Saturday, September 22, 2012


We have come to discuss Proverbs, 22:16 – “He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.”

The discussion springs from this question:  “So what does the right wing say about this…and how do they justify it?  It’s quite simply stated right?”

The question asked was how anyone can justify oppressing the poor and giving to the rich, and it was asked, specifically, of, “…the right wing…”  The implication is very clear that the person who framed the question believes the right wing oppresses the poor.  I maintain that this is a false assumption – a straw man.  It is a question so phrased as to presume the answer in the very asking.  “Have you stopped beating your wife?”  The question says, “You do this evil thing, and I want to hear you justify it.”  I will not answer that question directly, but rather address the presumptions upon which it is based.

Oppression is injustice, and it is a bad thing.  Injustice is the opposite of justice, and I think most people would agree that justice is a very good thing.  (Though an awful lot of folks would fail to see its virtue when it is applied to them.)  Justice, in broad terms, means people get what they have earned – what they rightfully have coming to them, whether good or bad.  The Bible very clearly and irrefutably enshrines justice as one of the chief virtues of a man, a king, or of a people.

How are the poor in America oppressed?  They are protected by the law as much as any man.  True, there are situations in which political power or corruption have denied justice to the poor, but as often as not, the rich fall victim, as well.  Think about it:  would a thief rather rob a poor man’s hovel or a rich man’s mansion?  In fact, this is an eternal principle of politics, that once the tiger of corruption is loosed, it cares not whom it devours.  In fact, the only way one might increase his riches by oppressing the poor is to usurp their labor - they have no material wealth to steal – and forced labor is called slavery, and slavery was abolished in America for many years.  It has seen a resurrection in the last few years with the avalanche of criminal trespassers across our borders, who have brought with them the barbarous practices of their native lands.

Anyone who proposes that the poor of America are slaves is deluded or a liar, and I find it bitterly ironic that so many who hold that very premise are the same ones who have thrown open the gates to the invading slave traders, and have, by legislative bullying, blocked the gates open

In fact, the poor in America are better off than what passes for the middle class in much of the world.  They eat more meat, live in bigger houses, dress better, get better educations, have more protection of the law, and, most significantly, have more opportunity to leave the ranks of the poor.

Remember that last clause.

For the moment I will pretend that the phrase “the right wing,” has any meaning other than a bigoted slander of a set of the American population who disagree with the questioner.  I will take it to refer to those who reject the forcible redistribution of wealth by the government, and to those who reject the premise that idleness’ claim to wealth trumps that of labor.  If you can’t tell by the phrasing, I’m a right winger.

Our position is simply this:  that the person who does the work, whether it is manual labor, organizational labor, or creative labor deserves to keep whatever wage comes from that labor.  We believe that charity is a great virtue.  Many of us believe it is a commandment from God.  We believe that charity consists of an individual human being deciding, of his own volition, to share his wealth with another, and that sticking a gun in someone’s ribs, taking his money, and giving it to someone else is not charity.  The man with the gun gives nothing, and has no claim to virtue.  We are accused of saying that some people are inferior to others, but in reality it is the man with the gun who says, in the most forceful and inescapable way, that station is his decision, and his alone.  He will decide who is inferior to whom, and will enforce his whim with the armed power of the state.  This man is a creature of the left.

Our view is expressed in Ecclesiastes, 5: 18, 19 – “Behold that which I have seen:  it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.

“Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour: this is the gift of God.”

It says, “Every man.”  It doesn’t say the rich or the poor or the middle class, and sure as blazes doesn’t say the bureaucrat.  Every man.

We are admonished by the Scriptures to labor, from Genesis statement that, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread…” to the Savior’s observation that the “…the workman is worthy of his meat.”  At the same time, we are commanded to take care of and sustain the poor, weak, lame, old, and the widow.  Over and over, the virtue of charity is extolled in the Scriptures.  Charity.  Not surrogate theft.

In fact, if there were no rich, from whence would come any charity, at all?  First Thessalonians 4: 11, 12 says, “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

“That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.”

Look at that:  “…that ye may have lack of nothing.”  If the rich are brought down, can it be said they lack nothing?  If their labor goes for naught, and is expropriated by some random, whim-driven entity for the benefit of some random others, it may fill the lack of today, but from where will the lack of tomorrow be filled?  A reference to a goose and golden eggs is inevitable.  If there is nothing to gain by labor, who will work?

Go back to that reference to opportunity.  If it becomes the law of the land that we will crush any man who amasses enough wealth to be called “rich,” what opportunity is there for the poor?  The opportunity to work their guts out, only to one day become a pariah and be banished from that drooling, obese and false god called society?  The opportunity to say to their children, “We have enough to eat, but tell no one.  Pretend to be hungry, or they will declare us rich and take it all back?”

Oh, no! There’s no oppression in that, is there.

So to the questioner I would say, yes, it is quite simply stated, and I would dearly love to hear the left wing justify their program of consistent oppression.  Let them justify robbing our children of their inheritance of opportunity and hope.  Let them justify ripping the very bowels out of the dreams of men and women who want nothing more than to live their lives and care for their children.  Let them justify mortgaging an entire nation and its posterity for generations to the greatest violators of human agency in all history.  Let them justify their belief that one man’s desire to keep the fruit of his mind and body is vile, while another man’s desire to take that from him is virtuous.  Let them justify poisoning the minds of generations of our children with the belief that to keep one’s wages is covetousness, but taking another’s wages is not.

I will close with Saint Luke’s story about Jesus.  “And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak unto my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.
“And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?
“And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”

22 Sept., 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012


We have all seen the anger and divisiveness of the current political atmosphere in the US.   The cause is irrelevant for the moment, but there is no denying it.  I and many others have lost old friendships over it – in some cases, friendships that had survived decades and many challenges.  From my friends and acquaintances on Facebook I frequently see pleas for moderation and tolerance of other opinions.  I respect those friends, and value their tenderness that is so distressed about the climate of hostility and hate.  Would that all were so tender and concerned!


However, I find myself in a quandary.  There are two main themes of political expression:  individualism and individual rights (capitalism), and government control of our lives for the purpose of protecting us from our own foolishness and incompetence (statism, in one of many semantic subcategories.)  I have friends and loved one on both sides of the conflict, but I will keep this letter focused on my own thoughts.


It is my opinion that the philosophy of the Left, as personified in Barack Obama, is that of statism. Whether it is socialism, communism, fascism, or progressivism matters not; they all have in common control of the individual human being by others, almost always the government.  I hold this philosophy to be evil.  Not just bad or wrong, but evil.  Man was created (or evolved – in this discussion it doesn’t matter) as an individual being, composed of a physical body and a rational mind.  I believe that the God who created us did that on purpose, and that His intent was that we should act as individuals, using our minds to direct the actions of our bodies.  I believe that anything that interferes with Man’s exercise of his rationality, whether by intellectual or physical controls, denies the nature of Man and forces him to live as something else.  In other words, it dehumanizes Man, destroying the sentient being he was meant to be.  The destruction of a sentient being is called murder.
It is the position of the statists that the individual rights crowd would commit this form of murder on the poor, ethnic minorities, sexually promiscuous, gender-confused, or any one of a million other criteria.

It is the position of the individual rights advocates that the statists would commit this form of murder on the wealthy, the capable, the independent, the virtuous.  While I hold with latter on this, there is a very simple way to distinguish between the two ideals – a way that is based solely on their demonstrated behavior.

The statists say, “We will protect you as long as you remain in subhuman squalor and servile to us, but the moment you rise above your present state, or resist our omniscience, we will dehumanize and destroy you.”

The individualists say, “We will protect you as long as you do your best to improve your state, and the more successful you are, the more we will edify you.  If you refuse to do your best, and instead demand that we give you an unearned portion of our sustenance, you are on your own, and have no claim on us.”

Statists maintain power in the electorate by maintaining and enlarging the poor population.   Individualists maintain power in the electorate by providing opportunity for self-improvement and encouraging others to take advantage of that opportunity.

My life has been devoted to the protection of our republic which was founded on and prospered by the principles of individualism. (That some were left out us undeniable, but it is equally so that many of those are now included.  This inclusion was accomplished by application of the founding principles, i.e. free people exercising their agency and changing certain paradigms of who ought to be included.  The process has certainly not been instantaneous, but it continues, and our republic is better for it.)  The modes of statism are utter anathema to me.  They threaten and destroy all that I hold precious, from my own freedom to eat what a please and go where I please, to spend my own money as I please, to the safety and happiness of my children and grandchildren.  This issue is literally one of life or death to me.

On the one hand, I see a political and moral philosophy that demands we live as God made us.  On the other, I see a political and moral philosophy that eviscerates and cannibalizes the beings that God made.

On the one hand, I see a life of struggle, growth, and accomplishment, on a path lit by my love for my family and my own dreams.  On the other hand, I see a life of struggle, squalor, and defeat on a path obscured the lust of others for power over me.

Now here is my question:  If a friend campaigns for all those things that I hold evil and horrid, how can I smile, shake his hand, and say, “It’s okay with me that you participated in the immolation of my children?”  In fact, how can I expect him to shake my hand and say the same to me?  If his choice threatens my existence, so mine must threaten his, and does it not seem the height of hypocrisy to say, “These things I value above all else, but it’s okay with me if you destroy them?” 

 I have no desire to wage war against anyone, especially old friends, but I cannot see any other way through this conflict.  I will try to convince them and change their thinking and will allow them to do the same, but in the end, if neither of us will change, one of us must kill the other.

How am I to resolve this?  We have but three choices in dealing with one another:  we can reason with each other until one is convinced the other is correct, one of us can unconditionally surrender to principles we think are evil, or we can fight.  There are no other choices.  I see no hope for the first, though I pledge to keep at it.  I can never accept the second and presume others feel the same.  That leaves fighting, and long before a blow is struck, those old and precious friendships must die.

Is there another way?  Am I missing something?
20 Sept., 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


I just realized that today, 18 Sept., is the birthday of the US Air Force.  Ah, yes; the princess of America’s military.  As a Marine who was assigned mostly to infantry outfits, I love to hate the Air Force.  They live too well in their carpeted, air-conditioned barracks and their messhalls decorated like Persian whore houses.  They had a steam bath and massage parlour (in the most nudge-nudge-wink-wink sense of the word) at Gunfighter Village at Da Nang Air Base in Vietnam.  Marines weren’t allowed in because we were too dirty to take a freakin’ bath.  Humpf.  On Okinawa, Air Force junior NCO’s were allowed accompanied tours, that is, they had their wives with them, but Marine Sergeants Major were not allowed the same privilege.  They bomb from too high, and strafe from too far.

 But it’s their birthday, and for today, only, I’m going to grant them dispensation and a break from the otherwise ceaseless bellyaching from the ground pounders.  You see, the Air Force has left a measure of blood around the world.  The 8th Air Force, in WWII, lost more men than did the Marine Corps.  This was so because while the Marines had those ungodly bloodbaths every few months, the 8th was out there day after day for almost 3 years.  There were a lot of days they lost six to seven hundred men in a single afternoon, and then went back the next and lost another three or four hundred.  A B-17 carried 10 men, and at Schweinfurt, Berlin, Meresburg, Schweinfurt again, Regensburg, they lost 60 bombers in one day.  And then went back the next day.  And the next.  And the next.  And the next.  And that’s just the 8th.  There was also the 5th, 7th, 9th, 15th, and 20th Air Forces, and no end of smaller training and transportation units that lost men in training accidents, bad weather, and worn-out machinery that should have been replaced before the Germans went after Poland.  I know I’ve left some units out, but it’s not from a lack of respect.  Feel free to add to my list.

 In the Pacific, Air Corps fighter pilots flew winged dumpsters against fire-breathing killing machines called Zekes, Oscars, and Franks.  Every day they were outclassed and every day they took their lickin’, and every next day they were right back at it, until eventually they wore some of the razor edge off the Japanese, and the bean counters in DC started sending out P-38’s and P-47’s that still couldn’t dance with a Zeke, but by God, they could dive like claw hammers, fan out tons of lead per second, and stand up to the pounding they took as they flew by.  And the bomber crews who flew against the Japanese were faced with not only stunning performance in the enemy machines, but the craziest, most dangerous set of little bastards who ever strapped a fighter to their butts.

In Korea, some of the fighter jocks lived in pretty rough conditions – compared to the rest of the Air Force.  I’ve heard they even had to endure cheap toilet paper.  (Dang it!  Sorry, guys.  That just slipped out.)  In Korea, they almost learned about close air support, and on several occasions, got right down amongst ‘em.

Then Vietnam, and the insanity of running the same route over the same targets at the same time of day for weeks straight.  Charlie knew, from the moment our bombers went after a target the first time, exactly where to place his flak and SAM’s, and those bomber guys paid a goshawful price for the honor of making MacNamara and Kissinger look like geniuses.  Hell, even Jane Fonda figured it out, and you know how stupid that… woman … is.  When I was on Okinawa in the summer of ’70, we’d go out in front of our shop building and watch the B-52’s coming into Kadena Air Force Base, over across Chimu Bay.  They’d taken off from Guam or Clark, in the Philippines, flown over North Vietnam, and continued on to Kadena because it was closer than wherever they’d flown out of.  We saw them come in to land with long, black trails of smoke coming from shattered engines.  We saw holes the size of your front door blown all the way through them, with clear blue sky showing on the other side.  I saw one come in with the vertical stabilizer shot away almost down to the fuselage.  They staggered and stumbled, and looked for all the world like old ladies who could just barely get up the porch steps.  But they made it, and the next day, they flew the same circuit back the other way, and I’d be willing to be the guys on the ground in the PI or on Guam saw the same raggedy-assed procession we did.

Did I say raggedy-assed?  I guess I did.  That term is very near an article of religion among Marines, especially if preceded by the word, “Gloriously.”  Gloriously Raggedy-Assed.  Capitalized.  Okay, flyboys, I’ll let you borrow it, but just for today.  Wear it well, and don’t let the waitresses in your messhalls spill the crème de Brule on it.

The men and women serving in the US Air Force today don’t face the butchery their ancestors did, and thank goodness for that!  I pray they never do.  But, by golly, they’re out there, every day, laying it on the line.  They aren’t facing flak 88’s or SAM’s, but gravity never sleeps, and flying extremely high-performance aircraft is dangerous bordering on stupid.  Not all “flyboys” are “flyboys,’ of course.  (Some aren’t even boys!)   It takes a huge number of mechanics, drivers, programmers, scope dopes, clerks, and every job imaginable to keep such a huge and complex organization functional. They are away from their families, working 24-hour days in terrible weather, and, in places like the ‘Stan never being truly safe.  (We Nam vets can relate, eh?) 

So happy birthday to the United States Air Force.  In all seriousness and sincerity, y’all have done this nation proud, and I, for one, just about bust my buttons thinking about your history and present accomplishments.

For those of y’all who are readers, here is my short list of Air Force (and Air Corps) books.  “Black Thursday” and “They Fought With What They Had,” both by Martin Caidin.  “Masters of the Air,” by Miller.  “Red Tails, Black Wings,” by John B. Holway.  “Thud Ridge,” by Jack Broughton.  There is a relatively new and unknown movie at Redbox called, “Fortress,” about a bomber crew flying out of Tunisia against the Axis in Italy.  I heartily recommend it, though the B-17 geeks will spend a good bit of the first viewing picking on trivial errors.  However, upon watching it a second time, which I also recommend, they will sit in silence, caught up in this very low-budget film that so succinctly captures the nature of war inside a B-17.   They got a lot more big stuff right than they got little stuff wrong.

18 Sept., 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012


When Mitt Romney blasted the Obama administration for apologizing to Muslims before our Libyan embassy was attacked, the left raised a huge screech about his “politicizing” the event.  Actually, we have heard that charge many, many times, and not always from the left.  Like charges of “radicalism,” “extremism,” or being an “ideologue,” this one is completely bogus and devoid of content.  All these phrases can be translated into, “I have no idea how to repudiate your argument, so I’m going to attack you, personally.”
Let’s look at “politicizing” first, and in the present context of the murder of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans.  The word is not in my 1954 Oxford Universal Dictionary, so I went to 5 on-line dictionaries. Averaging out the verbiage, the word is taken to mean discussing something in the context of politics, or adding a political tone or theme to something.  Pretty straightforward, right?
Embassies are political institutions; they represent a nation, which is a geo-political institution. They are staffed by people from that geo-political institution who are appointed by politically-elected entities. The purpose of embassies is to project the presence of the parent geo-political institution on the soil of the host geo-political institution.  Ambassadors, especially, are politically powerful entities whose task is to provide a positive impression of the parent geo-political institution, to represent its interests in the host geo-political institution, and give other citizens of the host geo-political institution a focal point for issues they may have with the host geo-political institution.

The people who appoint ambassadors are elected in political events, often after intense discussions of political ideas and principles. Their activities are governed by political instruments like constitutions, in the case of the USA, or parliaments, which are also political institutions.  When the president, Secretary of State, or the Congress – all political entities or institutions – makes changes in the foreign policy of the parent geo-political institution, it is the task of the ambassador to present, explain, and often justify or rationalize that change to the government of the host geo-political institution.

Embassies and their staffs, especially ambassadors, are political entities from start to finish, inside and out.  When an embassy is attacked and an ambassador murdered by a mob or paramilitary organization in the host geo-political institution, and the mob is shouting slogans that defame or condemn the parent geo-political institution, I believe it is safe to say their actions are politically motivated, and may be taken as a statement of the political principles to which they subscribe.  (There are exceptions, such as Somalia, where the motivation may be more or less piratical.)  When the political appointees and representatives of a given geo-political institution are murdered by politically motivated thugs of another geo-political institution, HOW THE BLOODY HELL CAN ANYONE INTELLIGENT ENOUGH TO FIND THEIR OWN FEET SAY IT ISN’T POLITICAL?

Rebsarge - 15 Sept., 2012