Thursday, July 31, 2008

Defending the Greatest Nation in the World

If you thought this was going to be a piece about military strategy, nuclear capability or any of the many physical means whereby liberty and freedom are defended from risk; sorry to disappoint, that’s not on the table today. I was mulling over how to explain why the United States of America is the greatest nation in the world to a variety of folks who, for one reason or another, either wish to dismantle the workings of government in such a way as to destroy its foundations or fail to recognize the character requirements necessary to maintain the greatest nation in the world.

There was a comment left to an article I’d posted, The Ant and the Grasshopper which ignited the fuse that now burns, a thoughtless jab intended to denigrate my country, perhaps in jest; but more likely it ran a little deeper. “Fascinating that the politics of the "greatest nation on this planet" is based upon myth, fable and half-truths...”

I looked at that short mockery typed by one of my regular readers, for what else other than a mockery could it be than a statement declaring the origins of my country to be nothing more than a self perpetuating lie; wondered how to respond, civil tongued or with flashes of lightning. Granted, the inclusion of the word “politics” opens the door to plenty of jokes which might include reference to myths, fables and half-truths; however, when coupled with the rest of the sentence, “based upon”, the statement takes on a darker and more troubling tone.

Last week in Sunday School the discussion centered around Alma 30, a confrontation between righteous God fearing men and a self professed Anti-Christ going about telling everyone how they’d been duped into obeying laws put in place by the church in order to make them subservient, there was no God, no Savior to save them and that it was all a ruse to get gain for the leaders of the church.

“Now there was no law against a man’s belief; for it was strictly contrary to the commands of God that there should be a law which should bring men on to unequal grounds.” (verse 7)

That sounds very similar to the separation of church and state here in America. You can spout off all you want, within the confines of socially acceptable behavior and a reminder not to slander others. I suppose the limits of socially acceptable behavior have been stretched pretty far by today’s lack of standards; but you get the idea. You don’t have to accept the founding father’s acknowledgement that our nation was the direct result of divine influence, nothing in the law requires you to prostrate yourself on the ground or to pay one penny in support of religion. You do however have to obey the laws of the land and are subject to the penalties assigned to each respectively.

“Now if a man desired to serve God, it was his privilege; or rather, if he believed in God it was his privilege to serve him; but if he did not believe in him there was no law to punish him.” (verse 9)

The parallels with the fellow, the one who left his comment and the sharp witted Anti-Christ as recorded in the book of Alma are worth looking at. Neither of them have much respect or claim to have a belief in God; my having gone over the topic of religion with him on more than one occasion. The idea that God has His hand in the workings of government or that there is any relationship between God and man is a fruitless discussion. Explanations on the foundations of our government which don’t include God, the Supreme Creator, call Him what you wish; are hollow and deny the very nature of America.

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (Declaration of Independence)

Like I said, no reason to include reference to such a bunch of hooey, after all, there is no such thing as God or a Creator; things just always were and are; anything else is a myth, a fairy tale or an out right lie. The United States of America is no different than any of the other governments on the earth, just a bunch of politicians taking advantage of the little people in order to obtain money and power; at least that is how a lot of folks see it. Truth be known, if we are not very careful who we elect to positions of authority; we could become just as corrupted as the other governments of the world.

I could go on and on; but as the saying goes, “Let’s cut to the chase.” The common ground which permits an exchange of information assumes that all involved are being up front and truthful; I know, “that makes and ass out of u and me”. Deeper in chapter 30, starting in verse 39 the playing field gets leveled. Those who criticize the United States of America’s form of government do so out of envy; they hope we fail so as to become as miserable as they are. Each time a part of the foundation of our government is removed we move precariously closer to self destruction of that form of government which was a gift from God.

“…Will ye deny again that there is a God, and also deny the Christ? For behold, I say unto you, I know there is a God, and also that Christ shall come.
40 And now what evidence have ye that there is no God, or that Christ cometh not? I say unto you that ye have none, save it be your word only.
41 But, behold, I have all things as a testimony that these things are true; and ye also have all things as a testimony unto you that they are true; and will ye deny them? Believest thou that these things are true?
42 Behold, I know that thou believest, but thou art possessed with a lying spirit, and ye have put off the Spirit of God that it may have no place in you; but the devil has power over you, and he doth carry you about, working devices that he may destroy the children of God.”

Those are pretty strong words to invoke on some guy I’ve never met face to face; but they would seem applicable under the circumstances. If you wish to tear down my belief in my country and the form of government we have, something established by God, then you’d better have more than just your word that there is no God.

With each passing year a larger portion of citizens clamor for government entitlements, demanding our elected legislators ignore constitutional boundaries set to protect all those other individuals, believing such entitlements were earned; even when it must be clear to everyone that nothing is free and that someone else must pay for each and every entitlement. We accept as “progressive”, that those who have earned must pay for those who have not earned and by so doing we deny the laws of God. This is not the same as individual’s offering to help those with needs; no, this is based on the confiscation of wealth in order to redistribute to those less fortunate. Theft, whether carried out by an individual criminal or by an arm of government is still theft. The only difference, as I’ve learned over the years, is that most individual criminals only get one chance at you while the government keeps coming back.

Politicians use the unrighteous clamoring for entitlements as a means of getting elected, promising to evenly distribute the bounties of our great nation without regard for the rightful ownership of property. We need to elect individuals who have a great respect for the stewardship of elected office rather than the elitists seeking power and money without regard for the damage done to the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I’m afraid our great nation is indeed headed for serious trouble as more and more individuals are led down the garden path, a path easily traveled because there are fewer and perhaps, no challenges toward self restraint, no requirements to follow God’s laws and; after all, some have said, there is nothing after this life except a cold grave. If there is no God there are no consequences for actions, either here in mortality or in the eternities.

If we continue to elect individuals who have little if any regard for the foundations upon which our great nation was established, turning instead toward forms of government which are considerably less desirable, instituting and establishing laws and policies which are in direct conflict with God’s laws and that of nature, then we are doomed to failure by becoming corrupted.

“…The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.” (verse 44)

Rather than accept the premise, “that the politics of the "greatest nation on this planet" is based upon myth, fable and half-truths...”, I would say just the opposite. The foundations of my government are laid upon eternal truths and will remain so until a majority of our citizens choose to ignore God’s laws in favor of something less demanding. It is my hope and prayer that we remain faithful, true and deserving of the blessings which have been poured out upon us. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Ant and The Grasshopper

I got this in my email from a friend and, though I’d seen this or something similar before, it seemed worth sharing. The trouble with many jokes are they are based primarily on the truth.


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green'.

Al Sharpton stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, 'We shall overcome.' Jesse Jackson then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

Nancy Pelosi &Barack Obama exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity &Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients.

The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be very careful how you vote in 2008

What Percent of Drivers Ticketed Were American Citizens

I read an article in the Houston Chronicle which expressed concern that roughly 25% of drivers stopped in the Austin area didn’t have insurance. I went through the entire article and not once did it mention or reference how many of those stopped were not American Citizens; more precisely, how many of those stopped were actually illegal aliens.

If we’re going to be upfront about the issues, why ignore one of the largest contributing factors? The fact that no mention was made of the illegal alien status of many drivers on the roads, their being without sufficient funds to purchase insurance and their attempts to avoid being detected; makes me wonder why such an important piece of information wasn’t included in the article.

Could it be an attempt to sweep the illegal alien issue under the rug rather than admit the huge number of tickets issued for not having insurance might be related? A few of the folks commenting to the original article had the good sense to read between the lines and ask; why didn’t Clay Robinson, the fellow who works for the Houston Chronicle and wrote the article?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


When I was a young boy my grandparents would let me come into the city to spend a special weekend each year near my birthday. My folks would take me to the train station at Wantagh out on Long Island and purchase a ticket into Grand Central Station. That ticket was a promise of things to come, tangible proof the trip was real while looking down the empty track in eager anticipation waiting for the train.

Lucy and I had our tickets to Yankee Stadium well in advance of the actual trip. I kept them on my desk in plain view in order to see them each day as I went about the everyday chores knowing how each day on the calendar brought the game closer. Once in New York I stuck the ticket stub in my baseball cap and left it there, even after the game was over and only took it out just now to scan it.

We sat in the Loge under the protection of the next level’s shade while most of the other spectators cooked and simmered in the mid nineties afternoon sun. The game went into extra innings which turned the heat into an endurance contest as well. The Yanks won after loading the bases in the bottom of the 12th; the winning run being pushed across on a hit batsman.

Then there’re the tickets we purchased Sunday morning to board a Long Island Railroad commuter train out to Long Beach. The fellow at the ticket window asked where we wanted to go; but having no reason to get on the train other than to spend an afternoon sightseeing, I had no firm answer. He suggested Long Beach and told us we’d enjoy the boardwalk; decision made.

On the way we had our tickets punched by the conductors a couple of times. The last time, almost back at Woodside where we’d started, he was going to keep them until I asked if we could have them, our being tourists. The memories of our trip, each moment spent will get blurred with time; having the tickets in hand might help.

New York State Of Mind

We made it back to Houston last night and are watching the Gulf as Dolly swirls around taking aim at the lower Texas coast line with rain bands reaching just south of us. Glad to sleep in my own bed without the city noises just outside the window. I’ll try to give you a recap of what we did.

Friday we flew into LaGuardia and then hiked over to the hotel, only about a mile and easier than waiting for the shuttle since we pack light. We chunked in $2 each to ride the 33 bus which picked up half a block from the hotel and got us over to Jackson Heights where we bought a week Metro Pass; a considerable convenience when getting on and off busses and subway trains.

The walk up to the elevated station is a time warp back to another age, early to mid 1900’s iron work which has been painted and rusting then painted and rusted some more. The steps are worn down with millions of people having trudged up and down countless times each day.

The 7 Train pulled up within a few minutes and we got past the doors into the crowded car. Folks in New York must be the friendliest because they don’t mind dancing cheek to cheek with total strangers as standing room only trains rhythmically push into and out of town, changing unknown partners at each stop along the way as the temperature inside steams and perspiration drips from every pore.

I observed people, a little like bird watching I suppose; some dressed for job interviews sitting next to drugged out drifters as they erected imaginary screens, force fields of protection so thin as to be unreliable. One lady dressed in her business suit did her best to ignore the odd pair adjacent to her, escapees from the drug rehab center not quite focused if you get my meaning.

One more item worth noting before moving along; the young people standing with one hand to secure them to while the train bounced and swayed would manipulate Blackberries, cell phone games and iPods with such dexterity as to make you wonder. There was an intensity of concentration involved which removed them from the reality of the moment; quite remarkable.

Lucy and I needed food after the long flight as we made it up to street level downtown near Times Square. There’s so much going on as to make simple tasks difficult, a little like the first time at Disney as we stood in one spot not knowing which way to go first. There was a sports memorabilia store close by and we bought a pair of Yankee baseball caps to wear to the game on Saturday; a gotta’ have as long as they’re not playing against my Astros.

I immediately creased the crown of the cap as if to insert a baseball card while Lucy just put it on her head the way it was. When I was a kid the ball caps needed a baseball card to keep the crown shaped properly, never with a really good player’s card. There were some cards used for ball caps while the really sorry cards we used with clothes pins to attach to our bikes to make them into motor cycles. Do kids still do that; don’t think I’ve heard the familiar sound of a ball card being slapped by the rotating spokes in years.

We spotted a Ruby Tuesday and had lunch; slept on the plane most of the way, not that the “meal” offered would satisfy much of an appetite. Ruby Tuesday had two levels, one for a fancy meal and the other for lunchtime menu. The hamburger was a little pricey; but I couldn’t complain about the flavor, as good as any I’ve had.

Lucy had a coupon book, no surprise there, and it saved us a small fortune at the wax museum where we took pictures; each of us standing next to life like copies of Robin Williams, Whoopi, Stephen Spielberg and even one with Lucy next to Lucille Ball as Lucy from the old television show.

Part of the price of admission went toward an Imax type show, something they called 4D, where you put on the funky glasses and objects appear to become three dimensional; except they added a bit more with wind, rain and snow. When a whale spouted on the screen a fine mist struck you in the face, sea snakes hunting in packs while darting in and out of a school of fish activated something under your seat and you felt them bounce off your ankles. There were lots of interesting uses; but I could have done without the fellow spitting a mouthful of water at us.

We headed back to the hotel via a combination of subway trains, transfers to yet another train and then a bus. The number of people stuffed into those trains and busses would make traveling that way for an extended period less than desirable; however, as tourists taking in a different “culture” the experience was an eye opener. That almost closes out Friday; except for the pizza we ordered and was delivered to our room.

We’d asked the fellow working the desk at the hotel for a recommendation on a good place for pizza and he was right, really good and not at all the same as Dominoes, Papa Johns or Pizza Hut. They listed three sizes; mini, small and large. Just the two of us we figured a small would be just right as we ordered “one with everything on it”; kind of like the Buddhist Monk joke, never mind.

Half an hour or so later the pizza guy knocked on the door and handed us a huge pizza with the entire kitchen chopped, sliced and layered on top of hand made crust. It was too hot to touch at first so we nibbled on fragments until working up courage to pick up a slice. There was enough for several people; small pizza…must have come up from Texas with that kind of description. We heard some folks pulling suitcases down the hallway near our room, having just gotten in from the airport. Lucy handed them the box with half a pizza; no reason to let it go to waste as we were stuffed to the gills.

We’d purchased an assortment of soft drinks and filled the ice bucket in the room so it was a very relaxed way to close out the first day and get a good night’s sleep prior to heading off to Yankee Stadium for Saturday’s afternoon game. Time to do some work, I’ll post more as I get a chance.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Way We Planned It

Lucy and I will be out of town celebrating our 37th anniversary this weekend. Hard to believe so much time has gone by; seems like it was only a blink when we were being interviewed by the pastor the day before the actual wedding. Presnel Woods was his name; hope I spelled his name right, not exactly a house hold word, that was the only time I met the fellow seeing as it was the church Lucy’s folks went to at the time.

We went over important issues like, love, honor, obey, commitment, seeing past faults and stuff like that. Then we talked about the actual wedding ceremony; the music, who would be involved, where to stand and all. We both were plenty nervous about getting everything done right when the pastor said something that has stayed with me all these years.

“What ever happens; that’s the way we planned it.”

If we both tripped going up the isle and landed on our duffs; that’s the way we planned it. Nothing like that happened and we got hitched prim and proper in front of family and friends.

This weekend we’ll be flying up to New York where the only thing planned is taking in a game at Yankee Stadium. I’d mentioned our intentions to visit the Big Apple to Tony, Red Mind In A Blue State, several months ago and how we wanted to watch the Yankees before the old stadium was torn down in favor of the new one.

The last time I attended a game at Yankee Stadium was in 1961, the same year Roger Maris broke the Babe’s record with number 61. My dad took me and a friend and we sat up in the nose bleed section and watched Mickey Mantle hit his 54th home run; I thought it was #53; but was told my memory isn’t that good.

Tony told us not to worry about purchasing tickets to the game, that he’d find them through his many business contacts, folks who have company seats at the stadium. A huge thank you to Tony and who ever donated the tickets; if you haven’t figured out how A-Rod gets paid, just look up the price of seating at Yankee Stadium. I didn’t want to buy the seat and take it home, only wanted to sit in it to watch one game.

Nothing else is planned, and, who knows, it could rain and the game get cancelled. I’m sure we’ll figure out something even if we just ride the subway to and from the stadium, go inside to walk the halls and take pictures of that historic baseball edifice. My folks sent us a check to spend on a couple of dogs and some soda; think I’ll pass on the dogs (see picture) There are plenty of places to eat and act like tourists so, what ever happens, that’s the way we planned it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just a Hoax

Rumor has it that Nancy Pelosi may have suffered permanent eye damage over the weekend. Well informed sources reported Ms Pelosi had been staring at the sun, repeating that it was “just a hoax”, that part where parents tell their kids it could blind them.

In more recent news, Ms Pelosi has also suggested that obtaining additional oil by tapping into off shore fields was “just a hoax”. Ms Pelosi reportedly has been seen on occasion to place an empty can of 10w40 under her pillow in hopes the Tooth Fairy would refill the can.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Dumber Than Dirt

Some stories that come across the wire make you wonder how folks this sensitive are able to make it through the day; referring to a full blow snit thrown in a Dallas County Commissioner’s meeting because someone said the county's collections office was like a certain astronomical phenomenon.

"It sounds like Central Collections has become a black hole," Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield, who is white, said during the Monday meeting.

“One black official demanded an apology, and Commissioner John Wiley Price, who also is black, said that type of language is unacceptable.”

If this weren’t enough they went on to include other grievances which had bothered them, things like Angel’s Food Cake, which obviously is white, and Devil’s Food Cake which is obviously evil and black; I’m not making this up folks.

Do you remember a children’s book, Little Black Sambo? If you recall, the little boy, who happened to be black, out witted the tigers and, if memory serves, ended up eating a stack of pancakes that looked remarkably like the tigers. I thought it was a compliment to the little black boy for being so smart; but the politically correct crowd got the book banned from schools for being racially insensitive. The book is available for purchase on the internet; you just won’t see it in the public school’s library.

It’s gotten to the point where politically correctness requires throwing away any and all reference to color, regardless of common sense and intelligence. It’s my opinion the councilmen in Dallas haven’t got the good sense God gave a door knob. You could say they were dumber than dirt; but that might be taken as a racial slur depending on what color dirt, red clay in Georgia, dark brown potting soil or any number of shades that conjure up “off white” and must therefore be assumed to be a skin tone issue.

To my friends and associates, those who have skin color of varying shades; I hope you have the good sense to laugh with me as we watch the circus act in ring two. One last insensitivity for that fellow up in Dallas, “You couldn’t find Uranus with a telescope!”

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Gabriel’s Vision of Revelation

This article has been out for a while and I was reluctant to put in my two cents; but there was a line which begged for comment. Foxnews ran the headline, Pre-Christian Stone Tablet Foretells Resurrection, then goes on to talk about the implications of writings which predate the life of Jesus Christ and the details of the resurrection.

“Professor Knohl contends that the tablet proves that messianic followers possessed the paradigm of their leader rising from the grave before Jesus was born.

He said that the text "could be the missing link between Judaism and Christianity in so far as it roots the Christian belief in the resurrection of the Messiah in Jewish tradition."”

I’m guessing Professor Knohl has never read the Book of Mormon; either that or he’s read it and not understood the many references to the resurrection. The so called “missing link” between Judaism and Christianity has been available since Joseph Smith translated the ancient text and made it available for anyone willing to take the time to read it.

The Book of Alma 11: 40 – 45, was recorded 82 years before the birth of Jesus Christ and gives a detailed account of the life, death and resurrection of our Savior. I have it listed as one of the “Gospel in a Nutshell” verses, of which there are many.

Maybe it’s just me; but it would seem that anyone who hasn’t been able to figure out the close relationship between Judaism and Christianity has intentionally closed their mind and heart to the information available. I got a kick out of a fellow on the radio several years ago; he’d gotten bent out of shape because Easter, a Christian holiday, was celebrated so close to the Passover; as if the Jewish faith had a lock on that important event.

I recognize that some of the scriptures are difficult to take in, that is if you only give them a cursory glance and never attempt to truly learn what is there. Isaiah might well be such a stumbling block and yet, Isaiah points his boney finger from out of the dust at each of us who claim ignorance of the most basic Gospel Doctrine. The scriptures testify that Jesus is the Christ; they always have.

“Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?”

Do you need more, like a two by four up aside the head? Read Genesis 22, the story of Abraham being asked to sacrifice his son, his only son. For those of you reluctant to grasp the meaning, read verse 8 a couple of times.

“And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.”

These words are wasted on anyone who refuses to understand them, not unlike most of Judaism who have had the word of God before them all this time, a testimony of the divinity of God’s Only Begotten Son and will not accept Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. The more things change the more they stay the same.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The List is Growing

Our Independence Day having passed, I wonder how many of us read the original words of that document this week to gain a better understanding of the mindset of our founding fathers. When you think about standing up to a tyrannical government, one which has shown little regard for individual rights and treated its citizens with impunity, the odds of surviving, much less coming out on top were less than favorable.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

I fear the spiritual foundation which prevailed at the time of our separation from England and King George, a spiritual foundation which fairly presumed a preponderance of fellow citizens held sacred a basic belief in the teachings of the bible; I fear this foundation has eroded. It would be safe to say that a good portion of our society, while being good individuals, have discounted or marginalized the hand of the Lord in their lives individually as well as in His blessings for our nation. A sure foundation being required in times of testing, I’m not at all certain that the Declaration of Independence could have been written in our day; as a nation, we simply are divided in our common beliefs and we surely lack resolve to act within the confines of morality as can be summed up in the Ten Commandments.

“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

Getting closer to the topic and taking notice of the most recent polls showing an approval factor of less than 10% for Congress, Americans have basically signaled a no confidence vote for what Washington’s elite have done to safe guard individual rights and freedoms. I’m guessing there’s a built in margin of error of 3 - 4 %, as with most polls; the approval rating might be as low as 6% if that is true. Americans are more disposed to suffer than to come to grips with the possibility of having to make major repairs to a system which has been in place for so many years.

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.-Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.”

The signers of the Declaration of Independence listed many serious issues of their day, issues which clearly indicated the need to disassociate themselves from the existing power which held their individual liberties with such a degree of scorn as to render the opinion that such liberties no longer existed in America. Have we not been covering much of the same ground in our present condition here in our day?

John Adams, A Defense of the American Constitutions, 1787, stated, “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”

Do Americans have true property rights in our day considering the Supreme Court decision now known as Kelo vs New London? Going past such a travesty of justice, how safe can a man’s property be when local taxing authorities are able to target prime locations and literally tax the owners into submission?

Individual property rights and the idea of ownership have been evaporated; there being no reason to acknowledge rights, which at one time had been acknowledge to have come from God, there being considerable debate as to God’s existence, much less man’s being created in His image. If there is no divine relationship between mankind and God, then there must have been an error in the Founder’s thought process which assigned individual rights; property rights, simply put, never existed and need not be held as valid.

Along the same line of thought are an individual’s right to life. Abortion activists have secured sufficient backing and legal representation to such a degree as to alter the sanctity of life itself. Great discussion and litigation have resulted in a society which considers the human fetus equal to an abnormal growth, no different than a diseased organ which is removed with no more remorse than burning off an unwanted wart.

If there is no legal acknowledgement of property ownership and the sanctity of life itself has been discounted, then what value is there in having a right to defend either life or property through the use of force?

By the narrowest of margins in the Supreme Court decision, District of Columbia vs Heller, acknowledging the 2nd Amendment’s assertion that the right to bear arms was an individual right, rather than a collective entitlement assumed only when an individual was part of an organized militia, the light of freedom remains lighted; however, even with the ruling in favor of individual gun rights, there is a concerted effort by the city council and mayor of Washington DC to ignore portions of the intended wording by banning ownership of any handguns which are not a revolvers.

Our form of currency at one time was backed by gold or silver as a means of establishing lasting value. Having abandoned sound fiscal responsibility, our money now has no real worth and exists only as a figment of imagination and trust. We hope that others respect the assigned value engraved on the paper and yet our own government continues to increase the supply of printed money with reckless abandon which in turn devalues and halves its worth every five to seven years depending on how much extra money is printed. This is the ultimate form of property confiscation and enslavement.

The introduction of an incremental income tax was designed to take advantage of wealth envy, to justify redistribution of wealth. It has blossomed into the means whereby government is able to seize wealth and control individual liberties; hardly within the design and scope of the intended limited government our founders envisioned, indeed, this form of forced dependence was listed as a primary issue with King George.

The entire issue with Social Security should be listed in the seemingly endless complaint against current forms of government imposition. Franklin D. Roosevelt promised:

“1.) That participation in the Program would be completely voluntary,
2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual incomes into the program,
3.) That the money the participants elected to put into the program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year,
4.) That the money the participants put in would go into the independent 'Trust Fund' rather than into the General Operating Fund, and therefore, would Only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program, and
5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income.”

The alterations to the “voluntary” Social Security Program are too numerous to list here; they are however yet another example of the usurpation of power which have stripped individual liberties away and proven Thomas Jefferson to be correct, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”

I haven’t listed the many “entitlement programs”, a means by which wealth has been confiscated and then redistributed under the guise of improving the lives of the less fortunate. What the legislature fails to state or acknowledge is that theft and/or robbery, regardless of whether carried out by individual criminals or a group of criminals working in concert ( congress ) remains a crime; that confiscation of property violates one of the concepts of a free nation which was spoken by John Adams.

I have in my files a comment regarding the misapplication of tax money, the below is a partial historical account regarding Davy Crockett which has been neglected, for the most part, by our current crop of Washington elitists.

“In the early 1800’s Congress was considering a bill to appropriate tax dollars for the widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in support of this bill. It seemed that everyone in the House favored it. The Speaker of the House was just about to put the question to a vote, when Davy Crockett, famous frontiersman and then Congressman from Tennessee, rose to his feet.”

“Mr. Speaker, I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity, but as members of Congress we have no right to so appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Sir, this is no debt. We cannot without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.”

If you would like to add to this list of usurpations carried out with impunity upon the citizenry of the United States of America, willful violations against the spirit and intent of our founding documents; please continue this discussion in the comment section or by establishing additional articles in your own appointed way. My thanks to those who have taken the time to document these issues to which I have linked.

The original signers of the Declaration of Independence closed that document with a solemn statement which placed each of them in grave danger. “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor. Have we reached a point in time where we must also draw a line in the sand and stand in defiance of a government which continues to disregard individual rights and abandon the intent and limits set by those document which established the most perfect of governments ever on the face of the earth?

Thomas Fraser Stern

Monday, July 07, 2008

Must be from France

I had a job at the airport a while ago; fellow left his keys down in Costa Rica. The vehicle was on the roof top parking of Terminal E, the international departure and arrival area. The vehicle was parked exactly where he said it would be as I positioned my service truck in front of it.

My customer was late in meeting so I stood around watching airplanes take off and various folks coming and going from the elevators; every now and again I’d wave at the security cameras positioned all over the place. There was a crew picking up trash going down each isle and they looked over toward me wondering why I was just standing around in the middle of the roof; most folks wanting to watch airplanes would have gone over to the edge for a better vantage point.

I got a kick out of one couple as they got off the elevator, bags in tow on a Smarte-Cart. The young man had a small carry on style bag with wheels while the young woman had the cart full of luggage. I commented to them, in a laughing way, that he had it all figured out on getting the woman to do most of the work.

They smiled and nodded, then stopped at a sport utility vehicle parked directly across from where I was standing. It was then I noticed the skimpy white summer lounging outfit; calling it a dress would imply more material, it was more like something you’d see worn around the pool after a nice swim. The very shapely young woman with a nice tan was wearing black thong underwear, clearly visible through the airy material.

They saved me a lot of money; now I don’t need to travel all the way to France, having had a view of their beaches imported for inspection. Terminal E parking gave me a chance to see the world, a pleasant view of foreign customs and social graces.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Stars and Stripes Forever

There are several songs associated with the American spirit, Sousa’s makes it hard not to stand up and cheer. Crank up the volume and make sure your next door neighbor has a chance to listen.

Salute Our Troops

Tomorrow is the 4th of July, a day to celebrate our independence. Some of us will stay home, enjoy potato salad, chips, soda or even tilt a beer while watching the sprinkler water the yard. Others will head for a fireworks display or a concert in the park. Our troops will be in the field, just another day doing what has to be done. I don’t happen to drink beer; all the same I support Budweiser in the manner in which they rally behind our service men and women.

Budweiser Salute to the Troops - Coming Home!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Schultz, “I know nothing, noth--ing!”

Remember the television sit-com about a German prisoner of war camp, Hogan’s Heroes? There was an inept rotund guard named Shultz; his comic line in most episodes came out, “I know nothing, noth--ing!” It didn’t matter how much evidence was in view, “I know nothing, noth--ing!.”

It may well be that Schulz has a relative working as a scientist. There’s a news story on the FoxNews site by Jeanna Bryner, Huge Volcanoes May Be Erupting Under Arctic Ice.

“Hidden 2.5 miles (4,000 meters) beneath the Arctic surface, the volcanoes are up to a mile (2,000 meters) in diameter and a few hundred yards tall.”


“With news this week that polar ice is melting dramatically, underwater Arctic pyrotechnics might seem like a logical smoking gun.”

Remember Schultz, the inept rotund guard who couldn’t see holes cut in the floor where prisoners of war came and went as they pleased, “I know nothing, noth--ing!”; that Schultz? Schultz, played by John Banner, was constantly encountering evidence that the inmates of his Stalag prison camp were planning mayhem, and he was aware that he would be better off if he pretended ignorance.

“Scientists don't see any significant connection, however.” ( “I know nothing, noth--ing!” )

"We don't believe the volcanoes had much effect on the overlying ice," Reeves-Sohn told LiveScience, "but they seem to have had a major impact on the overlying water column."

“The eruptions discharge large amounts of carbon dioxide, helium, trace metals and heat into the water over long distances, he said.”

Apparently certain “scientists” would rather blame the melting ice in the Arctic on man made climate change rather than heat produced from undersea volcanoes. “I know nothing, noth--ing!” It’s not the volcanoes making the ice melt, it’s the hot water under the ice; totally unrelated to the volcanoes. “I know nothing, noth--ing!”

Here’s a neat experiment; put a tray of ice cubes on top of a stove and crank it up until the coils get nice and hot. When the ice melts look around to see if there are incandescent light bulbs in use or those new eco-friendly florescent bulbs, see if there’s a hybrid vehicle parked in the driveway or an SUV, radiant barrier insulation in the attic or any number of environmentally correct solutions to climate change. Last on that list of things to check, rest your hand in the middle of red hot element of the stove.

“Damn, that’s hot!”

It’s no wonder either, this house is much warmer because these folks have done nothing to curtail their use of petroleum products, nothing to save electricity by switching to more efficient light bulbs which make everything look yellowish green, nothing to keep that ice from melting so quickly. Science has proven once again that man is responsible for the destruction of the earth in all its glory.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Heller Follow Up

If you’ve been locked away in a closet there’s a chance you didn’t hear about the Supreme Court’s decision to validate the 2nd Amendment which acknowledges the individual’s right to own handguns. I won’t go into the details since there are so many fine articles available on the internet; not even a link, go find them on your own if you want to read up.

On the other hand, I had a chance to read a short take on our “insanity”, as it was referred to by Probligo down in New Zealand. He included a link to a specialty store where some rather interesting side arms may be purchased. A word of caution on the Victorious Mongoose model; there is no trigger guard which might be hazardous when reaching into your pocket. If you like what you see, here’s the link on how to purchase your very own Ray Guns.