Archive for December, 2012

The Play’s The Thing!omega-dispatch-simple-logo-with-lightening1
Home of the Brave — or — Lair of the Knave
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

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J. D. Longstreet photo #4-A

Definition of knave:

/nāv/

Noun

A dishonest or unscrupulous man.

Synonyms: rogue – rascal – jack – villain – scoundrel – scamp

I can’t take credit for the title above. I stole it from some positively ancient would-be playwright named Bill Shakespeare. I understand there is some question, even today, as to the actual author of those words from Hamlet. So, to whomever wrote it, my thanks! You were — and remain — spot on!

As the so-called Mainstream Media continues its propaganda tsunami warning that we are all about to be swept over the fiscal cliff, it has begun to irritate me. I have begun to question their motive(s) even more.

Ministry of PropagandaThe MsM (the Mainstream Media, the Press, the Non-Fox Media, the Democrat Propaganda Bureau, the Ministry of Propaganda, JUST PICK ONE!) has finally dropped its thin camouflage and it is now apparent the MsM is one huge propaganda machine for the political left. I trust nothing I hear, see, or read, that has the MSM as its source.

We told you during the early months of 2012 that the MsM would report the American economy as “improving” as we drew nearer the election. They did. The same with unemployment. In fact, they painted a picture of an economy on the rebound. Of course, Obama’s economic policies were hailed as the cause of the “recovery.”

But there was no recovery — not even the hint of a recovery. It was all sheer propaganda to assist their hero, Obama, reclaim his seat in the Oval Office from whence he could continue to plot America’s fundamental transformation into a socialist/Marxist country.

If you visit my personal blog, “INSIGHT on Freedom,” you will see that it is a site for conservative thought, opinion, commentary and analysis. I make no bones about it nor apologies for it. I’d like to see all news organizations be as up-front about their political ideology as that. But, hey, I won’t hold my breath!

CONGRESS SUPPORT THE 2ND AMENDMENTI have come to believe we have a knave in the Oval Office. Oh, I’m pretty sure that as soon as the folks on the left have time to look up the word “knave” in the closest dictionary, I will be labeled a racist. Never mind that one’s skin pigment has nothing, whatsoever, to do with one’s being a knave — or not.

As noted above, a knave is: A dishonest or unscrupulous man. Knaves exist throughout the government as they do throughout our society. It is only the word “knave” we are unfamiliar with today. The knave’s actions are too well known to us.

Knave is old English dating back as far as the year 1000. It’s a good word, very descriptive, and frankly, I wish it had not fallen out of use. But, then again, I am a man out of time and place as my mother-in-law, may she rest in peace, never tired of reminding me.

Obama’s knavish behavior is a dead giveaway. The man lies. I’d like to think that his administration will be remembered in the history books as the liers they are — but THAT will not happen as the history books are mostly written by persons who share Obama’s political ideology.

He’s a flim-flam artist — a con man. Take the “fiscal cliff” (Puh-LEASE!). His striving to save us Obama_devil_vintagefrom the plunge is all an act. Obama has no intention of saving America from crashing to the bottom of that ravine. In fact, in my opinion, that is exactly what he wants!

I find it amusing that Obama and his willing cohort of fellow socialist and Marxists in the Congress and the various alphabet agencies within his administration love America so much they absolutely MUST fundamentally CHANGE it! Doesn’t that strike anyone as, well, rather, uh, strange?

Right-wing commentator Dinesh d’Souza said of President Obama: “President Obama has an agenda for downsizing America that he dare not share with the American people because it would endanger his support.” He goes on by saying that Obama: ” … wants America to have less wealth and power so that people in other countries can have more wealth and power.” SOURCE: http://hnn.us/blogs/dinesh-dsouza-knave-or-fool

What Mr. d’Souza just described is wealth redistribution, or, as we like to call it — SOCIALISM.

You may recall that Dinesh d’Souza released a film entitled “2016: Obama’s America” prior to the 2012 election. The film was hailed by many on the right while simultaneously being denigrated by the political left as a “trashing” of President Obama.

As I write these words, the great melodrama over the avalanche of taxes about to sweep across America is playing out on our TV screens. It is orchestrated, choreographed, produced and directed just like any other play. And it is mostly pure bovine scatology. And I, for one, have had a belly full.

It is clear to anyone, interested enough to look, that Obama’s mission is to deconstruct America and rebuild it in the image of a socialist/Marxist state. But first, he needs the old system to crash. THAT’S why it is so important that the US go over that fiscal cliff and crash and burn at the bottom. It is from those ashes Obama and his Marxist allies intend to build the new Socialist/Marxist America.

One needn’t have a crystal ball to foretell this future. It’s right out there for any and all to see.

Ah. But the play’s the thing, right? And it is the play to which our eyes are being directed. Never mind the man behind the curtain (as they say) keep you eyes center-stage.

Unlike Hamlet’s devised scripting of his play, we do not have to watch for the tell-tale flashes of knaveguilt cross the faces of the audience members to discern the guilty party or parties. We already know the identity of the knave.

Sadly, however, the audience clearly supports such machinations. How else to explain the enthusiastic support at the polls in November for the knave’s agenda of supplanting freedom with slavery?

How quickly we have become a nation of knaves and slaves.

© J. D. Longstreet

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A “Changed” America Is No Good omega-dispatch-logo-with-border2
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

J. D. Longstreet Photo # 205-A

Change is not always good.  This “changed” America is definitely not as good as the America we had before we decided to exchange freedom for socialism.

Today, Americans are beginning to awaken and learn the nightmare they are experiencing is not a nightmare one experiences during REM sleep.  In fact, they learn, to their utter surprise, they are NOT sleeping.  This nightmare is NO DREAM.  It is REAL.  And, Americans who THOUGHT they wanted, and yes, even NEEDED change brought it on.

Many of the votes that were cast for our current Presidential Regime for “change” were votes from young people who had no idea what they were trading and what they were getting for the trade. They are the product of a public education system in America now almost totally ruled over by the political left, which still seeks the Nirvana of Utopia through Socialism.  After 12, or more, years in the public education system, then 2 to 4 more years in those bastions of liberalism/socialism we refer to as colleges and universities, is it any wonder their Pavlovian response in the voting booth was to pull all the levers by the names of the candidates who were decidedly left-wing candidates? Hardly!  They were simply reacting to the stimuli implanted in their malleable minds as they made their way through an education system designed to do just that.

And now after the deed is done, we are just on the cusp of the avalanche of hurt coming our way as our country is about to collapse around us.

Those of us who knew socialism’s sad story of lies, deceit, and destruction are not surprised at America’s precarious position today.
  We knew it would happen. We have watched socialism from its birth.  We watched socialism’s struggle to grow while it murdered its host country all the while.  Like a physician trying to heal a patient, by draining the patient’s body of all its blood, socialism drains a nation of its life-giving force and leaves it a broken shell of its former self. Even as robust a nation as Russia required assistance from former enemies, just to survive, after throwing off the bonds of socialism a few short years ago.

Pope Pius XI once said: “It is wrong to withdraw from the individual and commit to the community at large what private enterprise and industry can accomplish.  So, too, it is an injustice, a grave evil, and a disturbance of right order for a larger and higher organization to arrogate to itself functions which can be performed efficiently by smaller and lower bodies.”

Now we are observing this “wrong,” and this “injustice,” Pope Pius XI warned of, play out right before our eyes here in America.

The “old” America was truly “something else!”  She was a dream.  She was a land of unlimited opportunities and horizons that went on forever.  She was the envy of the world!

American Dream is OverAmericans were optimistic people who threw themselves into the task of firing the furnace of the engine of democracy and delighting in the rewards of their own labor. The “American Dream” was so big and so multifaceted that no one could describe it! 

One British author, John Keegan, described America this way:

“Left to themselves, Americans build, cultivate, bridge, dam, canalize, invent, teach, manufacture, think, write, lock themselves in struggle with the eternal challenges that man has chosen to confront, and with an intensity not known elsewhere on the globe.

Bidden to make “War” their work, Americans shoulder the burden with intimidating purpose.  If I were obliged to define the American mystery, I would say it is the ethos – masculine, pervasive, unrelenting – of work as an end in itself.  War is a form of work, and America makes war in a particularly workmanlike way.  I do not love war; but I love America!”  – John Keegan, author of “Fields of Battle: The Wars for North America” is a British military historian, lecturer, and journalist.

Mr. Keegan had it right  This is what America USED to be like. And for those of us who STILL remember her, as she was, today’s “changed” America  is a bitter pill to swallow!
Quill Blue-Feather
J. D. Longstreet

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Is Every Single Animal and Reptile Endangered?omega-dispatch-logo-with-border2

Alan Caruba

Alan Caruba Head Shot

If it sometimes seems to you that every single animal and reptile is endangered, you can thank that element of the environmental and animal rights movements that has spent millions to foster this absurd belief. Animals and reptiles, fish and birds, lizards and turtles, all are born in the wild and all are food for other species. Nature doesn’t pick favorites, but thanks to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), humans do.

I say “the wild”, but the wild is not some far off place, but rather, for example, it is the vast forested area along the Atlantic coast from Maine to Virginia and beyond. The “wild” has become our backyards as suburbs have become the home of choice for most Americans.

As often as not, those creatures are simply pawns in the environmental movement’s effort to close off vast portions of the nation’s landmass to access from the energy industries, the timber industry, agricultural interests, and any form of development from new housing to hospitals.

Enacted in 1973, the ESA has become the most pernicious piece of legislation foisted on a public that loves animals, but usually only in the abstract except for those who are pet owners who enjoy the companionship, mostly of dogs and cats. Other species may co-exist in beneficial ways, but they don’t adopt one another, nor do they intervene in the way the ESA does.

Prairie Chicken

A couple of recent news stories illustrate how a noble human emotion, empathy, results in some outcomes that don’t reflect good judgment. Take, for instance, the Tampa Bay, Florida woman who ignored signs prohibiting contact with manatees. Videotaped climbing on several of them, she faces a stiff fine against touching them. Florida wants to protect these gentle vegetarians and to ensure they can continue their lives while avoiding dangers from boats whose propellers can cut or kill them. That just makes sense.

Contrast that with an article in New Jersey’s largest daily newspaper about Clinton Township residents who believe coyotes killed a deer. One family reported that is common to hear coyotes howling at night. Ah, Nature! But New Jersey?

Yes, New Jersey where its huge deer population thrives, often becoming road kill when a car crashes into them, endangering the drivers and passengers. A year ago the county in which I live had to authorize a deer kill in a reservation area, a watershed I have lived nearby my whole life. The deer were destroying it by eating the ground cover and any new trees. Where you find deer, you are likely to find clusters of Lyme disease since the ticks that are their parasites spread it to humans.

A large bear population requires New Jersey to have a hunting season for them. In recent years, this has been regularly challenged by those who have appointed themselves their guardians, but ask any Garden State resident that finds one in their back yard or on their porch and you will learn of the fear they generate. The state, like others, is home to Canada geese. Huge flocks of these birds befoul parks, golf courses, and other open areas they favor with their droppings. It was a geese collision that forced US Airways Flight 1549 to ditch in the Hudson River in 2009.

As a lifelong resident of New Jersey, I can assure you that there is no lack of raccoons,  epaopossums, rabbits, and other wildlife. We have been told for decades that the growth of the suburbs is adversely affecting wildlife, but you would not know that if you lived here. They adapt! The bears break into garbage cans, eat the seeds in bird feeders. The coyotes will make off with a family pet for a tasty dinner. The deer eat expensive foliage and the crops that our farmers raise. It’s not called the Garden State for nothing.

This phenomenon is so widespread that Jim Sterba has authored “Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds.”  The woods that Dorothy passed through to get to Oz was filled with “lions and tigers and bears, oh my”, but throughout suburban America, they also include cougars, coyotes, deer, and bears.

In general, the ESA has been a huge failure. Only a handful of species of the hundreds deemed “endangered” have been restored to a larger population. The real purpose of the ESA is not about protecting creatures. It is about thwarting all manner of development, but most especially, access to areas where vast amounts of oil, natural gas, and coal exist, waiting to be extracted. The most endangered species in America today are the hundreds of jobs (and revenue) that this represents.

An example of this was described by David Porter in a recent Wall Street Journal commentary, “Playing Chicken in Oil-Patch Politics.”

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced that it will formally consider listing the Lesser Prairie Chicken—whose habitat includes some of the nation’s major energy fields—as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.” Porter identified this as “a desperate ploy by the Obama administration to further its campaign against oil and gas drilling.” The chicken is a ground-nesting bird native to portions of Texas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

The effort to list the prairie chicken is similar to an earlier effort to list the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard, overlapping the same area as the chicken. Fortunately it failed, but it drains revenue and time from those states that must invest both to resist such listings in the effort to protect access to the energy reserves beneath their ground.

By September 2011, the Associated Press reported that there were more than 700 pending cases to declare “endangered” everything from the golden-winged warbler, the American eel, and the tiny Texas kangaroo rat. Yes, a rat!

The U.S. Forest and Wildlife Service had “issued decisions advancing more than 500 species toward potential new protections under the Endangered Species Act.”

It is time to end the Endangered Species Act as a very bad piece of legislation whose intent has nothing to do with protecting these creatures whose populations are exploding everywhere and everything to do with harming the economy of the nation. They don’t need protecting. They are surviving in spades!THINK ... IT's Not Illegal YET

© Alan Caruba, 2012

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Alan Caruba’s commentaries are posted daily at “Warning Signs” and shared on dozens of news and opinion websites. His blog recently passed more than 2 million page views. If you love to read, visit his monthly report on new books at Bookviews. For information on his professional skills, Caruba Editorial Services is the place to go! You can find Alan Caruba on both Facebook and Twitter as well.

BEST OF LOGO # 7

Editor’s note:  The following is one of our most popular commentaries.  It has been published and republished many times over.  We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it and offering it for your perusal.   …   J. D. Longstreet
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(March 2010)    
National ID Card Or A Number Tattooed On Your Arm?
By:  J. D. Longstreet
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 J. D. Longstreet# 213
I read recently that a proposal for a National I.D. card for American citizens may soon be back on the table for consideration by US lawmakers. There are some who believe approval for a National ID card is growing.
I have to ask: what is wrong with Americans?  Are we sheep to be herded by a National Shepherd?  Where is the individualism that won this country from the British and then stretched it across the entire continent to the shores of the Pacific?  Even the oceans could not hold back our burning desire, our passion,  for FREEDOM!  Yet, today, we are begging the federal government to take our freedoms away!  This is scandalous!  This borders on cowardice of the highest magnitude!
National ID Card  (JOKE)
Are we so quick to give back the liberties bought with the precious blood of our forefathers, our ancestors, and in many cases our immediate relatives?  In cemeteries all over the globe lie the bodies of American men and women who put their lives on the line and shed their blood up to the “last full measure” to ensure you and I the freedoms we are now begging the Federal Government to take away!
Some example we are setting for the rest of the world!  Look at the cowardly Americans.  They talk a good game but when the going gets tough they run to hide under the wings of the Federal Nanny! 
Our national motto is:  “In God We Trust.”   Apparently it’s a lie!   If we truly placed our trust in God we would not be so hasty to misplace it in a government, which is already too big and intrusive.  
There comes a time when we have to stand on our own two feet.  Sure there is risk involved in living free!  That’s why it’s called freedom.  It means, simply, that you (you and I) take responsibility for ourselves!   Example:  If I’m afraid to get on a plane…. then I WON’T get on a plane!   We have to understand, as did our forefathers, that living free does not mean, necessarily, living secure!  To live free, it is required that we must live with certain insecurities, or risks.
There is also the thing called “respect” and “self-respect.”   Respect is earned.  You earn the respect of your fellowman, and the respect of the world, by standing on your own two feet as a man! You do not earn respect by leaning on others… and that includes leaning on the government. Modern day Americans have forgotten that. I am embarrassed, as an American, to find that I even feel I have to explain that to my fellow Americans!
With Your Shield Or Upon It
Something profound has happened to Americans.  That steel in our character is gone. That “damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead” characteristic of American manhood is not there anymore. As a result, our way of life, our freedom, indeed, our nation is at risk.  American used to be known for sticking their finger in the eye of government. 
I don’t know.  Maybe it’s just me.  I am proud of my ancestors who were bootleggers and smugglers.  They left me more than fond memories.  They left me with a strong distrust of government.  I think that distrust is healthy.  They left me something else as well.  They made me understand that the government is not responsible for me.  They taught me that a man is always responsible for himself.  They taught me that the more I depended on government the more dependence government would require until I had nothing left to give and then I would find that I was a slave to that government.
The historian Edward Gibbon had it about right when he wrote of ancient Athens:  “In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security.  They wanted a comfortable life and they lost it all…  security, comfort, and freedom.  When the Athenians finally wanted NOT TO GIVE TO SOCIETY BUT FOR SOCIETY TO GIVE TO THEM, when the freedom they wanted most was FREEDOM FROM RESPONSIBILITY, then ATHENS CEASED TO BE FREE…AND NEVER WAS FREE AGAIN!
I agree that we need some government. But, I believe, as did our forefathers,  that the government, especially the federal government, was, and is, intended to be an agent of the states, and not the other way around! Our American Founders believed a federal government was answerable to the states… not the states to the federal government. 
I believe the government does some things well…. as it should.  One such thing is “provide Nationa ID Cardfor the common defense” with a well trained and equipped military.  I believe as did one of our founding fathers, Thomas Paine, one of the early “pamphleteers” (Most likely a “Blogger” today!) who said: “Government, even in its best state, is a necessary evil; in it’s worse state, and intolerable one.”  (From: Common Sense).
In this Constitutional Republic we call America; it is up to us, the citizens, to keep our government on a short rein.  Indeed, it is our duty, as citizens, to keep the tentacles of government out of our every day existence.  They have no business there.  We must be wary of “Knee-Jerk” responses to danger, real or imagined, such as I believe the National I.D. Card to be.  If the government wants to “Card” somebody, why not make every one not a citizen of this country carry one (an I.D. card) while inside our borders?
How dangerous is Big Government?  Well, I believe Alexis de Tocqueville summed it up nicely when writing of the dangers of big government.  Tocqueville said of big government: “it covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds, and the most energetic characters, cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd.  The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting.  Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, extinguishes, and stupefies people, ’til each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.” (Alexis de Tocqueville on “Big Government”.)
Well, there you have it.  Animals with a shepherd!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be counted among the animals that need a shepherd.  I, like millions of Americans before me, will live free!   I do not choose to beg the government to take back the liberty my ancestors fought and died that I might have.  It’s blasphemy!  
 Quill # 18
I want my grandchildren to live, and grow up, in a free country.  A country, which will allow them to be everything they are capable of being.  I don’t want their prospects to be lessened by the intrusions of government.  I owe them that.  I owe them an America in which they can be FREE.   Free to succeed and, yes, free to fail!   I owe them an America my father, and my forefathers, placed in my safe keeping (as did yours) at my (our) birth.  To be worthy custodians of this nation’s freedom, we must insure that we pass it along no less free that when we received it!
As I look about me today, at modern day America, I have to conclude we have failed at the single most important task we have as adult Americans. That task is to preserve freedom in this country… to guarantee a future for our children in a free nation. A National ID card is much the same as a tattooed number on your forearm.  It is proof of ownership… by someone other than you.  Next will come the National RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip implanted at birth. It will broadcast a radio signal all the days of your life telling the government who you are, and where you are, at all times. National ID, of any kind, takes away one of your basic rights, the right to privacy.
It is time to get a grip, America!  Our National Anthem says: “…The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.”  Well, don’t you think it is about time we began to act like it? A National ID card would say to the world just the opposite.Quill Blue-Feather

 

J. D. Longstreet
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Eat Your Veggies… Or Else!omega-dispatch-simple-logo-with-lightening1

By Eric Peters 

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Eric Peters # 1

LINK:
http://ericpetersautos.com/2012/12/28/and-eat-your-veggies-too/

NHTSA and the insurance Mafia want to see fines for not buckling-up jacked up to as much as $100 in order to “encourage” higher compliance with mandatory seatbelt laws.

Apparently, the $25 hit imposed at gunpoint that’s the current national average fine just isn’t sufficient. Neither are the DMV demerit points some states and (of course) the District of Columbia) assign if you’re found unbuckled and which the insurance Mafia uses as the basis for “adjustments” to your can’t-say-no-thanks, enforced-at-gunpoint insurance policy

Higher fines would improve “compliance” by 6 to 7 percent, according to (yet another) taxpayer-financed study of the obvious.

Threaten people with violence and – surprise – they’ll do what you say.

But the question more people ought to be asking is whether it’s right to threaten anyone with violence for such things as not wearing a seatbelt. And if that’s ok, then shouldn’t the system at least be consistent and hit people who don’t exercise – or who are grossly overweight – with fines as a well? Call it it the Tubby Tax. After all, the same reasoning applies.

Or at least, it ought to.

NHTSA and other buckle-up-at-gunpoint advocates argue that wearing a seat belt is “safer.” True enough. Just as it is also true that it’s safer to exercise regularly – and to not be grossly overweight. Why, then, aren’t couch potatoes and fat slobs threatened with violence by costumed goons? Is their “safety” of less importance than the unbuckled driver’s?

The beefy impose higher actual costs on society, too – in the form of major health problems such as early-onset diabetes, arteriosclerosis, degenerative joint diseases and so on than do unbuckled drivers – most of whom never impose any costs on anyone at all. Because most people don’t get into major wrecks, buckled or unbuckled. Which means, their seatbelt usage is irrelevant. Or at least, not necessarily “unsafe.” Being grossly overweight, on the other hand, all-but-guarantees premature death and significant health problems.

According to the Society of Actuaries, the add-on cost of obesity is nearly $300 million annually: $127 for medical care, $49 billion for productivity losses, and another $72 billion for disability payments. Hasn’t society got a “right” to insist that Large Marges and Sloppy Sams behave more responsibly? That they be encouraged – at gunpoint – to behave in a less “risky” fashion?

Meanwhile, a mere $8.8 billion might be saved if everyone buckled-up.

Chump change. It’s time for a War on Fat. A Crusade to the Gym. Daily physical jerks for all. Lower, Smith! You’re not trying hard enough! Anyone under the age of 40 is perfectly capable of touching his toes! Try harder, please!

Well, why not?

It’d be funny, except people – most people – miss the underlying point. This Piers Morgan-like, un-American notion of collective everything, always to be imposed at gunpoint. You’re not an individual, responsible for your own life – and so, free to decide how best to live it. You’re part of the collective. It owns you – and you own it. No one is allowed to own themselves. Your actions affect others – even though this “affecting” is only possible as a result of coercive collective policies that cause us all to prey on one another like a pack of hyenas.

A pack of intellectually dishonest hyenas.

Because – hyenas who revel in selective persecution based on arbitrary criteria.

There’s no reason, for instance, that fat people shouldn’t feel the full force of the state – if the reasoning used to persecute seatbelt-avoiders applies generally rather than subjectively and arbitrarily. Anything the individual chooses to do that can be convincingly argued increases his “risk” – or which might “impose costs on society” – must be forbidden at gunpoint.

But of course, the system doesn’t do that – not yet. Instead, it selectively targets some people. And only certain personal choices.

The juggernaut is usually preceded by a propaganda campaign worthy of Dr. Goebbels – whose purpose is to marginalize and anathematize the new pariah group so that they may be shoved out from under the protective umbrella of “responsible” society. And then, targeted for special enforcement.

It happened to cigarette smokers – and with such vindictive ferocity that to light up today is sufficient, almost, to be treated as a pedophile.

Next came seatbelt scofflaws. Same tactics, too. Portray the unbuckled as reckless and stupid – people apart from the “law abiding” and “responsible.” It thus becomes so much easier for the average non-thinking American to feel no empathy for the person who is waylaid with heavy fines for having failed to “buckle up for safety” (even though it’s his safety, and so no one else’s business).

Much less anger toward the system that threatens a fellow citizen who has caused no one any harm with lethal violence.

The unthinking American only sees a non-person, different from himself, who has become an outlier for having failed to Do as He Has Been Told.

It almost never occurs to the unthinking American that perhaps some day, he, too, will become the object of some hairshirt crusade based on the “risk” his actions present – and hypothetical, generalized and utterly arbitrary assertions about the “costs” such actions may impose on “society.” He contents himself, instead, with a sort of low-wattage moral busybodyism that selectively focuses on actions he personally doesn’t approve of – or which he has been taught not to approve of – never grasping that there is nothing preventing the same mechanism being deployed against himself. That it is only a matter of some other busybody taking interest in his “risky” actions – and demanding that they, too, be outlawed or banned or fined into oblivion.

Once, a long time ago, America was about the freedom to choose for yourself – and to be responsible for yourself. And to not be made responsible for other people’s choices.

It was a not-bad place to live.final veggie

“Smith” has every right to be a fat slob – to eat whatever he likes and as much as he likes. What he doesn’t have is the right to force others to pay for the consequences of his choices. If he agrees to that, we agree to leave him to his triple angus Thickburgers.

Same thing as regards seat belts. Let people choose for themselves – and be personally accountable for any negative consequences.

That’s freedom – the opposite of this insufferably henpecky, busybody society congealing all around us, in which everything you do is everyone’s else’s business. And vice versa.

Where there’s no real choice, there’s no freedom. Your individualism is drowned in a sea of We.

That’s Option A.

Option B is what America used to be. You do your thing, I do mine. And we agree to leave one another alone. Our lives intersect on a voluntary basis only. I can’t force you to pay my medical bills – and you can’t force me to “buckle-up for safety.”

Which one sounds more appealing to you?

Eric Peters

LINK:http://ericpetersautos.com/2012/12/28/and-eat-your-veggies-too/

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Eric Peters is a longtime car/bikes/Libertarian-minded journalist. His book, “Road Hogs,” came out June 2011.

Peters has been writing a weekly column about cars for almost 20 years now. He is the author of “Automotive Atrocities” and “Road Hogs” (MBI). He lives in rural SW Virginia with his wife and a polyglot crew of animals.

America’s Faustian Deal With Obamaomega-dispatch-simple-logo-with-lightening1
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

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J. D. Longstreet # 5 facing right with pipe

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome every time is the definition of insanity.

By that definition, the American electorate is stark, raving, mad!

We are streaking toward that fiscal cliff at supersonic speed with little, if any, chance that we will be halted before the final plunge.

… And WE did it!  You and I — the voters did it.   QUILL # 4

Too often we look around for some one to blame when the defecation hits the rotary oscillator.  But this time, dear reader, we need look only in the nearest mirror for the culprit.

Now, I am not excusing my own culpability, either.  I am just as much to blame as anyone.  I can’t get past the feeling that I didn’t do enoughor do MORE — to try and convince more readers that the path Obama and the democrats have this nation on is leading us straight to perdition. That’s my personal burden to bear.

We had four years to evaluate Mr. Obama’s agenda, which is pure socialism.  He has told us AND PROVEN, in so many ways, that he is a rabid “wealth redistributionist.” He is a statist, and, I believe, a Marxist.

But, the American electorate decided that it was time for America to give up its leadership role and join the mass mediocrity of the remainder of the world’s nations. So, in order to facilitate that “fundamental change” in America, we reinstated the Socialist-in-Chief, Obama.
OBAMA SOCIALISM POSTER
Many democrats grudgingly admit that Obama is a socialist.  Others in the Democratic Party happily agree that Obama is a socialist because they themselves are socialists.  Much of the Democratic Party is now socialist to the core.

I’ve never been under any illusion about Obama’s brand of socialism.  His is the deep, dark, sinister brand of socialism that enslaves, and finally, murders nations.

Oh, you may argue that Obama’s is “… a big-government philosophy that uses wealth redistribution to fund a massive nanny state of cradle-to-grave entitlements.” SOURCE: http://dailycaller.com/2011/11/21/obamas-brand-of-socialism/#ixzz2GAM36ytD

You’d be wrong.

See, Obama’s brand of socialism is an “…  authoritarian socialism once seen in the Eastern Bloc countries (many of which are now free-market economies) and some nations in Central and South America. It’s used by harsh and oppressive authoritarian regimes that repress their people.”  SOURCE:  http://dailycaller.com/2011/11/21/obamas-brand-of-socialism/#ixzz2GAOu5rdK

Think I’m wrong?  Wait a few months.  You are about to see the “pig in the poke” America bought on November 6th.  Once America goes off the fiscal cliff, the hammer will be brought down.

CRYSTAL BALLI’m concerned we are just months away from a collapse of our financial system with the US dollar taking a dive into worthlessness.  We are already in the first stages of a nationwide battle to disarm American so that only the government has weapons.

Gun owners are going to lose this fight.
  (At least partially.) I don’t like it, but that is the way I see it.  The REASON of gun owners has no chance in an atmosphere that is charged through and through with EMOTION.  Emotion precludes clear thinking, the ability to weigh consequences — both intended and unintendedEmotion demands satisfaction regardless of the cost and the severity of the self-inflicted wounds emotional decisions ALWAYS render.

Look.  It’s not just a fiscal cliff we are approaching.  It is a sanity cliff.   America is about to go crazy. 

I’ve been writing for years now that there is an undercurrent of rage permeating American society today and it is nearing the surface.  One small fissure and it will boil to the surface with devastating results.  Another recession might do it, but frankly, I tend to think the left’s move to disarm America will be the tipping point.

There are reports circulating now that the government has been preparing, for rather a long time, for another civil war within America.  Munitions and war fighting materiel have been prepositioned at strategic locations around the country in preparation for just such an eventuality.

There was a time in the not so distant past when I would have laughed at such speculation.  But not any more — not now.

It’s really quite simple.  Half the country is willing, and even eager, to follow Obama into socialist ruin.  The other half will have to be forced to follow, in chains, if necessary.
Bolshevick Revolution
I agree.  It sounds like a plot for a made for TV movie. But I am very afraid we are actually living in the early days of just such a breakdown in American society.  I have repeatedly reminded younger Americans that current events in America resemble the early days of Bolshevism in Russia, which, as we know, eventually became Soviet Socialist Russia and finally the Union of Soviet Socialist Russia. 

America is in a state of “becoming.”  With Obama’s leadership there can be no doubt that whatever America becomes — it WILL be socialist/Marxist.

As I watched the subdued Christmas celebrations this year, it became obvious to me that we KNOW something is ending in America.  You can see it written on the faces of the crowds on the streets. There is a “melancholia” about Americans today.  It is a form of depression and the shrinks tell us depression is suppressed anger.  So, we are back to that anger I mentioned earlier.

As we slouch fearfully toward a new year and a new national identity, we are truly a house divided with each side locked in a marriage that is strangling the life out of both sides.  It is the nature of socialism.  It does that. It murders nations.

A huge portion of America would happily leave the United States, and found a new country, even now, just for the opportunity to continue to pursue their dreams. But the socialists are hell bent on dragging us down into oblivion with them — because they cannot allow us to prosper and put the lie to their promised Utopia.  Misery loves company, you know.

There can be no doubt the deal struck with Obama on November 6th is a Faustian deal.  We traded America’s soul for a promise, a PROMISE,  mind you, of a collectivist’s portion of a meager harvest where the workers are few and the shirkers are many.  It is an untenable deal doomed to utter failure — and WE did it.

© J. D. LongstreetQuill Blue-Feather

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Don’t tell Me What I Need, Or Don’t Need!omega-dispatch-simple-logo-with-lightening1
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

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J

Starring down at me from a photograph atop the computer monitor directly in front of me is the determined visage of John Singleton Mosby.  His Confederate officer’s uniform is resplendent.  The brass is sparkling, the leather is polished, and his black knee boots are spit-shined to a high gloss.  His left hand is resting on the hilt of his cavalry saber.  Mosby’s left foot is slightly forward giving the optical impression that he is leaning forward ready to do battle.  And he was.

John Singleton Mosby is probably best known as “The Gray Ghost,” the leader of what would today be a detachment of special forces/special ops troops for the Confederate Army or, when under orders from General Robert E. Lee, the Army of Northern Virginia.

Nobody wanted to tangle with Mosby.  He was a pain in the butt even to the officers over him and even during times of relative calm.  In battle, he was rabid.  If he had any fear it was never apparent.  His ability to stay a step or two ahead of the enemy was a testament to his reasoning ability and his strategic and tactical thinking.

Alexander_the_GreatAs a lad, growing up in the American south, surrounded by the poetry of “languidity” (owing to the hot, humid, climate before air conditioning) one had time to dream.  And I did.  When not in school, I was in the fields hunting with my dog and my shotgun or rifle, else I was hidden away in some quiet place with my nose pressed against the pages of a book.

I had two heroes:  Alexander the Great and John Singleton MosbyThe Gray Ghost. Mosby

I think it was their self confidence that drew me to them.  They did their own thinking, came to their own conclusions and acted on them in their own way and they didn’t give a damn what anyone else thought about it.  Of course, that spoke of another quality they both possessed in abundance:  courage.
Glancing up at Mosby’s stern visage today, I feel as if he is challenging me to pour everything I have into the fight to preserve the individual freedom of the American civilian to keep and bear arms.

I’m convinced that if Mosby were alive and healthy today he would be in the fight and he would give a hell of an accounting of himself in doing so.

See, Mosby did not take kindly to others, even his superiors, telling him what to do, or what he needed — or didn’t need.  In fact he tended to respond rather aggressively toward those who did.   THAT is how and why he was pushed out of the regular ranks and into what we call “guerrilla” warfare today.

And that brings me to the crux of this commentary today.

I’m having a “Mosby Moment.”  I, along with a few million other Americans, have a whole slew of elitist Americans assuming a right they do not have.  They have taken it upon themselves to tell me what I need and what I don’t need.

I am referring, of course to the ongoing harping from the political left about controlling my right as a legal gun owner in America to keep and bear arms. 

Oh, they’ll deny they want to abolish the Second Amendment, but that is a a bald-faced lie.  That is EXACTLY what they want to do and they are on the verge of an all out push to do just that … if we gun owners allow the nose of that camel under the tent.

LC LOGONot one to buy into the malarkey of Moral Relativism, or as it is known today “political correctness,” I have a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong.  And for me, anyone trying to tell me what I need and/or what I don’t need crosses the line.  You have strayed into hostile territory and you will be met with resistance commensurate with that behind your effort — and then some.

One of the lessons I learned in the US Army as an artilleryman was that one should not necessarily celebrate when the enemy is found to be in range of your guns.  Why?  Because that means you are also in range of HIS guns!  Victory usually means getting the first accurate rounds down range and then maintaining a continuous barrage until the enemy is destroyed or driven from the field.

That is, I feel, exactly where we are in these opening moments of the fight over gun control in America. Unfortunately,  we allowed the enemy to fire the first rounds and they are pouring it on.  (But — they apparently forgot the old saw about “range”  noted above!)

Those of us in the New Media have been fighting what amounts to a “trip wire” or “speed bump” action while our main forces were preparing to engage.

Honestly, now that those main forces have engaged, I can’t say that I am impressed with what they have brought to the battle, at least so far.

Yes, this IS going to be a slog.  The so-called gun grabbers are going to throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at gun owners, they are going to play on the emotions of the American people any way they can.  Plus, you can be sure another nut will go off and kill more people because he wants to be a part of the story, a part of the narrative, and go down in the history books along with preceding murdering nut cases.  It is the way of sick minds.

At the beginning of this debate there was some small degree of hope — on my part — that there would be at least a slight degree of civility upheld in the admittedly heated debate.  That went right out the window within hours and so far (at this writing)  the low point has been a member of the TV media calling his very own program guest “stupid.”  (A petition has been filed on the White House website asking the President to deport that particular foreign journalist who only works for an American cable news outlet.)

And it will get decidedly worse.  There are recorded instances of fisticuffs on the floor of Congress as the result of long past heated debates — and we may yet see more such outbursts in the weeks and months ahead. Quill # 18

We should all be wary, however, of the maneuvering BEHIND the scenes THAT WE DO NOT SEE.  That is where the gun grabber’s mischief will be most creative and most effective.

We can expect Presidential Executive Orders limiting our freedom to be issued out of the Oval Office with little fanfare.  There have been hints of such EO’s dating back months, long before the Newtown Massacre.  There were reports that such EO’s were already prepared and awaiting the “right time” for the President to sign them.

At least one Senator has declared her intent to introduce legislation to ban so-called “assault weapons” as soon as Congress convenes in January.  It is well to note that the assault weapon ban did absolutely nothing to thwart gun violence while it was in effect the first time.  Plus, you might find it interesting to note that the state of Connecticut, has its own assault weapon ban.  It sure helped … a lot … didn’t it!?

Expect the United Nations Small Arms Treaty to be approved by the US Senate.  That does not require any input or approval by the US House of Representatives.  It will,undoubtedly be challenged before the US Supreme Court and depending upon the way the court rules, that UN treaty could  effectively wipe out the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

(One should keep in mind that Obama will likely have the opportunity to appoint two new justices to the Supreme Court in the next four years.  There is absolutely no reason to think those appointees will be fans of the Second Amendment!)

I fully expect the approach used by the gun grabbers will be incremental in nature — in the beginning.   They will insist they only want “reasonable” gun control.  You know, things like civilians ought not own such things as machine guns, the modern Gatling guns, rocket propelled grenades, surface-to-air missiles, things like that.

It’s a con game.  What they really want is your guns — and they are definitely coming for them.

If you are a gun owner and you want to keep your gun(s) along with the RIGHT to keep your gun(s), then you MUST join the fight.  You MUST raise your voice in protest.  Simply put –IF you DON’T raise your voice in protest, you will lose the RIGHT to do THATonce the Second Amendment is out of the way.   

The black flag of “no quarter” has been raised above the camp of the political left on gun control.  See, they have finally had an epiphany.  They have finally realized that the Second Amendment was not intended to provide protection for the guns of sportsmen and hunters.  They now know it was intended to insure the ability of the American citizen to maintain weapons with which he can resist efforts to strip Americans of their freedom and liberty and enslave them under the jackboots of a tin horn dictator.

Here are a few thoughts on the necessity of Americans keeping and bearing guns:

“The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good” … George Washington

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government”  — Thomas Jefferson, 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

THINK ... IT's Not Illegal YET“One of the ordinary modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purposes without resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it an offense to keep arms.” — Constitutional scholar Joseph Story, 1840

 “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”  — Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story of the John Marshall Court

 “To disarm the people… was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
— George Mason, speech of June 14, 1788

 “Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the *real* object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?”
— Patrick Henry, speech of June 9, 1788

America is now engaged in a fight to decide if we will remain free or become slaves to the state.  THAT is the bottom line. Quill Blue-Feather

I vote for freedom … period!

© J.D. Longstreet

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A Failed Congress … Alan Caruba

Posted: December 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

A Failed Congressomega-dispatch-simple-logo-with-lightening1

By Alan Caruba

Alan Caruba Head Shot

This is for all those who voted to reelect Obama or those who stayed home on Election Day 2012 because they found Republican candidates who talked about unemployment and the need for more jobs unappealing.

The blame falls on the Democratic Party that controls the Senate and the White House. The blame falls on the Republican Party that needs to grow a new backbone instead of looking for ways to compromise with an administration bent on the destruction of the nation.

What awaits Americans in 2013 is the largest tax increase in the history of the nation and it is not because the Republicans in the House of Representatives did not propose and pass one plan after another to avoid it.

What awaits Americans in 2013 is the result of the failure and refusal of Congress to reform a huge and horrible tax code that even Certified Public Accountants and IRS bureaucrats cannot fathom and, unless an alternative minimum tax “fix” is quickly approved, the IRS has notified Congress that up to 100 million taxpayers will have to wait to file while it overhauls its computers.

Failing to act on the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowes Commission to reduce government spending, reform the tax code, and save the “entitlement” programs, and ignored by the President, resulted in a “sequestration” program of automatic, draconian reductions that will cut the defense budget at a time when it is our primary deterrent to attacks on the homeland and the protection of our interests around the world.

Across the board cuts will impact all aspects of life in America; reductions in government spending that should have been introduced in a sensible, reasoned manner.

Remember George W. Bush who Obama insisted was to blame for the economy he “inherited”? The roll-back of the Bush-era tax cuts will impose increased taxes on families making between $50,000 and $75,000 that are estimated to take $2,400 from them according to one non-partisan study.

Investment taxes will increase as well. The capital gains rate will increase from 15% to 20% for investors. Dividends would be taxed like regular income, affecting decisions to purchase stocks that aid the growth and expansion of corporations large and small.

An estate tax will impact families seeking to pass on their properties and savings to the next generation.

The Congressional Budget Office predicts the nation could lose 3.4 million jobs in 2013. Meanwhile, jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed are set to expire next year. The maximum 73 weeks in state and federal benefits will fall to 26 weeks, affecting two million jobless Americans now receiving them.

The U.S. has functioned without a budget for the past three years and one that was submitted by the President was soundly rejected by Congress.

Millions of Americans who saved for retirement and those on fixed incomes will suffer as these tax increases occur.

Millions of employers will put their workers on a “part-time” status to avoid Obamacare mandates, reducing their income.

Obamacare was judged to be a tax by a Supreme Court that failed to give weight to the requirement that Americans must now purchase health insurance whether they want to or need to. This directly contravenes the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Some twenty states have refused to set up the insurance “exchanges” required by the law. Others struggle under the current Medicaid mandates.

This is misfeasance—the improper and unlawful execution of an act that in itself is lawful—by a Congress charged with the governance of the nation.

Politics has always been understood as reasoned compromise between those elected to office, but as we have seen in the weeks leading up to the so-called “fiscal cliff”, the President has refused to negotiate in good faith or to compromise. No doubt he plans to blame the Republicans for the ills of the nation.

As a result, Americans will keep or spend less of their earnings and millions more will be thrown into unemployment.

Most are unaware of these realities. While all this occurs, the nation’s debt of $16 trillion continues to grow in a nation whose Gross Domestic Product—the earnings from all its goods and services—stands around $14 trillion. This is unsustainable and it threatens the future of the nation whose credit rating is likely to be reduced.

It is a perfect storm.THINK ... IT's Not Illegal YET

© Alan Caruba, 2012

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Alan Caruba’s commentaries are posted daily at “Warning Signs” and shared on dozens of news and opinion websites. His blog recently passed more than 2 million page views. If you love to read, visit his monthly report on new books at Bookviews. For information on his professional skills, Caruba Editorial Services is the place to go! You can find Alan Caruba on both Facebook and Twitter as well.

Abortion Debate Will Be Settled By One Court Only   omega-dispatch-simple-logo-with-lightening1
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

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J. D. Longstreet # 5 facing right with pipe

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” … Hebrews 9:27 (The Bible)

I sometimes think man is the stupidest creature God ever created.  In fact, God, Himself, repented that he made man and wiped everyone out — save for Noah and his family — in the Biblical story of the Great Flood.

As I look  about me, at the awful mess we have made of everything, I have to wonder why God didn’t just knock a hole in the bottom of the Ark and finish the job.

It is said that even the angels are puzzled over God’s love for mere mortals.   They, too, were created by the same God, and created before man. But even with their seniority, they fall into second place, behind man, in God’s favor.  They MUST be frustrated.

Man is most certainly the most arrogant of all God’s creations, bar none!   Since shortly after our creation, we have been trying every way we an think of to deny the existence of our Creator.  It doesn’t work, of course. It just makes us look even more stupid — devoid of good sense OR judgment.

We have tried to elevate ourselves to “godhood” with only minimal effect.  We can actually get people to worship us IF those people are even more stupid they we.  Not to mention, those worshipers have a tendency to murder a would-be god when they discover the wannabe god is, in fact, NOT a god, at all.
Human beings worshiped by other human beings only leads to trouble — BIG trouble.

Right about here, I suspect I ought to present by bona fides.  I am a believer of the Christian creedvariety.  So what, EXACTLY, do I believe?  Fair question.  Here is the answer:

1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:

3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:

4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:

5. The third day he rose again from the dead:

6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:

7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:

8. I believe in the Holy Ghost:

9. I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:

10. The forgiveness of sins:

1l. The resurrection of the body:

12. And the life everlasting. Amen.

Many of you will recognize the above as The Apostle’s Creed“The Symbolum Apostolorumwas developed between the second and ninth centuries. It is the most popular creed used in worship by Western Christians. Its central doctrines are those of the Trinity and God the Creator. It has been called the “Creed of Creeds.”  SOURCE:  http://www.creeds.net/ancient/apostles.htm 

Our belief is FAITH and faith is the belief in things not seen.   Nowhere in the creed a above does it say: “I KNOW.”  It says: “I BELIEVE.”

As long as there are believers there will be non-believers.   Man is a free agent.  God granted us the right to be stupid and reject his offer of beneficence.

I am under no illusion that my scribbling here will change any minds.  That is not my intention.  I am a commentator.  I comment on the passing scene and, most often, it is the  passing scene in which I am caught up.

I mentioned man’s inherent stupidity above.   All the evidence one needs to support my accusation of man’s inferior intellect is the continuing quarrel amongst us over abortion.

I believe abortion is wrong, quite likely a sin, and unquestionably homicide.   My position is based on my faith.

I can accept abortion in cases of rape, incest, and in cases where the life of the mother is at risk.  Even  then,  I feel a heavy guilt that the life of a child is required to spare the life of an adult, or to make amends for a cruel act imposed on one adult by another.  There is something intrinsically wrong about all those choices.  I cannot escape my conscience. 

Look.  There is no way to approach the issue in the public forum without pain.  It simply cannot be done.  In my opinion, abortion should never have been introduced into the public forum, and most certainly not in the aggressive manner some abortion supporting organizations have chosen.

To demand that a person of faith pay for the commission of what they believe is a sin by another person is itself the highest form of sin there is.  It is forcing a person to commit sin by supporting another in the commission of a sin. I am given to understand there is a special place in the afterlife for those who indulge in such fist-shaking in the face of God.

If one believes, as I do, that life begins at the moment of conception, then there is no point in the pregnancy cycle when that child can be considered anything less than a living human being.

Ultimately, a decision to end the life of a child should be between the parents of that child and their God.
  Yes, I intentionally used the plural of “parent.”  The father has equal responsibility for that new life and should, I believe,  share the responsibility in any decision to end that life.  

Any impartial analysis must admit there will not be an answer to this question nor a cessation of the debate.  Once the debate/discussion/argument/quarrel was introduced into the public forum it was akin to opening the mythical Pandora’s Box.   The genie cannot be returned to the bottle.  It is, I believe,  a part of man’s curse for demanding the knowledge of good and evil.

Having abortion laws interwoven into the fabric of America’s code of justice only insures it will continue to divide Americans. It will bring shame to some. It will enrage others.   Some will be genuinely perplexed — but only a few.

The issue of whether abortion is right or wrong, moral or immoral, a sin or not, has now been graven on our collective conscience, and on our hearts.  It is indelible.   Such is the power of any debate relating to the life and death of a child. 

The moment we chose to impose government mandated payment for abortions a part of America’s heart was ripped open.  We have only now begun to realize there is more than one way to “pay” for abortions.  We are paying as a nation and we will continue to pay as our national pain grows more intense.

There simply is no justification for taking the lives of millions of babies.  Their blood stains us all with stains that cannot be cleansed and will not fade.  Such is the value of a single child’s life, let alone the lives of millions of children not allowed to live and love among us.

This is NOT any easy topic on which to comment precisely because it is such a painful subject.  But I have chosen to make these remarks because a friend and fellow commentator once wisely — and bluntly —  told me: “Somebody HAS to say these things.”

© J. D. Longstreet

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Christmas 2012omega-dispatch-simple-logo-with-lightening1

A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

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J. D. Longstreet # 5 facing right with pipe

This is the time each year we wish for peace on earth and good will to men. Yet, we seem, each Christmas, to find ourselves lacking that Peace and the Good Will.

This Christmas, again, we find that American troops are far from home, very near the birthplace of the baby who gave his name to the day we call Christmas. Families will open presents and gather for a family meal and rejoice over the birth of the Christ child, and yet, we cannot bring ourselves to follow the teachings of that baby and stop fighting with each other. Christ, himself recognized that, a couple of thousand years ago, and said: “Men will cry peace, peace, but there will be no peace!”

Americans have found themselves in the unenviable position of being the policemen of the world… by default. It was thrust upon us. We did not seek it, we did not want it, but we learned, much to our chagrin, that we had no choice. When the “evil-doers” attacked us on our soil, we were instantly committed. We have been at war now since September 11th, 2001. No end is in sight, no matter what we may have been told.

Back in the mid 1800’s America found herself in another war, much worse that the one we fight currently. It was a war among brothers. A war, which was being waged here, on our shores, and the carnage, was biblical in proportion. Families were torn apart by the war and entire families displaced as the war raged up and down the Middle Atlantic States and even out west, across the Mississippi River. 700,000 Americans lives were loss as a result of that war. Many of the scars can still be seen today in our buildings and landscapes. Many scars are less obvious, but are there, nevertheless.

I am a Veteran, and I’m a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and as such, I am acutely acquainted with the scars — seen and unseen — of war. The entire reason for the existence of the SCV is to prevent the memory of what those men did from fading, or being redacted, from the memory of this nation. We feel that by holding the historically correct (as opposed to politically correct) reasons for that war up to public scrutiny we can learn from it and never allow such a thing to happen on these shores again.

The South was the recipient of more suffering and carnage than were our brothers to the north. It was a sad, disheartening, time.

Here is a small part of the text of a letter, written to his family, by a Confederate soldier on Christmas Eve of 1863:

” This morning battalion guard mounting began for the three batteries. It is Christmas Eve. I am sitting in my little cabin and my thoughts carry me away to Helena where I see my good wife before the hearth with three children around her; the eldest a girl standing and looking earnestly into her mother’s face; the second a boy, five years old, sitting in a small chair looking into the fire; and the youngest a girl about four, leaning on her mother’s lap–all listening attentively to what their intelligent mother is relating in regard to the visits of Santa Claus having visited them on former Christmas Eves with presents of toys, their curiosity is at its height to know if he will come tonight and fill their stockings. Ah, will not these little innocents be disappointed? Their father has not seen them for twenty months, and is now far away battling for home and liberty, and has no means by which he can convey them toys or money to purchase them. Whether their mother has the means to spare in procuring Christmas presents for them is unknown to me, but I pray heaven to provide her with the necessaries of life, and to bless and cheer the young and innocent hearts of my children during the Christmas holidays. Happy Christmas to my wife and children!” [From The Campaign Diaries of Thomas J. Kay, CSA and Robert J. Campbell, edited by Wirt Armistead Cate, 1938; entry for December 24th (1863).]

Surely, there were similar letters written by soldiers on the federal side of the lines that Christmas.

So, as we tear open the Christmas presents, feast at the table piled high with God’s bounty, lets us find time, somewhere during the hectic day, to remember what the child, whose birthday we celebrate, taught us. Even if we cannot find it within ourselves to put his teachings into practice, we are, I believe, obligated to try. In the effort, we might just find that peace so often mentioned at this time of year

Merry Christmas for Blog # 2

Let us remember our troops, so far from home, in constant danger, because so much of the world cannot bring itself to fight tyranny… of any kind. Let us pray that those misled peoples will, somehow, find the courage to stand up, like men, and fight the enemies of freedom as our brave men and women are doing. Let us pray that they come to understand that the brave American soldier, who dies on a foreign battlefield, has given his life for them as well as for his own American family.

And, finally, let us pray that next Christmas will find America, and the world, in a less contentious state than this Christmas.

May God richly bless you and your family this Christmas and in the New Year to come.

Merry Christmas, everyone, and please accept my sincerest gratitude for your past (and continued) support of my feeble efforts at expressing and sharing opinions on those things that matter and affect us all.

J. D. Longstreet

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