WWJD?

As we look closely at the upcoming 2012 election, we cannot help but think about how far our nation has drifted from the vision our founding fathers had of a free people protected by a limited government.  They would surely shake their heads in disbelief if they could see what has happened to their great experiment in self-government and liberty.

It is likely that if Thomas Jefferson came back for a day, after reading just one issue of the Washington Post and watching an hour of MSNBC, he would find a bar, drink himself stupid, and then call the Queen of England  to apologize for the revolution.  I can only imagine the horror he would feel as he looked over our 2012 federal budget, read through Obama’s healthcare bill, watched the unwashed idiots playing their bongo drums on Wall Street, and listened to Michael Moore waggle his triple chin about the rich.  I cannot speak personally for Mr. Jefferson, but I am sure that after seeing these things, he would sprint at full speed back to the safety and sanity of his coffin.

To be sure, Mr. Jefferson’s return as a concerned “founding zombie” is not likely, but it really does make one wonder whose side he would really be on if he did.  Many have acclaimed Mr. Jefferson as one our nation’s more “progressive” thinkers, so if any of our founders had the potential to belly up to Obama’s world view it could arguably be him.

So for the sake of argument, let’s say that some mad scientist was able to reanimate Mr. Jefferson’s corpse just in time for him to vote in next year’s election?  Who would he pull the lever for?  Put simply…WWJD? (Note to Readers: Zombies are not required to show a picture ID at polls in most blue states.)

Head Muscle submits that with only a bit of research, Mr. Jefferson tells us in his own words:

Jefferson On Liberty:

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”

“The last hope of human liberty in this world rests on us. We ought, for so dear a state to sacrifice every attachment and every enmity.”

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

Jefferson On Government:

“A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”

“The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.”

“Our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government. Public servants at such a distance, and from under the eye of their constituents, must, from the circumstances of distance, be unable to administer an overlook all the details necessary for the good government of the citizens; and the same circumstances, by rendering detection impossible to their constituents, will invite public agents to corruption, p,under and waste.”

“I believe the States can best govern our home concerns, and the General Government our foreign ones.”

“The true theory of our Constitution is surely the wisest and best, that the States are independent as to everything within themselves, and united as to everything respecting foreign nations.”

“Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.”

” Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”

Jefferson On Wealth Redistribution:

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

“To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

“To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association–‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.'”

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

Jefferson On Taxation:

“If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, and give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses. And the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they do now, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mis-managers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains around the necks of our fellow sufferers.”

Jefferson On Gun Rights:

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

“The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.”

Finally…Jefferson On Obama Care:

“Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now.”

So WWJD? Let’s take a quick tally. Were Mr. Jefferson suddenly walking among us again he would:

1. (Most importantly) Need a shower and some fresh privies

2. Be for a limited federal government

3. Put states in charge of their own domestic affairs

4. Be pro second amendment

5.  Support personal property rights

6. Be firmly against wealth redistribution

7. Rebuff European-style taxation

and yes.., finally…

8. Support the repeal of Obama Care

We may be guilty of being a bit presumptuous here at Head Muscle from time to time…okay…all the time, but it seems pretty clear that we already know the answer to the question.

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All Is Not Broken

At 1230 p.m. on 27 March 2011 Mr. Edward Schulken, a Navy Veteran, was laid to rest in San Diego California with full military honors. His flag draped coffin rested just in front of a pulpit where a Navy Chaplain spoke fondly about a man he never knew.  In his eulogy for the stranger, the chaplain could only note that, “ours was not to judge.”

The group of men that had come to say farewell to Ed sat, heads bowed, in silent reflection. Many of them had long hair, grey beards, and bifocals. Some wore leather vests and had driven to the service on their Harleys. Like the chaplain who spoke so eloquently before them, they did not know Mr. Schulken either.  Still, they listened somberly.

After the short service, two veterans stood at each end of the coffin, raised our nation’s flag from its lid, and folded it with the care and skill of craftsmen. When they were done a ship’s bell rang, Taps played, and honor guards fired rifles into the air.  After a moment of silence those that that had come to pay their respects formed a line, came forward one at a time, and laid a violet on Edward’s box.  As this happened, one older gentleman wearing a VFW hat sat quietly in his seat – weeping. Perhaps his tears were for Ed, and perhaps they were not. They were tears nonetheless.

After the ceremony, the men gathered outside the chapel and continued to talk about the man that they did not know.  Many had tear filled eyes, and referred to Ed using terms like brother, hero, and patriot.  When everyone departed, Edward Shulken took his last car ride to a local veteran’s cemetery where he was laid in the ground and covered up forever.

Edward’s family and friends had not been at the memorial service, because he had none.  Truth be told, Edward had lived the last years of his life homeless, alone, and forgotten in the streets of San Diego.  No one will ever know what misfortune or poor personal choices led to Ed’s demise, but among the group of men who had assembled to wish him farewell, no one really cared. All that they knew (and had to know) was that Mr. Edward Schulken had served honorably in the United States Navy and was a brother-in-arms. All that mattered to them was that when our nation called, Ed stood to be counted in a rare group of men and women who would willingly sacrifice everything for her.  To those who had come to pay their respects, this stranger was family.

The men who buried Ed were Veterans from the Dignity Memorial Group.  According to DMG, there are over 150,000 homeless veterans across the United States, and they are dying by the dozen every day.  So these men and women do their best to do the right thing.  They collect funds, reserve plots in the ground, and when these homeless Veterans are found dead in  alleys, dark corners, and forgotten places, they bury them honorably.

Edward Schulken’s name will likely never be spoken again.  The grass on top of his grave will be neatly mowed however, and every Veteran’s day someone will place a small American Flag by his headstone to acknowledge his Service.  Though it is likely that no one will ever weep over his grave, many will come and honor what his resting place represents.  They will weep over their own loved ones, and in doing so… in some small way…will remember Ed too.  He will be surrounded by his brothers and sisters-in-arms for all time, and they will lay together as they once stood together.  In death, Ed has finally found his home and his family.

Over the next week, as you listen to stories about nuclear meltdowns, economic collapse, war, suffering, and political turmoil, take a moment to say a short prayer of thanks for the men and women that brought Edward Schulken home.  As long as there are people like this among us, we can all take comfort in knowing that all is not broken.

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Old Glory

I am the Flag of the United States of America. My name is Old Glory.

I fly atop the world’s tallest buildings I stand watch in America’s halls of justice.

I fly majestically over great institutions of learning.

I stand guard with the greatest military power in the World.

Look up and see Me!

I stand for Peace, Honor, Truth, and Justice.

I stand for Freedom!

I am confident, I am arrogant, and I am proud.

When I am flown with my fellow banners, my head is held a little higher – my colors are a little truer.

I BOW TO NO ONE!

I am recognized all over the world.

I am saluted, I am respected, I am loved, and I am feared!

For more than 200 years, I have fought in every battle of every war;

Antietam, Gettysburg, Shiloh, Appomattox, San Juan Hill, the trenches of France, the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome, the beaches of Normandy,

the jungles of Guam, Okinawa, Tarawa, Korea, Vietnam and in the heat of the Persian Gulf.

I was there.

I lead my Sailors and Marines ashore,

I watch over them and they love me.

I was on a small hill at Iwo Jima.

I was dirty, battle torn, and tired but my Sailors and Marines cheered me!

I WAS PROUD!

I have been soiled, burned, torn, and trampled on the streets of countries that I have helped to set free.

It does not Hurt for I am invincible.

I have also been soiled, burned, torn, and trampled on the streets of my own country,

And when it is done by those with whom I have served in battle, it hurts!

But I shall overcome because…

I am strong!

I have slipped the surly bounds of earth and, from my vantage point on the moon,

I stand watch over the new frontiers of space.

I have been the silent witness to all of America’s finest hours.

But my finest hour comes when I am torn into strips,

To be used as bandages for my wounded comrades on the field of battle,

When I fly half mast to honor my dead countrymen,

And when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving mother at the graveside of her fallen son or daughter.

I am proud!

My Name is “Old Glory”  and long may I wave dear God – Long may I wave.

On this Veteran’s Day, Head Muscle would like to thank all Americans who have bravely donned the cloth of our nation.

Your sacrifice is remembered. God bless and Godspeed!

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A Contract on Terror

On January 5, 2010 HM penned a blog entitled High Noon for Obama.  Posted shortly after the underwear bombing fiasco, we noted that the time had come for Sheriff Obama to put politics aside, take the blanks out of his six shooter, step into the dusty street, and show all Americans that he really cared about their security.  We also noted, that if he failed, there would likely be a new sheriff come 2012. Well, it appears as if President Obama has chosen not to heed HM’s sage advice because…well…he doesn’t have any idea that we even exist….but that is still no excuse for his inaction on the home front.  Having learned nothing from the great underwear debacle, he still prattles on about trials in New York City, continues to let Holder pontificate on Miranda Rights, insists on closing Guantanamo, focuses on prosecuting CIA agents, and does nothing to secure one of the most porous borders in the free world.   All told, it appears as if Sheriff Obama has loaded his six gun, stepped into the street, and emptied the cylinder into his foot.

The good news for Obama is that Lady Luck is not a quitter and, with the Times Square incident, she has given our shaky sheriff yet another opportunity to show us what he is made of.   We must not forget that, once again, this attack on the American People failed solely because the bomb did not detonate. Nothing any agency did (or did not do) stopped the plot from playing out.  So, it is more critical than ever for our sheriff to show all would-be terrorists that he is in the street waiting.  The reason for this urgency is quite simple.  Right now, the message that every aspiring bomber is taking away from the Times Square attack is:

“Terrorist be warned, you only have one chance to blow us up, so get your bomb right the first time!”

Instead of deciding that such attacks will be fruitless and rethinking their strategy, terrorists around the world are improving their detonators, rewriting their training courses, and making sure that their operatives know what type of fertilizer to buy. They know from watching the Underwear Bomber and the Times Square Bomber that if they get the bomb right – they are home free. And the sad fact is, the only person that can stick a cactus in the middle of their trail is our reluctant sheriff.  So, in our never ending effort to be proactive, HM has decided to help our derelict defender out one more time with a simple 10 point plan for protecting his town folk.

A Contract on Terror

1. Be intellectually honest with the American People and call Illegal Immigrants what they are – ILLEGAL. When our sheriff refuses to use this word, he sends a message to the bad guys that he really ‘condones’ their actions.  This encourages more illegals to cross over and fuels their sense of entitlement.  By not calling them what they are – Illegal Immigrants – Obama is weakening our laws and putting America and its institutions at risk.  This is not only immoral and opportunistic, it is unconstitutional.  Abraham Lincoln himself noted:

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap — let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; — let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.
–January 27, 1838

We are a nation of laws, and if we start letting political expediency decide which ones we will enforce, we have destroyed our very foundation.

2. Immediately allocate  unspent ‘stimulus dollars’ to complete the border fence between the US and Mexico. Border Patrol and ICE officers regularly find Korans and prayer blankets in the desert.  To my recollection, the Catholic Church requires neither of these for Mass.  Islamic extremists are using the drug cartels and Mexican gangs to sneak across our border and infiltrate our cities.  This is a known fact in law enforcement, and has been for several years.  By not completing the fence our government is telling us that, when it comes to their constitutional duty to provide for our common defense, they simply do not care.  The sad fact is that one day another terrorist will be successful, and I would not want to be the sitting president when it is discovered that they had crossed the Mexican border to conduct their attack.

3. Take unreasonable restrictions off of the fine men and women of the US Border Patrol. Give them, the tools and rules that they need to properly defend our borders against thugs, drug runners, and sub-humans that shoot innocent American ranchers. We have put them into the field with both hands tied behind their backs. As it stands today, they are out manned and out gunned.

4. Cease all inbound flights from countries that do not meet minimum acceptable airport security standards. On a recent trip to Kuwait I went through three security check points, setting off the metal detectors at each one.  The ‘security’ guards at each gate just waved me through, barely looking up from their magazines. This type of ambivalence is a problem around the world, and nations that do not crack down should be barred from having direct air routes to US cities.

5. Institute the automatic death penalty for anyone convicted of terrorism against the United States of America. Make no exceptions for any reason…citizen or foreign national.  This will not dissuade those already brainwashed into martyrdom, but will send a powerful message to all the wannabe’s out there that, if they do not kill themselves, we will help them finish the job.

6. Send a clear message to our adversaries that, if they sponsor terror on American soil, we will consider it a declaration of war. Obama must also immediately retract his statements on the use of nuclear weapons, especially in response to biological attacks.  The fact that he made this statement in the first place is troubling.  A well placed nuke could kill a few hundred thousand folks, maybe more.  Nuclear devastation, however, would pale in the face of a well coordinated state sponsored biological attack. Such an attack could kill a third (100,000,000) of all Americans. To say that we would not use a nuke to retaliate against such an attack on our people is quite frankly…stupid.

7. Have industry develop a low cost system for scanning 100% of all air cargo transported on passenger airlines. Today, even with the terrorist threat, the vast majority of all air cargo transported on US passenger airlines goes unchecked.  There is no excuse for this gap in security.  Each day that we let our airlines leave the ground full of unchecked cargo, we are gambling with American lives. This is unacceptable and must be stopped.

8. Partner with industry to develop a process for screening 100% of all cargo entering US shipping ports. Though a small percentage of these containers are randomly screened, we largely rely on importers to tell us what they are shipping. The Government Accountability Office reported in December that only about 5% of all inbound shipping containers are scanned at major US ports of entry. Critics say that such a solution will be far too expensive. When I hear this argument I have to wonder what the price of a nuke going of in the Port of Los Angeles would be?  This must be fixed.

9. Appoint a new Director of Homeland Security. We need a hawk in this position, who places security over political correctness.  Ms. Napolitano continues to demonstrate that she is not that person. If you think I am being overly harsh here, let me remind you of three little words:

“The system worked…”

10. Lose the cowboy hat. It makes you look more like a member of the Village People than a sheriff, and it’s only scaring Broke Back Mountain fans.

There you have it Sheriff! Follow these very clear steps and you will establish yourself as the Wyatt Earp of anti-terrorism.  Heck fire,  just pick 5 of them and you will have done better, in many respects, than George Bush!  That should spin yer spurs!  Not only will history label you as the “Homeland Security President,” but you will also be able to hold your head high knowing you have met your constitutional obligations.  This is it Sheriff Obama; you have been handed a second chance!  Get out in that street and show ’em all that we have a real sheriff running this town. The bad guys are over in Pakistan right now improving their bomb designs, and even Lady Luck runs out of aces sooner or later.

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We The People

It all started at Independence hall in Philadelphia  on 14 May 1787.   At first only a few delegates showed up but, as the days passed, more and more began to arrive.  They were soldiers, farmers, doctors, lawyers, and merchants from across the thirteen states of a newly free people.  Many had been members of the Continental Congress while others had just been appointed to their post. They had come to amend the Articles of Confederation but, by mid-summer, they realized that they needed something more.  So together they set forth to build nothing less than the foundation for a new nation. The central issue was balancing federal and state powers against the God given rights of the people. Many had dramatically opposing views and the debates were long and intense. Some even walked out in frustration, refusing to append their names to the final document.  By 12 September however, after months of debate and compromise, they reached agreement on its content.  Every item in the document had been painstakingly developed, revised, debated, and accepted.   When it was all assembled, it was passed to a young clerk named Jacob Shallus who was paid the approximate sum of 30 dollars to transpose it into the document we all know today as the Constitution of the United States of America.

It was a profound document for a world still ruled by Kings.  Its opening line was emblazoned with three words that would ultimately define a new system of government.  They were simple words, “We The People,” but not even the delegates at the convention could fully grasp the impact they would have, not only on America, but on the dreams and aspirations of mankind.   In just 4 handwritten pages, they had created a Nation.  Certainly, prior to its ratification we had already earned our freedom as a people, but with the Constitution’s full enactment in 1790 we earned our nationhood.

Since that day in September 1787 when Mr. Shallus transcribed the first copy, our Constitution has withstood a great Civil War, two World Wars, depression, internal dissent, and the tyranny of communism.  It remains still today one of the most debated documents in the history of modern civilization, and industries have been built upon interpreting and reconstructing its intent.  It is not perfect, it is not divine, and it is not unassailable, but it is the only document of its kind, and every time we  read it we are reminded of who we are.  We are the United States of America!  With  flaws and frustrations considered, we are without a doubt the greatest nation and the greatest people that the world has ever known.  The important thing to understand however, is that our greatness does not come from our might, our wealth, our abundance, or our influence.  Certainly we have these things, but they are the products of  our greatness not the cause. We are great because of  those three words that have been purchased time and again with American blood and treasure, and we will stay great as long as we never let, “We The People,” stray far from our hearts.  Please take a moment on this Constitution Day to remember who we are and how we got here. Then say a prayer that we never forget.

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