Etched into the wall at the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency is a passage from the Bible, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) When a person is called upon to give testimony in court they must swear an oath to “Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Why do people consider honesty to be a valuable attribute, but when someone tells the truth people get all upset?
What is the truth? I suppose you could look it up in the dictionary, or I could provide you with my own definition for it. The way I see it the truth is simply things as they actually are, supported by facts and evidence.
The truth does not take sides, it is not biased, it is not prejudiced; it merely is an accurate rendering of things. The truth also does not care if it hurts feelings or offends. Whether you accept it or reject it, the truth does not care; it remains constant and unwavering. Continue reading
People don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed. ~ Friedrich Nietzche
Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what every man wishes, that he also believes to be true. ~ Demonsthenes
They say that if a lie is repeated enough times it becomes everyone’s truth. That may very well be true, but no matter how many times a lie is repeated it does not alter the fundamental fact that it is, in fact, a lie. The truth is the truth; whether people choose to accept or to reject it.
What I’m more interested in is what transpires when an individual who has lived their entire life believing a lie suddenly comes face to face with the truth. Continue reading
When I was a kid trains used to fascinate me. I had a model railroad set, I road on them to visit my grandmother in San Francisco, I lived right next to the tracks in San Jose and would climb the fence and watch them go by; carrying either passengers or cargo, and as a teenager I even hopped a few for the thrill of it. To this day I still can’t help but gaze as they pass by; the powerful locomotives pulling whatever it is they are hauling that day.
How much have trains played a role in American Culture? They joined the two halves of our country with the driving of the final stake at Promontory Point in Utah, they’ve played roles in our films; beginning with the old Westerns when the bandits robbed them, to the newer movies such as Batman Begins were the League Of Shadows used one to release their toxic gas into the air. Continue reading
Lately I’ve been harping on the fact that the truth doesn’t matter anymore; that people are content to live their lives believing comfortable lies. Occasionally on this journey of mine, I’ve stumbled across people whose eyes have already been opened and can differentiate between the truth and the lie most others believe. However the rest of those I encounter, not only reject any efforts to learn the truth; they shun it like the plague. I guess ole Van Loon was right when he said, “Any formal attack on ignorance is bound to fail because the masses are always ready to defend their most precious possession – their ignorance.”
“Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.” ~ Daniel Webster
While I’ve never been any good at the game, I respect those who are good at chess. Chess is a game of strategy and planning; pitting your wits against someone of, hopefully, equal skill. A typical chess match has 3 stages; there are the first opening moves where pieces are moved into position where they will be most effective; there is the actual battle between the two players, and then there is the checkmate where one side’s strategy fails and his/her king is captured.
Although there is no bloodshed, make no mistake about it, chess is a game of war. If you are unskilled at the game you can be checkmated in 4 moves by a skilled opponent; (believe me, I’ve had it happen to me). Continue reading
It is an unfortunate fact that one of the two above people are going to become the next president of these States united; someone’s going to be chosen by the electoral college and go on to occupy the Oval Office for at least 4 years, if not 8.
I once had a discussion with someone regarding this idea of voting for the lesser of two evils and how all it does is ensure the perpetuation of evil in government; just is a smaller degree. The person with whom I was conversing suggested a means of correcting this flaw in our system by including on the ballot a None of the Above choice. If None of the Above received more votes than did the candidates, the office for which they were running would remain unoccupied until a candidate was provided which the people had enough confidence in to cast their vote for. Continue reading
With the 2016 presidential election just around the corner, and the field being narrowed down to two candidates; the billionaire bigmouth and the pathological liar, the people of America are once again faced with the choice of either a Republican candidate who doesn’t understand the Constitution, or a Democrat candidate who doesn’t care about the Constitution. Yet the people of this country will vote for these candidates by the millions; thinking that their choice is the best choice for America.
It is obvious, at least for anyone who has been paying attention, that neither of the two presumptive nominees have made any statements about adhering to the limited powers granted government by the Constitution, nor to the powers granted the office which they seek. It is also obvious by the way the people of this country are falling into place behind their party’s presumptive candidate that the people of this country don’t care what the Constitution says either. Continue reading
NOTE: For some unknown reason, this column has been sitting in draft mode since January 2 of this year. Apparently I must have been called away while working to upload – and it disappeared – until today. Our apologies to Mr. Ross. ~ J.B.
I was born on a midsummer day in 1958; a Babyboomer born to a father who had served his country in both World War II and the Korean War. In fact, I am named after my father’s best friend who lost his life aboard the USS Helena (CL-50) when it was sunk by Japanese torpedoes on July 6, 1943; Neal Hampton Rood. Patriotism and American Pride were instilled into me in massive doses from the moment I took my first breath. That’s just the way things were back then, it was America, love it or leave it.
As I edge closer to 60 I have become more and more convinced that the America that I grew up to love is gone; never to return. I am an avid movie watcher and I watch them, not solely for the action or storyline, but for how they speak to me on a subconscious level. Some movies speak to me more powerfully than others and such is the case with the movie Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe. There is one scene in particular which causes a lump to form in my throat; it is when Marcus Aurelius asks Maximus to go to Rome to ensure Rome returns to being a Republic. In that scene the Emperor tells Maximus, “There was once a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish…it was so fragile. And I fear that it will not survive the winter.” Continue reading
In his Inaugural Address to the American people, George Washington offered up a warning, of sorts, when he wrote, “The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”
If you think about it, our country, or our government to be specific, is a lot like a vehicle; a new car or pickup truck. If the owner of a new vehicle follows the instruction manual and has the recommended maintenance done on schedule, the vehicle will last quite a long time. If, however, you ignore the manufacturers recommendations the life of the vehicle will be reduced dramatically. Continue reading
In 2008 the world, and America in particular, stood in amazement as a young community organizer, turned US Senator, with absolutely no background or qualifications, leapt to the forefront of the Democratic nominees to eventually become president of these States united. Along the way followers attended his campaign rallies by the thousands; standing there with tears in their eyes and awestruck expressions on their faces while this young upstart offered us Hope & Change. Continue reading
Aside from the Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion, Britain’s vote to leave the European Union has been leading the news in the category of current events. Stock markets tanked the day following Britain’s decision to opt out of the European Union and White House staffers said Barack Obama’s message to British Prime Minister David Cameron could be summed up in one word; BUMMER.
Is it though, a bummer I mean?
If you look at the European Union, what is it but a joining together for the common benefit of individual sovereign nations? That sounds awful familiar; I wonder where I’ve heard that before? Of course, the United States of America; that’s where. Continue reading
This will probably be my last article for awhile. I got an e-mail from a friend whose opinion I respect saying I need to take a break; that all my recent submissions have been a repetition of the same thing. I too have noticed that my tone, and the message I’ve been trying to get across, has become increasingly negative.
I believe it is because I’m simply getting burnt out. I do have a month long vacation, (outside the continental US) planned in September, and was planning on using that time to recharge my batteries while getting away from all the things here that have been dragging me down. I guess I’ll just have to scrap that plan and just stop writing now.
I did want to finish a couple of loose ends first; I absolutely hate leaving things undone; and these last two articles were works in progress when I got my friends e-mail. Continue reading
Have you ever met someone that caused you to wonder what goes on inside their head? I have; in fact I wonder about it all the time. However in most cases I think that were I to find out it would drive me insane. If what comes out of most people’s mouths is any indication of what goes on inside their heads, then what passes for logic for them is most likely convoluted and irrational.
Everybody has an opinion on things and in a perfect world those opinions would be based upon critical thought; an examination of all the facts leading to a well thought out conclusion. But as my dad used to always say, “Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and they all stink.” That is especially true when one’s opinions are not based upon fact, but upon emotional responses to things; there is usually no logic involved in the forming of them. Continue reading
Now that the dust has begun to settle, so to speak, and a respectable amount of time has passed since a gunman opened fire in Pulse, an Orlando nightclub, Barack Obama has come out with a statement calling it “an act of terror and an act of hate.” Golly gee Mr. President, aren’t you the smart one! Continue reading
HEADLINE: SAN FRANCISCO The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a law stating citizens must prove a ‘good cause’ before they will be issued a concealed weapons permit. Writing for the majority, Circuit Judge William Fletcher wrote, “We hold that the Second Amendment does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public…”
Well there you have it; a group of black robed tyrants has all but gutted the 2nd Amendment’s protection of the right to carry. Certainly this will be appealed, possibly being heard by the Supreme Court itself; but that is beside the point as the Court should have no say in this…none whatsoever. Continue reading
In the mid 1700’s a group of people who both understood and valued their liberty felt that the actions of their government posed a threat to that liberty. Although they were subjects to a King they still believed that they had certain rights that, no matter who ruled over them, could not be violated without violating the natural order of things.
So, in response to what they believed to be arbitrary and oppressive acts, they rebelled. They felt that, as freemen, their rebelling was justified when the actions of their government violated their rights.
Instead of recognizing that he had violated the rights of his subjects, this King imposed even more oppressive acts. He also sent agents to live among them to enforce his will. Eventually this King sent his agents to disarm the people which proved to be the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back; and armed conflict began… Continue reading
~ Forewords ~
Ok – so you think that this guy Ross is a nutcase? Think again! Read it and weep – and this ain’t NO conspiracy THEORY. ~ Ed.
What does money buy you? I’m not talking about $20, or $100, or even a million; I’m talking about obscene amounts of money. It could buy you the presidency if you have enough of it and you can convince enough people to vote for you. Take for instance Hillary Clinton, who has raised an incredible $77 million, and spent $44 million of trying to convince people to overlook her flaws and vote for her to be the next president.
There’s something else that money can buy; power and influence. Continue reading
Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Re: UCLA Shooting/Gun Control
Yesterday when KCRA began their 12:00 news broadcast the first story they ran was a Breaking News Story about another shooting; this time on the campus of UCLA. The first thought that crossed my mind was; didn’t the governor just sign into law a bill prohibiting concealed carry holders from carrying their weapons on California College campuses? Did this bill not effectively make all California Colleges Gun Free Zones?
How well is that shit working for you right now? Continue reading
Have you ever falling victim for someone or something? Even if it is something as trivial as buying something you saw on an infomercial on TV that sounded like the next best thing since sliced bread; but when you got it home you found out it was a useless piece of junk. It’s happened to almost everybody I imagine; even I’ve found myself victimized by slick advertising campaigns; only to find out the product which the advertisers claimed did all these miraculous things was a waste of my hard earned money and ended up getting tossed in with the trash. Continue reading
I used to watch a lot of crime shows on TV and I recall watching one once in which a detective was talking about the modus operandi of cult leaders. The detective was saying that cult leaders are, more often than not, charismatic and well spoken, and they prey upon the sentiments and weaknesses of those whom they wish to seduce into their cult. By saying things that people want to hear these cult leaders lure people into following them; often to their later regret. Jonestown is a perfect example; I’m sure had Jim Jones told people at the very beginning that if they followed him he was going to tell them to drink poisoned Kool Aid the people would not have so readily followed him. Continue reading
April 21, 2016 the world is shocked when it hears the news that music superstar Prince has been found dead. Suddenly it is all over the news; speculation and rumors abounding with suggestions that he may have overdosed on painkillers.
Was Prince talented; no doubt about that, he was. Was he a great guitarist; again, no questions about it, he was. But people die every day and they don’t get a moment’s notice on TV unless they are a celebrity. Are we in for another love-fest such as the one that followed the death of Michael Jackson; where people pay tribute to his music, his life, and how he touched their lives?
Did you know that the CDC, (Centers for Disease Control), reported that 2.5 million people died in the United States last year? Continue reading
In modern vernacular, [language], there are a lot of words that have one commonly accepted meaning, but then mean something entirely different when used in a different context. Take for instance the word tool. In the commonly accepted meaning, tool means something like a screwdriver, hammer, pliers, or wrench. However, used in a different context a tool is one who lacks the mental capacity to know he is being used.
Don’t be a tool.
Of all the creatures on God’s Earth, man alone has the capacity to think, to question, to ponder, to extrapolate, and to advance himself as a species. Think of all the amazing things that man has done; technological advancements that have taken him to the Moon, musical masterpieces which can stir up emotions you never thought you had, and scientific breakthroughs which have extended our lifespan well beyond those of our ancestors; all because man has the capacity to think. Continue reading
In yesterday’s paper there was an article, that after reading it, I’m lucky I didn’t have a heart attack or stroke; that’s how high my blood pressure spiked. I’m still angry, but my emotions have settled down enough to let me coherently focus on unscrambling the raw anger and channeling it into what you are about to read.
First, a bit of background. It seems that one Carlos Moore, an African-American attorney from Grenada, Mississippi has filed a lawsuit against the State of Mississippi regarding the State Flag. Mississippi has flown the same flag since 1894, that flag consisting of three horizontal stripes; blue, white and red, with a smaller Confederate Battle Flag, or St. John’s Cross, in the upper left hand corner. Moore is asking District Judge Carlton Reeves to declare the flag an unconstitutional relic of slavery. Continue reading
Don’t worry, this is not a religious article; nonetheless the Bible is chock full of passages that talk of wisdom and understanding. How many times did Christ ask those listening to His lessons, “Having eyes, see not, having ears, hear not?” Knowledge, wisdom, and the ability to see things for what they really are should be virtues people aspire to, not hide from. Continue reading
It is not very often that I sit here without a single thing on my mind to write about; but this morning I awoke without anything substantial to say. Then my computer made that familiar ‘DING’ notifying me that I had new e-mail. Amongst the junk there was a new article from my friend Michael Gaddy that planted a seed that grew into what you are about to read.
Besides my friend Mike and I there are a couple other friends I know who have no intention of voting for anyone running for the office of president in the upcoming election. We see the candidates for what they are, puppets who are controlled by men in the shadows; mere spokespersons for the corporate and banking interests who really run things in this country. There is not a candidate amongst the entire bunch who understands, or cares, about what limits the Constitution imposes upon the government they seek to head, and this includes Mr. Trump. Continue reading
Have you ever had an argument with someone when you knew with absolute surety that you were right and the other person simply would not accept the fact that they were wrong? Well, welcome to my world and my argument with those who support stricter gun laws in response to all the recent shootings.
Every argument I have heard used to support stricter gun laws has been based upon an emotional need to satisfy people’s desire to feel safe and not any logical solution to the problem with firearm related crime. Continue reading
A nation that is ignorant of its past is a nation that is ripe for deception and manipulation. Therefore, it is not what happened, but rather what people believe happened which determine the present actions of a nation. ~ Warriors of Honor
Where you to travel back in time to 1975 or 1976 and ask me what my least favorite subject in high school was, I would respond with either math, (because I suck at it), or history, (because it was boring as hell). Putting aside my own mathematical inadequacies let’s talk about why I found history to be my least favorite subject.
When I was in school history was a dead subject; both figuratively and literally. I never understood the reasoning in having to learn about events that had already happened; it just didn’t make any sense to me. They say as you grow older you also grow wiser; and this certainly is the case with me; at least in regards to understanding the importance of history. Continue reading
Sometimes I have a hard time deciding which I despise more; ignorance or apathy. Most of the time apathy wins out; but there are times that ignorance takes the forefront. You call someone ignorant today and they take it as an insult; as if you’re calling them stupid. Often the two qualities are both found together, but they are not the same thing.
Ignorance is merely the lack of knowledge and can be remedied by study. But to come full circle it is only because people are apathetic that they do not seek out knowledge. Quite the conundrum, isn’t it? Continue reading
And I’m more than willing to provide you with one
CLICK on IMAGE
Someone recently asked me why I spend so much time discussing the Civil War when it has been over for a century and a half. To answer I could fill pages alone but let it suffice to say that it is/was a fascinating period of American History, it is probably the most incorrectly taught about period of American History, and aside from the Revolutionary War period it was probably the most critical period of American History. Does that answer your question?
Like most of you, I am a product of the indoctrination system we call public education; I grew up believing the same lies you currently do regarding the War of Northern Aggression, or, America’s Second War for Independence. However, unlike most Americans I have researched that period of American history extensively, and while I am not as knowledgeable as many about the period I believe I could hold my own in a debate on it. Continue reading
Study the past if you would define the future. ~ Confucius
While still serving as Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill began writing a two volume history of the Second World War. This two part history of the war was a leading cause of his being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953. In Volume 1, The Gathering Storm, Churchill states, “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
Why do I begin an article being written in 2016 with a quote from an English Prime Minister who died in 1965? Simple, because some things never change, and Churchill’s quote is one of those things. Continue reading