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.

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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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To Quote Pink Floyd

I’ll try to make this as short and simple as possible. America is on the brink of collapse and it is all our fault. You may look around and see a people who have a standard of living which is higher than that of many other countries, but that doesn’t mean squat.

I remember as a kid I loved reading science fiction novels. One of the more engrossing books I read, actually a trilogy of books, was Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy. I won’t bore you too much with the plot but it revolved around a guy named Hari Seldon who was a psyhohistorian, a mathematician who could interpret patterns in humans that could predict the future in probabilistic terms. In one part of his books he warns that just because the empire is fading does not mean it is still not powerful. That is how I see America today. We have seen our glory days and are in our declining years.

How did this come about? Well instead of a lengthy treatise on what I see as the downfall of America I thought I would try a different tactic. I will provide you with some simple bullet statements that show the progression of America from its founding to where it is today. Maybe then you can see the progression of how America got from point A to point B.

-Colonists land at Plymouth Rock seeking religious freedom and a chance for a new life in America.

-New colonies under charter from the King of England are established and population begins to grow dramatically in America.

-Under the protection of England wars are fought to protect British interests in America.

-England imposes taxes upon colonists to offset the cost of wars and for protecting them from hostile nations.

-Animosity between colonists and England grows as new laws, new taxes are imposed while colonists have no representation in legislative body in England to represent them.

-Colonists petition England for redress of grievances and for the most part are ignored by the King.

-Things come to a head when the British try to disarm the colonists at Lexington and Concord.

-Revolutionary War breaks out and a Declaration of Independence is drafted.

-With aid from France the war is won and independence gained.

-Articles of Confederation go into effect and establish a system of government for colonies.

-Some Founders feel Articles of Confederation are too weak to manage affairs of a nation and hold a convention to amend them. Instead an entirely new Constitution is written.

-Opposition to Constitution arises and those who support it wage campaign to convince the people that it is in the best interest of America for it to be adopted.

-Constitution is ratified and creates our system of government with limited powers and amenable to the people.

-Under this Constitution the government has: a) limited powers, b) the people have representation in the House of Representatives, c) the states have representation in the Senate, d) a Bill of Rights is included protecting certain unalienable rights.

-Fast forward 40 years and the South, particularly South Carolina fears that the government is abusing its power at the expense of the South for the benefit of the North. South Carolina attempts to ‘nullify’ federal laws. They fail.

-Two decades later the Civl War breaks out when 11 Southern States secede from the Union claiming it is their right, (as stated in the Declaration of Independence) to form a government which best serves their interests.

-The federal government, not the North, but the government declares that the South has no right to secede and takes the country to war to force the South into adhering to the Union.

-The South loses the Civil War and that is the first nail in the coffin for States Rights.

-The 17th Amendment taking State’s power in the Senate is the final nail in the coffin for State’s Rights.

-The 16th Amendment and The Federal Reserve Act are passed creating a strong central bank and giving the government the power to tax individual income.

-Under programs such as New Deal and Great New Society, social programs are established which create a class of people dependent upon government for their survival.

-As more jobs are outsourced many Americans lose their jobs and are forced to seek lower paying jobs with less job security. The middle class begins to shrink.

-At the same time the middle class is hammered with more and more taxes to provide all the services our government enacts for those in need.

-To better control the people a common enemy is needed so that government can enact laws which restrict our rights. The War on Terror is created to do just that. Whether you believe it was entirely an inside job, or simply that it was allowed to happen, we now allow all sorts of federal intrusions into our rights to keep us safe from the big bad terrorists.

-And here we are today with the government completely disregarding the limitations of power, the checks upon the various branches of government, and we sit back and do nothing. Our government is out of control and we worry about which corrupt piece of shit the Republicans or the Democrats are going to offer us as candidates for the next president. All the while we know more about the current lineup of our favorite football teams than we do our own system of government.

Were any of the Founding Fathers alive today they would be shaking their heads in disbelief at what we have allowed their creation to become. Believe it or not the government does have limits imposed upon what it can and what it cannot do. We the people were supposed to stay educated about our system of government and hold our representatives accountable for their actions. We have failed miserably.

While I despise those who sit in the halls of power in this country, I do not blame them for what is wrong in America today. It is true, the old saying that power corrupts. It was up to us to keep that corruption at bay, or at least minimal. Again, we have failed. The fault lies with us, the people.

A friend of mine at the Post Office reads all my articles. He said I need a national forum to get my ideas out to more people. I don’t think it would matter. I truly think people don’t care. They are more absorbed in their own lives that they cannot see the bigger picture going on if they would just take off the blinders and look. No, America will have to hit rock bottom before anyone will look up and wonder what the hell is going on, and by then it will be too late.

So, in getting to the reason I chose this particular title for this piece, in the double cd The Wall by Pink Floyd there is one lyric which got this whole ball of wax started. It comes towards the end of the second cd where they sing, “The evidence before the court is incontrovertible, there’s no need for the jury to retire.”

The evidence is in, the people don’t know diddly squat about their system of government. Aside from a few people I know I defy anyone to name just a few of the specific powers granted government. I defy anyone to name more than 3 of the rights protected by the Bill of Rights.

Can’t do it? Didn’t think so. The prosecution now rests its case…

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What If I Told You That You Must Own A Gun

The other day I mentioned in one of my articles that Senator Ted Cruz had made the statement that if elected he would try to repeal Obamacare. First of all I was wrong by saying that. What Senator Cruz had said was that he would sign legislation sent to him by Congress which repealed Obamacare. So the Senator was not stating that if elected he would bypass his Constitutional authority as president by unilaterally repealing a law. I just wanted to correct my misunderstanding of what the Senator stated.

See, I will admit when I’m wrong unlike many I know. But I’m not quite done yet.

You see, I overheard a couple people discussing/arguing, the constitutional legality of Obamacare. Guess my article might have got someone thinking after all. Anyhow, this one person was arguing that it is perfectly legal for the government to force someone to purchase health insurance. I didn’t want to say anything right then and there because an idea began to take shape and I wanted to see where it went before I opened my mouth without fully thinking it through.

But here is what I came up with.

So some people think that it is within the government’s authority to mandate that I purchase health insurance? Although I can find no constitutional basis for that belief let’s just for a moment pretend that they are correct in their position. I’m not saying they are, I’m just playing devil’s advocate and saying let’s for a moment imagine that what they say is true.

If we are gonna play this game let’s just say that the government does have the authority to force you to purchase something you do not want to purchase or else pay a fine, or go to jail.

Okay, I’m up for this game, but I have to warn you, you may not like how I play.

So to those of you who say that I must purchase health insurance because the government has made it law that I do so, I have something to say. How would you like it if the government passed a law saying that every male in America must purchase a gun?

I know for a fact that there are certain women I work with who wouldn’t like that law at all as they have told me, in no unclear terms, that they will not allow their husbands to buy a gun. So how would they like it if owning a gun became a requirement backed by law and enforced by fines and prison time for noncompliance?

I’m thinking they would raise holy hell, saying “You can’t force us to buy guns.” Wait a minute though, the government can require that we buy health insurance but they can’t require us to buy guns? How is that fair? You see if you take health insurance out of the picture and just work on the premise that the government can require that you purchase one thing, how is it that you won’t allow them to require you to purchase ANYTHING?

If you begin giving the government the authority to tell you what you are required to purchase who knows where this will end up? They could begin telling you what you must eat, what you must read, and what you must listen to. The moment the government begins interfering with your freewill and starts requiring that you do anything against your will you have lost your freedom.

You see, what’s at stake here is not whether or not too many people are going around uninsured and placing a burden upon the hospitals and clinics in America, it is the idea that government can force you to do anything. You don’t like the idea that government might require that all males in America purchase a gun? Well I don’t like the idea of government telling me I MUST purchase health insurance. It should be my choice as to whether I purchase it or not.

Sure I understand that our health care system has made it so that some people cannot afford health insurance, and yes, maybe something could be done by government to reign in the costs of health care so it is affordable. But to make it a law that those who may not want health insurance must buy it or else goes against everything that I believe our government was established to be.

Also, if you put aside the Supreme Court’s twisted interpretation of the taxing and commerce clause of the Constitution, I find no legal and historical background to justify Obamacare.

That is not the case however with requiring that all males own a gun.

Have you ever heard of a militia? You’ve heard me harp endlessly about the 2nd Amendment and my right to keep and bear arms. Yet for all my talk I have primarily kept my comments on only part of the Second Amendment. You see, there is another part that I have not addressed.

The Second Amendment also says, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state…shall not be infringed.” You see, the Second Amendment not only protects our right to keep and bear arms, it also protects our right to form militias. In fact within the body of the Constitution itself the militia is mentioned numerous times. Can you say the same thing about health insurance?

It wouldn’t surprise me if the only knowledge you have regarding militias are what you may hear on the news. More often than not they are painted as extremist anti-government groups who pose some sort of terrorist threat to society. That is not true.

Re-read that portion of the Second Amendment I just posted and think about it for a second. It says that militias are necessary for the security of a free state. You could very easily switch two words around and it would become much clearer. Consider the meaning had the Second Amendment instead said, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a state of freedom…”

Our Founders believed that an army of men, comprised of the people, was the best means of defense against tyranny. They loathed the idea of standing armies that could be used by government to impose its will upon the people. Bet you didn’t know that within the Constitution there is a clause which states that the longest time any appropriation of funds for an army is two years. They did so to prevent a perpetual army that could be used as enforcers of tyrannical laws against the people.

You see, Thomas Jefferson once said that, “The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that…it is their right and duty to be at all times armed…” That right there is at the crux of what a militia is, an armed populace, ready at a moment’s notice to take up arms and defend their freedom…from whomever. That is why all oaths of loyalty to the Constitution state that those taking them defend it against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.

But you say we no longer have a militia, or even the need for one. Are you sure about that, or is that what you think, or have heard? When has it even been considered that a free people must give up their right to defend their freedom and transfer that right to another body of men?

You may ask then, what is the militia? Well in a 1788 speech in Virginia George Mason both asked and answered that very question. In his speech to the Virginia Assembly Mason said, “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people.” The militia is everyone, and just because it is not active today does not mean it does not exist. It is just that it is dormant.

You see, the militia is defined by law. That’s right, the law says what is and what isn’t the militia. Title 10 of the United States Code, Section 311 states;
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia. (my emphasis)

So like it or not, if you are 17 or older, you are part of the militia of the United States. That does not mean that you are going to be called into service and sent abroad to fight our countries seemingly endless wars. No, the sole purpose of the militia is to protect America and the freedom this country stands for. That is, as Jefferson stated, your duty.

And how, may I ask, can you fight if you do not have a gun? Just for a moment play along with me here. Let’s just for the sake of argument say that the government finally reverted to all out tyranny, using the armed forces to impose unjust laws upon the citizenry. If it is the purpose of the militia to protect America from that every happening, do you think the government will provide the arms needed for the people to fight…THE GOVERNMENT? No, as Mason also said in his speech to the Virginia Assembly, “To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

No, for the most part members of the militia are supposed to provide their own arms when called into service. In fact, and I bet you didn’t know this either, in 1792 Congress passed a law entitled The Militia Act of 1792. In it was a requirement that every citizen enrolled in the militia provide themselves with a musket, a bayonet, a belt, two spare flints, a cartridge box with 24 bullets, and a knapsack. If you owned a rifle you were required to provide a powder horn, 1/4 lb of gunpowder, 20 rifle balls, (bullets), a shooting pouch, and a knapsack.

You see, militia members were required by law to be armed and ready to go at a moment’s notice. You often hear the term minutemen in regards to our country’s history. Minutemen refers to the ability of men to be ready to go off and fight at a minute’s notice.

That was the law, and even though there are few well regulated militias in existence today, the law still stands that all able bodied males over the age of 17 are part of the militia of the United States.

So, getting back to my initial point, you may believe that the government has the right to mandate that people purchase health insurance. I find no Constitutional or historical evidence to support that claim.

On the other hand I find ample evidence to support my argument that all males be required to own a gun.

My point in the little exercise is to try and get you to think. You see, you may support an idea or belief, and support the idea that government be allowed to force people to comply with laws enacted to forward your agenda. Yet you would not like it were the government to use its power to force you to comply with laws you disagree with.

I’m sorry, but that is a double standard, or as my friend calls it, intellectual dishonesty. If you truly believe that the government can require people to do one thing, then by the virtue of them having the ability to require that people do one thing, it can make them do ANYTHING.
Anyway, this is what happens when I hear a snippet of a conversation, and then have a job that does not require me to think about what I’m doing. My mind is free to let that idea tumble around inside my head until it crystallizes into a train of thought that ends up becoming another article to entertain/enrage you.

So my advice is to either remain quiet when I am within listening distance of your conversations, or be willing to open your mind to beliefs that may run contrary to yours. But please, whatever you do, don’t go off the handle when you hear someone say that they are a member of a militia. They are not a member of some radical extremist group which plans on overthrowing the government. They are more likely than not to be men who value their freedom and are willing to defend it from those that would take it from them.

If that makes them enemies of the government you may want to ask yourself who your enemy really is. Is it the militia, or is it the government itself? If you are honest with yourself you may find yourself going out and buying a gun or two without me telling you to.

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Above All Be Honest

I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an Honest Man.
George Washington to Alexander Hamilton (August 28, 1788)

People exhibit many character traits which I find offensive with laziness, apathy, and complacency being a few. However there is one trait that I put at the top of my list of those which truly offend me, that being dishonesty. When someone speaks of honesty most people immediately assume they are talking about not telling lies. Yet there is more to being honest than simply telling the truth all the time…much more.

According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary honesty is defined as fairness and straightforwardness of conduct and adherence to the facts : sincerity. I have few friends and most of the ones I do are people I have never met face to face. Most people I have met face to face have proven to be dishonest to me, and to themselves and that is simply a characteristic in people that I cannot abide. Those who I call friends have proven by their actions that they are honest in their dealings with me and with themselves.

You see, a person could live their entire life without ever telling a lie and still be considered dishonest. Have you ever made a promise that you didn’t keep, and I’ll understand and forgive serious problems that precluded you from keeping that promise. But have you ever made a promise and then just blew it off, or forgot? That is a form of dishonesty. So is telling someone you’ll meet them at a certain place and time and then never showing up, or showing up two hours late. Again I’ll forgive someone if something important came up which caused them to be late. But a repeated pattern of being late or not showing up at all indicates a level of dishonesty in their dealings with me that I simply do not need in my life.

Those are just a couple examples of dishonesty in how one person deals with another, but there is another form of dishonesty that I would like to take a bit more time discussing; that being dishonesty with self. I find this form of dishonesty to be much more prevalent among people than the aforementioned form of dishonesty.

Do you have a job? If so you may be guilty of dishonesty yourself. I know for a fact that I witness this form of dishonesty on a daily basis. When you go to work for an employer and take a job in their company there are usually certain job requirements and standards that you must meet. You are given a paycheck for performing certain tasks to a certain level of proficiency. If you do your job half-assed then you are being dishonest with your employer, you are not EARNING the pay you are getting for the job that you are expected to do.

You may not particularly care for your job, in fact you may even hate it, but as long as someone is paying you a salary to do it you should attempt to do it to the best of your ability or find another job. I cannot count the arguments I have gotten into where I work with people about this. They say, and when I say they I am almost exclusively talking about women, that they should not be required to work the same as men do.

That’s perfectly fine. I’ll accept and admit that for one reason or another some women are simply not capable of doing some of the things that men can do. But my wife is one of the tiniest people in our plant and she outworks me…by a long shot.

But let’s just say that you simply cannot do everything that I can. Then can you honestly tell yourself that you are EARNING the pay your are getting if you don’t do these things? If you can’t, or are unwilling, to do the tasks that the job requires than maybe you should move to a position within the company where you are not expected to do so. If that results in a corresponding loss of pay then so be it. But if you are in a position where you are expected to perform at a certain level, and you don’t, then you are being dishonest with your employer.

On the flip side of this if you are an employer are you being honest with your employees? Go back if you must and read that definition for honesty again before I proceed. Do you treat your employees fairly? Do you give them the pay that is deserved for the amount of work being performed? Do you create a work environment that fosters a sense of contribution and fulfillment? Or do you treat your employees as mere expendable items to be used and replaced when they have been worn out?

I love my job, I truly do. But there are times that I see others who don’t and therefore refuse to do the things this job requires. Do you want to know what happens in scenarios like this? What I have seen is that those who do like their jobs are tasked with picking up the slack of those who refuse to do their jobs up to standard. Now this could be due to the Union mentality but I also see it as a company policy of all that matters is the end result; that the end justifies the means. As long as X number of cases are packed at the end of the shift it does not seem to matter how hard they work the hard working employees, (while the lazy ones get by with not doing their job) to get their precious standard. That’s just how I see it. I could be wrong, but if I am they haven’t given me ample reason to prove otherwise.

Then there are double standards, a form of dishonesty that I truly despise with all my being. I see this all the time in people. It is okay for one person, or group to do or say something, but when someone else does the same thing there is a public outcry over it. This makes my blood boil.

I see this in politics where it is okay if YOUR political party, or office holder, does things that are morally or legally wrong, but when a person belonging to the ‘other’ party does them you get upset. I see this in regards to racism as well. How many times have we seen on the news stories where folks like Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton have cried out against atrocities committed against blacks by whites? Yet how many times have we seen these two men, and ministers of God to boot, remain silent when black youths commit atrocities against white people? I’m sorry, but right is right. Right knows no skin color, it owes no allegiance to political party, it is right and the standards it requires that we adhere to apply to all regardless of our party affiliation or nationality.

And while I’m on the subject of nationality, let’s talk for a moment about immigrants. If you are a person who has come to live in this country from another country can you honestly say that you love America, that your loyalty is to America? Or do you come here just to take advantage of the many benefits that America has to offer, yet your love and your loyalty remains with your native land?

This also offends me greatly. Theodore Roosevelt once said something about this, and this will be the only quote I use in this commentary. In his Children of the Crucible, Roosevelt wrote, “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.”

If you come to live in this country then by God you should do so because you love the freedom it provides, not because of the benefits you can obtain from it. You are a guest in our land and you should be required to observe our laws and our customs. It is not okay for you to come here and demand that we speak your language for you to get by. It is not okay that you force us to tolerate your customs or beliefs which run contrary to all that this country stands for. If you cannot abide by our laws and customs then you are being dishonest with your hosts and do not deserve to live amongst us.

And from immigrants I move on to another, even more volatile subject; religion. I don’t care what religion you belong to, if any. But if you follow a faith are you honest about it? As with doing your job, do you follow your faith to the best of your ability? Or are you one of those who say that they believe in God but throughout the week you live as if you’d never read any of the things Jesus commanded we do, then on Sunday you put on your best suit and tie and go to church. Is that the extent of your faith?

That is why I cannot abide some of the tenets of the Catholic church, especially confession. Do you think that by going into a booth and confessing your sins to a priest, then repeating a few Hail Mary’s or Our Fathers, absolves you of those sins, especially when the next time you go to confession you admit to the same things again? Did not Jesus repeatedly tell people to go and sin no more? Did not Jesus command you to “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48

Do not the Ten Commandments tell you to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy? Yet how many Christians sit in front of their televisions on Sundays watching hour after hour of football? Honestly, do you believe that God considers that keeping the Sabbath holy?

Finally, are you honest with yourself in your own beliefs, be they what they may? Are you willing to stand up for what you believe in no matter how many enemies it makes you? I have been accused of being outspoken, of being insensitive, and of being politically incorrect. If by those charges it means that I am willing to stand up for what I believe in, regardless of what happens, then I stand guilty as charged.

What I cannot abide is people who say that they believe in something, yet won’t stand up for their beliefs. I also cannot abide people who hold beliefs then demand that someone else enforce those beliefs on those who believe otherwise. Take for instance those who don’t believe it is our right to defend ourselves or our families.

Honestly, if you refuse to take measures, be those measures be buying a gun, or learning a martial art which allows you to defend yourself and your family, how can you expect someone else who has a gun, or has obtained a level of proficiency in self-defense techniques to come into your home and protect you when trouble shows up. Is that honest in your dealings with those you expect to protect you? Why should anyone be expected to risk their lives to protect you when you won’t lift a finger to protect yourself? That is the epitome of dishonesty as far as I’m concerned.

I honestly don’t mean to get your feathers in a ruffle when I say all these things. But sometimes the truth hurts. But if you would be honest with yourself you would see that I speak nothing but the truth here. That is another thing about honesty, being willing to accept the truth no matter how painful it is.

I could probably find more examples of dishonesty if I cared to think about it more. But I’m sure by now that I’ve pretty much pissed off everyone, so I will stop while I still have a chance of not being beaten to death for what I’ve already said.

But that is why I have so few friends, it is because I find it hard to find a large number of people who are truly honest in their dealings with me, and in their honesty with themselves. I don’t care what you believe in or what you stand for. I only care that you are honest about it and willing to stand for your beliefs on your own two feet without forcing your beliefs on me, or upon others. I also wish that you would remain constant in your beliefs, not saying one thing when the political or social winds blow one way, then change your position when the winds blow the other way.

And above all honesty demands that your decisions and your beliefs be based upon facts and evidence. If you are unwilling to examine both sides of an issue, no matter how painful the resulting conclusions may be, you are being dishonest with yourself.

And like I said, of all the character traits people exhibit, dishonesty is the one I hate the most.

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Apology Or Explanation-You Decide


Yesterday I took my last article, Are You Nuts, to work for people to read. Someone who doesn’t normally read my articles happened to pick up a copy and start reading. After finishing the first paragraph she put it down and said, “You know Neal, you are a very good writer, but I don’t know why you have to be so negative and so insulting.”

Was I insulting or was I simply speaking the truth? You know, sometimes the truth does hurt. That does not make the person who speaks it negative or insulting. Maybe I could have been more tactful, on that I will agree. But when I said that making voting mandatory would only ensure that there were more idiots voting I don’t think it would have made much of a difference had I used dimwit, moron, or imbecile. Honestly, it is hard to find a polite word to describe people who don’t think before they act.

Still, I stand by what I said. Our country is in such sad shape because of the people that occupy it, not because of the politicians who occupy the seats of power in our nation’s capital and the capitals of the assorted 50 states. We elect them and it is our job to ensure that they do their job in accordance with the Constitution. If they do a bad job it is because we tolerate it or because we don’t know the first thing about the Constitution and therefore have no guide by which to compare their actions against. When we keep voting for clowns from the Republican party, or clowns from the Democratic party to office, thinking that we are really changing things, then we prove that we are, in fact, idiots.
But I see that you’re not convinced yet.

It’s bad enough that most people can’t see past the superficial facade these candidates present on the campaign trails and see their true nature. It’s bad enough that we compare them against each other by the statements they make regarding the ‘issues’ without for a moment comparing what they say against the Constitution. THAT is bad enough, but it is not the only problem.

Americans also have very short memories and can’t remember what candidate so and so said once they have been in office for awhile. So they cannot see that what they actually do once they are elected is rarely what they said they would do while they were campaigning.

Take for instance the following. On January 21, 2009 the newly elected emperor Barack Obama declared that his administration is “… committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.”

Then just yesterday the White House announced that it will no longer be subjected to regulations set forth in the Freedom of Information Act, which will allow the Office of the President to reject requests for records.

I won’t go into too much detail on this, but for those of you who don’t know what the Freedom of Information Act is, it was a law passed which allowed the people to request the release of certain documents held by the government.

So now Obama is unilaterally saying that he is no longer subject to these requests and can rubber stamp them NO, essentially thumbing his nose at us and reversing his own position on transparency in government.

All I have to say about this is a quote made by Patrick Henry in the Virginia Ratification Assembly on June 9, 1788, “The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.”

So you see, Americans, for the most part, can’t remember what a candidate said two weeks ago, let alone six months…a year…two years ago. So when they see them say something today it simply does not register that they are reversing the position they held on an issue previously.

While it is a person’s prerogative to change their position after learning new facts, it is not acceptable that a sitting president make decisions that limit our access to their decisions and actions, and which actions violate the Constitution. Government should be on full display for the people, aside from certain highly classified material. But as government grows bigger, and more powerful, it has deemed to make more and more of its actions classified and off limits for public viewing.

Unfortunately I have more evidence to provide to prove that there are a lot of idiots out there.

Do you know what a double standard is? A double standard is when a set of standards or principles is applied to one group while not being applied to another. I see this all the time. At work I see in that certain people are not expected to work to the same level as others, yet they expect the same pay as those who perform the same job they do. But this is not about work, and since I picked on Democrats for my first example I’ll pick on Republicans for this example.

The other day Texas Senator Ted Cruz threw his hat into the ring as the first Republican to announce his bid for the presidency in the 2016 election. The Republicans, particularly some of them considered to be ‘Tea Party’ Republicans, (Ted Cruz being among that group), have stated that Obama is wielding almost dictatorial powers with all his Executive Orders and end runs around the legislative authority of Congress.

Well Senator Cruz has declared that should he be elected he will repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Really?

I can’t count the number of messages and e mails I got from people saying they would vote for Cruz if he just did that one small thing. Every time I read one of those messages I shook my head in sadness because these people are such hypocrites.

As much as I hate the fact that Obamacare became law, it is in fact law now. Americans may nullify it en masse by refusing to comply with it, if they so choose. But the job of any president is to ensure that our laws be faithfully executed.

So where do double standards come into play? Well many Republicans accuse Obama of not ensuring that our laws are enforced, with immigration law being one of the hot topic laws that they accuse the president of not enforcing. Yet I didn’t hear them complaining about it when George Bush was in office and he didn’t enforce them either.

And as far as Senator Cruz’s pledge to repeal Obamacare, what the hell does he think he will be elected as…emperor or king? Show me where the Constitution allows a president to just up and repeal a law. Show me, I’ll wait while you look. Yet these same Republicans jump on the chance to accuse Obama of acting unconstitutionally.

That is the double standard. Either standards apply equally to all, or they apply to no one.

Should Senator Cruz become president he would have options, but repealing a standing law is not one of them. He might reject/veto any Congressional Spending Resolution as long as it contains funding for Obamacare. But that would lead to a budget showdown and possible shutdown of the government. I’m not sure he has the cojones to stand behind his principles enough to face the public’s outrage when their government goes into shutdown.

The point is that one party, or the people who support that party, are perfectly willing to allow their party to violate laws, assume powers the Constitution does not grant them, but then the moment the ‘other’ party does it they cry foul. That is a classic example of double standards…and I see it all the time, over and over and over again.

The point I’m trying to make is, when it comes to politics, most people don’t think. They don’t care to learn the system and how it is supposed to function, so they base their voting habits upon emotion or the best sounding liar running for office.

And if you ask me, that is the perfect example of idiocy. So yeah, I stand by what I said about mandatory voting just flooding the system with more idiot voters. It’s bad enough when barely 50% of the people vote in a presidential election. As George Carlin so famously said, “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.”

I rest my case. Prove me wrong…if you can.

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Are You Nuts?

On March 18th Mr. Obama, (it still sickens my stomach to use President in the same sentence with his name), floated the idea of making voting mandatory for all citizens, saying it would change the political landscape in America. I’m sure it would. What mandatory voting WOULD do is ensure that there were more idiots voting than there are now, that’s what it would do.

I’m against this idea for many reasons, all of which I will explain.

First of all, unless it were a constitutional amendment which required that voting be mandatory I would not even consider supporting the idea. The government cannot make participating in an event mandatory, no matter how beneficial it may be to the overall health of the union. They could no more make voting mandatory than they could make watching the Super Bowl mandatory. Making participating in anything mandatory destroys freewill, and yes this includes making having health insurance mandatory.

The concept of freewill demands that you be given a choice to either do, or not do something. But at the same time it demands that you accept the responsibility for your choices. If you choose not to do something and your choice causes problems for you then you cannot demand that others shoulder the burden of your bad choices. That is what freewill, hell, that is what liberty is all about. So making voting mandatory goes against all that I believe in from that point alone.

Most people in this country consider FDR, or Franklin Delano Roosevelt to be one of our better presidents. I’m not among those who do, but still, many people do think of him that way. Very few think about his wife, Eleanor. She once made a comment that holds true to this very day, “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.”

I believe that quote is at the very center of why so many people want government to do so many things for them…make them mandatory. People fear the responsibility of having to live on their own without a safety net of some sort in case they fail, or make bad choices. People fear that responsibility. I’ve heard it myself in regards to some people’s excuses for not owning guns, especially among women.

I can’t count the times that I’ve heard some women say that they won’t allow a gun in their house. They tell me that they fear their husband shooting them and that they will leave their protection in the hands of law enforcement…or God. I have a few choice things to say about this. First, if you fear your husband with a gun maybe you ought to stop nagging him so much, or stop being such a bitch. Yes, you heard me.

Don’t give your husband a reason to get tired of you in the first place. Secondly, if you truly fear the thought of your husband having a gun to protect YOU and the rest of your family, maybe you married the wrong guy in the first place. And finally, many of these women I have heard who say that they will rely on God to protect them also vote Democratic. Do you honestly believe that God is going to protect you when you vote for candidates who support concepts that go against His will? Do you think God likes it that you vote for candidates who support abortion and gay rights? Just saying you ought to rethink your position if you want God to watch over you.

Although I may not agree with your stance, it is your right to make that choice. But the moment you decide that your viewpoint on an issue is the ONLY viewpoint and demand that it apply to the rest of America you have crossed the line. Locke considered the right of self-defense to be the first natural right of man. For you to demand of your elected representative that this right be taken from those who choose to exercise it goes against all that freewill and liberty stand for…and I will not abide it!

But I stray from the subject at hand.

The idea of making voting mandatory for all is bad enough when you consider that it takes away freewill, but when you add to the mix the number of constitutionally uneducated people in this country it is bad news.

Now when I say what I’m about to say it may seem like I’m making this more about guns than I am voting, but I’m not. I’m simply using this as an example. People say that there should be stricter laws passed for who can and cannot own guns. Already, at least in California, you must take a firearms safety test, at a cost of $35, before you can purchase a handgun. Then, if you want to carry that gun in public, concealed of course, you must again pay a fee, prove that you are proficient in the safe handling and firing of that weapon, and then you may be granted a permit…which has to be renewed every so many years.

Should not the same requirement apply to voting? Should you not be required to prove that you understand the Constitution and the Bill of Rights prior to your being allowed to vote? After all, my right to keep and bear arms is protected by the Bill of Rights, your right to vote is not. Maybe you ought to learn a little bit about the history of suffrage in the United States before you open your big mouths in response to what I just said.

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights do not protect your right to vote. The only mention of voting is found in the Constitution itself in discussing how members of the Legislature and the Executive shall be elected. It makes no mention of who should be allowed to vote.

Did you know that at the time the Constitution was ratified that only white males could vote, and then only if they were property owners or had some form of taxable income. Although you may disagree, I find that there was some wisdom in that. If you owned property, or had some form of income that was taxable, you tended to be more educated and therefore more cognizant of what the Constitution said and the limits it imposed on government.

If you understood history, especially the period in which our nation gained its independence and wrote its Constitution you would know that our Founders did not want a democracy, which they considered mob rule. In some ways it was almost an aristocracy in which only the higher ups, the better educated, were allowed to choose who would represent the people in government.

Then they ratified the 15th, the 19th, the 24th and the 26th Amendments which, collectively, gave the right to vote to everyone over the age of 18. As with any right it is your choice as to whether you exercise it or not. If you say making voting mandatory is a good thing, what if they suddenly say going to church becomes mandatory…even if you are an atheist? If you do not believe in God you should not be forced to attend church services. If you no longer believe the political system functions properly you should not be required to vote. You should not be required to vote either if you are simply apathetic and don’t care one way or the other who is elected.

In fact I would rather that the uneducated not vote. It’s bad enough already with so many still believing in the two party system and those who vote yet know nothing at all about the Constitution. Flooding the system with more ignoramuses would just make things worse. America is in sad enough shape now because of the ignorance, apathy and complacency of those who do vote. If we were truly a people who valued liberty and freewill we would vote resoundingly for candidates who stood for the same principles we did. We WOULD NOT fall for this lesser of two evils bullshit or say that a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for __________.

No, we vote for the candidate who promises us more of what we want than the other candidates do. I would much rather vote for candidates who would lessen governmental regulation and interference in my life, not more of it. But that’s just me…and a few others.

We are not a democracy where the majority gets what it wants. We are a Constitutional Republic where the rule of law is above the will of the majority. Unfortunately the only thing separating the two is the people. If the people adhere to the law, then the law reigns supreme. The moment we abandon the law for our will we become a democracy.

And let me tell you what happens in democracies. Alexander Fraser Tytler once said, “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.”

In 1814, after serving as President, John Adams wrote a letter to an associate named John Taylor where he said, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty.”

That is the path that America is on now, a path fueled by an uneducated and apathetic populace. And you would agree with a president who wants to accelerate our progress on that path by adding more uneducated and apathetic voters?

Are you nuts?!? America might just as well put a gun to its head if that happens.

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Oh America, What Has Become Of You?


Imagine that you have a favorite band and that band is known because of the talents of one individual…say a singer or a guitarist. Then that person dies, or leaves the band but the band continues on using the same name. Pink Floyd is a perfect example as, to me at least, Pink Floyd is not Pink Floyd without Roger Waters.

The reason I ask this is because while we may still call ourselves America, or the United States of America, we are not really America anymore. America is not just some geographic location on a map that someone slapped a name to, it is a place where certain ideals and beliefs existed and those ideals and beliefs have long ago died, leaving an empty husk of what once was a great nation.

Whether you want to believe it or not America was founded by great men with great ideals and this country was given birth with a perfection of principles that had they been adhered to America would still be a great, powerful, and respected nation. But as we have abandoned those principles we have lost our status and stature in the world and now America is a pale shadow of what it once was.

I have made similar statements before and invariably someone throws slavery or our treatment of the Native American Indians right back at me as a repudiation of my claim that America was founded upon great principles. These people ask me how I can say that America was founded upon great principles when the Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal, yet slaves and Indians weren’t allowed the same rights as white men. Sure, America has some dark stains on its ledger but it wasn’t the principles that were flawed, it was our interpretation of them. To put it in simple terms, slaves and Indians were not considered as being men. Slaves were property and Indians were savages and therefore not accorded the same rights as white men were. Not saying that was right, but it is not the fault of the principles, it was the fault of men who interpreted them.

All the problems that this country faces boil down to one simple thing, a lack of values among the people in this country. It has nothing to do with whether we have a bunch of liberals running things, or a bunch of conservatives running things, it is a lack of values, or a code of conduct if you will, among the general population. That is what is wrong in America today.

Allow me to give you a few examples of what I’m talking about.

Language

The means by which people interact is through language. If you want to ask for something, or explain an idea or concept, you normally do so with words. Regardless of the fact that our government has yet to proclaim English as the official language of the United States, it is still the language that is used to do business in this country. It’s nearly impossible to go anywhere in this country these days and not hear four or five languages being spoken in public places.

I have no problem with people who wish to communicate with others of their nationality in their native tongue, but if you want to communicate with me then do so in English. Why is it that we should be required to bend over backwards to provide translators or provide official government documents to people in their native tongue? Believe me, as one who has traveled a pretty good portion of the world, not many other countries, aside from tourist hot spots, provide these services to foreigners.

Former president Theodore Roosevelt once said “Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.” That is as it should be. If you want to live among Americans you should be required to become proficient in the language they speak or leave. Yet there are people in this country who can barely speak ten words of English. You talk to them and you may as well be talking to a cow for all that they understand you. A country cannot thrive when the people are wandering around like it were the Tower of Babel.

Self-Reliance

America did not become the thriving industrial giant it was because people sat around collecting welfare and food stamps. Much has changed in this country since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth and had to forge their own path to survival. Now, unless you own your own business, we rely heavily upon others to provide jobs for the vast majority of people. Corporate greed, economic downturns, Union interference in the workplace all contribute to job security and there are times when people find themselves out of work and may need a safety net to provide for their needs until they get back on their feet again.

But when I was growing up taking government handouts was frowned upon; it was considered shameful if a man did not have a job that provided all that his family needed. These handouts were a last resort when families became desperate. Now I see entire generations living on handouts, taking their place at the public teat and sucking away our countries vitality. This shift has taken place so much that they are no longer called handouts, they are called entitlements as if they are something you have earned, and not something that someone else has to pay for without you having earned them.

Oh but ask that those receiving these handouts submit to a drug test to be eligible for them and you are violating their civil rights! How so when I have to submit to drug testing to earn the money that is taxed to provide you with these handouts?

America will not thrive when a large portion of the population are too lazy to work, or when they do work they do a half-assed job; just enough to get by without being fired. The America that became the leader of the world in production was fueled by hard working Americans who took great pride in doing their jobs to the very best of their ability, not just people lounging around doing the bare minimum and complaining when they are expected to break a sweat.

Morality

This, above all others, is where America has truly dropped the ball.

I honestly don’t care whether you believe in God or if you don’t. The important point is that the men who created this country did. George Washington declared “I am sure that never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a Divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our Revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them.”

Thomas Jefferson declared, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men 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 forever.”

A country which has forsaken the laws of God, of virtue and morality, is doomed to fail as God is just and will not shower His blessings upon a people who disobey His laws. You may not believe this, but I do and until the day we all die neither side can claim proof positive that their view on the matter was correct. I only know that I have faith in the things I believe in and these are my opinions based on that faith. You may chose to believe otherwise but I see all our countries problems as stemming from a lack of virtue, and yes, of morality, in America.

While there are those who do not believe in God in this country, and while there are those who practice other faiths as well, the majority of people in this country still proclaim some form of Christianity as their religion. So like it or not America is still basically a Christian nation.

How is it then that we have allowed any mention of God to be removed from almost all public discussion? How is it that all life is not considered sacred and therefore any God-fearing American would be repulsed to support any political candidate who stood for abortion which is the taking of an unborn life? How is it that we are being told that we must tolerate lifestyles that God has told us are sinful?

On top of all this there is rampant promiscuity, and broken families which produce children who grow up lacking a good moral and stable upbringing. In 1778 John Adams wrote the following entry into his diary, “The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families…. How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers?”

Finally, how is it that we expect to survive and thrive as a nation when the truth and honesty is not cherished? When we are afraid to confront lies and call them for what they are; when we tolerate lying as normal behavior; when we refuse to tell the truth, no matter how painful it may be to hear, we cannot thrive as a nation. Deceit and dishonesty are cancers that eat away at a people until no one can be trusted to do or say what is the right thing.

Conclusion

Being an American means more than a piece of paper which states you were born, or naturalized, as a citizen of the United States. It is a sacred obligation upon us all to uphold the principles enshrined in our Founding Documents and taught in Scripture.

Life is not supposed to be easy, a bed of roses that we may lie down upon. Life is work. Learning the truth takes work. Standing up for what you believe in, hell even having some code of morals or ethics takes work.

But just as the Scriptures say, those who stay true till the end will be rewarded. Had Americans continued to stand for the principles their country was founded upon it would not be in the sad state of affairs it is now.

I cannot force anyone into believing the things I have just said. Yet it would seem pretty obvious that the further we strayed from those principles the worse things got in America. That alone should cause one to question their own beliefs and code of conduct.

America could be healed, could return to its former status as a country which was respected and thrived. To do so we must repent and change of our wicked and slothful ways. As it says in 2 Chronicles, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways’ then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

This is not something we can do by voting for this candidate or that candidate, supporting this political movement or that political movement. It must be an individual choice, taken by each person in this country, to change themselves and begin living according to certain principles which George Washington so clearly referenced.

Americans may think of themselves as proud and vain, but without those principles, without the help of God, this country will fall, just as others before it have fallen. The choice as to whether that happens sooner or later depends entirely upon the people that inhabit it.

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Don’t Take This The Wrong Way

“Given enough time, many scientists believe that humanity would eventually degenerate into a bunch of gibbering idiots incapable of rational thought.”
Michael Snyder-It’s Official: Americans R Stupid

Last night before going to bed I read the article that quote came from. The author claims that scientists at Harvard University have proven that for generations our genes have been mutating, accumulating errors that are causing human beings to become more flawed, and in particular, more stupid. The author does not state that this is a unique American phenomenon, rather it is a worldwide problem. However Mr. Snyder does go on to provide evidence that across the board Americans fall way behind the majority of the world in the education our children are receiving.

I hate having to use the word stupid when describing people because it is insulting and they find it offensive, but sometimes the truth hurts. When we come into this world our brains are pretty much empty slates; aside from the basic functions the keep our hearts beating, our lungs breathing, and our muscles moving, we are born with no knowledge. In some ways we are born much like a computer that comes with a basic operating system and no other programming. Everything we learn has to be programmed into us.

Therefore the adult human mind is the accumulation of the information and critical thinking skills that have been programmed into it since birth. I remember back in the 70′s the United Negro College Fund used to run these ads with the slogan, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” I couldn’t agree more, but unfortunately I see a lot of wasted minds out there.

As you all well know I have been quite critical of my fellow countrymen and their lack of desire to learn about their own countries history and its system of government. I really didn’t think anyone was paying attention to what I was saying. But then yesterday I got an e mail from my publisher with some comments written by another author of political commentaries. In his comments he said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “I’m beginning to agree with Neal Ross in that there are very few people in this country who are capable of thinking beyond football scores.”
All the time at work I hear people tell me that I’m so very smart. BULLSHIT! I have a mind just like everyone else does. It’s what I chose to put in it that sets me apart from them. It’s a matter of priorities in that I chose to read, to study, to THINK, instead of gluing myself to a TV screen, a video game, or an iPhone.

If knowledge is not high on your list of priorities than the end result is that you will go around being an ignoramus. I’m not that smart, at least no smarter than anyone else I know. The difference is that I chose to apply myself until I believe I have a firm understanding of the material I am studying. Hell, I barely made it through high school, passing with a C average. If I were smart I would have passed with straight A’s.

There are two quotes I’d like for you to ponder. The first is from a man I despise, Alexander Hamilton. Yet even people I hate can get things right once in awhile. Hamilton once said, “Men give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have is this. When I have a subject in mind. I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. My mind becomes pervaded with it… the effort which I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.”

The second comes from the Frye Chronicles, written by English actor Stephen Frye, “There are young men and women up and down the land who happily (or unhappily) tell anyone who will listen that they don’t have an academic turn of mind, or that they aren’t lucky enough to have been blessed with a good memory, and yet can recite hundreds of pop lyrics and reel off any amount of information about footballers. Why? Because they are interested in those things. They are curious. If you are hungry for food, you are prepared to hunt high and low for it. If you are hungry for information it is the same. Information is all around us, now more than ever before in human history. You barely have to stir or incommode yourself to find things out. The only reason people do not know much is because they do not care to know. They are incurious. Incuriosity is the oddest and most foolish failing there is.”

The ability to think is not something you are born with. You may disagree, but I stand by my words. People are born capable of thinking, but the actual process is something that has to be learned. Learning comes about through two processes; either you are taught something by someone else, or some personal experience has taught you a lesson. Take for instance fire. If you didn’t know what it was you may put your hand into it to try and touch it. When you burned your hand you would learn a lesson; fire is hot. That is the way life teaches us things.

Life provides us plenty of opportunities to learn, especially from our mistakes. But if someone goes around covering for you every time you make a mistake you will never learn not to make them. That is why I disagree so much with social programs. Aside from the illegal theft of money from one group to subsidize another, it breeds a dependency upon these programs and people do not learn from their mistakes, they just go on being parasites living off the handouts of others. But I’m getting sidetracked here, so let’s move on.

Then there is the other way where other people teach us things. We can learn from others in two ways; we can go to school and have teachers instill knowledge into us or we can read books on subjects we are interested in to learn for ourselves.

Unless parents take the time to teach their children at home, the schools are responsible for teaching our children things. They start with the basics of the alphabet and numbers and work up from there to more complicated processes. Our son could read Dr. Seuss books and count to a million by the time he started kindergarten because we taught him the alphabet and numbers with flash cards from the time he could sit up straight on his own. Yet most parents either don’t have the time to do that or don’t care enough to provide their children with a good head start.

So the school systems are where most children get their knowledge from. But parenting also plays a big role in this process too. If a child goes to school for from 6 to 8 hours a day then when they get home the parents leave them alone to watch TV or play video games you will run into problems. You see, human beings are fundamentally lazy. Aside from a few who make conscious choices to exert their minds or bodies, most people will take the easy path through life. That is why we have so many obese people and so many stupid people in this country. It takes effort; a conscious monitoring of what foods you eat and getting enough exercise to maintain a healthy weight. It also takes effort to become informed or knowledgeable.

Like I said, most people take the easy path.

When I was growing up we didn’t have all these convenient toys that kids grow up with today. There was one TV in our home; it was black and white and our parents decided what shows to watch. We didn’t have video games or cell phones either. Hell, Pong, the very first video game didn’t come out until I was already in high school. So growing up I either was in school, outside playing, or reading a book. Maybe that is why people of my generation, and those older than me, value knowledge more than our younger American friends.

Regardless, the school systems are the primary place kids today get their information. I have watched, at first unknowingly, but watched nonetheless as our schools have gone from teaching our kids how to think to becoming programming centers designed to fill their minds with lies and a blind obedience to authority.

This is all by design if you want my honest opinon. George Carlin stated it pretty well in his sketch called the American Dream, and I’m sorry if his language offends you, “…they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that . . . that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fuckin’ years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers . . . Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork.”

That is exactly what our schools are producing, mindless drones who have the basic knowledge to run the machinery that keeps America ticking, but who are unable to think for themselves and realize how badly their government is screwing them over.

When I went to school they taught U.S. history and civics and even though it may have been revised somewhat from the truth, it was still taught. Today it is not taught, at least not to any extent where we can say our kids are learning about their country or their system of government. Add to that the fact that many kids today are graduating with a 5th grade understanding of the English language and we are in sad shape in this country.

We think we are so damned smart, that we can select good honorable men to run our government, yet we can’t tell you the first thing about how it is supposed to run. Does the obvious problem with that scenario even register with you?

Whenever one discusses politics with another it would be hoped that both have a decent understanding of the subject before engaging in debate. However that is not often the case in America today. Often one side may be informed while the other side is totally ignorant regarding the subject matter. They argue based on emotional beliefs, not facts. It is hard to win an argument with someone when facts do not even register with the person you are arguing with. It’s like that quote by Isaac Asimov where he says, “My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

It’s kind of like an experience I had when I was in the Air Force. I was assigned to Inoges Radio Relay Link in Spain. When I arrived in Spain I thought my high school Spanish would be enough to get me by. The first time I said hello to someone in Spanish they began chattering away at me at 500 miles per hour. I realized right then and there that I could not speak Spanish. So I locked myself in my room for a few months with a phrase book and a dictionary until I felt I could attempt to communicate with the locals. The first thing I taught myself to say was, (and this would have been in Spanish), “Please, could you speak slower, I am still learning to speak Spanish.” Once they realized I was trying they would slow down and help me out. But had I just went around thinking I knew it all I would never have learned to communicate with anyone over there.

The same thing goes with political discussions. If you don’t know the subject you can’t have an intelligent discussion. The person with more knowledge than you will not accept your emotionally based bullshit and you will not accept the facts. No one can win an argument like that.
Ignorance, or stupidity if you will, is a conscious choice. You may not have been given the information you should have while attending school, and that is not your fault. Yet the fact that you remain ignorant is your fault. Knowledge, the truth, it’s out there but you have to want to go out and find it.

But like I said, it is human nature to be lazy. So I can almost guarantee that upwards of 90% of the people reading this won’t take the time to become better educated and informed as to what is really going on in America, not what the Nightly News is telling you.

So while ignorance may be a lack of facts while stupidity is the inability to think, it is my belief that most Americans are stupid. For if they could think they would realize that knowing what is going on around them is more important than sporting events, stupid YouTube videos, or Facebook.

Like I said in the title, don’t take this the wrong way. I’m afraid most American have let their brains go to waste by filling it with garbage instead of knowledge. But you can change that, there is a cure. It’s up to you to heal yourselves though.

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