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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

12/10/2008

Merry Christmas

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8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,
keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9An angel of the Lord appeared to them,
and the glory of the Lord shown around them, and they were terrified.
10But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid.
I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you;
He is Christ the Lord.
12This will be a sign to you:
You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'
13Suddenly a great company of hosts appeared with the angel,
praising God and saying,
14'Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests!'
... Luke 2:8-14

This Christmas, many American patriots look forward to the New Year with fear and uncertainty, believing that, for the first time in our lifetimes – for the first time in the history of our beloved republic – America’s future holds little, if any, promise of a return to the foundations that made our nation the most moral and prosperous in the history of mankind. I share that austere and unsettling view of what lies ahead for us all.

Yet we tend to lose sight of the fact that there is a bigger picture ... that man on earth enjoys free will; and that many among us have used that precious gift for evil. Yet God is here among us, and ever watching. His presence is not defined by man in man's words, or in man's artistic renderings. Nor can His presence be forbidden by law or edict. He is here among us ... now and forever.

He abhors lies and oppression. He reveres truth and justice. He knows a man's heart. He is unimpressed with false words ... or counterfeit motives ... or disingenuous façades. He will not be mocked. He cannot be fooled. And those who believe otherwise would do well to revisit, and revise, such beliefs.

Last weekend, Rick and I attended a Christmas concert performed by the Booth Brothers, a young southern gospel group whose concerts never fail to provide incredibly beautiful music, Christian witness, and spiritual uplift. The concert was held in a local mega-church; there was not an empty seat, with probably a thousand people in attendance.

About halfway through the beautiful musical program, in the middle of an especially meaningful Christmas piece, many in the audience, entirely spontaneously, began singing along with the performers, and, at that point, something stirring gradually began to happen in the sanctuary.

Moved by the Spirit, Michael Booth began extemporaneously talking, in a very tactful, but impassioned manner, about the way in which America has abandoned her Christian, and foundational, principals. It was most definitely a personal accounting of his own heartache, as he sees his country wandering so far from its original noble path.

After which the remainder of the program became completely impromptu, with the lead-in group returning to the stage and performing together with the Booth Brothers numbers that were not rehearsed. The audience also joined in on those numbers that they knew. Much was said, and sung, with all thousand-plus people participating in the communal sharing of faith and concern for our country.

At one point, more than a thousand voices joined in an impromptu four-part harmony rendition of 'Amazing Grace'. It was an experience unlike any I have ever known.

Much laughter, and many tears, were shared. And the words and music that caused such an outpouring of emotion were completely unrehearsed, unplanned. It was an act of Providence.

The concert lasted more than an hour longer than scheduled, simply because no one wanted the evening to end -- least of all the performers themselves. We left the church at nearly 11:00, a full five hours after having arrived there -- feeling renewed and revived, with the knowledge that God's promises will be kept, despite man's foolishness.

The Lord was definitely present in that church last weekend. His presence was palpable. And, when it was time to go home, a thousand people exited through those doors in virtual silence. I would be doing the experience an injustice to say that words are insufficient, and I am still experiencing the residual joy to this day.

The Lord is good. And His promises are eternal. All we need do is look to Him for the strength, wisdom and comfort to face what lies ahead, and He will provide ... if we but isolate ourselves from man's cacophony, and listen for His whispers.

He expects His followers to hold fast to His teachings, but He does not always promise us earthly victories. More importantly, He prepares a place for His believers, where joy and glory are eternal, and the heartache and pain that the evil of this world creates will become nothing more than a faded memory of a time when men believed they reigned supreme.

4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies ...
... Ps 23:4-5

As our celebration of our Savior’s birth approaches, we are called to focus on His love. On His sacrifices. To set aside the cares and concerns of the world, and remember that His promises, alone, are eternal.

In wishing all of you a blessed Christmas –- filled with the warmth and love of family and friends -- I offer the following beautiful rendition, performed by Bronn and Katherine Journey, of what I believe to be among the most meaningful of man’s Christmas creations, in the hopes that, as it has for me, it will help you to release your burdens (cast them on Him), and spend some quiet time reflecting on His goodness, grace and love.

Although put to paper more than 160 years ago, the words are a timeless source of encouragement, strength and solace in times of trouble – even unprecedented times such as these. They are as relevant and meaningful today as they were back in 1847; it is as if they were written this very morning.

Simply close your eyes in peace, listen, and reflect:

O Holy Night

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O holy night! the stars are brightly shining.
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices.
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine! O night when Christ was born!
O night divine! O night, O night divine!

orange star.gif

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
with glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
here came the wise men from the Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger,
in all our trials born to be our friend!

He knows our need, to our weakness no stranger.
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Your king, before Him bend!

orange star.gif

Truly He taught us to love one another.
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother.
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we.
Let all within us praise His holy Name!

Christ is the Lord! Sing praise to Him forever!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Heartfelt wishes to all for a blessed Christmas, and a New Year filled with personal peace, joy and contentment!

~ joanie

12/08/2008

Return of the Prodigal Warriors

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Author’s Note: In previous commentaries, I’ve never considered the need to fudge the facts, stretch the truth, or resort to any other means of manipulation to capture the interest of an audience. And so it is with this offering. However, as you read along, I’m sure you will agree that the subject material is extremely sensitive and requires a certain level of discretion to protect the privacy of all concerned. Hence, the names have been altered, with this purpose in mind. – E. A. Scum

“And when they get to heaven, they will know each other with the nod of the head. The Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac will greet each other as kindred brothers in arms . . . The veterans of the Second World War, Korea, Vietnam and all fighting men who came before and have come since will occupy a special place of honor reserved exclusively for the brotherhood of the warrior.” – Captain Ron Drez, U.S.M.C. (Ret.), London, England, May 31, 2004.

He went to war fifteen months ago. He returned a week before Thanksgiving to a subdued, yet poignant family reunion on a chilly night in Ontario, California. Those of us who watched him grow up were astonished by the change. It was more than simply watching a boy become a man. That process was finalized when he completed Ranger training in advance of his deployment to Iraq. No, there was more to this transformation than the passage from childhood to the adult world. There was something much more profound at work.

Sgt. Sean Andrew Christopher stiffly greeted his father, tentatively embraced his mother, and quietly reached out to his younger siblings, astonished at how they had grown in his absence. As it was for those of us who walked a similar path coming home from past wars, he was, for an instant, overwhelmed by the surreal nature of the moment.

A Ranger’s homecoming 2008.

Sgt. Christopher’s father has always been a powerful, magnetic presence. An enormously successful businessman, he is the type of alpha male who draws the attention of everyone when he enters a room. He has been my friend for many years, and it never fails to amaze me how the conversation will quiet down and heads will turn at offices parties, conventions, family gatherings, or any other get-together where large groups of people congregate. He’s just that kind of man; supremely confident, highly compelling, and undeniably self-assured. On this night, he looked tired, old, and intimidated.

His mother is a striking woman, even in her late 40s. A former cheerleader at Auburn University, she can still garner glances, attract wolf whistles, and cause traffic jams in the local mall parking lot. On this night, she looked her age and then some. The streaks of gray hair were all too visible among her long, chestnut tresses. The worry lines were prominently displayed on her features. The tension permeating her persona was strained to the point of contorting her normally lovely face into an angst-ridden caricature. The release of a burden carried far too long, and the limits of a mother’s endurance were clearly visible in how she carried herself on this momentous evening. When she embraced her son, she became what she was – a middle-aged matron whose child had come home safe from distant battlefields.

I invited myself along to the airport. It may have been an intrusion, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to be there to see it. And I would have been content to stay where I was – off to one side and behind the family, content to be an observer. Except Sgt. Christopher noticed me standing there alone, disengaged himself from the frenetic embrace of his mother and sisters, and approached me with his hand out.

“Good to see you, sir. Glad you could come,” he told me, shaking my hand. His grip was like iron, and the eight-year-old boy I remembered from years gone by is now a 23-year-old combat veteran who stands an inch taller than I do.

Like the prodigal warrior, I too was a sergeant. And like him (I’m sure) I hated being called “sir.” But, the returning veteran has a lot of latitude in my book. So I accepted the designation in dignified, albeit uncomfortable silence.

Normally, I have a generic greeting for returning servicemen – “Thank you for your service. And welcome home.” It’s a popular salutation, expressing the proper sentiment simply, and with appropriate pathos. It’s a greeting that many of us who served in Vietnam would have given our hearts and souls to hear just once. And so, it has become something of a battle cry, especially from those of us who came before and returned only to fight a different war at home – a conflict of hostility, apathy and scorn.

On this night, I couldn’t bring myself to say it. This man . . . this soldier . . . somehow deserved something more, something significant. Before I could think better of it, the words were out of my mouth:

“Welcome to the brotherhood,” I said in return.

Sgt. Sean Andrew Christopher and I are joined. We’re connected. And we both know it. His hard, intense blue eyes, met my tired, old brown ones and we understood each other. We are brother paratroopers, brother infantrymen, brother combat veterans. We’re the same. We know each other, with the nod of a head. As a child, young Sean was a quiet, awkward boy who grew into an introverted, teenage slacker. As a man, he keeps his own counsel, which is good. But we both realize we now walk common ground, without so much as a word passing between us.

For all his stoicism, the young man is remarkably perceptive. In his silence, he notices things. He knows that his service puts him in a select group of men who have been tested in ways most of us are not. But I wonder if he realizes that many of his civilian compatriots will look upon him with envy as the years go by. Combat veterans often take a certain level of satisfaction in their service as they grow older. They’ve stood the test of fire, and survived, after all. Those who didn’t often look back and wish they had. For both groups, they’ve each crossed their own Rubicon, and once traversed, there is no going back.

The due bill for such confidence comes high. I don’t know if Sgt. Christopher will be overwhelmed by the horror of what he saw during his tour. It may take time to surface, but if there are any demons lurking within, more than likely they will gain expression in the fullness of years. He survived when others didn’t. That does something to a man. It’s called survivor’s guilt. How he processes that will come in time. He may have blood on his hands. And if so, that burden has a way of coming home to roost no matter how he may want to push it away.

Or he may have come home without a scratch. Psyche intact. There’s nothing written anywhere that mandates all combat vets must be scarred for life. But they will be different men, going forward.

While he is connected to that elite corps of men who’ve trod the killing ground of distant war zones, Sgt. Christopher is also separated from the remainder of his countrymen who did not. And that includes family, friends and even his closest loved ones. How he chooses to bridge this gap, if he so chooses, also remains to be seen. What he saw, what he did, what he experienced, are questions I would never presume to ask him. But I would be at his disposal if he chose to confide them.

How does he view his country, coming home, I wonder? It’s the one question I would want to pose to him. Does he see it as a great nation? Does he view his service as defending a cherished way of life against a determined enemy? Does he expect a nobler America, a country of promise, whose young people value what came before, are committed to what comes ahead, and a generation of leaders who share the vision, the promise and the hope of the last, best nation of fallen man? Is he disappointed with what he sees? Do the Christmas lights comfort him, or alienate him? Is he connected to the country he went so far from home to serve, or does he walk its streets a different kind of soldier on just a different variety of combat tour?

It’s unlikely I’ll ever get an answer to any of these questions. I have a simple policy when it comes to the treatment of returning servicemen – the veteran gets whatever he wants. Period. That includes the comfort of solitude if he so desires.

But for the moment, it is a joyous holiday season indeed. At least for one family. The prodigal warrior has returned. A very thankful Thanksgiving ensued, and a very Merry Christmas is in the offing. But it may be a short celebration for this family after all. Sgt. Christopher’s younger brother reports for induction into the Marine Corps in San Diego the day after Christmas.

I did not share in their celebration. About the time of the joyous homecoming, I got an email from one of the Marines who came to saving faith in Jesus Christ when I spoke at Camp Pendleton a few years ago. In the interest of brevity – something I’ve been accused of, but deny with all the fervency of an evangelist – I won’t go into the specifics of that speech or how it came into being. Those who are interested can peruse Saving Private Weinmann which Joanie may still have floating around in the archives, for more details.

To put it succinctly, I spoke to a large group of Marines a little over two years ago, after which some one hundred fifty accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Now, the message was not evangelistic. Yet it carried an intrinsically powerful Gospel message. I didn’t do an altar call – because the speech was more historical and cultural than faith-based. Yet faith was a huge part of it. Finally, I may not be shy about getting up in front of a crowd, but that does not a great speaker make. The Holy Spirit was moving mountains that day. And of course, the message would (and did) resonate with a group of combat veterans, of which virtually all the Marines in attendance were on that day.

So Gunnery Sgt. Eric Fiore, U.S.M.C., came up to me with tears in his eyes and thanked me for my presentation. Unlike Sgt. Christopher, Gunny Fiore was a career Marine, with ten years service behind him. He had one tour in Iraq under his belt, and another one ahead of him in the not too distant future. He was a hard man, but also a man of great compassion, and deep commitment.

He emailed me shortly after the presentation to tell me he had found God. We exchanged something of a correspondence for a few weeks after that, and then the emails just stopped coming. But Gunny Fiore was a man anyone would remember. And when I saw his email address listed in my inbox before Thanksgiving, I anticipated getting an update on what was going on in his life, and with his walk with God during the last two years.

The email was not from Gunny Fiore. It was sent on his account, by his wife Kimberly, to inform me that he had been killed in action in Afghanistan. She went on to tell me how much it meant to her – a committed Christian all her life – to see the dramatic change in her husband’s life after he came to Christ. And she thanked me for my part in that process.

I liked how she put it. No one of us brings anyone to the Lord. The Holy Spirit does that. But we can be His instruments. I’ll accept that role in the process. I’m not an evangelist. Never have been.

She concluded the email by informing me that this was her family’s first holiday season without Eric, and would I like to join them for Thanksgiving?

That’s where I went for the holiday. And that’s why I didn’t join in the joyous celebration of a Ranger homecoming. When we play a part in leading people to Jesus Christ, we have a responsibility to stand by their loved ones in times of tragedy. Besides which, there’s a simple rule of thumb when it comes to such requests.

1. Never turn down a Marine (or a Marine’s widow).
2. Any questions? See rule 1.

They live in a suburb of San Diego about equal distance from M.C.R.D. and Camp Pendleton. When I finally met her, Kimberly Fiore looked like she sounded over the phone. Usually, my mental image based on a telephone conversation is not even close. This one was dead on. She was tall, blonde, in her late twenties. But the years had taken their toll. In the prematurely old woman she had become, I could see the high school homecoming queen who fell in love with the tall, dynamic Marine not that long ago.

But Marine wives have steel in the spines. I don’t know where it comes from, but it’s there. This woman was no exception. In her grief, there was strength. It came at great cost, but there was no mistaking it. She was burdened, but coping. And in the midst of a loss so devastating, she gave strength and comfort to all around her – her children, her family coming from Texas, even yours truly.

I handled things pretty well on Thanksgiving Day. If the 24-lb. turkey fried in peanut oil is typical of the holiday in the Lone Star state, I’m moving to Dallas on the next available flight. For a taste sensation, there’s nothing like it.

Watching the children was something else again. I almost lost it watching nine-year-old Michelle alternating between moods of animated fun and deep grieving that sprung from the cellar of her soul. Five-year-old Jeffrey didn’t quite get it. He couldn’t quite digest that his daddy wasn’t coming home. And eighteen-month-old Danielle will grow up never knowing her father at all. Watching this heart-rending scene sent me into a tailspin that has lasted to this day.

After dinner, Kimberly asked me to teach from the Bible. Now, I could have used a little advance warning to prepare something, particularly in a room full of Southern Baptists who knew The Word better than I did. But, there was no turning them down.

So I came up with Chapter 6 of John’s gospel – the bread of life sermon. It’s not typically offered at funerals, or memorial gatherings. But I’ve always liked it, because it cuts to the heart of the matter of who we are and how we define ourselves. And considering the state of the nation, and the profound nature of the loss this family was enduring, it seemed an appropriate offering at the time.

I’ll leave it to all of you to review the text. Basically, Jesus was preaching to a Jewish congregation in the synagogue about how He (Jesus) was the bread of life, and if they ate His flesh and drank His blood, they would never hunger or thirst. He managed to lose the entire room.

Now, I’ve laid a few eggs during my abortive speaking career. But I’ve never cleared the entire gallery. Jesus managed to do this. Then he turned to the twelve and addressed them, with the crucial question. And it was for this reason that I chose the passage:

    67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” 68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” – John 6:67-69
It’s a simple question, really – “Do you want to go away?” In the burnt-out shell that used to be America, maybe we should all take a step back and examine how we define who we are. If what used to be a country is just another stop on the roadmap of the global village, then where does that leave us? What does that make us? How can we view ourselves as Americans if . . . there is no America?

A loss as overwhelming as the one that befell the Fiore family is often a time when faith puts down deep roots. Except she already has that faith. It served her well in the months since her husband’s death. But it will not ease the pain in her heart, the longing in the night for the way things used to be, or provide the loving father for three children who will grow up without him.

So the question of “Do you want to go away?” was moot for the extended Fiore family. They know who they are. And they know their fallen Marine is at home with the Lord because he took Christ into his heart on a gray day in a drafty auditorium after hearing how one Jewish veteran of the Second World War found absolution after sixty years of torment in the very same way.

But for the rest of us, the question stands – “Do we want to go away?” Now that America is practically an afterthought, what do we hold on to, if not God’s only begotten Son? And if our commitment to Him is tenuous, then we better decide right now just who we are and where our priorities lie.

Maybe, for the consummation of God’s plan for human history, America must be swept away. Not in some dramatic fashion involving fire, thunder, weapons and death. But simply by the erosion of America’s identity that by now is all but complete. In fact, there’s no maybe about it. Count it as a virtual certainty. I can think of no person better suited to complete the fait accompli of delivering this nation’s coup de grace than America’s first global president, who now stands poised to assume office next year.

However we choose to define ourselves in this global realignment that is currently underway, we better be quick about it. Because good men, committed men, strong men like Gunnery Sgt. Eric Fiore, U.S.M.C. won’t be here to lead us. They will have paid for their commitment in blood and passed on to something better that awaits all of us if we have the good sense to claim it while there is still time to do so.

And so it goes. A tale of two cities, if you will. Certainly a tale of two families. One celebrates the return of a beloved son. One mourns the loss of a loving husband and father. In what passes for a once great nation, we forge into the Christmas season, blissfully unaware of the Ranger who came home and the Marine who didn’t.

And that’s not merely a tragedy. It’s contemptible.

    15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15
by Euro-American Scum
(contributing Team Member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)

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

12/06/2008

The Stranger

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A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was in town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger ... he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to our first major league ballgame. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home ... not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished.

He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked ... And NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?

We just call him ‘T.V.’.

submitted by B4Ranch
(contributing Team Member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)

11/22/2008

The Last Christmas

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Joanie – This commentary was put together on Veteran’s Day. I got sidetracked by pneumonia (again), so it’s late getting to you. Rather than change the text, you might want to point out the delay to your readership. Thanks.

It happens to all of us, sooner or later. We’re out and about, taking care of business. Halloween is over and Indian Summer, what there was of it, is but a fading memory. Except in California, of course, where summer goes on forever, by rule of law.

Thanksgiving is nearly a month away, but we haven’t given much thought to its preparation. After all, we’ve got three weeks or so to get our ducks in a row. Then we hear it. Could be we’re in a supermarket or a department store. Maybe we’re waiting in a dentist’s office to get our teeth cleaned in advance of the fast approaching Olympic eating season. Wherever we are, you can rest assured we’re bombarded by the cacophony of ubiquitous white noise otherwise known as elevator music that assails us everywhere we go. Only this time it’s different. Hovering above the din of human activity, we pause to digest something familiar, evocative of simpler times, childhood memories and dreams misplaced.

We’ve just heard our first Christmas carol of the season.

It comes earlier each year. In the olden golden days when I was a boy, we didn’t see so much as one Christmas decoration or hear a single note of Christmas music before Thanksgiving. Even then, it took a week or so for retail merchants to ramp up for the December crush of consumers. No longer.

In its most extreme expression, Christmas decorations along with mechanical Santas and synthetic snow have gone up in retail outlets as early as Labor Day weekend. Thankfully, that level of vulgarity has dwindled to a minimum since the wild and wooly 1980s. Come on, now. It’s hard to get in the Christmas spirit when it’s still 105° out there.

But the unwritten rule of Thanksgiving Day being the kickoff to the Christmas season is a thing of the past, all the same. The holiday promotional campaign tends to drift onto our radar screens right about now – in the nether world between Halloween and Thanksgiving. And for the lack of a more definitive benchmark of years gone by, I have always marked its onset by the hearing of the first Christmas song of the season.

That happened today. At Borders Books.

When people ask me what I do for a living, rather than respond with something like . . . “Well, I’m an underemployed bum, whose high-tech career went to India never to return,” I counter with a more measured response. “I kill time.” And when I think about it, that’s most of what I do. I’m a professional time killer. Piece of cake, right? Not really. In order to proceed in such a unique endeavor, it must be done with a certain amount of finesse, creativity and flair. And when you’re in the business of killing time, there are two places that are ideally suited for the pastime – libraries and bookstores. You can linger for hours in both, undisturbed.

Today, it was the bookstore. I tried the library in the morning, only to discover it was closed. Then it occurred to me. Aha! It’s Veteran’s Day. It slipped completely under the radar out here in the Golden State. Between the marathon Obama victory parties, still in progress, and the liberal media still popping champagne corks, I guess the public information channels forgot to cover it this year. No matter. I haven’t had Veteran’s Day off since I’ve been one, and today was no different. Being a professional time-killer is a full-time job. There is no respite in its pursuit.

So, in the absence of the three public libraries in the immediate vicinity, I opted for the bookstores. Fortunately, we have two primo stores right here in the neighborhood. Barnes & Noble rented a huge outlet in the Montclair Plaza, and Borders Books has a stand-alone store immediately adjacent to the shopping center itself. Both are excellent if you find yourself all dressed up with no place to go.

I originally planned to kill the afternoon at Barnes & Noble. It has the novelty of being new, having opened a year or so ago. But driving into the mall parking lot, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of world-weariness. Ethan Allen, Circuit City, Macy’s, all gone, out of business. Boarded up, graffiti-riddled, windows smashed in by roaming bands of late-night thugs, these once-thriving retail establishments carried with them all the ambiance of cattle skulls bleached white in the desert.

The mall itself was no better. Somehow, with ⅓ of the floor space disgustingly available, and the remaining vendors posting advertisements exclusively in Espanól, I wasn’t exactly filled with the holiday spirit. Watching the local undocumented guest workers gaze longingly at the baubles, bangles and beads they couldn’t afford if they cleaned a thousand toilets a day just made me depressed. But then, that’s a consequence of life in the global village. If the wage slaves aren’t paid sufficient compensation to buy the cheap, Chinese junk we sell in our stores, then the whole roulette wheel of global commerce comes up 00. House spin. The chatter among window shoppers was a smattering of Spanish, Arabic, Farsi and various Oriental dialects. And as they gazed into the brightly lit holiday windows, the lament was the same – “We can’t get there from here.” Funny how some sentiments remain the same in any language.

So, I opted for Borders. It had the advantage of a respectably vibrant clientelé, along with a sufficiently cozy, intimate atmosphere. That I could not hear my footsteps echo for lack of other patrons made this destination all the more appealing. And a Seattle’s Best Coffee outlet never hurt on a day that passes for fall in California.

I had just settled in with my Seattle’s Best decaf mocha latté, fully expecting to pass an uneventful afternoon with Robert McCammon’s book, Swan Song, an epic saga of the end of the world, and the struggle for dominance that follows in its wake. It’s dated, with an original publication date of 1987. And it certainly doesn’t hold a candle to Stephen King’s The Stand, to which it bears a striking resemblance. But it seemed appropriate when I picked it up last week in the wake of what happened on November 4.

Then I heard it. The melodic strains of the first Christmas carol of 2008.

It matters what the song is. I’ve never been a fan of Jingle Bell Rock, truth be told. And for a card-carrying member of the vast right wing conspiracy, Mannheim Steamroller has always left me cold. I know, I know. Rush Limbaugh will personally repossess my Golden EIB Mike lapel pin and cancel my lifetime pass to the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies. Still, I’m not a fan of holiday music of that sort. No. You can keep all this newfangled, contemporary, new age holiday faire. Give me traditional Christmas music every time. And so it was today.

What coursed through the sound system at Borders Books was Linda Eder’s version of Silent Night. If ever there was a rendition that could bring tears to your eyes and a chill to your spine, this is it. Hearing it was like being washed clean as an overture to a six-week run at the end of the year when we take a break from our grim, ruthless struggle to claw our way to the top no matter what, and for a short season, we are actually kind to each another.

It’s an imperfect practice, I’ll admit. There have been so many boom years leading up to this one, that the Christmas season often morphs into just another event in the Day Planner, something we have to get through in the midst of closing the big sale before the close of the year. We have to make sure little Janie wins the holiday queen competition at the local middle school (even if she has to step over dead bodies to do it), and everybody, but everybody has to get the most expensive gadget, lest they think poorly of us. And we have to prepare for the frantic holiday travel season – either to hit the road, or dust off the convertible sofa – to gather with family most of us never see the rest of the year, and never give a second thought to between visits.

Ah, but there are moments . . . Some of us, in the midst of the holiday hysteria, get what it was all about.

    12 “And this will be a sign unto you: Ye shall find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory be to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” – Luke 2:12-14
Tell the truth now. How many of your first heard this passage on A Charlie Brown Christmas? You remember? When Charlie Brown cried out in his frustration, “Doesn’t anybody know what Christmas is all about?” And the lights went down and Linus stood alone on the stage at the end? How many of you choked up when you heard it? Come on now, admit it. I know my hand is up.

Happily, and hopefully, some of us get the message. Indeed, a lot of us get it. For six weeks at the end of the year, we are civil, considerate, kind and thoughtful. We find it easier to tolerate the intolerable, simpler to extend a gracious hand, effortless to render under Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s. We put into practice what Abraham Lincoln so aptly referred to as “the better angels of our nature.” For a short time, we put on Christ. Only for a season, it’s true. But better a season than not at all.

Linda Eder’s version of Silent Night conjured up all of that this afternoon. The Bible tells us Jesus wept. So did I today.

This season figures to be like the ones preceding it. Let’s face it, the perfect storm of wealth redistribution hasn’t broken on our shores. Not yet, at least. We’re standing firm at only 6% unemployment and most of our wallets are full, along with our bellies. But the people I see as I go wandering through my days, busy going nowhere, doing nothing and killing time, have a wariness to them that hasn’t been there in recent memory. They huddle closer, are more pensive, more cautious than in past years. They’ve cast their lot with a charismatic unknown quantity who will soon occupy the White House, and they know not what will come in his wake.

People are worried, concerned, uncertain. The dark, empty business outlets near the local mall bear silent testimony to what may be on the horizon. But even Rome was not destroyed in a day. The Stock Market may have crashed on October 29, 1929. But the nation did not wake up on October 30 to find a third of its workforce unemployed and people starving in the street. That took time.

All the same, Herbert Hoover’s response over the following two years was to raise taxes (as a budget balancing measure, an article of faith in his administration) and choke off international trade with the passage of the Smoot-Hawley tariff law. It only made a bad situation worse. Franklin Roosevelt threw money at the problem. That did little to alleviate the suffering of the populace and nothing to end the Depression. WWII accomplished that.

Barack Obama has proposed differing versions of the same thing. Raising taxes on the wealthy will certainly do nothing to assist lower income earners. As many issues as I have with Ayn Rand, I believe Atlas Shrugged is prescient in its account of what would happen if the innovation so desperately needed from our highest achievers is strangled in the cradle by confiscatory taxes and punitive government regulation. In that, Rand was right on the money. (No pun intended).

But we stand on the precipice of an unprecedented secularization of America. We witness a nation that is tired, scared, broke; a country unsure of itself and uncertain about the future. We attempt to build solidarity in the midst of an avalanche zone. We are a nation of followers. We want to be told what to do. In every revolution, there is one man on a white horse, one man with a vision. And we are a nation who, when we are hurt, tired and scared, will follow anyone who offers a way out, provided he is charismatic enough, speaks to us in comforting generalities, and assuages our pain. A generation ago, we blazed a trail and tamed a continent. Now we want to be provided for and taken care of.

Hence Barack Obama, a candidate who would have been incomprehensible if we had a remnant of a nation that understood life is hard, bad things often happen, and the way out may be long, painful and difficult. We once were a nation of faith, but that too seems to have gone on hiatus. Too bad, too. Faith in God is a fundamental requirement in these looming times of trouble if, as William Faulkner so eloquently remarked, “Man will not only endure, he will prevail.”

And so, we embark upon what might conceivably be the last Christmas season of its kind. Not because we lack the resources to make it a prosperous one, but that we can only surmise what the effects will be – both legislative and cultural – of the incoming administration that will soon ascend the heights of power.

For one thing, our wealth may be sufficiently redistributed in the coming years to render the type of Christmas celebration we’ve become used to all but impossible. That may be not altogether a bad thing. A little hardship often enhances appreciation for our largesse if and when it ever returns. But Americans are noted for being among the most generous people on the face of the planet. And if we are to continue in this practice presupposes that we will have the wherewithal to be generous with. This ability may be rendered academic if the policy of “each according to his ability to each according to his need” is put into full effect in the coming years.

The assault on religious expression – which has always been aimed at the heart of the Judeo-Christian foundation upon which the nation was built – could easily switch from the public sphere to the private arena. Long before Barack Obama appeared on the scene, one of our local pastors established a network of home churches. He did this on two accounts. He wanted to emulate the early Christian church which – up until the time of the Roman emperor Constantine – met in people’s homes. The second, less widely circulated reason for this network was that the time could come when we will be forced into the kind of clandestine worship of exactly the sort that may come about. And such observations have nothing to do with current political trends. They are right out of the Bible.

The radicalization of the judicial system could easily reach unprecedented levels. The globalization of the court system could easily occur under the auspices of what Yahoo! News describes as America’s first global president. You think the First, Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendments eroded under the conservative usurper, George W. Bush? Just wait. You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

On the positive side, church attendance is up since the economic collapse began this fall. Our own congregation at the foot of the local mountain, consisting of the local super achievers, has swelled to bursting most Sundays. The leadership has taken to reading the comment cards included in the church bulletin, and has concluded that certain excretory substances do, in fact, flow uphill. Hard times have come to the foot of the mountain. And the badge of business ownership does not preclude said owner from the winds of economic hardship that have come home to roost.

To their credit, the people have opened their wallets in the wake of unprecedented uncertainty. Would that they open their hearts as well. To the credit of the church leadership, the ensuing messages have become more mature, more substantive, more sober-minded. It could be the shift from our traditional happy-faced hamster dance to messages on the development of character, substance and faith marks a sea change more significant than the one about to occur in Washington.

Who knows? Maybe such developments mark the onset of a third great awakening. Perhaps we’ll come to the realization that hard times are part of life. We may come to appreciate the hard truth that throwing money at our economic woes only hastens the reckoning with financial as well as spiritual bankruptcy. Maybe then, we’ll realize that depressions with a “d” – as opposed to recessions with an “r” – are part of the hard edge of life in a free society. They are tangible events, with definable features. And then perhaps we’ll understand that the only way “out” is “through”.

It could be some of us will realize that in order to be free we must be active in the protection of the institutions that provide that freedom. Lincoln once said – “As a nation of free men, we will live forever, or die by suicide.” Maybe, just maybe, from the ashes of a once great nation, there will emerge a leader worthy of the legacy of its rich history. A leader who realizes that struggle, sacrifice and discipline are required – not just of the leadership of a nation, but of the citizenry as a whole – for a free nation to endure. And that subverting our birthright to a president who will take care of us and make us feel good is a betrayal of the inheritance we all share, and a return to a childlike dependence such a nation can ill-afford.

I plan to enjoy the Christmas season, as I always manage to do. This year, my season will be more threadbare than most, for many reasons. I’m irrelevant, obsolete, antiquated and without value. Other than that, everything is fine. There comes a time when the older generation realizes it has passed its prime. That time has finally come. We are being pushed off the stage, like it or not. And high time, too.

Still, that does not mean I cannot enjoy the season. I plan to indulge in as many culinary delights as come my way. I wouldn’t miss walking the local neighborhood, renowned for its spectacular Christmas lights for anything. Who knows, it might even not be too late to get Nutcracker tickets. I might even be civil to people I would never give the time of day to during the rest of the year. And then, there’s curling up with a good book at Borders Books listening to Linda Eder’s rendition of Silent Night. That’s definitely high on the agenda.

After all, it always makes me smile.

    6 “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” – I Peter 1:6-7.
by Euro-American Scum
(contributing Team Member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)

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

11/09/2008

Tilting at Windmills

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Many of my patriot friends – both local friends and internet friends – are ceremoniously voicing the opinion that we must rally the troops, re-focus on our conservative roots, and keep our eyes on the 2010 and 2012 elections. They believe that, if we but re-group and try harder to educate the electorate, we can wrest power from the neo-Marxists who will soon occupy the White House and constitute a near-filibuster-proof majority in congress. Others appear intent on repeating the mantra, ‘The Lord will see us through this trial.'

One of the most accurate definitions of insanity is the belief that consistent repetition of the same behavior will someday result in a different outcome.

And the Lord does not promise earthly victory for all who believe. Quite the contrary, Christians have been warned that they will be persecuted. Many a civilization that has turned away from His teaching has fallen, with believers in tow.

There comes a time when the rational mind must acknowledge when a certain point of no return has been exceeded. When continuing to expend one’s energies on a lost cause amounts to nothing more than tilting at windmills. At that pivotal ... and often indescribably tragic ... point in time, the wisest course of action amounts to simply walking away from the battle and turning one’s attention to more realistic pursuits.

I believe we are sitting at such a painfully historical point. We can turn back and keep plugging away at failed endeavors, oblivious to the fact that fewer and fewer are listening to our warnings. Or we can move forward, conserve our energy, and embrace more realistic pursuits, all of which have enormous merit, and require much dedication, time and effort:

    (1) looking out for our families, friends, and neighbors by educating them about the dangers that lie ahead, developing tools with which to confront those dangers, and securing a means of defense against the violation of our God-given rights

    (2) working within our individual communities, as time and opportunities permit, to inform and educate others about the nature of those essential liberties that were incorporated into the foundations of our republic, and the requirement that the citizenry be informed and vigilant if we are to retain, or reclaim, them

    (3) seeking the Lord’s guidance, and relying on the power of prayer
Resigning oneself to the above does not constitute an admission of defeat. It abides by the admonition of the serenity prayer:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.

Amen.

I have been attempting to compose an essay which would include a recitation of all of the wicked forces that I believe have led us to this watershed point in the history of our beloved republic. Yet each time I sat down to write I somehow did not feel that I could yet do the subject justice.

Providentially, the following essay was posted at Plumb Bob Blog, the day after the 2008 presidential election. (Thank you, John Cooper, for the steer there.) With a patriot’s heart, a reflection of Christ's love, and 20/20 vision, the author accurately portrays, far better than I could ever hope to do, the state of our beloved republic, the reasons for its decline, and our prospects of reclamation. I humbly defer to his incomparable insight and eloquence:

-- They Have Buried Us --

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When I was small, Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union from 1953 - 1964, was famously quoted as declaring to the Free West, “We will bury you.” It was taken as a grave threat in those days. I remember it being played in a commercial on TV. As a young liberal, I was fond of pointing out that Khrushchev was simply talking about the natural outcome of history from the Marxist viewpoint; he explained later, “Of course we will not bury you with a shovel; your own working class will bury you.” It never occurred to me that this was hardly less threatening, especially given the fact that our own working class was getting help from the Soviet Union’s political operative class. I suppose it’s not surprising that the actual work of burying the US was accomplished, not by the working class, but by the intellectuals; this is common for Marxism, which has appeal only to those who are pathologically detached from society.

Last night, the American people elected the equivalent of Hugo Chavez to be President of the United States. He lied about what he stood for, but he was permitted to do so by the press, which is supposed to protect us from such attacks. Even so, his lies were transparent to those of us possessing enough education and independence to do our homework; but there were too few of us, and too far removed from the centers of power.

And so, just over 50 years after Khrushchev uttered his threat, the American voting population announced to the world that we no longer believe in the capitalism that produced more creativity, energy, courage, and wealth than the world thought possible, that we’re going to join the ranks of World Socialism, that we’re going to hand our productive power to the government we once properly distrusted, that we prefer craven dependence to stalwart independence. As we turn the responsibility for our destinies over to Mommy Government, the world’s last, stubborn foil to the tyrannical advance of Marxist domination has just been removed. “Social justice,” the crippling of the effective to satisfy the envy of the ineffective, will commence at a greater pace, and be given the force of arms. The world is in for a very dark time, full of poverty, oppression, and violence.

We allowed it by permitting leftists to infiltrate and distort education, entertainment, law, and news. For at least 80 years, the children of those influenced by their thinking have targeted these arenas, creating protected enclaves into which they refuse to permit any competing ideas. Their control of these areas is nearly complete, and friends of liberty are forming no coherent strategy to break their hold, only the occasional foray into the Dark World. Home schooling chips away at the edges, alternative media permit chatter under the radar, but the centers of control remain in leftist hands, and they don’t believe in fair play or free speech. Expect those holes to be plugged very soon. President Obama (I cringe to type it) and his Democratic minions in Congress will quickly see to it that home schooling is illegal in practice, if not explicitly (probably by requiring teacher certification), that conservative speech is crippled, and that the free exchange of ideas cannot take place without government oversight and intrusion. Be assured that no discussion that has any force that might endanger their domination will be permitted for long.

Oh, and expect to be permitted to worship Christ only so long as it does not impair your cooperation with the Junta’s social agenda. That’s coming soon, too; in fact, it’s been coming for a few decades already, and is now upon us.

Will conservatives get another shot two years from now, in the public’s reaction to two years of Democratic domination? Maybe; probably not. It hardly matters. We have now raised two generations of Americans on a form of public education and a flood of popular film and music that is so thoroughly saturated with statist and world socialist ideals that no general election is going to produce a lasting victory for conservative principles. The masses in America think of capitalism as “greed,” of the robust and free expansion of the economy by individuals as “destroying the planet,” and when they say “we,” they mean “the government.”

The American experiment in self-government is over.

Ultimately, America has not rejected capitalism, it’s rejected Christ. The foundation of liberty is, and has always been, devotion to the living Christ. Liberty entered the world through the ministry of Christ, and is leaving now that we’ve jettisoned Him as our Master. As God told the prophet Samuel when Israel demanded that he appoint them a king like all the other nations had, “They have not rejected you, but they’ve rejected Me from being king over them.” (See I Samuel 8).

Sure, there are Christians among the leftists in America, and a number of them are sincere; but they no longer believe they owe their conscience directly to God, but instead to God through His appointed regents, the State. This is the indirection that America’s founders rejected when they wrote the US Constitution; in their construction, men owed their conscience to God, not to God’s anointed sovereign, the King. It’s no mistake, no accident or coincidence, that America rejected capitalism in favor of a leader who declared with messianic overtones his destiny to rule. In God we no longer trust; instead, we trust in Government. We’ve rejected God from being King over us.

American liberty can be rebuilt, but it must be rebuilt from the ground up. It has to start with the proper education of our children to believe in God, in individual responsibility before God, and in individual achievement as a form of service to God and family. It has to be constructed on a foundation of properly defined morals, and on a world-view that remembers that Man does not serve himself.

I’m not going to retreat from politics; I’m still a citizen of the United States of America, however misguided she may be. My strategy, however, for rebuilding a prosperous, felicitous nation friendly to safe families and appropriate personal achievement is to win converts to Christianity; and not just any Christianity, but a Christianity that encourages sound and sober thinking, that understands man’s place in the universe, that can articulate clearly its purpose for living and its reasons to believe.

We are entering very dark times. America’s economic dominance will end very soon, and her military dominance will not be far behind. Obama plans to make us “good citizens of the world,” meaning that our national choices will become subject to the opinions of tinpot dictators and corrupt, demented representatives from third-world nations. They will plunder us, and we will be stripped bare.

But I know how the story ends, and Christ wins. The rock formed without hands crushes all the mountains, and becomes a mountain that fills the whole earth (Daniel 2). The Son of Man is given dominion, that all the peoples, nations, and men of every language might serve Him, and His dominion is everlasting (Daniel 7). If we proclaim the truth of Christ faithfully, men will experience liberty again. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Spiritual liberty is not unconnected with political liberty; they’re the same thing. One does not exist without the other; and political liberty always results where the Spirit rules.

They have buried us, but we will rise again.

~ joanie

11/06/2008

The Noble Experiment

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And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions. - Joel 2:28

At first glance, he was nothing to look at; just an old man, stoop-shouldered, frail, wizened. Leaning precariously on a metal walker and sucking oxygen through a clear plastic tube, he paused to survey the landscape before embarking on the long walk across the parking lot that he wouldn't have given a second thought to in his younger years. We've all seen him, wherever we live. And usually, we pay him no mind. Let's face it, his time has passed. We know it. He knows it too. One foot in this world, the other tentatively in the next.

I saw him get off the bus. You know, those mini-buses that ferry our aging senior citizens on various sundry excursions? The grocery store, the mall, church, senior centers. These ubiquitous transports have dotted our landscape since the word retirement came front and center into the lexicon of the 20th century vernacular.

On this day, he was descending the steps of the mini-bus with his metal walker in the parking lot of the local Baptist church. He came out to vote.

I noticed how he refused any help. Several of his more able-bodied companions offered to assist him with his walker - which, in fact, proved to be significantly cumbersome. Others offered to help him walk across the parking lot to the polling place. He waved them all off.

I was helping myself to the traditional free doughnuts and coffee that are part and parcel of most churches - particularly the conservative evangelical variety, of which the Baptist church is one - and watched as his fellow seniors brushed past him to get in line to exercise their constitutional ballot-casting right in this latest mini-drama of slick media consultants and savvy political pitchmen.

I was about to follow the crowd as the line was by then growing to considerable proportions, but I couldn't tear myself away from this elderly octogenarian. He made slow and steady progress toward the polling place, but I couldn't quite figure out what it was about this grizzled old man that held my attention. Then it caught my eye. It was his baseball cap.

Emblazoned on the front of this red cap was the eagle, globe and anchor of a United States Marine. And so I made the acquaintance of one Irwin Kunkle, formerly of Gary, Indiana, most recently of Upland, California - a proud veteran of the 28th Marines, and a bona fide member of the greatest generation. He hadn't missed an election since 1946, he told me, and since this one figured to be his last, he wasn't about to miss it either.

We stood in line together, and I noticed that his hands and arms bore the fading scars of what appeared to be significantly severe burns. I realized men of his generation didn't give away much. They held their life experiences close, particularly their wartime service. Believe me, I know it very well. I walked the beaches of Normandy in 2004 with the veterans of that campaign, and while they were forthcoming with their personal accounts, they gave them up grudgingly.

Still, I had to ask. And Mr. Irwin Kunkle enriched me with the short version of the exploits of Lance Corporal Irwin Kunkle, USMC in the sulfurous interior of an island in the Pacific called Iwo Jima.

He led an impromptu charge with a flame thrower - a piece of equipment he was neither familiar with, nor trained to use - against a Japanese pillbox that was pouring fire on a platoon of Marines trapped in a series of shallow shell holes. He simply stripped the gear off the dead Marine whose task it was to man the burn unit, strapped the fuel tanks on to his back, pointed the nozzle in the direction of the pillbox and charged.

The problem was, when igniting the flame units of that time, the operator had to be prepared for the kick. The nozzle bucked back at him when he ignited it on full burn, and while he incinerated the pillbox, some of the fuel also splashed back on his hands and arms, inflicting first and second degree burns. He effectively turned the Jap flank and prevented a platoon of Marines from being gutted by automatic weapons fire. He wasn't even written up for a Purple Heart, let alone any decoration for valor.

It was that kind of time. Pain, suffering and sacrifice simply went with the territory.

Standing next to him, I realized Irwin Kunkle was about 5' 7. Not an imposing figure by any standard. The greatest generation didn't grow to great size. They suffered from varying degrees of malnutrition as children in the Great Depression. But looking in those blazing blue eyes, I beheld the heart of a lion and the soul of a warrior.

So we chatted about various things as we waited in a line that never seemed to move. We both enjoyed the summer-like weather that only California seemed to be blessed with this late in the season. He told me he'd gone to UCLA (oh well, nobody's perfect) on the G.I. Bill after the war. And since his wife died, he'd taken up residence in an assisted living facility in nearby Claremont. We did not discuss the election, or for whom we were planning to cast our respective ballots.

Throughout our conversation, I sensed, in the tenor of his voice, and his proud but frail demeanor, a realization that the suffering he endured and the sacrifices he made were all for nothing. He truly has lived too long, and in that moment, I believe he finally realized it. This was no longer his country.

This is that kind of time. Brimming over with arrogance and contempt, for the Irwin Kunkles of this world, from people who despise the country and everything it stands for. And they do it with impunity.

And so ends the noble experiment.

What began in the conference halls of Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Williamsburg Virginia and Boston Massachusetts died last Tuesday. What was paid for on the bridge at Concord, during the freezing night at Trenton and on the Yorktown peninsula, long ailing, has expired.

I suppose it was fatuous to expect the democracy of which we are all a part to be immune from the vagaries of history. Such governments have come and gone during the centuries since Eve ate the forbidden fruit and mankind was cursed. And once lost, there is no restoration.

The enlightened Greek democracy disappeared into the dust bin of history, never to return. The radical egalitarian experiment of the 18th century vanished in a sea of blood that was the French Revolution. The rational liberalism of 19th century Europe exploded in the catastrophe of the First World War. Europe was plunged into half a century of barbarism, never to return to its glory of the previous century. And now it stands on the threshold of being absorbed by a flood tide of radical Islam.

How could we be so arrogant to think America would be immune?

And so the secular media hails Barack Obama as did Yahoo! News today - "Finally, A Global President." And why not? When a country loses its identity, it loses its soul. The president-elect is simply a reflection of the culture that produced him. Subtle, sophisticated, a man of the world, at home all over the world. The liberal media trumpets how respected his is among world leaders. No doubt he is. When values mean nothing, respect comes from having none. When standing up for principles draws the contempt of the world, standing up for nothing merits the world's praise.

I suppose it was inevitable. Freedom requires an eternal vigilance most human beings cannot maintain. All freedom comes due in blood - something the Irwin Kunkles of the world know very well. In the craggy volcanic interior of Iwo Jima, manhood perished not. It took future generations to fail where previous generations carried the burden of leadership and endured.

What will come when the Obama regime seizes power? I have no idea. I refuse to engage in the hysteria that is currently burning up the servers and comm. lines of the Internet. Obama may very well be the avowed socialist he has presented himself to be, bent on redistributing the wealth of the nation, and readjusting its values. He may indeed, fold our tent and bug out of the Middle East. He may abandon Israel, thus setting up the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38. He may even be the Antichrist.

I've heard it all, and it is yet to be revealed. What is certain is that what emerges in the wake of the Obama leadership will not resemble the republic that has graced these shores for the last 232 years. That government is dead and the soul of its citizens along with it.

It died because men are weak, self-indulgent, expedient and mean. It was betrayed for lack of interest, lack of commitment, lack of dedication. Irwin Kunkle knows full well the evil inherent in the human heart. He's seen it up close and personal. He knows it is not an aberration. His character was forged at a time when life was understood to be hard, cruel and short. We live in an epoch that assumes life is a fair, just and right, and we expect to be fulfilled with a sense of gilt-edged entitlement.

So the events of last Tuesday make sense, given the underlying assumptions of life in the 21st century. If we sell our souls for what we believe we are entitled to, Barack Obama is the inevitable result.

I cast my ballot in the late afternoon. I voted for Alan Keyes, whom I was surprised to find on the California ballot. I'm through supporting the lesser of two evils. That's what brought us to the point we now find ourselves in. I don't care what comes in the wake of that decision.

    And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world, as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. - Matthew 24:12-14
America or no America, the gospel of the kingdom will be preached. Who knows, maybe we should have turned in the direction the Bible indicates in the first place, instead of now, when all is lost. The road ahead will now be infinitely more difficult and the cost significantly more painful.

But there is no mention of America in the eschatology of the Bible. Maybe we're beginning to see why that is so. The country has been long down the road to becoming just like everyplace else in the world. Call it a consequence of cultural as well as economic globalism. The process cannot be reversed, regardless of who occupies the White House.

    He who testifies to these things says, 'Surely I am coming quickly.' Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus." - Revelation 22:20
Amen. Amen. And Amen.

by Euro-American Scum
(contributing Team Member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)

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

11/04/2008

Pray for America

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When I was a very young child, maybe two or three years old, my Dad hung the painting pictured above on the wall at the head of my bed. Through the years as I grew, I decorated my room with many photos, pennants, pictures, and the like, but that small painting always remained in place.

Many years later, for our tenth anniversary, my husband, Rick, had it re-framed for me (the frame had come to know its share of bumps and bruises over the years), and now, thirty-one years hence, it still hangs on the wall at the head of our bed.

My Dad passed away seven years ago last month. I miss him terribly, but I am thankful that he has not had to witness the devastation of his beloved country that has occurred since his passing. His heart would be heavy with grief and mourning.

Somehow, despite its long nearly sixty-year history, and the loving memories that history rekindles, the message that my Dad's painting portrays -- of the power of prayer, and the need to turn to His Word for guidance and direction -- has intensified in significance for us over the past few months.

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Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,
from men whose words are perverse,
who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways,
who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways ... Prov 2:12-15

I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned.
Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they decieve the minds of naive people ... Rom 16:17-18

... For why should my freedom be judged by another's conscience? ... 1 Cor: 10:29

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery ... Gal 5:1

Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover up for evil; live as servants of God ... 1 Pet: 2:16

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Heavenly Father, forgive us for what we have done.

You have prospered our nation for more than two centuries. You have strengthened us when we were weak, provided for us when we were without provision, directed us when we were willing to follow your guidance, blessed us when we were undeserving of blessings.

We have walked far from the path you laid out for us. We have betrayed those who sacrificed so dearly for our benefit. We have become lazy, allowing ourselves to be easily ensnared by carefully-crafted words and empty promises, delivered by men who worship self, who seek to oppress and control their fellow man, and who place no value in truth and goodness.

We have transformed prosperity into decadence; allegiance and duty into indulgence and complacency.

We have taken the gifts that only you can bestow (Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you ... 2 Tim 1:14) and placed them in the hands of men whose will is arbitrary and whose agenda is tyranny. The road ahead is dark, and steep, and fraught with danger –- made intentionally so by those who intend to ‘lead’ us, deceptively, through the fog they have created, and over the minefields they have laid.

Help us to continue to have faith in our own individualism, to insulate ourselves from the cacophony that surrounds us, and to listen for your gentle whispers. For we know that it is in heeding those whispers that our future security lies.

We cling to the knowledge that you work in miracles, when it is your will to do so. We pray that, if it not be praying against that will, you would help us to acknowledge what we have lost, muster the courage to reclaim it, and look to you once again in that endeavor for the strength, wisdom, and guidance and that only you can provide.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought us safe thus far,
And grace will lead us home.

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Amen.
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10/31/2008

The Incomparable Wisdom of Ezra Taft Benson

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Ezra Taft Benson served as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from 1985 until his death in 1994. Long before holding that esteemed position within the church, he served for eight years as President Eisenhower’s Secretary of Agriculture.

During Benson’s tenure as Secretary of Agriculture, the press predicted that he wouldn’t last a full term, and many republicans in congress believed that he was ‘too radical’ for the party’s own good. Yet, despite vehement opposition from the media and his own party, Benson remained in his post for the full duration of Eisenhower’s two terms, consistently delivering anti-communist speeches that warned of a socialist/communist conspiracy to eventually bring America to her knees.

Later, in the 1960s, he addressed the students of Brigham Young University, warning, in part:

I have talked face to face with the godless communist leaders. It may surprise you to learn that I was host to Mr. Kruschev for a half day when he visited the United States, not that I’m proud of it. I opposed his coming then, and I still feel it was a mistake to welcome this atheistic murderer as a state visitor.

But, according to President Eisenhower, Kruschev had expressed a desire to learn something of American Agriculture — and after seeing Russian agriculture I can understand why.

As we talked face to face, he indicated that my grandchildren would live under communism. After assuring him that I expected to do all in my power to assure that his and all other grandchildren will live under freedom he arrogantly declared in substance:

    You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism. We won’t have to fight you. We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands!
See previous related essays here that corroborate Benson’s standing as a modern-day patriot, and a belatedly-recognized prophet of much repute:

Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis

'The One' is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want

~ joanie

10/27/2008

'The One' is My Shepherd,
I Shall Not Want ...

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Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, in ‘Democracy in America’:

[The principle of equality prepares men for government that] covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic character cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent and guided … Such a power … stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd ...

One week and one day from today it appears that the people of America may elect Barack Hussein Obama President of the United States and leader of the free world. They may also be electing to the Senate and the House of Representatives a majority – perhaps even a filibuster-proof majority – of democrats from Obama’s own party.

Congress’s approval rating sits at nine percent, and yet the voters will be voting for ‘more of the same’. Why? Because their particular senator and/or congressman brings home the local bacon. Yet they resent the other 530+ ‘leaders’ who sit on the Hill and do exactly the same for their respective constituencies.

Such is the mindset of the citizenry of America 2008: What’s in it for me? and Don’t bother me with the particulars.

In past elections, whatever the make-up of the ‘leadership’ in Washington, and whatever the make-up of those who placed them in office, there was always reason for hope that America would rise above mistakes made, or errors in judgment ... next time ‘round.

I do not believe such is the case this time. An Obama election, and a democrat majority in congress, will ensure a permanent left lock on power for the remainder of America's existence. They have seen to it, by directing a left-leaning path for the past fifty years. We are on the brink of closing the door behind us, making impossible any return to conservative leadership.

Barack Obama is an inexperienced 'leader', with no record of meaningful accomplishments, and dangerous delusions of grandeur -- a self-serving ideologue whose mentors and associates embrace anything but what is best for America.

Many of them serve a Marxist god.

Most of them speak more ill of, than praise for, our republic.

Most of them despise the capitalist system and the free market.

Some of them despise the white race.

Most of them place little value on human life – those born, and those as yet unborn -- except to the degree that it can advance their ideology.

Most of them hold our Constitution in utter disdain and seek to declare its irrelevance with every stroke of their arrogant pens.

Most of them believe themselves to be members of a chosen elite, who possess the right to author oppressive laws that apply to the common man, but from which they are exempt.

Most of them believe that the right to own personal property, and the right to save the fruits of one’s labor, are gifts bestowed by the state, and they can freely be taken away, or redistributed, at the whim of the ruling class.

Most of them do not believe in the citizen’s right to defend himself.

Most of them believe that success is not achieved through hard work and personal industry, but rather through a government-authored and enforced state of ‘equality’.

Most of them believe that personal responsibility is an intolerant concept, and that we all must share the negative consequences of, and pay the price for, the foolish, frivolous, or self-serving actions of others.

Most of them believe that our children are wards of the state, and that parents must look to the state for child-rearing guidance, or answer to the courts.

Most of them believe in a borderless world in which the concepts of national identity, national sovereignty, and national pride are irrelevant.

Most of them consider a lie, or the breaking of a law, even more worthwhile than the truth, or obedience to law, if the end suits their purposes.

Most of them hold that a belief in God, and Biblical morality, serve merely as a roadblock on the pathway to self-realization.

What have these leftist ‘leaders’ – in politics, academia, and the media -- achieved over the past few decades, which will ensure their political pre-eminence, effectively rendering their power coalitions omnipotent, from this time forward?

  • They have succeeded in diluting the perspective of the American populace to the extent that those who revere and appreciate our proud heritage, and, even more importantly, those who are able to define, and willing to defend, its precepts represent a minority of the population.


  • They have done so primarily by indoctrinating two generations of American children into believing that they are ‘citizens of the world’, and have neglected to teach them the proud underpinnings that have kept their homeland afloat for more than two prosperous centuries. They are premeditatedly robbing us of our precious national identity.


  • They have also convinced American parents that parenthood can be accomplished through absence, and through a refocusing on ‘self’. Most of today’s parents have little sense of civic duty; nor do they attempt to instill such in their children.

  • They have succeeded in transforming the most effective healthcare system in the history of mankind into a bureaucratic monstrosity, teetering on the brink of disaster. Through the demonization of, and the imposition of monumental regulations on, the healthcare industry itself, the insurance industry, and the drug industry – and by allowing tort law free reign to file all manner of expensive frivolous lawsuits – they have premeditatedly driven up the cost of healthcare to the point where that care has diminished in effectiveness, and America may soon have no choice but to turn to the government for assistance. When complete socialization of the American healthcare system is instituted, they will have achieved their power-hungry goal, and significantly more Americans will receive inferior care, or die unnecessarily.

  • They have succeeded in circumventing the Constitution to the point where the most magnificent blueprint for governance ever conceived by the mind of man has now been officially declared all but irrelevant. The nationalization of private enterprise, the using of hundreds of billions of dollars of public monies in order to bail out both private enterprise and citizens in financial difficulty, are but two of the most recent grotesque examples of blatantly unconstitutional law that enters into the books without so much as a question as to their obvious unconstitutionality.

  • They have succeeded in filtering the goings-on in Washington, and around the world, so that, in the majority of media outlets, only those events that elevate the leftist ideology, are reported to the populace. The media have effectively become a podium for leftist propaganda. Those who attempt to expose the arrogant bias are either silenced or ridiculed. Censorship and character assassination are commonplace tactics in the media's leftist handbook.


  • They have succeeded in turning military victories into defeats, both literally and figuratively – by retreating when victory could have been won, or by labeling a victory as a defeat, and appealing to their media cohorts to get out the word that such is the case. They have done so, often by portraying the American military as brutal oppressors, while at the same time refusing to report the extent of the genuine brutality of the enemy – by refusing to acknowledge the American military’s progress and relatively ‘moral’ wartime behavior, and incessantly focusing instead on minor defeats and the infinitesimal percentage of personnel gone awry – and by consistently attributing false or evil motives as America’s reasons for engaging, whether those negative motives are true or not. In short, leftists have consistently undercut America’s military, at the same time that our young men and women are placing themselves in harm’s way.


  • They have sought to fill our courts with left-leaning judges who, by definition, seek to place their personal political convictions above the dictates of the Constitution. As a result, legislating from the bench, and adjudicating in conflict with Constitutional boundaries, have become the rule of the day. Soon Americans, severely constrained by unconstitutional laws, will have nowhere to turn to appeal for Constitutional justice.


  • They have usurped gargantuan power for the state, handcuffed industry, made America increasingly energy-dependent on those who seek our annihilation, and taken away many of our personal freedoms, in the name of the hoax known as ‘global warming’. Our ability to provide our own reliable energy sources has been severely handicapped to the point where our very survival is at stake


  • They have penetrated and perverted ‘the system’ to the extent that the vote of the ‘average American’ can effectively be cancelled out by votes obtained in a fraudulent manner. They have burdened ‘the system’ with fraud to the point where ‘the system’ cannot effectively weed out the deceivers – thus ensuring that an honest election will never occur again.
  • They have cast aside the sanctity of life, and the recognition that it is God-given, in deference to the worship of self.
The power of special interests has expanded to the point where the power of the people pales in comparison. The recent actions taken by both the administration and congress in an effort to confront the looming financial meltdown were taken (1) in opposition to overwhelming public sentiment, and (2) in order to place the gargantuan bill, aimed at least in part to bail out ‘friends of congress’, on the shoulders of the American citizen (and his children). And the left played an enormous role in both the cause of the meltdown, and its proposed ‘solutions’.

Like the bailout legislation, countless other laws are passed each year (the majority of them, I suspect), not with the benefit of the American people in mind, but with either the furtherance of a political agenda, or ‘payback for political favors done’, as their intent.

America is being overrun with illegal invaders crossing our southern borders. Our ‘leadership’ in Washington is doing nothing about the invasion. Our mainstream media is keeping a tight lid on the rising cost of that invasion – ‘cost’ in terms of taxpayer dollars, violence on the streets of our cities, frequent injuries and deaths incurred by our Border Patrol agents, and the infiltration every year into our society of millions of people who bear no allegiance to our republic, a sub-group of which seeks to annex a portion of our nation for themselves. They are dramatically altering the very fabric of our society. And our ‘leaders’ continue to pander to them, at our expense. Illegal aliens cannot vote (yet), but their American-born offspring can. And these children will vote for the party that keeps the entitlements coming.

Much of the above, and much more, has been the result of the decades-long infiltration of heavy-handed, left-leaning ideology into our schools, our media, and our ‘leadership’ in Washington.

But there have always been those who sought to keep our left-ward movement from becoming an unstoppable march: (1) There were patriots in congress who sought to keep the socialists in check; (2) There were media decision-makers intent on retaining a sense of fairness in their reporting; (3) And, above all, there were a majority of the citizenry who saw it as their civic duty to be well-informed, to know the real backgrounds and agendas of the candidates, and to weigh those considerations against the most powerful one: what is best for America (as defined by the Constitution).

None of the above three conditions exist anymore -- not to the degree that they must, in order to succeed in holding back the march toward the total tyranny of the left.

If Barack Obama ascends to the presidency, the chipping away at our republic's foundations represented by all of the above conditions will increase ... in both intensity and speed. And our enemies will be emboldened because a novice (and an anti-American novice at that) will be serving as America's Commander-in-Chief.

Americans want change. And change they will get. It will not necessarily be a change in direction, but a change in the speed with which we achieve the destination so carefully laid out by our ruling elite. They have been patiently working for decades, but their patience is wearing thin, and their foot is on the accelerator. We have already witnessed the shifting of gears, in our leadership's lightning-fast unconstitutional response to their self-created economic meltdown.

Those in power will become ever more arrogant about their desires to achieve a United Socialist States of America. The socialist steamroller will be moving us toward the dark abyss at break-neck speed, and standing in its way will prove hazardous to your health.

Hang on. We’re about to embark on a dizzying national nightmare.

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~ joanie

10/25/2008

The Once-Great Democratic Party

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by Mark Alexander

Thomas Jefferson wrote, 'The government is best which governs least,' and that sentiment was thematic in all of his writing about the role of government. So what happened to the Party of Jefferson, the once-great Democratic Party, the champion of limited government?

Jefferson, who authored our Declaration of Independence, led the Anti-Federalist movement against the ratification of the Constitution, because he feared that those elected to lead our nation would forgo their higher calling to 'support and defend the Constitution,' and become pawns for special interests, using those constituencies to perpetuate their office and further centralize government power.

Nowhere was he more concerned about this degradation of public integrity than in regard to the judiciary. Jefferson feared it would become the 'despotic branch', undermining and altering the proposed constitution by judicial diktat rather than its prescribed method.

Jefferson’s opponent, James Madison, arguing for ratification of our Constitution, which he authored, believed that individual and states’ rights would endure: 'Ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments... would be signals of general alarm ... But what degree of madness could ever drive the federal government to such an extremity.' (Federalist No. 46).

By 1792, however, Madison himself had joined his fellow Virginian, Jefferson, in opposition to the Federalist Party.

Jefferson’s intellect and his insights into the nature of man were astounding, so much so that 170 years later another famous Democrat, John F. Kennedy, welcomed the 49 Nobel Prize recipients to the White House saying, 'I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House—with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.'

Jefferson's concerns about the degraded integrity of public men have never been clearer than in the current presidential cycle. At no point in history has the differential in 'Presidential Character' between the two leading candidates been more clear.

But this election is much more than a referendum on the two candidates, John Sidney McCain and Barack Hussein Obama; it is a referendum on the ability of a majority of Americans voters to discern between one candidate who possesses the presidential character and integrity of a statesman, and one who does not.

In fact, Obama could not even qualify for a basic security clearance if he was applying for a government job because of his close association with unrepentant terrorists William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. These 'useful idiots', apologists for socialist political and economic agendas, used their radical celebrity to launch Barack Obama’s political career and are his mentors to this day.

No issue is more pressing in this election cycle than the one that concerned Jefferson most—that of the 'Despotic Branch.'

Consider this: Five Supreme Court justices will be over 70 years of age in the first year of the next presidential term. Two of them, the most liberal, will be 76 and 89. The next president will thus determine whether the Supreme Court will abide by leftist ideology, or by their oath to support and defend our Constitution. It’s no exaggeration to say that the future of our nation hangs in the balance.

If we are not a nation governed by a firm Constitution of laws, but a 'Living Constitution', which, as Jefferson noted, would be a 'mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please,' then we are a nation of men.

Conservatives and liberals can argue various policy points ad nauseum, but the real question is this: Are we a nation of laws or a nation of men? The terminus of nations that are governed by men rather than laws has, for the entirety of recorded history, been tyranny. In the last century alone, the plight of hundreds of millions under dictators such as Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Saddam and, who would be next …

Jefferson understood this, as once did his Democratic Party.

The Patriot’s mission is to advocate for individual liberty and responsibility, the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and the promotion of free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values.

These principles used to be the centerpiece of the Democratic Party; they are now its antithesis.

A colleague recently sent me a parody on why we should elect Democrats: 'I think the government will do a better job of spending my money than I could. When we pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq, I know the Islamic terrorists will stop trying to kill us. I believe people who can’t tell us if it will rain in two or three days can now tell us the polar ice caps will disappear in a century if we don’t comply with Orwellian government economic oversight. English has no place being the official language in America. I’d rather pay $4 for a gallon of gas than allow drilling for oil off the coasts of America or in that vast Alaskan wasteland, ANWR. ‘Big Oil’s’ five-percent profit on a gallon of gas is obscene, but the government tax of 18 to 35 percent on the same gallon of gas is just fine.'

The parody continues: 'I believe businesses in America should not be allowed to make profit—it should be confiscated by the government so politicians and bureaucrats can redistribute that profit as they see fit. I believe guns cause crimes and murder, not the sociopaths using them, and, thus, should be confiscated. Besides, when someone threatens my family, I know the government can respond faster with a call to 911 than I can with a gun in my hand. It’s a right to kill millions of babies while objecting to the death penalty for murderers. I believe five elitist liberal judges should rewrite the Constitution by diktat to suit Leftist agendas that could never pass proper amendment.'

This caricature of the Democratic Party would be humorous if it did not, in fact, reflect its actual platform.

In his keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention this year [see correction in comment #1 below], Virginia Senate candidate Mark Warner described the Republican Party: 'It is made up of the Christian Coalition... It is made up of the right-to-lifers... It’s made up of the NRA... It is made up of the home schoolers... It’s made up of a whole coalition of people that have all sorts of differing views that I think most of us in this room would find threatening to what it means to be an American.'

A few decades ago, that list of folks would have been welcome in the Democratic Party, not “threatening to what it means to be an American.”

But today, that Party is fundamentally flawed in its platform, and it co-opts voter constituencies who, though they may be good people in general, are fundamentally disabled in their understanding of our nation’s founding principles and their civic roles and responsibilities.

The real question is not so much what has happened to the Party of Jefferson, but what has happened to 'the people' who now call themselves Democrats?

Obama is not the problem, just its manifestation. The problem is that we are a nation with a collapsing foundation of broken families, where the faith of our founders has been replaced with the real “opiate of the masses,” the mass media, and where ignorance has been institutionalized through our 'public education' apparatchiks.

Perhaps we are a nation where a majority of the electorate now identifies with the dysfunctional pathology of Obama than with the individual character and institutional principles that are the foundation of our Democratic Republic.

The good news is that in my home, and tens of millions like it, we still model for our children the principle of 'third person' living: God first, others (including family, neighbors and country) second, and self third. It is our highest ambition for our children that they will invest their lives in service to others, that they will honor the blood and sacrifice of generations of Patriots before them and be steadfast in their determination to defend our Constitution and the liberties it embodies in order to extend freedom to the next generation.

We have not surrendered this political battle, any more than we have surrendered the cultural war in which we are now engaged.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, for posterity, 'Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them.'

Today, tragically, his once-noble Democratic Party has embraced bondage and servitude.

The Patriot Post