Moments after being sworn in as the first president of these States United under the new Constitution, George Washington stated, “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.” I’m going to be blunt, does that mean anything at all to you, or as Andy Dufresne asks the warden in The Shawshank Redemption, “Are you obtuse?” In case you’re not aware, obtuse means slow to understand something. Continue reading
My last article spoke of my belief that history, particularly that of your own country, is important in understanding the how and the why of our system of government was established, the principles it was established upon, and more importantly, how it has shifted over the two centuries America has been in existence.
Americans are fond of tossing the word tyrant around in regards to the leaders of other countries, yet they are unwilling to do the same in respect to their own leaders. The word tyrant has become a catch phrase used to describe anyone whose policies and rule we dislike. One of the first definitions found in Merriam Webster’s Dictionary for the word tyrant is, “a ruler who has complete power over a country and who is cruel and unfair.” Yet there is another definition, which may come from Plato and Aristotle, which states that a tyrant is, “an absolute ruler unrestrained by law or constitution.” Continue reading
As anyone who has read even a few of my commentaries knows, I like to quote the Founding Fathers…a lot! I think since it was they who were alive during our war for independence, and since it was they who directly participated in the writing of our founding documents, that their beliefs should hold much more value than those of modern day politicians and political pundits.
That does not mean that our Founders were perfect men, they weren’t, not by any stretch of the imagination. But what makes them so incredible, and therefore their views so valuable, was the fact than at a single moment in history so many men with so much intellect and understanding of politics and human nature, came together and established a system of government based upon individual liberty. Continue reading
A friend of mine shared this public service announcement on his Facebook page that has me outraged to the point I can barely speak about it rationally, but I will try. The ad begins with this kid who peeks into his sisters room while she is reading a book on her bed. Then he goes into a room, (his parents?) and opens a dresser drawer and removes a handgun. He then takes the pistol to his room and puts it into his backpack then lays back on his bed.
It fades to the kid walking down the aisle at school into a classroom. The camera shows the faces of the students and you think that at any time he’s gonna pull the gun out and start shooting. Then at the end the bell rings and the kids file out. The boy is left alone with his teacher. He walks up to her desk, puts his backpack on the desk and pulls out the pistol and sets in on the teachers desk. The teacher is shocked, but then the kid says, “Can you take this away? I don’t feel safe with a gun in my house.” Continue reading
Honestly, I hadn’t planned on writing another article for 2014, especially one on Christmas Day. Then a friend posted an image on Facebook and got the gears turning in my head and…well here I am again at this keyboard spitting out my thoughts.
I suppose I should begin by sharing the words that inspired this whole thing. As I said, a friend posted an image on Facebook this morning and it was just a simple box with the following words “Rules won’t make a virtuous society because good people don’t need them, and bad people won’t follow them.”
That right there sums up all that is wrong with America today; all that is wrong with society, AND with government. It’s amazing what the proper combination of words can do; eighteen simple words explains what I’ve been trying to get across using thousands of them. Continue reading
“Time indeed changes manners and notions, and so far we must expect institutions to bend to them. But time produces also corruption of principles, and against this it is the duty of good citizens to be ever on the watch, and if the gangrene is to prevail at last, let the day be kept off as long as possible.” ~ Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane (1821)
Let’s be honest, America has lost its way, it has forgotten who and what it is. People today blame one political party or the other for the problems this country currently faces, while others blame the gridlock between the two parties for our problems. If you want the truth, neither of those two reasons are the real problem for all the problems in America today.
Think about it, we have what’s known as a representative form of government. It is not a democracy where the majority gets what they want all the time. It is not a dictatorship or an oligarchy were one man, or a small group of men, decide what is best for the country and their will is supreme. Under our system we choose candidates to represent the people in the management of the government. At the time it was established the states also had a say in the federal government by way of their choosing the members of the Senate. But that balance of power was shifted when they tinkered with the system by ratifying the 17th Amendment, giving the power of electing Senators to the people.
So now the system truly is representative of the people who inhabit this land due to the fact that we choose the president; we choose members to the House of Representatives; and we choose the Senators to represent our states.
The key word in all this is ‘represent‘. One of the definitions for the word represent is to express or explain what is happening or what people think. So if our government is disjointed and dysfunctional it is because we as a people are disjointed and dysfunctional. In that, our government truly is a mirror held up to the people it represents. Continue reading
~ Foreword ~
I knew from the onset that this was going to be lengthy and quite detailed. I realized that due to this fact that it would preclude it being read by many people. I also no longer care. I write for those who are willing to take the time to educate themselves, not for those who are too lazy to turn off their TV’s for an hour or two to read something that may teach them something they didn’t know. I also write solely for the purpose of staying at a certain level of proficiency at the actual act of writing. Writing is a skill, that unless practiced, is lost. So I write as much for myself as I do for you. That being said, if you wish to learn something, then please continue reading. (N.R.) Continue reading
In 1919 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that November 11 should be celebrated as Armistice Day, stating, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
In 1945 a movement, led by Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran, pushed to expand Armistice Day to cover all veterans. In May of 1954 President Eisenhower signed a bill into law declaring that November 11 be a day of celebration for all veterans. A month later Congress amended the bill renaming it Veterans Day. Continue reading
In 1831 the French government sent Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont to the United States to study our prison system. But the underlying reason for their visit was to study our country as a whole, particularly with respect towards our young republic and our democracy. The result of their 271 day visit is Democracy in America with Volume 1 being written in 1835 and Volume 2 being completed five years later.
I recently purchased both volumes in one single paperback book. For the longest time it sat on my shelf because I was apprehensive about starting the daunting task of reading a book of nearly 1,000 pages. Finally I mustered up the courage to open it up and begin reading. I was pleasantly surprised that the reading was not as dry as I had expected. In fact de Tocqueville writes in a style that is quite enjoyable to read. My only concern is that I do not have enough highlighters as I have been highlighting passages left and right as I make my way through it. Continue reading
Imagine a small farming and ranching community just outside a large city. Imagine that these farmers and ranchers gather together and decide that they need a body to settle disputes and manage the affairs of the community. So they constitute a city hall and hire a sheriff to maintain law and order.
For awhile things go smoothly, nobody bothers anybody else and the community prospers. Then let’s say the city council decides that it wants to fix up the roads in the community, but to do so they need to raise revenue. So they impose a tax on the farmers and ranchers. The community agrees that it would be nice to have some paved roads, so they agree to the small increase in taxes. Continue reading
When I got home from work last night I checked my e-mails and at the very top of the list was a CNN News update saying that you were going to make a statement regarding the ‘urgent humanitarian situation’ along the Southwest border. All night long I tossed and turned because I was so angry I could not fall asleep.
You people created this humanitarian situation, and by ‘you people’ I mean every one of you idiots in Washington D.C…AND your predecessors.
I know your fond of blaming George W. Bush for the mess you inherited, and in some things you did inherit a mess. But you know something, you applied for the job. You knew what you were getting yourself in to. So stop blaming Bush. Do you remember a guy named Harry Truman? He was a President once. Well President Truman had a sign on his desk that said, “The Buck Stops Here”. Why don’t you grow a set of balls and accept the fact that while you occupy the Oval Office whatever happens in this country is YOUR responsibility. If you can’t accept that then maybe you shouldn’t have run for office in the first place. Continue reading
Can I ask a favor? Could you turn off your TV’s, your cell phones and put on your thinking caps for just a few minutes and ponder the things I am about to say. Not that what I am about to say/ask will make a whole lot of difference in the end, but it will at least cause you to think about something that has been floating around in the back of my mind for quite some time now. Honestly, it won’t take long and it WON’T hurt.
First of all I want you to think about our Constitution; what is it and from where does it derive it’s authority?
Is it merely a list of suggestions, a guideline if you will, which our government may follow; is it something general, with the so-called general welfare clause allowing our government to take whatever measures it deems necessary to maintaining peace and prosperity for the United States?
Or is it the law by which all government officials are bound, (by oath I might add) to obey? Continue reading
On the opening day of the Constitutional Convention Virginia Governor Edmund Randolph raised four concerns which would guide the delegates in their search for ways to amend the Articles of Confederation, or replace it with something which they felt would better suit the needs of a growing nation. These four points were: what properties a government should possess, what the defects of the current confederation were, what dangers the United States currently faced, and what measures might remedy the above-mentioned situations. Continue reading
When we come into this world as babies we are pretty much blank slate with our minds empty and innocent and pure. Everything we become as an adult is due to the accumulation of knowledge and life events that occur over the course of our lives. Whatever prejudices we have, or belief systems we hold, they were somehow instilled into us as we grew from infants into adults.
This knowledge that we acquire and these beliefs we hold guide us in the choices we make and the way we live our lives. Sometimes we can change ourselves by acquiring more knowledge, but that would require that a person have the desire to expand their knowledge base instead of relying upon what they have already learned up to that point in their life. We can also change our belief system, but that is more difficult. To do so requires a deeper introspection and a lot of self examination. It often causes a condition known as cognitive dissonance, which is when an individual experiences stress due to having been exposed to information which contradicts the belief system they currently hold. In this instance many people simply refuse to accept the new, often valid, information, and go on believing what they have believed for years to avoid the stress having to accept the contradictory information causes them. Continue reading
It has been commented that I have strayed from my purpose in writing, that instead of trying to educate and inform people that I have taken to criticizing and insulting them. I won’t deny that I have, of late, felt a deep sense of frustration and, even, anger that the things I have written have not been effective in changing the hearts and minds of the people to whom I was addressing them. Nonetheless, I have been remiss and I apologize for being so harsh and critical. With that in mind I would like to attempt to write a bit about the general thoughts and beliefs of the men who existed during the time our country fought for its independence, and established our system of government. Continue reading
Do you think it is possible for a group of people to completely take over a country without firing a single shot? Most wars in which one country invades another end up costing countless lives on both sides before the invasion is either repelled, or is successful. Our country, our system of government, was unique in that the people, through representatives of the various states, gathered together and decided what type of government it should have. Even once an outline for this system of government was decided upon it had to be approved by the people of the states. Having just gone through a long bloody war to free themselves from a tyrant, it was an uphill battle to convince many of the people that this new system of government would not erode the authority of the states, and infringe upon the rights of the people.
So, let me rephrase my initial question. Do you think it is possible for a group, be it a nation, or simply a group of men, who oppose our system, to overthrow, or at least gain control of our system of government without the people realizing what has happened? Continue reading
Karl Marx, co-author of the Communist Manifesto, once said “The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.” By beginning this article with a quote from one of the founders of communism I already know that I will lose credibility among many who may otherwise have continued to read this article. That is unfortunate because bad people, or people whose views you disagree with, still occasionally get things right.
From the way I see things Marx could very well have been talking about the United States right here and now. People think that simply because they can go to the polls every few years and cast a ballot for their choice of candidates that they are making a difference. Most of those that do bother to vote go back to their lives feeling good about themselves, believing that they are actively participating in the democratic process of choosing the candidates that they believe will best serve them. They couldn’t be further from the truth. Continue reading
Regardless of what some people think, I’m not the brightest of light bulbs in the room. In other words, I don’t consider myself that damn smart. There is, however, one thing I am…stubborn. My wife says that I am matigas ng olo, which means hard headed. You see, when there is something that I really want to accomplish I simply don’t give up until I have achieved my goal. When I was in high school I tried out for wrestling and tennis. I was never really any good an either but on one occasion in each sport I decided that I was NOT going to go the entire season without a win. I dug my heals in and fought like hell until I did what I had set out to do…WIN!
If you are a regular reader of my little commentaries you will have noticed that for the past two weeks I haven’t written anything. It is not because I don’t care anymore about what is happening in this country, rather it is because I don’t see anything I have to say making one whole hell of a difference one way or the other.
As a sort of side experiment I have been printing out articles written by other writers, and I even printed out Frederic Bastiat’s book The Law, and took them to work for others to read. Nobody seemed to care about those as they weren’t written by me. That tells me one of two things. First that either people want me to do the research for them and then condense it into an easy to understand format, or secondly they read my articles as an amusement, a novelty, something written by someone that they know personally. Continue reading
In his Inaugural Address, President George Washington warned that “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.” Do you understand that? Do you understand that for our nation to survive as our founders had hoped it would that it would be our responsibility to ensure that it did? For us to do that would require that we, first, understand how our system of government was to work, then secondly, ensure that those we elected held true to the Constitution which created this Republic.
We have done neither. Continue reading
If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government… ~ Federalist 28, Alexander Hamilton
There is a phrase that I have heard mentioned from time to time on the internet, and up until now I always thought it was just something somebody made up. However, after doing a bit of research I discovered that back in September of 1830 during a campaign speech for Senator, Stephen Decatur Miller said, “There are three and only three ways to reform our Congressional legislation, familiarly called, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box.”
I’m tired of arguing with people, or trying to convince them that the ultimate authority in this country resides with the people, and that our government is bound by the limits we have imposed upon it through the Constitution. I truly am. People are dead set on believing whatever it is that they believe, and it seems that no matter if they are Republican or Democrat, they only want to believe that the opposing party is the only thing that is wrong with this country.
If you really want to believe that all we have to do to restore America is to elect enough candidates from either the Republican, or the Democrats to get a majority, and then America will suddenly be hunky dory, then you need to go see a proctologist to have your head removed from your rear end. Continue reading
After our Constitution was written it was sent to the legislatures of the 13 original states for debate and possible ratification. It is important to understand that it was by an act of these state legislatures agreeing to this Constitution that our federal government came into existence. Had they not agreed to it, agreed to cede certain defined powers over to the federal government, we would not have a federal government in Washington D.C. today.
Among those who opposed the Constitution, one of the primary reasons for opposition was a concern over the loss of states’ rights. Over the course of the ratification debates those in favor of the proposed Constitution wrote a series of articles in an effort to garner support for the Constitution among the people. These articles became known as The Federalist Papers… Continue reading
On Saturday December 22, 1787, The Independent Journal in New York published an article written by Alexander Hamilton under the pseudonym of Publius. This would be the twenty-sixth out of eighty five such articles which we now know as the Federalist Papers. Hamilton begins his article by saying, “It was a thing hardly to be expected that in a popular revolution the minds of men should stop at that happy mean which marks the salutary boundary between POWER and PRIVILEGE, and combines the energy of government with the security of private rights. A failure in this delicate and important point is the great source of the inconveniences we experience, and if we are not cautious to avoid a repetition of the error, in our future attempts to rectify and ameliorate our system, we may travel from one chimerical project to another; we may try change after change; but we shall never be likely to make any material change for the better.”
Why do I begin my article with a quote from an article written over 200 years ago? Well it is because a good many people in this country realize that there is something wrong, that things aren’t going the way they should be, but they don’t know what exactly is to blame. Every two years we go to the polls and cast our votes for people to represent us in government, with every fourth year we go to vote for who will be our next president. We do so, then sit back hoping that these newly elected representatives will fix whatever it is that is wrong with this country. The problem is that they are what’s wrong with this country. Continue reading
Anyone who has read even one of my articles knows that I tend to use lots of quotes. I do this to show that the point I am trying to get across is not my own personal opinion, but it was the opinion of them men who established our system of government.
To truly understand how our system of government was supposed to function one cannot simply take our current elected representatives at their word that what they are doing is justified and legal, one MUST go to the source of all the power they hold over us and then, and only then, can we know whether what they are doing is legally justified. Continue reading
If you have paid any attention to the news lately you will have noticed that there are three major stories which the news media have been focusing their attention upon. There is the search for that missing airplane, the mudslide in Washington State, and the crisis in the Ukraine. It is upon this last subject which I’d like to devote my attention.
I don’t know if it is due to residual animosity, left over from the Cold War, but it seems that there is a lot of anger and hatred aimed at Russia. So any move made by Russian President Vladimir Putin is viewed with suspicion and hostility. Two things, unless Putin directly attacks the United States it is none of our business what he does over there. We are not the worlds police force whose job it is to check and halt aggression all over the planet. Secondly, and this is more important; we should stop and think about how hypocritical we must look to the rest of the world. Continue reading
Yeah, I know I said I may not write anything for awhile, but you all should know better than to take me at my word for that.
Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour; a long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. ~ Thomas Paine
In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell
I have this image that I attach to most of my e-mails that shows a Minuteman and the following comment, “You wonder why I’m angry at what’s going on in this country? I wonder why you’re not!” I know there are quite a few people who are angry, but there simply aren’t enough of them. Sure if you were to take a poll the results would show that a good majority of the people have a poor opinion of how their government is handling the affairs of this nation, but the problem is that most of them either simply don’t understand what the true function of their government is, or they simply don’t care. They vote strictly along party lines then whine and complain when nothing seems to get better in this country. Continue reading
NOTE: This may very well be my last article on the Constitution and or rights. I simply don’t have the enthusiasm to write about these subjects to the choir, and I don’t see anyone else giving a shit.
So, if I do write in the future it will be regarding some event that has occurred that kindles my interest, or pisses me off. With that said, I hope you enjoy this one, as it may be awhile before you see anything from me. (N.R.)
I have a question for some of you. Where do you think your rights come from? The reason I ask is because, aside from a few of my like-minded friends, I think the vast majority of the people in this country don’t have the faintest idea. Let me ask you another question. Do you think your government grants you your rights? Please don’t say yes, because if you do you are beyond hope.
Hopefully most of you have, at least, heard of the Bill of Rights, regardless of whether you have any idea which rights it protects. Yet it wouldn’t surprise me if most people thought the rights mentioned in the Bill of Rights are the only rights we have. Not so. The Ninth Amendment clearly states that “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” In language you can understand, what the means is that just because a certain right is not found anywhere in the Constitution does not mean it does not exist.
Getting back to my question, do you think that government grants you your rights? Well let me see, our Constitution was ratified in 1789, our Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776, and the first colonists settled in Jamestown Virginia in 1607. So, if you think that our government, which was established in 1789, granted us our rights, do you mean to imply that for the nearly two centuries after the first colonists settled in Jamestown they had no rights? After all, by your logic if government grants you your rights, and since our government was not established until 1789 then all those living in America prior to its establishment had no rights. Continue reading
Do you want to know what really angers me? It is when I hear people talking about our DEMOCRACY; I hear our elected representatives say it, I hear news anchors say it, and I hear everyday people say it. It angers me because none of them know what the hell they are talking about. I’ll pay anyone $20 if they can find the word democracy in the Constitution. If actually take the time to look, you won’t find it because it’s not there…anywhere. If you want to know what our nation is you only have to recite the Pledge of Allegiance which says, “…and to the republic for which it stands…” Continue reading
I really haven’t felt like writing anything for the past week, I felt like what’s the use, I’m not getting through to the people who I really need to, so why bother? But for me, writing has become almost like an addiction, I can only go so long before I have to sit down and write something…anything…just to get rid of the urge to do it. So here I am, sitting here wondering what the hell I am going to talk about this time.
I don’t know if you have been paying attention, but I have noticed the initial maneuverings of the two primary political parties to select who they will submit to us as their choice for the next presidential election. I just read a CNN email that says 60 something percent of registered Democrats support Hillary Clinton as their choice for the Democratic nomination. A few months ago I heard that the GOP was thinking about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, until a scandal cost him support. I find it difficult to believe that a closure of a few lanes of traffic on a bridge comes anywhere close to Hillary’s disastrous handling of the Benghazi affair, but then again that’s just me and I tend to look at things a bit more logically than most. Continue reading
Pissing in the wind is a slang term used to describe someone who is wasting their time, or effort, on a cause that is futile. That’s how I feel sometimes…no…pretty much all the time. I see what is happening in the country I love and I wonder why there are but a few others who see it too.
If you watch any of the network news agencies I’m sure you have, at one time or another, seen the news anchor report on poll numbers which state the percentage of people who think that our country is heading in the right direction. Unfortunately what most people consider as being the right direction is directly tied to their party affiliation and has absolutely nothing to do with our countries adherence to the principles it was founded upon. Continue reading
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