As we pause to give thanks for all our blessings, it is good to remember lessons learned from those who came before us, and to recommit ourselves to keeping this land free and prosperous for those who follow us. Memories give us a context for seeing and meeting our opportunities to leave this land better than we found it — and with the help of the Sovereign of the Universe, so may it be . . .
It is easy to become discouraged with bad news — especially during this week when we should be preparing to give thanks for the blessings of this great land we call home.
It is helpful to recall the words of leaders, those who found humor and often wisdom in difficult times, like Winston Churchill, who has been quoted as saying that “The Americans will do the right thing, after they have exhausted the alternatives.”
This week, we should not forget that the first Thanksgiving of that small band of Puritans in Massachusetts reflected an early variant of this American tradition of eventually getting it right after exhausting the alternatives.
The First Thanksgiving.
Immediately following their arrival in America, the Pilgrims struggled under an attempt to govern according to the aspirations of Plato’s Republic — not only to be religiously devout, but also in a community based on communal sharing and social altruism. All would share in common — no private property or entrepreneurship.
It didn’t work out well, as recorded in the diary of William Bradford, a signatory of the Mayflower Compact and five times governor of the Plymouth Colony. They cleared and worked the land, but they had no great harvest and the spirit of brotherhood withered. Bradford recorded that there was no incentive for individuals to work hard since they were all to share equally in the products of the corporate labor. Initially, the lazy did not work — but eventually even the industrious also lost interest and worked less.
After two years of this failure of what we might now call socialism/communism, Bradford and the elders of the colony realized that they were on the edge of extinction. So they decided to try something radically different: They assigned private property rights for divided parcels of land and the right of the individual families to keep the fruits of their own labor. And Plymouth Colony flourished!
Not only did the produce satisfy the needs of each family, but there was plenty to share with others—individuals instituted trading according to their individual talents and the community prospered. Thus was born American free enterprise, and benefits that far outpaced the attempt to “spread the wealth” and for government to plan and regulate peoples’ lives, per Plato’s Republic.
Our Pilgrim Fathers tried that utopian fantasy and soon realized its bankruptcy and failure as a way for living together in society. Thankfully, they fostered the innovative idea that when men and women are allowed to follow their own individual and family interests in improving their circumstances, all benefit.
Then they gave thanks on that first Thanksgiving. Lest we forget.
And for Today?
In the wilderness of the New World, the Plymouth Pilgrims progressed from false dreams to the sound realism of capitalism. When we sit around our dining table with family and friends, we should remember the birth of free enterprise in the New World of America — and the subsequent founding of our great nation. We need to thank God for these blessings, and commit ourselves to seeing them renewed and preserved.
This is the proper context for viewing the challenges before us — as Ronald Reagan most soberly once warned:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
There are obvious implications of the Plymouth colony experience that cry out for America not to sink into an abyss of socialism.
Beyond these spiritual concerns, there are existential physical threats that the “powers that be” need to address to protect all we hold dear. As we give thanks for all the blessings we have, we should pray that the Sovereign of the Universe meets our future needs. As Benjamin Franklin notably advised during the birth of our nation,
“I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that ‘except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel.”
Note the date on the above famous Norman Rockwell painting that adorned the Saturday Evening Post—in the midst of World War II when the future of all they held dear was still very uncertain. As the “Greatest Generation” that saved Western Civilization fades from the scene and at least some of us who were the early beneficiaries of their wisdom and courage are in our twilight years, I fear that we have not taught the “millennials” these important lessons.
A New Existential Threat.
Western Civilization again is at risk, from ideological adversaries who intend to destroy all that our forefathers gave us and aspired for us to be. Many of our leaders and many of the free press who are supposed to keep the government honest have refused to identify the threat, while mumbling various unfounded but politically correct platitudes about the “American way” and what Americans stand for.
But mainstream America is waking up. Recent events are showing even to the most uninformed that these politically based platitudes are misplaced, to say the least. The highly publicized jihadi attacks in Lebanon, Paris, Mali, and elsewhere are creating bitter fruit and cause for a serious debate on the existential threat posed by strict followers of sharia law, which is contrary to the U.S. Constitution.
Certainly, the avowed Socialist President of France, François Hollande, gets it and is proactively retaliating against the obvious threat that caused the most fatalities in Paris since World War II — and others in Europe are waking up to a modern “gathering storm” that is enveloping their land. Many would use the past tense in describing the growing “sharia law only” pockets throughout Europe.
President Vladimir Putin is retaliating against the ISIS shoot-down of a Russian airliner leaving from Egypt — and his massive bombing raids are not paying much attention to the “collateral damage” constraints that have our aircraft returning to their bases without firing their weapons because of President Obama’s “rules of engagement.” Click here for a brief discussion of a sample of these politically correct constraints that limit our warfighting capabilities.
U.S. aircraft continue to inflict pinprick attacks against ISIS while President Obama continues to “lead from behind” with no apparent strategy to deliver on his sworn duty of providing for the common defense. Even while recently traveling abroad he continued his vacuous and/or false platitudes, spreading anti-American nonsense while charging Republicans with fault for his own obvious shortcomings.
The jihadi threat (from both Sunni and Shia sources) is potentially daunting and not only overseas. For example, those who wish to kill most Americans could do so by taking down our electric power grid, as I have often explained in my regular messages. And our “leaders” continue to dawdle in response to this obvious threat, even as FBI Director Comey tells Congress that there are over 900 ISIS investigations going on in all 50 states. And he is manned to handle less than a hundred at a time.
Still, there is some good news — at least the mainstream media is beginning to pay attention to this threat. Ted Koppel is making impressive rounds in discussing his recent book, Lights Out, which emphasized the vulnerabilities of the grid, particularly from cyberattacks. See my November 3, 2015 message.
And as I shall discuss in future messages there is reason for hope that we can counter these threats if we so choose and act in a timely way. Stay tuned!!!
Together with our allies we must learn the reasons for our failures in dealing with the jihad threat to Western Civilization and correct them — beginning with a clear identification of the existential threat that we face.
Regrettably, our President refuses to take that step for whatever his reason — thereby condemning America to a rudderless drift into the future as he continues his meandering “leading from behind” strategy — if indeed it can be called a strategy.
French President Hollande appreciates the threat — we should support him and our NATO allies. Hopefully, President Obama will move in this direction when they meet today in the oval office.
As perplexing as it is, we should welcome Russia’s positive steps in fighting ISIS and other jihadis and seek a cooperative path forward. I say this as one who spent five years as President Reagan’s negotiator with the former Soviet Union — that turned out OK, with Reagan’s leadership of course. That said, I don’t trust our current leaders—so, watch them closely! Remember: The President a couple of years ago abdicated leadership in the Middle East in favor of Russia’s President Putin — who, among other unhelpful conditions, is allied with Iran and its leaders who call for “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.”
Pray for better leadership in another year. We have been here before, most recently with the “malaise” of the late 1970s — with Ronald Reagan at the helm, we made our way back to an America that made us proud. Pray we can find a way to repeat that return to the American dream that has previously stirred so many — and kept us free.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Please include a prayer that we preserve this the greatest nation in History for our posterity.
Near Term High Frontier Plans.
We will continue to inform our readers of the looming threats we confront — and where appropriate urge them to engage in countering that threat. Our leaders are failing at their sworn duty “to provide for the common defense.”
We will press for building the most cost-effective ballistic missile defenses possible and working with South Carolina folks to build a coalition to engage constructively with private citizens and their local and state representatives and other authorities to work with the SC National Guard in understanding and responding to the existential threats to the electric power grid.
We are especially focused on the nuclear power reactors that produce 60 percent of SC electricity—and more generally 20-percent of the nation’s electricity.
If it can be assured that they “operate through” a major blackout of the electric power grid — and I believe it can, they can play a very important role for resurrecting the grid over an extended time and supporting the general public’s survival in the meantime.
What can you do?
Join us in praying for our nation, and for a rebirth of the freedom sought, achieved and passed to us by those who came before us.
Help us to spread our message to the grass roots and to encourage all “powers that be” to provide for the common defense as they are sworn to do.
Begin by passing this message to your friends and suggest they visit our webpage www.highfrontier.org, for more information. Also, please encourage your sphere of influence to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter.
Encourage them to review our past email messages, posted on www.highfrontier.org, to learn about many details related to the existential manmade and natural EMP threats and how we can protect America against them. I hope you will help us with our urgently needed efforts, which I will be discussing in future messages.
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