Monday, September 28, 2009

Time Now For a New Enlightenment

“Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.”

Ronald Reagan

The Age of Enlightenment, in my opinion, started even before the mid seventeenth century as some historians would argue. This is because I believe that the undercurrents that brought about the Enlightenment have persisted in the human spirit from time immemorial. The Enlightenment culminated in the creation of The United States of America, a system of government that was supposed to put individuals and their rights above all else. This was brought about through reason and a certain disdain for the politics of the times. The American colonists were looking for a better system then the monarchies and even the so called representative democracies (which were heavily influenced by a royal presence) they had left behind on the European continent.

When we look at the thought processes that drove the Enlightenment and the writings of the founding fathers, we get a better understanding at the type of system they wanted to set up for their progeny. They understood that if humans were to live as freemen they had to act like they were freemen. They refused to just bow down to the dictates of the British government. They refused to simply accept “the law” that the British elite wanted enforced upon them. They refused to give the British their extortion money and told them they no longer needed their protection services. Perhaps most importantly, they refused to give up their interest free money and accept the debt notes that the Bank of England wanted them to use as legal tender.

To the founders, being free meant they owned themselves. It meant they owned their labor. It meant they owned the property they purchased with the money they earned with their labor. At least it seems that way to me. In order to try to preserve these ideals they fought a revolution, wrote papers of explanation of their beliefs for posterity, and codified them as best they could into the law of the land in the form of the US Constitution. They were enlightened as to the faults of government and the tyranny into which all systems have fallen throughout history. They sought to bind and limit the scope of future government with words and checks and balances so that their progeny could know the blessings of freedom and self determination. That was the spirit of the Constitution and more specifically the Bill of Rights.

Lysander Spooner pointed out over a hundred years ago that the Constitution either condoned tyranny or was powerless to stop it. Unfortunately, I have to agree with that assessment. Yet I believe that the Constitution is not where the power lies. It is but a road map along the path to freedom. If one gets lost on that path, he can either take out the map and try to find a way back or he can wander about aimlessly and hope to stumble upon his destination.

It is not the Constitution that has failed, it is the people that have failed to abide by it, or to give it teeth. Why should power hungry politicians obey the constitution when they know they will not be held accountable for disobeying it? Why should they worry about the constitutionality of the laws they pass when they or their friends can profit from them during the years it takes for a challenge to the law to make it through the court system? Why should they care when it is as likely as not that their friends and colleagues on the Supreme Court will find their laws constitutional as they interpret the Constitution as if it was written in a language other than English? Better yet, why should they care when there is no legal price to pay for voting for an unconstitutional law? Why would they let its chains constrain them when they know they are quite likely to be re-elected (as most incumbents are) regardless of their actions? Why wouldn’t they break the chains that are supposed to bind them when they know that most states use easily hackable electronic voting machines run by corruptible humans? Why wouldn’t they do everything they could to increase their power and prestige when the political risk is so historically low? Do we think that because they are politicians they are angels and they are simply going to do the right thing? Right. We the people have let our power wane, allowed the Constitution to become irrelevant and become slaves to the politically elite masters that were supposed to serve us.

The first step in many cases on the road to recovery is admitting that there is a problem. I think most Americans have come to this realization, no matter their political affiliation. Once it has been identified that there is a problem, it becomes necessary to find a way to solve the problem. As expressed in the quote above attributed to Ronald Reagan, government is the problem. It has become too large and intrusive. Its power has overshadowed this great land and now we are witnessing certain overzealous politicians salivating as they try to pass laws and programs that will increase its size and their power over our everyday lives. Perhaps it would help to slow down, pull over, take a look at the road map we are provided with, and follow its directions in order to help whittle down the size of government, restore our freedoms and take back our lives, our money and our power to make our own decisions.

If we as a people can find our collective backbone and create enough political pressure to make our congress critters realize we are serious about reclaiming our heritage than perhaps this can be accomplished in a peaceful manner. This has already started to happen as evidenced by the tea parties, town hall meetings, and the huge protest in DC. Yet one still has to wonder if this is going to be enough. The mainstream media, with a few notable exceptions, continues to downplay the awakening of the American people and portray everyday middle class citizens as extreme right wingers, lost souls who don’t know what’s best for them, or just plain stupid instead of as freedom loving individuals who just want the government out of their lives.

Perhaps a little reasoning will help accomplish these goals as it helped our founding fathers craft the nation’s founding documents. First it needs to be made clear that individual rights are not something that is granted to you by government. We are born with individual, natural rights. These rights stem from the very nature of being human. One has the right to express one’s self, the right to defend one’s self, the right to determine for one’s self the best way to better one’s circumstances (i.e. the right to pursue happiness), the right to not incriminate himself, the right to freely associate with whom we chose, the right to not associate with someone or some group if we don’t want to (i.e. the right to be left alone as Judge Andrew Napolitano would say), the right to freely assemble, etc., not because those in Washington DC who consider themselves our leaders say so, but because we say so. As long as we exercise these rights and act upon our nature without causing physical harm to another individual, damaging or stealing another's property, or treading upon the rights of another individual, then we should be left in peace to do so.

Individual, natural rights also cannot be taken away by government. We can only surrender them. The individuals working for government can only refuse to respect them. This is why we need to say no. This is why we need to say enough is enough. Those who laud power over the masses promise us security against wispy monstrosities that are difficult to spot, pin down or clearly identify if we will just allow them to violate our rights. The more who stand up to and disobey the bullies that would exercise physical force, threats, intimidation or coercion to make us submit and allow our rights to be violated the better off we will all be and the sooner we will once again live as freemen.

Let me enlighten those who still believe we live in the freest nation on earth. Wrong. We already live in a police state. We are all slaves to the state. The time has come to face these truths and do something about it. While the protests, the emails to our would be representatives, the raucous town hall meetings, the tea parties, etc., are a good start, they are not necessarily going to be enough. Unfortunately, those who currently hold power are not going to easily give it back and they have shown that they can be very violent. It is time we realized just how corrupt these politicians are and that they simply do not care what the people think or want. Still, we can not let fear stop us. As long as we keep up the pressure and remain peaceful, we will prevail.

We, the masses of the people, must remember that we are the economy. We are the ones who create the wealth in this world and we should be the ones keeping and distributing the wealth among ourselves as we see fit. Those in government, the bureaucrats who deign to rule over us and the privileged, elite, moneyed interests who pull their strings, are nothing more than parasites who depend on our life's blood, our labor, our industriousness, our innovation and our cooperation in order to survive. They will make demands upon us, and yet it is we who should be making demands upon them. We don't have to bow down to their demands. We don't have to simply obey the dictates they decide to rain down upon us from on high. We can chose to say no to their mandates. We can chose to not pay.

It is important to remember that in this world there are wrongs as well as rights. It is wrong to force someone else to pay for your entitlements. It is wrong to expect others, particularly those who aren't even born yet, to support a system that is unsustainable. It is wrong to demand rights for ourselves if it means treading upon the rights of other individuals. Groups don't have rights above or beyond the rights of the individual. The rights of the individual are what keep groups strong, for if the rights of the individual is subject to violation, then the rights of all individuals in the group are subject to that same violation.

There will be a price to pay for our freedom. If we are to be free, we must allow others to be free. We must stop depending on government entitlements, particularly centralized, federal government entitlements that seem to suffer from a lack of accountability. We must learn to trust in ourselves and our fellow man for support rather than counting on the support of those who are forced to pay into the system. In this way we become truly independent.

It seems to me that we now suffer under a government that is far more tyrannical, far more despotic, far more intrusive and far more demanding than King George's England could ever hope to be. The colonies revolted against King George and England because they felt they were being unfairly taxed and their interest free money based on commodities was made illegal. As time goes on and we hear more and more often of the crimes and treasons committed by those who have been elected and politically appointed to protect individual rights, we begin to recognize that these people care not for the American ideals expressed by this nation's forefathers but care only to maintain and increase their profit, their power and their ability to control. We see this regardless of the party these men and women affiliate themselves with. Since neither men nor women of principle seem to be in great supply these days, it is prudent for us to demand an end to the abhorrent secrecy practiced at the highest levels of government and their agencies and to reinstate total transparency so that the population can better assess the job these people are doing and see to whom they give their loyalties.

This nation is awakening. I believe people across the planet are discovering their desire for individual freedom and working to get corrupt governments out of their lives. The United States of America was at one time a beacon to the rest of the world and a place where all who were oppressed dreamed they could one day come for self determination and to realize their full potential . This is no longer so. In fact, many of our richest citizens are leaving for greener pastures. Yet I believe that this nation can once again become that beacon as it used to be. As we all become more and more enlightened as to the benefits of individual freedom and independence each one of us needs to determine how we can best strive to peacefully bring about the change which will reestablish our place in the world as the land of the free. There is a message out there that I hear more and more often from more and more sources. That message is a message of love and peace. It's a message that people want peaceful change, smaller government, fewer intrusions on their personal lives, and more power to determine their own destinies. One can only hope that those who have the power to prevent these dreams from becoming reality can hear the shouting in the streets and will pay attention to the message instead of trying to fight the inevitable and forcing their agenda upon a populace that's had enough.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Making Chartarum

“Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream,
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.”
Verse from a famous childhood song

I’ve always wanted to be an actor. I was able to pursue that dream for a while when I was younger, when I was in high school and had no real financial worries. I sort of had to give up on that dream when I became an adult and the realities of life slapped me in the face. Acting simply wasn’t in the cards and I needed to get a real job in order to raise a family. In fact, I had to get several real jobs just to make ends meet. I guess that’s just the way things are. You do what you got to do and sometimes dreams must be sacrificed in order to survive.

I had really never been very good at fixing things, but found that with the right training I was able to learn how. When I got started down this path, I discovered that I really had quite a proclivity for repairing things, particularly electronics and electromechanical devices. When it comes down to it, most things in life are not all that complicated. It only takes a little know how and some common sense to figure out how most things work, and sometimes just a bit of instruction to get one started. In the beginning, I really surprised myself how easy it was to learn to fix things that seemed so complicated at first glance.

So I became very good at fixing electronic equipment. I became specialized and developed exceptional skills in repairing certain electromechanical devices. After many years, I became so skilled as to find the day to day work boring. I could fix the units I worked on in my sleep. On the rare occasion that I did run across a problem I was unfamiliar with and needed to troubleshoot, I began to look at this more as a chore than a challenge. How dare a unit have a problem that was difficult for me, the great fixer of things, to diagnose and repair? I became comfortable in my routine and wore a rut in my life deeper than the Grand Canyon.

I was forced to climb out of that rut in January of this year when I was laid off from a job I’d thought I would never lose. I was, after all, the best at what I did. It was and is a long climb up when emerging from a rut. Yet it seems with life that as one door closes another opens. It seems that if you look for opportunities sometimes you will find them when and where you least expect them. I figured I’d take the time granted me by the loss of my job to hone my writing skills and try to find a job copy editing or some such thing. As luck would have it, however, an opportunity I never expected came out of the blue, one that I likely wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of if I had still been walking the rut that was my life. I was given the opportunity to participate in the making of a movie.

My participation in this venture was on a completely voluntary basis. Even though I knew I would not be paid, I jumped at the chance to help with this movie. I was excited to get the experience and thrilled that I’d be able to add it to my resume. That was all that mattered to me.

The title of the movie is “Chartarum” and you will be able to see me in it when it comes out later this year. It is a horror movie about a parasitic mold that enhances some of the more aggressive characteristics of the humans it infects. In addition to being an extra, I helped a little with some technical aspects to the film. It was a real learning experience that I quite enjoyed. I very much hope I am able to do something similar again soon, perhaps as a living. I would love to be more involved in media production of this type. This would not only be the type of work I enjoy, it is the type of work I believe would take advantage of my greatest natural talents.

I was able to discover a few things in the week I helped out on this production. Helping to make a movie is like helping to make someone’s dream a reality. It’s a shared dream in which all participants contribute. Although it may have a message embedded in it, its main purpose is to entertain. Creating it takes a lot of time, thought and effort, and it doesn’t always turn out the way one might have imagined. The important thing is that the finished product is something people will pay to see and will want to become fans of.

As with many endeavors in life, it takes many different types of people to make a movie. It can be quite interesting to observe how these personalities interact. Most of the time things run smoothly with everyone doing their best and working hard at their assigned tasks to create the best product possible, but sometimes there is a clash. There are the inevitable disagreements and sometimes one’s emotions may get the best of one’s self and cause behavior one may later regret.

It is important, in my opinion, to remember that humans are not perfect. We are beings that are endowed with a great many faults and frailties as well as a great deal of intelligence, reasoning power and potential. It is for this reason that forgiveness is also important. If we let our emotions get the best of us and remain angry at each other, it becomes very difficult to achieve anything positive. When working together to try to create a product, it helps when those in charge listen to and respect the ideas of those who are working on it.

When such events and conflicts occur it may become necessary to take into account the motives and sincerity of those involved. If one is truly sorry, sees the errors of his ways and admits he was wrong then it is easier to forgive him, resolve the situation and for everyone to carry on with their jobs and bring the project to fruition. If, however, those in charge are so arrogant as to never admit they are wrong and continue to insist on doing things their way regardless of the feelings of others, or if they degrade and chastise those who are working hard and trying to do their best, then disaster will likely result and the finished product will likely not be as good as it could have been. Fortunately, all those working on this production were reasonable people and were able to resolve conflict in a productive manner.

With what little experience I’ve had in movie making, it seems to me that it is just a little microcosm of life, as are many other things. The purpose is to create or help create something that others will enjoy, perhaps something that will last and that future generations can also enjoy. When we all strive to better ourselves and in the process make for a better product, great things can happen. I hope you will all see the movie “Chartarum” when it comes out.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Freedom and Peace Are Non-Partisan Issues

I was glad to see that Cindy Sheehan finally decided to protest Barack Obama's war policy. I was beginning to wonder what had happened to the anti-war movement in this country. I hope her decision will help to reinvigorate peace activists. I also hope that perhaps many who were involved in the peace movement and quit their anti-war activism after Mr. Obama was elected will take the time to look into their souls and think about why they stopped.

It amazes me to think that many people and organizations in the peace movement aren't protesting Mr. Obama's war policy at least in Afghanistan, let alone his waffling inaction and never ending excuses that comprise his Iraq policy. I guess that for these people it's not the war that matters, but who's conducting the war. It's bad policy when George W. Bush is engaging in it, but it's good when Barack H. Obama is in command? Perhaps these people didn't actually care about policy. Perhaps they weren't actually concerned about the deaths of innocents and the destruction of a country and a society. Perhaps they didn't really care about our soldiers being killed or the mental and physical anguish that can be attributed to taking part in war. Perhaps they were just there to divert the attention of a certain segment of the population away from a true anti-war candidate and to make sure that a Democrat got into office. Perhaps it wasn't the war issue they were concerned about, perhaps it was partisan politics.

Well, there are some of us who do take issues seriously. There are some of us who don't care about the party of a candidate or the partisanship of those elected to power. There are some people who simply care about the welfare of others, including our sons and daughters who have elected to serve in the armed forces. Cindy Sheehan has chosen to take the war issue seriously. Although I vehemently disagree with some of her other politics which I consider antithetical to individual freedom, I must stand with her on this issue. Wars of aggression are bad no matter who runs them. There are much better ways to go about doing business with the rest of the world. The government of the United States of America has no right going about the world bullying other cultures and forcing them to accept a form of democracy that amounts to nothing more than mob rule. They have no right enslaving other nations and their peoples in an effort to try to keep a failing empire of global corporate interests afloat. I'm glad to see Ms. Sheehan exposing the hypocrisy of the political left on this particular issue, but it's too bad that many of those who stood with her when Mr. George W. Bush was president, some of them very powerful, have decided to abandon her and remain silent now that Mr. Barack Obama is continuing the Bush administration's war and occupation policies.

I really haven't heard much from the political right on this issue, and some of what I have heard is disturbing. I've heard a number of right wing political pundits express their surprise and support of Mr. Obama for his foreign policy. The same people who made excuses for Bush's wars of aggression, his occupations of empire and his torture policies are pleasantly surprised that Barack Obama is continuing such practices. Personally, I don't suppose those people should have been surprised considering Mr. Barack Obama's campaign was financed by corporate interests tied to the same ones that had financed Mr. George W. Bush and were financing Mr. John McCain and all other “major” presidential candidates that had a “chance” of being elected.

War is not a right or left issue. It is a right or wrong issue. The only war that is ever justified is the war against those who would occupy your land. The only war that is ever right is a war of self defense against those who would force their way of life upon you. While the invasion of another nation may be justified as a response to an attack, once that nation's military has been defeated and that particular threat neutralized the continued presence of troops constitutes an occupation and any actions taken are no longer wartime actions of one military against another, but policing actions of one nation's military against the civilian population of the occupied country.

There is a saying I've heard that I agree with. People don't make war, governments do. I believe that individuals, if left to their own devices, would avoid confrontation with others. They'd rather trade and interact peacefully on a voluntary basis with others. It most likely would be too risky and the rewards too few or unimportant to make such engagements worth while. It's only when governments are created and empires grown that groups form up armies and decide to engage in the genocidal activity that is warfare. When looked at closely and studied on an historical basis, it can be easily deducted that an elite class at the very top of society benefit the most and suffer the least from this human endeavor known as warfare. Although an entire civilization can benefit from the enslavement of others and the theft of their natural resources, the few in control at the top of the heap, usually the ones beating the war drums the loudest, are the ones with the most to gain financially and in terms of political power. Once this is discovered it is morally correct to oppose such activities, either that or one willfully turns a blind eye to the suffering of innocents. Ms. Sheehan has decided to stand on the moral high ground, those who have abandoned her are now no better than the neocons they once claimed to oppose.

At the same time the peace movement has been floundering due to the loss of the Obama loving left, the freedom movement is flourishing. These peace loving people have, for the most part, come to the realization that the two party system in this country has failed. They have come to see that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans as political entities are willing to give up the power they have usurped. Neither party is willing to follow the law of the land and restore constitutional government. Many people have figured this out after seeing the Obama administration do nothing to overturn the Bush doctrine over the last few months. Many more others likely figured it out as they watched the Bush administration eviscerate the Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights over the last eight years.

One of the most vocal and visible people that fall into the latter category is Keith Olbermann. As I watched some of his “special comments” chastising Mr. George W. Bush for his total disregard for the US Constitution during some of the darkest days of that administration I felt a certain hope well in my soul as I realized that someone in the mainstream media was brave enough to speak truth to power. I felt that perhaps the country would survive and re-establish its constitutional roots. Then Mr. Obama was elected and Mr. Olbermann fell strangely quiet. He did not chastise Mr. Obama for not restoring the Constitution to its proper function by repealing the Bush era laws that had shredded it. He did not come down hard on Mr. Obama for continuing the bailouts and the government takeover of businesses that should have failed. I guess that when the constitution is ignored by Democrats it's not as bad as when it's ignored by Republicans. I guess that using unconstitutional laws that have already been enacted is not as bad as the act of enacting them. I guess that tyranny, the loss of economic freedom, and the continuation of ignoring the Bill of Rights under the Obama administration is not as worthy of comment as they were under the Bush administration.

More recently it has become Mr. Glenn Beck's turn to voice his concern over the loss of freedoms in this country. He finds himself in a precarious position as his advertisers threaten to pull their funding because he has expressed views they consider controversial. He takes umbrage to this fact and cries foul, claiming his freedom of speech is threatened. Yet it wasn't too long ago that he, himself, was calling for the silencing of a group of people he labels “9/11 truthers.” I think that perhaps these media personalities have taken lessons in hypocrisy from the very politicians they rail against. I quite agree with many of the opinions Mr. Beck seems to hold and what he seems to be trying to achieve when it comes to restoring our freedoms, and yet I wonder about his ability to practice what he preaches. I can only hope that his recent experiences have taught him that in order to live as freemen we must allow all others, even though we may disagree with them, to live as freemen also. I honestly hope that he is not just another political pundit trying to convince the populace that there is a difference between a Republican politician and a Democrat politician. The vast majority of them are unprincipled, power hungry control freaks who are not interested in peace or freedom and need to be replaced by men of principle.

Peace and freedom are non partisan. They are not owned by the left nor the right, Democrat nor Republican, conservative nor liberal. In fact, more often than not, all political factions and politicians seeking power over others want neither peace nor freedom for these things would curtail their power. We would do well to remember this when evaluating those we would place in public office, overseeing public coffers. Men and women of honor seem to be in short supply these days.

Peace and freedom are the stuff dreams are made of. The great majority of humankind, no matter where in this world they reside, would simply like to be left alone to live their lives unencumbered by government mandate or restrictions. Most people if given the chance would live out their days bringing harm to no one and peacefully coexisting with others. Given such a world, one would hardly care if his voice was heard by those in power, for those in power would not be abusing the trust placed in them or trying to force their will onto others. Until such a world is achieved, peaceful protests need to be held by those who seek a just world and respected by those who exercise power. I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend your right to say it. I believe it is prudent for everyone to remember that sentiment.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Teaching Obama to Children (And Maybe Some Adults)

I've heard that on Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 Mr. Obama plans on addressing the school children residing in the United States of America. It is my understanding that his speech will address issues such as national service, health care, and other items on the administration's agenda. It is also my understanding that this speech will be given to young elementary school children, perhaps even younger than five, as well as to older high school children who will be able to vote in a couple of years. One might wonder what the purpose of such a program would be. Certainly, such an unusual measure taken as this can lead to the conspiracy theorists speaking out. Perhaps in this case they have more than good reason, especially when you consider the historical significance of such past programs. Think about Hitler youth, Pol Pot, Kin Jong Il, those kind of guys and how they treated the children of their countries. Never before, at least not in my memory, has a president of the United States of America specifically addressed school children nationwide on subject matter as sophisticated as this. Perhaps there is something very nefarious going on here, or perhaps Obama and his administration have come to the realization that they can no longer fool the thoughtful adults in this nation and they have no other place to turn for support than the youth of America, or perhaps they believe Obama will be president for a very long time.

It is my understanding that parents are up in arms over this event. Although they haven't had much advanced notice, many parents that have found out are angry and hysterical and have vowed to take their children out of school to prevent them from having to suffer through this government propaganda. Perhaps this is a prudent move, but perhaps it's a mistake. There is a possibility that we are missing out on an opportunity here. Even though this event is designed to be a collectivist, authoritarian government love fest, perhaps it can be turned around by concerned parents and teachers who are aware of history and what it truly means to be American.

I have heard that Mr. Obama's administration has come out with a guide for teachers to go along with his broadcast to the school children. I haven't seen one personally, but I've heard that they have a series of questions and discussions that teachers are supposed to have with the kids before and after the speech. Although this might seem like an attempt to propagandize Mr. Obama and make the office of president seem to be the end all, be all, if handled correctly this can actually be made into a tool to teach children the truth about what the federal government of the United States is supposed to be and how they can peacefully help win back the freedoms we have lost as a nation.

One of the discussions the administration wants teachers to have is something along the lines of who is Mr. Barack Obama? Well, the answer is really simple. Mr. Obama is a man. He is a human male like many other human males. He is fallible. He can and does make mistakes and errors in judgment. He has opinions and ideologies that are more and (mostly, in my humble opinion) less valid than others. He is not a god. He is not the messiah. He is not even the devil or the antichrist. He is simply a human male that has done whatever was necessary to elevate himself to the station he has achieved. I'm certain that some of what he's done in order to achieve those goals is quite questionable just as some of his associates are quite questionable. It seems to me this would be a good opportunity to discuss such things with the children, and even with the child like adults who seem to think otherwise and idolize Mr. Obama.

Here would be a good opportunity to discuss morality. One could discuss with the children the goodness and wisdom of letting one grow up unmolested by collectivist dogma and how nice it is to live in an individualist society where one is allowed to discover for himself what he wants to do with his life rather than being dependent on government telling him what is best for him. It would be a good opportunity to discuss the utter evil of brainwashing the innocent into believing they are furthering the betterment of society by serving an authoritarian figure. It would be a good opportunity to discuss with children about how the tattletale societies of Nazi Germany and Communist Russia worked and the evil that resulted in those places at those times because of such practices. It might also be a good opportunity to remind some adults about these dark times and places in human history. It could also be a good opportunity to talk to these children about how it is quite likely that no one loves them more than their parents, certainly not the coldhearted state.

Another point of discussion in the government guide, or so I've heard, is that of who is the president of the United States of America and why should we listen to him? While I'm sure the establishment wants this to become another point of collectivist indoctrination by having teachers lead their students into discussing such ideas as the president being “the most powerful” human on the face of the planet or “the leader” of our nation, I think this discussion can be taken in a more honest direction.

While it may be true that the president of the United States of America is one of the most powerful men in the world by virtue of the fact that he has his finger on the nuclear button and has command of perhaps the most powerful military this planet has ever seen, it could be pointed out that this does not make him inherently good, or right, or even able to do whatever he wants whenever he wants. He is the leader of the executive branch of the federal government, not of the people who are supposed to be left alone to decide for themselves what to do with their lives, so long as they don't tread upon the rights of their fellow man. This could lead to a discussion about how our form of government is a republic, not a dictatorship. Our founding fathers penned a document called The Constitution of the United States of America in which they spelled out the specific powers each branch of the government had and tried to create a balance of power so that one branch would keep a check on the others. While this could be further explored and discussions could arise as to how things didn't quite work out this way and how most of what the federal government does these days is unconstitutional, therefore those who run it are technically breaking the law (remember the Constitution is supposed to be the supreme law of the land) and therefore they are criminals, these discussions may be a bit deep for some of the younger children and perhaps should be left to age appropriate venues.

Furthermore this could be an opportunity to discuss the value of electing representatives that will make it their top priority to help safe guard the rights and liberties of the individuals living in this country rather than helping themselves and their friends to the public money trough and opening the treasury to the special interests. This could lead to a discussion on how we as citizens have been dreadfully negligent in our duties to watch over those we send to Washington DC to do our will as evidenced by the rampant corruption and the extraordinarily high re-election rate of incumbents, even those who have been openly corrupt or caught breaking the law. Yes, we adults do have to take some of the blame for the mess we find ourselves in as socialism encroaches more and more into our everyday lives.

The example can be used of how important it is to listen to Mr. Obama, especially pay attention to what he's said in the past and what he said during his campaign. Politicians are notorious for lying and he is no exception. One could point out his already broken promises. There are still troops in Iraq. Warfare carried out by American soldiers in other areas has been escalated. Torture of “enemy combatants” continues. No law of the Bush administration, however unconstitutional they may be, has been repealed. A vitriolic and divisive debate on health care reform has been launched to cover up these inadequacies in his policies and keep the support of his left flank from collapsing. In short, there was no change delivered, there will be no change delivered, except for maybe toward a more authoritarian, collectivist model of government, and the hope that we once had for this great nation, the hope of individual freedom and self determination for all mankind, is dwindling with each and every big government program that he tries to force down our throats. It should be explained to these children and maybe some adults that this type of dishonest behavior shouldn't be tolerated. It isn't tolerated in the private sector and it shouldn't be tolerated in the public sector either. It can be explained to the kids that perhaps most people are more than fed up and frustrated by the antics of almost all of our federal government officials, regardless of party, and that perhaps this is why we've seen such outbreaks of anger expressed at the recent town hall meetings.

I don't blame people for wanting to have their kids take a sick day from school on September 8th. It will be the day after Labor Day and they might as well make it a long vacation. It's a good protest and a good way to show solidarity by keeping lots of children from being indoctrinated in such a manner. Yet I can't help but think that perhaps there is an opportunity here to do so much more. I think if we all get together to show the establishment that we will not be bullied, we can use the tools authoritarians want to use to divide us as a way to unite us. We can open up some dialogs. We can get together with the teachers and administrators of our schools, who are after all members of our communities, and discuss our concerns with this type of indoctrination. We can find out exactly where they stand in terms of the role they believe government should have in our lives and if it's contrary to the will of most of the people in the community than we can determine how to best ostracize them so that their unAmerican ideologies do not infect our children. Find other liberty minded people in your community and get together with them. There is power in numbers. Speak out. We have been tolerant and accepting of corrupt control freaks for far too long and if we don't take a public stand now I'm afraid we will not be able to later.