Since Feb 7, 1998

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Ex-South Dakotan. Now retired in Brownsville, TX. On the other "front line".

Crusty old ...

196th Light Infantry Brigade - Reinforced
Da Nang, Phu Bai/Hue Vietnam

... veteran.

If you are able,
Save for them a place
Inside of you
And save one backward glance
When you are leaving
For the places they can
Go no longer.

Be not ashamed to say
You loved them,
Though you may
Or may not have always.

Take what they have left
And what they have taught you
With their dying
And keep it with your own.

And in that time
When men decide and feel safe
To call the war insane,
Take one moment to embrace
Those gentle heroes
You left behind.

Major Michael Davis O’Donnell
1 January 1970
Dak To, Vietnam

Concerning Political Parties: Take the time to read it and digest what President Washington warned about over 200 years ago.

"This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.

All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.

However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

"I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it." - George Washington - 1796

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."

John Quincy Adams

This American believes in a Creator, our Declaration of Independence says so.

This American believes in certain unalienable rights and atop that list is Life, Liberty and the Freedom to pursue individual Happiness, also found in our nation’s Declaration as a free sovereign nation.

This American believes that our rights are not afforded by elected Representatives, but rather endowed by our Creator.

This American believes that all men are indeed Created equal, with the freedom to use their individual talents to become unequal by way of personal achievement, in pursuit of individual happiness.

This American believes in a Representative Republic form of self-governance, strictly defined in and limited by our written, not imaginary, Constitution.

This American believes in the individual right to earn and own, not take, redistribute and waste.

This American believes in being generous with their own resources, not other people’s resources.

This American believes in the right to bear arms, to speak freely no matter how offensive that speech might be to some, to clean up their government when it strays off course and to hold people accountable for their actions, both private and public.

This American believes in free enterprise, capitalism, individual economic freedom to earn as much or as little as individually chosen, to be rich or poor, or anything they desire through honest efforts.

This American believes in God and self, not government.

This American believes that a nation of personal achievement leads to real progress and that penalizing personal achievement through progressive taxation of the productive in the name of a greater common good, leads to eventual collapse of the most progressive society on earth.

This American believes in national sovereignty, which requires national security, including at our borders.

This American believes in the spread of freedom and liberty around the globe as a means of reducing threats against our own freedom and liberty at home.

This American believes in the rule of "American" laws, passed by the "American" legislative branch elected of, by and for the people of America, not international laws passed and administered by anti-American regimes around the world.

This American believes that all of these principles serve the greatest common good of all Americans and that protecting and preserving America means protecting and preserving these principles.

At least this American believes in these principles. I am not so sure about a great number of my fellow citizens!
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