07/6/20

Trump Right to Honor Harriet Tubman, a Black Gun-Toting Republican Who Freed Democrats’ Slaves

By: Daniel John Sobieski

President Trump concluded his Friday night Mount Rushmore speech by announcing the signing of an executive order creating a “National Garden of American Heroes” in which the statues of those anarchists would consign to the ash heap of history would reside to remind future generations of how we became who and what we are, to remind us of the struggle against tyranny and injustice.

Trump righteously stood before the visages of the likes of Thomas Jefferson, the maligned slave-owner who helped create a nation and a process that would end slavery. He stood before the face of Abraham Lincoln, the first president of the Republican Party, the abolitionist party formed to end the Democrats’ claimed ownership of their fellow human beings. Jefferson wrote that all men were created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Lincoln, after the Battle of Gettysburg in a Civil War that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of so-called white-privileged Americans, spoke of a new birth of freedom and a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, that he would not allow to perish from the earth.

Trump, who some say may one day belong on Mt. Rushmore instead of just standing in front of it or flying over it, won’t allow it either, nor will we allow the cancel culture to erase the history of our continuous and ongoing struggle towards a more perfect union. So he announced the creation of the National Garden of American Heroes. The executive order reads: “The National Garden should be composed of statues, including statues of John Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Daniel Boone, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Henry Clay, Davy Crockett, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Benjamin Franklin, Billy Graham, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Douglas MacArthur, Dolley Madison, James Madison, Christa McAuliffe, Audie Murphy, George S. Patton, Jr., Ronald Reagan, Jackie Robinson, Betsy Ross, Antonin Scalia, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, George Washington, and Orville and Wilbur Wright.”

Trump was especially right in selecting Harriet Tubman, whose life story exposes the lie that America is an irredeemably racist country enslaved by racist Republicans.  History, someone once said, is a lie agreed upon, and nowhere is that more self-evident than in accounts of America’s racial history as told by Democrats. Republicans are the party of racism and slavery when the historical record shows just the opposite to be true.

As black economist Thomas Sowell notes, Democrats value black votes but not black voters:

Democrats need black voters to be fearful, angry, resentful, and paranoid. Black votes matter. If Republicans could get 20 percent of black votes, the Democrats would be ruined.

That is what Democrats are terrified of. That can only happen if blacks are denied the truth about their past, present, and future. It is Democrats who owned the slaves, founded the KKK, and wrote the Jim Crow laws. It is Democrats who stood in the schoolhouse door and still do, opposing school choice. It is Democrats who turned on the fire hoses and unleashed the dogs. It was Democrats who blocked the bridge in Selma. A higher percentage of Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act than Democrats. Trump and a free market economy is no mirage but a portent of things to come that has the Democratic Party running scared.

The Democrats’ historical amnesia omits the fact that it was Senator Robert Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia and former “Grand Kleagle” with the Ku Klux Klan, who holds the distinction of being the only Senator to have opposed the only two black nominees to the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, and led a 52-day filibuster against this legislation.

Sen. Al Gore, the father of the former vice president, voted against the act, as did Sen. J. William Fulbright, to whom Bill Clinton dedicated a memorial, current senior Senator from South Carolina Ernest Hollings, Sen. Richard Russell and, of course, Sen. Strom Thurmond, who was a Democrat at that time. Only six GOP Senators voted against the act, compared with 21 Democrats. The party of Abraham Lincoln and Jeff Sessions beat back the fire hoses and dogs of the party of Robert Byrd, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris.

“Harriet,”  just released in theaters, tells the story of Harriet Tubman, an African-American slave who frees herself and then returns south to retrieve 70 others and bring them to freedom. Oh, yeah, Harriet Tubman was a gun-toting Republican and the people she liberated these slaves from were Democrats.

She was a heroine of the Underground Railroad and plans were being made under President Obama to place Tubman’s image on a new twenty-dollar bill, replacing the current version depicting former slave-owner and President Andrew Jackson. Plans stalled, however, perhaps when someone noticed that Harriet Tubman was a gun-toting Republican who believed that firearms were the best guarantor of freedom and equality ever invented.

Recently, Congressman John Katko, R-New York, has revived the idea of replacing President Andrew Jackson, one of those old white guys, on the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman, an African-American woman who was a heroine in the battle against slavery:

Back in 2016, President Barack Obama’s Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced the proposal to swap former President Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman.

Tubman would be the first African-American woman to appear on U.S. currency and the first woman in 100 years. The idea was to honor the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

The plan has since stalled. President Donald Trump is a fan of Andrew Jackson and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said as far as he’s concerned, Jackson will remain on the $20 bill, but some in Congress think otherwise.

“We don’t have a woman of color, we don’t have any person of color on any U.S. currency,” said Congressman John Katko, R-New York….

Lisa Page, the interim Director of Africana Studies at George Washington University, says the move is not without controversy.

“I think Americans are still ashamed of the legacy of slavery and will continue to be ashamed of slavery,” Page said.

If the bill were to become a reality, according to Page, it would be a fitting tribute to a trailblazer for freedom and a patriotic American heroine.

“She was called Moses for all of her work in abolition,” Page added

Ironically, Charlton Heston, who played Moses on the big screen, was an NRA member famous for holding a musket over his head with the pledge, “From my cold dead, hands.” Gun rights are a keystone of our freedoms and the Founding Fathers knew we needed a Second Amendment to protect the other nine, Harriet Tubman knew that in the battle to end slavery, gun-rights for African Americans would be a key.

This move to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, replacing President Andrew Jackson, replacing the slave-owning founder of the Democratic Party with a gun-toting black Republican may spark a political debate worth having and unearth historical truths worth learning.

Biographer Kate Clifford Larson notes that Harriet Tubman was no stranger to firearms, finding it a way to both protect and reassure slaves she shepherded to freedom in the north, perhaps making her a founder of the “black lives matter” movement:

Harriet Tubman carried a small pistol with her on her rescue missions, mostly for protection from slave catchers, but also to encourage weak-hearted runaways from turning back and risking the safety of the rest of the group. Tubman carried a sharp-shooters rifle during the Civil War.

An image of her carrying her gun is not likely to grace the new $20 bill, nor is any mention of her being a supporter of the anti-slavery Republican Party likely to be a regular part of the mainstream media and liberal Democratic mantra.  Harriet Tubman’s image should remind Americans that gun control was a historical method to control and subjugate blacks. UCLA constitutional law professor notes in The Atlantic:

Indisputably, for much of American history, gun-control measures, like many other laws, were used to oppress African Americans. The South had long prohibited blacks, both slave and free, from owning guns. In the North, however, at the end of the Civil War, the Union army allowed soldiers of any color to take home their rifles. Even blacks who hadn’t served could buy guns in the North, amid the glut of firearms produced for the war. President Lincoln had promised a “new birth of freedom,” but many blacks knew that white Southerners were not going to go along easily with such a vision. As one freedman in Louisiana recalled, “I would say to every colored soldier, ‘Bring your gun home.’”

Winkler also notes:

The KKK began as a gun-control organization. Before the Civil War, blacks were never allowed to own guns. During the Civil War, blacks kept guns for the first time – either they served in the Union army and they were allowed to keep their guns, or they buy guns on the open market where for the first time there’s hundreds of thousands of guns flooding the marketplace after the war ends. So they arm up because they know who they’re dealing with in the South. White racists do things like pass laws to disarm them, but that’s not really going to work. So they form these racist posses all over the South to go out at night in large groups to terrorize blacks and take those guns away. If blacks were disarmed, they couldn’t fight back.

One of the key reasons for the 14th Amendment’s guarantee that blacks were equal human beings with equal rights was to protect the gun rights of freed slaves after the Civil War. This reasoning was cited in the 2010 gun rights victory won by Otis McDonald in McDonald vs. Chicago. McDonald, a 76-year-old African-American Army veteran living in a high-crime area of Chicago who felt the Second Amendment gave him the right to protect himself and his family with a gun just as he once protected his country with a gun.

The Supreme Court agreed, with Justice Samuel Alito referencing the 14th Amendment:

Alito wrote: “Evidence from the period immediately following the ratification [in 1868] of the Fourteenth Amendment only confirms that the right to keep and bear arms was considered fundamental. … In sum, it is clear that the Framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty.”….

In framing the argument that the intent of the Fourteenth Amendment should incorporate Second Amendment rights, Alito referenced post-Civil War laws that the Fourteenth Amendment intended to eliminate.

“The laws of some states formally prohibited African Americans from possessing firearms,” Alito said. “For example, a Mississippi law provided that ‘no freedman, free negro or mulatto, not in the military service of the United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry firearms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk or bowie knife.”

Harriet Tubman supported the Republican Party because it opposed slavery. She carried a gun because it protected the liberty and freedom of herself and those she delivered to freedom via the Underground Railroad.  Just as Democrats sought to enslave and disarm blacks back then, they now seek to entrap them in high crime urban areas run by liberal Democrats who seek to deny them, and the rest of us, the right to keep and bear arms.

Harriet Tubman’s image may never appear on the $20 bill, but we should all learn and remember the image showing this African-American Republican leading slaves to freedom from slavery under Democrats with a gun in her hand.

* Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

07/6/20

We Were Soldiers

By: Garry L. Hamilton

Typical of Day One Chemo, sleeping is a losing battle. So I figured, why not a movie?

We Were Soldiers.

I watched it. Gritted my teeth. Wept.

And I wept for Joe. It hit me when he was overwhelmed by freshly showered, wide-eyed, “grown-up” emo journo clowns, stepping off the Sikorsky in a now-safe LZ with questions like “how does it feel?” and various inappropriately loaded questions. And all he could do was stare at them.

And I grasped one of the fundamentals of PTSD watching Hal Moore exhort him to tell the story and confessing his subjective guilt.

And I realized that, of all the war movies I’ve watched, two stand out as “PTSD inducing in the perceptive viewer” class of movie. Yeah, there are others, but two stand out.

The other, for me, is Saving Private Ryan.

They’re messy, shocking, unrelenting, emotionally wrenching, ultimately heroic, but with a horrific price.

The first involves people my own age. I relate way too well to them. They are the reason I did my best to sign up for something non-combat and not over there. And I understood how the active fight against communism (as a general vector, and as the actual foe in real life), while won in numbers on the ground in open combat, was lost to the embedded communists in our own society who succeeded in turning our own culture against our own soldiers, ultimately losing a war the soldiers had actually won.

It brought home my own petty “survivor’s guilt” (yes, something experienced when meeting in person those who did the fighting and the dying, realizing that I was little more than a dabbler in a life and death context) but allowed me to realize that the drive to survive is not a sin, especially when the conflict is largely a politically contrived one. Still, that’s hard to shake if you can’t bring yourself to examine it as raw fact.

The other matter is the punchline of Saving Private Ryan: “Earn this.”

Yes, it was a demand by an individual to an individual, but it can also be the exhortation of those who paid the ultimate price to those of use who would inherit the victory.

And the question one may then ask is, “have we earned it?” Followed by, “are we willing to earn it again, on our own soil if need be?”

We’re the survivors. What we have was bought by our fathers and grandfathers.

Are we willing to forfeit what they bought, accepting the sophomoric sophistry that somehow, by accepting this staggeringly expensive gift, we are de facto unworthy because [insert badly constructed Marxist argument here], and [additional Marxist slogans here] because it’s impolite to respond resolutely (and with violence if needed) against the gleeful, carefully engineered violence perpetrated against us, the heirs of those victories against the tyrannies of the moment?

Can we that easily be persuaded by specious argument that we “don’t deserve” that gift?

Is it really that easy to accept that we should just “hand it over” to the latest band of thugs simply because the thugs in question happen to have staged the battle on our own soil?

The fact that they’ve spent 60 years and billions of dollars building up to this point, infiltrating education and achieving through subterfuge what they could not through a frontal attack, does that legitimize their claim to the prosperity we built in the wake of those conflicts? Simply by slandering us all with ridiculous and entirely false accusations? By hard-selling the specious argument for “the [imaginary] sins of the father …” and therefore those of us who have committed no crime somehow owe a debt to those who have had no crime committed against them?

Against this kind of wholesale dishonesty and targeted violence, are we really ready to roll over and just give the bully what he wants?

Really?

Did we earn it?

Or didn’t our progenitors pay enough?

Yes, I know there’s a carefully constructed network of laws that, ironically, can be construed to favor the criminal in this matter, but eventually it will boil down to our cultural ethic and morality and confronting the idea that we can be fenced out of our freedoms and liberties by a tangle of lawyerly contrivances.

Have we become this soft? Are we really no longer worthy?

David Burge (Iowahawk) observed, some time back, something I call “the skin suit proposition,” to wit:

1. Target a respected institution,
2. Kill & clean it,
3. Wear it as a skin suit, while demanding respect.

And the targeted, respected institution has become the American culture as a whole.

In his observation, “kill” is metaphorical.

The metaphor is no longer the shield it was. It has morphed into a more literal proposition.

Where is the threshold? At what point do we reach the cultural equivalent of “fearing for our lives?”

Do we get there while there is still time to act, or when, finally, we are staring up at the barrel of a gun? A real one, not metaphorical?

Flip through a bit of history — the last hundred years should do — before rendering your answer.

And then contemplate, did we earn it? Are we willing to earn it again?

<< This ramble brought to you by Movies And Too Little Sleep. Enjoy. >>

07/4/20

Celebrating American Independence, President Andrew Jackson, and Mt. Rushmore

By: Cliff Kincaid

It was a highlight when I received the Andrew Jackson “Champion of Liberty” Award from Howard Phillips and the U.S. Taxpayers Alliance on September 17, 2008. The award was given on the Conservative Caucus 8th annual commemoration of Constitution Day. Today, President Jackson is supposed to be a villain, as communist agitators tried to take down his statue in Lafayette Park near the White House, calling him a “killer” for removing Indians from areas of conflict in the new America to federal safe zones or havens for their own protection. Jackson offered the Indians federal protection and became the legal guardian to a Native American orphan Jackson found in battle.

The agitators didn’t succeed in taking down the statue since federal police arrived in time to prevent that, but the communists did vandalize it.

Jackson and his supporters founded the modern Democratic Party and his policies on the Indians were considered benevolent at the time. For many years, before it became politically incorrect, there were Jefferson-Jackson Day fundraising dinners, named for Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, which were sponsored by the Democratic Party.

Today, Democratic Party officials and candidates hate Jackson. The former Democratic Party presidential candidate, New Ager Marianne Williamson, had promised to remove the Andrew Jackson painting from the Oval Office, referring to the federal government’s “historic mistreatment of America’s original inhabitants,” citing the Indian Removal Act in 1830. The Indians were removed, but for their own good, to avoid more Indian deaths in the long run.

Indeed, as Robert Remini writes in his book on Jackson, “The Trail of Tears was a terrible price to pay for this legislation but, as Jackson predicted, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Choctaws, and Seminole tribes are alive today. They were not annihilated like the Yamassee, Mokawks and Pequot, and other eastern tribes.” In his book on Jackson, Sean Wilentz confirms this, writing, “In completing the removal of the Indians to what he considered a safe haven, Jackson may well have spared them the obliteration that had been the fate of many northeastern tribes.”

Her mind clouded by esoteric New Age ideas, Marianne Williamson and other fashionable thinkers must think that the European-Americans who settled in the United States encountered back-to-nature natives at home with Mother Earth. As we (most of us) celebrate American independence, let’s read that sacred document, the Declaration of Independence, especially the section that says:

“He [King George III] has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction, of all ages, sexes, and conditions.”

This passage was once labeled “hate speech” by Facebook.

Clearly, the British-backed Indian attacks on the Americans were a factor in the cause of independence. Our founders understood that some of these “savages” were ruthless killers fighting for the British against the American revolutionaries.

An honest rendition of American history shows that Indians hostile to the revolution raided white settlements, murdering men, women, and children. The barbaric practice of scalping was so common by the Indians that some forts had people who specialized in treating scalped heads. One of the scalping treatments was called “pegging.”

The dissertation, “Andrew Jackson and the Indians, 1767-1815,” includes some important hard-to-find information about this period, citing one case in which Indians scalped several settlers, “stripped them naked, roasted their bodies, and ate the men, then took the scalps back through the Chickamauga towns to show off as war trophies.”

Indians Owned Slaves

Another part of the relevant history, frequently overlooked, is that Indian tribes owned slaves. One tribe, the Chickasaws, owned over a thousand black slaves, as noted by David S. Reynolds, the author of Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson. The Cherokees owned two thousand black slaves. In fact, one Indian expert noted that the so-called “Five Civilized Tribes” — Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole – “were deeply committed to slavery, established their own racialized black codes, immediately reestablished slavery when they arrived in Indian territory, rebuilt their nations with slave labor, crushed slave rebellions, and enthusiastically sided with the Confederacy in the Civil War.”

Although they lost the Indian wars and were on the losing side in the Civil War, they were able to use the American constitutional system on their own behalf. Some tribes went before the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing unsuccessfully (Cherokee Nation v. the State of Georgia) that they were independent nations on American soil.   However, in another case, Worcester v. Georgia, the Court ruled that the Cherokees were “a distinct community” exempt from state laws. Jackson was said to have reacted by saying “Justice [John] Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it.”

Such a statement demonstrated his grit. Gaining new lands for America, Jackson fought the Indians, the British, and the Spanish. As president, he vetoed a national bank under the control of private interests and paid off the national debt. He rooted out corruption and replaced government bureaucrats not serving the people.

In making the case for the Indian Removal Act in his First Annual Message to Congress on December 8,  1829, Jackson asked, “…is it supposed that the wandering savage has a stronger attachment to his home than the settled, civilized Christian?” It sounds harsh, in retrospect, but European-Americans had left their own homelands to start a new life, too. Jackson tried to resolve the Indian Wars in a peaceful manner, negotiating treaties with some tribes, but when others resisted, conflict broke out.

Arguing for a “progressive” solution to the Indian problem, he told Congress, “The waves of population and civilization are rolling to the westward, and we now propose to acquire the countries occupied by the red men of the South and West by a fair exchange, and, at the expense of the United States, to send them to a land where their existence may be prolonged and perhaps made perpetual.” One can argue with the end result, but it was his determination to end the clashes between the white settlers and the Indians, saving many of the Indians in the process.

Author David S. Reynolds notes, “Altogether, over forty-five thousand Indians moved west under Jackson’s policies – with a similar number designated for late removal – at the expense of $68 million of public funds and perhaps around thirteen thousand deaths among the natives.”

Modern Indian Agitation

The term “red men,” used by Jackson and others, is today controversial, just like the “Redskins” name for the Washington, D.C. NFL team, is considered by the Washington Post and its communist allies to be “offensive” these days. But “Redskins” is an acknowledgment of their fighting ability.

Tragically, as with the case of the George Floyd death, the communists are exploiting the “Redskins” controversy and the plight of the Indians, with one Marxist group, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, actually running the incarcerated Leonard Peltier as its 2020 vice-presidential candidate. He was a member of the American Indian Movement now serving two consecutive life sentences for the execution-style murders of FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams in 1975. The communists consider Peltier a “political prisoner,” a label he originally acquired through a sophisticated Soviet propaganda campaign on his behalf. The No Parole Peltier Association (NPPA) exists to keep him in prison.

However, the National Congress of American Indians has sought Peltier’s release.

To guard against attempts to alter or destroy Mount Rushmore, also considered “offensive” by some radical Indian groups, Representative Dusty Johnson (R-SD) introduced the Mount Rushmore Protection Act, in order to “prohibit the use of federal funds to alter, change, destroy or remove the likeness, the name of, or any of the faces on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.” Radical Indian groups circulated a meme showing the faces on Mount Rushmore (Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln) being blown to bits. The Democratic Party has said that Mount Rushmore “glorifies white supremacy.”

Democrats didn’t always talk this way about American presidents.

In his foreword to Remini’s book on Jackson, General Wesley K. Clark, a prominent Democrat, called America’s seventh president a great military hero. Although he was not without controversy and had personality flaws, Clark said Jackson’s “military prowess, proved on half a dozen battlefields, makes him one of our greatest generals and strategic force in the shaping of modern America.”

Former Democratic Virginia Senator Jim Webb called Jackson “one of our great presidents,” explaining, “A product of the Scots-Irish migration from war-torn Ulster into the Appalachian Mountains, his father died before he was born. His mother and both brothers died in the Revolutionary War, where he himself became a wounded combat veteran by age 13.” He noted, “On the battlefield, he was unbeatable, not only in the Indian Wars, which were brutally fought with heavy casualties on both sides but also in his classic defense of New Orleans during the War of 1812. His defense of the city (in which he welcomed free blacks as soldiers in his army) dealt the British army its most lopsided defeat until the fall of Singapore in 1942.”

Webb said Jackson “became the very face of the New America, focusing on intense patriotism and the dignity of the common man.” For this reason and others, President Trump has cited Jackson as one of his heroes while visiting the Jackson home The Hermitage in 2017 and giving a speech in his honor. In his remarks, Trump quoted Jackson as saying about the elites in his day, “The rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.”

Under the Obama administration, however, the Treasury Department recommended that Andrew Jackson’s image be taken off the $20 bill. Trump Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has wisely delayed that change.

Andrew Jackson’s Farewell Address highlighted the plight of the Indians, referring to their “unhappy race” and being “the original dwellers in our land” but now “in a situation where we may well hope that they will share in the blessings of civilization.”  He said their removal had placed them “beyond the reach of injury or oppression.”

He concluded, “I thank God that my life has been spent in a land of liberty and that He has given me a heart to love my country with the affection of a son.”

Let’s hope that when the communists return to Lafayette Square, to threaten once again to topple the Jackson statue, that they will be met with the force of law.

Perhaps President Trump should propose a “Communist Removal Act.”  They could be sent to Cuba, where the Black Lives Matter hero, cop-killer Assata Shakur, is living.

Cliff Kincaid is president of America’s Survival, Inc. www.usasurvival.org.

07/4/20

Liberty or Tyranny? We Have a Choice to Make, America

By: Allen West | CCNS

Last week former President Barack Obama appeared with his former Vice President “Basement” Joe Biden in a video conference. I was truly taken aback when Obama referred to what is happening in America as an “awakening,” a “movement.”

It was at that moment that I reflected upon how Obama and his administration responded to a real awakening — a movement that occurred during his presidency.

In 2009, in response to the increased government spending stimulus programs and the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” a constitutional conservative grassroots organization was born. The organization focused on one issue, the fiscal responsibility of the federal government. The organization called itself the TEA Party, which stood for “Taxed Enough Already.”

This movement was about restoring our constitutional Republic to its foundations, its fundamentals. Based on principle and policy, it did not agree with the Obama vision of “fundamentally transforming” these United States of America.

The reaction to the TEA Party movement was incredibly dismissive and disrespectful. “We call it AstroTurf,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi said at the time, meaning a fake grassroots movement to keep the focus on “tax cuts for the rich.”

Then came the 2010 midterm elections, Obama’s first, and it was historic. The Democrats lost their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives when 63 congressional seats shifted. I came into the political arena during this period, and I was part of that shift, based upon constitutional principle. The progressive socialist left had experienced something they were not used to — a conservative grassroots movement – local, principled, community organizing by the right.

This got the attention of the left in America and Obama. And the vitriol, the incessant attacks, increased, aimed at simple, everyday Americans who were exercising their First Amendment right to petition their government for a redress of grievances. They stood up. They spoke up. They held rallies. They voted. They cleaned up after their rallies. They never enacted any form of violence. They never destroyed property. They never took over major portions of cities. They never said they were going to burn down the system.

They just voted.

Yet, the ire and angst of the Obama administration was aimed at them, as well as the collective power of the progressive socialist left, including their media accomplices. The TEA Party now found itself assailed on all fronts. They were demonized as racists, just because they disagreed with the policies of a president who just happened to be biracial but was promoted as Black. And how confounding it was when Black conservatives were embraced by the TEA Party — they were sellouts, Uncle Toms, Oreos, and other disparaging monikers.

The TEA Party was denigrated as an extremist group for daring to want fiscal responsibility and discipline from their federal government. It was as if the left was declaring that our very Constitution was extreme. We all know that to not be true, but what the left was saying was that anyone disagreeing with them was an extremist. It went so far that some leftists and Democrats denounced the TEA Party as terrorists, with no proof of any violent actions.

President Obama, the Democrats, and the progressive socialist left knew one thing — they had to crush, destroy, the TEA Party before Obama’s reelection bid in 2012. And they did just that by employing the power of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Today, we turn on the news and we see the anarchist organization, Antifa, which has been designated as a domestic terrorist organization. We have watched them enact violence in our streets, destroy property, attack those with whom they disagree.

An avowed Marxist organization that cleverly named itself Black Lives Matter is now calling for violence against our law enforcement officers, and most recently, its leader in New York City declared that if their demands were not met, they would “burn down the system.” Those are the words of insurrection, the actions of an insurgency, yet the lips of the Democrat elected officials are sealed.

And Barack Obama refers to this wanton violence, the destruction of memorials, monuments, and our history as “an awakening.” In other words, Obama and his ilk are embracing radicalism, the despotism, the tyranny we are seeing on our streets. The media that once disparaged the TEA Party as extremists, terrorists, racists, turn a blind eye to leftist intimidation, fear, coercion, and violence.

Sadly, few are talking about this comparative analysis of how the left, the Democrat Party, unleashed the full weight of the federal government against a constitutional conservative grassroots movement. And how, in the face of abject sedition, they are all silent.

Let us not forget the Clinton administration and how it used the power of the federal government in Waco, Texas against the Branch Davidians. Or how little Elian Gonzalez was ripped from his family at the hands of armed federal government agents. And why is it that we allow the left to always own the narrative and refer to conservatives as violent and extremists?

Here is what we had best learn — real fast: Socialism, communism, statism, fascism, Marxism are philosophies of governance, ideologies, that cannot advance on their own merit. Advancement can happen only by what we see happening in the streets of America – fear, threats, intimidation, coercion, and violence.

That is the nature of leftism. That is why Hitler had the Brown Shirts. That is why Nicolas Maduro has the “Colectivos.” And that is why the Democrat Party has Antifa and Black Lives Matter.

The TEA Party was a grassroots movement, an awakening. What Obama will not condemn is a blatant insurrection, an insurgency — and of course, he will not, because he embraces the maxim of “by any means necessary” for his fundamental transformation to come to fruition.

We have a choice to make, America.

We can surrender to the “woke” mob of tyranny — or we can become “awoke” as true Patriots to our commitment to individual liberty. Just know, you cannot compromise, appease, negotiate, or acquiesce with the mob, evil, it only emboldens them. The left is fully committed to crushing all political opposition, and Obama once asserted such.

It’s liberty or tyranny.  This week, 244 years ago, we made that decision. Time to make it again.

This column was originally published at CNSNews

07/2/20

Christians: Pray for Immediate and Consistent Justice in America (Summer, 2020)

By: Arlen Williams | Gulag Bound

Initially attempting to introduce this short entry, I began to explain new developments in my own personal subject matter in and out of Gulag Bound. That was making this short entry long. Especially since this Independence Day marks our Ten Year Anniversary (Yay Gulag! Yay Bound! Yay what we still have of America going on…) I’ll save it for another entry.

The changes have to do with items such as this and my hope is that fellow believers in the Good News of Jesus Christ, along with the ongoing “Acts of the Apostles,” will find it of assistance. In the last few years, the Lord has turned up the dials on his gifts of prophecy and related affections of the Holy Spirit, something it is safe to say I have been looking into, over the years. Many believe this is a part of what was prophesied, long ago, in the Book of Joel and by Jesus Christ, Himself. A portion of this has to do with matters of patriotic concern.

Something noted in Facebook last week, Thursday:

When such a thing occurs, we do wish to pray, now don’t we, brothers and sisters. Since God has perfect integrity and consistency, we also tend to look around and find others saying corresponding things. Here is one, by one of the most gifted of prophetic voices at present, especially regarding the Lord’s own concerns for our society and government, Jeremiah C. Johnson, also from Facebook, on this past Thursday.

A prior post of brother Jeremiah, from Saturday the 20th, got into a bit more detail but is somewhat complicated, see it if you wish. When a true prophetic declaration of this kind is made, it is meant to be in some part conditional. How great a part in any instance, God knows. It calls for our attention, our righteous considerations, sincere prayers from sincere hearts, and our responsive, obedient behavior, to meet it so that it’s full fruition may come about.

Speak out, to remain free…

I am very confident that in addition to the prayers of many, there are many believers who have been led by our Lord to gain solid faith in this positive outcome, of much greater justice in America, very soon. When He engenders us such faith, then we become encouraged to speak out in the encouragement of others, who may then confidently pray, too. We can also proclaim what we have gained, into the realms of both the natural and supernatural in our intercession. Other terms for this are to declare, or even to effectually decree. In less than two minutes, another of our most gifted Christian servants, Jennifer LeClaire elucidates, please listen (again on Facebook).

There are so many angels with prayer answers in their hands and they’re trying to deliver the answer to you, by the grace and the power of God. But the Lord says the principalities are at war with those angels. And the Lord says, begin to empower [those angels] to war with you and for you, with your decree, says God, for when you decree a thing, says the Lord, according to my word, the angels hearken, the angels listen, and the angels are sent on assignment to fight for you like they did for Daniel, says the Lord.

If you wish not to do such a thing in public, well, that is what a “prayer closet” is for and there you may find not only shirts and pants hanging in the air and waiting for you to decree.

The reasons for this particular intercession for America are many, they are critical, and they are obvious to a reader smart enough to ferret-out this humble article. Remember, the basis of all we do of lasting value is our turning (repenting) to God from our own sin, confessing His truth in Christ, and obeying in His Spirit. And so, if you please, without undue hesitation…

Watch and pray, watch and pray, and speak out! God is bringing justice in America!

Father in Heaven, bless those who bring justice, in America and the world, for the sake of your own word and name and for the lives of those you would call to yourself in Jesus Christ. Bless the utterly strong working of your own hand, of your angels, and of the people you choose, including those who are reading this right now.


Arlen Williams, GulagBound.com‘s publisher, has been honored to write for numerous venues, to interview Christian and patriot leaders and activists, and to organize electoral volunteers for pro-life patriots, sometimes taking part in campaign management. (And he’s had day jobs where he’s actually earned a living. 😉 In: GabParlerLinked-InMeWeTwitterFacebook.

06/23/20

Juneteenth – The Day Republicans Freed The Democrats’ Slaves

By: Daniel John Sobieski

Our history and our heritage are being shoved by rioters, looters, and anarchists down the memory hole. This is year zero on their calendar. Everything that came before and every struggle for freedom and human dignity by patriots of all colors is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is now. The only thing that matters is what they tell you. How we got here and what makes us who and what we are may not be pretty or politically correct but it is important. We can’t know where we’re going if we don’t remember where we’ve been.

The canceling of American history by anarchists, encouraged by cowering Democratic governors and mayors is necessary if they intend on propagating the lie that America is and always has been irredeemably racist. The Republicans are labeled white supremacists and it’s being pushed that only liberal progressive Democrats can create social justice, which means the absence of resistance to groups like Black Lives Matter, which among other goodies on its website endorses the elimination of the nuclear family. Nothing can be allowed to interfere with the progressive police state they are hoping to establish on Nov. 3, 2020.

As our cities and our businesses burn, many minority-owned, the Democrats and anarchists (apologies for being redundant) claim to mourn the murder of George Floyd in a Democratic city with a police chief selected by a Democratic mayor and a Democratic city council. They want to make a national holiday out of what is called Juneteenth, the date that black slaves in Texas learned that they were free. The actual freedom of black Americans came two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.

What advocates don’t like to point out is that these slaves were held by Democrats and were liberated by the first Republican to occupy the White House, Abraham Lincoln, leader of the Abolitionist Party that was formed and elected to abolish slavery. Democrats in the South fought the Civil War to retain their slaves and the Confederacy was in fact the first resistance movement against the first Republican president.

Before the true racial history of America is deleted and only an agreed-upon lie remains, let us recall a Feb. 2017 dust-up between Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., (aka Fauxcohontas), who was the point guard in a failed character assassination attempt of a former colleague and then-Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions. She was rightly reprimanded by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and rightly condemned by Sen. Ted Cruz as misrepresenting both the past of Jeff Sessions and the historical truth about racial politics in this country.

Psychiatrists call the phenomena Warren exhibited as transference, the ascribing to others the faults you yourself possess. Warren attempted to call former Sen. Jeff Sessions a racist and, by implication, his party and President Trump as well, on the Senate floor, which is a severe breach of protocol. As Sen. Cruz pointed out in his reaction, Sen. Warren and her party had better look in the mirror of history:

The day after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was rebuked while making a speech critical of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Sen. Ted Cruz blasted Democrats, saying their party is the one rooted in racism.

“The Democrats are the party of the Ku Klux Klan,” Cruz (R-Tex.) said in an interview on Fox News on Wednesday. “You look at the most racist — you look at the Dixiecrats, they were Democrats who imposed segregation, imposed Jim Crow laws, who founded the Klan. The Klan was founded by a great many Democrats.”

Cruz was right. The reason Democrats know so much about Jim Crow laws is that they wrote them. The Republican Party was founded to end slavery and free the slaves largely held by Democrats. As one wag suggested, perhaps the Democrats are so angry at Republicans because they’ve never forgiven the GOP for taking away their slaves.

Was Warren talking about the racist that voted to confirm Eric Holder as Obama’s Attorney General? Unlike a leader of Sen. Warren’s party, Sen. Robert Byrd, Sessions fought the KKK. Byrd’s very real sins were forgiven. Warren will not forgive Sessions’ imaginary sins.

The historical amnesia of Democrats omits the fact that it was Senator Robert Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia and former “Grand Kleagle” with the Ku Klux Klan, who holds the distinction of being the only Senator to have opposed the only two black nominees to the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas,  and led a 52-day filibuster against this legislation.

Sen. Al Gore, the father of the former vice president, voted against the act, as did Sen. J. William Fulbright, to whom Bill Clinton dedicated a memorial, current senior Senator from South Carolina Ernest Hollings, Sen. Richard Russell and, of course, Sen. Strom Thurmond, who was a Democrat at that time.

Warren forgets that it was Democrats who unleashed the dogs and turned on the fire hoses on civil rights marchers. It was Democrats who stood in the schoolhouse door and are still standing there by opposing school choice and trapping minority children in failing schools. It was Democrats who blocked the bridge in Selma.

Warren’s amnesia omits the fact that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would never have been possible without Republican leadership. Not only was that legislation a personal victory for Illinois Republican Sen. Everett Dirksen (then-Senate Minority leader), Republicans in both the House and Senate supported the measure in far greater percentages than Democrats. Only six GOP Senators voted against the act, compared with 21 Democrats. The party of Abraham Lincoln and Jeff Sessions beat back the fire hoses and dogs of the party of Robert Byrd and Elizabeth Warren.

Again, the Democrats should know a lot about Jim Crow laws, since they are the ones who wrote them. Condoleezza Rice, President George W. Bush’s national security advisor, explained at the 2000 GOP national convention  why a black college professor would be a Republican:

“The first Republican I knew was my father John Rice. And he is still the Republican I admire the most. My father joined our party because the Democrats in Jim Crow Alabama of 1952 would not register him to vote. The Republicans did. I want you to know that my father has never forgotten that day, and neither have I.”

The historical fact that white nationalism had its roots in the Democratic post-Civil War south and that the KKK was founded by Democrats to suppress blacks liberated by the Republican administration of President Abraham Lincoln seems to have been forgotten.

The alt-left movement, which shares the blame along with arguably racist groups such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa, hates America so much that they want to erase all vestiges of American history and throw them down an Orwellian memory hole to be supplanted by alt-left politically correct ideology.

Notice that no one has demanded that statues of former Senator and KKK icon Robert Byrd be removed, statues honoring the hard-core former white nationalist Hillary Clinton once called her friend and mentor, including one prominently displayed in the West Virginia state capitol:

With the tearing down of confederate statues, removal of confederate flags, and the destruction of anything from America’s past that is controversial or downright deplorable, one statue has managed to escape scrutiny from protesters.

It involves a U.S. Senator from West Virginia. A prominent, highly successful member of the Democrat party. And a mentor to the woman who almost became President of the United States.

He also happens to be a former card-carrying member of the KKK. In fact, he created his own chapter along with 150 of his friends and colleagues.

Where is the outrage and destruction of this statue?

That is former Senator Robert Byrd who was once elected a top officer – the Exalted Cyclops, whatever the hell that is – in the local Klan unit in the early 1940s.

He is a man who once vowed never to fight in the military along with “race mongrels” or “with a negro by my side.”

After his passing, Hillary Clinton eulogized Byrd in a 2010 video in which she called him “my friend and mentor.”

Maybe if we had school choice young blacks would learn the true story of Juneteenth and who the oppressors and liberators of blacks really were and are.

The Democrats support food stamps but not job growth through inner-city opportunity zones. Biden supported the 1994 Crime Bill which lead to the mass incarceration of young black men. Trump gave us prison reform. Before the pandemic and the riots, black unemployment was at historic lows and black wages were rising.

The Democrats talk a lot about slavery but all they want to do is move blacks to a different plantation.

*Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

04/26/20

The Cold War: What We Saw

Below you will find all 13 episodes of Bill Whittle’s excellent series ‘The Cold War: What We Saw’:

World War III — the Apocalypse that never was — started in the same place that World War II in Europe had ended: Berlin. “An Iron Curtain has descended across the Continent,” said Winston Churchill, and that curtain ran right through the heart of Berlin. On the Eastern side, the collectivist, state-centered world of Joseph Stalin communist ideology, armed to the teeth with conventional forces. On the other side — the Western side — a war-weary alliance of capitalist countries, led by the beacon of individual rights, the United States.

In Part 1 of The Cold War: What We Saw, we will peel back the layers of mystery cloaking the Terror state run by the Kremlin, and watch as America takes its first small steps onto the stage of world leadership.

After the defeat of Germany, Joseph Stalin looked at the pieces laid out on the board in front of him with satisfaction that bordered on glee. His Red Army, consisting of millions of battle-hardened troops, thousands of tanks and an equal number of artillery pieces had come to a halt — temporarily, thought Stalin — where they had encountered the British and American forces attacking from the West. Those forces, he knew, were no match for the sheer mass his Soviet Union had mustered, and he was certain that the Western Democracies did not have the stomach for another long and bloody war. Soon all of Europe would be his, and his communist ideology fulfilled.

But all of that changed when the Americans had conjured two brilliant flashes of light over Japan and brought a sudden end to the Second World War. Would American atomic wizardry be enough of a deterrent to prevent the Third?

So now the board is set and the pieces are in place. In the East, the battle-hardened, seemingly endless divisions of the Red Army, backed by the ruthless and pitiless Joseph Stalin and his state-driven terror. In the West, the idealistic to the point of naïveté allies and their game-changing pika-dons, the nuclear flash-booms that had turned Stalin’s relentless ambition into a pillar of salt. As he tapped his unlit pipe and smoothed his iconic mustache, Stalin was sure that while the West had the Bomb, they did not possess the will to use it; the Americans would not trade Boston for Berlin. Stalin wouldn’t invade because he wouldn’t have to; he’d move the Iron Curtain to keep the Allies out of Berlin. It was a blockade that the West could never get through… but one that they just might be able to get over.

Although the entire Cold War passed without shots being fired between the two superpowers, the Cold War was anything but bloodless. The Korean conflict marked the beginning of proxy wars, regional conflicts backed by the full military might of both the United States and the Soviet Union. A brilliant amphibious landing turns the tide on the Korean Peninsula; meanwhile, America raises the stakes with a bomb so powerful it takes an atomic bomb to simply light the fuse.

Joseph Stalin, the architect, and instigator of the 42-year Cold War died five years into the conflict. Across the Atlantic, a new Republican President, who had worked closely with Uncle Joe during World War II, is a mere two months in office. As the knives come out for the succession fight inside the Kremlin, will a brief window of opportunity be enough to completely reset the conflict?

In the years after World War II, Dwight David Eisenhower was arguably the most popular man on the planet. Ike’s prestige was so immense that in 1948, President Harry S Truman offered him the top slot on the 1948 Democratic ticket, with the offer to revert to his former position as Vice President under Eisenhower. It wasn’t enough.

But by 1952, a Draft Eisenhower committee threw an enormous rally: thousands of screaming fans, movie stars and Irving Berlin himself leading the crowd in a rendition of God Bless America… all of this for a man who wasn’t even there. Finally persuaded, General Eisenhower became President Eisenhower, facing a brace of unknown Soviet leaders named Malenkov and Khrushchev. But no one — not even those who had so strongly lobbied for him — were prepared for the anti-military, anti-war statements and policies from the man who had been assumed to be the fiercest of Cold Warriors.

He had grown up a rich kid, believe it or not: the illegitimate son of a millionaire planter and a servant girl half his age. He was named “Truth,” he was handsome and rugged, a 6’3″ charismatic giant who had arrived back on his native shore with Che Guevara and a handful of men on a leaky tub named “Granma.” He faced off against Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush Jr, Obama and lived to see the election of Donald Trump.

His name was Fidel Castro, and he brought communism to the Western Hemisphere. He would turn his native Cuba into a launching pad for Soviet nuclear missiles, a mere 90 miles south of the Florida keys. He would impoverish his nation for six decades and die with $900,000,000 in his personal bank account. And his first and greatest test would be to repel an American- backed invasion at Playa Giron, a beach on the southern coast of Cuba at the mouth of an inlet called the Bay of Pigs.

Following the Bay of Pigs disaster, and a second crisis in Europe resulting in the deadly grey reality of the Berlin Wall, an over-confident Nikita Khrushchev decides to further test what the Soviets see as a weak and vacillating Kennedy administration. As US reconnaissance overflights of Cuba resume after a hiatus following the events at Playa Giron, analysts are shocked to discover rings of Russian-made surface-to-air missile installations. While these themselves pose no threat to the United States, the installations follow the classic designs used by the Soviets to protect important ground installations.

Then they see them: Russian medium-range, nuclear-tipped missiles capable of striking the entire East Coast. More are on the way from Russia, lashed to the decks of Soviet transports. Announcing an outright blockade of Cuba would be recognized as an act of war, so President Kennedy employs the Soviet tactic of linguistic sophistry and announces a “quarantine zone.” As US Navy warships move to intercept the incoming missiles, the fate of the world hangs in the balance — and is ultimately in the hands of a single man, not in either the White House or the Kremlin, but deep beneath the waves at the edge of the quarantine zone.

With the mechanisms of apocalypse firmly in place, both sides accelerate their efforts to determine the actual capabilities of the other. No detail is too insignificant: attempts are made to recover Soviet test warheads from the bottom of the ocean.

By the time USS Triton circumnavigates the globe underwater, the full potential of the nuclear submarine as the preeminent weapon of the Cold War becomes apparent. And so the ever-increasing pressure to discover how many warheads the other side has, and how they work, and most importantly, where they are, the United States and the Soviet Union diverge in regard to intelligence gathering. The massive US lead in technology leads to spy satellites, hypersonic reconnaissance planes, and the most ambitious intelligence operation in human history. The Soviets, on the other hand, play to their strengths as well: the ability to turn individual human assets. One of these paths will lead to the biggest intel haul of the Cold War.

You stepped out of a big, air-conditioned silver bird, out into the kind of heat, sunlight, and humidity that even Americans raised in the Deep South could not believe. You would wander around, wondering where your ground transport was, and what your barracks might be like, and once the immensity of the new reality fully hit, someone with more time in-country might notice your expression and mutter, “Hey man. Welcome to the suck.”

When USS Maddox came under attack from North Vietnamese torpedo boats while in international waters in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson uses the incident to open the throttle on the war to contain communism in Vietnam. Advising him is a Madison Avenue Wonder Boy, using computer formulas to triangulate on an elusive victory. And a dangerous, potentially fatal fossilization of politics and military doctrine slowly but inexorably plunges the United States into its darkest years of the Cold War.

Mired not only in the jungles of Southeast Asia but, worse, mired in outdated, rigid doctrine, fossilized tactics, and declining morale, a light can be made out in the middle of America’s darkest night. A swaggering fighter jock, married to a movie star, turns a demoralized, undertrained, and under-led group of dispirited American flyers into a snarling Wolfpack that pulls off a supersonic ambush in one of the greatest military operations of all time.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the continued loosening of the leash of fear in the Soviet Union can be felt by what its citizens have to joke about. But in Prague, the hopeful spring of liberal reforms gets crushed by a Russian bear that remains in full possession of a nasty set of teeth and claws.

A change of commanders comes too late to reverse the situation in Southeast Asia as Richard Nixon’s program of ‘Vietnamization’ eases America out of its worst-directed war. But long before the last American serviceman leaves Vietnam, a new generation of liberators rise to the challenge of saving American tactics, weaponry, and doctrine from themselves.

Thirty thousand feet above the Green Spot at Nellis Air Force Base, a loud, uncouth, unpleasant warrior/poet emerges. Starting with his almost supernatural feel for what a fighter jet can and cannot do, he will spend a decade teaching himself the engineering skill and mathematical language necessary for him to quantify what works in the lethal world of aerial combat, and what does not. Fighting an uphill battle against arrogance, ignorance and intransigence, his legendarily irrefutable Pentagon briefings will forever change the way America builds the fighter aircraft that will guarantee the Air Superiority needed to prevail on the Cold War battlefield of central Germany. And a fellow liberator, just a kid who grew up hunting in his native Arkansas, will just as effectively revolutionize American ground tactics through sheer courage, concentration and willpower, and usher in the age of Special Forces.

Nixon goes to China and in a masterstroke of diplomacy turns a two-power Cold War into three-power triangular diplomacy, giving the United States the leverage for Détente, a chance for a soft landing for the Cold War in the 1970s. But Watergate destroys not only the Nixon administration; it reduces American morale and determination to its lowest point during the entire conflict. The Soviet perception of American weakness leads to their invasion of Afghanistan, and the likelihood of nuclear Armageddon unleashed in a picturesque German town named Fulda.

And then, seemingly overnight, the situation reverses itself: engaged in their own quagmire in Afghanistan, mired in the Brezhnev Stagnation, and plagued by an embarrassing series of fossilized leaders, the Soviets fall ever farther behind. And across the Atlantic, America’s oldest President brings youthful vigor, renewed optimism and unprecedented resolve to a dying national identity, and decides on a plan to resolve the forty-year running stalemate and end the Cold War with a win.

04/16/20

Patriots’ Day: The Forgotten History of America’s Patriots’ Day and What it Commemorates

By: Sam Jacobs | Ammo.com

Patriots' Day: The Forgotten History of America's Patriots' Day and What it CommemoratesWhile it’s not celebrated too widely outside of New England, Patriots’ Day (or “Patriot’s Day” if you live in Maine) is a big deal there, primarily in the state where the Battles of Lexington and Concord actually took place – Massachusetts. For anyone reading this from New England who isn’t aware: No, you’re not getting the third Monday in April off so you can stay home and watch the Boston Marathon.

Even before the Declaration of Independence was written, there were the Battles of Lexington and Concord – the true beginning of the American Revolution. To be sure, this is something that had been brewing for some time. There was the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and the Intolerable Acts. But the Battles of Lexington and Concord marked the first shots fired between Patriots and Tories, beginning what would eventually lead to the independence of the American colonies from the British Empire.

While the battles began as a small skirmish, they quickly became a bona fide fight – and a bridge from which the American rebels could not walk back.

Increasing Tensions in the Massachusetts Bay Colony

By the time of the battles, the British occupying troops had already earned the nickname of “redcoats,” or even “devils” depending on who you spoke to. They had been occupying Boston since 1768, and due to forced quartering as well as increased resistance on the part of the colonists, the tensions between the natives and the occupying army were only growing with time.

Boston was to some degree under the control of General Thomas Gage, military governor of Massachusetts and the commander of a garrison of some 3,000 British troops stationed in the city. However, outside of the city was a whole other issue. Indeed, it was outside of the city where the rebel sentiment held the most sway. While it is often said that one-third of colonists were Tories, another third Patriots, and another third apathetic, the Patriots held the overwhelming majority of support among Massachusetts colonists outside of Boston.

Gage planned to assert central control over the more rural parts of the Massachusetts Bay Colony by using small strikes to confiscate the Patriot militias’ supplies. He had some success in doing this in advance of the Battles of Lexington and Concord in what was known as the Powder Alarms.

Still, due to the threat of Indian raids, every town in Massachusetts was required to have a militia. And these militias needed supplies. Disarming all of them seemed unlikely at best.

Confiscating the Colonial Arms

On April 14, 1775, the order came down from the central authority in London that General Gage was to confiscate the colonial arms. On the morning of April 18, Gage sent a mounted patrol of 20 men to intercept messengers and, perhaps most importantly, to find Samuel Adams and John Hancock. It was their search for the latter two men that tipped off the colonists that something bigger was afoot. This put the residents of the area on a higher alert than they otherwise might have been.

Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith was ordered to go relieve the Concord militia of its arms and powder, but not to disturb the locals or their property. He did not give orders to arrest the rebel leaders for fear that this would spark a huge uprising.

The Patriots had largely been alerted to both the general plan (remove their arms and powder) and the specific plan (go after the Concord militia), and the Massachusetts Provincial Congress ordered the militias to resist the British troops with force.

On April 18, in preparation for the arrival of British troops, Paul Revere took his famous “midnight ride” to warn the colonists of the area that “the British are coming.” Indeed, the colonials had intercepted the transmission from London and knew that April 19th would be the day of the raid, even before General Gage knew. The leading lights of the rebellion left the city of Boston and laid low to avoid an arrest.

The Minutemen Are Born

The American mythos surrounding the Minutemen is about as powerful as that surrounding the cowboy. Thus it is fitting that the Minutemen were born during the battle that kicked off the struggle for American independence.

While it’s true that the Minutemen were in existence before these battles, it was during Lexington and Concord when they really came into their own as an important force. Indeed, in response to the “midnight ride,” militiamen were organized as far as 25 miles away while British troops were still landing.

Lexington was more of a minor skirmish than anything. The British troops weren’t even supposed to be there. British Marine Lieutenant Jesse Adai decided to turn right instead of left, putting him in Lexington instead of Concord.

Upon meeting up with the rebels, an unknown British officer rode in front of the British troops, waved his sword and ordered the militia to disperse, yelling “lay down your arms, you damned rebels!” For his part, the captain of the militia ordered his men to disperse, but his orders were either unheard or not obeyed. In any event, while some of the men did choose to disperse, none of them laid down their arms. Both commanding officers ordered their men not to fire, but someone did.

No one is sure who fired first. In fact, most historical sources agree that it was someone uninvolved in the fighting. Only one British troop suffered minor injuries. However, eight patriots were killed and 10 were wounded at Lexington. Most of these occurred during a British bayonet charge.

In Concord, militiamen from both Concord and neighboring Lincoln were already amassing. Tensions mounted between an advancing Patriot militia and a retreating British force at The North Bridge. A firefight broke out, leading militia commander Major Buttrick to yell out, “Fire, for God’s sake, fellow soldiers, fire!”

Fire they did. The British regulars were soon outnumbered and outmaneuvered. It was a stunning strategic victory for the American Patriot forces.

The Reaction to the Battles

It’s likely that none of the colonists expected to win this battle, nevermind to win it quite as handily as they did. Most probably didn’t even think there would be a confrontation where each side was shooting to kill. However, the early stages of the American revolution are filled with examples of the colonists being surprised as they walked further and further out onto the ledge of independence.

All told, 15,000 militiamen showed up to encircle Boston on three sides and to keep the British regulars hemmed inside the city where they could only do negligible damage. Men were pouring into the region from Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire, forming the core of what was about to become the Continental Army.

General Gage did not declare martial law but instead continued his move to seize private weapons by other means.

The main reason the battle was a strategic failure for the British was that it baited them into exactly the kind of confrontation they were trying to avoid by confiscating arms from the colonial militias. The battle was largely seen as the moment when the rebels crossed the metaphorical Rubicon and could not go back to the status quo antebellum.

For what it’s worth, the Patriots very heavily relied upon propaganda to paint this battle in a positive light. Inconvenient facts were suppressed and more positive aspects of the Patriots’ role in the battle were played up to give the colonists a battle they could believe in.

Over the years, the battle began to take on an almost mythic quality. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem “Concord Hymn” was one of the earliest post-Revolutionary attempts at lionizing the battle. “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was memorized by generations of schoolchildren.

Four Massachusetts National Guard units can directly tie their lineage to this battle.

The Beginnings of Patriots’ Day

In 1894, the Lexington Historical Society petitioned the Massachusetts General Court to declare April 19th “Lexington Day.” Concord wasn’t willing to let this stand and counter-petitioned that it be declared (what else?) “Concord Day.”

They were both at a bit of a loss when they found out that the biggest battle fought on April 19th was actually in Menotomy, which is now known as Arlington. It has been speculated that one of the reasons the much larger battle is less remembered than the two smaller ones is because the name of the town has changed several times since the American Revolution.

As a compromise designed to keep everyone happy, Governor Frederic T. Greenhalge proclaimed the day “Patriots’ Day,” which replaced the previous Fast Day. The new state holiday served to consolidate what had previously been a variety of local observances throughout the state. It further commemorated the first blood of the Civil War during the Baltimore Riots of 1861, where four Massachusetts militia members were killed.

Maine became the second state to celebrate the holiday in 1907, likewise replacing what had formerly been Fast Day. New Hampshire became the third state in 1991, with Connecticut joining as the fourth in 2018. It is currently celebrated on the third Monday in April.

Because Bay Staters love their sports, the Boston Marathon takes place on Patriot’s Day, and the Boston Red Sox have been scheduled for home games every year since 1959. In 2013, they played despite the bombing of the Boston Marathon.

Those who do not live in Massachusetts or New England frequently confuse or conflate the holiday with Bunker Hill Day or Evacuation Day. The former of these celebrates an unrelated battle in June, and the latter commemorates the British evacuation from the city of Boston after the successful siege by the nascent Continental Army. Evacuation Day, for its part, is often confused with St. Patrick’s Day because it is commemorated on the same day.

All of these (except St. Patrick’s Day, of course) are part of a family of holidays known as Minor Revolutionary Holidays. But Patriot’s Day is arguably the most important of them for three reasons. First, it celebrates the very beginning of our nation. Before the Battles of Lexington and Concord, we were nothing more than a bunch of colonies with a few radical rebels. After the battles, we became a nation in the making.

The other reason largely flows from the first: While there are only a handful of New England states that celebrate Patriot’s Day, it is recognized in Wisconsin as a day off for the public schools. The State of Florida urges people to celebrate it without it being an official holiday. People around the country have at least heard of Patriot’s Day in a way that they haven’t, for example, Bennington Battle Day.

Finally, the Battles of Lexington and Concord are arguably where the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms was born. It was the attempt by the redcoats to seize their arms that demonstrated just how important this right was to the colonials. The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the Patriots putting their lives on the line to defend that right.

So, on April 19 (or the third Monday of April, whichever you like), go ahead and remember Patriot’s Day – why it’s celebrated and what it is intended to remember. Even if you’re not in New England, it’s important to remember the origins of our nation in a small battle outside of Boston.

03/9/20

Survival Fishing: How to Catch Fish When SHTF

By: Molly Carter | YourBassGuy

Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

Humans have been fishing since before the dawn of civilization. And it’s no wonder. Fish are nutritious and, dare I say, delicious. Plus, they’re plentiful, almost all are edible, and you can find them in just about every body of water coast to coast.

While you could spend thousands of dollars on top-of-the-line fishing gear, you don’t need any of those bells and whistles. Heck, in dire straights, you can find everything you need right on the forest floor. Or even a city street.

Plus, fishing is one of the best ways to get protein in a survival situation. And it’s easy and fast if you know what you’re doing. Lucky for you, the basics of survival fishing are simple to learn and you’ve got me here to explain them to you.

Content

Benefits of Survival Fishing

If you’re concerned about wilderness survival, then there are plenty of reasons to learn to fish. Fishing can help you survive whether it’s an unexpected emergency, like getting lost, or during a long-term SHTF scenario.

While finding food should never be your first priority (it’s topped by making a shelter, building a fire, and finding water), it is important. Finding food provides you with the calories you need to keep your energy and not fatigue. What’s more, having a full belly improves your attitude, which means a lot in a survival scenario.

When you know how to fish, you can provide food for you and your family. One successful fishing trip can provide enough for two or more meals. Even in an urban environment, survival fishing can keep food on the table.

The best benefit of survival fishing is that you can do it with minimal effort. At times, it can even become a passive way to get food.

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03/3/20

Bill Whittle: “The Cold War: What We Saw” – Episodes 3, 4 and 5

From: Bill Whittle

So now the board is set and the pieces are in place. In the East, the battle-hardened, seemingly endless divisions of the Red Army, backed by the ruthless and pitiless Joseph Stalin and his state-driven terror. In the West, the idealistic to the point of naïveté allies and their game-changing pika-dons, the nuclear flash-booms that had turned Stalin’s relentless ambition into a pillar of salt. As he tapped his unlit pipe and smoothed his iconic mustache, Stalin was sure that while the West had the Bomb, they did not possess the will to use it; the Americans would not trade Boston for Berlin. Stalin wouldn’t invade because he wouldn’t have to; he’d move the Iron Curtain to keep the Allies out of Berlin. It was a blockade that the West could never get through… but one that they just might be able to get over.

Although the entire Cold War passed without shots being fired between the two superpowers, the Cold War was anything but bloodless. The Korean conflict marked the beginning of proxy wars, regional conflicts backed by the full military might of both the United States and the Soviet Union. A brilliant amphibious landing turns the tide on the Korean Peninsula; meanwhile, America raises the stakes with a bomb so powerful it takes an atomic bomb to simply light the fuse.

Joseph Stalin, the architect and instigator of the 42-year Cold War, has died five years into the conflict. Across the Atlantic, a new Republican President, who had worked closely with Uncle Joe during World War II, is a mere two months in office. As the knives come out for the succession fight inside the Kremlin, will a brief window of opportunity be enough to completely reset the conflict?