Today is not about the date.
Today is not about fireworks.
Today is not about backyard cookouts.
Today is not about a piece of cloth with the colors red, white & blue.
Today is not about patriotism.
Today is about an idea. The greatest idea in the history of civilized mankind.
One that unfortunately, all too often we lose sight of and ignore.
The idea that we are free people and not subjects of a monarchy or a tyrannical government. Government comes from the consent of the people and not the whims of the ruling class.
“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…”
Notice the word “pursuit.” Happiness has become an expectation, something that people feel they are entitled to and must be supplied to them by the government.
Every couple of years we fool ourselves into thinking this next person will be different, this one will be the person that will truly make a difference and who will fix all of our problems. However, what we end up with is a big load of garbage in the form of more rules & regulations and less freedom for everyone, irregardless of where your beliefs lie in the made up Red State / Blue State political spectrum that the media force feeds us.
Stop expecting happiness to come from the false promises of politicians and realize, much like the founders did in 1776, that the true path to happiness is through liberty. Free people with the freedom to make their own choices in life and the freedom to live with the consequences of those choices.
Stop looking towards the government for answers and start looking from within. Stop trying to regulate and enforce and standardize your view of happiness on the whole country.
To paraphrase Billy Joel, go ahead with your own life and leave everyone else alone.
Early this morning, President-elect Donald Trump took to social media to announce his desire to take a piss all over the Bill of Rights. “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” Is what he posted to twitter.
That belief is a slap in the face to those who truly value our liberty.
In the 1989 US Supreme Court case, Texas v. Johnson, a split court (5-4) held that burning an American flag as political protest is a form of symbolic speech protected by the First Amendment.
At a demonstration during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Gregory Lee Johnson, a member of the evolutionary Communist Youth Brigade, was involved in a political demonstration that turned violent. The demonstrators marched through the streets, shouted chants, destroyed property, broke windows and threw trash, soiled diapers, beer cans and various other items, and held signs outside the offices of several companies. At one point, another demonstrator handed Johnson an American flag stolen from a flagpole outside one of the targeted buildings.
Johnson was charged with violating a Texas law that prohibited the desecration of a venerated object. He was convicted, sentenced to one year in prison, and fined $2,000. He appealed his conviction to the Fifth Court of Appeals of Texas, but he lost this appeal. On appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals the court overturned his conviction, saying that the State could not punish Johnson for burning the flag because the First Amendment protects such activity as symbolic speech.
The case eventually made it’s way to the Supreme Court and in their decision the court found that the right to free speech does not end at the spoken or written word, but also includes “symbolic speech.”
Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Reagan appointee, in his concurrence expressed the sentiment that sometimes standing up for liberty, means standing up for things that you don’t agree with.
The hard fact is that sometimes we must make decisions we do not like. We make them because they are right, right in the sense that the law and the Constitution, as we see them, compel the result. And so great is our commitment to the process that, except in the rare case, we do not pause to express distaste for the result, perhaps for fear of undermining a valued principle that dictates the decision. This is one of those rare cases.
Our colleagues in dissent advance powerful arguments why respondent may be convicted for his expression, reminding us that among those who will be dismayed by our holding will be some who have had the singular honor of carrying the flag in battle. And I agree that the flag holds a lonely place of honor in an age when absolutes are distrusted and simple truths are burdened by unneeded apologetics.
With all respect to those views, I do not believe the Constitution gives us the right to rule as the dissenting Members of the Court urge, however painful this judgment is to announce. Though symbols often are what we ourselves make of them, the flag is constant in expressing beliefs Americans share, beliefs in law and peace and that freedom which sustains the human spirit. The case here today forces recognition of the costs to which those beliefs commit us. It is poignant but fundamental that the flag protects those who hold it in contempt.
This morning after seeing, Chairman of the Libertarian Party, Nicholas Sarwark post his own brief thoughts on flag-burning to Facebook, I went ahead and shared my own updated version of that
I want to make this clear, I believe that the act of burning the American flag is a sick and disgusting thing to do. Furthermore, I believe that individuals who purposely desecrate the flag are asshole’s of the highest order.
I just believe that, you either believe in liberty or you don’t. Those flag burning assholes have the same right to burn Old Glory as I have to think they are assholes for doing it.
I will defend their right to be assholes until my dying breath.
In a conversation about the topic with a co-worker, I was accused of being “lukewarm” on the issue and told that burning a flag is disrespectful to the brave soldiers who died for that flag.
To that I said, only tyrants lock people in jail for the victimless crime of burning a piece of cloth. No man died for a piece of cloth, they died for the idea that that piece of cloth represented. Amongst those ideas, as our founding fathers so eloquently put it is that we “… are endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
To lock someone up for burning a flag, makes us no better then the type of despots we claim to have opposed, if we start doing that… then those soldiers who many claim “die for the flag,” will truly have died for nothing.
Member’s of the Cuban population of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood (as seen in the picture above), Cuban ex-patriots and lovers of liberty everywhere can rejoice that an evil, vile, tyrant has passed on to the thereafter.
For nearly six decades Cuba has been a totalitarian island, filled with forced labor camps, firing squads, imprisonment of political dissidents, religious repression and many more crimes against the basic rights of humanity.
Castro’s death, sadly does not erase the crimes against the people of Cuba that his regime committed, nor does it end the oppression still going on today as his 85-year-old brother Raul, who has been in charge since 2008, is still alive.
Cuba still has a long way to go, but there is nothing wrong in taking the time to celebrate the death of a tyrant.
This is why I am voting for Gary Johnson.
I too was caught up in the “we’ll light up their world like the 4th of July” emotion that swept the Nation after the heinous actions of radical extremists on September 11th.
But after 15 years, what has the countless wars brought our Republic other then thousands of grave-sites that were filled way too soon.
I support the brave men and women of our Armed Forces and those who have lost friends and family in our “war on terror.” Yes Saddam Hussein was an evil vile man, Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban were evil. But is the Middle East any better off today for our actions? Are we better off today for our actions?
I think if anyone takes the time to honestly think and reflect upon that question, the answer would be a resounding NO.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a government agency that has no business existing, recently enacted ridiculously stringent guidelines that severely threaten the cigar smoking and pipe tobacco hobbies.
Amongst the asinine measures enacted by the FDA that went into effect last August is what amounts to a ban on charitable donations of tobacco products. Including those intended for the troops.
Via The Tampa Bay Times:
Among the regulations is what many interpret as a ban on the charitable donation of tobacco products. Premium cigarmakers and retailers like Thompson that have donated thousands of cigars each year risk fines or other sanctions if they keep giving.
Their hands, they say, are tied.
“The troops are out there putting their lives on the line to protect our freedoms, rights and privileges, and the federal government is taking away those same freedoms and rights,” said Rocky Patel, owner of Rocky Patel Premium Cigar Co. in Bonita Springs. “This is how we can give back to our country and it’s amazing the FDA unilaterally seeks to take that away. It just hurts me we’re not going to be able to do this anymore.”
The freeze on donations is a troubling development for Mark Van Trees.
Van Trees runs Support the Troops, a Wesley Chapel-based nonprofit organization that sends care packages to bases in locations such as Afghanistan and Iraq.
Cigars are the second-most-requested item in those packages, behind coffee and ahead of toothpaste and tube socks, Van Trees said.
“It means the world to these guys who love to sit by the fire and smoke some sticks,” Van Trees said. “This is going to put a huge hole in what we do for them.”
Retired Army Sgt. Charles Claybaker of St. Petersburg knows firsthand the joy of puffing on a fine cigar far from home.
In 2009, Claybaker was serving with a 3rd Ranger Battalion platoon at a base in a remote, mountainous part of Afghanistan when a “Support the Troops” package arrived with cigars and playing cards, among other items. As a commanding officer, Claybaker was charged with keeping up morale, and the stogies helped.
“After a long mission and you get into a firefight or something like that, it’s nice to have a cigar and play cards with your buddies,” he said. “For a few minutes, it just makes you feel like you’re back home, like you’re American again, especially in a place like Afghanistan that culturally is so extraordinarily different.” Read More…
U.S. Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL 14th District), is leading the fight in Congress to help put premium cigars back in the hands of our soldiers.
“The FDA’s regulation of individually-rolled, premium cigars in general is unreasonable and has led to unintentional, but very real consequences, like halting one of the most popular charitable donations to our troops,” Castor said in a statement, according to FOX News.
Yesterday, Castor filed H.R. 5955, a bill that would once again allow for the charitable contribution of premium cigars to U.S. soldiers serving the country around the globe.
HR 5955 is summarized as, “To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to allow the charitable distribution of traditional large and premium cigars to members of the Armed Forces, and for other purposes.”
Now 1) I would rather have our soldiers back home instead of nation building in the Middle East and 2) I’d rather see a bill that not only ends the FDA’s stupid regulations of the cigar industry but ends the FDA itself — but this is a good start. It’s not often that I get the opportunity to salute a Democrat, but kudos to you Representative Castor!
If you are trying to hide from law enforcement, it’s probably not a very good idea to advertise yourself to them on social media. Seriously, what is it about Florida that makes the criminals there so stupid?
Via ABC News:
Police responded to a call late Monday night about an alleged battery at a house in Stuart, Florida, Bossio told ABC News today.
Although the suspect had fled the scene, the alleged victim identified Mack Yearwood, 42, as the suspect and gave the officer an address where Yearwood was staying, police said. The officer passed that information along to his colleagues working the next day, police said.
Police said that as they began to research Yearwood, they discovered that he had two outstanding warrants in Florida, and they came across his Facebook page. Police then arrested Yearwood at his brother’s house on Tuesday in connection to those warrants, one of which was issued in Citrus County.
The mug shot he posted on Facebook came from that county. The Citrus County Sheriff’s Department did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.
“The patrol guys, to look where he was and for some intelligence, they went to his Facebook page,” Bossio said. “They discovered that he used his wanted poster for his Facebook profile.”
Bossio added that Yearwood was sleeping at his brother’s home when officers arrived and asked an officer to hand him his pants. “When he was putting his jeans on, a bag of weed fell out,” Bossio said — resulting in a cannabis possession charge.
Yearwood asked police not to charge him for that, according to the police incident report.
He has not been charged in the recent battery allegation because the case is still under investigation, police said. Read More…
… in Florida.
Not Donald’s Trump’s BFF, the 64-year-old ex-KGB dictator of Russia, but a man with the same name.
Via The Smoking Gun:
Putin, 48, was collared last week after cops responded to a 911 call about a man causing a disturbance at a Publix supermarket in West Palm Beach.
According to witnesses, Putin was yelling at Publix employees and ignored demands to leave the business. Read More…
Putin is scheduled for a September 26th court appearance.
This past Friday evening, prior to his team’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided, in an act of protest, not to stand for the traditional playing of the national anthem prior to kickoff. Kaepernick defended his actions with the following statement:
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
I won’t go into the details of the type of responses towards his actions Kaepernick has received, but if you check out the comments section of any pro-Trump website or almost any twitter user that has the hashtag #TrumpTrain in their bio, you’ll be subject to some stuff that might even make the most hardcore Klansman blush.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with Kaepernick’s actions one bit, furthermore, I disagree with his reasoning behind his refusal to stand for the anthem. The idea that the Unites States of America, in 2016, is a country that “oppresses black people and people of color,” is a flat-out ignorant belief to hold.
That being said I find it somewhat ironic that many of those who are the most vocal in their disdain of Kaepernick’s stance are those who consider themselves conservative. What is so conservative about blind devotion to the State?
Had our Founders wanted a national anthem at the creation of our republic, would they have not taken the time to adopt one? It wasn’t until the 20th Century, thanks to the father of the modern progressive movement, Woodrow Wilson, that we even had an “official” national anthem.
Woodrow Wilson, the man who pretty much spent his entire life trying to destroy the dedication to natural rights and limited government that the framers put into our republic through our founding documents, is the man who spearheaded the effort to make The Star Spangled Banner our national anthem. Let that sink in for a moment.
Patriotism and love of country are not bad things, as a matter of fact American conservatism has always included a strong sense of both. What is alarming in recent years, particularly in this most recent election cycle, is the confusion of patriotism and nationalism, the latter of which goes against the heart of the conservative principles of individual liberty and limited government of which our republic was founded.
The 49ers organization issues the following response to their quarterback’s actions:
The National Anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.
They are absolutely right
If you disagree with Colin Kaepernick and want to show your displeasure with the 49ers and the NFL for not taking stiff action against his act of defiance by boycotting the team, the league or their sponsors that is also your right as well.
While I don’t hold the somewhat radical view that suggests that standing for the national anthem or reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is designed to deprive one of individuality while instilling blind nationalism — I can’t in good conscience deny someone the freedom to refuse to stand, even if I find his reasoning repulsive.
Apparently the old woman who “repaired” the fresco of Jesus in Spain, is now employed as a police sketch artist in Pennsylvania.
Berks County, Pa. (WTXF) Cumru Township police say they are searching for suspect wanted for a food mart robbery.
According to police, on Monday August 8, Cumru Township police were dispatched to the Valero–Shillington Food Mart, located at 110 Revere Blvd, for a robbery that had just occurred.
Police say the suspect entered the store wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, possibly blue in color, with the hood up and pulled tightly around the suspect’s face. The suspect was also wearing gray sweatpants with white stripes down the side of the pant legs.
According to investigators, the suspect approached the counter, displayed a knife, and demanded money by stating, “Give me the money.” The suspect was described by the cashier as a white male, approximately six feet tall, with a thin build.
Police say after receiving an undisclosed amount of cash from the cashier, the suspect fled the Valero– Shillington Food Mart and ran north crossing Shillington Road into the Lincoln Park area of Spring Township, according to police. Read More…
Maybe Hugh Jackman can hunt him down.
Seen at a recent Kansas City Chiefs game.
Nicholas Salerno, 90, of Dennis Port, Massachusetts, was charged recently with solicitation of a prostitute. The charge came after he had called the police to report that the call girl had stolen a necklace from him after the act.
Salerno reportedly paid 48-year-old Karen Proia $100 on June 22nd to take a taste of his beefy bologna.
He told police she used the bathroom in his house and he later noticed his necklace was missing. He reported the alleged theft to police June 30, records show.
Police recovered the necklace at Bass River Coin, records state.
A police officer told Salerno he also would be charged with a crime, for soliciting a prostitute, to which Salerno responded, “I don’t give a (expletive). I’m 90 years old …” according to court documents. Read More…
According to the police report, Salerno informed the officer that arrived to file the theft report that he had made, that he had learned about Proia from a friend who had told him that he had paid her for a blowjob and she’d do it for him too.
Salerno’s necklace was found later at a local pawn shop, a worker there told police that Proia had recently brought it in.
The charge of soliciting for Salerno was eventually dropped and Proia faces a September 1st court appearance for prostitution and larceny.
In a just world she’d just be facing charges for stealing the necklace, the other thing was just a business agreement between the two.
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