Antique Double Hemisphere World Map c1780. Created by Samuel Dunn (died 1794), who was a British mathematician and amateur astronomer. Note in the top center are celestial maps and at the bottom center is a map of the moon’s surface. There is also a good map on his Wikipedia page.
“Australia has Promised Britain 50,000 More Men; Will You Help Us Keep that Promise”. This is a recruiting – Around 1915 – poster from Australia for what they called at the time, The Great War, now referred to as WW I. Australia would suffer about 62,000 casualties from the war.
“Remember Scarborough! Enlist Now”. Almost a recruiting poster from WW I – created in 1915. Scarborough, Hartlepool, and Whitby were small English coastal towns. On December 16, 1914, a German naval force of battle cruisers bombarded Scarborough, an defended town without any gun placements. The Germans were hoping to draw out the numerically superior British naval fleet out into the North Sea, where it would be vulnerable to German minefields and submarine attack. The Germans claimed they though the town did have gun placements. 122 civilians were killed and another 443 wounded. Military service was voluntary at the time and recruiters hoped to appeal to public anger at the Scarborough attacks to encourage enlistment. The heroic figure is Britannia carrying the British flag. In the background – difficult to see in the thumbnail, is a burning town.
So many conservatives are having what appears to be mental breakdowns at the mere thought that there might be some tiny bit of gun regulation – closing the gun show loophole, limits on magazine size for semi-automatics – are two of the modest proposals I have seen floated around by Democrats and a few conservatives. I cannot cover them all so I’ll go with the King of Konservatism, Rush Limbaugh. We’re Living the Collapse of Our Culture
RUSH: Oh, no, no, no, no. It’s very frustrating because we’re now immersed in many circumstances and situations where the last thing that anybody wants to hear are facts. The last thing anybody wants to contemplate is the real truth about something. Instead, everybody wants to live in illusions and advanced political agendas.
[ ]….So much to say about this, and I sit here in full knowledge that were I to open up and share with you my genuine, real thoughts about what’s going on in this country, I’d be brought up on charges. I think we’re looking at all the wrong places to solve all of these problems.
Remember, folks, during the presidential campaign, I said, “Twenty-five years ago we were warning about what was going to happen if X kept happening and Y kept happening and if we didn’t stop Z.” Well, now, we’re there. We’re no longer talking about what will happen unless we do something about it. We’re living it. We’re living the collapse. We’re living the implosion of our culture and our society. Politically, morally, religiously, you name it, and it all stems from the fact that no one is allowed to have values. Values are judgmental. You have no right to impose values on people.
So we’ve gotten to the point where nothing is really wrong. There are just explanations for it. And in practically every instance, the explanation and the proposed cure is nothing more than the advancement of a particular political belief or ideology. In this case, liberalism.
I do not remember a time when Limbaugh and conservatives were not saying these were the end times, liberals are to blame, feminists are to blame, unions are to blame. In this transcript he also includes mental health professionals and supporters of good mental health. I tempted to write some throw-away line about hardly blaming Limbaugh for this tiresome rant of the kind that has made him a millionaire. Yet speaking of responsibility and accountability and other multiple syllable words that conservatives struggle to say or define; his assertions are unsupported, as usual by anything resembling a fact. Conservatives just don’t do evidence based arguments. They say whatever it is often. Sometimes they say it loud. Repetition and volume do not magically make things true. Limbaugh has made a career out of having one schtick and he sticks to it. His listeners don’t care if he sticks to the facts. He is their golden calf and you don’t question anything when you join up with the Ditto head army of adopters. If every year you predict the end of American culture, the end of the country, well, who knows one day you might be right. A bankruptcy inducing strategy for roulette, but it turns out to pay very well in conservative Lala Land. Yep back in the day the when the USA was ruled by manly white racist, those were the days we need to get back to,
Limbaugh praised former segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond for calling a gay soldier “not normal”: “He’s not encumbered by being politically correct…. If you want to know what America used to be–and a lot of people wish it still were–then you listen to Strom Thurmond.” (TV show, 9/1/93, transcript archived on Nexis) In the America that “used to be,” Thurmond was one of the country’s leading racists, running for president in 1948 on the Dixiecrat ticket, with a platform that opposed federal anti-lynching laws and boasted the slogan, “Segregation Forever!”
** Limbaugh admitted to Newsday’s Richard Gehr (10/8/90) that as a DJ in Pittsburgh in the 1970s he had once dismissed a black caller by saying, “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.”
This might be news to many people, but Limbaugh is both an expert economist and a math wiz,
LIMBAUGH: Comparing spending on entitlements to military spending: “Social Security alone would make three military budgets.” (radio, 12/13/95)
REALITY: In 1995, according to the Office for Management and Budget, the U.S. spent $291 billion on the military. Three times $291 billion is $873 billion. Social Security in 1995, according to OMB, cost $362 billion.
When He Was a Boy…
LIMBAUGH: Limbaugh enumerated some of the changes the world has seen since the birth of his 104-year-old grandfather: “When he was born–I mean, we look at things that have happened since he was born. Electricity’s been invented, the automobile was invented, the mule as a means of plowing the field vanished.” (TV, 12/27/95)
REALITY: Limbaugh was combining two of his worst subjects: science and history. The first commercial use of electricity, the telegraph, began in 1843–almost 50 years before Limbaugh’s grandfather was born in 1891. Edison invented his electric light bulb in 1879, and 1881 saw the first practical electric railway (Electrical Construction & Maintenance, 5/91). The first steam- powered automobile was invented in 1769, while gasoline-powered models were introduced in 1885 (Automotive Engineering, 6/90).
5. James Madison
LIMBAUGH: Quotes James Madison: “We have staked the future upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
FAIR: “We didn’t find anything in our files remotely like the sentiment expressed in the extract you sent to us,’ David B. Matter, associate editor of The Madison Papers, told the Kansas City Star (1/16/94). In addition, the idea is entirely inconsistent with everything we know about Madison’s views on religion and government.'”
It is not uncommon for people to look at the past through rose colored glasses, Limbaugh seems get his history from crystal balls and acid trip like hallucinations. The Madison he is trying to wrangle into a conservative corner was a complex man and wrote quite a bit about religion including,
- The civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the State (Letter to Robert Walsh, Mar. 2, 1819).
- Strongly guarded as is the separation between religion and & Gov’t in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history (Detached Memoranda, circa 1820).
According to Limbaugh, who is certain that liberalism is to blame for everything from diaper rash to the next mass murder, conservatives did nothing wrong in a little treasonous episode called the Iran-Contra scandal,
Reinterpreting his false claim that no one had been indicted in the Iran-Contra scandal, Limbaugh declared: “I obviously misspoke when I said there were no indictments — I clearly meant to say there were no convictions, a point I have made on many occasions.”
Limbaugh did not “misspeak”: He had argued at length (TV, 1/19/94) that none of the 14 Iran-contra indictments ever happened. And his fallback position is equally false: Most of the 14 were either convicted or plead guilty, including many felonies. That’s why Limbaugh was already backpedaling in his rebuttal: There were “no convictions on the substantive points,” he claimed — citing Ed Meese as his expert.
One of the more stellar moments of Konservative Kulture at work was that Admiral John Poindexter was one of those convicted felons. Conservatives, being the grand and noble guardians of cultural norms – like not rewarding convicted felons – appointed this convicted felon who betrayed the U.S. to director of the DARPA Information Awareness Office during the Bush 43 administration. Letting no treachery go unrewarded is one way to push American culture into the sewer.
Perhaps Limbaugh is not having a breakdown, but just just another shrill chapter in the failed history of conservatism. One to exploit his followers to pay the rent on his Palm Beach mansion.
Here are some more conservatives setting a great example of how to be moral upstanding Americans, Conservative Group, Club for Growth,Tells Republicans To Hold Hurricane Sandy Relief Package Hostage.
The blame liberalism crowd(Tea Party Group Blames Connecticut Shooting On Teachers, Unions, And Sex) also has to explain – and I’m sure they have some explanation stored between their confederate flags and right-wing manifestos – for the mind control that includes Conservatives among those serial killers and mass murderers – like Holocaust Museum killer James Von Bruun, Glenn Beck fan Byron Williams, cop killer Richard Poplawski who was afraid that President Obama was going to ban all guns, Maine dirty bomber James Trafton, anti-government nutbar Joseph Stack and of course no one has gotten any ideas about using guns to solve political differences from Sharon Angle*, Michele Bachmann, Bernard Goldberg or other conservatives who have suggested something in the ball park of, “If this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies*.” Are conservatives such as Limbaugh really concerned about cultural calamity or are they actively hoping and working for it so they can recreate some weird cyborg nation that is half Medieval Europe and half Antebellum south.
The Good Old Days: Myth vs. Reality
By 1830, a skilled worker or experienced machinist earned as much as $1.25 a day. However, jobs that paid that well were uncommon. An average worker could expect to earn between fifty and seventy-five cents a day. A woman lucky enough to find a paying job earned far less than a man. Her standard wage was anywhere from half to two-thirds less than her male counterpart.
Unions were almost unheard of. Where they existed they were considered, by factory owners and industrialists, to be “un-American.” When horse-car drivers in New York City demanded that their traditional 16-hour work day be reduced to only 12 hours, their demands were branded as “communistic” by state assemblyman Teddy Roosevelt. When strikes did occur, they were often put down by troops and militiamen.
Children often worked the same long hours as their parents. By 1900 there were nearly two million children under fifteen years of age working in factories across the nation. Child labor was in great demand by employers who considered children to be a bargain. Kids were paid between $1.50 and $2.50 a week for up to 84 hours of work. (Two or three cents an hour was considered low pay, even by the standards of the day.)
Safety in the workplace
In the days before government regulations and the union movement, the place where you worked could easily become the place where you died. President Harrison observed in 1892 that, “American workmen are subjected to peril of life and limb as great as a soldier in time of war.”
During the 1890s it was estimated that nearly a million workers were killed or injured each year in the work place. Power shafts and belts to drive the machines were open and unprotected. Factories were dimly lighted and the workers’ machines and equipment were not equipped with the safety devices now required by law. The rule of thumb,for those lucky enough to still have one, was, “if you take the job – you assume the risk.”
Railroads were especially dangerous places to work. In 1900 alone, more than 2,600 rail workers lost their lives in rail accidents and more than 41,000 were maimed or injured. Between 1898 and 1900 American railroads lost as many workers to accidents as the entire British Army did in its three-year Boer War.
Workers’ compensation was unknown. Disabled workers received no pay, benefits, or social security. During this same period, the wealthiest men in America were the owners of railroads. Railroad Barons amassed fortunes ranging into the billions of dollars.
Industry and energy
In the early 1800s people and animals were the number one and two sources of energy. In that order. Machinery was relatively uncommon and the amount of work a person could complete in a work day was almost entirely dependent upon strength and personal endurance. As the century progressed, there was a noticeable decline in wood cover around America’s growing communities. Racing TrainsBy 1860 most of the firewood used in Boston, Massachusetts was being hauled by ship from Maine. Energy was expensive in terms of human labor and cash. Getting enough fuel to last the winter was a year-round chore for rural folks. A miscalculation in the amount of wood collected could mean, at worst, freezing to death and at best, a long miserable winter. In the industrialized north, water power was the source of energy for mills. By the 1830s, five to ten horse power was typical for a country mill and twenty-five to fifty horse power was standard for a large city mill.
Mills often had to shut down for extended periods in the summer and winter months because water power was not available due to droughts or frozen ponds and rivers. Clocks in many mills were tied to the water wheel. The slower the flow of water – the longer the work day. It was a practice called “mill time” that came to an end when towns and churches installed clock towers on the commons.
The standard of living
While life may have been cheap for the industrialists, the cost of living was high for the workers. Looking at the ads in old newspapers, we are often struck by seemingly low prices of goods and groceries. Some typical prices at the turn of the last century were:
“Good Old Days” Prices Modern Price Equivalents
Butter …….. 19 cents a pound
Bacon ……… 10 cents a pound
Fowl ………. 12 cents a pound
Eggs ………. 15 cents a dozen
Shoes …… $2.50 a pair
Flour …… $6.50 a barrel
Fire Wood .. $3.00 a cord
In today’s dollars:
Butter ……… $36.48 a pound
Bacon ………. $19.20 a pound
Fowl ……….. $23.04 a pound
Eggs ……….. $28.80 a dozen
Shoes ……… $480.00 a pair
Flour ……. $1,248.00 a barrel
Fire Wood ….. $576.00 a cord
When “Old Days” prices are translated into the numbers of hours worked and then charged against today’s typical wage of $12.00 an hour, a different picture emerges. For example: butter at 19 cents a pound meant that an average worker making 75 cents a day on a 12 hour shift had to work just over three hours for his pound of butter. If it took as many hours to earn a pound of butter today as it did in the 1800s, butter would sell for about $36.48 a pound. Hardly a bargain.
Without the safety-net of unemployment insurance, food stamps, or other state or federal service programs, folks of the 1800s were pretty much at the mercy of their employer and the whims of a changing American economy.
In the early days, when a man lost his job, he faced the very real prospect of watching himself and his family starve to death. To a large extent, employers realized this and had a steady, if not willing, pool of people ready to work at any price.
In 1887 America experienced a depression that saw nearly three million workers loose their jobs. Many families lost their homes or were thrown out of their city tenements. Thousands of homeless families lived on the streets of major cities.
Between 1893-98, another economic crisis swept the country throwing nearly four million workers off their jobs. Almost one in five workers was jobless.
Factory owners faced with diminishing profits often cut wages. When workers refused wage cuts or attempted to unionize, the factories simply shut down. Lockouts usually ended after workers pledged to the owners that they would not form a union.
After a hard day at work, in the fields or factory, most people returned home, ate whatever dinner was ready, and collapsed until the start of the next work day. Folks who wished to stay up and socialize or finish chores often did so in dim, candle lit rooms.
By the standards of yesterday, our homes blaze with the brilliance of day. A twenty-five watt bulb burns with the light of more than 200 candles. An average family room today has about 175 watts of light – or the equivalent of more than 1,400 candles.
Horses were common forms of transportation and their pollutants were everywhere. The early street sweepers and sanitation men who were hired to keep the streets clean were not just picking up gum wrappers. In twelve months a city with 15,000 horses produces enough manure to cover an acre of ground to the depth of 175 feet. That amount of waste, when mixed with summer rains and the hot August sun turned large cities like Boston, New York, and Chicago into the worst kind of steam baths imaginable.
Racial and religious minorities were at the mercy of the times. In 1836 a school for black children was burned to the ground by an angry white mob in Canton, Connecticut. Slavery was the law of the land until it was ended by the civil war and a constitutional amendment.
Between 1882 and 1903, more than 3,300 people were lynched across the United States. Lynching of blacks alone totaled 2,060. Guilt or innocence made little difference to a mob driven by a blood lust. Lynching went far beyond simple hanging and often include anything from boiling the victim alive, castration, and torture to burning at the stake.
Discrimination in the workplace was rampant. Blacks, Jews, and Catholics were not allowed to work at many jobs. The law of the land did not protect minorities in the good old days.
As cities became industrialized, the air was modernized. Smoke stacks were considered a sign of progress and large industrialized cities had hundreds, if not thousands, of them. Clouds of pollutants –- sulfur, ammonia, and coal dust – settled on laundry, lungs, and gardens. Tanneries with their slaughter houses, bone boiling, and manure added their own unique flavor to the air around them.
Government regulations to protect citizens and the environment were nonexistent. Business resisted then, as much as it does today, any attempt to make it clean up its act. Pollution was accepted as the necessary price of progress.
Food in the good old days wasn’t always that good. Reports abound of stores selling food products that were adulterated or mixed with questionable ingredients. Without refrigeration, butter was often rancid. If not rancid, it might contain a mixture of casein and water. If butter was in short supply, a local concoction of calcium, gypsum, gelatin, lard and mashed potatoes might be offered to the consumer. Sometimes bleach was added to produce the creamy appearance of real butter.
In the days before the Food and Drug Administration the rule was definitely “buyer beware.” Coffee might be anything from coffee to a high priced blend of roasted peas, beans, chicory, and rye. Some bakers were known to add large amounts of alum to flour in addition to an unknown quality of roaches, bugs and other insects.
Before the days of refrigeration, store-bought meat was a real adventure. In the slums of the larger cities, the poor could buy their meat from second-hand meat stores places that specialized in collecting and re-selling other people’s table scraps.
In the slums of large cities and rural towns, the poor lived lives of utter despair. If you were poor, life tended to be harsh and short. Disease and starvation were grim realities. In the 1830s the first “poor farms” were established in smaller communities.
In the early days of the 1800s, the poor were viewed as a community problem and were often assisted by the town and some private charities. As the poor migrated to large cities in search of work, and their numbers grew, charities were overwhelmed by sheer numbers. By 1880, an estimated 100,000 homeless children wandered the streets and back alleys of New York City.
Life and Death
A child born in the 1800s had a 40 percent chance of dying before they could grow to adulthood. Disease and high infant mortality were facts of life and epidemics were common. Hundreds of thousands died each year from cholera, small pox, yellow fever, influenza and other common diseases. Antibiotic drugs and vaccinations were not yet discovered.