In the spring of 2009 I once again became unemployed; continuing a long personal tradition of crushing potentially lucrative careers for speaking out when things were obviously just plain wrong.
I hold no ill will for those who chose to provide me with new horizons from time to time. I fully understand that for the most part, they were simply “following orders” or “covering their asses”; which is to say protecting their ability to provide for their families. And in EVERY case, I had more than a few quiet supporters to include more often than not the person tasked to execute my termination. And in each instance changes, sometimes MASSIVE changes followed in the wake of my exit.
Yes, I am aware that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity (Albert Einstein). Guilty as charged.
But just for a moment I would like to examine the justifications used by those who terminated me. The one excuse that riles me the most is the “just following orders”. As a combat veteran this one just gets under my skin. In war people perform acts of great heroism and great cowardice but most just try to survive (guilty as charged!). The Nuremberg Trials which occurred shortly after the end of WW-II held that “just following orders” was not a valid defense for any crime. Period. And do keep in mind that the Nuremberg trials tried most of the more prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of Nazi Germany.
And let’s just examine the word “orders” for a moment. There have always been both “direct” and “indirect” orders - which is why the military charge is always “Disobeying a Direct (or lawful) Order”. But as we all know, there is that grey area of “indirect orders”; orders that are conveyed through inference and hypothetical scenarios etc.
I recall an incident in Vietnam where an NCO friend of mine effected a veritable “miracle” under the cover of darkness one night. The following morning the area commander, a full colonel, came roaring into his office and demanded to know just how this miracle happened. After an inordinately long “pregnant pause” the colonel said: “You are right, I just don’t want to know”. To this day I respect and admire that NCO as much as I do a friend of mine who was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor.
The “indirect order” is the basis for our national cancer: Political Correctness.
I have read a couple of articles that attempt to analyze the situation with Tuffy Gessling, the rodeo clown who evidently offended our Dip-Stick-In-Charge (DSIC). Now I could be mistaken, but I seem to recall an almost identical clown act where the clown head was that of President Ronald Reagan. If I understand what I have read, the moron that decided to ban Tuffy Gessling from the rodeo business for life is now in jeopardy of becoming fully (and hopefully permanently) unemployed himself. I truly hope so. My contact with folks from Missouri have always reflected an intensely proud and fiercely independent people. I choose to believe that the people of Missouri would not tolerate such brutal governmental oppression.
In past history, it was a capital offense to “...speak ill of the King”. Seems to me that we are fast approaching that level of intolerance yet once again.
Again, I could be mistaken, but I believe that I read somewhere something that said:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Oh. Yeah. That is the First Amendment to The Constitution of The United States.
While I am at it, let me address this “...abridging the freedom of speech” issue. The supreme court has ruled that “shouting ‘FIRE’ in a crowded theater when no fire exists is not protected by the First Amendment” - which to me is common sense; something that we seem to have lost track of in recent times. As a second generation combat veteran, one of the most offensive forms of “free speech” is the periodic burning of our American Flag. It simply does not get more offensive as far as I am concerned. But I have put my life on the line more than once to protect the right of our citizens to express their outrage in any non-violent manner they choose - even the burning of our flag.
James A. Baldwin, American novelist and social critic said: “The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.” I am (gratefully) unemployed and have few “things” to lose. I own a ten year old motorcycle and a fifteen year old pickup truck. I can no longer be fired (unless of course my wife actually follows through on some of her threats when I become too politically vocal).
America is the sociological implementation of Stone Soup. We started as travelers who were downtrodden, beaten, and half starved. God presented us with this vast caldron and challenged us to fill it in such a manner as to feed all who would partake. And we filled that caldron with broad sections of English, French, German, Swiss, Polish, Russian, Italian, and countless other nations. We filled this God given caldron with Christians of every flavor and Jews and peoples of a hundred faiths. And after the wild but not random concoction was properly heated with the heat of battle in our fight for independence, the greatest nation that God has ever created was born.
Our fight for independence. Our fight for individual freedoms. Our fight for a highly limited and confined government.
At some point America must come to the realization that they are losing and have lost everything that they truly hold dear. Not the big house. Not the fancy car. Not the (generally useless) college degree that they will be paying for in the coming decades.
What we are losing is our freedoms. What we are losing is the values that made this country strong. And if We The People do not stand up now, that most dangerous creature cited by James Baldwin will once again become the norm.
But the heat of open combat can be avoided, just as flood damage can be avoided or at least significantly mitigated with proper planning and preventative measures.
Far too many people in my circles of patriotic conservatives have expressed concerns about economic and political reprisals should they speak out. I counsel that if they do not speak out NOW then the inevitable reprisals will be far more severe.
FOCUS! There are far too many “issues” that demand our attention. Please take a moment to read “Four Pillars of Freedom” as a starting point. Get involved. Attend meetings and demonstrations; body count matters. And... ATTACK!
NO, I DO NOT MEAN INITIATE VIOLENCE.
“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” - Isaac Asimov
What I DO mean is let’s start dismantling the opposition.
For instance: How is it that the NAACP maintains a “not for profit (tax free / funded by We The People) status when the bulk of their activity is political at every level? And how much “advancement” does a group need when they have representation at every level of our society and the world leadership? It is time to properly identify them for what they are and to strip them of their life blood - OUR tax dollars.
And at every turning we must properly vet all candidates for public office - from the local dog catcher to the very top.
DIVORCE OUR POLITICAL PARTIES.
I have long maintained that there are truly only two political parties in this country: the Elitists In Washington (who exempt themselves from the laws they pass) and We The People.
We constantly talk about “RINOs” - Republicans in Name Only - and “Conservative Democrats” (an oxymoron?) and as we debate those academic theories the grist mill of government continues to erode our freedoms.
I suggest that we drop the labels and start looking at the individual.
Look at their commitment to the Constitution, their courage to stand alone, and their ability to carry a message. Start there. Put (most) other issues to the side. Stand together, proud and loud.
Believe in the America that we love and believe in ourselves.
And believe me that being unemployed can provide a wonderful sense of freedom.