In Defense of Our Nation

Secretary of State James Madison, who won Marb...

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A great nation is dependent upon its people.  A great nation is a nation of laws, prowess and great leaders.

In times of crisis America has been that nation.  We have along history of greatness, devotion, strength, and most importantly a sense of who we are.

We move from the 20th Century into this new century and much has changed. But yet much has remained the same.  The challenge is to look at what we have accomplished in our short history, the creation of a Democracy, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, a Civil War, the American Industrial Revolution to becoming a World Leader and  a beacon for liberty.  The past came with sacrifice and pain which in all likelihood must count as something toward our greatness.

Today, we appear to suffer from a lack of knowledge on what made us who we are. We, as a people suffer from false interpretations of history, or a thorough incompetence of history. We require relearning American History and the importance of knowing and understanding it so that we can maintain our nation of laws and a sense of who we are.
Relearning history does not require recreating history to meet our expectations or biases, it requires a clear understanding of our past without political correctness, bias, or even factional interpretation. So much of our present is tied up in factionalism, (ex.Tea Party) political correctness, and just plain old poor education that our current and future leaders lack;  the overall preparedness for leadership

Today, we have business people who are more concerned about money then the good of the economy or government.  Business leaders and government leaders have no concept of “Noblesse Oblige”  and it shows in our current state of affairs.  The Congress     and the office of the Presidency lack the will to conduct themselves as the standard bearers of democracy.  The political infighting in this country has drained us of strength necessary to solve the many problems we face.  Our leaders are weak, our public is caught up in factionalism which is destructive to the very purpose of our founding.  And while all this is going on, corporations and large financial powerhouses are eroding the voting of the average American. Individual voters cannot compete against super political  action committees (PAC’s) or groups, and of course the 2 party system uses its power to sway and confuse the public.  Another aspect of our history and political system is that the parties control the political process even as they rotate power between each other.

The media of the 21st Century is no different then it was in the 19th. Their biases and choices are forever present, they select vocabulary, confuse issues, rewrite or slant positions for or against a candidate or the issue.  Of course politics is about election or re-election and thus the media must comply or be without news. The media is so complicit in the machinery of politics that when new ideas, new election processes (ex: Americans Elect) or political candidates from 3rd parties compete the process is stacked against the newcomer.

But then, our democracy is ugly and full of the public with their individual concepts and precepts of how each of us should live.  That is why the public was a concern for James Madison, he knew that the public had many biases and operated from factions. According to Madison the public was dangerous and needed to be controlled or led by those in Congress. What we got was the public in Congress with its biases and factions.

In Defense of our Nation we must not shrink from our role as the world’s leader, but we must have the strength and conviction to know what must be done at home. As the world’s leader we must regain the political, economic, and social strengths of our greatness. Wars of intrusion, national interests, oil, or the perception that we must intervene in the internal affairs of others whatever the reason must be weighed carefully.
A nations leadership on the world stage is both internal and external.

The sovereignty of this nation also dictates that the suspension of any rights under the Constitution due to war, terrorism, fear, politics or religious view is a slippery slope that this nation cannot allow or endure.  The rights of the people are paramount. We must not return to the parts of American History that are disgraceful, violated law, or were just plain bad. We cannot on the other hand forget the impact of the past for it is what made us.

In Defense of Our Nation the voters must screen out factions, biases, political ideologies, and demand accountability, integrity, and less ugliness from the public. We need a government that we can respect and one the world respects.

Why Americans Elect 2012?

Are you a member of the middle class, the working poor, a small businessman, or perhaps a wealthy individual, then perhaps this election could be different for you.  As a voter would you be interested in putting a candidate on the ballot by direct nomination.  The nominating process will be online and will consist of American voters across a wide spectrum.  The voters who register on Americans Elect website and sign up as delegates the voter to have a choice beyond the two-party system.

The delegates will have the opportunity to rank their issues according to their priorities and compare their opinions and priorities with other delegates. A platform of questions will be created by the Americans Elect Platform Committee and policy experts based upon the priorities and issues most important to the delegates by question and answer.  A comparison to the general public will be made on the issues.   The candidate (s) will be required to respond to the Platform of Questions.

Neither the voter nor the candidate has to give up his political party to participate in this first of its kind direct election on the web.

Americans Elect provides a lot of information on the goals and rules by which they will participate in the election of 2012.  If you are interested or just curious about  Americans Elect. org  it could change the way you look at politics and elections.

A Changing Society

First page of Constitution of the United States

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AMERICA are you changing before my eyes?

It seems that America has changed, but has it really.  Perhaps we are now coming to grips with who we are and what may or may not make us who we are.

We have the general public reacting to the spin, accusations, lies and fabrications of our leaders, media, religious leaders, and of course our own built-in biases.  The problem for America is that the society is not changing drastically, even though the we may feel it is, what is happening is that much of our attitudes, perceptions, and prejudices are just being on display in public more.

The things that are most significant or informative, on the American scene are not even being considered for “media watch”. The press which is the mainstream of communication is either extremely selective in its coverage of news and or is biased in its own way because of political correctness.  The American people depend on honest and forth coming news and commentary.  The corporate world has significantly influenced,  moderated, and controlled what and how information is disseminated. A classic example is the constant reference to the TEA Party by CNN and all other news organizations.  IT is not a Party it is a FACTION. A faction with in the GOP. It should be addressed as such. Also, the media has not addressed the Koch brothers and their role in the tea party, climate change, pollution and the influence they have in the Republican Party.

There is also major failing within the general public. A general comprehensive education.  At all levels of our communities education has inherently become secondary to the politics of the times. This in turn has dire consequences for both our political system and America. Our Changing Society is also a byproduct of poor education standards, too many local standards, the lack of emphasis on reading and writing. There is no doubt that that all the core subjects are important, but teaching opens ones eyes. We have far too many adults and youth who have never read, or have no desire to read.  They cannot write a basic essay.  I have been told charter schools are the way to go. I don’ think so, they can help improve our situation, but in America we need our public schools strong, vibrant, and relative to the future.

James Madison was always afraid of the factions within local communities and ultimately the biases and prejudices of the few may override the good of society in general.  His hope was that the Congress and the Federal Government could be a remedy or a correcting force on the states and their many biases no matter what faction was involved locally. Some states have a passed laws which they felt would protect their citizens, but were knee jerk reactions which could be based or interpreted as discriminatory.  South Carolina passed a law requiring state drivers licences for ID’s and Alabama passed a very strict law on illegal immigrants. The problem with both decisions is that,  it will probably hurt their economies, their perception of a good place to live, and of course a bad reputation in general.

All of the state laws on immigration are being passed due to the perception that immigrants both legal and illegal are bad. They take jobs away from Americans, the federal government is not handling immigration properly, or they have been preached or lectured to about the evils of illegals so much that the elected officials are reacting in of leading.  The federal government has not handled immigration because of the reelection process, its inconvience, or the fact it takes work and political leadership to deal with it.

Our society is being inundated with all forms of propaganda. This propaganda has spread into all walks of life, Creationism vs Evolution, Dominionism vs American Society, Religion in politics, Climate Change, Immigration and of course the candidates who are running for office. It is necessary to remember that propaganda can be positive or negative depending on the message or messenger.  Each and every item listed above is important to someone. The concern for all Americans has to be the screening out of non-essential and fabricated statistics and data.  Propaganda is here, we need to be aware of the paid media blitzes from sources who will discredit and disparage good research, and good people.

Our society has heard it all, We need to step up and stop the gamesmanship between the political parties, the fear mongering, the rancor, and the self-destructive rhetoric. America is capable of having a society that respects diversity, religious and scientific ideals and ideas, and is capable of screening the factions of discontent and fear.  The last important part of being an American is voting, voting requires common sense and a clear mind. If your Congressman or Senator does not represent the people then you need to do something.. Vote

America’s Forgotten Patriots

Injuries incurred by service members are cover...

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Why has America Forgotten her Patriots?

Patriotism is defined as zealous love for one’s country.  Realizing that patriotism takes many shapes and designs I thought it would be interesting to put an old veteran’s perspective on what a Patriot is.

A Patriot is a person who reacts to a call to duty, gives his life, liberty and pursuit of happiness a new direction.  The patriot is not defined by ethnic background, religion, or even by life style.  The Patriot comes from all walks of life and joins the military for his own personal reasons.

The Veterans of WWII were to large degree draftees, but we must remember millions of Americans met the call and volunteered.  They received probably the greatest gift that could get them into civilian life the GI Bill. Millions took advantage of that gift and our country prospered. But, then there is the wounded and those who stayed for the promise of the benefits to come, especially those of head trauma, referred to as shell shock, combat fatigue, cracking up,  or whatever term so chosen. They are with us today, and forgotten. I know of veterans who felt they did not get the promised healthcare. Medicare which came out in the 60’s also had an impact on those promised medical benefits. My father who served for 26 years in both the Army and Air Force reminded me of the contract and commitment that was not honored.  He never understood nor accepted the idea of paying for his medications, however small.  These veterans were told at times they could not use the medical facilities because of medicare. How quickly they were forgotten,  and they were the Greatest Generation.

Korea, The Forgotten War, A Police Action, again when the fighting was done, the Forgotten Patriots seemed to be wished away, unseen, unheard, and left to their own devices.  Again, the medical was as good as expected, but you see thousands fell through the cracks of the military medical boards and the VA, especially those of head trauma, referred to as shell shock, combat fatigue, cracking up,  or whatever term so chosen.  The Korean veteran may be the only one who truly understands the cost and impact of a war without end.  For those of you who do not know, the war has never ended, we signed an armistice.  I cannot make light of this subject for my father was trapped in Pusan.  The Korean War veterans  are with us today, and generally forgotten, again they are America’s Forgotten Patriots.

Vietnam, the Ten Thousand Day War, the War against Communism, the Undeclared War, or better still the Vietnam Conflict.  Vietnam adds to the legacy of Forgotten Patriots.  The casualties were enormous, the price so steep we lost a generation. We lost a generation through political intrigue, congressional ineptitude, poor leadership, and a diminishing morale.  The financial rewards and the educational possibilities were in a small way a motivator for some. But you see, it wasn’t as simple and clean as politicians would like to make it.  The physical and mental stresses were not understood nor an acceptable failing, or crisis for a soldier, airman, marine, or sailor.  One just didn’t give in.  Maybe that is why we had a prison in Long Bien called LBJ, Long Bien Jail.  I cannot speak to the Veterans of WWII or Korea about harassment and or other indignities to fellow soldiers. But, I can from a Vietnam veterans position.  Amongst the blood, sweat, tears, and the enemy there was this insidious racial, ethnic, and sometimes religious harassment that was taking place.  There was a breakdown in discipline and order among the men as well as the civilians who sexually harassed .  The combat soldier is a rare breed and many suffered greatly and did not get the medical treatment necessary for the return to civilian life. Each and every service member from the era has his own thoughts, memories, dreams and nightmares.

When the veteran came home it was to a bitter and divided country, lacking in leadership, moral courage, and dignity. Our veterans did receive better healthcare than previously in history, but the casualties and the  pain and suffering  didn’t seem to abate.  The Forgotten Patriots were those in most cases suffering from the mental images that would not or will not go away. The destruction of such a large segment of the population is not a subject for dinner conversation. These veterans are on our streets, homeless, in prison, in hospitals and in some cases just lost. The American people, the military and the VA let too many of the Forgotten Patriots fall through the cracks.

In September  2001  an act of terrorism destroyed a fabric of this nation and millions of young men and women made the sacrifice. We are now involved in Terrorism, Al Qaeda, Taliban, and other pursuits.  The casualties may be low compared to past wars, but the mentality is still with us, a soldier is not or should not show stress, or weakness. It appears that we have learned a lot about the human body and yet the mind alludes us. Post Traumatic Stress  Syndrome (PTSD) is another name for shell shock, battle fatigue, and is also called severe brain injury.  The amount of PTSD seems to me to be greater today than before and that is because of the media coverage.  I am aware that the military has acknowledge that there is a major problem and they have attempted to treat the soldier on the field or in-country hoping to salvage the soldier. Has it worked well? I cannot speak to that , more has to be done to help treat and medicate the soldiers suffering from such a terrible condition. When the Army has its highest amount of suicides in its history, when veterans commit crimes for no known reason, and families are torn asunder then maybe not enough is being done. The Military Medical Boards and the Veterans Administration must get the diagnosis right. With the resources available to this nation it appears that congress and the president have Forgotten our Patriots. To consider cutting, suspending or limiting access to any or all medical treatment is unpatriotic.

The Gulf War, the War in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan have been far more costly than most would know. Our volunteer force is limited in size, but large in scope.  The veterans of today’s military have carried their obligation, their service and their sacrifice with great courage and fidelity.  A sharing of the burden for this great nation is not too much to ask. I have always felt that all young men and women should serve our country in some form.  We the American people have an obligation to America’s Patriots, and a special commitment to those who are and can be called America’s Forgotten Patriots.

At the beginning the question was “Why has America Forgotten her Patriots” in short it is because we collectively have a short attention span . We don’t like to be reminded of the costs, sacrifices, and burden war brings us and time is both a healer and an eraser of memory.  Far too many of our citizens lack the knowledge of what it takes to understand and participate in civics and government, which makes it difficult for them grasp the importance of the military, its costs, and their obligations to America’s Patriots. Today, there is a new element it is the All Voluntary Military . An all volunteer military has desensitized far too many of our citizens to the burden of war. It eliminates the potential of broadening our ability  to educate the citizenry in all aspects of the American society from culture to business from economic class to economic class.  Our Patriots are America’s Patriots and they can and should come from all walks of life.

The related sites and articles are provided for those who want to learn more.

Biblical Law and Justice Antonin Scalia

photograph of the justices, cropped to show Ju...

Does Religion Motivate Justice Scalia? Or is it his view that Democracy is the Antithesis of Religious Law?

Justice Antonin Scalia has an extremely narrow and personal view of the US Constitution, he is misinterpreting his role as a Justice of the Supreme Court to presume that his moral judgements were and are in preference to the Law of the Land.  Perhaps in reading the Federalist Papers, the Papers of Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton and those who supported the Constitution understood the value of separation of Church and State Justice Scalia may have had a preconceived idea that Democracy and the Constitution were invalid substitutes for religious law.

Justice Scalia is the person who could have the greatest impact in helping the Religious Right establish its sovereignty. President Bush has talked about Scalia as the justice he admires the most.Supreme Court J

In an article published in First Things, a journal of religion and public life, in May, 2002, Scalia quotes St. Paul:

“…Government…derives its moral authority from God. It is the minister of God with powers to “avenge” to “execute wrath” including even wrath by the sword (which is unmistakenly a reference to the death penalty).”

Scalia appears hostile to Democracy: The “consensus” [that government is the minister of God]

“has been upset, I think by the emergence of democracy…It is much more difficult to see the hand of God…behind the fools and rogues…we ourselves elect of our own free will.”

He sees democracy as obscuring the divine authority:

“the reaction of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure divine authority…should [be] the resolution to combat it as effectively as possible.”

Scalia views the United States Constitution as “dead” rather than as a living document that evolves along with society.

“…the Constitution that I interpret is not living but dead…It means today not what current society (much less the Court) thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted.”

This view of the US Constitution as “dead” could become the basis of a strategy to dismantle the separation of church and state. In a speech on January 12, 2003, at a Religious Freedom Day event, Scalia said that the principle was not imbedded in the constitution and therefore should be added democratically, which means through a constitutional amendment. An amendment to the Constitution on church-state separation would be impossible to achieve in the current political climate, so the argument is disingenuous.

Scalia, speaking to a crowd of about 150 in Fredericksburg to mark a “Religious Freedom Day,” asserted that America’s Founding Fathers never meant to “exclude God from the public forums and from political life.”

“Scalia sounds like a TV preacher, not a Supreme Court justice,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “His job is to uphold the Constitution, not promote religiosity.”

via Biblical Law.

Fact Check: Obama releases long-form birth certificate to try to satisfy critics | iWatch News

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Fact Check: Obama releases long-form birth certificate to try to satisfy critics | iWatch News.

I realize there are some real diehards who refuse to accept President Obama as an American.  I cannot understand their obvious concern.  It probably was Barack, or could it have been Hussein, in any case He is an American “Get Over IT”.

The motives for such contrived stupidity, began with someone with a bigotry that infected the population along with some political leaders, and I use the term “political leaders very loosely”.  It is time to move on to the one item that really matters;  AMERICA.

Believers Think We Need Religion to Behave Like Good, Moral People — Here’s Why They’re Wrong | Belief | AlterNet

Believers Think We Need Religion to Behave Like Good, Moral People — Here’s Why They’re Wrong | Belief | AlterNet.

I believe this article says it all.  Individual beliefs in God or the non acceptance of God is one’s choice. Individuals will make choices based upon the their convictions and values.  Morality is not Christian, Jewish, or any other faith.  It is generally accepted and believed that people of faith live a better life morally. I suggest we allow our fellow human beings make those type of decisions. There is good and bad in all of us. We can only try to do our best.

Their are Christians who are demanding prayer at or some reference to God for all burials for veterans in Texas, and in Arlington. They have overreached their duty and legitimate role by interfering in the privacy,wishes, and religious freedom of an American.  The referenced Web site below has a number of other cases dealing with evangelical or religious harassment.

There appears to be an effort by some in the Military Services who are using a Spiritual Fitness Test (odd name ) to evaluate soldiers with or susceptible to PTSD. The problem is the test is religiously oriented and is intimidating to soldiers of Atheist belief.

As I have said, let us leave our fellow man alone.