The Price of Freedom

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America, land of the Free, and home of the Brave. The only place on earth, maybe in the entire universe, that freedom rings. True freedom, not even understood by many Americans, is what we have. And it’s what our soldiers fight for.

They fight for liberty, and justice, for all. They fight for our nation, whole, and united under God. They fight for our rights, our beliefs, and our well-being. They risk their lives for our freedom.

They risk their lives so that we may choose how much food we want. They fight so we can praise whichever God we see fit to praise, and praise him in the ways that we see fit.

They sacrifice daily so that we can marry whomever we may, so that we can spend our weekends however we might, so that we can choose how we earn our money, so that we can live our lives in relative peace and harmony.

Sacrifice is an everyday occurrence in our lives. You may not even notice its slight presence. It whispers in the air as you help someone, thus sacrificing your time. It bares its bittersweet face as you give up your slice of the pie.

Sacrifice is an everyday occurrence in the lives of our American soldiers. They sacrifice years of their lives. The prime years of their lives, when they should be finding the man, or woman, they will spend the rest of their lives with. The time they should be spending raising kids, playing with them, and enjoying life. Instead they keep a grueling physical regime, and they live simplistic lives. They spend all of their time away from family, and hometown friends.

They sacrifice their time, but also their bodies. They sacrifice digits, limbs, and other various parts of their bodies out of pure love of country. They loose the ability to walk properly when they are shot. They loose legs, and arms in IED explosions. (Improvised Explosive Devices)

They loose their ability to see, their ability to hear, their ability to taste, their ability to feel, and their ability to smell. They lose their ability to sense the world around them. They lose it all for their country, and fellow countrymen. They sacrifice it for freedom. Our freedom.

They sacrifice their minds, too. The act of killing a fellow human being churns many stomachs. Taking any life is difficult. Some of these men and women who fight for us kill nearly daily, each time it takes a bite out of their confidence. “Why do I do this? Am I doing the right thing?” they ask. For many, there is no answer.

The traumatic experience of loosing a comrade is incredibly stressful on a person’s sanity. It quickly douses the person with reality, and mortality. It brings out a certain amount of faith. As the saying goes, There are no atheists in foxholes.

As stated before, the bodily sacrifice is gross, and horrific. Taking this into account, seeing a gory wound may be even worse than receiving one. Many soldiers are haunted by these images for the remainder of their lives.

Then of course, many of these men and women never return home. They sacrifice their very lives for someone else’s freedom. They sacrifice all that they love, their family, their friends, their relationships, for your freedom. For my freedom.

I say thank you to those men and women, and to their families, because of their incredible service to this country. Thank you today, tomorrow, and everyday, for your incredible sacrifice.

God bless you.

Why Scissors?

Picture 2

 

Why do directors only use scissors?

The English translation (with a little context mixed in): Ian wants to know why directors like Peter Jackson (above) don’t cut and paste more than they just plain cut out parts.

As an author, I know I’d only sell my novel’s movie rights to someone who would let me be a big part of the process. I would want to make the scene cuts, and tell them “No way, absolutely not! She wouldn’t fall for him, and she can’t fall in love with him because it’s part of her character not to!” Etcetera, etcetera.

I would want to make sure the director didn’t screw everything up. Problem is, the director wants to add a little spice. That’s how directors “sign” their “masterpieces”. I think anyone, and everyone, would have done a great job with the Hobbit, and the Lord of The Rings movies, because the fan base was already established. Everyone and their brother, sister, uncle, aunt, cousin, mother, father, and their friend’s family(ies) would be watching the movies no matter what, because the author of the book did all of the fan base work.

Don’t take me the wrong way. You could think I’m bashing Peter Jackson, but this isn’t really about him, his movie Fellowship of the Ring (based on J.R.R. Tolkein’s Fellowship of the Ring) just got me thinking about this hot button issue.

I am not usually on the “I didn’t like the movie ’cause it wasn’t the book” side. I’m typically the the first person to say “Of course it wasn’t the book! You came to watch a movie, you doofus!” For whatever reason though, I can’t get over what Peter Jackson did in the FOTR! (Fellowship Of The Ring.:-) )

Again, this isn’t about him, but directors all of the world. Take the guy who messed up Prince Caspian for example. I don’t know his name, but he messed up the whole movie by putting everything out of order! I’ll take a little stylistic whatnot, but complete redo says, “I don’t think the author had a clue what he was doing when he wrote the book!”

That is unacceptable!

My father, my brother, and I, have just recently finished reading the Lord of the Rings series. We still have the images depicted by Tolkien emblazoned in our minds. Wether it be the beautiful landscapes, the faces, the objects, or just the air, Tolkien described it masterfully.

We have the story fresh in our minds, and we can easily observe the powerful structure of the LOTR series, which is really just one long book.

If there was one thing I had to compliment him on, it would most definitely be his characters.

Gandalf: Kind and loving; a fearful wizard of power. Friend to all; mentor to all. Sam: Loyal, loyal, loyal, loyal, loyal, witty, funny, loyal, loyal, loyal, loyal, loyal, loyal, loyal, loyal, loyal, and loyal. Frodo: Bold, and afraid. Self-controlled, Ring-controlled. Wise, humble. Incredibly strong, pitifully weak.

The pure genius in each character is perfected with a certain time aspect. It takes time to like someone. Time develops trust, love, and all other ingredients necessary in a relationship.

Peter Jackson through time out the window in the Fellowship of the Ring. Why? He needed more time? Yes, he did. He had to show the subplot of Saruman building up the Uruk-Hai. He had to show the orcs tearing down the trees.

But, why not show them in their own time? Why not copy the book that you’re modeling the movie after?

Why not tell it as the flashback it is?

I don’t rightly know, and I may not ever know. I certainly hope that’s not the case though, but as of now, directors around the world leave me wondering: “Why scissors?”

It is What It is, and It Ain’t What It’s S’posed to Be.

Republicans-vs-Democrats

 

party  |ˈpärtē| Noun ( pl. -ties)

2 a formally constituted political group, typically operating on a national basis, that contests elections and attempts to form or take part in a government.

The problem with today’s political system is that it’s all about politics. You laugh, but I’m only half kidding. Meaning I’m half serious. You see the picture up there, and it makes you laugh, but it’s not kidding either. It’s very serious. It means what it says.

Translation of the Photo: a) The parties hate each other. b) It’s ALL about the parties, not the candidates. c) why did the democrats pick the donkey as their logo?

The one thing that is funny, is that the parties don’t matter any more. It used to be (or so I’m told–I’m still climbing the Hill, not even close to over it) that you could count on your politicians. You could count on them to do what they said, considering that if they didn’t, it would be lying, and you, the moral citizen, would take it upon yourself to relieve this lying scumbag of his title.

Used to be, that if you believed in what the Democrats brought to the table, you’d vote for them, along with the other citizens who believed in them as well. If you believed in the Republican party, you’d vote for them.

Then it got ugly when people started “being” Republican or Democrat. People chose sides. People started hating the other party, as if it were a professional sporting event, and it was the biggest rivalry game on the face of the earth: “The American Thunder Elephants, versus, the USA Butt-Kickin’ Donkeys!”

It reached the point where Republicans couldn’t say or do anything to win over any of the Democratic voters, let alone the Democrats they were supposed to “work with” on any political problems. They were unable to convince anyone that they weren’t the crazy radical Rightists that they had been labelled.

Same goes for the Democrats, they were branded, by the Right, as power-mongering, America haters. They were evil in the eyes of all Republicans. Maybe the Right was right, and the Left was right. Maybe both were what the other said they were. Maybe not.

Both sides have good people, and both sides have bad ones, that’s just human nature showing up. Human nature makes it impossible to be perfect, thus, nothing is perfect. Things really started heating up when the Progressives got involved. They were trying something bold.

In his book, Common Sense, (which inspired this post,) Glenn Beck says:

Many people will hear the word Progressive and immediately think of liberals or Democrats–but they’re not synonymous. Progressivism has less to do with the parties and more to do with individuals who seek to redefine, reshape, and rebuild America into a country where individual liberties and personal property mean nothing if they conflict with the plans and goals of the State. If the Progressive cancer were limited to defined political systems, it would be fairly straightforward to isolate it, treat it, and eventually be free from the disease. But it’s not. It’s infiltrated both political parties and the entire political class–the bureaucrats, lobbyists, trade unions, and corporations that all look at the government as their own personal ATM machine. The Progressives weren’t interested in taking over political parties, because that kind of thinking was too small; they wanted their movement to engulf the entire country.

I like that paragraph, because I think it says well what has happened. There are no parties anymore. Regardless of what anyone says, the parties are irrelevant. They are just masks now, hiding what the politicians’ beliefs really are.

It’s convenient, is it not? The fact that the parties have reputations that are so well known. Republicans are very Right. Democrats are very Left. They are predisposed on every issue. Any member of the party, before saying anything must ask his-/her-self, “What has the party said in the past?” or “What will they think?”

So, isn’t it convenient, then, for the Progressives, that both of the parties are representing them, and they don’t have to do a thing. They have both parties believing that Progressivism is the way to go, if not in name, then in ideology. They have it so, good, moral, thinking, and serious voters are voting for someone they don’t want in office. People who are strongly against Progressives are forced to choose Progressive Republican Candidate Jones, or even more Progressive Democrat Candidate Smith.

They have those choices, or they can vote for a small party candidate, and practically waste their vote. The vote is only wasted because of the ignorant I’m-Only-Gonna-Vote-For-My-Party-‘Cause-The-Other-One-Is-Evil People can’t see across the party line. They’ve got their political blinders on, and they aren’t going to vote for anyone else. Thus, there’s a total of about five votes for the small party candidates (or at least that’s all the good the votes do, in the Grand Scheme O’ Things).

The country was founded on a principle. The political system was founded on a principle. The principle was, and is, the fact, that man can govern himself. The Founding Fathers asked themselves this, and they decided we could.

The principle is necessary to the political system. It’s based on man’s belief in morality, and a strong, strong foundation in God. It is a necessary part of the American Experiment. We must keep ourselves in check. We must make sure that our fellow man is held back, if he cannot restrain himself. And above all, we must make sure, that we clean out the garbage of the government very regularly. We have to remain founded in God, in order to realize what is right, and what is wrong.

The principle of self-government is quite ingenious, as it is self-cleaning, and self-regulating. It works like this. The people vote for the best candidate. That would be the one who appears to be the wisest, the most intelligent, the most inclined toward the moral side of things, the most godly, the most up-standing citizen.

Then, while the candidate is in office, we find that he is truly a man of character, we see he keeps his promises, we see he does what we want him to.

Or, we see he is a power-hungry, sneaking, lying, slithering, skulking, little scumbag, who doesn’t do anything anyone tells him, and is clearly in it for the glory, and self-promotion, rather than for the betterment, and support of the beliefs of his voters. He cares nothing for the voters he ditched on Inauguration Day. He just wants more money, or more friends in high places, or more political status.

“No matter,” say we, the citizens of America, because we know. We know that next time voting season comes around, we’ll be ready for this liar. He won’t last another second in office. We’ll vote for anyone but him.

The problem is the Progressives. They’re game-changers. Game-breakers, if you will. They changed the rules. It’s harder to vote for the right guys now. You have to use your Morality Meter, and scan the politicians faces for their true meanings. You have to read their eyes, and read in between the lines, you have to find out what they’re really getting at. If you aren’t careful, you might, in the process of trying to remove a scumbag, put one right back in his place!

The Progressives broke the system, but evil always loses. That’s why Glenn Beck’s news company (TheBlaze) has the motto, “The Truth Lives Here.” Because truth always prevails. The truth is always right, it’s always the truth.

“You will know the truth,” Jesus said. “And the truth will set you free.”

You need to stay true to your beliefs. In the land of the free, I have a right to disagree, but I can’t change who you vote for. That’s your decision 100 percent. Vote based on character, and morality, rather than looks, and appearances. Vote for someone who will be your servant. That’s what the government is: a servant.

Show ’em who’s boss!

 

Mom, Why do I Love You?

Mom, why do I love you? You yell at me. You beat me. You, at one point or another, refuse to fold my inside-out shirt right side out. Thus leaving me to do it, and waste an extra two seconds when I get dressed.

Is that all? Far from it! You make me eat carrots, broccoli, spinach, green beans, lima beans, beans in general, vegetables in general. You don’t let me play outside until my chores are done, or my math is finished, or my teeth are brushed. (And by brushed you mean every part of every tooth? Impossible!) You refuse to let me play video games until I clean up a mess (regardless of who made it.)

You say to me, “Do the dishes.” I say to you, quite eloquently, “Why?” You reply, venom shooting out of your eyes, “Did you eat on these plates?” I nod, gulping. “Then you had as sure as… well, anyway, you’d better clean ‘em, ‘cause if you don’t, you aren’t gonna eat off of them any more.”

“Yes, Mom,” I say, not really meaning it, but my stomach advises me to do the dishes.

You don’t let me watch the movies I want to watch. “There’s only one, okay maybe two, bad scenes, Mom!” I whine. “No,” is the reply.

“There’s only a little passionate kissing! Only a little blood! Only a little swearing. Only a few decapitations! Only a few suggestive scenes! Only a few provocatively dressed women per square foot! Come on!”

“No,” you say. “I don’t like it. I don’t want you to watch it.” (I storm out of the room.)

“Hey, Mom! Can I read this book?” I say. One glance at the science-fictiony cover, and the book is judged. Guilty on all charges.

The charges being: Too scary, too gory, too graphic, too adult (what in the world is that supposed to mean? Since when is adult an adjective?), too scary, and above all, too SCARY!

“No,” say you, handing the book back, with out cracking its pages. “No, I don’t want you to read it.”

“But it isn’t even bad! I already read the first one!”

“You did!”

“The cover wasn’t as bad, you said I could read it.”

“Well, un-read it, and don’t read this one. I don’t like it.”

“Mom!” I scream in anguish. “OF COURSE you don’t like it!!!! You’re a mom! Moms like the bible, romances, biographies (on rare occasions), and self-help books! You aren’t supposed to like it! Just let me like it! Augh!!!!!!!!!!”

“No, I just don’t think you should read it. By the way, did you finish your mandatory* reading this week?” *Emphasis mine.

“No, not yet,” I sigh.

“What’s the title again? Something like Sarah’s Brown Horse, right?”

“Yup,” I reply, grabbing Sarah’s Fanciful Brown Horse, heading for the nearest place to read. I shake my head. Why do I even let you be my Mom? I think darkly.

But, you don’t do this without reason.

I break windows, curtains, tables, cups, plates, and bones (mine or otherwise). That equals yelling (and money out of your pocket). I eat brownies when you tell me to save them for after dinner. I ride my bike in the front yard when you tell me to not. I play football in the house, with express orders against such actions. That results in beatings. I take off my shirt at night, and quite irreverently toss it into the hamper, with its inside out. That results in, well, uh, an inside out shirt, of course.

You know that carrots, broccoli, spinach, green beans, lima beans, beans in general, vegetables in general, help me grow strong, smart, and tall. (Tall and strong being important to me, and smart being important to you.)

You try to teach me that the work must be done before I play. A concept I refuse to, or have a hard time, or just plain can’t, understand. You try, and fail, because I refuse to, or have a hard time, or just plain can’t, understand why I would work when I could play.

You make me do my math so I can survive in the world of numbers. You do it so I can make a living, and keep it. So I won’t be cheated out of my money. You do it for me.

You make me do the dishes so I’ll be responsible. That way I’ll be a real man in the world. You try to ready me for having a job, a family, any responsibility I might obtain. You try to take away some of the growing pains. You do it for me.

You keep me away from the things that will hurt me. You keep me away from immoral women, so I don’t fall into that trap. You keep me away from bad language, as you see it doesn’t behoove me, beautiful as I am in your eyes (well, and mine too). You keep me away from images of death as you see no goodness, no pureness, no everlasting life in death.

You keep me away from what will hurt me, like you would if I was playing with fire, you try to help me, even though I kick and scream. You try to protect me from what I don’t want, even though I clearly think I want it. You try to help me, even though I make it infinitely more difficult.

Is that all? Far from it! You save your last bit of Ice Cream Sundae, or your french fries, or your hamburger, or your sleeve of crackers. You buy be stuff you know I’ll love. You help me when I struggle with a math problem. (I reply to her help with something like, “But that’s so stupid! It makes no sense!) You give me hugs, you laugh at my jokes (usually :-)). You think I’m awesome, (I have no problem agreeing) and you love all of my creations.

You love me.

That’s why I love you, Mom.

I love you.

Why Indianapolis Hit the Big-Time

In 1820, Indiana found itself in need of a Capital (they probably noticed that before, but you know Congress: always going nowhere fast).

Anyway, Indiana decided to label a city as its capital. They called it (pause for effect) Indianapolis (cymbal crash). Ironically it means “Indiana City”. Polis means “City”, and Indiana literally means, “Pittsburgh”. OK, it actually means “Indiana”. Thus, Indianapolis. (Remind me to congratulate the namer [Jeremiah Sullivan, Indiana Supreme Court Judge] on his utterly amazing naming abilities.)

While most American state capitals tend to be located in the central region of their respective states, Indianapolis is the closest capital to being placed in the exact center of its state.

Its plan was created by Alexander Ralston. Ralston was an apprentice to the French architect Pierre L’Enfant, and he helped L’Enfant plan Washington, D.C.

The size of Indianapolis was originally one square mile. In the exact center there was a large circular commons (basically the town square, with a twist!). In the middle of that, there was a plot of land upon which the Governor’s mansion was to be built. The mansion was constructed, but none of the governors wanted to live in the mansion; there wasn’t enough privacy. In 1857 the Mansion was torn down; 30(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) years after it was built! That is some serious ornamental longevity.

Soldiers_Sailors_Mon_IN_1898

In its place a neoclassical limestone and bronze monument, the Indiana Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, was constructed. (Above) You can see the circular property, defined by the dark grass, and I believe you can make out the fence–a collection of pillars with chain strung around. You can also see the fish-bowlness of this set up, per the buildings surrounding it, and the major roadways entering the “Monument Circle” as it is titled now.

But that’s not the point! Those are just some cool facts about the old Indianapolis. I’m here to tell you why I think Indianapolis hit the Big-Time. Here goes:

Very basic observance has shown me that major cities, and minor ones too, are always built where there are good resources. Water being the top resource of desire, most cities (minor or major) are built on, or near, waterways.

There are two simple reasons for this. One is the fact that water is necessary for life, wether it be human-, animal-, or plant-life, water is a pervading necessity. Thus, humans, creatures who always attempt to improve, wether faster, stronger, or whateverer, try to live closer to the resource. In this case, and many others, the resource is water.

Two is that water provide(s)(d) good transportation for goods. The Mississippi is quite famous for transportation. (It also has its size going for it.)

Both came into play here in Indianapolis, but one more than the other. Number two was the main reason that Indianapolis was chosen for the state capital. It was located right on the White river. The White River starts up near the highest point in Indiana (Fifteen to twenty miles North of Richmond, IN), from there it goes through Muncie, and Anderson, and then it goes right to Indianapolis. Perfect for trade between Indianapolis, Muncie, and Anderson, right?

Wrong! After settling into Indianapolis, the people realized, after several grounded boats, that the river was too shallow for larger cargo boats. Can’t you just see all of the committee members smacking their faces? I certainly can.

(If you’re the curious type, it runs into the Wabash, and that flows into the Ohio, and then that runs into the Mississippi, and then that flows into the Gulf of Mexico.)

In essence, the committee had put the capital in one of the worst places. It was destined to fail. But Indy was determined to go down swinging.

In 1936, Indianapolis attempted a canal, but that was a financial disaster (I swear they tried to cover it up, because I couldn’t find anything other than a sentence about it.) In 1945, though, twenty-five years after its capitalization ( 🙂 ), the first railway made it to Indy, bringing with it the trade so desperately wanted and needed.

And as far as I can tell, the trains were one of the main factors in the growth of the Indianapolis population. Before the trains there were approximately 8,091 Indianapolisians. In 1860 there were 18,611 Indianpolites. In 1870 (25 years after the railroad came to town) the total of Indianapolisers was 48,244. (None of those names for Indianapolis-Dwellers were correct. Can someone tell me what to call them? Oh! I know! I’ll call them… Indianapolonians!)

The other big factor for population growth was World War II.

In the 1940s, many of the factories converted into war vehicle parts factories. People were recruited far and wide to come and build parts in Indianapolis. Many of the factory workers settled down in Indianapolis after the war. They stayed, and the population of Indianapolonians was bolstered.

It’s kind of funny, actually. Indianapolis was supposed to be one of the biggest Trade-Towns. But the Capital Committee screwed up. They thought that Indianapolis was in such an opportune place.

“Look!” they said. “Liquid clear stuff! I think we should build a city here!”

They forgot to measure the depth of the liquid clear stuff. Unfortunately for them.

In essence, Indianapolis is only the shadow of what it could have been. A ghost. A Ghost-Town, if you will.

Now, to explain how Indy made its way to 372 square miles, and a populace of 829,718 Indianolphians, I’ll tell you a few more HistorChunks*.

One other big factor for population growth was World War II.

In the 1940s, many of the factories converted into war vehicle parts factories. People were recruited far and wide to come and build parts in Indianapolis. Many of the factory workers settled down in Indianapolis after the war. They stayed, and the population of Indianapolonians was bolstered.

Another factor was the car industry. In the early 1900s, Indianapolis broadened its pallet. It dipped its brushes into the drab colors of Factory-gray. Indy manufactured, among other things, lightning rods, saws, stoves, and wagon wheels, but the major production was cars.

Yes, Indianapolis was the Detroit of its time. If I didn’t have a deadline, I would have found out which car companies started in Indianapolis, but, alas, I have a deadline. Anyway, The World Book Encyclopedia (from 1980) said that most of the car companies moved to Detroit by 1920, and none were built after 1937. In context, to me, it sounds as though a whole bunch of them started out there. Maybe all of ’em.

I don’t think driving cars in circles, albeit fast ones, is any fun to watch. But, for those of you who do, the Indianapolis Speedway was built in 1909 to test all of the cars. And in 1911, the first ever Indy 500 was held. Memorial Day weekend.

It’s coming up! You don’t wanna miss the Indy 500. 500 miles of pure circleness!

* HistorChunk. A blip, blurp, blorp, globule, paragraph, or any other small chunk of history, comprised of two or more facts. If it is just one fact, it is in fact, a fact, ironically. This account is factual.