Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Dog Blog #9

     In my last dog blog, I introduced our new foster, Kandi. She is a golden colored doodle recently seized from a hoarder. She was skinny, scared and pregnant. She’s been eating well. She’s had a bath and looking better. However, as expected, she is still terrified. We are continuing to work with her, trying to coax her from her self-imposed exile in a corner of the kennel. I don’t know how she behaved prior to coming to live with us. My prayer is that she was able to be more of a dog than we have seen.
     Dogs should run and play; chase their tails; bay at the moon, and jump up on their humans. Kandi is too frightened, too lacking in socialization to do any of this. But, that’s only so far. We will see her breakthrough and join the pack.
     That brings me to the real subject for this post---the Pack. Kandi did not come to Journey Home Rescue ( the organization we foster for) alone. She is only one of thirteen who appears to share her fear. These young dogs were used as breeding machines. From their current state, it seems as though they were treated with all the love and compassion that one would give an unfeeling machine. These are living creatures and in the life they have yet to live, they need to be treated as such.

This is Doddle Do.     

This little fellow is Emma.

And this is Logan.

     These are a few of the dogs that shared Kandi’s life. They need homes. They need love and people who care to help them finally have a dog’s life. Please step up. If you can’t adopt, perhaps you can foster or know someone who can. Journey Home Rescue needs your help. But, more importantly, these dogs need your help.
     Few people know, “No good deed goes unpunished” like I do. Write it down, doing good will cost you. Cost is not the question. The real question is cost-effectiveness. 
     To date, fostering has cost me lose two pairs of shoes, a cell phone, my glasses, battery chargers, and sundry extension cards. Without doubt or hesitation, it is more than worth it.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Dog Blog #8 Kandi

     Last December I began my adventures in providing foster care for rescue dogs. So far, it has been a rewarding challenge. It began with our personal rescue of Snoop, a hundred twenty pound Alaskan Malamute. The very next day, we welcomed into our home Hope and her seven, count ‘em, seven puppies. Six of Hope’s puppies have gone on to become part of forever homes. Archie, well, we couldn’t give him up. Not long ago, this crew was joined by Magic.

     Before coming to us, Snoop lived outside on a chain; Magic was found hiding under a porch, and Hope was rescued from a shelter the day before she was to be put down with her puppies still inside her. A dog’s life is not always easy.

     Yesterday, the adventure took on a whole new perspective. We became foster parents to an adorable, wire-haired, doodle named Kandi. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? But, Kandi is the saddest case yet. She came to cringing, shaking, and pressed to the back of her transport crate. The terror in her eyes was unmistakable. Her look and demeanor reminded me of Holocaust survivors. Bones visible beneath her coat, her hindquarters were plastered with urine and feces accumulated from the hellish life from which she was seized.

     Kandi has been with us for about thirty hours now. Twenty-nine of those cowering in a corner too frightened to come out. She will let us hold and pet her if we crawl under the table to her. She only comes out to eat and then only if we are not present. She still urinates where she lays. There’s yet another possible twist, Kandi may be pregnant. It’s too soon to know for certain. What is certain is that there is a long road of recovery ahead. Any semblance of a normal life for Kandi will be with thanks to Journey Home Rescue. The really sad part is there were 15 others dogs rescued from the same location.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Chatter #185 American Triage

     I just finished reading Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. I was initially taken aback by the decision of members of the climbing party to leave their still breathing companions alone to die on Mount Everest. I think my reaction is largely due to having spent a great deal of my life in and around the military where it is anathema to leave a fallen comrade behind. However, my thoughts took a sharp turn when I read how one of the climbers referred to his decision as triage. It cast the actions of the climbers in a whole new light.

     I’m a triage nurse by profession and in a disaster, one of my responsibilities is to sort out the injured so as to properly treat the most people with the resources at hand. It is a thankless job. Nevertheless, someone must do it. Often in a mass casualty situation, the truth is you cannot save everyone. Triage determines who gets care first; who can wait for care; and who is beyond care and lines the wounded up in that order. Spending limited resources in a losing battle may condemn to death those who might otherwise have survived. The decision of who to treat and when to treat them is not based on personal worth, nor is it based on sentiment, it is about doing the most for the greatest number with what you have.

     Triage is not confined to battlefields and mass casualty disasters. It goes on continually in Emergency Rooms everywhere. Thankfully, in most everyday circumstances there are no black tags issued to the dead and dying. I’ve been a nurse for over twenty-five years (most of it spent in the ER) and never had to make the call to let someone die to save another. But, I train for it. So do countless others. Lifeguards are taught to go into the water after someone as a last resort. Firefighters and EMT’s are trained to survey the scene before rushing in. That training can be the difference between being a hero and being a casualty.

     Several of the climbers in the book died on Everest. Mistakes were made that created a recipe for disaster.  As the disaster unfolded, some survived only because, when they could do no more for their fellow climbers, they went on alone. Others died because they refused to halt rescue efforts and perished along with those they tried to save. It sounds very callous and hard-hearted and a bit like “playing God.” Life and death decisions often sound that way.

     Here’s where I get really mean-spirited. Our nation is drowning in debt. That’s not a liberal argument or a conservative one---it’s a fact. We are borrowing just to pay the interest on our national debt. How long do we keep borrowing in order to bankroll the non-productive, the invaders and the foreign powers that hate us before we finally go under with them?  When will the government have enough of the taxpayers’ money to satisfy the demands of politicians elected on promises of ever greater handouts?  Will we die before we admit to the insanity of our present course?

     Anybody remember the old Bible quote about removing the beam from your own eye before trying to remove the mote from your brother’s eye? Here’s a radical corollary for you. Let’s fix America before we try fixing the world. America will never be great again until we rein in government spending and demand self-reliance of our citizens.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Chatter #184 The Unanimous Declaration

     The post that follows is the text of our Declaration of Independence. It includes the names of the brave men who signed it. Reading it again, I was especially struck by the list of grievances that these men found to be chains on personal freedom. Take a moment and read them.

In Congress,‭ ‬July‭ ‬4,‭ ‬1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,‭ ‬When in the Course of human events,‭ ‬it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another,‭ ‬and to assume among the powers of the earth,‭ ‬the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them,‭ ‬a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.‭

We hold these truths to be self-evident,‭ ‬that all men are created equal,‭ ‬that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,‭ ‬that among these are Life,‭ ‬Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights,‭ ‬Governments are instituted among Men,‭ ‬deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,‭ ‬--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends,‭ ‬it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,‭ ‬and to institute new Government,‭ ‬laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form,‭ ‬as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.‭ ‬Prudence,‭ ‬indeed,‭ ‬will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes‭; ‬and accordingly all experience hath shewn,‭ ‬that mankind are more disposed to suffer,‭ ‬while evils are sufferable,‭ ‬than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.‭ ‬But when a long train of abuses and usurpations,‭ ‬pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism,‭ ‬it is their right,‭ ‬it is their duty,‭ ‬to throw off such Government,‭ ‬and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies‭; ‬and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.‭ ‬The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations,‭ ‬all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.‭ ‬To prove this,‭ ‬let Facts be submitted to a candid world.‭

He has refused his Assent to Laws,‭ ‬the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance,‭ ‬unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained‭; ‬and when so suspended,‭ ‬he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people,‭ ‬unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature,‭ ‬a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual,‭ ‬uncomfortable,‭ ‬and distant from the depository of their public Records,‭ ‬for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly,‭ ‬for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time,‭ ‬after such dissolutions,‭ ‬to cause others to be elected‭; ‬whereby the Legislative powers,‭ ‬incapable of Annihilation,‭ ‬have returned to the People at large for their exercise‭; ‬the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without,‭ ‬and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States‭; ‬for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners‭; ‬refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither,‭ ‬and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice,‭ ‬by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone,‭ ‬for the tenure of their offices,‭ ‬and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices,‭ ‬and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people,‭ ‬and eat out their substance.‭

He has kept among us,‭ ‬in times of peace,‭ ‬Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,‭ ‬and unacknowledged by our laws‭; ‬giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them,‭ ‬by a mock Trial,‭ ‬from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases,‭ ‬of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province,‭ ‬establishing therein an Arbitrary government,‭ ‬and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters,‭ ‬abolishing our most valuable Laws,‭ ‬and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures,‭ ‬and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here,‭ ‬by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas,‭ ‬ravaged our Coasts,‭ ‬burnt our towns,‭ ‬and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death,‭ ‬desolation and tyranny,‭ ‬already begun with circumstances of Cruelty‭ & ‬perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages,‭ ‬and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country,‭ ‬to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren,‭ ‬or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us,‭ ‬and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers,‭ ‬the merciless Indian Savages,‭ ‬whose known rule of warfare,‭ ‬is an undistinguished destruction of all ages,‭ ‬sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms:‭ ‬Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.‭ ‬A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant,‭ ‬is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren.‭ ‬We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.‭ ‬We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here.‭ ‬We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity,‭ ‬and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations,‭ ‬which,‭ ‬would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence.‭ ‬They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity.‭ ‬We must,‭ ‬therefore,‭ ‬acquiesce in the necessity,‭ ‬which denounces our Separation,‭ ‬and hold them,‭ ‬as we hold the rest of mankind,‭ ‬Enemies in War,‭ ‬in Peace Friends.

We,‭ ‬therefore,‭ ‬the Representatives of the united States of America,‭ ‬in General Congress,‭ ‬Assembled,‭ ‬appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions,‭ ‬do,‭ ‬in the Name,‭ ‬and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies,‭ ‬solemnly publish and declare,‭ ‬That these United Colonies are,‭ ‬and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States‭; ‬that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown,‭ ‬and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain,‭ ‬is and ought to be totally dissolved‭; ‬and that as Free and Independent States,‭ ‬they have full Power to levy War,‭ ‬conclude Peace,‭ ‬contract Alliances,‭ ‬establish Commerce,‭ ‬and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.‭ ‬And for the support of this Declaration,‭ ‬with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,‭ ‬we mutually pledge to each other our Lives,‭ ‬our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.‭

Georgia                                        Massachusetts                      North Carolina

Button Gwinnett‭                            ‬John Hancock                   William Hooper

Lyman Hall‭                                                 ‬Joseph Hewes‭

George Walton                                                                        John Penn


South Carolina Maryland Delaware

Edward Rutledge Samuel Chase       Caesar Rodney

Thomas Heyward,‭ ‬Jr.‭ ‬William Paca George Read

Thomas Lynch,‭ ‬Jr.‭ ‬Thomas Stone        Thomas McKean

Arthur Middleton Charles Carroll of Carrollton


Virginia New York        New Hampshire

George Wythe‭ ‬William Floyd‭ ‬Josiah Bartlett

Richard Henry Lee Philip Livingston William Whipple

Thomas Jefferson Francis Lewis         Matthew Thornton

Benjamin Harrison‭ Lewis Morris Rhode Island

Thomas Nelson,‭ ‬Jr.       Stephen Hopkins

Francis Lightfoot Lee‭ ‬       William Ellery

Carter Braxton


Pennsylvania New Jersey Massachusetts

Robert Morris Richard Stockton Samuel Adams

Benjamin Rush John Witherspoon John Adams‭

Benjamin Franklin‭ ‬Francis Hopkinson Robert Treat Paine

John Morton John Hart Elbridge Gerry

George Clymer‭ ‬Abraham Clark

James Smith

George Taylor Connecticut

James Wilson Roger Sherman‭ 

George Ross Samuel Huntington

William Williams

Oliver Wolcott‭

Monday, July 2, 2018

Chatter #183 The Yoke of Woke

   America’s newest religion is Woke. For those who missed the last installment of the blog, A person is Woke when they have a sudden understanding of what’s really going on and find they were wrong about what they understood to be the truth. Now, woke people will tell me being Woke is not a religion. To which I reply, “Wake up and smell the incense.”

     By definition, Woke begins with an epiphany. Like the Christian’s belief that they are “born again,” the Woke experience transforms the adherent’s belief system and understanding of the universe. Furthermore, the experience binds them to a predetermined doctrine.

     You can’t be Woke if you don’t believe in certain ideas and adhere to certain doctrines. Don’t believe me? To deny the existence of global warming; white privilege or male oppression (to name a very few) is tantamount to heresy. The Woke inquisitor will yank your membership in a heartbeat.

     Woke is organized as a religion into local congregations with an inner hierarchy based on the degree of wokeness and woke credentials. These local congregations are evangelical. That is, they preach their message in an attempt to gain adherents to the faith. They are missionary; reaching out to foreign shores with a Woke message and an invitation to come in. Beyond the local and state levels, there is a national Woke organization called the Democratic Party that overarches and shields the local congregations. There are Woke institutions of higher learning where the Woke go to learn their catechism.

      Like all religious zealots, Woke disciples repudiate manmade laws in the name of answering to a higher power. That higher power is Woke heaven where believers enjoy free education, free healthcare, free housing, free food, in fact, free everything except free thought.

     Woke has a God. He appears each time the believer looks in the mirror. Woke, you see, is based on the old, old lie, “ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Good and evil as political and social constructs is a religion of doctrines that revolve in hypocritical circles as suits the needs of its preachers. Stray from the Woke script and you will be relegated to the hellish depths of the deplorables, worthy only to be shunned, shamed and blamed after a fashion that makes Christians look like amateurs. Woke is a harsh taskmaster.

     The Woke want America subjugated to the mob rule of their religion. America has religious roots, but it has never been subject to any religion. We must not surrender to this one for they would behead the infidels in the name of doing God a service—just ask Kathy Griffin. In the face of this onslaught against the principles upon which this country was built, it remains for American patriots to take a firm stance for liberty and throw off the yoke of the Woke.

          “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against   wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Chatter #182 Woke

     Celebrities call for pedophiles to rape 12-year old boys, blow up government buildings, and assassinate our leaders. Racist groups encourage members to ambush and kill police. A U.S. congresswoman publicly calls for mob violence. All who disagree must suffer. That is the American left in action. With every step America takes forward they become more outraged and dangerous.

     They are justified in all they say and do because they are woke. The bastardized use of the word makes me cringe every time I hear it. According to the Urban Dictionary, woke means to have a sudden understanding of what’s really going on and find out you were wrong about much of what you understood to be the truth. How urbane. But, it gets better. Evidently, one can also be woker or wokest. Wow, if the woke believe that all who disagree are less than fully human, what do the wokest folks believe?

     I guess I’ll never know. I got my degree in nursing and at that time nursing was all about “critical thinking.” We’re all into “evidence-based” now so I’m still out in the cold. Critical thinking and evidence-based actions don’t seem to work with woke.

     When one is woke, a penis isn’t a penis if the wearer wants it to be a vagina. This plays hell when doing a cervical swab. But, what the hell, I’m game. I’d put a swab in the opening and fish around for a cervix, but my boss won’t let me. Says it isn’t ethical. Ethical, that’s another of those terms that don’t go with woke.

    My ethics say, “Do no harm,” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” They tell me the woke are beyond such nonsense. They have been educated in the best universities for the sole purpose of leading the rest of us into enlightenment. Without the woke, how will we know that we can use any restroom, but can only eat at places serving “our kind?” You know, the great questions facing mankind.

     While half of America is busy getting woke, it serves the other half well to wake the *%$#@ up. Forget about mutual fair, equitable, and ethical treatment. Forget about liberty for all. The woke truly don’t think the rest of us deserve being treated like humans. When a group maligns, demeans and slanders others long enough, they cease to be human. In the course of human history, it happens from time to time. Some march off to chains or camps; others create names like Thermopylae, Masada, and Alamo. The result is the same. It is only the memory that differs.

     St. Paul described the woke of his time:

     “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools...And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind...being filled with all unrighteousness,...maliciousness...implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”


Friday, June 29, 2018

Chatter #181 Submission and Liberty

   Victory in this war will be determined not only by force but by the method. Christians must refuse to adopt the left’s victory at any cost mindset. It will do us little good to win the government if w     America is engaged in a civil war.  No, not the one from one hundred sixty years ago---that was not a civil war. I mean true civil war, today, now, this minute. There are two factions are battling for control of the government. One side has stated they mean to uphold the status quo, that is, the Constitution. The other side has stated that they mean to tear the country down and remodel it after their fluid ideology. This is not speculation.

     The weapons of this warfare are, for the moment, limited to words and ideas. However, calls for violence and lawlessness are growing. We just need a spark.e forfeit our souls in the process. The Christian battle plan will strike some as odd. This is to be expected since it comes from God and not men.

     “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”

     Our enemies interpret this admonition from St. Peter as a formula for surrender and submission. They are only half right. It is the half they don’t understand that will defeat them regardless of what guns decide.

     Submission to the will of God produces true liberty. Liberty so won cannot be taken away by force of arms. It is the gift of God. Submission to the law of the land, however, has always been contingent upon the requirement that the law conforms to God’s word. That is, submission is for the Lord’s sake. We are to act as God’s children in every circumstance---that includes war.

     Unlike our adversaries, Christians do not wage war to force the submission of anyone, just as God does not compel people to worship Him. A boot on the neck of our enemies is not God’s plan, but steadfast resistance to evil is.

      “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

     We do not surrender to evil. We resist; but not with slander, lies, malice or any other of the devices of the world. We resist by holding to our faith and letting others go their way. God, does not send anyone to hell. He permits them to follow their own course to that destination rather than force heaven upon them. We cannot force civility, kindness and an acceptance of diversity on our enemies. We can only resist them----and that to the death if need be.


Monday, June 25, 2018

Chatter #180 The Great Divide


     The human experience of repetitive history has nothing to do with faulty memory. It is the result of faulty genes. History repeats itself because the same unimaginative authors keep writing the same story line. The current political and social polarization of America should scare the hell out of us. Our history says so. If history is to be believed, we are already marching to war.

   The causes of the War Between the States began decades before the election of Lincoln or cannons firing on Ft. Sumter. It began with words, ideas and opposing lifestyles woven into a political debate about the future of the country.   

   The willingness of both sides to marginalize, berate and demonize their opponents only succeeded in causing compromises and debate to fail. Who’s to say that wasn’t the intention of some of the people involved? Whatever the intent; the result was war. If we are honest, violence worked. The divisive questions of the day went away. Was it worth over a half million American lives? I guess that depends on how you value a life.

     Fast forward a hundred years and we see a re-emergence the same self-righteous, unbending, bullying intransigence emerging from the political left.  “Enlightened” liberals bullying dissenters with negative media, shaming, and marginalization are trying to coerce opponents into surrendering their freedoms for the group-think of political correctness.

     Political correctness is fine for politicians. Their object is to speak without saying anything. Calling evil good, insisting male is female, and invaders are immigrants doesn’t work in genuine efforts to facilitate understanding between rival views. Employed by aggressive minds “correctness” is the first tiny step toward erasing all opposing values and culture.

     At this point, conservatives are still living under the delusion that their opponents can be reasoned with or appeased into a patriotic best-for-America peace by adopting the left’s labeling of every thought. However, there is a growing frustration with trying to be the nice guys. Genuine anger is building over every political and court sponsored violation of American custom, law and tradition engineered by socialist agendas in the name of diversity, inclusiveness and globalization.

     If this were a marriage, we would declare irreconcilable differences and go our separate ways. We could hate each other across the legal divide. There would still be room for name calling, blame and making villains of the other guys. But, no one would die and maybe years down the road we could even be civil to one another.


     Our history, says that won’t happen. History favors that at some point, the struggle will turn violent. There will be a final, “Oh hell no” and the side who likes the way things are will come out swinging. Debate over. America’s future will, once again, be decided by the blood of its citizens spilled by their brethren.

     One side is already calling for kidnapping, murder and violent attacks on public officials. Some of those saying these things are in Congress. How long do we have left this time? How long was it between Congressman Brook’s caning of Senator Sumner and the first shots of war? The clock is ticking.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Years


Disjointed crawl

Steps unsteady

Almost ready

Stringent march

Pedestrian stroll

Onward roll

Faster still

Blind stampede

Gather speed

Explosive launch.




                                Into the light

                                Gone from sight

Friday, June 22, 2018

Chatter #179 Road to Hell

      I was very disappointed in the President’s decision to give in to the mob braying like so many jackasses for the reunification of separated invaders at the expense of the American people. The subsequent reversal of his executive order is made of straw. Once you surrender to the mob, they do not relent. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

     You would think by this point the President would know that he will never please the entrenched establishment politicians of either party. The law of the Swamp is, go along to get along. Until now, the President has succeeded in thumbing his nose at the rule. But, he is able to do so only because he has a faithful base that agrees with his actions. That base opposes unlimited access to our country and welfare for immigrants.

     Decreased unemployment and an upturn in the economy, no matter the magnitude, are not a signal to spend money we do not have. Rising tax revenues are not a tacit approval for the government to go shopping. Our current debt is so far beyond staggering as to be inconceivable. No matter how soothing to our collective conscious, we have not a single penny more to spend on our citizens. To consider for a moment spending millions, or more likely billions, on people with absolutely no regard for our laws is to aid and abet criminal behavior in the most dangerous fashion possible.

     Social Security and Medicare are staring insolvency in the face. Every other federal program is equally at risk. We have tried to borrow our way to prosperity and need to awaken to the fact that it is not working. Politicians have conspired to cripple our nation with “free” everything in order to buy the votes of those who produce nothing. Now, the wish to do more of the same for those who trespass upon our nation.

     My children lived with hunger on the edge of homelessness, no politician cried for them. I first saw by eldest son when he was 6 months old. We were separated by deployments at least three time a year, every year thereafter. The Air Force sure didn’t give a damn and neither did their civilian masters. CNN did not cover the story.

     We were expected to behave like the independent, self-sufficient, Americans that we were. We did that and everyone survived to be productive citizens of this great country. We have one recourse to reverse the road to ruin we are on---vote. Turn every incumbent unprepared to honor his oath of office to defend America out of office. The opponents of America will be voting—count on it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Chatter #178 Owning Up


     “Quick, hide, it’s the Lord.”

     “Hey, Adam, Eve. Where are y’all?”

     “We heard y’all coming and hid out ‘cause we was naked.”

     “Really? Who told y’all that you was naked? Did y’all eat from that tree I told y’all not to?”

     “It’s not my fault, Lord. That woman y’all made me, she gave it to me.”

     “Eve, did y’all do that?”

     “Well, Lord the serpent tricked me into eating it.”


      And that’s the way the whole crisis of responsibility thing started. It’s kind of spiraled out of control since then. The great complication with the modern versions of this story is that with so many victims around these days, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find someone to blame who is not themselves a victim.  

      The Bible doesn’t go into the conversation between the serpent and God (if there was one). However, as the story unfolds, the serpent seems to be the only one not trying to evade responsibility for his actions. That doesn’t mean the serpent was virtuous, only that there was no one left for him to blame.

    In the 70’s, the serpent’s defense, “The devil made me do it,” was all the rage. I believe the phrase fell out of favor because it smacked of too much of shared responsibility. It was just too close to owning our actions. The arrival of a new saying, “Here comes da Judge,” was the final nail in the devil made me do its coffin.

    As a writer, I am a world builder. I make up worlds out of words and try to make them seem real. Sometimes, I succeed and step right into the limelight and take the credit. When my worlds fall flat, the blame lies with a lazy muse. But, the truth is I am responsible for both success and failure.

     In a very real way God made us all writers. That “ye shall be as gods” idea the devil espoused was not far off the mark. Life since Adam is an ongoing work of creating and recreating the world we inhabit. No one wants to be responsible for writing a tragedy, or a comedy of errors. We edit, revise and outright lie to cast our protagonist in the best possible, and most reader pleasing, light.

     If the antagonists would just leave our hero alone, very thing would turn out fine. That may be true in fairy tales and children’s books, but never in grown up novels---or grown up worlds. We must bear the responsibility for our world---we made it.

     Modern parents and our educational system from pre-school to doctorate programs are indoctrinating the youth of today in mindless irresponsibility. They are oppressed, repressed, misunderstood, evolved, enlightened, educated in progressive liberalism, but never, ever, ever, responsible for their actions.

     Adam and Eve found out right away that blaming someone else didn’t fly. God held each of them responsible. That, is justice and equality with a huge dose of inclusiveness. The person who owns his actions may be scorned by men. What some fail to understand is that responsibility, before God, is tempered by mercy and grace. God is willing to forgive what we own. What we deny is ours to keep for eternity.

“And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve…”


“Know therefore that God exacts of you less than your iniquity deserves”.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Chatter #177 Isn’t That Special?


   On Saturday, the Seattle Mariners had Pride Night at Safeco Field. I’m a fan of the team and baseball in general, so I dared to post on Facebook a question about when Straight While Night was going to be. Mixed reviews on that. I was poking fun to make a couple of points.

     First, baseball parks should be a place for bringing people together to enjoy the game. It is not the appropriate place to strut one’s divisionary politics or social statements. If the team’s owners and players feel they must single out members of a group for Native American Night, Asian American Night, Pride Night, etc… then, they should leave no one out---that is true inclusiveness. If that is not possible at least be silent altogether. That is, of course, unless they truly mean to tell one segment of the population that they are not welcome at the games.

     The second point is the very real, and very urgent, need for all Americans to lose the hyphens they love so much. We live in a great country and enjoy unprecedented freedom and prosperity. Some folks like to talk about Europe and how we should do this or that the way they do. That’s fine, but the last time I was in Europe, America was the envy of the places I visited. So, maybe it’s not too bad here. Maybe, it’s just good enough that we can settle for being plain old Americans.

     Our country was designed to allow for differences. Have we always done the greatest job living up to that ideal? Of course, not. But, you know what? I can say the same about every single individual that I have ever met—no matter what hyphen they use. We are an imperfect country of imperfect people. We will not change that by devouring each other. Everyone has the right to be who they are, but no one has the right to demand everyone like them or agree with them. Shoving your preferences in the face of others is rude and not worthy of acknowledgement.

     Have you faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he that condemns not himself in that thing which he allows.      

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Chatter # 176 Caring

   I often hear people say, “I’ve reached the age where I no longer care about (fill in the blank). I’ve said it myself. Looking back over each instance these words escaped my lips, all I can come up with is, “Liar, liar pants on fire.”

     I found that had confused caring with defending. Even as the words were spoken, somewhere inside, I did care. That is, the outcome was important to me either socially, emotionally or spiritually. Caring was never the issue. At issue was whether or not I was going to continue to struggle against opposition or stop defending my life.

     Now, as several FB surveys have shown, I’m old as dirt. So, I remember things that are no longer around. Some of these things ended abruptly, like home milk delivery. However, most things. like old soldiers, simply faded away.
     My real come-to-Jesus meeting took place forty-some years ago. So, we’ve known each other most of my life, but not much of His. During that time, my life has changed. That’s a good thing. However, as my job took me around the country on thirteen-week contracts, Sundays off were rare and it was often difficult to find a church. My life is more settled, Sundays somewhat freer, but something happened to God---it seems He stopped caring about stuff.

     I was just wondering when this came about. I’m confused because as long as I’ve known Him, God has always cared about every detail of my life. I mean, that was the deal when we met. He had full access and carte blanche to renovate as He wished.

    I must have been mistaken because the Church says God no longer cares what I wear. How I dress when I pop over to God’s house somehow no longer reflects how I feel about Him. Before somebody pops a gizzard, think about what I actually said. Clothes are not essential to salvation or standardized for admission through the church door. But, they are a reflection of an inner respect.

     When you go on a date to a restaurant that has linen tablecloths, candlelight, and rude wait staff and actually wish to impress your date, do the clothes you are wearing make a difference? Come on, be honest.

     Do Human Resource Officers care what you wear? How about juries? If we dress to impress these people, why not give God equal billing. Can God be impressed by what we wear? God is not impressed by the clothes. He does think to Himself, “Love those shoes.” God is impressed by the effort. God is not looking for me to show up in a Brooks Brothers suit. I do believe it is His wish that I show up in the best I have.

     If the best I have is a dirty pair of ragged jeans and a sleeveless T-shirt with Redneck As F*ck printed on the back and I’m here to meet with God. Good enough. God is easy to please. However, He is hard to satisfy. If I’m still wearing the same outfit to church a year later, I’m not listening or learning.

     Here’s the thing. God cares. Peter, that guy who denied Jesus, later told Christians everywhere, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.”

      God cares so much that there is a point at which He ceases to defend His sovereignty and lets you have your way. There was a time Israel grew dissatisfied with bread from heaven. They demanded God give them meat. God, wearied by their complaints, sent quail into their camp. The Bible says they ate quail until it came out the noses. It also says in the same place that with their feast, God sent leanness into their souls. That doesn’t mean they didn’t gain weight. It means, they became spiritually poor.

     Everything matters in life because God cares about you.



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Chatter #175

  Nations and the governments that rule them are creations of men. What we see and what may be known of nations of the world are the product of the men that populate them. Nations do not animate themselves; they are driven by men. Governments, of their own accord, do not prosper or enslave their citizens. This is the work of men. A nation’s virtue will never rise above that of its inhabitants. 

     America is not the perfect, sinless state that we wish it would be. It never has been; never will be. There are Christians who will disagree with me, but I tell you now, they are wrong. Their solution to the woes of nations and men is that all come to Jesus Christ. I get that and in this regard they are correct. However, the liberty and personal freedoms we hail as the cornerstones of America prevent that from ever happening.

     In American, one is not, and cannot, be compelled to follow Christ. If we are honest, this is the way we like it. Just as well be honest, the Bible says the same. Christianity is a freewill choice that not everyone will make. So, we should not expect perfection of our country or its servants. That we accept imperfection is not to say we accept corruption or any group’s dismantling of our nation.

     We are a nation of laws. We obey these laws even when we do not agree with them and when we disobey, we accept the consequences prescribed by courts of law. There is a growing sentiment in local governments, political parties, and vocal “isms” that the law does not apply to them. They preach that we do not need to recognize our borders or immigration law. They wish to pick and choose which sections of the Constitution and its amendments to follow and which to ban. They wish to steal from taxpayers to assuage their collective conscious with social programs that award irresponsibility. They pollute the schools with dysfunctional methods and versions of history that display open hostility to our history. In a word, they are offended by the country whose liberty and blessings they enjoy. They are equally offended by those who, for love of country, stand by America and endeavor to see her lifted up among the nations of the world.

     As go men; so go nations.
     “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
     The godly dying in order for the ungodly to live above their deserved end is the message of the gospel. It is also the message of freedom. Good men and women have died so that their neighbors can tread on the flag, burn it and curse the institutions that serve it. That is America. Here, we tolerate dissent. We will not tolerate those who would take liberty from us.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Chatter #174

  A new foster dog came to live with us today. His name is Olaf. Not long ago he was the center of a young boy’s life. Olaf’s boy had autism. This little dog was the first thing to which the boy ever really responded. A string of circumstances transformed Olaf from treasured companion to not worth keeping.

       That’s life...“ you’re riding high in April, shot down in May,” at least that’s what the old song says. The same thing happens to people. It’s easy to blame those who are troubled or homeless for their situation. In the case of humans, more often than not, we are to blame. Mankind’s penchant for self-destruction is legendary. Assigning guilt where it is due triggers many people to begin spouting nonsense about the evil of “judging” others. Guilt is only negative when it becomes an obstacle to mercy.
     Animals and people are flawed, but they are not disposable. Mercy can overcome a multitude of troubles. God has called to mercy those who have received mercy.

     “For none of us lives to himself, and no man dies to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord's...So then every one of us shall give an account of himself to God.”

     Like Olaf, few of us live very far from homelessness. A fellow in the Bible named Job found this out in spectacular fashion. In short order, he lost all his possessions, his home, and his family. His “friends” found him sitting in the ashes of his former life.
     “This is all your fault,” they told him.
     In this instance, they were wrong, but that didn’t ease the sting of their words. In real life, bad things happen to good people. Your exemplary life is no safeguard against tragedy.

     Christians are to share what we have been given. We are called to be God’s hand up; a companion to the lost and lonely; and an encouragement to those without hope. We do not live ourselves. Salvation is not according to merit. It is a gracious gift of given to the guilty. We are not strangers to falling into our own snare and asking for mercy. We can give to others only that which we possess. God’s grace and mercy lifted us. We keep them by giving them away. Give to those unable to repay and God will give to you for we shall surely give an account to God.

    Olaf is looking for a forever home in WA, OR, ID

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Chatter # 173 E Pluribus Unum

   I heard the last of the Munchkins passed away the other day. In a kind of memorial, I watched the Wizard of Oz today for at least the sixtieth time. After all these years, it’s still a better movie than the trash coming out of Hollywood. But, that’s beside the point. Tonight, I was struck by the wizard’s promise to Dorothy that he would transport her back to the land of E Pluribus Unum. When I heard that, I couldn’t help but think about how nice that would be.

     E Pluribus Unum is the motto suggested by the committee Congress appointed on July 4, 1776, to design "a seal for the United States of America." The seal design went through several revisions, but the motto was included in them all. The Latin phrase means, “From many, one.” It is an allusion to the union between the states and the federal government. Thirteen independent and diverse states joined together to make one nation.

     One nation united by one Constitution. Thirteen states founded upon thirteen different charters, each coining its own money, holding different religious beliefs and prominent churches, each with varying ideas about taxes and widely different degrees of difficulty when it comes to assimilation and community. In other words, every citizen free to think, do business, hold property, and be secure in his person no matter his political convictions. America is meant to be a diverse union of independents.

     The land of E Pluribus Unum is bound headlong to into the hell of social and political slavery that is falsely called diversity. True diversity knows nothing of “correctness.” Each man free to be and believe what he wishes without coercion to conform to a standardized social correctness will produce diversity. No awareness training is needed. A nation united by the rule of law needs no thought police; needs no chorus demanding compliance with a single view.

     He would be a wonderful wizard indeed who could take me back there.


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Chatter #172 Do You Hear What I Hear?

     Male selective hearing; myth or reality? It depends on who you ask and, of course, if they are listening. The difference between hearing and listening is at the center of the decidedly male phenomenon known as selective hearing. Like shit, hearing happens. Listening requires a modicum of interest. That’s why selective hearing really is a man thing.

     Women may wish for equality in this area, but it’s never going to happen. It’s not that they don’t hear as well as men. It is that their inquisitiveness does not allow them to let the sound go unidentified. Men, on the other hand, have the natural ability to hear an unidentified sound and continue what they are doing without the slightest interest in making an immediate identification. This ability is the core ingredient of selective hearing and women just do not possess it. This is much like the right to remain silent and the ability to do so.

     In addition, any seeming disinterest in sounds on a man’s part is amplified by the male “fixer” drive. He will simply go investigate a sound that piqued his interest without querying those present for a consensus as to what produced the sound. Sound identified; problem solved. Whether or not he shares his findings depends wholly on the degree of probability that he will be asked to do so. The same can be said of his intention to do something, beyond identification, about the sound in question.

     As I alluded to earlier, male hearing is filtered through interest. Does this conversation apply to me at this moment, will I hear this again, and can it wait? These are the unspoken, internal questions that drive male listening. A “yes”, followed by two “no’s” will generate enough interest for him to hear, make a mental note, and respond appropriately--that is, to actively listen to what is said. This process causes interpersonal friction when the speaker’s anticipated answers to those questions do not jive with the man doing the hearing. Should this happen, a follow-on question is needed.
     “Are you listening to me?” Will generally bring about an agreement to listen.

     The severity of an individual’s selective hearing can be easily determined. Stand five or six feet behind the man being tested and in a conversational voice  first say:
     “Let’s go shopping.”
     Follow this with any of the following questions:
     “Want a beer?”
     “Want to go fishing (hunting)?”
     “Is she naked?”
     If these questions fail to elicit an immediate response, this is true hearing loss. Consult your primary care physician as soon as possible.

     One last note. Selective hearing is a male defense mechanism. Once they become comfortable, men are somewhat resistant to change. Selective hearing guards against change.  Doing or thinking “nuthin” are real male pastimes. Reading, watching TV, or staring at Facebook are “tasks.” To change operations, a speaker must use the right keywords. Words which each man has programmed his hearing to detect. Selective hearing is like a Google search. Put in the proper word and get the right response. Say the right keyword and he will look up ready to listen.

     Contrary to the assertions of feminism, the male of the species is a thinking, feeling creature. However, his processes are his own and they are foreign to those of the opposite sex. Trying to “improve” men by making them effeminate is a path to the dark side. Anger, frustration, and ultimate enmity await those who walk that way.  Guys, celebrate your manhood. Ladies, learn to live with it. 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Chatter #171

   Our times are not nearly as troubled as the people living in them. The free exchange of ideas that is the cornerstone of American freedom has degenerated into vulgar name calling, rabid accusations and governmental interference in the election process. Everyone has a complaint. Everyone has been grievously offended. Worse yet, everyone has a scapegoat and a sacrificial lamb to bring to the slaughter. Political and social assassination carried out by innuendo splashed across the media as fact is claiming more lives than guns. It seems we cannot feel good about ourselves except at the expense of others.

      People have not changed. We have a long-standing god complex. We were cast out of paradise for wanting to play God and we have yet to give up the behavior. I saw a meme on Facebook a while back asking people to suppose that Lucifer was the good guy trying to set mankind free from God’s tyranny. Not coincidentally, this was exactly Satan’s approach.
     “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
     “Knowing” in this instance meaning not only experiencing good and evil but deciding what is good and what is evil. Today we have a portion of the population who believe they have evolved into the rarefied air in which they are entitled to be the final authority on what constitutes good and evil.

  If these evolved beings do not like guns, then guns are evil and must disappear. If they do not deem others worthy of financial success, then others have oppressed the poor must surrender their wealth. Their evolved nature empowers them to decide the merits and rewards of which each race is entitled.

     Truthfully, that in itself is nothing new. History has been a procession of tyrants and empires demanding god-like fidelity from the masses. America is an experiment in opposition to tyranny; a government of the people, by the people and for the people. What has changed is our willingness to accept the tyranny of thought demanded by the loud; the obnoxious, and the unproductive as the future course of America.

     The cause of conservative America is far from lost. Apathy is the real enemy and we need to engage the enemy in battle. Register, then vote. Write your representatives even if they are true blue and politely share your views. Get involved in your local party organization. And, dare I say it, donate. Rest assured the liberals are doing this. The victory will be to the one who gets there first with the most.       

    “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land...”

Chatter #170 Making Waves

     Drop a pebble into still water and watch what happens next. Immediately after the satisfying plop of the stone breaking the smooth surface, ripples start to spread. The ripples always move outward from the point of impact. They may be interrupted, but neither the stone or the one who dropped it has control over the spreading waves. Although he may exist, I cannot imagine a person trying this experiment and expecting different results.

     Touch a spider’s web and you summon the spider. The spider is responding to the vibrations rippling along the web. The fly probably didn’t mean to touch the web. If flies think at all about cause and effect, it likely rues the moment it made contact. No matter, the waves announcing his arrival are already spreading along the web. The fly’s struggles to get free only make matters worse.

     A man pushes air across his vocal cords causing them to vibrate into something we call speech. The waves ripple outward, strike another person’s tympanic membrane and vibrate along the inner ear to the auditory nerve. The other person hears the vibrations as words. Once released the vibrations can no more be stopped than ripples in a pond or vibrations of the spider’s web. The emotional spark, intent, and subsequent regret will not stop the words or call them back.

     Making waves should not be undertaken as a lark because the consequences are always serious. “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”

     “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Chatter #169 What Toxic Masculinity

    Years ago while stationed in the UK, an English chap told me that we Yanks put too much emphasis on dictionary definitions and rules of usage. It was his opinion that the dictionary was not a rule book, but more are the reflection of how he, being English decided to speak. He had a point. I mean if one wishes to speak English, consult an Englishman. Makes sense to me.

      Following this same sensible logic, should not manliness be defined by...well, men?  The entire modern notion of toxic masculinity is a rejection of this concept in an attempted coup by women to define something of which they have neither first hand nor experimental knowledge. How in God’s name can a woman hope to know what it means to be a man? Granted they think they know, but their “knowledge” is really nothing more than a wish for men to conform to their groundless supposition about how a man should behave and what he should think.

     Allowing this sexist attack on masculinity to continue has resulted in a growing number of effeminate snowflakes. Ironically, it has enjoyed success by playing upon that most masculine of masculine characteristics---the drive to move mountains for an opportunity to procreate. Wake up metro males, there are prospects aplenty outside the urban kiddie pools.

     A second prong of the feminist attack on masculinity has been to replace Father Knows Best with the Simpsons. That Homer Simpson is a manly man is evident by his love for beer and donuts. The hapless bumbling dad is not new. But, it has lead to a growing trend that dad is not necessary. Boys without a male role model at home are more easily intimidated into suppressing male behavior.

   Men are, by nature, aggressive, dominant, and action-driven and all those things feminists disapprove of; ain’t no shame in that. But, how’s a guy to know without a shared experience? Ever noticed how boys night out is discouraged as toxic, but civic groups, churches, and communities all sponsor a girls night out? Do guys in groups do crazy stuff to strut their manliness? Hell, yeah. Here’s the thing----we like it that way---even if it hurts the next day.

     Homosexuals boast, “God made me this way” and that is adequate reason for their behavior. Male is how God made men. While He was at it He made a big world so that if you don’t like male behavior there are plenty of places for you to go hide. Women being women doesn’t bother men. That’s why there’s no Mens Movement. It’s also one reason for the development of male selective hearing, but that is for another time.

     You have a set somewhere so let down those ridiculous man buns; get some real jeans; scratch in public and join in this celebration we call manhood.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Chatter #168 A Dog’s Life


   It’s been about six months since I began my adventures in fostering rescue dogs. Five of Hope’s seven puppies have grown up and moved away to their forever homes with great families. Piper is still waiting for that perfect person or family to come along and make her their own. I just couldn’t part with Archie, so he’s joining our pack. I am eagerly looking forward to taking him to the river with the big dogs.


     I’ll admit adding two dogs and seven puppies to our home all at once was stressful. They dug holes in my garden, ate my plants, carried off anything and everything that wasn’t nailed down, turned our clothes and shoes into toys and made moving through the house an adventure. However, before you give in to calling these things insurmountable troubles, take a look at those beautiful smiling faces and eyes capable of turning human hearts into warm mush. Dogs can be more than a man’s best friend.

     There’s nothing like coming home to a bouncing, bubbly dog who is thrilled to see you and can’t wait to cuddle up next to you. Some people think petting a dog is somehow a dog’s reward. Maybe, but I don’t think it compares to the peace it brings the human on the other end. Dogs are like that; they give more than they ever get.


     When I consider that a beautiful dog like Hope and her puppies were on the brink of death at a shelter, any inconvenience I might have felt seems petty. Fostering has been a tremendous experience. The rewards are intangible, but that doesn’t mean that they are not real.


     My experience was so worthwhile that we have taken in a new foster pup named Magic. He was found abandoned, living under a porch and afraid to come out. Some patient, gentle, love will see him grow into an awesome, lifelong companion to a very lucky human. I’m writing this from work and don’t have pictures to share right now. I will remedy that soon. You can find pictures and more about Magic and Piper on Journey Home Rescue’s Facebook page.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Chatter #167 A Sacrifice Larger than Life

 The Chosin Few


     Wishing a blessed Memorial Day to all America. Officially, summer is just around the corner, but this last weekend in May and its holiday are the real start of the season. We are looking forward to good time and making cherished memories. But, before that begins, it is time to reflect on the price our country as paid for this freedom. Amid the barbeques, camping, picnics and summer sales, I urge you to take time to reflect on what this day is really all about.


     I’m a veteran, but this day is not about guys like me---that’s Veteran’s Day and we’ll see you in November. Today is about the veterans who never returned to their families or returned in a flag draped box. Today, we remember the boys, yes boys, who answered their country’s call in troubled times on their way to becoming the best of men.


     Memorial Day began as Decoration Day honoring the fallen on both sides of the War Between the States. After World war I, it was expanded to commemorate the sacrifice of all of America’s war dead. Before the joy of another summer, America remembered with flowers, flags and walks among the gardens of stone in places like Arlington, Gettysburg, Chattanooga and Honolulu.    


     I served in a different era. When I left home at seventeen, America’s service men and women were not heroes. Somehow we had become puppets of a military-industrial complex, stooges of a corrupt nation, and baby killers. While Hollywood celebrities were feted in Hanoi, brave young men were dying in the mud.

     But, let me tell you about these guys. They didn’t put on the uniform for glory or a political agenda. Many were opposed to war, but they served anyway. It wasn’t because they feared the consequences of evading the draft. Hell, draft dodging would have made them heroes. It certainly did so for future politicians. They served because somewhere deep inside they knew it was the right thing to do---it was their duty as recipients of an inherited freedom. They weren’t rich, they all considered the best and brightest. They were ordinary eighteen and nineteen year old guys with families, wives and girl friends, and big plans for the future.


     Duty and responsibility drove them to go where they were told to go and do as they were ordered. They fought for their country, but only incidentally. The real fight was for the guys beside them. To the soldier, freedom, loyalty and country have a real, living face. It is the face of their fellow soldiers. They see those faces shredded by gunfire, mangled by explosives and disfigured in death. They fight so no more suffer the same fate and if that turns out to be true, they have won.


     Although they were just ordinary guys, the proved themselves so much more than ordinary. Their selfless service and sacrifice is beyond reproach. It is worth a moment today to remember them. That done, go have a great day and a wonder summer—that served and died to make that possible.


     “…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here 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.” Abraham Lincoln.