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Liberty, laughter, and the souls of men

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Author's note: The Liberty movement is growing, well, it has always been there, its just that more folks are finally realizing it. We should feel very good about that. The following are six little stories from very unlikely sources, and they just might help you see Liberty in a whole new light...

The Philippines

Nearly every place I have worked internationally, I have met Filipinos. They are a very special race of people, and have taught me a lot. I think if they all went home at once there would not be enough room for all of them... They travel, because they can't find a good paying job there... and most men send every dime home that they can... Some, who I have had the privilege to have known well, have, with broad smiles and contagious laughs, told me that they had been gone from home for three years... Three years from family, and so very glad to have a job...

A land of occupation, a Filipino knows very well the true meaning of Liberty, and they did not learn that from America... And that is why they are so optimistic inside, so responsible, so dedicated... And I know now, as I traveled that country from Olongapo to Manila, the long and bloody history of freedom fighting... And I didn't at the time understand why a fast cigar boat tried to kill my XO, or the quick response of attack choppers who chased them down... But I saw first hand the punishment enacted on a people who resisted imperialist tyranny... and they knew, learned form the slaver's lash, that what government does is not the fault of the average man, even one drafted to uniform... something most Americans have yet to grasp: That Liberty must be fought for every generation.

The falcon of the Gulf of Mexico

On a deep-water rig in the Gulf of Mexico I was in my second week of a 30 day hitch as a Mud Engineer, drilling slow and sure with a high-weight mud in hard formations. One of the hands noticed that a falcon had made its nest precariously on an I-beam under the helo-deck, 110 feet above the waves.... Every day men would go there and watch a fuzzy baby sit patiently for its mother to bring food, and we were so amazed to see her, a tiny dot in the clouds, finding insects a thousand feet up, and 140 miles from land...

One day it sat on the very rim and flapped its downy wings looking at its new world. "I think its ready to fly!" said a roustabout. And he climbed out on that I- beam and grabbed it. Why, I can not say for sure... Perhaps he wanted to impress his friends, or maybe it was just to be a part of the magic... men are like that, having to touch everything, to bend and manipulate, to control and dominate...and he tossed it up in the air...

It fluttered desperately for what seemed an eternity, but could never gain altitude... It landed in the waves and tried to lift off with piercing cries... and I'll never forget that sound... I think no one there ever will... And the mother came darting from the sky and circled it, and circled and circled... as the tide carried them both beyond sight... It was terrible, and for days the rig was quiet, and the man who did it apologized many times... He felt bad, and it was a lesson for us all... Sometimes it is just better to leave well enough alone.

You see, even a bird wants Liberty. Most likely every creature on earth does...And yet, it can not be given by anyone, no matter how justified, or good it may seem for the giver who thinks it is in his power to give... but it is an emphatic truth, and a universal law: no one can own your liberty.

Saudi Arabia

While in Saudi, a Filipino I called Sam (Sim), was arrested for making hooch, white-lightning. Caught with six quarts, he spent three years of his life in the squalor and heat of a Saudi prison. While he was in there, his friends continued making it in a crawl space above their bedroom. Taking off a ceiling tile the still could be seen bubbling away...They sold every ounce, and every dime was sent home to his family... I smuggled a fifth of it back to The States, before the world was tied in knots by 9-11, wrapped up in a dirty towel and stuffed in the very bottom of my duffel. I was compelled to do it, even knowing I could have gotten in trouble... and I still have it in my liquor cabinet, far too precious to drink...

No rules, no matter how harsh, or ruthless, can take away Liberty from the heart of a man. Tyranny is the actual fuel for Liberty, and men of like mind will work together to destroy it, one way or another. Men who work together for liberty, watch each others backs... And that is where, "Give me Liberty or give me death" comes from. It is a powerful affirmation, and a true gift from God, and can never be subverted, never.

New Orleans

When I was a young boy I remember a troubled teenager who was the son of my mother's boss. She sold Sara Coventry jewelry... He was a thief, did drugs, got several DWIs, and could not hold down a job. I liked him... He sat with me one afternoon and told me to get an education, and that the worst job you could ever get was a grease-monkey at a filling-station. To emphasize this, he put his cigarette out on his inside palm. He didn't even flinch, because his hand was thick with callous. "You will never have callouses like this Ken." ...and his eyes sparkled when he told me that... and when he looked at me, he looked like he really cared for me... and I can still feel his great hand on my shoulder...

One day he ran a red light and a cop pulled him over. He was drunk. He pulled out a pistol and put a bullet in his head. And no matter how many years have gone by, about fifty now, I suppose, I still get a lump in my throat thinking about him. He did not know liberty. In his mind, he was nothing more than a slave, and like that bird, could not fly. Liberty comes from inside, found in the soul of every man, but it is up to you to find it... and it seems that not everyone can muster what it takes to make it a viable part of their life... still, he knew something was lacking, and it was something so great, his life had little meaning without it. ..And I know now that what he was searching for was Liberty.

Cayman Islands

One day, when I was 37, I was jogging down seven mile beach in Cayman. On an isolated part I saw five men standing together just looking at the surf. They were dressed in street clothes... nothing special, nothing really unusual or even noteworthy to the common eye... but I felt something like a powerful magnet in my head, and I had to stop and talk with them. They didn't seem a bit surprised when I approached, as they all had to the last man, a good and contagious nature, and I felt I had known them my entire life...

They were National Geographic photographers, and I spent the morning with them talking, even not showing up for work as Administrative Assistant at Treasure Island resort...

A few things I remember, and always will, was that none of them were married, and though two once were, the job got both of them... I realized that they had made a decision in their life of adventure, just as I had in mine, married and a father... The next day they went diving and came up with about eight cannon balls, photographing the experience... I saw myself there with them. I saw myself as one of them in spirit, and watched them from a little sand dune with my daughter Laura, seven years old, and I knew that I had made the right decision...

Liberty is found in the heart, and has nothing to do with what choices we make, or have made. Responsibility, love, does not make liberty. It was given to us by God the day we took our first breath, and will last forever, no matter what.

Mexico

Once, around the year 1998, I was working on a deep-water PEMEX flag-ship off the coast of Mexico. We were using a new synthetic mud, and since it was so deep, the cuttings steamed as they fell on the deck. In the middle of the summer the combined temperature of a blazing sun and those cuttings was scorching, and there, in the middle of it, was a man whose job it was to shovel it over the side, through a 12" hole in the deck.

Sweat poured from him, splashing on the iron as steam, and he laughed and sang the whole time working. I had never met a man like this, and though I knew only a working knowledge of Spanish, asked him the secret of his amazing ability to be happy in this harsh environment. He kept touching his heart, and I didn't understand... and when I asked him what he was singing he said it was a love song... Then it hit me. He was talking about his family. And the song, he was telling me, was a song for them. And when I look at my life and I think it is hard, I remember that man, and life just doesn't seem so very bad at all...

On the way back to the beach by chopper, the pilots were egotistical, condescending, arrogant, militant, and we yo-yoed from one platform to another... as I got madder and madder. You see, I am, as I have been taught to be, and alpha male, and I do not put up with anything I think disrespectful... And he saw this, and understood that, and took his hard-hat out of his bag and started playing it like a bongo drum, singing at the top of his lungs... laughing just inches from my face... "Not to worry." he said, "It is all about Love."

Wings

You see, not to worry... Liberty can not be denied. It is your epitaph, your true destiny, and it is a part of your conscious free will, and the gift and grace of life itself. And with each breath you take, every lesson learned, no one, no thing, no government, no bully... can EVER take that from you. And once you realize this you will laugh and sing, and fear will no longer grip your soul... Liberty gives your heart wings, and once you realize that, your strength of purpose will light the way, and be seen by all of humanity as a Liberty Beacon.

If you can't find something in life to die for, you will find very little to live for, and that is the true strength of the Liberty movement... Blind faith or blind trust will not take our country back, but our hard won intellect, and its demand for truth, will, and without a doubt. Liberty is Free, but liberty from tyranny is not... that is your responsibility.

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