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REQUIEM

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

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

2/09/2007

Celebrity, Bread and Circuses


A few brief comments today ...

I spent roughly eight hours sitting at a desk today, working – half of that time at my office, and half of it at home. For some of those eight hours, until I could bear no more of it, I had my radio tuned to an all-news station, or I had ‘fair and balanced’ (*spit*) FoxNews on the television, in the background.

I would venture to guess that close to ninety percent of the news broadcast/telecast today had to do with the death of a celebrity, whose contributions (in this writer’s opinion) to the world could fit on the head of a pin, with room to spare for a dust mite or two.

Three questions:

I

When was the last time anyone heard or saw a news report, especially on ‘fair and balanced’ (*spit*) FoxNews, focusing on the fact that the front-runner for the democrat party’s nomination for president of the United States, and the potential next leader of the free world, was intricately involved with every facet of her husband’s presidency – during which the following (and more) occurred?

The president hosted more than a hundred fundraising dinners in the White House in which he solicited, and received, huge financial contributions from our ideological enemies.

The first lady (the candidate-to-be, herself) made a mathematically impossible fortune in cattle futures, virtually overnight.

The president consistently ‘invented’ principles of law for no other reason than to delay or avoid prosecution.

Friends of the president, the Lippo Group’s John Huang and James Riady, gained illegal access to classified material at the Commerce Department.

Subpoenaed documents (the first lady’s billing records, documentation of the White House travel office firings, etc.) disappeared.

Nine hundred personal FBI files of the president’s political opponents were illegally obtained and reviewed by Craig Livingstone.

The White House obstructed the FBI’s investigation of Vince Foster’s office, following his ‘suicide’.

The vice president (now a convenient candidate for both an Academy Award and a Nobel Prize) and the first lady’s chief of staff solicited, and received, millions in illegal campaign contributions.

Under presidential direction, sensitive missile and satellite technology, secure communications, high-tech machine tools, and supercomputers were transferred to Communist China, primarily by two American companies (Hughes and Loral), both of which were heavy contributors to the President’s campaigns.

Under presidential direction, the deployment of an American missile defense system was road-blocked, leaving us vulnerable to the very ICBMs that he was helping our enemies produce. American military manpower, materiel, and equipment (especially ships and aircraft) were also cut by roughly one-half.

Under blatantly unconstitutional presidential directive, nearly two million acres of barren, undesirable, completely non-historic state and federal land were declared a ‘national monument’, thus preventing the mining of one of the largest deposits of clean coal in North America -- the only other major alternative source of clean coal being owned by the Indonesian Lippo Group (among the fortunate, living ‘friends of Bill’).

The president hired a squadron of lawyers, often providing them White House offices and government salaries, so that they could perform large amounts of personal legal work for the Clintons.

The president engaged in oral sex in the Oval Office with a White House intern.

The president sexually assaulted a White House volunteer, the wife of a deceased friend.

The president committed and suborned perjury, and concealed and destroyed evidence.

The president and his operatives saw to it that those who remained silent about his crimes either received lucrative jobs or promotions, outrageous ‘consulting fees’, or pardons ... while, at the same time, they demonized and ruined the lives and careers of those who came forward with the truth.

The president was very possibly indirectly complicit in the execution-style murders of intern Mary Mahoney in a Washington, DC Starbucks, and Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, who mysteriously received a bullet hole in the back of his head during a ‘plane crash’ in Croatia.

The president raped Juanita Broaddrick.

The president sexually molested Paula Jones.

As a result of their acquaintance with him, and possible knowledge of his character flaws, many of the President’s friends are dead.

The president bears major responsibility for North Korea's build-up of nuclear arms, as a result of phony, weak-kneed 'diplomacy', and refusal to seek peace through strength.

The president bears major responsibility for the increase in Islamic terrorism worldwide, as a result of its refusal to capture Osama bin Laden, when capture was ensured.

Two final words: Sandy Berger.

II

Why is none of the above considered important enough to be newsworthy, when the front-runner for the democrat presidential nomination was either intimately involved with the operations and/or played a major role in their cover-up? And why will all of the above continue to be ignored right up until, and beyond, November 4th, 2008? And how much more newsworthy is the story that filled the airwaves today, and will no doubt continue to be deemed a major national event?

III

When we have been thoroughly saturated with tributes to Anna Nicole Smith, and reflections on her ‘tragic’ life, will any of us know the names of the following four men, all of whom died this past week in much more tragic (in this writer’s opinion) circumstances than Ms. Smith, and all of whom contributed mightily to the peace and security of the world they left behind?

1st Lt. Jacob N. Fritz, 25, of Verdon, Nebraska

Spc. Johnathan B. Chism, 22, of Prairieville, Louisiana

Pfc. Shawn P. Falter, 25, of Homer, New York

Pvt. Johnathon M. Millican, 20, of Trafford, Alabama



~ joanie

2/06/2007

Wanted: Another Reagan


February 6, 1911 - June 5, 2004

Last month the Czech capital of Prague announced its decision to erect a monument to honor Ronald Reagan. And why not? Similar monuments to the man already exist in Budapest and Warsaw, and elsewhere in Eastern Europe.

It is entirely proper that our nation's 40th President be memorialized in cities once shrouded by the Iron Curtain. According to one Czech paper, after his 1983 "Evil Empire" speech, "President Reagan was probably the most hated and ridiculed of all the Western leaders by the former communist regime. The communist media relentlessly condemned what they called 'Reagan's war-mongering' and the arms race." Then again, these were state-run media whose leading insights on America came courtesy of CNN.

Following Reagan's death in 2004, Czech Senator Jan Ruml, a pro-democracy dissident imprisoned under the communist regime, recalled the significance of the U.S. President's staunch support for himself and his compatriots.

"In the 1980s we placed our hopes in Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher," said Ruml. "The fact that someone out there called communism by its proper name and actually did something to promote freedom and democracy helped us a great deal. Ronald Reagan was the man instrumental in bringing down communism and we should all remember him with great respect as the man thanks to whom we are enjoying our present freedom." This is high praise, indeed, coming as it does from a man with a first-person perspective on communist tyranny.

Announcing the overwhelming public desire to honor Reagan, Prague's 6th-District mayor, Tomas Chalupa, agreed. Reagan's central place in Czech history is assured, he said, as "the most important personality that enabled the fall of communism."

Born in Tampico, Illinois, to Jack and Nelle Reagan on 6 February 1911, the Gipper would have turned 96 this Tuesday. It's a fitting occasion, then, on which to ponder an important question: To what extent have we honored the conservative ideals of the Reagan Revolution?

When the Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan introduced conservative candidate Barry Goldwater at the 1964 Republican National Convention (and in so doing launched his own political career), he too understood the need to ask how freedom-loving Americans had honored their heritage:

"It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, ‘We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self government.' This idea—that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power—is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves."

Today, Reagan's "A Time for Choosing" is considered one of the defining statements of 20th-century conservatism, and the choice he outlined is no less vital in 2007.

In another seminal speech, "The New Republican Party," delivered on his birthday in 1977—two gubernatorial terms and one presidential bid later—Reagan had not altered his theme:

"When a conservative quotes [Thomas] Jefferson that government that is closest to the people is best, it is because he knows that Jefferson risked his life, his fortune and his sacred honor to make certain that what he and his fellow patriots learned from experience was not crushed by an ideology of empire... Conservatism is the antithesis of the kind of ideological fanaticism that has brought so much horror and destruction to the world. The common sense and common decency of ordinary men and women, working out their own lives in their own way—this is the heart of American conservatism today. Conservative wisdom and principles are derived from willingness to learn, not just from what is going on now, but from what has happened before."

As President, Ronald Reagan did not waver from the precepts of conservatism he'd laid out in those earlier years. He enacted Executive Order 12612 on federalism "to restore the division of governmental responsibilities between the national government and the States that was intended by the Framers of the Constitution and to ensure that the principles of federalism established by the Framers..."

"Constitutional authority for Federal action," the Order read, "is clear and certain only when authority for the action may be found in a specific provision of the Constitution, there is no provision in the Constitution prohibiting Federal action, and the action does not encroach upon authority reserved to the States." Freedom, Reagan understood, was dependent on the limitation and division of governing powers.

Later that same year, on 12 June 1987, despite the objections of the State Department and the National Security Council, President Reagan uttered these forceful and historic words before listeners at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin:

"General-Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate... Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

In this sense, our friends in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland honor this man for the same reasons that we in the United States honor him today: Ronald Reagan didn't simply stand for the dissolution of communism; he stood for the building up of a new edifice of individual liberty and limited government where that awful, all-powerful state once stood.

As the ostensible heirs of the Reagan Revolution, today's Republicans are committed to subsidizing prescription drugs, leaving no child behind, enlarging the federal footprint in the private sector and inventing government solutions to non-government problems. So we must ask the question once again: To what extent have they honored the Reagan Revolution? To what extent have they honored "the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers"?

Like Ronald Reagan's foes on both sides of the Berlin Wall, these Republican leaders seem all too willing, all too often, to expand the state at the expense of liberty. With candidates aplenty and the 2008 election just around the corner, let's hope and pray that a true conservative—a Reagan conservative—will soon emerge.

One final word from the Gipper...

"When a conservative states that the free market is the best mechanism ever devised by the mind of man to meet material needs, he is merely stating what a careful examination of the real world has told him is the truth. When a conservative says that totalitarian Communism is an absolute enemy of human freedom he is not theorizing—he is reporting the ugly reality captured so unforgettably in the writings of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. When a conservative says it is bad for the government to spend more than it takes in, he is simply showing the same common sense that tells him to come in out of the rain. When a conservative says that busing does not work, he is not appealing to some theory of education—he is merely reporting what he has seen down at the local school." —Ronald Reagan, "The New Republican Party" (1977)

submitted by All_Good_Men
(contributing team member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)

Patriot Vol. 07 No. 05
02 February 2007
PatriotPost.US

2/05/2007

Reflections of America
on Super Bowl Sunday


A goodly amount of time has passed since my last contribution to this forum. A lot of water over the gate, so to speak. And aside from mentioning a couple of semi-serious physical ailments that have transpired during that time, not to mention a major crisis in faith, I won’t bore the collective readership of ADB with the particulars. Needless to say, it’s good to be back, and hopefully this perspective meets with at least a few nodding heads in discernment.

Super Bowl Sunday! At least it is as I begin this commentary. And here I sit at my crowded, cluttered desk, staring at my huge, antiquated 19-in. monitor that takes up about 1/3 of the space as the game winds down. Didn’t watch it. And that’s a first. I’ve seen them all – including the first one, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, in person, at a time when you could walk up to the box office on game day, purchase a ticket for $12, and take your place with the approximately 65,000 fans who should up to populate the then-near 100,000-seat capacity stadium.

My how times have changed.

So, this was something of a precedent-setting event for me. Normally, I will participate, if for no other reason than the Super Bowl is the last gasp of the current football season. Game, set and match. Fade to black, and we’ll see you next summer. No more fixes for us football junkies until August. And that’s reason enough t hoist a few non-alcoholic beers while downing several slices of pizza in the process, even if my interest in the whole circus has become diluted over the years.

Part of this is due, of course, to the fact that there is nary an NFL team to be found in the local environs of Southern California. The Chargers are too far away to get excited about, and with Marty-ball sapping the purity of essence of the Bolts’ precious bodily fluids these days (to paraphrase General Jack Ripper), they just don’t count. The Raiders were never an L.A. team, and they bugged out while the bugging was good. And, well . . . the Rams left town about five years before the Rams left town, if you get my drift. Add to this condition of ennui the fact that my season usually wraps up with whatever bowl game USC is playing in, in this case the Rose Bowl on January 1.

So, my interest this year’s wow-finish to the NFL season was at an all-time low going in. There remained, however, the question of what I was going to do with my free afternoon. Somehow, all the big TV extravaganzas designed to siphon viewers like myself away from the NFL elephant in the living room didn’t float my boat. Sifting through my extremely alpha-manly collection of DVDs did nothing to excite me either. You know you’re in trouble when you can’t come up with something suitable to watch from such choices as Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, A Few Good Men, not to mention a plethora of Arnold Schwarzenegger blow-em-up-beat-em-up movies for good measure. I was in one serious funk as game time approached.

So, off I went to the junk closet and dusted off a box of old VHS tapes my wife had recorded before we parted company. I was in serious trouble here. I was down to chick-flicks on home grown VHS cassettes and nothing was looking good as I wiped off about an inch and a half of dust from the top layer of tapes.

Now, I’m what you might call an enlightened conservative. I refuse to use the word “compassionate” in this context for reasons I’m sure many of you will find all too obvious. I was astonished that I actually liked The Bridges of Madison County. Either I’ve developed some heightened sensibilities, a serious drop in testosterone levels or I’m just going soft on my old age.

Eventually, I found a film that I vaguely remembered we taped off television many years ago. The White Cliffs of Dover. This was one of those WWII-era schmaltzy, sentimental movies characteristic of that time. But I also remembered it had a certain bite to it that made it appealing this afternoon as I looked for an alternative to a day of bone-crushing Chicago Bear tackles and spectacular last-second Peyton Manning touchdown passes.

So . . . as they teed up the football in Miami, I dusted off my aging VHS tape and popped it into the VCR and I was off to the Never-never Land of make believe.

Now, it came back to me. Irene Dunne, Alan Marshall, Frank Morgan, a very young Roddy McDowell, an even younger Elizabeth Taylor and a further concoction of 1940s Hollywood big and not-so-big shots all gathered together on one screen. Not a bad cast if I do say so myself.

Without giving away the dramatic climax of the tale, the story concerns a young American woman (Dunne) who marries into the English gentry while traveling in Britain in 1914. The film centers around her life over the next 30 years. Now that was a particularly lively period of history for the U.K., not to mention the rest of the world. The plot examines the tension between her status as an English lady and her American roots, her husband’s service in WWI, the Depression, her son’s service in WWII a generation later and so on.

There were two scenes that framed much of the story that stood out in my never-to-be-humble opinion. In 1917, she and her newborn son were standing on a balcony, overlooking a parade of newly-arrived American fighting men as part of the Allied Expeditionary Force. She held her newborn baby in her arms all the while telling him that these were American fighting men, that they were his countrymen (he was, after all, half American), that they would fight well, destroy the barbarians, and bring a lasting peace.

After all, the context of this film was 1944. And the question always comes up – does the culture of the time influence the artistic representations (in this case film), or does the film influence the culture? Cultural historians can rage until dawn on this question. Regardless of the actual influence the AEF brought to bear toward a lasting peace, such sentiments did actually reflect the views of a good many Brits in 1917 after three years of carnage on the western front and nothing to show for it.

Well, the years went by, and at the film’s end, an aging Lady of the Manor – by this time a hospital matron tending the WWII battle casualties – stood on yet another balcony with her then British Commando son – recently evacuated following the abortive raid on Dieppe – and observed essentially the same procession of yet another generation of American fighting men, charged with the same task as their fathers half a lifetime before.

For all the schmaltz, sentiment and tragedy, it is a very powerful cinematic moment. But the point of this lengthy introduction is a line of dialogue that this woman delivers as the film reaches its climax, standing on the balcony, watching her countrymen once again stand up against the dark forces loose in the world.

She said, “God will never forgive us if we break faith with our dead ever again.”

That’s it. Fade to black. Buy war bonds in this theater.

Now, I can’t imagine anyone leaving a theater in 1944 with a dry eye in the house. I further can’t believe anyone made it past the box office without emptying their wallets to buy every war bond they could afford.

It was that kind of time.

It wasn’t so much the remark itself, but the demeanor of the woman as she made it. She spoke of a “peace that would stick” in the same context of the scene. But it wasn’t with the supreme confidence of the nations (America and Britain) or the peoples who know their cause is just. It was tinged with a sad lament.

Taking this to its illogical, fictitious conclusion . . .

Did she have any sense that the men who fought with such courage, resourcefulness and simple faith would age into complacent, arrogant couch potatoes, more concerned with their investment portfolios than the well-being of their children or their country?

Did she envision the massive rebellion of the generation that followed against their WWII-fathers, tearing down the societal foundations they had built, in a fit of self-absorbed generational rage, while offering nothing more enlightened with which to replace them?

Could she see the complacency of how we now live – fighting a global war for survival in an offhand, frivolous fashion, with no national commitment, with a population that, for the most part, does not notice and does not want to be bothered?

Could she imagine a spineless leadership – on both sides of the political spectrum – that will not protect the sovereignty of the country it has been elected to lead, has no interest in the protection of its citizens, will not mandate a national effort to defend the country from an enemy sworn to destroy it, and will sell its most precious national achievements to the cheapest foreign workforce?

Could she lament the erosion of her nation’s identity to the point that her great-grandchildren have no sense of who they are, where they live, or the heritage of their country?

And knowing this, would she think her sacrifices – indeed the sacrifices of all those souls who suffered through the dark years of her time – were worth it?

I’ve always made a habit of attending one of the annual Memorial Day services in my local area. It seems only right. We have a three-day weekend to honor the fallen. And the late-afternoon barbeque is merely a post-script made possible by the blood of those who actually valued the country. I’ve done this for more years than I can remember.

No more. I can no longer pay lip service to a ceremony that is followed by some local political hack wrapping himself in the flag and speaking about how America is merely a part of the global village, how cheap our consumer goods are thanks to Chinese manufacturing, how the avionics on our smart weapons are so reliable thanks to Indian engineering, and how illegal alien invaders are merely here to do the work Americans refuse to do.

I can no longer salute the flag on that day, only to be denied service at some of the more popular Mexican food stands in the area, because they reserve service for Latinos only.

And I can no longer shed a tear on the graves of the fallen – one of whom was among the first in my hometown to fall in Vietnam– when the nation produces a legal system of ambulance chasing shysters for whom a fast buck is their only motivation, and a national leadership that does not demand from this generation of young people, and the nation as a whole, the sober realization that we’re in a fight for our national survival, heritage, our soul, and that we may have to endure significant sacrifices as a result.

This is that kind of time, sad to say.

“God will never forgive us if we break faith with our dead ever again.”

Perhaps He won’t because perhaps we already have.

Maybe the main character in The White Cliffs of Dover knew something we didn’t, even without the perspective of history that we now enjoy. Maybe she had a foreshadowing of what was to come. The tone of her remarks at the end of that film was tinged with hope, pride and resignation at the same time. It was a rich cinematic moment, for all its sentimentality. Maybe she could see the immediate triumph in the offing and the slow collapse of the American soul that was to come.

So endeth another Super Bowl Sunday. Only this one I managed to navigate with the television off. Didn’t see so much as one down of football. Didn’t watch so much as one commercial. And I didn’t miss it. The Super Bowl is a pleasant diversion, but at the end, it comes time to wake up, smell the coffee and confront the troubles of this world once more.

I wonder who won? I wonder if the war-weary British Lady of the Manor in The White Cliffs of Dover wondered the same thing about her country?

by Euro-American Scum
(contributing team member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)
- Euro-American Scum can be reached at eascum@yahoo.com -