“The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!” ~ Frederic Bastiat, (1850)
I recall when I was taking writing courses, for my high school diploma and then later for college credits, that my instructors would tell me that all formal or official type writing begins with an opening statement. This opening statement is similar in nature to the opening arguments provided by both prosecution and defense attorneys in a criminal trial where the lawyers give an overview of what they hope to prove by the evidence they will provide for the jurors to consider. These opening statements declare the intent of the words that will follow them.
With that in mind, the Preamble to the Constitution is merely an opening statement; a declaration of the reasons why the Constitution itself was being written. It grants no powers in and of itself; a fact affirmed by Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story in his book, Commentaries on the Constitution, “The preamble never can be resorted to, to enlarge the powers confided to the general government, or any of its departments. It cannot confer any power per se; it can never amount, by implication, to an enlargement of any power expressly given. It can never be the legitimate source of any implied power, when otherwise withdrawn from the constitution. Its true office is to expound the nature, and extent, and application of the powers actually conferred by the constitution, and not substantively to create them.” Continue reading
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” ~ Edmund Burke
“…or that people ignore the fact that the evil exists.” ~ Neal Ross
There are a great many things which bother me with people today, but at the very top of that long list is the fact that very few people are willing to consider any facts which may shatter the illusion that the government we have is benevolent and has their best interests in mind. When people align themselves behind political parties, or more specifically, agendas, they become blind to the atrocities committed by their party and government as an entity.
Take for instance the endless push to find some proof that the election of Donald Trump was the result of Russian interference in the election process itself. Those on the left who oppose Trump push this as their mantra while the news media gives the story credence by their endless reporting on it.
It’s funny that at the end of the day on 9/11 we knew more about who committed those terrorist acts than we do now after 6 months of investigating the Trump/Russia connection. Yet a great many people still continue to believe that some connection exists, and that Hillary lost the election to Trump due to Russian interference in our election process. I don’t know if these people are simply sore losers or if they are truly upset that the possibility exists that our election process was tampered with by outsiders. Continue reading
Sometime in 2011 my friend, Jeffrey Bennett, suggested I compile four or five articles from each of the subjects I had been writing upon and submit them to him for publication in book form. The result of this project was my first book, Ross Unmasked: An Angry American Speaks Out. When I finally held a finished copy of the book in my hands I was proud of the fact that I had finally become a published author. Now, five years after publication, I look back and find the title a bit misleading as I was not truly angry at the time it was published. However, that was then and this is now; and let me tell you, anger doesn’t come close to describing how I often feel.
The subject matter I write about is not that difficult to understand; at least not if you graduated from high school with a certain degree of literacy. The hard part, at least for me anyway, was in accepting what I was reading when it conflicted with what I had been taught. After all, what good is knowledge if one does not put it to use? If one encounters facts which contradict with their existing beliefs they have but two choices; they can either change their existing beliefs to conform to the facts they have learned, or they can reject the facts they have learned and go on believing falsehoods. Continue reading
Last night I did something I rarely do these days; I sat down and watched an hour of the evening news. During that hour the local news ran a story about how the House Republicans have postponed a vote on President Trump’s healthcare bill due to the fact that Senator John McCain is out for surgery, and they need all the votes they can get if they want this bill to pass.
During the story the seed for this article was planted when the news showed a woman standing on a stage saying, “How dare the Republicans try to take away health care from millions of people.” So many thoughts ran through my head in the seconds that followed that statement that I could write a treatise based on them alone. Fortunately for you I want to keep my thoughts focused on one primary subject; this idea of entitlement to things people in America have today. Continue reading
It has been my experience that there is one thing most people give little thought to; that being the foundation upon which other things are built. Take the foundation of your house for example, it is always there providing support for the dwelling you reside in; but how often do you think about its security and stability? Yet were it to fail your home may suffer all kinds of problems; up to and including a complete collapse.
Or one could take a tree as another example. A tree derives its strength, and sustenance, from its root system. If a tree has a strong root system it will remain healthy and strong. Conversely, if a tree’s root system is weak then it could become subject to disease, and the slightest storm could uproot it.
If you look to the dictionary you would find that the word foundation has two meanings. The first is: the lowest load-bearing part of a building, typically below ground level. The second, and the one I’m more interested in, is; an underlying basis or principle for something. Continue reading
© Steven Michael
The other day, while out shopping for our weekly groceries I noticed quite a few people stocking up on meat and beer; presumably for barbecues to celebrate the upcoming holiday on July 4. I wonder how many of those stocking up on supplies, or anyone else for that matter, know what it is that transpired on July 4th that makes it a National Holiday.
I would hope that at least half of the people living in America would at least be able to tell me that July 4th celebrates Independence Day; but even that is not quite true. I wonder how many actually know the timeline of events which led to America becoming a free and independent nation.
Are you aware that in June of 1776 the Second Continental Congress met and a formal declaration was issued by Richard Henry Lee, (Uncle to the yet to be born Robert E. Lee), which stated, “Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.” Continue reading
© Steven Michael
Independence Day is just around the corner and before it arrives I have a few choice words for a certain segment of society; specifically those who deny the truth about the Civil War, those who say the North fought a righteous war to end the evil institution of slavery, and particularly those who are seeking to remove from public view all that pertains to the history of the Confederacy.
Buckle up kiddies, the rides about to get rough!
First of all, how many of you actually know that the formal declaration of independence from England took place not on July 4, but on July 2, 1776? In writing to his wife Abigail, John Adams declared, “The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” Continue reading
(A Follow Up To My Independence Day Rant)
Imagine how you would feel if someone were to slander or libel you; that is assuming you know what slander and libel are. Slander is the crime of making a false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation. Libel is the same thing, only in this instance the damaging statement is in written form. While neither are crimes per se; that is a person cannot go to jail for them, they can be sued and damages awarded to the victim if the jury finds the person accused of committing them guilty.
Now imagine that you are very well known and someone does that to you; how fast do you think word would spread; how long before everyone believed you to be guilty of something you had not done? Imagine that you went to your grave without ever being able to repair the damage done your reputation. Or worse, imagine that years after your death someone accuses you of something you hadn’t done and the general public accepts it as the truth. Continue reading
My first exposure to political correctness came many years ago when they changed the name of the people who collected refuse from garbage men to waste management specialists. Back then we thought political correctness was both silly and harmless; I sure wish we had taken it more seriously and recognized it for the threat it posed.
But it was just this morning that I think I heard the pinnacle of politically correct speech when I read the following on a Facebook thread; “Women deserve control of their reproductive rights.” Reproductive rights huh? Boy, that’s a good one; they outdid themselves with that one, that’s for sure. Continue reading
“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.” ~ (Anonymous But Often Attributed to Thomas Edison)
It is a sad reflection of American society today that very few people actually perform the vital task of critical thinking anymore. Everyone thinks, but not everyone critically thinks. Critical thinking is a discipline which must be taught, or at least nurtured for it to become habit. But what exactly is critical thinking?
In researching for this article I found dozens of definitions for critical thinking, but each of them had certain similarities. My definition for critical thinking is as follows: Critical thinking is the unbiased, thorough study of information; facts and evidence, which is then used to formulate an opinion or belief system.
Using that as your definition, how many of you can honestly say that you think critically? How many people base their beliefs, not upon facts, but upon emotional responses to the issues? How many people take as gospel the things said by others in positions of authority, supposed experts in the field, or worse, the comments made by celebrities who support certain causes? Next, how many people can honestly say that they have the courage to examine evidence which conflicts with their existing beliefs with anything close to an open mind? Finally, and probably most importantly, how many are willing to change their beliefs entirely if the facts prove them wrong? Continue reading
On July 5, 1943 the United States Navy got word that the Japanese Navy was making another run, nicknamed the Tokyo Express, to shuttle supplies to their troops in the Solomon Islands.
A task force, consisting of three light cruisers and four destroyers, led by Rear Admiral Walden Ainsworth moved to intercept and engage them.
Among the four light cruisers was the USS Helena, (CL-50). Aboard this ship were two young sailors, Donald Eugene Ross, (my father) and Neal Hampton Rood, (his best friend). Continue reading
If someone were to ask you what defines a nation, how would you respond? If you were to ask me I would say it is the people who define a nation; through their values and beliefs. God may have given us this beautiful country to inhabit; full of an abundance of resources, but it is the people that occupy any country who give it its character; who define it. Simply put, a country is either good or bad based upon the people who inhabit it.
So if it is people who define a nation, then I suppose the next logical question is; what defines the people who inhabit a nation? It is said that a house divided cannot stand; and that is true as it pertains to nations as well. Continue reading
What suffers under political correctness is the free and open discussion of ideas, the exchange of facts and information; because inevitably the truth gets sidelined because it is often considered politically incorrect. ~ N. Ross
On a warm summer evening, just a couple weeks before our nation celebrated its bicentennial I walked across a stage in Oroville, California, and made the transition from childhood to responsible adult. Prior to that evening in June 1976 I was a student, now I was expected to make my way forward with all that knowledge I had been so graciously given by the public school system.
I would love to go back and repeat those last 4 years at high school; knowing what I know now. I’d probably never make it to graduation ceremony; I’d probably be expelled for arguing with my history teachers long before then. But that is neither here or there, or as the old saying goes, germane to the subject under discussion. Continue reading
It is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we should grow too fond of it. ~ Robert E. Lee, (Upon watching a Union charge stopped at the Battle of Fredericksburg, 13 December 1862)
I’d be willing to bet that most people did not know that the Colonists lived relatively peacefully under British rule for 145 years before the British passed the Stamp Act; which ultimately led to the American Revolution. I’d also be willing to bet that most people don’t know that it has been 152 years since the Civil War, (or America’s Second War For Independence as I prefer to call it), ended. Why are those numbers important? Well let me precede my thoughts on the subject with a quote taken from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to William Smith in 1787, “What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
What I’m beginning to believe, and fear for that matter, is that America is overdue for another such rebellion. Continue reading
“A wise man seeks out the truth; a foolish one rejects it, or allows it to be silenced.” ~ Book of Ross; 4:45
There is an evil, a pestilence, which is spreading across America which goes by the name of Political Correctness. According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, political correctness is defined as: conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated. You can call it whatever you want, cloak it under whatever disguise you want, but when all is said and done, it is nothing other than censorship.
Who and what defines what is, and what isn’t politically correct? Is it politically incorrect to say something, or display an image, simply because someone or some group takes offense to it? If being offended is the only guideline that establishes what is politically incorrect then we may as well just pass a law forbidding speech, or the displaying of any images; as there will always be someone who takes offense to something. Continue reading
Imagine for a moment that you have awoken in a strange room. You look around and do not recognize any of your surroundings. You get up and go into the bathroom to splash some water on your face and you do not recognize the image staring back at you in the mirror. You begin to panic because you have come to the realization that you don’t know your own name, where you work, where you were born; your memory is a complete blank.
Although not common, this condition has a medical term assigned to it; amnesia. Amnesia is defined as the partial or complete loss of memory; usually due to brain injury, shock, fatigue, repression, or illness. But what is amnesia if it is not the loss of a part of your history?
Each of us have our own distinct history; from the moment we are born until the moment we die our history is being written by the things we do, the things we learn and the events we witness. What if in one clean sweep all those memories were wiped away; leaving you with nothing to define who and what you are? Continue reading
Many a year ago, almost 40 to be exact, I raised my right hand and swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies; both foreign and domestic. Thus began my service as a United States airman in the Air Force; service I would give for over 13 years of my life; both stateside and overseas. I remained in the Air Force until upper management allowed it to get so bloated with E-5’s that they had to do something to thin the ranks. So they offered severance pay for E-5’s as an option to get people to voluntarily separate; an option I took advantage of, and I once again found myself a civilian. Continue reading
In 1821 Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to Spencer Roane in which he said, “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.”
I have often wondered how the people of this country would react to a political debate between someone like Thomas Jefferson and any of the leading political figures from either the Republican or Democratic parties. Although I can pretty much guess the outcome, it would be interesting to see just how small a percentage of Americans who would support Jefferson’s views on the purposes for which government was established and the nature of their rights. Continue reading
There will come a time when we will sit down to the banquet of our consequences. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
The other day I read an article which piqued my interest. It seems that San Francisco 49er Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is angry that no teams have made him an offer since becoming a free agent. While I enjoy watching a good football game I’m not what you would call a fan of football. But this story piqued my interest for another reason. I feel it is representative of a problem that permeates society today; the fact that a great many people do not accept the fact that there are consequences to their actions.
Whether I personally agree or disagree with Mr. Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the playing of the national anthem is irrelevant, I support his right to protest whatever cause he chooses to support by remaining seated during the playing of that song. But it seems he has forgotten that he is not only an employee of the 49er franchise, he is also a representative of the National Football League, and his actions caused a tidal wave of angry responses from patriotic football fans who felt the he had disgraced and dishonored his country. No one wants to be the one who hires someone who could blemish their reputation or bring discredit to their franchise. Continue reading
I wonder how many parents out there have ever stopped to think about what their expectations are from the public school system they send their children to for a good portion of their formative years. What I’m saying is, I wonder how many people have stopped to think about what they want their child to have learned by the time they get their high school diploma.
Of all the answers that parents may come up with, I wonder if the skill of critical thinking is among them. When I was a child, navigating my way through the public school system, I was given weekly reading assignments and told that at the end of the week I would need to write a book report on what I’d read. These book reports were not to be synopses of the story; rather they were to be my reaction to what I’d read; which I would have to back up by specific passages from the book. Continue reading