[Tru Blu Tuesday] It’s Comeback Time!

July 30, 2013 Leave a comment

Think of the United States of America’s history as a football game. On one side of the field we have Team Liberty, the upstart franchise in the world arena. They face the imposing Team Tyranny, flexing its centuries old experience and record of global domination. The winner controls the destiny of the nation – the city on a hill, the last great hope.

At the onset of this match, when 13 American colonies claimed and defended their independence from Great Britain, Team Liberty took an early lead. Their bold new quarterback, the Constitution, put them out in front, shocking the defending champs with a quick score right out of the gate. It was not a clincher, but now they had their game plan to beat Tyranny. The fullback for Team Tyranny, an imposing figure named War, nearly ended the contest in 1812, but an impressive goal line stand held him back. There were still some major glitches in Liberty’s offense, such as the enslavement of an entire ethnicity and the battles in the Supreme Court justice system. This resulted in a few punts. However, the first quarter still ended with more rights and freedom ever assembled for a nation.

Hemet_To_Helmet_Hits_Football_t620The second quarter was brutal, as Civil War brought both sides into a bloody contest with Secession and Slavery threatening to tear Team Liberty in two. Somehow they managed to survive with the lead still in tact, although a few controversial plays had some questioning the validity of the score. Slavery was ejected out of the game as a result of that quarrel, but the bad guys still held a few cards. After that difficult possession, Liberty saw some real strides and began to expand their lead. Infrastructure and Industrial Progress took off like never before giving the people excellent field position. Millions from around the world started to take notice and fill the bleachers, arriving by the boatload to cheer on the new kids. The upset was looking good.

Then came the second half.

Tyranny came out of the locker room angry. Slowly they began to work their way back into the end-zone. It was gradual and Liberty wasn’t sure how it started. It might have been when the visiting team pulled out their rookie backup Federal Reserve in 1913, which began to erode the value of the dollar. But that only put a dent in the lead. War pushed his way through the battle of the trenches yet again. Not once, but twice dragging America into a global conflict. These resulted in establishing the prized country as a world power, while the old world was left reeling in the aftermath. However it came at the cost of injury to Equality when thousands of citizens were sent to internment camps in the name of “Safety“.

Team Liberty tried to keep pace by expanding freedom through the Civil Rights movement, but it only netted a field goal overall as american_football_3Political Correctness tackled Freedom of Speech short of a first down. War found the goal line once again on an audible after the Vietnam Conflict intercepted a pass from the Constitution. Tyranny then took the lead as the U.S. became a global empire, intervening in the affairs of several other countries. They ratcheted up the score with the Red Scare and Inflation. Corporatism ended a comeback attempt by forcing a fumble by Capitalism as Big Government scooped up the loose ball in the wake of what should have been a touchdown against Communism.  Somehow Liberty didn’t notice the sudden turn of events. It might have been the opposing cheerleaders, the Media, that had them distracted from the battle they were then losing.

It is now the Fourth Quarter.

This period began with a massive hit on the Constitution as the Patriot Act sacked him for a huge loss in the wake of 9/11/01. You could clearly see him limping on his Fourth Amendment after that blow. The hits kept coming too, as the Federal Reserve pumped more money into the economy and Undeclared War sneaked through the line on a blitz again and again. Liberty was down by a lot and hurting immensely. The NDAA sacked the Constitution again for “Safety”, which only added to the now gargantuan deficit.

At this point the fans had quieted down considerably, distracted by the sideline gags and whatever the vendors were peddling.

That’s when the comeback started. At first it was a little grumble from one or two patriots on Team Liberty. They were done being beat up on. They were Irate and Tireless and turned their grumble into a roar. They were sick of being pummeled with the referees not calling any of the violations. Tyranny tried to bully their way down field with their Police State, but Liberty fought back. Ignorance sure was pushing hard, but Education and Awareness stepped up big to stop the rush. The crowd could see the intensity rising.

As the fate of the nation weighed in the balance, Tyranny tried to put the contest on ice forever. Big Government was doing everything it could to bring Liberty to it’s knees, but the kids would not go out without one final stand. Suddenly Team Liberty was able to make a few big plays. Federal Reserve was targeted repeatedly. Then a courageous effort to stop the Police State’s nifty NSA spin move resulted in a turnover.

The ball is now in our hands. We are down by quite a lot, but the comeback can happen! The clock is ticking. All we need are a few more game changers – our future depends on it.

Which side are you on?

 

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[Tru Blu Tuesday] The Thing About Justice

July 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Have you ever thought to yourself how wonderful the world would be if every criminal was brought to justice? I certainly have. Just imagine: would-be thieves afraid to steal, violence virtually non-existent, and even jay walking would occur quite seldom. Potential criminals would know that they would be punished for their various offenses according to the law. Sounds great doesn’t it?

Bringing every criminal to justice could almost be reality. All that would need to be done is to convict every single person suspected of and charged with a crime. That would get us very close to putting all criminals behind bars. None would slip through the cracks of the system, able to return to their evil ways once again. Just think, O.J. Simpson would have been locked up. So would George Zimmerman. Even those punk kids would finally be fined for trespassing on your lawn! Whoever was suspected of a crime, would get the time. I can smell the utopia!

Of course, it wouldn’t be all that great for the innocent people. It sure would be a bad day for them, getting punished for something they didn’t do, or did on accident. It sure would be tough for them. Actually “them” would technically become you and I since, after all, everyone would be guilty in only a matter of time. I’d imagine that under a system of automatic guilt, all it would take is for your neighbor to press charges on you for some cockamamie offense and just like that – you’re sitting in your own cell in the state penitentiary.

You see, the thing about justice is that it is not simply the application of punishment to those who break the law. It also applies to the protection of the innocent. Consider the opposite of justice: injustice. We could all agree that a criminal getting away with a crime is an injustice. But also consider that penalizing a person who did nothing wrong is equally, if not more, unjust. The application of justice is a delicate balance of integrity and fairness that must err on the side of caution – should it err at all.

As one of our founding fathers put it:

“It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, “whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,” and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.” – John Adams

Before John Adams was our second President, he was the defense attorney for the British soldiers who were charged in the Boston Massacre of 1770. While most of the colonials called for the heads of the soldiers who fired on and killed 5 Bostonians, Adams believed that even they deserved a fair trial. If you think the O.J. Simpson trial was a big deal, just imagine the heat and passion behind the proceedings in pre-Revolutionary War Boston. (Six of the eight soldiers charged were acquitted. The other two received reduced sentences.) You might say Mr. Adams is an expert on controversy.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEveryone wants justice – that is undisputed – yet so few truly understand it. Consider the feminine figure chosen to represent justice. She holds a scale in her hand – the icon of the justice system.  The scales represent how justice is fair and balanced, relying only on logic and fact, as it weighs evidence. This is because justice is not revenge. It vehemently resists emotional reactions and feelings. The lady is also blindfolded, consistent with the adage that “Justice is blind”. This is because it is to be applied equally to all persons, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, political background, social status, wealth or class. Balanced and fair; those are the most vital attributes of true justice.

While I admit that a world without crime sounds wonderful, the reality is that no such thing could be accomplished without harming the people unfairly. The appeal of an honest living in our society is only possible if there exists protection for those who pursue it. That is why it is so important to understand true justice in world with so much turbulence.

An excerpt of the definition of justice from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

JUST’ICE, n. [L. justitia, from justus, just.]

1. The virtue which consists in giving to every one what is his due; practical conformity to the laws and to principles of rectitude in the dealings of men with each other; honesty; integrity in commerce or mutual intercourse.

Categories: Uncategorized

[Tru Blu Tuesday] The Hero America Deserves

July 16, 2013 Leave a comment

We live in perilous times. There’s much to be done to get the country back on the right path. However, there are countless villains standing in our way, keeping us from achieving our goals. Corrupt politicians, mindless media, and evil minions in every tentacle of despair wrapped around the throat of a once free and prosperous nation. Someone needs to stop it, fight back. Someone needs to make a change! We need a hero! But who?

I nominate you!

There’s an old adage that says “Be the change you want to see in the world”. I love that saying. It is so easy to criticize the problems we face, and the people who cause them. -I would know, I do it all the time. But instead of standing on the sidelines wishing for change to happen, make it happen within yourself and then impose that change on the rest of the world around you. Maybe news stations never speak your name and criminals never learn to quake in your presence. Still, you can be a hero to those around you. And even if it is just for a moral victory, you can be a hero to yourself.

We all know the whistle-blower Edward Snowden as a fugitive, on the run for a crime he didn’t commit. He saw wrong doings every day on the job as an employee of the security contractor Booz-Allen-Hamilton, working with the NSA. He came to the conclusion that something had to be done to warn the public about the atrocities going on behind the scenes. So instead of whimpering in the shadows for the rest of his career, he went up against the most powerful spy agency in the world and made a difference. It takes a lot of gumption to pull something of that extent, but Snowden realized that that is what it would take. Some say he did it for the fame or for money, and they could not be more wrong. He knew what he would be getting into. He is infamous now, despite his innocence, but he is also an inspiration.

Yesterday former New Hampshire Senator Gordon Humphrey emailed Snowden this message of encouragement:

Mr. Snowden,

Provided you have not leaked information that would put in harms way any intelligence agent, I believe you have done the right thing in exposing what I regard as massive violation of the United States Constitution.

Having served in the United States Senate for twelve years as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, the Armed Services Committee and the Judiciary Committee, I think I have a good grounding to reach my conclusion.

I wish you well in your efforts to secure asylum and encourage you to persevere.

Kindly acknowledge this message, so that I will know it reached you.

Regards,
Gordon J. Humphrey
Former United States Senator
New Hampshire

Ed Snowden was kind enough to reply from his hiding place in a foreign land:

Mr. Humphrey,

Thank you for your words of support. I only wish more of our lawmakers shared your principles – the actions I’ve taken would not have been necessary.

The media has distorted my actions and intentions to distract from the substance of Constitutional violations and instead focus Edward-Snowden-400x400on personalities. It seems they believe every modern narrative requires a bad guy. Perhaps it does. Perhaps, in such times, loving one’s country means being hated by its government.

If history proves that be so, I will not shy from that hatred. I will not hesitate to wear those charges of villainy for the rest of my life as a civic duty, allowing those governing few who dared not do so themselves to use me as an excuse to right these wrongs.

My intention, which I outlined when this began, is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them. I remain committed to that. Though reporters and officials may never believe it, I have not provided any information that would harm our people – agent or not – and I have no intention to do so.

Further, no intelligence service – not even our own – has the capacity to compromise the secrets I continue to protect. While it has not been reported in the media, one of my specializations was to teach our people at DIA how to keep such information from being compromised even in the highest threat counter-intelligence environments (i.e. China).

You may rest easy knowing I cannot be coerced into revealing that information, even under torture.

With my thanks for your service to the nation we both love,

Edward Snowden

Mr. Snowden is an example of one person taking on the responsibility of changing the world. Will all of us have the opportunity to have as much of an impact as he did? Probably not. But we can all change within ourselves the problems we perpetuate, and work towards being part of the solution instead.

If I may venture into the world of pop culture, I’d like to bring you the ending of one of my favorite movies, The Dark Knight. If there was a real life moral equivalent to Batman, it would be Ed Snowden. He’s not the hero America needs. He is the hero we deserve. You can be a hero too!

Fresh Take: Individualism v Collectivism

July 15, 2013 Leave a comment

An obviously intelligent friend of mine wrote this, and it was so perfectly on point I just had to share it. Please enjoy:

George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, why is everybody missing that it’s individualism vs collectivism all over again? People generally fall into two camps. You are probably an individualist if you value people’s right to self-defense, if you believe that success comes to those that work hard, if you think America is great because it has provided the most freedom for people to choose their own destiny, and admire strength and success. You are probably a collectivist if you think people’s destiny is largely the result of societal forces over which they have no control, if you think America has major problems and should be more like Europe, and do not believe people should be allowed to take matters into their own hands, viewing strength, independence, and success with suspicion. The George decision probably has no direct impact on your life, but many other decisions based on these basic worldviews have a huge impact; not only in when you can have guns and use them but also in the rest of life.

An individualist believes each person should have the right to make his own decisions and deal with the results, while a collectivist believes decisions should be made by the community and enforced upon all. Individualists despise programs like government-run health care and social zimmTrayvonsecurity, while collectivists adore them. Individualists would be quick to point out that you cannot depend on government for protection, that every break-in, rape, and murder happens while the police are nowhere to be found or waiting for them to arrive, and does not want to hand more power to the government, which is ultimately untrustworthy and ripe for abuse as power corrupts. Therefore, the having the freedom to own guns and having the rights of self-defense are important. Collectivists meanwhile recoil in horror and are quick to point out murders and suicides where people misused the power of guns as a reason to tightly regulate and restrict them.

If you are an individualist, you might view your less successful peers as those who did not study hard in school or work hard in business, did drugs, or otherwise are generally reaping the results of their own bad decisions, while you admire those who have risen to the top of the game, whether that is in business, rank, or sports by their own smarts and hard work. If you are a collectivist, you probably view the poor as those who have been exploited, while the rich, strong, and successful probably inherited their silver spoon or got there through corruption, abuse, and steroids. And so a collectivist wants the government to tax the rich at a far higher rate to take back their ill-gotten gains and give it to the poor, while an individualist believes the entrepreneurs, doctors, and lawyers should reap the results of their long hard-working journey to get where they are, and anyone who wants their wealth should ask them for it but is not entitled to it.

I do not think it is a surprise that individualists dominate in very sparsely populated areas while collectivists tend to dominate in densely populated big cities. If you are the stereotypical farmer in the middle of nowhere, you get exactly what you have cleared, planted, taken care of and harvested. If you want to get from point A to point B you get there exactly as fast as you drive yourself. While if you are in a big city, you cannot get from point A to point B without wading through traffic or public transportation, stuck with everybody else in a slow moving mass of people you have no power to control. You cannot make or obtain just about anything by yourself.

Well, I tried to be fair, and I’m mostly apathetic about the Zimmerman verdict since I wasn’t there and don’t know what happened, but you can probably guess which side I’m on in the larger debate. I don’t think you are entitled to anything that someone else worked hard for. A collectivist mentality treats average people like helpless children, powerless victims, or bumbling idiots that can’t be trusted to run their own lives, and it inevitably subsidizes laziness, rewards failure, and leads to greater crime, corruption, economic failures, and worse injustices. Freedom flat out works better; an average person has always been demonstrably better off in freer countries. If you fail, you probably want to believe that it was society or everybody else’s fault and have success handed to you, but it will be better for you and everybody else if you stop blaming everybody else, man up, get back in the game, and make something of yourself.

-written by Matthew Weeks

 

[Tru Blu Tuesday] Enough!

July 9, 2013 Leave a comment

Howdy y’all!

I haven’t had much time to write this weekend, although plenty has been on my mind. So I’d just like to leave you with a simple question to consider. A question that I’ve been thinking about for a while.

When will you have had enough?

When will your privacy have been molested too much? How much is too much debt? How many soldiers lives are too many to sacrifice for “national security”? How much currency inflation is too much? How many lies from a public official will it take before you don’t trust a word he or she says? How much longer can you believe the mainstream media? How many of your personal liberties will you give up? At what point will you say to yourself, “This has gone too far.”?

That was more like a handful of questions all rolled up into one. My point though, is to get you to consider where you draw the line. We all know there are problems, and we are all very good at complaining about them. Yet how far are you willing to let them go? How much abuse are you willing to endure?

How much, before you say ENOUGH!

I, for one, have had my fill.

Categories: Uncategorized

Ben Swann’s “Truth in Media Project”

July 9, 2013 Leave a comment

Ben Swann has broken free from his job as anchor for Fox News in Cincinnati to bring you his fully independent Truth in Media Project. But he needs your help to make this a reality. I have already thrown my support behind this project, and I hope you will too!

[Tru Blu Tuesday] A Nation Is Born

July 2, 2013 Leave a comment

Independence Hall - Philadelphia, PA

Independence Hall – Philadelphia, PA

Allow me to tell you a story. You may have heard it before, but it bares repeating…

Two hundred thirty-seven years ago today, a middle-aged man sat in a stuffy room in Philadelphia, sweating in the oppressive July heat. The temperature could not whither his mood however, as Mr. John Adams of Massachusetts flitted his eyes across the room repeatedly. Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, all ready to move forward. He thought to himself, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia on board. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware all in agreement. New York will not be able to formally join us today, not until their own convention irons itself out, but they will not oppose. This can finally happen!

Mr. Adams was excited about the vote to be taken that day on Virginian Richard Henry Lee’s resolution. It was a culmination of several months of hard

Lee's Resolution. Click to read it on ourdocuments.gov

Lee’s Resolution. Click to read it on ourdocuments.gov

work. As the war with the mother country raged on in not-to-distant battlefields, it became more and more clear to him that there was no going back to the old days. The colonies, in their defiance, had efficiently destroyed their good standing with Great Britain with each drop of blood from the king’s soldiers, and every protest of usurpation prior to the conflict. Still, it had taken some convincing over the last few months to gather his fellow rebels to his side. Many had hoped that the wounds inflicted could be healed and the colonies could reconcile with their distant aggressor. However, it became apparent to more and more of the delegation assembled at this convention, that there was no going back. Also, foreign assistance was desperately needed to combat the powerful British armies and their German mercenary cohorts. Yet it was unlikely that assistance could be garnered if other nations viewed the conflict as an internal affair of Great Britain. Sovereignty was necessary, and John Adams knew this.

That is why less than a month earlier, June 7th to be exact, Mr. Lee had introduced his resolution to the Second Continental Congress. His resolution called for a declaration of independence from the crown,  a call to form foreign alliances, and “a plan for confederation.” However, the delegates had not been approved by their respective colonies to vote for such a radical measure and they wished to return to their homes to weigh the matter with those whom they represented.

While they did so, three committees were formed to address the three different sections of Lee’s resolution. One to create a plan for confederation, one to develop a plan for forming foreign alliances and one to write a formal declaration of independence. The latter task was assigned to Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Robert Livingston of New York, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia and Mr. Adams. These five were given the job of putting into words the causes which impelled the colonies towards their separation from Great Britain. The world would have to know why this dysfunctional group of glorified territories felt the need to dissolve the political bands that connected them to the worlds greatest super power. And the committee had done so admirably. After developing the outline for the document the group had tried to decide who should write the first draft. At first they had pressed John Adams to do so, but he deflected the responsibility. “Long Tom” Jefferson, he knew, was a much better writer than he. Upon much insisting, the others agreed with him and Jefferson was set to the task. When Tom had returned to committee with his work, they vetted the document together. Mr Adams was glad that part was over.

Committeoffive

Yesterday, July 1st, a Monday, the congress had reconvened, having returned from their colonies. John Adams remembered how relieved he felt as most of the delegates revealed their approval of independence. In the back of his mind, there was the fear that some of the colonies would strongly oppose the measure. With limited resources available to the rebels, unity was a crucial asset. Still, despite the general agreement, some delegates voiced their concerns with the proposition. Adams did not want there to be any votes cast against the resolution, so the vote was pushed to Tuesday.

So here he sat on July 2nd, excited and nervous at the same time. The debates wound closer and closer to agreement. He did not dare gloat for fear of upsetting the progress made. A bead of sweat rolled down the side of his face before he wiped the perspiration off his brow. This could be it!

2ndcontinentalcongressIf Lee’s Resolution passed, it would mean a world of difference. Already considered traitors, the men who put their names in with this declaration would be direct targets of the crown. It would mean they would be alone, out from underneath the umbrella of Great Britain. They would have to fend off enemies themselves. An entirely new system of government would need to be constructed. And that assumed they would win the war in the first place, something far from certain.

Mr. Adams did not even blink at the troubling thoughts. He was too sure of this. There was no other way to move forward. It was all or nothing. The king had made his moves, had shown his true colors. They could not go back to the terms of tyranny. Not now. Not after all that had been sacrificed to get this far.

At last a vote was taken to pass Lee’s Resolution.

With twelve colonies approving and New York respectfully abstaining, the resolution passed!

John Adams slunk back into his chair and exhaled a sigh of relief. Smiling he reached across the table and shook the hand of this good colleague, Mr. Franklin. His friend Tom Jefferson gave him a hearty pat on the back. This was really happening!

The Declaration which the Committee of Five had drafted would be further edited over the next two days and ratified on the fourth. It would go on to become one of the most important documents in world history as it carried an impact even John Adams could not foresee. The waves made on that hot July day would send ripples across the globe in due time.

There was still much heartache yet to be experienced by these men and the people they represented. There are still heartaches experienced even today. Yet, just as Mr. Adams grinned in the face of imminent adversity over two hundred years ago, we can smile while under the great challenges we face today. We can carry on against all odds because we have the liberty to do so. We can achieve great things because we stand independently. We can change the world because we are FREE!

Happy Independence Day!

Liberty, according to my metaphysics is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power. – John Adams