What Is Independence: A Decorated General Offers A Must-Read Alternative Perspective On What It Means To Be ‘Free’
As yet another Fourth of July slides down the collective memory hole, digested like so much hot dogs and beer, with little left behind except dirty scraps of red white and blue decorations blowing in the gutters, it is perhaps more appropriate than ever to reflect on what exactly is this “independence” we celebrate each year.
Here with a powerful perspective are some thoughts by Maj. Gen. Albert N. Stubblebine III, (U.S. Army, Ret.) who, having served 32 years following in the footsteps of his father who served before him, is well-qualified to comment on what it means to be free in this day and age.
As the annual prostrations before the flag take on an ever-more totemic, rote feel–think baseball teams decked out in camouflage uniform caps, and crowds tearing up to the tune of terrible, overwrought country songs claiming to be more patriotic than thou–it is refreshing to get the perspective of someone like General Stubblebine.
As mentioned above, General Bert, as he is known, comes from a military family and, just as his father did, served in the days long before drone pilots dispassionately bombed far-away people from the safety of air-conditioned offices outside of Las Vegas. He has years of perspective that informs his view that often there is a vast gulf between what we are sold by those who market our so-called “freedom” and the real article.
Indeed, the shiny objects dangled in front of us on television and our ability to “choose”–as long as those choices are limited to Coke or Pepsi, Chase or Bank of America, Ford or Chevy, Adderall or Ritalin–mean literally nothing once you know something about the ways we are being chemically controlled on a daily basis.
We all know about how the marketing geniuses at Merck and GlaxoSmithKline have tricked entire generations into thinking the need to pump their bodies full of dangerous chemicals in order to be “normal.” But what General Bert lays out in his scathing new piece is an entirely deeper level of chemical combat that is being waged against us every day.
“Chemicals added to our drinking water,” he writes, “specifically fluoride and aluminum, which are synergistically toxic (that is, they are vastly more toxic taken into the body at the same time than the same amounts would be if taken at different times) cause behavior changes useful to a suppressive force but not to our Freedom.”
Referencing nearly 40 citations to back up his theses, General Bert goes on to lay out a damningly accurate picture of what modern life in the Land of the Free™, Home of the Brave™ is really like in this sad age. And he lays the blame directly at the doorstep of chemical toxins we all drink every day:
“What behavioral changes [occur] due to fluoride and aluminum?” he writes. “Dulled intelligence, for example, and apathy, which is really a lack of motivation to change one’s situation, a kind of lack of self-empathy, and obedience to authority along with lack of empathy for the plight of others.”
Sound familiar? Try tuning in to the nauseating fare available on any given night on the idiot box: Kardashians (hello, lack of intelligence), vicious reality game shows (apathy), violent police procedurals in which the cops are invariably the good guys (obedience to authority)…is any of this sinking in?
This short list of the entertainment favored by our society is tailor-made for what General Bert is talking about. The crashing of the Roman Empire was never so meticulously documented–and the theories that lead pipes carrying their water two thousand years ago helped to exacerbate the Romans’ downfall also dovetail nicely with our own issues today.
But make no mistake: our version of bread and circuses accurately reflects who we are as a people: dull of intelligence, apathetic, lacking empathy, subservient to authority–we have seen the enemy, and it is us.
But the General doesn’t stop there. He devotes a good number of column inches honing in more closely on something that you might not think to be a prime area of focus for a military man, someone trained in how to subdue and kill people if necessary: empathy.
Indeed, General Bert makes a powerful case that this, along with our dulled, seemingly drugged state of stupor, is the missing ingredient that truly describes what is wrong with America and Americans today. And perhaps there is good reason why it is so starkly lacking:
“Acetaminophen reduces not only the ability to feel physical pain, but also the ability to feel empathy for others’ emotional pain or distress,” he writes. “What if this incredibly widely used drug, available without a prescription and given to our children at the slightest provocation, known to dampen our ability to connect with the emotional reality of those around us, is there specifically to separate us, weaken our bonds and further damage the fabric of society which is built on connection and mutual caring?”
Frightening stuff, and again, not unsupported. General Bert’s sources include documents obtained from Harvard, the National Institutes of Health, Wikipedia and dozens more.
Truly, it is a tremendous piece, and well worth the read, just on its own merits.
But taking in this soldier’s thoughts on what freedom is and what it means today–what it really means, not the neat packaging we are presented with, not the mock-up representation of Freedom™ we are expected to bow to, not Wal-Mart freedom, but real freedom–is a moving exercise in what it means to be an American.
What it still means, and what it can mean, and what it must continue to mean if the United States of America is to continue to exist in anything other than name only.
I urge you to take a moment to take in this brave man’s words yourself.
On the other hand, you are of course “free” to ignore it and instead turn on reality television and take your midday dose of whatever medication you’ve been prescribed most recently.
It’s up to you.