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That was the first phrase that came to my mind on this 4th of July, 2017, as I awakened to light starting to leak into the bedroom early this morning. I had to check the temperature of the house because it’s been hot during the day but cooling off at night. The whole house fan ran at night and it was time to button up.
“Down the rabbit hole.”
That doesn’t sound very patriotic. Very 4th of July-ish. This won’t be your father’s 4th of July post. It wasn’t the post I wanted to make, but it was the post I had to make.
Maybe Obama is right. We need to knock of this patriotic crap on the 4th of July. Maybe we’re just overdoing it. From the AmericanMirror.com:
Obama warns Americans about too much patriotism — on July 4th weekend
by Kyle Olson
While most Americans are gathering with family and community this weekend to celebrate the most exceptional country in the history of the world, Mr. Hope and Change is halfway around the world talking doom and gloom — and criticizing his successor.
Barack Obama visited Indonesia this weekend, and in a series of appearances, attacked love of country and the policies of Donald Trump.
The former US president said some countries had adopted “an aggressive kind of nationalism” and “increased resentment of minority groups”, in a speech in Indonesia on Saturday that could be seen as a commentary on the US as well as Indonesia.
“It’s been clear for a while that the world is at a crossroads. At an inflection point,” Obama said, telling a Jakarta crowd stories of how much the capital had improved since he lived there as a child.
This is our former president who, had it been up to him would have ignored the 22nd Amendment altogether if for no other reason than the purity of the entire planet, the US be damned. Because, of course, it should be damned due to its colonialist and evil past and current course of unstoppable evil.
There’s just too much damned patriotism in this damned country. Let’s call it what it is: jingoism. Any -ism. Name one of them. Name all of them. America is guilty of it.
But he said that increased prosperity had been accompanied by new global problems, adding that as the world confronts issues ranging from inequality to terrorism, some countries – both developed and less developed – had adopted a more aggressive and isolationist stance.
“If we don’t stand up for tolerance and moderation and respect for others, if we begin to doubt ourselves and all that we have accomplished, then much of the progress that we have made will not continue,” he said.
It’s time, insists Mr Obama, for the end of sovereignty and the increased support of and greater power placed into the intellectual superiors of the United Nations, not unlike Europe placed into the enlightened, capable the erudite hands of Brussels.
“What we will see is more and more people arguing against democracy, we will see more and more people who are looking to restrict freedom of the press, and we’ll see more intolerance, more tribal divisions, more ethnic divisions, and religious divisions and more violence,” Obama asserted.
And with that we know that Mr Obama continues to shed and shine the light of tolerance, peace, freedom and fairness for all.
As one of my college professors used to say, please “contrast and compare” the statements of the former president to our current occupant, President Donald Trump.
“Since the signing of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago, America always affirmed that liberty comes from our Creator. Our rights are given to us by God, and no earthly force can ever take those rights away. That is why my administration is transferring power out of Washington and returning that power back where it belongs — to the people,” Trump said.
“Our religious liberty is enshrined in the very first amendment in the Bill of Rights. The American founders invoked our creator four times in the Declaration of Independence,” the president said. “Benjamin Franklin reminded his colleagues at the Constitutional Convention to begin by bowing their heads in prayer. Inscribed on our currency are the words: ‘In God We Trust.’”
As you can see, clear and rampant jingoism.
But alleged extreme nationalism, jingoism, xenophobia, flag-waving and chauvinism aside, listen to the people who possess the power of the vote. These are the people who keep me up at night.
These are the people who keep me up at night.
These are the people who keep me up at night.
These are the people who keep me up at night.
These are the people who keep me up at night,
These are the people who keep me up at night, and who diminish our ability to protect ourselves at home and abroad.
These are the people who keep me up at night, and who diminish our ability to protect ourselves at home and abroad.
We have gone, in the course of three generations, from God-fearing and country loving to the base excoriation of the nation itself.
We are in the process of relinquishing the very rights, freedoms and sacrifices made by men like this.
And men like this.
And men like this.
And men like this.
What do we tell these past souls that we’re doing with their deaths? How do we tell them that their deaths meant, as far as people are concerned now, nothing? How do we square this equation?
Is this how we honor their sacrifices?
This is July 4th of 2017, 241 years after our adoption of the Declaration of Independence from the British.
Too many Americans cannot even quantify the meaning of the date but, further, seem altogether too willing to surrender the rights and freedoms upon which this country was not only founded but supported by the bloodshed of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers throughout our history.
The Sheepdogs of our country — both in the military and in law enforcement.
Perhaps it’s time for a reminder of the meaning of the word “baa.”
After reading the following everyone should ask: are we sufficiently thankful for the American Sheepdogs in this world? Further, what is the true nature of good and evil?
On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs
by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (RET), author of “On Killing.”
Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always,even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for? – William J. Bennett – in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997
One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me:
“Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident.” This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another. Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders,the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.
Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.
I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin’s egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.
“Then there are the wolves,” the old war veteran said, “and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy.” Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.
“Then there are sheepdogs,” he went on, “and I’m a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.”
If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.
Let me expand on this old soldier’s excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids’ schools.
But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid’s school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep’s only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.
The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.
Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn’t tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, “Baa.” Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.
The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.
Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?
Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.
Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, “Thank God I wasn’t on one of those planes.” The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, “Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference.” When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.
There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population. There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.
Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I’m proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.
Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, “Let’s roll,” which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers – athletes, business people and parents. — from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.
There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men. – Edmund Burke
Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn’t have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.
If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior’s path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.
For example, many officers carry their weapons in church.? They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs.? Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.
I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, “I will never be caught without my gun in church.” I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire,gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy’s body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, “Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?”
Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for “heads to roll” if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids’ school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.
Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, “Do you have and idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?”
It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.
Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn’t bring your gun, you didn’t train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.
Gavin de Becker puts it like this in “Fear Less,” his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation: “. . .denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn’t so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling.”
Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level.
And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes. If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be “on” 24/7, for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself . . .
This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.
My father passed away in 2009 but even in the intervening eight years I suspect he would not find our country totally familiar. I find this aspect both sad and disturbing. He was a Sheepdog but would seldom if ever speak of it.
These are tumultuous times for the United States of America. But I fear the times are soon to be even more so. I am convinced there is upheaval coming, if for no other reason than the Left does not know when to stop pushing, and because they do not know when to cease their continuous attempted dismantling of the very soul of our nation.
This is not the post you anticipated. Nor had I. But it is the one I was forced to write because, in reflection, everything is at stake now. Our freedoms, our rights, our very way of life.
I write that “I am pushback.” That means this: I am not going away and I am not giving up in the face of such naked undermining and violence on the part of the Left.
I am of sufficient age that I have the perspective necessary to say this: we are the frogs. The pot is just beginning to boil. The hands of Leftists, Demorats and the American Media Maggots are on the burner.
Please watch the video, then read the information below for the complete story.
US Navy TBF Avenger gunner, Loyce Deen, from the USS Essex is buried at sea with his aircraft during World War II.
A Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo bomber of VT-15 Torpedo Air Group, approaches and lands on the deck of the USS Essex (CV-9) during the Battle of Manila Bay, in World War II.
Upon landing, Lt. Robert Cosgrove (Pilot) and Sailor Digby Denzek (Radioman) can be seen in their respective forward and middle crew positions.
But the rear gunner position, occupied by Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class, Loyce Edward Deen (Gunner) has been completely destroyed by enemy 40mm shell fire. AMM 2C Deen was decapitated as a result.
As the aircraft is parked amongst others, with wings folded, sailors of the Essex take fingerprints and cut dog tags from the body of AMM2C Loyce Deen in the gunner position.
Captain Carlos W. Wieber, Commanding Officer of the Essex, and her crew, participate in funeral services on the deck. A chaplain conducts the services from beside the aircraft, where Loyce Deen’s remains in the gunner’s position have been shrouded.
Closeup view of Rear Admiral Frederick C. Sherman during the burial service. A bugler sounds taps. Beside the bugler is David L. McDonald, who was XO of the USS Essex (and later Chief of Naval Operations in the 1960s).
Deen’s remains are then buried at sea in the TBF avenger in which he perished. The aircraft floats off the fantail for a short time before sinking from view. Two TBF Avengers are seen flying overhead , in tribute. Crew members then disband and return to their duties. Location: Manila Philippines. Date: November 5, 1944.
Please visit LoyceEDeen.org, sign the guest book, and learn about this chapter in our history.
We are safe today, here in the United States, because of the courage, discipline and sacrifices made by the very young men and women of the Greatest Generation.
Please, I ask everyone, don’t let their sacrifices for our freedoms be in vain.
They bled and died for the freedoms we enjoy today.
Keep our freedoms and insist that our politicians do as well.
My father, Col Richard L Alley, passed away eight years ago today, at the age of 88. I clearly recall the one thing he said about his own father, who passed away in the front yard at the age of 80: “I just want to live longer than he did.”
And so it was.
My mother and father met in Sacramento when Dad was training at Mather Air Field. He ended up flying missions for the 8th AF in B-17s, made his missions in one piece and returned to the states, where he became an instructor in B-25s.
Here Dad is being trained to fly.
Dad’s father, Verto, served in World War I.
Verto and Kathleen married soon after. This photo got Verto through WW I.
My father, left, with his brother Jim in Kansas City, Missouri, 1925. All three brothers served in World War II. Dad chose the Air Force, Uncle Jim served in the army and Uncle Bill in the navy.
I miss my father every day and honor his service. Col Richard L. Alley, USAF, 1920 to 2009, WWII and Vietnam.
The same folded flag above is in a polished cherry walnut case no more than four feet from me as I write, with three of the brass casings fired at his salute.
My father (L) and his brother Jim, in front of their house at 5509 Holmes Street, Kansas City, Missouri, in 1925.
5509 Holmes Street today (R), same sidewalk in foreground. You can see the two-story house, upper left, is the same as the one above.
And that concerns me.
I wrote this post late Thursday night of the 11th, in anticipation of posting it this past weekend because, almost before that day had passed, I realized what I’d not done. Because of the stream of news and events, I’ve waited to post it until now, Sunday.
I’d not remembered that was the day my father passed away in 2009, seven years ago. My God, seven years ago. In a way it seems like yesterday; in another, it seems like a vast, chasmic distance in the past.
Today my father, had he lived, would be 95 years old. As it was, he lived to 88. He once told me that all he wanted to do was live longer than his father, who passed away in the front yard of his house in Dallas at the age of 83. His father served in World War I, having been born in 1895.
Above is a photograph of my father’s dad, Verto Alley, who was a bugler and served overseas in Germany and France. Verto was born in 1895, in Minnesota. Though I met him about three times, I remember little if anything about my grandfather because I was young, and because my grandparents on my father’s side lived so far away. I’m pretty sure I factored not at all into his life either.
As you can see, my grandfather Verto carried this photo of his wife Katy throughout his assignments in World War I.
On the other hand, Dad’s mother, Katherine, was born in 1899 in Missouri and liked me. Those same three times I may have encountered my grandmother, I only remember good things about her. I can remember being in the back seat of our 1958 Oldsmobile 88 with grandma. I’d just had a haircut. Dad always cut my hair with the Wahl electric clippers that I have to this day; he would do it with me perched on the yellow stool perched in the middle of the kitchen on the linoleum floor.
Grandma was in the back seat of the Olds with me. She leaned over, scrappled my short hair and called me her “towhead.” Then she kissed me on top of my head.
The above photographs are my father in primary flight school, where he learned that the US Army Air Corps considered him to be, after evaluation, bomber material. Dad wanted to be a fighter pilot — who didn’t? — but the USAAC said he was a “team player” kind of guy, not a lone wolf. To multi-engine planes he went and the B-17.
After surviving his missions, Dad came back and the married my mother on April 24th of 1942. In its infinite wisdom the US decided to make Dad a B-25 instructor. Go figure. Above is a photo of my mother and father a short time after their marriage in Reno, Nevada. Below is my father seated in a B-25 Mitchell.
Below, Captain Dad poses with his friend Joel Kuykendahl, while assigned as flight instructors at Roswell Army Air Field (AAF).
I reminisced about Dad recently with my wife and her sister, when she came to visit for the past three weeks as I recuperated from foot surgery.
To this day I miss Dad terribly.
Col Richard Lee Alley, USAF 1920 – 2009 WWII, Vietnam