Apathetic No Longer

"By far the most dangerous foe we have to fight is apathy – indifference from whatever cause, not from a lack of knowledge, but from carelessness, from absorption in other pursuits, from a contempt bred of self satisfaction." – William Osler

Book Review: The Law

Posted By on March 23, 2014

law-frederic-bastiat-paperback-cover-art

“But what would we do without laws?” How many times have I heard this question? I’m unclear how my critique of a law here or a law there (ok…really, it’s probably closer to 95% of all current laws) makes others think that anarchy is my  political ideology of choice.

No other book so far, has illustrated the view that I have so perfectly on the proper role of the government and its enforcement of laws. On the drive over to North Carolina, I listened to it on audiobook four times and then read it again one of the nights in the hotel room. Just thinking about it now makes me want to read it again. It’s that good. You should read/listen to it.

The book was written by Frédéric Bastiat, a French political economist and member of the French Assembly. The book was published in 1850, shortly after the French Revolution of 1848. That’s approximately 166 years ago, but it applies perfectly to today. Bastiat was very influential in economics and described the theory of opportunity cost in his book “Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas” (What is Seen and What is Unseen). He also penned the famous “broken window fallacy” which Henry Hazlitt has a whole chapter on in his book “Economics in One Lesson” (which I did a review of here).

Bastiat begins with this firecracker of a statement:

“The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!

If this is true, it is a serious fact, and moral duty requires me to call the attention of my fellow-citizens to it.”

He premises his book on John Locke’s idea that every individual has a natural right to life, liberty, and property; and that every individual has the right to defend – by way of force – those natural rights. “What then is law?” he writes. “It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.” Of course, this is law as it is intended to be. Throughout the remainder of the book, he discusses how the law has been perverted, specifically through the two avenues of stupid greed and false philanthropy. Let me know if you can’t instantly think of examples of each of these.

His most intriguing section of the book critiqued the idea of universal suffrage. I know what you’re thinking. “How can anyone critique universal suffrage? Everyone should have the right to vote!” I thought the same thing when I heard it. His argument is not necessarily that everyone shouldn’t have the right to vote, but that it SHOULD be of little importance, if laws were restricted to their proper function. The moment that the law can be used to take from one and give to another, everyone will demand their right to vote in order to grab hold of their share of the government’s loot. As Bastiat put it in a hypothetical argument, “We cannot buy wine, tobacco, or salt without paying the tax. And a part of the tax that we pay is given by law — in privileges and subsidies — to men who are richer than we are. Others use the law to raise the prices of bread, meat, iron, or cloth. Thus, since everyone else uses the law for his own profit, we also would like to use the law for our own profit.”

I had never thought of this before. Would I care about my right to vote if the law were restricted to equal justice for everybody? The moment government grants itself the ability to take tax dollars to bail out banks and corporations, or to subsidize farmers, or even give me school grants, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc… my vote all of a sudden becomes very important because I need to make sure I can get the most out of these laws that benefit one group of society at the expense of the other. If I must be in one of those two groups, I had better vote to be in the “benefit” group and not the “expense” group.

You really ought to read/listen to this book.

Since I gave the opening statement, I feel compelled to copy his closing statement as well.

And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.”

I really don’t want to give too much away. It’s a rather short book; clear and concise. Did I mention it’s free online? And short (55 pages)? The audio book is on YouTube, as well as a few other sites if you just google it. It takes a little over an hour. Do it.

If I could force everyone I know to read one book about politics, this would be it. Of course I don’t believe in initiating force, so I would never do that. Hence my attempt at persuading you. Let me know what you think when you’re done.

I Was Supposed to Commission Today

Posted By on March 22, 2014

It’s amazing how life changes so rapidly. One minute you think you’re headed in this direction and the next minute life is completely different.

A few months ago I made a decision that drastically changed my life and today was SUPPOSED to be a huge day for me. If I had not made that decision months ago, I would have been surrounded by friends and family congratulating me on being commissioned as an officer in the Marine Corps. I would pin on new shiny gold bars, which all non-military people thought was awesome (I’m sure my dad would half-jokingly tell all his friends I was promoted to General) while all military minded people would once again refer to me as “boot.”

I would be dressed in my officer dress blues, which come in at a close second in looks compared to enlisted dress blues. I would sit and listen to people probably talk about how great we are and how well we’ve done in college and how the Navy and Marine Corps will be in good hands with the newest Ensigns and 2nd Lieutenants in the military. They may have spoke of the military’s work in engagements overseas and they would praise us for leading men and women during a time of war. Maybe someone would even discuss how we reminded them of themselves when they were our age.

We would then stand and take the oath, which reads:

“I, [name], do solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

Everyone would clap, “Anchors Aweigh” and the “Marine Corps Hymn” would play, people would clap some more, we would shake some hands and give some hugs, then eat cake. I’d probably have 2 bites of cake then throw the rest away. I’m not much of a cake fan.

I missed out on all that.

Of course that oath a few lines up means very little anymore. The de facto version of this oath is often “I promise to do what I’m told.” I’ve asked multiple times to soon-to-be-commissionees if they have ever read the Constitution. If they had, it was usually back in 5th grade when they had to recite two lines from the Preamble at a school assembly. Now they’re devoting their lives to defending it with no recollection of what it says.

So why did I choose to not go through this ceremony? I’ll let you know in two years, one month, and 25 days (but who’s counting?).

How Dare They!

Posted By on February 9, 2014

“IRAN WARSHIPS SENT TO USA BORDERS” – Headline of the Drudge Report at the moment.

Well that’s a scary headline, huh?

Here’s the linked article. If you don’t want to read the 5 paragraph article, the short version is that Iran has some warships that are currently out to sea that are headed our way on a three-month training mission amid growth of Iran wanting to “demonstrate its ability to project power across the Middle East and beyond.”

I need to be careful what I say, so this will be short.

Clearly this should be seen as a threat to our national sovereignty. How dare they think they can just roll up to the edge of our borders and taunt us with their military presence?

*Last sentence of the article*: “The Islamic Republic considers the move as a response to U.S. naval deployments near its own coastlines.”

Oh.

Well.

It’s different. We’re America. So it’s different.

Don’t you see why?

8 Reasons Why I’m A Better Parent Than You

Posted By on February 4, 2014

Here’s a message from every parent to every other parent:

1. That thing you allow your kids to do? I don’t allow that.

What parent in their right mind would allow their children to do that thing you’re allowing them to do? I can’t imagine ever allowing my children to do such a thing, because I am a good parent. You should be, too.

2. That thing you don’t do with your kids? I do that.

All parents should really do this thing with their kids in order to make the kid be better. I can’t understand why you wouldn’t do this thing with your kids. If you continue to not do this thing with your kids, then you’ll definitely pay the consequences later.

3. You put them to bed at what time?

Don’t you know that kids need to be asleep by a certain time – specifically the time I put my kids to bed. It’s for their own good and you should follow my lead. Putting your children to bed before or after the time I do is bad for their health.

4. You let them eat that?

Why are you killing your children with that food you’re giving them? Don’t you know that will give them a certain disease that will kill them? What an irresponsible parent you are. You should feed them what I feed my kids. Stop poisoning them.

5. You send your kids to that school?

Don’t you know that this other school (or not school) will make them smart while your school is making them dumb? If you cared about your children you would remove your children from that school tomorrow and educate them this or that way instead.

6. You let them watch TV?

I should call the authorities on you for allowing your children to watch the brain-rotting television screen. My kids? No, that’s an iPad – it’s educational. Maybe you would know that if your parents didn’t let you watch TV as a child.

7. I heard you yell at your kids.

As the all-encompasing bastion of patience as a parent, I thought it was important to let you know that the time you raised your voice to your child in aisle 12 of Wal-Mart, everyone was watching. They all saw how terrible of a parent you are. I saw it too. I’m so thankful that I’ve never done that to my child.

8. Your child is behind – and it’s all your fault.

My children hit this certain milestone at this age, and your child still hasn’t done that certain thing yet. What exactly are you doing wrong? Are you ignoring them? Or did you not read to them or listen to classical music while they were still in the womb? I feel so bad for them…

I wish you could be as good of a parent as I am.

-Sincerely,
Every other parent

The Minimum Wage Should Not Be Increased – It Should Be Eliminated

Posted By on January 31, 2014

“One of the great mistakes is to judge policies by their intentions rather than their results.” -Milton Friedman

Obama’s proposal of raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 seems like an idea that everyone can get behind. Everyone except those rich, white, capitalists, that is. Poor people should be paid more, and these employers are exploiting the low-skilled workers, right?

The exploitation argument has a few false assumptions. The biggest assumption is that the worker can only work for that particular employer. If I am making $7.25/hr and another employer is willing to pay me $8.00/hr, the rational decision for me to make would be to take the other job. In the real world, however, will I actually take the other job? Probably not. Here’s why. If the first employer finds out that another employer is willing to take me away from him, he will have to make the decision if I’m worth that $8.00 to him. If I am worth that, he may offer me the $8.00/hr – maybe more.

I am now in a really great position. I have worked at minimum wage for awhile and built up skills so that I am worth more. Now different employers are competing over me. I can now barter for higher wages, better benefits, better working conditions, etc… At some point in the bartering process, one of the employers will give up and the other employer has “won” my labor. I now make $8.50/hr. This is my maximum production value (what an employer is willing to compensate me for my labor) Awesome.

This is how pay raises work in the free market.

Now let’s look at how it works in a government-controlled market.

I am a worker making $7.25/hr. Another employer offers to pay me $8.00/hr. I begin the competing process and just as in the last scenario, the employers “bid” to hire me for what I’m worth – and just as in the last scenario – the cut off is at $8.50. I am happy that I get paid $8.50 and hour.

But wait… compassionate people don’t think that is enough. They think I should get paid more. These caring and compassionate people have the best intentions, so they celebrate getting a law passed that makes the minimum wage $10.10 (the current proposed federal minimum wage). Hooray! Poor people will make more money now!

Unfortunately, no. We already covered that my current production value is $8.50/hr. That is the MAXIMUM that an employer will hire me. If they are forced to pay me $10.10 in order to hire me, they simply won’t hire me. No sane employer will employ somebody in order to lose money. That is a quick way to go out of business.

Now, instead of making $8.50 and remaining employed to further my skill-building and experience level, eventually receiving even another pay raise, I am out of a job. My number-eating alligator education taught me that $8.50 > $0.00.

Who Does It Help?

The minimum wage law has some positives. It helps 2 groups of people. The first group is a minority group of workers. These employees are the ones that legitimately were not being paid what they are worth. The employee that is paid $8.50/hr and is worth $10.50/hr now gets paid $10.10. Yay! These are the few people that the government will parade around during political speeches.

The second group that the minimum wage law helps is big business. “What?” you ask? “But big businesses are the ones exploiting these workers by paying them a low wage. The raising of the minimum wage will force them to pay their workers a fair wage.

Yeah, you would think. Why exactly is WalMart and Costco advocating and lobbying for a higher minimum wage? If they thought it would be better to pay higher wages, they would. I don’t believe there’s a law saying they can’t pay them more. Big businesses can afford to pay their workers more, but small businesses can’t. The minimum wage law effectively shuts down their small, mom-and-pop type competitors. This is another example of crony capitalism.

The Law of Demand

The simplest way for me to understand and explain the negative effects of the minimum wage is to repeat the elementary economic principle of the law of demand. This law says that as a price of a product increases, consumers will buy less of it. Conversely, as a price of a product decreases, consumers will buy more of it.

In order to make money, you must barter for something you have. If you have no product to trade, then you must use your labor. Labor has become your product. You trade your labor. Going back to the law of demand: if the price of labor is raised artificially, consumers (employers in this case) will buy less labor.

Don’t believe the unemployment statistics

The unemployment rate is not the 6.7% that they claim. These are adjusted numbers to influence the public into having a false faith in the economy. In 1994, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) created a new category for certain unemployed people. This category was “discouraged worker.” According to their unemployment statistics, this category doesn’t get counted. This is a simple way for them to fudge the numbers and create artificially low percentages. If the BLS wants to drop the unemployment rate, they can simply add more unemployed into the “discouraged worker” category.

Simple math to help explain and drive this point further: If there were 100 people in the world and 10 of them were unemployed, we would say there’s a 10% unemployment rate.

(10/100 = 10%)

But I’m up for reelection soon and 10% doesn’t look very good, I need to drop that number, so I’m going to say that 3 of them have been out of work for too long and they are now “discouraged,” so we’ll take them out of the equation altogether. We now have only 7 people on unemployment out of 97.

(7/97 = 7.2%)

Wow! I’m such a great politician. Under my leadership, I have dropped the unemployment rate from 2.8%. Vote for me again, and I promise I will mess with the numbers again to make myself look even better.

What’s really happening is that unemployment keeps getting worse and worse, with so few jobs available (partly thanks to the minimum wage laws) that more people are being labeled as a “discouraged worker.” The BLS has another statistic called the “U-6″ which in short is all unemployed, underemployed, and discouraged workers combined. This unemployment number ranged between 13-16% last year. Economist John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics claims that the real unemployment rate is right around 22%.

Here’s a graph that shows all 3:

Unemployment

All that to say, don’t believe anything about stats that are given about unemployment rates.

Minimum Wage Myth #1 – It helps the poor.

I’ve already tried to argue against this, but I needed to put this as #1 because it is such a prevalent argument. I am 100% on board for helping the poor, but unfortunately the most needy are the ones most hurt by minimum wage laws.

Minimum Wage Myth #2 – Workers deserve a fair wage.

This isn’t a myth, really. Workers deserve a fair wage. In a free market economy, they will get a fair wage. Of course you have to define what fair means. Minimum wage supports use the word “fair” to mean “as much as everyone else.” Free market supporters use the word “fair” to mean “equal to the value you produce.” This is different for everybody. A fry cook at McDonald’s doesn’t deserve $15/hr because that is not fair. It does not equal the value he is producing for McDonald’s.

Minimum Wage Myth #3 – It helps boost the economy.

Anything can be done legislatively if you tag several choices of words at the end of a bill. Two of the biggest culprits are probably “for the children” and “to boost the economy.” The claim here is that if employers pay their employees more, then they will have more money to spend in the economy. First, this overlooks the fact that employers will be forced to compensate the extra cost of labor. They have a few options to choose from:

1. Hire less people

This goes back to the law of demand. If they have to pay more for labor, they will be forced to buy less labor. Now you’ve removed someone from earning any money at all. How does that help boost the economy?

2. Increase prices of goods

If employers are forced to pay more money for labor, they will be forced to earn more money by charging more. Of course taking supply and demand into the equation, the possibility of increasing prices may just drive a small business into the ground.

3. Outsource

If an employer needs cheap labor and can’t get it where he’s at, he’ll find a place to get it. Someone will underbid the minimum wage worker. Unfortunately, it’s against the law for an American to compete for that job (if we’re strictly speaking about the federal minimum wage).

4. Invest in technology

No one will argue against technological advancements, but they do often take away low-skilled jobs. Have you been in a Jack-in-the-Box lately? Many of them have computer screens rather than employees taking your order. Employers don’t have to pay a machine an hourly rate, so once it is cheaper to automate a job through technology, jobs are lost.

Evidence

I’m going to steal this straight from a Thomas Sowell article, “Minimum Wage Madness” because it’s too good not to copy.

“Most nations today have minimum wage laws, but they have not always had them. Unemployment rates have been very much lower in places and times when there were no minimum wage laws.

Switzerland is one of the few modern nations without a minimum wage law. In 2003, “The Economist” magazine reported: “Switzerland’s unemployment neared a five-year high of 3.9 percent in February.” In February of this year, Switzerland’s unemployment rate was 3.1 percent. A recent issue of “The Economist” showed Switzerland’s unemployment rate as 2.1 percent.

Most Americans today have never seen unemployment rates that low. However, there was a time when there was no federal minimum wage law in the United States. The last time was during the Coolidge administration, when the annual unemployment rate got as low as 1.8 percent. When Hong Kong was a British colony, it had no minimum wage law. In 1991 its unemployment rate was under 2 percent.”

Conclusion

The minimum wage sounds good on the surface, but it’s true effects on unemployment and a rotten economy are seen easily today. More steps must be done to have a free market than simply removing minimum wage laws, but it is a good first step. Let’s end the ban on working.

 

 

Celebrating Death

Posted By on January 27, 2014

In my recent post “Are you pro-life? Are you sure?”, I wrote all about how we need to celebrate life. In fact, in the summarizing paragraph I wrote:

“Be pro-life. Be for life. Celebrate life. ALL LIFE.”

So now I’m doing a different post and titling it “Celebrating Death.” Interesting…

At the beginning of the year, my grandfather passed away at the age of 79. He was in very poor health and for the last five or six years, every Christmas season was “probably our last Christmas with Grandpa.” Turns out that it became true for Christmas 2013. At our annual family Christmas gathering, my grandparents were unable to make it because of his health, so we went to visit them at their home after the party. It was clear that Grandpa was not doing well and my first comment to Keri when we got the car was “He needs to go.”

10 days later, he did just that. In peace. Surrounded by his family.

The next two weeks consisted of preparing for the funeral and reminiscing about Grandpa’s life – much of which I knew nothing about. I got to go through old pictures with my mom and grandma and listen to stories about him as a child, as a worker, as a husband, and as a father. The stories were not told with frowns and tears, but with smiles and laughter.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? – 1 Corinthians 15:55

To Death: Seriously, though. Answer the question. What power can you possibly possess over Christians? We have hope in this life as well as hope in eternal life. A physical death can only end one life to bring us into eternal life.

To the reader: I have to admit, the title of this post is false. It was a ploy to get you to click on it. Sorry. We do not celebrate death. We celebrate life. We celebrate life on earth, and we celebrate life after death.

And that’s exactly what we did at Grandpa’s graveside service as well as his funeral. We rejoiced in his life here on earth and the memories that we all had with him. More importantly, we celebrated and continue to celebrate his eternal life spent in the presence of God.

Love you Papa. See you soon.

Book Review: The Case For Gold

Posted By on January 27, 2014

TheCaseForGold

In my ongoing pursuit of reading more, I finished another book. I actually finished this one a few weeks ago, but I am just now getting to posting about it.

If you’re looking for an exciting, keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat type book – this is not it. Only so much excitement can come from looking at the world’s history of monetary policy. That’s what 3/4 of this book is – a history book. The Case for Gold is actually a reprint of a report given by the U.S. Gold Commission in 1982 (a commission that Ron Paul started).

If thinking about reading a U.S. Gold Commission report from 30 years ago doesn’t fire up your adrenaline synapses, then I don’t know what will.

I have no idea if “adrenaline synapses” are a real thing. I made it up.

Being new to the world of monetary systems and real vs. fiat money, I’ll admit that this book was above my head, but that’s not always a bad thing. As I learn more elementary facts about money systems, economics, and the gold standard, I will have a framework for where each of those things fit it.

The last quarter of this book is the part that I enjoyed most, and if you do end up reading this book, don’t put it down until you get to this part. This last section turns away from the historical aspect and gets into the “how”s and “why”s of getting back onto the gold standard. This covers a more basic explanation of the gold standard and the methods that can be taken in order to return to a system that protects consumer value rather than runaway inflation.

They say you don’t really know something until you’re able to teach it. Well, I still can’t teach you, so I guess that’s means I have some more learning to do.

You can purchase The Case For Gold here, or you can borrow my copy.

Mainstream Media Summed Up In One Video

Posted By on January 24, 2014

This is a parody, right?

RIGHT?

Oh, it’s not. Of course it’s not.

The things that constitute “news” these days is staggering to me.

The Battle of Athens – 1946

Posted By on January 24, 2014

Awhile back I posted about attending a gun control information forum (debate) between 4 of the political student organizations on campus. In that post, I summed up what I believed the 4 positions would say specifically about the 2nd amendment:

College Republicans: The 2nd amendment was designed so that citizens could protect themselves from bad guys.

Socialist Alternative: THE 2ND AMENDMENT WAS DESIGNED FOR THE WHITE MAN TO OPPRESS THE SLAVES AND IT SHOULD BE ABOLISHED! CAPITALISM IS BAD!!

Young Democrats at UW: The 2nd amendment was designed so that Americans could keep single shot, muzzle-loading muskets locked in a safe with a trigger lock. There’s no real purpose behind it.

Young Americans for Liberty: The 2nd amendment was designed so that citizens could fight off a tyrannical government.

As I’m sure you can imagine, I agree with the Young Americans for Liberty on this one. The gun control debate far too often surrounds itself with statistics about how many people are shot every year due to gun violence or how many people defend their homes with a firearm. That is all well and good and it is a very important discussion to have, but to argue that the 2nd amendment’s purpose is to protect yourself from home intruders or from the mugger down the back alley is simply false.

When you watch the Piers Morgan’s, the Chris Matthews’, the Rachel Maddows’, and (unfortunately) the Jon Stewart’s of the media, it’s absurd that civilians would ever use arms against a government. In fact, several of these liberal commentators have made jokes about it being a social fantasy of right wing extremists to start a revolution through the use of arms. Remember, the government IS the people (or so they say).

The use of arms against government tyranny is not some abstract fantastical-hypothetical paranoia-ful situation that really isn’t something we need to worry about. I can think of 2 clear cut cases in American history where it has been used for that very purpose. (Hint: One started the country and one is the title of the post)

The first one you hopefully know something about. The American Revolutionary War was people using arms against government tyranny. In a sense, this was a civil war. The “Americans” were at war with their own government. But this is not the point of this post.

This next example is.

Very few people know about the Battle of Athens in 1946. It happened in McMinn County, Tennessee (Were you thinking Greece?). Over the past few elections (beginning in 1936), McMinn County had been investigated for fraud and political corruption in the county elections. A man by the name of Paul Cantrell was the Democratic candidate for sheriff and was elected in 1936, 1938, and 1940 elections. In the next two elections (1942 and 1944), he was elected to the state senate while his former deputy, Pat Mansfield, was elected to sheriff.

Then comes 1946.

Oh wait, wait, wait…we forgot about 1945. What happened then? WWII ended and a bunch of soldiers came home from war. There were about 3,000 that returned to McMinn County. That’s important

Ok. NOW comes 1946.

In the 1946 elections, Paul Cantrell was running for sheriff again and Pat Mansfield was now running for state senate – they were determined to win. Unfortunately for them, some of these soldiers returning from the war decided to run against them on the platform of fraud-fee elections and the end of political corruption. At a rally, one of the GI speakers is quoted as saying:

“The principles that we fought for in this past war do not exist in McMinn County. We fought for democracy because we believe in democracy but not the form we live under in this county.

August 1, 1946 – election day. While the polls were open, about 200 armed deputies turned out to patrol the precincts. This was odd as the usual number was approximately 15. Deputies decided to close the polls early and confiscated the ballot boxes and “count” them at the local jail. Of course, the citizens (veterans, mainly) knew that it would not be an open count and the possibility of the outcome being rigged was extremely likely.

This is tyranny.

The citizens took up their arms and marched to the jail. After being refused the ballot boxes, gunfire was exchanged between the citizens and the 55 deputies that were guarding the jail. Those inside the jail remained in the jail while waiting for backup from the National Guard. Before the National Guard arrived, however, the veterans blew the jail door with dynamite. At that time, the deputies were forced to surrender. The ballot boxes were returned and after having the votes counted, the 5 veterans that had run for office had been elected. Paul Cantrell and Pat Mansfield were unable to fraud their way back into their positions.

The 1992 movie “An American Story” depicts this battle, although minor details are off (as with any true story made into a movie). Here’s the 10 minute scene:

THIS is what the 2nd amendment is about – not about stopping a bad guy from taking your wallet.

Of course that’s important, too.

Reflections of an Outcast

Posted By on January 18, 2014

It’s official. I’m an outcast.

Today I found out that I have essentially been banished from my own battalion. I am not to be in the building and no one is to have contact with me. I have been “cast-out,” if you will.

Long friendships have been forced to end immediately so that I do not have a negative influence on them. “Negative” here is best described as my own personal convictions that I explicitly told the leadership were my own personal convictions and I had no intention of influencing others to do the same. Apparently this is a bad thing.

It saddens me that it has come to this, but it is more clear to me than ever that following internal beliefs creates foes – and that’s not easy.

I wish more people would become outcasts, not so they can sit in a corner and wallow in self-pity about how nobody likes them, no..

I wish more people would become outcasts so that they can have more meaning in their lives.

I wish more people would become outcasts so they could understand what is important in life.

I wish more people would become outcasts so they can understand the fulfillment of standing up for what you believe.

I wish more people would become outcasts so they could influence others to be outcasts

 

Then who knows… maybe, just maybe, all us outcasts could band together and change the world.