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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Two events happened to me this past week that led to this. One was a speech by Glenn Beck, the other one was an Anti Islam rant that I saw

I suppose this is just about the Glenn Beck speech really then anything else. (Link)

Because it hit me, as I was listening to it. Hit me so hard that I wept for most of the rest of it. So hard. I think this is one of those things where I have been circling it for a while, but maybe I was focusing on the wrong thing. (More on that in a bit.)

For those of you who do not know your history. The Righteous Among the Nations was a term coined by the Israeli Government slightly after World War 2 given to those brave souls that helped Jews out during the Holocaust. Fed them, clothed them, or provided some small manner of assistance during their time of need.

It has its roots in the term Righteous Gentile who are non Jews who nevertheless ascribe to and follow the Seven Laws of Noah.

(More information here)

It is my intention to create a Modern 21st century version of this to match the current and grave threats that the Jewish people face. In Israel, and around the world.

It is my intention to start off with a Facebook group at first, but I hope that this grows into something much greater.

Whether we are Muslims or Christians or Jews or Atheists we need to gather. For Jews everywhere. Gather to try to encourage a better way.

And not just for the Jews because they are Jews, that is a trap of those who would hate the Jews, but because it is the right thing to do. Because it is necessary for our common humanity.

We should do this no matter if someone is a Muslim, or a Christian, or an Atheist, we should be willing to stand up for them against bigotry and hate no matter what and encourage a better way. God demands it, our common humanity demands it.

But the Jews are under threat by those who want to see them all wiped out for being Jewish.

And this cannot just be about Israel this has to be about Jews everywhere. Because a friend of mine was right, we all have our own problems in our nations and our systems and we cannot constantly be worried about Israel. We have to stand up against evil in our own nations. That is the beauty of this, it’s not about Israel the nation, it’s about the group no matter where they live.

And nor are we supposed to be an attack group. This is not being against something but rather a protection group for something. To be counted and to let people know that we will stand with people. Not attack, not go against and not turn into the very thing that we are trying to fight. Collectivism, bigotry, and evil.

Because this is very important.

This is more important than College, or our own annoyances in our lives, sure we must make our lives secure but we can also strive for this.

Because in the 1930s, I think humanity missed its calling as the Nazis were on the rise. No one was gathering, or they were in small gatherings, you had a few isolated incidents. Like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his gang. But Antisemitism continued to spread and it led to one of the greatest mass butchering of a people in human history.

And then the Righteous Among the Nations came, when they gathered, it was already too late. Sure they saved people, sure they did what they could which under the circumstances was extraordinary, but the darkness had already fallen.

And I don’t think we can afford to wait this time. We must make our stand now, while we still can.

Now this might be presumptuous of me. What can a 21-year-old Kid who barely is getting started in life do?

I am not a dignitary, or a powerful commentator, and I am certainly not a member of the Israeli Government. Who created this honor in the first place and whose honor is rightfully bestowed by them upon…well the Righteous…

And after all there is already Christians United for Israel and Stand with Israel and probably a whole slew of other organizations devoted to the defense of Israel, and hopefully the Jews.

But this is way beyond Israel, yes we must stand with them, but Antisemitism is spreading across the globe.

In Europe, and America, and the Middle East. You have laws being passed against the Jews, or them being under threat, or political cartoons made up against them that are obviously Anti Semitic.

In France you have people moving out of France who are Jewish and heading for Israel to escape what they believe is coming again.

You have politicians pushing for the dividing up of Israel, and then you have others who will use that as an excuse to wipe Israel and the Jews off the map. Wherever they may be. This is my belief anyways.

(Story )

Which is why, my hope anyways, that people will gather and be apart of this group in the many nations. Address the Antisemitism in your own Nations and then try to gather and organize others.

We must be willing to stand for our Jewish neighbors and Friends and Lovers.

Because if we don’t then no one else will. And if we do not now then it will be a lot harder in the future when the darkness is at our doorstep.

And on a final note for those of you who play Mass Effect 2 know that during one of the scenes a character asks Commander Shepard why he is fighting, ‘whether it is for humanity as evidenced by the perfect Ms. Lawson?’

Now you can answer yes, yes you are fighting for her, that she is important to you.

Now on the surface of it this seems like a very selfish answer to the question. That you should be interested in saving all of humanity, you should be selfless right?

People who know me or have read this blog know that this is a very personal issue for me. Some people even know the specifics.

We need to make this issue personal for us. Personal, but not to where we are suffering from a persecution complex. This is about defense of the Jews and we cannot allow our emotions overcome us to where we attack others.

This is not a matter of statistics or numbers, if we deal with this in the millions of people then we will lose perspective. It becomes impersonal, cold, dry, meaningless detached.

We must do this for the people in our lives who we do not want to be killed over their ethnicity, or by what names they call God.

It is something that is talked about in civics, history, and Government often, the separation of powers. How the framers of our Constitution came together and created a system with checks and balances where each branch can check the powers and the excesses of any other branch.

But in an age of ever-growing and out of control Government, in an age where all of our Government branches are being twisted out of proportion, I do not think many people understand what the three branches are.

And from spending, to the military, to domestic issues and the foreign policy we have to understand our roots if we are going to have any hope in hell of saving our Government. So we can again restore the proper balance within our Government.

the legislature: They write the rules and decide what resources and assets will be used to go where. They have the power of the purse…at least as was originally intended.

The Executive: They execute the laws and help regulate them and ensure that they are carried out. They can veto the legislation passed, but then the legislature can over ride that veto.

The Judicial: They decide if the laws passed by the Executive and the legislature are right and proper and if they fall within proper and established Constitutional guidelines.

If we use the Foreign policy arena as an example of how these three branches work we can begin to better understand them, how they work, why they work, and begin to understand more about our Foreign Policy (continuing the theme of the last few blogs 😛 )

The legislature convenes and decides who the enemy is. If we need to declare war on this enemy, what resources and funding will be used in the persecution of this enemy. And the parameters of the general mission.

The Executive executes the war and the mission, actually commands the military, and uses the resources that are given by the legislature.

And the Judicial…while they normally do not have any power in a war situation…they can still decide whether the declaration of the war was legal in the first place. And more importantly Constitutional.

All three branches are supposed to work in perfect synch, competing and rubbing against each other, creating and building the Government but often at odds with agendas so that any legislation that passes, can be the right one, and can take time. For if we let one branch have greater power then the others it upsets the balance of power and then we either have rule by a mob, or rule by a petty and executive tyrant.

A while back I saw a video that someone posted on Facebook containing a speech that Ron Paul did, condemning the war in Libya. The Poster’s comments to this were basically, that no matter who was in charge, the President, or the party, that Libertarians would be the anti-war party.

Oh how I wish I could run back to Conservatism, take me back I didn’t mean it!

Not only do I feel that being ‘anti-war’ is foolish personally I believe it is contrary to principles of Liberty, and the Government that the Founding fathers gave us as enshrined in the Constitution.

In fact I can find no special evidence that the Founders were anti-war. Yes they warned about what wars to get into and not get into, warned about the possibility of an over bearing Military complex and the dangers of a standing army, but they were not anti-war.

The same people who many of today’s ‘anti war’ Libertarians respect as being the forefathers of the thing they are fighting for, Liberty, and Libertarian principles.

In fact if the early history of the Republic is to teach us anything, is that the era of the founding fathers was a turbulent and violent one when it came to the issues of Foreign Policy.

Which they recognized, which is why they enshrined in the Constitution to carefully and selectively carry out a foreign policy through the declaration of war, the appointment of Ambassadors, and the signing of treaties. All things that, no matter their personal opinions, they gave us as a basis for our Government and its principles.

Whether it was the Barbary Pirates, or the diplomatic relations with the major powers of France and England at the time, our early history was fraught with peril, war, and diplomatic maneuvers that would contribute greatly to the size of the future country, and our position in the world from there to eternity.

Some of the founders (like Thomas Jefferson) supported and wanted to actually help the revolution in France, they even wanted to go to war on France’s behalf on the old enemy of England, especially since France was a military ally during the revolution.

On the other hand, despite the sympathy that France had in several areas, we and France also existed in a state of semi war for a period of few years during the John Adams administration.

We signed one of the most important treaties in history with the French that gave us the Louisiana territory.

England: Two Wars, and more treaties, like the John Jay treaty.

And we fought the Barbary Pirates in a long period of war because they were threatening American interests, and shipping, over seas. While they demanded tribute from us, we gave them none, and it was Jefferson who helped persecute that war.

And in fact the founding of this nation was full of the very thing that most ‘anti war’ Libertarians hate today, and claim that the Founding Fathers hated.

We fought a war, against a foreign power, we made a military alliance with another foreign power (the French), and then we engaged in foreign diplomacy to achieve wars end.

If the anti war sentiment of a number of people existed, then there would not be a country right now. We would still be living under British rule, and likely would not be as free as we were today. The American experiment would have never taken route.

So while the Founders may have had some issue with war, who doesn’t?, they still recognized the need to have them in order to protect our lives, our liberty, and our pursuit of happiness.

Recently some group of ‘experts in their field’ suggested that, for the good of the children, obese kids should be taken away from their parents as a result of abuse. (Story)

Now this seems to me to be overly…draconian…and not a solution to our present problems. Or even this problem.

Can we really trust the Government to take care of our children? They have done such a fantastic job with everything else they have done…after all.

But I wonder if they may not be the solution to the problem, but part of the problem. Especially in their efforts to care for us.

Through a slew of Government programs that include (but by no means is limited to) Health Care, Medicare, Social Security and a lot of other welfare projects that cost a lot of money. Money that we do not really have.

Programs whose cost money while we already have a deficit, a deficit that it is being run up, which may cause us to lose our credit rating, and also is forcing us to print more money which is causing our dollar to have less and less value.

And with our high unemployment rate (Nine Point two percent last I checked) fewer people are actually making any money in order to provide for their family even with rising prices and inflation.

Or since energy prices will ‘necessarily skyrocket’.

And Oil is beginning to tick upwards again which is going to raise our gas prices. (Source)

All of this means that we have less and less money to spend (or have to choose between energy and food) while the money that we do have is worth less and less.

Which then makes fast food a viable and cheap alternative to regular staples and Costco and grocery shopping.

So if you want to solve the Obesity problem, solve our fiscal problems.

Though also no is a powerful tool, maybe we should restore the word no.

Mommy mommy can we go out to McDonald’s!

No you’ll be fat.

Mommy Mommy I want to go to a college where I will spend hours a day behind a desk and not get any exercise…oh well…ok…if you will get educated. :S

Mommy mommy I want to go into radio and sit behind a desk and look like a cream puff!…..:S

So it’s a matter of personal responsibility, and a matter of finding fiscal ways to empower the people again so they can again make proper dietary decisions with the resources and monetary assets, to make those decisions.

Recently I have finished reading the Miracle of Freedom, the Seven tipping points that saved the world: ( Link).

It is a book that talks about seven key events in world history, mainly the history of Europe that led to the foundation and continuation of the world today. It charts freedom’s progress. The stumbling blocks, pitfalls, and the advancements that have been made these last several years.

Through civil Government, Science, philosophy, and Religion, all playing a role in creating and shaping the very freedoms we enjoy today. It makes a compelling case and is truly eye-opening. I recommend it.

But just how fragile is our freedom? Why is it at risk? And how do these things make our freedom so precious?

Our freedom is very fragile, and unique. Its been in a state of flux, both in this country and leading up to this country, for years. It took treasure and blood and sweat to keep it, and it will take these things in the future to maintain it. It constantly has people and Government and organizations and the powerful ripping and tearing at its very edge. Often in the name of the very thing they mean to take away. Or in the name of Security, Justice, be it economic, or Social, or environmental.

And it is hardly our birthright, the birthright of humanity.

Injustice exists everywhere and it has done so for years, millennium,

Not saying that the human heart is evil or wrong or we are in a state of pure corruption, again we can make the choice and if we make the wrong one we can recognize that, atone, and move on to a better world. Hopefully. We are plagued by both our successes and our failures.

But injustice still exists, even in this day, oppressive Governments round-up their people with no charge and everywhere there is always someone looking to take power from the people and tip the balance.

But thankfully because of the Constitution, and our respect for the rule of law, we treat everyone equally and fairly under the law. Despite those that would see the rule of law and the Constitution torn apart on their own petty whims.

That lies the road to injustice and evil. Even if they care for the people and even if they have our best interest at heart the moment it becomes about desire and caring and trying to do the right thing, is the moment we risk tearing it apart. The second that even someone noble and righteous violates the rule of law is a risk for the next person to come along and violate it for evil.

The human heart is complex, despite what we strive to and what we build and how most of us in this country and the Western World look at people and try to treat everyone with fairness, and dignity, there is always someone out there who does not share that view.

And even amongst ourselves as individuals it is not always easy.

We strive, we seek, we grow wiser and older and better. But we still fall and are corrupted.

It is hard to grow past our instincts. Hard to treat everyone fairly. It always seems that there is that one person, or one issue, or one moment in time that makes us less than who we are. We can become suspicious mistrusting unfair angry or just lose ourselves. We cry out “CAN SOMEONE NOT RID US OF THIS MEDDLESOME PRIEST”

And for too much of time, too much of our history, we have been subject to the petty interests of humans, of Kings, ruling over us where their rule was supreme. Even in this day the Government can fall into those patterns.

And frankly freedom has been the exception, it existed briefly, maybe with the Greeks and then the Romans, they at least experimented before they fell to the darkness of Empire.

But for thousands of years of history humanity has lived under abject tyranny, and some of us still do to this day. Next to what? Roughly three hundred years (being generous) of freedom and free thought?

We have had thousands of years to get used to and grow comfortable with tyranny and oppression, and only a couple hundred, a pin prick, to try to break those bonds and live free.

Sometimes we fall back on old patterns.

We have not gotten used to freedom, but we have forgotten what it means to be a slave.

For far too long we have sat and gotten used to our freedom where we ignore, or don’t recognize the sings of our impending doom.

Whether it is from inside, or outside. Bread and Circuses indeed.

Which is why it is so precious, and why it is so necessary to learn…through history hopefully, what it meant for the people’s of the path to live. Then, and only then can we preserve our own freedom.

Well we are close again to another July Fourth Weekend. The barbeques, the fireworks, the….swimming…and all the activities that we use to celebrate the birth of our country…without really understanding the principles of the founding of our country.

This blog, will, try to correct that. Be the first step in trying to show some of what our Government means, and is supposed to do. And this is a blog that will explain those principles, without really trying to pass judgement on them.

The Prime Directive of Government is simply this: To provide for, or protect, or allow for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and property. As was stated in the original Declaration of Independence.

This is what Government is supposed to do, before all else, and when stripped down to its basic parts. Before all the health care, and medicare, and social security, and welfare.

Life: To protect people’s lives from physical harm.

To have a police force, a fire department, or to pass laws and allow for the people to be able to cope with their own fires and try to defend themselves from harm.

Liberty: To protect people from coercion, and protect the liberty of the people and their ability to make choices.

That the Government passes laws that are equal, fair to all, and do not trample on anyone’s ability to make a choice, unless that choice harms or unfairly coerces another.

The Pursuit of Happiness: The ability to pursue your economic goals, to pursue your liberty and the choices that will make you happy.

From who or what you want to marry, to pursuing an education, to doing whatever you want.

This is what the Government is responsible for, at its most basic. This is the Prime Directive.

Anything else is…theoretically..nice add ons and bonuses.

From healthcare to welfare, to subsidizing the Sciences and education. Those are things that a Government might decide to do as long as they have the money to do so, and as long as it does not trample on the Prime Directive.

Because the debate rages on in this country. What does it mean to let people live? What does it mean to let them pursue happiness? Would it not be better to have the Government ensure everyone is healthy? Would it not be better that we level the playing field so everyone can have that shot?

To.

The Government protects you, but what you do after that is your own business.

And all three of these are in constant conflict.

Just how much life (security) can we get before it tramples on our Liberty? Is there too much Liberty that hampers our ability to keep us alive and safe, and even semi free?

How do we Pursue Happiness without running over everyone?

And we all must answer the question in our own ways, but to do so, I think we need a base to start from.

Foreign policy, its in the news…a lot…it is one of the things that is consuming the country the most. And large amounts of American tax payers. It’s an issue that, probably cannot be just explained with only one blog, but needs many and has many different aspects to the single discussion.

It’s an issue and a topic that I have been wanting to discuss, and even have talked about in the past. After all I have done blogs about our Military, Israel, and the Middle East.

And its an issue that is near and dear to the founding of our nation, and our constitution, just what the US’s global rule should be.

It’s a conversation and a topic where millions of lives, billions of dollars, are at stake. And potentially our very way of life.

And despite our founders warnings on the subject, it is clear, by the Constitution, that we need to have one.

While many on the right and farther to the right of me, Libertarians, will often quote Jefferson on this issue.

“Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.”

Notice the part about entangling Alliances. Notice also the part about friendship and commerce with nations…implies alliances. And notice that…for Jefferson…this is a pretty ideal statement. The Founders just fought a war against Great Britain in the Revolution, and was about to again. They had enemies, and friends. This is something to strive for.

So, it is clear because the Constitution gives the power to our Government bodies to have a Foreign policy (Conduct War, sign treaties, raise an army, appoint ambassadors, and talk to nations), that Jefferson was trying to state what he hoped that Foreign policy would one day look like.

In looking at this issue, I can come up with three divisions, three types of Foreign policy that needs to be recognized. Two of them can be or should be, at times…economics and politics willing. While the other one must not be used under any circumstance.

One, Military or Trade Alliances and friendships with nations.

Two, Charity in the event of National Disaster or great upheaval.

Three, giving copious amounts of money to a Government that is about to fail without asking for much, without any consent, or without any guarantees that this money will be beneficial to the United States.

Military Alliances, et all. They can be good and bad. And it is usually dictated by how similar we are, what we share, what we the United States get back for the United States. Our values, our objectives, our goals and how they help the United States.

But not all alliances are created equal. Especially in a time of great financial upheaval, especially with massive debt and budget short falls, and especially since we are spending billions overseas in various adventures *que Indiana Jones music*, we need to consider who our friends are in the world.

Who shares some of our morals, our values, our Government, and our objectives, and will also help to defend us, even in the smallest of ways.

Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Libyan rebels…are any of these places friendly to the US? Does a Government exists now, or will exist, that shares anything in common with us? Do we even know who is in charge in those places, especially in regards to the Libyan Rebels? Do these people contribute anything to us? What about the people and the society in the streets? Do they like us? Do they support us? Or do they want to wipe us out? And hopefully you can answer these questions.

Israel, England, Australia, Canada…and others. Are generally our allies. They generally share our views in the world and generally share our Governmental objectives (though in the current climate that is kinda scary.)

They will support us and try to defend us. They share information and intelligence with us, and will be with us through thick and thin. Or have been in the past…everything is changing.

We give them money and help them develop defense and weapons systems that can be used to keep their citizens safe from harm. Which in turn can be used with our military, and to protect our Civilians.

And as long as they are willing to fight for themselves, as mutual partners, we can support you. If we have the money.

Two, Charity.

In wild fires, or hurricanes, or earthquakes, cause great harm and damage. These are events that can overwhelm, even the most prepared.

We as Americans can help. And the good thing is we can usually come up with a way to help. The best way, is, through Private Charity. This is something that the Government does not even have to always provide for. Every bit helps.

And then three.

Nations, like Greece, our under massive financial burdens, a collapsing economy, and a collapsing Government.

They are asking, crying, for help from the World. Including the United States, to give them copious amounts of money to try to stabilize their Government.

As far as I can tell, no questions asked, no guarantees, and though the Greeks are seeming to stick to their Austerity guns, I just do not know if it will keep up. I do not know what the benefit of this is to the United States.

We are not a money farm. We can help where we can if worse comes to worse, but we should not bail anyone out.

In looking at all of this, it is clear that our Foreign Policy decisions of recent years just are not working. We need a new path. What that is I am not sure, we are in a rock in a hard place around the world. But I have faith that we can begin to turn the corner. If we start now.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/too-hot-for-the-huffpo-read-the-gaza-flotilla-blog-post-they-wouldnt-publish/

This article, and then the one on Powerline, made me consider something. Putting two and two together about something that was really one of my really first big political issues.

This goes way back. The sixth grade, just me trying to figure out the world. And towards the end of one of my classes we had to read correspondents between an Israeli citizen, and a Palestinian.

Long Story short (could not tell you most of it even if I wanted to) I remember stating, or forming the opinion, that you could not give a state to a terrorist entity. Or those who do not deserve it.

Now this is the opinion of a sixth grader so it was crude and simplistic, but it seems to stand.

In this case.

Whether or not the Palestinians deserve their own state, or that is a reasonable argument for them not having one, is really beside the point.

The fact remains is, they have, and it escaped my own notice.

To the layman or to the person trying to be ignorant on the issue, this probably has not occurred to many people.

But when Gaza was handed over, as the article and current world affairs supports, the Palestinians have their own state.

Of course, now they want more. It’s not enough.

And since they have gotten it they have fired rockets, and continued terrorist attacks, and continue to attempt to kill Israeli Citizens.

The area is run by a terrorist organization that wants to wipe our Israel.

Who, as the article purports, their rise to power was not entirely democratic.

The historical parallels here are quite astounding.

You have a group, a political, cultural, and even religious…especially in this case… who is trying to absorb more land, from an already existing country…claiming it as their own…and this group came to power through Democratic means but kept power not through a ballot box…and then began a campaign to wipe out the Jews.

Sound familiar?

If Israel is to survive, and if we are going to know who to stand with, we must look at the past, to try to predict the future. Especially when the parallels are so clear, and the rhetoric so deadly.

A while ago I was doing a blog about true wealth and just what it means for humans in general to have wealth and to make it.

I want to expand on that and talk about value, the value of things. What it means for something to be valuable, in general, and especially in relation to our dollar.

Our dollar is inflating, our economy is collapsing, we are having to work harder, and longer, or get more money to pay for less things. Why is this? What does it mean? Why is our dollar and our economy getting weaker even though we have a capacity to spend more and more?

Well lets take it back for a second, all the way back. Back to the most simplest of this debate.

Imagine if there was only one dollar in the entire world.

Would that not be valuable? Would that not be a highly sought over commodity? Would it not have a lot of purchasing power? If that was the only dollar in existence, that needed to be used to buy anything, the only currency in the world, why wars would be fought over it, to try to get it and trade it for something of value.

Now multiply that by a hundred, a thousand, a million. Each time you do, the less that one thing can get you. Where now there are more of those things in order to get you stuff so the dollar becomes less and less valuable, and can do less and less with it.

OK that does not work? How about food?

Imagine if there was one apple, and that was the only apple in the world.

It would be worth a lot of money. It would be worth a lot of effort.

It may even be a collectible. Something to put in a cage and admired instead of eating. Something to be revered, a weird fluke, whose value to the owner is immense.

Now you gamers, imagine if there was one XBox, one Wii, and one Play Station 3.

If you liked games and the only way you could play them was to own one of these systems, what would you do to get them? If you were one of the owners what would you accept in trade? How many dollars if you KNEW you had a Wii and someone else wanted one?

And for all those lovers out there.

You love someone, they are unique and special. You value, or mesh in your core personality and your values.

They are valuable, precious, there is not another like them in the entire universe. They are completely individual and completely valuable to you. A treasure. Not to be repeated.

But what if they were to be cloned? In every way?

Would they maybe not lose value to you if there were two of them? Four? Ten? If they lose their uniqueness would you not lose interest? Or would you stay, mine is the genuine article, etc etc?

But what if you did want them both? I mean this is a pretty sweet deal! The woman who I love and treasure was just cloned! Two for the price of one.

Not so fast.

In fact, you would have to work harder for the two of them. To keep them satisfied and happy. You would have to put in more effort to make each of them feel loved, and appreciated, more work, more resources, more effort, less you can do in other areas.

And that is what true value is. It is not the accumulation of stuff, but it is finding the right and proper balance to make the best use of that stuff, and create the wealth.