May 30, 2010
Hecate's Crossroad: Never Forget
Note the Pentagram on the headstone.
The wars we fight are never crusades. True, bad things happen. Those few, isolated incidents are the result of individual decisions made by disturbed people who wind up with a uniform and a loaded firearm.
There has never been a more ethical fighting unit than the American military. The self-sacrifice endured by our fighting men and women in their extreme efforts to avoid innocent casualties are heroic on a scale never before seen in human history. They fight this way because they believe in ending conflicts with the least amount of damage to human life and habitation possible so that good, honest, hardworking people of all cultures will have the opportunity to feed their families and raise their children.
America fights to defend the entire world. I do not like this, but I understand it, believe in it, and will support it until my dying day.
We didn't volunteer to be the world's police force, but finding ourselves in this role, we will continue to perform it with honor and honesty until the world shifts it away from us. Before you jump on the bandwagon for a global government backed by UN forces, consider carefully their record versus the American record. Your children's future depends on it.
May 22, 2010
Now I know that when sitting on the beach nothing beats a good thriller or a spicy romance. Unfortunately, we are at a major crisis point in world history and if you spend your summer reading escapist novels the changes that are coming will catch you completely by surprise. The world is teetering between spiraling into a permanent decline and launching into a new era of grace and prosperity. Every vote you cast, every letter you write, will have a dramatic impact on your children and grandchildren. Now more than ever it is important to get the facts and stay focused on them.
The books listed below have had a powerful impact on my worldview. The closest comparison I can make would be when I began reading the Bible at age eleven. For me, the past two years have been just as life-changing as early adolescence was and these books are the reason.
More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics)
A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror
Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution
America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It
Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto
The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!
In the end, some of you will make different choices than I do. This is a good thing. It does not matter which side of the debate you are on. The single most important thing for everyone, this year more than any other, is to get the facts, and then based on the facts, pick a side and fight for it with all you're worth.
This is the year that everything changes. Don't be caught by surprise. Get the facts and get involved.
Update: May 23, 2010
Finally! I was beginning to believe the mainstream media had forgotten they were private enterprises dedicated to profit. At least one person has finally figured out that this year is the year we as a people decide if we want a free market capitalist economy or a centrally managed socialist economy.
Arthur C. Brooks, via the Washington Post:
America's New Culture War
May 17, 2010
My own quest began here:
Real Clear Politics: Robin Hood as Libertarian Hero
which led to here:
Village Voice: Robin Hood as Tea Party Hero
NY Times: Robin Hood Re-Invented
All of that left me wondering once again as I often have before, just how much history there might be behind this always entertaining rogue. Google sent me halfway around the world and back again, but I finally settled on the site below because it seemed the most complete examination of the many myths and the possible history that might have inspired them:
Robin Hood the Bold Outlaw: In Search of the Real Robin Hood
Everyone comes away from Robin Hood with their own key memories that help identify their relationship to the myth. I have not seen Ridley Scott's movie, but I have seen, read, and heard so may different retellings that they all have blurred together in my own personal synopsis of the myth which goes something like this:
Sir Robin of Loxley follows King Richard to the Levant in support of his crusade. He is removed from the King's forces either through capture or wounds, and returns to England ahead of his King. When he arrives home he finds his father has been executed by Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham under mysterious circumstances which no one can explain to him. When he calls upon the Prince to report on the crusades and King Richard, he is imprisoned for treason, but manages to escape. Friar Tuck, also in a bad spot with the local Archbishop, helps him find Little John, the leader of a band of outlaws in Sherwood Forest. They join forces, but Robin proves to be the better leader. Marion, Robin's childhood friend, is captured by the Sheriff of Nottingham who hopes to use her as bait to draw Robin out of Sherwood Forest. Robin, Little John, and Friar Tuck rescue her and thus begins the wild rampages of Robin and his merry band as they wage what amounts to a guerrilla war against Prince John and the Sheriff. Richard returns, learns of John's predations, executes the Sheriff, and then pardons Robin and his band.
The whole "robs from the rich and gives to the poor" part never really struck me as being essential to the story. It always felt like a distraction from the core story of freedom and brave individuals striving to right a series of grievous wrongs. I often wondered if somewhere along the line it had been added on as a way of justifying the very violent, destructive war being waged by Robin and his band. After all, they are essentially just a band of thugs using the natural cover of the forest to give them an unearned advantage over the better equipped, officially sanctioned soldiers and deputies.
My point being, long before I read any of the things I found today I'd already decided that if opportunity presented itself I was definitely going to see the new movie. I was a bit worried that in today's political climate the "robs from the rich and gives to the poor" might have been elevated to the theme of everything, but as far as I could tell from the advertising, just the opposite was more along the line of the movie's true theme.
Happily, from what I have read today, it does indeed appear that Ridley Scott has returned the story to what in my mind has always been it's true, original, and honest intent: the story of a heroic rebel fighting for justice against a cold, cruel world.
Pro Libertate: The Death of Aiyana Jones: "Showtime Syndrome" Claims a Child
Detroit Free Press: Police, family look for answers in girl's death
Are you a fan of reality television? Especially, are you a fan of "The First 48"?
Congratulations, you just killed a seven year-old girl in Detroit.
Yes, you read that right. In a free market capitalist economy, the final decider in what succeeds, what fails, what is important, and what is not, is the consumer. Every time you turn on that program, DVR that program, visit the website, and participate in the forums, you are encouraging police departments everywhere to grandstand, be explosive, and produce arrests on the basis of shoddy, visually stunning investigations suitable for television viewers to sit watching while consuming their favorite snacks. Exactly the kind of programs whose high ratings encourage advertisers to pass over hundreds of millions of dollars to keep the cameras rolling.
Your decision to watch this program added another uptick to the rating, pushed up the value of the advertising time associated with it, and earned another fat bonus for the low-budget production crew.
Every purchase you make has, quite honestly, global ramifications. Please be careful where you spend your money, what television programs you watch, and who you vote for during elections. Your one, tiny voice reaches all the way around the world, even into living rooms in Detroit where seven year-old girls are quietly sleeping beneath Disney princess blankets.
In today's world, every single choice we make is a moral choice.
Freedom of the press is one thing, and it is one thing I will defend to my dying day, but I have not trusted the press to report honestly on anything since I was in junior high school and they completely misrepresented something tragic and traumatic that happened at my school. The press is free to spread lies, hypocrisy, and blatant falsehoods because if they were not, then those few honest articles that slip through the cracks would never be published.
Today I have yet another example of blatant and obvious bias with a clear anti-gun, anti-freedom agenda.
This past weekend, May 14th & 15th, the NRA held their annual convention. This time in South Carolina. I wanted to be there, but could not because this weekend I was taking a CCW certification seminar. So when one of the blogs I regularly visit did a brief write-up, I was thrilled to read it:
The Breda Fallacy: Neat!
Please read it for yourself. Notice how easily the attendees interacted with the protestors. Note the friendly reparte. No one objected. Respect and even admiration flowed from the attendees to the protestors. The attendees did not agree, but that did not prevent them from respecting the protestors and interacting with them in a friendly manner.
Now look how the press "reported" the very same event, including the very same interaction:
Politics Daily: NRA Protest Small but Passionate
Say what? Where is the friendly reparte? Where is the mutual respect? Why do the protestors suddenly appear as self-righteous zealots intent on defeating the evil gun-club? How can this writer so brutually distort this encounter and still sleep at night? Does she feel no shame or guilt at her blatant and obvious falsehoods? This goes way beyond a "reinterpretation". This is not just a different viewpoint. This is a clear and blatant work of pure propoganda! And from a privately owned press!
The protestors had every right to protest. The attendees had every right to celebrate their love of firearms. And yes, Mary Curtis has every right to tell lies about the event and the interactions between the two groups. That does not mean she is entitled to be believed.
Propoganda is still propoganda. It is not truth.
May 13, 2010
(Update: 5/14/10, Apparently Ron Gochez is a high school teacher, not a university professor)
Freedom of speech is an inalienable human right. This means it is a right we all have as children of god. It is a right we are born with and we retain until we die. Even if we are filled with hatred, we have the right to express that hatred. An inalienable right must either belong to everyone or no one. There is no middle ground. A terrorist supporter is free to believe the terrorists are right in their actions, is free to provide moral support to those actions, and is free to campaign in defense of those actions. This is important because any right denied to the terrorist's supporters can also be denied to the terrorist's opponents and that is a situation we must avoid at all costs. As soon as a verbal disparagement or disagreement is denied, the door is opened wide for any kind of vocal dissent to be disallowed as well.
For example, I strongly disagree with the MSA member in the first video and I am disgusted at her hypocrisy. I feel there is defensible grounds to dismiss her from UCSD, which is an educational institution supported in large part by California taxpayers. I am also appalled at the hypocrisy of Ron Gochez, the UCLA professor in the third video who is clearly seen preaching hatred for America and support for La Raza. He has no right to accept taxpayer money in his paycheck and then turn around and advocate the destruction of the system that employs him! However, both of them do have the right to feel as they do and to express those feelings publically. I will defend to my dying day their inalienable right to feel as they do and to express themselves publically, but I will not excuse their receiving taxpayer money in support of those beliefs. I will do this not because I feel they are justified in their beliefs, but because their inalienable right is the same as mine and if I defend mine, I must also defend theirs. Anything else would be a mirror image of the same fascism these two people are professing support for.
Compare these two viewpoints with the recent Arizona initiative being discussed in the middle video. People like Ron Gochez and Pres. Obama claim the law creates racial tension because it requires local law enforcement to stop everyone of Latino descent and demand proof of either citizenship or immigration status. In reality, the law itself specifically prohibits such actions, but don't take my word for it, read the law for yourself!
In line with this, I also believe that "public safety laws" which imprison people and/or fine them for screaming "Fire!" in a theater or an enclosed market are also unconstitutional and need to be repealed. Just because an action is dangerous or foolish does not mean it must be illegal. It would be just as easy, and just as unconstitutional, to enact laws demanding that people get up from their seats and walk slowly to the exit when someone screams, "Fire!" Every individual is responsible for both their own belief system and their own physical safety. After all, it does not matter how many laws there are, there is no way to stop or prevent stupity, and the same is true of hatred. Violence itself must be punished because such actions violate the inalienable rights of the victim, not because they offend some complicated ideal of public safety.
Morality and ethics are too frail a foundation to build a legal system on. In the end, every individual must choose their own value system and accept the consequences of those values. Any attempt to impose one's values on society as a whole is fascist in intent, no matter how well justified in either the name of God or "the public safety".
Just like the scripture I posted at the beginning of this note. I didn't post it there because I am insisting everyone who reads this must adopt it as their own. I posted it there because it is the foundation my entire understanding of freedom rests upon.