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Maligned and Defamed 

It is a story that isn’t too unusual in our military community, at least not in the beginning…..

This man came from a nice family but they did not have money. When it came time for college, he opted for and had a chance to go to the military academy and did very well graduating second in his class. He was popular with his classmates and well regarded by the faculty. To shorten the story as much as possible, as usually happens at some time during a military career of honor, good character and high principles, a moment of decision came after 36 years of exemplary service to our country. His values, his morals, his beliefs, his priorities were all challenged and he was tested. He was between a rock and a very hard place. He did the only thing that he could honorably do, he resigned his commission and left his beloved United States and the army to travel back to Virginia and defend his state, his home, his family and friends against military invasion. He knew that it was being planned, he knew it was coming because his resignation had been turned in because he had been offered command of the troops scheduled to attack Virginia. This man’s name, of course, was Robert E. Lee.

I know he was not fighting to prolong slavery and that he was not racist for his time since he had quietly freed his slaves ten years earlier. One former slave who stayed with him through the war was named in his will and was left a large sum of money (for that era) for education.  At a much later time this former slave (Rev. William Mack Lee) would author an autobiography in which he would describe Lee in glowing terms. He began preaching before the war and after the war he built at least four large churches and became a well known African American Preacher in Virginia. He had the autobiography printed in order to raise money for his current church. (I think he was in his eighties.) http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/leewilliam/lee.html

Robert E. Lee letter dated December 27, 1856:

          I was much pleased the with President’s message. His views of the systematic and progressive efforts of certain people at the North to interfere with and change the domestic institutions of the South are truthfully and faithfully expressed. The consequences of their plans and purposes are also clearly set forth. These people must be aware that their object is both unlawful and foreign to them and to their duty, and that this institution, for which they are irresponsible and non-accountable, can only be changed by them through the agency of a civil and servile war. There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil. It is idle to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it is a greater evil to the white than to the colored race. 

    So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that Slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interest of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this that I would have cheerfully lost all that I have lost by the war, and have suffered all that I have suffered to have this object attained.
    General Robert E. Lee, May 1, 1870

    So, we now have people trying to tear down this gentle man’s statue. Most who could not hold a candle to how he lived his life every day yet they think themselves qualified to judge him? How much do they really know about him, other than what the talking points say? Why has it become so easy for fringe elements to tear down monuments?

    This is becoming frightening!

    http://www.historynet.com/robert-e-lee

    http://www.vahistorical.org/collections-and-resources/virginia-history-explorer/lee-and-grant

    http://civilwarhome.com/leebio.html

    http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/people_lee_robert.html

    More Vacations than People Who REALLY Work!

    Congress is off on vacation again! It would not be so objectionable if they had met a few of their obligations, kept even one of their most frequently repeated promises to their voters or done anything productive. All summer both parties have allegedly been working their smooth manicured fingers to the bone trying to fix our health care. Most of their time has been taken up posing in front of cameras either in hearings, press conferences or TV interviews focused on Russia, rumors and politics.

    We the People who pay their rediculous salaries and overlook their outrageous perks, put up with their elitist attitude of superiority and are getting really tired of the serial lying, we work hard for our money. Our taxes are entirely too high, our health insurance is too expensive and the deductibles are unbelievably high as are the co-pays. These two items have been high on the promise list of every candidate running for a seat on Capitol Hill. Repeal Obamacare and lower taxes. Usually said in a raised voice with an upheld clenched fist and a fierce grin to overwhelming applause, whistles, hoots and other various crowdly indications of strong approval. We remember!

    So why do we now have a fist full of excuses but no repeal of Obamacare? Oh, I have heard all of the stuttered “reasons” that merely sound like they wanted to work something out with the Democrats all along. We all have heard over and over how willing the Dems are to “come to the table and compromise”. The only problem is that it isn’t compromise at all when there is a condition…….we have to KEEP Obamacare. Mitch wants to give up on repeal now. Give up? Did George Washington give up? Did Benjamin Banneker give up? You never ever get to the goal if you give up!! 

    And they went on vacation. They could not make any personal sacrifice of time to accomplish what they had been sent there to do. They went on vacation. It wasn’t to stay in touch with their constituents, they don’t care about their constituents. Those were the same constituents hooting and clapping in that crowd while they were making their famous heartfelt promises about REPEALING OBAMACARE AND LOWERING TAXES! Furthermore, we now have a whole range of improvements on the Pony Express, even snail mail works eventually. They should have stayed in Washington and at least Repealed Obamacare. Going on vacation was inexcusable!

    We have a horrible bunch on Capitol Hill and we really need to do something about it! We need to research voting records and pay attention. We need to look for who is paying for the advertising and not believe what any candidate says about himself or any other candidate! We need to be careful who we elect because part of this problem is our fault, we became apathetic and complacent.

    We got exactly who we elected – wimpy, lazy, greedy, lying, establishment crony capitalists, willing to sell the country out to make a buck or to stay in power.

    Enough Already With the Media!!

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    That’s about enough! 

    Most of us wouldn’t treat anyone we knew like this! 

    Have we forgotten what gossip is and what it does to people? Why have we now decided that some people are human but other people are not? Just because the media spreads gossip, lies and rumors does not mean that We The People should follow, give credence to, believe or even listen to the destructive things they say. 

    What ever happened to believing that a person was innocent until “hard” or incontrovertible evidence proves otherwise? Nothing good ever came out of these historical periods of accusation and hysteria. Think back to the Salem witch trials, those were our not-so-distant ancestors who thought they were being practical and rational. After all…everyone agreed! Or what about the practice of slavery, not just in the United States but throughout history. We are one of, if not the only, country to eliminate it and then sincerely try to repair the damage! Full grown allegedly intelligent adults accepted it as common practice in the Middle Ages and in various countries it has continued until today. People can be conditioned and can become “hardened” to almost anything. If you don’t think people accept crowd defined norms then you need to go back and

    Because I have standards of behavior, because I try to live by the Golden Rule, because I believe every person is a child of God I am not going to accuse my customers of stealing, I won’t say that my neighbor is cheating, I refuse to pass along rumors I know are probably untrue. I think most Americans are like this but have not really had the time to actually stop and think about what the media is doing to us. Ten or twenty years ago I would not have had time either.

    Some vague accusation, a wild rumor, an anonymous tip, an unsubstantiated leak or even unverified gossip is front page news today and inevitably reported as fact (or as being under investigation by “authorities”). Since the Democratic Party has joined with the MSM in a joint mission to remove President Trump from office the press has become corrupt and agenda driven. They have not been objective or even decent in their coverage. There is no attention to detail, no verification of sources, no allegiance to truth. There is no value on American virtues, the Constitution, law and order or respect for family values and Christian faith. They try to manipulate their audience instead of informing them.

    We should not allow this awful main stream media to affect or influence us in any way. America’s people have always been innovative, honest, generous, principled and we have always stood for what was right and good. None of this can be applied to the MSM in any way. 

    Until the bulk of the press can pull itself out of the gutter, disassociate itself with any and all political parties and become honest journalists once more, I am no longer going to listen to or read any of them. There are plenty more reliable sources who are striving to uphold traditional journalistic standards.

    Russia! Russia! Russia!

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    Before a criticism is given, perhaps it should be thought all the way through.Practically every one of the components of the commonplace press has posted, broadcast or published at least one article/commentary denigrating President Trump for not “being firmer” or even “standing up to” Putin on the allegations of Russian interference in our last presidential election. I would like to add my humble opinion:

    It is always presumptuous for any outsider to make a judgement about how one issue should be handled and fit into the overarching strategy of the relationship, the negotiations and what we want to get out of that regime or what path we want them on. They also presume that they know all about every phone call, every message, etc. However, often they do not know context at all. They are only presented with optics.

    So, I think automatically about what my response would have been if I were Putin. It isn’t very difficult at all. The United States foolishly tried to meddle in the last major Israeli election, and to condemn us even further, Israel is one of our closest allies! I do not think President Trump would have come out on top of that argument. You could add in Libya, Iraq and more (justified or not they were sovereign nations).

    Since Russia and America have not been on friendly terms for the last eight years and we have numerous other highly advanced technical adversaries in China, North Korea, Iran and etc. It seems a little ignorant to me that we neglect installing top notch protection and defense of our election systems. Why are we not angry at the people responsible for leaving us open to attack? Why are we not investigating the entire election, including the Democratic Party? Why are we not hardening the grid? Why are the democrats and the MSM trying so hard to focus the public and the politicians on Russian collusion with the Trump campaign? What are we missing while they are flashing their worthless shiny object?

    Before we back any person in a corner and forcefully present him with his crime, we had better have good evidence. That is right and reasonable. It cannot be the expert opinion of 17 professional organizations, opinions will always be subjective. If there is no IRREFUTABLE proof, then President Trump sounds like the boy crying wolf. After all…..what proof does he have when so many other hackers can leave traces making themselves look like Russians? What real proof, hard evidence, do we actually possess?

    Play it out in your mind, but take the part of Putin. Obama did not leave Trump an easy fact set to work with!

    Happy Birthday, America!

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    Happy Birthday and Best Wishes to my Homeland.
    I celebrate belonging to her culture of freedom and individualism. I rejoice in the Bill of Rights and the ideals of justice and republicanism. I am thankful for the very many warriors who have sacrificed time, flesh and blood, clear thinking and sometimes they make the ultimate sacrifice of life for America, for us, for our way of living and our values.
    I am proud to be a patriot who loves her country complete with all of its incredible innovation and spirit of generosity, its diversity, its mistakes, its problems and its sins. We are not a perfect nation, or a utopia, we are a nation of people and there are now over 250 million of us. Too many of us were not brought up with respect for American Virtues and for too long the gangs have increased membership dramatically through illegal recruitment and passage. But we can fix our problems because America does not belong to the world or to illegal aliens, it belongs to us!

    We try hard. Good has usually always won out over evil because Americans have always valued independence, free thinking, Judaeo-Christian virtues and hard work . We do try hard and one reason I love my country is because until now we have always eventually straightened things out and gotten it right. There has always been a creed and a belief that we try hard to follow:

    We (your people) hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator (not the government or any court) with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    God Bless America and Happy Birthday!

    Freedom of Speech

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    “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”~Abraham Lincoln

    You can close down a discussion (free speech) in many ways. 

    You can protest and riot thereby shutting down not only the speaker or event, but in the process one achieves the added impact of destroyed property, terrorized innocent citizens and (they hope) national media coverage. The extreme left on many campuses has done this to great effect.

    You can simply call the person a racist. It does not matter whether or not it is true. In fact, yell the accusation loud enough and you might be able to provoke option number one above 👆! It is a wonderful strategy since it eliminates the need to memorize facts and figures, slower members of the group do not need to “think on their feet” or step outside of talking points and since racism is such an emotional issue it is uniquely difficult to fight even with facts. This also has had a great success rate and is a major reason that the Republican Party has been branded a party of racists when history and honest research proves otherwise.

    Those are two of the radical ways, almost always employed by the more extremist democrats because they do not have a successful argument or any good endings for their ideology. If you “shut someone up”, if you close down an event, if you prevent the dissemination of an idea you are restricting everyone’s freedom. We all have the right and the freedom to listen to, and walk away from, speech and ideas of every sort. 

    No political party, No foreign national (think Soros paying protesters and rioters), No college academic or gang of students, Not even the government has the power to change our absolute rights under the Constitution! Free speech is number one in the Bill of Rights and its placement is an indication of the importance it held in the political discussions of the day. It was important in the discussions held in almost every state during the ratification process. We tend to take it for granted now, but this freedom can be nibbled away, gradually eroded without most citizens even paying attention.

    Protected speech is not comfortable speech. Protected speech is usually different, objectionable to some, offensive to others, it may make you angry or it may make you stop and think. Protected speech is free speech not because it makes you uncomfortable but because the free expression of ideas is part of true Liberty. 

    Each generation is challenged to maintain and preserve our Constitution and Liberty. The circumstances differ and the environment, both social and political, changes. The younger generation has not been grounded in a complete history of this nation and it constantly amazes me how jaded and anti-American they can be. There is much about our history they just are not taught. Depending on the school, what they are actually taught varies from a slanted version of events to skipping over all but the darker parts of our history and then concentrating on those. All nations have them, they should be acknowledged and taught, but only in context with the rest of American History!

    Without a more thorough and balanced approach to US history we will be missing at least one generation of patriotic and knowledgeable Americans to watch the politicians and fight for free speech and our other guaranteed rights. 

    So, will we have our rights and freedoms in twenty years? 

    Think First – Type Later

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    This past weekend one of my dear work friends stepped off of a bridge and fell onto a busy interstate highway, committing suicide. 

    He was a positive person whose bright smile was absolutely infectious. In all the years I worked with him, I never saw or even heard about him doing one mean or inconsiderate thing to anyone! In a world of individuals who become even more individually special after death, he was the genuine honest real deal! He would help total strangers and think no one knew. He did not ask for repayment or obligation-he truly loved his fellow man.

    This man was just past 40 and he had a wife, a son and twin girls. Yes, he was a family man and a Christian man. He was a force for good in this world and he was loved and respected by all who knew him. Any one of us would have stepped up without hesitation to help in whatever way was needed,feeling privileged to be able to do so. 

    I could continue, but it would only illustrate a point that I have already clearly made and which actually needs nothing more. What has shocked me is the attitude and content of the comments which every online news agency attaches to each article or story.

    The comments ranged from, “it is obvious that he must not have had a family that supported him” and “how selfish can a person be?” to “didn’t care much about his family, did he”. Almost a third of the comments were evidently worse than that because they had been removed, only a box was left in its place “deleted”.

    In the middle of these horrible, small minded, thoughtless, mean and abusive posts one person kept trying to answer back. That person explained that the family was in pain, that they were as confused as everyone else, that posts like this were hurtful, etc.. That person was my friend’s cousin.

    It honestly broke my heart.

    I have thought about this and also about the current state of the media and their messaging. It didn’t just start this year or last year. It seems that our entire society has lost the art of diplomacy, manners and thoughtfulness. Our media says the most outrageous things and thinks nothing of putting out stories that are not true. It is even worse online where people will say the most foul, ugly, untrue and violent things. The one and only purpose could only be to hurt other human beings. 

    We all need to stop and think before we type, and I am not excluding myself. I get just as passionate as anyone else about what I believe. However, what I believe should not be hurtful for someone else to read!

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