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This is chilling. The Oregon Standoff was the culmination of multiple root causes all stemming from a systematic curtailment of liberty and personal rights of these people. A bullying federal government purposely destroyed farms and livestock in the area to perform a successful operation to intimidate others in the area and prevent support of these men and women from growing.

The seizure of a place or individuals to protest against the government is the last resort of reasonable men and women. The bad news is, it is defensive warfare and defensive warfare can only lead to defeat. Your supplies are limited, you are surrounded, your relief is not coming. It is only a matter of time until the patience of the other side wears thin and the final crushing blow is delivered.

Now is the time to become... unreasonable.

I bring this up because a journalist named Pete Santilli has been arrested and charged with conspiracy for his coverage of this standoff. He is currently being held without bond in a clear attempt to silence him. To be fair, I don't know this man, nor have I heard him or read any of his writings. The fact that he is being silenced due to his words is a chilling warning.

The First Amendment was written to protect the free exercise of all speech and specifically political speech. If the government can jail a person based only on his words is the most sincere evidence that we are transitioning from a Republic to a police state.

Mat dos Santos, the legal director of the ACLU of Oregon, said, "Situations like this - where words alone are used to label a speaker so dangerous or somehow threatening as to warrant the deprivations of his liberty - demand the highest caution. When there is any question, we should err on the side of the speaker." He also said, "If all of our statements can be cherry-picked and strung together over a number of years to label us a 'danger,' we risk silencing our civil discourse."

Those who seek to control the populace have taken to heart the lessons of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. In that novel, the State controlled the people, in large part by its control of the language. If there are no words to express the concept of freedom or liberty, we might feel it in ourselves, however lacking those words, how can we communicate it to others? We have seen the restriction of speech progressively impede our free speech.

From the failed widespread use of "hyphenated Americans" (African-Americans, Jewish-Americans, etc.) which only served to divide and pigeon-hole us, to restriction of use of terms like "master/slave" regarding equipment. We now have an active movement to eliminate "hateful speech," which those who seek to limit it means, "things I don't want to hear or think about." Today we have movements calling for the elimination of the Confederate flag and any other symbols of that time as well as any other "unpleasant" aspects of our history.

We need to remember these events of our past so they do not happen again. If we do not learn, understand and remember these lessons, we are truly doomed to repeat them.

I do not call for an uprising against the government. I do wish to remind then that there are hundreds of thousands of veterans like myself, who swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Despite my discharge 20+ years ago, I have not been relieved of my duties under that oath. Veterans very well know they can trace their lineage to the men who stood at Lexington and Concord. We all swore to protect the concept of the United States, not the interests of whomever is in power. I want to remind those with evil intentions against this country that those descendants are well trained in the fine art of warfare, chaos and havoc.

Those with evil intentions should pray the switch we turned off when we left the service never gets returned to the "On" position. Maybe that is why our veterans are subjected to a demoralizing VA where the only "help" they receive is a further restriction on their rights.