“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”— Martin Niemoller Protestant Pastor and 7-Year Nazi Concentration Camp Survivor
I am a very even-keeled guy. As a matter of fact, I consider myself one of those "the cup is always half-full" kind of guys. It’s just in my nature and it takes a whole lot of something or someone to get under my skin. But the reality is, when I have been wronged (or someone else for that matter), and the circumstances of that injustice cross the line and it suddenly becomes a matter of principle—I get mad.
No, that's wrong. I don't get just mad—I get seething mad...
Mike, who is a contributing writer to The Beacon (newsletter subscriptions coming March 1st!) is a former client, dear friend and spiritual mentor of mine. He’s my Christian Rabbi, if you will. When I tell Mike how outraged I feel over this or that, he listens quietly. He lets me vent. Then in the most soothing, and likely prescient way; he tells me that it’s okay to feel that way.
He calls it a righteous anger.
Like I said, when I see, hear, or read about an injustice or travesty of someone being wronged or taken advantage of, I get upset. Friends and family know me well enough to know why. While I am innately an optimist, I am also quite passionate. My friends know that if they wish to debate me on one of these subjects, they will undoubtedly have to endure the withering and relentless debate that follows.
But those that may not know me and try to "enter the ring" so-to-speak with me often will start the conversation by saying something like: “Why do you care? That’s not your problem. Don’t get involved.” Or my personal favorite response is; “Oh, you are just over-reacting. There's no way that could be true. If that were true, we would have heard it on MSNBC or Fox News!"
Those who know me well know better that to say something like that.
Don’t get me wrong. I'm not a hot head. I am just passionate--and especially so when it comes to injustice. So, whenever I read the headlines or hear a news story like this, or this, or this, or even this… a righteous anger boils inside me and there’s just no holding me back.
I’ve even been known to blurt out loudly at the television or radio and to whoever is around me with something like: “Did you hear that? Why on earth would our government do that? That is sooooo wrong!” I seem to be screaming out a lot these days...
The typical pre-programmed response is, “I’m sure the government has a good reason why they’re doing it.”
“Really!?!? And so therefore it’s okay for the government to grope you or your wife’s or kid’s genitals? And then it’s okay that they can stick their hands into your pants and into your body? Or bathe them in an unregulated, non-FDA certified X-Ray backscatter cancer-causing machine that has God-only-knows-what effect to their health? But hey, if it's okay to let the TSA strip-search your grandmother, or remove your Uncle's colostomy bag before they board your airplane, just to make sure you aren't a terrorist and you feel better knowing they're keeping us safe from 19 radical Saudi Islamic fundamentalists armed with boxcutters, bombs in their shoes or underwear, then it must be all right.”
Their typical retort is, “Do you really think the government would let us walk into one of those machines if they weren’t safe?”
At this point in the conversation I usually hear crickets. They don’t know how to respond.
But like a seasoned prosecuting attorney, I can sense that I have the jury right where I want them, because I’ve surgically planted a "seed of doubt" into their minds... and I have the facts to back my statements up!
“Suppose you’re right,” I continue the conversation. “Suppose for a moment that its okay for the government to ignore our 4th Amendment rights by searching our persons and property without warrant or an accuser or judge's permission. Suppose for this argument’s sake that our Constitutionally guaranteed rights don’t matter because the Supreme Court rejects our Constitutional challenges.”
The arguing party typically becomes a little uncomfortable now. They don’t where this conversation is going.
“So if we are in agreement that it's okay to violate our Bill of Rights if we want to fly, then is it okay to do the same if we want to take a train? Or ride a bus? Or take a ferry? Or drive on the highways? Because the same people groping your family and strip-searching your grandmother at the airports are doing it now in our train stations, bus terminals and highways.”
At this point I can see their minds racing.
I press my point a little further. “Do you know Congress has funded a massive expansion of the TSA? So don't be surprised when you see them at sporting events, shopping malls and high school proms. If all this wasn't bad enough, the TSA has purchased hundreds of mobile x-ray scanning vans and can now bathe you and your family in radiation while you are driving in your car or sitting watching TV at home."
They are getting real uncomfortable now, as if they had no clue. They're wondering why that haven't heard this before. The don't understand why it is not being covered by MSNBC, Fox News or their morning paper.
So I press just a little bit further. "And to top it all off, do you know the Supreme Court says the police can now enter your house without a warrant or probable cause? Did you know they can read your emails, text messages or track where you go on the Internet, or when you communicate on Facebook or Twitter? Did you know the police are being equipped with devices that can scan your cell phones, capture all your text messages, emails and phone calls you made, violating your 4th Amendment rights? Are you comfortable with the fact that our government routinely listens to your cell phone conversations?”
The typical response is, “Well no of course not… but I have nothing to hide, so they wouldn't bother to listen to or record me.”
That’s when I am reminded about Pastor Niemoller’s quote… It’s not me. I am not guilty. Therefore I have nothing to fear. They are not coming after me...
This, my friends, is cognitive dissonance at work. For those of you who don’t know what cognitive dissonance is, it is a human condition of denying something that is painful because it is contrary to one’s beliefs. “I know I should quit smoking. I know it is bad for me. I know it can kill me. But I keep smoking nonetheless.” What they are truly saying is, “I can’t ever imagine myself dying of cancer, that is too painful to think about, so I continue to smoke.”
The problem today is the overwhelming majority of average Americans suffer from cognitive dissonance--they simply don’t want to believe that America—the land of the free and the home of the brave—has devolved into this Orwellian nightmare. Cognitive dissonance prevents them from seeing what is happening right before their very eyes.
How could our “so-called elected officials” be so oppressive? So corrupt? So insidious that they would violate our inalienable rights, by creating so-called free speech zones, tracking everything we do or say, quietly sign international treaties that can shut down the Internet?
Why did our treasonous so-called "elected officials" declare the the United States a battlefield?
Why is that so many Americans don't even know what the NDAA is? Or if they are aware of it, why are they silent to the fact that this legislation allows our government or military to whisk us away in the middle of the night, imprison us indefinitely, without a trial by our peers? Why do they think it is okay that our government or military has been given the freedom to render us to a third world country for interrogation, to strip away our citizenship or to authorize our assassination with the simple stroke of a pen?
Why did our duly-elected government just abolish the Posse Comitatus Act which has been the law of the land ever since 1807?
Why is it our "of the People, by the People" just created Constitution Free Zones all along our continuous border!
Why is that only a few of our leaders are outraged by this?
There is no doubt we are witnessing something I like to call a quickening.
Events that might have transpired over decades, or even generations, are now happening yearly...monthly...weekly.
I have a theory as to why we are seeing a quickening. I call it "The Bernie Madoff Effect."
The "powers that be" know their Ponzi-scheme is finally being played out. They know more and more people are having their “red pill moment” (to borrow a phrase from the cult-movie The Matrix) and the masses are now starting “wake up” to the charade. People are seeing for the first time how wrong and how literally treasonous laws like the Patriot Act and NDAA 2012 are. They are seeing our dysfunctional government directly affecting thier lives and violating constitutional principles without recourse.
Like or not… believe it or not... our Federal government is erecting a “control grid” around us. They’ve been doing it slowly for decades. Now, they are accelerating their efforts to strip away our rights because they know that the gig is almost up and time is not on their side.
They also know that each day, more and more of us are being “woken up” and are arming themselves in greater numbers than ever before. The moment of truth could be fast approaching. Are we going to save and protect the Republic? Or are we going to look the other way because they are not focusing on us... yet?
I urge you to start speaking up. Make nice people uncomfortable. The next time you see, hear or read something in the news that’s a direct violation of our God-given, Constitutional rights—stand up and do something! This Republic depends on you to maintain it. Otherwise Pastor Niemoller’s quote about not standing up to tyranny will be a rightful outcome for us all.
Please continue to spread the word to your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers...and as always, keep your powder dry and your faith strong!
Steve Nolan, Co-Founder & Publisher of SurvivalWeek.com and The Beacon