Category Archives: Politics
The Statue of Liberty front shot, on Liberty Island. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I weep for a nation that is no more, for a nation that was once a great nation, a nation that prided itself on achieving greatness through hard work and innovation.
I weep for a people that once believed that handouts were to be looked down upon and that prosperity was not guaranteed but rather something you worked for, I weep for a people that once believed in the American Dream, but now believe in the American Scheme.
Last night America voted, and last night they voted for a new America, an America that is unknown to our founding fathers, an America that removers personal responsibility and replaced it with Government handouts, an America that looks at the Constitution as nothing but an old document written by old white men and religious freedom has now become a relic of the past. America is no longer the America I grew up in, it is now the America of the twisted views of the left, a socialistic state that will plunge into a depression and America will become the next Greece.
We have given up on the dream and now want the scheme. We are willing to place our health into the care of a government scheme, ObamaCare, one of the largest corporations in the world GM is nothing more than a government scheme, following in the tracks of Amtrak. America the free has been replaced by America the Dependent, sad, oh so very sad.. I weep for my country and my fellow countrymen, I weep for all the brave men and woman who gave there lives to defend our freedom only to have it lost, I weep until I can weep no more.
U.S. Presidential flag, 1960-present (not usually called a "standard" in official U.S. government terminology). It is defined in Executive Order 10860. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
With the November election upon us, I think it’s a time to talk about leadership, what a leader is and is not. The qualities of a leader and the qualities of an anti-leader. It’s a time to reflect on what makes and what breaks a leader, a time to take an objective look at the office of the presidency and America.
Leadership is not an office, you are not elected to leadership you are elected to the seat of power and trusted into to a leadership role. But like all leadership roles, like anyone who has ever been propelled into leadership knows. the office dose not make a leader, but the leader can make the office. Many a great man has been pushed into fought for and obtained a leadership role, yet failed to live up to the role. History has proven that the roll of leadership is nota role destine for all, it takes a man of a certain cut, a man that knows, by instinct, what leadership is. Yes we can and we do train leaders, we can help to mold leaders, but… Leaders are not trusted nor are they created, they are born.
We read of leaders that seemed to be manifested out of thin air, trusted in to the roll, we read of extraordinary men and woman who seemed to have transformed into a leader with in seconds.But if we look, if we pay attention to there past, we would notice that leadership was always apart of there being, was always there, is small ways, seemingly unimportant ways.
Can a non-leader, and anti-leader truly transform into a leader, can they become the President, the leader of the free world just because they occupy the seat of power? Can a non-leader truly become a leader? Can we trust in them to instinctively know what a leader is, what a leader does? Can a leader ever truly be a non-leader, can they ever disregard the seat of power, abandon the status of the leader of the free world?
This election is an election leadership, who, among the two, is a true leader and who is an anti-leader. Who has the ability to fill the chair of power, who has the ability to lead the free world, what man can truly be the leader we need, the leader that will take America in the direction of prosperity and truly restore American pride?
The office demands more than just looking presidential, it demands leadership. The office commands respect from the nation, but more importantly it demands respect from the one who will sit in the seat of power. A leader respects the office they have been given, they do not, smugly, hold the office, demanding it to respect them. They do not command from the seat of power, they lead from it.
This election the choice is clear, Obama has not respected the seat of power, nor had he respected the people who have placed him that seat. He has disregarded the laws of the land, the the people the law meant to protect. He has walked over the graves of our Founding Fathers and torn up the Constitution of the great land, he has been trusted into a leadership roll he was not and is not meant to occupy, he has made a mockery of the office and the Nation. Obama has turned the presidency into an office of self-serving interest. The nation and her people are after thoughts, his own self-interest are paramount in his decision making. Leaders are selfless, not selfish.
Is Romney better? Is he a true leader? Will he restore Americas pride and power? Will he fill the chair of power, respect it and the American people, will the Constitution once again be the law of the land, will the Founding Fathers regain the respect of the office? In truth, I don’t know, but I do know that Obama must not win again, America cannot stand four more years of his anti-leadership qualities.
This November vote for America, vote for our Founding Fathers, vote to restore the Constitution, vote because American deserves a second chance.
The United States Supreme Court. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Yesterday the United States Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare, a massive intrusion into our personal lives and our freedoms. With this ruling, the courts granted congress the power to force Americans into purchasing products that they may or may not want or need. By the courts calling the individual mandate a tax, they have upheld the single largest tax increase in American history, created a bureaucracy that will grow the size of government like we have never seen and granted the IRS unprecedented powers to come after you and your money.
Every American should be scared, very scared indeed.
Think I am over reacting? Think again
- California Proposes Ban on Energy-Hogging HDTVs Starting in 2011
- New York Plans to Ban Sale of Big Sizes of Sugary Drinks
- New York restaurant kitchens face threat of salt ban
- Michigan smoking ban still lights up debate
- School Soda Ban
- Chicago Public School Bans Home-Packed Lunches
Shall I go on?
- ‘Not it!’ More schools ban games at recess
- Norton schools ban bake sales
- School Bans Christmas Colors?
Are you starting to get it… Once government knows it can get away with one ban, one tax, one forced purchase, it will add more, take away more freedoms, more individual choices, creating a nanny state that feels they know better than you, how you should live your life.
All Americans should be scared, very scared indeed…
“The surrender at Saratoga” shows General Daniel Morgan in front of a French de Vallière 4-pounder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Over the past weekend We celebrated Memorial Day here in the States, a day to stop and thank all the veterans that fought to keep this country safe and free. As part of my celebration I spent Sunday at Greenfield Village, thy have a Civil War remembrance weekend, the village is one large encampment of Civil War tents and solders. It is awesome to see. It wills me with pride to know I live in a land that fought for freedom and preserves freedom. America is not perfect, no country is, but to me she is the model of perfection for nations to follow.
Freedom is a slippery thing, you can lose it faster than you gained it. For over 200 years we have been fighting for our freedom, fighting to maintain it and preserve it for generations yet to come. As Americans, we all to often get complacent with our freedom, we expect it to always exist, with little to no work on our part. But weekend such as Memorial Day as there to remind us that Freedom is not free, is not guaranteed and can be lost.
As a free nation, a free people we have responsibilities, to each other, our nation and the world. For with great freedoms comes great responsibilities. We are leaders, by our very nature, we are Americans and Americans have always been adventures and risk-takers.
Consider this, this great nation was built upon the backs of explorers, people wanting a new life, people willing to live in extreme conditions to gain this new life. They not only wanted change, they also created the change they sought.
Leaders are people who don’t avoid change, they take it head on. This nation was built upon the principle of leadership. The Pilgrims did not need self-help books to read on the Mayflower, they did not hold group sessions about change or have little motivational posters to remind them that change is good. It was in their blood, they sought it out, forged the path and built upon it.
Setbacks were expected and met with courage and fortitude. The early settlers looked upon America and a change to change and grow, to become a free people able to map out their own existence, one free of the tyranny of the Mother land. Yes, they where British, French and Spanish and proud to be so, yet they were willing to leave all behind to experience personal and spiritual growth.They set up new governmental systems and experimented with the human condition, they allowed the human mind the freedom to thing and grow, they established colonies based upon these ideas, some thrived and some failed, yet they did not give up.
The revolutionary war was fought primarily to allow America to grow, to allow her people to live free. The Founding Fathers did not set out to carve out a new nation, they originally set out to get representation, fairness from the King. They were proud English men, willing to fight for the King, but unwilling to be the step child of the most powerful Nation of its time. They were willing to risk all for the basic rights enjoyed by their fellow English men.
The idea of a new nation, and American Nation was not part of the original plan, but being leaders they were able to adjust to the situation, to see the opportunities before them and to visualize the benefits of freedom. The Revolutionary War was about more than just taxes, the British had already removed the taxes that were in question. The Tea Tax was truly a moot point, the amount was trivial, but what it represented was monumental. The America people were tired of tyranny and deception, there were ready to self govern and willing to die to achieve the goal.
Don’t tread on me was the battle cry of a Nation being born, born out of the minds of great leaders. The American experiment was about to happen, and the founders knew they needed to lead this change. The “grass roots” effort was born. The printing press was the Facebook and Twitter of its day, Thomas Pane and many others took to the press to write the bold plans of Independence, they used the written word to rally the nation and to lead us into change, change that would prove to be historic and universal.
From the Pilgrims through the Founding Fathers Americas psyche was forged. The backbone of America was created off the sweat, blood and tears of our great leaders, many of whom we will never know by name. Our courage was handed down generation to generation and our love of Freedom is in our blood. The American spirit is one of Adventure and Leadership, we are willing to lay our lives down, not for man, but for an idea, the idea that humanity is born to be free. We do not offer up our lives to a King or President, but to a greater good, the good of all.
Great leadership has built this nation and lack of leadership will be its downfall. As President Reagan said:
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
40th president of US (1911 – 2004)
We are a people of leaders, a people of change a people of freedom, let us never forget that…
Benjamin Franklin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Words are powerful things; they have the power to change history, to create revolution and to mend broken hearts. I was reminded of this fact this morning when I gave the following quote to a friend:
There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.
The quote is a tab bit hard to understand unless you take the time to see the words as they are. When I first read it, I read it as only two things, stealing a diamond and knowing thy self. I missed the nuance of the punctuation, and of course my mind replace steal for steel. This friend also did the same, but in order to “fix” the problem they wanted to rewrite the quote, or better yet, reorder the words. They wanted
There are three things extremely hard: a diamond, steel, and to know one’s self.
Yes, it makes the reading a bit easier on us, but it is not what Mr. Franklin said, and not how he wanted it stated. For anyone who knows Ben knows that he loved the English language and was a master at it. I do not know for sure, but I would venture to guess that he placed the words exactly as he did for a very specific purpose. Regardless, his words should be represented as he stated them. Words are very powerful indeed, and rearranging them or substituting them can and often does cause issues.
Misunderstandings are often the result of misplaced or missed used words. The Founding Fathers understood this, and knew the power of the written word, the permanence of them and the importance of each word. The Catholic Church is known to spend years debating the simplest of words, knowing that a simple, yet very important distinction are between using one word over another. Nuances in communication is extremely important, politicians know this, this is why they hire speech writers and practice there talking points, a simple slip-up can cause them to lose the election. We often call the gaffes, but what they really are, are moments of truth.
Words, spoken or written have the power to shape our destinies or destroy our past. Historians understand this, they understand how they can write about our Founders, telling the truth, yet leading you to a conclusion that is anything but the truth. The omission of words alters the facts, but leaves behind the basic truth.
We recently saw this in the Trayvon Martian case. The news media played the tape, the call from George Zimmerman, but by omitting one seeming simple line of conversation, the narrative changed. Words have the power to unite or to divide.
It seems to me, that we have lost the art of words; we have simplified them, dumb them down and turned them into meaningless letters. For example, take the word “Fair”, we hear it almost daily, “Fair share” “Fair Play”, as is “All Americans deserve a fair share of the American Dream”. I agree, but I would venture to guess that my understanding of Fair is not the majorities understanding. Most would think of fair as equal, as in, if one person has the dream, to be fair about it, all should have the dream. Not so, fair does not mean equal.
free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice: a fair decision; a fair judge. (Source)
To be fair only means to offer the same,
Take your time, read the definitions and you will notice the nuance, the words have meaning…
We need to return to the day when words had meanings, when the power of words were understood and respected. How did we get to this point, I am not sure, I have my own theories, but they are just that, mine. I would place the blame on the dummying down of America, instead of keeping our standards high and expecting people to reach for them, we have lowered the standards, all in the name of fairness, so all can reach them. Our newspapers use to be written at the 9th grade level, now many are written at the 5th grade level, our leaders use to be statesmen, speaking and writing as such, but now they strive to be everydaymen. Our schools use to expect excellence but now promote fairness, is hopes of being inclusive and accepting of all, to offer a fair chance for all to excel, yet most will not.
Our Founders understood something we have seem to have forgotten, they understood that we all deserve a fair chance at success, but we all will not achieve it. They understood that my success is not your success that each person is unique, that success is individual, not communal that fairness does not equate to equal, and that the guarantee of The Pursuit of Happiness is not the same as the guarantee of happiness. Our Founders understood the power of words, and based on them a new nation was born, a revolution declared and lives placed in the balance to defend them.
The United States was and is a Nation based on words, based on the nuances of the words and many a brave man and woman have spilled their blood upon the ground in defense of those words.
So is it really a big deal if someone reorders or replaces a word, to simplify the words, to bring them down to make them more “accessible”, Yes, I think so, I think words have meaning, have power and purpose, and to lower them, to bring them down, even in the name of understanding, is wrong. Instead, we should be striving to raise ourselves up, to strive to understand and to learn. Our Founding Fathers, many of them self-educated, saw the power in them, understood the need for them and knew that this new nation would rise up to them, and defend them or die. Patrick Henry understood:
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! (Source)
Words have meaning… Words have power… Make your word count…
I just finished “How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day” by Michael J. Gelb.This is a fantastic book, one that all should read. The information is useful no matter who or what you are. Leonardo’s life lessons are timeless and learning about how he looked at life how he saw life was fascinating. I will be looking up more books concerning his life. Managers, Teachers, Parents and everyone else needs to read this book, we need to return to being renaissance men and woman once again.
So what is a renaissance man? And why do we need them again?
As to the first question, what is it:
The common term Renaissance man is used to describe a person who is well educated or who excels in a wide variety of subjects or fields. The concept emerged from the numerous great thinkers of that era who excelled in multiple fields of the arts and science, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Copernicus and Francis Bacon; the emergence of these thinkers was likewise attributed to the then rising notion in Renaissance Italy expressed by one of its most accomplished representatives, Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472): that “a man can do all things if he will.” It embodied the basic tenets of Renaissance humanism, which considered humans empowered, limitless in their capacities for development, and led to the notion that people should embrace all knowledge and develop their capacities as fully as possible. Thus the gifted people of the Renaissance sought to develop skills in all areas of knowledge, in physical development, in social accomplishments, and in the arts. The term has since expanded from original usage and has been applied to other great thinkers before and after the Renaissance such as Aristotle, Johann Goethe, and Isaac Newton. (source)
Basically, it is a person well versed on many fields of study, what we would call today, a well rounded education. But really it is more than that. It is more than just getting your Liberal Arts degree.Well at least how we in modern times view it:
The phrase liberal arts (Latin: artes liberales) refers to those subjects which in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free citizen to study. Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic were the core liberal arts. In medieval times these subjects (called the Trivium) were extended to include mathematics, geometry, music and astronomy (which included the study of astrology). This extended curriculum was called the Quadrivium. Together the Trivium and Quadrivium constituted the seven liberal arts of the medieval university curriculum.
In modern times liberal arts is a term which can be interpreted in different ways. It can refer to certain areas of literature, languages, philosophy, history, mathematics, psychology, and science. It can also refer to studies on a liberal arts degree program. For example, Harvard University offers a degree of Master of Liberal Arts, which covers biological and social sciences as well as the humanities. For both interpretations, the term generally refers to matters not relating to the professional, vocational, or technical curricula. (source)
The classical Liberal Arts is the definition of a Renaissance man, it is the study of Leonardo and many others. It is the study we need to return to, it is the study the will teach us to think. Modern-day Liberal Arts, modern-day education is not setup to teach thinking, it is set up to teach remembering. Students are not encouraged to think freely, but rather to retain what was told to them. The modern-day education system is one based on indoctrination not liberation. Leonardo’s education was geared towards discovery, experimentation and liberation. His disciplines ran across many areas of study, but he, as many renaissance men, had the ability to see the connections. The lines between art and science are blurred as are the lines between religion and science. The cross training and encouragement to push the envelope was the hallmark of renaissance training.
So why do we need a Renaissance man today? We have people who specialize in areas of study, so why should a rocket scientist care about the science of art? Why should an artist care about religion? Why would someone need to know about logic and rhetoric when they push a broom for a living?
Because life is connected, because the betterment of all starts with the betterment of one. Because life is more than what you do, it is who you are. And who you are is shaped by what you know. One of the main principles of Leonardo is connectedness, Leonardo saw the connections between seemingly non-connected objects. For example do you see the connection between a frog and the internet? Think about it… There is a connection. The frog has webbed feet and the internet is also called the World Wide Web. So both frog and internet have some sort of web. It is this connection, relationship that Leonardo saw, and it is this connectedness that we are missing in our lives.
Leonard saw the world not separate from humanity, but just a part of it. He saw the flow of the rivers to be the same as the flow of blood, the grass as the skin and the rock as the bones, he was a oneness between humanity and nature. Leonardo understood the connectedness of the clouds to the rain to the oceans, he saw the dependence of one upon the other. Leonardo is considered a great artiste, the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper among the greatest art works in all of humanity. Yet he was much more than that, he was a scientist and inventor, a caterer and party planner. Leonardo used his talents to enlighten and entertain, he was known for a beautiful singing voice and accomplished musician. He understood that a holistic lifestyle was a healthy life style. Leonardo understood the body and mind connectedness, he was physically and mentally fit, because Leonardo knew that one could not be truly whole if a part of him was left to waste.
The Renaissance man of antiquity needs to be restored. We need to nurture and grow our children with a desire and fascination for learning. To question and explore their surroundings and to see the world, the universe with the eyes of openness and wonder.
We need more Leonardo’s’ in todays world, we need men and woman who are willing to expand their horizons, to cross over disciplines and to not fear failure, for through failure comes discovery. We need to foster the exploration of connectedness, we need to discover the universe anew.
Leonardo, where are you? Where have you gone. When did we decide that men such as Leonard are obsolete? Why did we decide they are of no use? the enlighten of man has many casualties, and this is one. But all is not lost, we can return, we can learn to think like Leonardo, we can create a new Renaissance, we just have to try.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Matthew 14 25-33 (NIV)
“Take Courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Jesus’ words have as much meaning today as they did over two thousand years ago. Take Courage! Be strong! Life yourself up and carry one Christian Soldier!
Take Courage, hard words to hear when you are in despair or frightened, when life has you down and out for the count. But the words of Jesus ring true today, and they are words us Christians need to hear. In the light of the fresh attacks on the Catholic Faith and all Christians in the United States concerning so-called health care coverage of birth control, we need to hear the words, Take Courage! With our faith being tested in the public square, we need to stand strong, but in the face of big government, we often times feel very small, and courage seems very fleeting. But Jesus tells us, Be not Afraid and ask us Why do you doubt.
So take courage, and trust in the Lord, step on the waters and walk with faith onward to victory. We, as Christians must walk on the waters of the public square, we must stand up and be counted, we must have courage and speak the truth. Jesus is calling to us, calling us out into the sea, He is waiting for us to come to Him through the storm, and like Peter, he is waiting for us to call to Him Lord, same me!
You of little faith, is that what Jesus is saying to us now, is Jesus calling to us, and we are afraid to go to Him? Are the waves of humanity to big for us to withstand, or are we to timid to venture out into the waves, to call upon Jesus to calm them and let the sea of reasoning subdue the waves of insanity?
We all are being called, just like Peter, to walk upon the sea, to walk to Jesus and to trust in Him that calls. And yes, we all will, from time to time,will forget the one who calls and sink into the sea, but Jesus is there to stretch out His hand, from the cross of salvation, and pull us up from the depths, if only we call to Him.
The public square is our Sea of Galilee, and the public discourse is our storm that tosses us about. But whom among us is our Peter, brave enough to venture out on to the sea and humble enough to call to Jesus when he starts to sink. As a Catholic, I look to the new Peter, the current Pope, Pope Benedict XVI as my Peter, as my example. And Like the Holy Father, I to will walk upon the waters and state the truth, I will challenge others to reconsider there actions and voice my opinion at the polls this November, but I will also, like Peter, takes my eyes off of Christ and start to sink into the sea, and I pray, that like Peter, I too will be humble enough to call to our Lord for help.
We all are called to serve, we all are called to proclaim the good news. As Catholics we are Baptized as Priest, Prophet and King, how are you fulfilling your Baptism? Use this Lenten session as a time to reflect upon your calling, your mission. Are you being called into the storm, are you being asked to walk upon the waters of the public square? Were is Jesus calling you to? And are you responding or are you lacking the courage to respond. Pray and meditate about this, ask Jesus to help you and respond boldly to His call. Jesus will calm the storms and He will stretch out His hand to you, if you only ask.
God Bless & Happy Lent