$400k Per Speech? Yes We Can!

OBAMA

 

It’s quite a gig, this being an ex-president. There is evidently quite a market for someone who has nothing to say yet has “former boss at 1600 Penn” on his resume.

The disgusting irony of such a spectacle should be lost on no one. An American fascist, wholly committed to the destruction of any free-market based economy, now revels in cashing huge checks simply for setting aside his beloved golf clubs, putting on an Armani, and belching out thirty-minutes-worth of meaningless anecdotes.  All the while his uppity-schmuckity audience sniffs their wine and affixes their gazes on The One, admiringly.

Then he leaves the joint, loosens his necktie, and lights a Marlboro.

Sweet.

It was this same Lord Obama who bemoaned the prospect of anyone making a buck, picking up the mantle of the schoolmaster, and lecturing his far-inferior citizen-subjects.

“There will be time…to make profits and there will be time…to get bonuses,” said he, the omnipotent arbiter who shall determine the appropriate size of your bank account. “Now is not that time.”

Now is not that time?

Well, now we know when “that time” is.  It’s after you’ve pillaged the country you’ve lorded over for eight years, successfully leading the co-opting of 1/6 of its economy. Then, and only then, can you look back over the ravaged landscape of your handiwork and start pulling in millions with speeches no one really wants to hear and books no one wants to read.

The hypocrisy of these leftists knows no bounds and is dismissed by their idolizing followers who cannot seem to make the connection between what a man says and what he does.

While slamming the “evil rich” and denouncing Americans who dare pursue wealth, such shysters enrich their own coffers while enjoying their taxpayer-provided Secret Service protection.

Or have Bernie Sanders adherents not seen photos of his opulent homes and fancy sports cars?

Do as I say, not as I do, eh, Bern?

Democrats have sustained themselves for decades by demonizing success and turning anyone who will vote for them into a victim. Why, it just isn’t fair that Mr. Jones lives in that big house on the golf course. Vote for us and we’ll make sure he gets his! And then you’ll get yours.

The American left is planted in a seedbed of envy where classes and races are pitted against each other. The notion that those who work hard, practice thrift, and eventually achieve some level of financial success has been thoroughly dismantled. Far more virtuous is the idea of making every citizen a government dependent, where an exalted messianic leader makes the executive decision as to who gets what and how much.

These rules, of course, do not apply to the one who makes such royal decrees. For when Obama says to his subjects “now is not the time” to earn profits, he means “now is not the time for you to earn profits.” He who bellows such instructions from his lofty estate is exempt, you see, from that which he designs for the lowly peasants.

And the peasants – those who punch the “D’ chad –  wag their heads in admiring devotion, eyes glazed over, unable to discern the glaring hypocrisy.

Perhaps I could live a peaceable life as the subject of a king. It’s far more difficult, however, to live as an American under a man who presumes himself to be what he isn’t, particularly when he lords over his “bitter clinger” peons in flyover country with a forked tongue.

I would not seek medical services from a mechanic. Neither will I take economic counsel from a socialist, particularly one whose administration was filled with academics and laptop-toting theoreticians who never had a job, much less started a business. The simple fact of the matter is that he who now hauls in $400g’s at a pop couldn’t run a successful paper route.

But this is our America anymore, where the seeds of envy have produced enough people who believe all things for our sustenance, right down to cable TV, comes from the government. Politicians like Obama, Sanders, Clinton, and now plenty of Republicans, seize on this sentiment, promising a bag full of goodies in exchange for a vote.  And those who vote for them do not give a tinker’s dam about the utter hypocrisy present in the lives of such charlatans.

The exorbitant speaking fees mean nothing as long as the EBT card works.

 

© Copyright 2017 Tim Holcombe

 

 

 

Sears, R.I.P.

sears

 

In the late 1800’s, Richard Warren Sears worked as a railroad train agent in Minnesota. After receiving a shipment of unwanted watches he’d purchased from a jeweler, he resold them to other agents, repeated the process, ultimately beginning a mail order business with his wares.

Soon, he moved to Chicago, and met Alvah C. Roebuck, where they expanded their line, and began publishing catalogs in 1888. By 1894, the Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog featured everything from sewing machines to automobiles. The product line continued to expand into the early 1900’s, as did sales. By 1908, catalogs included appliances, home furnishings, toys, sporting goods, and even “kit houses.”

Rural America was the underpinning of the Sears and Roebuck mail order business, but in the 1920’s, stores began dotting the American landscape. Sears added Allstate Insurance to its lineup, and developed its own brands such as Craftsman, Kenmore and DieHard, eventually adding Coldwell Banker real estate, the Discover credit card, and erecting the Sears Tower in Chicago.

Sears was on top of the retail world, literally and figuratively.

I have very fond memories of the now fallen giant. Sears was the go-to store when I was a child, certainly far swankier than the drug store on the square with the soda fountain. I recall the smells. The Sears in my hometown of Marietta, Georgia featured a large case, filled with nuts which were kept warm. The scents were tantalizing, and my mother would usually purchase a package of cashews, which were almost better than the toys.

And my father would frequent the hardware department to the rear of the store. I’m not sure if he knew they sold the nuts or not. He bought the other kind, as well as assorted lawn mower or tiller parts.

But the king of books for me was the Christmas catalog, the most treasured selection on the bookshelf. I would carefully circle the toys I coveted sometime between Halloween and Christmas, leaving the hallowed, dog-eared book lying around with my conspicuous notations. I remember circling train sets, the “Operation” game, Rock-Em Sock-Em Robots, bicycles, and the glorious electronic football game which consumed ten minutes of time, as I lined up all my players before running a play.

Who cared about the drapes, mattress sets and, uh, ladies wear?

Meanwhile, in rural Arkansas, some man named Sam was toiling away in his small-town Ben Franklin Five and Dime, and no one peering out of the massive tower in Chicago could see what was on the horizon: Goliath was about to fall.

Eventually, the giant began flailing away during its epic descent, with bankruptcies, shuttering of brands, and a bad marriage to the pitiful KMart brand. From a peak of 3500 stores, 2016 ended with fewer than 1500. Sears also killed the beloved catalog, in 1993.

The writing is on the wall, and has been for a long time. An American original is about to bite the dust. Times change, markets change, the way people purchase goods change. Who wants to fight mall traffic, when the same items are a mere click away?

Sears had its WalMart, but if it’s any vindication for them, WalMart has its Amazon.

I recently bought a big jug of cashews during a monthly run to the local Costco, and I can stick them in the (non-Kenmore) microwave if I want to.  I probably could have ordered them online. I probably can order just about anything online. I cannot remember the last time I was in a mall. I think it was to get an eye exam, but I do that now at Costco. Malls are for walking in the winter time, but not shopping.

Like so many fond childhood memories, Sears and Roebuck will be gone with the wind.

I’ll have to order my next electronic football game on Amazon.

 

© Copyright 2017 Tim Holcombe

 

A Genius, Derailed

ross

American television in the 1950’s was greatly different from our current era. There were sitcoms such as The Honeymooners and I Love Lucy,  westerns such as Gunsmoke and Have Gun, Will Travel, and variety shows such as the Colgate Comedy Hour and the Ed Sullivan Show.

But no format was as successful as game shows. Shows such as The $64,000 Answer were wildly popular, and propelled Dr. Joyce Brothers to fame. Other shows included Dotto, and the now infamous 21, scandalized because it was eventually determined winning contestant Charles Van Doren had been given the answers in advance.

Another game show hosted by longtime 60 Minutes reporter Mike Wallace was The Big Surprise, which produced its own celebrity, he being the ten year-old child prodigy, Leonard Ross.

Ross, the boy genius, won a $100,000 dollars on the show and matched Dr. Brothers’ earnings on The $64,000 Answer.  His grand total would be equal to about 1.5 million today. Impressive for anyone with only a decade under their belt.

Unlike Van Doren, who’d been coached, Ross was the real deal, with more random information in his attic than a fleet of Ph.D’s. Three years after his game show conquest, he astounded young men three and four years older than he while riding on a train in California. The older students, none of them lacking in book knowledge, pitched chemical formulas to the boy genius, who solved them in mere seconds, using only the computer in his skull.

The following year, Lenny Ross enrolled in college, graduating at age 18, whereupon he enrolled in Yale Law School. He graduated from Yale at age 21, and was a professor at the Columbia School of Law by age 24.  The genius was unlimited. He taught at Harvard, then took a position in the administrations of California governor Edmund G. Brown, then President Jimmy Carter.

Then the wheels began to slowly fall off the train.

While at Columbia, Ross began to battle depression and a short attention span. A textbook neurotic, Ross was brilliant enough to diagnose his own condition, but helpless for a cure.  “It’s like standing in front of a great painting that melts in front of your eyes,” said Michael Levine, a teacher at the University of Southern California. ”It was a ‘Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad’ kind of thing,”  added Levine, who attended both Reed College and Yale Law with Ross.

Ross had a bevy of impressive connections in business, academia and government, but his search for a cure for his unique condition proved futile. Ross lived on another level, and found it difficult to complete sentences, as his mind would race to the next idea. He could not complete projects, and failed to finish his doctoral dissertation. He flailed at masking his condition with abstract humor, but his behavior became increasingly erratic and manic. He was a sloppy dresser, and let his apartment fall into disarray, letting his plants wither and die.

A compulsive binge eater and dieter, Ross had no patience when it came to defrosting frozen food, and would eat peas and bagels out of the freezer, unable to deal with the time it took for them to thaw.

His bewildered students could not keep up with their professor, who lectured over their heads, and his writings were completed only with help from collaborators, as Ross could not complete any project he began. As his depression deepened, Ross stood in front of one classroom completely mute for a half hour, until his students began trickling out the door.

Upset over a failed romance, Ross attempted suicide by slitting his throat with a broken bottle. He was hospitalized and medicated, ultimately opting for brain surgery which proved futile.

The man with the mind of a genius finally rationalized there was but one cure for his condition, and at the age of 39, Lenny Ross went to the Capri Motel in Santa Clara, California, removed his shoes, climbed over a fence surrounding the pool, and jumped in the water.

He could not swim.

The story of Lenny Ross is tragic and sad, and I’m unsure of any lesson to be gleaned from it. But if anything, his life reminds me of the old fable of the tortoise and the hare.

I had an aunt who always followed the old rule of “stick to your knitting.” Her knitting, if she was not out working in a field, was quite literally, knitting. Well, perhaps not knitting, but quilting. She did this one thing, and she did it quite well, and she lived to a ripe old age with her sanity intact.

Lenny Ross’ story is one of an incredibly gifted human who ultimately battled what may have been some sort of chemical imbalance. Not many can relate to his condition.

The only lesson I can learn from his pitiful story is that if you’re a mechanic, keep working on cars. If you’re a gardener, keep planting tomatoes.

Stick to your knitting.

© Copyright 2017 Tim Holcombe

 

 

 

 

Ann Coulter: All Hat, No Cattle

Ann Coulter

 

Ann Coulter is popular among conservatives and alt-righters who are enthused by her fiery rhetoric, and her demonization of all things liberal.

She possesses a tongue of acid, and a potent pen. To her credit, she’ll place herself among dens of wolves, such as her appearance on Bill Maher’s cable yuck-fest, the assemblage of degenerates who view everyone to the right of them as charter members of the KKK.

Coulter was an early boarder of the now fully derailed Trump train, going all in with the foolish assertion that as president, Trump would lead us all into the glories of conservative governance, complete with a wall that never was going to be built.

This belies a profound ignorance that exposes Coulter as the empty suit she actually is.

That she criticizes Trump for his waffling on the wall (among everything else: China, taxes, Obamacare, Nafta….) is rich, considering her own waffles regarding her now canceled appearance at Berkeley.

While Coulter rails against all things liberal, she blows a chance to go into the nerve center of the left wing cesspool, ostensibly saying she doesn’t have the courage of her convictions. Coulter had the perfect opportunity on the perfect stage to further expose and embarrass the loony left, but chose to retreat to her laptop.  The golden opportunity was wasted.

“But wait,” you say. “It was too dangerous for her to appear.”

Really? A gal of Coulter’s wealth couldn’t afford to hire a cadre of ju-jitsu bouncers to surround her like…like…a wall?

Said Ann:

He’s the commander in chief! He said he’d build a wall. If he can’t do that, Trump is finished, the Republican Party is finished, and the country is finished.

Really Ann? The country is finished?

Such ignorance is astounding. In Coulter’s world, politics is the heart and soul of America, and for America to survive, we must have a political savior. Thus, like so many, she put all her eggs in The Donald’s basket. Now, like them, she’s been left standing at the altar of the State, another broken-hearted bride who actually believed a president was going to lead us to the Promised Land.

American politics is a sideshow, a carnival midway attraction in which most Americans are not caught up. (Seen a man on the street interview lately?) Americans are far more interested in family life, entertainment, sports and their own daily 9-5 grind. They are not invested in the sham of American politics. For her to actually believe American politicians are going to deliver some sort of nirvana is just plain silly.

America is not ruled or governed by elected politicians. That role belongs to the deep state, or specifically, unelected bureaucrats who are not subject to the electoral process. Presidents come and go. Bureaucrats never leave, until it is time for them to collect their federal pensions. Their influence is far more reaching into the lives of Americans than any politicians, and presidents do not change this fact. The only thing that will ever change this is the looming Great Default.

Coulter calls Trump’s failure to build the wall “worse than LBJ escalating the Vietnam War.” This is preposterous. Vietnam resulted in 59,000 American deaths, 250,000 South Vietnamese troops and over 2 million civilian deaths.

Coulter foolishly believed this 70-year-old billionaire was serious. This is all a side show for Trump, who will entertain himself and his Twitter followers until 2020. Then he will leave his current digs with no wall having been built, Obamacare still in place, holding hands with the Chinese president he railed against just months ago.

Ann makes her living as a political pundit, one who pens her narratives about this political freak show, having fully bought into the concept that as Washington goes, so goes America.

Much to her chagrin, America will survive without a wall. In spite of the current cultural rot, liberty is not on her death bed. The great thing about a massive bureaucracy is that it’s impossible to effectively regulate the lives of 330 million Americans. Their ineptness is on grand display on a daily basis.

Coulter lives in a political bubble. It is her world, and her hero has left her wanting. What did she expect? What did anyone expect?

Ann will keep going. Though Trump has disappointed her, she’ll still keep cashing the checks from her book royalties. And around 2019, she’ll find a new political boyfriend to give her heart to, one that will yet again be broken should he take the oath of office.

 

© Copyright 2017 Tim Holcombe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paging Hank Williams

hankwilliams-color

The first recordings of music that I can remember hearing was of Hank Williams. I distinctly remember him singing about “Kawliga,” that poor old wooden head, and “Hey Good Lookin'”. Being from a devout home managed by a fervent Pentecostal Christian mama, I was also exposed to her Gospel favorites, including the Inspirations, Happy Goodmans and Rambos.

(I’m unsure of her knowledge of the stack of 45’s which featured The Beatles and assorted Motown favorites which were kept securely in my brothers’ bedrooms. But I digress.)

I’ve always had eclectic musical tastes, which is to say I enjoy pretty much all forms of music. I figure there are two kinds of music: good, and bad. (Rap and hip hop do not make my cut.)

Thus, if I owned an iPad, it would be stocked with songs from all across the spectrum. Pavarotti to Ray Charles, George Jones to Van Halen. (or Van Hagar, preferably.)

Charley Pride to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Muddy Waters to The Police.

But no Village People.

And of course, Van Morrison, the greatest of them all.

Anyway, if the mood ever calls for country music, as it did with my last IRS audit, I can be assured that if I turn the radio dial (remember radio dials, kids?) to the local country music station the last thing I’ll hear is country music.

Instead, I’ll have my senses invaded with what is billed as country, but surely ain’t, and my reaction will be akin to the reaction my mother likely had when she finally heard a few bars of Otis Redding leaking out of the aforementioned bedroom.

Expecting to hear Merle Haggard or Waylon Jennings, instead my ears get tortured with some punk who is rapping his way through what I’m told is a country song. When I want crooning and wailing, I get shuckin’ and jivin,’ with some white boy trying to do his imitation of Sir Mix-A-Lot, Grand Ol Opry style.

Seriously, dude. You never heard of a steel guitar?

I’m not sure when country left town, but I suspect it was well before George Strait got his leg broke in Santa Fe. The crap that is billed as country music today is some monstrous invention from a gaggle of man-bun-sporting producers who have taken Nashville hostage. They’ve turned it into a non-musical cesspool of freakish white boy hip hop wanna-bes who Conway Twitty would likely love to come back from the grave and lay a smack-down on, while reassuring us all that it’s only make believe.

The musical lines today are blurred beyond comprehension. In the great musical decade, the 1970’s, rock was rock, country was country, and classical musical was way down on the left of the dial, only played if you were coming home from a dentist heavily medicated after having a tooth extracted.

Nobody plays Johnny Cash anymore, or for that matter, Roy Orbison, or even Elvis, for pete’s sakes. Instead, we get assaulted by some teenage gal warbling some tuneless monologue about the boy she met down at Hormone Beach, or some thug belching his list of beefs about the cops, or his baby mama.

Where have you gone, Marty Robbins?

Luke-Bryan-FP

Every song I hear on what are billed as country music stations is a monotonous montage of distorted guitars, beat-box nonsense and unintelligible lyrics. You don’t feel happy the way you did with Jerry Reed, you don’t have your guts ripped out by George Jones, and you never hear from the Coal Miner’s Daughter. Instead, you pound your dash, and switch the station to talk radio, fully aware that these young punks are filling arenas with millennials who wouldn’t know what to say if Conway stood in their doorway and growled “Hello, Darlin.”

Perhaps it’s a symptom of middle age, as I transition from starry eyed thirty-something to a contrarian pushing 60. Whatever the case, I swear I’m not turning into Lawrence Welk. But for the love of Ferlin Husky, what on earth is going on here?

We’ve replaced wailing sentiments and four-chord samples with a barrage of grunts and something that sounds like a cigar box full of sick frogs. We’ve replaced The Eagles with LL Jammy Juice and The Distortions.

And did you ever see Mel Tillis singing with his shirttail hanging out?

In-c-c-c-c-onceivab-b-b-le.

Whatever it is you wish to hear, you won’t find it on your radio anymore, unless you favor this steaming pile of un-listenable nonsense. And why must every third word rhyme?

If I ever loved it, I stopped loving this today.

Take me home, country roads.

© Copyright 2017 Tim Holcombe

The 100th Day: Weighed In The Balance And Found Wanting

trump

 

The American media attaches some sort of significance to the first 100 days of a new president’s term, going so far as to give one of their news-gossip shows such a moniker.

Newly crowned presidents generally assume office with some measure of political capital which they use to shove their signature policies through Congress.  Thus far, Donald Trump is 0 for everything, getting no cooperation from the guys and gals on the Hill who just won’t comply with his dictates. That’s good or bad, depending on your views. The net result produced is our greatest friend: gridlock. Lovable, huggable gridlock.

Of course, legislative failures aside, presidents still wield a great deal of power, all with the stroke of a pen. With said pen, they can Executive Order their way around a great deal of the congressional congestion, thumbing their nose at the entire process. Again, that’s good or bad, depending upon your view of any given EO. The larger issue, of course, is EO’s run amok. Here an EO, there an EO, everywhere an EO. Old Man Donald had a pen…

Presidential campaigns are all about towering rhetoric, and the whipping of dutiful conservative or liberal adherents into enough of a voting frenzy to get them to sign on for one session of voting every four years. They generally leave the booth thinking, “THIS time it’s gonna work!  Really! After all, he/she said ‘blah blah blah. And Make America Great Again.'”

(Pardon me, Mr. Voter. You left your MAGA hat in the booth.)

Within days of the inaugural speech, the seas of rhetoric are calmed, the promised legislation begins to stale in the hopper on the Hill, and little changes. For Trump fans who bought into the rhetoric about the repeal of Obamacare, lower taxes and a kinder, gentler foreign policy, the eyes begin to glaze over like those of a dude who just bought a car that looked a lot like a Cadillac, only to find it’s actually a Chevy Vega.

The real world matters very little to such voters, whose total investment in such things is no more than the aforementioned quadrennial trip to the polls. Otherwise, if BushClintonBushObamaTrump says we need to launch a few Patriots into Syria to take out the latest bogeyman, then hey, I guess that’s just what we need to do.

Or they assign blame to the opposition in Congress.  Then again, the loyal conservative who pulled the chain for Donald John must be at least a tad bit disheveled when their savior skewers the few hardy souls in congress who actually are conservatives.

rand

Conservatives.  Remember them? They’re as rare as a photo of Maxine Waters at the annual Albert Einstein Appreciation Society Convention.

For the remaining time of Trump’s first term, all we’ll see is more of the same, this tinkering with the ornaments on the Christmas tree, while the water disappears from the stand holding it up. With very rare exception, nobody inside the Beltway possesses the cajones to address the real issues facing America: the stifling debt, the exaltation of the military and subsequent building of the empire at all costs, exorbitant taxation, and the concentration of power among a few elites, whose hallowed status has nothing to do with whether it’s an R or a D following their name.

The best assessment I can give Trump is that he is not her, she being the still-un-incarcerated she-bear of the Left. Otherwise, it’s business as usual.

The modern day glamour boy of American conservatives remains Ronald Reagan. Yet they are loathe to admit (if they even realize) that when Reagan left office, the government he presided over was way bigger than when he and his glorious rhetoric took office eight years prior.

And that’s the best we’ll get out of Trump. Rhetoric that makes some folks feel good about themselves and the vote they cast. Then in 2020, they’ll get fired up once again for the next shell game.

Trump is more of the same, the latest presidential rerun that represents the best we’re willing to do.  Americans no longer vote Tafts or Clevelands into power.

It’s an absurd process, the ultimate dog-and-pony show, where really bad laws sometimes get passed (Obamacare) and nothing ever gets repealed. Then we bomb the latest -stan for whatever reason while we hoist Old Glory and thump our patriotic chests.

And as we wait for the next campaign season which will finally offer real change, those who called out Trump for proving to be exactly what they said he was before the election, cling to our greatest ally: gridlock.

 

© Copyright 2017 Tim Holcombe

Pulpit And Pen: Dogma By Testosterone

pplogoRecently, protestant extraordinaire and renowned “Bible Answer Man” Hank (now John) Hanegraff, ceased his protestations and was received into the Orthodox Church, thus ending his search for the truth, as well as the fullness of the Faith.

To be sure, this rankled more than a few feathers, in much the same way the non-Ark dwellers got upset when seven other hardy souls decided to join Noah in his wild and unprecedented floating monolith.

If the typical heterodox onlooker sports a “live and let live” philosophy toward such conversions, the fallout is minimized. But this was not the case for the strident zealots over on the pulpitandpen website, who, after hearing of Hanegraff’s unauthorized conversion, promptly blew their collective polemical gaskets and commenced with their pharisaical Crusade to combat allwhowoulddarebeOrthodox, going so far as to launch an invasion into Hanegraff’s Parish on the night of Christendom’s most high holy day, Pascha.

The nerve of a body like Hank, who would dare  abandon the familiar terrain of American protestantism, and align himself with them there picture-kissin,’ idol-worshippin’, incense burnin’ non-Calvinists. Nevermind  sitting our judgmental fannies down and actually performing the work(!) of research to see “if these things be true.” No, instead, it’s loading the guns with Bible bullets and heading over to this mysterious Temple which ain’t nothing like ours, because we’re on a god-ordained mission to rescue Hank from the perils of what we’re clueless about, and set him on the foreordained path, where we live with all the other Bible-thumping mockers and scoffers.

It’s classic, really.  People generally either mock or at least ignore that which they could understand. But that would take effort, you see, and it might also reveal the bevy of issues which precariously rest upon the sands where we stand, in our military fatigues.

It’s laziness.  Far easier to invest our energies in the busybody bidness of Pharisees, Inc. We have the truth, Hanegraff dared veer far from it, and by God, it is our duty to go and drag him back to the pits of protestantism.

The P&P boys are from the Calvinist-wing of their Baptist confession, which means err-body is predestined for heaven or hell, you see. (Including babies.)  It’s a confession designed to appeal to men who love Dirty Harry movies, where anybody who ain’t on their side of the theological war gets blown away by their 1611 King James Smith and Wesson, forever doomed to the fires of Gehenna.

For there to be a discovery of truth, at least two things must be present. The first thing is an overwhelming hunger for truth, and the second is a humility which finally admits, “I’m only a human, a sinner who would do well to actually launch an investigation into the pre-Reformation beliefs of the Christian Faith.”

But that’s a tall order for the haughty Pharisee whose mission in life is to force everybody else to believe exactly as they believe, even if that means crashing their Paschal party.  Damn the torpedoes, boys! We done found us a non-protestant heathen!

Few things are as dangerous as a Bible in the hands of a man who serves as his own interpreter of same, for he now wields a self-righteous weapon, a battering ram to pummel those who do not believe exactly as he believes, until the prodigal is made to adhere to the same predestined confession the, uh, theological giants over at P&P espouse.

Their shallowness is evident with their juvenile assessments of all-things Orthodox, without any willingness at all to close their Bible-Guns for a season, and actually put forth a modicum of effort into investigating the pillars of the very Faith they malign. Easier to just shoot internet spitwads at their victims, while beating their chests and declaring “I thank God that I am not like these.”

Such folks have their saviour. He is in their mirror.

 

© Copyright 2017 Tim Holcombe

Monsters, Inc.

planned-parenthood-babies-in-a-box

A few days ago, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren took to the senate floor to rail against the GOP-led attempt to defund Planned Parenthood. Warren, the Commonwealth’s natural philosophical heir to Teddy Kennedy, shouted her opposition, dragging out the same worn lines about women having no access to health care if PP was taken off the list of taxpayer-funded moochers, evidently not factoring in Obamacare was supposed to cover everything from contraception to ingrown toenails.

“Do you have any idea what year it is? Did you fall down, hit your head and think you woke up in the 1950s or the 1890s? Should we call for a doctor?” She shrieked, hysterically.

No, Liz. It definitely ain’t the 1950’s.

I don’t believe this was mock outrage from Senator Fauxcohontas. I think she really believes the blather she was spewing.

Such is the mind of a madman. Or in this case, the distinguished Mad-dame from Massachusetts.

Teddy would be proud, except he likely has other things on his mind these days. These eternal days.

We live in days where all moral restraint has been cast aside, and replaced with a new behavioral code, a day where human baby beings are disposable, but soda pop cans are not.

If you see somebody using a light bulb, for God’s sakes, say something. The future of humanity is in your hands.

That Senator Psycho would defend (and fund) the murder of human beings with somebody else’s money speaks to the loss of her sanity, and the peril of her own soul. To be so utterly desensitized to the selling of baby parts is bad enough. To expect others to finance it demonstrates the violent nature of a Satanic philosophy.

Because for these morally bankrupt madmen, the ultimate goal is not the defeat of those who hold to Judaeo-Christian values.

Neither is their goal to simply gain their compliance.

The ultimate goal is for us to either join them in their parade to perdition, or for us to be exterminated. In these days of tolerance, there is none for those who will not tolerate the intolerable. You must not only approve and lustily endorse gay marriage, you must also bake the wedding cake and attend the reception.

You stand for the most innocent and defenseless among us? Then you are the problem, and you must be eliminated. To the gallows you go! We’ve got babies to dissect and bills to pay!

This new morality of no morality has spread like a cancer all across the nation, finding its way into American churches which have joined in the celebration, casting off restraint along with any creed they ever had, re-writing their Bibles, and changing their formats so as to be all-inclusive Sunday (9:30 traditional and 11 am contemporary) resorts, where we welcome perverts, never challenge their “alternate lifestyles,” even marrying them and ordaining them, including “bishops” wearing rainbow-decorated mitres, for whom we will later grant a gay divorce.

Ain’t it cute? Isn’t god (small “g” intended) wonderful?

America has become a vicious nation, and has successfully cultivated a culture of death. It’s ironic, seeing as how billions of dollars are spent on make-up and plastic surgery, applied and performed so as to assuage any fear of what is to surely come, and delay the inevitable for as long as humanly possible. And if old ailing Uncle Mort’s life can be saved by implanting Baby Doe’s liver into his body, well then, it’s just Baby Doe’s unlucky day. After all, he has nothing to contribute to society. Sign here, Uncle Mort. We really need you!

We are a culture of death because we have rejected the true God, and the reality of our own mortality. We have rejected any notion of a sure Day of Judgement when all men will give account of their lives before the living God. This will surely happen, and anyone who dares remind us of this must be marginalized, and silenced.

Elizabeth Warren will soon go the way of Ted Kennedy. So will we all.

The difference is, some accept it and prepare accordingly. The Elizabeth Warrens of the world are all in for the fourscore and however many years they are granted to live on Earth. This is their eternity, and they deny any other.

And this is why they are given over to madness.

© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe

Sergeant Schultz Libertarians

sarge

 

Sergeant Schultz was the bumbling tool of the State in the corny 1960’s era Hogan’s Heroes sitcom. His famous phrase was “I know nothing. No-thing” which he would utter right after being bribed with the latest delight for his sweet tooth.

Recently, a large swath of Libertarians were involved in a massive collision. There they were, riding down a privately owned dirt road, when a big semi hauling their Libertarian principles pulled directly into traffic on the main highway, where it was rammed by a speeding government bus bearing five passengers in black robes. The principles were left strewn all over the highway, while the government bus just kept on rolling, never pausing to survey the ironic and bloody scene.

Generally speaking, Libertarians have failed to come to grips with the fact that there simply is not liberty amidst anarchy. While they claim to abhor coercion by government, and rightly so, they throw out the baby with the bathwater, failing to realize that the resulting full-throttle anarchy, which is the warp and woof of Libertarianism, is utter chaos and societal upheaval which eventually affects each person in the society.

And sorry, citizens of Rockwellville, but we are still living in a society. This doesn’t apply to you if you’re one of the hardy souls who has built his own floating Libertarian Oz on a platform 30 miles offshore. Otherwise, it’s time to re-engage in the current sociological bloodbath.

In this corner, we have the Ten Commandments. And in this corner, we have the Ayn Rand symphony playing their latest hit, “You can commit adultery. Just not with me.”

Libertarians may well have the right motivation. They generally stand against force and coercion, possess a live-and-let-live philosophy, and are usually repelled by any encroachment of the State, which is ironic, considering the recent “gay marriage” decision dealt to us all, a decision which is ultimately enforced with guns, as is the case with all decisions of the State. But Libertarians have failed to think through the far-reaching implications of this wretched verdict. Their wholesale, knee-jerk reaction to it is, “Hey, awesome! The State is getting out of the marriage business. Another blow for liberty!”

It is difficult to believe that such intellectual giants which are daily featured on Libertarian web sites are completely failing to get the point as stated above. Liberty and morality, of absolute necessity, must forever remain married. If they are not, then liberty is the victim. And morality is codified by law, whether it be in a marriage of two people, a little league parents association, or an entire society. Laws codify morality. No society can exist for long without both.

Generally, Libertarians are failing to understand what has happened here. This was most certainly not a blow for liberty. This was the culmination of the not-at-all-subtle attack on traditional marriage by the unholy State, represented in this case by five thuggish lawyers, whose frightful decision has watered the garden of tyranny. In their decision, the robes were not saying, “Okay, whomever wishes to marry whomever is nobody’s business.” Instead, they were saying, “Whomever wishes to marry whomever will now ultimately be decided by the State, and anyone who does not comply with our decision will find themselves on the wrong side of the bars.”

And the Libertarians rose from their single-seat pews and said “Amen!”

cake

The Very Reverend Josiah Trenham, pastor of Saint Andrew Orthodox Church in Riverside, California says this of marriage in his homily delivered the Sunday following the court decision:

The majority justices have affirmed that defining marriage as it has been defined everywhere and by all throughout human history is contrary to reason and is an expression of bigotry. They have said that anyone who does not agree with that and adheres to what was until just fifteen years ago the unanimous judgment of all generations and all societies, anyone who does not agree with their new view stands against the United States Constitution.

This is the nub of the matter, and this is the point most Libertarians are completely missing. The decision to re-define the historical, natural view of marriage as being between one man and one woman has opened a Pandora’s box full of designer definitions. The Court is brazenly saying that it, and it alone, can better define what constitutes marriage, and who can be considered married.

This is a classic case, ultimately, of State versus Church. Myopic Libertarians fail to see the big picture here. But examples already exist where a Church refuses to marry two men, for example, only to feel the heat from the State. Ultimately, the State will assault the 501c3 tax-exempt status for Churches which fail to comply with the new law. Of course, most Libertarians would applaud this anyway. The trouble is, the incursion of the State into the Church will most definitely not stop with the rescinding of tax status. Clerics who refuse the court order will eventually be compelled to comply with the State directive, or face fines and possible incarceration. Only Libertarians who have their collective(!) heads in the sand of their privately-owned islands are completely failing to see this. In applauding the decision, they are high-fiving the very State they claim to abhor, and turning their heads when the full picture is revealed.

Crazy, you say, my dear Libertarian?

So I may assume you don’t own a bakery then.

Justice Roberts, of all people, in siding with the minority, correctly writes:

The court’s accumulation of power does not occur in a vacuum. It comes at the expense of the people.

He is, for once, correct. This illusion of liberty is not that at all. It is a win for the State, and those who disagree with it are the victims.

And the Libertarians yawn, while cleaning their guns.

Justice Scalia chimed in:

To allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than “no taxation without representation.” No social transformation without representation.

And Justice Alito nails the heart of the issue with his dissent:

I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.

The Supreme Court is ostensibly saying, “This is our decision. And if you are not on board with it, then you have a target on your back. We just redefined marriage for you, and either you comply with it, or you will be hit with every book we can possibly throw at you. Not only will you bake the cake. But you will marry whoever ordered the cake in the first place. And if you don’t, well then Reverend, you can just go practice your sermons in a cage.”

And the Libertarians yawned and said, “Well, hell, let anybody marry anyone they wish to marry. It ain’t no skin off my nose!”

The Church has always defended the sanctity of marriage as being a holy estate between one man and one woman, and historically, the State has agreed with the definition. Were this simply a matter of the court saying that marriage is not the business of the State, then that would likely be the end of the matter. But that is not at all what the court is saying. The court continued its scandalous verdict by re-defining what marriage is, and this new definition comes with the full support of the gun-toting, cage-owning State. That is why this decision is yet another government assault on liberty. And that is the point that most Libertarians are pole-vaulting over.

Justice Kennedy sums up the court’s action with his petty, juvenile comment in response to the potential, and very real threat to religious liberty:

“We have a first amendment, and religious people who find this very important to the fulfillment to believe this will still be allowed to believe and teach this.”

To which Father Josiah replies:

Brothers and sisters, the first amendment says nothing about believing and teaching things! The first amendment is the right to exercise your religion. Not believe it, not think it, not say it in your church and in your home, to exercise it, to live it out in society without molestation. And these tyrants are coming for it.

He is correct. This is one priest who gets what most Libertarians are glossing over: this decision is a full-frontal assault on liberty by the United States government.

This wretched case is the logical conclusion to the “gay revolution” started decades ago in the United States. Anyone who believes these activists, the majority whom now sit on the highest court in the land, are going to stop with this decision, are being profoundly naive. Now that they have the full weight of law on their side, they will go in for the kill.

And there Libertarians sit, just not giving a damn.

The blood-letting has begun. Some will engage in the fight.

Libertarians will retreat back to Gilligan’s Island, with a Pina Colada, and a worn copy of Atlas Shrugged tucked under their arm, humming “Celebration” by Kool And The Gang.

Party on, Sergeant Schultzes.

And may the Lord have mercy on us all.

#Diocletianrising

© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe

Re-branding The South

lee

Last week, yet another doped-up, psychotic killer took the lives of nine people in Charleston, South Carolina. It is a terribly sad and tragic story, yet amidst the tears and grief of friends and loved ones, the oligarchs who presume to lord over Americans at national and state levels pounced within hours, agendas intact, ever the opportunists.

Barack Obama launched into his tired, mindless, pathetic, predictable tirade against guns.

South Carolina governor Nikki Haley shed a few dutiful tears, and then declared war on fabric.

Because, you know, had it not been for a flag, this would never have happened.

And so, we wait for the president, governor, senator, congressman, mayor, dogcatcher, or secretary of the department of whatever to condemn ritalin.

Meanwhile, the killer sits in a cell somewhere, kevlar vest nearby, eating a Burger King cheeseburger.

This preoccupation and fascination with flags is a curious thing. Depending on the colors displayed, emotions can be whipped into a frenzy. What any particular flag represents seems to be of secondary concern.

And of course, the flag in question was not the flag of the Confederacy at all, rather, a battle flag from a Virginia battalion. But let’s not have facts get in the way here. We may make Nikki cry again. And doggone it, she just cares so much.

It should be noted, of course, what is generally lost on most Christians in America is that our allegiance is not to be given to any nation or state, rather, the Kingdom of God. No, I do not “pledge allegiance to the flag.” Neither should you, if you claim to be a Christian. We either take the Gospel seriously or we don’t.

Additionally, for those whose hearts get all fuzzy at the sight of the American flag, it might be well to note this particular flag has become a symbol of tyranny. It is especially curious to see any southern American defending it. Those who do not acknowledge, or are unaware (as hard as that is to believe) that we live in a police state still dutifully salute it when they see it. Imagine how an Iraqi Christian feels when they see the American flag.

Oh, sorry. There aren’t hardly any left, thanks to “heroes” such as psychotic mass murderer Chris Kyle. Of course, as we all know, Kyle was over there “defending our freedoms”, so we must continue to “support the troops.” So hey, salute the flag and carry on, nationalists!

(It is time for all Americans, southern or not, to finally realize that the wars waged all over the globe by the oligarchs in the USG are done only to enrich a few elites, and have nothing whatsoever to do with our liberties. The truly patriotic American understands this, and people who do the bidding of these Godless tyrants, such as Chris Kyle, have NOTHING in common with actual military heroes.)

If you are a Christian, your veneration should be reserved for Christ, His Cross, and the Saints. No American flag flies in the Church.

This silly assault on the fabric phantom is a superficial mask for what is really going on here: an attempt, led by politicians who are always anxious at any opportunity to grab more power to re-brand the south, and erase every last vestige of a racism that simply does not exist here, at least in the manner they say it does. Then again, they know this. It is simply an occasion for them to further empower and enrich themselves.

So, Guvnah, I have a question for you: why stop with the flag on the lawn of your state capitol? If you believe a flag which was flown in the Confederate era is actually a symbol of racism, then why don’t you declare an all-out war on every flag, or symbol, or landmark from the Confederate era? If we are to believe you are sincere, then surely you won’t stop now.

The above photo is a carving on the side of Stone Mountain, just east of Atlanta. It features the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, and Generals Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson.

If we are to follow Nikki Haley’s lead, Stone Mountain should be turned into a hundred million little marbles.

But let’s not stop there, Nik. We must rename the Beauregard Parish in Louisiana, named after Confederate general P.G.T. Beauregard, one of the designers of the Confederate flag.

And how about Forrest County, Mississippi, named after Nathan B. Forrest? Why, to not rename this county would show we are all racists!

Let’s not forget Bradford County, Florida, Cleburne County, Alabama, Cook County, Georgia, Jackson County, Oklahoma, and Hale County, North Carolina, all named after Confederate officers. Racists, racists, racists! They’re everywhere!

Surely we cannot omit Hampton County, in your own state, Governor, named after Lt. General Wade Hampton III, Confederate cavalry leader during the War of Northern Aggression, and afterwards a politician in your state, representing South Carolina as governor and senator.

The list is endless. Cities, counties, roads, bridges, neighborhoods, signs, landmarks, monuments, flags. Such designations are everywhere. Why? Because they are distinctly southern, which is who we are, save for dolts like Nikki Haley who have morphed into their, uh, enlightened state where they equate all things southern with racism.

What’s next, Governor? Fried chicken and watermelon?

Every southerner should be offended at what is really happening here. It is an all-out assault on the culture – the non-racist culture – that we are attempting to still enjoy to whatever degree, save for the perpetual meddling of the imperial federal government and its warlords like Obama, who finds mind-numbed servants in people like Nikki Haley who dutifully falls in line, because you know, heaven forbid anyone would ever call her a racist! Let’s keep up with the times, people!

The south I know, the south I was raised in, is generally full of gracious and gentle, well-mannered people, and these characteristics transcend race. It may astonish my northern, or non-American readers, but no, I have never actually owned a slave. Neither do I know anyone who ever owned a slave. Never been to a Klan rally. I drink my sweet tea from the same pitcher as anyone else, pigmentation notwithstanding. Neither do I personally know any black folks in the south who act anything like Obama, Jackson and Sharpton, jackasses all, color having nothing to with it, except to these three stooges, of course.

Southerners in particular are constantly barraged with this “racist” crap which fits only a misguided stereotype. It is certainly not a reality. But nobody wants to be seen as a racist, hence, when told that unless they lower that flag, many folks lose their voice, and dutifully comply, ostensibly asking, “Okay, I hate the flag too. Now will you be kind to me?”

There is a general misunderstanding of all this, much of which stems from a false perception of the War of Northern Aggression, commonly called The Civil War. Even most southerners, 150 years after the War, do not understand what it was all about, because they have largely been brainwashed in government indoctrination centers, taught from textbooks ostensibly written by the victors. Their education is the education the imperial federal government has chosen for them.

Thus the mass confusion and misunderstanding.

The War, in a (southern pecan) nutshell was waged by the bloodthirsty tyrant, Abraham Lincoln, who sought to consolidate power in the federal bureaucracy, and would not tolerate any state which demonstrated self-determination on a more local level. In other words, to any state that dared to say, “We’re going to do business our way,” Lincoln basically answered with bullets, saying, “Well, now, we’ll see about that, won’t we?”

I guess I don’t need to remind you where all this started, eh, Guvnah?

Slavery was an issue used by Lincoln for his own advantages. Lincoln never said, “The south has slaves. Let’s attack them and end slavery!” Indeed, Lincoln’s record as a true racist is well documented, not to mention that slavery was an American reality, not just a southern American reality.

It is no coincidence that government school students never hear this side of the story, for the truth about the war does not serve the federal government, which is happy (as we see) to reinforce the stereotype as southerners all being knuckle-dragging racist rednecks. And this brings us back to the nub of the whole matter.

All this utter nonsense, at its root, is simply a guise for the further empowerment of the all-holy federal government, complete with its continued full-fledged assault on whatever liberties we have remaining. Just to prove they were not racists, many Americans voted for this presidential disgrace, twice. It’s the same mentality among people like Nikki Haley, whose brain has exited the building, not to mention her moral compass. God forbid anyone ever see us venerating a flag, and calling us racists! Yessuh Massuh Obama! Whatever you say, Massuh Obama! Lower that racist flag, boys!

Were I a flag waver, I would not allow governmental thugs to dictate to me what sort of flag I would fly. It is a sad state of affairs in this lost nation that most Americans have accepted the reality of the police state we now live in, and dutifully keep their mouths shut at every single encroachment by power hungry oligarchs, whether it be Obama, Nikki Haley, or a local sheriff who acts more like George Patton than Andy Taylor.

It is time for Americans who have any spine left at all to stand up to these bullies, their pens, their phones, and pepper spray and say “no more.” We start doing this by living our lives the way that we see fit, refusing to comply, refusing to accommodate stereotypes, refusing to be dutifully guilt-ridden about who we are. We do this by stepping off the blame train.

I feel like getting in a pickup truck with a Dixie flag, General Lee horn, loaded heat in the glove box, and driving to Stone Mountain, climbing atop and sitting down with a bucket of fried chicken, sweet tea, and a Hank Williams Jr. CD playing in my boombox.

I am a southern American man. If you are a southerner, stop apologizing for it, or feeling guilty about it. You are (almost assuredly) not a racist.

Carry on, Billybob

© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe

Uncle Sam, The Ultimate Thug

sam

Today, I forfeited the last cent that was demanded of me by the imperial federal government of the United States, and other assorted governments who all stuck their collective gun in my back and caused me to respond in the exact way I’d respond were a thug to accost me downtown. The crime is the same, as is the result.

It’s the price of, uh, liberty, don’t you know.

Because so many see liberty as emanating from government, not God, then they see it as only fair and just that we swear allegiance and forfeit almost half of our incomes to same.

How dare anyone question the all-holy State? Why,  to do so is to show your contempt for mom, apple pie, your dad who defended America, and obvious heroes, like uh, Chris “Shall we go for 161 kills?” Kyle.

Yes, the good loyal, faithful citizen shuts his pie hole, forks over his dough along with his autonomy, and gets back in line as the color guard raises the flag, the jets fly over, and he dutifully swears allegiance, and obeisance, to the golden calf of government.

What of freedom? Liberty?

Shut your face, they’re doing the coin toss.

So today, I paid in the full the bill for

  • The continued American militarization of the world, and of our homeland. I paid for unconstitutional, undeclared wars to continue. I paid for the gross expansion of the military, even when the Pentagon itself sought cuts, but were denied by congress.  All this being done under the illusion that our freedoms are being defended. And the masses, of course, buy the convenient lie, as it has been told over and over and over, beginning in our youth in government indoctrination centers.
  • Medical insurance for politicians who are not subject to the very law that they foisted upon the rest of the country.
  • Bailouts for bankers and corporations in bed with the USG
  • Hundreds of American military bases in hotbed, war-torn nations, like Guam and Germany.
  • The perpetual refilling of the EBT cards (I really prefer the more stigmatized term food stamps, as there should be shame with the usage of such a device) of able-bodied users who otherwise could work, but refuse to, since they’re getting a free ride by using the government as an instrument of plunder in the same way the aforementioned thug would “do the deed” in a more direct manner.
  • The current craze of plunder by the able-bodied masses who have sold their souls to the god of State: the Social Security disability scam. It goes like this: “Hey, my big toe hurts. Can I sit on my ass for the rest of my life and get somebody else to support me?” “Why sure! Just sign here! And don’t forget to vote!”
  • NASA.  Because, you know, we can only go into space if the government is involved.Right, Wrights?
  • The administration of national and state parks, which should be sold to private developers that could run them far better than government can. Then again, the private sector does ANYTHING better than government can.
  • Kids I don’t even know in all 50 states to get hynotized in government indoctrination centers, their crappy Michelle lunches, and their ritalin.
  • Their administrators.
  • Salaries of legions of IRS employees, whose job is to make sure I comply with the theft in a peaceable manner.
  • Legions of bureaucrats inside the Beltway, and scattered all across the nation, who exist for the sole purpose of assaulting any lasting vestige of liberty which remains for me.
  • Gas for Air Force One, the other jet the wife rides in, the suites, and the tee times. Oh, and don’t forget those nifty little drinks with the umbrellas in them.
  • Public housing. Nevermind that the compassionate thing to do for the poor would be to remove the heartless government from the equation, and allow charity to be done on the local level. Then again, we would have far less corruption and abuse of the system, and what fun would that be?
  • A social security ponzi scheme I want nothing to do with, as I will never receive anything but a fraction of what I was forced (again, at gunpoint) to forfeit.
  • The War of 1812.
  • Military sponsorships of race cars.
  • The DMV. Good lord, the DMV.
  • Fishing. Hunting. Water. Sewage. Emmissions testing. The mating habits of the endangered wharf rat. The effects of methane emmitted from cattle on the atmosphere. Cameras for to spy on me. NPR. PBS. The EPA. Secret Service protection for Jimmy Carter. The state dinner for the king of Botswana. The continued study of man-made global warming. Al and Tipper Gore’s divorce lawyers.
  • Okay, I may be wrong about that last one. But I’m right about the War of 1812. Seriously.

People who still actually get up out of bed and go to work each morning, rare breed that they are, are paying for the continued maintenance of the American empire, both home and abroad, in every way imaginable. And most Americans are quiet, dutiful sheep figuring that’s just the price we have to pay to suck air every day.

How pathetically sad.

And how far we have fallen from the intent of the founders. How tragically we have lost our collective understanding of how to actually live as free people.

And how frustrating it is to be a person who has the stones (literally) to speak out about such things, only to be held in contempt, or utterly ignored, the latter being far worse.

But onward we go, the bill now paid in full, to enjoy the 6 ½ months of liberty we have left.

Selah.

 

© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe

Craig Morgan’s Misplaced Patriotism

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Craig Morgan is the latest government-loving homeboy who runs the flag up the pole, then proceeds to lecture Seth Rogen for not falling in line and praising Clint Eastwood’s film “American Sniper,” the fictional account of convicted slanderer and killer of at least 160 people, Chris Kyle.

Morgan’s view is the pablum spewed from the pop-culture masses who take their lead from anybody who wears a uniform (which instantly makes one a hero), dumb-downed frogs in a national kettle of statist stew who wouldn’t know the “freedoms” Morgan references if they slapped them in the face. Like so many, he has fashioned a golden calf out of the military, and he worships it as he wanders in the desert of a land where liberty has all but faded, quicker than you can say Chevy Vega.
Morgan’s Jesus is Chris Kyle, and his ilk: members of the all-holy State whose mission in life is the furtherance of the American empire, certainly not the defending of anybody’s liberty. As soon as he rings his non-liberty bell, legions answer the call with their cacophony of “hoo-rahs!” and ‘if you don’t like it, leave it” mantras.

Pathetic.

So let me see if I can explain something really simple to you, Captain Morgan. While it is true that whatever liberties any American has left are being eroded from around us quicker than Al Sharpton can shake down a company, it is also true that the American military is complicit in the erosion.

There’s some shock and awe for you, eh?

It is undoubtedly news to you, (the last thing you get from Fox, home of military disinformation) but Chris Kyle was doing NOTHING to ‘defend our freedoms.’

Nothing.
Nada.
Zilch.

You call anybody who wears an military uniform a “hero.” It’s funny how that works, Craigie. It’s almost as simple as instant mashed potatoes. Don a uniform, and voila! There’s a hero!

Hoo rah!

What you don’t get, because you’re so blinded by this faux sense of patriotism, is that we now live in a police state, and this is because of misguided sheep who share opinions like yours, where you equate patriotism with the support of all things military, which is nothing more than dutiful, blind obeisance to the State, which controls the military.

Got the picture now?

The first Americans fled from this very mentality. The notion of a standing army was repugnant to the founders. When the imperial federal government began to flex its muscle on the South, entire states seceded, and rightfully so, for they saw their liberties being taken from them by the State, enforced by its military.

If you agree that our freedoms are being threatened, then where do you really believe this threat is coming from? Has it never occurred to you that the very Source of the threat is located inside the beltway of a lil’ ol’ hamlet we call Washington DC?

Get a clue, Craig. Iraq is not a threat to us. Never was, never will be. Neither is Afghanistan. Neither is Russia. Neither is Germany, Japan or Australia…..Australia!, where we still have troops stationed. Do you not believe me? Tell me, homeboy, who is it that:

– Takes almost half the earnings of wage-earners in the USA?
– Molests citizens before allowing them to board airplanes?
– Tells you what kind of milk you can drink?
– Determines for you what you can put into your body, and how much?
– Routinely stops you in your car for no legitimate reason whatsoever, and if it feels like it, confiscates your property, such as your car or any cash you might be carrying?
– Demands your children take vaccines which may very well harm or even kill them?
– Forces you to purchase products you do not want?
-Places cameras anywhere they choose to monitor your comings and goings?
-Tells you what sort of weapon you can buy, while arming its tax collectors and postal workers with guns and enough ammunition to really spoil one of your outdoor concerts?

Believe me, I can list plenty more, faster than you can write another one of your songs.

The simple fact of the matter is this: if the American military were actually defending our freedoms, they would be in Washington DC. They would be demonstrating true courage, the kind you know nothing of, the kind which compelled the early Americans to stand up to the tyranny of the crown and declare, knowing it might very well cost them their lives, and those of their children: NO.

Don’t be slamming people who have an opinion different then yours, calling them cowards, while referring to anybody who wears a uniform as a hero, until you’ve actually considered what I have said. A real hero, a true hero, would be standing against the greatest threat to the liberties of Americans, the American government. You’re just too busy saluting the flag and rah-rahing fighter jet flyovers at Nascar events in their dutiful pre-race military glorification ceremonies to actually notice what the hell is actually going on.

You’ve got a voice, and you have some fans. Either use it to take a stand against the real tyranny present among us, or just shut up and sing your songs, leaving out your insipid commentary.

Clueless people can sing. They just shouldn’t speak

Why Edward Snowden Is A Hero

ed

Imagine we live in the same neighborhood. I live in the house to your right, and to your left lives Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith owns a home security company, and I am one of his employees.

One day, you tell Mr. Smith and I that you’ll be going on vacation the following week. After you leave, Mr. Smith calls me in his office, and proceeds to share his plan to break into your home.

I go home, consider what is about to happen to you, and although it will cost me my job, I contact you and tell you of Mr. Smith’s plans to invade your sovereign space, steal, kill and destroy.

I am doing for you what Edward Snowden has done for 300 million Americans.

Americans of my generation are known as baby boomers, and baby boomers were raised in a paradigm where all things American were good, including the American government, and evil was personified in the old Soviet Union. Indeed, some baby boomers can recall having nuclear war drills at school, a symbolic act that occurred when the threat of war hung in the air. Against this threat stood the good guys in the white hats: the federal government of the United States. Bred in such an environment, the boomers equated patriotism with the flag, all things military, and the overriding, albeit insidious notion that government is good, and existed for our protection and our benefit, therefore, we should have no problem supporting it with our resources, and dutiful loyalty. To do otherwise would be unpatriotic.

This was a mistaken, at and times, deadly worldview. It is all the more today.

The proper view of government, specifically the American government, is to see it for what it exactly is: a brutal, violent force which wholly exists to plunder the very citizens it feigns to protect. This proper view contradicts the boomer view, which naively assumes government is good. They somehow fail to connect the legion of dots, blinded by a false security and a government-inspired definition of patriotism.

Were it some non-government villain committing the crimes, they’d likely not be so docile. But when one considers the offenses the government perpetrates on its subjects on a static balance sheet, things become a good bit clearer. Consider an immoral, brutal entity that:

– Takes almost half the earnings of wage-earners
– Molests citizens before allowing them to board airplanes
– Tells you what kind of milk you can drink
– Determines for you what you can put into your body, and how much
– Routinely stops you in your car for no legitimate reason whatsoever, and if it feels like it, confiscates your property, such as your car or any cash you might be carrying
– Demands your children take vaccines which may very well harm or even kill them
– Forces you to purchase products you do not want
-Places cameras anywhere they choose to monitor your comings and goings
-Tells you what sort of weapon you can buy, while arming its tax collectors and postal workers with guns

At what point does an American finally realize that the government he has ostensibly sworn allegiance to is actually his enemy? What does it take for this person to finally understand that his liberty is in the crosshairs of the very government he heretofore assumed was his friend? When exactly, does it finally dawn on him that the pre-sporting event military glorification ceremonies, the flagrant state-worship and flag waving are all not-so-subtle methods used by the government to instill within him obeisance to it, rather than an undying commitment to liberty? When is the morning he awakes to the realization that his pursuit of “life, liberty and the American dream” is the nightmare of the American government, which is doing everything in its power to assault such pursuits?

How can he be persuaded that there is a difference in America the nation…..and the American government, and rejection of the latter is utter fidelity to the spirit of revolution proclaimed by the Jeffersons, Paines and Madisons?

To say one loves his country, but despises its government…..is wholly American, and entirely the domain of patriots.

It is this government, this wretched, Godless imperial federal government, which continues its daily assault on the privacy and sovereignty of its citizens. And it is this to which Edward Snowden strove to alert his fellow countrymen. This is why Snowden is a patriot, a man walking in the footsteps of Jefferson.

This is why he is a hero.

And it is damned time every American woke up to this fact, unwrap themselves from their flags, understand this government is their enemy, not their protector, divorce themselves from all its proceedings, including these meaningless charades known as “elections,” and re-commit themselves to lives devoted to liberty.

 

© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe

The Military: America’s Golden Calf

 

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We are all born into a particular paradigm of life. There is some measure of variance in this paradigm among Americans. Some particular values of New England Americans may differ to some degree from southern Californian Americans. As a southerner, I was raised with values generally found among southern Americans, where we swear by sweet tea, college football and the Redneck Riviera. In some portions of the south, Bear Bryant has attained the status of the gods.One American idol which transcends all regions and cultures is the American military. Question the hallowed status of this sacrosanct institution which can do no wrong, whose methods and motivations must never be called into question, and you can expect a barrage of blowback.

It is easy to see why this is. From the earliest age, we have the notion drilled into our heads that the military is to be revered, and that we enjoy freedom because of it. Since we hear this, virtually from birth, it becomes a part of our very fabric, and we are so sure of it that it never even occurs to us to question such a thing. We are surrounded, bombarded with military propaganda every day, from songs on the radio which laud the military, taxpayer-funded commercials which promote the military, movies and news outlets which glorify the military, and sporting events which worship the military like a god.

When someone, somewhere out of the red white and blue dares to question the military’s exalted position, we recoil in horror at even hearing such blasphemy. There are several reasons for this outrage. One reason may be that the horrified has simply never heard anyone call into question this pillar of America. They have always heard it said or sung that the military is the reason we are able to do anything, that we owe our very existence, even the air we breathe, to these brave heroes. Thus, we simply assume that it must be true. I mean, come on….it sounds so right!

Another reason most Americans hold the military in such high esteem is that virtually every American knows someone who was, or is, in the military. Could be a son or daughter, niece or nephew, father or grandfather. Ironically enough, for the survivors of a loved one who was actually killed in action, the reverence of the military often even grows.

Thirdly, the simple fact is that most Americans, whether they know it or not, have made a god of the State. Some admit it. Other would deny it, but wouldn’t hesitate to salute the flag or praise the “heroes” who are, you know, laying it all on the line for us every day so that we can enjoy all the great liberties in America.

It might be a good time to consider the mindless cliches military worshipers puke out as fast as a pot of instant potatoes, whenever anyone dare question their adoration. Cliches such as:

– “If it weren’t for the military, you couldn’t say that!”

This clueless little gem presumes that our ability to speak freely comes not from God, but from the military. Somehow, we are supposed to make the connection that by having troops in Iraq, we are defending and maintaining free speech. Someway, we are to conclude that our entries into World War 1 and 2 was to ensure that we’d all be able to talk out loud.When a person who spews such mindless drivel like this is actually forced to defend it, they cannot, for obvious reasons. And this goes back to my original point, that reverence of a military whose existence must never be called into question is as much a part of our fabric as love of mother and her apple pie.Really, can we use our God (not military) given noggins and consider the absurdity of such a statement? People spoke freely long before there was an America, still do, and always will, no matter what war(s) is being waged.
“The troops are defending our freedoms”Again, mindless twaddle by people who simply accept at face value that which they have always heard, never stopping to consider the legitimacy of such sheer nonsense. It would be nice if the person who makes such a declaration were actually called upon to substantiate it, but they never have to, for we must surely never question such a patriotic statement. Good thing too, since such a statement cannot be defended.
So, here we go: No, the troops are not defending our freedoms. Not no way, not no how. Not even close. Most Americans blindly accept the claims of an American president whenever he goes before the cameras and tells us that our freedoms must be defended, and will be, as he sends troops to Iraq, or Afghanistan, or any other Stan. But we never seem to make the connection that what we are being told simply makes no sense whatsoever. After all, no president would lie about such a weighty matter, would he?Americans are under such a constant barrage of state-sponsored “patriotism” that most do not even stop to consider what is actually happening. They just sit there, like a collection of frogs in a kettle of statist stew, accepting as fact what they are told in government schools, or from loyal statist “news” outlets like Fox News, Rush Limbaugh or Sean “The Pawn” Hannity. Hour after hour, on radio, television and the internet, such cliches are pummeled into our heads to the point that we simply cannot fathom the notion of anyone questioning such a truthful and hallowed statement.Ideally, we would all live our lives as free men. This love of, and desire for liberty is God-given, but during the course of our lives, we are exposed to proxy definitions of the term that we conditionally accept as being the norm. Thus we assume that when a president, politician, or commentator uses the term liberty, he knows what he is talking about. Surely he’s on the same page as us, right?
The fact is, our brains have been massaged into a state-induced numbness, a condition which elicits a Pavlovian-style response anytime somebody raises a flag, calls troops “heroes,” or lauds the latest bomb-dropping frenzy on some nation you never knew existed, but it doesn’t matter, because your cable TV is still working. The truth is that our liberties – remember liberty? – or whatever is left of them are under constant assault by the greatest – by far the greatest – threat to them: the federal government of the United States. And who, dear reader, does the bidding of the federal government of the United States?

If you said “the military,” you may proceed to level two. The fact is that our freedoms are not under threat from the Stans, but by our own government. Stan is an illusion, a device employed to distract you while your wallet is lifted (literally.) Must I actually list all the ways our liberties are stolen from us each and every day by our own imperial government? May I ask what the reader considers the job of the military to be, actually? Is it to defend our freedoms? If so, then may I be so bold as to ask why they are not doing this?

Could it be because they are on the same team as the enemies of our liberties?

No, the troops are not defending our freedoms. The troops are largely being used as pawns to participate in a world-wide shell game which is making a precious few people a whole lot of money. The onus is on the person who maintains that the military is actually defending our freedom to prove this assertion. And good luck. We were never taught in our government schools to question such things. The good, loyal, patriotic American was to never question his government, or its military. And who doesn’t love a sense of security, the notion that all will be well as long as we dutifully believe what we are told? It’s just so much easier to accept, rather than challenge that which is presented to us an undeniable truth.

“How can you disrespect your own father?”

My own father, like many in the World War 2 generation, was drafted into the military in a time very much unlike the times we live in now. There was no television, probably no radio, and virtually no way to verify that what they had heard had actually happened. Masses of trusting Americans, many good, decent and hard working people had been told their nation had come under attack, and that the homeland must be defended. Scores of young men were drafted and shipped to all regions of the world. And what choice did they have? Even if they did doubt what they had been told, they had to go, or face prison. So they went and fought, many valiantly, and many lost their lives, tragically.

But as Olds once said, “This ain’t your father’s military.” Well, they said “This ain’t your father’s Oldsmobile,” but you get the point.

Today’s military is an all-volunteer proposition. No one has to go into the military. They do so by choice. Students are bombarded (get it?) by all branches about “career opportunities” in the military. (Then many join and wind up on food stamps, but I digress.) Each day, any American can drive by military recruitment centers. The gods, my friends, are everywhere.

Such a thing would be utterly abhorrent to the founders (or even a president as recent as Eisenhower, who warned us about the very situation we now find ourselves in.) The notion of a standing army was repugnant to early Americans such as Jefferson and Madison. But here today, because it’s just, well, everywhere, we simply accept it as the way it should be. For crying out loud, the military was never intended as a place where one could build a career.

Past generations of Americans were compelled to serve, ultimately by force. And the sons and daughters of these veterans hold them in great esteem and respect, as they should. But the military these loved ones served in, dear friends, is in no way, shape, form or fashion the military we have today. The brutal fact of the matter is that we have been lied to by the lords of government for decades, and scores of young men, and women, have lost limbs and/or lives for a lie. That statement ain’t met with applause. It will get you uninvited to the Christmas party. But it is the undeniable truth.

America is the greatest nation on earth!

Another statement often made while the brain is in neutral, and easy enough to debunk. What is criteria we use for greatest? Liberty would be at the top of my list, and when the freedom report card, if you will, was investigated by The Cato Institute and The Washington Times in 2012, the good ol’ US of A ranked 18th.

18th.

Behind Qatar.

Qatar. That lush, green land, flowing with milk and honey. And oil.

By any objective standard, this claim can be dismissed. And what say we to the “Amurricuh! Love it or leave it” contingent? We say that this is our home, too, and we have as much right to be here as anyone. Furthermore, it is the absolute duty of any truly patriotic American to call out lies the government passes out as truth.

Americans have a tremendous need to understand the vast difference between defense, which is the actual, legitimate task of the military, and militarization, or world-wide empire-building, which is the present unconstitutional manner is which the military is being used. Again, the founders warned against this very thing. But who cares anymore? Just raise the flag and start your engines, boys! Here comes the fighter jet flyover!

Americans love what they know, and they know what they love. And since worship and adoration of the military is drilled into us from early age, most people never question the hallowed status given to it. And anyone who dares to do so is met with insults, disdain, and told to “shut up.”

Well, not this man who values liberty above all, and has the stones (literally) to call out the enemy of same.

Military worshipers, back to your kettle.

© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe

Secession: The Domain Of Patriots

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Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no salvation.

Psalm 145:3

It should have come as no surprise to anyone that Chief Treasonist John Roberts directed his merry band of robed hench-persons in confirming the monstrosity of Obamacare upon all Americans, laughing while banging us all over the head with his gavel, ostensibly saying, “Today, in a 6-3 vote, we have decided all you little people out there will just have to suck it up and do as you’re told. Case closed. Clarence! Get me the gay marriage folder!”

It’s a pitiful sight, watching otherwise decent people clinging to any last vestige of liberty by the fingernails, having been spat upon by the president, the House, then the Senate, hoping against hope that maybe, surely, the hallowed robes will save the day and we can get back to living like the Cleavers.

They had all their eggs in the wrong basket, and no one who understands the nature of such a government was at all surprised by the vicious, contemptible, albeit predictable decision by Jammin’ Johnny and the Rewrites.

Such dear souls seriously need to step outside, look afar off, take a deep breath, and let this truth finally take root in your American heart:

There is no political solution for America’s problems.

Now, exhale. You know you’ve been waiting to.

The reason so many good people were disappointed in the decision of the Supremes is because they are invested in a political solution. Subconsciously, they believe the nirvana they seek will ultimately be delivered by government. All it takes is one die hard, committed conservative to come to power with his or her underlings in the House and Senate, and reverse all the disasters of the past twenty years, while packing the Supreme Court with Scalia clones.

Hey, you, over there with the dazed look on your face: Wake up. It ain’t never gonna happen, Kimosabe.

It is time to realize, once and for all, the nature of the American government. It is a brutal, vicious, heartless, self-absorbed entity, a cruel and poisonous amoeba consisting of thousands of oligarchs who have two goals in life: the acquisition of power and the maintaining of same, at all costs, and this is done at the expense of the citizenry. The state and letter following the name is irrelevant: The nature of the oligarchy transcends political affiliation.

This is not to leave the reader hopeless. To say there is no political solution for America’s woes is not to say there is no solution. It is to say to those who have invested their time, money, energy and affection into the political theatre of American politics, it is time to shift gears. It is time to abandon this track, and move to another.

It is time for Plan B.

Go ahead. Get divorced from national politics. Make this your own personal secession. Say to hell with the lot of them.

Go ahead. Say it. Say it out loud. Now say it louder! The imperial federal government has designs and plans for your life. Tell them to get lost. Tell them you don’t care. Let them have their freak show.

Doesn’t it feel good? Free at last! Free at last! You no longer have to obsess with whatever these cretins do. You’re now in self-preservation mode, formulating your own strategies for your own life, and the lives of your loved ones. No more headline headaches! No more need to witness the endless, pointless debates on O’Reilly and his clueless clucks, governmental devotees, all. You don’t even have to raise a flag, if you don’t want to. It’s all about you and yours, baby, great Americans all.

Now, let’s initiate reprogramming.

I have devoted space on my web site to what patriotism is, and what it isn’t, so there is no need for redundancy, other than to say patriotism is simply love of country. How, then, shall we best express our rediscovered patriotism, now that we have been delivered from the evil clutches of governmental manipulation?

How shall we be a patriotic American? Here are a few simple steps that should be helpful.

1. Fall in love with liberty.

Remember liberty? You danced with her once, long ago, in a skating rink where there were no OSHA agents, waivers to sign, and no Gorebulbs lighting the joint. (But there were really big soda pop cups, and they were legal!) But somewhere, you got sidetracked into the freakish political sideshow which lulled you into a government-sanctioned hypnosis, and you dutifully started playing the game they designed for you right after you turned your skates in.

And then you noticed the change, and thought, “If only I vote for this person, all will be well again.” But that person went to the Beltway with his pocket full of promises, promptly contracted Potomac Fever, and forgot all about that couple skate you had with him.

Because you see, these people are all the same.

So, your heart is broken. That’s okay. Rebound with your old flame, Lady liberty. (Or her brother Larry, depending…)

2. Stop voting.

Voting in national elections is for suckers. Stop being a sucker. It is a ruse, a shell game, political theater designed to assuage the masses, who actually believe their participation in the scam matters. Presidents are selected, not elected, and their agendas are set for them. Whether it be a Bush or an Obama, the net result is more government. Democrat or Republican, it matters not. Can you name the last time a Republican was elected, and the result was smaller government? If you answered Reagan, it is time to recheck the facts. Government grew under Reagan, taxes were raised, and the federal bureaucracy grew, unabated.

If there is an actual viable candidate who could actually reverse the growth of government, he will not be permitted to win. Money buys elections, and candidates are pre-screened by the Council of Foreign Relations. Every four years, it is CFA Candidate A versus CFA Candidate B. Bush vs. Clinton. Clinton vs. Dole. Bush vs. Gore. Romney vs. Obama. It’s like looking in a mirror. A big, government mirror.

Voting must be seen as what it is. When you vote for someone, you are agreeing to be ruled over by whomever received your vote. You are ostensibly entering into a contract. You are saying, “Yes, I like you, and you have my permission to govern me.”

And really, must we actually go over the “less of two evils” non-argument?

Voting in these charades is a complete and utter waste of time and energy. Time is your most valuable asset. Do not waste it standing in line to punch a chad. Spend your time elsewhere. Save your gas.

3. Know Your Enemy

You have no greater threat to your well-being (on the physical side of the equation) than the imperial federal government, which exists to steal, loot, plunder, pillage, divest, harass, bully, investigate, interrogate, detain, molest, and audit you until the day you die, and even after that. The behavior of the Washington warlords is contemptible, yet they have the audacity to tell all we peasants everything they do is for our own safety and security, because there are evil doers in the world.

The evildoers are those oligarchs who presume to lord over us. There is your enemy, and no amount of voting ever changes this. You do not change the nature of the beast.

Forget Isis. Forget the Taliban. Forget al-Qaeda. Forget Syria, Libya, Iran, and Russia. These are phantoms, drummed up by the oligarchs. Are there violent Muslims? Absolutely. Was this a problem for us before we starting meddling in the affairs of sovereign nations? Absolutely not. There is a common thread here. The villain is consistent, if nothing else. The same government that wages perpetual wars on nation after nation after nation has also waged war on its own citizens. Unplug from the whole process. Identify your true enemy, then refuse to participate in any of his activities ever again. As an American, your devotion should naturally be to liberty. And the American government’s number one target is liberty, the very thing it has convinced so many it is protecting.

It is also time to come to grips with this patriotic reality: the American military is in bed with the American government, and willingly does its bidding. It is time for Americans to get over this misguided love affair with a military which has become nothing more than the bouncer in the government’s nightclub. If you think the military is defending your freedoms, your hypnosis-by-government is deep-seated. The military is a sacred golden calf to most Americans, but it is nothing more than a career program for most people who willingly go in it. Generally speaking, today’s military bears no resemblance whatsoever to the military of previous generations. Loathsome killers like Chris Kyle are not to be compared with true military heroes. It is time to slay this golden calf, once and for all. The military is doing you no favors.

4. Unplug the Big Bag Of Gas

Many well-meaning Americans think these radio and TV blowhards like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and their ilk on Fox News are actually “standing in the gap,” as it were, preaching daily about the excesses and offenses of government. But at the end of each day, their allegiance is to same. Their solutions are always political. They will always fall in line with a Romney, over an Obama, leading people to believe there is an actual difference, while showing nothing but contempt when an actual patriot is running for office. Read: Ron Paul. Seriously, Gasbag, just whose side are you on?

Nevermind, we already know the answer. Carry on, but really, you should consider untying the other half of your brain.

Instead of looking to these circus entertainers for inspiration, validation and solutions, unplug them and get on with your life. All they ever spout is the government line. True, perhaps a “less government” line, but a government line nonetheless.

5. Get off the grid.

I’m not necessarily talking about becoming one of the Alaskan Bush People, rather, I have practical measures in mind. Stop participating in any government activity, such as voting. Once you realize government is your enemy, formulate your plan as to how you will deal with this enemy. If your retirement plans include Social Security, it is time to make a new retirement plan. Never put any eggs in any government basket. Realize The Great Default is coming, and those who depend on government for sustenance are going to be in trouble. When the EBT cards no longer work, where do you want to be living? Save money. Cash money, and not in a bank. Store things people will always want or need: guns, booze, tobacco, toilet paper, food, and tools. If you’re in a city, buy some land and build a cabin. Have your escape route identified. This isn’t the talk of a nutter. No nation that is over $222 trillion in debt can sustain for long. Make sure there is an Orthodox Church wherever you go. Your soul is more important than your body.

6. Run for local office.

No, this isn’t a contradiction. My view of voting applies to the dog and pony shows known as national elections. The most effective way to initiate change is to do so at the local level. Run for town council. Run for a school board. Run for a seat on the homeowner’s association. Take office with scissors and veto pen in hand. Be a trendsetter. Help make liberty fashionable again down on Main Street. Pray it catches fire in the next town.

7. Start a blog.

Find your voice. Then find your fingers. Go to wordpress or blogger, and start pecking away. Write about liberty. Write recipes. Get creative. Do movie reviews. Start a youtube channel. It’s free. You have opinions: share them. Don’t worry about critics. Be prepared to be ignored and/or insulted by family and friends. Don’t worry about it. Keep going. If you get good at it, you can create a revenue stream.

Whatever you do, blog, Facebook, youtube, or something else, remember this: there is simply no political solution for all that ails America. America as we knew it is toast, and it is time to face that fact. It is over. But it is not hopeless. The time to rebuild will come after The Great Default.

Market yourself. Solution-oriented people will be in demand.

When The Great Default happens, it will be a bad day to be a politician. That’s why you don’t want the stink of American politics on you at all. Go wash your hands, and get on with your life.

The oligarchs’ day is coming, sooner or later.

O Happy Day…

© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe

Why The American Revolution Was A Mistake

 

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This weekend, millions of Americans will use the occasion of a federal holiday for all sorts of recreational activity, most likely caring little about the whys and wherefores.

This isn’t to condemn a good time. It is to revisit the whys and wherefores.

If pressed on the reason for the holiday, one may say they are celebrating our independence from England. But that’s probably the only consideration given to the idea.

If an American could compare the liberties he enjoys with those of a pre-Revolutionary War colonist, he might well wish to find the nearest time machine and switch shoes. And wearing those shoes, perhaps he would have opportunity to read the words of Thomas Jefferson, with the ink barely dry on the Declaration of Independence:

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States.

In penning these words, Jefferson became the liar of the century. His assessment was verifiably false, yet his words have had resounding historical impact.

The colonists actually had a sweet deal, particularly with taxation. The total burden of British imperial taxation was about 1% of national income, and no higher than 2.5% in the southern colonies.

How’d ya like rates like that now, American?

Alvin Rabushka penned his massive Taxation in Colonial America in 2008. The Business History Review published a review, and offered their summary:

Rabushka’s most original and impressive contribution is his measurement of tax rates and tax burdens. However, his estimate of comparative trans-Atlantic tax burdens may be a bit of moving target. At one point, he concludes that, in the period from 1764 to 1775, “the nearly two million white colonists in America paid on the order of about 1 percent of the annual taxes levied on the roughly 8.5 million residents of Britain, or one twenty-fifth, in per capita terms, not taking into account the higher average income and consumption in the colonies” (p. 729). Later, he writes that, on the eve of the Revolution, “British tax burdens were ten or more times heavier than those in the colonies” (p. 867). Other scholars may want to refine his estimates, based on other archival sources, different treatment of technical issues such as the adjustment of intercolonial and trans-Atlantic comparisons for exchange rates, or new estimates of comparative income and wealth. Nonetheless, no one is likely to challenge his most important finding: the huge tax gap between the American periphery and the core of the British Empire.(1)

In 1775, it would have been harder to find a freer nation on Earth than Great Britain. And in the British Empire, the colonists were by far the freest. Today’s Americans who believe they enjoy freedoms would be shell-shocked if they were transported back to 1775. Unless they were a slave, they would be living in the freest nation on Earth: British North America.

Generally, the colonists bought what the Continental Congress was selling when they declared independence on July 2, 1776, but were clueless as to what they were about to lose. They would soon pay a price in blood, treasure and debt. Just seven years after the Declaration was signed, tax rates had tripled. Rabushka writes:

Historians have written that taxes in the new American nation rose and remained considerably higher, perhaps three times higher, than they were under British rule. More money was required for national defense than previously needed to defend the frontier from Indians and the French, and the new nation faced other expenses.

By signing the Declaration, the colonists were now exposed to what they had not been exposed to prior to July 2, 1776: British tyranny, something which did not exist in North America on July 1, 1776.

As Al Pacino in Scent Of A Woman might say: “You think you got tyranny? I’ll show you tyranny!”

After the American Revolution, 46,000 American loyalists fled to Canada. They were not willing to swear allegiance to the new colonial government. The retained their loyalty to the nation that had delivered to them the greatest liberty on earth. They had not committed treason.

Why would they?

Nobody views the signers as treasonous. As Sir John Harrington (1561-1612) said:

Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.

Victors, you see, always write the history books.

Conrad Black, Canadian-born historian and member of the House of Lords maintains the colonists were wrong to overthrow the Crown. He writes:

It is verging on secular heresy to make the point, especially in the week of July 4, but the American colonists didn’t have much to complain about, either. The British pretension that the Mother of Parliaments could represent the Americans although they had no members of it was nonsense, especially as America had 30 percent of the population of Great Britain by the Revolution, and was the most prosperous British entity. But the taxes imposed were less than the British Isles were already paying; Britain gave the Americans a year to propose alternative sources of revenue; and all Britain was seeking was help in reducing the national debt, which had doubled during the Seven Years’ War (largely owing to the effort to throw the French out of Canada, at the insistence of the Americans). The original tea partiers, disguised as Indians, were overreacting to a tax that was confined to tea and was not excessive. Their current emulators are less colorful and imaginative.

The colonists had the better of the argument with the British, but individual Americans did not have substantively more liberties at the end of the Revolution than they had had at the beginning, nor more than the British in the home islands had (then or now or at any time in between), apart from having a resident sovereign government. The whole American notion of liberty came from the British, along with the common law and the English language. If the Americans had maintained their British status, they would control Britain and Canada and Australia and New Zealand now (another 120 million people and over $5 trillion of GDP), have all their energy needs met, and enjoy better government than they have actually endured for the past 20 years. It would have been much easier to abolish slavery and, if there had been a Civil War, it would not have lasted long, nor cost a fraction of the 750,000 American lives that it did. There would have been no World Wars or Cold War, or at least no conflict remotely as perilous as those were. The United States would also have less than its current 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated people, and wouldn’t have a legal cartel that devours 10 percent of its GDP. These are matters that, though they verge on secular heresy, Americans may want to consider, in between singing splendid anthems and rereading Jefferson’s defamation of poor old George III and his blood libel on the American Indian in the Declaration of Independence, this national holiday.(2)

The newly-minted Americans (and their descendants) did not handle their newfound liberty well. The War ended in 1781, and just eight years later, the infamous Constitution was foisted upon the unruly colonies. The Constitution did what its defenders ostensibly vowed it would not do: localize power and control in a central State. It was all downhill from there, with Washington bureaucrats flexing their governmental muscle with the Alien and Sedition Act, which allowed imprisonment of people for speech critical of the federal government. Still to come was Lincoln’s obscene War of Northern Aggression, his brazen and bloody federal power grab, and the Great Depression, where the federal government, responsible for causing distress for the citizenry, took advantage of the monster they created to justify its ideology and social re-engineering.

The American Revolution was a mistake simply because the end result was less freedom. It did not take all that long for the colonists to devolve from living in an almost utopian existence, as far as liberty goes, to being subjects all over again, only to a much more heartless King with a thousand faces. In presuming to throw off a non-existence yoke of tyranny, we made ourselves slaves. We had not been liberated. We had been imprisoned, all now servants of a Godless oligarchy whose sole reason for existence was, and is to empower themselves at the expense of those it presumes to lord over. Americans who are not feasting at the government-set table of taxpayer funded benefits must now work half the year to meet their tax obligations. If liberty is what the American values, consider:

We are not free to travel.
We are not free to have a private conversation on our cell phones.
We are not free to do as we wish on property we say we own.
We are not free to drink raw milk.
We are not free to do as we wish with regards to health care.
We are not free to fish or hunt.
We are not free to take money out of a bank.
We are not free to carry firearms.
We are not free to start a business without permission.
We are not free to rent a home we own to whomever we wish.
We are not free to travel with cash.
We are not free to fly the flag of our choosing.
We are not free to speak our mind about sexual deviancy.
We are not free to sell lemonade in our front yard.
We are not free to collect rainwater.
We are not free to have yard sales.
We are not free to buy a Big Gulp.

The Declaration of Independence, inadvertently or not, made slaves of us all, and here we sit, 239 years hence, shackled in the bonds of the Godless American government.

We are not free!

We now live under the absolute fist of tyranny. There is no cause for celebration this weekend, as the actions of the signers laid the foundation for the quickly budding new empire. In throwing off the non-tyrannical Crown, thus creating a monster where there was none, they planted the seeds for what we have today, the sprouts beginning to show just eight years after their faulty decision.

Had you lived in 1775, would you have been a loyalist, or a revolutionary? Before you answer, consider again living in an era where the central government exacted 1% of the nation’s wealth. Consider living in an era where there was no income tax.

Would you describe this as living under tyranny?

The political answer for all this is for another column to come. But for now, enjoy the weekend festivities, the fireworks, picnics and baseball games.

And make sure you have a permit for it all. You wouldn’t want to celebrate without governmental authorization.

Whatever I may do this weekend, one could find me doing any weekend.

Independence Day is one holiday I won’t be celebrating.

(1) – hbs.edu/businesshistory/publications
(2) – Conrad Black. Post Colonial Killing Fields. conradmblack.com

Donald Trump, Problem Child

donald-trump

Republican Party chairman Rence Priebus has a problem. More specifically, Rence Priebus has a problem child. One of his announced beauty pageant contestants isn’t toeing the company line, going instead on his own self-financed hyperbolic path, cutting through the primary scripts like Joan Crawford at a read-through.

Donald Trump comes as advertised; a self-promoting, grandiose narcisissitic monument in black and gold. He glories in the spotlight he paid for, using his considerable wealth to purchase attention. He is a deft showman, much like Muhammad Ali in the Frazier days, perpetually working his jaw, not caring whether John Q. loved or hated him, as long as he bought tickets to the fight.

Trump would not be entering the fray were he merely the junior senator from, say, Ohio, with a net worth of $15 million or so. He feeds on the spectacle of it all, and would not abide being on the end of the debate stage, a secondary, minor figure who barely got the invite, and is constantly traveling, speech-making, begging for cash.

He is reveling in being number one in the polls and a daily headline maker, not sweating the pink slips of NBC and Macy’s. No matter what the outcome, he will laugh all the way to the bank, bothered not a whit by the superficial outrage exhibited by his former suitors.

Trump is the ultimate Party-crashing maverick, dumping his private jet fuel into Priebus’ punch bowl, mocking the GOP “Big Tent” mantra while buying a bigger tent. No matter the rules, Trump writes his own. He is a brash hot potato who will be handled by no one. One can imagine the recent phone call between the two.

“Donald, I want to lay out for you some general guidelines for the GOP primary.”

“Oh really, Rence? I thought you were calling for some real estate investment advice. Good day to you.”

We live in the Fadlands. We go from one craze to the next, shifting our attention with each successive news cycle, where we are instructed on where to direct our outrage. Comes now Donald John Trump, he of the wavy, golden feathery cloud, pursed lips and the who-shall-be-my-next-target sneer. With the skill of an Escalade salesman in a room full of newly-signed NBA rookie millionaires, Trump latches onto a red meat issue such as illegal immigration like a pit bull on steroids, barking into TV cameras how the Mexican desperadoes are wrecking the nation.

Whether Trump is being sincere or superficial is anybody’s guess, but he has shrewdly tapped into the raw emotions of millions of Americans who are genuinely fed up with crimes committed by people who are not supposed to be here.

Suddenly, it matters not how much money he has, what he looks like, how he talks, or whether he is an actual conservative. Here’s a guy who isn’t playing footsie with an issue close to home. Here’s the big man coming down amongst all we little people, peering into our backyards and saying, “There’s a bad guy in your back yard, and together, you and I are going to evict him.”

“I’ll tell ya Agnes, I’m taking another look at this Trump feller.”

Sleeping together now in their big brass Beltway bed, we have the American oligarchy and their dutiful lovers, the American media, both clucking “Tsk, tsk,” to the non-conformist renegade, decrying his brash-ness, dismissing him as being a mere circus showman. Trouble is, this showman requires neither their money or approval, and their fear is warranted: they will not be able to control The Donald.

And this is the appeal of Trump. The American people sense he cannot be bought, thus he gets a pass from the usual envy given to the mega-wealthy. They smell blood in the political waters, stirred up by an unbroken stallion who is a lot of things, but he isn’t one of them – the them being one of the Washington political animals. Trump is somehow managing to convince the Farmer Jones that he is one of the common folk, sick and tired of the same things the Jones’ are, as he delivers his sales pitch, accessed by Tiffany cufflinks.

It is glorious theater. Who doesn’t love to see a politician sweat? There they are, lions on pedestals in a cage, as Trump enters with a whip and wooden chair. Wa-pow! Get back, Lindsey Graham, you little runt! Wa-pow! Back off, Rubio!

Wa-pow! Wa-pow! Wa-pow!

It took three for Christie.

Lost in the shuffle, of course, are the real issues facing the nation. Trump is focused on the issue making headlines, and since we live fad to fad, he is being rewarded with the number one slot in the polls.

As of this writing, there is nothing on Trump’s presidential web site devoted to his stance on any issue. Nary a peep.

Therein lieth the problem.

Where is Trump on ending perpetual wars?
Where is Trump on eliminating entire federal departments?
Where is Trump on ending the Federal Reserve, and taxation as we know it?
Where is Trump on repealing Obamacare?
Where is Trump on ending the wars on drugs, poverty and terror?

And on and on it goes. Oh, and one more little item here, Donald J:

Could you please explain to the Jones family here your donations to the Clinton and Rahm Emmanuel campaigns?

Donald Trump is all about one thing: Donald Trump, and that is what Americans have to remember. He is a bottle rocket that will ultimately flame out. When it dawns on him that despite his vast wealth, the even wealthier GOP machine will not abide his getting the nomination, he will retreat back to Trump Tower, fortune intact, ego carefully shipped in bubble wrap back to headquarters.

It is fun watching him run amok, upsetting everybody’s apple cart. And to be fair, he chose a great issue with which he could make hay. That he happens to be right about it only adds to his appeal.

But the fun will soon be over, and when they bring down the curtain on this political theater where the scripts are written before the race even begins, we will be given two drones as our presidential candidates. Wise is the American who refuses to be suckered by this meaningless charade.

Where will Trump be on inauguration day, 2017?

The same place he is every day. In front of his mirror, primping to go in front of a camera.

© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe

Crawling Out From Under The Desk

desk

Recently, Barack Obama selected Marine General Joseph Dunford to succeed General Martin Dempsey as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That means Dunford will be the top mac military daddy, and will be bending the president’s ear on all things involving everything from the best Gomer Pyle reruns, to whether we use nuclear weapons on Iran.

Or, as George W. Bush would say: “nucular.”

Dunford stood before the press after his appointment, and proceeded to identify Russia as the number one threat to the security of the United States.

That’s right. Russia.

Not Islam.
Not China.
Not North Korea.
Not Iran.
And glaringly, not, uh, Isis.

My grandmother often used an expression whenever she would hear some troubling news from Walter Cronkite, or Paul Harvey. I was but a wee lad then, but remember her one-word conclusion to the cause of all evil in the world.

She would recount the news, shake her head and utter, “Russia! Russia!”

It is humorous to remember it now, and when she would utter such a thing, it had a tinge of truth to it, for back in those days, Russia was indeed a different place. It was part of the old Soviet Union, mired in the hopeless clutches of God-less communism, led by despots who followed in the footsteps of Lenin and Stalin.

Not long before I started elementary school, students would routinely be given bomb drills, where an alarm would sound, and they would quickly huddle under their desks, waiting until the all-clear was given. The air of imminent attack from the great world evil was ever present. Soviet ballistic missiles were parked in Cuba, 90 miles from Florida. Nikita Khrushchev seemed postured to obliterate the west as we knew it.

The Cold War was on.

And The Cold War continued until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989.

The Cold War was over.

Cemented in the minds of a generation of Americans, however, was an image of Russia as the nuclear-armed bear, an ever-present threat to our homeland. The fall of the USSR did little to cause most of them to reconsider the paradigm. To this day, the mention of Russia has them looking for furniture to crawl under.

Such Americans likely know little of Russian history, pre-Lenin. The roots of Russia are firmly planted in Orthodox Christianity which was brought to the Slavs by Saints Cyril and Methodius in the year 988.

The Russian and Bolshevik Revolutions in 1917 resulted in the assassinations of the Tsar Nicholas II, Tsaritsa Alexandra, and their children, Crown Prince Alexis, and Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia, the holy royal family thus becoming martyrs. Lenin assumed power, ushering in the socialist state. The USSR was born, and a time of great persecution was visited on Christians behind the Iron Curtain at the hands of Lenin, and his successor, Stalin.

Stalin’s successors were all committed to the dominance of the socialist state on the world stage, thus, the fears of a generation of Americans were justified.

That was then.

This is now.

With the fall of the Soviet Union, and the rise of Russia under its leader, the Orthodox Christian Vladimir Putin, Russia stands in stark contrast to its former image. Russia is on the rise again, and has re-embraced its Christian moorings. As America continues its rapid decline into the moral sewer, led by socialist politicians, Russia now stands as a beacon of light on the world stage, a truly Christian nation with no tolerance for perversions America now proudly flaunts.

It would be good for American Christians to hit their reset button and revisit Russia in the light of its pre-Soviet history, and its current state. No longer is Russia the bad guy. The bad guys are people like Joseph Dunford and John McCain who still view Russia in a Soviet paradigm.

This is not your elementary school principal’s Russia.

Still in the American news media, Russia is cast as evil, and this notion continues to be embraced by the American oligarchs. It serves a useful purpose. It is good for Russia to remain in this role, in order to justify the ever expanding American empire. By and large, Americans fall for the bait.

Some things never change. Just wave the flag, and the gullible are on board.

Russia, however, is flowering again, as liberty for Russians spreads its wings, amidst a dawn of rediscovery of its Christian roots. Right under our noses, we have passed each other like ships in the night, with Putin undoubtedly watching in astonishment as America embraces the Godless hell Russia has exited.

Russia is what America never was: a Christian nation.

“But wait, the Supreme Court declared in 1892 that America is a Christian nation!”

And the Supreme Court decided last month that Ben and Jerry can do more than just make ice cream.

It’s time to reconsider Russia. It is also time to reconsider the emptiness of American protestantism, which has no more in common with Christianity than Taco Bell has with Mexican food.

And may the memories of the holy royal Martrys of Russia be eternal.

© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe

No, Dorothy, Republicans Are Not Conservatives

mccain

 

For most of my life, I had bought into the notion that America had two major political parties, one being the party of liberalism and government largess, the other being the party of conservatism and the reduction of government.

I “came of age” politically very early.   I remember being transfixed at age 7, not by The Lone Ranger, but by the Republican national convention in Miami.   The year was 1968. Richard Nixon easily won the nomination on the first ballot, defeating Nelson Rockefeller and Ronald Reagan, and ultimately, Hubert Humphrey in the general election.  I was fascinated by the theater.   He was re-elected in 1974 and succeeded by Gerald Ford, who was defeated by Jimmy Carter in 1976.

It was about this time that it became clear to me of a divide within the GOP.  The small-government advocacy in Ronald Reagan’s rhetoric found a home among many Americans wary of government excess, and he roared to victory in 1980, swamping the hapless incumbent.   He easily won re-election, and was succeeded by the first Bush.

All along, I was a dutiful Republican.   I remained that way because I never paused to look beyond the rhetoric which politicians employ to get elected.    Reagan understood that a large portion of the electorate was weary of large government, tired of over-taxation, and bureaucratic overreach.  Thus, the Great Communicator connected with them successfully, and was rewarded with two terms.  Bush 41 rode the Reagan coattails to victory, while not nearly as eloquent, or critical of huge government as his predecessor.  He led us to war, then lost to Clinton who had two terms and ostensibly maintained the status quo.  Then came George W. Bush, who borrowed the term “conservative” from  Reagan, attached “compassionate” to it, and proceeded to preside over the grossest expansion and overreach of the federal government in American history.

It was at some point during W’s second term that I stepped off the train.

All along, I had identified myself as a conservative.  The day it dawned on me that a lot of people who also claimed to be conservative were actually not is the day I began a complete political reevaluation, which included an inspection of what the term conservative must actually mean.  I’d always assumed that a conservative was a person who believed in smaller, limited government.   However, as those claiming to be conservatives continued to be elected, government only got larger and larger.   Reagan is the darling of those in the conservative movement. The fact of the matter is that under Reagan, government got larger.

Much larger.   In fact, no federal bureaucracy ended, as one might expect to happen with a conservative president. Reagan had promised to eliminate the departments of Education and Energy, but expanded them instead.  The man who famously told us the nine most terrifying words were “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” added 324,000 employees to the federal bureaucracy.   It’s a dirty little secret Reagan devotees never share, if they even know:   the federal government of the United States exploded with growth under him.   And where government grows, liberty shrinks.

And that was billed as conservatism.

And this has been enough for most American voters.  Identify the candidate who espouses the familiar rhetoric and support him.   As long as he is a Republican, or a conservative, that’s our guy.   And that is the extent of their investment into the process.   Along comes W, claiming the mantle of conservatism, and he has an instant base.   Nevermind whether he actually is a conservative.   He says he is, hence, punch that chad right there.

And punch it.   Punch it real good.

But make sure you punch it for the Republican, because it is Republicans who generally claim the mantle of conservatism. And there are people who will look for the “R” and vote accordingly, because, well….that’s just how they roll.   I mean, you don’t expect me to actually have to think about this, do you?

After watching the blatant, no holds barred assault on any vestige of restraint with regards to the growth of government by Bush 43, I paused to reconsider the definition of the term conservatism.

I knew what meant by the term.  To me, conservatism meant a massive reduction in the size of scope of the federal government.   But it had become obvious that the GOP had another definition for the word.  Hence, someone’s definition was wrong.  Mine, or theirs.

What does one do when there is confusion about terminology?   One goes back to the old dictionary, of course.   And there I found what should have been obvious all along.    To conserve something simply means to maintain what is, as is.   Don’t change a thing. So if we have a massive, bloated federal bureaucracy, the conservative will want to maintain it.

But let’s not get too legalistic with them, as they don’t really ever leave things as they are.    Government, to the conservative, is like a bowl of ice cream.   Since it’s actually really good, another scoop of it would be even better.

And this is where the roads all run together.   This is where the curtain is pulled back on this biennial dog and pony show known as elections.   This is where one actually discovers that what the Republican Party really wants is the exact same thing that the Democratic Party really wants:  more government.   More power.   More control.   And most importantly, the eradication of liberty for the masses ignorant enough to continue participating in this scam, this shell game known as elections.  The fact is that Americans are lorded over by an oligarchy of a few thousand politicians and bureaucrats inside the D.C. beltway who live in a whole ‘nother taxpayer-funded universe.   They produce nothing.   They create nothing.  They contribute nothing.   They benefit no one.   They are leeches, federal blood suckers whose mission in life is to create havoc and turmoil for everyone who is not beholden to the same lord and master they worship.  They worship at the altar of Lincoln.  Their chalice bears the likeness of Roosevelt, and is filled with taxpayer bounty.   They are the demons of the State, the sworn enemies of anyone with the stink of liberty on their minds.

But all we must do is elect another Republican to change all this, right?

Actually, the title of this diatribe is a tad misleading.   Republicans really are conservative, if one uses their definition, which obviously equates conservatism with government largess, a never-ending expansion of the State, and perpetual empire building via war after war after war.   Really, when is the last time a Republican cut anything?   When is the last time a Republican eliminated any – any – federal department?  Is it really that hard?  Would any American be devastated were he to find out tomorrow morning that the Department of Energy had been shuttered?

I’ve had to abandon the term and find a new one.   My new term must be defined thusly:   one who wishes to see the federal government obliterated.  Libertarian?  Anarchist?   Minarchist?  Monarchist?   Philosophical free agent?

The federal government does nothing for me.   Not a thing.   All it does is obstruct and assault.   Any plan I wish to pursue, there is some bureaucrat somewhere, watching (on camera, no doubt), lying in wait to foil it.  If you’re inclined toward liberty, the federal government and its dutiful gatekeepers, the GOP and the DNC, both one and the same, are your sworn enemy.

What are those who are devotees of liberty to do?   First, awaken to the scam.  Second, live your life according to the path you have chosen, and repel as best you can any incursion on your life and liberties from any government to the best of your ability.  Third, refuse to participate in the scams known as national elections, as there is no political solution to all that ails Amerika.   The person who votes is giving his consent to be governed by these statist monsters, these enemies of freedom. Refuse to play their game.

Just imagine…..what if no one voted?

Now to the loyalist, that is to say, to the person who has sold his soul to the State, this sounds like treasonous talk.  One might have said the same of the founders, who employed language like this toward their oppressors.   Ironically, the burdens imposed on the colonists by the Crown were far, far less egregious than those we bear today.

The sooner the reader wakes up to the fact that the imperial federal government of the United States is your sworn enemy, and that no politician is going to change this, the sooner he can start living his life as far away from Uncle Sam’s plantation as possible.

Saddle your horses.   Let’s ride.

If I Knew You Were Coming, I’d Not Have Baked A Cake

Lincoln Memorial

 

We’re in perilous times in America, for sure.   Each day, we see a further encroachment on whatever liberties we have left from all sides, particularly from the federal government, which perpetually not only fumbles the ball given it by the citizenry, but takes it and runs the wrong way.  Its sole legitimate task is to defend the liberties of Americans, yet it is the single greatest offender of same. The list of governmental offenses against us would fill the pages of a really large book, yet the oligarchs who lord over us from the hallowed Beltway have managed to create boogey-men and phantoms that we are told are the real threat.   And it matters not if the president has an ‘R’ or a ‘D’ by his name:   the villains remain the same, and we are constantly barraged with propaganda on television, radio, American “news” outlets and sporting events.  The enemies of America are anywhere but in Washington, so stand, remove your caps, put your hand over your dutiful American heart and sing your approval as the fighter jets flyover.   Why, to do otherwise would be unpatriotic!   And if you’re not in lockstep, you must be some kind of commie.

We see (taxpayer funded)  advertisements on television bombarding us with the non-subliminal, but flagrant message that we are free because the Army, or Navy, or Coast Guard, or whomever, is dutifully standing watch, and keeping the bad guys at bay.   Then we click our remotes, turn off the bedside lamp, and sleep in peace, our Pavlovian mutterings being “Yes, Master…..”

It’s an odd thing to see, for sure.  We can view daily rants on Facebook from people who are fed up with this politician, or that politician in one post, followed by a post glorifying the military.  Such a poster evidently never draws the line from point A to point B.   It never seems to dawn on them that both entities are on the same team.  Oh come on!  The military are the good guys, right?

The contempt for group A (The Beltway Bullies) is at complete odds with the honor and praise given to group B, which carries out the agenda of Group A, willingly, voluntarily, and gladly.  It never dawns on them that if their legitimate disgust with the Washington criminals ever matured into actual non-resistance against same, that it would be the military which would shut down any attempt to make personal liberty a reality again.

In a related vein, we read every day of ordinary Americans going about their lives peaceably, motoring down a highway with the unmitigated gall of actually carrying a weapon with which to defend themselves, only to be accosted by those other, related “heroes in blue” who have no qualms whatsoever with divesting the “person of interest” of their chosen weapon, any cash they might have on them, and the vehicle in which they were hauling the forbidden contraband.

No sir.  They wear a badge.   Hence, they are heroes, too, you commie pinko.

All this has happened within a generation.   All this was actually foretold in a prophecy by a president, no less, as Eisenhower left office.  But the constant barrage of governmental commercialism on our airwaves and sporting events has lulled masses of Americans into a state of hypnosis, and there they sit in their La-Z-Boys with a tear rolling down their cheek as they swig their Budweiser and raise a “Hell yeah!” as the jets fly over, and the gentlemen start their engines.

Sorry.   As the drivers start their engines.

The hypnosis has successfully turned Americans into worshippers of the all-holy State, and those who do its bidding, the military, and those heroic “first responders,” and no real American would ever dare question such hallowed institutions or ideals.   To do so would cause one to be an outcast, an enemy, anything other than what they really are.

It’s just so much easier not to be troubled with the perpetual hard work of the maintenance of liberty.   Just get in line, citizen, take out your state-sanctioned songbook and sing along with us.

It’s a big pill to swallow, because it afflicts the soul seeking comfort, but the fact remains that political and military idolatry leads to tyranny and totalitarianism, and turns hardened serial killers like Chris Kyle and the occasional cop who shows zero restraint with his temperament, and his weapon into heroes.   The mind given over to the state never draws the distinction.

It is hard as hell to wake a body up from such a hypnosis.  Often, they’re only cured when the monster comes a-calling to their own front door, or driver’s window.

Tertullian said that there are three forms of idolatry, the first being cultural or the poetic.   We see that all around us, in our desensitized, American Idol culture.   The only thing that rattles the cages of a lot of Americans is when their cable TV goes out.

He states the second form of idolatry is philosophical, meaning gods created by our own speculation.   We see this all around us, in political, academic and religious circles.   We’ve got more false gods in these three circles than we can count.   Sometimes, the gods intermingle, like when a “church” has a “military appreciation day,” and the dutiful worshippers suspend whatever god is usually on their theatrically-constructed stage in order to worship the State and those aforementioned heroic “first responders,” who are on the front lines, protecting us against, uh……

I’m sorry.   Who are they protecting us from again?

The third form of idolatry is political, and the demonisms that are inherent within.  It is the most insidious, because herein lieth the sword.   If a person refuses to worship at the altar of the all-holy State, they are ultimately faced with the prospect of standing on the wrong side of a gun.

Tertullian was spot on.   Then again, he’d not been bombarded with all the state-worshipping media Americans are exposed to constantly.  But were I a skull doctor, it is the Tertullian tonic I’d be prescribing to those exposed to this military hypnosis.

Such talk is rare in America.   Talk like this and you are automatically relegated to the back of the room, uninvited to gatherings, and – horror of horrors – defriended on Facebook.   But it is the truth.

And the Jeffersons, Madisons, Paines, Adams and Henrys of the world would be “liking” and applauding such a post.

Then again, they never integrated love of liberty with love of military.

Outraged Mad Men

 

rhett

“Where shall I go? What shall I do?”

Scarlett O’Hara asked the tearful question of her exasperated suitor, who had finally given up on his decade-long pursuit of her love.

Frustrated , Rhett Butler replied, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

The year was 1939, and audiences across America gasped in horror at the profanity used in the epic Gone With The Wind. Such profanity had been banned by the Motion Picture Association’s 1930 Production Code.

A few years later, Americans were prevented from seeing the swiveling hips of Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show. Such behavior was scandalous, and not fit for public consumption.

Boy, how times have changed. The American moral code, needless to say, has been updated.

Recently, the much-maligned Paula Deen published a photo which depicted her as Lucy Ricardo. Her son was made up to resemble Ricky Ricardo, complete with “brown face.”

The outrage was immediate. The stereotype of Deen as a racist was reinforced.

Deen was cast as a racist when she revealed she had employed a racial epithet in the 1960’s.

I have a confession to make: I used a racial epithet in the 1960’s.

And the 1970’s.

And that’s all I wish to say on the matter.

I’m not a racist. Nor is dear Paula, I suspect.

But Paula has fallen victim to the new moral reset of America, where everything is upside down.

I like Paula Deen. She is a self-made success, the product of hard work and creativity. And, she uses lots of butter. She turned a lunch bag into a lucrative career. Then she made the colossal blunder of admitting to the most grievous of sins. She who talks much should have kept her mouth shut on past miscues. Broadcasting what wasn’t news cost her a fortune. If she wanted to cleanse her soul, she should have talked with a priest. Instead, she told Katie Couric. Or whoever.

There is no absolution in pop culture for those who violate its updated list of deadly sins. There is a new template out there which has replaced the Ten Commandments, and if you violate any of the new commandments, you’re instantly consigned to the eternal hell of public scorn, and loss of endorsements.

Paula wanted to do business with the pop culture, but she failed to read the New Ten Commandments:

1, Thou shalt not speak ill of African-Americans, unless you’re an African-Americann rapper, or unless the African-American in question is some sort of conservative like that turncoat Clarence Thomas.
2. Thou shalt not speak ill of Planned Parenthood.
3. Thou shalt embrace Barack Obama
4. Thy recipes shall be edited by his wife.
5. Thou shalt worship no other gods, save for dolphins and all plant life.
6. Thou shalt call perverts brave and courageous.
7. Thou shalt shed tears when Whoopi and Rosie have a spat.
8. Thou shalt conduct thyself domestically like the Kardashians.
9. Thou shalt take every opportunity to blaspheme Christians.
10. Thou shalt attend worship only where homosexuals are able to wed.

The old outrage is dead. It’s a new day, baby, and we fly by the seat of our low-hanging pants.

(Unless we’re men who now wish to be women.)

There is a saying by Saint Anthony, a monk who lived in the third century:

A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, ‘You are mad, you are not like us’.

We live in such a time. Those who choose to live by the original moral code are now the object of scorn, ridicule and persecution. They are in the crosshairs of the American culture, as are their children, who are now the prey of perverts.

Traditional marriage is on the ropes, its new definition rewritten by God-haters. Raising a houseful of children is now ridiculed and seen as bizarre. Better to have a couple of hand-selected innocents adopted by the depraved, such as Elton John and his husband, Roderick. (Or wife, or whatever/whomever.)

America has been completely feminized, the Ten Commandments smashed on the rocks by men with limp wrists, and replaced with a “flesh-first” policy. Those who were once laughed at for their outrageous behavior are now calling the societal shots.

The deranged are now running America. It’s Sodom and Gomorrah, Part 2.

All this was facilitated by the underpinnings of the sandy foundations of American protestantism, whose individualistic approach to all things theological has come to its predictable fruition, with everyone believing whatever they themselves see as right and proper. What began in their temples has come to its natural end in American society. It seemed innocent enough at the time. But it was deadly, as we now see, leaving millions of souls in peril. The correlation is still not seen by millions who remain attached to it, ever refusing to look outside the hellish bonds of really bad doctrine and practice.

As the Church goes, so goes society. And America’s church has always been the ultimate papism, where every man serves as his own pope.

So, what to do? The answer is not easy, but it is the only one. American Christians must disengage from society as much as humanly possible, and cling to the Church, the true Church, where salvation from all this mess is found. Most Americans still sacrifice at the wrong altar(s), precious children in tow.

There can be no compromise here. We cannot serve God and mammon. It is one or the other. And the God we serve must be the true God, not an improvised version of God created by the Protestant Reformation.

Paula Deen is toast. Unbuttered toast. So is America.

American Christians must decide to be Christians in America, having as little as possible to do with the Godless society which now surrounds us.

Soon enough, it will be gone with the wind.

Thank God.

© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe

It’s The Most Frustrating Time Of The Year

April 15, Any Year

Sung to the tune of “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”

It’s the most frustrating time of the year
There are taxes a’plenty
lt’s almost Great Lent-y
I’m crabby, I fear
It’s the most frustrating time of the year

It’s the crap-crappiest season of all
With the CPA meetings
And government beatings
I’m paging Ron Paul
It’s the crap-crappiest season of all

There’ll be parties deducting
And stories constructing
Of windfalls once hidden below
There’ll be scary additions
And tales of contrition
Of profits from long long ago

It’s the most frustrating time of the year
But for H and R Block
They don’t suffer shell-shock
While they’re acting sincere
It’s the most frustrating time of the year

There’ll be those who sit idle
While we’re suicidal
And giving up half of our pay
But they keep on a-dancing
As we keep financing
And working while they get to play

It’s the most frustrating time of the year
Now with marriage for gays
And the world all ablaze
Someone get me a beer
It’s the most frustrating time
Oh the most frustrating time
It’s the most frustrating time

of the year!

© Copyright 2016 Tim Holcombe

Memorializing The Death Of Liberty

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All this weekend, we’ll see copious amounts of misguided ceremonies, celebrations, and Facebook posts, all dutifully falling in lockstep with the perpetual, government-sanctioned glorification of the military.

We are a nation that lives by its cliches, and that’s about as much thought as we ever put into anything. When facts conflict with the cliches, we howl with outrage, and reject them, preferring the comfort of the latter. Having to actually invest time and energy into re-thinking anything, such as our worldview, political philosophy, or religious beliefs simply does not appeal to our 30 minute sitcom generation.

Really. Does it simply never occur to anyone who uses the utterly worn-out and brainless cliche “support the troops” what they are babbling may actually need a rethink?

Do you really support the troops?

“Oh yes. After all, the troops are defending our freedoms!”

Really?

Cliches are thrown at us all the time, particularly by the federal government, and their willing bedfellows in the media. We hear them and often merely accept them, without pausing to reflect on their accuracy. Some things we’ve heard all our lives, just accepting them as true, never stopping to question whether it really is.

This is one of those weekends containing a holiday designed for more glorification of the federal government, under the guise of honoring dead soldiers. There’s nothing wrong with the latter, but if one looks closely, they will see what is really happening. For the all-holy State uses such an event to capitalize on the otherwise sincere emotions of people who generally accept whatever they hear as fact, as long as the information is wrapped up in red white and blue. I mean, come on, really. If what we hear is accompanied by marching bands, flags, “heroes” decked out in snappy outfits, who are we to question it? No good American would do such a thing, right?

It’s a difficult thing, this daring to question all the glossy glorification, and it is compounded by the fact that almost everyone has, or has had a loved one in the military, so they feel duty-bound to pledge their allegiance to a worldview that is fraught with error. After all, cousin Dave lost his leg in Iraq fighting for your freedoms. How dare you question The Big Picture, you pinko commie? This is America! Love it or leave it!

Ah, the cliches. Puked out with no actual thought required. Get yours today! (batteries not included.)

The mother who has a son in the Army serving in Iraq, or wherever, is wholly invested in the process, and is not likely to dare question the legitimacy of it. Why, to do so would be unpatriotic. She is not likely to embrace the objective truths, such as the fact that her son is doing the bidding of Barack Obama, or that his efforts (which may result in his death) have absolutely nothing to do with the defense of liberty, or America, or that he is a pawn being manipulated by elitists who have him wherever for all the wrong reasons.

The truth, it is said, is treason in an empire of lies. But she won’t listen to me. Nor will she listen to General Smedley Butler, who had the guts to tell the truth about the war scam. She is wholly invested in junior, and his dashing uniform. “Look at him, Myrtle. Isn’t he handsome?”

It is sad when he comes home with one leg, if that. But they both remain loyal to the USG that sent them. It is a deep-seated scam, this war racket.

The fact is, there are many Americans who actually have laid down their lives for the cause of liberty, although that simply is not the case today, when it comes to the American military, which has become nothing more than a career path for misguided souls who forfeit their autonomy to the God-less State, rather than choosing to, uh, Be All They Can Be.

Really. What is the purpose of a military? To defend liberty and freedom? Can anyone actually say with a straight face this is what the American military is doing today?

Seriously?

The American military is nothing more than a collection of pawns doing the bidding of powerful elitists whose sole purpose is the expansion of the American empire, and the lining of their own pockets. And if a few precious lives are lost in the process, then, hey, that’s just the cost of doing business. All this is supported by a massive media campaign designed to convince the American people that all that is being done is for their own good. All those pesky evildoers in lands far away are being held at bay by all these brave heroes who are protecting your freedoms.

How dare you question such a thing?

The simple fact is the greatest threat to our liberties is our own federal government, and anyone who dares mention this fact is ridiculed and subjected to scorn from the masses, including family members. Mobs are usually wrong. And the mobs who have been suckered into this scam are deadly wrong. As Americans, our allegiance should never be to a flag, or to a military doing the bidding of a government that has ostensibly declared war on us. Our allegiance should be to liberty, period, and the American who has the guts to actually peek behind the curtain to see what the hell is actually going on just might come around to understanding this.

This insidious, ensconced, State-first worldview has become firmly entrenched in America, and has trickled all the way down to our now-militarized police departments, who randomly divest ordinary Americans of their liberty and property. Every day, we can read stories of real Americans carrying real cash in their cars, who are pulled over by these “heroic first responders” who dutifully steal their cash from them. But we cannot be bothered with such information. It’s time for the game to come on (proceeded by the military glorification ceremonies.)

It’s a duplicitous worldview, to say the least. Plenty of Americans bash Obama in one breath, while lauding those in uniform who willingly do his bidding in the next, never stopping to consider the irony of such a notion.

There are people who actually do fight for our freedoms. People who do not wear uniforms, such as Edward Snowden, who dared to stand up to the State, and inform ordinary Americans what it is doing to us every day. After being told “if you see something, say something,” Snowden has to flee his own country to avoid imprisonment after doing his truly patriotic duty, only to be pillaged by the dutiful state loyalists as treasonous. But they have no problem whatsoever worshiping at the altar of mass murderers like Chris Kyle, who lustily did the bidding of his God, the State, killing those who constituted no threat whatsoever to the liberties of Americans. The only threat his victims possibly posed was to American servicemen who should not have been in their nation in the first place.

Like I said, mobs are almost always wrong. And mobs are fueled by misguided emotions, not thoughtful consideration of facts.

Southern Americans fought for their freedoms, when they were assaulted and warred upon by northern aggressors under the command of the bloodthirsty tyrant, Abraham Lincoln. Soldiers in World Wars one and two were sincere and well intended, and were nothing like those who willingly volunteer today to do the bidding of the State. They had no choice, no access to media where they might learn the actual truth about what was happening, and had to serve, or face imprisonment, or worse. In those days, the mask had not been removed from the federal government. Today, the mask is removed, but most Americans, wholly invested in government-as-Savior, simply refuse to look at the truth.

This ain’t your daddy’s military.

It is good and fitting that we memorialize the dead, that we pause and reflect on the sacrifices they made in defense of liberty. It is also good and fitting that we wise up and understand just who actually did such a thing. The shoe simply does not fit everyone who ever wore a uniform and died while doing so.

If Americans truly wish to honor real fallen heroes, they would rise up, expose and oppose every effort their government makes to divest them of their freedoms. They would understand, finally, that the biggest enemy to their liberty is their own government, and everyone who wears a uniform today does its bidding.

This Memorial Day, take a stand for liberty. If you have a loved one in the military, do everything you possibly can to encourage them to get out, and get about the very real business of defending freedom, which is far better done sans uniform.

That would be a great first step. And that would take courage.

But courage was once the hallmark of most Americans.

© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe

Poking Holes In The Big Bag Of Gas

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In 1991, I was a dutiful Republican, a Bush-supporting neoconservative extraordinaire. I’d come close to tears in 1976 as the GOP rejected Ronald Reagan, staying with that charismatic pillar of small government, Gerald Ford.

Reagan roared back, winning it all, four years later, his glorious rhetoric intact. Of course, Reagan’s rhetoric was only that, as he successfully delivered even bigger government to America, complete with higher taxation and more federal regulations as he made his exit.

But that wasn’t his biggest offense.

His biggest blunder occurred prior to his assuming the presidency, when he selected a GOP establishment golden boy as his running mate. Reagan became a PINO – president in name only, as Bush loyalists ostensibly ran the Reagan White House, including Reagan’s own chief of staff, Howard Baker.

I didn’t know or care at the time, as I was a GOP homeboy, assuming the company line was true: Republicans were for small, limited government, and opposed to all forms of welfare. Thus, I would vote in each cycle for anybody with an “R” by their name. I was all in.

I remained all in as Bush the Senior lied, and raised taxes. Then he shooed the Iraqis out of Kuwait. But it was all justifiable, because after all, he was a Republican.

It was during his Gulf War that I first heard Rush Limbaugh on the radio. Limbaugh confirmed everything I believed, preaching conservatism, touting all-things military, while demonizing Democrats, or anybody who wasn’t a Republican. He was, and is, an extremely gifted showman, as comfortable behind his “golden EIB microphone” as Bruce Jenner is at Victoria’s Secret. His funny parodies, and perpetual mocking of the liberal bad guys, was hugely entertaining. And people listened. Boy, did they listen. At his peak, Limbaugh single-handedly saved AM radio, while drawing an audience of 20 million. He was a force to be reckoned with.

By the middle of George W. Bush’s second term, the scam was up for me. By that point, I had come to realize what a shell game American politics is. No matter how many Republicans took office, the result was no different than having a Beltway full of Democrats. Government, huge already, only grew exponentially. The welfare state grew, taxes grew, regulations grew, more bureaucracies were created, crony capitalism between the governmental monolith and Wall Street had its choke-hold on the American economy, and perpetual war was the order of the day.

Was. And is.

Ultimately, I realized the Beltway Oligarchy for what it is, an amalgam of huge government-loving cretins who exist at the expense of taxpayers, and live to rule and remain in power.

I seceded from it all.

Limbaugh has not.

He remains, faithfully trumpeting his adoration of the latest gaggle of GOP goons who would assume power and carry on the same policies employed by the Bush dynasty. He claims to be a conservative. And he is correct, for conservatism has become clearly defined now as a philosophy which seeks to conserve what is.

And all the while, I had thought conservatism mean to reduce what is.

Boy, do I have egg on my face. Sucker!

So here The Big Bag Of Gas sits to this day, booming his worship of the Walkers, Rubios, and Cruzes, while never bothering to ask the essential, “So, what are any of you boys gonna do to actually reduce the size of the federal government?”

He doesn’t ask, because he doesn’t care. Limbaugh is all in for perpetual war, never bothering to actually consider the folly of the Bush policy. Never does he call for an obliteration of any federal department. He just sits there, blustering his disapproval for wretched Supreme Court decisions, ever failing to put two and two together.

Yo, BBoG: Just who the hell do you believe put these robes into power?

Anyone who actually seriously proposes a true reduction in the size and scope of government is demonized and ridiculed by Limbaugh, and dismissed as a crackpot. Anyone who actually would eliminate entire federal departments is either ignored completely, or treated with scorn and contempt. Put Ed Snowden in the electric chair. Rush will be happy to throw the switch.

Anyone who dares to question Limbaugh will be wed to futility. One caller sought to enlighten him as to the truth about the Reagan presidency, and how “Ronaldus Magnus” actually delivered bigger government. He was cutoff in mid sentence and summarily dismissed with Limbaugh bellowing that “you are the prime example of an ideology which simply must be defeated at election time!”

You want the truth, El Rushbo? You can’t handle the truth!

There he sits, safely ensconced behind his golden EIB microphone, ignorant coward that he is, a man who simply will not have his philosophy challenged for the simple reason he cannot defend it. Ever the American nationalist, Limbaugh is quick to wave his flag and idolize the military which for him can do no wrong, never pausing to consider that, hey, buddy……this is big government, too.

Any encroachment upon his camouflaged god will never be tolerated. Limbaugh pukes out a lie, such as “Obama is gutting the military!” (would that he actually were) while praising American bomb-dropping on innocent Christian civilizations which have NOTHING to do with the actual defense of the homeland, for in Rush’s world, the military is holy and untouchable.

Such an utter waste of talent. Oh to have someone with such talent who actually espoused liberty and freedom. In the Limbaugh asylum, the state remains king of all. Liberty is foreign to him. Ultimately, his allegiance is the same as that of the aforementioned would-be tyrants up for the GOP nomination. The Taft-Goldwater roots of the Republican Party is utterly unknown to this man who, at the end of the day, is all in for huge and unfettered government.

Limbaugh is the typical Republican nowadays, and the legions of those he would call mind-numbed robots (oh, the irony) will follow in lockstep, dutifully voting in each election for anyone, as long as he has an “R” at the end of his name. He could be Hitler, but hey, he’s a Republican. Pull the chain, Agnes!

Such unfortunate souls fail to do the business of liberty, falling for the delusion that simply voting for Republicans will deliver political salvation for America. What is lost on them is there is no political salvation for America, no matter what letter follows anybody’s name. Voting is a sucker’s game, an illusion designed to pacify the sheep and give them the impression they are actually doing something which will benefit them and their homeland.

Such a delusion.

To all this, Limbaugh remains willfully ignorant, safely fortified in his Palm Beach compound, belching his big-government gospel five days a week, while labeling it conservatism.

Congratulations, Windbag. You have helped to successfully co-opt and redefine the term. So you can have it.

I’ll take liberty.

And if you ever get around to it, you might consider allowing someone to help untie the other half of your brain.

But only if you promise to use it.

© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe

Requiem For The GOP

dead-gop

 

Next year, tens of millions of Americans will waste their time by going to their local polling place, look for candidates who have an “R” by their name, cede their autonomy, and grant their permission to be governed by them.

Many of these people will do so because they have fully accepted a lie.  They have bought into the foolish notion that the GOP is the party of small government, and will oppose all efforts by the Democratic Party to roll back the size and scope of government.

In Pavlovian manner, they will dutifully toe the company line, leaving the booth actually believing they have done something constructive.   No actual thought has gone into their action.   It is simple enough for them to believe they have done the right thing.   In voting for Republicans, they figure they will have taught the pesky democrats a lesson, and all will be well with the world.

Right.  All we really need is a houseful of Republicans wed to a Republican president. Any Republican president.  From this political utopia will spring forth the dawning of a reawakened America.   The end result will be less government, lower taxes, a secure border, less regulations, and better education for the children.

And the evildoers.   We mustn’t forget the evildoers.   A Republican-governed America will “smoke out and bring to justice” all the evildoers.  Glory halleujah!  Raise the flag, boys, and put on the Elvis trilogy CD.   His truth is marching on!

The problem is that these dear souls (bless their hearts) cannot be bothered with facts which underscore the truth of the matter on either side of election day.  As long as they do their patriotic duty and punch the chad (and punch it hard, citizen!), all will be well.

Let’s not be bothered with the fact that under GOP rule, government only grows larger and larger.

Exponentially larger.

It grew larger under Reagan, the golden boy of the GOP.   But that’s blasphemy, don’t you know.   This is the hallowed Reagan, after all.   Only a communist would broach the truth about him.

The action taken on election day does not square with the sentiment likely held by most of these otherwise sincere people.  Then again, perhaps a reduction in huge government isn’t really what they’re after.   Perhaps what they’re really after is a huge government which supports their own personal preferences.   If they sacrifice their children to be educated in government indoctrination centers, then they want a government huge enough to accommodate this.  And if they buy into the lie that the American empire must of necessity be forever expanding via the American military, then they will be faithful to today’s GOP, which has successfully sold this notion under the guise of “protecting our freedoms.”

It’s just so much easier to believe whatever you’re told by your GOP warlords.   Heaven knows they’d never actually lie to anybody about such a thing.

As has been noted, history for most people begins in their lifetime.  Hence, today’s incarnation of the GOP is all they know.   They have no frame of reference for the Taft-era Republican Party.   And Barry Goldwater was long ago dispatched as a GOP kook, much like Ron Paul.   They never seem to grasp the notion that the GOP was once the anti-war, truly small government party.

Those days are long gone.   The GOP seeks to further expand the government, while saying the exact opposite.   And their mindless followers, who would buy a Studebaker from Joel Osteen, can’t be bothered with a little homework.

There is no two-party system in America.  There is one ruling party filled with heartless, power-hungry oligarchs who exist for two things:   to acquire power, and to keep same at all costs, liberty be damned.   Liberty is a word they float out at each election cycle, using it in their sales pitch to keep people in line.

The GOP as an opposition party is dead.  Graveyard dead.   All that remains is the logo, and the big party held every four years, with the same speeches from people puking out the same tired lines.   But it is all just rhetoric, red meat for the dutiful masses, many now proving their sheer insanity by slobbering over a billionaire candidate who says he is a Republican.

His checkbook says otherwise.   But, hey, let’s not quibble.   He’s a Republican, dammit!

The Heartland GOP voters keep voting thusly because they believe there remains a political salvation for America.  They are saying, “If only we can elect so-and-so, America will be put on the right path.”

Sorry to break your hearts, kids.    There is no political salvation for America.

Please, let this sink in, finally.

There-is-no-political-salvation-for-America.

Voting is a sucker’s game,  a complete and utter waste of time.   One is doing their patriotic duty by not voting, for by not voting, you are refusing to give your consent to be governed by these lying leeches.   By not voting, you are declaring your very own declaration of independence, and are doing so in the spirit of Madison, Jefferson and Thomas Paine.  By not voting, you are washing your hands of the entire sordid political orgy, declaring, “That’s okay, boys; I’ll take it from here.”   By not voting, you are divorcing yourself from a completely corrupt and un-salvageable system.

Imagine if  no one voted.   The clothes would fall off that which is naked far sooner.

The GOP is dead.  And that’s alright.   Celebrate the death of a defiled corpse.  Dance on the elephant’s grave.  Once your mourning is over, you will realize you have been set free from the burden of political expectations.   Once free of the entire corrupt process, you’re free to date others.

How about Lady Liberty?

© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe

My Man, My Son

I have 54 years of experience at being a son, and 18 years of experience of being the father of one. And today, my son experiences one of those landmark days of life, his graduation from high school, the ol’ Class of 2015. Then, a brief summer respite, followed by college to prepare for the rest of his life.

I doubt he’ll have a spare half hour today, otherwise I’d take him out for dual senior coffees.

Joseph Trenton made his appearance very early one morning, as I struggled to stay awake, and his mother struggled to present him. He was brought home to a house already populated with three sisters, so the dynamic changed somewhat. He was a doll to them, and a bundle of fun for me. Now was the wait for his hand to grow to fit into his first baseball glove.

Along with his siblings and parents, he was baptized into Christ and his Church at age 3. Eventually, “Trent” morphed into “Joe.” Serving as a very young altar boy, he was assigned the name of his Patron, Saint Joseph the Betrothed, and standard operating procedure in the sanctuary was to use your baptismal name. “Joe” stuck in and out of Church, unless he was in trouble, which called for the use of all three of his names.

But that didn’t happen often.

I coached him in little league. He was a pitcher, but after getting plunked by a line drive, decided to try second base. He was a Baron, a Raptor, an Intimidator, and perhaps another member of a team I’ve forgotten. Sometime after we moved from Georgia to Alabama, his sporting allegiance was given to another team, the Crimson Tide.

That I have not forgotten. Or forgiven.

Well, maybe just for today.

We took a long drive once, on a back road somewhere in Tennessee. He was 14. I pulled over, and said, “Here. Take the wheel.” He drove for several miles, and did very well. He would soon get his learner’s permit, followed by his regular license. He drove his Honda Civic to Arby’s, and got his first job. Another company bid for his services, and he went up the ladder. Mr. Free Market, Junior, that one.

He is at home with anyone, hospitable to everyone. Happy to sit and chew the fat with old folks, befriending an outcast at school, or showing some kids how to throw a ball. Liberal with “I love yous,” like, “Dad, I’m going to take a shower now. I love you.”

And singing. My goodness, the singing. Taught himself to play the piano, excelled in his school choir which ultimately won his affections over playing football, and made girls scream like he was Elvis on Ed Sullivan when he sang his solos. But he laughs it off.

And still makes time for the old man.

You have no objectivity at a time like this, I admit. But this is about the finest son any father could have ever possibly have. Never a rebellious phase, never a lick of trouble, never a time when we had any sort of heated exchange. The son any father ever dreams of having. I am that most blessed dad.

He grew into a careful protector of his sisters, and a godfather to a niece and nephew. A bow-tie aficionado, dapper dressed young man, who still asks permission to do the simplest things some kids never asked permission to do in the first place. Always the “sir,” ever the “ma’am,” rudeness simply never a part his fabric, kindness and respect ever present.

Sometimes I would find myself thinking, “Is this kid ever going to do anything to get punished?” You may be thinking, “You’re one naive father.” It’s possible, but it isn’t consistent with his behavior. Anyway, no one can pass a law saying a dad can’t proudly gush over a son.

Actually, I never thought I’d have a son. But not a day has gone by that I wasn’t grateful I do. I couldn’t possibly imagine having a finer man for one.

So today, Joe walks the aisle and collects the old sheepskin. He sings with his choir one last time. He slides the tassle over and says goodbye to one era.

And there I shall sit, the handkerchief already having been deposited in my jacket.

Today I beam and burst. This is one good man, and I am one blessed father.

Congratulations to you, son. I love you. And I am more proud of you than mere words can express.

© Copyright 2014 Tim Holcombe

Thankful, Again

It’s time for my annual inventory of all things worthy of my thanksgiving, the yearly stream of conciousness listing of notions which merit my gratitude

– I am thankful they no longer play “Achy Breaky Heart” on the radio.
Well, at least, on my radio.

– I am thankful for Americans who have abandoned Russophobia, no longer mistaking Russia with the Soviet Union.

– I am thankful for the Dodge Challenger Hellcat. I hope Santa brings me a model of one.

– I am thankful tattoos can be removed, although I will never have to remove one.

– I am thankful for coconut oil.

– I am thankful for the Saints, Who intercede for us.

– I am thankful for my mama’s recipe for dressing, which we will enjoy later today. I am thankful it was found!

– I am thankful for Mrs. Edwards, when things go awry with the pie.

– I am thankful for online shopping, particularly on days like tomorrow (or tonight), when the big screen comes with a fistfight.

– I am thankful when the spare is properly inflated.

– I am thankful for AAA.

– I am thankful for my beloved wife. And I’m sorry, dear. This should have been before the “Achy Breaky Heart” item.

– I am thankful for youtube, so I can still listen to Paul Harvey and watch The Honeymooners.

– I am thankful for GPS, saving us from wrestling with the old multi-fold paper jobbers, which were impossible to put back in their original position.

– I am thankful for peanut brittle. But my teeth aren’t.

– I am thankful for monastics. You should be, too. As troubled as Earth is right now, imagine the state of the world without them.

– I am thankful for my kids, and my kid’s kids. My grandfather played checkers with me. What will we play? XBox?

– I am thankful for wonderful parents. How I wish they were dining with me today.

– I am thankful for hoop cheese, the king of all cheeses.

– I am thankful for the way Donald Trump is spanking the GOP. May he destroy it.

– I am thankful for the singing birds just behind me in the woods, on this cool Thanksgiving morn.

– I am thankful for the dead bird about to go in the oven.

– I am thankful for off switches, particularly when the station insists on playing Christmas music in October.

– I am thankful for Miss Ella Fitzgerald.

– I am thankful for pickup trucks.

– I am thankful for receipts on December 26.

– I am thankful for my favorite color. Teal, if you must know.

– I am thankful for knee pads, particularly during the first week of Lent.

– I am thankful for a nice, warm fire.

– I am thankful, I suppose, for hair gel, but I wonder whatever happened to Dippity-Do.

– I am thankful for little girls who open their gift and find an Easy Bake Oven, but I wonder if algore has messed that up, too, what with his war on light bulbs.

– I am thankful for the hope of Heaven, the ultimate respite from Earthly madness.

– I am thankful for the cabin-to-be-built.

– I am thankful for the designs of said cabin, fashioned by the aforementioned woman.
(Not Ella Fitzgerald)

– I am thankful for our Lord Jesus Christ, who stood on Mount Tabor, and said, “This is the goal of your life.”

– I am thankful for the hair I have left, even the grays, although I wish the hair in other crevices on my head would make their exit.

– I am thankful for cold winter evenings, when I can curl up in my recliner with a good pop-up book.

– I am thankful for forgiveness. And absolution.

– I am thankful for little arms around my neck.

– I am thankful for those who read these words, and bid you all a most blessed Thanksgiving.

Selah.

© Copyright 2013 Tim Holcombe

Eating With The Enemy

For years, I have remained silent, suffering a grievous injustice at the hands of The Man. There I sat, only a few feet away from a fireplace, conspicuously planted to keep my bones warm while I was being victimized.

Well, this isn’t completely true. The fact is, I have only recently begun to get wise to the conspiracy against uh, my people. But one day, it began to dawn on me exactly what was happening. I walked into the establishment in question, where I was instantly greeted with bluegrass music, tee shirts which said things like “Kiss Me, I’m A Redneck,” videos of The Lone Ranger, and CD’s of Conway and Loretta.

I went to put my name on the waiting list. “It will be about a twenty minute wait. And what is that last name? Smith?”

“Uh, well, no.”

“Oh, right. Johnson?”

“Uh, no. Actually it’s Holcombe.”

“Oh. Right. That’s nice.”

She scribbled something, then shooed me away, back into the land of jams, jellies, quilts and cookbooks.

A few minutes later, I was seated. My waiter came, dressed in a brown apron, and took my order.

“I’ll have the country fried steak.”

“Mashed potatoes?”

“Uh, well, yes actually…”

“White or brown gravy?”

“White.”

“Uh huh. White. Right.”

She flittered away, and as I sat there, trying to eliminate all but one of the pegs, it all began to come together for me.

I was being insulted, and discriminated against, right there in broad daylight. Really, how much more brazen can it get? The Cracker Barrel? Hello?

What other names were they considering? Honky Hut? Whitey’s Roadhouse? The KKKitchen?

It all became crystal clear to me only recently, so I am retroactively outraged. For the love of Paula Deen, couldn’t you people come up with an unoffensive name for your restaurant? Isn’t there enough hatred already? You plie me with your meat and threes, only to go back in the kitchen, point at me, snicker and say, “Look at that white boy work on the baby limas. Disgusting.”

“Yeah, and he finished with four pegs in the board, too.”

Ain’t no white privilege at table 14, or whatever. I’m the victim here. How can I possibly go back again and choke down your meat loaf amidst a room full of hatred and intolerance? Do I want a breakfast menu? Seriously? No! I want justice!

(And a glass of raspberry iced tea.)

This madness is everywhere, particularly in the restaurant industry. Think about it.

Isn’t ChickFilA offensive to dames?
I mean, broads?
I mean…..girls?
Isn’t Little Caesar’s offensive to Romans?
Isn’t Ponderosa offensive to cowboys?
Isn’t Shakey’s Pizza offensive to nervous people?
Isn’t Full Moon BBQ offensive to wolfmen, vampires, and lunatics?

And doesn’t the International House Of Pancakes offend people with a wooden leg?

I’ve been living a lie, all these years. All this time, I was happy go lucky, whistling while I worked, enjoying life, and harboring no ill will toward anyone.

Then I became enlightened. Now that I know the truth, I am angry, resentful, and bitter. All this time, The Man has been holding me down, while keeping me pacified with biscuits and gravy. All part of a grander scheme. Maybe I was your huckleberry. But I will never be your cracker!

There seems to be an ocean of alleged racism in America anymore, so I have decided I want in on the action. I’m not sure what walking around with your britches at half mast, lips pooched out, a chip on your shoulder actually accomplishes, other than turning you into a miserable cuss no one wants to be around. Maybe if I can get in touch with Al Sharpton, he can explain what’s in the race hustle business for me.

I just hope no marching is required. I’m not THAT committed to the cause.

I’m just hoping to at least get a permanent discount on meals, and if we win our case, I’ll be using them down there.

At the Caucasian Barrel.

© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe

Whipping Mickey Buck

My only frame of reference for childhood, obviously, is being raised in the south.   But I can’t imagine preferring anything else.  Times have changed all over of course, and not for the better.  We live in the brazen age, with every possible perversion flaunted before us on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, most kids are robbed of the gentle innocence which was the hallmark of a southern childhood in days gone by.

Back then, in the 1960’s, summer days were spent outside.  After breakfast, our mothers (who were at home)  would shoo us out of the house, where we would stay all day, only coming back inside when we heard her calling our name for lunch, or supper.   The only other time we would scurry back to her apron was when she was needed to treat a skinned knee.  She would dab our tears, pat our back, and then apply the dreaded mercurochrome.   After the band aid was applied, we would head back out to conquer more Indians (unless a neighbor kid was first to call Cowboy.)  If you weren’t quick enough to call it first, you weren’t quick enough to be a cowboy anyway.

I built many a road with my big yellow Tonka truck.  Sometimes, we would ride our bikes down the street to Mr. Camp’s old country store, buy a Coca-Cola in the green bottle, and insert a pack of peanuts.  Some days, we’d buy the glorious Orange Crush in the dark brown bottle.  Mr. Camp had the chest cooler set just right, and there would be little shards of ice in it.

Mr. Camp had it going on.

I was forbidden to buy the candy cigarettes, although occasionally  I would bum a smoke from Ricky Nixon, the neighborhood bully, whose mother was not the faux-smoking prohibitionist mine was.  Sometimes, I’d buy a pack of baseball cards with a sliver of bubble gum.   We’d stick the cards into the spokes of our bicycle wheels.  Instant hot rods!

(As an aside, when I returned home years later, my dear mother had tossed my two shoe boxes full of baseball cards.  But how could you remain angry?   There were greens and cornbread on the table.)

My brother Sonny helped me build a go cart once.   It had a rope for a steering wheel, and four tires, each of a different size.  It had no safety belt, and I had no helmet.   I was unsure of the wisdom of using it as transportation, when Sonny placed his hands on my back, and shoved me down the hill next to our house, right into the crawfish-infested creek.  I made it in one piece.  The go cart did not.

Discipline was a constant in those days for the wayward child.  We had no ritalin, no skull doctors, no timeouts.  We did have fannies, and the occasional lighting up of same with a switch served its purpose.   But the hugs and kisses always outweighed the spankings.  My older brother Sonny got the lion’s share of the rod of correction.  The standards were not relaxed for me, but the sentencing phase was a tad more merciful.   (Sonny would say, a lot more merciful.)

I recently ran into my good friend and philosopher Mickey Buck Talmadge on an excursion to the woods where he lives, when the subject of child rearing came up.  As we sat at the base of a tall oak tree dining on vienna sausages and saltine crackers, Mickey Buck related how he handled the situation in his childhood.  Mickey Buck’s mother was much like mine, a gracious yet firm disciplinarian.   One day, Mickey Buck took his BB gun over to Old Man Petty’s house, where he proceeded to shoot out one of the taillights on his ’63 Buick Electra.  When it all hit the fan, Mickey Buck’s mother sent him to his room, then went for the hickory switch which rested atop her old Frigidaire.  Poor Mickey Buck was in for the licking of his life.

Mrs. Talmadge  was unaware, however, that there was a saboteur in her home.  A day before the unfortunate incident, as she was taking sheets off the clothesline in the backyard before coming back to the kitchen to tend to the pressure cooker full of tomatoes in her mason jars, Mickey Buck had collected the switch, and proceeded to conspicuously break it slightly in two-inch sections, but not so much as to appear broken.

As Mother Talmadge ordered Mickey Buck to lean over his bed, she rared back to apply the rod of God with fervor.  When she did, the switch collapsed in two inch segments, and the force of impact was scattered across Mickey Buck’s bottom, the energy on impact being harmlessly scattered across the target.  Successive swats confused her before it dawned on her the session was not producing the desired result.

She cast aside the rigged implement, ordered Mickey Buck not to move, and made a bee line toward the kitchen.  Mickey Buck was unaware that his Mama had a backup switch, one hidden behind a can of Crisco in the top cabinet.  When she returned, she was as determined with the second effort, but had apparently damaged her rotator cuff or something, as Mickey Buck swears the impact was not nearly as ferocious as she had intended.   Plus, her exit had given him time to insert three additional pair of underwear into his blue jeans.

She concluded the session none the wiser, the saboteur considering he’d need another plan for future punishments.

I was amazed at the wisdom and cunning of Mickey Buck, wishing I’d been smart enough to devise such schemes.

We finished our meal, and went to hunt squirrels.

I left the woods that day with a renewed outlook on things.   And in this mad age where kids play video games inside all day long, this truth occurred to me:   It would be grand if we could recapture those wonderful days of innocence, filled with sweet tea, funeral home fans and front porches.

Kids today need more time playing outside, mamas at home, queens of the domestic.

And a few of them need more switches, and less underwear.

Underwear which is never seen, always hidden by blue jeans pulled up into their proper position.

© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe

Hunting For A Dentist

I’m way overdue, but I have a date with dental destiny. I don’t mind going to the dentist so much, actually. I always leave sore and poor(er), but the sparkly-clean feeling is nice, until later that night when popcorn kernels have found their home again between the molars.

It’s the flossing I hate. The last gal who flossed my teeth was pulling on both ends of the string like it was a ski rope. The blood and tears weren’t enough for her. She felt it her duty to lecture me on my lack of commitment to the procedure.

“You haven’t been flossing, have you?”

“Well, I, uh…”

“Have you?”

Suddenly, I was back in third grade.

“For maximum dental health, we must floss morning, noon and night, yadda, yadda, yadda…”

“Yes, well, I….”

“We must take care of our teeth, lest we lose them, you see. Flossing is essential. Do you know how easy it is to start flossing, hmm?”

“Well, ma’am, I expect it’s about as hard to start flossing as it is to stop smoking.”

She was concerned about teeth management. I was sitting in the chair, wondering about the dentist/hunter who bagged the big cat over in Africa.

Sorry.  I mean, the Minnesota predator who murdered Cecil the lion.

Yes sir, we live in a whole new day, a day when everyone has their toes stuck out for some insensitive brute to step on. You can’t go through a day anymore without offending somebody. You can’t talk, type, eat, sleep, post on Facebook or sing “Spread A Little Sunshine Everyday” without somebody pooching their lips out, because you somehow hit a sore spot.

The only thing the current president hits is golf balls. The above photo shows one of his predecessors bagging an elephant. And that ain’t all Teddy Roosevelt held up as a trophy. According to The Strenuous Life: Essays and Addresses, ol’ Ted was a rabid big game hunter.  The prez reportedly sent over 1200 beasts to the Sky Zoo, including tigers, lions, hippos, cheetahs, antelopes, giraffes and leopards. The great Nobel Peace Prize laureate went on many a safari. His exploits would make the infamous dentist look like Opie Taylor carrying a slingshot.

I’m not a big hunter, but I understand the importance of game management, aside from the Biblical admonition “Rise, kill and eat.” Most people who get offended by Doctor Denture likely have no problem purchasing a pack of pork chops in a clean, white sanitary package covered with plastic wrap. A few of them probably own a Ted Nugent CD or two, too.

“Kill it and grill it,” says the other Ted, demonstrating his own Biblical prowess.

Hunting doesn’t offend me at all. I’m all for it. I also think guns are nifty, both for hunting, self defense, or collecting. I’m actually more offended by over-zealous flossers.

Besides, dentistry isn’t all that. I recall one funeral I attended years ago. Sister Beulah Higginbotham had collapsed and expired at the Ladies Aid Society meeting at the New Harmony Baptist Church. Her homegoing service was held three days later.

(Evidently, there was a lack of harmony at the original Harmony Baptist Church.   But I digress.)

Anyway, there was Sister Higginbotham, all laid out in her best flowery blue dress.

The preacher finished his sermon, and some nasally cousin stood at the pulpit singing “When They Ring Those Golden Bells For You And Me.” As he sang, everybody shuffled out of their pews and processed in single file to view the dearly departed one last time. I was in line, about three bodies behind her niece, Flora Mae.

Flora Mae was all shook up throughout the whole service.

She got up to the casket, peered over and started sobbing again. She bent over, and all I heard was “Oh Aunt Beulah, Aunt Beul…”

It was at that moment the denture cream failed Flora Mae, and the top shelf of her mouth flew out, a whole row of artificial pearly whites spilling onto Aunt Beulah.

Flora Mae was horrified, and instinctively reached over to try to retrieve her teeth, which had now lodged on the far side of the loved one, a bit out of reach. The funeral director cleared his throat, and the preacher took Flora by the arm, and led her away, still snorting and sobbing.

Good thing he did, too.   I was not only worried about the retrieval, but the potential re-insertion of the apparatus.

After the graveside service, the family and friends all went to Flora Mae’s house for a post-funeral fellowship meal. Her mouth was still out of alignment, so I don’t know what became of the upper chompers. I shudder to think…

But everybody had a good time with the fried chicken and potato salad. Everybody except for Flora Mae, who had gotten her boy LeRoy to fetch her a milk shake from the Tastee-Freeze.

It may be best to just stay away from dentists.

You never know when you may have to go to a funeral.

© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe

My Good Father

This story begins in the deep south in the 1920’s, on a family farm where sunrise meant toil, and that often past when the the sun retired for the day. There is a small home on this land with no luxuries attached. The typical day is spent in fields either planting, tending to, or reaping that which sustains this humble life. It is a hard and simple life, but it is well-defined, and free of modern entanglements like psychiatrists, life coaches, grief counselors, and Oprah. Work is the order of the day, and there is no time for such silly novelties.

Into this home is born fourteen children, one who is given the name of his father, Frank. From the time he can stand aright, he joins the family crew and learns a work ethic which is as inbred into him as any cell of DNA. Life is predictable enough until years later, when his nation calls my father, takes him from the farm, and sends him to Europe.

After the war, he comes home, meets his beloved wife Mary, and builds their lives with the tools he has always used: hard work, and industriousness. They build their home, and eventually, my father starts his own business, an auto repair shop which he opens in 1962, the year after my birth. He applies the work ethic (and ethics) he gained from the farm into his business for over 30 years, until he closes the door, but does not retire. He took with him his reputation, ever intact: as honest and hard working a man as ever walked this globe, and left behind a successful legacy, built with buckets of sweat from his brow.

My mother and father gave life to me, and two brothers, Ken and Danny. For that alone, a child should remain ever grateful. As I rapidly approach my 50th year, what I have to give my dear father is little. But the life-long memories linger. Perhaps memories make the best gifts.

My first memory of my father is being draped over his shoulder as he carries me into an emergency room at Kennestone Hospital. I remember the comfort and security I felt that late night or early morning.

Or the funeral we are attending of a deceased loved one. We file in procession at service’s end to pay our last respects, my small hand in my father’s. At the worst possible time, I declare, loudly, “I can’t see him!”

And the nights where at bedtime, he would pause, go to his knees beside his bed, and pray the Lord’s Prayer, ever acknowledging our gracious Creator.

The usual Sunday routine is a visit to Grandmother’s. Some Sundays, Dad would treat us to a drive up Kennesaw Mountain, where we could look across the city of Marietta to the Atlanta skyline, or north to the mountains, which seemed the end of the Earth.

The Saturdays we’d spend on Coldwater Creek, Dad with his reliable Stihl chain saw, taking down trees, loading them in an old flatbed truck to take back home. It was on those old roads of Elbert County that he would let me take the wheel of an old gray Chevy pickup, and teach me how to drive.

I can still hear him in his home office. It is hot summer Wednesday night, and he is at his adding machine, working on the payroll. To one side is a mound of invoices, and a yellow legal pad. To the other is a large jar of ice water, and an old AM radio which is playing a station he found somewhere far away.

He is up before the sun, ready to meet the day. He checks on his large garden in the back of our home, where he labored after leaving his shop the previous evening. He produces the bounty, giving the credit to ‘The Good Master”, and his wife fills our home with the scents, and the goodness, and the canning – Lord, the canning. They are sights, and smells I will never forget, but at the time, didn’t appreciate.

He keeps my mother in a Cadillac, his sons in nice clothes, and none of us are deprived any necessity of life. He does all this having never used a credit card.

My father, now that I consider it…..would have made a great president. His inaugural speech: “Let’s go to work.”

With the loss of his beloved Mary, our mother, many things changed forever. Still, since that sad August day in 1989, there have been some sweet moments scattered amidst a sea of tears.

No one gets to select their parents. I often think about how naive I was, and how fortunate I am to have the parents I did.

And if I could ever be half the man my father was, and is…I will think I did well.

My father was never famous, never an artist, statesman, inventor. What he had is to be valued above all such temporal things, and is captured in the pages of Holy Scripture.

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.

A good name forged by a good man.

A good son. A good American. A good husband.

My good father.

© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe