Freedom is never free.....

"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds."-Samuel Adams

Political Frivolity (maybe)

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Friday, March 27, 2009

The Meaning of "Patriot"

My 18 year old son, who is a senior in high school, knows everything about everything. As he read my latest post “The Death of a Republic”, he looked at me and said, “Dad, your usage of the word ‘Patriot’ can be construed as offensive.” “Why is that”, I asked with a tad bit of sarcasm. His reply: “A patriot can be defined as one who practices blind loyalty to his country or cause without seeking the truth.” “What truth are you referring to?”
“Dad, here is an example: why do young men and women march off to die in a conflict that they know nothing about and quite possibly could be meaningless with respect to our own national security? In a traditional sense, these people are called ‘Patriots’”. Point scored.
I replied “You know there is an alternate definition, according to Noah Webster. ‘A person who regards himself or herself as a defender of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government’. Counterpoint. Tie ballgame.
“Dad, you used the phrase ‘...drenched with the blood of patriots...’ Clearly you were referring to those individuals that practiced blind servitude to their beloved country.” No points awarded. Invalid argument.
“Son, I was not. In fact, I was using a literary phrase based on the SECOND definition as I so eloquently spelled out for you. The ‘patriots’ in the context of my post referred to the original patriots. These men were driven by the passion to restore individual and collective rights that were being infringed on by the king of England. The monarchy, at that time in history, could be compared to our current federal government. So, if a=b and b=c, a=c. Right?” Righteous points awarded.
“So you are saying that the founders were the true patriots and once the United States of America became a reality, the term ‘patriot’ became obsolete.” Good response, tie score.
“I wouldn’t say obsolete. At that time in history, a large majority of the populace was giddy with the newfound independence from Great Britain, and as a result, the term “patriot” took on a different meaning based on the context of the day. So, yeah, I guess you have a point.” Still a tie.
“So, Dad, logic prevails, and my argument IS valid. The definition of ‘patriot’ has been reduced to an emotional response to a flag or a song or some sort of pledge. Your definition no longer applies. I’m right, you’re wrong. Na-na-na-na-na.”
“Son, we are talking about the evolution or devolution of a word, depending on your perspective. We are talking about the value of a tag, or more importantly, the lack of value in current context. I’m telling you this: the definition of ‘patriot’ as I have described, applies more today than ever. I consider myself a patriot because of my distrust and disdain with our federal government. The comparison between then and today is clear. We are in a battle to regain our country. We are in the midst of a philosophical war, where not all U.S. citizens are patriots, but all patriots are U.S. citizens. We are ‘patriots’, not because of blind loyalty to our country, but the polar opposite: total and complete disgust with what has transpired over the last 40 years or so that has bastardized a concept that was great and good.” Checkmate.
“So, Dad, you know ‘patriot’ also refers to a missile system.............”
"Good night, son".

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Death of a Republic

Obituary (March 2009)-The United States of America: 1776-2009. Beloved home to 300,000,000 Americans, devoted country to veterans of foreign wars, loving nation remembered as a home of the free, land of the brave. The USA will be remembered as a grand experiment using the philosophies of the Romans, John Locke, and patriots who pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in order to form a more perfect union. The USA was preceded in death by Common Sense, Patriotism, Self Reliance, Personal Responsibility, Free Markets, Fair and Equal Taxation, and the American Family. Beloved father of the democratic republic, manifest destiny, freedom to worship, freedom of movement, free markets, and free trade.

Dear brother to the allied forces, NATO, and the United Nations. Loving protector and liberator of the oppressed, the disenfranchised, the enslaved, and the victims of natural and unnatural disasters.

Cherished benefactor of the nations’ poor, unfortunate, unemployed, underemployed, and the wretched masses of discontent. The late, great USA is survived by twin sisters Political Correctness and Expediency, False Piety, Situational Tolerance, Big Brother, Misplaced Priorities, Republicrats, Righteous Lobbyists, Government Schools, Government Owned Banks and Corporations, and Influential Corruption. The USA left an indelible mark on history as a free nation that failed to learn from its own mistakes, and as a result, died a horrible death at the hands of its own people, which are drenched in the blood of patriots, living and dead. (Survivors may wash their hands in the Federal restroom, and may their conscience be free and clear.)

Mourners may view the deceased via satellite uplink. Login to www.1984.gov. The place of burial is to be determined. The bill is held up in committee and no decision is expected until after the summer recess. Memorial donations may be made out to the US Treasury. All contributions are appreciated and are due by April 15th.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tyrants and Republicrats

Enough already. It’s time for us as American citizens to take off the blinders, look around, and accept the fact that our political system is broken. The two party system quite simply is not. It is one, gigantic albatross, and from this point forward shall be know as the Republicrats. There, I’ve said it. For those who abhor the notion of a multi-party system, you all can get some sleep.
The new system will still be two party; the Republicrats who will govern from the left or right or middle depending on what will get them elected, and the Libertarian Party, who will campaign on the good, common sense platform that is derived not from societal/political evolution/expediency, but from the U.S. Constitution as it was written as well as private and public prose from that period known as the birth of our nation.

The U.S. Constitution was intentionally written full of ambiguity because the authors believed that we, as the general populace, could and would decide
what is best for us. The founders vested the power to interpret the Constitution on the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court was to rule against of the wishes of society, the ruling would be irrelevant because the American people would not follow the law. We, as a society have survived and progressed because of (or in spite of) the ideal of self rule and the ability to be flexible based on the progression of society. Am I being contradictory? Not really.
At the time the Constitution was written, women were non-entities, slavery was alive and well, and the illiterate were not allowed to vote. Last time I checked, black slaves are free, women and the public at large can vote, regardless of education or pedigree. While the Constitution is not a “living” document, the will of the people can and should allow for these types of reformations to take place. I think this is what the founders had in mind.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

What don’t we understand about this simple truth? I just want to be left alone to experience the result of this statement so my children don’t have to experience the next.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

The World of Green is Weird

The world of green is a world of weirdness. How peculiar are the ideals and philosophies of this fringe group of activists? Is it only me who finds it odd that only a few months ago, we were swimming in the sewer of “Global Warming”, only to discover that it is really “Climate Change”?
I’m guessing one reason is the severity of this winter in terms of temperature and snowfall. It would sound a tad ludicrous to bang the drum of “Global Warming” when one cannot leave his house because of a foot of snow. Maybe the new term is based on the fact that Al Gore couldn’t make it to an “End of the World as we know it” seminar because of 3 inches of ice on the roads.
“Climate Change” works because it is a catchall term that describes, well, any climatic change. In the 1970’s we were warned of a “mini-ice age” that was imminent. In the 1990’s, then Vice President Gore said, no, the world was experiencing a “warming trend” due to greenhouse gases. Drastically reduce emissions from fossil fuels and all will be well.
Not so fast, says Paleontologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, of the Committee for Scientific Research in Buenos Aires. “The [global warming] scaremongering has its justification in the fact that it is something that generates funds.” Yikes.
Many dissenting scientists will gladly testify that “climate change” is a natural cycle that has NOTHING to do with greenhouse gases, cow flatulence, or gas guzzling SUV’s. We have no more control over climatic changes than we do to prevent volcanic eruptions.
What now? Do we tell Mr. Gore to return his Nobel prize? Should I buy down parkas or a closet full of shorts and tee shirts? Will ELF zealots start sacrificing virgins in the town square?

Tribal Conflicts vs. Nation Building

History is full of examples that should discourage any effort to build a nation in the image of western culture. Tribal warfare, to many perhaps, creates an image that only Hollywood could love. The reality is that tribal cultures have aggressively resisted outside intervention throughout history, and whether we are referring to the year 100 A.D. or 2008 A.D., the results are no different, with the exception of the U.S vs. American Indians.

For example: Delawares vs. Osage, Sioux vs. Chippewas, Shawnee vs. Iriquois, Shawnee vs. Cherokee vs. Catawbas, etc. These inter-tribal conflicts, for whatever reason, did not allow these tribes to upgrade their lifestyle for thousands of years. The ultimate fate of these tribes were decided by overwhelming force shown by the U.S. military, “Manifest Destiny”, and the only true “birth of a nation” in modern times. The United States is an historical aberration due to geographical isolation, mass immigration, historical timing, and limitless resources. Another time, another place could have yielded significantly different results.

Take a look at the Middle East and Africa: Sunnis vs. Shiites, Pashtuns vs. the Pakastanis, Hazara vs. Kuch nomads in Afghanistan, Kurds vs. Turks, you get the idea. In all of these scenarios, these tribal conflicts are ancient and unyielding. Did I mention Hutus vs. Tutsis, North African Arabs vs. East African Christians? These intertribal conflicts existed long before European colonization, which has been cited as a factor in African turmoil. Europeans would occupy, rape the country of natural resources, attempt a colonial type of government, and then get the hell out, again and again.

The point is that anywhere in the world, throughout history, tribal cultures continue to stagnate due to historical disagreements with regard to territory and/or religious differences. Outside intervention has not, and never will work. Woodrow Wilson carved up the Ottoman Empire after WWI as attempt to appease “oppressed” ethnic groups. Last time I checked, the Kurds and the Turks still hate each other.

The West has attempted to quell these conflicts through mediation, occupation, liberation, and outright warfare. You have to look no further than our current conflicts to make my point. The score today is West, “0”, Tribes, undefeated. It’s one thing to exact revenge, another to build a nation in our image that has no interest.

Did I mention The Hatfields vs. The McCoys?

The Late Great U.S.S.A.

“Throughout the nation men and women, forgotten in the political philosophy of the Government, look to us here for guidance and for more equitable opportunity to share in the distribution of national wealth… I pledge myself to a new deal for the American people. This is more than a political campaign. It is a call to arms.”
F. Roosevelt-1932

The New Deal, forged at a time of 25% unemployment, massive deflation, and a sense of hopelessness, begat entities such as the TVA, the WPA, Social Security, strengthened labored unions, and created the first farm subsidies as a means of controlling prices. The Gold Standard was eliminated, and the U.S.A. was on the way to morphing into the U.S.S.A., aka, The United Socialist States of America.
It took a World War to rescue us from the grip of the Great Depression, as many historians still can’t agree if any of Roosevelt’s programs did much of anything to jumpstart a very sick economy. There are those who believe his remedies slowed recovery, and irrevocably damaged a free market system, that prior to the New Deal, were not required to “lobby” the Feds for favors. Prices were set by the bureaucracy, and as a result, competition all but disappeared.
When LBJ and his Congress created the New New Deal, otherwise known as “The Great Society”, the Feds outdid themselves. Now they were giving away tax dollars for nothing in return; no dams, power plants, crops, nothing. This act, in reality, was the “Great Poverty Machine”, generating more poverty and white flight from urban areas than any economic downturn could ever do. The Great Society had the power to manifest generational poverty, again and again.
Currently we have the New New New Deal, or the “Great Wall Street Bailout”. It is too soon to tell whether or not this works or not. I would say not. Not only are we not building infrastructure, or helping the poor “get on their feet” though giveaways, but are guaranteeing millions of dollars for CEO’s and their henchman (and henchwomen, to be PC). President Obama is PROMISING deficits in the trillion dollar range for each fiscal year in the “foreseeable future”, not counting economic stimulus programs. With corporations, state governments, and all of their brothers waiting in line for federal money, the U.S.S.A. is really and truly becoming a reality. As we learned during our own Civil War, secession is not an option. That’s too bad.

I Hope......

When President Reagan took his oath of office in 1981, we were in the throws of double digit inflation, unemployment, and interest rates. As that day unfolded, the hostages in Iran were released, and we, as an American people had high hopes that the next day would be a little better.
Inauguration Day is the day that epitomizes what our system of government is all about; the peaceful transition of power and the ageless ideal of “hope” that is and should be the envy of the rest of the world. “Hope” is a word that transcends all racial, economic, and religious barriers. “Hope” is a word that is synonymous with faith, anticipation, optimism, promise, expectations, and reward.
In 1981 we had the “expectation” that the new president would lift our spirits, and foster a new “optimism” that our economy would climb out of the gutter. We were in the midst of the Cold War, and we had “anticipated” that this could end under new leadership.
As we look forward to 2009, I hope that everyone in our great country, regardless of political leanings, gives President Obama a chance. It would be very hypocritical of me to suggest otherwise, because I truly believe that many of those that lean towards the left did not give W a fair shot, even after 911, when his approval ratings were off the charts. Being, perhaps, the only American left that admires and respects former President W, I hope history vindicates his policies and decisions.
I hope President Obama can coerce Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Reid to work with the Republican minority to achieve real and lasting goals that will generate a positive economic environment. I hope we are not going to be taxed out of existence. I hope the free market survives and thrives even with the odds stacked against it.
I hope our young men and women in uniform can come home to the hugs and tears of joy instead of in a box. I hope we, as a country, can hold our heads high with the belief that something good can come out of all of the bloodshed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I have never voted for a Democrat, ever. I hope that, four years from now, I have a reason to break precedence, and vote for and re-elect President Obama.
I hope the Mayans are wrong about December 21st, 2012.
I hope.

Holt-Blair Bill

Big Brother Bobby Rush, D-Ill. is hoping to save us all from ourselves by proposing legislation to rewrite gun ownership laws at the federal level. The bill claims “to protect the public against unreasonable risk of injury and death associated with sale or transfer of firearms to criminals and youth”. This, because of a young man who was shot and killed on a bus in Chicago. Tragic? Absolutely. Necessary? Absolutely not. In essence, all gun owners would have to be “licensed”.
To obtain a license, an application must be made that includes a photo, address, all previous aliases, thumb print, completion of a written firearm safety test, release of mental health records to the attorney general and a fee not to exceed $25. We would have to prove we are not mentally ill, have no felony convictions, or are otherwise not legally able to own a firearm. When did you stop beating your wife? Uh,...
To prove a negative is inherently a difficult thing, but to do so while practicing a Constitutional right is ridiculous. There are those who have drawn the analogy regarding the licensing and registration of automobiles and firearm ownership. Here’s the difference: driving is a privilege, and gun ownership is a right guaranteed by the 2nd amendment to the Constitution.
There are many laws on the books that regulate who may or may not own a firearm. This bill takes it to the next step, as long feared by law abiding citizens who own guns. It would be unlawful to own a “qualifying” firearm with a “license”, and this bill would mandate that the Attorney General of the United States enter the data into a national database. Do you think practicing criminals will obtain a “license”?
So, let’s say somebody breaks into my house, steals my guns, and I don’t report it to the feds. If that gun is used in a crime, I will face prison time. Me. I would go to prison because I failed to report the theft of a personal item that I am constitutionally allowed to own to Big Brother in Washington. So much for Almost President Obama’s “promise” not to infringe on our 2nd amendment rights. Maybe I’m jumping the gun (sorry), and the bill will not pass, or maybe Almost President Obama will veto this bill.
Or maybe not. From the words of the late, great Charlton Heston, “..from my cold, dead hands.....”