Saturday, May 31, 2014

Incoherence and the Antidote

I have written two posts wherein I cite ridiculous decisions handed  down by judges.  These decisions were based on the codified law and to our modern, malformed judges, they were the only decisions possible since the laws are "unquestionable".  To these ungodly government minions, the law holds a higher place than God or of the people because they were written and established by the legislative process which must emanate from the "will of the people".  If it is a law, it is binding and any controversy in trial must be solely settled on how the facts accord with the law.

 The grave error here is to assign an infallible nature to that will-o-wisp which we call the "will of the people".  In fact, the surest way to create error and conflict would be to assign any decision of serious import to any committee, which is what a legislature is, a high minded committee.  An illustrative joke asks the question. "Where did the camel come from?", to which the answer is, "It is a horse designed by a government committee."  There are many, many laws on the books which are simply wrong.  Worse, there have been many proper laws which have been stricken from the books by these lords-of-the-bench, such as laws against abortion and sodomy just to name the nastiest two examples.

In these United States, where we have had our state and national legislatures turn against us and our executives enforcing these bad laws with the power of the police, our citizens have one more peaceful weapon in our arsenal.  We have the power of the jury.  This was no afterthought on the part of our founding fathers.  They experienced first hand the tyranny of judges and bad law and they designed the final stop gap, the jury of our peers.  In the court room a jury has the final say of conviction.  If the jury acquits, the defendant is free regardless how strongly the judge opposes the acquittal.  This is the most powerful insurance against tyranny we have and sadly, the most under appreciated.

Today, our citizens regard jury duty as a nuisance and a trivial exercise.  This may be because that is what we have been told by those judges, who universally, find juries to be a pain in their side.  Remember, we are there to oppose them in the exact manner that the House of Representatives (people) was designed to oppose the Senate (government pros).  Everyone likes a monopoly on power and judges are no different.  It is our responsibility to educate ourselves and to present ourselves to jury duty, when summoned, with a sincere hope of serving and rendering justice.  What the judges will tell you is that you have no authority over the law and that you are there to merely settle the facts.  That is a LIE.  That is in direct conflict with reason and history.  If we see a poor fellow citizen being railroaded out of life or property based on an arbitrary and unjust law, it is our solemn duty to oppose it and as a jury, to acquit, the judge be damned.  The legal term for this is Jury Nullification and it is our last hope.

If you find yourself charged with a serious offence to the law, you should stand firmly on your right of trial by a jury.  The prosecutor will threaten  you with harsh penalties if you force them to go to a jury, he will sweeten the deal with a lesser sentence of you plead guilty and save him the trouble.  He will remind you that the facts convict you under the law and a jury will have no choice but to agree.  These are their most common lies which have stolen from us our precious right of jury in millions of cases.  These lies have allowed these prosecutors to lock away millions of our fellow citizens without even a cursory nod from us.

Our nation is quickly succumbing to the police state mentality.  We must oppose this trend and serving on a jury as an informed and assertive citizen is one of our most powerful means of doing so.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Sunday Morning Coming Down is a Johnny Cash classic.  In the country music genre where the songs are almost invariably about lovin', drinkin', cheatin' or breakin'-up, this song struck a discordant note when he released it.  Johnny Cash probably didn't understand how successful he was, with this song, in doing what country music always attempts to do, to define the human condition.  What I hear in this song is a soul who knows he has lost the way but doesn't know why.

The blues the singer is feeling is out of step with the peaceful nature of Sunday morning.  The reason for that is this singer has neglected Christ during the other days of the week, he has chased the pleasures of the busy world and all he has to show for it on Sunday morning is dirty laundry and a headache from the ended party.  Now that the world has paused to give Christ His homage, our lost soul feels disquiet.  It is an ugly feeling and he doesn't like it.  Worst, he cannot imagine why.  That is what it is to be lost.

I remember those Sundays.  It seemed as if the entire town was taking a nap.  Most of the stores were closed and those that remained open were only selling essential items such as food or medicine.  I remember the quiet.  Even the road traffic stopped.  The shopping malls were locked up, the children's sport leagues were on a day off and everything respected the sanctity and peace of the Lord's day.  It is in this quiet that we are most able to discern our soul's attachment to God versus our body's attachment to pleasures and distractions.  

Today, our world doesn't even pause to catch it's breath.  Nothing stops!  Our lost soul would feel perfectly fine on a Sunday morning in these times and he wouldn't ever get a clue that he is lost.  In fact, it is likely our cumulative fear of the quiet that drives these manic Sundays of today.  We are like Adam and Eve hiding from God as he strolls towards us.

An interesting experiment in measuring your own QQ (Quiet Quotient), that is your ability to seek God and listen for Him, would be to not turn on your radio or music the next time you drive your car.  Notice how many times you reach for the knob.  Each time you are tempted to turn on the sound say a prayer instead.  It will be hard at first, but with time and practice, it will become easier and most rewarding.

We must stop scheduling errands and organized activities on Sunday.  Stop tolerating the sport leagues scheduling games on Sunday.  We must give the Lord his day in profound thanksgiving for the rest of the week.  The peace and quiet of this one day spiritually fortifies us to face the battles of the rest of the week.  Further, we must give ourselves to the Lord throughout the week in everything we do.  Then we won't wake-up Sunday morning with a headache and the blues.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

This Is Your Captain Speaking...

This is a portrait of a "Regional" airline pilot.  He is standing beside the Embraer-145 aircraft which he flies while earning his living.  He is amazed at the reality of our human progress since 1903 in the area of air transportation.  He ponders the physical fact of 23 tons of metal, flammable liquid, goods and humans soaring though the sky at speeds over five hundred miles per hour, in the dark, in anticipation of a soft and safe landing on a spot of the earth of his intention.  After fourteen years of flying this particular aircraft type he is still learning fascinating factoids of what the aeronautical engineers have designed into this incredibly complex machine.  He holds a sincere appreciation for the professionalism of his peers and the myriad of personnel who work the other essential areas of the aviation industry, air traffic controllers, mechanics and flight dispatchers, just to name a few.  He works diligently to uphold his standards and skills so as to be up to the grave responsibility which has been trusted to him.

Looking back at his flight logbook he remembers many of the flights like they happened yesterday, such as the one when he successfully landed in Champaign, IL, at night, in heavy fog, with a ten knot tail wind thus delivering a plane load of people home in time for Christmas. He is humbled to see over 19,000 hours of flight time in those logs, which considering that his flights average about an hour, could actually be the number of individual flights as well.  He will never know the true number of people he has served, whom he has delivered safe and sound to family or business.  He remembers flying in day time, night time, in winter storms, around countless thunderstorms, taking-off and landing in visibility which would make driving a car difficult, searching his mind for solutions to issues of serious import concerning fuel and alternate landing sites when the destination became unusable.  Through all of those flights he had one goal on his mind - get it done safely.  His one dream of the future is to fly that last flight on that last day before his legal limit birthday and to set the parking brake that last time, to sit back in profound gratitude for such a rewarding career and know that through it all, no one got hurt.  Deo gratias!

So, with that in mind please forgive him if he gets his feelings hurt if while you are passing by the cockpit you exclaim, "Ewww, this airplane is so small!"

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

This was the scene following the mass workplace shooting at the Federal Express warehouse in Kennesaw, Ga. this past April 29, 2014.  LOTS of police walking around counting the dead.  No, they didn't kill or capture the killer, he killed himself.

Kennesaw, Georgia has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation for a city of it's size.  In the past that city's leaders were catching a lot of heat for a rather controversial law they enacted, a law which REQUIRES every homeowner to HAVE a firearm in their home.  As the heading of this post says, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Even citizens of a town like Kennesaw are helpless when they enter a "Gun Free Zone."  I have argued for years that it is unconstitutional as  well as immoral to require employees to disarm prior to earning their living.  What is it about a job which nullifies ones right to survival?  Of the "Gun Free Zones" which attract the most tragedy,  I would place the workplace ahead of schools in numbers of incidents and death, based on my unscientific observations.

Common sense gun laws are an oxymoron. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Mass Jobsite Shooting That Didn't Happen Last Week In Austin

I have asked the question several times as I argue against gun control, "How can you prove a negative?"  In other words, as men like Piers Morgan count the dead and injured following these mass shootings, how do we count the people who were NOT killed, or traumatized by the presence of guns in our peoples hands?  The basic standoff between sides on this eternal debate lies in the ease of people obtaining firearms and carrying them around in the public arena.  In Mr. Morgan's mind, it is better to restrict that ability.  I would counter that the seriously deranged person, the criminal person would not allow such laws to restrain him any more than the other more basic laws against assault and murder have.  However, the honest person, the law abiding peaceful person who automatically obeys those laws proscribing murder and assault is now forced to neuter his self-defense capability out of the same desire to act in harmony with society.  Thus as these laws create "Gun Free Zones" full of harmless victims, we must now count the dead.

Now let's look at a shooting that happened in a "Gun Zone", a construction site in Austin, Texas.  On April 30, 2014 a disgruntled worker returned to the construction site from which he had been fired.  He was told by the supervisor that they had no more business and he was to leave and stay away.  That worker pulled a gun and shot the supervisor.  Let's pause with the story here and consider the two possible scenarios which could happen now.  Either the gunman kills the supervisor and then continues to shoot the other people there until he hears the sirens, in which he then kills himself; this is the typical mass shooting story or, the supervisor shoots back and no one else is hurt.  In this case, thankfully, it was the second scenario which played out.  Now, back to my question; "How do we prove a negative?"  How many of those construction workers did that deranged shooter not kill?  Let's just say, all of them.

Another Scary Bedtime Story With A Happy Ending

There is a beautiful lady named Paris who lives in Detroit.  She is a grandmother and has a job helping people with their medical needs.  One day, on the first weekend of May (05/04/2014) she worked two shifts at her job.  She was tired when she went home that night.  She lives is a typical Detroit neighborhood where the houses have driveways.

As Paris stopped her car in her driveway she saw two men approaching her in a frightening way.  It was a good thing that this lady had taken the trouble a couple of years earlier to get a Concealed Carry Permit from the state of Michigan.  She wanted to go into her home for safety, but the mean men walked up to her and said, "Don't pull it!", and they started shooting her.  In her shock and anger poor Paris called them a dirty name and she shot back.  She shot back a lot.  She shot until the bad men ran away.

Poor Paris was hit three times but she was really lucky!  None of her injuries were bad enough to make her die.  The two bad men ran to the hospital because one of them was hurting really badly from the lady's shots.  The police arrested the bad men and they can not hurt pretty ladies anymore.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Gun Free Zones Lead to Terror

The mass shootings of the Virginia Tech, the Navy Yard, Fort Hood (again!), and last week, Federal Express in Kennesaw, GA brought to my mind an encounter I had with the day manager of a Home Depot store near my home.  I had recently moved to Virginia and was intrigued by the open carry laws.  In legal theory, Virginians have the right to carry a handgun on their person, in plain sight, without any permits required.  I tried it a few times and was never troubled by our law enforcement.  There was one instance where the manager I mentioned above asked me to leave his store.  Below is a letter I wrote him following that experience.  I remain very frustrated on these stupid "gun free" zones which turn into killing zones. Each of those cited shootings happened after I wrote this letter.

July 14, 2003

Dear Sir:

Last week I was shopping in your store when you approached me and asked me two questions in quick succession.  “Why do you have a gun strapped to the back of your belt?”  “Are you a law enforcement officer?”  I realized that the first question was rhetorical, meant as an opening for the second; the question you really wanted answered.  So when I replied “No” you directed me to leave the store immediately.  This I did, without making an issue.  Now, with your patience I would like to answer that first question for you.

We would think a man a fool if after being given a late model, expensive luxury car which dearly cost his benefactor, he simply parked it in the street and never used it.  He is content in the knowledge that the car is his.  As the years go by the motor rusts, the tires sag, the battery dies, the paint fades and the interior cracks.  Only when the city tries to tow the obviously unused, old, and unwanted car away does he defend his right to keep the car with fervor and righteous anger.  Such is the situation with our American right to keep and bear arms.  Our citizens have become so complacent and apathetic concerning this precious right that in spite of our vigorous defense in the state and national legislatures to preserve it on paper, in reality, it has faded away.  And like our poor fool, when we need the right, in a moment of severe crisis, it no longer works for us.  We learn the hard way that rights are perishable.  What our forebears paid for in blood and suffering, we forfeit through disuse.

Your second question illustrates this point very well.  Our people no longer understand the principle under which this country was founded, that we are the masters and the government the servants.  The founding fathers knew that abuses were inevitable if the situation were ever allowed to reverse.  However, today, we are happy to allow the authorities a total monopoly on all the firearms in the public arena.  In our minds we all fall into three possible categories when it comes to weapons; a law enforcement officer with a gun, an honest citizen without a gun and finally, a thug or madman with a gun.  Missing from our consciousness is the honest, responsible, armed citizen; the kind of person who refuses to allow criminals and petty thugs to control his world; the kind of citizen a republic needs to maintain order and peace while preserving liberty.  The only other two possibilities are chaos and a police state.  Today, we are quickly achieving both.  In more and more locations metal detectors are springing up for the sole purpose of disarming our people, not to catch criminals.  If this were not the case, why the draconian punishments when a weapon is found on a man with a clean record?

As the on duty manager what is your established procedure should a madman begin to indiscriminately shoot people in your store?  I can guess.  You will call 911 and run like hell leaving everyone else to fend for themselves.  I seriously doubt that you or your employees will come to our aid with any means to do so since I am sure that The Home Depot’s policies also prevent you from carrying arms.  In a flash everyone in the building become victims or potential victims.  And the sickest part of it all is each person who remains alive will be hiding and praying that the other guy gets it while they do nothing.  Equally reprehensible is our expectation that the police risk their lives to save us while we do nothing to help ourselves.  The police are not our personal body guards.  They will help if they can, but do not expect them to take a bullet for you.  Only the Secret Service does that and only for one man.  In fact, as Reginald Denny learned the hard way during the Los Angeles riots, the police could watch the crime on television with the intent to capture the criminal, not to save the victims.  Their job is solely to capture the bad guy and gather evidence.  And remember this, if it takes five minutes for them to arrive and subdue, that is five more dead customers if the murderer paused a full minute between shots.  This demonstrates rank cowardice on our part to allow this to happen in our midst.

Each person has an inalienable right to defend his life at all times.  In addition to that, we also have the solemn duty to defend those around us from loss of life.  Death is permanent.  Most of us keep a weapon in our bedroom for just that reason.  However, through na├»ve apathy we go out into the world armed with only a cell phone.  Thugs are universally uncooperative with our polite request to return home for our weapon or to use the phone to call for help.  They also have shown adeptness at playing the lag time between calling 911 and the arrival of the police.  In other words, when you need your weapon, you need it here, now!  The Los Angeles police have determined through the gruesome evidence that Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson were murdered by one man with a knife on a public sidewalk in front of Nicole’s home.  Whether Nicole had a gun in her bedroom or not, we do not know.  We do know that she was unable to use one.  They failed to convict anyone for this crime.  In another crime, in New Hampshire, two college professors, Half and his wife Suzanne Zantop, were murdered by two teenagers with knives, in their home.  They too were unable to utilize a weapon in self defense.  How much more vulnerable are we when we are miles away from our weapons.  They are no use in our homes and cars when we are not near them.  Shandra Levy was murdered in broad daylight on a jogging trail in Washington, D.C.  The police do not know how she was killed since it took them the better part of a year to come to her aid.  We are confident that there was no firearm involved since Shandra was prevented by D.C. law to carry one and her attacker did not need one.  The really perverse thing in this situation is that we are all certain that many more young women will be brutally murdered in the near future while we continue to proscribe their ability to carry a handgun in self defense.

It is my sincere, profound and reverent prayer that I will never be faced with a deadly situation requiring the use of my handgun and that the trouble I go through in carrying one will be for naught.  However, it is also my profound prayer that if I am threatened, that I will be decisive and efficient in the defense of my life and those around me.  I hope this sufficiently answers your first question.  Now that I am thinking about it, I would like to change my answer to your second question.  Yes, I am in law enforcement.

William C. Howe                    

cc:        Home Depot Headquarters, Atlanta, GA.
            Robert C. Scott, Congressman

            3rd District U.S. House of Representatives