Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanks for the Providence of Almighty God

Several years ago, I had a discussion about Thanksgiving with one of the brightest, most talented, most influential advertising creators on earth.

When I asked what the day meant to him, he said, "It is day to say thanks to other people."

Oh, how I wish I had this Proclamation memorized so that I could have set him straight.

And reading it again, oh how I wish the leaders of our country would go back to our politically incorrect foundations. And oh, how I wish they thought deeply and wrote eloquently as did President Lincoln.

For perspective, remember this was written in the middle of The Civil War.

Proclamation Establishing Thanksgiving Day

October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

A. Lincoln

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Who's zoomin who?

Kaffee: I want the truth!
Col. Jessep: [shouts] You can't handle the truth!
- "A Few Good Men"

Watched "The Most Dangerous Man in America".

A fascinating documentary. Fascinating on so many levels.

I won't ruin it for you.

But there is one key question that the film makes you think hard about.

Who the heck really knows what's going on?

There are truths, there are lies, there is wrong information, there is misinformation, and there is spin.

About most any topic.

But especially about things like international politics. War. Espionage.

There is a fascinating scene in the film where Daniel Ellsberg meets the newly appointed Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. Ellsberg is at the time working at the Pentagon, and has more security clearances than Kissinger.

Ellsberg describes to Kissinger the three mental stages he will go thru once he receives the highest clearances:

"First, a great exhilaration, for getting all this amazing information that you didn't know even existed. And the next phase is you'll feel like a fool for not having known of any of this. But that won't last long. Very soon, you'll come to think that everyone else is foolish. What would this expert be telling me if he knew what I knew? So in the end, you stop listening too."

So, the folks at the top know stuff we don't. And can't. And won't. That's a scary thought. And should make us all think more about who we elect into powerful government positions.

As I watched the film, I then wanted to know, why was this movie made?

It was made by two documentary filmmakers. Who only make antiwar films.

Hmmmmm. Any chance they slanted the movie thru their prism?

The film makes Ellsberg a hero.

Is he? If so, is Julian Assange a hero?

Or are they both stooges?

Or are they both villains and traitors?

I encourage you to take 94 minutes and watch the film.

If you weren't alive then, you will be amazed.

If you were alive then, you will have forgotten how crazy things were.

And after watching it, you will start to rethink alot of things. Question alot of things. Wonder if what you thought was true really is.

It will make you think more critically.

And even if the movie is all lies and crap, then it will be time well spent.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Cloth of the Nation

I had never heard this term until after Pete was dead.

I first heard "The Cloth of the Nation" at a military ceremony where all of our military service members were honored.

There is no one term to describe our folks in service other than "military".

Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard.

What a wonderful set of words.

The Cloth of the Nation.

Those who serve us wear the Cloth of the Nation.

Thanks to all who have worn it.

From the Revolutionary War forward.

You have represented us.

We are about to launch a new website called The Cloth of the Nation.

It has one simple purpose.

To connect civilian America with military America.

I have learned since Pete's death from thousands of Americans that they have a desire to show support for our folks serving in the military.

And, I have learned from you that are serving, does anyone give a damn about what I'm doing?

Well, millions do want to say we support you.

And, we want to provide a place where you can go in the middle of the night in Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, or whatever awful place you are, and know that you are loved and appreciated.

We were created by a great military.

We continue to live by the service of a great military.

Godspeed to all who wear the Cloth of the Nation.