Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Chinese Are Buying Up American Land - If We Aren't Just Giving It To Them

In the case of dictatorships, it is wise to remember that the problem stems from the form of government, not from the people. As someone who has spent a reasonable amount of time in foreign countries, I have learned that – if left to themselves – people throughout the world can get along just fine. It is the governments that screw it up.

The Chinese people have proven time and again that they are generous, intelligent, friendly, and that they just want what all people want. They want a decent home, a good job, and the ability to raise their children in a happy, healthy way.

Unfortunately for the Chinese people, their government is a Marxist dictatorship. If you are not a member of the communist party, you are simply a pawn in a very big chess game. It is well to remember that Mao Tse Tung (or Mao Zedong today), the founder and lifelong dictator of China, was responsible for the murder of tens of millions of his own people.

In China today, the average tourist will see what the Chinese want them to see. They won’t see the prisons, where anyone who speaks about freedom or liberty will find themselves lost for years. They won’t see the horrific labor situation, where people work excruciating long shifts making your fancy telephone, your clothes, or your furniture, yet they live in a drab, miserable slum next to the factory.

Recently, Chinese generals have said that they should prepare for war.  They are expanding their navy and are seeking to dominate the seas around Asia. A China/Japan war (over a small chain of islands) is a distinct possibility.

Now we learn that the Chinese are on a buying spree as they swallow up large sections of America. Local and state governments say it is just Chinese companies who are building businesses that will employ Americans. They seem to forget that everything in China is controlled by the communist government; and this includes the businesses. If American companies asked to buy property in China, you know what the answer would be.

We just won’t learn, will we?

The Chinese Are Acquiring Large Chunks Of Land In Communities All Over America
The American Dream
March 31, 2014

Has the United States ever experienced a time when a foreign nation has attempted to buy up so much of our land all at once?  As you will read about in this article, the Chinese are on a real estate buying spree all over America.  In fact, in some cases large chunks of land are actually being given to them.  Yes, you read that correctly.  China is on the way to becoming the dominant land owner in the entire country, and that is starting to alarm a lot of people.  Do we really want a foreign superpower to physically own so much of our territory?

There are some that are playing down this threat by making a distinction between the Chinese government and Chinese corporations, but things work differently over in China than they do here.  In China, the government is involved in everything.  In fact, 43 percent of all corporate profits in China are produced by companies that the Chinese government controls.  And all of the rest of the companies are very careful to follow the lead and direction of the Chinese government.

Posted by: Charles M. Grist

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Obama's Foreign Policy Incompetence - Makes Gaffes About Kosovo and Georgia

After five years as president of the United States, it is unbelievable that Barack Obama could make the kind of foreign policy blunders that he has just made in the Netherlands.

Then again, after Syria, Libya, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS targeting of conservatives, NSA spying on average Americans, the "reset" with Russia, etc. etc. ad nauseum, I guess we shouldn't be surprised at his incompetence:

March 27, 2014

Breitbart London has learned that President Obama has undermined Georgia’s NATO membership application, in the second foreign policy gaffe of his European trip this week.

Speaking at the press conference after the EU-US summit yesterday the US President wrongly suggested that Georgia “is not currently on a path to NATO membership”. In fact the country has been on the path to membership since 2008.

At the North Atlantic Council in Bucharest that year the attending Heads of State and Government agreed the following statement: "NATO welcomes Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO.  We agreed today that they will become members of NATO.”

Posted by: Charles M. Grist

Monday, March 24, 2014

Russian Inferiority Complex Stokes Putin’s Aggression

Once upon a time, a power-hungry man named Adolph Hitler rose to power because Germans had been crushed in World War I. The German people had a severe inferiority complex so Hitler appealed to their nationalistic pride. They loved him, supported him, and helped him create the brutal and murderous Third Reich.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian people have had a similar inferiority complex. With the rise of their new strongman Vladimir Putin, former KGB agent and a leader who has called the collapse of the Soviet Union "the greatest geo-political catastrophe of the century”, the Russians are beginning to re-discover their own nationalistic pride.

In fact, anti-American and anti-Western sentiment is on the rise in Russia, as are the fears that Russia is about to invade eastern Ukraine:

Putin stokes, taps Russians' resentment of America and the West
Fox News
March 22, 2014

Members of an American documentary film crew, visiting the southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol last week and stumbling upon a pro-Russian rally downtown, narrowly escaped with their lives as the crowd cursed and chased the Americans and violently attacked their minivan. The vehicle barely got away.

Such views are surely not held uniformly across Ukraine, but among ethnic Russians, and in the heart of the former Soviet Union, a palpable anti-American sentiment is discernible -- and it is, to some extent, the product of determined efforts by Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin apparatus he controls.

Intelligence from field has White House 'very concerned' about Russia invading more of Ukraine – possibly soon
March 21, 2014

Based on intelligence, Obama administration officials are very concerned the Russians are not being truthful when they say their forces near Ukraine's eastern and southern borders are merely there for training exercises, sources tell CNN.

Officials assess that Russia – as early as coming days – could use any number of pretexts to justify further military incursions into Ukraine.

Moscow could express a need to protect Russian-speaking Ukrainians, or to protect transportation lines from Russia to Crimea, or the energy supply to Crimea from the rest of Ukraine.

Russian troops could accomplish this quickly, officials say, and theoretically before any other nation could even raise objections.

Team Obama's Scorn For The Constitution

"Team Obama" continues to act in ways that would make the dictator of a banana republic proud. Although he promised to abide by the Constitution (which he has sworn an oath to do), he and his cronies continue to work outside the law. From the countless executive orders to explicit violations of our founding documents, Barack Obama simply does it his way. He shows disdain for the Bill of Rights and for the provisions of the Constitution that outline the limits of his authority.

But this is the path of someone who wants a socialist - if not Marxist - America...

Team Obama's staggering, scary assault on our Constitution
Fox News
March 13, 2104

The Obama administration’s contempt for the Constitution and the rule of law has gotten out of hand. 

Things have gotten so bad that two different bills are pending that would try to force the Obama administration to simply obey the law.

Even if they make it through the Democratically-controlled Senate, the administration has already threatened to veto the legislation as a violation of the separation of powers.

This is especially ironic given the legislation was introduced precisely because President Obama has eviscerated the separation of powers, ignoring Congress’s prerogatives in favor of unilateral executive action.

Obama to Putin: " If you don't pull out of Crimea.....I'll tell you to pull out of Crimea again......so there....."

The above is not an exact quote, but probably close to what Barack Obama (in his mom jeans) told former KGB agent and current Russian leader Vladimir Putin (who was probably wrestling a lion while he talked to Obama).

Tit for Tat: Russia hits US officials with sanctions, as Obama expands penalties
Fox News
March 20, 2014

The Russian government slapped sanctions on top U.S. officials on Thursday, moments after President Obama imposed penalties on 20 Russians inside and outside the government -- as diplomatic efforts over Ukraine unraveled into a long-distance tit for tat.

The newest sanctions would bar nine American officials from entering Russia. The list includes House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.; and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Markets Are Laughing At Obama's Russia Sanctions  (3 days ago)

Posted by: Charles M. Grist

Power Grid At Risk - Government Fails To Protect Homeland's Electricity

North American Power Grid
Instead of violating the Fourth Amendment with its over-reaching NSA surveillance policies, trying to take our rights under the Second Amendment, or attempting to indoctrinate our children under Common Core, the government should be focusing on one of the few things it should be able to do well. There are fixes that could be applied to our national power grid that could prevent its destruction or damage by either man or nature. But instead of doing that, they want to exert government control over every aspect of the lives of Americans.

Government Agency: If 9 Substations Are Destroyed, The Power Grid Could Be Down For 18 Months
The Economic Collapse Blog
By Michael Snyder

What would you do if the Internet or the power grid went down for over a year?  Our key infrastructure, including the Internet and the power grid, is far more vulnerable than most people would dare to imagine.  These days, most people simply take for granted that the lights will always be on and that the Internet will always function properly.  But what if all that changed someday in the blink of an eye?  According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's latest report, all it would take to plunge the entire nation into darkness for more than a year would be to knock out a transformer manufacturer and just 9 of our 55,000 electrical substations on a really hot summer day.  The reality of the matter is that our power grid is in desperate need of updating, and there is very little or no physical security at most of these substations.  If terrorists, or saboteurs, or special operations forces wanted to take down our power grid, it would not be very difficult.  And as you will read about later in this article, the Internet is extremely vulnerable as well.

The Slow Descent to War - Maybe World War III

Barack Obama is losing this very dangerous game of chess to Vladimir Putin....


How Sanctions Against Russia Could Signal the Beginning of ‘World War III’
The Blaze.com

Russia is preparing to fight World War III against the United States, not with conventional weapons but with the American dollar, a financial analyst told TheBlaze.

Kevin Freeman, a global financial analyst with expertise in financial warfare and terrorism, warned that Russia, along with allies like China, could cripple the U.S. financial system.

It’s not a theory but a “very real reality” that should not be ignored, he said.

“The real risk is if we go after them with economic weapons, they come back after us and this creates World War III,” said Freeman, who has consulted for the Pentagon, CIA and FBI. ”This is a very tough game of chicken that we’re playing, and Putin is serious.”

READ MORE: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/03/18/how-sanctions-against-russia-could-signal-the-beginning-of-world-war-iii/

Posted by: Charles M. Grist

Russia's Annexation Of Crimea - There Is Nothing The West Can Do About It

Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine is a done deal. There is nothing that the United States can do about it, and there is nothing we should do about it.

The "insurgent" efforts by the United States and the European Union resulted in the Ukrainian coup that toppled the Russian-leaning leader. If the West had been wise enough to mind their own business, Ukraine would have been left to manage its own affairs, and Putin would not have felt it necessary to counter the NATO-managed coup with his own takeover of Crimea.

But our country has not been wise. The Obama administration has stuck its nose into the internal affairs of Syria, Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere - all with disastrous consequences.

The following analysis on the Russian/Ukrainian/Crimean situation is from Stratfor.com, global intelligence analysts, who have had terrific success in understanding and explaining world affairs:

Russia Examines Its Options for Responding to Ukraine

By George Friedman

The fall of the Ukrainian government and its replacement with one that appears to be oriented toward the West represents a major defeat for the Russian Federation. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia accepted the reality that the former Eastern European satellite states would be absorbed into the Western economic and political systems. Moscow claims to have been assured that former Soviet republics would be left as a neutral buffer zone and not absorbed. Washington and others have disputed that this was promised. In any case, it was rendered meaningless when the Baltic states were admitted to NATO and the European Union. The result was that NATO, which had been almost 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) from St. Petersburg, was now less than approximately 160 kilometers away. 

This left Belarus and Ukraine as buffers. Ukraine is about 480 kilometers from Moscow at its closest point. Were Belarus and Ukraine both admitted to NATO, the city of Smolensk, which had been deep inside the Soviet Union, would have become a border town. Russia has historically protected itself with its depth. It moved its borders as far west as possible, and that depth deterred adventurers -- or, as it did with Hitler and Napoleon, destroyed them. The loss of Ukraine as a buffer to the West leaves Russia without that depth and hostage to the intentions and capabilities of Europe and the United States.

(“Russia Examines Its Options for Responding to Ukraine is republished with permission of Stratfor.")

Posted by: Charles M. Grist

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Gun Registration Leads To Confiscation – Here’s The Proof

The citizens who complied with New York City's laws on the registration of firearms are now learning the hard lesson that the National Rifle Association and others have warned about.

Using the lists of registered weapons, New York City is sending letters to owners advising them to turn in their weapons or face the consequences. (SWAT raid in the middle of the night?)

So when the federal government tries this un-Constitutional scheme, remember the lessons being learned by the citizens of "The People's Republic of New York City" about their tyrannical city government.

It’s kind of hard to feel sorry for them, however. They were dumb enough to elect a Marxist for their new mayor:

The Daily Caller
December 6, 2013

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is sending out letters telling gun owners to turn over their rifles and shotguns — or else face the consequences.

New York City’s ban on rifles and shotguns that hold more than five rounds is now being enforced, according to a letter the NYPD is sending out to targeted city gun owners.

“It appears you are in possession of a rifle and/or Shotgun (listed below) that has an ammunition feeding device capable of holding more than five (5) rounds of ammunition. Rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than five (5) rounds of ammunition are unlawful to possess in New York City, as per NYC Administrative Code 10-306 (b).”

Posted by:
Charles M. Grist

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Obama The Tyrant – Ignoring The Constitution & Existing Laws; Re-Writing Laws As He Sees Fit

The founding fathers set up a system of checks and balances via legislative, judicial and executive branches of government. But in Obama’s world, it is all about him, his way, and his agenda.

He is exercising powers that he DOES NOT HAVE under the Constitution. But you will never understand this by listening to or watching the “lamestream media” i.e. CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, etc. etc.

You Obama-lovers may not like the truth - but it is the truth. The man is an egomaniac...:

December 4, 2013

Yesterday the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to examine the constitutionality of Obama’s executive use of powers.

During the hearing, titled “The President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws,” experts discussed the president’s role in our constitutional system.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News that Obama has been altering and changing laws enacted by Congress, and overstepped his legal authority when he made changes to Obamacare.

Posted by:
Charles M. Grist

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Black Friday Madness – America’s Greed & Materialism

We are a spoiled nation indeed. The politics of both parties have led many Americans into a zombie-like state where possessions are more important than reality. Some of us are still foolish enough to believe that our economy is just fine, even as the government prints more fake money, the stock market remains giddy over QE Infinity, and almost everything we buy is made by some over-worked Chinese citizen.

Here is a dose of reality – if you can put down your Chinese-made phone or computer long enough to read it:

November 29, 2013

It has been called "America's most disturbing holiday".  Black Friday is the day when millions of average Americans wait outside retail stores in the middle of the night in the freezing cold to spend more money that they do not have for more cheap Chinese-made products that they do not need.  It is a day when the rest of the world makes fun of Americans for behaving like "rabid animals" and "zombies" as we indulge in a tsunami of greed.  It truly is a shameful orgy of materialism for a morally bankrupt nation.  It is being projected that approximately 140 million Americans will participate in this disgusting national ritual this year.  Sadly, most of them have absolutely no idea that they are actively participating in the destruction of the economic infrastructure of the United States.  If you don't understand why this is true, please be sure to read this entire article all the way to the end.

Posted by:
Charles M. Grist

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Iran Accuses White House Of Lying About Nuke Agreement

Our suspicions that the White House was “played” by the Iranians seem to be true.

The evil, terrorist-supporting dictatorship in Tehran says that the fact sheet displayed on the White House website about the "agreement" is inaccurate, stating that Iran gave up more than they actually did.

This is more proof that when it comes to international affairs and dealing with dictators, the Obama administration has no idea what it is doing.

What do you expect when you allow a hippie like John Kerry to negotiate on behalf of the American people? That's right - they give everything away just for the sake of getting a "deal". AND they get to remove the Obamacare fiasco from its place as the number one story in America - at least for a couple of days.

November 26, 2013

Iranian officials say that the White House is misleading the public about the details of an interim nuclear agreement reached over the weekend in Geneva.

Iran and Western nations including the United States came to an agreement on the framework for an interim deal late Saturday night in Geneva. The deal has yet to be implemented.

Posted by:
Charles M. Grist

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Retired Generals Create Citizens Commission To Watch Obama

Paul E. Vallely is a retired US Army Major General
The Obama administration has become a lawless entity hell-bent on “transforming” America into a progressive socialist empire. Dedicated generals and admirals have been “purged” from the ranks because of their courageous stand in favor of liberty. We are then forced to watch as the incompetent civilian appointees in the regime are never punished for the scandals and failures they have perpetrated: Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS, NSA, Obamacare, etc. etc.

The following story talks about the rise of real leaders in America – men who will not stand idly by while the America they fought for is destroyed:

Retired Army, Air Force leaders say 'government continues down path of destroying America'
November 26, 2013

After one of them called for the “forced resignations” of President Obama and congressional leaders in response to multiple grievances, including the alleged political purge of hundreds of senior military officers, two retired U.S. generals are creating a citizens’ commission to scrutinize Obama administration actions on national security and economic issues.

“America’s Provisional Leadership Council” will look at major concerns, as outlined by Army Gen. Paul E. Vallely and Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles Jones, in an eight-point paper titled “The Americans Project.”

Posted by:
Charles M. Grist

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Iran Nuclear Agreement And The Ghosts Of World War II

The agreement reached with Iran by John Kerry, Barack Obama, and the foreign ministers of other nations smells a lot like the “peace for our time” speech in 1938.

Back then, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned from Germany waving the Munich Agreement in the air and claiming that he had negotiated peace with the Nazi regime. Unfortunately for Chamberlain – now considered one of history's greatest buffoons – Germany invaded Poland less than a year later, and Europe descended into the catastrophe that became World War II.

The lesson is – of course – that dictators cannot be trusted. In their effort to get some sort of deal with Iran, Kerry and Obama have come up with a mere six month agreement that allows Iran to continue to enrich uranium to "only" 5% so they can build a “peaceful” nuclear program.

Yeah, right.

Many experts believe that Iran is less than a year away from building a nuclear weapon. The Iranian leadership will not give up the quest to become a nuclear power. They have sworn to destroy Israel and “the Great Satan” of America. The only thing Kerry and Obama have done is get “played” by Iran – much like Neville Chamberlain was used by the Nazis.

Iran will continue its march to the bomb - even if they have to hide their efforts from "inspectors." This “agreement” gives them enough time to finish the job.

And when the ayatollah (the real Iranian decision-maker) finally announces to the world that they have successfully developed a nuclear weapon, none of you Obama-lovers – or his media protectors – will hold him accountable. He will escape blame once again, just as he has for the countless scandals that have plagued his administration.

Fox News
November 23, 2013

Iran and six world powers reached a deal early Sunday that would halt parts of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for what was described by the Obama administration as “modest relief” from international sanctions.

Obama, speaking from the White House while Secretary of State John Kerry helped ink the agreement in Geneva, called it a “first step toward a comprehensive solution."

Posted by:
Charles M. Grist

Friday, November 15, 2013

Barack Obama – Dictator-In-Chief

With the stroke of a pen, he creates a “Dream Act” for illegal aliens, deciding on his own authority to ignore existing immigration laws.

He has ignored the employer mandate under Obamacare to help his union pals and business donors get exemptions.

He has made it so Congress and the Executive Branch are exempt from the catastrophic Obamacare that all the rest of us are stuck with.

His administration said they would not defend in court the “Defense of Marriage Act” which is an existing law.

His Secretary of Education gave exemptions to ten states, so that they did not have to abide by the strict requirements of the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act.

He granted "executive privilege" to Eric Holder to prevent certain information from reaching Congress in the Fast and Furious scandal.

Now he has unilaterally declared a “fix” to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Numerous legal scholars have said he DOES NOT have the authority under the Constitution to change existing law or decide which parts he wants to enforce and which he doesn’t.

The man is becoming a dictator, and even those of you who like the guy cannot dispute that your “Great Leader” HAS NO RIGHT to ignore the limits of his power in the Constitution.

He is continuing to prove that he is the most unqualified man to ever occupy the White House. He is a fa├žade, an actor, an illusion, a complete and utter fake. He is a perfect lightweight politician whose greatest skill is his ability to weave his lies with flowery words hidden by smoke and mirrors.

And, of course, he is such a poor "leader" (hate to use that word with Obama) that he knew nothing about the Fast and Furious scandal, the IRS scandal, the Benghazi scandal, etc. etc. ad nauseum...

The biggest question I have is why Congress is permitting him to get away with this. The Democratic liberal/Progressive/socialist machine I understand, but where is the Republican outrage?

November 15, 2013

In a desperate bid to save the rapidly collapsing Obamacare socialized medicine program, President Obama announced a "fix" yesterday that would "allow" health insurance companies to avoid cancelling whatever plans haven't already been cancelled due to Obamacare itself.

In doing so, Obama effectively declares himself absolute dictator over all laws across the country, assuming the power to enforce, ignore or alter laws at he pleases.

The problem with this is that such powers do not exist in the Office of the President. Like everything else surrounding Obamacare, Obama himself is simply inventing new powers as he goes along and hoping no one will question his assumed (illegal) authority.

Posted by:
Charles M. Grist

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Single Mom Thanks Obama For Damaging Her Life

So you think Obama is God’s gift to America? Read the following article about a single mom who was struggling before Obamacare, but who is really struggling after everything Barack Obama has done to screw up the economy.

And – no – it’s not George Bush’s fault now. This foolish president has accomplished only one thing during his entire presidency – Obamacare. And as millions lose their health insurance every day, even that has become a nightmare…

November 12, 2003

Just when you thought it couldn’t be tougher to be a single mom, trying to be both mother and father to her children and struggling to make ends meet, along came Obamacare.

One mom decided to vent her frustration by posting a letter to the President on her Facebook page. Yolanda Burroughs-Vestal of Palmer, Texas never expected her rant to go viral, but it has had tens of thousands of views and is still going strong.

Posted by:
Charles M. Grist

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day 2013 - Honoring All Who Served

I was honored today to be the speaker at the Veterans Day event at the Altamonte Mall in Altamonte Springs, Florida.

Following are my comments from earlier today:

"It’s an honor to be here with all of you today on this Veterans Day for 2013. Joining us are those who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Panama, Grenada, Somalia, Iraq or Afghanistan. Some of you served in multiple wars; many of you served in peacetime, manning those watch towers of freedom throughout the world.

Perhaps you are the family members of those who served. You know, in a very big way, you’re also veterans because you guarded the home front in our absence, patiently – though nervously – waiting for our return. You must surely know that it was the comforting thoughts of you - and the memories of the green grass of home - that gave us the spirit and determination to do everything possible to come home to you.

It is now the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. This day began as Armistice Day to celebrate the agreement that brought an end to World War I in 1918.

In 1954, veteran’s service organizations urged Congress to change the word "Armistice" to "Veterans".  Congress approved this change and November 11th became a day to honor all American veterans, where ever and whenever they had served.

I am greatly blessed to have served as an American soldier. My own service stretched over a 41 year period with three breaks in that service. I finally managed to get 22 years that were good enough for retirement. During that time, I was either in the active Army, the Army National Guard, or the Army Reserve.

But the good thing about taking so long to retire is that I got to serve with other soldiers in part of the ‘60s, the ‘70s, the 80s, the 90s, and most of the first decade of the 21st century. As a very young, brand new Ranger, I served with men who had fought in World War II, Korea, as well as in Vietnam. As a grizzled old sergeant, I was fortunate to serve in Iraq with some of the best trained young soldiers I have ever known.

In fact, I am wearing this Stetson to honor the men I served with in the First Cavalry Division in Vietnam. I am wearing my Desert Camouflage Uniform shirt from Iraq to honor the troops I served with there in Special Operations and Civil Affairs.

I grew up here in Central Florida as the proud son of a World War II infantryman.  When I was a little kid, I would play soldier like most little boys, wearing my father’s uniforms, his helmet liner, or his Eisenhower jacket. When I was about six years old in the mid ‘50s, I rode in an Army Reserve jeep with my father, Major John Grist, during a Christmas parade in downtown Winter Park. The spectators cheered the marching soldiers, and I kind of felt like I was in the Army too.

I grew up hearing stories about my own ancestors who fought in every one of America’s wars, including the American Revolution. I like to say that I’m a “Grandson” of the original Sons of Liberty, the dedicated group of patriots who began America’s war of independence.

Remember that it was Ben Franklin who was once asked at the end of the Constitutional Convention: “Well, what have we got – a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin replied, “A Republic - if you can keep it.” The task of defending that Republic would ultimately fall to members of America’s armed forces. And they have done a masterful job.

But now I’m just another old soldier who’s proud of his service, but who has to stand aside for a new generation of American warriors. That’s okay; but if these kids need backup, I promise you my fellow veterans and I will get there as soon as we can.

You know, the first week I arrived in Baghdad in early 2004, I ran into three young soldiers from the First Cavalry Division who had also just arrived. I asked them which battalion they were with, and they said they were with the Second Battalion of the Eighth Cavalry. That was the unit I served with in Vietnam. When I told them I had served with the same unit 34 years earlier, the poor young troopers looked like they’d seen a ghost. I guess I would have felt the same way back in 1970 if I met a soldier in Vietnam who had been in the Army in 1936.

Tennyson wrote about old soldiers in the poem “Ulysses.” He said, and I quote:

"Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

My parents and their contemporaries were members of that “Greatest Generation” that helped save the world from the brutality of Nazi and Japanese fascism.

As they guided our country through those terrible times, they followed the examples of their own parents who fought courageously in Europe during World War I in what everyone at the time believed was the “War to End all Wars”.

America is also fortunate that the service of our veterans doesn’t end with their military experience. They return to their families, finish their education, and move on to contribute to society in countless ways for their entire lives. America receives the benefits of everything its veterans learned about every aspect of life. I think those traits are described quite well in the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.

As veterans, we are grateful that our fellow citizens honor our service today, even as days like this heighten our own memories of other times and other places.

We’ll always remember things like:

•           Standing guard in a lonely bunker, anticipating an attack that may or may not come;
•           Waiting for the door of the landing craft to drop so we could rush into the machine gun fire of the  enemy;
•           Sitting in the open door of a Huey helicopter as it descends to a jungle filled with people who want  to kill us;
•           Riding a convoy down some deadly road waiting for an improvised explosive device to disintegrate  our Humvee;
•           Staring into the faces of our dead comrades – either on the field of battle or late at night in our  dreams;
•           Enemy bullets whizzing by our heads;
•           The shaking of the ground as a rocket or mortar explodes nearby;
•           The frightening sound of an exploding rocket-propelled grenade as it sends razor-sharp pieces of  shrapnel in a thousand directions;
•           Every single detail of the day we got that jagged scar on our arm or leg;
•           And the constant stress of living your life on red alert twenty-four hours a day;

In fact, I’m sure that some of the veterans here today remember trying to get as close to the ground as possible in rather difficult circumstances, praying that God would somehow let us get closer to the ground than the buttons on our uniforms.

In all of America’s wars, our troops have served courageously, and today we remember all of the good things about our veterans and their dedication to preserving our way of life. But I do feel an obligation to remind all of us of some of the hardships faced by both the current generation of returning veterans and some of their predecessors. Those difficulties include trouble finding jobs, homelessness, and PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder.

A great many veterans from America’s wars have a hard time living with all the memories of war. What used to be called “shell shocked” in World War I or “battle fatigue” in World War II has become “post-traumatic stress disorder” in the modern world. We understand it better, we have more efficient ways of helping our veterans, but we have to get them to ask for that help.

You know, it is a terrible thing for our troops to walk to the very edge of hell, look into the depths of that fiery pit, and then walk away. They are certainly grateful to be alive, but they will never forget the horrors of what they saw. Their youthful innocence is gone forever; they are still young, but in their souls they have aged far beyond their years.

My father-in-law is 89 years old. He still remembers when Japanese kamikaze pilots crashed their planes into the USS Ticonderoga, killing many of his friends. He has frequent nightmares where he sees the enemy planes crashing into the ship. He remembers trying – but failing – to reach his friends in a blazing inferno. He also remembers the solemn ceremony as each of them was buried at sea. After years of encouragement, he finally went to the Veteran’s Administration and was diagnosed with PTSD, decades after his wartime experiences.

After I returned from Vietnam, I had a couple of not-so-good years myself. Unlike my welcome home from Iraq when we were met by cheering crowds in Bangor, Maine waving signs, patting us on the back, and thanking us for our service, my family members were the only ones who ever welcomed me home in 1971. We kind of kept our service to ourselves back then, confiding only in fellow war veterans – and sometimes not even to them. We kept it all inside where the memories festered like sores that wouldn’t heal. We were proud of our service, but it seemed like no one else was.

Different generations, different wars. I was stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia in 2003 as we helped mobilize some of the first units that would serve in Iraq. While off post in uniform at a gas station, an elderly woman walked up to me. She shook my hand, and then said a thick British accent: “I’m not really sure about this war, but we’ve always loved the Yanks.” I was very grateful for her acknowledgement of my service.

There are many veterans from all of America’s wars who have empty places inside. It’s where we keep the tragic memories of old battlefields along with the faces of our fellow troops who were badly wounded or who didn’t come back home. For me, I remember men from Vietnam like Staff Sergeant James, Sgt. Dowjotas, and Sgt. Brzenski, men I joked with one moment only to stare at their faces shortly afterwards as they were zipped into rubber body bags. Their loss was painful for us - their comrades, but I felt so very sad for their mothers, their fathers, their wives, their children, and all the others who would have to learn to live without them.

I remember those I knew from Iraq like PFC Nichole Frye – killed by an improvised explosive device at the age of 19. Or Staff Sergeant Cerniglia – a man I knew for years in the Army Reserve. He was critically wounded in Sadr City in Baghdad, but he survived. When I saw him in the hospital in the Green Zone, he tried to joke with me, but he was still in shock and would never even remember that I was there. Or Sergeant First Class McKinney, severely wounded by a suicide vest detonated by one of the Iraqi police officers he had been training.

Yet, it doesn’t end there. Most veterans come home and adapt well to stateside life, even with the outside or inside wounds. Others don’t. After my return from Iraq, I was assigned to uniform patrol on the night shift. It was then that I first responded to calls involving some of our newest war veterans.

One of them was a newly married but slightly intoxicated young Marine in his full dress uniform with a Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary medal pinned to his chest. He and his new wife had just returned to their hotel from their wedding reception, but he was ignoring her request to get out of their car. When I spoke with him, I learned that – like me - he had just returned from Iraq. He had his face in his hands, and he was sobbing that “they” – meaning the insurgents – had killed his friends.

Once he was aware that I was a fellow war veteran, I managed to talk him out of his car, and I walked with him and his wife to their hotel room. As we said goodbye, he began to cry again and buried his face in my shoulder. What a sight we must have been; the young Marine embracing the old cop. But it didn’t matter to us because we were brothers-in-arms.

In another incident, I responded to the suicide of a young war veteran. His memorabilia and photos were displayed proudly throughout his apartment, but his roommate said he had been depressed since his return from Iraq.

For a long time, I stood alone with this lifeless warrior who had survived combat only to die needlessly by his own hand. I couldn’t remove the lump from my throat or the bitter ache in the pit of my stomach. If he had only talked to one of us – one of his fellow veterans – maybe we could have convinced him to ask for help.

For the friends and family members of veterans, please encourage them to seek help if you sense that they need it. They may or may not look for that help, but at least you will have done all you could to encourage them to do so.

To my fellow veterans who suffer from PTSD, who can’t find a job, or who find themselves homeless, I simply ask that you seek the help that’s available to you through the Veterans Administration or other organizations. I also remind you that you may be a civilian now, but you were once one of America’s best trained warriors. You may have taken the uniform off, but that same warrior still lives within your soul. You didn’t let the enemy defeat you on the battlefield; don’t let anything defeat you here. Never quit, and never surrender. Remember that it takes the strength of a warrior to ask for help.

For other Americans, please remember that you surely pass veterans every day, and you may not realize:

•           That the elderly woman sitting next to you in the doctor’s office may have been a nurse who was  captured in the Pacific by the Japanese;
•           That the disabled man in the wheel chair once crawled ashore in Normandy as a terrified young G.I.;
•           That the man working at the post office survived a fierce guerrilla war in the jungles of Vietnam;
•           That the man working as a greeter at a department store has the scars of bayonet wounds from  hand-to-hand combat in Korea;
•           Or that the young woman sitting in the college classroom served with the military police in Iraq and  was decorated for heroism.

I remember one of the elderly volunteers who worked for many years at the Altamonte Springs Police Department.  People would pass this man, who was not very tall and who walked with halting steps because of health problems, and few of them knew that he had participated in the invasion of Anzio in World War II, or that he had fought his way through Europe with his fellow soldiers. I knew because we had talked about our military service. There was much that we understood that no one else would ever understand.

On this Veterans Day of 2013, America is still at war. But after twelve years of the War on Terror, we don’t see as many flags on houses or cars; the “support our troops” bumper stickers are faded, torn or missing altogether; and we don’t see quite as many yellow ribbons, do we? Americans are understandably tired of war, but we must not forget that courageous young Americans are still in harm’s way, conducting the combat patrols, riding in the convoys, and suffering the casualties.

On this Veteran’s Day, we remember and pray for all of America’s veterans who have returned to us - whether unscathed, wounded on the outside, or wounded on the inside. Let us also pray for those brave souls who are fighting America’s enemies at this very moment, and for the untold numbers of our veterans who never came home because they gave their lives for us.

We’re standing in a beautiful mall, preparing for a bountiful holiday season, and we’re able to do so in peace and safety because of the courageous men and women who are standing between us and those who would harm us, just as they have for over two hundred years.

There’s a quote I remember from Vietnam that explains very well the understanding that veterans have of their own sacrifices. It was supposedly found scrawled on a C-ration box after the siege of Khe Sanh. It says very simply: “You’ve never lived until you’ve almost died. For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.”

God bless all of you, God bless America’s veterans and their families, and God bless the United States of America."

Charles M. Grist

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Common Core - The Evil Of Government Indoctrination

The reasons for the above sample "quiz" can only be surmised, but the political undertones of Common Core are ominous indeed.

Do you really want the federal government deciding how best to teach YOUR children, or would you prefer that your local schools, teachers, and parents make those decisions?

Let's look at the real meaning of the above questions:

1. A President's job is not easy.
   - While this is generally known by all Americans, it almost seems like a plea for pity for President Obama. Teach the children to have sympathy for their "Great Leader" and they will be easier to indoctrinate.

2. A Nation's People Do Not Always Agree.
   - While this seems like common sense, it is just a set-up for the statements that follow. (i.e. We don't agree but the President will decide who is right and who is wrong.)

3. The President's Choices Affect Everyone.
   - In fact, the President is NOT "The Great Leader" who makes all the choices. The Congress and the American people are the true ultimate "deciders."

4.  He makes sure the country's laws are fair.
    - It is NOT the President's job to ensure "fairness" of the country's laws. That is ultimately up to Congress, the Supreme Court, and the American people. The President is NOT a dictator.

5.  Government officials' commands must be obeyed by all.
   - This is the scariest one of all. Commands? Perhaps they should add the phrase "...or you will be shot." It is this type of indoctrination that you expect to hear from socialists, Marxists, Nazis, or the government lackeys from all the dictatorships in history.

6.  An individual's wants are less important than the nation's well-being.
   - This nation was founded on the rights of the individual. This statement implies that the individual is subservient to the government. The reality is that the government WORKS FOR US. A statement like this only sets up the individual to have his rights trampled by a federal government gone wild.

Remember that the socialist revolution underway in America is a "stealth" revolution. They have managed to seize control of almost all of the national media, they have the White House, they have the Senate, and they want the House of Representatives after the elections of 2014.

Then they shall set their sights on the state legislatures with whom they can complete the shredding of our Constitution by changing it or voiding it altogether.

One of the key ways to steal the freedoms of the next generation is to indoctrinate them from elementary school on through college. Then the corrupt politicians who want to enslave Americans will have a docile herd of "sheeple" who will not even understand that they gave away their own freedom.

Common core will sell out the very students it purports to help. You must do all you can to stop the implementation of this evil indoctrination of our children.

Posted by:
Charles M. Grist

Happy Birthday To The Marine Corps

This week marks the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.

Thank you, Marines, for all you have done to keep our nation safe. Semper Fi!

Charles M. Grist