Building a Foundation for Resurrecting America Part VI

Philosophy CursiveSo we begin tonight to get back into the philosophy discussions. However, tonight we offer a chance for everyone to do a little less “thinking” and a little more simple understanding. I know that many of you wonder exactly how Black Flag could have possibly ended up the way that he did. Heck, we all wonder such things. And that goes for myself and Just A Citizen, too. How did the three of us, who conspired to take you on the journey into philosophy in order to form a solid base, come to be the people that we are? Why does JAC think the way he does? Where did USW get that mentality from? All valid questions, and ones that we intend to answer…

As we prepare to enter the next phase of the “Building a Better Foundation” Series, we felt that it was important that people be able to understand the different backgrounds that led each of the three of us to the positions that we hold. What is it that brought three very different mentalities to somewhat similar conclusions. Each of the three of us believes different things, but we all have somewhat similar cores. And understanding those cores is the key to understanding how we are thinking. At least that is the theory I am going with. So we figured the best thing we could do before going to the next step was to open ourselves up a little to everyone and give a peek inside our pasts. 

Speaking only for myself, I will say that this is not an easy thing to do. While it may seem that I must live in the limelight to have started writing a blog and putting all my thoughts out there for judgement, this is a bit different. Because what I have not done is let anyone get inside my head at all. Many of you have noticed that I do not discuss my military career or much of my personal life here on the blog. Those things are personal. And I don’t like putting them out there. I imagine that BF and JAC probably feel the same in many ways. While we all argue and debate on this blog, there is the anonymity of the internet that keeps us a bit safe. This strips away a little bit of those protections. So I am extremely grateful to both of them for being willing to do so. So with no further delay, Here is a bit about each of us…

I am Black Flag

When USWep proposed this series to JAC and I, his goal was to baseline his readership within a standard of reason.

By providing and proving a basis of reason, USWep believed that real solutions for today’s problems of governance could be honestly articulated.

As one of USWep’s and this blogs more tenacious antagonists, I was honored when USWep and JAC asked for my support.

They wished me to explain the source of my most annoying and constant questions that strike at nearly everyone’s position. I am, of course, very happy to oblige.

To further USWep’s goal, JAC has provided a rock solid basis for the need of reason, and some basic tools to apply upon arguments of people whose goal is to influence opinions, decisions and actions.

For the next part of the posts, USWep, JAC and I thought that a series of dialogues – ‘A Walk’ – with the two or three of us that would highlight some ideas and concepts on which to build such a base, and to restart some of the conversations on this blog from a core, reasoned, center point.

But before the Walk, I think it is worthwhile for others to understand some of the roots from which we derive our arguments. Perhaps by providing some background of our personal journeys, we can offer some insight on our points of view.

So, here is my introduction.

ChessWhen I was in grade school, I was challenged by a frustrated teacher to learn by myself how to play Chess (“If you’re so smart, figure out how to play the game yourself!” was his response to my questions when I was watching him play Chess with another student during a lunch hour). Later that year I ended up winning the school Chess Championship.

I built my own chess set by hand, and of course read the books on how to play Chess. But no one in my family other than my Dad knew how to play chess, and he wasn’t very good. So, I practiced against myself a lot of the time.

Since I was playing my perfect opponent (myself); I knew exactly the reason of my own moves; I established chess strategies of position and mobility, instead of mass assault and maneuver. This happened to be particularly successful against my opponents.

But what else happened was unintended.

I taught my brain to split into two ‘individuals’, primarily one called “Position” or “P” and another called “Counter-Position” or “CP”. These entities in my head continued to serve me well after Chess. And no, I don’t have multiple personality disorder 😉

P and CP became my very effective companions as a tool to solve almost any problem I encountered. And of course, they were the tool I used to play around with moral questions. The trade of arguments from one position to the other would always boil down to which held the strongest reason and logic. The benefit, of course, is one cannot cheat or lie to one’s self, so the answers without mattering not whether P or CP won, was often very enlightening.

I have a drive to understand the essence of the Universe.

By the way, I interchange ‘God’ and ‘Universe’ – to me, they are the same thing, so that will offer some insight to my sense of spirituality.

Stephen HawkingSteven Hawking offered an interesting and compelling view of the Universe.

Any discussion of what ‘was’ before the beginning of the Universe is moot – it cannot be described in any meaningful sense.

However, in reaching this argument, he suggested that in the pre-time, an infinite number of ‘attempts’ to create the Universe occurred – and instantly failed as the ‘Natural’ Laws that were created were inconsistent.

This Universe ‘popped’ into being when the Universe organized itself into a perfectly consistent set of “Natural Laws”.

He postulated that the reason this Universe exists is because it is self-consistent. What “Law” makes it so is ours to yet discover – however, we know it is immutable and we know it is consistent and that there cannot exist a contradiction.

Even the Bible recognizes this. In the Temptations, Satan taunts Jesus to leap from a cliff to prove his God as He would not let him fall. Jesus responded, of course, with “Test not thy Lord, thy God”.

This is a telling passage.

It offers an idea of what is good and what is evil from the point of view of the Universe. If someone who we humans believe is pious, and another who we believe is evil both walk off the cliff, both fall at the same rate and are crushed the same way based on the same Law of the Universe. The Universe, therefore, does not attribute the same ‘good or evil’ definitions as Man upon himself.

So, what is Universal Evil?

It must be anything that is against the essence of the Universe.

That is, anything that is inconsistent or in contradiction.

 

Just a Joke BF!

Just a Joke BF!

Though Man as a conscious being can imagine contradictions, it is when Man attempts to realize these contradictions that evil is created.

So, my P and CP concluded that if in any belief or action was a derivation from an argument that held a contradiction or that was inconsistent, that belief or action must be an Evil.

Imagine the explosion that occurred when that thought was realized!

I had rationalized contradictions to be mostly benign when I found it pragmatic to do so. Now, it wasn’t benign – it was the root of all human evil!

I began testing everything, everywhere.

And nearly every test for which I had previously held as a ‘good’ had its cover blown, and out of it came horrific beasts of evil.

My own hands were dripping blood of evil rationalizations and justifications that no longer could stand the test of consistency. Real people – innocent lives – had been held in the balance of these hands and by sheer luck, their lives were spared as I barely avoided having to act in the name of the rationalization of ‘duty’.

I found that almost every source of human self-inflicted suffering came out of an attempt to realize a contradiction.

I also found that almost every foundation mankind had put into place for itself fell into contradiction or inconsistency.

My search became frantic. Was there anything that did not hold some inconsistency, some rationalization, some contradiction?

I found it.

Now the moment of choice. Do I wrap around it my roots of who I am and grow from that point, or do I ignore this terrified journey of self-realization and return back to ‘normal’ life?

It was the Matrix moment.

Black Flag was born in that moment. Everything changed.

The people who had grown close to me faded away, even family. We gather people around us who are like us, but I had changed.

Their held beliefs were no longer mine.

They were in disbelief that I would sacrifice a wealthy lifestyle on a matter of principle – I was being impractical and stupid in their opinion. Pragmatism must come first over principle, they said. I said principle always must be first, no matter what. I choose that I’d rather be right on the losing side then wrong on the winning side.

I found myself alone and poor and quite unhappy.

It is very hard in a pragmatic world to live by principle. But I was steadfast. I changed almost everything around me….my job, who I was with, where I lived, what I thought, what I did, how I acted, what I believed.

Slowly, the world I lived in changed. People who shared like principles found me.

By avoiding situations and people who held contradictory points of view, I ended up in a different, but very small, community of very principled and honest people. My fortune changed – significantly. I made my own family. My family that faded, returned. And I made a pot load of powerful enemies, too. The latter is inevitable for those who refuse to compromise their principles.

So there you have it.

Every spear I throw is an attack against inconsistency and contradiction. All my arguments derive from the Universe, Freedom, Life and Peace – in that order.

My strategy is simple.

My tactics are simple.

My principles are immutable.

I am Black Flag

Just A Citizen’s Story

My philosophy is as much about how I have lived as it is about what I have read and studied.  My journey to the place I am now has been fairly long and somewhat methodical.  I honestly can’t point to any one Ah Ha moment if you will, like Black Flag, where contradictions or the ethic on non-violence just jumped up and slapped me up side of the head.

I was born in a city but never lived in one until I reached college.  I was raised chasing cows and wild horses across the high desert of the Great Basin.  I was the third generation of my family raised in the high Sierra and deserts of eastern California and northern Nevada.  My Dad and Uncles were buckaroos for their father and others when they were young.  I spent my formative years around construction workers, nurses, doctors, buckaroos (cowboys), miners and ranchers.  With the exception of the doctors (mom was a nurse), they were all considered blue collar and most were Democrats.

Cowboy SunsetThere is something about living in the desert, especially the basin and range country, that burns a sense of “freedom” deep into your soul.  I can remember as a young teen, maybe 13 or 14, standing in a valley, 20 plus miles wide and maybe a hundred miles long, and not being able to see anyone.  No people, no cars or trucks, no dogs, nothing.  Just jackrabbits, horned toads, coyotes, rattlesnakes and those damn cows I was trying to push for my Dad.  God, I loved that feeling that swept over me at that moment.  A little bit of fear and a lot of freedom, real freedom.

I did not know growing up that I was this independent, maverick of a character.  I had always had a lot of friends and they came in all sizes, shapes, colors and economic background.  Then at my 20 year high school reunion I took my first two kids and wife to the graduates and families picnic.  My daughter, the youngest at the time (age 4 then), was flitting around visiting and chattering with everyone and then she would go swing by herself for awhile.  Then she would do it all again.  After awhile a group of my closest friends, we had also gone to college together, all started laughing and whispering.  I asked what was so funny.  They pointed to my beautiful little girl and said, “she is just like you.”  How so I asked.  “She’s as friendly as the day is long but in the end she is a free spirit, sitting there perfectly happy to be left alone.  Nobody is going to tell her where to go or sit, or what to do.  That our dear friend is what you were like when we were young.”

After college I moved to that part of the west I had fallen in love with as a young teenager.  The central Rocky Mountains of Idaho.  I left the city life after college and did not live in another town, let alone city again until I was in my late 30’s.  I have spent the last 30 plus years living, working, and playing in those kinds of places everyone else pays good money to go visit.  Those places everyone else go to get a sense of peace and tranquility, in other words freedom.  The Rocky Mountain States of Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana along with parts of Alberta and British Columbia are my home.  I have always thought of myself as belonging to a region more than any state.  If the desert burns freedom into your soul then standing on the prairies of Montana and Wyoming or on top of some mountain in the Rockies stokes the fire until it is white hot.

When living in remote places one has a lot of time to think and to read.  I consumed books on history, politics, economics and business.  Of course there were a few dozen novels thrown in for entertainment.  My philosophy journey started in earnest when I read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, somewhere around 1980.  You can imagine now why her ideas might appeal to someone with my background.  I had some problems with it but it also made a lot of sense.

Night-Fly-FishingMy studies were less intense once the kids came along but I continued to pick up pieces here and there, including philosophy by Marx, Locke, Smith, Socrates, Aristotle and Plato.  However, aside from my family I was focused primarily on my poetry and philosophy of motion endeavors, namely baseball, golf, duck hunting and fly fishing.

I also changed jobs and became a staffer and lobbyist for an industry trade group.  Needless to say I was exposed to the underbelly of the beast.  I quit after 5+ years.  This was the Clinton years and due to my direct exposure to the Algorians I knew there was something very deeply wrong with our country.  I had long felt we were living in a fascist economy but could not prove it nor could I explain how the modern politics fit in.  Everyone called the Dem’s socialists but something didn’t fit. 

Retirement, or semi-retirement, came early, largely because my third and youngest turned out to have Autism.  Once that settled down I started hitting the books again.  Not hard but just constant.  Then two years ago we moved and I retired full time, almost.  I decided that at the age of 54 it was time to find out what it was all about.  I decided to study philosophy, politics and economics in earnest and to figure out where our country had gone wrong.  My internal sense of freedom had been under direct assault.  I had been feeling distraught and anxious for years but now it was starting to feel like panic mixed in with a little depression. 

I expanded my reading in philosophy and was able to finally finish The Complete Works of Aristotle and The Debates on the Constitution.  Both had sat in my library for a few years, basically untouched.  And then I returned to Ayn Rand.  I had read many of her other works but I found new books with other letters I had never seen.  I re-read her other non-fiction titles, which are mostly collections of her essays.  Then I read three books that helped me pull it all together.  They were The Chomsky Reader, edited by James Peck, Amy Chua’s World on Fire and Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism

These books would have meant nothing without my life experiences and without having read all I did for all those years.  In fact I probably wouldn’t have purchased them.  And now I can say I have a philosophy I call Modified Objectivism which includes God as well as a metaphysics based on reality, an epistemology that embraces logic and reason,  an ethic of non-violence and politics of laissez-faire capitalism.  I am a Radical Right Wing Liberal and proud member of the VDLG party.  

I am JAC.  I was born free, I lived free, and I will die free.  I will fight so that my children may also have the chance to feel what I have felt and to be able to say the same when it is their time to write a story. 

I am JAC, and I pray that my children will be able to say the same when they are old.

USWeapon’s Story

As BlackFlag, Just A Citizen, and myself discussed the series of articles that we are now presenting to all of you, I imagined that the insight gained would be worth the pain for all who decided to embark on our journey.

When this particular part of the article was suggested, I froze for a moment. The idea of sharing some of my inner workings was paralyzing. The idea of talking about my past was daunting. Would my readers accept my history? Would they believe my past? I found that this is going to be as painful for me, as it is for anyone else. I was going to have to just lay myself a bit bare, and hope for the best. So here is the story of how I ended up with the core that I have…

giftedLike BF, I was a bright child. I recall being tested for my IQ in the 3rd grade to see if I qualified for the “gifted” program (an alternative curriculum for advanced students). I was tested over 100 times. I could not read well, so the results were “impossible” according to the test administrators. Over 100 tests; The results the same +/-5 points every time. I was found to be dyslexic. That is what caused my reading issues. The “cure” for dyslexia? Reading. Lots of it. I read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica, every page, before I was 10. And I realized that I have an amazing memory. I am still not to be trifled with when it comes to trivia. I have more useless information in my head than I know what to do with. 

I entered the “gifted program”, which I freely admit was a gift unto itself for those students that were thinking differently than other students at that age. In those classes we were actually taught to think, to reason, and to use logic to analyze solutions. We created a newspaper in 5th grade, an entire “society” in 7th grade. To say the least it was a fortunate turn in life that gave me the opportunity to learn logic and reason at an early age. I have not gotten a “B” since the third grade. I am intelligent, and my numbers look good on paper. But there is always more to learn, more to refine. 

My parents imparted on me two very different things. They divorced when I was young. My father was the one who taught me how to be tough, but to be honest, respectful, and above all, true to who you are. My mother was the polar opposite. She was brilliant, driven, and worked harder than anyone I know to get where she wanted to go. My father worked with Special Forces in the military, and he carried that mentality for life. My mother was a critical care nurse working through graduate school while working 15 hour days and raising three children. 

The first big moment in the formation of my core came when my mother remarried. I was 11. She married a man who had been drafted to play professional football. He was a mountain-man, literally raised in the mountains, and a mountain of a man, at about 6’4″ and 300 pounds of solid rock. He was feared by every single person in our small town. He had been the town bully for as long as anyone remembered. He was 22 and suddenly had a family. He beat me a lot. I am not talking about discipline, I am talking about a man I watched dismantle groups of tough rednecks beating a 125 pound kid (I got tough, and angry). But that is another story. The important part here was that he was a mountain man and he had a different religion than my mother. 

I had been raised to believe the Catholic faith. At age 12, my mother switched religions to his, and our family was suddenly one that belonged not to the Catholic church, but the Mormon church. In a logical and reasoning mind such as mine, you can imagine the impact. After years of hearing one version of the “truth”, I was suddenly inundated weekly with an entirely different version of the “truth”. The result? I realized that they were both full of crap. And on top of that if religion turned out that monster that my mother married, I wanted no part of it. I turned away from the church, never to return, mainly though, because I saw too many contradictions. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have religion in my life now, but it is not the same, as you might imagine.

 

Shenandoah Valley

Shenandoah Valley

Being a mountain man, he moved us to the mountains. Literally. I could walk out my door and walk for 5 miles to the top of the mountain and be looking out on the Northern Shenandoah Valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I got my first gun at 11. And by 15 I was spending 3 day weekends living off the land and sleeping under the stars. Much like JAC, I was experiencing true freedom. I wasn’t a recluse. I had lots of friends. I was popular. But I was truly happy alone in the woods. Just me and nature. 

I left home at 18 and went to college. I went to school to be an engineer. I hated being an engineer, so I joined the army, not early, but late. I was already married. And as I mentioned earlier, I was angry. I was smart and working harder than everyone I knew, and yet I was struggling, and not getting ahead. So I decided I would spend 3 years in the army so that I could “vent”. I literally joined with the hopes of violence. And I joined with the idea that I was doing the right thing, serving my country. 

I ended up staying for three enlistments in the army. I did a job that lots of people think they can do, but they can’t. It was more physically demanding than a former college wrestler expected, and more mentally demanding than a “gifted student” could have dreamed. I got to spend a lot of time in the woods. I got to go to a lot of different countries. I even got to live in a few. I worked in Washington DC for a year of that time. What I did is not important. What is important is that I got to meet all of the big names in government. It was during the Clinton years. I was able to speak to everyone, from the President on down. I learned what politics were really about. And I was disgusted with what I learned. You all get pieces of that experience here and there, as I talk about the realities of how government works. Those pieces are a result of my military career and my time in DC. When it came time for my military career to end, I was offered very lucrative jobs working for various federal agencies and groups. I had seen enough. I moved on, and vowed that I would never again work for the federal government. 

When I left the military I went back to school again. Then I started my current career. It isn’t glamorous. I am not rich. But we are comfortable. I spent all of the time since the military learning, in one form or another. I just finished another degree a couple of months ago. I intend to start another in a couple more months. I read voraciously. I debate endlessly, and I revel in doing so. I have studied martial arts for most of my life, and plan on soon returning to that practice for yet another discipline. I have lived my life. I took advantage and got every single experience that was put in front of me. 

You will notice that there has not been a moment for me when everything clicked and I understood. I sometimes wonder if I understand at all. But through my life I have learned a lot about myself because if I have been nothing, I have been constantly introspective. What I learned about myself could fill a book. And I could fascinate you all day with stories of the things I have done that you may or may not believe, but are all true. But there are some things that are important to this conversation, so I will share them. 

Penguins LogicI am a critical and logical thinker. I believe what I believe, and I will fight for my position hard. But I listen to every counterpoint. I analyze everything that is said. And in the end, I am one of the most logical thinkers you might ever meet. And that means that if you are right, you always have a chance to change my mind. Because if you present me with logic and reason, I will accept it even if it means that I have to abandon something I have believed my whole life. Logic and reason are the defining factors in every discussion, debate, argument, and conversation that I have. 

I believe 100% that everything happens the way that it is supposed to happen. The people who found this blog did so for a reason. The things I have failed in I failed in for a reason. The successes happened for a reason too. I do not waiver from this belief, ever. I believe in Karma. Absolutely. And that is why I do not believe in initiating violence. In defense I am ruthless, but I will not initiate violence at this point in my life. I have lived this way for many years. 

I believe in harmony. In this way I am similar to BF. He believes in the principles of the universe. There can be no inconsistency under his belief system. I don’t subscribe to his version. But I believe that when harmony exists, you can feel it, and it is unstoppable. When it does not exist, you can feel it in your gut, and it is destined for failure. Seeking harmony in life, in thought, and with everything around you is important. You cannot succeed without harmony. 

I do not do things half-assed. If I agree to do something, then I intend to do it well. I will be the best at it. That does not mean that I don’t fail. It does mean that failure for me may be defined differently than it is for you. I started this blog to help people learn, and to start on a path towards fixing our broken country. I will not do that half-assed either. 

And I believe that you must remain consistent with your core. BF challenged me on this many months ago, and I have often thanked him for doing so. He found a fatal flaw in my thinking and helped to correct it, much to my dismay at the time. But it was a challenge that is what I would do to anyone myself. It isn’t often I have it done to me.

I live my principles. I cherish my values. I know my limits, and I will push you to yours.

I love this country. I love the idea of freedom. I fear for what it has become during my lifetime. And I won’t stand by and allow it to be ruined. Each generation has handed their children less freedom than was handed to them. It is time to reverse that trend. 

Now you all know a little bit more about each of us. I hope that it will help you to better understand us as we move forward in the series and in out everyday debates and discussions. I challenge each of you to question us even more. I am not afraid of answering questions about my past, what I learned. I really struggled in writing this because I wasn’t sure what you would want to know, or what was important for me to share. So feel free to ask questions. I will let you know if you ask a question I would prefer not to answer. So did sharing a bit of our histories with you help at all to understand the positions that we find ourselves in? Does it help you to understand the reasons why we have dedicated so much time to this endeavor that everyone here has pursued together for the last 7 months?

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Comments

  1. Birdman says:

    Black Flag, can you describe what you found, your matrix moment, in simple terms?

    I think we all visit this site because we don’t like the direction our government is taking us and I thank each of you for sharing some of your background.

    • Black Flag says:

      God’s gift to man was prefect freedom – the freedom of choice for all men.

      People tend to believe perfect freedom means the ‘you’ gets to do anything you want – meaning you get to attack or kill someone, or steal etc.

      But that view fails the …for all men… clause. So that belief is a mistake of understanding and doesn’t apply to freedom.

      We are not ‘free’ to fly like a bird, nor swim to the bottom of the ocean. The Universe, therefore, doesn’t define freedom that way either.

      It is freedom of choice. To choose for ourselves what we wish for our own lives.

      It is freedom of choice for all men. Everyone has this.

      Freedom of choice for all men can only be achieved if all men do not impose upon others. (This is not negated by the fact that some men believe they can impose upon others. Our goal as humans is to attain the perfection – freedom for all men. Because some men do not hold to this, does not mean the rest of us should abandon ourselves or our freedom.)

      True Freedom is when I do not impose upon you and you do not impose upon me. Then, both of us are free.

      From that point – the Universe aligned; soup to nuts.

      If you can imagine a movie scene where an infinite number of puzzle pieces, all not making sense, suddenly and instantly fell into place to complete a great and perfect picture.

      There was no moral question that could not be answered from that base point. None. (Remember, the answer may make you angry, sad, upset – many answers the Universe gives us will not please us – but it is the answer is the “truth”)

  2. Sounds like you have all found your own Galt’s Gulches

  3. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    USW,

    The picture of consistency only being a good thing if you are not a screw-up is actually pretty appropriate. For example, the people in the current government of this country are pretty consistent, but what they do is pretty much consistently WRONG when it comes to supporting individual freedom and liberty.

    One can have great precision (all of your shots hit the same small cluster on the target) while still having TERRIBLE accuracy (the small cluster of shots is NO WHERE NEAR THE BULLS-EYE).

    Great precision with terrible accuracy doesn’t work well. Conversely, great accuracy (a good number of shots hit the bulls-eye) with terrible precision (a fair number of your shots are scattered all over the place in spit of the fact that a good number hit the bulls-eye) also doesn’t work very well.

    We want a philosophical foundation that is accurate and precise.

    Will post more later after I get more time to read through these personal stories… only got through BF’s so far and it is fascinating.

    • Peter:

      The one I have always liked the best was that success in an endeavor requires three things done properly and in the proper sequence:

      READY……AIM…….FIRE

      All other combinations of these three variable will result in a screwup. Our govt is:

      FIRE……AIM……..READY

      In fact their AIM may be more akin to POINT

      Top O the Mornin to Ya
      JAC

    • Black Flag says:

      I had to laugh, too, at USWep’s choice of picture. 😆

      One of the reasons I enjoy his blog is that, for a serious guy and a great thinker, he has a knack for the understated humor that makes me chuckle every time I read and re-read his quips.

      He has the gift to make humor at no one’s expense – and that it a wonderful gift to have.

      Consistency in argument, not necessarily in action. I know what I want to say (argument), but even though I’ve typed the letter ‘e’ about 10 million times – darn it, I sometimes miss the darn thing (lack of consistency in action).

      The first step is consistency in argument and belief. If this cannot be done, what ever action derives from that cannot be a consistent ‘good’.

  4. Danak13 says:

    This will be successful as long as the three of you allow free thinking and you will not lose readers. I have found it a breath of fresh air to be able to see all sides without name calling. I will stay awhile.

    US WEAPONS – I will have to say that 14 of my 40 years came with the Special Forces and, yes, my military background is rigid. But, 40 years has given me great insight to a lot of political systems. This site is thought provoking. I have found that my military experience gives me great insight. I am not a right wing extremist nor am I fiercely left leaning. I believe in fiscal responsibility and have not found another economic system better than ours yet. I am, however, a social moderate. I do not believe in entitlement programs but I am a right of free choice for women. Maybe I will have some insight to this blog…maybe not. I do believe that we have laws…good or bad…and that we are a country of laws, and unlike Black Flag, voting is a necessity because one can influence by elections….however, nobody has yet to find a cure for Potomac Fever. Great statesmen succumb to power.

    So, I guess that I am somewhat a centrist but not a fence rider.

    Wait, you did not ask me for my input on background did you…so I will quit here. THanks for the blog and I will comment.

    • D13

      Actually we are asking you to share. Not all but that which you think has application. We are for sure asking everyone to do a little introspection.

      Take that 40 years of experience and your current beliefs and find to locate the contradictions. Start with the real obvious because those are the ones that are causing most of the anxiety in folks. They always think it something outside causing it, but it is your subconsious telling you something does not compute.

      Free thinking is a requirement of true Reason and Knowledge. So no worries there.

      Best to You Also this Morning
      JAC

      • Danak13 says:

        There is actually 60 years experience here…it is just that my real life experience started in 1969…(was born in ’48) College in the 60’s…weeelllll….I was going to play professional golf for a career but the war and the wounds received in that war changed my life forever. So…I went from driving a 1967 Firebird 400 and chasing girls and drinking beer to walking the jungles right out of college. So, I consider this where my life really changed.

        Oh…. there was no LSD or MJ in the 60’s or Vietnam to “enlighten me”…so I hope to be able to add to the site….

        Best backatcha
        D13

    • USWeapon says:

      Danak,

      You sound very similar to me in your positions. And thank you for sharing a bit of yourself there. I think that the military offers the opportunity to learn many different things. Working in SF offers even more. You get to understand things at a higher level, see things that many don’t. But I think that when you speak to those that spent time in SF, you realize that there is a mindset there that is different than in many people. I actually believe that those with that mindset are more prepared to think the way I do. It is tough to explain. The same way that it is tough to explain the fact that many times SF guys can identify other SF guys simply by observing the way that they carry themselves. There is simply something different about those with the mentality that is tough to put the finger on.

      I echo the thoughts JAC added above: we are asking for everyone to become a little bit introspective. Think about who you are and why. And share at a level you are comfortable sharing with. Understanding the person helps to understand their position, and reasoning.

  5. BF, JAC, and USW,

    You are all exceptional people, and I am honored to have “found” you via this blog. On paper, your stories have a very similar vibe, and while they may not represent a broad cross section of Americans in terms of your life experiences, your core principles are the thread that runs through your stories and so many others who have lived completely different lifestyles. I believe that there are a lot more exceptional people out there who do not currently play a direct role in which the country is headed. It is these people, like yourselves, that need to step up and take this country in a new direction, BEFORE it is too late. Yes, I know you are leading us down a path. You know I am antsy and not inclined to sit and wait around. I’ve said it a thousand times, and I’ll say it again. Time’s a wastin’. What happens if we wait too long? Do you feel that the country needs to descend into chaos before it can be rebuilt? Are you thinking about a resurrection or a remodel? If it’s a remodel, then we better get cracking. If it’s a resurrection, then I better build a bunker.

    Again thanks for baring your souls. I would love to meet all of you exceptional people in person.

    • Mom:

      I am thinking Resurrection, and will take the blame for coming up with that term. But not from the ashes, like a pheonix.

      More like a Rebirth. We would have no success right now if we tried to really get our country back. We don’t need all or maybe even a majority but we need almost a majority to understand so they have something of values behind their efforts. They need to “feel” freedom again and “feel” the need to restore it.

      There are a lot of people who are feeling it but who still want action that will not succeed because it doesn’t address the core value conflicts first.

      Thus it is a rebirth, a resurrection not just a remodel of what we now have.

      I don’t think you will need a bunker. Everyone who has ever tried to survive in one has perished there. I’m thinking a well armed armored truck might make a good RV for the family (just kidding, maybe).

      Big Hugs Your Way This AM Mom.
      Keep It UP
      JAC

    • Mom”

      My reply vaporized and don’t know why, so I’ll try again.

      We need a resurrection in the sense of a reawakening and rebirth, not one like the phoenix. At least I hope the hell not.

      A remodel is just moving walls and chairs and doesn’t fix the crumbling foundation.

      There are many who want action now and it is all focused within the same box we have been given by those we wish to replace. We need to look outside the box not stay within the confines they create for us.

      All efforts to “do something” without addressing the lack of understanding and gaining the acceptance of the core values that support freedom, will result in just what we have. We may set it back a little but it will return to its current state.

      Another analogy: We need to perform a heart transplant. Fixing the busted arms is not enough. Once the new heart of this country takes hold, many of the broken parts will fix themselves quickly.

      Question time for you now.

      Where are your thoughts on the philosophical principles presented so far?
      Are you will yet to adopt those core principles?

      And Big Hugs your way this morning, for all you are doing in your state.
      JAC

      • I need to see specific real world solutions before I can buy into the change you have in mind and I’m not sure I have seen that yet. I have not had the time to digest some of the philosophical principles which you have so eloquently put forth. I’ve read them, but to me it is like Chinese, and I need to do more than read them once. Unfortunately I am straight out here and have barely had time to stop by the blog. What I need to see is a translation from the esoteric into the practical. Something may sound good in the abstract but not work in reality. So explain to me the problem in real terms, give me your ideas for a solution in real terms, and if I buy it, I WILL take that solution and put it into practice.

        I respect you guys for your intellect, thoughtfulness, and desire to identify the root of the problem and share your conclusions. I see you as a modern day version of the framers. But the framers had years to put their philosophies into action. We don’t. I am boots on the ground. That is my thing- I can reach out to people of all economic and educational backgrounds, ages, gender, etc. I am comfortable with the media; tv, radio, and newspaper (though I don’t necessarily trust them). I’m not afraid of anyone, and I know that I am already making some powerful enemies with the entrenched, corrupt special interests here in RI. I am as comfortable speaking to Ivy leaguers as I am speaking to a bunch of farmers and tattooed motorcycle dudes.

        So let us all do the things which we do best. I am rearing to go. I’ve got my citizens “army” in place. Give me the broad strokes of the philosophy and then tell me the plan. I can work backwards from plan to philosophical basis if it doesn’t make sense initially. Waiting around patiently without knowing the course of action is not one of my strengths. Putting a plan into action is.

        Big Hugs to you to JAC!

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          If a solution is consistent, it is impossible for it to sound good in the abstract but not work in reality. That is what we are seeking.

          Only the solutions that look good on paper AND work in reality (and are aligned with our core principles) are acceptable.

          If something looks good on paper but fails utterly in reality, either the solution is inconsistent, or the people implementing it are doing so dishonestly.

          We have to take the time to first of all agree on the core principles, and then FIND the solutions that not only look good on paper, but are consistent with our core principles and therefore will work in “the real world” as long as these solutions are applied honestly and correctly.

          That is why this takes time. We cannot use the excuse of “we have no time, we need to do something NOW” to take shortcuts.

          Shortcuts lead to long delays.

    • Black Flag says:

      Mad Mom,

      Your statement ….”wait too long”….

      I’ve posted this before, but I feel you need to see it again.

      … the Lord commissioned the prophet to go out and warn the people of the wrath to come.

      “Tell them what a worthless lot they are.”

      He said, “Tell them what is wrong, and why and what is going to happen unless they have a change of heart and straighten up. Don’t mince matters. Make it clear that they are positively down to their last chance. Give it to them good and strong and keep on giving it to them.”

      “I suppose perhaps I ought to tell you,” He added, “that it won’t do any good. The official class and their intelligentsia will turn up their noses at you and the masses will not even listen. They will all keep on in their own ways until they carry everything down to destruction, and you will probably be lucky if you get out with your life.”

      Isaiah had been very willing to take on the job – in fact, he had asked for it – but the prospect put a new face on the situation.

      It raised the obvious question: Why, if all that were so – if the enterprise were to be a failure from the start – was there any sense in starting it?

      “Ah,” the Lord said, “you do not get the point. There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about.”

      “They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it.”

      I’m here to take care of that Remnant – help them with ideas to survive the tsunami, and along with JAC and USWep, to articulate the moral foundation from which to rebuild society.

      If we cannot articulate that moral foundation, we will remain lost in a sandstorm and will be buried.

      With that moral foundation, it will be the compass and the map that will allow us to proceed regardless how dark the world appears around us.

      • This all sounds rather apocolytptic, as though we need to reach the bottom of hell before we can build sufficient critical mass to resurrect the country based upon your strong moral foundations. What’s the tipping point and do you see it as a survival situation? You are all clearly tough independent guys who can escape to safe places, defend your families, catch your own food, etc. That is not reality for the vast majority of people for a variety of reasons. Do I have to be the RI version of Sarah Connor in order to keep my family alive to ultimately become the Remnants? Stop trying to effect change now, focus only on getting my own house in order, have discussions about we should proceed going forward, and simply wait for the fall before taking any action? Is that what you advocate?

        • Mom: The Remnants aren’t the survivors of the apocolypse. They are the remaining folks out there who truly believe in freedom and liberty and want it restored.

          And they want it for all the right reasons.

          While the tea parties have drawn alot of people I guarantee you that most don’t share the same core values yet. They could with some work but they don’t just yet. If they move forward without coming to that point, they will fail.

          How hard are you willing to fight for “fiscal responsibility”?

          Now how hard are you willing to fight for “freedom” and “liberty”?

          I’m guessing you get different answers deep down in your gut. That is why “Ready comes before Aim which comes before Fire”

          JAC

          • Yes, you are right that the core fight is for freedom and liberty. Economic freedom (achieved via fiscal responsibility of our current government) is one of the greatest liberties. In essence, I fight for one of freedom’s forms. But the real fight, the one that wrenches people’s guts and gets them off their butts to act, is the fight for freedom in general.

            This is one of the challenges of continuing this movement, particularly on one’s own without the spirit of the national movement to help propel it. Nobody else is having a Gaspee Tea Party. It is a distinctly RI thing. Motivating people to fight for something which with they are disgusted (corrupt, overbloated state government) is MUCH harder than motivating people to stand up against something of which they are deeply afraid (loss of freedom, loss of their country). But right now, we CAN change things here in our government, just by showing up. I can’t change the fact that Obama and Co. is driving this country into the ground with unprecedented spending. I can’t change the mindset of the kooks in North Korea or Iran or Al Queda (or Congress). So I focus on what change I can effect NOW. After this event, we will focus on the strategy of how we can change government in a broader sense. Which is where the ideas here may prove most useful in providing a course to chart.

      • Black Flag says:

        This all sounds rather apocolytptic, as though we need to reach the bottom of hell before we can build sufficient critical mass to resurrect the country based upon your strong moral foundations.

        Sad, but usually true.

        I think about my own life – often when I have to make a change, is when I really have to!. Until it crashes, we tend to go merrily along the way oblivious to doom.

        It takes great, great guts and self-awareness to change before a crash – the typical attitude is “its fine now so what’s the problem?”

        What’s the tipping point and do you see it as a survival situation?

        The system, itself, is slowly tightening the knot around its own neck – and all the warnings ‘we’ are yelling at it seems not make one bit of difference.

        This system is doomed – it cannot stand.

        Usually systemic failure is sudden and without any significant warning. Just like a tsunami.

        And yes, it is a survival situation. The situation won’t last that long – probably not more than a year – however, one year without food, for example; yes, it was only one year – but now you’re dead.

        You have to make it to the life boats. Living in a life boat is no fun and not comfortable – but its job is to carry you to shore so you can start again. But miss the life boats….

        You are all clearly tough independent guys who can escape to safe places, defend your families, catch your own food, etc. That is not reality for the vast majority of people for a variety of reasons. Do I have to be the RI version of Sarah Connor in order to keep my family alive to ultimately become the Remnants?

        What is being ‘tough’? … Nothing but attitude and attitude is nothing but your own power of your mind’s thoughts.

        The reason most people will not do at all well is that they do not listen – they are the mindless masses.

        Again, from Nock’s “Isiah’s Job”

        —–
        … As the word masses is commonly used, it suggests agglomerations of poor and underprivileged people, laboring people, proletarians.

        But it means nothing like that; it means simply the majority.

        The mass-man is one who has neither the force of intellect to apprehend the principles issuing in what we know as the humane life, nor the force of character to adhere to those principles steadily and strictly as laws of conduct; and because such people make up the great, the overwhelming majority of mankind, they are called collectively the masses.

        The line of differentiation between the masses and the Remnant is set invariably by quality, not by circumstance.

        The Remnant are those who by force of intellect are able to apprehend these principles, and by force of character are able, at least measurably, to cleave to them.

        The masses are those who are unable to do either.
        ——-

        You are NOT the majority, Mad Mom – which is why you feel the stifling and frustration of your effort to enact a change that will save the majority!

        You are trying to lift what cannot be lifted – no more than one person can carry 100 on their back.

        It is you who has the quality of character and the quality of principle that will strength you and all around you.

        Stop trying to effect change now, focus only on getting my own house in order, have discussions about we should proceed going forward, and simply wait for the fall before taking any action? Is that what you advocate?

        YES! Get your house in order!

        Concurrently, ….

        We need to be very clear on what we want to articulate – it has to be strongly reasoned because if not, it will be ignored automatically.

        Even if it is strongly reasoned, it will be ignored by most people.

        But some will take the time to listen – and thus, set into motion the first drop leading to the flood.

        We need to articulate what change we want – knowing it will not happen right away.

        The Universe will turn to a point, and if we are ready, the ‘doors’ will open … but not one second before. This gives us time to be ready.

        • BF, you said to MadMom:

          “We need to be very clear on what we want to articulate – it has to be strongly reasoned because if not, it will be ignored automatically.

          Even if it is strongly reasoned, it will be ignored by most people.

          But some will take the time to listen – and thus, set into motion the first drop leading to the flood.”

          This is truly the best we will be able to do. Right now voices of reason are being classified as wackjobs and nutballs and being totally dismissed. It will be mostly the same even later.

          But when it begins to come apart more and more will listen. Because then it will be plain who the wackos and nutballs really are.

        • Birdman says:

          Black Flag:

          How much time do you think we have before our country or political system fails (6 months, a year, 2 years)? I’m not prepared to survive one year in a life boat at this point in my life and I don’t have the financial resources to prepare my survival kit. I still have a 401(k) that has some money in it and could take the 20% tax penalty and take the money out. Unfortunately for me, my immediate short term goal is to find another job. After finding another job, I plan to become a survivalist. I just hope I have enough time to prepare.

          • If you have friends or family you could lean on then you had better keep them.

            If you have to do that then obviously you could use your skills to help them in some way. Thus barter and trade.

            Know anyone who lives on a small farm or in the country? If so ask them if you could squat there in a crisis. Pre arrange with them what you are going to bring to the table. Maybe it is just a gun and ammo. Maybe some shared labor and cooking skills. I think you get the idea.

            Don’t take a 20% hit on your 401K, at least not yet, unless you need food. There may come a time when that makes sense though. Always keep track of your total tax on all revenue. If you are unemployed your total tax on 401K draw may be lower than your total tax on wages, or tax on future draws. Just work with the numbers and make cold hearted rational decisions regarding money. It almost always works out just like the math said it would.

            What type of work are you seeking?

            • Birdman says:

              I work in Labor Relations/Human Resources. I have an interview on Monday in Virginia and I hope that I do well enough to get a job offer.

              I’m in MI now and I don’t have any family anywhere in the state. I do know someone that has a farm in MI and I probably could work out something should things get that bad and I’m still in the state. I have some practical skills in welding (made my wife a flag pole today mounted on a stand that we can take with us). I can do basic electrical wiring, some mechanical work, fabrication out of steel.

              I know you cannot predict the future but what’s your best guess for the collapse of our economy or country. I’m just trying to figure out how much time I have.

    • Black Flag says:

      And to confirm Peter’s statements:

      How do we know if the real-world solution we propose is ‘good’?

      It’s not a good plan to create a solution, try it, and then say “Opps, bad!” – that would be a waste of time and human lives.

      Somewhere we need to have our measuring stick first to test the proposition to see if it is worth the attempt to make it real.

      But whose what moral measuring stick are we going to use?

      • Yes, whose?

      • Black Flag says:

        Ready?

        Ours

        • Black Flag says:

          (Don’t you just love talking to arm-chair philosophers?) 😆

          Never a perfectly straight answer….

        • Black Flag says:

          So, seriously, “OURS”

          There is Universal Truth – the Universe provides it for us, but interestingly, doesn’t give us too many hints about it.

          So we have to work it out. And that is what this journey over the last couple of weeks is about.

          1) Why we need reason
          2) What is reason
          3) How do we reason
          4) and now… from what core principle do we start the path of reason?

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            So, if the core principles from which the solutions are to be derived are to be OURS, we better darn well do our best to get it right, or we will indeed be wasting a lot of time and a lot of people’s lives (both literally and figuratively I imagine).

            • Black Flag says:

              It was a big conversation between USWep, JAC and I in debate whether all the time and effort for this long series would be worth it….would USWep lose his audience, would anyone read it…?

              Well, I think you’ve proven us right to risk going down this path!

  6. Bama dad says:

    USW said:

    “And on top of that if religion turned out that monster that my mother married, I wanted no part of it. I turned away from the church”

    I am not an expert in this area, just a parent, but I don’t think it is a logical assumption to say that religion made him a monster. More likely bad parenting skills or abuse by someone in his youth created the adult monster. Not always, but abusive adults are only copying patterns learned as a child. It is the reason the chain of abuse is so hard to break.

    On a different gear I really enjoyed everyone’s life stories, helps to understand a little of the thought process you quys use. Think I’ll hang around and see if ya’ll can teach this old dog any new tricks. 😎

    • USWeapon says:

      Bama Dad,

      I have religion these days. It is different for me than for most. As a teenager, those were my thoughts, and they stuck with me for a long time. I eventually came to the same conclusion that you have stated here. But I felt it was an important aspect to share that my study of two different religions coupled with my thoughts around him were the cause of me walking away from the church at that time.

      He sounds horrible. He was not a bad person. We have reconciled since, even though he is no longer married to my mother. He was young, scared, and frustrated. I paid the price for that. The church had nothing to do with who he was. But it took me many years to mature enough to think that through logically and apply reason.

      • Bama dad says:

        USW
        I would never question someone about religion as that is a personal matter between them and whom ever. For me that is between me and god. I was just questioning your logic in declaring that religion made him a monster. I should have known better as you run circles around most folks with logic. As I have grown older I have found that life is one big classroom, things we thought we knew to be absolute, change with the experiences of life. 😀

        • Bama and USW, I like my Mama and Daddy, am a Baptist. I am a Baptist because that is the closest Religion to what I personally believe.

          My Daddy is a Baptist Preacher. He has been Pastor of churches, he went to the Seminary in New Orleans.

          It would be safe to say that he has shaped my christian life more than any other person alive. I have GREAT respect for him and Think that he is one of the finest preachers and finest men that I know. And I do not say that just because he IS my Daddy.

          But I am not my Daddy. I am not perfect by any means. I cuss. I get angry for stupid reasons. I make mistakes. I used to drink and smoke dope. Basically, I am human.
          I’m not as good a christian by far as he is and I don’t think I ever will be. I don’t have the faith that he has that all will be OK as long as we remain close to God. I personally do not believe everything should be left to God. We have to do something to help ourselves.

          I don’t think he is indifferent to our plights. I just think that He gave us a mind and body, and a will to do some things on our own. To make decisions on our own. I just believe that we should do the best that we can in life, and put mistakes of life behind us and strive to do better as we go. I am sometimes even successful at this.

          I have learned a lot coming here. I have even changed some of my views since starting to respond here. USW, JAC, and even BF have shown me so much, as have many others such as Bama, LOI, and even Ray, Chris, and Todd.

          I thank everyone here for helping me to shape my thoughts on our Country’s Government and what we will do about it.

        • USWeapon says:

          NO… you should ALWAYS question my logic and thoughts. I never want to be at a point where people simply assume I am right or that I have thought it through correctly. If I reach the point where I am not challenged by those who read here, then what would be the point of my having the site? I am not vain enough to need confirmation of what I believe, so there would be no reason to continue. Challenging me is what I want more than any other single thing except for one…. challenging yourself.

  7. I found this site quite by accident. I saw USW’s post on the FOX blog and began reading, but not posting. I say by accident because I normally do not connect to links posted. I liked what I read and visit the site most every week day. Sometimes I post…sometimes not.

    All three of your stories are compelling and interesting. Mine is extremely…well average. I am sometimes intimidated by your intellect and that is why I do not post sometimes. I believe the axiom of allowing people to think that I am stupid rather than open my mouth and remove all doubt.

    I am stubborn and opinionated, but not to the point that my beliefs cannot be changed (although tough to do), thus the attraction to this site. I will definitely continue to vist this site as it is thought provoking and civil. Thanks to all who contribute to this site it is definitely a breath of fresh air!

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Terry,

      Don’t be intimidated by the intellect of some people here. If you are capable of understanding the basics of what is going on your intellect is not any sort of problem.

      I would encourage you to post when you have the time and inclination. You aren’t going to get blasted here even if something you post SEEMS silly.

      You WILL get challenged, but you won’t get blasted.

      For example, in a discussion I was having with BF about families yesterday, I posted a definition of family that would seem strange to a lot of people, and BF agreed with my definition. In other cases I have stated a definition of something and BF has disagreed with my definition and challenged me to figure out WHY my definition was faulty or inconsistent.

      If you aren’t affraid of some challenges, post away!

    • Black Flag says:

      Peter is completely correct (see we agree again!).

      It only appears we are intellectual giants simply because we are consistent with our arguments that come from an immutable core.

      It is not possible to poke a hole in our argument because we’ve worked very hard to remove contradiction and inconsistency!

      When one has been exposed – as USWep wrote about himself – he reviewed his position and fixed the hole!

      That is why his arguments are so darn strong. He does not continue to hold onto weak arguments! He has the guts to let them go, and hold on to stronger ones! Each and every battle, he doesn’t get weaker – he gets STRONGER! (Isn’t that scary!)

      Everyone can do that!

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        The true intellectual giant never outgrows the capacity to admit when he is wrong.

        Not sure if anyone ever said that in quite that way before, so that may be an actual original quote! 🙂

        The problem we have today is too many pseudo-intellectual giants who refuse to admit that they are EVER wrong. If THEY are found to be wrong, it is not their fault, it is the fault of the universe, and the universe must be re-made in their image in order to validate their absolute correctness.

        I am sure we could all produce a LONG list of politicians that fit that mold to a T.

      • Black Flag says:

        I’m reminded of a quote attributed to Keynes, when confronted by a fellow who charged that Keynes had changed one of his opinions:

        “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

        • USWeapon says:

          Fantastic quote. I cannot pretend to know everything. So when I find a new fact that changes the logic or reasoning behind my beliefs, what other logical step exists than to change the conclusion?

  8. JayDickB says:

    USW:

    “I believe 100% that everything happens the way that it is supposed to happen. The people who found this blog did so for a reason.”

    The first sentence seems to say you believe in predestination. The second sentence seems to say only that things happen for a reason, even if we don’t know what the reason is.

    Could you clarify? Do you believe in predestination?

    • CWO2USNRet says:

      I think the first sentence relates to consistency of outcome. Given the same circumstances, choices, environment (inputs to an algorithm) you will get a repeatable, and perhaps predictable, result. “…the way that it is supposed to happen.” means that the outcome is consistent, repeatable, and given enough information and knowledge, predictable.

      How’s that USW?

      • USWeapon says:

        Perfect. CWO. You nailed a large part of it. I will expand slightly just below this.

    • USWeapon says:

      Not necessarily predestination. I believe that the actions you take will result in certain consequences. Often there are bad things that happen. We don’t like them. We reject them. We sometimes curse the heavens for them. But they are the logical result of the events that preceded them. The universe seeks harmony in my eyes. Bad results are the result of a lack of harmony. It is similar to BF’s discussions around consistency.

      Predestination is a very foggy thing for me. But I do believe in it to a degree. A small example. My first marriage ended badly. The next serious relationship ended badly too. Both broke my heart, the second more than the first. I hated what happened at the time. I also realized, however, that the outcomes were 100% in harmony with the actions leading up to them. It is humbling when you realize that it is your actions that cause your outcomes, it gives you no one else to blame. But those two relationships were needed if I was to be a good husband to my wife now. Those previous relationships were exactly the experiences I needed them to be in order to be who I am.

      I hope that helps explain what I mean. But if not, please continue to drill me with questions. I will continue to do my best to answer effectively.

      • JayDickB says:

        Your explanation is excellent. I agree with your philosophy, but I do not see that it contains any element of predestination. Something being predictable based on what went before it is very different from predestination.

      • I have told my boys repeatedly, Life is made of decisions. Every day you are faced with different ones. There are consequences to every decision that you make. There are both good consequences and bad conquences, depending on the decisions you make. Sometimes you have only bad consequences no matter what the decision is. This is called Life.

        Life is not a series of good things. Sometimes Life has bad things in store for us. But you cannot let the bad things keep you from living. You cannot keep from occasionaly getting knocked down. BUT YOU MUST ALWAYS, GET BACK UP.

        How does that sound?

  9. JayDickB says:

    BF – Very interesting background. Would you mind telling us in what part of the country you grew up and in what part you now live?

    • Black Flag says:

      I’m a private person (for reasons above), so I’ll decline specifics.

      I’m a big-sky guy. Dad moved a lot, so I saw a lot of the nation.

      I’ve lived more years outside of North America than inside – on every continent except Australia and Antarctica.

      I have a few residences – but now that my daughter is older, we don’t go between them as much as I used to – children force parents to start to grow roots.

      • JayDickB says:

        That’s enough to be helpful. Thank you.

        I completely understand your desire for privacy; I didn’t mean to intrude.

  10. Morn, JAC

    This series has been interesting, if a little long. I started the journey of self examination at a early age. Have come to realize if you think you have it all figured out, you are wrong. A friend in H.S. told me once, “I bet you can’t wait to get to college, where people will appreciate you”. I found they were not much different. A few stood out, but most were sheeple, they “believed” their reasoning was sound and refused to examine where that belief came from.

    Where are your thoughts on the philosophical principles presented so far? I think I have understood most, but feel some of it is expressed overly complex.
    Have not read Rand before, Liberal Fascism was interesting, 5000 Year Leap seemed like a refresher.

    Are you willing to adopt those core principles? I think I am already there, but will continue to test myself.

    The universe exists. We are witness to this and proclaim it to be fact. We can see, feel, smell and even taste a rock and a tree. By using our senses, we observe the universe. So a rock and tree exist side by side. The tree grows and its roots start breaking the rock. Moral dilemma, which has the “right” to its existence? The rock was there first, the tree is “living”.

    Expand this to people and civilization.

    Comment yesterday, “I am strapping on my bulletproof vest”.

    • Black Flag says:

      LOI,

      As we’ve discovered in our own dialogue between us – the search for that immutable core by which to measure a moral code is the key.

      And as we discovered, it is a not a straight line from a point, but an expanding sphere from a center.

      I also believe we discovered that a person cannot use their core principle to evaluate and measure another persons core principle. That is, I can’t disprove your principle by using mine.

      So, I believe we found that we could only evaluate someone’s principles by their own consistency to their immutable core. If they were inconsistent or contradictory to their core, that was then when we could claim them in error.

      If they remained consistent to their core, we could not make such a claim of error.

      Is that a fair summary?

      • A wonderfully expressed summary. And if we compare our core principles, and find they are similar, that becomes the foundation for a society?

        • Black Flag says:

          I believe it does – for two reasons.

          1) If we are similar in core, then by logic and reason, while also meet on the same platform in more complex issues.

          2) If we are NOT similar in core, then for our mutual survival, we need to work out the areas we can cooperate and those areas that are in conflict. Cooperative areas are easy – the work almost fully resides is in the conflict – and how we both can mitigate our conflict to peaceful co-existance.

        • No, just a lasting respect and possible friendship.

          OK, also Yes.

          Societies are such hard things to define and describe. Esecially the more people you add. But there is generally some accepted set of shared core values. I believe that much of the conflicts in society today reflect the battle between what those values were and what some want to change them to. The rub between liberty and statism.

    • LOI

      To answer your question regarding the rock and tree. They both exist and are acting exactly in accordance with their nature.

      Morals, ethics and such things as rights are human creations. We invented them because we are always striving to improve ourselves both individually and in our relations with other humans.

      The key here is man to man realtionships. Not man to animal or man to object and not animal to animal.

      That is why I have heartburn over terms like animal rights or environmental ethics. These are terms created by the magicians.

      I don’t think we should place human values on other objects in nature. We can if we want, I just don’t think it is very useful. You actually wind up with the same answers anyway.

      Thats my keep it grounded answer. Let me know if you want the out in space one.

      LOL
      JAC

      • JAC,

        Any answer you feel appropriate is fine. I like starting with rock & tree, then moving to animal interaction. We all “exist”, and therefore have “value”. Which has the greater value? Rock, tree, wolf or human?

        I eat meat, therefore my core values allow me to kill lower life forms for substance. This can be expanded to communities that either co-operate or compete for resources. Which will lead to my big throw-down with Flag. He advocates NO government. I think government is still required in today’s world, but ours has grown past its needed or most useful size.

        • Hell lets chase it a bit.

          Value is just that, a value statement in itself. We all exist and we all have certain characteristics. The rock, tree and wolf have not changed much. We have. But as for value we are all the same, when you compare between each from a fourth position, idenpendent of those evaluated.

          But if we are evaluating, then humans have more value. If you were to ask the wolf you would get wolves have more value.

          This is why I have no rights relative to wolves or them to me. I can kill the wolf or ignore it. He can do the same. We would both be acting according to our nature.

          You nature to use the products of nature itself to survive should not be compared to your ethical or moral relationship to humans. I do not think it is a “core value” that allows you to kill for food.

          It is our nature to eat or die (nature is real).

          We can think it through and decide we will only kill plants and not animals (reason)for some particular reason and perhaps that is an ethical question to some. But I would submit it is an outer (or later) value, not a core value.

          I think we are agreeing, I am just splitting hairs (as opposed to hares) on the use of the words “values” and “morals” and “ethics”. We have layers of values. It is the core we need to find. We may all agree man must be free and is a virtue unto himself but we may not all agree on eating meat. The latter is not inconsistant with the former. But taking my meat away with laws to enforce your no meat value would be inconsistant with the former.

          Does this make since or did I just confuse the matter?

          And yes, I am anxious also to get to the No vs. VDLG discussion. Next week, I promise.

          JAC

  11. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Hi JAC, FL and USWeapon,

    Thank you for sharing your backgrounds…

    I greatly admire all three of you (and everyone else posting here) and like MadMom, would enjoy meeting you.

    Regards,
    RS

    • Black Flag says:

      Maybe one day USWep will host a blog party at his house. 30,000 guest 😆

      • amazed1 says:

        Mrs USW may find that grounds for sending USW to the TOC….Might have t meet in the woods…..ayone got 1000 acres they don’t mind have trampled????

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        I would like to suggest that we meet at my Church here in Richmond, VA. It is St. John’s Epicopal Church, the Church where Patrick Henry gave his famous speech, “Give Me Liberty of Give Me Death”.

        I can’t tell you the number of times that I have sat in this Church just in awe of the history that surrounds me!

    • How are you feeling today, Richmond?

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Hi Kathy,

        I’m hangin’ in there! Thanks for asking…

        Regards,
        RS

  12. Black Flag says:

    For most, I believe reaching their own understanding is an evolution – not revolution – just as USWep and JAC’s journeys.

    I had a revolution – an epiphany of sorts – because at the time, I was merely playing around with some nagging moral questions in my own head.

    All of them happened to be leading to the exact same question – what moral measuring stick can everyone use to guide moral decisions?

  13. I have been many things. I have been a Painter, a Paint Maker, a Cripple, a Programmer, a Computer Operations man in a Bank, a Color Matcher in inks, a Cripple again, and now I fix computers in a Middle School. I have had ups and I have had my downs. But when I have been knocked down I have always gotten back up. I always will get up. Because it is not in me to just lay down and GIVE UP.

    My Mother and Father raised me this way. My GrandParents also influenced the way I think. We have always been poor but independent. I have never been used to depending on the Government for anything, although there have been a couple of times when I had no choice. When you have children, are out of work injured, and have no job and no money coming in you learn to swallow your pride and do what you have to do for your family.

    It’s really amazing how hard it is to try to get any benefits from the Government that you paid taxes in to support. It is truly astounding what you are given as reasons YOU do not qualify when all around you sit illegal aliens getting those same benefits and having to show no proof of even being citizens.

    It is things like this that began my anti-Government view of America. It is also the fact that, being a student of History, I can look back to simpler times. Not simpler because of technology. Things were simpler because I can remember when folks did not look to the Government to solve life’s problems. In fact we didn’t look to the Government at all for anything. Government was an entity which ran the business of the Country as a whole and stayed the hell out of folks personal business.

    If you had problems in your life, you looked to family and community to help you or, more often than not, you helped yourself. You may have been poor but you still had a sense of personal pride and independence. You KNEW you were Free and had the blessings of Liberty. Poor was something that I never even thought of growing up. Everybody I knew was poor. White, Black, or Brown, we were all in the same boat.

    Now I hear our Government playing rich against poor and it sickens me to the core. If things keep going as they are, our children will NEVER know true Freedom and Liberty. We must NOT ALLOW our children to be taught dependence on Government. We must teach instead self-reliance and independence.

    • Esom,

      You are so right. I know of a black, convicted felon, getting a HUD loan, where a white Veteran is denied. A lot of good intentions has resulted in some of the worst results.

  14. Black Flag says:

    USWep,

    Can you give a background on why you selected your online name of “US Weapon”?

    “Just a Citizen” is pretty self-explanatory.

    Black Flag – I had noticed that there are symbols for everything – peace, war, nation, government – but not one symbol for freedom that didn’t somehow carry a symbol of government. I asked a famous freedom fighter via email what is the symbol for ‘freedom’ – and he responded with ‘the symbol that is opposite of surrender’ – opposite of the White Flag….

    • USWeapon says:

      Sure. I got that nickname when I was in the military. A group of us were sitting around one day debating which of the military’s new, high tech weapons was the most dangerous or effective. There was much discussion of what are considered the “big 4”: Apache Helicopter, MLRS Rocket Launcher, MIA1 Tank, and the Tomahawk Guided Missile. We also discussed modern Aircraft Carriers and Jet fighters, Stealth bombers, etc. During the conversation we all agreed that none was worth a thing without the soldiers, sailors, and airmen who operate them. The discussion turned to the high level of training of the US military.

      At one point the comment was made that the individual was the most dangerous weapon in the US military. And the more dangerous the soldier, the more they were worth. At any rate, the end result was that we determined that our group was the best and most dangerous weapon in the US military’s arsenal (I am sure that this would be debated by a few other groups, but they would be wrong, lol). I was extremely good at my job. We had competitions to find out who was best at what we do. The team that I led won that competition for 7 years in a row. Consequently, my team was subsequently called the US’s most deadly weapon. It started out as a small discussion around military might, and resulted in a name for my team that was mostly done in jest. As the leader of that team, some started simply calling me US Weapon as more of a joke than anything, the way that “manly men” show respect for those who are good at what they do without gushing over anyone, lol.

      The name stuck. I began using the name online in the mid-90’s because, at that time, in my own mind I was defined by what I did in the military. Over the years I have become defined by other things, and actually prefer to NOT be defined by what I did in the military. Many who know me personally, know nothing of my military career other than I served in the military. But for some reason I have never changed the name online. I have often considered doing so, but I never took the time to come up with something more appropriate to who I am now. Perhaps one day I will, but who knows? I am used to this name now. I have used it for 15 years. Old habits die hard.

      • Black Flag says:

        Outstanding!

        It is incredible how much more one understands about someone when we pierce someone’s core self-identity.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        USWeapon,

        Don’t change the name, for you are still the most powerful weapon in the aresnal. Now the goal is simply somewhat different. Rather than defending the US in its current form or projecting its current form on others, you strive to perfect its form. This is arguably a more noble pursuit than what you did with the military in the past, but you are still USWeapon. Now you are a weapon for change rather than a weapon for defense of the status quo. You want to change the US to a place where life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness truly are the defining characteristics of America.

        That is the sort of change that hopefully many of us can believe in.

    • While I hate rattlesnakes I do think the “Don’t Tread On Me” symbol and flag is as good as any to come along.

      I must admit I am warming up to Black, except its so….BOOOOOOORING

      LOL

      • NO JAC. You cannot have my flag. I got it first, fair and square. You may use the “Culpepper” flag though. 😉

        • Which flag is that?

          For a Union offspring I must confess to being a bit of an odd duck. My maverick leaning I guess. I have always liked the stars and bars. I guess mavericks just have an affinity for rebels in general.

          A lady made a comment to me in D.C. last fall, regarding my cowboy hat. She noted it was good I was wearing a white hat and not a black one. No mam I said, its confederate gray. Wouldn’t be caught dead wearing Yankee blue!

          You should have seen the look on her face.

          Some day Esom my friend I am going to sit with you and pick some fresh Georgia peaches from the tree. I’ll bring Uncle Jack along. Goes real good with peaches.

          • The Culpepper Flag is like the Gadsden Flag (mine) except it is white and says Liberty or Death over the snake. You can go to my site then look left and go to the Gadsden Flag site posted there and you will see towards the bottom the Culpepper Flag. You might even like it better.

            Maybe I’ll make some homemade Peach Brandy for your visit. 😎

    • The choice of JAC is actually more complex that you might think. But I don’t want to let the cat out just yet. Mad Mom may like the rest of the story though.

      US knows it but has been sworn to secrecy. If he fails my Crow and Blackfoot friends may come by for a visit. LOL!!!!

  15. chiefopiner says:

    USW, BF, and JAC

    First – thanks for sharing, it is enlightening.

    But then so is pretty much everything I read here, whether a post or the comments from everyone.

    It’s hard for me to admit that I’m feeling overwhelmed with the Philosophy series. I tried once, when I was much younger, to read Atlas Shrugged and just failed at it miserably no more than a quarter of the way through it. Reading this series has, more than once, got me wondering “Lord, what have I gotten myself into trying to understand all this?”

    I’m a simple guy, believing for so long that the more complex we make our individual lives the harder we struggle to live happily. Sometimes that complexity has been beyond my control. Whether it was dealing with the issues of growing up with a father who was a closet alcoholic and addicted to prescription medications and the contributions these made into his expressions of anger or the relationships with my prior wives (yep, more than one) that ended unhappily for all involved (for which I bear just as much responsibility as my ex’s).

    I did a stint in the military, and learned a lot there. Because of my childhood and service time I knew I had to do what I could to ‘protect and defend’ so I spent my working life in a career that showed me the nasty and dark side of humans, human behavior, and society (‘Corrections’ at the county and once at the state level). What an education that gave me! I freely admit that I left the work after almost 10 years for one reason – I no longer had the heart or internal strength to deal with what the work was doing to me, both physically and mentally. It took me a long time to admit to myself that I wasn’t a failure for giving it up and that my ‘view’ of humanity was too dark and inhuman.

    All these experiences have solidified (hardened actually) a lot of my attitudes and beliefs. A few have changed over the years, but not many.

    Yet about a bit over a month ago (as I recall) I started reading here. At first I could read, think a bit, but move along to the next topic without really challenging myself to explain (to me) why I believe the way I do (which I would have said I did naturally anyway, but realized that wasn’t as true as I thought). Black Flag, you especially, confounded me. I got – recently – to the point where I know I have a lack of consistency in some of them and that bothers me a great deal. Now I have work to do and you, sir, are the biggest cause of that – which I say with sincere gratitude (darn you! lol).

    In closing my thanks, to each and everyone here. There is much to understand and examine. Some, like the philosophy, will spin me in circles to ‘get it,’ but that won’t stop me from trying.

    • Chief, Going to your site and reading, I particularly liked your small article on the Tiller and Recruiter Murders. I agree with you 100%.

      I wondered, like Bret Baer did, why Obama has something to say about the Dr.’s murder, but nothing to say, at least to the families, about the murder of the Army Recruiters?

      They are both hate crimes. Both killers are despicable, worthless cowards, and should be put against a wall or dropped off a chair on a short rope.

      I think the reason he has nothing to say to the press about the AR killing was pure politics and it makes me sick and pisses me off.

      • chiefopiner says:

        Thank you kindly.

        • Just typical selective reporting like our media likes to do. Funny how it’s June 4 and nothing about Bobby Kennedy on the news. Maybe it has something to do with the nationality of the killer. Sirhan Sirhan, let’s not forget.

  16. Thanks to all who have shared their life experiences. I too, am quite intimidated at the level of intellect that I read here every day. I am just a high school graduate who worked her butt off all her life.
    I believe this country is going down the wrong path, but I also don’t think there is anything “I” can do about it. I am learning a lot from reading here tho.
    I was quite depressed after reading the June 1st article. How can we not count ourselves first? If we and our loved ones are healthy, happy and loved, then there can be room (should you so choose) to help others in any way you choose. Help someone at the store reach something up high, give someone a ride, send packages to the troops. But do not reallocate my taxes and give it to someone who was born believing the government “owed” them.
    I took a few days off from reading blogs and watching the news. I got a new perspective, sort of, but I am still terrified.
    Whatever is happening in this country right now, is going to take years and years to fix, if it can be fixed at all.
    Willo

    • Willo,

      Not being one of those intellects, I have enjoyed the interaction. Its kinda fun taking on Flag, knowing he will shred you with logic.

      As for where this country is bound, have you ever read the history of the good ship, USS Constitution? An inspiring story, wooden sailing ships were from the day of their building, subject to constant maintenance and re-building. I think that describes our country today. We are taking on water, and in serious need of repair, but will only sink if we continue to ignore our situation. And for doing something, most of that starts at the local level, school, city council, etc..

      Chin up, pip pip (whatever that means)

      • Thanks for the kind words LOI. I am pretty sure there is no more fight left in this old girl. I spent too many years fighting bureaucracy. From the county taking my land and destroying it for the “greater good” of a paved road, fighting the assessment of my property all the way to the state appeals board (only to lose) to the Building and Safety department of a city telling me that I “must” renovate an apartment that a tenant is occupying that he has trashed, to telling me that I “must” wash the siding on said building.
        I give up and kind of hang in my own little world.
        I hope and pray that I will be of some value, but I hide in the back of the room. 🙂

        • Willo:

          Write down your story. It will be one added to the collection that will form a book of condemnation regarding our current system.

          All such stories need to be told so that the people start to realize there are far more than they thought.

          Keep the Faith
          JAC

      • That’s exactly my point, Life. We cannot just sit here and wait for Armageddon when there is so much that CAN be addressed and fixed at the local level. That’s where we can effect change, each and every one of us. Half the time, all it takes is showing up. People need to get off their butts (and I’m not talking about this crew) and engage locally instead of complaining and allowing things to get out of control. All of the bureaucracy that’s in place was put in place by some public “servant” at some point. Special interests have their way with the government because there is no opposition most of the time. So who are the legislators or town council members going to listen to? Unengaged folks sitting at home watching American idol or the squeaky wheels? As Tip O’Neill once said “All politics is local”. You have to stand up for yourselves because nobody is going to stand up for you. And you can be darn sure that someone will be standing up for the opposition.

        RI is the perfect example, in my mind, why BF’s non-engagement ideal doesn’t work, at least in the current system. People have been doing that here for 75 years. And now they are screwed because the opposition (unions) does not subscribe to that theory. Where money and power are involved, not engaging and making your opinions known is tantamount to handing over your checking account and your liberties to the other side.

        • JayDickB says:

          Tip O’Niell was proven to be wrong, at least part of the time, in 1994.

          • Tip O’Neill was wrong a lot of the time. But politics IS local. If people don’t build the ground game then they’ll never control the end game.

            • JayDickB says:

              I believe 1994 showed that a national approach can have a big influence on what appear to be local elections (e.g. U.S. Congress). I also believe that 1994 could be replicated with the right people and the right issues framed the right way.

        • Black Flag says:

          Mad Mom,

          You remind me of the lead character in “Atlas Shrugged” (which by the way was not John Galt) – but Dagny Taggart.

          John Galt and his allies work tirelessly at confounding Dagny while enticing her to join them – for she wants to save society – sees some redeeming value in it – and by her sheer will continues to lift society out from disaster day in and day out – until she realizes all she is doing is supporting a corrupt, evil society.

          While she continues to struggle for society, she ‘hates’ Galt’s allies – up until the end, when she realizes that they have been fighting the real fight all along (and she was on the wrong side).

          In the end, she joins Galt – but not after a futile and exhausting fight trying to save a society that hated her.

          To me, you are cut from that same philosophical cloth as brave Dagny!

          • That is on my summer reading list. Last year, it was all of the classics. This year, it’s politics and philosophy. Anyone who wants to join me on my porch overlooking beautiful Narragansett Bay is welcome!

  17. O.K., you three, here comes the monkey wrench . . .

    I have never been impressed with “intellectuals”. Sitting around talking until you are blue in the face never seemed to provide a solution to any problem in my mind. Once a solution is planned, then implementation should take place as far as I am concerned. So continuing to talk about possible solutions is a pointless occupation.

    I have always believed in the rule of law, and that law is derived by a consensus of what the community agrees by a majority vote to be acceptable or unacceptable behavior. That is why laws differ from region to region and country to country.

    Not being a “gifted” child even though I was reading and writing by age four, I was considered a disruption to every classroom I entered for the simple reason I had my own gift of seeing through people – reading them if you will. Math is Greek to me. Always has been. Always will be. I play chess, but barely and I rarely win.

    What we all have been doing on this site is good, yet I believe that we have talked the problems to death and now it is time for action. Having continuous discussions on philosophy ad infitum is useless.

    So here is my question to all three of you;

    When are we going to do something about this problem we are faced with?

    The time for useless rhetoric has long since passed. We need to organize a grass roots movement to convene a Constitutional Congress to put forth Constitutional Amendments to bring back this country to where it really belongs. The first order of business should be to take away the financial base from those in power – the 16th amendment should be repealed and replaced with something that CONTROLS how the government is financed and how they can spend the finances.

    Well, you three seem to be the brainiacs of this site – Now come up with a plan!

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      “I have always believed in the rule of law, and that law is derived by a consensus of what the community agrees by a majority vote to be acceptable or unacceptable behavior.”

      What if something that the majority votes to be “acceptable behavior” constitutes a violation of individual rights or violates your core principles? It it then morally correct simply because a consensus of the community agrees by majority vote that that is the way things ought to be?

      • Moot point.

        Individual rights are set by the consensus of the majority – and no, not everyone agrees with the law or what is acceptable behavior or what individual rights may consist of.

        “You cannot please everyone all of the time, but you may please some of the people some of the time” . . . or something like that.

        We all will have our own individual opinions as to what should consist of acceptable behavior and what should not, as we will all have our own opinions of what individual rights should or should not be.

        Again I am drawn into useless rhetoric.

        Point is it is long past time for talk. Lets get off of our collective butts and get something done!

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Individual rights are not set by the consensus of the majority. Individual rights come from the Creator and are unalienable… unless we choose to discard the Declaration of Independence, in which case it would then indeed be a moot point.

          Doing SOMETHING for the sake of doing something, whether it be right or wrong is equally as bad as doing NOTHING, if not worse.

          It would be akin to shooting pot-shots in the dark and hoping to hit the target every time.

          I understand your impatience and desire for action, but until you understand what your own core principles are and at least have the ability to see the core principles of others and see if they align with yours or not, action for the sake of action is futile.

          Also, do not fall into the trap of allowing “the intellectual giants” to be the only ones who determine the appropriate action. The “intellectual giants” are not always correct either.

          This is precisely WHY this series on philosophy and background is so necessary. Do you want a group of people to try to determine the future direction of this country without knowing what they believe in and why they believe it (and knowing that they can defend these beliefs with reason and logic instead of mere emotion?)

          I certainly don’t want that! If we are going to DO something, it is CRITICALLY important to know WHAT we are going to do and WHY we are going to do it. The WHEN is not nearly as important as most people seem to think.

    • OK GA lets talk turkey:

      Your proposed “solutions” are yours. Who else shares them? What if your majority doesn’t agree right now?

      Do you control 2/3 of the state legislatures needed to call a convention?
      How about the 3/4 needed to ratify your amendment to repeal #16?
      Do you trust the legislatures will send delegates to the convention that will adopt your solutions?

      I didn’t think so!

      If you had enough people on board to repeal amendment 16 wouldn’t you have enough to throw the bums out and get your own in? If all this philosophy talk is just wasting time then just put your friends in office. It takes less votes than getting a convention called.

      You have to start with a Goal. Your proposals are not goals, they are strategy and tactics. They are the end game not the beginning.

      Identify goals = identify core values = identify meta values (shared) = READY

      Share values = educate = find others = organize = build strategy and tactics = AIM

      Execute strategy and tactics = cause change = const. convention = FIRE

      If you start firing now there are going to be alot of innocent people hurt. Any movement will lose credibility and support. More importantly any attempt to do what you say would be met with absolute and overwhelming force by the other side. Right now we are severely outnumbered. We attack head on now, we die. End of Story.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        JAC,

        Now you have let the turkey out of the bag!

        IF we hold that a core principle is to initiate no violence against the non-violent, then we can not force our vision on the general populace, they have to be willing to accept it.

        It is not completely necessary that they FULLY understand it, but it IS necessary that they be educated enough to be willing to accept the things we would propose.

        It is also highly likely that no matter what we do, there will be those who choose not to accept things that we are trying to accomplish, and it is necessary to deal with this eventuality as well.

        The founders of this country were not in the majority when they decided that a revolution against British rule was the solution; however, they were able to convince a strong enough minority of the rightness of their cause that the sheeple who didn’t really care just went along with it.

        I suspect that if we ever do truly accomplish anything (and I hope that we do) the path will be similar.

        • It will be almost identical, as has every successful change in paradigm.

          But the minority has to have influence and credibility. It has to earn and retain the trust of the majority.

          Yes, we cannot force values on anyone. But we must share those values that will bind us through the difficult times ahead, those that will see us to the end.

          It is consent we need not concensus.

          I am sorry for letting the bird loose. But now maybe more will listen close next week when we start looking at this stuff in a serious, introspective manner.

          Peter, I am extremely impressed with the other discussion you were holding today. I knew you had it together but I think you’ve been holding back some. When it all starts I’ll be sure to bring a horse for you.

          Best to You and Yours
          JAC

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Thanks JAC, I appreciate the compliment. May have been me holding back some, and may have been me finally having one of those “Eureka” moments where a bunch of pieces finally fell into place and I could see the whole picture.

            I suspect it was a combination of the two.

            That horse will be much appreciated should it be necessary 🙂

      • Every day that we sit around talking philosophy, the sociofascist elite in D.C. dig us deeper into slavery – IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?

        Discuss philosophy all you want. That is precisely what has put us into this mess in the first place! I am out of that mess. I want to get something done and save this country!

        A plan needs to be formulated, mapped out, and then implemented. What gives the sociofascist elite their power? Income taxes. Take away that power and you end this march to slavery! How do you remove that power legally? Repeal the 16th and replace it with something that controls how much money goes into the government coffers and how it is spent! How do you repeal the 16th legally? Constitutional amendment! The sociofascist elite will not do it unless “We The People” FORCE them to! How do we force them to legally? “We The People” form a grass roots movement and utilize the petition process, that’s how!

        Or we can just sit around forever and discuss philosophy while the bonds of slavery are tied securely around our collective necks!

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          The philosophy is a MEANS, it is not an end.

          It is not meant to be interminable and lead us around in circles, it is meant to lead us to WHERE WE WANT TO GO!

          Do you want to get into your car and simply drive around with no idea of where you are going or why you are going there?

          Probably not, that would be a waste of time (unless you just WANT a leisurely Sunday drive).

          If you think we are wasting time, then we probably are wasting YOUR time. If you think we are laying out a road-map that we intend to use for what will probably be a long and difficult journey, then we probably aren’t wasting your time.

          In the end, it is up to you whether you see it as time wasted or time well spent.

        • See, you are wrong already.

          Taxes do not give them their power. They get their money from outside of govt. They get their power from outside of govt. Govt is the power they wield upon us.

          So you go after the income tax. So what have you really done?

          Nothing. They will simply pass a poll tax, just like the constitution allows. They will impose greater and greater use taxes.

          Now what?

          You are flailing away like an angry fighter. Chasing your opponent from corner to corner, swinging here then there. Landing nothing but glancing blows, never knocking him out, but constantly tiring yourself.

          And once you are exhausted, he walks up and pushes you over with one finger.

          Every one of these knee jerk reactions and movements is having the same effect on the groups who have to carry this fight. It will exhaust them to the point they collapse.

          IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?

        • GA Rowe

          Young Grasshopper; your uncontroled passion may cause you to trip into the fire you rush into extinguish.

          If your passion to develop a solution is overpowering your logic, then your logic is inappropriate.

          Take a chill pill dude!

          The circumstance we face was compounded over time building upon a foundation changed during FDR; if not before. As a people we have chosen to ignore it, and at times embrace it, for our own gain.

          As such it cannot change in an instant even with an effective plan. That is other than with a revolution, which is futile since the government controls the military.

          Go into battle against a superior force and you will be crushed.

    • Bama dad says:

      GA
      This beast called government will collapse under its own weight. It can’t continue as it is, soon it will self destuct. Someone will have to pick up the pieces. Who will it be? 😕

      • It had better be “We The People”!

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        That is the important question Bama Dad. If indeed the government collapses under its own weight, who will be there to pick up the pieces? Will it be people who even value freedom and individual liberty?

        The only way to know who is going to be there to pick up the pieces and try to put them back together in a meaningful way will be to do it yourself and with your trusted associates.

        I suspect that if the government does collapse, there will be many factions attempting to pick up the pieces and put them back together, and each faction will have a different idea of what the final picture should look like once the pieces are put back together.

    • Black Flag says:

      G.A.,

      A wise man will prefer to learn from theory than from failure.

      • So to prevent failure we just continuously discuss theory?

        While we sit around discussing theory, the enslavers lock the cell doors . . . .

        What I am trying to say is this:

        While we supposedly sat around wondering what to do about our growing government that was steadily removing our freedoms, our freedom to do anything about it was lost.

        We can discuss philosophical ends and the means to achieve those ends until hell freezes over, but if we do not actually DO something all we have done is waste time listening to ourselves talk!

        Is that so hard for your intellectual minds to understand? I have watched and listened to all the good intentional talk for decades only to see that absolutely nothing was done to even slow down the slide into sociofascism. Now that most of the country has awakened to what has been happening, you guys want everyone to sit around and talk some more?

        All I can say is; “What is wrong with this picture?”

        • Black Flag says:

          So to prevent failure we just continuously discuss theory?

          Count 7 words in from my quote …. learn….

          We’ve learned that the current ‘setup’ is a failure. Duplicating it, plastering the cracks – simply won’t work because the failure is systemic and to its core.

          While we sit around discussing theory, the enslavers lock the cell doors . . . .

          They do not hold any key – you do. If you agree to the system that enslaves you – it will do so.

          While we supposedly sat around wondering what to do about our growing government that was steadily removing our freedoms, our freedom to do anything about it was lost.

          However, if by our unreasoned action, we speed up the process – what have you achieved?

          Now that most of the country has awakened to what has been happening, you guys want everyone to sit around and talk some more?

          But ‘most of the country’ has not awakened at all – and most that have are all eager to spin their wheels in areas that accomplish nothing.

          The lack of a moral map confounds all progress.

          All I can say is; “What is wrong with this picture?”

          Without a moral compass and a moral map, you will wander in circles.

          • I have watched and listened to all the good intentional talk for decades only to see that absolutely nothing was done to even slow down the slide into sociofascism.

            So, while all of you who think you know better than the rest of us sit around and discuss your own personal philosophies and your reasoning behind those abstract philosophies, the rest of us non-enlightened masses are supposed to just wait?

            Sorry, BF, but that is total BS – and I ain’t talking bout Barbara Streisand!

            Since you seemed to miss my point earlier, let me draw you a picture;

            Sitting around BSing about how bad a mess the country is getting into is doing nothing but making the situation worse, and I mean exponentially worse! The longer we wait for you intellectuals to ride in on your white steeds to save the day, the farther we get from being able to return to what those who formed the Constitution meant it to be. So, my friend, either get off your lazy butt and start doing something positive or you will lose the chance to do anything at all. Why? We non-enlightened masses are getting very tired of listening to your BS about your philosophical fiddle while Rome is burning. Time to either come up with a viable solution and a viable plan to implement that solution, or just shut up and go away. Do you understand that? do you understand that something other than talk needs to be done and PDQ? Do you? I really do not think so . . . 😦

            • G.A. Rowe,

              I feel your frustration though I won’t waste my valuable energy getting wound up about it. I understand your point and agree wtih you. I’m a ‘doer’, and I get the feeling you are as well. However, let us not be too harsh with our philisophical friends. Their input is valuable. Their insight just might keep us doers from stepping on a landmine. Hang in there, Brother……

            • Black Flag says:

              I have watched and listened to all the good intentional talk for decades only to see that absolutely nothing was done to even slow down the slide into sociofascism.

              And I couldn’t agree more to your sentiment – because the talk is the same talk that has been happening since 1776

              It is of no wonder nothing changes, because the talk is the same! There is nothing new – its all the same old stuff – ‘return to constitution’ – ‘vote in better people’ – ‘chose better for government action’

              And what you see today is exactly what you are demanding!

              If it is not what you want, then you MUST change what you are demanding – there MUST be a systemic problem that you have failed to grasp.

    • USWeapon says:

      GA Rowe,

      I can feel your frustration, brother. But your hostility towards me and others will get us nowhere. We have not been sitting here doing nothing. In fact we are doing more than anyone else to set up a solid foundation from which to build a new reality. I know there is a sense of panic. I know there is a need to act. You are a man of action and that is where you find your purpose.

      But I appeal to you as a man of reason. You know well the folly of acting without purpose. You know well the consequences that come with acting foolishly. Our time here has been very short. Only 7 months ago I started this site. It took 3-4 months to get it stocked with some readers. In the 3-4 months since, we have gathered hundreds of like minded people to the cause of fixing our problem. Hundreds. Out of 300 million. Do you believe that the hundreds of us can storm the White House and “take it back”? Do you believe that a million could stand up to the other 299 million? The tea parties were the most cohesive movement to date around your cause. Final tally, about 800,000 people. I submit that “most of America” has NOT woken up to what is happening.

      You stated, “So, while all of you who think you know better than the rest of us sit around and discuss your own personal philosophies and your reasoning behind those abstract philosophies, the rest of us non-enlightened masses are supposed to just wait?”. Allow me to address this first. I don’t think I know better than the rest of anyone. I know what I believe. I discuss it. We hash things out. We delve into a discussion on philosophy that has taken 12 days thus far. And in doing so we are attempting to define the best way forward, not the fastest way. The founders took YEARS to develop a plan. And their plan ultimately failed. Why? Figuring that out is the key to ensuring that we don’t make the same mistake again. The first Continental Congress failed. The second resulted in the Declaration of Independence. It lasted 6 YEARS.

      Attacking BF or JAC or myself because we are working on a plan rather than hastily rushing to defeat is not productive. I did not expect the fact that because I shared being declared a gifted child, that I would find that as a mode of attack from someone I respect. I did not degrade anything about you at any time. I offered some history that explains how I think and why I do what I do. And I did so quite hesitantly because I did NOT want anyone to think that I felt I was above anyone here. I certainly don’t think that way.

      I understand the feeling that you need to do something to stop what is happening. I tell you this as a friend and someone who respects your passion: You will fail. You are a man of action. I respect that. But you cannot stand up to what this government has become, spit in its face, and tell it you are here to kick its ass. You will be like an ant standing up and telling a forest fire to go out. No one will even notice when the flames consume you. But if we plan, and we do this the right way, there is a chance of success. And that is where we need to be, with at least a chance. If you cannot embrace that, I understand and wish you luck in your actions. But I think you will find the effort futile and with not nearly the support that you think now exists. We need to gather a lot more support than we currently have.

      • I am totally with GA on this one. As I said I previously USW, I respect your desire to think through the fundamentals of your philosophy, but time is wasting. I ask you this BF, USW, and JAC; with all due respect, what have YOU done to engage in the current government system to try to effect change? To lead the citizens? Been elected to office? Started a group that espouses your principles and built a platform on which to make your local or state government sit up and take notice? Initiated a voter referendum drive? I submit that instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water, you might want to first give the baby a bath. I have personally engaged and have effected REAL quantifiable change in my state at the local level. When We the People engage, things get done. Have you considered that the reason things aren’t working is because the people have been lazy and have not engaged? Having been actively involved in government for 10 years, I can tell you that apathy is a big part of the problem. This system of government requires the people to engage; when they don’t, that’s when it falls apart. The more folks stay at home watching American Idol, the more the special interests can dig in and build their base until the obstacles seem insurmountable. Now we’ve got to claw our way back. All of us. Together. Getting out there and leading, because THAT is what the people want.

        I am willing to listen to your ideas. But get them out there and let’s get cracking. Otherwise we risk nothing getting done before we lose the ability to effect change at all. All of this discussion will do no good if we are all holed up in survival mode with no viable means of communicating the new paradigm of government you have in mind.

        • And don’t dare say that GA or myself or anyone else will fail by engaging. Because I have already got wins under my belt. Starting from the ground up and building, building, building. This week I have met and had strategy meetings with the RI Governor, the Treasurer, 11 town taxpayers groups, have been the guest on 8 local radio and tv programs, and met with the heads of 2 powerful state non-profit groups and their lawyers. I started a non-profit to raise funds to target legislators to get them kicked out of office and replaced with candidates we endorse. Next week the citizens of RI will come together and demand that the legislature actually cut spending, something they have never had the political will to do because only the special interests have been in their face. No more. We are taking our state back. That’s not failure, at least not in my book.

          You know I love you all, but don’t be so quick to say that unless we throw out the whole system, we will fail.

        • USW and Madmom,

          Maybe a two pronged stratgey is now called for? It seems we have two strong groups here. One is the Thinkers and the other, the Doers. So why not have the doers create a short term plan to hold off the attackers and slow the tide of sociofascism while the Thinkers refine the long term plan? I agree that our freedoms and rights are disappearing rapidly and that something must be done now to at least slow it down. However, we must be careful not to bring down the wrath of The One and his minions. So, how about it Thinkers and Doers? Can we come up with a stratgey, both long and short term, that works toward the ultimate objective? I have some ideas if anyone is really interested in hearing them.

          • Cyndi,

            GO! We are listening.

            • Madmom,

              I’m at work now (Saturday 7:20 am), so I’ll make it quick.

              The problem needs to be evaluated in both the long and short terms. Both the Thinkers and the Doers need to sit down and list what they believe the fundamental problem(s) is/are. Keep it SIMPLE for now. Don’t get bogged down in details. Then each group consults with the others in their respective group. See what you agree on. Once you’ve agreed on the problems and basic causes, the two groups, Thinkers and Doers, consult. See what you’ve come up with. Then, and this is the tricky bit, the two groups determine what the ULTIMATE objective is. If Thinkers and Doers cannot agree, neither group is likely to succeed at anything. Both groups MUST focus their energy on common objectives. Everything that is done must futher the ultimate objective. Anything else wastes time and resources. Once the ultimate objective is determined, The Thinkers can determine the long term ACTIONS that will move them toward the ultimate objective. The Doers do the same, but for the short term. Each group can compile a list of what has worked in the past and what has not. Look at the individuals involved. Have them list what they believe are their strengths, abilities, skills, etc. Then start assigning tasks. Figure out how success is defined. Have A Plan B. BOTH groups MUST stay in contact with each other. Keep in touch, ensure that all energy is being directed toward the ultimate objective. Stay focused. Keep egos in check. Determined who is the group leader and who will make the decisions if agreement cannot be found. Don’t be afraid to divide the labor. As long as everyone involved is working toward the same objective, things should smooth themselves out.

              In my opinion, I believe the basic cause to all our troubles is the ‘man on the street’. The typical American citizen, is fat and complacent (by fat I mean in stardard of living). They cannot imagine that what goes on in other countries can ever happen here. This prevents them from recognizing the very real threats to their security and lives. As I see it, this is the fundamental problem, thus the ultimate objective is to get the common American citizen to recognize the threat to their security and life.

              I have stated some things that can be done NOW and have provided an example. Does what I’ve done make sense?

        • Black Flag says:

          If the bath water is poisoning the baby – why would you want to save the water? Changing the soap won’t help.

          • It ain’t changing the soap, BF, its giving the baby a bath – which is the next step in cleaning up the mess the baby made in the first place. The first step is changing the diaper.

            Maybe you can understand that abstract description.

      • Don’t get me wrong here, USW, I a not trying to insult your intelligence – as a matter of fact I applaud you. However, what I am saying is that you and BF and JAC are letting your intellect get the better of you and that is beginning to cloud the issue.

        Those that formed our Constitution and set this country in motion did not get it wrong, they did not fail – REMEMBER THAT!

        Look at the time era that they were in. That is why it took so long to frame our governing process. They put tools in for us – “We The People” – to use to correct any problems that may arise, like the Messiah and his minions. All we need to do is use those tools as designed.

        We have equipment that they could never have dreamed of with these computers and the internet, all they had were the tools of the day – hand operated printing presses and scribes to make copies of their work. They had to get the word out by mouth to the vast majority of the people because less than 10% population could actually read!

        We have the tools in place – We have an intelligent population – we have people who are articulate and willing to help – all we need are people to pull them all together and that can only be done with a plan of action.

        You three are some of the most intelligent people I have ever run in to in my life, you have the gift communicating, but you sit here fiddling as Rome burns – hashing things out over and over ad infinitum does not a bridge build.

        I gotta go now. There is a community meeting that I am about to raise some hell with some useless politicians that I must attend. If “We The People” want to get anything done, then we must make our voices heard – and THAT is something that I am very good at!

        • Black Flag says:

          Those that formed our Constitution and set this country in motion did not get it wrong, they did not fail – REMEMBER THAT!

          They failed exactly the same way Newton failed in describing the Laws of Thermodynamics.

          Newton had no means to know or understand Quantum Physics.

          Does that mean Newton “failed”? I don’t think so.

          The same with the Founders (now, keep in mind, these guys did not agree – there is no ‘single mind’ that comes from them).

          They had what they had in their time – they were trapped – as JAC has so eloquently revealed in the early part of this series.

          If we remain cemented to Newtonian Physics – then you will deny the existence of the computer, solar power, the laser (<- which arguably is the single greatest invention of the 20th century), etc. All of these things are a consequence of our understanding of Quantum Mechanics.

          Same with our political understanding. If we are mired in thinking that has been shown to have systemic faults, we are doomed to live in this very world you rage against.

          Time to go forward, not backwards – GA Rowe, ol' friend.

          • At what point though, does talk end and action begin?

            Where is the “ah HA!” moment, when the philosophy is settled and the implementation begins?

          • I know nothing of Newtonian Physics, nor do I want to. I do know that in order to lead one must take the first step forward. Talking about how to form a new kind of government is nothing but going backwards – you sad it is time to go forward, okay then let’s start going forward! The tools are in place and they have been for over two hundred years, now lets use them!

            MadMom is doing something in her state. I am doing something in my community. Besides talking up a good storm, what are you three doing?

            Actions speak louder than words. Yes, I do understand that the pen is mightier than the sword – So start putting the pen to use. Petitions need to be formulated and volunteers need to be gathered to circulate these petitions. People need guidance as to how to form these petitions and how to get the signatures. You three have that knowledge. USE IT!

  18. Like others here have mentioned, I often feel inadequate to understand, let alone take part in the deep philosophy conversations.

    Yet, there are some folks here that so well express my thoughts, that I could just post a reply of “Yeah, what he/she said!”.

    Madmom, Esom, JAC…just to name a few of those I really connect with….

    Then there are some that prompt a “Say WHAT?!?!” from me….lol

    I’m just a country raised farm girl, that thinks in nuts and bolts practical terms. The Ready, Aim, Fire for me is Plan, Organize, and Do It ASAP.

    I have always had a problem with authority and being controlled on any level, thus my deep concern about the state of affairs in our beloved USA.

    Having enough people on the same page on a philosophical level to change this country into something better seems like an impossibility to me, right up there with understanding quantum physics and parallel universes. I’m more of a hands on, petri dish experiment, find the solution type of person 🙂

    I have little patience, a type A drive, but a type B (or C?) body…in other words the desire but not the health to back it up. I just keep dragging myself along with the proverbial bootstraps, pretty much getting nowhere. The one thing I still CAN do is think…most days.

    Black Flag loses me most of the time, but when he gets into the economic break down of our history and likely future…he has my full attention (and appreciation!) Thanks, B.F.

    Thanks USW, this blog is the best, even when I don’t post, I’m reading and LEARNING. And in that I am consistent…hmmm…making progress maybe?

    • Black Flag says:

      Dee,

      I’m an easy guy to figure out – just continually ask yourself “Why do I believe this?” and when you get tired doing that, I’ll do it for you 😆

    • DEE:

      You can type and talk also. Cut and past the core ideas here that support freedom and liberty. Those that explain why those core values are important. That is if you agree with them.

      Write down your own ideas and expand if desired. Then start sharing with everyone you know.

      Kinda like makin a cake. Yours and mine may both be chocolate but you can decorate yours the way you want. Just enough to get your friends to try a piece.

      Big Hugs For You Today
      JAC

  19. JAC, BF, USW and everyone else.

    JAC; My Philosophy 101- “Life is like a box of chocolates”, no just kidding although there is some reality in that quote…..

    I find Rand a challenging read, although it helps to re-read a couple of times. Kind of like watching an Agatha Christie movie the 2nd and 3rd time; you start picking up on the clues once you know who the kiler was and why he/she did it. I agree with her in whole relative to reality; facts is facts. This couples well with reason based upon mans senses. I will add here that I’m not sure if she includes your “gut” instinct as a sense. I for one believe we all have a gut sense, but that some are more in tuned than others. I can honestly say I don’t recall mine ever being wrong. I have chosen to ignore or rationalize it, but in retrospect it was never wrong.

    I believe there are absolutes and obsticals in life, you deal with absolutes and you overcome obsticales. I believe in the Ying and the Yang, good and evil, right and wrong, black and white, and that everyone decides which side to favor. I believe in truth and moral honesty as key foundations for a rightous being.

    I am a student of Wayne Dyer, Jack Canfield, Samuel Clement Stone, Jesus, Thoreau, Gandhi and many others, learning to be one with the universe, striving for individual internal liberty.

    I believe in family and the family unit.

    Interestingly enough I see that trait as a cornerstone in the lives of you, USW and BF based on the small bibliography’s posted today. I suspect that if I was to re-read everyone’s comments that might hold true for all those that provide thoughtfull comment here.

    As such, maybe those of us who unite here on this site all have the common cornerstone of family in some form or another. BTW: Family, in my eyes, does not just mean members of a common mother and father. Those brothers/sisters gained in combat, loved ones gained through friendships, and kindred spirits drawn together by fate are all family. It’s not always the blood that bonds as much as the spiritual commitment made.

    That being the case (provided I am correct in my perception) maybe it is a guideline for a cornerstone to our endeavor.

    A family works together toward a common cause of prosperity and the prolification of that prosperity. It builds and develops certain moral absolutes while teaching individualisum, rightous morality, thoughtfulness, kindred spirits and sacrifice.

    I don’t see that in today’s government or the majority of society. I think some of the generations dealing with life today are operating from a flawed compass. I do believe that everyone has an inherited sense of rightousness, one that was built into the human species by the creator. Some unfortunately are driven more by social influences than their own self evident spirit.

    BF has gained my admiration and ear, two things one needs to learn. He has chosen a path few could walk and fewer master.

    USW has had a tough journey, one filled with great pain and struggle, but then his character endeavored to perservere as he was drawn to a rightous calling. As it is said “If it don’t kill ya, it just makes ya stronger”. At the same time challenges and hardships prepare us for our journeys. I believe one can gain great perspective from USW’s forethought.

    JAC You seem to have gained great knowledge from being one with the mother (earth) and those that have come before you. I suspect you are of the Native people’s whose thoughfulness, social understanding and timeless devotion to tranquility should be examplified.

    The three of you make for quite the team!

    These past weeks have been an enlightening adventure for my soul and have awakened sleeping passions. So, thanks to all those out there who have forced me to think, question and study. I shall endeavor to perservere.

    • Common Man:

      Thanks for the kind words and for sharing some of you.

      The gut instinct I refer to is our subconcious. She did talk to it some.

      I am not of the Natives but have been told I am of the same Spirit that the Native are of. Well there is just a little Native blood in there. Just enough that my red haired son turned up with brown eyes. You genetics experts can explain that one. Two granpas with blue eyes, wife with blue eyes, I have green and I have two kids with blue eyes (all red headed) but one with brown.

      I will admit to having spent alot of time with various tribes in my life. And became part of the extended family for some. I walk in two worlds and will admit that there have been times when I feel like Jeckle and Hyde.

      Best Wishes and Keep Up the Hard Thinking
      JAC

      • JAC;

        I’eee, possibly a wee bit of the Irish in those wee-one’s?

        I look forward to the process of building the foundation.

        • Yes

          Our kids are the perfect example of the reverse effect of genetic dilution. My Swedish and Scotch, with little Chippewah/Cree and Enlish plus; mixed up with a 50/50 Irish Italian split. But alas, the Italian grandpa had blue eyes. So by my book, he was also the progeny of my Viking ancestors.

          So in effect, we acutally and accidentaly recombined the Nordic/Irish/Scotch blood lines. Alas, red headed children all three in a family where none existed for generations.

          The best part is all the holidays we get to celebrate.

          • All good Celtic blood lines, Strong frames, tenacious spirit, and free minds.

            BTW: The majority of the Irish are not redheaded, more auburn or light brown, and they sport more brown eyed children than any other color.

            Redheads (true readheads) actually stand out in Ireland.

    • Black Flag says:

      Common Man,

      The path I walk is wide – lots of room for you and others!

  20. amazed1 says:

    Thanks guys for this blog……most of you are very correct in your assement of the intellect here…..some time I am like WOW.
    Just reading what is posted here truly amazes me. I could not be in a room of professors with Doctorates and get the kind of education that I get from the posters here. I am a military brat, born and bred. Lived all over the US and in a few forgein countries. But, my home is on the farm in the Bible belt. I believe in do it right, do it once and if you make a mistake throw it out and start over….don’t try to cover it up. I have a hammer, a nail, tape measure and power tools and I know how to use them. Got a fishing pole and several guns and I know how to use those to. I work hard and I study hard….if I am not doing manual labor, or working for the corp then in some way I am studing and learning. That is why I enjoy this site so much….where can I go for a few hours and gain so much knowledge and guess what you guys are giving this knowledge away for free…..shows me how wasteful all my college dollars were (lol.
    Everyone of you contribute in alot of wonderful ways here and I enjoy learning from all of you.

  21. Great reading today! Didn’t have anytime to really get involved, family issues to deal with (Teenager). But got to read everthing, and enjoyed it all. I would like to say to all the posters who seem intimidated by the those you deem smarter: I’m not the sharpest knife in the kitchen drawer, but I ask those who have knowledge that I do not have, and I get that knowledge, without being looked down upon. There is no such thing as a dumb question, there are however dumb answers, of which I have never received by anyone on this site. I feel like I’ve gone from the drawer to the knife holder on the counter. The next step is filleting!!

    Keep up the great work guys and gals, Im really enjoying it!

    USW, BF and JAC, Thanks for all your hard work, the effort is amazing, and appreciated!!

    PEACE!

    G!

  22. Great post today; was away all day and am now just getting through it all. Thank you for sharing your personal stories with us.

    The philosophy stuff has been sometimes hard and it’s an area I’ve never wandered into much. It has helped me to understand not only some of my behaviors but also some of my relationships. I do think it has great value in our mission to move forward in a good way, in changing the way government works.

    It’s late here, I’m tired, but this site has become a real source of learning, enlightment and even some great humor and I truly do look forward to hearing from everyone each day.

  23. Black Flag says:

    Weird stuff – can’t post

    • Black Flag says:

      Very weird, only these posts post – nothing else.

      Have I reached a word count limit 8)

  24. USW,

    How about a blog area on “Action” where things can start to pull together?

    With the success that Madmom has had in R.I., there needs to be a way to expand that to the other states. That will take research to find the proper way to merge / create groups of like minded folks. If several groups could be pulled together, there would be power in those numbers…there just has to be a catalyst. A recipe, like JAC said….about the chocolate cake.

    I believe this is a unique group in the areas of intelligence and experience…there should be an outlet for the talent to shine through.

  25. Since fuel is becoming more and more precious, why can’t we have a building lot purchase subsidy that makes them more affordable in areas with mass transit or within a certain distance of urban areas so people can afford housing that saves energy and all of us money by reducing demand?

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