Why I Really Don’t Care If I Have Any Friends

I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but the other night as I was re-reading Ayn Rand’s classic novel Atlas Shrugged, I came across something that caused me to pause my reading and say to myself, “Damn, she’s describing me!” What stopped me in my tracks was a single sentence which said, “Reardon sat in his room at the Wayne-Falkland Hotel, fighting an enemy more dangerous than weariness or fear: revulsion against the thought of having to deal with human beings.”

I have been asked why I’m so quiet when I am out in public. It’s not that I do not like engaging in conversation, it’s that I don’t like engaging in conversation over things I care nothing about. I have been told that my views and beliefs are offensive and radical, and that I should tone down my rhetoric and try to ‘just get along’ with people.

What has happened to society that any serious discussion containing the truth is deemed politically incorrect and that those who engage in such discussions are labeled as offensive or radical? Not to make this entirely about Atlas Shrugged, but throughout that book you will find conversations between the producers of goods and services and the looters and moochers, where the latter always end up saying something like, “There are no absolutes” or “Why do you have to use words like that.” I find it pretty amazing that a book could have so accurately described the state society would find itself in 5 decades after it was published; but then again, didn’t Orwell foresee the growth of Big Brother as well?

Anyway, the reason I don’t talk much with people can best be summed up by something I saw on a T-shirt design a few years back, “The reason I talk to myself so much is because I’m the only one I can have an intelligent conversation with.” I’m not saying everyone is stupid, but I am saying is that a great many people choose to discuss stupid subjects rather than subjects that actually matter.

I have a friend on Facebook who, over the course of the past 24 hours, has posted two things which tie in nicely to this discussion. The first was a post made yesterday morning that said, “What I learned this morning on Facebook:

One…I can provoke more discussion with a post about dogs than a post about guns, race, or politics combined.”

And the other thing my friend Bart said was, “I want to take a moment to specifically thank EVERYONE on my friends list who finds me disagreeable, my beliefs in TOTAL opposition, and my statements often offensive, but who still think enough of MY intellect and are confident enough in THEIR OWN beliefs that they don’t take the chicken-shit tap out, and boot and block me, and arent afraid to KNUCKLE UP (intellectually speaking) and DRAG IT OUT. I respect a fighter. And I DO NOT suffer cowards…”

I too feel the same way as Bart. I’d be willing to bet if I took a can of Van Camp’s pork n beans and opened it into a bowl, then took a picture of it and posted it on Facebook with a comment like, “Supper is ready”; I’d get about a dozen likes and possibly a few comments. But let me post a lengthy article that requires those who read it to actually think or one which causes them to question their beliefs and the silence is deafening.

I don’t know, could it be that some people just don’t want to think about anything serious anymore; choosing instead to focus their attention on trivialities over things that actually matter. Or is it that most people cannot back up their positions with any degree of competency in a serious debate; which leads me to Bart’s second comment.

I respect someone who I disagree with, but can support their position with facts of their own much more than I respect someone whose opinion is similar to mine, but can’t back it up with any facts. What I have found, and this is true with people I agree with and disagree with, is that those who have taken the time to research an issue, and I mean seriously research it, are comfortable enough in their position that they do not need to start hurling insults at those they disagree with.

I have had a few serious debates with people whose opinions I disagreed with, and after they ended we always agreed to disagree, but thanked each other for not resorting to name calling and insults. I truly think that the politically correct who hurl insults at those they disagree with, do so because they have no ammunition to back up their position. I believe they hurl insults because they are very insecure in their own beliefs and would rather insult someone than question their own beliefs.

But that is why I do not engage in a whole lot of conversation when I am out in public. I have found that it always ends up with them insulting me and I don’t have the time or the inclination to argue with people who refuse to deal in facts. It’s like the old Mark Twain saying, “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

My friend Bart mentions cowards, or cowardice in his second comment. Most people, when they think of cowardice, think of acts of bravery. But there is another form of cowardice that I believe is even more despicable; that describing a person who is unwilling to question their own beliefs. Again, I hate to make this all about Atlas Shrugged, but throughout the book you find the quote, “Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.”

If you are having a political discussion with a person who provides fact after fact after fact that contradict your belief, don’t you think it might be time for you to reevaluate your beliefs; or is that too uncomfortable a proposition for you?

There is a scene towards the end of the movie Jason Bourne where Matt Damon is holding a gun to Tommy Lee Jones and he says he’s trying to find a different way, whereupon Tommy Lee Jones asks him, “And how’s that working out for you?” I hear all these political debates among people and they always revolve around the premise that if their candidate gets elected everything will be okay. When I hear these type discussions I cannot decide whether I want to scream, or to vomit.

We had 8 years of the Democrat Bill Clinton, then 8 years of the Republican George W. Bush, then 8 years of Barack Obama. So I’ll ask the question Tommy Lee Jones asked of Matt Damon, “How’s that working out for you?” You do know that Einstein described insanity as doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result? Well that’s exactly what I see going on in this country; people vote for a Democrat hoping things will get better, and when they don’t they elect a Republican with the same hopes. When it doesn’t get any better they go back to a Democrat and the cycle keeps flip flopping back and forth.

You want to know what I find to be the scariest word in political discussions. I find the word bipartisan to be the scariest word in any political discussion because it means both parties are in agreement on something; and that typically results in some draconian law which violates our rights. Don’t believe me? Well, the Patriot Act was passed with almost unanimous bipartisan support, and the Patriot Act eviscerated the Bill of Rights.

Getting back to cowardice for a minute, I believe it is the ultimate expression of cowardice to reject facts simply because they do not conform to your beliefs. I know this may not be the wisest choice on my part, but I believe wholeheartedly in something Aleister Crowley once said, “The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and willfully to reject truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander not to thy prejudices.”

There is an old saying I grew up having to hear over and over again, “Don’t put all of your chickens into one basket.” Yet isn’t that what people are doing when they place all their hopes for the future of this country into the hope that one good candidate from their party will come along and fix all the problems this country faces?

In 1775 the desire for separation from Britain had not gained enough support amongst the Colonists to become sufficient motivation for them to fight for their independence from the tyranny of King George III. Yet one evening, in a church in Virginia, a young orator named Patrick Henry stood up and delivered a rousing speech, which in part states, “Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.”

What happened to that spirit which leads men to seek out the truth, that love of liberty that overrides all other Earthly concerns? How can anyone in their right minds believe that it is more important to be able to recite statistics from football games played two years ago, but not be able to identify the presidential chain of succession by name? How is it that people can sing along with hundreds of pop songs yet not be able to tell you what rights the Bill of Rights protects? How is it that people believe themselves qualified to vote for people to hold office in a government that the voters have no understanding of why it was established and what purposes it was to serve?

Ignorance is like a blindfold in that when you put it on you need someone to lead you around. If you do not know your countries history you cannot see how far it has strayed from the principles which it was founded upon. If you do not understand how your system of government was designed to work then you rely upon what those in office tell you are its powers; not the document which established it. If you are ignorant of these things you are easily manipulated and enslaved, and as Thomas Paine said, “When I contemplate the natural dignity of man, when I feel (for Nature has not been kind enough to me to blunt my feelings) for the honour and happiness of its character, I become irritated at the attempt to govern mankind by force and fraud, as if they were all knaves and fools, and can scarcely avoid disgust at those who are thus imposed upon.”

That’s why I don’t talk that much in public, it is because were I to open my mouth more often my disgust would become too obvious. There is another T-shirt design that I have seen that I’ve been tempted to purchase which says, “If you could read my mind you’d be traumatized for life.” While I don’t know about being traumatized, but if people could read my mind, I certainly wouldn’t have any problem with not wanting to talk to people; for be so angry they wouldn’t want to talk to me.

Most of the time, people choose their friends based upon shared likes. I choose my friends based upon how well I can count on them to have my back should I need it; upon how much competence they exhibit; how hard they work; how honest they are; and finally, how knowledgeable they are about things that matter to me. I didn’t say on how much they agree with me, for I have friends who disagree with my views. But I’d rather be friends with someone I disagree with who can back up their position, than friends with someone who agrees with me who can’t.

The Spring after our Declaration of Independence was adopted, John Adams wrote a letter to his wife in which he stated, “Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good Use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took such Pains to preserve it.”

I wonder what ole John Adams must be thinking now? Yet there is a remnant of the patriots of 1776 who live today, but we are ignored and shunned by the mainstream as being irrelevant or too radical in our beliefs. Although we’d like to see more like minded people, that’s fine with us. We believe as Jefferson when he said, “Our cause is just.” (Source: Declaration on the Cause and Necessities of Taking Up Arms, 1775)

We also believe as did Samuel Adams, “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

You see, it doesn’t matter if you agree with me, or even like me for that matter; I could care less. I care more about my liberty, and how your views will only lead to it being further eroded, than I do about having dozens of friends. And I guess when it all boils down to it, that’s what distinguishes a patriot from a slave.

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Let’s See How The Brits Handle Sarcasm

This just went out in the mail to Imagine Publishing, a United Kingdom publishing house…

To Whom It May Concern: Nov. 28, 2017

As you can see by the return address on the envelope this letter came in, I’m a Yank. But I’m not just any ordinary Yank, I’m a deep down in my soul Southern Yank, and I take great offense at lies being told about a cause which is near and dear to my heart, the cause of the Confederate States of America.

First of all, it was not a Civil War as you claim, as a Civil War is when two sides fight for control of a nation as a whole; which simply was not the case. No my good fellows, the cause the South was fighting for was not control over the Union, it was a separation from the Union; much like the one we fought against you blokes across the pond way back in 1776.

When your cheery old King George III agreed to the Treaty of Paris in 1783 he declared the States in America to be free and independent, and in 1861 the South only fought to regain that status from a government that had become quite similar to the one the Colonies sought their independence from; yours.

The idea of separation was one which was widely accepted as a State’s right. In fact, the Commonwealth of Virginia wrote that into their ratification statement, saying, “We the Delegates of the People of Virginia duly elected in pursuance of a recommendation from the General Assembly and now met in Convention having fully and freely investigated and discussed the proceedings of the Federal Convention and being prepared as well as the most mature deliberation hath enabled us to decide thereon Do in the name and in behalf of the People of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will …”

You see, it was not so much a Civil War as it was a war for independence fought by those seeking their independence from a government they believed to have become oppressive, and the armies of the government that sought to use force to bind them to the Union; just as your King George III sought to use force to bind the Colonies to the British Empire.

So I can see how any book published by a United Kingdom publishing company might want to revise the truth a little bit about America’s Second War for Independence as a means of getting us Yanks back for having the audacity to rebel against British authority.

Anyways, the point I want to make is that, awhile back, not knowing at first that it was published by a United Kingdom publishing house, I purchased one of your books from the All About History Series entitled, The Founding of the United States. On page 103 of your publication I found the following:

I draw your attention to the final paragraph where you say that Lee and Longstreet were equally bent on destroying the Constitution. Sorry chaps, but nothing could be further from the truth.

I now pose a question to you that I would like you to seriously consider: Had the Confederacy won this so-called Civil War, would that have meant that the Constitution of the North would have ceased to exist, and that the government it established would have simply disappeared off the face of the Earth?

The answer to both questions is a resounding NO! Had the Confederacy won, the Constitution would still have existed, and the government it established would have remained in power. The only difference is that the power held by that government would not have extended to the Confederacy; as they had returned to their status as free and independent States.

You see, they believed they had the right to do so based upon the words of a document that must still annoy the hell out of you Brits; the Declaration of Independence, wherein it states, “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, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

If those bloody Yanks up North decided that they wished to remain under the authority of the government established by the Constitution, well that was their right to do so; but they could not force the South to remain in the Union if it decided to sever the political ties which bound them to it.

You see, although the Northern Yanks may have forgotten the reason why their forefathers had created our system of government, but those in the South still remembered, and they also remembered the words of Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty or give me death.” They didn’t want war, but they weren’t afraid to fight for what they believed to be their right either. So when the tyrant Abraham Lincoln raised an army to force the South to remain in the Union, they fought for their independence.

I find it funny that tyrants such as Abe Lincoln will say one thing, but then when it comes time to stand behind their words their actions take another course altogether. You see, just over a decade prior to Abe Lincoln denying the Confederacy the right to leave the Union, he made a speech in the House of Representatives in which he said, “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, most sacred right- a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to excercise it. Any portion of such people that can, may revolutionize and make their own, of so much territory as the inhabit.” (January 12, 1848)

You claim that Lee and Longstreet sought to destroy the Constitution, but if that’s the case, why would the Confederacy would use it as the template for their own Constitution? Or has that question never crossed your minds? The Constitution of the Confederate States of America was almost the same; word for word, except for a few alterations which they hoped would prevent the government they were establishing from becoming like the one they were seeking their independence from.

If there is one thing I despise, it is lies intentionally told and passed off as the truth; and your comments on Lee and Longstreet seeking to destroy the Constitution is a bold faced lie! Had the Constitution been adhered to by the government it established there would have been no need for the Southern States to secede, and correspondingly there would have been no Civil War; as you chaps call it.

I just thought it was my duty to set you boys straight as to the facts. I hope you don’t take too much offense; but if you do, too bad because I don’t rightly care one way or the other.

Have a pleasant day, if that is even possible in that dismal weather you chaps have over there in England.

Cheerio…

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What Do You Believe In (And What Will You Risk To Defend It?)

If I were to ask you what the purpose of the law should be, how would you respond? It is a valid question and one which I’d like to spend a little time discussing. I’m not there with you, so I can only guess as how you would answer my question; but I believe I can make some pretty accurate guesses knowing how most people think.

For instance, I’m guessing some of you might say that the law exists to keep you safe, while others might say the law exists to prevent others from doing harm to you; which are both variations of the same theme. While I’d have to give you an A for effort, you’re not quite at the truth yet.

The purpose for which laws should be written is so that man can enjoy the free exercise of their rights while at the same time prevent abuses of those rights to the extent that others are denied the same freedom to exercise theirs.

In a state of perfect freedom or, as Locke calls it, a state of nature, each man is free to do as they please, and punish those who threaten them or their rights to the extent they deem worthy of the offense.

But we do not live in a state of nature; we have established legislatures to write our laws for us. In 1772, four years before our Declaration of Independence was written and adopted, Samuel Adams issued a report to the Committee of Correspondence which, in part, said, “Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these First. a Right to Life; Secondly to Liberty; thirdly to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can–Those are evident Branches of, rather than deductions from the Duty of Self Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature.”

Three quarters a century later, Frederic Bastiat would write, “If every person has the right to defend—even by force—his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right—its reason for existing, its lawfulness—is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute.” (Source: The Law, 1850)

Therefore, if our Natural Rights are the Rights to Life, Liberty and Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner we can, and if the collective right of our legislatures cannot have any other legitimate powers other than those which we have as individuals, how can anyone justify any law which violates the purpose for which all laws should be written?

The simple answer is that it can’t; not without becoming oppressive. As Bastiat says in the opening paragraph of his book The Law, “The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!”

If our rights are inherent, unalienable, and derived as gifts from our Creator, (as our founders believed), then how can we say that the law serves its true purpose when we are required to obtain permission from bodies of men to exercise them? How can we say that the law serves its true function when it imposes restrictions on the free exercise of our minds and the full enjoyment of the fruits of our labors?

Do you understand the meaning of the word subjugate? Subjugate means to bring someone, or something under domination or control. Using that definition, how can anyone say that they have freedom when those whose job it is to preserve and protect our rights pass laws which restrict them? How, therefore, can anyone who claims to love liberty and freedom also claim to support a government which routinely seeks to restrict the liberty it was instituted to protect? The truth is if they say that, it is an oxymoron; a contradiction that cannot logically exist

Now I am about to say something that may offend some, but before I do I want to make sure you understand the context I will use these words in. I am about to discuss the ideologies of conservatism and liberalism in America today; but I am not talking about the two political parties which dominate American politics. Instead, I wish to discuss those among the teeming mass of society who believe they are conservatives or liberals; or progressives if you prefer that term instead.

Although I despise what they stand for, I can almost forgive liberals for their positions. For one thing, they are honest about who they are and what they stand for. Secondly, I believe a good many of them hold their beliefs due to this sense of good heartedness which leads them to want to ease the suffering of others who are less fortunate. Unfortunately, for their ideology to work, they must take from those who produce so that it can, in turn, be given to those in need.

Say I graduated from high school and went no further in my education; and due to that I was only able to get a job flipping burgers at McDonalds or Burger King. Then say another individual went on to college and got a medical degree and became a specialist in heart surgery. Do I have the right to knock on his door and demand that he give me a portion of his earnings because I chose not to learn a skill where I could live in the same level of comfort that he does? Do I have a right to demand that my employer raise my wages to a level that I can live comfortably on; just because I did not learn a skill that would pay more than a burger joint?

In a just society, wages should be based upon skill level and effort exerted on the job; not upon need. That is my biggest grief with labor unions; they stifle motivation and initiative. Why should anyone work harder than the next person when everyone doing the same job earns the same pay? It takes a person who has a large degree of ethics and integrity to go above and beyond what is expected in an environment where everyone else is performing at levels just enough to keep their jobs.

I work in a union plant, and I despise the atmosphere created when people are not forced to meet company standards. I despise the fact that no matter how hard I work, the laziest person in the plant is going to get the same pay raise as I am. I have been told that the company retains the right to recognize achievement and effort by giving increases in pay to those who exhibit the extra effort; but I’ve yet to see that happen–and I’ve been working there for 14 yrs now.

I do not ask that I be paid more than my efforts deserve, but I do not think it fair that I go in there day after day and bust my ass for this company, yet get the same pay that people who just stand there for 8 hours without ever breaking a sweat get. I do not wish to make this about me; I am only using my own circumstances as an example. You see, that is the core belief of liberals; this idea that everyone, no matter their skill level or performance, is entitled to equality with those who are of a higher skill level or work harder.

To take this a step further, liberals also believe that those who cannot, or choose not to seek to better their lives through their own efforts, deserve to have those who have provide, (through tax funded subsidies) programs which provide these people with an existence.

These were not the principles, or beliefs, this country was founded upon. Our Founders believed that each individual was responsible for themselves, and themselves only. They believed that each man had the right to pursue happiness; and that the level of happiness they achieved would be based upon their skill, motivation, and initiative. They never believed that society should be obligated to provide a living for those who did not achieve any level of success; and they certainly didn’t believe that government should use its coercive power to take from those who had achieved success and give it to those who hadn’t.

In 1816 Thomas Jefferson wrote, “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” (Source: letter to Joseph Milligan)

In 1794 James Madison spoke the following words on the floor of the House of Representatives, “The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”

Our Founders believed that man should be self-reliant; that is they should rely upon their own wits and effort to provide for themselves the things they needed to survive. In 1792 Madison wrote, “The class of citizens who provide at once their own food and their own raiment, may be viewed as the most truly independent and happy. They are more: they are the best basis of public liberty, and the strongest bulwark of public safety. It follows, that the greater the proportion of this class to the whole society, the more free, the more independent, and the more happy must be the society itself.”

That is the flaw of liberalism; it is a complete and utter perversion of the beliefs held by those who established our system of government, and the purpose for which laws should be written. Liberalism requires that one segment of society be subjugated in order to provide an existence to others; and that deprives those thus subjugated of the full enjoyment of their rights and the fruits of their labors.

Now that I’ve spoken a bit about the liberal ideology, don’t think you conservatives are going to get a free pass. The word conservative is defined as one who adheres to traditional attitudes and values; especially in regards to religion and politics. Now, can you honestly say that your precious GOP adheres to traditional values; the values this country was founded upon?

A true conservative, as if there were any in existence in our government today, would never cast a vote in favor of a law which overstepped the boundaries the Constitution imposes upon the power given Congress, nor one which violates any of our rights. A true conservative would rather see the government grind to a screeching halt than violate their principles by voting for a measure that violated their conservative values…just so government could keep its doors open for business.

I’m sorry, but by claiming to be a conservative, while at the same time supporting candidates from the Republican Party, you are being hypocritical; because saying that Republicans are conservative is an oxymoron and a contradiction.

Now I’m sure that some of you are thinking, but if we don’t vote for Republicans, then the Democrats will win every time; and it’s better a Republican win than a Democrat. With that mindset we will never EVER return to true conservative values in this country! If you place being on a team that has a chance of winning over your values and principles, then you are being dishonest to yourself and being untrue to the values upon which this country was founded; and I find that truly more despicable than I do the liberals who are at least honest about what they stand for.

A true conservative would not support any measure that restricted their right to keep and bear arms. A true conservative would have applauded Edward Snowden for bringing to their attention the extent to which their government was violating the 4th Amendment; not called him a traitor. A true conservative would not call for their president to revise an unconstitutional health care law to leave his signature upon it; they would have called for it to be repealed. A true conservative would not support the occupation of other sovereign nations by our military just because the threat of terrorism has its roots in the religious ideologies and dogmas of those countries. After all, those same people we fear, hate and despise our freedoms, (or at least that’s what we’ve been told), and why should they not then have the right to send their military to the U.S. and force us to adhere to THEIR belief systems? Or has America become to policeman of the world, who sends its soldiers all over the globe to impose our beliefs upon others?

If you truly were conservative in your beliefs, you would adhere to the traditional beliefs as espoused by those who lived during the Founding of our young nation; men like John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States and son of the second president of the United States. On July 4, 1821, while serving as Secretary of State, young JQ Adams delivered an address to Congress in which he stated, “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. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

If those are true conservative values, why don’t you support them; and why doesn’t the party you support, support them either?

The truth is that both the Republicans and the Democrats believe that it is perfectly acceptable for them to violate the limits imposed upon government by the Constitution, and to violate your inherent and unalienable rights; they just do it for their own party ideologies. How anyone can support either party and then turn around and call themselves a patriot and a lover of liberty is beyond my ability to comprehend.

This last presidential election showed us that there is a great deal of mistrust in long standing political parties; hence the unexpected victory of Donald Trump, and the failed candidacy of Bernie Sanders; both outsiders who gained huge support from the liberal and conservative camps. Yet there was one thing both lacked; an understanding of and an allegiance to the principles America was founded upon.

This lack of understanding and allegiance to Constitutional principles is also shared by the general public as well; and until that changes nothing in government will. As long as the people in this country care more about party ideologies than they do Constitutional principles, then it will be business as usual in Washington D.C.

Our country was founded by men of great vision who had thorough understandings of both history and the various systems of government devised by men. They did not have the leisure time and numerous entertainment opportunities that avail us today; so they studied. If we wish to restore America to its founding principles then we too must take the time, or make the time, to become familiar with, at least, our own nation’s history, (and the true version of it), and the real reasons for which our system of government was established.

If we cannot do that, there is no hope for our immediate future. Maybe sometime in the future, after our failures have led to a complete and utterly tyrannical and oppressive government, then that sacred spark of liberty will find a spark within the hearts of our posterity and liberty may once again ring loud in this country; but until then I only see gloom in our future.

You can say that you love your country until you are blue in the face, but the best means of measuring how well you truly love your country is by how well you support and defend the principles it was established upon. Our Founders risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for what they believed in. Are you willing to risk all that for your beliefs?

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The Truth

In life there are certain things that are known as constants; things that never change. It takes the Earth 365 days to complete one orbit around the sun; that is a constant. In mathematics there are constants as well; one will always equal one is but one example. All things being equal, Newton’s Laws of Physics are also constants. But these are not the constants I would like to talk about; there is one other that I have yet to mention–the truth.

Simply defined, the truth is the state of things as they actually are. When one is called upon to be a witness in a courtroom they are asked to repeat the following, “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” Have you ever stopped to think about what that entails?

Let me begin by discussing the phrase, the whole truth. As the truth is a statement of things as they actually are, or were, by omitting certain relevant facts the truth can be altered and those hearing the testimony of the witness will form opinions based upon incomplete evidence.

On the other end of the scale there is the phrase, and nothing but the truth. This requirement is so that the person testifying will not embellish their testimony with facts that are not relevant to the questions being asked of them, or add their opinions or beliefs into their testimony.

If a person under oath is found to have delivered a false testimony they can be charged with perjury; a criminal offense in and of itself. Again, simply stated, perjury is simply the violation of the oath to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

That is all well and good…in a courtroom where there are penalties for willfully telling things that are untrue, or incomplete versions of the truth. But what about in the courtroom of public opinion; how can we impose justice upon those who spew lies every time they open their mouths?

There is a scene in the film Apocalypse Now where Colonel Kurtz is talking to Captain Willard and he says, “There is nothing that I detest more than the stench of lies.” I couldn’t agree more; the problem is that whenever I hear people discuss history and politics they are repeating the lies that they have been taught or told by those whose job was to speak truthfully to them.

There is a quote from the 19th Century English novelist Isabella Blagden that forms the basis for a quote falsely attributed to Vladimir Lenin, “If a lie is only printed often enough, it becomes a quasi-truth, and if such a truth is repeated often enough, it becomes an article of belief, a dogma, and men will die for it.”

The problem, at least as I see it, is that once an opinion takes hold that is based upon lies, it is next to impossible to break people free from it so that they can embrace the truth. I have never claimed to be in possession of the whole truth; but I have made it my quest to seek out as much of it as I can find. One thing I’ve learned, and which is best stated by quoting Einstein, is, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”

Remember now, the truth is a constant. If you may have noticed, I did not say what people pass off as the truth is constant; only the truth itself. Sometimes the truth takes a little digging to expose; sometimes it takes a lot of digging before you find it. But you owe it to yourself to at least make the effort to seek it out; that is of course unless you are content to live your life repeating the lies that have been spoon fed to you by everyone from your school teachers to those you have placed your faith and trust in to run this country according to the Constitution and their oaths to support and defend it.

There is something else you need to know about the truth, it does not care if you seek it out, or if you ignore it; it has no feelings; it simply exists as the state of things in their true nature. The truth will always be there; whether anyone chooses to look for it or not. There is one final thing you also need to understand about the truth; that being that it is useless unless it is put to use. As von Goethe so aptly states, “Knowing is not enough, we must apply.” You might know the truth, but if you haven’t changed your opinions or beliefs to be in accordance to the facts, what good is the knowledge you’ve obtained?

When a nation, or a people have been lied to for generations, and the lies have been compounded over time, then people often find it hard to accept the truth; let alone speak it those who have fallen for the lies they have been taught.

In psychological study there is a term called Cognitive Dissonance; one of the definitions of it being the reaction to, or stress caused when one is exposed to the truth that conflicts with existing beliefs. I’m no psychologist, but I believe Cognitive Dissonance is directly proportional to the magnitude of the lie people have been told; the bigger the lie the more stress the truth causes when one finally encounters it. I also believe that some would rather just ignore the truth rather than deal with the hassle of changing their beliefs because they were based upon lies. That is simple human nature; to take the easiest path possible. In a way, it’s just like Churchill said, “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up as if nothing happened.”

But throughout history there have always been those who sought out the truth, and once they found it they proclaimed it loudly; and were condemned for it. Galileo was charged with heresy for claiming the Earth revolved around the sun, not the other way around. More recently, Edward Snowden exposed the truth to the people of the world that America’s government was routinely spying on them, and for his exposing the truth he was forced into exile.

When the lie has taken hold, it becomes the truth people base their opinions upon. It therefore becomes very difficult to find ways for people to accept that they have been lied to about almost everything they were taught about the history and system of government of this country. Those who speak the truth to them find themselves ignored, ridiculed, and often accused of being dangers to society because what they speak goes against what is commonly accepted as the truth. But remember, the truth itself is constant, not what you believe is the truth. It is as Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

Now you may be asking yourselves, “Why did Neal just spend two pages rambling on about the truth?” Well it’s quite simple actually; it is because I would now like to discuss certain truths; things which you may not have known, or given much thought to.

After nearly a century and a half of seeing their rights ignored and violated by their government, many of the Colonists of America decided they would be better off severing the ties which bound them to said government. Delegates to a convention to deal with these violations of their rights chose a young man, Thomas Jefferson, to draft a document declaring the Colonies independence from British rule.

Jefferson could very easily have said something along the lines of, “We, the Colonies of British America do hereby declare our independence, and here are our reasons why…” Instead Jefferson chose to make a statement about the nature of the rights of all men and the relationship between those who are governed and those who govern. The Declaration of Independence can rightfully be said to be the document which gave birth to America; and upon it any system of government owes its existence to.

The version of the Declaration of Independence we are all familiar with begins with the following words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” There is that word again; truth. The revised edition of the Declaration of Independence declares that they are self-evident.

Oh, you didn’t know that the copy you may have read is not Jefferson’s original draft? Well it isn’t. Jefferson brought his original draft to the Committee of Five, who edited it down and changed the wording; sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst. In his original draft, Jefferson states, “We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable…”

Self-evident merely means that the thing being espoused needs no explanation; everyone understands it to be true. Sacred and undeniable is something else altogether, as it implies that these truths come from a higher authority than man.

There is something else you need to realize about Jefferson’s opening words. If you’ll notice, he did not say this truth, he said these truths; meaning there was more than one truth he was about to discuss.

The first of these truths is that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; among them being the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Now as truths do not change over the course of time, (remember they are constant), what Jefferson states does not change just because situations and political climates change. Our rights, as described by Jefferson are the same now as they were when he first put quill to parchment.

I have spoken of this before, but it is important that I make clear the meaning of unalienable. Unalienable means that something cannot be sold, transferred or taken away. Therefore, if our rights are unalienable, no government, no politically correct society can deprive a single individual of them. For as you recall Jefferson said that ALL MEN are created equal and possess these rights. Just because a portion of society does not like that another portion exercises a right they find offensive, that does not entitle them to deprive anyone the freedom to exercise that right.

Now let’s talk a moment about equality; shall we? Jefferson merely states that all men are created equal and equally all men have these rights. But he also says that one of these rights is the PURSUIT of happiness. He does not say the guarantee of happiness, only that we have the freedom to seek it. Today people are of the belief that society owes people happiness and success; and that if people are unable to obtain these things on their own, then government should provide it for them; unfortunately, this usually comes at the expense of others.

Forty years after Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he spoke of this principle in a letter to Joseph Milligan, stating, “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”

As the principle is that all men are created equal and are guaranteed to right to PURSUE happiness, then any belief that declares that society owes people happiness or success MUST be founded upon a lie; as they have no factual basis in what our Founders believed at the time our country came into existence.

The next truth Jefferson discusses is in regard to the fact that governments exist to secure these rights, and that government derives its authority from the consent of the governed. It is a legal maxim that those holding delegated power cannot have more power than those who originally delegated that power to them.

Whether the Constitution was written in secrecy and ratified by fraud is not relevant; as I am going on the presumption that the Constitution was written with the best of intentions, and ratified in a manner that was above board and without deceit.

The Constitution is that delegated power that I speak of; it was the consent of the governed to establish a government to serve those it was to represent, and to secure the rights for which it was established. That Constitution declares that it is the Supreme Law of the Land, and that all laws passed in pursuance of it are also the Supreme Law of the Land. But what about the laws our government passes which are not authorized by the Constitution; what would you call them?

I can only tell you what our Founders would say; they would call it tyranny. In Federalist 47 James Madison tells the people of New York, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

Now if you think about that, can you not come to the conclusion that Madison would have believed that the power being held was based upon political party ideology, rather than the confines of the Constitution, would be an apt definition of tyranny? I certainly do.

In the very next edition of the Federalist, Madison goes on to say, “It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it.” And where, may I be so bold to ask, are those limits found? Why, they are found in the Constitution. And if the people do not know what the Constitution says, and vote for people based upon what their respective political parties declare to be their platforms, cannot it be said that the people are voting based upon lies; not the truth?

Yet Jefferson was a wise man, he knew that governments could, over time, become tyrannical and oppressive; so he included in the Declaration of Independence a remedy; another truth we have forgotten; “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.”

Now this is where it gets a bit tricky. Back when our Constitution was written, each State was sovereign and independent from the others; each with their own government to regulate the internal affairs of the States. The government established by the Constitution was to represent the States and the people; not just the people, like it does today. That didn’t occur, officially at least, until 1913 when the 17th Amendment was supposedly ratified.

So the question is, did the Constitution leave the States as sovereign and independent entities, or did it forge a permanent Union, or a consolidation of the States into the entity known as the United States of America; to which they were forever bound?

The answer to that is found in the Declaration of Independence where Jefferson states, “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…” If the government established by the Constitution became oppressive to one portion of the country, which then benefitted another segment of the country, can it be expected that the segment being subjugated and oppressed must remain in a union that was destructive of the ends for which government was established?

If your answer is yes, then you cannot, in all honesty, state that you believe the Founders were justified in seeking independence from English rule. Using your logic, the Colonies had no right whatsoever to leave the British Empire, or declare themselves free of British rule.

But, if you believe the Colonists were justified in breaking all ties with England, then how can you deny that any portion of the Union of sovereign and independent States could not do the same when the government established by all became oppressive to a portion of the country?

In the book Atlas Shrugged, author Ayn Rand writes, “Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.” Therefore, if you support the right of the Colonists to sever all ties with England, you must support the belief that any portion of the United States reserved the right to resume their status free from the rule of the government they all had established.

In fact, this fact was attested to when Virginia ratified the Constitution, “We the Delegates of the People of Virginia duly elected in pursuance of a recommendation from the General Assembly and now met in Convention having fully and freely investigated and discussed the proceedings of the Federal Convention and being prepared as well as the most mature deliberation hath enabled us to decide thereon Do in the name and in behalf of the People of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will …” (My emphasis)

At the onset of, what you call the Civil War, if the North chose to remain in the Union, that was their choice; but neither they, nor the government established by the Constitution had any legal authority to perpetually bind any State to a Union which was detrimental to their internal well being. You see, what you call the Civil War was not a civil war, as a civil war is a war in which two entities seek control over the system of governance over the whole. That was not the case in 1861; one segment merely sought to sever the ties which bound them to a voluntary Union of States and form their own system of government which would best suit their needs.

It doesn’t matter what their reasons were for leaving the Union, they retained the right to do so whether it was over slavery, tariffs, or a combination of the two; and the central government was not endowed with the authority to force them into staying.

In 1783 when the Treaty of Paris was agreed to, those who had fought for liberty and independence won. However, in 1865 when Lee surrendered at Appomattox, those who had fought for liberty and independence lost. The Civil War was, in fact, America’s Second War for Independence, and this time the outcome affected us all.

The outcome of the Civil War was that the government established by consent of the people could override the will of the people, or a portion of the people, and exercise exclusive domain and authority; it ended the concept of the States being free and independent entities and finalized the consolidation of them all into the entity we now call the United States of America.

The fact that we have been lied to by our educators about the Civil War, and what it was really fought over, and the fact that we have been lied to about the subsequent subjugation of the South known as Reconstruction, has produced entire generations that have had the truth hidden from them.

That is why I provided the quote from Blagden, the one which said, “If a lie is only printed often enough, it becomes a quasi-truth, and if such a truth is repeated often enough, it becomes an article of belief, a dogma, and men will die for it.” That is why so many have come out and openly spoke out of how anything about the Confederacy is racist and offensive; because they have come to believe the lie; it has become their dogma. I don’t know if they are willing to die defending their beliefs, but if they don’t stop pushing they are certainly going to be put to the test.

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From Beginning to End (How America Lost Its Soul) Part 6

While all these plans for independence and the establishment of a confederation were well and good for the Colonists; they all hinged on their defeating the most highly trained and well equipped army in the world. When it was suggested that a Continental Army be raised to fight the British, the obvious choice to lead it was right there in the room with them; George Washington.

Washington was a Virginian, so it appeased the Southern States who were somewhat distanced and detached from the troubles going on in Boston. Washington commanded respect wherever he went so when his name was put forward to lead this Continental Army it was a way of saying that this wasn’t just Boston’s problem to deal with, it was a problem all 13 Colonies must deal with together.

Although an imposing man, Washington was relatively soft-spoken and humble. It is said that when he was asked to lead the Continental Army, he replied by saying the he would accept the command offered him, but that he believed himself to be ill equipped to lead such an army; a sentiment he would repeat upon being chosen as our nation’s first president.

What do we know of the wars long since forgotten? Do we remember the names of those who fought, or do we only remember the names of those who led the men into battle? Unless you know someone who fought during any of our nation’s many wars, you most likely only remember the names of the generals who led them. Can you tell me the name of one soldier/sailor/marine or airman who fought in World War II? Yet I bet you have at least heard the name Patton.

The further back in time one goes, the fewer the names they remember. Most people know that George Washington commanded the Continental Army during our war for independence; but do they know the names of any of the other generals who served under Washington?

How about Nathanial Greene; do you know about him? He was a member of the Rhode Island General Assembly who also ran his family’s foundry. He was a Major General under Washington.

How about Henry Knox; ever hear of him? Knox was a bookstore owner with a keen mind for military history and tactics. It was Knox’s idea to retrieve the cannon at Fort Ticonderoga and return them through the ice and snow to surprise the British armada anchored in Boston Harbor.

Yet although wars are led by generals, they are fought by the soldiers who face off against each other for their respective cause or country. It is they who do the bleeding and dying; most of the time that is; and it is they who are remembered least for their contributions. The politicians may declare war; the generals may lead the men on the battlefield; but it is those who do the fighting that ultimately win or lose wars. Our war for independence was no different; except in this instance it was not begun by politicians declaring war on another nation, it began when the people of a nation stood up against the tyranny of their rulers at Lexington and Concord.

Are you aware that when our nation declared its independence that it was pretty much equally divided into thirds; with one third supporting independence, one third opposing it, and one third not caring one way or the other? Are you aware that out of the one third who supported independence, roughly 3% actively fought to secure it?

Wars were fought much differently back then; they didn’t have the sophisticated weaponry we do today, so soldiers would line up almost toe to toe on the battlefield, level their weapons, and fire point blank at each other. The effective range of the weaponry used by the soldiers of the 18th Century was approximately 50 yards; half a football field away. Of course cannon also came into play as well, but the real fighting was done by men who could stare their enemies in the eye and have the courage to stand within fighting distance of them and face incoming fire and not retreat in fear.

Also, since there were no troop transports or airborne divisions, the soldiers relied on ships to get them relatively close to wear the action was, and they then marched inland to the battles. In the wintertime, the war typically ground to a stop as the opposing armies hunkered down to ride out the inclement weather. Sure there were minor skirmishes in the winter, but the majority of the army rode the winter out; and many died from illness during this period alone.

When Washington assumed command of his ‘army’ he found a ragtag bunch of undisciplined and untrained soldiers; many of whom were already suffering the effects of the pox which was ravishing the countryside at the time. His repeated pleas for assistance and equipment went relatively unanswered by the Congress in Philadelphia. It was not that they did not hear his cries for assistance; it is that they were powerless to compel the States to provide the things Washington needed to supply and lead his army.

This could be one of the reasons why Washington’s aide de camp, Alexander Hamilton, sought a much stronger centralized government years later; his first hand experiences on the battlefield; having to deal with an incompetent and powerless central government that could not equip an army.

The war officially began on April 19, 1775 when the Boston militia formed up and repelled the Redcoats at Lexington and Concord; even before Congress recognized that the war had started without them. The war continued at Bunker Hill while the Congress debated whether or not to declare independence and form an army to fight it.

But it was Bunker Hill that showed the Redcoats that these untrained militiamen were not to be trifled with. During the siege of Boston the British had learned that the militia had occupied certain high ground overlooking their ships and the city itself. On the morning of June 17, the British mounted their attacks upon Bunker and Breeds Hills; attempting to roust the militiamen who occupied them. The first and second waves were repulsed; but the third was successful at securing the high ground; although at quite a cost to the British. The Colonists lost nearly 115 men that day, but the British lost over 236; many of them officers. Afterwards the body of Joseph Warren, (a Colonial Major General who was killed at Bunker Hill), was dug up by the British, desecrated, and its head cut off. General Gage is said to have stated that the loss of Warren was as much a blow to the Colonists as the loss of 500 men.

Although Bunker Hill showed the British that the Colonists were no pushovers, they were not going to give up the fight after the licking they took taking that small plot of ground from the Colonials. After the Colonies had formally declared their independence, Sir William Howe launched a counter-attack and captured New York; leaving American confidence in their chance for success shaken.

Then the Colonial Army achieved victories at Trenton and Princeton, which led to a boost in morale; both in the troops and in the people’s support of the war. But it was a blunder on the part of the British which led to their ultimate surrender at Yorktown. In 1777, under the command of General John Burgoyne, the British army began an assault out of Quebec intended to isolate New England. General Howe was supposed to support this effort, but instead took his army onwards to the seat of power in America; Philadelphia. This led Burgoyne and his men to being soundly defeated at Saratoga; a loss which would lead to the French agreeing to support the Colonies in their quest for independence.

While the war drug on in the North to a relative standstill, the British felt there was enough Loyalist support in the South that they could defeat any Colonial efforts at separation. The British initially captured Savannah, then Loyalist militias suffered a resounding loss at Kettle Creek; proving that they could not win a major battle far removed from British support.

When Horatio Gate’s army suffered a major defeat at Camden, the British, under General Cornwallis, chose in invade North Carolina. However, patriot militia’s were successful in disrupting his efforts and Cornwallis dispatched Loyalists to deal with them. His Loyalist’s were all but destroyed on October 7; leaving Loyalist support hard to come by for the British.

The two armies then played a game of cat and mouse where the British chased Nathaniel Greene’s army all over the countryside while Greene sought to build the strength of his army through volunteers to the cause. By March Greene felt confident enough to engage Cornwallis in open battle. Although he was defeated, he had inflicted such losses to the British that he was forced to retreat; leaving the Carolina’s and Georgia open for Greene to retake.
Cornwallis had learned that Patriot support was passing through Virginia and chose to invade Virginia to disrupt the lines of supply to Greene’s army in the South. Although he was subordinate to General Clinton, Cornwallis chose not to inform him of his decision to invade Virginia.

It was at this time that the French had come to the conclusion that a closer working relationship with the Colonists was needed if they were to achieve victory; so Washington and Comte de Rochambeau discussed their options over where to assault the British. Washington preferred to strike New York, while Rochambeau favored Virginia.

Meanwhile General Cornwallis chose to dig in at Yorktown and await the Royal Navy for support. When that support did arrive, it was no match for the French fleet, and was soundly defeated; cutting Cornwallis off from any further support.

On September 28 the Franco/American forces began the assault upon Yorktown. Cornwallis had prematurely abandoned all his outer defenses, which probably hastened his defeat. After nearly a month of constant bombardment and assault, Cornwallis and his aides came to the realization that they had no chance for success, and Cornwallis sent an aid to surrender. Ironically, on the same day Cornwallis was giving up, General Clinton was dispatching 6,000 reinforcements to build up Cornwallis’s army.

The surrender of General Cornwallis was pretty much the end of the war on the part of the British. Although they still had nearly 30,000 soldiers on U.S. soil, General Clinton had been replaced by Guy Carlton, who was under orders to suspend all offensive operations.

All that needed doing now was the establishment of peace and America taking its place in the world as a sovereign and independent nation; and this is as good a point as any to take a break. See you soon…

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From Beginning to End (How America Lost Its Soul) Part 5

The primary topic of discussion for the Second Continental Congress was whether or not the Colonies should support Boston and join in their rebellion against the Crown. So it almost seems inevitable that when Richard Henry Lee introduced his resolution suggesting a complete and irrevocable dissolution of the ties which bound the Colonies to England that a committee was formed to draft a declaration of independency. Yet there is more to Lee’s resolution than simply declaring that the Colonies “are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.”

You have to realize, that at this moment in time the Colonies, although subject to the jurisdiction and authority of the Crown, were essentially independent from each other. Lee’s resolution also called for them to join together loosely in a confederation for their mutual benefit. The result of this suggestion was the Articles of Confederation; our nation’s first Constitution.

This wasn’t the first time such a suggestion was made; so the delegates were not absolutely certain that any proposal for a confederation would be accepted by the legislatures of each Colony.

Twenty two years earlier, Dr Benjamin Franklin proposed the Albany Plan which would have established a confederation of the Colonies during the French and Indian Wars. The plan was soundly rejected by all Colonies, so it was not certain that things would go any differently this time either.

Nonetheless, on June 12, 1776, the day after a committee was chosen to draft our Declaration of Independence, another committee, this time consisting of 13 individuals, was chosen to draft a document outlining the proposed confederacy. This committee met for a month, and on July 12 presented their completed document to the Congress. It was then debated and amended over the course of another year, until in 1777 the finished document was approved and forwarded to the States for their consideration.

Virginia was the first State to ratify these Articles of Confederation, doing so on December 16, 1777, and Maryland was the last to do so, agreeing to them on February 2. 1781.

I think now would be a good time to bring up the subject of true sovereignty. Sovereignty is defined as the absolute or supreme political authority in a nation or state. Although it does not directly come out and say so, our Declaration of Independence declares that this sovereignty is held by the people, “…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

When it was proposed that this confederation be formed, most Colonies had already written, or were in the process of writing their own Constitutions to establish governments to represent the citizens of each Colony. After all, that is all that a constitution is; the act of a people constituting a form of government; declaring the shape it will take, the powers it will exercise on behalf of those it represents, and any limitations that might be imposed upon it.

This principle is so vitally important for you to understand, so I wish to discuss it a bit further. I have used the word delegate numerous times so far in my writings, but I am not sure if you truly understand what it implies. To delegate is to give another power to act on your behalf. A power of attorney is a form of delegated power; it can be general, or it can be very specific; depending upon what powers you want that delegate to exercise on your behalf.

The delegates to the Continental Congress were acting on the authority of the States they represented; they could not agree to anything without that authority having been expressly granted them by the States which chose them. Today people call those they elect politicians, when the correct term would be representatives, or delegates to the government established by the people in 1789. Any system of government based upon the idea that all political power is ultimately held by the people is a system in which the power to enact law is a delegated authority; and not to be exercised beyond the specific limits for which it was originally delegated.

Therefore, as the people had already delegated the authority to govern on their behalf’s to State governments, the delegates to the Continental Congress could not unilaterally decide that the States must submit to becoming members of a Confederation; that choice must be made by the representatives of the citizens of each State. And as each State was extremely reluctant to agree to anything which would weaken its authority, it was not without some doubt that any proposal for a Confederation might not be approved unanimously.

We do not have a confederation today, so it is highly unlikely that most people know what one is. One definition; the one which I prefer to use, states that a confederation consists of “…a number of full sovereign states linked together for the maintenance of their external and internal independence by a recognised international treaty into a union with organs of its own, which are vested with a certain power over the member ‘states’, but not over the citizens of these states.”

Under a confederation, the government established by whatever document creates the confederation can only pass laws that directly affect the States as entities. The government of the confederation cannot pass laws that say the people must do this, or refrain from doing that; it can only direct the laws it enacts upon the legislatures of the States.

Think of a confederation as a large scale version of a Neighborhood Watch program in which homeowners unite together to pass ordinances which protect their neighborhood. The individuals within that neighborhood are still free to govern the internal workings, or politics, of their home which the Neighborhood Watch protects them from crime and other dangers.

You have to remember, all power, particularly political power, is inherent in the people. The people had already established governments for their States to govern the affairs of these States. For a confederated government to have any power and authority, it must be delegated to them. In other words, the States must accept that they relinquish certain powers and hand those powers over to the government of the confederation.

The ratified Articles of Confederation were our nation’s first constitution; as they established our first centralized government. Up until that point, each State had been an entirely independent and self-governing entity. So forming a confederacy was a big deal back then; it was not something that was done hastily and without a great deal of thought on the part of the individual States.

Now would be a good time to plant a seed for future discussion. Why is it that it took 4 years, in the midst of war against England, for the States to ratify the Articles of Confederation, yet it took only a year to ratify the Constitution once it was sent to the States for their consideration?

Although it did take 4 years to ratify the Articles of Confederation, the Congress established by that document acted as the de facto government of the United States throughout its war with England. It only became the de jure government when the Articles of Confederation were finally ratified by Maryland in 1781.

As our nation’s first constitution, The Articles of Confederation bears a certain amount of study to see what it says. For one thing, there was no Executive, nor was there any Judiciary; just a Congress representing the States. Secondly, the powers reserved to the States were extensive and those granted to the Congress were few, and expressly delegated. But more importantly, any law passed by the Congress had to be confirmed, or accepted by the Legislatures of all 13 States before it could go into effect.

The Articles of Confederation were written in such a way as to ensure the sovereignty and independence of each State; only granting Congress the necessary powers to manage the general affairs of the nation.

Yet all this was done in a time of grave emergency; the ongoing war for independence. A war which I will discuss in Part 6 of this ongoing series…

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From Beginning to End (How America Lost Its Soul) Part 4

Nearly a month after the conflicts at Lexington and Concord, delegates gathered together in the city of Philadelphia for the Second Continental Congress. Their goal was to resume where the First Continental Congress had left off the following year, and although independence may have been on the minds of many, it was still a subject that had yet to be openly discussed by the Congress.

Who were these men who put aside their lives and came together to alter the course of America’s history? Some of them you know, some you don’t. For instance, three future presidents were in attendance; George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Adam’s cousin Samuel was also in attendance as was Benjamin Franklin. Are you aware that there were at least two physicians in attendance as well; Benjamin Rush and Josiah Bartlett?

People look back on this event almost as if it were something out of a Hollywood movie, but they fail to realize the solemnity under which these men gathered together; the Colony of Massachusetts had openly engaged in armed conflict with the King’s men and their actions may very well draw the ire of the King upon all the Colonies. Yet at the same time, they too had suffered under the increasingly oppressive laws passed by Parliament. People read about Atlas, the Titan who was condemned to hold the world upon his shoulders for eternity; well these men also had heavy burdens on their shoulders; as the choices they made would affect the future of the American Colonies.

Prior to adjourning the previous October, the First Continental Congress had sent a petition to King George III hoping to avoid a full blown conflict with Britain. When the Second Continental Congress met the following spring they had yet to receive the King’s response. It was highly unlikely that the Colonies petition would do any good, as a letter written by John Adams to a friend had been intercepted by the Kings men in which Adams declared that there had been enough talk of peace and reconciliation; that the Colonies should have already raised a Navy and taken British sailors prisoners. When word of this reached the King it was enough to convince him of the insincerity of their petition, and he refused to even read it. The delegates were essentially stuck between a rock and a hard place; either acquiesce to whatever laws were passed by Parliament, or go to war to defend their rights.

In June, the Virginia delegation, headed by Richard Henry Lee, received authorization from their State Legislature to propose independence, and towards the end of June Lee read the following to the delegates of the Convention:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances.

That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.

Even after all the Colonies had endured at the hands of King George and Parliament, the idea of an independent America was one which many were not ready to consider. Yet the Congress had heard Lee’s resolution and assigned a Committee of Five to draft such a declaration. This committee, possibly at the suggestion of John Adams, chose a young Thomas Jefferson to be the principle author of that document. Jefferson reluctantly accepted the task at hand, not knowing that what he was about to write would contain the most oft repeated political phrase ever written by man.

When people hear the name Thomas Jefferson, I wonder what passes through their minds. Do they say, yeah, I’ve heard of him, and that’s all they think? Are they aware that Jefferson could read and write in Greek and Latin; that he was an inventor and an avowed collector of Native American artifacts?
I don’t think people today can even get their heads around the intelligence of some of our Founding Fathers. I look at the scribblings I write and compare them to the garbled English I see people use on the social media site Facebook and I wonder what kind of education those people got. Then I look at the things some of our Founders wrote, and compare it to what I write and I am ashamed to even think that I come close to the knowledge and writing skill they possessed.

At the top of my list of Founding Fathers is Thomas Jefferson; the knowledge that this one man possessed is absolutely mind boggling. James Madison, the so-called Father of our Constitution, wrote the following about Jefferson in a letter to Samuel Harrison Smith, “He was certainly one of the most learned men of the age. It may be said of him as has been said of others that he was a “walking Library,” and what can be said of but few such prodigies, that the Genius of Philosophy ever walked hand in hand with him.”

Over a century later, when President John F. Kennedy hosted 49 Nobel Prize winners at the White House, he is said to have commented, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

When Jefferson wrote something, he pondered each word, each sentence carefully; there was no wasted effort and no superfluous phrasing; he said what needed to be said, and he said it in such a way that it almost rang of poetry. I can only imagine how our Declaration of Independence may have sounded had they chosen anyone but Jefferson to write it.

When Jefferson sequestered himself away for the task assigned to him, he sought, not only to write a simple declaration stating that the Colonies sought independence and a list of the grievances against the King of England, he sought to write a formal declaration on the nature of our rights and the reasons for which governments exist, and those by which governments can be altered or torn down.

Even so, when Jefferson presented his first draft to the Committee of Five, they edited it down by nearly one fourth; as they felt some of what he had written would cause some delegates to the Congress to oppose it.

For instance, in his original draft Jefferson stated, “…he has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither…”, thereby laying the blame for slavery at the feet of the King of England. Regardless of what was edited out, and how the sentence structure was altered, a final document was prepared and ready for the Congress to receive or reject.

I wonder if people today think about what took place in the days immediately preceding the voting to seek independence; do they think the delegates just unanimously decided, “Hey, we’ve had enough of old King George. Let’s write up a quick document declaring our independence and get on with it.” Is that what people think took place? I often think that is exactly what people think.

There were many in attendance who did not want independence, and when it came time to vote on Jefferson’s document they voted against it. John Dickinson of Pennsylvania voted against it, as did James Duane, Robert Livingston and John Jay of New York. Carter Braxton, Robert Morris, George Reed and Edward Rutledge opposed it, but voted in favor to give the impression of unanimous consent.

Many an impassioned argument was heard by the members in attendance; both for and against independence. One of the most memorable ones, at least for me, came from John Adams, who stated, “Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I give my hand and my heart to this vote. It is true, indeed, that in the beginning we aimed not at independence. But there’s a Divinity that shapes our ends…Why, then, should we defer the Declaration?…You and I, indeed, may rue it. We may not live to see the time when this Declaration shall be made good. We may die; die Colonists, die slaves, die, it may be, ignominiously and on the scaffold.

“Be it so. Be it so.

“If it be the pleasure of Heaven that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready…. But while I do live, let me have a country, or at least the hope of a country, and that a free country.”

In closing out this segment I would like to leave you with a few final words. I could have provided a few sundry quotes from the Declaration of Independence, but that would not do what Jefferson accomplished true justice. You need to find some time alone and sit down and read what Jefferson wrote and let it sink down into your hearts. You need to feel the soundness of his reasoning and let the truth of his words rise up in your breasts until you too understand the foundation upon which everything America was to stand for would be built.

And at the same time you must remember the solemnity of the occasion when the delegates were called upon to vote for or against Jefferson’s creation. Thirty five years after the vote was taken, and independence gained, Dr. Benjamin Rush sat down to write about that memorable day in a letter to John Adams, stating, “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?”

That, above all things, is what you must remember about the day which saw 56 delegates vote to make America a free country; that they did so at the risk of everything they had. What they did showed the degree to which they were willing to stand up for their beliefs and a level of courage that is, if you ask me, relatively non-existent in this country today.

For better or worse the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence had burnt all bridges, there was no going back to the way things were; they would either gain their independence or they would die on the battlefields or the gallows.

Stay tuned for Part 5…

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If I Were To Show This At Work, I’d Get Fired

For the past few nights, the company I work for has been packing 25 pound cases of pitted prunes for the Food and Drug Administration. What they intend to do with them once they are shipped to them is something no one seems to know. I’m assuming the employees at the FDA aren’t going to eat them themselves, so that means they will probably be part of some program where they are handed out to those in need; both here in the U.S. and abroad. I was told last night that this order will take approximately 170 shifts to complete; so it must be huge, because last night we packed over 3,000 cases.
This is not the first time that the company I work for has gotten a contract from the FDA; a few years back they got a contract from the FDA to pack prunes in cartons that took months to complete.

In both instances the FDA sent one of their bean counters to ensure that the quality of the fruit and packaging is up to government standards. While I’m certain the company is getting a hefty profit off this contract, it has taken all my will power not to confront the FDA bean counter and ask him where in the Constitution does it authorize the agency he works for to purchase fruit from a privately owned company and then turn around and give it out to those in need. In fact, I would take my question one step further and ask him where in the Constitution is the justification for the Food and Drug Administration found.

The only thing stopping me is that if I did I would probably lose my job; and then I’d have to deal with the wrath of my wife because my political beliefs caused us to lose half our income stream.

Since I cannot tell for certain the intended use of hundreds of thousands of cases of pitted prunes, I’m going on the assumption that they will be given away in some form of government benefit program; or charity. Does the FDA know, or care that charity is not among the powers given our government? Do the people who work on the line that packs the fruit for the FDA know that charity is no part of the authorized powers given our government?

In a 1794 speech before the House of Representatives, James Madison, (the purported Father of our Constitution), stated, “The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the State governments whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”

So technically, if we are to go under the assumption that the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, what the FDA is doing is illegal. I wonder if anyone has given any thought to the justification behind an agency such as the Food and Drug Administration; I mean where in the Constitution does it authorize their existence as a federal regulatory agency?

As the company I work for sells its products across State and international boundaries, an argument could be made that the federal government has a certain degree of regulatory authority under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3) The Commerce Clause declares that Congress shall have the power, “…to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among several States, and with the Indian Tribes…” The key question here is twofold; what is meant by the word regulate, and how far may our government extend its authority in the ‘regulation’ of commerce?

I have heard the argument that the word ‘regulate’ simply means to make regular. In researching the Commerce Clause I found no definition for the word regulate which defines it solely as making something regular.

At the time our Constitution was written it was understood that the power to regulate commerce included the authority to impose restrictions and tariffs upon certain goods, and ban others completely if they were found to be harmful or dangerous to the people of the United States. Using that as a baseline, I suppose I could accept the need for an agency whose area of expertise is food quality be established to ensure that a company in one State is not shipping out food that could pose a possible health risk to others.

Now could it be that the FDA is acting solely as an intermediary to inspect the food that our government is purchasing for whatever intended use it has for these prunes? That may very well be the case, but it does not take away from the fact that our government does not have the constitutional authority to purchase food from a private company and then give it away to others. All it can do is to ensure that the food being shipped across State lines, or overseas, meets certain standards of quality and safety.

The history of the Food and Drug Administration dates back as far as 1848, when Louis Caleb Back was appointed to the patent office to carry out chemical analysis of agricultural products. In 1862, the newly created Department of Agriculture inherited that function from the patent office. In 1906 Congress passed the Pure Food and Drugs Act which prohibited the interstate commerce in adulterated and misbranded food and drugs. In 1930 the FDA as we know it now came into existence as the government’s regulatory agency for the quality and safety of our nation’s food and drug supply.

I’m not saying I support the existence of such an extensive agency that employs over 14,000 people and whose budget exceeds $4 billion annually, but I can see how people could see the need for such an agency.

Now I’m not trying to stir up shit at my workplace, I’m only trying to get people to think about just one instance in which our government is exceeding its just authority as found in the Constitution. I could just as easily have spoken about our government’s unlawful foreign aid; where billions of tax dollars are spent in foreign countries for aid, relief, military assistance, education, and the creation of jobs for struggling nations. That too is equally unconstitutional; I was only using the example of the FDA inspector in the plant I work in as a single example of the extent to which our government has overstepped the authority given it back in 1789 when it first went into operation.

I know my opinion doesn’t mean diddly squat in the grand scheme of things; I’m just a pissant employee who is expected to perform like a machine; exhibit superhuman feats of strength and endurance without ever getting tired or hurt, but if this were my company and the government came knocking on my door with a lucrative contract in hand, I’d have something to say to them. I would tell whomever it was, “I know the Constitution doesn’t mean much to you people in Washington D.C., but it is the only reason you as a government exist, and I’ll be damned if I will participate in selling fruit to you; an act which clearly oversteps the authority given you by the people who wrote and ratified the Constitution all those years ago. So take your business elsewhere; I’m sure there are many unscrupulous companies that don’t care what the Constitution says, but we aren’t one of them.”

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This Is Why I Continue To Harp About The Civil War

I was asked the other day why I write so much about the Civil War. I suppose that’s a fair question, but had this person read any of the articles I have written on the subject, and had they been able to think, they may have figured it out for themselves. Seeing how neither of those two conditions were met I suppose I should explain why I harp so much about the lies you have been taught regarding the period known as the Civil War, and the period immediately following it, known as the Reconstruction Era.

Typically in a war one side declares war on the other and initiates hostilities. In the case of the Civil War, which side declared war? The South issued no formal declaration of war against the North; and if you’re thinking Fort Sumter was sufficient to justify the North’s building an army to attack the South you must ask yourself, did the South exist as a separate nation or was it still part of the Union and therefore the firing upon Ft Sumter was an attack against the Union.

The reason you must answer that question will become apparent later, but before you continue reading, answer this: When South Carolina fired upon Fort Sumter was it still part of the United States or was it part of a different nation; The Confederate States of America?

Aside from Fort Sumter, did the government of the Confederacy declare war on the North? The answer is a resounding NO; they simply left the Union and hoped to exist peacefully as their neighbors.

Therefore, the next obvious question is, did the North declare war upon the South? Again, the answer is no; there was no formal declaration of war issued by Congress stating that a state of war existed between the North and South.

The war began when Lincoln raised an army to invade the South and force their adherence to the Union. In fact, Lincoln never believed they had lawfully left the Union; that they were still members of it and that they were merely in a state of rebellion against the authority of the federal government.

The South viewed the war from a different perspective. It felt that it had done the exact same thing the original 13 Colonies had done, issued declarations of secession which were similar in nature to the Declaration of Independence. If you believe in the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence then you must believe that a State, or group of States, held the right to leave a voluntary union of States if the government of that union ceased to respect their sovereignty, their rights, and sought to oppress them. If you do not believe that, then you SHOULD NOT celebrate Independence Day; July 4.

What I’m trying to get you to see is that the views people have today on the Civil War are primarily based upon the outcome of the actual conflict; not the principles which led to the war. Had our Founders lost the war to Great Britain they too might be viewed by historians in the same light as the Confederacy is now viewed. But they won, and therefore they are considered patriots and heroes. In the case of the Civil War, the Confederacy lost, and therefore they are viewed as the ‘bad guys.’ But the principle they fought for was the same principle our Founders fought for in our war for independence; the right to sever the ties which bound them to an oppressive government and to establish a system of government that would best secure their rights and prosperity.

Our Constitution was a compact between the States, ratified by the people of the States in the various ratification assemblies which gave the central government certain powers; while the States retained all other powers. If the government was created by an act of the people, and if it was given certain specific powers, then does it not make sense that should the government overstep their just authority and make a tyrannical use of their authority, that a State should retain the right to return to its former status as an independent entity with no ties to a government that seeks to oppress them?

In fact, Virginia clearly stated that, “…in the name and in behalf of the People of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will.”

Where in the Constitution or Bill of Rights does it say that the government that document establishes can use force to compel a State to remain in the Union? It does say that it has the authority to call forth the militia to suppress insurrections, but an insurrection is rebellion against established authority of those States that are part of the Union. Technically the Southern States were no longer a part of the Union; having issued their declarations of secession; so by what authority did Lincoln raise his army and invade another sovereign nation?

Had Lincoln not raised an army and sent it across the Potomac there would have been no war. Had Lincoln abandoned all federal holdings on Southern soil to the States and not sought to resupply them there would have been no shots fired at Ft. Sumter and there would have been no war. Can you not see this?

When our government was first created it was established to represent two distinctly different entities; the great body of the people and the sovereign entities known as the States. If you had read Madison’s notes on the constitutional convention you would have seen how extensively this point was argued; and how close it came to shutting the convention down due to the conflicting beliefs over State Sovereignty under the proposed system of government they were attempting to establish.

The very nature of the Republic our Founders did establish is that government exists to represent those who select the members that comprise it; and it is bound by written law to confine its actions to the specific purposes for which it was established.

The laws passed by our government were only supreme over the States when they were in pursuance of the specific powers granted government by the Constitution. (See Article 6, Clause 2 of the Constitution) Although there were differing beliefs, beliefs which led to the formation of the first political parties as to whether or not the Constitution should be firmly adhered to or loosely interpreted, the fact is that the man responsible for our Constitution, James Madison, once said, “With respect to the two words “general welfare,” I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

In Federalist 45 James Madison expands upon that by saying, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.

The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”

To cap it all off, a Constitutional Amendment was ratified which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

I think that makes it pretty clear that the powers given our government were for specific purposes and that to exceed them was a clear violation of the trust given government by those it represented; the people and the States.

It is this belief which led a sitting Vice-President to write the following in opposition to the laws signed by the President, “…that the government created by this compact [the Constitution for the United States] was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers…” (See the Kentucky Resolutions, Thomas Jefferson)

As government was established to be a representative body, it’s will was not the determining factor in deciding what laws it could enact and what it could impose upon those it represented; the Constitution was. Furthermore, as Jefferson also stated in his Kentucky Resolutions, “…and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”

If the government was given its authority by the consent of the people, for specific powers only, then when it oversteps its authority then cannot those who created government undo what they had done and abolish government? Therefore, if the States agreed to be a part of a union that would be governed by strict rules as to what their system of government could do, and then that government turned around and enacted laws which benefitted one portion of the nation at the expense of another, would it not be within their authority to remove themselves from such a situation?

As a representative body the government held absolutely no authority to compel obedience to unjust laws or compel adherence to a Union that was harmful to the interests of the States. When Lincoln raised an army to invade the South he sought to impose governments will upon those who created government. By this act he sought to elevate government from a position of being a servant to those it represented to their master.

It is this crucial point that you must understand if you are to understand why I harp so much on the importance of the Civil War. The real outcome of the Civil War was in the reversal of roles between government and those it governed; placing the servant of the people over the people who created government in the first place.

After Lincoln was assassinated the radical Republicans of Congress sought to punish the South for the war. They did so because it was their supporters, (the early special interest groups) who were most threatened by the secession of the Southern States. Had the South been allowed to secede a huge chunk of the money flowing into the treasury would have up and dried up; money that was being spent upon projects in the North which benefitted those special interests. Therefore they sought to punish the South for threatening their livelihood.

We are taught that the Reconstruction Acts were programs designed to help rebuild the South after the war. If I could choose the biggest lie I was ever taught in school, that would be the one; for it is a whopper. The Reconstruction Acts subjugated the South, divided it into military districts; each run by a former Union General. They declared that no one loyal to the Confederate States be allowed to hold any office or position; thereby eliminating almost every single person south of the Potomac River from holding any position. They also declared that before the States could return to their former status in the Union and be represented in Congress that they must ratify the 14th Amendment.

WAIT A MINUTE!!!!

Before they could return to their former status in the Union??? But, didn’t Lincoln believe they had never LEFT the Union; that they were only in a state of insurrection? How could Congress pass any law when there wasn’t a quorum of States in session in Congress?

Why is this so important? Well, it is important because of what the 14th Amendment did. Most believe the 14th Amendment was ratified to give rights to the slaves which had been freed by the 13th Amendment. That is another huge lie we have been taught. All the 14th Amendment did is place every man, woman and child into a state of servitude to the government.

So let’s take a moment to recap what I’ve just said. After the Civil War the Congress denied the people of the South a Republican form of government, a violation of Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution. How can they said to have had a Republican form of government when those governing them were not chosen by the people and they lived under military, (martial) law?

Then we have an amendment that was forced upon them before they would be allowed to resume their status as States of the Union; even though the government they had just fought a war against claimed they had never actually left the Union.

That all seems above board and legitimate to me…(And that was sarcasm by the way)

What the 14th Amendment did was create an entirely new category of citizen; the United States citizen. Prior to that there were only citizens of the States wherein the people resided. It also placed these United States Citizens under the jurisdiction of the government of the United States.
I don’t want to go into too much detail now, but by claiming to be a citizen of the United States, rather than a citizen of the State you reside, you are accepting the fact that you are a slave whose life, property, and labor is the price of your servitude.

What I have just explained only touches upon what really happened when Lincoln declared war upon the rights of a State to leave a voluntary union, and then afterwards the unlawfully amended 14th Amendment was accepted as part and parcel of our Constitution. I could write volumes on it, and even then I would only be touching upon the subject.

But in an attempt to sum it all up, the real outcome of the Civil War is that we saw our government go from one which was subservient to the will of the people and the States to one which became superior to the will of those who established it. It also saw the people go from a state of freedom to a state of bondage to where they were ‘subjects’ under the jurisdiction of a government of unlimited authority.

And this is where they get you, you believe you are free and that you have a representative form of government as established by the Constitution of 1787 because you are allowed to pick and choose those who hold positions within that government. Yet does that government confine itself to the powers granted it? Does it respect your rights? And finally, what happens when you resist the laws it passes?

You think you are free, but so does a cow who is free to wander the range and graze; but make no mistake about it, that cow belongs to the owner of the herd and will eventually be led to the slaughterhouse. Such is your status right now because you do not realize the importance of the Civil War and what happened to your true freedom; both during and after that conflict.

If people truly understood what happened both during and after the Civil War they would be hoisting Confederate Flags and burning the flag of the United States; they would be defacing statues and images of Northern leaders and Abraham Lincoln, not praising them as heroes who fought to free the slaves. Sure, the Civil War may have led to the emancipation of privately owned slaves, but what it ended up doing is turning the U.S. into one huge plantation which now has over 300 million slaves working for their federal and corporate masters.

THAT is why I harp so much on the Civil War; to dispel the lies you have been taught and open your eyes to what really happened.

You may be a ‘free range slave’ as I have taken to calling the people, but that can change if you stop believing the lie that by your voting anything is going to change. You see, there is one crucial point those in power do not want you to know; that being that even though they are tyrants their hold on you only exists because you continue to believe the lie. The more people learn the truth, the more their power over us lessens. If enough people were to learn the truth and simply withdraw their support for our government, then maybe, just maybe we would have a chance of restoring our Republic to the one established in 1789.

But that’s a big maybe…

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Regardless of What You’ve Been Taught (These Do Not Mean What You Think They Do)

By April of 1775 the tensions between the Colonies and the Crown had reached a breaking point, and when the Kings men arrived at Lexington and Concord to confiscate the arms stored there they were met with locals who had grabbed whatever guns they had and assembled to prevent the Redcoats from taking their cache of arms. So it was that on that early April morning, just as the sun was rising, that America’s War for Independence began. So it was that on that early April morning a ragtag group of farmers, shopkeepers and merchants faced off against 500 of the most well trained and disciplined fighters on the planet. So it was that on this early April morning, that although these men were technically committing treason, they would go down into history books as patriots and heroes.

Why is that?

I’m certain that some of you have heard the saying that, “To the victor go the spoils.” Well, there is another lesser known saying that I’d like to share with you, “History is written by the victors.” I know that Winston Churchill said this, but someone else said something very similar long before Churchill ever uttered those words. In the year 1864, Major General Patrick Cleburne, of the Confederate States of America said the following, “Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late… It means the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern schoolteachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war…”

Two wars, less than a century apart, both with distinctly similar characteristics; and in one those who stood up to their government are viewed as patriots and heroes, and the other they are viewed as traitors and their cause scorned and ridiculed by those alive a century and a half later. What is the difference between the two which causes people to view them differently? Well it’s simple, in one instance those who stood up to their government prevailed, and in the other they were defeated.

What do you know about the Civil War; and more importantly, how did you come into possession of this knowledge? Did you learn what you know from a few chapters in a history book from back when you were in school? Did you learn it from some TV documentary or film?

How do you know that you are in possession of the truth? You might believe that you are in possession of the truth, but that is only because you refuse to accept evidence which proves that what you have been told or taught is a lie. If you could put aside your emotions over the issue of slavery and examine the facts, you would see that there was more to the Civil War than just the institution of slavery.

Are you aware that 15 months passed from the time the first shots of the American Revolution were fired before the delegates to the Second Continental Congress voted for and adopted the Declaration of Independence? Are you aware that when the delegates to the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence there were more slaves in the Colony of New York than there were in any individual Colony in the South? Are you aware that Confederate General Robert E. Lee emancipated his slaves before the Civil War, but that Union General and future President Ulysses S. Grant kept his until he was forced to free them by the 13th Amendment? Are you aware that many a prominent New England family grew quite wealthy off the profits they made transporting slaves from Africa to be sold in the slave markets up and down the New England coast? Are you aware that when Thomas Jefferson wrote his original draft of the Declaration of Independence he blamed the King of England for the institution of slavery, saying, “…he has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither.”

No, you probably were not aware of these things; simply because they were not in your history books or in the films and documentaries you’ve watched on the Civil War. Now tell me again how you think you know the whole story regarding the Civil War!

Let me tell you another story; something else you probably did not learn in your history class. In your studies, did the name Anthony Johnson ever pop up? Anthony Johnson was an Angolan who was captured by a neighboring tribe and sold to Arab slave traders. He eventually was sold to a merchant in the employ of the Virginia Company; a British company whose primary interest was in establishing profitable colonies in the Americas.

In 1621 Johnson arrived in Virginia and was sold to a planter named Bennett to work on a tobacco plantation as an indentured servant. Now it is at this point that I would like to differentiate between an indentured servant and a chattel slave. An indentured servant can work their servitude off over the course of time; typically depending upon the cost paid for them versus the work they perform for the person they are sold to. A chattel slave, on the other hand, while they may be freed, is not guaranteed freedom; no matter how long they serve in bondage. A chattel slave may live and die their entire life in bondage; never knowing freedom.

Sometime prior to 1647 Johnson, and another slave named Mary he had married, obtained their freedom; as the records from 1647 list him as a free negro when he purchased a calf in that year. When Johnson paid off his indentured servitude he was granted 250 acres of land under the headright system; a program in which former indentured servants were granted land to work for themselves. Johnson obtained his land when he purchased the contracts of five other indentured servants; four of which were white.

In 1654, after one of his indentured servants had signed another contract of indenture with another farmer, Johnson sued to get his slave back. The court originally ruled in favor of the other farmer, Robert Parker, but Johnson appealed and the ruling was overturned; marking it the first time that a court of the New England Colonies had held that a person could be held in servitude for life; and owner of the slave was a black man.

I tell you this because many of the people I know who take offense at the images and personages who represent the Confederacy believe that slavery was solely a white crime against blacks. If you were to dig you would find that there are many instances of freed slaves turning around and purchasing slaves of their own. Justus Angel and Mistress L. Horry are perfect examples of blacks owning slaves. These two lived in what is now Charlestown, South Carolina, and between them they owned 168 slaves. Then there was C. Richards of New Orleans who ran a sugar plantation. She was a black woman who owned 152 slaves. Then there is the Pendarvis family of South Carolina, also black, who ran a rice farm in South Carolina who owned 123 slaves.

I’m not for a minute trying to justify slavery; I’m only attempting to show you that it was not solely a white on black crime and if your attitude towards the Confederacy is based solely upon slavery you may want to rethink your position.

Are you also aware that 3 years before our Constitution was written, and the issue of slavery in America brushed under the carpet for posterity to deal with, that Thomas Jefferson suggested gradual emancipation of the slaves; training them in skills and then colonizing them outside the United States?
Now you may find this prejudiced, but Jefferson had his reasons for wanting to colonize them outside the U.S. In his Notes on the State of Virginia Jefferson states, “It will probably be asked, Why not retain and incorporate the blacks into the state, and thus save the expence of supplying, by importation of white settlers, the vacancies they will leave? Deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand recollections, by the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained; new provocations; the real distinctions which nature has made; and many other circumstances, will divide us into parties, and produce convulsions which will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other race.”

Now you may find that to be racist, and I won’t hold it against you if you do. But consider this, Abraham Lincoln also considered numerous plans to colonize the black slaves outside the United States.

A couple other facts you probably weren’t taught in history class. The day before Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation he affixed his name to a contract with an unscrupulous venturer named Henry Knox, (no relation to the General who fought under the command of George Washington during the Revolution), who planned to colonize 5,000 black men, women and children to an island off the coast of Haiti. Although nothing came of it, it shows that Lincoln too considered colonizing them instead of allowing them to remain in the United States.

In fact, both Lincoln and Jefferson felt that there were distinct differences between the white and black man and that in some ways the black man could never be equal to the white. I cannot quote the entire comments Jefferson makes regarding the difference between the two races, but they are easily found if you do a web search for Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 14; but be forewarned, Jefferson’s comments are rather lengthy. Abraham Lincoln, on the other hand, was more pithy, “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

Again, do not construe my showing Lincoln’s comments while refraining from showing Jefferson’s as an attempt to paint Lincoln in a bad light. I did so only because Lincoln’s comments fit into a single paragraph and Jefferson’s would have taken up several pages. Both felt similar towards the differences between blacks and whites; yet it is Lincoln and his war to end slavery that you are taught in school, when there was much more to it than just the fate of the institution of slavery at stake.

When the finalized draft of the Declaration of Independence was presented to the Second Continental Congress, the words penned by Jefferson, and edited and amended by a committee which included John Adams and Ben Franklin, were first heard by the delegates who would decide the course the Colonies would take; reconciliation with the Crown, or a complete and total severance of all ties which bound them to the authority of the King and Parliament.

The Declaration of Independence may rightly be called the birth certificate of the United States; as prior to it being voted upon and adopted the Colonies were still holdings of the Crown; and it wasn’t until they adopted what that document says, and then paid for the principles it contains with 7 years of war, that America became a nation unto itself.

The Declaration of Independence states that governments derive their just authority from the consent of the governed. Unless you are over the age of 104 there is not an American alive today who has lived when our government represented both the people and the States as co-equal partners in the legislative authority. Sure, they go by the name of State Senators, but they are chosen by the people and therefore do not represent the State as a sovereign entity.

The Declaration of Independence also states 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…” While this may not say that the States retain the right to remove themselves from the Union created by the Constitution, a look at the thoughts of the person who penned the Declaration of Independence may show that this concept was accepted as being the right of any State. In his first Inaugural Address, President Thomas Jefferson states, “If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.”

In fact, just a bit over a decade prior to the onset of the Civil War, a young politician stood on the floor of the House of Representatives and made the following comments, “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, most sacred right- a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to excercise it. Any portion of such people that can, may revolutionize and make their own, of so much territory as the inhabit.” The name of this young politician is Abraham Lincoln.

When the Southern States seceded from the Union they did so with the greatest of reluctance. They did not take the decision to leave the Union any less lightly than our Founders took the decision to sever the ties which bound them to the Crown. Yet they believed, as did our Founders, “…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, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

When the Southern States declared their independence from the Union, Abraham Lincoln violated the Constitution by calling for an army of 75,000 to be raised to invade these States in rebellion against the authority of the government of which he was the head of.

That right there is the cause of the Civil War, the fact that Abraham Lincoln sought to retain the control exercised by the government over the component parts of the Union, and any who threatened to leave this Union would be dealt with by force. The South sought no conquest or riches, they sought only to be left alone to govern themselves as they saw fit. The South did not invade the North, the North invaded the South.

In fact, it wasn’t until Lincoln’s call for 75,000 volunteers that Virginia chose to secede. Governor Letcher’s response to Secretary of War Simon Cameron states, “Your object is to subjugate the Southern States, and a requisition made upon me for such an object — an object, in my judgment, not within the purview of the Constitution or the act of 1795 — will not be complied with. You have chosen to inaugurate civil war, and having done so, we will meet it in a spirit as determined as the Administration has exhibited towards the South.”

Let us now consider what I’ve discussed. In 1776 thirteen colonies decided that they had suffered enough under their government and they chose to declare their independence. Eighty five years later the legislatures of 11 States decided that they had suffered long enough under the oppression of their government and sought their independence.

The Crown sought to retain possession of their Colonies just as Abraham Lincoln sought to retain control over the 11 seceded States. If you believe that Lincoln began this war to free the slaves held in the Southern States, you better review your history. In his Inaugural Address Lincoln states, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”

In his letter to Horace Greeley, Lincoln states, “I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.” If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery.”

Even his esteemed Emancipation Proclamation only freed the slaves in the areas he held no authority; the areas in the seceded States still under control of the Confederacy. It did nothing to free the slaves in areas held by Union Forces or those held in bondage in Northern States.

If the Civil War was fought over slavery, why didn’t Lincoln come out and say so directly; why the effort to say that slavery was not his reasons for engaging in war against those States which had exercised the same prerogative as had our Founders, and which he himself had espoused 13 years earlier as a member of the House of Representatives?

The war itself was fought because the government of the United States raised an army and invaded the sovereign and independent Confederate States of America. It matters not what their reasons were for seceding, the fact is that they left the Union in peace and it was the North who initiated hostilities against them.

In his book Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era, author James McPherson tells of “A single ragged Confederate who obviously didn’t own any slaves was asked by a group of Yankee soldiers why he was fighting. The Rebel responded, I’m fighting because you are here.”

That is why the Civil War was fought, because the North invaded the South; an act of war by one sovereign nation against another. You can say what you will about their reasons for leaving the Union, but if you believe in the Declaration of Independence and what it stands for, then you MUST accept that the South had the right to sever ties with the Union and form their own system of government.

That is why Jefferson Davis never stood trial for treason against the United States, because the government could never allow the question of a States right to secede be put to the test of a trial by jury; for it was still held that it was a State’s right to do so and the North would have then been forced to shoulder the blame for the death of over half a million people and millions in devastation and destruction.

Whether or not you choose to accept these facts, as I have presented them to you, is entirely up to you. But know this, the only difference between our American Revolution and the Civil War is that in our revolution those fighting for freedom and independence won, and in the Civil War those fighting to subjugate and oppress won. That’s the only difference, and the sooner you realize that you can move on and realize that no American has truly been free since Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox.

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