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Oaks Model Railroad The Liberty Limited 2005

Oaks Model Railroad Club
The Liberty Limited 2005
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If there is one thing that really bothers me, it is people saying one thing and doing the opposite, especially we are told that lying to us is for a good reason or for our own good. You can probably guess how I feel about the current state of affairs in this country.

It was interesting the other day that a repeat of the show "West Wing" featured a former Marine who had served in Korean War and wound up homeless on the streets, where he died. In the show, they finally found him a home, in Arlington National Cemetery. We seem to be schizophrenic when it comes to our armed forces. We send them to fight in other countries to promote our ideals of freedom, the same ideals that are under attack in our own country by the very same people who are in charge of our government. We say that our soldiers are to be provided with the best equipment, then their own families have to buy and send them body armor and they scrounge junkyards for scrap steel to put in their under-protected vehicles. Since they may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice, we say we will take care of them and their families, then find out that many of them have to apply for government assistance just to get by, all the while cutting taxes for the most privileged among us. The worst of it may be that the welcome home seems to last just a little longer than the video clip of reuniting families you see on the evening news, after which we go back to forgetting about them, except on Memorial Day and Veteran's Day, if we remember them even then.

And the thing is, the people who serve this country, both in the military and the government in general, do not actually serve the country per se. They serve and take an oath to defend our Constitution, which the very basis of our way of life. Life without it would be incomprehensible. The Constitution is the most powerful instrument on our planet, a collection of ideas that cannot be suppressed as long as people believe in them and practice them. If the land we live in were somehow obliterated from the map, we would simply start again at the beginning, as long as we have our Constitution as the foundation.

The old adage "all politics is local" should be updated to "all politics is personal". In these times, most people are perfectly comfortable with the rights of others, particularly those that "aren't like us", being violated as long as it does not affect them personally, especially if those violating the rights say "it is for the good of the country". You would think we should have learned by now from our previous mistakes, all of the innocent people we have had to apologize to because of injustices we perpetrated in the name of security.

I tell you all this (like you don't already know) to explain the point of the beginning of the video clip. It is part of an excellent impromptu speech given by President Andrew Sheppard, played by Michael Douglas, from the movie "The American President".

To quote Benjamin Franklin, a person not unfamiliar with this kind of situation: "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security"

The Liberty Limited 2005 Eddystone PA December 3 2005 (15.5MB)

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