At the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Dr. James McHenry, a Maryland delegate, followed Benjamin Franklin from Independence Hall. He recorded a question asked by a lady, directed at Dr. Franklin.

The lady asked, "Well Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?"

"A republic," replied Dr. Franklin, "if you can keep it."


"The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." - Ayn Rand

Friday, February 26, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sons of Liberty

George Washington's Secret Intelligence Service

As I sit here, this afternoon, my mind turned to many heroes of the Revolution who laid it all on the altar of freedom. One of those patriots was a young school teacher, turned soldier, turned spy, Captain Nathan Hale.

Nathan came from an educated family and so it was natural that he was sent to Yale for his higher education. He entered Yale College at New Haven in 1769. At the time the college was a town academy, consisting of just three buildings. One of these buildings, still standing at Yale, was “Connecticut Hall,” which served as a dormitory. Hale roomed in its south entry during one or more of his four years at the college. He had two roommates, one of which was his brother Enoch. His class, the class of 1773, had thirty-six graduates. Hale did well at Yale, proving to be one of the better scholars and also one of the most popular men of his class. He became good friends with Benjamin Tallmadge, who was also to serve in the secret intelligence service under General Washington.

When war broke out in April, Hale was master of a new private school. Many chapters of the Connecticut militia rushed to Massachusetts to help their neighbors during the Siege of Boston. Hale’s militia marched immediately but he remained behind – perhaps because of his current teaching contract which did not expire until July, 1775. Or perhaps he was unsure. Contemporary letters tell of the conflict that went on in his friends’ minds – doubtless mirrored in his own – whether to join the new army and fight in Boston or to keep quiet and wait. This was not the clear decision we all see today and these young professionals had a lot to lose. The new master of a prestigious private school does not without considerable risk take on the label of rebel and traitor.

In July 1775, Nathan received a heartfelt letter from classmate and friend, Benjamin Tallmadge. Always the pragmatist, Tallmadge had gone to see the Siege of Boston for himself. Upon his return, Ben poured out his heart in a letter to Nathan dated July 4, 1775 – the last year that date would be just another day. After analyzing the pros and cons of joining up, Tallmadge finally told Nathan that, in spite of his friend’s engagement in a noble public service (teaching school), “Was I in your condition … I think the more extensive Service would be my choice. Our holy Religion, the honour of our God, a glorious country, & a happy constitution is what we have to defend.”The day after receiving Tallmadge’s letter, Nathan Hale accepted a commission as first lieutenant in the 7th Connecticut Regiment under Colonel Charles Webb of Stamford.

When Washington reorganized the army, Nathan received a captain’s commission in the new 19th Connecticut Regiment and – to his credit – several men asked to be placed under his command. In the spring of 1776,the army moved to Manhattan to prevent the British from taking New York City. Nathan spent six months at Bayard’s Mount building fortifications and preparing for the inevitable battle. When the British invaded Long Island in August, 1776, Hale had still not seen combat and his regiment also missed fighting in the Battle of Long Island. After almost a year in the army, he had kept records, drawn supplies, written receipts, and supervised guard duty. These were not the daring exploits young men dreamed of when they went to war.

At the beginning of September 1776, with the British in command of Western Long Island and the rebel army trying to defend Manhattan, Washington formed The New England Rangers, an elite unit under Lt. Col. Thomas Knowlton. Hale was invited to command one the four companies assigned to forward reconnaissance around the Westchester and Manhattan shorelines. Meanwhile, Washington desperately needed to know the site of the upcoming British invasion of Manhattan Island. The best way to obtain this pivotal information was to send a spy behind enemy lines but in honor-conscious eighteenth century minds, spying was considered to be a demeaning, dishonest, and indecent activity – unworthy of a gentleman.

Nevertheless, Knowlton persuaded Nathan Hale to volunteer for this spy duty behind enemy lines. Before leaving, Nathan asked his fellow officer and friend, Captain William Hull, for advice. Hull tried hard to dissuade him from the dangerous and controversial mission but in the end Nathan justified it by saying that any task necessary for the public good became honorable bybeing necessary. This was finally his chance to do something valuable to the patriot cause.

Accompanied by his sergeant, Steven Hempstead, Hale left Harlem Village in early September and headed north along the East River. Although armed with an order allowing him to commandeer any armed American vessel, Hale was prevented from crossing to Long Island by numerous British ships on patrol. He finally found passage at Norwalk, Connecticut and crossed the Long Island Sound in a rebel longboat. Leaving his uniform, commission, silver shoe buckles and other personal possessions with Hempstead, Nathan Hale slipped into the darkness at Huntington Bay, Long Island and dropped out of sight – both to his friends and to history.

He doubtless spent several days behind enemy lines in his contrived disguise as an schoolmaster looking for work. Before he could return with any useful information, however, the British invaded Manhattan at Kip’s Bay(East River at 34th Street), taking most of the island on September 15th and 16th. His mission negated, Hale may have crossed into British-occupied New York City presumably to gain whatever intelligence he could for Washington, who was now entrenched behind the bluffs at Harlem Heights. On September 20th, New York City was set on fire, causing confusion, rioting, and a heightened alert for rebel sympathizers. By this time, Hale is thought to have returned to Long Island for a planned rendezvous with the longboat. On the evening of September 21, 1776, he was somehow stopped, perhaps near Flushing Bay, Long Island, by the Queen’s Rangers, a new company of Loyalists led by Lt. Col. Robert Rogers.

The specific circumstances of his capture have never come to light although many theories have been proposed. Almost immediately after Hale’s death, rumors flew that he had actually been recognized while undercover by his first cousin, Samuel Hale, a dedicated Loyalist then working for the British in New York. Samuel denied these allegations and what part, if any, he had in his cousin’s fate has never been substantiated.

Nathan Hale was immediately brought for questioning before the British commander, General William Howe, who had just moved into the Beekman Mansion (51st Street and 1st Avenue). Intelligence information was found on his person and since this was not in code or invisible ink, he was irrevocably compromised. Hale identified himself, his rank, and the purpose of his mission, perhaps to regain a semblance of an honest soldier (rather than a spy). Although Howe was moved by the young man’s demeanor and patriotism, he was out of uniform behind enemy lines. The customs of war were clear and Nathan was sentenced to hang the next day.

A tradition says that Hale spent the night confined in a greenhouse on the Beekman estate and that he was denied a minister or even a bible by the provost marshal, an unsavory character named William Cunningham. The next morning, Sunday, September 22, 1776 at 11:00 AM, Nathan Hale was marched north, about a mile up the Post Road to the Park of Artillery. It was located next to a public house called the Dove Tavern (66th Street and 3rd Avenue), about 5 1/2 miles from the city limits. After making a “sensible and spirited speech” to those few in attendance, the former schoolteacher and Yale graduate was executed by hanging – an extremely ignominious and horrible fate to one of his time and class.

Whether Hale said that he only regretted having one life to lose for his country has been debated. The quote comes from a British engineer, John Montresor, who kindly sheltered Nathan in his marquee while they were making preparations for the hanging. Hale entered and appeared calm, asking Montresor for writing materials. He then wrote two letters – one to his favorite brother and classmate, Enoch Hale, and the other to his military commander (these letters have never been found and were probably destroyed by the provost marshal).

Captain Montresor witnessed the hanging and was touched by the event, the patriot’s composure, and his last words. As fate would have it, Montresor was ordered to deliver a message from General Howe to Washington (under a white flag) that very afternoon. While at American headquarters, he told Alexander Hamilton, then a captain of artillery, about Hale’s fate. Captain Hull found out and went with the delegation returning Washington’s answer to Howe whereupon he managed to speak with Montresor. The British engineer told Hull that Nathan had impressed everyone with his sense of gentle dignity and his consciousness of rectitude and high intentions. Montresor quoted Nathan’s words on the gallows as: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

Nathan Hale’s body was left hanging for several days near the site of his execution and later was buried in an unmarked grave. He was 21 years old. – 

(h/t Mary J. Ortner)

Monday, February 8, 2010

CIA and the Secret War

My novel, WHITE POWDER: A Novel of the CIA and the Secret War in Laos is now on sale. You can buy it at AMAZON.COM (Click Here) and at fine booksellers everywhere. Yes I am guilty of shameless self-promotion here on this blog and you won't have to endure it endlessly. We'll get back to the situation with the American Republic and its preservation again.




Sunday, February 7, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Gays in the Military

Are there homosexually oriented people in the US Military? Of course there are. Is the proposed policy of "outing them" a good idea? No.

Let's face it, most straight soldiers are not comfortable with homosexual soldiers. Unless you decide to form separate regiments made up of only homosexuals, there will be trouble and it will fall back on the heads of those gender confused people in uniform.

Don't ask/don't tell as a policy is far from perfect, but it was the best choice in an imperfect world.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Coming European Financial Troubles

(Excerpted from STRATFOR) 
Prices of credit default swaps — essentially insurance policies against possible default on government debt that are traded by investors, increased to record levels for both Greece and Portugal today, Feb. 5, indicating that investors are asking higher prices than ever to insure government debt.

The dire economic situation in eurozone economies that are running large deficits and facing investor scrutiny — Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain (Acronym: PIIGS) — has put the entire monetary bloc under the microscope. Greece and Portugal are seen as canaries in the coal mine that could trigger crises in confidence in other eurozone economies, starting with Spain, Italy and Ireland and then moving on, possibly, to Austria, Belgium and even France. Rumors of a potential EU “bailout” of Greece — by funneling extra EU funds through existing programs or by more exotic means such as fielding an EU-wide eurozone bond despite explicit rules prohibiting it — have been circulating over the past two weeks. A total financial collapse/bankruptcy on the part of Greece is possible and the ripple effect is unacceptable to the EU, to the value of the Euro and the EU is poised to break their own rules to prevent it.

The scrutiny leveled at Greece and Portugal, however, is not completely rational. The Portuguese parliamentary vote on a law addressing the transfer of local financing — on any other day a nonevent — received an inordinate amount of scrutiny from financial media on Feb. 5 as investors looked for the “next sign” that apocalypse was coming to the PIIGS. Meanwhile, negative news about the performance of Austrian banks and the fact that Belgium needs to raise 89 billion euros ($121.6 billion) in 2010 alone — the largest loan figure on the entire continent and nearly a quarter of its gross domestic product — have somehow slipped through the cracks.

While Greek fiscal problems are severe, nearly all other eurozone economies face a combination of budget deficits and general government debt that could invite investor doubt. This puts the bloc’s leader and economic heavy weight, Germany, in a predicament. It needs the markets to stop factoring in some “magical bailout” that is not written into the EU treaties. The best and simplest way to do this is to let Greece implode.

Great Britain kept their pound sterling but even they are being called on to bail out the Greeks? WHY would England want to do this.

Maybe it's good that Barack Hussein Obama is on the outs with Europe or we would be certain to borrow a few trillion to give it to Greece...

Social Security - a casualty of other entitlement programs

Let's face it, Social Security was NEVER intended to be the sole support for aging Americans. The plan was to supplement retirement. However, like most government sponsored ponzie schemes, taxpayers today are paying for benefits they are likely to never see...and the Barack Hussein Obama Administration is spending money that could be earmarked to augment Social Security on a myriad of other boondogles.

On Day Two, taking a break from the rigors of austerity, Barack Hussein Obama was in Tampa, Fla., promising $8 billion for high-speed rail projects there and in a dozen other places. Four days later, he released a $3.8 trillion fiscal year 2011 budget that would add another $1.3 trillion to the national debt.

What can or should be done?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Another look at TARP

Barack Hussein Obama said that the Troubled Asset Relief Program was a necessary and wise investment. It would stabilize the financial system and keep credit and money moving. We would even get our money back and then some.
Many banks didn't want the money or need it. Some were told to take it or they'd be audited. So they took it. The banks, eager to break free from federal interference, paid the money back with some interest. The money was intended to be returned to the Treasury for deficit reduction. But an administration that touts a token discretionary spending freeze has no such intention.
This is a patently unconstitutional act, as Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire tried to point out to Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag on Monday over administration plans to transfer bailout funds to a new small-business loan program. "This is the law," Gregg said, holding up the TARP guidelines he helped write in 2008. "Let me tell you what the law says. Let me read to you again, because you don't appear to understand the law. The law is very clear. The monies recouped from TARP shall be paid into the general fund of the Treasury for the reduction of the public debt."
Gregg added that TARP was not a political slush fund, saying, "It's not for a piggy bank because you're concerned about lending to small businesses and you want to get a political event when you go out and make a speech" in Nashua.
Last year, Indiana filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of using TARP funds to bail out Chrysler and General Motors. The state argued that the law was specifically written to help financial institutions, which the car firms clearly are not. The ruling on the petition brought before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York was that while the case had constitutional merit, Indiana lacked legal standing to bring it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I have Baracknaphobia

In the United States, we've had a phenomenon -- the "DAILY OUTRAGE". By definition, it's the strange daily progression of "can you top this" by the Barack Hussein Obama Administration. Every single day for the past year, there has been some new outrageous conduct and those of us who follow politics are amazed that He can keep it going. It takes a lot of effort to create a daily outrage (at taxpayer expense).

The Camel Spider (pictured left) is one ugly predatory beast. There are people who are prone to fear of insects that might find this picture distasteful. Because the Camel Spider lives in the land of Islam, I thought it might be appropriate to make it the new totem of the Barack Hussein Obama (closet Muslim) Administration.

Therefore, those of us who are none to fond of that presidential regime might be said to have developed BARACKNAPHOBIA!

You might have Baracknaphobia if:

-The Change you Believed in turned out to be a change from capitalism to the Obama-sponsored utopian socialism we've seen him sponsoring.

-You don't feel that the President of the United States should bow to every petty potentate on the planet and apologize for America and by extension, for being American.

-You don't want the US Government to create a healthcare system (swallowing 20% of the economy) and screwing it up thoroughly the way they have with Medicare (bankrupt) and the Veteran's Administration (a butcher shop for America's vets).

-Having ACORN, SEIU and other criminal and thuggish organizations running programs for "your benefit" makes you nauseous.

-You feel that spending trillions of dollars on "stimulus" money that goes to Obama's pet organizations that neither stimulate the economy or create jobs (unemployment is 3% higher nationwide since the stimulus package passed) is simply WRONG.

-There's more, lots more, but if the above symptoms apply to you - I think you have Baracknaphobia.

Fortunately, Baracknaphobia can be cured. In the national congressional elections, vote against anyone who voted for the stimulus package, the ObamaCare program, Cap and Trade or Card Check. Find out whether or not your Senator or Congressman supported Barack Hussein Obama and his socialist agenda - VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE.

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