Gonna get a tattoo

I’ve always wanted to get a tattoo but have been hesitant to get something inked onto me that I’ll regret later. I think I finally found something I will never regret.

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Drowning In A Sea of Stupidity

You may have noticed that in most of my recent articles there has been a tone of anger and frustration in regards to the ignorance and apathy of the American people. However I have refrained from coming out and using the word stupid. I can no longer do that.

(Children, cover your eyes)

What the fuck is wrong with people in this country? It seems that an increasing number of them are NOT using their heads for the purpose they were intended, and therefore that makes them STUPID. Why the sudden change in opinion? I don’t know, maybe it’s just been building up until I could no longer take it, or maybe it was just inevitable. In any case, America, I’ve had just about enough of your stupidity.

No, that isn’t enough. I should try to explain the why of my change in attitude. I guess it has to do with two things I saw yesterday, they were the last straw so to speak.

First off I read an article about a high school student in North Carolina who was given an assignment to write a short story, but to do it in little comments like they were posts on Facebook. Not that I agree with this teaching technique, but that is irrelevant. It is what happened afterwards that got me all fired up.

Sixteen year old Alex Stone, of Summerville High School wrote in his first post, “I killed my neighbors pet dinosaur.” Then in his second post he continued by saying, “I bought the gun to take care of the business.”

That is when all hell broke loose.

I have watched with increasing distress the anti gun sentiments in our school systems in response to public school shooting incidents. You can’t point your finger at another student and say “BANG” any more. You can’t even chew out your Pop Tart into the shape of a gun without getting suspended. These incidents all happened and were enough of themselves to anger me. But for a school to do what Summerville High did next cause my blood pressure to skyrocket.

When Alex Stone’s teachers saw the word ‘gun’ the school suspended Stone, but not before searching his locker and book bag. Then, the final outrage, they called the police…simply because he used the word gun in a writing assignment. What the hell, are they going to ban Webster’s Dictionary too? After all, on page 495 of my copy the word GUN is clearly visible.

Getting back to Alex Stone, when the police paid a visit to young Stone he became a bit irate. Who wouldn’t? I know I’d be more than irate if the cops showed up to infringe upon my freedom of speech. Anyway, young Stone was then arrested for disorderly conduct. All this happened without the parents being notified of what was going on. They learned all about it AFTER their son had been arrested.

This story alone almost caused me to blow a gasket, but then something else happened and that is why I decided that a good percentage of the people in this country are beyond hope and need to be euthanized.

I was already fuming when I went to work yesterday afternoon and then I told a friend about what happened to Alex Stone. Then she told me this…Apparently during the filming of Jurassic Park Steven Spielberg posed for a publicity shot in front of the prop Triceratops used in the movie. In a prank someone created a meme, (an internet graphic) using that image and saying something about Spielberg having killed that Triceratops on a hunting safari.

Even the guy who posted the meme was astonished at what happened next. It seems that a lot of people actually believed what he said about Spielberg in his meme. The moral outrage, and backlash, against Spielberg and hunters in general, was incredible. People accused Spielberg of being an insensitive prick. They said instead of killing that ‘poor beautiful creature’ it should have been placed in a zoo so that we could all appreciate it.

Did any of these people even stop to think that dinosaurs have been extinct for 65 million years and that there was no way, short of someone inventing a time machine, that Spielberg could have possibly killed one? Or is that much thought simply too much for people?
That right there is what pushed me over the top. That is when I realized that there is no hope for the human race.

I’ve seen it coming, the signs have all been there, but I was hoping that it could at least be put off until after I die, but the fact is that people these days have become STUPID. The fact that people, even a couple hundred of them, believed that one human being had actually gone out and shot a dinosaur proves that beyond a doubt.

But there are other things. The fact that people, after years of seeing nothing change in this country, believe that simply by switching between a Republican president to a Democrat, and then back to a Republican, and actually thinking that things will change should have been enough to convince me.

Maybe people aren’t stupid though. Maybe they are simply crazy. Albert Einstein once defined insanity as “Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.”

Maybe it is just crazy to allow our fear of things to get the best of us. This is not simply in response to our fear of guns and school shootings, but in response to anything that happens these days. Anytime something happens which frightens people they clamor for more restrictions against that which frightens them.

It does not matter if the thing which frightens them is a terrorist attack, a kid bringing a gun to school, or simply the use of words that offend, whenever something causes people to become offended, or afraid, they demand that something be done to ease their fear.

From my perspective America is no longer populated by people who are predominantly courageous and intelligent, instead it is populated mainly by a bunch of sniveling little idiots who cower away whenever their sensitivity is offended.


But there you have it. That is why I have changed my opinion of most people. Sure there are a few of us who actually use our minds for the purpose they were intended to be used, but we are dwindling in numbers and swimming, no I should say drowning, in a vast sea of stupidity.

God save America, because it is blatantly obvious that the people of this country are simply too stupid to do so themselves.

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Nothing But Embers Remain

In 1789 George Washington, as our nation’s first president under the new Constitution, delivered the very first inaugural address. Among his comments was the following statement, “The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”

What exactly did Washington mean by the phrase ‘the sacred fire of liberty’? After all, it is only five words, it can’t mean that much…can it? Yet the truth is that it does mean more than those five words alone state.

The sacred fire of liberty is what burnt in the hearts of the men who fought for our nation’s independence from Great Britain. It is what burnt in the hearts of the men who pushed for a Bill of Rights to protect those rights they believed to be inviolate. In case you don’t understand what inviolate means, it means not subject to change, damage, or destruction. The sacred fire of liberty is what caused our founders, many of whom were wealthy men, to risk all so that we, future generations, could live in a land where our rights were considered sacred and beyond the reach of legislative authority.

So, when Washington said that the sacred fire of liberty is entrusted to the hands of the American people he meant that it lay in our hands to ensure that we retain our rights and our liberty. Although our nation’s Founders were idealists who believed in a system of government whose purpose was to safeguard the public liberty, they were also realists. In a 1788 letter to Edward Carrington, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The natural progress of things if for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”

For our republic to survive as our Founders envisioned it was essential that the people of this country continue to kindle that sacred fire of liberty in their hearts and to pass it on from generation to generation. I’m not a die-hard supporter of the GOP and do not consider myself a Reagan Republican, but there is something he once said that is absolutely true. In an address to the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce in 1961 Reagan said that “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

In the Virginia ratification debates, noted orator Patrick Henry declared, “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.”

Where is that fire, that sacred fire of liberty, today? Does it burn in your heart as strongly as it burns in mine? Or was Jefferson right when he said, “From the conclusion of [their] war [for independence, a nation begins] going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of [that] war will remain on [them] long, will be made heavier and heavier, till [their] rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion.” (Notes on the State of Virginia 1782)

It absolutely boggles my mind to see how skewed people’s priorities have become. How is it that so many people can have so much passion, so much devotion for a football team, yet have so little concern that their rights are being trampled upon? Thomas Paine once said that “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”

How many of you are willing to do that? How many of you are willing to spend an hour or two per day learning about your rights, and the reason why each of the first ten amendments were important enough to be singled out to be protected by Constitutional Amendment? How many of you are willing to write to your elected representatives and demand that they adhere to the Constitution, to their oath of office, and to protect your rights and your liberty? How many of you are willing to vote no according to party lines but by how well candidates records show that they will honor and support the Constitution? Finally, in how many American hearts does that sacred fire of liberty burn so brightly that they are willing to proclaim loudly for all to hear, “GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH”, and really mean it?

That’s what I thought, not very many.

Our nation, and the people in it, have lost that sacred fire of liberty. It has all but burnt itself out and nothing remains but a few small brushfires here and there. In Montesquieu’s Spirit of the Laws we read, “When once a republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil.”

So for those of you who fervently believe that your political party is the answer to what ails America, I have this to say to you. What ails America is not the fact that more people don’t adhere to your party’s view as to what is best for America, it is that America has forsaken the principles upon which it was founded, it’s sacred fire of liberty has all but been extinguished and we are content to allow our government to trample upon our rights and treat us no better than slaves.

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Where Have All The Great Political Minds Gone?

I would like to ask of you, my readers, a simple question. It doesn’t involve much thought so it shouldn’t be that difficult. I would like for you to think back over the course of your life and name one great political thinker. That’s it, name ONE person whose thoughts/views/writings have dramatically altered people’s lives for the better. I’m not talking about men who have been ‘GOOD’ presidents, I’m talking about great minds who have introduced new ways of thinking which have made the lives of the people of this country better, or done things to better secure our rights and liberty.

I’ll wait…

What, what’s that? You say you CAN’T think of anyone that fits that description?

Hmmm, aside from possibly Martin Luther King, neither can I. Now isn’t that strange? Honestly, in an era when technological advances are doing all kinds of miraculous things to make life easier, or more comfortable, not one great philosophical mind has arisen to improve our lot as freemen. I can certainly name plenty of people, including the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who have done quite the opposite.

Now I know that right now people are probably going to be screaming at me, “WHAT ABOUT RON PAUL?” What about him? Sure he has championed an adherence to the Constitution and Bill of Rights, but is that NEW THINKING, or is it simply a return to the values established by those men who drafted our Constitution?

What’s my point in all this? My point is that most Americans don’t think that much about things of any real importance. I’m not saying that providing for your families and being good parents are not important, but I’m saying that aside from your day to day routines most Americans simply don’t think about the same things that our nation’s Founders did. After all, why should they? We have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights, why should THEY think about these things?

Well, let me tell you why. If you do not understand the intent of those who wrote these documents then you can be easily misled and fooled into believing that they grant government more powers than they actually do. You are also more readily willing to surrender your rights and liberty because you do not realize how vital they are to the survival of our republic.

So since we can’t think of any great political/philosophical minds today, I’d like to take just a few minutes to talk about the minds who gathered together in this country a couple hundred years ago and discuss them.

Did you know that around 50 yrs after our Constitution went into effect a Frenchman by the name of Alexis de Tocqueville came to America to study our system of government. He came at the behest of the French government to study or prison system but his real intent was to study our system of democracy. Did you know that he wrote two lengthy books about what he discovered? Maybe you’ve heard of them, or at least heard me talk about them. They are called Democracy in America, Volumes 1 & 2.

Let me quote something de Tocqueville said about our Founders in Volume 1. De Tocqueville wrote, “The assembly which accepted the task of composing the second Constitution was small; but George Washington was its President, and it contained the finest minds and the noblest characters that had ever appeared in the New World.”

Now that is some pretty lofty praise, wouldn’t you say? He wasn’t just talking about ONE mind like I asked you to come up with, he was talking plural, multiple minds all coming together at the same time. That thought, at least to me, is awe inspiring.

Often as a child I would think about what it would be like to have a time machine that would allow me to travel back and forth in time. I always wondered where I would go; see the crucifixion of Christ, the dinosaurs? Now that I’m older and have spent the last decade and a half studying our nation’s birth, I could honestly say that there is no OTHER place I’d rather travel than back to the time of our nation’s birth. To sit among those great minds at the Continental Congresses and partake of their wisdom would be, to me, the single most exciting thing I could do.

To be able to witness things like Patrick Henry declaring, “…if this be treason, make the most of it.”, or “Give me Liberty or give me death.” You know, Thomas Jefferson is probably my biggest idol, is you could call him that. Yet even Thomas Jefferson was taken aback by the power and skill of Patrick Henry as an orator. Jefferson once said the following about him, “…never heard anything that deserved to be called by the same name with what flowed from him; and where he got that torrent of language is inconceivable…He was truly a great man.”

Or to think what it would have been like to be in Independence Hall when they Continental Congress signed their names to the Declaration of Independence. You see, I personally have been called a radical and worse because of my political views. Yet I have not suffered, nor has my life been in any danger because of them. Our Founders, on the other hand, all placed their lives on the line when they signed their names to the Declaration of Independence.

Years later in a letter to John Adams, Benjamin Rush would say, “Do you recollect the pensive and awful silence which pervaded the house where we were called up, one after another, to subscribe what was believed by many at that time to be our own death warrants? The silence and the gloom of the morning were interrupted I well recollect only for a moment by Col. Harrison of Virginia who said to Mr. Gerry at the table “I shall have a great advantage over you Mr Gerry when we are all hung for what we are now doing. From the size and weight of my body I shall die in a few minutes, but from the lightness of your body you will dance in the air an hour or two before you are dead.”

That was the mettle of the men who bequeathed to us a country based upon liberty, not unlimited power of government to micromanage every aspect of our lives.

Not since the days of Plato, of Socrates, of Aristotle, have there been minds such as those of the men who established our system of government, and to think that they all came together at one crucial moment in time. It may mean absolutely nothing to you, but to me it is possibly one of the most single greatest events in the history of man.

Can you imagine, being around men like James Madison, who was our 4th president, the driving force behind our Constitution, the author of A Memorial and Remonstrance of Religious Assessments; Patrick Henry whose speech Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death STILL sends a chill down my spine; or Thomas Paine whose work Common Sense did much to stir up the hearts and minds of the people towards independence; and of course Thomas Jefferson, our 3rd president and author of the Declaration of Independence, the single most important document on the origin of rights and the purpose of government ever written by man.

Of all the Founders Jefferson is the one I respect the most. Maybe it is because my thoughts on government so closely resemble his, but in any case Jefferson was probably the single most learned man amongst all the founders…and that’s saying something.

Did you know that by age nine Jefferson could write Greek, Latin and French, to which he soon added Spanish and Italian? He was a voracious reader with over a thousand books in his library, including the writings of philosophers such as Locke and Montesquieu? Not only was Jefferson a great political thinker, he was an architect, a botanist and an inventor.

In a letter to Samuel Harrison Smith, James Madison would say this about him, “He was certainly one of the most learned men of the age. It may be said of him as has been said of others that he was a “walking Library,” and what can be said of but few such prodigies, that the Genius of Philosophy ever walked hand in hand with him.”

Years later when President John F. Kennedy hosted forty nine Nobel Prize winners, he said this about Jefferson, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever gathered together at the White House–with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

For men such as Madison and Kennedy, men whom I admire greatly, to say THAT about another human being SHOULD make one stop and think about what it was about Jefferson that caused them to respect his mind so much.

You should also be asking yourself why YOU don’t know more about the man, or what he had to say about our system of government, of liberty, of the judiciary, or a host of other things. Just by reading the writings of Jefferson alone you might begin to get a picture as to what is wrong with America today.

And that is exactly what is wrong with America today. There are no great minds left who think about things such as those that our men like Jefferson and the rest of our Founders. Our lives are too busy with the details of day to day living to take time out and actually think about things like liberty and good governance.

So we accept what we have as if we have no say in making things better. And those of us who call for radical change, (and radical change is what is needed), are denigrated and slandered because people fear what they do not understand. And one thing is certain, very few people today truly understand the system of government that our Founders established, and even fewer understand what it means to be free men.

Until that changes you can continue to vote for either Republicans or Democrats and nothing, and I mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is going to change. Not until people start to think again, and to develop a spine to stand up against tyranny and the infringement of their rights will things change.

But as long as they have a roof over their head, food and beer in the fridge, and a TV to turn on at night, most people are as content as pigs in slop. Little do they realize that step by step by step their rights and their freedom is being taken from them by those whom they have foolishly trusted to do what is in their best interests.

That is why, even though Jefferson is my favorite Founding Father, THIS is my favorite quote. It is because I feel it applies to well to the people of this country today. It comes from Samuel Adams, and it says, “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

We could restore our country to its former greatness if 50% of the people unplugged their TV’s, their PC’s, turned off their cellphones and picked up a book and read some of the things our nation’s founders had to say about government and about liberty. But that will never happen, the people have been conditioned to accept what they are being told by the news and by those in power. The thoughts of a bunch of old dead guys don’t mean anything to anyone anymore.

I’m not saying that there aren’t those today who don’t think about these things, but let’s face it, we are a minority…and a small one. And please, spare me the Sam Adams quote about a tireless minority! Lest you forget it also says keen to set brushfires in people’s minds. That is exactly what I’ve been trying to do for the past 15 years, and let me tell you, IT DOESN’T WORK! People no longer WANT to think about these things.

And my friends, it will be due to that attitude alone that we will be able to ascribe our nation’s downfall to when it comes. When it happens, remember that I told you that…

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You Won’t Hear This On The Evening News

The average American goes home at night and turns on his television for half an hour to an hour to watch the news. They usually catch a half hour of local news and then another half hour of national news. They believe this makes them current on what is going on in this country and the world. They form opinions based upon the information they are given and they make choices based upon the opinions they form. But what if the information is faulty, or if it is skewed to one side to guide and manipulate your thought process?

Did you know that almost 90% of all the news companies in the country are owned and controlled by six corporations? That’s right, six companies control almost all the news you are being given. These companies are GE, NewsCorp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and CBS. If you could follow the financial maze of who owns those companies I bet you would find that they are all owned, or at least controlling influence is exercised, by a few select individuals. That should worry you.

The First Amendment to our Constitution guarantees us freedom of the press. But if the same people who own, and exercise control over what news stories we hear are the same people who are major contributors and moving forces behind the political parties in this country, THEN we have a big problem. Is it too far a stretch of the imagination to believe that the same people who control the media and the government are not going to manipulate the news you receive so as to guide your opinions on the issues in a manner that is agreeable to their agenda?

Now consider this. In 1917 United States Congressman Oscar Callaway, (a Democrat by the way), stood on the floor of the House of Representatives and said, “In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, shipbuilding, and powder interest, and their subsidiary organizations, got together 12 men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press. … They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of 25 of the greatest papers. An agreement was reached; the policy of the papers was bought, to be paid for by the month; an editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies, and other things of national and international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers.”

Read that underlined sentence as many times as necessary for it to sink in. The editors of these news agencies supervised what news the people were being given in such a manner that was vital to the interests of the purchasers. He said absolutely nothing about providing the American people with the facts or the truth.

You think the news wouldn’t lie, or at the least distort the truth? Think again! For all you Fair and Balanced FOX News fans, I have some bad news for you. Are you aware that a former FOX employee, Jane Akre discovered that cows in Florida were being injected with RBGH, a drug designed to produce more milk, but which also was linked to causing cancer in humans? Are you aware that FOX, under pressure from Monsanto, the manufacturer of RBGH, rewrote her report around 80 times to make it compatible with the companies requests? Are you aware that she refused to air the edited segment? Are you aware that FOX news went to court claiming “… it was their first amendment right to report false information…” And are you aware that the court ruled that the FCC’s position against news distortion is only a ‘policy’ and not a rule or regulation that can be enforced?

Don’t for a minute think that when you listen to your favorite news anchor that you are getting the truth about everything. Sometimes you may while others you may only get snippets of the whole story, and others you get an absolute distortion of the facts. If you want the truth you are going to have to research for it, and that means time and effort. But that is too much like work and people, for the most part, are loathe to expend any energy on things that do not bring them instant gratification.

A perfect example of that is fitness. How many people want to achieve quick results to losing weight and obtaining optimal fitness? Ever wonder why so many exercise machines are sold around New Years, and then are found in garage sales two to three months later? It’s because people want quick results and if they don’t get them they give up. They don’t have the time or patience to make lifestyle changes that will ensure results, they want a pill they can swallow to shed 50 lbs so they can go back to their couches, their TV and their potato chips and beer.

So you be certain that if they won’t make an effort to change their lifestyle to improve their health that they won’t make any kind of effort to find out if the news they are being told is truthful or not. But don’t for a minute go around thinking that you are informed because you watch the news every night.

The news you watch has been hand-picked for your consumption. The anchors are merely actors reading off a script which has been prepared for them. They may not even be aware that they are lying, or at the least misinforming you…but it wouldn’t surprise me if they were aware of it.

If you don’t believe this fact, consider this. Walter Cronkite was a household name when I was growing up. He was the voice everyone trusted to deliver the news to them every evening. Did you know that in 1996 author Carl Jensen wrote a book entitled Censored: The News That Didn’t Make the News-And Why. Why is this of importance? Well Walter Cronkite wrote the introduction for this book. In it Cronkite states, “A handful of us determine what will be on the evening news broadcasts, or, for that matter, in the New York Times or Washington Post or Wall Street Journal…. Indeed it is a handful of us with this awesome power… a strongly editorial power.” He then goes on to say, “…we must decide which news items out of hundreds available we are going to expose that day. And those [news stories] available to us already have been culled and re-culled by persons far outside our control .”

You are being told exactly what the owners of the news media want you to be told and nothing more. The truth does not even come into play here. The news you get is filled with half truths, lies, and omissions. Why do I say omissions? Well if they don’t report on something, then how can you be aware of its existence?

Did you know that according to some, at a Bilderberg Conference in Baden Baden Germany David Rockefeller said the following, “We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”

Now this can’t be verified as the Bilderberg meetings are exclusive and confidential, but the comments were quoted in many French publications and in Programming, Pitfalls and Puppy-Dog Tales (1993) by Gyeorgos C. Hatonn, p. 65. I will leave it up to you to believe it or reject it. I myself tend to believe that he said it.

However, this is fact. In 1971 Congressman John Rarick said, “The Council on Foreign Relations is “the establishment.” Not only does it have influence and power in key decision-making positions at the highest levels of government to apply pressure from above, but it also announces and uses individuals and groups to bring pressure from below, to justify the high level decisions for converting the U.S. from a sovereign Constitutional Republic into a servile member state of a one-world dictatorship.” And the CFR, if you weren’t aware, has very close ties to the Rockefeller family. In fact they run a think tank named the David Rockefeller Studies Program.

If one were to look at a roster of current and past CFR members one would find that many of the news anchors and the owners as well of the various news agencies have all been, or currently are members of the CFR. Are you that naive to believe that if they are members of a group like the CFR they don’t share common beliefs and would use their position to spread those beliefs, or at least manipulate the news in a manner which led us to accept the agenda they all followed?

And as I said earlier, if the same people who control our government also control the news then we have a big problem. Not only are members of the news media members of the CFR, but government officials in key locations…all the way up to presidents. In fact, if you browse through the roster of CFR members you will find that they are in key positions everywhere that your life, or your thoughts can be influenced; politics, the media, and academia.

My God people, if you were capable of any level of critical thinking all kinds of alarms should be going off in your heads by now!

One last thing and let me begin by asking you a simple question. How do you typically feel after watching the evening news? Are you angry, possibly a bit fearful? I don’t find it hard to believe that after an hour of the news each evening that anyone would not be fearful about something. The news is all about disaster, terrorist threats, gun violence, or some other thing to keep us in a perpetual state of fear.

Did you know that fear is a great manipulator? It can be used to cause people to accept things that they might otherwise not accept were they not afraid of something. Do you think that any of us would have tolerated the Patriot Act, TSA searches and the growth of Homeland Security had 9/11 not happened?

I absolutely love the movie V For Vendetta, particularly the scene were V takes over the broadcasting station and airs his speech. I have been criticized for using it in my articles as it is only fiction. But fiction often mirrors the truth, so I will use it again here. V states, “Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you…”

Films often portray snippets of truth in them, even though they are fiction. I find it amusing, at best, that people will criticize me for using a quote from a film like V For Vendetta, yet they will watch a film like Lincoln, or the new Russell Crowe version of Noah and believe them as the absolute truth. It simply amazes me how people readily accept some things as gospel truth simply because the film is based upon a historical event, while choosing to completely disregard comments made, or events portrayed, in a fiction film simply because it IS labeled as fiction. Truth is truth and it is up to you to use your logic and reasoning powers to discern it.

Well, since you are either going to believe me or you aren’t, I’ll leave you with one last film quote. This one comes from Live Free or Die Hard. Matt Farrell says to John McClane, “The news is completely manipulated. Everything you hear, every single day is designed by corporate media to one thing only. To keep you living in fear.”

Well, it has been said that the truth shall set you free. If you want to be free of all this fear you live under than the only reasonable way to achieve that is to seek the truth. And you won’t get that on the nightly news.

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There Is No Middle Ground (My Thoughts This ISIS Mess)

There has been a lot of talk lately about this problem in Iraq with the militant group ISIS and what to do about it. Sure what is happening over there is horrific and disgusting, but is it the responsibility of the United States to do something about it? Far too many Americans simply watch a four or five minute news story about what is happening over there and have no real understanding of who Isis is and what they are doing. Yet these people either support or oppose our government getting involved based upon the barest amount of information.

ISIS, otherwise known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is a self proclaimed caliphate which claims religious authority over all Muslims in the region. Some of you do not understand what a caliphate is, and therefore don’t understand what Isis is trying to accomplish. A caliphate is, according to their belief, is similar to the pope, a direct successor to Muhammad. Therefore they claim the authority to direct all religious activity in the region. This includes their requiring that all sects adhere to the dictates they impose. If anyone opposes them, or differs in their beliefs, they can, and routinely are, executed.

What Isis is trying to do is to establish control over all Muslims in the Middle East with their version of Islam as the foundation for their control. The problem is that there are differing sects in the region whose beliefs, although rooted in the teachings of Muhammad, differ from theirs. So they are either told to convert or die. For Isis there is no tolerance for religious freedom like we have here. To put it in a way you might better understand, it would be like the Pope declaring religious authority over all Christians and anyone who opposes the Pope, or refuses to convert to Catholicism is condemned to death.

Aside from the moral outrage many feel towards the treatment of those who oppose ISIS, you have to understand that that entire region has always been a hotbed for varying religious factions. Wars and sectarian violence are as much a part of their history, and their nature, as football and Christmas is to ours. Most Americans simply cannot fathom the level of belief these people have and the fanaticism that goes along with it. We are naive, at best, to believe that anything we might say or do is going to change that. This goes as much for the current problem with Isis as it does for the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

For many of these people their religious beliefs are the underlying, or driving force in their lives. Their beliefs and centuries of fighting are not going to be swayed by U.S. diplomacy or the threat of U.S. military strikes. In fact, all our meddling in the region has only achieved in the region is causing them to hate us even more. To them we are infidels and they despise us for our intervention in what they believe to be a religious war.

This anger and animosity dates way back to ancient history. During the Ottoman Empire Sultan Selim the Grim declared “…the killing of one Shiite had as much otherworldly reward as killing 70 Christians…” To those who profess belief in strict adherence to Islamic law, those who belong to different sects are just a step above Christians and must either submit to their views or be exterminated. You cannot fight that kind of ingrained hatred and animosity.

I admit that the world is a far more complicated and intertwined place than it was centuries ago when our nation was founded, but our Founders were firm in their belief that we not become involved in the intrigue of foreign disputes.

In his first Inaugural Address, Thomas Jefferson outlined our nation’s foreign policy by saying, “Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none…”

Then in an 1821 speech to the House of Representatives, soon to be president John Quincy Adams declared, “America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama the European world, will be contests of inveterate power, and emerging right. Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.”

Yeah that’s long, but it is crucial that we understand that our nation’s earliest statesmen did not believe in becoming entangled in the intrigue and wars of other countries. Yet this current crisis with ISIS, and the recent past terrorist attacks against America and her interests are not the first time we have had to deal with problems in that region of the world.

In 1786, after the U.S. had been an independent nation for awhile, the U.S. had to deal with pirates in the region now under discussion. America was paying $80,000 annually for them to leave us and our interests alone. At that time $80,000 was an astronomical amount. I could only find inflation calculators that go back to 1914, but even going back that far, $80,000 is equivalent to over a million dollars today. You can imagine how much more it was back in the late 1800′s.

After Algerians captured two ships and demanded an additional $60,000 ransom President Jefferson decided enough was enough. He felt it better to raise funds to build ships to fight the Barbary Pirates than to pay them off in bribes every year.

What differed then is that Jefferson went in with a Naval force and kicked their ass sufficiently so that they knew better than to mess with the U.S. or our interests. Now look at us. We meddle internally in the affairs of these countries, we support Israel, their sworn enemy, and we wonder why they hate us the way they do. Not only that, after we go into a country, no matter how justified, or not, our actions may be, we try to force them to install a democratic form of government, while American profiteers grow rich off the contracts to rebuild the country we just finished demolishing.

Yes, Isis is a threat to the region. But a few isolated military strikes here and there are not going to stop them. We could send troops over there again and kill enough of them to settle things down for awhile, but that would only stop this type sectarian violence for awhile until it sprung up again later.

As a friend of mine stated the other day, there are but two choices we have. We can either stay out of what is happening over there or we can go in and do what needs to be done to make sure this type thing never happens again. Anything else is a half measure that will not be effective.

The problem is that America has this guilt complex that makes us believe that we need to be the defender of what is right, making us the ones to go in and settle every little squabble that arises internally in the affairs of other nations. Does anyone remember Bosnia and Croatia?

Our Founders believed that was not our responsibility. Yet it seems that is what our leadership, the UN and a vast number of America believes, that we are the police force of the world who ensures that all the world enjoys the freedom our Founding Documents outline for us.

The problem is that most Americans don’t realize the extent of the animosity in the region and that our small military incursions into these countries are not going to erase centuries of hatred. Aside from complete and total genocide nothing is going to put an end to the violence in that region. Anything else will be futile. And I don’t think America has the stomach for that. Beside the backlash from the international community would stop that before it ever happened. All one has to do is go back to the Viet Nam war to confirm that. We went in and then would not allow the military to end the war by doing what needed to be done. Far too many U.S. servicemen died in that war because the country, and the government didn’t have the stomach to do what is needed to put a quick end to that war.

But for some Americans to say that we are the only ones capable of stopping a group such as Isis is a lie. China has far more military forces than we do. In fact they outnumber us 2:1 in total members of their armed forces. They could easily go into Iraq and put an end to this uprising should they choose to do so. And the thing is they could probably do it because they would not be afraid to eliminate the problem in its entirety.

But then our government would cry foreign intervention by China when that is exactly what we would be doing should we become entangled in this mess. Besides, we don’t dare let the Chinese get involved as it might give them control of the oil in the region.

All I’m saying by this is that nothing we can do is going to change anything over there. We don’t have the stomach to do what is required to put an end to this type sectarian violence once and for all, and anything else we do will never put an end to it.

But for Americans to say we must do something, then pull back when what we do crosses the line and becomes too horrific for our own sense of morality, is a waste of our time and any lives that may be lost by U.S. Servicemen who are forced once again to go off and fight in a land whose history is filled with such uprisings and wars.

I have always believed that Islam is a threat to the U.S. Sure there are moderates who only want to live in peace, but the moderates never end up becoming a major political force. It is always the fanatics who gain control, and their belief system is incompatible with ours. We must either come to terms with that and do what needs to be done to put an end to the threat radical Islam brings to the region, and the United States, or stay out of it entirely. On this there is no middle ground.

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Has The Gangrene Spread?

In 1831 the French government sent Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont to the United States to study our prison system. But the underlying reason for their visit was to study our country as a whole, particularly with respect towards our young republic and our democracy. The result of their 271 day visit is Democracy in America with Volume 1 being written in 1835 and Volume 2 being completed five years later.

I recently purchased both volumes in one single paperback book. For the longest time it sat on my shelf because I was apprehensive about starting the daunting task of reading a book of nearly 1,000 pages. Finally I mustered up the courage to open it up and begin reading. I was pleasantly surprised that the reading was not as dry as I had expected. In fact de Tocqueville writes in a style that is quite enjoyable to read. My only concern is that I do not have enough highlighters as I have been highlighting passages left and right as I make my way through it.

However, my purpose in writing this is not to review de Tocqueville’s masterpiece on American Democracy. Instead I would like to comment on one thing he said in Chapter 2 of the first Volume. De Tocqueville wrote, “A MAN has come into the world; his early years are spent without notice in the pleasures and activities of childhood. As he grows up, the world receives him when his manhood begins, and he enters into contact with his fellows. He is then studied for the first time, and it is imagined that the germ of the vices and the virtues of his maturer years is then formed.

This, if I am not mistaken, is a great error. We must begin higher up; we must watch the infant in his mother’s arms; we must see the first images which the external world casts upon the dark mirror of his mind, the first occurrences that he witnesses, we must hear the first words which awaken the sleeping powers of thought, and stand by his earliest efforts if we would understand the prejudices, the habits, and the passions which will rule his life. The entire man is, so to speak, to be seen in the cradle of the child.

The growth of nations presents something analogous to this; they all bear some marks of their origin. The circumstances that accompanied their birth and contributed to their development affected the whole term of their being.

If we were able to go back to the elements of states and to examine the oldest monuments of their history, I doubt not that we should discover in them the primal cause of the prejudices, the habits, the ruling passions, and, in short, all that constitutes what is called the national character.”

The National Character…hmmm, what could he possibly mean by that? According to Encyclopedia.com National Character is defined as, “…the enduring personality characteristics and unique life styles found among the populations of particular national states.”

I suppose, using that definition, that the national character of any nation is subject to change as the personality characteristics of the people inhabiting that nation are subject to change over a course of time. But if you want to truly understand how our system of government was supposed to function, and why it isn’t working so well today, then you MUST go back and study the mindset of the people who created it. That is why that quote by de Tocqueville struck me with such force, as his analogy of understanding a person and how you must go back to its infancy, and not its adulthood.

Although there are some Americans who are able to do this, most people examine their government, and how it functions, from the framework of their own short lifetime. For instance, if you were born in 1970 then you examine how your government has changed since 1970 and you believe that for all to be well in America is for our government to return to functioning the way it functioned back in 1970. But, as de Tocqueville correctly asserted, that is a great error. To understand how our system of government is supposed to function you must go back prior to its creation and study the men who established it.

Unfortunately, for most people anyway, that is simply too much work. Most people’s lives are too busy, filled with the things they consider important, to spend reading musty old books about men like Jefferson, Madison, Paine, Adams, and Washington.

That may be their viewpoint, but our nation’s Founders felt differently. They felt that an informed and educated citizenry was the only safeguard for a free republic and the only defense against tyranny and the loss of liberty. That is why, in 1823, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “It is the duty of every good citizen to use all the opportunities which occur to him, for preserving the documents relating to the history of our country.”

That is why Noah Webster said, “Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country.”

Our country is unique. It is rare that a people inhabiting a land get to create their own system of government. As de Tocqueville concludes at the end of Chapter 1, “In that land the great experiment of the attempt to construct society upon a new basis was to be made by civilized man; and it was there, for the first time, that theories hitherto unknown, or deemed impracticable, were to exhibit a spectacle for which the world had not been prepared by the history of the past.”

It saddens me to watch as the system of government established by our Founders is perverted and powers are usurped by our representatives that it was never intended they possess. It angers me to no end that people are so readily willing to give up their rights without even understanding why our Founders felt it so vitally important to preserve them.

I wonder, instead of de Tocqueville visiting the America’s in 1831 he had come in 2014, what would his thoughts have been on the National Character of the people who inhabit this country? Would he have found them to be a people filled with the love of liberty, full of industry and innovation, or would he have found a nation of people who are slothful, readily willing to surrender their rights, and only concerned with their own self gratification?

A quote from Thomas Jefferson and I’ll let you return to your lives. In a letter to Spencer Roane, written in 1821, Jefferson states, “Time indeed changes manners and notions, and so far we must expect institutions to bend to them. But time produces also corruption of principles, and against this it is the duty of good citizens to be ever on the watch, and if the gangrene is to prevail at last, let the day be kept off as long as possible.”

Has that day come when the gangrene has spread so extensively that our republic cannot be saved? I suppose only history will be able to tell. From my perspective until the people, in far greater numbers than I currently see, begin to care about how our system was supposed to function it is a lost cause.

When I am told by people that they don’t have time, but then I hear them talk about how they watched some sporting event over the weekend, or went out and got drunk, I only see that they have time, but their priorities are out of whack. When I hear people more concerned with the fate of a missing Malaysian airliner than the fact that their government is spying on them I know that their priorities are out of whack.

Mark my words, there will come a day when people will wished they had made the time to learn about and stand up for their rights and their liberty with the same courage and fortitude as the men who established this country 238 years ago. But when that time comes it will be too late, the land of the free and the home of the brave will no longer exist.

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The Clock Is Ticking

Liberty once lost is lost forever. When the People once surrender their share in the Legislature, and their Right of defending the Limitations upon the Government, and of resisting every Encroachment upon them, they can never regain it…

John Adams to Abigail Adams – July 7, 1775

I don’t know what it is about me that makes me think so much about what is going on in this country while others are perfectly content to go about their lives oblivious to the obvious slide towards tyranny that we are taking. Whatever it is I simply cannot fathom how anyone could think that anything they do in their daily lives could take precedence over their liberty. To me, that is simply mind boggling.

Not only are people seemingly ready to surrender their God-given rights to anyone in a position of authority, they insult and denigrate those who speak out about the ever increasing police state with its associated loss of individual liberty.

I know that history is a boring subject for most, but if you look back over the various civilizations and empires which have risen and fallen, you will see that those based upon liberty and freedom have all eventually fallen, to be replaced by one in which the people had very little freedom at all. That is why I began this article with that John Adams quote. But to phrase it in a way you might understand, liberty is like virginity, once you lose it you can’t get it back.

People don’t seem to want to look at trends or understand the big picture. The average person has a very short attention span and an even shorter memory. A candidate for political office may make a statement during his/her campaign, then once elected the people forget they ever said it, and if it is brought up later they simply ignore it, never holding these candidates accountable for the things they said whilst campaigning. If they can’t remember, or don’t care, what a candidate said two, three years ago, how can I honestly expect them to care the things someone who has been dead for hundreds of years said?

Yet history unfolds and does, no matter how much we care to admit it, repeat itself. People may think that we are different, that America is immune to the same pitfalls that have plagued other civilizations, but we are not! We can, and will fall, unless people begin to pull their heads out of their asses in record numbers and start truly caring about what is happening in their country.

If people could see through my eyes, the things that I see, they would be frightened beyond words. They would also wonder why others weren’t seeing the same things they did. Just because we have an elective democracy in which we get to go to the polls and vote does not make us immune from the evils of tyranny and oppression. In case you didn’t know, Hitler was elected democratically, and everything that happened under his rule was done according to laws enacted by his government. If it happened once on such a large scale it can happen again…HERE if we aren’t careful.

People in this country are so fragmented and divided along various issues that they refuse to see the trend that is happening. They say it’s okay to ban certain rights of certain groups because these laws do not affect them.

Yet they really need to read something a German pastor, Martin Niemöller, said about the Nazi’s rise to power, “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Even though you may not chose to exercise these rights that I so often speak of, they are still yours to exercise should you chose to, and no law passed by government may infringe upon them. I don’t care what they tell you, that it is the interest of national security, or simply in the best interests of the people, the government cannot enact a law which deprives a single individual of their unalienable rights.

In 1967 the Supreme Court heard the case of U.S. v Robel, wherein it was ruled that the government cannot deprive the people of their rights, even in the name of national security. In his ruling, Justice Earl Warren stated, “It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of the liberties…which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile.”

Yet how many rights have we seen which have been taken from us, or at least severely diminished because either the government told us it was in our best interests, or the people, in some emotional fervor demanded that certain rights be curtailed or limited?

How many rules and regulations must we abide by, under penalty of prosecution, must we live under before people begin to realize that we are on a steady course which will eventually see ALL our rights and liberty gone…forever?

In his book Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville warned us about when the government creates all these rules and regulations which control every aspect of our lives. De Tocqueville writes, “Society will develop a new kind of servitude which covers the surface of society with a network of complicated rules, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate. It does not tyrannise but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”

People seem to find no problem in our government enacting all these laws which control the smallest aspect of our daily lives. But that is not what true liberty is. True liberty is the freedom to do as we please as long as our actions do not violate the individual rights of others.

In his Second Treatise on Civil Governments, John Locke states “This freedom from absolute, arbitrary power, is so necessary to, and closely joined with a man’s preservation, that he cannot part with it, but by what forfeits his preservation and life together: for a man, not having the power of his own life, cannot, by compact, or his own consent, enslave himself to any one, nor put himself under the absolute, arbitrary power of another, to take away his life, when he pleases. No body can give more power than he has himself; and he that cannot take away his own life, cannot give another power over it.”

Yet today we see entire governmental agencies devoted to enforcing these rules and regulations upon us, with the power to fine, imprison, and kill us should we choose to resist. Even local law enforcement agencies have become almost fully militarized and enforce the law with an iron will, regardless of whether the laws are just or not.

If that is not the perfect example of living in a police state I don’t know what is.

Yet people such as myself are considered by many to be threats to our national security and threats to the American way of life. Yet it is people such as myself who are, in fact, the only ones standing up for the true American way of life. It is those who blindly accept these losses of liberty, those who meekly obey every rule and regulation which controls their lives who are the true threat to the American way of life.

Going back to Locke’s treatise for a moment, he later writes, “…whenever the legislators endeavour to take away, and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence.”

That is the guiding principle which led our nation’s Founders to fight back against the tyranny of the King of England and seek their own independence. It is that spirit which has, for the most part, long ago died in the hearts and minds of many of my countrymen.

In his Liberty Letters, Samuel Adams wrote, “The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.”

The clock is ticking people. With each day that passes our government grows stronger while we lose more of our freedoms. Whether you like it or not, if America falls into tyranny the fault will lie with the people who became so ignorant and so complacent that they allowed their government to deprive them of their freedom.

So please, wake up before it’s too late…if it isn’t too late already.

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Must I Keep Repeating Myself?

The other day America celebrated the Fourth of July, the day in which we celebrate our declaring ourselves independent from Britain. Throughout the day I could smell barbecues and hear people having parties in their yards. Then during the evening, as I lay in bed, I could hear the sound, and see the colored flashes of lights from the people setting off fireworks. As I lay there I wondered to myself do these people really understand what this day signifies, and if so, how can they be celebrating it?

Awhile back someone told me that I’m always complaining about how screwed up our country is but I don’t give any specifics. I don’t, really? I wonder, has this person read all my articles or are they just saying that because of what they hear me say? I’m not saying that there aren’t other places that are better off than America, and I’m not saying there aren’t. As a friend of mine said on Facebook yesterday, America is probably still the healthiest patient on the cancer ward. Yeah, we may be better off than many other places, but we are far from healthy.
So you want specifics? Well let me get specific.

First, let me begin by asking a question. Do you even know what our Constitution is? I don’t want some generic answer filled with generalities, you want specifics from me, I’m asking for specifics from you. What is our Constitution?

Can’t answer? Don’t know? Didn’t think so.

Go to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary and you will see that the root word, constitute, means: to make up or form something; to establish or create. So a constitution is the act of creating a government. As Thomas Paine wrote in his booklet The Rights of Man, “A constitution is not a thing in name only, but in fact. It has not an ideal, but a real existence; and wherever it cannot be produced in a visible form, there is none. A constitution is a thing antecedent to a government, and a government is only the creature of a constitution. The constitution of a country is not the act of its government, but of the people constituting its government. It is the body of elements, to which you can refer, and quote article by article; and which contains the principles on which the government shall be established, the manner in which it shall be organised, the powers it shall have, the mode of elections, the duration of Parliaments, or by what other name such bodies may be called; the powers which the executive part of the government shall have; and in fine, everything that relates to the complete organisation of a civil government, and the principles on which it shall act, and by which it shall be bound.”

By creating a body, a government, this is to represent the people, we ceded certain powers we held under natural law to the government to act on our behalf…for certain specific purposes. In that way it is much like a power of attorney. A power of attorney is a legal document authorizing someone else to act on your behalf in legal matters. Powers of attorney can be general, that is unlimited, or specific, granted for certain purposes. In our discussion if our Constitution were a power of attorney it would be specific, as the Constitution clearly spells out what powers this government shall wield.

I honestly don’t care what you may think or feel, as we are not dealing with feelings, we are dealing with facts; our government cannot enact laws that a majority of the people support, or that they feel are in our best interest, when those laws exceed the powers granted them by the Constitution. They simply cannot legally do so. If our government does so it has violated the law and has become criminal in its actions. It is that simple.

In Federalist 78 Alexander Hamilton said as much, “There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

So it does not matter if the government feels that what it is doing is in our best interests, or if it acts upon the sentiments of a majority of the people, if its acts violate the Constitution, they are invalid…null and void, and we are not bound to obey.

You may not like that, but that’s the way it is. In his farewell address George Washington told us that we can modify the Constitution, but for our government to usurp powers was the means by which free governments are destroyed, “If in the opinion of the People, the distribution or modification of the Constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”

So let’s take a moment to sum up what I have just said. Our government was created by an act of the people; a constitution was written which described how it was to be organized and the powers it would have. It was decided that when a government acted outside the powers granted it by the people it was usurpation, and its acts were to be considered null and void. Sound about right? Good, let’s continue.

I suppose then the next logical step in this discussion is to define what powers we granted our government to wield on our behalf. If you at least understand that the power of making law falls within the purview of the legislature, the Congress, then at least you are slightly ahead of the game. If not, then you just learned something. The powers granted Congress are found in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, and they are as follows:

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;–And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

That’s it, the whole ball of wax. If a power is not named in that list, our government does not have it. And you can cry and moan that you think government should have that power, it does not matter, until our Constitution is AMENDED to grant government that power, it cannot legally exercise it.

Let’s take a look at some of those powers.

One of the most widely argued clause of the Constitution is the second power granted Congress, the power to regulate commerce. Some argue that the phrase regulate commerce merely means to ‘make regular’ while others say it grants the government a whole slew of powers to govern over the production, sale, and consumption of goods. Many of these questions have been settled by the Supreme Court, but that alone does not answer the question as to what regulate commerce actually means. This is because there is a technical difference between how the Courts interpret, or construct when forming their rulings.

Keith Whittington is a professor of politics at Princeton University and he said the following about the difference between interpretation and construction, “Constitutional interpretation is essentially legalistic, but constitutional construction is essentially political. Its precondition is that parts of the constitutional text have no discoverable meaning. Although the clauses and structures that make up the text cannot be simply empty of meaning, for they are clearly recognizable as language, the meaning that they convey may be so broad and underdetermined as to be incapable of faithful reduction to legal rules…”

What he is saying is that the Court, when a clear definition of a word, or phrase, does not exist, that they have to find how it was used in context and then, as then as he later says, make “…an act of creativity beyond interpretation…” This is construction. So when the Court hands down a ruling it often is based upon the use of their interpretation of what the words and phrases mean, and may, in all reality, be far different from what the Founders intended. We may never know, but if their rulings are faulty, then laws such as those which require us to buy health insurance, Obamacare, may be unconstitutional.

It is my belief, based upon what I have read, that the government may enact laws which regulate the health care industry so as to ensure that people have access to affordable health care and health care insurance. But it MAY NOT force us to purchase any product. That is not part of a free market society where the people are free to spend their money as they please. On the other hand, if a person chooses NOT to purchase health insurance that person cannot require that others subsidize their health care should they become ill. It is a choice each individual must make, and then live with the consequences of their choice. But as for the government requiring us to purchase anything, I believe that to be an usurpation of powers not granted them and therefore unconstitutional.

The next clause I would like to discuss it the power to coin money. This act was granted government because each of the thirteen states had their own currency which made it difficult to use in the other states. Therefore it was agreed that a common currency was needed and that the power to establish that currency, and set its value was needed by the federal government.

The power to coin money was therefore a delegated power which we the people granted our government. There is a legal maxim which states, delegata potestas non potest delegari, which means no delegated powers can be further delegated. But the Necessary and Proper Clause states that Congress shall have all powers required to carry into execution the specific powers granted it by the Constitution.

In 1792 Congress passed the Coinage Act which established the U.S. Mint. Under this act coins were to be produced and their values set according to certain standards that would be uniform throughout the nation. This was a necessary and proper act in that without establishing a mint Congress could not coin money, nor regulate its value.

But then in 1913 something happened. Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act. Now, if you look at a U.S. dollar it does not say U.S. dollar, it says Federal Reserve Note. To understand why this is so important you must understand the definitions for lawful money and legal tender. Are they not one and the same you ask? No, they are not.

Legal tender is a phrase found in the Federal Reserve Act itself. According to the Federal Reserve Act, legal tender “…shall be obligations of the United States and shall be receivable by all national and member banks and Federal reserve banks and for all taxes, customs, and other public dues. They shall be redeemed in lawful money on demand at the Treasury Department of the United States, in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, or at any Federal Reserve bank.”

So, if you could take a legal tender $10 bill to a federal reserve bank and exchange it for lawful money, then there must be a difference. You used to be able to take a federal reserve note into a federal reserve bank and exchange it for an equivalent amount of gold or silver. But in 1933 Congress again changed the law so that all U.S. coins AND currency constituted legal tender, making Federal Reserve Notes the ONLY currency we can use to purchase items and to pay debts.

So what happened is that Congress delegated the power to coin money to a private consortium of banks, who then print our money. Whether they do so for profit or not is at this point irrelevant. Congress delegated a power to a private interest with the sole power of printing, and regulating the value of our currency. The Federal Reserve IS a private interest, it’s name may include the word federal, but other than the Board of Governors appointed by the President, it has no ties to our government. They are not audited, and are under minimal, in no, Congressional oversight.

Again, whether it was right to give a private banking consortium control of our currency to keep it stable is irrelevant. The question is was it legal for Congress to do so? If we delegated the power to Congress, they cannot delegate it to someone else and this is what they did by passing the Federal Reserve Act.

Then there is the hot topic of immigration. Congress does have the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization, which they have and can be found in our immigration laws. Yet the presidents, whose job it is to see that our laws be enacted and enforced, have failed to do so in regards to immigration. Now they cry that we must change the laws and pardon all those who have come here illegally just because they are already here. In 1986 we were told the same thing when President Reagan signed the Simpson Mazzoli Act, otherwise known as IRCA. We were promised that our immigration laws would be strengthened so as not to require any more amnesties. Yet here we are again, our government not overstepping its power, but failing to exercise it.

I’m sorry if I sound insensitive, but the law is the law. If you enter this country illegally you are a criminal and deserve whatever punishment the law mandates.

And for the last of the specific powers granted our government, I’d like to discuss the power to declare war. This power was delegated to Congress, not to the president. In 1793 George Washington declared, “The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure.”

Yet again we see Congress delegating powers to the president. In 1973 Congress passed the War Powers Act, which gave the president the power to send troops into battle in case of a national emergency created by an attack upon the United States, its territories, its possessions, or its armed forces. All the president had to do is to notify Congress within 48 hours. It does however limit the time these forces can be deployed to sixty days with a thirty day withdrawal period unless Congress formally declares war. How long have we been in Iraq, Afghanistan?

In a message to Congress in 1805, Thomas Jefferson said, “Considering that Congress alone is constitutionally invested with the power of changing our condition from peace to war, I have thought it my duty to await their authority for using force in any degree which could be avoided.”

How often do we now hear of our government sending troops to a particular region of the world to settle disputes and maintain peace?
In a Fourth of July Address, President John Quincy Adams stated, “America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart… But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.”

It is not our purpose, nor is it among the powers granted our government, to police the world, to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations, to instill democracy for all. The sole purpose for our military, and the power to declare war, is to protect our nation from external attack. To put it in terms everyone can understand, if someone messes with us we go in, kick their ass, and leave them to lick their wounds. We do not go in and try to force them to accept our way of life, we merely let them know that we are not to be trifled with. And this is only when Congress authorizes it. The president has no power to send troops abroad to fight in whatever battles he deems necessary to protect American interests.

As Joseph Story said in his Commentaries on the Constitution, “War, in its best estate, never fails to impose upon the people the most burthensome taxes, and personal sufferings. It is always injurious, and sometimes subversive of the great commercial, manufacturing, and agricultural interests. Nay, it always involves the prosperity, and not unfrequently the existence, of a nation. It is sometimes fatal to public liberty itself, by introducing a spirit of military glory, which is ready to follow, wherever a successful commander will lead; and in a republic, whose institutions are essentially founded on the basis of peace, there is infinite danger, that war will find it both imbecile in defence, and eager for contest. Indeed, the history of republics has but too fatally proved, that they are too ambitious of military fame and conquest, and too easily devoted to the views of demagogues, who flatter their pride, and betray their interests. It should therefore be difficult in a republic to declare war; but not to make peace.”

Those are just a few examples of the specific powers granted by us to our government which have been violated. What about the powers our government wields that are not even mentioned? Among them I would like to address but one, the power to subsidize. How much money is spent annually by our government to fund people who are needy? I can already hear the bleeding hearts saying that I am cruel and insensitive. No, I am merely speaking from a legal perspective. Is our government authorized to take from those that have and give to those who are in need?

In a speech before the House of Representatives in 1794 James Madison clearly stated that “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” Throughout our nation’s history numerous presidents have vetoed acts passed by Congress which would take money from the federal treasury and give it to those in need, stating that they did not find it amongst the powers granted government to do so.

Yet now I could not even begin to list all the money that is spent of federal aid for some reason or another. On top of that, what about all the money we hand out in the form of foreign aid? Where is it stated that our government can donate millions of tax dollars to other countries? If you can find where in the Constitution that it specifically says our government can give money to foreign nations I will personally give you $100!

These are just the powers that our government has abused that are among those specifically enumerated within the Constitution. What about our rights?

As our Constitution was being argued amongst the states there were certain among them who would not agree to its ratification unless a Bill of Rights were included to protect certain rights of the people. The government has enacted so many laws which violate our rights that I cannot even begin to list them all.

The simple truth is that our rights are beyond the scope of powers granted government. In Miranda v. Arizona the court ruled, “Where rights are secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.”

And yes, it is that simple. If there is a right listed in the first ten amendments to the Constitution then our government has no authority to enact laws which violate them. It does not matter that we are in a war on terror, or that guns are used to commit crimes. Punish those who violate the rights of others, but leave the rights of average people alone.

Yet now we have laws declaring what we can and cannot say violating our freedom of speech. We have laws which say what type arms we may not own in violation of the Second Amendment. We are spied upon, our records searched, our persons and belongings searched in the name of fighting terror, all in violation of the Fourth Amendment. I could go on, but you may as well read some of my previous articles where I have gone into greater detail. The point is that our government was established to preserve and protect our rights, not limit them.

Yet people celebrate Independence Day as if nothing is wrong in this country when the truth is we live under a far more tyrannical and oppressive government than did our Founders when they wrote the Declaration of Independence.

I know this has been a long winded rant, but it needed to be said. I have no illusions that it will make any difference in the grand scheme of things. In fact I’m certain that those who need to read it most won’t. But it gets it off my chest, and for me, these days that is enough.
So go on, celebrate your Fourth of July as if America were still the nation which our founders bequeathed to us. Just expect me to join in with you because I know the truth.

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