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REQUIEM

Below are the two final essays to be posted on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed. The first one is written by a friend -- screen name 'Euro-American Scum' -- who, over the past four years, has been the most faithful essayist here. He has written about everything from his pilgrimage to Normandy in 2004 to take part in the 60th–year commemoration of the invasion, to his memories of his tour in Vietnam. His dedication to America’s founding principles ... and those who have sacrificed to preserve them over the past 200+ years ... is unequaled. Thank you, E-A-S. It has been a privilege to include your writing here, and it is a privilege to call you my friend.

The second essay is my own farewell. And with it I thank all of the many regular visitors, and those who may have only dropped in occasionally, for coming here. I hope you learned something. I hope a seed or two was planted. But, even if not, I thank you for stopping by ... 25 March, 2010

7/29/2006

An Inquiry into the Restraint of my Liberty

Do Property Rights Still Exist in North Carolina?
    "Every person restrained of his liberty is entitled to a remedy to inquire into the lawfulness thereof, and to remove the restraint if unlawful."

      --Constitution of North Carolina, Article I, Sec. 21.

Without property rights, no other rights are possible. The brilliant men who forged the constitutional framework of the American system of government - being well acquainted with tyrannical forms of government - knew this fact well.
    Alexander Hamilton: "A power over a man's subsistence amounts to a power over his will. Property must be sacred or liberty cannot exist."

    James Madison: "Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions", and:

    "Government is instituted to protect property of every sort... This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own."

    "Government is instituted no less for protection of the property than of the persons of individuals."

    John Adams: "[t]he moment that idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the Laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.

    Daniel Webster: "No other rights are safe where property is not safe."
Webster's idea is best reflected in an eighteenth century judicial opinion, wherein the Court noted that "the right of acquiring and possessing property, and having it protected, is one of the natural, inherent and inalienable rights of men... The preservation of property, then, is a primary object of the social compact." - Vanhorne's Lessee v. Dorrance, 2 U.S. 310 (1795).

As we know, early American common law descended directly from English common law. What did the English think of private property?
    Magna Carta - 1297: "No Freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or be disseised [deprived wrongfully of real property] of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any otherwise destroyed; nor will we pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful Judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land."

    John Locke: "The great chief end therefore, of Mens uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under Government, is the Preservation of their Property." He also said,

    "Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience..." --2nd Treatise of Government, 1690

    William Blackstone: "The principal absolute rights which appertain to every Englishman [are] personal security, personal liberty, and private property."
From these quotations we can see that the right to own property is fundamental to Western civilization. But does that "right" mean nothing more than the possession of a piece of paper called a "deed", and the duty to pay taxes to the State every year? Of course not. The concept of a "right" pertains only to action - specifically, to freedom of action. It means freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by other men.

Thus, for every individual, a right is the moral sanction of a positive - of his freedom to act on his own judgment, for his own goals, by his own voluntary, un-coerced choice. As to his neighbors, his rights impose no obligations on them except of a negative kind: to abstain from violating his rights.

The very essence of "ownership", therefore, is a sanction to use one’s property at will without asking permission from anybody - not your neighbors, and not the State. The right to use one’s property is limited only by the equal rights of other property owners.
    "Private property gives the right to exclude others without the need for any justification. Indeed, it is the ability to act at will and without need for justification within some domain which is the essence of freedom, be it of speech or of property."

      -- Professor Richard Epstein, University of Chicago, Takings, 1985
We all know that the fifth and fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution were intended to guarantee our right to own property:
    "No person shall...be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
      --Amendment V

    ...nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
      –Amendment XIV
The Constitution of North Carolina guarantees the right to own and use property as well.
    "We hold it to be self-evident that all persons are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor, and the pursuit of happiness.
      -- Article I, Section 1:

"The fruits of one’s labor" are obviously one’s property, whether one is talking about the smaller things one buys each week with one’s paycheck or the bigger things like a car or a home or a piece of land. What does it mean to say we have any "rights" or "freedoms" at all, if we cannot peacefully enjoy that property which we buy with the fruits of our labors?

But the bureaucrats and legislators in Raleigh don’t see it that way. They have stood the historical relationship between the governed and their purported "public servants" on its head. It seems like they no longer feel the need to obtain the "consent of the governed" as both the North Carolina Constitution and the U.S. Constitutions require.

The bureaucrats and legislators in Raleigh have turned the concept of Riparian Rights on it’s head, too. Riparian Rights are the legal rights of owners of land bordering on a river or other body of water; also, law which pertains to use of the water for that land. Under North Carolina common law, a riparian proprietor owns that portion of the bed of the (not navigable) river which is adjoining his land to the central line of the stream. Furthermore, the riparian proprietor has the absolute right to use the water bordering his property for domestic uses such as drinking, bathing, and watering gardens and livestock for domestic use.

But rather than the power of the riparian proprietor extending out into the water as the law guarantees, the State of North Carolina now sees a "Riparian Buffer" extending the power of the State fifty feet up onto the privately owned dry land adjacent to the stream. In this "Riparian Buffer" the "owner" may not use his or her land. By fiat, the state has decreed that no "land-disturbing activity" shall be allowed within 50 feet of a stream, full time or seasonal spring, or even a drainage ditch. No tree or brush trimming, no planting, no garden paths, nothing."
    "Land-Disturbing Activity" means any use of the land by any person ...that results in a change in the natural cover or topography and that may cause or contribute to sedimentation."
This so-called "law" is now in effect in several Eastern NC Counties, and may well be forced on those of us in the mountains where it would effect almost every property owner. But much worse than just riparian law, our legislators have turned the very concept of "the law" itself upside down.

In the nineteenth century, "the law" had a precise meaning: A set of general rules of conduct toward others which applied equally to all and meant to prevent unjust conduct. The North Carolina Constitution is one set of such laws. Unfortunately, our legislators and bureaucrats no longer see themselves as constrained by the lawful limitations placed on them by the Constitution. In effect, they have become "lawless" because they now see "the law" as any rule or statute that they can get a majority to agree to, regardless of whether or not the power to pass that "law" was granted them by the Constitution. F.A. Hayek put it this way:
    The so-called legislature was no longer (as John Locke had thought is should be) confined to giving laws in the sense of general rules. Everything the "legislature" resolved came to be called "law", and it was no longer called legislature because it gave laws, but "laws" became the name for everything which emanated from the "legislature". The hallowed term "law" thus lost all its old meaning, and it became the name for the commands of what the fathers of constitutionalism would have called arbitrary government.
The Constitution of North Carolina Article II, Sec. 24 reads:
    The General Assembly shall not enact any local, private, or special act or resolution: (e) Relating to non-navigable streams.
...but clearly they have done so in passing H.B. 1160, The Clean Water Act of 1999, and making sections of it apply only to local areas. Furthermore, with their "Notwithstanding..." language, the legislature cavalierly waived all requirements of previous environmental laws designed to insure public accountability. Basically, the legislature gave the unelected Environmental Management Commission free reign to write whatever rules their friends in the Sierra Club wanted.

PART VII. AUTHORIZE TEMPORARY RULES TO PROTECT THE CAPE FEAR, CATAWBA, AND TAR-PAMLICO RIVER BASINS.
    Section 7.1. Notwithstanding G.S.150B-21.1(a)(2) and Section 8.6 of S.L.1997-458, the Environmental Management Commission may adopt temporary rules as provided in this section to protect water quality standards and uses as required to implement basinwide water quality management plans for the Cape Fear, Catawba, and Tar-Pamlico River Basins
The power of the legislature is further restricted by Article XIV, Sec. 3. Which directs the body to enact only "general laws uniformly applicable throughout the State" and forbids the legislature from making "special" laws which apply only to certain areas. But clearly they have done so by singling out the property owners in the Neuse, Tar-Pamlico, and Cape Fear watershed areas of the State for special restrictions on the use of their land and special and taxes to the Riparian Buffer Restoration Fund. It is clear that eventually the legislature will be forced to either rescind this unconstitutional "law" or to compound their mistake by putting it into effect for all property within the State...which was probably their intention in the first place.

The people of North Carolina want clean streams to look at and waterfalls to play in, but don’t want to pay for the privilege. And therein lies the temptation for many government dreamers who have great visions but limited resources. Why not simply regulate property in such a way as to practically take it without actually taking title? Government wins on all counts under this scenario: it uses the property how it wishes, and the poor owner still pays the taxes. And the "environmentally-conscious" legislators get re-elected. Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote in Armstrong v. U.S., the Fifth Amendment guarantee...
    [is] designed to bar Government from forcing some people alone to bear the burdens which, in all fairness and justice, should be borne by the public as a whole"; Ultimately, while localities may and should regulate property, they cannot and should not do so in way that unfairly extorts from a few individuals the cost of a public good.
If one takes a moment to consider which countries around the world have cleaner air, streams, and rivers, it becomes obvious that the cleanest countries are those with stronger property rights. The countries with the despoiled and polluted landscapes are the ones with lesser or nonexistent property rights. The reason is obvious: Private owners take better care of their property than a far-away bureaucrat could ever do.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
      -- C.S. Lewis
Seventy years ago there existed a government which held the following view of private property:
    "Let them then own land or factories as much as they please. The decisive factor is that the State...is supreme over them, regardless whether they are owners or workers...
      --Adolph Hitler
Unfortunately, the government of North Carolina seems to be bent on adopting the same concept of property ownership as was held by the National Socialists in Germany. We "subjects" in Western North Carolina can "own land" all we want, as long as we use it only in ways approved by the Water Quality Board, the Sedimentation Control Commission, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Environmental Protection Agency, and all the other various bureaus in Raleigh and Washington, D.C.

The North Carolina Constitution, Article 1, Sec. 35 admonishes us to frequently return to fundamental principals in order to preserve the blessings of liberty, so let’s do that. History has amply demonstrated the results of what the National Socialists in Germany thought of property rights and of liberty. But what did the founders, jurists, and philosophers from the early days of our Country think about those two concepts?

Virginia Bill Of Rights, 1776:
    "SECTION 1. That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety."
Thomas Jefferson: "Nothing is ours, which another may deprive us of."

Samuel Adams: "The Natural Rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life; second, to liberty; third to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can."

    Afterword

    I wrote this several years ago in response to a government land grab here in North Carolina. I discovered while doing the research that many other states are affected as well. The EPA is the prime mover behind the "Riparian Buffer" effort, and supplies most of the funding to the individual states.

    Several court cases in the intervening years may have changed some things, but the fundamental desire of government to take over you property remains the same.

--by John Cooper
(philosopher@engineered-home.com)

(contributing team member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)

7/19/2006

A Time for Preemption

There are those on the left who have criticized President Bush for, among other things, what they characterize as an overly aggressive anti-terror policy that has helped recruit more terrorists. The renewed attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah over the past several weeks, following enormous concessions and withdrawal by Israel, and the behind-the-scenes maneuvering of Iran and Syria, make it plain that our response to fundamentalist Islamic terror, far from being too aggressive, has been much too restrained. I do not defend the decision to elevate Iraq above other threats in 2003, nor have I ever agreed with Secretary Rumsfeld's decision to override those generals who told him to invade Iraq with 350,000 troops, instead of 150,000. But from where we stand today, the only path to a stable, peaceful world is the application of overwhelming force to the entire sweep of the Jihad.

The Western liberal democracies' half-century embrace of multiculturalism, sensitivity, and moral relativism has blinded us all to the parallel between where we stand now and where we stood in 1935. Now as then, the enemy is obvious, his unimaginably horrific plans are articulated so all can understand them, but our natural aversion to the horrors of war holds us back. But the painful, awful choice is the same. We can rely, as Neville Chamberlain strove so mightily to do, on diplomacy to gain us an illusory "peace in our time"; or we can use every bit of our military might to crush the enemy, accepting, as we ultimately did from Dresden to Frankfurt to Tokyo to Hiroshima to Nagasaki, the horrible necessity of wholesale incineration of vast numbers of innocent, noncombatant, "enemy" civilians.

I would submit that those civilians' doom has already been sealed by the unspeakably vicious monsters living among them. The only remaining question is whether we prolong that doom sufficiently that huge numbers of us have to die with them, or nip this fulminating horror in the bud by crushing it without mercy -- or, if nothing else will work, vaporizing it.

In the aftermath of 9/11, the President's and Congress' admirable resolve in the face of inhuman savagery was inspirational. Five years later, that resolve is sorely missed. Muslim lunatics from Peshawar to Teheran to Damascus have come to believe, again, that they can attack the civilized world with impunity, because we lack the will to do what is needed to stop them. The Democrats' defeatism, weakness, and refusal to acknowledge the magnitude and seriousness of the threat have infected the mainstream press, Congressional Republicans, the Supreme Court, and the Bush White House. For the past three years, our irresolute behavior has reinforced the maniacs' belief in our essential weakness. Only little Israel demonstrates the guts to do what must be done, perhaps because they, alone, have no choice.

The bitter truth is that we are dealing with people who will never voluntarily stop murdering infidels. The core belief on which their entire lives are based is that God wants them to convert the world to Islam, and kill those who resist. Negotiating with them will never produce a compromise under which we and they can live with in peace. Any promise they make to abide by international agreements, or respect the rights, institutions, and lives of non-Muslims will be a lie, designed only to buy them more time to make more murderous plans and acquire better weapons to use against us. The civilians among whom they hide support them, nurture them, and make it impossible to target them without "collateral damage." But we must target them, regardless. Our lives and our civilization depend on it.

The mad mullahs, and Baathists, and Islamofascists must be made to understand that they must stop ALL terrorist acts against ALL other nations, and anything that even smells like development of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons RIGHT NOW, or they and their populations will face annihilation. No more talk, no more lies, no more dissembling, no more diplomacy. They stop, and they stay stopped, or they die, and their countries die with them. In Iran, in Syria, in Somalia, in Waziristan, leaders and civilians who support terrorists have forfeited their right to breathe the air of this planet. We don't have to occupy them, we don't have to rebuild them, we don't have to "bring them to justice," or grant them habeas corpus or let them have lawyers. We just have to destroy them.

I daresay nearly everyone has some threshold beyond which he would agree that it is time to unleash hell on the jihadis, with deep sorrow, but no change of course, for the innocents who are consumed in the fire. The differences among us are only in where that threshold lies. The destruction of Haifa? The obliteration of Israel? How about London? Another 9/11-type attack in this country? A coordinated biological attack at O'Hare, JFK, Dulles and LAX? Dirty bombs in downtown Chicago, NYC, and Washington? A 10 kiloton bomb in a delivery van a couple of blocks from the White House? Or Times Square? Or Disney World? Or all of the above?

If we are to survive as a nation, Congress must authorize and encourage President Bush to solve this problem, once and for all, by any means necessary, before the threat grows even worse. We cannot hide behind Israel any longer. We cannot afford to have the Democratic Party putting its energies into undermining Bush rather than joining with Republicans to ensure our survival. There is no doubt we will have to fight this war. No other course of action will allow us to return to a world of peace. The war has started, at a relatively low intensity, but it is escalating. Millions of Muslims are going to die. The only remaining question is whether millions of us are, too. My guess is that we will lose at least one major US city, and maybe a couple of major European cities, before we respond in force. Since we will continue to dither until then, the cataclysm will begin at a time of al Qaeda's choosing. That is a terrible shame, because far fewer of us, and probably fewer of them, would die if we took preemptive action now, rather than waiting for the first American city to go up in flames. But it will begin, either way. As Churchill said, we must fight this enemy on the land, on the sea, and in the air, and not rest until we have rid the earth of his shadow.

I've tried long and hard to come to a different conclusion, as I'm sure most of Europe, and certainly nearly all Americans, spent the 1930s trying to convince themselves that the nightmare they saw growing in the distance wasn't -- COULDN'T POSSIBLY BE -- real. But wishing couldn't stop it then, and I cannot escape the conclusion that it can't now, either. To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher's advice to President Bush 41, this is no time to go all wobbly. It is long past time to put a stop to this insane savagery.

by Steve Leonard

(contributed to Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)

7/18/2006

Return of the Prodigal Son

He wasn’t really a prodigal son. Not as most of us understand the term. He didn’t leave home in the same way as the prodigal of biblical times. But depart he did. He wasn’t transformed in the same way. But his transformation was dramatic, all the same. So, pull up a spot on the floor, and we can all sit upon the ground and tell a contemporary sad tale about the death of kings. . .

It was the 4th of July just recently concluded. Like so many of my neighbors, I was in the middle of a voluntary four-day weekend and getting ready to kick back and enjoy the fireworks show of choice as in years past.

When I moved into my home years ago, I never gave much thought to the close proximity of one of the local high schools not far from the neighborhood. It wasn’t until the following July that I realized I had lucked into one of the many perks of living where I do. And that particular perk was the benefit of a free fireworks show every July 4th.

The fireworks go up through a gap in the trees from the football field, easily visible from my patio. And I have unashamedly taken advantage of this free pyrotechnic display every summer for the past twelve years.

This year figures to be my last in the old homestead, so I considered it only right to actually go over to the local high school, spend the $6 for a ticket and watch the display as a paying customer from the grandstand. Time to give back to the local community, I reasoned, not to mention share a little patriotic good cheer with a stadium full of the local populace.

I got there early, well before the sun went down. These events tend to be very popular, and the later the arrival, the harder it is to get a seat. So, I arrived a little after 6:00 for a 9:00 fireworks show.

The time figured to be well spent. After all, I live in a small, suburban community. Bedroom communities, they call them out here. One of the many little towns that together add up to the now world-famous Southern California suburban sprawl, home base to an army of bleary-eyed commuters who hit the freeways before sunup every day and wage the never-ending commuter wars endemic to the region. But on this night, as on past July 4th celebrations, small-town America reigned supreme. I figured to run into some of my neighbors, considering the high school was but a scant two blocks or so from my house. So my early arrival was fortuitous.

After entering the stadium through the turnstiles, the first order of business was to fill my then-rumbling stomach. Not to worry, there was row upon row of temporary, fast-food stands, the likes of which you tend to see in county fairs and carnivals all across the country.

I confess to having an educated nose when it comes to Mexican food. One reason I stay in the desert southwest is that the further you live from the border, the worse the Mexican food gets. And I have had occasion to put that axiom to the test, so I know whereof I speak. On this evening, my ever-alert schnoz detected some of the most tantalizing carnitas I have sniffed in many a moon. I absolutely love a good plate of carnitas, cooked in lard, filled with artery-clogging goodness. In fact, it is my fervent hope that when it comes time to depart this world, that I die face down in a plate of carnitas, from a fatal heart attack. If you gotta go, that’s the way to do it. So, suppressing my urge to salivate, I got on line. Turned out, it was the longest line of any of the food stands.

Forty-five minutes later, I was engaged in a bilingual argument with the cashier over something I was clearly not getting, considering I don’t speak a word of Spanish. She was frantically pointing to a sign on the overhead of the booth, again in Spanish, so there was no way I understood what it said. I was patiently informed by one of the customers in line behind me that this food stand served Latinos only, and I would have to get something from one of the other vendors.

As I took my seat in the stands with my char broiled burger, and contemplated the decline of the American French fry, I became convinced that the illegal alien population may indeed be assimilating into American culture much faster than anyone imagined. They certainly have become quick practitioners of the time-honored American right to refuse service to anyone.

As I sat there listening to mariachi music over the loudspeaker, and watching endless groups of teenagers run up and down the field with Mexican flags and Viva la Raza! Banners, my cell phone started vibrating in my pocket.

It was one of my wealthy friends. He was calling to tell me that he and his family were setting up to barbeque at the airport where his private plane is hangared, right outside the hangar door, in fact. And would I like to come by and join them? Considering this private airport is on high ground, and we would have an unobstructed view of not one, but three free fireworks shows in the area, I accepted with thanks and folded my tent, so to speak, at the football stadium. From where I sat, I would rather be in Philadelphia anyway, to paraphrase W. C. Fields. So the prospect of a free barbeque with friends, without the mariachi music, Viva la Raza! Banners, Mexican flags and ethnically pure dinners was definitely a step up from where I was sitting.

My friend – Stan, let’s call him for the sake of this tale – is one of those incredibly gifted super-salesmen, with tremendous personal presence, an all-American smile, instant charisma who can sell anything to anybody. He’s filthy rich now. And by all estimates, he’ll be even filthier rich tomorrow. Still, it hasn’t come easy. There have been struggles and setbacks along the way, both professional and personal. But by all accounts, he’s earned every penny he ever made, and the fruits thereof.

An added bonus was that his oldest son, then stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington might come by on this, his last night at home before reporting to Frankfurt, Germany, and from there, for deployment in the Middle East.

I hadn’t paid much attention to the son over the years. I’m well past the child-rearing phase of my life and didn’t pay too close attention to the trials and joys of watching other people raise theirs. What I did notice of the son in his teen years was nothing remarkable in comparison to other young people his age. He seemed just like any of the vast army of stoop-shouldered, long-haired, taciturn teenaged slackers. Unmotivated. Unambitious. Unfocused. Directionless. A deadbeat.

Note to self: Looks can be deceiving and still waters run deep.

After dinner, and as dusk was descending about fifteen minutes before showtime, the prodigal son returned.

The boy had become a man.

Gone was the slack-shouldered stoop. The man stood erect. Gone was the unfocused stare. The man was clear-eyed and met my gaze. Gone was the chronic shoulder shrug. The man had a grip of iron. Gone was the listless, teenaged slacker. What stood before me was a fighting man of the U.S. Army and a U. S. paratrooper.

It’s amazing how a boy can be transformed by facing a challenge he alone can achieve. Those of us who’ve been through Airborne AIT know those challenges well. We need not chronicle them here. But for the first time in his life, the boy was faced with a challenge he could not abrogate. The boy could not appeal to his father for help. The boy could not quit and go home (and did not want to). The boy enlisted in this rite of passage. He had to shoulder his own responsibility. The man emerged triumphant to earn his jump wings.

In a way, I feel responsible, at least to an extent. What little the boy saw of me during his childhood years reflected my own military service. He saw me in my own faded duty fatigues (those that still fit) on my way to the local target range. He asked about my 101st Airborne Division lapel pin, paratrooper jump wings, CIB badge, and Vietnam campaign ribbon. He saw all those artifacts, until such time that I realized I was vainly attempting to validate my own sense of worth without giving a single thought to the influence I might have on an impressionable young person.

Note to discerning readers: Be careful about the influence you bring, particularly to young people. Be aware of what you say, what you do, how you live, and how you act around them. There’s an old saying – “You can fool a fool, but you can’t kid a kid.” It’s true. They watch your ever move and they drink in everything you say. You influence them, whether you believe it or not. Make sure that influence is a positive one.

But, the cork was out of the bottle and the genie has long since escaped. My duty fatigues and insignia have since been consigned to the closets and desk drawers where they belong. But they’ve done their job for good or ill. My influence over his decision to enlist may have been minimal as his father insists. But it was a factor, however small. And if something happens to him in the defense of his country, I will bear an element of responsibility. That’s just the way life works in the adult world.

The only counsel I offered his parents was to have the conversation about what happens if, God forbid, the worst happens. It was my bitter experience to note that those families that came face to face with the reality of the possibility of tragic loss were much better equipped to deal with it, if the blue star in the window ever turned to gold.

Still, the teenaged slacker had no sense of himself. But the U.S. paratrooper knows who he is. He has the confidence that comes from the accomplishment of something difficult and demanding. He knows his capacity for achieving great things is considerable. He belongs to a select brotherhood of warriors. He is part of the legacy of all U.S. paratroopers who blazed the trail before him, and owns the heritage of that rich history.

All this is a powerful allure for young boys on their journey to manhood in an increasingly feminist-dominated landscape. He stands in the high country of the vitality of youth, in all its strength, passion and simple faith. He is a warrior. And he will shortly be called upon to defend his country.

How do I tell him that his country is an illusion?

How do I explain to him that he is a sentinel of his country, but a few short blocks from his father’s 4th of July barbeque, illegal invaders openly parade up and down an American high school football field with the flags of the country that own their true allegiance on the 4th of July? And nobody was the least bit bothered, or did anything to stop it.

How do I tell him of the significance of his service, when Americans are routinely held in contempt along with their country, by people who have no legal right to be here in the first place?

How can I impart to him the inevitable ambiguity that comes when the very people who hail him as a hero while he wears the uniform, will curse him as a deadbeat when he comes home to make a living? It’s one thing to shoulder a weapon to defend his country. It’s quite another to discover his labors at home are unappreciated, unwelcome, and unwanted.

Goethe once said, “There is no man so dangerous as a disillusioned idealist.” There can hardly be anything more heartrending than the betrayal of a young American defender who faithfully serves in time of war, only to discover that his chosen livelihood, whatever it may be, can be done better, faster, not to mention cheaper, by illegal invaders of the very country he has been sent overseas to protect. In this brave new world of emerging globalist, borderless hegemony, living astride the war on terror, international commerce trumps national sovereignty every time.

When all is said and done, men don’t fight for king, country or causes. They fight for each other. He knows that. I knew it before him. And every American fighting man from Valley Forge to Vietnam and beyond knows it as well. In the final analysis, men fight to keep faith with their brothers.

When all else fails, there is that powerful bond. When the king is corrupt and the country illusory, there remains the brotherhood of the warrior.

And in the absence of a country that keeps faith with its defenders, maybe that brotherhood is enough.

Maybe it will have to be.

By Euro-American Scum

(contributing team member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)

Euro-American Scum can be reached at eascum@yahoo.com.

7/16/2006

The Choices Facing Israel and America

Much of the mainstream media today have been wringing their hands, cautioning that Israel needs to walk a fine line --- to keep collateral damage/citizen victims at a minimum, and not risk taking any actions that might provoke Syria or Iran, because such offensive actions would expand the war at Israel’s risk.

The media, as usual, has the story wrong, for two reasons:

(1) collateral damage is an unavoidable result of war … any war. And in a war in which the enemy is purposefully entrenched among the citizenry of a country, large numbers of innocent deaths cannot be avoided.

(2) Syria and Iran are already deeply involved in this one-sided war. Covert strategies and actions are no less deadly than overt ones, and Israel will have every right to attack both countries in pockets that she believes are logistically involved in providing missiles, personnel, or equipment support for Hezbollah.

‘Public opinion’ reaction (much of which is unfortunately dictated by biased international media reports) to Israel’s moves to defend herself must play no part in Israel’s war decisions.

When writing a column several months ago, in order to attempt to prove one of my points, I did a Google image search in order to find a photo of a dead Israeli child. I punched in countless phrases in order to come up with such an image, and yet those phrases always resulted in photo of “children” killed as a result of “Israeli” attacks and “Israeli terrorism.” It would appear that the international media are entirely unfamiliar with the fact that thousands of Israeli children have died as a result of Palestinian/Hezbollah/Hamas terrorist attacks from outside of Israel’s borders. An image of such a murdered child appears not to exist. And yet images abound of Palestinian children killed in defensive attacks launched by Israel.

Islamo-fascist madmen, many of whom plan their evil directly from Damascus and Tehran, are once again emboldened. They have witnessed the backpedaling of American leadership since it was ‘on high alert’ after the 9/11 holocaust. They daily read and hear the democrats’ berating our soldiers, demanding an end to our involvement in Iraq, even declaring the Iraq war already ‘lost’. They daily read and hear republicans reacting to poll numbers, and contemplating the mid-term election, rather than governing with righteousness at the center of their thoughts. The madmen of the world (Hezbollah and Hamas among them) have begun to consider America a paper tiger once again.

I don’t know what Israel’s eventual defensive military strategies will have to include in order to win this war, but I highly suspect that Iran and Syria will have to pay a price for their support of Hezbollah’s militancy.

Only Israel has shown the courage and determination to drive the evil from their door. And she cannot allow this war to end until:

(1) Hezbollah is destroyed and removed as a partner in the government of Lebanon. The area of south Lebanon that has been used as Hezbollah’s base of operations must be taken over. Lebanon must be taught the painful lesson that any land they allow to become a haven and headquarters for terrorists will be lost, surgically and permanently.

Israel withdrew every Israeli from southern Lebanon six years ago, abiding by one in a long string of agreements that ‘ensured’ a long-sought peace. The result? Hezbollah infiltrated the area with the successful intent of turning southern Lebanon into a base from which to terrorize, and eventually annihilate, Israel.

Sound familiar? Replace ‘southern Lebanon’ with ‘Gaza’ and ‘Hezbollah’ with ‘Hamas’ in the above observation and the result is yet another deadly example of Israeli trust betrayed.

(2) Israel cannot this time leave the job half-finished. There must not be a sequel to this war. Israel must rid Gaza of Hamas, especially those directly involved with the Palestinian Authority. Those who have committed atrocities should be tried, and those with no evidence of actual atrocity should be imprisoned, and taken out of circulation and sphere of influence, so that Gaza can remain free of their control far into the future.

The land concessions that Israel has made, time and again, to accomplish the mirage known as ‘Middle East peace’ must be reversed, and the Oslo Accords nullified. Israel can no longer allow Hezbollah, Hamas, or any other Islamo-fascist organization that seeks her annihilation to share a border with her.

And let the political/media leftists’ ensuing screams fall on deaf ears. They don’t give a damn about national sovereignty unless it suits their globalist purposes. Their duplicity ought to cause them some pain, if only the type displayed for public consumption.

Should the Arab world come together, emboldened, in defense of what is incorrectly seen as an offensive attack on Lebanon (or eventually on Iran and/or Syria) , and should conditions for Israel begin to deteriorate before they have safely defended their homeland and their soldiers in the field, it will be up to America to come to her aid. We cannot remain a spectator. The defense of Israel is a hill we must commit to defending, no matter the political, material or human cost.

We are all in a holy war, whether we choose to acknowledge that fact or not. Christians and Jews, in particular, had better soon come to grips with the realization that there is an historically unprecedented malevolent movement afoot, with tens of millions of adherents (and growing), whose only aim is to eradicate any vestige of our faith, and to replace it with a ‘religion’ which demands loyalty to its god alone, and which vows violent death to those who refuse allegiance.

Hezbollah’s recent vicious attacks on Israel simply represent the most recent emboldened attempts to expand the Muslim sphere of influence, and to ensure the success of an eventual second Holocaust.

Sub-human animals who recruit children as suicide bombers, use children as human shields, train children (from the cradle) to hate, use children’s toys and backpacks to conceal bombs, and seek out children in places in which they believe they are safe and secure, for the purpose of tormenting them, and even killing them, so as to arouse a reaction (and eventual surrender) from their parents and their culture, will continue to practice, proselytize, and export evil until good men accept as their focus the need to (1) acknowledge the reason that good people are being targeted, and (2) do whatever is necessary to stop the unending holocaust – turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the bleeding-heart whiners of the world.

Sensitivity has no place in a war on terrorism. Nor does self-flagellation, in the form of asking ourselves what we might have done to deserve the attacks, or in interminably investigating every area in which we might have fallen short in our efforts to defend ourselves and others.

Anyone who claims that Israel or America must practice sensitivity in our dealings with terrorists, or that we must not act without first garnering a world consensus, or that we must receive our marching orders from any global entity, is an enemy of life, liberty, and sovereignty.

God bless the people of Israel! And, should they falter, may the Lord lead America to stand fast with them. Never has humanity so deeply depended for its survival on a righteous, God-centered, God-directed alliance forged in ultimate defense of human liberty.

~ joanie

7/12/2006

Karl Rove on 'Fairness'

We need to work together, which will require making tough choices to get a bill that is not perfect, but is meaningful, and fair and comprehensive … Karl Rove, speaking to the National Council of La Raza, 11 July, 2006

The definition of ‘fair’ (always a dangerous concept when viewed from a political-power, bureaucracy-entrenched perspective) appears to have taken a sharp left, anti-sovereignty, extra-Constitutional turn as seen through the eyes of the Bush administration and the majority of American ‘leadership’ in Washington:

Being ‘fair,’ according to Karl Rove and his powerful and growing ilk, appears to include:

* Having the fruits of the American citizens’/taxpayers’ labor siphoned off, by an increasingly unaccountable federal government, to pay for social services, education, legal fees and court costs for criminals who are living and working in this country illegally.

* Allowing citizens of another country, whose leadership is among the most corrupt in the world, to enter this country at will in order to feed like parasites off of a convoluted, cancer-ridden system of government that no longer bears any resemblance to the original-intent limited-government blueprint that once insured individual liberty, justice, and national sovereignty more practically and nobly than any other outline ever conceived by the mind of man.

* Allowing representatives of the Mexican government to have a say (sometimes even more of a say than the American citizenry) as to how, and how resolutely, we patrol the very borders across which their own countrymen are invading our republic.

* An administration, and a congress, enacting new laws and acts in response to the 9/11 holocaust which infringe on the liberties of all Americans in the name of ‘homeland security’, while at the same time turning a blind eye towards hundreds of miles of border that are guarded by nothing more than makeshift fencing over which a small child could climb … allowing a deadly vulnerability through which all manner of unimaginable evils may steal.

* An administration and a congress that issue angry, patriotic, self-righteous political rhetoric over the firing of ballistic missiles from North Korea, and yet, passively and silently, know and conceal the fact that nuclear/biological/chemical contaminants and weapons can even more easily find their way into this country in a suitcase carried across our unguarded southern border.

* An administration and a congress that continue to force European citizens who wish to immigrate to America to wait for years in order to legally enter our country, and yet seek to grant citizenship and/or privilege to millions of Hispanics who have ignored the rules of legal entry, and who arrogantly demand all of the benefits that citizenship entails.

* Knowing that there are hundreds of thousands of American bodies lying beneath headstones at Arlington National Cemetery, at Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Flanders Field, Ardennes, Normandy, Florence, Lorraine, Aisne Marne -- in cemeteries throughout Europe, in unmarked graves in unknown places -- all of whom embraced the vision of freedom, law and justice that embodies the real America … and having a political opportunist like Karl Rove desecrate their incomparable sacrifice by cavalierly declaring that ‘Hispanics, and all immigrants [legal or illegal], are real Americans.’

* Viewing as ‘racist’ or ‘intolerant’ those who decry the arrogant, parasitic, and anti-American sovereignty agenda of a radical separatist organization like La Raza, and the alien criminal element it champions, while pandering to the worst kind of genuine racism, if and only if it furthers a political end and the amassing of globalst/elitist power.

The concept of ‘fairness’ as envisioned by the Bush administration and the concepts of ‘liberty/sovereignty/justice’ as envisioned by our Founders are mutually contradictory.

The future of our sovereign republic rests on the ascendance, and accompanying demise, of one or the other.

~ joanie

7/08/2006

Rhetoric and Misplaced Trust

The illegal immigration crisis represents what I see as what may be the most pivotal watershed event in the history of our republic (the Civil War included).

While we are fighting the ‘war on terror,’ presumably in order to preserve the lives and liberties of the American people and the sovereignty of our republic, we are simultaneously condoning the existence of twelve million parasitic lawbreakers within our borders, and encouraging the continued influx of more criminals who refuse to respect (what’s left of) our rule of law, who are feeding ever more voraciously at the entitlement-oriented trough (to the point that law abiding, taxpaying Americans are often suffering from severe, permanent and undeserved hardship), many of whom actively and openly intend to affect social, political and economic upheaval that will render our Founders’ vision virtually unrecognizable, and who represent a metastatic cancer that threatens to bring to its knees the most moral, prosperous, liberty-oriented civilization in the history of mankind.

And, lest anyone believe that there will be time and opportunity to ‘try again,’ just take a look at the state of the world, where the genuine power and money reside … and consider the momentum that has accrued to wickedness and evil as a result of the misuse of modern technology and the consistent enabling, by leaders who claim to revere and defend liberty, of madmen bent on subjugation and the violent imposition of their beliefs on the rest of humanity.

The majority of our ‘leaders’ in Washington, especially within the administration and in the senate, are either turning a blind eye to, or condoning – even encouraging – the invasion. Our president busies himself with a myriad of other issues and ‘dangers’, and, when it appears that the citizenry is becoming restless as a result of either odious personal contact with the invaders, or rumors of such occurring to their fellow countrymen, he issues calculated, half-hearted statements of concern, accompanied by promises to take action to halt the invasion. Two months ago he issued a water-pistol-to-fight-a-forest-fire assurance that he would take steps to call up six thousand National Guard troops to the border.

In two months time, just over four hundred troops are in place. Either the president’s promise was political window-dressing, or his power to convince governors of the essential lethality of an open border ranks close to impotent. Neither option portends well for our republic’s future.

Our president confers with, and exhibits unfaltering respect for, the political and military leaders of Mexico – the same leaders who continue to encourage the mass illegal northern exodus from their country to ours, and whose actions encourage rampant lawlessness within our borders, while putting in mortal danger those whose calling it is to secure them.

Those of us who see the above actions as a segment of a larger picture that represents betrayal of the most ugly sort do not intend to remain silent. Our lives, liberties, and the sovereignty of our republic are at stake. Those who refuse to look beyond rhetoric, and who have no knowledge of the consequences of misplaced trust, might do well to take a few steps back, silence the ‘party unity at all costs’ mantra, and consider how the survival of the American republic will be affected by incessant compromise – granting credence and privilege to those who have no respect for our Founders or the original blueprint of this republic, and to whom the phrase ‘shining city on a hill’ represents a place whose prosperity was forged through two-plus centuries of other men’s blood and sweat … the benefits of which the arrogant and lawless invaders intend (they demand) to enjoy without virtue, respect, responsibility, or sacrifice.

~ joanie

7/01/2006


Time And A Half On Christmas Eve


Las Vegas cab drivers love Christmas Eve. Most of December is dead in the gambling capital of the known universe. And the week leading up to Christmas is the deadest week of all. But Christmas Eve is like a grunion run. The frenetic crush of late arrivals and departures are in a blind, plunging panic to get out of town, get to Grandma’s house, or get to the nearest casino bar for one of their world-famous 50¢ drinks.

So the cab drivers get time and a half on Christmas Eve to motivate them to pick up the slack. Or at least they used to. I’ve been gone long enough to no longer be able to speak with authority on the subject, but I’d be surprised if things have changed to the point where this time-honored holiday tradition in the party capital of the western world is no longer the case.

At first glance, the lure of Las Vegas on Christmas would seem contradictory. What possible appeal could this glitzy tourist Mecca promising easy money and fast women hold for the celebrants of quite possibly the most revered holiday of the year? Actually, you might be surprised. Las Vegas – the community now, not the gambling halls – is a sucker for sentiment and schmaltz and could rival the finest Norman Rockwell masterpiece when it comes to tugging at the heartstrings of America. But, the traveling public isn’t aware of this well-kept secret. So, for the uninitiated, the town attracts fundamentally three types of travelers on Christmas Eve.

The first are people who are coming home. That’s right, campers. Las Vegas is actually home to a great many people who grew up there, spread their wings, and flew the coop to seek their fame and fortune elsewhere. But Christmas tugs at the heartstrings of wanderers making their journey through life, and many of these sojourners make a beeline for home. They take a break from the struggles of the weary round of life, the hardness of the world, and relax in the warmth of family, friends and familiar environs. And it doesn’t matter if the billboards along the way advertise no-cover totally nude strip clubs and double odds on craps.

Then there are relatives who are visiting family who moved there. Mom and Dad retired, sold their palatial Malibu beachfront estate for hundreds of millions of dollars, bought a ranch-style Vegas home – probably in Summerlin – for a fraction of that, and the kids are taking a few days off to visit the folks over the holidays. And the money they save on a hotel can be put to good use nursing the nearest quarter progressive slot machine.

And finally, there are those lost souls who have no family, no friends, no home to speak of and nowhere to go. Las Vegas is a great anesthetic to dull the never-ending ache of alienation, isolation and solitude, if only for the moment. And it is especially enticing when that dull, numbing ache flares up into a massive pain in the heart.

These are the desperate, empty husks of humanity you see early Christmas morning, if circumstances bring you to any of the hotels, working a row of slot machines, red-eyed from working them all night long. But hey, the lights are bright, the Christmas decorations next to the roulette wheel are colorful, and the drinks never stop. So what’s not to like?

The circumstances that brought me there last Christmas were a combination of all three. I lived there long enough to put down roots. The place qualified as a home, of sorts. So in a sense I was returning, to visit friends who pass for family. There are a great many people who moved there like I did. Some got out while the getting was good. Others stayed on. So I was playing the role of the prodigal son, and at the same time, I was part of the conga line of lost souls who visits the party capital of the world because when you have no place to go on Christmas, you go to Vegas.

Ultimately, the circumstances are not important. How I spent my time there was. I decided to attend Christmas Eve services at the Methodist Church where I became a Christian twenty years before.

I had been warned what to expect.

It was a small church, one of many that dotted the landscape of the Las Vegas Valley. Driving by, if you were not looking for it, you would never know it was there. Twenty years before, my spiritual, intellectual and career wells ran dry. The relationship I had with the woman I came to think of as the love of my life, long ailing, had expired. I was adrift in my career. I had no direction. And in my mid-30s, I expected to have more to show for half a lifetime.

It was a professor at the local university who, over lunch, invited me to the Methodist Church one Sunday. Having nothing else that resembled a good idea, I took him up on his offer. I walked in to the middle of a study of Matthew 11:28-30:

28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

The minister teaching this study was an interesting combination of Methodist intellectual dogma, and Southern Baptist theology. He held advanced degrees from several Methodist seminaries. But he was also the Georgia-born son of a Southern Baptist evangelist. And try as he might, he simply could not escape the grace of God.

This tense combination of theological orientations was the perfect formula for someone like me – suspicious of both, and yet empty, and searching for an answer that would bring some meaning to life.

It worked like a charm. I attended during the fall of that year. In January, I confessed Jesus Christ, took baptism and became a Christian. No other approach would have worked for me. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Twenty years later, I was warned that times had changed.

Aside from the place looking smaller – a common complaint for prodigal sons returning home after years of wandering in the desert – I concluded that times may have changed, but the geography certainly had not. Everything was exactly where it had been. The cast of characters had changed in the persons of a new minister and staff, but other than that, déjà vu was working overtime on Christmas Eve along with the cab drivers.

That’s where the similarities ended.

The Methodist Church does not do a Bible study per se in its services, at least not since I’ve been familiar with their rituals. Coming back after twenty years, I found this to be an awkward part of the service. Over the years, I’ve graduated to more conservative, evangelical congregations where a Bible study is standard practice, and woe be unto the parishioner who forgets his or her Bible on Sunday morning. But the Methodists do provide a Bible reading. And the passage for Christmas Eve was Luke 2:1-7.

1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The choice of a Scripture passage to read on Christmas Eve was not surprising. Its interpretation, however, was.

The minister spoke of how – by virtue of this passage – Jesus entered the world an outcast. There was no room at the inn, after all. Jesus was oppressed, alienated, and cast his lot with the human flotsam and jetsam of his time. His (Jesus’) was a ministry to the downtrodden, the poverty-stricken, and the wretched refuse of the world. Those unfortunate souls who were cast into the gutter to die alone, penniless and without hope by an oppressive ruling class were Jesus’ people.

The minister went on to point out how part of the local church outreach in Las Vegas was concerned with ministering to the hospitalized “undocumented migrants” locally, who courageously crossed an arid desert to claw out a desperate foothold in an inherently hostile country (America) in the meager hope of building a better life for themselves and their children.

He concluded by stating that this passage clearly calls us as Christians to open out homes, our hearts, and most importantly our wallets to these innocent victims of bigotry and hate so they may throw off the yoke of oppression of the fascist oppressors of the innocent peoples of color of the third world. Only by abolishing all borders, dissolving the sovereignty of an inherently unjust country (America, again), and calling for increased state and federal aid for our downtrodden brethren can Jesus’ vision of a harmonious one-world utopian society be realized. Only in this way can there be true equality for all peoples of the world. Only in this fashion can we be known as true followers of Jesus Christ. . .

I had been warned, after all.

People told me the Methodist Church wasn’t what it once was. I guess you can’t go home again, after all. Looks like Liberation Theology is alive and well and living in the Methodist Church. Sad to say, that’s not the only place it is thriving.

The problem with the mantra of such philosophies is that it sounds good and feels even better. Who could possibly be opposed to freedom for the oppressed peoples of color of the third world? What cold-hearted beast could endorse throwing indigent, sick people who don’t even speak the English language being out of their hospital beds on Christmas Eve to freeze to death on the streets of a heartless country? Not even Ebenezer Scrooge was so ruthless.

The problem is it’s a lie.

At a time when the foundations of American identity are being knocked out of the bottom of the societal infrastructure one pillar at a time, the marriage of international Marxism and the radical revolutionary theology of the 1960s make strange bedfellows indeed. But they both serve the same purpose – to question, weaken and ultimately abolish the character of American culture.

The practice of using Christian doctrine to validate secular policy has precedent in American history. 19th century evangelical preachers of the antebellum South used Col. 3:22 to justify the righteousness of slavery. The Robber Barons of the post-Civil War era used II Thessalonians 3:10 to validate the horrendous working conditions of their factories.

In more recent years, traditional churches, now dominated by liberal leadership, have used Mt. 11:28 as a validation for gay marriage. The aforementioned passage from Luke’s gospel fits nicely into the globalist new world order of many contemporary politicos from both sides of the aisle. Let’s face it, the slave masters of the Old South may have denied their “property” the most basic of human dignities, i.e., personal freedom. But they openly offered them the comfort of the Gospel, in whatever form they (the masters) deemed fit to present it.

And so, many of our traditional churches embrace a philosophy that would make Karl Marx smile in satisfaction. No one may be allowed to embrace a philosophy of personal achievement – a practice that has worked so well up to now, that individual Americans are among the most generous of all the peoples of the world. No one may think in terms of national identity. To do so would be inherently bigoted, hateful, and blatantly ignore the suffering and oppression of the victims of injustice in the third world. All must provide the sustenance for the poverty-stricken around the world. From each according to his ability. To each according to his need.

The voluntary outpouring of the generosity of Americans to this end has been nothing less than spectacular. But only if it is a voluntary contribution, brought about by God’s conviction of each individual human heart who are so called to contribute. Not as a result of a moral imperative of the radical leadership of contemporary churches or secular leaders according to a clerical or social re-engineering agenda.

So too do international corporate power brokers offer a twisted view of God’s Word to assuage the concerns of the emerging serfs in the burgeoning world of post-modern feudalism. In their paradigm, America is not a sovereign nation where an individual human being can rise as far as talent and ambition can take them. It is one of many international markets, and must, by necessity, have a world view of radical egalitarianism in which no human being may ever rise to challenge the ruling elite.

So, those among the power structure who even bother to read the Bible, have redefined Jesus as a benevolent CEO, carefully doling out perks to the great unwashed and burdened by the heavy load of responsibility to provide for the needs of the little people of the world.

The secular, radical left has reduced Jesus to an avenging radical activist, poised and ready to visit retribution on the wealthy oppressors of the innocent victims of their wickedness and injustice.

But Jesus Christ transcends both warped world views. To consign Him to the corporate board room in a suit and tie, doling out hand-me-downs to the peasants, all the while being about his true mission of expanding the wealth of the organization, is absurd.

To reduce Him to some gun-toting revolutionary with twin bandoliers of ammunition criss-crossed across his chest, and an AK-47 at high port shouting “Power to the people!” is pathetic.

The corporate globalists and radical secular leftists are all about the same thing: power. Although they approach their objectives from opposite sides of the political sphere, their goal is the same: control. And in this quest, no means of achieving this end is beyond their willingness to use it. They will use the ballot box. They will use massive contributions of money. They will use moral suasion. They will twist every truth Americans hold dear in ways both subtle and convincing to attain the goal of holding the reigns of power and calling the shots.

But Jesus Christ transcends all feeble attempts to mold Him into a form that can be used by the various factions of our world. He came into the world to accomplish two things: Preach to good news of God’s grace, and die for the sins of the world. In this, He was singularly successful.

Jesus did indeed cast his lot with publicans and sinners, because those who were not sick had no need for a physician. He came to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance. (Mark 2:17). His intent was not to overthrow the power elite (at least not yet). His purpose was to minister to the lost.

Jesus did not command us to overthrow the ruling authority or to enhance its power. He called us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength; and love our neighbor as ourselves. (Luke 10:27).

But Jesus did command us to go forth and make disciples in all the nations of the world, baptizing in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Mt. 28:19).

As Americans, we can see the erosion of our country happening before our very eyes. There is no need to catalogue the specifics. We can simply pick up a newspaper, turn on TV news, or listen to the radio to know the truth of this. Many of us view this phenomenon with a growing sense of helplessness. Indeed, the prospect of what to do and how to do it in the wake of such an impending collapse is a daunting one.

Still others go through the motions of life, blissfully ignorant of the forces at work in our country that will ultimately lead to its destruction. We go to work. We go home. We take care of business. And beyond that, a good many of us simply don’t want to be bothered. I pulled up behind a car last week with a license plate frame that said it all: DON’T BOTHER ME. . . I GOT MINE.

The issue of situational awareness came up just recently, at church of all places. I attend a prosperous conservative evangelical church in the local area, having long since graduated from the implosion of the Methodist Church years ago. During our fellowship hour between services, the subject came up of “why do we go to church?” A very prosperous member of our community was questioned in this manner. A look of complete astonishment came over his face, and he answered with the impatience of a man who can clearly see the truth (his own at any rate), while others are somehow unable to digest the obvious.

“Why do I go to church?” He intoned. “It’s Sunday!” He answered and walked away.

How could we be so blind? It’s plain for anyone to see. Monday through Friday we take care of business. Saturday, we do our “honey-do’s”. Sunday we go to church.

Simple.

So. Those of us who have reduced the worship of God to a mere weekly ritual bear some of the responsibility for the erosion of the faith, and along with it, the country. Those of us for whom God’s Word is but one of many factors in our lives, and a minor one at that, will reap the consequences along with the rest of us.

Nature abhors a vacuum. And in the void produced by an absence of a commitment to the grace of God, something will fill that void. And what fills it will be whatever those who have a commitment to their own self-interest bring to the table. Hence, we live with an encroaching globalist corporate agenda, radical secular leftist activism, and an apostate view of God’s grace that sounds good and feels good, but is anything but.

The lessons of history dictate that the reign of empire is like a spinning wheel. And nobody and nothing can long stand erect on its rotating surface. Whether America’s day walk in the sun is approaching its twilight is something only time will tell. What replaces America – an EU-type North American super state or some vassal confederation to the emerging south Asian economic powers who even now do our heavy lifting and provide our essential services – no one can tell.

But, as Americans, we would do well to consider how we define ourselves, in this, the possible end times of our country. Do we define ourselves as Americans? And what will that definition entail if and when the heritage of America goes the way of the Old South? Or do we define ourselves as followers of the Risen Lord, when that may be all we have left? For many of us, that self-definition may be our last resort when it should well be our first priority.

Either way, we can rest in the assurance that Jesus Christ will come again. I will not speculate as to when and how. More accomplished scholars than I have tried and made fools of themselves in the attempt.

Whence last He walked the earth, He ministered to the lost and died on the Cross so those who believe in Him could be saved, forgiven and reconciled to God. Because there is no free lunch when it comes to Sin. Somebody had to count the cost and pay the price. Somebody did.

Whence next we see Him, He will come to judge the nations and rule them with a rod of iron. (Rev. 19:15) And for those who now corrupt and manipulate the truth of Jesus Christ to their own ends, whatever those ends may be, that judgment will be very great.

Very great indeed.

by Euro-American Scum

(contributing team member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)