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To be Vigilant, Active, and Brave

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The battle, Sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.
~ Patrick Henry
To be vigilant, to be active, and to be brave... These are all excellent characteristics; but do they apply to me and what I do? I try to write a post for this blog almost everyday. My goal is to add my thoughts on, and opinion about different events to the rest on the world wide web. My hope is that my viewpoint adds fresh perspective to events that may not otherwise be represented. But there's so much more. On a personal level, it allows me a way to vent my frustration at what I see as ever-increasing restriction, regulation, and oppression by government. It also allows me the ability to connect with other like-minded individuals. Adding my name to their ranks helps to bolster our cause to spread the word about our rights, our liberties, and our pursuit to protect them from infringement by coercive government. So, let's look at these points one at a time.
To be vigilant means to be aware of your surroundings. To be vigilant means to be able to take two separate events and see how they fit together to make a larger picture. That is what I hope to do. When I open a newspaper to read about the goings-on of my government (local, state, and federal), I always look for connections to other events from the past that may be directly or indirectly tied together. This approach stems from another quote which, paraphrased, states, "Nothing in politics happens by accident." Usually, there's a network of people and agendas that lead up to a particular event. That is what I'm interested in. The behind-the-scenes stuff. That's where the real story is.
Adding to this, I'm also very protective of my rights, your rights, and all our rights. Someone once asked, "How do you know if your rights have been violated when you don't even know what they are? How can you stand up for yourself when you stand for nothing at all?" These questions resonated with me, so I began to dig into the subject matter. To be sure, I'm still digging; but what I have learned is great. I am very aware of what is going on around me every day by "actors" who are constantly attacking our rights and liberties. To that end, I am very boisterous about what I see as a full frontal assault on our rights and liberties.
Am I vigilant? To a high degree, Yes! Can I be more vigilant? Always.
After getting educated, as it were, about my rights and liberties, I felt the need to do something constructive with the information I had learned. I also felt it was my duty to sound the alarm to others of what I had discovered. People had to know that these sorts of things were going on--in most cases--right under their noses. Thrashing around a bit, I discovered blogs.
Never having been much of a writer, I sheepishly tiptoed into the blogosphere. I quickly realized the blogosphere is a huge ocean of information. Feeling much like the proverbial butterfly, I flapped, and flapped, and flapped again. It wasn't long before I could sense the effects of my efforts. Let me clarify one major point that I learned right away: one person cannot do this by themselves. It's too great a task and far too great a hurdle to overcome alone. This requires an army of individuals all flapping their wings in unison to generate enough wind to fill liberty's sails. To this end, I added my efforts to others who were pursuing the same goal.
Am I active? Again, to a high degree, I am. Can I be more active? Most certainly.
Am I brave? What does it mean to be brave? This one took a bit of thought to answer. Some would state that bravery is the act of doing a righteous thing while knowing that you could lose everything by doing it. I feel this definition is accurate. Could I lose everything by doing what I'm doing? Most certainly. At this point in time, knowing how our government broadly defines it's sedition laws, they could very easily argue that what I write constitutes sedition. Everything I transmit and say is being scrutinized, I've learned, by my government. My Internet Service Provider is AT&T which has decided to allow the government the ability to access every bit of electronic communication I send and receive without a warrant. Does it not take a certain degree of bravery to continue posting to my blog, sending emails, and making phone calls while on the AT&T network? I would say so.
It's more than that, though. It's facing an adversary in conversation who believes you are dead-wrong in your beliefs. It's not backing down from his verbal assaults. Bravery demands that you stand on your principles when others would have folded under pressure. Bravery is asking the tough questions and saying those controversial things that make people poke you in the ribs while saying, "You shouldn't!" Bravery is standing on the outside of the crowd, even when they all plead with you to go along to get along.
Am I brave? Knowing what I now know, I have no other choice but to be brave. So, yes, I am brave.
I am fortunate to know many other people like me who have made the choice to stand on their principles. It's never an easy choice to make; but it is easier with the support of your friends. To do otherwise, I would be like so many of those people I see scurrying from one point to another all the while appearing totally oblivious to what is going on around them. It's almost like they all have blinders on, or they've chosen to practice cognitive dissonance. It may be that the recognition of their subjugation is too great a burden for them to deal with, so they pretend it's not there. By doing so, I guess they hope to live "normal" lives. This is not--and never should be--acceptable to anyone who claims to be a free person. And that is why I fight the good fight.
I don't have the physical strength like the younger generations, but I have my brain and my wits. So, I choose to fight smart. I choose to do battle by being vigilant, active, and brave.


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