Thursday, October 9, 2008

Columbus Day Celebrates All Mankind

Christopher Columbus Villified
For the Wrong Things
Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) was Italian, and as an explorer who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492 he was sailing for the glory of the Spanish Crown, (King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella,) not the Italian Crown. Hoping to find a route to India for spices, and finding instead the Americas, Columbus made a total of four trips to the New World in the Caribbean area and South America during the years 1492-1504.

Columbus has been variously declared one of the great mariners in history, a man of grand vision, a hero, a slaver, a greedy imperialist, and because his crew brought disease to the native populations who had no immune system anti-bodies to those diseases, Columbus has been called a mass murderer. The cause of diseases was literally unknown, but some of its methods of transmission were beginning to become evident to science. The average man or woman scoffed at such ideas as "transmission."

For bringing disease to the American natives, he cannot be blamed. Blaming him would be tantamount to blaming the entire population of the world for exposing the atmosphere to chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs,) the propellent that we used to use in most of our spray cans. The damaging effects of CFCs had to be discovered.

To use the logic of those who call Columbus a mass murderer, we must then blame every human alive during the use of CFCs for causing sun-related skin cancer. Naturalist logic understands that what you don't know now, you can't be blamed for later. Typhoid Mary was not blamed for spreading typhus, until she had been told she was spreading it and she did nothing to prevent it. Then, she was incarcerated for the common welfare.

We would not blame President Kennedy for the deaths of the twenty astronauts that have occurred since the "Space Race" began. He could not have known about the "O" ring that disintegrated and caused the "Challenger" shuttle explosion. Likewise, Columbus could not have known about the diseases he brought with him.

Today, we would say she was initiating the use of force against the rights of others to be free of exposure. We often prosecute men and women who are infected with HIV who know it, and who do not tell their sexual partners. We do not prosecute people who are unaware of their HIV status.

"We need not evade or excuse Columbus’s flaws--his religious zealotry, his enslavement and oppression of natives--to recognize that he made history by finding new territory for a civilization that would soon show mankind how to overcome the age-old scourges of slavery, war, and forced religious conversion.

Thus, the deeper meaning of Columbus Day is to celebrate the rational core of Western civilization, which flourished in the New World like a pot-bound plant liberated from its confining shell, demonstrating to the world what greatness is possible to man at his best." * [italics added]

Yet, the other political side, the side that would have us all convicted of causing sun-related skin cancer, is viscious in its accusations.

"The Indigenous Viewpoint: Honoring Christopher Columbus is like honoring Hitler in terms of his utter disregard for the human rights and dignity of a people because of their race, namely the Indigenous people of Haiti, Hispaniola in the Caribbean, people of South Africa."

This is the false logic: Hitler knew what he was doing was wrong. In the 1500's the white man's concern for other races was not even a blip on the moral radar. This does not excuse it. Columbus is guilty as charged. But by this logic of of comparing him to Hitler, it compares each and everyone of us who used CFC products of causing John McCain's melanoma. CFCs were not a blip on the scientific/moral radar, until its harmful nature was determined.

The world then acted swiftly to eliminate CFCs, much quicker than it can be said mankind acted when slavery came into our radar. Plato and Aristotle believed in slavery. They were wrong. But they were unknowingly caught in the political correctness of their millenium, as Columbus was unknowingly caught in the PC of his century.


No, it is not the same. Mankind has known for centuries that slavery is wrong, and the strong opposition to it in the northern colonies of early America attest to the strong arguments on boths sides of the issue. The North affirmed the "rights of men," while the South affirmed only the rights of white men. In less than 150 years after Columbus landed in the new world and committed his attrocious but then-acceptable deeds, America was headed for a fight over the issue.

No "on-going campaign of genocide" can be attributed to Columbus. It can only be attributed to those now living who learned nothing from Columbus or Mugabe or the Red Chinese or the Soviet Reds or anyone else who prefers murder and slaughter over individual sovereignty and the resultant rights of humans.

*Copyright © 2008 Ayn Rand® Center for Individual Rights. All rights reserved.

XDR-TB is the abbreviation for extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis, also called extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. One in three people in the world is infected with dormant TB germs. Only when the bacteria become active do people become ill with TB. Bacteria become active as a result of anything that can reduce the person’s immunity, such as HIV, advancing age or some medical conditions.

The rapid and accurate diagnosis of symptomatic patients is the cornerstone of global strategies for TB control. Inaccurate diagnosis has spurred the rapid spread of TB and drug resistance, especially in HIV/AIDS patients. The testing method used almost universally in the developing world is more than 115 years old and is largely ineffective in identifying TB in HIV/AIDS patients. False negative tests are very common, leading to inappropriate treatment. This contributes to the continued rapid spread of TB and also expands the incidence of drug resistance.


I will be the featured speaker at the Center For Inquiry (CFI) meeting, October 16, 2008, in Portage, Michigan. The topic is "Atheism as a 'Religion' Protected by Courts According to the Establishment Clause" CEC

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