Friday, May 24, 2013

Are We There Yet?

tyranny (ˈtɪrənɪ  ) 



(plural) -nies
    1. government by a tyrant or tyrants; despotism
    2. similarly oppressive and unjust government by more than one person
  1. arbitrary, unreasonable, or despotic behaviour or use of authority ⇒ the teacher's tyranny
  2. any harsh discipline or oppression ⇒ the tyranny of the clock
  3. a political unit ruled by a tyrant
  4. (esp in ancient Greece) government by a usurper
  5. a tyrannical act

Wikipedia defines the word “Tyrant” as the derivative from Tyranny and explains it's historical roots with Plato and Aristotle as this...

tyrant (Greek τύραννοςtyrannos), in its modern English usage, is a ruler of a cruel and oppressive character[1] who is an absolute ruler unrestrained by law or constitution, and/or one who has usurped legitimate sovereignty. (emphasis is mine) The original Greek term, however, merely meant an authoritarian sovereign without reference to character,[2] bearing no pejorative connotation during the Archaic and early Classical periods, though it was clearly a bad word to Plato, and on account of the decisive influence of political philosophy its negative connotations only increased down into the Hellenistic period, becoming synonymous with "Authenteo" - another term which carried authoritarian connotations around the turn of the first century A.D.[citation needed]
Plato and Aristotle define a tyrant as, "one who rules without law, looks to his own advantage rather than that of his subjects, and uses extreme and cruel tactics—against his own people as well as others" (emphasis mine) .[3] During the seventh and sixth centuries BC, tyranny was often looked upon as an intermediate stage between narrow oligarchy and more democratic forms of polity. However, in the late fifth and fourth centuries, a new kind of tyrant, the military dictator, arose, specifically in Sicily.
America is loading up their cars this weekend  with kids, picnic baskets, camping gear, fishing rods, hitting the road for family fun on this holiday to honor those that have fallen in consummation of their oath to defend our Constitution from all enemies. In light of the State of our Union and current events, I ask the age old question likely uttered by children for thousands of years within the first ten minutes of an eight hour trip. Likewise America is now a little over half way into our 8 year trip with President Obama. In light of recent revelations and abuses of power, and given the Webster and Wikipedia definitions;  my question for America begs an answer in regard to tyranny....

 “Are we there yet?"

Michael R. Bednarz



Have We Forgotten?

Vietnam Memorial- Wash. State Capitol Olympia- Photo by Author
The upcoming Memorial Day Holiday weekend brings many thoughts to my mind as I write this. It means so many different things to so many. For some it's the official kick-off for summer. For kids it's the harbinger of summer freedom with the end of the school year. For others it's about family gatherings, camping, picnics, barbeques, and the Great American road trip. So many good things, and so many things to cherish in our memories that are as American as Hot Dogs, and Apple pie.

But what it's really about is.... Valor. Duty. Honor. Commitment. Freedom. Sacrifice. Reverence. Appreciation.

Just as we lose sight of the true meaning of other Holidays like Christmas, and Easter this day too has been hijacked. It has been diminished and diluted by our lazy indifference for those it purports to memorialize with it's inception to not forget those who gave all. This day has it's own Santa and Easter Bunny to distract us from the perspective and appreciation for it's core meaning and our recognition and celebration of the Heroism and ultimate sacrifice it so rightly glorifies by asking us to remember and honor this day and weekend.

 John 15:1313Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 

Lets have fun with family and friends, but lets also resolve to remember and take just a moment to consider the hero's that gave their all for our freedom, security, and the way of life we all are fortunate enough to savor and enjoy.  Please say a prayer for them as we break bread, or give a toast as we partake in all the festivities, or just ask all for a moment of silence in memory to honor those that laid their lives down for their friends and fellow citizens.

On this Memorial Day I say to all our Veterans and active duty military members....God bless our fallen heroes, past,  present and future.  Thank you to all who have served and are serving, prepared and willing to do the same as those that gave all for our freedom and to whom we owe an eternal debt of gratitude.

Michael R. Bednarz