It’s Christmas time

I’ve often shared Christmas memories like this one from 2004.
Most of them are from my distant past. It is interesting when the most memorable times are from our youth or from times of separation from our loved ones. But Christmas is about children and family isn’t it? It is about one special family and child who changed the world forever. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of the Holy Infant.

Now, Black Friday appears as our most celebrated holiday. Hordes of us rushing through the doors on the evening of Thanksgiving Day to battle for flat screen televisions, and battle we do, is as far from the Spirit of Christmas as one or a country could possibly travel. We even try to eliminate the word Christmas from our vocabulary choosing instead generic supposedly non-offensive expressions. We teach children that the most important and omnipotent being this time of year is a chubby little elf with a reindeer drawn sleigh who checks his naughty and nice lists before dropping down the chimney with a bag filled with presents – even for those who should be on the naughty list. There is nothing wrong with letting children fantasize and experience a little anxiety about whether they’ve been good or bad but at some point, must we not also share with them the true story of Christmas and with it let them know that Santa represents the Christmas giving spirit? Shouldn’t we teach them about the true omnipotent One who came to us as a helpless infant destined to save us and show us the way to the truest gift of eternal life. Maybe teach them that beyond Santa’s lists exists a real book of life and what one must do to have their name entered into it to receive the greatest gift of all. But we’re not doing that are we? We’re mostly teaching them to go for the stuff. It’s about what you get. It’s not too much about what you give or whom you help rather it’s all about you. All of us carry a little of that guilt.

Certainly, you’ve heard about the war on Christmas. Evidence shows there’s no war on the holiday. If there was the economy would implode. It’s called Black Friday because that’s the day merchandizers begin to earn a profit. The sellers of goods don’t care what you call the day as long as a mob is willing to brawl over a television set. The war is on Christ. It’s no war though. It’s Christians capitulating to the whims of the world.

At the beginning of Christmas time, don’t let me be a downer. I have these same thoughts every year. I realized long ago that I cannot change anyone. As do most of us mortals, I often have difficulty taking an inward look. That’s where change begins, but there is only One who can plant the Christmas spirit in your heart and there is only you and me who can make it grow and spread it around. It is not the Christmas music, decorations, gift wrapping, cookies or even fruit cake that gets you into the spirit. It’s knowing, believing and sharing the true story, most especially with the children.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2 (NIV)

From Suzie-Q and I may you and yours experience your merriest and most memorable Christmas. May God bless you in the New Year.

© 2018 J. D. Pendry J. D. Pendry’s American Journal

I love hi-tech as much as the next person

I love hi-tech as much as the next person, but I try not to obsess over it. The first typewriting machine I owned was a Royal Sabre manual portable typewriter vintage 1970’s. There was once a case for it, but that’s long gone. It was my first laptop. I like the clickity-clackety sound of old typewriters, but am annoyed by electronic keyboards that attempt to mimic them.

In the bunker, the old typewriter still anchors a corner of a glass table top. An old typewriter sitting on a modern looking table is not at all out of place. Like my Dad’s old solid-state radio, it’s one of those relied on anchors. It would take considerable restoration to make it function properly. It was hi-tech. I could type in red or black, set “magic” margins and columns, yep hi-tech. The spell checker was my Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary and the tool to expand my limited vocabulary was a Roget’s Thesaurus. They still grace the shelf just above my current typing machine. There was no grammar checker either. I relied on what little I recalled from stern English Grammar teachers.

I don’t know why they seemed so stern with a furrowed brow peering out over the glasses perched on the end of their noses. I was not the one receiving little stars on my work. She was perky with turned up nose and a pony tail. My acknowledgement from the unbendable grammar lady came in red ink followed by multiple exclamations points. If you’re curious, I do not believe she did irreparable harm to my self-esteem. On the bright side, she did occasionally compliment the content of compositions but still gave me a C or a D for poor grammar and punctuation. The D would be underlined. In red.

When the lights go out, I don’t know how some of us will communicate. Can you imagine a world without home computers, smart phones, and Lord help us social media? Not long ago, I saw a cartoon. It pictured a group of children walking the sidewalk appearing headed to school. In the picture, every child was walking and looking at their cell phones. Someone captioned it, “The Zombie Apocalypse.” These days, we’re not teaching them how to handwrite the English language. When I was a kid (heard that lately) it was called penmanship and also drew red letter critiques. I saw another cartoon with pictures of a road atlas and topographical maps asking with the advent of GPS if anyone knew how to use them.

What got the rusty brain apparatus moving on our high-tech world is the new heat and AC system I just had installed. My trusty, yet antiquated furnace died. Being the same age as the air conditioner I elected to replace both. My perspective might seem odd, but I grew up in the hollows (hollers if you’re local) of West Virginia. Our house was heated by coal and wood fired stoves in the winter and in the summer cooled by mountain air and open windows. Mom solved the humidifier issue by placing a pot of water on a stove top. We did just fine.

My old furnace and air conditioner were simple on and off systems. Meaning each would come on with full power when called and then shut down once they achieved the temperature called for by the thermostat. That’s frowned upon these days, hi-tech, high efficiency, and very high prices are upon us. I don’t have a thermostat. At least not something you might recognize as one. It’s actually a tablet connected to a magnetic mount. It controls everything, well except for Suzie-Q. It lights up when I walk past. It communicates directly or via my home wi-fi network. It even takes orders from Alexa. Imagine. This thing is so hi-tech that if I remove the thermostat tablet thingy from the wall and walk into another room it will run the appropriate system to bring that room to the thermostat called for temperature. The manual for the thermostat is a big as the one for the furnace.

Here’s what I know. I have two functional wood burning fireplaces and I’m keeping them. And Carolyn, do not correct my grammar. Please.

© 2018 J. D. Pendry J. D. Pendry’s American Journal


It’s the doggoned truth

There is truth in this world. I declare this from experience. There is absolute truth. My damn furnace has never failed me in the summer. So there. There is more truth. It’s out there, you only need to think about it.

For example.

Here in the land of the free, we’ve managed to turn the world’s best system of government into lose, lose, and lost. It does not matter where the power temporarily lies. The side out of power does everything possible to prevent the side that’s in power from accomplishing anything. It’s a real cluster whatchamacallit, but they call it gridlock. However. There’s always a however. They are always able to embrace and pass outrageous spending bills that sends the pork back home.

With every election, fraudulent or not, the sides flip and the power and the drivers of the death spiral flips. Americans cheer the sides like it’s some kind of game. It’s not a doggoned game. These people hold the fate of our nation in their greasy hands. The evidence indicates that they do not give a rat’s rear end about it either. Or you, or me. Yep, we cheer as our country twirls around the drain.

Our politicians pound on one another for what I’m convinced is akin to a World Wrestling Federation show, naming, shaming and investigating while back slapping and having drinks and smoking cigars off mic and off camera. What did one of them just say? Investigations are sexy, legislation not so much. It was the guy with a skinny neck that looks like he has a popsicle stick up his, well you know what I mean.

We do not have an effective government. At least not one that functions as designed. It’s because the people we send to govern have totally lost their way. It’s not about what they can accomplish for the country, but how much wealth and power they can gain. Some of them are downright stupid. Take the lady from New York who can’t name the three branches of government and compares the migrant invasion with Jews fleeing from the Nazis. It takes big city intellect and sophistication to send such a genius as that to Congress.

We do not have a government. It’s a freaking zero sum power struggle, a war. A circular firing squad with the American people in the pivot.

No matter who has the seat of power, the American people are the losers. The motto for Babylon on the Potomac and their media lackies should be who can we destroy today. Seriously, I get images in my mind of medieval butchery except the barbarians scaling the walls and wreaking havoc have sprayed on hair-dos, porcelain crowns, tailored suits and wear an I’m a Congress person lapel pin or have a Whitehouse press pass hanging around their necks.

For most of these people, nothing worthy exists outside Babylon except for possibly Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Hollywood, Philadelphia…. People out here in the hinterlands, they believe, are simply not cultured enough to understand how things really work. This is why they insist that we take away the electoral college. So, the brilliant inhabitants of the big city population centers can decide how the rest of us live.

Face it. If you vote at some point you have voted for a liar. Calling someone an honest politician is like saying someone is pretty ugly. Can’t be both.

We have narcissistic former presidents that can’t go home and shut up. No, it’s not just the current one suffering from diarrhea of the mouth. They’re all aghast that someone from outside the political clubhouse, not named Bush or Clinton, was elected president. Someone who for most of his adult life greased the palms of those same politicians in order to conduct business in their cities. The politicians fear outsiders entering into the billion-dollar industry of American politics. The fear it so much that both parties continue to try to take him out. Even the Chief Justice and another on the Court have had something to say about it. What’s worse for them is that he’s exposed country club members for what they truly are and for whom they work. Here’s a hint. It’s not you and me.

One Congressman said they’d nuke Americans that refused to give up their weapons. Certainly, he didn’t mean actual nukes, but his stance is quite clear and he’s not the lone ranger in thought. Americans, hopefully, are not gullible enough to give up their legally owned firearms even in the face of force. And hopefully there are enough people in local and federal police forces and the armed forces that will defend the constitution against domestic enemies.

There a dangerous push by progressives from both parties toward more government, more socialism which is the little brother of communism, and more control of the people. A short history lesson: First they were communists. When the American people frowned upon that, they became progressives. When that wasn’t working, they called themselves liberals. That modern version of liberalism has taken such a pounding that they’ve returned to calling themselves progressive.

We may come out of the other side of the current state with America intact. We may come out the other side looking like Venezuela. And that’s the doggoned truth. I think.

© 2018 J. D. Pendry J. D. Pendry’s American Journal

Have a Blessed Thanksiving

It was always a special event to serve Thanksgiving dinner to Soldiers while wearing dress blues. Soldiers always had a big smile on their faces when being served by their leaders. They especially liked it when the Mess Sergeant supervising the operation kept telling the servers to watch the serving size or they could run out. I don’t reckon I ever made it through my shift as a server without getting something on my uniform. This was usually pointed out by my wife when I finally joined my son and her for our meal together.

While in the Army, my most memorable Thanksgiving dinner had to be first in 1971 during Basic Combat Training at Fort Ord, California. It was the first time I saw an Army dress blue uniform. The Senior Drill Sergeant, First Sergeant and Company Commander wore them. The other Drill Sergeants wore their Class A service uniforms. Every member of the cadre was a Vietnam Combat Veteran. I would later come to realize that was behind the intensity and urgency with which they pushed and trained us.

I remember that Mess Hall scene as clearly today as if I was still standing there. What was typically very business like with lots of kitchen noise, little or no talking, and Drill Sergeants yelling out for the dining room orderlies wasn’t there. Tables were set out in long rows all of them covered with white linens. Some trainees were able to have their families there. We entered the Mess Hall and were positioned behind a chair. Once everyone was in, we were seated and then table by table we moved through the serving line. The cooks typically served us wearing white tee-shirts and aprons and moved us through as quickly as possible. This day, they were decked out in heavily starched cook whites and where polite as we moved through the line. Back in the barracks, we were allowed to call home. I made my collect call home and talked with my parents until the Drill Sergeant reminded that others were waiting. On that day, my leaders and comrades in arms became my extended family. It was a great Army day.

As you go through this day of thanksgiving, take a moment. Remember at many locations around this world, Soldiers married and single are separated from their families. The bonds they have with fellow Soldiers is significant for them, but there is no bond closer than real family. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers. God bless them everyone.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

I’m an American- The political left was speaking ill of me long before Donald Trump was elected President

I’ve been busy with something that’s taking a lot of time and thought. It’s been keeping me from regular posts to the blog. But these days things build up making it necessary to do a mind dump to remove the noise and clutter that tends to break one’s concentration and thought patterns. It’s therapeutic. It lays things aside allowing focus.

The political left was speaking ill of me long before Donald Trump was elected President. When decades of globalist-oriented government failed, I was told: “…it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” The statement says a lot about the person who made it and the ideological mindset of those whom he represents. I’m bitter? Every time the media speaks, I hear I’m hateful, angry and a threat to our country. I’m told my constitutional right to keep and bear arms is responsible for all gun violence. Christianity is mocked as a matter of routine even from the Whitehouse and the floors of Congress. I’m called a racist because I believe in secure borders and “legal” immigration. If I want the factories to return so that my middle American neighbors may ply their learned skills and trades to earn a decent living, I’m anti trade.

The truth is, I’m not a globalist. I’m an American. Rather than being anti anything, I am pro American. I am a patriot with an unwavering allegiance to the country of my birth. An allegiance to the exceptional country as founded on the precept of individual liberty. I live under an oath without an expiration date, a sworn oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. I will fulfill my oath. Since patriotism has not yet been demonized, I’m being called a nationalist. Some adding the descriptor white to it intoning that I am some sort of a supremacist. No, I’m just an American. A patriot or nationalist as you choose. None of it means anything more than I believe in sovereignty of our country, self-governance, self-determination, and freedom. I stand to welcome anyone into our country who arrives legally, wants to make a contribution to our society, and who willingly embraces American ideals rather than bringing with them the failed systems they escaped.

The very declaration, I am an American, is being turned ugly. It’s been headed in that direction ever since the misguided youth of the 1960s began to burn bras and draft cards and clamor for free love and legal drugs. Their minds poisoned by the evils of capitalism and the utopia of socialism and communism. That generation became university professors. Following five decades of political indoctrination on our college campuses, here we are. One of our political parities is so rigid they’ve become a wholly owned subsidiary of the establishment donor class. But don’t be too hasty with assumptions, the other party has its donor class as well and it filled vacancies left by retiring cowards with progressives. Please do a little research. You will soon learn that Progressive is interchangeable with Communist. To the ignorant, progressive is a little more palatable to the ear. They are more in line with trashing our Constitution rather than supporting and defending it.

I know it makes me a modern-day pariah to even think it, but multi-culturalism fails. There will always be one or the other seeking dominance. We should hold tightly to our heritage and ethnicity. It is who we are. But if America is to survive, we must all embrace our national motto, out of many one. Out of many cultures comes an American culture. Not a utopia, but the best ever conceived by humans.

© 2018 J. D. Pendry J. D. Pendry’s American Journal

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