FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

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I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze;
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform,
So young, so tall, so proud;
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
He’d stand out in any crowd.
I thought… how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?
How many pilots’ planes shot down
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves
No, Freedom is not Free.
I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still;
I listened to the bugler play,
And felt a sudden chill;
I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant “Amen”
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend;
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands.
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No. Freedom is not Free!

©Copyright 1981 by Kelly Strong

Reprinted with permission from the author

Biography: Commander, Unites States Coast Guard

This poem is important to Kelly because he wrote it as a high school senior (JROTC cadet) at Homestead High, Homestead, FL. in 1981. It is a tribute to his father, a career marine who served two tours in Vietnam.
When he finds others trying to take credit for the authorship of the poem, Kelly sees it as a dishonor to the man who inspired the poem, his Dad.
Kelly is now an active duty Coast Guard pilot living in Mobile and serving at the US Coast Guard Aviation Training Center. He has three kids and a great wife, Najwa, who just completed work at the Miami VA clinic as a physical therapist.

http://www.iwvpa.net/strongk/

 

 

Obama: AWOL at Arlington on Memorial Day

by Clio

For the first time since 1992, the American president is delegating the wreath-laying service at Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day; Mr. Obama is jetting to Chicago aboard Air Force One to enjoy the three-day weekend with his family, leaving the honor of placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to Vice President Joe Biden.

In 2002, President George W. Bush attended a solemn ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer; 9387 American soldiers are buried in this cemetery near Sainte-Mere-Eglise, the first town in France to be liberated by American troops during the World War II D-Day Invasion, June 6, 1944. Many remember watching the televised ceremonies and President Bush’s moving tribute these fallen heroes.

Fortunately, the men and women who serve in uniform can take comfort knowing that the current president’s priorities are in order: he will return to the White House on June 2nd, just in time to present Sir Paul McCartney with the Gershwin Prize, a lifetime achievement award for contributions to pop music.

This marks the first time since 1992 that a U.S. President has delegated honoring those who died in service to our nation. During his 1992 presidential campaign, former President George H.W. Bush, a decorated military war hero, observed the holiday in Maine while his vice president, Dan Quayle (who served in the Illinois National Guard), attended to the ceremony in his stead.

The mainstream media remains Mr. Obama’s friend and marketing division by defending his decision to skip the wreath-laying on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier next Monday:

“So what the hell do these conservatives want out of Obama? And does it matter if Obama throws some leaves on a tomb?” David Corn, www.politicsdaily.com

Let’s take a moment to assess Mr. Obama and his relationship with the military and his concern for the security of our country:

Mr. Obama has not served in the military.

Mr. Obama finds the phrase “war on terror” distasteful, preferring “overseas contingency operation.” Terrorism is now “man-caused disasters.”

Mr. Obama doesn’t condone using terms like “radical Islam,” nor does he approve of the term “enemy combatant.” The Obama administration prefers: “individuals who provide substantial support to al-Qaida forces in other parts of the world may properly be deemed part of al-Qaida itself …”

Mr. Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, wants to give “individuals who provide substantial support to al-Qaida …” civilian trials in New York City (the scene of the most heinous attack on American soil, September 11, 2001) instead of military tribunals despite strong objections from the American people, including many of the families of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Recently, three Navy Seals were charged with abusing Ahmed Hashim Abed who claimed that Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew McCabe punched him in the stomach. Also charged, Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas and Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe with dereliction of duty based on allegations that they failed to safeguard the prisoner.

According to USNavySeals.com, an unofficial blog; “In addition to being accused of masterminding the killing of four Blackwater contractors and dragging their charred bodies in the streets before hanging them [from] a bridge over the Euphrates, [Abed] is also said to have committed a series of killings – beheadings included – as an Al Qaeda operative in western Anbar province. He is also said to be responsible for recruitment, weapons trafficking, ambushes and attacks using improvised explosive devices…”

Three American heroes were arrested, charged and tried because a terrorist claimed that one punched him in the stomach; all three Navy Seals were found not guilty.

On November 5, 2009, another “man-caused disaster” occurred at Fort Hood; Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan murdered 13 people and wounded 29 others in the first act of terrorism on American soil since September 11, 2001.

Mr. Obama was slow to issue a statement regarding the attack, eventually noting the attack during a brief press conference before moving on to promote his health care agenda.

Mr. Obama called the attack a “tragedy,” not terrorism.

The administration and military failed to note or act on information about Major Hasan, a Muslim born in Virginia to Jordanian immigrants.

Since the attack on Ft. Hood, we’ve learned the FBI and Major Hasan’s superiors were aware of Major Hasan’s extremist views at least six months prior to the attack. Major Hasan was monitored by intelligence services because he exchanged e-mails, asking for guidance regarding violence, with radical Imam Anwar al-Awlaki.

U.S. Major Hasan’s business cards identified him as a “Soldier of Islam.”

Hasan was “on the radar” of his associates, superiors and officials, yet they failed to act due to concerns about “…hearings and potential legal conflict.” Fox News

When one takes all of the above into consideration, it is obvious that the current administration is reluctant to identify radical Islamic terrorists and their hostile agenda for America, yet comfortable showing a lack of respect and support for those who serve in uniform.

After a year and a half of apologizing to the world for his perceptions of America’s transgressions and bowing to foreign kings, Mr. Obama continues to show his true colors … and they are not Red, White and Blue.

 

This Memorial Day, The Bold Pursuit honors the men and women who serve in uniform and pays tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, our freedom and democracy. Below is The Sentinels Creed of the Tomb Guards at Arlington National Cemetery:

 

The Sentinels Creed

 

My dedication to this sacred duty
is total and whole-hearted.
In the responsibility bestowed on me
never will I falter.
And with dignity and perseverance
my standard will remain perfection.
Through the years of diligence and praise
and the discomfort of the elements,
I will walk my tour in humble reverence
to the best of my ability.
It is he who commands the respect I protect,
his bravery that made us so proud.
Surrounded by well meaning crowds by day,
alone in the thoughtful peace of night,
this soldier will in honored glory rest
under my eternal vigilance.

After reading The Sentinels Creed, it’s easy to understand why so many Americans are displeased with Mr. Obama’s decision to take a personal vacation instead of paying tribute to those who served our nation.

 

TombGuard.Org:
“The Sentinel’s Creed are the 99 words we live by. The words bring vast emotions to the surface when spoken by a Sentinel. We tend to stand a little taller, back a little straighter and our head just a little higher. These words capture the true meaning of why we are Tomb Guards. When ever a Tomb Guard salutes a commissioned officer, they always say in a loud voice:

 

“Line Six, Sir!”

 

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© The Bold Pursuit, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Big Versus Small, Government— the Impending Collision

Special to The Bold Pursuit … an insightful blog by Robert Arvay

Two major philosophies of government seem to be on a collision course. In the “Big Government” approach, the view is that ordinary people cannot be left to their own devices. The ordinary man, unruled by a wise and benevolent government, is either incompetent or greedy. The greedy will take advantage of the incompetent, and social injustice will inflict its cruelties upon the weak and helpless.

In the “Small Government” approach, big government is not viewed as wise and benevolent, but rather, insulated from the consequences of its failed policies. It is government, not the populace, which must be held accountable, and restrained from becoming cruelly tyrannical.

Among the great confusions of the argument, is that “Small Government” is taken by its opponents to mean, “No Government.”

The US Constitution clearly rejects that myth. Instead, the powers and responsibilities of government are specifically enumerated. Within its boundaries, the federal government is very powerful. It can levy taxes, declare war, imprison miscreants, and put to death traitors. Although the fifty states are each sovereign, self-governing entities, the federal government can regulate their inter-state relations, and in some cases, overrule their laws. This is hardly a “no government” approach. The limited powers of the federal government are significant to say the least.

Key to understanding the US Constitution is its first ten Amendments, known collectively as the “Bill of Rights.” Freedom of speech, of religion, from unreasonable search, and so forth, give the citizenry enormous powers of autonomy, and freedom FROM government, except where specified in the Constitution. And just in case anyone misses the point, the final and Tenth Amendment (of the first ten) stipulates quite carefully, and I quote its entirety:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Clearly, the boundaries of the federal government confine it to the Constitution only, and not to any whim, not to any sense of a “good cause,” not to any opinion of fairness, nor to any conception of” social justice.” Those kinds of value judgments are left entirely to the states and the people, and prohibited to the federal government.

 

And just as clearly, there has been a steady drift away from those limits, and toward an ever more powerful, ever less accountable, federal government, until finally, we have a president and congress that are unabashedly socialist. Although they prefer the term, “Progressive,” their policy ambitions are barely distinguishable from West European socialism. Indeed, they often seem more draconian.

Now that the gloves are off, now that the US federal government has extended its reach far beyond its Constitutional confines, there finally is a popular backlash. It may be too late, but those who say it is too little are underestimating its strength.

In the past, social policy protests have largely been conducted by college students, and by people who have the leisure time to spend on picket lines.

No more.

The recent protests in the US are dominated by older, working-class Americans, including moderates, independents, and yes, even some liberals, who have finally been awakened to their impending fate. The trigger seems to have been the health care law, but that was only the trigger.

Regarding health care, nowhere in the US Constitution is the federal government authorized to dictate to Americans which health care measures they are obliged to purchase. The amendment process is the only legal way for the federal government to obtain that power, and the voting public would never tolerate such an overreach. The Tenth Amendment specifically denies such powers to the federal government, and there is little sympathy to make an exception.

Many Americans have become aware, that if the federal government can blatantly disregard this limit on its power, then it can with impunity ignore any limits on its power.

Suddenly, the vastly popular president has slipped in his approval ratings to historic lows. The upcoming November elections threaten to remove his Congress from power and replace it with not only one of the opposition party, but even, a body of those who represent an energized and outraged public.

Warning. Nothing in the behavior of the present government suggests that it will relinquish power easily. Nothing in its record indicates that it will bow to the will of the people if there is any possibility, by any means, of enforcing its will.

War against Iran seems to me to be the perfect pretext for canceling the elections. A devastating attack on Iran, the preparations for which have been far more reported in the British press than in the American news, would surely unleash havoc. Many tens of thousands of Islamic fanatics already inside the US could be called upon to wage Jihad in our shopping malls, schools, and government offices. Such and various forms of chaos have already been anticipated by the “Continuity of Government” plans, in which UNELECTED officials would take control of the infrastructure.

While this is an extreme “worst-case” scenario, it is not entirely out of the question. Britain would not be spared, and undoubtedly, all of Western Europe might find itself engulfed in Parisian style riots by Islamics.
My hope and dream is that the November elections will be held, will be honest, and will be obeyed by the US federal government. We shall see.

America’s Finest … On the Defensive

Special to The Bold Pursuit … Robert Arvay, former military, shares his unique perspective on the attempted courts-martial of three Navy Seals.

During my twenty years of military service to the United States, I was privileged to see some of the very finest Americans on a daily basis. From the lowest private to the highest general, and in all branches of the service, I witnessed constant dedication and devotion to our highest ideals.

I am now in my twentieth year of post-military retirement, and I have never had anything disparaging to say about our Armed Forces. But the recent courts-martial of three heroic Navy Seals compels me to speak my mind.

Every house has its soiled laundry, and as a general rule, we are all better off not mentioning it. The bad apples in the military are few and far between, but sometimes, they have a negative influence all out of proportion to their small numbers. And I warrant that the vast majority of military veterans know exactly whereof I speak.

So it is that I call for an investigation of exactly how it was, that three American heroes were not only falsely accused of a crime they did not commit, but actually brought to trial on the basis of a prosecution case that could not survive two hours of jury review before the just verdict of acquittal on all charges.

This was never a case about a crime. It was never a case about serving justice. From the very earliest stages of this case, superior officers had the discretion and the duty to exonerate these men on the basis of the flimsiness of the prosecution evidence, if evidence it was.

Let us consider the very worst case scenario possible, that the three men had presumably been guilty as charged. Guilty of what? Of punching a terrorist who had murdered Americans? Which they did not, but let us presume guilt. How serious was this charge? Serious enough to warrant a court-martial?

Remember, these men had risked their lives to capture the terrorist. They had risked death to take him alive. During the capture operation, they had every opportunity to punch, kick, stab, shoot and even bomb the terrorist, to insult, hurt, wound or kill him. They did not do that. But according to the prosecution, the Navy Seals chose to bloody the terrorist in front of a witness whom they did not know well enough to trust with a secret. Preposterous!

So why did the commanders, after seeing the Navy Seals refuse the dishonor of nonjudicial punishment, then proceed with a full blown court-martial? Why did they choose to believe the discredited witness, who admitted dereliction of duty?

To answer that, we have to understand that there are two kinds of people in the military. First are the warriors, those willing to risk their lives in the performance of dangerous, often thankless duties. Second, there are a small number of the politically correct.

And if you think that is of little consequence, you are tragically mistaken.

To prove that, ask yourself which of these two kinds of people supervised Major Nidal Malik Hasan. Warriors or bureaucrats? Hasan is the man who murdered 13 Americans in the Fort Hood massacre. There was strong reason for Hasan’s superiors to report him for terrorist sympathies, long before he actually murdered his victims. He had a long history leading up to the murders. But you see, Hasan is a Muslim. You might not know that. The press either did not report his religion at all, or downplayed it. Because you see, it is politically incorrect to associate terrorism with Islam. The politically correct do not wish to offend Muslims.

This is the kind of thinking that led to the courts-martial of the Navy Seals, but not even nonjudicial punishment against Major Hasan prior to his act of terrorism. The thinking is that we must not offend the terrorists who are killing us. We must instead punish those who defend us.

This is the kind of thinking that requires American warriors in Afghanistan to warn the enemy of our impending attacks, and to read them their (nonexistent) Miranda rights on the battlefield.

This is the kind of thinking that gets us killed. And it is well past time that Americans put a stop to this insanity.