Archive for the 'Patriotism' Category

The Culpeper Militia

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 5 months ago

The Culpeper Minutemen were formed on July 17, 1775, in a district created by the Third Virginia Convention. This district consisted of the Orange, Fauquier and the titular Culpeper counties. In September of that year, 200 men were recruited for four companies of 50 men from Culpeper and Fauquier, with an additional 100 men for two companies from Orange. By order of the District Committee of Safety, the Culpeper Minutemen met under a large oak tree in a large field currently part of Yowell Meadow Park in Culpeper, Virginia.

When the Revolutionary War came, the Culpeper Minutemen chose the Patriot side. It was at this time that they also adopted their standard bearer that can be seen adorning pickup trucks of modern-day patriots from sea to shining sea. Their first action during the American Revolution was to defend Virginia capital Williamsburg after the Royal Governor, John Murray, Lord Dunmore, confiscated the gunpowder.

It’s sort of like the fundamental nature of mankind never changes, and rough men have to stand ready to defend family, home, hearth and liberties.

And here we are today, with Virginia having forgotten the lessons of history.

Liberals and the Use of Violent Rhetoric: Sticks and Stones to Follow?

BY Glen Tschirgi
12 years, 9 months ago

Peter Berkowitz has an insightful column in the The Wall Street Journal.

He points out the inherent contradiction between the beliefs professed by the Left (tolerance, respect for diversity, the betterment of humanity) and their increasingly vicious rhetoric.

The voters’ message [from the 2010 elections] was clear: Cut spending, compel the government to live within its means, and put Americans back to work. In short, the president and his party badly overreached in 2009 and 2010; and in 2011 the Republicans, to the extent their numbers in Congress allowed, have effectively pushed back.

But that’s not how progressives have tended to see things. They have ferociously attacked congressional Republicans, particularly those closely associated with the tea party movement, with something approaching hysteria.

Consider the unabashed incivility of progressive criticism, its tone dictated from the top. During and after the budget negotiations, we heard that tea party representatives were content with “blowing up our government” (Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne). Then came accusations that “Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people” (New York Times columnist Joe Nocera), while acting like “a maniacal gang with knives held high” (New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd). At the height of negotiations, Vice President Biden either said, or agreed with House Democrats with whom he was meeting who said, that Congressional Republicans “have acted like terrorists.”


How often they have haughtily lectured the nation on the vital importance of civility in public discourse, the urgency of constraining executive power under law, and the need for impartial expertise in public affairs to pragmatically weigh competing public-policy options. But in the debt-limit debate the virtues they profess could hardly have been more spectacularly absent.

The evident panic of the progressive mind stems from a paradox as old as progressivism in America. Progressives see themselves as the only legitimate representatives of ordinary people. Yet their vision of what democracy requires frequently conflicts with what majorities believe and how they choose to live.

Add to this the progressive belief that human beings can be perfected through the rule of experts, and you have a recipe—when the people make choices contrary to progressive dictates—for generating contempt among the experts for the people whose interests they claim to alone represent. And not just contempt, but even disgust at diversity of opinion, which from the progressive’s perspective distracts the people from the policies demanded by impartial reason.

The progressive mind is on a collision course with itself. The clash between its democratic pretensions and its authoritarian predilections has generated within its ranks seething resentment for, and rage at, conservatives. Unless progressives cultivate the enlightened virtues they publicly profess and free themselves from the dogmatic beliefs that undergird their political ambitions, we can expect even more harrowing outbursts to come.

Mr. Berkowitz’s analysis could not be more correct, in so far as it goes.   The problem is that it does not go far enough.

When he writes that “we can expect even more harrowing outbursts to come” he is (consciously or not) pulling his punches.   Words, after all, are just words.  The old “sticks and stones” proverb comes to mind.   There is, then, nothing “harrowing” about what these Leftists have to say.   The real trouble is that this type of vituperation too often leads to corresponding action.   That would be the “sticks and stones can break my bones” part of the equation.  This is where Berkowitz should have gone with his “harrowing” comment.  Because the real, and deeper, contradiction with Liberals and Leftists is that they do not stop at name-calling when their utopian visions of reform at the hands of their elitist programs are resisted.

The lesson of the 20th century is clearly that Leftist visionaries were not averse at “breaking a few eggs” in order to make the proverbial omelette.  Bolshevism, Communism, Fascism, Socialism and even Islamism all seek to subvert the individual to a mindless, communal creature.   If that means gulags, re-education camps, mass starvation and even genocide, that is a price that the Left has always been willing to pay.

And this is where the rhetoric of Democrats and their Leftist enablers is leading.  And that is truly “harrowing.”   How long did it take after the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords before the Left was engaging in the violent rhetoric that they claimed should be out of bounds in the aftermath of the shooting?   Months? Weeks?  Days?

The point is that the philosophy of the Left is incompatible with freedom because its sole criteria is to gain power over others and reform them whether the subject wants to be reformed or not.   They are the true Don Corleone who make an offer that society cannot refuse.   Because they are without a moral foundation to constrain them, every tool of coercion and compulsion is available to them.   Deceit, flattery, subterfuge, blackmail, intimidation, violent rhetoric and— finally– actual, physical force.

Recall the rhetoric of the Left during George W. Bush’s presidency.   Beyond ridiculous comparisons of Bush to Adolph Hitler, there were more than a few Liberals openly calling for Bush’s assassination.   The vehemence of those days was palpable.   Now, 3 years later, despite having control of the White House and the Senate, the Left is again reaching frenzied levels of calumny.   What do you suppose will happen if the Left loses the Senate and White House in 2012?    Does anyone think that the Left will respect the results of that election any more than they have respected the results of 2010?

Thankfully the Left is a minority in this country, perhaps some 21% of the population according to one Gallup poll and, according to this same poll, outnumber Liberals in every state except Washington, D.C. (big surprise).  But this is not grounds for complacency or comfort.  This minority of people are extremely well organized and occupy a disproportionate share of the positions of power in government, academia, media and entertainment.   In short, this minority holds the levers of power and propaganda in their hands.  Combine this power with their philosophy to do whatever it takes to cement and expand their power and the new social media that allows mobs to gather literally in an instant and there is considerable damage that the Left can do.   And do not think that they will hesitate to resort to violence.   They already have in Wisconsin when their union power was challenged by a duly elected majority in the State house.

How will the rest of us respond?   Time to start thinking that through, very seriously.

Mother Suspended From Work for Taking Call From U.S. Marine Son in Afghanistan

BY Herschel Smith
13 years, 3 months ago

From The Daily Mail:

The mother of a U.S. marine serving in Afghanistan was suspended from her job after answering a phone call from her son during work hours.  Teresea Danford was sent home and docked three days pay for violating a company policy of taking calls phones during work time.  She was also told if she used her cell phone again she would be fired from her job at the Crane Interiors Factory in Woodbury, Tennessee.

Danford said she was aware the company had a no cell phone policy but would have answered the call anyway.

Her son Lance Corporal Mark Ryhne, who has been in Afghanistan seven months, is allowed to make one call a month on a satellite phone.

Danford said: ‘There is nothing in this world that would stop a mother from answering a phone call from her son, and what if it was not my son?

‘What if he’d been hurt and someone was trying to contact me?

‘You don’t want to miss a word, because truthfully that might be the last time you hear from them.’

Danford said her bosses on the production line confronted her immediately after she took the call on Valentine’s Day.

She said: ‘I said “you are aware that my son is serving in Afghanistan and he can only call me when that satellite phone gets to his unit,” and he looked me straight in the eyes and said yes.’

Danford was sent home from work and told she was suspended for three days without pay.

The company bans cell phone use for safety and health reasons.

But after the local media picked up on the story the company was bombarded with calls and hate messages.

The firm, which makes interiors for luxury yachts, did a U-turn and apologised for the suspension.

Company manager Chris Anderson said they had also revised their phone policy for employees.

He said: ‘We have several retired military personnel that currently work for us, and their service along with Ms Danford’s son’s service to our great country is greatly appreciated by all, within the Crane Interiors family.

This is fake repentance.  Apologizing after they are caught in this moral outrage is rather like a child crying from a spanking he got after rummaging through the cookie jar.  He’s sorry he was caught with cookies.  If they were truly broken that they did something like this, they wouldn’t have confronted her with multiple managers (Was one not enough?  Were they afraid of her?) and then sent her home without pay.  There is no question as to the existence of the policy or their actions.

The only question is how a company like this stays in business?  They obviously have no idea how to maintain mentally healthy, happy and fulfilled employees, or even good customer relations (did they consider how this would be perceived by the public?).  And the management of the company hasn’t been completely honest with us concerning the policy (the policy isn’t really in effect for safety reasons, or else the policy could be amended to require an employee to remove himself from production if he had to take a call).  The policy is in place over concerns for losing a minute or two of production time, as if that could ever possibly compare in importance to the genuine joy of seeing a mother talk to her son when he is at war.

I know this feeling well.  I’ve seen my wife take that phone call at odd hours.  And I know what it feels like to stand at the doorway looking out into the front yard at 0200 hours waiting for a visit from a Marine officer and a Chaplain (that thankfully never came), all the while knowing that I had to leave for work in five or six hours.  And I also know about the good, restful sleep when that phone call came and you knew that, at that particular time, your son is alive.  There is nothing like it for the soul.

The management of this company could have allowed her to remove herself from production and then make the time up later, or even dock her pay, or better yet, contribute her income over that five or ten minutes to a patriotic and hurting Marine mother who was sacrificing more than anyone could ever imagine who hasn’t given a son over to war.  Stateside, the management should also consider what it means to prohibit answering of phone calls that might come from the hospital from a loved one who has been involved in an accident.

But they didn’t.  This was thoughtful, intentional, and premeditated.  They meant to do exactly what they did.  That makes me think that there is more to this report than meets the eye.  There may be a political view of some sort that this company is elevating above decency and compassion.  I might have expected this from, say, San Francisco – but Woodbury, Tennessee? And that makes me think that if I were an employee of this company, I would be looking for another job.

Marines Refused Service at Eatery?

BY Herschel Smith
14 years ago

From KCRA:

Web postings claim a Stockton sandwich shop refused to serve Marines at lunch on Monday, and the talk has led to a boycott of the eatery.

Calls for the boycott were posted on Facebook pages for the Department of Defense and other sites across the Web.

Posters claim that that Marine recruiters in Stockton were refused service at this Charley’s Grilled Subs in Weberstown Mall.

Franchise store owner Jian Ortman said she’s scared. Phone calls have been coming in nonstop from across the country, some with threats.

Ortman said this in a statement:

Military recruiters came to our restaurant and had a long conversation with our employee. We asked them to take their conversation outside of the restaurant because our employee was working. We did not refuse to serve the soldiers. We told the soldiers that we support our troops, but do not support the war. I meant no insult to the men and women that put their lives in harm’s way to protect our freedom.

The owners of the sub shop said they never refused to serve the military, in fact, they say the recruiters have been there before and not only that they offer the military a discount.

Employees at the restaurant said their boss did nothing wrong.

“We give 10 percent to them, and we serve everybody, we have no hate toward anybody,” employee Sondy Nguyen said.

The two Marine recruiters declined to comment on camera. A Marine representative said in a statement that, “As Marine recruiters, we enjoy discussing the Marine Corps opportunities with anyone who would like information.”

Charley’s is a national chain with hundreds of restaurants and known for its troops support.

“Whatever happened, I think they took it too far and overexaggerated,” Nguyen said.

So far, there are no boycott signs springing up, but the phone has been taken off the hook.

Contrary to Nguyen, whatever else did or didn’t happen, the statement issued by the store owner is prima facie absurd.  It would have been unnecessary to tell the Marines to leave because of a conversation they were having with an employee.  All the owner had to do was tell the employee to go back to work.

The rest of the statement is more enlightening: “We told the soldiers (sic) that we support our troops, but we do not support the war.”  Well, it would appear that they don’t support the troops well enough to know whether the troops they evicted were Soldiers or Marines.

Update on Bank of America and Flag Controversy

BY Herschel Smith
14 years, 8 months ago

In Bank of America Removes American Flags Honoring Dead Marine and More on Bank of America Dishonoring the U.S. Marine Corps we covered a Bank of America branch in Gaffney, S.C. whose manager apparently followed corporate policy and removed American flags honoring a funeral procession for fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Chris Fowlkes.

This issue went viral and not only was this topic covered at many web sites and in many discussion forums, but one thing is clear beyond mere lack of patriotism.  Bank of America got caught in a lie.  They have said that there was a miscommunication in corporate policy that caused a branch worker to remove the flags, but that explanation doesn’t pass muster.  It might have been plausible if the branch wasn’t able to explain the reasoning behind it, but the justification for the action was that some of their customers “might be offended.”  The corporate communication also equivocates concerning the action itself.  It wasn’t merely a branch worker who said that the flags violated corporate policy.  It was the branch manager.

Furthermore, The Captain’s Journal had some hard questions for Bank of America in our original article, and after publication of this article, Bank of America network domains from across the country visited this page.  We demanded that a full account be given and no company executive has weighed in and given one.  They have had the chance to provide more than the lame excuse that they originally gave and have refused.  In separate but related news, the Cherokee County Council voted to close their Bank of America accounts.

Finally, we appreciate the attention and links that this article got, including but not limited to:

Mudville Gazette

Oklahoma Shooters discussion forum

FFCobra discussion forum

SCHotline Mobile

Patriot Guard Riders

Jenny Marie’s Blog

Glock Talk

The Gill Report (archived)

Michael Brown Today

The Guns Network

Frisco Online

AR15 Armory

More on Bank of America Dishonoring the U.S. Marine Corps

BY Herschel Smith
14 years, 8 months ago

In Bank of America Removes American Flags Honoring Dead Marine we briefly discussed the ugly incident where a BofA branch removed American flags honoring a U.S. Marine who had perished in Operation Enduring Freedom.  We demanded that a Bank of America executive weigh in with comments explaining the policy that required such a thing – or otherwise, why a branch manager would take it upon herself to do such a thing.  Whether the BofA executives have not read our demands or are just cowards is not yet clear.  But here is more to explain the ugly incident.  First is a video of part of the funeral procession.  The second is mostly audio explaining the incident itself.  You can be the judge.

Bank of America Removes American Flags Honoring Dead Marine

BY Herschel Smith
14 years, 8 months ago

Greenville, South Carolina saw the arrival of a Marine who perished in Afghanistan, and Gaffney, S.C. was his ultimate resting place.

Only the faint sound of lightly marching feet could be heard as hundreds stood silent on the Greenville-Spartanburg International tarmac Wednesday while fully adorned Marines carried Lance Cpl. Chris Fowlkes’ flag-draped coffin.

The solemn arrival began an afternoon-long procession that ultimately wound through the streets of the 20-year-old Marine’s hometown of Gaffney, where businesses shut down and mourners lined the streets.

The homecoming came six days after the former Gaffney High School football player died in a military hospital in Germany from injuries sustained a week earlier in an explosion in the Helman province of Afghanistan.

Well-wishers waved flags, saluted and shed tears as an army of police cars escorted Fowlkes’ family along the 40-mile stretch from the airport to the town.

Lance Corporal Chris Fowlkes was a popular and well known young man in Gaffney, and a brave warrior who gave his life in the service of his country.  It was seemingly a very heart-felt and patriotic funeral procession.  But all was not well in Gaffney, S.C.

A South Carolina Bank of America branch is drawing criticism Thursday after an employee reportedly ordered the removal of American flags placed to honor a fallen Marine over fears that people would be offended.

The Palmetto Scoop received one eyewitness email claiming that the branch manager at Bank of America’s Gaffney branch at 1602 West Floyd Baker Blvd. “told a citizen who was preparing the route for a U.S. Marine killed in action in Afghanistan by placing small American flags along the roadway that the flags might upset some of her customers.”

Said the outraged tipster, “[The branch manager] took them down and made the citizen go in to get them if she didn’t want them thrown away.”

The flags were part of the funeral procession of Lance Corporal Christopher Fowlkes, 20, who died last week after an explosion in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

WSPA-TV has also received similar tips about the “flag flap.”

A teller at the branch confirmed to TPS that the branch manager had been there around the time of the incident but had left for the day.

Bank of America released a statement apologizing for the incident and celled it a misunderstanding.

“We want to ensure the community knows how deeply proud we are of the men and women who have sacrificed so much in service to our country,” the statement said. “The bank does fly the American Flag at our locations throughout the country and flags were displayed in front of our banking center in Gaffney the evening prior to our dedicated Marine returning home.”

UPDATE: WCBD in Charleston reports that Bank of America said the incident was a “miscommunication in corporate policy.” That raises the question, which policy would require employees to remove American flags that are part of a funeral procession for a fallen Marine?

One commenter says “You Lie.”  The branch in Lexington [Main Street, Lexington, South Carolina, United States of America] refuses to fly the flag the tellers tell me they have on site. The flag pole has been naked for over 2 years now. It is a disgrace, and a poke in the eye.”

So should BofA rename their corporation to bank of Russia?  Is it Bank of America, or is it not?  With whose offense were they worried?  Really.  Who, exactly, would have come into the bank and demanded that an American flag be removed for a Marine who perished in Afghanistan?  And why would Bank of AMERICA have cared?

What corporate policy was in effect?  Was this a branch-specific issue, or is there a corporate policy that forbids the displaying of American flags for the fear of causing offense?  Who was responsible for removing the flags?  Has corporate policy been changed?  If so, why was the policy in effect?  If not, what is the justification for the policy?  Will Bank of AMERICA issue a formal apology to the Fowlkes family first and then to AMERICA?

There are many unanswered questions concerning this ugly incident.  I feel that it’s necessary for a BofA official to formally comment on this article to enlighten my readers.

In the mean time, my most sincere condolences goes out to the Fowlkes family.  God be with you through this most difficult time.

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