You Would Do Well To Understand This

I’m continually amazed at how so many people in this country are willing to go along with an ever increasing number of gun control laws which can only lead to the complete loss of our right to keep and bear arms. How I wish that people had an internal switch that they could flip to turn off their emotions and examine the facts without them getting in the way. But unfortunately, Samuel Adams was correct when he said that “Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason.” Regrettably any argument based on logic is doomed to failure when it is arguing against irrational emotions and the people’s overwhelming desire for the government protect them.

Does that mean I should simply stop trying to force people to think? That is not in my nature.

I know most people hate when I recite history…I can understand that because as a youth I hated history as much as they do. But I have come to realize that history provides us with a reference by which we can observe patterns that are taking place in a country. As the philosopher George Santayana so famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” And right now, at this very moment, the past is repeating itself.

In the period leading up to the American Revolution Boston was the center of attention for the British authorities. It was Boston patriots who dumped the tea in the harbor, and it was Boston patriots who harassed British tax collectors. So it was logical for the Brits to send troops to Boston to try and settle things down.

As tensions grew between the Bostonians and the Redcoats that had been sent to restore the peace, an effort was made on the part of the British to confiscate their arms. Arms were smuggled in and out of Boston and the Redcoats found it difficult, at best, to do so. When they found that they could not eliminate the guns, they went after the next best thing, the ammunition.

At the time although America could produce its own gunpowder, it was of poor quality and therefore the colonies relied heavily upon imported gunpowder for use in their firearms. To a lesser extent they also relied upon imports for the lead to make the balls, [the projectiles which were fired from their weapons.] So instead of trying to control the flow of guns in and out of Boston the Redcoats focused their attention upon the ammo, figuring if they couldn’t get the guns, they could dry the ammo supplies up and render the guns themselves useless. It was when the Redcoats marched upon Lexington and Concord to confiscate the ammo stored there that the ‘shot heard round the world’ was fired and the war began.

So how is history repeating itself?

Going back as long as I can remember the government has banned certain guns when it was believed that those guns were commonly used in the commission of crimes. Think back to the roaring 20′s in Chicago and the government’s ban of Tommy Guns. Then there was the push to ban Saturday Night Specials; inexpensive pistols that are easily concealed. The current push is for a complete ban on what the government has classified as assault weapons. These are not fully automatic rifles like those used by action stars in the movies, as those are already strictly banned and regulated by the government. No, these are semi automatic weapons that are not capable of firing numerous rounds with a single pull of the trigger. According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, an assault rifle is defined as “any of various automatic or semiautomatic rifles with large capacity magazines designed for military use.”

Anyone who has served in the military and had to qualify on the firing range can tell you that the weapons used by the military in combat have a selector switch that goes from safe to single shot, to 3 round burst, to full automatic. Those weapons are not available for purchase by civilians. The only type weapon we can purchase is a semi automatic, which means that you must squeeze the trigger for each bullet you wish to fire. The government’s reasoning is that due to the fact that many of these weapons are capable of holding magazines that carry multiple rounds they are more deadly than single shot rifles, or six shot revolvers.

Many laws have been enacted both at the federal level, and various state levels banning certain types of weapons, and the capacity of the magazines they use. Yet it is the federal government, the BATF in particular, which is the agency which enforces most of the gun laws of the country. For years there has been a push to ban all so-called assault rifles, especially in the months following a public shooting where there have been multiple casualties. So far they have been ineffective in banning these weapons as the outcry from gun owners has proven to Congress that any measure banning them might result in their being voted out of office the next time they come up for re-election. If there is one thing these people want, it is to stay in office. So when the public outcry is sufficient against a measure they will listen…sometimes.

This does not mean that they are giving up on their desire to prevent us from having these type weapons, they have simply switched tactics. Learning from history the government has decided that if it can’t get the guns, go after the ammunition these guns use.

So the BATF has announced plans to reclassify M855 ammo as being armor piercing, making it illegal to own. M855 ammo is a more commonly used ammo for those who own AR-15′s, one of the weapons the government has been trying to ban all these years. In doing so the government has shifted from trying to get the guns to drying up the supply of ammo. The Obama administration has already banned the importation of certain ammo from both China and Russia, now they are reclassifying the ammo already here, making it a crime to own it. They are using the same tactics used by the Redcoats in that they cannot control the guns, so they are controlling the ammunition. It is an end run designed to deprive us of our right of self defense. And that is the purpose for which the Second Amendment was written, but not in the way you would traditionally think.

Who do the BATF think they are? Do they believe they have the authority to say what type guns and ammo we can possess? Maybe we ought to examine the history of this agency and see what purpose it was originally created for.

The history of the BATF goes back all the way to Revolutionary America when after the war the government needed to repay its war debt, so Congress imposed a small tax upon imported spirits. The first incarnation of the BATF was as a tax collector for this revenue.

During the Prohibition year they were part of the Justice Department who went after the producers of moonshine. After prohibition was repealed they were moved to the Dept of Internal Revenue where it was known as the Alcohol Tax Unit. In 1968 when Congress passed the Gun Control Act, they became the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Division of the IRS. When Congress passed the Homeland Security Act the agency was moved again to the Justice Department where it remains to this day.

For the longest time the purpose of the BATF was to collect revenue upon taxed items for the government. As the website Allgov states, “The oldest tax-collecting Treasury agency, the ATF traces its roots back nearly 200 years…” The initial purpose then was as a revenue collecting agency for the government, to collect fees for the licensing and sales of alcohol, tobacco and firearms. Not it has become a quasi military unit which believes its job is to enforce an ever increasing number of laws which restrict our right to own the firearm of our choice.
There are so many laws on the books regarding guns that soon it will become impossible for someone to even own a gun without being guilty of violating one of them. When that happens it will be the day that what James Madison said in Federalist 62 becomes reality, “It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what is will be tomorrow.”

I know it is hard to get past some people’s emotional blockade regarding rights, but it is essential that I try. Rights are not subject to votes, to public opinion, or political expediency. They are unalienable, that is they cannot be touched…at all!

In the case of Bell v Hood the court ruled that “History is clear that the first ten amendments to the Constitution were adopted to secure certain common law rights of the people, against invasion by the Federal Government.”

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

The fact is that most Americans have no idea what the Second Amendment is all about. If you use hunting, self-defense, target shooting, and the Second Amendment in the same sentence there is a good chance you are one of those people. It may also be true that there are many in government who don’t understand the reason the Second Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights. Then again they may understand it fully, and that is why they want to deprive us of that right.

On June 6, 2000 Senator Larry Craig, (R-Idaho), stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate and said, “Of course, we know that our Founding Fathers in their effort to ratify the Constitution could not convince the citizens to accept it until the Bill of Rights was established to assure the citizenry that we were protecting the citizens from Government instead of government from the citizens.” You see there is a word there that people just glance over without really giving it much thought. That word being government. When Senator Craig says that the Founders were assuring people that they were being protected from government most people assume he means the people in Congress and the President. Not so. Government is an all inclusive word that includes all those who enforce the laws enacted by our lawmakers…to include agencies such as the BATF, and yes, police officers as well.

When you have a right to do something, and your government passes a law saying it is no longer legal to exercise that right, it is clear that the government has overstepped its authority. The Sixteenth American Jurisprudence is a legal encyclopedia which defines legal terms and legal principles. In the Second Edition they state, “The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law, and no courts are bound to enforce it.”

Yet when government passes a law which deprives us of a Constitutionally protected right, they have multiple agencies at their disposal to enforce these laws. One must therefore ask, who is the worst offender here, the government agency which passes unconstitutional laws, or the agencies which enforce them? I believe that when Senator Craig said the Second Amendment was written to protect us from government he meant it was those who enforce the law as well.

You see, in that same speech Senator Craig would also say, “In fact, the Second Amendment does not merely protect sport shooting and hunting, though it certainly does that. Nor does the second amendment exist to protect the government’s right to bear arms. The framers of our Constitution wrote the Second Amendment with a greater purpose.

They made the Second Amendment the law of the land because it has something very particular to say about the rights of every man and every woman, and about the relationship of every man and every woman to his or her Government. That is: The first right of every human being, the right of self-defense.”

Right there is the crux of the Second Amendment, our right to defend ourselves. People assume that self-defense means the right to defend ourselves from criminals who may do us harm. That is only partially true. My father used to always ask me if I knew what happens when you assume something. He would then write out the word assume as follows; ass/u/me and then say that when you assume something you make an ass out of you and me.

The BATF is using the claim that this M855 ammunition can penetrate the armor of those who enforce the laws upon the people. Yet at the same time this same government is banning the possession of body armor among the civilian populace. If you don’t believe me, do a web search for House Resolution 5344, the Responsible Body Armor Possession Act. So essentially Congress is attempting to ban body armor amongst civilians that is capable of stopping the ammunition government may use against us while at the same time banning ammo that we may own that might penetrate the armor worn by them.

That fact alone should concern you.

You see, there is an underlying principle upon which our entire nation was built, and it is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. In that document Jefferson wrote, “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government…” This is what the government fears, that we may one day grow tired of them and seek to shake them off. They are taking all the measures they possibly can to tilt any conflict in their favor, including the ability we might have to fight them should the time come that we decide to exercise that most essential of rights.

You may find it inconceivable that tyranny could happen in America, but you should consider something Jefferson once said, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” Would you have us give up our ability to fight it? As Patrick Henry once said in his speech, Shall Liberty or Empire Be Sought, “Oh, sir! we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone; and you have no longer an aristocratical, no longer a democratical spirit. Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all?”

One final quote from Senator Craig’s address to Congress and then I’ll wrap this up. The good Senator from Idaho would also declare, “Let me repeat that: The first right of every human being is the right of self-defense. Without that right, all other rights are meaningless. The right of self-defense is not something the government bestows upon its citizens. It is an inalienable right, older than the Constitution itself. It existed prior to government and prior to the social contract of our Constitution.

It is the right that government did not create and therefore it is a right that under our Constitution the government simply cannot take away. The framers of our Constitution understood this clearly. Therefore, they did not merely acknowledge that the right exists. They denied Congress the power to infringe upon that right.

Under the social contract that is the Constitution of the United States, the American people have told Congress explicitly that we do not have the authority to abolish the American people’s right to defend themselves. Further, the framers said not only does the Congress not have the power to abolish that right, but Congress may not even infringe upon that right. That is what our Constitution says. That is what the Second Amendment clearly lays out. Our Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment to tell us that a free state cannot exist if the people are denied the right or the means to defend themselves.”

The right to self-defense is more than just a right, it is a duty placed upon each of us. It is our job, our responsibility to provide for it. Some people say that they do not like guns, that they will rely upon the police for their protection. In numerous cases the courts have ruled that it is not the duty of the police to provide individual protection to the people. Yet the criminal justice system is such, at least in some states, where you have to prove beyond a doubt that your life was in danger before you are justified in using deadly force to defend it.

The right of self-defense does not simply cover your right to life, it also covers your right to the enjoyment of the fruits of your labor, i.e. your possessions. Therefore if someone breaks into your home with the intent to take from you what is not rightfully theirs to take, you may defend it. This is a fundamental principle which is best explained in Locke’s Second Treatise, “This makes it lawful for a man to kill a thief, who has not in the least hurt him, nor declared any design upon his life, any farther than, by the use of force, so to get him in his power, as to take away his money, or what he pleases, from him; because using force, where he has no right, to get me into his power, let his pretence be what it will, I have no reason to suppose, that he, who would take away my liberty, would not, when he had me in his power, take away every thing else. And therefore it is lawful for me to treat him as one who has put himself into a state of war with me, i.e. kill him if I can; for to that hazard does he justly expose himself, whoever introduces a state of war, and is aggressor in it.”

The Second Amendment protects our right to self defense. It does not do so by saying that we may defend ourselves, it merely provides us the means to the end. By limiting the Second Amendment in any manner, be it by the type weapon, or the type ammunition we may own, they are infringing upon that right.

When your rights are being infringed you can do one of two things, and this may sound vulgar to some, so be forewarned. First you can fight every incursion upon your rights, or you can bend over and take it up the ass like a coward.

We, those of us who understand the purpose for which the Second Amendment was written, refuse to surrender any more of our rights. We will not comply with laws that restrict that right. If that makes us criminals in your eyes, and in the eyes of our government, so be it. As they said in the Russell Crowe version of Robin Hood, “In times of tyranny and injustice, when law oppresses the people, the outlaw takes his place in history.”

Our Founding Fathers were outlaws in that they stood up for their rights against the mightiest empire in existence at the time. They feared the loss of their liberty more than they feared the loss of their lives. There still exists that same spirit among some in this country, I just wish it were in more abundance than it is. But we do have a line in the sand, a point where if crossed we will take up arms to defend our rights. That line in the sand is our right to defend ourselves and our liberty. Cross that line and you will have unleashed our wrath against you. And believe, or disbelieve this at your own risk, you are drawing perilously close to that line.

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You’ve Got 5 Months

The other night at work I overheard someone ask when our next holiday is. While even I enjoy an occasional day off from work, and a paid one at that, it got me wondering if people just enjoy the day off without ever giving any thought to the true meaning of the holiday they are getting off work for. I’m sure that there are some who think about it, while for others it may just be a momentary flicker of recognition as to why they are getting the day off.

Nowhere is this more pertinent than for the Fourth of July, or Independence Day. Normally I would write an article on this day in close proximity to the actual holiday, but since the thought crossed my mind just the other day I thought I would spit this out and let it simmer for awhile and maybe by the time the holiday finally arrives people will have given what I’m about to say some thought. Yeah, I know that’s a long shot, but it gives me something to hope for.

Did you know that for nearly a century, 94 years to be exact, July 4th was not celebrated as a national holiday? It wasn’t until 1870 that Congress made Independence Day a holiday for federal employees. Even then it was an unpaid holiday. It wasn’t until 1938 that Congress made Independence Day a paid holiday for all federal employees. Sure, there may have been local celebrations commemorating our Independence, but it wasn’t until those dates that our own government recognized July 4th as a national holiday.

How is it that we observe this day celebrating our Independence? Some have family get togethers, others stay at home and barbecue, while others go attend festivals with the traditional fireworks display during the evening. Me, I don’t celebrate it at all, but I’ll get to that momentarily. Then of course there are the usual Independence Day sales where you can save big bucks on everything from clothing to a new car.

I would hope that everyone at least knows that July 4th is the day we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Even though historians have differed in their views as to whether the actual document was signed by the delegates to that solemn event it is accepted as fact that the document was presented to, and agreed upon, on July 4, 1776.

On the date in question there were mixed emotions among those who were present at the signing of our Declaration of Independence. Years later Dr. Benjamin Rush would write to John Adams, “Do you recollect the pensive and awful silence which pervaded the house where we were called up, one after another, to subscribe what was believed by many at the time to be our own death warrants?”

Those whose names are at the bottom of that document were in fact, declaring treason against their government, a capital offense. As Ben Franklin said upon signing the document, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

Yet in a letter written to his wife Abigail, John Adams wrote the following, “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

You see, although each of the signers of the Declaration of Independence understood the consequences of their affixing their names to it should they fail in winning that independence in battle, they also realized that what they were doing was right and should they win the battle that the day should be remembered for what it was, a day when a people stood up and declared their freedom from tyranny.

If you were to ask people why they celebrate July 4th as a holiday some would simply say because it is independence day. Others might go further and say that it is the day we celebrate our independence from Britain. But who and what were we really declaring our independence from? Was it the people of England? No, it was the severing of the ties that bound us to the English government at the time…i.e. the Crown. You see it is not important as to the who we were declaring our independence from, it is the what.

The very first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence makes no mention of England, it merely states, “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

It then goes on to say, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

It is that spirit of independence, that desire to be free of tyranny that we should be celebrating, not just the day that a group of men signed the document declaring it. A decade after signing the document, Thomas Jefferson would write to Abigail Adams, “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then.”

I think by now I have laid enough groundwork to get to the crux of this article. If July 4th is supposed to be a day in which we celebrate our Founder’s taking a stand against tyranny, then why do we celebrate it today? Honestly, why do we celebrate the Fourth of July today when our own government is far more oppressive than King George was in 1776? Remember, the Declaration of Independence did not specify the King of England or Parliament. It merely stated, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it… ”

How can we Americans, with any sense of decency, celebrate a holiday in which men pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to fight tyranny when we sit back and let tyranny grow like a cancer without voicing the slightest opposition?

Our nation’s war for independence was not merely fought on the battlefields, it was also a state of mind among those who sought to reclaim their God-given rights. Years after both men had served as president, John Adams would write to Thomas Jefferson the following words, “As to the history of the revolution, my ideas may be peculiar, perhaps singular. What do we mean by the Revolution? The war? That was no part of the revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected … before a drop of blood was shed.”

The American Revolution could not have been won had not the people who fought for it really wanted it. Had you read any history regarding how perilously close we came to losing that war, or the suffering of the men who put their lives on the line so that future generations could enjoy the freedom enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, maybe you might look at the holiday with the true reverence it deserves.

The American war for independence was the culmination of, as Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism…” But Jefferson didn’t stop there, he also said, “…it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government…” (my emphasis)

Jefferson did not say we had a choice in the matter, he said that it was our duty to throw off government when it becomes tyrannical. Does that make me unpatriotic therefore when I declare no allegiance whatsoever to our government as it exists today, or does that make me a patriot who stands for the same principles our Founders fought for? On the flip side, what does it make you when you go about your lives oblivious to what is happening while not voicing the slightest concern that the rights our Founders fought for are slowly being stripped away from you? If the answer to the first question is that I am a patriot, then one can only conclude that those who say or do nothing about what is happening in America today are not patriots. One can only conclude that Americans today have neglected their DUTY as Americans to fight for the principles this country was established upon.

As I already stated, the American Revolution occurred because of a long train of abuses and usurpations, such as taxes upon tea, lead, and other acts imposed upon them in Parliament, while also not allowing the colonists to print their own currency. It came to violence though when they tried to disarm the people at Lexington and Concord.

Yet were you to examine closely the impositions imposed upon the colonists by England and compare them to the impositions imposed upon us by our government today, you would find that the colonists had it better than we do now. They suffered far less under the King of England than we do under a government of our own choosing.

There is a quote I’ve seen from time to time on the internet, and although it may not be entirely accurate in all aspects, it gives you an idea of what I’m trying to say. The quote reads, “A 3% tax on tea eventually led to the American Revolution. Now you pay up to 70% of your earnings to a De Facto corporate government. You are groped at the airport, surveilled on the street, spied upon in your own home, fed propaganda by the media, lied to by your representatives, have your rights eroded, your currency devalued, and are on the verge of an overt police state. And you dare to say this is still the home of the brave and the land of the free.”

Our Founders did not just jump into revolution, there was a progression of events that occurred which left them no choice but to either fight for their freedom, or submit to tyranny. As the Declaration says, “In every state of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury…”

Prior to the actual fighting there were many who spoke out, wrote commentaries about the abuses of power and oppression of the King. These men stood upon their soap boxes and decried the actions of their sovereign. They had no power in their government as one of the things they decried was taxation without representation. They could not obtain justice from the courts when trials were held in English courts with the bias being for England. Their only remaining recourse was to take up arms and fight for their freedom.

History does indeed repeat itself. Today there are many Americans, just like me, who write commentaries such as these decrying our governments abuse of powers, only to have them fall upon deaf ears. The ballot box is also ineffective as most Americans are either blind to what is going on or willingly accept these violations of their liberty. The Courts, for the most part, enforce unconstitutional laws which violate our rights and enforce the will of government without regard to individual liberty. That leaves but one recourse for a people who only want their government to do the job it was created to do…AND NOTHING MORE.

So, as the Fourth of July draws near in the coming months, please think about what I have said here today. Think about what this holiday truly means. Think about the fact that even you may be celebrating a document that declares a peoples independence from tyranny, it took a great loss of life to achieve it. Think about how many laws our government enacts which makes the suffering our Founders lived under pale in comparison to the oppression we live under.

This is your homework assignment. You have five months to complete it.

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Has The American Way Died?

When I was growing up as a kid, way before Man of Steel, before Christopher Reeve’s portrayal of him, there was a TV version of Superman with the title role played by actor George Reeves. At the beginning of every episode was the same voice over that repeated the following words, “Superman – defender of law and order, champion of equal rights, valiant, courageous fighter against the forces of hate and prejudice, who disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way.”

What did they mean by the American way? Well, according to Wikipedia, “The American way of life, or simply the American way, is the unique lifestyle, real or imagined, of the people living in the United States of America. It refers to a national ethos that purports to adhere to principles of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ At the center of the American way is the American Dream, the idea that upward mobility is achievable by any American through hard work.”

This commentary is not about Superman, it is about that national ethos which, aside from a small percentage of Americans, seems to have all but vanished from our way of thinking. Ask yourself how high on your personal list of priorities are the beliefs in truth, justice, and hard work?

Does the truth really matter to you? Sure, you might be offended when it has been proven that someone you had trusted for all these years had lied to you; such as the recent evidence brought to light regarding TV News anchor Brian Williams and his exaggerated claims of what happened while he was in Iraq. But had this evidence not come to light you would probably had never questioned Mr. Williams’ integrity and gone about your lives trusting him to tell you the truth.

The truth, more so today than at any other time in our nation’s history, is an elusive thing, if you want to find it you are going to have to exert some time and effort to do so. It is not going to come to you in a registered letter, an e-mail, or a text message…YOU are going to have to actively seek it out. The problem is though that you may not like it when you find it.

There is a psychological term known as cognitive dissonance which is mental stress brought about by a person holding conflicting beliefs or values, or who is confronted by new evidence which conflicts with currently held beliefs or values. People, as a whole, are loathe to accept things which go against all that they have believed to be true. I don’t know if this is because of the mental effort required to do so, or if it is simply because they refuse to face the consequences of having everything they have believed in proven to be untrue.

There is a quote from H. L. Mencken that I would like to toss in right about now. Mencken once said, “It takes a special sort of man to understand and enjoy liberty – and he is usually an outlaw in democratic societies.” Can you put on your thinking caps for just a moment and ponder what that means? Why would Mencken say that it takes a special kind of man to understand and enjoy liberty?

There is a quote, most often attributed to Thomas Jefferson, but which actually was something taken from another quote by John Philpot Curran, wherein he said, “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.”

Eternal vigilance huh? How, dare I ask, is that possible in a society where what is happening on TV, Facebook, or Twitter, more important than understanding the true nature of liberty? Yet that is what it takes to retain your freedom. Those who would seek to enslave you never rest, never tire. They are ceaseless in their efforts to deprive you of your rights and your freedom. If you wish to retain them you must resolve to be equally vigilant for any violations of them. The alternative is bondage and servitude.

I don’t know if I was born cynical or if life has taught me to be this way, but I trust very few people to tell me the truth…about anything. Even when those who I consider to be my closest circle of friends tell me something I will go out and research the information for myself. That is just my nature. I have been caught too many times in the past repeating information that I had heard from a so-called friend, which was later proven to be a hoax, or false. So if I don’t even take what my friends tell me at face value, how can you expect me to trust those who have already proven to me that they have no respect for my liberty?

I have been told that because I do not support certain actions taken by my government that I am unpatriotic. People who tell me this are so far off base that I wonder if they even realize what patriotism is. I’m not a huge fan of Howard Zinn, but there is one thing he said which I agree with completely. Zinn is quoted as saying, “Patriotism is not obedience to the government. Patriotism is obedience to the principles for which government is supposed to stand.”

Understanding, and upholding those principles, are what I consider to be the true definition of what I consider patriots. Anyone who does not do these things are simply taking up space and those whom I consider a threat to my liberty. In this there can be no middle ground, you either stand for full unrestrained liberty, as understood by our Founders, or you stand against it.

So what is true unrestrained liberty? Basically it means that I can do whatever I please as long as my actions do not hurt anyone else, or restrict them from enjoying the same privilege. I once heard that Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “My right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.” That is a pretty apt description of what rights are, as long as what I’m doing does not physically threaten you, or take away from you what is yours, I am free to do it.

Rights, freedom, liberty cannot be taken from a people because by their exercising them others become emotionally uncomfortable. Freedom of speech cannot be restricted because certain words cause others discomfort. Use of certain words, although they may be profane, or racist in nature, cannot be restricted simply because others find them offensive. Nor can praying in schools simply because it offends the sensibilities of certain groups.

The same goes for our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. We should be allowed to own any kind of gun we want, with magazines that hold as many rounds as possible. The simple possession of these firearms causes no one any harm, it is only the fear that someone may use them in the commission of a crime which causes people to fear them, and therefore demand that our ability to own them be limited.

Ronald Reagan, the American president who even was loved by many a so-called liberal, once said, “We must reject the idea that every time a law is broken, society is guilty rather than the law breaker. It’s time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” Liberty demands this to be true for the moment you stop holding individuals accountable for their actions you begin placing that responsibility upon others who suffer for things which were not of their doing.

Let’s just say that someone drinks a twelve pack of Budweiser and climbs behind the wheel of a big SUV, say an Escalade. They end up causing a major accident on the freeway, killing dozens of people. Is it fair to ban Budweiser or Escalades for everyone who drinks, or drives responsibly?

Let’s say for a moment that even though I have a job I am not responsible with my finances and spend more than I earn, even going into debt to buy things I cannot afford. Is it fair that you be asked to bail me out of debt and sustain my way of life?

No, those are not examples of the American way. The American way is such that you are free to do as you please; to achieve success or failure by your own wit and skill alone. The American way is such that we do not demand that others be taxed to provide for the sustenance of those who cannot find work. The American way does not punish those who are guilty only of defending what they have worked for from those who would take it from them. The American way does not force feed us ideas and beliefs which run contrary to ours.

The American way is such that you are free to do as you please but the moment you cross the line and invade my rights I have the right to defend them…with whatever force I deem necessary. The American way is such that you are free to practice beliefs that I disagree with as long as you do not demand that I publicly accept them as normal behavior, or subsidize them through taxes taken from my earnings.

The American way is such that I am free to speak my mind, defend what is rightfully mine, and to live without fear that the government whose job it is to protect my liberty will not try to reduce me to servitude. That is the American way, and that is what I fight for with every ounce of my being.

You can go ahead and call me a radical, an extremist, if you will. If you do you will only have proven that you know nothing of our nation’s Founding Fathers and the beliefs they held. I, along with a small percentage of others in this country, are the few remaining patriots this country has left. We fight for the same things Superman once stood for, truth, justice and the American way.

The rest of you…I don’t know what you stand for, but it certainly is not the American way I grew up to believe in. And until you change your beliefs, although I may speak to you frequently, I will consider you as much a threat to the American way as those who sit in our nation’s capital and pass laws which further reduce us to slaves. As for us, the American way has died and we don’t like what you have replaced it with.

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No Middle Ground

Recently Barack Obama asked Congress for the authority to send U.S. military ground troops in the fight against ISIS. To be precise, Obama has asked Congress to grant him more war powers to fight ISIS. I’ll get into what I think about ISIS in awhile, but for now let’s take a closer look at what Mr. Obama is asking for. As far as war goes the Constitution does not mention much regarding it, only that only Congress has the authority to declare it, (Article 1 Section 8), and that the president will be the Commander in Chief of the armed forces when called into the actual service of the United States, (Article2 Section 2). Basically it boils down to this, only Congress may declare war, and it is the job of the president to run it once one is declared. Therefore for the president to have any ‘war powers’ Congress must first declare a war.

However, in this instance Obama is not asking Congress to declare war on ISIS. What he is asking for is the authority to send U.S. troops into the region to combat them without a formal declaration of war. If you take the Constitution literally, then this is a violation of his powers as the executive. Going back to the beginning of our republic George Washington, the first president, declared, “The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure.”

There have always been questions regarding the powers a sitting president holds in the use military force without a formal declaration of war by Congress. Going back to the earliest years of our nation’s existence presidents have sent our military off to fight battles without a formal declaration of war by Congress, so this isn’t something new. In the very early 1800′s Tripoli cut down our flag in front of our consulate, which was their customary way of declaring war upon another country.

Prior Tripoli having declaring war upon the U.S. Congress had passed legislation providing for six frigates, (a naval warship designed with speed and firepower the primary considerations), to defend against piracy along the Barbary Coast. Tripoli, Algiers and Tunis had taken to commandeering trade ships and holding them hostage in return for ransom, or tribute.

When Congress authorized the use of these frigates against the Barbary Pirates they did so “to protect our commerce & chasitise their insolence.” Even though Tripoli had commenced hostilities, President Jefferson was conscious of his powers as president to engage in military actions other than the defense of U.S. property. Congress never did formally declare war on Tripoli, but they did authorize the president to “cause to be done all such other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war will justify.” In effect, this was the first of what are known as war powers resolutions.

Our country has fought many wars without a formal declaration of war by Congress. Congress never declared war upon Korea, Vietnam, nor did it declare war for any of the current conflicts in the Middle East. In fact the Korean war, if you want to call it a war, was fought because the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 84 which called for members of the UN to provide forces to repel the attack upon South Korea by the North. But the UN and their resolutions are subject matter which do not apply to the current topic under discussion, so let’s get back to this request for war powers.

In 1973 Congress enacted a law in response to Richard Nixon’s unauthorized bombings in Cambodia. That law would limit a president’s powers during war time. Nixon vetoed the bill, but Congress overrode his veto and the War Powers Resolution became law.

This law basically takes the Constitution literally by declaring that the president cannot send US forces into conflict without a direct declaration of war by Congress. However, it leaves a loophole where the president can send troops off to fight, but must notify Congress within 48 hours, and then they can only stay for up to 90 days before they must be withdrawn…unless Congress formally declares war or issues what is known as a continuing resolution, and this is the loophole I was speaking of.

A continuing resolution is basically an extension of the president’s powers under the War Powers Resolution. In short, military actions can be extended indefinitely as long as Congress continues to extend the president’s authority to use military force. However, the moment Congress refuses to extend the president’s powers he must begin withdrawing troops from the conflict.

War is a terrible thing. It has been said that Robert E. Lee, commanding general of the Confederate Army once stated, “It is good that war is so terrible – lest we grow too fond of it.” Whether or not Lee actually said it is irrelevant, the sentiment is true, war is terrible and should not be something a country is eager to jump in to, or become involved in.

If you boil it all down there are but two kinds of wars; offensive wars and defensive wars. An offensive war is one in which a people, or nation, invade, conquer and take over control of another people or nation. History is full of examples of empires that grew by the conquest of other lands. There were, of course, the Romans, the Persians, and the legendary conquests of Alexander. Those are all offensive fights…the goal of which was to expand empire or obtain access to land, wealth or natural resources. Then there are defensive wars. A defensive war is the exact opposite where a people, or nation, fights to repel invaders or seek retribution for an attack upon them.

If you take that into consideration, what would you consider our reasons for sending U.S. troops to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now our president’s request to send troops to fight ISIS? Is our fight with them offensive, or is it defensive? We have all been told that the war on terror is in retribution for the attacks of 9/11. I don’t buy that.

As I have stated, war is either offensive or defensive. If we are to believe that we are fighting this war in retribution for the ‘terrorist attacks’ of 9/11 then the goal should be to go in an annihilate the enemy, or at least inflict so much damage upon them that they could never hope to again cause us harm.

If one country attacks, or conquers another, it is a simple matter to decide who is the enemy and who must be fought. But terror is not a country, therefore how do you fight terror? You can only fight those who use terrorism as a tool in their fight against you. Terrorism is predominantly used by those who have a goal of some sort, be it political or ideological. Those using terror as a weapon wish to cause others fear them to the extent that they change their behavior in a way that is more amenable to their desired goal.

So in this case, this war on terror we constantly hear about, we have to ask ourselves two questions. First, who are these people who use terrorism as a weapon, and secondly, what is their goal; is it politically based, or is it ideological in nature?

After the attacks on 9/11 George W. Bush addressed Congress, and the nation, saying, “They hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.”

But if they have declared war against us because ‘they’ hate our freedoms, what are the beliefs they hold and what are they based upon? They may be, as President Bush also said, a fringe element of radical extremist Islam, but the key word there is Islam. They are those who take their religion literally and are, by nature, zealots. They believe that if you are not Muslim then you are an infidel and they are required to convert, or kill you. For them there is no middle ground in this. In the case of ISIS they even go so far as to kill other followers of Islam who do not strictly adhere to their beliefs.

I know many people who believe that the war on terror is a whole conspiracy designed to keep us in a perpetual state of war, make the bankers and military industrial complex richer, and deprive us of our freedoms at home. To some degree I agree, but I also believe that there are elements within Islam who are simply pure evil and want to see us all dead simply because we do not adhere to their version of Islam.

I just watched a video of a woman who was confronted by armed members of ISIS for wearing a red jacket over her traditional clothing. They pronounced her guilty and executed her right there on a busy street and nobody did a thing to stop them. After they put a bullet into her head they laughed about it. These people are evil and they will go to any extent to see their religious views imposed upon others.

People are so politically correct that they cannot call evil for what it is without fear of being labeled Islamophobic. Yes, there may be moderate peaceful Muslims in this world, but as long as they remain silent about these atrocities and refuse to stand up and fight those who commit them, they will continue to be victims of the more extreme followers.

While ISIS may be something new, having just shown up on the world radar screen, radical Islam is something our country has fought before. Prior to President Jefferson’s attacks upon the Barbary Pirates, Jefferson and John Adams went to London to speak with the ambassador to Tripoli and enquire as to their justification for their acts of piracy. Ambassador Abdul Rahman Adja replied, “It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every mussulman who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise.” This is the enemy we are fighting today, the same form of extremism which leads them to believe that they are above us and we must either convert to their way of thinking, or be killed.

For us to win a war like this we cannot go into their countries and install a democracy, that simply won’t work. They are basically a theocracy in which their belief is that their religion dictates the law upon the faithful. In a democracy you are allowed the freedom of choice; the two systems are incompatible with each other.

Besides, the purpose of war is to either conquer or to exact enough damage upon those that attacked you so that they either cannot, or realize it is a bad idea to attack you again. It is not to goin in and impose our way of life, our beliefs, or our system of government upon them. If the people of these countries really want an open and free democratic society they should fight for it, instead of relying upon America to do their dirty work for them. After all, we fought for our freedoms in 1776, they can fight for theirs now.

However nation building should not be a part of our agenda when going to war with another country, unless of course there are ulterior motives for us going to war in the region, like the acquisition and control of their oil.

Before this war on terror began, candidate George W. Bush was quoted as saying, “Let me tell you what else I’m worried about: I’m worried about an opponent who uses nation building and the military in the same sentence. See, our view of the military is for our military to be properly prepared to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening in the first place.” But isn’t that exactly what we have been trying to do in that region since we first took the fight to them? A war such as ours, as terrible as war is, should be such that we take the fight to an enemy, inflict so much damage upon them that they give up and learn their lesson not to trifle with us again. Once that mission is accomplished then we bring our forces home and be done with it.

As Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams made the following statement to Congress, “America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart… Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.”

Just as in Islamic countries democracy is incompatible with their beliefs, the opposite is equally true; in a democratic society, Islam, with its requirement of strict obedience to religious code is incompatible with our beliefs. One belief encourages freedom while the other stifles it. I know it is a slippery slope when we begin telling people what they can and cannot believe in when it comes to their religious beliefs. The First Amendment guarantees us religious freedom. That said, do we really want to continue to allow people from those countries from which these extremists originate to emigrate to America? Can we be 100% sure that we are not bringing in people who will one day rise up with their own ISIS on U.S. soil?

I recently read an interesting article, the statistics of which I would like to share. In the article the author said that as long as the Islamic population of a country remained around 1% of the total population it was considered peace loving. When it reached 2-3 percent it began proselytizing from other groups, with those converting coming from other minorities, prison inmates, and other disaffected members of society. When the Islamic population of a country reaches 5% it will begin pushing it’s beliefs upon a people. For instance it will push for halal; food which is clean by their religious standards. They will also push for self governance, to have Sharia law govern them and not the laws of the country they live in. This is already happening in some areas in the U.S. Dearborn Michigan is a prime example.

When the Islamic percentage of a nation reaches 10% they will begin using violence to enforce their beliefs. At 20% you see rioting, killing and jihad militia formations. At 4-50 percent you see widespread violence, ethnic cleansing, and extreme subjugation and persecution of non believers.

Like I said, I am fully aware that there are moderates among them who preach a much more restrained, laid back if you will, version of Islam. But if America wants to see what is in its future if we continue to ignore the threat Islam poses to us, we only need to look at Europe and the violence and problems it faces due to unrestrained emigration of Muslims into their countries.

And finally, there is one question that most Americans are loathe to ask themselves; why are they fighting us in the first place? In asking America this question it is almost like asking that we look into a mirror that can see into the darkest parts of our heart and see the things that we prefer to keep hidden. Basically, I’m asking if their attacks upon us can be justified. By saying that I can see people throwing this paper down in disgust, and calling me a traitor. But the question needs to be asked.

Whether we agree with their politics, their religious beliefs, they are sovereign nations entitled to run their countries however they see fit. What right does the United States, or any other country for that matter, have to go in and interfere in the internal affairs of these countries?

Our CIA has orchestrated, or at least helped facilitate, the removal of leaders of some of these countries whose leadership was not very America friendly. We have gone into many of these countries and set up U.S. military bases on their soil to stabilize the region, and we have attempted to gain control of that most vital of natural resources…oil. Can you honestly say that they don’t have the right to despise, or at least, distrust America?

How would you react if, say China, sent it’s spies over here to facilitate the killing of our president? How would you like it if some foreign country set up their military bases in Mexico and Canada and tried to gain control of our vital resources for their own use? Many of you may not be old enough to remember, but I certainly remember the Cuban Missile Crisis where Russia tried to set up ballistic missile sites on the island of Cuba, less than 100 miles from our shore. America was outraged and we were on the brink of nuclear war because of it. Yet Russia and Cuba were two independent countries and fully capable of interacting with each other. Yet we almost went to war over it. Are we not to believe that these people in the Middle East may not feel a bit of resentment towards us for our interference in their countries? Is it not fair to assume that they might seek ways to strike back at what they consider as an evil empire that is always interfering in their countries?

I’m not saying we weren’t attacked, and retribution was not justified. I’m just saying that maybe if we just left them alone they would not have any justification for screwing around with us. Then, if they did, we would be justified in full retaliation. But that would be all we would be justified in doing, kicking their asses and then pulling our troops out. To remain in their country to try and force our way of life upon them only keeps the fire of hatred they have for us burning.

But this ISIS crisis is of our own creation. We propped up Saddam Hussein for a long time until he became a threat to us. We provided him with intelligence and weaponry to fight Iran. Then when we were attacked he suddenly became our enemy. No matter your opinions of Saddam, he ruled his country pretty tightly. There was no ISIS threat while he was alive. By our taking him out we created a power vacuum and all these radical groups began filling that vacuum.

We could kill off every member of ISIS, to the last man, woman, and child, and there would still be a vacuum which eventually would be filled by someone. Maybe that someone would be peaceful and mind their own business, or maybe they might be worse than ISIS.

The problem, as I see it, is that now we have created a situation that almost demands our constant intervention in the region to put down these never ending threats to our way of life. We cannot allow these radical groups to take hold across the entire region, yet we cannot seem to stabilize the region sufficiently to prevent these type groups from springing up.

The fundamental fact is that it all boils down to their religious beliefs. There will always be those who seek to impose a more radical and extreme version of their belief upon the more moderates. Until the moderates have the courage to stand up and fight their own battles, we will be forced to go into the region and put down these brush fires. And the more we interfere in the region the more justification they believe they will have to attack us. It is a Catch 22 situation with no end in sight.

Were it me in charge I would never have pulled our troops out when Obama did. I would have run down every radical and killed them, including the clerics and religious leaders of all countries who espoused violence in the enforcement of their religious beliefs. That is how you win a war, but America, it seems, no longer has the stomach to do what is needed to win a war. I honestly wonder sometimes, if World War II were going on today, how would the people of this country react should a sitting US president order the use of nuclear weapons to end the war?

But there is one other thing you need to consider. This war, these conflicts, are hugely profitable for some people, primarily those who work in the arms industry. Were these conflicts to end their profits would dry up. It is just like with the pharmaceutical industry and cancer, were they to CURE cancer they would lose billions in profits from chemo drugs. If these wars stopped the arms industry would lose billions in profits from the bombs and bullets they sell to the US government.

Not only that, but the bankers would lose as well as war always entails debt. Look at any nation’s history during a time of war, they always end up borrowing money to fund their wars. So not only would the arms industry lose billions in profits, if these conflicts ever ended the banks would lose out on all the interest created by the massive borrowing required to fund a never ending war.

Those are a lot of powerful interests that would do almost anything to ensure their revenue stream, and as our government is controlled by these special interests, I do not see an end to these conflicts any time soon as they are profitable for all, except those who actually have to go off to these foreign lands and fight. To them the cost is high, both physically and emotionally. How many of our young men and women have died, come home permanently disabled, or mentally scarred? War may make some rich, but it destroys the lives of others.

I do not claim to have all the answers. Whether or not our intervention in the region is in fact responsible for the rise of ISIS does nothing to take away from the fact that they exist now and must be dealt with somehow. The question then remains, is it our responsibility to deal with it, or is it a problem for the Middle East to solve? If it is ours, then ISIS and I do have one belief in common, either they eradicate us or we eradicate them. There can be no middle ground.

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Festering

Have you ever heard the word fester? Do you know what it means? It can be used in many connotations, but there is one which I would like to take a moment to discuss. In this connotation to fester means “a negative feeling or problem which becomes worse, or more intense, especially through long-term neglect or indifference.” and for those of you who may not know this, indifference is the same as apathy.

Festering is what happens when you get a sliver but don’t remove it immediately; it sits there and fills up with puss and may become infected. Well there is something festering in America right now, and if something isn’t done soon it will erupt and the consequences won’t be pretty.

It’s both funny and sad how people can go about their daily lives without the slightest clue that something terrible could happen at any moment. People have a tendency to push these dark thoughts into the furthest corners of their mind so they won’t have to confront them. I don’t know if there is a dark side to me that actually likes to think about things like this, or if I’m just pragmatic. But I sense a simmering anger, hidden away just underneath the surface, where one more offense might cause it to boil over.

There are so many things going on in this country right now that should upset any clear thinking individual, that is, one who has not been conditioned to believe everything they are told. You may see these things on the news, overhear them in conversations, or read about them on the internet, but the point is if you accept what you are told about them you probably think nothing of them, it’s just business as usual in America. That is especially so if you look at each individual story, or issue, by itself. But were you capable of stepping back and viewing everything without your political blinders on you might begin to see a pattern, and that pattern ought to disturb you.

You may be foolish enough to still believe that there is a difference between the Republicans and Democrats. If you do, you have not taken that step back and looked at the pattern that has been going on in this country for nearly a century.

That pattern is that laws have been enacted, programs have been instituted, that at first may sound good. But over time these programs have expanded, grown more intrusive, and rarely are repealed. Ronald Reagan once said “No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.”

Getting back to this pattern, there are things going on, programs being enacted, which at first may sound good, sound humanitarian, sound like they are in our best interests, but once enacted they begin growing, assuming more power, more control, costing more to fund, and taking away more and more of our rights. These actions taken by our government are all outside the scope of power entrusted to them by the people of this country, and enshrined in the Constitution.

When a government oversteps its power and authority today we think nothing of it. But in the era when our Founders fought for their independence and established our system of government, they had a word for it, they called it tyranny. In A Summary View of the Rights of British America, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of the day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers (administrators) too plainly proves a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing us to slavery.” This is the pattern we see. You might see things differently because you look at the issues through partisan eyes, focusing on the issues only according to what the Democrats or Republicans say about them. But were to stand back a bit, take off your blinders, and look at the big picture, you would see that Jefferson was absolutely correct, there have been a long train of abuses, and any clear thinking individual would be forced to admit that we are on a path which has no other outcome but reducing us to abject slavery.

Let me ask you a question. If you really wanted to take over a country, reduce its people to mere slaves, how would you do it? Bet you have never even thought about it, have you? Honestly, neither did I until I began noticing these patterns of behavior by our government. If you really want to totally control a people there are a few things you would need to do. First you would need to destroy their belief system, you would also need to make them dependent upon you for survival, you would need to need to be able to monitor and control them, and you would need to take away their ability to fight back should they begin to understand what is happening to them.

Two hundred some odd years ago this would not have been such an easy task. Our Founders were more educated than we are today, they were also more self-sufficient. Plus they did not have all the avenues for entertainment that we do today. Many of our Founders were fluent in four to five languages, had studied philosophy and math, and were well versed in history. Regardless of whether they could have built and designed computer systems and sent rockets to the moon, in comparison to us, and taking into consideration the times they lived in, they were mental giants compared to most Americans today. They did not have televisions, personal computers, video games and professional sports to keep their attention focused away from the issues of the day.

Look at our kids today. Many of them graduate from high school barely able to speak proper English, and have little to no knowledge about history or political systems. Most couldn’t explain the difference between communism and fascism, the difference between a democracy and a republic. And yet they are expected to make intelligent choices when they vote? They have absolutely no understanding of the importance of their rights, and it is this neglect that allows for government to so easily pass laws which infringe upon them.

This is the destruction of our belief system, the slow process by which what our kids are taught about American history and American politics has been revised so that now we have entire generations who don’t have the faintest clue as to what our Founders intended. True American pride has been erased and replaced with a belief that government is always right, and that it is unpatriotic to even question it.

If you add to that the steady erosion of faith and morality, then you end up with a country that has no spiritual or moral rudder with which to guide it. Tolerance is the keyword of the day and anyone who stands up for what was once considered good is shouted down by those who march under the banner of political correctness. Those who speak out against tolerance are usually labeled as having some form of phobia, be it; homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, or whatever can be used to stir up others against then and silence their views. Freedom of speech is now a one sided coin and anyone who stands up against tolerance finds themselves under attack.

That is the first step, the destruction of our belief system, the second is making people dependent upon government.

When the first people came to this country they did so with the full knowledge that they would either survive or die based upon their own skills. There were no social service programs where they could go apply for benefits until they got their feet on the ground. Sure it’s different today, people can’t simply go carve out a plot of land and build a home for themselves or start a farm. Yet when millions of people came to America through Ellis Island they came here with the same knowledge, they would either achieve their dreams based upon the skills and motivation they had, or they would not.

Look at all the programs we have today with the sole purpose of taking care of people’s needs. We have welfare, food stamps, WIC, subsidized housing, grants for education, all of this funded by revenue derived from taking from those who have and giving to those in need. Hell, did you know that in California if you make the decision to do drugs, but then can’t pass a drug test for employment, that you are considered as having a disability? You are then entitled to benefits which include welfare, food stamps and free rent…for a conscious choice you made! Our friends daughter receives all these because she chooses to continue doing drugs, and therefore cannot get a job.

This has been going on for years, decades even. It goes back at least as far as FDR and his New Deal. That was expanded by LBJ and his Great Society, and has continued on with Obama and his free cell phones and Affordable Care Act. Just as our educational system and our morals have slowly been erased, Americans have gradually become more and more dependent upon government for services. And there is one thing a dependent people won’t do, that being bite the hand that feeds them.

The next step in making slaves out of the people is the ability to keep tabs on them. You may not care but the Fourth Amendment was written to protect your privacy. Yet how many programs do we have today which monitor us in some manner? Government listens to our phone calls with sophisticated programs that search for keywords or catchphrases. Our internet viewing habits are recorded and collated in huge computer banks that have algorithms which can almost predict our habits. Edward Snowden had to flee the country because he tried to make us aware of the extent which our government spies upon us.

We have traffic cams which can follow us, satellites up in the sky that can see the words on the page of a book we are reading from outside the Earth’s atmosphere, and there’s rumors that they now have facial recognition software that can identify individuals out of a crowd.
Add to all this the talk of a government ID that would be required for travel within the United States and I’d say they have pretty much all the steps they need to keep us on a very short leash.

Much of this has come about due to the people’s fear of bogeymen terrorists. We have willingly allowed them to violate our right to privacy so that we may feel safer from terrorism. Ben Franklin once said that “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither and will lose both.” How right he was.

The final step is the taking away the people’s right to fight back. The America I grew up in did not fear guns as does the America I live in today. I have fought the ever increasing scope of gun control laws longer than any other issue because I realize how important the right to keep and bear arms is. If a people ever surrender that right it will be game over, there would be no means by which they could fight back against any form of tyranny. Patrick Henry best explained this sentiment when he said, “Oh, sir! we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone; and you have no longer an aristocratical, no longer a democratical spirit. Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all?”

Yet every time there is a shooting of some sort the first thing I hear is a clamor for tougher gun laws. If gun laws really worked Chicago and Washington D.C should be the safest places in the country, as they have the toughest gun laws. Yet crime statistics prove that they are not that safe after all. The fact is that criminals, by their nature, do not obey the law. Therefore the only people gun laws affect are the law abiding citizens. And if you take away their guns, then you are leaving them susceptible to crime, and more importantly, to tyranny.

But people do not see these things. They are blinded by their sentiments, their emotions, and their allegiance to political party ideology. They refuse to step back and look at the bigger picture, see the steady erosion of our liberty and the slow and steady march we are taking to slavery.

That is why there is a simmering anger in this country. Those of us that can see it cannot understand why you cannot. We cannot comprehend why anyone would sacrifice their freedom only for the hope of a safer more secure world. We know what will happen if they are successful in achieving the four aforementioned steps, and we would rather die than live under an overbearing and all controlling government.
Yet far too many of you seem almost eager for it. It also angers us that far too many people simply don’t care one way or the other. Your focus upon your own entertainment and self-gratification makes you so far out of touch with what is going on is pathetic at best.

As I said in my last commentary, we do not want to see things get ugly in America. But we also see that we may have no choice should things continue in the direction they are going. And as I also said, we will not forget that it was the people of this country that allowed things to get so far out of hand. Government was supposed to represent us, to govern according to the limits we imposed upon it. But we, more specifically YOU, allowed it to get out of control with your constant demand that government provide you with more services, and more security. If the time comes, not only will we hold those in power accountable, we will hold the people in this country who sat back and let it happen accountable as well.

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We Will Not Forget

On Wednesday January 17, 1979, amidst a group of other young men, I stood in a room in Oakland California and raised my right hand and stated the following words, “I, Neal H. Ross, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…”

I can’t say what was running through the minds of those other young men in the room thirty plus years ago, but I know upholding the Constitution was the last thing on mine. I had recently been laid off due to budget shortfalls in the State of California which had caused me to lose a damned good job working for the city of Oroville’s public works department. That job had vacation, sick pay, a pension plan, and medical benefits. Without a college degree I was in need of a job, desperate, and running out of options. The military seemed like the only option left to me, so I chose the easiest path, the Air Force. As I stood there mindlessly repeating that oath I was thinking more about what I had gotten myself into than about defending a document I had never read in its entirety.

Those words I was repeating are the first part of the oath of enlistment every soldier, sailor, marine, and airman takes upon entering the enlisted corps of the United States military. I realized that upon completing that oath I would belong to the U.S. Air Force, or as my drill instructor later made clear, my ass belonged to the Air Force. I knew that I was going to have to follow orders and do what they told me to, whether I liked it or not. But the concept of my oath to support and defend the Constitution never crossed my mind.

I had a general idea of what an oath was, a promise of sorts to do something, but it wasn’t until years later that I looked the word up to see what it really meant. According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary an oath is “a solemn usually formal calling upon God or a god to witness to the truth of what one says or to witness that one sincerely intends to do what one says.”

I didn’t know it then, but as I was standing there taking that oath I was promising to God that I would defend the Constitution of the United States…against ALL enemies. That is a pretty serious promise, and one that the breaking of which would not be a good thing if you believe in heaven and hell as I do.

So here I am, 39 years later, trying my best to keep that promise, to uphold that oath. You see, I don’t believe oaths have an expiration date. I may no longer wear the uniform of a Unites States airman, but the oath I took on that January day, and twice later upon re-enlisting for a second and third term, is just as binding upon me as it was the first time I repeated those words.

For close to two decades now I have been educating myself as to, not only what the Constitution says, but more importantly, what it meant to those who wrote it. I have read scores of books about it, and spent many an hour researching the writings of our Founders who both supported it, and those who opposed it. After all that research I have come to the conclusion that the government we have today bears very little resemblance to what the document describes. Sure at first glance it seems to be the same; we have a president, a Congress, and a Supreme Court, but that is where any semblance of similarity ends.

The powers our government wield today, both in the passing of laws, executive orders, and bureaucracies that regulate our lives for exceed the powers the Constitution itself grants to government. Our rights, which each and every member of this monstrosity of a government are sworn to protect, are under constant attack by new laws and constant reinterpretation by a Supreme Court which legislates from the bench, rather than upholds the law as written.

Our government is so out of control we may as well run the Constitution through a paper shredder, as it means nothing to them, other than the occasional lip service they pay to it. These lying thieves, these corrupt politicians and bureaucrats remind me of a passage from the Bible found in the Book of Matthew, wherein Jesus says, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:8-9)

You do not have to be Christian to see the similarity. These people all take similar oaths to the one I took 39 years ago, yet the words they repeat never find their way into their hearts and their actions betray them for who and what they really are; power hungry politicians whose only desire is for more power and control over the people they are supposed to represent.

Many people assume that when one enters the military they do so to protect America. Sure, that may be one function of the military, but why then does their oath of enlistment simply not say that directly? Why does it say that they are swearing to defend the Constitution, and not the country? This may only be my own personal interpretation of it, but that oath I took is not to my country, but to the principles it was founded upon and which are enshrined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Therefore anyone who attempts to subvert those principles, to undermine the Constitution, is my enemy.

There is something else that people need to understand. The oath which I took states that I am swearing to defend the Constitution against ALL enemies, both foreign and DOMESTIC. My oath knows no borders and owes no allegiance to political parties. Anyone who seeks to place more power in the hands of government than is outlined by the Constitution, or seeks to have laws enacted which take away even the smallest degree of my ability to exercise any of the rights protected by the Bill of Rights is therefore my enemy as well.

You see, there is an age old legal maxim which states, “Ignorantia juris non excusat”, or as we know it today, “Ignorance of the law does not excuse you.” So even though you may not know what the Constitution says; even though you may not know what powers it grants government and which it reserves to the states, or the people; even though you may not understand the nature of, and the purpose for the rights contained in the Bill of Rights, your ignorance does not excuse you when it comes to being judged by those who do understand these things, and take their oaths to support the Constitution seriously. you are our enemies equally as would be anyone who would attack us on our own soil. Whether it be due to your ignorance, your apathy, or your complacency, you threaten all that we hold dear and we are growing very weary of you and your voting for the same old tired liars and thieves who are destroying this nation.

You may know some of us due to the fact that we are outspoken, such as myself. But you cannot possibly know who all of us are. We could be your neighbor, your pastor, or the guy who repairs your automobile. The point is there are a whole lot more of us than you realize, and we are quickly becoming fed up with the direction our country is taking. One of these days your ignorance, your support for laws which grant government more and more power over our lives and further restrict our rights, are going to force us into a corner where we have no other recourse but to take physical action rather than live out our lives as slaves.

We do not want this, as we know what it entails, but neither do we fear it should it come. You may dream of a Utopian society were all are equal, all have the same protection and security. All we see are the chains of slavery and servitude.

Just remember this, although your focus may be primarily on things that entertain you, ours is upon the erosion of our liberty and the people who brought this about. Should the time come that things turn ugly in this country, we will not forget who did this to us, and we will not forgive.

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Insidious

I know some of the people who read my articles may not be Christian, and therefore some of the things I am about to say may not sit well with them, but these are my views and as long as the First Amendment still retains some of its protection over freedom of speech I intend to keep speaking what’s on my mind. You can take what I say with a grain of salt if you want, but I believe that evil exists, it has a name and a face and it is currently more powerful than ever.

If you have read the Bible what is the first thing you read about man after making their appearance on Earth? It is how the serpent tempted Eve, and how she in turn convinced Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. Their disobedience to God’s command not to eat from the tree of knowledge caused them to be banned from Eden. Whether or not you believe in the Bible as being the word of God literally, the first story, (if you want to call it that), is of how succumbing to evil causes man to lose that which is precious to him.

Fast forward to the Founding of our Republic…

Although there were numerous sects in existence at the time of our nation’s founding, and they all held a certain degree of animosity towards each other, they were all basically God fearing men. Even Jefferson, who was not convinced of the divinity of Christ, stated that the teachings of Jesus were the “outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man.”

Nonetheless, in his Summary View of the Rights of British America, Jefferson writes, “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.”

In his Farewell speech to the nation, George Washington declared, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensible supports.” Now I’m not trying to force my religious beliefs upon anyone. I am, however trying to establish the fact that the men who created this system of government held certain beliefs, principles if you will, and it was upon those principles that this system was founded.

They did not want to force religion, or any particular sect of religion upon anyone, but they believed that for our system to survive the people must retain some degree of morality and virtue, and that religion provided a means to instill these qualities in people. When James Madison stood on the floor of the Virginia Assembly to argue in favor of the proposed Constitution, he stated, “Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks — no form of government can render us secure. To suppose liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea.”

Now chimerical is a word you don’t hear that often these days. What it means is that it is fantastical, not achievable. So what Madison meant is that if we wanted to retain our liberty, our happiness, we had to remain virtuous. Otherwise our system would fail, no matter how perfectly it was designed.

As in almost everything, there are polar opposites. There is hot, and there is cold, there is joy and there is sadness. Everything has an opposite, like the Yin and the Yang, if you will. So therefore if our system was designed by good men, upon good principles, would it be too far a stretch of the imagination to believe that anyone who would work to undermine, or bring it down, is to be considered as being bad…or in this particular instance, evil?

But honestly, how could anyone do that, bring down our country? After all, it has checks and balances in government, we the people vote for candidates, so how could anyone undermine or bring it down? Well, that’s what I’m writing this for, to explain how it has been done.

Mankind has a fatal flaw in that when things are going good we tend to get apathetic and complacent…we lower our guard and bad things happen. I’ve already provided one quote from James Madison when he stood on the floor arguing in favor of the Constitution, now I will provide another. During that same speech Madison said, “Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations…”

There are a couple of anecdotes, or metaphors, that I would like to insert here. I can’t claim how valid and truthful they are, but they serve to describe what I see as having happened. The first is the old saying that if you put a frog into boiling water it will jump out. But if you put that same frog into cold water and slowly turn up the temperature it will become accustomed to the changes until it boils to death.

The second is a story about how to capture pigs. Supposedly this student at a large university asked his professor out of the blue if he knew how to capture wild pigs. The professor thought it was a joke, but the student was serious. So the student told him that first you put out some corn. Once the pigs get used to the corn they begin eating it. Then one day you put up some fencing behind it. Once the pigs get used to that fence they resume eating the corn. You continue this process, putting up more sides of the fence until you have a cage with a door. Once the pigs are used to these additions then when they come to feed you slam the door shut trapping the pigs. Eventually they will return to feeding not even realizing they have lost their freedom.

Like I said, I can’t tell how much factual basis these two metaphors are, but they serve the purpose of showing that if change is made gradually people will become accustomed to it until the damage wrought by this change is irreparable.

For our country, our Republic, to be brought down the changes had to come gradually, without our even noticing that they were happening. Unless an event is tragic and deeply burned into their memories, most people go day to day and barely think about what happened a month ago, let alone decades, or centuries ago. Where they to actually think about things, or even be capable of thinking about these things, they might be able to step back and look at the history of this country and see those gradual and silent encroachments that Madison spoke of. However, since they aren’t, and are, more often than not, ruled by impulse and emotion, they do not see the damage their apathy and complacency is allowing to occur.

There is an evil in this country and it is spreading its tentacles across the land like a slow moving cancer. Soon, if it is not so already, it will be too late to stop it. In The New Freedom, (1913), by Woodrow Wilson, we read, “Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the Field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” That was over a century ago, and that power has become more entrenched, more pervasive, and more detrimental to our Republic and our liberty. Yet so many I speak to about it refuse to even accept the possibility that it exists.

Just as the metaphor about the pigs, as long as the people in this country still have jobs, still have homes, still can feed their families and watch TV, they remain oblivious to what is going on right before their very eyes. Yet this evil, this cancer is spreading and it WILL bring America down if people do not open their eyes and accept that it exists.

I just took a break from writing this to Google the metaphor about the boiling frog. It appears it is an urban legend, or a myth. That is good…not because I really care about the fate of a frog, but because of how it is a myth. It seems that up until a point the frog will remain in the water. But then there comes a time when the frog realizes the water is becoming too hot and will jump out, if possible.

Why is this good? Well, like the frog there must come a time when people, even the ones who have had their heads buried in the sand for the longest, will come to realize that something isn’t right in America and will begin to ask questions.

This evil that is spreading across America knows this, and has planned accordingly. It realized that at some point Americans were going to begin asking questions about the way things were going in this country. They had to come up with a way of controlling that, or at least holding it off until their plans were too far along to be stopped.

Deep down I truly believe that most Americans, and I say most, are patriotic and love their country. You’ll notice though that I did not say that they are informed. It is difficult to mislead, or fool an informed person. And uninformed, or misled person is easily fooled.

It was therefore essential for this evil to control the dissemination of information in this country, and where are the two places that most people obtain their knowledge and information? Why in schools were they are educated, and from the media which provides them with their news. If they could gain control of what we are taught, and what we are told, they could begin to shift the belief systems of the entire nation towards their goal.

This evil, if anything, is an infiltrator. If it cannot infiltrate everything it wants, it can infiltrate enough to exert an extreme amount of pressure on those who oppose it’s agenda. Unlike in physics were opposite poles of a magnet attract each other, in human beings we tend to be attracted to those who share the same likes and beliefs as we do.

This evil has a hierarchy, a chain of command so to speak. I cannot say for certain who is in charge, if there even is a person in charge. I say even if because it could be that it may simply be the devil himself who is behind it all, influencing those who are easily corruptible. The deeper one digs into this conspiracy the wilder the theories get. I have even heard some that claim reptilian aliens are behind it all, that’s how crazy these conspiracies can get and you have to be careful not to fall for them all.

However, I can tell you about parts of it. I’m sure you have at one time or another heard the name Rockefeller. David Rockefeller is Honorary Chairman of an organization called the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Head of the Rockefeller Foundation.

The Council on Foreign Relations claims to be a think tank, but they are the nexus of this evil that is spreading across America. As I said, people of like minds tend to congregate, and the CFR is where people who believe that our Constitution, and the concept of individual liberty, are outdated. The membership roster of the CFR looks like a who’s who list from across the spectrum in this country. It contains members of our government, high ups within the armed forces, members of the news media, and academia. Then there is The Rockefeller Foundation, a Non Profit Organization, or NPO, which issues grants and funds programs that it believes in and wishes to see promoted.

A bit about the Rockefellers. Two years after Woodrow Wilson claimed he had heard people speak to him in fear about that hidden power in America, Congressman Oscar Calloway stood on the floor of the House of Representatives and said, “In March 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, shipbuilding, and powder interest, and their subsidiary organizations, got together 12 men high up in the newspaper word and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press…They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of 25 of the greatest papers.

An agreement was reached; the policy of the papers was bought, to be paid for by the month; and editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies, and other things of national and international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers.”

I mention this because Morgan was a close friend, who sent associates of his, as did Rockefeller, to Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia, to create the plan that would create the Federal Reserve Bank. They are all in this together, different tentacles of this evil that has spread across the country. This was a major step for them, gaining control of the news print media. Their control over the media has expanded exponentially since then.

Did you know that there are 1,500 newspapers, 1,100 magazines, 9,000 radio stations, 1,500 TV stations and 2,400 publishers in America? Probably not. Then I am sure you didn’t know that all of those, and I mean ALL OF THEM, are owned by six corporations and managed by only 272 executives.

We are not told the truth by any of the news outlets we rely upon for the news. Just recently Brian Williams of NBC has come under fire for statements he made that have been proven to be false. Williams claims a foggy memory. The only people that have memory problems are those who are getting old and those who lie a lot and can’t keep their lies straight in their minds. We do not have a free press anymore, our information is written for us and scripted to sway our opinions in the directions wanted by its owners.

In 1919 Upton Sinclair wrote a book wherein he quotes John Swinton, who was head of the editorial staff at the New York Times. Swinton is quoted as saying, “There is no such thing as a free press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who would dare to write his honest opinion. The business of the journalist is to destroy truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell himself, his country, and his race, for his daily bread. We are tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are jumping jacks; they pull our strings, we dance; our talents, our possibilities, and our lives are the property of these men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”

Need more proof? How about when, at a meeting of the Trilateral Commission in 1991, Rockefeller said, “We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights and publicity during those years.”

Now that quote is third party hearsay as no one outside the Trilateral Commission is allowed to attend their meetings. But, Rockefeller, in his memoirs, did say “For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world if you will.

If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and am proud of it.”

Let’s just play devil’s advocate and pretend I’m correct in stating that these people own and control the media. We still have our schools to teach our kids the truth. Honestly, do you really believe that? After all that I have written about that none of you knew about before, you still think your schools are teaching you about our nation’s history and its system of government? If anything, the history they are teaching you has been revised to make America look bad and to eliminate any efforts to instill patriotism and an understanding of your rights. That is the last thing they want you to know.

This crap has been going on for generations. Academics are constantly revising this, eliminating that, until what we are taught now in schools is a complete perversion of the truth and designed to brainwash our children into accepting whatever anyone in a position of authority tells them.

It is truly insidious how effective they have been. We have entire generations of people living in this country who don’t have the slightest idea of what their rights are or the purpose for which their government was instituted. These people may be will well intentioned, but they have been completely misled and lied to…and the problem is that they have been so well conditioned that when they hear the truth it sounds like the ramblings of a mad man.

People today believe that we are a democracy when we are not. They believe that it is perfectly okay for our government to take away a few of our rights for the public good and safety, when it is not. It is all because no one has been taught to think for themselves. It’s almost like in the first Matrix film where Neo is jacked in and all that data is being fed into his mind. He didn’t think to obtain it, it was programmed into him. The same goes for Americans today, what they consider knowledge is in truth nothing but programming. They didn’t have to think to obtain it, it was repeated over and over until people accepted it as the truth. Critical thinking, questioning, doubting, never came into the picture…people simply accepted what they were told as the truth. That pattern continues today with people accepting whatever anyone in a position of authority tells them, be it in the media, law enforcement, or government.

For one who has, to steal a movie quote, ‘taken the red pill’ and investigated this rabbit hole of evil that has spread across the land it is truly frightening. To see how effective they have been at altering the course of a nation and conditioning its people to accept it without a fight.

I sometimes feel like the guy at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers when he is surrounded by replacement people from the pods. I sometimes ask myself what the hell can we do to stop this, if anything. Honestly, it scares the shit out of me.

In concluding there are three quotes I want to leave you with. The first comes from Samuel Adams, written in 1775, “No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.”

The next comes from Science Fiction author Isaac Asimov, “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

And finally, and this one is the most frightening to me, this from Hendrik Willem van Loon, “Any formal attack on ignorance is bound to fail because the masses are always ready to defend their most precious possession – their ignorance.”

We have forsaken the principles upon which this country was founded. We have abandoned morality and virtue for self-gratification and entertainment. We have give up thinking and accepted programming and conditioning. And the sad thing is that we don’t even realize it.

I cannot decide whether to be angry, sad, or frightened. I can tell you that, aside getting back to my earlier metaphors, the water is around 200 degrees now and that pig fence now has a gate. Are you going to sit there and die, or have your remaining freedom taken from you, or are you going to wake up and try and stop this evil before it is too late?

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The Fatal Flaw

Prior to the summer of 1787 the government of these States united was a joke. It lacked any real authority to enforce the laws it passed and the States went about their business disregarding their responsibility to provide revenue to support it. Also, due to no regulatory ability there were so many varied restrictions and tariffs imposed that trade amongst the States, and with foreign nation’s suffered so much that it almost completely can to a standstill. Something had to be done, and done quickly.

So, over the summer of 1787 a group of delegates from a majority of the States convened in Philadelphia to discuss ways to improve the Articles of Confederation so as to give it the proper strength and authority to remedy the problems that threatened to divide this united country into 13 independent squabbling sovereign states. Each of these delegates had their own ideas as to what needed to be done to rectify the faults in the Articles of Confederation, but a few had other ideas altogether, with James Madison being at the forefront.

Prior to this convention Madison had been studying history, particularly the forms in which government may take, to see if he could come up with a system that might correct the problems that the States faced as well as preserve the people’s rights. His plan from the beginning was to trash the Articles of Confederation and start fresh to develop a much stronger central government. This idea exceeded the authority granted the delegates by the state legislatures who had chosen them. Yet Madison was of the mind that if they didn’t do this, right then and there, that the Union of States would not survive long enough for another opportunity to fix what was broken.

The end result of that convention is our Constitution, but the process by which it evolved is not as straightforward as you might suppose. All of the delegates had their own ideas as to what needed to be done to give any new form of government the required powers to make it efficient in doing the job it was being designed to do. Everything was discussed/debated, from the ratio of representation in the legislature, to the number and the duration of service of the executive. At one point it was suggested that the executive, (the president), serve a life term. Another instance the idea of the federal government being given an unqualified veto over all laws passed by the states.

In the end, after many compromises, a constitution was written and presented to the delegates for their vote. However, prior to voting Benjamin Franklin had written a speech he wished to have read to the delegates. So on June 28, 1787 James Wilson rose and delivered Mr. Franklin’s speech to the assembled delegates.

The following is an excerpt from what Franklin had written, “In these Sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution, with all its Faults, if they are such; because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well administered; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a Course of Years, and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other...I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution: For when you assemble a Number of Men to have the Advantage of their joint Wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those Men all their Prejudices, their Passions, their Errors of Opinion, their local Interests, and their selfish Views. From such an Assembly can a perfect Production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this System approaching so near to Perfection as it does…Thus I consent, Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure that it is not the best.” (my emphasis)

The debates that occurred during the convention which produced the Constitution were nothing compared to the debates that arose when it was presented to the public for their consideration. Everyone who had an opinion shared it. There is a wealth of information available for anyone who wishes to study the debates, both pro and con, over whether the states should accept or reject the Constitution but it is not my intent to go over all the various points they debated. Let it be enough to say that the Constitution was agreed to by the required number of states and a new system of government was instituted in America.

On April 30, 1789, upon being sworn in as our first president George Washington uttered the following, “…the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”

Remember now, although Ben Franklin declared that this Constitution was the best that could be expected being produced by men with such differing ideas as to what formed good government, it was not perfect. Keep in mind also that Washington said that it was an experiment entrusted to the people of this country, not to the government itself.

Therein lies that fatal flaw within our system, a loophole if you will, which has allowed our government to morph from one of clearly defined powers, to one with almost unlimited powers with the people and the states having little say in what laws are passed and forced upon them.

In his defense of the British Soldiers charged with murder at the Boston Massacre, John Adams made the following statement, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” What I am about to say is my opinion, but it is based upon much study and backed up by facts. You can argue all you want against what I am about to say but unless you can provide facts to the contrary your argument will have no leg to stand on.

The experiment which Washington spoke of in his inaugural address has failed. You may ask how can that be when we still have a government? Well the experiment was not about whether the system of government created by the Constitution would survive, it was about whether it would survive as ‘good government’ confined to the limits imposed upon it and respecting the rights of the people. We may still have a government, but it is far from good, and it is light years away from respecting the rights of the people for which it was established to protect.

I can’t count the times I’ve been asked what can we do to restore this country to one in which the government obeys the limits imposed upon it by the Constitution, and at the same time respects and protects our rights. I have pondered that question until I thought smoke was going to come out of my ears, and I have come to the conclusion that there isn’t a damned thing we can do about it. Things are going to go their course no matter what a few of us do or say to try and alter that course. I’m not giving up, I’m just being realistic. People keep tossing that Samuel Adams quote at me when I say things like this, “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.” Believe me, I am irate, and I have been tireless, having written almost 700 articles over the past 15 years. Believe me, I’m about as keen to set brush fires in people’s minds as they come, but to set a brush fire you gotta have kindling, and most people’s minds simply don’t have any. You cannot win a battle against apathy and complacency. Ignorance can be cured by providing people with knowledge, but if they simply don’t give a damn there is nothing anyone can do to change that!

I’m not saying that there aren’t people out there that can’t be reached and taught about how our government is truly supposed to function, and all the abuses of power which currently go on, there are. There are also a goodly number of people who are already aware of the things I write about and want the same things from government that I do. But these numbers are not sufficient to affect any lasting change upon the political landscape of America, and I’ll explain why.

We cannot win at the voting booth, the entire political process is corrupt. The party machinery that is the Republican and Democrat parties has been taken over by banking and corporate interests who have agendas of their own to forward, and the Constitution only stands in their way. Too many people still believe that they actually have a choice for good and bad candidates when they are all bad. As Carlin said, you have the illusion of choice. Besides, you couldn’t get enough people to vote for a truly good candidate anyway, the things they would say on the campaign trail would preclude most voters from wanting to have anything to do with them. Besides, finding one candidate who stands for the same thing our Founders felt is hard enough, trying to find enough to end the corruption and abuses of power in Congress would be next to impossible. We the voters have allowed this corruption to take hold and it is not going to relinquish the power it has accumulated without a fight.

Where does that leave us? Well, it means that if we want government to obey the Constitution we are either going to have to force it to, or take government back from those who occupy the positions of power and authority by force. I am not advocating for revolution for I believe it to be a no win situation. Not only is the federal government too big and too strong right now, but the state governments would, for the most part, not support the people in their efforts as they too are as corrupt by the two party system as is the federal government.

Besides, let’s just say for arguments sake, that there was a revolution, and the minority won. What then? John Adams once said, “The right of a nation to kill a tyrant, in cases of necessity, can no more be doubted, than to hang a robber, or kill a flea. But killing one tyrant only makes way for worse, unless the people have sense, spirit and honesty enough to establish and support a constitution guarded at all points against the tyranny of the one, the few, and the many.”

Furthermore, in the convention for the State of Virginia that was arguing to adopt or reject the proposed Constitution, James Madison said the following, “Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks — no form of government can render us secure. To suppose liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.”

Think about that for it is the essence of the experiment that Washington spoke of in his inaugural address. A revolution may nor may not be successful, but even if it was how could we hope to retain a government that obeyed the Constitution unless the people who chose the representatives to occupy it were not virtuous and kept a watchful eye upon it for the first violation of the limits imposed upon it?

In 1785 James Madison wrote his Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments. In it he stated, “It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties–we hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.”

That is what must occur before any success can be hoped for. People must be willing to fight the minutest of violations of the Constitution by their government, no matter how much said violations serve the public welfare. And that gets right back to complacency and apathy, people have a natural tendency to ignore things until it directly affects them on a personal level. Back in 1929 Senator William Edgar Borah published an article in Readers Digest where he said, “The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.”

So you see the predicament we are in? With the level of apathy and complacency exhibited by most Americans, and their unquestioning faith in the a corrupt two party system, we simply cannot hope to vote out the bad apples in government and replace them with candidates who will honor their oaths to support and defend the Constitution.

We also, although we might win a revolution, cannot hope to maintain a government that limits itself to the Constitutional powers granted it unless a majority of the people vote for candidates who promise to do that, then monitor their every action closely to ensure that they do. And that ties directly into the first statement, with the apathy and complacency of most Americans, that simply isn’t going to happen.

So you see the conundrum we face don’t you? That is the fatal flaw in our system of government, it relied upon us to do what is best for the country and not our own selfish needs and desires. That demanded that we the people remain virtuous and held on to true republican principles, while jealously guarding our rights. In all these areas we have failed dismally. If we want to turn things around in government we must first begin by turning around the attitudes and mindsets of the people who inhabit it, as Jefferson said in his Notes on Virginia, “It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.”

I do not wish to end on a pessimistic, or cynical note, but I only speak the things that I have either learned or observed, and both have led to the conclusion that unless more people begin, first learning about their system of government, and secondly paying attention to what government is doing, then things will not get better, they will continue to get worse. And as John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, “But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”

I have no intention of giving up the fight as I would rather live free or die. But I am realistic in regards to what I see as the future of this country, and the picture is bleak, to say the least. But these things I have just said will go in one ear of most people and out the other and then they will go back to whatever it is they were doing before they read them…that is if most people even read this in the first place.

Unfortunately, the people who need to read this, need to understand the things I have been writing about for the past 15-20 years are not going to care enough to make any serious adjustments in the way they think and feel about the powers their government wield. They will go about their lives as happy as pigs in slop until the truth comes to their doorstep and awakens them from the illusion they have been clinging to all their lives. But by then it will be too late for them to do anything about it.

Our republican system of government demands that, for it to function effectively, the people remain actively informed and actively fight to keep it within the limits imposed upon it. It also requires that they understand their rights and fight each and every infringement upon them.
That is the experiment that was entrusted to us as people of this country, and if final grade were offered, we would get a big fat F.

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Liberals, Conservatives, & The Origin and Evolution of Political Parties

How many of you, (and be honest), when you go to vote know little to nothing about the candidates you are casting your vote for? How many of you just look to see if there is an R or a D next to their name and vote for the candidates belonging to the same political party you do? Is that a fair assessment of how extensively you check a candidate out before electing them to office? Although there probably are exceptions to this rule, I would bet that this is how most people vote. Sure, there may be some who watch the campaign ads and the debates to help them formulate an opinion among candidates of the same party, but I would venture to guess that there are very few who do any kind of extensive research on candidates from the ‘other’ party, or their own party for that matter.

So basically what we have in America is a voting populace who votes not for individual character traits, but a people who cast their votes based primarily upon which party a candidate belongs to. I call this party over principle as what party the candidate belongs to is more important than what the candidate stands for.

Most people in this country choose a political party to affiliate with because the party they choose stands for the beliefs that they themselves hold. There are times, however, when your political party endorses a candidate who you feel is not the best choice, but is better than the candidate being endorsed by the ‘other’ party. So you vote for this candidate because he/she is the lesser of two evils. For some reason this soothes any guilt you may feel about voting for a candidate you feel has some issues you don’t entirely agree with.

But what if there were another candidate, one who did not belong to either of the two main political parties, who did stand for almost everything you believed in, would you vote for them? I doubt it. I got into a heated discussion with a former friend, (yes he stopped being friends with me because of this), about this very issue. It happened when Ron Paul was running. If you took all the qualities you believe in and put them in a list down the side, then put your candidate and Ron Paul’s name at the top, then went down the list and put checkmarks for which candidate stood for the same things you do, and found that Ron Paul scored higher than your candidate, would you vote for them? Again, I doubt it. I asked my friend to do this with Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. Ron Paul outscored Mitt Romney…by a long shot. But in one area my ex-friend disagreed. So he refused to vote for Congressman Paul even though he stood for far more things that he agreed with than did Romney. I called him a traitor to his beliefs…and that was the end of our friendship of 20 years. I could have been more tactful, or held my tongue, but I call it as I see it, and he didn’t like it.

Whenever we have a presidential election the news media has a field day with their teams of political experts analyzing the outcomes in real time. So I’m sure we’ve all seen the maps with the states colored red or blue based upon how that state traditionally votes, or is currently trending. It’s all based upon party affiliation, or at least which party a state is showing its support for at the present time. So what it boils down to is Americans vote for either Republicans, or Democrats, or conservatives and liberals.

I hear those two words tossed around a whole lot, conservative and liberal, and I have to wonder if people really understand what they mean. From what I’ve seen most people think conservative equals Republican and liberal equals Democrat. But, is that really the case? What is a conservative and what is a liberal?

According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary a conservative is a person who believes in the value of established and traditional practices in politics and society, one who does not like or accept changes or new ideas. A liberal, on the other hand, believes that government should be active in supporting social and political change, one who is not opposed to new ideas and does not necessarily conform to tradition or commonly accepted values and beliefs. So basically, at least according to the dictionaries definitions, a conservative likes things the way they are and a liberal doesn’t, and wants to implement change.

If you can be honest with yourself, and use the values of the Founding Fathers as your baseline reference, then both parties are guilty of being liberals, as neither one adheres to the values held by our Founding Fathers. To be honest, at least the Democrats have the courage to admit where they stand. The Republicans on the other hand call themselves conservatives, but they are far from what I consider to be conservative when it comes to adhering to the Constitution and defending the Bill of Rights.

Just to show you what I mean about conservatism and liberalism, let’s play a simple game. Pretend that instead of it being 2015, it is 1776 right now. Who would you consider to be the conservatives, and who would you consider to be the liberals? Conservatives, being the ones who dislike change, would be the loyalists who wished to see the colonies continue to remain under British rule. The liberals, on the other hand, would be the ones whose beliefs differed from the status quo and wanted to bring about radical change.

The reason I bring this up is because liberalism and conservatism are not political parties, they are states of mind in regards to one thing, and one thing only…how much change they are willing to accept. A true conservative wants to see very little change, while a liberal is all about change.

Political parties, especially the Republicans and Democrats are not about change per se, they each have stated platforms of beliefs they adhere to. Those platforms are subject to change as the times demand. For instance, if you were to go back 25 years and look at the platform of the GOP, or Republicans, I’m sure you would find no mention of defending the Homeland against terrorism. However, that is a major talking point of most GOP candidates now. It has become part of their platform.

People today consider themselves to be either conservative in their beliefs, or liberal. They choose the political party which they believe stands for the same things they do. But in reality, at least how I see the political parties today, they stand for something entirely different.
If you ask me I consider what we call liberals to be more like Marxist/Socialists who believe in equality for all regardless of merit, and who believe in a redistribution of wealth; taking from those who have and giving to those in need. I like to say that liberals have the Robin Hood syndrome, they take from the rich and give to the poor. Those who profess to be liberals often do so because they support a specific cause. In that aspect liberalism can be the umbrella which covers a wide range of people with different beliefs. Some may support gay rights, while others may be environmentalists. But those who affiliate themselves with the Democratic party, the party which openly admits to being liberal, often do so because of a specific cause that they feel strongly about. Liberalism covers all these groups that believe they are entitled to something, or feel disenfranchised by the system, and promise that they will use the power of government to take care of their needs, or benefit their cause.

Conservatives on the other hand, although claiming to stand for traditional values and beliefs, are more akin to Fascists. Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator during World War II once proclaimed that “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” Today conservatives, or at least the GOP itself, is more the party of big business and corporate special interest groups. In a speech delivered back in 2000 George W. Bush declared, “This is an impressive crowd — the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite; I call you my base.” That right there sums up what conservatism, as far as political party ideologies, stands for in America today. While I am all for the rich being entitled to keep what they own without unfair taxation upon them, what I am trying to get at is that the GOP considers them to be their base, while the average Tom, Dick and Jane American have no party which represents them, and more importantly, there is no true political party, or power, that stands for a strict adherence to Constitutional principles. That is the point I was trying to make.

Whatever your personal beliefs are you cannot deny that our country is pretty divided along political party lines. I’ll bet you didn’t know that our Founders were not too fond of the idea of political parties, or factions as they often called them.

In fact, in 1789 Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I am not a Federalist, because I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.”

John Adams is also quoted as saying, “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

So if they were so against political parties, how did these parties come into existence, and how have they evolved over the course of our nation’s history? If you think about it there were factions before George Washington was sworn in as our first president under the new Constitution. There were those who believe that the Constitution was inherently good, and it was what this country needed. These were known as Federalists. Then there were those who believed the Constitution went too far and granted this federal government far too much power at the expense of the states and of the rights of the people. These were known as the anti-Federalists. Not very catchy names, but they summed up the views that divided them.

But the truth as to where political parties came from you have to go back to the Washington administration and look primarily at two men; Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Thomas Jefferson served as President Washington’s Secretary of State, while Alexander Hamilton was his Secretary of the Treasury. The difference of views and the political battles these two men fought are the stuff of legend, at least it is if you are as interested in this kind of thing as I am.

Both men grew up under different circumstances and served in different capacities during the American Revolution. Their life experiences and education shaped their views on politics and political power. Jefferson believed in a weak federal government with limited powers while Hamilton believed in a much stronger federal power with little to no power retained by the states. This rivalry, and difference of opinion gave birth to the first political parties in this country. There were the Federalists who sided with Hamilton, and the Democratic-Republicans who sided with Jefferson and James Madison. There major differences were the scope of powers granted government by the Constitution, not the ideological differences that divide the two parties today.

Then in 1829 the Democratic-Republicans split into two camps. There were the Jacksonian Democrats who are the forerunners to today’s Democrats, and there where the Whigs. The Jacksonian’s believed in a strong executive, (president), while the Whigs favored a strong Congress. The Whigs eventually came apart due to the deaths among their party leadership and a division over the issue of slavery.
From this point forward there were basically two different parties and two, constantly shifting, ideologies. There were the Republicans and Democrats and although the names have continued up to present times, the things they have stood for have evolved.

The big difference now is that neither party stands for limited government as did the original Democratic-Republicans. Both parties see government as a means to further the goals, or agendas of the special interests that their party represents.

The party machinery that are the Republican and Democratic Parties themselves act as filters and weed out anyone who does not adhere strictly to the party platform. That is why when Ron Paul ran he had to do so from a grassroots level, even though he was running as a Republican. The party itself refused to endorse, or back him due to his belies differing from those of the people who fund the GOP. In short he was a threat to the interests of the base that George Bush spoke of.

That is the major difference between most Americans, and the few I consider to be friends and allies in the battle against the increasing size of, and intrusion into my life of, government. We vote for principle as it pertains to adhering to the limits of power contained within the Constitution. Everyone else votes along party lines and the differing ideologies that they have.

The sad thing is that if you really took the time to dig in to who funds the parties, you would find that both parties are controlled by the same group of people. A perfect example of what I’m trying to say is that TV commercial for Twix candy bars. They show the right Twix camp and the left Twix camp, each saying their side is better. But in reality they are both owned and manufactured the same. So it is with political parties in America today. They may present themselves as being different, but on major issues they are in lock step with each other. If their truly was any difference you would see one party, (when it controlled both houses of Congress and the Presidency) repealing legislation passed by the other party when it held the reins of power. But you don’t see that because in regards to the important issues to those who really control our government, they are both the same.

George Carlin said it best when he spoke of a big club that we aren’t members of. They give us the illusion of choice when in reality we are choosing from two clowns working for the same puppet masters. That is why I no longer affiliate myself with either party. I realize that they are just puppets for the corporate and banking interests that run things from behind the scenes in America. If everyone else could just see this then maybe we could begin to affect change in America, change for the better. But as long as you believe that ‘your party’ is better than the other one, things will continue to erode in this country.

You can call yourselves Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives, but if you support either party you are falling for a lie. The only true party you should belong to is the INFORMED party. The party of people who have seen behind the curtain, looked beyond all the smoke and mirrors, and seen the truth for what it is. If you belong to any other party you may as well walk into the voting booth and flip a coin, because regardless of whether you get heads or tails, you still end up with the same face value of that coin. The same thing applies when you vote for an R or a D, you still get the same face value in matters of importance.

In short I’m asking people to pull their heads out of their asses, and I know from experience that it simply isn’t going to happen. So go on, believing your lie if it makes you feel comfortable. But know this, it is a lie and when the truth is finally revealed you will sorely wish that you had listened to people like me.

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