Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | July 19, 2022

(Part 3 of 3) USMA Class of 1972: My Looking Back and Ahead 50 years

This We’ll Defend

The 50 Year, two-Way mirror

My personal perspective on West Point, obviously, is mine alone.  It’s aged over 50 years since graduation and informed by 65 years of reading history as well as over 2 decades working as an Army “Futurist.”  I believe West Point should focus on creating the cadre of the “military priesthood” of the U.S. Army.  I know such a shift would get mixed results, but 50 years from now Americans would know the Long Gray Line is about winning America’s wars above all else.

At the recent “After Party” following our 50th Class Reunion, one of my closest classmate brothers – best man at my wedding and I at his – said he thought I was “an Army guy, but I was all right.”  Made me laugh.  That was his impression from when we met as Plebes.  I wasn’t prior service enlisted. I was just an Army Brat who wanted to soldier. 

I didn’t go to West Point as a goal.  West Point was the means for me to go to Vietnam and fight as a well-trained, professional officer. 

My perspective as a cadet and, now, 50 years after graduation is that the United States Military Academy should be all about the needs of the U.S. Army.  Period.

I’m unsure about how well West Point is serving the Army these days.  When I was teaching in the Sosh Department in the early 80s I thought the Corps was in good shape.  Recovery from the big cheating scandal and making school co-educational had gone well.  After I left, the civilian faculty was greatly increased, the 4th Class System was abolished, and cancerous Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Identity Politics infected the institution.

The insubordinate screed for an “Anti-Racist West Point” signed by recent grads in 2020 was a red flag.  The Commie kid who was discharged soon after commissioning was another.  The Superintendent’s weak response to another cheating scandal and questions about CRT makes me wonder about today’s graduates of the Long Gray Line. Cadet drug use on Spring Leave is the latest alarm.

I know the Commandants who did away with the 4th Class System.  I understand their rationale – to make West Point more like the Army and leadership training more like how Officers act in the Army.  It made sense, but it may suffer under more scrutiny.

West Point should be adding something to the Army that can’t be obtained anywhere else.

The Army knows how to make soldiers with “soldierization” in basic training.

The Army knows how to make officers in ROTC and OCS.

For about a century, West Point was a first tier engineer school.  The Army still needs some highly specialized experts in different fields of study.  The Army knows how to recruit such talent or send officers to get specialty advanced degrees.

The Army knows how to train small unit leaders and tactical excellence in specialty schools from the Artic, to Jungle, to Airborne, Air Assault, Sapper, to Scuba, etc.

The Army knows how to put up a high bar for small unit leadership in Ranger School.

So, West Point doesn’t need to copycat what the Army already does well.

I believe West Point should make two key contributions to the Army.

First, every graduate should be deeply, profoundly, personally dedicated to the Honor Code. West Pointeers must live it in the Army as integral to their identity.  The integrity and trust of the Officer Corps is the mortar that holds the bricks together to make the Army an impenetrable wall.  West Pointers should set the uncompromising standard for all officers.

Second, a significant majority of each graduating class should choose service of 20 years and beyond on active duty. My class was down to 50% at the 10 year mark.  I know this is ambitious, but shooting for long term goals is important.

Combining the two, holistically, is needed to produce a military priesthood.  The metaphor describes a hard core of serving officers who set the standards for professionalism – and duty, honor, country selfless service – with religious certainty and zeal

I know there are many serving Army officers – from every commissioning source – who’d qualify as members of the military priesthood today.  I applaud them. 

I’m advocating the conscious course correction for West Point to make the “military monastery” a goal. 

Study and think it through.  From how did Sparta make Spartans to what did West Pointers in the past bring to the Army?

I’ll wager the answer is a combination of overcoming adversity, creating a new identity, isolating from outside influences, and sharing communal experiences as a corporate body – as a Class. 

Additionally, returning more Army officers to the classroom to model “Officership” while teaching academics would change the environment.

Conduct a thorough inquisition to end identity politics, CRT, and political correctness.  De-politicize what should be an apolitical institution.

Ask tough questions, like should the measure of USMA’s success be the retention and graduation of cadets or the separation of cadets who are deliberately weeded out? 

Be thoughtful and deliberate.  Plan for the political consequences.  Make West Point the first station of the Cross for the military priesthood. 

And, of course, Beat Navy!

My father swearing me in as an Officer in the U.S. Army. Swearing allegiance to the Constitution.

(Part 2 of 3)USMA Class of 1972: 50 Years Ago and Now.  Why It Matters Is Why I Care

How my West Point Class of 1972 mattered to the Army is why I care about West Point today.  That begs the question, “Why does West Point matter?”  What matters today – for the Class of 2022?        

What matters is how every West Point graduate serves the U.S. Army with integrity and professionalism to embody and model “Duty, Honor, Country.”

In the last lecture for the USMA Class of 1972, four-star General and non-grad, Melvin Zais put it more eloquently.  GEN Zais said West Pointers install the Honor Code in the Officer Corps like a single drop of ink shades an entire pitcher of water.

An Officer Corps that will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do – earns the trust of soldiers and citizens.  If that Officer Corps prepares and serves to win in combat with courage and competence, then West Pointers’ service to the Nation is “well done.”

So, did my Class of 1972 serve as such?  With one exception, I think “Yes.” How will the Class of 2022 serve?  I don’t know.

So much has changed, that I’m clueless about what is really what in the Corps of Cadets and among recent graduates serving in the Army.  Change is inevitable.  Obviously, change can be good or bad.  If change had come as glacially slow as it did from 1922 to 1972, I could speak with some confidence about cadets and graduates in 2022.

But, step-function and exponential changes from 1976 to the present preclude any prognostication on my part.  Making West Point, as an institution formerly focused on producing men for the combat arms of the Regular Army, into a school compatible for women, adjusted to a massive cheating scandal, without the 4th Class System and its systemic hazing, taught by a more civilianized faculty, and sprinkled with Woke Identity Politics and Critical Race Theory – creates a transformed place.

Transformed for better or worse?  I don’t know.

Consider the measure of success for the initial cadet and military training and plebe (freshman) year.  Formerly, success was how many cadets quit.  Now, success is how many cadets stay.  Fundamentally, that difference creates opposing philosophies, attitudes, and actions.

When I taught in the Department of Social Sciences (1981-1984), I concluded that the particulars of the four year internship for the profession of arms didn’t matter  – if high quality young people were recruited, if they thought they had passed a high bar of challenge, and if they were dedicated to the Honor Code and service as soldiers.  I was impressed favorably by the cadets I knew in the early 80s.

That may still be true.  I’d like to see the data on what West Pointers are doing for the Army.

Is there a qualitative difference between West Pointers and other junior officers?  As in success rates in Army schools, promotions, selections to key duties, etc.?  Is there a normative perception about the West Pointers’ integrity, discipline, devotion to duty, and courage?  What is the retention rate for West Pointers to stay in service?

Also, I wonder about the difficult to quantify aspects of identity as a West Point class and as an Army officer.  My class went outside and stood in ranks in all weather 18 times a week to march into the mess hall and eat together at assigned tables.  Eighteen times a week.  My 24 company mates roomed together with three juggles in room assignments a year – for four years.  That’s close, close company (pun intended).  We had class six days a week and mandatory chapel on Sunday.

It was a total institution – like prison.  And, it changed our identities.  Classmate meant far more than any former friendship.  Shared identity lead to the same effect in the Army where comrades became brothers in arms.

I think I see differences now.  I don’t recall any portraits or plaques to cadets for being cadets, like the first “pick your permanent class of protected persons” to do X,Y,Z – other than the monument to cadets killed in aviation training.  I recall only a handful of rites of passage that merited ceremony – usually marked only by named parades that we had to march in.  Today, it seems cadets get participation celebrations for themselves.

So, did how did my class matter to the Army?  We helped make the armed mob that came out of Vietnam into the victorious Army of Desert Storm, the flexible Army of the 90s world-wide deployments, and the determined Army for the early part of the long grind in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It was a thankless job to rebuild the Army.  A lot of classmates punched out after our mandatory service.  Yet, for those who stayed, it was extremely rewarding to see improvements in combat effectiveness – and serve with the good soldiers who made it happen.

If there’s one new ceremony to add to the many at West Point, I’d like to have old grads give a small punch bowl or flagon with a flaming drink to pass on to cadets to keep “the fire in the belly.”

The Army created the Nation.  The Army guarantees the survival of the Nation.  The Army serves the American people.  West Point must serve the Army in a distinguished way – especially imbuing the honor code in all officers – or close it down.

West Point must be the living heart of “This We’ll Defend.”  Hope the Class of ’22 says the same in 50 years.

Best monument at West Point

 

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | June 19, 2022

Susan Ellen Bowden in Memoriam

Susan Ellen Bowden

Sep 16, 1948 – Oct 15, 2021

Sue Boo was a Mom and an Artist.  The three elements of that epitaph, “Sue Boo, Mom, and Artist” accurately fit as a meme.   Obviously, her life was more than that, yet the words speak to who she was for those who loved her so much.

Yes, Susan, the artist, had almost everything usually attributed to artists.  She was intense, focused, obsessed, hyper-self-critical, and exquisitely gifted in her works of art.  Susan loved the intensity when she was “in the zone” creating art.  She was oblivious to time and everything other than her art.  From an early age her artwork was outstanding.

Susan Ellen Bowden was a mother who took mothering seriously and lovingly.

Of course, she had our mother – the indominable, awesome, brave and beautiful, artistic Mimi – as a role model.  And, Sue grew up with the stories of Mimi’s grandmother – the legendary South Carolina matriarch, Grandmother Bobby.  She channeled their strength in her life as well as namesakes – her little, fire-cracker grandmother – Lillian Susan Bowden League and Lillian’s mother, a true Scot-Irish Clan matriarch, Florence Ellen Maley Bowden.  Susan Ellen was aptly named for these two West Tennessee women.  Susan got their true grit toughness.

She loved her boys, daughter-in-love, and grandboys.  They have many memories they can share.  I know she loved them with every fiber of her being.  She was really proud of being a boys’ soccer team coach.  Sue was fiercely devoted to her sons and engaged in their lives.

Susan was Sue Boo, my sweet, big sister. She was the middle kid among three.

She was sickly as a little child. She survived the terror that was polio before the vaccine and more than once – pneumonia.  Daddy doted on her.

She grew up skinny and stayed that way.  Despite polio’s damage, she was still one of the fastest kids when we played games outside.  She was always the fiercest.

Because we’re only separated by two years, we played with the same children when we were little.  Sue was my protector.  She fought for me until our grandfather made me go out and fight on my own.  That’s back in ancient times when it was normal for children to punch it out.

Sue was a proud Army brat.  She crossed the Atlantic five times by ship and lived in 17 different houses, apartments, quarters, and chateaus before she graduated from High School.  She lived through two bombings on our block during France’s Algerian Crisis and saw the Berlin Wall when it was raw.  Overseas, she grew up in uniquely, racially integrated, and very diverse Army communities.  Sue was just a 9th grader when she spent Sunday through Friday night boarding in a dormitory in Poitiers American High School.  We were a migratory nuclear family at the dawn of the nuclear age.  We went from place to place together.

We knew we shared a long family history from Momma’s stories, lectures, and sermons at breakfast and Grandfather Atticus’s battlefield tours.  We knew many of our dozens of cousins.  Every year that we lived in the States, when other families had vacations, we made annual pilgrimages to Memphis and Covington, Tennessee.  Always, it was us five against the world.

Sue had truly wonderful parents and a great childhood.  We thought our parents’ passionate Hollywood-perfect marriage was normal.  We kids fought and loved each other in turn.

Sue was always strong willed to put it mildly.  She shared the stubbornness that’s iconic for every Bowden.

Sue lived for 73 years.  That’s longer than anyone in our immediate family.  She was determined when she set her mind, tough, and independent.

Sue faced cancer with courage.  She suffered the horrendous treatments stoically.  She wouldn’t quit.

She was a beautiful girl and woman with a stately grace in her movement and poise in her posture.  She had elegant and exquisite taste.  Sue could discern the finer things in life from pretenders when she was a teenager.

In her later years she shared with me about being a prayerful woman.  She wasn’t a church-going, Bible-reading Christian, yet she never backed off from her professed statement of faith in Jesus and good dunking baptism.

For years we’ve talked on the phone often.  She was a telephone buddy with my late wife as well. We shared memories and quizzed one another to remember more.  We laughed a lot.

One memory we spent a long time sharing was one of our earliest memories. It was a vivid imprint of being in a wine cellar “pres de Bordeaux.”  We were probably 5 and 3 respectively and think we recalled being threatened not to play near the cellar door.  Then – Voila! – we were allowed to visit before we left for the States.  Sue and I shared the same precise smell of musky wood and wine, the feel of the heat and humidity, the image of dust bunnies in the light cascading down bare concrete steps, and how big the barrels were to us as children.  We talked about this for years, and then she painted an excellent rendering of our shared moment.  We marveled at how clear and powerful this memory was to us.

We shared so much about our family times and life as Army nomads.  We regretted not being able to include our sister Babs when she was incapacitated and then taken before us.

The last time I saw Sue, I spoke to her in the simple phrases of our childhood French.  I saw her body respond to my words.  Her last words to me were, “You’re the last one standing.”

So, here I am.  I wish she was standing here still.  I love you and miss you, Sue Boo.

Love,

Bubba

As children in France

Early 50s.

 

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | June 6, 2022

(Part 1 of 3) USMA Class of 1972,Proud and True, 50 Years After

(Part 1 of 3)USMA Class of 1972,Proud and True, 50 Years After

Wish I could have been there. Pneumonia changed my plans. Hope to make it 5 years from now.

Lede: The West Point Class of 1972 entered at the height of the Vietnam War.  We went, expecting to fight in Vietnam, when our generation and America was split in two.  Unexpectedly, the War ended when the author was in winter Ranger School.  So, our years of Cold War service were making an Army from an armed mob.  The proof our and many other’s service to the Army was the success of Operation Desert Storm and many deployments in the 90s.  After 9-11, the Army we touched fought for 20 long years – and fights today.  This piece is a reflection – the first of three – at this our 50th year since graduation.        

50 years ago, in the last issue of our 1971-72 Pointer Magazine, I wrote, “What is ’72 worth?  We are the young lions.  We may not be going into the “adventures of a young man.”  We are going to the same adventures and misadventures of our fathers.”  Indeed, we did for the past 50 years.

I closed with “Our class is the collection of young soldiers that will remember June 7th as a significant date.  Ours is to go our separate ways and serve and never be all together again.  Before anyone thinks to ask where have all the young men gone, long time passing, we will have served as all those before us and like all those who will follow. Our numbers will continue to fade until one withered old man stands at the end of a long line watching the young faces he once knew so well march briskly by.”

At our 50th Reunion, over 400 of the 720 of us living from our class of 822, were at the parade, so we’re not down to one old man, yet.  Regrettably, pneumonia forced my absence.  Also, there are a few of our classmates who want nothing to do with the Class.  I can’t comprehend them, because of how all the rest of us feel.

We have a unique unity which defies description. Try this, consider the Class as a single living organism.  A giant squid with hundreds of arms.  One arm gets cut off and the body lives, but the body feels the loss.  Like how I feel a sense of loss when a classmate – who I never knew – passes away.  I feel like I’m diminished by his loss from our body.  Like we are all supposed to leave together – just as we entered West Point, the Army, and adult life together. 

Yet, we really don’t all know each other. Our cadet life, which a classmate called the “splendid isolation”, divided us into thirty-six, uniquely cultured companies in four regiments living largely in our individual regimental regimes of classes, intramurals and parades.   We mixed only with corps-wide activities and by happenstance.

So, within our identity as classmates, we have a regimental affiliation and a company closeness – that is remarkable to say the least.      

We met as one in the assemblies and class gatherings where we stood or sat from that hot July 1st, 1968 to graduation.  We experienced West Point as individuals – a point I made in June 1972, but West Point was imposed on us in a universal commonality.  We survived together. 

We survived “Beast Barracks”, “Re-Orgy Week”, and Plebe year in a 4th Class System of intentional brutality.  We passed academic challenges that seemed sometimes to be as much hazing as college teaching.  We spent summers training together and assuming cadet leadership roles at the same time. 

Today, many of our stories are cringeworthy and some recount truly sadistic, demeaning aspects of our mutual tortures – like awkwardly and painfully bracing our chins into our necks , being denied food, all the yelling, the ‘special’ language, and overwhelmingly, purposeful impossible demands on our time.  Most of us, but not all, laugh a lot at our rite of passage.  There were real moments of twisted humor.  But, much of the humor is our earned privilege of not being broken.  We can laugh at what happened, because we made it – together. 

We needed one another desperately to “cooperate and graduate.”  In our Memorial Service, my cherished friend, Tom Davis, shared Gen. Sherman’s affirmation to Gen. Grant that, “You would come to my assistance – if alive.” Tom’s Army experiences validated that – as the essence of our mutual allegiance. 

I know in my bones my Classmate brothers “would come to my assistance – if alive.”

Tom added he knows “no other institution, no other experience, develops bonds among people that are as strong, as powerful, as enduring” as the West Point experience.  Agreed. 

Even though the Great U.S. Culture War has split classmates to opposing sides of the political chasm, we can love one another.  It’s not unlike what happened in “The Recent Unpleasantness” (1861-1865).

I believe our brotherly affection is complimented by the loyalty and identity we share as a Class.  We are one with the Class as long as we breath.

Furthermore, nothing exceeds our dedication to “Duty, Honor, Country.”  And, the Honor Code.   Commitment doesn’t fade with age.

Finally, there’s another unbreakable bond working in our Class.  A significant number of us are bound by our Christian brotherhood.  We are Protestants and Catholics who pray together weekly and seek to serve every one of our classmates and class widows – irrespective of their religious faith or lack thereof. 

I find looking into the eyes of a man cojoined as a classmate and Christian is humbling.  I know that old man is my brother and my brother again.  I know his heart as well as so much of his past. 

As much as we kid one another roughly, I respect my classmates profoundly. 

I feel like I’m part of living entity – our Class.    

I trust if one of “Proud and True, ’72” calls – I would come to his assistance – if alive.

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | June 1, 2022

Honoring Our Confederate Dead (2022)

Old soldiers. Confederates legally recognized by Congress as American Veterans.

Honoring Our Confederate Dead (2022)

More Americans died fighting one another in “The Recent Unpleasantness (1861-1865)” than all of our other wars put together.  Every year honoring the Confederate half of that most terrible war has its unique highlights and nuances.  This year the Army is culturally cleansing the names of its forts.  So, the unspoken post-war compromise – where Southerners could honor their soldiers’ valor if they ignored the abuses of Federal aggression and stayed silent about Yankee war crimes – is over.        

The sovereign “Confederate” states were part of these voluntary, Constitutional United States for 72 years before their secession.  Ukraine was part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for 71 years before declaring their independence.  Russia struck back 23 years after Ukraine’s secession in 2014.  The Federals declared war 4 months after the first Southern states seceded.  As we see in Ukraine today, it’s honorable to defend your home against an invading army.  It was honorable for Southern boys in gray and butternut defending their home states.

I grew up with my family’s oral history of Southern heroism and Yankee war crimes.  Extensive reading of history validates both.

But facts can’t stand up to emotions anymore than soldiers of that war could stand up to industrial age weapons.  Both truth and good men are mowed down like a scythe cutting grain.

The Left conflates Confederates with treason, racism, and slavery.  It’d be a good trifecta of evil if it were true.

The accusation of treason is laughable.  Secession and treason are separate terms.  Clearly, the Founding Fathers committed treason against the United Kingdom.

  • Some states stated their right to secession in their ratification of the 1787 Constitution.
  • The Federalist Papers, which were written to sell the Constitution, stated a citizen’s first loyalty was to their State – not the Federal Government.
  • Robert E. Lee testified before Congress after the war – and no treason charges were brought against him or anyone else – because they would have lost in court.
  • How could Kentucky declare itself neutral, if all states are subservient to the Federal Government?

All of America was racist by any present measure.

  • The Federal Army disgraced itself in its abuse of Blacks.
  • Five Northern states changed their constitution or laws to disenfranchise or limit the rights of Blacks AFTER the South surrendered in April 1865.
  • The Northern states didn’t welcome the newly freed Blacks to move north because of their appalling racism.
  • Yet, at the height of Jim Crow, Black Confederates are in pictures of Southern old soldier reunions.

Of course, slavery was an issue.  But, it wasn’t the only issue.  It certainly wasn’t the issue for the 9 out of 10 Southerners who didn’t own slaves.  That was the case for my Holland ancestors of Upcountry South Carolina.  They were devout Methodists who thought slavery was a sin against God.  Yet, they fought to defend their state.  Brother Robert wrote “maybe if we give the Yankees one more could ‘breshing’ out, they will leave us alone” before he was killed at the Battle of Seven Pines.

Throughout the war, why was slavery not abolished in states of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri – as well as for the grandfathered slaves in New Jersey?  Why was West Virginia admitted to the Union in 1863 as a slave state?

Regardless, the cultural cleansing of all things Confederate continues because it’s important to destroy the history of the South to make Southerners good Socialists and Commies.  It’s vital to destroy an American culture which is profoundly Christian and prides itself on vibrant masculinity and femininity – as well as military service being virtuous. Since Southerners are over-represented in the military services and especially in the combat arms, the Left must eliminate their heritage of honor and valor to make them fighting robots.

That’s quite different than Robert Holland’s (2d South Carolina Infantry) view as a free man.  He wrote that if the company election of officers appointed the wrong fellows, he would leave and just fight independently “on his own hook.”

Which is what my Great-Grandmother’s brother did as a Partisan Ranger in West Tennessee.  She was 8 years old when the Yankees tried to scare her into telling where her brother was hiding.  They made her deaf in one ear for life firing a percussion cap pistol by her head.  She didn’t tell.  Even though they killed all the farm animals and burned the barn.

Lesser men and women are changing the forts named after men proven better than they’ll ever be.  Let the destroyers have their day.  The long arc of history proves courage, defending against an invader, and honor age well.

It’s good to honor our Confederate dead.

Such a terrible loss.

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | May 28, 2022

Dissing the Disinformation Governance Board

Like the Terminator, the Minister of Truth will be back.

Withdrawing the appointment of the proposed Minister of Truth is a Biden regime head fake. 

The Soviets worked disinformation – “Desinformatsiya” – as a weapon of war.  The Biden Administration will mis-label dissent, criticism, as well as opposing facts and opinions “disinformation.”   They aren’t fighting disinformation.  They’re using the Department of Homeland Defense to portray domestic opposition as terrorism.  It’ll be a good and fun fight to mock everything the Disinformation Governance Board does. 

Disinformation is deliberately spreading lies.  It’s the military use of words and ideas to fool an enemy. Disinformation was important enough to the Soviets to make it a serious investment during the Cold War.

Disinformation is completely different when the Biden Administration or their mouthpieces in the media puff themselves up to their most pompous selves and use it with their most serious, gravest voices.  What the Left calls disinformation is known as the truth, reality, facts, or observable events to everyone who isn’t an obedient, observant Woke Prole.

The Hunter Biden laptop was called disinformation in 2020.  The laptop and its incriminating information are the real deal.

Criticisms of the Covid vaccine, mandated lockdowns, closures, masking, and other theatrical pandemic protocols were called disinformation.  Yet, they’re backed by facts and proven by rational empiricism. The claims to contrary, like the Big Pharma jab absolutely protects one from getting the Covid-19 virus, are proven falsehoods.  Furthermore, another mainstream lie was masks don’t protect a person or stop the spread.  The government, media, and businesses denounced the truth as medical disinformation.

Criticisms of flagrant anomalies in the 2020 election are called disinformation, while fabrications about Russian interference in the 2016 election are taken as gospel truth.

The pattern of being completely backwards and wrong should be evident to the casual observer.

So, when the Biden Crime Syndicate in power hires Nina Jankowicz and then lets her go, complete with her tik-tok video singing a disinformation mantra, what should be an amusing irony – as the perp playing the cop – becomes an Orwellian drama.

What will the “Disinformation Governance Board” actually do?  Translate Jankowicz’s Congressional testimony to fund “a robust public media” and participate in a global effort to combat disinformation.  What is she really going to do – and with how much money?

Politico reported the Board would focus specifically on “irregular immigration and Russia.”  The Secretary of Homeland Defense said the office would identify “best practices” for operators?

Best practices for what?  Identifying disinformation?

Does that mean reports of the illegal alien immigration invasion will be called disinformation – so the mainstream and social media can suppress the truth before the 2022 election, or what?

Is the misinformation about Russia have anything to do with the Russian-speaking majorities in Crimea and Eastern Oblasts of Ukraine wanting the self-determination to choose Russia over Ukraine?

Putting the Board in the Department of Homeland Defense changes the subject from fake news that could be handled by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to national defense against terrorism.  Nina Jankowicz says there’s “domestic disinformation” and disinformation is a threat to democracy.

Hard stop.

In her testimony in Oct 2020, Jankowicz applauded Twitter’s assault on free speech.  Twitter’s cull of conservatives and opposing stories was a true domestic threat to democracy.

The backwards thinking expressed by Jankowicz about free speech and a free press is worthy of the double-think and newspeak from Orwell’s Ministry of Truth.  The resemblance is so uncanny its amusing.

Mocking the Disinformation Governance Board should focus on exposing every particular of everything they do.  Make them quantify their mischief.  Let them be embarrassed by their own words, actions, and spending in the public square.

What legal authority resides in the U.S. Code to arm this Board against any American citizen?  Will it use surrogates in the media, across governments, and businesses to silence dissent?

It’s important to put everything about the Board in the public square because that’s precisely where the Left can’t compete.  Their arguments fail.  Their accusations flounder.  Their outrage falls flat.  Their ideas and words lack logic, fact, scholarship, science, history, and wisdom.

The Left can’t compete.  The only way the Left can win is by shutting down any and all opposition to their Narrative.

The Disinformation Governance Board shows the Left’s desperation and yet how serious they are to harm their opponents.

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | May 25, 2022

After the Wall Slows the Illegal Immigrant Invasion

Build the wall. Then do what must be done.

If a new president finishes the wall in early 2025, the illegal alien invasion will be slowed.  It’ll take a lot more to actually correct the flow of illegals.  Are the numbers too daunting for Republicans or too great to ignore – to restore American sovereignty?

When you start a geometry problem or an economic proof, you begin with the “givens.”  Let’s take as “given” that the Republicans can overcome the cheating in 2022 and 2024 to elect the President and a majority in Congress. And, given, the new President finishes the Wall on the southern border. The U.S. will restore its borders as a sovereign nation-state.  But, much more has to be done.

About 8 million illegal aliens (or more TBD) broke the law to enter during the Biden administration – but were given amnesty.  Within one year of entry, they can get a green card.  They are on track to permanent residency, citizenship, and voting – even though they broke our law with impunity. 

There is no punishment.  Just a free ride to the location of their choice and all the benefits the Federal, state, and local governments can give to the individual and pad the cynical “non-profits” that are paid to settle them at taxpayer expense.

The President and Congress could fix that if they can face the fury of the Left when they do it.  Politicians are highly unlikely to show such courage.  They’ll act only if their survival in office demands it. 

Here’s a very rough estimate of what it could take. 

  • Pass a law that states all illegal aliens admitted since – pick a date – will have their status reviewed by a special court of “United States Sovereignty” (or create a clever name) which has the authority to set aside whatever immigrant status was previously conveyed.  Find the ‘lawyerly’ language to keep from violating the Constitution with an “ex post facto” law or personal “bill of attainder.”
  • Establish and fund a special court system to judge illegal aliens for 7 years.  Have it sunset before the end of the second term of the new Republican President.  Get the work done before the Left swings back – like they did with Obama or cheats back like they did with Biden. 
  • Do the math and appropriate accordingly.  If the court takes a year to set up and 6 to judge, and one judge will work 200 days a year that equals 1200 days of review. 
  • How many cases can be reviewed in a day?  Most cases will be no-shows – even if the biometric data and photos that the Department of Homeland Security should have, are used to search and contact for the illegal border violators. 
  • If 10 cases can be reviewed each day for 200 days, that is 2,000 a year.  Or, 12,000 in six years.  If, say, 12m persons are to be judged, then 1000 judges are needed. 
  • Consequently, Congress would have to appropriate the funds to hire 1k judges and provide the courtrooms – use existing government facilities including military bases – clerical staffs.
  • How many U.S. Marshalls and ICE agents are needed to locate and serve the aliens to attend their court appearance?  How many to then arrest them if they don’t show and when they are ordered deported? What facilities are needed to process such deportations?
  • How can the system be managed to reduce the optics of families being deported?  What Republicans can stand up to criticism when the illegals are sent back to home countries?
  • If standards are set in law to punish those who broke the law, like charge the illegal aliens every penny of every service provided to them since they illegally entered – and add a significant fine to that, can Republicans face the criticism?
  • If the law includes a lifetime denial of citizenship, will that stand up in the Supreme Court?
  • If the law includes leniency on allowing some to stay based on what they’ve done by measurable standards – like income produced, taxes paid, proficiency in English, competency on citizen exams, etc. will succeeding administrations be required to enforce the standards?  How?
  • Obviously, the judges need to be vetted to enforce the letter and spirit of the new immigration law.  Likewise, if legal aid is provided by the Federal government, the law needs to be written so conservative law firms can cash in – and not make this an employment boom for liberal lawyers.

The size of the problem isn’t insurmountable.  It’s really just some big numbers.  It’s the will of the People that must be irrefutable and irresistible to elected politicians and judges.  The illegal aliens committed a federal crime.  If there is no conviction and consequence then the Rule of Law is meaningless – and the illegal immigrant invasion will not stop.  Even if there’s a wall. 

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | May 24, 2022

Happy Mother’s Day! How Was Your Abortion?

Mother’s matter more than anyone else.

Mother’s Day 2022 has passed.  I wrote this for American Free News Network.  Worth publishing here.

Abortion and Mother’s Day don’t go well in a single sentence.  It’s insulting, and revolting, to even see the word ‘abortion’ on Mother’s Day.  Yet, many American women who are mothers and some who will never be, are feeling a lot of emotion about abortion. This Mother’s Day 2022 has something to celebrate about the legality and restrictions on abortion – it’s all probably going back to the states. 

If SCOTUS stands up and votes to repeal the 1973 Roe v Wade decision and all legal bumbling since then, it will be absolutely wonderful for these United States of America.  Such a decision corrects the first order error the Supreme Court made in Roe – abortion is not a decision for the Federal Government.  Abortion, like all other medical procedures, are issues for regulation, or restriction, or not – for the states.

It’s that simple.  The Federal Government powers are limited to 17 things – see the Constitution.  The state powers are plenary.  That means the states can get involved in anything not expressly enumerated as a federal power or prohibited by the Bill of Rights.

The decision is a first, important step in restoring the Constitution as written.

If you believe that court decisions re-write the Constitution and create new laws as we go along, so you place the power of judicial precedence – stare decisis – above the Constitution as written, then remember the Courts ruled a black man couldn’t be a citizen, segregation was legal, and Japanese-Americans could be sent to concentration camps.  Stare Decisis shouldn’t be the judiciary setting things in stone. It’s a good thing, that those decisions were overturned.

The leaked draft decision is phenomenal in its step by step destruction of the Roe decision.  Any attempt to dispute the decision on Constitutional, jurisprudence, or legal technicality will fail to any fair-minded observer.

The “fair-minded” observer is the rub.  For most Americans the issue of abortion isn’t Constitutionality or legality.  Abortion is emotional.  People on both sides of the issue think what they actually feel.  No words will change their feelings.

Now, all Americans will get to fight out the issue in their state legislatures and governor’s offices.  They can argue on whatever grounds they please.

In these bitter fights ahead much will be made of religion and the moral aspects of abortion.

Opposing teams of theologians will make contending arguments – all based on their religion, of course.  Opposing polls will be flaunted as evidence for both sides.  Politicians on both sides will blather for the most part and find the position that may get them re-elected.

But, all the storm and fury boils down to a few simple questions.

  • Since abortion kills the baby, may a mother choose an abortion for any reason?
  • What reasons justify the killing of the baby?
  • When during the pregnancy may the abortion kill the baby?

The states will decide why a mother can kill her baby and when.

In America, 60 million babies have been killed since 1973.  I wonder how many deaths there would have been if SCOTUS had done their duty and not written their un-Constitutional decision?  Had many babies would have lived with no Roe?

The states are going to answer the simple questions of unborn baby life and death.  Initially, the nation will likely be half Baby Death and half Life.

From 1619 to 1777 slavery existed in all the colonies.  Vermont changed that as an independent state in 1777.  It took until 1865 to make all states free.

As states, one-by-one, went from slave to free, let’s work to make states go from baby death to life.  And, not settle it all with a horrible civil war.

 

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | April 26, 2022

Easter: Love Never Tires, Love Never Quits

He is Risen!

Love Never Tires, Love Never Quits

This message from a layman at a 2022 Easter “Sonrise” Service is about how human love is great, but the love we get from God never tires and never quits.  And, it gives special free gifts.

Emmaus Baptist Church Easter  Sunrise Service

“Love Never Tires, Love Never Quits”

Happy Easter!

He is Risen!

The Apostle Paul wrote in his first letter to the Corinthians, “Love is patient and kind, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude.  Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered.  It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do.  Love rejoices in the truth, not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, helpful, and trusting.  Love never fails!”

Paul wrote his letter in Greek.  There are four words in Greek for “love.”  He uses the Greek word – agape. Agape is the selfless love for others.  The love Paul describes is the love God gives us.  The other loves – eros which is romantic love, philos which is brotherly love, and storge which is family love are good and important, but they’re not the love Paul describes.

Yet, we aren’t completely off base when we cherish Paul’s litany of agape love descriptions as if it is the loving we give for our eros spouse, our storge family, or our philos friends.  Because  how much of  God’s agape love we get determines how much we can give – for all the other kinds of love.

Am I saying people who aren’t Christian can’t be loving and kind?  No, not at all.

I’m sharing that humans have real limits how much they can love others on their own.  Humans can be heroic in their agape, eros, philos, and storge love.  But no one can match the boundless love of God.  God created love.  God is love.

So, Paul wrote that God’s love never tires and love never quits.   But, people tire of loving.  Humans quit loving.  We give up.  We can get exhausted by others and their issues.   Personally, we can become overwhelmed by our problems, worries, sad memories, real suffering, deep shame, and all the evil and woes of this world. You know people who have given up.  They quit doing the hard stuff of loving others.   Especially, when the others so badly didn’t deserve their love.

Sometime in your life, you’ve wanted to stop the hard work of loving.  You’ve wanted to quit caring.  You know people who haven’t earned your love.  Didn’t return it.  Maybe they were indifferent to your caring or actually hated you.

So, how can Paul say love never tires and never quits?

Because God’s love, which we see in the person of Lord Jesus Christ, never tires.  His love never quits.

This sunrise service is about the greatest single gift of agape love, ever, in the history of the entire universe.

This gift began in the fullness of time, when the one, only, true, living, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving God put part of His Spirit in a baby boy.  Jesus.  Jesus was all human in his body and all God in His spirit.

Jesus was a thirty-three year old man and full of life when He became the last sacrifice, the last shedding of blood for the remission of sin.  When He laid down His life for his friend.  That friend is you and me.

Let’s pause for minute and ask why does an all-loving God demand sacrifices in blood when someone does something wrong?  Isn’t that a bit harsh?  Isn’t that an awful, mean deity?

No, because the shedding of blood in sacrifices were the symbolic act which allowed people to get closer to God in a personal relationship.  Besides, the specific way the animals were killed was the most humane way possible.  And, all the animals provided food for the priests and their families.

Furthermore, when God created life in man He breathed life into Adam and Eve.  Life is sustained in humans and all animals by breathing in air for the body to send life giving oxygen to every living cell.  Life ends when breathing stops.  So, all living creatures get life in their blood.

Since the wages of sin is death, the blood shed is life lost in the ceremonial sacrifice as a symbolic payment.  It was necessary to be cleansed of sin just as all the rules demanded ritual cleaning before worship.  No human could be near God in worshipping with dirt on them or sin in them.

Not being allowed to come as you are to an all-loving God seems as odd as the sacrifices.

But, it’s all about the nature of God.  God is holy, holy, holy.  He is absolutely pure love.  Nothing impure, not right, not holy can get near Him.  Or communicate with Him.  Or be in a personal relationship with Him.

From the time of Abraham to Jesus, for two thousand years, God let the Hebrews remove their sins with ceremonial sacrifices.  God made unique covenants with a man, a family, and a people to have a special relationship between God and humans.

The death of Lord Jesus Christ was the last sacrifice.  No more symbolic ceremony is needed ever again.

Jesus took the sins, the wrong thoughts, words, and deeds of every human being who will ever live upon himself.

That’s exactly what Jesus did for you – his dear friend.  He took the punishment we deserve.  His blood poured out from being beaten close to death and then nailed to a wooden cross.

All that suffering was for love.  His love for you.  The love God the father has for you.  The love the Holy Spirit shares with you in your body and mind.

So, let’s come full circle from bloody ceremonial sacrifice back to love.

Do you ever get tired of telling someone you truly love, “I love you?”  Do you get tired of thinking it, feeling it, acting upon it?  No, of course not.

Do you ever get tired of someone you truly love telling you, “I love you?”  Do you want them to quit thinking, feeling, and acting in love to you?  No, never.

God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit never tires of telling you, “I love you.”

The Lord Jesus Christ never tires of saying – I’m with you.  I’m for you.  It’s going to be okay.  No matter what horrible, tragic thing happens, He will not leave us or forsake us. He gave us the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit, who physically is in you and in every Believer’s body, will comfort you when awful, terrible things happen.  When your fears consume you.  When shame beats you down.  When the pain you feel is more than you can take.  When you see no way forward, nothing good, and no hope. When you fell alone and abandoned.  When you are helpless to save, fix, or heal those you love with all of your heart, you’ll feel His love.  You’ll know His love.  You’ll cling to His love.

Then, after you get to the other side of whatever valley of shadow of death you’ve crossed or if you’ve passed on in death to be in the presence of Jesus, you’ll actually rejoice.  Your tears of sorrow will become happy tears of overwhelming gratitude.

His love never tires. His love never quits.

And Jesus goes even beyond all that goodness that He gives us for free in this life.

On Easter morning after the last blood sacrifice was made, the Lord Jesus Christ showed us how much He really loves us.  He was dead, dead, dead.  Then, He got up and walked out of his grave.  Over 500 people saw Him.  His disciples were transformed after seeing him alive again.  They happily endured any torture or death because they knew what followed.

Jesus showed us God’s power over life and death.  He gave us the gift of eternal life if we believe He rose from the dead.

Because He triumphed over sin and death, we will also.  Because he walked out of the tomb, we will walk through a door at death to be instantly away from our old body and be in the presence of Lord Jesus Christ.  And our departed loved ones.

No great stone and guards could keep Jesus in the tomb.  Since no grave could keep Him down, there “ain’t” no grave that is going to keep you or me down.  As sure as that sun is rising behind me, so too will you rise.  Bright, beautiful, and triumphant.

Thank You, Lord Jesus Christ.  Your love never tires.  Your love never quits.

Please let the Holy Spirit speak to you, comfort you, fill you with joy that knows no bounds and the peace beyond understanding as we listen to this long and great old country hymn.

Happy Easter and Amen!

Me, my minister, and a minister who I taught in Sunday School as a boy!

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | April 26, 2022

How Wonderful It Is to be Alive

I can’t jump quite that high. Yet, my spirit soars higher.

How Wonderful It Is to Be Alive

War, pandemic, personal tragedy, suffering, loss – everything bad is the dark shadow opposite of what stands in the light as good.  Life and love are good.  God is good.  All the time. No matter what. NO MATTER WHAT.  

I wrote this title “How wonderful it is to be alive” in my Op Ed notebook where I scribble ideas, key words, and my turn of phrases – two years ago, in March 2020.

I wrote, “pandemic or not, these are the days my friend.”  Cue the Mary Hopkins song so symbolic for its time – 1968. How ironic.  The song of that epic year that split time fitted well for the pandemic when little was known about the virus but fear.  Time stopped for awhile.

The virus turned out to be quite less a mega-death event unlike the Black Death of the 1300s.  Although, it almost took me out in January-February.

When I was in the hospital and they had done all they could for me, my older daughter asked the nurse if her younger sister should come up, “You know, just in case…”

The nurse said, “Yes, she should come now.  All the way from Georgia to Virginia.”

So, my younger daughter rushed up with her family and brought a black dress.  Just in case…

I felt like it just might be the case…for a couple of days.  Then, I started getting better.  It was a very slow go to get well – as in what’s normal to me.  This Passover week I feel like I’m back.  Two years ago I didn’t know I’d have a winter odyssey of Covid illness.

In late March 2020, I wrote “how wonderful it is to be alive” because one of my geraniums had weathered the winter and was still alive and blooming.  Every spring that I’ve been living here at “Sanctuary” just yards from The Bay, I replace the four dead geraniums in the pots outside the kitchen window.  The cold winds come off the water hard at my home.

When one plant lived, I talked to it, “If you have such a will to live, I’ll bring you and the others I plant inside before the first frost.”  And, so I have for two winters now.  The bright red geraniums thrive inside by the sunny southside windows.

The geranium that lived, hugged close to home for shelter through that weak winter before the Wuhan Virus hit.  I do the same with faith in my Savior – Lord Jesus Christ.  It makes all the difference in this, the winter of my life.

Christian faith, then relationship, meant everything for all of my life, as it does for all lives, for all living things, for all the universe created by the sovereign deity.  Like the geranium, I’m thriving where I was put.

It’s been four years now of real peace, joy, and gratefulness.  All came full bloom as I was writing “A Grief Felt” about the Lord taking me from grief to gratitude after my wife died.  Everything in my spirit was blossoming when I got sick on January 8th.  I was a happy man, despite some real personal loss.  And, everyday since I got out of the hospital, even though I was quite ill for quite some time, I’m a happy man – from my soul out.

Personally, serious and some bad things happened in the past four years and  throughout the latter two of pandemic uncertainty, panic, and politicization.  Awful tragedies abound across the world.  It’s the way of the world.  There’ll always be terrible times and events.

See Psalm 91 about deliverance from war and pestilence.  And, “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

I’m grateful for every day.  Thrilled to share life with family, church family, friends, and strangers as it goes.

When I was sick, my grown kids saw a bit of the crusty old soldier that I normally keep to myself.  The part I let out freely and enthusiastically, is how much I’m still up for the fight to save Virginia, America, and Western Civilization for my grandchildren.  And do it so they’ll fight and win for theirs.  Coincidentally, congruently, but more importantly, I’m still on fire to share the Good News of Lord Jesus Christ.

He arose from the dead.  He did so, so you can too.

You can hear all about it at our church’s Easter Sunrise Service – in Sanctuary’s back yard at 0615.

As my people in West Tennessee say, “God is good.  All the time. No matter what.  NO MATTER WHAT.”

How wonderful it is to be alive!

Older Posts »

Categories

%d bloggers like this: