Autobiographies and Reconstructed Speeches

20832415-information-word-in-vintage-letterpress-wood-type-on-a-grunge-painted-barn-wood-backgroundBiographies often contain speeches from important people. They may either be from the person himself or from others he respected, but sometimes, its obvious that the author reconstructed the speech. Is this a good idea? Here is my opinion on including a reconstructed speech.

  • If it has little to do with your story plot, don’t include it. This should, I hope, be obvious. 🙂
  • If it is from another person, try if at all possible to give a brief summary of what he said instead of giving it in speech format. You want to be able to do full justice to what he said, and, if you don’t have a written copy to look at of the man’s speech, you won’t remember entirely what he said. Just give what you remember hearing, but not like it was word for word.
  • If it is from you, sure, go ahead! You, more than any other person, would know what you intended to get across in the speech, and can thus accurately condense it for your autobiography.

Property Rights as a Clarification of Human Rights

In today’s universe, people are suffering from a distortion of terms, all in the name of political correctness. People say they support human rights; the right to life, the right to self-defense, the right of free-speech… but, suddenly, lines can seem to get a little blurred. Do people have the right of free-speech in a theater? In a mall? Or on anyone’s private property?

Lets look at this from the viewpoint of the “right to property.” Who owns the local theater? The shopping mall? The people who own that mall or theater. Thus, the people making the decisions are the people who own the property. Its not about “your right to this or that”, its about respecting other people’s property rights, and them respecting yours. You DO have the right to free speech with your property! If you have your own newspaper, you can publish your thoughts freely. No one can hinder you. Just, the local newspaper editor doesn’t have to let every single note to the editor into the paper. He, with his property, has a right to choose what he places within his property.

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Another issue, using something that is relevant now, is the issue on the “right to health care.” Is there a right to health care? Yes. But, should other people have to give you health care? No. The right to health care is a negative right, like nearly all rights; its a right nobody has to take action on.

Let me take a moment to explain a negative right. For instance, I have the right to a Jeep. I have just as much a “right” to a Jeep as I do to a Ford, a Honda, or a Toyota. But, do I have the right to force somebody else to get me that Jeep? No! I have the right to own a Jeep as much as I like, but nobody has to give me that Jeep. To force somebody to do that would be violating that other person’s property rights. Besides, if I get to enforce my “right to a Jeep” on somebody else, then, that means since they don’t manufacture Jeeps, they have to give me money towards a Jeep, which ultimately means that they can’t get what they were going to get with that money. I basically violated their right to a vacation, or something else they wanted to get or do. They are that much poorer now, and, I’ve taken away my incentive to have increased my income to have been able to afford a Jeep.

So, I do have the right to have or own health care. Just, nobody has to go out of their way, and have their right to be left alone (right to property) violated by you. And, nobody can violate your property rights either. So, a lot of confusion can be avoided if we simply step back and, instead of looking at individual Human Rights, we just look at the whole thing… Property Rights.

William the Conqueror and England

After the Anglo-Saxons took over Britain in the 5th Century, a new threat troubled England; the Vikings. The Vikings were a powerful, warlike people that burned and pillaged cities and towns, giving little or no quarter. This great menace was stopped by King Alfred the Great, who forced one of their armies to surrender and convert to Christianity in May of 878 AD in the Battle of Edington. In doing this, Alfred consolidated the power of his native Wessex and became to first to call himself “King of the Anglo-Saxons.”

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Many years later, after more Danish invasions, and even the reign of a few Danish Kings, Edward the Confessor took power, and reigned fairly well until his death in January of 1066. Having no son or heir to the throne, Harold Godwinson was declared by the people King, but William of Normandy, now known as William the Conqueror, had different plans. William, descendant of a group of Vikings that settled in what is now known as Normandy in northern France, claimed that Edward, a distant relation of his, had promised him the throne, and that Harold himself, on a trip to Normandy, had sworn to be his knight. As Harold ignored this, took the throne and defended northern England from another Danish invasion led by Harold Hardrada and his brother Tostig, William assembled a large fleet and army, and with the blessing of the Pope, set sail for England.

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Defeating King Harold in the Battle of Hastings, William, now a conqueror, took the throne. He immediately declared all of England to be his property, and then began handing it out to all of his nobles and knights, thus stripping power from the previous Anglo-Saxon owners. He also declared large portions of forest to be his hunting grounds, and all the houses and churches in the regions he chose were burned to the ground, and the people within turned into the streets. He also kept a Doomsday Book, in which he kept detailed records of the landholdings of his nobles and the economic conditions of England. Taxes were high during the reign of William, and he even went as far as to search the monasteries for wealth hidden by the citizenry. Castles, made to protect the new Norman nobility from the angry populace, were erected everywhere. At William the Conquerors death, England, a thrice conquered island, was firmly in the hands of the Norman invaders.

Early Applications of Human Rights, Self-Ownership, and Property Rights

Human rights was a subject that very few people thought of during the days of the Roman Empire and beyond, besides a few philosophers, who began to grasp the modern idea we now know as human rights. However, when Europeans discovered the New World, they also discovered thousands of people, who they called “savages”. They believed that they were inferior to them, and thus did not have rights like they (the Spaniards) did. This view, however, was addressed by a Roman Catholic priest, who pointed out that these people (the Indians) did in fact have human rights, because they had thoughts, could reason, and had a sense of morals. Thus, they were entitled to the universal natural rights granted to everyone by God himself.

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Now to self-ownership; do we own ourselves? The answer is; yes and no. Yes, we do control our bodies; we determine where to move, where to sit, where to stand, what we want to say, what we eat, and what we will wear (of course being considerate of others and their rights); if someone forces us to do different, that is a violation of our human right to self-ownership. However, who gave us our rights? If man gives, or takes, these rights, like Thomas Paine would have said, then we would be contradicting ourselves when we say that they are inalienable, or unable to be taken or violated. There would be no such thing as a violation of rights, because, if we cannot maintain these rights, then we do not have them. So, the only thing we can turn to would be God, since nature cannot create itself and cannot guarantee us our rights. Since God has granted us these rights, he would naturally have to enforce them (he would have to deal negative sanctions).

Lets address property rights. How do we determine who owns property? John Locke believed that everything is owned in common, and that when a man mixed his labor with a good or item, it is automatically his, and he can sell the item that he mixed his labor with and give it to someone else, with a receipt of purchase. Thus, the item is undeniably his. The purchase receipt proves to all comers that the item belong to the person who bought it, and people can be hired to defend the persons claim to the item. This libertarian view of property rights makes the most sense, because it doesn’t contradict itself. Lets say that the State (civil government) is the protector of property rights. The State, in order to run, has to violate property rights through taxes.

So, we’ve talked about three topics; the Spanish and their early applications of Human Rights, in which the scholastics of their day pointed out that the American Indians are human, because they can reason, and thus are owed Human Rights; self-ownership, in which we discussed whether or not people own themselves; and property rights, where we determined that the libertarian view of a man mixing his labor with the raw environment and thus acquiring the rights to it. I hope you consider the above arguments.

Why Do Plants Produce Fruit?

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Why do plants produce fruit? It puts all of this energy and all these resources into making colorful, tasty and delicious fruit. Why?

  • Fruit Protects the Seeds: Some fruits, like the coconut (which is a nut, seed, and a fruit) protects the seed as it floats across sometimes thousands of miles of ocean, to finally land on some sandy island and begin to grow. Without this protection, the seed would rot long before it made it to its destination.
  • Some Fruit Makes Sure that it will be eaten: Tasty, delicious fruit, like berries, are meant to be eaten. After they are eaten, and have passed through the digestive system, the seeds, still intact, are excreted, typically far away from the original plant. This enables the seeds inside the fruit to spread out, helping to colonize the area effectively.
  • The Fruit gives the Seed Resources to Begin Growing: When the seed finally makes it to its destination, the fruit, packed with carbohydrates, gives the plant a jump start, enabling it to quickly grow roots and produce leaves, and thus give it time to become self-sufficient.
  • The Fruit Helps it to Travel: Like the Coconut, the fruit allows the seed to travel long distances. Other fruits, like the dandelion (a dry fruit), has feathery tufts that allow the seed to “fly” through the air on the wind currents. The seed finally falls someplace away from the parent plant and begins to grow.

Those are a few reasons for a plant to produce fruit. God does nothing in vain, and His fruit will blossom, die, and give birth to a “new Creation”!

The Benefits of Writing an Autobiography

What are the benefits of writing an autobiography?

Power of Words

  • It gives insight into the time you lived in. When a person reads your autobiography, they want to know what it was like to live in the time period. Give them that information!
  • It enables people to know how someone had to adapt to their surroundings. When you move from one place to another, the culture and the people will be different. People want to know how you figure out how you adapted to your environment.
  • It gives you advanced writing skills. It is much, much more difficult to write a book about yourself, unless you have an unusual gifting in the field.
  • It gives you better skills in organizing data. In order to write a good autobiography, you need data. You need to write down what happened to you, and find a way to organize and store it for later. This will equip you to keep a train of thought in anything you do.

So, I guess I need to consider writing an autobiography! I hope you do the same.

The Carolingian Renaissance

During the Reign of Charlemagne, Emperor of the West and King of the Franks, there was a birth of learning and growth. Why was it significant?

  • Universal Writing Style Developed: Carolingian Minuscule was developed during the Carolingian Renaissance, and it introduced the modern system of writing; capital and lower-case letters, and punctuation. It also made a uniform way to write the characters, making it easy to read something from someone else.
  • Lots and lots of copying: The Carolingians believed that they were inferior to the Romans and Greeks. However, they believed that it was their duty to copy and preserve all of the ancient writings of the Romans (who copied a lot from the Greeks), and the Early Church Fathers, as well as make sure that they had accurate copies of the scriptures.
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Carolingian Miniscule

This carried on for some time, and eventually this task was taken up by the Roman Catholic Monasteries spread all over Europe. Though the Monasteries withheld knowledge from the common person, we do owe them for maintaining the knowledge for the hundreds of years of the Dark Ages.