Why Logic, Reasoning, And Critical Thinking Have Died

If I may ask, what is the following image? I’m not asking what make, model, or caliber it is, just the overall definition which fits the image below.

I would be willing to wager that a vast majority of the people in this country would say that the above image is of an assault rifle. The phrase assault rifle is used so frequently, and interchangeably, that one hardly knows what constitutes an assault rifle and what doesn’t.

In 1994 when the now defunct assault weapons ban was passed, the U.S. Justice Department made the following declaration in regards to what constitutes an assault weapon, “In general, assault weapons are semiautomatic firearms with a large magazine of ammunition that were designed and configured for rapid fire and combat use.”

Do you even know the origin of the phrase assault rifle? I didn’t think so. One of the first attributed uses of the phrase assault rifle dates back to World War II when Adolf Hitler, for propaganda purposes, used the word Sturmgewehr, or assault rifle as the nickname for the MP43. Thus these weapons became known as the Sturmgewehr 44 or StG 44 for short.

The StG 44 was a selective fire rifle, which is not the same thing as what our Justice Department defined an assault rifle. The Justice Department defines assault rifles as being semiautomatic and having removable magazines, while a selective fire rifles have a selector switch which allows the user to switch from various modes of fire; such as single shot, semiautomatic, and full automatic.

The primary difference between the two definitions is the mode of fire. Yet today Americans have been brainwashed into believing that anything that looks like a weapon soldiers carry into war is an assault rifle. Therefore, a person could conceivably modify a single shot rifle to resemble an automatic weapon and law enforcement, the media and the general public would define it as an assault rifle should it be used in the commission of a crime.

You see, it’s all about perceptions; what people perceive as being an assault rifle, and what they perceive as being a weapon the average citizen should be allowed to own.

Not only do people’s perceptions vary in regards to what constitutes an assault weapon, the laws in each of our 50 States are not uniform. Therefore firearms that people are permitted to own in one State may be banned in a neighboring State. For instance, in Nevada, the citizens can purchase a Taurus Judge; a pistol that can shoot either a .45 caliber round or a small gauge shotgun shell. However, in my home state of California existing gun laws prohibit me from purchasing or owning that same gun because it constitutes a short barreled shotgun; which is illegal to own in California.

Although my belief that the 14th Amendment was ratified by certain States, particularly those in the post Civil War South, the vast majority of people accept that it was in fact lawfully ratified, and therefore part and parcel of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has referenced it numerous times in its rulings, therefore why is it that the 14th Amendment guarantees us equal protection under the law, yet the laws in the various States regarding gun ownership are not equal?

If the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, the law that we all, from the ordinary average citizen all the way up to the President must obey, then what does it say about gun ownership? Well, to answer my own question, the Constitution itself does not say a single thing about gun ownership. Now why would that be?

Well, for one thing our Founders felt it was obvious that the right of the people to keep and bear arms was a Natural Right; one which could not be violated by government without the grossest of injustices being committed. After all, it wasn’t until the Kings men attempted to disarm the Colonists at Lexington and Concord that the Colonists went from acts of civil disobedience and verbal protests to the use of violence to defend what they believed to be a God-given right.

However, there were those who felt that the proposed Constitution did not do enough to ensure that certain rights would be set aside; free from the ability of government to restrict or regulate. Hence a Bill of Rights was agreed upon, and after the Constitution was ratified 12 amendments were sent to the States for their consideration. Ten of those amendments obtained the requisite number of ratification votes and became the Bill of Rights as we know it today.

It is the second of these amendments which were duly ratified which protects the people’s right to keep and bear arms; “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Note I said protects, not grants. The right pre-existed the ratification of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. All the Bill of Rights does is to declare that the right exists and that government may not infringe upon it.

Two important Supreme Court cases must now be brought to your attention. In the 1905 case of South Carolina v. United States the Court ruled, “The Constitution is a written instrument. As such, its meaning does not alter. That which it meant when it was adopted, it means now.”

The second one, Powell v. McCormack, was handed down in 1969, and in part states, “The values of the Framers of the Constitution must be applied in any case construing the Constitution. Inferences from the text and history of the Constitution should be given great weight in discerning the original understanding and in determining the intentions of those who ratified the constitution. The precedential value of cases and commentators tends to increase, therefore, in proportion to their proximity to the adoption of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or any other amendments.”

Therefore, it is not what you believe the Second Amendment means, it is not what the media pundits tell you the Second Amendment means, and it is not what current members of government tell you what the Second Amendment means that matters; it is what those who were alive when it was ratified believed it to mean that matters. So any law regarding the ownership, or the carrying of arms which goes against what our Founders believed regarding gun ownership, no matter how much you are told it is for the public good, is in fact an infringement of that right.

I don’t know how many times I must repeat myself on this, but infringement is defined as the action of limiting or undermining something. Therefore, if a law limits our ability to own arms, or bear, (carry them on our person), it is an infringement if it goes against what our Founders believed at the time the 2nd Amendment was ratified. 21st Century interpretations and attitudes towards that right bear no weight in deciding what gun control laws are constitutional or not; only how the Founders themselves felt about the right to keep and bear arms.

I suppose then the next obvious step is to see what exactly our Founders meant by the words bear and arms. Roger Sherman was one of the five individuals who was chosen to prepare a declaration of independency for the Continental Congress to consider; so I suppose that qualifies him as being one of the original Founding Fathers. Years later, (1790), in a House debate over legislation regarding the militia, Sherman stated, ” [C]onceived it to be the privilege of every citizen, and one of his most essential rights, to bear arms, and to resist every attack upon his liberty or property, by whomsoever made. The particular states, like private citizens, have a right to be armed, and to defend, by force of arms, their rights, when invaded.” (My emphasis) So not only does Sherman explain what it means to bear arms, (to be armed); he also explains why this is such an important right, (to defend by force of arms when their rights are invaded).

So I guess the only other thing that needs clarifying is this; what exactly is meant by the word arms? Arms comes from the Latin word arma, which simply means weapons. It does not specify what kind of weapons, nor does it restrict our right to one specific category of weapons; it simply means weapons.
Therefore, should an individual wish to own, and carry on his person, a switchblade knife, a pair of nunchaku, or even a 15th Century broadsword, it is his right to do so; no matter how much your weak minds fear seeing an armed individual other than law enforcement walking down the street.

However, if one definition of arms is not enough to convince you, maybe I should provide more. When the Supreme Court heard the case of D.C. v Heller, Justices Scalia and Stevens researched the meaning of the word arms as it was used at the time the 2nd Amendment was ratified. Justice Scalia found, in Timothy Cunningham’s New and Complete Law Dictionary, (1771), that arms is defined as, “anything that a man wears for defence, or takes into his hands, or useth in wrath to cast at or strike another.” Both Justice Scalia and Stevens also refer to John Tusler’s 1794 definition of arms to be, “instruments of offence generally made use of in war; such as firearms, swords, &c.”

Therefore, it only follows that if a weapon is used in times of war, then that weapon also fits the definition of arms which is protected by the 2nd Amendment, and guaranteed to the people; up to and including fully automatic weapons, grenade launchers, and shoulder fired missiles if a person is so inclined to own them.

Not only is the federal government prohibited from passing laws which restrict, or infringe if you will, a person’s right to keep and bear arms, that restriction applies to the States as well. In the case of Cockrum v. State the Texas Supreme Court ruled, “The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the “high powers” delegated directly to the citizen, and is excepted out of the general powers of government. A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power.”

I think I’ve done a pretty good job of showing that every gun control law on the books which restricts a person’s right to own certain type arms, or requires permission from some governmental agency to carry an arm on their person for defense, goes against the intent of those who both wrote, and ratified the 2nd Amendment; and therefore is unconstitutional.

Yet if you are still hesitant to take my word for it, here are two more quotes which should prove sufficient to convince you. The first comes from Joseph Story’s Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, (1833), and states, “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”

Not only does Story declare that it is our right to keep and bear arms, he explains why the right exists; to prevent the abuse of power by those whom we elect to represent us in government. I mean, c’mon, that sounds pretty straightforward.

The final quote comes from the Georgia Supreme Court case of Nunn vs. State, and declares, “‘The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right.”

How does all this mesh with the title of this commentary? Well it’s quite simple actually; anyone one any skills in critical thinking would be forced to admit that I am right in asserting that every gun control law ever passed is a violation of our right to keep and bear arms, and therefore unconstitutional. If you cannot see this you have lost the ability to examine facts for what they are and to come to a conclusion based upon the facts, and the facts alone.

But it does not end with the 2nd Amendment. Almost all our rights protected by the Bill of Rights have come under attack and been infringed upon in some fashion. Freedom of speech is a thing of the past. How is it that those who profess respect for the Stars and Stripes can seek that those who defile it be punished for their right to freedom of expression; then at the same time deny those whose loyalty is to the Confederate Battle Flag be denied the right to defend, and fly that flag?

How is it that people have twisted and perverted Jefferson’s meaning of the words a wall of separation between church and state to completely ban religion from any tax funded institution?

Not only have the 1rst and 2nd Amendments come under vicious attack, the 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th amendments have all but been eradicated by our governments continued usurpations of power; particularly in regards to how it chooses to fight this so-called War on Terror.

The 9th and 10th amendments have pretty much not been in existence since Abraham Lincoln’s victory in his unconstitutional war of aggression against the seceded Southern States.

Yet I cannot for the life of me get certain people to see that these attacks against our rights are not confined to Democrats or Republicans; they have occurred no matter which party held control of both Congress and the Oval Office.

That is why I entitled this the way I did, because I believe, whatever the reason may be, that most people simply cannot think on their own. Instead they are reciting what they have been conditioned to believe; that if it is the public good, or if a majority of the people seek that certain laws be passed, then government can and should pass them; no matter how unconstitutional they are.

People also are so conditioned to accept these usurpations of power, and infringements upon their God-given rights, that they even support the agencies that enforce these unconstitutional edicts. If you ask me, that is accepting the fact that you have no rights without a whimper of protest.

In 1771 Samuel Adams wrote the following, published under the title The Liberty Letters, “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.”

That was written almost 250 yrs ago, yet Adams may as well have been speaking to Americans today.

And again, people wonder why I get so angry…

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About the Philippines Part 3

In my last segment I gave you a brief overview of the typical lifestyle of a Filipino family living in the provinces. However, I failed to mention a few crucial things. First of all, not all Filipino’s living in the outlying areas suffer under the conditions I spoke of; some are lucky enough to have family living abroad, or have lived abroad themselves, and can live a comfortable life in a nice home. Nonetheless, most of the families I came to meet while living in my sister-in-law’s house lived pretty much the same as I described.

Therefore I felt a bit more needed to be said about the typical Filipino life. Most living in the area I stayed at can only be described as squatters; families who built homes upon land they do not own. At any time they face the real possibility that the government, or local businesses such as the cement factory nearby, could lay claim to the land they live on and force them off it.

Many, as is the case with my wife’s family, have lived there many years. When a child grows up they often decide to build a home right next to their parent’s home; leaving little room for growing vegetables, or having a yard even. In fact, my sister-in-laws home butts right up to the road in front of their house with no front yard whatsoever.

It also makes for a big problem with the typical Utilities that we Americans take for granted. In America, housing developments are planned out with plumbing, sewage, and electrical lines planned for in advance of the homes themselves being built. Not so in many instances in the provinces. Often a home is built, then later electricity is added on; if it can be afforded, as is the water and other things we take for granted.

Even so, many families do not have running water inside their homes; relying upon wells for their daily needs. Even those who do have running water often don’t have the kind of water pressure that we expect from our faucets, and as I said in part 2, the water often goes off for hours on end without warning.
Even with running water things would be quite the shock for many in America who are accustomed to turning a faucet and having warm water to bathe in. Gas is used in many homes, but for many it is too expensive to be used to heat up bathing water, so they typically take cold showers. Let me tell you, taking a bath in the morning in the Province is better than a double espresso as far as waking you up in the morning.

A typical Filipino bathroom also does not have a shower; it often consists of merely a faucet, a large bucket or drum, and a ladle to pour the water over your body. Below is a photo of where I took my showers or baths if you wish to call them that, while I visited my in-laws. Note valve which goes to a shower head attachment; a recent addition by my sister-in-law’s husband to make our stay more comfortable. However, that is not something I saw in many of the facilities I saw.

Below see an outdoor version of the same thing.

It may come as quite a shock to you, but I became quite comfortable showering this way, and it would not have bothered me in the least had my wife put a drum and a ladle in our restroom for me to shower with. My only problem was shaving, not having a mirror to shave by took some getting used to; but I adapted.

Another thing this deficiency in running water entails is that it makes the washing of clothes a big job. Instead of tossing the clothes into a washer, and then a dryer, the clothes are usually hand washed, then hung to dry. In a humid climate such as the one in the Philippines, it means your clothes never truly get dry; they are always a bit damp when you put them on. Below find a picture of another sister-in-law doing her laundry.

As I also said in my last segment, the electrical power is haphazard, at best. Since new homes are not planned for, the electrical distribution system was something I had serious questions as to why it did not melt down due to the bizarre wiring practices used. See below for what I mean.

I’m certain that comes nowhere close to meeting the code laid out for public utilities here in the U.S., but it is typical of what I saw throughout my visit in the Philippines.

Since I’m on the subject of the typical facilities in an average Filipino home, I may as well talk about the cooking area too. While many homes do have gas run burners, I cannot say that I recall seeing a single full range oven. Hotplates yes, gas burners, yes; but ovens; not a single one. In fact, I saw many families cooking meals outdoors in areas such as the one below.

Not only are the kitchen facilities not up to what we Americans expect, the cost of certain food items makes cooking meals expensive. For instance, here are some prices from a local supermarket.

At the current exchange rate that pepper costs $2.26

$2.17 per head of this scrawny brocolli

and $1.35 for one of these tiny heads of lettuce

Again, that is why many go to the less costly open air markets such as the one below.

Now that I’ve given you a fuller picture of how the typical Filipino family lives in the Provinces, let’s move on to another area of discussion.
To be continued…

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Call Me A Pessimist If You Will

Authors Note: In no way shape or form am I endorsing a revolt or a taking up of arms against our government by the following words. I only offer my thoughts as to what would happen should such an event occur. I realize the futility of a revolt this late in the game. I am merely expression my opinions as to why I do not hold out much hope for the future of this nation.

With those thoughts in mind, read on if you desire to do so…

Upon returning from the Philippines I visited my place of employment and dropped off a few mementos for some of my friends. Upon seeing me, many asked me what I thought about Hillary, or the upcoming presidential election. In all honesty, I don’t think that much of any of the candidates running for office, nor for our chances of survival as a free republic.

Upon answering their questions as truthfully as I can the inevitable follow up question always comes next; what can we do to save this country? Again, being fully honest; I don’t think there is much that can be done at this point to save her; I believe our downfall is inevitable and is coming sooner, rather than later.

I’m guilty of this in certain respects myself, but I believe far too many people are reactive instead of proactive. In case those terms are unfamiliar to you, reactive is defined as reacting to a situation after it has occurred while proactive is taking measures to prevent an event from occurring.

As an example, how many people eat unhealthily and only when they find themselves diagnosed with an illness such as diabetes change their eating habits to a healthier diet; or begin an exercise regime? That is reactive thinking; waiting for a problem to arise before taking measures to prevent it in the first place.
There are times when a problem becomes so serious that nothing can be done to prevent catastrophe; such as when a smoker who knows that smoking is not good for them, but awaits a diagnoses of terminal lung cancer to consider quitting. During these times, often nothing can be done to prevent the inevitable.

I feel our country is at such a stage right now; nothing much can be done to prevent the inevitable downfall of our republic. I hate to come across all gloomy and such, but that is simply how I see it. I believe that people have been far too ignorant and apathetic for far too long, and that they have asked, no, expected too much from government for a return to the limited form of government outlined by our Constitution to be of any use in saving this once great nation; particularly this late in the game.

The people’s belief that is the governments job, whether it be at the state or federal level, to provide for the needs of the people; the fact that one Congress after another has bankrupted our nation, expanding its powers and creating agencies which suck the lifeblood from our liberty and cost more to fund than the revenue coming in from taxes; the fact that we have stuck our nose into the internal affairs of other sovereign nations when it was none of our business, all are coming around to bite us in the ass now.

You say, “Can’t we just downsize government and go back to the powers granted it by the Constitution?” We could, but would that erase the $19 trillion in debt this country owes? We have dug ourselves into a hole the tallest of ladders can’t get us out of. Besides, how are you going to explain to all those receiving some form of government subsidies that the well has gone dry, that there is no more money to give them, when that is what they believe to be the purpose for which government exists?

Are you going to be the one who tells those on Social Security that their money is being cut off? Are you going to be the one who tells those who rely upon Medicare, or Obamacare for their health insurance needs that their coverage is gone; that they alone are responsible for all their medical bills?
I didn’t think so.

That’s why, should a revolution occur, which I doubt would be successful in the first place, and why I will explain in a moment, would most likely be of no use. What if, just what if there were a revolution and we were successful in throwing out all the corrupt politicians and electing a new batch of people who swore they would adhere to the limits the Constitution proscribes for our government; what then?

What do you think would happen when all those without jobs; whose lives depended upon all these programs to fund their existence found that their means of support were suddenly taken away? How do you think they’d react? Why, there would be rioting and looting on a scale we’ve never seen before. Do you think our government, no matter how well intentioned they were, would sit idly by while our cities turned into war zones and people were dying left and right? No, it would not be long before either the programs which had been cut were reinstated, or martial law was declared; destroying the last vestiges of freedom the people had.

Besides, say there was a revolution, or at least a limited uprising among certain groups who felt that the government had finally gone too far and it was time to put them back into their place? How well would that turn out? How many have the stomach for another war that would, in all likelihood be, far bloodier than the Civil War; affecting everyone? Do you think the vast majority of the people have the stomach to support something like that?

Neither do I; especially when I see that the things I, and my fellow patriot writers scribble in our rants, cause us to be despised and hated by our fellow countrymen. No, I do not believe there would be much support for any kind of uprising against our government, and I believe that should one occur, (which is still a distinct possibility), that the average American would take the side of government and inform on those patriots resisting tyranny.

You see, the government has more than weapons on its side; it has laws and Executive Orders in place should just an event occur. They knew long ago this day was coming; that our country was doomed to fail, and they prepared for it by creating numerous agencies to handle such a crisis. They are better armed, and more prepared than we are to sustain, what would prove to be a long and costly conflict.

Should such an event occur, the government, in all likelihood, would implement a series of Executive Orders passed long ago, that give them virtual control over all aspects of our infrastructure. For instance, Executive Order 10990 gives the government control over all modes of transportation, highways and seaports. That means, should they deem it necessary, they could confiscate your privately owned vehicle; depriving you of the means to travel to the market to buy the good you need to survive.

Then there is Executive Order 10998 which gives government the control of all food supplies. So it wouldn’t matter if you had a car or truck; the government can close down stores and hand out food only to those whom it feels are not on the sides of any rebel uprising.

But that’s not all. EO 10995 gives government control over all forms of media; television and radio would only broadcast what the government wanted the people to hear. EO 11000 gives the government the power to mobilize the citizenry into work brigades. EO 11004 allows the government to relocate whole communities; most likely into FEMA type camps where they will, more likely than not, be prisoners under armed guard. And finally, EO 11921 gives the government the power to regulate wages and control the flow of money. Not only can they cut off your access to funding if the president declares a state of national emergency, Congress cannot review his actions for six months. How are you to survive if you have no access to money for six months? How long would you tolerate patriots fighting back against government, when by their doing so your lives were made a living hell? Not very long if you ask me.

So again, what other means do you think are available to fight back against a government grown way too powerful and oppressive? I can see that the election process has been working real well for you; and yet you still expect me to put faith in a system that hasn’t worked in decades? Think again.

Yet if nothing happens, and happens soon, the downfall of our republic is ensured; if it isn’t already. If you ask me, we’re damned if we do, and damned if we don’t.

And I blame it all on the citizenry of this country who have not had the time, nor the inclination, to educate themselves in regards to the true purposes for which our government was established; and then hold them strictly accountable for any abuses of power.

For crying out loud they know who writes articles such as these; they are probably monitoring every keystroke of my computer as I type this. The NSA listens in on every digital conversation that occurs in the U.S. after all; which is a clear violation of the 4th Amendment. Yet you, in your selfish need for security have allowed your freedom and privacy to be taken away from you. When Edward Snowden tried to warn you what your government was doing, what happened? Why, the people called him a traitor and he was forced into exile. For what; telling us the government was breaking the law? Shows how little regard people have for their rights and the abuses of power their government is guilty of. It also shows me that should the shit hit the fan, which side of the fence most people will take.

Not only has our government overspent us into a black hole of debt, it has created enemies across the globe who despise us for our intervention in their internal affairs and for our unjust wars of aggression disguised as the War on Terror. Now, after our actions have resulted in the bombing their homelands and killing their friends and family members we are told to open our arms to the refugees who flee these war torn lands. That’s real smart, let me tell you. That’s like beating on a beehive and then opening your front door to let the angry bees inside your home. How soon do you think it is before you get stung?

We’ve already seen a taste of what is on the horizon with recent events; such as the shootings in San Bernadino and Orlando. These will only increase in frequency and in the level of harm brought to the America people; and you can mark my words on that. Oh, but that’s racial profiling and Islamophobic. Bullshit, it’s realizing that Ron Paul was right when he spoke of blowback for our failed foreign policy and seeing his warnings turn into reality.

And yet people still have the gall to ask me what they can do. I’ll tell you what they can do; they can put their head between their legs and kiss their asses goodbye, is what they can do. The America they know is going to change, and change drastically. The thin veneer that hides the cancer that has been eating away at our freedoms, and at our society, is ready to burst open; revealing the ugly truth that the land of the free and the home of the brave has is breathing its last dying breath. When it finally dies it ain’t gonna be pretty, and most will still have the audacity to ask; “How did all this happen?”

And people wonder why I get so angry about their ignorance and apathy…

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Outlaw You Say?

“In times of tyranny and injustice, when law oppresses
the people, the outlaw takes his place in history.”
~Robin Hood ~
(2010)

I know that deep down most people are good and that they try their best to be law abiding citizens. Most people hold down jobs, do their best to pay their bills on time, have never stolen anything, and pay their taxes before the April 15th deadline. There is an old saying that states, “Ignorance is bliss.” If people only knew how wrong they were when it comes to their belief that they are law abiding citizens.

In 2009 a Civil Liberties lawyer named Harvey Silvergate published a book entitled 3 Felonies a day in which he explains that there are so many laws on the books that the average American is guilty of committing 3 felonies a day before suppertime. One has to wonder, with all the 3 Strikes You’re Out Laws that have been passed, if it isn’t a coincidence that they enacted a law that could land most people in prison for the rest of their lives for committing crimes they weren’t even aware were criminal acts.

It truly amazes me when I hear people complain about the stupidity of certain laws; then go about their lives obeying them anyway. While some may view these laws as pure stupidity, I see them in a different light. These laws, at least from my perspective, are just a means to control us; keep us in line. As long as we don’t rock the boat, so to speak, these laws, and the punishments they prescribe, will never be brought to bear upon us. However, if we begin to stir the shit, threaten the status quo, then a vast multitude of charges can be brought against us; making our lives a living hell fighting the vast, so-called, justice system.

James Duane, a Regent Law School professor has given numerous lectures entitled Why You Should Never Talk to the Police. In them he often states, “Estimates of the current size of the body of federal criminal law vary. It has been reported that the Congressional Research Service cannot even count the current number of federal crimes. These laws are scattered in over 50 titles of the United States Code, encompassing roughly 27,000 pages.”

Even the mighty Supreme Court is not sure how many laws affect the lives of the average American. In a statement given by Justice Stephen Bryer we read, “The complexity of modern federal criminal law, codified in several thousand sections of the United States Code and the virtually infinite variety of factual circumstances that might trigger an investigation into a possible violation of the law, make it difficult for anyone to know, in advance, just when a particular set of statements might later appear (to a prosecutor) to be relevant to some such investigation.”

In 1788 James Madison, Founding Father and 4th President of the United States, wrote, “It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what is will be tomorrow.” (Federalist 62)

Truth be told, in the eyes of our government, and those who enforce the edicts they pass off as law, each of us are criminals. How it is that anyone could continue to support either the lawmaking bodies which pass such inane and unconstitutional laws, or the enforcement agencies which ensure these unjust laws are uphold, is beyond my level of comprehension.

I am not saying we should live our lives without government, or without law enforcement to ensure the laws are upheld, to do so would say I promote anarchy; society needs some means of maintaining order and ensuring that justice is served. But there must be a means of ensuring that those who make and enforce the laws do not cross over and become tyrannical and oppressive.

In 1776 Thomas Paine published his pamphlet Common Sense which was influential in causing a great many of the Colonists to lean towards secession, or independence from the Mother Land; or Great Britain. In his pamphlet he states, “Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”

Read that as many times as you must for the importance of those words to sink in.

If government is but a necessary evil, does it not make sense to keep government as small and unobtrusive as possible? Would it not make even more sense to keep it within the specific grant of power which created government in the first place?

I know most people won’t bother to read through the grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence and then compare them to the long list of laws which we suffer under today; but rest assured that were our Founders alive today they would be asking, “What the hell are you people waiting for; it’s time to throw off these shackles of oppression and regain your liberty.”

When Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence he not only listed the grievances the Colonies levied against their King, he also explained their belief as to the nature of our rights and the purpose for which governments should exist. While this document did not create a system of government, it laid out the purpose for which any future system of government the Colonies might create should exist.

The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

I know those words may sound familiar, but have you ever stopped to think about what they actually say? Although I have come to believe that the ratification of our Constitution was a huge mistake, the fact remains that it was indeed ratified, and that it became the Supreme Law of the Land. (Article 6, Clause 2)

Although the overall ruling in Chisholm v Georgia was later overturned by the 11th Amendment, there remains a quote within that ruling that still holds true, “…at the Revolution, the sovereignty devolved on the people; and they are truly the sovereigns of the country, but they are sovereigns without subjects…with none to govern but themselves; the citizens of America are equal as fellow citizens, and as joint tenants in the sovereignty.”

Sovereignty, simply defined, is supreme power or authority. Our government exists because the people who were alive in 1789 willed it into existence by ratifying the Constitution. That same Constitution outlined the structure of our government and described the certain powers each branch was to wield. It is, to put it plainly, the law which governs the actions of our government.

Yet in 1788, while arguing whether to adopt or reject the proposed Constitution, Patrick Henry warned, “My great objection to this Government is, that it does not leave us the means of defending our rights, or of waging war against tyrants…”

In that same speech Henry goes on to say, “Such a Government is incompatible with the genius of republicanism: There will be no checks, no real balances, in this Government: What can avail your specious imaginary balances, your rope-dancing, chain-rattling, ridiculous ideal checks and contrivances?”

Like it or not, our government was not established to be a democracy where the will, or the needs of a majority, is all that is needed to ensure that laws are enacted, or that rights are restricted. We are, or we used to be, a Republic where the rule of law kept governmental powers within a specific set of restrictions as to what laws it could enact. Those days have long left us and government today now passes whatever laws it deems are in the public interest. In essence, government has morphed from servant into master, and we the people are no better than subjects; the very thing our Founders fought a war to free themselves from.

Again, like it or not, our government no longer serves the people, it serves a small group hidden behind the scenes who, by means of money and influence, dictate what our government shall, and shall not, do. Some people call these people the special interests; I call them the shadow government or power cabal. These men are the true rulers of this country; not the government or the people who were, at one time, the true sovereigns.

Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter is quoted as saying, “The real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise their power from behind the scenes.”

Woodrow Wilson, the same Woodrow Wilson who signed the Federal Reserve Act, placing us in servitude to this shadow government, declared, “Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.”

While we fret over the threat posed to us by groups of our own creation, such as ISIS and Al Qaeda, former mayor of New York, John Hylan told us who our real enemy was, “The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation.”

And yet the vast majority of Americans still believe that by their going to the polls and casting votes for whom will represent them, in this bought and paid for government, is going to bring about a restoration of the rule of law and constitutional limitations upon government? I’ve used the word before, and I’ll use it again, you must be delusional.

People have put their faith and trust in a band of criminals that would put the Mafia to shame, and they continue to do so by voting. As Mark Twain so eloquently said, “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.” The well has been tainted, our system infiltrated, bought, and controlled by those who seek absolute dominion over all humanity.

As long as you remain a functioning, and non threatening member of society, they will leave you be. But raise your voice too loud, or take too big a stand against them and they will bring the full weight of, what they like to call the law, to bear upon you.

As Charles Austin Beard so perfectly stated, “You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence.”

Therefore I must ask, who is it that is breaking the law when they stand up to government; either in words or by civil disobedience? If the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, and if the government enacts laws which violate the Constitution, does that not make the government the ultimate lawbreakers; and not those who oppose these unconstitutional exercises of power?

After all, our Founders, particularly those who one by one affixed their signatures to the Declaration of Independence were all considered as having committed acts of treason against their government. Yet we revere them today.

How ironic it is that those remaining few alive today who stand for the same principles they did are now looked upon as being whackos and conspiracy theorists…

But you go ahead, cast your vote for Trump, Hillary, or an independent candidate if that makes you sleep better at night. Continue to put your trust and faith into a system that threw you under the bus years, if not decades ago.

I know these words make me unpopular; but you know what? I don’t care. The truth often hurts, but better the truth be told than to assuage the people with comforting lies, while wolves lie in wait to deprive them of their freedom. Maybe someday people will look back and say, “You know, Neal was right. Maybe we should have turned off our TV’s and listened.”

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I’m Back In Full Fury Mode

First off, I know what you’re saying; “Didn’t Neal say we might not hear from him for awhile in regards to political rants?” You’re right you did hear me say that. But last night this thought popped into my head and kept me awake for the majority of the night while it gelled into the basis for what I am about to say. Forgive me, it seems I just can’t shut my brain down, no matter how frustrated and angry I get. So it would seem you’re not getting rid of me that easily.

One of the first political questions I was asked upon returning from my vacation in the Philippines was, am I going to watch the debate tonight between Hillary and Trump, and have I made up my mind who I was voting for? The answer to both was no. Why should I waste my time watching a political debate between two individuals; neither of whom I respect, let alone intend to vote for?

Yet I would bet that millions of my fellow countrymen would tell me that by my not voting I have no right to bitch about how bad things are because I’m not voting for change. How, may I ask, does voting for any candidate, no matter what political designator precedes their name, give you the right to deny me the right to complain when the people you repeatedly vote for are the cause of all our problems?

If you think voting is going to make any difference at all at this point in the game you are delusional, at best. I would go further and say that you are incapable of seeing how far we have sunk into the abyss of tyranny and that your undying belief that more government is the answer to all our problems is, in fact, the real problem in this country.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.” People today go to the polls and cast their votes based not upon how what the candidates say measures up to what powers the Constitution grants government, but rather upon how what the candidates say compares to their own personal beliefs as to the function government should serve. It is this shift away from placing the Constitution as the litmus test as to whom people will vote for that has led us down the pathway to where we currently find ourselves; and it won’t be until we place the Constitution back as the gauge we use to measure a candidates worthiness to hold office that a single thing will change in America.

If you think that by voting, even if it is for the lesser of two evils, is going to make any kind of difference, you should ponder something comic George Carlin once said, “The next time they give you all that civic bullshit about voting, keep in mind that Hitler was elected in a full free democratic election.” Voting is meaningless unless you adhere to certain principles when making your choice as to whom you will cast your vote for.

The way I see it is that if there is no one worthy of my vote I simply choose not to participate in the further destruction of our Republic with a further corresponding loss of liberty. Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil; only in a lesser extent. Yet you tell me that I am the one who loses his right to complain about things because I chose not to vote for evil in any way, shape, or form?

It’s funny, I get this sentiment most from those, not who push forth a liberal agenda, but from those who profess to be conservatives. These people seem to think that by my abstaining from voting I am handing the election over to Hillary and furthering the destruction of our country. In response I would say that they are doing the same thing by voting for a candidate who has shown he has no understanding of the Constitutional limits upon the office for which he seeks. In fact, Trumps take no prisoners and my way or the highway attitude may pose far more danger to our liberty than anything Hillary could possibly do. But because he is a ‘REPUBLICAN’ people who profess to be conservatives will flock to the polls by the millions and vote for him.

Roughly half the registered voters in this country profess to be conservatives. Yet how many of them actually understand what it means to be truly conservative? Conservatism, at least my understanding of it, is not adherence to the Republican Party platform, repeating the talking points espoused by so-called conservative media pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michelle Malkin; it is upholding the values of those who framed the basic outline of human rights and the purpose of government enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. Conservatism is ensuring that our government does not take one step beyond the powers granted them by the Constitution. By that definition I would have to declare that these so called conservatives of today are nothing more than Lite Liberals; a watered down version of those they so vehemently despise.

Recently, while I was away on vacation, fellow writer and friend Mike Gaddy wrote a series of excellent articles on the very subject I am now discussing. I would recommend you Google the Rebel Madman and read them for yourselves.

In 1980 Neil Young released his tenth studio album entitled Hawks and Doves. On that album was a song called Comin Apart At Every Nail, from which I would like to quote, “Oh this country sure looks good to me. But these fences are comin apart at every nail.”

If I’m not mistaken, Young’s intent was to say that although things may look good on the outside, things aren’t all rosy on the inside. That’s how I see America today, as a nation who, for all outward appearances, may still look healthy and vibrant, but one which upon closer examination is rotting on the inside from the years of disregard for true conservative values and principles.

These riots we are seeing are not going away; in fact they will become more frequent and more violent. Not only are we going to see these race riots increase in frequency, we will also begin to see more and more violence inflicted upon innocent people by these refugees we feel so sorry for after we have bombed their country and killed their friends and family.

Our political correctness and refusal to face the fact that our government is responsible for 99.9% of all our problems is just now beginning to nip at our backside. Soon it will become a full fledged biting of our ass as the fabric holding our country together unravels at a faster and faster rate.

And what will you do? Why, you will cry for the government to come save you; and they’ll gladly offer their services at the expense of more and more of your freedoms; until you find yourself needing a permit from government to blow your nose or wipe your ass.

I don’t know that it would make any difference at this point in the game, but I would suggest you pick up a copy of Atlas Shrugged and read it. You may find an interesting parallel between how Rand’s novel shows that the more government interfered in things the worse they got and how things are currently going in America today.

But as far as watching the debate tonight, I’d rather watch paint dry than watch two people I wouldn’t trust to clean my toilet argue about how they believe themselves to be more qualified than the other for the office of president of the United States.

And if you think I’m going to the polls in November and casting a vote for either of them; you haven’t understood a single thing I’ve said.

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Pot Calling The Kettle Black

While I was on vacation in the Philippines the nightly news was filled with stories regarding the deaths of those both using, and selling Shabu, slang for methamphetamines in the Philippines. While serving as mayor of Davao City, Rodrigo Duterte made what was once one of the most dangerous cities in the Philippines one of the safest due to his strict enforcement of the law regarding drug pushers, and crime overall. While running for president he made a promise to the Filipino people to clean up the drug problem throughout the country, just as he had in Davao City.

He was elected by a landslide; with his opponents dropping out of the race early on due to the overwhelming support he had from the Filipino people. While Duterte still has overwhelming support of the Filipino people, around 91% the last I checked, there are those who seek to stop the killings due to the fact that there has been collateral damage; innocents have been mistakenly killed by police seeking to crack down on the drug problem riddling the Philippines.

While his methods may be harsh, one cannot deny that drug pushers are on the run; hiding from those who seek to rid the country of the scourge that is Shabu.

Before I travelled to the Philippines president Barack Obama had called to congratulate Duterte on his election, and at the same time give him a subtle warning regarding human rights violations. According to a statement issued by the White House, Obama highlighted enduring values and shared commitments to democracy, human rights and rule of law.

I find that laughable, at best, coming from the so-called leader of the free world who, he himself is guilty of violating the rights of the citizens of his own country. Excuse the language, but that bastard took an oath upon entering the office he holds to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, yet the government which is his responsibility to ensure obeys the rule of law, is guilty of violating the Constitution on a minute by minute basis, and in so doing violating the rights which are protected by the first ten amendments to said constitution.

I honestly don’t know how Obama sleeps at night with the level of hypocrisy he is guilty of; that is of course unless he is a complete sociopath without any conscience at all.

But Barack Obama is not the first president who is guilty of such crimes; the list of those violating the Constitution for their own purposes dates all the way back to Abraham Lincoln’s unconstitutional war against the South. Yet people in this country turn a blind eye towards the violations of the rights this country was founded to secure, while pointing accusing fingers at the leaders of countries across the globe.

Again, I don’t know how people sleep at night with the level of hypocrisy they are guilty of.

Did not Jesus, when the scribes and Pharisees brought him the woman accused of adultery, tell them that he who is without sin should be the first to cast stones? There is another proverb which states, one who lives in glass houses should not throw rocks.

All of these imply that if you are not guiltless you should not accuse others of guilt.

Obama warned President Duterte to be mindful of the rights of the people he governs and adhere to the rule of law when he himself, and those who preceded him have been guilty of violating the same things they admonish other world leaders to uphold.

It truly sickens me to see how people support their own government, while condemning the governments of other nations for the violations of the rights of the people they govern when their own government is just as guilty of violations of human rights.

This goes equally to those who profess support and blind trust in law enforcement. I am all for law enforcement; as long as the laws they enforce are just and lawful. The moment the laws they uphold violate the Constitution or infringe upon my God-given rights, my support for their actions vanishes and they become just as guilty of committing crimes as those they unjustly arrest for unconstitutional laws.

I honestly do not know how much more I can say about this that hasn’t already been said. The people of this country still have faith in the system, when the system has been corrupted and the basic tenets upon which our system was established have been tossed by the wayside and the will of the people becomes the deciding factor in what laws our government passes.

That is the fundamental structure of a democracy, the very thing our Founders feared and despised the most. If I cannot get those these articles are intended for to see that the government has far exceeded its specific grant of power, and that it routinely violates both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, what use is my continued writing?

People say that they want change, but they type of change they seek only further leads us down the path towards abject servitude and oppression. If they do not stop and read the founding documents of this country, and return to the principles upon which this nation was founded, then there is no hope for our future; no hope at all.

If we wish to save this country, to restore it to its former greatness, then the people of this country need to take a long hard look inwards and ask themselves what it is they want from government. Then they must have the courage to stand up to government when it crosses over the line which restricts the power given them by the Constitution. If they cannot do that, then why bother pretending that we are a Republic? Why not admit to ourselves that we are on the same pathway that led countries like Germany to become National Socialists, or Russia to become Communist?

I’m truly at a loss as to what I can further say which will cause people to see the light. I’m also mad; mad as hell, and my anger is aimed not at our government, for they could do nothing without the support of the people of this country. No, my anger is aimed at the ignorant and apathetic populace who go to the polls and cast their votes for those who, anyone with half a functioning brain, could see have no intentions of upholding the oaths of office they take upon being elected.

You may not hear from me in a political rant for awhile; but I needed to get this off my chest, as it’s been eating at me for awhile now. I will continue to write my commentaries regarding my vacation in the Philippines, but don’t expect anything from me of a political nature until I begin hearing some common sense and logic coming from you.

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About The Philippines (Part 2)

Having spent 3 tours overseas while serving in the U.S. Air Force, and having travelled to numerous foreign countries on TDY’s in support of the Air Force as a military contractor; travelling to a foreign country such as the Philippines was not the cultural shock as I imagine it would be for someone who has never travelled outside the U.S., as my son for instance. Still, there were things that took some adjusting to when I settled in at my sister-in-laws house in the Province of Naga Cebu.

We Americans take so much for granted that I wonder how many would be able to adjust to the lifestyle of a typical Filipina family. For instance, we expect to have reliable utilities; when we flip a switch we expect to have steady power to our outlets and our lights and when we turn on a faucet we expect water to come out.

In the Philippines, or at least in the outlying provinces, these things are not taken for granted; in fact they are often luxuries that people are grateful for. Many times, often during the hottest hours of the day, the power would drop to abnormally low levels; so low they would not be sufficient to run a ceiling fan or portable fan to cool off your home; not to mention be insufficient to run an air conditioner when temperatures inside the house reaches close to 90 degrees with a 95% humidity rate. Then there were times when the water simply stopped for hours on end for no apparent reason. These are things we take for granted, and the lack of them, or their unpredictable nature are things that the average Filipino live with on a daily basis.

We Americans also take our privacy for granted; having the ability to shut our doors and not have uninvited visitors simply walk into our homes. Yet during the time I spent there I daily saw people; kids particularly, just walk into my sister-in-laws house and make themselves at home. This is nothing to them; as they invite them to eat along with them when it comes time to serve meals. This level of friendliness and generosity is something that I have yet to see on American soil; particularly when the average Filipino family lives in, what we could only describe as, abject poverty.

For instance, my wife’s brother Jerry works at a cement factory doing very strenuous work under the sun all day; breathing the dust of the ingredients which make up the cement they produce. Yet his salary is only 400 Pisos per day. The exchange rate between Piso’s and U.S. dollars, in case you are interested, is 46:1; making his daily earnings $8.70 per day. Yet out of that he has to feed his family and pay for the transportation required to get him back and forth to work as the average Filipino family does not own a private vehicle of their own.

Much of a typical Filipino family’s time is spent planning the next meal they will eat. The average family does not own a large refrigerator like we do; if they have refrigerators at all. Therefore each meal requires a trip to the local market to purchase the required ingredients needed to prepare the food they eat. This again entails paying local transportation to and from the market on top of the cost of the food they eat.

Another thing which many of my fellow countrymen might not be able to handle is the typical Filipino market. While there are larger American style supermarkets, the cost of food items there is typically higher, and also they are much more crowed and the wait at the cashier line can take up to an hour; so many visit the more common open-air markets. These would come as quite the shock to many Americans who are used to having their meat pre-packaged and their fruits and vegetables kept in refrigerated racks.

Below a couple photos of typical open-air markets.

If you’ll notice, the meat is kept on hooks where they take down the requested selection and cut off the amount needed for each customer. Not only is the meat not refrigerated; flies buzz around the cuts of meat hanging on the hooks constantly. It is not something the typical American family would feel comfortable feeding their family; yet it is where a vast number of Filipinos go to so they can purchase the food they eat.

Much of the produce the typical Filipino family eats comes from local vegetation which grows in, and around, the province in which they live. For instance, Kamungay, or Malungay in Tagalog, is a typical tree that grows all over the countryside. In the Visayan provinces the leaves form a staple in their diet; and I became pretty adept at stripping them from the branches during my 3 weeks spent there. I had eaten them before; and eat them to this day at home; but the Kamungay we purchase is frozen and shipped from places where the climate allows it to grow. There is a world of difference in both taste and texture between the frozen Kamungay we get here in the states and the Kamungay taken directly from a tree. If I had my dithers I’d eat the fresh Kamungay; but that’s not possible because it will not grow where I live; maybe in more tropical climates like Southern Florida, but not where the winter temps dip to freezing. Believe me, we had seeds shipped to us from the Philippines and the seedlings die off in the winter months; even with greenhouses.

So you see, there are many things the typical American family take for granted that are luxuries for the average Filipino family; making me question whether we Americans have not become a bit spoiled in our way of life. It has also caused me to have a great deal of respect for people who live under such harsh conditions and yet still be among the most warm and welcoming I have ever met.

Stay tuned for Part 3…

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About the Philippines (Part 1)

As some of you may know, I recently took a much needed vacation. I travelled with my wife and son to the Philippines for just over 3 weeks so that Heidi could see her family again, I could visit her province for the first time, (the military would not let me travel there while stationed at Clark), and so my son could experience how other people live. Aside from my wife who was born and raised there, it was an eye opening experience for us all.

I have no idea what crosses through people’s minds when the subject of the Philippines is brought up. Could their only knowledge of the Filipino people be the boxer Manny Pacquiao, or could it be the news reports regarding the new Filipino President Duterte’s alleged human rights violations?

My intent in writing these short articles are to share some experiences I had while visiting the Philippines, and hopefully educating the people of this country regarding these amazing people. Don’t get me wrong, everything was not a bed of roses while I was there, but overall I came home with a newfound respect and love for, both the country, and the Filipino people.

Knowing that there are many living in this country who could not find Idaho or any of the other states in America without a map with the state names on it, I am relatively certain that there are a good many who could not find the Philippines on a world map without help. There are probably many who are not aware that the Philippines consist of almost 8,000 islands and comprise over 115,000 square miles of land. If you were to superimpose the Philippines over a map of the United States it would span from Louisiana up to Kansas, with it spreading east and west into Texas and Mississippi.

The population of the Philippines is over 100 million people, roughly 1/3 of that of the U.S. yet all those people are living in a land mass 30 times less than the U.S. It is the 7th most populated country in Asia and the 12th most populated country in the world. Most are also probably not aware that there are 182 spoken languages in the Philippines, with Tagalog being the national language all Filipino’s are taught in school.

The Philippines have always been strategically important and have been colonized and invaded many times throughout their history. In 1521 Ferdinand Magellan landed in the Philippines and claimed it for Spain. Magellan was later killed at the battle of Mactan in Cebu. Then in 1565 Miguel Lopez de Legazpi arrived and established the first lasting colony on the island of Cebu. From there, along with a coalition of Visayan and Hispanic soldiers, he chased the Muslims out of Manila.

Under Spanish rule the Philippines came together as a nation rather than a group of individual islands, each with its own distinct culture and language. Spanish influence is still felt in the Philippines with many words in the Filipino languages having their origin in Spanish.

The Philippines also came under U.S. rule after the islands were ceded to the U.S. after the conclusion of the Spanish American War in 1898. In 1935 the U.S. granted Commonwealth Status to the Philippines and was in the process of preparing them for independence when the Japanese invaded them in World War II. During World War II the Filipinos suffered numerous atrocities at the hands of the Japanese. My wife told me stories her grandfather had told her regarding how the Japanese would kill all the people of a village and then cut off the breasts of the women and then impale them on pikes as a warning not to resist Japanese occupation.

Eventually, after the Battle of Leyte, the Allied Forces were successful in liberating the Philippines from Japanese occupation. The U.S. then established a permanent military presence in the country with both Clark Air Base and Subic Bay Naval Base being the two primary locations where U.S. forces were stationed. This continued until the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, causing the U.S. to abandon their bases and turn them over to the Philippine government.

This is just a part of the history of the Philippines that many in the U.S. are unaware of. Now that I’ve shared this information with you, let’s move on to my personal experiences while on vacation in that amazing country…

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It’s All About Character (Or The Lack Thereof)

For years now I have been writing these little missives, as a dear friend who has long since passed away used to say. While the thoughts may be mine, the information I use to support my positions is readily available online for anyone who has the motivation and desire to find it. The fact that they don’t, that they could care less, speaks volumes about the character of people.

Character is defined as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. But nation’s can have character too; and the character of a nation is based solely upon the character of the individuals that comprise it. If the people of a nation are honest and virtuous then that nation will be looked upon as honest and virtuous. However, on the other hand, if the majority of the people of any nation are corrupt and dishonest, then that is reflected in the overall character of the nation as well.

With that in mind, how would you view the character of the people of the United States? It’s hard to turn a mirror inwards and look at your own flaws and foibles, but if you were to be honest, how would you rate the character of America and her citizens? You honestly don’t want to ask me, the answer might offend you. However, I can give you some things to consider when making your own evaluation of the character of the American people.

Americans, for the most part, show a great deal of respect and reverence for their founding documents; The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, but how many know what they say? How many care what they say? How many have the courage to use what they say as the sole basis for making a decision on whom to vote for, or not vote at all for that matter? With the fact that people continue to vote for the lesser of two evils time and time again, I would have to say that what these documents say is of little concern to a majority of the people in this country. That alone says a lot about the character of the people of this country; but there’s more.

A great many people in this country profess to be Christians of one faith or another. Yet regardless of their choice as to which church to attend, they all have the Bible in common as their guidelines for their faith. Yet how many people in this country, who call themselves Christians, are willing to place their support for candidates whose campaign platform violates the tenets of their religion? How can anyone who calls themselves a Christian vote for anyone who supports abortion or homosexuality? I’m not judging anyone, just making the observation that if you were true to your faith you could not, with any degree of integrity that is, support anyone who supports abortion or homosexuality.

Plus there is the degree to which divorce occurs in this country; as if marriage vows are just things to be said at a wedding, but not taken seriously. Do the words for better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part mean nothing anymore? The sanctity of the marriage vow is lost on so many people today. The moment things get tough people call it quits; citing irrevocable differences, and go their separate ways. Not to mention the infidelity that occurs while still married. How many men and women are unfaithful to their spouses?

In a 1788 entry to his diary, John Adams wrote, “The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families…. How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers?”

Either people are getting married for the wrong reasons, or the sanctity of marriage vows is just as irrelevant to them as the concepts and principles contained in our founding documents. Had it been any different there wouldn’t be as much infidelity and as many divorces as there are today.

The there is the fact that honesty and respect for the truth has been in decline for as long as I can remember. I grew up hearing that honesty was a virtue. Now all I hear is that I have to censor the things I say because some people find the truth offensive.

I can’t count how many times I have been called into Human Resources at work and been told to tone down my rhetoric because the truths I write about offend people. How is it that the truth offends, but the lies they hear every day do not?

When I was a kid being called a liar was a badge of dishonor, something which labeled you as despicable. What has become of this country when we have a woman running for president, with millions of people supporting her, who is a pathological liar and a crook?

Hillary, and her husband Bill, are worse than any organized crime family, as they seek not riches or control of prostitution and drug trafficking, they seek control over our lives and our liberty; and they will kill anyone who gets in their way. The Clinton’s have a long list of people who have died mysteriously after they got in the way of the Clinton’s. Yet as long as Hillary promises all these benefits for her supporters the truth regarding her inability to tell the truth, or the crimes she is guilty of committing, do not matter to her faithful followers.

We Americans proudly boast that we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave; yet at every opportunity we endorse our government’s passage of laws, or creation of programs, which undermine our freedom and take away our rights. Then, when someone such as myself, speaks out against these laws and programs, I am the one who’s called unpatriotic. I sometimes think that most people wouldn’t recognize true patriotism if it came up and bit them in the ass.

These are just a few of the things which undermine our credibility and diminish how the people of other nations view the character of the people of the United States. If you were on the outside, looking in, you would see the same thing I have just described; a nation of hypocrites and cowards who say one thing and do another.

I don’t expect anything to change; in all honesty I don’t think the people of this country have it in them to make the necessary changes to restore their character, and that of their country. I just needed to get this off my chest before I take my vacation.

So, until I return in September from a much needed vacation, I bid ya’ll a fond adieu…

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I’m An Asshole (And I Can Prove It)

The Zombie Apocalypse is here! However, instead of being surrounded by flesh eating corpses I am surrounded by something far more dangerous; a nation full of people who are both ignorant and apathetic. Under normal circumstances ignorance and apathy would not be a concern, but unfortunately these ignoramuses vote; and therein lays the danger.

On many an occasion I have said that America does not have a democracy as its system of government; it has a Constitutional Republic. In theory there are worlds of difference between the two systems, but in practice there is only a fine line of demarcation between the two.

For a Constitutional Republic to function as designed it places the responsibility of keeping government within the limits imposed upon it by the law which created government squarely upon the shoulders of the voters. If the voters become apathetic; that is they no longer care what the Constitution says are the powers granted government, then instead of a Constitution Republic we become a Representative Democracy in which the will of the majority is the only thing which determines what laws our government enacts.

They say that nothing in life is free; that everything comes with a cost, be that cost in monetary terms or in some obligation or responsibility that accompanies it. The right to vote is no different. Do you think it would be a good idea to grant drivers licenses to people who didn’t understand the basic operating principles of a motor vehicle, or who did not understand simple traffic safety? Of course not; in most States both a written and a driving test are required before you are given a license to drive. Why should voting be any different?

Not that it will ever happen, but I’d like to see a requirement that people pass a civics test before ever being allowed to vote. This test would not be a simple ‘Who was the first president of the United States’ and ‘Who did we fight in the American Revolution’ multiple choice test. No, it should prove that those voting had a thorough understanding of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. After all, doesn’t it make sense that if you don’t understand how your system of government is supposed to work you should not be allowed to vote for the people who fill the positions within that government? Although that might prove to resolve the problem of ignorant voters, it would do little to ensure that those voting applied their knowledge when it came to whom they cast their votes for.

While I was making these changes I would also like to see a rule imposed that if you are employed by the federal government, or receive any form of benefits from the government that your right to vote be revoked until you are no longer dependent upon tax dollars for any of your income.

Honestly, how likely is a person to vote for a candidate who campaigns on cutting the size of government when those cuts might include cuts to the agency they work for, or in contracts to the company they work for are reduced by these government cutbacks? Not very likely is the answer I’d expect. So a person is less likely to vote according to how well a candidate adheres to its Constitutional limitations, instead voting for the candidate most likely to ensure that their job continues to exist.

It’s simple; if you work for the TSA, you can’t vote. If you work for the NSA, you can’t vote. If you are employed in any way, shape, or fashion by the federal government you would not be allowed to vote; and this goes for military contractors as well. Of course they will not vote for candidates who promise to cut back on the size of our military, or reduce our involvement in conflicts which demand that we purchase the products their companies produce.

Even were we to do these two things, we would still be dependent upon the virtue of the remaining eligible voters. That is why I said that nothing is free; that some things come with an obligation or responsibility. Voting imposes certain obligations upon those who cast the votes; primarily that they vote according to what the Constitution says are the powers granted government, not what some political party says is the direction our country should take. So, it is the virtue of those who vote which is ultimately to blame for whatever condition our country finds itself in.

Two quotes should back up this assertion. First, Theodore Roosevelt once said, “A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.” The other comes from former president James Garfield, “Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature.”

You see, that right there is the problem in this country; people want certain rights, but they don’t want the responsibilities or obligations that go with them. People want to be able to vote, but they don’t want to be required to understand the system to which they are choosing candidates for, or be held to certain standards in ensuring that only those who are truly qualified for the office they seek get elected.

Honestly, if people upheld their responsibilities as voters then Hillary Clinton would never have made it as far as she has in the political landscape; she would probably be waitressing at some restaurant in Arkansas; not running for president of the United States. And don’t go giving me that ‘your sexist’ bullshit either. I know plenty of female candidates who are far more qualified for the presidency than Hillary. Hell, if you want the truth she is nothing but a mob boss for an organized crime family; her and ole Billy Boy. The corruption those two are guilty of would put Al Capone to shame.

Oh, but due to the mere fact that she is a woman, and it’s about time we had a woman president (rolling my eyes and wondering how anyone can believe that is sufficient reason to elect someone), or the fact that she is promising all kinds of goodies for her supporters, Hillary stands a good chance of becoming the next president of the United States.

One final quote on this to help clarify my thoughts and then I’ll move on. This comes from Robert Heinlen and explains exactly what I’ve been talking about, “The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens… which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses.’

‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death…”
And if the previous comments haven’t pissed everyone off; I’m sure the next subject will. To continue talking about rights and responsibilities, the next obvious topic for me to discuss is the right of citizenship, or entry into this country.

When our nation was arguing whether to adopt or reject the proposed constitution John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison wrote a series of articles to the people of New York in an effort to convince them to adopt rather than reject the constitution when the time came for New York to hold its ratifying assembly. These articles became known as the Federalist Papers.

In Federalist 2 John Jay writes, “With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people–a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence.”

I occasionally hear from those who argue that although our Founders talked a good talk about liberty, rights, and freedom, they still permitted slavery and that this practice went against everything they said. Yet very little comes from the mouths of these people when it comes to the Native Americans who were chased off their lands in the pursuit of Manifest Destiny. The genocide committed against the American Indians is, if you want my honest opinion, a far worse crime than slavery ever was; yet it is hardly mentioned by the politically correct crowd.

I bring this up because it would seem that there was a concerted effort, at least in our nation’s early years, to create a nation for white people of European descent. Whether or not I agree with the annihilation of an entire race of people is a moot point, it was clear that those who initially established the 13 Colonies, and those who followed them to expand the United States all the way to the Pacific did so to create a land occupied and governed by Caucasians.

Wouldn’t it then be within their prerogative to establish an immigration policy which supported their goal of a land populated by people of similar background; sharing the same principles and beliefs? I’m not saying it’s right; only asking if they did not have the right to do so.

The Constitution grants Congress the power to enact whatever naturalization laws it deems necessary. They could, conceivably, deny immigration to anyone who is not of European descent if they so wanted; it was within their authority to do so. Nothing in our founding documents declares that we have to allow anyone from any country the right to immigrate to this country.

Yet so many people have this misguided belief that America owes them the right to come here and enjoy the freedoms we do, and to partake in the opportunities that exist. We don’t owe anyone anything; the right of any foreign citizen to come here is dependent upon their willingness to make America their home, and place her needs above those of the land of their birth.

I hear all these cries that America was founded upon immigration and that it was the immigration of millions of Americans that made this country great. True, but to a one they came here and became Americans in every sense of the word, forsaking their native lands and placing America first and foremost in their hearts and actions.

Two quotes from former president Theodore Roosevelt ought to prove that this was the way Americans felt until political correctness and multiculturalism raised their ugly heads and began undermining the principles that united us as a nation.

First Roosevelt stated, “We can have no “50-50″ allegiance in this country. Either a man is an American and nothing else, or he is not an American at all.”

Then there is this, taken from his Children of the Crucible, “From the melting pot of life in this free land all men and woman of all nations who come hither emerge as Americans and nothing else. They must have renounced completely and without reserve all allegiance to the land from which they or their forefathers came. And it is a binding duty on every citizen of this country in every important crisis to act solidly with all his fellow Americans, having regard only to the honor and interest of America, treating every other nation purely on its conduct in that crisis, without reference to his ancestral predilections or antipathies. If he does not act, he is false to the teachings and lives of Washington and Lincoln; he is not entitled to any part or lot in our country and he should be sent out of it.”

That was how our country felt about those who immigrated to America; at least it was up until around 1917 when those words were written. If one were to research the history of immigration law in the United States one would find that at times we have limited or prohibited the immigration of peoples from certain countries, or established quotas to ensure that they did not become too large a percentage of the population.

Again, not saying whether that is the right, or moral thing to do, just stating that it is an undeniable fact. As an example during the Great Depression, President Hoover essentially shut down all immigration because there simply were no jobs for those who sought to come to America. Then again during the Iran Hostage Crisis president Carter would not allow visas to be issued to Iranian citizens.

So it is well within the right of America, and history has recorded that we have established immigration policy that it felt best served its own interests. Again, coming to this country is a privilege, not a right everyone in all the countries of the world are entitled to. How many other countries have existing immigration laws which are far stricter than ours, and which impose far more stringent requirements upon those who seek to enter their countries?

All we ask is that if you want to come to this country you obey our laws, respect our customs, learn the language, and not become a burden upon society. Is that too much to ask?

But no, people come here and try to push their beliefs upon us. They come here demanding that we provide translators for them because they refuse to learn our common language. They demand that we not only respect their customs, but we force our own citizens to celebrate them.

Instead of being one country, united by common beliefs and customs, we have become a nation that is fragmented along racial lines. We celebrate this multiculturalism while it is tearing us apart.

Look at us, we have a Black History Month, a Hispanic History Month; yet were we to even suggest that we establish a White History Month the cries of racism would reach the Moon. Any time we ask that our existing immigration laws be enforced the result is the same; racist whitey is trying to break apart families and deport these poor people who only want a better life for themselves and their families.

In 1983, after years of not enforcing immigration law, our country was faced with the problem of a large number of illegal aliens living amongst us. To solve this problem the Simpson-Mazzoli Act was introduced and signed by President Reagan. If an illegal alien could prove they had been living here prior to 1982, if they could prove they had not committed a crime, if they paid a fine and all taxes due, the crime of their entering this country illegally would be forgiven and they would be granted the opportunity to become citizens.

We were told this would be a one time deal; that it wouldn’t happen again. Yet here we are, 28 years later, with the cry that our immigration system is broken and needs comprehensive reform being touted every couple of years.

How can they say it’s broken when they’ve never even attempted to see if it works? It is the job of the president to see that all laws be faithfully upheld. Well presidents Bush, Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama have all failed to do so, and once again we are being told that we need to do something about the reportedly 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. I think the number is higher, much higher; upwards of 40 million. But that’s beside the point; we were lied to by our government when they said they would enforce the law and we would never be asked to accept another amnesty for those who entered this country illegally.

They say we can’t deport all these people; it would be impossible and inhumane. Why not? President Eisenhower did it. In fact he had them shipped across the border, and when they came right back he had them shipped even further away; and repeated the process until they stopped coming to this country illegally.

If you ask me, not only should we deport them, we should immediately revoke the citizenship of anyone harboring them. I don’t care if someone has lived their entire life here in the U.S. and is guilty of no other crime than that of helping some poor undocumented immigrant remain in the U.S.; if they violate our immigration law, as they are doing by harboring these people, they lose their citizenship and are subject to deportation themselves for their crimes.

This is America for crying out loud, when are people going to start acting with America’s interests first and foremost in their minds? If the first act of any immigrant is the violating of our immigration laws are these the kind of people we are willing to open our arms to and accept among us? I’m not saying these are all bad people, just that we should demand that our laws be upheld, and by entering this country illegally they are showing that they have no respect for our laws.

The same thing, to an even greater extent applies to all these immigrants, or refugees if you want to call them that, from the Middle East. Our foreign policy has been to meddle, and invade these people’s native lands to impose our way of life and gain control of the oil reserves their countries sit upon. In doing so America has wrought havoc in their countries and brought violence and death to them as a people. Has it ever crossed your mind that these refugees might harbor some pretty serious animosity towards the country responsible for causing them to be forced to flee their homeland? Yet we are expected to open our arms to them and let them live amongst us, to possibly some day commit acts of terrorism right here on our own soil? We have already been given a hint of things to come with the San Bernadino and Orlando shootings. What will it take for us to realize that we are inviting far worse if we do not stop our nation’s insane foreign policy of endless war and interventions, and stop allowing people whose religious beliefs run contrary to everything our entire system is founded upon?

I am an American and I love my country. I love the freedoms it was established to protect and I was raised to not judge a man by their skin color, but by how they treated me. Yet I owe no loyalty to my government, or the people of other countries. If you come to my country you should put American values above those of the ones you held while living in your native land.

This nonsense of us being African-American, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans and all the other hyphenated Americans has got to stop and we have all got to start acting like plain old Americans, putting American beliefs and values first in our minds.

That is where these two issues meld together; both in how we vote, and in whom we allow to enter this country and become citizens. They say this is the United States of America. How united are we in reality? We are fragmented along political party lines, by racial lines, by support for this belief or that. We are far from united because we have stopped believing in the same thing our Founders believed in when they first sought their independence; “…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

If we could put aside all our differences and join together in supporting that one simple concept, America could be…would be great again. But as long as we remain divided we will never again see greatness in this country.

You can call me an asshole if you want, but if standing up for the principles which form the foundation upon which this country was established is considered being an asshole, them I’m damned proud to be an asshole!

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