Sometimes the cabin fever is too much. I had to get out and do some hiking. So on a cold day, warm sun, and a little breeze, I did some hiking at one of my favorite mountains. When I got to the park, the parking lot was empty. Continue reading
Had a chance to visit South Mountain State Park this past week and truly enjoyed the trip. I arrived in sunny, but cold, weather. The park was empty except for a few hardy souls that were taking in the clean air and trails. After I set up camp, I got my pack and started hiking. Continue reading
Sometimes the cabin fever is just too much. You know it is a little wet, a little colder than you want it to be, but you have to go outside. A few weeks ago, we went on a nice hike at Tanglewood Park, which down the road a bit from my house. I thought it would be a “boring” walk but it was just perfect. The River Walk is about 2.5 miles or so through a bird sanctuary and partial bog. It wasn’t a good time for the birds although we did see a few ducks. Nor were the turtles out. There were plenty of deer though.
As with many trips outdoors, the expectations of enjoyment can be exceeded. About a mile or so in, we stop seeing other people and our conversations grew more enjoyable. Anyone that hikes regularly prefers the quiet. On the way out we pass the bog and some areas for the birds to build nests. The trail is wide, beginning to green, with trees on each side. The river is not in sight yet.
As you work your way through the bog area, you notice feeders and birdhouses. The area is known for many species and bird watching is a favorite pastime of many that visit. But we are here to see how the river is flowing. It has rained for what seems like weeks and it should be moving pretty good.
Later this summer, I will bring my kayak and put in up river. There is some pretty good fishing in the river but there are plenty of stags like downed trees and limbs. You can’t get too serious about it. As we were working our way up river, we noticed some herrons in nests across the river. Big beautiful birds in flight, but today, just watching us.
Well, the hike finally ended, our car was still 3 miles away. So a good 5 miles or so, deer, ducks, birds, and a nice river. Good company and a good meal await.
Watch Your six.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
There it is. One of the greatest individual rights statements in the world. There is literally no other statement that has been put in place that protects the rights of people to speak freely, to speak without fear of reprisal, from others and their government.
Yet in America today, and seemingly, all over the world, a new type of oppression is taking hold. It is an organized, highly planned, massively funded attempt to keep citizens from expressing their opinions. The members of this group are politicians, academics, social justice warriors and many more. There goal is complete control of speech and expression. Their target is you and I.
Recently, in a small town in North Carolina, a small group of social justice warriors decided to make a statement and began protesting about the removal of a confederate statute that had been up for over a hundred years. The result, was a suppression of free speech by the local government, buoyed by a court ruling, ending in the statute being removed.
Some back story is required. In North Carolina, one of the confederate states, there are many statutes from that timeframe. Most are to honor the dead from the South, many honor both sides. All are targets for removal by those that refuse to understand free speech.
In the past few years, America has changed dramatically. The left has become organized like never before. It is using the massive wealth of socialists like George Soros, coupled with the power of a left leaning government bureaucracy, made bigger by a never ending assault on the constitution by academics, to change the US from a republic to a socialist democracy. Even the political party of the left, The Democrat Party, is fielding numerous candidates that are espousing the socialist mantra.
But back to the statute. A small group of professional protesters decided that they did not want the statute to exist anymore. Their reasoning. It was racist, and hurtful to people that were victims of the southern ways of slavery. In essence, it was not to exist in a town with a 50 percent black population. So, these protesters, with the help of media and liberal academics, began a false campaign of protest, always saying the same thing. That the statute should be no more, just because they want it gone.
Now, maybe you ask, there must have been thousands and thousands of people protesting, right? In fact, a few dozen would be most that ever protested. They did however go to the town meetings and give their opinion, along with those that opposed. Free speech working the way it was supposed to work. Yet the town council decided that the potential problems that the protesters were causing was enough to declare the statute a “nuisance” and force the owner, a private group called the Daughters of the Confederacy, to move the statute. The DOC, refused, citing that the statute was on private property. The ensuing lawsuits had the town winning and the appeals judge sided with the town, not ruling on free speech, but the town’s right to remove based on nuisance ordinances.
So, in a nutshell, a small segment of the population was able to suppress free speech of others based on what many believe is a bogus argument. Is this what you want in your towns? Is this how you want to view your fellow citizens?
Free speech is getting hammered all over the world. Most would agree that speaking their mind can cause you to be blacklisted on social media, cause you to lose your job, possibly lose friends, not get into the school of your choice. etc.. A silent army of unelected officials, HR employees, academics, bureaucrats, etc. can determine your success in this world. There are plenty of examples in the news everyday. But does the suppression of one person’s free speech mean the other side won.
Here is the rub. Those that think they are winning today, will become the victims of tomorrow. There is never a reason to limit free speech unless it is calling for straight out violence.
In the middle east, the Islamic State (ISIS) is famous for destroying anything that does not match their faith. So in many cities and towns, countless antiquities were destroyed. Statutes were destroyed, buildings were demolished, artworks were busted in attempts to erase history. Isn’t that the only reason the statutes in North Carolina were taken down? To erase history. The efforts to erase history also have a sinister motive, it is to rewrite history.
I will let you decide if a few misguided folks in NC are the same as ISIS terrorists. But can people understand that when we allow a few in our countries to determine if people can post on the internet, can honor their dead, or get into a university, then we are past the time of debate. The next few things to occur will be laws that favor the few (misgendering and antimuslim laws in the UK), lawsuits that put people out of business (cake makers in the US) and encourage even more deeply destruction activities such as self declared socialists running and be elected to congress (US).
We now have a media in the US that ignores what doesn’t fit it’s leftist agenda. We have agencies in our government that make regulations that use unfounded science and are more works of anti growth and alarmists than actually good for citizens. We have a world that is experiencing an overall lack of perspective in what makes the system run smoothly and what will mire up its working properly.
In the end, we cannot fall back to the ways of yesterday, where a few held the power over the masses. Free speech is the one unifying thing that makes us all equal. But some, mainly the left, think that it is just for them.
Just off the Parkway, a few miles from Carolina Hemlock Recreational Area is the Crabtree Falls campground and recreational area. I recently visited the Pisgah National Forest to do some hiking and stayed at the campground. Continue reading
After a few days hiking in NC, I visited Grayson Highlands in Virginia. The park has everything a hiker or day camper can want. It’s trails are easy to the most advanced.
Took a couple of days off to visit the High Country of NC. Didn’t really have an agenda, just knew was free to do pretty much what I wanted.
I recently visited and hiking the Linville Falls after Hurricane Florence and was not surprised to see that the effects of the storm were evident in the area. Continue reading
After enjoying a good lunch, we decided to go up to Wiseman’s View which overlooks the Linville Gorge in the Pisgah National Forest.
While camping at the Linville Falls Campground and RV Park, Betty and I traveled a few miles to the Elk River Falls. The falls are a popular visit with people from all over the south. Continue reading