Monday, March 28, 2011

To true Americans - this article is a call to action...

March 28, 2011
Colorado, USA


A nation whose founders gave it an ability to correct its failings and which finally did so in the 1960's by guaranteeing equality to all its citizens now finds itself bogged down in a quagmire of "political correctness", intimidation and animosity among its citizens. The culture, which once emphasized honor, integrity, self-reliance and restraint, is now beset with greed, corruption, despair and degeneracy.

Replacing the President by electing politicians who will make some cuts in spending or modifying entitlement programs may delay but will not save America from eventually entering the annals of the rise and fall of great nations. The only factor that can truly alter the future is a change in the hearts and minds of the people and their leaders.


Can We Save America?
By Steve McCann
March 27, 2011

Sixty years ago in February I came to the United States. I was classified as a "displaced person" from World War II with no identity or knowledge of when, where or to whom I was born, an orphan who had miraculously survived on the streets of a war ravaged city somewhere in central Europe. On that bitterly cold overcast morning as I stood, alone at the railing of a ship, staring at the iconic image of the Statue of Liberty, I found myself arriving in a strange country itself coming face to face with a new and unwelcome role as the foremost nation on earth about to embark on being the most dominate economic and military power in modern history.

In 1951 the United States in addition to being the long established beacon of individual freedom for the oppressed around the planet and still trying to shake the memory and adversity of the Great Depression and World War II, had, by default, assumed the mantle of leader of the free world. The forty-two year military and geo-political stalemate with America's one-time ally in the War, the Soviet Union, was in its fourth year. The beginning stage of the greatest economic expansion in the annals of man was underway. There were still vestiges of the nations troubled past as 15% of the population still suffered from institutional discrimination based solely on skin color. Yet optimism regarding the future was palpable.

Not having had the opportunity to experience a childhood and unable to escape the events of the past, I came to this country already old beyond my years and as a consequence I was never able to be fully absorbed into the mainstream of the culture. I, as did other survivors of the War or those who lived through the deprivations of the Soviet Union or the re-education camps of Red China and immigrated to the United States, became not only the most loyal of citizens but in essence outside observers and part-time participants in the passing American scene.

These past sixty years have been a watershed in the history of America. In that extraordinarily short era in the life of a nation, the United States, which during this period became the most powerful country in the history of mankind, is now facing national insolvency and a rapid descent into mediocrity. The people of the country, once brimming with confidence, are now fearful of the future for their progeny.

A nation whose founders gave it an ability to correct its failings and which finally did so in the 1960's by guaranteeing equality to all its citizens now finds itself bogged down in a quagmire of "political correctness", intimidation and animosity among its citizens. The culture, which once emphasized honor, integrity, self-reliance and restraint, is now beset with greed, corruption, despair and degeneracy.

The United States and its people, unlike so many other nations throughout the world, have been blessed by not experiencing any overwhelming national adversity in over 150 years. While the Great Depression was an economic disaster, it pales in comparison to the wars, repressions and genocide over the past century. Events which not only destroyed countries and entire continents but claimed the lives of over 170 million and another 200+ million wounded or displaced.

Since 1951, the Gross Domestic Product of the United States has (adjusted for inflation) grown by a factor of 6x or average of 9.6% per year. The personal incomes of Americans increased (adjusted for inflation) by a factor of 7x or an average of 11.8% per year. Never in history has any nation experienced such phenomenal wealth creation in any sixty year period.

As America has experienced the best of times the immutable and fundamental nature of the human race became the catalyst for the dilemmas and anxieties the country is now experiencing.

The most dominant trait mankind has, as do all living creatures, is an innate desire to survive and prosper. While some may willingly choose to pursue subsistence on their own terms, to the majority of the human race, the path of least resistance is the most desired. Thus mankind is susceptible to crime and resentment or violence towards those who may have more. Religions and societies over the centuries have sought to control this predisposition by setting forth absolute tenets of behavior.

As a corollary to this trait, many people, particularly in a wealthy society, are very open to and expect a central authority to provide them with the means of livelihood with no thought as to the how.

A secondary characteristic of the human race, and the most dangerous, is the need by some to maintain total control and power over their fellow man, as they are predeterminedly superior to the unwashed masses that make up the bulk of any society. The only restraint on this human characteristic is age-old established ethical and behavioral guidelines which can be easily and often are ignored.

The confluence of these human traits combined with seemingly never-ending economic growth and a lack of any national adversity has placed the United States in its present predicament.

The current Ruling Class is predominantly made up of those active in various political movements in the 1960's through the early 1980's and is the most self-centered and egotistical generation in the history of the country. Having been raised in unfathomable prosperity and told how unique they were, many sought out political and social philosophies which aided and abetted their determination to justify a hedonistic lifestyle, eliminate any ethical or behavioral absolutes and solidify their need for power and notoriety.

Concurrent with that approach and needing the acquiescence of the populace to keep themselves in power it was necessary to first delineate people by group and pit them against each other in order to keep the electorate divided. Secondly, no limit was placed on the largess and promises emanating from Washington D.C. and the various state capitals which were willingly accepted by the recipients. Lastly the public, thus content, was inundated with images and propaganda through the media and entertainment outlets promoting an erosion of the culture and ethical standards.

Those of us who immigrated to the United States and experienced first-hand the devastation and suffering in various countries and societies know that this destruction came about not by the symptom of economic setbacks but by the disease of corruption and unbridled lust for power.

It has been difficult and heart-rending to watch over the years what has happened to a nation we have all come to love. In order to awaken at least a part of the populace it has taken an imminent financial and societal disaster and the election of President Obama, who personifies the excesses of the past sixty years. He is someone steeped in radical re-distributionist ideology; he is dishonest, as he is a believer in the end justifies any means; and he is dominated by an overweening narcissism. Mr. Obama is the epitome of someone with a lack of character, as manifested in his indecisiveness and willingness to destroy America's future in order to permanently seize control over the citizenry.

Replacing the President by electing politicians who will make some cuts in spending or modifying entitlement programs may delay but will not save America from eventually entering the annals of the rise and fall of great nations. The only factor that can truly alter the future is a change in the hearts and minds of the people and their leaders. The foibles of human nature are hard to overcome without a massive national catastrophe as a catalyst.

The founders of the United States were aware of the failings of mankind and as a result tried to establish a government structure which mitigated those traits. That structure is still in place, but are there national leaders willing to risk their ambitions in order to tell their constituents the awful truth? That the future of the United States is dependent not only upon immediate changes in fiscal policy, but more importantly the people and their leaders must re-constitute American society wherein honor, integrity, self-reliance, restraint, and respect for one's neighbor are paramount. These attributes will also ultimately solve the nation's long-term financial woes and insure the future. Unless the country does so, it will inevitably join the likes of Rome and other nations on the ash heap of history.

The image of the Statue of Liberty on that cold dark morning sixty years ago is forever in the forefront of my memory, together with the most important day of my life; when I became a citizen and at last had a name and a country I could call my own. I speak for many others like me who were welcomed with open arms into the United States, please do not allow the noblest experiment in the history of mankind to fail; if so there will never be another fountainhead of freedom and liberty to take its place.

Source: American Thinker.com, Can We Save America?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Best Test of Truth is the Power of Thought

March 8, 2011
Colorado, USA

VoltairePersecution for the expression of opinions seems to me perfectly logical. If you have no doubt of your premises or your power and want a certain result with all your heart you naturally express your wishes in law and sweep away all opposition... But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas... that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution.
-- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr (1919)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tread carefully, the first amendment is not a toy...

March 6, 2011
Colorado, USA



Freedom of Speech...

No matter what is said...
No matter how it is said...
No matter who is saying it...

It is for me...
It is for you...

It is for us...
It is for them...

It is the law...

True, there are those who practice free speech with malice in their heart. As heinous as that may be, malicious thoughts and words are not illegal. It is not against the law to be stupid or vile or hateful in speech or expression in this country. Some people find the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and other documents of U.S. law offensive. Some people find the words of the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance offensive. Some people call the flag, a soldier's uniform, the statue of liberty and other emblems of this nation an eyesore. Some people do not appreciate certain words in a novel, or the colors on a biker's back, or the prayer on a Christian's lips. Some people say women must hide their faces and other parts of their body, because their personal idea of God demands it. Still others demand we make unlawful the horrendous speech practiced by members of the Westboro Baptist Church Cult. Shall we allow those who fear freedom of expression to censor or abolish that which they find distasteful for so arbitrary a reason as that? Shall we allow those who seize upon the opportunity to exploit our disagreements to further their own agenda the power to do that in order to validate our own self interests?

First Amendment
So -- who gets to say what is socially acceptable speech and what is not? Who gets to decide who must follow the law of the land and who will not?

Not you.
Not me.
Not them.

I do not tolerate anyone dictating what I choose to see and hear, or read and write. I could not in good conscience practice that type of oppression on another. There are enough tyrants in the world.

The ideology behind Freedom, Liberty, and Justice for all is an open-ended concept, all inclusive, if you will. The law has the final say.

If the sad day ever arrives when this is not so in America, then we have lost one of the most precious freedoms known to man - the right to speak our minds - the right to be heard without fear of punishment - the right to agree with the masses or the right of a lone individual to dissent. In this country if you do not like the speech of another person or group of people - you have the right to stand up and shout disagreement. You may shout them down, you may drown them out, you may tune them out, you may expose their speech as loathsome or false, fanatical or idiotic, but you do not have the right to silence that person's speech simply because you do not like what they have to say. Thank goodness for that, or there would be a nation-wide shortage of duct tape and half the politicians I know would be trying to match their ties to a certain shade of silver.

I, for one, prefer to know the mindset of a person who disagrees with me. I can deal with exposed stupidity or mindless hate on my own terms. I'd rather it not come at me from out the shadows of discontent.

This is a cautionary tale. Freedom of speech is not a toy. The spirit of free and open debate and exchange of ideas (even stupid ones) is something I support with all I am. Lose this one freedom, even a tiny smidgen of it and all other freedoms will soon follow.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Supreme Court 8-1 protects free speech of hate-mongerers...

March 2, 2011
Colorado USA

Supreme Court: 'hurtful speech' of Westboro Baptist Church is protected



“Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and – as it did here – inflict great pain,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker,” he said.

The lone dissenter, Justice Samuel Alito said the nation’s commitment to free and open debate “is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case.”

I am going on record here as agreeing with Justice Roberts.

Source: Christian Science Monitor.com, Supreme Court: 'hurtful speech' of Westboro Baptist Church is protected
Opinion: Snyder vs Phelps, October 2010, March 2011