Monday, January 16, 2012

Both Ends Against the Middle

[Johnathan Clayborn]
Okay, so I know that two posts in the same day is a rare treat, but hey, I have the day off and my homework isn’t due for 6 more days, so why not. I was reading a very well-written article by a journalist, Chris Hedges. I recommend that everyone read it, but in case you can’t I’ll summarize. Hedges has filed his lawsuit in an effort to overturn the recent legislation that was passed granted the US military the power to police and detain US citizens without trial and for an indefinite period of time. He postulates that many of the bills terms and definition are not defined or delineated in any official capacity and as such they are too vague to make the bill useful or just.

Now, this bill has a lot of people up in arms. There are many who are upset about this bill, and rightfully so. We’re taking freedoms that US citizens have been accustomed to for a few hundred years and flushing it down the drain. But, there are right ways to bring about change, and wrong ways to do it. The wrong way would be to advocate or organize violence in an effort to change the laws. While this technique may be a catalyst for change, historically it has not brought about the changes that people have hoped for. The right way to bring about change is to speak publicly (and peacefully) about it. The right way is to start petitions to repeal the law, or to file court proceedings to block it, or to run for office yourself and attempt to get the bill overturned from the inside. 

Normally, at least in politics, I tend to be kind of “middle of the road”. Don’t get me wrong, on some topics I’m very conservative, but then on other issues I’m quite liberal. With everything else I tend of fall into the middle of the road. I’m not a Democrat or a Republican. I’m not a conservative or a liberal. And yet, interestingly, I’ve been called a Democrat, a Republican, a Conservative, and a Liberal depending on who I have pissed off that week and how much they try to undermine or dismiss my viewpoints. 

Now, a lot of people go through life completely oblivious to what’s going on around them. And that’s their choice. However, it’s a dangerous choice to be sure. Those of you who know me well know that I’m an advocate for self-defense and survival. I believe in being prepared. As such, I often visit the FEMA website and take many of their online trainings ( FEMA, contrary to popular conspiracy theorists, is not the end-of-the-world doom-bringer that many suspect. They’re a real-world, pragmatic organization that at least tries to help out in disasters. Admittedly, like many other organizations FEMA isn’t perfect. They’ve made some serious mistakes, but their aim seems genuine enough. 

Now, this comes into play because most “Survivalists” advocate that people should keep about 2 weeks supply of food and water on hand at all times. This is a view point that FEMA itself supports and recommends ( But, this is bad because, because according to new legislation that’s been passed having more than 7 days of food “stockpiled” can brand you a suspected terrorist in the eyes of the government ( 

This isn’t really all that surprising, sadly. The government has a long history of having one organization say something that completely contradicts another one. Although I can’t seem to find the exact documentation at the tip of my fingers like usual, I do recall there being a law passed in 2009 that branded anyone who had zip-ties, duct tape and rope together you could be arrested by police for having an “assault kit”. These are common household items that are found in probably every other garage in America. As with everything else, I encourage you all to pay attention to what’s going on around you. It’s very easy to find yourself breaking the law even on accident. And, as any judge will tell you, ignorance is no excuse.  


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These blogs represent my thoughts, ideas and opinions. They may be different from yours. You may not agree with them. While I do enjoy a good, polite debate on a topic (where points are countered with other points based on logic, reason and fact), I do not enjoy an argument (where you tell me that I am wrong simply because you disagree and cannot offer any reasons to support your position). I am very respectful of others, and I expect everyone on here to be respectful in return, not only to me, but to each other as well. Disrespectful posts will be deleted automatically. Feel free to share your ideas, but keep it civil, please.