Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | November 13, 2018

From Trumpenstein to Forrest Gump Trump

 

Gump and Trump are the accidental leaders of movements.

From Trumpenstein to Forrest Gump Trump

In 2016 after Donald Trump’s stunning election, I wrote, “The Establishment Republicans in Congress created this ‘yuge’ political creature – Trumpenstein. They opposed him during the election and are sucking up to him now in public. But, they created him by betraying the voters who gave them the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014. These career politicians didn’t do their duty and use their Constitutional powers. They were too cowardly to use the power of the purse, impeachment, approval of appointments and administrative oversight – with very few exceptions.”

Furthermore, “Trump, the man, won a historically spectacular victory connecting with the anger, frustration and desire to improve surging through Americans abused by the Establishment Republicans, as well as attacked, scorned and hated by the Left.   He beat the under-performing, wicked witch of the Democrat Establishment. Trump did great. Trumpenstein was created from the entrepreneur and entertainer Donald Trump.”

Now, in 2018, Trump is the leader of a “yuge” movement, much like Forrest Gump became the leader of a mystical, running movement. Neither leader planned the movement. Both accidental leaders found themselves with many followers. Trump, of course, won’t quit like Gump did. But, Trump will leave – at the latest in January 2025. Then, what for the movement?

Even the Left can see half the country supporting Trump at monster rallies and voting to pick up more senate seats. Of course, the Left mischaracterizes the movement as racism, white nationalism, women voting against their own interests, and every other excuse imaginable in their narrative of race, class and gender(s). Regardless, clearly there is a movement in desperate need of a champion after Trump.

The movement is Middle Americans who love America. It includes middle class Americans – including the lower, hard-working class. Likewise, it’s Americans living in the huge middle of the country away from the North East, Left Coast, and scattered urban cesspools. It’s the Americans, everywhere, who believe “America” is still an ascending idea and the greatest country on earth – without apology.

America’s middle class has been squeezed hard during the transition from the Industrial Era to the Information Era. Globalism is an economic effect of the Information Era. The “Army 21” study I led forecasted the crunch back in 1992. We said the key to the future (2005-2015) would be “the political perception of economic change.”  We added illegal immigration and changing demographics, as well as a hostile ideology – Islamist Totalitarianism as it turned out to be – would affect America. Nailed it.

The result is a huge constituency who need jobs to come back to their hometowns. They want to live, work, and raise their families where they grew up. Furthermore, these Americans take pride in being American. They don’t want open borders for waves of illegal aliens. They expect immigrants to happily assimilate as Americans. They reject being called names by the elites and both Establishments.

President Donald Trump didn’t build this movement, but he speaks to it in his rally rhetoric. He has at least two more years to make more mileage leading the movement. The Democrat control of the House will be challenging, but actually may serve as a useful foil.

Trump, like Gump, is the accidental, or incidental, leader. No one else could be Trump in this moment. Soon, a champion must rise to speak and act vigorously for the millions of Middle Americans who just want the American Dream. These, We The People, Americans just want their kids to have it a little better than they do. We Americans will fight for family, faith, and freedom.

Trump will run until Jan 2025 at the latest. The crowd behind will keep on going.

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Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | November 11, 2018

1oo Years After the Armistice of WW I

The war wrecked Western Civilization.

100 Years After the Armistice

A Century of Certainty

One hundred years ago today, the “War to End All Wars” ended with an armistice, not a surrender. The ending all wars part didn’t work – after killing over 17 million people. The armistice set up the conditions for a new conflict so severe the estimates of dead vary from 50 to 80 million people. The killing was so great the “Great War” was demoted to merely a number – World War I. Then, World War II was followed by…well, everything. More wars. More killing. More evil.

Perhaps, the tragedy beyond the destruction, suffering, and sorrow is the certainty that another war would come. And another and another. Even, when the conflicts aren’t called wars according the laws of nations, the fighting and killing continues. Why? Because man is sinful and uses free will to choose war.   The inevitability of man choosing the evil that is every war gave certainty to the century to follow to this day. It gives certainty for the time to come. There will be war.

Yet, the decision to actually go to war is personal. Leaders at the highest levels of power decide “yes” or “no”.

World War I is a textbook example. When I was a boy, I read Barbara Tuchman’s masterpiece, “Guns of August”, link the decisions, one by one, to start the war that shattered Western Civilization to this day. Yet, it happened only because men made the avoidable become the inevitable.

The avoidable becomes the inevitable when all alternatives are rejected.

It’s happened throughout American history. As late as the Spring of 1776, even though the Army had been in the field since June 1775, a war of Revolution wasn’t inevitable. British concessions on representation in Parliament or autonomy on taxes could have prevented the Revolution.

In the Recent Unpleasantness, Lincoln could have removed the provocation of federal facilities after secession. Or, the hotheads in South Carolina could’ve not fired their guns on Ft. Sumter.  There were alternatives.

However, some conflicts require resolution, which may or may not mean bloody war. Only one culture at a time can guide the society – from tiny tribe to great civilization. Neolithic Indians couldn’t co-exist as they were with the colonies of the British branch of Western Civilization. One side or the other had to give way. The same was true with Spanish, French, and Dutch colonies and their Indians. The bloodshed varied, but the assimilation took place.

Likewise, once the dogs of war are released, there are no neutrals. Everyone within reach of a conflict will be touched, sooner or later, by war. America was a world power too powerful to be left alone by the combatants in World War I. The same was true in World War II.

The enormity of America’s power after WW II meant exercising hegemonic power wasn’t a choice. The options were when, where, and how to use all the sources of power. America chose wisely in Korea and with the Marshall Plan. America chose incrementally, ineffectually, and criminally in Vietnam.  The rest of the Cold War scorecard of tragic, epic competition was mixed.

At least five great conflicts can happen in the century to come. It’ll be up to humans to work hard to avoid war. Or, the make the avoidable become the inevitable.

  • ACW III. A third civil war in the US can be avoided, for a while, if America returns to the federalism of the Constitution and secures its borders. Some states can defined by the culture of Collective, Socialist, Human Secularist Totalitarianism while other states are defined by Individual, Capitalist, Judeo-Christianity. There are other alternatives too. The nightmare to avoid is a repeat of the terrible Spanish Civil War (1936-39)
  • Euro War. A “Jacquerie” of Europeans against their elites and Islamist Totalitarians can be avoided, perhaps, by many alternatives from a Christian revival and assimilation to stopping immigration and strong arming Islam to become as meaningless and impotent as Christianity is in European culture. Here, too, many alternatives can play out.
  • War Against Islamist Terror. The war between Islam (specifically the 20% Islamists) and the West (and everyone actually) which began with Mohammed’s first genocide against a Jewish village in 627 AD will continue until one culture collapses or converts to be harmless.
  • China Hegemony. When China can challenge the US across the globe and space, militarily, it can choose to confront or cooperate with the other Super Power. We’ll see.
  • Africa. If Africa’s population doubles from 400 m to 800 m, but fresh water and per capita income don’t double, there will be trouble. Great challenges accompany any future. Most portend great trouble.

The events which become crises which lead to war follow one of a few limited arcs of predictable outcomes. Along every chain of events decisions are made. By men and women in power. They can choose the open alternatives with a few exceptions. When the stop considering alternative decisions, the avoidable conflict becomes the inevitable war. That’s worth weeping.

A century ago, World War I was awful. Horrible. Tragic. And avoidable.

So, too, are many, many wars since and to come. Yes, we can honor the human courage and suffering of combatants and civilians. But, we should hate the wars for the evil they are.

November 11th, 1018-2018.  30 Army Divisions and 1 Marine Brigade in France.

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | November 10, 2018

My Veteran’s Day 2018

After I retired in 1992 I kept saying to myself, “I’m not a soldier”, when I shaved in the morning. Then, I shook my head. I couldn’t comprehend not being a soldier.  I felt like I was a soldier on a really long leave.

When someone says, “Thank you for your service” I respond with a less than inspiring, modest, almost perfunctory “You’re welcome.”   It’s awkward when someone thanks me for doing what I wanted to do and absolutely loved doing.   I’m all for thanking draftees who rose to the occasion of their service and the wounded who gave so much.  But, I don’t expect any thanks.  Never have.

I swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic on July 1st, 1968.  I’ve never taken a step back from that oath.  I’ve never stopped being a soldier in my heart and mind, even though I’m grown too old and unfit for active service.

The first four years under the flag were endured at West Point.  The next twenty were exulted wherever the U.S. Army sent me.  There were bad days – especially when a soldier got injured or killed.  There were challenges.  There was no combat for me.  Close enough in Korea when Art Boniface and the other guy were murdered by the North Koreans.  I became a veteran soldier teaching, training and educating the armed mob that came out of Vietnam to become the magnificent Army of Operation Desert Storm and 30 more years of deployments in harm’s way.  I learned and practiced my infantry trade in 5 combat divisions.

As a Defense contractor for 20 years I tried to provide “silver platter” staff work.  I got to contribute in tangible, if not attributable, ways to Army concepts, research and development, and field management of contractors providing support in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I even helped the Air Force on contracts – as well as DARPA and NASA.

I thought all my work came together in 2000 when I created the tactical how to fight concept of See First, Decide First, Act First, (Strike More – the Army deleted this). Finish Decisively with Infantry.  In 2009 I heard a returning Stryker Brigade Commander from Afghanistan brief the Infantry Conference on how he fought his brigade successively – using See First, Decide First, Act First, and Finish Decisively with Infantry.  That felt good.

The point is that all my service felt good.  I loved being an infantry soldier.  I was happy to go to the field.  My identity was Army Officer.  There were challenging circumstances and difficult people, as well as disappointments, but such is life.  The service with soldiers surpassed any negative.  Like, I said, “I loved it”.

No thanks are needed for my service.  That’s just me.  I’m grateful I got to serve.  Very, very grateful.

 

End of Florida Phase Ranger School

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | October 30, 2018

Deacon Ordination

The deacons gave the “laying on of hands” and spoke to me.

On Sunday, October 28th, 2018, I was ordained a Deacon in Emmaus Baptist Church, Poquoson, Virginia.   This has been my home church for almost 30 years.  In the past, when I was asked to be a deacon, I declined because I didn’t think I met the Biblical qualifications.  I’ve taught Sunday School for most of my time in this church.  This year, I think I’m ready to serve more and better.

I was asked to give my testimony – and keep it to about 6 minutes – before the ordination ceremony.  So, I wrote it to be as concise as I could.   Hopefully, it’s cogent.

Deacon Ordination Testimony

James Atticus Bowden

I already gave my testimony here on a layman’s Sunday sermon in the early 90s. I’m sure y’all remember every detail! But, for the new folks, I’ll give a few chronological highlights of my testimony.

My name is James Atticus Bowden. I’ve been called Bubba since birth. I’ll be 68 in November.

Both of my parents were right off the farm, but very worldly people of their generation. Both came from very large, very country, very Southern family clans of very, very humble circumstances. My mother was a Methodist but on her death bed I kidded her that she was really John Calvin reincarnated. She was well read and taught her kids theology at breakfast. Daddy was a Baptist with child-like faith. He said his nightly prayers on his knees as a grown man. I was an Army brat.

Three times, as boy and young man, I questioned everything I knew as honestly and objectively as I possibly could. Each time, I resolved that Jesus bodily rose from the dead and walked out of that grave. Each time I believed the Bible is the word of the one, only, true, living God. Each time, I determined that Southern Baptists were the Christian denomination closest to being like the New Testament church in the Bible.

I grew up going to Baptist churches and Army chapels. When I was 12, I was baptized by a Baptist Army chaplain in France.  I was thrilled to know I was saved. As a teenager I thought a lot about living and dying after my father had a major heart attack and the Vietnam War meant young men had to make hard choices. I went to West Point when I was 17. I’d say that I lived as an outwardly worldly guy. Yet, I read, thought, and made decisions about right and wrong and how to live. I graduated to be an airborne, ranger, Infantry officer, but I was always inwardly Christian. I prayed a lot.

My life changed when I began small group Bible Study and reading the Bible daily at age 32. There are way too many God things that happened over the years to witness in these minutes. Seriously, I could talk for hours about my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Not about me, but about my experiences and understanding about Him.

But, I must share that if you really want God to change your life – start reading the Bible every day.

When I was 36 I had the most spiritually moving experience of my life. Seven years earlier, I saw my father on the night after he died in a dream unlike any I’d ever had. He reassured me. Still, I prayed that God would show me beyond a doubt what happens after death. Does my identity with my memories live? I prayed for seven years. On March 15th, 1987 on the snowy cold Bradley gunnery range 214 at Grafenwoehr, Germany I got the affirming answer. I’d love to tell you about it in greater detail some time. A second message I got was, “You will read and write.” Soon after that my Army career, which I cherished and was the desire of my heart, got crushed.

We moved to Poquoson when I was 39. I walked the aisle the next year to join Emmaus. I started teaching Sunday School. I’ve lived 25 places in my life and now one place for almost 30 years.

When I was 42 a Bible verse jumped off the page to become my personal covenant. Isaiah 59:21. “As for me, this is my covenant with them” saith the Lord: “My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words that I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.” It gives meaning to my life.

The next year, when I was at the absolute lowest, most desperate point, in my life, the Lord gave me direct guidance. Again and again, too many times to tell, throughout my life I can specify a thought, a Bible verse, a song, a person, or a feeling spoke directly to me. The sovereign God creator of the entire universe cares about me. He corrects me when I sin by thought, word or deed. Forgives me and bids me know Him better and be His man.

When my late wife, Katherine, was in her 40s she started studying the Bible. She blossomed as a Christian. She’d be a better deacon than me. After she died I found she’d written in the front of her worn Bible, “God never wastes our sufferings.” Amen.

I’ve lived life. Had success and defeats. I’ve had challenges, real loss and suffering as well as physical pain. Yet, my blessings are greater than anything bad. I’ve loved God all my life. I started talking to Him when I was a little boy. But, I’m just a sinful, broken man. I’m ashamed of every time I failed the Lord or could have done better. There are times when I told the Lord, I can’t take another breath unless you will it. I can’t do this without you. So, every time He let me know He is with me. Always. When I’m by myself I’m never alone. Let me say that again, I’m never alone, ever.

I’m grateful for every day I get to breathe to live again to love God and love others. Frankly, I can’t tell you how truly grateful I am at this short end of my earthly time. I’m so happy to be with you in this body of Christ at Emmaus. In the past I didn’t think I met the Biblical qualifications to be your deacon. Now, I’m ready to do my best to serve you.

My testimony closes with what my People in West Tennessee always say, “God is good. All the time. No matter what. No matter what.” Please repeat after me – God is good. All the time. No matter what. No matter what!


I’ll be an active deacon for the next 3 years.

This was one of the most significant and humbling experiences of my life.  As the 12 or more deacons spoke to me, I recognized their voices and listened to their words.  Their love for the Lord Jesus Christ, our church family, and others was touching.  Their focus, kindness, encouragement, support, and purpose was humbling for me to hear.

The humbling isn’t about me – saying I’m humble or anything else so vain – it’s about how humbling it is to serve the one, only, true, living Lord God – creator and sovereign of the universe, all life, and love.  I’m still processing what it means to my spirit to be entrusted more to serve Him well.

I’m grateful to be alive in the flesh and able to serve.  I’m thankful for any continuing prayers of support.

 

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | September 25, 2018

Match Theology Arguments to Audiences

Interesting reading, watching and listening. Big ideas.

Match Arguments to Audiences

Recently, I’ve read and watched “For the New Christian Intellectual” by Cody Libolt and Jacob Brunton. (‘For the New Christian Intellectual’ is on Facebook and has a website). They’re taking on big issues with intellect and courage. I support them in their efforts in general – and would dispute some of their particulars. I’d like to make a comment, not a criticism, which provides a distinction that matters.

Advocating for and against the issues of Presuppositionalism, Christian Intellectualism, and Cultural Marxism engages different audiences. Making arguments for two or more issues at the same time can be confusing to mixed audiences. Even as the issues may be connected, perhaps the arguments are advanced better by focusing on one audience at a time.  Use the language of the audience in appealing to the audience.

Is this an accurate enough estimate of American theology audiences?

  • Presuppositionalism.  5-10 k? Just using this word narrows the discussion to the seminary halls and professors of religion scattered across secular colleges. No one else talks like this. As important as it may be, it matters only in the discussions of a select group.
  • Christian Intellectuals.  100s k? More people will be engaged in promoting the idea that ‘Christian Intellectual’ is a natural, preferred, even scholarly superior term, and not an oxymoron. The arguments to restore the fruits of the Enlightenment to faithful Christians are vital to restore every culture in Western Civilization – and to reach the world.
  • Cultural Marxism. 10s m? The cancer of cultural Marxism in the church is life-threatening to every church body in America. The diseased rot subverts before it kills Christianity everywhere it spreads. The Statement on Social Justice is a good first step in cultural cancer awareness. Much more needs to be done to cut out the temporal tumors and prevent reoccurring

The Apostle Paul was keenly aware of his different audiences. We should do the same. When it’s appropriate connect the dots among the three issues. Add other issues as they fit. Make the strongest arguments possible to advance the Good News.

It’s very encouraging to see young Christian scholars being rightly moved. The passion of youth is well spent for the Word – our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ideas motivate humankind.

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | September 15, 2018

One life at the Century Mark

Wedding day, February 23, 1942.  Edith and James Albert Bowden.

My mother, Edith Henderson Bowden, was born September 15th, 1918.  This is her century mark in chronos.  She died to this body and place to go live in eternal time – kairos – when she was 68 years old.  Thirty-two years after her passing she makes her mark among the living who knew her.  She is the most remarkable woman I’ve ever known.  No disrespect to all others of her gender, but I’ve never met a woman who matched her.

When she was born, her father was in the U.S. Army preparing to go to the Great War in France.  She was the second of four children.  At the age of 12 her father died suddenly from a bad heart valve and her life changed profoundly.  The family went to live on the farm run by her widowed, 68 year old grandmother – the indomitable Grandmother Bobby Holland League.  They survived the Depression with plenty of food by hard work, little money and no electricity ever.  Rural electrification wasn’t everywhere in South Carolina in the 1930s.  She became so much more than these humble origins.

Deeply devout Christian.  Beautiful.  Brilliant.  Sophisticated, yet unpretentious.  Kind.  Tough.  Feminine.  Courageous.  Artistic.  Musical.   Fun.  Funny.  Reader.  Knowledge seeker.  Wonderful wife.  Great Mother.  Awesome Mimi.  Dedicated kin.  Loyal friend.  Informed citizen.  Bon vivant.

Truly remarkable.  Ask anyone who knew her.

My joke with Southerners is that she wasn’t a “steel magnolia” because steel isn’t tough enough compared to her.

My joy and great hope is seeing some of her in eight grandchildren and (currently) fourteen grandchildren.

My eulogy isn’t even a shadow of her light.  She was so much more.  And, thirty-two years later, still is so much to me.  All the time.  May it speak a bit about her to the reader.

Edith Madge Henderson Bowden

Eulogy

17 October 1986, Arlington National Cemetery

Before we commit the body of my Mother, Edith Henderson Bowden, to the earth we shall share a short testimony to her. Any family may eulogize their departed Mother as someone special, but we gathered here today know that Edith, Momma, Mimi was very special person.

She was richly blessed with special gifts. She was bright, beautiful, humorous, musical, artistic, practical and capable of accomplishing anything she set out to do; except one. She wanted to live to an old age with the indomitable spirit, courage, and the charismatic grace of her beloved Grandmother Bobby. She could not will the extra years on her life. Yet, the quality of her life was much like the Matriarch of her South Carolina family. Her hand shaped the clay of her immediate family like a sculptor. Her love and caring for her extended family and friends warmed you and many others in a way which you can actually feel in your hearts. This was a remarkable woman. She will not be remembered on a monument, a building, a stamp, or any man-made edifice, but she had the character, the qualities, to be so great a public woman. Instead, she lead a private life of excellence. She made thirty eight places into homes in forty years. She was more Army than my Father. She had three children and eight grand-children. No man had a loving or better wife. No children had a more loving or better Mother. We were instructed throughout our lives.

We grew up on stories of family from religious persecution in France, through pioneer days in South Carolina, the War Between the States, the Great Depression, World War II and Post-War Europe. The stories always had morals about living with courage and dignity, facing adversity with pride, enjoying life with humor, music and love. She would preach, “It is who you are, not what you have.” I teased her that Jean Calvin was alive in her. Each failure, disappointment, hardship was part of God’s plan to strengthen you for tests to come. Everything was meant to build us into God’s children with character and strength. She said, “Life is seen is through a veil of tears.” Yet, the harshest trials and death in this life are not meant to slacken our thirst for life each day. She repeated that the Lord will never give you a burden you can not bear. Psalm 118 says. “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” This is her most profound testimony.

            Edith Henderson Bowden taught this philosophy and lived the scripture like no one else. She had an unabashed zest for life. She rejoiced in the seasons and in the abundance of life and beauty in all of nature. She exuded strength, character and love. It is her joy in life and our love for her living which makes her passing another of God’s mysteries. When she said farewell to my Father’s body she said, “This was the house he lived in.” Today, we bury only her mortal vessel. Remember that she said Easter is the happiest day of the year. It is the holiest of days because of the Promise the Lord has made. It is because of this promise that we can rejoice even in death. Remember Edith Henderson Bowden as she wanted you to remember. Follow her example and love the life the Lord gave you. Let us go from here with Psalm 118 in our hearts as Edith taught and lived. “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Goodbye.

I count myself so blessed beyond measure to have Edith as my Mother.   Thank You, Lord Jesus Christ.  Happy Birthday, Momma!

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | September 11, 2018

9-11 Again

How surprising for the suddenly informed and how unfortunate for those who insist on not learning about Islam.

Again, here is the first op ed I wrote – ever.  And, maybe the best one.   Certainly prescient.  Written in the week after 9-11.  Written over 950 pieces since then.

One Front: Two Wars

The first front of the World War against International Terrorism (WW-T), our American Homeland, is remarkably united – today.  Getting nine out of ten Americans to agree to anything is heady stuff.  Yet, the adrenaline cocktail of shock, fear and anger intoxicates only for a season. Someday soon enough Americans will waken with headaches and ask themselves ‘Why’.

Will the hangover of a patriotic binge be worth it if war and its consequences become a daily, lifelong addiction? Or, will the glum awakening, even on the brightest of mornings, be the residue of restless nights worrying over our resolve?
Our America shall have many, many nights of anguish as we struggle with the ‘war questions’ Americans always ask – during a war of ever changing dimensions, consequences and demands for commitment.

Americans will speak to the dark hours of legitimate doubt with characteristic straightforwardness:

  • Who are we fighting?
  • Why? What are we defending?
  • What will be victory?
  • How much, how long, what risk will war cost?
  • What must I do?

The answers to these questions over time will result in two wars being waged for our Homeland Defense. The first, the WW-T, will lead to another, but different, Civil War in the U.S.  Prayerfully, hopefully, the severity of both wars- the consequence management – will be minimized.  Regardless, the nature of both conflicts merits the name – war – and will be fought to the ultimate ends of any and every war – peace through victory or defeat.

When WW-T expands beyond the destruction of one species of terrorist vipers – the Al Qaida organization – the coalition will devolve.  The best efforts and high purpose of the magnificently experienced and talented Bush team can not stop shifting tectonic plates of history, culture and the clash of civilizations. Sooner or later, WW-T will be the West and its shifting Moslem Allies vs. Raging Islam. Then, Americans will realize some fuzzy, global, generic, secular human ‘freedom’ is not under attack, but the West – Western Civilization – is the enemy of the resurgent Islam that breeds radicals and rage.

What is the American Civilization worth defending for long decades? What must be preserved at all costs? Who will bear any price for what liberty? These questions will split the unity of our nation along the fault lines of our
American Culture War.  Americans with different worldviews will seek alternatives for peace.

Some will be happy to defeat one group of terrorists and pretend there are no more until another bright September morning explodes in a new terror attack. Some will shake in fear and shout ‘stop’ when an Islamic country turns on us as we pursue the next den of snakes or when a radical Islamic coup topples some friendly despot.

Some will stay the course to defeat the enemy, and their means of attacking the West, everywhere and suppress their successors’ ability to attack ever again – for decades and succeeding generations to come. The nation will divide between those who seek peace at any price – because they don’t see the ultimate destruction of America and the West – and those who know that a hostile ideology – a vigorous, aggressive theology – must be defeated utterly and completely.

WW-T will be waged on the terms of the old Roman Empire. Our enemies will fight us for generations – even centuries – until they change their way of thinking or are conquered or we are defeated from within. Our America, as the leader of the West, has imperial responsibilities without imperial ambitions.

Moreover, our nation faces its greatest test since the American Civil War (ACW I). Can a nation so powerful, so rich, so hated remain a Republic with the protected individual freedoms endowed by our Creator? The American Culture War will become ACW II. WW-T and ACW II will be fought on the same front – our American Homeland.  The distinctions between today’s liberals and conservatives will widen as WW-T progresses. When ACW II heats up – may it be a war of words and battles at the ballot boxes only – the two primary sides of the conflict will shape up in new alignments of allies, perhaps with new political labels.

One side will be soldiered largely by citizens who know that since 1776 America is the country where it is safe to be a believing, practicing, proselytizing Christian and Jew. Their troops will advocate the big ideas, the worldview supporting American Civilization and the West, namely, Judeo-Christian thought. This side will show tolerance for the Moslems, the pagans, the atheists among us, but not cede the nation to their hyphenated ideas of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

America faces a long, long perilous WW-T and ACW II indeed. May the God of America’s Founders, the God of Jesus Christ and Abraham, have mercy on us all. May God Bless America. In God We Trust.

James Atticus Bowden

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | September 8, 2018

Draining the D.C. Swamp

The swamp needs to be drained.

Drain the D.C. Swamp of Power and Money

The Virginia First Foundation educates and advocates for Virginians to advance the Rule of Law. Draining the swamp in Washington D.C. is necessary to that purpose. Recently, Victor Davis Hansen made podcast on shifting power outside of Washington and the big city bubbles where the Left rules. His take on the politics of geography was interesting, but missed the heart of the matter. We don’t need to farm out government bureaucrats. America needs to move money and power out, not people. The D.C. Swamp is all about power and money. Draining the swamp means draining significant power and money out of Washington. It can be done.

Consider how the Soviet Empire crumbled in the early 90s. The Union of Soviet Socialists Republics was held together by one thing – the Communist Party. The Party had to be destroyed to break up the Soviet Union. The experienced, crafty party boss, Boris Yeltsin, knew the center of gravity for party power. Ironically for the Communists, it was all about the money. Yeltsin levied a huge tax on every party asset – building, resort, car, bank account, etc. and the Communist Party went out of business in weeks. They couldn’t pay their own operatives to make a counter coup. Communist Party control was over.

In America, the Left captured and controls key institutions – the Federal Government – as well as parts of state and local governments, Education, Entertainment, Large Corporations and Foundations, and some Religious Denominations in part or completely. Money circulates among these institutions like the water filling a swamp. Draining the swamp means stopping the money that flows in, even as the money already there is drained out.

The biggest ditch needed moves money from the Federal Government to the States. Consider our Commonwealth. Virginia sends about $80b in taxes to the Federal Government every year. Our biennial budget is about $50b a year. If half of Virginia’s taxes stayed in Virginia and were spent by the Commonwealth, then Virginia would be spending $90b a year. Significant political power would shift to Richmond – and 49 other state capitols.

Here are ways to move the money and power away from the Federal government.  It’s a good start.

    1. Send Medicaid, then Medicare, and then Social Security back to the states. Grandfather whoever needs the current system for “poor promises made, poor promises kept”. Sunset the grandfather clause for each socialized program appropriately. It’s Constitutional and sweeping to create 50 laboratories of democratic representative innovation.
    2. Stop Federal funding of higher education. Reducing the federal debt by billions reduces personal debt for millions of Millennials pursuing degrees of diminishing value. It gets the Feds out of more un-Constitutional business while it reduces the cultural rot of providing socialist paradises – called college campuses – to indoctrinate a generation. When the Left laments about such a loss to “education”, tell their foundations, corporations and ultra-rich pay to cover the cost. This must be messaged very carefully.
    3. Tax “Overpaid” entertainers – including musicians, sports figures, etc. – fairly to ‘ fix’  income inequality.  Tax the super rich based on the number of days they actually work and in relationship to the lowest paid co-workers. So, if a star makes 500 times what the lowest worker makes in the same day’s work, create a special tax for every dollar more than, say, 10 times what the lowest worker makes.
      • A fair tax example: “Overpaid” Sports Star X earns $1m in one year. If he actually goes to a work 200 days a year, then divide $1m by 200 = $50k @ day income. Say the lowest worker makes $100 @ day. Then, the first $1000 dollars the star makes are taxed normally – up to 10 times the worker’s daily $100. But, the extra $49k the star averages, in one day, has 50% surtax, so the star keeps $1k + $24.5k = $25.5k. Then, the $25.5k is taxed normally, just as the worker’s $100 is.
      • The 50% surtax is only an example. The surtax could be a graduated rate – since Liberals like that – or a per cent above a fixed amount or ratio of income inequalities.
    4. Tax foundations that don’t distribute significant portions of their funds.  Require foundations to distribute at least 10% of their cumulative wealth every year. If they fail to distribute 10%, tax them up to 10% or more of their cumulative wealth
    5. Tax non-religious non-profits based on their administrative overhead payoffs.  If the administrative costs exceed 10% of total revenue, tax on a sliding scale with the higher administrative overhead being taxed at a higher rate.
      • Consider applying the “Overpaid” tax to bloated salaries. Take the daily income of the lowest paid worker in the corporation paying Fat Cat Relative or In-Law Executive X and assign a scale that taxes an increasing per cent for every multiple the Fat Cat earns more than the lowest paid worker. Or, above a point – say ten times the wage of the lowest worker – there is a 50% surtax on every extra dollar paid.
    6. Reduce existing IRS code 100 pages a year. Or, reduce 10 pages for every one page added per year. Go to flat tax. End earned income credit. There are many ways to reduce taxes, but every single reduction keeps capital alive in the economy – which grows even more capital
    7. Impeach judges. The first time a Congressman does his duty to impeach a judge for high crimes and misdemeanors – like making up law, it may be like Wilberforce’s first bill to end slavery in the British Parliament. But, duty and justice will gain strength and succeed. Start at any level of the judiciary – against the first, worst case of writing laws from the bench
    8. Congressional retirement, medical benefits, and special medical facilities. Grandfather in serving congressmen, if you must, but the optics for this reform are powerful. Establish a Congressional 401k fund and use the same health plan as any government worker in DC. Ending political careerism requires ending the incentives for a career.
    9. Establish social networking as free speech.  Establish a threshold that constitutes “public” use and, hence, protections provided individuals in the public square. Whether it’s 100k, 1m, or far less, it keeps the Left from censoring speech, especially Christian and conservative free speech. If necessary, the “hate speech” can be identified by the social network provider, along with a justification, and labeled, but not censored.   Apply the established legal standards which work for private persons today.
    10. End social engineering in the federal government and federal contracting. End identity politics. End special months and events based on identity.

It’s hard to imagine the Left being any more insane, raging angry, or hysterical than they are now, but these reforms would push them further into their excesses. The howling will serve as an applause meter for how well these reforms will drain the swamp.

All Patriots elected to political offices need to dig these ditches and drain the D.C. Swamp. Establishment politicians need not apply.

The Virginia First Foundation  

 

Visit The Virginia First Foundation on Facebook!

Old saying in many variations. Still true.

 

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | August 1, 2018

50 Years Ago I Stepped Off the Side of the Earth

Inside the cover of the last issue of The Pointer magazine for my class. The other cover showed our 1st Class – Senior – photos.  The ID pictures were taken July 1st, 1968.  The day I stepped off the side of the earth.

50 Years Ago I Stepped Off the Side of the Earth

I’ve been fumbling with the words telling the fifty year old tale for a month. The competing messages step on each other’s transmissions – if you know military field radio talk. And, “If you know” is precisely the problem in communicating several messages at the same time. The reader has to know something about what you write to understand what you mean. But, no one, other than an Old Grad from the same era, knows the ‘something’ about West Point from after WW II to 1977 when girls were admitted. Graduates of institutions that emulated West Point had similar experiences, but back then no one gave a young man the full Monty, stepping of the side of the earth, real deal hell like the United States Military Academy at West Point did. None.

The training from July 1st to Labor Day was called “Beast Barracks” because we the beasts were to be broken and trained with bestiality and admitted to the Corps of Cadets only after surviving the summer. The measure of success for the cadre was how many New Cadets quit. Nowadays the measure of success is how many men and women stay. The difference is significant.

No one was trying to teach us leadership. They were trying to break us. We were supposed to learn to be good followers. We had to demonstrate complete, absolute compliance to rigid details for the silly and the sublime. We learned to follow orders to the letter and spirit of the command. It seems to me that it worked.

Some of my classmates recoil at the trivial and, often, sadistic techniques employed then and cheer West Point as it is now as a better place. I don’t want that discussion. I just want to share that fifty years ago I joined the rest of 1,244 boys – and stepped off the side of the earth. Four very long years later I joined 822 young men in graduating with a Second Lieutenant’s commission in the Regular Army and a Bachelor of Science degree.

That summer shook me to my core. Nothing ever tested me as thoroughly as that long Plebe year. Death of my wife was more emotionally wrenching. Ranger School and training in the Infantry was more physically demanding. Failures and challenges in family, career, and personally were more stressful mentally and psychologically. But nothing acted as holistically on me as a man – ever.  And, surviving Plebe year prepared me for every hardship and challenge to come.

West Point was a total institution. More so than many prisons in 1968. Everything was taken away from us as individuals and given back in tiny pieces as rewards for approved behavior. West Point was a very large “Skinner Box”. Everything, including our underwear and eyeglasses, was removed. All of our personal possessions, like a trusty alarm clock, address book and a pen, fit in a small personal lock box about the size of a loaf of bread.

Meanwhile, there was a lot of yelling. Inches from your face. In your ears. Red-faced screaming with the spittle splashing on you. Also, we were the last class to officially “brace”. Bracing is an exaggerated position of attention with your chin pushed back into your neck. If you do it hard enough, the pressure of your neck can sweat a penny to a wall. It’ll stay up when you step forward. Trust me. There were other tortures that are very funny among classmates in the re-telling. Not eating was popular.  Not so much at the time.

The hazing was on purpose. It was all part of “The Fourth Class System”.   Our entire Plebe Year the Fourth Class System was systematically studied by USMA. The basic idea was leaders had to learn to be good followers first. Classmates needed to learn to work closely together to build bonds of unswerving trust and loyalty. Over the decades, many things, silly stuff, had become tradition. West Point was like a tradition of traditions steeped in precedent based on history confirmed by status quo.

The topper was the totality of this strange, isolated place focused on war. War, war, war.

It was the height of the Vietnam War. We expected to go to the long war in Vietnam. The Vietnam War was unpopular. That’s why we’re the “Bottom of the Barrel” Class of 1972. We’re the only class ever, even when a handful of cadets entered a class, where every fully qualified nominee was accepted. Four or five thousand young men applied but only 1,245 were fully qualified mentally, physically and socially – or whatever they called citizenship, sports, leadership, etc. – for a minimum “Whole Man Score.”

The Army Officers in charge didn’t intervene in the bedlam run by youngsters only a couple of years older than us. As we were hazed, about 300 young soldiers our age were getting killed in Vietnam every week that summer. Our trials were meant to wean our ranks of weaklings, harden us, prepare us to follow, and then lead in combat.

I was 17 years old when I entered. By Labor Day, when I’d gone from 166 lbs to 132 lbs, broken an elbow, had a leg infection and toenail cut out, and not had a “bad” Beast compared to my classmates, I knew I was different. Deep inside, I felt a hard toughness.

My manhood was tested and not found wanting.

My identity changed.  My desire to live – Duty, Honor, Country – became consuming.  My devotion to the U.S. Army became absolute.  My loyalty to my classmates became unquestioning. My earnest, heartfelt ambition became serving in all things in a manner to earn and keep the respect of my classmates. My affection grew, and still does, to care for these other men – my band of brothers. My Christianity was strengthened and centered.  All of this happened when I stepped off the side of the earth.

Proud and True, Class of 1972, USMA.

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | May 31, 2018

Seek God First In All Things

Seek in all things = Everything from rising to resting

Our new pastor, Scott Wade, led a unique worship service on his first day.  Wednesday night Bible study transformed to scripture reading and prayer.  I was asked to prepare a written prayer on “Seek God First in All Things.”

I didn’t seek God first when I was young.  I learned, the hard way, that when I do seek God first – before I decide, speak, or act – things go much better.  Duh, me.  I’m far from perfect at seeking the Lord God’s Will first, but I’m getting a lot better – and so is my life.  More joy, peace, contentment than I’ve known – ever.  Even with residual grieving as a constant companion  – more joy, peace and contentment.

A Prayer to Seek God First In All Things

Oh, great, true, one, only, living, holy, holy, holy God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – You care about the new beginning for Emmaus Baptist Church. Lord, You care for each man and woman who are Your living body in this church.  You make Your Sanctuary in our bodies to physically live inside us. You have a plan for each of us individually and all of us as a body.

The Word of God says “In the beginning, God”. Lord God, You are the start of all things. You are the beginning and the end. The alpha and the omega. You are the God of all things from the infinitesimally small to the infinitesimally large. From the atom to the whole of the universe. From numbering the hairs on our head, to naming each one of ten thousand billion stars, to knowing when a single sparrow falls. You are all knowing, all powerful, and all loving.

In Your unfailing lovingkindness You care about our every single thought, word, and deed. Your caring love poured out when Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 – “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Brothers and sisters, let’s pray together to seek God first in all things. Let us live lives of prayer without ceasing, so we constantly communicate with the Lord Jesus Christ before we decide, speak, or act.

Let us ask the Lord God without ceasing, “What is Your Will? What should I say? What should I do? How can I serve you? How can I worship You in praise and good works? How can I love others?

Please, Lord Jesus Christ, open our minds and hearts to seek You First and have You lead our lives in every aspect, every day, from rising to resting.

Oh, dear, wonderful, kind, loving, generous, faithful, courageous, good, holy Jesus please help us to seek God:

  • Seek God first: in our faith, our walk, our witness, our worship, our testimony, our fellowship, our service, our teaching, our preaching, our good works, our prayers, our agape love for others and
  • Seek God first: in our marriages, parenting our children, loving our grandchildren and all family, being sons, daughters, sisters and brothers, close kin and in all of our relationships, our philos, eros, and storge love, and
  • Seek God first: in our work, our retirement, our finances, our giving, our saving, our planning, our planting and harvesting and
  • Seek God first: in our health, our diet, our exercise, our medicine, our illness, our injury and suffering, our praise and joy in baptisms, marriages and births, our mourning and grieving, and our eventual death in this body and
  • Seek God first: to recover from every sin of our thought, word and deed, from our every falling and failing, from everything someone did to us and we did by thought or flesh in return, every slight we haven’t forgiven yet and all forgiveness due us, from our every accident or ill will felt, fear, anxiety, hurt, addiction, affliction, hardship and tragedy that carries the seeds of bitterness and
  • Seek God first: in our past times and pleasures, our hobbies, our sports, our earthly fancies, our entertainment and reading and
  • Seek God first: in our other communities as neighbors, citizens, voters, Bull Islanders and Move-Ins, Virginians, and Americans and
  • Seek God first: to know His Will for what each man and woman in Emmaus is to do and what we are to do as a body. Help us fight Satan when he arises against us – as he will. And, please Lord Jesus, help us do Your Will with a happy and grateful heart.

If we seek God first in all things, trust and obey – truly – we will be amazed at what God does with Emmaus and in each of us and for everyone we love.

We promise to seek God first in all things.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

With great gratitude,

James Atticus Bowden

May 30th, 2018

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