Author Arthur Thompson

“A conspiracy is nothing but a secret agreement of a number of men for the pursuance of policies which they dare not admit in public.” - Mark Twain

“But ‘tis strange, and often times, to win us our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betray us in deepest consequence.”

William Shakespeare, “Macbeth”, Act 1, Scene 3 (First performed in 1606).

(Or, in modern English, the agents of evil often tell us part of the truth in order to lead us to our destruction.  They earn our trust by telling us the truth about “little” things, but then they betray us when it will damage us the most.)

This is a long review, but it’s a long book!  Stay with me.

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When the righteous are in authority (a-or are increased), the people rejoice; but when the wicked beareth rule, the people sigh.” - Proverbs 29:2  1599 Geneva Bible

“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” - Proverbs 29:2 N.I.V.

Last time I ended with the contention that “neither of our two main political parties are the same NOW as they were originally…”.  The perception has been that what we see today—the Democrat and Republican Parties as they currently exist—is what they have always been.  But that is not the case. 

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I could also have stated in this article’s title that “THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ISN’T MUCH BETTER”!  But for now I’ll proceed with this condemnation of The Klan of New Bolsheviks (formerly called the ‘Democrat Party’), at the risk of offending a sizeable portion of our American electorate.  I ask my readers to keep in mind the old truism that  often “the truth hurts”, and if that truth offends those of you who are perennial Democrats, so be it.  As the long-suffering Capt. Rhett Butler finally admitted at the end of Gone With The Wind, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a …..”   Well, I assume you can finish his memorable quote, which adequately expresses my ‘concerns’ over whether or not you who call yourselves faithful Democrats (or as I charitably call you—“Dumbocrats”) can make any kind of logical counter-arguments to my contentions.

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“They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary”  ~  Isaiah 40:31                                  

Eric Liddell (1902-1945) - Christian Missionary - God's
Eric Liddell (1902-1945) - Christian Missionary - God's "Gold Medalist."

Some people seem “born to run”.  I was never one of that number, but some men and women make it look easy; their Creator apparently blessed them with “swift genes”.  One of these people who loved to run was a Scotsman named Eric Liddell (1902-1945).   God blessed Eric with a love for running that I never had, to such an extent that he was awarded a Gold Medal in the 1924 Paris Olympics for winning the “400 Meter” race, an event in which he had been given almost no chance of medaling, for his true specialty was the “100 Meter” race, from which Liddell had previously withdrawn.  Why would a world-class runner withdraw from an event that he was favored to win?  Therein lies the story of this special man, the future missionary who seemed to have “wings on his feet”, and who left the world of sports to serve his LORD and Savior in China.

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Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), as he appeared as a young man.
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), as he appeared as a young man.

Music begins where the possibilities of language end.”  So said one of my favorite classical music symphonists, the great Finnish master composer and violinist, Jean Sibelius (1865-1957).  He was correct in his observation, because as William Congreve so cogently reminded mankind way back in 1697, Music has charms to sooth a savage breast”.

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James Russel Lowell (1819-1891). Lines are from one of his most famous poems,
James Russel Lowell (1819-1891). Lines are from one of his most famous poems, "The Present Crisis," written in 1844.

I’d venture a guess that most readers of this beacon of truth know at least some of the words to James Lowell’s (1819-1891) great 1844 poem—a 90 line masterpiece titled, The Present Crisis”.  It was first published in 1845 by The Boston Currier, written  as a protest against the impending war with Mexico and as a condemnation of the existing evil institution of slavery, which had been incorporated into the new Republic of Texas in 1836.  In 1896, Garrett Horder took Lowell’s epic poem and condensed it into the shorter but more familiar hymn—“Once To Every Man and Nation”-- that most Protestant Christians have always known.  Both versions contain inspiring, beautiful, and quite troubling ideas  which have “pin pricked” my thoughts for decades.  To a certain extent, Lowell’s words still stand as a “two edged sword” ready to condemn those of us alive today with their thrust into our complacency, as lines #26 through #30 eloquently proclaim: 

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Jay Silverheels (Tonto) and Clayton Moore (The Lone Ranger) - Two American Hereos of
Jay Silverheels (Tonto) and Clayton Moore (The Lone Ranger) - Two American Hereos of "Yesteryear." Their horses were named "Scout" and "Silver." Silver had a part in the legendary fillm "Gone With The Wind" as the horse ridden by Scarlet O'Hara's father, Gerald O'Hara on Tara Plantation.

One of America’s true “heroes of yesteryear” was a stalwart, ostensibly  imaginary icon from those long gone Old West days “when men were men” (and women were happy that they were)—a true “role model” who, beginning on January 30, 1933, began to  thunder across the plains of our minds riding his great white stallion, ‘Silver’.  The America of my youth (mid-1930’s to the late 1950’s)—and perhaps yours also—was a time of similar heroes who existed in the realm of imagination, and in the tales of folklore so avidly listened to over that “pictureless contraption” called a ‘radio’.  Kids and adults sat in front of that electronic wonder, with its’ single poor quality speaker, long before the days of television, cell phones, the internet, space travel, identity politics, texting, and (thank God) “social media”,  and we were forced to use our MINDS—our imaginations—as a thrilling tale went audibly  into our ears and unfolded onto the personal “screens” of our own built-in movie theater that existed inside our heads.

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Boudica, Queen of the British Celtic Iceni Tribe in Eastern Britian. Died ca. 60 or 61 A.D. Fighting for the freedom of her people.
Boudica, Queen of the British Celtic Iceni Tribe in Eastern Britian. Died ca. 60 or 61 A.D. Fighting for the freedom of her people.

She was tall, had tawny (perhaps reddish) hair that hung down to her waist.  She had a harsh, commanding voice and a quite piercing gaze when she looked at someone.  She always wore a necklace of gold (probably what we call a ‘torc’), a very colorful tunic, and usually she wore a heavy cloak fastened at the neck by a brooch.  So she was described by the ancient Roman historian, Cassius Dio (c. 155 A.D.-c. 235 A.D.), long after her death. 

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Brave Words from determined people.
Brave Words from determined people.

Some of the following words are mine—but the original thoughts are not.  ALL of these concepts and words of wisdom belonged originally to others who pondered Freedom’s Principles before me—in some cases hundreds or thousands of years before.  That’s what makes them so unique, for no matter how “old” these ideas are, they never truly age, because “principles” that can assure—and have done so for centuries—the survival of human liberty are eternal

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The "Duke" - John Wayne (1907-1979)

Indeed, life is much harder if you’re stupid  (especially if you’re deliberately stupid).  True words, uttered by the hard-nosed (but soft hearted) Sergeant Stryker in the great old 1949 film, “Sands of Iwo Jima”, and portrayed so well by John Wayne (1907-1979), one of the most unique actors that American film has ever produced and who, despite his failures and shortcomings,  was one of the most sincere patriots our country has ever produced.  An iconoclast of leftist/progressive causes, Wayne was a strong supporter (in his later life) of traditional Americanism and the constitutional form of government given to Americans by our Founders, and he became a political conservative, much to the chagrin of the leftist vermin who increasingly dominated Hollywood during most of his career.

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Most of us are familiar with the legend of “Pandora’s Box”, first introduced in Greek mythology in the works of the ancient Greek poet/writer Hesiod, who is thought to have been active in the century between 750 B.C. to 650 B.C.  According to that mythology, Pandora was created by “the gods” on Mt. Olympus as the first woman on earth, and was given as a wife to one of the “gods”.  They also gave her a jar, or box, filled by “the gods” with all kinds of  good and evil and gave it to Pandora, instructing her to never open the box.  But her curiosity got the better of her, and she opened the box, thus releasing upon humankind all of the “spirits” of good and evil.  Pandora, realizing what she had done, tried to close the box but by that time only “HOPE” was still in it, and was sealed therein.

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S.-S. Britanis (1932-2000)
S.-S. Britanis (1932-2000)

She was launched in 1932 and christened, S.S. MONTEREY by Matson LinesOver a 68 year illustrious life, with several different cruise line owners, she became the oldest continuously operated (with a few layup years) cruise ship afloat.  Over all those years, when “cruising” became in turn very popular and, when air travel  became faster and less expensive, almost dead for a time, she kept being retrofitted and modernized, often with spare parts from her scrapped sister ships.  Her beautiful and majestic lines were known by various names over those decades (Monterey, Matsonia, Lurline, Britanis, and finally, as Belofin).  On our one and only cruise on her in December, 1990, my wife and I knew and loved her as S.S. BRITANIS, and that’s what she’ll always be in our memories.  We had a wonderful week on her, and we got to know every foot of her historic teak decks, inside and out.

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"Are these the shadows of the things that will be, or are they shadows of things that maybe, only?" Ebenezer Scrooge's question still "Haunts" mankind to this very day!

“Are these the shadows of the things that will be, or are they shadows of things that may be, only?... Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead.  But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change….Say it is thus with what you show me.”

So said Ebenezer Scrooge to the “Spirit of Christmas Future,” in Charles Dickens’ classic 1843 novel, “A Christmas Carol,” one of his most popular and enduring books.

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Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936). Author of Poem: “Lest We Forget.”
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936). Author of Poem: “Lest We Forget.”

Who can forget the stirring words of one of Rudyard Kipling’s most famous poems, entitled “Lest We Forget”?

“God of our fathers, known of old, Lord of our far-flung battle line—

Beneath whose awful (awesome) hand we hold Dominion over palm and pine—

Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget—lest we forget!

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The
The "Flying Tigers" over China, 1941. (Curtiss P-40 Warhawks)

 

“In the summer of 1941, months before America was drawn into WW11…, a small group of American military pilots was secretly being recruited to augment China’s Air Force.  At the head of this effort was a crusty, retired WW1 Army Air Corps fighter pilot (the partially deaf Claire Chennault) who had been hired by China to strengthen the Chinese Air Force.  Because America was not at war with Japan, great care was taken to avoid bringing into question this nation’s neutrality.  As a result, these volunteer pilots were required to resign their commissions with the U.S. military, travel to China as civilians and enlist in the Chinese Air Force.  These roughly 100 pilots and 200 support crew were … known as “The First American Volunteer Group” or AVG.  After their first combat on Dec. 18, 1941, where they were highly outnumbered and very successful, a journalist wrote in his column, ‘They flew like tigers….’  From that time on, they became known as ‘The Flying Tigers’. (With a tiger shark’s mouth & teeth painted on the front of their Curtiss P-40 Warhawks.)  The Flying Tigers were disbanded and replaced by the U.S. military 7 months later on July 4, 1942, but during (those 7 months), they racked up one of the finest air combat records in history.”  (Quoted from Flying Tiger pilot R.T. Smith (1918-1995) in his “History of the American Volunteer Group, in the on-line blog, “History of the Flying Tigers”.

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I don’t present myself as a Biblical scholar. But I do study God’s Holy and truthful Word quite often for my own betterment, and particularly when preparing articles for this great digital newspaper, The Times Examiner.  One of the parts of His Word that I am confused about is the first seven verses of Romans 13.  I find it perplexing when trying to equate what my pastors over the years have told me that it meant, versus what I’ve been convinced it really means, based on the teaching of other pastors. 

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Mike Scruggs