Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Benefits of Islam


This morning I read a news article about a Marine father that had been banned from his daughter's school because of a ruckus he'd caused about a school assignment.  Apparently, a history assignment was given requiring the students to list the benefits of Islam.  The father had a visceral reaction to this particular assignment and strongly stated his case with school officials.  The result was the fathers banishment from the school grounds.

My first reaction was disgust but then, I started thinking about it.  Within minutes, I was doing the assignment in my head.  The more I thought, the more benefits I came up with.  Here are a few....

The Benefits of Islam
  1. Economic.  Islam benefits the economic structure in so many ways.  When a terrorist bomb explodes, hundreds of economic entities go work.  Police and Rapid Response Teams flood the area.  Paramedics and EMT's respond.  ER rooms go into overdrive and funeral homes experience a boom in business.  Once the dust has settled, municipalities, insurance companies and contractors go to work.  The economic impact in the area can go on for months.  Reconstruction, heightened security and PSTD treatment can last for years - adding even more of a financial windfall.
  2. Education.  If you want smaller class sizes and streamlined education - Islam is your religion.  When you educate boys only, effectively eliminating roughly 1/2 of your student burden, you have the ability to work closely with each individual student.  Because you only teach a few core subjects - the Koran, Jihad and a few other choice electives, you have the ability to study your subject matter in depth, producing exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable scholars.
  3. Political.  The benefits of Islam in the political arena are myriad.  By doing away with pesky freedoms, both of speech and action, you simplify the political process significantly.  Swift elimination of political opponents, specifically by beheading, streamlines the political process and most often brings about a calming sense of continuity to the voting public.
  4. Military/Defense.  This is one area where Islamic nations really shine.  Their countries benefit immensely from the non-structured yet mandatory implementation of aggressive para-military organizations.  Not only do they recruit from within the borders of their own countries, they effectively recruit members from all over the globe.  With the promise of eternal glory, their fighters are arguably the most dedicated in the world.
  5. Environmental.  Islam is very environmentally conscious.  Rather than developing carbon fuel based guidance and delivery systems for their rockets and bombs, they use the much more environmentally friendly camel and donkey delivery systems.  In some cases, they use simple rocks (completely biodegradable) instead of manufactured munitions in their bid to protect mother nature.  And when using a more sophisticated delivery system (usually in the form of a Toyota pickup or Landcruiser), they make sure to use the most fuel efficient model.  Another aspect of environmentalism that is unique to Islamic nations is their fervent adherence to population control.   In an effort to keep their numbers down, their women are stoned at the first hint of an indiscretion and their children are regularly sacrificed to their cause.  Such a dedicated approach to saving the earth is rarely seen in the modern world. 
  6. Social.  The social benefits of Islam are too numerous to mention.  In their quest to reduce envy, covetousness and lust, they have established a proven system of dress and manner that greatly benefits society at large.  Covering their women from head to toe and not allowing them to speak in public has produced a contented, joyful female population.  The men are equally happy, as evidenced by their quiet lives and tender reverence for their families.  All is well in the Islamic world.
This list could go on an on.  How clever of our schools to assign such thought provoking assignments!  Without effective dialog, how will we ever come to understand other cultures?  Score one for a good, ol' fashioned American education! 

Would I get a good grade on my paper?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Reality Blogging


Human nature is a funny thing.  We seem to live in a constant state of comparison.  We compare every aspect of our lives with others, either feeling superior or inferior, depending the circumstances.  We compare our spouses, our children and ourselves.  We compare our clothes, our cars and our fences.  We compare ourselves with our friends, with people on television, in magazines and we even compare ourselves with fictional characters.  And more often than not, we don't measure up.

I'm sure that people have measured their lives by the perceived successes and failures of their neighbors since mankind populated the earth - but our modern technological age has created a plague of discontent that is eroding the soul of our nation.

I have never indulged in social media.  I don't have a Facebook account or Twitter (I'm still not sure what that is) or Instagram or any other social interactive site, and I haven't missed them at all.  Over the years I have had friends tell me that I just had to sign up, however, I have a couple of serious problems with our social media culture.  The first issue I have is that you can be anybody you want to be on the internet!  There is no accountability, no truth.  People only post what they want you to see.  You see the successes only - rarely the failures.  You see those few shining moments when a persons life measures up to their own standards of success.  You are inundated with EVERYONE's success and pretty soon you can see nothing but your own failures. 

And we wonder why we are nation depressed!

When I blog, I share snippets out of our lives.  You get to hear about Master Hand Grenade getting his first job and Miss Serenity dropping a buck with 1 shot.  You hear about Maid Elizabeth delivering babies and Princess Dragon Snack riding her first motorcycle.  You see pictures of Master Calvin decked out in his "Gentleman Adventurer" gear and Sir Knight testing tactical equipment.  You read accounts of lessons learned and prayers answered.  But there is so much I don't write.  I don't write about children with bad attitudes or baking projects that end up feeding the dogs.  You don't read about marital difficulties between Sir Knight and I or the bitter disappointments that seem to visit our home with reliable frequency.  You don't see the mess or the failures or the really rotten parts of life that I would be loathe to share.  You don't see the messy stuff. 

I only show you what I want you to know.

But there is another reason I'm not a part of the social media frenzy.  Quite frankly, I don't want to be a busybody.  For a while I "spied" on people via Maid Elizabeth's Facebook account.  I would check on them every week or so, just to see what they were up to.  Maid Elizabeth didn't have many "friends", but I found that often they would post things on their account that I would not have known any other way.  But then, as I was wandering through Elizabeth's "news feed" one day, I suddenly realized that I was like the "busybody" that the Bible talks about!  I was checking in on other people's lives, reading all of their gossip, when I would be much better served by taking care of my own life!

I think blogs, Pinterest and a whole lot of other sites on the world wide web can be wonderful - if they are used with discretion.  There are so many things to learn and so much encouragement waiting for us online, but we have to be discerning.  Remember, behind every website is a real, live, human being that isn't perfect.  Their spouse isn't perfect, their kids aren't perfect and their house isn't perfect.  They don't have the "perfect" survival location, the "perfect" survival plan or the "perfect" survival skills.  They have good days and they have bad days.  Whatever you do, don't look at the lives people present online and assume that your life is in the toilet!  We are all in this boat together - success, failure and everything in between.

Believe it or not, the world is not populated by people that have a perfectly decorated, spotlessly clean home, as they cook organic, homemade meals, while raising 8 impossibly polite children and being the quintessential Proverbs 31 woman (oh, and the perfect wife, of course!).  It is filled with people just. like. you.

Welcome to my reality.  Imperfect. Messy.  Just right!

About the photo --  A snapshot of our imperfect life.  The window is broken (an accident two years ago).  There are little buggy's, dead, between the two panes.  The window can't be cleaned (the dirt is between the two panes) and we can barely see through it.  Such is life!  Someday....

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Graham Crackers and Cocoa to Drink....


When my children were smaller, one of their favorite poems was "Animal Crackers and Cocoa to Drink".  Every once in a while, on a blustery day, I would give the children their own box of animal crackers, stir up a pot of cocoa and we would play games in front of the wood cookstove.  There could be nothing cozier than a cup of cocoa and a crunchy, sweet cracker to warm your soul on a late fall afternoon!

Today, I was out of animal crackers (we don't buy them very often) but the cookstove was singing it's siren song and the children and I couldn't resist a game of Yatzee while sipping on cocoa.  Being out of animal crackers, I decided to substitute homemade Honey Graham Crackers.  They take only minutes to put together and are worth every minute.  These crackers can be slightly soft (like a cookie) or crispier (like a cracker), depending on how long you bake them.  They are perfect if you don't have much in the pantry because they only require basic pantry staples - other than the butter, which can be easily substituted with shortening.  These graham crackers are full of flavor and good-for-you ingredients.  I highly suggest baking a batch today!


Honey Graham Crackers
1 C whole wheat flour
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1/2 C dark brown sugar (packed) can use light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 C butter, chilled (or shortening)
1/4 C honey
1/4 C water
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the wheat flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking soda.  Cut in butter (or shortening) with a pastry cutter (or you can use a food processor for this part) until the mixture resembles a course meal.  Add the honey, water and vanilla.  Stir until blended.  Stir with your hands until the mixture becomes a softened, cohesive dough.

Putting the dough on a lightly floured surface, roll to 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutters (or cut like crackers).  I used a fork to prick each cracker, although this step is not required. 

Place on cookie sheets and bake for 15 minutes.

____________________________________

I gave a couple of these crackers to our mail lady (fresh from the oven) and she said she had just seen a recipe for graham crackers but thought "who on earth would make their own graham crackers!".  So, I guess now she knows!

And for all you romantics out there, our favorite "Animal Crackers"...

 
Animal Crackers
Christopher Morley
 
Animal crackers and cocoa to drink,
That is the finest of suppers I think;
When I'm grown up and can have what I please
I think I shall always insist upon these.
What do you choose when you're offered a treat?
When mother says, "What would you like best to eat?"
Is it waffles and syrup, or cinnamon toast?
It's cocoa and animals that I love the most!
 
The kitchen's the coziest place that I know;
The kettle is singing, the stove is aglow,
And there in the twilight, how jolly to see
The cocoa and animals waiting for me.
 
Daddy and Mother dine later in state,
With Mary to cook for them, Susan to wait;
But they don't have nearly as much fun as I
Who eat in the kitchen with Nurse standing by;
And Daddy once said, he would like to be me
Having cocoa and animals once more for tea.
 
Graham Crackers go with tea as well as cocoa!
 


Monday, October 27, 2014

A Matter of Consequence


A few years ago I visited a friend whom I hadn't seen in a long time.  As we visited and I was given a tour through her home, I noticed her teenaged son sitting quietly in a corner of the room.  His mother introduced him to me and without looking up he mumbled his hello.  Another friend and my mother had accompanied me on this excursion and my mother, noticing the quiet young man, attempted to engage him in conversation.  Her attempts were met with downcast eyes and mumbled, one-word answers.  This young man was not indifferent or rude, rather he was painfully shy.

As I sat visiting with his mother, I asked about her son.  She told me that his grades were excellent but he that he had a visceral reaction to school because he was so badly bullied.  He also suffered from severe headaches (due to the constant downward slant of his head, which was his method of avoiding eye contact).   It was the mother's opinion that her son would grow out of his shyness and everything would be fine.

I have to admit, I was rather shocked.  Never in my life had I met ANYONE with that degree of "shyness".  He was so withdrawn that he was, without a doubt, handicapped.  My heart ached for this young man.  His pain in attempting to interact with other human beings was almost palpable.  It broke my heart.

Waving as we drove off, I looked at my mom, aghast, and said "Mom, that isn't O.K.  That boy is 15 years old and cannot look another person in the eye (including his mother), much less hold a conversation - something must be done!".   From the back seat, the friend that had accompanied us on our visit piped up.  "Enola, he'll be fine, there are a lot of socially awkward guys that work on computers and make a lot of money - just leave the poor kid alone".  I was stunned.  This was a mother - couldn't she see what would happen to this young man if his family didn't help him through this difficulty?  He would never be able to function in society without the ability to communicate.  How his parents dealt with the situation now would determine the future for this young man - and it would determine if he would contribute to society or if he would drain society of its resources.  This was a matter of consequence!

The brief visit with my old friend brought the challenges of parenthood into perfect clarity.  In our desire to love and accept our children as they are, we often handicap our children for life.  Somewhere along the line we forgot that love doesn't necessarily mean acceptance.  When we love our children we see them clearly, honestly.  We walk beside them as they struggle to mature and sometimes, oftentimes, we push them past their comfort zone.  We see how their behavior will affect their future and we take the necessary steps to correct their path - even when those steps are painful. 

I have watched my children struggle.  I have been tough on them.  I have drug them past their comfort zones kicking and screaming.  But I have done all of these things because I love them.  I want them to succeed.  I want them to be capable, to be able, to contribute.  I want them to walk through the hard stuff now, when I am able to encourage them and walk beside them, rather than waiting for them to learn their lessons in a cold, uncaring, unforgiving world.

I think we confuse the meaning of the word love.  Love doesn't mean blindly accepting bad behavior, or behavior that will prove detrimental.  Love means disciplining your children when they're naughty, because if you don't, people won't like them.  Love means requiring your children to finish what they started because it will teach them to persevere.  Love means giving your children the gift of consequences, whether for good behavior or bad.  Love means knowing your children,  acknowledging their shortcomings and being willing to do what is necessary to see them through to the other side.

We live in a world that has mistaken love for acceptance.  They are not the same thing.  In fact, acceptance can be on of the most unloving act any parent can commit.  How we love our children truly is a matter of consequence.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Havesting Pearls


There are things in life that irritate me.  Often, they're not huge, earth-shattering situations, rather just small, constant, wearing irritations.  And it's the small, constant, wearing irritations that bring people to their breaking point.

Last week, I was irritated past the point of reason and was on the verge of becoming unreasonable.  I wanted to throw a temper tantrum and make sure that everyone around me  knew of my displeasure.  Instead, I sat there and stewed (getting more irritated by the minute).  While I silently fumed, my fingers brushed the pearls that encircled my neck.  As I fingered the satiny smooth pearls and wondered at their magnificence, I realized that they owed their precious beauty to a tiny, almost imperceptible irritation.

I unclasped the necklace and held the pearls in my hands.  A tiny grain of sand, a parasite or even a sliver of shell had deposited itself in the innermost part of each oyster that had produced these pearls.  Normally, the oyster would have spit the invader out, but for each one of these beautiful pearls, that had proven impossible.  As a result, the sand had rubbed the inside of each oyster and the oysters had responded by coating the sand in a lustrous coating, soothing itself while transforming the irritant.  Month after month, in the unseen darkness of the oyster's secret places, that grain of sand, that constant irritant, produced a glorious gem of untold worth.  What each oyster would have rejected as unwanted - irritating, had, in reality, produced in it something far more valuable than itself.

I am guilty.  I often resent struggles and irritations.  I try to avoid them rather than allow them to change me, to polish me. 

As I gazed at my Great-Grandmother's pearls, I realized that I wanted my life to produce pearls of great worth, even if that meant embracing the irritants that life always seems bring in abundance.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Off-Grid Gear -- Refrigeration


One particularly challenging aspect of being non-electric is the need for refrigeration.  When we first moved into Little Shouse on the Prairie we were completely non-electric.  No. Power. Anywhere.  I had a milk cow, which resulted in fresh cheese and butter and yogurt, and nowhere to keep any of it cool.  The cheese and butter were somewhat forgiving but the milk was not.  If I couldn't cool the milk in a relatively short amount of time, and keep it cool, I ended up with a curdled mass that was only fit for animal use.  Desperate for a solution, Sir Knight and I bought a heavily insulated cooler and filled it with blocks of ice.  Although better than nothing, the cooler was a sad substitute for a real refrigerator.

Within a few weeks of moving in, we had a large propane tank installed and plumbed to the Shouse.  Originally we had intended on using the propane only for our range.  Quickly, however, we realized that we needed another solution for refrigeration. 

Our original propane stove was an enameled Wedgewood from the 1950's.  It was the gem of my kitchen!  At the same yard sale that we had purchased the stove, we stumbled across a 1950's model Servel propane refrigerator.  For a few hundred dollars, we bought the stove and the refrigerator.  My initial thought was that we could use the propane stove only when we really needed it, but we couldn't turn the refrigerator off if we weren't using it, so not wanting to waste propane, we didn't hook up the refrigerator.

More than a few gallons of spoiled milk, blocks of ruined cheese and pounds of rotten meat later, we finally gave in and lit the propane refrigerator.  Oh, it was heavenly!  Although rather small for a refrigerator, the Servel was huge compared to a cooler.  No longer did I have to fish wet packages, bags and bottles from the bottom of a swampy cooler!  Now I could keep gallons of milk ice cold, leftovers fresh and I even had a small freezer for ice cube trays.  Wow!  What a difference a tiny blue flame could make!

Over time, I found that I absolutely loved our propane refrigerator.  It was small, but efficient.  In the whole scope of things, it used relatively little propane and made our lives so much easier.  But, out of all of the reasons to love the Servel, silence was at the top of my list.  Really!  Propane refrigerators are completely silent.  They don't cycle off and on.  The flame just burns silently, steadily, providing continuous, silent refrigeration.  Oh how I loved that little workhorse.

One morning, after using the Servel for about 6 years, I awoke to a warming refrigerator.  Laying on the floor to inspect the burner, I quickly discovered that the flame had gone out.  Sir Knight re-lit our refrigerator and it continued on as before - for about 2 weeks.  Again, a pool of water on the kitchen floor indicated the burner has gone out. Sir Knight surveyed the situation and discovered that the burner had burned out. Calling a propane refrigerator repair center, I was quickly informed that the older model Servel that we owned had been part of a lawsuit (the burners quit working after over 50 years and a number of people had died of carbon monoxide poisoning in their cabins) and there were no replacement parts available.  We were sadly reduced to the cooler once again.

Shortly after our propane refrigerator quit working, we helped a friend move his entire household.  A week later, a pick-up came rumbling up our driveway bearing a gift from the friend that had moved - an older model Sunfrost refrigerator, specially designed for off-grid use.  The Sunfrost was electric, however, it was designed with the alternative energy household in mind.  Our refrigerator was large, with two compressors - one for the freezer and one for the refrigerator.  It was short and wide, making the refrigerator inconvenient, however Sir Knight remedied that problem by building a sturdy box for the refrigerator to sit upon.  Now, not only was the Sunfrost at a convenient height, but the box also provided extra kitchen storage!

I had a love/hate relationship with the Sunfrost refrigerator.  It was huge, but had only three awkward glass shelves in each section.  The shelves were positioned so that it was difficult to fit anything into the refrigerator except into the voluminous middle shelf.  The refrigerator was so deep that I was constantly digging everything out to get to items in the back.  It was nothing short of frustrating.  Along with the poor organizational qualities, we found that our Sunfrost didn't work particularly well.  The refrigerator froze everything that migrated to the back and the freezer refused to freeze anything other than ice cubes.  While researching our refrigeration issues, Sir Knight discovered that Sunfrost tested their refrigerators differently than industry standards for a "regular" refrigerator.  Sunfrost tested their refrigerator efficiency at significantly higher temperatures than their Energy Star counterparts.  What this meant for us was that our refrigerator required much more energy than advertised.  We turned our refrigerator down, trying to keep things cooler, causing the compressors to cycle off and on more frequently and still not achieving the cooling that we desired!  On top of that, the fridge was not frost free.  The entire top and back of the fridge would turn into solid chunks of ice, all while not freezing anything in the freezer!

After eight years of no popsicles, no ice cream and forgotten left-overs, we made the jump.  For my birthday this year, Sir Knight bought me a used, Energy Star Amana refrigerator to replace the cursed Sunfrost.  I was so excited!  My "new" fridge had drawers, shelves and cubbies everywhere.  It was a simple refrigerator with the fridge on top and the freezer on the bottom.  The evening we brought it home, I anxiously waited to see how it would respond to the modified square waves of our off-grid system.  I wasn't sure if the surge (when it came on) would be too much for our inverter, or if it would use a ton more power.  I wanted to have a "real" refrigerator so badly that I was constantly checking the Tri-metric (volt meter) to see if it was going to be viable.

As soon as we plugged the fridge in, it cycled on.  Really, it only used a little bit more power during the surge than our Sunfrost (our Sunfrost surge was about 12 amps and the Amana topped out at 15 amps).  But, the really cool thing was that when the fridge was running it used less electricty (about 6 amps versus the Sunfrost's 8 amps) than our old refrigerator!  Less!  And, as icing on the cake - the Amana Energy Star refrigerator could freeze anything - hard, and it was frost free!

Suffering for eight years with a substandard refrigerator was ridiculous!  We had read one too many solar articles, listened to one too many experts and based our decisions on faulty information.  We couldn't be happier with a plain old Energy Star refrigerator, despite what the "experts" say.

All in all, my favorite fridge was the propane Servel.  It had drawbacks (tiny freezer and small fridge) but I LOVED it's silent operation (and it was pretty cute!).  But, if I had to do it all again, I would definitely choose a plain jane Energy Star refrigerator.  When we had no alternative energy, the Servel was the only way to go, but with solar panels, the Amana is wonderful.  It runs flawlessly, keeps cold things cold and frozen things frozen.  It is convenient, easily organized and just plain awesome.  Sometimes I walk into my kitchen and think "where have you been all my life" (I know, sad isn't it?).

If you are just starting your off-grid adventure and you have a reliable alternative energy system, I would highly encourage you to buy a simple Energy Star refrigerator rather than an expensive "off-grid" fridge.  Although a DC Sunfrost might be worth the investment, we found that our AC model certainly wasn't.  In the worst case scenario, a root cellar would still be the best off-grid cooler, but if you can get your off-grid system set up now, an Energy Star refrigerator is your best bet.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cultural Paradigm Shift


The equality of men.  That ideal was the hallmark of America.  It was spoken of in hushed tones across Europe and lured men from every corner of the world.  The promise of equality caused men to quit their meager comforts and embark on a journey that could easily cost them their lives.  To be considered an "equal", to own property, to help make laws, to be limited only by their own willingness to work hard - for such a life as this, men were willing to risk everything.  And they did. 

The people that built America came from all backgrounds and walks of life - but the majority had one thing in common - their lot in life.  They had a station and were unable to change it regardless of hard work or circumstances.  The people in positions of power ruled those beneath them, some kindly and some cruelly, but the separation between those in power and those without power was absolute and complete.  The peasant, the regular Joe, was at the mercy of his better.  There was no recourse, no redress.  America promised an evening of the playing field.  Here, you could be whatever you wanted to be - you were ruled by your peers, not your masters.  But it went even further than that.  In America, any man could become a lawmaker.  They could determine the law for their fellow man and then live under the laws they created.  The founders of our country created a government of the people, by the people and for the people.  Just the utterance of the word "America" brought hope to the masses.  The downtrodden sought equality and found it in the arms of America.

Slowly, insidiously, our culture has shifted.  Almost imperceptibly we have allowed ourselves to transfer power from the people to the state.  As we slept, cocooned in our comfort and safety, our self-government has slipped away and been replaced by an unforgiving master - The State.  No longer do we live in a land of equality, but a land of "Them" and "Us".

To illustrate a tiny microcosm of this paradigm shift, read the following excerpt from a local paper:

WSP trooper, pilot caught on tape
(Reported in the Spokesman-Review 10/12/14)

Excerpts from scanner recordings made by Bill Gillam, of Arlington, Washington, on U.S. Highway 2/97 between Cashmere and Wenatcheee, where the speed limit is 60 mph;

Patrol trooper:  "Yeah, it's another officer."
Patrol pilot in airplane: "That's a pretty good one."
Trooper:  "Yeah, I had, uh, 86 on that one."
Pilot:  There's a car doing 73, just pushed traffic out of the way so its got open road again inside a mile to you."
Trooper:  "That 75 ain't ours, Chris, looks like it had a light bar on it."
Pilot:  "Did I miss a memo today?"
Trooper:  "There's a DRE (drug recognition conference) conference in Chelan tody that starts at noon."
Pilot:  "Ahh, OK."
Pilot:  "I got a pair coming but I'm not super optimistic about 'em, if ya know what I mean.  I'll hold off on the speeds until you guys can check them out, just in case.  It's a white SUV, followed by a gray car."
Trooper: "Yes, they're going to the conference."
Pilot:  "All right."
Pilot:  "I don't know if it matter or not but all the ones I'm calling the speeds at have been over 80."
Trooper:  "They will make a little announcement at the conference."
Pilot: "Yeah, that'd be good.  I mean, I understand you don't want to be late but that's a little too much."
Trooper:  "Yeah."
Pilot:  "A motorcycle made an unsafe lane change."
Trooper:  "Seventy-two with an unsafe lane change.  He cut the black car off.  So 78 was the high.  You're not going to believe where the motorcycle's going."
Pilot:  "Let me guess - the DRE conference."
(At end of video)
Pilot:  "Sorry we couldn't get more."
Trooper:  (laughing)  "We got plenty."
Pilot:  "There will just be one more page in the reg manual.:
Wenatchee World

As I said, this is just a tiny illustration.  We have allowed so many usurpations of our rights as free men that it would be impossible to recapture them.  We have allowed a President to remain in office that doesn't agree with the Constitution, therefore he doesn't enforce it.  We have allowed our Representatives to implement a (mandated) health care system that they have exempted themselves from.  We have allowed law enforcement officers to disregard the law for themselves and only impose it on "civilians" (that means you and me).  We have replaced  the equality of a government of the people with a glorified caste system and now we are enjoying all of the accompanying atrocities.

It's time to make the State aware that we, the People are the true and rightful heirs.  This is OUR land - not theirs.  Stand up and be counted.  Our founders made sacrifices for this land, are you willing to do the same?