The Lost Colony of Roanoke

Every October people celebrate the discovering of America by getting a day off from work for Columbus Day, in honor of Christopher Columbus; the explorer who most people believe was the man who discovered America. Unfortunately history is not always accurate, and this is a perfect example of that. Columbus may have been the first European to set foot on American soil, (and even this has come into question), and been the one to introduce this new world to Europeans, but he certainly didn’t ‘discover’ America, as there were already indigenous people living here.

Archeologists have dated early settlements of indigenous people’s living near modern day Clovis, New Mexico going back as far as 11,000 years ago. These Clovis people most likely made their way into America by way of the Bering Land Bridge which, at the time, connected North America to Siberia. DNA testing of remains found at the site leads scientists to believe that they were the direct ancestors to upwards of 80% of all the Native American Indians who inhabited the Americas when Columbus later made his first trip to this ‘uncharted’ land.

Another holiday we Americans celebrate is Thanksgiving, in remembrance of the Pilgrims who settled at Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. Most Americans do not realize that the Plymouth Colony was not the first attempt to establish an English Colony in America; it was the third such effort.

The Pilgrims, as they are commonly called, landed at Plymouth in 1620, however nearly 40 years earlier Queen Elizabeth the First granted a charter to Sir Walter Raleigh to establish a colony in the New World. Raleigh’s charter stated:

ELIZABETH by the Grace of God of England, France and Ireland Queen, defender of the faith, &c. To all people to whom these presents shall come, greeting.

Know ye that of our especial grace, certain science, and mere motion, we have given and granted, and by these presents for us, our heirs and successors, we give and grant to our trustee and well beloved servant Walter Raleigh, Esquire, and to his heirs assignee for ever, free liberty and license from time to time, and at all times for ever hereafter, to discover, search, find out, and view such remote, heathen and barbarous lands, countries, and territories, not actually possessed of any Christian Prince, nor inhabited by Christian People, as to him, his heirs and assignee, and to every or any of them shall seem good, and the same to have, horde, occupy and enjoy to him, his heirs and assignee for ever, with all prerogatives, commodities, jurisdictions, royalties, privileges, franchises, and pre-eminences, thereto or thereabouts both by sea and land, whatsoever we by our letters patents may grant, and as we or any of our noble progenitors have heretofore granted to any person or persons, bodies politic or corporate: and the said Walter Raleigh, his heirs and assignee, and all such as from time to time, by license of us, our heirs and successors, shall go or travel thither to inhabit or remain, there to build and fortify, at the discretion of the said Walter Raleigh, his heirs and assignee, the statutes or act of Parliament made against fugitives, or against such as shall depart, romaine or continue out of our Realm of England without license, or any other statute, act, law, or any ordinance whatsoever to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding. (Old English corrected to modern day spelling)

Raleigh was also supposed to build a fort from which English privateers could launch raids upon Spanish vessels in the area to show Spain that England was ready for war should their intentions become hostile or threaten England.

What people fail to understand today is that, back then, there were three primary nations, or empires, which controlled a good portion of the world; Spain, England and France; and they always seemed to be at each other’s throats seeking to expand their empires and diminish those held by their enemies.

As far back as 1492 Spain had already begun to colonize this land on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, dating back to when Columbus had first ‘discovered’ this new land which abounded in natural resources; and England wanted to stake her claim to it as well.

Therefore, in 1584 Raleigh dispatched an expedition, led by two men, Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe, to explore the eastern seaboard of what is now the United States. Arriving on, of all days, July 4, Amadas and Barlowe disembarked on Roanoke Island in the Outer Banks of modern day North Carolina. The quickly established relations with the Croatan Indians living there, and Barlowe soon returned with two of them, Manteo and Wanchese who then explained the politics and geography of the area they had chosen to settle.

Based upon the information he had been given, Raleigh then dispatched a five ship fleet carrying explorers and settlers to establish the first English Colony in the Americas. However, rough weather separated the Tiger, a ship commanded by Richard Grenville, from the rest of the fleet. Grenville arrived at the Baye of Muskito in Puerto Rico; which was a Spanish held territory. He simultaneously established relations with the Spanish, while at the same time engaged in privateering against them.

Grenville built a fort to house his crew, and soon afterwards the Elizabeth, a second ship in his fleet arrived. Nonetheless, Grenville became soon tired of waiting for the arrival of the other ships, and on June 7 he abandoned his fort to proceed on to Roanoke Island. When he arrived at his intended destination he attempted to navigate the Ocracoke Inlet, but hit a shoal; destroying most of his food supply aboard the Tiger.

Once the other ships finally arrived they established a small Colony at the Northern end of Roanoke Island. Grenville then left Ralph Lane, along with 107 others on the island to return to England. He promised to return with more men and supplies in 1586, but for some reason he did not make arrive when he had promised, and when he did he found the settlement abandoned. Leaving a small detachment of 15 men to maintain Raleigh’s claim to Roanoke Island, Grenville returned to England.

The following year, Raleigh dispatched another group of 115 colonists in an effort to establish another colony on Chesapeake Bay. On the way to Chesapeake they stopped at Roanoke to pick up the 15 who had been left behind, but only found a single skeleton, and the fate of the other 14 remained a mystery.

Upon finding no one they returned to the ships, only to be told by Master Pilot Simon Fernandez that he would not let them board; that they were to settle at Roanoke instead of Chesapeake Bay. Whether they were simply unprepared for living in a new land, or they whether it was due to increasing tensions between the Colonists and the local Indians, the Colonists persuaded their Governor, John White, to return to England to explain the dire situation they faced.

White set sail for England in winter, a perilous time for ocean travel back then. Upon arriving in England, his return was delayed; first because ship captains were reluctant to cross the Atlantic in winter, and then because war broke out between England and Spain, and every sea going vessel was needed to fight the Spanish.

In 1588 White acquired to smaller ships and attempted to make the crossing, however they decided to engage in a bit of privateering and instead of coming out victorious, they had their supplies stolen and had to return to England.

It would be 1590 before White was finally able to return to Roanoke Island; only to find it deserted. Of the 90 men, 17 women and 11 children who simply vanished was White’s own granddaughter, Virginia Dare, the first settler to be born on American soil. The only clue left to White and his relief team was the word CROATOAN which was carved into a post. Whatever happened to them hadn’t appeared to be disastrous as the entire settlement had been dismantled; leaving them to suspect that possibly they had chosen to relocate somewhere else.

Later attempts to discover the fate of the Roanoke Colony led some to the belief that Chief Powhatan had personally led the slaughter of the Colonists because they had chosen to live among their enemy, the Chespians, but no substantial evidence was provided to either prove or disprove that claim. What is known is the ultimate fate of the Lost Colony or Roanoke remains a mystery.

This was the first attempt by English setters to establish a Colony in the New World. My next piece will discuss the second attempt at Jamestown. Stay tuned.

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Are You Among the Five Percent?

Even if they don’t know who the man was, the name Thomas Edison probably rings a bell of familiarity for most people. Edison was an inventor who gave us the carbon filament incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera. Edison, if he was anything, was what one would call a ‘Thinker.’

As one who made a name for himself using his mind, it comes as no surprise that he would look down upon those who refused to use theirs. Therefore this lends credence to the fact that Edison supposedly made the following comments: Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.

Edison died in 1931 due to complications from diabetes, but I think his statement is a pretty accurate assessment of the general mass of people who inhabit these States united. I don’t think that it is that people are unable to think, I think it is due to the fact that thinking involves too much effort, and people, for the most part, are fundamentally lazy.

Nowhere is this dearth of thinking more on display than in regards to American politics. Using Edison’s percentages, allow me to explain why I say that. The 5% that he speaks of who think would be, at least from my perspective, those who have discovered that their government is corrupt beyond salvage and that the two party system is designed to give the illusion that the people still retain some control over what their government does. These people have chosen to stop participating in the fraud of Presidential and Congressional elections; knowing full well that no matter which party assumes control of government, government will continue to grow in size and in how much power it exercises over our lives.

The 10% that Edison speaks of are those who pay close attention to the news and the political debates and believe they are making informed decisions at the polls based upon the data they have accumulated. They think they are thinking because, in reality, their opinions are being molded and manipulated by the media which is complicit in the process of keeping them uninformed under the guise of providing them with ‘the news.’ They think they are thinking because they are analyzing facts and making decisions based upon those facts; but is it really thinking if everything you are analyzing and correlating is a ruse to keep you from seeking out the truth?

Finally there is the other 85% who would rather die than think. These are those who either don’t pay any attention to politics at all, or who vote strictly along party lines without paying any attention to the qualifications of the candidates, or the issues themselves. In short, the 85% is most people in this country.

I became part of the 5% after the first Bush election which saw America witness the 9-11 attacks and the birth of the War on Terror. I’m not blaming those events for my refusal to participate in the elective process; I think it would have happened sooner or later anyways; I’m only saying that 9-11 and all the laws which violate my rights in response to it only hastened the inevitable.

I have come to the conclusion that our system of government began to depart from the principles our Founders fought a revolution to achieve the moment it first went into operation. Yes, there were those within government who sought to keep government in check; to bind it with the chains of the constitution, to quote Thomas Jefferson; but they eventually lost out to the followers of Alexander Hamilton who sought for a more energetic government which supported business and industry more than it did the States and the people.

I think the end came with the surrender of Lee at Appomattox, which actually was the demise of the Jeffersonian vision of “A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”

Our government has been pure Hamiltonian doctrine ever since the end of the Civil War, with the only difference being that it comes disguised as liberalism or conservatism. Gone are the distinctions between a limited government and an all powerful one; to be replaced by different flavors of an all powerful government.

I don’t care which party you support, if you have any integrity whatsoever, I would like for you to take a few minutes to stop and ponder whether the things your candidates ran for office championing are among the specific powers granted government by the Constitution, or if they are among the powers given the particular office that candidate sought. If you cannot answer yes to that question, then you are among the 10% who think they are thinking; but in reality are being led around by the nose with propaganda and rhetoric. Lenin had a term for people like you, ‘useful idiots.’

Do you know what the Circuit Court system is? The Circuit Courts were established in 1789 by the Judiciary Act passed by Congress. They are a series of intermediary courts which had jurisdiction over cases of a federal nature and were established not to burden the Supreme Court with a deluge of cases.
One would think that judges assigned to these Circuit Courts would be required to have a thorough understanding of the Constitution they were supposed to be basing their rulings upon. After all, that only seems to be logical; that they be familiar with the law they were supposed to be upholding.

Why is it then that back in 2016, Steven Posner, a judge assigned to the 7th Circuit Court made the following comments, “I see absolutely no value to a judge of spending decades, years, months, weeks, day, hours, minutes, or seconds studying the Constitution, the history of its enactment, its amendments, and its implementation…” Posner then went on to say, “Eighteenth-century guys, however smart, could not foresee the culture, technology, etc., of the 21st century.”

The sad thing is, I frequently hear that same sentiment whenever I engage in discussion with many younger people regarding the powers our government should be allowed to exercise. These young whippernsappers think that the Constitution is irrelevant, that its limitations and restrictions upon our government do not apply in today’s modern world.

They don’t seem to realize that, first of all the Constitution is the law; and both they and the government it established are bound by it, “The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances. No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences, was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government. Such a doctrine leads directly to anarchy or despotism…” (Source: Justice David Davis, Ex parte Milligan, 1866)

Secondly, these people react quite violently when I suggest that we revoke the Constitution, as long as in so doing we tear down the government it established. You see, to these people government is not an entity to defend the liberty and equal rights of others; it is a tool to be used to force their will and their views upon the great mass of society. These social justice warriors are defenseless against those willing to defend their rights without the coercive power behind every law passed by government, and they know it’ even if it is only on a subconscious level. They need government to impose their agenda and they only complain about government when those in power act contrary to whatever agenda they have.

The sad thing is that people have been brainwashed into believing that there is this huge gulf of difference between the two primary political parties in America. This red and blue, conservative and liberal, Republican vs Democrat belief is a ruse designed to keep us from seeing the reality that both parties don’t give a damn about what the Constitution says, and that both parties owe their allegiance and loyalty to a select group of special interests; including business and banking interests.

It’s just as Georgetown Professor Carroll Quigley wrote in his book Tragedy and Hope, “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can “throw the rascals out” at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy.” Yet most people steadfastly refuse to look beyond partisan loyalties when discussing politics; and the constitutionality of the things their candidate does never crosses their minds.

At least the liberals are somewhat honest in who and what they are, but those who claim to be conservatives, and then turn around and support measures which violate the Constitution or restrict my rights, make me question their integrity; or at least their capacity to distinguish between right and wrong; good and evil. As Noam Chomsky so aptly said, “There are few genuine conservatives within the U.S. political system, and it is a sign of the intellectual corruption of the age that the honorable term ‘conservatism’ can be appropriated to disguise the advocacy of a powerful, lawless, aggressive and violent state, a welfare state for the rich dedicated to a lunatic form of Keynesian economic intervention that enhances state and private power while mortgaging the country’s future.”

Yet people wonder why I hold out so little hope for our nation’s future. Well that’s why, because people refuse to think, they refuse to put aside their partisan loyalties and pledge their loyalty to the Constitution and the rights and liberty it was established to protect.

I’m going to do something I’ve never done before, and probably will never do again; I’m going to include a few political cartoons to help emphasize what my feeble attempt to explain has probably failed to achieve. Maybe images will, in this instance, speak louder than words.

Enjoy, or don’t enjoy; but at least THINK….

If I have any readers left after this, I’ll be back tomorrow with a new approach. Stay tuned…

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The Death of Liberty

Have you ever witnessed a love one slowly succumb to a terminal illness or sink into the depths of Alzheimer’s, only to be lost to you forever? You know that combined feeling of anger, frustration and sadness you felt as you helplessly watched someone you love slowly pass from your life; well that’s how I feel as I sit and watch the effects of ignorance, apathy and complacency slowly destroy the country I love.

As our nation’s first President under the newly ratified Constitution, George Washington was in a unique position; not only would all Presidents who followed him be compared against him, but he was the first to assume the position of Chief Executive and was treading where no man had tread before. I think he was fully cognizant of this fact, and it must have weighed heavily upon him as he assumed the position entrusted to him by the voters.

How many of you know that Washington did not seek out the newly created position of President of these States united; that it was thrust upon him by the voters? Washington would have preferred to return to Mount Vernon and retire from public service, but the confidence of the people in his leadership made him the obvious candidate to become our nation’s first President under the Constitution.

In his Inaugural Address Washington himself attested to this when he said, “Among the vicissitudes incident to life, no event could have filled me with greater anxieties than that of which the notification was transmitted by your order, and received on the fourteenth day of the present month. On the one hand, I was summoned by my Country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a retreat which I had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable decision, as the asylum of my declining years: a retreat which was rendered every day more necessary as well as more dear to me, by the addition of habit to inclination, and of frequent interruptions in my health to the gradual waste committed on it by time. On the other hand, the magnitude and difficulty of the trust to which the voice of my Country called me, being sufficient to awaken in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens, a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with dispondence, one, who, inheriting inferior endowments from nature and unpractised in the duties of civil administration, ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies.”

How unlike those who seek the presidency today; candidates with overinflated egos who loudly proclaim why the voters should choose them from among a virtual freak show of candidates. Yet it is not Washington’s own sense of self doubt that I would like to spend the rest of my time discussing; it is something else that he said in his Inaugural Address, “The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”

If you’ll notice, Washington did not say that the preservation of our democracy was entrusted to the hands of the American people; rather he said the preservation of our republican model of government was entrusted to our hands. It was our responsibility, our obligation, our DUTY to keep a watchful eye on government and ensure that it remained true to the purposes for which it was established; and we have failed miserably!

I often speak of the eventual downfall of our Republic, and I get the distinct impression that people think that I mean that America is simply going to vanish off the face of the Earth. Did Italy vanish when the Roman Empire fell? Did Greece or Turkey vanish when their empires fell? Of course not, those countries still exist, and so will ours when our Republic eventually falls. But the vital principles upon which America was founded will have gone by the wayside to be replaced by something Ben Franklin warned would be the inevitable outcome when the people of this country failed in the experiment that Washington speaks of in his Inaugural Address; a despotic government.

On the final day of the convention which produced our Constitution, a speech written by Ben Franklin was read to the delegates by James Wilson. In that speech Franklin states, “Sir, I agree to this Constitution, with all its Faults, if they are such; because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well administered; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a Course of Years, and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”

Has that fateful day arrived, is it upon us now? I tend to think that it is, and I’m not alone in my sentiments. My dear friend, and mentor, Michael Gaddy wrote something on Facebook the other day which stated, “As hard as it is for me to say, and as hard as it has been for me to face the reality of it all, this once grand experiment in Liberty, without some form of divine intervention, is over. The grand old idea of individual freedom and what Thomas Jefferson once defined as Rightful Liberty has long since passed. But, who is to blame you ask; the very same folks this government was once designed to protect, none other than “We the People.”

I have been told, both in private and public that the time for words is over, that those who cherish the liberty our government was instituted to protect must either stand for it now, or see it vanish forever. I think that is the biggest failing of the American people, the fact that they have forgotten that the most important function our government was established to serve was the preservation of our liberty. As Patrick Henry admonished his fellow Virginians in the Virginia Ratifying Assembly, “You are not to inquire how your trade may be increased, nor how you are to become a great and powerful people, but how your liberties can be secured; for liberty ought to be the direct end of your Government.”

Yet how can liberty be preserved when an overwhelming majority of the people don’t even know, or care for that matter, what it is? The 18th Century statesman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free.” If you are not taught from an early age what true freedom is, and if you grow up hearing that you are free, then how are you to know whether you are free or not if you will not take the time to learn what liberty actually is?

I have read many definitions of the word liberty, and of all the definitions I’ve read I think this is the best, “free from restrictions in both thought and action.” Using that as your definition, do you think you are free, that you truly enjoy liberty? How many things do you do daily which require a license, a permit, or require the paying of a fee for your privilege of doing these things?

If you get into your car you are required to have a license to operate it, and pay a registration fee for it to be allowed to operate on public roads. You pay fees for the use of the airwaves in the form of taxes on your phones. If you want to hunt or fish, fine, but first get a license. You want to add a room to your house; fine, but you need a building permit first; which of course comes with a fee. And these are just some of the things we accept as routine in our day to day lives; but in truth restrict our liberty.

Our understanding of liberty, and what our rights are, is so limited that we, as a society, impose restrictions upon each other in the name of political correctness which further restricts our liberty. In 1816 Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”

That’s liberty right there, unobstructed action according to our will within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. The problem today is that people have come to believe that their feelings have rights of their own, and that when someone says something, or displays an image which offends those feelings, that speech, or those images need to be censored. That is the essence of political correctness; that the feelings of certain groups overrule the right to speak freely. Our government did not need to propose an amendment repealing the 1st Amendment, we have imposed restrictions upon it ourselves by accepting the terms dictated by the politically correct among us who tell us what they will allow us to say or display.

People today are so pathetically ignorant as to their rights that they believe that the public welfare is all the justification that is needed to limit the very rights our government was prohibited from legislating upon by the Bill of Rights. Instead of condemning government for even considering restricting our rights, the people openly call for them to do so.

As a nation we have become so accustomed to, and complacent in regards to our government violating our rights that we barely take notice of how quickly they are vanishing. Just look at how readily people accepted our government’s dismantling of the 4th Amendment just to keep them safe from terrorism. The Patriot Act, the expansion of the NSA’s surveillance upon the American people, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and its influence in local law enforcement, the growth of the TSA and its intrusive searches without search warrants; all that can be laid at the feet of our willingness to surrender our freedoms just so that we can be safe from terrorism.

In a letter to Thomas Jefferson, James Madison wrote, “Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions agst. danger real or pretended from abroad.” Seeing as how we have willingly acquiesced to all these violations of our rights to keep us safe from terrorism, I would say that Madison was quite correct in his sentiments.

And I would be highly remiss if I didn’t mention the current call for tougher gun laws after the recent school shooting in Florida. I am of a firm belief that many people think we have a 2nd Amendment so that we can hunt and defend our homes against criminals. Well, at least they got the defend and criminals part right, but it wasn’t our homes which the 2nd Amendment was written to protect, it was our liberty; and the criminals it was written to protect us from were those within our own government.

In a pamphlet urging ratification of the Constitution, Noah Webster wrote, “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe.”

George Mason, a respected Virginian who also the convention which drafted our Constitution, declared, “…to disarm the people . . . was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

The 2nd Amendment was written to protect and defend the right of the people to be armed so that they could constitute a force greater than any standing army our government might erect to enforce tyranny upon us…END OF STORY!!! It was the fail safe, the last resort when all other means to obtain a redress of grievances against our government have failed…and people are willingly calling for that right to be further restricted? Sorry, but over my dead body!

And while I’m on the subject of gun control versus the 2nd Amendment, I have a message for all you die-hard Trump supporters. Tell your man to keep his yap shut and take a few minutes to recall that oath he took to support and defend the Constitution.

I sometimes feel that those of you who stand behind Trump no matter what he does or says are more dangerous than the liberals you so freely condemn. You claim to be conservatives, but then stand behind Trump when he says things like, “Take the guns first, then due process later.” Do you even realize what Trump is saying when he makes comments like that? He is basically saying, and excuse my language, “Fuck civil rights, do what needs to be done and we’ll deal with the legal consequences later.”

This is a problem that both Republicans and Democrats share, that the end always justifies the means. Both parties fail to realize that they are restricted by law as to what they can and cannot do for us, and that there is a process by which justice is served; and to take action and then worry about the legal ramifications of that action later, is not the correct way of doing things in our Constitutional Republic.

I’m sure Abraham Lincoln felt that he was doing what best served the ends when he suspended Habeas Corpus during the Civil War. I’m sure Franklin Roosevelt felt that the interment of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II also served the ends; but both Lincoln and Roosevelt were guilty of violating the law, and the rights of the people their actions restricted. Trump’s call for taking the guns now and due process later is the same kind of mentality which leads to tyranny and despotism; and I’d be very careful about blindly supporting a man who proposes such measures; that is if you value what remains of your liberty.

It does not matter what I say, people are going to go on believing whatever they want to believe; because the truth is too painful and they are content to remain protected from it in their cocoons of ignorance. However, that will not relieve them of the guilt of allowing the liberty that our government was instituted to protect to be taken from them. As the old legal maxim states, “Ignorantia juris non excusat” or, “Ignorance of the law does not excuse.”

Each and every one of us is born with free will; that is one thing they cannot take away from us. We can choose ignorance over knowledge, and we can choose liberty over servitude. Most, unfortunately, choose servitude.

But why should I be surprised; this is nothing new. Did not the Jews, when presented by Pilate with the choice to either free Jesus, or free the criminal Barabbas, choose Barabbas? It the nature of weak minds to choose that which is evil over that which is good; so I don’t know why it should come as any surprise that they would choose bondage and servitude over liberty. What surprises me is how long our country has survived as a free nation before the liberty it was founded upon was finally relinquished in return for the comforting promises made by tyrants and despots.

Make no mistakes about it though, regardless of what the media tells you, regardless of what the President says in his State of the Union Address, the grand experiment in whether we could be a self governing nation that secured liberty for all has failed, and failed because we the people simply choose comfort over liberty, entertainment over knowledge, and party over principle.

There’s a modern slang saying which states, “Living the dream” in reference to the American Dream. Well, the dream part is right, because if you think that you have any liberty left, you must be dreaming.

Sweet dreams, cupcake!!!

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I’ve Made My Decision

I am going to come right out and say it, yesterday I was very angry. It is my nature to hold things that bother me in, until I reach a breaking point that causes all my pent up anger and frustration to come pouring out. I know that’s not physically healthy, but that’s just how I am and nothing I’ve tried seems to resolve that characteristic.

There’s another thing you may not know about me; I believe in God; but I don’t think you have to attend church to be a good Christian. So yesterday, after releasing all that pent up anger, in my own way I was praying for guidance as to what I should do; give up writing, or keep pushing on. When I got home from work I had an e mail of encouragement from a friend; which certainly was a boost to my mood. But it was what happened when I got ready to go to work in the afternoon that made the decision for me.

Typically, when I go to work I’ll get in my truck and drive to a local convenience store and buy a Red Bull, then drive back to the house and sit in the driveway listening to extremely loud music while I drink it. Yesterday, the first song that came on was a song by the Canadian rock band RUSH called The Pass. I would like to share a portion of the lyrics with you.

Static on your frequency
Electrical storm in your veins
Raging at unreachable glory
Straining at invisible chains

And now you’re trembling on a rocky ledge
Staring down into a heartless sea
Can’t face life on a razor’s edge
Nothing’s what you thought it would be

All of us get lost in the darkness
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars
All of us do time in the gutter
Dreamers turn to look at the cars
Turn around and turn around and turn around
Turn around and walk the razor’s edge
Don’t turn your back
And slam the door on me

It’s not as if this barricade
Blocks the only road
It’s not as if you’re all alone
In wanting to explode

Someone set a bad example
Made surrender seem all right
The act of a noble warrior
Who lost the will to fight

It is said that the Lord works in mysterious ways, and I tend to agree with that sentiment. I think that song was the answer to my prayers, and it was up to me to interpret it, and then choose whether to listen to the message or ignore it.

There will be no political discussion today; I just wanted to let y’all know that I’m not tossing in the towel; I will be back fighting the good fight tomorrow. There are so few of us warriors for liberty left, and if it is survive in this country it needs the help of all of us.

That’s all I have to say for today. And for those of you who might possibly have been breathing sighs of relief, thinking you were finally rid of me and my constant ranting…sorry to have disappointed you, but I’m not going anywhere.

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Keeping My Inner HULK In Check

Aside from the faithful few who read my articles, I often wonder how many others actually read anything at all; aside from Facebook posts and Tweets that is. How many people could honestly claim to have read one book, cover to cover, in the past six months? Now let’s refine the question a bit. How many could say that in the past year they have read an entire book which was non-fiction? It could have been a biography, or a book on a particular historical event; it does not matter, as long as you’ve read it in the last twelve months.

How many of you have read a book more than once? I have read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand six times; and it’s over a thousand pages long. My copy of the Federalist Papers has seen so much use that pages are starting to fall out of it. You can’t pick up any of my historical books without finding entire passages highlighted with notes written in the borders.

I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad about themselves’ I’m only trying to show how much I read. I do this because I get the impression that some people think that all of my free time is spent behind this keyboard writing these articles; which simply isn’t the case. I am a voracious reader and I have had to impose time limitations upon how long I read because I can’t find enough books to keep me in supply of them if I didn’t impose some kind of time limits on how many hours per day I read.

And I don’t confine myself to non-fiction books either. I got The Demon Crown, a James Rollins fiction novel for Christmas; and I devoured it in less than a day. But most of my time is spent reading non-fiction; just because I have this appetite for history that is almost unquenchable.

I currently have 3 books sitting on a shelf above my computer desk that await my attention, and a list of about 5 others that I want to purchase.

People all the time tell me that I’m smart. I’m not smart, I’m devoted to learning more. I’m no smarter than anyone else; I’m only dedicating more of my free time to learning than others are. Yet if I were to compare what I know with what some friends of mine know, I would say that I am in Kindergarten while they are in college. I am light years behind the knowledge some of my friends have stored in their grey matter.

I was gently chided just this morning that my anger is showing in my articles. I admit, I have come across as quite angry sounding lately, but I don’t feel that my anger is unjustified. I am rehashing the same old information time and time again, with the only difference being the packaging it comes wrapped in. I’m sorry, but if people cared, if they had critical thinking skills, if they had functioning brains, they would have learned the things I have been trying to teach them a long time ago, and I could have moved on to other subjects.

In the film God’s and Generals there is a scene where Major Thomas Jackson is facing a classroom of cadets at Virginia Military Institute, and he tells them, “I had hoped…that you would learn to apply…these principles with great effectiveness…But since you seem unable to grasp these principles…I’m forced to conclude that I must repeat this lesson tomorrow, word for word….word for word.”

That’s how I feel when I write, that I’m repeating the same lesson over and over to a classroom full of students who are unable to grasp the simple concepts I am trying to share with them; and the understanding of how our system of government was designed to work is not difficult; it only requires that you dump all that political party rhetoric you have been taught and use your minds for their intended purposes.

Do I sound harsh? I’m sorry, but my liberty is at stake and I am not one to hold back my feelings when the ignorance and apathy of others is threatening to deprive me of my freedom. In 1775 Patrick Henry stood before the Virginia delegates gathered at St John’s Church and declared, “I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” (My emphasis)

Our Founders, especially those most outspoken in the defense of their liberty were brash, they were outspoken, and they were offensive to those who preferred the chains of slavery over the blessings of liberty. Unfortunately today, people are blinded by partisan loyalties, or hide behind political correctness and seek to silence those who loudly proclaim the truth to an audience that has grown up learning to hide from the truth.

Well tough sh*t if I offend you. Liberty is not for the meek, it is not for the timid, and it is not for those who get offended when their precious beliefs and ideologies are threatened by the truth.

Our Founders were willing to die obtaining liberty, and most people today can’t pry themselves away from their TV or their smartphones long enough to learn what liberty actually is, and how they have lost it. So if I sound mad, then you may want to ask yourselves why I’m so mad instead of just telling me to calm down.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been told that people don’t have the time to devote hours studying books that teach them things that may be of great importance to their freedom. Hogwash! If you spend one hour watching television, that is one hour you could have spent learning something about the history or founding of your country.

Do you think that our Founders did not have lives and families as well? Do you think that Jefferson would not have preferred to spend his days expanding upon his beloved Monticello, or that Washington would have not preferred to spend his time attending to his affairs at Mount Vernon?

What about the time John Adams spent away from his beloved Abigail arguing with a reluctant Continental Congress; trying to convince them that secession, oops, I mean independence was the only means of guaranteeing their liberty, don’t you think he would have preferred to spend his time attending to his legal practice and farm at Peacefield?

What about the men who followed Washington on his many campaigns; who stood toe to toe with the best fighting force on the planet and who braved the harsh winter at Valley Forge; did they not have families to attend to as well?

This argument that you have families and lives to attend to simply doesn’t justify your ignorance. If liberty means as much to you as it did to those who secured it for all posterity, then its preservation would become your first priority in life, not football, not Facebook, and not all the other things which occupy your free time.

If you thought I sounded mad before, now you have had a taste of the anger I have been keeping in check. It wasn’t pretty, was it? If your ignorance and apathy only affected you, I wouldn’t care; I’d say live your lives ignorant to the truth. Unfortunately your ignorance threatens me and my liberty; and that I will not abide!

I don’t care if tyranny comes to America riding a donkey or an elephant, and if you don’t get the reference, I’m referring to the two symbols representing the Republican and Democratic parties. Tyranny is tyranny, no matter how it is dressed; and both political parties in this country bring tyranny to you; whether you choose to see it or not.

If the people to whom I really write these articles, and not those who already agree with my viewpoints, find the things I say offensive, too bad. When Samuel Adams wrote the following, I’m sure there were those who found HIS words offensive too, “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

I am faced with a choice now. I can continue to write; knowing full well that my efforts are an exercise in futility, or I can give up writing and allow those who need the information I provide the most to wallow in their ignorance; and suffer the eventual consequence of that ignorance.

I haven’t decided which choice I will make, but this will be my last article until I’m made up my mind. If you hear from me again you will know that I’ve decided to stay in the fight. If you don’t, then you will also know that I have chosen to stop wasting my time on people who don’t care one whit about the continued erosion of their liberty, and have chosen the tranquility of servitude over the animating contest for freedom.

Stay tuned for my decision…

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If You Consider This Seditious (Then YOU Are Part of the Problem)

In 1765 the King of England decided that the Colonies needed to help pay a portion of the debt that the Crown had incurred defending them in the French and Indian war, so Parliament instituted a tax on printed goods; The Stamp Act. It was his right to tax them for this, and any other reason. After all, they were HIS Colonies, they were HIS subjects, and he could tax them for whatever reason tickled his fancy.

On the other side, the Colonists felt these taxes were unjust, and they reacted, sometimes violently in opposition to them. One of the things they did do, which proved quite effective, was to boycott all English goods sold in the Colonies. This caused British merchants to put pressure on Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act so that the Colonists would once again begin purchasing their goods. So, in 1766 an act was passed in Parliament repealing the Stamp Act, and it was given the royal approval on March 18 where it became official; the Stamp Act was no more.

The Colonists, however, were not free from British taxes and regulations. The same year that the Stamp Act was imposed, Chancellor of the Exchequer Charles Townshend proposed a series of measures which would strengthen English control in the Colonies. These came to be known as the Townshend Acts, named after the man who proposed them to Parliament.

Opposition to these Acts began with a series of Articles by John Dickinson of Pennsylvania. Titled Letters From A Farmer In Pennsylvania, Dickinson argued against the constitutionality of the taxes being imposed upon the Colonies. Dickinson also sent copies of his letters to James Otis in Boston. As Boston had been chosen to be the headquarters for the Board of Customs Commissioners, it became the hotbed for protests against the taxes.

Word of the unrest in Boston reached London, and Lord Hillsborough, The Colonial Secretary, decided to send four regiments of British Regulars, (Redcoats), to Boston to restore order and enforce the taxes. Well we all know what happened after the King authorized the sending of his military to enforce his laws; the Boston Massacre and then Lexington and Concord which provided enough impetus for the American Revolution to gain support throughout all the Colonies.

Less than a quarter century later, newly elected president George Washington was faced with the problem of paying off the debt the federal government had assumed from the States relating to the fighting of the revolution. At the advice and urging of his Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, Washington signed a bill imposing a direct tax, an excise on the sale of whiskey.

Opposition to this tax was widespread, but it was nowhere more opposed than in some regions of Pennsylvania where whiskey was used as payment in a form of barter for goods. Some Pennsylvanians flat out refused to pay, and others harassed and attacked the collectors of these taxes. From the onset of opposition, Alexander Hamilton was there at Washington’s side, urging that he use the military to quell opposition to federal law. Finally, Washington consented, and a force consisting of 17,000 troops was sent to Pennsylvania to quell this ‘Whiskey Rebellion.’

The aftermath of this military expedition was that 20 of the so-called rebels were captured and returned to Philadelphia to stand trial. Of them, Philip Wigle and John Mitchell were the only two to be convicted of treason and sentenced to death. However, Washington pardoned them; which infuriated Alexander Hamilton. But the Whiskey Rebellion established the precedent that the government can, and will use force when it feels that obedience to the laws it passes is warranted. However, what historians don’t tell us is that even though the military expedition was viewed as a success for the Washington administration, whiskey taxes remained difficult to collect in Pennsylvania.

I’m curious, after telling these two little snippets from our history, do you see the similarity between the two events, or did it slip right past you without you noticing it? In both instances the military was used as a means to enforce the supremacy of the government AND to collect the taxes that government had imposed upon the governed.

It is said that Winston Churchill once said that history is written by the victors of any conflict. I wonder, how would historians have viewed men like Thomas Jefferson, John and Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere and Patrick Henry, had the Colonies LOST the revolution? I’m pretty sure our history books would not label them as patriots and heroes; rather they would be labeled as traitors who attempted to overthrow the legitimate authority of their government.

Just like how history books today, that is if they even mention the Whiskey Rebellion, label those who protested the tax on whiskey, as being rebels who opposed the legitimacy of taxes imposed upon them by their government. These rebels are portrayed as the ‘bad guys’ while Washington and his army of 17,000 troops are portrayed as the ‘good guys’ who restored order in Pennsylvania.

There is a common thread between these two events; that being that an army was used to enforce the laws of the government upon those who are governed. You may not be aware of this, but prior to our Constitution going into effect, Alexander Hamilton spoke of this coercive power of government to enforce its laws in one of his essays written under the pseudonym of Publius. In Federalist 15 Hamilton writes, “It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience. If there be no penalty annexed to disobedience, the resolutions or commands which pretend to be laws will, in fact, amount to nothing more than advice or recommendation. This penalty, whatever it may be, can only be inflicted in two ways: by the agency of the courts and ministers of justice, or by military force; by the COERCION of the magistracy, or by the COERCION of arms.” (His emphasis)

One of the biggest fears of those we call our Founding Fathers was the implementation of a standing army; a group of full time professional soldiers at the beck and call of their government. They remembered the lessons from their own past too well to allow any government they created to provide for a standing army. That is why the Constitution only authorizes the expenditure of funds for an army for 2 years; after which a measure must be submitted to Congress and voted upon which re-approved of a full time military.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully realize that in today’s modern times, with all the technological advances humans have made in how they might kill each other, a reserve army, or the militias might not be able to defend our country from attack, and that a standing, fully trained army might be necessary. But one must take great caution in supporting such an army to be used in the enforcement of the laws passed by our government upon the people of this country, lest it become the enforcing arm of tyrants.

How many of you were alive in 1970? Do you recall the shootings at Kent State University where the Ohio National Guard opened fire upon unarmed students protesting the Vietnam War? Do you see the similarity between that event, and another event 200 years prior when British Regulars fired into an unarmed crowd in Boston? Although it was proven that the mob in Boston was assaulting a sentry at his post, both incidents show how things can go terribly wrong when the people are faced with armed soldiers who are simply following orders.

And since I mentioned ‘simply following orders’ I feel it is time I introduced some of you to the Nuremberg Trials. The Nuremberg Trials were a series of trials held in Nuremberg, Germany after World War II where war criminals were brought to trial for their crimes; that is those who weren’t granted citizenship in the U.S. because of their expertise in certain fields of science that the U.S. government wanted to exploit. (See Operation Paperclip if you don’t believe me)

One of the findings of these trials was that ‘simply following orders’ does not relieve a person of guilt when those orders violate the basic human rights we all have. The Court’s ruling stated it as follows, “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”

How many of you remember Hurricane Katrina? How many of you know that New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin ordered the police, along with New Orleans National Guardsmen, to go house to house and force everyone to leave their homes; confiscating any weapons they found along the way.

I understand that the forced evacuations were for their own safety, but the whole idea of liberty is that a person is free to make their own choices; along with accepting the consequences of those choices. If people in New Orleans wanted to stay, that was their right. However, they should not then turn around after disaster strikes and cry for government assistance for their plight. As for the military and police confiscating their arms; I find that to be a violation of their right to defend themselves and their property. I even saw a YouTube video of a Guardsman who said he felt that what he was doing was wrong, but that he was ordered to do so, so he was going to follow orders.

With that mindset in our military, I wonder how many would fire upon civilians if ordered to do so by their superiors? Let’s just say for the purpose of speculation, what if the government sent troops to suburban communities and began rounding people up to move them to centralized camps or internment centers in the case of some national crisis. What if people refused to leave their homes? Would the military then fire upon them if they resisted, or confronted by armed citizens who refused to leave their homes?

Where do our rights end and the legitimate use of force by our government begin? Today we not only have a standing army, we have numerous governmental agencies who are all equipped with military style weaponry that we the people are denied the right to own by our government. We also have local law enforcement that has increasingly become militarized; having many of the same weapons as our fighting men and women, and having received training from either the military or the Department of Homeland Security.

How many of those thus employed would JUST FOLLOW ORDERS without questioning the legality of the orders they were following? Now do you begin to see why our Founders feared the establishment of a standing army; how it could quickly become the tool by which tyrants imposed their will upon those they tyrannize?

You know there is another time in our nation’s history when an army was raised to impose the will of our government upon those who, not only resisted its authority, but chose to leave the Union entirely; thereby exercising their right as outlined in the Declaration of Independence, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…”

I find it quite ironic that the President who raised an army to prevent the South from seceding is quoted as saying, “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, most sacred right- a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to excercise it. Any portion of such people that can, may revolutionize and make their own, of so much territory as the inhabit.”

That’s right, Abraham Lincoln himself spoke those words not 13 years earlier in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives. Funny how politicians have a way of changing positions on the issues when it suits their needs. Kind of like how Trump campaigned on repealing Obamacare then turned around and offered a better and improved version of government mandated health care.

The entire point I have been trying to make is that history has shown that governments tend to use military force when the laws they pass are resisted, or when their authority over their subjects is threatened. If government were to respect the limits to its powers and the rights of those it governs, then there would most likely be no need of the use of the power of military coercion to enforce its mandates. It is only when government oversteps its authority and makes a tyrannical use of its power that people resist.

The problem today is that the news media are working from the same script as our government operates off of. They report the news with a clearly biased slant in favor of government. Sure, they may take sides when covering Republican vs Democratic issues, but they rarely ever report upon the legality of the laws our government passes; and they always label those who resist governmental authority as extremists and radicals.

Ask the Bundy’s how they felt they were portrayed by the media. Ask the family of LaVoy Finicum. Ask Randy Weaver and his wife Vicki. Oh, that’s right, you can’t ask her; she was killed by an FBI sniper holding an infant in her arms. Ask the Branch Davidians whether the media’s portrayal of them was accurate. In short, ask anyone who sought to free themselves from the excess of power wielded over them by their government; they will all tell you that they only sought to regain the liberty that government was instituted to protect.

And I would be remiss if I did not broach the subject of how this standing army is used. Are you aware that the United States currently has 1.4 million people actively serving in the military; and that’s not including military contractors and others who support the mission of the military? Are you also aware that our current budget for military expenditures sits at $601 billion? And did you know that the U.S. maintains approximately 800 military bases in somewhere around 80 foreign countries?

If I didn’t know better, I’d think the United States was an empire, not a country. (And that’s sarcasm by the way)

Off the top of your head, when was the last time Congress issued a formal declaration of war? If you said World War II, BINGO, you get the prize. However, even our entry into World War II was engineered by our government. Our government wanted an excuse to become involved in the European conflict but knew that after World War I, the war to end all wars, the people were weary of war and wouldn’t support U.S. forces being deployed to fight the Nazis.

What people fail to realize is that Germany and Japan had made an agreement that if one were attacked, of if one nation declared war upon one of them, the other would join in their support. This gave the U.S. a back door to become involved in the war in Europe; if they could only provoke Japan into attacking us first that is.

Through a series of embargos and trade restrictions against Japan, the U.S. government got their wish when Japan attacked our naval installation at Pearl Harbor. BINGO, the U.S. declared war on Japan and Germany declared war against the U.S. giving us all the excuse we needed to go to war in Europe.

We knew Japan was going to attack; their codes had been broken. Some historians claim that they didn’t know when and where the attack was to hit, while others say they did know. Being the ultimate cynic and pessimist, I think they knew exactly where the attack was to hit, and they allowed all those men to die at Pearl Harbor just so they could gain entry into a war the American people wanted nothing to do with. Kind of like how 9-11 went down if you believe in these kinds of coincidences.

Why would our government want to become engulfed in a war…any war? As an answer I will pose another question; why does any empire conquer other peoples; to gain power and control and to gain access to resources those people might be in possession of. Plus, war is a huge money maker.

Do you know how much war costs? As of 2017 the U.S. has spent $5.6 trillion on the war on terror. Some of that money goes to the salaries of our troops, but much of it goes to those who make the bullets and the bombs; the military industrial complex.

In 1961 President Dwight Eisenhower delivered a speech in which he said, ” Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

It is my belief that the military industrial complex sets American Foreign Policy; it decides who will become our next enemy, and if no enemy is present, it creates one to justify the continued state of war that has plagued our nation almost since Vietnam. There are those who claim that the U.S. military are nothing more than the pawns of Zionist Jews in a huge game of global chess; although I’m not completely sold on that idea….YET, that is.

There is one thing for certain, the U.S. military has been sent all over the globe; from everything to fighting conflicts to enforcing United Nations Resolutions…all without a formal declaration of war by Congress. Somebody is getting awfully rich off all these wars, and it certainly isn’t the American public who is shouldered with the debt these wars create.

Are you aware that in the earliest years of our nation’s history Thomas Jefferson was in favor of the cost of war being applied to the public via direct taxes upon them rather than in the borrowing of money to be paid by future generations. Jefferson felt that the lust for war might be better controlled if the people immediately felt the costs of supporting one.

Unfortunately Jefferson’s ideas were not widely accepted; and that is why we have a skyrocketing national debt; which currently stands at $20.8 trillion; or $172,000 for every taxpaying citizen such as you and me.

When the debt created by war can be shielded from the eyes of those who shoulder the burden of paying for it, it can be hid in the form of taxes which then go towards paying off the debt. But if you were sent a bill at the end of each year, demanding your share of paying for the cost of a standing army scattered all over the globe, you would call for all military forces to be recalled and no further use of them be authorized unless the United States was directly attacked. Of that, I can assure you!

I know this is getting rather long, but I have only two more subjects to discuss and then I’ll be done.

Some of you may be familiar with the name Smedley Butler, while others may not. Butler was, at the time of his death in 1904, was the highest ranking and most heavily decorated Marine in the history of the United States. Butler served his country in conflicts all over the globe, including the Philippines, China, Central America and the Caribbean. Butler received 16 medals, five for heroism, and is one of few men to have ever won the Congressional Medal of Honor twice.

If anyone defines what it means to be a true soldier and an American patriot, it is Smedley Butler. Why then would Butler write a book entailing how the U.S. military is a racket which “…the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”

I would suggest that anyone who wants to know who truly profits from war read Butler’s book, War is a Racket; it is a huge eye opener when it comes to explaining why the U.S. is always involved in one conflict or another. To put it simply, our economy thrives in wartime, and it languishes without war. War is profitable for all; except those who serve in them and come home broken and mangled. But hey, we gotta keep stock prices up, right? And those who question these wars are tagged with the label of unpatriotic and become outcasts from the politically correct mainstream.

But war serves another purpose, it allows government to enact measures which ordinarily would not be accepted. The threat of war alone was enough to justify John Adams signing into law the Alien and Sedition Acts; which proved wildly unpopular and even led his own Vice President Thomas Jefferson to pen the Kentucky Resolutions in opposition to them.

During the debates which ultimately produced our Constitution, James Madison spoke the following words which should serve as a warning to all about the dangers of a standing army and the constant state of war against real or imagined enemies, “A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”

Madison reiterated that sentiment in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, dated May 3, 1798, “Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions agst. danger real or pretended from abroad.”

How many of you would have willingly accepted the passage of the Patriot Act had 9-11 not happened? You can call it whatever you want; you can wrap it all up in the American Flag and call it patriotism, but tyranny is tyranny no matter how it is disguised…and that’s what we have in America today…TYRANNY.

I am, by nature a pessimist, and I tend to doubt the integrity and motives of everyone. So forgive me if I come across as sounding just a bit harsh and negative; it’s just how I am. But there is one final quote I’d like to leave you pondering before I go. This comes from St George Tucker in Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, and states, “Wherever standing armies are kept up, and when the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.”

You may not care; liberty may not mean that much to you. But there are those of us to whom it means everything, and we grow weary of your government continually passing measures which limit it. There will come a time when either you, or your government backs us into a corner where our only choice is to either bow down and accept slavery, or rise up and fight to restore the liberty we have seen taken from us. We may not win, and historians may portray us in a bad light, but to quote Patrick Henry, “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

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I Offer the Following As A Public Service

Although I have been unable to verify this, I have been told by numerous people that our Constitution was written to be understood by 12 yr olds. If that truly is the case, what does that say about the education level of people today who seem unable to grasp the simple principles contained within that document, or the thoughts of those who wrote and ratified it? Yet if you were to tell any of these people that they could not vote in any election until they had obtained a working knowledge of the Constitution you would be told that you are infringing upon their rights.

Why is it that, before you are allowed to drive a motor vehicle on public roads, you are required to take both a written and a practical driving test to prove that you are familiar with the rules of the road and the safe operation of a motor vehicle, but not prove that you have a working knowledge of the Constitution before being allowed to vote? While I’m not saying that by requiring people to at least understand what the Constitution says we would prevent abuse and corruption in our government, I am saying that at least people could not claim ignorance when they made poor choices at the voting booth.

To understand the powers given our government you must first understand the relationship between the government and those whom it governs. People today have this unhealthy belief that government is this all powerful entity that can pass whatever laws it deems are in the general welfare of the people…that simply is not true.

In 1776, when our Founding Fathers affixed their signatures to the Declaration of Independence, they were, on paper at least, without any form of centralized government. Although they would still have to fight a war to secure the principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence, the very act of them declaring these things was to sever the ties which bound them, not so much to a country, but to the government of that country; in this instance, the Crown.

In 1777 the same Congress who had agreed to the principle that the American Colonies are, and of a right ought to be, free and independent States, would write the first constitution for these independent States; the Articles of Confederation. Yet it was almost 4 years before the State Legislatures finally ratified the Articles of Confederation; so for all that time the Congress the Articles of Confederation establishes had operated without any official sanction from those from where all political power flows; the people…or in this instance, their representatives.

Government, at least in America, cannot simply will itself into existence; its authority is derived from the consent of the people. That is a fundamental principle upon which any form of government we might establish rests and can trace its origin back to the document which established America as a group of free and independent States; the Declaration of Independence.

When Jefferson wrote, “…That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ” he was not only explaining the authority by which governments exist, but also the purpose for which they should exist; the securing of the rights of those who shall be governed.

Years after the Declaration of Independence was written, Thomas Paine wrote a book entitled The Rights of Man. His book was primarily directed towards those who supported monarchy in France, but was an overall dissertation on the rights of all men wherever they may live.

In his book Paine makes two important points. The first being, “It has been thought a considerable advance towards establishing the principles of Freedom to say that Government is a compact between those who govern and those who are governed; but this cannot be true, because it is putting the effect before the cause; for as man must have existed before governments existed, there necessarily was a time when governments did not exist, and consequently there could originally exist no governors to form such a compact with.

The fact therefore must be that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist.”

And the second being, “All power exercised over a nation, must have some beginning. It must either be delegated or assumed. There are no other sources. All delegated power is trust, and all assumed power is usurpation. Time does not alter the nature and quality of either.”

It is interesting how people believe their federal government is superior to the States, and the people themselves, when it is but a creation of the will of both the States and the people. The delegates to the convention which produced the constitution were acting on behalf of the States that sent them, and their finished document was submitted to the States, and then to conventions culled from the body of the people for their consideration. I find the Notes on the Constitutional Convention to be a fascinating read; how delegates acting solely upon the authority granted them by their State Legislatures can turn around and be discussing how much power they are going to deprive these same State Legislatures of with their new system of government.

I’ll bet you weren’t aware that there were those in attendance who all but called for the dismantling of the State governments, or at least of reducing them to mere corporations of the federal government. Alexander Hamilton was one of them, as was George Read of Delaware, who stated the following on June 6, 1787, “Too much attachment is betrayed to the State Governts. We must look beyond their continuance. A national Govt. must soon of necessity swallow all of them up. They will soon be reduced to the mere office of electing the National Senate.”

Once the Constitution was submitted to the States for their consideration, those who had written it had to ensure the States that they would retain a great deal of their sovereignty and independence; and that the federal government would only be supreme in acts wherein its jurisdiction was specifically granted it.

Much debate ensued in the States over what powers the constitution granted to this new form of government, and how it would affect the lives and liberty of the people residing in the States. Articles filled the newspapers, both in support of and in opposition to the proposed Constitution; the most famous of them being the so-called Federalist Papers.

When one reads the Federalist Papers one must not make the mistake of believing them to be the final say in what the delegates intended when they wrote the Constitution. Rather, the Federalist Papers were a marketing tool, a series of articles attempting to sell the constitution to those who would ultimately give their approval to it, or reject it; the people. We all know that those who try to sell us things are not always completely honest with their sales pitch; that they often leave out defects or faults in their product. It is that thought that people need to keep in mind when reading anything Publius says in the Federalist Papers.

As we are discussing how much power the States would relinquish to this centralized government, allow me to offer for your consideration a few comments regarding the powers granted this federal government by one James Madison; the so-called Father of the Constitution.

In Federalist 45 James Madison states, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”

What that basically says is that the federal government created by the Constitution would have certain powers which primarily extended to the intercourse between the States and in relation to foreign affairs, while leaving the States with all remaining power and authority over the day to day lives of the people.

I don’t know about your ability to grasp the intricacies of the English language, but that is pretty straightforward and clear cut if you ask me. If that isn’t enough, after the Constitution was ratified a Bill of Rights was proposed and ratified, the tenth of these amendments stating, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

After reading those statements, I don’t see how anyone could still believe that their government is endowed with all these imaginary powers to do all these things which directly affect them and their rights. Oh, but the general welfare you cry…what about the general welfare? Well, what about it? Do you think the term general welfare is a blank check giving our government almost unlimited power to act on our behalf?

In Federalist 41 Madison explained the general welfare clause as follows, “For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars.”

In 1792 he explained the general welfare to Edmund Pendleton as follows, “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.”

Then in 1831 he expanded upon that in a letter to James Robertson, “With respect to the two words “general welfare,” I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

The best way of viewing the general welfare clause is if you were to consider it as if they had said, “We intend to grant the government with certain powers for the general welfare of the nation, with those powers being limited to…(then followed by the express powers).”

I really don’t know, but I think sometimes that people have a hard time getting their heads around the concept that our federal government was not established solely to represent them; that it was established to also represent the States in their sovereign and independent capacities. Why else would they establish a bicameral Congress which had represented both the people AND the States? If that were the case, why would the power of making treaties, which is given to the Executive, be constrained by the advise and consent of the representatives of the States; the Senate, and not the representatives of the people; the House?

The States, as independent bodies, were originally intended to have as much say in what laws would be passed as the people themselves, and if any law, or treaty, was deemed threatening to their sovereignty they would have a voice in preventing its passage.

I think I have clearly established that those who drafted our Constitution did not create an all powerful government subject to no limitations upon its powers; even if that may have been exactly what some of them may have wanted, like Alexander Hamilton and others. What they did establish was a government with specific powers, and all other power being reserved to the States and the people.

If the federal government has its own sphere of authority, and the States have their own spheres of authority, how can one decide what laws passed are to be followed when they both deal with the same subject? In any instance when the federal government passes a law in pursuance of the specific powers granted it, and found in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, then that law becomes the Supreme Law of the Land, and all are bound to obey it.

This is made clear in Clause 2 of Article 6, where it states, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

But the laws passed by the federal government are only supreme when they are in accordance with, or passed in pursuance of the specific powers given them. What happens if they pass a law which is in pursuance of a power which is not to be found among those expressly granted them? The answer is so simple I feel somewhat embarrassed to even have to explain it; the States can simply ignore them as if they had never even been passed.

Thomas Jefferson explained this concept as follows in his Kentucky Resolutions, “Resolved, That the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government . . . . and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”

This concept of nullification is also explained as follows in the 16th American Jurisprudence, “The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law, and no courts are bound to enforce it.”

The problem, at least as I see it, is that many of these unconstitutional laws are those which somehow benefit a segment, or group of society, and that once enacted the people receiving these benefits become dependent upon them and believe that they are ENTITLED to them. Therefore, when anyone has the courage to stand up and declare those benefits to be unconstitutional, they are called cold-hearted and insensitive to the needs of the people.

I’m not cold, nor am I insensitive. What I am is for upholding the law. If the Constitution does not grant the federal government the authority to enact laws which create things like Social Security, or Affordable Health Care, then when our government does so it violates the law. If the States wish to do that, fine, let them; but that IS NOT among the powers given our federal government.

On the flip side we have laws passed by the federal government which ARE in pursuance of the specific powers given our government, and some States are refusing to obey them. Take for instance California’s steadfast refusal to obey immigration laws. The Constitution clearly states that Congress has the authority to pass uniform laws of Naturalization; which includes setting limits on who can enter this country.

Yet the governor and the mayors of many California cities refuse to obey the existing laws regarding illegal immigration. They not only refuse to obey them, the refuse to cooperate with the agency established to enforce our immigration laws, ICE. If I were President Trump I would not threaten to sue, or cut off funds to California, I would march U.S. Marshals into California and arrest the governor and the mayor of every city who refused to obey federal immigration law. Set an example for the other States of what will happen when you violate federal law. Hell, if George Washington could march 17,000 troops into Pennsylvania to ensure that they paid a tax on whiskey, I’m sure President Trump could use the coercive power of government to compel State obedience to federal immigration law.

But then flipping back over once again, if our federal government enacts laws which it has absolutely no authority to legislate upon, then the people and the State Legislatures need to stand united in opposing these laws by simply refusing to obey them.

In Federalist 28 Alexander Hamilton discusses this very concept when he says, ” It may safely be received as an axiom in our political system, that the State governments will, in all possible contingencies, afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority. Projects of usurpation cannot be masked under pretenses so likely to escape the penetration of select bodies of men, as of the people at large. The legislatures will have better means of information. They can discover the danger at a distance; and possessing all the organs of civil power, and the confidence of the people, they can at once adopt a regular plan of opposition, in which they can combine all the resources of the community.” Yet Hamilton later showed how he spoke out of both sides of his mouth when he urged Washington to use the military force of the government to put down those same rebellions against the Whiskey Tax I just spoke of. Hamilton sought to limit the power and authority of the States, centralizing all power in the federal government. And did not Thomas Jefferson warn, “When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.”

And that’s exactly what we have today, a venal, oppressive, and tyrannical government that exercises powers well beyond those specifically granted to it by the consent of the people and which are outlined in the document which originally established this system of government.

The sad thing is, people don’t know, or care, what the Constitution says anymore; all they care about is whether their party gets to drive the bus…even if that bus is heading towards the abyss which leads to tyranny and oppression.

What would you call society if there were absolutely no laws in place to protect you or your rights? I would call it anarchy. How many of you have seen the movie, The Purge, which tells the story of how once a year all laws are suspended; anything goes, even murder. That’s why laws are written, to protect you, to protect your property and to protect your rights from those who would seek to deprive you of these things.

What, therefore, would you call it when the government established to serve these functions begins serving other functions; functions which deprive you of your life, your liberty and your property? I would call it tyrannical. I would call it the very type of government our Founders sought to free themselves from in 1776. I would call it the type of government our Founders hoped to prevent from ever occurring here in the United States.

And, if this tyranny, this government our Founders warned us about, who is ultimately responsible for it? Why you are, and You and YOU; because you don’t know or care what the Constitution says, and you elect BAD people to hold office. The lesser of two evils is still evil, in case you had forgotten.

As Noah Webster said, ” When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, ‘just men who will rule in the fear of God.’ The preservation of [our] government depends on the faithful discharge of this Duty; if the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded. If [our] government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine Commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the Laws.”

So, if America sucks, if America is all screwed up, you only have yourselves to blame because you choose to remain ignorant in regards to why our government was established, and you continue to vote unprincipled candidates into office.

And it doesn’t matter how many times you switch between a Republican leadership and a Democratic one, unless people read and apply the rulebook, or the law, then we’ll never make America great again.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming…

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Are We Past The Point of No Return?

There are two categories of Americans living in this country; those who are pro-liberty, and those who aren’t. It doesn’t matter what causes you support or which issues are of great importance to you, it all boils down to whether you support and defend liberty, or whether you seek to see liberty restricted, or done away with altogether.

In 1788 Patrick Henry told his fellow Virginians, “Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings-give us that precious jewel, and you may take every thing else…” If I were to tell most people that they could have liberty, or they could have football I’m almost positive that over 90% of them would choose football.

Even though I rant about it a lot, I have nothing against people watching football. What I have a problem with is when how well your football team is doing becomes a higher priority than the preservation of your liberty. I could say that same thing about anything; Reality TV shows, the time they spend on Facebook, or whatever else it is that occupies the majority of people’s free time. If these endeavors become all pervasive and cause you to neglect the preservation of your liberty I have a problem with it.

My anger over the disregard people have for their liberty is not isolated to how they spend their free time either; I feel the same anger when I see people voting for candidates, or supporting laws, that prove they don’t have the foggiest idea why our system of government was established all those years ago.

I read an interesting passage in a book the other night which spoke of what true patriotism entailed; it said, (and I’m paraphrasing), that patriotism was not loyalty to a system of government; it was loyalty to the country and the people. The same could be said about people’s blind loyalty to political parties.

I hear people say that they are making informed decisions at the voting booth because they have watched the debates and researched the positions of each candidate. But what are these ‘informed voters’ comparing them against; the other candidates from within their party, or those from the opposing party? What about comparing what they campaign upon against what the Constitution actually says are the powers given our government; or is that too much to ask?

I have heard people say that requiring a voter to provide identification prior to being allowed to vote is racist. I don’t see how it can be considered racist to require an ID to vote but not racist to require an ID to purchase alcohol or a firearm; but that’s beside the point. I can only imagine what people would call me if I had my way. If I had my way I’d require that before anyone be allowed to vote they prove that they were proficient in English and that they had a thorough working knowledge of the Constitution. I think if you don’t know how our system of government was supposed to work, you don’t get to vote…END OF STORY!!!

What’s killing America is not too many Republican programs, or too many Democratic programs; what’s killing America is ignorance, apathy and complacency. If I can’t get people to look beyond the two party paradigm and see that government as an entity no longer adheres to the limits imposed upon it, why should I hold out any hope that I can explain to them how we might be able to salvage our Republic? If all people care about is illegal immigration, defeating ISIS, or cutting taxes, how can I get them to understand the servitude they were born into ever since the illegally ratified 14th Amendment?

When you have a nation filled with people who think that facts are irrelevant; that their opinions matter more than the truth, that nation is doomed for failure. I just read on Facebook how someone was complaining because of all this opposition to President Trump while he worked towards undoing all the damage done to America by Barack Obama. If people truly believe that, then their understanding of what is actually wrong in this country is so far off that there is no hope that we can rectify all our problems.

It is a testament to how narrow people’s vision and understanding are that they think that this country’s problems began in 2008 with the election of Barack Obama; and that if people would just get out of his way, President Trump could undo all that damage and make America great again.

The problems that America faces today can trace their roots back to 1789 and the administration of George Washington. Do people really think that in 4 or 8 years a president can undo 230 years worth of damage to our Constitution?

You want to truly make America great again, you can begin by repealing some of the existing laws, not creating more of them. If you want to make America great again, start by reducing the power held by the federal government and restoring it to the States where it belongs. If you want to make America great again you can abolish the IRS and repeal the law which created the FED. If you want to make America great again you can call for the repealing of the 14th Amendment and the restoration of your status as a citizen of the State you live in, not the United States of America. You want to make America great again you can stop supporting the use of our military to invade and occupy countries that have not directly attacked the United States of America. You want to make America great again, restore the liberty that our government has taken from the people and the States.

But if you want to keep America marching down the path to tyranny, go ahead and keep supporting government as it exists today. Your vision of what it means to be a patriot may require that you support government and obediently obey whatever laws it passes. Mine, on the other hand, demands that I support and defend liberty; and government only when it deserves it; which it hasn’t for a very long time. As Mark Twain said, “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”

You have a choice, you can choose to support your government, and surrender your liberty, or you can support your liberty and oppose your government when it seeks to deprive you of it. There is no middle ground in this; you either stand for liberty or you don’t.

It just goes to show you how far we have sunk as a nation when people are scorned for standing up for their rights, or for repeating the same phrases and slogans used by our Founders when they were fighting for their independence. I don’t care whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, there can be no making America great again until the great mass of the people once again place liberty and limited government at the top of their list of priorities. If that doesn’t happen, and happen soon, America is screwed. That is if we’re not already past the point of no return. After all, Ben Franklin did warn the delegates to the Constitutional Convention, “I agree to this Constitution, with all its Faults, if they are such; because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well administered; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a Course of Years, and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”

Maybe despotism is all that we are worthy of now; because we have clearly shown that we are incapable of, or unwilling to defend the liberty that is a gift from our Creator, and which our government was established to safeguard and protect. And if that’s truly the case, I’m ashamed to call you my fellow countrymen.

I would like to close this little rant with two quotes from Wolfgang von Goethe which I think fit the mood I’m feeling today.
“Nothing is more terrifying than ignorance in action.”

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe that they are free.”

Ponder those and have a pleasant day…

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I’ve Had My Fill of Stupidity

There is this saying that I see from time to time which says, “You can’t fix stupid; not even with duct tape and a hammer.” It’s meant to be humorous, but if you want my honest opinion, there is a lot of truth to that statement. A couple nights ago someone at work asked me why I waste so much time studying and discussing history and politics. I think it was due to their belief that it is a ‘waste’ of time to study these subjects that led me to reply with, “To compensate for your ignorance.”

One of the definitions you will find for the word stupid states: having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense. And what is intelligence if it is not the acquirement of knowledge and skills? I think it is stupid to go through life thinking that your beliefs are absolutely correct, and that anyone with a differing belief is wrong…end of story.

I have been proven wrong numerous times, and I have changed my beliefs according to the facts presented me. I think it is the mark of a person’s character how open they are to ideas and beliefs which contradict their existing beliefs. I also think that there aren’t that many people who are willing to do that. I think that, for many people, their beliefs define them and give them purpose in life; and to question those beliefs is simply too traumatizing to their psyche.

I have a Tee Shirt that I frequently wear to work which states, “Of course your opinion matters. Just not to me.” I do not deal in opinions, I deal in facts, and I refuse to engage in discussions or debates with people whose beliefs are unsubstantiated by facts and evidence. If a person continues to hold a belief when the facts clearly prove that their position is faulty, then that is the living embodiment of stupidity; at least as far as I’m concerned.

I am perfectly willing to engage in discussions with people who provide facts to back up their positions; even if I disagree with those positions. I am also perfectly willing to change my beliefs if the person I am debating with provides enough evidence to convince me that my position is incorrect. However, I simply refuse to waste another moment of my time arguing with people who come unarmed to a debate and resort to calling me names like, sexist, racist, homophobic, or any of the other insults the weak minded and politically correct care to hurl at me.

A year or so ago someone at work told me that the Confederate Battle Flag was a racist symbol and that the North fought a righteous war to end the evil practice of human beings owning other human beings as slaves. That evening I printed out the following quotes and took them to work and handed them to the person who said this and told them to read them and then tell me that the Civil War was about ending slavery. I’ll provide the quotes, and then after you read them, tell you what transpired next.

On August 22, 1862 Abraham Lincoln penned a letter to the editor of the New York Tribune, Horace Greeley, in which he stated, “I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.” If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.”

Four years prior to that, while debating Steven Douglas for the presidency, Lincoln made the following comments to an audience at Charleston, Illinois, “While I was at the hotel to-day, an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing a perfect equality between the negroes and white people. [Great Laughter.] While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say much on that subject, yet as the question was asked me I thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying something in regard to it. I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause]-that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

Before you get all offended, as the person I gave these quotes to did, remember that these are Lincoln’s words and Lincoln’s thoughts, not mine. These are merely historical facts which we have not been taught in regards to the period known as the Civil War. However, because we have not been taught these things, we have grown up believing an alternate version of reality regarding why the Civil War was fought. Instead of people knowing that it was, in truth, a second war for independence from a tyrannical government, people have grown up believing that it was a war fought to end slavery.

The ending of slavery may have been a consequence of the Civil War, but it was NOT why it was fought. The Civil War was fought because the government of the United States refused to allow any state, or group of states to sever the ties which bound them to that government. Had Lincoln simply let them go in peace there would have been no war. If you cannot see that, then you prove that you are unwilling to accept the truth when it is presented to you. And if you ask me, that’s just plain stupid.

But this is not about the Civil War, it is about people’s refusal to accept facts that contradict their beliefs, and therefore is not limited to simply one instance or period of American history. It absolutely boggles my mind that anyone who considers themselves to be of any intelligence can continue to support our government in its current state. No matter how hard I try, I simply seem unable to get people to see that the government they continue to support has become tyrannical and oppressive. No matter how many quotes I provide from those who actually participated in establishing this form of government I have been unable to get people to accept that their government has exceeded the authority originally granted it.

As an example I would like to provide 3 quotes from James Madison, who is considered as the Father of the Constitution, which show how he felt in regards to the powers given government, and those which were reserved to the States.

In Federalist 45 Madison states, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.

The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”

In a speech to the Ratification Assembly in Virginia, Madison states, ” [T]he powers of the federal government are enumerated; it can only operate in certain cases; it has legislative powers on defined and limited objects, beyond which it cannot extend its jurisdiction.”

Years after he had served as our nation’s fourth president, Madison wrote in a letter to James Robertson, “With respect to the two words “general welfare,” I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

A thinking person would say, “Gee, it seems that the powers our government was supposed to exercise on our behalf are limited. I guess it would be prudent to go find out what they are so that they don’t abuse or overstep those powers.” But is that what happens? Hell no! People continue to vote along party lines because their opinion is that THEIR PARTY has the best vision for the future of America, and to hell with the constitutional limits upon government!

That’s what gets me the most about these Trump supporters who go around chanting, Make America Great Again; they don’t even realize what it was that made America great the first time.

If you really want to know what made America great it was the government off our backs and out of our wallets, or as Jefferson said in his Inaugural Address, “…a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.”

The two party paradigm is a cancer that has been eating away at our free republic since political parties first became players in the political process back in the 1800 election. At first they were divided along the lines of whether to government would exercise only those powers specifically granted it by the Constitution and those who read between the lines and sought to exercise implied powers which greatly expanded the power held by government.

However, as time went by both parties sought to exercise unconstitutional powers; the only difference being who the exercise of those unconstitutional powers benefitted. The Democrats became the party of the working class, the underprivileged, and the social justice warriors. The Republicans became the party of Wall Street and big business. As more time progressed those lines became further blurred; with both parties now representing similar interests and neither of them representing a limited government the likes of which Jefferson promised.

Yet people support their party with the same vigor and enthusiasm they do their favorite football team; and they become angered when anyone seeks to obstruct their candidates from pushing forward their vision of what’s best for America.

I would hope y’all know how typically Republican states are considered to be red states while typically Democratic states are considered to be blue states. Well, this continued flip flopping between red and blue candidates isn’t going to solve anything; not when both parties seek to expand the power exercised by government itself; all for their specific party agenda.

If I were to put two pitchers of Kool Aid on the table, one red, one blue, and put two tablespoons of poison into one and one tablespoon of poison into the other; but not tell you which one had which, would you still drink from either? Why then do you continue to support red, (Republican) candidates or blue, (Democratic) candidates when neither party gives a rats ass about the limits the Constitution imposes upon them; and more importantly the liberty government was instituted to secure for the people?

Yet every election cycle I am assaulted by people who tell me that they are making informed decisions at the polls. I suppose they are if they think that disregarding the law which created government in the first place is what constitutes an informed decision. Otherwise, they are just proving they are insane. After all, didn’t Einstein say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results?

Understanding what went wrong with our system of government requires that you first know how it was supposed to operate. If you don’t that you are just wasting your time voting; for both parties will just keep moving us further and further away from the government outlined by the Constitution.
I have a baseball cap I had made up which has this graphic I had sewn into the fabric. When I wear it I often get funny looks from people; as if they either think I’m nuts, or they’re trying to figure out what it means. The graphic is as follows:

And what is informed if it isn’t being in possession of an abundance of facts? That’s why I study, so that I can become better informed; so that I am not led around by the nose by vain and aspiring men who seek to manipulate my emotions and passions, and then discard me and my rights once they get into office.

George Washington once warned of the dangers of factions, or political parties as we call them today. He told us that they would become “… become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

Yet, because people refuse to think, because people refuse to consider opinions which differ from their existing beliefs, they continue to support their political party, and its agenda, because to do otherwise would require that they actually utilize that grey matter between their ears.

And if the unwillingness of some people to think weren’t bad enough, there are those who think that the study of politics, or paying any attention at all to what’s going on in our government is a total waste of time; preferring to spend hours glued to their TV’s, smartphones, or video games.
If you were to ask me to describe the typical mindset of the average voter today in a mathematical equation, I’d have to state it as follows:

And I’ve simply had enough arguing with stupid people. I should have listened to Mark Twain’s advice, “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

Well I’m done arguing with stupid people. If someone wants to hold a political discussion with me, come armed with facts, or don’t bother coming; for if you come unarmed I will simply walk away. Ben Franklin once said, “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” That said, the typical American voter must be counted among the hardest working people on the planet…

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Are You A Son or Daughter of Liberty (Or Are You A Consenting Slave?)

Do you believe that America was founded upon the principle of individual liberty? It’s a simple question that does not require any long drawn out answers; a simple yes or no will suffice. If you answered no, I don’t know what planet you’ve been living on or what history books you were taught from, but the word liberty is spread throughout our nation’s founding. There was the Liberty Bell, the Liberty Tree, the Son’s of Liberty, and of course, Patrick Henry and his immortal words, “Give me liberty or give me death.”

No matter what you believe, do you know what liberty means? The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as: The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behaviour, or political views. Bouvier’s Dictionary of Law defines it as: Freedom from restraint. The power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature. Then the Collins English Dictionary defines it thusly: Liberty is the freedom to live your life in the way that you want, without interference from other people or the authorities.

Liberty, like many of our words, has its roots in Latin; in this instance the word libertas, which means “unbounded, unrestricted or released from constraint.” However, libertas also contains, or is associated with the idea of being separate and independent. Libertas then could be taken to mean; a sovereign and independent person who is free to control their own life as they see fit, bound only by the laws which govern nature itself.

The thing people fail to understand about liberty is that it is not safe; it is not secure. True liberty demands that each individual accept complete and absolute responsibility for their lives, for their choices, and for their actions. It would seem, that for some people, that is simply too much to ask of them. Yet Thomas Jefferson was fond of saying, “Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem” which roughly translated means, “I prefer dangerous liberty over peaceful servitude.”

Unlike most people today, our Founders understood what true liberty was, and they chose it over submission to a tyrant. I think of all the definitions for liberty that I have read, the one given by Thomas Jefferson is the best, “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.”

Liberty, to me at least, means that I can live my life as I see fit without others telling me what I can and cannot do; as long as what I do brings no harm to others, or deprives them of their rights or property.

The question then arises, if man is entitled to absolute freedom of choice over how they would live their lives, why would they form governments whose function is to pass laws which may restrict their liberty to a certain extent? In his Second Treatise on Civil Government, John Locke both poses and answers that same question:

IF man in the state of Nature be so free as has been said, if he be absolute lord of his own person and possessions, equal to the greatest and subject to nobody, why will he part with his freedom, this empire, and subject himself to the dominion and control of any other power? To which it is obvious to answer, that though in the state of Nature he hath such a right, yet the enjoyment of it is very uncertain and constantly exposed to the invasion of others; for all being kings as much as he, every man his equal, and the greater part no strict observers of equity and justice, the enjoyment of the property he has in this state is very unsafe, very insecure. This makes him willing to quit this condition which, however free, is full of fears and continual dangers; and it is not without reason that he seeks out and is willing to join in society with others who are already united, or have a mind to unite for the mutual preservation of their lives, liberties and estates, which I call by the general name- property. (My emphasis)

People talk of liberty as if it is this invisible concept, yet liberty is as much a part of our property as is our homes, the vehicles we drive, and the clothes we wear. In 1792 James Madison wrote the following regarding the various definitions of the word property:

This term in its particular application means “that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.”

In its larger and juster meaning, it embraces every thing to which a man may attach a value and have a right; and which leaves to every one else the like advantage.

In the former sense, a man’s land, or merchandize, or money is called his property.

In the latter sense, a man has a property in his opinions and the free communication of them.

He has a property of peculiar value in his religious opinions, and in the profession and practice dictated by them.

He has a property very dear to him in the safety and liberty of his person.

He has an equal property in the free use of his faculties and free choice of the objects on which to employ them.

In a word, as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.

But then Madison goes on to make a key statement regarding the purpose for which governments exist, “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.”

The laws of nature dictate that no man may delegate more power than he himself possesses in a state of nature. Therefore, if a person has no right to deprive you of your life, liberty, or property, then they also do not have the right to delegate that authority to government. It matters not that laws are passed which make people feel safer and more secure, if those laws violate the rights of even one individual then they are unjust and government has crossed the line and become tyrannical.

In 1772 Samuel Adams issued a report to the Council at Boston in which he stated, “Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these First. a Right to Life; Secondly to Liberty; thirdly to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can–Those are evident Branches of, rather than deductions from the Duty of Self Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature.” (My emphasis)

The law of nature dictates that when my life, my liberty, or my property come under attack it is my right to defend them in the best manner I see fit. In his Second Treatise Locke explains this right as follows:

And hence it is, that he who attempts to get another man into his absolute power, does thereby put himself into a state of war with him; it being to be understood as a declaration of a design upon his life: for I have reason to conclude, that he who would get me into his power without my consent, would use me as he pleased when he had got me there, and destroy me too when he had a fancy to it; for no body can desire to have me in his absolute power, unless it be to compel me by force to that which is against the right of my freedom, i.e. make me a slave. … This makes it lawful for a man to kill a thief, who has not in the least hurt him, nor declared any design upon his life, any farther than, by the use of force, so to get him in his power, as to take away his money, or what he pleases, from him; because using force, where he has no right, to get me into his power, let his pretence be what it will, I have no reason to suppose, that he, who would take away my liberty, would not, when he had me in his power, take away every thing else. And therefore it is lawful for me to treat him as one who has put himself into a state of war with me, i.e. kill him if I can; for to that hazard does he justly expose himself, whoever introduces a state of war, and is aggressor in it.

In his book The Law, Frederic Bastiat states, “Each of us has a natural right—from God—to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two.”

Then Bastiat goes on to explain the purpose for government in general, and laws in particular, ” If every person has the right to defend—even by force—his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right—its reason for existing, its lawfulness—is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force—for the same reason—cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.”

This is why Bastiat begins his book with the following words, “The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose!”

If government is, as both Locke and Jefferson declare, instituted to secure liberty to those it governs, then the only word that fits a government that seeks to limit or restrict liberty is tyrannical.

Liberty is not for the weak or timid; it demands that you accept total responsibility for your lives and the consequences of the choices you make. Liberty cannot exist when people’s rights are restricted, or their earnings garnished to subsidize the lives of those less fortunate. Now, a person may choose to contribute a portion of their earnings to help those in need, but government cannot demand that we do so. To do that government violates the liberty and freewill of those it governs.

Government cannot pass laws or institute programs which violate the rights of those who have never harmed another just because one group or one individual abuses their rights and brings harm to others. To do so government violates the liberty it was instituted to protect and is…TYRANNICAL!

What would you call gun control laws that restrict the rights of ordinary people simply because one individual used guns to commit a horrific crime? What would you call government agencies that conduct surveillance on every man, woman and child in America, thereby violating their constitutionally protected right to privacy and freedom from unwarranted searches? What would you call the mandatory participation in programs that take a portion of your earnings for the distribution to those in need?

I would call all of the above, and more, tyranny.

Liberty cannot be restored at the voting booth when the government you are electing people to has forsaken its sacred obligation to protect the liberty of the people. Liberty requires of those who cherish it that they stand against any measure, any individual, or any group who threaten it; including their own government. What was the American Revolution if it was not the people standing against their government because it had violated their liberty?

In 1944 Judge Billings Learned Hand delivered a speech in which he stated, “I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it.”

The spirit of Liberty beats strong in my chest, what about you?

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