The lives of many people were ruined just because they were suspected of being a communist. Some lost their employment, their fortunes, and their sacred honor merely on the basis of suspicion. Some even lost their minds. Some suspect that such a suspicion hurried Ernest Hemingway to his grave by way of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. There are records of his treatment for a nervous disorder brought about by innuendos that he was a communist.
The U.S. State Department thought Ernest was a communist. The Soviets thought he was a communist. J. Edgar Hoover thought that everybody was a communist. However, it seems that the rumor began when Hemingway reported on the civil war in Spain and sided with anyone opposed to the fascists. This made him appear to be sympathetic to communism. The libel then took on a life of its own and followed him the remainder of his life.
As I read about the controversy surrounding illegal aliens, I can't help but remembering stories of immigrants, my family's ancestors who did us a remarkable favor by coming to America before we were born. They arrived legally and they often suffered travails far greater than those who steal across our borders. Maybe that's why they became far better citizens.
This is the story of just one, my mother-in-law, the most courageous person I know. I delayed writing this story because I wasn't certain I could do it justice. However, if I delay any longer I may never write it before my time comes to depart this life.
It is a story of courage. Sometimes, you see, it takes more courage to risk life than to risk death...
It seems to me that those who self-identify as “liberal” are about as liberal as Rachel Dolezal is “black”. I have studied the word and cannot find any measure by which self-described liberals are “liberal”.
Classical liberalism was practiced by those who championed liberty. Today's liberals are the avowed enemies of liberty. They strive to impose their will on others. They ban words and symbols that they deem offensive while using the vile and offensive words and symbols in pursuit of their perceived devils. They use the bludgeon of government to foist ill-conceived schemes on the public despite the fact that every such attempt has ended in ruin. They do not trust the individual to manage their own lives in their own best interests nor trust the electorate to govern themselves. Ultimately, they attempt to disarm citizens, to deprive them of the means to defend themselves from assaults on their liberty.
It's fairly common to hear of public works projects such as prisons, landfills, and power plants meeting resistance from local residents who don't want them in their backyard, but a cemetery for service members and veterans? Yes, it seems that some residents of the City of Irvine don't want a national cemetery sullying their new park, the Orange County Great Park, being built on land that once was home to the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station. Yes, this is the same city where the student body of a University of California campus voted to ban display of the American flag, thus we shouldn't be too surprised.
These citizens of Irvine purportedly are speaking out against the cemetery in their backyard because:
Some decry the Constitution as flawed because it is old and obsolete. How can a document written more than two hundred years ago address modern issues? The Framers lived in a pre-industrial, pre-technological world. They couldn't anticipate the world we live in. How could they architect institutions to govern it?
The Constitution is a blueprint for limited government designed “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”. We the People does not include machines or technology. These things, sophisticated as they may be, are just tools. No, We the People includes just people. All citizens of the United States of America. Self-governing people.
Many decry the Constitution as flawed because it denied women the right to vote. Yet there is no mention of the woman's right to vote, either for or against, in the Constitution. Where are the words “woman” or “women” even mentioned in the Constitution of the United States of America.
Interesting, isn't it?
All of the representatives to the Constitutional Convention were men. They were largely very successful professionals. Most were well versed in the law and knew that in writing contracts it was as important to say what you mean as it was to mean what you say. They did.
Many decry the Constitution as flawed because it allowed or authorized slavery. Yet, there is no mention of it. Where are the words “slave” or “slavery” even mentioned in the Constitution of the United States of America?
Some claim that the Constitution considers blacks (or African Americans) to be just three-fifths of a person. However, the words “black” and “African” appear nowhere in the Constitution.
Isn't it interesting that it doesn't even mention them let alone legalize slavery?
I lay awake last night wrestling with regrets. Yesterday, February 23, 2015, I met at a luncheon with a small band of octogenarians, at the Marriott Hotel in Newport Beach, California, to share their memories of Iwo Jima and the battle they fought there seventy years ago. Surrounded by their family and friends and Marines of every generation and every war including Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, as well as the Cold War, they shared their stories. The event was hosted by Operation Home of the Brave and Iwo Jima Monument West which, led by Ms Laura Dietz, is raising funds to bring a monument memorializing their victory on that distant Pacific isle to Camp Pendleton where these brave men learned the art of war. Sadly, as the event ended, my courage failed me and I wondered all night if I could have waded ashore with them and earned a place on their memorial.
The monument was cast in stone by sculptor Felix de Weldon who was serving in the Navy at the time the Marines raised their beloved flag above Mount Suribachi on the Island of Iwo Jima. He was inspired by the iconic photo snapped by Associated Press photographer Joseph Rosenthal. While this photo, reproduced in every newspaper and on countless posters inspired Americans to rally to buy bonds in record numbers, Weldon was inspired to fashion ten statues commemorating the event. A 10,000 pound version of it which had stood for years at Arlington National Cemetery, has become available.
I woke up this morning at my usual time, 6:30 am, sans headache. I showered, shaved, and brushed my teeth. I exercised, dressed, ate breakfast, and fired up the computer and checked. Nothing significant had changed. Today is Thursday, just as Thursday always follows Wednesday. So what if it's New Year's Day, 2015? An excuse to party, to drink, to dance. Is that all there is to the beginning of a New Year?
How sad. The only song I find sadder is John Lennon's Imagine. To be bereft of principle. To think that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are America's most admired people of 2014 according to a Gallup Poll. Police are being assassinated as thugs are being celebrated. The Republicans who were elected to put a stop to the growth of big government are already coddling up to a President who promises to promote even more federal intrusion into our lives. That Americans feel more politically and ideologically divided today than ever before, even during the Civil War. How can I read that and then wish you a happy new year?
Is it true?
Is that all there is?
No. There's more...
There are a few quaint traditions that have faded from the culture but not from my memory. People wore poppies on Veterans Day. Everyone wore a carnation on Mothers Day, red if she was alive and white if not. Americans stood for the playing of the National Anthem, hands held over hearts. Sure, some still observe these traditions. Others do not. Many do not even know that they were common practices once upon a time.
I saw the disparity of memory and knowledge as I sat outside a neighborhood grocery store this weekend passing out Buddy Poppies for the Veterans of Foreign Wars and taking donations from those who cared. A few paused to talk. One offered to fetch me a cup of coffee for it was chilly this November 11th in Southern California. I could not help but wonder how many or how few understood the significance of the little red artificial flowers that I offered.
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