Sunday, January 27, 2013

a government of laws

I've had a conversation on countless occasions with fellow Christians on both sides of the political aisle relating to submitting to authority.  There are Christians who believe that no matter what, that we are to submit to those that govern over us - even when those governing decree that we surrender our God given rights.  But America our authority isn't of men.

We are not under the rule of a caesar, dictator or king.  We are under the authority of the law.  We have a president who is elected by the people.   Now just because he is an elected authority doesn't mean we are to bow down to every decree as if he were a  king.  It was John Adams who said, "We are a government of laws, not of men".  These laws were established to limit the power of our government and maintain the freedom of the people. 

Every government servant takes an oath.  Each public servant swears to uphold our Constitution - our Bill of Rights.  These 'authorities' swore to protect inalienable rights given to us by our Creator, and not by government.  You see, our government of laws is their authority too.

Public officials who break their oath, become lawbreakers themselves.  They become criminals.  If government officials break the law by decreeing unlawful laws - then I do not have to obey them. 
Are we to submit to our governing laws or submit to whatever a lawbreaking authority orders?  It's my duty as a citizen to not submit to such lawlessness. Maybe in another country under a different rule...but not here.

As a free man, as an American citizen, I am to be obedient to the law that governs the land and not to the man who broke their oath and the law.  Here in America, we do not have to obey orders of tyrants.  I am to submit only to America's governing law that was established as the ultimate authority...which is ordained by our absolute Authority - GOD.

Again, we are not under the rule of Caesar.  In America, we are not bound to obey unlawful laws.  In fact, an unconstitutional law isn't a law at all (
16 Am. Jur. Sec. 177 late 2d, Sec 256).  It's our DUTY to uphold Constitutional laws.  It is our DUTY to stand against lawless tyrants who break their oath to God and the American people.  A lawless authority is to be held accountable to the law too.We the people have the right to reclaim our nation, to defend our God given freedoms.  As James Madison once aptly put it, "the ultimate authority...resides in the people alone."

"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
-Thomas Jefferson

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
-George Washington

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
-James Madison / The Federalist Papers

Friday, January 25, 2013

AHHnold is BACH!

I wasn't always a fan of Arnold.  He was a musclebound he-man that wanted to be in the movies.  He was a painful to watch in his early rolls.  Hercules in New York (1969) was godawful.  Even when he gained notoriety in the Conan the Barbarian franchise (1982 and 1984), he was a terrible actor.  It wasn't until James Cameron put him as the stoic cyborg hunter-killer in Terminator (1984) that I began to like Schwarzenegger.  Even in Terminator, Arnold didn't really have to act, he was a robot, all he had to do was look emotionless and kill people.  Arnold throughout most of his career wasn't an actor, he was an action guy.

When Cameron first approached Schwarzenegger, he was wanting Arnold to play the part of the good guy, Kyle Reece.  The Terminator part was originally supposed to go to a small more unassuming actor Lance Henriksen.  Lance would've made for a great T-1000 because he would've blended into the surroundings better.  I don't think a man Arnold's size could walk into a room without attracting everyone's attention.  Lance on the other hand could be just another face in the crowd.  It was Arnold that wanted the roll of the hunter-killer from the future.  He didn't want to be the good guy.  He saw being the Terminator as the prime character and he was right.

Ever since Terminator, I made sure to watch everything Arnold made since.  He made A LOT of movies I didn't care for, but I went to see them anyway.  For some reason I am drawn toward Schwarzenegger movies.  Through the years Arnold has tried stretch, tried his hand at comedies with some success.  Kindergarten Cop was okay.  Twins, so-so.  Junior, so-so. The romantic comedy True Lies was surprisingly entertaining.  Still though, I didn't think of him as an actor or much of a romantic lead, he was an action guy.  He could always deliver on the action.  I just didn't expect him to act.

Arnold re-entered the movies playing a bit part in Sly Stalone's Expendables.  Recently he had more presence in Expendables II.  There was a lot of shooting and things blowing up real good in the second movie but absolutely no storyline to it.  I was disappointed with the movie and left the theater thinking that Arnold wasn't even what he once was.  He seemed to be less the action guy, just a fellow rehashing the tired old movie tough guy quips.

Tonight Gina and went to see The Last Stand.  It's Arnold's first movie back in the starring roll.  Like I said, I am drawn to his movies.  I have to see them.  Gina wanted to go with me and I tried to down play it.  I didn't think that she would like it and I wasn't sure if I was going to either. 

I was surprised.  It was a great cast and a great story line.  Here's something that I didn't expect. Somewhere along the way, Schwarzenegger became an actor.  Yes, he's an action guy, but he can act.  Somewhere along the way the stoic awkwardness disappeared.  Yes, this is an action movie, but Arnold delivered more than ever before.

I think I can put my finger on it for you.  Arnold seems to wear his job of acting like a worn and comfortable leather jacket.  It fits him and he's relaxed.  He seems to not have to try.  He's not stoic or tough, not trying to be intimidating.  In The Last Stand he's playing a guy that's aged and laid back.  He's taking on the bad guys coming to town as a job he doesn't want to do but must.  When he gets knocked down, it aches to stand back up. He's not playing a tough guy.  As the movie unfolds, the story becomes like an old Western.  The bad guys are coming to town and somebodies got to take a stand.  There's a High Noon moment here.

This is a Gary Cooper  roll. This is a John Wayne roll.  The Last Stand is a great vehicle for Arnold to ride back into Hollywood.  I've read some bad reviews on this movie.  I was going expecting to be disappointed.  I wasn't.  I was expecting the same kind of action formula of his earlier blockbusters.  There's a little.  The Last Stand gave us a different Arnold, an Arnold that I would like to see more of.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

a higher perspective on ladders

Do not try this at home.
If you own a home, you will need to buy a ladder.  You may not think you need ladder, but eventually you will need one.  Years ago when I lived in an apartment, I had little need for a ladder.  My ceilings were low and the landlord was responsible for fixing anything up high.  When I became a homeowner, I soon discovered that I needed to invest in a ladder.  It is a tool that I seldom use, but it's there when I need it to change a light bulb, clean a high window or empty a gutter.

There are different kinds of ladders so it is important to research the kind of ladder you will need for your home.  I recommend that you go to your local hardware store and have a long discussion with a hardware sales representative in the ladder department.  You will discover that different task will require different types of ladders (I have three).  Your ladder expert will help you to find the ladder that best suits your purposes.

Your ladder expert will tell you something like this.  "If you have a big house, you will more than likely need a tall ladder" and "If you own a small house, you will need a small ladder" or "If you buy a ladder and it does not help you reach a burnt light bulb, the ladder you bought is not right for you". Spend as much time as you need asking as many questions that you can think of.  Don't worry about the time, answering your questions and finding the right ladder is that's what your ladder sales representative is there for.  Some of the larger hardware franchises might offer ladder climbing classes.  If they don't, you might want to suggest that they do.

A ladder is a tool.  My late Uncle Ben once told me that "With owning a ladder comes great responsibility".  So keep your ladder away from small children.  When outside, do not climb on a ladder in the rain.  Do not stand on the top rung of your ladder (unless you work a circus).  Do not climb up your ladder onto other people's houses uninvited.  Most importantly, whatever you do, DO NOT walk under your ladder. Also know that a ladder-back chair is not really a ladder and not to be used as a ladder.  Always use the tool for the job it is designed to do.  Do not use chairs, tables, stacked books as ladders.  Always take the time to go get your ladder.  If you want to get high, use a ladder.  DO NOT operate a ladder while high on pharmaceuticals or alcohol.  The life you save could be your very own.

The safest way to use your ladder is to hire a professional to use the ladder for you.  In most cases your ladder climbing professional will usually bring his own.  Even so, you might want to let him know that you are a proud owner of a ladder.  It might save him time and energy if he doesn't have to drag his down from the roof of his van.  Know that in offering a professional the use your ladder,  you are responsible for fetching it and putting it away.  Most ladders are clumsy to carry, so consider this before admitting that you are a proud owner of a ladder.  In this case, make sure you find a place to safely hide your ladder beforehand so the ladder climbing professional will not see it.

If a family member, friend or neighbor ever asks to borrow your ladder, have them sign for it.  It would be wise to have him/her pay a deposit.  It is good to have a borrow/lease contract on hand.  There are too many people (herein referred to as BORROWER) in this world that realize the need for ladders but refuse to purchase one for themselves.  Sad to say, one of these BORROWERS might be among your beloved kin.  If BORROWER borrows your ladder, it should go with the understanding that said ladder will be promptly returned by BORROWER after use in the same excellent condition it was in as when BORROWER borrowed it.  This is known as common ladder courtesy.

So to sum things up, if you are a homeowner you will eventually need a ladder.  I'm saying this because this is true.  Inside of us, we both know this is true. If you don't own a ladder, you might regret it.  Maybe not today.  Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.

Humphry Bogart on the set of Casablanca taking home movies.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

trip to Rome

Doug and I met in 1977 on the campus of Gadsden State Junior College.  He stopped me heading out of the arts building after my speech class.  He noticed that I was carrying two guitar cases.  I had just finished giving a comparison speech and used my Yamaha and my brother's Martin guitar.  Doug introduced himself and said that he played guitar and asked if he could see the Martin.  I opened up the case on the grass and let him pick at it.  We didn't have a long conversation, but Doug said he'd like to hook up and play sometime.  I said "sure" and we swapped telephone numbers.  I didn't think anything was going to come of it.

Doug called me up one night and we talked a while on the phone.  I can't explain it, but we just hit it off from the start.  He asked me if I played anywhere and I told him that I hung out at Christian Brothers/FREE House.  I asked him if he wanted to meet me there.  He did.

Not long afterward, we were playing together.  I was really rough on stage back then.  Doug was a natural.  I felt like I drug him down, he was a better musician and singer than I was.  He was also a good songwriter.  His songs and singing style were very unique.  No matter what we sounded like as a duo, we had a great time together.  It was the beginning of a very beautiful friendship.

Many years have passed and we have seen so little of each other.  I guess I could count on one hand the times we've actually had a face to face talk.  Doug had called me last week to say hi and find out what was going on in my life.  As always he said, "We should get together".   For the first time in a very long time I was able to say yes.

Rome, GA was close to midway for each of us.  It was a wet day to be on the road as I made my way up 411.  We met at Outback Steakhouse and talked for hours.  I see little change.  He's still Doug, still my very dear friend.  I think it's been over 15 years since we had last met.  The friendship never faded, he's still my brother.  We always just pick up where we left off.

It's great to have such a friend.  No matter where life has taken us, we understand one another, still familiar with each others souls.  We're going to do this more often.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

mill village days

Bottom: Pete Kilgo, Lily Kilgo, and Ina Joyce Davidson
Back: Esther Davidson and Agnes Kilgo

Here's a photo mom let me borrow.  It was taken on Hinsdale Avenue in Alabama City.  The Davidson's lived at 18 Hinsdale and the Kilgo's lived across the street.  Mother's dad, Fred Davidson, worked as a millwright for Dwight Cotton Mill in Alabama City. 

Folks in this photo seem to be facing the sun in this image...either that or they're trying do do their best Clint Eastwood impersonation.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wofford Memorial Association

Click on image to view larger image.
My mother ran across this piece of paper amid her records yesterday.  It's a 1946 program of  the Wofford family gathering.  Every year since 1893, Woffords from all over would meet at a church and share Wofford history together.  As you can see, it was a family reunion of sorts in the form of a Sunday service.  Toward the end of the service, families were given five minutes to share information and updates relating each of their families doings and whereabouts. It is because of these meetings that there's so much information regarding the Wofford line.  This  program is a window for us to peer into that little church meeting long ago.

The History of  the Wofford Family (Published 1928) chronicles the direct descendants of  Captain Joseph Wofford.  The book is the result of these annual meetings.  The History of the Wofford Family was written by Mrs. Jane Wofford Wait, Captain John W. Wofford, and Mr. Carrie Wofford Floyd.  Mrs. Jane Wofford Wait is my great aunt who raised my grandmother Jennie Wait Foster Finlayson.  

This 45th Annual Meeting program has two very familiar names listed to sing.  Ainsworth Finlayson who performed a solo of 'My Cathedral'.  'Bless this House' was performed by Ainsworth's brother and my father Henry Westbrook Finlayson.

Wofford Memorial Association 1912
Wofford Memorial Association 1918

Mrs. Jane Wofford Wait