No right to absolute arbitrary power!

In the fall of 1772, Massachusetts House of Representatives member Samuel Adams began to stir up some trouble in Boston.  The legislature had traditionally paid the salaries of the Governor and of judges, but the British decided that they would pay these officials directly.  This removed an important check on power, diminishing the power of the colony’s elected representatives.  Adams had had enough of dirty British political tricks.  It was time for action.

In November, he formed the Committees of Correspondence, effectively forming a shadow government that was not accountable to the crown.  Adams’ document forming the Committees of Correspondence consisted of three parts:

“First, a State of the Rights of the Colonists and of this Province in particular–

Secondly, A List of the Infringements, and Violations of those Rights.–

Thirdly, A Letter of Correspondence with the other Towns.-“

In many ways, it was a precursor to the Declaration of Independence that would follow less than four years later.   Samuel Adams’ declaration of rights goes further than our other founding documents.  He felt that no citizen could voluntarily cede their rights.  These were gifts from God.:

“If men through fear, fraud or mistake, should in terms renounce and give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the great end of society, would absolutely vacate such renunciation; the right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of Man to alienate this gift, and voluntarily become a slave.”

Can we look at today’s federal government and believe anything less than that we have alienated this gift?  While we fight over football players and statues and fake news, others fight to cede their gifts (and ours) to a bloated power in Washington.

Eight years ago this month, tens of thousands of Tea Partiers marched on Washington in the 912 March, demanding an end to the bloat.  Looking back, it seems that much of our effort was futile.  We can look at Washington today and we see little effective effort in Congress to deflate the bubble of bureaucracy.  Yet, many of us still fight on.  The fight is a lot more lonely today, but no less important.  Are we going to cede the gift of liberty through inaction and apathy?   We may not gather again in enormous crowds, but we can fight on alone, in our neighborhoods, and in our towns.  This was where Sam Adams brought the battle.  And, it is there that he helped spark the brush fires of liberty that we celebrate today.

 

​In Liberty,
Ken Mandile
Senior Fellow
Worcester Tea Party

It is better to have and not need, than need and not have.

I was wondering what to title my first writing for the Worcester Tea Party.  It is a phrase I first heard decades ago, early in my law-enforcement career.  It refers to carrying a firearm to defends one’s life.  I have heeded that advice for virtually my entire adult life, both professionally (because I have to) and personally (because I choose to).

 

I am a somewhat rare Tea Party member, also being a government employee.   I have worked as a police officer and a corrections officer for well over thirty years.  I was a certified armorer and firearms instructor.  And I believe that more law abiding citizens should heed the aforementioned advice.

 

I am not writing this for the professional or the person who already carries.  I am not going to tell you that this or that gun or caliber is best. Or even that you should carry.  I will tell you to be as discreet as possible about your choice.  I am writing this to provoke some thought among our good citizenry.

 

I know many people who have carry permits but have never actually carried a firearm for protection. They never think that today is the day they might need it.  I am willing to bet that most law abiding murder victims thought the same.  They didn’t go to where they were murdered thinking, I bet I will get killed here.”

 

I am not suggesting that simply carrying a firearm will guarantee your survival.  It will not!  It takes a lot mote than that.  Hopefully the future will allow us to delve more deeply into the hows and whys.

 

For now, I will list some pros and cons. First, some cons…

 

Depending on your disposable income, firearms and an adequate supply of ammunition for training can be relatively expensive; carrying them (especially concealed) can be uncomfortable and limits your choice of wardrobe; and there is the potential for great civil and criminal penalties in the unlikely event you fire it and kill or injure someone.

 

Now, some pros…

 

Carrying a firearm may save your life; it may save the life of a loved one; it may save the life of a perfect stranger.

 

There are many more cons, but none are as important as the pros!

 

Until next time, stay vigilant.

 

Dean of 2A Studies

Be Civilized Grudges are for Neanderthals

It is with great hesitancy that I wade into the quagmire of this month’s events in Charlottesville and Boston.  Uncontrolled and irrational emotions on both sides seem to have wiped out any chance of civilized conversation about Charlottesville, President Trump, Antifa, White Supremacy, Confederate statues, and other issues that have gripped the news and social media.

 

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Land of Freedom of Speech?

You’ve probably heard this quote or have seen it floating around the internet:

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

Supposedly Lincoln said it, then it was Reagan who said it. Consensus says it is a gross distortion of one of Lincoln’s speeches, but it makes no difference. The words ring true no matter who said them.

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Another story about Google

The world is in uproar over the Google “Manifesto” written by now ex-Google employee, James Damore. And when I say the world is in uproar, I really mean leftist institutions and the mainstream media, all of which clearly did not read the memo before lambasting the creator as anti-diversity, and more so, anti-woman. If you haven’t had the chance to read the memo for yourself, please do. Any rational person will quickly see the psychosis of the left before leaving the first page. As a contextual side note, I hate to use the term “left” or “right” as it often sells either group short, or is too inclusive, but sometimes I find there to be a lack of a better word and therefore stick with the norm for the sake of ease of read.

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How beauteous mankind is!

 

O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is!
O brave new world,
That has such people in’t.
— William Shakespeare, The Tempest

I’ve just finished reading Brave New World (when I say “reading’, I really mean listening to on Audible).  Written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley, Brave New World was one of the first dystopian novels, a genre that has gain much popularity in the 21st century, and for good reason.

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All this is what it means to be an American.

Independence Day offers us reason to celebrate and to reflect what it means to be free.  Looking to the revolutionary times of the late 18th century, we see a society where, for the first time in human history, the “common man” came to seize power from his aristocratic oppressors.  Today though, we should be looking beyond the “common man”.  We should all be uncommon.

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Don’t Always Believe What You Think

“The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.”

Winston S. Churchill

A few years ago, I saw a bumper sticker that said something that stuck in my mind firmer than the sticker was attached to the bumper.  It said ‘Don’t Always Believe What You Think’.  Philosophers call this concept “Intellectual Humility”.   This type of humility acknowledges the limitations of our knowledge.  It calls on us to challenge our own beliefs and, in doing so, places the surviving beliefs on firmer ground.

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Has our government always worked this way?

“American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education.”

This month, we are witnessing one of the most important rituals of American democracy:  the confirmation hearing of a United States Supreme Court nominee.  This process has evolved over the past few decades, particularly since the failed nomination of Judge Bork.  The contentiousness has reached embarrassing levels.  Like most modern political practices, we continue to battle over nominees much as our forefathers did, but we do it in a way that shows little regard for the character and qualifications of the nominee.

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