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Posts Tagged → symbol

Institutions and Images for Boys

That there is a war on boys and manhood is obvious. It is not even a question, as the perpetrators are now open about it at every level of society.

Fake academics call manliness “toxic masculinity,” as if 100,000 years of being a man – tough, focused, unwilling to back down on important issues, willing to fight, serve, feed one’s family, be patriotic, to be a warrior, a hunter – somehow became a problem.

Fake educators disproportionately punish boys who engage in boyhood behavior, which often is prep for being a hunter or warrior. It’s like punishing naturally unruly lion cubs or bear cubs for tussling and play fighting. A docile little girl standard is the behavior being pushed on boys.

Only in a spoiled and rotting society where we remain distant from the hard work and sacrifice needed to maintain what we have is it a purported problem, distant from the ground-up preparation and training needed to create young men capable of defending everything that has been built around us.

America’s main enemies have no problem being manly.

The Russians and Chinese may seem odd by our cultural standards, and they may lag behind us in technology, but they are warriors, nonetheless. They maintain a tough attitude. People there who decry their “toxic masculinity” probably ‘disappear’ or are openly assassinated on the streets, much like the few real journalists there, too.

For most nations, the idea that some of your own citizens would be making war on boys and men, and on their ability to defend the homeland, is beyond treason. It is sedition, an act of war from within, the worst act possible, because it puts everyone else at risk.

So my son enjoys being in the Boy Scouts of America, and he has a rifle hung on hooks above his bed, as well as deer antlers on the wall. He is happily shaped by the images, symbols, and work demonstrating a progression from boyhood to manhood. These things symbolize self-reliance, responsibility, self control, increasing duties to others and increasing one’s ability to deliver to others.

These are the qualities that shaped America, and they are the antidote to the girly-man weakness being pushed on our boys today.

The BSA is still one institution where boys can still learn these traits, values and skills, the military being another, and sports and even hunting camp yet others. But you won’t see a poster like this from the BSA today, and that is why it hangs on my son’s wall. It was a birthday present from his parents. We want him to imbibe its symbolism, with which it is filled.

Boy Scouts of America: Manly symbolism

 

 

 

 

Power can corrupt, but some people worship power before they ever get it

“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” goes one famous observation.

Here in Pennsylvania we’ve had one long going example of power-mad officials using their office to attack symbols of their political opponents, and we’ve had one recent example of a nudnik mayor whose goal in life was to finally acquire power, and who then flubbed it publicly.

Long-term: Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane dropped a bomb of false accusations and police with guns on Brian Bolus, his wife, his little boy. Bolus had the temerity to be cited by then governor Tom Corbett as a classic example of bootstrap capitalism, an all American kid who did well.

Corbett- Republican, Kane, Democrat. So Kane uses the power of her office to attack Corbett by proxy.

Years later, the AG has nothing, zero, to prosecute Bolus. Brian’s personal effects and titles to his paid-for home and vehicles are not in his possession, and the home video surveillance footage of the day the Gestapo visited his house is somehow missing.

Now why would criminal investigators “lose” the security video footage of their violent, over-the-top raid on a peaceful family? Could it be damning? Ummmm, you know it.

The Bolus attack is an obvious abuse of power by an AG drunk on influence and deep corruption, as if hiring her own sister into a sensitive public service job wasn’t bad enough.

Another reason for Kane to begone. And give back the Bolus family their personal things before ya hit the road, lady.

Short-term: Harrisburg cops terrorize, bully, threaten, harass, intimidate and falsely accused a 75-year-old Marine named Robert Ford on Memorial Day.

Ford’s crime? Wearing his fifty-year-old US Government issue Marine Corps uniform in public, where he had earlier performed Taps at a Memorial Day event. In other words, no crime.

Public outrage against the two Harrisburg keystone kops has grown ever since, with the story hitting media and blogs coast to coast. Officers Moody and O’Connor will not apologize for their unprofessional behavior, but making things worse…neither will Mayor Eric Papenfuse.

Papenfuse has excused the police officers and said they did nothing wrong.

This, from a man who hung around and lauded former anti-police terrorists. This from a man purveying his Yale undergrad degree as proof of his superiority. Apparently Yale doesn’t teach Morality 101, or Papenfuse was just so smart, too smart to take such a course.

So here we have an inexperienced used bookstore owner who used to accuse the police of being criminals, now wallowing in his newfound power, high on power, unable to break out of its grip and just do the right thing.

Yep, power corrupts. Let’s hope our citizenry corrects it.

The old Samurai sword still speaks, quietly

An old Japanese Samurai sword presently sitting up on the mantle may be just an old hunk of metal in a damaged wooden scabbard, and to the vast majority of people, a sword is a sword is a sword, so it means nothing other than it is a one-dimensional artifact of another time and place.

What’s the big deal about one or another artifact or old sword, right?

What sets old Japanese swords apart from every other sword ever made by humankind is literally everything about them, every aspect and detail of a sword, from tip to pommel.

Without going into detail here, suffice it to say that if, for example, a huge Viking sword was successfully made to mindlessly, crazily smash, bash, break, cut, gouge, gore, and rip a human body in a fit of power madness, a relatively slender Japanese sword will certainly do all that, if it must, but it can also serve as a surgical scalpel slicing fatally deep with minimal sense of anything awry, at first.

Artistic forms of death inspire artists and fascinate onlookers still, so is it any wonder that old Japanese swords symbolically speak still to men around the world, including me. A hushed, quiet, almost slithering whisper is its language. You cannot really hear it, but to look upon such a weapon, with full understanding, is to recognize its potential danger, even if it appears inert, steady, a mere object in need of a strong arm and shoulder to wield it.

Such is the role of any powerful symbol, and the more subtle they are, the more powerful they are.

As a new window begins to open in some political theater, Kabuki?, this sword sits front and center before me, speaking its quiet, ancient language, inspiring on to battle those who revere quality above apparent size.  The theater may be absurd at time, it may have incredibly comical villains and real heartbreak, but nevertheless, the sword remains. Whatever it must do, it will do, so long as the will remains to direct it.

And buddy, there is a deep well of will.

 

Your Property Rights: Born, and Maybe Dead, on the Fourth of July

Your Private Property Rights: Born, and Possibly Died, on the Fourth of July
July 4, 2013
By Josh First

One hundred and fifty years ago today, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, America’s most hallowed ground was established. Over fifty thousand casualties among both Union and Confederate forces resulted from fierce acts of bravery and heroism on both sides over just a few days, including Pickett’s famous last-ditch assault on the Union center, into the teeth of point-blank cannon fire, canister, and grape shot.

The ferocious hand-to-hand fighting along Pickett’s front established the “high water mark” of the Confederacy, and produced the most focused military effort to date by the Union, the success of which gave impetus to the North’s final push to end a malingering war. To make those sacrifices and take those personal risks, you’ve got to really believe in something, a truth summed up brilliantly in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The fact that the battle culminated on Independence Day was not lost on either side.

Ten years ago, I had the honor of purchasing the last outstanding parcel of land on which Pickett’s Charge occurred, at the far eastern end of the field, where the Ohio 8th Regiment was dug in. Over the prior 19 years, the National Park Service had unsuccessfully pursued the “Home Sweet Home” motel, a 1950s-era no-tell hotel on two acres there. It paved over a hasty trench and a temporary field hospital where men from both armies had been treated, before archaeology became vogue.

By 2004, the motel and its blacktop were themselves things of the past, the site archaeology was done, and the final resting place of so many distinguished soldiers was returned to serene grass. It was one of the high points of my career, and I worked so hard on it because, like other Americans who visit Gettysburg, read the Gettysburg Address, and understand Gettysburg’s role, its meaning inspired me. Preserving the Union meant continuing and expanding the American dream. Protecting the Home Sweet Home site meant preserving Gettysburg’s symbolism, protecting that hallowed ground, and enshrining the American Dream of opportunity for all.

One of the most inspiring aspects of America, and core to the American Dream, is the universal concept of private property rights. Because of America’s unique private property rights system, generations of immigrants have moved across mountains and oceans to become Americans, toil hard, and take risks and make sacrifices to improve their standard of living. For hundreds of years, anyone who was willing to work hard could use their private property rights to shelter and feed their family, purchase an education for their children, and build equity for the day when their hands and back might no longer be able to physically toil.

But here in Pennsylvania, just days ago and, oddly, just days before Independence Day, the state legislature passed a two-sentence bill gutting the private property rights of landowners who have leased their land for oil and gas exploration. It was a shameful thing to do, and it is an echo of the midnight legislative pay-raise that cost so many incumbents their seats a few years ago. It is the shady act of some self- anointed few to enrich their political friends, at the huge cost of Pennsylvania’s private landowners.

As I understand it, Governor Tom Corbett is weighing whether or not to sign it into law. I hope he does not sign it. To enact such a law flies in the face of everything that is American. It is against everything that Independence Day stands for. It is against everything that the men at Gettysburg fought and died for, and against everything that America’s Founding Fathers and brave patriots fought for in 1776.

I wish you a happy Independence Day today, and in its spirit I ask that you call your state legislators, and ask them if they voted for this un-American oil and gas bill. If they did, vote them out of office, and show them that the Spirit of 1776 still stands strong. You deserve better, I deserve better, America deserves better.

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