How many of y’all remember the fracas that ensued when San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the playing of the National Anthem; the Star Spangled Banner? I may not have supported his ‘reason’ for refusing to stand during the playing of the National Anthem, but I did support his right to do so. At the same time, as a member of the 49er franchise I also felt that he must accept the consequences of violating company policy regarding respect given to the flag while wearing the 49er uniform. Well if the actions of Colin Kaepernick offended people, this will flat out piss those same people off.
It is my belief, and until the logic behind it can be proven wrong, that The Star Spangled Banner should be banned entirely – no pun intended. The reason I say that, which will become abundantly clear, is that the following lines from the first stanza no longer apply to America, “Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”
I know I don’t speak for everyone when I say this, but I am speaking for the majority when I say that Americans haven’t been free or brave for a very long time. Sure, there are those who enlist in our military and go off to fight in foreign wars, and while that is a form of bravery it does not answer the question of ‘what’ they are fighting for.
There is an interesting statistic that claims that out of most of our existence as a country, 93% in fact, America has been at war against someone. Some of those wars were justified while others, in my opinion, weren’t. Yet in each of those wars I’m certain that there were individual acts of courage by those we sent off to fight in them.
As a quick example, let’s look at the heroics of one Desmond Doss. Desmond Doss was a conscientious objector, (he refused to carry a weapon), during World War II, and during the battle for Okinawa he rescued, I believe it was, 75 individuals who had been trapped behind on Hacksaw Ridge while his unit retreated the Japanese defense of the island. Doss won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions; marking him as one who exhibited outstanding bravery. So I’m not saying that our fighting men and women do not exhibit courage, or bravery, in the face of danger; that would be disingenuous of me. What I am asking is; what were they fighting for?
The very first war we fought as a people was our war for independence; all others had been fought as British citizens fighting to defend possessions held by the British Crown; such as the French and Indian War; 1754-1763. The American Revolution, or the War for Independence, was not fought because we were invaded or attacked by conquering enemies; the British were already here, and we were British citizens whose obedience was to the British Crown. Our first war as a people was a war against our system of government; one which we sought to free ourselves from because it had begun doing things that violated our rights, our liberty.
Those who fought in that war, those whose names appear on the Declaration of Independence, did not seek riches or glory; they sought independence from a tyrant. All they wanted was to free themselves from a government that had begun encroaching upon their rights and liberty. That is the ‘what’ I am asking about when I ask what these acts of bravery are in defense of; and I find it sorely lacking in those who share this once great country with me.
For as long as I’ve lived I’ve been a slave to our system of government. However, in recent years, decades in fact, the infringements upon my rights and liberty have become so blatant that only a blind man could not see them. Nonetheless people do not see them; a great many people in fact. These people are of the opinion that if they could just elect so and so then things would be great in America again; all while they refuse to see the facts that are staring them right in the face; our government is guilty of a long train of abuses which evince an object of reducing us to absolute despotism; and I hope Thomas Jefferson doesn’t mind me stealing his words.
Our school teachers may teach us a little about the American Revolution, they may even teach us of some of the events leading up to it; but not in the kind of detail that gives you a clear picture of what was actually going on in the Colonies; that requires a level of study most people today are unwilling to undertake.
The Stamp Act of 1765 was the first spark that ignited unrest in America over the actions of the British government. Some may know that the Colonies petitioned the Crown to have them repealed, and they may even know about some of the actions undertaken in the town of Boston; for instance the burning in effigy of Andrew Oliver or the ransacking of the home of the Governor of Boston by an angry mob. Yet do they know that the other Colonies took great offense at these taxes; that they committed various acts of civil disobedience that effectively nullified the taxes?
As soon as word of the Stamp Act reached Virginia, the young upstart Patrick Henry rose up in the Virginia House of Burgesses and introduced a series of resolves opposing the Stamp Act. Patrick Henry took his outrage straight to the people through the press; the people took it from there by committing acts of civil disobedience against government officials and tax collectors.
Groups like the Son’s of Liberty could not exist in today’s political climate; where the people bow in obedience to every law passed by government that infringe upon their rights and liberty. Yet that was the mettle of those we supposedly honor every July 4th; men who were willing to rise up and resist any and all authority that infringes upon their rights and liberty.
Where is that spirit today, might I be so bold to ask?
As much as I’ve grown to despise Dr. Benjamin Rush, he did write one thing to John Adams in a letter commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence; something y’all should read with shame, “Do you recollect the pensive and awful silence which pervaded the house when we were called up, one after another, to the table of the President of Congress, to subscribe what was believed by many at that time to be our own death warrants?”
Those men knew that by declaring independence from England, from the British Crown, they were committing treason – yet they did it anyway. Why? The answer is simple, for to them their liberty was of much greater importance than life itself.
Not everyone in the country agreed with them; in fact they only constituted about 1/3 of the people living in the Colonies at the time. Yet that did not deter them from rising up against their government; rising up to defend their liberty.
Again I ask; where is that spirit today?
For years I’ve seen news stories about, and even been asked to participate in, protests decrying laws government has sought to enact which violate our rights or infringe upon our liberty. What good do protests do when those we are protesting to ignore our voices? Those we call our Founders, the names we all recognize, protested to in the form of petitions to the Crown for a redress of grievances. Yet while their petitions fell upon deaf ears it was the people who rose up and resisted these laws, destroyed tax collection offices, dumped tea into Boston Harbor, and formed up on Lexington Green when government officials came to take their guns away.
I look at what’s going on in America today with sadness and shame. I see people standing on street corners holding placards and waving American flags in protest against these stay at home orders. I see people attempting to put measures onto the ballot restoring their rights and liberty.
THEY MISS THE PICTURE! Government has no authority to infringe upon their rights and liberty, and the ONLY reason it has been able to do so is because the people obey the laws that do so. If enough people would just say, “No, we will not obey” then those laws would be meaningless; mere words of a piece of paper; powerless over us.
Would the police, or the military, be called upon to enforce them? Possibly, but that is where the bravery comes in; would the people in this country be ready to lay down their life resisting tyranny; or would they say “Yes sir” and surrender their freedom to tyrants just because they wear a uniform or a badge, and carry a gun?
I am sick to my stomach when I see how readily people just hand over their freedom because government tells them there is a supposed threat. Just look at how much of our liberty we gave up to keep us safe from terror! Just look at how much of our freedom is being taken from us to prevent us from contracting a virus…a virus for crying out loud!
It doesn’t matter to most people how much data is provided that proves this virus is nowhere near as serious as officials and the news media make it out to be. It doesn’t matter how much data is provided that proves that the wearing of masks is ineffective at stopping the spread of this virus; and that wearing them can actually be worse for you. It doesn’t matter how much data one provides that prove that Dr. Fauci sent millions to the research lab in Wuhan China were this virus originated. It doesn’t matter how much data you provide that shows that the best way of fighting this virus is a strong immune system, and the building up of herd immunity; which we CANNOT do if we’re locked up in our homes or practicing social distancing.
All that matters is what the news media and government officials tell us; that there is a virus, (which I’m not denying there is), and that we must follow their orders to keep us safe. Liberty? What the hell is the loss of our liberty when there is a virus that might kill us?
In the movie Braveheart, starring Mel Gibson, there is a scene when he is in prison awaiting execution when the Princess of England comes and begs him to plead for a reduction of his sentence. She tells him he may die, to which he replies, “Every man dies…Not every man really lives.” Now I don’t know whether William Wallace actually said that, but it’s a good line nonetheless.
What good is a life without the liberty to live your life according to the dictates of your own heart? Men like Patrick Henry understood that, as proven by his quote from the Virginia Ratifying Assembly, “Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings-give us that precious jewel, and you may take every thing else.”
Liberty, or the spirit of it, is not dead in America, but it certainly is on life support; clinging on by a thread. The sad thing is, most people today don’t even know what liberty is; and they are under the mistaken belief that they still enjoy it. Those of us who know what liberty is, and see that it is almost non-existent are treated as outcasts and extremists; because we see what others don’t; that our government has been chipping away at our liberty for decades, if not since its inception in 1789.
Y’all know who Adolf Hitler is/was, right? Well Hitler once wrote something that accurately describes what I am witnessing before my very eyes, “The best way to take control over a people and to control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes can be reversed.”
You have been born into slavery yet you believe you are free because you are told you are free; but true freedom is something you know nothing about; and care about even less. My friend Danielle Mottale explains freedom and liberty as follows, “Each individual is free to do and act as they please, want to lock yourself in a cave and disinfect yourself and your surroundings to kingdom come? Be my guest. The freeways will run smoother for my beamer. Want to trust your high priests and have them pump you full of poison? please…you won’t catch me rush to rescue you. you are free to be as insane and dumb as you can, consume what you want, believe what you want, act as you want…Wanna voluntary be bankrupt and dependent? You got it.
But what you CAN NOT do, is force others to commit suicide along with you! Take all the mind glowingly idiotic “precautions” you want…watch your “news”…wear muzzles and jump in horror every time someone gets near you! I totally support it. It sure weeds the morons from the humans. But do NOT assume for one second that shit will work on others for your own ‘comfort’.” If that shocks you, if that offends you, if that ‘frightens’ you, then you don’t know the first damned thing about freedom, and you are a slave; and I do not consider you my friend!
There is a book that I wish I could get people to read called the Politics of Obedience, by Etienne de la Boetie. The sad thing about it is that, with the education people have received they would probably not be able to make sense of what he writes. Nonetheless I would like to share a few passages from it in the hope that maybe there’s a spark of intelligence left in this country, an ember of the spirit of liberty that led men like Patrick Henry to declare, “Give me liberty or give me death.”
-But O, good Lord! What strange phenomenon is this? What name shall we give it? What is the nature of this misfortune? What vice is it, or, rather, what degradation? To see an endless multitude of people not merely obeying, but driven to servility? Not ruled, but tyrannized over? These wretches have no wealth, no kin, nor wife nor children, not even life itself that they can call their own.
-A people enslaves itself, cuts its own throat, when, having a choice between being vassals and being free men, it deserts its liberties and takes on the yoke, gives consent to its own misery, or, rather, apparently welcomes it. -One never pines for what he has never known; longing comes only after enjoyment and constitutes, amidst the experience of sorrow, the memory of past joy. It is truly the nature of man to be free and to wish to be so, yet his character is such that he instinctively follows the tendencies that his training gives him.
-There are always a few, better endowed than others, who feel the weight of the yoke and cannot restrain themselves from attempting to shake it off: these are the men who never become tamed under subjection and who always — like Ulysses on land and sea, constantly seeking the smoke of his chimney — cannot prevent themselves from peering about for their natural privileges and from remembering their ancestors and their former ways. … These are the ones who, having good minds of their own, have further trained them by study and learning. Even if liberty had entirely perished from the earth, such men would invent it. For them, slavery has no satisfactions, no matter how well disguised.
If you cannot see what those passages mean; if you cannot see what is happening to your liberty; if you cannot, or will not stand up and defend what remains of your liberty; or seek to restore that liberty which has been stolen from you, then that is why I say we should ban the Star Spangled Banner, for this is NOT the land of the free, nor the home of the brave.