In Congress, July 4th, 1776

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…

…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.

Memorial Day Open Thread

Sorry for not having this up earlier – and for not having anything interesting to write about this important day. My internet connection got some gremlins last night and I was unable to really get anything done.

At all events, do take some time today to remember our fallen – those who really did give the last, full measure of devotion to our nation. We owe our existence as a people to them and we can never repay the men and women who gave all for us.

In Congress, July 4th, 1776

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…

…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.

Memorial Day

It comes on Monday, of course.

At Nijmegen in Holland, during Operation Market-Garden in World War II, the US paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne had to take the bridge in that town – as the Germans held the bridge and capturing it was vital, the Americans were forced to cross the river so they could take it from both ends, thus preventing the Germans from blowing the bridge up. The trouble was that its not like Airborne units carry landing craft with them.  And so the men had to cross with what could be made available – collapsible canvas boats without even enough oars, so the men had to use their rifle butts to propel themselves across the river in the face of determined and well-sited enemy forces.

I’m sure all of us have heard descriptions of battle where it is said that the “fighting was fierce” or words to that effect.  That is how the fighting across the river was, once the men actually got across – made extra fierce because the paratroopers were pretty much massacred as they rowed across the river and this appeared to build a gigantic, towering rage in the men who made it across.  To put it into old, fashioned phrasing, they spared not, but slew.  Those paratroopers quite simply fell upon the German defenders like a thunderbolt and regardless of losses started to slaughter them.  At least for a while there, no prisoners were taken, even though it does appear that the apparition of these American killing machines quickly stunned and actually frightened the Germans, who were in superior numbers.

What does it all mean, this Memorial Day? That we are remembering our dead in war – but I don’t think that really does justice to what is being marked.  Men in war enter into unspeakable terrors and are cut down most horribly.  They may be good men or bad men; men who have lived lives of justice and mercy or men who lived lives of disgrace and perfidy – but when sent into battle, the men become heroes.  Something appears to click within them and all thought of self vanishes in a fierce desire to grapple with the enemy and emerge victorious.  Men who might not have been willing to lend a dollar to a friend will leap upon a live grenade, or distract and enemy machine-gunner, just so his comrades might live, even if only for a few minutes longer.

The soldiers who die in war have lives to live, just as all of us do.  The mere thought of ever being in a position where another man is around the corner, determined to kill me, strikes fear in my heart.  Some how, soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines manage to get past that, and get around the corner – to kill, before they are killed.  To fight the enemy.  To put their valiant heart between the enemies of the United States and our people.  Maybe if I had ever been in that position, I would have passed the test.  I only know for certain that the men and women in the graves of our military cemeteries did pass the test; and because they did, very few of us are ever called on to do what they did.

Go on and have the barbecue.  Enjoy the time with family and friends.  That is ok.  It is good that the living go on living – but pause just for a moment some time this Monday and spare a thought for what it means for a soldier to die in battle, and how much you owe them.

 

Cutting Military Benefits

I’m posting this from a former ship mate of mine – we served together on board the USS Conolly way back when.  Joe became a lifer dog, of course, while I got out after four years – but that just puts him in an even better position to understand these things. 

Sorry if this offends anyone but I feel I need to post it.

Mr. President and US Senate,

I just want to say, Thank you , and You are welcome for the service of my self and my brothers in arms, who sacrificed 20+ years of our lives, enduring years of deployments out of CONUS assignments, 24+ hour days in conditions most Americans would consider not fit for an animal to work in, endless hours of waiting for the next order to get underway or move out, the letters from our families that state they miss us, don’t want to worry us, but we are not sure if we can make the rent this month or the light bill, least of all the grocery bill. Thank you.
We left our families on a moments notice to engage an enemy, right a wrong, supply disaster relief, chase an unseen enemy for months on end during the cold war, to protect embassy’s against people who hate us, but need us there to make sure the relief money keeps rolling in from the US, and keep the Sea lanes open, air space free, and our shore lines protected from those that would want to cause us harm. We did it because we love this country.
We did it for you and for our fellow Americans because we felt it was a our duty to give back to this great country for all that was given to us. All we asked for was a paycheck (and that was not much: most of us qualified for food stamps and public housing, but we were to proud to apply for it, and actually at times forbidden to apply, so as not to embarrass the US Government with the fact we were so poorly paid), and for the vision of the retirement we were promised, when we finished.
Now the comments coming from Washington are that we have to give it away because we really don’t need it, if we are of working age.
Pleased can you explain to me why you let welfare run rampant with fraud and do nothing, why you let SSDI run rampant with fraud and do nothing, why you let Medicare and Medicaid run rampant with fraud and do nothing. Why are you giving cell phones and calling plans away for nothing, public housing availability without drug testing, and the list goes on and on.  Yet when it comes to the Military who daily put, and are to this very second, place or have placed their lives on the line.  Please Sirs, let me know why, you feel it is ok to take from us, to cut back on what we were promised, because you consider it an “entitlement”, yet other entitlements are off limits.
To the citizens of this country, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity o serve and defend this great country. To the US Government thank you showing your gratitude for all that we did for you, time and time again. By stating it is my duty to give back so that others may take what they did not earn, and in a lot of cases do not want to earn.

I love this country and what it stands for, I will defend it to my death, gladly and without hesitation, all over again if asked.

God Bless America and those that have defended and those that continue to do so.

Leo P Leonard Jr. RMCS(SW) USN Retired
Richard W. Schuerch Jr. BTC USN Disabled Vet
Joseph J. LaPenna Jr. OSCS(SW) USN Retired

Veteran’s Day Open Thread

Just got to thinking about my father and grandfather for a moment.

I learned not too long back that my grandfather, all seven of his brothers and two of his sisters served in France during World War One (the sisters as nurses – as back in that uncivilized time those barbarians wouldn’t think of allowing a woman to go to the front lines to be blown to pieces by heavy artillery or eviscerated by a machine gun…they had some silly notion that it was precisely the duty of men to spare women from that.  I know; freakishly strange!).  One of his brothers had actually joined early – in contrast to the cowardice 50 years later, he had gone to Canada not to avoid service, but to join the Royal Flying Corps before the United States even entered the war (the cousin has a picture – all dressed up in scarf and leather helmet, ready to fly away in his Sopwith Camel, for all the world to see).  From what I understand, all 8 of the brothers were wounded in action – some of them severely, though all survived the war.  I think that explains the run of bad luck in the family for the past 100 years…Grandpa and his brothers used it all up in one shot.

My father’s tale is different – one of three brothers, but only dad was old enough to fight.  If 17 is “old enough”.  Talked grandma in to letting him go shortly after his 17th birthday in January of 1944.  Amazing that these days a 26 year old is considered a little kid who still needs mommy’s health insurance…at 17 my dad put his life in hock to the most fearsome of American military forces:  the United States Marine Corps.  No mommy to look after him on Saipan.  Wonder how he managed to take it?  His younger brother’s turn came in Korea.  My late uncle Mike said that he got his VA benefits at a little ridge called “Heartbreak”.

Take some time to remember our veterans today – and say a prayer for those still out there in harm’s way.

9/11 Open Thread

We pray, of course, that at least one adult has been monitoring the situation in Washington and we won’t have a replay of last year’s Benghazi debacle…though even if it is pure idiots in charge, perhaps we’ll be graced with peace on the theory that we were so humiliated last night with Obama’s boneheaded Syria policy that we deserve a cosmic break.

It is hard to believe that 12 years have passed since That Day – also sad to reflect that 12 years on, we’ve pretty much lost the segment of the war which started back then.  I’ve long thought – indeed, within weeks of 9/11, thought – that we were entering a Thirty Year’s War…that the battle our enemies brought to our shores in 2001 would not be ended swiftly or easily.  Never did I imagine in the face of such a horrific attack that a good number of my fellow Americans would prove willing to lose the war if that would result in changing an (R) for a (D) in office.  But, so it goes – a prophecy once said that the poison unleashed in Russia in 1917 would spread far and wide…and so it has, infecting us here in the United States to the point where we have “the worse the better” leftists just as Russia did…hoping for and provoking catastrophe because, as was once said, you should never let a crisis go to waste (and “waste” in their minds is “not gaining political advantage out of it”).

Still, with all that, the effects of the attack will continue on – and part of the continuation is the increasingly clarity emerging from the fog of delusion we lived in since the end of the First World War.  All those who think understand that our civilization was attacked on 9/11 – and, furthermore, that it isn’t just people flying planes in to buildings which are the problem.  Indeed, a good part of the enemy is found in our bathroom mirror each morning…each of us when we are greedy or base or cowardly contribute our mite to the ruin we see all around us.  But things are changing – a bit of the Founder’s spirit does live within us.  Old Hickory also now strides the land and is winning some surprising victories when issues are clarified and the people simply cannot ignore the truth.  Heck, even some of our leftists citizens are starting to understand that just because someone mouths leftist platitudes, he or she still might be a creep – a mere tool of Ruling Class corruption (we on the right figured it out longer ago – which is why we’ve crushed so many RINOs in the past four years).  Some times I even ponder whether we shall Occupy the Federal Reserve and set things straight?  Perhaps, perhaps – and all part of the battle to be won both at home and abroad.

Today, pause a moment to remember the dead – stay away from all bitterness and anger and remember even those who drove the planes in to the buildings were driven by lies.  Lies are at the root of all our problems – to a Christian, of course, the lies of the Enemy…but believer or not, it is lies which are the problem.  Lies drove planes in to buildings, and have done many other horrors.  So, remember the dead – and pledge upon their graves that the truth is what you’ll seek…what you’ll fight for and if necessary die for.  Because the truth shall, indeed, set us free…and, in the by and by, win the war for us, too.

UPDATE:  The “2 Million Bikers” showed up in force in DC…offering an excellent, peaceful response to the deliberate insult of the “Million Muslim March”.

UPDATE II:  In re: Putin’s insulting little op-ed in the NY Times – up yours, Vlad.  Sure, you danced rings around Bambi but there will come a US President who’ll put your contemptible Russian ass in a sling.  Count on it.