The education system in the United States has failed us SO MISERABLY, that to many of us the year 1776 is a complete mystery. MANY OF US DO NOT EVEN KNOW WHO WE DECLARED INDEPENDENCE FROM. This is mind-boggling.
I had the great privilege this past week to spend time with my beautiful girlfriend and my mom and dad in the paradise that is the United States Virgin Islands. We stayed in a pretty rustic villa on the island of St. John, which is the smallest and least populated of the three US virgin islands, the other two being St. Thomas and St. Croix.
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Needless to say at this point, Baltimore is totally out of hand. The events leading up to Freddie Gray's death appear to be pretty damning of the officers involved, and my heart goes out to him and his family, as it does to all those who are wrongfully killed. The harsh reality is that tragic events like this happen, but they are not tied to one race or group of people. We have to remember who provokes and fuels the fire in these cases: the media. While it is important for Gray's death to become public knowledge and for those responsible to be punished if necessary, it is also important for us to remember that the media highlights certain events for political, cultural and socioeconomic gain. Whatever the case may be, whoever is wrong, the rioting going on in Baltimore is not the answer. I do not blame black Americans for seeking justice for Freddie Gray's death. However, that justice does not come from destroying your city and its businesses. There is zero correlation between a private business owner and an overzealous, violent police officer. How are you making a difference for your race, your city and Freddie Gray by looting, rioting, vandalizing and attacking your fellow citizens? Whether Freddie Gray was a criminal or not, the punishment does not fit the crime and it is a terrible shame that this young man's death is being overshadowed and convoluted by an angry, ignorant mob. Furthermore, by resorting to violence and destruction, the police are now being handed more responsibility, more power, and therefore more opportunity to defend themselves--and we all know what that can lead to. Think before you act, Baltimore. I can't stress this as strongly as Ray Lewis can, so I'll stop here and let him finish.
Nashville was, in a word, awesome. The NRA Convention was a total whirlwind; full of fans, shirts, bourbon, and even a little hot tub action. We would like to thank all those who chased us down at Music City Center and around town to grab a special edition shirt, or even just a few stickers. You guys are the reason we do this. Sorry to all those we missed, that place is huge and without a booth it's hard to find people! We're debating getting a booth next year, but walking around kind of makes it more fun. Here are a few sights from the weekend and some shots of the gang!
I shared a cartoon on Facebook this morning that got me thinking: There's an inverse relationship between what Americans care about, and how important an issue is. The very cartoon I posted is the perfect example:
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James came into town a couple of weeks ago from Greenville, SC toting his new camera. We decided to take that puppy out and snap some pictures of the new shirts. A buddy of ours, Kyle, came along for the ride and we headed into town looking for good spots to shoot. There are a lot of areas in Atlanta that have a lot of character and history, but they're becoming fewer and fewer. Mostly because in the south we don't hold onto historic property the way they do up north. If we've got something old and dilapidated, we tear it down and put a shopping center where it was. Up north it seems like they're more apt to restore something or reuse it rather than tear it down and start fresh. So when looking for cool spots to shoot, we were surprised to find that some of the ones we were used to weren't around anymore. Bummer. Although we did find a pretty cool train yard on the north side of town as the day was coming to a close. We've been using some of the shots on the site and for social media, but here are a few of the outtakes that aren't quite "print ready".
Before we know it, the 2016 Presidential Election will be in full swing; with accusations, stories and dirt flying like crazy from both sides of the aisle. In 2012, Twitter became one of the most useful tools to the Obama camp, as millions of young voters took to their phones to show support and get out the vote for the would-be future president. Well, it's a little over a year and a half until we vote for our next president, and Twitter will once again play a huge role in the way news and facts are distributed about the candidates. The only difference is, an app called Meerkat is now available to us, which uses Twitter as a feed for its video streaming tech. There is also Periscope, Twitter's own video streaming answer to Meerkat. Think Snapchat, but public. With Meerkat, you can send a live video of where you are or what you're doing to your Twitter feed, and people can respond publicly the same way they would to a regular tweet. This will no doubt be huge for journalists, bloggers, and rally goers during the election. Why am I telling everyone this? Because I propose the spreading of our hashtag, #voteforliberty, across Meerkat and Twitter leading up to next year's vote.