Do We Understand?

Bobblehead DollOne of my closely held beliefs is that we will be held accountable for the heritage left us by those who have fought and bled, and came before us.  When I see the farrago that has become Afghanistan, the ineptitude of Vietnamese legacy, the current condition of the White House, politics in America, and the politicians refusing their jobs. I am always left asking, “What will our forefathers say?”  With hundreds, possibly thousands of Americans abandoned in Afghanistan by the sitting US President, a complicit Congress, and the spineless Joint Chiefs of Staff, I cannot help but wonder what the President Generals of the United States will say to these people.

Before we hear from the US President’s, let us first clear our minds with the following from Mark Twain.

The statesmen will invent cheap lies, blaming the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself the war is just and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.”

The fraudulent president, Joey, and his Joint Chiefs are in this position right now.  They are deceived, they deceived themselves, and if America is not careful, their self-deception will mean enemies on Main Street.  No hyperbole, no scaremongering, no warmongering; simply truth simply stated.  Joey and his Joint Chiefs are blaming America for being in Afghanistan for too long, and the chaos in leaving is America’s fault.  Their self-deception should not be our problem, our lie, or our “conscience-soothing falsity.”Angry Grizzly Bear

President (Colonel) Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt has the next word, and he declares and details our problem precisely:

Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people.  From these great tasks, both of the old parties have turned aside.  Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare, they have become the tools of corrupt interests which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes.  Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government, owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.  To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day” [emphasis mine].

Do we understand the problem?  Are we clear about the issues facing our nation?  Is the mission clear?  The current crop of politicians have purposefully turned from their roles, like dogs to their vomit, and refused the people who elected them for personal power and individual success.  Well, what do you do when you catch your dog rolling in its vomit?  What do you do when you find a toddler crayoning the walls after telling them no?  Will the adults in the room, please stand? You are needed!photo_slideshow_max

President (Lieutenant) John F. Kennedy provides a caution pertinent to this discussion, and a word of timely caution is worth gold and silver to those who heed and follow its counsel:

The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in ensuring our nation’s survival if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is a very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. …
For we are opposed worldwide by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, subversion instead of elections, intimidation instead of free choice, and on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system that has conscripted vast human and material resources into building a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific, and political operations.  Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed” [emphasis mine].

There are lots of questions about who has been pulling Joey’s strings.  Who is president right now, as senile Joe is not in charge, Kamala is not in attendance, and Pelosi is silent and retiring shortly.  The Afghanistan farrago is humiliating, devastating, and despicable; yet, none of the politicians are willing to be publicly outspoken, convening investigations and using their powers to lead and rescue Americans.  Why?  Congress has the War Powers Act; they can act independently of the US President and demand that the US Military enter Afghanistan, rescue US Passport holders, and destroy American hardware, munitions, and other war materials.  Congress could depose the US President legally, through impeachment proceedings, and install a new president.  Yet, nothing is happening.  Why?Plato 2

President (General) George Washington provides guidance, counsel, and direction worthy of consideration in the following panacea of quotes:

    • “The power under the Constitution will always be in the people. It is entrusted for certain defined purposes, and for a certain limited period, to representatives of their own choosing; and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can, and undoubtedly will, be recalled.” … “Be Americans. Let there be no sectionalism, no North, South, East, or West. You are all dependent on one another and should be one in union. In one word, be a nation. Be Americans, and be true to yourselves.”
    • “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.” … “It is impossible to govern the world without God. It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits and humbly implore his protection and favor.”

Herein is a call to action, from a general mustering both his troops and citizenry, calling all able-bodied people to learn two great truths.  First, we are the owners of government and hold the reigns of power.  Second, we cannot make the changes needed without the help of almighty God,  regardless of the name we call Him.  For too long, we have been divided on the first and not allowed to perform the second, and it is time to end the power that divides and separates.The Duty of Americans

While not a military president, his cunning mind is a powerhouse of wisdom that provides essential ideas and insight, and I am pleased to quote President John Adams.  Again we find a panacea of quotes:

    • Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.” … It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them a habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives.”
    • Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

Are we allowing the suicide of the American Republic through the groveling in the infancy of our children’s minds?  Look at K-12 education and how ideas from the late 1800s and early 1900s continue to shape your child’s classroom experiences — producing functionally illiterate products at state-run schools, abusing your child of their God-given potential, and robbing them of a lifetime of learning through labels, invented science, and drugging them into submission.Angry Wet Chicken

Yet, President Adams is correct; the problem of K-12 education is an opportunity in disguise.  The opportunity to learn is an individual one; it is an opportunity for the community to step in and demand the politicians go away; it is an opportunity for citizens to awake and arise and refuse the cruel gruel of oppression and require the fruit of liberty be fed to their children.

There are two pieces of wisdom passed to us from President Thomas Jefferson also apt for this discussion:

    • Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty.”
    • If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”

Knowledge Check!With these thoughts, we come to the brief conclusion of this article, but not the conclusion of the need for learning, teaching, and action.  The destruction of America has progressed sufficiently that none of us now living have experienced the tempestuous sea of liberty due to the calm lakes of despotism that has overtaken our land.  Desire something you have never had, real liberty, and let’s be willing to do everything we need to possess this gift for ourselves and pass something better to our children!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

That Little Dash There In-Between

Bobblehead DollGarth Brooks sings a song called “Pushing up Daisies,” and a lyric is the title of today’s article.  On a headstone, there are two dates; we all know what those dates mean, but it is the dash I am focused upon today, and it is the dash that always captures my attention when I visit a cemetery.  Sure, knowing the birth and death dates are interesting, but I always want to talk to the headstone owner about the dash!

One of my biggest regrets is not knowing my grandparents as an adult.  My maternal grandfather fought in WWII, serving on a battlewagon in the Pacific Fleet.  He was a journal writer and chronicled his journeys.  I do not have access to his writings, and this hurts!  My maternal grandfather was hard-working; he left a legacy of small business ownership, franchise development, and self-sufficiency.  He could polish any metal until it was baby smooth and brilliant!

My maternal grandmother is why I respect strong women in story and encourage women to be the main characters in their lives.  A fighter with a Victorian heart of gold, my maternal grandmother was priceless and is well missed!  Plus, she had the best recipes for bread and cookies, pies, and cakes.  Of all the things I wish I had been able to copy and glean, her recipes for oatmeal butterscotch cookies and spiced canned pears top the list!Individual Headstone Designs | Pacific Coast Memorials

My paternal grandfather was a journeyman electrician; he was a wizard with tools and his hands.  He collected rocks, built a home for his wife and family that still stands and holds family.  He had a forge, a woodworking shop, and a couple of guns passed down to my father that won’t pass down any further.  Beyond a suspicion that he served in WWI, not much is known about my paternal grandfather beyond these few scraps.

Memorial Day WallpapersMy paternal grandmother raised two kids after her husband suffered a stroke; she was a nurse and served in this capacity long after she should have retired because she loved her patients and her family.  She had strength and a down-home kindness that I will never forget.  My paternal grandmother is the only reason I walked at High School graduation; I wanted her to enjoy seeing the graduation of one of the grand-kids.

I have uncles and aunts I respect and admire.  I have a couple of uncles I wish I could wallop with a stick and provide some corrective behavior to as well.  I have family scattered across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the US Military as far as they can spread.  But I know as little about them as they know about me, and that dash in-between is essentially a mystery.  Oh, how cool it would be to sit down and tell our “dash” stories.Tombstone, Arizona

My mother-in-law was an incredible fighter!  A bare-knuckle, two-fisted, swinging for the moon kind of gal from the day she was born to the day she died.  I felt privileged to get to know her and some of her story, and let me tell you; her “little dash” was full of living, adventure, danger, intrigue, and daring!  That woman had steel in her spine, brass in her veins, and took no bull from anyone.  What a lady!

My wife’s uncle fought in every battle across the Pacific as a Navy Seabee.  He arrived at Pearl Harbor on 08 December 1941 and walked across every island battle to the last bombs dropping on Japan.  He built runways, roads, houses, harbor facilities and faced every single engagement.  I know practically nothing about the “little dash there in-between” for him.  I know his wife was a sweetheart, but I know even less about her story and their collective story.  Sad days when they departed this mortal coil, for I wished like mad, I could have learned more about their dash!

Yet, for all I know about these people, I know very little about that dash.  I know more about President Abraham Lincoln and his dash in-between than I do about my grandparents, and this is frustrating.  Worse, I know more about Garth Brooks, a stranger, than I do about my own parent’s dash in-between, and this is not frustrating, given the makeup of my family.  Consider with me people you respect; what do you know of their “little dash there in-between.”Photos of the Korean War Veterans Memorial

My wife is a Victorian lady of the highest caliber.  Today is her birthday.  She has an incredible dash in-between, and I have had the privilege of walking beside her for the better part of 30+ years.  Yet, I would be a fool to claim I know her entire “dash in-between.”  I could not even claim to know a tenth of the 30+ years we have been together.  Do you know what is maddening?  She thinks her writing, journals, and so forth are not very interesting, and nobody will want to read them.  This observation has led me to learn a couple of pieces of wisdom that I pass along for your consideration.

      1. Always be willing to learn – Whether it is learning more about people, places, things, countries, topics, languages, etc., does not matter—the journey of learning matters. Engage and travel!
      2. When you want to really get to know a person, go to work on a task with them – I sweated alongside some Amish in Ohio on a roofing project at the State Fair Grounds. First, I froze alongside them through January and February, and then we sweat through March, April, May, and June.  It never ceases to amaze me what I could learn while we worked.
      3. Know your own dash in-between – Journal, blog, do something to record your dash in-between. Review your own story often.  You might surprise yourself at what you have accomplished.
      4. Be the influence that is felt – There is a line in Garth Brooks’ song, “My mother died, but somehow she keeps living, she’ll never cease to amaze me.” I have met people who are still influencing me long after we have lost touch.  Be that person, be the influence felt across miles, years, and choose to be the positive force for good.  However, that means to you!
      5. Leave a heritage in that dash in-between – Not just papers, bills, a will, a journal or two, but a heritage. What are you known for?  What characteristic will someone say you embody and live to the absolute fullest?  What single attribute will you pass on to your progeny, friends, and colleagues when the dates are carved in your stone?

Exclamation MarkBefore your stone is carved, your remains are laid to rest, and your final resting place is occupied; make sure to fill that little dash in-between to the brim and to overflow.  Make sure you record your dash.  Pass along your dash; your future will appreciate your efforts!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.