Nov

28

Posted by : Brian | On : November 28, 2012

Can you be for and against something?

Well, sort of… I’ll give you an example first before I explain.
I am in favor of legalizing marijuana, but I am against the use of marijuana.
When I put my politics hat on, I consider myself to lean heavily to the libertarian mindset. For those of you unaware of what libertarianism is, it can be summed up with: Everything should be legal up to the point that it causes others harm. In the case of marijuana, or any drug for that matter, if it does me no harm, I don’t think there should be a law against it.
Now when I switch over and put my moral hat on (I am in no way suggesting that you can’t wear both hats at the same time), I am extremely anti-drugs. I believe they are harmful for the body and they don’t have any benefit to them (this is not always the case as there is much research on the benefits of cannabis in cancer patients and other medical conditions. I am more speaking in terms of recreational use).
So is this hypocrisy speaking? Can I say that I am against something, and vote opposite that belief?
I’ll get even more controversial and bring religion into this:
I was raised with the notion (and many friends still believe this) that since this nation was founded on Christian principles that we are a Christian nation. Because of that, we should make laws against immoral things. Well, should we?
I direct your attention to the 1st amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
 
I find it interesting that the amendment starts out with religion first. And why doesn’t it establish one if it was founded on Christian principles? Wouldn’t we be out of this dilemma if the founding fathers just said that we are a Christian nation and our laws will be based off of the Bible?
 
Think of how dangerous it is to have a government dictating what religion you must or mustn’t be. In order for me to have the freedom to worship in the manner that I choose and I believe to be truth, I must afford that same right to others. 
 
So while I will politically argue for individual citizens to have the freedom to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t harm others, I will simultaneously encourage people not to exercise those freedoms for moral and religious reasons.
 
To state my argument much more eloquently, here’s one of Ron Paul’s best debate answers (in my opinion) about this:
 



I’m sure there’s a lot of differing views on this, feel free to comment and I have no problem discussing it (In fact, I enjoy it).
 

Nov

13

Posted by : Brian | On : November 13, 2012

If you’re paying attention to the news, and scroll to the bottom of the page in tiny print, you may find a link to an article about a few states signing petitions to secede from the United States.

So what’s all this about? Are we on the brink of another civil war?

Well, probably not.

And do I think that states are really going to secede from the US?

Nah.

Here’s 3 questions we’ll look at:
1. What’s the point of the petitions?
2. Should it even be allowed?
3. Is it even possible for a state to secede?

What’s the point of the petitions?

Well, first of all, I didn’t write the petitions. Louisiana was the first to start a petition and it’s up to 21 states now. Most of the petitions are simple and read something similar to this: “Peacefully grant the State of _____ to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.” Read the actual petitions on the White House website here.

I do not know the intent of the creators, but I find it difficult to believe that people are legitimately trying to secede from the US. It is most likely a drastic approach to show the Obama administration that citizens are not happy (to put it simply) and they want change (not “hope and change”) and go back to constitutional principles that we have been drifting away from for far too long.

Should it even be allowed?

Short answer: Absolutely.

Long answer: Watch this video 🙂 Only 4:30 long.

Is secession traitorous? I hope you don’t think so. We celebrate hot dogs and fireworks secession every 4th of July. Remember that document called the Declaration of Independence? Here’s how it starts:

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s god entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

Shortly after that, it says this:

“That to secure these rights [unalienable rights], Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government…”

It then continues on to list the “repeated injuries and usurpations” done by the king.

(When’s the last time you read the Declaration of Independence? It takes less than 5 minutes.)

So answer this question for yourself: Is it traitorous to petition to secede from a government that has usurped powers that were never intended for them to have and infringed on the rights of the citizens?

Is it even possible for a state to secede?

Not likely, but not impossible. Interestingly enough, the only state so far to reach the number of signs needed to have the white house consider it is Texas. Texas’ petition reads as follows:

“The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it’s citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.”

As I write this, Texas’ petition has 47,544 signatures, just 3 days after it was created. Only 25,000 were needed by December 9th. Here’s a printscreen from whitehouse.gov

If any state could do it, it would be Texas.

Pay attention to this, it should be interesting:

Nov

10

Posted by : Brian | On : November 10, 2012

Throughout this last election, I’ve heard so many people that are disgruntled with our “old” and “out of date” paper voting system. Here in Washington State, we are an all-absantee ballot system where everyone either mails in or drops their ballot into a drop box before 8:00pm on election night.

So why don’t we just all go to electronic voting? Heck, why don’t we all just vote from a “Voting App.” In theory, it would be great. It would be easy to get everyone to vote and we would get instant results. No more long nights of political pundits making bold predictions based on 3% of the votes that had been counted.

So what’s the problem, you ask?

1. There is no way to track and verify. There’s a reason that the military still does everything with paper. It leaves a paper trail that you can always go back to verify and double/triple check. A mark on a paper can not be changed. A vote for a certain candidate based on a touch screen whose results go off into electronic land…? Who knows? You can never prove otherwise.

2. Electronic voting machines have faults that accidentally input the wrong thing. Don’t believe me? Here’s a video from the most recent election. Now issues like these are determined to be calibration errors, but they are still errors that could be missed by a voter. Would you appreciate your vote going to someone else because of a “calibration error?”

3. Legitimate hacking is also a problem. With anything electronic, it can be hacked. Now I’m sure the security measures on these machines is probably state of the art, but hackers are always one step ahead. Look at the group “Anonymous.” (If you don’t know who they are, I’ll do a post another day about them.) If a hacker could break get into the system, how many votes could they change?

4. The system could be rigged from the start (conspiracy theory alert). Fox 19’s Ben Swann does a great video on the company behind the voting machines. I highly encourage you to watch it. It’s only about 4 minutes long and it makes some connections that are interesting to see, and you won’t see it on other news channels.

(Can’t figure out how to embed the video, but watch it here)

Now I know it sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory, but paper ballots would remove all doubt.

As a side note that ties along with this – voter fraud is not something that only 45 year old men living in their parents’ basement wearing his tin foil hat think happen. It’s a very real concern. So much so that we had a UN partner here in the United States to monitor our elections. Read about it here. Does it not seem wrong to anybody else that we have an international group monitoring our own elections?

Paper trails are important. So what can you do to make sure they stay paper trails? Vote. No no… Not for the President. Research and vote for the your state’s Secretary of State. They are in charge of the election process within the state. When researching, watch out for people that are looking to “streamline” the “out of date” process. If you see a pro-electronic voting stance, don’t vote for them. There is usually a candidate that will talk about the importance of paper trails and voting validity. That’s the one you’re looking for.

Nov

07

Posted by : Brian | On : November 7, 2012

After the election yesterday, a good friend of ours posted this as her Facebook status: (I have her permission to post this.)

“Wake me up in four years when it’s time to vote again…”

The sad part of this is that I think this is how 90% of Americans feel about politics. Is going to a poll booth or sending in a ballot with some lines drawn or circles filled in really what everyone thinks their “moral and civic duty” is as a citizen? How sad. And then we cry when these politicians, that we care about for 1 month every 4 years, vote to take our rights away, vote to increase taxes, vote to start social programs and vote to start undeclared wars.

Shame on us for allowing it to happen. We have ourselves to blame.

Pay attention. Get involved. Now is the best time to start.

Nov

07

Posted by : Brian | On : November 7, 2012

Can any of us say that we were REALLY surprised at the results of the election last night?

Keri and I were lucky enough to go to see Wicked last night, so we got to miss all the crappy election coverage and all the “We’re all going to die if the (insert the other party’s candidate here) gets elected” hysteria.

The truth is, nothing is going to change – not in the long run anyway. We’ve been headed down the wrong track – actually I guess you could say we aren’t on the track at all, and believe it or not, it’s been happening for more than the last 4 years.

Do I think that we’re in for doom and gloom and the end of the world?

Nah.

But do I think that we’re still on a downward slope toward our nation’s fate?

Yep.

Barrack Obama and Mitt Romney are both status quo politicians that will not/would not have changed the system.

Nov

05

Posted by : Brian | On : November 5, 2012


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


Welcome to the Apathetic No Longer blog. For awhile I have been wanting to start a blog as an outlet for thoughts in my head. You know, like every other blog in the blogosphere.


Where I’m coming from:

I’m a devoted Christian. I’m a husband to a beautiful, loving wife. I’m a father of two adorable little girls. I’m an active duty Marine.* I love my God, my wife, my kids, and my country.

What I do not like, however, is the apathy that surrounds these things, especially in America. We are continually throwing God out of the equation. Marriage is nothing more than a social contract that is too easily broken. Children are seen as annoyances and distractions, and we have no clue what is happening in our country. As long as the internet or TV is working, and Dominos still delivers, we are happy.

We don’t know what we believe in regards to religion
We don’t know what we believe in regards to politics (except that we are Republican or Democrat)
We don’t know what we eat
We don’t know how to maintain a good marriage
We don’t know how to raise our own children
We wouldn’t know how to survive if Wal-Mart closed down

But the biggest problem of them all is that we don’t even care.

I’ll finish this in a little bit, Jersey Shore is on.

Fair warning to those who don’t know me well: I’m extremely sarcastic. 

So here is what you will come across on this blog:

Politics (Don’t run!): 
Religion:
Nutrition:
Marriage:
Parenthood:
Exercise/health:
Other: This includes anything that I think is important and I find myself or others being apathetic about.

Names you may hear often: Ron Paul, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Tom Woods, Andrew Napolitano. 

FINAL NOTE FOR THE INTRODUCTORY POST:

I hope to never come across as high and mighty here. If anyone knows what apathy is, it’s me. I fight against it everyday. It comes easy.