If you would like to add a comment to any of the threads here on AADB, registration with blogspot.com is not required. Simply click on the ‘comments’ link at the bottom of an essay, and either enter a nickname under ‘choose an identity’ or post your comment anonymously. Serious comments are always welcome.


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


A Terrible Tipping Point

[I don't often post entire columns from another source here, but came across this column today, attempted to excerpt it with my own analysis, and was unable to do so. As usual, Mark Steyn takes what is common knowledge (to those of us who seek news beyond that including celebrities and sports figures) and weaves that knowledge into a futuristic image that we all need to step back and examine from several perspectives. We ignore his creations at our peril.]

~ ~ ~

Whatever the “realists” may say, nations talk to each other all the time. Unfortunately, when nation A opens its mouth, nation B doesn’t always get the message, no matter how loud and clear it is. Syria and Iran, for example, have subverted post-Saddam Iraq for three years now. Rather quietly at first. But, like a kid playing gangsta rap in his bedroom, if there are no complaints, you might as well crank up the volume. So Iran began openly threatening genocide against a neighboring state. And Syria had one of its opponents in Lebanon, Pierre Gemayel, assassinated.

Syria and Iran are talking, but are we listening?

Likewise, Russia. These days, we talk to the Bear incessantly, to the point of holding the G8 photo-op on Vladimir Putin’s turf. The old KGB man’s pals are also back in the assassination game, not just in his backyard but in London, too. As do Syria and Iran, Russia spoke loud and clear: Alexander Litvinenko, a political opponent, was poisoned by the rarest of substances and left to die a lingering death across the pages of Fleet Street’s newspapers in a very brazen and public way. Certainly as public as, say, Her Majesty The Queen making a visit to the Hermitage accompanied by President Putin and giving a speech on the renewed warmth of Anglo-Russian friendship. The British authorities, nominally charged with “solving” the murder of Mr Litvinenko (who was, after all, a British subject), wish the whole business would just go away, so they could get back to holding talks and signing joint communiqu├ęs with Mr Putin.

The question is: Which is the real snapshot of Russo-western relations? The affable buddy-buddy kibitzing between Bush and Putin at the ranch in Crawford? One President looking deep into the eyes of the other and getting “a sense of his soul” (if you’ll forgive a touch of geopolitical homoeroticism)? Or the liquidation of Moscow’s enemies on foreign soil?

And, even when we don’t get the message, plenty of third parties do. If you were a run-of-the-mill Third World basket-case what would you conclude watching the “international community” warn North Korea that there will be stern consequences if it conducts a nuclear test and, okay, even sterner super-duper-mega-consequences if it conducts a second nuclear test? If you were, say, the President of Sudan, to whom Iran has already offered its technology, you might reasonably posit that you too could go nuclear with impunity. So might Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. As for that brave band of foreign leaders who have been happy to identify themselves as American allies – the Kurds in northern Iraq, for example – that’s not looking such a desirable club to belong to. As the great Bernard Lewis said of the Baker-Scowcroft betrayal of Iraqi rebels in the first Gulf War, the lesson was plain: America is harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend.

The danger in the years ahead is a kind of malign convergence. In Mexico during stops on the National Review cruise the other day, I wandered through the teeming streets and found myself thinking that if I were the jihad strategists I’d spend some serious Saudi-Iranian walking-around money in these cities and try to convert to Islam, oh, let’s say just a modest 3-5% of Mexico’s population. That would be more than enough to add a whole new wrinkle to the “undocumented” problem.

Speaking softly – as in State Department-softly – is fine if you’re carrying the big stick. But, when your big stick is a snapped-off twig, it makes less sense. In a way, you’ve already spoken volumes. There are differences within the “Talks Now!” faction, from outright defeatists to those who figure a weak hand is better played round the poker table than in a fist fight. But for the most part “realism” is a euphemism for inertia. And too many “realists” have already accepted a nuclear North Korea, a nuclear Iran, a resurgent neo-totalitarian Russia, a reSyrianized Lebanon, a perceived American defeat in Iraq. The talks would be merely the signing ceremony.

In Britain in the Eighties, Margaret Thatcher faced a very particular problem. No matter how she and her colleagues transformed the country’s economic fortunes, too many of the citizenry were unable to rouse themselves from post-war fatalism: they had come to believe in the irreversibility of British decline to the point that, even when the decline had been reversed, they were still mired in it. Britain, you’d hear, could never make a go of it in the world; it had no choice but to throw its lot in with a European ersatz-federation profoundly incompatible with British values. One hears it still.

In America today, we face the opposite problem. After 9/11, the President told the world: You’re either with us or against us. Most of the world flipped him the bird: Some “allies”, such as the Belgians and New Zealanders, said, “Actually, we’re neither with you nor against you.” Other “allies”, such as the Saudis and Pakistanis, said, “Actually, we’re both with you and against you. What you gonna do about it?” And, when it became obvious that there was no price to be paid for obstructing American aims, the world got the message.

Yet at home too many Americans are wedded to an absurd proposition: that somehow the lone “superpower” can choose to lose yet another war and there will be no consequences, except for Bush and sundry discredited “neocons”; that no matter how America stumbles in the world it can stay rich and happy and technologically advanced even as it becomes a laughingstock in Tehran and Damascus and Pyongyang and Caracas and Moscow and on, and on, and on.

Not so. We are on the brink of a terrible tipping point.

[Mark Steyn, National Review, December 11th 2006]


When Dissent Becomes Sedition

(Thanks to my patriot friend, ‘Squantos’, for bringing this excellent essay to my attention.)

A nation can survive its fools and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly against the city. But the traitor moves among those within the gates freely, his sly whispers rustling through all alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. … He rots the soul of a nation; he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city; he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist ... Cicero

Times like these focus the mind. The confluence of events from the 9/11 'Day of Infamy' to Afghanistan and now Iraq, has given us a once-in-a-lifetime moment of national clarity. We must take from it every kernel of truth it reveals before that clarity fades with memory.

In war, people die. In some wars, nations die. War, preparations for war and measures to prevent war are the most serious business a nation can conduct. All else is subordinate. The environmentalists would say it’s the environment. Wrong. The social workers would say it’s social programs. Wrong. The health advocates would say it’s health policy. Wrong. The anti-tax crowd would say it’s lower taxes. Still wrong.

Whatever your view on these subordinate issues, as goes the nation, so they go too. Without our wealth-producing market economy, there would be no capital for environmental projects. There would be no funds for social policy. There would be no money for health initiatives or anything else. The first priority of our government must always be national defense.

Somehow, between World War II and 9/11 we forgot this.

Despite the many cries in the wilderness from professionals in the military, intelligence and security fields, we forgot the crucial value of good military and political intelligence. We forgot the absolute necessity of maintaining a top-notch fighting force. We dismissed as paranoid delusion the idea that some people are truly out to get us. We derisively ridiculed seemingly pointless security procedures required at airports and other facilities. We forgot that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.


Perhaps some is due to complacency borne of our geographic isolation and the fact that we have not had a shooting war on our shores for over 138 years. Absent an immediate threat, the natural human tendency is to become complacent. Also, our historical tradition has been to draw down the military after any large conflict. Our founders warned against the dangers of a standing army.

But there is much more to it than that. The political Left in this country, including people in the news media, entertainment, education, religion, think tanks (many of which are fronts for hostile foreign governments and organizations), even some past and present members of Congress and past Administrations, have over the years successfully sought to undermine both our national defense and intelligence functions – indeed the very fabric of our society – for the purpose of ultimately destroying it, all the while hiding behind the fig leaf of 'free speech.' In so doing, they made us vulnerable to attack from directions even they didn’t anticipate. They are still active today, but thanks to our recently revived national spirit, temporarily on the defensive.

It took 9/11 and the subsequent military action for our people to comprehend the ramifications of blinding our national eyes and ears. Today, we find ourselves asking how it got so far out of hand. Few now question the need for active intelligence gathering and a strong military. Indeed, many of those in Congress who used to criticize our intelligence agencies for being too intrusive are now asking why they are not more so. Virtually everybody claims to 'support our troops.'

Yet we still suffer the after-effects of long-term complacency. Anti-American activity seems like some kind of quaint rite. Radical activists are treated like celebrities. Hollywood actors boost their careers and their egos by excoriating our leaders (but they support the troops – really they do).

Over the past 30 years, members of Congress have blatantly aided and abetted enemies of our country. The outspoken Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, for example, lobbied for the release of jailed El Salvadorian FMLN terrorists during that country’s civil war. So did then-Rep. Barbara Boxer, D-CA. Instead of being investigated for her activities on behalf of communists, Nancy Pelosi has been elected by her Democratic colleagues as the House Minority Leader! Boxer went on to become a U.S. Senator.

Many congressmen made a notorious trip to Nicaragua in the 1980s to discuss ways Daniel Ortega’s communist government could counter President Ronald Reagan’s strategy there. Relatives of Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-MA, conducted business with the communist government of Angola while Kennedy himself voted against funding the Angolan anti-communist rebels we supported. Former Rep. Ron Dellums, D-CA, often bragged of his desire to dismantle U.S. intelligence 'brick by brick.' The charming Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, never met a leftist dictator she didn’t love. Don’t even get me started on Bill.

No one has ever challenged these blatantly seditious activities.

Instead, we congratulate ourselves for our 'open-minded' tolerance of this malevolent behavior, never fully acknowledging its long-term impact. Even in Iraq, anti-American protests, obvious propaganda tactics, are casually dismissed as 'free speech.' But is it?

There is a fine line between legitimate protest and outright sedition. There is a fine line between our citizens’ legitimate need for privacy and the opportunity it provides conspirators to hide and plot. Concern for the former, however, provides no excuse for condoning the latter. Too often politicians have taken that excuse, and in so doing abdicated their pledge to "defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic .… " They choose to avoid the hard questions and tough fights. The 9/11 terrorist strike was one consequence of this. If we don’t learn, there will be more.

Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s methods against suspected American communists in the 1950s may have been wrong, but they were based on a legitimate premise, namely, that we do have enemies within.

The Army-McCarthy hearings for example, which focused in large part on spy activities at the Army Signal Corps Ft. Monmouth, NJ facility (where Julius Rosenberg had worked for a time) spelled the beginning of his downfall, when Attorney for the Army Joseph Welch posed the famous question: 'Have you no sense of decency, sir?' Three years later however, Congress shut down the Ft. Monmouth facility—determined to be irretrievably penetrated by Soviet agents.

Many politicians in both the Democrat and Republican parties agreed with McCarthy. One of his most ardent friends and supporters, John F. Kennedy, once expressed his outrage at a Harvard Spree Club dinner when the speaker compared McCarthy to convicted Soviet spy Alger Hiss. JFK stood up, interrupting the speaker, and said: 'How dare you couple the name of a great American patriot with that of a traitor!' He then walked out. Bobby Kennedy was minority counsel on McCarthy’s Senate investigations subcommittee staff. The Left would much prefer we didn’t remember JFK and RFK’s inconvenient anti-communism.

In part because of McCarthy’s failure, our reluctance to seriously investigate domestic subversive organizations really has its roots in this period. As noted columnist and conservative talk show host Chuck Morse relates: 'The substantial power the left wielded over our government and media was on full display in the concerted campaign to stop McCarthy, who, in hindsight, has been vindicated of all charges. Politicians who would henceforth be more circumspect when investigating communist or any other subversive element in government heard the lesson of McCarthy's downfall loud and clear. Average citizens, at least subliminally conscious of the auto da fe McCarthy had been put through, would also learn to curb their criticism of the left as well.'

But in those times even the communists sometimes revealed what they were up to. For example, the Soviet funded People’s Daily World newspaper explained a Hollywood studio strike thusly: 'Hollywood is often called the land of Make-Believe, but there is nothing make-believe about the Battle of Hollywood being waged today ... The prize will be the complete control of the greatest medium of communication in history.' As Stalin said: 'If I could control Hollywood, I could rule the world.'

Those forces still exist in Hollywood today and at least partially explain why so many movies we see tend to have anti-American overtones. In fact, actors who want to be successful in Hollywood implicitly understand the necessity of being Politically Correct. Conservative actors attempting to get regular employment face their own 'Blacklist'.

Many of the organizations investigated in the 1950s have continued to thrive and grow while we have looked the other way. Seeing fertile ground, new ones have popped up.

Loyal Americans need to agree on a methodology for attacking this problem. That means bruising political battles, because some people in virtually all professional disciplines lie with the enemy and many others unknowingly support them. We have allowed them to weasel their way into positions of power that give them direct influence over measures intended to expose and stop them. Yet it has never been clearer just how dangerous these individuals and groups are.

You want to protest American policies? Fine. But if your activities serve to undermine our national security and threaten our collective future, we don’t have to tolerate it. After all, your actions are really threatening our lives. Threats like that cannot go unchallenged.

It is unfortunate that the death and destruction of a 9/11 and the untimely deaths and injuries of our young men and women in battle were needed to get our attention. But they have, at least temporarily.

So now we must seize the moment: The 9/11 victims and the troops who sacrificed all in Afghanistan and Iraq stand mute sentinel over our collective national conscience. We cannot let them down.

When Dissent Becomes Sedition
by Jim Simpson, FrontPageMagazine.com, May 28, 2003


Merry Christmas

I rarely include non-political subjects in the essays here, but tonight I am feeling particularly enveloped by the season, so, before allowing this year to come to a close, I want to share with the ‘regulars’ here a brief personal Christmas greeting. (If you visit here solely for the political content, you may simply want to skip this particular post ... :)

We live on nine acres of woodland in an isolated corner of our township, less than a half mile from the end of a barely-traveled, dead-end road -- nestled close to the bottom of a valley, with mountains to the north and south. There are only a handful of other homes on our road. Most of them are set back from the road, invisible, or barely visible, to the rest of the world.

We walk our dog, Bert, at least a half dozen times a day, either down the road in one or the other direction, or into the woods, taking familiar paths, or walking cross-country when we’re in a particularly energetic or ‘trailblazing’ frame of mind. :)

We have lived in our new home about a year now, and, in the evenings, we still find ourselves sitting by the fire wondering when we will have to pack and go home. The beauty, isolation, and serenity that surround us daily sometimes causes us to succumb to the illusion that we are on a ‘vacation’ of sorts. Such peace of mind could not possibly be permanent. :)

Tonight my husband was feeling a bit under the weather so Bert and I took our late-night walk alone. We walked down to where the road ends and the woods take over in three of four directions.

The night is so clear tonight that, for the first time in the more than five decades I have walked this earth, I was virtually overcome with awe as I looked into the nighttime sky.


No colors but for countless infinitely tiny specks of white above … and skyward-reaching ropes of blacks and grays.

The trees are bare now, and, as I looked to my left, the entirety of my vision was filled with 100-150-foot tall, dark sentinels, through which peered an endless blanket of stars, all the way down to where the sky meets the dark left horizon. As I looked to my right, the image was the same. And, gazing upward, where the smallest, highest tendrils of those thousands of old, wise trees’ narrow arms trail off into tiny twigs, yet more stars formed an endless glimmering canopy above.

I sat on a large rock alongside the road, and Bert sat down next to me, appearing to want to drink in the majesty every bit as much as I.

I began reflecting on the way we modern Americans find ourselves incessantly bombarded with glitz, glare, noise and superficiality ... all posing as something of value. How often do we set aside time to step back from the cacophony, seek a secluded spot (if only in the corner of our own mind) and reflect on the majesty and artistry that surrounds us each and every day? Artistry that we rarely, if ever, acknowledge, let alone offer thanks for, when overwhelmed in its presence.

There is more beauty in a single leaf than in most of what passes for expensive, acclaimed, 'priceless' art today. What I saw and experienced around and above me tonight, extending infinitely in every direction, causes the creations of Michelangelo, Beethoven, and Shakespeare to pale in comparison.

I am convinced that the degree that we are able to experience of what we humans call peace of mind is directly proportional to the degree to which we are able to divorce ourselves from the dissonance and superficiality of modern society and, instead, regularly reflect on beauty and significance that is of a more eternal nature.

God is good. And, no matter how many trials we may be facing, or how many burdens we may be asked to bear, if we but take the time to isolate ourselves from the world for some time each day, the realization of a myriad of personal blessings that we tend not to acknowledge will find themselves flooding into our hearts and minds. And it is from that ‘stepping back’ ... and simple spiritual observing ... that peace of mind is born.

Below are a few personal Christmas photos that I’d like to share with friends here before signing off for the year.

Being that we are in a new (our final) home, we started fresh with new tree decorations that I have admired from afar for many years – mostly German blown-glass Kugel balls, white lace wire ribbon out of which I designed bows and a tree-topper, silver garnishes and white feather birds. The photos are of those that are among our favorites.

With these thoughts and these photos, I want to say to all who have wandered by here over the past seven months, thank you for stopping by. And to those who have added their own thoughts and observations, thank you for taking part. An interactive weblog is only as successful as the conversations it inspires.

Best wishes to all for a blessed Christmas … and a New Year filled with Peace and Contentment!

~ joanie


Sleep Well, My Brothers ...

Every December for the past fifteen years, Morrill Worcester, owner of one of the world's largest holiday wreath companies, has taken time in the midst of his busiest season to haul a truckload of wreaths to Arlington from his small downeast Maine town of Harrington.

For years, he and a small band of volunteers laid the wreaths in virtual obscurity. But in the last twelve months that has changed, thanks to a dusting of snow last year at the cemetery, an evocative photograph, a sentimental poem and a chain e-mail. And this year, Worcester went national. A new program, 'Wreaths Across America,' shipped a total of about 1,300 wreaths to more than 200 national cemeteries and vets' memorials in all fifty states.

Worcester, 56, says he wants to help Americans remember and honor deceased military veterans, particularly at Christmas, when they're missed most. On the Wreaths Across America website, he makes this comment: 'When people hear about what we're doing, they want to know if I'm a veteran. I'm not. But I make it my business never to forget.'

On Thursday he looked at the crowd of volunteers — five times as many as last year's — and said, 'I didn't realize there were this many people who felt as I do.'

The tradition grew slowly. Every year there were a few more volunteers in Harrington to load the truck and a few more in Arlington to lay the wreaths. Every January there'd be a few more calls, e-mails or letters. Worcester says that apart from a newspaper story here and a broadcast report there, 'it was almost a private thing.'

Until December 2005.

When the day was almost over and all the wreaths had been laid, it started to snow. Around the same time, an Air Force news photographer covering the event went back for a final picture before heading back to the Pentagon.

Master Sgt. James Varhegyi had shot hundreds of images that morning. In accordance with photojournalistic convention, almost all had people in them.

But this time Varhegyi took a picture that had no people, just rows of graves, decorated with bowed wreaths, on snowy ground. White, green, red — the colors of Christmas. He didn't think it was anything special.

When the Worcesters returned to Harrington, things quieted down as usual after Christmas. Except that instead of declining in January, the appreciative calls and e-mails began to increase.

Varhegyi's photo had been posted on an Air Force website, from which someone — the Worcesters don't know who — had lifted it, put it in an e-mail, and added a poem:

Rest easy, sleep well my brothers.
Know the line has held, your job is done.
Rest easy, sleep well.
Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held.
Peace, peace, and farewell ...

'Please share this with everyone on your address list,' the e-mail read. 'You hear too much about the bad things people do. Everyone should hear about this.'

The e-mail became an Internet sensation. It spread like a virus, so far and so fast that Snopes.com, a website devoted to exploring myths and rumors, investigated and confirmed its existence.

More and more people contacted Worcester Wreath Co. with questions, thanks and requests. By February, the company was getting thirty to forty e-mails a day. People sent checks, which were returned. Company staffers found themselves devoting more and more time to phone calls about the Arlington effort.

One night, Sherry Scott, the office manager, was working late, trying to get caught up, when the phone rang:

It was an elderly woman from Texas. She says, 'Tell me you're the company that lays the wreaths at Arlington.' When I said we were, there was silence. Then she started crying. She says, 'My Dad's buried at Arlington.' Then I started crying.

Thank you, Mr. Worcester, for helping us not to forget.

(Thanks to John Cooper for steering me to this at Michelle Malkin’s site.)


Below is a message I received from a new friend -- one of several good people from all over the world whom I have come to know as a result of correspondences they sent me following the tragedy that took place at the West Nickel Mines Amish schoolhouse in October.

I asked Cea if she would grant me permission to post her letter here, because I believe her words are evidence of both genuine Christian love, and the precious uniting of two hearts that comprehend the true meaning of the celebration of Christmas (I did not express to her those opinions, in those terms, because she is far too humble to listen to, let alone agree with, those sentiments when applied to her own actions and beliefs. :)

Anyway, this is the message I received from Cea a few days ago, in its entirety. Perhaps we all can use it in some entirely personal way, to enrich our own Christmas reflections (I know I did) – by considering thoughts that are, at the same time, sorrow-filled and uplifting ... and so fitting for this most beautiful of seasons:

~ ~ ~


Lately, my free time is directed toward and consumed by caretaking. I am in the process of assisting my mother through the interesting stages of her second childhood and walking methodically with her through the emotional, physical, and spiritual struggles that come when one's body simply wears out.

Every day, she is moving closer and closer to the marvelous dwelling place her Heavenly Father has prepared for her.

As soon as I leave my assigned workstation at the office, I'm off to pick her up from "day-care." She calls our time getting settled in at home "happy hour" and dinner preparation, etc. "mischief making." We've finished putting up our tree and the little manger scene composed of Boyd's Bears. (She found it in one of the antique stores in Old Towne Orange, where we live.)

Christmas at our house is well underway. She, in her very childlike way, is peering into Christmas with such fresh excitement, awe, and wonder. I've caught her rocking in her chair by the tree on an evening saying over and over softly ... "It's amazing, it's amazing God with us."

She can no longer remember the words to familiar Christmas carols but the music itself speaks to her. She quietly hums her own special composition of Silent Night, Away in the Manger, Good Christian Men Rejoice, O Come All Ye Faithful, Jesus Loves Me, and her favorite bits and pieces from The Messiah. She often clearly sings ... "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

She has her own little bridge and goes into singing, "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." My favorite of her songs is the chorus, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His blood, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. Blessing, and honor, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."

So, I may not have a great deal to say about the Christmas Season as I am so caught up in living it with someone very frail. Someone who believes in and rejoices in the miracle of Christmas. She admits openly that she doesn't know a lot any more ... but she does know the Christmas cookies have never tasted sweeter, the lights have never been brighter, the music never more glorious.

I'm living with someone who is, even in a wheelchair, walking by faith, who knows what it is to have a relationship with the person who came into the world as the child in the manger ... whose birth we celebrate.

As I daily walk my mother to the grave, I pity the souls who are trying to drive the Christ child out of our culture, out of our public square, out of our collective consciousness. What will they do when they stand on the edge of eternity ... peering into emptiness ... emptiness that resulted from insisting that we extract this miraculous time of remembering the Christ child from our lives?

What will our culture do when there is no longer the annual call ... the call to come and see ... to come and bow down ... to come and adore ... to recognize with awe and reverence the miracle of God with us?

Pity the man and woman, standing with diminished physical, emotional and spiritual strength facing eternity with such an arrogant heart knowing not the Christ of Christmas.




The Last Word

(Beware those who caution against carrying a big stick,
especially when your enemy is carrying a bloody sword)

Jonah Goldberg's got it right on this one:

In Washington, sometimes it’s preferable to be wrong in a group than to be right alone. Nothing demonstrates the triumph of this truism than the release of the final Iraq Study Group Report. The Commission’s Chairman, James A. Baker III, could not have been more obvious if he had used hand puppets to illustrate what he thought was most important about this supposedly momentous occasion: the fact that all the report’s authors actually agree with its contents.

Their product, Baker gushed, ‘is the only recommended approach that will enjoy, in our opinion, complete bipartisan support, at least from the ten people you see up here.’

Whoop-de-do! No one in the media was sufficiently motivated to ask the emperors why they had no clothes on, or to raise the simple question, ‘Who cares?’ Instead, viewers at home (all three broadcast news networks broke in to cover the ‘news’ live) watched as one commission member after another grew misty-eyed over their own statesmanship.

Former Clinton Chief of Staff, Leon Panetta, waxed lyrical about how this document represented ‘one last chance at unifying this country on this war.’

Heads sagely nodded at the relentless self-adulation of the commissioners who put their ‘partisan differences’ behind them in the spirit of unanimity, unity, bipartisanship, comity, handholding and all around mutual respect and love. (It’s no wonder one of their key recommendations is to form an international Iraq ‘support group’. Who can resist the image of Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whining about how his father never loved him, only to be interrupted by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia complaining that the Zionists ate all the good doughnuts?)

(end of Goldberg's eloquent rant :)

Too many similar imbeciles populate the halls of congress (and more will be sworn in in January). We cannot abide weak-kneed, self-worshipping, blind-sided creators or evaluators of policy at this most perilous time in the history of the free world, no matter the lofty label they or their handlers choose to affix to their propaganda machine.

Nor do we need their platitudinous advice as to how best to ‘get along’ in a bipartisan fashion – because those in the other party (as well as the weak-kneed compromisers in what was once the republican party) do not represent the kind of leadership with which we had better seek unity -- i.e., if you see a 'bipartisan' animal of any kind in your field of vision, run like hell in the other direction! Their brand of unity requires capitulation and a desire to negotiate with sub-human, sadistic barbarians who, if given a choice, would rather disembowel a non-believer (or, better yet, a thousand or two) than look him in the eye in an honest quest to find fertile ground upon which the mirage called ‘peace’ can be built.

Middle-ground bipartisanship is not a viable location of safety when the partisan with whom one is negotiating is completely incapable of movement in your direction. Feet firmly implanted in leftist soil ... thick, black, unrelenting leftist soil that values political power exponentially more than it values American freedom and sovereignty.

I, for one, now seek to segregate myself (‘unity’ be damned) from Pollyannas/traitors (take your pick, they fit into one or the other category, and no other) who continue to embrace a ‘we are the world’ philosophy on the issue of confronting Islamo-fascism.

Longfellow, whose writing and philosophy I generally adore, once wrote, ‘If we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.’

Longfellow’s wisdom was forged in a different time – a time in which a man’s beliefs and behaviors could be traced to his unique personal and ancestral history. We now live in an historically unprecedented era in which tens of millions of men, simply by virtue of where on this earth they are born, are taught from birth that their ‘god’ demands of them to wreak torment and painful death upon large populations of their fellow man. Longfellow’s foundation of personal ‘sorrow and suffering’ fades into irrelevance, in deference to the germination of a singular wicked seed planted in the minds and (what’s left of the) hearts of hordes of vile, evil-nurtured barbarians.

As a contributor to this weblog recently wrote: 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.

And to the many here among us in America who serve as either purposeful or unwitting cogs in their propaganda machine (many of whom serve in leaderhip positions in Washington): The still-activist sixties leftist flower children -- now dupes, or avowed One-World Marxists -- have every right to continue to wallow in their ignorance-induced or liberty-loathing stupor. But don’t attempt to bring me, and my informed, patriot countrymen into your mirage. We have better things to do just now, and, concerning those ‘better things’ ... be forewarned ... you are counted among the enemy.

Veritas vos Liberabit -- Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis!

More to follow …

~ joanie


Kingdoms at War

An article was referenced here in the past week which stunningly portrays the left’s continuing efforts to ban God from the public square, and the public consciousness -- which represents one of the basic goals of those who seek to redefine the America envisioned by our Founders, so as to better equip her to be part of a globalist, borderless ('we are the') world.

It seems that the ‘holiday display’ that has been erected in St. Albans, West Virginia consists of a manger, shepherds, camels, a palm tree, and a star (surely not the Star of Bethlehem … most likely a generic, secular humanist, ‘winter star’).

Visibly absent from the ‘holiday display’ are the Christ child, and Mary and Joseph.

Two of the town’s highest officials explained the absence of the Christ child in very different, but equally ludicrous, ways. The mayor stated that Christ is missing from the manger because ‘It’s not easy to put a light-up representation of a baby in a small manger scene, you know.’

Yeah, we know.

And the parks superintendent stated that Christ is left out of the nativity ‘because of concerns about the separation of church and state.’

The parks superintendent is surely a card-carrying member of the ACLU, or completely ignorant of the content and intent of the First Amendment.

The mayor is a liar, at best.

What do these local policymakers (and other lunatic policymakers all over this country who have chosen to alter nativity scenes) suppose this ‘nativity’ (na.tiv.i.ty – n – the birth of Christ) ‘celebrates’? The eternal sacredness of an arbitrary manger (an animal trough)? The importance of shepherds to modern society? The endurance of the camel? The beauty of the palm tree? The wonder of a single arbitrary star? Even if the lunatic fringe decides to celebrate any of the above, the degree of celebration is a bit over the top, don’t you think? :) (By far the most merchant-profit-lucrative shopping season of the year in celebration of a hump-backed animal that spits and hisses?)

The extremes to which the secular humanists have chosen to go has become almost laughable … if it weren’t for the fact that the one they are deriding and seeking to exile is the one who holds their future … the one who knows tomorrow … the one who lends them breath.

The arrogance.

When confronted with the annual frenzy of self-righteous leftists obsessively determined to take Christ out of Christmas, we would do well to reflect on something else that has been an integral part of the celebration of Christ’s birth, since long before the anti-Christ crusaders crawled out from under their rocks. Its message provides infinite hope.

A brief background:

In the summer of 1741, George Frideric Handel was a deeply discouraged man. He was deeply in debt, suffering from long bouts of insomnia, and racked with debilitating rheumatism.

It was then that the Lord’s hand began to work in Handel’s life – in a way that would both encourage and uplift the composer, and would also use him (as He so often does) as a human conduit for His message of justice, hope, love and redemption, intended for the ears of a hurting world .

Handel received a request to write music for a series of benefit concerts, and, coincidentally, he also received a compilation of Old Testament and New Testament scripture passages. As if directed by the hand of God, the two communications merged to become the divinely-inspired catalyst for the writing of one of the most beloved, most performed, pieces of music in the entire expanse of western music.

A spiritual spark was lit, and fanned into a fire, in the formerly downtrodden man, as he locked himself away, working day and night, and shutting out the physical world so as to better connect with the spiritual.

During his self-imposed time of sequestering, his servants would often hear him sobbing uncontrollably, as the power of God’s words and music flowed from his pen.

In that beautiful, surely pre-ordained manner, Messiah was born.

The music alone speaks to the human heart in inspiring, uplifting ways that mere words cannot.

Yet those who desire to exile Jesus Christ from the hearts and minds of their countrymen would do well to pay heed to the words, even moreso.

Handel chose scriptural passages mostly from the Old Testament (the books of Isaiah, Haggai, Malachi, Lamentations, Zechariah, Psalms, and Job), but also from the New (Matthew, Luke, John, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Hebrews, Revelation).

Below is a portion of His word as it appears in the inspired Messiah, which should cause schemers and deceivers to take note, while bringing hope, joy and peace to believers:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel … Isaiah 7:14

For unto Us a Child is born, unto Us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace … Isaiah 9:6

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His anointed … Psalm 2:1,2

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision … Psalm 2:4

Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel … Psalm 2:99

God (did) bless George Frideric Handel for responding to Him in submission borne of humility, for bending to His will, and for allowing himself to be used as an instrument of divine instruction.

In spite of wars, rumors of wars, and the power-hunger, deception, and sometimes barbaric nature of men, all of our earthly kingdoms are finite ... in area and time. And those who have made it their calling to banish and deny Him, and to subjugate, either physically or mentally, their fellow man, would do well to listen … and hear.

... of His kingdom there shall be no end ... Luke 1:33


America's 'Play Station'
Generation Will Not Endure

America increasingly is accepting the notion of a "cut-and-run" response to Islamic terrorism. Post-election talk on Capitol Hill, from both sides of the aisle, focuses ever more on the notion that America ought to simply accept the "futility" of the Iraq situation and sound "retreat." It has been done before, and the country survived, so why not now?

In certain respects, America did indeed back away from its frontal opposition to Communism when it pulled out of Southeast Asia in 1972. And while that action was followed by genocide in Vietnam and Cambodia, those leftists who had caterwauled incessantly over the dozens of Vietnamese who had been killed in My Lai, suddenly reverted to absolute indifference over the millions who were slaughtered in that region after America had abandoned them.

Moreover, the waving of the white flag across the Pacific was not followed by North Vietnamese tanks rolling through the streets of America, purges of anti-Communist "dissidents," or the establishment of a Gulag on our soil. So, in the eyes of the anti-war protestors, nothing bad came from the defeat.

In truth, this nation kept up its valiant fight against Soviet Communism, though it had to do so on a different front. And within a generation of the Vietnam debacle, the USSR collapsed in the face of Ronald Reagan's resolve, and much of the danger it posed to the United States substantially faded.

Unfortunately, those on the left took the absolute wrong message from the events, as they invariably do. Since the advances and retreats of the Cold War unfolded in a theater that was far removed from the common citizen, liberals were afforded the luxury to bask in their ignorance. Thus they naively presumed that their fawning "peacenik" philosophies had won the day.

Far from such sophomoric and simple-minded postulating, the harsh truth is as it always was. America will prevail, or it will fall, based on its strength. And as was the case in Vietnam, where a wholly capable military was betrayed by cowardice from inside the Beltway, the moral/spiritual component of the nation's strength is ultimately the determining factor in the nation's success or failure.

Since the dark days of Vietnam, America's military capabilities have only increased. Yet concurrently, other events within the culture of the nation have opened a grim possibility. Although from a purely military and logistical standpoint America is far more able to fight and prevail in a war while sustaining far fewer casualties among its own forces, the public at large no longer has the "stomach" needed to do so.

The courage and resolve among the nation's citizenry, so necessary to underwrite a military venture and remain committed to it until its completion, has apparently been leached from the souls of the American people. In vain hope that they can simply conjure up a false sense of security and thereafter live free of danger, Americans are now unwilling to consider the looming possibility of more attacks by the Islamists or other rogue regimes.

Worse yet, a significant portion of the population appears to be staunchly committed to remaining in such a state of denial at virtually any cost. September 11 should have been the only "wake up call" the nation ever needed. From that point forward, the single national response ought to have been an iron will to overcome any who had participated in the horror, and all who might aid and abet a sequel to the event.

Unfortunately, the message being trumpeted by America's leftists has been heard, loud and clear, throughout the world. Reaction to it is as ominous as it is predictable. America's overt enemies, such as Iranian "President" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, are increasingly emboldened to actively undermine American interests, and ever more belligerent in their antagonism towards us.

Far from presenting a united front to our enemies, and thus persuading even the marginally rational among them that they would decisively lose in a military engagement, the constant laments from liberals, who only see America's shortcomings, has taken its toll. The result is an America with a broken morale and growing pessimism. This message has not been lost on those who seek our demise.

In response to the mid-term elections, America's enemies throughout the world have been reinvigorated and are voicing their commitment to drive this nation into oblivion. The fronts on which we face hostility are many. Across three continents, one unavoidable simmering cauldron after another has begun to boil.

Through their meddling, self-serving liberal politicians have further constrained America to wage the terror war within the perverse framework of "political correctness." Thus, they have shown our adversaries that, as a nation we are indeed weak, and moreover that such weakness can be exploited. Yet this is not a weakness of armament but a weakness of the soul.

Much of the world is at present, either too cowardly to admit that a clash of civilizations is going on, or has concluded that collusion with Islamists and other thug rulers is the most pragmatic approach to the danger they pose. It is certainly easier to denigrate America while it carries the torch of freedom, with no fear of reprisal, than it is to stand firm against the tides of militant Islam, which will most certainly reap a backlash of hate and violence.

Yet despite any futile hopes of clinging briefly to its past comfort and indifference, no such option exists for this country. Regardless of their recent electoral gains, those who would cower from the fray cannot be allowed to set policy.

An America that increasingly bends to the wishes of an effeminized culture, and is afraid to mete out whatever is necessary upon its enemies to achieve victory, is an America that will ultimately bear the scars of battle inflicted on itself in defeat.

by Christopher Adamo

(Mr. Adamo is a freelance writer and staff writer for the New Media Alliance. He lives in southeastern Wyoming and has been active in local and state politics for many years.)

link to article