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.

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

12/13/2007

Warm Wishes for a Blessed Christmas

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7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord ... Luke 2:7-11

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Mary, Did You Know?
(Click to listen)

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would someday walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with His hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
When you’ve kissed your little baby, then you’ve kissed the face of God.

The blind will see!
The deaf will hear!
The dead will live again!
The lame will leap!
The dumb will speak the praises of the Lamb!

Mary, did you know that your baby boy is God of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy was heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I Am!

_____________________________

I have much yet to do to prepare for our celebration of Christmas, and I am sure the rest of you will not be placing political blogging high on your list of priorities these next two weeks either ... so, before signing off for the year, I want to express my thanks to all who have stopped by here during 2007.

I began this weblog in May of 2006. In the year and a half that has passed since my first entry, 150 articles and essays have been posted on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed, by me and more than twenty others whose essays I have been privileged to include here. And well over two thousand comments have been written by patriots who share my concern about the future of our beloved republic.

I want to express my deep appreciation to all who have contributed here – the essayists and the commenters alike. Your participation here has instructed and informed, has created intelligent debate on topics that both inspire and discourage, and has provided uplift, affirmation and support for your fellow patriots.

I hope all who have passed through here in the past year will drop by again. And, if you have not contributed your thoughts to the dialogue on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed, consider becoming a part of the discussions. They are sometimes lively, and always focused on reclaiming America from those in powerful positions -- in our government, media and academia -- who do not revere our glorious past, and who desire to mold our future with a heavy hand.

Before signing off for the year, I would like to share with you a heartwarming experience I witnessed recently, and then simply post a few photos I took today around our home, in order to share with you all, in a personal way, Christmas in the Joanie and Rick household.

Last weekend I attended a Christmas concert performed by the National Christian Choir, who were performing at a large church in Lancaster. The music was extraordinarily beautiful and inspiring. The choir’s music director, Dr. C. Harry Causey, spoke to the audience several times during the program, and it was apparent that this man is a devout Christian, and he deeply cares about America.

Before the choir ended the evening’s performance with a remarkable rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus, Dr. Causey turned to the audience and announced that a collection was going to be taken. Under the choir’s Music for Overseas Military program, their new Christmas CD is going to be sent, so as to arrive before Christmas, to as many of our forces in Iraq as possible, at cost ($7). The CDs are distributed to military service members through, and in coordination with, the Offices of the Chief Chaplains of the Army, the Navy (who also supports the Marine Corps), the Air Force, and the Coast Guard.

I, unfortunately, only had a five-dollar bill and coins in my purse, so could only put that much in the collection plate when it came my way. But, when the plate reached me, I was uplifted to see it overflowing with ten and twenty dollar bills.

I have since learned that, in the only two Christmas concerts that the National Christian Choir performed this year (at Immanuel’s Church in Silver Spring, MD and at Calvary Church here in Lancaster), the amount collected for these CDs has exceeded $35,000 – so five thousand of our troops in Iraq will be receiving this beautiful Christmas music.

It is that kind of small, but infinitely meaningful, example of genuine ‘Christmas spirit’ at work that brings alive the true meaning of this holy season!

I wish you all many such experiences ... and a blessed Christmas ... and a New Year filled with contentment and special joys!

Until 2008 ...

~ joanie

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12/10/2007

A Hero Among Us

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Since the tragic shootings yesterday at the two churches in Colorado I have been intrigued by the story of Jeanne Assam, the volunteer civilian security guard who took down the shooter at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

I watched an online interview with her this afternoon – her first interview since the shootings – and came away with the knowledge that standing before me was a genuine modern American hero ... and a true soldier of God.

Many in the media will downplay her heroism, for reasons that are obvious to those of us who are schooled in their anti-liberty, anti-Second Amendment, anti-Christian bias. But be not mistaken: Jeanne Assam is indeed an American hero.

Assam, and the other dozen or so civilian security personnel at New Life Church, are all members of the New Life congregation, about half of whom are armed, and all of whom have undergone background checks, have successfully completed gun safety courses, and are licensed to carry. They all volunteer because, as worshippers, they have a 'sense of ownership' at New Life. It is as if they are protecting their own home and family from intruders.

Senior Pastor at New Life, Brady Boyd, stated that Assam came to his office at 7:30 Sunday morning and informed him about the earlier shooting incident in Arvada. She strongly suggested additional security for the day’s services at New Life. Pastor Boyd credits Assam for the heightened security, and for thus preventing significantly more bloodshed.

When twenty-three-year-old Matthew Murray began shooting in the parking lot of the New Life Church a few hours later, all chaos broke loose. Two sisters, Stephanie Works, 18, and Rachael Works, 16, were killed as they were getting into their van following the early service. Their father, David Works, 51, suffered two gunshot wounds -- one to the abdomen and one to the groin -- and is listed in fair condition at a local hospital.

Murray wore body armor, and was reportedly equipped with sufficient firepower to bring down hundreds of people (some accounts report that he was carrying as many as five hundred rounds). For those who may believe that this estimate is inflated, consider the fact that reports indicate that approximately seven thousand people were tightly packed within and just outside the church at the time, and each round of Murray’s rifle ammo, if properly placed, might certainly have been capable of taking down several people. The potentiality of hundreds of victims was not at all out of the realm of possibility.

During her interview today, Jeanne Assam stated that she attends one of the morning services and then volunteers as a guard during a later service. She has had previous law enforcement experience, has had to draw her weapon countless times in tense situations related to her law enforcement experience, but has never shot anyone before.

I was deeply impressed by her humility, her quiet intelligence, and her humble Christian outlook. At the outset of her comments she stated, 'I want to extend my sympathy to the families of the victims, and of the gunman. And I mean that very sincerely.'

In describing yesterday’s sequence of events at New Life Church she reflected:

The shots were so loud that I thought he was inside. But he wasn’t even inside yet, he was just entering the church. There was chaos as the parishioners ran in all directions.

I just knew what I had to do. It seemed like it was me, the gunman, and God.

I saw him coming through the doors and I took cover. I came out of cover and identified myself, engaged him and took him down. I knew that I could not let this man harm any more people. I said, ‘God, this is you.’ I asked Him to be with me and He never left my side.

I want to do His will and not my will. Where I was weak, God made me strong. He filled me, He guided me, He protected me, and many other people.


Assam fired off about a dozen shots, three of which managed to circumvent his body armor, and all of which were fired while he was moving in her direction.

When she was asked whether the previous day’s tragedy had prevented her from getting a good night’s sleep on Sunday night, she replied that she hadn’t slept a wink.

Assam is unmarried, and currently works for Messenger International, a Christian ministry organization. In connection with her affiliation there, she has found herself at a crossroads in her life and has been seeking to know God’s will for her ... asking Him to provide future direction for her. In an effort to clear her mind in that endeavor, she had been fasting for three days, with the support of other members of the ministry. Sunday was the third day of that fast, and she was in a somewhat weakened state as a result.

Toward the end of the interview, she was asked, ‘What was in your mind when he went down?’ and she responded,

How awesome and powerful God is.

She continued ... ‘I’ve had some quiet time with God and have had a lot of people pray with me. I’m even more in awe of Him than I was before.

It is people like Jeanne Assam – armed, law-abiding citizens in all walks of life -- church members, teachers, students, pilots, factory workers, white-collar workers, etc. -- who will prevent such future shedding of innocent blood. Law enforcement generally arrives long after such tragedies occur – such as occurred in the recent shooting at the Omaha mall, where the killer accomplished his mission in less than five minutes, and the police didn’t arrive until the mall was awash in innocent blood.

The Second Amendment proved its value this weekend when a legally armed, courageous, cool-headed American citizen saved the lives of many of her countrymen.

God preserve the Second Amendment. And God bless Jeanne Assam.

~ joanie

12/09/2007

Let's Keep Christmas (1940)

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'Ties that Bind' by G. Harvey

Although your Christmas tree decorations will include many new gadgets, such as lights with bubbles in them . . . it's the old tree decorations that mean the most . . . the ones you save carefully from year to year . . . the crooked star that you've been so careful with.

And you'll bring out the tiny manger, and the shed, and the little figures of the Holy Family . . . and lovingly arrange them on the mantel or in the middle of the dining room table.

And getting the tree will be a family event, with great excitement for the children . . .

And there will be a closet into which you will forbid your husband to look, and he will be moving through the house mysteriously with bundles under his coat, and you'll pretend not to notice . . .

There will be a fragrance of cookies baking, spices, and fruitcake . . . and the warmth of the house shall be melodious with the lilting strains of 'Silent Night, Holy Night.'

And you'll listen to the wonderful Christmas music on the radio. Some of the songs will be modern - good enough music perhaps - but it will be the old carols, the lovely old Christmas hymns, that will mean the most.

And forests of fir trees will march right into our living rooms . . . There will be bells on our doors and holly wreaths in our windows . . .

And we shall sweep the Noel skies for their brightest colors and festoon our homes with stars.

There will be a chubby stocking hung by the fireplace . . . and with finger to lip you will whisper and ask me to tip-toe, for a little tousled head is asleep and must not be awakened.

And finally Christmas morning will come. Don't worry -- you'll be ready for it -- You'll catch the spirit all right, or it will catch you, which is even better.

And then you will remember what Christmas means - the beginning of Christianity . . . the Second Chance for the world . . . the hope for peace . . . and the only way.

The promise that the angels sang is the most wonderful music the world has ever heard. 'Peace on earth and good will toward men.'

It was not a pronouncement upon the state of the world then, nor is it a reading of the international barometer of present time . . . but it is a promise -- God's promise -- of what will come to pass.

The years that are gone are graveyards in which all the persuasions of men have crumbled into dust. If history has any voice, it is to say that all these ways of men lead nowhere. There remains only one way -- The Way -- untried, untested, unexplored fully . . . the way of Him Who was born a Babe in Bethlehem.

In a world that seems not only to be changing, but even to be dissolving, there are tens of millions of us who want Christmas to be the same . . . with the same old greeting 'Merry Christmas' and no other. We long for the abiding love among men of good will which the season brings . . . believing in this ancient miracle of Christmas with its softening, sweetening influence to tug at our heart strings once again.

We want to hold on to the old customs and traditions because they strengthen our family ties, bind us to our friends, make us one with all mankind for whom the Child was born, and bring us back again to the God Who gave His only begotten son, that 'whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'

So we will not 'spend' Christmas . . .
nor 'observe' Christmas.
We will 'keep' Christmas -- keep it as it is . . .
in all loveliness of its ancient traditions.
May we keep it in our hearts,
that we may be kept in its hope.

(From a sermon delivered by Reverend Dr. Peter Marshall (1902-1949), who twice served as Chaplain of the United States Senate)

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12/07/2007

Media-Created Stigma

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Some say that Mitt Romney’s speech of yesterday was an absolute necessity, if he is going to be successful in throwing off the ‘stigma’ of his Mormonism.

Astounding, if you ask me.

I am astounded that the mainstream media continue to make an issue of Romney’s Mormon faith, with the underlying assumption that many voters might find distasteful some aspects of his belief in God and Christian doctrine.

At the same time, a history of abominable personal behaviors of the sort that would make a cannibal wince have been committed by the front-runner for the Democrat party nomination. And yet the mainstream media choose to pretend that there are no such chinks in the armor of the ‘smartest woman in the world’.

Ms. Clinton’s treasonous, felonious acts performed in complicity with her husband during his two-terms spent leading our republic to ruin would be suitable as the topic for an in-depth essay of its own – which I intend to write, once she gains the Democrat party’s nomination.

Yet, setting those monstrous political/legal crimes aside, Ms. Clinton has so many ghosts of a personal nature in her closet that there is hardly enough time in the day to even reflect on their heinousness. Just a small representative sampling: she was complicit in the cover-up of a rape, the strong-arm (and worse) silencing of her husband’s potential political enemies, and the character assassinations of women who had been victims of her husband’s sexually predatory nature.

If one were to pick any American woman off the street, I believe her moral qualifications to be leader of the free world would generally trump those of Ms. Clinton. But I digress ...

Which would be more distasteful to the average American voter? Reminders of the nature of Ms. Clinton’s grotesque character flaws, or the fact that Mitt Romney’s Christianity might not entirely align with that of most Americans? One represents raw evil; the other, a different perspective on the nature of worshipping God.

The media will continue to choose to ignore the former, and magnify the latter.

I am not a Mitt Romney supporter. I see Romney as a left-leaning Republican now trying to paint himself as something more palatable to the conservative base. And I believe that his pre-election 'transformation' has more to do with political ambition than a genuine change in viewpoint.

My deepest suspicions about Romney’s ‘conservatism’ fall into two main categories:

(1) He has a record of pro-gay policies:

  • He believes that homosexuals should have the right to adopt.
  • He is in favor of domestic partnerships and civil unions.
  • He opposes the Boy Scouts’ policy of prohibiting homosexuals from serving as scoutmasters.
  • He ignored well-qualified Republican attorneys when filling more than thirty judicial vacancies in Massachusetts, and instead appointed Democrats, among whom were two homosexual lawyers who are avowed gay-rights activists.
  • He has supported the dissemination of gay and lesbian materials in Massachusetts public schools.
(2) He has a record of supporting universal healthcare:

  • Last year he signed into law a bill that creates a state universal healthcare system that mandates that every resident obtain healthcare or face a government fine.
Socialism and conservatism cannot co-exist in a candidate's philosophy without one being borne of temporary political expediency.

Yet, should he gain the Republican nomination, I would be forced to vote for him, despite the fact that the only Republican contender I could wholeheartedly support is Duncan Hunter. Yet I’m afraid I will be forced to cast my ballot for whomever the Republican candidate should be, simply because I do not believe our republic could survive four years of Hillary.

It becomes very discouraging when voting for the lesser of two evils is presented as the only viable option in every election. I have held my nose and voted for mediocrity for the last twenty years, while simultaneously realizing that the degradation of our republic simply occurs at a slower pace as a result of those consistent ‘lesser-of-two-evils’ choices. We need another Reagan before it’s too late.

~ joanie

12/05/2007

The Breakfast Club Revisited

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So there I was, right in the middle of kickoff weekend for the Olympic eating season. I was comfortably full of turkey, waiting for the tryptophan sedative to take full effect and just settling in for the first of many mid-afternoon naps this holiday season. But what did I spy in the satellite channel guide of my Las Vegas host’s 60 inch plasma big screen, but an obscure showing of a not-so-obscure mid-80s film entitled The Breakfast Club.

The timing couldn’t have been better, because right about that time, I was preparing to get comfortable for the late-afternoon airing of the USC – Arizona State game. And not without good reason. Word had it from people in the know at Heritage Hall that, following a bout of catastrophic injuries to key players at mid-season, USC was finally getting healthy, starting to hit their stride, and stood a good chance of crushing the Sun Devils and getting back in to the Rose Bowl hunt (which they did, actually).

So, it was going to take something significant to tear me away from an evening of bone-crushing USC tackles, spectacular last-second Arizona State losses and an altogether satisfying exhibition of college football in which the Trojans finally showed something of the early season promise which ultimately got derailed by that hideous loss to Stanford at the Coliseum several weeks ago. (No way does a west coast team retain any semblance of credibility with the national media after losing to a 41-point underdog at home. But there still remained the chance to salvage what can be salvaged, and the Rose Bowl isn’t exactly chopped liver.)

But . . . something told me to tune in for my umpteenth viewing of this mid-80s teen angst picture that was noted for several commendable performances by a group of young up-and-coming actors then known as The Brat Pack. It certainly would prove to be a change of pace from the day’s non-stop parade of food, fun and football (at least to that point). And since my host and his wife were not particularly enamored of sports of any kind, we all snuggled up to the big screen to sample the bill o’ fare.

Now that I reflect on things, it was a remarkable film. And the great beauty of it was that no matter when you went to high school, what part of the country you come from, or where you fit in the eternal unforgiving high school pecking order, there isn’t anybody who can’t supply their own set of names to this diverse group of high school misfits, all consigned to a interminably boring Saturday of detention for various nefarious wrongdoings.

I have never yet watched this film that I didn’t lick up some timeless truth. It’s that kind of picture. It sneaks up on you. Sure enough, the moment came. I’d seen it many times before. I’d even remembered it. But somehow this time, it struck a harmonious chord like never before. The group was finally starting to bond, as inevitably happens when disparate individuals are thrown together for extended periods of time. It was one of the rare moments when any group of teenagers can agree on anything.

The point of contention, you ask? They all agreed they would never grow up to be like their parents. And in this, the consensus was unanimous. Well, almost.

There was one girl, played admirably by Ally Sheedy. We all have our version of her too. The high school misfit. Never said much; a fashion disaster; no close friends – of either sex; and a general demeanor of a square peg who had no interest of fitting in a round hole.

True to form, she hadn’t said a word throughout the morning detention session. And during the afternoon bull session, she still hadn’t uttered a word either. Until now.

She offered a timeless observation that seems to be part and parcel of the marginalized members of society – particularly those who must contend with the unforgiving meanness of high school tyranny. Such people often develop heightened sensibilities that sharpen their perception since their backs are against the wall as a daily fact of life. On the subject of somehow avoiding the pitfalls of their parents’ mentality, she simply pointed out he obvious.

“It’s inevitable.” She said. “When you grow up, your heart dies.”

This remark was greeted with stunned silence, which is often the case when simple, yet unvarnished truth bursts the balloon of youthful idealism like a pinprick.

Some time ago – in fact, it was 4th of July 2006 – I wrote of my experience at the local high school fireworks show. I related my experience of sitting in the grandstand watching several members of our diverse population running up and down the field waving the Mexican flag and shouting “Viva la Raza!” I wrote of signs posted in Spanish giving directions to the assembled crowd. And finally, I wrote of calling it a night two hours before showtime, after being refused service at the Mexican food stand because they didn’t serve Anglos.

Don’t look for it. It’s not in the archives. It’s not there. I checked.

I ended up at the local private airport with a good friend whose plane is hangared there. During the course of the evening, his son – who had enlisted in the Army the year before – came by to partake of the festivities with the family. This commentary is an update on his situation. Back then, the son had completed basic training, airborne AIT and Ranger school. He was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. That was in July 2006. In September of this year he deployed to Iraq.

The young soldier was your typical teenage deadbeat/slacker growing up through high school. A chronic underachiever, he was equally unmotivated to converse with anyone except his slacker/deadbeat buddies. This drove his father completely insane.

Dad is an American success story. A taller, more ruggedly handsome and magnetically attractive version of John Edwards – without the incipient liberalism – he is the quintessential alpha male. He has, what was called in those thrilling days of yesteryear, command presence. His business grosses on average $450 million a year, of which some 80% are cash sales net 30. The rest are either carried on the books, sold to collection agencies or written off. He operates out of his office at home, and runs a one-man show. No employees. No work comp hassles. No payroll to meet. Just do business and make money.

Simply put, Dad goes out into the world every morning and wins. And that’s all there is to it. Two things happen when he enters a room – Men write extremely large checks to secure his services, and women leave their house keys in his jacket pocket. This drives his wife nuts. And she’s no slouch herself when it comes to attracting attention. She’s a former University of Florida cheerleader, and can still turn heads and stop traffic, even in her mid 40s.

For all his success, he lives a comparatively simple life. He works hard, offers a unique, essential service to business and industry, is disgustingly faithful to his wife, is a committed Christian, and generally all-around good guy. But he will not tolerate anything less than total excellence in everything he does. And that extends to his family as well. Hence, the inevitable collision between father and son.

For all his reluctance to speak to adults, his son sized up his predicament with uncanny accuracy coming out of high school. He gauged (correctly as it turned out) that he wasn’t college material. His grades bore that out, which was another sore point between father and son. He also had to acumen to observe that his job prospects were of an extremely low order of probability. With no education to speak of, he would have to compete with our ubiquitous army of illegal wage earners, without whose dirt-cheap labor all of us would starve to death. So he joined the Army.

His father hit the ceiling when this happened.

Currently, he is assigned to a recon ranger battalion somewhere in Iraq. The way he tells it, the job of his unit is to act as bait for an ambush. When the trap is sprung, they call in the cavalry (I assume whatever passes for the Air Cav over there) and sit back while the bad guys get blown off the map. And if the cavalry doesn’t show up – or if the enemy practices the now time-honored tactic of “hugging the belt” pioneered by the North Vietnamese Army a generation ago – they get to fight it out. The recon team operates exclusively at night. It’s tense, dangerous work, but so far he’s navigated the various minefields of combat ops with skill, initiative and courage.

Dad received notice that his son is going to be written up for a decoration. Bronze Star, Silver Star, or something else. I don’t know which. I also don’t know the specifics of the action, except his commanding officer described the young soldier as having “extreme coolness under fire,” “exercised decisive control”, and had “command presence.” He was also promoted to platoon sergeant, with all the rights and privileges thereunto.

I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Apparently, the newly decorated Ranger is coming up on some much-needed R&R in the near future, provided the destination is in-theater. So, he’s heading for Dubai. The way I hear it, Dubai is the Las Vegas of the Middle East. Highly westernized, it functions is a sort of Disneyland-for-adults in a region of the world where there is no such thing. So, it’s easy to see why it would act as a magnet for young men in the harrowing throes of combat. Consider it this generation’s version of Hong Kong or Singapore.

It was over breakfast not too long ago that Dad promptly announced to me that he was on his way to Dubai to “straighten out” his son.

Up to now, I had little to say about the recent exploits of his son. But at this development I simply could not contain myself. I offered a simple question: On what basis was he prepared to straighten him out, considering the son had gone places and done things the father had not imagined in his wildest dreams?

This question was met with stony silence.

I went on the point out to Dad that I knew something of combat, right down to the command function and all that goes along with being responsible for the lives of men in the desperation of a firefight. And even I wouldn’t presume to “straighten him out.” Some roads you walk alone. And commanding men in combat is one of them.

Straighten him out? What exactly does that mean?

But, it is inevitable that a father who has accomplished so much would have such a degree of disdain for a son who is just now finding his sea legs in a hostile world. And he’s doing it in a craft in which there are dire consequences for failure.

It’s the changing of the guard. And old men – especially those who triumph at everything they pursue – have no way to cope with the one adversary they are powerless to prevail against: the relentless passing of the years.

The father was himself, a 60s hippie who rebelled against authority. He drifted from one pointless activity to another, shrouded in the fog of various drugs, until he got clean and stayed clean. His radical leftist worldview reflected his lifestyle at the time, until he, like so many of us, became part of the Reagan revolution and good things started to happen. He rode the crest of a wave for over twenty years, and lives a lifestyle of prosperity reflective of his efforts.

But it came at a price, as it does for all of us. His openness to all things became more focused. His tolerance for his own failings became a relentless pursuit of perfection. His love for his children morphed into an unbending demand for excellence in all things.

When you grow up, your heart dies.

It’s not a new phenomenon, particularly when it comes to contempt for America’s fighting men. Richard Severo and Lewis Milford wrote an intriguing book in the mid-70s entitled The Wages of War: America’s Veterans Come Home From Valley Forge to Vietnam. Written in the late 1970s – in the immediate hangover period from Vietnam – the authors point out what has been lost in the wake of popular culture: That with the exception of WWII, every group of veterans coming home from defending the country has been treated with neglect, disdain and contempt.

WWII was the great exception. And in the glow of the fire of gratitude for returning fighting men in perhaps the biggest, most crucial conflict America has engaged in to date, it became the apocryphal standard.

It was an illusion. And when the national goodwill faded as the WWII generation assumed positions of leadership in the country, the inevitable complacency, so typical in old men as they age, was made manifest.

When you grow up, your heart dies.

So, the father will soon be winging his way to Dubai to slap down his son hard, and fast for his own peace of mind. The concept of the boy who has become a man is too intimidating, too anxiety-laden, too much for a father to bear who must maintain control over his world. As long as his son remains a deadbeat, Dad’s life has meaning. As long as the young soldier can be forced back into the restrictive box from which he has now emerged, Dad can breathe easy. But if he escapes, he becomes the harbinger of a brave new world that all men who achieve great things must ultimately come to face: that youth and resiliency is something they no longer possess and will ultimately overtake them.

The son appears to have some qualities his father overlooked. He doesn’t say much. He takes careful stock of the world in general and his own situation in particular. And he keeps his own counsel. He may even have the insight to recognize that he will only remain a hero as long as he wears the uniform. In the diminishing opportunities of the world of globalism, he may already have figured out that as soon as he takes off the uniform and competes in the civilian workplace, he will quickly be viewed again as a slacker/deadbeat, with his hand out, whose job can be done better, faster, not to mention cheaper, by illegals. That is, whatever jobs haven’t been shipped off to our current friends in India, or our traditional friends in China.

He may have even figured out that his choices boil down to being a career hired gun, or coming home and living in the shadowlands of the fringes of an America whose identity is being wrung out on the washboard of multiculturalism and whose opportunities no longer have any foundational substance. Stranger things have happened while sighting in down the barrel of an M16.

I did manage to catch the second half of the USC – Arizona State game after The Breakfast Club concluded. I mean it only runs two hours after all. Sure enough, the Trojans crushed ASU 44-24, and went on to hammer UCLA last Saturday to wind up in the Rose Bowl for the third straight year. Not a bad salvage job of the season after that disastrous loss to Stanford.

Still, memories of the film stuck with me. To wit: I wonder whatever became of those kids sitting in detention that dreary Saturday? If ever there was a picture that was tailor-made for a sequel, this was it. I’m surprised the producers never embarked on such a project. In its absence, let’s engage in some enlightened speculation about their fictional twenty-year high school reunion, and what became of them . . .

John Bender (Judd Nelson) – Shows up in central Illinois in his private Gulfstream aircraft. At age 38, he is officially retired and leading the good life, after having topped $1 billion in income as a construction contractor in the wild and wooly building frenzy of the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. All that hostility, properly channeled made him a fortune in the two-fisted, bare-knuckle world of the construction industry.

Andy Clark (Emilio Estevez) – Teaches history at a local high school about an hour away from his alma mater. Walked out on a D-1 wrestling scholarship to a Big 10 school (take your pick, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio State, whatever), when he realized he could no longer measure up to his father’s standards of absolute perfection. He married his college sweetheart. They have a nice life, albeit somewhat predictable. He still yearns to be the best at something. Some demons never die.

Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall) – Just promoted to full professor of Physics at Caltech. He never lost his geek status, but did manage to live long enough for it to finally become cool. Married to a fellow doctoral student in engineering while at MIT, she teaches at UCLA, and makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for her husband’s lunch (with the crusts cut off).

Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald) --- Sobering up long enough to make an appearance at the reunion party, Claire is a broken-down, alcoholic, 40-something trophy wife of a Fortune 500 CEO. The company is headquartered in Chicago, but has offices in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. So Claire gets her share of road trips to places where she can exercise her American Express Platinum card. She has held up well over the years, and understands her role in life very well – keep the home, raise the kids, smile pretty at the office parties, and don’t make a fuss over her husband’s dalliances with young, hot, office interns.

Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) – The resident fashion disaster basket case of the class of ’84 enters a room to turned heads and muted conversation. It isn’t that the years have not taken their toll, but she draws the envious gazes of the assembled multitudes as so often happens when someone enters the room with spine, substance and integrity. She married an independent truck driver. He is currently burdened by how he will provide for his family when the Mexican trucks start rolling across the country far and wide. She works part time, as needed, but mostly stays home with the kids. She’s not flighty, shallow or catty. She’s a keeper. Women know they can trust her, and men know she can strengthen them. She still keeps to herself. Her circle of friends is small, but deep. And she (still) sees the world clearly, and rides the rapids of life with nary a whimper. She is someone you would want to know.

It’s a sequel there for the making. If any Hollywood types are secretly lurking on this site, you can pick the ball up and run with it. The drivel that passes for films in Hollywood these days offers little in the way of substance, and yet we often have to wade through an entire saga of multiple sequels, signifying nothing. Here’s one that, done right, would have some teeth to it.

I know I’d pay to see it.

by Euro-American Scum
(contributing team member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)

11/23/2007

Government of, by, and for the Privileged

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Don Kirlin of Boulder, Colorado

The whisper of revolution has been in the air for quite some time now, and it's becoming more audible, at least among the ever-shrinking minority known as 'informed Americans'.

It’s not only local, state and federal governments that are stealing our land from us, under the (completely convoluted from its original intent) right of ‘eminent domain’. The so-called legal/justice system is using all manner of wicked precedent to commit major, obscene private land grabs as well … all such crimes tracing back to a desire for more wealth and power on the part of those who already wield more than you or I.

Before inserting the precious words ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ into the Declaration, our Founders seriously considered using the wording ‘life, liberty and property’ (as originated by John Locke). I believe the latter to be a more powerful representation of our inalienable rights, but apparently the modern American government/judicial system vehemently disagrees with either expression.

Not sure whether you’re yet familiar with the plight of the Kirlin family of Boulder, Colorado. If not, get ready to spit nails.

Don and Susie Kirlin own a lucrative business in which they acquire foreign fighter jets from around the world to sell to wealthy aviation enthusiasts and to help train U.S. Navy pilots. Wired magazine ran a 2005 profile of Don Kirlin entitled, 'Building Your Own Air Force, One Mig at a Time'. Kirlin enjoys a reputation among aviators, both private and military, because of his collection of foreign fighter jets, which he often uses in training missions in co-operation with the U.S. Navy.

Don and his wife, Susie, own a vacant lot, worth roughly a million dollars in today’s market, on the outskirts of Boulder, Colorado. They purchased it about twenty years ago with the idea of eventually building their retirement home there. It is located just down the road from their current home, they walk by the land regularly, and have been paying taxes on it faithfully for the past two decades.

Unfortunately for the Kirlins the couple that owns a home adjacent to their lot consists of a county judge, Richard McLean, and his wife, Edith Stevens, who is also an attorney. It seems that this ambitious couple has been using a portion of the Kirlins’ land to occasionally hold their own private parties, and, in doing so, they have also created worn pathways through portions of that land.

As a result, McLean and Stevens have invoked the doctrine of ‘adverse possession’, which allows a citizen to claim another’s property simply by virtue of using it for a specified period of time, in order to declare one third of the Kirlins’ land as their own.

When the Kirlins attempted to build a fence on a portion of their vacant land before beginning construction on it, McLean and Stevens had a restraining order issued against them, stating that, since they had been using the land themselves for some time, they had become ‘attached’ to it. The restraining order was issued within a few hours of their request for it. Apparently the wheels of justice move at lighting speed, if the person requesting the moving has the right connections.

As if the preceding weren’t evidence in itself of unmitigated chutzpah, McLean and Stevens are not only claiming to ‘own’ a large portion of the land in question (without ever having paid a penny for it, or any of the taxes incumbent in its ownership), they are also asking the court to rule that the Kirlins must pay any legal fees that they incur in order to achieve this particular theft.

Thus, as is becoming increasingly common in Amerika 2007, two people in power have decided to use a corrupt system to steal from someone else of lesser political stature -- in this case, out in the open, and without conscience or remorse.

Needless to say, the Kirlins are appealing the ruling (and amassing large, and no doubt growing, legal fees in the process). But I wouldn’t be taking any bets on their success. ‘Fighting city hall’ is fast becoming an empty phrase anymore, because the concepts of government of, by and for the people -- originally made possible by public servants who value individual rights more than government power -- is fast heading for extinction, as corruption, greed, and lust for power achieve a momentum that has become virtually relentless and unstoppable. Not to mention the fact that both the eighth (re: coveting) and tenth (re: stealing) of the Ten Commandments have essentially been declared null and void.

This case vividly portrays the battle between the average American citizen and our modern American 'ruling elite'.

That elite is gaining an increasingly strong foothold in the fabric of our society, and robbing you and me of our individual liberties (among them, the Constitutionally-guaranteed right to private property) daily.

But too many of us are more interested in the comfort of our couches, and the proximity of our remote controls, than we are in the plight of the likes of the Kirlins -- victims of a system gone awry.

How many of us who have read this account have done anything at all to see that justice is done -- even if our action only involves forwarding our own synopsis of it to as many people as we know?

I don't know the answer to that, but I do know that, unless we start giving a damn about the abuses that our neighbors suffer under tyrannical government dictates, those abuses will someday affect us, and there will be nobody left who can turn the tragedy around.

The only difference between appeasement and surrender is the passage of time.

Contact information for Boulder, and Colorado state, officials (thanks to John Cooper) can be found here.

~ joanie

11/22/2007

The Necessity of Thanksgiving

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Tomorrow being the day set apart by the Honorable Congress for public Thanksgiving and Praise; and duty calling us devoutly to express our grateful acknowledgements to God for the manifold blessings he has granted us, the General ... earnestly exhorts, all officers and soldiers, whose absence is not indispensably necessary, to attend with reverence the solemnities of the day.… George Washington (December 17, 1777)

In this era of overblown political correctness, we often hear tales of Thanksgiving that stray far afield from the truth. Contemporary textbook narratives of the first American harvest celebration portray the Pilgrim colonists as having given thanks to their Indian neighbors for teaching them how to survive in a strange new world. This, of course, is in stark contrast to the historical record, in which the colonists gave thanks to God Almighty, the Provider of their blessings. [There is also a growing trend, sometimes taking root, that calls for referring to Thanksgiving as a day of guilt, rather than a day of thankfulness, because of America's eventual mistreatment of the Indians.]

The "First Thanksgiving" is usually depicted as the Pilgrims' three-day feast in early November 1621. The Pilgrims, Calvinist Protestants who rejected the institutional Church of England, believed that the worship of God must originate freely in the individual soul, under no coercion. The Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, on 6 September 1620, sailing to the New World on the promise of opportunity for religious and civil liberty.

For almost three months, 102 seafarers braved the brutal elements, arriving off what is now the Massachusetts coast. On 11 December, before disembarking at Plymouth Rock, the voyagers signed the Mayflower Compact, America's original document of civil government predicated on principles of self-government. While still anchored at Provincetown harbor, Pastor John Robinson counseled, "You are become a body politic ... and are to have only them for your ... governors which yourselves shall make choice of." Governor William Bradford described the Mayflower Compact as "a combination ... that when they came a shore they would use their owne libertie; for none had power to command them....”

Upon landing, the Pilgrims conducted a prayer service and quickly turned to building shelters. Malnutrition and illness during the ensuing New England winter killed nearly half their number. Through prayer and hard work, with the assistance of their Wampanoag Indian friends, the Pilgrims reaped a rich harvest in the summer of 1621, the bounty of which they shared with the Wampanoag. The celebration incorporated feasting and games, which remain holiday traditions.

Such ready abundance soon waned, however. Under demands from investors funding their endeavor, the Pilgrims had acquiesced to a disastrous arrangement holding all crops and property in common, in order to return an agreed-to half of their produce to their overseas backers. (These financiers insisted they could not trust faraway freeholders to split the colony's profits honestly.) Within two years, Plymouth was in danger of foundering under famine, blight and drought. Colonist Edward Winslow wrote, "The most courageous were now discouraged, because God, which hitherto had been our only shield and supporter, now seemed in his anger to arm himself against us."

Governor Bradford's record of the history of the colony describes 1623 as a period of arduous work coupled with "a great drought ... without any rain and with great heat for the most part," lasting from spring until midsummer. The Plymouth settlers followed the Wampanoag's recommended cultivation practices carefully, but their crops withered.

The Pilgrims soon thereafter thought better of relying solely on the physical realm, setting "a solemn day of humiliation, to seek the Lord by humble and fervent prayer, in this great distress." In affirmation of their faith and providing a great witness to the Indians, by evening of that day the skies became overcast and gentle rains fell, restoring the yield of the fields. Governor Bradford noted, "And afterwards the Lord sent to them such seasonable showers, with interchange of fair warm weather as, through His blessing caused a fruitful and liberal harvest, to their no small comfort and rejoicing. For which mercy, in time convenient, they also set apart a day of thanksgiving."

Winslow noted the Pilgrims' reaction as believing "it would be great ingratitude, if secretly we should smother up the same, or content ourselves with private thanksgiving for that, which by private prayer could not be obtained. And therefore another solemn day was set apart and appointed for that end; wherein we returned glory, honor, and praise, with all thankfulness, to our good God, which dealt so graciously with us...." This was the original American Thanksgiving Day, centered not on harvest feasting (as in 1621) but on gathering together to publicly recognize the favor and provision of Almighty God.

Bradford's diary recounts how the colonists repented of their financial folly under sway of their financiers: "At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number."

By the mid-17th century, autumnal Thanksgivings were common throughout New England; observance of Thanksgiving Festivals spread to other colonies during the American Revolution. At other junctures of "great distress" or miraculous intervention, colonial leaders called their countrymen to offer prayerful thanks to God. The Continental Congresses, cognizant of the need for a warring country's continuing grateful entreaties to God, proclaimed yearly Thanksgiving days during the Revolutionary War, from 1777 to 1783.

In 1789, after adopting the Bill of Rights to the Constitution, among the first official acts of Congress was approving a motion for proclamation of a national day of thanksgiving, recommending that citizens gather together and give thanks to God for their new nation's blessings. Presidents George Washington, John Adams and James Madison followed the custom of declaring national days of thanks, though it was not officially declared again until another moment of national peril, when during the War Between the States Abraham Lincoln invited "the whole American people" to observe "a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father ... with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience." In 1941, Congress set permanently November's fourth Thursday as our official national Thanksgiving.

The Pilgrims' temporary folly of sundering and somersaulting the material as transcendent over the spiritual conveys an important lesson that modern histories are reluctant to tell. The Founders, recognizing this, placed first among constitutionally recognized rights the free exercise of religion -- faith through action.

If what we seek is a continuance of God?s manifold blessings, then a day of heartfelt thanksgiving is a tiny tribute indeed.

Patriot Post

11/19/2007

My Two Cents

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Back before the 2000 election somebody claiming to be a relative of the current POTUS stated that he was related to William T. Sherman. Most folks in the South consider Sherman’s March to be the tide turning event to finish out America’s Civil War, and he garnered a great amount of infamy in doing it, so I stated that he ought not advertise that too much as it might cost him the Southern vote in his bid for the presidency.

As to whether he is or isn’t related I have no idea, but if he is, he should have followed his ancestor’s tactics in prosecuting the current ... ahem ... ”war” we’re engaged in. Sherman understood the necessity of the actions he took and he was unapologetic.

”War is the remedy our enemies have chosen, and I say give them all they want.”And so instead of waging a real war the POTUS, from the outset, has been playing a game of political and military gamesmanship and the “war” has devolved into something I can’t even name. The closest I can come is to calling it a “police action,” though some call it “reconstruction,” and others have even more and different names.

We cripple our military with “rules of engagement” and other nice sounding pleasantries so as to not offend the greater portion of our enemies else they become engaged in the “war”. Well, Sherman also had another quote ...”War is hell.” Are we really supposed to give a rat’s ass if our enemy is offended?

So, Mr. President, though it’s too late by far now, you should have gotten off of your political bipartisan high horse, stopped listening to the panty wastes you had advising you and followed Sherman’s methods a long time ago. If a Civil War analogy can be used then I would say that you’ve become Longstreet and our military is once again being asked to perform Pickett’s Charge. What a waste!

And as for you slime ball, slack jawed, head up your ass idiots in Congress, I have nothing but contempt for the whole lot of you. The few of you, and I do mean FEW, that ARE worth a damn should be screaming bloody murder from the rooftops. Instead you’re all playing the don’t offend anyone/go along to get along game as well. Some of you stupid imbeciles are still so “not over” getting your ass handed to you on the illegal immigration debate that, ONCE AGAIN, you’re garbaging up yet ANOTHER appropriations bill to fund the military with the DREAM Act.

You people are going to drive Americans into the next civil war in America because you’re too thick headed to listen, and then you’re going to be claiming “I didn’t know it would come to this,” as if you really believed it. You’re all like a spoiled brat who is going to have his way no matter what.

People have said for years that “the grownups are now in charge in DC.” Well, they’re idiots because they don’t recognize the lot of you for the petulant children you really are and they also don’t recognize that they’re supposed to be the parent with the belt ready to strap your happy ass when you get out of line!

So the lot of you slime balls in DC keep on playing your little games thinking that most folks don’t understand anything. The vast majority of Americans keep on expecting you to perform like a well-oiled machine, when in reality you’re just a well-rehearsed circus act. Meanwhile the minority is getting ready to pull their belts out of their pant loops and are getting ready to smack your asses. The saddest part is that you’re all too arrogant to even realize it.

Pardon my language, but I feel much better.

by philman_36
(contributing team member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)

11/17/2007

The Next Place

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The ten-month-old child of friends of ours had been battling a rare blood disorder/auto-immune disorder for the last four months of her life. She received a bone marrow transplant two weeks ago, and this past Monday evening she succumbed to a post-transplant infection before her new white blood cells could be produced.

A memorial service was held for Abigail this morning. During the service her parents read the following poem (perhaps better written/read as prose) that had been given to them by a hospital staff member shortly before Abigail passed from this earth.

I am transcribing it here because I believe that its message is appropriate for us all, with the holidays approaching and our hearts beginning to reflect on, and give thanks for, our personal blessings.

No responses are solicited to this poem/story. Please. I simply request that you all read it, and then, as Rick and I have tried to do recently, spend some time reflecting on your own gifts from God.

Thanks. :)

The Next Place
by Warren Hanson

The next place that I go will be as peaceful and familiar as a sleepy summer Sunday and a sweet untroubled mind. And yet it won’t be like any place I have ever been or seen … or even dreamed of in the place I leave behind.

I won’t know where I’m going, and I won’t know where I’ve been as I tumble through the always and look back toward the when.

I’ll glide beyond the rainbows; I’ll drift above the sky. I’ll fly into the wonder, without ever wondering why. I won’t remember getting there ... somehow I’ll just arrive. But I’ll know that I belong there and will feel much more alive than I have ever felt before. I will be absolutely free, of the things that I held onto, that were holding on to me.

The next place that I go will be so quiet and so still that the whispered song of sweet belonging will rise up to fill the listening sky will joyful silence, and with unheard harmonies, of music made by no one playing, like a hush upon a breeze.

There will be no more room for darkness in that place of living light, where an ever-dawning morning pushes back the dying night. The very air will fill with brilliance, as the brightly shining sun and the moon and half a million stars are married into one.

The next place that I go won’t really be a place at all. There won’t be any seasons -- winter, summer, spring, or fall. Nor a Monday, nor a Friday, nor December, nor July. And the seconds will be standing still … while hours hurry by.

I will not be a boy or a girl, a woman or a man. I’ll simply be, just, simply, me … no worse or better than. My skin will not be dark or light. I won’t be fat or tall. The body I once lived in won’t be part of me at all. I will finally be perfect. I will be without a flaw. I will never make one more mistake, or break the smallest law. And the me that was impatient, or was angry or unkind will simply be a memory … the me I left behind.

I will travel empty handed. There is not a single thing I have collected in my life that I would ever want to bring -- except the love of those who loved me, and the warmth of those who cared. The happiness and memories and magic that we shared.

Though I will know the joy of solitude I’ll never be alone. I’ll be embraced by all the family and friends I’ve ever known. Although I might not see their faces all our hearts will beat as one, and the circle of our spirits will shine brighter than the sun.

I will cherish all the friendship I was fortunate to find, all the love and all the laugher in the place I leave behind. All these good things go with me. They will make my spirit glow, and that light will shine forever in the next place that I go.

11/14/2007

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

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I know. I’ve been away a long time. Far too long some of you must be thinking. Not long enough according to others. But, I have a note from my doctor; the dog ate my homework; my tux didn’t come back from the cleaners; there was an earthquake; A TERRIBLE FLOOD!!

When in doubt, throw the kitchen sink full of excuses at the problem a lá Jake Blues while staring down the barrel of an M16 in the bottom of a sewer. (Note to discerning readers: for those of you who haven’t seen The Blues Brothers, it is rivaled only by Casablanca for a myriad of one-liners that is unsurpassed.)

Still, when resting on the veracity of an excuse, the first one is probably the best. And so it is with me. I actually do have a note from my doctor – several in fact.

Whence last I posted on this site, I was preparing to move, out of necessity, I’m afraid. The stampede of IT work to India had left me high and dry with nowhere to go. Coincidentally – well, maybe no so coincidentally – I was shifting gears out of this dead-end career to something more meaningful. Ever since my sojourn to Normandy in 2004 for the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings, life has not been the same. And there’s no going back to the same old thing, the same old way. More on that in the weeks to come.

Still, I was comfortably ensconced in a 1000 sq. ft. loft in a not so unfashionable part of town. One big room with everything I needed, perched above the garage where I parked my car. I hadn’t planned to spend ten years there after my divorce, but I did. And I wasn’t all that jazzed about leaving it. As tough a move as it turned out to be after accumulating ten years of useless junk, it got infinitely more so by virtue of getting pneumonia in mid-July.

My doctor – who happens to attend my church and considers his practice really his ministry, especially when it comes to straight white guys like me who have been cut out of the health care system under the avalanche of illegals that currently overwhelm the system out here – told me if I had waited another week, I’d have landed in an oxygen tent. When I asked him “Who gets pneumonia in the middle of summer?” he had a simple response: “You do.”

Six weeks and massive doses of industrial strength antibiotics later, I beat it. That takes us to Labor Day, and about the only aspect of the last four months or so that has anything remotely to do with the decline and fall of America.

I was lounging around my new digs on Saturday night of Labor Day weekend, and all of a sudden I got this overwhelming urge for a vanilla malt. Now there just so happens to be the obligatory greasy spoon burger joint not far from my new address that specializes in all kinds of artery-clogging goodness. Not the least of these delicacies are the thickest vanilla malts this side of the Dreyer’s ice cream factory in Tijuana, Mexico. So, I grabbed my stuff and headed on down to the burger joint. It was coming up on closing time, around 11:00 at night.

What follows is an exercise in how to violate just about every existing principle of situational awareness there is. First, I went there alone. It wouldn’t have taken much effort, even at that late hour, to give someone a call, and more often than not, I would have found a taker. But, on this night, I was flying solo.

Next, I failed to notice that the parking lot was all but deserted. Maybe two or three cars, widely dispersed in the lot, with my vehicle closest to the burger joint in what just happened to be the darkest part of the lot.

It gets better. After I was finished, walking back to the car, I paid no attention to two young guys behind me chatting quietly in Spanish. I mean, come on, this is California for crying out loud – where the streets are paved with gold, and fortunes are made easier than ever thanks to cheap laborers who are willing to work for 15¢ a day and no bathroom breaks. So, I paid it no mind.

Next thing I know, I’m getting spun around by the shoulder. And I caught a glimpse – just a glimpse mind you – of a large fist heading right for me before it smashed into my head above my left eye.

I went down on the curb next to my car – breaking a rib as a turned out – and blood spurted everywhere. All over my shirt, dripping in my left eye (rendering me temporarily blind as it happened), and seeing stars out of the other one.

When I shook some sense into my head, I discovered a couple of 20-something Latinos standing over me, one of whom was carrying a small folding knife that can do a lot of damage if you’re not careful. He and his buddy sported typical gang-banger attire – baggy pants, tank tops, and shaved heads, not to mention the knife the one who hit me was brandishing in my face. Mr. Knife Boy also had a barb-wire tattoo around his neck – which an ex-cop friend of mine informed me indicated he’d spent hard time in the joint.

So there I was, lying on the ground, out of breath, my side throbbing, and also suffering from a mild concussion, I discovered later. Mr. Knife Boy then demanded – in rather colorful language which I won’t repeat here (after all, it’s a family blog) – that I hand over my wallet, which I’m sure he expected to be filled with large amounts of cash and a diverse collection of credit cards.

It just so happened I had it with me in a fanny pack (although I think he might have been disappointed at the meager score he anticipated). So, as I was sprawled on the ground bleeding, I unzipped the fanny pack. He anticipated a fat wallet. What he got was a loaded .45.

Who ever said young people can’t move fast when they’re provided with the proper motivation? You never saw two kids move that fast this side of Parris Island, South Carolina. They were gone and out of sight in less than five seconds. Good thing too. If Mr. Knife Boy had stumbled in my direction – and he was about six feet from me at the time – he’d have ended up on a slab in the morgue. Provided, of course, I could have hit him with one eye open and a broken rib. But, I exercised remarkable fire discipline for someone of my advanced years. I didn’t kill either one of them. Must be getting sentimental on my old age, or too provincial. Anyway the only one who suffered any injuries in this little dust up was me.

There are some object lessons to be learned of which experienced CCW permit holders should be well aware. Not the least of these is always pay attention to your surroundings. And realize you can get jumped and beaten up just about anywhere. Even plush, upscale bedroom communities in southern California are not immune.

Over an above those obvious discernments, there are two overriding facts of life all of us should bear in mind:

1. Glock – Don’t leave home without it.
2. The Second Amendment – Every constitution should have one, and we should always practice what we preach. It works every time. Imagine that.

I didn’t file a police report. I mean, let’s face it, I was the only one who got busted up. And I’m sure those two misguided young people have seen the error of their ways and are giving the souls to Jesus as we speak. Can you say hallelujah?

On a more practical note, experienced CCW holders in this state know the hard facts of life of concealed carry. It’s one thing to defend your life. It’s quite another to pull a gun on an oppressed person of color who courageously crossed a hostile border to claw out a desperate foothold in an inherently bigoted country in hopes of building a better life. Pull the trigger on such an innocent victim, and prepare for the wrath of God to descend in full fury. Local law enforcement, federal hate crimes commission, even Homeland Security could get in the middle of something like this, not to mention the blood-sucking media hyenas who inevitably crawl out of their roach holes looking to make a name for themselves.

So, no police report.

And thereby hangs my explanation as to why I have been so conspicuously absent from this forum.

My doctor examined my head at the Wednesday night Bible study the following week. He said I could have used three or four stitches and to come by his office. I didn’t. It’s one thing to avail yourself of the kindness of people whose hearts are in the right place. It’s quite another to take advantage of it. Besides which, my scar gives me yet another opportunity to lie about my war record (“This is where that NVA colonel wrestled my K-BAR away from me and tried to stab me through the head before I killed him with my .45, honey.”) Women love that kind of stuff. No matter that the scar is less than two months old. They’ll believe anything. Some of them, anyway.

So, I spent another six weeks recuperating from my war wounds, only to come down with pneumonia again. That’s twice in one year, no less. After kicking it a second time, I ended up with a severe case of sinusitis, made even more miserable by breathing in clouds of smoke as every firebug with a book of matches came out of the woodwork and attempted to burn down the entire state of California.

If that wasn’t enough, no one told me that a steady diet of antibiotics over several months tends to dehydrate the patient. Never being one to drink enough water anyway, I managed to squeeze out five (count ‘em) kidney stones in the process. That brings my grand total to eighteen over the past twenty years.

So, assuming my troubles have taken a temporary hiatus, I look forward to offering more commentaries on the state of the nation as the year winds down. In the meantime, let me wish everyone who participates on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed a very Happy Thanksgiving. It is by far my favorite holiday. I have no idea what’s going to be left of America – probably nothing if we’re faced with eight years of Hillary – but I hope and pray this holiday survives the twin vise grips of globalization and third world invasions.

There’s something to be said for tradition, after all.

by Euro-American Scum
(contributing team member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)

10/25/2007

The Foundation of the ‘American Philosophy’: Life, Liberty, Vigilance and Courage

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John Cooper, a good friend and regular contributor here, posted under the previous essay a link to a brilliant article by André Glucksmann, entitled, From the H-Bomb to the Human Bomb: Modern terrorism seeks to combine the annihilating power of Hiroshima with the nihilistic gospel of Auschwitz.

I urge you all to read the article, and then to respond to John’s observation that the gist of the article is that philosophy moves nations, followed by his question, ‘What is the American philosophy’?

It seems to me that ‘the American philosophy’, if examined in the most elementary terms, was originally defined in all of our founding documents, refined over the ensuing century and a half, and then pretty much abandoned in the mid-twentieth century, which explains why this nation is now adrift without anchor, and out of view of safe harbor.

Philosopher and once close associate of Ayn Rand, Nathaniel Branden, observed that ‘The United States was the first country in the history of the world to be consciously created out of an idea — and the idea was liberty.’

Indeed!

Our republic was founded by decent, visionary men whose goal was to establish a country whose people harbored a genuine, undying reverence for the God-given gifts of life and individual liberty.Yet sometimes the simplest gifts are the most beautiful …. and the most difficult to retain. You see, they are so easily taken for granted. In an effort to establish that vision, our Founders also drew up a blueprint for minimal government, whose role would be the same: to respect and defend life and individual liberty. Nothing more, and nothing less. Both within our borders and without.

Of course, over the past two-plus centuries, there have been many glaring exceptions to the life/liberty reverence -- both in our government’s relation to us, and in its interference in other nations’ affairs. But, as a rule, America has continued to stand for those two noble concepts -- here, and wherever else they have been threatened, and where we felt called to intervene in their defense. Greece under Truman, and Grenada under Reagan are just two of dozens of recent examples that come to mind.

There are -- always have been, and forever will be -- people, and belief systems, in this world in which neither human life nor individual liberty are considered of significant worth. And it is with those people, and belief systems, that the fundamental vision of this nation has been at odds for more than two centuries. Communism and radical Islam are the two most provocative enemies that we have known in that regard in my lifetime. But there will always be forces at work which seek to destroy life and liberty for the sake of power/ideology/’religious doctrine’. Those forces go by different names, but under the façade lurks the same dark and devious heart that seeks to declare some men of less value than others.

Something that has troubled me for a long time now is the increasing movement in this country toward diminishing the value of both (life and liberty). And in continuing to allow that erosion of vision to happen, we are losing our once-unique and noble identity. (There are those who say the demeaning of life and liberty has always been a definitive part of this culture …. it was merely more covert in the past. I do not agree.)

What concerns me is that we, as a nation, are falling away from serving as an example that other nations can emulate. There are many reasons for the decay -- the gradual, but continual, removal of God from our public consciousness, parental permissiveness, the influence of television/entertainment, the welfare/entitlement state, the leftist curricula in public and higher education, etc. But the most unfortunate outcome of that time when the less than noble finally outnumber the noble in this country will be that there will be no nation willing to stand as an example, or step in when stepping in to preserve life or liberty is necessary -- and whether the stepping in is popular with the majority of mankind or not. Because the sad fact is that the majority of mankind, if given the choice, tends to choose the path of least resistance. It’s the nature of the beast. But up until now -- and with few exceptions -- it has not been the nature of this republic.

Our Revolution served as the cornerstone for our republic form of government, based on that unyielding belief in the sanctity of human life and individual liberty. The civilization which grew out of the faith, and bloodshed, and courage, and resolve, and vision that was embodied in that Revolution was once the most moral, prosperous, ‘civilized’ nation on earth. We were once pretty much of one mind as regards the importance of individual liberty in maintaining that national morality and prosperity. And therein lay our strength – our unified national resolve: liberty at any cost.

It now appears that liberty -- or at least a significant portion of each individual’s -- may be bartered on a whim. Why then all the bloodshed two hundred-plus years ago? No whim was that. How did this republic mold its once unique and unsurpassed national character? By meekly handing over just a little bit more of our freedom each time an enemy blustered – so that the government (that dragon that our Founders so carefully sought -- through bloody battle, and careful deliberation -- to keep constrained) could protect us from others who would steal those same liberties? Was there ever a dichotomy of a more perilous sort?

Two hundred-plus years, accompanied by material wealth and affluence and (late arriving on the scene, but loaded for bear) concomitant leftist cradle-to-grave indoctrination by the public education system and the mainstream media has brought us to this sorrowful place we’re at. A populace that values creature comforts more than freedom. That prefers to rely on media/literary/political experts to do their thinking for them, rather than putting their own brain cells into personal intuitive/creative/analytical drive. Fertile ground for an insidious, liberty-thieving indoctrination/propaganda machine if there ever were any.

Lack of ‘vigilance’ (in the form of knowledge of one’s roots and commitment to their protection and nurturing), accompanied by lack of courage, has probably enslaved more people -- either through violent overthrow or gradual encroachment -- over the history of mankind than any other fatal combination.

I was born after World War II, but I (and I believe most others who stop by here) have learned second-hand what those who experienced the horrors of that war witnessed firsthand. It is we post-war Americans who haven’t taken the time to examine our roots, and the offshoots that grew out from them over the past two-plus centuries, who have no mental image to conjure up, whenever our government speaks nobly of abrogating our liberties for the sake of preserving them.

Man has an unfortunate penchant to look the other way after a major world cataclysm has occurred. We emerged victorious from World War II, and we, at least subliminally, told ourselves that human evil had been defeated, or at least contained – unwilling to allow ourselves to remember that evil is eternal, that we cannot ‘rest on our laurels’ or stop looking over our shoulders.

At any victory party after which evil has been contained, it must be the charge of at least a handful of the partygoers to be guarding the door. And, after the party is over, while the sun continues to shine, that handful’s calling must assume much more critical proportions, in order to begin (subtly at first, because man enjoys his party time, and after-reflection) to instill in the populace a renewed sense of vigilance. There must be a consistent reminder that cloudy days are not a thing of the past, and that some clouds conceal potential danger, serving as forewarnings of major destructive storms. Such clouds require serious, constant scrutiny by educated, world-wise eyes.

It is because we have been negligent in providing those eyes that the continued implementation of our American philosophy has deteriorated beyond recognition.

In the article mentioned in the first paragraph above, the author himself says of the human tendency to revert to the convenience of a short attention-span rather than remaining ever vigilant:

The worst of the storm has barely passed, and one is busy ‘moving on’—renovating dead-end roads, regilding the clocks of Cloud-Cuckoo-Land. We turn away from reality and its truths, which are neither easy to live with nor pleasant to talk about. Before long, repression is complete.

Four of the most eloquent and concise, if lesser quoted, examples of our Founders’ vision are represented below. And the absolute necessity to ‘stand guard’ over that vision is implicit in every word:

(1) Thomas Paine in Common Sense on the need for eternal vigilance on many fronts:

Though I would carefully avoid giving unnecessary offence, yet I am inclined to believe, that all those who espouse the ‘doctrine of reconciliation’, may be included within the following descriptions: Interested men, who are not to be trusted; weak men, who cannot see; prejudiced men, who will not see; and a certain set of moderate men, who think better of the European world than it deserves; and this last class, by an ill-judged deliberation, will be the cause of more calamities to this continent, than all the other three.

(2) From Declaration of the Causes and Necessity
of Taking Up Arms
(1775), reiterating the need for vigilance:

In our own native land, in defense of the freedom that is our birthright, and which we ever enjoyed till the late violation of it -- for the protection of our property, acquired solely by the honest industry of our fore-fathers and ourselves, against violence actually offered, we have taken up arms. We shall lay them down when hostilities shall cease on the part of the aggressors, and all danger of their being renewed shall be removed, and not before.

(3) Samuel Adams (from a speech delivered to the State House in Philadelphia in 1776):

Our Union is now complete; our Constitution composed, established, and approved. You are now the guardians of your own liberties …
You have now in the field armies sufficient to repel the whole force of your enemies and their base and mercenary auxiliaries … Your adversaries are composed of wretches who laugh at the rights of humanity, who turn religion into derision, and would, for higher wages, direct their swords against their leaders or their country … For my own part I ask no greater blessing than to share with you the common danger and common glory.


(4) Thomas Paine, again, in The Rights of Man:

While the Declaration of Rights was before the National Assembly some of its members remarked that if a declaration of rights were published it should be accompanied by a Declaration of Duties. The observation discovered a mind that reflected, and it only erred by not reflecting far enough. A Declaration of Rights is, by reciprocity, a Declaration of Duties also. Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess …

… nor can any country be called free whose government does not take its beginning from the principles they contain, and continue to preserve them pure.


It is in the last of these quotes, perhaps more than any other of our founding documents, that a real description of the source of our current national malaise – and deadly vulnerability -- lies. And the symptoms of that malaise are allowing our enemies, both external and internal, to bring our republic down.

Paine prudently observed above that, along with a declaration of, and belief in, the sanctity of individual rights, must also come a declaration of duties (responsibilities) … and that a free people must always ensure that their government consistently continues to preserve them [the individual rights it is created to protect] pure.

Now, perhaps more than at any time in the history of mankind, we -- not just Americans, but all freedom-loving people -- must practice the kind of vigilance that will both ensure the existence of freedom, and see to it that our own government does not successfully join forces with those who would bring us to our knees. That kind of vigilance is borne of a knowledge of history and the attendant understanding that there will always be a predator at the door – either domestic or foreign, but a predator nonetheless.

When a society becomes sufficiently enrapt of bread-and-circus activities, and sufficiently diverted from guarding the door, that society’s days are numbered.

My good friend, First_Salute, in his essay, We Only Have the Rights We Defend, as Long as We are Able reflects:

No system of government will preserve for us what is our own responsibility to defend. And for all the fury which might release upon catastrophic failures by our government officials to uphold the lawful laws, no recovery is possible without the people being well-informed of what is our responsibility and trust ... and duty to restore.

Speaking passionately about the fact that vigilance is an imperative in a free society, Edmund Burke cautioned, in Speech on Conciliation With America (1775) --- that the citizens of a free society must ‘augur misgovernment at a distance; and snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, in A World Split Apart, his
commencement address Delivered At Harvard University in 1978, warned:

A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West today. The Western world has lost its civic courage … Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling and intellectual elites, causing an impression of a loss of courage by the entire society. There are many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life … Must one point out that from ancient times a decline in courage has been considered the first symptom of the end?

Clarence Thomas, addressing the in American Enterprise Institute in 2001, in a speech entitled Be Not Afraid warned:

I do believe that we are required to wade into those things that matter to our country and our culture, no matter what the disincentives are, and no matter the personal cost. There is not one among us who wants to be set upon, or obligated to do and say difficult things. Yet, there is not one of us who could in good conscience stand by and watch a loved one or a defenseless person --- or a vital national principle --- perish alone, undefended, when our intervention could make all the difference. This may well be too dramatic an example. But nevertheless, put most simply: if we think that something is dreadfully wrong, then someone has to do something.

Our Founders created the blueprint for a government focused on the sanctity of human life and liberty, where the people’s voice would forever outweigh government mandate. They also repeatedly warned us that preservation of such a noble society requires constant vigilance, and repeated action, with courage in passionate defense of liberty as the igniting spark.

Yet, despite the preciousness of our ancestral inheritance, our vigilance has devolved into ignorance and inattention, and our courage has transformed into apathy.

A rebirth … even an ascension … is needed. And we have fallen so far that the ascension must be tantamount to climbing onto a new evolutionary plane. We have no choice but to focus on higher realms. The alternative is unthinkable.

~ joanie

10/20/2007

The Pillars of Creation

Pillars of Creation.jpg

I believe this photo is now over twelve years old but I still find it fascinating and genuinely awe-inspiring.

I found myself thinking of it today and was struggling with the scale of it all. I am no astronomer, but I understand this is a star factory. It is called the Eagle Nebula, with its soaring star factories dubbed the Pillars of Creation. It is star birth in action, all captured in vivid color by the Hubble Space Telescope.

The scale of it is so difficult to comprehend but our Earth would not show up in any way if it were placed within in the scale of this photograph.

While I am not suggesting we all sit around star gazing, the scale of creation in general can be useful in putting everyday issues in perspective.

I recently had to deal with a rather peeved team member over some extra ‘compassionate leave’ given to a colleague at the time a family member died. Peeved team member had lost his father earlier this year and had been given a total of seven days leave in addition to his normal twenty-five days holiday. However at the age of forty-eight he could not countenance that someone might get more compassionate leave than he did.

As diplomatically as I could I implied that it was none of his business and it was a matter for HR, the powers that be in such matters. He grumbled that, if the colleague were given more leave than he, he would want some retroactive compassionate leave.

I tried to end the conversation having already taken half an hour on ‘the issue’. I was frankly bemused that a man of forty-eight years could be so petty, so jealous, so pathetic in his desire for ‘equality’ in work. He has worked too long in the office, has lost his sense of perspective and, although fundamentally a nice man, has become embittered in his pursuit of equal treatment, when in reality there will never be equal or certainly not identical treatment of human situations that always vary and are never the same.

If I hadn't been constrained by the need to act ‘professionally’ and the somber nature of circumstances behind compassionate leave I would have laughed at the very concept that he could get compassionate leave retroactively.

I find the sense of entitlement and the concern over office life amazing in one who seems to have lived most of life's main experiences.

Perhaps I'll take a print of the pillars into work sometime. Maybe it could just bring home that our lives are but one tiny portion of all life that is spread over time and space. Against that, the leave of a colleague might assume slightly less significance than it does at present.

by Luis
(contributing team member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)

10/17/2007

Treason Revisited ... or ...
'When Will Enough Be Enough?'

Treason.jpg

I have been wanting to sit down and write a scathing essay on the House’s recent proposed resolution regarding the World War I era genocide perpetrated against Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, but sufficient free time has not presented itself over the past few days.

Last night, John Cooper, a good friend and a regular contributor here, sent me the following article from Investor’s Business Daily. The article says exactly what I would have said, and says it much better, so I offer it here for your consideration as evidence of perhaps the most egregious and evil example of treason under consideration in our lifetimes – because it places our fighting men and women in significantly more grave danger than even the litany of previous treasonous words and actions committed by the American congress.

It is time for a major change in the fabric of ‘leadership’ in America. When a physical revolution becomes the only remaining option for us, we need to pray that our outrage will not be silenced by creatures to whom personal power is more precious than human life and liberty.

Pelosi’s Premium

Congress' foolish move to declare the massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire a genocide will have an impact far beyond politics. It affects you both in your pocketbook and in your security.

No question, Armenians have a right to seek recognition of their people's suffering. The Ottoman Turks slaughtered an estimated 1.5 million Armenians in one of the largest ethnic cleansing operations ever, lasting roughly from 1915 to 1923. It sure seems like genocide to us or at least something very much akin to that odious practice.

But congressional Democrats weren't interested in justice when they voted on this resolution. They had political mischief in mind.

Those who pushed the resolution saw a chance to pander to an aggrieved but well-heeled group Armenian-Americans while damaging U.S. ties with Turkey, a key ally in the war on terror.

For Democrats, what could be better? Shore up their Armenian-American support at home, while making it harder for President Bush to win in Iraq a war Democrats have come to loathe, even though they voted for it. Win-win, as political strategists like to say.

Yet what they actually did was stab U.S. troops in Iraq in the back, forcing the military to scramble to find new ways to supply our soldiers in case the Turks, as threatened, close our base at Incirlik. (More than two-thirds of our Iraq supplies go through that base.)

Not content to merely to make our soldiers' lives more difficult and risky, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her allies have helped create a sharp spike in crude oil prices.

After Turkey's government warned on Oct. 7 that the declaration on Armenian genocide might damage U.S.-Turkey ties, the price of oil jumped from $79.03 a barrel to $87.61 Tuesday, a gain of 11%, or nearly $9 a barrel, in a little over a week.

The Democrats' move, blamed by oil traders for the upsurge in crude, has increased our monthly national oil bill by roughly $3.53 billion at current import rates. That's about $42 billion a year. Call it the Stupidity Tax.

Hit hardest will be the poor. A fuel tax is regressive, meaning it falls heaviest on those at the bottom. We're surprised we've not seen this levy dissected in detail by the mainstream media. But they've gone strangely quiet.

Who knows if oil will continue to rise following the Democrats' attempt to hijack foreign policy? It could trigger a recession one the Democrats and the left-leaning media would blame on Bush.

So as you pull up to the gas pump and watch the digits rise ever higher, please avoid cursing OPEC's potentates or China or Hugo Chavez or whatever. This time, you've paid the Pelosi Premium.

Worse than oil prices, though, are the Pelosi Democrats' intentional damage to our Iraq War effort. Her party doesn't have the courage to end the war by defunding it, which it could do. Instead, it's creating chaos in the Middle East, where Turkey has threatened to send forces into Iraq to pursue Kurdish guerrillas.

On Tuesday, the head of Turkey's parliament warned Pelosi that "it might take decades to heal negative effects of the bill if it passes." Pelosi knows that neither the current government nor any citizens of modern Turkey committed the atrocities against the Armenians. She also knows the horrible timing of the genocide resolution means big trouble for the U.S. Yet she doesn't care.

Well, we do; so should you. Successful democracy depends on goodwill from both sides of the debate. That's now in short supply, at least for one party.

Investor's Business Daily

~ joanie

10/14/2007

On Accountability

Accountability.jpg

A brief local illustration of the arrogance of government officials:

Here in rural, normally relatively crime-free Lancaster County, over the past four years we have experienced two major crimes that made national and world headlines:

- 1 -

Last October, Charles Roberts entered the West Nickel Mines Amish School in Bart Township, equipped with four weapons (a deer rifle, a shotgun, a hand gun, and a stun gun), five hundred rounds of ammunition, a knife, a filled toolbox, a truss board, and a tube of sexual lubricant.

He released the boys and the adults, then bound the arms and legs of ten young school girls (ranging in age from six to thirteen-years-old), lined them up at the chalkboard, and, when local authorities surrounded the school and demanded that he release his hostages and surrender, he then began to shoot the girls, execution style.

The end result was that five of the young girls either died at the school or later succumbed to their head injuries, and one remains on life support, and is now at home with her family, never expected to emerge from anything more than a vegetative state.

Nickel Mines.jpg

Charles Roberts, the killer, was reportedly scheduled to undergo an employment-related drug test the following day.

- 2 -

Most likely due to its rural location and yet its proximity to a Pennsylvania Turnpike exit, a small family-owned well-drilling company, located just a few miles from our home, served as the infamous location of the dumping of assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Luna’s body in December of 2003.

Jonathan Luna.jpg

At the time, Luna was purportedly investigating a case in which several high-profile state or national politicians were involved.

For those who may not remember, Luna was stabbed thirty-six times with his own penknife and was discovered ‘drowned’ in a little creek behind a local well-drilling company. He had left a Baltimore courthouse the night of December 4, 2003, and, according to court records, instead of going home managed to make his way to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, exiting at the exit nearby our house without his E-Z pass, but using, instead, a blood-stained toll ticket.

Presumably shortly thereafter, he continued to stab himself many more times with his own knife, drive his car into the foot-deep creek behind the local business:

Sensenig Well Drilling.jpg

... crawl under the front end of the car just beneath the engine, and drown. A bizarre way of ‘committing suicide’, to any rational mind.

Also contributing to the ‘bizarre suicide’ scenario is the fact that a pool of blood was found on the floor of the rear area of the car. Then again, Luna may well have been a contortionist of sorts, able to somehow reach a car’s steering wheel from the floor of the rear seat.

In the nearly four years since the ‘suicide,’ and despite a $100,000 federal reward for information about Luna’s death, no suspects or motives for a possible homicide have been uncovered.

Because requests by Luna’s family to conduct an inquest into his death were denied, early this year the Luna family’s attorney filed a petition for a writ of mandamus to force the Lancaster County coroner to conduct one.

(End of summary of the two cases)

In a highly unusual move by the Lancaster County Republican Committee, Lancaster County coroner, Dr. G. Gary Kirchner, has not been endorsed for re-election this year. The committee instead endorsed another candidate, who won the primary election, yet Kirchner has initiated a write-in campaign in order to retain his position.

Today’s Lancaster Sunday News contains a very brief article stating that, since he took office four years ago, Kirchner has repeatedly defied state law by keeping all autopsy records, including those of Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Luna and mass murderer Charles Roberts, private.

Pennsylvania law states that a coroner must file all of his official records on an annual basis, ‘for the inspection of all persons interested therein’. Yet Kirchner claims that autopsy reports are not public records, and that records obtained in the Joanthan Luna case, in particular, ‘would embarrass a lot of people’.

I, and many other Lancaster County residents, still harbor countless questions regarding the way five young Amish girls, and one assistant U.S. attorney, met their deaths. And at least one elected public official is not doing all that he is required to do to put those concerns to rest.

So much for public disclosure and ‘public servant’ accountability.

~ joanie