Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mr. Darcy Responds

Another moment of fun, though given recent events, mostly nonpolitical ones, these chances to relax and unwind have been wonderful.
Dear Miss,
I must apologize for my baffling social faults, though it does me good to find that you saw past them all. While it is true I came with a head full of bulleted notes to discuss, one glance of your smile scattered my thoughts beyond recall. All there was left to do was simply hope and wonder. The food was well prepared, and out did my own attempts, now I sit and wonder about the opportunities that may still exist.

Bless the boon that brought your words to me, for now I know the truth of what I failed to see. It’s here where I admit my shock about how we met, given your glamour and how I was rather unkempt. While I removed my hat as good manners suggest, past that I was floundering to hold your interest. While my camera gave my hands something to do, it blocked everything I wanted to say to you. I wished the night wouldn’t end, but to my chagrin time swept past us both.

I confess that I knew neither what to say nor what to do, my wits battling with my heart. Understand I think I might love you to, but my minds been waging a war of worth the whole time since. Would my jokes bring a smile to your face, so filled with grace that that ballets don’t compare? Could our love make us feel like we were walking on air? While I’d give you everything I could, every joy we might reach, would you ever regret loving me? These fears, how they raged against the wall, wondering if it was better we hadn’t met at all. Doubts like these had brought to my knees, whilst the words you wrote have reinvigorated my soul.

So, dear miss, please pardon my hesitation, and let us try this again. Though my palms may sweat, and anxiety goes on, I’d sooner risk failure than suffer regret. I would love to learn the truth of the something fierce you hide, so please let it show true and let us bare it all with pride.

The Bravest Thing

Another geekly inspired blog post follows.  For those coming here for my punditry, a political piece is in the works, but I think it is past time for a volley from the rest of me. Balance in all things, or some such.
I am man enough to admit when something draws me to tears. Primarily, it’s the notion of those who stay behind to save their friends. Wonderfully cinematic moments, complete with Lens flares, depicted the abrupt change in the building blocks of CAPT James T. Kirk, his father defiantly driving the U.S.S. Kelvin into the Romulan mining ship. Literature is filled with instances of a defiant few defending their fellows, usually dwarves (R. A. Salvatore, I’d recommend a read), despite the odds. Events such like this exist in our media as a lesson for the upcoming generations.  The aim is to instill ethics and morals, a sense of community, and an understanding about the notion of self sacrifice.
While the following poem isan answer to the creative writing task from Marian Call’s Adventure Quest, it has been floating through the note book for a while. Now it has a title.
The Bravest Thing.
Much is said of the brave few who stay behind
The courageous defending the units retreat
Memorials are constructed by the thankful
The names of the fallen inscribed in memory

Their families are celebrated for their acts
While the be grieved only wish they were home
Medals and ceremony is given in thanks
Each paling against the sacrifice of those few

Less is said of those who escaped and survived
Those who owe their lives to the men they left
Riddled with guilt for deserting their fellows
Hoping to live a life of merit in their honor

It is a great thing to give your life in service
Sacrificing yourself for the betterment of others
It is another thing entirely to have to watch
While your friend sacrifices his life for yours

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Zombie's Endorsement

What follows will be almost one hundred and thirty-five degree turn from everything previous. For a time, let us set aside the cynic and embrace the geek, but keep the social motif.
Everyone, at some point or another, wonders about their contribution to society. Most wish to leave a lasting mark of their existence. Whether it is on the grand scale of creating history, or a modest aspiration to be remembered fondly and carried in the hearts of those we touched. Even a minor impact such as that will leave lasting impressions. Bypassing the clich├ęd metaphor of ripples in a pond, look at the world around us. A college student creates a social media site and it blossoms into a power house. The digital age has wrought havoc on legacy news media, and the weekend yard sale and classified ads have evolved into Craigslist and EBay. An Alaskan singer/songwriter arranges, and coordinates an all state tour of the United States, plus some Canada, via Twitter and Facebook.
This entry is part review, part show of appreciation, part celebratory and all congratulatory of the music styling and showmanship of Marian Call. An independent musician, home based out of Alaska, that has shown us the worth of an old typewriter as a percussion instrument, the dulcet tones of a kazoo, and even her Cat zippy joined in the fun. I have had the pleasure of attending four of her concerts, two of them in person (disclaimer: Caught the Thinkgeek HQ and 50-State Victory concerts as they streamed). Each show enjoys its own nuance, and at each event I watched as she endeavored to speak to everyone. From hello to goodbye, she speaks with sincerity and kindness, succeeding in getting a smile from even the most socially awkward, like myself. The greatest part is that you aren’t there to watch the show, but to be a part of it. As the opening notes of the folk version of We’re Out for Blood (back story shortly), expect her smiling face to offer words of encouragement to join the chorus of this stress erasing song. “It’s Good To Have Jayne on Your Side” begs for the dark wood of an Irish Pub, pints of liquid courage, and twenty or so of your newest friends for a rambunctious sing along.
The joy and sense of community gives the memory of every concert a warm radiance, but that is simply the benefit of meeting Marian Call. For background, consider the origins of We’re Out for Blood, (hoping to do it justice). Marian Call was approached by the Creator of Zombie Cheerleader Camp, who hoped she could provide a punk rock theme song to help make the movie. Baffled at his request, she pointed to her stock of folk songs, and asked why her, given the conflict of the styles. His response, “I heard you would do it for free.” That aside, the situation was resolved, and the punk version is now available on in the Songs of the Month and Singles.
That is the nature of her personality. As she stated, while introducing the folk version of We’re Out for Blood, “How do you say no to making a song for a zombie movie?” That adventurous side step has set the tone for the strongest portion of her fan base, her Zombie Cheerleaders. It is that same geeky passion that provided the impetus for the newest rendition of humor and spunk, her Shark Week Song, a bubbly upbeat ditty celebrating the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Rhymes, exclamation points, and guest appearances of TV personalities followed, each another note in the anthem of awesome produced by Marian Call.
Now, she is touring Europe, taking her music across the pond, and working the triumphant rerelease of her new album, Something Fierce. From the first through the thirteenth of November, she has invited her fans, among which I number (guess that’s a given), to join in the adventure, tasking out word games to incite interest and buzz. The title is the embodiment of the wonderfully jazzy number, Dear Mr. Darcy, a tale of love that wasn’t, or rather a confession of confidence and self assurance. The latter a banner that Marian has continuously to wave with authority. A female celebrity in geek culture, standing as a role model for the future generations of geek girls; a personification of the “Forget Barbie, buy your daughter a ray gun” philosophy (not a knock on Barbie, but on gender type casting). Her entrepreneurial spirit, drive to succeed, and passion for the art, serve as sterling examples for us all.
So, take a lesson from this artist’s labors of love. Strive for greater achievements; act to leave a lasting impression on the world, even if it is only your little corner of it. Show the world that you too have Something Fierce Inside. I wish all of you happiness and everything short of contentment, so you will always have something to strive for.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Patriot's Serenity

A volunteer to the service, he joined the cause of independence because his morality and faith demanded it of him. He wasn’t a General and won’t be found in the history books. Malcolm Reynolds was a Sergeant, leading thirty men into the fight. As the battle raged on, his military leadership lay dead or dying, the ranks of men and women following his lead swelled to two thousand. In the final climatic days of the battle for Serenity Valley, there were only four hundred still alive under his command. Confronted by staggering losses and overwhelming opposing numbers, the leaders of the Independents surrendered the field. While politicians and bureaucrats brokered the terms, two weeks of waiting whittled his force to one hundred and fifty, barely eight percent of those that had followed him. Deserted by his leaders, the cause he had championed was lost. Here was a man with a history of duty and patriotism; not his punch lines, but his core beliefs. Some people don’t know what to do when their belief system collapses. Malcolm Reynolds is one of them. Mercy, forgiveness, trust. All of this, he left behind, though it could be said that he never left Serenity Valley.

Yes, the above anecdote is the foundation of a fictional character, Malcolm Reynolds of Firefly, summarized by a character establishing quote pertaining to GSGT Bob Lee Swagger from Shooter. However, its existence as fiction does not mean a quality life lesson can’t be found. It is stories such as those that our society uses to pass on ethos and morality. A similar tale was recently opinioned by LT COL Tony Shaffer, relating to the final moments of former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, an American Patriot who died during the attack on the Benghazi Consulate. All of the facts regarding the attack, it’s impetus, or the response, have not yet come out. Regrettably, they may never be fully revealed, and questions, controversy, and doubts will continue long into the future.

The notion that four Americans were abandoned in favor of political factors is mentally shattering. The greatest strength of the U.S. Military is the faith the service members have in their fellows. Each would readily sacrifice his own life to save the man next to him. More important, best expressed by the United States Marine Corps motto, Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful), is the rigid belief in No Man Left behind. A dozen will stand up, rushing to rescue one, without regard for their own lives.. In the case of Benghazi, news stories relate tales of help and aid that was ready, but never deployed. Also debated is what the Administration actually knew about the nature of the attack compared to what they told the media and public. The political spin will continue as our knowledge on the particulars are refined. To further obfuscation the matter, each side will make accusations against the other side, utilizing false impressions of their opponent’s policy to guide the conversation. What is needed, in response to all the political maneuvering, is a skeptical citizenry with a questioning attitude. Do not accept the statements from politicians, senior military leaders, or even the media pundits at face value. Ask the hard questions, insist on full disclosure, and do not relent.

Past all the political nonsense, always hold on to the heart of this story. Tyrone Woods, an American Patriot, facing overwhelming odds, fought to protect his fellows. Those moments where a select few stay behind, to defend the retreat of others, deserves to be honored and memorialized. The ability to defy one’s innate sense of self preservation and run towards the sound of gun fire must be rewarded with respect. The geek in me sees such boldness as the source for the “art reflecting life” of the fictional Browncoats from Firefly. As a final note, while you may end up on the losing side of the battle, may you never find yourself on the wrong side.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Illogical Ineqaulity

What follows will not be a socially acceptable opinion. There are many that will label me a racist, out to destroy every civil right success. So to preface the claims that follow, it is important to note that they come from a strict legal review of the situation, and reflects how I have reviewed the established rule of law.
I recently held a discussion with a legal associate on the merits and differences between the ideas of Constitutional Originalist and the belief in the Living Document. In the interest of full disclosure, I championed the cause of Originalist, as would be indicated by previous postings, and she supported the Living Document. While we were both impassioned for our cause, the discussion was amiable.
First, to avoid confusion, and demonstrating the importance of the meaning of words, we established an understanding on the basis of Originalist and Living Document, and to that end I will echo our shared definitions here:
-          Originalists believe that the words of the Constitution were set upon their ratification. Their meaning allows for only one interpretation. However, the Constitution is not a finite document, and processes have been included to modify it as society evolves.
-          The Living Document is designed to last the duration of our country. Therefore, as society changes and the legal needs evolve, the interpretation of the words of the Constitution must change to reflect that.
With that understanding set, she posed the following question to demonstrate the merits of the Living Document, which I addressed from an Originalist perspective.
“Consider two Supreme Court cases, Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which established the legal doctrine of Separate but Equal, and Brown v. Board of education (1954), which defined Separate as inherently unequal. Since the decision of each case was based in the guarantee of Equal Protection of the Law regardless of race, as defined by the Fourteenth Amendment, how do you reconcile the difference in interpretation?”
Admittedly, at the onset of the discussion I was at a disadvantage of not knowing the particulars of either case, yet I held a firm understanding of the merits of the Fourteenth Amendment. To level the field, my associate related the details of the two cases. Plessy v. Ferguson regarded the claim of Homer Plessy, a man of mixed ancestry, who claimed his Fourteenth amendment rights were violated when he was arrested for declining to move to the “colored’s only car” of train. The courts ruled that since the accommodations for “whites and colored’s” were equal, the railways policy of segregation was not a violation of his Fourteenth amendment rights. The decision, coined as Separate but Equal, justified the actions of segretationalists and was extended to schools, voting rights, and mundane items such as water fountains and restrooms. However, the doctrine was overturned in Brown v. Board of Education. Demonstrations of differences in accommodations between white and black schools were used to postulate that separate is inherently unequal. The Brown court held: “We conclude, in the field of public education, the doctrine of Separate but Equal has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are by reason deprived of equal protection of the laws as guaranteed by the Fourteenth amendment.” Despite the doctrine being found unconstitutional in this case, its application would continue until it was finally expunged by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In light of the specifics of those two cases, and my understanding of the Fourteenth amendment, I provided my answer with no regard to political correctness. At this point, I ask that you bear with me as I state my case, holding judgment and personal attacks till the end. The argument of separate being inherently unequal is logically false. While it can be demonstrated that inequalities existed between separated entities, this only implies a failure of each being held and maintained to an equal standard. The decision made in the Brown court was not in keeping with the limitations of the Constitution, but rather an act of judicial activism for the sake of political expediency. The Fourteenth amendment provides for the equal protection of the law for all citizens, regardless of race. No measure is given, or direction, for integration of the races. In overturning the doctrine of Separate but Equal, social concerns were allowed to trump the Rule of Law.
Now, do not misconstrue that assertion to imply that I support segregation, or worse, I hold one race superior to the others. In practice, segregation is socially deplorable and economically infeasible. However, as long as the accommodations or legal protections offered to all parties were equal, even if separate, there was no violation of the Constitution as written. Further, there was no Constitutional authority to enforce efforts of integration, but only the strength to ensure that each party is accommodated equally. From this stance, the portions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that encourage or force integration, while being morally important and in service to a strong society, are unconstitutional. The extension of this authority through an overreach of the Commerce Clause is also unconstitutional.
The appropriate action for the Brown court would have been to hold to the Separate but Equal doctrine, and enforce sanctions on the municipalities that failed to provide equal accommodations. If the parties involved were unable to provide separate but equal accommodations, due to limited resources, than equal share of the current accommodations should have been granted until separate but equal ones were available. Economically speaking, the cost offering equal but separate accommodations to each portion of the market, as defined by race, would be much greater than providing one standard of accommodations to the whole market. Further, since the separate portions would compete for the same resources, and must be equal in standards, than each would be of a lower grade than the one standard that could be offered to the whole market. If the court had held to the constitutionally supported doctrine of Separate but Equal, enforcing that all separate accommodations offered within the jurisdiction of the Government be equal, economy of scale would have driven the problem to the morally acceptable conclusion.
Regarding the concept of separate being inherently unequal, if that was the socially appropriate norm of the time, the country would have been better served if that principle had been added to the Constitution through the amendment process of Article V. If politicians, and more importantly the citizens, wanted the government to be invested with the authority to force the moral issue of integration, than an amendment should have, and still must be, made to the Constitution. Instead, the Supreme Court was allowed to re-determine legislative policy from the bench, and in effect weaken the protections offered to the American citizen by the Constitution. No matter how socially acceptable this action was, or even has become, it is still an affront to the limitations placed on the government by the Constitution. If such a violation of the rule of law can occur, than it can be repeated. The next time, it may be against the will of the American citizenry and in service to tyrannical oppression.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Arguing Responsibly

What follows will take a different track than previous rants, because it is a direct response to my detractors. That isn’t a claim that the words here have garnered serious attention. Standing apart from this digital persona, in conversations taking place at other forums, I am usually asked as to why I bother arguing, often by those that supposedly share my opinion. They have already written off the opposition as being beyond reason, coming to the talk with only emotion and willing to disregard every thought that would upset their view on life. By this estimation, I am wasting my breath, and time, in trying to hold a civil discussion.

 

To show such disregard to the opposition is an arrogant mistake. If we underestimate the enemy, he will either catch us unaware, or we miss the chance to change his mind. Even if our judgment is spot on, and we refuse to join the argument, then we yield the entire discussion. Only their voice will be heard, while we stand mute.

 

Since we must speak out, than I say it must be done in a firm, reasonable manner. Be firm in your stance, but avoid open aggression or hostility in your tone. It is possible to hold true to your convictions while still respecting the view points of the other side. By understanding their reasoning, the ‘why’ of their beliefs, you will be better equipped to explain your own. Finally, by approaching the discussion with an open mind, you may realize what you held as truth is a misconception. In the end, to err is human, and are we anything but?

 

As good a closer as that seems, there is one more point that must be made explicitly. Any argument entered is not for the sole benefit of those doing the talking. In today’s life of instant upload, every idea expressed may be quickly known by millions. Even if your opponent is emotionally set and unreasonable, those who witness may be more open to conflicting ideas. Always assume, and act as if, someone watching may find merit in your words. Maintain tact and decorum against thoughtless claims; flatly reject personal attacks without rising to the same.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Having a sound Constitution

The social problems of this country are numerous, but are vastly outnumbered by the failed attempts to solve them. The continued effort to undermine and erode the protections offered to the individual by the Constitution is disheartening. Over two hundred years ago, the first ten were inscribed, contained within the Bill of Rights. Since then, there have been seventeen amendments made, all in accordance with the methods established. No the document was not perfect at ratification, for it failed to grant the same protections to all parties. However, as the standards of our society grew, its deficiencies were corrected.

Foremost, it must be stated that the Constitution does not grant any rights to the individual. Rather, it protects rights that are held by nature of existing. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; simply put. The twenty six amendments provide strict direction to the government of the protected rights of the individual (twenty-six vice twenty-seven, accounting for the one repealed). These well argued words do not instruct you on what you are allowed to do, but provide limits upon the actions of the government.

The Constitution is more than an enumerated list of individual rights to protect us from a tyrannical government. It serves to define the style of government that the people could trust; a representative republic, limited by the rule of law. Going further, the powers of that government were divided into three separate branches, self governed by a series of checks and balances, so that no one branch could threaten the freedoms of the populace unhindered. The powers given to the Federal government were limited and few, though interpretation and ideals of a ‘living document’ have given rise to an unmitigated expansion with the excuse of serving the public good. As stated, and now further explained, our Federal government was established as a Republic, limited by the rule of law, and not a democracy to suffer the whims of the majority.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, no prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people. In short, any element, action, or process of the United States government that does not conform to the limitations of the Constitution exists in violation of it. There are only two viable responses to such a transgression; either an amendment is made to the Constitution in accordance with Article V, as it has been done seventeen times, or the offender must be abolished. Letting it continue is an affront to the integrity of this country and a disregard for the trust of every Citizen. Misconstruing the words of the Constitution, as those who hold the belief of a ‘living document’ suggest, threatens the Constitution with invalidation. If the written words can be reinterpreted at will, there is no strength in the words and all of them are forfeit.

Though the idea of the Constitution being a ‘living document’ must be rejected, that does not imply that it is dead either. It was not a perfect set of standards as initially ratified, as proven by the seventeen amendments made since. Thus, the founders included a process for amending it, because the realized that neither they nor the society they were worming were without fault. The grand ideal of every man being created equal and entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were not realized at the ratification of the Constitution. The hypocrisy that slave owning white men made such claims was well noted even then. Such a contradiction would last nearly ninety years, a gradual socio-economic change, and a Civil War, until slavery would end in the United States. Over six grueling years, the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments were drafted and ratified providing for equal protection by and from the law without discrimination for maters of race or color. Sadly it would take another century of hatred until the full weight of social change would bear down on segregationist hatred.

Among the legislative pillars that were used to limit the newly free Americans to an inferior status, those in power endeavored to keep them disarmed. They were not original in this attempt, nor were they the last, because it was demonstrated before, and since, that tyrants will act to disarm their subjects. The purpose being that it is far easier to dominate people who are incapable of effectively fighting back. Britain sought to disarm the American Patriots in order to forestall insurrection, and Nazi Germany endeavored to disarm Jews before killing over six million of them. The founders, understanding this lesson of history, sought to protect the individual’s right to self defense and place it beyond reproach. To that end, they well enshrined that liberty by stating, unerringly, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Despite those words, politicians and special interest groups have worked doggedly to impose ‘reasonable restrictions’ on an individual’s right to self defense, or in some case subject it complete revocation. Opponents to an armed populace point to the professional police as a reason that personal arms are unneeded with one hand, while judicially releasing those officers of any obligation to protect us with the other. The actions of criminals and degenerates are used as excuses to legislatively disarm the law abiding. The very belief that the law breakers will yield their firearms because owning one has been made illegal is laughable. Yet the politicians continue, calling for the public to be disarmed while they stand surrounded by armed guards. If there is one thing that both criminals and tyrannical governments fear, it is an armed populace capable of resisting their dominance.

The right of self defense, to safe guard one’s own life is indeed sacred. It is matched by the ability to be free within one’s mind. Each individual’s beliefs and concerns are theirs fully, and they are endowed with the freedom to share them with their fellow man. Share, that is, up until they impede on the rights of another. The reciprocal, that others are free to share their ideals, is also true. Some cannot be arrested or detained simply because their exercise of free speech offends another party. Such an attempt to squelch anyone’s rights in this manner should suffer immediate public outrage. For no matter how disagreeable that exercise of free speech is, if the government or mob can censor the right of one person, why not another’s? That edge, where the government turns from a guardian of everyone’s freedoms to subjective thought police serving to protect the feelings of the offended is infinitely fine, and dastardly destructive when it is turned upon those who oppose governmental tyranny. It is the right of every free American to voice their beliefs, and their responsibility to speak against the trespasses of government.

While the voice of one man true in his convictions (or woman true in hers) is impressive, the voice of a country well informed cannot be ignored. To that end, the founding fathers sought to protect the freedom of press. Through knowledge, an individual can seek the certainty of action. A forthright press, that holds the political class on all fronts, can ensure an honest reporting of government action. The politicians, held accountable for his actions, must remain true to the interests of his constituents, or suffer removal by the same. Through such interaction, the well being of the republic, and freedom of the individual, will blossom and grow. However, the process is torn asunder when there is collusion between the government and the press. When the press spreads the lies of the government, in an effort to confuse and control the governed, the promise of liberty withers on the vine. With such a risk, every citizen must guard against allowing their vigilance to lax. Suffer no lie to be repeated unchallenged, and let no misguidance be followed. Speak true against those who would violate the public trust, so their utterances may be discarded as pointless refuse.

When considered completely, the constitution is not all encompassing. It acknowledges the existence of rights retained by the people not listed within its pages, and states that they remain strong. Further, the Constitution is not the metaphoric sword and shield to be hung above the mantle, with memories of battles won long ago. Understand, the barbarians are ever on the horizon, threatening to sweep down upon the unprepared, burn your home, and scatter your flock. Maintain the sword honed sharp and free of rust. Keep the grasp of the shield strong, the boards stout. Read and learn the strength of the words that shelter the freedoms you have by nature of breathing. Hold a vigilant watch for the horde, while keeping a wary eye for wolves among the sheep.

Disclaimer: While I will not claim to be a Constitutional Scholar, I have read it often, and given my best effort to understand the words and the ideals it portrays. I have read the writings of our founding fathers to great extend to better understand the intentions they had for the newly formed United States of America. If the above reads like nothing more than a motivated history lesson, it is because I strongly believe the truth of it has been befuddled as of late. The masses that are apparently ignorant of how our country was established, standing unaware of the social contract they implicitly accept by claiming to be American Citizens, is baffling. There should be public outrage at the actions of our government, rather than mute acceptance. Instead, we have grown to the point where many will happily accept the government’s redistribution of another’s labors, and seek only to improve their share. It has become common place to accept the censor of another’s rights, just because some don’t agree with their position. In truth, even the rights of the Criminal and bigot must be protected, for if theirs can be limited than the rights of all are forfeit.
Further, if I did not discuss your favored right, it was not an intended slight. I confined the main body of this to less than fifteen hundred words, and had trouble keeping it that small. I do not disparage the nineteenth, and its role in offering equal legal protection to the sexes, the fourth, or the fifth. The sixteenth, I am going to treat separately, and, admittedly, you can expect several revisits of the second.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Only Response To Bigotry

The social problems of this country are numerous, but they are vastly outnumbered by the failed attempts to correct them. Hatred spans every cultural divide, the reasons sprinting beyond any rational sense. Cultural differences and petty grudges are gathered and directed by opportunists, spurned by hidden meanings and veiled intentions that only they can find. A simple crime, grievous in its own right, is grown and spun to a deed of great malevolence because of the demographics of the victim. It is not enough that we should be appalled that the act was perpitrated, but every nuance of the deed must be measured to see if there was a threat against a protected demographic.
A great man once shared his dream of a day when everyone would be judged by the content of their character, vice the nature of their demographics (paraphrased). The strength of that vision was lost, not because of his death, but because no one sought to keep it alive. Though he is memorialized to a great extent, his message has been discarded. Would it shame him to learn schools are being moved to ration discipline by racial quota, vice imparting it on those that disrupt the class? Would he think it grand that criminal acts are being excused as a manner of culture?
Hatred and bigotry exist. There is no excuse for that. No matter your race, religion, economic station, or sexual identity, someone holds an irrational hatred for you. There may always exist a fragment of the population that thrives on its hatred for another fragment. However, the battle against hatred cannot be waged through legislation. In creating laws that specifically defend a particular class, you are threatening the rights of every member not of that class. Further, the protected class suffers as the standard is changed in their favor. Rather than rising to the same standards as all others, they can abide at a lesser level. Thus, as an anecdote, Affirmative Action does not equate to Equal Opportunity. When there is a quota to meet, one may be hired over another, despite his lower qualifications for the position. The workforce he joins is relatively weaker for it, because his output will be less than the one he supplanted, at the same pay.
The only sound way to fight hatred is through society’s rejection of it. The might of law does not compare to the righteous defense raised by a moral society. Though, do not misconstrue this as a call for violence against the angry or misbegotten. It is solidarity, a wall of spirit that must stand against the waves of hate that is required. As vile and revolting as many may find the beliefs of bigots to be, their rights are protected by the Constitution, and they are free to express them up until the point they infringe on the right of another. To seek to censor their rights through the power of law is in err, and stands as a threat to the rights of everyone. For if one person’s right to think and express their beliefs can be legislatively limited, why can’t another’s rights also be limited so?
Look to the groups that have grown in response to the aggression of bigotry. Religious zealots chose the funerals of Fallen Soldiers to express their hatred of homosexuals, and veterans rise to shield the families of unknown comrades. Liberal segregationists rejected the calls for equality, and met a force of white and black Americans standing shoulder to shoulder against the onslaught of fire hose and police canines. When hostility is met with hostility in the war of competing beliefs, it will only give rise to greater violence and strengthen bitter emotions. Reject the desire to seek reprisal, and form a united defense. A strong, moral, society can clear away the blight that is their expressions of hatred. Answer the irrational with truth, respond to their confusion with assertion, and suffer not a lie to survive.

Expansion of the government, despite their assertions, is not the solution to our societal woes. Individuals must gather in mass, and throw down the claims of political correctness and false divisions. Every household should strive to become a member of the community they reside within, and be degusted with the squalor that has festered around them. Standards of behavior should become universal, measured without noting race or religion. Yes, some factions may be stricter than others, but there exists a common ground. Do not kill, do not rape, do not steal, these are principles which every man of every faith and creed can embrace. These are not polite suggestions — these are codes of behavior, lost to us like sands through the hour glass, a grain at a time (near-verbatim to the source). This is a thing that society must address, for the problems cannot be legislated away.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Continued Attack on Personal Responsibility

Mayor Bloomberg's move to ban 'sugary beverages' over 16 ounces is the latest volley against the concept of personal responsibility, but not the most disturbing. Admittedly, there is a trend of people getting fatter because the have made bad life choices. A diet of fast foods and inactive lifestyle all have consequences on the midsection and cardiovascular health of the hefty American. While I normally I don't bother to complain about the personal choices of others, I am bothered by the expectation that others should now bear the burdens of their bad decisions. In the age of entitlements and welfare, the responsible American is always expected to suffer for the ills of his fellows, normally through the government taking by force the results of his personal endeavors.

As it stands, nearly half the nation is on some sort of government assistance, multiple states are in a severe budget crisis, and true unemployment continues to rise. We are slowly approaching the point where the number of societal leeches is going to out number the quantity of producers in this country. Attacks pointing out the failings of the Welfare programs are viewed as mean, the response always an out cry of emotion vice a stance of reason. Our system is plagued by these leeches, who continue to vote into office politicians that are willing to pay for those votes with the tax money of the producers. For an international comparison, turn to Greece. For a local reason to be hopeful, with a couple answers of telling dread, look at Wisconsin. A Governor, understanding the failings of his states economy, has resolved to change and bring economic reform. Liberals and Union workers through out are trying to strike him down, concerned only for the near term as they are forced from the government tit. What they fail to understand is that if things continue as they have, the government would fail and they would be entirely without.

When did we begin to suffer this notion that personal responsibility is an anachronism? Surrender your responsibilities to the state, for the shall care for you. Allow the schools to raise your kids, and drug the disobedience out of them. Trust in the police force for your self defense, yet be prepared to flee until they arrive to protect you.