Memorial Day Show

Once again I find myself reflecting upon this very special Monday and wondering just how many of my fellow Americans are doing the same. Indeed, we should start every day with a brief review of all we have to be thankful for and our freedom should be right up with the top five selections. But this Monday has been set apart as ‘the’ holiday to honor our vets and all they have done for us. While the focus of the holiday is on those vets who gave their all for this country and its people I prefer to include all our vets in my reminiscing. As a country we can never hope to adequately thank our vets for all their incredible effort on behalf of not just Americans but so many people around the world.  Most of us have no real feel for the level of sacrifice these brave men and women put forth on a regular basis to ensure our comfortable and free lifestyle.

Yet we are a country divided; one in which a large faction seems intent upon destroying the very liberties and freedom we hold so dear. There is a fringe liberal movement that would shame us into weakness by holding that we are an imperial power bent solely on dominating the world at any cost and as such we are evil. Tell this to the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps or those who endured natural disasters around the world across the past 15 years and are alive today only because of the generosity of the American people coupled with the power and strength of our military who selflessly were almost immediately on scene to provide assistance, supplies and comfort.

We elected a president who believes we should no longer be a major player on the international stage; that we have for far too long meddled in other country’s business simply for our own gain. And he and his dysfunctional administration have sought to ‘lead from behind’ – the very phrase is idiocy personified – while slowly eroding our military power. As a result we now live in times that are actually more dangerous than those of the Cold War days when it was the USSR and the USA at odds. During such times each super power had too much to lose to ignite a full blown conflict; nowadays with the likes of al Qaeda and ISIS bloodying the news we are all vulnerable to terrorism from savages with no moral compasses. While nuclear Armageddon hardly felt ‘safe’ as someone who lived through those dark days it was preferable to the specter of nuclear, biological and/or chemical terrorism initiated by fanatics with nothing to lose.

I fear for my country yet I cannot deny ‘we the people’ allowed this situation to grow and fester through inattention and an unwillingness to understand what was happening within our government. Decades of preferring TV and video games to becoming involved in the political process has left us with a bitter legacy which has poisoned so many people’s outlooks on this once great country. Fringe elements on both ends of the political spectrum utilize the fallout from this poisoning to recruit new ‘believers’ in the war for the country’s soul while so many of us are forced into inaction because we can see no way to reverse this trend.

Against all this I cannot help but wonder what all our veterans would think of this country; the same they spilled blood to support and often gave their very lives? Would they be proud of their efforts and sacrifices? Or would they just be befuddled and confused regarding what has happened to ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave’? Sadly I believe it would be the latter and that is a disgrace upon their collective honor, one they shouldn’t have to bear.

On this most poignant of national holidays I fear for my country yet I also have hope because of the legacy our veterans have given us; that of commitment to cause, dedication to principle and a willingness to sacrifice everything to perpetuate the dream of a free, proud and strong America. They have done, and do, so much for us and ask so little in return. Yet the debt we owe them is immeasurable and we can never hope to even begin to adequately repay them for their service. Across my years I’ve purchased and stuffed packages with ‘comfort’ items going to troops overseas, I’ve written letters to many service men, I’ve assisted in cleaning local veteran’s cemeteries and I give as much as I can to support organizations like the ‘Wounded Warrior Foundation’ and ‘The Snowball Express’. But in the end it all seems so meager, so little in the face of their sacrifice. Yet I will continue to do what I can because our vets deserve it…and so much more!

Tonight, if tuning into 88.9 KTNA Talkeetna or listening on ‘KTNA.org’ I will once again make a very humble offering in the form of:

“Good Evening, you are listening to KTNA broadcasting at a frequency of 88.9 MHz on your FM dial and streaming live via our website – KTNA.org.  It is now 20:00 on a Monday evening and that means it is time to ‘Take A Little Trip Back…’ Tonight is a special program as once again we find ourselves celebrating Memorial Day; as such this is the day we take time to remember all those who gave their lives to ensure this country would remain free. Indeed, this is something we should reflect upon each and every day because as this holiday so poignantly reminds us:  ‘Freedom isn’t free!’ I’m dedicating this entire to show to all our service women and men, whether still with us today or deceased, Thank You All for your dedication, your courage and your sacrifice!! You embody the very best this country has to offer and ‘we the people’ owe you all a debt we can never hope to adequately repay. With the greatest of respect I dedicate the next hour to our vets…”

Will the Sheep Ever Look Up..?

Across the past few months I’ve been quite intrigued, not to mention disturbed, by the ongoing miasma of miscommunications from our federal government; you know, the same one that is charged with protecting the country from all threats foreign and domestic.  Of course this administration has never been able to put forth a coherent, unified message unless it is lying but then this can be said of many of the recent administrations.  Still and all I believe the Obama administration has done the best job of torturing the truth in recent memory and there may well be a fairly straightforward reason for this observation.  Could it be this administration has sensed that the American public has finally been dumbed down to the point they are incapable of thinking for themselves when dealing with complex issues like foreign or fiscal policies?

I’m sure most of us have seen the videos of folks visiting college campuses, large cities or recreational areas and asking randomly selected people very simple and straightforward questions regarding the American government, American history and/or American leaders only to see truly epic idiocy when those questioned could even conjure up an answer.  Initially such videos were funny but very soon many people found them to be alarming; how could college students fail to know who fought in the Civil War or who lost World War II?  Given the crush of the 24 x 7 news cycle how could someone fail to identify Joe Biden as the VP or Bill Clinton as a former president?  The really sad versions of these programs then demonstrate that these same folks can name any current Hollywood member by their picture, recite the string of boyfriends and girlfriends for the same as well as their current and past acting efforts.  Somewhere something went horribly wrong with this country’s educational standards and we are now seeing the fruit of this sowing.

It is no secret the ‘higher education system’ is staffed largely by academics with strongly liberal views and these are the folks we pay exorbitant monies to educate our college enrolled children.  What has happened across the past 50 years that we now regularly churn out college graduates who are clueless regarding the basic workings of the government that controls the country of their births?  I’m sure there are a myriad of factors which play into this scenario but regardless of what the motivation the fault has to fall directly upon these institutions of ‘higher learning’ and, by default, their staffs.  Sure, it is still possible to get a quality college education but it seems as though this is now the exception rather than the rule.  Just what could be driving this inexorable flow to the mundane and ill-educated..?

Without question tenure is a major player; once attained it is virtually impossible to remove a tenured professor regardless of performance, histrionics or lack of commitment.  But I find it hard to believe a majority of the instructors in our collegiate system are sub-par in terms of teaching abilities.  So just what is happening – and has been happening for at least the past decade – that’s given us college graduates total devoid of a basic background in civics, economics and politics?  I feel that for whatever reason – and I suspect PC is at the root of this belief – maybe 40 years ago colleges began to move away from teaching critical thinking in favor of indoctrinating the students into the necessity of having a ‘world view’ and empathy towards all races and cultures.  After all, if one does think critically about ISIS any sane person will have an extremely difficult time dredging up much empathy for brutal beheadings and the raping of children all based upon the sick perversion of a theocracy.

But back to my original question:  could the current administration have decided the American public is so incapable of rational, critical thought that they can now be led about by their collective noses?  I think this is a definite possibility and I need only look at this week’s swirling direct disagreement by administration members regarding the ISIS threat to support my belief.  Earlier in the week we’ve heard Obama and Kerry (that’s the president of the US and the Secretary of State for you the clueless) both come out and tell us we are safer now than at any time in the past.  Yet following on the heels of these statements the former counterterrorism adviser at the Department of Homeland Security John Cohen said; “The West is facing the most complex and severe terrorist threat we have certainly seen since 9/11”.  Then, a few days later, the FBI’s top counterterrorism official – Assistant Director Michael Steinbach – gave this chilling assessment of America’s attempts to stop ISIS from spreading its ability to recruit new members online; “We are losing the battle”.  All this has been covered, however briefly, in the so called ‘mainstream media’ yet as of this writing there’s been little to no reaction.

How can ‘We the People’ accept such diametrically opposed evaluations of our nation’s safety?  Where is the reaction from the public demanding an honest, credible analysis of our situation?  Without question the failure by the ‘lame-stream media’ to really cover these discrepancies has contributed but this also highlights another supporting observation regarding my concerns about the American public’s inability to think for themselves; if the lame-stream media doesn’t cover it it’s not worth knowing..??  Apparently a majority of Americans cannot read this information and develop their own thoughts, evaluations and perceptions; they must have the so called ‘journalists’ – and I use this term very loosely and with the deepest disrespect – tell them what to think and believe?  If the federal government is looking to push more and more people unto its dole then seeing how clueless the public has become must really put a smile on its face.  This, coupled with the data showing 47% of ALL American households now receive some form of government assistance – and, no, this does not include social security or Medicaid – certainly backs up the suggestion that the American people are losing their ability to think and function independently of governmental support.  Is this what we want to foster in upcoming generations..?

I try to be optimistic but seeing what this administration has done across the last six years – and previous administrations since World War II – I find little to inspire hope.  In a way much of our population has come to mirror the narcissist in the White House; we have time only for our cell phones, ‘selfies’, reading ‘People’ magazine and giving no thought as to where our country is heading.  I would like to think that maybe, just maybe, the horror of ISIS might give us a rallying point but when we have a President and Secretary of State telling us we are safe and the ISIS threat is mainly something manufactured by the likes of Fox News I guess we prefer to accept that view.  And why shouldn’t we..??  After all, this is the administration that gave us ‘Fast & Furious’, Benghazi’, the ‘lead from the rear’ philosophy which worked so well in the recent Middle Eastern conflicts, the Obama Care roll out and similar; what could go wrong..?!?!  Not that I needed another reason to be pleased with my retirement to semi-rural south central Alaska but at least up here people are aware, prize individual strength and the ability to fend for one’s self.  In a way it shouldn’t be a surprise that ‘The Last Frontier’ should be one of the last states to still mirror so much of what made America great…