Day Late And A Dollar Short

Yesterday our nation observed Memorial Day, the day in which the people in America honor and remember those who paid the ultimate price for your freedom. I, we, did not do anything special to celebrate this day, although it weighed heavy on my mind as I went about my affairs. Prior to going to bed I did slap in a dvd to watch, Lone Survivor, the story of that Seal Team sent to hunt Taliban fighters where 3 of the 4 team members were killed, with Marcus Luttrell being the only one to survive.

While there have been many movies made about war and glory in battle, with Saving Private Ryan being among them, I feel that Lone Survivor, due to its basis upon fact, is a more fitting tribute to the sacrifices made by those we call upon to serve in the defense of our nation.

You see, for 13 some odd years of my life I could have been called upon to make that sacrifice. Although I was only active duty Air Force and therefore less likely to be deployed into harm’s way, the possibility still existed that at any time I might be sent off to defend America and never return.

I also have to think back to my youth, when my father sat me down and explained how I came about being Neal H. Ross. His best friend, Neal Hampton Rood, (pronounced RUDE) was killed when the U.S.S. Helena was sunk at the Battle of Kula Gulf on July 6, 1943. My father named me, his firstborn son, in honor of his friend.

So you see, Memorial Day, AND Veterans Day, hold a lot of meaning for me. No matter how I view the justification for our countries involvement in wars abroad, I NEVER lose sight of the fact that they are being fought by American men and women who are doing their very best to serve honorably for the causes they believe in.

I don’t know how many of you reading this have ever been to Arlington National Cemetery, but I have. Before being transferred from Castle Air Force Base in California to Inoges Radio Relay Link in Spain, I spent a week in the Arlington area with a friend in the Navy who was stationed at the Pentagon. He was gracious enough to take a week’s leave and show me the sights. Although I wished I had gotten the chance to visit the Jefferson Memorial and the Iwo Jima Monument, I did get to see Arlington Cemetery. Let me tell you, it is a humbling experience to walk through that place and see all those gravestones. If you have any love of country you can’t help but be awestruck at just how many people have died defending the things that so many of you take for granted.

Arlington Cemetery has over 400,000 burial sites as well as four courts used to store the remains of 5,000 cremated service-members in each court, with plans for five more courts to be built. I know a lot of people visit Arlington just to see the Tomb of the Unknowns, or as some people call it, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I never made it there as I was just dumbstruck by the row upon row of grave markers indicating just how many people had given their all for their country. And this was LONG before I ever began studying our nation’s history and founding. I imagine a visit to Arlington now would be even more profound for me.

Although Memorial Day is a fitting tribute to those who have given their lives for their country, it saddens me that unless a family has lost a loved one in combat most Americans do not think that even right now there are men and women serving abroad who at any time might also pay that ultimate sacrifice.

How many of you will find yourself thinking about that today, in a week, or a month from now? As long as we have men and women serving abroad in our Armed Forces it should be on your minds. The act of calling upon the members of our Armed Forces to go into harm’s way in the defense of their country is not something we should take lightly, or do for trivial reasons. This is even more true when they are off fighting, and dying for the principles they believe in, while most Americans never even think about those principles over the course of their day.

There is an old saying that goes, “War is hell.” I cannot find any fault with that, even though I was never asked to serve in a combat zone during my time on active duty. Even so, I came about as close as one could get during war games, or exercises as we used to call them. Being deployed to the middle of nowhere, having to live in tents, eating MRE’s, and having aggressors trying to infiltrate and capture our camp was about as close to the real thing without the blood and guts of lives being lost all around you. Having gone through that numerous times two things struck me. First I came out of those ‘exercises’ almost zombie-like. The lack of sleep and the constant barrage of weapons being fired does something to your senses that leaves you a changed person. Secondly, having gone through all that you have to wonder how bad combat must REALLY be when your buddies are dying all around you.

As I already said, my father was a World War II vet, having not one, but two ships sunk out from under him during the war by Japanese torpedoes. He lived the rest of his days suffering from PTSD before they even knew what PTSD was, and treated vets for it.

I just recently watched American Sniper and was hit by how his experiences in four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan changed Chris Kyle, and how he was able to overcome the horrors he witnessed and return to some semblance of normalcy. Some never make that transition back to a normal life and unless you are a family member dealing with someone suffering from PTSD you rarely think about it.

I know I have kind of rambled on a bit about a little bit of everything, but now I’d like to get to the point of this entire missive. I would like to ask of you, my fellow Americans, two things. First that you honor and pay the respect deserved to ALL service-members currently serving in our Armed Forces, especially those who are serving in harm’s way.

Secondly, I would ask that you think long and hard about the causes we are sending them into harm’s way for. Sending our men and women off to die in some foreign land for anything other than the defense of the principles that made America great should never happen. Let’s face it, evil is going to exist no matter how hard we try to eradicate it.

There is absolutely nothing noble, or honorable, about war. War is simply the massive murder of one people, by another, for political reasons. The justification for war MAY BE honorable, but there is nothing honorable in the taking of one, a hundred, a thousand, or a hundred thousand lives. This is even more true when in so doing all we are doing is making someone else rich. Whether it be the bankers who finance these endless wars, those who make the bombs, bullets, tanks and airplanes that fight in them, or those who are awarded contracts to rebuild the countries we tear down, SOMEONE always profits from war. The ONLY thing honorable about war is the sacrifices made by those who are called upon to serve.

We should remember that and not hide behind a banner of patriotism when we send our young off to fight and die in foreign lands halfway around the globe.

In closing I’d like to leave you with a quote by General Smedley Butler, author of War is a Racket, “There are only two reasons why you should ever be asked to give your youngsters. One is defense of our homes. The other is the defense of our Bill of Rights and particularly the right to worship God as we see fit.”

Please, I beg of you, ponder that long and hard while our young are abroad now, and before you are asked to send them off into harm’s way in the future.

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Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what principle this country was founded upon; I mean really think hard and ask yourself what is it that made America different? I have, quite a bit actually. Unfortunately, aside from a few friends I have I don’t think most people have given it much thought.

What makes, or I should say, made America different can be summed up in one word…well two actually; individual liberty. But let’s just boil it down to the basic premise…liberty. That one word, more than any other, is found throughout the writings of our nation’s Founders and its founding documents. In the Declaration of Independence Jefferson wrote that our Creator grants us Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. In the Preamble to the Constitution the delegates to the Constitutional Convention declared that one of the purposes the Constitution was to serve was to secure the Blessings of Liberty to them and their Posterity. The Pledge of Allegiance ends by saying with liberty and justice for all.

Then of course there is My Country, Tis of Thee, or simply America, written by Samuel Francis Smith, which says, ” My country tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died! Land of the Pilgrim’s pride! From every mountain side, Let freedom ring!”

Still, I doubt that many people have given liberty much thought over the courses of their lives. I have, or to be more accurate, I have given the LOSS of Liberty a great deal of thought. What is liberty you say? Well, according to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, Liberty is defined as: the state or condition of people who are able to act and speak freely; the power to do or choose what you want to.

In an 1816 letter written to Francis Gilmer, Thomas Jefferson defines liberty as, “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.”

There are those two words again…liberty and individual. Jefferson, as well as many of the other Founding Fathers, were schooled in the writings of men who wrote during the Age of Enlightenment. The Age of Enlightenment was a period of history from the 1650′s to around the late 1700′s were cultural and intellectual minds in Western Europe emphasized reason, analysis, and individualism over more traditional thought. They questioned traditional thinking like the power and authority of monarchs over their subjects and spoke frequently of the rights and liberty of individuals.

At one point during the era which gave birth to our nation, Alexander Hamilton visited the quarters where Thomas Jefferson was staying. Upon the wall hung 3 portraits and Hamilton asked Jefferson who the men were. Jefferson replied, “They are my trinity of the 3 greatest men the world has ever produced, Sir Francis Bacon, Sir Isaac Newton and John Locke.”

Although I have not yet read any of the writings of Newton or Bacon, I have read Locke and can see much similarity between what Locke wrote and what our Founders believed and wrote themselves. For instance, in Locke’s Second Treatise he writes, “TO understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.” That sounds strikingly similar to how Jefferson defined liberty, doesn’t it?

Although most people have not given the concept of Liberty much conscious thought, subconsciously they probably fear real liberty. You see real unbridled liberty carries with it the responsibility of living with the consequences of the choices you make, and people hate that. People fear being held accountable for their own actions, for being held RESPONSIBLE. They claim they want to be free to make choices, but then when they screw up and make a bad choice they want others to shoulder the burden of their choices instead of accepting responsibility for them themselves. What that does though is deprive another of their liberty. Remember, Jefferson said that liberty was …” unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. ” The moment you begin burdening others with the consequences of the choices YOU make, you are invading their equal rights, and that is not what liberty is all about.

I’ll give you a perfect example of how government has restricted your liberty…and NO, it is not about guns. One simple word…marijuana. If rightful liberty is our right to do and say as we please, why is it a crime in most states to possess or consume marijuana? If we were truly free, if we truly had liberty in this country, then the people should be free to consume whatever substance they choose. I’m not justifying getting stoned out of your mind and going to work, but if a person wants to smoke a joint while sitting in the comfort of their home it should not be a crime. They aren’t hurting anyone by doing so, no more so than those who sit at home and drink a few beers. So again, why is it a crime to possess or use marijuana?

A free people should be entitled to do whatever they want as long as by doing so they do not interfere with the rights of others. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said it best when he said, “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.”

But you see, in society today people want to be free to use drugs, but then if they screw up their lives by abusing them they want society to carry the burden of supporting them. We have a friend whose daughter uses meth. She can’t pass a drug test so she can’t find a job. So according to the State of California drug use is considered a…are you ready for this…a disability! So she gets free rent, food stamps, and funds to pay her bills. All because of a choice SHE consciously makes. She wants the freedom to use drugs but she doesn’t want to accept the responsibility for her choices. That is wrong and goes against all that America stood for.

Our country has changed so much in regards to how it views liberty. Today people see liberty as being able to work where you want, live where you want, watch whatever you want, listen to whatever you want, and all the other things associated with day to day life. They don’t even think about the basic rights that they have allowed government to trample upon so that they can be free to enjoy these other rights. Well it will come back to bite them in the ass one of these days, of that I’m certain.

But just to give you an idea of how far we have shifted in our way of thinking, let me provide two quotes, both from former presidents, regarding rights and liberty. In 1791 Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to Archibald Stewart in which he stated, “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.” Then in a 1993 article in USA Today, Bill Clinton was quoted as saying, “We can’t be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans.”

I can’t believe that he said that and that most Americans didn’t call for him to be lynched for saying it. After all, one of the very purposes for government is to secure our liberty, which is just another way of saying our ability to freely exercise all our rights.

I would be willing to bet that if you asked most Americans to make a list of the ten most important things in their lives that liberty would not be on that list. I bet that you could extend that list to twenty…to fifty items and STILL liberty would not be on it. That is sad when it should be at the very top of every person’s list.

You see, if you draw a line and put liberty at one end, the other end of the line would be slavery…the complete loss of all your rights. If that line was graded from one to ten, with 10 being the full freedom that comes with liberty, and 1 being complete servitude, I’d put America somewhere around 3. THAT is how much liberty we have lost over the course of our existence as a nation.

Any student of history can tell you that although people may live upon a certain geographic area over the course of thousands of years, the type of government and the freedoms they enjoy have changed as time goes by. As Thomas Jefferson said, “Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”

America is no different. Even though our system was built upon the concept of individual liberty, it will eventual fail and the people who occupy this land will be anything but free. You can’t change that. However if the people were to pull their heads out of their asses, start reading, and start holding those whom they elect accountable to their oath to the Constitution, then the end result could be postponed.

But as long as there are so many ways for Americans to be entertained; be it social media, reality TV, sporting events, they will be far too busy keeping themselves entertained to even begin to think about what is happening to their liberty. Therefore the slow, but steady descent into tyranny and oppression will continue unabated until the people can no longer hide from it. It will be then that another revolution will occur and the outcome may not be as good as it was 200 plus years ago.

In closing I would like to just toss a few quotes at you for you to think about. I won’t comment, just read them and try to think for yourselves without my help.

I am commonly opposed to those who modestly assume the rank of champions of liberty, and make a very patriotic noise about the people. It is the stale artifice which has duped the world a thousand times, and yet, though detected, it is still successful. I love liberty as well as anybody. I am proud of it, as the true title of our people to distinction above others; but…I would guard it by making the laws strong enough to protect it. ~Fischer Ames~ 1789

The fundamental source of all your errors, sophisms and false reasonings is a total ignorance of the natural rights of mankind. Were you once to become acquainted with these, you could never entertain a thought, that all men are not, by nature, entitled to a parity of privileges. You would be convinced, that natural liberty is a gift of the beneficent Creator to the whole human race, and that civil liberty is founded in that; and cannot be wrested from any people, without the most manifest violation of justice. ~Alexander Hamilton~ 1775

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever. ~Thomas Jefferson~ 1781

No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffusd and Virtue is preservd. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauchd in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders. ~Samuel Adams~ 1775

[W]hereas, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them; nor does it follow from this, that all promiscuously must go into actual service on every occasion. ~Richard Henry Lee~ 1788

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined. ~Patrick Henry~ 1788

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Unlike You, I Don’t Fear Guns

I would like to start this commentary off a little differently. Let’s begin by playing a little game shall we? I’d ask you to close your eyes, but then you would not be able to read what I want you to do next, so just do your best to imagine what I’m about to say.

Okay, you are out shopping somewhere. It could be at the mall, at a WalMart, or even at a convenience store picking up a few items. You see a man drop his wallet. When he bends over to pick it up his shirt rides up his back and you see that he has a holstered pistol tucked into his pants. Is that image clear in your mind? Good.

Now I have a two part question for you. What do you do, and why do you do it?

Unless you read this in my presence I have no way of knowing how you answer those questions, but let me take a wild guess at how some of you respond. I would venture to guess that many people would freak out seeing an armed citizen in public and would either try to notify store security or find a safe place to dial 911 and tell the police that there is an armed man in a public place.

The question is…WHY? Why does the idea of an armed man frighten you so?

How many of you reading this have children? If you have raised children you probably know that about the only things that will scare an infant are loud noises and, possibly, strangers. As for everything else, well let me just say that there is a reason they say you need to child proof your home. Children are basically inquisitive from birth, it is how they learn things…that and what they learn from their parents.
Children are born pretty much fearless, especially in regards to inanimate objects. If a child can touch something, pick it up, put it in their mouths, they will. So if a person has a fear of guns it is something that they have learned, or been taught.

Over the course of my 57 years of life I have watched as this country went from one where guns were treated as simply a tool to serve a purpose to being demonized and feared by a great many people. I think this is by design, the intentional brainwashing of people to cause an unjustified fear of something that there is really no need to fear.

From as far back as I can remember I have been around guns. I played with cap guns as a very young boy. I remember getting a Christmas present one year of a plastic gun set that fired actual projectiles. The bullets had a spring in the casing and could fire the slug, (projectile), a good 25 feet with a decent degree of accuracy. I remember my father teaching me basic firearms safety with a Daisy bb rifle before I was ten years old. I remember learning how to shoot a .22 after I turned ten. I remember guns in my dads’ closet, on top of his dresser, and sitting on an end table next to where he sat on the couch.

I didn’t fear them because I was taught to treat them with respect and the proper safe practices. I didn’t play with them because if I had I’d have gotten a whupping to remember. Even years later when I was in high school, when my parents went through a rough patch in their marriage and they would argue with each other, both of them brandishing loaded pistols, I didn’t fear guns.

You see, since I was taught from an early age, I realized that a gun is just a tool to be used for a purpose. Now I may fear a careless person with a gun, or an irresponsible person with a gun, but I do not fear THE GUN itself. Like I said, guns are just tools. Do you fear screwdrivers? Why not? If you say it is because guns kill and screwdrivers don’t, stand there for a minute and let me stab you with a screwdriver and see if you change your mind.

Depending upon where you get your statistics there are more deaths caused by cars than there are by guns…yet people love their cars…they don’t FEAR them. Even if gun related deaths were higher than automobile related deaths, there is something you really need to realize. If you park your car in the driveway it is not going to kill anyone. If you leave a gun laying on the table it won’t kill anyone either. It is people who have to use an object to kill another person.

Sure, guns were designed with the sole purpose of making the ability to take a life much easier than say, bows and arrows. But still, a person has to pull the trigger for a life to be taken, and if people are properly taught safe handling procedures, and they are used properly a gun can be just as safe as anything else in the house.

I could kill you with just about anything; a kitchen fork, a hammer, a baseball bat, a chain saw, but you don’t see this rabid fear of those items do you? So again, why this fear of guns?

I’m not going to go into proper parenting as this is not the right place and time for it. Just let me say that as I was growing up it seemed every kid I knew grew up learning about guns primarily through their father. We all grew up learning to respect guns for the tools they are and because of that we didn’t have all these shootings we do today…even though when I went to high school you didn’t have enough fingers and toes to count all the guns you saw in the rear windows of pickup trucks parked in the school parking lot. If kids had disputes they settled it on the playground at lunch or after school with their fists. They didn’t run and grab a gun and just start shooting people.

That still doesn’t explain this rabid fear of guns that some people have. However, I think I have an answer for that as well. I blame the news media for it, and if you ask me I think it was intentional, this causing of fear and panic over anything resembling a gun.

Whenever there is a large scale shooting the story itself takes a life of its own. The news media covers it round the clock for days on end, picking the story apart, analyzing it, and often distorting the facts about what type weapon was used. Terms like assault rifle are tossed about in an attempt to make people believe that one category of firearm is different from another.

Listen, I won’t deny that firearms were invented to make the act of killing easier and more efficient. But for years of my life we didn’t have these large scale public shootings, yet guns themselves have always been around. Sure there have been improvements in them, and there weren’t the number of semi-automatic weapons that there are today. But I don’t think that would have made any difference. Like I said, we had guns ON CAMPUS when I was growing up and I can’t recall one single school shooting. Either they were never reported on like they are today, or it was because we settled our disputes with our fists. We didn’t get pissed off enough to take another person’s life. We may have beat the crap out of someone, but we didn’t KILL THEM!

Getting back to the news media, can you tell me when was the last time you heard about a large scale public shooting? Probably. Now, can you tell me when was the last time you heard a news story about when a gun was used to abort a crime…save a life? I’d be willing to bet you probably can’t recall ever hearing a story about that. Yet they happen all the time…almost daily in fact. Yet the news never reports on these stories. Why is that? I think it is because they don’t serve the purpose of causing people to FEAR guns. If more people were to learn that more lives are saved every day by people carrying guns than lives are taken by people using them irresponsibly then there wouldn’t be this rabid fear…and then they would not be able to go forward with their goal of passing stricter and more oppressive gun control legislation.

Just to give you a small taste of what I’m talking about, let me tell you of just a FEW examples of how someone owning a gun has prevented a crime, and quite possibly saved a life.

In Oakland, CA, an 84 year old grandmother was awakened by a noise. She noticed a hall light was on that shouldn’t have been. She grabbed her gun that was in a nightstand and as soon as she did an intruder appeared in her bedroom door. She fired one shot and the intruder fled. In Columbus Ohio, a widow used a gun to shoot a would be robber who broke into her home through a window. In Albuquerque New Mexico a man woke up one morning to a strange noise. He grabbed his gun and went to investigate. He found a man in his kitchen with a knife who threatened to kill him. The homeowner shot the 28 yr old suspect, saving his own life in the process.

These are just a few examples of how an armed citizen prevented a crime, and possibly saved their life in the process. I could write a book listing example after example of stories similar to these. So why doesn’t the media report on them? Like I said, they don’t serve their agenda of instilling an unjustified fear of guns into the public. They want you to fear guns, it is the only way the politicians can then pass laws making it harder for you to get one.

Listen, the Second Amendment clearly states that the people have a right to keep and bear arms. It does not say what kind, or that they need a permit to do so. It simply says that it is our right. The Supreme Court has upheld that it is an individual right as an American, not to be associated with service in a militia as many claim.

Our Founders created the government. The first three words of the Constitution state that it was WE THE PEOPLE who ordain and established the Constitution. Therefore the government it created is a subject of the people, not their master. The entire reason the Second Amendment was put into the Bill of Rights was not so that people could hunt, target shoot, or prevent crimes, although these are all also side benefits of owning guns. No, the Second Amendment was put into the Bill of Rights so that at some future date, should our government grow tyrannical and oppressive, the people would retain the ability to resist and fight back.

Now, with that purpose in mind, do you HONESTLY expect me to believe that our Founders would have wanted our government to be in possession of all kinds of military hardware, including fully automatic weapons, while the people were limited to single shot revolvers and rifles? No, I would be willing to stake my life on the belief that they would have wanted us to be on equal footing with any army the government could raise to oppress the people. Sure, during the American Revolution the colonists only had single shot muskets and rifles, but that was all the Redcoats had as well. They were as well armed as those they fought against.

Just as in 1776, there is once again a war going on in this country, although it has not come to taking up arms. The American Revolution was more than just the fighting that occurred after the Redcoats tried to disarm the colonists at Lexington and Concord. As John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson, “As to the history of the revolution, my ideas may be peculiar, perhaps singular. What do we mean by the Revolution? The war? That was no part of the revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected … before a drop of blood was shed.”

There is a concerted movement to disarm the American people so that we are no longer capable of standing up against those that would see ALL OUR RIGHTS taken from us. The Second Amendment is ALL that stands between their being able to fulfill their goal and us stopping them.

You may not see it that way, you may only see the goal of making America a safer place for you and your children. They realize that and are playing to your emotions to achieve their goal of total disarmament of the American people. They have said as much themselves, but you have not been paying attention.

On an ABC News Special with Peter Jennings, Barbara Fass explicitly stated, “I think you have to do it a step at a time and I think that is what the NRA is most concerned about, is that it will happen one very small step at a time, so that by the time people have “woken up” — quote — to what’s happened, it’s gone farther than what they feel the consensus of American citizens would be. But it does have to go one step at a time and the beginning of the banning of semi-assault military weapons, that are military weapons, not “household” weapons, is the first step.”

Well, we the gunowners of America are tired of backing up, taking small steps backwards, compromising a little bit more of our rights with each successive new law. If you compare a right to a piece of wood, each law passed which violates it is like a person with a pocketknife whittling away at the piece of wood. Eventually your right will lay in slivers at your feet if you keep sacrificing ground.

Well we will sacrifice no more, our line in the sand has been drawn. You fear guns because you don’t understand them. You fear guns because the media has manipulated you into thinking every gun owner is a crazed killer. You are all fools. It is unknown how many total guns are in circulation in the United States, but the number is in the millions. If we were all crazed killers there wouldn’t be a person left alive as we’d have all slaughtered each other.

People complain about being stereotyped. Obama tells us we must not judge Muslims by the actions of a few. Blacks say the police should stop profiling them based on their skin color. Mexicans do not like it that people think that ever one of them is an illegal alien. Asians do not like it that everyone thinks that they are all karate or kung fu masters like Bruce Lee. Why can you not show the same consideration to those of us who own guns? We are not all nut jobs like the news makes us out to be.

History does repeat itself. There is nothing you or I can do to stop that. So just as occurred at Lexington and Concord, there will come a time when those who want to take our guns have gone too far, and we will be forced to stake a stand to defend our right. I hope it doesn’t happen in my lifetime, but do not mistake my sentiments for thinking that I won’t fight to defend my right. I will.

You could help postpone that day by stop fearing guns so much and stop calling for new gun laws every time there is a shooting. Instead of trying to ban guns you might try to ask yourself WHY that person did what they did. Was it poor parenting? Violence in TV and films? Side effects of medication they take? Or a combination of all of the above. But banning guns will not stop people from killing each other, that has been happening since the time of Adam and Eve.

So, in closing, I’d like to answer the question I posed at the very beginning of this: What would you do if you saw someone with a concealed weapon in public. Me, I’d introduce myself and then ask, “What is your preferred weapon for concealed carry?”

That’s it. That’s all I’d do. You see, unlike you, I don’t fear guns.

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On The Right of Self-Defense

If I could take a moment to impose upon your time, I’d like to ask you a question. Before I ask I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not want an off the cuff answer. Instead, I want you to think really hard about the question I am about to ask.

Okay, here’s the question: What do you consider to be your most important right? I’ll give you a few moments to think about this then I’ll be back.

Okay, did you think about it? I’m betting that some of you answered freedom of speech, freedom of religion, or the right to keep and bear arms. Nice try, but if you want my honest opinion those would all be wrong answers.

You see, when I mention rights most people automatically think to those rights listed in the Bill of Rights, and which one is most important to them. But most people fail to pay any attention to the last two rights listed in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. It is the Ninth Amendment that I’d like to bring to your attention now.

The Ninth Amendment states: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” That is pretty straightforward, although I’m certain that there are some who aren’t familiar with the word disparage, so let me clear that up for you. Disparage means to belittle or ridicule. In other words, what the Ninth Amendment is saying is that just because certain rights are NOT listed specifically in the Bill of Rights does not mean that those rights do not exist. After all, does the Bill of Rights specify that you have the right to eat, to breath air, or be entertained? But I’m pretty sure you would all agree that you retain that right.

So now that I’ve brought that to your attention, I’d like for you to rethink my question: What do you consider to be your most important right?

Still not sure? Well, let me give you my thoughts on it.

It is my belief that the right to defend what is rightfully yours is the supreme right. After all, what good are things if you can’t protect them? Honestly, if you think that the right to own a nice house is the most important right, what good is that right if someone can simply take your home from you for no reason? What good is the right to speak whatever is on your mind when someone can force you to shut up?

No, the right to defend yourself, your property, AND your rights is the most important right. This is not a new concept, or something I just made up, it is something that legal thinkers and philosophers have written about throughout the ages.

In 1803 the English legal scholar Sir William Blackstone wrote, “This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty…The right of self defense is the first law of nature…” What people need to understand, and I mean REALLY understand, is that prior to the existence of any form of government man lived in a pure state of nature.

To best describe what this means we need to turn to John Locke, whose Second Treatise states, “To understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.”

You would think that under the law of nature, with men free to do as they please, that there would be chaos and anarchy. But Locke goes on to say, “The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions…”

In a way that is similar to the Golden Rule, which states, “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.” Or to put it in modern vernacular, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

However, that is not all Locke says. In Sections 17 & 18 of his Treatise he writes, ” 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. To be free from such force is the only security of my preservation; and reason bids me look on him, as an enemy to my preservation, who would take away that freedom which is the fence to it; so that he who makes an attempt to enslave me, thereby puts himself into a state of war with me. He that, in the state of nature, would take away the freedom that belongs to any one in that state, must necessarily be supposed to have a foundation of all the rest; as he that in the state of society, would take away the freedom belonging to those of that society or commonwealth, must be supposed to design to take away from them every thing else, and so be looked on as in a state of war.

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.”

So you see, under the law of nature man has a right to defend what is his, even up to killing another who threatens him or his rights.

Years after Locke would write his Second Treatise a Frenchman by the name of Frederic Bastiat would write his treatise entitled The Law. In his book Bastiat writes, “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. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties?

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.”

You see we, or at least, our fore-fathers, created our government. They got together and outlined its structure, its purpose, and the specific powers it was to have. They then went further and wrote a Bill of Rights declaring certain rights to be free from interference by the government. As Thomas Paine so rightfully said, “Man did not enter into society to become worse than he was before, nor to have fewer rights than he had before, but to have those rights better secured.”

Government cannot deny you the right to defend yourself. Government cannot limit your ability to defend yourself. So what would you call it when government passes laws that say you must be in imminent danger before you can use deadly force to protect yourself? What would you call it when government tells you that you cannot, without a permit, carry the means of defending yourself in public?

In my home state of California we have what is known as a stand your ground law, meaning that you are not required by law to flee in the face of danger, rather you have the right to stand your ground and defend yourself, or your property. HOWEVER, they place limitations upon that law. Under the California legal code it states that for you to use deadly force it must be ‘reasonable under the circumstances.’ What the hell does that mean, and who is to determine what is and what isn’t reasonable…especially if they were not present at the time?

California has three criterion by which they judge a person when using deadly force. First you must prove that you reasonably believed you were imminent danger of being killed, injured, or touched unlawfully. Secondly you must prove that you felt you needed to use deadly force to prevent that from happening, rather than just standing toe to toe and slugging it out with the person. And finally you must prove that you used no more force than was necessary. So if you kill a person instead of merely wounding him, YOU may be found guilty of a crime.

The problem with these criterion is that they place your right to defend yourself in the hands of others who were not present at the time you had to use deadly force. They place limitations upon how and how much force you can use.

This goes against all Locke said when he wrote, “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…” I don’t need permission, nor justification from some lawmaker on how and when I can defend myself, my family, or my possessions. If someone threatens the aforementioned things, they have violated the law of nature and declared war upon my person and I will use whatever means I DEEM necessary to repel their attack. Not you, not the government, but I alone have the right to judge when I will use deadly force to defend what is rightfully mine…including my rights.

And here we get to the meat and potatoes of this little commentary.

If, through sheer folly, a poor understanding of the nature of rights, or on behalf of their constituents, lawmakers seek to limit my right, or my ability to defend myself, my family, my property, AND my other rights, I have the right to resist such measures with whatever force I deem necessary to protect and defend them. By their enacting laws, either through their ignorance regarding the nature of rights, or because you feel a society without guns would be a safer world, you have declared war upon MY rights, and by proxy, upon ME personally.

Again, to quote Locke, “[Civic power] can have no right except as this is derived from the individual right of each man to protect himself and his property.” As we created government, government cannot wield more power than we can. In 1794 the Supreme Court ruled, “The sovereignty of a state does not reside in the persons who fill the different departments of its government, but in the People, from whom the government emanated; and they may change it at their discretion. Sovereignty, then in this country, abides with the constituency, and not with the agent; and this remark is true, both in reference to the federal and state government.”

Government, be they state, federal, or even local, are creatures of our creation, and bound by the limits we impose upon them. They cannot wield more power than we ourselves have other than to enforce the laws enacted in accordance with the limits we have imposed upon them. On top of all that, our rights are beyond their reach, as affirmed by the Supreme Court once again, “The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”

You may not like it, but those are the facts…you cannot touch my right to defend myself, you cannot limit it, and you cannot put limitations upon when and how I utilize that right. You see, there is an unwritten law, best taken in its entirety. Marcus Tullius Cicero once said, “There exists a law, not written down anywhere but inborn in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading but by derivation and absorption and adoption from nature itself; a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice, not by instruction but by natural intuition. I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right.”

If you recall, earlier I quoted Blackstone regarding the natural right of self defense. Well there is a second part to his quote that I left out until now. I now complete Blackstone’s quote for you, “…in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.”

Liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction! Wow! Don’t you think your liberty is something you would want to defend? I don’t know about you, but the idea of being a slave doesn’t sit well with me…especially if I am to be a slave to those who supposedly were put in place to be MY representatives.

Now I’d like to leave you with two final quotes from John Locke, and let them sink in real good, for it is how I feel about my government, and about those of you who would see my rights diminished or restricted because of your insecurities and unjustified fears.

Locke wrote, “Wherever law ends, tyranny begins, if the law be transgressed to another’s harm; and whosoever in authority exceeds the power given him by the law, and makes use of the force he has under his command to compass that upon the subject which the law allows not, ceases in that to be a magistrate, and acting without authority may be opposed, as any other man who by force invades the right of another.”

Locke also states, “… whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence. Whensoever therefore the legislative shall transgress this fundamental rule of society, and either by ambition, fear, folly or corruption, endeavor to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people; by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the people, who have a right to resume their original liberty, and, by the establishment of a new legislative, (such as they shall think fit) provide for their own safety and security, which is the end for which they are in society.”

My right to defend myself extends not only to defend myself against criminals, but to anyone who would violate my rights…including my government. It is as much a part of my being as my DNA. You can’t deny that right to me, my government cannot deny that right to me, and anyone who tries will have declared war upon me and will be viewed and treated accordingly.

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I Just Don’t Get You People

Yesterday I had a brief conversation with a friend at work and we were both struggling to find an explanation for why so many people are so completely ignorant of what is happening to this country, and why so few people care. I can understand how so many became ignorant when it comes to what is going on in America, but what I cannot understand is why so few care once they are provided with the facts. That just boggles my mind.

I’m sure you know someone whom you dislike a great deal. Yet just because you dislike a person does not mean that from time to time they might not say things that ring true. Such is the case with Frantz Fanon. Fanon was a Caribbean born Marxist revolutionary whose ideology I strongly oppose. Yet he sure hit the nail on the head when he said, “Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.

Human nature is such that most people feel the need to belong to something; be it a group, an organization, or even a small circle of friends. People will gravitate towards others who share the same beliefs and ideologies just to avoid having to go through life alone. I’m not condemning people for doing so, I do it myself. What I can’t understand though is how so many people have such closed minds that they refuse to consider evidence which might prove that everything they have ever been taught about a subject has been a lie.

The famous physicist Albert Einstein once said, “He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.”

There is nothing wrong with people wanting to associate with other human beings, absolutely nothing wrong with it at all. Yet to blindly accept whatever they are told without ever questioning or researching the information, is foolish at best. That, I think, is the point Einstein was trying to make.

Almost two and a quarter centuries ago an Englishman who emigrated to America became one of the moving forces behind the American Revolution. His booklet Common Sense fueled the fire for independence among the general population more than anything the Crown, or anyone else for that matter, did. This man was Thomas Paine. Years later Paine would write another booklet entitled The Rights of Man, wherein he states, “When I contemplate the natural dignity of man, when I feel (for Nature has not been kind enough to me to blunt my feelings) for the honour and happiness of its character, I become irritated at the attempt to govern mankind by force and fraud, as if they were all knaves and fools, and can scarcely avoid disgust at those who are thus imposed upon.”

Paine and I are of like mind, however I would phrase what he said somewhat differently. I would state, “I’m sorry if I am not politically correct but I get mad when I see government doing things they have no authority to do, and I get pissed at people who sit back and do nothing about it while their rights are being trampled upon.

How many of you have been in arguments where you have presented all kinds of facts and evidence to support your side of the argument, only to have them fall on deaf ears? If so you have some semblance of how I feel all the time. It seems that no matter how much evidence I provide, or how I word it, people simply refuse to accept the message that I am attempting to get across.

Samuel Adams once wrote that “Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason.” This is no truer than when discussing politics. When it comes to politics everyone has their own opinion, and unfortunately most of the time these opinions are based, not upon fact, but upon an emotional response to a crisis or issue that faces America.

A perfect example of this is how every time there is a shooting of any scale where the media covers it endlessly, the first thing I hear is that we must pass stricter gun laws to prevent something like this from happening again. This is what’s known as a knee jerk reaction, just like when your doctor hits your knee with that little rubber mallet and your knee instinctively reacts by kicking your leg. It involves no thinking, it is a purely instinctive reaction.

The same thing happened with 9/11. People were so outraged, and afraid, that they bought into everything the media and their government told them regarding who and what were behind the attacks, and what we must do to prevent attacks like those from happening again.

In instances such as these people forget about how precious their rights and liberty are, and they only think about what our government can do to make them safer and more secure so they can go back to their lives without the fear of another public shooting or terrorist attack. People fail to even consider that with each law passed to make them safer another chain is forged which brings them closer to slavery.
Ben Franklin once said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Honestly I wouldn’t care if you voted away your freedom completely except for the fact that whatever laws you support to keep you feeling safer and more secure also affect me as well.

You may see these laws as making America a safer place, or bringing equality to all, but I only see the steady progress of tyranny. You hear me say that word a lot…tyranny. Yet I don’t think many of you truly understand what it means.

Noah Webster defined tyranny thusly, “Tyranny is the exercise of some power over a man, which is not warranted by law...” In Section 202 of his Second Treatise, John Locke has this to say about tyranny, “Wherever law ends, tyranny begins, if the law be transgressed to another’s harm; and whosoever in authority exceeds the power given him by the law, and makes use of the force he has under his command to compass that upon the subject which the law allows not, ceases in that to be a magistrate, and acting without authority may be opposed, as any other man who by force invades the right of another.”

STOP right here! Did you get that? Any man who exceeds the power given him by the law may be opposed. The law, in this case, is the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. If our lawmakers enact laws upon matters the Constitution does not grant them powers to legislate upon we may oppose those laws. If our lawmakers seek to restrict, or invade, our rights we may oppose them.

These are powerful words, and words that our government does not want you to understand. They know that should the people fully understand what Locke said that they would lose all power and control over us. They want us to be afraid of them…afraid of what might happen to us if we do not obey the laws they pass.

There is a quote falsely attributed to Thomas Jefferson, but true nonetheless which states, “When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

In 1788 James Madison stood upon the floor of the Virginia Ratifying Convention, trying to convince the delegates to ratify the Constitution. To calm their fears that the government the Constitution was creating would become all powerful he stated, “[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.”

As one of the prime movers behind the move for the Constitution, one would think Madison knew what he was talking about when he said the powers granted the government were few and defined. Yet why is it that so many people today care so little that their government enacts law after law upon things they have absolutely no authority to enact laws upon?

In the 1943 case of West Virginia Board of Education vs. Barnette, Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson ruled, “The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.

There is a very important point you need to understand at this point. The two above quotes do not say our government ‘should not’ pass laws which violate the Constitution, they say that government ‘shall not’. This means under no circumstance shall our government overstep the limits imposed upon it by the people when they created it.

In 1866 the Supreme Court ruled, “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 men 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.”

So again, why is it that so many people cannot understand that government cannot violate these rights…even when they say it serves the public good? Yet we have laws prohibiting us from owning certain types of firearms, or carrying them on our persons; our children have been told they cannot pray in school; we have governmental agencies spying upon our communications and private affairs…AND NOBODY SEEMS TO CARE!

I can present these facts, and scores more, and they will go in one ear of people, and out the other…that is if they even read them. Does your freedom and liberty mean so little to you that you will simply ignore what I am saying because it conflicts with what you are being told?

Isaac Asimov may have been right when he wrote, “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.

James Madison once wrote, “A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps, both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

Our Founders understood human nature better than we give them credit for. They realized that their system would fail if the people became uneducated and corrupt. In his Commentaries on the Constitution, Joseph Story wrote, “Yet, after all, the fabric may fall; for the work of man is perishable, and must for ever have inherent elements of decay. Nay, it must perish, if there be not that vital spirit in the people, which alone can nourish, sustain, and direct all its movements. It is in vain, that statesmen shall form plans of government, in which the beauty and harmony of a republic shall be embodied in visible order, shall be built up on solid substructions, and adorned by every useful ornament, if the inhabitants suffer the silent power of time to dilapidate its walls, or crumble its massy supporters into dust; if the assaults from without are never resisted, and the rottenness and mining from within are never guarded against. Who can preserve the rights and liberties of the people, when they shall be abandoned by themselves? Who shall keep watch in the temple, when the watchmen sleep at their posts? Who shall call upon the people to redeem their possessions, and revive the republic, when their own hands have deliberately and corruptly surrendered them to the oppressor, and have built the prisons, or dug the graves of their own friends… This dark picture, it is to be hoped, will never be applicable to the republic of America And yet it affords a warning, which, like all the lessons of past experience, we are not permitted to disregard. America, free, happy, and enlightened, as she is, must rest the preservation of her rights and liberties upon the virtue, independence, justice, and sagacity of the people. If either fail, the republic is gone. Its shadow may remain with all the pomp, and circumstance, and trickery of government, but its vital power will have departed. In America, the demagogue may arise, as well as elsewhere. He is the natural, though spurious growth of republics; and like the courtier he may, by his blandishments, delude the ears, and blind the eyes of the people to their own destruction. If ever the day shall arrive, in which the best talents and the best virtues shall be driven from office by intrigue or corruption, by the ostracism of the press, or the still more unrelenting persecution of party, legislation will cease to be national. It will be wise by accident, and bad by system.”

That is where we are today in America, a system that is bad because the people do not understand it and by virtue of their ignorance do not hold those whom they elect to uphold it. You can switch back and forth, voting for Republicans or Democrats, and nothing is going to change until YOU take the time to learn how the system was designed. But that alone will not be enough. You must then demand that those whom you elect remain faithful to their oath to support and defend the Constitution. As Goethe once said, “Knowing is not enough, you must apply.”

Charles Austin Beard once said, “One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence.”

And finally, in 1788 Josiah Quincy, Jr. had the following published in the Boston Gazette, and it applies just as much today as it did back then, “Oh, my countrymen! What will our children say, when they read the history of these times? Should they find we tamely gave away without one noble struggle, the most invaluable of earthly blessings? As they drag the galling chain, will they not execrate us? If we have any respect for things sacred; any regard to the dearest treasures on earth; if we have one tender sentiment for posterity; if we would not be despised by the whole world – let us in the most open, solemn manner, and with determined fortitude, swear we will die, if we cannot live free men!

You can go about your lives, continuing to believe that the only problems with our government are the fault of the ‘other’ political party, while not willing to accept that both parties are equally to blame, or you can pull your head out of the sand and start thinking for yourself.

Like I said, I could care less if you keep believing in a lie and supporting every single law which further erodes your rights, but your ignorance is costing me my rights as well, and that is where I draw the line and get mad. And people wonder why I’m so grumpy all the time.

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Stew On This For Awhile

“The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America . Blaming the prince of fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their President.”

The quote above was originally circulated on the internet as having originated in a Czech newspaper. This has proven to be untrue, no one knows where it came from or who said it.

Does that matter?

You could have said it, I could have said it, hell, the guy who drives the truck who picks up your garbage could have said it. I’T DOESN’T MATTER WHO SAID IT! The important thing is that it is true.

French diplomat Joseph de Maistre once wrote that in a democracy the people get the government they deserve. That is so true. In a country where the people are allowed to vote for their leaders the government they get is simply a reflection of the attitudes and desires of a majority of the people.

Years ago, when our country was first getting established, a group of very wise and knowledgeable men were responsible for establishing they system of government we now live under. They did not always see eye to eye on things, but they worked together and compromised to create our nation’s Constitution.

The resulting document was a careful balance of powers with a legislative branch which provided the people, (via the House of Representatives), and the States, (via the Senate) a say in which laws would be passed. It established an executive to see that the laws were faithfully executed, and a judiciary to settle all disputes under this Constitution.

The Constitution is a law which we all must obey. This has been upheld by the Supreme Court numerous times, but the earliest ruling by the Court on the matter came in Ex Parte Milligan in 1866 where the court ruled, “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 men 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.”

What do you think would happen if there were no laws whatsoever in this country? Why there would be anarchy and chaos. People could rob, rape, and kill you without any fear of punishment.

The very first governments were simply tribal councils or elders who settled disputes among the people. But in forming a government that would govern over 13 States whose people held differing beliefs, economies, and ideologies, it was crucial that those creating said government put down in writing the purpose, the structure, and the limitations upon said government.

That is how our Constitution came into existence. Constitution is merely a derivative of the word constitute, which means, “to make up or form something; to establish or create.” The people of this country created the government which governs them. That is clearly stated in the Preamble to the Constitution, which is merely a declarative statement of purpose, nothing more. The Preamble grants no powers, it merely states intent.

Therefore, the Preamble to our Constitution states, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Included in the Constitution was a Bill of Rights, a set of provisions which restricted government from enacting any laws which violated the rights defined within the first ten amendments to the Constitution.

If you recall from a moment ago I asked what would happen if there were no laws? Well what do you think would happen if everyone simply ignored the law? Again, anarchy and chaos would reign…there would be no justice.

Such is the state in American politics today. The Supreme Law of the Land is not adhered to by the people, nor by those they elect to represent them in the government it established.

Regardless of what you have been told, America was not established as a democracy. Democracies were despised by the men who drafted our Constitution and acted as our first Chief Executives…i.e. presidents. To a man, Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison hated democracies; they realized that they were nothing more than pure mob rule and there were no safeguards for our rights and liberty under them.

As our Pledge of Allegiance clearly states, this nation is a Republic. A republic is defined as: “a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law.”

Our Founders knew that a democracy was untenable for our nation. The people were scattered too far and wide to allow them to gather together to pass and execute the law. Also they knew that with the disparity in beliefs and economies that the people would probably never be able to come to any kind of agreement on which laws should be passed and which ones rejected. Therefore they created a Republic in which elected representatives governed on our behalf. These representatives were to be accountable to the people and were bound by the constraints of the Constitution as to what they could enact laws upon. The Bill of Rights placed further restrictions upon government, ensuring that our rights would remain safe and secure.

Our very first president, in his very first Inaugural Address, stated, “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.” You see, it was an experiment, an experiment to see if men could govern themselves while at the same time preserving “…the sacred fire of liberty…”, and we have failed.

You see, for our system to work as intended there are three things that must occur. First the system must remain pure. Any modifications, or alterations to the balance of power and the system would eventually fail. That occurred with the passage of the 17th Amendment and the subsequent loss of the States say in government.

Secondly, the people must know their system of government, and by that I mean a complete understanding of the Constitution, and the reasons why it was established the way it was. That has not happened as the general public is woefully ignorant as to what the Constitution says. Go ahead, just ask anyone to tell you what any of the Articles of the Constitution concern and see if they can tell you.

And finally, for our system to endure there must be a respect for the law, or in this case, the Constitution. This is reliant upon the people first knowing what the law says, and then adhering to it. Again, this has not happened.

So what we get is the government we have today, a government that cares little for the constraints placed upon it by a 200 yr old parchment. Government today no longer represents the people of this country, nor cares about preserving their liberty.

And whose fault is this? Why ours of course. We elect these people and we are supposed to hold them accountable for upholding their oaths of office to support and defend the Constitution. This we have not done.

In his Notes on the State of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.”

So we come almost full circle to my opening quote about fools electing Barack Obama. You can flip flop back and forth between Republican candidates and Democrats as much as you like and nothing is going to change for the better until you begin comparing what ALL candidates say against what the Constitution says. That should be the true measure of a candidates worth, not how many promises they make for you.

But there is one final quote I’d like to leave you with. It is said that a man named Alexander Fraser Tytler said it, although that has been disputed. Nonetheless the quote bears consideration, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”

Well we’ve passed the 200 yr mark, and although we still exist as a country we are far from the land of the free and the home of the brave established by our Founders in 1789.

To conclude I would like to leave you with the remainder of Tytler’s quote and see if you can determine where on the timeline he writes you feel America is today. I’ll leave that determination up to you, but my own personal opinion is that we are much farther along than most of you are willing to admit.

Tytler concluded his quote by saying, “Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.”

Posted in General | 1 Comment

Let’s Talk About Tolerance

It seems that two gunmen were killed this past Sunday outside a Draw Muhammad event in Garland Texas. Apparently they pulled up and opened fire, wounding one security guard, before being killed by other security guards. Already I’ve heard comments ranging from those criticizing Islam in general to those saying that the people holding the event were damned fools and deserved to get shot at.

I don’t know specifically where in their scriptures it says that it is a sin punishable by death to draw images of Muhammad, but I do know that they have gone after individuals for doing so. Therefore the people who held this event had to be aware that it would offend someone. I suppose that is why the event was so heavily guarded.

I also can’t know the reason they held this event; whether it was to thumb their noses at Muslims living in America or if it was some other reason. But again, they had to at least be faintly aware that they were going to piss a few people off by holding this event.

If you want my honest opinion I think it was a stupid idea to hold this event. What purpose could it serve other than to stir a hornet’s nest? But then again people do stupid shit all the time, so what else is new? But here is where it gets tricky.

Like it or not this country has a little thing called the First Amendment which guarantees our freedom of speech. People are free to say whatever they want, and produce artwork that others may find offensive. It does not protect your right to not be offended. People are going to say and do things that offend you and there is nothing you can do about it other than suck it up and go on with your life.

People say we need to be more tolerant of Muslims living in America and try not to offend them. Is that so? Do they show us the same tolerance for our beliefs? Sure there are moderates who do, but then again there are moderate Christians who show tolerance for those who practice Islam as well. It is the extremists who always make the news.

People tell us that we should not hold events like the one in Garland which offends Muslims. Is that so? A friend of mine brought up a good point on Facebook. He said that if someone were to tell the LBGT crowd that they needed to be mindful of their actions so as not to offend radical Christians society would tell them to go to hell. My friend was a bit more blunt, but you get the picture.

You see tolerance works both ways. If you expect someone to tolerate what you say and do, then you need to tolerate them for their differences of opinions and beliefs. If you don’t want someone forcing their beliefs on you then you should not try to force your beliefs upon them. It’s that simple.

Yet Muslims don’t see it that way. They believe in “It’s my way or the highway”, or more realistically, “It’s our way or we kill you.” That is not tolerance, that is conquest.

I hear a lot of people say that the Muslims have every right to hate the rest of the world because of the Crusades. They say that Christians went in and slaughtered Muslims by the droves and that is why they hate the rest of the world. That is a one sided view that people use to force tolerance of their beliefs upon us and I can’t abide it.

The truth is that Islam has always been a religion of conquest. Study your history regarding the Ottoman Empire if you don’t believe me. At the height of their power the Ottomans had conquered much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus, and Africa. Once conquered the people were ruled under the context of orthodox Islamic practice…or as we know it today Sharia Law.

As long as there has been more than one religious belief system in the world people have been killing each other over their version of the truth. Neither the Christians nor the Muslims can claim to have the moral high ground in that. The Bible is full of wars where the Israelites went to war with neighboring countries to fight against the unbelievers. Is that any different from what the Muslims now believe; convert or be conquered?

Make no mistake, I’m not justifying their actions, I’m just trying to show you that there is/was a whole lot of intolerance from both sides. It seems that whenever there are conflicting beliefs regarding who is God, there will be those who are willing to go to war to forward their beliefs upon others. That is all I’m saying.

The point I’m trying to make in all this is that this is America. Like it or not we have the First Amendment which guarantees us freedom of speech. If you don’t like what someone else says, or the images they draw, then don’t look or listen. But you cannot tell them to stop, and you certainly can’t open fire upon them.

Sure, you can protest, as that is also a right protected by the First Amendment. But you can’t show up to an event you disagree with and begin blasting away at the participants. That goes equally for Christians who oppose abortion…you can protest all you want but the minute you start blowing up abortion clinics or shooting doctors who perform abortions you have crossed the line.

To those Muslims living in America I have but one thing to say to you. You need to lighten up a little bit. Whatever your reasons may have been you came to our country, we didn’t force you, or hold you in bondage. Therefore if you want to live here, then you abide by our laws and respect our freedoms. Otherwise you can pack your bags and go back to where it is you came from. And you can take your violence and your rhetoric with you. You didn’t help us build this country into what it is today, and your presence here is not needed for us to survive. So either abide by our laws and customs or take a hike.

After all, you don’t see Christians beheading Buddhists because they don’t believe in God. You don’t see gunmen showing up to art galleries that display artwork which defiles the image of Jesus do you?

That is our freedom, to do and say whatever we wish and not have to worry about coming under attack for it. We may have to verbally defend ourselves, but we are free from physical violence because of what we do and say. And this goes equally to those atheists who get all up in arms about prayer in schools. Who are we hurting if our children offer prayers in school? We are not talking to you when we pray, we are talking to our God. If you don’t believe in Him fine, don’t listen. But freedom of speech means exactly what it says, the right to say whatever we want…including prayers.

There is a saying that’s been around a long time which says something like, “I may not like what you do or say but I will defend to the death your right to do or say it.” That is tolerance in a nutshell. No one has to like what a person says or does, but they accept that everyone has their own beliefs and opinions. As my dad was so fond of saying, “Just like opinions, everyone has an asshole. And they both stink.”

Like I said, tolerance works both ways. If you want us to tolerate you then show us a little tolerance too. If you can’t do that then you don’t belong in this country and you can go back to your deserts and your oil and pound sand.

I’d prefer you take the second option, but that is entirely up to you.

Posted in General | 2 Comments

I’m Back

I know by writing this some of you are going to be shaking your heads and saying, “I knew Neal couldn’t stop writing.” If you are among those doing so you misunderstood my last article. I never meant to imply that I was never going to write again. Instead I was simply trying to say that I am sick and tired of repeating myself when it comes to explaining our Constitution and Bill of Rights. It was never my intention to do all your thinking for you. What I had hoped was that I could provide you with enough motivation to kick start your own thinking and you would continue researching the Constitution and Bill of Rights on your own. Seeing as how that wasn’t happening, for the most part anyway, I decided to stop writing about those two subjects. But I never meant to imply that I was not going to write again, it is in my blood and will be until the day I draw my last breath.

Now let’s get down to business.

I was at work last night and one of my co-workers, who knows I am into conspiracy theories and such, told me that his brother had told him that the government is compiling a database of all people who hate America. Seeing as how this happened on my first break I had the whole night to stew on this issue before I could get home and research it for myself. This is what I found…

According to what I found the government had given $1 million to the National Science Foundation to create an algorithm which could detect hate speech and misinformation on Twitter. I read three articles on the program, codenamed Truthy, and they all stated, “Truthy uses a sophisticated combination of text and data mining, social network analysis, and complex networks models,” the website adds. “To train our algorithms, we leverage crowdsourcing: we rely on users like you to flag injections of forged grass-roots activity. Therefore, click on the Truthy button when you see a suspicious meme!

Although this was not as malevolent sounding as my friend made it sound, it still caused me to lay awake until almost 5 a.m. this morning thinking about the implications. People do not realize the extent to which they are monitored and if they did they might truly be concerned. The truth is they have no privacy…the Fourth Amendment is almost entirely no applicable to them anymore. There phone conversations are all monitored and certain words or phrases are automatically triggers for computer systems in the NSA to pay closer attention to that individual. The same goes for Facebook posts, Google searches and even your purchases on Amazon or other online shopping websites.

In the movie the Dark Knight Rises there is a scene where the Catwoman, Selina Kyle, is dancing with Bruce Wayne and she tells him, “Any twelve-year old with a cell phone could find out what you did. Everything we do is collated and quantified. Everything sticks.” There is more truth to that than people realize. With this Truthy program the government has just one more tool, one more algorithm by which they can detect who may or may not pose a threat to ‘government.’

Which brings me to another movie scene. If any of you have seen the latest Captain America film, The Winter Soldier, you will recall the part when SHIELD launches those floating aircraft carriers and HYDRA has installed that computer algorithm which would detect and target anyone who is, and in the future might possibly pose a threat.

That is my concern with all this. These programs are creating these huge databases of all our activities to predict patterns of behavior for each and every one of us. By what we look at on the internet, to what we write about on Facebook and say in our phone conversations, the government is trying to put together a list of people who pose a threat to its existence.

My problem with all this is not so much those who truly hate America, (but I’ll get to that too), but those who love America but hate the direction our government is taking it. There is a quote by author H. L. Mencken that you really need to think about before I continue. Mencken once wrote, “The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than that rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.

You do not have to love your government to be considered a patriot. Our Founders loved America and the promises it provided them, but they despised the tyranny imposed upon them by their existing government; the English Crown and Parliament. The same can be said about today’s patriots who are unhappy, and very concerned, about the direction our government is taking this country. It is not that we hate America, we are just unhappy with our government.

These databases that are being created cannot distinguish between those who love America and hate the direction our government is taking us, and those who truly hate America. In fact, I don’t think the government really cares that they can’t. I think they want to know who doesn’t like them and wants to keep tabs on us because we pose the greatest threat to its plans and goals for a one world government. So they want to know who we are, and what we are talking about.

This is my big concern with programs such as Truthy, and all the data mining the NSA is doing on each of us. Just look at what our government is doing to our service men and women who return from tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan; they are labeling them as unfit to own firearms due to PTSD, or they are classifying them as potential terrorists because of their thoughts on the wars they served in. We send these young men and women off to fight for our supposed freedom, and then when they come home we target their rights and label them as enemies of the state? There is something inherently wrong when the government does that. And if you think it is not doing the same to you and I then you are a fool.

The government has become this huge monstrous bureaucracy whose only concern is for its own survival. Anyone who questions its actions, or opposes its policies is identified and tracked; being labeled a potential domestic terrorist. Now go back and read that Mencken quote and think about what I have just said. This should concern you, in fact it should scare the hell out of you!

One last comment before I move on. In 1798 President John Adams signed into law the Alien and Sedition Acts which made it a crime to publish articles with anti government sentiments. Lincoln took similar actions during the Civil War as well. But getting back to what Adams did, there were those who viewed this as a big step towards tyranny; among them Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Jefferson was serving as the Vice President under Adams at the time, and still he wrote the Kentucky Resolutions in opposition to Adams signing these laws. In his resolutions Jefferson states, “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. . . . ”

Jefferson was considered a great man, a Founding Father, Secretary of State, Ambassador to France, and President of the United States. Needless to say he was considered a patriot and loved America. Yet he spoke out against the actions of his president, and his government. Had programs such as Truthy, and the NSA data mining been in existence back in 1789 Jefferson would have been flagged as a possible domestic terrorist. Think about that.

All that being said, there are people in this country who have no business being here. When I was growing up there was a saying that I used to hear all the time, “America, love it or leave it.” You don’t hear that too often these days as it is not politically correct to say such things. But that doesn’t make it any less valid. You should not be in this country if your loyalty lies elsewhere.

In 1917, after serving as President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt wrote something entitled The Children of the Crucible, wherein he stated, “From the melting pot of life in this free land all men and woman of all nations who come hither emerge as Americans and nothing else. They must have renounced completely and without reserve all allegiance to the land from which they or their forefathers came. And it is a binding duty on every citizen of this country in every important crisis to act solidly with all his fellow Americans, having regard only to the honor and interest of America, treating every other nation purely on its conduct in that crisis, without reference to his ancestral predilections or antipathies. If he does not act, he is false to the teachings and lives of Washington and Lincoln; he is not entitled to any part or lot in our country and he should be sent out of it.”

Can you imagine a Barack Obama saying something like that? Neither can I. I’m sorry if my language offends anyone, but if you want to come to America you had better love the country for its freedom and opportunity, or get the fuck out!

America doesn’t need, or want, people who come here with their hands out looking for benefits from the moment they arrive. How many illegal aliens come into this country with a pregnant spouse, who the moment that child is born sign up for Food Stamps, Welfare, and all the other benefits that child entitles them to? I’m sorry, but that is wrong, and I can’t stomach it. I have petitioned my wife’s sister in the Philippines and have waited almost 12 years now for her to be granted a visa to come here legally. In the process of filing that petition I had to sign an affidavit which stated I would provide for her and that she would not become a burden upon society. Why should illegal aliens be any different?

Then there are the Muslims that come to this country. Now there may be moderate Muslims who come here only to live and work in the land of the free. But there are also those who come here and preach hatred against America; the Great Satan. They hate our way of life and want to see Islam expand into a global religion with Sharia Law being the fundamental law that all people adhere to…or be killed if they don’t.
We don’t need people like that in this country and they should be deported back to wherever it is they came from. Sure there is religious freedom in this country, but you are free to believe what you want…up to the point that your belief begins to interfere with my beliefs. Then your actions have violated my rights and you have broken a fundamental natural law, that of being free to worship as you please.

You people reading this have no idea the threat that Islam poses for America. You really need to do some research on what happens to apostates of Islam in countries ruled by Sharia Law. You really need to see some of the images of people who have been caught with a Bible and had their hands shredded. THAT is coming to America if we don’t take a stand against the threat that Islam poses to our way of life.
Islam is all about the religion dictating law. If something goes against their religious beliefs it is a crime. How about all you sports fans who sit back and drink beer on Sundays glued to your football games. How would you like it to have that beer taken away from you? But under Sharia Law alcohol is prohibited. Sharia Law is all about control and goes against everything our country stands for, primarily freedom of speech and of action. Under Sharia there is no freedom unless that freedom is to rob and kill infidels.

Our immigration laws have changed much over the course of our nation’s history. Sure much of it has been for the betterment of America, but some of it has been detrimental. Our Founders would never have allowed people to emigrate to America who openly hate our way of life. We need to get back to that way of thinking and put that politically correct idea of tolerance into the garbage where it belongs.

If you want to come to this country to live you had better do so because you love the freedom it provides you, not for the benefits it provides you, or for a chance to spread your anti freedom religious beliefs.

I remember back in 1984 when Lee Greenwood wrote and sang that song God Bless the USA. He came to Kwang Ju Air Base Korea while I was stationed there and sang that song for us. There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience afterwards. That is what has been lost in America today, the belief that we are free to speak our minds, even if it means opposing the actions of our government.

You know, Theodore Roosevelt also said, “To announce that there must be no criticism of the president… is morally treasonable to the American public.” That is our right, to speak out against the actions of our government, and to take an active role in demanding that it adhere to the principles it was founded upon. When our government begins monitoring our phone calls, Facebook posts, and Twitter tweets and then begins profiling us as potential threats, that freedom is all but gone.

I love this country. I have sworn an oath to support and defend the Constitution, not the government. When that government begins profiling me because I actively speak out against it then I begin to get mad. I also get mad when the people of this country sit back and let things like what I have just spoken about happen without the slightest concern.

So, in closing I’d like to take a moment to post the chorus to Mr. Greenwoods song for you all to think about. Although I’m not so sure we’re as free as we once were, the sentiments still apply.

I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.

Posted in General | 2 Comments

To An Ungrateful & Undeserving Nation

You can hardly drive anywhere these days without seeing one of those yellow stickers on someone’s vehicle with the words “Support Our Troops” written across it. As a thirteen year veteran of the United States Air Force it makes me proud to see so many people who stand behind the brave men and women in our Armed Forces who at any moment may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

That being said, I cannot help but be saddened by the fact that so many people in this country do not have the foggiest idea of what principles those brave men and women are fighting for. I would be willing to bet that if you were to stop and ask people what it was our servicemen/women are fighting for, or against, you would probably hear one of three things. Should you conduct such a survey you would most likely hear that they were fighting against terrorism or for freedom or liberty.

At the surface those answers would be correct, but should you honestly think about it does freedom and liberty still exist in America? Another question you may want to ask yourself is terrorism confined to those who wage jihad against America due to their allegiance to Islam?

I ask that question because every man and woman wearing any of the uniforms of our Armed Forces takes an oath upon entering the military. I took it, those who preceded me took it, and those who followed have taken it. The very first thing that oath states is that those new recruits will defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Every member, past and present, of the Armed Forces of the United States owes their allegiance to, not the president, not to their commanding generals, but to the Constitution of the United States. First and foremost they are to protect the Constitution against all enemies. Does that mean that they will stand guard over a piece of parchment in the National Archives in Washington D.C.? No, it means that they will defend the principles it contains within it.

The Constitution supersedes any orders given them by their commanders, the Joint Chiefs, and even the president of the United States. They may not all realize this fact, but it is fact nonetheless; their primary allegiance is to the Constitution and nothing else.

There is an organization, consisting of men and women who have all, at some point in their lives, taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution. These men and women may be active duty or former service-members or they may be officers in the law enforcement community, but they all have one thing in common, they take their oath both literally and seriously. They call themselves…Oathkeepers. They have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution, and in so doing state that, among other things, they will not obey orders to disarm the American people; they will not conduct warrantless searches of the American people, their homes, or their property, and that they will not obey orders to detain American citizens as enemy combatants.

While the Oath Keepers is an actual organization, there are probably many more Americans who feel the same as they, but due to their status in life they have not taken an oath to defend the Constitution. Although these people may never have formally taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution there is a precedent which makes that an obligation upon all citizens.

In 1771, writing under the pseudonym Candidus, Samuel Adams declared, “The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.

If you had paid attention to that quote you will notice that Mr. Adams says it is our DUTY to defend the Constitution…at all hazards. That duty, that obligation, falls upon each and every person living in this country who is either a natural born, or naturalized citizen.

Almost a quarter century earlier the very same Sam Adams wrote an essay which was published in a local paper, the Advertiser. In his article Adams states, “He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man. We must not conclude merely upon a man’s haranguing upon liberty, and using the charming sound, that he is fit to be trusted with the liberties of his country. It is not unfrequent to hear men declaim loudly upon liberty, who, if we may judge by the whole tenor of their actions, mean nothing else by it but their own liberty, — to oppress without control or the restrain of laws all who are poorer or weaker than themselves.”

Therefore, although our men and women of the Armed Forces may be those who actually carry arms in defense of our nation, and it’s Constitution, the same obligation is expected of every man, woman, and child living in America. The difference being that those in our Armed Forces are, exactly what the phrase says, ARMED, while we, although we may possess arms of our own which are protected by the Second Amendment, are expected to chose wisely those who would sit in the seats of power across the land.

How can we do that if we the people do not know what the Constitution says, what it means, and the reason our Founding Fathers constructed it the way that they did? The only way we can be responsible voters is to understand the Constitution and then compare the actions of those we vote for against that document. Unfortunately too many people compare the actions, or words, of one candidate against those of another. They compare political parties against each other, but no mention of whether anything either of them do being Constitutional is ever mentioned. George Washington once said that the Constitution was his guide which he would never abandon. That should be the motto of every American citizen, but it isn’t.

It does not take a PhD in political science to understand our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, all it takes is a willingness to sit down and read them and to think about what is said. In 1816 the Supreme Court heard the case of Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee. In their ruling the court stated, “The Constitution was written to be understood by the voters; its words and phrases were used in their normal and ordinary, as distinguished from technical meaning; where the intention is clear, there is no room for construction, and no excuse for interpolation or addition.

I’ll be honest with you, when I graduated from high school I probably knew just as much about the Constitution as most other Americans do right now…absolutely nothing. As I grew up I began to realize that something about our government wasn’t right and it caused me to want to learn the truth…no matter where that led me. That is why that scene from the first Matrix film where Morpheus offers Neo the truth holds me captive every time I see it. In that scene Morpheus tells Neo, “Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.”

That was me close to twenty years ago. So I set myself upon a journey to learn the truth. I read the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. And when I say read, I don’t mean I breezed over them. I mean I really took the time to try and understand what the Founders were trying to say. Once I did that I realized that what they had said hundreds of years ago didn’t jive with what was going on in America now. So I dug deeper, I read everything I could get my hands on that had been written by the Founding Fathers. I read the writings of Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Patrick Henry, Ben Franklin…I read them all and it gave me even more insight into what they had done, and why they did it the way that they did.

But that wasn’t enough, I still wanted more. So I read books by men who influenced our Founders, and by men who wrote about our country and its system of government after it had been established. I read Story’s Commentaries on the Constitution. I read Democracy in America by Tocqueville.

Once I did this I began questioning everything my government did. Prior to all this I was as rabid a Republican as anyone else, believing that ONLY the Democrats posed a threat to this country and that the GOP had all the answers. I found that I had been believing a lie. This revelation was so important to me that I thought I should share it with the world, or at least my fellow countrymen. You see, I realized that there is just as much a threat from domestic terrorists in this country as there is from Islamic terrorists.

Unfortunately your government would have you believe that people such as myself, who don’t agree with its policies are the terrorists when the reverse is true. Government uses force, or fear to get you to go along with its policies while I only try to get you to think, to reason, to question what is happening in America. So who sounds more like a terrorist to you?

Anyway I began writing. My first efforts were literary garbage and I’m not proud of them at all. But the more I wrote, the better I got at it. I am still not going to win a prize of any kind for my abilities but I have been told that my writings are easy to understand and enjoyable.

But I don’t write for people’s enjoyment, I write to educate them. After nearly 15 years of writing, and almost 800 articles, I have come to one conclusion; people don’t want to be educated. Over the course of those 15 years I have met some amazing people; people who have supported me, people who have published my articles and shared them with others; people who helped me with my grammar and in developing my own style; and even one who was supportive enough of me to help me produce a book containing some of my better efforts.

But the vast majority of Americans couldn’t care less what I have to say. In fact I have lost longtime friends because my views differed from theirs. When I write something and post it to my blog, and send it out to others I have no idea what happens unless I get feedback from those who read it. Sometimes that happens, and often when it does it is from one of the many people I have met over the course of my journey of self-education. Had I gotten just one reply from someone saying that anything I had written had opened their eyes and caused them to change their thinking, then what I am about to say would have been far more difficult. But that never happened. Sure I got comments like, “What you said is true”, or “How interesting”, but not once has anyone told me that something I had written had caused them to change their way of thinking, and along with it changed how they vote, or view their government.

You see, this journey I began to educate myself has not been without personal cost to me. I’m not talking about financial cost of the materials I have read because I would spend that money all over again just to learn the truth for myself. No, I am talking about the time I have sat here at this keyboard writing these articles while that time could have, should have, been spent in the company of my wife. She has paid the biggest price of my efforts to try and inform you, and I will no longer allow myself to make her pay that price if you are unwilling to learn, and apply the things I have been trying to teach you.

I am not saying I will never write again, that is a lie and even I know that. The bug is in me and I know it. But it will take something mighty irresistible for me to sit down here and share it with the rest of the world. Everything you need to know can be found in my archives on my blog, or at the Federal Observer where my good friend Jeff Bennett has shared them. If you haven’t learned by now, then you aren’t going to. However, in case you finally decide you want to educate yourself you can Google Neal’s Soapbox or The Federal Observer and find everything I have ever written.

My wife, my family, are far more important to me than an ungrateful nation which doesn’t care whether it fades into oblivion or into slavery. So I intend to devote my time to them because they will at least appreciate it. I was tempted to say that the rest of you can kiss my ass, but I won’t.

For the amazing people I have met along this journey I will not be going anywhere. I will still be here and will make my presence known from time to time. But for now I intend to spend much neglected time with my family, get back into shape, and possibly teach myself a martial art.
To the rest of you I will leave a quote from George Washington to ponder, “The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their Houses, and Farms, are to be pillaged and destroyed, and they consigned to a State of Wretchedness from which no human efforts will probably deliver them.”

The knowledge required to prevent that is out there if you will only seek it out as I once did. I have written about it as have hundreds of other authors who have tried to warn you. But for all our efforts you have paid no heed and therefore deserve what’s coming.

But what you do not deserve is one more ounce of my efforts to try and educate you.

I bid you a bitter adieu…

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You Don’t Know The First Thing About Me

Awhile back I purchased a book entitled Jefferson & Hamilton The Rivalry That Forged A Nation. I found it interesting not so much because of the views held by these two men in regards to government, but in how their lives forged the views held by both. You see each of us grows up and the things we experience shape the person we are to become later in life.

So while you may know me now and see how I speak and act you have no idea of who I really am and what life events shaped me into the person I am now. This will be the first time I have written anything of an autobiographical nature. I won’t go into my entire life, just the events that I feel influenced me the most and made me who I am now.

So if you have ever been interested in finding out what makes Neal Ross tick, here’s your chance to finally get some answers. But before I begin I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not blame any of the characters in this little drama that I call my life. Each of these people had their own life experiences which shaped them into who they are. I am only trying to show how they influenced me.

If you grew up in the period of America’s history that I did most of you came from families where the father worked and the mother stayed home to raise the kids. That has changed now with most families having both parents working, or some with a single parent raising the child. But when I was growing up my father worked and my mom stayed home and took care of the house and the kids.

It is therefore reasonable to assume that one, or both parents would have a big influence on how a child grows up…that is if they have any desire to get involved in the upbringing of their children. For me, although it was my mother whom I talked to more often than not, it was my father who played a larger role in shaping me into who I am today.

My dad was a World War II/Korean war Navy vet. He had two ships torpedoed out from under him by the Japanese during WWII and sometimes told stories about things that happened during his time in the Navy. Like most combat vets he saw things no man should be forced to see. He came back from his time in the wars as damaged goods. They didn’t have a name for it back then, but today he would have been classified as having PTSD. I didn’t understand this as a kid, so many of the things I did caused him to suffer more. For instance loud rock n roll would remind him of battles he had been in.

My father was raised in an era that would seem totally foreign to most kids today. The values that he held, and tried to instill into me are things that nobody under 30 today seem to know anything about. Things like honor, truthfulness, hard work, and patriotism were pounded into my head through little sayings he would repeat over and over again. I used to get sick of hearing them, but now years later if I could I would thank him for planting those seeds of integrity into my mind.

The life I grew up in was not one of poverty, but it was not one of abundance either. I suppose you could call it middle class. There were times of hardship when my dad lost his job and things got tight…so those lessons of frugality have left a lasting impression on me as well.

But not everything was hunky dory. My dad had his own way of doing things, and he and I butted heads…A LOT! But overall he was a good father and raised me to be honorable. Plus he taught me from an early age proper firearms safety and how to shoot.

Getting to the events that shaped me, the first came when I was in the fifth grade. One evening my brother and I were in our front yard playing. My brother is two years younger than I so he would have been in the 3rd grade. A couple of the younger neighbor kids were also playing and my brother was laying on his back and the kids would sit on his upturned feet and my brother would ‘launch’ them by pushing his legs out quickly. One kid did a belly flop onto the grass and began crying. A girl from my class lived directly across the street from us and came over and began chewing my brother out. I said shut up Linda, it was an accident. She swung around and punched me in the gut, knocking the wind out of me. It caught me totally off guard and as I stood there gasping for breath my brother ran into the house and told my dad that Neal was getting beat up by a girl in the yard. My dad came running out…WITH A GUN…and yelled, “Bitch, get off our property before I call the police.”

Being that I was in the 5th grade, and knowing how kids are, you can imagine what happened when I went to school the next day. I was taunted mercilessly about needing my dad to protect me from a girl. That reputation as a ‘pussy’ stuck with me even during high school. Guys would pick fights with me just to ‘kick the pussies ass.’ And you can imagine how difficult it was for me to find a girl who would like me when back then all they wanted were guys who had money to buy them things, or was a star athlete. I was just the wimpy pussy who came from a lower class family. So I learned how to live a life without many friends. It also caused me to distrust people from the get go because I grew up being picked on and it took a long time for me to accept that not everyone is going to start off by making fun of me for one reason or another.

The next event came when I started attending high school. Certain things from my parents past came to the surface and they experienced a rough patch in their marriage. It is of little importance to this narrative to say what those things from their past were, suffice it to say that they almost led to my parents getting divorced.

During this time frame they both drank…heavily. Add to that my mom was popping valiums and you had for some explosive arguments between them. Often they’d both have loaded guns which they would point at each other threatening to kill each other. I would often go to bed and be awakened by screaming, crying, or gunshots. One time I came home and every cop car in town was in front of our house. My father had been arrested for chasing my mom down the street with a gun.

At this point in my life things pretty much sucked for me. I was a loner with few friends, and my home life was hell. So was it any wonder I got in to drugs? I took everything I could as long as it did not involve a needle to introduce it into my body. The further it took me from reality the better. When I later enlisted in the military they gave me a form to fill out. It listed all the drugs kids take and I was supposed to put check marks next to the ones I had taken. In a moment of honesty I called the recruiter over and said, “You know, there would be fewer checkmarks if I put them next to the ones I have NOT taken.”

Drugs at least gave me the opportunity to fit in, something I so desperately wanted at that time. I may never have been fully accepted into any of the cliques at high school; I wasn’t a jock and I wasn’t a burnout, but I knew and could hang out with both groups. I always seemed to be able to get any drugs I wanted, so people from both groups came to me when they wanted them. Plus I looked so young and innocent back then that none of the faculty even suspected me of being wasted 99.9% of the time.

Drugs may have gained me some measure of popularity, but they had a definite adverse affect on my education. I went from being a pretty good student in elementary and junior high to a kid barely getting by with a C average. I just didn’t care about education, all I wanted to do was get stoned. Of all the courses I was required to take, history and civics were among those that I felt were utterly useless.

So maybe that is why I harp so much on it now, because I realize how important it is to be knowledgeable about those subjects and I am making up for my own inadequacies.

The next event to play a major role in my life was when I enlisted in the military. I did so not out of patriotism or the desire to go off and fight in a war. My reason was simple, I was out of work and the military paid and would provide steady income.

The military instilled a bit of discipline into me, but after I finished all my initial training I reverted back to my old ways of partying…HARD. When I was stationed in Spain I worked 3 days on and 3 days off. During my 3 days off I was drunk all the time and running brothels and hitting the night spots. I wrecked a car and almost died having a broken shoulder and 67 stitches in my head. My commander demanded that I attend alcohol rehab classes. I breezed through them, fooling them all, and after completing them went right back to drinking. That would be the first of 3 times I attended the Air Forces alcohol rehab classes at the behest of commanders. Each time I would know what to say and how to act to make them believe I was reformed. In all truthfulness I was an out of control alcoholic with nothing to hold me back from my eventual self destruction.

Now comes the final thing that changed/affected my life…my wife. I was stationed in Korea and went on a TDY, (temporary duty) to the Philippines. A group of us went over there for Combat Communications Combat Survival School. We would attend class during the day and hit the bars at night. Every night me and a few buddies would hit this restaurant before going out. The first night there I saw this girl, a waitress, and I felt this irresistible attraction to her. In fact I told my friend I was going to marry her. He told me I was crazy. Well I didn’t have the guts to talk to her so we’d go hit the bars and I’d get drunk. One night I came back to see her after I’d been drinking and whoring. I asked her if she wanted to marry me. She told me the same thing my friend did, that I was crazy. But we exchanged addresses nonetheless and when I got back to Korea began writing her…daily.

Two years later I was re-assigned to the Philippines, after having put in for what they call an indefinite extension. An indefinite extension is an extension of your tour of duty in one location until an opening pops up for you in a specific location you wish to go to. I had put in for an indefinite extension immediately upon getting back to Korea…listing the Philippines as where I wanted to be stationed next.

Well two years, almost to the day, after arriving in Korea I was on a plane for Clark Air Base in the Philippines. Six months after that I was married to Heidi. I have not regretted one day of our marriage. She gave me my life back. Before getting married I had no reason to live and had I not married her I would probably have drank myself to death. That is the truth. She means the world to me and I would do anything to protect her. Sure I get tired of her nagging sometimes, but nothing can diminish the love I feel for her.

Those are four of the major events that shaped me into who I am. My dad taught me ethics and values and at the same time, by his actions, forced me into becoming a loner who does not need the friendship of others to get by in life. I can associate with others, but I do not NEED to be around friends, or be in constant contact with them to survive. My dad taught me the value of hard work and honesty in my dealings with others. He also left tiny seeds of the political commentator that I have become.

People tend to judge others too quickly without first learning about the person they are judging. I try not to, but even I am guilty of that. Yet I try to judge a person based upon their character, not how they act. If they are honest, hard working, and willing to listen to differing opinions without getting all emotional I will accept them as friends…at least as someone I am willing to associate with.

On the other hand, if you are lazy, dishonest, and have a closed mind, I want nothing to do with you. I don’t need people like that in my life, they are a waste of oxygen if you ask me.

Just as I am guilty of judging others from time to time people judge me by what they see and hear. They think I am oh so smart. I’m not. I probably write at a 7th grade level and all the knowledge I have is due to my constant focus on the subject that interests me most. It is nothing but the result of hard work and study. It is not intelligence.

Also, people see me at work and think that I am trying to prove something, to make myself look good. No, my father taught me that if you are going to do a job, do it to the best of your ability. I don’t work hard to make anyone look bad…they do that well enough without my help. I work hard because I was raised that way. Little do people know the constant pain I am in. I have two broken bones in my right foot that will never heal and are now developing into arthritis. I have a ruptured epididymis in my right testicle which sometimes causes me to feel like I have been kicked in the nuts. I have a detached right bicep muscle and a torn rotator cuff. But I don’t let these things affect my job performance. I have a family to support and as long as I can work I intend to do the best that I can do.

You might think you know be because of what you see me do and the things I speak and write about. Truthfully you know nothing at all about me. There is more to me than the practical joker and the serious writer that you see every day. Hopefully this has provided you with a bit of insight into who I am and why I am the way that I am.

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