows nothing and thus has no definitive say in the matter.  Transposing medicine for justice, it seems that it too may also fall to similar worries.  With justice having someone with authority over what is to be just, such power may ultimately be abused for the gain of the one or ones with this skill-set.  This comparison may be a bit rash or even slippery, but I am not suggesting that with Socrates’ treatment of justice this will happen.  Much weaker, I am advocating that if justice is considered to be founded upon specialized knowledge, it seems easily possible for those with this knowledge to use it to their advantage rather than to the advantage of the whole.
[1] For the sake of this argument let us grant that x is an unjust action.

[2] Imagine any case you like.

http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/polemarchus-concession/feed/ 0
SSGT. Clyde Alva Taylor, WWII Hero http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/ssgt-clyde-alva-taylor-wwii-hero/ http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/ssgt-clyde-alva-taylor-wwii-hero/#comments Sat, 12 Jun 2010 18:57:10 +0000 admin http://hamiltoninstitute.com/?p=195 Clyde A. Taylor, the youngest of the Taylor boys, was drafted into the Army for battle in World War II where he became a war hero for the United States of America. His brother, Floyd Taylor served in the Army Air Corps. Like their little brother Clyde, Levi, Milburn, and Bill Taylor all served in the Army’s infantry. Raymond was unfortunately placed with the United States Marine Corps. Raymond never recovered from his experience. The oldest brother, Charlie Taylor, was too old to serve in the military and was therefore not eligible to be drafted. Charlie remained in Vinita to help the boys’ father and step mother, Marion and Minnie Taylor, on the family farm. Two step brothers, Lloyd and Pete Snyder, also served in the Army’s infantry.

Clyde earned the bronze star while in battle. Clyde stormed Utah Beach the day after D-Day. He, like most of the other soldiers, arrived by boat. He remained unharmed during this outing.

Sgt. Clyde A. Taylor was severely wounded 3 times. He was wounded on June 13, 1944, in France. SSgt. Clyde A. Taylor was again wounded on November 29, 1944, and on December 12, 1944, in Germany.Sgt. Clyde A. Taylor was severely wounded 3 times. He was wounded on June 13, 1944, in France. SSgt. Clyde A. Taylor was again wounded on November 29, 1944, and on December 12, 1944, in Germany.

Later in life, Clyde married Myrtle Holt Tune on March 2, 1946, in Columbus, Kansas. They raised two children, Bobby Gene and Winnie Sue Taylor Tritthart in Commerce, Oklahoma. Bobby Gene gave Clyde one grandson, Scott Alva Taylor. Sue and her husband of 43 years gave Clyde two granddaughters Carrie Rae Tritthart Satterwhite and Rev. Cassie Sue Tritthart, M.A.

Clyde worked mostly at Eagle Picher Industries in Quapaw, Oklahoma. He was a chemist and foreman over one of the labs used to analyze specimens taken from the mines in the area. He did this job with only completing the eighth grade and a year of business school.

December 22, 1919-December 10, 2000

Before Deployment to the European Theatre

Clyde A. Taylor, the youngest of the Taylor boys, was drafted into the Army for battle in World War II. At this time, his brother Floyd Taylor and he were working on a farm in Elbert, Colorado, for proprietor Charlie Smith. Not known to the family until his later years in life, Clyde was engaged to Mr. Smith’s daughter. Clyde and Miss Smith met on a farm owned by her uncle neighboring the Taylor farm near Vinita, Oklahoma. In order to be near Miss Smith, Clyde and Floyd took employment with Charlie Smith in Elbert, Colorado, where Miss Smith resided with her parents.

Both brothers were drafted while working in Colorado and had to report to the draft board in Vinita, Oklahoma, located in Craig County. Clyde entered active service on March 28, 1942.

At the intake center, one man snapped him in the back with a wet towel. Clyde turned around and punched him. He then had his bluff in on the other men, and no one else every bothered him again.

Clyde spent the first 4 months as a private learning basic infantry training in California and Arizona. He spent another 6 months as a private first class learning to be a heavy machine gunner, also in California and Arizona. He recalled being transported by train from California all the way to Boston, Massachusetts. Eventually, he was assigned to the 359th Infantry, 90th Division, and was deployed to the European Theatre from Fort Dix, New Jersey.

While traveling, the ship, named the Susan B. Anthony, struck something in the water causing a huge hole in the hull. Luckily, two other ships were passing by and picked up all the passengers. The ship Clyde was on sunk in less than an hour. While they lost all of their weapons that were to be used on D-Day, no one suffered any harm. If not for the other ships passing by, Clyde and all of his fellow passengers would have perished.

Earning the Bronze Star

Clyde earned the bronze star while in battle. His unit had taken a position atop of a hill per orders. Unfortunately, this played into enemy hands. The enemy was waiting on them and surrounded the hill. Most of the unit was killed. Clyde was the highest ranking soldier still alive. He took charge of the unit and led them in defeating the enemy. This allowed the few remaining U.S. soldiers to escape either slightly injured or completely unharmed. Because of his heroism and leadership under unimaginable odds, Sgt. Clyde A. Taylor was awarded the bronze star.

One Happy Moment on Leave

While in France, Clyde was granted forty-eight hour leave on December 7, 1944, in Paris. Clyde traveled through the city in uniform to see some of the sites. At one stop, a young French boy approached him. The boy was very excited and was exclaiming something over and over again. It took Clyde a minute to figure out what the boy was saying. The boy was shouting American with a heavy French accent. He was thanking Clyde for saving his family. Clyde never forgot the boy’s gratitude.

D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge

Clyde stormed Utah Beach the day after D-Day. He, like most of the other soldiers, arrived by boat. He remained unharmed during this outing. During the offensive, he was able to fight alongside his older brother Milburn. Milburn and he also participated in the Battle of the Bulge, but neither of them talked much about this experience.

A Purple Heart with Two Oak Leaves

A Purple Heart with Two Oak LeavesSgt. Clyde A. Taylor was severely wounded 3 times. He was wounded on June 13, 1944, in France. SSgt. Clyde A. Taylor was again wounded on November 29, 1944, and on December 12, 1944, in Germany. The metal shrapnel was never removed from his body and remained under his left eye and in his right thigh. His treatment of one of the wounds was administered at a Dutch M.A.S.H. type unit. He recalled his nurse wearing wooden shoes. She was very comforting and treated him well during his stay; therefore, he always had a special place in his heart for the people of Holland.

Other Medals

Sgt. Clyde A. Taylor was severely wounded 3 times. He was wounded on June 13, 1944, in France. SSgt. Clyde A. Taylor was again wounded on November 29, 1944, and on December 12, 1944, in Germany.

Back at Home

Clyde returned to the United States and spent the remainder of his time in the army at the Brooke Convalescent Hospital at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. While there, he took a typing class and played basketball to relax. He spent 2 years and 2 months in combat. His final rank was Staff Sergeant, Heavy Machine Gun Non-Commissioned Officer. He served with the 359th Infantry, 90th Division in England, France, Germany, Luxemburg, and Belgium. He was a platoon sergeant in charge of a heavy machine gun platoon. He led the platoon in combat against enemy troops and supervised the firing of machine gunners. He was a member of H Company. Milburn, his older brother, was a member of C Company.

The Taylor Boys

Floyd Taylor served in the Army Air Corps. Like their little brother Clyde, Levi, Milburn, and Bill Taylor all served in the Army’s infantry. Raymond was unfortunately placed with the United States Marine Corps. Raymond never recovered from his experience. The oldest brother, Charlie Taylor, was too old to serve in the military and was therefore not eligible to be drafted. Charlie remained in Vinita to help the boys’ father and step mother, Marion and Minnie Taylor, on the family farm. Two step brothers, Lloyd and Pete Snyder, also served in the Army’s infantry.

Taylor Family Information

Clyde Alva Taylor was the youngest surviving child of Marion and Clara Alice (Burke) Taylor. Clara Alice was first generation American. Her family had emigrated from Sweden and entered the United States through Staten Island, New York. When they entered the country their last name was changed to Burke from Bjornstadt. Originally, the family name was Erickson, but Clyde’s grandfather thought Bjornstadt would be easier to pronounce in America and hoped that the new family name would not be changed. Marion and Clara Alice had 10 children, three of which died at birth. The second infant to die at birth was a girl, who is buried with Clara Alice’s parents somewhere near Marshfield, Missouri. There were two boys that died at birth. The youngest child was a boy that died at birth. Clara Alice died during her last delivery, so she is buried with her son in the Bluejacket, Oklahoma, cemetery.

The remaining 7 children were all boys. They include, Charlie, Levi Alfred, Milburn O., Floyd, Raymond, Bill, and Clyde Alva. Clyde was a toddler when his mother died, so he never knew anything about her. Levi, Milburn, and Charlie never married. Charlie died at a young age of a heart ailment and was a farmer all his life. Levi owned and operated a barber shop just off Main Street in Vinita, Oklahoma, all his life. Milburn worked on building highways for the state of Kansas using a road grater and by installing the steel guards found along the highways. He resided in Dodge City, Kansas.

Floyd Taylor married Velma Young (who was a beautiful Navajo woman) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1952. He worked in the Oil Industry all of his life, which led him and his wife to reside in Jal, New Mexico. Velma worked in publishing at the local newspaper in Jal. Eventually, the couple adopted a son, Floyd Jr. that has always been known as Butch. They also adopted a daughter named Dawn. Both children were of Native American descent of a tribe other than Navajo. Floyd was very close to his granddaughter Crystal Thomas, who is Dawn’s only child. Their relationship resembled the close friendship shared by Clyde and his youngest granddaughter, Reverend Cassie Sue Tritthart.

Raymond married late in life. He is thought to have been in his 50’s. The Marine Corps had turned him into a drunk and gave him a wild streak that he never could reconcile with the calm, country way he was raised in. He owned and operated a shoe repair store on Main Street in Vinita, Oklahoma, just around the corner from Levi’s barber shop.

Bill married Molly and resided in Vinita, Oklahoma. When they married, Molly had a son named Sammy Lemon. Bill adopted Sammy as his own son and changed his last name to Taylor. Bill and Molly had 3 children of their own. The oldest was a son named Nathan, followed by a set of twins named Felicia and Louie.

Clyde married Myrtle Holt Tune on March 2, 1946, in Columbus, Kansas. They raised two children, Bobby Gene and Winnie Sue Taylor Tritthart in Commerce, Oklahoma. Bobby Gene gave Clyde one grandson, Scott Alva Taylor. Sue and her husband of 43 years gave Clyde two granddaughters Carrie Rae Tritthart Satterwhite and Rev. Cassie Sue Tritthart, M.A.

Clyde worked mostly at Eagle Picher Industries in Quapaw, Oklahoma. He was a chemist and foreman over one of the labs used to analyze specimens taken from the mines in the area. He did this job with only completing the eighth grade and a year of business school.

Growing up, he loved playing basketball. School was a great joy for Clyde to escape farm life. Because of his love of school, his teacher failed him in history (even though he had an A in the subject), so he could go to school an extra year.

Ford cars were always a favorite of Clyde’s. He loved Mercury Grand Marquis automobiles. He always drove a Ford product and argued with those, like his brother-in-law, who drove General Motors products.

Basketball was a great love of Clyde’s. He taught his youngest grandkid, Cassie, to play to game. He enjoyed playing horse, even when he was advanced in age. He also played croquet.

Just before retiring, Clyde and Myrtle moved to the outskirts of Miami, Oklahoma. A short time later, his son-in-law Billie Ray Tritthart and daughter Winnie Sue built a home next door. Winnie Sue became gravely ill after the birth of her daughter Cassie, so Clyde stepped in to care for the new granddaughter. So after retirement, Clyde cared for his infant granddaughter while Winnie Sue recovered. This created a bond between Clyde and Cassie. They became best friends. Clyde Alva Taylor died from Parkinson’s disease on December 10, 2000, at Integris Baptist Regional Health Center in Miami, Oklahoma. He was just a few days shy of his 81st birthday. At the time of his passing he had 2 great grandchildren, Trueman Ray Satterwhite and Logan Shae Taylor. After his death 2 more great grandchildren were born, Victoria Tyne Satterwhite and Keira Elayne Taylor.

Clyde Alva Taylor was an outstanding soldier, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and above all a great Christian man. He will never be forgotten.

http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/ssgt-clyde-alva-taylor-wwii-hero/feed/ 0
Military chaplins during the civil war http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/military-chaplins-during-the-civil-war/ http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/military-chaplins-during-the-civil-war/#comments Sat, 12 Jun 2010 18:51:07 +0000 admin http://hamiltoninstitute.com/?p=191 This paper discusses the role and duties of a military chaplain during the Civil War. MILITARY CHAPLAINS DURING THE CIVIL WAR
Cassie S. Tritthart
September 7, 2008
During the civil war, chaplains had undefined role when it came to their involvement within the military unit. Baptist minister Fredric Denison recalled his own duties while placed with a Union regiment as practical as well as spiritual. As Bergen describes Denison’s true chaplaincy role, “he…conducted worship services, prayed, preached and counseled his men, but he also cared for the sick and wounded.”[1] The duties performed not fitting into the chaplaincy role included, “buried the dead, guarded prisoners, delivered the mail, chronicled the activities of his regiment, functioned as its librarian and treasurer, taught freed slaves how to read and write, and even assisted officers as an aid-de-camp.”[2] The complaint of Denison was that chaplains had no recognized place within the military. During battles marches and battles, chaplains had no defined role as to what they should be doing.[3]
Chaplains were also overwhelming stretched thin during the early period of the civil war. Congress finally sanctioned an exact number one chaplain would oversee. While the chaplains were paid the amount of a captain in the cavalry, they were not allowed to wear uniforms with any insignia. They were also not afforded any formal military rank. [4] The uniforms provided for the military chaplains did not set them apart from civilian clergy.
Because of the separation of church and state, the chaplain’s exact duties had to remain vague. In some instances, chaplains were viewed as feminine, because they did not assume the usually roles of a soldier. While many embraced the religious movements of the time, the chaplains had to deal with those soldiers that had denounced the institutional church.
The Confederate army officials at first did not want to appoint clergy to military units. But because of the outcry from citizens, the military officials were forced to place clergy with military units. However, the chaplains had no official standing and no recognized authority within the military. They had no insignia designating them as part of the military unit. Their pay grade was the lowest on the scale of officers which was that of second lieutenant.[5] Since the confederate chaplains felt their role was not of importance, many quit the military campaign all together. This inadequacy was fulfilled by missionaries from the many southern movements of the time. The southern Baptist convention, the Methodist Episcopal church, and the Presbyterian church all sent missionaries to minister to the military regiments of the Confederacy.[6]
The problem with chaplains preaching to the men on the eve of battle was that death was imminent. The chaplain had to assure the troops that God would be watching over them. The chaplain prayed for protection but knew that it was part of war that men would be slain. It was hard to reconcile the spiritual with the temporal setting. While soldiers knew that death was a possibility it was the chaplain’s job to insure them that what they were fighting for was just and their deaths were for God’s purpose. It was hard to justify a war started by men and the deaths that were the outcome of this war with the spiritual teachings of the church. [7]
Works Cited
Bergen, Doris L. ed. 2004. The Sword of the Lord: Military Chaplains from the First to the Twenty-First Century. Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press.

[1] Doris L. Bergen, The Sword of the Lord: Military Chaplains from the First to the Twenty-First Century, (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 2004), 106.

[2]Bergen, The Sword of the Lord, 106.

[3]Bergen, The Sword of the Lord, 106-107.
[4] Bergen, 108.

[5]Bergen, Sword of the Lord, 108-110.

[6]Bergen, 110.
[7]Bergen, 116-117.

http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/military-chaplins-during-the-civil-war/feed/ 0
Political Ideology: Enemy of the State http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/political-ideology-enemy-of-the-state/ http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/political-ideology-enemy-of-the-state/#comments Sat, 03 Oct 2009 03:06:03 +0000 admin http://hamiltoninstitute.com/?p=199 There was once an ideal known simply as America. Long before America was arguably the most power nation in the world, and decades before American shores provided refuge to social, religious, and economic prisoners, America was a concept. Before Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci competed for the necessary funding to find and explore America, there was, in the minds of classical theorists, a concept of freedom, progression, and creation. While we can refer to history books and empirical documentation to quench our thirst for a true understanding of those times, our efforts would perhaps be better suited for understanding our own times.

While gaining perspective by understanding the past has long been a practice of rational thinkers, when being asked to seek solutions in the past for modern day issues, we, as a global community, are asking too much. In America, there are challenges that exist today where historical points of reference cannot be sought as a platform for solutions. On a domestic level, economic issues such as those which Americans currently face does not have a historical framing device. Following the widespread panic of 1907, the Federal Reserve was created through the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913. However, following the Great Depression, the American centralized banking system then again evolved into a far greater regulatory mechanism. That is, as our problems evolve, so do our systems for responding to these problems. This, on a baseline level, is the very backbone of solving problems in America. However, beyond the global and domestic economic woes, currently resides a deeper problem; bipartisanship in America currently ceases to exist.

In 1987, President Ronald Regan nominated Judge Robert Bork for the Supreme Court. Bork was an antitrust scholar, the forefather of orginalism, and possessed arguably the greatest understanding of the United States Constitution of any legal scholar in recent history. Today, Robert Bork is a best selling author, a professor, and remains a practicing attorney.

Like all nominees for the Supreme Court, Bork was subject to approval from the United States Senate. At the time, a gentleman named Lewis Powell, a moderate Supreme Court justice was set to retire, opening the door for Reagan’s nomination of Bork. Because Powell was known within the legislative and judicial communities as a “swing vote” in close decisions, the liberal agenda planned to adamantly reject whomever President Regan nominated for fear of losing ideological power. It was within an hour of the nomination, on July 1, 1987 that bipartisanship in America would begin to erode.

The late Edward “Ted” Kennedy, an often outspoken liberal Senator from Massachusetts whose success was predicated on his last name and saturated with controversy, changed the face of American politics. Prior to this day in 1987, there were Americans who voted for candidates based on issues, platforms, objectives, and policy. However, by the end of the day, because of one public display to the media, the letter next to a candidates name which acknowledged their political party affiliation would become more important than the candidate themselves. For all of the ill-fated, manipulating, controversial, and suspect decisions Senator Kennedy would make in his life, it would be this display which would have the greatest affect on American politics.

Before the senate, and amidst a sea of media personnel, Senator Kennedy made a speech which included the following statements:

“Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters……and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens.”

Kennedy’s speech about “Robert Bork’s America” stunned the Reagan administration and as a result was countered by conservatives as slander. Due to the volatility of Kennedy’s comments, as well as the sensitivity of the political times, liberals were given no choice but to support the statements made, and conservatives were irrevocably enraged. A highly contested debate surrounding the Bork nomination ensued in the senate, and the American media, as well as the American people, had a front row seat. It was no longer about Bork as a man, a judicial authority, or a scholar. It was also no longer about Kennedy, his speech, his failures, or his track record. For the first time in American politics an ideological political war was taking place for the nation to see, and it was not between two men, but rather two parties.

Since the Robert Bork Nomination, political ideology in America has been separated by a brick wall. With each year that passes, each election that comes and goes, and each challenge that stands before the American people, there is an additional layer added to the top of that brick wall. With each passing breath we get further and further away from a true democratic process, from any chance of a bipartisan system, and further and further away from the original concept or idea of an “America” from generations past. Today we have a system which emphasizes affiliation and group think, as opposed to individualism and autonomy. We have a system where a vote is decided by an (R) or a (D) as opposed to the candidates listed next to the letters. We have two parties, allegedly representing the same body of citizens, who are expected to contradict one and other. We have a two party system with two different destinations, two different paths to travel, and two very different political agendas. If you asked any American what political party they belong to they will likely offer you a response. However, if you ask them why they support that party, sadly, in many instances, that answer will elude them.

The word bipartisan refers to any action of a political body where both republicans and democrats are in agreement. Bipartisanship is elusive, transparent, and for all intensive purposes, at this point in history, nothing more than an abstraction. Americans face a world ripe with economic and sociological dilemma in a form we have never before seen. Thus, Americans must develop a solution that has never before been utilized. Sadly, I am certainly not in possession of such a solution. What I do know is this, history has a sense of humor, and irony is rich in the American infrastructure. Senator Kennedy said in 1987 that a “Robert Bork America” would segregate races at lunch counters. Well, apparently in an “Edward Kennedy America” those lunch counters are segregated by political ideals. There is no easy resolution to the American conundrum; however, if history has taught us anything, it is this. Innovation is risky, words are documented, and complacency is precarious. Reward however can come as the result of any of the three, and much like our two party system, neither can be ruled out.

http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/political-ideology-enemy-of-the-state/feed/ 0
The George Orwell personality cult http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/the-george-orwell-personality-cult/ http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/the-george-orwell-personality-cult/#comments Sat, 05 Sep 2009 03:11:37 +0000 admin http://hamiltoninstitute.com/?p=201 There are some words that must only be used delicately and infrequently, lest they lose their value. “Orwellian” is one such word. Whenever a Western government proposes a new policy that looks like the beginning of the road to totalitarianism, it is difficult to hear anything else. In Britain the Labour government’s proposals for ID cards are viewed with extreme suspicion (“they will know everything about us!”); in the US Obama’s policies on healthcare reform are met with much fearmongering and attendant fear; and in both cases Orwellian is the go-to word. But would Orwell be proud of this legacy?

George Orwell spent his life employing the political essay and novel in pitched battle against the forces of totalitarianism, in whatever form that might have taken, be it Stalin’s Communism or the British Empire. In 1984 he put forth a vision of totalitarianism so far beyond the realms of history and (perhaps) not so far beyond the realms of possibility that it stuck permanently to our collective imaginations. To us, the state of Oceania is the logical conclusion of totalitarianism, and a dystopia that as happily free citizens we must do our best to halt, and that dictators the world over do their best to install. Thus comes the word “Orwellian”, meaning any combination of the following: an all-seeing government that controls every aspect of our lives (even, as far as it can, our thoughts), a world in which everyone and everything exists for the state, a state which exists primarily to perpetuate itself, and a political class which frequently not only lies, but tells the exact opposite of the truth, with the populace having to believe it even to the point of absurdity.

The scariest and most pernicious of Orwell’s inventions was that of “doublethink”, which really is totalitarianism taken to its extreme. It is thus described in 1984:

The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies…

If the state cannot control the minds of its people directly, it can at least force them to control their own minds, through an endlessly repeating process of “correcting” their thoughts. Doublethink is perhaps the most important feature of an Orwellian world, because without the freedom to think as you will, the last chance of rebellion is eradicated.

These are powerful ideas, which people would rather kill in infancy than suffer in perpetuity. However, a mild personality cult seems to have formed itself, centred on the prophetic figure of Orwell. Eric Blair, as he is otherwise known, is watching over his followers like Big Brother, imploring them to see Orwellianisms everywhere, even in places where they are far removed. Doublethink, or at least its milder strain, lazythink, can replicate itself in unsuspecting carriers much like the H1N1 virus—even though the society is officially vaccinated against totalitarianism. The seriousness of lazythink should not be underestimated: though it seems quite innocuous, it can lead to active involvement in unspeakable evil. How many of those who committed such terrible crimes in the name of National Socialism would not have done so had they really questioned the nature of what they were doing, and the ideology on which their actions rested? The Orwell cult probably won’t go down this route, but what their attitude leads to, quite ironically, is a stifling of debate—exactly the sort of thing that they would otherwise be quick to condemn as antithetical to a healthy, non-totalitarian society.

Not only does it stifle debate, but it chokes the natural breath of progress. A politician in an opposition party need not be so devilishly underhanded to call a government policy Orwellian, but with the use of that one word he has won a few easy points with great swathes of the voting public. Once the word is planted in the minds of people and combined with lazythink, we witness a downward spiral in which the accused government cannot do anything that’s not Orwellian, though they may have the best of intentions. It is unfortunate for Gordon Brown and his new iteration of New Labour that they quickly established themselves as serious and socialist. In that atmosphere, accusations of Ingsoc-style policy are even harder to banish. Obama has a similar (though milder) problem with the Fox News-watching American right. Although the current healthcare debate may not bring his presidency to ruin, it is likely that the accusations brought forth now will find a way to stay, even if the initial fervour ends up dissipating.

Alertness to sinister politics is a perfectly fine thing, of course. There will be times when the fears of encroaching totalitarianism are not unfounded. But being so quick to see the worst in a policy is just as counterproductive as seeing only the best. Let us not jump on the easy bandwagon with such important matters, nor try to look too clever. Rather, let us try to understand the situation in the cold light of day, with a sober and a present mind. Only if something is genuinely Orwellian should we ever use the word. In that way some of its rightful value will be restored, and Eric Blair might once again be proud to have it used in his honour.

http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/the-george-orwell-personality-cult/feed/ 0
Applying the Hegelian Dialectic in Iraq http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/applying-the-hegelian-dialectic-in-iraq/ http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/applying-the-hegelian-dialectic-in-iraq/#comments Sat, 11 Apr 2009 03:19:25 +0000 admin http://hamiltoninstitute.com/?p=206 At this time, the United States is the only superpower.  With this dominance comes an ability to disseminate principles and ideas.  For decades, the United States has taken advantage of this ability, spreading its agenda throughout the globe.  According to some, dissemination is necessary because true democracies never war with each other, e.g., the U.S. would be in a more stable and secure position if there were more democracies. With the ongoing threat of terrorism, it is not surprising that the U.S has shifted its democratic aspirations to the Middle East. Unfortunately, while democracy as a whole is a positive thing, the United States’ belief that one size fits all is reckless and ignorant.  There are numerous forms of democracy: conservative, liberal, and electoral. Had the United States approached Iraq through the Hegelian dialectic, it would have realized that democracy is not a uniformed paradigm. In this article, I will discuss why Iraq should have been approached through the Hegelian dialectic, rather than the liberal/pluralist  paradigm, and what Iraq would have looked like under the Hegelian dialectic.


According to liberal/pluralists, Middle Eastern rulers are contending with populaces’ tasting enlightenment for the first time through their contact with TV, music, and western educational opportunities. Individuals in these nations are serfs; they are unable to leave their country, are designated at birth to a strict social hierarchy, and are vulnerable to the whims of the state.  According to this dialectic, with continued exposure to western life and values, the populace will begin to desire some of the same western luxuries such as a free press, freedom of speech, and/or the freedom to watch MTV.

  Feudalism ← Enlightenment = Liberal Democracy

However, this analysis is incorrect because Iraq’s populace neither follows a liberal ideology nor is the government structured pluralistically.  Instead, Iraq follows a conservative/corporatism structure.  Unlike the liberal/pluralist model, the conservative paradigm places the community over the individual.  In particular, stability and morality are placed over individual rights, thus the state, not citizens, is delegated the role of being arbiter.  Under the Hegelian dialectic, Iraq is,

(Spirit 1) contradicts (Idea) and creates (Spirit 2)
Arabism ← Islamism = Islamic Nationalism, which leads to
Islamic Nationalism ← Democracy = Islamic and/or Conservative Based Democracy

As the formula indicates, Saddam Hussein rose through power on the notion of Pan-Arabism.  In the 1970’s, the notion of a united Arab state was very popular across the Middle East.  Saddam’s Ba’th Party stressed this, and secularism.  He stayed in power during the rise of the Ayatollah and other Islamists by fusing his Arabism with Islamism. For instance, he commissioned portraits of himself praying, giving to the poor, and riding on a white stallion like the Muslim defender, Saladin. This created Islamic Nationalism, the paradigm found in current day Iraq.  It’s a paradigm that instills pride in one’s nation and faith.  However, unlike Islamism, this paradigm allows for the killing of other Muslims if it benefits the state, i.e., the Iran-Iraq War.
The United States hopes that the introduction of democracy will create a liberal democracy that resembles its own.  However, under the Hegelian dialectic, Islamic nationalism and democracy would fuse to create a conservative based democracy.  This form of democracy would resemble the conservative democracy found in Turkey.  In this scenario, religious leaders would hold greater power in both social and political arenas, possibly possessing several cabinet and parliamentary positions, but still be susceptible to the secular government and its laws.  Basic freedoms such as freedom of religion would be protected, however, Islam would remain the national religion.  As a result, Islamic organizations and mosques would receive federal funding, while other faiths would not.  Although it’s not liberal democracy, it does protect the basic rights of all citizens, and most importantly, respects the differences in each culture.
With Americans forcing liberal/pluralism on the Iraqi political class, an important aspect necessary in the Middle East, because of its religious and ethnic diversity, is removed, the corporatist trait of collaboration. In a corporatist state, the government incorporates different groups and gives them monopolies over their respective issues. For example, Iraq’s army, like that of Jordan and Saudi Arabia, was largely supplied by Shi’i tribes loyal to Saddam and Arab Sunni tribes from the heavily Sunni triangle area of Baghdad, Anah, and Mosul. In doing so, Saddam incorporated all factions of his nation, and used the State as a mediator between the different groups.  However, by removing this collaboration, as pluralism does, because of its emphasis on groups competing for control of the government, these groups are forced to butt heads and the only visible result is armed conflict.
While Americans view liberal/pluralism as a universal trait, Hegel says otherwise.  There is a great diversity of cultures in this world.  Thus it stands to reason that there is a great diversity of democracies.  While liberal democracy functions well in the United States, it will not do so in a society that stresses the community over the individual. The United States’ biggest failure in Iraq was its belief that democracy was one size fit all. Had it approached Iraq through the Hegelian dialectic it would have respected Iraq’s corporatist structure: maintained the army (mostly Shi’i), and allowed for the autonomy of the three distinct regions.  Unfortunately, it failed to do so, and as a result there are three competing factions in Iraqi society.

http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/applying-the-hegelian-dialectic-in-iraq/feed/ 0
Reconstruction http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/reconstruction/ http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/reconstruction/#comments Thu, 05 Feb 2009 03:23:47 +0000 admin http://hamiltoninstitute.com/?p=209 CIVIL WAR  AND RECONSTRUCTION

Do you feel the Reconstruction was positive or not?

After the continuous disasters of the Civil War, the nation appeared destroyed in every field.

In  1865 a presidential program was established by Lincoln and was then modified by Johnson.

The North started this plan in order to reestablish the wealth stolen by the war, in fact they decided to strengthen their economy by expanding their commerce to the South, that was also starting to develop a small but independent industry.

The South although did not have at the time a good industry to maintain the economy, in fact there was a high percentage of poverty that mostly affected poor farmers working for carpetbaggers that had some land or for the Southern.

The North did not have the ability to sustain the entire country.

In this period there was a significant change regarding civil rights, in fact the Radical Republicans favored the 14th and 15th amendment and promoted the public education in the South even for blacks.

Although these sudden reforms were only formally accepted by the Southern who started some movements to prevent the excessive liberalism of the Radical wing of the Republicans. One of the most famous and cruel was the KKK ( Ku Klux Klan ) that was founded on racism.

As I have previously stated these innovations were too excessive for the Southern that opposed every decision. It is important to understand that those changes had to be made and we cannot tell whether that was the right time or not, but as usual reforms are not welcomed at first but they are appreciated over time. So it is possible to deduce that the reactions were excessive but they could have been predicted.

The  Reconstruction was positive for the economical growth especially for the small industries of the South.

I truly think that the Reconstruction was somehow positive but the time might have not been appropriate.

http://www.hamiltoninstitute.com/reconstruction/feed/ 0