Profound Thoughts

From time to time I have come across or been sent some incredible writings, poems, etc. that just beg for publication. I have collected some of these and have published them here for your enjoyment. Some have been written by friends and others by strangers, but in all cases they are worthy of learning.

If you have a favorite monologue or poem that you think would fit in here please send it to me for my review and I may include it.

This page is fairly long so you might want to print it out.  Other than the public domain works all of these works are copyrighted by the author 

| 2010-03-21 A Day That Will Live in Infamy |

| Who are the Luckiest | Benghazi |

| No Enemies | Concord Hymn | Invictus | A letter to the Government - "You're Not the Boss of Me" |

| Saxons | The Wrath of the Awakened Saxon | Beer for My Horses | Brown Bess
| Twentieth (Twenty First) Century Politics in Perspective
| " Brothers" | I am a Gun Owner | Why Socialism Will Fail |

| The Value of Time | The Gun is Civilization  | The Last Prayer of Eli The Haircut |

A Current Problem | March of Cambreadth | Death of a Soldier | Character |

| The Situation | The Sea | A Visitor from the Past | On Defense | Concord Hymn |

| Two Things | Dane-geld | Privacy | The Lure of the Tropics | The Bequest | Ode to the Rifle |

| The Quest  | The Quitter | Grandpa's Lesson | Walking Rifleman | Tribute 1998 | The Flag | Hold! |

| The Ghost From Valley ForgeWhy? | The Gods of the Copybook | Cooper vs. Terrorism

| A Nation of Cowards | Samurai | Freedom Flies In Your heart Like An Eagle | A Hunter's Half-life |

| Thomas Moore | Ode to the Media | The Goblin and the Raven | What I Have Learned From The Twentieth Century |

| The Parable of the Sheep | Integrity | The Monsters and the Weak | I Will Fight | The Ten Truths of Tyranny |

| The Old Man Next Door | A Civilized Act | Why I Keep and Bear Arms |

| The Terror and Slaughter Has Begun | Character Flaws | An American's Creed |

Who Are the Luckiest Jews, Blacks and Latinos?
By Dennis Prager

"We are either a United people, or we are not. If the former, let us, in all maters of general concern act as a nation, which have national objects to promote, and a national character to support. If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending to it." —George Washington

At The City College of New York in the late 1930s, my father, an Orthodox Jew, wrote his senior class thesis on anti-Semitism in America. He delineated common realities of the era, such as Jews' admission to law firms, country clubs and colleges being denied or restricted, and various other manifestations of popular and institutional anti-Semitism.

Yet he taught his two sons — my older brother and me — to believe that we, as Americans, were the luckiest Jews in Jewish history.

With the obvious exception of Jews living in Israel, he was right. I can state this with some authority, having written a book on anti-Semitism and taught Jewish history at Brooklyn College.

Despite the existence of anti-Semites and anti-Semitism in America, American Jews are indeed among the luckiest Jews in Jewish history. Even with the re-establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, many more Israeli Jews have moved to America than American Jews have moved to Israel. This is not a reflection on Israel, which is a country with a high quality of life that is an unparalleled blessing in Jewish life; rather, it is a reflection on America and how good it is for Jews.

Likewise, despite the existence of racists and racism in America, black Americans are among the luckiest blacks in the world. A distinguished black journalist, Keith Richburg of The Washington Post, fully acknowledged the horror and cruelties of slavery. Nevertheless, he thanked God his ancestors made it possible for him to be born and live in America, not Africa. After covering Africa for The Washington Post, Richburg put it this way in his newspaper: "Let me drop the charade and put it as simply as I can: There but for the grace of God go I."

Somewhere, sometime, maybe 400 years ago, an ancestor of mine whose name I'll never know was shackled in leg irons, kept in a dark pit ... and then put with thousands of other Africans into the crowded, filthy cargo hold of a ship for the long and treacherous journey across the Atlantic. Many of them died along the way, of disease, of hunger. But my ancestor survived ... He was ripped away from his country and his family, forced into slavery somewhere in the Caribbean. Then one of his descendants somehow made it up to South Carolina, and one of those descendants, my father, made it to Detroit during the Second World War, and there I was born, 36 years ago. And if that original ancestor hadn't been forced to make that horrific voyage, I would not have been standing there that day on the Rusumo Falls bridge, a journalist — a mere spectator — watching the bodies glide past me like river logs. ... And so I thank God my ancestor made that voyage. ... I empathize with Africa's pain. I recoil in horror at the mindless waste of human life, and human potential. I salute the gallantry and dignity and sheer perseverance of the Africans. But most of all, I feel secretly glad that my ancestor made it out —" because, now, I am not one of them." (italics added)

That is why millions of Africans prefer to live in America than anywhere else. That is why more than two million Africans immigrated to the United States in the recent past (compared with the 388,000 who came as slaves). Unlike the many Americans — black and white — who be believe the leftist libel about America oppressing blacks and all other nonwhites, the millions of Africans who want to come to America know how lucky they would be to be a black in America, as do the millions who already live here. They know they are, or would be, among the luckiest blacks in the world.

And what about Latin Americans? Like American Jews and American blacks, they are among the luckiest Latinos in the world. How could they or anyone else deny this given the fact that tens of millions of Latin Americans left their families, friends, culture, language and very homes to live in America? And given the fact that tens of millions more ache to do the same? What kind of lie must a person embrace to flee to a peaceful, prosperous country whose people treat him generously and beautifully and not think he is lucky to live there?

And, finally, there are the many white Americans — people born and raised in America, many of whose ancestors also fled war, poverty and oppression in Europe — who not only deny how lucky they are to live America but also vilify the founders of America who made their blessed life possible. Their attitude transcends mere lying; it enters the realm of pathology.

Via Patriot Post. Used with permission



2010-03-21 A Day That Will Live in Infamy.

I have voted Republican since I was old enough to participate in the process, but have also recognized the deterioration and compromise of the party's principles post-Reagan. Therefore, in the past, I have voted for the person that I felt best demonstrated a commitment to building and preserving what I viewed as American principles.  But after yesterday, I have this to say If you are a Democrat, or intend to continue supporting the Democratic party, or if you can even partially support what the Democrats have done and are doing to this country, you are the ENEMY. You are part of the problem.

The actions of the Democrats in congress over the past several years are an insult to our founding fathers. Those who condone their actions are either cowards or openly socialist. The Democrats (and those who tolerate or support them) are insulting to the generations of those that have since worked to build this country and those that have served and sometimes died to preserve what this country used to stand for. And their actions yesterday serve to rob my children and my grandchildren of the opportunity to ever understand what a great country used to look like and feel like.  I ashamed of what we, as American people have selected to "represent" us.  As the cryptic OSS messages of WWII fame would say, "The chair is against the wall". My "line in the sand" has been drawn.

If you are not interested in taking this country back, then you are THE ENEMY.  If you think what happed yesterday is okay, then you are THE ENEMY.  If you ever stand by and allow the continued deterioration of our God-given rights, or the bastardization of the Constitution, then you are THE ENEMY.  And no amount of rhetoric, appeal to "reach across the aisle", or smoke and mirrors will ever change that opinion. 

Nor will it sway me in my determination to do whatever it takes to defeat THE ENEMY.

The above was written by a friend of mine and posted here with his permission.  It echoes my sentiments exactly.


by an anonymous Marine Corps officer

We're the battling boys of Benghazi,
No fame, no glory, no paparazzi.
Just a fiery death in a blazing hell,
Defending our country we loved so well.

It wasn't our job, but we answered the call,
Fought to the Consulate and scaled the wall.
We pulled twenty countrymen from the jaws of fate
Led them to safety and stood at the gate.

Just the two of us and foes by the score,
But we stood fast to bar the door.
Three calls for reinforcement, but all were denied,
So we fought and we fought and we fought 'til we died.

We gave our all for our Uncle Sam,
But Barack and Hillary didn't give a damn.
Just two dead Seals who carried the load
No thanks to us...we were just ...

... Bumps In The Road.


No Enemies
Charles MacKay (1814-1887)

You have no enemies, you say?
Alas, my friend, the boast is poor.
He who has mingled in the fray
Of duty, that the brave endure,
Must have made foes.
If you have none,
Small is the work that you have done.
You’ve hit no traitor on the hip,
You’ve dashed no cup from perjured lip,
You’ve never turned the wrong to right
You’ve been a coward in the fight.


Concord Hymn
By Ralph Waldo Emerson

(Sung at the Completion of the Battle Monument, July 4, 1837)

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.


The Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death Speech
by Patrick Henry
St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia
March 23, 1775.

MR. PRESIDENT: No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfil the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves, and the House? Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these war-like preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled, that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask, gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free² if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending²if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable²and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace²but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!


by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul.


by Unknown

The Saxon is not like us Normans. His manners are not so polite.
But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice and right.
When he stands like an ox in the furrow – with his sullen set eyes on your own,
And grumbles, ‘This isn’t fair dealing,’ my son, leave the Saxon alone.


The Wrath of the Awakened Saxon
by Rudyard Kipling

It was not part of their blood,
It came to them very late,
With long arrears to make good,
When the Saxon began to hate.

They were not easily moved,
They were icy -- willing to wait
Till every count should be proved,
Ere the Saxon began to hate.

Their voices were even and low.
Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show
When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not preached to the crowd.
It was not taught by the state.
No man spoke it aloud
When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not suddenly bred.
It will not swiftly abate.
Through the chilled years ahead,
When Time shall count from the date
That the Saxon began to hate.


Beer For My Horses (Lyrics)
by Scotty Emerick and Toby Keith

Well a man come on the 6 o'clock news
Said somebody's been shot, somebody's been abused
Somebody blew up a building
Somebody stole a car
Somebody got away
Somebody didn't get too far yeah
They didn't get too far

Grandpappy told my pappy, back in my day, son
A man had to answer for the wicked that he done
Take all the rope in Texas
Find a tall oak tree, round up all of them bad boys
Hang them high in the street for all the people to see

Justice is the one thing you should always find
You got to saddle up your boys
You got to draw a hard line
When the gun smoke settles we'll sing a victory tune
We'll all meet back at the local saloon
We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces
Singing whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

We got too many gangsters doing dirty deeds
We've got too much corruption, too much crime in the streets
It's time the long arm of the law put a few more in the ground
Send 'em all to their maker and he'll settle 'em down
You can bet he'll set 'em down 'cause



Brown Bess
The Army Musket--1700-1815
By Rudyard Kipling

 In the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
  Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise --
An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
  With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes --
At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

Though her sight was not long and her weight was not small,
  Yet her actions were winning, her language was clear; 
And everyone bowed as she opened the ball
  On the arm of some high-gaitered, grim grenadier.
Half Europe admitted the striking success
Of the dances and routs that were given by Brown Bess.
When ruffles were turned into stiff leather stocks,
  And people wore pigtails instead of perukes,
Brown Bess never altered her iron-grey locks.
  She knew she was valued for more than her looks.
"Oh, powder and patches was always my dress,
And I think am killing enough," said Brown Bess.
So she followed her red-coats, whatever they did,
  From the heights of Quebec to the plains of Assaye,
From Gibraltar to Acre, Cape Town and Madrid, 
  And nothing about her was changed on the way;
(But most of the Empire which now we possess 
Was won through those years by old-fashioned Brown Bess.)
In stubborn retreat or in stately advance,
  From the Portugal coast to the cork-woods of Spain,
She had puzzled some excellent Marshals of France
  Till none of them wanted to meet her again:
But later, near Brussels, Napoleon --no less--
Arranged for a Waterloo ball with Brown Bess.
She had danced till the dawn of that terrible day --
   She danced till the dusk of more terrible night,
And before her linked squares his battalions gave way,
   And her long fierce quadrilles put his lancers to flight:
And when his gilt carriage drove off in the press,   
"I have danced my last dance for the world!" said Brown Bess.
If you go to Museums --there's one in Whitehall--
  Where old weapons are shown with their names writ beneath,
You will find her, upstanding, her back to the wall,
  As stiff as a ramrod, the flint in her teeth.
And if ever we English had reason to bless
Any arm save our mothers', that arm is Brown Bess!



To the men that have touched my life.  Here's to you!!

A real Brother walks with you when the rest of the world walks on you.

Be the kind of man that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil
says "Oh Crap, he's up!"

Brother, life is too short to wake up with regrets.  So love the people who treat you right.

Forgive the ones who don't--just because you can.

Believe everything happens for a reason.

If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands.  If it changes your life, let it.

Take a few minutes to think before you act when you're mad.

Forgive quickly.

God never said life would be easy, He just promised it would be worth it.


I am a Gun Owner

I am a gun owner. I am a proud advocate of the unalienable civil right to keep and bear arms.

I am a gun owner. I will not be vilified, demonized, or marginalized by those who would seek to disarm me and leave me defenseless against violent criminals and tyrannical governments.

I am a gun owner. I advocate individual responsibility. I realize my life is ultimately my own, and that neither the police nor any other party is likely to save me if I'm attacked by a rapist, murderer, or other criminal.  I refuse to be a victim. I will not leave my family unprotected.

I am a gun owner. I realize that guns are inanimate objects, which can be used for good or for ill. But disarmament laws affect mostly honest, law-abiding citizens, not the criminals. I will look the purveyors of pseudo-scientific statistical lies in the eye when I defend my rights. I will not cower before those who harbor bigotry against me.

I am a gun owner. No, I don't believe the world should operate by the "law of the jungle," nor do I harbor suspicions that every person might be a criminal. Those are just stereotypes in which some take comfort as they seek to discriminate against me. Nor am I a utopian. I don't believe the world will be safe from criminals just because the anti-gun lobby passes legislation declaring "Gun Free Zones" and the like. Not only do disarmament laws not achieve their desired results, but they lead to unintended bad consequences of making honest people more prone to criminal attack. The more people exercise their right to keep and bear arms, the safer is society and the more we can forget about crime and get on with the business of living our lives.

I am a gun owner. I will not let those who would strip me of my rights forget that I keep them safer, too, because criminals don't know which person might be armed.

I am a gun owner. I will stand tall and defend the American heritage of freedom for which our forefathers pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.


Why Socialism Will Fail
unknown Author

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before but had once failed an entire class.

That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism. All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B.

The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.  

The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Could not be any simpler than that.


The Value of Time
The origin of this is unknown,

To realize
The value of ten years
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.

To realize
The value of four years
Ask a graduate.

To realize
The value of one year
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.

To realize
The value of nine months
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

To realize
The value of one month
Ask a mother
Who has given birth to a premature baby.

To realize
The value of one week
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize
The value of one minute
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize
The value of one second
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have.
You will treasure it even more when
You can share it with someone special.


"The Gun Is Civilization"
(Attributed to various sources)

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another reason and force.  If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force.  Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion.  Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force.  You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.

The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. T he gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations.  These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job.  That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.

People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society.  A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury.  This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.

People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst.  The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.

The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter.  It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone.  The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

It removes force from the equation... and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

So the greatest civilization is one where all citizens are equally armed and can only be persuaded, never forced.


The Last Prayer of Eli
From the movie, Book of Eli

Dear Lord, Thank you for giving me the strength and the conviction to complete the task you entrusted to me.

Thank you for guiding me straight and true through the many obstacles in my path, and for keeping me resolute when all around seemed lost.

Thank you for your protection and your many signs along the way.

Thank you for any good that I may have done, I'm so sorry about the bad. 

Thank you for the friend I made. Please watch over her as you watched over me. 

Thank you for finally allowing me to rest. I'm so very tired, but I go now to my rest at peace. I fought the good fight, I finished the race, I kept the faith.


The Haircut

One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut.

After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, 'I cannot accept money from you , I'm doing community service this week.' The florist was pleased and left the shop.

When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from you , I'm doing community service this week.' The cop was happy and left the shop.

The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Then a Congressman came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I can not accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The Congressman was very happy and left the shop.

The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen Congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut.

And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it.


2000 years ago . . .  A Current Problem
From The History of the Han Dynasty, 124 B.C.

"The Imperial Chancellor, Kung sun Hung, petitioned the Emperor, saying "The people should not be allowed to possess bows or crossbows. When 10 bandits bend their crossbows to the full, a hundred officials dare not advance .... If the people are not permitted to possess bows or crossbows, then thieves and robbers will carry only short weapons, and when 2 groups carrying short weapons meet, the larger number will be victorious .... In your subject's humble opinion, it will be advantageous to forbid the people to carry bows or crossbows."

When the Emperor sent down this suggestion to his council for discussion an elder, Shou wang, replied, saying "Your subject has heard that when the ancients made the 5 kinds of weapons, it was not for the purpose of killing each other, but to prevent tyranny and to punish evil. When people lived in peace, these weapons were used to control the fierce animals and to be prepared against emergencies. If there were military affairs, then these weapons were used to set up defense and to form battle arrays ....

"Your subject has heard that the Sage Rulers brought the people together and practiced shooting to demonstrate instructions, and he has never heard any prohibition on bows or arrows.

"Furthermore, the cause for prohibition is that the bandits use them to attack and rob. The crime of attacking and robbing is subject to death; yet that they have not been stopped is because the great lawbreakers do not care, indeed, to avoid severe punishment. Should the suggested prohibition be enforced, your subject fears that wicked persons will still carry weapons and the officials will not be able to stop them from carrying them, and that the good people who keep their weapons for self defense will encounter the prohibition of the law. This will make the power of robbers exclusive and take away the means of defense from the people . . . ."

When the petition was presented, the Son of Heaven questioned the Imperial Chancellor, Hung, who promptly withdrew his suggestion.


March of Cambreadth
Music & lyrics by heather Alexander

Axes flash, broadsword swing,
Shining armour's piercing ring
Horses run with polished shield,
Fight Those Bastards till They Yield
Midnight mare and blood red roan,
Fight to Keep this Land Your Own
Sound the horn and call the cry,
How Many of Them Can We Make Die!

Follow orders as you're told,
Make Their Yellow Blood Run Cold
Fight until you die or drop,
A Force Like Ours is Hard to Stop
Close your mind to stress and pain,
Fight till You're No Longer Sane
Let not one damn cur pass by,
How Many of Them Can We Make Die!

Guard your women and children well,
Send These Bastards Back to Hell
We'll teach them the ways of war,
They Won't Come Here Any More
Use your shield and use your head,
Fight till Every One is Dead
Raise the flag up to the sky,
How Many of Them Can We Make Die!

Dawn has broke, the time has come,
Move Your Feet to a Marching Drum
We'll win the war and pay the toll,
We'll Fight as One in Heart and Soul
Midnight mare and blood red roan,
Fight to Keep this Land Your Own
Sound the horn and call the cry,
How Many of Them Can We Make Die!


You can hear the music at
Click on the "loudspeaker icon.


Author Unkown

He was getting old and paunchy 
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past. 

Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one. 

And 'tho sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke. 

But we'll hear his tales no longer,
For ol' Bob has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer
For a Soldier died today. 

He won't be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way; 
And the world won't note his passing,
'Tho a Soldier died today. 

When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young
But the passing of a Soldier
Goes unnoticed, and unsung. 

Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man? 

Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life? 

The politician's stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives. 

While the ordinary Soldier,
Who offered up his all, 
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.

It's so easy to forget them,
For it is so many times
That our Bobs and Jims and Johnnys,
Went to battle, but we know, 

It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever waffling stand? 

Or would you want a Soldier--
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Soldier, 
Who would fight until the end. 

He was just a common Soldier,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his like again.

For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start. 

If we cannot do him honor
While he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage
At the ending of his days. 

Perhaps just a simple headline
In the paper that might say:



The ancient Greeks reduced righteous character to the sum of four virtues.  This is the precious heritage of Western Civilization. and defines the term "honorable man"

(1) Fortitude, strength of mind, courage
(2) Temperance, self-discipline, self control
(3) Prudence, practical wisdom, righteousness
(4) Justice, your word is your bond, knowing right from wrong.




 Two things move under this night sky
 that Thing that came to murder, and I

 He, released from prison to roam,
 and I, peaceably headed home

 He carries a knife and drug-addled sense,
 seeing prey, without defense

 I detect movement, intuitive fear
 and put my hand to pistol near

 Worried, alone in that gloomy blight
 above the fear, I prepare to fight

 He sees my pistol and makes no sound,
 fleeing to hunt less risky ground

 No predator dares go hunting for me
 for I am armed, and that makes me free

 I holster my pistol and slowly stand down
 heading, once-again, towards home in my dark, sleeping town

 For there are two things that, this night, shall not die
 my Right to be Armed, and I!


The Situation
by Oleg Volk

Many a thug is thriving
Who preys upon fellow man
Their victims, unable or cowed
Have not slayed them in self-defense

Many abusive officials, mobsters and other scum
Live comfortably and safely despite the evil they've done
Those whom they keep in fear pay tribute and not complain
As petty tyrants' replacements would act pretty much the same

Conscription and heavy taxes -- enslavement by other name
Are inflicted by bigger tyrants, federal and state
Their subjects just grin and bear without doing a thing
Though for such offences people used to depose kings

We rationalize surrender, pay Dane geld without complaint
Giving brigands drunken with power the fig leaf of our consent
They deserve altogether different, hemp rope and speedy lead
For ogres who've tasted man flesh won't quit until they are dead


The Sea
Herman Melville

When beholding the tranquil beauty and brilliancy of the ocean's skin, one forgets the tiger heart that pants beneathit; and would not willingly remember that this velvet paw but conceals a remorseless fang.


A Visitor from the Past
(Author Unknown)

I had a dream the other night, that I didn't understand.
A figure walking through the mist, with a flintlock in his hand.
His clothes were torn and dirty, as he stood there by my bed.
He took off his three-cornered hat, and speaking low, he said

"We fought a revolution to secure our Liberty.
We wrote the Constitution, as a shield from tyranny.
For future generations, this legacy we gave,
In this, the Land of the Free, and Home of the Brave.

"The Freedom we secured for you, we hoped you'd always keep,
But tyrants labored endlessly while your parents were asleep.
Your freedom gone, your courage lost, you're no more than a slave
In this, the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

"You buy permits to travel, and permits to own a gun,
Permits to start a business, or to build a place for one.
On land that you believe that you own, you pay a yearly rent,
Although you have no voice in choosing how the moneys' spent.

"Your children must attend a school that doesn't educate.
Your Christian values can't be taught, according to the state.
You read about the current news, in a regulated press.
You pay a tax you do not owe, to please the I.R.S.

"Your money is no longer made of Silver or of Gold.
You trade wealth for paper, so your life can be controlled.
You pay for crimes that make our Nation, turn from God in shame.
You've taken Satan's number, as you've traded in your name.

"You've given government control to those who do you harm.
So they can padlock churches, and steal the family farm.
And keep our country deep in debt, put men of God in jail,
Harass your fellow countrymen, while corrupted courts prevail.

"Your public servants don't uphold the solemn oath they've sworn.
Your daughters visit doctors, so their children won't be born.
Your leaders ship artillery, and guns to foreign shores,
And send your sons to slaughter, fighting other people's wars.

"Can you regain the freedom for which we fought and died?
Or don't you have the courage, or the faith to stand with pride?
Are there no more values for which you'll fight to save?
Or do you wish your children, to live in fear and be a slave?

"Sons of the Republic, arise and take a stand!
Defend the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land!
Preserve our Great Republic, and each GOD-Given Right!
And pray to GOD to keep the torch of Freedom burning bright!"

As I awoke, he vanished, in the mist from whence he came.
His words were true, we are not Free; we have ourselves to blame.
For even now as tyrants trample each God-Given Right,
We only watch and tremble, too afraid to stand and fight.

If he stood by your bedside, in a dream while you're asleep,
And wondered what remained of our Rights that he fought to keep,
What would be your answer, if he called out from the grave
"Is this still the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?"


Learning to Shoot
By GySgt David Schmitt, USMC(Ret)

To the tune of the Pink Floyd song "Learning to Fly"

Out in the distance a silhouette of black.
Beyond the point of no turning back.
A shot of fancy on a wind swept field.
Standing alone my senses real.

This fatal attraction is holding me fast,
How can I escape its irresistible grasp?

Can't keep my eye from the silhouette guy
Tongue tied and twisted, just a range bound misfit, I.

Fog is forming on the lens of my scope,
Unheeded warnings, I though I'd though of everything.
No impact spotter to guide my shot home.
Magazine is empty, I turn to stone.

A soul in tension, committed to this shot
Prone position and I'm feeling hot.


Instrumental with background noise of a rifle range (e.g.. "Shooter this is
your final stage of fire. One shot, 1000 yards, wind is out of the north
northwest at 15 knots. Lock and load, etc, etc")

Above the planet on a wing and a prayer,
My match projectile, a vapor trail in the empty air.
Below the clouds I watch my bullet fly,
Out of the corner of my watering eye.

An X unveiled by the morning light,
has sent this soul through the roof of the night.
There's not sensation to compare with this
Suspended animation, a state of bliss.



On Defense
From 365 Tao -- Daily Meditations
by Deng Ming-Dao

"Demons who enter your circle must be pushed out

"No matter what world you walk in--office, school, temple, prison, or the streets--there is an underworld populated with demons. These are people who are avaricious, aggressive, sadistic, and cynical. They not only take advantage of others without compunction, they delight in it. They find pleasure in seeing others suffer.

"The why of it cannot be answered. There is only the fact, with no metaphysical meaning or other ramifications. It is not karma, it is not fate. If these people decide to attack you, it is circumstance. You must fight or be mowed down.

"Compassion and humility may be among the most treasured of human virtues, but they are not useful in conflict. A beautiful gold statue of your most adored god is a treasure, but you would not use it as a weapon. Virtue is to be valued in the proper context; only a sword will do in battle. 

"Whether an attack is physical--assault, rape, murder--or whether it is mental--business intrigues, emotional abuse--you must be prepared. It is best to prepare for conflict by learning as much self-defense as possible. You will not become a bully or a monster, but instead, you will learn that you can respond to any situation. If you are never attacked, that will be wonderful. Training will still help you work out your fears, inhibitions, and anxieties. In the case of conflict, no one, not even a veteran, is ever sure that they will come out alive from a confrontation. but they resolve to go in there and give themselves a fighting chance. This in itself is a triumph over evil."

With thanks to Ric Wyckoff


Concord Hymn
Ralph Waldo Emerson

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, are sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.



(A.D. 980-1016)
by Rudyard Kipling

It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation,
To call upon a neighbour and to say—
"We invaded you last night—we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say—
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we’ve proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray,
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say—

"We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that plays it is lost!"


The Eternal Value of Privacy
Copyright © 2006, Bruce Schneier
Used with permission

The most common retort against privacy advocates -- by those in favor of ID checks, cameras, databases, data mining and other wholesale surveillance measures -- is this line "If you aren't doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?"

Some clever answers:

"If I'm not doing anything wrong, then you have no cause to watch me." 

"Because the government gets to define what's wrong, and they keep changing the definition." 

"Because you might do something wrong with my information." 

My problem with quips like these -- as right as they are -- is that they accept the premise that privacy is about hiding a wrong. It's not. Privacy is an inherent human right, and a requirement for maintaining the human condition with dignity and respect.

Two proverbs say it best "Quis custodiet custodes ipsos?" ("Who watches the watchers?") and "Absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Cardinal Richelieu understood the value of surveillance when he famously said, "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." Watch someone long enough, and you'll find something to arrest--or just blackmail--with.

Privacy is important because without it, surveillance information will be abused to peep, to sell to marketers and to spy on political enemies--whoever they happen to be at the time.  Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we're doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance.

We do nothing wrong when we make love or go to the bathroom. We are not deliberately hiding anything when we seek out private places for reflection or conversation. We keep private journals, sing in the privacy of the shower, and write letters to secret lovers and then burn them. Privacy is a basic human need.

A future in which privacy would face constant assault was so alien to the framers of the Constitution that it never occurred to them to call out privacy as an explicit right. Privacy was inherent to the nobility of their being and their cause. Of course being watched in your own home was unreasonable. Watching at all was an act so unseemly as to be inconceivable among gentlemen in their day. You watched convicted criminals, not free citizens. You ruled your own home. It's intrinsic to the concept of liberty.

For if we are observed in all matters, we are constantly under threat of correction, judgment, criticism, even plagiarism of our own uniqueness. We become children, fettered under watchful eyes, constantly fearful that--either now or in the uncertain future -- patterns we leave behind will be brought back to implicate us, by whatever authority has now become focused upon our once-private and innocent acts. We lose our individuality, because everything we do is observable and recordable.

How many of us have paused during conversation in the past four-and-a-half years, suddenly aware that we might be eavesdropped on? Probably it was a phone conversation, although maybe it was an e-mail or instant-message exchange or a conversation in a public place. Maybe the topic was terrorism, or politics, or Islam. We stop suddenly, momentarily afraid that our words might be taken out of context, then we laugh at our paranoia and go on. But our demeanor has changed, and our words are subtly altered.

This is the loss of freedom we face when our privacy is taken from us. This is life in former East Germany, or life in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. And it's our future as we allow an ever-intrusive eye into our personal, private lives.

Too many wrongly characterize the debate as "security versus privacy." The real choice is liberty versus control. Tyranny, whether it arises under threat of foreign physical attack or under constant domestic authoritative scrutiny, is still tyranny. Liberty requires security without intrusion, security plus privacy. Widespread police surveillance is the very definition of a police state. And that's why we should champion privacy even when we have nothing to hide.

Bruce Schneier is the CTO of Counterpane Internet Security ( and the author of
Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World


The Bequest
Paul Kirchner

Most ways, I would say, my father did well
In getting me started in life,
In hand with my mother he made us a home
devoid of want and of strife.

So I hate to admit it, but in one way he failed me
--And here, a sob I must stifle--
Though he provided most of my needs,
He did not bequeath me a rifle.

Had the Guru not told us what the best rifle is,
This might not have been such a bother
But he said the best rifle a man can own
Is the one given him by his father.

As my dad did not have one, I had to go out
And purchase my own Winchester,
But it was not part of my patrimony
And that shame began to fester.

Then I thought about fathers and how we have more
Than the one who set us on our way
There’s all of the fathers who stand behind him,
Who’ve bequeathed us what we have today.

I thought of our fathers who lived life as hunters
For thousands and thousands of years,
How the thrill of the chase was no sport to them,
but the sum of their hopes and their fears.

How they must have dreamed of a weapon to reach,
Beyond the range of their spears--
To drop an animal dead in its tracks
before it could prick up its ears.

In my veins still runs the hunters’ blood
And their instinct for survival;
And so I can say, these men were my fathers
And bequeathed to me my rifle.

And I thought of our fathers who settled the land,
planting civilization’s seeds,
Creating a world where a man might own
a little more than he needs.

They lived under threat from savage men
Who envied what they had earned,
And who gathered in force and swept down upon them
And slaughtered, and pillaged, and burned.

How our fathers must have yearned for a weapon
that a man could hold in his hands,
With which he could kill, one by one, at a distance,
those armed marauding bands.

This will to be able to stand my ground
Deep in my soul still breathes;
And so, to me, these fathers too,
My rifle did bequeath.

And I thought of those whose strong, striving minds
Made this dream of a weapon real,
Wresting the fullest potential
Out of gunpowder, lead, and steel.

Through the genius of these, our fathers,
This marvel was conceived,
Part of the generous legacy
That we’ve all been bequeathed.

And there’s another set of fathers
To whom I owe my thanks,
Those who bravely took up arms
And joined Revolution’s ranks.

They knew that their Republic
Would be safe from tyranny
Only as long as it’s guarded
By men who are armed and free.

It was their will that we should all
Keep and bear Liberty’s Teeth;
They, more than anyone,
Did this rifle, to me, bequeath.

For more than half my life now,
My rifle’s been with me,
And though I’ve aged it still remains
Much as it used to be.

Now I’m a father and one day plan
To pass it to my son,
And I hope he too will pass it on
when his need for it is done.

But I think that now I understand
That a father’s legacy,
Extends beyond the limits
Of his direct progeny.

And for all I know it may well be
That one of my descendants
Will not see my rifle
As his tool of independence.

If so, I say, let him sell it off
As if it were some trifle--
It’s to the one who knows its worth
That I bequeath my rifle.


An Ode to the Rifle)
by Jeff Cooper

You hold in your hands the bow of Diana,
The spear of Achilles, the hammer of Thor.
Now you command both precision and distance.
To dominant power you’ve opened the door.

Your rifle embodies the gift of Hephaistos,
The grant of Olympus to hapless mankind.
Your rifle’s a thing of both power and beauty,
Its proper employment ennobles the mind.

Bare-handed you live at the mercy of numbers,
But numbers can never match rifleman’s skill.
Your rifle essentially makes you the master.
It creates and maintains humanity’s will.

Vulcan has given you means to establish
Divine domination o’er man, beast and foe.
Your rifle’s the sorcerous scepter of power.
Direct it with wisdom and judgement bestow.


The Quest
by Jim Crews

It should never end.
The Quest for knowledge and understanding, It cannot end.
For if it does the wrong path has been taken.
Yet for many it does,
Mastery obtained they believe.
For some it is a passion,
As it should be a passion.
Also the way of life,
For my Quest shall never end.
Always my mind shall be open,
For new and old ways to discover.
To be the learner I am destined.
Never a Master to be, the goal unattainable for me.
A recorder I am, so my destiny flows.
Exploring all things and ways, documentation they require.

Jim Crews is an instructor of weaponry of the first class and is always ready to examine new ideas, learn from them, and apply what is learned--something we should all do. 


The Quitter
by Robert W. Service

When you're lost in the Wild, and you're scared as a child,
And Death looks you bang in the eye,
And you're sore as a boil, it's according to Hoyle
To cock your revolver and . . . die.
But the Code of a Man says: "Fight all you can,"
And self-dissolution is barred.
In hunger and woe, oh, it's easy to blow . . .
It's the hell-served-for-breakfast that's hard.

"You're sick of the game!" Well, now that's a shame.
You're young and you're brave and you're bright.
“You've had a raw deal!" I know--but don't squeal,
Buck up, do your  damnedest, and fight.
It's the plugging away that will win you the day,
So don't be a piker, old  pard!
Just draw on your grit, it's so easy to quit.
It's the keeping-your chin-up that's hard.

It's easy to cry that you're beaten--and die;
It's easy to crawfish and crawl;
But to fight and to fight when hope's out of sight-   
Why that's the best game of them all!
And though you come out of each grueling bout,
All broken and battered and scarred,
Just have one more try--it's dead easy to die,

It's the keeping-on-living that's hard.


"Grandpa's Lesson."

Pappy took to drinkin' back when I was barely three.
Ma got pretty quiet. She was frettin', you could see.
So I was sent to Grandpa and he raised me up real good.
He taught me what I oughta and he taught me what I should.

I learned a heap 'o lessons from the yarns he liked to tell.
There's one I won't forget because I learned it 'speshly well.
There jist ain't many folk who live a peaceful, carefree life.
Along with all the good times there'll be lotsa grief and strife.

But there ain't many troubles that a man caint fix
With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."

Grandpa courted Grandma near the town of old Cheyenne.
Her daddy was cantankerous - a very greedy man.
He wouldn't give permission for a fancy wedding day
'Til grandpa paid a dowry - biggest ever people say.

Her daddy softened up when Grandpa said that he could fix
Him up with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six.

Grandpa herded cattle down around Jalisco way.
Ended up behind some iron bars one dusty day.
Seems the local jefe craved my Grandpa's pinto mare.
Grandpa wouldn't sell her so he lit on out of there.

Didn't take much doin' 'cept a couple special tricks
Plus seven hundred dollars and his thirty ought six.

Then there was that Faro game near San Francisco Bay.
Grandpa's cards was smokin' hot and he took all one day.
He woke up nearly naked in a ditch next early morn'.
With nothin' but his flannel shirt, and it was ripped and torn.

Those others were professionals and they don't play for kicks.
He lost seven hundred dollars and his thirty ought six.

He begged some woolen trousers off the local storekeep there
Who loaned him both a pony and a rifle on a dare.
He caught those thievin' cardsharks at another Faro game.
He got back all his property and also his good name.

He left one bleedin' badly and another mostly lame.
My Grandpa's trusty rifle shoots just where you choose to aim.

Grandpa's slowin' down a bit and just the other night
He handed me his rifle and a box sealed up real tight.
He fixed me with them pale grey eyes and this is what he said,
"You're awful young but steady too and I will soon be dead.

I'll bet this here old rifle and this honest money too
Will come in mighty handy just as readily for you.
There jist ain't many folk who lead a carefree peaceful life.
Along with times of happiness, there's always woe and strife.

But.....ain't many troubles that a man caint fix
with seven hundred dollars and his thirty ought six."

Lindy Cooper Wisdom


"The tree of liberty must be refreshed, from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

Walking Rifleman

When a man takes his rifle awalkin'
It adds not a bit to his load.
It makes him in fact somewhat lighter,
For he walks as a free man, unbowed.

When a man takes his rifle awalkin'
He's master of all he can see.
A good man won't abuse the position,
Still--a master's a fine thing to be.

When a man takes his rifle awalkin'
He'll keep his eye sharp, his wits keen,
For that's not just a tart he's escortin'
No, that lady beside him's a queen.

When a man takes his rifle awalkin'
Its condition doesn't matter to me.
He can load it however he chooses,
So long as he lives by Rule Three.

When a man takes his rifle awalkin'
And he needs a second shot quick,
He'll be glad of the time spent on homework,
When he mastered reflexive bolt-flick.

When a man takes his rifle awalkin'
And he's hunting, to feed him and his,
Well, he's living the way God intended,
And that's just the way that it is.

When a man takes his rifle awalkin'
As some say he should not be allowed,
Well, they'd better be saying it softly,
For a man with a rifle is proud.

So if you take your rifle awalkin'
Realize what you're saying, my friend.
You're saying that you are a free man,
And woe be to him who butts in.

So let's take our rifles awalkin'
With pride--defiance if need.
If we don't want to be the last riflemen,
Then we've got to re-sow freedom's seed.

Yes! Let's take our rifles awalkin'
And we'll walk in the light, so they'll see.
And if they come to tell us we cannot,
Then we'll water the liberty tree

Joe Sledge
Grand Junction, Colorado


Written for Col. Jeff Cooper and first recited in Botswana on the occasion of his 79th birthday. This is about the mindset the author learned from him; hence the title.

Okavango Birthday Tribute 1998

History makes this lesson quite plain;
It's apparent to men of clear sight.
No people ever threw off tyranny
Unless they were willing to fight.

When the Israelites cowered and hid in their holes,
Before Goliath, of singular might,
Young David came forward with a sling and a stone,
And he meant to prevail in that fight.

When the founders grew tired of the greed of the king,
They stood up as men, to full height.
They sought no appeasement, nor compromise.
They said, "Leave us alone, or we'll fight!".

When Theodore Roosevelt led his men up San Juan,
Their training, and his, had been slight.
Some fell, and some died, but they took that hill,
Because they went to Cuba to fight.

It's really just silly, this "New Age" idea
That self defense is passe', and just... not right.
We simply can't cede deadly force to the evil.
We must always stand ready to fight.

If a goblin assaults you on the streets of your town,
And demands things to which he's no right,
Your duty is clear- there's only one course.
With all that you have you must fight.

These traitors who want all our guns have a plan:
They'll eat the whole pie, bite by bite.
My friends, we can make them choke on that meal,
But we have to be willing to fight.

A man's liberty cannot be taken by force.
He can only surrender that right.
The whole scheme depends on obedient sheep.
It simply won't work if we fight.

Don't tell me that you're unsure what you'll do.
"Well, I-I don't know if I'll stand, b-but I might!".
If you don't know, then I know what you'll do.
You must hard-set your mind that you'll fight.

When the ninja come to gather my guns,
And they surround my house in the night,
I won't be disarmed. No! Not while I live.
Mark this one thing well: I'll fight.

Joe Sledge
Grand Junction, Colorado


The Flag

Ladies and gentlemen. I give you the flag
That flew over Valley Forge
Was torn in two by the gray and the blue
And bled through two world wars.

I give you the flag that burned in the street
In protest, in anger and shame,
The very same flag that covered the men
Who died defending her name.

We now stand together, Americans all.
Either by choice or by birth
To honor the flag that's flown on the moon
And changed the face of the earth.

History will show this flag stood a friend
To the hungry, the homeless and lost
That mixture of men as common clay
Valued one thing beyond cost.

And they've signed it in blood from Bunker Hill
To Saigon and Toko Ri.
I give you the flag that says to the world
Each man has a right to be free.

Baxter Black



Essential to the defense of freedom is the absolute resistance of tyranny. If tyrants know we will fight to the death in our defense of our Constitutionally affirmed God-given rights then we may continue to enjoy peace, for they know that even if they kill us all they will have lost more than they could possibly have gained.

Churchill spoke the truth when he said: "Still if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."

My family will never be disarmed. We will never be loaded passively on the cattle cars to be hauled away to the camps. We are God's children and we will go home to Him before we submit to the murderers and rapists who people this government. This spirit of absolute resistance is what enabled Switzerland to survive during WWII when every republic in Europe was consumed by the Reich.

I pray that the hearts of all are moved to greater resolve by the following words:

"Everywhere, where the order is to hold, it is the duty of conscience of each fighter, even if he depends on himself alone, to fight at his assigned position. The riflemen, if overtaken or surrounded, fight in their position until no more ammunition exists. Then cold steel is next.... The machine-gunners, the cannoneers of heavy weapons, the artillerymen, if in the bunker or on the field, do not abandon or destroy their weapons, or allow the enemy to seize them. The crews fight further like riflemen. As long as a man has another cartridge or hand weapons to use, he does not yield." -- General Henri Guisan Commander In Chief of the Swiss militia during WWII, From "Target Switzerland" by Halbrook

Our duty is to hold the position.

Tom Russell



The Ghost From Valley Forge

I had a dream the other night I didn't understand,
A figure walking through the mist, with flintlock in his hand.
His clothes were torn and dirty, as he stood there by my bed,
He took off his three-cornered hat, and speaking low he said:

We fought a revolution to secure our liberty,
We wrote the Constitution, as a shield from tyranny.
For future generations, this legacy we gave,
In this, the land of the free and home of the brave.

The freedom we secured for you, we hoped you'd always keep,
But tyrants labored endlessly while your parents were asleep.
Your freedom gone - your courage lost - you're no more than
a slave,
In this, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

You buy permits to travel, and permits to own a gun,
Permits to start a business, or to build a place for one.
On land that you believe you own, you pay a yearly rent,
Although you have no voice in choosing how the money's spent.

Your children must attend a school that doesn't educate,
Your moral values can't be taught, according to the state.
You read about the current "news" in a very biased press,
You pay a tax you do not owe, to please the IRS.

Your money is no longer made of silver or of gold
You trade your wealth for paper, so life can be controlled.
You pay for crimes that make our Nation turn from God to shame,
You've taken Satan's number, as you've traded in your name.

You've given government control to those who do you harm,
So they can padlock churches, and steal the family farm.
And keep our country deep in debt, put men of God in jail,
Harass your fellow countryman while corrupted courts prevail.

Your public servants don't uphold the solemn oath they're sworn,
Your daughters visit doctors so children won't be born.
Your leaders ship artillery and guns to foreign shores,
And send your sons to slaughter, fighting other people's wars.

Can you regain your Freedom for which we fought and died?
Or don't you have the courage, or the faith to stand with pride?
Are there no more values for which you'll fight to save?
Or do you wish your children live in fear and be a slave?

Sons of the Republic, arise and take a stand!
Defend the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land!
Preserve our Republic, and each God-given right!
And pray to God to keep the torch of freedom burning bright!

As I awoke he vanished, in the mist from whence he came,
His words were true, we are not free, and we have ourselves
to blame.
For even now as tyrants trample each God-given right,
We only watch and tremble -- too afraid to stand and fight.

If he stood by your bedside in a dream while you're asleep,
And wonder what remains of your right he fought to keep.
What would be your answer if he called out from the grave?
Is this still the land of the free and home of the brave?

Author Unknown



Note, just substitute names from the current administration for Justinian and crew and you will be able to see the WHY of things as they are at the present.


The West had long been preparing to receive them, too. Generations of fighting against Alans, Gepids, Goths, and Huns, and of fighting with them shoulder to shoulder, in alliance now with one and now with the other, had transformed the Roman military state into the thing it had been fighting. Narses consciously and successfully employed not Roman but Hunnish tactics against the Franks, and the closing chapters of Jordanes show a Roman army indistinguishable from any barbarian horde. The last chapter of all makes the significant remark that the ultimate victor to emerge from the world shambles was "victor gentium diversarum Justinianus Imperator" (the Emperor Justinian, conqueror of diverse peoples). It was in this man Justinian that the Huns won a great and abiding victory over the West.

The Emperor Justinian displayed at all times a single-minded devotion to the Huns that puzzles and dismays historians. Apparently there was nothing he would not do to please the Huns, even to the wrecking of his own foreign policyand the ruination of trade and agriculture throughout the empire. A passionate devotee of the factionists, he had worn their Persian beards, Hunnish hairdo, Hunnish cloaks, Hunnish shirts, and Hunnish shoes,the girdles and brooches of the steppes having already supplanted the more civilized styles of the West."The greatest destroyer of established institutions that ever lived," Justinian was determined to make the Western world "completely change its clothes" and he succeeded.

All the absurdities and contradictions in his policies vanish if we consider that this Illyrian, who hated Greek things, was set upon becoming a grand khan. Justinian handed over the wealth of the state to the Huns "who were always turning up" at court (a significant note) in ever increasing numbers. He would claim for himself all the private property of the citizens, either charging the Romans with a crime or pretending that it was all being brought in to him as gifts, and then promptly give it all away again to the Hunnish lords before his throne: a thing that made perfectly good sense to his visitors from the steppes but appeared to his Roman subjects as "a thing that had never happened since the beginning of time." What he did not thus throw away to the barbarians, says Procopius, he wasted on absurd buildings, constructed simply to outshine all other emperors—a thing that any khan would have understood. This Hun-worship actually amounted to the enslaving of the empire, says Procopius and Agathias, but that was how Justinian wanted it. He insisted that all his subjects, from top to bottom, be called his slaves, and instituted the strictly Central Asiatic style of prostration and foot-kissing. He was not averse to giving the impression of being a sort of super-shaman and apparently even adopted the well-known Mongol custom of making those who entered his presence step clear of the threshold. In short, "instead of acting like a Roman Emperor, he was the complete barbarian in language, dress, and thought. "What more could one ask? The welcome barbarians poured into court from all directions, to the immense delight of the emperor, who never failed to send them away loaded with gold,till presently "the barbarians in general became complete masters of the wealth of the Romans. "In the end, all the offices and officials of the state were supplanted by one office—the royal court, and by two persons—the emperor and empress, for the new ascendancy of the empress, intensely resented by Procopius, was the crowning Asiatic touch.

Justinian's weird innovations were no ephemeral thing. They were but the culmination of that process of Asianizing which had been deplored by the poets of the Republic. And they were there to stay...

From, The Ancient State, p. 127 - 128, By Hugh Nibley


This from Kipling speaks to us across the ages--80 years downstream it still holds true. Perhaps more true than before. I believe the background is related to the fact that Sir Rudyard's son had been killed in the meaningless morass of the Great War. The message is: we never learn. It's fairly long but it's elegant.

The Gods of the Copybook Headings
by Rudyard Kipling - 1919

As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
Make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market-Place.
'eering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market-Place;
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Heading said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew,
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four --
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

* * * * *

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man --
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began --
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wobbling back to the Fire--
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!


The Modern Samurai

Mindset makes a Samurai. Service to society.
Courage--the courage to take responsibility for
ALL of your actions, for ALL of your statements.
Living each day as if it might be your last--it
very well might be. Awareness--being alert to your
surroundings, relaxed but vigilant. The
sensitivity to acknowledge the beauty, the sorrow,
the humorous in the sights and events you
encounter every day. The bravery to move, to act,
to respond instantly in an emergency without
hesitation, without worrying about the opinions of
others, if you sincerely believe that this is what
needs to be done. Striving constantly to improve,
to better yourself so that you will make a
positive difference in your little corner of the
world. Knowing how to die with calm resolve
because you die "defending the right and the

Author unknown


Freedom Flies In Your heart Like An Eagle

Dusty old helmet, rusty old gun,
They sit in the corner and wait -
Two souvenirs of the Second World War
That have withstood the time, and the hate.

Mute witness to a time of much trouble.
Where kill or be killed was the law -
Were these implements used with high honor?
What was the glory they saw?

Many times I've wanted to ask them -
And now that we're here all alone,
Relics all three of a long ago war -
Where has freedom gone?

Freedom flies in your heart like an eagle.
Let it soar with the winds high above
Among the spirits of soldiers now sleeping,
Guard it with care and with love.

I salute my old friends in the corner,
I agree with all they have said -
And if the moment of truth comes tomorrow,
I'll be free, or By God, I'll be dead!

Audie Murphy, CMOH winner


A Hunter's Half-life

I'm a hunter; I've never been other.
I've lived for the stalk and the kill.
The left wants to outlaw my passion,
But if they say I can't hunt-I still will.

It comes not from my father, nor my raising.
It was right there within me at birth.
My determination baffled my father,
But he indulged me, with affectionate mirth.

At seven, my targets were sparrows.
The handsome songbirds were forbidden.
I wanted to obey my father,
But I once shot a cardinal and hid him.

My maternal grandfather was a hunter,
And at twelve I came under his wing.
That majestic old Texan was illiterate,
But he was a hunter, and that was the thing.

We drove the East Texas backroads for rabbits.
I stood on the toolbox in back.
With my rifle in hand, my Pa Shelton in command,
We brought dozens of meals to the blacks.

In due time I moved to Montana,
And I slew the great beasts of my dreams.
But I left my right arm in Montana,
And a daughter was born-my new queen.

So priorities necessarily altered,
And I left that great northern redoubt.
But my love for the hunt never faltered.
How could it? It's what I'm about.

Over time my blood lust has diminished.
It's the freedom- no, it's the wildness I crave.
But next week Colin and Steve will be like the young me,
And I'll give back what my grandfather gave.

Here lately, I've gone back to rabbits,
And returned to the old twenty-two.
Of course the one I shoot now wears a scoutscope,
But that old iron-sight Winchester would do.

Because I no longer try for a limit.
I'll shoot two or three, then come in.
But Lord, I miss that old red-headed Rusty,
Always ranging out front, with that grin.

Now, I still want a goat and a bighorn,
And someday my tags will be drawn.
But 'til that glorious day, I'll be doing OK,
Just heading out after rabbits at dawn.

You see, my Orion dreams have been realized.
And more, and better, as well.
"Waidmann's Heil!" from Jeff Cooper in Botswana-
How much that means, I simply can't tell.

So- I've been two score years a hunter.
I'm a predator, down to my core.
And while the way that I hunt keeps on changing,
Good Lord willing, I'll hunt forty more.

Joe Sledge
Grand Junction, Colorado


Thomas Moore
from Irish Melodies, vol. 10

Lay his sword by his side - it hath served him too well*
Not to rest near his pillow below;
To the last moment true, from his hand ere it fell,
Its point was still turn'd to a flying foe.

Fellow-labourers in life, let them slumber in death,
Side by side, as becomes the reposing brave
That sword which he loved still unbroke in its sheath,
And himself unsubdued in his grave.

Yet pause - for, in fancy, a still voice I hear,
As if breathed from his brave heart's remains;
Faint echo of that which, in Slavery's ear,
Once sounded the war-word, "Burst your chains."

And it cries, from the grave where the hero lies deep,
"Though the day of your Chieftain for ever hath set,
Oh leave not his sword thus inglorious to sleep
It hath victory's life in it yet!

"Should some alien, unworthy such weapon to wield,
Dare to touch thee, my own gallant sword,
Then rest in thy sheath, like a talisman seal'd,
Or return to the grave of thy chainless lord.

But, if grasp'd by a hand that hath learn'd the proud use
Of a falchion, like thee, on the battle-plain,
Then, at Liberty's summons, like lightning let loose,
Leap forth from thy dark sheath again!"

* It was the custom of the ancient Irish, in the manner of the Scythians, to bury the favourite swords of their heroe along with them.


Ode To The Media
by David L. Creighton

You media pansies may squeal and may squirm,
But a fightin' man knows that the way to confirm,
That some jihadist bastard truly is dead,
Is a brain-tappin' round fired into his head.
To hell with some wienie with his journalist degree
Safe away from the combat, tryin' to tell me,
I should check him for breathin,' examine his eyes.
Nope, I'm punchin' his ticket to Muj paradise.

To hell with you wimps from your Ivy League schools,
Sittin' far from the war tellin' me about rules
And preachin' to me your wrong-headed contention
That I should observe the Geneva Convention,
Which doesn't apply to a terrorist scum
So evil and cruel their own people run from,
Cold-blooded killers who love to behead,
Shove that mother' Geneva, I'm leavin' em dead.

You slick talkingheads may preach, preen and prattle,
But you're damn well not here in the thick of the battle.
It's chaotic, confusin' it all comes at you fast,
So it's Muj checkin' out because I'm going to last.
Yeah, I'll last through this fight and send his ass away
To his fat ugly virgins while I'm still in play.
If you journalist wienies think that's cold, cruel and crass,
Then pucker up sweeties, kiss a fightin' man's ass.


The Goblin and the Raven
by Greg Mactye

A pretty little raven went out walking late one night,
She had come to see the city and had gone out for a bite.
Now this city was a wicked place, with dangers never lacking,
And the raven knew this well, so she made sure that she was ‘packing’.

But she tried to take a short-cut down a street devoid of light,
(Which wasn’t very clever in this city, late at night!)
She did not know but soon would learn, that lurking on this street,
Was a dirty rotten coward, a cretin and a creep!

But the goblin saw the raven, and with lust his heart was filled.
He decided he would have her, and cared not if blood was spilled!
What the goblin didn’t know was that the raven was aware.
He never stopped to figure that she knew that he was there.

So he stepped from out the shadows dark, and with an evil sneer,
Said, "I’ve got a special fate for you – now darling, do come here!"
But our pretty little raven had no need to fear this fellow,
She was able, she was armed, and she was in ‘Condition yellow’!

The raven never faltered, never altered, didn’t run,
She simply opened up her purse and calmly drew her gun.
She double-tapped him center mass, then raised her pistol high,
And taking careful aim, she shot him right between the eyes!

Said the raven to the goblin, "When I do a thing it’s done right!"
"You should have chosen someone weaker - I’m a graduate of Gunsite!"


"What I Have Learned From The Twentieth Century"
With Thanks to schoolmasters Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Mao Tse-Tung and Pol Pot for the Teaching.)
by Mike Vanderboegh

Reflect upon these six lessons. Folks who wish to live free and prosperous in the next century would do well to understand the failures of the last.

Lesson No. 1
If a bureaucrat, or a soldier sent by a bureaucrat, comes to knock down your door and take you someplace you don't want to go because of who you are or what you think-- kill him. If you can, kill the politician who sent them. You will likely die anyway, and you will be saving someone else the same fate. For it is a universal truth that the intended victims always far outnumber the tyrant's executioners. Any nation, which practices this lesson, will quickly run out of executioners and tyrants, or they will run out of liberty.

Lesson No. 2
If a bureaucrat, or a soldier sent by a bureaucrat, comes to knock down your door and confiscate your firearms-- kill him. The disarmament of law-abiding citizens is the required precursor to genocide.

Lesson No. 3
If a bureaucrat tells you that he must know if you have a firearm, so he can put your name on a list for the common good, or wants to issue you an identity card so that you may be more easily identified-- tell him to go to hell. Registration of people and firearms is the required precursor to the tyranny, which permits genocide. Bureaucrats cannot send soldiers to doors that aren't on their list.

Lesson No. 4
Believe actions, not words. Tyrants are consummate liars. Just because a tyrant is "democratically elected" doesn't mean that he believes in democracy. Reference Adolf Hitler, 1932. And just because a would-be tyrant mouths words of reverence to law and justice, or takes a solemn oath to uphold a constitution, doesn't mean he believes such concepts apply to him.  Reference Bill Clinton, among others. The language of the lie is just another tool of killers. A sign saying "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Makes You Free) posted above an execution camp gate doesn't mean that anybody gets out of there alive, and a room labeled "Showers" doesn't necessarily make you clean. Bill Clinton notwithstanding, the meaning of "is" is plain when such perverted language gets you killed. While all tyrants are liars, it is true that not all political liars are would-be tyrants-- but they bear close watching. And keep your rifle handy.

Lesson No. 5
Our constitutional republic as crafted by the Founders is the worst form of government in the world, except when compared to all the others. Capitalism, as well, is a terrible way to run an economy, except when compared to all other economic systems. Unrestrained democracy is best expressed as two wolves and a sheep sitting down to vote on what to have for dinner. The horrors of collectivism in all its forms-- socialism, communism, national socialism, fascism-- have been demonstrated beyond dispute by considerable wasteful trial and bloody error. Ask the 200 million dead that collectivism brutally slaughtered in this century. Leaders such as Bill Clinton who view the Constitution as inconvenient and ignorable are harbingers of tyranny.

Lesson No. 6
While nations do not always get the leaders they deserve, they always get the leaders they tolerate. And anyone who tells you that "It Can't Happen Here" is whistling past the graveyard of history. There is no "house rule" that bars tyranny coming to America. History is replete with republics whose people grew complacent and descended into imperial butchery and chaos. Dictators count on the assistance of people who are complacent, fearful, envious, lazy and corrupt. While there is no "Collective guilt" to the crimes of a regime (all such crimes being committed by specific criminal individuals), there is certainly "collective responsibility"--especially for those who watch the criminals at work without objecting or interfering. A French journalist of the last century wrote "I must speak out for I will not be an accomplice." Evil tyrants require, indeed they depend upon, willing and unwilling accomplices-- good people who would never think of harming a soul themselves. Lenin called such people "useful idiots". DeTocqueville observed that "America is great because America is good. When America ceases to be good, she will cease to be great." As related in the Old Testament, God judged nations based upon the immorality and criminality of their leaders. Entire peoples were scourged because of their failure to remove corrupt leaders. As we move from the Twentieth Century into the twenty-first, we should take care to remember the ancient story of Sodom and Gomorrah. If we wish to avoid the butchery of the Twentieth Century and the righteous judgment of the God of our antiquity, we would do well to keep our Bibles, our Constitution and our firearms close at hand.


The Parable of the Sheep
© 1997 Charles Riggs

Not so long ago and in a pasture too uncomfortably close to here, a flock of sheep lived and grazed. They were protected by a dog, who answered to the master, but despite his best efforts from time to time a nearby pack of wolves would prey upon the flock.

One day a group of sheep, bolder than the rest, met to discuss their dilemma. "Our dog is good, and vigilant, but he is one and the wolves are many. The wolves he catches are not always killed, and the master judges and releases many to prey again upon us, for no reason we can understand. What can we do? We are sheep, but we do not wish to be food, too!"

One sheep spoke up, saying "It is his teeth and claws that make the wolf so terrible to us. It is his nature to prey, and he would find any way to do it, but it is the tools he wields that make it possible. If we had such teeth, we could fight back, and stop this savagery." The other sheep clamored in agreement, and they went together to the old bones of the dead wolves heaped in the corner of the pasture, and gathered fang and claw and made them into weapons.

That night, when the wolves came, the newly armed sheep sprang up with their weapons and struck at them, crying, "Begone! We are not food!" and drove off the wolves, who were astonished. When did sheep become so bold and so dangerous to wolves? When did sheep grow teeth? It was unthinkable!

The next day, flush with victory and waving their weapons, they approached the flock to pronounce their discovery. But as they drew nigh, the flock huddled together and cried out, "Baaaaaaaadddd! Baaaaaddd things! You have bad things! We are afraid! You are not sheep!"

The brave sheep stopped, amazed. "But we are your brethren!" they cried. "We are still sheep, but we do not wish to be food. See, our new teeth and claws protect us and have saved us from slaughter. They do not make us into wolves, they make us equal to the wolves, and safe from their viciousness!"

"Baaaaaaad!" cried the flock, "the things are bad and will pervert you, and we fear them. You cannot bring them into the flock!" So the armed sheep resolved to conceal their weapons, for although they had no desire to panic the flock, they wished to remain in the fold. But they would not return to those nights of terror, waiting for the wolves to come.

In time, the wolves attacked less often and sought easier prey, for they had no stomach for fighting sheep who possessed tooth and claw even as they did. Not knowing which sheep had fangs and which did not, they came to leave sheep out of their diet almost completely except for the occasional raid, from which more than one wolf did not return.

Then came the day when, as the flock grazed beside the stream, one sheep’s weapon slipped from the folds of her fleece, and the flock cried out in terror again, "Baaaaaad! You still possess these evil things! We must ban you from our presence!"

And so they did. The great chief sheep and his council, encouraged by the words of their advisors, placed signs and totems at the edges of the pasture forbidding the presence of hidden weapons there. The armed sheep protested before the council, saying, "It is our pasture, too, and we have never harmed you! When can you say we have caused you hurt? It is the wolves, not we, who prey upon you. We are still sheep, but we are not food!" But the flock drowned them out with cries of "Baaaaaaddd! We will not hear your clever words! You and your things are evil and will harm us!"

Saddened by this rejection, the armed sheep moved off and spent their days on the edges of the flock, trying from time to time to speak with their brethren to convince them of the wisdom of having such teeth, but meeting with little success. They found it hard to talk to those who, upon hearing their words, would roll back their eyes and flee, crying "Baaaaddd! Bad things!"

That night, the wolves happened upon the sheep’s totems and signs, and said, "Truly, these sheep are fools! They have told us they have no teeth! Brothers, let us feed!" And they set upon the flock, and horrible was the carnage in the midst of the fold. The dog fought like a demon, and often seemed to be in two places at once, but even he could not halt the slaughter.

It was only when the other sheep arrived with their weapons that the wolves fled, only to remain on the edge of the pasture and wait for the next time they could prey, for if the sheep were so foolish once, they would be so again. This they did, and do still.

In the morning, the armed sheep spoke to the flock, and said, "See? If the wolves know you have no teeth, they will fall upon you. Why be prey? To be a sheep does not mean to be food for wolves!" But the flock cried out, more feebly for their voices were fewer, though with no less terror, "Baaaaaaaad! These things are bad! If they were banished, the wolves would not harm us! Baaaaaaad!"

So they resolved to retain their weapons, but to conceal them from the flock; to endure their fear and loathing, and even to protect their brethren if the need arose, until the day the flock learned to understand that as long as there were wolves in the night, sheep would need teeth to repel them.

They would still be sheep, but they would not be food!


From a speech delivered by  Gen. Charles C. Krulak, 27 January, 2000, at JSCOPE 2000

Integrity as we know it today, stands for soundness of  moral principle and character - uprightness - honesty.  Yet there is more. Integrity is also an ideal, a goal to strive for, and for a man or woman to "walk in their integrity" is to require constant discipline and usage. The word integrity itself is a martial word that  comes to us from an ancient roman army tradition.

During the time of the 12 Caesars, the roman army would conduct morning inspections.  As the inspecting centurion would come in front of each Legionnaire, the soldier would strike with his right fist the armor breastplate that covered his heart. The armor had to be strongest there in order to protect the heart from the sword thrusts and from arrow strikes.  As the soldier struck his armor, he would shout "integritas", (in-teg'-ri-tas) which in Latin means material wholeness, completeness, and entirety.  The inspecting centurion would listen closely for this affirmation and also for the ring that well kept armor would give off.  Satisfied that the armor was sound and that the soldier beneath it was protected, he would then move on to the next man.

At about the same time, the Praetorians or imperial bodyguard were ascending into power and influence. Drawn from the best "politically correct" soldiers of the legions, they received the finest equipment and armor. They no longer had to shout "integritas" to signify that their armor was sound. Instead, as they struck their breastplate, they would shout "hail Caesar," to signify that their heart belonged to the imperial personage, not to their unit, not to an institution nor to a code of ideals.  They armored themselves to serve the cause of a single man.

A century passed and the rift between the legion and the imperial bodyguard and its excesses grew larger. To signify the difference between the two organizations, the legionnaire, upon striking his armor would no longer shout "Integritas", but instead would shout "integer" (in'-te-ger). Integer means undiminished , complete, or perfect.  It not only indicated that the armor was sound, it also indicated that the soldier wearing the armor was sound of character. He was complete in his integrity, his heart was in the right place and his standards and morals were high. He was not associated with the immoral conduct that was rapidly becoming the signature of the Praetorian guards. 

The armor of integrity continued to serve the legion well. For over four centuries they held the line against the marauding goths and vandals but by 383 AD, the social decline that infected the republic and the Praetorian Guard had its effects upon the legion.  As a 4th century roman general wrote, "when, because of negligence and laziness, parade ground drills were abandoned, the customary armor began to feel heavy since the soldiers rarely, if ever, wore it.  Therefore, they first asked the emperor to set aside the breastplates and mail and then the helmets. So our soldiers fought the Goths without any protection for the heart and head and were often beaten by archers. Although there were many disasters, which lead to the loss of great cities, no one tried to restore the armor to the infantry. They took their armor off, and when the armor came off - so too came their integrity."  It was only a matter of a few years until the legion rotted from within and was unable to hold the frontiers and the barbarians were at the gates.

Integrity is a combination of the words, "integritas" and "integer".  It refers to the putting on of armor, of building a completeness, a wholeness, a wholeness in character. How appropriate that the word integrity is a derivative of two words describing the character of a member of the profession of arms. The military has a tradition of producing great leaders that possess the highest ethical standards and integrity. It produces men and women of character.  Character that allows them to deal ethically with the challenges of today and to make conscious decisions about how they will approach tomorrow. However, as I mentioned earlier, this is not done instantly.  It requires that integrity becomes a way of life.  It must be woven into the very fabric of our soul. Just as was true in the days of Imperial Rome, you either walk in your integrity daily, or you take off the armor of the "integer" and leave your heart and soul exposed and open to attack.

My challenge to you is simple but often very difficult.  Wear your armor of integrity, take full measure of its weight,  find comfort in its protection and  do not become lax.  And always, always, remember that no one can take your integrity from you. You and only you can give it away! The biblical book of practical ethics , better known as the Book of Proverbs, sums it up very nicely "The integrity of the upright shall guide them but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them". (Proverbs 11:3)


The Monsters and the Weak
Michael Marks - January 2006

The sun beat like a hammer, not a cloud was in the sky.
The mid-day air ran thick with dust, my throat was parched and dry.
With microphone clutched tight in hand and cameraman in tow,
I ducked beneath a fallen roof, surprised to hear "stay low".
My eyes blinked several times before in shadow I could see
the figure stretched across the rubble, steps away from me.
He wore a cloak of burlap strips, all shades of gray and brown,
that hung in tatters till it seemed he melted into the ground.

He never turned his head or took his eye away from the scope,
but pointed through the broken wall and down the rocky slope.
"About eight hundred yards," he said, his whispered words concise,
"beneath the baggy jacket he is wearing a device."
A chill ran up my spine despite the swelter of the heat,
"You think he's gonna set it off along the crowded street?"
The sniper gave a weary sigh and said, "I wouldn't doubt it."
"Unless there's something this old gun and I can do about it."

A thunder clap a tongue of flame, the still abruptly shattered;
while citizens that walked the street were just as quickly scattered.
Till only one remained, a body crumpled on the ground,
the threat to oh so many ended by a single round.
And yet the sniper had no cheer, no hint of any gloat,
instead he pulled a logbook out and quietly he wrote.
"Hey I could put you on TV, that shot was quite a story!"
But he surprised me once again - "I got no wish for glory."

"Are you for real?" I asked in awe. "You don't want fame or credit?"
He looked at me with saddened eyes and said "You just don't get it."
"You see that shot up length of wall, the one without a door?
Before a mortar round hit, is used to be a grocery store."
"But don't go thinking that to bomb a store is all that cruel,
the rubble just across the street, it used to be a school.
The little kids played soccer in the field out by the road."
His head hung low, "They never thought a car would just explode."

"As bad as all this is though, it could be a whole lot worse."
He swallowed hard, the words came from his mouth just like a curse.
"Today the fight's on foreign land, on streets that aren't my own.
I'm here today 'cause if I fail, the next fight's back at home."
"I won't let my Safeway burn, with my neighbors dead inside.
I don't wanna get a call from school that says my daughter died;
I pray that not a one of them will know the things I see,
nor have the work of terrorists etched in their memory."

"So you can keep your trophies and your fleeting bit of fame.
I don't care if I make the news, or if they know my name."
He glanced toward the camera and his brow began to knot,
"If you're looking for a story, why not give this one a shot?"
"Just tell the truth of what you see, without the slant or spin;
that most of us are O.K. and we're coming home again.
And why not tell the folks back home about the good we've done,
how when they see Americans, the kids come at a run."

"You tell them what it means to folks here just to speak their mind,
without the fear of that tyranny is just a step behind;
Describe the desert miles they walk for their first chance to vote,
or ask a soldier if he's proud, I'm sure you'll get a quote."
He turned and slid the rifle in a drag bag thickly padded,
then looked up again with eyes of steel as quietly he added
"And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak.
That we are all that stands between the Monsters and the Weak."


By Barrett Tillman

Fought for power, fought for glory
Fought for kingdom and my kind.
Fought for conquest and survival,
Fought for eons, through all time.

Fought for avarice and ego,
Fought for land and fought for gold.
Fought for food and fought for women,
Fought in deserts and in cold.

Fought from horseback and from camels,
Fought on warships' slipp'ry decks.
Fought in chariots and panzers
And in supersonic jets.

Fought with spears and with missiles,
Fought from castles and from forts.
Fought with arrows and with cannon,
Fought for money and for sport.

Marched with Caesar and Pizarro,
Rode with Custer and The Khan;
Sailed with Nelson and with Nimitz;
Flew with Goering and beyond.

Stormed a hundred bloody beaches,
Sieged a thousand castle towns;
Conquered scores of foemens' countries,
Defending others for the crown.

Conquered Incas and Apaches,
Colonized the New World through;
Mastered Zulus and the Mahdi,
Beat the Moors and Carthage too.

Lost to Shaka and to Rommel,
Got whipped oft' by Bobby Lee,
Was by Bonaparte defeated
Ev'ry time I fought 'gainst he.

Yet through those years and struggles
Never once did I decline
To pick up a pike or musket
And to take my place in line.

For I came to love the battle
For its own bloody appeal.
Giving little thought to rightness
Or the cause my sword to wield.

From the Tigris and Euphretes
To Iwo Jima's distant shore,
From Sparta on to Crecy,
I just lived and died for war.

As a sniper or a lancer,
As an archer or dragoon,
Wherever there were wars to fight
I regarded that a boon.

I have been a kamikaze
And a bold Teutonic knight,
Serving emperors who rose and fell;
Equal fervor in the fight.

My cause was war itself, you see,
For I relished in the feel
Of foemens' blood upon my hands,
And the mastery of steel...

The clash of arms around me,
Joyous pounding in the brain,
And the bagpipes' eerie skirl
Were all part of my domain.

I have killed two hundred thousand
And have died a thousand times.
But like Valhalla's warriors
I arose again each time.

And then, one dreary battle dawn,
When pond'ring eternal fate,
It finally occurred to me
"Perhaps it's not too late!"

For I thought upon my hist'ry,
Of the times I felt most use
Were when we fought for freedom
And yet still were free to choose.

The names across the centuries
Came rushing back to me
Those heroes fought for freedom;
Broke the yoke of tyranny...

With Spartacus and Charlie
At Capua or Culloden Field,
At Lexington and Concord,
Wherever free men would not yield.

Call me rebel, call me traitor,
Call me patriot if you like,
But if you infringe my freedom,
Then I promise I will fight!

January 2, 1998


The Ten Truths of Tyranny

  1. Any law the electorate sees as being open to being perverted from its original intent will be perverted in a manner that exceeds the manner of perversion seen at the time.

  2. Any law that is so difficult to pass it requires the citizens be assured it will not be a stepping stone to worse laws, will in fact be a stepping stone to worse laws.

  3. Any law that requires the citizens be assured the law does not mean what the citizens fear, means exactly what the citizens fear.

  4. Any law passed in a good cause will be interpreted to apply to causes against the wishes of the people.

  5. Any law enacted to help any one group will be applied to harm people not in that group.

  6. Everything the government says will never happen, will happen.

  7. What the government says it could not foresee, the government has planned for.

  8. When there is a budget shortfall to cover non-essential government services, the citizens will be given the choice between higher taxes or the loss of essential government services.

  9. Should the citizens mount a successful effort to stop a piece of legislation, the same legislation will be passed under a different name.

  10. All deprivations of freedom and choice will be increased rather than reversed.

"Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found the exact amount of injustice and wrongdoing which will be imposed on them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." - Frederick Douglas, 1857



By Pete Lessler

Hey little boy with the ball and the bat,
Do you know the old man next door?
With badges and pins on his funny old hat
You think he is just an old bore.

Now he sits in his garden with flowers and ants,
But way back before you were born,
He was once young and tough, calling anyone’s bluff,
He was a Devil in green baggy pants!

He leapt into space with a cork-blackened face
And a prayer that his chute wouldn’t streamer.
And when he touched down, on the enemy’s ground,
He fought like a wild Screaming Eagle.

Or…did he starve in the jungle, in the steaming green hell
Of Guadalcanal, when things weren’t going well?
Did he crouch in the darkness, his fear growing large
Waiting for the screaming Japanese banzai charge?

Hey little boy, pull over your bike,
Do you know that old man over there?
Was he crew on the Queen - Boeing’s B-17 -
As it fought its way through the cold air?

Seeing his brothers by the hundreds die –
As the Luftwaffe shot them out of the sky.
Did he never turn back, though Kraut fighters and flak
Were more than his courage could bear?

Did he dive from the sun in a P-51
Exulting in the loud roaring thunder
Of his full-throttle Merlin, and fifty-cal guns
As they tore German fighters asunder?

Did he fly all alone over the vast Pacific blue,
Praying to God that his days were not through?
Searching in fear for the steel postage stamp
On whose heaving deck he was praying to trap.
Praying, you see, for his aircraft was failing
From a hot Zero pilot’s 20-millimeter nailing.

Hey little boy, do you see that he limps?
Does that seem kind of strange to you?
Does his leg carry metal
From a Japanese mortar, or a German MG42?

Or was it the cold in a winter of old
That blackened and claimed all his toes?
Did he freeze to the bone in a town called Bastogne
Giving Hitler a bad bloody nose?

Or was it Korea, holding off a defeat
Was he there with the US Marine Corps?
In the Chosun retreat, on frost-bitten feet
Helping Chesty to guard the back door.

Hey little boy on your way to the store -
Do you know that old man over there?
Does his soul bear the scars of his days in a war?
Did he break down and cry when his best buddy died?
Does he still have the thousand-yard stare?

Hey little boy, take pause in your plans
Do you know the old man next door?
Does he still wake up screaming from nightmares he’s dreaming
Of brothers in arms who’ve all bought the farm,
And the blood he can’t wash off his hands?

Hey little boy, do you KNOW the old man next door?


By Marko Kloos

"Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed. People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level. The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weightlifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation...and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act."

Author Unknown

My old grandpa said to me, "Son, there comes a time in 
every man's life when he stops bustin' knuckles and starts bustin' 
caps and usually it's when he becomes too old to take an ass whoopin'."

I don't carry a gun to kill people. 
I carry a gun to keep from being killed.

I don't carry a gun to scare people. 
I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place.

I don't carry a gun because I'm paranoid. 
I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world.

I don't carry a gun because I'm evil. 
I carry a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the world.

I don't carry a gun because I hate the government. 
I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government.

I don't carry a gun because I'm angry. 
I carry a gun so that I don't have to spend the rest of  my life hating myself for failing to be prepared.

I don't carry a gun because I want to shoot someone. 
I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, and not on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon. 

I don't carry a gun to make me feel like a man. 
I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones they love.

I don't carry a gun because I feel inadequate. 
I carry a gun because unarmed and facing three armed thugs, I am inadequate.

I don't carry a gun because I love it. 
I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful to me. 

Police Protection is an oxymoron. Free citizens must protect themselves. 
Police do not protect you from crime, they just investigate the 
crime after it happens and then call someone in to clean up the mess.


Have you ever noticed that those who want to take our guns away have their own armed body guards?  Ever wonder why that is?

Gun Control isn't about guns, it's about CONTROL!


The following was published in DTI Quips, 11/11/09 by John Farnam,
 and is reprinted here with permission.

Comments on the decline of Western Civilization,
from a friend and student who works in mental health

"I've come to drearily recognize monotonous behavioral patterns endemic
among people who come to me, imagining themselves to be 'powerless' to stop
biting nails, quit smoking, quit being fat, et al.

In every case, I plainly see:

(1) No individual initiative
(2) No concept of personal responsibility
(3) An ingenious pattern of creativity in maximizing avoidance of all species of individual accountability

Smokers want me to prescribe a pill to 'help them manage emotions.' But, what they really want is to be able to blame the pill, and me, when they subsequently choose not to learn self-management.

Politicians love 'zero-tolerance' and 'mandatory sentencing,' so they can blame a piece of paper when their feebleminded schemes unravel.

And, sadly, we're literally teaching our children these fraudulent, destructive patterns of thinking. It is openly fostered and promoted at the highest levels of government, particularly the current Administration. Being willfully unproductive, perverted, helpless, devoid of ambition, dependant, and chronically self- destructive are now held up as legitimate, even preferred, 'life-styles.'

The highest ideal in schools today is to seek the easiest path, averting
accomplishment at all costs. Personal accountability is unrelentingly avoided, as children are taught to perpetually shift blame, exercising creativity only in the propagation of fanciful excuses.

We've talked before about the systemic decline of our culture, effectively
encouraged by corrupt politicians whose only goal is to acquire absolute
power for themselves forever, as individual rights and liberties are unfailingly suffocated to death. To them, we citizens are little more than livestock, and most citizens are currently only too happy to assume that role!

If these fatal trends don't reverse, we're in for a rough ride, and, in the end, an ignominious demise, as forces of nature treat our civilization as they have all others!"

Additional comment from John Farnam:

Kipling predicted all this at the dawn of the Twentieth Century:

"... In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

... after this is accomplished, and the Brave New World begins
When men are paid for existing, and no man pays for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings, with terror and slaughter, return!"

"Terror and slaughter" has begun!



The following was originally published at mericas_future?page=full&comments=true
and pretty much sums things up in my opinion.

1) Lack Of Personal Responsibility - As a society, we encourage a "victimhood mentality" and an overweening government that never met an issue it didn't want to dive into with both feet; so we shouldn't be surprised that so many Americans expect to be rewarded for failure. If GM fails, we've got to step in and keep it afloat. If people snuck into his country illegally, we can't be so hardhearted as to obey the law and deport them! If you bought a house you couldn't afford, you shouldn't be penalized for that when the market takes a bad turn. If you bought a blender, tried to start it in your bathtub, and were nearly electrocuted -- that's not your fault! The manufacturers should have put a warning sticker on it. We're descended from pioneer stock. Our ancestors explored, conquered, and tamed a continent. They couldn't rely on the police to show up if an Indian raiding party showed up at their isolated cabin at 3 AM. There was no school lunch program on the Oregon Trail. If your buggy whip company was going out of business because of those new fangled auto-mo-biles, you didn't get 20 billion dollars in taxpayer money so you could open up a new branch in China, you went out of business. If our ancestors were alive, they would sneer in disdain at what a nation full of whining babies their descendants have become.

2) Short Attention Spans -Perhaps because of the internet, the stunning variety of news sources, or the complexity of modern society, we've become much less able as a people to follow logical arguments and deal with complex messages. This has bled over into Congress where they write legislation dealing with issues they don't truly understand. That legislation is voted on by legislators who admit that they haven't read it and it affects the lives of millions of people who were unaware that such legislation was even being contemplated. The problem with this is that there are many issues in life that are too knotty to be broken down into a soundbite or a 30 second commercial. Those affairs require more extensive knowledge and deeper thought and consideration than can be placed on a bumper sticker or weaved into a music video. When we lose sight of that fact, utter disasters that have been in plain sight all along for anyone with an attention span longer than five minutes can blindside much of the population.

3) Excessive Self-Esteem -Perhaps because we've spent decades trying to pump up the self-esteem of children in our public schools, irregardless of whether they've done anything to merit it, we have legions of people in our society who have an excessive level of confidence in their beliefs and abilities. They're just so darn sure that what they believe is right just by virtue of the fact they believe it. Traditions? Codes of conduct? Religious beliefs? Customs? There's no need to even understand why previous generations believed what they did or to question what purpose it served. Just remember that they were racist back then and so they couldn't have had any good ideas. Of course, we don't look back and say, "Gee? How did they make it without welfare, social security, or an income tax? Why is it that they had a divorce rate that was a fraction of the one we had today? How is it that the crime rate was so much lower? What made the people so much more polite than they are today? If we were in the same situation as the Founding Fathers, could our political leaders step up to the plate and do as well?" Because we have forgotten the mistakes that convinced our forefathers to adopt the policies and mores that they did, in our ignorance we will be doomed to make many of those same mistakes again.

4) Short Term Thinking/Instant Gratification -  Thomas Sowell once said that killing the goose that laid the golden egg can be a viable election strategy as long as it doesn't die until you're out of office and no one finds your prints on the murder weapon. That is played out in American politics on a daily basis where few politicians think farther ahead than the next election. Time and time again, we have politicians advocating policies that either bring immediate benefits or avoid short-term pain, but are extremely harmful to the country over the long-term. That is primarily how government has gotten so out of control. A problem occurs. In an effort to get re-elected, politicians rush to create a program to "fix" it. Ten years later, the original problem may or may not have been solved, but the program put in place to fix it has caused new issues and costs five times more than it did when it was originally put into place. However, if anyone suggests we get rid of it, there are howls of outrage. Hence, government never shrinks and bad programs almost never die. Meanwhile, large festering problems like Social Security and Medicare are studiously ignored for as long as possible because we don't react until there's a crisis. Only after the horrific events of 9/11 did we start taking terrorism seriously. It took a bridge falling down to get Congress interested in poorly maintained structures nationwide. The whole economy had to crash to get Congress to become alarmed about quasi-governmental agencies handing out loans to people who couldn't pay them back. Incidentally, we've already started going backwards on all of these same problems. The new President shows minimal concern about terrorism, nobody is talking about bridges anymore, and Congress has already started encouraging more bad housing loans. That's because the moment a story drops from the day's news cycle, it goes down the memory hole for most people. That is no way to run a nation.

5) Immorality - The default mode of Hollywood is hedonism and we've been told again and again, at least since the Clinton years, that character doesn't matter for our elected officials. The problem with this is that character does matter -- quite a bit, actually. Our leaders are corrupt to the core -- and that's not just the ones who are in violation of our laws, which have been crafted in order to allow staggering amounts of corruption to be done legally. The families of politicians are given plum jobs and paid ridiculous sums of money in order to gain influence with legislators. Government earmarks that aid campaign contributors or family members of Congress are common. Chrysler has even been handed over to Barack Obama's union allies in broad daylight. Ethics have become the very last consideration for our government and perhaps it's no surprise given the state of our society. Civility is dead and buried. We have people protesting funerals and the private residences of citizens. There are perverted gay parades in the streets of San Francisco. The most grotesque, blasphemous, and offensive material imaginable is regularly displayed on the internet and TV and we are drenched in sex from the time we get up until the time we go to bed. As a replacement for actual human decency and morality, we've turned to political correctness and bloodless legalisms, neither of which is an adequate replacement for doing the right thing because it's principled or virtuous. The corrosive effects of this decline are seen not just in our government, but all throughout our society in the size of our prison population, the number of unmarried women having children, drug use, school shootings, and even our staggering abortion rate. 


An American's Creed
By Dean Alfange


I do not choose to be a common man
It is my right to be uncommon...
If I can. I seek opportunity... Not security.

I do not wish to be a kept citizen,
Humbled and dulled by having the state to dream and build, to
Fail and succeed.

I refuse to barter incentive for a dole.
I prefer the challenges of life to the
Guaranteed existence; the thrill of
Fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.

I will not trade freedom for beneficence
Nor my dignity for a hand out. I will
Never cower before any master nor bend
to any threat.

It is my heritage to stand erect,
proud, and unafraid; to think and act for
myself; enjoy the benefits of my
creations; and to face the world boldly
and say, "This I have done with my own hand,
I am a man. I am an American.

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