War is not the answer?

While driving across the I-90 floating bridge into Seattle a few days ago I couldn’t help but notice a sticker on the rear window of a Prius. You’ve probably seen one yourself. “War is not the answer” it read.

Sorry, I beg to differ!

We live in times when barely a week goes by without reading, seeing or at least hearing of yet another terrorist attack somewhere in the world. The most recent was Thursday’s vicious assault by an Islamist terrorist group on innocent, unarmed university students in Kenya, Africa. The massacre took the lives of 148 students.
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Our government and our naïve citizenry, just like the one in the Prius, need to wake up! What’s it going to take? Must we bear a similar attack, or even worse, here in the United States to wake these types up to the stark reality? This is war, like it or not! A war centered on the fanatical religious beliefs of the insane. These are tyrants whose desire is to advance the cause of Islam, no matter the cost or the method.

The length of time, as well as the price we’ll have to pay to defend ourselves against this enemy, will be long and costly. It already has been. It’s a struggle that could be without end and with no victors. Certainly nothing can be accomplished in ridding the world — if even possible — of these sick madmen without our united resolve.

We must be fierce, relentless and bold. We must take actions meant not for the faint-of-heart. And finally, we must take this war to the enemy. Our only defense against these sick, degenerate maniacs is offensive. We simply have to take the battle to them and engage them without restraint. It’s either them or us.

I choose us!

Many good people promote peace by opposing war.  They advocate laws or treaties to abolish war, to require disarmament, or to reduce armed forces. Those methods may reduce the likelihood or the costs of war.  But opposition to war cannot ensure peace, because peace is more than the absence of war. ~~ Dallin H. Oaks

Not Enough Words

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness …” ~~ Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Three of my sons and I were together a couple of times this past week. It’s been a long time. The oldest lives in São Paulo Brazil, while another is in Los Angeles, and my youngest in Provo, Utah. All are leading busy lives. Going to school, working jobs, building empires.

During my last visit with just my son Matt, before he returned to São Paulo on Saturday, we talked about how people believe we live in the worse of times. Blame it on the media we agreed. With modern technology, news stories, photos and videos from any part of the world comes to us in an instant and on devices we carry in our pockets. It’s not like it was when I was growing up. In those days, there was but a single daily newscast from the television networks, then just ABC, CBS or NBC. Local broadcast news was just as sparse and none of them more than half-an-hour. Radio was more in-depth, but there were no pictures! That was it for broadcasting, no smartphones, no alerts, no nothing! Add the daily newspapers, where it was believed the most informed would get their fill of current events. The Washington Post, The Evening Star were thick dailies and hugely powerful companies. That was then, this is now.

What we knew about the world was limited and not very timely.  The world seemed a much larger place and we were insulated from its harsh realities, while now we have become desensitized to the same. No one could have imagined what we were in-store for. Certainly our grandparents lived in simpler times, but in reality we aren’t living in the worse of them. However, with the dissemination of what goes on around us so readily available and graphic, we often think otherwise.

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American Exceptionalism: Is This a Great Country or What?

Objects of the most stupendous magnitude, and measure in which the lives and liberties of millions yet unborn are intimately interested, are now before us. We are in the very midst of a revolution the most complete, unexpected and remarkable of any in the history of nations. ~~ John Adams letter to William Cushing, June 9, 1776

I try to avoid writing about the political but from time to time it happens. Like most people I want to be liked. I want my words to bring smiles and pleasure. I want my stories bookmarked, remembered and my opinions respected. But I make no apologies about my occasional writings of the political kind. I just can’t help myself. Bad enough to hear it from outsiders but I get irked from time to time when I hear our own citizens tearing down our country. A lot has been said and written about American Exceptionalism, so time for me to write a little about it from my perspective, as well as an historical one. Continue reading

Politicians – The Critic Doesn’t Count

I have no ambition to govern men.  It is a painful and thankless office. ~~ Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, December 28, 1796

Being a politician is tough.  No doubt about it.  It’s a thankless job steeped in cynicism, distrust, even vile hatred and personal attacks from the very people they’re trying to represent.  I have little regard for cynics, never have. never will!

The politician’s job requires them to be ever visible, and accountable to not only a belligerent and fickle constituency, but to a hostile and often biased press.  That makes a politician a very easy target.  I can’t imagine being one.  It’s far too high a price to pay to be under such constant scrutiny, on an unlevel playing field and unable to please everyone.  The majority of us would never allow such close inspection.  Frankly, most of us couldn’t stand the heat.  Better it is to complain, point the finger.  Nevertheless the question should be asked;  If not us, then who? Continue reading

What Would the Fathers Say?

Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only Law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited….What a paradise would this region be!
~~ John Adams, 1756 ~~

The Founding FathersWe call it “modern times.”  We’re up-to-date, we’re high tech.  At the cutting edge, the leading edge, smarter and brighter than ever before.  We’re enlightened!  We have the Internet, and much of the world’s knowledge right here at our fingertips. In so many ways, we are a truly blessed nation.

Some say they don’t care what the older generation thinks.  After all, what do they know?  Others quote the Founding Fathers to validate a point, usually political, while at the same time ignoring the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe those same founders wrote and spoke so much about. Continue reading

Ethics in Journalism is Dead!

There is nothing to fear except the persistent refusal to find out the truth. ~~ Dorothy Thompson

Ethics in Journalism is dead my friend. You hadn’t heard?  Tragically and sadly it’s so.  There was no announcement, no obituary, no funeral, no day of mourning, no closure.  It just happened.  Ethics you see is gone, you can be sure of that.

The Fourth Estate once stood for something.  It used to be an honored profession, a free-agent, independent of outside influence.  At one time a watchdog and guardian over governments and politicians gone astray, it’s now become the opposite.  That once great institution stands now as a facilitator, a protector, an enabler.  Journalism’s hatchet men have become manipulators and endorsers of the worse that government, and the governed, has to offer.  All at the cost of ethics.  What was once revered should now be feared.  Journalists have become no less than secondary parties to a crime.  You and I, our posterity, and our country have become — many of us — its unwitting victims. Continue reading

Bradley Kritzer – An American Hero

Pfc. Bradley Kritzer

Today* would have been his 27th birthday. An all-American boy from small-town America. Bradley G. Kritzer, like many from the small boroughs of central Pennsylvania’s Clearfield county loved the outdoors and someday hoped to work there with an organization like the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Brad is a lot like many of my cousins with hunting and fishing a favorite pastime.  It is said that he grew up with a rifle in hand, hunting turkey and deer with his father and going fishing every chance he got. Brad is a distant cousin whose life I was drawn closer to by the tragedy of his death. Continue reading