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)