While touring the U.S.S. Midway Museum in San Diego early this month, I wore a “U.S. Air Force” ball cap with various stuff pinned to it, such as the rank I wore, a missile badge (“pocket rocket” for those who know), SAC logo, and a rectangular piece of metal that declares “Combat Crew.”
During the course of walking around, I got lots of glances and several comments of “thank you for your service.”
Also got some joshing comments from the retired Navy guys about them ‘allowing’ me on their ship. Since we were all on the same team back in the day, the kidding was pure fun.
I was on active duty for only four years and that was decades ago. I never got within 3,000 miles of hostile action. (Of course if the flag had gone up, I would have been radioactive dust at 20,000 feet altitude about 40 minutes later.)
As a result, I was uneasy for a long time when someone said “Thanks for your service.”
It took me a few years to get to get comfortable with those comments.
I now graciously and proudly accept those expressions of appreciation from my fellow Americans, but not because of what I did so long ago.
In June 2010 America and the Lakota Sioux people lost a hero.
Clarence Wolf Guts was born and raised on the Rosebud Reservation in the south-central area of South Dakota. During World War II he served as a code talker with other men from the reservation. There were about a dozen code talkers using the Sioux language.
While his clothes were on fire after an improved explosive device blew up the vehicle he was riding in, Army Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe returned to the burning vehicle, pulling out a soldier, then another, then another.
Ultimately he pulled six Americans and one national translator from the burning vehicle. Did I mention that his clothing was on fire as he removed each of the soldiers?
Sgt. Cashe is credited with saving the lives of six American soldiers. The national translator, working to free his people, died from the attack. Ten American soldiers were injured, seven seriously.
With 2nd and 3rd burns spread over 72% of his body, Sgt. Cashe died from his wounds a few weeks later.
America is so blessed that we keep finding men like Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe.
He was awarded the Silver Star. It took a while for the chain of command to fully understand the depth of his heroism. He will now finally get an even more appropriate award.
“Three very definite propositions were set out in its (the Declaration of Independence) preamble regarding the nature of mankind and therefore of government. These were the doctrine that
all men are created equal,
that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that
therefore the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed.” (emphasis added)
He explained these issues are settled, resolved, final.
We can expand on those ideas. We need to bring them into further fruition. We can dive deeper into their meaning.
Setting them aside or replacing them means we go backwards. Declaring they are no longer true is regression to the ancient past.
More eloquently than I could ever describe, the president said:
“About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.”
A useful adjective to describe the devastation we are seeing in the job market escapes me.
New unemployment claims for week ending 5/16/20 were 2.12 million, seasonally adjusted. Nearly as many, 1.19 million who are not otherwise eligible unemployment filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) in the week.
That’s somewhere around 3.3 million people who lost their job in week 10 of the shutdown.
My tally of data:
40.73M – seasonally adjusted new claims since the economy was put in an induced coma
6.82M – new claims for unemployment by people who otherwise aren’t eligible for unemployment – self-employed and independent contractors
47.55M – total of seasonally adjusted plus independent contractors and self-employed people out of work since shutdown began
Number of new unemployment claims is a tally equal to about one fourth (24.8%) of the civilian labor force in February. Independent contractors and self-employed people who are out of work is now equal to about 4% of the February civilian labor market.
That means about three out of ten people who were in the civilian labor force in February are now out of a job (28.9%).
Look at the detail for more than 15 seconds and you realize there’s only a fractional restoration of the free exercise clause of the First Amendment, along with the fractional restoration of the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.
With our freedom under assault by many state and local politicians across the United States, it is more important than ever before that on this Memorial Day we remember those who shed all their blood so that we may be free.
A ‘thank you’ from me is so trivial. I will demonstrate my appreciation for freedom purchased by others by exercising my freedom of speech today. Yesterday I exercised my freedom of religion. Today and tomorrow I will exercise my economic freedom, also called pursuit of happiness, by running my business the way I choose to do.
Following post was first published on May 29, 2017. It reprints an earlier post of May 30, 2011. I will update the discussion slightly. Deletions are struck through, new comments are in italics. This feeble tribute to those who have gone before will be posted across several of my blogs.
From May 29, 2017:
Those of us living in the United States are blessed with religious freedom, political freedom, and economic freedom because those who went before us fought for freedom.
Many of those fighting offered up their life for freedom and the offer was accepted.
I am humbled and grateful to God that some of my ancestors are included in the long list of those who fought. I am especially humbled that a great, great grand-uncle is in the list of those who died in the defense of freedom and the effort to crush slavery.
Because of their sacrifice, I get to enjoy this kind of freedom:
As of this morning, places of worship in California will be allowed to resume full operations in Phase 4, which will be at some distant point in the future, likely the end of the year or sometime in 2021. Vague comments by state authorities hint the opening date may be after a vaccine is in use.
In Illinois, full worship services will not be allowed until after a vaccine is in use, with the governor acknowledging that will be 12 or 18 months from now.
Another state, I lost track of which one, put worship in the last category to reopen, along with concerts and stadium-filled athletic events.
Other states and counties, too numerous to bother gather articles for specific citation, have placed worship services low on the list of places to open.
It now looks like the First Amendment may be put back in the Constitution after having been removed by a wide variety of governors.
Several recent events for you to consider:
Catholic and some Lutheran churches in Minnesota will resume worship on May 24.
Around 500 California churches (primarily Protestant) are reopening May 31, with or without permission.
Roman Catholics in Orange County will resume Mass on June 14.
CDC issued guidance for worship services.
California governor is thinking about maybe allowing worship again. Will let us know Monday, May 25.
This discussion will be posted on several of my blogs.
Why fuss over something like gathering to worship?
If you think I’m being too harsh on the long list of governors and bumbling public health officials who won’t allow in-person worship, be advised that too many of my relatives and ancestors fought for our freedom to let American freedoms be trampled upon.
Three of my relatives I personally knew came home from war with life-long physical or emotional injuries. Each suffered until he died.
One of my ancestors died in the effort to crush slavery and rebellion. His blood is in the ground at Champion Hills, east of Vicksburg.
The price paid for our freedom is measured in blood.
A mass casualty incident is currently underway in the United States.
Letter explains the assessment protocol in a catastrophe:
“During a mass casualty incident, victims are immediately triaged to black, red, yellow, or green. The first group, triage level black, includes those who require too many resources to save during a mass crisis. The red group has severe injuries that are survivable with treatment, the yellow group has serious injuries that are not immediately life threatening, and the green group has minor injuries.”
Goal of medical providers during such a catastrophe is to focus treatment on the red group while making sure the yellow and green groups do not deteriorate a level.
Assessment by the doctors of where we are in the United States?
Red – millions of Americans are currently at triage level red. There are normally 150,000 Americans who are given a cancer assessment each month.
We now have two months of no testing which means there are over 300,000 Americans who have detectable cancer, don’t know it, and have not started any treatment. An unknown but calculable number of those will die because of the lack of testing during the shutdown.
Our very form of existence as the United States of America is based on the idea that the power of government is based on having consent of the governed. In other words we, free citizens, give government the power it has.
Phrased more eloquently, the Declaration of Independence declares:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, …
We are beginning to see damage to trust in public policy and confidence in government. Governors who continue to keep their economies locked up when there is no consent to do so and no justification for doing so are whittling away at that “consent of the governed” concept.
Politicians urgently need to pay attention to this. There is danger of long-term damage which nobody is going to like. More on the risks at the end of this post.
The growing resistance to the harshness of state policies is becoming more visible with each day that passes.
This discussion will be posted on several of my blogs.
Many churches planning to open in California on May 31
I just came across this issue in the news. It has been brewing for a couple of weeks.
Damage from the shutdown is getting more visible; it is growing, spreading every day.
Hospitals and surgeons have been devastated by stopping what is considered ‘non-essential’ care. Many hospitals may go under. Going under is what farmers are starting to do with their crops. After a panic like we are in, who has liability if anyone gets sick and thinks they caught the bug in a store, restaurant, or business?