Author Archives: shtuey

Independence Day

Two hundred thirty-three years ago the 13 colonies declared their independence from Great Britain, throwing themselves fully into armed conflict with what was the greatest empire on earth. The war had already been engaged in 1775, but up to this point it was largely the Massachusetts colony that was bearing the brunt of British might. Now all the colonies stood together. If they failed, the delegates to the Continental Congress would have been hanged as traitors to the crown. The repression in the wake of a British victory would more than likely have made the Intolerable Acts seem like a walk in the park.

The war raged on for 5 more years. Americans suffered cold, starvation, disease, privations of the worst kind, all for the promise of freedom, of independence, of building a nation whose overriding purpose was to safeguard the liberty of its citizens.

Those of you who have read this blog, and those of you that are paying attention to our present and past, know that we have never really lived up to that dream, that ideal for which those Americans suffered and died. We have fallen short. We have accepted less. We now suffer at the hand of a federal government that no longer feels even the most modest sense of moral obligation to uphold its oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. This being the case we cannot celebrate the state of America. We cannot celebrate our freedom. We are not free.

We are not free when our Congress passes legislation it does not read. We are not free when our government taps our phones without warrants. We are not free when we are made to pay taxes to a regime that makes us indentured servants to a foreign power that massacres its own people, while the United States government turns a blind eye to such atrocities in the name of preserving the global economy.  We are not free when more than half the population of the United States is not seen as equal.  We are not free when the vilification of Jews passes as criticism.  We are not free when it is deemed acceptable by the President of the United States to be an instrument of the continued marginalization of the gay community.

What we can do is celebrate the fact that those early Americans accomplished that which had never been done on the face of the earth: inorganically fashion a nation, determining the type of government that would run it, and fighting for its birth. That is no small thing. It was arguably the greatest moment in the history of the struggle for human liberty to that time (it would have been greater if the establishing of a “more perfect union” did not happen with the legitimization of slavery, and the nearly complete genocide of the indigenous nations of North America).  We have squandered it, and are in danger of losing the chance to achieve that ideal, forever.

What we can also do is look around the world, see what others have dared to do, against far more brutal regimes than ours, and ask ourselves what we are willing to do to gain our freedom. What risks are we ready to take? What are we willing to sacrifice? Half way around the world, the people of Iran are approaching a month of protest against the illegitimacy of their government. As we speak they are being shot at, tear gassed, arrested, tortured, and executed for daring to stand up for human liberty.

Ukraine, Lebanon, China, Iran…look at these pictures carefully. These were not one day tea parties. This was not a protest here or there.  These were, and are not online petitions, or letter writing campaigns, or one day general strikes.  When the chips are down…when push comes to shove…are you willing to risk it all if need be? Are you?
Think about it.  It’s Independence Day.

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Are You Ready To Be Inventoried?

Tavern regular Laree from You Have To Be This Tall To Go On This Ride clearly isn’t, and neither am I.

Take a stroll over there and read, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

What are your thoughts?  Personally, it’s time Naughty Nazi Nancy’s constituents sent her into retirement.  Perhaps she could be a useful idiot for Chris Matthews.

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The Cost of Freedom Buried In The Ground

arlington-national-cemetery-arlington-va128.jpgToday we remember the fallen men and women of our armed forces. Swearing an oath to protect the Constitution from enemies, both foreign and domestic, they gave their lives in popular, and unpopular wars. But it is not enough to remember them alone. Behind every fallen soldier is a wife, husband, parent, or child who has lost a loved one.  Let us remember that for every soldier sent to war there are families left behind, too many of which are never whole again.

And thanks to the National Women’s History Museum, we are reminded why we celebrate Memorial Day in the first place. From NWHM:

Much of women’s history is missing from our public story. One more example — women were almost entirely responsible for the recognition of Memorial Day. Its origin was the Civil War and until recently, the day focused on the terrible War between the states that, at tremendous human cost, ended slavery.

Just weeks after the Civil War ended in April 1865, Ellen Call Long organized a women’s memorial society to reconcile embittered enemies. Usually named some variant of “women’s relief society,” groups sprang up in both the North and South that not only memorialized the dead, but also cared for the war’s disabled and its widows and orphans.

On June 22, 1865, women adopted these profound, forgiving, and future-oriented resolutions. The document read in part:

The object of this meeting is to initiate a Memorial Association…that shall perpetuate in an honorable manner the memory of the gallant dead…

In no invidious spirit do we come; the political storm that shook our country to its foundation, we hope, is passed… We are done with the [Confederate] cause…and are willing to do all that women can do to stem the tide of bitterness…and angry feelings… We will practice and teach forbearance and patience, which must finally bring peace and justice…

Our society has forgotten that women cleaned up the mess. They took the gruesome reality of approximately a half-million dead men, and by promoting cemeteries, led the way in turning blood and gore into something that encouraged serenity and reflection.

In our nation’s capital filled with museums, there is not one to remind us of the totality of the experience of American women. That is why NWHM needs you. Please emulate Ellen Call Long and others who understood that the past is an essential prologue to the future. Support us, “Right Here, Right Now!” by going to www.nwhm.org and sending a letter to your Members of Congress urging them to give women’s history a home in our nation’s capital by passing HR 1700.

To my mind the best way to honor our fallen soldiers is to exercise the freedoms for which they died, especially when the government tries to claim you no longer possess them.

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COMMON SENSE

Cross-posted at Oy…My Valve!

Because there are still many people who still don’t understand what is happening on the American street, because they cannot seem to grasp the enormity of the events of April 15th and the door that is being kicked down City Tavern is going to be hosting an extended meditation on Thomas Paine’s Common Sense.

The title infers that everything within should be obvious to anyone possessing the ability to engage in critical thinking.  So let’s have a little common sense ourselves and keep moving forward.  Tea Partiers carrying signs condemning Republicans and Democrats alike is the moment those of us in the Lagoon of the Unaffiliated have been waiting for all these years.  Common sense seems to finally be getting through.

As a long and violent abuse of power is generally the means of calling the right of it in question, (and in matters too which might never have been thought of, had not the sufferers been aggravated into the inquiry,) and as the king of England [read: The Resident] hath undertaken in his own right, to support the parliament [read: Congress] in what he calls theirs, and as the good people of this country are grievously oppressed by the combination, they have an undoubted privilege to inquire into the pretensions of both, and equally to reject the usurpations of either.

The cause of America is, in a great measure, the cause of all mankind. Many circumstances have, and will arise, which are not local, but universal, and through which the principles of all lovers of mankind are affected, and in the event of which, their affections are interested. The laying a country desolate with fire and sword, declaring war against the natural rights of all mankind, and extirpating the defenders thereof from the face of the earth, is the concern of every man [and woman] to whom nature hath given the power of feeling.

These are the stakes.  We are not speaking simply of government reform.  We are speaking of reforming government for the sake of preserving human freedom. The Congress through legislation like S.773/778 and Harry Reid’s Green Energy bill, the stimulus, omnibus, and budget bills, are attempting to centralize government power in the hands of the Executive Branch.  To my mind there is only one reason to do so: the supression and/or control of society.  Americans aren’t taking to the streets simply because of taxes and government spending.  They are out in the streets because after 8 years of government subverting our rights to privacy and expression, the new administration is working harder deeper faster longer to accelerate that process.  And the Republican Party, with its transparent attempts to look like they are leading the opposition, is as big a part of the problem as the Democrat controlled government.  One need only look at the last eight years to see that.  Seeing signs from the 15th that said things like, “Republicans suck too!” tells me we are on the right track.

It’s time to stop standing by personal political agendas.  There can only be one agenda for all Americans who love liberty: The protection and preservation of the constitutional republic.  We can sort out the way forward once we stop the government’s Constitution crushing freight train of bullshit.  We ain’t got time for that now.  Now is the time to stand up against the corruption and smothering of freedom.

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You’re The Dream Operator

Today was the day of the Tax Day Tea Parties. Pretty tremendous knowing that Americans of all political persuasions decided to get up off their keesters and make their voices heard in the face of rampant political corruption.

Regardless of who people voted for, most of us wanted change. Not, “Change,” but change. But many of us understood that we were not going to get it. We were going to get a third Shrub term regardless of who won. The only difference is who gets to play on the team, and who is getting the free deluxe box seats. With the Shrub it was Haliburton, Bank of America, AIG, and selling our economic soul the the Chinese. With Tushy Obama it’s…the aforementioned, plus all his new little piggies come to suck at our taxpaying teat, and screw us. McCain at least was more like dancing with the devil you know, as opposed to the demon you don’t. But still, that’s just choosing evil isn’t it? I’ve always said so, which is why I have cast the majority of my votes for President for animals, fictional characters, and dead relatives. At least then I didn’t feel like a tool.

We had a couple friends over to dine with us. One of them, whom I have known for nearly eight years, tried to convince me tonight that I should look at the glass as half full; that our choice in November was between watching Death of Salesman, and La Cage Aux Folles on Broadway. He would rather watch La Cage and feel entertained and happy, than bitter and depressed over the breaking of Willie Loman. “The glass is half full,” and I should stop seeing the glass as half empty. What I have not been able to get him to understand is that I see the glass as neither.

The glass is broken and no longer holds water. I want a new glass.

The zombie media can say what it likes about the Tea Parties being run by domestic terrorists, and that our Iraq and Afghanistan vets are coming back as domestic terrorists (the final insult in a long chain of abuses, from sending our men and women into harm’s way to line the pockets of American corporations, to chipping away at their benefits until the current administration had the audacity of dope to suggest that disabled vets should pay for their own insurance, while the new First Lady came to North Carolina to tell soldiers and their families that she was going to make them a priority), but this is why Americans took to the street today:

We want a new glass. A new frickin’ glass so we can drink cool clear water again. We’re tired of oligarchs and autocrats who spend our money, don’t heed our voice and, in the end, could care less about our wants, needs, dreams, or desires. Our government was designed to keep things together on a national scale so that we would be free to pursue our dreams, not be told what our dreams should be, and what we have to do to make them come true.

Today was a day for Americans to stand up and tell the government that they are not the Dream Operators, we are.  Deal with it.

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The Collective American Conscience Speaks

Looks like we’re not the only ones calling for Americans to congress in an effort to address the federal government’s repeated failing to uphold its place under constitutional law.

The time has come for a non-violent, mass movement to either force the government to accept the constitutional restrictions on its power, or to reestablish one that will.

Get involved in the saving the republic.  Thanks to Logistics Monster for posting the video.

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Live Free, or Die?

by Shtuey at Oh…my valve!

Over the course of the 2008 Election cycle I have become aware that a great many Americans misunderstand, or misinterpret the Constitution of the United States, specifically the Bill of Rights. People tend to see the first ten amendments as consisting of rights granted to us by the Constitution. This is essentially what we are taught in public school from a young age. I myself labored under this misguided notion for many years until I realized that this is wholly and totally false. The Bill of Rights does not guarantee us any rights whatsoever. It defines the rights that the government cannot attempt to abrogate, and grants us any and all powers not given to the federal government, or the states.

The Declaration of Independence states that we are “endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” The Bill of Rights elucidates more of you’re unalienable rights, and makes it plain the government may not infringe upon them.

This is a vital distinction of the utmost importance. It is failure of Americans to understand this that allows the government to impinge upon that which is yours. As I have mentioned numerous times, all three branches of government are in violation of the Constitution.

Your right to peacefully assemble, to worship the religion of your choice, to free speech, to petition the government for a redress of grievances, to habeas corpus, to be free from warrantless invasions of your privacy, to not have soldiers quartered in your home, to possess and bear arms…these are your inherent rights. Governments do not have the power to grant these rights, or take them from you. You are born with them.  They are your birthright, and it is your obligation as an American citizen to stand up and oppose any body that attempts to infringe upon your rights.

You have the unalienable right as a human being, not simply as an American, to peaceably assemble.  The Constitution clearly states that this right cannot be abridged.  Exercise that right.  We have the indefeasible right to speak freely.  No longer refer to our elected officials as Senator this or Congressman that or Representative the other.  These men and women are criminals.  They are in violation of the Constitution of the United States.  We are not obligated to observe or abide by any law that this Congress issues, or this President signs.  Any one of them that fails to stand up to the Executive is a criminal; period.

Now is not the time for fear.  Now is the time for courage.  Before the delegates of the Continental Congress voted for independency they sent a peace offering to the king of England, a petition for a redress of grievances, and an attempt at reconciliation that became known as the Olive Branch Petition.  The king never set eyes on it.  He declared the colonies to be in a state of rebellion, and that the leaders of the revolt, and anyone else participating in it could either swear fealty to the Crown, or be executed as a traitor.  These same delegates signed the Declaration of Independence; it was their death warrant.  Had the revolution failed, all the names that have become icons of history: Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Hancock, on and on…would have hung by the neck until dead.  They staked their very lives upon the independency of this nation, to the good, and ill that it has committed over the last two centuries, so that there might be one place where the rule of law existed to one cause and purpose: defending human liberty.

Look within yourselves and draw on whatever strength you possess, whatever well of inspiration is within you.  Your life, your children, their future posterity, their thriving or subjugation is entirely in your hands.  Gather in your homes.  Talk to your families.  Talk to your neighbors.  Whatever they might have thought of the man in the White House before, there is more than enough evidence to show that he is a liar and that he, and the people behind him, and the Congress that marches along without question, mean to do us and this republic irreparable harm.  The time to dose your friends with the kool-aid antidote is now.

Time is short my friends.  Gather.  Speak out.  Do not stop.  Do not be silent.  Now is the time for courage.  Now is the time, regardless of where we came from, or how light or heavy our purse, to stand up and say, “No more!”

Phone calls are not enough.  Letters are not enough.  Your elected officials have offices in your state.  Go there.  Take your children.  Put faces to the one thing they need almost as much as their money and power: your vote.  You are a human being.  Go to their offices.  Show your faces.  Make them see you.  Email them photos of your families.  If you can make the journey, go to Washington to see them.  Go to their offices.  Make their staff see you.  Tell them you are not just a vote.  You have needs, desires, dreams.  They are not your masters unless you allow it to be so.  Make it clear to them that if they do not oppose the man in the White House then their services are no longer required.  Put them on notice that they do not rule by your consent.  Fire the lot of them.  They are nothing but criminals.

You are endowed with the unalienable right to live free from the rule of oligarchs and criminals.  You have the indefeasible right to alter or abolish any government that does not effect your Safety and Happiness.  Do not be afraid.  They are flesh and blood, not gods.  If they detain one of us, another takes their place.  If they silence one, another will speak.  And as the Mahatma said, if they kill us they will have our dead bodies, not our allegiance.  If we come in non-violence and they arrest us; we win.  If we come in peace and they kill us; we win.  The only way we lose is by doing nothing.

Doing nothing is no longer an option.  This is not simply a struggle to preserve our republic.  This is a fight for human rights; your human rights.  No government is endowed with the power to violate them, regardless of the words of dictators, or the policies of oligarchs.  This is not about Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals.  Human rights knows no party, knows no ideology save one: Freedom.

We are human.  It is our natural state to live free.  We live free, or we die.

I for one am not willing to be enslaved, or be a puppet to an oligarchy.  What say you?

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