Saving lives?

In the 1960’s, I was a high school teenager. Routinely, there were school walk-outs and sit ins and protests of about every variety. Along with being the hippie, psychedelic, pot smoking, hallucinogenic drug generation we were also the protest generation. Typically, they were anti-war protests, but almost anything else would do. Most of us had no idea or didn’t care about the purpose. We were malleable kids and these were fun social gatherings. We were tools used by political activists. Some of them were actual protestors or at least they were the ones who passed out the flyers inviting the rest to walk-out. Our social media was mimeographed paper invitations passed out in the hallways of the school. The large remainder were like my friends and me. We were happy to skip classes en masse with the “protestors” and not get into to trouble over it. We had our celebrities too. Communists lake Jane Fonda and liars like John Kerry and on the political side the likes of Ted Kennedy and others. As the saying goes, there is nothing new under the sun.

Kids of my day thought they were helping stop the carnage of war. What they helped accomplish was ginning up hatred for the military. It was an unwarranted hatred. They reveled in denigrating the young men who chose to serve their country when called. Young men who were welcomed home by the same idiotic protestors carrying signs calling them baby killers. Even in those days, the media could make a tiny percentage of protesting Americans appear to be the majority. Especially when the media, from top to bottom, agreed with them. It was a media quite capable of turning victory into loss and a Democrat war into Nixon’s war.

Many of the young men fighting and dying in Vietnam’s jungles were under age 21. In their time, not even old enough to vote. The 26th Amendment to the US Constitution permitting 18-year-olds to vote was ratified July 1, 1971. By then, Vietnam was in drawdown. Interestingly, the most prominent argument at the time was if someone was old enough to go to war they should be old enough to vote. Being 18 at the time, I agreed with that argument. Looking back, I had no business voting. The influences on my thinking were not yet tempered with real life. Vietnam Veterans scarred by war returned home to what appeared an ungrateful nation. The experience hardened some of them and broke others. This is the legacy owned by my generation. Nowadays, there is no compunction about sending heavily armed teenagers into combat yet we won’t let them buy a beer and don’t want them to buy a firearm until they are 21. How many more of our Constitutionally guaranteed rights are we to assign an age limit?

Now, 17-year-old foul mouthed children, political tools of the day, vilify members of the National Rifle Association and promise to vote against any Republican and our Constitutional liberty. Sad thing, they know nothing about either. In one year, lacking any life experience and demonstrated ignorance of the significance of the bill of rights and history, our 17 -year-old will step into a voting booth. This is what brain washing looks like. No different from the Hitler youth of their day. Who, by the way, were also used by Hitler to promote gun control. That turned out well. If you want to see how Hitler did it, read How the Nazis Used Gun Control, Stephen P. Halbrook, National Review, December 2, 2013. Then get the image of the snot-nosed teenager doing the Nazi salute and inviting his comrades to the revolution.

A couple hundred thousand were out marching they declared to “save our lives.” They received wall-to-wall media coverage. Once again, the slanted media is able to make a tiny percentage of Americans appear as the voice of the majority. Saving lives is the mantra and the way to accomplish that is by removing the means of law abiding citizens to protect themselves.

There was another march not long ago. It too was, quite large. It did not garner wall to wall media coverage. It did not have any big named foul-mouthed celebrities or teenagers making speeches. But, it truly was a march for life. Collectively, since 1973, Americans are responsible for the deaths of 55 million children. The evilest societies on earth responsible for genocide into the millions cannot compare to the atrocity we’ve committed under our man-made law. According to the Congressional Research Service on Gun Control Legislation, from 1993 to 2009, there were 544,006 firearms related deaths for people of all ages. The majority of these deaths were result of legal interventions, suicides, accidents, and other unknown causes.

The ancient religion of Baal, whose last known remaining temple was destroyed by ISIS, sacrificed their children and worshipped with sex acts performed by male and female prostitutes. So, what are we doing? As a people, we are asked to hate the National Rifle Association (NRA) who, as far as I can find, is not responsible for the death of anyone. The NRA does not receive any tax dollars. It stresses and teaches firearms safety. It is an effective advocate for the 2nd Amendment right of US Citizens to keep and bear arms. In our country, Planned Parenthood commits more than 300,000 abortions each year out of the more than 900,000 that occur. They also sale body parts of fetuses. We Americans give them 500 million dollars of taxpayer money each year to help them commit this atrocity.

It is almost a certainty at least some of the children marching to save lives from gun violence had a brother or sister aborted. One would think that if life is truly important to our children protestors then the thought of ripping a defenseless baby to pieces is exceedingly more violent and evil than gun violence where the victim at least had the possibility to fight back. And it happens in greater numbers each day than those who are victims of gun violence.

We’ve built ourselves a sex-centered society and our young anti-gun spokesman cannot complete a sentence about his parents without lacing it with f-bombs. Around our country we pay for the temples that sacrifice our children. Gun control is not a solution to our problems. Basic human decency is. God is.

© 2018 J. D. Pendry


Typically, in a flurry, I write about what’s on my mind. Being my own editor, publisher, and CEO and the business manager of a blog that makes no money I can get away with it. My method will never endure me to professional pontificators or those who pretend journalism while reading scripts someone else wrote. But that’s okay. Life is good.

Writing in whatever form it takes is just talking to yourself. If you’re sitting in your favorite coffee shop nursing a cup of Joe, using the free WIFI, and pecking away at your laptop most will not think you’re crazy. Adding to the aura of genius, plug some ear buds into your phone, and every so often pretend to take a call responding, “Really, Hmmm, OK, got it!” Then pull out your pocket notebook that’s crammed full of notes (mostly meaningless doodles), scribble down something, stuff it back into your pocket and continue typing. But if you are sitting there having an oral conversation with the introvert inside your head, the barista (who has no clue what a cup of Joe is) might call the cops on you. That’s binding of course on whether the coffee shop allows cops inside. I don’t frequent coffee shops anyway, that’s just one of those literary metaphorical thingies. Krispy Kreme? Well now that is a different story. Just as a public service announcement, a can of compressed air will not remove doughnut glaze from your keyboard, but it does fairly well with confectionary sugar.

Some topics however demand more than a flurry. I started this essay a while ago. In progress, I received an invitation from the Army’s NCO Journal to contribute to a future Journal article on the Army’s Core Values. Nearly nineteen years past retirement I was somewhat surprised yet honored they asked. I stopped writing this essay and spent several days on the NCO Journal values contribution. It is an important topic for an extremely important audience. There was a little unavoidable spillover from one essay to the next. The NCO Journal contribution was a more focused response to questions posed by the editor while this one may run all over the ball park before it stops. Guess I’ll have to wait and see what survives the NCO Journal Editor’s pen. Here, it all survives.

With that completed, I came back to finish this. It intrigued me though. Out of the blue, while writing about values and morals for my blog I was asked to write about values for an Army audience. I do not believe in coincidence. Do you? I don’t believe we move through this life by happenstance. In the eyes of some I’m weird that way. Looking back over life, including my Army time, there are too many unexplainable right time right place occurrences. There are also too many unexplainable rescues from situations that could have gone south. I’ve had doors close before me that caused me to move in another direction only to find success in unexpected places. I believe there is a plan for each of us. I also believe in guardian angels, although I’m not too sure I merit one. And, if I do have one he or she (not certain about angel gender) is probably worn out. If in the middle of the snooty coffee shop I’d announced that, rolling eyes and snickering would abound. While aiming their pepper spray, they would have probably asked me to vacate the premises. And I’m not even a cop.

For the record, the last article I had published in the NCO Journal was somewhere in the 90’s and my last article published in any professional military journal was in the November-December 2000 issue of Military Review. It was an article they held for several years before publishing. Apparently, they needed some filler for that issue and plopped in the Reader’s Digest version of mine. With the exception of my book, The Three Meter Zone: Common Sense Leadership for NCOs, and the dwindling numbers of military members who still subscribe to my blog, I have been out of sight out of mind for nearly 2 decades. Being asked to write for an Army audience consisting primarily of Noncommissioned Officers is certainly an honor. I hope my contribution serves them well. For now, let me get back to where I was before I got where I am.


Have you heard about the culture war? It’s the epic conflict whose first engagement took place in the Garden of Eden, not in the 1960s. Evil encountered good and set out to transform human culture into one that ignores bothersome things like natural law, civil law, and utterly detests moral authority. In the garden, the continual war for souls of people and nations began.

It’s a war where an unscrupulous force endeavors to live in the shadows removing borders and eradicating identifiable cultures, nations, and human freedom. It is a vicious and unrelenting war. If it is not countered, the most violent, ruthless, murderous and Godless of us will dominate. And then they will try to exterminate the rest. It is not the pined for utopian serenity constantly spoon fed to the emotionally vulnerable – like submissive school children. It is a quest for absolute power and dominance. The battle lines are ever present. Around the globe nations are being overrun. They are headed for moral abyss and their cultures are being consumed. Here in the land of the free, we teeter on the edge of descent.

The descent to hell is easy, and those who begin by worshipping power soon worship evil. – C. S. Lewis

Beyond the supernatural skirmishes for our souls, there are mortal pawns in the battle for the morality of humankind – in our case the humankind that makes up the United States of America. There are religions of multiple varieties, atheists, anarchists, globalist patrons of the one world order, a failing education system, the entertainment industry, the media with the advent of social media, news media, the opinionated who have giant megaphones with which to spread their views, political activists purposely dividing the people into manageable groups, those who would brainwash children under the precept of educating them, people who earn their living through the human sacrifice of children … you name it.

Deceit, disrespect, name calling and profane language are the norm. Don’t like someone’s point of view? Riot and destroy half the town and college campus to prevent them from sharing it and then call them fascists while declaring that you are merely exercising your guaranteed freedom of speech. It is something you are unwilling to forfeit for yourself but are readily prepared to violently take from others.

Hollywood created a violent and sexualized entertainment culture then feigned disgust when it became public knowledge and a shock to no one that they were and are still living it – everything from casting couch auditions to alleged pedophilia. And they are the ones who complained about it? Sincere, you reckon? Between sex scenes and barrages of profanity, they put automatic weapons in the hands of every action hero and bad guy too and with never a thought about the impact their entertainment may have on our devolving culture.

How long has it been since you saw a cigarette in a movie or television program or even a commercial? I miss the Marlboro man. The flip-top box in my teenage shirt pocket was a symbol of individualism, also of ignorance and stupidity. Thankfully, I learned that, but only after someone I loved dearly died early from a lifetime of smoking. Dean Martin with a glass of whiskey in one hand and a smoke in the other wouldn’t be allowed on TV these days. Maybe the entertainment industry could apply the same standard to sex, language, and guns as they did to smoking. Nowadays, smoking pot is normal though – even glorified. People take it for medicinal purposes as alcohol was once prescribed:

Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses. 1 Timothy 5:23 (NIV)

We all know how that turned out.

Are we okay with the trends of the day? Are we trying to invent a new moral code to replace the ageless? Are we aiming to make the unnatural natural? As a nation, have we abandoned the idea of a higher moral authority?

The man [country] without a moral code, like the animal, is free from moral problems. – C. S. Lewis Christian Reflections

I don’t think we are trending toward a new moral code, but rather toward no moral code. A past President declared that we are no longer a Christian nation. Are we running as fast as we can toward a post-Christian America. Are we being pushed to accept new moralities. Is a post Christian America our national aim? If so, C. S. Lewis questions do we want to:

…neglect not only the law of Christ but even the Law of Nature as known by the Pagans. For now they do not blush at adultery, treachery, perjury, theft and the other crime which I will not say Christian Doctors, but the pagans and the barbarous have themselves denounced.

Are we casting aside natural human values and trying to invent new ones. On issues of human morality, C. S. Lewis (As you might have gathered, I am fond of Mr. Lewis’ works.), the most logical mind on the subject I’ve encountered, points out:

Let’s get two propositions written into our minds with indelible ink.
(1) The human mind has no more power of inventing a new value than of planting a new sun in the sky or a new primary colour in the spectrum.
(2) Every attempt to do so consists in arbitrarily selecting some one maxim of traditional morality, isolating it from the rest, and erecting it into an unum necessarium [the one necessary].

Without suggesting concrete interpretation of the thoughts of Mr. Lewis, World War I Veteran, Philosopher, Atheist turned Christian Apologist, and prolific author with a gigantic brain I’ll offer my unassuming perspective. Human values are the common thread that runs through all cultures. It’s the firmware installed on the human package. Don’t murder, don’t lie, don’t steal…. A culture may choose to ignore them, but they cannot change them or invent new ones. Neither can they pluck one from the range of human values and declare this is the one, even if we discount all others, by which we must abide. The ones in which we choose not to abide are still there.

First… human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it.

Secondly… they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in. C. S. Lewis – Mere Christianity

We know how to behave, but we don’t. We know the Law of Nature and we break it. We know, yet we allow societal influences and the human desire for acceptance to push us away from what is right. From the time we exit the womb, cultural influences begin to tinker with our firmware. Wayward parents raise wayward children. Unscrupulous educators along with other societal influences attempt to indoctrinate the rest. We are in a headlong fall into a lawless, valueless world ruled by the lawless, valueless, and Godless. History has proven time and again that it is a world where one group always tries to exterminate the rest. In our world exists the manmade power to send any nation back into the dark ages. It is a place where most of us will not survive. It is time for us to make a real value check and compass adjustment before we devolve into daily life of basic human survival.

If God doesn’t soon bring judgment upon America, He’ll have to go back and apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah! Mrs. Ruth Bell Graham, circa 1965, wife of Reverend Billy Graham

In America, we claim to value freedom. From the beginning, we professed to believe freedom is God-given. It is a desire imprinted on the hearts of all people. We codified that ideal into our Constitution and made it the law of the land. Yet every day it’s a battle as freedom dwindles – not taken away but forfeited to an ever more smothering government. If you can believe the people who complete the surveys, most Americans profess belief in God and identify as Christian. Sometimes our Christian pacifism might be well blended with a little nationalism.

In our country, we cannot and should not be able to tell people how to live their lives. What we can and must do is insist by legal means granted to us by the law of the land that our government not write into law the unnatural. We cannot forever buck nature’s law endowed to us by our Creator. You can reroute a river, but someday it will return to its natural state. The result is generally devastating to those who chose to live where the river once ran.

Our country has been richly blessed of God, yet many are dissatisfied and cry out to be like other nations. Unimaginable, but not unordinary. The human race simply cannot be content. Why? It is because the heart runs after things of the world, which fail to satisfy; so the chase will continue until the end of time. – Reverend Billy Graham Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity, and Our Life Beyond

Until the end of time… This war does end. I plan to be on the side that wins. Eternity in asbestos underwear doesn’t appeal to me. But, I’m weird that way.

Don’t worry about me. I’m just having a nice self-chat. I can’t save the world. Ultimately, none of us can.   I do vow that my values including the God-given free will to choose my path can never be taken from me nor will I forfeit them. Even if that vow angers you enough to burn down your town.

© 2018 J. D. Pendry



God, Family, Country – Standing firm in the middle

God bless America
The land that I love
Stand beside her
And guide her
Through the night with the light from above – God Bless America, Irving Berlin

God Bless America. The land that I love. The land where hard won freedom is a birthright and cherished citizenship comes with an obligation to serve as freedom’s guardian. Those who do not understand our history, our Constitution, and do not embrace the American Spirit of Freedom can never be guardians of it. Here, there is a guarantee of freedom. There exists however, no guarantee of wealth or parity of wealth and no pre-destiny to poverty or serfdom. Each American is free to choose how to pursue life, liberty and happiness. And right or wrong they choose every day. Each of us, as individuals and a people, own the consequences of our choices.

We’ve traveled a great distance from the birth of representative government in Jamestown and from Plymouth’s Mayflower Compact. Jamestown was an economic venture and Plymouth a result of Pilgrims fleeing religious persecution. We’ve also traveled far from our founding and guiding documents, the 1776 Declaration of Independence and the 1788 ratification of our Constitution. Isn’t it remarkable that wealth and religion remain at the forefront of American life? Makes one think that we are not really in charge of anything. We are just bit players in a story for the ages. Maybe America is just another chance God gave us to get it right. It gives cause for us to question whether God or the root of all evil rests at our center. Our travels through time have also distanced us from our foundational pillars of God, Family, and Country. These pillars bind us together as the world’s first and only exceptional nation. Exceptional for one incredible reason. Our blessed nation’s bedrock of freedom and individual liberty.

We had a great start. We began by declaring, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” and ended by “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions.” We appealed to God for the righteousness of our intentions to break from tyrannical government and stand as free people. Our founders set us on a path some have deemed miraculous.

“I have so much faith in the general government of the world by Providence that I can hardly conceive a transaction of such momentous importance [as the framing of the Constitution] … should be suffered to pass without being in some degree influenced, guided, and governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent, and beneficent Ruler in whom all inferior spirits live and move and have their being.” – Benjamin Franklin, quoted from The 5000 Year Leap– W. Cleon Skousen

Our founders sought the middle. They chose governance by the people’s law rather than government tyranny on one side and anarchy on the other. Today we find ourselves pulled left or right away from the sought-after middle. No one seems content with solving problems “in the middle.” In a process made dysfunctional by rigid ideologues each side claims to hold the mainstream while neither do. They always vow to improve life in the middle, but rarely do that either. It is not a political process, it is a power process. It sales what Americans long for, freedom and return of the voice to the people. Instead of delivering as promised it drifts farther away from each. Reality becomes which freedom or right the people must forfeit to satisfy the wailings of the ignorant encouraged by the goals of the powerful. When power is the goal, real people “in the middle” suffer. Americans that work hard for their families and serve the public and country understand this. When presented the opportunity to send a business minded America first political outsider to the Whitehouse the people discarded meaningless political identities and did it.

Shout it from the roof tops. It was Lexington and Concord. The beginning of the people’s rebellion against America’s dysfunctional and destructive establishment political class. It was the shot heard around the political swamp drawing ire of wild-eyed progressives on the left, smug neo-cons on the right and one world globalists from all points of the political compass. We are engaged in a battle for our country, this planet’s last refuge of freedom. A would be tyrannical establishment, ignoring the law of the land, is fighting for its life and waning power and it will not go quietly. There is no ploy or trick too dirty or underhanded for them in their pursuit of the first actual American political coup. Put your left or right worldview away. Understand out of the other side of what is taking place in our country today comes tyranny, anarchy or free people. The three choices cannot coexist. Whichever it is, we will all be in it together.

Out here in the middle, we must view our position with urgency. We must stand firm as the freedom’s guardians we were meant to be and have always been. We must hold the line and never waiver in the face of tyranny or anarchy. We must never forfeit any God given right.

Give me my freedom for as long as I be.
All I ask of living is to have no chains on me. – When I Die, Blood Sweat and Tears

© 2018 J. D. Pendry