All posts by JD Pendry

The Internet and social media turned me into a shallow headline reader

By J. D. Pendry

I even have trouble making it through a one-minute video.  I’m told patience is a virtue.  I guess I must strike another from my dwindling list.  I read, but if a book doesn’t capture me in the first few pages, I move on.  I suffer from self-inflicted attention deficit disorder.  Don’t roll your eyes, you do too.  I’m told you can’t solve a problem unless you admit you have one.  I’m still convinced the Internet is a government plot to make us all stupid or at least to guide our thinking and actions and we fell for it.

Good headline writers coax you into mind-numbing prose and have you searching for the rarely found headline promise.  More often than not they rely on common assumptions to draw you in.  I am convinced the Internet and social media are dumbing us down.  So convinced that when I saw the headline, IQ rates are dropping in many developed countries, I just knew some enterprising journalist proved my theory.  I read until my head drooped, my eyes were half shut, and a little drool leaked out the corner of my mouth.  Turns out it’s in Western European countries where the bulbs are dimming.  Right before I slammed the door shut, the writer put forth a theory:   Because of too much poverty and too little social support the US of A is not as advanced as the European countries.  In other words, we have to catch up to them (become more utopian I suppose having the government do everything for us) before we can achieve their level of intellectual decline.  What a goal?  Maybe if they had to solve their own problems…. The clunking sound you heard was my IQ dropping.  Being an old country boy from up the holler I don’t have a lot of IQ points to fool around with.  You ain’t so bright either.  Be careful what you read.  Excluding of course everything I write.

There’s the news about eliminating the electoral college.  Some states are voting to give their electoral college votes to whomever wins the national popular vote.  That of course is insane unless you live in the major coastal population centers where your vote could turn the remainder of the country into a serfdom.  If a lot of states pass such legislation, it would actually be a Constitutional crisis.  I’m not a soothsayer, but let me promise you this.  If a Republican wins the national popular vote, these pure democracy-seeking New York and San Francisco Communists will twist themselves into pretzels trying to explain why they were just kidding.  Sounds to me like a true Russian democracy.

Did you read about Badnawar, India’s rampaging monkey?  The monkey attacked people in town for 9 days killing one person and injuring nine others.  I’ll save you some reading time.  No one shot the monkey.  Instead there was a protest for lack of rabies vaccinations.  Eventually they captured the wild monkey terrorist.  Monkey 10, humans 0.

Out in Washington state, they’re going to start composting humans.  Not live ones, I hope.  They’re out to save the earth they worship.  Here’s the deal.  The vessel that carries my spirit and soul is just that.  I won’t be there so whatever you do with the body is meaningless.  If I do this life right, I’ll certainly be in a much better place.  You earth worshippers?  Good luck.  I used to tease Suzie-Q, but she didn’t like this particular tease.  I told her go cheap when I die.  Maybe a 2-ply trash bag and put me out by the curb on garbage day.  Now, all she has to do is haul the wood chipper up near my compost pile and stuff me in it.  Piece by piece of course.

Finally, there’s politics in the twilight zone.  Never matter that we only have 12 years before the world goes up in flames.  Put down your coffee because it’s painful when hot coffee spews out of your nose.  Joe Handsy Biden assures us that President Trump inherited the great Obama Biden economy.  They tell me that old blue-collar Joe knows.  And this is why they need to eliminate the Electoral College.

Life is good.

© 2019 J. D. Pendry, J. D. Pendry’s American Journal, All Rights Reserved

Subscribe to receive free American Journal updates by Email

Email Format

Remembering those who gave all for us

“It is foolish and Wrong to mourn the men who died.  Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.” General George S. Patton Jr.

Growing up in Southern West Virginia, we called it Decoration Day.  It was a time for remembering those lost to war and for large family reunions at Grandpa’s house.  These family gatherings were filled with World War II and Korean War Veterans, my Dad and Uncles among them.  For me, barely an advanced toddler, it was all about seeing my cousins and eating potato salad and banana pudding. 

The origins of the day remembering American casualties of war is debatable.   Several places claim the honor and President Johnson declared it began in Waterloo, New York.  Although not a declared holiday, the roots of the remembrance are traced to widows and families of Civil War dead, both Union and Confederate, who gathered in Spring to decorate the graves of those lost in the war.  Over the years, it became Memorial Day and an official government holiday to honor not only those lost in war, but all who gave their lives in military service to the country.  As General Patton said, “we should thank God” for each and every one of those who served and sacrificed and importantly passed to us the torch of freedom,

Then I heard the voice of the Lord Saying, “Whom shall I send?  And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here Am I.  Send me!”  Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)

I’m not a poet, unless you consider some of the Jody cadences I used as a Drill Sergeant.  During my last few years of service, I was at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia.  About a ten-minute walk from my house on Fort Myer was the Tomb of the Unkowns in Arlington National Cemetery.  It was early, the sun not up for long and flickering through the trees.  A slight breeze blowing.  A light dew covered the green fields.  It was the most serene, peaceful, and inspirational place I’ve ever been.  When I returned home, I tried to capture my feelings in a poem.  Indulge me my first and only attempt at poetry.

Fields of Heroes

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-16.png

At my back is the colonnade of the Mansion Lee,
Sprawling before me, a free nation’s capital I see.
Just below this dwelling high
Beneath an eternal flame a president and his family lie.
It’s a fitting place for a president to be
Surrounded by the hero spirits of the free.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-17.png

Not so far from this majestic home,
In Napoleonic alignment stand many rows of stone
Bearing a simple inscription, Union Soldier – Unknown.
Heroes of the free who never made it home.
A fitting place for these souls to rest
Guardians still of this world’s best.

A horse drawn caisson passes by
The sounding of Taps tears the eye.
With the blast of guns twenty-one
To these fields of honor another hero comes.
It’s a fitting place for an eternal home
Surrounded by brothers and sisters of arms.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-19.png

Marble and granite stand in contrast to green sod
Honoring those known but to their God.
A guard of honor walks precise
Ever present sun or ice.
It’s fitting homage to the souls

Of these unknown heroes who gave all.

Twenty-one steps this guard of honor takes
In twenty-one seconds his journey he makes.
For twenty-one seconds he will pause,
Honoring those who had a cause.

Quiet and peaceful are these fields of green
A spiritual place, calm, serene.
And as I feel their cooling breeze the spirits know
Humbly I stand midst fields of heroes.

May God bless and embrace the men and women who sacrificed for us.  Let us take the torch of freedom they passed to us and keep it burning brightly.

© 2019 J. D. Pendry, All Rights Reserved

Subscribe to receive free American Journal updates by Email

Email Format

What did you do today?

By Lieutenant Dean Shatlin

What did you do today, my friend,
from morning until night?
How many times did you complain
the rationing was too tight?
When are you going to do
all those things you say?
A soldier would like to know, my friend
What did you do today?

We met the enemy today
and took a town by storm.
Happy reading it will make,
but tomorrow you’ll mourn.
You’ll read, with satisfaction
a brief communiqué.
We fought, are you fighting?
What did you do today?

My gunner died in my arms today
I feel his warm blood yet
Your neighbors dying boy gave out
a scream I can’t forget.
On my right a tank was hit,
a flash and then a fire
The smell of burning flesh
still rises from the pyre

What did you do today, my friend
to help us with this task?
Did you work harder, and longer, for less?
Or is that too much to ask?
What right have I to ask you this
You will probably say
But maybe now you’ll understand
You see, I died today.

Lt. Dean Shatlin.
U.S. Army, Tank Commander
WWII, Africa

Lt. Shatlin’s tank was destroyed, he crawled to a nearby fox hole and had to amputate his own foot with a knife. He was found bleeding and unconscious by American soldiers. Although his injuries were severe, Lt. Shatlin did survive.

Subscribe to receive free American Journal updates by Email

Email Format

Sometimes life here in the bunker is not intriguing

By J. D. Pendry

Mostly it rolls along fine until Household 6 pops in for a snap inspection.  Suzie-Q insisted I straighten up some, rather sternly.  Followed by the look.  You know the look.  Right after she nearly tripped over a pile of something or other in the middle of the floor just behind my outrageously expensive ergonomic chair that’s never performed as advertised.

Now the bunker is neat and orderly.  Too neat and orderly.  It’s making me ill.  For me, clutter is a thinking tool.  Don’t you agree?  I’ve always believed the proverb.  A cluttered desk or office is sign of a cluttered mind.  The opposite is the sign of a head that’s remarkably empty.  Clean, but empty.  Clutter is also my chosen filing system.  Or more fittingly piling system.

I have discovered desktop surfaces I haven’t seen for a while.  Also, some unfinished manuscripts.  They’re uncovered now.  I’ll give them a look, maybe I can recall what I was thinking when I left them mid paragraph or chapter, but likely not.  I’m in my wonder years.  I wonder why I started.   Wonder why I stopped.  If any particular pile re-piques my curiosity, I’ll doodle some with it until something else distracts me.  Then I’ll listen to some music and wonder how many starts and stops Twain or Dickens had.   Probably not many since in their day there was no social media.  Explains how one opens the Christmas tale of all times with “Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.”  And then goes on to explain his lack of knowledge of what is particularly dead about a door-nail.  Who reads these masterful works nowadays?  Just old fogies like me, who’ve never appreciated streaming the latest video.  Besides, some of our classic American literature is shunned nowadays because by today’s parameters it might contain offensive or insensitive words.  Guess the judges of the worth of this literature don’t listen to the music being pumped into their children’s brain via ear buds.  Between you and I, it’s the haughty who are the problem. Not classic American literature.  Pardon me, but have you read some of the profanity laced work of today’s most successful and prolific writers.  I haven’t seen anyone take on Stephen King who lately has trouble completing a sentence minus an F-bomb or two.  That is what’s saturating young brains.  At least for those still reading books.

Speaking of distractions may I offer some sage advice?  Not to imply that I nor my advice is exceptionally wise, but if you need to focus on anything, close Facebook.  Don’t open it until everything you set out to do for the day is done.  I come in the bunker most mornings, check the email and read the news headlines.  If I open Facebook, I’m doomed to crowding my brain with the same 25 posts, cat videos, and Lord help me laughing uncontrollably at people taking horrendous falls.  I don’t know what causes us to laugh so hard when a woman, nose in her phone, walks into a utility pole and knock herself out.  I’m giggling just thinking about it and that can’t be right.  Can it?  And then there are always people laying out their personal lives and too often in intimate detail or declaring if I don’t share their post, I have no guts or am doomed to hell.  By the time I realize what I’m doing and the time I’ve wasted, my brain is so saturated with garbage thinking is no longer possible.  I’m convinced they’re trying to reprogram my cranial hard drive and social media is an evil government mind control experiment.  And it’s working!

I read in a self-help book (now that’s a profitable racket) people who are perpetually in debt do not feel comfortable once they’re out of debt.  So, when all the car loans and credit card bills are paid, they promptly work on getting back into debt.  Likewise, people accustomed to being broke and somehow come into a little money generally spend it right away to get back into their comfort zone.

I am busily making the bunker comfortable again.  Maybe I’ll craft a beware of tripping hazards sign.  I’ll make it out of paper so it cannot be turned into a life threating missile.

© 2019 J. D. Pendry, J. D. Pendry’s American Journal, All Rights Reserved Email JD:

Subscribe to receive free American Journal updates by Email

Email Format

Audie Leon Murphy Warrior Poet


Oh, gather ’round me, comrades; and listen while I speak
Of a war, a war, a war where hell is six feet deep.
Along the shore, the cannons roar. Oh how can a soldier sleep?
The going’s slow on Anzio. And hell is six feet deep.

Praise be to God for this captured sod that rich with blood does seep.
With yours and mine, like butchered swine’s; and hell is six feet deep.
That death awaits there’s no debate; no triumph will we reap.
The crosses grow on Anzio, where hell is six feet deep.


Alone and far removed from earthly care
The noble ruins of men lie buried here.
You were strong men, good men
Endowed with youth and much the will to live
I hear no protest from the mute lips of the dead.
They rest; there is no more to give.

So long my comrades,
Sleep ye where you fell upon the field.
But tread softly please
March o’er my heart with ease
March on and on,
But to God alone we kneel.


Dusty old helmet, rusty old gun,
They sit in the corner and wait –
Two souvenirs of the Second World War That have withstood the time, and the hate.

Mute witness to a time of much trouble.
Where kill or be killed was the law –
Were these implements used with high honor?
What was the glory they saw?

Many times I’ve wanted to ask them
And now that we’re here all alone,
Relics all three of a long ago war –
Where has freedom gone?

Freedom flies in your heart like an eagle.
Let it soar with the winds high above
Among the spirits of soldiers now sleeping,
Guard it with care and with love.

I salute my old friends in the corner,
I agree with all they have said
And if the moment of truth comes tomorrow,
I’ll be free, or By God, I’ll be dead!

Audie Murphy Medal of Honor Citation

Subscribe to receive free American Journal updates by Email

Email Format

So Help Me God – The Battle for the Heart and Soul of America

Life presents in black and white.  Doesn’t it?  Right and wrong, good and evil, light and dark.  I know metaphorical expressions wear us out, but these well-known comparations suggest for us what is and is not acceptable behavior.  They’re a product of natural law.  Unchanging principles and morality many believe endowed by God.

“A fundamental presupposition of Natural Law is that man’s reasoning power is a special dispensation of the Creator and is closely akin to the rational or reasoning power of the Creator himself.  In other words, man shares with his creator this quality of utilizing a rational approach to solving problems, and the reasoning of the mind will generally lead to common-sense conclusions based on what Jefferson calledthe laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.’“  The 5000 Year Leap : A Miracle That Changed the World(Paperback) – 2011 Edition

Natural law is a precept embraced by our founders based on the thinking and writings of ancient Roman lawyer Cicero.  Cicero defined natural law as true law.

“True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and ever-lasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions…. It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish it entirely.  We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it.  And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge.  Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst punishment.” Cicero, taken from Great Political Thinkers: From Plato to the Present Sixth Edition and quoted in The 5000 Year Leap.

In a civil society, absent written laws, natural law is observed by humankind.  At least by those who choose not to live in breach of humankind’s enduring principles and “the laws of Nature and Nature’s God.”

“(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)”  Romans 2:14-15

I stand in good company proclaiming that we arrived in this world knowing right from wrong.  Like freedom, it was written on our hearts.  People argue against that.  Especially if they do not accept the natural order or a Supreme moral authority.  The moral authority that defines right and wrong.  It’s the reason we do not need written laws to know that lying, stealing, and murdering are wrong.  Going against what we inherently know, puts us in a place where people and nations lose their way.  Life without contentment is frustrating.  During our brief time in this world, contentment is impossible if there exists a nagging feeling that what we’re doing is wrong.  Unnaturally wrong.  When our man written laws make the unacceptable acceptable or turn evil to good then, as we say over here in the hills, we are on the rocky road to perdition.

It’s an age-old internal struggle. Spiritual warfare some call it.  We choose to follow a Supreme moral authority or we cast it off and decide for ourselves what’s right and wrong.  We become our moral authority with ever expanding boundaries. When boundaries expand to encompass others, others who may not hold to what we embrace as moral and natural, we see fits of rage and demands that they not be allowed to have a business or even exist in the public square.  Observe today’s America.  People cast off the concept of a Supreme moral authority, what is or is not natural, and then insist that others not only accept their behavior, but also endorse it.  That is where the battle for the heart and soul of not just people, but for a nation ensues.

In the latest effort to rid ourselves of divine influence, Democrat led committees no longer require witnesses to end their sworn oaths with “So Help Me God.” They’ve removed the Supreme authority from the oath.  So, who is it that’s holding them ultimately responsible for truthfulness?  Go read Kelleigh Nelson’s excellent article on the subject.

If you’ve read this far without moving on, maybe your asking what exactly is it I’m babbling on about.  It’s not hard, you know.  I need not provide a list, but I will.  Go read Romans 1.  The letter from the Apostle Paul to the Romans may as well have been addressed to America and for that matter the entirety of Western Civilization.  America cannot exist as America living in the gloomy gray between black and white, light and dark, good and evil.

© 2019 J. D. Pendry, J. D. Pendry’s American Journal, All Rights Reserved

Subscribe to receive free American Journal updates by Email

Email Format

God Bless America

That Ragged Old Flag

By Johnny Cash

I walked through a county courthouse square
On a park bench, an old man was sittin there.

I said, “Your court house is kinda run down,
He said, “No, it will do for our little town”.

I said “your old flag pole kinda leaned a little bit,
And that’s a ragged old flag you got hanging on it”.

He said “have a seat”, so I sat down,
He said, “is this your first visit to our little town”

I said, “I think it is”
He said “I don’t like to brag, but we’re kinda proud of

“That Ragged Old Flag”

“You see, we got a little hole in that flag there,

When Washington took it across the Delaware.

It got powder burned the night Francis Scott Key sat watching it, writing
“Oh Say Can You See”

It got a rip in New Orleans, with Packingham & Jackson tugging at its seams.

It almost fell at the Alamo beside the Texas flag, But she waved on tho.

It got cut with a sword in Chancellorsville,
Got cut again at Shiloh Hill.

There was Robert E. Lee and Beauregard and Bragg, And the south wind blew hard on

“That Ragged Old Flag”

On Flanders Field in World War I,
She took a bad hit from a Bertha Gun,

She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp and low by the time that one was through.

She was in Korea, Vietnam, She went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam.

The Native Americans, The Black, Yellow and White; All shed red blood for the Stars and Stripes.

And here in her own good land, She’s been abused, burned, dishonored, denied and refused,

And the very government for which she stands Has been scandalized throughout out the land.

And she’s getting thread bare, and she’s wearing kinda thin,

But she’s in pretty good shape, for the shape she’s in.

Cause she’s been through the fire before
and she can take a whole lot more.

So we raise her up every morning
And we bring her down slow every night,

We don’t let her touch the ground,
And we fold her up right.

On second thought, I do like to brag
Cause I’m mighty proud of

“That Ragged Old Flag”

Subscribe to receive free American Journal updates by Email

Email Format