The fire still burns

Ubi Libertas, like my American Life, remains grounded in Liberty. My recent post devoted solely to policies that banish The Unjabbed from entertainment venues should confirm to readers that I haven’t abandoned the foundation of this blog.

Our country is in peril. Circumstances demand more of me than just a travelogue or a documentary journal. Expect to see regular (if not necessarily daily) commentary on culture, politics and the like.


The current occupant of the Oval Office and his anti-American cabal have, as you know, imposed The Great Vaccination Mandate on companies with 100 or more employees. Everyone can see what that’s about — even its proponents have admitted that the decree is a “work-around” to avoid constitutional entanglements.

A few days ago the Fifth Circuit affirmed a stay of the Mandate, essentially blocking implementation and enforcement of the “order” until the courts can sort out myriad legal challenges. I read the appeals court’s decision (available here as a pdf) in its entirety.

And then I read it again.

Circuit Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt, with concurring opinion penned by Circuit Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan — both Trump appointees, by the way, in case you’re among those who still believe that elections don’t matter — lays out in relatively plain language the correct case for halting The Great Vaccination Mandate. The judges see it for what it is, calling it “staggeringly overbroad” and asserting that in the face of challenges and reasonable objections,

“…The Mandate fails almost completely to address, or even respond to, much of this reality and common sense.”

Engelhardt returns repeatedly to the matter of individual Liberty, which clearly is at the core of this case. One particular passage stood out to me:

“…The principles at stake when it comes to the Mandate are not reducible to dollars and cents. The public interest is also served by maintaining our constitutional structure and maintaining the liberty of individuals to make intensely personal decisions according to their own convictions — even, or perhaps particularly, when those decisions frustrate government officials.”

Catch that? See why it drew my attention?

Right now it’s only a flicker of a flame, but here we have a Court saying that adhering to the Constitution and guarding individual Liberty is the right thing to do, even if (and especially when) it pisses off the State.

No matter what happens from here, that will always be the only correct position. Courts and legislatures may hold otherwise, but none can revoke the primacy of our birthrights. Ultimately it’ll be left to individual Americans to stand firmly on what’s right, and I’m good with that.

Yes, I’m quite the absolutist. Deal with it.


Here in north-central Arkansas, the political climate is fiercely conservative — proudly Southern and old-school Right, with little ideological tolerance for neocons or centrists. Founding principles are cherished and celebrated. Flags fly, waving over an America that’s understood to be exceptional.

Among those flags are a few judged to be politically incorrect. It’s not unusual to see a 13-star Confederate Battle Flag, representing not prejudice but pride. Betsy Rosses and Gadsdens are common as well.

Recently we’ve noticed still another flag popping up around town — flown from pickup trucks and homes, staked out in front of businesses. Like the Gadsden Flag, it dates to the American Revolution.

The “Pine Tree Flag” features a lone pine and the words, “An Appeal To Heaven.” It first flew from ships commissioned by Gen. George Washington during the war for independence from the Crown.

The tree symbolizes that independence and a spirit of angry resistance. The words on the flag echo British political philosopher John Locke, who almost a century earlier wrote,

“And where the body of the people, or any single man, is deprived of their right, or is under the exercise of a power without right, and have no appeal on earth, then they have a liberty to appeal to heaven, whenever they judge the cause of sufficient moment.”

Displaying the Pine Tree Flag here and now appears to be an expression of freedom and religious faith — or perhaps freedom ordained by faith. Since both are under attack these days, the symbolism works.

The Left, of course, which sees all things patriotic or religious as threats to “fundamental transformation,” tells us that the Pine Tree Flag represents “far-right religious extremism.” They show us photo after carefully doctored photo from… wait for it… the Capitol on January 6th, claiming the banner is an ominous sign of the “white supremacy” that the current occupant of the Oval Office promises to wipe from the American landscape. (That should be easy, since “white supremacy” doesn’t exist.)

What we can take from the “woke” perspective, it seems to me, is simple confirmation that America is under attack from anyone who spews (or believes) that garbage.

Deb and I feel at home in The Ozarks. Southern hospitality is a real thing. Food is rich and fried. There are no bad neighborhoods. There are no wrong exits. We don’t run into “peaceful protests” from Occupy or BLM. Flags that fly here represent the convictions of the People — patriotism, freedom, individual Liberty, faith, heritage over hate, traditional values — and they cast their righteous shade on The Fundamental Transformers.

The fire that is America still burns.

We’ve been back for a month now. I believe we’ll be staying a good while longer.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon