Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), as he appeared as a young man.
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), as he appeared as a young man.

Music begins where the possibilities of language end.”  So said one of my favorite classical music symphonists, the great Finnish master composer and violinist, Jean Sibelius (1865-1957).  He was correct in his observation, because as William Congreve so cogently reminded mankind way back in 1697, Music has charms to sooth a savage breast”.

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James Russel Lowell (1819-1891). Lines are from one of his most famous poems,
James Russel Lowell (1819-1891). Lines are from one of his most famous poems, "The Present Crisis," written in 1844.

I’d venture a guess that most readers of this beacon of truth know at least some of the words to James Lowell’s (1819-1891) great 1844 poem—a 90 line masterpiece titled, The Present Crisis”.  It was first published in 1845 by The Boston Currier, written  as a protest against the impending war with Mexico and as a condemnation of the existing evil institution of slavery, which had been incorporated into the new Republic of Texas in 1836.  In 1896, Garrett Horder took Lowell’s epic poem and condensed it into the shorter but more familiar hymn—“Once To Every Man and Nation”-- that most Protestant Christians have always known.  Both versions contain inspiring, beautiful, and quite troubling ideas  which have “pin pricked” my thoughts for decades.  To a certain extent, Lowell’s words still stand as a “two edged sword” ready to condemn those of us alive today with their thrust into our complacency, as lines #26 through #30 eloquently proclaim: 

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Jay Silverheels (Tonto) and Clayton Moore (The Lone Ranger) - Two American Hereos of
Jay Silverheels (Tonto) and Clayton Moore (The Lone Ranger) - Two American Hereos of "Yesteryear." Their horses were named "Scout" and "Silver." Silver had a part in the legendary fillm "Gone With The Wind" as the horse ridden by Scarlet O'Hara's father, Gerald O'Hara on Tara Plantation.

One of America’s true “heroes of yesteryear” was a stalwart, ostensibly  imaginary icon from those long gone Old West days “when men were men” (and women were happy that they were)—a true “role model” who, beginning on January 30, 1933, began to  thunder across the plains of our minds riding his great white stallion, ‘Silver’.  The America of my youth (mid-1930’s to the late 1950’s)—and perhaps yours also—was a time of similar heroes who existed in the realm of imagination, and in the tales of folklore so avidly listened to over that “pictureless contraption” called a ‘radio’.  Kids and adults sat in front of that electronic wonder, with its’ single poor quality speaker, long before the days of television, cell phones, the internet, space travel, identity politics, texting, and (thank God) “social media”,  and we were forced to use our MINDS—our imaginations—as a thrilling tale went audibly  into our ears and unfolded onto the personal “screens” of our own built-in movie theater that existed inside our heads.

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Boudica, Queen of the British Celtic Iceni Tribe in Eastern Britian. Died ca. 60 or 61 A.D. Fighting for the freedom of her people.
Boudica, Queen of the British Celtic Iceni Tribe in Eastern Britian. Died ca. 60 or 61 A.D. Fighting for the freedom of her people.

She was tall, had tawny (perhaps reddish) hair that hung down to her waist.  She had a harsh, commanding voice and a quite piercing gaze when she looked at someone.  She always wore a necklace of gold (probably what we call a ‘torc’), a very colorful tunic, and usually she wore a heavy cloak fastened at the neck by a brooch.  So she was described by the ancient Roman historian, Cassius Dio (c. 155 A.D.-c. 235 A.D.), long after her death. 

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Brave Words from determined people.
Brave Words from determined people.

Some of the following words are mine—but the original thoughts are not.  ALL of these concepts and words of wisdom belonged originally to others who pondered Freedom’s Principles before me—in some cases hundreds or thousands of years before.  That’s what makes them so unique, for no matter how “old” these ideas are, they never truly age, because “principles” that can assure—and have done so for centuries—the survival of human liberty are eternal

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The "Duke" - John Wayne (1907-1979)

Indeed, life is much harder if you’re stupid  (especially if you’re deliberately stupid).  True words, uttered by the hard-nosed (but soft hearted) Sergeant Stryker in the great old 1949 film, “Sands of Iwo Jima”, and portrayed so well by John Wayne (1907-1979), one of the most unique actors that American film has ever produced and who, despite his failures and shortcomings,  was one of the most sincere patriots our country has ever produced.  An iconoclast of leftist/progressive causes, Wayne was a strong supporter (in his later life) of traditional Americanism and the constitutional form of government given to Americans by our Founders, and he became a political conservative, much to the chagrin of the leftist vermin who increasingly dominated Hollywood during most of his career.

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Most of us are familiar with the legend of “Pandora’s Box”, first introduced in Greek mythology in the works of the ancient Greek poet/writer Hesiod, who is thought to have been active in the century between 750 B.C. to 650 B.C.  According to that mythology, Pandora was created by “the gods” on Mt. Olympus as the first woman on earth, and was given as a wife to one of the “gods”.  They also gave her a jar, or box, filled by “the gods” with all kinds of  good and evil and gave it to Pandora, instructing her to never open the box.  But her curiosity got the better of her, and she opened the box, thus releasing upon humankind all of the “spirits” of good and evil.  Pandora, realizing what she had done, tried to close the box but by that time only “HOPE” was still in it, and was sealed therein.

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S.-S. Britanis (1932-2000)
S.-S. Britanis (1932-2000)

She was launched in 1932 and christened, S.S. MONTEREY by Matson LinesOver a 68 year illustrious life, with several different cruise line owners, she became the oldest continuously operated (with a few layup years) cruise ship afloat.  Over all those years, when “cruising” became in turn very popular and, when air travel  became faster and less expensive, almost dead for a time, she kept being retrofitted and modernized, often with spare parts from her scrapped sister ships.  Her beautiful and majestic lines were known by various names over those decades (Monterey, Matsonia, Lurline, Britanis, and finally, as Belofin).  On our one and only cruise on her in December, 1990, my wife and I knew and loved her as S.S. BRITANIS, and that’s what she’ll always be in our memories.  We had a wonderful week on her, and we got to know every foot of her historic teak decks, inside and out.

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"Are these the shadows of the things that will be, or are they shadows of things that maybe, only?" Ebenezer Scrooge's question still "Haunts" mankind to this very day!

“Are these the shadows of the things that will be, or are they shadows of things that may be, only?... Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead.  But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change….Say it is thus with what you show me.”

So said Ebenezer Scrooge to the “Spirit of Christmas Future,” in Charles Dickens’ classic 1843 novel, “A Christmas Carol,” one of his most popular and enduring books.

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Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936). Author of Poem: “Lest We Forget.”
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936). Author of Poem: “Lest We Forget.”

Who can forget the stirring words of one of Rudyard Kipling’s most famous poems, entitled “Lest We Forget”?

“God of our fathers, known of old, Lord of our far-flung battle line—

Beneath whose awful (awesome) hand we hold Dominion over palm and pine—

Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget—lest we forget!

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The "Flying Tigers" over China, 1941. (Curtiss P-40 Warhawks)

 

“In the summer of 1941, months before America was drawn into WW11…, a small group of American military pilots was secretly being recruited to augment China’s Air Force.  At the head of this effort was a crusty, retired WW1 Army Air Corps fighter pilot (the partially deaf Claire Chennault) who had been hired by China to strengthen the Chinese Air Force.  Because America was not at war with Japan, great care was taken to avoid bringing into question this nation’s neutrality.  As a result, these volunteer pilots were required to resign their commissions with the U.S. military, travel to China as civilians and enlist in the Chinese Air Force.  These roughly 100 pilots and 200 support crew were … known as “The First American Volunteer Group” or AVG.  After their first combat on Dec. 18, 1941, where they were highly outnumbered and very successful, a journalist wrote in his column, ‘They flew like tigers….’  From that time on, they became known as ‘The Flying Tigers’. (With a tiger shark’s mouth & teeth painted on the front of their Curtiss P-40 Warhawks.)  The Flying Tigers were disbanded and replaced by the U.S. military 7 months later on July 4, 1942, but during (those 7 months), they racked up one of the finest air combat records in history.”  (Quoted from Flying Tiger pilot R.T. Smith (1918-1995) in his “History of the American Volunteer Group, in the on-line blog, “History of the Flying Tigers”.

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I don’t present myself as a Biblical scholar. But I do study God’s Holy and truthful Word quite often for my own betterment, and particularly when preparing articles for this great digital newspaper, The Times Examiner.  One of the parts of His Word that I am confused about is the first seven verses of Romans 13.  I find it perplexing when trying to equate what my pastors over the years have told me that it meant, versus what I’ve been convinced it really means, based on the teaching of other pastors. 

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Would we, or could we—be willing to martyr ourselves for our beliefs?  For our religious or political principles that we hold sacred and/or inviolable?  Ah, that is a question to ponder, isn’t it?  The definition of “martyr” is:  One who willingly endures extreme persecution, suffering, torment or death for a religious or a firm political belief.  Obviously, history tells us of untold numbers of men and women who have done just that—who have stood firm for God or Country (or both)—who wrapped themselves in “the full armor of God”, or in their own definitions of “political principles”, or perhaps in the flag of the country that they lived and died for, and who withstood the worst that the enemies of God and man, or their own personal enemies,  could inflict upon them, even unto death!  So once again I ask:  Would we be willing to do likewise?  Could we—you and I-- allow ourselves to be martyred?  Would that the answer was that simple.

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WARNING:  This article is NOT intended for the politically correct or the culturally  timid.  Read it at the risk of either opening up your mind, agreeing mostly with my thoughts, or being seriously offended! (Apologies will NOT be forthcoming!)

Political Correctness Ramiereztoons

Let me begin by proclaiming my absolute and perpetual allegiance to the right to free speech, to unpopular speech, to all forms and terms of speech that are considered “offensive”, and ESPECIALLY “political” or “religious” speech that is hated, prohibited, disdained, or ridiculed by mental midgets or brain-damaged liberals—or the constitution-hating left wingers that infest the progressive, leftist, liberal sewers of academia, the so-called “main stream media”, the anti-American, anti-free speech, anti-conservative “information technology” giants of Silicon Valley, (i.e. Facebook, UTube, Twitter, Instagram), the anti-Christian, pro-terrorism Satanic dupes known as Allah’s 7th Century Primitives, the “gender confused”, the unborn baby murderers of Planned Parenthood, the drug-filled halls of the treasonous political party known as the Klan of New Bolsheviks (formerly Democrats), and the phony RINO “Republicans” who pretend to be supporters of our U.S. Constitution while they ignore it or subvert it at every opportunity—i.e. speech as protected by the U.S. Constitution and by the hard-won liberties enshrined in perpetuity in our historic Western Civilization.

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“Conspiracies have played a significant role in mankind’s past, present, and probably the future.” - Bliss Tew

(I apologize in advance for the length of this article.  As you “plow” through it, perhaps you can begin to understand why there is so much to say about this subject, so please stick with me to the end.)

Last time we examined seven historical conspiracies, or “plots”, that did change history, or could have had they not been detected before they came to fruition.  To further reinforce my argument that there have always been “conspiracies” among mankind, probably since shortly after Adam and Eve were driven out of The Garden, I’d like to review several more for  your appraisal, further reinforcing my arguments.  Always remember those three common elements necessary for some human activity to qualify as a “conspiracy”:  It must be engaged in by two or more people, it must be kept secret from all but the most dedicated conspirators, and it must be for evil or unlawful purposes.

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“In politics, nothing happens by accident; if it happens you can bet it was planned that way.” (Attributed- probably inaccurately- to President Franklin Roosevelt.)

The assassination of Julius Caesar in the Roman Senate, March 15, 44 B.C., as depicted by Italian Painter, Vincenzo Camuccini (1771-1844). Painted in 1798.
The assassination of Julius Caesar in the Roman Senate, March 15, 44 B.C., as depicted by Italian Painter, Vincenzo Camuccini (1771-1844). Painted in 1798.

I assume that most of us are aware of the concept of “conspiracies” throughout world history, and we’ve probably heard that term used for much of our lives.  Even today we hear the ridicule of political conspiracies, often from popular but  ill-informed “talking head pundits” all over the political spectrum who love to attack and disparage “conspiracy theorists” (people who are convinced that there are genuine conspiracies among us at this very time, based on evidence they feel is compelling). The more politically astute and educated among us like to discuss the pros and cons regarding whether “conspiracies”—political or otherwise-- have existed in the past or exist now, and what has been the affect upon history of such activities.  I suggest that the first order of investigation into “conspiracies” is to define the word:

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