In 1956 the Soviet leader said this ‘We will take America without firing a shot. We will not have to invade the U.S. We will destroy you from within….’ In my opinion, they have worked hard, even after the disillusionment of the U.S.S.R., to make that happen. And the former K.G.B. agent Putin continues that ideology.
I am afraid that in this president Putin is reaping the rewards that are being given to him. Trump, wittingly or unwittingly, has handed over those rewards. And now he is contemplating pulling out of N.A.T.O. An organization we put together, in part, to contain Russia and the Communist ideology.
All the distrust in our institutions of governance, courts, the intelligence community this President has fomented. There are numerous events such as taking Putin’s word on interference in our elections over ALL our intelligence agencies. And many more.
I was trained in 1966 in my military intelligence job to be aware of Russian attempts to recruit us. A lot of our work during my enlistment was looking at the Soviets. While on my tour in Vietnam we looked at Soviet involvement in the war. Maybe it’s generational that we have forgotten the evil that the Russians present to us!
I implore you to turn to your history books and take a good look at why Russia is not our friend /// ‘WE WILL DESTROY YOU……..FROM WITHIN’ !!!
It was shortly after the 1968 Tet Offensive that we were informed that our recon unit was on a Black List of the enemy. Our work gathering intel was so successful they wanted to destroy our unit.
Only a few weeks later the effort by the enemy started. I was in my Versamat trailer when the thunderous knock on my door sounded. One of my team shouted to get out! I could not shut the Versamat down, I would lose the images. So I opened and closed my door as quickly as possible. The Lt. was directing everyone to the middle trailer.
Once we were all there and most of the running machines were shut down the Lt. told us what was happening. There was a possibility a team was on its way to us. So we locked all the perimeter doors shut off as much noise as we could and sat in silence in the middle.
It was not long when we heard them at the doors. I was shaking thinking about what could happen to us. The Lt. radioed our security team, they were on their way. We sat listening to them shaking every door handle. We heard gunshots, voices screaming after a while the radio lit up … it was all over! My heart returned to its normal rhythm.
I do not remember much about my Christmas in Vietnam. The only memory I can bring forth is a little artificial tree on the desk of our orderly trailer. I can not find a memory of any other thing about that Christmas. I am sure we had a big Thanksgiving and Christmas meal. I am sure there were other decorations and events, I just can not remember them.
My unit had been on a top-secret mission through those holidays. We were working non-stop throughout those months and it left us exhausted and lost in time. We were providing intelligence to several missions out in the field. Our intelligence was so successful that our unit landed on the North Vietnamese blacklist! I’ll tell you about that in another post. But the hours of constant push, in and out of the dark and light must have effective my memories.
On January 29th, 1968 we concluded the mission and were given rotating two days non-duty. My friend and I were sitting outside at night talking about the last few months when the sirens sounded. We heard what sounded like firecrackers in celebration the of the Vietnamese New Year…TET! And the carnage began and our non-duty ended.
My catechism in the Lutheran church taught me that Christmas is about the birth of Christ. But doesn’t the meaning go much deeper than that? The first recorded celebration of Christmas was in the year 336. America started celebrating Christmas around 1840, so the celebration started over 300 years after the death of Christ and America started celebrating over 1800 years after His death. The celebration is more recent than historical.
I believe the meaning is or should be the believing in and living the teachings of Christ. Christ taught in Galatians 5:14b “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF” in Romans 12:10 He taught “LOVE ONE ANOTHER WITH BROTHERLY LOVE. OUTDO ONE ANOTHER IN SHOWING HONOR” in Hebrews 13:16 He taught “AND DO NOT FORGET TO DO GOOD AND SHARE WITH OTHERS, FOR WITH SUCH SACRIFICES GOD IS PLEASED”
After Vietnam, I chose to become a Buddhist. After reading my teachers’ book ‘THE LIVING CHRIST, THE LIVING BUDDHA’ I became convinced that my Christian teachings and my Buddhist teachings were completely compatible. Thich Nhat Han, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk teaches “IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT MULE YOU RIDE TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN, IT ONLY MATTERS THAT YOU REACH THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN”
I believe that the meaning of Christmas is living the teaching of Christ. I try with all my heart each and every day and I pray you too will all try as well.
HAPPY CHRISTMAS _/\_
With the recent passing of President George Bush 41, I reflect on the comparison to our current President. I agreed at times with his politics i.e. his production of Gulf War 1, his willingness to form bipartisan legislation, American Disabilities Act, cut the deficit by more than $500 Billion over a five year period, his reduction of troops overseas and on and on.
I admired his commitment to service to the country. He proudly put on the uniform to serve in WW2. He approached his service with humility and compassion. He spoke the language with clarity and decency. He stayed with Barbara throughout the turmoils of raising a family and gave a legacy of decent service to the country to his children.
I look at the comparison of Bush to Trump and wish for a future of our politics to be more like Bush! I wish for a Republican party to return to the decent, moral views of their past.
Hopes and Prayers for the Bush family and our country.
This time of year I always have a rush of memories of the holidays of my youth. I am sure most of you do too. Most of those memories are of the good events of our holidays with our friends and families.
My memories of these holidays are a little different than most of you. You see, I attended a semi-military coeducational residential school. A school where the students either had no parents or who had a dysfunctional parent unit. We slept by each other, went to school with each other, played together, laughed and cried together all year long. The school was our parents and the other students were our brothers and sisters.
We celebrated the holidays with ourselves. But we enjoyed our way of celebrating so much. We performed Christmas concerts, decorated our trees ( the younger children resided in small cottages and each had its own tree).
From those cottages, my memories of Christmas dwell. Whenever I think of Christmases past those are the memories that fill my mind and heart.
We would spend weeks practicing a performance of carols that would be performed to Veterans groups like American Legion, V.F.W., and other smaller veterans groups. They would visit the cottages and enjoy the programs. We were so proud of these programs and as I remember the lights, tinsel and the kisses and hugs of the veterans groups, I still feel a lump in my throat.
These groups also gifted us with games and clothes. they also gave us brand new, crisp money. After the performances were over we all shared in cookies and punch and laughed with joy. And then we would visit the other cottages and with mistletoe in hand tried to kiss the girls.
I am sure you have your memories of those times with your families. Keep those joyous memories with you and unpack them each new season.
My wish to all is that you have a precious and memory filled holiday season.
This President is not only a vile blowhard, crude egocentric and Amoral. He also, it seems, is incapable of telling truths. He has told more than 6,400 falsehoods since taking office.
One of the most recent was the caravan that was carrying criminals and disease. They were going to invade and destroy the country … until the election. Now there is nary a word!
And then there were the voters who voted, then went to their cars and changed their shirts and hats and voted again.
His constant falsehoods about the justice department and the press are not only ridiculous but are dangerous to our democracy!
There is not enough time for me to list them all, my question is HOW MUCH CAN WE ENDURE … from this president before the hole gets too deep?
The reflections of our founding fathers have buoyancy in today’s politics. They, as flawed as they were, put together a document they hoped would form a more perfect union. But they did have concerns about it and tried to make it as powerful as possible. One of them, James Madison who I believe was one of the more important idealists of that group, gave us this quote that resounds to this day …
“IN REPUBLICS, THE GREAT DANGER IS, THAT THE MAJORITY MAY NOT SUFFICIENTLY RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF THE MINORITY”
Until the politicians work for all the people we will not move our democracy forward!
We are in troubled times! I found a quote that fits our times and current events.
‘ those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.’
Meditate on this, related to current events!
In the run-up to the midterms, the lies and misinformation are flying all over the place. At his inauguration, he gave us a world vision of fear and hopelessness and has continued to divide us. His hate-filled rallies, filled with misinformation and verifiable lies, are fomenting anger and hate in us. I am 70 years old and have never seen a more divisive President in my lifetime. My confusion comes in why so many still support this man. I remember being at the ‘WALL’ when President Clinton spoke and many veterans physically turned their backs to him because of the issue of dodging the draft. And yet many veterans applaude this draft dodger!?
V O T E!