Why I’m Such A Grumpy Old Codger

It has become something of a standing joke that I never smile. Last night at work someone even came up and asked my wife if I ever smile at home; and the other day on Facebook people commented on the fact that I was actually smiling in a photo of me with author James Rollins. I can smile, and would more often; if I wasn’t always so pissed off.

What’s there to be so pissed off about you say? Well, it basically boils down to the balance of character traits that people exhibit; and how they are so lopsided. It’s hard to be optimistic at work when you are surrounded by people who exhibit no work ethics and integrity. What makes matters worse is that those who do exhibit those characteristics are zeroed in on and abused, while those who do not exhibit them are allowed to get away with doing a mere fraction of what they are supposed to do to earn their pay. It’s hard to find reasons to smile when you are doing the work of two people but only getting paid for the work of one.

But it’s more than just laziness in the workplace that keeps me in an almost perpetual state of anger, its society in general; I’m just tired of dealing with most of the fellow human beings I come into contact with. Sure, there are exceptions to this, and I do smile when I’m around them. But for the most part, people simply piss me off.

You see, most people exhibit 3 character traits which make dealing with them excruciatingly aggravating:

1) willful ignorance
2) apathy
3) complacency

There are things in life that are important, and there are things in life that are not so important. The problem with society today is that their priorities are ass backwards; they place the trivial stuff at the top of their list, and the truly important things, like their liberty, are way down at the bottom of their list.

Willful ignorance is not something that is forced upon you, nor is it some mental defect you were born with; it is a conscious choice. With the almost universal access to the information superhighway at people’s disposal there is absolutely no excuse for ignorance; unless of course knowledge regarding things of true importance is something people do not care to obtain.

You see, willful ignorance is tied directly to the second thing that upsets me about most people; apathy. People simply do not care about the truth; they would rather have their information spoon fed to them by someone else rather than take the time to research things for themselves.

A good example of this is when election time rolls around and we are faced with making all these decisions on whether to vote in favor of or against numerous ballot measures. How many people actually make an effort to read the ballot measure in question before voting on it? How many people have tried to wade through a piece of Congressional legislation before deciding whether they want their Congressman to vote for or against it?

The thing is, knowledge takes time to acquire, and there are only so many hours per day. Most people are reluctant to dedicate any of their time to reading books or old documents about our system of government or our country’s history; especially if doing so interrupts their ability to seek entertainment. But you see that is not so much a problem of there not being enough time; it is more due to the fact that they simply don’t believe these things to be of any importance.

Which, in a roundabout way, ties in to the final thing I find aggravating; the complacency people exhibit when it comes to how their government is trampling upon their liberty. It should be obvious that if you do not know what powers your government is supposed to be exercising on your behalf, and what your rights are, that you won’t be able to tell when your government is overstepping its legitimate authority and trampling upon your freedom.

The other day my friend, Michael Gaddy, posted a very insightful comment on his Facebook page, “People prefer comfort over liberty. How comfortable will they be when their liberty is gone?” How many laws have we tolerated our elected representatives to pass which overstep their lawful authority and restrict our liberty; just so that our lives are made safer and more comfortable? How many of our freedoms have we lost simply because we bow down to political correctness and the claim that speaking one’s mind is offensive to others?

Have you ever wondered where the term John Hancock came as it pertains to one’s signature? It came about because John Hancock was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence and he did so in huge scrawling letters. But that is not the whole story; Hancock did that intentionally so that King George III was sure to see his name first. It was his way of saying, “Take this you tyrannical son of a bitch!”

Hancock was not the only one to not care whether his words or actions offended others. After Parliament enacted the Stamp Act in 1765 the taxes it imposed were the discussion of choice across the Colonies. On May 30th Patrick Henry stood before a delegation of his fellow Virginians and began to deliver a speech aimed at the King. Henry began by saying, “Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell and George the Third…” at which point he was interrupted with the cries of TREASON from the audience. He then went on to finish his sentence with, “…may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.” Ten years later Henry would utter his immortal words, “Give me liberty or give me death!”

Our Founding Fathers did not know political correctness; and had they known it I don’t think it would have stopped them from saying things that others may have found offensive. Why is it that so many people today tiptoe around the subject that the government we have today is 100 times more tyrannical than the one our Founders sought their independence from? Why is it that we proclaim them to be patriots but exhibit none of the love of liberty that they did? Why is it that they are considered our earliest American heroes, but the people of the Southern States who sought only to exercise the same rights they did are denounced, and the monuments dedicated to their leaders are being torn down at an alarming rate because people find them offensive?

And people wonder why I’m angry when the founding beliefs of men like Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson have been turned upside down, inside out and ass backwards? People say they love liberty, but they don’t even know what it is, and then sit back and do absolutely nothing as it is being taken from them. And you expect me to walk around with a smile on my face like there’s nothing wrong?

Listen, I have nothing against someone who holds an opposing view. I do become upset, however, when those holding opposing views cannot support them with any facts. I have a friend on Facebook whom I respect immensely, but I don’t always agree with him. I respect him because he can back up his position with facts; they are not the emotional rants I get from most people when they try to support their position on the issues.

That’s why I become so angry with many of those who support Donald Trump as President. Their sole arguments in support of him are that he is better than Clinton would have been, and that he’s really trying to do what’s right for this country. Really, is that all you can offer up to support your position? Leaving the office of President vacant for four years would have been better than electing Hillary Clinton too, but you’ll never see that happen.

As for ‘he’s trying to do what’s best for America’; that doesn’t justify any president from overstepping their legal authority. Daniel Webster once said, “Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.”

Is Trump supporting and defending the Constitution? Is he ‘trying’ to eliminate unconstitutional laws and abolish the unconstitutional agencies that enforce them? Is he trying to limit US intervention in the affairs of other nations, or is he bullying other countries, as our Ambassador to the UN recently did when she threatened the other members of the United Nations who did not support the establishment of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?

I’m tired of people putting their faith, trust and hopes in a broken system that cannot be fixed at the voting booth. As Judge Learned Hand said in 1944, “Liberty lies in the hearts and minds of the people…” It is not something you are going to get by choosing from among a shopping list of candidates at the voting booth; you are going to get it when it becomes the motivating force in your life.

Waiting every 4 years for an election in the hopes that your liberty be restored to you is akin to our Founders writing petition after petition to King George begging him to restore their liberty; at some point they decided that further attempts to restore their liberty through peaceful petitions was an exercise in futility. How long will it be before people today come to the same realization; that we cannot fix America at the voting booth?

If someone takes something that belongs to you, you have but two options. You can either let them keep it, or you can take it back from them; by force if needs be. That statement is no less true simply because it is your liberty that has been taken or the fact that it is your government that has stolen it from you.

I can almost feel the fear and trepidation now because of the implications of those words. I can almost hear the cries of TREASON as did Patrick Henry. But did not every member of the Second Continental Congress commit treason when they signed the Declaration of Independence? We celebrate their dedication to the principle of liberty every July 4, yet even the faintest of hints that they may be faced with the same decision in their lifetime causes them to hide from the fact that their government no longer gives a rat’s ass about the liberty it was established to safeguard and protect.

I hear people say that if we could just get someone to lead us we would vote for them. Did the minutemen at Lexington and Concord wait for someone to lead them when they formed up against the British Regulars and fired upon them? Can you imagine the public outcry today if armed citizens formed up and fired upon BATF agents when they attempted to enforce their unconstitutional gun laws?

Can you imagine the public outcry today if a bunch of angry citizens stormed the house of their governor and ransacked and looted it as the people of Boston did to their governor for supporting the imposition of the taxes levied by the Stamp Act?

Can you imagine the public outcry if patriots today performed an act of civil disobedience as disruptive and destructive as when the Son’s of Liberty rowed out to the ships in Boston Harbor and dumped all the tea overboard?

One look at how the public views LaVoy Finicum; the Bundy’s, the Branch Davidians, the Weavers, or Edward Snowden ought to give you the answer to how people would react. They have become so conditioned not to question authority; even when that authority is violating your rights.

In 1785 James Madison wrote, “The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entagled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.”

Had that been written today, it might read as follows, “The people of America have waited till usurped power has strengthened itself through exercise and judicial review; entangling itself in endless precedents. They have denied the principle that their rights are theirs and not subject to public opinion or legislative authority. They are now suffering the consequences of their ignorance, their apathy, and their complacency.”

Maybe now you know why I have become such a grumpy old coot. Give me a reason to smile and I will; show me that you have taken the time to educate yourselves and are willing to stop putting your faith and trust in a broken system and you’ll see me smile; and if you really want to see me smile, start standing up for your liberty before it’s all gone.

If you can’t do that, you may as well get used to this scowl; because it ain’t going away until you do.

About Br'er Rabbit

I'm just one person out of millions of others. The only thing different about me is that I don't walk around with my head up my ass.
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