The Panhandle Rancher asks…..What has happened to this country?


We are a nation of people who have forgotten how to work with together. We are a nation of people who are promise breakers and law breakers. We are a nation of people who do not trust their political leadership. We are a nation of people whose greed outshines morals and worship of the all mighty dollar outshines worship of the All Mighty God. We are a nation of people who would rather take a handout than to work, more so if the job is backbreaking and laborious. We are a nation of people who stink in the nostrils of too many of the world’s people. We are a nation who has lost its way.


Following WWII, this nation was the envy of the world. This nation was once a beacon of freedom and the hope; the envy of the world.  It was a nation whose warriors defeated Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Fascist Italy. It’s industrial machinery produced products of quality made to endure and last for generations. It was a nation of optimism and the hands of its people worked miracles. It was a nation of explorers who traveled the ocean’s depths and flew to the moon. It was a nation whose public schools and public meetings opened each day with a prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America. It was a nation whose people worshipped the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in synagogue and church, in public schools, and in governmental offices.


Oh, this country had its problems; festering problems unsolved and largely ignored ever since the Civil War. Although we would grapple with racial problems for decades, the WWII veterans were determined to remake society into something better and grander than had ever before existed in the history of the world. The courage, industry, and accomplishments of that WWII generation would propel them to heights of achievement that would cause their descendants label them, “The Greatest Generation.”


The unforeseen demise of this nation is attributed to diverse excuses. “The Greatest Generation” has lived and died, so where does that leave us? Are we forever destined to be something less than that most auspicious of generations?


Nowadays, we seemed destined to choose our presidents and leaders from the best of the least qualified rather than the best of the best qualified. Are there no more Washingtons, Lincolns, Roosevelts, and Regans? The travails and perseverance of these leaders in the face of dire adversity indeed set the highest bar. So then, are we who follow forever destined to lesser expectations? Nay, nay, say I. Each of us are descended from a long line of survivors and it’s high time we stand erect and acquit ourselves as men; to walk with responsibility and integrity; to face a forever uncertain future with bravery and honor and courage.


So from whence came our national decline? I submit it began in Oklahoma City with an atheist by the name of Madalyn Murray O’Hair. O’Hair was offended by prayer in public school and that offense resulted in a landmark court decision, Murray v. Curlett. This decision along with Abington v. Schempp ended prayer in our public schools. No longer, “In God Do We Trust.”


I submit these two decisions were more destructive than was Plessy v. Ferguson. The Plessy decision established the so-called ‘separate but equal doctrine’ that for too long segregated blacks from whites. Whereas Plessy separated people by race, Murray went much further to create precedent where the wishes of an extremely small minority would trump those of a clear majority. Because of atheist O’Hair’s personal offense with prayer in a public school and subsequent lawsuit, forevermore would the majority of our people be denied full privilege of their First Amendment Rights: freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Every since and in every cause thereafter, an activist judiciary hastens to deny privileges to the majority in face of protest by even the very smallest minority. Determined not to offend anyone, we reduce the majority to the least common denominator. Is there any wonder we have lost our way?


Plessy, Murry, and Abington are all representative of judicial activism. Judicial activism occurs when courts do not limit rulings to the dispute before them, but instead establish new rules that apply broadly to issues not presented in the specific action. It also occurs when judges substitute their own political opinions for appellate law, or when judges act like a legislature. Judicial activism is a way for liberals to avoid legislative mechanisms required to enact laws and lets them ignore public opinion and dodge public debate. Judicial activism is insidious. It is destructive to our freedoms. Alexander Hamilton stated, “It can be of no weight to say that the courts, on the pretense of a repugnancy, may substitute their own pleasure to the constitutional intentions of the legislature.”


From Article III, Section I of the Constitution we learn, “The judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts shall hold their offices during good Behavior … “ Given the behavior of Presidents and Congressmen, is it not remarkable that in the history of our nation only fourteen federal judges have been impeached and convicted by Congressional vote (three other judges resigned rather than face impeachment)?  I say it is high time that activist judges (is there any other kind in California?) feel the power of the people. I say, impeach all black robed pretenders who deign to legislate from the bench.


An Executive Order is close cousin to judicial activism. These must be watched closely. Our current President has established Executive Orders to nationalize energy and agriculture and many many other things. Very bad things can happen when national leadership tinkers with agriculture. Collectivization under Lenin and Stalin was enforced between 1928 and 1940. Its goal was to consolidate individual land and labor into collective farms. This was done to increase food supply. Grain was seized from the farmers and those seizures reduced incentive to plant. Hoarding was prevalent. Ninety percent of Soviet agriculture was eventually collectivized. Millions of people starved. China fared no better. Under Chairman Mao, a series of “Great Leaps Forward,” occurred. Two of these ‘great leaps,’ were to occur in industry and agriculture. Farms were organized into communes and again millions starved. Beware my fellow citizens, our current President is tinkering with Agriculture and Energy.


WWII was the last major conflict in which this nation prevailed. An optimist might opine that the Korean ‘Police Action’ ended in a draw but no one believes that of the Viet Nam conflict. Does anyone believe we are winning the war on terror? Does anyone believe we are winning in Afghanistan, in Iraq? I ask you to ponder what the aftermath of our Civil War and defeat of the Axis powers had in common. How were these conflicts any different than our current entanglements? Defeat of both Confederacy and Axis Powers was total and absolute. Both conflicts ended without guerilla insurgencies. The vanquished lost all interest in further hostilities. Are the warriors of this generation any less brave; are they any less well equipped? No, bravery is alive and well and flourishes in our warrior class. No nation on the earth has ever equipped its military better. I submit the reason all post WWII conflicts have been impossible to successfully prosecute lies in the concept of “collateral damage.”


Remember General Sherman’s March to the Sea? The General burned farms, he burned schools, he burned hospitals, and he burned homes, leaving only destruction in his wake. His campaign geographically divided the South and thereby greatly shortened the horribleness of our Civil War.


General Sherman’s letter to the Mayor of Atlanta, says it all: “…To stop war we must defeat the rebel armies that are arrayed against the laws and Constitution, which all must respect and obey. To defeat these armies we must prepare the way to reach them in their recesses provided with the arms and instruments which enable us to accomplish our purpose. Now, I know the vindictive nature of our enemy, and that we may have many years of military operations from this quarter, and therefore deem it wise and prudent to prepare in time. The use of Atlanta for warlike purposes is inconsistent with its character as a home for families. There will be no manufactures, commerce, or agriculture here for the maintenance of families, and sooner or later want will compel the inhabitants to go. Why not go now, when all the arrangements are completed for the transfer, instead of waiting till the plunging shot of contending armies will renew the scenes of the past month? …” Sherman ended this letter by saying, I want peace, and believe it can now only be reached through union and war, and I will ever conduct war with a view to perfect an early success. But, my dear sirs, when that peace does come, you may call on me for anything. Then will I share with you the last cracker, and watch with you to shield your homes and families against danger from every quarter. Now you must go, and take with you the old and feeble, feed and nurse them and build for them in more quiet places proper habitations to shield them against the weather until the mad passions of men cool down and allow the Union and peace once more to settle over your old homes at Atlanta.


“War is Hell,” said General Sherman. He knew of what he spoke.


Advance in time now to WWII. The British bombed German cities by day and the US Army Air Force bombed at night. Cities were carpet bombed. 722 Royal Air Force and 527 USAAF bombers dropped 2,341 tons of explosive bombs and 1,476 tons of incendiaries on the inner city of Dresden. Somewhere between 25,000 and 500,000 Germans perished. Bomber crews in the stratosphere could smell burning human flesh. Most large German cities were firebombed. This was done for more than retribution in response to the bombing of English cities. The purpose of area bombardment of was set forth in a British Air Staff paper, dated September 23, 1941:


“The ultimate aim of an attack on a town area is to break the morale of the population which occupies it. To ensure this, we must achieve two things: first, we must make the town physically uninhabitable and, secondly, we must make the people conscious of constant personal danger. The immediate aim, is therefore, twofold, namely, to produce (i) destruction and (ii) fear of death.” (Sir Harris, Arthur Travers, Dispatch on War Operations, 23rd February, 1942 to 8th May, 1945).


Air operations against the Japanese languished until the arrival of General Curtis LeMay, an experienced veteran of the air war against Germany. Tokyo was firebombed resulting in 83,000 deaths. Major Japanese cities were firebombed and in Osaka alone, 136,000 homes were destroyed. An article in the Atlantic Constitution was reportedly titled, “Keep them frying.”


General LeMay worried he would run out of targets by Christmas of 1945.

June 4, 1945 issue of Newsweek:

“Six weeks ago Tokyo had a population of nearly 7,000,000. Last week the Japs cried that Tokyo no longer existed as a city. Using new techniques and new bombs, the largest fleets of B-29s ever to take the air and turned most of the Japanese capital into ashes in two great strikes on May 24 and 26….For 105 minutes the Superfortresses filed over and dropped 700,000 incendiary bombs. … Two nights later a force of more than 500 B-29s struck the Marunouchi district, the business heart of the Japanese Empire. … On a target area of approximately 9 square miles the B-29s dropped 4,000 tons in one hour. The wind did the rest.”

June 11, 1945 issue of Newsweek:

“On the morning of May 28, more than 450 B-29s, escorted by about 150 P-51s from Iwo Jima, roared in on he familiar trail over Tokyo Bay. Reconnaissance photos showed that 51.3 square miles of Tokyo had been burned out. … the B-29’s smothered Yokohama with 3,200 tons of incendiaries.”


We all know what happened to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


When the Greatest Generation was done with Germany and Japan, there would be no lingering guerilla actions. The Germans and Japanese were done with war.


It is my humble opinion that the Cold War remained cold because there was no doubt on the part of the Soviets that General Curtis LeMay was capable of total warfare. They might grumble and make a few feints, but the last thing they wanted was release of the nuclear armed B-52s of his Strategic Air Command. They had seen WWII Germany. They knew.


Our military has always grown capable leaders. General Schwarzkopf was one, there are others today. Today many of our political leadership have never worn the uniform; have never went in harm’s way in defense of liberty and freedom. These well meaning but tragically confused souls believe that by limiting collateral damage, war can be made manageable, can be made less horrible. Generals Sherman, Marshall, Eisenhower, LeMay, MacArthur, and Patton, and so many others knew better. During the Korean Police Action, General MacArthur had tactical control of his nuclear weapons. That worried the North Koreans – and Chinese, I suspect greatly. It also worried his President. One proposal to limit Chinese involvement in this conflict involved the creation of a radioactive trench that would turn Korea into an island. As did Sherman, those generals understood how unrestricted warfare wins wars.


It is indeed horrible to bomb civilians, their farms, homes, schools, hospitals. But from whence come the personnel and material with which a war is prosecuted? Sherman knew. Sir Harris knew. This country will never again prevail as long as it tries to pretty up the horrible face of war. The end result of war is death. We should resolve to never again enter into war without that understanding. When this people go to war, let it be with the honor of moral certitude, with lethal intent, with capability, with determination to see it through to the end, and when the opposing force is tired of war, let’s set down with the survivors and share Sherman’s cracker. The Greatest Generation did this with the Marshal Plan that rebuilt Europe and with the Occupation of Japan by giving a feudal warlike country a modern Constitution.


Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country. There will be no better time. Today our country faces great threats. Our decline began with judicial activism. Judicial activism is insidious. It saps at the strength and soul of liberty and freedom. Our Constitution provides a remedy. We have only to avail ourselves. Prussian military theorist and Major General Carl von Clausewitz opined that, “War is merely the continuation of policy by other means.” Failed policies lead to failed wars. Failed wars can lead to end of a nation state. On no lesser level, failed wars erode the confidence of a people in their leadership, which is corrosive to the continued existence of a nation state. We must resolve, we must insist, nay demand, that barring an unexpected and crippling first strike, no President should ever take this people to war without first obtaining consent of the people. No private wars using my children Mr. President! We must be very aware of how Executive Order curtails freedom. History provides ample evidence of what happens when agriculture and industry are removed from the hands of farmers and engineers and into the greedy hands of government. People starve, that is what happens. Executive Order can strip every Constitutional guarantee and safeguard.  Howard J. Ruff stated, “Since the enactment of Executive Order 11490, the only thing standing between us and dictatorship is the good character of the President, and the lack of a crisis severe enough that the public would stand still for it.” I’ll leave it up to you, good reader to find out what EO 11490 does.


These are indeed perilous times my friends. Be wary, be very wary.



Panhandle Rancher

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  1. Very well said, Panhandle Rancher. However, with the way this administration is getting rid of all of the upper echelon of the military who have the experience to lead, what is your opinion on that? I’m reading up on that Executive Order…Scary stuff, and I recommend everyone take a look at it…

  2. In order to undestand the future, we must look at the past,History has a way of repeating it’s self
    and the the eye’s of the world are looking to the past, it shall be repeated all to soon, the FEMA camps will be filled and the concentation camps will be like nazi germany, beware my fellow AMERICANS beware, you will sleep one day and wake up the next with out knowing your president has signed another order for you to be taken away because of not what you are but what you think, be armed and be ready. Spread to your neighbors and friends now is the time to be ready, for the night will come and we shall walk in the dark for the light liberty has dimmed.

  3. Wonderful article though I would argue that the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 was at least a big a part of the destruction and decline of the Republic as judicial activism.

  4. Thank you all once again for your sagacious comments. We live in a time when high level USAF officers responsible for launching nuclear attack cheat on their readiness exams. What part of duty, honor, country, did they miss? The president has been retiring senior officers at great rate but one of the most worrisome actions has been the closing of southern ROTC programs. The Civil War lasted long on the strength of capable southern officers. Those in the populated cities of the north east view issues quite differently from us in the more rural south and west. Should our only recourse at last be arms, where might we be without a competent officer class?


  5. Pan Handle Rancher, Not so, many all of us in the NE are red blooded patriots who are on watch. Owl on the Roof! We stand with our southern brethren. Our oath is our honor, we will not falter!

    “Yankee by birth, Rebel by Choice!” God Bless the U.S.A.!


  6. I am glad you mentioned the Executive Orders. These are unconstitutional and bypasses congress & other check & balances set-up by our founders. This whole process needs to be declared null & void before our president becomes a dictator in all but name.

    Our congress should never have let this practice flourish but nip it in the bud. Since they didn’t we need to contact congress and demand they do it now before it is to late.

  7. Panhandler, you’ve done well again. It’s a perplexing time for many like myself. Despite the Rule of Law falling away, the demagoging by the political class, the targeting of american citizens like myself by the government machine and the demonizing of it’s opposition, I still remain positive and hopeful for this countries future. Though I admit that I never thought a day would come when people who hold similar beliefs as mine would be so effectively categorized as radicals, subversives, anarchists, extremists and part of the vast right wing conspiracy the day may come when this type of slander stops working. But that day may not ever come, even if we become the majority. As you point out, the game is now rigged, and more so as the days pass, at what point is it too late to reverse it by activism and votes? Is it too late already?

    You suggested “Should our only recourse at last be arms, where might we be without a competent officer class?”

    I would suggest that we will be dragged along, unwillingly if need be to a destination not of our choosing, and should we decide to resist…. timing is everything- If you start shooting the bad guys early enough to make a difference, you’ll be labeled a radical domestic terrorists. If you wait until it’s acceptable, you’ll be 80 pounds underweight, unarmed, and being loaded into a boxcar….

  8. Panhandle Rancher, a great article, and you are right war is hell but sometimes there is no other choice. My personal feelings can be summed up like this, coming soon, the Civil War part two. Since we are unable to learn history we shall repeat it. Misfit, I grew up in Massachusetts most of my life and you are right.

  9. Very well said sir. I fear that although our political systems differ, to the extent that yours was born from the rejection of mine, the root of our ultimate downfall will be the same…..Profit. It began during the 2nd world war, when patriotism looked good on the stamps and billboards but in reality was the accumulation of wealth by the few which kept the wheels turning. Not a lot has changed, apart from a couple of innovations; industrialisation supported by mechanisation (more being created by less) and consumer-based management/quangos (creating bugger-all for a lot). The outcome is the same, justwatch the news. Retain your values and standards and watch out for the person next to you….

  10. Moose,
    Thank you for your comment. The days of the robber barons who grew rich on the backs of poorly paid labor are diminished. Even more so with Congress debating a $10/hr minimum wage (such is the result of inflation). Many of the late 20th century entrepreneurs made their wealth not by exploitation but by creating new value, to wit Steve Jobs and the Mac, later iphones. In any final analysis, all we can be is to be true to ourselves. We cannot ‘make some one mad’ we cannot ‘change their outlook;’ these things happen inside the individual apart from external influence. I would hope that most would say that my family had high moral values with concomitant high expectations. These things come from healthy self image and an optimistic outlook. Education plus initiative and risk taking behavior create opportunities that generate wealth. Learning is hard work, much harder than physical toil, hence the profusion of laborers and education majors in comparison to chemistry, engineering, and physics majors. Some have the discipline to learn and the discipline to forgo immediate gratification for later gain. Unfortunately the masses, including our legislators do not, so too many people have unsustainable credit card debt and the nation has an unsustainable external debt. It is easy for someone who has never had the discipline to learn and to forgo immediate gratification to envy the wealthy who are generally well educated, disciplined, and risk takers. I submit that the quest for immediate gratification will be our downfall, not profit. PR

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