I understand that this comment does not pertain to the Wind Power topic but it is an interesting observation that I want to share and hear your response.I think I would have had to be there and see these students and observe their behavior for a while before I could make an assessment. I can understand your thoughts in the context of what their behavior may have been, but your description of them does not go far enough that I can be sure that their behavior was anything more than light-hearted fun, such as young people often do without any serious desire to cast aspersions upon heroes. Sometimes, the young have not yet acquired the wisdom to value great men and women as they should and they certainly are not encouraged to do so in our anti-hero worshiping public schools and our universities. I do not like this fact, but I am hesitant to condemn the young for it too severely. I was very fortunate in growing up at a time when American heroes were still largely respected. Now, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are all too often just characterized as dead white men who owned slaves.
I visited D.C. today after work and decided to walk to the Lincoln Memorial. As I approached the stairs I saw a handful of college students dressed as gangsters and tossing dice as if gambling while another student filmed the event. In witnessing what they were doing I was disgusted by their disrespect. Since I do not believe in pronouncing a moral judgement simply because I feel it, I began to ponder the meaning of my disgust towards them. I asked why does it matter that those individuals were throwing dice on the steps of a monument to Abraham Lincoln. I had to ask what the purpose of a monument is and realized that a monument is a tribute to the greatness of a man and all that he accomplished. A monument is a means for man to celebrate achievement and solidify in such a way that future generations can share in his greatness, not by mooching off of it, but by understanding and recognizing it. A monument of course is not the source of greatness but rather only has value equal to that of which it is representing. If the man is worthless, so to is that which memorializes him. A monument to Hitler would not be worth the materials used to construct it. When a man looks at a monument there are many things for him to admire. He can admire the man immortalized in stone. He can admire the builder who with skill designed and built the magnificent structure. He can admire himself because the reason he admires the monument is because he shares its values.
So by what rational purpose did I pronounce my moral judgement upon those students? Because they failed to recognize the value of that monument and thus what it represented. They fail to see greatness and understand it, and that is the source of my disgust.
I look forward to your additional insight and comments.
Is it possible that they were making a political statement? Suppose since Obama has tried to attach himself to the coattails of President Lincoln, since Obama has risen to power through the corrupt politics of Chicago and Illinois, and since Obama is rolling the dice to turn the American government into a thoroughly socialist government and is thereby completely overthrowing the Constitution, since he is throwing the dice to strip wealthy Americans of their wealth and gambling that they will nonetheless continue to produce, he is throwing the dice to socialize medicine and hoping that somehow medical advances will continue, and since he is throwing the dice generally that some crippled portions of a capitalist system will still support his socialist egalitarian society to provide it with some of the unrecognized trappings of civilized life, that these students were making a protest video for YouTube.
I have a bit of an ambiguous respect for President Lincoln. I do think of him as a relatively remarkable President, but I do not think of him as a remarkably good President. I give him credit for effort, for freeing the slaves, and some credit for holding the union together. At the same time, the South did have long-standing objections to the tariffs that supported young industries in the North, but cost them much higher prices for many of their imported goods. Our government gets its legitimacy from the people, so I do believe that the people of a state have the right to secede, provided they set up a government which is consistent with the rights of every individual to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Clearly, the South was not doing that given the institution of slavery, so armed opposition to secession on that basis would have been justified. But, that was not the basis of Lincoln's use of force to keep the South in the Union. Instead, he simply asserted that no state could secede. Such an assertion is an attempt to nullify the source of the real sovereignty of the individual. In many other matters Lincoln made it all too clear that he was not a strong protector of individual liberties, including his waiting until late in the war before proclaiming the slaves free.
In living our lives, we all have many moments when we are not aware of the many heroes who came before us and developed the ideas that gave us our modern Western civilizations. I expect that many of my readers do think about these men and women often, but all of us are so busy managing our own lives that we frequently go about our affairs without a thought of thanks to Aristotle, Galileo, Sir Francis Bacon, Newton, Faraday, Lavoisier, Pasteur, John Locke, Adam Smith, James J. Hill, Andrew Carnegie, Andrew Mellon, J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, Albert Einstein, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Nathaniel Greene, Thomas Edison, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Neils Bohr, Ayn Rand, and many thousands of other great and very useful men and women. In many ways, their great work has enabled our ability to simply concentrate on living our own lives. We all walk among the products of their labors and only occasionally give it thought. But, in many ways, this is what made their work great.