I read Glen Davis’ book, Concerning the Militia. This is a subject of which I had already done quite a bit of research on and thought I knew as much as anyone. I had developed some very strong opinions.
While Glen’s work supported most of my opinions, it conflicted with others. But I must say, Glen made his case! I found myself enlightened and with the facts he presented I had no choice but to change my view. Bravo, Glen!
I encourage every American to read this book.
—Paul Arnett, Two Dogs Publishing
I haven’t updated this blog as much as I like. You can see that my last update was related to my new amateur radio, or HAM, hobby. Getting the basic Technician License to operate on amateur radio frequencies is not difficult, but does require study. What exactly is amateur radio?
There are several radio services that the FCC allows you to use “by rule.” What that means is that you can used these services without a license so long as you comply with FCC regulations outlined in 47 CFR. These are broken up into “parts,” such as Part 95. Part 95 of the regulations covers the radio services we will discuss. It also covers General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) which is a licensed service.
The best known of the unlicensed services is Citizens Band (CB) radio. Another is Family Radio Service (FRS) which are those little handheld radios you buy at the big box stores. These radios generally come packaged with GMRS frequencies. You are not supposed to use that GMRS channels unless you have a license. The instructions warn you of that, but who reads instructions? There is also a little known service called Multi-Use Radio Service or MURS.
Each of these services are broken up into “channels.” You do not have to concern yourself with frequencies, but you can find them on the Internet at the FCC web site. You just have to make sure the transmitting and receiving radios are on the same channel. Transmitting and receiving on the same frequency is called SIMPLEX in the amateur radio service.
These services are limited in power to no more than five-watts. That might get you one or two miles. With any of these you can add an external antenna which will extend your range depending on how high you can get it up. There is a limit as to how high you can put your antenna up.
Consult the regulations prior to using any of these services.
GENERAL MOBILE RADIO SERVICE
We covered this service above. As of this writing, the Federal Communications Commission requires you to obtain a license to use this band of radio frequencies. There is a move by the FCC to remove this requirement, but if they do they had better send me back my $90. That is the current price of a GMRS license.
I won’t hold my breath.
Amateur radio is different that any of the above services. To begin with, it is the oldest. It started when radio first became popular in the early 1900s. It is covered by its own section in 47 C.F.R. known as Part 97. And the license only costs $15.
The purpose of amateur radio, according to §97.1, is:
The rules and regulations in this part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:
(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.
(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur’s proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.
(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communication and technical phases of the art.
(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.
(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur’s unique ability to enhance international goodwill.
The answer to one of the questions on the test is “Advancing skills in the technical and communication phases of the radio art.”
Once you get a license the real education in this radio art begins. You will have to shop radios, antennas and other equipment. You can get as expensive or as cheap as you want. Most people get just get a license so they can operate one of those cheap Baofengaled radios that are being dumped on the market through repeaters.
Repeaters are, basically, specialized radios set up throughout the U.S. on mountaintops and other high places to extend the range of your communication. Unlike SIMPLEX we discussed earlier, these operate in DUPLEX mode. That means they receive on one frequency, but transmit on another. I won’t get too involved since this is a basic discussion.
The point is that with amateur radio you can communicate internationally, so long as the country you are communicating with has not complained to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
Another aspect of amateur radio is emergency communications. The FCC has set up a group called RACES while the ARRL has established ARES. Both provide emergency communications when all else fails. NOAA, the national weather service, has established SKYWARN where trained weather spotters report unusual weather conditions. You do not have to be a Ham to join SKYWARN, by the way. You can report on the Internet or telephone.
AMATEUR RADIO CLUBS
There are a myriad of amateur radio clubs on the local and national level. The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the biggest in the U.S. and operates on a national level. There are clubs to support the repeater systems in your area. There are clubs where local Hams get together and exchange information.
You do not have to belong to any club to obtain a license nor are you required to join thereafter. They are just a good idea.
My time is currently taken up with getting a good system up and putting together emergency field systems. I have obtained the Extra license (the highest level) and become certified as an ARRL VEC volunteer examiner. I am trying to help others in the area obtain their licenses.
Of course I had to set up my Ham web site and continue with my reporter work. So for now I’ll just say “73s.”
That’s Ham speak for good bye and have a good day.
I received my Technician Amateur License, often called a “Ticket” by Ham radio operators, in October. I took the test Flagstaff in mid-October and less than a week later I was on the air with my Baofeng UV-82.
I actually obtained a call sign for GMRS first—WQWI485. It cost me $90. The Ham radio license cost me $15. Of course you have to take a test for this license and Morse code (called CW by Ham’s) is no longer required. I will get into this later, but suffice it is to say that there is an economic lesson here. $15 (it could be up to about $25 in your area) versus $90. I’ll let you do the math.
I was in the Village of Oak Creek when I received word of my license and call sign KG7YDJ. I still stumble over it when I say it even though it is easy to remember. I received my first QSO (meaning contact) with KGYOH in Munds Park. A few days later I received a QSL card. QSL means acknowledge contact and Ham operators send cards to each other for events and so forth. I’m still working on mine.
I have worked several repeaters around Arizona. I have participated in several nets. I have heard about contesting and upcoming events such as the National Parks on the Air sponsored by the Amateur Radio Relay League. You can participate and get special awards, cards and certificates.
There was a good example today. I was unaware of the SKYWARN Recognition day. I happened to be monitoring the local repeater and heard WX7FGZ calling to make as many QSOs as possible. The call sight WX7FGZ is a special call sign assigned by the FCC just for this special event. The NOAA, who runs the SKYWARN system, out of Bellemont, Arizona was part of the event.
I responded and was informed I earned a certificate. The problem is that I cannot find the link to print it. But I’m still looking.
It is worth noting that the SKYWARN organization is an amateur radio organization which reports unusual weather phenomena in the area. NOAA even provides free training for those amateurs who just happen to be weather buffs. It is one of the many amateur organizations that provide community service.
Of course you won’t be asked to run into the middle of a tornado or hold a metal rod in a lightning storm. This service, however, can save lives. In a rural area, for example, you might be the first one to spot a tornado. Imagine calling it in and saving lives. In fact a few years ago Bellemont was the center of just such an event. If I had my ham license then, I could have tuned in to find out exactly what was going on.
There are many more service organization that you can participate in. You can find out more, and how to get your license, at the American Radio Relay League.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights, U.S. Archives
There is something so far-fetched and so extravagant in the idea of danger to liberty from the militia, that one is at a loss whether to treat it with gravity or with raillery; whether to consider it as a mere trial of skill, like the paradoxes of rhetoricians; as a disingenuous artifice to instil prejudices at any price; or as the serious offspring of political fanaticism. Where in the name of common-sense, are our fears to end if we may not trust our sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow-citizens? What shadow of danger can there be from men who are daily mingling with the rest of their countrymen and who participate with them in the same feelings, sentiments, habits and interests? What reasonable cause of apprehension can be inferred from a power in the Union to prescribe regulations for the militia, and to command its services when necessary, while the particular States are to have the SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE APPOINTMENT OF THE OFFICERS?
Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper No. 29
I will start off this article with a quick discussion of the numeric importance of the Bill of Rights. Some have in mind that the Second Amendment, as we know it today, is placed at Number Two for a reason. Actually it is not. None of the Bill of Rights is more important that any other. The Second Amendment started out as Number 4 because there were actually twelve proposed amendments originally intended to make up the Bill of Rights. The first two were cut.
I have heard from various organizations and people who have disparaged the militia. This is actually not, necessarily, their fault. It is the fault of the media and your own government. The problem is that these people do not check the facts. What concerns me is that groups that should know better want to somehow distance themselves from the fact that they are militias.
The picture of the militia that the Department of Fatherland Security and the Southern Enriched-by-taxpayer-dollar Law Center paint of the militia is patently false. I would like to say that they misunderstand the concept of the militia or even that they truly believe that old line about our military taking care of us. I know better, however. Their whole plan is to scare you into thinking that they are somehow concerned for your safety.
The fact is that I am militia and have no choice. More than likely, so are you.
I am not going to offer just my own opinion on the matter. I will source information that you can look up and find on the Internet. Many from government sources. You will see that the laws concerning the subject are rather convoluted and that is by design. I hope to straighten everything out with the words of the so-called founding fathers. After all that is what Justice Sonya Sotomayor advised.
The one thing you should keep in mind is that the militia is not a concept developed by Americans. It goes way back. It was brought to America, however, by the first settlers of the Virginia colony in 1607. It stayed with us throughout the development of the Thirteen Colonies until it was used to throw off the perceived chains of tyranny by the British Crown.
It is a fact that the militia actually reacted when Britain sent troops to round up the guns of the Massachusetts militia. While Congress debated independence in 1775, the War of Independence had already begun on the battlefields of Lexington and Concord.
In his General Orders of July 2, 1776, General George Washington wrote:
The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their Houses, and Farms, are to be pillaged and destroyed, and they consigned to a State of Wretchedness from which no human efforts will probably deliver them. The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the Courage and Conduct of this army—Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; this is all we can expect—We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our own Country’s Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world—Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions—The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the Tyranny meditated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and shew the whole world, that a Freeman contending for Liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.
The “Colonial Army” was immediately disbanded after the war. In 1782, Benjamin Franklin published Information to Those Who Would Remove to America. In this he wrote:
These Ideas prevailing more or less in all the United States, it cannot be worth any Man’s while, who has a means of Living at home, to expatriate himself, in hopes of obtaining a profitable civil Office in America; and, as to military Offices, they are at an End with the War, the Armies being disbanded. Much less is it adviseable for a Person to go thither, who has no other Quality to recommend him but his Birth. In Europe it has indeed its Value; but it is a Commodity that cannot be carried to a worse Market than that of America, where people do not inquire concerning a Stranger, What is he? but, What can he do? If he has any useful Art, he is welcome; and if he exercises it, and behaves well, he will be respected by all that know him; but a mere Man of Quality, who, on that Account, wants to live upon the Public, by some Office or Salary, will be despis’d and disregarded.
Until 2008 anyway.
The War of 1812 up to, and including, the Civil War was fought by militias.
Now there was a core of officers who studied tactics and wars at West Point. The idea was to have a core of knowledgeable officers to take command of the militias in the event of a war until others could be called up and trained as regular army.
The concept of a standing army, repugnant to the likes of George Washington—the army that we have today—came about after the Civil War when the Representatives and the Senators of the North wanted to punish the South. That led to the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. I will not delve into that act in this article. Nor will I dwell on whether that standing army was, or is, a good or bad idea. I suggest that you open your eyes to see how they have been misused to make up your own mind. The point is that until the Civil War, we had no standing army.
Keep in mind, also, that I am referring to the Constitutional militia. The Constitutional militia is to defend the borders of the State and assist other States as necessary and able. It is also to ensure that the national and State government obey and protect the Constitutional form of government and the Bill of Rights and ALL natural rights of the citizens. Yes, the government employees are supposed to be scared to violate their oath of office. Any group that advocates killing police officer or suppressing the rights of LEGAL fellow citizens are not a militia. The Klu Klux Klan, La Raza and the Black Panthers are NOT examples of militias.
- To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
- To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
- To provide and maintain a Navy;
- To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
- To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
- To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
These are their “War powers.” Some take Clause 12 to mean that the government could not maintain an army for more than two-years. That clause, however, only means that appropriations for the military must be made every two-years. This is where we get the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA.
What is important are Clauses 15 and 16. Clause 15 specifies what the militia is for. (1) To execute the Laws of the Union (the Constitutional laws), (2) to suppress insurrections and (3) to repel invasions. None of these actions are related to anything in a foreign country. They are SPECIFICALLY related to here in the good old U.S. of A. This will be important later.
Clause 16 of Article 8 requires Congress to organize, arm and discipline the militia. Discipline, in this case, means to train people to obey a certain set of rules and punish them only as necessary to accomplish that goal. As you can clearly see they are supposed to ARM the militia, not disarm it. I will show presently that means that all weapons in the arsenal of the standing army are supposed to be made available to the militia, in accordance with the Second Amendment.
You might note that Clause 13 establishes absolutely no restrictions on the Navy and, by extension, the Marines. That is because they are supposed to be used over there. Not here. The Navy was a means of protecting our shipping lanes from pirates and other marauders. Interestingly the Title of the United States Code was repealed when they merged with other military units to become the new world order police.
Article I, Section 10 Clause 3
- No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, … keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, … or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
Article IV, Section. 4.
- The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.
I refer to the above provisions of the Constitution for a couple of reasons. Here’s a hint. It does tie in with the Tenth Amendment which ties in with the Ninth. If you cannot figure it out, I will connect the dots.
Notice the use of the term “Troops” instead of militia. That is because they are referring to a standing army; not the militia which are the citizens of the State. The national government has graciously granted the States permission to have a standing army when they stole the militias and formed a branch of the United States Army called the National Guard.
Notice that the Article IV, Section. 4. of the Constitution requires the United States to protect every State in this Union from invasion. The national government will not tell us how many Muslim terrorists, M-13 and other gang members and members of the drug cartel they armed have entered the United States through the porous southern border. I suppose they have not had time to tally up the number of lollipops that they gave out.
You might also note that Article IV requires the government to guarantee each State a “Republican” form of government. That has nothing to do with the Republican party of today. It does make Statewide initiatives and referendums unconstitutional, however. But not recalls. They may be Constitutional on the County and City level.
Article I, Section 10, however, clearly gives the States the right to go to war if the national government does not do its job to repel invasion. No one can question we have been invaded by threatening, armed force in Arizona time-and-again. Since the “government,” as you call them, is not doing the job, We the People can. That is because the militia, the people of the State, is necessary to the security of a FREE State.
CONSTITUTION OF THE GREAT STATE OF ARIZONA
The laws that I now cite concern the militia on the national level on down to the Great State of Arizona. I may go into a few other States if I can find their appropriate statutes.
Section 26. Bearing arms
Section 26. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the state shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain, or employ an armed body of men.
ARTICLE 16 MILITIA
Section 1. The militia of the state of Arizona shall consist of all capable citizens of the state between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, and of those between said ages who shall have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, residing therein, subject to such exemptions as now exist, or as may hereafter be created, by the laws of the United States or of this state.
Section 2. The organized militia shall be designated “The National Guard of Arizona,” and shall consist of such organized military bodies as now exist under the laws of the territory of Arizona or as may hereafter be authorized by law.
Section 3. The organization, equipment, and discipline of the national guard shall conform as nearly as shall be practicable to the regulations for the government of the armies of the United States.
According to Arizona, the “militia” of the the state of Arizona shall consist of all capable citizens of the state from 18 to 45 including those who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States. That includes you, ladies. Section 2 declares that The National Guard is the “organized” militia.
The term National Guard was coming into vogue about the time that the Constitution of the State of Arizona was being written. The original “Dick Act” was written in 1903, sometimes called The Efficiency in Militia Act of 1903. I mistakenly reported once that Elihu Root wrote the bill, but he revised it organizing the militia into two groups. I will not go into detail, but the revision did not allow militia (still called militia at the time) to be used overseas. That did not occur until 1916. The second that provision went into effect, they exceeded the duties of the militia outlined in the Constitution and they were no longer militia.
Some say that the National Guard are the militia when not federalized, but are not the militia when federalized. By federalized I mean called into service of the national government. I cannot directly find a quote from the founders on this, but I am sure that the founders would be saying Huh?. The Constitution allows them to be, so-called, federalized, but ONLY for the purposes specified in the Constitution. None of which are overseas concerns to us.
Section 3 might be okay for the national guard since they are nothing more than a branch of the United States standing army. The founders, however, were against military laws (they called them marshal laws), such as the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, unless in actual war for the militia. There has to be some law, of course, such as training requirements, who can give training, when you MUST train, calling the militia to active duty and so-forth. Civil penalties were okay and regulated by each State.
Ah, ha! say you. You added Section 26 of the Constitution of Arizona which clearly states, ‘but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain, or employ an armed body of men. That is correct. The Black Panthers are unconstitutional according to the Arizona State Constitution and illegal according to Title 26. But they are NOT militia. Those are insurrectionists and are to be put down by the militia.
Once again, the militia are the legal citizens of the State—in this case Arizona—and those who have actually applied for legal status from ages 18 to 45. No law against volunteers outside of that age range. The sole duty of the militia is to ensure the peace of their neighborhoods and towns and to ensure NO ONE infringes on the natural rights of they, their families or their neighbors.
For more information, read Federalist Paper No. 29 in particular. You might need to read No. 24 to No. 28 to get the whole picture. This is the paper I told you about that states that we should be armed and trained equal to the standing army.
The Arizona Revised Statute
The A.R.S. has a slurry of convoluted laws in Title 26 concerning the militia and the National Guard. The basic idea, however, is that the governor can call up the “unorganized militia” at any time and place them under the command of the command of the National Guard.
You can find Title 26 here.
ISN’T THE MILITIA GOING TO TAKE OVER THE GOVERNMENT?
I should certainly hope not. I would fight against any entity that tries to usurp the Constitution and take over the government. That is simply because I know what the government is.
I am the government.
You must understand what the government is. For example what you call the “Federal Government” is NOT the federal government. The federal government consists of employees selected through fraudulent elections to represent our needs and protect our rights. The federal government consists of the national government centered in Washington D.C., the State legislatures, the county governments and the city governments. Ultimately the federal government is the people; you and me.
For a good lesson in Federalism one might turn to Bond v. United States (PDF). Start on Page 11 of the PDF file where the II is. No, that is not the page number. That is the Roman numeral 2. You will have to delve into other resources to fully understand, but that is a good start.
You might also be interested in reading about the Tenth Amendment.
ISN’T THE NATIONAL GUARD THE MILITIA?
No. Not by definition. Particularly not by Constitutional definition. The duties of the militia are clearly outlined in the Constitution of the United States of America. Remember in previous discussion we discussed the purpose of the militia. All of their duties are confined to actions within the borders of the United States. If any law or regulation allows them to be used outside of those confines, they become a division of the standing army.
This came to a head in 1990 in the Supreme Court case of Perpich v. Dod in which the Supreme Court wrote that National Guard members take an oath to the State and the national governments. This, of course, causes an immediate skism.
They do note that Congress has allowed States to maintain their own troops. Title 32 United States Code Section 109 is that provision. Arizona tried to develop a State defense force a few years ago with H.R. 1083. It was killed in committee by Andy Biggs and the behest of Jan Brewer because it probably would have passed.
The bill, admittedly, was so flawed that it should have been re-written for the next session. The biggest flaw was that they were trying to make a branch of the National Guard; not a State defense force. It should have rated its own Chapter in Title 26.
Let me start off by saying that nothing in this article is meant to disparage the National Guard nor the military. I was a member of the Navy and served temporary time in the standing army. National Guard units refused to assist the police in disarming citizens in New Orleans after Katrina; a completely unconstitutional act. That is EXACTLY what the militia is for. To maintain peace and stability in an emergency situation.
I could go into a lot more detail and reason on this subject, but if you made it this far there are a few possibilities.
(1) You have no idea about the subject and found this article through a search engine. If so, I urge you to read all views on the matter and think for yourself. Do not use MSN, CNN, the Southern Enriched-by-Taxpyer-Dollar Law Center or the like. If you do, just remember they are of the opposite opinion of me. Seek out legal articles by scholars. I do.
(2) You are a legal scholar or law student. Even better. Prove me wrong. Take your best shot (metaphorically speaking, please). The Constitution is rather clear on the subject. Start there. You have better access to the law books and can see how the laws developed. Just ask yourself if the laws actually match the intent of the Constitution.
(3) You are Gene Simmons and you were really, really bored.
The militia is already spelled out in the Arizona Constitution and the Arizona Revised Statute. It already exists and you are probably a part. It is probably the same in most common sense States.
But I live in California and the National Guard is the militia in my State. So there. Well, my friend, if you live in Kawliforna, you are misguided, more than likely, by the Supremacy Clause notion. What that means to you is that the Constitution of the United States of America and the laws take precedence. Therefore under Title 10, Chapter 13, Section 311 you are in the militia if you are from age 17 to 45. So there.
If you were prior military, the Title reads:
…except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age…
Title 32 U.S.C., Section 313 provides:
…or under 64 years of age and a former member of the Regular Army, Regular Navy, Regular Air Force, or Regular Marine Corps.
So the question remains, does one need government permission to form a militia. No. The militia is already formed and YOU are the government. The government employees are required by the Constitution of the United States of America to ensure that you are armed and trained equal to the standing army (Refer to Federalist Paper No. 29).
Let us examine a few instances. In 1946, corrupt politicians tried to usurp the election process in Athens, Tennessee. Veterans, returning home from the war, were trying to get elected to root out the corruption. When the politicians tried to steal the election, the veterans formed into a militia to ensure fair results. The event was dramatized in the 1992 television movie An American Story.
In recent times Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland are big in the news. In Baltimore the “civil government” told police to stand down because they were only destroying property. What they did not show is African-Americans and other races standing together to protect property and somewhat confine the rioting. For example a group of armed African-American men stood together to protect the store they worked at and provided their livelihood. Guess what. They are militia. Yes, the militia—the citizens—can even defy their so-called government and the law to protect their rights, their property and the rights and property of others.
That does NOT mean arm everyone in the State. Obviously there are those who should not have arms and they are excluded by the Arizona Revised Statue. There are exemptions for certain elected officials. And there are criminals.
Even of those that CAN be armed, it does not follow that they HAVE to be armed. There are roles for clerks, hospital staff, cooks and so-on. They can choose to, and should have, firearms training, but it does not mean they necessarily have to lug it around.
The militia is not just there for war. They are also there to fight forest fires. Provide medical relief and comfort during an emergency.
And, yes, the States can and should train them to defend their entire border from drug traffickers and illegals.
One VERY IMPORTANT thing to consider before trying the suggestion in this article. You should consult your physician before trying it. If he is really interested in the results, don’t forget to bill him $300 an hour. Seriously they may be interested in the results even to the point of paying for before and after tests to verify the results. If you are sick it might be a good time to ask your physician if this effort might help or if there is some medical reason you should not. I went into this in a relatively healthy condition. I do not have extra cash to pay doctors and it would take me six-to-twelve months to get a doctor through the VA to give me the okay.
I will also warn you that my descriptions are somewhat graphic, but I felt it important to report all of the effects.
In my work I run across a lot of different views and opinions. I found a short interview on fasting at the Natural News web site. The interview was with Thomas Lodi, MD(H). His web site, An Oasis of Health, is primarily concerning alternative treatments for cancer.
The interview concerned fasting for seven-days and the physiological effects. According to Dr. Lodi, fasting this long restores the proper ratio of cyclic adenosine monophospate (called Ciclic ANP, or abbreviate cAMP) to cyclic guanosine monophosphate (Commonly called cyclic GMP or abbreviated cGMP). The proper ratio is 4 cAMP-to-1 cGMP.
I do not pretend to know what this means, but cAMP and cGMP are called messengers which are broken off of a higher compound. An article on Lab Manager suggests that an increase of cAMP may have positive effects on people with depression. So if the research Dr. Lodi sites is correct, fasting for a short period, or up to seven-days, may improve your depression better than any drug.
Dr. Lodi suggests a relationship between the proper ratio of these messengers and the lymphoid tissue associated with the immune system. 60% of the lymphoid tissue associated with immune is in gastrointestinal tract, he said. I tried to research this but it went into very technical explanations that I did not understand. I can put a dressing on a wound and I know that it will eventually stop the bleeding through clotting. I cannot pretend to explain the physiological mechanism behind it. The basic idea—as I understand it—is that when you eat, especially overeat, these lymphoid tissues are engaged in defending against what you eat and not engaged in defending you against sickness.
The purpose of this article is to describe my experience with a seven-day fast with some caveats.
(1) I continued to take 1000 to 2000 mg of vitamin C through gummy vitamins. I chose those because the other non-chewable pill forms generally require food to properly dissolve them. I was taking a multivitamin gummy, but ran out on day two or day three.
(2) I continued to drink coffee and, on occasion, used those flavored creamers. Probably not the best idea but I think the effect was negligible.
(3) I continued to drink iced tea with some sugar. Again I believe the amount of sugar was negligible.
HOW MY WEEK WENT
Forgive the fact that I drift from past tense to present. I began to write this article into the fast, thus on some days I was describing how I actually felt that day.
I started off on Sunday. I started Sunday morning. In other words, I could not eat until the next Sunday at breakfast. No real effect on my well-being. It seems I did urinate more, but that was probably because I drink a lot of liquids. At this time it was mostly water. In fact I slept pretty good Sunday night. Except that I was woken by a thunderstorm while camping and decided it best to conduct an emergency evacuation about 11 p.m. Right when I got home, of course, the thunder stopped. I think I went back to sleep around 2 a.m. and slept well.
Through Monday I felt okay, but the hunger pangs were with me throughout the day. I was able to function clearly, though. I napped in the afternoon and that seemed to help.
Tuesday was the worst. I was hungry. I was not dizzy, exactly, but my mind was kind of off-balance. So I was off balance. That is the best description I can give. I was miserable and thinking about giving up. I have fasted this long before and this is usually the point I give up. I slept after working.
I am not ashamed to admit that I prayed to God—the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob—to strengthen me and shore me up. You may call that mental re-enforcement, lack of oxygen to the brain or whatever. I call it being a Christian, which is what I am. I prefer disciple over that term, but you would not understand unless you understand the history. The point is that on Day 3 I did not think I would last. I used sleep, mainly, to stave off the problems. I was determined, however, to last the seven-days.
Wednesday. I expected to wake up in the same condition. To my amazement, my mind was completely clear. I was weaker than usual. I did not feel real energetic.
Because this day happened to coincide with National Dog Day, I took my dog out to walk in the woods and spent the day, mostly, playing with him. I still feel the hunger, but it is very manageable. Although I still felt weak, I had the strength to clear a fallen tree from the road we walked on. The tree was not really huge, but it had been rain soaked which made it a little heavier. I did not lift the tree, but dragged it. The top part was rather light, only about 100 pounds. I am guessing the weight because in my weakened state it might have been even lighter. The trunk, however, seemed to be about 250-t0-300 pounds. I was able, however, to drag it to the side of the road, as well. I did drag the objects. I did not attempt to lift them.
I do not usually seek to move trees from forest roads, but I usually do pack out trash left by disgusting people with no respect for the land. This was more a mental affirmation that I was okay.
Thursday. I woke up slightly better than Wednesday. My mind was a little clearer. The hunger is still felt, but slightly less. I began to write this article (which I should have done from the beginning). While I kept my mind on researching these effects, the hunger did not bother me. I was able to absorb only a fraction of the material. I confess that, at this point, I still do not understand it all. My objective, here, is to simply determine the effects of fasting for seven-days. So far there have been few negative effects (mainly on the third day) and none after that. My mind seems to be a little clearer. I am anticipating being able to eat again, though. That is one possible negative effect. Particularly when my friends on Facebook are posting their scrumptious meals. That effect is negligible, though, and has not affected my desire to continue with the fast. I have found that combining fast with naps is very helpful. I have that luxury which many do not have, however.
Interestingly I had a big day 5 test. The vehicle that I just bought broke down before my first payment. Before this fast, this would have driven me into a rage. Yet I am calm. I had some “stinkin’ thinkin’,” as my AA friends would tell me. But I am not enraged. Even speculating an expensive repair bill is not giving me to anger. (Of course I will not publish this article until probably AFTER the repair is made so the mechanic will not know that) The point is that I feel more amazingly in control of my emotions than before the fast. I admit this does stress me to give up and eat.
Another thing that I never thought to do was to check my urine. Before the experiment my urine was light and WebMD says that is probably because I was drinking too much fluid. I did notice that I was going far more regularly the first day. Today that color turned to the amber color which indicates that I might not be drinking enough fluid. I drank about the same amount of tea and coffee. I could probably increase water. The other cause could be the increased amount of vitamin C.
What is critical is the smell. I did not notice any change in smell. Your urine may smell strange if you eat certain foods such as asparagus and beets, according to the WebMD article. No cause for alarm. What this change in color did do is tell me that there are definite physiological changes going on. Since I felt okay, I was not alarmed. I would suggest that, if you are working with a physician, you report any changes in the smell of your urine.
I am tired at 7:39 p.m. I did not get a chance to nap during the day. My mind, however, is surprisingly clear.
Friday. On day 6 I woke up about twenty minutes after midnight due to itchy hands. Had to get up and get medicine on to stop them. The hunger pangs are back and I think that is keeping me up, as well. Another stress arose over my car. Yet, I actually feel quite calm. I have already worked out a strategy in my mind. I wound up working until about 3:30 a.m. Oddly enough, I felt the need to defecate this morning prior to returning to bed. I woke again about 8 a.m. I did defecate a little, but there was more smelly gas.
The rest of the day was spent concentrating on my stressful situation. I did notice that some of my bad thinking was returning, but I handled it in a much more calm fashion. I did forget to take the vitamin C in the morning, but I do not know if that was a contributing factor. I do know that I was able to finally get an hour nap beginning at 4:45. That energized me the rest of the evening.
This was not one of the goals, but a friend asked me about my weight. I weighed in 15-pounds lighter this afternoon. If I return with a steady diet, I should be able to, at least, maintain that new level. This is why I plan to start off with soups and a lighter diet. I do still have the urge for some of those chemical-laden tasty treats I used to eat, but not as bad as I used to. Returning to them might bring the more intense urges back so I’ll have to take care.
As of now, I consider this experiment very successful. I am feeling good, though I feel the hunger a bit. I do admit that I am anticipating the end of day 7. I must stress, again, that you should check with your doctor to determine if you are healthy enough to try this. Water helps to dilute the feeling of hunger considerably and is necessary for your life. You can drink up to a gallon a day. I highly recommend that if you choose filtered water, do NOT choose distilled water. I understand that distilled water is absolutely free of chemical compounds that your body will need. If you drink distilled water, I am told that it will actually extract those chemicals from your body.
I woke about 7 a.m. I had to check my car and replace a part. I was hoping that would resolve my problem and everything would smooth out. It did not happen. Although I was disappointed, I did not get enraged. I expect the worst but hope for the best.
Again my mind was clear and I had no real anger.
I broke my fast at about 4 p.m. I ended it by sharing a beef jerky with my dog. I then had a bowl of cream of potato soup with crackers. That was after about an hour nap.
I did wind up consuming another bowl of soup about 8 p.m., or so.
The next morning I ate soup and some of those bad things. I do notice, though, that I am not craving those bad things as much. I did not really think to write down a menu. I was able to keep to a reasonable diet, although Sunday night there was a special function in which I probably overdid it.
What interests me the most is the change in myself. I would normally take a bathroom break and, on the way back to the computer, pick up whatever I had laying down to snack on. I do not crave doing that now. The other thing is the peace in my mind. It is something that I really cannot describe. It is something one must experience. I really think that in some cases—maybe not all—this might be an effective treatment for certain depressions and other mental illness. I stress, however, that the person should be monitored constantly by loved-ones who have been briefed on how to talk with the person during this period and when to call it quits. It might help to even have the loved-one fast with them. I would not recommend a fast this long for children.
I am concentrating, now, on trying to focus on a better diet. I might try this again the last week of next month. I might even try to get the VA involved and have some tests run before and after to see the results.
If you are a working stiff, here are a few tips that might help. Start your fast Thursday evening. It will not affect your performance on Friday. If you have the same experience as I, your worst day will be on Sunday. On Saturday and Sunday you will probably have to forego the “honey-do” list and nap to help you through the tough period. By Monday, you should return to a rational, functional human being.
If you are in a stressful job, those stresses will still remain. I would drop the coffee altogether during your fasting period and stick to hot or iced tea. Particularly green tea, but regular pekoe tea is okay. Use very little sugar. I believe that by this time, your mind will be clear and your disposition will actually be better. You may even surprise a few people at work. You may not be able to take a nap, save your lunch hour. I would suggest, though, that hour might be better spent concentrating on manuals or books which might improve your job position. For sleep I would recommend the old Ben Franklin saying, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” In other words, when you return home, go to bed earlier than normal. If you usually go to bed at 11 p.m. try going to bed at 9 p.m. Or even 8. If you work during the night, obviously you will have to set your sleep schedule accordingly. The idea is to try to get more sleep while you fast.
I find it better if I tell as few people as possible when I start something like this. The reason is that they will either try to derail you or tell you what a good job you are doing. Either is a detriment to your goal. This is called negative and positive reinforcement, respectively. The more people try to cheer you to your goal, the more you tend to think about your goal and fixate on it. That is okay if you are running a 5k which you will probably accomplish in about ten minutes (That’s thirty minutes for me in my car). Or if you are trying to do a number of sit-ups and push-ups, positive reinforcement is great. If you are trying to do something like this, however, over a period of time, positive reinforcement might not help no matter how helpful the person is trying to be. That has been my experience in the past.
I discussed this project with a friend whom I felt it might help. He reminded me of something very important. How to break your fast. You do not want to start stuffing down three plates of bacon and pancakes. Start slow. My plan is to start with soups and perhaps some crackers. I will probably consume four-to-six throughout the day. To not sabotage my efforts, I will probably stop eating about 5 or 6 p.m. I usually go to bed right around midnight.
There is one more very important concept here. If your neighborhood, State or country should suffer a natural disaster or an external attack, you can—and probably should—fast for as many days as possible. It apparently has not killed me, so it might not kill you. This will extend your food stores. If you have any food in the refrigerator, you should consume those foods, then you can start your fast. You do not know how long your difficulty may last. If it last only seven-days even better. You still have your storable food in stock.
The bible speaks about prayer and fasting. I have not found anywhere that directs the length of time. In Matthew 17:14 (Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-42; Luke 17:5-10) the disciples have a discussion concerning the casting out of demons. There was a man with a lunatic son who was “sore vexed.”
14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. 16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. 17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. 18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
Can you cast out your demons? Jesus tells us that it requires faith and prayer and fasting. I believe we rely too much on the pharmaceutical companies for our well-being. In some cases they are absolutely necessary. If you get a snake bite, you want to get an anti-venom as quickly as possible. Ritalin may not be the right answer for ADHD. It may be a last resort.
I did not start this as a religious fast, mind you. Though I did ask for the help of God on several occasions. This was an experiment solely on the physiological effects of fasting. I found that even though I retained a few old bad habits, the fasting was very successful.
I have to confess that the spiritual effects and the effect on my mind is stunning.
I am writing this article as a bit of therapy. I will not include dates or details of the trial at hand, because they are not within the scope of this article. This is about my embarrassment as a potential juror. Hopefully this will assist you in the future.
I was called to jury duty, but was unfamiliar with the process. I was upset about the way the summons was issued because I was not even informed that I was in a period when I could be called. I will say that the court staff was extremely kind and understanding. That settled me quite a bit.
As potential jurors were dismissed, I eventually wound up in the jury pool. I had several problems. I provide health care assistance for another person and their family. I do not have transportation. Yes, in this day and age, I can afford neither a vehicle nor the insurance to cover it. Much less the gas.
I was offered a hotel room and was okay with that. As a reporter I was not sure if I reported on this particular case, but I found out I did not. So that was okay. I had to arrange for a care taker for my friend, however. The judge was kind enough to grant a short recess to arrange for a possible replacement. The transportation to get to the court house (about 35 miles away) was borrowed. I had to return it because it was used to transport my friend. Yet, if selected, I would not have that opportunity. One thing after another conspired against me.
As I was speaking—with the bailiff watching—I realized that I had no place to keep my dog. This fact was insurmountable. My dog would only stay with one other person for any length of time with comfort. That person was out of my life.
I believe that the bailiff saw the stress was just too much for me and informed the judge who eventually excused me.
You might be thinking Good job. You got out of jury duty. I see web sites with braggarts about their ducking their Constitutional responsibility.
You might also find it curious to find that I wanted jury duty. You see, I am a veteran. Over 17-years of my life was spent protecting and defending the very right to trial by a jury of my peers. To defend a person against unconstitutional incarceration—To prevent a person from being railroaded into jail—would be the epitome of my service in the Navy. Of course if guilty, getting a criminal off of the streets would also be important to me.
I am the guy Janet Napalitano warned you about. I am a veteran with a copy of the Constitution (usually) who knows how to use it. As Thomas Jefferson wrote to Thomas Paine in 1789:
I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”
You may not be able to pick up a gun and kill an enemy. You may not be able to spend days on end under the sea. Not everyone can bring themselves to go into battle. Jury duty, however, is one area in which you can serve your country and preserve the Constitution without having to duck.
WHY IS TRIAL BY JURY IMPORTANT?
Imagine you come home from the graveyard shift. You are tired and you feel it is all right to leave the windows of your car open because you have another job to go to tomorrow and the summer days heat up quick. You hope that the interior of your car might just be cooler in the morning. You crawl off to bed for a restful night sleep.
At about 5 a.m., you are wakened by an incessant knocking at your door. You open it to find two police officers at your door. They inform you that there was a robbery and the alleged firearm was found in your backseat.
Who would you want as a juror? Someone who wants to serve? Or someone who is there simply because they could not come up with the right excuse?
At this point I would encourage you to find the movie Twelve Angry Men and watch it. Or read the play.  It is not only an entertaining film, but watch it for the lesson of what might transpire in the jury deliberation room.
Benjamin Franklin is oft quoted as writing: 
That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved.
The “Maxim” was derived from an earlier quote by Voltaire:
that ’tis much more Prudence to acquit two Persons, tho’ actually guilty, than to pass Sentence of Condemnation on one that is virtuous and innocent.
In Commentaries on the Laws of England 9th ed., book 4, chapter 27, p. 358 (1783, reprinted 1978), Sir William Blackstone wrote:
“For the law holds, that it is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.”
Whatever “X” factor you wish to choose, the point is that trial by a jury of your peers has been guaranteed as a right since the Magna Carta of 2015; over 800-years ago.
So you would let a rapist or murderer go free? you might ask. I would not like to, no. Nor would I want to send a man to death row for thirty-years for murders he did not commit. If the prosecution cannot prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, you have to vote not guilty.
During the term of someone claiming to be governor of Arizona, the State created a guilty until proven innocent law. That law was used on Harold Fish  who was found guilty of defending his life. The law was reversed and grandfathered to his case. He was exonerated at a re-trial. The appellate court reversed the decision because:
In July 2009, the Arizona Court of Appeals reversed Fish’s conviction because the trial judge failed to give necessary jury instructions, and because the judge improperly excluded evidence of Kuenzli’s past acts of violence which Fish attempted to present to support his claim that Kuenzli was the aggressor.
Now do you see the importance of your place on a jury? More importantly, do you see why it is important for you to understand your authority as a juror? Even though Arizona passed a guilty until proven innocent provision, you know that is unconstitutional. It flies in the very face of the basis of our justice system. You can vote to acquit. That includes courts at the local and, so-called, federal level. It only takes one.
In the case of Harold Fish, I would have been that one.
MY PROBLEMS WITH THE JURY PROCESS
I do have problems with the jury process as it is practiced today. The Supreme Court has decided that it is not required that the courts instruct you on the power you actually have. Thus you will probably have to research the jury duty process for yourself.
During my research I found the Fully Informed Jury Association site. There is a lot of good information including a PDF on how to survive the Voir Dire process. The Voir Dire process is the process in which defense and prosecuting attorneys can eliminate potential jurors. Saying the least is the best.
The prosecutor in this case asked if our family or friends would call me a “conspiracy theorists.” Did anyone believe, for example, that we did not land on the moon. I raised my hand and the prosecutor asked if I really believed we did not land on the moon. I explained that I had seen the evidence and it was not conclusive. To set the record straight, I believe we landed on the moon because I neither have the time or inclination to examine the evidence.
My “conspiracy theories” are more along the lines of the erosion of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The fact that windmills are more dangerous than good to our environment and wildlife. The fact that global warming has nothing to do with anthropomorphic C02, but simply the natural wobble of the earth on its axis. United Nations treaties targeted at destroying our Constitution and sovereignty as a nation. Things I can prove. Or disprove.
I have a problem with the courts not following the Seventh Amendment  which reads:
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
It does not say, …where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars to be increased 6% per annum allowing for cost overrides and etc. ad nauseum, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved. It says twenty dollars. Admittedly you are probably not very bright if you are demanding a jury trial for a parking ticket. After all you are likely in line for a warning or maybe a fine of less than $100. If you persist, you may wind up with much more. Especially since you will upset the people that had to be pulled in for jury duty.
The point is that if you demand a jury trial, you are due one. Especially in the case of the employees you hire called the government are trying to take your property that might be well over $20. It should be twelve of your peers.
I was concerned about a jury of less than eight of my peers. I have found evidence in my studies, however, that there were juries of less than twelve in the past. If there is the possibility of you spending more than a year in prison or a hefty fine that you obviously cannot afford (and, thus, have to make it up in prison), you need a jury of twelve of your peers.
So my advice is that if you are ever summoned for jury duty, plan ahead. Plan on being picked. In fact, call the clerk and tell them you want to be in the first venire or panel. Remember that if you serve, you will not be required to serve again for a certain number of years. In Arizona it’s two. Otherwise they can keep summoning you.
In my case, I did not understand that—if chosen—I would have to stay there for the duration. Or find away to travel the 70 miles back and forth each day. For the courts part, they offered me a hotel room which I immediately accepted. I thought that I would be able to take the borrowed car home. I found out that I would not. Next time I will see if a person is going to, or can take me to, the city of the court in question and pick me up if I do not get selected.
As for my friend, there are free services to caretakers—even if you are not a family member. In other words, if I need a vacation or, say, need to do jury duty, the county would have provided a free substitute for the duration. I did not realize this until after I was excused.
As for my dog, I have a problem. There is only one person that he would stay overnight with comfortably and that person is no longer in my life. It would be a stress on him to stay overnight with anyone else, much less three days (four including the day for jury selection). I would, however, arrange to have him stay with the closest person I know and he will have to suffer through. Have a trusted friend collect your mail daily and feed your cat or fish.
If you get summoned, just plan on getting selected. Especially if you are trying hard enough. Arrange for transportation if needed. Call the court and see if a taxi service is available. In my rural area this might not be an option.
Call the county or local offices and see if services are available to help you serve on jury duty. Aid in transportation or taking care of sick relatives. If you might be late for a bill payment, call the creditor or utility company and explain that you might be late because of jury duty.
Make your employer aware of your summons right away so that he can arrange to have that time frame covered. Employers are not required to pay for the time you spend at jury duty in most states, but they cannot fire you. It will be less stress on your employer if you arrange for a cover just in case.
The point is that you should want to serve on a jury. A Grand Jury might be a little more of a problem, but it is an important part of our jury process. In fact the Grand Jury has to pass the case onto trial. You might be able to stop a politically motivated case from even going to trial.
NOTE: This article references PDF files which require Adobe PDF reader. If you do not want to read them online or for some other reason prefer to download the file, click the right button on your mouse and select Save Link As. You can, of course, print the files if you prefer.
I find it interesting when the government gets religion. More accurately, I find it suspicious. Particularly when they speak under the banner of separation of Church and State.
I have run into this debate before. I debated this with a friend on a web site whom I am sure believes he is a good and devout Christian. He is absolutely convinced that the perverse interpretation delivered from the pulpit of FEMA (Which obviously violates their so-called separation of Church and State) is true and correct. That we should allow the absolute rule of His Majesty Obama and his court. By the way this is the same FEMA which violated the Constitution during the Katrina crisis and labeled the forefathers as terrorists.
I shall make a few observations first.
It is interesting that the court and his adoring serfs liken Obama to the mythical character of Robin Hood. Particularly since Robin Hood was an outlaw. What does that make Obama?
Another problem with this characterization is what Robin Hood stood for. Robin Hood lived in a era, so the myth goes, where the Normans were inflicting unjust rule over the Saxons with a leader who had usurped the power he was intrusted with. Prince John, the usurper, continually wrote “executive orders” which were in conflict with the the rule of law set forth by the rightful King of England—King Richard. King Richard was, at the time, off fighting against terrorists in the Middle East.
Indeed, the characterization of the Prince John is more apt to describe Obama.
The second observation is that those who call themselves the foederal (original spelling) government are being hypocritical. They use pieces of scripture to build their religion. This is not unusual since most “religions” do the same thing. They will feed you the lines of Jesus taking care of the poor. Yet, they ignore the scripture, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) Taking care of the poor actually goes back to the Old Testament. Taking care of widows and orphans and those who cannot take care of themselves is Christian teaching. James 1:27 tells us, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” In the Old Testament, when harvesting crops the farmers were ordered to leave a certain amount of food laying for the poor to gather. The onus was on the people to do this, not the employees of the people.
The third, and most interesting, observation in my mind is the fact that before the American War for Independence, the clergy was used to inspire the justification of their cause. The clergy was among the most educated in that era. Their opinions were highly regarded. When the war started they became the first Chaplains in the service of the United States actually participating in the battles.
One of the most wasteful uses of tax dollars is supporting those “Non-Profits” that support government positions. These “Pastors” who spew the Romans 13 nonsense actually get paid by the national government, according to some accounts.
Patrick Henry warned of this during the debates in Virginia to discuss the ratification of the Constitution. On June 9, 1788 he warned:
Congress, by the power of taxation, by that of raising an army, and by their control over the militia, have the sword in one hand, and the purse in the other. Shall we be safe without either? Congress have an unlimited power over both: they are entirely given up by us. Let him candidly tell me, where and when did freedom exist, when the sword and purse were given up from the people?
NOTE: Sony, Microsoft, Windows, Dragon NaturallySpeaking and Olympus are all registered trademarks.
UPDATED: 4/7/2015; 9:38
I realize that I have written nothing on this blog for eight updates and ten spam comments. Thought I’d better post something. So I decided to review a recent purchase.
I recently purchased a Sony ICD-PX333 recorder from Wal-Mart. I cannot find the receipt, but I believe it was around $65. That was not what I set out to do, but the model I went back to purchase was sold out.
I needed to replace an Olympus VN-7100 that I found in a local thrift store. I have been writing mostly news, lately. But I wanted to be prepared when that great American novel popped into my head. My Olympus still works and I can use it for some things. I needed something, however, that had a more clear sound for dictating. The older Olympus does not have a computer port, but I can connect it through the headset with a minijack plug and record the information that way.
As an aside, I did give my Olympus a torture test. I did not intend to. But when I removed some clothes from the washing machine, I found it inside. After making sure it thoroughly dried out, I tested it and found it still worked just fine. I would not recommend this test on any device on purpose.
There were two Sony models on display. I do not recall the other, but I chose the PX333 because it had more recording time built in and had a port for a mini-SD card. The other model did not—as far as I could tell.
One of the complaints I read concerning this model is that the SD card was not included. You can get an 8-GB SD card for about $11 at Family Dollar (if they are in stock). That is double the internal memory which is just under 4-GB due because some of the internal memory is used for file management. Wal-Mart had a 32-GB SD card for about $17. With over 1000-hours of recording time, however, this is hardly an issue. If you plan to attend a week-long seminar, of some sort, or recording the speech of a politician, a mini-SD card might be a good idea.
I immediately opened the box and found inside two AAA batteries, a USB plug and the PX333, of course. What I was disappointed in NOT finding was a carrying case and a DVD-ROM with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I did not really expect to find a microphone or headphones even though they were on the list. There was an asterisk beside these items and that means I did not buy the higher priced model. Apparently these Items come with the PX333F model. In fact there were no disks and that was somewhat of a disappointment. Until I realized that the software may have been included on the device itself.
It took a little playing around to figure out how to move around the menu to set the time and date and figure out how to set up other things for the device (Who needs instructions?).
When I got it home, I plugged it in with the USB plug. I had already made a few test recordings to play with. I was pleased to find that Sony had added a software called Sound Organizer on the device and I installed it. It did give me some weird errors but continued to install okay. There was an update to the software already available, and it, too, gave me an error, but updated okay.
The one bad thing about the software—at least for Mac enthusiasts—is that the Sound Organizer software is available only for Windows. You can still access the PX333 from Mac or Windows like any other MP3 device when attached by the USB cord.
The nice thing is that when there is a new recording on the device, the Sound Organizer, or SO, recognized that immediately and asked if I want to transfer the new files. Right away I did. As a habit I turn off devices before I plug them into the computer. Once it recognizes it, it will turn it on for you.
You will notice that when you plug in the recorder, you will get a menu for both the library on your computer and the IC Recorder. You can erase the files on your recorder or transfer back and forth. This is why the SD card is really a moot point. You can transfer recorded files back-and-forth to any device you desire and even burn them to CD or DVD.
With the device plugged in, you can do many things. You can make new folders on your device. By pressing the DEVICE SETTINGS button, you can access all of the menu items instead of fumbling with the MENU button on the device. It also accesses the date and time through your computer and automatically sets it. The PX333 does not display the time and date on the device which is kind of disappointing.
Interestingly, you can also add music and podcast to your device which might be useful if you have a stereo headset. This takes from your recording time, of course. If you are in the habit of waiting around for interviews, though, this might be nice.
The SO software allows you to edit the files so that you can save distinct quotes. You can burn them to a CD or DVD which might be very useful for a radio news host. If you can plug in the device at the station, you can probably even run the quotes off of the device without having to waste a CD or DVD.
One review complained that the device can only record in MP3. I am not sure of the advantage of any other format except, perhaps, that it might extend the recording time. MP3 is a standard and almost all other software recognizes it. I find that makes it easier to add audio from the PX333 into my video editing software.
The one function I was really excited about was the little “notepad” icon all the way to the left and to the bottom. It is highlighted when you have a file selected. That is the transcription icon. I pressed it and hoped that it would transcribe the audio into an editable document. It did not. All it did was set up a page with the information about the file and I had to type in the quotes.
Apparently this feature is meant to work with the Dragon NaturallySpeaking program; not provided with this model. I have tried to get it to work with the speech recognition software on Windows 8.1, but with no success. If I figure out how to do it, I will let you know. The SO does provide support for Dragon, so I presume it will work if you have a copy to install.
Another disappointment of this feature is file naming. If you go to transcribe a file, the name of the recorded file is automatically entered as the document file name. This is all right. If you go to create a second file—for whatever purpose—it keeps the recorded file name and does not let you change it. This is a minor inconvenience. You just have to remember to change the file name the first time you transcribe each document.
You can use the DPC Speed to adjust the speed of the speech to match your typing skills.
The other feature I am happy with is the T-MARK button. As you record, you can use this to “flag” certain segments. Say, for example, you are doing an interview. You can press T-MARK before each question and you can then go straight to specific questions that you decide to use in the interview.
Even without the “goodies” provided in the higher-end models, I have to say that I am okay with the purchase, overall. I still have not gone through all of the functionality of the device, so I do not know what I am missing. If I find any really neat stuff, I’ll let you know.
I entered the Navy in June of ’77. People thought me odd because I was the only recruit that had to fold my blanket each day. I had to sleep under it. Going from 120+ degree weather to the 90-degree weather of San Diego was quite a significant change.
I remained in the Navy for a number of years and traveled to a number of places. I was in Somalia when we were trying to cement relations long before the “Blackhawk Down” incident. I was in Hong Kong when it was a free country.
I visited “the former” Yugoslavia while Tito yet lived. It was the only example of a communist government that I can point to that actually worked. Why did it work? General Tito maintained the sovereignty of his country. He ran the government without undue influence from outsiders. He actually cared about the welfare of his people.
It is a recent event that I wish to concentrate on. The recent 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal. It is also an example of the Imperialistic nature of the “progressive.”
European ocean explorers have dreamed of a canal across what is now called Panama since they discovered the Americas. It would cut out having to travel around the infamous “Horn.”
Fresh off of their successful building of the Suez Canal, the French attempted to build a flat canal through the isthmus controlled by the government of Columbia. Because of lack of engineering skill of the company working on the project and malaria and yellow fever, the company went bankrupt and the project was halted in May of 1879.Theodore Roosevelt became president in 1901. Believing that the project was of a national security interest to the United States, he convinced Congress to purchase French owned land and tried to reach an agreement with the Colombian government. That failing, he convinced Panamanian rebels to declare independence. They did with a USS Nashville close by to prevent interference from the Colombian government. That move causes tension between the two countries to this day.
In 1904 the United States undertook the building of the canal which officially opened on August 15, 1914. In 1989, the United States invaded Panama to capture Manuel Noriega; purportedly because of drug smuggling. He was sent to France for charges of money laundering and is now in a Panamanian prison for a number of charges including murder.
I was captivated by the engineering of the canal and the operation of the locks. Because the Pacific and Atlantic are at two different levels and the terrain, a ship has to be raised or lowered depending on which ocean you are traveling to (as I understand it). Ships traveling through the canal are captured in the locks where the water is raised or lowered. I was told that it is completely accomplished by the force of the water itself. There are no pumps.
The locks have been expanded before and today the Panamanian government is widening them again. The government of Panama, in fact, is doing much more to increase the potential of the canal than ever before.
I find it interesting as I look back that I went through the Panama Canal when it was a mere 64-years old. In March of 1978 the USS Oldendorf (DD-972) passed through the locks of Panama. This is no great page in history. It is simply a page out of my history.