TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE IMPEACHMENT

Posted: December 21, 2019 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE FARMERVILLE GAZETTE AND THE RUSTON DAILY LEADER THE WEEK OF 12/22/2019

‘Twas the night before impeachment, when all through the house
Not a congressman was stirring, not even a mouse;
The articles were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that McConnell soon would be there;
The Democrats were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of removal danced in their heads;
And Nancy in her ‘kerchief, and Chuck in his cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the mall there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the TV I flew like a flash,
Turned on the set and listened to the trash.
The image of the moon on the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of impeachment to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and plump,
I knew in a moment it must be President Trump.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Abraham, now Richmond, now Higgins now Johnson and who knew!
On, Graves, Scalise, McCarty and VanDrew too
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
It’s time to adjourn; Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of surprises, and President Trump too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof                                                                             The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the stairs came President Trump with a bound.
He was dressed to the fours, from his head to his boot,
And his wife was with him, so elegant and cute;
A bundle of agreements he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a President just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the hair of his head was turning white as the snow;
The stump of a pen he held tight in his hand,
And the power it emitted was anything but bland
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know the Dems had everything to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
His team was in place in order to teach
It takes true crimes for Congress to Impeach.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the stairs he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT,  WITH A SPECIAL MESSAGE TO ALL REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, LETS END THIS DESTRUCTIVE FIGHT!

Merry Christmas everyone and may the true meaning of Christmas exude its’ love and peace on all of us.

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE FARMERVILLE GAZETTE AND THE RUSTON DAILY LEADER THE WEEK OF 8/2/2021

Several years ago I wrote about the great Roman civilization and what factors had an impact on the empire that lead to the eventual fall of Rome. These factors remain and there has been little improvements. In fact, many of the actions that led to the fall have deteriorated in our own nation.

As Rome is recognized as a grand example of grandeur, expansion and some say success on a grand scheme; the deteriorated administration of the empire and a citizen apathy for human life can not be ignored. This disregard of human life and liberty are major sources of the downfall of Rome. 

Rome is not the only example of how great nations fail. It is said that history repeats itself.
If there is a true desire to prevent negative consequences to a future situation based on historical events of the past; change is required, and the early years of change can be difficult.  Great leadership is required to change a course of a society that may seem difficult to some.  The truth is that the discomfort experienced in the early years of required change pale in comparison to the final outcome if change is not implemented.

I recently read two authors discussions on cycles of great nations and how these countries eventually failed. These writings are worthy to be re-printed.   

About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of  Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the  Athenian Republic  some 2,000 years earlier:

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.

From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years.

During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

1. from bondage to spiritual faith;

2. from spiritual faith to great courage;

3. from courage to liberty;

4. from liberty to abundance;

5. from abundance to complacency;

6. from complacency to apathy;

7. from apathy to dependence;

8. from dependence back into bondage

An un-named researcher pointed out some facts pertaining to our nation and how it relates to Alexander Tyler.

Number of States won by: Democrats: 19 Republicans: 29

Square miles of land won by: Democrats: 580,000 Republicans: 2,427,000

Population of counties won by: Democrats: 127 million Republicans: 143 million

Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Democrats: 13.2 Republicans: 2.1

The researcher adds: ‘In aggregate, the map of the territory Republican won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of this great country. Democrat territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off various forms of government welfare…’ he believes the United States is now somewhere between the complacency and apathy’ phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation’s population already having reached the ‘governmental dependency’ phase.”

When we look back at history let us not dwell on failures but instead embrace successes. Let us look at the hardships endured by early explorers such as Carson or Johnson or peaceful leaders that drove change such as Ghandi or King or that man landing on the beaches of some unknown hostile island or the medical worker that tirelessly work to save lives during the worse pandemic the world has experienced. That is the history we need to embrace and instead of complacency and apathy we need to embrace volunteerism, interest in mankind and enthusiasm. Let us prove Alexander Tyler wrong.

I have often said that once a law is enacted that provides some type of goods or services, it is almost impossible to remove that law, even if the law was identified as temporary. It is up to our elected officials to ensure that they are forward looking and can see over the horizon as to the effect of legislation on the future of our great nation.

God Bless America. 

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE BERNICE BANNER THE WEEK OF 7/25/2021

Our past thirteen years has been anything but great when it comes to the ability of the United States to work in a unified manner; a manner that places the country first instead of toeing a party line.  Unfortunately, in today’s world the parties and their missions are so far apart that if either one budge a little the outcome could be catastrophic to our great nation.  Additionally, with every negative tweet, every inflammatory statement, every proposed change to the countries basic premise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; the divide grows increasingly larger and the repair becomes more difficult.

I am a project manager and have been involved in the discipline for over forty years. When a project executes and executes well it is a time to rejoice.  As the project continues it is very important to monitor the health of the project and if problems are suspected or encountered it is imperative to impose changes that will get the project back on track.  Then the true test of a project’s success or failure rests with the project completion and how much of the original scope is delivered. 

In January President Joe Biden assumed the role as President of the United States.  He had said that he will be implementing executive orders to overturn many of President Trump’s actions.  He did and it was not the fact that he signed these, but it was the speed and precision of the execution that was eye popping.  Over a twenty-four-hour time period the President signed seventeen executive orders.  Everything was prepared and sitting on his desk and with the precision of a military operation the entire process took place in front of the cameras.  This was impressive; not the content of the orders but rather the quantity and magnitude that were implemented in such a short time. 

It has now been six months since President Biden assumed office and we are in a state of decline due to confusion and inability to make modifications to keep our nation moving forward.  It is as if decisions are made and etched in granite with no ability to be flexible nor change.  This is why America is in a confused state.  Everything from the catastrophe, no longer a crisis, on the southern border to the treatment of police travesty to confusing pandemic messages to the lack of workers for a needy economy; America appears to be in a true world of hurt. 

The Conservative side of the country has stood by in shock as if hit between the eyes with a two-by-four but the shock is beginning to wear off.  The sting is gone and the Conservatives are no longer seeing stars.  It is about to get interesting so here is my prophecy for the near future.

Prophecy can be dangerous.  If wrong, a person can have a lot of egg on the face and lose respect but it is a risk that should be taken.  So here is what I think is going to happen to our great nation over the next eighteen months.

Cracks are beginning to form in a rock solid liberal movement.  Conservatives are coming of age and instead of acting like lambs in the pasture we will begin to see conservative lions emerge.  This will not be a physical interaction, but peaceful demonstrations followed by fiery rhetoric.  Within six months, protests supporting police will be taking place while the Texas border will garner more negative comments from a concerned nation.  Move forward another six months and we will be in the middle of the election season for the mid-terms.  This is going to be one crazy election season with claims and counter claims being thrown out across all media outlets.  We can expect a surge in marches and political rhetoric while promises will be made to re-instate police values and the decision to close contract prisons will be overturned.  All in an effort to obtain middle-of-the-road votes.

The forces of good and bad to American values will do battle and the conservatives will take at least one branch of the legislative branch of government.  Then America will hibernate for two years.  The legislative branch will pass laws only to be vetoed by the President. There will not be enough members to override the vetoes so key pieces of legislation will not be turned into law.  Liberal legislation will never be passed as there will not be enough to votes to pass that legislation.  With this stalemate in place, bad legislation will remain in place and good legislation will not be implemented.  It will take the 2024 presidential election to break the stalemate.

God Bless America.

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE FARMERVILLE GAZETTE AND THE RUSTON DAILY LEADER THE WEEK OF 7/25/2021

In 1961 the United States launched Alan Shepard into space and the manned space program officially began. The Soviet Union had beat America into manned space travel by several weeks.  The United States was in a catch-up mode. We did catch up to the Communistic consortium as John Glenn orbited the globe. America then proved what a free world can accomplish as we watched America make one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind. The communist USSR never got close.

This was a wonderous time for America.  Architecture changed across the country to a more futuristic style filled with glass, architectural metal work and sterile walls.  Unfortunately, today many communities regret swapping nostalgia for Art Nuevo.  Colleges were building space related programs and telescopes were pointing toward the stars.  American programs were funding massive projects as we searched the cosmos.  Television and movies reflected this new-found theme as public money flowed into private companies that were developed from new technology.  One fledgling company received huge public funding that would eventually impact every human in the world in so many ways.  A small micro-chip development provided the equivalence of thousands of vacuum tubes at a much lower power consumption.  This not only allowed spacecraft to have its own on-board computer systems but provided the opportunity to build lap top computers, cell phones, cooking appliances, smart automobiles and thousands of other everyday devices.  It is said that the space program built IBM, the developing company of the micro-chip.

In the movie the “Right Stuff” it was stated that science would not get us into space, funding would get us into space. Not to minimize the science, without money we would still be sitting in our back yards dreaming instead of reaping the benefits of massive government spending. The one thing to remember is that this spending was targeted with a purpose that had a tangible goal. The recipient of this funding was NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This organization was huge with a large pocketbook. Government funds were endless until Viet Nam war expenditures put the brakes on exploring the stars. Now this is changing.

I had previously written about the need for socialism at the beginning of a new developing country. Until schools for education, infrastructure for transport and healthy living and finally a viable economy are all in place, central planning with a just conscience for the citizens is required to begin the building of the new nation. Then, as society is able to stand on its own merits, the government should ween itself from socialism and move to an open market condition. The American space program is a prime example of this theory. 

For sixty-five years the American space program was totally funded by the American government. The money came from taxes, the employees were government employees or contractors paid by tax money, development was guided by the government agency whish was NASA and large grants went to education institutions to fund their training programs. In essence the space program was a socialistic program, and it was definitely required. 

Last week this has changed as we watched two private companies launch their own rockets with humans onboard. A new style of space program has been launched and unlike the USA/USSR space race of the past we should see cooperation and friendly competition as two companies vie for space tourism. Add to this the lofty Elon Musk’s goal of colonizing the moon and Mars. NASA is still in need of funding as research and exploration funding will still be in need. This is good as long as all technology development is open and available to a free country. 

We began space travel much as a fledgling country that requires socialism. Unlike a  socialist country, America has slowly transitioned its space program to a more market funded program.  This is working. American taxpayers are not funding the space flights and eventually brave men will reap the benefits of a new private industry.

As we see the benefits and successes of transitioning from socialism to a free market endeavor, why would anyone think it is wise to move from a free market endeavor to socialism.  In our space example, moving back to a totally government funded program wound lead to higher expense and total government funding.  Creativity would be curtailed and the American spirit would wither on the vine.  Instead of turning Americans into zombie-like Elois, lets encourage independence with fresh ideas and full of the American spirit.

God Bless America.

Cuba Libre

Posted: July 18, 2021 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE FARMERVILLE GAZETTE AND THE RUSTON DAILY LEADER THE WEEK OF 2/18/2021

Two years ago we watched protesters in Hong Kong as they marched against a Communistic mainland country that wanted to bring the democratic, progressive and successful island state to its knees. As much as the admiration of these Hong Kong freedom lovers’ actions was as the protesters marched and called for freedom, the most heartfelt sight was the protesters waving American flags as they marched through the streets. Unfortunately, America did not make a loud statement supporting these citizens that wanted to have the chains of communism and oppression cast off and live in a country surrounded by freedom and liberty. This is not the first time that America dropped the ball.

Over eight years ago I wrote on several occasions about the Arab Spring. This was a series of actions in the Arab World that saw citizens of several Arab countries revolt against a suppressive and in some instances a brutal central government. The citizens wanted to be free, determine their future and have an opportunity for self determination in their day to day lives.  Tunisia was the first to revolt fallowed by Libya. Other countries were in fear of the internal problems. Saudi Arabia sent troops to bolster the regime in Bahrain and Saudi was preparing for any internal unrest. The most pronounced revolution was the Syrian Civil War; a civil war that was aimed at ending a diabolical dictatorship that has seen poison gas used against its own people. Unfortunately, Americas international relation’s approach to lead from behind and stay away from offending any country left America for the first time in a hundred and ten years as being a paper lion, a marshmallow. America’s good standing as being the pillar of democracy and the defender of freedom took a serious step backward.

 Several years ago a mini-series was produced that captured the essence of a young nation that struggled with how to break from the stereotype of being a great agricultural experiment to becoming a legitimate world power. Through the efforts of a farsighted future president, Teddy Roosevelt; a New York press rivalry that would prefer to print fake news to win viewership and stir American emotions, William Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer; and an American spirit that was forging a strong unique country, America went to war with colonial power Spain.   

A term that was used on occasion in the movie Rough Riders was “Cuba Libre”. The definition is Free Cuba. Eventually Cuba would be free but unfortunately America won the war but not the peace. Numerous regimes controlled the beautiful Caribbean Island and eventually the Communist under Fidel Castro took control. Since Castro seized control of power in 1959, the Western Hemisphere watched a country of unimaginable growth potential slowly decay to a point of starvation, broken infrastructure and broken souls. For the first thirty years under Castro the best thing Cuba had going for it was the Soviet Union and the aid it received from the Communistic country. With Communism failing in Russia, Cuba has been left to fend for itself and it has been collapsing into a state of disrepair since the Communism collapse in Europe.

Today the citizens of Cuba are responding. After decades of despair, after years of challenging the dangerous Florida Straights to escape Cuba and arrive on American soil and now after months of an unchecked virus with little or no medical support; the Cubans are taking to the streets in protest and riot. The revolution is beginning. What will America do?

American liberals are torn.  The President said he does not support a Communistic government.  A bold move considering that the BLM movement has publicly announced its support for the Communist government of Cuba and congresswoman Cortez of New York calls for America to lift its embargo of Cuba.  This is the same embargo that has brought the Communist government to its knees.  This call from Cortez is a surprise as her roots are Puerto Rico, the same country that was freed from Spain by America in the same war that freed Cuba.

What will America do?  America must stay the course and deliver a unified message that it stands solidly behind the Cubans in the streets that are protesting.  America must provide some methodology to allow Cuban dissidents the ability to communicate to the outside world.  The Executive Branch of the United States needs to develop a task force to support the Cubans in the streets and the task force needs to have a large number of Americans of Cuban origin to be team members.  The State Department needs to back away from the hypocritical immigration policy it has now identified.  Instead of declaring that Cubans will be returned to Cuba when intercepted at sea, the State Department needs to allow the Cubans to land and apply for political asylum.  The immigrant invasion on our southern border is based on people looking for a better economic life.  The Cubans coming to America are arriving to escape repression and possible death from a Communistic government.

Let’s do this one right.  God Bless America. 

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF

Posted: July 17, 2021 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE BERNICE BANNER THE WEEK OF 2/17/2021

Students of history would understand the term “history repeats itself”.  Though some Americans today wish to destroy the image of America’s past in an effort to cleanse the country of our heritage and, like the Communist in the past, start a new country on a clean sheet of America and paper.  While this thought process may work for a select few that feel they are superior to the average American and thus better placed to make everyday decisions for the general population, without viewing history in a learning perspective we risk repeating our mistakes.

Some say that “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  While this is only true some of the time, it does show the folly of continually performing major actions and expect a different outcome.  In actuality a more applicable definition of insanity is “extreme foolishness or irrationality” which equates to the concept of continually performing the same task over and over again and not realizing that the task is doomed to fail.

In 1971 two friends and I went to the local selective service office and in the middle of a very unpopular war joined the navy.  We went in with eyes wide open and wanted no more than to serve one’s country.  We are all still proud of our decision.  Just before my discharge a strange thing happened; we lost the war. I sat in the television room at NAS Memphis and watched as people fought to get on helicopters that would take them to ships offshore and freedom in the United States.  So many we left behind only to be sent to “re-education’ camps for indoctrination  in the communist way of a new life.  Many of these were loyal allies of America.  The downfall came after America had fully withdrawn troops; most of which had become advisors only.  It seems that the mere presence of Americans provided strength and hope to the typical Vietnamese.  Remove the American and the country collapsed.

I the early 2000s America thought that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.  The United States invaded Iraq, defeated the Iraqi army and captured Hussein.  He was later executed and America had performed its mission.  While the military mission had apparently been accomplished the administrative and rebuilding of Iraq was not completed.  America had defeated the terrorist organization Al Qaida so in the eyes of America there was nothing left to do.  The Obama administration pulled out American troops but the pull out was too early.  ISIS formed and a Syrian civil war ensued while thousands of innocent civilians, to include American aid workers, were murdered.  It would take a long fight and finally when America re-entered the campaign ISIS was defeated.  Much of the progress was from Iraqi military units that had an American presence that provided leadership and assurance to the Iraqi troops.  Had we retained a presence in Iraq in the first place ISIS would not have been allowed to develop and thousands of lives loyal to America and a free Iraq would have not died.

Even the Trump Administration repeated past failures.  The Kurds were extremely loyal to America and are considered the largest stateless ethnic group in the world.  They are very industrious, hard working and freedom loving.  A perfect ally for America.  The Kurds were also considered to be the enemy of Turkey.  America kept a small military presence in several Kurdish towns near the Turkish border.  When America had defeated ISIS it pulled all troops from Iraq and Syria.  Within twenty-four hours of leaving the Kurdish towns, Turkey invaded and attacked our ally, the Kurds.  Many died and many became refugees. 

We still haven’t learned the lessons of the past.  America has been in Afghanistan for twenty years.  The last few years it has mostly been in an advisor role.  We are now out of the country that we helped throw off the yoke of Shariah Law, a law that reduced women to minions that had to remain covered, could not receive an education and were subservient to men.  A country that had been controlled by the Taliban in the past is now returning to Taliban control.  When American forces left the major air force base in the middle of the night, looters immediately moved in.  Provinces are now falling around the country in a view reminiscent of the quick collapse of Viet Nam.  Twenty-four thousand Afghani’s that were loyal to America and worked for the Americans are now in jeopardy of genocide at a time that we have opened our southern border to anyone that wants to enter illegally.  We have done it again.  How long until the capital city, Kabul, capitulates.

Some say that “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

God Bless America.

STRENGTH FROM THE PAST

Posted: July 12, 2021 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE BERNICE BANNER THE WEEK OF 7/12/2021

America is at a major crossroads and it will be Americans to determine what the future of America will look like.  Occasionally that unique individual appears on the political scene and through foresight and leadership the complexion of America takes a major step forward; a step that makes other countries envious with a desire to be more American.  This leader p[laces America ahead of political party.  One American comes to mind and a speech he made encapsulated the spirit that moved America forward. Parts of this speech follows:

“Fellow countrymen: at this second appearing to take the oath of the presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends is as well known to the public as to myself and it is I trust reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future no prediction in regard to it is ventured.\

“On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it ~ all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place devoted altogether to saving the Union without war insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war ~ seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.

“One eighth of the whole population were colored slaves not distributed generally over the union but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen perpetuate and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered ~ that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses for it must needs be that offenses come but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which in the providence of God must needs come but which having continued through His appointed time He now wills to remove and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him. Fondly do we hope ~ fervently do we pray ~ that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword as was said three thousand years ago so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’

“With malice toward none with charity for all with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right let us strive on to finish the work we are in to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan ~ to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”        

This was the speech of the second inauguration delivered by President Abraham Lincoln shortly before he was assassinated.  He spoke not of revenge nor reparation once the dreaded American Civil War ended.  Instead he spoke of healing and peace; a just peace.  This peace was not only among the nations of the world but within America itself. 

Another interesting point addressed in the speech was the strength and power of God.  He recognized fundamental rights provided by God   He also eluded that regardless of mans desires, it is Gods will that will finally prevail. 

An Inspiration to All

Posted: July 11, 2021 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE RUSTON DAILY LEADER AND THE FARMERVILLE GAZETTE THE WEEK OF 7/11/2021

America is at a major crossroads and it will be Americans to determine what the future of America will look like.  Occasionally that unique individual appears on the political scene and through foresight and leadership the complexion of America takes a major step forward; a step that makes other countries envious with a desire to be more American.  This leader p[laces America ahead of political party.  One American comes to mind and a speech he made encapsulated the spirit that moved America forward. Parts of this speech follows:

“We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom–symbolizing an end as well as a beginning–signifying renewal as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three-quarters ago.

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe–the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans–born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage–and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge–and more.

Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.

We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

So let us begin anew–remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.

Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths and encourage the arts and commerce.

Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah–to “undo the heavy burdens . . . (and) let the oppressed go free.”

And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.

All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again–not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need–not as a call to battle, though embattled we are– but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation”–a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility–I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it–and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

This speech was the shortest inaugural address in the history of America yet it speaks volumes.  The speaker was not a die hard conservative nor even a Republican.  This new President, a Democrat, was truly an American.  He was born of wealth and all that has to offer.  Some people today would classify him as a white privileged snotty nosed American.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Despite his privileged status, he joined the navy during World War II and became a national hero.  He was a Harvard graduate but understood the man in the ditches as well as the oppressed around the world.  He was also the youngest man elected President of the United States and successfully stood up against a crusty leader of the Soviet Union.  Had he not been assassinated there is no telling where the world would be today.

This speech was delivered sixty-years ago by the new President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE FARMERVILLE GAZETTE AND THE RUSTON DAILY LEADER THE WEEK OF 7/4/2021

Last week we celebrated one of my most favorite holidays, the 4th of July. Despite an attempt from liberal individuals, unappreciative of the sacrifices made by their forefathers, America celebrated its founding and did so without eradicating the name of the holiday from the American vernacular. At this time in American history, many want to obliterate America’s past in an attempt to rewrite history in a new sterile form where America’s history begins today and the sacrifices of those that built our nation are forgotten. When the losses, the failures, the victims and then the victories are forgotten the heritage of America is lost. This woke strategy is adopted by dictatorial governments, the communist and the socialist, when they assume control of a country and its citizens.

Two hundred and thirty-six years ago a rag tag group of militia men; untrained in the art of war, unpaid as this was a volunteer group, and unprepared for battle much less a protracted war, formed up on a village green at Lexington, Massachusetts and fired “the shot heard around the world”. The depiction of the actions that led to the American Revolution and then the Revolutionary War are thought of as a white man’s endeavor. The founding fathers were all white, the men protesting in the streets of Boston were all white, the American troops were all white. This image we have of the founding of America could not be further from the truth.

In 1770 America was not at war but it was in revolution. Protests were underway and violence was beginning. On March 5, 1770 a mob of American Patriots confronted a British army unit on the streets of Boston. The mob began throwing coal, snow balls and other projectiles at the British. One man, Crispus Attucks, screamed with a voice that incited the patriots forward. Soon the British opened fire and what is referred to as the Boston Massacre occurred. Crispus was hit twice and soon died, the first man killed at the scene and the first man to die in the American Revolution. Crispus was a sailor, worked the docks of Boston, was forty-seven years old.  He was also of African American and Indian linage. He and three other that died that day were buried together in Boston.

Attucks was later memorialized in song and word. Stevie Wonder produced a song called “Black Man”. One line from the song was “First man to die for the flag we now hold high was a black man”.

 Later a poem was written that included “And to honor Crispus Attucks who was the leader and voice that day: The first to defy, and the first to die, with Maverick, Carr, and Gray. Call it riot or revolution, or mob or crowd as you may, such deaths have been seeds of nations, such lives shall be honored for aye…”

Spike Lees 2020 movie “Da Five Bloods, refers to Crispus Attucks while Martin Luther King Jr. referred to Crispus Attucks in the introduction of Why We Can’t Wait (1964) as an example of a man whose contribution to history provided a potent message of moral courage.

Crispus was not the lone voice in the wilderness.  Black men were at Lexington and Concord on the first day of battle and were then at Bunker Hill.  Later black troops were recruited and unlike later wars the black troops served with white troops.  The only segregated unit in the Revolutionary war was from Rhode Island.

The black man was not the only minority patriot in the Revolutionary War. An American Indian tribe, the Oneidas, sided with the patriots and fought for American independence.  At the battle of Oriskany, it was noted that ““… a friendly Indian, with his wife and son, who distinguished themselves remarkably on that occasion. The Indian killed nine of the enemy, when, having received a ball through his wrist that disabled him from using his gun, fought with his tomahawk. His son killed two and his wife, on horseback, fought by his side with pistols during the whole action.”

The Oneidas were also at the Battle of Saratoga, and it was noted that The Oneida Indian Nation was the first nation to recognize the United States of America. The Oneida loss during the Revolutionary War was staggering.

As we experience this period of time that we refer to as Independence Day, let us not forget what it took to get here and let us celebrate the brave sacrifices of all the men and women of all creeds, races and religions that banded together to make America such a great nation. For those that say America is not that great or state America never was great, please state where Utopia exists and just how much better it is compared to good ole USA.

God Bless America

PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN

Posted: June 27, 2021 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL BE IN THE BERNICE BANNER THE WEEK OF 6/27/2021

We celebrate Independence Day on July 4th.  In fact the Declaration of Independence was voted on by the Constitutional Convention on July 2nd.  It was not until July 4th that the final wording of Declaration was approved.

When the Declaration of Independence was signed, the representatives from the thirteen colonies were not protesters or rioters that wanted to overthrow the yoke of British oppression just for the sake of something to do.  No, these men came from highly educated, successful and in some cases very wealthy families.  George Washington was the wealthiest president in present dollars and he would remain the wealthiest until Donald Trump was elected in 2016.  Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and many others were wealthy and lived a comfortable life.  When they signed the Declaration of Independence was signed these men were committing treason against the home country, Great Britain.  In essence, they placed their heads into the nooses of the British executioner.

What was it that possessed these men to throw caution to the wind and declare independence from a country that was viewed as being a tyrant that only wanted the benefits that the back wood country provided and yet not allow America to have a voice in its future.  This action was not taught in colonial schools.  Instead it was a spirit that permeated throughout the American colonies.  It is a spirit that declared that the men and women of our nation wanted no more than an opportunity to achieve.  As the rallying call proclaimed, “Live Free of Die”.  It was this spirit that planted a seed that grew into a massive oak that the rest of the world would hold in admiration.

America has had some stumbling blocks along the way.  Slavery, a way of life that was in place long before America became a nation, was not a noble institution.  It took eighty years and a bloody civil war to end a horrible lifestyle that had been acceptable for thousands of years.  Though the United States has been viewed as the great villain, it was the United States that nationally and publicly proclaimed the end of slavery.  Though slavery had ended, It would take another one hundred years until meaningful laws guaranteed equality between the races.  Today we are so much better than we were in the 1860s and so much better than when I was growing up in the 1960s. 

In the late 1890s, Spain held an oppressive grip on the throats of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and other islands in the South Pacific.  In 1917 a Germany wanted to control Europe by force.  In 1941 Germany once again sought to control a major part of the world in partnership with Italy and a Japan that barbarically spread itself across Southeast Europe.  In 1990 a dictatorial Iraq attempted to invade and control the majority of the oil in the world.  In each of these conflicts America came to the aid of the individual countries and the world as a whole and protected the world for freedom and democracy.  In all these world situations, these countries are now free and independent and the only land that America claimed for itself were the plots to bury the American dead that had made the ultimate sacrifice.

Our home state of Louisiana has made great strides in the last one hundred years.  In 1928 there was less than 100 miles of state paved roads in the state.  Public health was all but non-existent.  Public education was linked to the ability for the poor to purchase text books.  A college degree was next to impossible for the typical resident and the flagship university, LSU, was just a low class backwater university.  All this changed due to the leadership of leaders that wanted to drag the oppressed of our state up to a better life.

America has made mistakes and there have been dark sides to our country.  There have been dark sides to every country.  What separates America is that we admit to the mistakes and move on in a manner that will better serve not just America but the world as a whole. 

In the shadows of the 4th of July, the day that we celebrate as Independence Day, I am happy to proclaim that I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN. 

If America is so bad then why are people risking their lives to get into the country instead of doing everything possible to leave the country.

God Bless America and Happy 4th of July.

Slavery

Posted: June 25, 2021 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE RUSTON DAILY LEADER AND THE FARMERVILLE GAZETTE THE WEEK OF 6/25/2021

There is nothing more despicable than man treating man in some form of a discriminatory and humiliating manner. Child abuse, human trafficking, child sex trafficking, forcing a person to perform work the person does not want to perform, making a child pick up a gun and go out and kill and many other examples of forced labor are all examples of demeaning and despicable acts against a fellow human. They all have one thing in common; they are forms of slavery.

We have a misconception in the United States that slavery is the sole property of America and we have the right to claim title to being the primary owner of slavery. If it were not for America there would have been no slavery and the United States of America should be ridiculed and held to account for this shameful act. America is the perpetrator of slavery and America should be made to suffer for its’ actions. Truth be known, nothing could be further from the truth and documentation from the Code of Hammurabi in Mesopotamia in 1860 BC (3860 years ago) and the book of Genesis in the Bible, the Jewish Tora and the Islamic Koran disclose that slavery has been with us for a long time.

The worlds first civilizations such as Sumer and Ur were purported to have had slavery. Rome took slaves from its expansion across Europe. This provided labor to build some of the greatest monuments in the world in addition to domestic help and sex slaves. The Romans reported finding tribes that they conquered to have owned slaves themselves. Greek slaves predated the Roman slavery trade by hundreds of years and the slaves were also used to build their great empire. 

During the Middle Ages, Islamic North Africa and Spain had an insatiable appetite for slaves and the slaves from East Europe were sought after. So lucrative was this slave trade that is caused an economic boom for the area. In Turkey the Ottoman Empire would take Christian slaves and many of the slaves were placed on war ships and made to row the large ships known as galleys.  In one battle the Turk navy was defeated and 12,000 Christian slaves were freed.

A thousand years ago the Vikings took European slaves, and the slave trade was quit lucrative.  Irish slaves were placed on Viking ships and forced to help settle Iceland.

The British needed slave labor for their new lands in the West Indies in the 1600s.  The first slaves to come to British America were deemed indentured servants.  They were primarily Irish and convicts that would work until debts were paid off.  Life was harsh and until released they lived as slave labor.   Due to economic growth the demand for labor grew and Africa became the central point for human labor.  The white men from Europe were scared to enter darkest Africa so certain African Tribes would go into a village, take prisoners and march them to the Atlantic coast where they were sold to slave traders.  They would then come to the Western Hemisphere for a life as a slave.

In America slavery officially ended with Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. It would take another one hundred years for the full impact to take place in the United States but in my life’s short time span when compared to the history of the world, no where and in such a short period of time has slavery so quickly and loudly been deemed to be a blot on humanity and has a country taken so many measures to correct this blight. No other country nor civilization has taken such a loud attitude.

In the mid- 1970s Alex Halley’s book “Roots” became a sobering moment for America. It also seemed to polarize America to the world as being the only country to have practiced slavery.  Two years after the movie aired, I was living in Saudi Arabia. I had made friends with a Saudi surveyor. He said he had seen the series on Aramco Television, and he had been furious and told his father how he felt about the Americans. His father said to not be so harsh nor judgmental. He told his son to recall the posts in the ground with the metal rings attached in downtown Dammam. The father went on to tell him that was where they brought the slaves to be chained and sold. Later that I year I went cross country and visited the abandoned fort at Al Uquair on the Persian Gulf. There in the walls were the chains where the slaves were taken from the ships and shackled to the walls of the fort. Quit a sobering moment. Slavery has been a world problem. For Saudi Arabia, it was not until 1962 that slavery was officially abolished.

We think that slavery is no longer in existence.  Ten years ago the world was threatened by ISIS.  It would take an active American stance to destroy the head of the snake.  Until the snake was vanquished, ISIS took vast amounts of land in the Mid-East.  To the victor belongs the spoils and that includes the humans that live in a conquered land.  ISIS documented the price to be paid for slaves taken from the lands that it had conquered and held.

Children aged 1 to 9 were sold for 200,000 dinars ($169).                                                                    Women and children 10 to 20 years sold for 150,000 dinars ($127).                                             Women 20 to 30 years old for 100,000 dinar ($85).                                                                       Women 30 to 40 years old are 75,000 dinar ($63).                                                                           Women 40 to 50 years old for 50,000 dinar ($42).

Notice that men were not considered to be worthy slaves.

God Bless America