04 June 2009


By Andy Weddington
Friday, 05 June 2009

In about two weeks the desert town I call home will kick-off its annual summer concert series. Every Saturday night throughout the summer a band representing a specific genre of music takes the stage on the community-center ballfield and provides two hours of free, good old-fashioned, wholesome family entertainment.

Before the first note of music is played, the Mayor takes the stage and asks the audience to rise—from lawn chairs, wheelchairs, and blankets—to join him in our nations's Pledge of Allegiance. And join him all do. Thousands—men, women, and children of all ages, races, creeds, and political persuasions—get on their feet and with hands over heart recite our Pledge while facing the flag positioned stage right.

Last year my wife and I invited good friends from Palm Springs to join us for one of the concerts. They commented the pre-concert ceremony was refreshing and moving and what a difference 35 miles makes—had that act of community patriotism been attempted at a similar event in their backyard there would have been boos and complaints from the crowd. No doubt—though Palms Springs is home to many patriots, there is a hearty faction of malcontents, fruits, nuts, and kooks contemptuous of America. Of course Palm Springs does not have a monopoly on these characters.

Reflecting on the patriotic spirit in my community and thousands like it in our 50 states, there have been a handful of incidents across America the past couple of weeks that have caught my attention. At least from my perspective, these merit yet more exposure so the sane people of the country are aware of them and like me ask, “What in the world is going on?”

In no particular order, here are a few of the headscratchers that reflect a country seemingly losing its way…

In Dallas, Texas, a disabled military veteran with fourteen years of service in the Marine Corps and Coast Guard is told that the Marine Corps decals displayed on his vehicle violate the homeowners association rules.

In short, Mr. Frank Larison, a long-time resident of The Woodlands II on The Creek, was informed in a letter from the homeowners association that his vehicle decals violated rules prohibiting any type of advertisement on a vehicle on his property. The letter mandated that the decals either be removed or covered and Larison’s failure to do so would result in fines and the vehicle being towed at his expense.

The local FOX News affilitate (Would CNN, NBC, CBS, etc. have been on this story? Not a chance.) covering the story spied other vehicles in the residential area, subject to the same restrictive standards, displaying all sorts of decals other than military. No mention if any of the hardened criminal owners of those vehicles likewise received a homeowners association 'cease and desist or else' letter.

No matter how you slice and dice this one it’s just stupid. The local chapter of the Marine Corps League, other Marine brotherhood organizations, American Legion, VFW, and all the other veteran organizations for that matter in the area should take this one for action by launching a frontal “assault” (to embarrass, shame, and disgrace) on the moron(s) from the homeowners association board who sent the letter to Mr. Larison.

In Mansfield, Texas, a woman who displayed a 3-by-5 foot American flag in her officespace in honor of Memorial Day found her flag not only removed but unceremoniously wrapped around its pole and disgracefully relegated to the floor in the corner of the office.

Debbie McLucas, the wife of a veteran and the mother of three veterans including a daughter presently on her second tour in Iraq, was merely expressing her patriotism and love of country. Her shared workspace in Kindred Hospital was the site of this outrageous incident. Apparently one of her peer co-workers complained to management the flag was offensive. The dim-witted, spineless wimp(s) of hospital “leadership” decided it was best to remove the flag. It is relevant to note the complainant immigrated to the United States more than a decade ago—from Africa. Uh-hum, if our flag is offensive, why are you still here?

The hospital, with egg all over its face, quickly recogized the stupidity of their actions and went public with a damage-control press release offering praise for those who choose to serve in the military and their families and invited McLucas to again fly her flag in her workspace (which she will do). Duh!

What is up in Texas? This too is just stupid. Perhaps the veteran organizations in Mansfield can rally, pool resources, and offer the idiot African immigrant a one-way ticket “home.” Departure soonest would be good for America—we’d have one less fool amongst us.

That such a detestable incident happened because one person complained is insane. If the complaint of a single citizen is the new American—democratic republic—benchmark for taking “corrective action” then I want to lodge my complaint right now. “I find Barak Obama, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Harry Reid (and that’s just for starters) offensive and do not like it one bit that they hold office. Congress, remove them immediately. Now.” Millions more Americans feel exactly the same way.

In San Diego, California, a minister and his wife were told by the county they could no longer invite friends to their home and conduct Bible study unless they first obtained a permit(s). According to the county, the couple’s Bible study sessions constitute religious assembly and are in violation of county code.

Pastor David and Mary Jones counter their gatherings are not religious assembly but merely Bible study with friends. Nonetheless, the county sent the couple a letter citing they were using their land unlawfully and directed them to either cease the study sessions or apply for a permit. The permit would cost the Jones family thousands. Now granted we are a land guided by rule of law but this sounds ridiculous unless there is much more to the story with their activity being disruptive to the neighborhood. No mention of that appears in any reporting I read.

People host Bible studies in their homes all across the country—every day of the week. Would the county take the same action if the assembly was studying the Koran? Interesting thought. If the county were to issue a similar ultimatum to a Muslim family rest assured they’d go berserk making all sorts of wild discrimination noise. And the loony media, right behind the ACLU, in the name of political correctness, would be right there covering it blow by blow—ad nauseam.

Can you imagine what our founding fathers are thinking? Surely they are appalled. It was not too may weeks ago that Obama, our president, stated that America was not a Christian nation. Yes, really—heard it with my own ears. Was there uproar in mainstream media? Nope.

Religion aside, what about social gatherings among friends in private homes in residential areas where retail business—e.g. Pampered Chef, Avon, Mary Kay, Longaberger etc. parties—is being conducted. Does that too not breach some sort of “land use” code? Say, commercial enterprise/activity in a residential area? Should not the hosts of such parties be required to first apply for a permit and, if not, be served with county letters threatening fines and more? If Christianity is under attack, why not the entrepreneurial spirit of capitalism? After all, both are the backbone of America.

Ridiculous? Of course. But there’s more.

In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, an on duty pharmacist is staring down the barrel of a gun as two masked punks try to rob his store. The pharmacist manages to get his gun. He shoots one punk in the head—who drops to the floor—then gives chase to the other who is brandishing a weapon and manages to escape. Returning to the store, the pharmacist retrieves another gun and fires five rounds into the punk who is lying on the floor. Reportedly, he did so believing at least one of two female employees had been harmed while he was away giving chase. All the action took place in less than 60 seconds. You think maybe heat of the moment, adrenalin flowing, being frightened, and reacting instinctively to survive had a little something to do with what unfolded?

Video tape captured the incident and the actions of the pharmacist, Jerome Ersland. He has since been charged with First Degree murder. A man facing death, an innocent victim of violent crime, is suddenly the bad guy? Legal analysts are in disagreement—some outraged by Ersland's actions are opining that the murder charge is a ploy to ensure he is not convicted. In Oklahoma, they may be right. If so, a clever strategy—and good one—such would be justice.

Were Ersland’s actions excessive? Maybe—if you’re not the one staring down the barrel of a handgun, in fear of personal safety and that of others, and are Monday morning quarterbacking from a comfortable TV news studio. Far from it if you’re ‘Jermone on the spot.’

Bottom line—if you’re a bad guy and pull a gun during the commission of a crime you had better be prepared for the worst to happen. One thing is for certain, today there is one less dreg in society.

As for Mr. Ersland—drop the charges and present him a framed city certificate recognizing his heroism, and toss in special recognition for expert marksmanship if the five round shot group was tight.

In Little Rock, Arkansas, two young Army Soldiers fresh out of training and home for a short stint of recruiter’s assistance duty find themselves amid a bizarre terror attack at the Recruiting Station. One is killed and the other wounded by a nut Muslim Islam convert who has decided indiscriminate killing by targeting unarmed military members is the best way to express his anger about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Private Willliam Long, United States Army is dead—at the hands of Abdulhakim Muhammad (not his given name at birth); a flake and fanatic—a terrorist. Long never had the chance to put his infantryman skills to use serving his country. What a senseless waste. Too bad the killer is entitled to a fair trial. That too is a waste. There's an immediate need for swimmers in the south Atlantic—searching for debris from the downed French airliner. Sounds like a good venue for ol' Abdulhakim to channel his anger to me.

This was indeed a tragedy. It is miraculous the other Soldier was not killed and the dozen or so people also present at the Recruiting Station not harmed.

There were a few more incidents on my radar that could easily be tied into this commentary. But that’s enough for now. What to make of all of this nonsense escapes me. But there is the almost overwhelming sense that America, and that which upon she was founded and is represented by—people and symbol, is under constant pressure and attack. The attacks—through “legal” harassment and hatred-fueled violence—are happening from coast to coast.

I do not host Bible studies.

I do have Marine Corps (and Navy) decals on my vehicles, proudly fly the Stars and Stripes in my front yard—day and night, occasionally recite the Pledge of Allegiance (every week during summer concert series), once in a while sing the Marines Hymn in the shower, and own a firearm or two—and know how to use them; and will if circumstances so require. I hope that day never comes.

Sadly, though we have hundreds of thousands of our countrymen operating on dangerous battlefields abroad, we need not look any further for threats and enemies than our own backyards—there rests equally dangerous, if not more so, battlefields. When our simplest liberties and individual freedoms of expression are already being targeted, what’s next? This is dead serious business.

Some argue asymmetric war is being waged through subtlety, subterfuge, and sabotage within our borders by well-disguised enemies—change agents sort of speak. And a liberal media serves as a sympathetic conduit. The days of merrily skipping along oblivious to reality are long gone—at least for now. There is no room for spectators. It’s incumbent upon the common man to step forward—become a ‘combatant’ through peaceful but forceful word and deed—and engage to preserve our heritage and country. Lest today’s children grow up and not know the remarkable country of their parents and ancestors. Change is inevitable. Destruction of our way of life does not have to be.

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