Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot: The Illinois Edition

Exclamation MarkThe story is linked in case you missed the news on 09 July 2021; Illinois has become the first state in AMERICA to mandate ASIAN History be taught in K-12 education.  Let that sink in for a moment.  AMERICAN History has been abused, twisted, contorted, and NOT taught in AMERICAN schools in ANY of the 50-US States.  But Illinois wants students to learn Asian History.  Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot Illinois!

What is the reported reasoning for this move?

According to a statement from Governor JB Pritzker, the reason for this move is as follows:

With the recent rise in acts of violence and bigotry against the Asian American community, teaching students about the rich culture and important contributions of the Asian American community throughout history will help combat false stereotypes” [emphasis mine].

For your information, the legislation is called the “Teaching Equitable Asian American History Act,” and the special interest group pushing this legislative nightmare is Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago.  The website includes a Los Angeles branch, the Asian Law Caucus, AAJC, and an Atlanta branch.  Another special interest group involved in this legislation is PAVE (Pan Asian Voter Empowerment). My first question about this legislation comes from the name, “What is equitable Asian American History, especially when American History is not being taught?”Lemmings 5

What is in the curriculum?

The curriculum declares it is compliant with Common Core standards, which doesn’t mean anything as teaching masturbation to first graders is compliant with Common Core Standards.  However, PBS Learning media has a website dedicated to the curriculum plan for teaching Asian American History, even though the curriculum does not describe “equitable.”  PBS Learning media claims to be “pleased to present over 30-lesson plans based on a fiver hour documentary Asian Americans in American History.  While the Illinois legislation claims that K-12 will begin learning about Asian History, the reality on the PBS Learning media is that the published lesson plans only go from third grade to twelfth grade.  Leading to my next question, “Where is this push for historical teaching coming from?”

Plato 2I have not viewed the series; I have barely scraped the surface of the curriculum offered.  What I have seen of the curriculum worries me.  I call it “whitewashing” history, to glance over the actions of one group to reflect how other groups were treated, with the intent of stirring the racial divides and creating more chasms based on race alone.  What I see in this curriculum does nothing to “ … teach students about the rich culture and important contributions of the Asian American community throughout history” or to “combat false stereotypes.”  I ran a search engine using the string, “Violent migrant worker strikes, involving Asian people,” and the first item on the list returned originates with the Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project, sponsored by the University of Washington.

The context, labor union organizing, which everyone should know, includes the growth and development of Marxist ideology in America.  How did the labor unions create a space for themselves?  They drove wedges between groups of people based solely upon race, creating contention, becoming violent, and hiding behind equity and fairness to escape responsibility and accountability for laws they sundered.

Let me be clear!

Knowledge Check!Let me be clear; every group across the skin color spectrum has historically had problems in American society.  Any time race separates, chaos, confusion, and violence are bred!  I am proud that America has grown out of oppressing people based on the color of their skin and do not judge American history as racist just because historically, people acted out of fear when treating their fellow men fairly.  History is full of people who made terrible choices, and teaching that these choices were poorly made is important, but race, religion, handicap, etc., should NOT be the focus on the content in history.  The focus of history should be on what grew out of specific actions in specific epochs of time.

America IS better for the Civil War, even though the US Government continues to hinder economically and is biased against the states that formed the Confederate States.  A dumb historical decision that has kept many states from achieving greatness is due to President Lincoln’s death and the hostility in the US House of Representatives, the US Senate, and President Andrew Johnson.  All of whom believed that the Confederate States needed to be mightily punished.  In contrast, President Lincoln was pushing for national forgiveness.  Thus, we need to focus on the events, not the race, color, lines of separation and division, but on the outcomes and the fruits from those decisions when teaching history!The Duty of Americans

State’s Rights

I affirm in clear language that a state has the right to set the curriculum of government-mandated schools.  I support state’s rights to the fullest and would see each state prepare their students to meet the world and win!  Paradoxically, I also affirm in language clear that this legislation will do NOTHING to “combat false stereotypes” but will only increase racial division and disharmony in Illinois and any other state who refuses to learn the lessons from history.

History and Racial Focus

Content of their CharacterThink about this quote for a moment, who are the biggest race hustlers in America?  History has taught that when race is the only concern worth knowing people care only about race, to their demise.  Focusing on race is the sole reason why I have questioned, and continue to question, the validity of the arguments for National “Name your Favorite Minority” Month celebrations.  There are absolutes in this world; focusing solely upon race as a choice, will breed racial tensions as a consequence, is an absolute.  Recent history under President Obama reflected this exact issue to the Nth degree, yet nobody wants to have that discussion.  Why; because of race!

Bob MarleyWhen your focus is solely upon an individual’s race, race will be the only thing learned, the only lesson absorbed, and the fruit of that lesson are bitter.  Have people from various races achieved great things; absolutely, but why should their achievements be diminished by focusing solely upon their race?  Why should their achievements only be mentioned during “Name your Favorite Minority” monthly celebrations?  Has the 1960s taught us nothing about the character, knowledge, talents, curious minds, and the work performed where race was NEVER an issue?  I have books galore in my home; I continue to collect books about famous people of great accomplishment; I have never cared a whit about that person’s sex or gender.  Why; because their sex and gender, race, skin color, religion, handicap, or heritage have never been a factor.  As a kid, a thrill ran through me when I read the preamble to the US Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness [emphasis mine].

Even today, these words continue to guide me.  Show me; where in the Declaration of Independence does it discuss sex, race, heritage, religion, handicap, etc.?  NOWHERE!  A lesson America needs to relearn if she is to survive.  What hinders the pursuit of happiness, capturing inalienable rights, and stops liberty; focusing upon that which divides instead of that which unites!

PatriotismFrom the National Archives website, we find the following regarding the Declaration of Independence:

The Declaration of Independence states the principles on which our government, and our identity as Americans, are based. Unlike the other founding documents, the Declaration of Independence is not legally binding, but it is powerful. Abraham Lincoln called it “a rebuke and a stumbling-block to tyranny and oppression.” It continues to inspire people around the world to fight for freedom and equality” [emphasis in original].

Think about this for a moment.  The American Identity, the bedrock principles upon which America was built, the power cell for liberty and freedom across the world, begins with a simple truth:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness [emphasis mine].Image - John Wayne Quote

A document that is not legally binding holds power to inspire actions that unite people, provided our focus is not on those things which separate us.  Cementing the lesson discussed herein, focus on race and racial division is the only lesson learned, and the resulting fruit is bitter, chaos ensues, and problems abound in violence.  Why have we not learned these lessons from the 1960s, the Watt’s Riots, the death toll in Chicago that makes war zones safer than the streets of Chicago; the focus is on race, not the potential.  The focus is on the sex, the invented genders, the handicaps, the religions, the heritages, etc., not on what is essential, character and potential, freedom, liberty, and equality under the law.

Knowledge Check!We need to get back to teaching history, where the focus is on how the decisions and actions from the past hinder or help the present so that the future can be better.  Failing that, we desperately need to cease focusing upon race, gender, sex, religion, handicap, and heritage as these things only matter to the individual and not to historical records.  Failing that, America fails, and the light of liberty and freedom will be lost to the annals of history forever.  So, gather the fruit you choose, focus on race if you prefer, focus on gender, sex, handicap, veterans status, and every other line of separation.  Your fruit gathered will be most bitter indeed, for you will miss the rich tapestry of human interaction, for the dirt caught in the fabric.

Powering my third and final question to the legislative and executive branches of Illinois, “Knowing all this, why are you focused on race and forcing students to focus solely upon race?”

© 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.

Rights, Liberties, Freedoms, Responsibilities, Privileges: A Definitive Declaration!

Knowledge Check!In a previous post, I wrote about the principle of self-control and liberty in law; I did not realize the turmoil caused by not understanding the difference between a right, liberty, freedom, where responsibility enters, and how these principles work together.  My apologies; I learned these differences as a child and never considered that others might not be able to detail, define, describe, and delineate between these fundamental principles.  My plan originally with this article was not to provide a definitive declaration; then, I researched some of the claptrap online being passed off as learned scholarly discussion and was disgusted!  Thus, my aims and intents changed; I would see this article be referenced and used to aid in clearing up the confusion generated by word plasticity and modular language tyranny.

Along the way, I will include both links and resources for further study for your ability to grow and feel confident in defending rights, liberties, freedoms with responsibility and dedication.  Only through learning can we, the owners of representative governments, begin to change government direction and regain our liberties and freedoms!

RightsApathy

The founding fathers of America understood rights and called them inalienable.  There is a reason for this; rights cannot be taken away.  An individual can give rights away, but because a right is inalienable, it means a power greater than the government has distributed these rights, and all are equal in their possession of these rights.  Inalienable specifically refers to rights that cannot be surrendered, transferred, or removed permanently from a person.

How does a person give away an inalienable right; they refuse to accept that a right is inalienable.  Consider the US Bill of Rights, a document full of those inalienable rights or rights that cannot be surrendered, transferred, or removed permanently from an individual.  Consider one of the first inalienable rights discussed in the US Bill of Rights, religion.  What you believe is your choice; nobody can, or should, have the power to tell you what you believe.  Belief transcends thought into a unique place inside your brain; some would call it a soul.  Depending upon your flavor of religion, a soul could or could not exist.  I am not writing a definitive declaration about religion, I am writing about rights, and your personal belief where religion is concerned is fundamental to you expressing yourself.

Plato 2Is the distinction clear?  A right cannot be stripped from you by anyone, ever unless you choose to deny your inalienable rights to that particular right.  For example, the US Bill of Rights declares your ability to defend yourself is an inalienable right.  You choose how to protect yourself, e.g., guns, fists, sticks, knives, alarms, police, etc.  How you choose to defend yourself is your inalienable right, and you deserve to be protected in your rights to self-defense.  If a person attacks you, you have the inalienable right to self-protection.  This is established through case laws.  How many women have been physically, sexually, and mentally abused by a spouse or partner, who then took action to defend themselves and were acquitted at trial; too many to mention in a declaration on rights.  Just know, you have a right to self-defense, and this right can never be stripped from you by anyone but you.

Liberties

Liberties are a little more complicated to define and detail.  Some applications of the word liberty include freedom from confinement, servitude, or forced labor.  Whereas liberty is also a power to act as one chooses, even if that action breaks a society’s accepted standards, i.e., laws.  Liberties can also include unwarranted risks, deviations from facts (lies), departing from compliance to the accepted and proper methods of prudence.

The Duty of AmericansIn most societies, you can purchase and legally become the owner of an item due to the purchase.  Thus, liberty allows you to become free to use that purchase however you desire.  Until the use of that purchase interferes with someone else’s inalienable rights.  For example purchase of a baseball bat is legal, mostly around the world.  Use that baseball bat for its intended purposes, i.e., to play baseball or softball, and the government does not infringe upon your liberties.  Use that baseball bat outside its intended purposes, to break windows, cause injuries or property damage, and you can lose your liberty and your property.

Imperative to understanding, liberty can be taken by force through the law, government action, and or improper use of liberty.  Perform an imprudent act, and someone is going to take your liberty away.  For example, in Hong Kong, China has ruled that freedom of speech has been curtailed.  While freedom of speech is an inalienable right, China refuses to honor free speech as an inalienable right, and Hong Kong peoples suffer.  The people of China and Hong Kong can still speak their minds exercising their inalienable rights, but taking these liberties to exercise their rights, has been strictly and violently enforced by a government refusing to believe people have inalienable rights.

PatriotismThus the confusion and complication in defining and detailing liberties.  Liberties can be taken and refused; liberties can be eliminated by government force and social changes.  Liberties are not inalienable rights or even a right.  You do not have a right to liberty.  You may pursue happiness, but achieving happiness is not a right, freedom, or liberty.

Consider the purpose of government as detailed in the US Constitution’s preamble:

“… In order to form a more perfect Union (Government), establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

Consider also the purpose for the US Bill of Rights, as the first amendments to a brand new constitution:

“… Prevent misconstruction or abuse of its (US Government) powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added, and as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.”

The government creates liberties, calls these rights, and then attempts to confuse the problem.  For example, welfare benefits as currently understood (2021) are significantly different from welfare benefits understood in (1920) America.  Today, people on welfare benefits consider their government-provided support a right when in actuality, it is barely a liberty.  Most importantly, those welfare benefits can be restricted, removed, curtailed, curbed, and denied based upon the whims of government.  This is why welfare is not a right and barely a liberty.  Welfare benefits are barely a liberty because someone else has to pay for the privilege of supporting another person through forced taxation (legalized theft).Life Valued

Freedoms

Freedoms are even more complicated, and freedoms have been made more challenging to understand purposefully by political design as a means to steal liberties and rights from individuals, under a myriad of different names, i.e., social justice, equality, freedom, and civil liberty, etc.  Let’s start with civil liberties, which are neither a right or a liberty, regardless of the politician pushing the name.

LookCivil liberties are freedoms you pay the government to enjoy.  For example, driving a car requires a license.  By issuing licenses, the government can control the population, even though driving is considered a privilege, a right, and is often confused with “freedom of the open road,” which is two lies for the price one.  Another example is marriageMarriage throughout human history has been a tug-of-war between religion and government.  As a point of reference, marriage ceremonies are unique in the human condition anthropologically speaking.  But, as a civil liberty, the government can restrict you from marrying your pets, marrying objects and can grant and deny marriage privileges as it deems appropriate to the political situation.

The state does not recognize some religious ceremonies for marriage, which means that marriage is null and void under the state’s control. Yet, under that religious belief, that marriage is binding.  Consider China again; China refuses to honor Christian marriage ceremonies as valid under the law and several other religions and religious traditions.  Thus, civil liberties are at best an approved and licensed government action, not freedoms, liberties, and rights.  As the saying goes, “The government giveth and the government taketh.”

quote-mans-inhumanityFreedoms are often defined as political independence, which is fine insofar as civil liberties are concerned.  Freedoms entail several other qualities that the government cannot give, take, invent, or delete.  True freedoms do not need legal support from case law to be enjoyed.  True freedoms include living without restraints, acting without control or interference, and not being bound by conventions, rules, and authorities.  It cannot be stressed enough, even though liberties and freedoms share some components, they are merely similar, not identical.  In trying to push liberty and freedom as equivalent, the tyranny of language is discovered to sunshine disinfectant.  A right, especially those inalienable rights, are not freedoms or liberties to be granted and removed at the power of authority, and the distinction should be clear.

Privilegesquote-mans-inhumanity-2

Privileges are easy to understand; privileges are permission granted at the request of an authority to grant limited power, responsibility, or situational control over something.  What is a driver’s license, the privilege to drive, which can be revoked at the whims of the government issuing the privilege (license).  Civil liberties are a privilege granted by an authority; ownership is not conveyed, legal responsibility extends only for the controlled use under strict supervision by the authority.  For example, while a state employee, I was granted the privilege of operating a state-owned vehicle, provided I followed all the rules set forth by the state issuing that privilege.  Ending state employment ended the privilege of operating that government vehicle.  Easy enough to understand, a privilege is not a liberty, freedom, right, or inalienable right.

A privilege also contains immunity from commonly imposed laws, standards, and social constraints.  Think of the police officer who makes a right turn across multiple lanes of traffic.  To conduct their job and fulfill their duties, police officers sometimes have to break laws to enforce a greater law or protect the safety of others and are immune from breaking those traffic laws that the rest of us must follow.  However, even in this instance, a privilege is not freedom, a right, or liberty, simply authority granted immunity when on the job to act in a manner that supports public safety and enforces the state’s authority over driving privileges.

The Role of ResponsibilityPresident Adams

Responsibility is a word that gets thrown around too often where the definition is muddied, and the intent is to harm and control someone else.  Responsibility is nothing more or less than the condition of being required to account for one’s actions, behaviors, and the consequences of the same.  For example, a defendant in a courtroom can be required to account for and make restitution for behaviors, actions, and consequences that were out of compliance with societal norms; we call this type of responsibility justice.

On a less extreme example, a child is out throwing rocks, the rock thrown breaks a window, who is responsible, the child or the parent?  The child should be held responsible and taught accountability; however, society is moving more and more towards holding that parent responsible.  Except, does this hurt or help the child stop throwing rocks?  Now, I have heard parents proclaim that throwing rocks is a right of passage for children, and the child should not be responsible for the consequences.  Therein lay the problem with freedoms, liberties, privileges, and rights, the role of responsibility.

Exclamation MarkIt has been said that my freedom of speech ends where your nose begins.  Thus, I cannot exercise my freedom of speech through physical violence, or I lose my right to speak and, more likely, some freedom and property as well.  Thus, the role of responsibility begins with knowing the extent of and limitations formed around rights, freedoms, liberties, and privileges, for ignorance of the law is not an excuse.  Our responsibility of living in society is to know the rules that form the laws and the social constraints of that society.

For example, the people of Germany have worked hard to make their country beautiful, and the principle of living in a Germanic society is In Ordnung.  If something is out of order, for example, litter, the person creating that situation outside of order is publicly shamed.  In America, the societal norms have been beaten and hindered, so that a person coming into America illegally has the rights, as granted by the government, not to learn the language, learn the culture, or even assimilate.  Whereas those coming legally into America are required to learn, adapt, and assimilate into America.  Thus, the role of responsibility can be used selectively to provide civil liberties to one group while withholding those same rights from others based upon political conditions.

Conclusion

Image - Eagle & FlagRights, especially inalienable rights, are yours as provided by a higher power than the government.  Liberties are the power to act without constraint, provided your exercise of liberty does not infringe upon the inalienable rights of another.  Freedoms rest upon political independence, something feared by every bureaucrat and power-mad politician in history.  Privileges are permissions granted by a higher authority to conduct business or fulfill a purpose.  Civil liberties are not liberties, but privileges can be taken away by authorities and social changes.  Regardless, the role of responsibility is inseparably connected to rights, liberties, freedoms, and privileges. One day, accountability will be demanded for the responsibilities connected to how a person used their liberties, freedoms, rights, and privileges.

References

Leadbeater, C. W. (1913). The hidden side of things. Wheaton, IL: The Theosophical Publishing House.

Lieberman, M. D. (2013). Social: Why our brains are wired to connect. NY: Oxford University Press, USA.

Poerksen, U. (2010). Plastic words: The tyranny of a modular language. NY: Penn State Press.

Paine, T. (2008). Rights of man, common sense, and other political writings. NY: Oxford University Press.

Tucker, W. (2014). Marriage and civilization: How monogamy made us human. NY: Simon & Schuster.

© 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 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.

Juneteenth and Critical Race Theory: A Head Scratching Conundrum!

QuestionI fully admit, every time “Juneteenth” comes around, I have to look up the word and the history to make sure someone is not pulling my leg.  For those like me, Juneteenth is the celebration of the emancipation of slaves in Texas from 19 June 1865.  Apparently, President Biden just made the day an Official U.S. Holiday, the first since Martin Luther King Day in the early 1980s.  There are times I feel like, for all the work I invest in knowing what is happening, I am still living under a rock.

Included at the bottom of this article are references to the source materials and knowledge gleaned.  Unless explicitly linked, the references below can support both my questions and my conclusions.  Feel free to expand your mind and read; be warned, though, once your mind expands, it can never go back!

The historical celebrations of Juneteenth included prayer, new clothes, hymn singing, and expressions of gratitude regarding being made free.  A celebration of freedom by slaves in America also included food.  I have never seen race; plain and simple truth!  Your choice of race is your business; how you act and live is more important than race, culture, creed, religion, handicap, and gender to me.  While working on my MBA degree, I was introduced to two concepts, critical race theory and the fact that the United Nations claims race and culture are a conscious choice.

WhyIf the United Nations can claim that a person’s race is a choice, then I am an American.  I am not distinguished by color, several colors, or even my history.  As a point of reference, America was set up that way for a reason; it releases people from bondage to not be judged by their family, their financial circumstances, historical tribal connections, color, or any other line of separation.  When America as a “Melting Pot” was described to me in school, I cheered because it meant I am not the sum of my family’s actions!

Then along comes Critical Race Theory, and my mind took a sudden jolt.  Critical Race Theory is a loosely organized intellectual movement based upon a shaky legal framework and premise claiming that race is not a natural, biological, or physical distinction separating subgroups of humans.  The intellectualists embrace Critical Race Theory and attempt to make race a sociological invention to oppress other people.  They further adhere to an almost religious belief that America is inherently racist, especially to African Americans.

Question 3Here is where my brain disconnects, the questions asked are honest, and I would appreciate dialog without emotion to attempt to answer the following questions:

    1. If the United Nations is correct, and race is a choice, how does Critical Race Theory have any followers and adherents?
        • Since race is my personal choice, I can be any race I choose, regardless of skin tones, speech, mannerisms, etc. How can anyone claim to be oppressed by another race?
        • How can race be an issue if race is a sociological construct?
        • Under the Rule of Law, there is no distinction of race. The lady of law has a blindfold for a reason, so she cannot judge by sight, only by hearing, and weigh the results on the scale.  Where is the legal justification for Critical Race Theory?
    2. Is Juneteenth a celebration just for black people? If so, doesn’t this upend the Critical Race Theorists?  If not, then what is Juneteenth historically?
        • If Juneteenth is a celebration of liberty, why did we need another holiday when the 4th of July celebrates freedom?
        • When considering people’s kept as slaves across history, race becomes an interesting variable if race is not a choice but a biological, physical, and method of sub-grouping humans. Africa has seen a lot of periods where one tribe conquers another, and the conquered became slaves.  The same pattern has been witnessed across all the different tribes, countries, and human species throughout world history.  Does this mean that Critical Race Theory was just proven invalid as a concept?
    3. If Juneteenth is a holiday only for those emancipated from slavery, does this mean others cannot celebrate humans ending forced servitude?Bob Marley
    4. Why is Critical Race Theory all about black oppression? Didn’t the American Indians have it much worse than black people in early-American history?  Where is the holiday for the American Indians being freed from reservations, empowered, and promoted as a distinct culture worthy of respect and study?
        • Wait, if the United Nations’ supposition is true, that culture and race are a choice, does this mean that the laws against and for American Indians are now in question and under doubt?
        • What about other indigenous tribes across the world facing brutal oppression? Are those laws invalid due to the United Nations or due to Critical Race Theory?
        • Which minority groups are “more equal” and “deserving” than other minority groups under the Critical Race Theory? Why the distinction if race is a choice and not a biological, physical, or cultural tribal distinction in human sub-groups?
    5. Since the American Indians owned slaves, why are the Critical Race Theorists attacking white people only?
        • If the United Nations is correct, then those purporting to be Critical Race Theorists are broadcasting their ignorance by adhering to a group that pushes a lie about race being a factor, right?Commit

I need to understand something, and history, as well as archeology, supports the following:

“White slavery pre-dates black slavery in America. This fact has been verified by forensic evidence from archaeological digs and historical documents uncovered by contemporary scholars, including Don Jordan and Michael Walsh in White Cargo (New York University Press: 2009).”

The stories behind white slavery, indentured servitude, and other means of conveying the purchase and abuse of people are incredibly heartbreaking.  What man has done to their fellow man through all of recorded history is appalling.  Trying to further that oppression through Critical Race Theory is despicable on a level I can not describe.  Yet, what do we see, Critical Race Theorists doing precisely that, getting a person to choose a race, then choose to allow themselves to be victimized and oppressed because of their choice to join a culture, tribe, or race.

Knowledge Check!Hence, my conundrum!  If we accept that race, culture, creed, and religion are choices made by humans without compulsory means, what is Critical Race Theory talking about and preaching?  If we refuse the belief that race, tribe, and culture are not choices, then we still have a logical disconnect between Critical Race Theorists and the history of civilization.  The Critical Race Theorists seem to be missing the forest for the bark they are stuck seeing.  Unfortunately, I still do not understand most holidays, since I prefer to work than rest, I do not need to know to understand the holiday, just save me some food.

Slavery References

Davis, J.B. “Slavery in the Cherokee Nation.”
Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol. 11, No. 4. December 1993.

Gates Jr., Henry Louis. “Did Black People Own Slaves?”
The Root. 4 March 2013.

Gates Jr., Henry Louis. “How Many Slaves Landed in the U.S.?”
The Root. 6 January 2014.

Hall, Kermit L. The Oxford Companion to American Law.
New York: Oxford University Press USA, 2002. ISBN 0-195-08878-6.

Halliburton Jr., R. “Free Black Owners of Slaves: A Reappraisal of the Woodson Thesis.”
The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 76, No. 3. July 1975.

Johnson, Michael P., and Roark, James L. Black Masters: A Free Family of Color in the Old South.
New York: W. W. Norton, 1986. ISBN 0-393-30314-4.

Mintz, Steven. African-American Voices: A Documentary Reader, 1619-1877.
New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2009. ISBN 1-444-31077-1.

Rodriguez, Junius P. The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery.
Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1997. ISBN 0-874-36885-5.

Russell, John Henderson. The Free Negro in Virginia, 1619-1865.
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1913. ISBN 1-480-03049-X.

Walton, Hanes and Smith, Robert C. American Politics and the African American Quest for Universal Freedom.
London: Routledge, 2015. ISBN 1-317-35045-6.

Critical Race Theory Reference

Crenshaw, K., Gotanda, N., Peller, G., & Thomas, K. (1995). Critical race theory. The Key Writings that Formed the Movement. New York, 276-291.

Delgado, R., & Stefancic, J. (2017). Critical race theory: An introduction (3rd ed.). NYU Press.

Juneteenth References

Donovan, A., & De Bres, K. (2006). Foods of freedom: Juneteenth as a culinary tourist attraction. Tourism Review International, 9(4), 379-389.

Ellison, R. (2021). Juneteenth. Modern Library.

Taylor, C. A. (2002). Juneteenth: A celebration of freedom. Open Hand Publishing, LLC.

© 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.

NO MORE BS: What is History? A Prelude to the Future.

There is an axiom in history, “If you do not learn history, you are doomed to repeat it.”  Some have refused to believe this lesson, to their utter misfortune.  Others have refused to accept this sentiment and have suffered likewise.  How do I know this; history shows the willing student how history is a prelude to the future.

Ancient Greece was the center of knowledge, but their people stopped learning history, and Rome came in while Greece was napping and took over the country lock, stock, and barrel.  Then, over time, Rome stopped learning the lesson they had taught and was forced to relive their history when caught napping; others came in and ruined the Roman Empire.  Ancient Egypt was a grand empire until Rome.  More history leading to preludes of the future.

Moving forward several centuries, and we see the rise of the Muslim Empire, suffering the same fate as those behind it when they too forgot their history.  The repetition of history is both scary and clearly written in the annals of history.  When one stops learning their history, they become doomed to repeat that history, for history is ever a prelude to the future.

Now, I am not a doom and gloom type, nor do I have grand aspirations of being a prophet or prognosticator.  I am simply pointing out the truth and hoping others may join me in learning history to avoid repeating history.What historical lessons do we need to learn?

To answer this question, I beg you to indulge me for a moment.  I have to ask a few more questions to answer this most pressing question.  As a modern citizen of your country, do you understand the family’s value and importance to your society?  What are you doing to support the family as the preeminent foundational stone of a sound and growing society?  Are you willing to sacrifice worldly reputations, money, power, etc., to have a family?  The leading cause of the Roman Empire’s fall was that they stopped having nuclear families, and within a generation, they fell.  Why did the sunset on the Egyptian Empire; they stopped believing in and supporting the nuclear family, and they failed.  Before WWII, why was England, the world’s mightiest empire since Rome, failing; they lost the nuclear family and still haven’t recovered.

Why is France struggling, Italy disappearing, Germany struggling, and the US and Japan all having such incredible problems; all have forgotten the nuclear family.  As the nuclear family goes, so does the state’s power and the identity of a country’s soul.  Let that sink in a minute.  As the nuclear family goes, so does the country’s soul.  A country’s identity, liberty, law, freedom, and lifestyle rests squarely upon the shoulders of the nuclear family.

I have read reports that Italy will no longer be the traditional “Italy” in less than 10-years because the Italians are not getting married and having families.  I love my Italian family members, but I am so distraught to think that “La mia famiglia,” the quintessential Italian experience, will not be around for my posterity to enjoy, except through fading pictures and journaled memories.  What makes this worse is Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and every other nation on earth have the same problems.   The nuclear family is disappearing at a frightening rate, and as the family goes, so do the historical lessons that need to be learned to avoid repeating.

An ignorant barbarian suggested, “well, just have people have more kids.”  I wanted to gently take this person by their ears, look deeply into their eyes, and ask, “Is anyone in there?”  Children are important but more important is the nuclear family experience.  Another person once suggested that the nuclear family, consisting of a mother, a father, and children living in the same home, is copyable for homosexual couples, divorced couples, and single parents, so what’s the big deal?”  In asking that question, the individual’s historical ignorance was apparent, and society’s problem leading to a repeat of history.

Living together as a family is messy, it is hard, and it requires learning how to live together.  These fundamental lessons become the experience that binds a nation to its culture, faith, and fundamental societal core.  There is no substitute, no shortcuts, and no other possible way to exist.  Yet, too often, the nuclear family is shunned, disrespected, and disregarded for the pleasures of living more easily.

No, I am not casting aspersions on those parents raising children as single parents.  I have known the great and good and the incredibly terrible in single parents and would support that person and those children however I can.  But, I hold this perception and desire because I know the value of the nuclear family, the nuclear family’s potential, and I know how a family makes a community, and a community makes a family.

I read the research on homosexual couples rearing children, and I weep for the children!  A more honest statement I cannot make.  I know the abuse and problems inherent in any family organization, but the problems are only multiplied a hundred-fold in homosexual couples rearing children.  The second most destructive power in Rome’s fall, mirrored from the Greeks, was the rise of homosexuality, which was preceded by a loss of morality, religious living, and the nuclear family.

President George Washington said in his final address to the nation about religion.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”  Continuing, Pres. Washington called religion and morality “Pillars of human happiness, and the duty of citizens to uphold.”  Concluding with, “Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation [and morality in society] desert the oaths?  Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

I know the struggles in families, but those struggles pay dividends when we support the nuclear family.  I recently read of an 11-year old having children because her mom and grandmother were in prison, and great-grandma needed more welfare money to feed the other children living in the home.  In reading that report, I hoped this was a one-of-a-kind experience, but I was horrified to learn the exact opposite, and family courts are full of tragedies similar to this story.  Our communities are failing because the nuclear family has suffered some desperate body blows, and more welfare programs and government heavy-handedness are NOT the answer!  History is indeed a prelude to the future, and the loss of the nuclear family is front and center in this battle for your country’s soul, culture, legal system, and future.

Families, reach out to single parents and open your home.  You do not have to be perfect to help; just help!  Communities reach out to support the nuclear family.  Religious communities especially reach out to support single parents raise morally centered children and help build nuclear families.  If the nuclear family experience is lost, we will repeat history, and chaos is too small a word for the conflict that will fill every country on earth!

I offer no excuses for those who abuse their spouse or children!  I extend only support for the victims and would see the situation corrected.  In the same breath, I would offer hope to those struggling in these times to raise a nuclear family; you are doing a good job, even if it seems like every day is difficult.  Please stay in the fight; it is worth the struggle.  To the non-profit and religious organizations, get involved in the battle to support the nuclear family and morality in public and private.  Fight for morality and nuclear families; they need you, your community needs you, and your country needs you!  Especially to the organized religions and their leaders, find a spine!  Get into this fight, or die an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle!

Please, learn history, teach history, and work to support the family as a prelude to a better future!

© 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.

NO MORE BS: Why?

Reading - A JourneySimon Sinek authored an incredible book called “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.”  The No MORE BS movement is all about inspiring everyone to take action.  We are people who have reached our maximum limit with the problems we see in the world, and we want to see people take action against the tyranny being experienced.  I agree with Mr. Sinek; we need the why.  We need to know why something is important, why something is being refused, why actions were taken that are illogical, and so much more.

Why discuss religion and politics?

Foundational principles of society revolve around how and what people believe.  As they take combined action as a society, the standards of behaviors expected then become the laws of that society.  Those laws are standards of codified behavior and restrictions for social inclusion.  Why do people abhor thieves; the 10-Commandments form the bedrock of Judaic society and include an admonition, “Thou Shalt Not Steal!”  The connection between society beliefs and laws for governing society remains unchangeable in human history.  Why was Rome so strong; their codified beliefs (religions) influenced their politics and their social inclusive behaviors (laws) written down for everyone to be held accountable to.  The Old Testament reports the same thing occurring in Judaic society post-Egyptian bondage.Apathy

I am not advocating a state religion, that is abhorrent to me.  I am advocating for the ability to openly discuss the ties between religion and politics to inspire action in people to live their religion and hold their elected representatives to a higher level of conduct publicly and privately.  Without the ability to discuss these topics, freedom, and liberty disappear in tyranny and chaos.  I do not make this claim lightly; history provides us a perfect example in Egypt post-Jewish bondage, Babylon with the death of strong kings, Rome, and many other empires, city-states, countries, societies.The Duty of Americans

As Rome began changing from various religions to Christianity/Catholicism, the ability to speak freely was one of the first rights stolen by the government to control the spread of religion.  Rome fell!  The United Socialist Soviet Republic (USSR) tried to police people’s beliefs, police thoughts and limit speech.  The USSR fell.  China currently restricts speech and just forced a bunch of speech limiting policies and regulations onto Hong Kong.  China will fall.  Is the pattern clear; America is a Republic (if we can keep it), and when the ability to discuss topics publicly and openly is restricted, we will join history in falling!

Why do humans create societies?

VirtueHumans create societies mainly because we are wired to connect to people who believe as we do.  Just as a magnet is attracted to ferrous metals, humans are attracted to like-minded people.  Consider the New Testament for a minute, specifically John the Baptist.  A person who taught and preached in a wilderness, people, would seek him out to listen to him; these people who heard and chose to believe formed a society of believers.  Regardless of how you believe regarding John the Baptist, the societal changes he inspired are historically apt as an example of the influence of like-minded people combining to effect change in an established society.  The same principle can be applied to Karl Marx and the growth of communism, Christopher Columbus, and the discovery launched by his adventurous spirit, Joseph Smith Jr. and Martin Luther, who inspired religious societies.  Like-minded people are wired to connect, and when they connect, they develop social behaviors, which form the basis to remain included in that society.

Angry Wet ChickenI cannot express in words how vital and straightforward this principle is to sustaining government, of the people, by the people, and for the people.  When a society is infiltrated with those who refuse to believe in a like manner, principles of assimilation, then that society is headed for trouble.  The USSR and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany under the USSR’s control) are perfect examples of positive changes to a body of believers who transformed because others infiltrated the core society, and change occurred.  Hong Kong is another excellent example. China invaded the core belief structure through legal treaty and has refused to honor treaty agreements where Hong Kong is concerned, and chaos is too small a word for Hong Kong’s problems.

Why work to inspire action?

Do you, honestly believe, you have the power to change your society?  If not, these articles are for you.  If so, then these articles should support your efforts and help make your living your ideals and beliefs easier.  There is a business principle, place the power to effect change at the lowest level where the most effect can be felt.  For example, suppose a customer is asking for a refund. In that case, you place the refund process into the hands of a customer service representative and not a VP.  Sure; your refund process will have additional hands for approval and issuing. The power to make the decision must be in the customer service representative’s hands to handle customer claims effectively.

ParadoxThe same principle applies in what we are discussing; your most critical societal actions occur inside the walls of your home with your family.  Thus, the power of America’s government is not in the capitals but inside the homes of its citizens.  When we, the citizens of democratically elected societies, believe this fact, change will occur in our communities.  The Republic of the United States of America is specifically designed to place the maximum amount of power into the lowest level of society, citizens’ homes.  Thus, the need to inspire action on a local level, and why America needs YOU!  This is also why I believe in and support the NO MORE BS movement.  When we stand together, we cannot lose!

Conclusion

Dont Tread On MeWhile only three why questions have been addressed, these three contain lessons for contemplation and should inspire to action, all because the why has been expressed.  No; I have not dived deeply into any of the topics discussed enough to make you a master of these topics; however, I hope I have piqued your interest in these topics and helped form lines of congruence between the issues to aid in improving answers to your why questions.  If you have more why questions, please use the comments to send them to me, and I promise I will help answer those why questions.  I believe in the power of the people; you are important, and your questions deserve answers.  Let’s ask questions and then commit to action.  America needs us!

© 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.

NO MORE BS: Religion and Politics

Bird of PreyPlease note, if you cannot openly discuss either topic without relying upon emotional hyperbole, feel free to stop reading right here!  I will not allow any discussion that insults, denigrates, derides, or casts insults and aspersions on either topic.  As a Republic, America must be able to openly discuss religion and politics in the public square openly, and the public square includes social media.  I will not suffer snowflakes and idiots; take your emotional hyperactivity elsewhere.  You have been sufficiently warned!

What is Religion?

I have written a post dedicated to supporting atheists, and after some consideration, I felt it was time to tackle theism.  I discussed in the atheist article that the world is not split between atheists and theists; feel free to read that article for more information.  We begin in the same place as we did with the atheists, defining religion properly.  To understand a word, all the definitions and etiology (history) of the word are critical to grasp what is being discussed fully.   According to Webster, religion has three accepted definitions:

Religion Quote 2As a Noun: “The belief in and worship of a superhuman or controlling power, especially a personal god, God or gods.”

A particular system of faith and worship.”

A pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.”

From Latin, Religare meaning “to bind,” and Religio meaning “obligation, bond, reverence.”  From Old French, we have the emergence of the term Religion meaning “life under monastic vows.”  Thus, a person may easily conclude that many things of supreme importance, where faith and worship are attached and is personal as a belief, can be considered a religion, including sports, food, atheists, a car, and so much more.  Consider that neighbor who polishes his car every Sunday as a method of meditating; he can be considered to be worshiping.  The same for that guy glued to the NFL all season, every season, and even between seasons, expressing a bond, an obligation, or a vow to express belief because the NFL is of supreme importance to that person.

Religious ThoughtAre the term and the method of use clear for the term religion; America has many religions and a lot of religious people who might not belong to what a person might consider “normal” religions.  I have met beer worshipers, prostitutes worshiping at the church of the virgin who believe that when taking the sacrament, it returns them to a virgin state, and a lot more, including the church of a purple (Not Barney) dinosaur.  We have the “Church of the Happy Spaghetti Monster,” where the high priest wears a colander on his head.  Lots of religious beliefs, lots of supreme beings, lots of dedicated believers whose personal beliefs are of supreme importance to that individual.

President AdamsI respect their beliefs and will honor their freedoms to believe as they choose.  I will accept no denigration, aspersions, or insults to a person’s honestly held belief structures.  If it is of supreme importance to you, that is your religion; I will support you as long as your beliefs do not infringe upon the life, property, and liberty of another person’s religious beliefs.  I expect the same rights to be extended to me under the US Constitution as amended for the US Bill of Rights.

First Amendment:  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 to petition the Government for a redress of grievances [emphasis mine].

What is Politics?

Politics is too often a word with so much baggage; people become confused and stop listening after hearing the word politics.  According to Webster:

The Duty of AmericansAs a Noun, “the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.”

The activities of governments concerning the political relations between countries.”

The academic study of government and the state.”

Activities within an organization that is aimed at improving someone’s status or position and are typically considered to be devious or divisive.”

A particular set of political beliefs or principles.”

The assumptions or principles relating to or inherent in a sphere, theory, or thing, especially when concerned with power and status in a society.”

As a Verb, politic/s is derogatory and is defined as “engaging in political activities.”

From Old French Politique “political,” Latin from Greek Politikos, and Politẽs “citizen” and Polis “city.”  Thus, we have described the term politics in all its glory and inhumanity.  Is the term more understood?  Politics is a descriptive tool used to identify certain human activities where power is sought, and devious means and divisive gestures are employed to obtain that power.  Every action tied to securing power through devious means and divisive gestures is politics or political, which means derogatory.  For those needing more, derogatory is “showing a critical or disrespectful attitude.”Patriotism

Why are these topics important for open discussion?

I do not include the definitions to insult anyone’s intelligence!  The definitions are required to place all of us on the same page of understanding to discuss what is happening and use the terms correctly.  In our world, so many words have been plasticized to encourage tyranny through modular language.

Dont Tread On MeThe tyranny is witnessed in many different means and methods.  The easiest way to see the tyranny is in the lawfare we witness every Christmas by the atheists demanding less Christ and other religions in the traditional winter holidays.  Religion can be politics, and as such, this places your political beliefs into a sacred area.  I will not tell you how to vote or express your political beliefs, nor your religious beliefs.  I expect the same in return!

I demand the ability to discuss both topics openly without moderators, thought police, speech Nazis, trolls, and others giving way to emotion.  Consider something, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to Reverend Ezra Stiles and discussed his beliefs, asking Reverend Stiles, President of Yale College, to keep the letter confidential.  Franklin said, “All sects here [in Philadelphia] have experienced my goodwill in assisting them with subscriptions for building their new places of worship; and as I have never [publicly] opposed any of their doctrines, I hope to go out of the world in peace with all” (p. 65).  I agree with Mr. Franklin; my religious tenets are my own affairs, I do not push religion, and allow all men (and women) the ability to believe as they choose.Apathy

However, I understand precisely what President George Washington said in his final address to the nation about religion.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”  Continuing, Pres. Washington called religion and morality “Pillars of human happiness, and the duty of citizens to uphold.”  Concluding with, “Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation [and morality in society] desert the oaths?  Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

Liberty and Freedom are Rooted in Politics and Religion!

As Pres. Thomas Jefferson claimed the French Revolution occurred because of “Kings, nobles, and priests.”  The French Revolution, especially the influence of the church in state affairs, is one reason why President Jefferson was such a stickler for the “Rule of Law” and one of the most important reasons for supporting the First Amendment, which allowed America to keep Church and State separate.  A town supporting a Christmas decoration does not intrude or imply a Christian breach into state affairs.  A violation of church and state affairs, which would be unconstitutional, would be for Pres. Biden to invite the Pope to dictate laws for America.  Is the distinction clear?  The separation of church and state has been a legal quagmire since 1879 SCOTUS decision on Reynolds v. United States.  Bad cases have made bad case law, and bad case law has left everyone scratching their heads and hostile!

Religion QuotePresident Thomas Jefferson wrote,

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”

Morality in society needs strong religious people who place supreme importance on living the tenets of their religion for liberty and freedom to grow and expand.  The Greek philosophers have been so twisted and plasticized that morality through philosophy is impossible.  Politics remains an ugly business, mainly due to the lack of morality lived by the individuals practicing political behavior.  Pick a politician, and we find problems living a moral centered lifestyle—President Clinton, well known, zero moral center.  President Obama had a pornography problem, among other less publicized moral issues.  Rep. Anthony Weiner had a sex problem with young girls.

Image - Politics is DirtyThe problem we have here is not just the lack of moral center in the politicians; it is the twisting of ethics, morals, and politics into a cohesive behavior that is the exact opposite of morality and ethical conduct required for holding public office.  Schools teach “Political Ethics,” “Moral and Political Philosophy,” and other twisted logic classes to excuse private indiscretions due to the politician’s public reputation.  Are the reasons clearer for why the definitions were discussed first?  I read a research report on ethics.  The moral decline in understanding terms became painfully obvious when behavior can be excused in a public official that would be criminal in a private individual.

A “Liberty FIRST Culture” must understand this precious connection.  Religion can be many things to many people.  Politics cannot in any way, shape, or form exist without morally centered religious people.  Liberty and freedom die with the citizen’s moral centeredness, not the politician, even though the politician plays a dynamic role as an example of proper ethical and moral conduct, publicly and privately.

Image - Eagle & FlagReference

Brookhiser, R. (2007). Chapter 4: God and Man. In What would the founders do? Our questions, their answers. New York, NY: Basic Books.

© 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.

 

NO MORE BS: Perspective – Another Powerful Tool

Garfield - Good Explanation NeededI am a foodie!  I love talking about food, creating recipes for food, eating food, redesigning recipes to make food better, and have spent a lot of time enjoying gustatory experimentation!  I can discuss the finer points of chocolate and carob, ginger, spices (including the history of spices) until people are drooling and begging me to stop.  I have no mouth-brain filter where food is concerned.  I like it hot or cold, and lots of it!  Thus it is no wonder I am a fan of Anton Ego from Disney/Pixar “Ratatouille.”  Anton Ego and I are slightly different; if he does not love food, he doesn’t swallow.  Me, I will try anything and eat to know more as a learning experience; perspective.

Anton Ego has a fabulous line:

“… Do you know what I’m craving?  A little perspective.  That’s it.  I’d like some perspective.”

One of the most pleasurable experiences I have is shopping at Trader Joe’s.  This is especially true when I get a fellow customer who wants to discuss food, recipes and is looking for a gustatory experience.  There have been times I have been led to a product by a fellow customer exclaiming how wonderful that is in this recipe, that recipe, or straight out of the package.  Trader Joe’s used to carry these pretzel rolls that went so good with BBQ pulled pork, pulled chicken, or brats.  You would have thought you had died and gone to food heaven!

Trader Joe'sTrader Joe’s has previously had some great frozen desserts.  For example, ginger and lemon ice cream from Italy, a salted caramel gelato that was to die for, and several other unique concoctions that went so well with other products you would have thought they would still be carried today; except they are not sold anymore.  Perspective in food makes being a foodie my hobby of interest.

Anton EgoPerspective is also a key element in political choices, book selections, car buying, and a host of other human endeavors.  Perspective is not simply an opinion, it is a way of seeing the world, and perspective is a choice that comes with natural consequences.  Over time, the perspective choice decision cycle determines a person’s destiny, friends, desires, foods, clothing, companions, and so much more.  How do we know this is true; look to the food choices and consequences involved in the perspective choice decision-making cycle.

Consider the following example.  As a kid, my mother was a deal hunter, and one day in March, she came home from shopping with a screaming good deal on fish.  Tuna fish, to be precise, in #10 sized cans, designed for restaurants, and she had purchased multiple cases of Tuna Fish.  From March through the end of July, we kids ate tuna fish in every possible recipe as dinner.  At this time, My father returned from a National Guard 2-week event that took his unit to Puerto Rico, where some R&R saw them deep-sea fishing.  Knowing that many of the other wives would kill their husbands for bringing back a HUGE sports fish, tuna, my dad was offered the “extra” fish caught.  Two days before Thanksgiving, we finally finished all the fish!  The dog and cats would not touch fish, raccoons in our neighborhood would not touch the fish.  As a point of fact, scavengers of all types and sizes refused our yard and garbage due to the fish.  Thus, I do NOT eat anything with fish, even to this day, almost 40-years after this incident.Anton Ego 3

Perspective and choices, with natural consequences, leaves me in a NO Fish Zone!  I will eat protein from every other source, but if it’s fish, it doesn’t matter how it was cooked; you can keep it!  US Navy, Surf n’ Turf dinner night, I would turf, and the surf could go down the drain without any problem, except the smell of the surf prepared was enough to make me gag and refuse most food that night!  Boy, was this a funny joke in the US Navy, a sailor who would not eat fish.  Made only funnier when I refused to swim in the ocean.  On land, I am the top of the food chain; in the ocean, I AM the food chain!  Guess who doesn’t swim in the ocean!

Perspective and choices with natural consequences.  It has been pointed out that regardless of the candidate offered, 40% of the population on both sides of the aisle will continue to vote for the ticket; this is true for democrats and republicans.  Leaving a 20% middle ground where the elections are won and lost, provided you have honest people counting the ballots, and skullduggery have not biased the counting machines.  I am proud to be part of the 20%; I have been an independent voter since I lost a sixth-grade debate over Mike Dukakis.

Anton Ego 4A lesson I learned from that debate was the value of perception and choices, but I didn’t fully appreciate that lesson until I was much older.  Those natural consequences of perception and choice in decision-making remain a powerful tool, only if we choose to allow that perspective to change.  Religion and politics are two topics we did not discuss as children; yet, those two topics are the topics my brothers and sister struggle with the most.  Worse, the topics continue to remain a taboo subject even though religion hopping and political leanings are issues that are infecting the entire world right now.

A person’s perception and choices over religion and politics are the two topics that we all need more openness in discussing; however, emotions, lawyers, and snowflakes make an honest discussion all but impossible to have.  I have been on social media when atheists post something; if a non-atheists submits information, the tone automatically changes, accusations and aspersions are cast, and all hope of an open discussion is ruined.  I have seen the same with abortion, economics, and so many other topics.  The politics and the religion of those participating, both of which are a choice in the perceptive/choice decision-making cycle, end the honest discussion, and the tone and environment turn off people looking to discuss, worse too often, those attacking become trolls and attack outside the discussion

Anton Ego 2Part of living in a Republic is the need to form opinions based upon our individual knowledge, experience, and perspective choice decisions.  Living in a Republic is messy; this is a good thing!  The more chaotic, the better because it means freedom is alive and kicking.  When a Republic becomes less messy, people lose their rights to speech, privacy, liberty, and freedom.  Do you understand this connection and relationship?  Your perspective builds your opinions and biases.  Your opinions and biases make a Republic messy, and this is a good thing.  Please, engage and form perspectives, originate an opinion, and make yourself heard!

© 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.

NO MORE BS: The Role of the Rule of Law

GavelRome made global history when it wrote down its laws and posted these laws in a manner that told everyone that the law was the highest order in the land, and everyone is held to the same legal standard.  Writing down laws was nothing new in societies; the Jews had written and codified their laws long before Rome, but to hold everyone accountable to the same legal standard set Rome apart and blessed their land.  Why did Rome eventually fall; they stopped holding everyone responsible to one rule of law.

What is the Role of Law?

Ask a lawyer this question, and you will get a similar answer to the following:

Laws provide a framework and rules to help resolve disputes between individuals. Laws create a system where individuals can bring their disputes before an impartial fact-finder, such as a judge or jury.”

Frankly, my experience with lawyers is as productive as my relationship with the VA, hostile and not productive.  Hence, I infer that the law’s role in society is to bring order to a social environment, produce equality under the law, and punish those who decide to break the law.  Law is an expectation, a social contract, that restricts and constricts behavior to a socially acceptable level.

Thin Blue LineConsider today’s tragic events in Boulder, Colorado.  Before the blood was even clean at the scene, we have the President and selected hysterical gun-grabbing politicians making hay and demanding “gun reform.”  Except, “Gun Reform” always means stealing guns from legal owners and doing nothing about illegal gun holders.  Nothing is being urged to avoid and eliminate criminal behaviors with a firearm.  The Rule of Law’s role only applies to those who choose to live according to society’s laws and rules.  Those choosing to live outside society’s rules are terrorists and need to be treated as such!

President Lincoln is quoted thus:

Let every American, every lover of Liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their abuse by others. As the Patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear [down] the character of his own, and his children’s Liberty. Let reverence for the [Constitutional] laws [of America]… become the political religion of the nation.” President Lincoln is quoted thus: “Let every American, every lover of Liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their abuse by others. As the Patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear [down] the character of his own, and his children’s Liberty. Let reverence for the [Constitutional] laws [of America]… become the political religion of the nation.”

President Lincoln continued to proclaim:

When I so pressingly urge a strict observance of all the laws, let me not be understood as saying there are no bad laws, nor that grievances may not arise, for the redress of which, no legal provisions have been made, I mean to say no such thing. But I do mean to say, that, although bad laws, if they exist, should be repealed as soon as possible, still while they continue in force, for the sake of example, they should be religiously observed.” The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume I, “Address Before the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois” (January 27, 1838), p. 112.

Does President Lincoln’s plea inspire you, encourage you, and provide direction for improving the government moving forward?  The role of the “Rule of Law” is to empower and motivate people, to create order in a society, and to constrict and restrict behaviors for those choosing to live outside societal norms and acceptable behaviors.  Is the role of the “Rule of Law” clear?

President AdamsWhat is the “Rule of Law?”

As President Lincoln was quoted above, the “Rule of Law” in America is:

“[The] support of the Declaration of Independence, the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear [down] the character of his own, and his children’s Liberty. Let reverence for the [Constitutional] laws [of America] … become the political religion of the nation.”

Are laws currently abusing America; absolutely!  Herein is the charge to action; the government has chosen to declare you are the US Government’s property (Reich, 1964).  Charles Reich’s discussion on “New Property” is unacceptable and unconstitutional in the extreme.  The lack of treating the western states in a constitutional manner is also unconstitutional.  The theft of farmer’s goods, fisherman’s wares, and ranchers’ products remain 100% unconstitutional.  Yet, the bureaucrats’ actions and the politicians continue to treat you and me as unwanted property in our own country.

ApathyLike Rome, the legislators and the President are not above the “Rule of Law.”  Even though these people continue to consider themselves above the “Rule of Law.”  Worse, no matter how many laws a country produces, if the society is immoral, the “Rule of Law” is a joke.  Consider the knife and machete attacks in the United Kingdom, outlaw guns, and people are still finding ways and means to hurt other people.  France has stringent laws, yet people rent vehicles and mow their neighbors down in case lots.  Japan, very orderly society; how do criminals make the news there; they use chemicals to poison their neighbors on a subway.  Laws do not dictate moral behavior, ever!

Laws can only, ever, restrict and constrain those amenable to living a moral life.  A “Liberty FIRST Culture” understands this principle and protects itself accordingly.  Bringing this topic to a subject closely related to the “Rule of Law,” morals, morality, and moral living are all products of people amenable to religious belief structures.  Those people who desire to maintain connections to a religious society act their ideology through living a moral life.

Life ValuedI am not saying everyone needs to change religions; I am claiming that religion plays a significant role in reducing people’s animal minds to become amenable to living in a social order that respects the law and being ruled by law to enjoy maximum freedom.  We also need to be clear, atheism is a religion per Webster, and while this is a topic for another article, religion is a codified belief system with adherents that form a social order based upon expectations of behavior.  Liberty and freedom require choices; choices require more than a single option or two for a person to make more; Liberty and freedom require written and codified moral statements that grow from living a moral lifestyle.

© 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.

Atheism – A Religion: Understanding Brings Knowledge

Are we in trouble?  We didn't do it!!!
Are we in trouble? We didn’t do it!!!

Public Service Announcement:  I cannot find where I originally posted this article.  So I edited the article, and am re-posting here.  Please note, I respect people’s choices to believe as they will, provided their beliefs do not interfere with the liberty of someone else to worship as they please.  The same day I originally wrote this article, the following fictional analogy came across my feed, and I include it here as a point of interest.

In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other: ‘Do you believe in life after delivery?’
The other replied, ‘Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.’
‘Nonsense,’ said the first. ‘There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?’
The second said, ‘I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.’
The first replied, ‘That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.’
The second insisted, ‘Well, I think there is something, and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.’
The first replied, ‘Nonsense. And moreover, if there is life, why has no one ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery, there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.’
‘Well, I don’t know,’ said the second, ‘but certainly we will meet Mother, and she will take care of us.’
The first replied, ‘Mother? Do you actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists, then where is She now?’
The second said, ‘She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her, this world would not and could not exist.’
Said the first: ‘Well, I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.’
To which the second replied, ‘Sometimes, when you’re in silence, and you focus, and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.’” (Pablo Molinero).

Detective 3Recently, Atheist Republic posted a question on LinkedIn that was intriguing and promoting a multi-week discussion.  As I seemed to have kicked over an anthill, I figured I would expound on the principles discussed to more fully detail why atheism is just another religion.  Agree or disagree as you choose; however, all I ask is your consideration of the ideas discussed.  Through the use of language and the accepted definitions from reputable sources, I posit that atheists and theists are closer together than they are apart.  Atheists have taken for their religion the only belief that separates, a cognitive refusal to believe in god, God, or gods, as supreme authorities in the cosmos.  Other items that can be considered religions include daily routines.  When taken too far, consumerism becomes a religion to those thus engaged, as do sports, debt, and any other belief that creates enthusiasm in the individual.  Many theists will find significant support among atheists regarding these different beliefs.

Religious ThoughtAtheists do not have a belief structure in god, God, and gods.  An absolute insistence that there are no supreme beings is a belief structure and an organized belief system.  Consider for a moment that a particular religion believes that a gigantic beet runs the universe; the atheist would automatically reject this for lack of evidence.  Star Trek: Next Generation had “Q,” a potent being in the galaxy; again, a supreme power the atheist will reject out of hand.  I met an atheist and a theist who both insisted that their belief systems allowed them to be rude, crude, disrespectful, and so forth as a method of worshiping and acting — proving, to me, that individual belief is stronger than training and the traditions of their parents, communities, and society.  Two more miserable people I have never found an equal; yet, together, these two people found and lived after their manner and understanding of happiness.

As an organized belief structure, and in the most exact definition of the word, atheism is a religion.  Every person spouting non-belief is a belief structure.  In describing their beliefs to others, which begins with, “I believe…”  More to the point, Webster, the accepted repository for words, has religion defined as “a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.”  It is of supreme importance to atheists to not believe anything; thus, we can only conclude that atheism is a religion.

President AdamsI have found that atheists have a specific personal belief structure regarding god, God, or gods that then is projected onto others.  While many times the atheists are not finding their expected belief structure reflected, the atheist becomes hostile to all others they come in contact with and attempt to change other people’s beliefs through legal or other force mechanisms.  Individual belief, even if not shared, can be considered a religion to that person; hence, Webster’s definition is very accurate and applicable to this discussion.  Regardless of the belief in god, God, or gods, there are other beliefs of supreme importance to the atheist that makes up their religion.  The Cambridge Unabridged Dictionary carries a similar definition, “an activity that someone is extremely enthusiastic about and regularly does.”

Religion QuoteHenry Chester is quoted as saying, enthusiasm is the greatest asset in the world; it beats money, power, and influence; it is nothing more than faith in action.  Not believing in, or following, a god, God, or gods is of supreme importance to atheists. Other beliefs are based upon the personal theology and behavior, dogma, mantra, etc., of the person. Thus, those beliefs range from abortion through environmental activities and feelings to the power of food, science, and so much more. Without a core written tenet, the only belief that is universally accepted as distinguishing atheists from theists is the belief in god, God, or gods.

According to Webster and Cambridge, religion carries the following definitions and related words. “ideas about the relationship between science and religion.”  Synonymous with: faith, belief, divinity, worship, creed, teaching,  doctrine, theology, sect, cult, religious group, faith community, church, denomination, body, following, persuasion, affiliation.  “A particular system of faith and worship.”  Synonymous with: faith, religion, religious belief(s), religious persuasion, religious conviction, religious group, faith community, church, persuasion, affiliation, denomination, sect, following, communion order, school, fraternity, brotherhood, and sisterhood.

Religion Quote 2One of the most egregious issues in our world today is the plasticization of words to exclude all definitions, but the “common” definition, usually known as the first definition found in a dictionary.  Common definitions do not provide the complete etiology of a word; thus, closing minds to the language’s glory.  As a noun, theology defines as “religious beliefs and theory when systematically developed.”  Hence, when taken together, religion being beliefs that are of supreme importance, when systematically considered and developed, can be attached to any belief one chooses to raise to the level of devotion.  Even non-belief is regarded as a religion and theology.  People have chosen belief structures that include thousands of different topics, including, but not limited to, people, animals, and methods of living.  I have met footballers, American and European, whose devotion to their sport is a religion!  I know one religion that worships making beer; thus, belief and non-belief in god, God, or gods is not so farfetched.

We could speak about lines of congruence, paradox, and assimilation brought about by religious organizations, including the fellowship reward obtained by adherence to a specific religious flavor.  We could speak about how everything that exists in theism is directly observable in atheism.  Atheism and those claiming to be atheists are a religious organization in every meaning and aspect of Webster’s definition. Substitute god, God, or gods, with whatever is the most substantial item clung to, e.g., science, math, football, consumerism, abortion, climate change, etc., and you have a type of religiousness recognizable by every theist in existence.

Non Sequitur - Carpe DiemAtheists and Theists have a belief structure centered around god, God, or gods. I have met many beautiful people who were raised in homes with a belief structure that was absent a centrally recognized god, God, or gods, whom theists would term “non-believers,” atheists would term “atheists,” and both terms would not apply.  To first be a theist or atheist, one must have been taught about a god, God, or gods.  The people I discuss have a belief structure and system made from their fathers/mothers, tribes, and society’s traditions.  Thus, they are not unbelievers or non-believers, as they have a belief structure and system.  They are not atheists as they have not been taught god, God, or gods; thus, the only term I know to use is “person.”  We choose the labels we call ourselves.

If atheism is not a religion, why do atheists cling to the “Freedom of Religion” clause in the US Constitution? Why do atheists cling to the Freedom of religion clauses in all countries allowing Freedom of religion and then try to warp the laws of those countries into Freedom from religion?  It seems atheists cannot claim “Freedom of religion” and not be a religion.

moral-valuesInherent to understanding Freedom of religion, by necessity, requires understanding “Freedom from religion.”  However, a specific set of beliefs that a person is enthusiastic about forms a religious belief; thus, the phrase “Freedom from religion” itself is a misnomer and fallacy.  The separation of church and state is meant to protect your right to believe and not believe in a supreme being, defending your beliefs from government oppression.  Then no religion can claim authority over others, and all are equal and free to exist without fear. Atheists are covered by the Freedom of religion, as are theists.  The Freedom of Religion clause in the US Constitution implies a people can rid themselves of all religion as a personal choice and ritual, without cause to fear reprisals from any government body.

Atheists cannot have it both ways, claiming Freedom of religion, then demanding Freedom from religion, all at the expense of other religions! Hence, returning to the original point, atheism is a religion.  Atheism is an organized belief structure centered around the refusal, after being taught, of god, God, and gods.  Atheism is a belief system where the refusal to believe in god, God, or gods, then cultivates an entire process of a belief that leads to action, enthusiasm for those stated beliefs, e.g., or non-beliefs, as a tool for governing behavior.

Freedom's LightDogma, “a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.”  This definition is straight from Webster and a congruent description found in the Cambridge dictionary.  By experience, every atheist I have ever crossed paths with, takes upon themselves the authority to lay down the principle of no supreme being, as incontrovertibly true, plus belligerently insists that all others must bow to this belief structure.  I am not saying this makes the atheist right or wrong; I am saying that atheism has a dogma, and is very much a religion, and a religious belief, based solely upon not believing in a supreme being.

In conclusion, I consider the following three points as central to a peaceful society under the US Constitution and inclusive of all state’s laws where religion, and religious free exercise, is concerned:quote-mans-inhumanity-2

      1. The world is not split between theists and atheists. Not believing in a supreme power can be caused by a lack of education and experience. To be an atheist, a choice is required after schooling is provided for Freedom of religion.
      2. Not sharing another person’s theology doesn’t make either person right or wrong. I do not have to share in the rituals of other believers to have a shared identity. Simple respect for those closely held beliefs is all that is needed.
      3. Provided the moral values of a religious belief do not interfere with my rights under the US Constitution, let them worship “… how, where, or what they may.”

© 2019 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.