The Law and Ideas

Bird of PreySeveral days back, I came across some incredible quotes from Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. that started me thinking on several topics.  I beg your attention as we discuss the fundamental truths of the following two quotes:

The law is the witness and external deposit of our moral life. Its history is the history of the moral development of the race.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

The ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas [and] the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

QuestionI am not here to debate the law.  However, in discussing these two quotes, predominantly since they originate from a Supreme Court Justice of the United States of America, we will discuss aspects of the law.  The same goes for religion and philosophy; it is necessary to discuss aspects of both religion and philosophy to discuss the law.  However, I am not here to debate either religion or philosophy.

The Law and Social Morals

2015, in a decision that shocked the American Nation, the Supreme Court decided Obergefell v. Hodges and same-sex marriage stopped being a state right’s issue and became a Federal issue, even though the Federal Government does not issue marriage licenses.  Using the two quotes above, we find the truth of both in the actions of the court.  The court decided that the Federal Government needed to “step into” a state’s right issue to prevent a kaleidoscope of legal decisions across the entire 50- and American Territories.Plato 2

What is wrong with 50-different states exerting their rights?  The SCOTUS decision states the following, “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.”  Apparently, SCOTUS forgot to read and understand decisions from previous justices who faced a similar moral issue.

I have no respect for the passion of equality, which seems to me merely idealizing envy – I don’t disparage envy, but I don’t accept it as legitimately my master.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Same-sex marriage was all about envy, not rights, not liberties, not freedoms, envy!  Envy couched in the language of “equality.”  Love, devotion, sacrifice, family, all of it was smoke-screens and mirrors to hide envy.  Those who engage in bedroom practices that were not in the mainstream wanted their relationship to be a “marriage.”  With all the state and civil granted benefits involved.  The simple solution to this moral dilemma was to remove the government’s self-appointed authority to regulate marriage.  The day the state and local governments decided to regulate marriage was when citizens lost fundamental rights to keep the government out of their business.  One of the most significant privacy abuses in the world occurs every time the government forces a couple to register (license) a marriage.

ApathyWorse, the government forces you to pay a tax to get married.  By paying a licensing fee, the government taxes marriages, invades your privacy, and in doing so, provides you the ability to pay for the privilege of inviting the government into your bedroom.  The moral development of the law to govern society hinges upon justices not legislating from the bench, judges who refuse judicial activism because the elected representatives of the government are moving too slow on an issue, and judges who remain dedicated to the limits of the law.  Yet, the exact opposite has been allowed to occur by the elected representatives who abdicate their roles to the judicial branch, who refuse their duties as a co-equal branch of the government, and people who use the law for selfish ends and means.

Question 2What is more precious to you, government benefits, granted by the courts and purchased from taxpayers in another area, or privacy, freedom, and liberty?  How you answer this question should be revealing to you and a reminder of your obligations as a legal citizen of these United States of America, a free Republic (if we can keep it).  Freedom has a cost; the cost involves being involved in elections, voting smarter, watching and scrutinizing those elected, and monitoring the actions of judges and lawyers.

Privacy and Freedom – The Law and Ideas

From the US Bill of Rights and US Constitution as amended, we find that America’s founding fathers wanted an individual’s privacy held sacrosanct in American Law.  Unfortunately, what do we see in the laws of America the exact opposite?

        • Amendment I
          (Privacy of Beliefs)
          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances.
        • Amendment III
          (Privacy of the Home)
          No Soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
        • Amendment IV
          (Privacy of the Person and Possessions)
          The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
        • Amendment IX
          (More General Protection for Privacy?)
          The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
        • Liberty Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
          No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Knowledge Check!One might ask, where is the marketplace for ideas.  The answer begins inside the walls of your own home.  Except, if you enter your thoughts on social media, the Department of Internal Revenue Service has empowered your employer to withhold employment to express your thoughts inside your own home or on your social media accounts.  Worse, the government calls this a privilege of employment and a cost of doing business in a technological age.  Hence the first two places where ideas are testing truth, and competing for market share, are social media and your home.

Where else would one expect to have the freedom to share ideas?  Employment and religion are two other places where the government regulates and restricts ideas.  How many churches faced IRS sanctions for allowing political speech inside their walls, every single one!  What about employers; they limit the sharing of ideas on a host of topics under the language of diversity, inclusion, and risk.  Due to fear from the potential of people to become violent, the insurance companies and IRS allow your liberties, privacy, and constitutional rights to be curtailed, culled, and clipped as an excuse to protect your safety at work.

As a final thought, consider the following:

For my part, I think it is a less evil that some criminals should escape than that the government should play an ignoble part.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.Never Give Up!

Playing an ignoble part in the confiscation, curtail, and culling of rights, liberties, and freedoms, has been the improper role of government since President Wilson (D).  He was allowed to do what he did by a complicit Congress and the K-12 educations of the populace.  The reason functional illiteracy is so rampant, the government in the 1860s approved Dewey’s ideas to make students dumber, purposefully, to ensure the government could steal power unconstitutionally.  By the end of the 1940s, the coup was complete, and you became the property of government to be used and abused as the government desired.  Some Sunday thoughts to begin your next week with; unfortunately, the ideas must lead to action if America is to be saved!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

The Power of Thought – Circumstances and Health

QuestionJames Allen (1903) wrote a suggestive treatise on the power of thought called “As a Man Thinketh.”  Long has this topic been on my mind as I have witnessed how responsibility and accountability for one’s thoughts, as they become actions, is neglected, dodged, and avoided.  Every choice a person makes holds natural consequences; this is an incontrovertible truth.  Yet, many continue to think only their actions have consequences, so what occurs in their heads is nobody else’s business.  Except, thoughts become things; thus, the need to discuss controlling one’s thoughts.

Thoughts and Circumstances

I had the pleasure of working with a person, incredibly smart and ingenious with his hands.  As a singular point of reference, I have never met better in all my travels and interactions.  This man could read a blueprint, a CAD drawing, draw a blueprint, and then follow it to create masterpieces.  We got to talking one day about college; here he is, a successful middle-aged construction worker with a large family, who was worried he had not developed his mind enough and was considering college.  I hope one day he does go to college; I hope he takes his practical experiences, his lifetime of success and failure, his tenacity, and his chutzpah into a college classroom.  I want to be a fly on the wall the first time an instructor tries to tell him there is an academic way and a practical way to live life.  I imagine that conversation is very pointed and not won by the instructor.Calvin & Hobbes - Ontological Quandry

Because this man has understood a principle, control of thought leads to control of behavior, actions, and consequences favorable.  Let us be clear, and quote James Allen, “A mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth.”  Weeds or fruit, veggies or grass and thorns, the garden and the mind, are similar and easily understood by the actions of those tending or neglecting.

Consider the following, my wife’s Grandmother spoke no English when she came to America.  Her sons were almost immediately sent to war.  She learned to speak, read, and write English out of pride for her sons serving and honor America for giving her freedom.  She was well-read in English and her native tongue.  Some would have the audacity to call her unlearned; I have always called her a hero and counted her children and precious friends.  Her choice to naturalize into America was pivotal to her success in learning a new language to write to her sons serving in the military.  No excuses, no please for an interpreter, no whining for fairness, no looking back to the “Old Country” and living in America to spite America and Americans.  Her consequences were a mind well cultivated and successful children.

Calvin & Hobbes - EnmityChoices have natural consequences, enough consequences pile up, and a lifestyle is produced. For example, research reflects that the majority of Americans will never pick up a book, let alone read one after K-12 graduation.  Even those going onto additional education will barely read, and upon graduation, will still not pick up a book to read.  I had the misfortune of being treated by a Neurologist who last picked up a book in the 1970s when he graduated with his medical degree.  He never touched the research constantly flowing in his field, never read for fun, never read to his children.  When he treated me in 2016, I knew more about his field of study than he did.  Why? Because I desired to know what the neurological issues are in my body.  Here he is, chief of Neurology for the Albuquerque VAMC, and his residents and patients knew more about current issues in neurology than the chief.  Now, some may contend this is bogus or a singular incident; choose to believe as you will.  But, I talked to other patients who had similar experiences with this doctor and comparable results.  I sent this doctor research and was told the research was to be disregarded until another doctor, not a neurologist, suggested the same treatment as discussed in the literature.Non Sequitur - Classic

The circumstances related stemmed from a single choice, cultivating an inquisitive mind carefully or neglecting the mind, allowing all sorts of vile weeds to choke out the good and run amok due to negligence.  Worse, the choices of this doctor led to an entire department of medicine to reflect his preferences and neglect learning for personal opinion.  The mind’s thoughts provide as consequences the environment to abuse others and fail as a professional.  Ever see a garden in winter, the seeds replicating are on or under the ground, awaiting their time to germinate and grow.  Weeds or flowers, veggies of thorns, fruit or tree, and the seeds will bring forth more of the same.

Never forget, “The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors; that which it loves and also that which it fears.  It reaches the height of its cherished aspirations; it falls to the level of its unchastened desires – and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own.”  Do we understand the consequences and circumstances bred from thoughts?  What will we do with this information?

Thoughts and Health

Non Sequitur - Dangerous TechnologyAs a kid, I chewed on everything.  Pens, pencils, markers, if I could fit it into my gob, I chewed on it. Then, as a teenager, I started smoking, and all of a sudden, I stopped chewing on things, stopped needing something in my hands to play with; cigarettes gave me a tool I needed, and my mind was clear for the first time.  I loved smoking; I wanted to learn how to smoke a pipe, for I thought that might be a better option than cigarette smoking, and I could move further along in controlling and quieting my hands, mind, and mouth.

When I joined the US Army and went off to Basic Training, quitting smoking was hard!  I yearned for something to chew on, not possible.  I longed for something to play with for my hands, not happening.  But the most challenging aspect of Basic Training and not smoking was not the lack of tobacco, the heart racing when I walked through second-hand smoke, but the mental addiction.  Smoking had given me liberty, and then it was taken away, and I did not know what to do with myself.

Anton Ego 4Thus I learned a valuable lesson, and when James Allen discussed the power of thoughts on health, I knew the lesson well from personal experience through smoking.  “The body is the servant of the mind.  It obeys the operations of the mind, whether they be deliberately chosen or automatically expressed.  At the bidding of unlawful thoughts, the body sinks rapidly into disease and decay; at the command of glad and beautiful thoughts, it becomes clothed with youthfulness and beauty.”  Continuing, James Allen reinforces the following idea, “Disease and health, like circumstances, are rooted in thought.”

My mother-in-law fell, breaking a bone near her hip, requiring surgery, and she spent the rest of her life in a long-term care facility for she struggled to recover.  I respect my mother-in-law as a knuckle-fighting, butt-whooping, hard-charging no prisoners taking person.  She fought from her first day of life until she softened due to circumstances in the long-term care facility.  She struggled to change her mind and thoughts as a 90+-year-old woman of incredible experiences.  One of her roommates was nearing a century, she was blind in both eyes, but she shone with dignity, power, and the happy experiences and choices of a well-cultivated mind across a lifetime.  The difference between my mother-in-law and her roommate in health, mental ability, and physical ability was palpable; two women I deeply respect and admire, but who perfectly reflect the principle of the power of health being connected to thoughts.Calvin & Hobbes - Irony Hurts

James Allen expresses this connection thusly, “Strong, pure, and happy thoughts build up the body in vigor and grace.  The body is plastic … which responds readily to the thoughts by which it is impressed, and habits of thought will produce their own effects, good or bad, upon it.  Thought is the fount of action, life, and manifestation; … Clean thoughts make clean habits.”  My wife’s uncle and his spouse reflected the opposites in this statement from James Allen. Nevertheless, the wife always had something kind, friendly, good to say about anyone, as an extension of her choices of thought and a well-cultivated mind.

On the other hand, the husband struggled with the thoughts of WWII and his actions in the war, which made him susceptible to every cough and cold; he was miserable and very irritable, as an extension of his refusal to cultivate his mind.  The wife read books, the husband watched TV.  The wife engaged in society, and the husband hid at home.  The wife had clean thoughts and positive consequences; the husband struggled with addictions; when he finally overcame the physical addiction, the mental addiction made him more irritable.

Knowledge Check!If you would perfect your body, [first] guard your mindIf you would renew your body [first] beautify your mind.  Thoughts of malice, envy, disappointment, despondency, [etc.] rob the body of its health and grace.  A sour face does not come by chance; it is made by your thoughts.”  Let us take this advice to heart.  Let us begin today cultivating an inquisitive mind, filling it with carefully selected thoughts, memories, and feelings. Then, we can choose to be better people by committing to changing our thoughts.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.