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They were people were just like you and me. They got up each day and lived their lives as Americans. They went to the same schools, churches, grocery stories and ate at the same restaurants. They smiled and laughed at our jokes. They listened to the same music and watched the same movies we did. They comforted us when we were sad and we looked up to them and admired them. They sat across from us at our dinner tables and living rooms and shared with us their hopes, dreams, secrets and aspirations. We loved them and the world was a little brighter because of them. They were our ancestors, our grandfathers, our parents, our siblings, our children, cousins, or maybe just our best friend. They are now gone. They are all missed.
For the families of lost service men and women nothing can replace the heavy loss felt and the empty chair at the table. These brave few served each other, and their country paying with their lives. Some had no choice and were drafted into their country’s service; some willingly answered the call, but each ended up serving something far greater.
It has been said that only the dead have seen the end of war. The world as it is still requires vigilance against tyranny and evil and some men and women still end up paying the ultimate price to keep the peace, and preserve the nation. The good book tells us that “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” It is good and right then they we have a national holiday to remember them.
Memorial Day is not about the political correctness of the conflicts with which these men and women lost their lives; history is the final judge of that. Today on this day we put aside our correctness; our righteous indignation and protests against war and all its causes. Today we just celebrate our loved ones and their tragic, final sacrifices made… and remember them with heartfelt gratitude.
In Victor David Hanson’s recent story for the National Review, he talks about how the political climate in today’s world resembles the early 20th century. At that time following WWI in rather quick succession you saw the fall of once great powerful empires; empires like Austro-Hungary, Kaiser Wilhelm’s Imperial Germany, the Ottoman Empire, and Czarist Russia. Due to inattention by the world’s leading governments they were then replaced by even stronger more ruthless empires such as the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, and Imperial Japan. The rise and fall of such empires and the cost to humanity in terms of suffering, property damage, and loss of life cannot be accurately measured nor can the cost be ignored and treated as if its irrelevant ancient history.
It was only through a monumental wholehearted national effort by Western democracies, at great cost and sacrifice by their military combatants and civilians, working in cooperation to meet the threat, did these oppressive regimes finally meet their end.
It is not by accident that we have not seen another global confrontation like WWI or WWII in seventy years. Its not because humanity has somehow become more civilized, far from it. Its just that global peace is obtained only through commitment to strength and not by appearing weak or being weak.
Hanson asserts that in today’s world we are seeing an equally volatile period in history just like the 1930’s and 1940’s largely due to American indifference and perceived weakness by our enemies. During Obama’s watch we have seen the rise of ISIS/ISIL almost immediately after we began withdrawing from Iraq. We see Iran’s subtle and not so subtle influence over the Middle East growing not to mention their appetite to obtain nuclear weapons and to destroy Israel at the right opportunity. As we withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban still assert power there. What is going to stop them from reclaiming what they lost, the shaky Afghan government? Power abhors a vacuum. We are seeing Putin’s Russia reassert its once death grip hold over all of Eastern Europe with Ukraine being its latest victim.
I believe President Obama believes its his mission to remove the USA from its position of authority and world leadership much to our great detriment and the whole world’s. Our withdrawal from the world stage, retreating if you will, will have very bad consequences for us and those nations that resist oppressive anti-Democratic, anti-American, despotic governments.
History has shown Evil does in fact exist in the world and to turn from it and ignore it, or appease it only encourages it to be more audacious, not less dangerous or less threatening. Appeasement only works for those being appeased. Failing for example to name the source of almost all of the current terrorist activity in the world today ” Islamic fundamentalism” (which is rooted in literal interpretation of the Koran), only encourages those fanatics. I think it would be better a few be offended than billions engaged in a global armed conflict.
A position that says let’s not care about what goes on beyond our borders and focus just on our problems here may seem like a good idea on the surface to some. I understand the arguments for isolation, less intervention and domestic focus as I too once held that position. However I think that only invites a very ugly future global confrontation when we will be much weaker to resist the very real threats to our way of life.
Some might want to convince themselves that the evil in today’s world is caused by USA’s inequities in life and our greedy corporations coupled with our intolerance to other cultures. I would argue show me where these other cultures are better or as tolerant. The truth is the world is a very biased, racist, and intolerant place and its those intolerant cultures and countries that are now posing the greatest threats to mankind.
I believe however that appeasement and disengagement is our President and some of his follower’s intention. Somehow he has convinced himself that downsizing our military and abandoning our allies, while simultaneously: supporting or appeasing Islamic-Fascist regimes; removing sanctions for tired old communist regimes like Cuba; permitting China and North Korea to engage in economic and cyber warfare against us daily; and allowing Russia to do what ever it wants without tangible negative consequences for them is somehow in our best interests.
Looking at the world today I really believe Obama appears feckless by design, he’s not that stupid like some would believe. His actions I believe are a portent of a much greater evil to come but that is another story.
For now the average American being comfortable, complacent and compliant with our government’s control over their lives while solely focused on themselves and their issues is not going to keep any of us safe or free. We must stay concerned and engaged on matters inside and outside of our country. We must elect leaders willing to uphold the law, and oppose those who would seek our destruction from within as well as from outside our borders. Those same leaders must resist evil where ever it is, for however long it takes and rally the citizens behind the cause. We need to be fully committed as a nation, and willing to sacrifice for the long haul, just like those Americans from an earlier generation did for only then can we hope to win and survive.
What I’m saying is an all in commitment is necessary with a resolve to take the fight wherever it leads us, to whatever country’s doorstep it may take us. We must resolve to win this war not just co-exist with it or we can expect to be at war forever.
Watching the events unfold all across America these past few weeks and especially in Ferguson, Missouri and in New York City over the death of Eric Garner I have to wonder what the civil rights movement leader Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. would have said about it. I think he would be appalled by the actions of so many, who claim to be seeking “justice” by burning down the towns and looting businesses, all the while professing moral outrage at what they perceive as rampant white racism.
He would feel remorse for the millions who choose to remain ignorant of the history, language, and culture. He would wonder why so many abandon their responsibilities to their children and why they so blatantly disrespect law and order. He would anguish at why so many black men end up in prison.
King fought peacefully for equality. What has evolved from that movement however I do not believe King could have possibly imagined and would have him questioning his own race’s actions not those of other Americans.
What is true is that no living person in America today has personally suffered from American slavery nor has anyone perpetrated it. The American Civil War ended 149 years ago and with it slavery. Time to move on. No more apologies nor reparations should be necessary.
The Civil Rights Act occurred 50 years ago. Blacks have the same rights as any other race in America. What purpose does it serve the black community of picking at the ugly scab of racism in America and perpetually claiming victim status?
Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Among the guests behind him is Martin Luther King, Jr.
Why are we still talking about race relations and having riots in the 21st century?
First off the black race must accept that it is the master of their own destiny and remove the comfortable shackles of “victimhood”. They must recognize they are ultimately responsible for their own advancement, education and choices in their lives regardless of the circumstances of their birth.
They must recognize they and they alone can reap the benefits or suffer the consequences of their life choices just like every other race of people who live here in America.
Those choices of who they associate with; what music they listen to; what movies/TV/internet sites they watch; what level of love and commitment to their spouses and children they have; their choices to stay in school; and what respect and love they have for their God, as well as for law and order of society have a profound impact on the black community.
When the black race can accept that they are not “owed” anything from anyone other than perhaps their love and need not be treated any differently than any other race, then they can begin to move forward and join the American culture.
The “entitlement/victim” mentality that permeates their culture is only destructive to them. They are in essence their own worst enemies, allowing themselves to be “enslaved” by their own false beliefs and perceptions.
“We want a society where people are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. This is what we mean by a moral society; not a society where the state is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the state.” — Margaret Thatcher
I believe many Americans want the same thing except the left. The left hated Thatcher in the UK and resorted to much of the same vile rhetoric they use against Sarah Palin in this country. They hate any woman who is strong willed, intelligent and conservative on issues.
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do.” Edward Everett Hale
Ronald Reagan once said at an address to the annual meeting of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce March 1961 “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
I think maybe Reagan was wrong. Extinction is probably a lot shorter than a generation away given today’s advances in communication where lies can be spread at light speed to reach the empty headed. Add to this the current geo-political climate, the economic instabilities of the US and the very real threats of terrorism and you have the threats of the 21st century. The founding fathers could not possibly have imagined or contemplated these threats more than two centuries ago, yet the very principles they set forth in government so long ago are the only reason I believe this country still survives and has not already succumbed to totalitarianism in one form or another. The principles of respect for the individual and his personal property, division of government and specific limitations on the Executive have stood the test of time and allowed generations to live in greater freedom than most others have ever enjoyed on the planet.
Edward Everett Hale was a 19th century American author, historian and Unitarian clergyman who wrote a story called “The Man Without a Country” first appearing in The Atlantic Monthly in 1863. In the story a lieutenant is found guilty of treason and after proclaiming he never wanted to hear another thing about the US, he is given the unusual sentence of being kept aboard US warships the remainder of his life and never to be permitted to set foot on US soil again and never permitted to learn any more news good or bad about his former country. His guards and no one else are permitted to speak about the country to him ever again. The man after many long years traveling from ship to ship and without a homeland and starved for news of it, learns to love his country but far too late. He becomes so distraught that he laments to a young man just before his death: “Remember, boy, that behind all these men … behind officers and government, and people even, there is the Country Herself, your Country, and that you belong to her as you belong to your own mother. Stand by Her, boy, as you would stand by your mother, if those devils there had got hold of her to-day !..” At the time Hale wrote this our country was deeply divided and fighting for its very survival in the Civil War. Hale was promoting the idea of patriotism and the preservation of the union. The story resonated with many Americans.
Today with so many threats to our lives from outside our borders we fail all too often to see the very real threats that exist from within them. I’m not speaking of terror cells living within the US, greedy Wall Street corporate raiders, or illegal immigrants for that matter sponging off the rest of us taxpayers. I am talking about all those Americans so eager and willing to just surrender their personal responsibilities and with that their freedom, in exchange for the false promises made by politicians, of greater safety and security. The promises of Big Government never end and neither do the costs to fund them. We must refuse to allow our fellow Americans to steer us to extinction. For each new burdening regulation and perversion of the Constitution; for each new usurpation of power by the President or the courts we allow for our own good or for extra security and safety; we surrender that which made us different, exceptional, and free. Piece by piece we are creating our own demise by growing this government leviathan until some day we may be the ones looked upon as that traitor and forced to live without a country, telling our children’s children what it was like to live in a free country for they will not know of any and their history books will criticize it as dangerous.
We are fighting to not be that man, our home and way of life is under siege by fools and power hungry men and women. What are you going to do about it?
“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” -Samuel Adams
One of America’s first rebel rousers and instigator of the American Revolution, Samuel Adams, was a vocal critic of British policy towards the colonies and its taxation specifically. Adams vehemently opposed Britain’s Stamp Act of 1765 and Adams played a vital part in organizing the original Boston Tea Party, December 16, 1773.
Samuel Adams, second cousin to John Adams the country’s 2nd President of the USA, was instrumental to the American independence movement. He was a religious man and fervent revolutionary who would go on to be one of the fifty six signers of the Declaration of Independence. Adams in his political career served as Massachusetts state legislator; delegate to the Continental Congress, and later after the revolutionary war would become governor of Massachusetts.
“It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.”- Samuel Adams
The time was June 1938. America was still reeling from years of economic calamity brought on by the Great Depression. War was also in the wind. The beginnings of the darkness that would soon spread across multiple continents and cost millions their lives had already fully metastasized in Europe and far off places like Nanking, China. America’s hope of staying out of a second world conflict looked very grim.
Against this back drop two Jewish immigrants living in blue collar Cleveland, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, struggling to make ends meet and dreaming of using their talents someday, stumble upon an idea for a comic book serial. Siegel is later credited with saying that one night while looking up at the stars he imagined a powerful hero that looked out for those in trouble. A savior if you will. From that germ, the idea of Superman was born and in June 1938 was introduced to the American public, a public desperate for heroes and someone or something to look out for them.
To Siegel and Shuster both left leaning immigrants, Superman in early serial comic editions took on the role as social activist fighting against business corruption and dirty politicians. The character would later see greater notoriety not in comic books, but in radio broadcasts. By the 1940’s and 1950’s Superman began personifying the ideal American: quiet, humble, mild mannered, but with strong fortitude and desirable character traits like being truthful and just. It also didn’t hurt that he could fly and was virtually invincible.
Through the decades Superman’s mantra would change little. His beliefs in truth, justice, and tolerance could easily have been said to be the ideal “American Way.” An America where people do what’s morally right, believe in a system of laws that are just and not arbitrary, and are tolerant of all races and cultures.
Maybe that America never really existed, but it is a hopeful vision. Today as they did in Siegel and Shuster’s time, people look to government as the answer to all their problems. Back then it was Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Today President Obama could easily be identified by some as the personification of the superhero in red cape, who promises to stamp out injustice and corruption, intolerance, feeds the poor and provides for the uninsured. Superman was fiction then and is fiction now.
America needs it heroes, but perhaps instead of new heroes dressed in business suits, making speeches, and promising the stars, we just need to look further back in time. Maybe we need to try and reconnect to an older group of heroes than Superman. We need to look to the lives and lessons learned from super men who founded this country more than 200 years ago, or better still one Superman who was hung on a cross more than 2000 years ago and came back from the dead.
When the federal government spends more each year than it collects in tax revenues, it has three choices: It can raise taxes, print money, or borrow money. While these actions may benefit politicians, all three options are bad for average Americans. -Ron Paul
Where did it all begin?
One of the most reviled of all US Federal agencies is the dreaded IRS or Internal Revenue Service. This agency created to help fund the US Federal Government’s never ending spending appetite has its roots in rebellion. In early 1861 President Abraham Lincoln, looking at the imminent secession of Southern states and the loss of their lucrative seaports, began looking at ways to make up lost revenue. Lincoln made inquiries of his cabinet members Edward Bates, Salmon Chase, and Gideon Welles wanting to know if he had the constitutional authority to collect duties on goods and services as well as import tariffs and property taxes. The end result was the Revenue Act of 1861 passed on August 5th 1861 and the first federal income tax statute of the United States. The income tax placed a 3% tax on all individuals whose annual incomes were above $800 per year. By 1862 however realizing the war was not going to be a short affair, the Lincoln administration passed of the Revenue Act of 1862 which established for the first time an Office of the Commissioner of Revenue. It also levied excise taxes on everyday goods and services and established the first graduated or progressive tax system in the US which separated citizens into multiple categories and taxed them based upon their abilities to pay. As the years would pass the revenue generated from this law was not enough to pay the burdensome debts the war was amassing and subsequent legislation would need to be passed. After the Civil War and ten years after the original income tax law was passed the largely unpopular law was repealed, only to be revived once more by Congress in 1894. The subsequent year saw the Supreme Court rule the law unconstitutional, based upon the fact that the income tax was a direct tax not apportioned according to the population of each state. In 1909 President Taft would recommend Congress propose a constitutional amendment that would give the government the power to tax incomes without apportioning the burden among the states in line with population. In 1913 Delaware became the 36th and last state needed to ratify the 16th Amendment which established the federal government’s authority to enact income tax.
All governments throughout world history have levied taxes on its citizens to help pay off debts accrued by war and or other expenditures. Our country is no different and at times has had tax rates as high as 77% of income. Image that, 77 cents for every dollar earned was going to the government. That’s simply outrageous. If we allow our leaders to keep spending money like they are doing now we may well see tax rates that high again.
This is why it is imperative now upon all our citizens to understand the implications of Lincoln’s legacy, the establishment of the federal income tax system, and all that it entails. We are trusting our elected officials with our money and should they continue on the deficit spending track there will be dire consequences for all of us, to include higher taxes.
In my opinion we cannot afford to maintain global hegemony for much longer. We simply do not have the revenue to be the world’s beat cop, and defender of the free world. It’s time for the other nations to pick up some the slack.
It’s time to win the war for peace as we cannot afford to wage war in perpetuity. No nation can do that and survive.
We need to look at ending entitlement programs that do not change people’s lives for the long term. Investment in education and skill training instead of extending unemployment benefits for example.
We need to change our foreign policy so that it’s not so reliant on dollar diplomacy. We cannot afford to keep giving billions and billions in aid to foreign nations, some that do not even like us or have the same values.
Our leaders need to represent WE the People and not spend our hard earned money that the IRS is so hard at work taking away from us.