Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Christmas Bees

March 2006
It was our first Christmas in the new house that we built on the wooded hillside over the beach on Reloncaví Bay. It felt as though we were camping out inside, since there was still no varnish on the redwood sheeted walls and the ceilings were just beams and insulation. There were bare light bulbs hanging on wires where later rustic iron lamps would brighten up cold dark winter nights in July. There weren’t even any interior doors in the house yet. Personal privacy depended on each person respecting the intimacy of the rest.

The house was a big three story log affair. Actually the bottom floor was mostly a basement, only on the front did it have doors or windows. That was because the house was built on a slope so as to have the best view of the bay, the islands and the Cordillera of the Andes. Behind the house there was still an ugly pit where mud had been pumped and bucketed out of a little swamp. A trickle of clear water seeped out of the ground there and found its way under the house into a concrete pipe and then out from under the front of the house to join a stream that ran right below the terrace on the beach side of the house.

The kitchen door opened out the back over the mud pit and one hundred feet further back was the foot of a big wooded bluff that rose steeply to three hundred feet above sea level. In order to use this back door I had cobbled together a rather precarious porch using leftovers from the rest of the construction. The construction budget was empty and a real porch would have to wait for next year. Whatever more could be bought would have to go for lamps, doors, ceilings and other details that my wife considered important.

When I got up early on Christmas morning, I opened the back door and stepped out into the warm green light of sunrise in summertime, to find that I wasn’t the only one who approved of porches. There were bees, honeybees, flying around and lighting on the porch. At first I noticed five or six, but quickly the porch began to fill up with beautiful little bees. “Well Merry Christmas, little friends. Have you come to bless our house?” I asked them. They answered affirmatively by arriving en masse. Now there were thousands of bees on the porch. They formed little roiling balls on the floor and the handrail. This was a swarm and they were looking for a new home.

It so happened that I had a couple of empty wooden nail boxes in the basement. They looked like bee boxes; maybe these bees would get the hint and enter a nail box. So I went and got a box and cut a little hole for a door. I picked up a waste piece of plywood to serve as a lid and went upstairs and out on the back porch. There were many more bees then before. I didn’t know much about bees at that time (I still don’t know much, but I know more than I did then). However, I was pretty sure that this was the moment, that either I would get the bees to make the nail box their home or the queen would fly out of the milling group, up into the woods trailing her thousands of minions and they would be gone.

So I set the box down and with a piece of shingle began to scoop up bees and deposit them into the box. Only because these were blessed Christmas bees did I avoid being severely stung. But although they didn’t sting me my loading system didn’t work very well. The bees didn’t want to stay put in the box and soon there were bees flying everywhere and crawling out of the box and all over me and all over the porch. Then I remembered that we had a jar of honey in the cupboard. I don’t know how I knew that this was the solution to my bee problem; the idea somehow had popped into my head of its own volition.

I went back into the house and came out with the honey. When I opened the jar the bees immediately became more active, buzzing around in earnest. I tilted the jar and let a big dollop drop heavily into the nail box and quickly put the lid back on the honey, even so I had fifty or sixty little bees all over the jar and on my hands and arms. When I went into the house the bees left me and flew back towards the open window. Eventually they figured out how to exit. I looked out the window to find more bees milling together in the box and around it. I said a little prayer of thanks to the Creator of this incredible, beautiful world we live in and left the bees to themselves.

My son woke up and came downstairs very anxious to tear into his presents. He was six that year; his little sister was just a baby and didn’t know much about Christmas yet. After presents we had breakfast in our new kitchen. It was marvelous, and I believe that may have been the first meal where we felt really at home in our kitchen, in our beautiful, innocent, unspoiled house. After breakfast we went out (cautiously) onto the rickety porch to see the bees. They were all in the box! Every single bee was in that box.

I got some cypress posts and banged a stand together for the box under the eaves of the trees at the foot of the bluff. Then I went back and lifted my precious box very carefully, walked off the porch to the trees and I set the bees down on their stand. There they stayed for years until I moved them to the front of the house where the sunlight warmed the box earlier in the spring. There were plum trees there in the front yard near the beach that yielded very few plums because they were never pollinated before their blossoms fell in early spring. After the bees moved into the orchard we had to support the plum trees or the weight of their fruit would break the branches off.

Those plums were old trees, the deep red fruit was small and neither so juicy nor so sweet as the varieties sold in stores. I always found them to be delicious to eat, but they reached their full potential when they were cooked slowly in a big stock pot, together with lots of sugar. The jam that we made from these plums was the most flavorful jam of all time as well as the most beautiful, when the jam jar caught the sunlight just right on the kitchen table it shone a beautiful ruby red like a giant jewel. That jam was just one of the many blessings that the Christmas bees brought to our family.

Our third child, a precious little girl was born two years after that magical Christmas. The children grew and went to school where they learned to read and write and gossip about musicians and other celebrities. At home they learned that the creation of God is perfect and that every leaf, every flower, every seagull that flies over the beach and every chucao that calls from the underbrush in the forest is a work of art more beautiful and intricate than the greatest paintings of the Renaissance masters. And there were the bees that God had sent to us, tending his garden. The children saw the bees. The kids grew up as part of God’s garden.

The house grew and took life. It was an integral part of the family as we lived in it and learned its personality. A beautiful back porch replaced the rickety one and became the haven for summer lunches. The pit was filled and became a garden full of calla lilies and fuchsias. The iron lamps were installed, the ceilings were sheeted with blond mañio boards. The Christmas bees’ house was also improved with frames for their honeycombs and a little take-off and landing ramp at their front door. The girls and I would sit in the orchard on a sunny summer day and watch the bees come and go with irresistible determination to fulfill their two responsibilities; the fertilization of the flowers in God’s garden and the magical confection of sweet honey. They were not normal bees they were specially blessed.

Honeybees are extraordinary creatures that live and work in harmony. One bee can explain exactly where good flowers and pollen are located to the other bees in the dark of their hive by dancing in a certain pattern, even if the flowers are half of a mile away. To protect the queen and the hive, bees sacrifice themselves for the good of all. The honeybee is a humble servant to all of its brothers and sisters. But God balances all things and therefore as beautiful, clean and productive as is the honeybee, there is a mirror opposite. The hornet or yellow jacket is evil, a thief and assassin. It steals what it eats and it steals the home in which it lives. It produces nothing but death and loss.

- -

Alas, every day isn’t Christmas and we do our best to despoil God’s garden. Life should have been good, but there were problems. I originally went to Chile to build a fishing lodge in the mountains. But a number of years later the decision was made to sell the lodge and my job ended. At that point I had my house and family in Chile and I had to do anything that I could invent or that appeared on the horizon in order to earn a salary that would maintain our standard of living. I worked in logging, and went back and ran the lodge which had been ours. That was humiliating and horrible; it was like being hired as the nanny for your own children by crass and stupid adoptive parents. I built a little plant to manufacture redwood doors. And I followed in the footsteps of countless knuckleheads to lose a bundle as a fish broker. Each job was more uncertain than the last.

My wife and I had always had a difficult marriage. We are very different people and have never been very good at understanding one another. The relationship got worse as my job opportunities became more uncertain and less lucrative, although I’m not certain that there is any relation between the two things. At any rate my wife, who was always rather choleric and vituperative, became more and more displeased with me. I was the cause of all her woes. And I had more and more problems with her family. I am still flabbergasted that a group of people so adept at extending their hands palm up for my money, either directly or indirectly through my wife, somehow loathe me enough to poison my wife against me. Her brothers would quit jobs that I gave them and that they did worse than poorly, and then cadge money from my wife and ask her for a job that they would do even worse than the last one. In the interest of marital relations I gave them endless opportunities to do me wrong. They were quite adept at taking advantage of those opportunities. But my wife would not hear a word of criticism against them and my gripes about her family caused me to suffer long and ugly bouts of screaming insults.

I began to distance myself from God and the church. I am an alcoholic and I was in recovery all this time, but I got closer and closer to a drink. My wife got nastier and nastier to me. In fits of dysfunction she would block me into a room by standing squarely in the doorway and scream insults at me. I pushed her on various occasions and even hit her. The children had to witness the screaming, the swearing and insults, and our boy had to see me lose it and backhand his mother. I felt absolutely trapped. I dreamed of being free to live a happy life, but I was certain that the fate of my children without me would be worse than bleak. I considered my existence with her untenable and dreamed of raising the kids myself. My wife let me know that as a foreigner I had no chance of even seeing the children if I were to separate and a Chilean lawyer collected a fat fee from me in order to agree with her judgment.

So I made a decision, the worst decision possible, I opted for the choice of the alcoholic. I started to drink again. I began to get drunk, stay drunk and cheat on my wife with many women. Our fights became epic, tragic battles that followed a sick pattern, like ballroom dancing in hell. The children suffered terribly. My beautiful older daughter would cry without being able to stop at school. My son had to protect his mother from me when I was drunk. At the same time my wife started to go out with friends; she would drink and stay out all night. This took place off and on for three years. Finally I went to a clinic in Connecticut to which I harbor an enormous gratitude. May God bless Mountainside Clinic and everyone who works there. They reunited me with God and AA and I came out a better person than I’ve ever been. I’ve now been sober for almost three years, but my sins have contaminated everything and everyone around me. My children are happier, but there is something in each of them that is permanently wounded. There are stains on the soul of our house; there are too many bad memories there.

Even so, I noticed the bees again one day a couple of years ago, and noticed that it was early summer and noticed that the world was beautiful. My kids have seen it too. We are living in the light again.

My wife has had a harder time. She can’t seem to forgive me and that causes her terrible bouts of anguish and rage. Her father did her the courtesy to teach that a Chávez never forgives anybody, ever. Forgiveness is for God. People who forgive are just weak. He taught that your most prized possession is your pride. Perhaps my sins were too heinous to be forgiven, but I know that my wife’s life will be better if she forgives me. I had forgiven her and I could see the bees; she didn’t forgive and couldn’t see the bees for what they were. To her they were stinging insects that produced a couple of jars of honey each year. She didn’t remember that they were a gift from God.

Now for the last six months I’ve been working in the States trying to help a wonderful man save marriages in hopes that my labor might balance out some of the damage I have done. This work’s greatest benefit is that it has improved the quality of our marriage greatly. We were learning to get along again and enjoy each other. We took a cruise with my boss during which we found that she and I still truly love one another. Things were looking like we might be able to have a healthy relationship for the first time. After the cruise I went back to work in Wisconsin and she went back home to Chile to tie things up and pack all of our worldly possessions for shipment to Wisconsin.

That is because we had decided as a family to accept the invitation of my new employer to move to the United States, at least for a couple of years. My family was to have packed and sent our things in February, but my wife’s relatives (15 of them at one point) all moved into our house for the summer and she began to change. When I spoke to her on the phone, the loving and beautiful woman began to regress to the hateful untrusting and irrational being that I shudder to think about. Why does this always happen when she is around them?

I decided to go to Chile to find out what happened and what will happen. My wife did not come to meet me at the airport and was very cold the night that I arrived. I tried to talk to her about moving to the States but she just brushed aside the questions and wouldn’t give me a straight answer. I tried to follow my boss’s wise advice and to be a calm voice of reason. I did so that night, although she simply would not listen to reason and instead insulted me imaginatively, graphically and loudly. The next day she took off with our son before noon and said she’d be back in a couple of hours. I was stuck with no way to get to town and couldn’t do anything that I had planned to do. They finally got home at 9:30 that night without having phoned all day. She was irate when I suggested that it was rude to do what she had done. When I asked her about moving to the States she said that if the gardener can’t go with her, she wouldn’t go and neither will the kids. I had explained about fifty times that the only way the old gentleman could go was to initiate a long and expensive process from the USA. But she wouldn’t hear it. Either he goes with her or she doesn’t go and neither do the kids. Then she left me talking alone, turned her back to me and walked away. I lost it and a terrible scene ensued. She took off with the kids although the girls wanted to stay with me. Of course she went to the house of her mother where the sister and brother live.

I spent a bad night with no sleep, finally the day dawned and I got up. I kneeled and prayed that God give me a sign. I prayed for over an hour. I asked to know what had happened and to know how to proceed. I asked what I should do if my wife continued with her stubborn resolve to stay with the children in Chile. I asked Him to show me what is wrong, to show me why my wife changed again. I didn’t get an answer so I got up and walked outside.

I walked out the front porch and down the steps with no destination in mind. I wandered around the raspberries and currant bushes and strolled towards the beach. Then I noticed that the ground was covered with rotting plums under the trees. Even with all those people here all summer, no-one had bothered to pick the plums or make jam. And then I saw the home of our Christmas bees.

There should have been intense, continuous movement in and out of the hive. There was none. I walked closer and heard no buzzing from inside the box. It looked dead. I felt all the energy and hope that I had left leave me like a long, last exhale. I stood looking without breathing for a long moment. Then I saw a couple of yellow jackets crawl out of the box with their hideous radioactive yellow bodies. My Christmas bees were gone. There were vile, poisonous yellow jackets feeding on the Christmas bees’ labor. I almost cried. But what did it mean? Did it mean they were dead?


No, it meant that the bees had given up fighting against long odds, and they had gone somewhere that promised a brighter future for their offspring, somewhere free of the predation of the thieving yellow jackets. Their queen had to believe that it would be better somewhere else, or she would not organize the hive and the bees would not go anywhere. But since she never leaves the hive she must trust the bees that inform her that there is a better place. If she didn’t believe them, didn’t believe that there was a better place, they might all stay and be beggared to starvation by the hornets. The key was to convince the queen with the truth, with patience and humility. Some bee or bees had done that and had danced honestly and humbly in front of the queen to show her where there was a better place. She believed the dancer and led the hive to their new home.

May God bless them wherever they are and may He send them back to us when we return to Panitao years from now, because we aren’t going to live there for a long time.

I swallowed my stupid pride and imitated the humble, patient bees. I took the time to dance well in front of the queen. I danced humbly; I explained with great patience and finally she decided that she will gather the children and follow me to where there are more flowers and fewer hornets far to the north.

Glory be to God.

November 2007

My beautiful wife is in Chile as I write. She left the cold of Wisconsin two weeks ago and won’t be back for another two weeks. I am here in Green Bay with my two girls and Shark the idiot golden retriever. We are getting by without my wife, but it feels odd and not quite right. It is cold outside and the wind is screeching; blowing empty water bottles and odd trash from somewhere into the yard of our rented house. Green Bay is where we live now, but it will never be home. The girls and I just talked to our wife/mother by voice over Messenger. She has been dealing with a year and a half of accumulated problems, each of which has its own constituency by now. She is tired and irascible, but underneath she is thrilled to be at our home.

It is wonderful to call her and send messages because we love each other again. She and I and our boy and the girls have all learned to love each other like never before. We are doing what we have to do and we are helping people. The girls are studying here with us, ice-skating and singing. Alan just finished High School in Puerto Montt. He’s living with his grandmother. It is all working out, but we feel like the Israelites in Egypt. We want to go home.

It was warm in Puerto Montt today. It wouldn’t seem warm to most people, but a native of Seattle would understand. She said that the chucao was calling from the woods behind the house, the wire-tailed rayadito is nesting under the eaves next to our big bedroom window again, and the swallows are flying their racetrack pattern down from the house, through the rose bushes, past my stately sequoia, over the poultry barn, behind the empty bee hive and the plum trees and then swoop to ground level, over the lawn and speed back up the hill to the house to complete another lap. The gulls were calling from the beach and two pelicans flew gliding ponderously over the waves in front of our gate.

I say she is thrilled to be at our home, not that she is thrilled to be home. She said that without her family with her she feels like she is looking at a movie, it just doesn’t feel real. She won’t be home until we are all there. Oh, how we want to go home.
So I asked my wife if there were bees in the rose bushes and the fuchsias. She said that there were some, not many but she saw a couple.
Are there any bees in the plum trees?
Are there any bees in the hive? …

No, there are no bees in the hive. … Yet.

I hope that the bees go home soon, because when they do, I’m going to pack up the idiot dog all of our Chilean furniture and these lovely people and we are going to go home. Until then, like the Israelites, we will try to do God’s bidding here in exile.


Angel Crucificada

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Faithful Citizenship by Kent C. Bois

Over the past couple of years I have experienced growing frustration with the lack of Catholic influence in the political arena. I am told our vote has a tremendous effect on the outcome of presidential elections. If this is the case then why is abortion on demand still legal, why can’t we have vouchers or tax credits to home school or to use at schools outside the public system? Why are Christian values of life and family, peace and common decency attacked so often in public? It’s getting to the point where it is illegal to express our faith based, moral convictions publicly. We are not even supposed to pray publicly in Jesus’ name any more. Most importantly where are the politicians who will lead the way in supporting what we hold dear? Why must we vote for the lesser of two evils?

One cause of the breach between Catholic aspirations and what actually transpires is the failure of our Church here in America to provide clear and strong leadership, to teach the faith and exhort us to exercise it as Catholic citizens. Have you ever heard a homily encouraging you to vote for politicians who support moral positions? That it is your duty? The ‘Lay Faithful’s’ duty is to take our faith into our communities, work places and even into politics. That’s right I said politics. Our religion is not a private matter! Atheists, gay marriage proponents and abortion advocates do not have the moral high ground. We have just as much right to advocate for what we believe in as they do. We have just as much right to speak out and support legislation which reflects our deepest beliefs and values as they do. Yet we allow them to silence us, our Church, and many of our Cardinals, Bishops and Priests as well. How do they do that? There are probably many ways but let me reflect on one.

There is an attitude or an idea that I think most of us are familiar with: the so-called separation of Church and State. I hear it used all the time and I’m sick of it. The erroneous understanding of our Constitution and the shameless perpetuation of this lie have convinced many if not most Americans that religion is supposed to be a private matter. That religious convictions and beliefs are not supposed to inform us as we legislate the laws of our country. NONSENSE! This understanding of the Constitution is contrary to historical usage and just plain stupid.

First the so called separation of church and state is not in the Constitution. To the contrary, it is based on a quote of Thomas Jefferson to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut. He wrote that there was a, "wall of separation between the church and the state." Why did he say this? He told them this because they were afraid. Of what, you ask? They were afraid that the government would infringe on their freedom to worship. The separation or wall that Jefferson wrote about was to let them know that the Constitution had been written to protect Religion from the State. Let me say that again because it sounds so good: to protect Religion from the State.

See for more.
But let me add what the Constitution does say.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Both the free exercise clause and the establishment clause place restrictions on the government concerning laws they pass or interfering with religion. No restrictions are placed on religions except perhaps that a religious denomination cannot become the state religion.”

Is this amazing? Our Constitution restricts government! Next time you here separation of church and state use the above quote.

Now lets get down to business. Mr. Joe Healy, an engineer, did some amazing homework using the document, Faithful Citizenship, on his blog defend life. He took the criteria listed in Faithful Citizenship, assigned points to "intrinsically evil" positions and other important issues. Higher points were given for intrinsically evil issues and lesser points for other issues. He then looked at the voting records or stated positions of all the presidential candidates, including Allan Keyes, and added up the points to see which candidates come closest to reflecting a truly Catholic position on these very important issues. Remember our faith is supposed to inform not just what we believe but how we act. So what were the results?
1. Ron Paul (R): 99 points
2. Alan Keyes (R): 70 (not on the ballot in all states)
3. Mike Huckabee (R): 69
4. Duncan Hunter (R): 50
5. Tom Tancredo (R): 48
6. John McCain (R): 36
7. Chris Dodd (D): 25
8. Dennis Kucinich (D): 22
9. Mitt Romney (R): 10
10. Joe Biden (D): 5
11. Fred Thompson (R): 4
12. Hillary Clinton (D): (-11)
13. John Edwards (D): (-13)
14. Bill Richardson (D): (-15)
15. Barack Obama (D): (-15)
16. Rudy Giuliani (R): (-28)
The following quote from Mr. Healy will help to qualify these results.
“My analysis is not perfect, but I think it gives a good relative scale of all of the candidates against important Catholic social issues.”
I’m guessing these results are a surprise to many. What I am hoping is that you will take this very seriously. Fr. Frank Pavone praised the work of the Bishops in giving us Faithful Citizenship. Although it may not be as clear and strong in pointing the way as some might like. Mr. Healy’s work has connected the dots in an explicit and powerful way.

Finally do not be afraid to be 100% Catholic in the public arena. We aren’t second class citizens. We all know there are serious problems in our country, morally and economically. We also know that our current politicians are doing nothing to effect real change. Why do we keep voting the same politicians back into office? Don’t you think that bringing our faith back into public life will have an overwhelmingly positive effect on our country? I do. Don’t be embarrassed by your faith. Vote and vote for the candidate that your conscience informed by your faith will best lead this country. Hint they’re not the front runners. Primaries are coming up soon make your vote count. In closing I would like to share a prayer by the Protestant minister Derek Prince, “Lord give us leaders such that it will be for Your glory to give us victory through them.”

God Bless America

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Letter to WSJ reporter, Amy Schatz

Ms. Schatz,

I just read David Chesley's response to your article about him and I must say that although I am not surprised, I certainly am disappointed. I am disappointed in you as a journalist as I am disappointed daily by the majority of mainstream journalism in the United States. I would love to see more journalists who have the integrity to ignore instructions from the media's ownership and write honestly about Dr. Ron Paul. I am sorry that you aren't willing to risk your job to tell the truth.
I want you to know that I am not a kook, as Mona Charen would like to paint me.
I am a well-educated middle class American. I am an ex-expat who has lived 25 years in South America, mostly in Chile. I read deeply: Romans from Livy and Suetonius to Procopius and Seneca, I read Plutarch, Thucydides, Machiavelli, the Romantic philosophers, our Founding Fathers and the darker ideas of Kafka, Nietzsche, Orwell and Huxley. If I am a Kook, then it is crazy to be educated. I have a bachelor's degree in Political Science and an associate’s degree in Culinary Arts. I paint and I try to write. Above all else I am a faithful Catholic who is dedicated to advancing the kingdom of God here on earth. With what I have learned, I have come to the conclusion that there is no excuse for dishonesty and that there is almost no justification for killing.
I find the current crop of candidates as blatant a group of dissemblers as has ever aspired to the Presidency of our once noble nation. They are all motivated by naked ambition. Besides Dr. Paul and perhaps Mr. Kucinich, there is not one of them whose positions are anything more than the results of test groups and polling numbers. They never truly answer a question; they always talk in circles so as to be free to change their position later without "flipflopping". They all have a varied selection of speeches that they can deliver depending on the audience that they plan to lie to. There is nothing genuine left in most of them; they have become vacuous bags of greed and ambition. So they are not "called" to the Presidency in order to right wrongs or to sacrifice four years of their lives to advance a coherent vision of change. In fact they all have parts in the same choir. They just sing different parts in the same song. The only reason that they humiliate themselves in front of the press and groups of farmers at diners in Des Moines and Concord is because they want the power of the Presidency with an urge that is almost sexual in its intensity.
What hurts me most is that the candidates are so ready to use the power of the Presidency to kill. It is obvious when one listens to Hillary, Rudy and Romney, but it is there with Edwards, Biden, McCain and Thompson as well. They reserve the right to maintain soldiers abroad, to continue abortion in America, to advance unnecessary fetal stem cell research. They will not fight to outlaw the death penalty; they are wish washy even about preemptive use of nuclear weapons! They are against torture "except in cases of national emergency..." Kill, kill, kill! What do we harvest in the fields of death? We harvest more death and generational hatred.
We need a leader with humility and integrity who can say, wait a moment, if we are to equivocate, let it be on the side of caution because all human life is dear.
To this educated kook, there is no choice other than Ron Paul in this election.

If it were up to journalists such as you, Amy, no one in this country would know anything about Dr. Paul. If it were up to your boss, Mr. Murdoch, Ron Paul would be ridiculed into oblivion. But Mr. Murdoch and his paid propagandists do not control all public discussion any longer. There is a forum where real ideas can be discussed.
I thank God for the Internet, and I warn you Amy, that as more people have their eyes opened to more angles of reality, that they will see you and reporters like you and Mona Charen as paid stooges not to be trusted, but rather to be pitied for their servitude.


Christopher Ferrell

Friday, November 16, 2007

Great Video From Ron Paul

Why We Have The Right To Bear Arms


The discussion about our right to own firearms completely misses the point. The writers of the Constitution were not worried about our ability to hunt, nor were they concerned about assuring that we could ward off burglars. The sole reason that firearms were important enough to be included in the Bill of Rights was to guarantee our ability to protect ourselves from OUR government.

If we are armed in order to keep the government in check, to keep it from taking away our rights, then our weapons have to be threatening to the government. In 1791 the citizens of this country were armed almost as well as the army was. The government had many reasons to protect the rights of the citizenry: one of those reasons being the last resort of revolution. The arms of the citizens kept the government honest.

That idea has been purposely buried so as to confuse the issue. We hear concerned police and leftist politicians concede that hunting guns make sense; that we should have the right to own a shotgun, but that assault rifles and semiautomatic handguns are too dangerous for citizens to own. We hear pundits say that many arms are too dangerous and too threatening. The media never mentions that our arms must be as dangerous and threatening as those in the hands of Homeland Security and the local Sheriff’s Department in order for the Second Amendment to be meaningful.

But now there are many government entities working to limit the firearms that we can own, and at the same time the government is militarizing our police departments. Your local sheriffs department is now armed with M16s, grenade launchers, high-powered sniper rifles, body army and grenades. What is that firepower for? It is a bit excessive for crime fighting. It is equipment that is designed to control large mobs with deadly force. The expense involved in this militarization is huge; the total cost of this militarization it is in the billions. Why is the government arming to confront large groups of people here in the United States?

The NRA has not been a very good representative of gun owners because they do not share the philosophy of mistrust in our government. They have become a big Washington lobby that is part of the system, not a check on the system. So citizens need to write their Congressmen and make noise in the press and on the Internet. We need arms that allow us to be a legitimate threat to the government. Do not let them take away our assault rifles. At the same time we need to demand that the police departments be de-militarized. We are not well served by police that can control us all.

We are being told that it is patriotic to keep step with the government. That is a LIE! It is patriotic to make the government fear US, not for us to fear the government.

“A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”

~George Washington

Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth.

~George Washington

This is an update to the article I wrote last year.
I ran across an article making the case that in every case of genocide in the last 100 years, the government took away the people's right to won guns first. Click on the window below to see the statistics, or click here to read the article.

Second Update

I wrote this article about a year ago. I made an addition below, by adding the chart that ties acts of genocide to the control and confiscation of guns.
Now I have to add another set of comments because our second amendment rights are under attack like never before in our history by a bill that was introduced to Congress on January 6th 2009, titled HR-45, Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009.
The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee on the day that it was introduced and on the 9th of February it was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

Normally a bill this bad would have died quietly in the Judiciary Committee, but this Orwellian nightmare has taken a step closer to being voted on. This may happen and you need to write your Congressmen and stop this horrible legislation.

And here are the details of this bill that will effectively repeal the 2nd Amendment:

1.- If you own guns you will need a Federal gun owners ID, which will include retina scans, fingerprints
2.- Each gun that you own must be registered.
3.- You may only sell a gun to a registered gun collector or gun dealer and each transaction has to pay a $25 fee. You may not sell a gun directly to a friend. Guns cannot be passed from one generation to another without going through a gun dealer.
4.- If you have a gun lost or stolen you must report it within (I don't remember - a week I think)
5.- Failure to report a lost or stolen gun will result in fines and up to 2 years in the pen.
6.- If children under 18 years old reside in your home your guns must be disassembled and kept under lock and key.
7.- Federal inspectors can request to see your guns and your paperwork at any time. If they find that your guns are not locked up, then you will be.

How's that sound?

If you don't have any unregistered guns, get some.
Buy lots of ammo. Lots of ammo. Other people may need it too.
Don't keep all your guns and ammo in the same place.

Third Update:
Fortunately the horrible HR45 was not passed. Good news doesn't happen very often in statist America, we should be happy for every victory.

Following is a terrific video shot during a Senate hearing to ban "assault weapons". Pay extra attention to the last minute. The Senators don't get it, but Dr. Suzanna Hupp certainly does.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Second Generation Latinos and You

A curious thing happens to low income Hispanic immigrants in the United States. The first generation, those that come across the American border either with proper documentation or without, embody the American dream in all its hope and ambition. By and large, they are humble, law abiding, respectful people. Their crime rates per capita are lower than the national average. They come here to work, save money and to offer a better life to their children than they had as poor campesinos south of the border. But their children, the second generation, and succeeding generations seem to lose the work ethic, they lose respect for America and fall into cultural dysfunction. Why does this happen? Is American society doing something that impedes Hispanic immigrants from passing their positive values and habits on to their children?

Most first generation Hispanic immigrants come from low-income families with little formal education and they work considerably longer hours than native-born Americans do. They save much more money as a percentage of their income than their Americans counterparts do. Most are religious and a greater percentage attends regular religious services than low income Americans do. Given the opportunity, more low-income first generation Hispanics buy and own their own homes than their low-income American counterparts. Although it is difficult to find valid statistics about this group of people because many of them are undocumented and do not show up in most surveys, it appears that they are much less likely to be involved in illegal activity than Americans in the same income group.

The curious thing that happens to the Hispanic population is that a large percentage of the second generation abandons the values of its progenitors. There are factors that determine the extent of this dichotomy, for instance family stability, the amount of time that parents spend with their children and the involvement of the parents, especially fathers, in the schooling of their children. The more attention that children receive from the parents the less likely that they will end up in trouble. But an inordinate percentage of young Latinos take the wrong road, have trouble with the law and don’t finish school or get good jobs. They adopt a culture of rebellion that frightens the Anglos around them. Hip Hop clothes and attitudes designed to intimidate are common. Why does this change happen from one generation to the next?

I submit that the cold, hateful welcome that these people receive is one of the major reasons for the rebellion of their children. Hispanic families are very tight. Pride is important to them and in their cultures respect and courtesy are observed with more formality than they are here. Americans are actually quite rude, our modern culture seems to look down on courtesy, and perhaps it is old fashioned. So we think nothing about being rude and direct with a Hispanic immigrant who is with his children. This scorn, which may be nothing more than a disapproving glance at the grocery store, is recorded by the kids watching the public humiliation of their Mom and Dad. It happens all the time and often it is quite striking. It is especially telling when the kids see how badly treated their parents are by their employers. The reaction to humiliation is powerful and the Latino kids who witness their parents’ belittlement turn away from mainstream Anglo culture and find their heroes in the rebels.

It also happens in schools. The Anglo kids who learn racism at home with Mom and Dad shun the Latino kids. The Latinos are often ridiculed and then in turn they shun the Anglo kids and tend to stick with their Hispanic friends. These groups easily turn into gangs and fight each other. The heroes to the young Latinos then are fighters, gangstas who make money without having to humiliate themselves before the scornful white folks.

If we want to do something to stop this syndrome, try being nice to people, especially poor Latinos. If you can’t be nice, at least be polite and respectful. Their kids are watching.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Washington’s Political Nobility

Our system of government was conceived as a Republic governed by citizens as representatives of their peers. The citizen-politician embodied this ideal. Many great Americans went to Washington as Representatives or as Senators for one term or maybe two, but never with the idea of making a career out of politics. It was seen rather as a responsibility to serve the nation.

Things have changed over the years. We have arrived at the point where service in the House of Representatives and the Senate is seen as one of the most lucrative careers that a man or woman can aspire to. It is seen as the most desirable long-term position; one that if done well, will employ a person in luxury until their very comfortable retirement. The trouble is that in order to get the true monetary advantages and power that the positions in the Senate and the House can offer a successful candidate from Dogstown, that new Representative must be sharp enough to look for the benefits that are not included in the job description.

Washington revolves around the 535 men and women who serve in the House and the Senate. The entire metropolitan area is involved directly or indirectly with the Federal government. So the people that can move things along, who can propose or change legislation, that can add earmarks to benefit the farm lobby or the big manufacturer back home in Howardsville, have incredible clout in Washington. The lobbyists and restaurant maitre d’s and pages and subsecretaries of the myriad agencies and departments all fall over themselves sucking up to the mighty 535. Given such constant attention, some (or maybe most) of our representatives forget where they came from and become Washington’s “political nobility”.

I have decided to use the term "political nobility" to describe that class of Washington politician who serves and is served by professional political apparatchiks: either lobbyists, bureaucrats or pundits that are also divorced from the world outside of the beltway. Our Political nobility, like the grandchildren of the Dukes and Baronesses that Louis XIV had relocated permanently to Versailles, and who under Louis XVI played palace politics while Paris burned, is much more preoccupied with each one’s political position and prestige in Washington than they are concerned about the effects of their policies on the rest of the nation and the rest of the world. Their vision is only inward, policies that should be made into law are important only insofar as they generate more power or attention in Washington.

The opinions of the rest of America are seen to be quaint and easy to manipulate when the Noble has good relations with the mainstream media. After all the recognized members of the mainstream media are also included in Washington's nobility, although at a lower and dependent level. Together with the real royalty, the leaders of corporate America, the political nobility and the Dukes and Barons of the media present an alternative reality to America. The reality presented to Americans has little or nothing to do with what really goes on in the Capitol.

What really goes on is a constant competition for favour and influence. What matters is bulding the relationships that allows for greater power among the other nobles. Therefore the political nobility is afraid of advancing radical ideas that might jeopardize an important power group because they avoid creating dangerous enemies. The political nobility is a closed club where confrontation is for show and real conflict disappears with behind closed-door arrangements. The maverick who does stand up for principles is shunned by the nobles and is not awarded with commitee chairs and other positions of power.

Some of the men and women elected to represent us are completely compromised by this system, others are amazingly resistant to the system’s temptations, and of course the majority of our representatives find themselves somewhere in between the virtue of true service and the crime of corruption. Examples abound, but I would suggest that Tom DeLay, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Charles Shumer are some of the worst examples of the political nobility. In contrast, Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich and Russ Feingold are examples of citizen-politicians.

The term “political nobility” is therefore useful to describe this group that lies and postures and drives us to ruin, with no concern about anything more transcendental than how it will spin in Washington. Thanks to the political nobility’s preoccupation with personal privilege and power we have two pointless wars, a crashing dollar and a world that sees us as killers and torturers.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ron Paul Honors Pope John Paul II- A Consistent Pro-life Figure


Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join my colleagues in paying tribute to the life and legacy of Pope John Paul II. Pope John Paul II was one of the great religious leaders of modern times, and an eloquent champion of human freedom and dignity. Unlike all-too-many misguided religious leaders, the Pope understood that liberty, both personal and economic, is a necessary condition for the flourishing of human virtue.

The Pope’s commitment to human dignity, grounded in the teachings of Christ, led him to become one of the most eloquent spokesmen for the consistent ethic of life, exemplified by his struggles against abortion, war, euthanasia, and the death penalty.

Unfortunately, few in American politics today adhere to the consistent ethic of life, thus we see some who cheered the Pope’s stand against the war and the death penalty while downplaying or even openly defying his teachings against abortion and euthanasia.

Others who cheered the Pope’s opposition to abortion and euthanasia were puzzled or hostile to his opposition to war. Many of these “pro-life supporters of war” tried to avoid facing the inherent contradictions in their position by distorting the Just War doctrine, which the Pope properly interpreted as denying sanction to the Iraq war. One prominent conservative commentator even suggested that the pope was the “enemy” of the United States.

In conclusion, I am pleased to pay tribute to Pope John Paul II. I would encourage those who wish to honor his memory to reflect on his teachings regarding war and the sanctity of life, and consider the inconsistencies in claiming to be pro-life but supporting the senseless killing of innocent people that inevitably accompanies militarism, or in claiming to be pro-peace and pro-compassion but supporting the legal killing of the unborn.