Frank Baumgardner


Are we any better off now that the debt crisis is temporarily past us?

February 17, 2011

Tags: On not repeating the mistakes of the past

Over the past month (Jan. 15-Feb. 15, 2011), especially in Egypt but also all across the Middle East in Algeria, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, and even in Iraq and Iran, we are all witness to a popular revolution that has been delayed for far too long. The United States and its allies in Israel and the EU must share the onus of blame for the suffering of Arabic peoples whose rights and freedoms have been so long repressed by dictatorial regimes. They have done this on their own. It is doubtful that the US did enough to help them.
When we are blinded by greed, lust, and driven by racial prejudices, as many leaders were in early Oregon and California from 1800-1900, we ignore the cries of those who are crushed and doomed to struggle on for a hand to mouth existence. But as the recent Egyptian people's struggle showed the world and as did the struggle for freedom by patriots during the American Revolution or the French Revolution in the eighteenth century accomplished in North America the cry for freedom and the right to a decent life cannot be quashed forever.
The Obama Administration must look very closely at what it is doing by funding military regimes such as Mubarak's in Egypt. We could be making the same mistakes that King George III made and others like Stalin, Mao and Hitler made. Governor Weller in early California had no reason to conduct genocide against the California Indians. And yet this is exactly what happened. We should recall the words of Voltaire who said, "It is not enough to just be stupid to succeed, one must also be well mannered." Being well mannered is not the kind of leadership the world needs today President Obama!


  1. March 5, 2011 12:44 AM EST
    I hardly think that the blame for our military involvement in the Middle East can be blamed on President Obama. It is, in fact, the high ranking military and the military-industrial complex who make the "recommendations" to the President. Those people are very strong.

    Aside from the slant you take on our President, I appreciate the work you are publishing about the Indian situation of the Nineteeth Century. I am a bit jealous, because I have been working on a similar book for the past 25 years. My slant is from the Native American point of view, but I too have probably read most of the material you have researched. Do you know the folks at the Held-Poage House in Ukiah. Fifteen years ago I was a regular user of their files, when Lila Lee was the Librarian.

    Lucy Rogers Young is/was a cousin, and I have the Genealogy of her family and mine.
    - Patricia "Kaiitcin White Lily" Burrell
  2. March 5, 2011 10:00 AM EST
    Thanks for your thoughts both about my work and the current Middle East revolts. I wasn't trying to single out Pres. Obama as much as past presidents, policy makers, and including the military-industrial complex, as you have rightly added, who made overt attempts, however simplistic, to solve the central, complicated Middle East Arab vs Jewish conflict. In the meantime our own compulsion to use covert means in support of only those leaders who support the interests of our multinational corporations, too often oil companies, makes many, if not even, most Arabs hate the United States. I am only attempting to say there are obvious, very clear similarities in today's Mideast to the white vs California Indian conflict during the mid-nineteenth century. It's easy to oversimplify; much harder to speak and think truthfully.
    As we support the search for freedom for others, we should recall Churchill's belief, "A nation that forgets its own past has no future." All the more reason to study and try to learn from the hard-won lessons of our own past.

    I look forward to hearing more from anyone with in interest in California's past. I would love to collaborate and work together with persons like yourself who have family connections as your story needs to be published and told. Please take some time to finish your ms and present it as a proposal to a publisher, such as algora publishing ( or perhaps self-publish it. There are ways to do this more cheaply in this new age of the Internet.

    Finally just to say thanks also for mentioning Lila Lee. She was Held-Poage's guiding light and certainly encouraged me.
    - Frank Baumgardner