Since May 15, 2000
I go by: E Rocc on AOL, Ee_rocc on Yahoo.
I believe, politically: I'm what you'd call a "small l libertarian". I strongly support an assertive foreign policy and believe that a libertarian society is a long term goal, not a short term objective. I believe President Bush has done a good job at home, and a tremendous job internationally. The pundit that comes closest to my views is most likely P.J. O'Rourke.
I believe, spiritually: I am closer to a Deist than anything else, though technically I'm an agnostic. As Han Solo said about the force, I've seen too much to be convinced that a Deity exists, and too much to be convinced that one doesn't. I don't believe that government has any business endorsing either view. It's a matter of pure conscience, while government by its very nature is a tool of compulsion.
(No, I'm not a Muslim....LOL. I routinely break their rules about pork and alcohol, and firmly disbelieve in their strictures about proper feminine attire. I defend them here on religious liberty grounds. Plus, historically they're not much different from Christianity).
Personally, I'm a smartass and completely politically incorrect (both the right and left versions). Professionally I'm in Quality Assurance (ASQ Certifications: CQA and CQMgr)
"America has always been a marvelous nation. I always say it. We have always loved freedom so much that we have been willing to sacrifice our peace to defend the freedoms of others. No other nation ever did that.
"And in doing so historically, we have always had the luxury of sitting safely here at home in America and sending our heroes abroad to fight for freedom.
"But today we face an insidious threat that comes right into our neighborhood. We live with it every day, this threat of terrorism. Our need, our anxiety about personal security is at a level that we've never seen before in America, and for the first time in America we call upon ourselves, each and every single one of us, to be a hero for freedom right here at home where I live, in my community.
"And so the courage of America is being called upon more than at any time in my lifetime. And what I fear I hear is an echo chamber of voices in America that are saying, ``Give us greater dominion over your personal liberties and we will make you secure.''
"Now, I can tell you, ladies and gentlemen, we'll be safe if we have a cop on every corner. We will be safe if we have a spy camera in every hall. We'll at least be safer. We will be safer if we have an elaborate system by which we, in the ordinary business of life, spy on one another and report it to the proper authorities. We will probably be safer if we have a national identification card. We may be safer, in fact, if we could snoop on the Internet and read everybody's e-mail.
"There are many authorities that we can extend to the government of this country that'll make us safer. But will we be free?
"We seek a balance on this. We worked hard on that with the PATRIOT Act. We worked hard on that with homeland security. And I think in terms of the law that has been written, we've cut a fine line that respects our freedom in the interest of our safety.
"But our freedom will only last through the implementation of these laws. And once again we are restored to that oldest adage: The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
"We, the people, had better keep an eye on we, the people; that is, our government. Not out of contempt or lack of appreciation or disrespect, but out of a sense of guardianship. How do you use these tools we have given you to make us safe in such a manner that'll preserve our freedom?
"That is a duty to our very essence as a nation. Who we are, what is it about us that has set us apart in the history of the world is our love for freedom.
"As I said earlier, freedom is no policy for the timid. And my plaintive plea to all my colleagues that remain in this government as I leave it is, for your sake, for my sake, for heaven's sake, don't give up on freedom. "
-Dick Armey, December 2002.
``Dear Mom and Dad,''
``today we spotted a boat in the water, and we rendered assistance. We picked up 65 Vietnamese refugees. It was about a two-hour job getting everyone aboard, and then they had to get screened by intelligence and checked out by medical and fed and clothed and all that.
``But now they're resting on the hangar deck, and the kids -- most of them seem to be kids . . . are sitting in front of probably the first television set they've ever seen, watching `Star Wars'. Their boat was sinking as we came alongside. They'd been at sea five days, and had run out of water. All in all, a couple of more days and the kids would have been in pretty bad shape.
``I guess once in awhile,'' he writes, ``we need a jolt like that for us to realize why we do what we do and how important, really, it can be. I mean, it took a lot of guts for those parents to make a choice like that to go to sea in a leaky boat in hope of finding someone to take them from the sea. So much risk! But apparently they felt it was worth it rather than live in a Communist country.
``For all of our problems, with the price of gas, and not being able to afford a new car or other creature comforts this year . . . I really don't see a lot of leaky boats heading out of San Diego looking for the Russian ships out there. . . .
``After the refugees were brought aboard, I took some pictures, but as usual I didn't have my camera with me for the REAL picture -- the one blazed in my mind. . . .
``As they approached the ship, they were all waving and trying as best they could to say, `Hello America sailor! Hello Freedom man!' It's hard to see a boat full of people like that and not get a lump somewhere between chin and bellybutton. And it really makes one proud and glad to be an American. People were waving and shouting and choking down lumps and trying not to let other brave men see their wet eyes. A lieutenant next to me said, `Yeah, I guess it's payday in more ways than one.' (We got paid today.) And I guess no one could say it better than that.
``It reminds us all of what America has always been -- a place a man or woman can come to for freedom. I know we're crowded and we have unemployment and we have a real burden with refugees, but I honestly hope and pray we can always find room. We have a unique society, made up of cast-offs of all the world's wars and oppressions, and yet we're strong and free. We have one thing in common -- no matter where our forefathers came from, we believe in that freedom.
``I hope we always have room for one more person, maybe an Afghan or a Pole or someone else looking for a place . . . where he doesn't have to worry about his family's starving or a knock on the door in the night . . .'' and where ``all men who truly seek freedom and honor and respect and dignity for themselves and their posterity can find a place where they can . . . finally see their dreams come true and their kids educated and become the next generations of doctors and lawyers and builders and soldiers and sailors.
-Ordnanceman John Mooney, USS Midway, as quoted twice by President Reagan.
Politician: One who puts other peoples' money where his mouth is.
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
-P. J. O'Rourke
It takes a village to raise a child. The village is Washington. You are the child.
-The Hellary book, condensed by P. J. O'Rourke
That's a bad word, muffin. You should never say "junior senator from New York."
-O'Rourke again, to his daughter.
It is the invariable habit of bureaucracies, at all times and everywhere, to assume...that every citizen is a criminal. Their one apparent purpose, pursued with a relentless and furious diligence, is to convert the assumption into a fact. They hunt endlessly for proofs, and, when proofs are lacking, for mere suspicions. The moment they become aware of a definite citizen, John Doe, seeking what is his right under the law, they begin searching feverishly for an excuse for withholding it from him.
- H. L. Mencken.
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite"
-Robert Heinlein (the quintessential modern American author), as Lazarus Long.
"People who want to share their religious beliefs with you never seem to want you to share yours with them."
"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets that they may be seen of men. Verily, I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly..."
-The Bible (King James Version) Matthew 6:5-6
"There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that authorizes the federal government to wage war against the citizens of the United States, no matter how well-meaning the intent. The Bill of Rights means just as much today, as it did on the day it was written. And its protections are just as valid and just as important to freedom today, as they were to our Founders two hundred years ago. The danger of the drug war is that it erodes away those rights. Once the fourth amendment is meaningless, it's just that much easier to erode away the first and then the second, etc. Soon we'll have no rights at all. "
-Jim Robinson, 5/9/01
``People selling drug paraphernalia are in essence no different than drug dealers.They are as much a part of drug trafficking as silencers are a part of criminal homicide.''
-John Brown, acting head of the DEA, February 24, 2003
``And Mikey can tell us how America sucks, and how we just don't get it, that our heads are in the sand, and what sheep we are... And ya know what? If my yawn were any wider, they'd have to give it a hurricane's name''
Dennis Miller on Michael Moore / Tonight Show 4/3/03
Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficial. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding."
-- Louis D. Brandeis, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
"The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. Ones right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections "
The US Supreme Court, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 1943.