Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Morning musings.

~3:30 a.m. Roll over in bed, look at time projected on ceiling, wonder why I am awake at this hour. Again. Pet the cat who wanders over to see what the fuss is about.

~4:30 a.m. Roll over in bed, look at the time, and wonder I am not asleep. Again. Kick the cat because he is attacking my feet. Again.

5:00 a.m. Cell phone alarm goes off. Reach up to window sill, silence alarm, lay in bed while trying to understand what is going on. Right. Morning. Maybe I'll call in dead?

5:04 a.m. Heave myself out of bed, stumble to the bath room (petting the cat who is laying on the corner of the bed) and start the shower. (Optional, start coffee before shower) Shower, brush teeth, wash hair, etc.

5:15 a.m. Second alarm goes off (in case the first alarm didn't get me up). Still in shower. Ignore. It silences itself.

5:20 a.m. Second alarm repeats, since it got no reply the first time. Stepping out of shower, silence alarm. Dry off. Walk to scales and weigh myself. Comb hair.

5:25 a.m. Get dressed after entering weight into www.fitbit.com.

5:26 a.m. Get distracted from getting dressed by the lure of checking my webcomics and news sites.

5:30 a.m. Third alarm goes off. Silence alarm and drop phone into shirt pocket of  the dress shirt I put one while reading interwebs.

5:40 a.m. Notice time, finish getting dressed, put lunch and breakfast in bag, make sure I have phone, comb, name badge, spare cash for water if needed on walk home. Make sure FitBit is in belt clip

5:45-6:00 a.m. Turn off lights, computer, etc, finish optional coffee, walk out door and lock it. Start walking to work.

~24 minutes after leaving apt, arrive at work. (Usually 6:24 a.m.) Meet supervisor out side building as he enjoys first cup of work coffee. Talk about previous day, plan for day ahead, talk family. Chew fat.

~6:30 a.m. Put lunch in freezer at work. Start breakfast cooking.

~6:35 a.m. Sit down at desk, let food cool off. Log into PC, start loading work programs. Go get coffee and water. Come back to desk. Finish loading programs.

~6:40 a.m. Listen to morning voicemail from CEO on store sales and other noted events. Load morning websites.

6:45 a.m. Clock in, log into phone, start work.

We all have our little quirks, our habits, our patterns. Sometimes they are created because we can't stand an unstructured life, sometimes they are imposed on us by our career (military life comes to mind), and sometimes by our loved ones, children who need to be up in time for the bus in the morning.

For me, it was about survival. Not life or death, but I wanted to keep my job. My car went Kaput, and begging rides is not how I roll. (Heh... Rides... how I *roll*... get it? Ahem) I have to either walk or bike to work. The bike needs some work done on it, so I am walking. When the car first stopped on me, I didn't have a bike to use, so I was walking regardless.

I knew, without a doubt, that the ONLY way I was going to show up on time was to turn my morning into a regimented routine with a built in room for error. You may have heard the axiom "Hope for the best, plan for the worst." I've read enough military sci-fi to understand that the best thing to plan for first is your "Go-To-Hell" plan. That way, when if you are still working on other projects and plans and things suddenly go to hell, you have a plan for it. My go to hell plan is to call my boss and beg a ride if I am running really late. He knows this, and has offered rides before, so I don't feel too sorry about it. When my car was working, my go to hell plan was walking. It's a good thing I had a plan.

When I was at Multnomah, I had a 7am class. Ugh. I ended up with a similar routine in place to get me to class. I am not a morning person, but I am a routine person. If I have a routine in place, I follow it fairly well. A little too well, sometimes. One morning I stumbled into the cafeteria for breakfast and the lady there scanning meal cards looked at me and declared "You're late!" It turns out I was five minutes later than when I normally would walk in. I didn't know I was that regular, I just followed my routine. I had to. If I didn't, I wouldn't make it to class.

There are three things I want to highlight. The first two are ones that really only came to me as I was writing this.

1) What routines do we have, good or bad, in our lives? How can we remove the bad ones, and replace them with good ones? How can we use these good routines in our lives? What do bad ones or poorly built ones do to negatively impact our lives?

2) What is your "Go-To-Hell" plan?Do you have a plan for getting items of value to safety if you need to evacuate? I do. Do you have a plan to get to work if the car breaks down? I do (obviously). My co-worker just called in saying he was in a bad wreck. (He said he is ok, by the way, but prayers appreciated.) Do we have a plan to get him to work once the on site stuff is settled? Yep. At work we just did a major revision of our emergency planning for all kinds of problems. (Most begin with "grab the firebag and run like crazy.") We have a plan. Do you?

3) How many people don't have a job to plan for? How many people do not have the privilege of going to work in the morning, of earning money. How many have given up hope of a future? Americans have been accused of being lazy. And to some degree, that may be true. But one thing that has always been true is that by and large, Americans are not afraid of work. As a country, we need to work, we need to move, we need to have something to plan for. We cannot do this when we are taxed to heavily, when our employers are forced to pay higher premiums on insurance, and after being fleeced to pay for government programs for the poor, they cannot afford to hire the poor. The needy. The hungry. The ones willing to work.

The answer is not to support our poor in their poverty. It is to keep them uncomfortable in it, to let the employers have the money they need to hire more people, to let the poor lift them selves out of poverty by getting a job, even if it is minimum wage, and to plan and hope for a better future. To have a reason for a Go-To-Hell plan, because they are no longer in it. Power over poverty does not rest in the government.

It rests with the people.

These are things I think about when walking to work.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Thoughts on the nature of sin.

No big prognostications or throwing patriotism in peoples faces today. Just some meandering thoughts.

In writing a story of mine a few years back (need to finish it, dernit), I had to have one character explain the nature sin to another character. Particularly, I needed one woman, Sara, who is a Christian, to explain how she can believe in Christ, follow Him, and stand against sins like homosexuality, when she herself is attracted to women.

Chloe, the other woman in the scene, doesn't understand how Sara reconcile her natural desires and the belief in a God who would have her deny those desires. How is that a loving God?

The problem, of course, is that for Sara to adequately explain this, I have to be able to adequately explain it. Oh, joy.

In the end, I came up with a somewhat odd theory.

Some people are born with physical deformities. Some or benign, if a little odd. Dwarfism, comes to mind. Nothing wrong or bad about dwarfism, it's just not the norm. Having a sixth finger. Purple eyes. All benign, just... different.

Some are not so benign. Siamese twins, with the possible health and social consequences, autism, children born missing part or all of limbs, born with cancer already riddling their bodies, heart conditions, etc. These threaten the very lives of the ones who have them, and if they are not killed, they can still suffer tremendous hurdles in their path for the rest of their lives.

The same is true for us spiritually, I believe.

Some of us are born with benign spiritual deformities. I like puns. A lot. :D I have a hard time feeling a connection to a given place or object the way other people do. Others have a hard time relating to others emotions. Generally benign, they are the little quirks that make us unique.

And some are as dangerous as physical conditions. I have a temper that sometimes gets me in trouble. I have a innate fear that everyone at some point is out to get me, and have a very hard time trusting people because of it. There are people who have a spiritual mutation that causes them to desire things they should not. Sex outside of God's intention, premarital, extramarital, homosexual, bisexual, bestiality, etc. Some are masochists, some are anorexic, and some are suicidal.

Many of the strange ideas I have seen that I know are against the Word of God is, quite frankly, unfathomable to me. Bestiality, for one, makes me want to puke. Ditto for male homosexuality. I guess since I am attracted to woman, I can understand how a woman would be attracted to a woman. *Shrug*

But just because I don't understand the desires many people have, doesn't mean I can't recognize the source of those desires. From the time Adam and Eve sinned and God Cursed them, our spiritual mutations have been passed on the same way our genetic ones have.

Does this mean I am ok with Gays living a gay lifestyle? After all, they were born with the desire, it is a part of who they are!

Am I ok with letting an infant grow up with cancerous growths? After all, he was born with it!

We as men are blessed to be able to fight and cure many diseases. We cannot, however, cure spiritual ones. We can try and mitigate the symptoms, discipline and train ourselves to overcome them on a daily basis, but only God can cure us.

To the LGBT community who may be reading this, I am not attacking you. I am not saying you are horrible evil people who should be beaten or killed or what not. Nor am I saying you should be silenced from speaking out on your beliefs. I am simply stating my beliefs.

To the Christian community who may be reading this, my goal is this: remind ourselves that we ALL are sick. We all have mutations in our souls that only God can heal and cure. And to be honest, He may choose not to cure them. Give us strength to live with them, yes. Cure, unlikely. But before we go and launch an attack on the ones we see as sick, remember, so are we. We simply have had the blessing of knowing the loving and kindness and discipline of the Father. If we are to really serve as His hands on this earth, we need to show the same attributes to our brothers and sisters.

Do I give up one inch on saying homosexuality is wrong? No. But "Gay bashing" is not right, either.
Do I give up one inch on saying masochism is wrong? No. But attacking masochists as freaks is not right, either.

We has a Christian culture have failed to correctly identify the target of our arguments. We must strike against the idea that just because we are "born this way" it is alright to live that way. Some people are born as sociopathic killers. We don't say it's alright for them to live that way!

The counter-argument of course will be that how do we know that heterosexuality is the way to are supposed to be born. We can't just pick and choose what we like being born with, after all!

Fortunatly, we don't have to. God has done that for us. We must hold God's word as the standard. If we have a doubt on something, go to the Word in prayer. The Word, and a reliance on our Faith, is the only way we can make a change in our culture. If we try and argue on a worldly basis, we will lose. Not because what we say isn't true, but because worldly "truth" is not grounded in God's truth.

Anyway. That's my thoughts.

Eric.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Conversation with God.

One of the hardest things for me in life right now is being single. I keep hearing how it's supposedly a great thing, to enjoy it while it lasts, that you lose freedom by being in a relationship... you know what? Being single sucks. By nature I am an extroverted introvert. An introvert who, when at work or some other setting where the rules for social engagement is understood, will be able to express interest with others and be able to open up. In my case, to tell really bad jokes (so I am told). Out side of work, church, and IMing with family and three or four others, I have ZERO social life.

Eric, you say, there is your problem! No social life, no way to meet girls!

Firstly, I want a Lady, not a girl. Secondly, I am not a social person. Neither is my dad, but he managed to find Mom! So, what's the deal? Warning... Don't ask God this. The conversation might go like this...

Me: God, why am I still single? You know I want a relationship, what's holding me back?
God: (Silence. Of course. Sigh.)
Me: It's not like I'm not ready for a relationship. I have a good job, an apt, I am responsible at work and with my cat...
God: Oh really....
Eric: .... uh... crap. God replied.
God: So, you're ready for a relationship?
Eric: (Is this a trick question?) Yeees? I think so?
God: So, you are able to handle all the loan payments, bills, food, etc without needing any help from family?
Eric: Uh....
God: It's ok. It happens. But tell me this: are you responsible to everything that needs doing at home?
Eric: ... I'm afraid to ask, but what do you mean?
God: How is you're laundry?
Eric: Done.
God: Dishes?
Eric: Done.
God: Is the table cleaned off?
Eric: ...
God: The couch?
Eric: ...
God: The bathroom clean? The kitchen? Have you swept the floor and taken out the trash? Is your refrigerator clean?
Eric: No.
...
...
God: What about your relationship with Me?
Eric: I don't like where this is headed.
God: And I do?
Eric: ... point.
God: You know, you've even extolled on, the need for men to have a healthy relationship with Me before they can truly be the servant leaders their wives deserve.
Eric: Okay, I see where you are headed with this, but honestly, wouldn't a relationship help stabilize me to the point where *our* relationship would improve?
God: ...
Eric: ... yeah... ok... that was a bad argument.
God: Don't get me wrong, a woman in your life would do wonders for you...
Eric: ... thanks?
God: But are you so focused on not having a relationship that you aren't concerned about our relationship? You know any woman you will really want to pursue will desire a man who is pursuing Me. So... what's your holdup, tiger?
Eric: ... I'm really not happy with the direction this conversation has taken.
God: I think I worked it rather well, myself...
Eric: Well, yeah, but you're GOD... you can do anything.
God: Point.
Eric: Sigh.
God: Yep.
Eric: Why is it so hard for me to actually pursue you? Or even to do the basic things like be in Your Word?
God: Am I your God?
Eric: Well, duh, yes.
God: Am I?
Eric: ... why do I feel a Peter on the lakeshore moment coming?
God: Cause I made you Genre Savvy.
Eric: ... thanks?
God: Eric, do you even want me in your life, or am I just a call service to get you what you want?
Eric: Now that is just unfair. You know I am not like That!
God: And you know I have used hyperbole in the past to highlight certain flaws that would otherwise be "mysteriously overlooked."
Eric: ... still don't like the implication.
God: And I do?
Eric: ...  There is no easy fix to this, is there?
God: No. No there is not.
Eric: Alright. I'll... I'll try. I don't know how I'll do it... but I'll try.
God: You know....
Eric: I'm almost afraid to ask...
God: You are very process and ritual oriented...
Eric: Noticed...
God: You could, for the sake of argument, get up an hour earlier, show up to work an hour earlier, and while your boss is not there spent time in My Word while it is quiet...
Eric: ... That means getting up at 4 A.M.
God: I know.
Eric: I do not like 4 A.M.
God: I'm rather fond of it.
Eric: I'm not sure I like You right now.
God: Never said you had to like Me. Though it does help.
Eric: ... I will take it into consideration.
God: Please do.
Eric: Right. Anyway. Nice chat.
God: Ayep.
Eric: ... Did God just say "Ayep?"


God: Ayep.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The mote and the plank...

I have noticed a disturbing trend the past few years. Here, let me show you.





Do you see it?

We get aggravated with those who disagree with us, frustrated at those who cannot seem to exhibit the slightest bit of common sense, even violently angry at those who just plain refuse to listen to us, and how do we respond? We find a way to belittle them. We find a cute picture, or even just a plain background, and pour our vitriolic feelings into the guise of wisdom.  We show them to be the gibbering fools we know them to be, and smack down their arguments by not letting them speak in the first place, and instead we condescend to them with sarcasm and wit. 

We do it relieve anger, to de-stress, to maybe make a friend laugh...

We do it to feel superior. 

Now, before some who knows me (like my Mom) pipes in here, yes, Mea Culpa.  I am guilty as charged, I have done this in the past. But lately... I just get fed up with it. Where is our respect for our fellow siblings in Christ? If you are an atheist, then where is our respect for the freedom of speech? Where is our willingness to engage in the battlefield of ideas, not as stormtroopers beating our opponents into bloody submission, but as chess players weighing the value of piece of an argument before placing it strategically to counter our fellow players pieces. Where is the ability to stand up, shake hands, and have respect for those we disagree with? When did that go away?

Our sarcasm and wit makes us feel smart, it validates us and our opinions, without us needing to face a human soul who is wounded by our words. 

When I was a teen, I surrounded myself with a group of guys who were also smart, and we knew it. Worse, we had the test scores to prove it. And because we were alienated from everyone else because we were homeschooled, we banded together and were secure in the knowledge that we would one day rule the world (or at least some portion of it) and it would be sweet, and we would finally be able to fix all the things the other idiots had broken. 

How deluded I was. 

I am happy to rule over my apartment, though it seems not my cat, and as to fixing things, well, does doing tech support count?

We must learn to still our hearts and our tongues until we have learned what we truly believe, why we believe it, how to craft an argument for it, and above all we must hold ourselves still until we have learned love and respect. All our wit and biting sarcasm will only serve to validate those who agree with us, and not one person will see it and say "What was I thinking, of course, now it all makes sense!" 

 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.   Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.  For

“Whoever desires to love life
    and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
    and his lips from speaking deceit;
 let him turn away from evil and do good;
    let him seek peace and pursue it.
 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.
1 Peter 3:8-17

Or perhaps Peters words from chapter 1 is more appropriate.

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 
1 Peter 1:13-19

At the risk of aggrandizing myself, I ask you to look at how I have crafted this post. I aim to insult no one, I only hope present for your consideration a logical argument to support my statement: We must, without compromise, exhibit the love and reason Christ showed to both the ones who followed Him and the ones who mocked Him. 

Jesus, when challenged by the ones who knew they were smart and used words to validate themselves in the eyes of man, responded to question of law this way:

 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. 

And a second is like it: 
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 

On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22:37-40

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Sole Survivors, or, When Life Gives You Lemons, Climb Mountains With Them!

But Eric, you say, what do lemons have to do with climbing?

Everything!

Kinda.

Ok, bear with me here. First off, I am stealing from a post on a forum I read on www.fitbit.com. I posted the story I relate below, and Ken replied, and... well... just keep reading.

Lately my bike has been having some issues. The rear tire has been going soft over time. I have two spare tubes, but when you buy 700cc tubes, apparently Wal-Mart only sells them with a Presta valve. uh. Ok. Sure think, boss. Whatever. It's a tire.

Yeah, no. Standard valves in the good ole U.S. of A. are Schraders. Different critter. Suck.

So until I can get a Presta Pump, or an adapter, I have just been pumping up the rear tire once in a while. No biggie.

Until this morning. This morning I got on my bike, pedaled maybe five feet, and realized the Front tire was flat. Screw this. I'm walking.

I'm a paranoid person (Do NOT enter my apt without announcing yourself. It will not end well for you.), so I always leave 45 minutes early for work. I live about a mile away, so it's a nice walk. I get to see the sunrise most mornings. Pretty sweet deal, really.

So I lock up my Schwinn, toss my helmet back in the door, and head out. I notice that there are less crickets out, which is nice. Sun rise is pretty, and a good breeze. It's a good day.

Naturally, I am wearing my Fitbit. I see my steps, think "cool," and go on with my day.

I average about 9-10 thousand steps a day when I walk to work. American average is 5,000, and it should be 10,000. So, you know, I do ok when I walk to work.

I also average around 25 calls a day at work.

I got, like... 9. And it was a busy day. But most of my day was swapping two phone sets from two different floors, swapping them back when a hubbaloo was raised (for good cause), moving some monitors around for a new person, then having it decided I should move the pc part to another spot, meaning I needed to run downstairs and get longer cables than what I had, run up to check on someones software... huff huff huff.

Oh, and I walked around the building twice.  Yeah. I hit 12,000 steps on the way home. And then, just as I was about to turn right to head home, and I saw 12k steps... I thought "Why not go to Wal-Mart? They might have the pump I need..." So I kept going and turned left.

Staggering into Wal-Mart, I perused the bike section and found a pretty sweet looking pump. It is a Schrader, but it has an adapter for Presta, and a patch fit, AND a pressure gauge built in! And it mounts on the bike! Sweet!

Also, I found Bell brand Camelbak thing. Awesome.

Loot in hand, I walked home. About 5:15, I hit 15,000 steps. I figure, sweet. Another Badge on Fitbit! I get home, sit down, and check my steps.

16,999. I cannot make this stuff up.

Oh, and 12 floors climbed. Some of that must of been the cross country walking to wally world.

So I make some coffee, listen to a bit of GBTV, post my success on fitbit, and get a lot of encouragement and cheers from the gang there.

As I relate the story, Ken takes an interest. Ken runs the Challenge group I am in. he wrote in a reply to me "making Lemons into steps and miles!!! Way to get it done!!!" Later, he highlighted some great feats for the day, and said I had "Climbed a mountain to get to work."

I was confused at the first post for a bit. When did I get lemons? I don't even LIKE lemons. Then I realized that he saw the flat tire as life handing me lemons. How did I respond?


Did I have a choice? I guess I could have called my boss and begged a ride. I have a open offer. But did I think about it? Not really. Why? I had planned for it. I was prepared. God had set in my heart a desire to never be late, regardless of circumstance, and so I planned to match, just in case. Walking, I get to work with 15 minutes to spare. This was not a hardship. I could have chosen to complain. I did mention it, since I have no social life and I like to share interesting things with my co-workers. But whine? Nope. Complain? Nah. It was a nice walk. 

When I was at work, I was given a number of tasks I didn't really care for, and a few I did but were more active and time consuming then I expected. I sweated most of the day. Complain? Nope. I addressed some concerns. But I was getting some good stats on my Fitbit and frankly I was enjoying getting off the phones. 

When I walked home, did I complain about the heat, the humidity, the pain in my feet? Nope. I thanked God for a good day. Then I went and got what I needed. And I walked home. 

After posting on the forums, I went and got weighed. 374.3lbs. I checked my steps. 18k. 

... something woke up in me. 

I can do this. 

I can actually hit 20k in a day. And not feel dead. (The latter being important to me.) 

I got my shoes back on, put on the water pack, a hat, and my iPod. I walked out to the College Track Field. The field was closed, but they have a flight of nice stone steps out front. 

... I can do this. 

I went up and down four times. I caught my breath. I went again. And again. And again. 

I can do this.

I am now home. 

21,149 steps. 
25 Floors.
6.02 Miles walked.


I sit here, coming off of an exercise fueled high, and one thought is in my head. 

I can do this.

Why?

What gives me the ability to do this?

Wrong question. 
Who...

"... for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In and and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:11b-13 ESV

Ken says life gave me lemons, and I climbed a mountain. I beg to differ.

God gave me opportunities to bless Him or curse Him. I blessed Him, and through my faith in His providence, I have moved mountains.


I will extol you, my God and King,
    and bless your name forever and ever.
 Every day I will bless you
     and praise your name forever and ever.
  Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
    and his greatness is unsearchable.
  One generation shall commend your works to another,
    and shall declare your mighty acts.
 On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
    and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
    and I will declare your greatness.
 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
    and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
 The Lord is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
 The Lord is good to all,
    and his mercy is over all that he has made.
  All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
    and all your saints shall bless you!
 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
    and tell of your power,
 to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
  Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
[The Lord is faithful in all his words
    and kind in all his works.]
 The Lord upholds all who are falling
    and raises up all who are bowed down.
 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food in due season.
 You open your hand;
    you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and kind in all his works.
 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
    he also hears their cry and saves them.
 The Lord preserves all who love him,
    but all the wicked he will destroy.
 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
    and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

Psalms 145 ESV

Monday, July 02, 2012

Resolved, That these United Colonies... The History Behind the Declaration.

22 March 1765 - Parliament of Great Britain passes "Duties in American Colonies Act 1765; 5 George III, c. 12." Commonly called the "Stamp Act." Law requires all printing presses in the British America print only on Stamp Imprinted Paper, purchased from London, paid for only with legal British Coin. Colonial Scrip is not acceptable. Law to be carried from 1 November 1765 to perpetuity.
Purpose - To alleviate the Royal Expenditure during the Seven Years War, of which the Colonies are seen as the primary Beneficiaries, and so must also pay into the debt.

Colonists respond with outrage. A Stamp Act Congress, arguably the first true meeting of some of the Colonies aimed at mutual gain and cooperation, was held between October 7 and 25, 1765. Representatives from 9 of the 18 colonies were in attendance. By the end of there congress, they published the Declaration of  Rights and Grievances.

Among the many issues raised was that, having logical argued their status as full British Citizens, owed the same treatment as any other British Citizen in any other British holding, was being treated unfairly. They were being directly taxed with out a Representative in Parliament to speak on their behalf. That The Admiralty Courts had their power extended far beyond their "... ancient limits," and tended to rule against Colonial interests regardless of evidence.

The entire act is a polite redress of grievances, assuring the Crown of their desire for devotion and warmest affection, and of their loyalty while requesting a repeal of the act.

They were not alone, and many merchant houses in England also objected to the act.

Tax collectors in the Colonies were be harassed constantly, and violence was not uncommon. It became difficult for the Governors to keep and collectors in their employ, and so as November came around, the Stamp Act was largely ignored.

After the pressures put on it, Parliament repealed the Stamp act on 17 March 1766.

18 March 1766 - Parliament passes the Declaratory Act. It states that it has the power to pass any laws to bind the colonies... in any case whatsoever. In other words, it gave itself the legal justification to pass any act, and law, and tariff it so desired at any time, for any cause. A nearly identical act was used to bind Ireland into virtual bondage to the Crown.

5 March 1770 - A riotous crowd gathers outside the Customs House of Boston, Province of Massachusetts Bay. As they passes, the Guards are assaulted with rocks and snowballs. A Colonist is stuck by a British rifle butt. Cooler Colonial heads try to disperse the crowd, 19 year old Henry Knox chiding the Guards that "If you fire, you must die for it!"  The captain of the Guard is summoned, and he arrives with more soldiers. As the engagement grows, with many Colonial agitators crying "Fire!"

Events become blurry at best, but it is believed that Private Montgomery was hit with a club, causing him to stumble and drop with weapon. On collecting it from the ground, he raised it, cried, "Damn you, fire!" and discharged his weapon. His fellow soldiers followed suit in staggered fashion.

Captain Preston did his best to bring order to his men. As the crowd dispersed, three dead, two yet to die, and six more wounded, he called out the 29th regiment and fortified his position. He then sought a fair inquiry into the shooting, known now as the Boston Massacre.

Fall 1770 - With John Adams serving as Defense Council, Cpt. John Preston, British Royal Army, is acquitted. Six of the remaining eight soldiers are also acquitted, with the other two convicted on Manslaughter due to the overwhelming evidence of them firing point blank into the crowd.

This impartial ruling, given to men hated by the populace, laid the foundation of the belief in the Rule of Law, not of men.

10 May 1773 - The Tea Act is passed. It allows the East India Company to directly import tea from Britain to the Colonies without duty. Plainly speaking, the Company had a vast surplus of tea in England, and the cost of paying Duties was enough to prohibit them from shipping the goods to the Colonies, who were buying black market tea to get around the Townshend Act's tax on tea. (1767)

With no duties, it was not only feasible to ship to the Colonies, it was greatly desired. It was assumed that with Tea cheaper than black market prices (With no duties, the Company could cut prices) they Colonists would see reason and buy legally.

They were wrong. The Townshend Acts were still in place, and thus were still a tax with out representation. As a matter of principle, Colonial buyers refuse to buy Company tea.

16 December 1773 - Every Colony but Massachusetts has managed to revoke the Company shipments of tea. Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson refuses to allow the three ships to leave harbor, believing the protesters will cave.

After a long meeting regarding these events, between 30 and 130 men, some dressed as Indians, boarded the three ships and in the course of three hours dumped all the tea into the harbor. The message was clear: We will have nothing to do with a tax without our own representation. It is follow to think otherwise.

These events prompted London to remove the Colonial local government and place it under the rule of General Thomas Gage.


19 April, 1775 - Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay. Gage has learned of Colonial arms stockpiles in Concord. Royal troops are sent to confiscate them.

Having considered this eventuality, having been trained to ready to respond to an attack in a minute or less, and having been forewarned of the troop movement the night before by Paul Revere and William Dawes,

Shortly after four in the morning, Captain Parker stood with 80 Colonial soldiers, his training cadre, in Lexington. Many of them were relations of his. From experience, he felt that the British troops would find nothing and leave. A scout informed him of the approaching Royal forces size: 700 men.

Aware of his vast numerical inferiority, Captain Parker choose to make a political statement. He arrayed his men in parade formation on the city greens. They would not impede the oncoming force. They would merely state by their presence that such a visiting was not wanted. It was later recalled that Parker said to his men "Stand your ground; don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here."

The British forces surrounded Parker and his men, shouting and causing a general ruckus. The officers intended to take Parker's surrender and weapons.

As Parker ordered his men to comply and disperse some one fired into the commons. A general engagement preceded quickly, with the Colonials getting at best one scattered volley out before either fleeing or being killed. Many were run through by British bayonets. The extreme close quarters of the fight meant it lasted mere moments. One British soldier and eight Americans lie dead.

After gathering the men together again, the British continue to Concord. There a battle is engaged, ending with the British army besieged in the confines of Boston.

The War had begun.



7 June 1776 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposes a resolution to the Second Continental Congress..

"Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved. That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances. That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation."

28 June 1776 - A declaration of independence is presented for consideration with the Lee Resolution.

2 July 1776 - The first clause of the Lee Resolution is approved by 12 of the 13 Colonies. New York, lacking guidance from home, abstains until July 9th, when they too throw in their lot with the rest.

The Pennsylvania Evening Post reads:
"This day the Continental Congress declared the United Colonies Free and Independent States."

3 July 1776 - John Adams writes to his wife Abigail:

"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."

4 July 1776 - The Second Continental Congress publishes the Declaration of Independence.



In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
DECLARATION
By the REPRESENTATIVES of the
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
In GENERAL CONGRESS assembled
.

WHEN in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.
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—-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the Present King of Great-Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People; unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable to them, and formidable to Tyrants only.
He has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the Depository of their public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People.
He has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and Convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and Amount and Payment of their Salaries.
He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.
He has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislature.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:
For imposing taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rule in these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Powers to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.
He is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic Insurrections among us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.
Nor have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be,Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of the divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Signed by Order and in Behalf of the Congress,
JOHN HANCOCKPresident.


Saturday, June 09, 2012

I am a super hero!


I was on a walk today and I saw this about a block from the nearest H.E.B. 



The incline you see is pretty steep, but I managed to pull the cart out without getting icky wet.

Seems weird to just leave it there. Seems weirder that NO ONE else rescued it. Meh.

I walked it back to the store and handed it off to an employee with a description of what happened. He sounded sooooo thrilled to get it back. *Cough*


Anyway. Just a comment that when people decided to neglect common responsibility, we end up with carts in ditches. (or economies... )

A good citizen, a responsible one, I would hope would stop and take the time to pull the cart out of the icky ditch and return it to the store for restoration.

Also, from now on I shall be known as

ERIC, RESCUER OF CARTS!(tm)

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Hero...

Not being an athletic sort of guy, biking the 3.7 miles to the nearest movie theatre was... interesting. It took me about an hour to get there, and I more sweat then I want to admit to, but I huffed and I puffed my way in. It was just under a week ago, and I was ready to see The Avengers!

For those who need a refresher or have no interest in the movie, there are a group (And I use the term ... loosely) of "Superheroes" banding together to fight a common enemy. The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, Thor, Black Widow... the lot of them are heroes and main characters onto themselves, but we see them form a group that can do some very impressive feats, once they use their strengths in unison.

My favorite is Captain America, but that is mainly because he is, pure and simple, a Patriot. He may be displaced in time, but he has proven that he is willing to die for his county because he loves it. It appeals to me.
Iron Man is cool... but.... eh. The Hulk? Meh. Hawkeye I don't know much about. Black Widow is hot, and I liked the character development she had... but she isn't a patriot. Thor... is Thor. Demi-god. Meh.

Captain America is, hands down, my favorite superhero.

But he isn't my Hero.

Now, some may think "Oh, he's a christian, he's gonna say Jesus!" ... Nope. Jesus isn't a hero. He's GOD. A hero is someone who has something to lose. God can't lose anything... He's GOD.

My hero is a man who gave the majority of his adult life to a career he was not fond of to support his family. He fought his own battles in his own heart and mind over issues I won't name out of respect for his privacy. He fought for a marriage on the rocks (many times). He fought to protect his children from any unreasonable harm, including at times himself. He fights everyday to love and honor and follow God.

My hero walked over a mile in the snow to take car part the broken down vehicle he left at work. He also walked a mile or more to get a can of gas, also in the snow. He stayed up longer then he really should have packing for a hard move, has driven the largest U-Haul you can get thousands of miles across two countries and both mountain ranges. One of those ranges he did twice.

My hero has resuscitated a stillborn puppy, drained the infected ears of an old dog, cleaned up after cats who just gave birth and carried a blind old mutt out from behind a pickup for years until he finally carried the dog to its final home.

My Hero taught me all I know about honor, loving someone even when it's hard, and how to make a fried egg sandwich. I would not be the man I am today without my hero.

Dad, I love you.

Eric.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Through Thick and Thin...

I spent money this last Friday, and I didn't do it to stimulate the economy or to be greedy or even to send it to charity. I spent 119.95 to have an item smaller than my cell phone shipped to me, set to arrive on Monday. What evil, nefarious plan must I have to spend so much for so little? I aim to do what Congress has failed to do over so many terms... Trim the Fat.

That's right, I want to be less of a man, be less of what I can be, to decrease so that... I won't increase. Okay, I kinda lost some steam on that last one, but really the truth is I want to lose weight, and I think this little gizmo just might help.

This is a Fitbit Ultra Wireless Tracker. 
One day a company decided to take a pedometer, the pager like device which counts how jolts it gets as you walk, and sent the lowly pedometer to get not just its B.S. in health science, but a Masters in public relations.

Obviously, I jest, but that is what it feel like when I look at the system Fitbit has built. I already have been using the online profile system that fitbit has set up to help me track my weight, activity level, food intake, etc. Fitbit must have done a lot of research into the social interaction framework of Facebook.

For example: Once I ordered the Fitbit, I created my profile on their website so I could get an idea of what I could do with it. I poked around a bit, then found I could enter in what I ate through out the day from a list of foods, including foods from fast food places, delivery, frozen meals, boxed meals, etc. Holy Cow! That'll help me git a grasp on just what I am eating, won't it? I happily entered in my frozen Sausage and Eggs with a Hash Brown frozen breakfast from Aunt Jemima. Huzzah! I was on my way. Ok. Lunch was my frozen lunch from Hungry Man. I went to enter it in and then found, to my horror, that it did not exist in their database! What would I do? If I can't track this, how will I be able to plan well? Not to worry, I found I can enter a brand name (Hungry Man) and enter new foods under that brand, included detailed nutrition information, for convenient recall for later meals. I don't know if my entry is now available for all users or not, but knowing that I can enter info as needed and can recall that info with ease gave me a bit of hope, and no small ego boost for actually *contributing* to the database. (I choose to believe, as there is not evidence to the contrary, that everyone has access to my data entry.)

I also went to look at the Food Plan feature. The basic premise is that you give it your weight, height, and target weight. It offered me four plans, pretty much divided up by how much you aim to lose a week. It gave the end date of each plan in big bold letters, and then under it gave the weekly loss rate. I decided my best bet was to try and hit 200 pounds just before my 30th birthday, or two years and change from now. I Cold have tried to lose faster, but at that rate I would be at 2 pounds a week, and that can get a little dangerous for your heart. I think two years is a good target for now.

From that, I have a calorie counter that updates through out the day. Based on what I log for food and activity, it updates how many calories I can eat through out the day, and what my daily total should be. The later factor caught me off guard when I saw my allowed calories drop with out me doing anything. Turns out that after a period  of inactivity it takes some calories off the top line. After being active for a while, it adds some to the top line. I presume the math behind it has an assumed basic daily level activity and calories, and when I don't meet the activity level, it reduces the calories allowed, and when I exceed the level of activity, it adds calories to help offset what was burned. This way it metes out a level of food compared to your activity to keep you at the rate of loss you've asked for. Pretty cool. (side note: You can also log your water intake. It shows a glass beside the log that fills up, and I presume once the glass is full you've had your daily intake that nutritionists suggest or some such. For me, it's more a game of "fill the glass!" coupled with the honor system.)

The activity log is another vital part of this system, and that is where the Ultra Wireless Tracker really comes into play. I can manually log my activity on the website, to varying degrees of accuracy, or you can sync up a  Wireless Tracker to your account. Not having the tracker yet, I can't comment that much on it, but I look forward to editing my activity instead of entering it all myself.  So long as I am within 15 feet of the charging dock, it will wirelessly connect to the website and upload the activity it has recorded.

But it then goes a step further. Lets say at work I took the stairs to go up to the Executive Suite (3rd floor), fixed an issue there, took the elevator back down, tooled around my desk taking calls, then ran up to change some toner in training (2nd Floor), and came back down via the stairs. Then Boss tells me to back up to the second floor to help in HR for a printer jam, then go to other end of the first floor to map a network drive. I use the stairs the whole way. I would unlock a badge saying I had climbed (at least) 5 floors that day. Well hey! I'm all about ego boosting badges, I'ma gonna place that sucker on facebook! Booyah!

The positive reinforcement and enabling of constant checking in to the system works well for my personality, and I think it's really going to help me get a good handle my diet and exercise. The biggest challenge (short of my stomach) for me in losing weight is seeing the results, and this will put solid, concrete number in front of me to help me see where I need to work on, and where I am succeeding.

I'll keep updating as I go along with this, so stayed tuned!


(Fair notice, I am not being reimbursed in any way, shape or form from Fitbit for this post or any other. I am merely sharing my thoughts from my life.)


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Stop, hey what's that sound, everybody look...

Back in the day a band called Buffalo Springfield produced a song called "For what it's worth." You might know it as something else...




It was, contrary to popular belief, written in response to the Sunset Strip Riots of 1966. The basics of the issue, so far as I can tell, is that the younger generation felt the older generation was trying to suppress their good times by implementing a curfew.

This song was taken (albeit out of context) and used for numerous purposes, mainly anti-war protests in the Vietnam era and it would not shock me in the slightest if we heard the 99 percenters using it in New York and D.C. The general feeling it evokes is that we are almost intentionally ignoring the suppression of freedom and individual rights. Which would make it ironic that the 99 percenters would use it, but that is for another day.

Lesson: If we don't pay attention, we lose something important, like our freedoms.

What are we losing nowadays? What do we risk giving up because we choose not to be aware of what is going on around us?



The morality of our nation is at risk because we have buried our heads in the sand, and when the government said "Don't worry, we'll take care of your kids while you work," we said "Oh thank God," and pursued the false gods of greed and self. We choose to sell our children for a bit more time, a bit more money, a bit more peace. And when we lose our children we lose the future. We lose the chance to instill in them morals, values, and most importantly faith.

If we as a nation have lost touch with our faith than we have lost all hope for our future. Faith in God's grace, in His powerful works in our lives, in His ability to forgive our sins and give us endurance and strength to withstand temptation is what has made our nation great. We have been fearless in the face of overwhelming odds, fierce in our pursuit of justice, valiant in our fight against tyranny. And having lost our faith we have turned on each each other, looking to make a quick buck, climber higher by stepping on the other guy, letting the odds steal our children from us each day.

If we don't wake up and see what we are swiftly losing we won't have a chance to rescue it. All it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing. And we have done nothing for a long, long time.

But that's just my opinion, for what it's worth.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Idolatry in Government

I have been inactive for a while and I decided to change that tonight.

Just over a month ago, I took a journey of 5000 miles and untold years to northern Maine to help my mother take care of some pressing things for her mother, who just moved into a nursing home. I won't get into that tonight, as a great deal of it is still processing in my head. But the processing itself had done some work jamming up my blogging gears, resulting in a month long hiatus. I apologize.



I recently made a connection that I had not consciously been aware of, but had believed to be true with out even thinking on it. I was trying to understand how anyone could make an argument that you could take away someones right, or grant them. I felt that it was impossible to do either, we simply had the responsibility to recognize them. If we grant or deny something, it is then a privilege, not a right. Some will argue that is semantics, but I assure you it is not. In fact, in my mindful wanderings I have come to the conclusion that anyone or anything that supposes to grant or deny rights is, in fact, a false god. A weighty claim, but please hear me out.

How can government grant the right to healthcare? How can it deny my right to choose my own path in caring for myself? What grants government the (ahem... ) Right to do such a thing?

The Answer is: No-One.

No one grants the government any rights what so ever. I dare to say that the rights any government has is a distillation of the personal rights we corporately have.

I have a right to defend my self, the right to bear arms and use force of arms in my defense. So does my neighbor, and I would not deny him that right. As a group, the members of the complex where I live may, by right, band together in the common defense. The members of my city may form a guard or hire such guard as needed for the public defense, and they are bound to protect and serve. Our state may form such militia as they see fit, along with policing bodies and investigative bodies to defend the public safety and the state. Our national government has the right, and even the duty, to levy an army and navy to defend the public land from foreign enemies, raise federal investigative service to prevent federal crimes and apprehend the offenders. All of this is stemmed from my right to bear arms and defend myself.

I have a right to choose my way with my body. I may eat myself into oblivion, become a muscle builder, or starve myself. It's my choice and my right to hurt myself. I have the right to deny myself medical care. So long as my exercise of my right does not infringe on someone else's, the government can take a hike. The only state in which I am forced to accept medical care is when I can no longer choose for myself due to medical or mental impediment. At that point I am either a risk to others, or consent is implied. (Typically speaking, the guy bleeding to death wants to be helped, even if he can't express it. If he gets upset about it, then it's up to him to find a way to die without someone stumbling upon him as he goes about doing it.)

All corporate rights are based on personal rights, they must be so because if they are not than they by definition will infringe on our personal rights.

I know our personal rights must not be infringed upon. And I know this not because I value them that much, although I do, but because we do not have the authority to revoke the rights granted to us. Our rights were assigned to us by an authority that is of a higher pay grade than ours, and no government or man may challenge it.

"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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

When making the argument to break from Great Britain our founders placed their case on the fact that the government had trampled on their rights as Englishmen and, worse, their rights as Men created by God, endowed by their Creator with certain Rights. No man, no Government, may dare do so. Any who do will suffer judgement at the end of days, and in the temporal realm man himself has been granted by his Creator the right and the Duty rise up against such a usurpation of man's rights and remove Tyranny from its seat.

Our government has infringed on our rights, and plans openly to continue doing so. We as a nation must once again band together and decide if we will allow usurpers to the throne of God, admitting by our silence that the government may give and take rights from man, or stand in opposition to the false god of big brother and nanny states. Any one who chooses to try and grant or deny a right to a free man has placed himself firmly in opposition to God our Creator an while God will in due time reprimand the offender we must as free men protest the injustice. Our Right and our Duty is throw off such men and governments and to align ourselves with the One True God, the Creator who has made us each free men and women.

It was this truth that I had found to be so self evident I didn't give a second thought until I found I was at risk of falling prey to Tyranny.

What will it take for you to discover the same?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

First day/night

Had a good trip, most of it in the rain. The rain has followed us, and we woke up in Joplin Missouri to find it has caught up to us. Time change has us leaving at around 9:30. Running a wee bit late. But slept very well, which is good, cause I slept very poorly the night before.

No photos or video yet. no time to upload them. Hope to do it tonight.


Eric.

Friday, March 09, 2012

The Great Trip North.

Okay, time to fess up.

I missed last week, and I'm sorry, no excuses.

An explanation though, and maybe a chance to make it up to you.

Due to some family stuff, my mother and I are going to be driving up to Maine. ROAD TRIP! Weeeee!
So I have been a wee bit stressed about it, and trying to get things in order has been pulling me away from the blog.

That said, I intend to blog the trip up and back, and even post some video.  FUN!

To help, I have some handy maps.

There are two routes we might take. The first one is more southern,
http://g.co/maps/feknz


View Larger Map


The second heads north sooner, to avoid some on the wet weather the south is having right now.
http://g.co/maps/r9av3


View Larger Map


I can't go into much more detail now, maybe tonight. But your prayers for safety and levelheadedness (did I just create a word?) would be much appreciated.


Thanks.... and more to come.

Eric.


Update, New edits to the route. http://g.co/maps/da54a

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