Do you want More Freedom or Less?

Pocket knife

The question posed in the title of this blog seems simple, as does the answer. And yet in today’s America we are constantly relinquishing our freedoms, or being asked to do so. Our collective compliance will only lead us to a totalitarian, tyrannical world in which a very tiny segment of our society decides what’s best for us and how we should live our lives. The weak among us are less afraid of this scenario. They wish to be led. They find self-responsibility and risk, which go hand-in-hand, very uncomfortable.

The latest issue that brought this issue to mind is the TSA‘s (Transportation Safety Administration) decision to once again allow small pocket knives on airline flights. On the surface it sounds like a crazy idea. And the mass media and liberal pundits are jumping up and down screaming we’ll be less safe and planes could be taken down again like they were on 9-11. But when you look at the decision and break it down to its basic truth this represents a very rare occasion where government is returning rights to you it had previously taken. And this should be applauded.

Prior to 9-11 carrying small pocket knifes, or large ones for that matter, onto air plane flights was not illegal. In the time before 9-11 you could also travel with your own shampoo. But in the hyper-safety-conscious period following 9-11 the TSA was created and new rules and laws, like the passing of the Patriot Act, took away our individual rights in the name of security. At the time it was understandable to temporarily suspend some of our individual liberties because we didn’t know how great a danger we faced as a people, as a nation. Lincoln suspended habius-corpus and declared Marshal Law during the Civil War. So, it’s been done before, for temporary and emergency circumstances. But 9-11 was 12 years ago. There have been no major terrorist attacks on Americans since. And yet the Patriot Act was renewed by a Democratic Congress at the behest of President Obama.

And before you argue that there is no need for people to carry knifes and therefore they should be denied the right to carry them. Please keep in mind the Constitution of the United States was written and intended for the protection of the people, the individual person, from their government. Also keep in mind how hypocritical opposition to the small knives on airplanes really is. The TSA already allows screwdrivers up to 7 inches in length, and small scissors. Both these implements can do as much, and possible more damage than a 2-inch knife.

1.2 liter Super Big Gulp

Also in the news this week was the story that a New York Judge has struck down Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s law preventing the sale of large (32-ounce) soft-drinks. Here again, what Bloomberg fails to understand is that it is every American’s right to get as fat as they want. Bloomberg says New York will appeal the judge’s decision. Apparently, he is still convinced that he knows best and therefore can and should restrict the rights of the people in his city.

English: New York Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg.

New York Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg.

Folks, it is every American’s God-given right to do something stupid. This right should never be restricted unless a person’s stupid decisions endanger or harm another person or inhibit another person’s rights. And, to be clear, carrying a pocket knife doesn’t harm anyone; only using a pocket knife in a violent way can actually hurt someone. And there are already laws against that.

Every time you think you know best, just realize you may be wrong, what you know best may only apply to yourself, and you can’t legislate against stupid.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

 

You’ve Got to Sharpen Your Ax.

Logs for use as firewood, stacked to dry.

A new day dawned on the forest. And two woodsmen together headed into the forest to ply their trade of cutting and splitting wood

The two had not worked together before, but it mattered little. In swinging an ax through the day splitting rounds into firewood there was very little working together that took place. Each man would chop and split as many logs as each could manage.

This day the sun bore down on them and made them long for recreation. The first logger stayed on the hillside, swinging his ax, splitting the rounds, and throwing the results of his efforts into a pile. He was a strong man, blessed not only with strength but endurance. He could withstand a long day on the hillside making firewood. He prided himself on his work ethic

English: Axe splitting a log Italiano: Scure c...

Throughout the course of this long day the first logger continually noticed his cohort walking away from his labors and taking a break from the work they each had. Several times he noticed the second logger casually walking with his ax back to their truck for what he presumed were periods of relaxation. He always returned to work. But it seemed clear to the first logger that this second woodsman lacked his endurance, or at-worst, had a weak work ethic.

When the day ended the first logger made his way across the hillside to the place where the second logger had been toiling through the day. As he came upon the second loggers wood pile he was surprised and astonished. The second loggers pile of firewood far exceeded his own efforts. He was dumbfounded. And he asked the logger how this was possible. “I worked throughout the day. I never took a break, and I never slowed down. But you were constantly walking away from your work and constantly taking breaks. And here, I find your wood pile far exceeds my own. What sort of magic did you perform to accomplish this?”

The second logger merely smiled and said, “What you didn’t see when I was taking my breaks is that I was sharpening my ax each time.”

English: Firewood stacked up to promote drying.

I was told this parable many years ago. From what it originates I have no idea. But it was always a story from which I need reminding. See, I am far more like the first logger than the second.

The lesson from the story is simple. You must continually sharpen your ax as you work. If not it becomes dull and your work becomes harder. Whatever you do in life you must take the time to educate or re-educate yourself. Motivational speaker and sales trainer Zig Ziglar

Live video feed of Zig Ziglar speaking at the ...

The late Zig Ziglar speaking at the Get Motivated Seminar at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California.

said it best “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” Besides motivation, you can also apply the same lesson to education and training. Our brains are like a slowly leaking bucket. If you are not continually refilling the bucket it will eventually be empty. But as long as you’re refilling it you will always have a full bucket.

One of the best ways you can sharpen your ax is to read. Traditional or online newspapers and magazines, articles and blogs are good. But books are best. The best sales trainer I ever heard was Brian Tracy. This millionaire businessman says of reading, “If you read one hour per day in your field, that will translate into about one book per week. … Regular reading will transform your life completely.” If you are not in the habit, it’s hard to do. Like physical exercise you have to make it a priority. If I didn’t work-out when I first get up in the morning I would never do it and I would be a soft,  flabby, unhealthy person. Reading has to be the same way. Find the time. Schedule it into your routine. And keep it a high priority.

So take the time to read and re-fill your leaky bucket. Sharpen your ax and see the chips fly and your wood pile grow. You’ll thank me later. I promise.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

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