As We Gather Together- a Thanksgiving Message to All

As We Gather Together- a Thanksgiving Message to All


Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

In a world which so often seems turned upside down, it may be difficult for some to find reason for giving thanks, but there are, indeed, reasons aplenty for us to give thanks to our God, for the many blessings which He has so generously bestowed upon us…

By sheer and random coincidence, we just happened to be born in the United States of America, which despite her many problems and shortcomings, remains the greatest nation on earth, and the greatest gift to individual freedom that the world has ever seen. While our political leaders are certainly suspect, and very much need to be held to account, Americans themselves are a largely good, and decent, and charitable people, who treasure the personal freedom and spirit of independence achieved by our founding fathers, and righteously defended by their progeny, during the two and one half centuries which followed.

By the labor of our parents, we were provided a good education, and were the first male descendant in our parents’ lineage to receive a Bachelor’s degree, begun at Virginia Wesleyan College and completed at James Madison University, that opened our mind to that which had previously remained unknown, and we were particularly blessed to have spent four months studying in London, for an unforgettable semester, and seeing much of Europe in the weeks that followed.

By a most unusual and circumstantial opportunity, we are thankful to have re-met and, at long last pursued, a relationship with a woman with whom, unbeknownst to her, we had a deep crush thirty-eight years ago- one Mary Ella Douglas. Mary Ella generously forgives us our shortcomings, and provides us with much happiness in our home, and in our life. A future with her looks to be very promising, as we both look forward to spending many years together.

By very good fortune, we are thankful for the many friends with whom we have been blessed over the years, and for the many friends we would not have come to know otherwise, were it not for the enigmatic venue we all know to be Facebook.

By unexpected, but nevertheless great fortune, our own webpage has been read in thirty-three countries, on six continents, and has attracted upwards of two thousand registrants, many of whom are friends of ours on Facebook. Amazingly, this has happened over the last few months. To these friends, who have done much to spread the word on our essays, we certainly give our heartfelt thanks and owe a debt which can never be repaid, nor ever forgotten, in the years to come.

For all of these things, and for so very much more, we are

Very appreciatively, yours always,

-Drew Nickell, 19 November 2015

©2015 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.

Friday the 13th- The Attacks in Paris

Friday the 13th– The Attacks in Paris

Back on Friday, the thirteenth of June 2014, we wrote an essay entitled “Wars, and Rumors of Wars”. In that essay we indicated that we in the West are at war with radical Islam, for the simple reason that radical Islam is at war with us. Also in that essay, we took note of the fact that they know it, they say it, and we won’t, which is why they are at a distinct advantage- essentially arguing that if one cannot name their enemy, one cannot possibly defeat their enemy.

On the evening of Friday the 13th of November, 2015, Paris was attacked by an ISIS- backed cabal in six separate, albeit coordinated, incidents and the carnage was severe- one hundred twenty-nine dead, hundreds of others injured. Planned by one Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a 27-year-old Belgian national of Moroccan descent, these attacks answered, once and for all, questions concerning the wisdom of allowing Syrian refugees into Europe by the tens of thousands- something that Barack Obama has begun here in the United States.

Hand it to the French, who wasted no time in responding militarily, with an aerial attack on an ISIS stronghold in Raqqa, Syria, and with law enforcement as well, launching one hundred sixty raids, making twenty arrests and confiscating hundreds of weapons in the context of these raids. Some of the assailants were indeed supposed refugees, whose real intent was not to escape ISIS, but rather act as enemy combatants cowardly murdering innocent victims who were doing nothing more than eating at a restaurant, attending a concert in one venue and, along with French President François Hollande, attending a soccer match at a stadium in Paris. In other words, innocent people were only doing what westerners like to do on weekends, and thereby becoming sacrificial lambs at the hands of vicious radical Muslims…. that’s right…. radical Muslims.

Amazingly, not twenty-four hours had passed when the Democrat’s Presidential debate was taking place, and each of the Democrat candidates were falling over one another to avoid naming radical Islam as the culprit, thus following the same ridiculous reticence on the part of President Barack Obama, who would much rather hurl insults and admonitions at Christians, Republicans, Jews, Americans and Israelis, then publicly admit that ISIS (which he calls ISIL) and the horrific attacks they perpetrate is, at root, an extension of radical Islamic theology. More disturbingly, each of the three candidates, Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders, agree with, and want to expand upon, a program that would import tens of thousands of Syrian refugees into this country, despite the fact that a plurality of these so-called refugees are, in fact, men between the ages of seventeen and forty years of age.

Setting aside the very real possibility that Obama (and Clinton and O’Malley and Sanders) and many of his Democrat allies in Congress are either naïve, or stupid, there can be, at long last, only one realistic conclusion that can be drawn from the advocacy of such suicidal policies, as well as the extreme reluctance on their part, to name radical Islam as the enemy of the West. That is to say, as much as we otherwise are loathe to do so, Obama and his cohorts want ISIS to win, and they want to import into the United States that which took place in Paris, Friday night.

As “Pogo” the possum once famously said, in Walt Kelly’s cartoon strip of the same name, when it comes to our feckless President who prefers to lead from behind, “We have met the enemy, and he is us…”

January 20, 2017 cannot arrive soon enough. God willing, may this country live to see that day.


-Drew Nickell, 16 November 2015


©2015 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.


Race in America – The Myth of White Privilege

Race in America – The Myth of White Privilege

Realizing fully well that there are those who will quickly jump to label us “racist”, for merely writing the headline that is written above, we are nevertheless going to take issue with the concept of “white privilege” because, to do otherwise, would betray our own search for the truth, as it exists in America, today.

We were born as the civil rights movement of the 1950s was just in its infancy, and we well remember a time when black Americans were not granted the full benefits of American citizenship. We remember watching on television, the fire hoses and police dogs that were turned on those who were peacefully marching to demand racial equality, particularly in the Deep South. We remember the animosity of whites who were opposed to integration and desegregation of schools, churches, and businesses of all types. To deny this reality of race relations, as it existed in the 1950s and 1960s, is to deny the reality of that which occurred during that time period.

Then, as the 1960s turned into the 1970s, we witnessed a fundamental change in the civil rights movement- one that transformed peaceful demonstrations into militant and terroristic expressions and acts of violence, inspired by all-too-calculating and race-baiting opportunists, who sought not justice, but rather power- the power to incite, the power to exploit, the power to destroy. We saw what had been an altruistic movement to achieve equality transcend into a seditious and corrosive desire for revenge and retribution. To deny this reality of race relations, which began in the 1970s, is to deny the reality of that which occurred during that time period.

Considering today, what is happening in large cities and university campuses across the country, with regards to race relations, we are witnessing the slow but steady descent into anarchy, which is sowing the seeds of racial discord which we had once thought long dead, a generation (or two) ago. We see misguided young people- people who were not yet born in the early 1990’s, taking to the streets and screaming that “black lives matter”, absurdly suggesting that black lives matter more than white lives, matter more than brown lives, matter more than yellow lives, matter more than blue lives. We see feckless liberals, in politics and academia, cowardly caving in to the delusional demands of mindless youths- youths who are acting on lies that are being fed to them, in the mainstream media, in the collegiate classrooms, and in the very streets, by those who seek to profit by fomenting hatred and misery, and by those who are encouraging the absolute breakdown of peaceful coexistence, individual liberty, and the freedom of expression and divergent ideas, in a country whose very existence has been dedicated to all of these values.

To suggest that in these years, the two thousand teens, that there exists in the United States today, an all-pervasive “white privilege” is nothing more than a dubious means to sanction anti-white racism by militant blacks, as well as white radicals, most of whom did not yet exist in an era where black people truly were second-class citizens, in an era before the Civil Rights Act of 1965, in an era before equal opportunity legislation and before affirmative action in hiring and university admissions. These young people have never experienced racism like that which was witnessed by their grandparents and great grandparents, and yet find themselves to be the hapless prey of politicians who seek nothing more that the offices of power, by exploiting their useful anger to pursue their own nefarious agendas.

Worse, the visions of a truly color-blind society, once expressed by men and women of all races, who based their advocacy upon good will and hopeful desire of healing, are thus being rendered asunder in all of the screaming and yelling based on a lie- the lie that police officers are out to kill blacks, the lie that white people want to return to the days of “Jim Crow”, the lie that white people only succeed due to “institutionalized white privilege”, the lie that America is an evil place, where only the few are allowed to succeed.

If, in writing this, we are to be labeled “racist”, then so be it…but that is the truth as we see it…and no number of demagogues, screaming to the contrary, and no amount of political correctness, or attempts to silence and censure, can change this truth- that the concept of “white privilege”, in the autumn of 2015, is nothing more than an evil lie, designed to divide, rather than unite, us as a people, and as a nation.

-Drew Nickell, 12 November 2015

© 2015 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.

Brewing in the Milwaukee Debate- Fox Business News and the GOP Twelve Pack

Brewing in the Milwaukee Debate- Fox Business News and the GOP Twelve Pack

….and then, there were twelve.

It had to happen, eventually. A somewhat-culled herd of Republican wannabes, assembling for an actual debate- a debate without the media bias that had become the rule, rather the exception- where real issues were bandied about, sans personal and ad hominem attacks on one another. Kudos go to Fox Business News and the moderators thus assigned, for producing a truly fair and balanced debate, where… get this… the candidates were at long last allowed to be the story, rather than the moderators, themselves. Voters, especially Republican voters, who did not have an opportunity to see this debate, were the only real losers, because all twelve of the GOP contenders received ample opportunity to explain their policies in a constructive and substantive format, one which was as informative as it was enlightening, and the candidates delivered.

Not really missing from this debate were candidates George Pataki, Jim Gilmore and Lindsay Graham- not really, because none of those three have any chance to register any real support, in any of the primaries or caucuses scheduled for early next year. The “junior varsity” edition of last night’s debate featured Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum. While clearly, it was Christie who won this preliminary round, fending off broadsides from Jindal, and aiming his sites at Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton instead, all four of these contestants made a good showing of it, thanks in part to the quality of questions posed to them- save for the “Which Democrat do you admire most?” question which seemed to be rather silly, as compared to the remainder of the questions posed to them. Wisely, each of the four chose to ignore that question and discuss their own political agendas, instead. How such a silly question was asked in the first place remains a mystery, because the rest of the questioning was on-point and quite relevant.

In the night’s main event, featuring Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump, all of the candidates performed well enough not to lose any support although, clearly, it was Rubio, Cruz and Fiorina providing the very best performances, with front-runners Carson and Trump rounding out the top five. Jeb Bush showed much improvement but, given the fact that debates are clearly not his forte, he did not have any “moment” that will substantially improve his standing in the polls. Rand Paul had a good night, even tossing it around with Rubio over whether or not substantially increasing military expenditures was in, and of, itself “truly conservative”. However, Paul’s comparatively isolationist policies will inevitably prove to keep him from gaining the nomination of a Republican party, most of whose voters desire a much more robust presence confronting ISIS and radical Islam, not to mention a stronger and better-funded defense footprint. If there had to be someone bringing up the rear in the main event, it was clearly Kasich, whose position on bank bailouts was murky, at best, and whose position on illegal immigration was more in line with Democrats, than Republicans.

With the possible exception of how Maria Bartiromo’s question concerning Hillary Clinton was framed, touting Clinton’s “resume” and thus eliciting some degree of laughter from Marco Rubio to whom the question was posed, the panel at the varsity event also deserved much praise for both the quality of questions being asked as well as their allowing the candidates to dive deeply into their own policy platforms, and not pitting them against one another, as happened in the previous GOP debates.

All-in-all, it was a veritable GOP “twelve-pack”, offering substantial and thoughtful discourse that brewed in the Milwaukee Theatre last night, and any impartial observer would have to favorably compare this dozen against the three Democrats running for their party’s nomination. As Donald Trump indicated, any of the tax policies that were presented last night, diverse as they are, were substantially better than the ones being advocated by the opposition, and better than the status quo.

Now that Fox Business News has “set the standard” for how debates should be moderated, going forward, as even rival network CNN has noted, we look for and hope for similar moderation in the debates to come, with the American people being the real beneficiaries, in the end.

-Drew Nickell, 11 November 2015

©2015 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.

Election 2012- Afterthoughts (reprinted for Throwback Thursday, 5 Nov 2015)

(note to all- For this Throwback Thursday,  5 November 2015, we thought we might share an essay we wrote back on 7 November 2012, following the presidential election of that year- We’ll leave it to you to see if, indeed, our prognostications were correct.)

Election 2012-Afterthoughts

As many of us watched, Barack Obama managed to eke out an electoral victory, principally by winning the narrowest of margins in a handful of states, most notably my own. I had predicted that if Mitt Romney had won either Ohio or Wisconsin (not factoring Virginia, of course), he would most likely have won the election but, if Romney had lost both of these states that Obama would win. I was correct, and Obama won.

Half of the country is happy and half of the country is disappointed. Half of the legislative branch retained its Democratic majority (the Senate) and half of it retained its Republican majority (The House), thus assuring a divided government which succinctly reflects a divided country. One look at the electoral map also reflects this division with the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast being blue, and the South and most of the Western States being red.

So now what?

Well, a great president would reach out to the other side of the aisle and find ways to work out solutions to the problems our country faces- such is the purview of real statesmen. Yet, sadly, there is nothing in Obama’s makeup that would suggest that he is either capable of, or inclined to, working together with Republicans and Democrats alike to achieve consensus, because he is a politician, and most assuredly not a statesman.

Rather, by the indications of how he has conducted himself during his first term, and the way he conducted his campaign for re-election, his narcissistic and self-aggrandizing tendencies- not to mention his far-left political bent- will bring to bear a further polarization of our nation. He will attempt to govern by fiat- essentially putting into place policies, outside the legislative process, through the power of bureaucracy and regulatory oversight that will surely mean a continued erosion of representative democracy in the United States. His reckless spending priorities will expand the dependency of people on government – something our founding fathers had very much warned against, and this will ultimately result in the loss of individual liberty.

The fiscal catastrophe that will result will surely mean confiscatory tax policies that will weaken the private sector, eviscerate our military and naval forces, and ultimately weaken America at home, and abroad, as well. Whether or not this is what he set out to do in 2008, when he promised to “fundamentally transform the United States of America”, is now beside the point, for his re-election has assured that the United States will be weakened as a result, and history tells us that once there is an absence of power in the world, that this void will be filled by another, and that “other” is what we should all dread, most of all.

–Drew Nickell, 7 November 2012

©2012 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.

Voter Vexation – the Quest for the Perfect Candidate

Voter Vexation – the Quest for the Perfect Candidate

Our interest in politics began in the fall of 1968, when we were all of ten years old. The Republicans, who briefly flirted with the idea of a last minute, hastily-constructed campaign effort by California Governor Ronald W. Reagan, chose instead another Californian, the former Vice-President Richard M. Nixon. Meanwhile, the Democrats, reeling from the decision by incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson not to seek reelection at the end of March, and the June 6th assassination of front-runner Robert F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, settled on Hubert H. Humphrey, the Minnesota liberal known to be a friend of big labor, and the incumbent Vice-President. So irritated with this choice of a pro-union liberal, the southern Democrats put their partisan loyalties aside, and urged Alabama Governor George C. Wallace to launch a third-party run. Wallace, famous for his resistance to racial integration and his oft-quoted “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever”, was actually one of the most successful third-party candidates in American history, having carried five southern states, and thus ensuring the greatest political comeback ever with the election of Richard Nixon as thirty-seventh President of the United States. It was Nixon, who famously lost to John F. Kennedy in 1960 for the presidential election by less than 100,000 votes, who had announced his retirement from elective politics, following his failed bid to unseat the California Governor,  Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, Sr. (father of current Governor Jerry Brown), two years later, bitterly saying to the adversarial press, “Think of all you will miss…you won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore…” (It was the senior Brown who ultimately lost his bid for a third term to a movie-star-turned-politician Ronald Reagan in 1966, largely due to his mishandling of the Watts riots the year before).

That 1968 Presidential election had a voter participation percentage of 61%, one of the largest turnouts in U.S. history, and garnered so much attention that the 1969 Super Bowl, in which the Joe Namath-led New York Jets defeated the heavily-favored Baltimore Colts, “themed” its halftime show on voter participation- three months following the presidential election.

One of the things we learned as a ten-year-old, whose two major passions were, in order, the Baltimore Colts and presidential politics, was that it is the imperfect candidate who can win elections if, a), the candidate’s party rallies around its nominee (Nixon), and b), the other candidate’s party is divided (Humphrey and Wallace). Nixon, who our own parents derisively referred to as “Tricky Dick”, won the election, and handily so, because he faced a decidedly-divided Democrat Party.

Fast forward to this November of 2015, a full-year before the 2016 presidential election. While Democrats have pretty much united around Hillary Clinton and, setting aside a most improbable possibility, given the all-so-corrupt and partisan Justice Department under Barack Obama, that she might otherwise face indictments for having committed multiple felonies related to her e-mail obfuscation, while compromising national security relating thereto, the Republicans are in a comparative free-for-all with fifteen  candidates still in the run for the G.O.P. nomination.

One need only read through Facebook commentaries to see that most Republican and conservative voters are saying, in effect, “I’ll vote for ‘x’ and maybe ‘y’ but certainly not for ‘z’, no way…” The aforementioned variables can and do interchangeably apply to Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump (given that Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Jim Gilmore, Lindsay Graham, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, and Rick Santorum are effectively, though not technically, out of the race). This, on its surface, suggests a historically-competitive race for the Republican nomination but, in reality, must be a veritable “wet dream” for Hillary Clinton who can sit back and watch the leading eight spend money trying to one-up each other in the feeding frenzy that has become all-too-evident, as never before.

In truth, there is only one way Republican voters can defeat Hillary Clinton next fall, in an election that should otherwise be theirs to lose. They must swallow their pride and commit themselves to support, campaign and vote for whoever becomes the eventual Republican nominee, regardless of who that person is, and regardless of that candidate’s imperfections. To do less will effectively bring about a third term for Barack Obama, which is making Hillary Clinton and her united Democrat Party drool at the prospect of winning an election which, on its surface, they should not come close to winning, but is nevertheless theirs for the taking, if Republicans don’t grow up and face the music of their own making.

-Drew Nickell, 3 November 2015

©2015 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.