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NEW FROM BRENT JOHNSON! Creating Paradise on Earth

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By Brent Johnson

In Plato’s Republic, the author-philosopher put forth the proposition that the character demonstrated by the rulers of a society would trickle down and become inherent in the general population of a society.  In other words, a social system based on good principles and values would generate serenity and happiness among the people.

Unfortunately for us all, the entire world has lost sight of this simple concept: that your society is defined by those things you value most.

In most if not all societies around the world, people value money, position and power over values like truth, justice, honor and freedom.  That is why there is so much injustice and greed around the world.  Most people are more concerned about what they can get for themselves than what they can do to support others.  In any given interaction, people are more prone to ask, “What do I get out of it?” than to consider, “How can I support you?”

We have cultivated among us cultures that promote the concept of “winning” over everything else.  “What do I have to do to get that promotion?”  “How can I come out on top in this upcoming deal?”  “How do I come out of this situation with more than I had entering it?”  In other words, “What’s in it for me?”  This attitude permeates and worse, motivates people in their daily actions; and it is a highly destructive value system in which to live.

The reason this attitude is so destructive is because winning is made more important than doing what’s right, seeking justice, speaking truth, etc.  In other words, people are encouraged to do anything to get what they want; lie, cheat, steal, murder, and so forth.

Perhaps this is because most of you tend to value yourself based on how much property you own, what kind of job you have, how high up on the totem pole you are, and all other kinds of temporal things, instead of valuing yourself based on the kind of person you are.

This attitude of winning at all costs attracts and encourages greed, manipulation, horrible injustices, and overall depravity; and it may be found at the highest levels of governments wherever it exists.  Remember, the general population takes its cues from the rulers or leaders of its society.  If a government is staffed with thugs and unprincipled sadists, then the population will be filled with thugs and unprincipled sadists.

Conversely, if a government is filled with people who value truth, justice, liberty, and consideration for your neighbors, then the general public in that society will reflect those values.

Don’t get me wrong.  There is nothing wrong with winning.  There is nothing wrong with having a good job, making a lot of money, having nice things, living comfortably, and enjoying the best that life has to offer.  The question is how did you come by those things?  What price did you pay for them?

If you acquire your money, position or power by violating the fundamental principles of truth, honor and integrity, then I believe you have paid far too high a price for them.  If you taint your very soul in order to acquire the things that you have then you have paid far too much.

So how do we change our world from one that pursues winning at any cost to one that respects the rights of everyone and opposes those who would seek to make themselves bigger by making other people smaller?

The answer is actually pretty simple.  We need to change our value systems to reflect the kind of world in which people can be happy and feel secure. We need to disallow actions taken out of greed, power-hunger, and a desire to achieve things by diminishing others.

This starts on the local level.  It begins in your own house.  You - like Plato’s philosopher king - need to set the example by acting out of altruistic motives.  You need to consider others in your family in your daily life.  When one of your children acts improperly you need to correct him or her, and explain that it is best to respect others even if you disagree with them.  You need to punish those who steal, cheat or lie. Meanwhile, you need to set the example by not stealing, cheating or lying.

Once you get your own house in order you need to take your message to your local community.  Speak up when a neighbor or fellow citizen says or does something wrong.  Don’t be afraid to express disapproval with harmful acts.  Don’t worry about whether you are popular for taking a stand; just take a stand for good values.  Believe me, when you do this the message will spread rapidly throughout your local community.  Others will pick up on your behavior and start to reflect it.  The effects will be exponential and amazing.

However, do not diminish what others have to offer.  Do not speak at people; speak to them.  Listen and understand others’ positions even when you think those positions are harmful or destructive.  Respect their individual situations even if you don’t agree with their conclusions.  It is from that standpoint that you become powerful and effective in manifesting the kind of changes that are needed in this world.

You might even run for local public office so that you can inject your core values into your local community.  Whether you win or lose, you run your campaign by communicating your character beliefs to the local population.  Use media to accomplish this.  Regardless of whether or not you win, you will have made your mark on society.

As you proceed in changing your small part of the world, growing numbers of people will join you, thereby creating a gestalt that will serve to effect change on a larger level.

When the time is right, expand your efforts to a larger social group.  Infect others with your views, first throughout the city, then the state, then the nation, and then the world.

Do not be discouraged by telling yourself, “I am only one person.  What can I do?”  That thinking is false thinking.  One person who refuses to accept the status quo has always changed the world.  Consider Joan of Arc, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Yashua Christos (Jesus Christ).  It is always the individual who will not accept that the way things are is how they must be who manifests changes in society.

Of course, those changes could be for the worse and not for the better.  Adolf Hitler and Mao Tse Tung are prime examples of individuals who by their charisma changed the world to their ends; but their objectives were destructive and harmful.  You need to exercise the same charisma they did, but toward the goals of truth, justice, liberty, enlightenment, and peace.

If you set as your personal goal to bring about a world in which honor, integrity and justice abound, then you are perfectly capable of making it happen.  Don’t accept the messages of those who say you are insignificant and cannot change things.  Don’t listen to those who say, “You can’t fight City Hall!”  Do what you know to be right, regardless of how many people stand against you.  I promise you that if you stay true to your vision, others will join you, your ranks will grow, and inevitably, you will succeed in bringing about a world in which we can all live in peace, prosperity and honor.

Brent Johnson is Director of Freedom Bound International, a common law service center dedicated to the preservation of personal freedom, privacy rights and the Declaration of Independence.  He may be reached at 1-888-385-FREE or on-line at www.freedomradio.us.

Beloved Dick Van Dyke Show creator dead at 98!

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BEVERLY HILLS, Kalifornia (PNN) - June 30, 2020 - Carl Reiner, the ingenious and versatile writer, actor and director who broke through as a “second banana” to Sid Caesar and rose to comedy’s front ranks as creator of The Dick Van Dyke Show and straight man to Mel Brooks’ 2000 Year Old Man, has died. He was 98.

Reiner’s assistant Judy Nagy said he died Monday night of natural causes at his home in Beverly Hills, Kalifornia.

He was one of show business’ best-liked men. The tall, bald Reiner was a welcome face on the small and silver screens: In Caesar’s 1950s troupe, as the snarling, toupee-wearing Alan Brady of The Dick Van Dyke Show, and in such films as The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

In recent years, he was part of the roguish gang in the Ocean’s Eleven movies starring George Clooney, and appeared in documentaries including Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age and If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.

Tributes poured in online, including from Steve Martin, who said, “Goodbye to my greatest mentor in movies and in life. Thank you, dear Carl.”

Actor Josh Gad called Reiner “one of the greatest comedic minds of all time”, and Sarah Silverman said,”his humanity was beyond compare.”

Actor Alan Alda tweeted, “His talent will live on for a long time, but the loss of his kindness and decency leaves a hole in our hearts.”

Billy Crystal added, “all of us in comedy have lost a giant.”

Reiner directed such films as Oh, God! starring George Burns and John Denver; All of Me, with Martin and Lily Tomlin; and the 1970 comedy Where’s Poppa? His books include Enter Laughing” an autobiographical novel later adapted into a film and Broadway show; and My Anecdotal Life, a memoir published in 2003. He recounted his childhood and creative journey in the 2013 book, I Remember Me.

But many remember Reiner for The Dick Van Dyke Show, one of the most popular TV series of all time and a model of ensemble playing, physical comedy, and timeless, good-natured wit. It starred Van Dyke as a television comedy writer working for a demanding, eccentric boss (Reiner) and living with his wife (Mary Tyler Moore in her first major TV role) and son.

“The Van Dyke show is probably the most thrilling of my accomplishments because that was very, very personal,” Reiner once said. “It was about me and my wife, living in New Rochelle and working on the Sid Caesar show.”

The pilot, written by Reiner, starred himself as Rob Petrie, and aired in July 1960. When the show was reworked (CBS executives worried Reiner would make the lead character seem too Jewish), Van Dyke was cast and the program ran from 1961 to 1966. One famous fan, Orson Welles, was known for rushing to his bedroom in the afternoon so he could be near a TV when the show was on.

“Although it was a collaborative effort,″ Van Dyke later wrote, ”everything about the show stemmed from his (Reiner’s) endlessly and enviably fascinating, funny, and fertile brain and trickled down to the rest of us.”

The story line had Petrie as the head writer for “The Alan Brady Show,” a comedy-variety series not unlike Your Show of Shows, in which Reiner, as Brady, was the egocentric star. Petrie’s fellow writers were character actors Morey Amsterdam as Buddy Sorrell and Rose Marie as Sally Rogers.

It was an early parody of the Caesar show, which would later be dramatized in the film My Favorite Year and Neil Simon’s play Laughter on the 23rd Floor.

Besides acting in and producing the Van Dyke series, Reiner wrote or co-wrote dozens of episodes. Although the show was the best of good clean fun, it wasn’t clean enough for network censors. Reiner often battled network officials over the sleeping arrangements of Rob and his wife; the Petries slept in twin beds. He wanted them to sleep in a double bed.

Reiner joined the classic comedy revue Your Show of Shows in 1950 after performing in Broadway plays. Much of Reiner’s early work came as a “second banana” - although, as Caesar once put it, “Such bananas don’t grow on trees.” He performed in sketches - satirizing everything from foreign films to rock ‘n’ roll - and added his talents to a writing team that included Brooks, Simon, Woody Allen, and Larry Gelbart.

“As second banana,” he told TV Guide, “I had a chance to do just about everything a performer can ever get to do. If it came off well, I got all the applause. If it didn’t, the show was blamed.”

It was during the Show of Shows years that Reiner and Brooks started improvising skits that became the basis for The 2000 Year Old Man. Reiner was the interviewer, Brooks the old man and witness to history.

Reiner: “Did you know Jesus?”

Brooks: “I knew Christ, Christ was a thin lad, always wore sandals. Hung around with 12 other guys. They came in the store, no one ever bought anything. Once they asked for water.”

After the pair performed the routine at a party, Reiner said Steve Allen insisted they turn their banter into a record. The album, 2000 Years with Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks, appeared in 1960 and was the start of a million-selling franchise.

The duo won a Grammy in 1998 for their The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000 and Reiner won multiple Emmys for his television work. In 2000, he received the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for Humor. When the sound system failed at the start of the ceremonies, Reiner called from the balcony, “Does anybody have four double-A batteries?”

Besides All of Me, Reiner directed Martin in Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, The Man With Two Brains and The Jerk.

Reiner was the father of actor-director Rob Reiner, who starred as Archie Bunker’s son-in-law on All in the Family and directed When Harry Met Sally. Rob Reiner said in a tweet Tuesday that his “heart is hurting. He was my guiding light.”

Carl Reiner was born in 1922 in New York City’s Bronx borough, one of two sons of Jewish immigrants. He grew up in a working-class neighborhood where he learned to mimic voices and tell jokes. After high school, Reiner attended drama school, then joined a small theater group.

During World War II, Reiner joined the Army and toured in GI variety shows for a year and a half. Back out of uniform, he landed several stage roles, breaking through on Broadway in Call Me Mister.

He married his wife, Estelle, in 1943. Besides son Rob, the couple had another son, Lucas, a film director, and a daughter, Sylvia, a psychoanalyst and author. Estelle Reiner, who died in 2008, had a small role in Rob Reiner’s When Harry Met Sally - as the woman who overhears Meg Ryan play-acting in a restaurant and says, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

Carl Reiner’s greatest disappointment was Bert Rigby, You’re a Fool, a 1989 musical he wrote and directed that starred Robert Lindsay, a British actor Reiner believed could be a new Dick Van Dyke. The film flopped, and Reiner’s career as a director faded.

Reiner, inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame, remained involved in other entertainment projects. In the 1990s, he reprised the Alan Brady character for an episode of Mad About You.

His death was first reported Tuesday by the celebrity website TMZ.

The Death of Common Sense - Published in the London Times!

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Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years.

No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

  • Knowing when to come in out of the rain
  • Why the early bird gets the worm
  • Life isn’t always fair
  • Maybe it was my fault

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student,but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live when the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home, and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death:

  • by his parents, Truth and Trust
  • by his wife, Discretion
  • by his daughter, Responsibility
  • and by his son, Reason

He is survived by his 5 stepchildren:

  • I Know My Rights
  • I Want It Now
  • Someone Else Is To Blame
  • I’m A Victim
  • Pay Me For Doing Nothing

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

NEW FROM BRENT JOHNSON! The Chemistry of Freedom

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by Brent Johnson

For thousands of years people from all over the world have cried out for freedom. The call for independence has rung true throughout human history. Dating back to the Exodus from Egypt, through the history of the Holy Roman Empire, the Dark Ages, the Renaissance, the French and American Revolutions, World War I, World War II, the Age of Apartheid… the cries for freedom and independence have always been heard by those who would listen.

Freedom is a principle that people from all classes, races, genders and ages seek to achieve. It is the single most popular objective that has ever existed throughout human history.

With so many people crying out for liberty for so long - a state in which they are free to live their lives as they see fit - it is a wonder that they have failed so remarkably to achieve their desire.

Why is this so, and what would it take to successfully achieve this objective that billions of people around the world have sought for so long and continue to seek?

Freedom is more than just a word to be used by political candidates; it is more than a utopian dream; it is more than a philosophical or theoretical concept to discuss at a gathering of activists or over a family meal. It is a genuine treasure, and like any treasure it takes planning, work and commitment to achieve it in its purest form.

Living in a state of freedom means taking full responsibility for your life; your hopes and dreams; your likes and dislikes; your wants and desires. It requires a certain character that refuses to accept failure. It requires its possessor to never recognize anyone else’s claims to restrict it in any way.

In order to actually live free one must possess not only certain characteristics, one must also be willing to accept the responsibilities inherent in living as a free person. These responsibilities are great, and there are many of them. They include the willingness and dedication to fight to defend and preserve that freedom, and if necessary to die for it.

Freedom is unselfish. Those who seek freedom for their own sakes will never have it. Freedom must always be pursued and achieved in order that others may possess it. It is perhaps the most genuinely altruistic thing that can exist.

It is one thing to fight in order to become free. It is another thing to live life as a free being once you have your independence. Understanding both is necessary if you are to live a genuinely free life.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” This means you not only need to fight to acquire your freedom; you need to fight to retain it - always and in all ways. You never get to rest. You never get to finally sit back and relax because you are finally free.

There is a chemistry to freedom. Consider that we are all living in a global laboratory in which there are always forces seeking to undermine the freedom of the people, while there are also always forces seeking to protect and defend it. These forces are always at work against each other, whether you are aware of them or not. If the forces defending freedom and the forces seeking to undermine it are kept in proper balance, then people can indeed live lives of freedom.

You may ask what I mean by “proper balance”. Why should forces working against individual liberty exist at all? What use do they have?

Notwithstanding the fact that such forces do exist, always have existed, and always will exist, these anti-freedom forces do serve an eclectic purpose.

What would the world look like if everyone was totally free; free to do anything at all? People would then be free to steal, rape, plunder and murder. It may be a free world but would it be a desirable one? I think not.

There must be principles that restrict the undesirable elements of total freedom in any society, whether on a local, regional, national or global scale. These are necessary in order to allow people to enjoy their freedom. This is why it is necessary for forces that oppose freedom to exist in balance with the principles of freedom.

The problem, of course, comes from the fact that forces opposed to freedom have too often taken it upon themselves to determine the proper extent of their efforts. Governments - for it is always governments that stand at the forefront of the anti-freedom movement - have claimed for themselves the right to enforce limits on the freedom of the people they govern. That has never worked to promote a free society, and it will never work. This is because when governments set themselves up to make such determinations, they attract the kind of administrators who are unscrupulous, cruel, and power-hungry. Such people will never accept balance as an objective; rather, they seek total control.

What is needed is a paradigm in which the people are the rulers of their own lives, but they have - within strict limits - incorporated mechanisms to discourage and punish those who seek to use their own freedom to obstruct or infringe upon the freedom of others. This type of social system is what was created after the American Revolution, with the Articles of Confederation of the united States of America.

This was a system by which the people were free to live their lives as they saw fit without damaging the lives, liberties or property of others. Any governments that existed - county, state or federal - were subservient to the people, who stood above the government and were only answerable to their Creator. The Declaration of Independence of 1776 states, “We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights…” Thus only the Creator can ever take them away. Governments did not create those rights and so no matter what the situation, governments can never take them away.

Under this system it is the people who are the final arbiters of actions by governments. The people do not need to obey government; it is government that needs to obey the people. This provides a mechanism to restrict the undesirable elements of freedom without depriving the people of their rightful place as the rulers of their society.

However, freedom carries with it great responsibility. “Eternal vigilance” is needed by all the people. Whenever government steps beyond its lawfully delegated powers, it is the people who need to stop it. The people need to refuse to comply with government efforts to impose restrictions on their freedom. The people need to defend their liberty whenever anyone attacks it - including police, legislators, bureaucrats, or anyone else. It is a grave responsibility and it takes people of a very high character and commitment to make it work.

If you stand up against terrorist police who seek to attack your freedom, you may be shot; you may die. Are you willing to shoot back; are you willing to kill in order to defend your Creator-endowed rights? If you are not willing to do these things, then you will inevitably surrender your freedom, at which point you cannot complain about not having it. If you are willing to do these things, then perhaps - hopefully - you will never need to do them.

What are you willing to do to protect and defend your freedom? What are you not willing to do to protect and defend your freedom? The answer to the second question provides the key to undermining your freedom, and the reason that freedom fighters throughout history have ultimately failed to provide and preserve their freedom.

Successful freedom fighters are willing to do anything to protect and defend their freedom and the freedom of others. There is nothing they are not willing to do to protect that same freedom. That is what makes them successful.

If a society of any size establishes a system whereby the people are the rulers and government is their public servant, then a balance can be maintained between living free and not living totally free. That is the chemistry that is needed if we are ever to achieve a lasting and perpetual freedom for ourselves and our posterity,

Brent Johnson is Director of Freedom Bound International, a common law service center dedicated to the preservation of personal freedom, privacy rights and the Declaration of Independence. He may be reached at 1-888-385-FREE or on-line at www.freedomradio.us.

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