Happy Birthday Screaming Eagles

So you have just learned that you will be stationed in the illustrious Fort Campbell Kentucky and are on your way to the 101st Airborne decision. The first thing that runs through your head is great, I’m definitely going to have to go to Air Assault school and I’m in for a ton of running on the post that borders Tennessee and Kentucky.

Air Assault

What you don’t know is that you are about to become a member of one of the most decorated and proud units that the United States Army has. The birthday of this proud unit is approaching and I thought it only fitting that we discuss their current operations, and rich history on this day of celebration.

Screaming Eagle

The 101st was not initially concentrated on the Air Assault missions. The Screaming Eagles as they are still known as today would conduct operations and jump into enemy territory, many times behind enemy lines to give the US military a strategic advantage in battle. They were involved in D-Day and the beaches of Normandy and performed exceptionally in the famous Battle of the Bulge. They have continued to participate in every major conflict or war since WWII Receiving numerous unit awards and citations in the process. Here is a current list of those citations:
* [[Presidential Unit Citation (United States)|Presidential Unit Citation]] (Army) for NORMANDY (Division and 1st Brigade only)
* Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for BASTOGNE (Division and 1st Brigade only)
* Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for DAK TO, VIETNAM 1966 (1st Brigade only)
* Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for DONG AP BIA MOUNTAIN (3rd Brigade only)
* Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for AFGHANISTAN 2010–2011 (2nd Brigade only)
* Valorous Unit Award for THUA THIEN PROVINCE (3rd Brigade and DIVARTY only)
* Valorous Unit Award for TUY HOA (1st Brigade only)
* Valorous Unit Award for AN NAJAF (1st Brigade only)
* Valorous Unit Award for AFGHANISTAN 2010 (3rd Brigade only)
* Valorous Unit Award for AFGHANISTAN 2010–2011 (2nd Brigade only)
* Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for VIETNAM 1965–1966 (1st Brigade only)
* Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for VIETNAM 1968 (3rd Brigade only)
* Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for SOUTHWEST ASIA (Except 159th Aviation Brigade)
* Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for IRAQ 2003–2004 (1st Brigade only)
* Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for IRAQ 2005–2006 (4th Brigade only)
* French Croix de guerre with Palm, World War II for NORMANDY (Division and 1st Brigade only)
* Belgian Croix de guerre 1940 with Palm for BASTOGNE (Division and 1st Brigade only);
* Cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action at BASTOGNE (Division and 1st Brigade only)
* Belgian [[Fourragère]] 1944 (Division and 1st Brigade Only)
* Cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action in FRANCE AND BELGIUM (Division and 1st Brigade only)
* Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1966–1967 (1st Brigade only)
* Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1968 (2d Brigade only)
* Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1968–1969 (Except 159th Aviation Brigade)
* Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1971 (Except 159th Aviation Brigade)
* Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class for VIETNAM 1968–1970 (Except 159th Aviation Brigade)
* Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class for VIETNAM 1970 (DIVARTY only)
* Navy/Marine Unit Commendation (Army) for Iraq 2005–2006 (4th Brigade only)
* [[Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation]] for Afghanistan 2008–2009 (5–101 AVN only) Joint Meritorious Unit Award for Haiti Operation Uphold Democracy (101st MP CO only)

Today the 101st Screaming Eagles have been re-organized and have a similar but very different mission. The division has ditched the classic means of entering enemy territory and no longer utilizes planes as its primary aircraft. The Screaming Eagles can insert up to 4,000 troops 150 kilometers into enemy territory utilizing rotary aircraft (helicopters for civilians). They continue to answer the calls of our Army, and our nation and we should all wish them a very happy birthday.

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Pete Minix holds the record for General Patton Museum Veteran Archives

Pete Minix holds the record for General Patton Museum Veteran Archives

Takes a mountain of a man, and Pete Minix has collected a mountain of archives at the Gen. Patton Museum filled with over 400 stories of US Military Veterans and others who experienced the Korean and World War 2 first hand.

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A couple months ago I flew my grandfather to the General George S. Patton Memorial Museum in Chiriaco Summit, California which has a small public runway 1000 feet from the entrance.  My grandfather served under Gen. Patton in WW2 and thought it would be great for his 91st birthday. The museum is nestled at the base of the Eagle Mountains where Gen. Patton chose to set up a camp to train soldiers for the North African Invasion.

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The museum is filled with countless vehicles, weapons, uniforms, medals, and many amazing showcases of World War 2 including various belongings to the General himself.  There is even displays for the Korean War, Vietnam and the Gulf War.   There is also a 20 minute video of the General and the history of the camp. A must for US Military World War 2 history and nostalgia.

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While we were there the museum general manager, Mike Pierson, took notice of the 91 yr old WW2 Veteran touring the displays.  He introduced himself and told us of a complimentary service the museum provides to families of those wishing to have their Veteran loved ones archived at the museum.  I soon learned of Pete Minix, a museum board member and the invaluable volunteer work he provides for those looking to learn more about the men and women that served.

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Pete was not at the museum that day but later he would give me a call and begin the process of documenting my grandfather.  I was impressed with the level of commitment Mr. Minix takes to gather the info to create each individual’s archive.  Pete and I spoke and soon he was interviewing my grandfather and documenting.  Being a part of this and learning more about what he does for the museum it dawned on me that someone needs to interview Mr. Minix and honor what he does and the thousands of hours he volunteers to help families discover their US Veteran heritage.

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I asked Pete if he would be interested and he agreed.  He seemed very modest about what he does for folks and I looked forward to learning more.  We set a date to come and interview him.  It was the beginning of April and the weather was not cooperating.  Each day we scheduled I awoke to Extreme High Winds alerts or Severe Marine layers and of course “May Grey”.  For weeks we were stymied by Mother Nature.  After almost 8 weeks of crazy southern California springtime “El Nino” weather there was a break in the clouds!

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June 5th the weather cleared up for another crazy weather episode with a record high heat wave but it was clear and calm enough to fly!  I could only think of the days leading up to D-Day and how the US had to wait for a break in the weather to being able to make the campaign successful.  Finally I would be able to meet Mr. Minix in person.  When I arrived we met at the local Coffee House that has a pretty good breakfast restaurant next to the airstrip and museum.  He was wearing a Red, White and Blue flannel shirt and a USMC cap adorned with various pins.   He stood up to shake my hand.  Being 6’3″ myself I’m not used to having to look up to folks, but he was surely a couple inches taller and for 63 years old a mountain of a man.

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He was inked with tattoo art on each exposed arm and leg of various Veterans and cool shark images.  Mr. Minix was also a Veteran reaching the rank of Sergeant with the USMC after 5 years in.  He also served with the National Guard for another 3.  He started this project 16 years ago and have documented nearly 400 Veterans.

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We ate breakfast and talked about his 18 years dedicating time and energy to help anyone who requests the archiving service.  He joked about his “hunt and peck” typing and bemused by anecdotes of people who actually don’t care about finding out about their own heritage.  I can’t imagine why someone wouldn’t accept Mr. Minix’s generous offer to take the countless hours and many strokes of the keyboard to manifest these individual Veteran archives to be kept for future posterity.

Minix Archive

Once the museum opened at 9:30am we went over and he took me back to the archive room where he kept the volumes of Veterans he has researched and data based.   Each one meticulously organized and thoughtfully outlined he pulled out one in particular that he wished to share.  It began with an Auschwitz survivor.  As a boy of 14 he was captured by the German Army and forced to wear a yellow Star of David.  He lost his entire family to the camps and his parents were put to death by the Nazis.  Just surviving is defiance to tyranny!

This truly framed the reason on which World War 2 was fought…To defend freedom and defeat those who wish to take it away.

Archive Book

The volume contained another story of an US Army Veteran that jumped on a grenade to save his fellow soldiers and survived!  There were pictures of him shaking hands with President Truman receiving the Medal of Honor and miraculously a picture of him today in uniform.  Incredible acts of bravery with no regard of one’s own self to save others in harm’s way.  These people are the true heroes of history that made a difference that may have allowed someone else’s loved one to return home.

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The next was another Medal of Honor winner that served in the 1st Marine Division in Peleliu.  My other grandfather was also there and we wondered if they perhaps knew one another.  Seeing the picture of the Marine in the book washed over me as I thought of my grandfather’s experience in the South Pacific.  These pages came to life as they turned revealing countless stories and documents of each of these amazing individual’s stories and accomplishments during the most darkest years of world history.

Amazing stories of amazing people against amazing odds defeating Fascism in Europe.

The volume was about 5 inches thick and each page protected by plastic covers contained only 8 people.  The amount of care and handling to each of these works is monumental.  As the pages kept turning I was blown away by the depth and scope of the entire archive and how much time and effort he must have made to assemble this magnitude of documentation.  A treasure to the General George Patton Museum providing an ever expanding wealth of history for those that care enough to discover its riches.

If you know anyone that may be interested or perhaps a family member that has had a loved one serve in World War 2 or Korea do yourself a favor and reach out to Mr. Minix to give you the care and appreciation our Veterans deserve in remembering the incredible testaments in the never ending pursuit of Freedom.  It was my honor to have been able to share this time and learn more about the selfless endeavors of Pete Minix in bringing this extensive archive of heroes and those that paid the ultimate price to ensure our future and posterity of America!  God Bless America and all those that have served to keep her flag flying high!

Veteran’s Day Remembers Our American Warriors

Veteran’s Day Remembers Our American Warriors

US Veterans Day Shirt Design

Since the inception of America her way of life has been threatened by outside forces dedicated to take away the freedoms it has established as the hallmark of its culture. Freedom of speech. Freedom to bear arms. Freedom of imagination, creativity and the right to live without the fear of a monarchy usurping the god given rights bestowed on all of us.

When a nation like America has had her will tested and when other countries, lunatic dictators or anarchists wanting to upturn our way of life have presented themselves and fired at us we as American have responded. We have responded with generations of Americans that have heard the call of battle, taken up arms and have gone to war to defend America.

These greatest of generations of Americans were minutemen, doughboys, grunts, devil dogs, dog faces, squids, SEALS, flyboys, coasties, tin can sailors, dolphins, red legs, zoomies, gun bunnies and so much more. They went to distant lands and they fought an enemy they had never met until then, exchanged their youth for experiences they might no otherwise have asked for, fought alongside heroes and for the fortunate returned home to find a quiet and hopeful peaceful place they would call home. Each and everyone of them shared the same title: US Veteran.

One does not say congratulations, or have a great Veteran’s Day to our veterans. They shake their hand, speak a little softer in their presence, offer a kind word and above all respect them by simply remembering them. The greatest gift you can offer a US veteran is peace.

On this Veteran’s Day shake the hand of a veteran, offer a smile, and above all allow them this day that they remember their brothers and sisters and allow them to gather thoughts and reflect on their accomplishments. They earned it.

Check out the US Veterans Blood, Sweat and Tears shirt here.

I Have A Dream: The Civil Rights Movement

I Have A Dream: The Civil Rights Movement

“I HAVE A DREAM”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Not since our founding fathers have we seen many great leaders in our history who continue to remind us that we [humans] are all created equal and are deserving of the same rights of all men. One such man did and changed the way we interact with one another by opening those once closed doors to where we could shop, eat, go to school, etc.

Leader Of The Civil Rights Movement

Martin Luther King, Jr. was such a man. He led the Civil Rights Movement in a non-violent manner mirroring the example and teachings of Mahatma Ghandi. King’s famous speech followed a March on Washington [for Jobs and Freedom], establishing him as one of the great orators of his time. The youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, King’s focus was to end racial discrimination and segregation.

Before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, King had also turned his efforts to end poverty and stopping the Vietnam War. His death sparked riots and unrest in the American people King had fought so hard for. In King’s honor, and probably to quiet the uproar of the people, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared April 7th a day of mourning for the Civil Rights leader.

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“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

A campaign to make his birthday a national holiday began shortly after his death in 1968, but it wasn’t until 1983 under the presidency of Ronald Reagan, that Americans celebrated King’s birthday as a National Holiday for the first time on January 20th.

Although all 50 states did not collectively accept this holiday until 2000, today we continue to acknowledge this holiday on the 3rd Monday of the month of January so that it falls on or near his birthday of January 15th.

Vision-Strike-Wear.Com wishes to extend our sincerest thanks and praise should be given by continuing in his great works at whatever capacity we can. Treat others how you want to be treated, regardless of race, creed or color, financial status, or other. We are all human and deserving of the same rights as our fellow man. Thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for your valiant works and for keeping in the traditions of our founding fathers in the pursuit of freedom and equality.

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Below, we share with you, Dr. King’s famous speech, “I Have a Dream“. (As you read it, remember how far we have come as a nation).

“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the

Emancipation Proclamation
. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check.

When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual.

And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.

We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only.”


We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has  nothing for which to vote.


No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.


Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of
their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black
girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day
— this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true 

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of
Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:


Free at last! Free at last!


Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

 

To hear the audio of this speech, click here

Thomas Paine Brings Common Sense To The New Year

Thomas Paine Brings Common Sense To The New Year

As we ring in the New Year with resolutions of making changes to better ourselves this year, we can’t help but remind you to look to the past in order to not make the same mistakes in the future.

“Common Sense” by Thomas Paine

Our nation is in a constant state of turmoil with poverty at an all-time high, our soldiers at war, we have homelessness and those who are without food, we’re overweight and dependent on a medical industry that only benefits financially from our illnesses.

Like our founding fathers and the early settlers to America, we need to become more aware of what is happening to us as a whole. We may come from many parts of the worlds but we’ve all come together for a better life. Let us not do this blindly or without knowledge of how to get back to and maintain it.

If you don’t know who Thomas Paine is, get ready for a brief look into this early American Revolutionary individual who sought to remind early American settlers of the sacrifices made to attain sovereignty and freedom from England, and challenged British rule and the royal monarchy. He was an author, a radical, an inventor, an intellectual, a revolutionary and one of the founding fathers of our great nation.

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At a time when America was beginning to settle, it seemed like its people were retorting back to English ways, be it out of fear, ignorance, or both. Thomas Paine, wrote and published a pamphlet simply titled, “Common Sense” with the goal of rallying the American people to hold steadfast to their freedom they had long fought (and died) for.

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Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense – 1776

What He Wrote Was “Common Sense”

What he wrote was in fact, just plain common sense. It called upon ALL CITIZENS to take responsibility for their lives, their nation, their people. Below is an excerpt of his work, addressing the origin and design of government in general with concise remarks on the English Constitution:

“Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.

Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him, out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.

In order to gain a clear and just idea of the design and end of government, let us suppose a small number of persons settled in some sequestered part of the earth, unconnected with the rest; they will then represent the first peopling of any country, or of the world. In this state of natural liberty, society will be their first thought. A thousand motives will excite them thereto; the strength of one man is so unequal to his wants, and his mind so unfitted for perpetual solitude, that he is soon obliged to seek assistance and relief of another, who in his turn requires the same. Four or five united would be able to raise a tolerable dwelling in the midst of a wilderness, but one man might labour out the common period of life without accomplishing any thing; when he had felled his timber he could not remove it, nor erect it after it was removed; hunger in the mean time would urge him to quit his work, and every different want would call him a different way. Disease, nay even misfortune, would be death; for, though neither might be mortal, yet either would disable him from living, and reduce him to a state in which he might rather be said to perish than to die.

Thus necessity, like a gravitating power, would soon form our newly arrived emigrants into society, the reciprocal blessings of which would supersede, and render the obligations of law and government unnecessary while they remained perfectly just to each other; but as nothing but Heaven is impregnable to vice, it will unavoidably happen that in proportion as they surmount the first difficulties of emigration, which bound them together in a common cause, they will begin to relax in their duty and attachment to each other: and this remissness will point out the necessity of establishing some form of government to supply the defect of moral virtue.

Some convenient tree will afford them a State House, under the branches of which the whole Colony may assemble to deliberate on public matters. It is more than probable that their first laws will have the title only of Regulations and be enforced by no other penalty than public disesteem. In this first parliament every man by natural right will have a seat.

But as the Colony encreases, the public concerns will encrease likewise, and the distance at which the members may be separated, will render it too inconvenient for all of them to meet on every occasion as at first, when their number was small, their habitations near, and the public concerns few and trifling. This will point out the convenience of their consenting to leave the legislative part to be managed by a select number chosen from the whole body, who are supposed to have the same concerns at stake which those have who appointed them, and who will act in the same manner as the whole body would act were they present. If the colony continue encreasing, it will become necessary to augment the number of representatives, and that the interest of every part of the colony may be attended to, it will be found best to divide the whole into convenient parts, each part sending its proper number: and that the ELECTED might never form to themselves an interest separate from the ELECTORS, prudence will point out the propriety of having elections often: because as the ELECTED might by that means return and mix again with the general body of the ELECTORS in a few months, their fidelity to the public will be secured by the prudent reflection of not making a rod for themselves. And as this frequent interchange will establish a common interest with every part of the community, they will mutually and naturally support each other, and on this, (not on the unmeaning name of king,) depends the STRENGTH OF GOVERNMENT, AND THE HAPPINESS OF THE GOVERNED.

Here then is the origin and rise of government; namely, a mode rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world; here too is the design and end of government, viz. Freedom and security. And however our eyes may be dazzled with show, or our ears deceived by sound; however prejudice may warp our wills, or interest darken our understanding, the simple voice of nature and reason will say, ’tis right.

I draw my idea of the form of government from a principle in nature which no art can overturn, viz. that the more simple any thing is, the less liable it is to be disordered, and the easier repaired when disordered; and with this maxim in view I offer a few remarks on the so much boasted constitution of England. That it was noble for the dark and slavish times in which it was erected, is granted. When the world was overrun with tyranny the least remove therefrom was a glorious rescue. But that it is imperfect, subject to convulsions, and incapable of producing what it seems to promise is easily demonstrated.

Absolute governments, (tho’ the disgrace of human nature) have this advantage with them, they are simple; if the people suffer, they know the head from which their suffering springs; know likewise the remedy; and are not bewildered by a variety of causes and cures. But the constitution of England is so exceedingly complex, that the nation may suffer for years together without being able to discover in which part the fault lies; some will say in one and some in another, and every political physician will advise a different medicine.

I know it is difficult to get over local or long standing prejudices, yet if we will suffer ourselves to examine the component parts of the English Constitution, we shall find them to be the base remains of two ancient tyrannies, compounded with some new Republican materials.

First. — The remains of Monarchical tyranny in the person of the King.

Secondly. — The remains of Aristocratical tyranny in the persons of the Peers.

Thirdly. — The new Republican materials, in the persons of the Commons, on whose virtue depends the freedom of England.

The two first, by being hereditary, are independent of the People; wherefore in a CONSTITUTIONAL SENSE they contribute nothing towards the freedom of the State.

To say that the constitution of England is an UNION of three powers, reciprocally CHECKING each other, is farcical; either the words have no meaning, or they are flat contradictions.

First. — That the King it not to be trusted without being looked after; or in other words, that a thirst for absolute power is the natural disease of monarchy.

Secondly. — That the Commons, by being appointed for that purpose, are either wiser or more worthy of confidence than the Crown.

But as the same constitution which gives the Commons a power to check the King by withholding the supplies, gives afterwards the King a power to check the Commons, by empowering him to reject their other bills; it again supposes that the King is wiser than those whom it has already supposed to be wiser than him. A mere absurdity!

There is something exceedingly ridiculous in the composition of Monarchy; it first excludes a man from the means of information, yet empowers him to act in cases where the highest judgment is required. The state of a king shuts him from the World, yet the business of a king requires him to know it thoroughly; wherefore the different parts, by unnaturally opposing and destroying each other, prove the whole character to be absurd and useless.

Some writers have explained the English constitution thus: the King, say they, is one, the people another; the Peers are a house in behalf of the King, the commons in behalf of the people; but this hath all the distinctions of a house divided against itself; and though the expressions be pleasantly arranged, yet when examined they appear idle and ambiguous; and it will always happen, that the nicest construction that words are capable of, when applied to the description of something which either cannot exist, or is too incomprehensible to be within the compass of description, will be words of sound only, and though they may amuse the ear, they cannot inform the mind: for this explanation includes a previous question, viz. HOW CAME THE KING BY A POWER WHICH THE PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO TRUST, AND ALWAYS OBLIGED TO CHECK? Such a power could not be the gift of a wise people, neither can any power, WHICH NEEDS CHECKING, be from God; yet the provision which the constitution makes supposes such a power to exist.

But the provision is unequal to the task; the means either cannot or will not accomplish the end, and the whole affair is a Felo de se: for as the greater weight will always carry up the less, and as all the wheels of a machine are put in motion by one, it only remains to know which power in the constitution has the most weight, for that will govern: and tho’ the others, or a part of them, may clog, or, as the phrase is, check the rapidity of its motion, yet so long as they cannot stop it, their endeavors will be ineffectual: The first moving power will at last have its way, and what it wants in speed is supplied by time.

That the crown is this overbearing part in the English constitution needs not be mentioned, and that it derives its whole consequence merely from being the giver of places and pensions is self-evident; wherefore, though we have been wise enough to shut and lock a door against absolute Monarchy, we at the same time have been foolish enough to put the Crown in possession of the key.

The prejudice of Englishmen, in favour of their own government, by King, Lords and Commons, arises as much or more from national pride than reason. Individuals are undoubtedly safer in England than in some other countries: but the will of the king is as much the law of the land in Britain as in France, with this difference, that instead of proceeding directly from his mouth, it is handed to the people under the formidable shape of an act of parliament. For the fate of Charles the First hath only made kings more subtle — not more just.

Wherefore, laying aside all national pride and prejudice in favour of modes and forms, the plain truth is that IT IS WHOLLY OWING TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PEOPLE, AND NOT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE GOVERNMENT that the crown is not as oppressive in England as in Turkey.

An inquiry into the CONSTITUTIONAL ERRORS in the English form of government, is at this time highly necessary; for as we are never in a proper condition of doing justice to others, while we continue under the influence of some leading partiality, so neither are we capable of doing it to ourselves while we remain fettered by any obstinate prejudice. And as a man who is attached to a prostitute is unfitted to choose or judge of a wife, so any prepossession in favour of a rotten constitution of government will disable us from discerning a good one.”

To read COMMON SENSE in its entirety, you can find it here.

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Read his other works: The Crisis, The Rights of Man, and The Age of Reason

He certainly was a radical and an intellectual. His writings are detailed and well thought out calling out “the people” to participate as a active equal members of society.

This new year brings with it the hope for change and betterment in our nation and it takes a strong, well informed people to make it happen. Look to the past to fair well in the future.

What is the difference between Army Rangers and Special Forces

What is the difference between Army Rangers and Special Forces

The US Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment and the US Army Special Forces both are part of the US Army Special Operations Command. Their organizations are different, reflecting the different types of missions they are expected to execute.

Rangers

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Rangers T Shirts

Rangers in the US Army consist of the 75th Ranger Regiment’s Special Troops Battalion and First, Second and Third battalions, and the US Army Ranger School’s Fourth, Fifth and Sixth battalions of personnel undergoing individual Ranger training.

The 75th Ranger Regiment is organized and trained to conduct missions in unit sizes from squads to the entire regiment, as an elite light infantry fighting unit. Their missions include airborne and air assault operations, seizing key terrain such as airfields, destroying strategic facilities, and direct combat against enemy forces.

Individual personnel train in specialized Ranger Assessment and Selection Programs leading to the US Army Ranger School course, successful completion of which will earn full Ranger qualification and the right to wear the Ranger tab on the uniform, whether or not they are serving in a Ranger unit.

The Army Special Forces

Special Forces T Shirts

The Army Special Forces are set up to provide training in a broad range of military skills and leadership to non-US forces, although Special Forces personnel have often fought side-by-side with the troops with whom they are working. The Special Forces have five primary missions:

  • Unconventional Warfare

  • Foreign Internal Defense

  • Special Reconnaissance

  • Direct Action

  • Counter-terrorism

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(The Airborne tab, shown here with the US Army Special Forces shoulder patch, is used to identify US Army units that are designated as “airborne units.” This is not an individual qualification tab; Graduates of airborne training are awarded parachutist’s wings.)

Individual soldiers who complete the Special Forces qualification courses may wear the Special Forces tab for the remainder of their military careers, whether assigned to a Special Forces unit or not.


– Source: Quora

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