Washington DC

THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS (154th Anniversary 2017)

Today, November 19, 2017 marks the 154th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Ever since Lincoln wrote it in 1863, this version has been the most often reproduced,  notably on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. It is named after Colonel  Alexander Bliss, stepson of historian George Bancroft. Bancroft asked President  Lincoln for a copy to use as a fundraiser for soldiers (see “Bancroft Copy” below).  However, because Lincoln wrote on both sides of the paper, the speech could  not be reprinted, so Lincoln made another copy at Bliss’s request. It is the last  known copy written by Lincoln and the only one signed and dated by him. Today, it  is on display in the Lincoln Room of the White House in Washington D.C..

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a  new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men  are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any  nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great  battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a  final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might  live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not  hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have  consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will  little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what  they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the  unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It  is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us —  that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for  which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve  that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall  have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people,  for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

~Abraham Lincoln November 19, 1863

Photo of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and Feather Quill

Gettysburg, PA November 19, 1863

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THE HISTORY OF MEMORIAL DAY

 THE HISTORY OF MEMORIAL DAY ~ by Dorian F. Howard© (Jersey Girl & U.S. Navy Veteran)

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the thDG2GUUZ6Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. It started as an event to honor Union soldiers, who had died during the American Civil War and was declared that Decoration Day should be observed yearly on May 30th. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. The current name for this day, Memorial Day, did not come into use until after World War II. The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery,** across the Potomac from Washington DC.  The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

NOTE**Arlington was for many years the estate of Colonel Robert E. Lee. At the onset of the Civil War, after first refusing the command of all Union forces, he volunteered his services to the Confederate Army. During the course of the war, his former estate was seized by the Union Army, which made it a headquarters. In 1864, with Union dead piling up throughout the Washington area, the search for a suitable site for a military cemetery resulted in a recommendation that Lee’s former estate be converted to a burial ground. Out of the death and destruction of the Civil War, was born Arlington National Cemetery.

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities. It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

Decoration Day and then Memorial Day used to be held on May 30, regardless of the day of the week, on which it fell. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends. This meant that that, from 1971, Memorial Day holiday has been officially observed on the last Monday in May. However, it took a longer period for all American states to recognize the new date.

To ensure the sacrifices of America’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.

thXTV02NDRThe National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.  As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”

“Changing the date of Memorial Day merely to create a 3 day weekend has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt this has greatly contributed to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.” ~ VFW 2002 Memorial Day Address.

Memorial Day has become less of an occasion of remembrance. Many people choose to hold picnics, sports events and family gatherings on this weekend. This day is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season for cultural events. For the fashion conscious, it is seen as acceptable to wear white clothing, particularly shoes from Memorial Day until Labor Day. However, fewer and fewer people follow this rule and many wear white clothing throughout the year.

It is traditional to fly the flag of the United States at half mast from dawn until noon. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries. Memorial Day used to be a solemn day of mourning, a sacred day of remembrance to honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. Businesses closed for the day. Towns held parades honoring the fallen, the parade routes often times ending at a local cemetery, where Memorial Day speeches were given and prayers offered up. People took the time that day to clean and decorate with flowers and flags the graves of those the fell in service to their country. We need to remember with sincere respect those who paid the price for our freedoms; we need to keep in sacred remembrance those who died serving their country. We need to never let them be forgotten. However, over the years the original meaning and spirit of Memorial Day has faded from the public consciousness. I consider it to be a national day of mourning. Do you?

On Memorial Day we need to stop and pay with sincere conviction our respects for those who died protecting and preserving the freedoms we enjoy, for we owe those honored dead more than we can ever repay. How many graves of our fallen do we in America leave dishonored by leaving their resting places forgotten and neglected? Unfortunately, when Congress made Memorial day into a mandatory three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363), it made it all the easier for us to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day.

However, during their 2010 legislative session, the State of New Jersey passed legislation urging congress to Restore Memorial Day to its original observance day of May 30th.   Their bill is SR17. Thank you New Jersey. You make this Jersey Girl and U.S. Navy Veteran very proud! ~ JGT

In my opinion as well as those of others; in order to keep the number of three day Federal Holidays the same, Armed Forces day, the third weekend of every May, could easily become a three-day holiday. On that holiday we can celebrate our freedoms won and maintained by our Armed Forces – a three-day holiday to focus on our active duty men and women in uniform and to expressively show them our love and support.

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IN FLANDERS FIELDS

~ By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (18721918)

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields….
 

Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915
during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium

 

 

 

 

DEMOCRATS PUT BOTH FEET IN THEIR MOUTH!

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A History of the New Year

A Move from March to January by Borgna Brunner

The celebration of the new year on January 1st is a relatively new phenomenon. The earliest recording of a new year celebration is believed to have been in Mesopotamia, c. 2000 B.C. and was celebrated around the time of the NewYearsEvevernal equinox in mid-March. A variety of other dates tied to the seasons were also used by various ancient cultures. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians began their new year with the fall equinox, and the Greeks celebrated it on the winter solstice.

Early Roman Calendar: March 1st Rings in the New Year

The early Roman calendar designated March 1 as the new year. The calendar had just ten months, beginning with March. That the new year once began with the month of March is still reflected in some of the names of the months. September through December, our ninth through twelfth months, were originally positioned as the seventh through tenth months (septem is Latin for “seven,” octo is “eight,” novem is “nine,” and decem is “ten.”

January Joins the Calendar

The first time the new year was celebrated on January 1st was in Rome in 153 B.C. (In fact, the month of January did not even exist until around 700 B.C., when the second king of Rome, Numa Pontilius, added the months of January and February.) The new year was moved from March to January because that was the beginning of the civil year, the month that the two newly elected Roman consuls—the highest officials in the Roman republic—began their one-year tenure. But this new year date was not always strictly and widely observed, and the new year was still sometimes celebrated on March 1.

Julian Calendar: January 1st Officially Instituted as the New Year

In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar introduced a new, solar-based calendar that was a vast improvement on the ancient Roman calendar, which was a lunar system that had become wildly inaccurate over the years. The Julian calendar decreed that the new year would occur with January 1, and within the Roman world, January 1 became the consistently observed start of the new year.

Middle Ages: January 1st Abolished

In medieval Europe, however, the celebrations accompanying the new year were considered pagan and unchristian like, and in 567 the Council of Tours abolished January 1 as the beginning of the year. At various times and in various places throughout medieval Christian Europe, the new year was celebrated on Dec. 25, the birth of Jesus; March 1; March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation; and Easter.

Gregorian Calendar: January 1st Restored

In 1582, the Gregorian calendar reform restored January 1 as new year’s day. Although most Catholic countries adopted the Gregorian calendar almost immediately, it was only gradually adopted among Protestant countries. The British, for example, did not adopt the reformed calendar until 1752. Until then, the British Empire —and their American colonies— still celebrated the new year in March.

Article written by: Borgna Brunner & Reprinted Courtesy of  http://www.infoplease.com/spot/newyearhistory.html

I’d like to wish a very Happy New Year to ALL of my brother & sister Military Veterans & those brave Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, Coast & National Guard personnel currently serving on Active Duty around the world!  God Bless You ALL & Thank You for Your Service to our Country! ~JGT

A SAILOR’S CHRISTMAS AT SEA

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)

The sea is cold, the night is dark… the blowing wind is crisp,
I stare across the ship’s huge deck… I did not get my wish.
I wanted so, to be at home… this year on Christmas Eve,
But this will be the year that I… did not get Christmas leave.

I stand and think about my family… gathered by the tree,
I know that one will say my name… and then they’ll think of me.
I am not there to share their joy… my country needs me here,
But I am not the only one… who won’t get home this year.

I miss my family but I am… on guard for my country,
Protecting those who can have Christmas… is my first duty.
Many men have given all… for us to have that right,
And I feel honored just to sacrifice… a Christmas night.

But still I’m feeling so alone… as many of us are,
As I just stand here on the deck… and watch a Christmas star.
I guess it is a Christmas star… it shines for all it’s worth,
And I think back to when a star… foretold His peace on earth.’

If only people felt this calm… as on this Christmas Eve,
And not create hostilities… that make their brothers grieve.
Then we could have a peaceful world… as it was meant to be,
But until then we must stand guard… and this night it is me.

Once again my thoughts turn home… my family safe and sound,
Because this ship and other men… are ready to stand ground.
The Navy and the other branches… keep us safe and strong,
So those at home can celebrate… and sing their Christmas song.

But knowing that I must do this… I can’t hold back a tear,
Wishing I was home this Christmas… sharing in the cheer.
Seeing all my families faces… lights and Christmas trim,
Now the night is getting darker… as I think of them.

Trying now to fight this feeling… of such loneliness,
Softly speaking to myself… a lonely Christmas wish.
Actually my Christmas wish… is now a Christmas prayer,
Thank you for the men who serve… our country everywhere.

Thank you for our families… who enjoy this Christmas free,
Thank you for the other men… who serve this ship with me.
Thank you for allowing me… to make this sacrifice,
A joyous Christmas for our families… makes it worth the price.

May there be peace within you today.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
I believe that friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet when our
Wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

~Author Unknown~

This former “WIN” (Such was the PC term for ‘Women in the Navy’ during the over 11 years I served on active duty) salutes ALL of my brothers & sisters currently serving in the Navy, Marine Corps. Air Force, Army & Coast Guard throughout the World Today~ Yesterday & Tomorrow! I salute ALL U.S. Military Veterans who have or ever have taken the following oath & most especially, those that have Given Their Last Full Measure of Devotion to the Citizens & People of the United States of America.

 ‘I, (state name of enlistee), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.’ 

Who am I? I am a Christian! I am an American! I am a U.S. Navy Veteran. I am a Woman & Proud Wife of a Retired U.S. Navy Chief. We are so much more than this but we owe our lives to our God & the Country we each served for over 32 years combined. To that end, I’d like to wish you ALL a Very MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR! And~ God Bless Us~ Every One! -JGT

GETTYSBURG (July 1 – July 3, 1863)

civilwarcrossstitchBrief Reasons & Events leading up to Gettysburg:

Prior to 1861, the United States of America had always been considered as separate states wherein they created most of their own rules and regulations. A long-lasting debate argued whether to have each state, or a singular central government, decide issues such as taxation, commerce of products and, in particular; the issue of slavery. While the northern states opposed slavery, the southern states (whose economy depended on it) supported slave labor.

By 1861, after realizing that debating the issue could no longer resolve the argument between the northern and southern states, the southern states seceded from the United States and formed their own Confederacy of States. Jefferson Davis, (who graduated 28 out of 34 in his West Point class) was elected as their president. President Abraham Lincoln, who was then president of the United States, believed that, “A house divided cannot stand.” and therefore, a Civil War between the northern and southern states, (the Union vs. the Confederacy) broke out to decide once and for all, whether the United States would remain one country or split be into two individual countries.

In 1861 and 1862, Confederate armies achieved several victories over their Northern counterparts but by the summer of 1863, when General Robert E. Lee was put in command of the Army of Northern Virginia.  Lee decided upon an invasion of the north, which he thought would pull both armies out of war-torn northern Virginia, where most of the fighting had previously been. He thought that by invading the north and in particular, possibly winning a victory in the north, it might cause embittered northerners to put pressure on the Lincoln Administration in Washington, to seek a settlement toward peace and thus bring an end to the war.

Lee’s fateful decision, eventually brought the war to the doorsteps of a small, rural south central Pennsylvania town called Gettysburg!

General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was 75,000 strong & was traveling north into central Pennsylvania. He felt confident. However; on June 30, Lee learned that 95,000 soldiers of the Union Army of the Potomac, led by Major General George G. Meade, were following closely behind.

Here’s the Timeline:

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 1863

battle-of-gettysburg-oak-ridge-july-1General Lee ordered several brigades to travel east to check their location and to forage for supplies for his troops. Northwest of the town of Gettysburg they met. A skirmish ensued and as the battle heated, word was sent back to both commanders that the enemy was found and reinforcement troops proceeded to the area. Over the next 2 days Lee’s army converged onto Gettysburg from the west and north while Meade’s army arrived from the south and southeast. Thus a battle never planned, occurred simply by circumstance.

As Lee’s southern forces continued a persistent attack against the entrenched Union troops, additional arriving Confederate forces launched an all-out offensive which eventually drove the Union forces through the streets of Gettysburg and to a defensive line just south of town. By the end of the first day of battle (July 1st, 1863) a five-mile Confederate line covered the area stretching from Seminary Ridge on the west side of Gettysburg, through the town and on eastward toward the area called Culp’s Hill. As additional Northern reinforcements arrived on the field, they occupied a two-mile defensive position commonly referred to as a fishhook formation along Cemetery Ridge and Culp’s Hill. 

Commanding General Meade & his entourage arrived just after midnight.

THURSDAY,  JULY 2, 1863

gettysburg-devilsden-and Little Round TopThe second day of battle began as a series of disorganized and disjointed Confederate attacks on the Union defensive position south of the town. Though simultaneous attacks were supposed to have occurred on Culp’s Hill and Cemetery Ridge, the attacks took place at least six hours apart and ended with consistent retreats. Union forces held onto Culp’s Hill but the Confederate forces eventually drove back the Union troops in the areas referred to as Peach Orchard, Wheatfield, Valley of Death and Devils Den. Each one and each side, had a stunning amount of casualties. The Confederate troops advance of the Union right flank had initially succeeded but was finally stopped by the heroic efforts of the Union forces and most especially~ in an area known as Little Round Top.

“In this writer’s opinion, the defense of Little Round Top is a pivotal win for the Union Forces during the three-day battle at Gettysburg. Union Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Commanding Officer of the 20th Maine Regiment~ was one of the most instrumental leaders during the battle at Gettysburg.” Historic account of the battle at Little Round Top may be read here.

Feeling successful after two days of battle with the Union army, General Robert E. Lee, believing his army was invincible and undefeatable, decided to attack, what he thought to be the weakest position of the Union line the next morning. Unfortunately for Lee, Union General George Gordon Meade, had already held a council of war with his Corps commanders early that morning & had decided to remain in a defensive position for the battle anticipated the next day (July 3rd). Meade finally decided, that very evening, after listening to the advice of each of these Commanding Generals, as to which of their commanders would lead their individual armies into, which would become, one of the most famous days & battles of the American Civil War.

gettysburg-pickettsFRIDAY, JULY 3, 1863

The third day of battle of Gettysburg began with another unsuccessful attempt by the Confederates to take over and occupy Culp’s Hill. Meanwhile, a mile east of Gettysburg a Confederate Cavalry of 6,000 troops held orders to attack the Union rear but the Union cavalry with a strength of over 5,000, managed to confront them in a firefight that contained and forced the Confederates to retreat. General Jeb Stuart led the southern forces and among the Union leadership was General George Armstrong Custer. (Appointed Brigadier General in the Union Army at the age of 23.) Read about General George Armstrong’s contributions to the Battle of Gettysburg here. 

Robert E. Lee never explained Stuart’s actions that day. And Stuart, who was killed later in the war, also never wrote any explanation of what he was doing three miles from Gettysburg that day. Interesting!

At 1:00 PM, the largest cannonade that ever occurred on the North American continent thus far, assembled ahead of the planned rebel charge. Unknown to Lieutenant General James Longstreet, the cannon fire, which was to decimate the Union center overshot their target and only destroyed the farm fields far behind the Union troops. Once the cannon fire ceased, 12,000 Confederate soldiers marched in formation from Seminary Ridge to launch a famous, heroic attack upon the Union center. This would be forever after immortalized in history as the failed, Pickett’s Charge.

The Confederates hoped to reach a small clump of trees over one mile, away across an open field. Once the smoke from the cannonade had cleared the field, Union forces, though admiring the determination and desperate dedication of the men before them, began firing their own cannons once the Confederate soldiers were in range. The Union artillery hit and mowed down the columns of men like blades of grass. Only a small number of Confederate forces managed to reach the small clump of trees.  Once there, Union forces engulfed them from three sides. General George Pickett’s division and other elements in the attack were virtually destroyed.

Retreating back to Seminary Ridge, General Lee waited for General Pickett. Once he understood that a defeat had occurred, Lee ordered Pickett to reform his division in the event of a Union counterattack. Pickett’s response to Lee was, “General Lee, I have no division.”

And that was that. After three days of devastating carnage, the battle at Gettysburg has ended with the Confederates being defeated and retreating back to Virginia the next day. Unfortunately, the horrors of the Civil War would continue for another two long, bloody years.

Coincidentally, the next day happened to be July 4th. It was on July 4th, 1776 that the first 13 colony states formally broke away from Great Britain and formed a new nation called the United States of America. Indeed, also coincidentally, that the United States should be one country, this same day (July 4th 1863), the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg, MS surrendered to a Union general, who two years later, would accept the surrender of General Lee and Confederate forces at Appomattox, VA.

That General was Ulysses S. Grant.

The American Civil War lasted 4 long years and resulted in over 600,000 deaths and 3,000,000 casualties of both northern and southern young men. However; our nation was reborn as one in 1865 at the end of the war.

From that time on, the United States would always be referred to with a singular verb: The United States IS one country!

GETTYSBURG (July 1 – July 3, 1863)  by D. F. Howard @July 2016

 

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Click here to view all Civil War Photos

 

IS HILLARY DISQUALIFIED FOR THE PRESIDENCY?

Hillary Clinton at senate hearingAmerican Democrat presidential candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton cannot, by U.S. law, hold any office — presidency included.

According to 18 U.S. Code § 2071: PART I- CRIMES,  Chapter  101- Records & Reports; Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally.

(A) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(B) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three year’s or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term ‘office’ does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.”

Clinton willfully violated this law!Hillary-Mean-Big

source: US 18 USC 2071: Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally Text contains those laws in effect on June 25, 2016  Title 18-CRIMES  & CRIMINAL PROCEDURE 

So, after reading this; what do you think?  `JGT

 

 

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE ‘GOOD OLD’ USA?

I don’t get it!

The United States of America is a Republic; (re·pub·lic; noun \ri-ˈpə-blik\: a country that is governed by elected representatives and by an elected leader, such as a president rather than by a king or queen) and our founders intended that we be governed as a democracy, (de·moc·ra·cy  noun \di-ˈmä-krə-sē\:  a form of government in which people choose leaders by voting~ for a government by the people; especially: rule of the majority; a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections).

So why is it that our current elected officials appear and act as if they care more about themselves, their careers & political correctness than they seem to do about WE, the People? We, those very people that elected them into office? America was founded by revolutionaries who had a dream of independence, a longing for personal & religious freedom. Our forefathers were visionaries, certainly they were men of their times and flawed as ALL human beings are, but they had a vision and for over 200 years that vision was grown & nurtured by the American people. Indeed; America was built by men who had entrepreneurial imagination as well as on the integrity and ingenuity of its people and the independent spirit, hard work and longing for the ‘American Dream’ of our immigrant ancestors.    

On April 17, 1913 the balance of power in United States shifted from the states to the central government with the illegal ratification of the 17th Amendment to our Constitution. Without the ‘voice’ of the States,  that single amendment effectively stifled state’s rights and in 1933 the federal government under FDR began the systematic destruction of the Constitution of the United States. Today, the last vestiges of freedom remain tethered to the Bill of Rights by a thin, raveled thread.

When a government becomes so powerful that citizens become the servant, and government officials become the master and overlord it is no longer the country the Founding Fathers intended.

Considering all the candidates running for office this year, vote as you will in November, but please be advised, that if any American doesn’t vote out of spite~ it may be the last free-election they may ever have the choice or  privilege to vote in. The Politically Correct  left & radical liberals just may finally realize their dream of a Socialist States of America!

 As I said, I don’t get it! ~ JGT

I pulled the following Letter to the Editor from my Twitter feed and thought that the writer, Ken Huber really has his pulse on the thoughts of many Americans. Thank you, Ken. In my opinion~ you are the voice of the silent majority!~ JGT

 

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I Remember My America © d.f. howard

Liberty and Justice for AllI love America! I love MY country! I love what our Constitution stands for and I love it for the dream that our founding fathers imagined for us. I would give my life for my country!

Indeed, I’d give my life for the country that I grew up in and the country that I served while on active duty in the United States Navy from 1979 to 1990. THAT is the country I love! That America~ is the country I pledged to support & defend against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic! My pledges (two pledges taken during my 11 years in the U.S. Navy ) not only bound me with my fellow sailors, soldiers and American citizens but it also bound me to specifically support the Commander(s) in Chief of the United States Armed Forces, no matter what my political preferences were at the time. I Took An Oath! Under God! Twice!

I can attest that during my first year on active duty serving under then President Jimmy Carter, the military was pitiful & morale was at an all-time low. Iran had held 52 American hostages captive after sacking the American Embassy in Tehran 14 months earlier at the time & President Carter’s failure to secure their release through diplomatic means eventually led to the fatal “Operation Eagle Claw” mission that resulted in the deaths of 8 members of the Army’s 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (popularly known as the Delta Force) & Naval Special Warfare Development Group (more popularly known as Seal Team Six) when their helicopter crashed on the night of April 24, 1980. I can tell you first hand that the entire U.S. Navy & our sister services mourned this horrendous tragedy!

Under President Ronald Reagan, we were proud, united and eager to serve! During THE GULF OF SIDRA INCIDENT on Aug. 19, 1981 two U.S. Navy F-14 jets shot down two Soviet-built Libyan SU-22’s about 60 miles from the Libyan coast after being fired on by one of the Libyan aircraft. While stationed overseas, I can tell you that we all went wild when we heard that! Tee-shirts, ball caps, pins etc., were printed up so fast and every Sailor or Marine I ran into on base (including me) had one on that read “USA=1 Libya=0”. What a kick!

Bush 41 carried Reagan’s legacy into the 1990’s but by then, I was a military wife & I observed much of this through my husband’s career which finally ended with his retirement (after serving 21 years) at the end of the Clinton Administration in 1999.

My father, uncles & father-in law all served in World War II. My grandfather(s) served in World War I. I have direct grandfathers, great grandfathers & direct ancestors that served in the American Civil War, the War of 1812  & the American Revolutionary War.  I have served and my husband has served in the U. S. Navy. Hey, I’m a Jersey Girl and I was born in the middle of the “baby boom”!

Over the years, I have watched our country’s military decline. I barely recognize this country anymore and am terribly afraid of where this country is going. Many people I talk to about this are afraid as well. I spit on the leadership (if you can call it that) and the politicians who are currently running this country! And I don’t care what color they are or what race they are or what nationality they are or what religion they are. They are ALL to blame!

Sadly, we have a president and his staff continually peddling bullshit to the American people. Our unemployment numbers are NOT approximately 5% because the underemployment rate is approximately 15% as of February 2016. I’m no financial genius but I’d say if we added those two figures together we’re at about 20% unemployment rate in the U.S. And since when do we include part-time employment in the weekly jobs report? Oh, I forgot~ it’s the hope & change Obama’s Administration & OUR White House has been peddling since 2008! And tell me, please~ what is this so-called “recovery” the White House is still babbling about? What recovery? I don’t see it. Do you? Indeed, once the Affordable Care Act (aka) Obamacare went into effect it’s costing hard-working American families thousands of dollars more every year all the while government employees, Congress, the Senate and ALL their staff(s) get the “Cadillac” plans that many of us once had & paid to have. (Take it from someone who actually pays for health care through employment & has seen her premiums go up over $3000 a year as well as co-pays & out of pocket costs since Obamacare took effect in 2009!)

Regrettably, most insurance companies no longer carry those plans because of Obamacare & due to the high federal taxes being imposed on it! Why can’t insurance companies compete across state lines anyway? Answer: Because Americans were suckered into voting for politicians promising to serve them in Washington but are now being ignored in favor of  big-money donors & lobbyists giving them perks & promising  to get them reelected! Therefore~ the American voter who elected them in the first place is then brushed aside because we’re not needed anymore! Did you know that insurance companies have pulled coverage out of so many states that many states are left with just one? How’s that for a monopoly? I thought monopolies were illegal in this country? Nonetheless, Obama- the Hope & Change Monarch of America- has decreed it is not! (What a creep!) And, Ditto~ for those slimy politicians WE voted for! 

We Americans have been shrouded in darkness by our government. We have been lied to and violated. We have been surreptitiously and methodically stripped of our rights as Americans by the politicians with whom we have voted for and placed our trust in for years! Our politicians are “in” the top 1% of the American “elite” who get rich while the rest of us get poorer. We, the working class (working poor in most cases) are left to eke out an honest living by working hard, paying our bills AND paying federal, state & local taxes in order to provide for our families every single day. It never stops! Have you ever heard the saying; “Death & Taxes”? I have~ and I know that in our country, even our heirs must pay taxes even after our deaths! But there again, it’s double jeopardy because the deceased has already paid taxes on the very money or property that their heir(s) have inherited. It’s mindboggling!

How about voting? Do you believe that as an American, voting should be sacrosanct? Isn’t it supposed to be one vote for each LEGAL and LIVING American citizen? I always believed that. Additionally many people have voted several times in several states! Did you know that thousands of dead people, convicted felons as well as dogs & cats actually voted for Obama in the last two election cycles? Amazing!!! How did they do this? It is “Houdiniesque” (my word). Meanwhile, there are several states that want to protect our right to vote under the Constitution by requiring that each voter (ONE vote per person) provide a photo ID and have passed bills into law in their respective state legislatures that require this. Indeed, don’t we have to show an ID to someone almost every single day? Ever try to rent a hotel room or a car without one? How about buying a beer a pack of cigarettes; using a credit card and being asked for a photo ID or cashing a check ANYWHERE without an accompanying photo ID? Ah, what to say about those airlines, huh? Try getting on a plane going anywhere without showing several IDs along with the added (dis)pleasure of a possible cavity search! Yikes!

Regardless, the federal government is currently in the process of spending taxpayer dollars in an effort to sue those states. Now I ask you; what is wrong with that picture? And why are WE AMERICANS allowing the FEDS to spend taxpayer dollars to do so? I believe it’s because they (the feds) figure that very few Americans (accept the state being sued) are actually paying attention. So what happens when we, Americans and the states try to correct this or any imbalance or uphold the constitutional rights promised to us in our constitution? We are sued and called racists. This, my fellow Americans is BULLSHIT!!!

A final thought. Now~ we are in an election year but I’ll reserve my opinions on the candidates of both parties until after the primary is held in my state of New Jersey on Tuesday June 7, 2016. Heaven help us all after it’s all over. Until then, I remain hopeful that America~ the country & land I love, will once again become the country I had always been proud of & that I once unswervingly served. 

For now, I can only remember~ My America!

 

 

 

COMMON SENSE By Thomas Paine (Published 1776)

DutyPublished in 1776, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense challenged the authority of the British government and the royal monarchy. The plain language that Paine used spoke to the common people of America and was the first work to openly ask for independence from Great Britain.

OF THE ORIGIN AND DESIGN OF GOVERNMENT IN GENERAL, WITH CONSISE REMARKS ON THE ENGLISH CONSTITUTION.

     SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

     Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him, out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.

     In order to gain a clear and just idea of the design and end of government, let us suppose a small number of persons settled in some sequestered part of the earth, unconnected with the rest; they will then represent the first peopling of any country, or of the world. In this state of natural liberty, society will be their first thought. A thousand motives will excite them thereto; the strength of one man is so unequal to his wants, and his mind so unfitted for perpetual solitude, that he is soon obliged to seek assistance and relief of another, who in his turn requires the same. Four or five united would be able to raise a tolerable dwelling in the midst of a wilderness, but one man might labour out the common period of life without accomplishing any thing; when he had felled his timber he could not remove it, nor erect it after it was removed; hunger in the mean time would urge him to quit his work, and every different want would call him a different way. Disease, nay even misfortune, would be death; for, though neither might be mortal, yet either would disable him from living, and reduce him to a state in which he might rather be said to perish than to die.

     Thus necessity, like a gravitating power, would soon form our newly arrived emigrants into society, the reciprocal blessings of which would supersede, and render the obligations of law and government unnecessary while they remained perfectly just to each other; but as nothing but Heaven is impregnable to vice, it will unavoidably happen that in proportion as they surmount the first difficulties of emigration, which bound them together in a common cause, they will begin to relax in their duty and attachment to each other: and this remissness will point out the necessity of establishing some form of government to supply the defect of moral virtue.

     Some convenient tree will afford them a State House, under the branches of which the whole Colony may assemble to deliberate on public matters. It is more than probable that their first laws will have the title only of Regulations and be enforced by no other penalty than public disesteem. In this first parliament every man by natural right will have a seat.

     But as the Colony encreases, the public concerns will encrease likewise, and the distance at which the members may be separated, will render it too inconvenient for all of them to meet on every occasion as at first, when their number was small, their habitations near, and the public concerns few and trifling. This will point out the convenience of their consenting to leave the legislative part to be managed by a select number chosen from the whole body, who are supposed to have the same concerns at stake which those have who appointed them, and who will act in the same manner as the whole body would act were they present. If the colony continue encreasing, it will become necessary to augment the number of representatives, and that the interest of every part of the colony may be attended to, it will be found best to divide the whole into convenient parts, each part sending its proper number: and that the ELECTED might never form to themselves an interest separate from the ELECTORS, prudence will point out the propriety of having elections often: because as the ELECTED might by that means return and mix again with the general body of the ELECTORS in a few months, their fidelity to the public will be secured by the prudent reflection of not making a rod for themselves. And as this frequent interchange will establish a common interest with every part of the community, they will mutually and naturally support each other, and on this, (not on the unmeaning name of king,) depends the STRENGTH OF GOVERNMENT, AND THE HAPPINESS OF THE GOVERNED.

     Here then is the origin and rise of government; namely, a mode rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world; here too is the design and end of government, viz. Freedom and security. And however our eyes may be dazzled with show, or our ears deceived by sound; however prejudice may warp our wills, or interest darken our understanding, the simple voice of nature and reason will say, ’tis right.

     I draw my idea of the form of government from a principle in nature which no art can overturn, viz. that the more simple any thing is, the less liable it is to be disordered, and the easier repaired when disordered; and with this maxim in view I offer a few remarks on the so much boasted constitution of England. That it was noble for the dark and slavish times in which it was erected, is granted. When the world was overrun with tyranny the least remove therefrom was a glorious rescue. But that it is imperfect, subject to convulsions, and incapable of producing what it seems to promise is easily demonstrated.

     Absolute governments, (tho’ the disgrace of human nature) have this advantage with them, they are simple; if the people suffer, they know the head from which their suffering springs; know likewise the remedy; and are not bewildered by a variety of causes and cures. But the constitution of England is so exceedingly complex, that the nation may suffer for years together without being able to discover in which part the fault lies; some will say in one and some in another, and every political physician will advise a different medicine.

     I know it is difficult to get over local or long standing prejudices, yet if we will suffer ourselves to examine the component parts of the English Constitution, we shall find them to be the base remains of two ancient tyrannies, compounded with some new Republican materials.

First. — The remains of Monarchical tyranny in the person of the King.

Secondly. — The remains of Aristocratical tyranny in the persons of the Peers.

Thirdly. — The new Republican materials, in the persons of the Commons, on whose virtue depends the freedom of England.

     The two first, by being hereditary, are independent of the People; wherefore in a CONSTITUTIONAL SENSE they contribute nothing towards the freedom of the State.

     To say that the constitution of England is an UNION of three powers, reciprocally CHECKING each other, is farcical; either the words have no meaning, or they are flat contradictions.

First. — That the King it not to be trusted without being looked after; or in other words, that a thirst for absolute power is the natural disease of monarchy.

Secondly. — That the Commons, by being appointed for that purpose, are either wiser or more worthy of confidence than the Crown.

     But as the same constitution which gives the Commons a power to check the King by withholding the supplies, gives afterwards the King a power to check the Commons, by empowering him to reject their other bills; it again supposes that the King is wiser than those whom it has already supposed to be wiser than him. A mere absurdity!

     There is something exceedingly ridiculous in the composition of Monarchy; it first excludes a man from the means of information, yet empowers him to act in cases where the highest judgment is required. The state of a king shuts him from the World, yet the business of a king requires him to know it thoroughly; wherefore the different parts, by unnaturally opposing and destroying each other, prove the whole character to be absurd and useless.

     Some writers have explained the English constitution thus: the King, say they, is one, the people another; the Peers are a house in behalf of the King, the commons in behalf of the people; but this hath all the distinctions of a house divided against itself; and though the expressions be pleasantly arranged, yet when examined they appear idle and ambiguous; and it will always happen, that the nicest construction that words are capable of, when applied to the description of something which either cannot exist, or is too incomprehensible to be within the compass of description, will be words of sound only, and though they may amuse the ear, they cannot inform the mind: for this explanation includes a previous question, viz. HOW CAME THE KING BY A POWER WHICH THE PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO TRUST, AND ALWAYS OBLIGED TO CHECK? Such a power could not be the gift of a wise people, neither can any power, WHICH NEEDS CHECKING, be from God; yet the provision which the constitution makes supposes such a power to exist.

     But the provision is unequal to the task; the means either cannot or will not accomplish the end, and the whole affair is a Felo de se: for as the greater weight will always carry up the less, and as all the wheels of a machine are put in motion by one, it only remains to know which power in the constitution has the most weight, for that will govern: and tho’ the others, or a part of them, may clog, or, as the phrase is, check the rapidity of its motion, yet so long as they cannot stop it, their endeavours will be ineffectual: The first moving power will at last have its way, and what it wants in speed is supplied by time.

     That the crown is this overbearing part in the English constitution needs not be mentioned, and that it derives its whole consequence merely from being the giver of places and pensions is self-evident; wherefore, though we have been wise enough to shut and lock a door against absolute Monarchy, we at the same time have been foolish enough to put the Crown in possession of the key.

     The prejudice of Englishmen, in favour of their own government, by King, Lords and Commons, arises as much or more from national pride than reason. Individuals are undoubtedly safer in England than in some other countries: but the will of the king is as much the law of the land in Britain as in France, with this difference, that instead of proceeding directly from his mouth, it is handed to the people under the formidable shape of an act of parliament. For the fate of Charles the First hath only made kings more subtle — not more just.

     Wherefore, laying aside all national pride and prejudice in favour of modes and forms, the plain truth is that IT IS WHOLLY OWING TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PEOPLE, AND NOT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE GOVERNMENT that the crown is not as oppressive in England as in Turkey.

     An inquiry into the CONSTITUTIONAL ERRORS in the English form of government, is at this time highly necessary; for as we are never in a proper condition of doing justice to others, while we continue under the influence of some leading partiality, so neither are we capable of doing it to ourselves while we remain fettered by any obstinate prejudice. And as a man who is attached to a prostitute is unfitted to choose or judge of a wife, so any prepossession in favour of a rotten constitution of government will disable us from discerning a good one.