Wars, and Rumors of Wars

Wars, and Rumors of Wars

 

I believe it t was Aeschylus (525 BC – 456 BC), the Greek tragic dramatist, who once wrote that “In war, truth is the first casualty”, and all of us must consider this purview with regards to what is taking place in the world, today.

I am going to say something that is not popular, not politically correct, and would certainly not be uttered by President Obama, nor by his predecessors, Bush (both) Clinton, and not even Reagan, nor by any leader in Europe or elsewhere.. Nevertheless, I am going to say it because it needs to be said… whether or not we want to own up to it…and that is that we are at war with radical Islam…there, I have said it and I will say it, again…we are at war with radical Islam.

Why?

Simple- Radical Islam is at war with us. They know it, they say it, and we don’t… which places us at a tremendous disadvantage. No war can ever be won unless the enemy can be identified and called by its name. History has borne this out. For instance, in the World Wars, we were at war with Imperial, and then, Nazi Germany, which is not to say that we were at war with Germans, per se, but rather with their rulers- a slight and delicate distinction, perhaps, but altogether meaningful and substantial. We identified the enemy and we defeated the enemy twice, in a span of thirty years. So to be clear, we are not at war with Muslims, we are at war with radical Islam, and this distinction must be made clear, lest the point of this missive be missed.

In southeast Asia, in the hills of Asia minor, in the Middle East, and in Northern Africa, radical Islam is waging war against the west, and by “the west”, I mean the United States, western Europe and, of course, Israel. Just as this war is being waged in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Malaysia and all over the Muslim world, it is also being waged in Europe, including Great Britain, and here, even in the United States. The problem is that the western concepts of sensitivity, inclusion and political correctness will not allow us to own up to this very fact- but it is a fact.

When Nidal Hassan launched his murderous rampage at Ft Hood, Texas, does anyone with half a brain in his head want to say that this was merely a case of workplace violence, as the Obama administration would have us believe, rather than an attack by a radical Islamist in the name of jihad? Does anyone think that the bombing at the Boston marathon last year was anything other than an attack by radical Islamist brothers for the purpose of waging jihad? Just how many of these acts, not to mention the 9/11 attacks, will it take for we in the west to realize just who the enemy is, be willing to call the enemy by its real name, and wage war against it.

Please forgive me for saying so but “terrorism” is nothing more than a generic euphemism orchestrated to hide the real truth- and that truth is that we are at war with radical Islam…not Muslims, nor even with the silent, so called, “moderate Muslims” who refuse to condemn the radical counterparts within their same religion…but we are at war with radical Islam, and we will lose that war unless we as a society, grow up, say what needs to be said, without regards to sensitivity, inclusion, or political correctness, and wage this war with the righteous determination- bent on victory that is so necessary in what is most certainly not a rumor of war, but of a real war, itself. If we fail to do so, we are finished, period.

-Drew Nickell, 13 June 2014

© 2014, by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

The Inadmissibility of the Left

The Inadmissibility of the Left

 

Disclaimer- Some of my very best friends are liberals. I don’t know why this is the case, given the fact that I am pretty conservative in my own political beliefs. Perhaps, in the end, I just feel sorry for these otherwise deplorable Democrat dolts (talk about alliteration) because, at the end of the day, they are usually proved to be wrong but never, EVER admit to having been proven wrong. You just gotta love such stupendous stubborn stupidity (okay, enough of the alliteration) when, in the face of facts which eventually bear out, they just can’t admit they had it all wrong. Cases in point:

  • “Ronald Reagan is just an ‘amiable dunce’, a ‘reckless cowboy’ who will get us into nuclear war with the Soviets.” As it turns out, Reagan was an erudite reader, who actually studied up on the issues, made the right decisions, despite advice to the contrary from his own cabinet, and his policies brought about the end of the Soviet Union without having fired a single shot.
  • “By 2013, the polar icecaps will have completely melted causing a catastrophic rise in the sea levels which will obliterate coastal cities in the United States…” Al Gore’s blathering, once taken so seriously, have been completely debunked, and that “Man-made Global Warming” is nothing more than a farce, not supported by scientific data, but a farce that made him quite wealthy, nevertheless.
  • “George Bush is an idiot who thinks that if Obama pulls the troops out of Iraq too soon, that a force more dangerous than Al Quada will take over large parts of Iraq and cause death and destruction on a scale not yet seen”   ummm … ISIS anyone?
  • “There are no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq- it’s just a lie made up by that dunce, George Bush, and his evil counterpart, Dick Cheney, as a lame attempt to justify an illegal War in Iraq.”    Well, as a New York Times article published just this morning, by one C.J. Chivers, has pointed out there were WMDs in Iraq- lots of them, and they even caused injury to our soldiers there…. Here is an excerpt from that article:

“From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops  repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by,  chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule. In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of  participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence  documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act”

And then, there’s this…

  • “Our experts here at the CDC and across our government agree that the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low. We’ve been taking the necessary precautions, including working with countries in West Africa to increase screening at airports so that someone with the virus doesn’t get on a plane for the United States,” -President Barack Obama, 13 Sept 2014.    As it turns out, someone with the virus got on a plane to the United States and, so far two of the health workers tending to him in Dallas have become infected with the virus…in short, it’s here…In essence, the Inadmissibility of the Left is a nothing more than a play on self-righteous indignation- one whose asinine arrogance is only exceeded by the President they elected twice, whose very own asinine arrogance has now brought a disease into the United States for the first time since its first outbreak in 1976.

 

In a word- dangerous men, given power, beget dangerous results to those who empower them…and those of us who saw through the lies of liberalism must now suffer along with the fools who refused to see otherwise.

Sooooo… do you think all of these liberals will ever admit that they had it wrong about Reagan? Wrong about Bush and Cheney? Wrong about WMDs? Wrong about pulling out of Iraq too early? Wrong about the wisdom of Obama easing travel restrictions on flights from Western African nations where Ebola has become pandemic?…Don’t hold your breath….At this very moment, these same liberals are now blaming Bush for the Ebola virus coming to the United States.

.-Drew Nickell, 15 October 2014

© 2014, by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

 

The Coming Pandemic

The  Coming Pandemic

 

Pandemic- (n) an epidemic occurring on a scale which crosses international boundaries, usually affecting a large number of people. (source “Dictionary of Epidemiology” Oxford University Press, p. 179. Copyright 2012)

It is often said that what we don’t know can be deadly, and while humanity is always under the threat of extinction, be it from an unthinkable nuclear war, the strike of a large meteor on the surface of the earth, a gamma ray burst, or the eruption of a caldera which would result in a years-long blockage of sunlight, it is the microscopic world of viruses that pose the biggest threat to humanity.

Pandemics are nothing new. In 430 BC, a pandemic of Typhoid Fever wiped out 25% of Athens. Smallpox took the lives of as many as ten million during two outbreaks in the second and third centuries AD. Beginning in 541 AD, and lasting until 750 AD, the first pandemic of Bubonic Plague wiped out 25% of the known world population, and resulted in a 50% decline of the population in Europe. More infamously, it was the second wave of Bubonic Plague that killed 75 million people, beginning in the fourteenth century. Known as the Black Death, as much as third of the world’s population was completely wiped out during a six-year period, 1348-54 AD, and repeated waves of this plague continued to eviscerate as much as 50% of the European populace, up until the Great Fire of London in 1666 which virtually eradicated the disease in that city. Another wave of the Bubonic Plague hit China in 1855, spread to India, and killed an additional 10 million. Bubonic Plague even hit San Francisco, in the six years leading up to that city’s devastating earthquake in 1906, killing many thousands.

Smallpox, brought by Spanish conquistadores in the 1500s, virtually wiped out the native populations of Central America in the decades that followed- the same smallpox that killed off 90% of the Native Americans in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the mid-1600s. Recurrences of smallpox, along with influenza and measles, ravaged the Plains Indian tribes in the mid-to-late 1800s, and killed millions around the world, as well.

More recently, the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1919, infected 500 million people across the world in a brief eighteen-month period, and killed some 50 million during a six-month period during the height of its devastation- more than were killed in the First World War that was just ending when this pandemic began.

Respective outbreaks of Asian flu in the late 1950s, and Hong Kong flu in the late 1960s, killed three million people worldwide, including over 100,000 in the United States, alone.

Today, one third of the entire world’s population has been infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis- that’s two and a half billion people around the world. Five to ten percent of these people will progress to having active tuberculosis- that’s anywhere from one to two million people developing a disease which has a mortality rate in excess of 20%.

And then, there is Ebola. This excerpt from a CDC report dated 29 July 2014:

“Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is one of numerous Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers. It is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). Ebola HF is caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebola virus. When infection occurs, symptoms usually begin abruptly. The first Ebola virus species was discovered in 1976 in what… is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo near the Ebola River. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically. The natural reservoir host of Ebola viruses remains unknown. However, on the basis of available evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is zoonotic (animal-borne) with bats being the most likely reservoir. Four of the five subtypes occur in an animal host native to Africa”

The bad news is that Ebola hemorrhagic fever has an 80% mortality rate, and up to 100 health care workers who went to West Africa as part of a humanitarian effort to control the disease have become infected themselves, DESPITE the protective precautions these professionals have taken to prevent contracting the disease. Two of these professionals, Americans working for the Samaritan’s Purse, are now en route to the United States, destined for Emory University’s Center for Disease Control (CDC) is a decision that boggles the mind, when one considers the illnesses that are coming into this country by illegal aliens on our southern borders, 600 of whom have been placed in isolation for being infected with Tuberculosis.

Whether these latest developments are due to gross incompetence, intentional disregard for public safety, or some kind of ulterior and nefarious intent, by the Obama administration, is yet to be known- but this much we do know…the introduction of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever onto American soil is something we should all be attuned to and, combined with the health crises erupting from Obama’s decision to relax the deportation of illegal aliens who are carrying virulent diseases, is something that should not be tolerated, regardless of one’s political inclinations, moral philosophies or humanitarian concerns. To do otherwise, and abide in this onslaught, is morally repugnant, intellectually degenerate, and pandemically suicidal.

-Drew Nickell, 2 August 2014

© 2014, by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

The Coming Constitutional Crisis

The Coming Constitutional Crisis

 

Created September 17, 1787 and ratified June 21, 1788, the Constitution of the United States, on which representative democracy is based, has long stood the test of time. It replaced the 1777 Articles of Confederation, which proved unworkable as the result of Shay’s Rebellion in Massachusetts, the preceding year. Born of this crisis in the early years of our republic, it has been the foundation of what it means to be an American, and is the oldest constitution in the entire world still in use- an attest to its brilliance in forming a government of, by and for the people. Following the first ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, created September 25, 1789 and ratified December 15, 1791, it has been amended an additional seventeen times- amendments which have also proved, with the exception of the 18th Amendment, to be lasting.

Since its inception, there have been a few occasions in which there occurred a constitutional crisis. Most notable was the constitutional crisis of 1861, where eleven states seceded from the Union, to form the Confederate States of America. This secession brought about the deadliest war in the history of the United States, as well as the Western Hemisphere, as civil wars throughout the world very often do prove to be so deadly. Another constitutional crisis erupted in 1937, when President Franklin Roosevelt attempted to pack the Supreme Court, which unanimously struck down FDR’s National Recovery Act, two years prior. Yet another constitutional crisis in 1974 brought about the resignation of President Nixon, following the Watergate scandal. Since then, the Constitution has been occasionally tested, most notably in 1998, when President Clinton obstructed justice and perjured himself in Clinton vs Jones that previous year, which resulted in the second impeachment of a President in US history.

This week, on the 25th of June, Speaker of the House John Boehner announced that he is introducing legislation to allow the House of Representatives to sue President Obama for his refusal to execute our laws, for exceeding his constitutional authority in the use of his executive actions, and for his continuous attempts to bypass Congress. This confrontation has been slowly percolating since prior to Obama’s re-election and has, in the wake of the border crisis and many other brewing scandals, begun to boil over into a crisis within our federal government. Already, the Supreme Court has unanimously ruled against the president twice, in his attempt to make recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board without consent of the Senate, and in his attempt to have the National Security Agency monitor the cellular telephones of American citizens without due process.

Now it will ultimately be left to the courts to rule as to whether Speaker Boehner, at the behest of Congress, has legal standing to proceed with this lawsuit- perhaps and potentially the most important litigation in the history of our republic. If Boehner is successful, then the constitutional balance of powers, outlined in the Constitution’s first three articles, will remain intact. If Boehner fails in his attempt to curtail Obama’s overreach, then this delicate balance of power on which our nation has survived, will forever be lost and this president will have destroyed representative government as we know it. Under such a contingency, future presidents would become de facto dictators, and the legislative branch of government will be emasculated to the extent of outright impotence, rendering the United States Constitution irrelevant, thus completing the hidden agenda of Barack Obama and his nefarious allies.

-Drew Nickell, 27 June 2014

 

© 2014, by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

Super Bowl XLIX

Super Bowl XLIX

 

Super Bowl Sunday 2015 fast approaches and the New England Patriots will soon be facing the reigning world champion Seattle Seahawks, in a quest to wrest the Vince Lombardi Trophy from the grasp of its current owners. Despite all of the back and forth about deflated footballs and the like, my guess is that Seattle will retain their title. Granted, I personally have no stake in this particular matchup…I’ll care about the big game, itself, when Baltimore returns to it… ‘til then, it’s just another football game, as far as I am concerned.

Having thus opined about this year’s Super Bowl, I continue to marvel at the spectacle the Super Bowl has become, of late. For anyone who knows me, that should be no surprise…after all, I am older than all of the players, and most all of the coaches who will be participating in this year’s contest, and even eight years older than the game, itself. I do have memories of what came to be known as the Super Bowl, from its very beginning when it was known as the AFL-NFL Championship Game.

In the first such contest, the NFL’s Green Bay Packers faced off against the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which was only two-thirds filled at kickoff- amazing, considering that the tickets to that game were $ 6.00 (that’s six bucks, folks), not to mention the fact that it was the only Super Bowl to be simultaneously broadcast by two networks, CBS and NBC. The halftime show consisted of a traditional college football bands from the University of Arizona and Grambling State University, along with jazz trumpeter Al Hirt. There were no special commercials aired for the Super Bowl back then…just the normal ads one might see for any run-of-the-mill football game, mostly for beer and cigarettes…yes, cigarettes. Miller High Life (“The Champagne of Beers”) squared off against the Marlboro Man (“Filter, Flavor, Pack or Box”) for viewer interest during the minutes between football plays.

Two years later, in what was to be the first so-called Super Bowl, a husky ten-year-old in suburban Richmond, Virginia was crying his eyes out when the Joe Namath-led New York Jets pulled off the greatest upset in the annals of sports and defeated the heavily-favored, Earl Morrall-led, Baltimore Colts. Coached by Don Shula, who stubbornly refused to play all-time-great Johnny Unitas until the fourth quarter, when the Colts were down 16-0, it was to become second darkest day in that young lad’s life as a football fan. Given more time, Unitas would easily have beaten the Jets, but it was not to be on that particular Sunday afternoon.

Two years later, that same husky ten-year old (now twelve) became the happiest kid in America, when Jim O’Brien kicked a field goal with five seconds remaining, to lift the Baltimore Colts over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V, which was the first time the newly minted AFC squared off against the newly-minted NFC, following the great merger of 1970. It was ironic that the first NFL team to lose a Super Bowl would become the first AFC team to win a Super Bowl, but that was the irony that was the Baltimore Colts. The darkest day in his life as a football fan, would follow thirteen years later when, on March 29, 1984, the Robert Irsay-owned Baltimore Colts snuck out of town in the middle of the night and thus became forever, in the mind of this fan, the Indiana-no-place Counterfeit-Colts.

In the decades that followed, the Super Bowl became a bacchanalia of excess, with “nip-slips”, “wardrobe malfunctions”, and even a platform for the sitting President, to take advantage of vast viewerships and drone on and on about something that has long since been forgotten. The pre-game show, which had been fifteen minutes, back in the day, now comprises five hours, yet the game itself is no better now than it was back then, and actually worse given all of the rules changes that have summarily ruined what was a great game in the 1960s.

That statement even holds true when the Baltimore Ravens won their pair of Super Bowls in 2001 and 2013…but, alas, I digress…

It’s Super Bowl Sunday, after all and the time for talking about it will end, soon enough…that is, until next year…Go Ravens !!!

-Drew Nickell, 20 January 2015

© 2015, by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

The State of the (dis-) Union

The State of the (dis-) Union

 

The Constitution of the United States, in Article II, Sec 3, requires that the President of the United States, from time to time, provide to Congress a report on the state of our union. This requirement has, over the decades, become an annual address outlining the president’s recommendation on his own legislative agenda, more so than a report on the actual state of our union, as it were. On rare occasions, the president has elected not to provide such a report, and the vaguely referenced requirement in our Constitution provides for this leeway.

In the past, most notably when presidents have faced defeat (typically following the mid-term congressional elections), they have reached out to the opposing party and proposed consensus-building initiatives for the greater good of the country. For example, when President Clinton suffered such a defeat in the mid-term election of 1994, he used the State of the Union address to reach across the aisle to engage the Newt Gingrich-led Republicans, and the result was fruitful in providing for needed welfare reform and, thanks to a change in the accounting procedures which moved some of the country’s financial obligations “off the books”, a so-called balanced budget, as well. These two initiatives proved better for the country at large, and business responded favorably.

In essence, Bill Clinton decided that it was better for the country for him to work with the opposition, than it was for him to stick with his partisan base and continue to try to ram through ideologically-driven initiatives, such as “Hillary-care” which would have divided the country and promoted even more legislative inaction.

This past autumn Barack Obama suffered, far and away, the worst electoral mid-term defeat of any president since the 1930’s. Nine senate seats changed hands and the House Republicans picked up an additional forty-seven seats, giving the GOP the largest share of House seats since the Great Depression. Not that “His Arrogance” was bothered in the least, as he inferred that the election results were nothing more than a reflection of poor voter turnout- which, reminded us of someone who throws the blanket over their head when they flatulate in bed. Tonight he will deliver his state of the union speech and, rather than putting the country ahead of his own lofty ego, he is going ahead with plans to further drive a divisive and toxic wedge into our country’s electorate, by once again driving home the dubious point that the rich need to do their “fair share”, and pay even more in taxes than they already pay. That is not exactly a legislative initiative that seeks to spur economic growth, according to any economist with half a brain, aside from Paul Krugman who, it would seem, only has half a brain. Some people, like Obama and Krugman, will never get it- the “it” being that communism doesn’t work, socialism doesn’t work, and taxing the rich doesn’t work, either. Again, Obama couldn’t care less. Should the country go down the tubes, he’d still be more than satisfied in the scent of his own flatulence, so why in the sand hill would he want to reach across to Republicans at this point in his presidency, and accomplish something good for the country?

He’ll swagger his pen and insist upon continuing to act as though he were some kind of monarch, and run down a list of executive orders that he intends to issue- Congress be damned. The useful idiots in the major media will continue to jump over each other in voicing ejaculatory praise for his lofty vision- a vision designed to further marginalize what was once a truly an exceptional nation, because his presidency has proved to be nothing more than an expression of his determination to make the United States of America no better than any other nation in the world. In other words, his stratagem is this: “if you cannot lift up the rest of the world through the example of your own leadership, than the best thing to do is lower the United States to the level of the rest of the world, ensuring international equality”. In a world view where equality trumps excellence, nothing improves and, by definition, everything deteriorates, instead. That will prove to be the legacy of Barack Obama.

When all of us are dead and gone, historians will surely say of him “He brought us down to make us equal”… that’s some legacy, indeed. God help us.

 

-Drew Nickell, 20 January 2015

 

© 2015, by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day

 

Our late father, who would be celebrating his 101st birthday on May 16th, was half Irish, one fourth Scottish and one fourth German, even though he always thought of himself as Irish. Given the fact that our mother was 100% Italian, I suppose that given such a “mongrel” background, as it were, that would make us one fourth Irish, so it is with this horrid cocktail of Jameson Irish Whiskey, Glen Levitt Scotch Whiskey, German lager and Italian Red Chianti, we should go ahead and offer a hearty and happy St. Patrick’s Day to one and all, whether you are a-sportin’ the Catholic green or the Protestant orange on this, the 17th of March.

Dad always loved St. Patrick’s Day, and so did Mom. Both would be wearin’ the green all over- we think they might have even painted their faces green, if they had had the chance. On whatever night the date might fall, we would be assured of dining on corned beef, cabbage and even a sip of green beer, just for luck. It was one of those harmless frivolities that marked the passage of time. Given enough of liquid encouragement, Dad would even be emboldened enough to belt out his rendition of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”, in his soft Irish tenor voice- even though, invariably, he’d be sure to botch the lyric, as he did with any song he ever attempted to sing- such were the makings of family traditions, as it were.

I remember his telling of a tradition in Baltimore that, before he was a lad, there was a rather odd application of justice in that city. With so many Irishmen getting drunk on St. Patrick’s Day, and a finite number of jail cells to place them in, those arrested would be marched down to City Hall, forced to lower their trousers, and they would have their backsides painted Kelly green and forced to stand until the paint dried. The thought was that the poor lads’ wives would summarily exact a much harsher punishment on their husbands, having come home with green posteriors, attesting to their imbibing during Lent, than the city ever could.

So, when we became of age and began to go out and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, on our own, we would always get the same kindly warning from our Dad, “Don’t go getting your fanny painted, tonight,” which meant “don’t over-do it”.

So to all our friends on this, St. Patrick’s Day, 2015, may we say “Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all, and don’t go getting your ass painted.

 

-Drew Nickell. 17 March 2015

 

© 2015, by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

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