A FEW PATRIOTS… PROPERLY ARMED

The militia or minute-men as they came to be called knew if the British were able to seize their stockpile of weapons and ammunition, any flicker of hope for reversing the trend of tyranny would be extinguished.

LEXINGTON & CONCORD the Revolution Begins April 19, 1775

Two hundred and forty-four years ago today, a few men, mostly farmers but all patriots who believed strongly in the right to self-government, risked everything they had, their homes, their families, their lives to take a stand against what they believed to be British tyranny. It was on the night of the 18th of April 1775 when Paul Revere and many other riders quickly spread the word British troops were on their way to confiscate the weapons and ammunition of the colonies held at Concord Massachusetts.

The militia or minute-men as they came to be called knew if the British were able to seize their stockpile of weapons and ammunition, any flicker of hope for reversing the trend of tyranny would be extinguished.

It was those early days when patriotic men and families rose to the call of freedom, and for 13 years they fought and died for that freedom, which so stirred in the hearts of the nation’s founders to hold in high regard the right of a free people to keep and bear arms. Second only to the right to speak freely; the founders knew, as Jefferson so plainly stated, human nature is capable of tyranny and even within such a republic as our United States, tyrants may seek the control of the people.

The only way the tyrants gain such control is for the people to give it to them. One certain way is to allow those who would control a free people to take away the right to keep and bear arms and to form a well-regulated militia. States rights check federal rights when it comes to such issues; which is why each governor is equipped with the power to control his or her state’s national guard. Someday the tyrants may come again for the cache of guns and ammunition, though this time not at an armory in Concord, Massachusetts but in the individual homes of citizens. They will seek ways to rob the patriots of their Constitutional right. Those same patriots, who, if they are truly the lovers of freedom they confess to be,will stand firm and yield not to tyranny but allow the tree of liberty to be refreshed once again.

Let it not be said I am extolling rebellion for rebellion’s sake. The men and women of 1775 colonial America agonized over the need to repress the British control. The status quo can be oh so comfortable. Never should such action be taken without imploring the God of the Universe to act to protect the people from those who would enslave them. Divine intervention has steered history since the dawn of time and will continue to do so. Free men must act, however, as their hearts call them to act; prayerfully seeking divine wisdom and guidance.

Throughout the centuries since Lexington and Concord, tyrannies the world over have come to power by first taking the ability of citizens to own personal firearms and means of self-defense. Adolph Hitler was quick to disarm the German people and every country he seized under the name of safety and security. Communist dictators from Stalin through Putin have extolled the solidarity of the state while removing from the citizens their ability to stand against the atrocities of that state.

The iconic American, John Wayne, is quoted as saying simiply; “You think the right to carry firearms should be illegal? What other kind of stupid ideas do you have?”

While a Senator, John F. Kennedy stated the case clearly. “By calling attention to “a well regulated militia” the “security” of the nation and the right of each citizen to “keep and bear arms” the founding fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy…the Amendment still remains an important declaration of our civilian-military relationships in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country. For that reason, I believe the 2nd Amendment will always be important.” Later, as President, J.F.K made it even more clear his undestnading of the Second Amendment.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The beauty of the Second Amendment is it won’t be needed until they try to take it.”

It is remarkable to me that Lexington and Concord, the initial battle for freedom in America giving birth to everything we stand for as Americans happened in Massachusetts. One of the strongest supporters politically for the Second Amendment, John F. Kennedy, a U.S. Navy Veteran and awarded the Purple Heart in WWII was from Massachusetts.

How can it be that as close as Vermont is to the cradle of American patriotism, during the Revolutionary War, Loyalists and Revolutionaries were at each others’ throats. One of their most stalwart and wealthy individuals, John Munro fought bravely in the Revolutionary War – on the side of the British! So disdained were his actions his wife Mary had to flee to Canada. Today, of course, Vermont is the home of Senator Bernie Sanders, the most blatant Communist since Kruchev banged his shoe on the table of the U.N. to get attention! Sanders is quoted as saying, “I belive military style weapons designed to kill human beings should not be sold or distributed in the United States.” By basic definition, that would include my Colt 45 ACP or any other 1911 handgun… hmmm. From there the slope gets even more slippery! I’ll close with this photo that references back to my comment on Germany…

Thank God for the patriots of Lexington and Concord and all those who have come after them and who are yet to come; who have given or will give their all to protect America’s freedom!

Citizenship 101

Recent events and discussions with persons that one would think would have a reasonable education and thereby an awareness of how the Constitution is to be applied in a nation governed by law have led me to question whether such ideals are truly understood. What seems to be lacking is an understanding of the responsibility, better yet, the obligation or duty that every citizen has to uphold the laws of their nation. Citizens have a duty to change unjust laws by appropriate legislation and see to it that government officials who are alleged to have abused their office are charged in a court of law.  I would expect that reasonably educated people today would understand those principles of citizenship. Experience has shown me that is not necessarily the case. Persons of more than average intelligence and education seem to have become ignorant of the duties of a citizen in a nation that is established by laws. So, to do a small part to try to alleviate the ignorance that so easily besets us as a people here in the United States, I offer this primer on citizenship.

A good place to begin, I think, is the oath that someone who is becoming a citizen of the United States is required to take. Certainly, it is taken voluntarily.  Simply put, if they do not wish to take the oath or abide by the law of the land then, they are free to live somewhere else on the globe but not in the United States of America. That is a refreshing notion for those who have been born citizens of the USA and have little esteem for our Constitution or our laws. They should be free to, in fact encouraged to, find someplace else on the globe where they would like to live.

Here is the oath. It is simple yet, of great depth.

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

Since this is a primer, I won’t assume that the oath was completely clear to the reader. Here are the basic points. The citizen-to-be declares that they will:

  1. Support the Constitution;
  2. Renounce and abjure absolutely and entirely all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which the applicant was before a subject or citizen;
  3. Support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
  4. Bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and
  5. Bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; or
    B. Perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; or
    C. Perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law.

For the sake of brevity in this primer, I will focus on only one point.

“I will support… the Constitution”

The Constitution is not a very long document, even so, let us look just at the Preamble, the introduction if you will, of the document a citizen of the United States has a duty to support. The Preamble reads:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The purposes:

  • to form a more perfect, a better union between the individual sovereign states
  • establish Justice
  • insure domestic Tranquility
  • provide for the common defence (old English spelling)
  • promote the general Welfare
  • secure the Blessing of Liberty
    • to ourselves and our posterity

Notice that certain words are capitalized, not by me but in the document: Justice, Tranquility, Welfare (that doesn’t mean a government check on the first of the month or food stamps) and Blessings of Liberty – One can assume that these are important to our Founding Fathers, of these, perhaps we should take special note.

Justice – everyone equal under the law – meaning that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Sometimes, in the defense of one’s own or another’s life, a person may be killed in the commission of a crime so the actions of the person taking his life will be judged before the court, even if it is a police officer, the court has jurisdiction… and what applies to the perpetrator of the crime also applies to the officer – ‘innocent until proven guilty’ EVERYONE equal under the law.

Tranquility – the ability to live our lives in peace, without fear of coercion from the government or threats of violence from those who do NOT follow the law. Who is to have a tranquil life – if the Constitution is ruling? The answer is EVERY citizen. Every citizen whether they be brown, black, white, gay, straight, Buddhist or Baptist. What may surprise those with whom I cannot apparently communicate well is that EVERY also includes COPS! Every person should be able to go to their work peacefully and expect to return to their homes at the end of their work, peaceably, to retire and live peacefully. Yes, certain professions such as cops have accepted risk but that does not mean to be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. Perhaps an example will make my point better than I can communicate it…

If I am living next to Joe, he and I should EXPECT that we can live in our neighborhood together, peacefully – in Tranquility. But, sometimes things happen. Perhaps Joe does not like the way I mow my grass in circles rather than in strips. So one day, Joe walks over to me and punches me in the nose. He has the right to swing his fist… I mean, it’s his fist! BUT, his right to swing his fist STOPS where my nose BEGINS! My nose has a right, as a part of me, to live my life in Tranquility and that does NOT include Joe’s fist to my nose!

Now, I have been assaulted. Under a nation of LAWS, I have a legal right to swear out a complaint and have Joe arrested. However, if Joe keeps pummeling me and I cannot get away, I have right to self-defense. But, in this case, Joe punches me once in the nose and then goes back home. I do NOT have the right to now walk over to Joe’s house and punch Joe in the nose. In a nation of laws, my DUTY to uphold the law is to follow the procedure and swear out a complaint.

ALSO, I do NOT have the right to go across the street from my house and punch Fred in the nose because Joe punched me in the nose. Fred has a right to his own domestic Tranquility and he doesn’t even mow his lawn so, he has nothing in this dispute between Joe and me. I cannot punch FRED for any reason but I particularly cannot punch FRED for something JOE did – EVEN IF Fred is Joe’s brother!

Someone brings the argument that because Joe goes around punching people in the nose (even though he only did it once to me) that Fred DESERVES to be hit because he is Joe’s brother. In fact, Fred has hundreds of brothers, maybe thousands. Fred and Joe’s father was a very well-liked guy and they have lots and lots of brothers. A few of the brothers are just like Joe. Every once-in-awhile, they punch someone in the nose – at least that’s what someone said to somebody who reported it to a news outlet… We don’t really know for sure how many of Joes’ brothers ever really did punch somebody and we don’t know if it might have been self-defense but, in today’s thinking, that doesn’t matter.

So – according to today’s reasoning, ANYONE at all, even if they never met me or do not know me at all and never met anyone else who happened to have been punched by another brother of Joe’s – ANYONE has the “right” to not respect ANY of the brothers! In fact, if the brothers who do punch people would stop, then maybe, ANYONE might respect the other brothers too… but since they don’t respect them, even though the other brothers have never punched anything but a timeclock in their whole lives – ANYONE can go out and punch any of the brothers in the nose anytime they want to – it is all the brother’s fault because Joe and some of the others have punched somebody somewhere at some time – we think – at least that is what the media told us, we don’t have any real facts – but we don’t need them –

One of the other things ANYONE who is punching the other brothers’ noses seems to forget is that UNDER A NATION of LAW: 1. Even if Joe is accused of punching me in the nose, he is still innocent until proven guilty and 2. All the other brothers (the non-hitting ones) they have a RIGHT under the LAW to live in domestic Tranquility. They might be Joe’s brother but they are CITIZENS too and THEY HAVE RIGHTS TOO! 3. By punching people’s noses ANYONE is breaking the law! EVERY citizen has a DUTY to NOT break the law. When they do THEY are the criminals.

For the sake of time, let’s look lastly at: secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity. What does that mean? It means, simply, that EVERY citizen of the United States has a right to work hard, strive to learn, achieve some reward for your labor, to be able to travel wherever and whenever one desires (as long as one has the means – that is the money, a car and the privilege to drive that car – without being harassed or abused, to work to save money and retire peacefully – if health permits to enjoy a quiet Tranquil life and that we will pass these same benefits of living in a Nation of Laws to our children and to their children…

Are some people harassed when they drive? – that likely happens though I do not have facts and figures to substantiate it, some things are true in common knowledge even if they aren’t – Accepting that it likely happens, what may be surprising is that it happens not just to people of color but it happens to young people – because of their age, it happens to older people – because of their age; it happens to people of certain sexual inclinations or even religious affiliations – Bad things happen, sadly, all the time; but they can happen to just about ANY citizen. Do some have it happen to them disproportionately? I’m certain they do; but I don’t have numbers to prove it. Here is the point though about being a nation of LAWS.

Those who are harassed in any way whatsoever have a legitimate LEGAL recourse for the settlement of their grievances. In an open court with a trier of the FACTS and with appellate courts to oversee them – their grievances can be redressed. That is a Blessing of Liberty.

The excuses come – the courts are crooked… it costs too much… no one will believe me … Well, in part its true, the system isn’t perfect; but, it is still the LAW and without the LAW there is anarchy. Remember ANYONE from our example? In anarchy, ANYONE who feels that they have been grieved (or even just someone else they don’t even know has been grieved and they somehow feel a kinship to those folks) – can go out in a public street and murder persons who are COPS, LEGAL representatives of the GOVERNMENT that ANYONE has sworn to support. ANYONE is murdering these INDIVIDUALS who are CITIZENS themselves with RIGHTS of their own and HUMAN BEINGS with people who love, need and will greatly miss them.

The Thin Blue Line is the symbol of law enforcement. It’s meaning is very appropriate today. The Thin Blue Line represents that very thin line between civilization and anarchy. Those who are flaunting the law are doing so by trying to destroy the only line that is preventing anarchy from reining in our streets. If injustice is perceived as widespread today just wait until anarchy erases the Thin Blue Line. Who will you call for help then?

For a person who is a citizen of the United States of America to say that another citizen need not obey the law against murder of a fellow human being only because other human beings of a similar job title may have offended, hurt or even killed someone illegally RATHER THAN saying that the citizen who is the aggrieved has a legal remedy and that remedy is the only appropriate avenue for the redress of grievances in a civilized society is, in effect, speaking treason because the ultimate result of such anarchist thinking is the demise of the United States.

In the first century A.D., Rome ruled the known world that is today most of Europe, the Mediterranean, Balkans, through the Middle East. The rulers were cruel and unjust. Local representatives of the government did whatever they pleased to whomever they pleased, including killing anyone who got in their way. A particularly fond target for harassment, threats, assaults, rapes, robberies and murder were Christians. Those who claimed the Name of Christ may as well as hung a target on their back with a death warrant in their pocket. Paul, a missionary and Apostle of the church was an outspoken, driven man. He faced the Roman persecution head-on and was beaten and jailed many times because of it. Paul wrote to the churches, specifically to the church in Rome and rallied them with how they should respond to the ‘open season’ that had been declared against them. Here are his words:

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore, If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:9-21 NKJV)

I Could Spit

When I was a boy, a few decades back, I was often intrigued by some of my father’s sayings. Many of them still make no sense to me even this many years after I have become full-grown. One of those sayings meant little to me until today. On this particular day, the day following the horrific terrorist attack at a nightclub in Florida by a self-proclaimed supporter of ISIS, a day full of liberal pandering and political bovine excrement deep enough to cover the White House lawn three feet in all directions, and the reports of the cataclysmic failure of the FBI to identify one individual terrorist who literally shouted at the world his intentions, I finally understand my father’s homespun descriptive. When I add to the volcanic angst I already have for the total failure of America to bring to the fore not even one truly qualified candidate for the office of President; my father’s quote makes even more sense.

What is this statement that has found its fruition in today’s events? “I’m so mad I could spit!” It helps to describe a feeling of such intense anger at the events of the day and a total frustration with the seemingly impossible actions anyone might take to fix the situation. There is such pent-up ire that it approaches a completely overwhelming anger at the ineptitude of those in whom we have placed our trust that they will do their best, under sacred vow, to keep this from happening; and, if it does happen, the people expect that rather than using it as an opportunity to push a worn-out political agenda, those in positions of authority might actually vow to combat the source of such evil and conquer it in order to prevent like events from happening in the future.

I am sick and tired (another great colloquialism) of hearing how such events wouldn’t happen if there was gun control –which is translated, American citizens cannot own guns privately and that only strict government control will fix it!  They mean the same kind of control that the government has now over who can get their hands on C-4 or on a stick of dynamite; which, by the way, were the initial weapons used by this crazy ISIS terrorist!

Allow me to state this plainly. Without second-guessing any individual’s actions in that club that night; if one person in that crowd would have been carrying a legally concealed firearm, the death toll may have been substantially less. I am so angry about politicians using every single violent crime as a soapbox for taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding American citizens instead of crusading to find and eliminate this evil that lurks in the shadows of our civilization.

I posted a quote by Noah Webster on my Facebook yesterday before this entire event began. Allow me to share it with you here:

Noah Webster

“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.”

In case you are interested, NoahWebsterHouse.org gives this summary statement about Mr. Webster: “Noah Webster accomplished many things in his life. Not only did he fight for an American language, he also fought for copyright laws, a strong federal government, universal education, and the abolition of slavery. In between fighting for these causes, he wrote textbooks, edited magazines, corresponded with men like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, helped found Amherst College, created his own version of an “American” Bible, raised eight children, and celebrated 54 anniversaries with his beloved wife. When Noah Webster died in 1843, he was an American hero.”

Wouldn’t it be great if some two hundred years after our lives to have written for you and me that we were ‘American heroes’? Perhaps the time is short coming when we will have to take a stand for what we truly believe to be right in America. History will be our judge.

I am also completely appalled that the FBI could have interviewed this radical not once but twice and have given him a clear pass to continue to go about his Islamic terrorist plans. As an American citizen, as a retired Chief of Police, and as a member of the FBI National Academy Associates, I want to demand that a complete and above-board investigation be made of those interviews, the agents that performed them, the supervisors that approved them and to learn whether a fear of labelling someone and not being politically correct under the microscope of the Obama administration was the root cause for these interviews to go nowhere. I suspect that unless the agents and their supervisors are not complete morons, then some political cleansing of those interviews was required due to his ethnicity. Americans deserve answers to these questions.

Who are we supposed to be able to trust? I have an answer for you. In the movie RED, John Malkovich played Marvin Boggs, a somewhat psychotic, paranoid-schizophrenic former intelligence operative. His explanation is simple, here it is as portrayed to ‘Frank’ (Bruce Willis). “Frank, what have I always told you? You cannot trust the system…” There you go, straight from the lips of a psychotic, paranoid-schizophrenic who was given “daily doses of LSD for eleven years.” There is no better authority nor is it more succinctly phrased!

I have written articles for professional magazines dealing with responses to physical attacks and crime prevention. I also have a book at the publisher on a detailed plan for America’s law enforcement for combatting terrorists at the community level. In every article or chapter of the book which deals with who it is you can ultimately depend on to stop an attack, the answer is only you. You are the only one guaranteed to be present when you are being attacked. You cannot count on your spouse, your sibling or parent. When that psychotic Islāmic terrorist is about to blow up you and a hundred of your closest friends, if you do not have the capability to draw your legally concealed and carried firearm and immediately dispatch him to his mistaken idea of a heavenly reward; no one else will. The Orlando police and safety services did an amazing job and I take nothing away from them. What they faced and what they were able to accomplish, as well as what the hospital staffs were required to face, is absolutely overwhelming. They all deserve our admiration, respect and our prayers. As much as they will always be ready to go into the line of fire on behalf of the citizens they serve, their response time will always prevent them from being able to stop the carnage once it has begun.

By the same token, if you allow the sleazy politicians parading around Washington to divest you of your Second Amendment right, you have no one to blame but yourself. It is up to you. It is up to me. It is up to the millions of Americans who truly believe that the Constitution means what it says. But it remains an individual battle. I cannot assume that the NRA will fix it. I cannot assume that some Congressman who pledged something over a rubbery Rotarian chicken dinner will actually be able to do something. I have to take responsibility for my own rights and so do you. We must not allow ourselves to go silently into the night.

I have always said that there are very few things for which I am willing to go to jail. Standing strong for my faith in Jesus Christ, protecting my family and upholding the Constitution. That’s it. Everything else can get checked at the door. But on those three, I must vow to remain inviolate.

Do I believe that America is reaping the God-given consequences for our sins? God is completely holy and He is completely gracious. When Abraham bartered with the pre-Incarnate Christ about saving Sodom, God was willing to forego the annihilation of the city if only ten righteous people remained. (Gen. 18:19) As we know, there were not ten. There are many more God-fearing, born-again believers, followers of Jesus Christ in America than ten. The Bible does make it clear that governments cannot stand without God’s blessing so perhaps we are in a time of a lesson that we must learn. Who can we trust? We can trust God to be who He is – the Holy, Omnipotent, Gracious God who was and is and is to come. His plan for you and I and for America will not be subverted regardless of who sits in the Oval Office. As Christians first, Americans second, we must seek God’s mercy and “Humble (ourselves) under the mighty hand of God so that He might exalt (us) in due time. (1 Peter 5:6)

I am so mad I could spit and yes, I am sick and tired. I may not be able to change the actions and attitudes of the people who are in Washington D.C. However, I can recommit myself to being as physically, mentally and spiritually ready to face whatever might happen within my sphere of influence. I can be involved by keeping my voice heard in the public arena and I can vote intelligently. I can pray, every day, for my country, its leaders, and for Christ’s church that God will guide and direct; protect and preserve this great Republic.

May God bless America and may America bless God.

The Presidents’ Day

Perhaps, if we, as Americans hold the office in the esteem it deserves, then maybe, just maybe, those who hold the Office and those who seek it, will too.

In 1971 under President Richard Nixon, the federal government established the idea of moving as many federal holidays to a Monday as possible. So, rather than celebrating President Lincoln’s birthday on February 12th and  President Washington’s birthday on February 22nd, we celebrate ALL the presidents on one day, the third Monday in February. If you are my age, or a perhaps a older, you will likely remember the construction paper cutouts on the cork boards, the red cutout hearts, the black silhouette cutout of President Lincoln in one corner and one of President Washington in the other. Of course in every classroom, above the large and small letters of the alphabet, was the picture replicated below here by artist Ken Curtis. If you’re like me, you always wondered why it wasn’t finished.

george-washington

Was there a time when those two presidents, or  any of the presidents, held a more esteemed place in the minds and hearts of American citizens? Was there any time when those who held the Office of President carried with them a fuller understanding of the weight of the responsibility and the history that it contains? Is there still a sense of awe by a citizen, or better yet by a long term president,  when they enter the Oval Office? I want there to be.

A very long time ago, I had just finished my Air Force basic training. I was then assigned to the Security Police Training Squadron at Lackland AFB, literally across the street from where I had my basic training. One of my first nights out was to go to the base theater to watch whatever was the newest available movie in 1975. I will never forget what happened next. Just before the movie was to start, the American flag filled the screen and the National Anthem began. Immediately, with a thunderous sound, one hundred plus Airmen stood to the feet, at attention. A wave of goosebumps washed over me and I knew that I had become part of something special.

That feeling returns to me every time the Stars and Stripes fly and in public places, I see Americans with their hands over their hearts or rendering a hand salute. Their is a wave of emotion when I stand as a flag draped coffin moves past me or as uniformed soldiers meticulously fold a flag to present it to a veteran’s survivor.

Whenever I travel across the world and I return to home, as I walk into a U.S. airport customs area and there is a large sign  by the American flag that says, Welcome to the United States of America, I am reminded of that feeling. When a customs officer hands me my passport and says, “Welcome Home” I know I have truly come home.

In the movie, National Treasure Book of Secrets, Ben (Nicholas Cage) is face to face with the President and says, “…And because you’re the President of the United States, sir. Whether by innate character or the oath you took to defend the Constitution or the weight of history that falls upon you, I believe you to be an honorable man, sir.” The President Bruce Greenwood, says, “Gates, people don’t believe that stuff anymore.” And to the President, Gates replies: “They want to believe it.”

Whether you believe in a limited federal government and fiscal conservativeness or you believe in an expanded government with increasing social programs, you want to believe in that of which Gates spoke. If so, you are sick and tired of the fighting, backstabbing, limitless pettiness combined with gargantuan egos that have been the hallmark of the campaigns thus far.

May I suggest that on this President’s Day we continue to avoid what our forefather’s worried about, and that was the elevation of the Office of the President to royal status by remembering they are but humans? At the same time, I urges us to resolve to place on the Office the level of respect and integrity it demands. Perhaps, if we, as Americans hold the office in the esteem it deserves, then maybe, just maybe, those who hold the Office and those who seek it, will too.

Deepest Blue

Never before in our history has one group sought to cast aside our Constitution as strongly as those who label themselves ‘Progressives” nor has there ever been, in our history one President so inflated of ego, bewitched by socialism, and so flagrant at dismissing the rule of law by which he is to govern.

 

There is something to be said for bright sunshine across a frozen field covered in snow. The brightness of the white is brighter than ever before and the blue of the sky is the deepest blue, so deep that you feel like it goes on beyond forever. A weather phenomenon, new to me in my nearly sixty years, lies across the frozen field. The weathermen called them snow rollers. They look as though someone started to make a snowman and then after rolling for a little while, gave up and walked away; although there are no footprints near them. The weather folks say that this only occurs when three weather variants come together at the precisely the right moment. The air must be a frosty sub-zero, the snow an exact balance of moisture and snowflakes and just the right cross wind blowing along an open stretch of land. Snow rollers are born! Honestly, they do not do much after they are born, they just sit there in the field, looking like the bottom of a snowman someone gave up on! Some of the larger farm fields around here this week have hundreds of these round wonders and some are quite large! If the gods of Mount Olympus decided to have a snowball fight, this is where they would come.

Beyond that dazzling white snow though and those amazing snow rollers, is that amazingly blue sky. The poets call the color, azure. The uniqueness of the name fits the stunning quality of the color. Color is an incredible connection to the senses. It stirs the soul at times and can open the heart to a bravery it never knew it had. Two pictures come to mind when I consider that color. One is on my office wall and shows an eagle majestically perched on a high mountain precipice with that stirring blue behind him to the horizon. Beneath is an edited quote originally from 1 Corinthians 16:13 “Watch, Stand, Be Strong” is beneath the eagle. The Young’s Literal Translation quotes the actual passage as:  “Watch ye, stand in the faith; be men, be strong.”The next photo I have is included here, also of an eagle, his talons clutching the rock crag as he scans the horizon for danger or sustenance. Below him is the following poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson:

The Eagle

He grasps the crag with crooked hands,

Close to the sun in lowly lands.

Ring’d with the azure world he stands.

Eagle on Summit
Eagle on Summit

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls,

He watches from his mountain walls.

And like a thunderbolt he falls.

At one point in our American history, our forefathers considered the turkey as our national bird. Without disparaging the turkey, I’m glad someone suggested the eagle in her place. The majesty of her, whether in flight or at rest; she is a magnificent creature, strong, valiant and with a great deal of character. Everything we want our nation to be. An old bumper sticker piece of wisdom once said, “It’s hard to soar with the eagles when you are surrounded by turkeys.”

When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, they had more than their share of trouble. The Christians of the first century were maligned by the religious East; seen as suspicious by the rough people of the northern regions, particularly the mountain ranges that travel up through what is now Eastern Europe and Central Asia; and the Christians were hated by the decadent Romans who controlled the world with their vast armies; corrupt officials and cruel provincial governors. It was wise for Paul to solicit them to be watchful, standing in their faith, and strong of character. Americans as a people and Christians who are also Americans should be able to empathize with the Corinthians and we should heed Paul’s words, perhaps now more than ever in our history.

The shadow of ungodly Communism and Socialism is being cast across this nation from Washington D.C. and westward. Never before in our history has one group sought to cast aside our Constitution as strongly as those who label themselves ‘Progressives” nor has there ever been, in our history one President so inflated of ego, bewitched by socialism, and so flagrant at dismissing the rule of law by which  he is to govern. A popular quote of unknown origin, simply states that “All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” This, my fellow Christians and my fellow Americans is NOT the time to do nothing. Rather, we must ‘Watch’ – keep aware of what the enemies of freedom and democracy, of our very Republic are doing; stand in Faith – knowing that God is on His throne, He is holy and righteous and will not be mocked, we should bow in repentance before Him; be men – men of character who stand for values, who lead their families, who work hard and pray harder; be strong – strong in the Lord, living in His strength, fighting the good fight with the Gospel armor in place, the Word upon our hearts and a prayer upon our lips.

Barack Hussein Obama will not be the cause of the fall of America, if she falls. Good Americans who did nothing will be to blame. What do you choose your legacy to be?

A phrase first known to be used in 1650 to describe someone as faithful and devoted is – True Blue. When we look upon that amazing sky that God has provided over us, may we recommit ourselves to be true to our faith, our families, and our country.

The NSA – Cyber Info – and We the People

So, America, step up and do the job that your acceptance of citizenry in this great nation demands that you do.

NSA Fort Meade Md
NSA Fort Meade Md

The comedic circles have picked up on the humor that is found within such debacles as the recent NSA report. You no longer have to pay for that expensive data back-up, the NSA is doing it for you, no charge! 

Claiming that the NSA is gathering information from cellphone services and the internet on Americans, a 27 year old new civilian employee (less than 3 months on the job according to sources) approached British newspapers and the story spread very quickly across the sea. Many Americans are, however, concerned that the Administration cannot be trusted with the information that is being gathered. And this comes as a surprise? But whose responsibility is it in the first place to maintain your privacy?

Much has happened to strengthen the feeling that the ‘government’ cannot be trusted to protect Americans from the right to be secure in our homes and our holdings and that we should fear that the government will over reach its authority. The IRS scandal that is currently going on makes it seem apparent that this Administration will use any information or authority within its reach to seek out political ‘enemies’ and destroy them. That is the key reason that this mining of information from cyberspace, whether by cellphone interception or tracking information purposely sent over the internet is so unwelcome to so many. How will the Administration use it?

Citizens immediately run and grab hold of the 4th Amendment claiming illegal search and seizure; confident in their belief that we as Americans should be free from such fear. This is true but in this particular case, the Fourth Amendment, I contend, does not apply.

There are three points upon which I base this thesis: First, No citizen of the United States should expect to have any semblance of privacy over information purposely sent through electronic media that is not hard-wired or any information purposely disseminated across cyberspace including FACEBOOK, Twitter etc. If an American citizen chooses to utilize the convenience of such a tool they do so with the caveat that any information spread by these electronic means is not private and cannot be ever expected of being so.

 Once that information is sent into cyberspace, it is available to anyone who can find it.


Fellow Americans, you have a choice. If you do not want the government (ours, theirs or whomever’s) to mine your cyber-speak for intelligence purposes, then do not use a soft-wire, cellular, wireless, internet driven or cyberspace transmitted communications devices. The Fourth Amendment applies only where we, as citizens, can have a reasonable expectation of privacy. In this genre of communication, there is no such expectation. A nice ink pen, a comfortable 20 weight stationary paper, and a U.S. postage stamp will not only serve to communicate your thoughts and ideas, it will do so with all the clarity and personalty that you could want and it comes protected not only by the Fourth Amendment but by federal statutes such as 18 USC 1708 that will garner the malefecent actor a fine and up to five years in prison.

Second, in a 1986 Supreme Court Decision involving similar issues, the court allowed that: aerial surveillance over your home or business is not required to have a fourth amendment warrant for search and seizure. Americans have no expectation of privacy from the space above their homes or businesses.

The following is an excerpt from the NY Times article dated May 20, 1986:

AERIAL SEARCHES OF FENCED AREAS UPHELD BY COURT

Special to the New York Times  Published: May 20, 1986

WASHINGTON, May 19The Supreme Court ruled today that government investigators do not need warrants to conduct aerial surveillance of areas that any pilot could legally fly over, including the fenced yards of private homes.

The Court voted 5 to 4 in each of two cases to uphold warrantless aerial surveillance both of a suburban, fenced backyard where the police suspected marijuana was being grown and of a highly secured Dow Chemical Company complex in connection with possible air pollution violations.

The Court ruled in each case that the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures did not apply to government investigators who use airplanes to observe or photograph places over which any private pilot might legally fly. Privacy Is Questionable and in the case of cyberspace, when Americans willfully place their own information out there floating in bits and bytes and nano bytes and terra bytes; well, still expecting privacy simply bites!

Third, American citizens  have abdicated their authority to others such as faceless PACs and lobbyists.

Americans are eager to say ‘the government did this’ or ‘the government did that’ and well, perhaps in one sense that is true. Certain people in the government did do whatever is being stated. But, it was not the government that did ‘it’ because in America, We the people… are the government. What is done by people in the government happens because we as the government continue to allow it. So, you say: “That’s what my Representative or Congressman is for, he or she should be handling it for me!” Pay close attention to the word, representative. The people who have stuck their neck out to take this position as a congressman need the support of the people, folks who are willing to call or write with their thoughts and concerns. Until Americans get actively involved and call the Administration to task for the IRS scandal, the Benghazi cover-up and ask: “Why there is no special prosecutor named to investigate the murder of Christopher Stevens?” there will only continue to be dissatisfaction and mistrust of the government.

Three simple points that make it clear that as far as the NSA is concerned, they are doing one hell of a hard job and we should be supporting them as well as watching for those who would abuse the privileges. Those who do their job well deserve our thanks. Those who abuse our trust deserve prison. When the NSA director lies in a Congressional hearing and says ‘No’ we don’t gather information on American citizens, he deserves to lose his position, at a minimum. There are times and places for secrecy, that we all understand. Secrecy is part of  how we protect our nation and there are appropriate avenues for sharing what needs to be and should be shared. That hearing was not, perhaps, the appropriate place to ask that question in the first place.

So, America, step up and do the job that your acceptance of citizenship in this great nation demands that you do.

We the People… That’s us. We must be about the task. A great President once called upon his fellow Americans to “…highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”  Shall it?

We-the-People

RESILIENCE – America at Its Core

The news release read: “The Taliban, he says, has been a clever and persistent foe, and has not been defeated. It will re-emerge…” in the statement by former Congressman Peter Hoekstra. The article went on to say that he was “very very pessimistic…” as he assesses NATO and U.S. troop withdraw from Afghanistan.1 If there is any one thing Americans, particularly politically conservative Americans should not be, it is pessimistic.

911remember

As we approach Law Enforcement Memorial Week with a time on the 15th where those who gave their lives in the line of duty in 2012 are honored at the Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C. and in services across the country, the operative word is Resilience. In the wake of the Boston bombings, in an incredibly short span of time, officers were able to identify the offenders and neutralize the threat. We are at a time when our political processes, though far from perfect, are able to bring to light the inadequacies of the highest levels of government and their lack of response to egregious acts against our embassy in Benghazi and Tripoli. We, as the strongest democratic Republic in the world, are able to call our leaders before us as citizens and say, you were wrong and you deserve to pay for those lapses of judgment. The United States of America still, with ridiculous budget cuts brought on only by political ineptitude, are still able to muster the largest standing all volunteer military on the face of the globe and across all history. America has much for which she may be proud, even more for which to be thankful to God, Almighty, the One True God.
A recent article by William Kristol contained this statement: “The British have known for centuries that it’s not enough to hope for happy and glorious days in the future. It’s also necessary, with God’s help, to act in the present to scatter our enemies and make them fall. It’s necessary to confound their politics and frustrate their knavish tricks.”2 The conservative American, be he a statesman or a day laborer knows one thing within his inner most being. It is a fact that cannot be argued to too fine a point, simply that the facts of a free market, a smaller federal government and citizens who are armed both with the knowledge of history and the armament of the future is the successful way to govern. Ralph Waldo Emerson stated it as such: “There is always a certain meanness in the argument of conservatism, joined with a certain superiority in its fact.”3
Countless men and women have literally given their very lives in pursuit of the freedom that Americans enjoy every day. We, as the current holder of the torch must never allow the ill winds of pessimism, defeatism and cowardice to extinguish that flame. It is that brightly burning flame that has brightened the path for so many to follow. There will always be the ‘nay-sayers’ and the pessimists. There will always be the politicians who are in the halls of legislatures that are there for all the wrong reasons. They are the ones who when questioned about their failure to act in a time of crisis will respond, “What does it matter now?” When that exact same politician declared only months before when seeking even higher office, that they would be the ones we want to answer the phone at 3a.m. when the world was falling apart. Three a.m. came and went on their watch, they did nothing and good people died. What does it matter now? It matters a great deal more today than perhaps it ever did before.

Just a few short hours ago, a call came to the office. It was from a local radio station that had thrown its full support behind helping stem the critical lack of blood supplies for our citizens and our soldiers. That young man needed to know if this small business would stand with them. Word that our troops do not have enough blood supplies to help them while still on the battle fields rang a strong chord in this old veteran’s heart. This veteran has a soldier son, who is hurt, who must face the surgeon’s scalpel in only a few short hours. But, even if that call was not so close to home, this veteran and a hundred thousand others across this great nation would form the longest blood drive line one could ever see – just tell them where duty calls, let them hear the trumpet blast, and they will rise. They have given it all before and they will do it all again.

I am proud that I had the opportunity to serve both in this nation’s armed forces and along the thin blue line. God has been gracious to me and kept me from much of the evil that has surrounded me throughout the years. If I can do nothing more now than to add my name to a list to support such a worthy cause, then allow that to be the case. General Douglas MacArthur, upon his retirement, is quoted as saying: “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”4 In many ways, I am sure that is true but in so many more ways, I believe the valor, the pride, the distinction with which they served lives on in the lives, in the faces, and in the resilience of the soldiers, sailors, airmen and their combined families of the United States of America. “ I’m proud to be an American”, the country western song goes, “where at least I know I’m free; and I won’t forget the men who died who gave that right to me…”5 Resilience, it comes not from a text book, a Sunday school lesson, not even a sermon. It comes from the hard, gnarled hands that are no stranger to hard work and it is passed from those hands by the soft caress of a newborn baby’s cheek; a tear in an old man’s eye at the sight of Old Glory passing by. May God bless America and may Americans bless God.

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ENDNOTES
1 http://www.lignet.com/ArticleAnalysis/Hoekstra--Afghanistan-is-fragile-and-likely-to-reg
2 Kristol, William Resistance is Not Futile The Weekly Standard February 25, 2013
3 Ibid.
4http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Douglas_MacArthur
5Lee Greenwood - I'm Proud To Be An American (Lyrics in description)