Nevada Appeal column is lifted from the Internet

Bob Thomas ends his Nevada Appeal column today with the disclosure that “research for today’s column was done by Ken Beaton of Carson City. Ken did the work, and I’m getting the credit.”

Don’t worry, Bob; Ken didn’t have to work too hard to come up with your column fodder because he simply lifted it from an Internet essay that’s been circulating for 13 years. (There are a few punctuation changes in Thomas’s column, but that’s about it.)

THOMAS’ AUGUST 9 COLUMN: “What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants. Nine were farmers and large plantation owners — men of means and well-educated, but they signed the Declaration knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured. Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and property to pay his debts and died in rags.”

“THE PRICE THEY PAID” 1999 e-mail essay: “What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well-educated. But they signed the Declaration knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured. Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and property to pay his debts and died in rags.”

The plagiarism continues.

I’ve asked Thomas and Nevada Appeal editor Dennis Noone for comment.

Thomas’s column is behind a paywall but a reader sent me the text, which is posted after the jump.

Text of Bob Thomas’ August 9 Nevada Appeal column:

Do we have the will to do it again?
By Bob Thomas

The following is the epitome of sacrifice for future generations — ours.

Now that this year’s July 4th celebration is history, I cannot for the life of me help wondering why the signers of our Declaration of Independence weren’t content to enjoy the blessings they already had instead of defying the British monarchy. Many were wealthy land barons, including my ancestral grandfather Robert Morris, one of the signers.

The only answer must be “Freedom!” These men had everything else. I guess we citizens who’ve always enjoyed our freedom of self-determination can’t imagine what it’s like to not have it, and to want it so badly that we’d be willing to sacrifice our material possessions and die for it. That’s exactly what those 56 signers did. And here was their reward:

Five were captured as traitors by the British and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons cap- tured. Nine fought and died from wounds or war hardships. All signed and pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants. Nine were farmers and large plantation owners — men of means and well-educated, but they signed the Declaration knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured. Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and property to pay his debts and died in rags.

Thomas McKearn was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His pos- sessions were confiscated, and poverty was his reward. Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge and Middleton. At the Battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson Jr. noted that British Gen. Charles Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters.

Nelson quietly urged Gen. George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife and she died within a few months. John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their children fled for their lives. His fields and grist mill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. My ancestral grandfather Robert Morris died a pauper after paying his debts. He loaned George Washington his entire fortune. Would they do it again? You bet they would, and so would I.

That was and is the price for freedom.

How many of you readers will be willing to do the same when the time comes? I ask that because I know people in Carson City who are making plans and taking active steps to immigrate to South and Central America rather than to stay here and fight when the time comes, and it will — historically, it always has.

This is sad because these Americans have had a free ride, never having served in the armed forces of our country. If they were veterans, they wouldn’t dream of running. …

Looking at Mexico, she’s older than we, and she’s made no genuine effort to establish government of and by the people. She is weak and corrupt, as are all Latin American countries. So what do these people do when things get tough? They run!

The world is full of runners who didn’t have the guts to stay and fight for their own freedom. For God’s sake, everybody can’t run! Latin American countries cannot defend themselves, much less American refugees, without our help.

But if we fail to preserve our freedom, we can’t help them. What if we collapse from within or without, conquered peaceably or forcibly by totalitarian zealots? Freedom never rests! (Research for today’s column was done by Ken Beaton of Carson City. Ken did the work, and I’m getting the credit.)

* Bob Thomas is a retired high-tech industrialist who later served on the Carson City School Board, the state welfare board, the airport authority and as a state assemblyman. His website is www.worldclass entrepreneur.com.

—-

* Compare this to “The Price They Paid” from 1999 (snopes.com)

Comments

comments