Tag Archives: Syria

The Man We Need: Governors' Pie Pt2

“Alright, before we begin,” Barry said. “Governor Jamie, would you stand for me, please?”

She rose.

“Would you be willing to pull off your shirt and show us your breasts?”

Jamie’s eyes widened, but she blinked. “No, sir. I would not.”

“Why not?”

“It’s inappropriate.”

“Why?”

“Because, it’s just wrong.”

“I’m not disagreeing with you, but why is it wrong to see you naked?”

“Because,” she paused, thinking. “These aren’t for other people to see.”

“Except your husband?”

“Yes,” she shifted, feeling self conscious.

“So your husband, a man who has proven his trustworthiness and his love for you, is permitted to see you nude?”

“Yes.”

“Alright,” Barry turned, glancing at others. “That’s pretty fair. Actually, that’s not fair, but it’s right. It’s right that she can be private about her personal space and what she will or won’t permit others to see. Now, what if I said I believed she had a bomb in her bra. Should I make her walk around without anything at all to protect her modesty? Because I believe she might be doing something I disagree with, do I have the right to make her run around topless?”

The room was silent.

“Not so easy to answer, is it? A topless woman is an easy illustration, but our personal safety gets difficult. After all, it’s not like we’re carrying around swords anymore. But … if I felt unsafe because I couldn’t see her breasts, would I have the right to demand she give up her privacy so I could feel better?”

Barry turned to her, looming over her.

“I don’t feel safe! Let me see your breasts!” he demanded.

Her face darkened, her eyes locked on him. “Not on your life, Mr. President.”

Barry suddenly smiled. “Thank you, Governor Jamie. Thank you. That’s exactly what I wanted to hear. Please, you can take your seat if you like.” He turned back to the group. “‘Not on your life, Mr. President,’ is what she said. ‘Not on your life.’ I couldn’t agree more. No president’s life, much less his whims or political aspirations, validate the loss of the American right to privacy. My LIFE isn’t worth your privacy. Why would that be?”

“But the safety of the people is more important than the safety of specific individuals!” one of the governors interjected.

“It depends,” Barry said. “That’s an easy blanket statement, but it doesn’t apply universally. How can it? All I have to do is label something for the ‘safety of the people’ and with such a blanket statement and I’ll convince anyone of anything. ‘Women have turned on us! They should all run around topless!’ Now that I’ve scared the men, we’ll take away your right to privacy so we feel safer. But the problem is, providing national safety and taking your right and freedom to privacy only extends so far. If we think there’s no limit, there never will be. If we don’t agree that people have the right to privacy until they hurt others, then we will always take rights of,” Barry raised his fingers, “‘the people.’ How easy it is to say ‘the people’ to justify our desires. Who comprises ‘the people?’”

Barry tapped himself in the chest. “I’m one of the ‘people,’ and I don’t want the bullshit others have been trying to sell me. I don’t want any president to take my right to self defense so others can feel better about a pacified neighborhood. I don’t want to be lumped in so others can justify huge abrogations of individual rights. Honestly? Who the hell are you — or anyone, really — to choose what’s best for ‘the people.’ Can’t ‘the people’ do it for themselves? We live in a day and age where there is no information unavailable to just about anyone, where communication is instant, where opportunity is boundless, and all we do is keep tightening the cinch for what we fear other people might do with all that unlimited opportunity.

“We must end this fear!” Barry declared. “And actually begin trusting each other!”

“And how, exactly, do you suppose we do that?” one of the governors still dressed in a suit sat back and crossed his arms.

“Give people no other choice,” Barry replied without hesitation. “People have been asking for options other-than-reality for decades and we’ve been delivering, but it’s created a cheap facade of security where there has been none. We can’t protect people from reality, but the free market has made reality easier with better technology, division of labor, communications … you name it, the market has done it. What have we done? We ain’t done shit.”

“But we create the safe society for the people and the poor to get by!” one governor exclaimed.

“We sent our country to war after war after after war, killing our sons and daughters generation after generation and you call that peace!?” Barry gasped. “That’s not peace!”

“We can’t have peace if we don’t fight off the bad guys,” one governor raised his hand.

“We can’t have peace if we think the only option is for our country to commit to war when the people of this country receive no direct benefit.”

“Those people need our help! You have a responsib-”

“They’re not my people!” Barry exclaimed. “I wasn’t elected president of Syria! Or Iraq!  Or Afghanistan! I was elected president of the United States! Americans are my responsibility — insofar as the constitution defines them as my responsibility. Those other countries are going to have to have to live with the decisions they’ve made, good or bad!”

“Isn’t that sticking your head in the ground?” asked another.

800px-Car_bomb_in_Iraq“Isn’t it arrogant to believe we have the right to commit the monies, children and lives of a free people to an action not all of them can rightfully agree to?”

“Are you suggesting we don’t do anything at all? You’re withdrawing our troops, cutting our services … what exactly do you think the government should do?”

“NOTHING!” Barry roared. “ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!” He turned around at the circle. “These are your people in your states in your counties and districts and cities and they don’t live for me or at my behest! I’m not their king! I’m not their god! I cannot direct them in anything! I am not here to lead them. I’m here to preserve their god-given liberty so they can lead themselves! It’s up to them what they want to make out of this sandbox we call freedom!”

“But people live their freedom differently!” one governor stood up.
Barry squeezed his eyes and started laughing. “They won’t all experience the same wealth as some!” he continued.

“And?” Barry walked toward him. “It’s their freedom. Not ours.” He motioned across the governors. “Their freedom, their success, their failures, their wealth, are not ours to manage. We cannot manage the lives of other people unless,” he raised a finger, “they’re our slaves. Are they your slaves, governor?”

“It’s only right for people to help people.”

“Then help them. Give them your paycheck.”

The governor blanched. “It- it wouldn’t be enough, anyway.”

“And it never will be,” Barry said. “There is not enough money to satisfy the ‘needs’ of those who will not work for it, and certainly not those who pander to them in hopes of maintaining power.”

“That’s not fair!” one governor protested.

“Neither is life!” Barry retorted. “Life isn’t fair. We can’t make it more fair by taking from those who fairly earned it to those who fairly haven’t.”

“Life isn’t that simple!” another governor protested.

“And so why do you keep promising citizens simple solutions to fix it?” Barry turned to face them. “Taking money from Peter to pay Paul only enslaves Peter to Paul’s desires, so long as politicians like us keep justifying distributive theft! We keep justifying using public monies to prop some people at the cost of others, some companies at the cost of others.”

Barry walked back to the box and the chair and put them side-by-side.
“Both are very different objects,” said Barry. “One is metal and tall and slender. The other is heavy and white and wide and made of wood. Because the box CAN fit the chair, and the chair not so easily fit the box, should the chair then have a right to sit atop the box?”

The group looked at him.

“Today, we politicians keep using the logic that because something CAN be, it should be. We CAN take money from the high earners to give to the low earners. But in a free world,” Barry pointed at the two objects, “the chair and box must sit on the floor together. One rises higher than the other, but that wealth?” Barry raised his foot and stamped down hard on the seat of the foldable metal chair, warping it. “Easily lost in a market unsupported by public subsidies. It’s a fake structure, built on public monies and subsidies and one-sided regulations that makes an entire corporation its own bubble. The box?”

Barry stamped on the box several times and it didn’t move. “Stable, solid and unmoving. It’s low and not so pretty, but it’s stable and will last awhile under heavier weight and change than this flimsy metal chair.” Barry kicked the chair over again. “Easily tossed.” He walked around the chair, pointing at it. “This is our, economy, one we have touted as advanced, but in reality is flimsy and easily broken.”

Rounding it, Barry stepped onto the box. “This is the economy we should aim for. It’s not so high, but it’s stable and difficult to break. It simmers lower with gentle peaks but will also have more gentle economic valleys. In this economy, huge corporations rise and fall easily, unsupported by cronies in government. You know what that means? That means the poor are less regulated into their poverty, allowing freer movement upwards.”

Barry turned and pointed at the governor protesting the need to help the poor.

Homeless“You keep demanding we take from earners to give to those in need, but the very policies you put in place only create more people who need. If we focused our attention on destroying the cronyism in our government, deregulating the monopolistic tactics of crooked elected representatives, we wouldn’t have to worry about the poor near as much as we do today, because poverty would be considered more a temporary stopping point for people on their way through bad choices on their way to a better life. But today, we’ve made it a resting ground for everyone who doesn’t have their head up the ass of one of our congressional reps. We regulate out of business our competitors and make illegal companies we simply disagree with on trumped up moral lies.”

Barry stamped his foot.

“The buck stops here. Tonight, we’re starting something dangerous. We’re getting rid of the top-down approach. We’re leaving this archaic system of human control behind us. Tonight, we learn what it takes to truly serve a free people, not a bunch of spoiled brats educated to believe they need us, because they don’t. They need themselves. This won’t be easy, and it will cost many politicians their political careers, but political careers are easily sacrificed in pursuit of real freedom. I will sacrifice my own, and I would sacrifice any of yours.

“None of you are worth the citizens you serve. If any of you thought differently, then I hope you lose your office quickly. If you know whom you serve, I hope you will serve them well by getting out of their way.”

Barry stepped off the box and clasped his hands.

“Alright, let’s talk about my ultimatums and what they mean for you.”

See Part III – Oct 7

Who Are We Going to Be As a Nation?

A friend and I were talking Syria over coffee and he mentioned that one of the core roots of our problems when it comes to how we deal with international incidents, is that we do not know who we are.

Are we a nation that attempts to solve the problems of the nations of the world, willing to sacrifice our own children for theirs, spend our hard-earned money on people who make perpetually bad decisions on their own, throw our weight around like an arrogant prick and otherwise be the same bully everyone here seems so to vilify? Or are we a nation of free people who realize that what we have here in America is great specifically because our ancestors fought to keep kings and queens from sacrificing our children and our money and our efforts on projects and wars and programs and ideas we don’t need or even want?

Who are we as a people? Do we know?

As a people, I’d venture we were always to be a variety of immigrants who respected each others right to live in the freedom this nation was founded upon. That means one group can support something here or abroad that differs from the next group, and the next group and the next group.

We must also ask ourselves a harder question — Does having the power to intervene in someone else’s conflict give us the right to intervene?

A longheld belief that the presence of power entails the responsibility to use it in a nominally “good” fashion means that what is right or wrong according to the one holding the power suddenly seems a better morality than the one without the power. This conceit will keep America (as had kept Rome, Greece, Persia and all other empires) in the mindset of interfering in the affairs of other nations without due cause and ultimately to the demise of these broad nations.

YE Iraq US TroopsA power borne in our nation from the wealth of liberty should never be used to infringe on or for the oppression of others, as we have often already seen committed by our own government upon its people in favor of one group’s morality over another, one culture over another, one science over another, one religion over another.

Who are we as a nation?

Are we supporters of imperialism? Imperialism doesn’t have to be the abrogation of other nation states and the annexation of them under our sovereignty. It can be as simple as exercising our moral judgement over their behavior via the unfair denial of economy or the threat and violence of military action against that which we disagree with. Are we imperialists? God does not call us to be anything of the sort. Humanism does not demand that a group of responsible traders (boil down our economy, and everyone is a trader of something) rule over other groups of irresponsible traders.

If you understand humanity, you’ll know that when you’re forced to do something considered “good,” you’ll find ways around having to do it. “Incentivize” good without punishment and you’ll see people in the droves moving toward it to better themselves, one way or the other.

There is no need to force people to do what is in their own best interest. They will do it. However, if you attempt to force your best idea on how they can better themselves, they will automatically assume that since you’re willing to use force, both you are untrustworthy, and so is your idea. You could even be right, but they won’t want to hear you because you think that you can merely force good on other people.

Corzine Public HearingYou can’t force other people to be “better.”

We can’t force Syria to be moral. We can’t force Palestine to heal. We can’t force North Korea to embrace freedom. We can’t even make Americans eat better by reducing the available sizes of coke cups or candy bars.

Who are we as a people?

Do we believe each individual human is ultimately capable of charting his or her own course through lives owned by no one but themselves, or do we believe humans are generally stupid, incapable and otherwise at the bottom of the evolutionary food chain? I mean, cuz the past 10,000+ years of civilization must have been a fluke. We obviously need more top-down control.

Or are we a people of freedom? Dedicated to freedom for ourselves to make good choices as we are for foreigners to make bad ones? Until their bad decisions directly affect us, have we any right to pretend we have any further rights to control their behavior?

I suppose the better question is not: “Who are we as a nation?” But instead: Who are you as a citizen? A human being? Are you one to control others, or are you willing to let people learn from their mistakes, even as another nation, and trust that humans will always ultimately strive to their own self improvement? And even if they aren’t, do you have the right to stop them, any more than they to you?

Syria Voted ClusterF by Americans, Politicians Feed

The Violation of Our Religious Rights

Meet Bob. He believes we should bomb those in Syria who use chemical weapons.

Meet Cindy. She believes we shouldn’t bomb those in Syria who use chemical weapons.

Which one of them is right?

Personal opinions are just that, personal. Bob can believe one way, Cindy can believe in another.

Bob wants to send his own money and his own weapons over to Syria to fight against those who use chemical weapons. Cool. Go ahead.

Cindy sends her money to help the poor here in America, instead. Awesome.

Bob wants to send Cindy’s money so he can bomb those in Syria. Until he takes it from her, he can want to take her money all he wants. But when he finds a collective way to spend her money on what he wants, regardless of whether she agrees or not, he violates her right not to support killing people she doesn’t know. That’s a serious violation of our religious rights. What if Cindy was a pacifist? Her religion in the mother spirit said to kill other humans was evil, except in self defense.

Bob is violating her natural rights by taking her property (money) and using it to kill human beings. Bill will tell her and everyone else that his morality is better than her morality, because it saves the lives of other people, but those other people do not live in Cindy’s country, do not help pay taxes to that country, and do not live under the principles of liberty by which Cindy lives out her faith.

By what moral superiority does Bob have to spend Cindy’s money on killing people neither of them knows?

This is the root evil of American involvement in Syria.

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 3.42.14 PM

Syria is its own Damn Country

Meet America. It’s in the Western hemisphere.

Meet Syria. It’s not in the Western hemisphere. It’s not even close to the Western hemisphere. It doesn’t even much care about the Western hemisphere. It’s so busy fighting itself between the Radical Islamists, the dictators and local outsiders that it doesn’t need to worry itself about us.

Meet America. We like to think we should save the world. aka. “Busybody”

Meet Syria. It doesn’t want us in its business. aka “Got issues, Dealing with it, Leave us the F!#% Alone”

Meet America. “We promised to prevent the world from using chemical weapons!”

Meet Syria. “WTF? This is OUR war! We’ll both use them if we want to!”

Meet America. “We have a responsibility to make sure everyone plays fair!”

Meet Syria. “Who the hell are you to tell us what we will/won’t do? You don’t pay our taxes, you don’t get a say in our civil war!”

Meet America. Still not Syria.

Meet Syria. “F!#% off.”

The Other Complications

We have a president who is arrogant in his decisions regarding his own people, but now wafting on how to deal with a diplomatic situation that, still, we have no business controlling. I don’t support arrogance in either situation, really, but he’s asking congress’s permission while still promising to do something whether they say yes or not. He can’t make up his mind.

Congress is battling it out if they want to support this action or not, knowing that the American public wants them to stay out of it. It’s not our war. These are not our people. Leave them alone.

Conflict in Aleppo, SyriaThe biggest complication of all?

There is no clear good guy in any of these conflicts — not even the local citizens who started the protests last year. There are more than 13 separate insurgency groups in Syria and all of them are backed by various terrorist groups, middle eastern dictatorships, or are ground-up Islamists hoping not to create a nation of freedom but their own dictatorial switch. The Syrian people are suffering under these groups, but Syria belongs to the Syrians, and it will be up to them to unify enough to create a real revolution, one in the heart and in the political mind, to leave the monarchies of the past behind them and embrace the equality of man and the value of the individual.

That’s the real battle that needs to happen, and we won’t create that by bombing one group or the other. We’re the therapist trying to prevent the husband and wife from fighting and we’re more likely to get both of them to turn on us. T

Dear America, leave Syria alone. Let them figure it out. If they don’t earn this themselves, they never will appreciate what anyone else attempts to do for them.

Leave them alone.

The Man We Need: Surprise Visit

IMG_6807When Barry emerged from the underground tram at the Congressional stop, the senators about to board stared as he passed. The guards, too, appeared unsure how to react to the president’s unannounced arrival, one lifting a phone to dial the main station upstairs.

Barry raised his hand. “Wait, wait. Please.”

The officer paused.

“Wait there, a moment,” Barry walked up to the station and through the metal detectors. “Please, don’t call them. This is a surprise visit, thank you, very much.”

“Yes, sir,” the officer slowly lowered the handset, blinking.

“Thank you,” Barry smiled and made his way up the escalator to the elevators, where he entered alongside two junior senators from the northeast who broke out with smiles and offered handshakes.

“How’re you two doing, today? Last we met was at the inauguration, I believe?”

“Yessir,” one said. “Do you normally come over to the Congress early?”

Barry chuckled. “I normally ain’t the president.” He then laughed at their frozen smiles — neither of them sure how to take his joke. “No, I decided to visit a little early today. It never helps when people see you only when they expect you.” He winked at them, then turned around between the two secret service agents who had fit into the elevator with him, neither looking comfortable with his impromptu visit, or the limited number of agents — five — he brought with him. The other three were now sprinting up the stairwells to reach the top floor when he did.

As the doors opened, Barry stepped out among several other cars with emerging passengers, most of whom paused in-step, staring as he turned from the facing walls of cars, turning toward the main hallway ahead where his remaining secret service members caught up with him.

He motioned for them all to get close.

“Alright now. We should be on pretty friendly territory, from your point of view. From my point of view, I just stepped into a viper’s nest who doesn’t know it’s about to be driven from its hole. Stay close, but give me room to breathe. I’m here to meet’n’greet and otherwise startle the shit outta some of them. Just standing here is already removing my advantage, but some things can’t be helped. Just get used to this. I’m likely to pop over on a semi-regular basis unannounced, though I guaran-damn-tee you they will get smarter about notifying those up top when I come in. For now, eyes open, but don’t block anyone unless you have reason to think they might do me harm. Good?”

“Yessir,” they nodded.

“Let’s go,” Barry smiled and turned and began walking, pausing to shake people’s hands —anyone close enough who waved — and say hello. His presence began to create a ruckus and elder statesmen began to appear to stare at spontaneous president and his small entourage. He shook even the hands of visiting dignitaries, state politicians and he went out of the way to greet those in military uniform walking the marble floors. Asking questions and wishing them well.

He wandered the length of the building, pausing in offices — only surprising a small few who were too engrossed to catch up in the flutter rippling the building.

It wasn’t until he finishes his impromptu tour of the visitor’s center that a senior senator approached him.

“President Potter,” he said, extended a hand well worn with shaking others’, meeting Potter’s firmly.

“Senator … Thumpleton? Texas, right?”

“Yes, Mr. President. Quite right. Good to see you, again.”

“Indeed, senator,” said Barry.

“Well, welcome to the capitol building,” the senator smiled broadly.

“Yes, thank you. It’s nice to be back.”

“I must say, though, Mr. President, we weren’t expecting you until eleven o’clock. It’s somewhat unorthodox arriving so early and us so unprepared.”

“Why? Am I important?”

“You’re, the president.”

“I’m a man.”

“With important responsibilities.”

“Less than you might think.”

The senator’s brows dropped at that.

“So, I wanted to stop by, meet and greet a few of our nation’s representatives. Say hello.”

“You know, there’s a time and place for that, Mr. President.”

“I know,” Barry smiled. “Here and now. Always is. So, hello, and goodbye. I must go visit my secretary of state before this morning’s formal luncheon. Pleasure shaking your hand, though.” Barry turned and walked back the way he’d come, turning down hallways until he reached the secretary of state’s office, where a man pulling on his coat stood in the waiting room next to the secretary’s desk. Everyone was already standing as Barry stepped inside, the man in the center of the room stepping forward with his hand extended.

“Starting things off with a bang, Mr. President?”

“I’m just starting things, John,” Barry shook his hand warmly. “How’s the morning?”

2319172324_5dee8a10b5_z“We’re trying to figure out this Syria thing, sir,” said John. “I’ve been on the phone with Israel since about five. What brings you down here early, sir?”

“You know, I just hate being expected,” Barry said. “I thought I’d come on down early and talk to you about Syria to find out what’s going on from inside the wire. Just so long as you have more to offer than CNN.”

“Yes, please, come on in,” said John, leading the president into his office.. “Though I had to hang up on Turkey.”

“I’m sure you’ll get back to them soon enough,” said Barry, taking the seat in front of John’s desk. “Listen, what’s our current diplomatic standpoint on this conflict?”

“Well, sir,” John sat down behind his desk. “Until we were going to sit down to discuss, I was planning on doing what my predecessor was doing. It’s not easy to switch up diplomatic approaches in the middle of a conflict.

“I can’t argue with that logic, John,” Barry said. “But that’s one reason I chose you. Another is your lock’em-in-a-room-together approach that I really value.”

John chuckled. “Sure, sure. But we can’t use that with Syria.”

“You ain’t kidding,” said Barry. “Besides, the last thing we need is to start open warfare with Iran’s 4,000 marching in.”

“I think our military commanders-”

“Will disagree on the best method of approach,” Barry cut him off. “What I’m concerned with, is how much the region is depending on us maintaining their stability.”

“I think the world is depending on us for that, Mr. President.”

“Barry.”

“Sir?”

“Call me Barry when we’re in here. I need you to be frank with me and the last thing I need is my title getting in the way.”

John mused his lips, then nodded. “I didn’t think you’d really like being called that, anyway.”

“As well to call me Mr. Plumber or Mr. Baker,” Barry sat back, crossing his knees. “I think the best ones are the ones who know you by name.”

“I can agree, but would also consider your position a bit higher than theirs.”

“Only to some,” Barry nodded. “I think they’re generally more productive in a single day than most presidents in a single term.”

John half-chuckled, but didn’t nod.

“And I aim to reinforce that,” Barry said.

“Yes, well sir,” John took a breath. “Syria is the same mess it was when we talked before the inauguration. Twelve plus insurgent groups from Hezbollah to the Free Syrian Army, including Iran’s Revolutionary Guards now making their way into the mess, there is no easy approach to this cluster. Assad’s sitting down hard on the insurgents and greater global opinion debates whether we should support the moderately secular government or the underdog Arab Spring groups. I’ve got the defense committees breathing down my neck about your response, which I don’t have anything to offer them to take back to committee …”

“And you won’t until we meet tomorrow,” Barry said. “Which we’re on for tomorrow morning, I believe?”

“Yes sir,” John said.

“I’m meeting with the joint chiefs this afternoon after my tour with the Pentagon,” said Barry.

“I’m going with you on that tour.”

“Oh, that’s right.”

“We’ll figure out more after we get more from them there, but I’ll be outlining with them things important for us tomorrow. Meanwhile, I need you to draft up nonparticipatory scenarios.”

“Nonparticipatory?”

“I want to know what happens if we do nothing.”

“You mean more nothing than we’re already doing?”

“I mean no direct CIA intervention at all. No black ops on the ground.”

“Are you kidding?”

“I want the scenarios, not to stop moving.”

“Alright,” John watched him from the corner of his eye. “Is there something I should know? Barry?”

Background_explore_capitol_hill“There’s plenty you should know, but it’s not time to tell you just yet. It will be a surprise and it will be in front of people and you will look, possibly, as surprised as anyone; perhaps less, given our conversation right now.”

“So I should make some guesses?”

“I should hope you’ve already started.”

“There is that.”

“All I will tell you is that you might face the most difficult task of your career, and that my tenure will be one helluva messy business. We’re gonna be breaking a lot of expectations the American people have held a very long time, and it might mean impeachment hearings, scandal, and our fair representatives are going to come at us with everything they have to keep me from succeeding. And I can’t even tell you my thoughts are perfect, but I hired you to help me make America a better place. How we do it will be unorthodox, but it will be worth it.”

John pursed his lips. “We’ve only had a couple of conversations, Barry, but this seems a bit more than even we had previously discussed.”

“It is, and there will be more. I told you not one single lie, but I’ve learned a difficult lesson, a long time ago, that people hear what they want when they want until you’re ready to destroy their world. We’re about to do some destroying, John. I can’t promise it will be easy. But it will be worth it.” Barry looked at John. “It will be worth it.”

John took a slow breath, looking down at his desk, then back up at Barry. “You know, when you called me up and asked if I wanted this job, I wondered why me. You know I have no great love for any of our previous administrations and I’m not much of a politician.”

“You’re a diplomat,” said Barry. “You negotiated with the best of them when you worked for the state department back in the 90’s and you have always been a man of integrity. If you will trust me, and use your skills as best you know how for the vision ahead, I think we can accomplish something long forgotten in our country.”

“And what vision is that?”

“Liberty.”

Lifeskill: Staying In Your Lane

3500052635_f1fafd53bf1As a member of the US Armed Forces, I’m here to serve my country, obey the officers appointed over me, and support the commander in chief. I signed up to do that duty as a job. I love America, but truth be told, I didn’t join the service from some chest-swelling honor. Honestly, it was the year 2000 and I certainly wasn’t going to college on the private dime. Instead, I decided to start my life in the service, gain some personal discipline, go to college, and learn a skill. I’m very glad I’m here; I’m glad I serve this country; I’m glad I can help people around the world.

On the other hand, I’m a strong Libertarian, staunchly anti-statist and believe the US has no business nation building around the world, nor continuing wars that should never have begun. I support total war, which is when you reserve war as your very last option, but when you commit to it, there are no holds barred when striking enemy targets. We don’t nation build, we don’t send federal aid, we don’t soften our stance for simple political reasons. We get in, we get out, we cripple the enemy, and we save more lives in the long run by making it so costly for the enemy that to continue his course of action is counter productive.

And I must balance this belief that the state is counter to the long-term health of my nation while simultaneously serving the only constitutionally promoted government agency of any real size or scope.

I also don’t save the trees, eat vegan, save pets slated for being put down, worry about global warming, or care that Syria is in a tilted civil war.

SandInHandThese are not in my lane. And no, I can’t change everything. To be honest, I can’t really change much of anything at all. People aren’t good at changing things in life. We try really hard, or sometimes don’t, and just keep pressing. But we aren’t able to change much. Even if you wanted to say: “A thousand raindrops make a shower!” you still have to realize that I’m not going to waste my life trying to be the rain when I can enjoy it as a droplet.

I think the world can do just fine without me. If I were to die today, a few might miss me, fewer would know I’m even dead, and hardly anyone would ponder what the world might be like if I had lived. Sad to say, but if you’re reading this, I’d wager well you have the same odds were you to die right now.

There are so many things that could occupy my mind right now. I could worry about children in Uganda, genocide in the Balkans, slaughter in Syria, famine in South America, abused children in Detroit, beaten wives in New York, drug addicts in LA, murder in Washington D.C. …

The world’s pretty messy. It needs to be cleaned up, and for each of us in our own small way, we can help improve the world. But I can’t change everything, and I honestly have little intention of trying unless it stands directly before me.

I’m going to stay in my lane.

watch_cogsIn my life, I am where I am. That is not to say I can condone bad behavior around me if I see that it threatens the lives of others improperly, or enslaves people. Otherwise, I’m not going to worry about the grand scheme, in general. Nor do I think God is going to hold me accountable for the grand scheme, because He knows I’m built for just a tiny little bit of it. To that effect, I will concern myself with my tiny little bit of it, remaining ever open for God to bring me to new twists and turns, but not seeking them out as I’m busy enough keeping my own stuff in line.

Have you been captured by the worry bug? Do you concern yourself with things so very far from your purview, but feel that you cannot bear to ignore them merely because there is something negative going on. “The world is in peril!!”

Psha. The world is always in peril. Always has been. Did you know the polar bears likely would be forced from the ice right about now even if humans had never existed? Certain animals groups might go into extinction without our interference whatsoever. Land shifts. Animals die. The world rolls on.

Are you going to worry and fret over what you cannot control, or will you waste your time, emotions and energy trying to keep the tide from rolling in?

Live honorably, but don’t put your honor where it doesn’t belong.

DEPLOY UPDATE: Welcome to Deployment

227191_10151339914015926_632531169_nI am now at my deployed location overseas

Starting the deployment process is mostly a hairy activity of calling one person, then finding out you have to call three other people, for them to send you long and difficult-to-read documents about how to get to where you’re deploying, then find out you have other people to call who will give you different instructions on the very reporting instructions you just received while telling you that they’re correct and the others are are wrong.

I learned a long time ago not really to pay attention to most instructions. Now, that has played to my detriment as I’m more likely to daydream during an event prebrief, and I look like I don’t know what’s going on (because I don’t), I’m not really disappointed when what I’m told barely jives with what really happens.

I also learned many years ago that what people say and what they mean — even for those attempting to be literal and straight — are often two different things. People do not know how to effectively communicate with each other, nor often take the time to ensure they captured the entirety of their message before attempting to deliver it. I remember listening to instructions in high school and finding out that rarely were instructions what the instructor actually intended to execute. It put a bad taste in my mouth for following them, as inevitably I’d have other stuff I would have to do or something would be modified.

28743_10151339914120926_85439651_nIn any event, it’s been a rather interesting deployment process.

It’s been quite fun, however, since getting to Combat Action Skills Training. In a class of about 100, flight of 19 and fire team of five, I’ve experienced a host of training events including convoy operations, counter improvised explosive device (IED), land navigation, tactical movement, urban operations, tactical casualty care considerations and a field training exercise that brought it all back together. I feel much more comfortable handling the common weapons I’m most likely to use if ever forward deployed and had a great personal time with interesting people I attended the course with.

Deploying was a voluntary decision on my part, and I’ll be out there approximately six months, unless I extend, which I’m considering. The choice included a number of personal and professional factors I won’t go into depth here, suffice to say I’ll benefit in a number of ways and hope equally to leave a strong, positive impact on my assigned mission overseas.

My current career goals including pursuing a commission, learning LEAN and Six Sigma, and hopefully getting into change management, internal communication and leadership development consulting. I’ll couple that with growing my voice acting career, writing my novels, continuing this loverly blog and possibly one day getting into talk radio.

18818_10151339914210926_982914336_nI’d love to hit somewhere between Frasier Crane and Neal Boortz. Ironically, or maybe even hypocritically?, I don’t often listen to talk radio. I suppose because I’m not into shock-jocking, and while I do listen to the likes of Boortz, Limbaugh, Levine, etc., occasionally, I’m not into hyped-up discussions. That, and I’m not very partisan insamuch as I’m very Libertarian and advocate freedom over pushing one agenda or another into the grand pocketbook of the US government.

But then, those of you who read regularly already know that.

I’ll be posting deployment updates on a non-regular basis and I won’t be providing more specific details than are appropriate considering the nature of me going overseas. Stay tuned and I’ll keep you updated.

Thanks again for reading and God bless!

Proposal: US Military Structure and Defense

A very simple proposal for the US military and general defense. This is entirely of a personal opinion and in no way reflects my current duties for the service.

INITIAL ACTIONS

  1. Remove all US military bases on foreign soil — I’m not paying tax money to defend Germany or South Korea. If Europe feels threatened by Russia, let them build up their own army instead of depending on us and then hating us for it.
  2. Build up Border Defense Forces using US Army  and US Army Air Corps — Get rid of the US Air Force and let it maintain all standing and Reserve forces to protect against foreign invasion and terrorist incursion
  3. Build up US Navy and US Marine Corps as a powerful global strike force — Employ a total-warfare military mindset. The military is not to be used as political pressure, but a final use of force when all other means of diplomacy have failed, and when they have failed, to use Total Warfare. As Teddy Roosevelt once said: Talk softly and carry a big stick.
  4. Build upon current US Coast Guard to improve naval defense capabilities against potential sea-based invaders — as USN/MC are employed around the world as needed, the USCG remains a constant vanguard against invaders and terrorist incursion

ATTITUDE OF WARFARE

  1. Total War — All military actions are swift, specific, sure and short. This will ultimately save the most lives and money for both sides.
  2. Non-interventionism — This has no bearing on our economic efforts or relationships around the world. It does prevent us from militarily solving conflicts between or within foreign nations. We are not the world police nor are any moral authority on how countries face off. We do not pick favorites and we do not promote global favoritism. We do not plant ourselves overseas on foreign soil to prevent conflict. If we cannot economically or peacefully secure our national needs, then we ought to either seek other methods of filling those needs, or change those needs to free ourselves from such foreign entanglements.
  3. End Nation-building — I am not a global citizen. If I were, I’d move into the middle of the Atlantic or some anomalous position around the world. I’m an American citizen and a global consumer of the world market of economics and ideas. Those two do not infer direct affectation or inclusion by the other. When the military must make specific tactical strikes in a foreign nation to achieve a required defense goal for America or her allies, her focus is on ending the given threat as quickly as possible, not coddling enemy peoples or the forces which gave rise to the threat to America.
  4. End military-delivered aid EXCEPT in specific response to catastrophic natural disasters — The tragedy of the tsunami in southwest Asia is a good example the US military can build goodwill around the world, but the military is not the Red Cross. Our military should focus more on swift, sure and short tactical actions that results in the least amount of dead and quickest end of active hostilities.

While the military has performed a great deal of goodwill throughout the world and has promoted peace and goodwill, I think we would be better off if we left the military to doing what the military is designed to do — hurt people who threaten our nation’s liberty — and promote the growth of charities to come in after the military has done its job and help those in need. I don’t mind helping those we’ve hurt, especially when our goal is never to hurt more than absolutely necessary to end the conflict. We can help them through the strong private sector charities who used to be mountains of help prior to the government taking that role. It’s time we can support their rise again.

We can employ a more honorable use of our military — use it for defense and tactical aggressions necessary to defense. They should not be used as political pawns, to secure oil or other market resource, or other non-defense related activity. Let the market and civilians do what they do best — TRADE!

All the Hubub about "Unprecedented" Veto Power

Mr. President was once a constitutional law professor and a great public speaker. So why did he fumble to say that for the Supreme Court to strike down the constitutionality of the health care law, it would be unprecedented?

USAToday wrote a rather good piece regarding the facts of the incident. Consider reading it here:

Fact check: Obama’s Supreme Court remarks

Or watch MSNBC’s video on the matter.

http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/46958152/#46958152

Many people might view it from the president’s point of view and ask: Why would the supreme court — who are not elected as representatives of the public — knock down a congressionally passed law?

For those of you who don’t know the American government structure, our congress (house and senate) is representative of the people as legislators. They create laws designed to protect our freedom and hem activities that would otherwise hurt us. The president is to be executor of the constitution, the singular representative face of our varied peoples to the world, and civilian commander in chief of our military forces. And the supreme court is supposed to make sure that both the congress (legislative) and president (executive) operate ONLY within the boundaries of the US Constitution.

Now, the Constitution was written during a time when the government’s reach into the daily lives of individuals was so egregious that our founding fathers wrote up an entire document and subsequent bill of rights to curb the power of the government. They believed that no matter how nominally benevolent, the government was too dangerous a beast to let loose in your home.

Our SC Justices are supposed to measure every act of the Congress and of the President and measure it against the ultimate protection of individual rights — our Constitution. They ask themselves simple questions like: Does this new law still allow citizens to be free? Does it force them into something they don’t believe in? Does it strip the potency of their rights under the guise of government power to “help?”

You see, our government can, indeed, be used for great things. However, the problem is that our government so easily changes hands, that one man could be elected to do great things and then be killed silently and suddenly all the power we hoped he would use for good is now in the hands of a tyrant. And as much as we like to deceive ourselves into believing we’ll vote out a tyrant if he pops up, it’s never so easy.

Our culture has changed bit by bit to make the powerful interferers appear as shining angels. But government attracts those who would abuse its power, and nearly every lovely angel coming to “rescue” us is, in fact, in it for themselves. And even for those who honestly would want to use government to help us, for every good thing they do for us using governmental power, someone else must suffer.

The government produces nothing of value. It does not farm, does not produce cars or refined goods or anything of such nature. In fact, the only way it gains any capital to spend on its activities is by taking from us. Unlike the rest of capitalism, the government produces nothing for your money that’s actually worth the money you put into it. Why? Because it can only create it after taking your money and you are offered no guarantee for that stolen sum.

Our supreme court is to measure everything the government does with our money against the highest of protections of our liberty. Should any law or executive order fail to pass muster, the court strikes it down to preserve our liberty.

Liberty is the only thing that men need most. Even if some men tell you otherwise. You see, liberty is like having no walls on a house. While you can hem your own life in for your own protection with rules and safeguards, to hem everyone else in is paramount to imprisoning them. Everyone must remain free to live his or her own life to their own personal satisfaction and with their own individual troubles. They must voluntarily join a community and sacrifice their own needs for that of others, but not at the point of a spear or tip of a sword.

Our president has attempted to pass a law that forcibly “protects” people from the harsh reality of life without health care. The concept is noble, but at what cost? We force people to take care of themselves is like building walls around other people. You might see it as keeping bad from getting in, but they might see it as you attempting to keep them from getting out!

Every branch has the legal right and duty to strike down any action by another branch if unconstitutional, because our government, more than any other task, is obligated to protect our freedoms. If you didn’t want freedom, there are many countries you can move to to satisfy that need.

North Korea, China, Syria …