Star Wars VIII: The Lost, Last Jedi – A Review

After the heart-breaking death of the beloved Star Wars character, Han Solo, in 2015’s The Force Awakens, despite pleas from the Star Wars franchise and its stars not to read spoiler notices, this die-hard Star Wars fan wasn’t taking chances:  bring on the spoilers for The Last Jedi.

 

Braced for what was to come, we went to see Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi.

 

You’d have to be an idiot, or at least not a kool-aided Star Wars fan, not to notice the huge clues the producers gave about Luke Skywalker’s fate – for instance, comparing actor Mark Hamill’s age for No. 8 to that of actor Alec Guinness (the original Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi) in the original Star Wars.

 

“Death is a natural part of life…” Yoda tells Anakin Skywalker in The Revenge of the Sith.  “Rejoice for those who have transformed into the Force;  miss them not, mourn them not.”

 

That’s all the spoiler information you’re going to get.

 

Because The Last Jedi is a terrific movie that deserves not to be spoiled.

 

The movie is full of surprises from beginning to end. Certainly, it’s not as much fun as the original 1977 Star Wars fun.  No Star Wars movie ever will be, at least as long as the producers cling so desperate to the Dark Side, determined to kill off its heroes.  Even the unfairly maligned prequels were better than The Force Awakens.

 

By contrast, Last Jedi is a romp.

 

Divulging any of the plot is to give it away. Since fans are most concerned with the fate of the series’ original hero, Luke Skywalker, we find him as we did at the very end of The Force Awakens, facing the last nameless heroine, Rey (Daisy Ridley), about to present him with one of his old lightsabers (really, he’s thrown away or lost so many, antique collectors in that galaxy far, far away must be getting rich hunting them down and selling fake Luke Skywalker lightsabers).

 

If you’ve been thinking that he’ll take back his lightsaber and nostalgically reignite it – well, you’re wrong. The audience, including the Other Half, were shocked and apparently angry at what he does with it.  Leaving only one person in the entire theater laughing.

 

Luke Skywalker has changed. Decidedly – and not for the better, we’re supposed to believe.  Gone is the idealist young crusader with the Prince Valiant haircut, the callow youth moping behind the scenery-blasting Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and the nuclear missile Princess Leia (“firecracker”) somehow just doesn’t do justice to her spirit.

 

What Rey finds is a cynical, embittered hermit crab ensconced alone on his private island on the worst planet that’s farthest from the brightest spot in the galaxy. What a relief he is, too.  With Han Solo gone – and Princess Leia’s fate sealed with the death of actress Carrie Fisher late last year shortly after finishing production on this movie – someone has to take on the duties of sarcastic, sardonic, and appreciably funny wag.

 

 

Actor Mark Hamill, long shackled by expectations of being the idealistic hero, relishes Luke’s crabbiness. In short, Luke Skywalker, while he’s grown old has also grown up.  He’s a hoot of a coot.  When he finally agrees to give Rey three brief lessons in being a Jedi, he instructs her to close her eyes and tell him what she sees through the Force.  As he taunts her, it’s still inexplicable why the audience wasn’t laughing more.

 

Don’t they get it? Or don’t they want to?  Yoda was as cross and stern a Jedi master both with Anakin (with whom he failed miserably) and Luke as you’d ever want to experience.  Most of us would have stormed out of his hypocritical classes.  Why do we expect the now-matured Luke to be any different?

 

Luke has succumbed if not to the Dark Side, then at least to Depression. He blames himself for his failure to train his nephew, Ben Solo – or Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).  Luke couldn’t bring himself to kill the young Kylo, who had already been courted by the villainous Supreme Leader of the First Order, Snoke.

 

He wants no more to do with the Jedi Order, although he is living on the island where the original Jedi Order was founded. He finds neither enlightenment nor salvation on the island; on the original servants of the Jedi.

 

Rey explains that she was sent by his sister, Leia, to bring him back to join the renamed Rebel Alliance, now called “The Resistance.”

 

“What do you expect me to do?” he asks Rey. “Take on the whole First Order single-handed.”  Not even a legend can take on a whole fleet of First Order metal-heads, led by his deranged nephew.

 

Still, this request from his sister only plunges Luke further into despair. But a reunion with Chewbacca and especially his old droid, R2D2, bring him out of his funk.

 

The reunion with R2 revives the Luke Skywalker we came to know and love. The reunion is touching and nostalgic.  He doesn’t agree to return, necessarily, but does agree to train Rey properly in the ways of The Force.

 

Meanwhile, the Resistance is struggling, even under the capable leadership of Leia. No “Princess” please or any other titles – i.e., “General,”  “Mistress,” or “Mrs. Solo.”  Just plain “Leia.”  Poe Daemaron (pronounced “Di-ma-ron”) returns as the hot-headed, very cool Resistance pilot.

 

Poe (Oscar Isaac) is frustrated with the caution of the Resistance Leadership. Against the orders of Vice Admiral Holdo (a purple-haired Laura Dern) and General Leia herself, he leads a risky bombing raid on a First Order battleship.  The raid is only partially successful and leads to a dangerous depletion of Resistance fighters.

 

Ever the firecracker, Princess Leia physically gives him what-for, telling him to get his head “out of the cockpit.” She has plans for his evident leadership capabilities.  With him is his trusty, roly-poly droid, BB-8.  His pal Finn (John Boyega) makes a sloshy return.  In the background are old friends R2D2 (aboard the Millennium Falcon) and C3PO, still assisting the Princess.

 

The First Order has a new device which seriously imperils the diminished Resistance fleet and its personnel. Unless it can be destroyed, there will be no place for the Resistance to hide.  A new, feisty character in the person of a low-level Resistance technician, Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) is introduced, definitely a candidate to replace the beloved character of Princess Leia, who obviously can’t return, not even as a Force ghost.

 

She, Poe, and a reluctant Finn, hatch a plot to travel to a casino planet (shades of the ancient Battlestar Galactica television series) to find a brilliant codebreaker who can help them destroy the device on the First Order’s lead ship.

 

The journey is a strange diversion that doesn’t accomplish the mission the way they think it will. In the end, the Resistance must resort to other means to destroy the First Order ship.  Many secondary favorites in the Star Wars series meet their doom in this darker, middle sequel.

 

The Resistance makes its escape to a nearby planet with even more losses, until only a handful of the band is left, hiding in a salt mine as Kylo Ren tracks them down. Even the plucky Princess Leia admits they’ve come to the end of the road.

 

A connection seems to exist between Rey and Kylo. Advertisements warn viewers not to spoil the scene show in a commercial that shows them reaching out to one another.  There’s really nothing to spoil.  But much that should be taken with a huge grain of salt.  Don’t believe everything you hear, especially from a Sith Lord.  There are truths – and half-truths.

 

The connection is so strong that they can actually see one another, which is reminiscent of the connection between Luke and Leia. As far as we know, their connection was only verbal.  But we don’t know that they couldn’t see one another.  In fact, a clue in The Empire Strikes Back would indicate that Leia could see Luke (“Turn around, Chewie; I know where Luke is”).

 

How such a bond could exist between two apparent strangers as Kylo Ren and Rey has yet to be explained. Alas, we must wait for an explanation – and probably more revelations – in the as-yet unnamed Star Wars IX.  A sagacious Star Wars fan would keep in mind that Leia was adopted and never told who her parents were.

 

When all is lost, a hero must show up, one way or another. Even a lost hero (“lost” in the sense of having lost his way).  No need to tell you who or how.  Suffice it to say that the younger generation of Resistance fighters is in awe when he appears.  A tender and emotional but quiet reunion with Leia results before the final showdown.

 

The final scene of the movie is a tribute not just to that hero, but to all that hero’s fans.

 

Last Jedi wisely stays away from the subject of Han Solo’s funeral. Originally intended to take place in this film, the producers wisely chose to leave it out entirely.  Rey speaks for all the Star Wars fans when she tearfully screams at Kylo Ren, “Why did you kill him?!  Why did you kill your father?”

 

His answer is lost in the overkill of the Dolby Sound system, as is the conversation between Luke and the ghost of Yoda. Apparently, it’s something along the lines of, “You know the answer; there is no ‘why.’”

 

Hope remains for the future generation of Star Wars heroes (and villains). This generation needs no translators to tell them what their droids are saying.  Given the new generation’s droid savvy, it would seem that the comical C-3PO is going to be phased out in the future.  We don’t see that much of R2, either,  who’s pretty much sidelined and overshadowed by the newer BB-8 (ignore those commercials about a faceplate-off between BB-8 and his First Order counterpart – doesn’t happen, at least not in this movie).

 

Happily for original Star Wars fans, Disney is planning a whole slate of Star Wars films that take place within the time bracket of the prequels and the original three movies. Solo: A Star Wars Story is slated to premiere in the spring, to be followed by an Obi-Wan story.  Dare we hope for a young Princess Leia movie?  And of course, a very young Luke Skywalker movie.

 

Plans are also afoot to expand the franchise beyond its current time-frame, to follow the adventures of Rey, Finn, Rose, and the dashing Poe Daemaron. There’s something for everyone in the Star Wars universe.

 

“Hope can be a powerful force.” Laini Taylor.

 

May the Hope be with you.

 

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Published in: on December 18, 2017 at 3:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Getting Away with Murder in San Francisco

Last week, the verdict came in. The murderer of Kate Steinle, Jose Inez Garcia Zarate, was acquitted of all charges, including involuntary manslaughter.  He changed his story twice – first, he said he’d been shooting at a sea lion, then that he found the gun wrapped in a cloth under a bench on which he was sitting and that it accidentally discharged while he was picking it up.  Yet the jury didn’t even consider his own admission because it wasn’t his gun and because the police discovered a chip in the concrete.

During the Warren Commission investigation of JFK’s assassination when the members were told that a shot had ricocheted off some concrete near the underpass, slightly injuring a bystander, they dismissed it.

The shot ricocheted off the concrete deck of the pier, striking Steinle in the back, according to the defense. She died two hours later.  The gun, which had been stolen from a Bureau of Land Management agent in San Francisco, was a Sig Sauer.  According to the defense A key point of contention was the ease with which the weapon could have been fired accidentally.

A supervising criminologist at the San Francisco Police Department crime lab testified that the gun was in excellent condition and would not have fired without someone pulling the trigger. The defense emphasized that the Sig Sauer pistol has no external safety mechanism to prevent accidental firing, and pointed to a record of even police trained in the use of Sig Sauer pistols having made accidental discharges. As examined by the criminologist, it was placed in single-action mode (where the hammer is cocked), rather than double-action mode (where a single pull of the trigger both cocks and releases the hammer). While it is typical for a gun that has been fired to be in single-action mode

According to a report by radio station KHSU, on their website:NEXT: 10AM Go For Baroque

KHSU (MP3)

Democracy Now!

A retired San Francisco crime scene investigator testified Monday in the high-profile murder trial over the 2015 slaying of Kathryn Steinle that “firearms do not fire by themselves.”

 

It’s a simple point that’s at the heart of whether defendant Jose Ines Garcia Zarate will be found guilty of murdering 32-year-old Steinle, whom he had never met, as she walked with her father on San Francisco’s waterfront.

 

To justify a murder conviction, the prosecution had to prove Garcia Zarate intended to fire the gun at Steinle or a crowd of people gathered on Pier 14 about an hour before sunset on July 1, 2015. The defense is arguing Steinle’s death was an accident: that Garcia Zarate picked up an unknown object wrapped in cloth from beneath a rotating metal chair on the pier. The gun was stolen from a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger four days before the killing, and the defense argues it accidentally fired as Garcia Zarate unwrapped it.

 

Assistant District Attorney Diana Garcia called since-retired SFPD officer and crime scene investigator John Evans to testify on Monday. He said the initial investigation of the pier on July 1, 2015, turned up no evidence.

 

But after a bullet that had been flattened on one side was extracted from Steinle’s body, Evans and his team of crime scene investigators returned to the pier, determined through an “exhaustive search” to find the place where the bullet struck before it hit Steinle in the back.

 

And on July 5, 2015, investigators found a chip in the concrete 12 to 15 feet from where Garcia Zarate was believed to be sitting and about 78 feet from where Steinle fell to the ground.

 

But that one point alone was not enough to reconstruct the trajectory of the bullet, Evans testified. He would need two “known, fixed points” that the bullet hit in order to determine the bullet’s path.

 

Instead, Evans conducted what he called a “vector analysis” to see if it was at least possible for the shot to have originated from approximately where Garcia Zarate was sitting, ricochet off the concrete and hit Steinle.

 

They did it by pointing a laser from one of a pair of metal chairs. (It was unclear which one Garcia Zarate was in at the time of their investigation, Evans testified.) He found an unobstructed, straight line from the chair to the divot in the concrete, and another line from there to approximately where Steinle was standing.

 

Prosecutor Diana Garcia asked Evans whether he’d formed an overall opinion about the shooting, and he was allowed to answer over objections from Garcia Zarate’s defense attorney.

 

“A human being held a firearm, pointed it in the direction of Ms. Steinle, pulled the trigger and fired, killing her,” Evans testified. “That is the only way this could have occurred, that is reasonable.”

On the ricochet, Evans described an action he called “jerking the trigger,” in which a person — generally an inexperienced shooter, pulls the trigger harder than necessary, causing the barrel to dip. He said that can result in what he called a “skip shot.”

 

“It can be intentional or unintentional, but it’s where the bullet that is fired strikes a hard surface in the direction of the target but short of the target,” he said.

Defense attorney Matt Gonzalez tried to deconstruct Evans’ conclusion during cross examination.

 

“A trajectory analysis was not conducted because we don’t have the basic elements of a trajectory analysis,” Gonzalez said in court. “I’ve been doing this for 25 years and I’ve never seen a witness talk about a subset of trajectory analysis called vector analysis. I’m surprised.”

 

Gonzalez went through a long line of questioning about whether a ricochet would change the direction that a bullet was traveling. Evans said it did, vertically, but from the top, down or from the perspective of the shooter, it would still appear to be a straight line.

 

“I didn’t find it convincing,” Gonzalez said outside of court. He said the defense plans to call expert witnesses on bullet trajectory. “They’re going to tell you that bullet hit the concrete, and it’s not traveling straight anymore. It’s moving to the side, it’s moving vertically, and every time you do that, you’re going to have a different result. That’s the whole point.”

The American people, on the whole, were not convinced. Guns don’t kill people; people do.  If in pulling the trigger poorly, forcing the barrel to go down, then Zarate would seem to have been aiming at Steinle.  A video caught him throwing something into the water before walking away.

But the left-wing jury – some of whom were illegal immigrants – were completely convinced, even though the gun was not produced in evidence to determine whether the gun had a “sensitive” trigger.

The verdict was not a pronouncement on crimes committed by illegal aliens in that sanctuary city; it was a verdict on Donald Trump’s presidency and his determination to deter illegal immigration, convict and deport illegal immigrants (who by their very presence in the United States are criminals), and build a wall on the southern border of the United States to deter their influx.

Yes, more needs to be done than building a big, beautiful wall. Two-thirds of illegal immigrants overstay their visas.  But since they usually take up residence in big cities that give them sanctuary, they’re not likely to be arrested.  Not only aren’t they being arrested, but federal authorities are being prevented by city governments from carrying out federal laws.

What’s more, they’re graciously invited to vote in our polling places – and our juries.

The race card theory of defense began in the 1980s. The theory posited that defendants should be acquitted, even if a preponderance of evidence is found against them, on the grounds that minorities have suffered 400 or more years of “injustice” and their time has come.

That’s social justice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on December 15, 2017 at 12:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Big “But” in Trump’s Statement to Soldier’s Widow

Democrat Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson charged Pres. Trump with making an insensitive comment to the widow of a soldier killed during an ambush in Niger.

Wilson charged the president with saying, “He [Army Sgt. La David Johnson] knew what he signed up for,” a response often made to Liberal charges that a soldier died needlessly.

But according to a CNN report on Oct. 18, Wilson didn’t include the full statement. There’s a big “but” in what Trump said.

The president told Johnson’s widow in an official consolation phone call, “He knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurts.”

He may not have even said that much. The President claims that Wilson’s accusation is a total fabrication. The clause certainly softens the perception of what he may or may not have said in what the White House calls “a private conversation” which Wilson listened to on a speaker phone.

The accusation came just in time to overshadow an excellent speech the President made to the Heritage Foundation in Washington. The speech was at least carried by Fox Business News Network, if no other carrier.

The president hit all the points guaranteed to earn the gratitude of Conservatives:

He defended the American flag

He denounced Obamacare, following up on his executive order repeal after Congress failed to keep their promise to do so.

He placed the blame for the current Venezuelan crisis where it belonged – on Socialism.

He blasted the extremely burdensome”, “outdated” and “complex” tax code that has harried businesses and citizens alike, and restated his administration’s commitment to phase out the existing tax code, coupled with the “horrible” and “unfair” ‘death tax’.

 

“Our team will ensure our companies stay in America, grow in America and hire in America”, Trump boasted.

Finally, he restated his belief that America is poorly served by the overweening bureaucracy that makes doing business in the United States untenable, costs taxpayers billions of dollars every year, and encroaches upon the freedoms guaranteed by the Founding Fathers.

He restated a popular phrase he has coined, inspired by the Founding Fathers, that “Freedom is not a gift from the government; it is a gift from God.”

Liberals would never admit to it, but a statement like that sends them into a state of anxiety. They don’t want the citizens of the United States, whom they’ve been brainwashing (mainly through academia), to get the idea that government representatives are actually accountable to the people. Their theory is that once elected, they have a mandate to wield their power as they see fit and proffer their loyalty to an invisible, indiscriminate constituency that works against the interests of real Americans.

They had to concoct a diversion from Trump’s Heritage Foundation speech before anyone heard that deadly (to Liberals) word – “freedom”. So they made a hash of this nonsense about the phone call to the black soldier’s widow. The propagandist media compliantly publicized out of all proportion into 24-point, capitalized-hysteria headlines.

Anything to keep attention away from that dangerous word – freedom.

Trump has been giving wonderful, patriotic speeches which explains why the Media and Hollywood have been working overtime to denounce the president in every possible manner.

They’re in big trouble, though, now that the Rosatom scandal has finally resurfaced, thanks to Sean Hannity. Hannity has revealed that Mueller had planned to railroad Trump and exonerate Hillary long before anyone ever thought. He’d already written a draft of her pardon for her various crimes.

Yet another reason for the cognitive charlantry by the Leftist Media. Their army of late-night fools may woo the young and stupid, the high and low-lifes, and the college idiots. But the truth is still out there. You can’t laugh away the Dow Jones at 23,000.

President Trump – keep on giving those awesome speeches about freedom, get rid of Obamacare, build that wall, and reform the tax code.

It’s what you signed up for.

 

 

Published in: on October 19, 2017 at 11:59 am  Leave a Comment  

Merging the Boy Scouts with the Girl Scouts

The Boy Scouts of America just announced that they will begin allowing girls to become Boy Scouts. Among the reasons, they cite demand by one-parent families who want to reduce the amount of time they spend driving their little scouts around to different meetings and dwindling attendance in the Boy Scouts.

The Boy Scouts began having problems as early as the 1950s when troops began allowing younger boys into the organization. The original age for a boy to enter the scouts was 12 years old.  The older scouts felt they were being asked to “babysit” the much younger scouts, whom they regarded as children.

The entrance of younger children in English scouting began soon after the creation of the Boy Scouts. In 1914, Boy Scouts founder Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell began implementing a program for younger boys that was based on Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book. The Wolf Cub program began in 1916, and since that time, Wolf Cubbing has spread to other European countries with very little change.

In America, hundreds of Cub Scout-age boys and their families were clamoring for a program of their own. As early as 1920, Scout executives at the first national training conference discussed the needs of younger boys. The BSA, however, felt it wise to postpone any action until there was more objective evidence.

By 1929, the new Cubbing program (it wasn’t called “Cub Scouting” until several years later) was taking shape and was introduced as a demonstration project in a limited number of communities. Its structure was similar to today’s Cub Scouting, except that dens were led by Boy Scout den chiefs. The plan included a neighborhood mothers’ committee to encourage Cubs and den chiefs.

In 1930, Cub Scouting was formally launched, with 5,102 boys registered at the end of that first year. By 1933 the time had come to promote Cub Scouting throughout the country as a part of Scouting. All experimental restrictions were removed, and the first national director of Cub Scouting was appointed.

Den mother registration was optional for the first few years. By June 1938, 1,100 den mothers had registered and soon became an important part of Cub Scouting.

The first dens met weekly at a member’s home, where boys played games and enjoyed crafts and ceremonies. The pack met weekly or semi-monthly for games, den competitions, awards, stunts, and other activities. Cubs advanced from Bobcat (for all new members) to Wolf (age 9), Bear (age 10), and Lion (age 11) and joined a Boy Scout troop at age 12.

In 1949, the age requirement was lowered to between 8 and 10 for Cub Scouts. It was then that the older scouts began to complain.  In 1982, Tiger Cubs was started based on shared leadership of boy-adult partner teams and the school year calendar. In 1986, Cub Scouts could register as second-grade boys.

 

 

Scouting’s history goes back to the turn of the 20th century when Baden-Powell, a British Army officer stationed in India, discovered that his men did not know basic first aid or the elementary means of survival in the outdoors. He realized he needed to teach his men many frontier skills, so he wrote a small handbook called “Aids to Scouting”, which emphasized resourcefulness, adaptability, and the qualities of leadership that frontier conditions demanded.

After returning from the Boer War, where he became famous by protecting the small town of Mafeking for 217 days, Baden-Powell was amazed to find that his little handbook had caught the interest of English boys. They were using it to play the game of scouting.

Baden-Powell had the vision to see some new possibilities, and he decided to test his ideas on boys. In August 1907, he gathered about 20 boys and took them to Brownsea Island in a sheltered bay off England’s southern coast. They set up a make-shift camp that would be their home for the next 12 days.

The boys had a great time. They divided into patrols and played games, went on hikes, and learned stalking and pioneering. They learned to cook outdoors without utensils. Scouting began on that island and would sweep the globe in a few years.

The next year, Baden-Powell published his book, “Scouting for Boys,” and Scouting continued to grow. That same year, more than 10,000 Boy Scouts attended a rally held at the Crystal Palace; a mere two years later, membership in Boy Scouts had tripled.

About this same time, the seeds of Scouting were growing in the United States. On a farm in Connecticut, a naturalist and author named Ernest Thompson Seton organized a group of boys called the Woodcraft Indians; and Daniel Carter Beard, an artist and writer, organized the Sons of Daniel Boone. In many ways, the two organizations were similar, but they were not connected. The boys had never heard of Baden-Powell or of Boy Scouts, and yet both groups were destined to become Boy Scouts one day.

But first, an American businessman had to get lost in the fog in England. Chicago businessman and publisher William D. Boyce was wandering through the fog when a boy appeared and offered to lead him to his destination. When they arrived, Boyce tried to tip the boy, but the boy refused and courteously explained that he was a Scout and could not accept payment for a Good Turn.

Intrigued, the publisher questioned the boy and learned more about Scouting. He visited with Baden-Powell as well and became captured by the idea of Scouting. When Boyce boarded the transatlantic steamer for home, he had a suitcase filled with information and ideas. And so, on Feb. 8, 1910, Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America.

The “unknown Scout” who helped him in the fog was never heard from again, but he will never be forgotten. His Good Turn is what brought Scouting to our country.

After the incorporation of the BSA, a group of public-spirited citizens worked to set up the organization. Seton became the first Chief Scout of the BSA, and Beard was made the national commissioner.

The first executive officer was James E. West, a young man from Washington who had risen above a tragic boyhood and physical disability to become a successful lawyer. He dedicated himself to helping all children to have a better life and led the BSA for 32 years as the Chief Scout Executive.

Scouting has grown in the United States from 2,000 Boy Scouts and leaders in 1910 to millions strong today. From a program for Boy Scouts only, it has spread into a program including Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers.

The Beginning of Cub Scouting

Back in England, younger boys were eager to become Boy Scouts. In 1914, Baden-Powell began implementing a program for younger boys that was based on Rudyard Kipling’s “Jungle Book.” The Wolf Cub program began in 1916, and since that time, Wolf Cubbing has spread to other European countries with very little change.

In America, hundreds of Cub Scout-age boys and their families were clamoring for a program of their own. As early as 1920, Scout executives at the first national training conference discussed the needs of younger boys. The BSA, however, felt it wise to postpone any action until there was more objective evidence.

In 1925, Dr. Huber W. Hurt, a research psychologist and veteran Scouter, was authorized to study existing organizations for younger boys, such as Boy Rangers, Boy Pioneers, American Eagles, and Boys’ Clubs. He found that only one boy in 50 participated regularly in any type of organized leisure-time program. He also found that younger boys responded better to leadership and program efforts than older boys. He worked closely with Ernest Thompson Seton. Both men recommended that the BSA adopt a program for younger boys, with older Boy Scouts as leaders, to tie into home, church, school, and Boy Scouting.

The National Executive Board authorized the Chief Scout Executive to thoroughly investigate the matter. An advisory committee worked with the BSA to develop a plan and produce the necessary literature. Advice was obtained from leading psychologists, sociologists, teachers, school superintendents, professors of education, college executives, and recreation and welfare directors.

By 1929, the new Cubbing program (it wasn’t called “Cub Scouting” until several years later) was taking shape and was introduced as a demonstration project in a limited number of communities. Its structure was similar to today’s Cub Scouting, except that dens were led by Boy Scout den chiefs. The plan included a neighborhood mothers’ committee to encourage Cubs and Den chiefs.

In 1930, Cub Scouting was formally launched, with 5,102 boys registered at the end of that first year. By 1933 the time had come to promote Cub Scouting throughout the country as a part of Scouting. All experimental restrictions were removed, and the first national director of Cub Scouting was appointed.

Den mother registration was optional for the first few years. By June 1938, 1,100 den mothers had registered and soon became an important part of Cub Scouting.

The first dens met weekly at a member’s home, where boys played games and enjoyed crafts and ceremonies. The pack met weekly or semimonthly for games, den competitions, awards, stunts, and other activities. Cubs advanced from Bobcat (for all new members) to Wolf (age 9), Bear (age 10), and Lion (age 11) and joined a Boy Scout troop at age 12.

In 1949, the age requirement was lowered to between 8 and 10 for Cub Scouts. In 1982, Tiger Cubs was started based on shared leadership of boy-adult partner teams and the school year calendar. In 1986, Cub Scouts could register as second-grade boys.

Cub Scouting in America is different from the younger-boy programs of other countries because it is centered in the home and neighborhood. With the encouragement of family and leaders, boys enjoy a program that covers a wide variety of interesting things. It suggests activities that boys enjoy doing on their own when adults are not supervising them. These activities are particularly suited to boys of Cub Scout age and are different from those they will encounter in Boy Scouting.

A strong influence from Kipling’s Jungle Book remains today. The terms “Law of the Pack,” “Akela,” “Wolf Cub,” “grand howl,” “den,” and “pack” all come from the Jungle Book. At the same time, the Gold and Silver Arrow Points, Webelos emblem, and Arrow of Light emblem are taken from our American Indian heritage.

The Boy Scout leaders may have thought putting the older boys in charge of the younger ones was a great idea; but the 12 year-olds of the time didn’t appreciate babysitting the ever-younger scouts. They wanted to be able to hike and camp without wiping homesick noses.

 

If the Boy Scouts have found their membership dipping, they shouldn’t be too surprised. In 2015, after much government pressure, including being forbidden to hold their meetings in public spaces, the Boy Scouts caved and allowed homosexual men to lead troops.  Now homosexual leaders are involved in the scouts at all levels, including the executive, decision-making level.

 

After that came the acceptance of gay and transgender scouts.

 

The other reason for the membership fall-off is the gradual consumption of rural and suburban woodlands for ever-denser housing and an increase in urban immigration. Boy Scouts – and their families – must travel ever farther to find the open space for activities such as hiking and camping.

 

Don’t think that the Girl Scouts of America are thrilled with this progressive movement by the Boy Scouts. Why would girls need to join a Boy Scout troop when Girl Scout troops already exist?

 

I hated the Girl Scouts. I hated selling their stupid cookies.  The Girl Scouts were much too feminist for my liking.  If we’d baked our own cookies and then sold them, that would have been great.  But all the Girl Scout organization was interested in was raising funds.

 

But I didn’t want to be a Boy Scout, either, even though I felt they had a much better organization (back then). Boy Scouts were for boys after all, and even though I was made an honorary Boy Scout after the Boy Scout leader heard how badly I was treated in the Girl Scouts, there was still that line that I couldn’t cross – and didn’t want to, really.

 

Oddly, in recent years, the Boy Scouts have tried to copy the Girls Scouts’ “business model” forcing the boys to “sell” candy bars and popcorn and so forth. The boys also hold car washes, which is much better because they’re actually involved in earning the money.

 

The boys in the Boy Scouts don’t want to be Girl Scouts. They don’t want to associate with the Girl Scouts.  The BSA has assured the public that the girls will have their “own” troops but we all know that won’t last.  The Boy Scouts’ homosexual leaders want to associate with the Girl Scouts – although the Girl Scouts’ ultra-feminist leaders aren’t having any of it.

 

Those who’ve infiltrated the Boy Scout organization have an agenda – to destroy the Boy Scouts’ quasi-military, self-reliance-oriented playbook. In the socialist future they want to create, there should be no individual initiative, no independence; they want to foster reliance on the government and a culture of communal “teamwork”.  They certainly don’t want to encourage survival skills that might make the scout independent of communal authority.

 

If the Boy Scouts wanted to increase their membership, adding girls to the mix isn’t exactly the way to encourage boys to join. The pacifist elements in the organization will rejoice at the eventual disintegration of the Boy Scouts of America.  In borrowing the Boy Scouts’ history, it was necessary to edit the story of the lost Chicago businessman from “groping” in the fog to “wandering” in the fog.

 

Was it an unfortunate choice of words on the part of the writer?

 

Or a Freudian “slip”?

 

If the Boy Scouts of America fold up their tents, it will just be another chapter in the sad decline of American culture.

 

 

Published in: on October 12, 2017 at 3:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Kneelers and the Star Spangled Banner

NFL “Kneelers” are feeling the backlash of their actions. Season ticketholders are turning in their tickets.  The wife of Lou Dobbs, who lives in Wantage, turned in their season tickets.  That had to be a considerable kick in the shins to the NFL, as Dobbs is a major media celebrity and probably had expensive seats.

Less affluent ticketholders are burning their tickets in backyard bonfires all across the nation. Football fans are vowing to switch off the game in protest over the protests.  The Kneelers have various excuses for their protest.  They’re protesting Pres. Trump’s election.  They’re protesting his Charlottesville remarks (regarding a clash between White Supremacists and Black Lives Matter over a Gen. Robert E. Lee statue).  They’re protesting police brutality in the ghettos.

They claim now that they’re protesting everything under the sun except the American flag and the National Anthem (which salutes the American flag). However, as Rush Limbaugh pointed out on his radio program this afternoon, they’re holding their demonstration during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner and the salute to the flag.

In the background of photographs, you see some fans singing and others booing the protestors.

It’s kind of surprising that they’re not booing the National Anthem, since its obscure third stanza includes a reference to slavery. Not that we want to give the enemy ammunition, but to point out why they’re not publicizing it.

According to the entry on Wikipedia:

Francis Scott Key, the author of the poem, “Defense of Fort M’Henry,” written on Sept. 14, 1835, was born on Aug. 1, 1779 to Ann Phoebe Penn Dagworthy (Charlton) and Captain John Ross Key at the family plantation Terra Rubra in what was then part of Frederick County, now Carroll County, Maryland.  His father was a lawyer, judge, and officer in the Continental Army.

Key graduated from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md., at the age of about 16 or 17 in 1796, and “read the law” ” under an uncle, Philip Barton Key, who was (along with his wife) loyal to the British Crown during the War of Independence. Francis Scott married Mary Taylor Lloyd on January 1, 1802.

Key was a leading attorney in Frederick, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. for many years, with an extensive real estate as well as trial practice. He and his family settled in Georgetown in 1805 or 1806, near the new national capital. There the young Key assisted his uncle in the sensational conspiracy trial of Aaron Burr and the expulsion of Sen. John Smith of Ohio. He made the first of his many arguments before the United States Supreme Court in 1807. In 1808 he assisted President Thomas Jefferson’s attorney general in United States v. Peters (regarding a state’s right to nullify a Supreme Court decision).

In 1829, Key, a supporter of Andrew Jackson, assisted in the prosecution of Tobias Watkins, former U.S. Treasury auditor under former President John Quincy Adams for misappropriating public monies. He also handled the Petticoat Affair concerning Secretary of War John Eaton, who had married a widowed saloonkeeper. In 1832, he served as the attorney for Sam Houston, then a former U.S. Representative and Governor of Tennessee, during his trial for assaulting Representative William Stanbery of Ohio.[13]

President Jackson nominated Key for U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia in 1833. After the U.S. Senate approved the nomination, he served from 1833 to 1841, while also handling his own private legal cases. In 1835, in his most famous case, he prosecuted Richard Lawrence for his unsuccessful attempt to assassinate President Andrew Jackson at the entrance doors and top steps of the Capitol, the first attempt to kill an American chief executive.

A Southerner, Key purchased his first slave in 1800 or 1801 and owned six slaves by 1820. But a decade later, Key manumitted\ (set free) seven slaves, one of whom (Clem Johnson) continued to work for him for wages as his farm’s foreman, supervising several slaves.

Throughout his career Key also represented several slaves seeking their freedom in court (for free), as well as several masters seeking return of their runaway slaves. Key, Judge William Leigh of Halifax, and Bishop William Meade were administrators of the will of their friend John Randolph of Roanoke, who died without children and left a will directing his executors to free his more than four hundred slaves. Over the next decade, beginning in 1833, the administrators fought to enforce the will and provide the freed slaves land to support themselves.

Key publicly criticized slavery’s cruelties, so much that after his death a newspaper editorial stated, “So actively hostile was he to the peculiar institution that he was called ‘The [N-word] Lawyer’ …. because he often volunteered to defend the downtrodden sons and daughters of Africa.  Mr. Key convinced me that slavery was wrong—radically wrong.”  In June 1842, Key attended the funeral of William Costin, a free, mixed race resident who had challenged Washington’s surety bond laws.

Key was a founding member and active leader of the American Colonization Society and its predecessor, the influential Maryland branch, the primary goal of which was to send free African-Americans back to Africa.  However, he was removed from the board in 1833 as its policies shifted toward abolitionism (the freeing and suffrage of Blacks).

Here we run into the problem modern activists have with Key and with the ACS. Pres. Lincoln himself was in favor of repatriation back to Africa.  The United States went so far as to create a nation-state for freed former slaves who wished to go back to Africa – Liberia.  Great Britain created a similar colony called “Sierra Leone.”

Key used his position as U.S. Attorney to suppress abolitionists. In 1833, he secured a grand jury indictment against Benjamin Lundy, editor of the anti-slavery publication, the Genius of Universal Emancipation, and his printer, William Greer, for libel after Lundy published an article that declared, “There is neither mercy nor justice for colored people in this district [of Columbia].” Lundy’s article, Key said in the indictment, “was intended to injure, oppress, aggrieve, and vilify the good name, fame, credit and reputation of the Magistrates and constables” of Washington. Lundy left town rather than face trial; Greer was acquitted.

In August 1836, Key agreed to prosecute botanist and Doctor Reuben Crandall, brother of controversial Connecticut school teacher Prudence Crandall, who had recently moved to the national capital. Key secured an indictment for “seditious libel” after two marshals (who operated as slave catchers in their off hours) found Crandall had a trunk full of anti-slavery publications in his Georgetown residence, five days after the Snow Riot, caused by rumors that a mentally ill slave had attempted to kill an elderly white woman. In an April 1837 trial that attracted nationwide attention, Key charged that Crandall’s actions instigated slaves to rebel. Crandall’s attorneys acknowledged he opposed slavery, but denied any intent or actions to encourage rebellion. Key, in his final address to the jury said:

“Are you willing, gentlemen, to abandon your country, to permit it to be taken from you, and occupied by the abolitionist, according to whose taste it is to associate and amalgamate with the Negro? Or, gentlemen, on the other hand, are there laws in this community to defend you from the immediate abolitionist, who would open upon you the floodgates of such extensive wickedness and mischief?”

A jury acquitted Crandall.

This defeat, as well as family tragedies in 1835, diminished Key’s political ambition. He resigned as district attorney in 1840. He remained a staunch proponent of African colonization and a strong critic of the anti-slavery movement until his death.  His view and that of others in the colonization movement believed that former slaves would have a better chance of enjoying freedom in their own country, without facing the bias of European-Americans.

Frederick Douglass, a close friend of Abraham Lincoln’s, was violently opposed to colonization. Lincoln was on the fence, and though repatriation would be better and wiser for everyone.  However, at Douglass’ insistence, he changed his view.  The vote to repatriate African-Americans lost by one vote in Congress.

The third stanza in the Star Spangled Banner is the song’s most obscure verse, poorly written and confusing. The line speaks of hirelings and slaves who agree to fight on the side of the British in the War of 1812 in exchange for their freedom (if they survive the battle).

“And where is that band who so vauntingly swore

That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,

A home and a country should leave us no more! [What?!]

Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps pollution.

No refuge could save the hireling and the slave

From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”

 

Set your mind back to 1812, when slavery was just becoming a controversial issue.  Blacks were already beginning to riot in the South.  Everyone knew something had to be done.  The South, of course, wanted to maintain the status quo.  Africans back then were held to be incapable of democratic government: violent, resentful, lazy (!!), and dishonest was how Americans viewed them.  Americans were terrified of the eventual retribution freed slaves would wreak upon them, whether at the moment of freedom or two or three centuries hence.  The Nat Turner rebellion in proved them right:  rebel slaves killed from 55 to 65 people, the largest and deadliest slave uprising in U.S. history. The rebellion was put down within a few days, but Turner survived in hiding for more than two months afterwards. The rebellion was effectively suppressed at the Belmont Plantation on the morning of August 23, 1831.

 

The Nat Turner rebellion was still 19 years in the future at the time of the Battle of Fort McHenry. But Key and others could see that much on the horizon.  A rebellion would hardly be surprising, and the anti-abolitionists, in the view of those like Key, were leading the black slaves down that very road.

 

The next verse, Verse IV, refers to freemen, all one word, standing “between their loved home and the war’s desolation.” “Freemen” is often a word used to describe freed black slaves.  Key saw a future war over the horizon over the issue of slavery.  But still entangled in a trade war with Great Britain that might return the United States to the status of a British colony, Southerner Key had no time or patience for “slaves” and mercenaries who ‘betrayed’ the United States by joining the British, even though his own uncle had been a royalist.

 

The Civil War, over 50 years later, ending in 1864, should have put paid to the moral crime of slavery. Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and the deaths of over 140,000 Union soldiers in that four-year period paid the price.  John Wilkes Booth was enraged when he heard Lincoln give a speech supporting the suffrage (voting rights; essentially citizenship) for Blacks and assassinated him shortly afterwards.  Lincoln signed his death warrant when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

 

The passage of the 13th , 14th and 15th Amendments (abolishing slavery; guaranteeing citizenship; granting the right to vote) helped right the civil wrongs of slavery.  But they could not abolish the prejudice whites held against the blacks.  If anything, the deaths of 404,000 Northern soldiers only cemented white resentment of blacks.  Blacks, finding themselves the objects of discrimination, returned the sentiment.  Arrogance met defiance, prejudice met ignorance, discrimination begot poverty, and poverty begot crime – hate crime.

 

Enter a progressive, socialist government in the early 20th Century that would guarantee to stoke the fiery divisions into perpetuity.

 

As for the Star Spangled Banner, here’s the rest of the story:

 

The then35 year-old Key wrote the lyrics to the poem “Defence of Fort M’Henry,” on Sept. 14, 1814, after witnessing the bombardment of the fort by the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore. Key was inspired by the large American flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, flying triumphantly above the fort during the American victory.

The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men’s social club in London. “To Anacreon in Heaven” (or “The Anacreontic Song”), with various lyrics, was already popular in the United States. Set to Key’s poem and renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner,” it soon became a well-known American patriotic song. With a range of one octave and one fifth (a semitone more than an octave and a half), it is known for being difficult to sing. The song has become a prop for enthusiastic professional singers to stylize, rather than for all Americans to sing (some who can and some who can’t and would rather not). Although the poem has four stanzas, only the first is commonly sung today.

On July 27, 1889, Secretary of the Navy Benjamin F. Tracy signed General Order #374, making “The Star-Spangled Banner” the official tune to be played at the raising of the flag.

In 1916, Progressive Democrat President Woodrow Wilson ordered that “The Star-Spangled Banner” be played at military and other appropriate occasions. The playing of the song two years later during the seventh-inning stretch of Game One of the 1918 World Series, and thereafter during each game of the series is often cited as the first instance that the anthem was played at a baseball game, though evidence shows that the “Star-Spangled Banner” was performed as early as 1897 at opening day ceremonies in Philadelphia and then more regularly at the Polo Grounds in New York City beginning in 1898. In any case, the tradition of performing the national anthem before every baseball game began in World War II.

On April 10, 1918, John Charles Linthicum, a Democrat U.S. Congressman from Maryland, introduced a bill to officially recognize \”The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem. The bill did not pass.  On April 15, 1929, Linthicum introduced the bill again, his sixth time doing so.

In 1930, the Veterans of Foreign Wars started a petition for the United States to officially recognize “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem. Five million people signed the petition.  The petition was presented to the United States House Committee on the Judiciary on January 31, 1930.  On the same day, Elsie Jorss-Reilley and Grace Evelyn Boudlin sang the song to the Committee to refute the perception that it was too high pitched for a typical person to sing.  The Committee voted in favor of sending the bill to the House floor for a vote.  The House of Representatives passed the bill later that year.

The Senate passed the bill on March 3, 1931.

Republican President Herbert Hoover signed the bill on March 4, 1931, officially adopting “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem of the United States of America. As currently codified, the United States Code states that “[t]he composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.”

Key’s original manuscript copy of his “Defence of Fort M’Henry” poem is now on display at the Maryland Historical Society.

On September 3, 1814, following the Burning of Washington and the Raid on Alexandria, Va., Francis Scott Key and John Stuart Skinner, the British Prisoner Exchange Agent Colonel, set sail from Baltimore aboard the ship HMS Minden, flying a flag of truce on a mission approved by Pres. James Madison.

Their objective was to secure an exchange of prisoners, one of whom was Dr. William Beanes, the elderly and popular town physician of Upper Marlboro and a friend of Key’s who had been captured in his home. Beanes was accused of aiding the arrest of British soldiers. Key and Skinner boarded the British flagship HMS Tonnant on September 7 and spoke with Major General Robert Ross, Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane, and Rear Admiral George Cockburn over dinner while the two officers discussed war plans. At first, Ross and Cochrane refused to release Beanes, but relented after Key and Skinner showed them letters written by wounded British prisoners praising Beanes and other Americans for their kind treatment.

Key, accompanied by Skinner, dined aboard the British ship HMS Tonnant as the guests of three British officers: Vice Admiral Cochrane, Rear Admiral Cockburn, and Major General Ross. Skinner and Key were there to negotiate the release of prisoners, including Dr. Beanes, who had been arrested after jailing marauding British troops who were looting local farms.

Because Key and Skinner had heard details of the plans for the attack on Baltimore, they were held captive until after the battle, first aboard HMS Surprise and later back on HMS Minden. After the bombardment, certain British gunboats attempted to slip past the fort and effect a landing in a cove to the west of it, but they were turned away by fire from nearby Fort Covington, the city’s last line of defense.

[Cochrane and the HMS Surprise would be the later inspiration for the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, based on the popular novels by Patrick O’Brian.]

During the rainy night, Key had witnessed the bombardment and observed that the fort’s smaller “storm flag” continued to fly, but once the shell and rocket barrage had stopped, he would not know how the battle had turned out until dawn. On the morning of September 14, the storm flag had been lowered and the larger flag had been raised.

Aboard the ship the next day, Key wrote a poem on the back of a letter he had kept in his pocket. At twilight on September 16, he and Skinner were released in Baltimore. He completed the poem at the Indian Queen Hotel, where he was staying, and titled it “Defence of Fort M’Henry.”

Much of the idea of the poem, including the flag imagery and some of the wording, is derived from an earlier song by Key, also set to the tune of “The Anacreontic Song”. The song, known as “When the Warrior Returns,” was written in honor of Stephen Decatur and Charles Stewart on their return from the First Barbary War.

Key gave the poem to his brother-in-law Judge Joseph H. Nicholson who saw that the words fit the popular melody “The Anacreontic Song.” On September 20, both the Baltimore Patriot and The American printed the song, with the note “Tune: Anacreon in Heaven.” The song quickly became popular, with seventeen newspapers from Georgia to New Hampshire printing it. Soon after, Thomas Carr of the Carr Music Store in Baltimore published the words and music together under the title “The Star Spangled Banner.”  Thomas Carr’s arrangement introduced the raised fourth which became the standard deviation from “The Anacreontic Song.” The song’s popularity increased and its first public performance took place in October, when Baltimore actor Ferdinand Durang sang it at Captain McCauley’s tavern.  Washington Irving, then editor of the Analectic Magazine in Philadelphia, reprinted the song in November 1814.

By the early 20th century, there were various versions of the song in popular use. Seeking a singular, standard version, President Woodrow Wilson tasked the U.S. Bureau of Education with providing that official version. In response, the Bureau enlisted the help of five musicians to agree upon an arrangement. Those musicians were Walter Damrosch, Will Earhart, , Arnold J. Gantvoort, Oscar Sonneck, and John Philip Sousa. The standardized version that was voted upon by these five musicians premiered at Carnegie Hall on Dec. 5, 1917. The concert was put on by the Oratorio Society of New York and conducted by Walter Damrosch. An official handwritten version of the final votes of these five men shows all five men’s votes tallied, measure by measure.

The Italian opera composer Giacomo Puccini used an extract of the melody in writing the aria “Dovunque al mondo…” in 1904 for his opera, Madama Butterfly.

The Anacreontic Society was a popular gentlemen’s club of amateur musicians in London, founded in the mid-18th century. These barristers, doctors, and other professional men named their club after the Greek court poet Anacreon, who lived in the 6th century B.C. and whose poems, “anacreontics,” were used to entertain patrons in Teos and Athens. Dubbed “the convivial bard of Greece,” Anacreon’s songs often celebrated women, wine, and entertaining.

While the society’s membership, one observer noted, was dedicated to “wit, harmony, and the god of wine,” their primary goal (beyond companionship and talk) was to promote an interest in music. The society presented regular concerts of music, and included among their guests such important musicians as Joseph Haydn, who was the special guest at their concert in January 1791.

The lyrics of “The Anacreontic Song,” the first four words of which are “To Anacreon in Heaven” were written by Ralph Tomlinson, who had been president of the society. John Stafford Smith wrote the tune. The lyrics were first published by London’s The Vocal magazine in 1778.  It soon became a popular tune on both sides of the Atlantic.

As for The Society for the Colonization of Free People of Color of America, commonly known as the American Colonization Society (ACS), the group was established in 1816, two years after the composition of the Star-Spangled Banner, by Robert Finley of New Jersey which supported the migration of free African-Americans to the continent of Africa. It helped to found the colony of Liberia in 1821–22 on the coast of West Africa as a place for free-born or manumitted American blacks.

The ACS was founded by groups otherwise opposed to each other on the issue of slavery, being a coalition made up mostly of evangelicals and Quakers who supported abolition of slavery and believed blacks would face better chances for freedom in Africa than in the United States, and some slaveholders (in the Maryland branch and elsewhere) who saw repatriation as a way to remove free blacks from slave societies and avoid slave rebellions. The Society attracted numerous prominent supporters from the Virginia Piedmont region. The two opposed groups found common ground in support of “repatriation.”

Among the society’s supporters were Charles Fenton Mercer, Henry Clay, John Randolph, Richard Bland Lee, and Bushrod Washington. The Society was especially prominent among slave-owners in the Virginia Piedmont region in the 1820s and 1830s. American presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and James Madison were among its supporters. James Madison served as the Society’s president in the early 1830s.[7]

From 1821, thousands of free blacks, who faced legislated restrictions in much of the U.S., moved to Liberia. Over twenty years, the colony continued to grow and establish economic stability. In 1847, the legislature of Liberia declared the nation an independent state. The ACS had closely controlled the development of Liberia until its declaration of independence. By 1867, the ACS had assisted in the emigration of more than 13,000 Americans to Liberia.

From 1825 to 1919, it published the African Repository and Colonial Journal.[8] After 1919, the society essentially ended, but it did not formally dissolve until 1964, when it transferred its papers to the Library of Congress.

Americans, at least the patriotic among us, would not be eager to see our National Anthem changed, much less disrespected, all for one, misunderstood line in the song’s obscure third stanza. Those who wish to destroy the unity of our nation cling tenaciously to the charges of “racism” and the blemish of slavery, which ought to have been washed clean by the blood of the Northern army during the Civil War.  Racism is their firebrand, one they will never allow to be extinguished, so long as they can point to even the most obscure of references to slavery in the nation’s past.

Agitators would destroy the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and our National Anthem if it serves their purpose of a world-wide government under a communist regime of repression and violence. Those who claim the right of freedom of speech today kneel not to God but to political expediency.  What they disrespect about the Star-Spangled Banner (both flag and song) is not an outdated line about slavery but the freedom and individual liberty for which it waves.

The Kneelers can’t very well ignore the fact that white soldiers shed their blood for their freedom so long ago. They can’t accept the fact that other people might have a different view of politics from theirs.  So they blame the current president for calling both sides to task for a violent incident over a Civil War general whose side lost.

If the Kneelers are so keen on taking a knee, let them travel to Gettysburg, Pa., and kneel at the graves of the Union soldiers who died to free them. Let them go to Springfield, Ill., and kneel at the tomb of Pres. Abraham Lincoln in Oak Ridge Cemetery, who made himself the target of an assassin for supporting black suffrage and signing the Emancipation Proclamation.

Let them kneel to God and ask for forgiveness for their own sins.

Published in: on September 27, 2017 at 5:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Political Football

Americans don’t like politics – and if they don’t like politics, they certainly don’t like political football.

 

How willing would football fans be to boycott National Football League (NFL) games? Judging by the latest ratings, the fans are protesting.  A substantial number of fans are turning off the games, booing the professional players on the field who kneel during the singing of the National Anthem, and generally making their displeasure unknown.

 

Unfortunately, another group which has no interest in football whatsoever is filling the pre-game void and artificially increasing the NFL’s ratings, at least during the pre-game program. Once that’s over, the viewers vanish and the ratings fall again.

 

Not that the Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones was all too happy to take a knee along with his entire team during yesterday’s game; it may have made for poor public relations with Cowboys’ fans but it made for great pre-game ratings.

 

A player on another NFL team complained that he was pressured into participating by his peers. Initially, he stood for the National Anthem.  But later he apologized for not being “a team player.”

 

The excuse for all this poor behavior (NFL guidelines state that players must remove their helmets and stand silently – if they can’t sing – for the National Anthem) is “racism” on the part of Pres. Trump, that he should not have castigated both parties in the Charlottesville riots earlier this year.

 

Yeah, it’s all Trump’s fault. That is what the Liberals would think and say.  Racism has long been a match in their fiery book of division and dissent in the cause of Communism.  The method dates all the way back to Roman times:  divide and conquer.  The kneelers are just another set of useful idiots in the political football game of destroying individual freedom and liberty.

 

Strict Constitutionalists would argue that they have the right to protest. Even friends who are veterans claim that they put their lives on the line to defend the right of idiots to disrespect the flag and those who died for it.

 

Let us make a distinction between a right and something that is right. One may have the “right” to protest and disrespect the American flag, the symbol of the United States.  In doing so, however, others may “rightly” criticize the protester and question their devotion to individual freedom and liberty.

 

Our country stands for freedom and liberty, especially the right to dissent. Anti-Trumpsters have the right to criticize the president.  Others of us have the right to criticize Hillary Clinton, Barrack Obama, and today, Senators McCain, McConnell, and Snow for obstructing the replacement of Obamacare.

 

Before we separated from Great Britain, newspaper editors in the Colonies could and were arrested on the grounds of treason for criticizing King George III. The English star chamber court was originally established to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against socially and politically prominent people so powerful that ordinary courts would probably hesitate to convict them of their crimes. However, it became synonymous with social and political oppression through the arbitrary use and abuse of the power it wielded.

In modern usage, legal or administrative bodies with strict, arbitrary rulings and secretive proceedings are sometimes pejoratively called star chambers. This is a pejorative term in which the legitimacy of the proceedings is in doubt. ‘Star Chamber’ can also be used in its original meaning, for instance when a politician uses parliamentary privilege to attack a powerful organization or person.

Since the beginning of the Progressive Era in the late 19th Century, the message of liberty and freedom became increasingly muddled.  Class divisions were used to incite unrest among the poorer populations, create unions, and make education the servant of the administrative state.  Communist and/or Socialist politicians and bureaucrats, as Karl Marx had advised, controlled labor, communications, and business in the name, supposedly, of the disadvantaged.

 

Jesus Christ these people were not. In fact, they saw to it that Christianity was increasingly marginalized until finally, in 1962, God was expelled from our schools.  Flag-burning became a popular sport among Leftist activists on college campuses in the Sixities, purportedly protesting a war the American people “didn’t understand.”

 

Thanks to the Leftist Media, and outright lies by top CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite, most people didn’t understand what the Vietnam War was about. The answer was quite simple really:  control of the South China Sea, its oil and its sea lanes.  Thanks to the Sixties and protest of the “War We Didn’t Understand” we now have Subi, Mischief, and Fiery Cross reefs, which didn’t exist until China began building them.

 

What’s more, we have a fat NOKO president playing puppet for China – much the KSM was Osama bin Laden’s arm-waving puppet – distracting us from the real danger of Communist China taking control of the South China Sea. This will guarantee disruption of free trade.  Even Communist Vietnam is complaining.

 

According to news.com.au:
The controversy in the South China Sea is heating up, with a new report from the US warning China has almost completed construction of three mysterious man-made islands.

The strategic bases will give China the ability to deploy combat aircraft and other military assets with terrifying efficiency across the disputed region.

The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) analysed recent satellite photos and concluded that runways, aircraft hangers, radar sites and hardened surface-to-air missile shelters have either been finished or are nearing completion.

The report, released this week, appears to be the most conclusive indication yet that China is using its island-building project to give teeth to its claim over almost the entire South China Sea and its islands and reefs.

The islands in the study — Subi, Mischief and Fiery Cross reefs — are part of the Spratly chain, which is claimed in whole or in part by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei.

On each of the islands, China has constructed enough concrete hangers for 24 fighter jets and four or five larger planes such as bombers or early warning aircraft.

China already uses an existing airfield on Woody Island in the similarly disputed Paracel chain, located to the north, where it has maintained mobile HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles for more than a year and deployed anti-ship cruise missiles on at least one occasion.

Now that the islands are just about completely and clearly designed for military use only is the Media finally getting around to reporting China’s activities. Unless you happened to listen to Mark Batchelor on WABC-AM in New York, you’d have remained completely in the dark about the Spratly and Paracel islands.  He’s been reporting on the Spratly Island progress for a number of years now.

 

That’s just a sample of the kind of media strategy the Left uses to obfuscate the truth and mislead the public. This whole kneeling fandango is nothing but a political stunt designed to focus on politics instead of football.  The Media – and the Leftist football teams – have turned the football arena into a Leftist political arena.

 

What’s wrong with that? Plenty.  They’re not only offending their fans, veterans, and families of fallen military members; they’re also disrespecting them, the fans particularly.  Who cares whether the football players have the “right” or not?  The fans haven’t paid high prices for arena tickets to be subjected to some rather unpatriotic knuckleheads disrespecting the flag and the country.  Football fans don’t care about your politics; they care about the game.

 

In the Corporate world, you’re not allowed to display your politics or your religion, not even in your own office or cubicle. The Corporate Police will come around and order you to take the offending matter down or pack your things.  My boss suffered me to display the American flag.  That was ten years ago, at least.  It’s not likely the flag will be displayed in any cubicle now.

 

Hollywood, of course, has been notorious for displaying their politics right on the silver screen since movies were invented. Shame on us for attending their movies and making millionaires out of them, giving them even more power to flout freedom and liberty and espouse the cause of Communism.

 

Still, we shrug our shoulders and stand in line to see the next Steven Spielberg or J.J. Abrams movie. Fans are all atwitter over the upcoming Star Wars VIII movie in December and speculating about what the producers will do about the absence of the late Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) who was supposed to play a big role in Number 9.

 

Those movie producers turn around and donate their millions to Leftist candidates. The actors who played Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia are (or were) huge Leftists who hated Pres. Trump.  They hate freedom, yet play heroes who fight for liberty in the films in which they star, which is the real reason we go to see them.

 

Does it make sense then that our ticket money goes to causes and politicians who are bent on destroying America and freedom?

 

No. We’re all guilty.  We Star Wars fans want to see what finally happens to the aging Luke Skywalker.  Football fans want to see their football team make it to the Super Bowl.  Actually, if I’d know how Star Wars VII would turn out, I’d never have gone to see it and I certainly don’t intend to watch it again.  I’ve absolutely resolved not to go see the final Indiana Jones movie.

 

Perhaps that’s the kneelers’ Achilles Heel. We’ll pay to go see a football game, or watch it on television.  We’ll pay to go see a popular movie with the attitude that if the filmmaker produces a good movie, what they do with the millions they’ve earned from it is their business.

 

But when the result of those earnings, our investment in their success, shows up right in our faces, disrespecting our values and interfering with the reason for our attendance, it might just make a difference.

 

If J.J. Abrams put a disclaimer at the beginning of the next Star Wars movie dedicating the film to all moviegoers who hate Pres. Trump, with a burning flag in the background (and don’t put it past him; he’s a Leftist jerk of the first order. Thanks to his politics, the Star Trek franchise went right down the tubes after the second, extremely Leftist film) you can be pretty sure people would walk out.

 

That wouldn’t be very good for business. Word would get around and people would avoid Star Wars VIII.  But when movie producers and actors donate money privately, people aren’t as concerned.  The same goes for football team owners and players.

 

Donate to a Communist and football fans will yawn. Put your politics on display, interfere with the game for which your average, working class football fan paid plenty of moolah for, and fans are going to cry, “Foul!” (okay, that’s baseball – told you I wasn’t a football fan) or whatever it is football fans cry.

 

Leverage (15 yard penalty)? Offsides (5 yard penalty)?  That sounds about right.  Being on the wrong side of the line.

 

 

Published in: on September 26, 2017 at 3:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

NFL – No Fans Left

I don’t know much about football. But having family members who are football fans (Mom & Big Brother), I can tell you they don’t care much about the opening ceremonies.  They don’t care who sings the National Anthem (just as they sing it right and know the words).  They don’t care much about the cheerleaders.  Or the half-time entertainment.  Or the television announcers.

 

They only care about one thing – the football – and whether their team (Go Giants!) has it.

 

That’s not to say that they don’t care when some knuckleheads in helmets disrespect the National Anthem or the flag of the United States. Well, Mom cares.  Big Brother cares, but he doesn’t want to hear all this babble over what those knuckleheads are doing on the sidelines.  He cares about the game – and that’s it.  He just can’t understand why anyone is paying attention to them when they’re not playing.

 

Big Brother will never stop watching the game.

 

Around this time last year, I was covering high school football games here and there. At 57, with a bad hip and lacking the proper equipment for such an activity, my days as a football photographer didn’t last long.  If I were 30 years younger, it would be a different story.  I love photographing anything that moves.

 

So, while the National Anthem was being sung, a young football player decided to plunk himself on his knee right in front of me. I just looked at him aghast, as though he had to two heads.

 

‘He doesn’t really think I’m going to take his picture, does he?’ I wondered. ‘Well he can just forget it.  Go throw a great pass.  Tackle someone on the other team as they try to make touchdown.  Intercept a pass.  Make a touchdown.  That’s what I’m being paid to photograph.  I’m not standing here on this sideline, my hip screaming with pain, to photograph you displaying your disrespectful politics.  Go kneel down in front of some other camera.’

 

When the National Anthem was finished, he got up and gave a great big puff, as if he had just run a 90-yard touchdown. I went on to do my job during the game, getting what pictures I could in the failing light, trying not to make the referees angry, and certainly making the coaches on this side of the field boiling mad.

 

What?! Can I help it if your team is on the far side of the gridiron, obviously setting up to make a pass?  The newspaper was paying me to take photos, not miss them.

 

The football players in the National Football League are obviously a bunch of Communist boneheads out to stir up anti-patriotic feelings among some of the most patriotic Americans in the country – football fans. The only more patriotic fans are NASCAR enthusiasts.

 

The whole knee-high, flag-bashing episode that’s been going on for over two years and, if memory stirs, began with the St. Louis riots, is nothing but a media stunt for the Left. Instead of aiming their cameras at the field where they should be, photographers are taking aim at the activist football players.

 

The photographers are first on the list for who should be fired. They’re not doing their job.  They don’t take photos of the bands or whatever passes for entertainment in the NFL, do they?  They only occasionally take photos of the cheerleaders (for obvious reasons, and even then, not so much).  I’ve been known to take photos of the high school bands (they got published).

 

However, the main event is the game. If the football players want to make spectacles of themselves, so be it.  They should be fired for what they’re doing.  According to a recent report, either NFL attendance or viewership is down 10 percent.  Fans may very well boycott the games in response to this activity.

 

As for the Media, well what can we expect? We know for whom they’re rooting.  The “team colors” are so obvious that they had to do a color-switcheroo in covering politics, making Republican states red and Communist states blue.  These days, most Republican politicians are more or less purple, actually.  Their states aren’t, but they are.

 

Ignoring them would be an easy solution. But that would take away from the opening ceremony with the singing of the National Anthem, which is exactly their “goal.”  They would like us to forget everything that two or more centuries’ worth of patriots fought and died for.  The Media hopes that in covering the kneelers that football fans will turn off the television or switch the channel for a few minutes until the National Anthem is over.

 

Advertisers would be upset but activists would make it harder on them if the network simply focused on the American flag, the National Anthem singer, and the fans removing their hats and/or holding their hands over their hearts. The networks, not even Fox, are going to do that.

 

This is “news” after all, not “sports”. These football players are making “news”; they’re making “history.”  It’s just a “game” after all.

 

Unless the NFL starts providing its own, edited coverage of the games and blocking out the networks. The NFL certainly isn’t going to do that, either.  In fact, they support the kneelers.  The fans are going to have to start playing hardball, hitting the NFL in the gut to put a stop to this.

 

The NFL is betting that its fans are too addicted to the game to stand up for the flag and the National Anthem. Northeastern fans are too feckless.  West Coast fans are too Liberal.  They’re on the side of the kneelers.

 

It may be up to the South to save the game, rebel flags and all.

 

Stay tuned.

 

 

Published in: on September 25, 2017 at 3:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

It Takes Two to Riot

The latest news reports state that the Democrats in Congress are proposing a bill to censure President Trump for criticizing AntiFa and Black Lives Matters in the same breath as Unite the Right, the KKK, and the Neo-Nazis. They’ve told Republican representatives to “put their money where their mouths are.”

 

Forty-eight hours after the event, we learn that Charlottesville, after granting Unite the Right to rally at Emancipation/Lee Park in protest over the proposed removal of the statue of the Civil War general, rescinded the permit when they were already gathered at the park and surrounded by the violent elements of the Left.

 

President Trump censured both groups for participating in the riot and now the Democrats want to censure him. We need to call our Congressional representatives and demand that they not participate in this latest example of quashing free speech.

 

Meanwhile, Conservative voters continue to state that they’re opposed to seeing Confederates statues removed.

 

What?! That’s like going around wearing a tee shirt that says “I Y Slavery”.  Conservatives have certainly been pushed to the edge by Marxist cultural appropriation.  Accused of “white privilege” we’ve watched our history erased from schoolbooks, rewritten on television and in the movies, and betrayed by our own representatives.

 

As a consequence, Conservatives have over-reacted to the seriously over-heated rhetoric about Charlottesville to the point that we’ve been completely turned around and don’t realize what we’re saying anymore or what we’re defending.

 

Which is exactly what the Marxists want – to make fools of us.

 

To be fair, the Marxists have had plenty of help from Unite the Right, a white supremacist movement that pretends to be the shoulder for us to cry on. The Left wants them to be completely censored, forbidden from ever expressing another idiotic view.  Once they’re out of the way, we’ll be easy prey for the Left.

 

That’s what worries Conservatives. Yes, today it’s General Lee and it’s hard to make a case for preserving his statues, as well those of other Confederates such as Jefferson Davis.  Tomorrow, it could be George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, Founding Fathers whom Leftists such as Al Sharpton have publicly admitted to targeting.  They want to see the Jefferson Memorial removed in Washington, D.C.

 

The Alt Left claims that Washington and Jefferson are discredited because they owned slaves. Back in the mid-18th Century, it would have been difficult to find someone who didn’t own slaves.  Jefferson originally wrote about freeing the slaves in the Declaration of Independence but it was edited out.  The South would refuse to sign on if deprived of their slaves.

 

As for Sally Hemings, she was Jefferson’s sister-in-law – Martha Jefferson’s half-sister. Docents at Monticello believe that her relationship was with Thomas’s brother, Randall.  In any case, she was a relation first and foremost.

 

The laws regarding slavery in those days were strict. A slave owner couldn’t simply set his slaves free; it was against the law.  It was against the law to pay them (obviously), educate them, or free them.

 

One of the many Marxist/Black Liberation Theology misinformation memes was that the British had abolished slavery. England abolished slavery in 1833, long after the United States of America had declared its own independence.  In fact, the first slave ship, The White Lion, was a British-owned ship under a Dutch flag.  In 1619, it sold the first Africans as indentured servants to farmers in Jamestown, Va.  But the practice didn’t last long; the slaves soon ran off and servitude turned into slavery.

 

The United States Congress and antebellum presidents tried compromise after compromise with the South, especially after the Louisiana Purchase. Another meme is that Texas declared its independence from Mexico because Santa Anna, the dictator, had banned slavery.  In actuality, American colonists, began with Stephen Austin in 1821, began to overwhelm the territory and in 1830, Mexico halted immigration from America (isn’t that a laugh)?

 

The relations between Mexico and the American settlers grew worse, even though Mexicans themselves didn’t want to settle the area because it was too far from Mexico City and it was inhabited by Indians. In 1834, Santa Anna overthrew Mexico’s constitutional government and made himself dictator.  The next year, the American colonists revolted.

 

Their first attack, on San Antonio, in November 1835, was successful. The Mexicans surrendered.  Santa Anna gathered a large army and converged upon San Antonio.  The few Texans left took refuge in the old Spanish mission, the Alamo.  All the defenders were killed.

 

The Texas leaders then issued a Declaration of Independence from Mexico. Then on April 21, 1836, the Texans launched a surprise attack on Santa Anna, capturing him in the Battle of San Jacinto.  The victory ended the war, in which the United States went all the way to Mexico City, resulting in independence for Texas.  Later on the United States restored the original border between the countries at the Rio Grande and paid Mexico for the Texas territory.

 

It was Democrats who erected the Confederate statues. It was Southern Democrats who instituted the Jim Crow laws.  It’s the Democrats who then turned the tables on the Republicans and blamed Richard Nixon for having doubts about the Civil Rights legislation then before Pres. Dwight David Eisenhower.

 

The language of the Civil Rights Act was a serious overreach, crossing the line from guaranteeing blacks and other minorities to right to work, own a home, and vote to the right to be offended if someone said they didn’t like them. The language put the First Amendment in a stranglehold, one worthy of the Marxist Communists who sponsored it.

 

That was why Nixon disapproved of it.

 

There is not a civil law that can be written, at least not in a free nation, that can make one person like another person. There are laws against physical violence and some discriminatory acts.  But no law can or should protect any adult from criticism (barring libel or slander) by another.

 

A statue’s historical worth depends upon the actions of the person depicted. If Conservatives were as extreme right-wing as Leftists claim, there would be statues of Adolf Hitler in every suburban park.  Yet there are none.  It would be an insult to all the soldiers and sailors who died in World War II, as well as the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust.

 

Yet you can find a statue of noted Communist Che Guevara in New York City. A statue of Vladimir Lenin in Atlantic City, and even a statue of Karl Marx in his hometown of Tiers, Germany.

 

Why any sensible person would defend a statue of Robert E. Lee (it’s reported that Lee himself was opposed to any Confederate statues as they would prolong the antagonism) or Jefferson Davis is just beyond all reason. They led the Southern states in a treasonous and bloody war to secede from the Union.  Let us have no specious arguments about the reason for the Civil War being about states’ rights.  The right for which the South was fighting was to own slaves as property.

 

Leftists point to the society of that time and castigate the commonplace, institutionalized act of slavery as one of a depraved society giving itself license to commit a wrong. Well, it’s not much different from pot-smokers, who are now legion, the right to smoke a dangerous drug and force the drug in that form upon a helpless, general public.

 

The Kansas Territory presented probably the most curious case during the Civil War. In seeking eventual statehood, Kansas outlawed slavery but also banned black people from living there.  New Jersey, meanwhile, was the last state of the original colonies to ban slavery, in 1839.

 

And, the South had just as many black slaveholders as white slave owners.

 

So can we stop playing the Marxists’ game now?

 

Statues are mute. They’re erected as heroic monuments, always.  No one has ever erected a statue to someone whom they thought was a villain (although statues to villains like Lenin have certainly been built).

 

Some Southern city fathers have already begun, quietly, removing these statues to a lost cause.

 

As for Congress and their proposed censure, I’d gladly donate money to a future statue of Donald J. Trump. He showed great courage in denouncing the violence of both groups of rioters in Charlottesville.  I wish we could say the same for the Republican representatives tucking their tails behind them and the activist investors withdrawing from the President’s business council.

They deserve the Saul Alinsky Award for Anarchy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on August 17, 2017 at 4:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Chucking History Out the Window in Charlottesville

The Saturday before last, I decided to join my fellow Conservatives in a Roadside Rally for Trump in New Jersey’s Sussex County. This was a new Tea Party that sprung up; it’s organizer, Suzanne decided that Saturday, with the Sussex County Fair going on just up the highway  (Route 15) in Augusta and President Trump in residence in Bedminster, about 40 miles down the other highway, Route 206, in Bedminster, would be the perfect day for a road rally.

 

The weather was mostly sunny and Sussex County, with its wide open spaces, is one fine place to hold a road rally. Trump never came by, of course, but still, we had a good time.  One rallier brought his 40-foot American flag.  We waved our signs (“Honk for Trump”; “Honk If You Love Freedom”’; and my favorite, “The Russians Made Me Do it”).

 

We got a lot of honks. Many, many thumbs up and enthusiastic cheers.  Almost as many thumbs downs and middle fingers.  The state police were supportive.  They were nearby as they had to guard the road to Bedminster as well as the road to the fair.

 

A couple of ralliers were talking. One said he wished that the opposition was there.  I remarked that I didn’t.  I was glad they weren’t there; it meant we could have a truly peaceful rally.  Suzanne and all the tea party groups through northern New Jersey had done an excellent job of keeping the rally a secret from the enemy.

 

Counter-protests are staged for only one reason – to keep the original “protestors” or ralliers from expressing their message. Instead of getting our message out about supporting the president and protecting our freedom, we would have been in a three-hour shouting match with the other side.

 

This was our rally. Why should we have allowed them to steal our thunder, interfere with our message, and, in general, intimidate us?

 

There is no debating with the Left. They’ve drunk the Communist Kool-Aid.  In fact, it’s in their genetic code by now.  They’re indoctrinated from early kindergarten on through college graduation.  Kiss the Communist professor’s butt and you’ll get a good grade.  College campuses are so rife with Communist intolerance of real freedom of speech that students with differing opinions about anything from climate change to transgenderism must skulk through college with their heads down.

 

According to some student reports published in the New York Times, the counter-protestors admitted that they’d gone there looking for trouble:

 

On Friday night, I was locked in a church full of people, who were singing loudly to overpower the hate-filled chants of alt-right protesters carrying torches right outside the chapel doors.

 

Still, I got up early on Saturday morning. Some friends and I had promised to be in downtown Charlottesville by 7 a.m. to help set up the counterprotest camp. We ate some fast food, moved tables, wrote the phone numbers of legal aid agencies on our arms in surgical marker in case we were arrested, and hung up “Black Lives Matter” signs. There were helicopters hovering overhead.

 

Counter-protest signs at the certain of the conflict read “Make Racists Afraid Again” and “Black Lives Matter.” But other signs protested President Trump, his stance on the tensions with North Korea, and other assorted matters unrelated to the supposedly “real” issue at hand in Charlottesville:  the removal of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from Charlottesville’s formerly named “Lee Park” but renamed in June, “Emancipation Park.”

 

The Unite the Right rally, run by a white supremacist group, took place in Emancipation Park in Charlottesville on Saturday. The statue was erected in 1924, some 58 years after the Civil War ended.  Confederate statues were built all over the South, some in Civil War cemeteries (which might be understandable) and others in public parks.

 

Northern Whites, be they Liberal or Conservative, have always shared a rather dim view of Southerners. White Southerners – Democrats, incidentally, or Dixiecrats, as they were sometimes called – held the same view of Northerners, or Dirty Yankees.  White Southerners never got over losing the war.

 

Building statues to Confederate leaders seemed to Northerners to verge on something like treason. But Northerners were complacent; let them wave their Rebel flags.  It didn’t matter.  They lost the War and they’re part of the United States of America.

 

You would think the protestors – mostly Liberals, but many sympathetic Moderates as well – would have caught on to this obvious problem with Confederate statues. But then, Liberals have never been concerned with the laws of the United States or freedom.  A statue of Che Guevera stands in Columbus Circle, placed there by Communist Manhattanites.  Che is a popular tee shirt figure among college students.

 

The South argued that states’ rights were at issue during the Civil War. The federal government of the United States, under Abraham Lincoln, declared that they could not legalize immoral acts like slavery.

 

But – uh-oh – there’s a big problem for the Left because they endorse a whole host of acts which they’re clamoring to legalize, or have legalized, such as abortion. Gay marriage.  Illegal immigration.  Sanctuary cities.  Burning the flag.  Praying to God in school (which they determined was illegal, with the blessing of Pres. John F. Kennedy).  Hallucinogenic drugs.

 

Right this minute, they’re agitating for California to secede from the union, just as South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union in December 1860. Washington and Oregon are certain to follow California, putting our entire Pacific Coast in danger of invasion by China (which is extending its naval reach across the Pacific).  We fear North Korea and its maniacal leader.  But make no mistake.   Despite China’s apparent mediation, North Korea is a Communist Chinese puppet state.

 

Ask about Taiwan’s independence and the Chinese become enraged. But in North Korea, according to Susan Rice, we must “tolerate” North Korea’s membership in the Nuclear Club and overlook repeated threats.

 

But this is about a statue. Whites – especially Conservative whites – are very defensive about the statute being removed.  They want it preserved as an historical artifact.  A generation or two ago, we wouldn’t have thought any such thing.  We would have approved the dismantling of Confederate hero worship.  A statue is a celebratory piece of artwork, to honor an historical figure.

 

In Iraq, the Iraqis torn down the statue of Saddam Hussein with great glee. The Communists tore down the statues of local heroes in Eastern Europe, or defaced them.  Later, anti-Communist groups tore down statues of Lenin.

 

Over 140,000 Northern soldiers died to free the slaves (excuse me, but yes, they did; the soldiers may have resented fighting to free black slaves, but they did it, nevertheless).  Another 224,097 died of other war-related causes, and 281,881 suffered wounds, often horrible and debilitating.

 

Slavery was, and is, immoral, no matter what you might think of the slaves personally. If you modern-day citizens harbor ill-will towards black people, just remember – their ancestors didn’t volunteer to board those slave ships.  One idiot in Congress prevented a better resolution of the problem.

 

If Charlottesville, an almost minority-white city, wants to remove the statue of Lee, why should we object?  Why would we?  We’re educated people.  We know the history of the Civil War.  Some of us have been to Gettysburg, or other Civil War cemeteries and seen the graves.  If you haven’t, you should visit.  Autumn is a fine season to see Gettysburg.  I went there with my mother in the autumn.  In the autumn, the grass on the main field turns a curious shade of blood red.

 

The white supremacist group “Unite the Right” is an appendage of a reprehensible minority of white people. Their about the undermining of white society may be correct.  But their violent solution is completely unacceptable.

 

Charlottesville’s mayor correctly allowed them to protest the removal of Lee’s statue. The Black Lives Matter group was wrong to stage a counter protest.  Unite the Right could howl all they wanted.  But that statue was coming down and nothing they could do, not even threaten and intimidate with violence, was going to change the outcome in the long run.

 

History long ago wrote the outcome for Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and his slave-holding South. Making money on the backs of slaves just doesn’t work out.  That’s not the same as paying labor to work a factory or a farm, even though the owner makes the most money.  In either case, the Industrial Age put paid to both.  You can’t enslave labor and you can’t hold business owners hostage.

 

White supremacists – the KKK, even the Neo-Nazis, cite Genesis 9:27 as God’s curse upon black people. But it was not God who cursed, Canaan, the son of Ham (who dishonored his father, Noah) – it was Noah himself who cursed Ham’s son for what his father did.  True, Ham was the troubled son.  Some historians say Ham’s name meant, “Immature.”

 

Canaan and his son, Nimrod, were said to be black. If all people after The Flood came from these sons, one of the wives must have been black.  If God hadn’t meant for Black people to survive, He wouldn’t not have sent at least one of them aboard the Ark.

 

But God has something more to say about Black people, which white supremacists tend to ignore, indeed, if they even know about it. Hollywood certainly glossed over it in the making of The Ten Commandments in 1956.

 

Moses’ wife, Sephora, Zipporah, was Black. In the film, she simply had a very dark “tan.”

 

In the story at Numbers 12, “Miriam and Aaron began to speak against Moses because of the Cushite [black] wife he had married, for he had taken a Cushite wife.”  They questioned whether it was only through Moses that Jehovah spoke.  God became angry and struck Miriam with leprosy.  Her skin turned white as snow (and eventually fell off completely, killing her).  Moses and Aaron were cursed for quarreling at the Crag of Meribah which of them had brought the water forth, rather than giving credit where it was due – to God.

 

None of the siblings made it into the Promised Land. But it was Miriam who was punished for her bigotry against her sister-in-law and questioning Jehovah’s choices.  As for the Cushites, they were cursed not for the color of the skin but for their decided lack of character.  Nimrod, the Hunter, who was unquestionably black, would become notorious for rebelling against God in the Tower of Babel and of leading mankind back down the path of paganism, for which he has executed by his Uncle Seth.

 

As for rioting, perhaps municipalities might revisit their rules regarding rallies. The original applicant for the public demonstration should have first rights to free speech and, in the interest of public safety, any other applications for public demonstrations on that day should be denied.

 

There is no question of the guilty of the driver of the Dodge Challenger in plowing into a crowd and killing one and injuring others. While the white supremacists could clearly take care of themselves, the Charlottesville Police were complicit in standing aside and allowing the riot to happen.  The counter-protestors, while they had a legitimate grievance against Unite the Right, were wrong to stage such a counter demonstration knowing the inevitable result would be violence and injury.  In fact, they marched with the expectation of meeting violence with violence.

 

Meanwhile, history was completely ignored. It’s rather disingenuous to say that these statues are part of history that should be preserved.  We Conservatives tend to be a little too defensive in these matters.  It’s okay to say, “Yeah, if Charlottesville wants to remove that statue, it’s their business” without betraying any of our values.

 

Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it.

 

Published in: on August 14, 2017 at 7:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dems Seeking Watergate Sequel

 

Former FBI Director and Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced yesterday that he is impaneling a jury to “investigate” the involvement of the Russians in the 2016 Presidential election. The investigation is honing in on Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyer and others, according to Fox News.

 

“Grand juries allow prosecutors to subpoena documents and get witness testimony on the record. They also can seek indictments.

 

“Ty Cobb, special counsel to the president, told Fox News on Thursday he wasn’t aware that Mueller had impaneled a new grand jury but said, “We favor anything that brings this investigation to a swift conclusion.”

 

Forty-five years ago, another Republican President suspected the Democrat opposition of accepting foreign donations in the 1972 Presidential Election. The Republican was favored to win, but all the same, accepting foreign money was against the law.

 

Those facts were buried in the story published by the Washington Post that year. The “burglars” who broke into the Watergate Hotel (hence the scandal name, “Watergate”) used duct tape to hold open the locked doors until they could get out again.  A security guard found the duct taped doors and, of course, notified the police.

 

The rest, as they say, was history.

 

The suspected CIA operatives (mostly Free Cuba activists) never got the dirt on the Democrats. Instead, the Republican president was brought down in a circus trial that held the promise of an impeachment for the Democrats and everlasting shame for the Republicans.  Although the President’s worst crime was lying, Nixon resigned rather than subject the American public – and his party – to an even longer political nightmare.

 

Today, the Democrats are hoping for a sequel to the 1974 drama. They’ve been beating the drums since before the Republicans even held their convention.  Various shady figures were named.  But now the culprit is Donald Trump – Junior.

 

Trump advisers urge Conservatives not to worry.

 

However, Fox News reports that, “Mueller, who now has a team of 16 attorneys, was brought on as special counsel in May. Prior to his involvement, federal prosecutors reportedly had been using another grand jury, in Alexandria, Va., to help with their criminal investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. The Flynn case focuses on his work in the private sector on behalf of foreign interests.

 

“Trump and his allies have in recent weeks openly criticized Mueller, with one Republican lawmaker even calling for him to step aside.

 

Other lawmakers have responded with proposals that could serve to shield Mueller from being fired.

 

“Trump also has fumed about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia case, which cleared the way for Mueller’s eventual appointment — though Sessions has recently been told by the White House his job is considered safe.

 

“Thomas Zeno, a former federal prosecutor, told the Journal that impaneling a grand jury is ‘confirmation that this is a very vigorous investigation going on.’”

 

Undoubtedly, there is a vigorous investigation going on by the Democrats. Trump is moving forward on undoing much of the Obama administrations handiwork.  They also need to give Trump a black eye before the public realizes that the charges against Hillary Clinton are much more serious.  That was the information which his son obtained from the Russians.

 

The Democrat bureaucracy is hard at work building unscalable legal walls around their favorite Black Panther cheerleader and hurling accusations at Trump. They have the bureaucracy, the Media, and the “Minorities” on their side, which will support no matter what their candidate has done.

 

Trump has the American people on his side. What did his son do but what the Democrats do all the time – dig up the dirt on their opponents?  If it were a criminal act, all politicians, beginning with Barack Hussein Obama, would be in prison.

 

What Hillary did was nothing short of treasonable – selling American uranium to the Russians. Nuclear fuel which they can sell to the highest bidder:  Iran, North Korea, Syria.  Yet, Donald Trump, Senior, decided to lay low on the charges.  Or perhaps it was Jeff Sessions, his attorney general, who urged him not to pursue the charges.

 

The Fake News Networks are not going to publish Trump’s side of the story, any more than the Washington Post took the trouble to inform readers of what it was the Watergate “plumbers” were after. Thanks to their cover, the Democrats demurred, ‘Why we don’t know what in the world they were after.  George McGovern was losing at the time of the election and he lost to Nixon in a landslide.’

 

Mr. President, and fellow Conservatives, we should know better by now than to depend upon the Fake News Networks to publish the real story. They’ll defer to the Democrat party line and claim that Hillary never contacted the Russians at all – but Trump Junior did.

 

That’s what they do – deny, deny, deny, until everyone believes the lie. The FNN has taken every opportunity to discredit Trump so that his approval numbers would go down.  The Liberal Republicans are playing along, opposing his repeal of Obamacare, among other matters.  They took his excellent Boy Scout speech and left in tatters in the public mind (it was an excellent speech, just like all his others).

 

For Conservatives who were young at the time of Watergate, we’re a little older and a little wiser now. We’re not taking any Democrat’s word for anything.  Our economy is roaring, with the Dow Jones reaching a record 22,000 in short order.  Amazon is becoming a monster.  They couldn’t find enough people to fill their Robbinsville, N.J., distribution center, and they’re building another one in Mahwah, N.J., at the junctions of Rt. 287, Rt. 17 and Rt. 87 (the New York State Thruway) on the site of the old Ford motor works, and more recently the Sharp Electronics facility.

 

Maybe Trump does need to more careful in his choice of friends. He wants to be seen as a deal maker and a peacemaker.  To that end, he went back on a campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in order not to offend the Palestinians.  If he read the Bible, he’d find that the Palestinians were immigrants, possibly from Phoenicia. They were no more “native” to the area that is now Israel than the Jews were, led by God Himself (a pillar of dust by day and a pillar of fire by night) to settle there.

 

No deal will ever satisfy the Muslims, whose leaders want to see the Jews exterminated, any more than Democrats will ever be satisfied with anything less than a Communist government, disguised Socialist labels, with themselves running the show.

 

That’s not democracy. That’s not freedom.  That’s not what the real American people want.  Trump may be finding it more difficult than he supposed to drain the sticky, smelly, compromised swamp we call our nation’s capital.  Obviously, he can’t do it alone.

 

We Conservatives are willing to roll up our sleeves and dig in to support him. We New Jersey Tea Partiers will be out in force for him on Saturday – never mind where.  If you’re a Garden State Conservative, you already know where or you’ve only to check Facebook to find out.

 

Most movie sequels suck. Some have done all right – Back to the Future, for one.  But we’re not going to go back to the past for a second round of Watergate – not without a public outcry.  We’re not our father’s Conservatives.  We’re not the Silent Majority.

 

We’re loud. We’re organized.  We’ve got signs.  We’ve got courage.  We’ve got Twitter and Facebook.

 

And most of all – we know we’re Right.

Published in: on August 4, 2017 at 10:58 am  Leave a Comment