Stronghold…

“How did you know?”

“Know?”

“That I’d be here.”

“It’s where you always come when you want to be alone.”

Draping the air as fog on an early summer morning, the silence clung to the particles of the atmosphere, cloaking its visitors.

“Are you okay?”

“Now… I am now.”

“What changed?”

“Me.”

“How so?”

“Before I can tell you, there’s a more pressing thought?”

“Will you share?”

“It’s not comfortable.”

“That’s okay. I prefer you share to comfort.” 

“Comfort… it’s comfortable to observe the world while keeping it as arm’s length bay.”

“What is it you observe?” 

“Stronghold towers.”

Fog… silence…waiting…

“People create stronghold towers… they live in them… they stay in the stronghold of their constructed walls so they can feel comfortable. They are afraid of what’s outside, but really what they fear lurks inside.”

“I’m not sure I understand.”   

“It’s okay, I’m not sure I understand myself… it’s just an observation.”

Stillness… “It’s okay, you can explain, you are safe here,” whispers the voice.

“Remember the Allegory of the Caves?”

“Vaguely…”

“The cave… all the trapped souls within, but they don’t believe themselves trapped. They believe they are safe in the darkness of the cave. Yet one day… one man gathers the courage to leave. The light hurts his eyes and he must move slowly to allow his orbs times to adjust, but when he finally emerges, he realizes the cave is not a stronghold tower but rather a prison and the freedom awaits outside.”

“What does he do?”

“He returns to tell the others about the freedom awaiting them…”

Silence…

“And?”

“They laugh at him, mock him, tell him he’s crazy… demand he stay with them in the darkness. This saddens him because he finally sees the truth, but they refuse to believe him. “We’ve always lived here,” they say, “We trust this cave because it’s what we know.” 

“What does he do?”

“He leaves… he breaks free of the stronghold of the false tower and when he emerges for the last time, he shudders… casting off the darkness, leaving it behind because he knows that even if alone, he’d rather be alone and free than surrounded by a thousand imprisoned in the stronghold of a belief drapes their minds and souls, anchoring them to the darkness.”

Moving the air particles, hands join forming a circle of love.

“Going back to the beginning… I’ve changed. The darkness has been caste off and I am now free because I walk toward the son.”

 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” John 12:46

 

 

Different Worldviews: One Choice

Julia Roberts narrated a video for Nature is Speaking (from Conservation International) imagining what the earth, nature, mother nature would say if it could speak. The video is stunning, showcasing the beautiful landscapes that is the earth. The point, it seems, is to get humans to change actions to protect the planet, but does it accomplish its mission? Strip away the superimposed video and the voice, and what is left are the words:

“Some call me Nature, others call me mother nature

I’ve been here for over four and a half billion years

Twenty-two thousand five hundred times longer than you

I don’t really need people but people need me

Yes, your future depends on me

When I thrive, you thrive

When I falter, you falter or worse (?)

But I’ve been here for aeons

I have fed species greater than you, and

I have starved species greater than you

My oceans, my soil, my flowing streams, my forests,

They all can take you or leave you

How you chose to live each day whether you regard or

disregard me doesn’t really matter to me

One way or the other your actions will determine your fate not mine

I am nature

I will go on

I am prepared to evolve

Are you?”

Nature is Speaking


Conservation International website states:

Our Mission

Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, Conservation International empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the well-being of humanity.

Our Vision

We imagine a healthy, prosperous world in which societies are forever committed to caring for and valuing nature, for the long-term benefit of people and all life on Earth.

WE NEED NATURE

Nature is life: Every breath you take, every drop you drink, every bite you eat — it all comes from nature. Here’s how Conservation International works to protect it. Conservation International


Again, on the surface it would seem the video, mission and vision of the organization is good, because there is an element of truth to it in that humans do need water and food which comes from the earth. However, the elevation of nature to a god-like status is in the words, “Every breath you take, every drop you drink, every bite you eat – it all comes from nature.”

Stay with me… read it again with a different perspective:

“Some call me Nature, others call me mother nature

I’ve been here for over four and a half billion years

  • How exactly is it known by man how long the earth has been here? Growing up I was taught different numbers, and it seems the “age” of the earth is in a constant state of fluidity. Aside from that, the premise is that nature is god and created itself, and you are a mere afterthought, if a thought at all.

Twenty-two thousand five hundred times longer than you

  • Again, you are inconsequential because nature existed way before you.

I don’t really need people but people need me

Yes, your future depends on me

  • Our future depends on some random coming together of nature; we are subservient to nature.  If nature doesn’t need us, then what does it matter, our actions?

When I thrive, you thrive

When I falter, you falter or worse (?)

  • While I think I understand what they are attempting to say, what they are actually saying is again, humans are subservient to nature. Of course when there are storms, tsunamis, droughts, et al, humans are affected, but does that make humans subservient to nature?

But I’ve been here for aeons

I have fed species greater than you, and

I have starved species greater than you

My oceans, my soil, my flowing streams, my forests,

They all can take you or leave you

  • You don’t matter. Your life, your existence is completely dependent on nature. This poses a problem for individuals who believe humans can destroy the earth (“nature”) through their actions or inactions. How is this? According to this script, nature has been here for aeons (indefinite period of time, or unit to describe billion), and it doesn’t matter what you do, it’s not going anywhere. Nature can take you or leave you, and well… you are inconsequential, as are your actions.

How you chose to live each day whether you regard or

disregard me doesn’t really matter to me

  • Again, how you live each day doesn’t matter to nature. What you do is irrelevant, which contradicts the notion that we have to “worship” the earth, or take any conservation measures because to nature, it doesn’t matter.

One way or the other your actions will determine your fate not mine

  • Again it is stated that your actions – the actions of humans – will have no impact on earth’s (nature’s) future; what then is the point? Whether we do good or do bad, it makes no difference – good or bad – because “your actions” won’t determine what happens to the earth (nature); your actions only determine what happens to you.

I am nature

  •  Notice the “I am?” Seems those words have been used before… Christ said, “I am.” Contrast the two. Nature is saying “I am,” and based on the previous verses, it cares not for you (humans), does not need you, does not consider you. Compare that to when Christ speaks to being “I am.” There are several, but John 8:12 states, “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” Simply written: you do matter, your life does have meaning.

I will go on

I am prepared to evolve

Are you?”

  • These three lines are incredibly insightful, because it contradicts two prevalent theories: (1) humans evolved; (2) we have to take action now or we (humans) will destroy the planet (earth or nature).
    1. The theory of human existence is found somewhere along the aeons of time, because humans evolved to the state we now find ourselves, but the closing words indicate this is not the case. Nature is declaring it can evolve, but can you? Can you evolve? Based on the evolution theory, of course we can because that is how we got here in the first place, so why would we not be able to evolve in the future? And if we can’t, but nature can, when did we (humans) stop having the ability to evolve… while nature retains that ability?
    2. I’ve read that we have 12 years, 25 years, 50 years to save the planet (nature). The number of years varies depending on the speaker, but the dire warnings are if we (humans) do not take drastic actions now, we will forever destroy nature. But this contradicts not only the last few sentences, but the script in its entirety. Why? How? Because leading up to the conclusion, we are told it doesn’t matter what we do, nature will go on. It is declared nature doesn’t need us, but we need it; that nature has fed and starved species greater than us. Somehow then, we are to believe that nature has been in existence for four and half billions of years, yet somehow we humans are going to destroy it within 12-50 years? Then we are told nature can evolve, so it doesn’t really matter what humans then do, nature will prevail (go on).

I’m left wondering why it matters what I do if nature cares not, and will continue regardless of my actions, and then what does that mean for me? Of what value am I in this world view?


Still with me... read it one more time but from a different world view, one that doesn’t elevate nature to a position of a god, but through the lens of God.

“Some call me Nature, others call me mother nature 

  • “Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called;
    I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.” – Isaiah 48:12

I’ve been here for over four and a half billion years

  • “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” – Colossians 1:16

Twenty-two thousand five hundred times longer than you

  • “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1

I don’t really need people but people need me

  • “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.” – Nehemiah 9:6

Yes, your future depends on me

When I thrive, you thrive

When I falter, you falter or worse (?)

But I’ve been here for aeons

  • “And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands;” Hebrews 1:10

I have fed species greater than you, and

I have starved species greater than you

  • “The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.” – Isaiah 43:20

My oceans, my soil, my flowing streams, my forests,

  • “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” – Job 12: 7-10

They all can take you or leave you

  • “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” – Genesis 1:26

How you chose to live each day whether you regard or

disregard me doesn’t really matter to me

  • “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 
  • “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things  present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39

One way or the other your actions will determine your fate not mine

  • “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” – Hebrews 11:3

I am nature

  • “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.” – Psalm 33:6

I will go on

  • “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” – Romans 1:20

I am prepared to evolve

  • “That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun. That there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other…” – Isaiah 45:6

Are you?”

  • “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10
  • “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

What we have here is a clash of worldviews. One that states humans evolved (but not still evolving); that we are subservient to the earth; that we have no purpose; that we have no future outside of placing earth in an elevated state; and our actions are irrelevant, therefore, we are irrelevant. The other worldview declares we were created in image of God, and He seeks a relationship with us. His love for us was so great that His son, Christ, came down amongst His creation in the form of the created – man – to offer Himself as the ultimate sacrifice, and in so doing, created a bridge to our Heavenly Father.

We do have a choice, and unlike what the video declares, our actions do matter. Our lives matter. Our souls matter. Yes, we are to care for God’s creation because He has given it to us to feed us, to clothe us, to shelter us, but we are not to worship nature because it does not exist outside God. Quite the opposite as nature itself declares God’s existence, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Psalm 19:1

Let us not create a false god in nature, but instead, worship the very one who created nature, all of it, for our purpose. Let us accept Christ’s love and salvation – by faith, through grace we are saved. Let us love one another while caring for the creation given to us by our God.

It is a choice…  of two worldviews.

Let Me Be Your Shelter…

Each will be like a refuge from the wind And a shelter from the storm, Like streams of water in a dry country, Like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land. Isaiah 32:3

“Like a bull chasing the matador is the man left to his own scheme, Everybody needs someone beside ’em. Shinin’ like a lighthouse from the sea.” Song: “Brother” by NEEDTOBREATH (Link below)

Coming out of the store a few days ago, I ran into a man I know. He asked me how I am. I made the mistake of actually telling him how I am.

“Where’s the Yvonne I know?”

“She was buried with her daughter. You asked me how I am. Don’t ask if you don’t want to know.”

It’s common – or used to be standard fare – for me to answer the “How are you” question with “I’m okay.” But you want to know the raw truth? I’m not okay. I don’t know if I’ll ever be okay. Normal was obliterated on December 24, 2019 at approximately 2p.m. when I discovered my daughter. What I remember is kneeling beside her, praying to hear her heartbeat, holding her hand, kissing her cheek. I didn’t want to leave her. I was there in the beginning, and I didn’t want to leave her at the end. Everything ceased at that moment. I couldn’t tell you how many people came in the shed; I couldn’t tell you what was said. No birds chirping, no wind through the trees, not a sound pierced the tunnel I was in; I don’t know how much time ticked by as I knelt beside her. At that moment, it was just her and me.

Since then many thoughts have barreled through my mind… questions… Did I do enough; did I love enough; did I search enough; did she know how loved she is; did I give enough… so many questions with no answers. For those who know me, my most oft questions begin with “Why.” If I’m told something can’t be done, I respond, “Why?” If someone is angry, “Why?” stumbles out. Why has that been my go to? For me, I always believed if I knew the why, I would know the root cause and therefore, could find a solution, an answer. I ask “why” no more.

Then there came reflection… each person, no matter who they are, wants to feel love, be loved. When we fail to understand that, we lose ourselves to a world filled with ugliness and evil. We find ourselves struggling with life’s storm, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis… We search for a shelter, a lighthouse to guide us back to safety. We search for someone… anyone who knows… yet we so often fail to reach out because we feel no one knows, no one cares, everyone is too busy… Are you that person? Know someone like that? Do you assume that friend, that son or daughter or spouse, that coworker is strong enough because you’ve always seen them as such? That cashier, that person who cut you off while driving; that rival; that person who let their dog poop in your yard; that person sitting in church five rows from you; that person sitting in the theater three seats from you munching loudly on popcorn: that teenager clothed all in black: do you assume they’re not worthy because of the outward actions or appearances? Could they just be jerks and self-absorbed? Absolutely, but that probability doesn’t negate the deeper question: do you ever dive under the surface to learn more? Do you ever consider coming along beside the person to walk the journey of life?

My favorite scene from a movie – my absolute favorite – comes from “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” The scene finds Sam crawling to his friend Frodo. The pair had been through fire, battles, floods, near-death experiences; the friends were hungry, bone-weary tired. They were so close to where they needed to be, yet it seemed farther away than it ever had. In this scene, after Sam crawls to his friend, Frodo; he takes him in his arms. He begins speaking to him, “Do you remember the shire Mr. Frodo?” Sam then describes how it will be spring soon; he reminds his friend of all the beauty spring produces in the shire. “Do you remember the taste of strawberries,” he asks. “Yes, Sam.” He continues and tells Sam that there is no veil between him and the ring of fire. Frodo is exhausted to the point where he doesn’t think he can make it, or that he can accomplish the task thrust upon him. Frodo is terrified. “Then let us be rid of it, once and for all,” begins Sam with firm resolve. And there it is, the best line ever to be written or spoken: “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you! Come on!” Sam then picks up Frodo, puts him over his shoulder and carries his friend, Frodo, the rest of the way up that desolate mountain to accomplish the task at hand. One step at a time, he carries his friend.

That scene is my favorite because it is so raw and filled with love… Sam knew he couldn’t do what had been assigned to Frodo, but he knew he could be his shelter at that moment and carry him.

We all need a shelter, a friend, a light to shine so we can find our way in the darkness. First and foremost, that always includes Christ, but in Him we are given a task to help each other, to love each other, to come along beside each other and say, “I can’t carry this for you, but I can carry you.”

The most treasured words my Shelby ever said to me were, “Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for always loving me.” I knew I couldn’t carry her pain, her suffering, but I could come along beside her, take her hand, and when necessary, carry her. Now she is held by the only one who loves her more: her Savior, Christ Jesus.

But have I done the same for others? Have I rejected a person before diving deeper; have I dismissed someone God put in my path; have I done enough to be a shelter for someone else? Please don’t comment on the questions I’ve asked myself, because the questions are for me to answer. Instead, ask yourself the questions.

One of the many thoughts that have blown through my mind as a hurricane wind blowing through an old oak is what now do I do? My precious Shelby always felt so alone, so isolated, as if no one understood, no one knew. Maybe if I had been more open during our journey to family, friends, anyone, she might not have felt this way. I don’t know, because as much as I want to, I can’t go back. I can’t change what was; I can only move forward and pray that I have the strength to be a shelter to all who God puts in my path, and when the opportunity arises, I pray I have the strength to say, “I can’t carry your burden, but I can carry you.”

Who has God put in your path? Who do you know who needs shelter? Who do you know who needs to be carried?

All of us need shelter from time to time. If you can’t find that shelter, message me, I will be that shelter with God’s strength.

https://sofmissions.org/

https://laurenskids.org/

 

 

 

Freedom: a Messy Thing (Pt 1)

Freedom: The state of being free, exemption from the power and control of another; liberty; independence. (Webster Dictionary, 1875)

The U.S Constitution was ratified in 1789, two years after the summer of 1787 that produced the Constitution after nearly two months of debates in a sweltering room in Philadelphia. At the conclusion of the convention, it was left to the men of the time to debate the merits of the Constitution. The most comprehensive review of the Constitution and its purpose is found in the Federalist Papers penned by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, and published under the name Publius.

Within the 85 published papers, all items found within the U.S. Constitution are discussed at length.

Federalist No. 1, published October 27, 1787 begins with, “After a full experience in the insufficiency of the existing federal government, you are invited to deliberate upon a new Constitution for the United States of America. The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world.

The last one, Federalist No. 85, published August 13 and 16, 1788 begins with, “According to the formal division of the subject of these papers, announced in my first number, there would appear still to remain for discussion two points: “the analogy of the proposed government to your own State constitution,” and “the additional security which its adoption will afford to republican government.

The U.S. Constitution begins with the Preamble written by Gouverneur Morris: “We, the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common Defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this CONSTITUTION for the United States of America.

And there it is, the purpose of of the U.S. Constitution.

Many leaders of the day would not support ratifying the U.S. Constitution unless it included a Bill of Rights. There were 12 amendments proposed, with only ten being ratified on December 15, 1791.

Alexander Hamilton argued against including a Bill of Rights in Federalist No. 84. His argument was that a Bill of Rights was wholly unnecessary and would be dangerous. “They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed?

He continued to make the point that declaring a Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution would allow men predisposed to usurping power a plausible pretense to claim such power, because if it is in the U.S. Constitution as a “right,” it is therefore plausible that the U.S. Federal government has the authority to regulate such rights, to the point of entirely removing them from the people.

He, along with the other participants in the writing of the Constitution, stated that the U.S. Constitution’s was to limit the power of government, not the power of the people; which is why the U.S. Constitution begins with “We, the People.

However, for other men such as Thomas Jefferson, there would be no support for its ratification unless a Bill of Rights was added during the First Congress. Jefferson wanted to ensure the government in no way could restrict or deny certain basic rights.

These early men were students of history and philos0phy and many of them believed in John Locke’s theory of natural rights that declared men are not borne to be subject to a king but are borne with certain inalienable rights that chief among them are life, liberty and property. In other words, men were borne with rights granted to them by their creator.  Locke, also a student of history and an observer of his time, knew that when government in any form has the power to grant rights, it has the power to remove rights, leaving the people subjects of the government, and not free to live their lives as they deem best.

In the end, the likes of Jefferson and his peers ruled the day because the promise was made that a Bill of Rights would be added to the U.S. Constitution through the amendment process. It is important to stress here that the Bill of Rights restricts the government, not the people. These amendments are:

I. Freedom of press, religion, assembly and speech.

II. The right of the people to keep and bare arms.

III. The right of the people to not have troops quartered in their homes.

IV. The right to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures of property (privacy).

V. The right to due process.

VI. The right to a speedy and fair trial.

VII. The right to a trial by jury.

VIII. The right against excessive bail or fines, and cruel and unusual punishment.

IX. The rights listed in the Constitution shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people.

X. The right of the states and people, respectively, to retain all powers not delegated to the United Stated by the Constitution.

Key words that need to be highlighted is that each amendment states that the noted “right” in each cannot be denied by the U.S. government. Amendment X clearly states that all power not delegated to the U.S. government are retained by the states and people.

The structure of power begins at the bottom, with the people. Think of a pyramid. The biggest part of a pyramid is the bottom, and that is where all the power is to rest. The people then decide which power to delegate to the states. This would be the middle part of the pyramid. The top of pyramid and the smallest part is the U.S. government and it contains the powers delegated to it by the states.

The way it is now is more like an inverted pyramid with the biggest part at the top, or the U.S. government. The states and the people have, unfortunately, ceded much of their power to the U.S. government and as such, have very little. And the saddest part is many Americans would willingly give up their rights as to not offend or to have a bit of temporary safety.

Now that the foundation has been laid, please continue to Part II.

A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once lost, is lost forever.” John Adams, July 7, 1775

 

Obama’s Tears fall Hollow

President Barack Obama took to the airwaves, with tears in his eyes, and declared his intent to make buying or owning a firearm more difficult. His words, and tears, are political theater, designed to elicit emotional support for an issue that he’s been pushing for quite some time: gun control.

“Every single year, more than 30,000 Americans have their lives cut short by guns. Thirty thousand. Suicides, domestic violence, gang shootouts, accidents. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost brothers and sisters or buried their own children…

“No matter how many times people try to twist my words around, I taught constitutional law, I know a little bit about this. I get it, but I also believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment.

“We do not have to accept this carnage as the price of freedom,” Obama said.

He invoked children, first graders and every time he thinks of a child being killed… cue the tears.

Let’s break this down a bit.

First, I find his compassion for children just a bit disingenuous for a man who has staunchly supported abortion, up to the final trimester. Putting it into raw numbers, since he loves to tout them as justification for his actions: almost 58 million babies have lost their lives since Roe vs. Wade. Think about that: 58 million brothers, sisters, grandchildren have been killed while in utero, sucked out as if they were nothing more than garbage. And should a baby survive an abortion, President Obama would rather the baby die on a cold hard table or trash bin than have medical care provided, as exhibited by his vote against a Born Alive Act while an Illinois Senator.

I also find it disingenuous considering his town of Chicago is home to some of the most tragic violence in the nation, to include the killing of children, and yet he’s mentioned Chicago once… today… but he failed to mention that it’s not law-abiding citizens gunning down children, it is criminals who don’t give one iota about background checks or gun laws – of which Chicago is the proud city of extremely strict gun laws.

Second, the putrid hypocrisy oozing from this man is malodorous. Aside, from his only valuing life when it suits his purpose, this is the same man who time and time again has fallen over himself to ensure that we, Americans, don’t condemn Islam, touting ad naseum the idea that it’s a religion of “peace” and we shouldn’t make it more difficult for Muslims to enter the United States and we shouldn’t judge the whole because of the few. Yet, there he stands, condemning the whole because of the few when it applies to gun owners.

Third, gun violence has been on a downward trend for many years now, but let’s take his figure and apply the same standard to say, cars. The National Safety Council reported that in 2013, an estimated 35,200 people died in traffic accidents in the United States, and about 3.8 million people in car accidents required medical attention. The cause according to the report: mostly human error.

I’m certain that the people who buried their brothers, sisters, and children who died because of a car were no less hurt and heartbroken than those who buried their brothers, sisters and children who died because of a bullet.

The President’s Executive Order states doctors can now report certain mental illnesses of their patients to the federal government via the National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS). In addition, information on Social Security beneficiaries who meet the arbitrary “criteria” of “mental impairment” to include an inability to manage their own benefits will be added to the NICS and they will be prohibited from buying and owning a gun.

The President, through Executive Order, will require all persons selling guns to be a registered gun seller. That, in essence, puts an end to all private sales.

Again, let’s apply these standards to cars.

If a person is mentally unstable enough, as defined by the federal government, to own a gun, why are they permitted to drive, especially considering there are more car deaths than gun deaths. Also, because there are more deaths due to car accidents than mass shootings, why not require all car sellers to be registered dealers, meaning, no more private car sales.

Then there’s the hypocrisy that this president wants to release terrorists from Guantanamo Bay who will then most assuredly access their guns to kill people, and possibly a few Americans.

Fourth, there’s his assertion that he taught Constitutional Law and therefore, he knows “a little about this… I also believe we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment.”

Well, let’s review the Second Amendment.

“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.” PERIOD!

Each provision in his Executive Order is an infringement on that right. It doesn’t state that when the president determines too many people have died at the hands of guns, that restrictions (infringement) can be placed on American citizens. It states, “… shall not be infringed.”

And since he’s such a scholar of the Constitution, why has he circumvented Congress through this Executive Order. Why didn’t he make this impassioned argument to Congress, urging them to change the laws as required by Article I?

Remember, Article I states that Congress is to make law; Article II states that the President is to execute the law. It doesn’t state that the President gets to change laws, add to or take away, because he thinks more – or less – should be done. No, he is to execute the laws that the Legislative Branch has passed and he, or a previous president, has signed into law. That’s not what he did though, is it?

Finally, there’s his statement that “We do not have to accept this carnage as the price of freedom.”

Benjamin Franklin once said:

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Which leads me to the conclusion that this President never lets the facts get in the way of a good tale… or to achieve his goal of increasing the power of the federal government, while decreasing the liberties of the American people.

As James Madison wrote in the Federalist Paper 58, “An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among the several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.”

Yet by way of President Obama, along with the complicity of Congress, an elective despotism is now what we have – and I don’t see that changing anytime soon, regardless of who succeeds him.

Cup of Joe

My day begins early and always with a cup of coffee, usually accompanied with the news. I know, the latter is not always (or usually) the best way to start the day because sometimes the news is so distressing, it’s enough to spark the desire to start the day with a glass of wine instead of coffee… and of course, that’s never a good thing.

Which brings me to this morning… and Joe Scarborough. Good ole Joe used to be a U.S. Representative for Northwest Florida and now has his own morning show… praise be, there’s life after politics after all. Why news channels continually flock to has-been politicians to lead “news” shows is an idea I will never understand, but alas, here we are… news anchors replaced with personalities, which brings me to this morning… again.

Sitting in my Northwest Florida home with my cup of coffee, watching Joe interview Mike Huckabee, a Republican presidential candidate. After a somewhat coherent interview, Joe asks Mike Huckabee the following, verbatim:

“Can you do me a favor right now? Cause I’m a Republican and I like to win elections and you win elections by getting people to vote for your party. Can you do something right now, and, and say something nice about Muslim-Americans right now, ah, who are pursuing the American Dream that are law abiding and let them know you want them in our Republican Party, ah, every bit as much as you want Southern Baptist from Northwest Florida in the Republican Party?”

What?! I almost snorted coffee through my nose at the question, but it wasn’t over. Huckabee begins an answer, “Absolutely. Look…” was all he got before Joe cut in with, “Cause I’m so worried that I hear some of the other Republican candidates saying things, acting as it Muslim-Americans are others, are not of one us. They are our brothers and sisters, are they not?”

So now my coffee is through my nose and on my shirt.

Ah, no they are not our brother and sisters. First, let’s just get rid of this whole hyphenated American crap. Either one is an American or they are not… period. There are no hyphenated Americans.

Second, why is the onus on a presidential candidate to say something nice about Muslims? Why is not the onus put on Muslims, American or otherwise, to say something nice about America. The country that affords them to practice the religion of their choice?

Third, why is the implication that non-Muslim Americans have a problem with Muslim Americans. I am not Muslim and I do not have a problem with Muslims, but apparently, there are many Muslims who have a problem with me. I don’t dress, speak or act in accordance with the Koran, and that, to them, is a huge problem. Yes, yes, many Muslims are “peaceful” but until I see the masses of “peaceful” Muslims rise up in opposition to the “radical” or “extremist” Muslims who, according to many, twist the religion, I do not really want to be lectured to about saying something nice about Muslim-Americans.

Now of course, Joe wasn’t directing the question to me personally, but he might as well have been because that’s the implication from him and all his fellow-talking heads, as well as the President and his administration. They all seem to fall over themselves, clamoring to say how much we need to respect Islam and its “peaceful” tenants, while watching Christians’ heads rolling off their shoulders in the Middle East or Americans gunned downed in America. Really? This is the priority?

Seventy four years ago today, we were attacked. President Roosevelt didn’t mince words. The media didn’t mince words. We were attacked and we responded in full force. It may have taken a few months, but on April 18, 1942, Tokyo felt the full wrath of America. Sixteen B-25 bombers took off from the USS Hornet with the mission to drop bombs on Tokyo and other Japan assets. While it didn’t stop the war, it sent a message to Japan that they were not untouchable and we would respond in full force; civilians, military, industry, no one was out of reach of the American military when provoked.

And so today, as I watched and listened to Joe ask such an absurd question, and then listened to the President’s address from the night before, I realized we are doomed to lose this war because we have an administration and media that are more concerned with how Muslims feel than responding in full force to eviscerate the enemy. An enemy who has proclaimed they will see their flag fly over the White House.