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
Mockingjay is Coming…
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
Seeing as how I live in California, a state whose legislators have, for the most part, taken a strict anti-gun rights stance, I have always kept my radar focused on anything regarding the infringement of our Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Therefore it should come as no surprise to anyone that the events currently unfolding in the state of Connecticut have been of great interest to me.
Unfortunately, the network news, being the lackeys they are, have yet to do any reporting on what is going on in Connecticut. By virtue of their silence on the matter, the vast majority of Americans who rely upon their 30 minutes of news a day are completely unaware of what is happening in Connecticut. Therefore a bit of background may be necessary to bring them up to speed. Continue reading
When you read, or hear something, you have a choice which you must make. You must decide whether to accept it as the truth, or reject it as a lie. What then is the truth? Truth is defined as: the state of being the case; the body of real things, events, and facts. The opposite then is a lie; something that is inaccurate, deceptive, or misleading, and most importantly, untrustworthy.
Doesn’t it therefore seem logical that people would prefer the truth over a lie? Wouldn’t it seem prudent to seek out the truth for yourself instead of simply taking someone’s word that what you are being told is the truth? Or is taking the time to find out if you’ve been lied to simply too much work? Continue reading
A week or so I was explaining to a friend at work how currency is introduced into our economy by the FED. After I finished he said, “Damn Neal, what the hell are you doing here dumping fruit, you are too smart for this shit.” While this isn’t the first time that someone has told me that I’m really smart, the problem is that what good does all this knowledge do me when I can’t get people to think about any of it?
Contrary to what people say, I really don’t consider myself that smart. As Alexander Hamilton once said, “Men give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have is this. When I have a subject in mind. I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. My mind becomes pervaded with it… the effort which I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.”
It all depends upon what a person is interested in. I can’t invent new life-saving technologies nor can I compose a symphony, yet I can understand the writings and thought process of the people who established our Republic. I read, and re-read, and RE-READ again the writings of our Founding Fathers, and the men who influenced them, and I then compare what they said to what I see in our country today and I am absolutely amazed that anyone in this country can say that our country even comes close to resembling what our Founders had envisioned. Continue reading
Everyone, no matter who they are, has a set of core beliefs that guide them in their lives. You might say these beliefs define them, as they are the guiding principles each person relies upon to make decisions in their daily lives. These beliefs are either founded upon things that they have learned, or by things that they have experienced over the course of their lives.
Although one person’s core beliefs may resemble those of another, each of us have led entirely different lives and therefore although our core beliefs may be similar, in reality they are distinctly our own. In that way they are similar to the DNA that identifies us as individuals. Although there may be many people who resemble each other, by checking their DNA you would see that each person is a distinctly separate and unique individual.
Most of my commentaries have been about politics or issues that concern me. This will be different, this is entirely about me; about what I believe and why. I hope it goes a long way in explaining why I make the choices I do in life, and why I feel the way I do about the current state of our nation. Continue reading
I fully realize that on a good day maybe one hundred people might read these little commentaries I write, and if a thousand did it would be something to celebrate. So when you take into consideration that there are over 300 million people living in this country, I don’t have any illusion that what I am saying is going to make any difference. So, why do I continue? I continue because the things I write about are the things that I feel very strongly about, and the principles I discuss are those which I hold dear. Therefore being the stubborn pig-headed individual that I am, it does not matter whether I am fighting a losing battle, I simply refuse to just toss in the towel and stop fighting for the things I believe in.
For the most part, the people that inhabit this country, no matter what they say, have forsaken the principles that guided our Founders when they established our Republic. Their loyalty now lies with the political party which most closely aligns with what they believe to be the purpose they’d like their government to serve. The principle of unbridled liberty no longer matters to most anymore. Continue reading
It is that time of the year when people celebrate Christmas. What is Christmas? Is it the time of year we decorate our homes and exchange gifts, or is it something else? Some believe that the celebration of Christmas is idolatry as a mass, as in Christ Mass is a celebration of the brutal death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In olden texts a mass is in fact a celebration of a sacrifice, therefore a Christ Mass is the celebration of the sacrifice of Jesus, and not his birth.
The Book of Luke tells us that at the time of Jesus birth the shepherds were out in the fields tending their flocks when the Angel of the Lord appeared to them announcing the birth of a Savior. The shepherds did not tend their flocks in the winter, but in the spring and summer months, so December 25th, is probably not the day Christ was born. In fact the first recorded date of the birth of Christ being celebrated on December 25th was in 336AD during the time of Constantine. Years later Pope Julius I officially declared that December 25th would be the day we celebrate the birth of Christ. Continue reading
You know, it really amazes me how so many people still believe that they are free, that they still live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, it really does. Most people in this country wouldn’t recognize freedom if it came up and bit them in the ass, or came to them in a gift wrapped package.
According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, freedom is defined as “the quality or state of being free: as the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.” But freedom is much more than simply being able to do whatever you want, it also means that you are not reliant upon anyone else for your sustenance, for with reliance comes bondage because those who provide you with your sustenance always impose certain limitations, or restrictions, if you will, upon your actions.
But freedom also means that you must respect the freedom of others, that you must not do things which cause others to be ‘less free.’ Therefore, freedom means that you can enjoy an unlimited exercise of your natural rights, without constraint as long as you do not interfere with others from doing the same. The purpose for which government was established is to secure the blessings of liberty to the people, with liberty being defined as “the state or condition of people who are able to act and speak freely.” Continue reading
I really don’t know if it is that I am a pessimist, or if I am just more willing to face facts than others are, but I keep hearing that there is an awakening going on in this country, that there is this quiet rage building against the assault upon our traditional values. However, as of yet I have not seen much in the form of action against those who assail these values. In fact, I have yet to encounter a significant number of people who even understand what these values are.
It seems wherever I go I hear people complain about the laws enacted by our government, yet I do not see those who enacted these laws held accountable for their breaches against their oaths of office, or at least voted out of office when they come up for re-election. And if, perchance, they do get voted out of office they are replaced by people who are just as corrupt as they were. Continue reading