Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Do I Pledge Allegiance to the Republic?

File Under: Think About It

Copyright (c) 2013 Carol Tull

I will allow that asking, "what God(s) the nation is under," is a pointless rhetorical argument.  However, as this is a pledge of allegiance and this is recited by individuals as young as 4 years-old, the rest of this daily affirmation should have some meaning.  To those who grew up reciting this (The Pledge of Allegiance), please: Define for me in your own words what a republic is or what our Republic is.  Who is the "all" whom the Banner guarantees Liberty and Justice? Finally, (and this is the all important question)are you any more willing and able now as an adult than you were as a kindergartner to honor your pledge of allegiance to it's most extreme degree by offering your life in defense of liberty, justice, the Constitution, and the Republic itself?

This has nothing to do with this post except for the reference to Abraham, but I thought it was extremely funny.

The last paragraph of that picture should state 'let's see how many Americans who share this picture wake up with their children every morning and recite the Pledge with them to the American Flag they have on display in their own home."  I gladly re-post the link, because there is nothing offensive about honoring and protecting the legacy of democracy that has resulted in my existence.  However, as Americans we must constantly re-evaluate our values, strengthening and elevating the cores ones which are still relevant, while not allowing ones that no longer serve a purpose to become divisive issues.  I think mankind has evolved out of the ages where pledges of allegiance and other forms of propaganda, indoctrination, or dogma from an infantile stage are no longer needed to shield us from "Evil."  No one seems to be in a hurry to leave America for say North Korea.  In 2013, the truth or lies of the words in the Pledge are widely available for everyone all over the world to see on the Internet.  "One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all?"  If these were Old testament times and we were a nation under the Abrahamic God, God would call forth she-bears from the woods to consume your children every morning for lying in his name.  Then we would have the President on TV, crying crocodile tears, petitioning Congress to exile Assault Prophets.

"Citizen / Soldier" by 3 Doors Down from 3 Doors Down (c) 2008 Universal Republic Records

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P.S. Post number 50 ...Yay!!! :D

Monday, January 28, 2013

Happy Anniversary (Belated)

File Under: Keeping the Faith

This past January 22nd I celebrated my 3 year anniversary on the Inter-webs, and I am approaching my long overdue 50th post.  I know, I know - it is time to pick up the pace.  With you faithful few I will; and, together you and I - we will change the world.

For those of you close to me in the struggle, you know this has been a rocky, tumultuous 3 years.  I have risen to incredible heights and sunk to incredible lows.  In the spring of 2011 as my physical health began its precipitous downward spiral, I had a serious car wreck that though I escaped without significant physical damage, nonetheless shook me mentally.  I never did thank my brother for dutifully driving me everywhere I needed to go, no matter when, until I was emotionally ready to get behind the wheel of an automobile again.  By the end of the summer of 2012 I had to move away from my adoptive family whose love and support had become a rock for me, I had lost my job, I lost most of my friends, and it felt like the Universe was collapsing around me.  You could summarize the whole experience as a sharp, twisting spiral into darkness and despair.

"Through the Wire," by Kanye West from College Dropout (c) 2004 Roc-a-Fella

However much I wanted to on so many occasions, I did not give in to it.  Throughout it all, I have tasted anger, fear, pain, desperation, doubt, self-loathing, and even a little madness.  I have been tried, tested, weighed, measured, found wanting, and failed.  I had to redefine who and what I am as a person and as a man.  I had to evaluate old ideas and beliefs which failed me in times of crisis, and form new more realistic ones.  I had to discover levels of strength and resiliency I did not know existed within myself.  I have become a master at bracing for a fall and picking myself up again.  I had to change.  I had to grow.  I had to evolve.

The other day I came home fired up to write something about the evolution of society, America, and partisan politics.  On my way in I checked my mailbox, my real mailbox, and I found a green postcard.  I had been anxiously awaiting this letter, both with eagerness and dread.  It was: the payoff for not giving in to the darkness and the despair; the end result of all that change, growth, and evolution; and, a tiny victory in a battle going 2 years strong now.  So I said to 'heck with politics for a few, I'm going to celebrate life.'

For those of you close to me in the struggle, you know this has been a rocky, tumultuous 3 years.  I love and appreciate those of you who have stuck by my side throughout it all - good, bad, and ugly.  To those of you who lost faith, whether it be in me or the message, Godspeed you on your journey.  For those of you unfamiliar ny struggle, I know you each have gone or will go through your own crucible at some time in your own individual lives.  Keep the faith.  You only begin to find out what you are truly capable of at the moment when you think you are capable of no more.

"It's So Hard," by Big Pun from Yeeeah Baby (c) 2000 Terror Squad/Loud
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Friday, January 18, 2013

The Soundtrack of Innocence

My All-Time Most Memorable Family Movie Songs

File Under: Hearing is Believing

Every human being that has ever walked this Earth has had an opportunity to serve a purpose in the grand, Gordian scheme either to further or hinder what we, in our limited at best vision, understand to be Good and Evil.  We take many paths in fulfilling this purpose: some build nations, some invent and innovate, some teach, some philosophize, some protect, some judge, some punish, some administrate, some sanitize, some heal - the paths are endless.  No one path is more or less noble or ignoble than another.  Others, like Walt Disney, they chose to provide an outlet for the imagination of Children and a place for parents to bond with their children.  For the contributions of him and those who both preceded and followed him, we are grateful for the enrichment their artwork has provided our lives.  Here is a look at some of the most indelible 20th century family movies through the music that helped to make the stories, characters, and moments memorable.

The Academy Award-winning song "Somewhere Out There" from one of the first movies I can remember watching, 1986's  "An American Tail," tells us that the inspiring power of  love cannot be thwarted by distance - or the fact that you are a mouse.

While Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson in 1967's "The Graduate" made Cougars cool, for anyone who hearts: proper posture, immaculate elocution, and pristine poise - Julie Andrews as nanny "Mary Poppins" 1964, was your boyhood crush.  I won't comment on the chemical co-dependency I learned by misinterpreting the meaning behind "A Spoonful of Sugar," instead I'll share "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," which further inspired my love of word-craft and the English language.

"Under the Sea" from 1989's Disney classic "The Little Mermaid," endeavors to teach us to be happy with the blessings in the world around us because the grass is not always greener on the other side.  Ironically, the song just made me want to go live in the ocean.  Imagine my chagrin when I did manage to go "under the sea" and found it to be a dark, scary place where I could not swim or breath and no one was playing music.  Disney, you and your lies.  *sad face*

After decades of supremacy culminating in "The Lion King," it seems Disney lost the magic.  From the final great animated feature they would ever release solely under the Disney banner, 1995's "Pocahontas" comes one of its most powerful, poignant, and inspirational songs ever.  "Colors of the Wind" explores the concept that this Earth and the Universe of which we are all a part and is a part of all of us is a living thing.  Pocahontas helps John Smith correct his Imperialist views explaining that humans do not own the Earth, we merely have the privilege to live upon it, our actions towards it matter, and it deserves our respect.  Moreover, the criteria those who seek to conquer and subjugate use to to label, categorize, judge, discriminate, separate, oppress, control, and exploit is stupid when you stop and realize we all came from the same space dust.

"Hakuna Matata" from Disney's 1994 epic classic "The Lion King" speaks for itself: it means no worries.  This is probably a large number of people's favorite song from their favorite Disney movie, and it is not hard to understand why.

If "Wizard of Oz" can be said to have contributed to my affinity for short people then "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" from 1971 definitely spawned my conflicting fear and distrust of them.  Also, something about watching the zany Gene Wilder torment a group of parents and their horrid children also appealed to my latent Tim Burton fan waiting to bloom.  The song "The Candy Man Can" is awesome for a number of reasons.  First, it is simple an awesome song, which becomes even more apparent in the Sammy Davis Jr. cover of 1972 that spawns the consummate entertainer's first #1 hit.  Second, I love how absolutely inappropriate and creepy the candy store owner is - no wonder he gives his candy away for free.  And Finally this scene hearkens back to a time when I remember there being a candy store in my neighborhood and it was a thriving business - in the before times when selling candy was not politically incorrect.  Most of what you learn comes through the short Oompa Loompa Choruses so pay attention!  And, yes, yes - I was wise.  I listened to all the lessons of the movie, and did like the Ooompa Loompa doopa dee do ...mostly.

"Please Don't Eat the Daisies" is a song from the feel-good Metro-Goldwyn Mayer release of 1960, "Please Don't Eat the Daisies," featuring the vocal and comedic talents of the lovely Doris Day.  The song was also released as a single by Day.  What did I learn here?  Spring (marked by rain) comes in April, it is important to interject a little a absurdity into your life every now and then, and if you tell a woman that you love her she is going to make ridiculous requests.  Too bad I did not remember that last part when I got older.

For all the bad things we have learned from cartoons throughout the years -  like violence, bigotry and sexism - my have we also learned some righteous things as well.  In Disney's 1967 classic "The Jungle Book," we learn protecting the innocent is the right thing to do no matter who they are, home is where the heart is, family are those who share spirit not just blood, and true friends are willing to lay down their life on the line for you.  Many a seed of inspiration were sewn in the hearts of future Preppers and Survivalists with the simple wisdom of the tune, "The Bear Necessities."  We do not have to depend on industrialized societies or because, because Mother Nature provides a bear - and humankind too - with everything it needs.

We have already discussed my boyhood (and manhood)  obsession for Julie Andrews so it is not a super shock that she appears on this list twice.  "My Favorite Things" is great for a myriad of reasons: I do not even like Christmas and it is my favorite "Christmas" song, it is absolutely responsible for my love of the word schnitzel, and whenever I think of Julie Andrews "I don't feeeel sooo baaaaad!"  But seriously, 20th Century Fox's historic, award-winning 1965 screen adaptation of the musical, "The Sound of Music," is based upon a very true, very inspirational story and they could not have picked a more quintessential actress to portray such a heroic woman.  She fought oppression with just "The Sound of Music," that's the definition of badass.

A lot of things in life probably can be traced back to a Disney movie.  At this point you're probably thinking: "maybe you should stop taking advice from Disney."  Hey, "The Little Mermaid" was only released in 1989 I was still very naive and impressionable.  You can debate whether "Kiss the Girl" is Disney's greatest love song or not, but you do learn two critical points.  First, if you wanna get the girl you have to "create the mood."  Second, haters gonna hate - beware of cock-blockers.  "The Little Mermaid" also teaches us other valuable lessons: when negotiating a contract have a lawyer present, avoided crappy one-sided deals, and don't make stupid decisions to bail your children out of their mistakes - they learn nothing in the end and the rest of your family suffers.

Either Disney is hit and miss with positive messages or I was hit and miss with interpreting them but all I got out of 1992's "Aladdin" is that it pays to have powerful allies and chicks dig guys who can take them on magic carpet rides.  *shrug*  To this day the lack of personal flying conveyances irks me.  We got Segways, but no hover-cars  Bogus!  Anyway, the second contender for greatest love song has to be "A Whole New World," immortalized by the incomparable Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle.

To my credit I have never tried winning anyone over by first imprisoning her father, then ransoming him in exchange for her, holding her hostage isolated from all human contact, and subjecting her to systematic psychological torture for an indefinite amount of time until she develops Stockholm Syndrome.  All I can say is that in 1756, when La Belle et la BĂȘte was written, no did not mean no and courting rituals were obviously much different than today.  I am guessing we were not suppose to notice all that but rather we were suppose to witness how the power of compassion and forgiveness can allow anyone, even the most hideous monster, to change.  Released in 1991 "Beauty and the Beast" is probably one of, if not Disney's greatest love stories.  In turn the movie's namesake, "Beauty and the Beast," that marks the moment when Belle goes from somewhat-unwilling-hostage to desirous-and-wanting-it hostage is a masterpiece of the movie and possibly the greatest love song in Disney movie history.

From the first notes of music, the first frames, of "The Lion King" you knew this was going to be an amazing movie.  "Circle of Life" (Sir Elton John Cover) was the the perfect way to begin a story about the ups and downs of life, facing that which frightens us the most, coming to terms with our past, personal redemption, self forgiveness, and boldly moving on into the future as life comes full circle.

"Can you Feel the Love Tonight" from "The Lion King," is where we really start learning stuff.  If you are giving a girl the creepy guy vibe because you are acting insecure about something you do not really need to be hiding in the first place, ease the tension by trying to drown her - chicks really like getting their hair, makeup and outfits wet anyway.  If you have executed the first part right, she's going to pretend to try to "escape," but that's O.K., this will lead right into some very frisky foreplay.  The admonition to ask your doctor if you are healthy enough for sexual activity is no joke as  foreplay should include a long chase ending with UFC MMA-style striking and grappling - better hope she does not Tazer you bro.  If a girl licks your face it means you won and she definitely likes you.  If she looks at you like she wants to eat you, she probably wants to do it (rub cheeks and necks with you) or it could mean she is going to knee you in the junk when you let her up -  be careful, been fooled here many a times before.  Painful.  Finally, as we learned in "The Little Mermaid" someone is always trying to stop you from rubbing cheeks and necks with the girl.  Therefore, when you are ready for a committed long-term relationship you might want to consider trading your single friends for married friends.  Your old friends could either get you into trouble or save you from a pack of ravenous, wild hyenas - it is a toss up.  If you have managed to win your girl's heart, avoid prison, keep your friends, not get eaten by hyena's, and avenge the death of your father - hurrah! Thank Sir Elton John, Tim Rice, and the writers and directors of "The Lion King" for providing you with the blueprint.  If you failed, hopefully you can watch the movie again in prison to figure out where you went wrong.

I cannot believe I almost forgot this one.  By this time, my cynicism and skepticism had already begun to set, but in 1996-1997 there was not a man, woman, or child who did not believe he or she could fly.  As uninspiring as Warner Bros. 1996 Live-action/Animated release "Space Jam" was it did inspire singer/songwriter R. Kelly to produce "I Believe I Can Fly," one of the most inspirational songs of his career.  That is saying something for a man whose anthology has no shortage of inspiring ditties.

I felt it fitting to end this journey where it began for me, with "When You Wish Upon A Star" from Walt Disney's 1940 "Pinocchio."  It is not the chronological beginning but the ideological and spiritual beginning.  If you do not understand what I mean then you have never seen "Pinocchio," you have never heard the song, you are not a human being, or you missed out on a wonderful childhood.

When I started putting together together the music for this post, I just wanted a happy, free-spirited, nostalgic break from all the strife and animosity of the last several weeks.  As I got to the end, thinking about all those wonderful pieces of artwork I watched as a child I started reflecting on all the life lessons I picked up through them.  I learned that character meant something.  I learned to believe in myself, to be honest, to care about my fellow others, and to aspire to achieve my dreams.  These films showed me the world could be a good place if we do not allow our passions to overrule our reason.  I thought how wonderful it would be if all children could have this experience in their formative years; and then an immense feeling of sadness came over me.  I realized there are little children who will never have their imaginations stoked and young adults cut off in their prime who will never build on their dreams.  Somewhere out there are families for whom my fond memories are just bitter reminders of how one day, someone tore their world apart.

The Journey is not over.  I forgot one song.  The song for the lost, but the not forgotten.  The one for those who never got to be what they wanted to be when they grew up, because they never grew up.  The one for those who finished walking the path too soon, but still inspired us nevertheless:
To the 19 murdered and 32 harmed August 1, 1966 at or near The University of Texas
To the 4 killed and 28 injured by police in Orangeburg, SC on February 8, 1968
To the 4 slain and 9 wounded by soldiers at the Kent State Massacre on May 4, 1970
To the 2 killed and the 12 injured by police at Jackson State on May 15, 1970 
To the 6 adults and 5 children of MOVE who perished in a fire that consumed 65 nearby homes when police dropped a bomb on their home from a helicopter and fired upon them as they tried to escape on May 13, 1985
To Randy Weaver who lost his wife, teenage son, and nearly his infant daughter when in defiance of tyranny while exercising his freedom of religion, freedom of speech, right to bear arms, freedom against unlawful search and seizure, and right to due process under the law, federal agents violated all these by ambushing and slaughtering his family at their retreat on Ruby Ridge in August of 1992 - bringing about the very apocalypse his wife feared
To the 54 adults and 28 children sacrificed on the alter of government oppression during the horrendous Waco siege, which ended on April 19, 1993
To the 4 young girls and the teacher murdered March 24, 1998 at Westside Middle School
To the 13 youths and administrators murdered and the 21 others harmed April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School
To Norman Wallace, who lost his life, and the two others harmed May 9, 2003 at Case Western Reserve University when an alumnus engaged police in a 7-hour long battle
To the 5 Amish schoolgirls murdered and 5 maimed October 2, 2006 in Bart Township, PA
To the 32 murdered and the 17 harmed April 16, 2007 at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA
To the 5 murdered and 17 harmed February 14, 2008 at Northern Illinois University
To the 14 murdered and 29 harmed November 2, 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas
To the 13 murdered and 58 harmed July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado
To the 27 murdered and 2 harmed December 14, 2012 at or near Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut
I know that one day we as a united people we will say "never again will a young life be cut short when it is just beginning."  I know we can accomplish this without sacrificing our liberty by working together in a spirit of love and brotherhood, this is a lesson from my childhood I know to to be truth. I now bear the fruit of seeds planted in my childhood, watered in my youth, pruned in my young adulthood, and now being tested as a man.  To all you lost souls, I swear to finish the journey for you.  I ask that you guide my pen from wherever you may be and know that my crusade is not merely for the freedoms of the living, but also for the memory of the passed.  From wherever you are look down and know that: yes, I will be there.

"Will You Be There" by Michael Jackson, inspired by "Free Willy," Warner Bros. 1993

Please feel free to share your comments.  Let me know what moved you as a child or adult! You can comment here or at The Office of R. Conrad Bane on Facebook.  If you would like to support the cause of liberty and the spread of truth, click on any of the above links and bring those timeless family classics into your home.  You will not regret it!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Nuke Behind Every Blade of Grass?

File Under: With Both Barrels

On a post about gun-control, a respondent on the Facebook group page asks: "Do you have a limit on what guns people should be able to have?"  Here is my rather long, official response:
"No person should be denied the preeminent technology, which in the failure of all constitutional democratic processes provides him or her with the individual means either as a sovereign person in defense of his or her own liberties or in concert with his or her fellow citizens who have as a people come to a harmonious, democratic accord to remove by force a government that has failed to honor, abide, uphold, and protect said constitution and no longer submits to the will of the people they claim to represent, yet remains in control of a standing military and law enforcement bodies."
The short answer: no, the Second Amendment did not say "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" except for this exhaustive list of firearms and other weapons.  This answer usually leads to the follow-up question: "Should in turn then everyone in America own a Bazooka or nuclear arms?"

This question strains my belief in the philosophy that there are no stupid questions.  Bazookas are an obsolete technology, but you can find curio/replica models for sell if you are into collecting military technology.  Manufacturers of modern rocket/missile launchers and recoilless rifles do not sell their products to civilian buyers.  Moreover, while certain fully-automatic weapons, explosive devices, and augmentations that give firearms supposed "assault weapon" features are available to civilians these are heavily taxed, regulated, and restricted by the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) and has been since 1934.  There is a reason you do not hear of many high profile stories of people committing crimes using these types of firearms and devices.  They are too hard to come by legally.  Anyone going through that much trouble is not going to commit a crime with it or allow it to fall into the hands of a criminal - unless you are the U.S. Attorney General and you like to play "Fast and Furious" with the law and public safety.
Orangeburg Massacre: Orangeburg, South Carolina, February 8, 1968
Kent State Massacre: Kent, Ohio, May 4, 1970
Jackson State Killings: Jackson, Mississippi, May 14, 1970 
We cannot understand why the government kills its own citizens in cold blood either Mary.
This question really strains reason when you consider nuclear arms.  If you separate the firearm from its ammunition and its operator, set it on a table, then separate a chunk of plutonium from its bomb and its operator and set it on a table, an odd distinction occurs.  The firearm cannot kill anyone regardless of the number of rounds it can hold in its magazine or how many rounds it can fire when its trigger is squeezed.  Long after that chunk of plutonium totally decays that firearm will continue be to completely inert unless someone comes along loads it, points it at someone, and squeezes the trigger.  The chunk of plutonium on the other hand all by itself, by nature, without human interference at all has roughly the toxicity of nerve gas and will slowly kill everyone close enough to observe the experiment over time.  In fact, under the right circumstances plutonium can self-ignite in air at room temperature.  This is why there are Federal laws and international accords governing nuclear technology.

Nuclear technology never should have been weaponized in the first place; it does not defend against tyranny, it engenders it.  When respected scientists had serious reservations that igniting a nuclear weapon in the atmosphere would result in an extinction level chain reaction, how could we have been so brazen?  Nevertheless, the Second Amendment is about the people's right to defend their life and liberty - first and foremost from a corrupt government.  As individuals and as a people we are guaranteed the right by the Constitution to defend ourselves against threats to our life and freedom with whatever prevailing technology is available sufficient enough to ensure the task.  Most certainly this encompasses "military" technology, including any arm that would be used illegally against a citizen by a criminal or a rogue government.  Unless the government intends to perpetrate a "FAIL SAFE" or "WATCHMEN" on its former people, nuclear arms do not belong in the discussion of the Second Amendment.

Do not be mislead: ANY armament that has the ability BY DESIGN to wound or kill more than one target with one operation of its firing device is ALREADY HEAVILY regulated, restricted, taxed. and monitored or just plain old not available to civilians by Federal or State law, international treaty, and industry practice.  No one commits petty crime or mass shootings with legally purchased: fully-automatic weapons, un-improvised explosives, or any other restricted weapon or device not acquired through the black market or made from scrap in his or her basement.  Nothing can or will turn a civilian hell-bent on mayhem into John Rambo, because it just cannot happen in reality.

Allow me to go off on a tangent for just a moment.  Here is an anecdote about fully-automatic weapons: they are inaccurate.  Why? Because physics, psychology, adrenaline, and poor marksmanship conspire to to make people bad shooters.  The military requested and  implemented selective-fire (capable 3 round at a time burst) firearms to increase the chances of hitting the target without wasting ammunition like the previous generation of semi and fully-automatic only firearms.  In the Vietnam Conflict for instance with a speculated 50,000:1 rounds per kill ratio, many shots fired DID NOT hit the intended target if there was one.  A semi-automatic weapon, which is what is present in the vast majority of crimes, can only fire as fast as the shooter pulls the trigger and since it only fires one bullet every time the trigger is squeezed is very accurate compared to the evil "assault weapons" they look like, but DO NOT function like.    If the military determined fully-automatic weapons did not make soldiers more efficient and more lethal why does Congress seem to know differently? They also seem to believe that a 10-round magazine will save lives.  Well, if someone with a firearm can shoot the assailant before he or she reloads then yes, this is true; but, how many times can a  shooter reload a semi-automatic firearm in the 15-20 minutes it takes for authorities to respond to a crisis AFTER someone alerts them?  A child does not stand a chance against a lunatic trying to harm them, if there is no crisis strategy and the people who will end the threat are 15-20 minutes away.  And therein lies the reason why there are so many victims in these shootings and it has nothing to do with firearm features or magazine capacity.  You have: A) driven, disturbed individuals intent on death, B) attacking unprepared, unprotected, defenseless doe-eyed, soft targets C) wreaking havoc and terror D) never does this happen in cities with a solid history of hostage and crisis response E) the schools, campuses, malls, restaurants etc., still are not hardened F) and the people with firearms are 15-20 minutes away.  What you get is a recipe for slaughter.  I'd like to see what would have happened to Adam Lanza or James Holmes if they had showed up in the middle of the Gaza Strip in their vests with their AR-15s.  I Digress.
MOVE House Bombing: West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 13, 1985
Siege on Ruby Ridge: Ruby Ridge, Idaho, August 21-31, 1992 
Waco Massacre: Waco, Texas, February 28 - April 19, 1993 
WARNING: The following video is very graphic.

This is not about school shootings in reality.  This is about fighting tyranny, some of which I have highlighted on this page.  What the legislature would like, what they would really love is when they are done pretending to represent the people of the United States of America that they can send jack-booted thugs around to our homes to confiscate our registered single-shot air rifles (because that is what they will have legislated us down to) and we will be reduced to shaking our fists at them in righteous indignation.  I suppose we could resort to slinging stones, it supposedly worked for Biblical King David of Israel.  Let us just hope if it comes to that God is still on our sides for being so naive.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Why Barefoot and Pregnant Is Best...

File Under: Think About It

Copyright (c) 2013 The Knowledge Movement
Decades after the Bicentennial women in the United States still feel the squeeze of societal control.
I guess that makes the U.S. pretty extreme also, huh?

...For corrupt, power-hungry governments.  Got your attention? Great!  It is ironic that Clinton jabs religion but doesn't realize that it is also the answer to her own question.  Examining Judeo-Christian mythology:

The Devil also sought to attack (control) the younger Eve, rather than the older Adam in the parable of the Garden of Eden. Why? If you want to win a logic-based argument do you attack a 15-year-old or a 50-year-old?  I supposed it greatly depends on the intelligence and wisdom of each.  The Devil recognized his ploy was a one-shot deal, and he knew that the older, wiser Adam was not going to believe his argument about the knowledge of Good and Evil or being like God.  However, without Adam's cooperation the Devil's plot would have failed completely - they both had to eat the fruit.  Despite knowing better, Adam would eat the fruit if Eve implored him to do so, and if he knew Eve had already eaten it because Adam did not wish to live without Eve.  Therefore, by controlling the woman, the Devil controlled the man, thus controlling the family, thus controlling everything that spawned from it - humanity and the world.

Over the centuries, other institutions have knowingly or unknowingly borrowed from the same playbook.  The mother is the bedrock, the very foundation of the family and thus society.  If you can control her then you can destabilize the family and control society.  That was considerably easier to do in the days of patriarchal, theistic societies but has become harder with the advent of modern industrialized nations.  No longer is the woman kept hidden away at home, uneducated, cooking, cleaning, and raising children.

Even in the West, control of women has greased the wheels of democracy and capitalism.  When women broke through financial, secular, and political barriers - the machine responded by breaking apart the traditional family, increasing the income disparity between men and women, and creating the Welfare State to keep families dependent upon institutions.  Why? They would use the maternal bond - physical, emotional, spiritual - against women to control them and the children (future cogs in the machine) left behind once they split up the family.  With dad out of the picture the last line of defense to the Precious are the women, for as the saying goes: the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.  There you have it Madam Secretary, mystery solved.

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You Will Do Until A Dictator Comes Along

File Under: Don't Confuse Me With Facts

Copyright (c) 2013 Sean Kemmerer
These signs are ridiculous: Obama is not a communist and was born in America.  Period.

How do you know you might be living under the regime of a dictatorship? Your first clue would be if you live in a country such as: China, North Korea, Iran, or Cuba, you have a very good chance of being under the control of a dictator of one flavor or another.  Since the "fall" of Communism and the rise of Puppet Democracy it might be harder in other parts of the modern, civilized world to recognize the signs that your freedom is being eroded or is nonexistent.  Let us examine what might trigger an alert citizen to the danger that their supposedly democratic Republic of elected representatives is actually more reminiscent of an old school dictatorship greedily holding on to power under the veil of liberty:

1) Unconstitutional Legislation and Executive Orders

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, Round 1

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, Round 2

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, Round 3

2) Oppression, Suppression, and Detention of Political Opponents

Bradley Manning (WikiLeaks)

Aaron Swartz (SOPA)

3) Assassination of Citizens, Torture, and Violation of Due Process

Murder of Abdulrahman Anwar al-Awlaqi (16-year-old, Natural U.S. Citizen)

Administration Response (to above murder)

Renditions (Kidnappings)

4) Disarm Potential Resistance By Pushing For Gun-Control Under the Guise of Public Safety

When Stalin assumed his mantle as "Marxist dictator" in 1922, the Communist party wasn't even a decade old.  Stalin was insane and the people (an enormous lot of people) of the newly formed (read: forced together) USSR were reticent to step in line.  Therefore, Stalin was more that a little ham-fisted and a bit maniacal in execution of the blueprint for Lenin's dictatorial theory.  He felt, "eh, a few million countrymen need to be shot in the face - for the Fatherland."  The Democratic Republic might be young in comparison to the United Kingdom, Italy, France, or China but when George W. Bush or Barack Obama were sworn in as Presidents, our nation had been in the business of subverting the public interest for over 225 years.  It is now 2013, the president does not need to shoot people in the face.  First World dictators are significantly more sophisticated than that these days.  They learned from Hitler and others you don't have to kill those who lay down and die, or take rights that are freely abdicated.  And those who do resist? At the president's disposal are: Predator drones, the IRS, the FBI, the ATF, the SEC, the CIA, the NSA, and executive orders.  You can go from being Jane Q. Public without so much as a traffic violation, to being water-boarded in a country the name of which you can't even pronounce, admitting to having tea with a one-eyed purple people-eater in Afghanistan faster that you can recite the Pledge of Allegiance; and all it will take is a phone call and a few keystrokes on a keyboard.  No death squads or death camps required.
"When fascism comes to America, it will not be in brown and black shirts. It will not be with jack-boots. It will be Nike sneakers and Smiley shirts . . . Germany lost the Second World War. Fascism won it." - George Carlin, 2005
This is not World War II, or even the Cold War, and we don't live in the Third World.  This is 21st century America in the Information Age, where everything happens on the strength of the dollar and the spin of the electron.  Our work is virtual, our worth is virtual, our debt is virtual, and our identity is virtual.  Today we could be here, and tomorrow could be the beginning of a decades long fight by our friends and family to figure out what happened to us.  It is time to stop being naive and open our eyes to the reality of our existence: we live in Babylon - and there is a hand writing on the wall.

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Every Child Left Behind, Except Congress'

File Under: With Both Barrels

It is disturbing that self-defense, or protection of students in the case of very small children, comes into the discussion of teachers being able to teach.  At one point in our history, teachers who chose to do so, carried firearms for their personal protection. Nevertheless, every decision from whether teachers would be allowed to administer corporal punishment, to the ratio of students to teachers in a class, to whether when/how many new text books are purchased, to do we hire new teachers/give out salary increases - all these decisions, including should teachers carry firearms, require our consent by actively or passively voting for or against them.

We could ask why since 1966 or even just since Columbine and Virginia Tech: the Constitutional right to carry on campus has not been restored, schools have not been hardened, crisis prevention/intervention plans implemented/improved, and every school does not have a resident law enforcement officer like Carolyn Gudger who prevented a disturbed man from killing anyone at a Tennessee high school in 2010? Well the answer is obvious.  If the legislature that provides your schools with funds for all those wonderful life-saving initiatives is only concerned with reducing the capacity of firearm magazines has already, by slashing education budgets, categorically stated that teachers are over-payed and textbooks are too expensive, who or what do you think they are truly concerned about?  They do not care if your children are properly educated, but now you are to believe their hearts are moved by your children's safety?

Why was it NOT time to do something in 2006 when a sick man stormed an Amish schoolhouse, with what appeared to be a rape kit, and ultimately murdered and maimed ten girls ages 6-13? Was it not the time because he did not have an AR-15/AK-47 variant during that atrocity? Was it not the time because the number of deaths was a single digit number?  Was it not the time because the victims were from a fringe group, not main street America suburbanites? Was it not the time because no one on either side of the aisle in Congress wanted to screw up their electoral prospects for 2008 on an unpopular legislative issue?  Was it not the time because FEMA, the authorities, the Media, Congress, and anti-gun lobbyist did not have the time in the wake of an actual tragedy to collude against the American people by playing upon their heart strings?  Maybe now is the time because the incumbent government has been given another four-year hall pass, and we finally get to see exactly what "change" we signed up for.

To Be Or Not To Be

File Under: The Law Is Not Mocked

Will we finally correct our long-standing wrong position on corporate personhood?
Through a clever act of civil disobedience, California lawyer and activist hopes to strike down this centuries old jurisprudence.

I believe the judge in the case took the easy road out.  Rather than deciding on the merits of Frieman's arguments, the judge merely passed the case on to a higher court.  Therefore, for now Frieman has to pay his fine and corporations are officially still people - sort of.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Not a Badge, Not a Cape

File Under: With Both Barrels

A permit to carry and conceal does not grant you the power of police, judge, jury, and executioner - and it does not make you invincible or infallible.
The following video is a thought-provoking statement on responsible concealed carry from a veteran.  It never ceases to amaze me how after shootings, such as those that occurred in Newtown, when all the shooters are dead that even the authorities are confused on the number and identities of the shooters. Yet, non combat-trained individuals who have never exchanged gunfire in the defense of human life are able to speak so confidently and eloquently about being heroes in a dynamic, chaotic shooting situation.

Owning a firearm and carrying a firearm, merely exercising your crucial Second Amendment right, are weighty responsibilities.  However, drawing and using your firearm are among the heaviest decisions - decisions that cannot be made lightly, cannot be taken back, and will have far-reaching permanent consequences to more than just you and your target.  The line between protecting yourself and protecting the innocent is fractious.  If we did not believe it was necessary we would not have such things as soldiers, police, or child protective services sewn into our society - we would not have social compacts at all.  Some people don't have to be preoccupied with their own safety in their day-to-day lives; judges and politicians for instance, have others dedicated to their protection.  Others, like teachers and parents, do not have armed bodyguards within shouting distance should a crisis arise.  One cannot judge what decision another person makes in that situation when after decades of this problem we have come up with no strategic or tactical solutions to violent crime other than to rob individuals of their last ditch means of mounting an effective personal defense.  It is sad to note that during the shootings at Fort Hood, a military base, until the police showed up the only individual with a firearm was the shooter.  Two individuals chose, despite being unarmed, to try to stop him (one by charging him, the other by throwing a chair) and for their valor they lost their lives.  Did they make the right choice? Would things have turned out differently had they sought shelter or evaded? Would they have stopped him early in the conflict if they were armed? These are unknowns.  I like to think their actions bought time - time for a potential victim to get away, time for someone with a firearm to arrive, time for the shooter to stop.  In the end, the individuals with firearms ended the killing as they were trained to do.

Teachers and parents (or just about any other civilian) are not trained to respond to these type of threats; and as long as the debate on gun-control continues, it does not look like states will provide school administrators with funding for concrete preparedness training of real worth.  In the example of a school shooting: Do you know how many shooters there are? Do you know where the shooters are? Do you have the right equipment to defend against and end the threat? Have the shooters implemented any booby-traps? Are police, uniform or undercover, on scene?  The variables go on from there.  Are you going to abandon your loved ones to go hunting down a shooter?  I seriously doubt it.

The above interview with Nick Meli, the citizen who confronted the Oregon Shopping Mall Shooter, helps to illustrate that the decision to use or not use your firearm in a defensive situation is not a simple one.  In a crisis, the best thing you can do to start saving lives is to protect yours first and foremost, then see what you can do to either hunker down and avoid the danger or usher you and your family/friends to safety.  By doing that, you have automatically saved lives.  Once you've accomplished that returning to the danger zone, where you have no idea what's happening, to try to become a living or dead hero has an equal chance of doing harm or good.  Heroism is wonderful; certainly makes for inspiring stories and grateful families.  However, what saves more lives day-in and day-out is proper training, preparedness, alertness, wisdom, and decisive action.  Perhaps that is the stuff of which real heroes are made.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Life and Death of Stars

Life and Death of Stars
File Under: It Is In Our Hands

Aaron Swartz 1986-2012
An unfortunate fact of life is that truly visionary individuals are often the most troubled. They see in the world the imbalance, discord, and strife that mirrors their own. Likely these inner demons and inner turmoil are what drives them to create, to pioneer, to innovate, to advocate, and to inspire in an effort to bring about not only progress, but also the peace and harmony that escapes them personally. The great injustice of life is that for so many of these brilliant minds their life's work goes unnoticed and appreciated by the masses who will reap benefit from it or worse these individuals become victims of societal oppression and persecution. Sadly bright, brilliant stars burn out the fastest and for one reason or another can lose the path they have illuminated for so many others. When many former beacons no longer possess the will to shine they stumble and fall from grace. For others however, when the torment of this world becomes too colossal and the isolation too extreme, they commit the ultimate act of desperation – and we forever lose a star. Most recently the skies of openness, freedom of information, and sharing on the Internet were dimmed when at the age of 26, pioneering programmer and Reddit founder Aaron Swartz took his life on January 11, 2013. In addition to his technological achievements, Aaron fought to keep the Internet free of control from the government and greedy corporations as an activist against such tyrannical initiatives like SOPA.

Ilya Zhitomirskiy 1989-2011
Suicide underscores the reality that our society is ailing under a cancer of the soul stemming from our partisan lobbyist-controlled politics. This country has been sold out to globalist corporations who have destroyed family and community leaving Media and Government in their place to act as sword and shield as they seek to shape our collective futures. This confederacy has systematically devalued American workers, strong families, strong communities, common sense, high moral values, independence, free thought, self reliance, transparency, and ingenuity. Surreptitiously the ideas and principles upon which we founded this Nation, and fought so bloodily to defend, have been subverted, sabotaged, and abandoned. The product of this decay is a society that places no value on the life and worth of an individual, a society that does not seek to redress systemic problems, and a society that sees its people taking drastic, senseless actions to escape their drastic, senseless lives. For their physical, mental, and emotional illnesses these individuals could not find an answer, a means to cope, or any comfort, and for this reason they took their own lives – they imploded. Others in their sadness or madness amplify the tragedy by feeling the innocent must join them in their suffering and death.
Tony Scott 1944-2012
Political action is not the answer, politics is the problem – people are the answer: people caring about people, people exercising moral decency, people using common sense, people strengthening families, people rebuilding communities, people taking action, and people demanding and advocating for meaningful reform. We must stop allowing the Media to tell us what to care about and what is important. Stop allowing corporations to dictate the course of our future. Stop allowing the power-hungry and corrupt to lead us down a path of destruction. Stop doping our problems and shoving them into places we can ignore. Stop assigning blame to inanimate objects and fueling pointless debates that lead us nowhere.

Junior Seau 1969-2012
Our sons and daughters are dying in foreign lands in wars that do not concern America; our children, grandchildren, and friends, are murdered in their places of learning, work, recreation or worship by the mentally-ill who have lost connection with reality; and suicide is now the leading cause of death by injury in America, surpassing car accidents and gun deaths. Why? Because this country is owned, operated, and educated by globalist corporations, corrupt power-hungry politicians, and the Media – none of whom care one iota about you, human life, or this country. So long as that continues to be the case the stars that illuminate our skies will continue to wink out and die until we are all cast in permanent darkness.

Don Cornelius 1936-2012
Rest in peace: Mike Kelley, Bob Welch, Bill Zeller, Ric Weiland, Tim Stryker, Paco Menendez, Philip Gale, Gene Khan, and many more.