The Stuff of Legends- the Response to Hurricane Harvey

The Stuff of Legends- the Response to Hurricane Harvey

The rains came, and came, and came, again- setting records which no one, in their right mind, would ever seek. Hurricane Harvey, gaining strength from the hot waters of the Gulf of Mexico, assaulted the southeastern coast of Texas with wind and water.  Stalled by the approach of a southeastern-bound high pressure system, Harvey loitered on the Texas coast just long enough to deluge the entire area under water- the likes of which have never been seen in the United States. Its costs in dollars will have seen no equal and the many lives lost in the treacherous floodwaters, though thankfully not record-setting, nevertheless remind us that there are certain things far beyond the control of man that can separate the living from this life.

Perhaps worse for those who survived the storm- those who have seen their entire lives and livelihoods stripped away- are the prospects of rebuilding from scratch. Their homes destroyed, their belongings damaged beyond repair, their keepsakes and other irreplaceable items lost forever, they must now face the formidable frustration of having to start all over again…

..and yet…

In all of the footage of disappearing highways and rushing rivers, we also saw the very thing that makes America the special place that it is- a place which is oft-forgotten, but is always there, despite the push and pull of political posturing. Americans always rush to come to the aid of the besieged, whether in war or in natural disaster, here at home and around the world. The efforts of emergency responders and just plain ordinary folks, to assist the many thousands of displaced, desperate and dispossessed people, shows just who we are as a nation.

It belies the fraudulent storyline of a mainstream media, set on otherwise dividing people into camps of identity labels, that America is a nation falling apart at its seams. The real storyline is that Americans come together in the worst of times, and the heroic efforts of a people united in purpose stands in the face of those who would rather see us destroyed- AntiFa, BLM, radical leftists, Islamic terrorists, Neo-Nazis, the Klan. Added together, these pathetic examples of human excrement are no match for the rest of us- the ones who care about others and are willing to sacrifice all in the name of humanity. That is who real Americans are and that’s what real Americans do- come to the aid of the misfortunate. Real Americans have no use for media malcontents who stir up controversy about the first lady’s shoes, and whether or not President Trump is ever going to find favor with those who hate him and seek an end to his presidency.

While it is premature to assess how the Trump administration is managing this emergency, early indicators are that the president and his cabinet are doing a far better job than other presidents who have had to deal with national emergencies. It is true that Trump has had the benefit of competent state governors and mayors, unlike what occurred in Hurricane Katrina, where Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco was late in calling in the National Guard, and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin hunkered down in his hotel room. Despite this advantage, Trump ignored precedent by declaring the region a disaster area before the fact, and put into place federal government resources in advance of the storm. In so doing, President Trump may well have re-written the “book” on disaster management from a federal response level. Never mind that the media will conveniently overlook this accomplishment.

It will be many months, and even years, for southeastern Texas, Louisiana and other affected states to be rendered whole again, once the waters subside and life returns to some state of normalcy. The challenges faced by those so adversely affected are horrendous, to say the least.

Yet when all is said and done, it will be these heroic efforts and the march back from disaster that will stand the test of time and become the stuff of legends.

God bless us all.

-Drew Nickell, 31 August 2017

© 2017 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.

author of “Bending Your Ear- a Collection of Essays on the Issues of Our Times”

now available at Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Bending-Your-Ear-Collection-Essays/dp/1633932907?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

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Monumental Moronity- the Left’s Assault on American History

Monumental Moronity- the Left’s Assault on American History

In the latest cause du jour, it has now become quite the rage to dismantle any statue paying homage to anyone whose lifetime is not commensurate with contemporary political correctness.

Confederate war memorials? Gone.

Historical figures, especially founding fathers who also happened to own slaves? Gone.

New world explorers who broadened the knowledge base and global footprint of European dynasties? Gone.

Next will be any monument or memorial to those who laid down their lives in all of the wars this country has fought…just wait and see.

In fact, any, ANY statue that honors anyone who is not sacrosanct in the eyes of liberal orthodoxy and leftist dogma is now under siege by malcontented radicals who will never find satisfaction with anything American, or that which promotes the virtues of western civilization.

And that is the point.

Tear down the monuments to our nation’s past today, and then tomorrow, tear up the nation’s founding documents which define who we are and how we are to be governed. Call this the express lane to national suicide, here in the United States.

Growing up in Richmond, Virginia we recall that one of the few things which genuinely set Richmond apart from other cities- namely, Monument Avenue. Often compared to the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, Richmond’s Monument Avenue was widely recognized as one of the most beautiful boulevards in the western hemisphere. Lined with stately oak trees on each side and also on the malls that separated east- and westbound lanes, Monument Avenue courses past the roundabouts which honor heroic figures of a bygone Virginia- Generals J.E.B. Stuart and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson whose equestrian statues face north, signifying that these two generals did not return home. Most famously, General Robert E. Lee’s equestrian statue faces south, signifying his return home following the war. Additional statues honoring Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Admiral Matthew Fontaine Maury, the “Pathfinder of the Seas,” whose own cartography of Atlantic sea lanes still stands the test of times, to this very day. Also located on one of the avenue’s traffic malls is a canon, facing west, marking the perimeter of the city’s inner defenses. So beautiful and well-planned in the decades following America’s Civil War, Monument Avenue was also lined with stately homes belonging to the upper crust of Richmond society, in an age of carriages and other horse-drawn conveyances. As the decades passed by and asphalt began to cover many of its cobblestones, it was thought to make Monument Avenue more inclusive, so a statue honoring Richmond native Arthur Ashe was dedicated in 1996…the key word being “inclusive.”

Yet there is nothing “inclusive” about current efforts, on the part of liberal elites, to tear down the five “Confederate” monuments on Monument Avenue. Doing so would destroy the entire fabric of Monument Avenue and thus render asunder the teaching moments that once taught area schoolchildren of Richmond’s past, warts and all.

Then again, why would we want to educate our schoolchildren about their country’s history when we’d sooner indoctrinate them on the platitudes of political correctness and the shortcomings of those who came before us?

Several blocks east of Monument Avenue’s eastern terminus there is the equestrian statue of George Washington on the grounds of Virginia’s State Capitol. At its base are statues of Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Andrew Lewis, Chief Justice John Marshall, George Mason and Thomas Nelson, Jr. All of these men, including Washington, had pivotal roles in the founding of the United States, and it can be reasonably argued that there would be no United States of America, save for the contributions these seven men made in the years before, during and after the American Revolutionary War.

Yet because most of these men were slave owners, is Virginia’s Washington Monument, as it is officially known, next on the list to come down? Well, Virginia’s Capitol, designed by slave-owning Thomas Jefferson, once served as the Capitol of the Confederacy, so maybe they should consider tearing that down, too…

While we are at it, perhaps the time has come to target Washington D.C.’s Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial…

To the north, Baltimore removed its own Confederate Monuments, including a statue honoring Confederate Generals Lee and Jackson, in the middle of the night (just like Baltimore’s beloved Colts who were similarly “removed” in the middle of the night by their alcoholic owner). The city’s Lee-Jackson statue was dedicated in 1948 by Baltimore Mayor Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr. Ironically enough, it is his daughter, House Minority Leader and former Speaker of the House, Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi, who is now leading the call to remove Confederate statues from Statuary Hall in our nation’s Capitol.

If some future generation of elitist intellectuals determine that certain elements of Martin Luther King, Jr’s life are determined to be reprehensible, will it be okay with today’s liberal elites to tear down his memorials, as well?

Perhaps that is a question that should be asked of Minority Leader Pelosi, Virginia’s Governor Terry McAuliffe (also, a friend of the Clintons’) and all of those who seek to tear down the reminders of our collective history. In so doing, they seek to erase the past from our own national consciousness. Then, we will be free to repeat the mistakes of the past and usher in an all new American civil war, one ignited by the divisions these liberals are so set upon fomenting…

…in a word, moronity.

 

-Drew Nickell, 25 August 2017

© 2017 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.

author of “Bending Your Ear- a Collection of Essays on the Issues of Our Times”

now available at Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Bending-Your-Ear-Collection-Essays/dp/1633932907?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

Signed and personalized editions now available at my website:

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Trump’s Gambit- Afghanistan Reconsidered

Trump’s Gambit- Afghanistan Reconsidered

It is a decision that flies in the face of one-time candidate Donald Trump. Once eyeballing the frustration of a seventeen-year long venture in Afghanistan that has cost America much, and shown little, Trump had intended to withdraw our forces from America’s longest-ever war, and bring them back to kith and kin. After all, despite the number of troops in theater, achieving anything of lasting consequence in Afghanistan has been fleeting in these seventeen long years.

Such is the inevitable we suppose, when the United States goes into a hostile and foreign land with the intent to replicate itself- its morals, its diversity, its tolerance and into a culture and society that will have none of it. Afghanistan is, far and away, the worst of the Islamic states when it comes to harboring terrorists, as more than twenty Islamic terrorist organizations have established presence into the country, including the remnants of Al-Qaida, ISIS and, of course, the Taliban. Trying to build a representative democracy in such a place was the unfortunate folly of George W. Bush, and Barack Obama made it all worse announcing in advance a date that the United States would withdraw its forces- thus ensuring that the Taliban would merely have to “wait it out” to join with their fellow terrorists and turn the Islamic state into a rabidly-radical Islamic theocracy bent on war against the west.

Even worse than attempting to “nation build” Presidents Bush and Obama squandered many billions of dollars and many thousands of American lives making the same mistake that Lyndon Johnson made in Viet Nam- fighting a war remotely-controlled from Washington, rather than allowing in-theatre commanders to do what they are trained to do, and allowing them to win a war, as quickly as possible, while sacrificing as few American lives as possible. At least Bush had the brains not to inform our enemies in advance of when and where bombing runs would take place, yet that is precisely how Barack Obama thought war should be waged.

In a word- lunacy.

Into this mess, President Donald J. Trump has waded, with an initial instinct to stand by his campaign rhetoric and quit Afghanistan. Yet smart enough to give ear to experienced generals who have been to Afghanistan, who know what is needed to achieve victory, and whose expertise had been stymied by the prior administration to wage war as they otherwise know how to do, Trump has reassessed the situation and has decided to remain in Afghanistan, but with a new twist that could prove pivotal when it all shakes out.

The mission to rebuild Afghanistan as a unified democratic nation has thus been rendered asunder. The new mission, to simply kill terrorists wherever they may hide and destroy their networks, has now been launched and Trump has given field commanders the authority to pursue these ends, without restriction. If terrorists flee into neighboring Pakistan, as they have been doing all these many years, that country will have the opportunity to either join in the coordinated pursuit of these terrorists, or entertain the idea of India entering into the fray- something they dread more than anything else.

Wisely, the president has also refused to provide specifics as to troop numbers and timelines, essentially saying that all will be determined based upon conditions on the ground. In other words, the mission is now achievement-focused instead of being calendar-focused. While such a stratagem can seem to be vague and open-ended, Trump has emulated former presidents, like Lincoln and Roosevelt, who were focused on victory at all costs without limitations of time or, for that matter, conduct. Mindful that Obama’s sudden and premature withdrawal from Iraq proved to be disastrous, as it rendered all of our previous efforts moot, and created ISIS, Trump realized that to do the same in Afghanistan would prove just as disastrous and might lead to another 9/11. His “take” is that you either kill the rats there, once and for all, or risk them eventually coming here.

Admittedly, it is a gambit for the new president. If Afghanistan continues to be the quagmire that it has been for seventeen years, Trump’s decision to continue our presence there will prove to be his downfall. Yet, if his release of Obama’s leash on the military commanders lets loose a deadly force on terrorists who have made Afghanistan their horrible haven, Trump will have achieved something that will etch his name in the annals of history as the one who finally defeated the black flag of Radical Islam.

The late owner of the Oakland Raiders, Al Davis, once smilingly told his team to “Just win, baby.” In the same sense, President Donald Trump has issued the same order to his generals…

…and it might just work, God willing.

-Drew Nickell, 22 August 2017

© 2017 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.

author of “Bending Your Ear- a Collection of Essays on the Issues of Our Times”
now available at Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Bending-Your-Ear-Collection-Essays/dp/1633932907?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc
Signed and personalized editions now available at my website:
http://www.drewnickell.com

Drew Nickell On The Radio Thursday 17 August 2017 at 1:00 PM, EDT

Drew Nickell On The Radio Thursday 17 August 2017 at 1:00 PM, EDT

 

I will be back on the radio once again,  Thursday, August 17th, and filling in for Nora Wahl Firestone on her show at WKQA-AM, Freedom 1110 AM in Hampton Roads, VA. I will be discussing current events surrounding the Trump presidency, the political environment surrounding his administration, and other current events here in the nation and around the globe. Here is a link to that live broadcast :

http://lightningstream.surfernetwork.com/Media/player/view/WKQA-AM_gsl.asp?StreamingServerName=nick11&OnDemandServerName=nick10&targetWidth=1000&targetHeight=800&call=WKQA-AM&od=0

 

Also, look for this as a podcast on Facebook if  you would like to join, there.

Charlottesville- a Harbinger of What’s to Come

Charlottesville- a Harbinger of What’s to Come

What happened in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday,  August 12th, has been brewing for quite some time. Extremists, from what is called both the right and the left, joined into battle with one another, armed with lumber and steeped in longstanding hatred. Both sides, the white supremacists/neoNazi/KKK and the AntiFa/BlackLivesMatter/AntiTrump resistance, spilled onto the streets of Charlottesville with a premeditated intent to do battle, and the City of Charlottesville allowed these opposing mobs, so armed, to enter into the streets of this small Virginia city and wreak havoc, as a result. So accommodating to provide the battlefield upon which both extremes of opposing factions waged war, it almost seemed staged right from the start.

When the city council of Charlottesville decided to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a small park, once known as Lee Park and renamed Emancipation Park, opponents to the decision sought to organize protests against the removal and, from court permission, gained permit to stage the protest. Making common cause with these alt/right opponents were representatives of the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists intent on doing battle, while opposing forces, well-notified of the planned protest, amassed elements of the AntiFa (anti-fascist) radicals, BlackLivesMatter, and other left wing extremists including AntiTrump resistance. Told to make no arrests prior to the hour that the protest was scheduled to begin, local police enabled armed thugs from both sides to proceed from several entry points to join into the melee that followed.

The fact that the media was all prepared and in place to lend coverage to the expected conflict lends credence and bears witness to the proposition that the riots in Charlottesville were planned and engineered to take place, and that this was done for a reason.

Knowing that the effort to bring down Donald Trump from the Russia inquisition will ultimately fail, and that it is unlikely Robert Mueller will find anything worthy of indictment against the president, those who oppose Trump from both sides of the political spectrum decided on a strategy to play the race card against him. The left, ever seeking to tie white racists to Trump jumped at the chance to create an event that would “expose” Trump for what they imagine to be his underlying approval of these racists. Meanwhile the AntiTrump forces from the right, like Weekly Standard editor Stephen F. Hayes, were all prepared to jump on the president, regardless of what he said or didn’t say, regarding the events taking place Saturday morning.

For his own part, the president neither said nor did anything wrong, in either the remarks he made Saturday, and then on the following Monday. In both instances, he decried racism in all its form, hatred on both sides and espoused the need for people to come together and, hopefully, love one another. Yet, because his Saturday comments did not include specific references and repudiation of white supremacists/neoNazis/KKK, as they later did on Monday, Hayes and his fellow travelers from all sides of the mainstream media joined in their expressed indignation at the president’s initial response, and questioning whether such remarks came too little, too late.

Essentially, every faction opposed to the Trump presidency stood at the ready on a Saturday morning in August to pounce on Trump, regardless of his remarks. Knowing that a riot was about to take place between extremists, both white and black- one that would require a response from the president, it became a matter of “how” they would turn the riot against the president, not “if” they would do so. It is as if there keyboards and cameras have Trump in the crosshairs, ready for the next assault on his presidency. Perhaps this time they will get Trump on the race issue, since all of their other attempts to bring him down have thus far fallen flat.

What wasn’t foreseen was the horrendous automobile assault, perpetrated by a young white driver from Ohio, who was given to Nazi fascination. No one knew what was in the mind of James Alex Fields, that would prompt him to do such a thing resulting in the death of one young woman and injury to many others, but everyone on both sides of the riot’s perpetrators knew that it was based on the visceral hatred that they have for one another. Though the streets are laid quiet, the hatred still burns within the hearts of those who pull both sides of the political spectrum further and further apart.

Pulling down historic monuments of men who fought for what they believed in, regardless of contemporary revisionism, will not serve to unite the widening breach between Americans. Giving space to rioters to destroy property and cause violence will not promote constructive dialog, so badly needed in a divided nation. Tolerance of free speech does not extend to the allowance of anarchy, and there is much blame to go all around for the events in Charlottesville during the past weekend.

It is noted that long before the American Civil War was fought, extremists from both the North and the South- radical abolitionists and fervent secessionists- engaged in the same level of extremism that exists today, and it was those extremists on both sides which led this country to the costliest war ever fought by Americans, with more than 750,000 dead by war’s end.

Unless this country learns well the lessons of its own history, it is doomed to repeat the tragic mistakes of its past, and Charlottesville will only serve to be a harbinger of what is to come…a cultural war turned bloody that will tear us apart.

 

-Drew Nickell, 15 August 2017

© 2017 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.

author of “Bending Your Ear- a Collection of Essays on the Issues of Our Times”

now available at Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Bending-Your-Ear-Collection-Essays/dp/1633932907?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

Signed and personalized editions now available at my website:

http://www.drewnickell.com

Follow my postings on the RSS feed: http://www.drewnickell.com/?feed=rss2

Drew Nickell on Radio Thursday, 10 August 2017 at 1:00 PM EDT

 

I will be back on the radio, today, Thursday, August 10th, and filling in for Nora Wahl Firestone on her show at WKQA-AM, Freedom 1110 AM in Hampton Roads, VA. I will be discussing current events surrounding the Trump presidency, the political environment surrounding his administration, and other current events here in the nation and around the globe. Here is a link to that live broadcast :

http://lightningstream.surfernetwork.com/Media/player/view/WKQA-AM_gsl.asp?StreamingServerName=nick11&OnDemandServerName=nick10&targetWidth=1000&targetHeight=800&call=WKQA-AM&od=0

 

Also, look for this as a podcast on Facebook if  you would like to join, there.

What Will They Say?

What Will They Say?

A festering problem

that long’s been brewing,

while we’ve known all along

what Kim’s been doing;

 

The world of nations

passed resolutions,

‘midst endless talk

of retribution;

 

Clinton and Bush

and then, Obama,

all avoided

the inevitable drama;

 

A play that was written

throughout decades past-

A curtain now rises,

a die that’s been cast,

 

And unto Trump

to have to deal

with a nuclear nightmare

all too real;

 

While all the experts

who’ve said “not yet,”

behold the table

which has been set;

 

What will they say

when the missiles start to fly?

What will they say,

when they’re up in the sky?

 

Who will they try

to pin the blame on?

and will it even matter,

once we’re all gone?

 

God help us…

 

-Drew Nickell, 9 August 2017

 

© 2017 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.

 

author of “Bending Your Ear- a Collection of Essays on the Issues of Our Times”

now available at Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Bending-Your-Ear-Collection-Essays/dp/1633932907?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

Signed and personalized editions now available at my website:

http://www.drewnickell.com

Follow my postings on the RSS feed: http://www.drewnickell.com/?feed=rss2