Monday, January 30, 2012

What I learned from Dr. Debu Majumdar

    I had the opportunity Sunday, to go and listen to a man speak about something I have been juggling with within myself. The man was Dr. Debu Majumdar, past President of the Board at the UU Church in Idaho Falls and an author of children books that teach moral stories based on the Hindu stories from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The speech was titled simply; Occupy Wall Street Signals a Need for Return to Ethics.
 The message however was much more profound, at least for those of us who have trying to find the balance within us of being a good citizen, and a good spiritual person. I say this because of the good judgment of separating our faith from our politics and governing laws. Debu has been a devout believer of the Hindu teachings and ethical standards and has managed to form strong ties in his waking life to them, and weaving them into his mundane work as well as his political views.
   I had been wrestling with my civic responsibility(s) to my fellow citizens and my religious obligations to my community while I have been active in the ever growing social movement of the Occupy Wall Street campaign. As an active citizen, I have attended events and General Assemblies held by our local Occupy Idaho Falls groups and those of Occupy Pocatello, as well as interacted on a National scale of communication and interaction with the many various Occupy groups online, sharing ideas and developing plans of action to help educate the public and address our elected officials. As a clergy person of my faith, I have helped develop and implement action and communication of peaceful assertion and ethical behavior. True they both compliment each other in application, yet I had felt that together, they limited my ability to do more. Sunday, I sat there and realized that they did not.
   Debu brought up many things that we had all mentioned or focused on in our activities or assemblies concerning our Nation in general, our Government in action, and our future in specifics. Being a history and mythology buff, I had several times pointed out the parallels and patterns that we had fallen into as a Nation and how it had played out in the past with other countries. Debu pointed out that this country, this culture, has no long standing mythology, but does have a well documented history that we all learned as children, however, they lack much of the moral and ethical teachings that accompany the majority of cultural mythologies. Every culture that has come and blended into this great melting pot of a Nation, has brought these mythologies and cultural teachings, yet they have been played down if not removed from our education system. With such downplay in favor of science and math, we lost much more than 'faery tales' and 'ancient history', we lost the advantage of instilling into our progeny a solid foundation of ethics. I know, Christians that read this will be up in arms, but the Bible has been so over interpreted and forced onto individual thought, that the majority of the younger generations have long since pulled away from it. Sad, but true.
   As a clergyman of faith, and a spiritual person, I learned that to teach a religion or cultural belief, we must allow for the individual understanding and expression of personal interpretation. Allowing the 'student' to think, rather than telling them what to think. Faith is belief, not one based on outside definition, but in personal understanding. I too believe in the understanding and investigation of science, history, and accurate literature of cultural arts and expression. That is a belief based on facts and evidence supported by various pieces of science and history. I have blended them so deeply in my personal life, that I must always be wary of not being perceived as a manipulator of others. And I always encourage others to do the research, to think for themselves, and to be strong in their findings.
   But back to Debu... He expressed that it has more than years for this country to come to this state, but it has taken generations. He pointed out that the generation gap has grown so much, that it has gone from grandparent - grandchild to parent – child. Whereas; our children cannot fully function in communication of ideas, goals and simple ethics outside of their own generation, leaving parents, and grandparents at a loss of how to convey to them these moral choices and good behavioral patterns. Sounds like something for 'family practice councilors'? Look what 60 years, roughly 3 full generations, of this has lead our country into. These children today, have lost so much due to our failures in our generation, and the oversights of our parents generation, and the lack of communicating and keeping in-touch with our grandparents generation. Personal ethics, business ethics, social morals, and just plain common sense has been overwritten by such things as our modern society has promised us by it's technical advances.
   In place of savings, we strive for a credit rating, which requires us to borrow money and enter into debt willingly. In stead of the practice of business to raise standards of living, it raises the requirement to raise the cost of living, with the ultimate goal to 'make money' rather than quality products. In place of electoral officials working for the common goals of the people, we have allowed bribed politicians to pander to these same money minded businesses to prevail over us. There are so many places in our comparatively short history as a Nation, that we allowed these things to come to pass, without looking toward our future as a sovereign and sustainable country. Too many 'short sighted' laws have been passed that it is now common place for our legislators to through 'quick fixes' at our Nations problems, so that they can pas it off to someone else. How can we have become so complacent, so blind to this open proof of non-responsible or irresponsible acts by our government? It is simple, we do it on a personal level almost as often, if not more so, and we won't even go into the daily business dealings that make 'white collar crime' a common place term in our lives.
   That is a big bite to swallow. We are responsible. It has been a trickle down affect for generations, going back to our great-grandparents easily, and further back if we spent the time searching it. We have allowed more and more of our generations to accept and conform to a level of complacency, that the modern response to government action of corporate rulings is; apathy. Somehow, somewhere, we forgot to care, unless it happened to us directly. We forgot how to care about our fellow citizen, we blinded ourselves to facts about laws, and we forgot how important our voices and our votes really were. We were told that we didn't matter, and we believed it. We allowed our freedoms to be trimmed and limited by our government and we allowed our government to be regulated by private corporations and big business interests. (The twisted comical part is, that these corporations are crying 'foul' when the government places regulations on them, and then convinces the government to 'privatize' the regulations by outsourcing to 'third party' companies, that they have even more influence on.)
   The answers? That is now the issue. We have over 60 years to review what needs to be changed, adjusted, or repealed. The overview? Get money out of politics by removing the corporate person-hood granted by 'Citizens United' act, regulate influences of our politicians by not allowing them to be seated on corporate boards of private businesses while they hold a public office, and limiting if not completely removing the ever growing crowd of lobbyists in our legislative process. That is a good start, and mandatory before continuing I believe. 
   Next? Return the authority of this Nations currency back to the government of this Nation and out of the hands of private banks that hold no allegiance nor true investments in the well being least not the sustainability of this Nation. Then focus more on our National infrastructures that are failing our Nation; Education, Labor, Communication, Roads and Bridges, Harbors and waterways, Power grids and resource management. I'll even go so far as to focus on a National plan to increase research and general application of renewable resources for heat and power, building transit systems that increase interstate and National transportation, i. e. bus, train and waterway transit plans that resemble those of other Nations.
From here, we have to get there, from there...well only our future is at stake.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Trieste on Leadership: the common call, duty and expectations we call for

 “Leadership dictates morale.”
In the concept of leadership, we strive to find many things. To lead by example, to be a driving force of compassion, to hold up to expectations of guiding rules and laws, and to defend those which are lead. Simple really, right? How often do we desire to find these things in ourselves and in others that aspire to 'lead'. How often do we examine the ethics and principals of our 'leaders'?
We question a lot of what our 'leaders' say and do, and for good reason. We do so in hope to find them, and ourselves, in line or in tune to the various things that govern our daily lives. We compare ideals, goals, aspirations,...we evaluate their ability to 'lead' us by our evaluation of their interpretations of our concepts. That alone likely weeds out many. Judging others by our standards. It is exactly how we select those who would be our leaders. Then we hold them to their duty by our regulation of their applications of our desire. Beginning to sound like a position that is highly unlikely to be sought after now doesn’t it?
“The actions and deeds of our leaders mandate the acceptance of their ability to lead, and their words encourage others to follow.”
Actions will always speak louder than words, and although action and words both can be set to lie or deny the truth, we sometimes fall unto our desire to see, or hear, truth despite actuality. We deceive ourselves for our desire to be in agreeance with our leaders, sometimes. Other times, we see the disagreement between our desire and that of our leaders to be in direct conflict and ability to generate action-ability. We too hold our leaders in check by what we ask of them to do, and by what they are able to do, and in so can easily find fault and lay blame that is truly undue. On the other hand, many known 'leaders' have found fault in their followers based on the same premise. Both are unjust toward the other.
“The expectations of our leaders must be as real and justified as in their ability to preform such duties.”
Many times have we allowed others to rise up to the function if not the position of leadership, by their eloquent words, single deeds, or series of 'victories' of some such ideal to be championed. These 'champions of ideals' are hero’s, but not necessarily leaders. Sometimes there are those who achieved goals, but lack the ability to hold influence and maintain an action-ability of leadership. Or, worse yet, we change our minds and redirect influence and new goals outside the endorsement of the current leader. The fault in leadership isn't always in faulty leadership, and much can be shared, if not owned, by those under the individual(s) who lead.
“It is a higher value, to know how much one cares, than by how much one knows. For Knowledge is the measure of what one has retained in memory and is the first step toward understanding. Wisdom is the application of knowledge when there is experience in circumstance, or is judgment based on circumstance when there is no previous experience nor knowledge of proper action. However, without compassion, neither knowledge nor experience, will serve leadership well, nor those who would follow.”
Leadership is a position that must be able to foster and maintain mutual respect. Our leaders should be able to give and harbor respect toward all who would come to them, regardless of station or position. And if we do not hold respect toward our leaders, then we fail them and our fellows in being able to foster strong leadership. Not all leaders can earn nor keep the respect of those they would lead, and ofttimes that is a good measure of their true ability to be able to lead. Here too, we must remember to gauge that ability by facts and not opinion. Opinion is necessary in debate of leadership ability, but all who would desire to become or maintain leadership, must be judged on factual ability, experience, knowledge and measure of compassion beyond their desire, willingness and drive.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Your'e Gonna Miss This...A day in the Life...

     I woke up this morning to news that once would upset me to no end, yet today, I blinked my eyes and shrugged it off. It was important, but not so much that my day was going to be offset by it's fact. I knew that it would most probably happen, and I had already foreseen the how's, why's, and ways to deal with it's inevitable possibility that it would be. I accepted it...
     Before my first cup of coffee, I had been dealt a personal blow. It happens more often that any of us would like, but this time, it had almost no affect on my ego nor my morning mood. I drank my coffee, read my news blogs, smoked my morning cigarette...This day was no different now than yesterday, or the day before. My routine went uninterrupted, my rituals all fell into place, my schedule undaunted.
     The phone rings, as it ofttimes does, just before my morning constitutional, and it is a 'friend in need'. This too is my morning ritual, council and advise to others who found themselves in a pickle of emotions or choices and are hesitant to act upon them. We chat our morning greetings away, get down to brass tacks, I listen intently, they speak openly, we share a common thread of intent and conclusion. Thus goes one or two phone calls every morning, my day begins in service. By the time I am fully dressed, and heading out the door to actively begin my mid morning interaction with the waking world I begin to look for a topic of focus for my personal growth and understanding.

     At my little desk set aside in the office at to place I work as a volunteer manager and receptionist, I sit and read through emails...From here I trade ideas and submit information to other small business owners/managers about marketing, social media outlets, local news and events. More blogs are written, and read from this niche, that have to do with the well-being of others I forget about eating until my stomach grows it's discontent over being ignored, and I notice that it is well into the afternoon hours. Then my phone goes into active mode again...
     By the time I decide on my meal, I will have answered my phone a half-dozen times, all personal or semi-personal calls about choices or technical advise about social media. No job offers, no potential employer call-backs, no calls to see if I need anything. No, I am not upset nor depressed about it, it is my normal day, what I do as council, manager, friend... it is and has been that way for years now. I would hate for that to not be the way, it is my life-line to the outside world, beyond my limitations of travel and physical activities.

     Through lunch, now closer to a normal persons dinner time, I write and sketch out blog entries in my head or on notepads. I chat with whoever is nearby about this-n-that, and ponder who might read my blogs and comments. I begin to polish up my entries...

     I check through emails and social media accounts again, settling in to answer a few inquiries, trade comments with friends, and look into the trending topics to see if they hold any interest for me. I write my blog....
     I write because I am interested in sharing my insight, my opinions, and my knowledge. I write to keep my mind active and my imagination stirred. This is also why I read, and I am an avid and voracious reader of blogs on many subjects. But I write...

     By late evening, I am winding down into my sitting room chair. Facing a TV with the laptop just to the side of me on it's own little table, in reach and at hand, and usually on-line. I eat my dinner, watch bio's or documentaries, sometimes how to shows, sometimes sci-fi. My interests there also varied. I glance at the laptop from time to time, connecting with friends and family who catch my eye in a chat or direct post. The day has been good, normal, in sync with my ritual and routine.

     By mid-night, I quietly slip into bed, aware that tomorrow will bring change, will be different, will fall into step with the march of my life. I smile. I know I accomplished more than I planned on, and now rarely got to bed with regrets. At peace with my world, I begin to dream....

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Priest, Patriot, Citizen, Activist,...but why am I called a terrorist?

I find myself more and more akin to a political activist than an active citizen. It has thrown me into an internal debate with my ethics of being a politically neutral clergyman. I still hold to my philosophy of peace, yet I yearn for some sort of action beyond yelling to the apathetic crowd of government domesticated cattle. I pray that those who hold office will once again begin upholding to the people of our Nation. I pray that the people will rise up and demand freedom from these constrictions placed upon them and their civil liberties. I pray we once again turn to the needs of our Nation and fix our failing systems in communication, education, our hi-ways, bridges, ports and harbors.
I have been watching and waiting for the accountability of our governmental body to be answered, only to see and find that there is no such belief of our elected officials to be held so accountable for not only their actions, but for the lack of concern for this nation. Each office, each representative, each district, all claim no responsibility yet all call for more, more, more from us citizens to be given, and then blame us when there is no more left to give. And when we, drained of our own personal resources, ask for government assistance, welfare, medicaid, social security, or unemployment, they call us a burden to them, and spend the money overseas, on pet projects or to pay their salaries and personal cabinet budgets.
Enough! I have seen too many good people exploited by them. I have witnessed unchecked and unlawful actions by their privatization of our government system, a system once set as a social democracy for the good of it's people, now stands as a for profit corporation on it's own with it's own agenda.
It sickens me overly, to know that a Nation brought down to it's knees, was done so by our own apathy and our so called representatives. Our voices, so long dormant, now scream for attention, only to be given over to deaf ears. And when they do hear, they respond with arrests of civil disobedience, assaults, and insults to the very people they are supposed to be serving and protecting. This Nation, the one I grew up with so much pride in, was proud to serve and proud to be a part of.
This Nation is no more... it was critically wounded when we gave away the power to print and control our currency. It became crippled when we allowed foreign national and multi national corporations dictate policy on interstate and international trade. It was fatally wounded when our inherent rights of freedom and liberty, was restricted and limited, for our 'own good' of safety and security, by a measured congressional and presidential combination of acts, that effectively would overwrite and render useless our one true governing law, the U S Constitution.
Now, even before that said, I have been placed on a list. A long list of names. Names of people who have spoken out against the government. Names of people who have protested against corporate control, of unlawful bank and mortgage company actions, and worst of all, against our seated government.
 By the newly accepted standards of our government, I am a terrorist.
And that, sickens me most of all.

Friday, January 20, 2012

And one day, after a time...

 Once, in the history of this country, the people addressed the then government of issues and grievances in person and through correspondence. Their words were received, and responded to, with contempt. Their voices fell upon deaf ears, and their persons were labeled as trouble makers, rabble rowers and instigators of unrest. This only accelerated the situations presently in contention, and after a time, these persons instituted a direct action against the then empowered government. Yes, the first hesitant and faulty steps toward revolution and replacement of empowered government with new provisions and government body.

Almost every existing country today can claim that as a beginning of their now embanked government body. And in many places, these scenes are replayed over and over, time and time again, for various reasons with various peoples portrayed as villain and veteran, terrorist and patriot, sinners and saints all. We have so many reasons and excuses to 'go to war', and many were initiated from a 'move for peaceful change'. We take sides based on individual needs and sometimes switch sides for reasons as minor as worried about being on the loosing, or as history usually records it, the 'wrong' side. Petty and impersonal decisions, that fall far from the initial reasoning and desired outcomes.

Always is there a call from the oppressed to be helped, to be aided and uplifted from depression, disease, hunger and lack of shelter. Always there is reason to assist our fellow humans as we ourselves were helped and aided by others. Always is there also a call by the empowered to be served. Where these line vary and cross, we see injustice, unlawfulness, and a reason to be concerned. Our existing government has set guiding laws into place to uphold these less fortunate, to ensure a common defense of all persons. Persons...not corporations, not government employees or elected officials, but persons.
Deafened by cash, gifts, entitlements not earned by any other means but to give heedance to those already empowered. 
And the people continue to suffer. But they are not silent.
 Together, they gather and vent their grievances, plan communications with their government, and hold to their promised rights and liberties, all the while being stripped of them and limited by new laws. Until, one day, after a time...
There is honor in holding to truths, honor in defending those who cannot defend themselves. There is honor in demanding justice, and equality, for all under the law; and there is honor in demanding the laws be just and followed by even those who would make the laws.
But there is no honor in war. No glory in battle.
Battle, the acts during a state of war (and in many times during a state of peace) cause harm, destruction, and death. They hold a high price, even unaccountable by some measures, especially when compared to the miniscule cost of a movement toward peace or peaceful change. There is little glory in death, even when defending a purpose or ideal greater than accepted Gods, endangered family, or indebted friends. Death, the final sacrifice that one can give, is a final act of defiance in the face of adversity. You cannot repeat that action once done, nor repeal it's application, but only hope to honor it by following it with changing what has lead up to and caused it's appearance.
Wars are not impersonal, they affect everyone. They affect economics and environments. They affect every species that come close to it's boundaries and actions, and they affect them for far longer than the time it takes to fight, win or loose. We all loose in war. In battle we say we either won or lost, ground, men, ideas... We still loose. In war if we be victorious, we then survey the damages and losses on all sides...We still loose. Those costs are rarely repaid nor reclaimed, and many are uncounted. We loose so much because we, as fickle and impersonal as we have become, do not see that once we begin to attack and engage in battle, one side, or many, will loose the ability to hold to itself and it's goals and will be forced into something it does not belong to nor want. Sometimes that is forever.
We destroy the old and replace it with the new. We loose. We loose bits of identity when cultures are over run and replaced by different alien things. We loose languages, art, cultural histories that once stood out and became unique only to be redefined and judged against the new. We might believe that we have won, but the cost is almost always too high to bear.
I am no lover of war. I, much like most people, prefer peace. I'm not considered a pacifist by my peers, however I hold to debate, legal precedence, and mediation and negotiation of commonality and or compromise. I will defend myself, and those who cannot defend themselves, and that of my property, and my family when necessary. That too being my right. And I will do so by any and every means necessary based on circumstance, and here too ,I hold to peace and peaceful means as long as possible. But even the hardest steel can shatter under extensive pressure.
Change is inevitable, and we are in the constant field to implement and direct it. We are all accountable for it, and it will affect us all, in some manner or another. Our choices are independent and personal, the consequences, however, are another matter all together yet still are shared by all.
And one day, after a time....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Occupy Movement in Idaho

Here is a quick video that has a lot of the information and links to the Idaho Occupy websites. This is not a complete collection of this information, but will be added to as information comes in.
Please share this with everyone.
Occupy Idaho Falls
IF facebook Group and Page
Occupy Pocatello Facebook Group

Please add more in the comments...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sometimes its hard to be positive...

Sometimes its is hard to be positive...
     I look back, once or twice a year, over just my life and the interactions that I have shared with others (and there are so many others out there) to see just where I have been and where I am going. Every once in a while someone asks me;"Where do you see yourself in 5 years?", and it grates on my grain. I have a talent for seeing things as or before they develop, and I observe the goings on around me acutely, allowing for a perception of future possibilities and probabilities that is fairly accurate. Mix into that a deep understanding of the 'natures of man' and I am allowed a fairly clear vision of up coming events.
     Knowing that we are 'pre-programmed' to be 70% more negative than positive, we tend to look and focus on the 'bad things' in our lives. The outstanding thing is, we strive for positive goals. When looking at this information, are you still curious as to why there are so many cases of manic/depressives out there? They call it 'bi-polar' now, yet we have been predisposed to be that way by how we live, what we learn, what we teach, and that nagging inner voice that screams about 'fairness' in the universe. What a mind f*#k. We are exposed to so many sources in our lives that contradict our desire to simply be happy.
     Our various religions teach of morals and accepted attitudes or actions, yet they add into those the call of duty to follow only certain teachings or worse yet, follow only certain teachers. So much for free will, right? Many of the known practiced religions have been helpful in growing out of the negative world concept, but on the same note, and within those same teachings, is a call of destruction in harmony within our differences. One of the many reasons that I hold little to no stock in religion, at least as far as what we define as religion. That however does not give me reason or purpose to not study these interpretations and transcribed translations of these most sacred of works. I study them in-depth.
     Our sciences of psychology and aptitude of psychiatry has done less good than harm in application. Yes they both have provided guidelines and outlines of 'human nature' and who our minds can bend and warp 'reality' as well as given us many definitions about mental disease... but have you noticed that these definitions change as the generations move forward, and yet they still have no clue as to how to 'normalize' the mind without loading down the 'system' of the functions of the brain with drugs? We do have a better understanding of 'what is wrong with the mind', yet we haven't accepted a recognized treatment that works outside of; "Change your mind and how you think." Then we are left to the questions of; why change our thoughts, who approves our thoughts and where do we go from here?
     Modern science or ancient mysticism has been chasing those questions for centuries. Here we are, 70,000 years into our known understanding of the 'human nature' and we are finding ourselves as infants wondering about the existence of other worldly life while we have yet to understand our own. Are we truly that audacious to believe that we are as intelligent as we surmise? We are barely to the stepping stages in our walk in life, as we only have comparison to gauge and judge things to, for or against, and even there we cannot always agree. We are still arguing over 'authority' and recognition of credentials while giving little credit to experience in actual application. Another mind f*#k.
     Authority,... where does that come from? Who has it, and over what topics or position in life? How did they get it? Why should we accept it? All these come from our teachings and understandings of religion, science, government. Our elders, ancestors, our teachers, our family... There has been an ongoing battle of authority and control, waged continually for centuries either in plain sight or behind the scenes, to be able to control. It is part of the 'human nature', the will to control, to dominate. We, as a species, speak both for and against it in the same breath. Is it audacity? Is it justified?
     We fail to accept our own inner voice that tells us things such as; 'Be cautious, be happy, be productive, be part of thy own tribe and share the grazing lands.' we focus way too much on control, on dominance, that we, as a species, have destroyed land sea and air along with driving to extinction many other species of life just so we, as a species, can prevail even toward our own extinction. A long sentence, a long thought.
So now you see why I started with such a simple, yet deep statement...
Sometimes its hard to be positive...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Change? Yes, change...

 I want to bring about change, as most of us do. And like most of us who want change, I don't know where or how to start. We see so many things wrong, or that can be improved, yet we fail to be able to find the 'starting point' shy of scrapping it all and starting over. And I am being generously vague here, as we all know of hundreds of things we'd like to see changed in our daily lives and in our world. The end though, we perceive as better, or fair, or some other value above and beyond that which we know know life, or our world, to be.
I could say that we should be able to define what is not 'right' in our world much easier than to define that which is 'right'. We can easily point out the negative issues in our lives that we would improve if we could, and we can identify all manner of things that we call 'bad' in our world. But can we, as individuals or as a whole, find how to improve them? Most of the world population is content to point fingers and accuse, place blame and deny any fault, but how is that helping? Another large part of the population is content in their apathy, and would rather not 'rock the boat'. Again, there is no help for change there.
And now we come to the meat of our world and lives that need to be changed...
Where do we start? Personal aptitude, attitude, beliefs, diets,... Is it only us, as individuals, that we need to change? What about our environment? Our industrialized and cyber driven world of work and play? Can we bare to alter the 'instant gratification' that we desire based on the current trends of modernization? That is defanetly a 'cost' that many I know would not happily share or trade. Once we accept a thing for what it is or how it is, should we continue to accept it as such, or should we strive to improve it. I know we accept changes made by others sometimes, and act as if we should accept it regardless of if we agree to the changes, or not. Maybe it is a question of authority...
Authority, that leads me to search out and investigate many things that most people believe is beyond our influence, or has little interest in. Take government, currently most citizens, regardless of country or nation, are active in voting or addressing their governments. Why? Fear for most I would believe; of being arrested or detained, of being targeted for assault or harassment, or worse yet outright assassinated. But governments should work for the people that they draw resources from, thereby working together for common goals of sustainable if not prosperous continuity. But how do we achieve that goal, for just in one area alone, we are out voiced by the myriad issues in government alone.
Nations are built by the people within them, and are either sustained or pulled down by that population, barring invasions. That gives one a lot to think about. Concepts and ideals are given birth by many voices, and many things are planted into the 'soil' of governments. How they grow and evolve is up to those who first planted and all those who continue to tend it's growth. As with any well managed grove, it only takes time and non-action, to turn it into a forest of wild wood.
Beliefs, I have mentioned them here, and in many of my other postings, are of vast importance to me, and millions of other people as well. “Faith can hold a man up when the world is trying to hold him down.”, was taught to me a very long time ago in my life, and I have seen how true those words are. I say faith, as religion (all religions) require some sort or amount of faith. I say faith, as I hold that certain beliefs cannot be shaken nor destroyed. To me, for me, that certain belief, that holds to be true, against time and other truths, that is faith. I do not believe it is a question of faith, nor belief, nor even religion that needs to be put forth, but a question of personal fortitude and inner strength to continue or change our world. To me, any 'faith' will do, as long as there is something that will continue beyond our bonds and limits so that each generation can continue to grow and sustain beyond simple existence or survival.
What can we do? How do we begin? Where do we start?
Make a list. Review everything that you can think of a s 'good', 'bad', or 'room for improvement'. Accept that everything you know, can be changed, eventually. Include yourself in every aspect of what you observe and as only one point in it's existence. Accept that there are others who would agree and disagree in your designations of 'good', 'bad', and can be 'improved'. Then talk to others. From there, I know that we can find some place to begin taking the necessary actions to bring about change.

Monday, January 2, 2012

'Oath of Office'

Is the 'Oath of Office' still important to our Government elected officials and our Military service personnel?
Here are some facts about the various 'Oaths of Office'...

In 1789, the 1st United States Congress created a fourteen-word oath to fulfill the constitutional requirement: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States." 

 Judiciary Act of 1789, which established an additional oath taken by federal judges:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm), that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me, according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the Constitution, and laws of the United States. So help me God.
 December 1861, members who believed that the Union had as much to fear from northern traitors as southern soldiers again revised the oath, adding a new first section known as the "Ironclad Test Oath." The war-inspired Test Oath, signed into law on July 2, 1862, required "every person elected or appointed to any office ... under the Government of the United States ... excepting the President of the United States" to swear or affirm that they had never previously engaged in criminal or disloyal conduct. Those government employees who failed to take the 1862 Test Oath would not receive a salary; those who swore falsely would be prosecuted for perjury and forever denied federal employment
 In 1884, a new generation of lawmakers quietly repealed the first section of the Test Oath, leaving intact the current affirmation of constitutional allegiance.

Federal Executive and Legislative Branch Oaths

In the United States, the oath of office for the President is specified in the Constitution (Article II, Section 1):
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

The Constitution (Article VI, clause 3) also specifies:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
At the start of each new U.S. Congress, in January of every odd-numbered year, newly elected or re-elected Members of Congress – the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate – must recite an oath:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will 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.[55]
This oath is also taken by the Vice President, members of the Cabinet, federal judges and all other civil and military officers and federal employees other than the President.

Federal Judiciary Oaths

In the United States, federal judges are required to take two oaths. The first oath is this:
I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as (office) under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.[56]
The second is the same oath that members of Congress take:
I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will 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.

United States Uniformed Services Oath of Office

All officers of the seven Uniformed services of the United States take swear or affirm an oath of office upon commissioning. It differs slightly from that of the oath of enlistment that enlisted members recite when they enter the service. It is required by statute, the oath being prescribed by Section 3331, Title 5, United States Code.[1] It is traditional for officers to recite the oath upon promotion but as long as the officer's service is continuous this is not actually required.[2] One notable difference between the officer and enlisted oaths is that the oath taken by officers does not include any provision to obey orders; while enlisted personnel are bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice to obey lawful orders, officers in the service of the United States are bound by this oath to disobey any order that violates the Constitution of the United States.[3]

Text of the Oath

I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will 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.[1]
Note that the last sentence is not required to be said if the speaker has a personal or moral objection, as is true of all oaths administered by the United States government; Article Six of the United States Constitution requires that there be no religious test for public office.
The oath is for an indeterminate period; no duration is specifically defined.
Officers of the National Guard of the various States, however, take an additional oath:
I, [name], do solemly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State (Commonwealth, District, Territory) of ___ against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of the State (Commonwealth, District, Territory) of ___, that I make this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the Office of [grade] in the Army/Air National Guard of the State (Commonwealth, District, Territory) of ___ upon which I am about to enter, so help me God.[4]
While all Commissioned Officers are commissioned under the authority of the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the United States SenateWarrant Officers (WO-1) are given a warrant under the authority of their respective Service Secretary (e.g. Secretary of the Army), National Guard officers are additionally committed to the authority of the governor of their state. They may be activated in the service of their state in time of local or state emergency in addition to Federal activation. Reserve officers may only be activated by the President of the United States.

With this information, my question is; Why are we subject to Congressional and Presidential Acts that directly oppose the Constitutional Rights and Liberties of the U S Citizen? Why are these Acts allowed to be passed through Congress much less even suggested into Bills to be considered?