Friday, February 28, 2020

Rippon Lodge in Woodbridge, Virginia

Rippon Lodge today
Photo: Ileana Johnson January 2020
One of the oldest homes left standing in Prince William County, a Confederate stronghold during the Civil War, is Rippon Lodge located on a 42-acre retreat in Woodbridge, Virginia. There is a vegetable garden, a cemetery, the main house, a well, the caretaker’s house, the chauffeurs’ house, and a cabin used as a farm office and guest house.

Legend says that Rippon Lodge was built in 1725. In 1916, men were removing bees from the house and told the owners that they saw 1725 inscribed on a wood stud.  If true, then Rippon would have been older than George Washington’s Mount Vernon whose construction started in 1743.

But science disproved the legend. Wood samples were analyzed by dendrologists and, based on the ring growth of trees, they determined when the trees were cut down before they were used to build the house. There must have been another building there prior to Rippon Lodge because parts of the central chimney predate 1747.

Photo: Ileana Johnson, January 2020

The house underwent changes during its three centuries of existence and they reflected the needs and likes of various owners at the time.

The earliest known image of Rippon Lodge was a watercolor drawn by Benjamin H. Latrobe in 1796, as the house of Colonel Thomas Blackburn. The house, built in 1745 by Richard Blackburn, appears as it was before his youngest son, Thomas Blackburn, enlarged it in 1800. Thomas was a Revolutionary War veteran who served under his friend, George Washington.

Neabsco Creek from the Rippon Lodge waterfront

Estates such as this, with riverfront property and thus excellent proximity to water shipping, engaged in agricultural commerce to sell the products of its agribusiness, especially tobacco, highly prized for export, commercial fishing, distilleries, and animal husbandry.  The wealthy land owner would have acquired property and land holdings all the way to Manassas. Neabsco Creek led to the Potomac River.

Transplanted elm tree
Photo: Ileana Johnson, January 2020

A huge American elm tree, shading the main house, did not grow there. It was transplanted by Judge Wade H. Ellis from somewhere else and thus it escaped the Dutch elm disease. At the time of its transplantation, it was 50 years old, which makes it today about 145 years old.

Bicentennial Oak tree in Leesylvania
Photo: Ileana Johnson, January 2020

Bicentennial Oak tree in Leesylvania
Photo: Ileana Johnson, 2011

The Leesylvania Park bicentennial oak tree (Quercus Alba) which grew close to the 1825 Fairfax home and plantation a few miles down the Potomac River, lived until recently when it broke in half.

Benjamin Henry Latrobe (1764-1820) came to Virginia from England in 1796. He worked on the U.S. Capitol from 1803 when President Thomas Jefferson asked him to finish the building which “occupied Latrobe for the rest of his life.”

On July 13, 1796, while visiting as Thomas Blackburn’s guest, Latrobe sketched several buildings on the property and drew wasps that lived inside the walls of Rippon Lodge. I can only imagine the buzzing sounds they must’ve made inside the walls. Blackburn and Latrobe seemed to have been friends as their letters spoke of people they both knew.

Latrobe's watercolor of Rippon Lodge
Photo:  Rippon Lodge Archives

Latrobe described the two houses he drew as not “sufficiently commodious.” Even after all this time, the walls and doors seem to let a lot of hot or cold air in and living inside must’ve been quite drafty.

Judge Wade H. Ellis, a wealthy D. C. lawyer, began renovations of the Lodge in 1924. He and his wife Dessie devoted a lot of time, money, and five years to complete the restoration of Rippon Lodge as it stands today. They preserved the structure of the main rooms, adding wings on both north and south sides, a large colonnaded front and back porches. According to Prince William County Historical Society, Wade H. Ellis was active in the Sons of the American Revolution and Dessie in the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Wade and Dessie Ellis, Archive photos

Judge Wade Ellis lived at Rippon Lodge from 1924-1948 and, during that time, he told the story that one bedroom upstairs with black floor is where George Washington slept when he visited frequently. Ellis decorated the room with colonial-style furniture. The legend is not true. George Washington did lodge with Colonel Blackburn, but nobody knows in which bedroom he slept.

Assumed George Washington guest bedroom
Photo: Ileana Johnson, January 2020

George Washington did record visits with the Blackburn family members. According to Prince William County Historical Society, “Between May 19, 1772 and July 31, 1798 various Blackburns visited Mount Vernon eighteen times. George Washington wrote of only two visits to Colonel Thomas Blackburn’s home.” From Washington’s Diary:

15 March 1775

“Set of[f] for Richmond. Din[‘]d in Colchester with Mr. Wagener & lodgd at Colo. Blackburns.”et

10 June 1778

“[S]et out for Fredericksburg accompanied by Mrs. Washington; on to visit my mother. Made a visit to Mr. and Mrs. Thompson in Colchester, and reached Colo. Blackburn’s to dinner, where we lodgd. He was from home…”

Thomas and Christina Scott Blackburn and George and Martha Washington were close friends on grounds of military and local government concerns while the women had social and family ties. Julia Ann (Nancy) Blackburn married Bushrod Washington in 1785 and Jane Charlotte Blackburn married John Augustine Washington in 1811. Both weddings took place at Rippon Lodge in the main room.

Main room interior at Rippon Lodge with spartan furnishings
Photo: Ileana Johnson, January 2020

Julia Ann Blackburn and Bushrod Washington inherited both Mount Vernon and Rippon Lodge. They sold Rippon Lodge in 1811 to the Atkinson family.

18th century interior at Rippon Lodge
Photo: Ileana Johnson, January 2020

A hundred years later, in 1911, the Atkinson family sold Rippon Lodge to the D.C. brothers, Thomas and Gus Marion who used it as a hunting lodge and farm and sold it in 1924 to Wade H. Ellis who made major renovations to the main house.

Walkway to cemetery today at Rippon Lodge
Photo: Ileana Johnson, January 2020

The house was purchased in 1952 by Admiral Richard Blackburn Black, a WWII veteran and Antarctic explorer.  Before he died in 1992, he expressed his wish to have the house preserved. Prince William County acquired the property in 2000 and began its restoration.

Property at sunset
Photo: Ileana Johnson, January 2020

The house furnishings are not original to the house except for a few portraits. The furniture was collected by Judge Ellis and date to various periods of the house. There are no closets because two centuries ago taxes were paid according to the number of closets, so owners would just buy free standing chifforobes to hold their clothing.

Rippon Lodge side today
Photo: Ileana Johnson, January 2020

A rope bed with a rolled straw mattress and a rope crank tightener were part of the bedroom furniture. The ropes that held the mattress onto the bed frame had to be tightened each day. The old saying, “don’t let the bed bugs bite” goes back to the time when mattresses were filled with straw and blood feasting bugs.

Rope bed and tightener at Rippon Lodge
Photo: Ileana Johnson

There is a legend that Rippon Lodge may have been associated with the Masonic Order and that George Washington may have attended meetings at Ripon Lodge. According to the Prince William Historical Society “this legend is probably true.”

Carriage house seen through rolled glass windows
Photo: Ileana Johnson, January 2020

“Recent research “supports the belief that Freemasons may have met at Rippon Lodge during the late 1700s. Before Lodges were established in Fredericksburg (1752) and Dumfries (1797) local Freemasons met informally in taverns, inns, and homes. While we lack evidence that Richard and/or Thomas Blackburn were Freemasons, their involvement in the Order is quite likely.”

Cozy guest house at Rippon Lodge
Photo: Ileana Johnson, January 2020

The Prince William County Historical Society does not know why Richard Blackburn named his property Rippon Lodge, but it was not built as a Masonic Lodge since Masonic temples were not built until the 19th century.

Tunnel at Rippon Lodge
Photo: Ileana Johnson, January 2020

A tunnel lined with bricks stretches from the cellar of the house to the ravine in the north. A recent earthquake made it quite unstable, but the gated tunnel entrance is visible. During the restoration in 1924, Thomas Blackburn silver was found under the house. It was believed that the tunnel was original to the 1747 house. It was probably dug by workers to remove dirt as they built the cellar. Judge Ellis liked to enchant his visitors by telling them that it was an escape tunnel from the Indians. That was not true since the “native Dogue Indians had moved inland from the Potomac River and Occoquan Creek by the mid-1600s.”

Richard Blackburn and wife Mary's tombs
Photo: Ileana Johnson, January 2020

Col. Richard Blackburn is buried (d. 1757) in the family cemetery on the property. He had come from Rippon, England and died at the Rippon Lodge at the age of 52. Judge Ellis had the words on Richard Blackburn’s gravestone cast in metal but his wife’s (Mary, d. 1775) tombstone carvings had faded over time. Richard Blackburn’s gravestone lists his accomplishments.

Assumed burial site of Thomas Blackburn
Photo: Ileana Johnson, January 2020

“The actual location of Thomas Blackburn’s grave within the burying ground is unknown.” There are others buried in the cemetery, but the graves could not be identified. Other Blackburns and Atkinsons are likely buried here.

Scattered grave markers at Rippon Lodge
Photo: Ileana Johnson, January 2020

In the past, people in rural areas were buried on their property. There are some stones that were brought from the nearby Neabsco Creek and have been placed by Judge Ellis on mound shapes that resembled graves. There are no bodies underneath. One such stone is dedicated to Rose Peters, a stranger who died in 1649 or 1679. She was buried near Neabsco Creek.

Two large stones were pulled from the Occoquan River – one marks the death of a Martin Scarlit who died in 1695. The writing on the other large stone has eroded. Both stones were moved to Rippon Lodge in 2005 from the Wildlife Refuge at Occoquan Bay where they were placed in a grove of trees in the 1900s.

The guide explained that it is a miracle that the house survived destruction by fire this long especially since the area witnessed heavy fighting during the Civil War and, when the Union won, they had cleared the area of Confederate soldiers and used various buildings as lodging and offices.

Pluck the Yew

Interesting tidbit of history of “pluck yew:” This was sent to me by a friend. Please verify independently the source.

“Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers.  Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future.  This famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as 'plucking the yew' (or 'pluck yew').

Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and they began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, See, we can still pluck yew!  Since 'pluck yew' is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodentalfricative 'F', and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute!  It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as 'giving the bird.'

And yew thought yew knew every plucking thing. Didn't yew!”

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Reading, Printing, and the Socialist Millennials

“It is always a much easier task to educate uneducated people than to re-educate the mis-educated.”  Herbert M. Shelton

Johannes Gutenberg, inventor
Photo: Wikipedia
Why is it that Millennials are so easily indoctrinated and believe that socialism will solve all their problems supposedly created by the evil capitalism? No longer will they have to live in their parents’ basement, they will have jobs other than baristas, transitory social justice will be achieved, they will get that six-figure dream job their college advisors promised, and everything will be free – socialism will pay for it all. Nancy Pelosi promised that they could stay home and find themselves. Why would Bernie, their Marxist god and mentor, make false promises? After all, he is now a millionaire himself because he wisely advocated socialism in America. He would not lie to them, would he?

One glaring reason for hapless believers is the fact that Millennials no longer read - they are the video, internet, snapchat, selfies, twitter, and other social media generation with memes and emojis. They constantly tweet their uninformed and indoctrinated opinions they've heard from their friends, the media, indoctrinated teachers, and their college professors. Reading has become passé, replaced by very short video messages, inarticulate and incoherent texts, and selfies.

According to Shane Hipps, reading with the help of a “phonetic alphabet is linear and demands the sequential arrangement of otherwise meaningless symbols. It facilitates modes of thinking that reflect and value the same linear, sequential pattern. Printing amplified and greatly extended this symbol system, leading to modernity’s Age of Reason, in which linear, rational thought came to be the sole means of discovering truth. … the reasoning skills enabled by print extend our capacity for discernment. They strengthen our ability to use abstract logic, an essential skill in understanding the meaning of Scripture, among other things.” (The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture, Shane Hipps, 2005, p. 58)

Printing books is on the decline and publishing houses are decreasing as well as they tend to publish progressive ideas and feelings disguised as rational thought. Now that Johannes Gutenberg has been dethroned by progressives as the inventor of the printing press in 1440, Chinese monks have been installed as the first inventors of printing 600 years earlier, monks who allegedly printed with wooden blocks pressed by hand on paper. Eventually all inventions made by the much-maligned white men will be debunked by progressive scholarship.

Millennials no longer read, they listen to their friends, stars they admire and emulate, electronic devices, media personalities, their misinformed teachers, and academics to whom they pay high tuitions in order to learn and hear things that promote the spread and influence of socialist ideology, social justice, racial justice, and other elements of globalism.

The media has the power to shape their view of the world. They are controlled and manipulated by the mainstream media in all aspects of modern life controlled by electronics. They are, as McLuhan said, "fish oblivious to the hook holding the worm." The cognitive processing of rational thought found in the printed word is weakened by the mainstream media which emphasizes emotions and feelings over facts and truth.

It is no surprise that Millennials believe all the “wonderful” stories about socialism that the media tells them daily. This unfounded and naïve belief in socialism, which contradicts the historical truth, keeps them glued to the alphabet soup networks and to deceptive shows like the View, shows designed for useful idiots who do not read books.

Recently, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes (D-NY), whose experience in politics came from bartending and a stint as volunteer for Bernie Sanders, complained that Americans make $60,000 a year while we have so many millionaire and billionaires.

Rich Democrats like her stir up class envy in order to install Cuban style communism much sooner than planned and the Millennials seem eager to comply and elect the Marxist millionaire Bernie as their president.

The reality is that the communist government of Cuba has just allegedly raised the proletarian "workers" salaries to $17 a month and those of doctors to $44 a month. A friend who was a doctor in Romania, received a pension of $80/month after 40 years of service as a communist government doctor. The government run by the Communist Party was the ONLY employer.

Joe K., an American assigned to the American Consulate during the reign of the dictator Ceausescu, told the story about the Romanian Securitate “greeter” who would open the gate each morning to American personnel with a big smile and with polite deference to American citizens coming into the Consulate on business. But he was burly and ugly to the Romanians standing in line outside the gate, waiting for a visa. “He was very nasty and intimidating, trying to discourage their leaving Romania.” One day he disappeared, and nobody knew what happened. “He stopped showing up at the Consulate.”

According to Joe K., “he lived on the road near the Intercontinental Hotel, with trolley cars running along it. During one of the massive blackouts at night, he was home watching TV and had the lights on, totally oblivious to the power outage. His was the only apartment with power and stood out, obviously. He had wired his apartment into the trolley line, stealing power, and, unfortunately for him, power was not turned off to the trolley tracks. The inevitable knock on the door came and he was hauled away by the Militia, never to be seen again.” The moral to the story is that, under socialism, “you are only an elite until they decide you aren’t.”

One interesting question was floated recently, what must Vietnam veterans think about the socialist Millennials, the socialists in Congress, the Democrat Party, and their presidential Marxist candidates, especially Bernie Sanders, who honeymooned in Soviet Russia and greatly admired Soviet achievements such as the clean and elegant metro, the public schools, and cheap tickets to theater plays glorifying the Soviets.

One reader, Lynda F. talked about her brother, a Vietnam combat vet, who was spat upon by war protesting hippies in the airport when he returned. “He personally witnessed what the communists did there: oh yeah, the villages had elections ... and when the people voted for a non-communist, that official was murdered. They kept doing that until the only person running was the communist - who was elected with 100% approval. Anyone with a degree, doctors, teachers, village leaders were dragged from their homes and murdered. His best man was a POW who was tortured after Jane Fonda left that camp. His childhood best friend, Richard Hood, was executed by the Viet Cong.” So much for the socialism Millennials aspire to.

Millennials don’t understand that socialism either wipes out the existing culture by force or convinces people to vote away their rights and give them to the all-powerful government that is in total control for the “collective good.”

Paul B. Skousen, in his book, The Naked Socialist, discusses “the seven pillars of socialism” used to turn a nation from capitalism to socialism:

1.      Ignoring existing laws and/or Constitution

2.      Privileged classes (upper class – party members; middle class – bureaucracy; bottom class – the workers

3.      Eliminate private ownership for the “common good.”

4.      Regulation – total control of economy

5.      Force – penalties, fines, social score, fees, restrictions, no private property, no privacy

6.      Information control – falsify everything, economic data, control schools, employment, mainstream media

7.      Ignore all rights, including the right to private property – only the government can decide who can have what rights. (Skousen, pp. 5-8)

Since Millennials don’t read nor study much history, as the tech generation perhaps they should watch again more carefully the movie The Matrix – a celluloid “perfect socialist society with all humans in a coma, their brains running a program that grants them a fulfilling life while their bodies float in life-sustaining fluids with wires taking away electrical energy to support the vast communal intricacies of the Matrix.” (Paul B. Skousen, The Naked Socialist, pp. 90-91)

In real life, humans are not so altruistic as to labor endlessly for freeloaders who refuse to work in order to find themselves. Societies across history were brought to the brink of disaster or became extinct because of their socialist tendencies based on the collectivist good.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Socialist Democrat Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Marching America Over Socialist Cliff

Now that a naked Marxist has won the New Hampshire Democrat primary, perhaps their 1945-adopted motto should no longer be “Live Free or Die,” but “Live Marxist or Die.”

The Democrat Party has re-branded itself into full-blown socialists and their voting base doesn’t seem to mind. Who would object to promises of free college tuition, free healthcare, free housing, food, guaranteed employment, equal pay, and other freebies?

Young and indoctrinated Americans believe these empty promises because they are ignorant of history and of how the Democratic Socialist Republics under the boot of the Communist Party have built their oppressive empires. (China, Cuba, Russia, Vietnam, Poland, Yugoslavia, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria)

According to G. Edward Griffin, “The Bolshevik revolution was not a spontaneous uprising of the masses. It was planned, financed, and orchestrated by outsiders. Some of the financing came from Germany which hoped that internal problems would force Russia out of the war against her. But most of the money and leadership came from financiers in England and the United States. It was a perfect example of the Rothschild formula in action.” (The Creature from Jekyll Island, 5th ed., p. 283.

How did the former Soviet communist satellite countries build their socialist economies? Nikita Khrushchev explained it quite well, “We denied ourselves a great deal and restricted ourselves with regard to food, clothing, and production of consumer goods, and each ruble saved was invested in the construction of factories and mills for heavy industry, in erecting power stations. We made great haste in this matter because we knew, … the imperialists would crush us and would destroy the country in which for the first time, workers and peasants, the working people, had come to power.” (Fifth Congress of the Socialist Unity Party of the German Democrat Republic, July 11, 1958)

The reality that the “powerful socialist industry” was in the hands of the Soviet state and not in the hands of the Soviet people, became evident slowly to the oppressed population who owned nothing much other than the clothes on their backs.

The propaganda disseminated before the commies took complete power was bellied by the full state ownership of the land, the total economic control and management in the hands of the state and thus of the few in power, with the Communist Party directing “the entire socialist building.” It directed “the development of agriculture and industry along a single path – the path of building a communist society.” (Moscow broadcast to the USSR Supreme Soviet, March 27, 1958)

In a report to the 21st Congress, Current Soviet Policies III, Khrushchev said that “Herein lies the superiority of socialism, under which production is not subjected to the aims of deriving profits but to the maximum satisfaction of the needs of all the members of society.”

I suppose such rhetoric fooled the useful idiots then and the American useful idiots today enchanted by socialism, but those of us who lived for decades under the hardships of economic mismanagement of central planning by the Communist Party know better and fully understand the lies. We prefer to live under capitalism because we love to eat, have a decent roof over our heads, water, electricity, good medical treatment, available medicines, shoes, and toilet paper.

The socialist economy produced many obsolete models of machine-tools, shoddy parts with faulty designs, poorly finished, and performing inadequately. The supply and demand of capitalism eliminates such useless production. Without competition and standards of quality, the socialist products were given “an arbitrary value regardless of its usefulness or salability in the capitalist sense.”

A huge staff of inspectors did not eliminate the low-quality articles that flooded the socialist economy. To shirk responsibility and punishment for failures, factory managers refused to accept orders for new equipment which resulted in even more severe shortages of parts and finished products.

Even though the Communist Party tried to copy the high level of industrial development of the United States, the envy of the entire world, Khrushchev’s predictions never materialized fully as he promised in Pittsburgh, September 24, 1959. “Under revolutionary conditions, on a new social basis, we utilized everything valuable that you had created, and we proved that your achievements could not only be equaled but also surpassed.”

The socialist system based on the Soviet economic model is like “total all-embracing monopoly capitalism” in which the Communist Party controls and manages everything. Despite the boastful rhetoric about ownership of the means of production by the people and for the people, “workers” had no real control of any capital assets and they did not receive “even as large a portion of their own total production as do most employees of capitalist monopolists."

Socialism, under the rule and control of the Communist Party, did succeed in creating a class warfare in each nation where it took hold, enriching the prominent members of the Communist Party and impoverishing the rest of the population after all their assets, wealth, guns, homes, land, and other private property were confiscated.

After World War II, Russia emerged as “an imperial power, with Eastern Europe firmly in the hands of its army and police.”

Marx and Lenin outlined the “contradictions in the capitalist system” in their communist theory based on the “assumption of struggle among rival groups and ideas (contradictions) from which one system (communism) will emerge dominant.” Unfortunately, too many people bought into this faulty theory which resulted in the eventual murder of 100 million around the world. By the time they realized and understood the reality, it was too late to overturn it by peaceful means.

In a Moscow broadcast, on July 30, 1957, Khrushchev said, “As a result of World War I, Soviet Russia became a socialist country. As a result of World War II, twelve other countries became socialist countries. As a result of a third world war, should it ever be launched by the imperialists, capitalism will be eliminated. We are convinced of this.

As it turned out, no war is necessary today, just an effective globalist indoctrination which was implemented via aggressive socialist education in the last four decades.

Khrushchev advocated a “conquest without war.” His believed that, when the USSR became the leading industrial power in the world, and when China became the mightiest industrial power and all the socialist countries together produced more than half of the world industrial output, then the situation will change drastically.

The communist Chinese had made faster strides when they adopted communes, “with 500 million peasants living and working under strict military discipline, women being freed for work by child nurseries.” The Chinese believed that communes were a short-cut to communism, bypassing the Soviet socialism.

Khrushchev was less enthusiastic about communes because, he said, “the Soviet Union was too poor for egalitarianism.” The Soviet communes, tried after the 1917 civil war, were described as such, …” all wanted to live well but at the same time, to contribute as little labor effort as possible to the common cause. Or as one may put it: to work according to possibility, but to receive according to requirements. Nothing came of many of these communes.” (Time, June 27, 1960, p. 20)

When the U.S. did not recognize the People’s Republic of China, the press described the situation, “To put it graphically, all the people of China have but to sneeze and a storm will arise in some of the countries that at present do not recognize the Chinese People’s Republic.” (U.S. News and World Report, May 2, 1960, p. 32)

Some socialist countries attempted to catch up with the west through back-breaking hard work, extreme sacrifices by the people, reverse-engineered technology from the west, and heavy western foreign investment looking for cheap labor to make their products. The “war of nerves” translated into their version of “peaceful coexistence.”

For decades the people living under the socialist states and the Communist Party boot were forced to accept the insufficient material-technical basis for their dissatisfaction. The communist rhetoric urged their unwilling subjects to “heighten their working people socialist consciousness,” empty words that translated into more voluntary suffering of their living standards.

Socialism and its next stage, communism, offer nothing but a “supreme exploitation of the working people for a mirage of an oppressionless, ‘withered-away’ state, a regime of the whip, of denial and sacrifice, of stoicism – all rationalized with a promise of a higher standard of living in the future,” a standard that never materialized.

Had the Eastern European socialist block really caught up with the west before the countries dissolved themselves in 1989? To get the right answer, all you had to do is look how poorly much of the population lived. The socialist/communist man struggled each day to find bread, milk, butter, meat, and other necessities and staples by standing in interminable lines. When the Soviets were developing Sputnik, their workers were just wanting to own a bicycle or to find bread each day.

The one world socialist system ruled by the Communist Party, the so-called “dictatorship of the proletariat,” is still “imperialism directed by a new elite.” Communism is autocratic, oppressive, and highly inefficient. It is a super welfare state with the medical care standards of a charity clinic in the developed world. “Position, party membership, privileges, and adequate housing are largely restricted to the new communist aristocracy.” The Utopia of plenty for all is just that, a pipe dream.

A socialist today does no need weapons or ugly grey uniforms – he/she just needs a sharp tongue, a microphone, a compliant mass media, and a convincing stream of meaningless and empty verbal promises.

It appears that Nikita Khrushchev’s dream of conquering capitalism without war may become reality this November 2020 if Americans are going to elect the Marxist Bernie as their president. Happy and excited multi-generational Americans are busy destroying their own country, collapsing it from within, because teachers have told them capitalism and America are evil. They are marching in synch over the socialist cliff to the drumbeat of the self-described Socialist Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Illegals Dump Their Trash in the Picnic Area of the Local Park

Plastic pollution in our national parks
Photo: Wikipedia
On sunny weekends and national holidays, the local park closes very early as the parking occupancy reaches its full capacity. The park is then closed to cars and boats but left open to foot traffic. The road leading up to the park entrance becomes crammed on both sides with parked cars. The occupants with their large families drag or carry on their backs coolers on a two-mile trek to the marina side of the park where a large picnic area and a fishing pier are located. Nobody speaks a word of English, only Spanish.

The park happens to be a historical site as the heavily wooded land was donated by illustrious families who have contributed many generations of great Americans to the state and to our country and have left an indelible print in our country’s history.

But our picnickers are only interested in cooking outdoors, drinking beer, and fishing. They are legal and illegal aliens who have flooded the area in the last ten years, crossing the border to find Americans who are willing to employ them. Additionally, they receive welfare and earned income tax credit for their children in the U.S. and even for those left behind south of the border.

Most work off the books and never pay income taxes even though the government has created ITIN with the IRS. The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) was established for the use of individuals who are not U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents.

Illegals pay sales taxes and the fees to wire money via Western Union back to their home countries. But, in one given year, our federal government has paid $4.1 billion in earned income tax credit to foreign nationals who entered our country illegally. The earned income tax credit is not a tax “refund” but a direct, free cash payment from the U.S. Treasury to low-income immigrants who owe no taxes. “It is a dramatic cash transfer from lawful resident to unlawful residents.”

They enjoy picnics for the day and leave behind a lot of food waste, wrappers, and plastics, which they seldom take to the many garbage bins conveniently located throughout the parking areas. Illegal aliens just leave the trash be – the rivers and creeks are going to carry them out to sea, they think. It is how they grew up – dump garbage out the window into the streets where they live, the creeks, on the side of roads, in the woods, lakes, and wherever they happen to be.

I have seen this irresponsible behavior on my trip to Mexico. In a very busy outdoor restaurant in Tijuana, frequented that day by many locals, there was human feces on the floor of the restaurant, buzzed by flies, but nobody seemed to notice or care and kept eating. The smell of urine and feces was quite pungent around bridges and walls.

When the park closes early in the day to car traffic, American locals who pay taxes for the maintenance of this and other parks cannot take their boats to the marina and put it on water to enjoy the weekend with their families. Canoers cannot take their canoes out for the day either. The fishing pier is crowded as well, even though signs clearly state in English that the fish is not fit for consumption.

The population in our county has grown by leaps and bounds, 40 percent since the last census, and, according to officials, the growth was mostly due to illegal aliens. Wherever they go, they leave trash behind.

Take the beaches in Florida. When they get off work, they picnic on the beach on late afternoons and leave their trash behind. The people hired to clean the beach behind them, know that they are the principal culprits who leave recyclables, cigarette butts, and food packaging behind. The taxpayers in the area dedicate a large budget for beach cleanup from food, drinks, and recyclable containers left behind.

Some Americans leave trash behind as well, especially on beaches. But ours is a culture that teaches children to pick up refuse after themselves. Third world cultures that do not have trash pickup at all and do not emphasize the importance of having a clean environment, contribute greatly to the pollution of rivers and eventually of oceans.

Floating marine debris, at all depths, include plastics, paper, wood, metal, and other manufactured materials. The Ocean Conservancy Trash Free Seas Alliance estimated that “8 million metric tons of plastic such as containers, bottles, shoes, are dumped into the ocean each year.”

Among the items collected during the International Coastal Cleanup Day in 2017: cigarette butts, food wrappers, plastic bottles, plastic bottle caps, plastic grocery bags, other plastic bags, straws, stirrers, plastic take-out containers, foam take-out containers, and plastic lids.

Other strange items found were appliances, toothbrushes, shopping carts, mattresses, underwear, toilets, wigs, hair extensions, pregnancy tests, condoms, and even hot tubs.

Could we possibly educate people of the importance to keep our roads, parks, rivers, and streets clean? It takes generations to change a person’s mentality and what they are used to doing because they think, if it was good for my parents and grandparents, it is good enough for me.

Economically speaking, a beneficial externality such as parks and waterways are not private property and belong to no one in particular. People use waterways and parks as free dumping grounds for their waste. A beneficial externality for the enjoyment of all, i.e., a park or the use of it, becomes a detrimental externality when it is polluted deliberately.

It is a known fact that the centralized, socialist governments that these people have fled from have a dismal environmental record and an equally dismal record in teaching its citizens not to abuse and pollute nature indiscriminately, not caring that they leave a worse environment behind for their children and grandchildren.  Illegals abuse nature because they are not directly responsible for paying for its enjoyment unless one counts the small entrance fee per car. Those who walk in, do not pay.

It is sad to see the beauty of nature surrounding us being spoiled by people who stole into our country but have no interest in “once in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Once in Rome, they carry their bad, third world habits, behavior, and life with them. You cannot force civilized behavior on someone by giving them money, welfare, and the opportunity to evade the law.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Assimilate into American Culture, Important for Our Survival

Photo: Ileana Johnson
When I lived in several towns in rural Mississippi, we had to drive 59-67 miles, about an hour, to get to the nearest decent-sized mall or grocery store, or an hour to two hours to Alabama, to shop in a large mall or to see a medical specialist in Birmingham. They have since built larger local hospitals in rural MS.

Then super Walmart came to town and made grocery shopping much easier. A Costco and Sam’s Club were added an hour away. But driving was a breeze – the highways were good, well-marked with fluorescent paint for night and inclement weather driving, and there was no congestion, or rush hours except at Christmas. Living in the northeast now, I can drive 8 miles and it takes an hour or longer, depending on how clogged highways are.

No restaurant chains could come to town for decades because commercial land was owned by seven wealthy old-moneyed families who also had small mom and pop businesses in town and did not want competition from big chain restaurants or stores.

They had strong allies in the worshipping community.  Besides, nobody wanted to sell the land, they just wanted to lease it. What business would want to build on leased land, knowing that, when the lease ended, they could change their minds about the land and the building owner would have some hard choices to make.

There were many churches and parishioners objected to new buildings going up too close to them, especially restaurant establishments that had the potential to sell alcoholic beverages. Liquor laws were strict, nobody could sell alcohol within so many hundred feet from a church, or so we were told. Nobody bothered to check, we just believed the preachers.

There was one Mexican restaurant that ran a good business and very few foreigners like me and mom. We were ostracized as “European trash” and by extension our daughters were ostracized as well. Parents seldom allowed their children to socialize with ours because their grandmother spoke a foreign tongue and we were neither Baptist, nor Methodist, nor Episcopalian.

Some parents were more open-minded and allowed their children to forge friendships with ours, but they were few and far-between. They were the punished children of the “exotic” me who did not look like them and came from a communist country they had no idea where it was located on a map.

One Chinese man who opened a popular and very successful restaurant in town, tried to build a home he designed in an affluent neighborhood where homes were quite pricey. He encountered problems turning his dream home into reality as the resident objected to the height of his “mansion” and the possibility that he would bring in too many red Chinese among them.

Today in northeastern neighborhoods of relatively pricey homes, some owners transfer to other jobs, towns, and states, and have no choice but to rent their property if it does not sell quickly. Several south of the border families and Muslim families rent one home, trashing the place, its yard and surroundings, and filling the street with garbage. One Mexican illegal woman, in order to avoid deportation, converted from Catholicism to Islam. She then sub-leased the basement of her rented home to a Muslim family of ten.

Many litter the local parks when they picnic there even though there are plenty of trashcans posted nearby. In their culture, they have no garbage cans or garbage pickup, so they throw their refuse out the door, out the window, into the street, parks, etc. They think that water and rivers will cleanse it all. Except it all dumps into the Chesapeake Bay.

The other day, a Spanish speaking man was changing his car’s oil and dumping the dirty oil into the nearby drain, even though the posted signs clearly said in English, “do not dump anything into the drain.” Perhaps our government should have translated those signs into Spanish too, they do translate everything else.

A former academic colleague from Venezuela said to me years ago (she was a member of the local La Rasa), “they are just too dumb to learn English, they are illiterate in their own language, so, we must teach our American children to speak Spanish in order to help them function in our society.”

To show their benevolence, the local southern Baptists sponsored a few defectors from countries like China, Poland, East Germany, and the former Czechoslovakia. They paraded them in church every Sunday as if they were the heathens saved from the clutches of atheistic communism. Mom and I made a point in befriending them and truly helping them to get a better start and to understand what expected them in a southern town leery of foreigners. In the south then, you could also be from another part of America and not be fully accepted either. That is probably true of many places in the world who do not like outsiders.

They stayed just long enough to learn some English and a place to live, then started job hunting, saved enough cash, and left for greener pastures and opportunities as soon as they were financially able. A town with high unemployment rate and high welfare rates was no place to set roots, especially since they would be forever looked upon as outsiders.

Since then, the south, like other parts of the country, has been invaded by illegal aliens, Catholics from the south of the border, and Muslims from other parts of the world, some brought in by Obama as economic refugees, others crossing the border illegally, posing as Mexicans.

I cannot imagine what the city leaders and the town’s residents think about these new arrivals who have no intention of assimilating and becoming Americans, or respecting its traditions, on the contrary, want to change them to the life and culture where they fled from.

Mom and I were “Euro trash” forty years ago when we became Americans and contributed to society, respecting and embracing its culture, its traditions, its people, and its history. If I could only see some of these people face to face and ask them, what now? We were not good enough for you, what are you going to do to protect your precious American culture and children now? How long can you ostracize and ignore these new arrivals, who refuse to assimilate, before they overwhelm you through demographics of the womb?

Sunday, February 2, 2020

The Propaganda Master of Communism

Photo: Wikipedia

A 2016 BBC documentary titled, The King of Communism – The Pomp and Pageantry of Nicolae Ceausescu, focused on Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena’s cult of personality propaganda that helped maintain his brutal Communist Party dictatorship (1965-1989) in the Socialist Republic of Romania, a tyranny that irreparably damaged the soul of a nation. Sadly, the documentary was celebrated by people who still believe in his misery right up to this day.

Unfortunately, the old communist ideology has been repackaged for Millennials and useful idiots in shiny new wrapping paper, with colorful and expensive free bows, by self-described Socialist Democrats like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who are so far to the left of the political spectrum that are in danger of falling off the Marxist cart.

I felt compelled to write because, although obvious facts were presented throughout this documentary, some of the chosen witness testimony on this film rewrites history by hiding most of life’s reality under the Communist Party boot, focusing instead on the awe and respect that those who helped Ceausescu maintain his reign of terror through intense propaganda still have for him to this day.

Watching this documentary almost two-thirds through, unless you were witness to this sad history of the Romanian people, you would think that Ceausescu and his wife were virtuous people who helped establish the Romanian people in the world Pantheon of respect and admiration.

Most of those interviewed on film were intimately involved in supporting and maintaining the communist party dictatorship with lavish propaganda and highly choreographed shows televised live or on tape. They were still great admirers to this day of the peasant and his seventh-grade dropout wife who kept 22 million people starving, disarmed, and unable to protest and defend themselves, prisoners within the borders of their own country.

The documentary focused on the highly effective propaganda and the cult of personality fed by extravagant and theatrical marches and shows that presented the Ceausescu couple as the father and mother of the country, the miracle leader who dared to buck the mighty Soviet empire and condemned the joint invasion of Czechoslovakia on August 20-21, 1968  by four Warsaw Pact nations, Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Poland.

Never mind that the Soviets had been present in the country for a long time, advising them what to do, and training Romanian communist apparatchiks at the Soviet Communist Academy in Leningrad for years.

Each weekly extravagant show that forced workers and students to attend and glorify the dear leader cost 40 to 60 million lei, easily the salary of 100,000 people, starved and forced to live in communist-built apartments in town after their small plots of land were confiscated and collectivized by force and their homes bulldozed.

Ceausescu fashioned himself as the creator of a new Romania who needed to build the largest palace in the world, to his eternal glory. He destroyed homes in Bucharest (he condemned them because, he said, they looked like a gypsy village) that were in the path of his monstrous palace and moved the owners and renters in the country in apartments that had no sanitation or running water and residents had to use outhouses while the elderly who were not very mobile used buckets to be dumped into the outhouses daily.

An old Orthodox church was also in the way of Ceausescu’s dream. He had it moved 23 meters behind a high-rise apartment complex so that it would not be visible from his personal palace or from the street. Religion in general was frowned upon as atheism was the country’s religion.

His personal palace was designed, re-designed, built, a staircase built and torn, re-built, and nothing inside was ever imported. He built factories that made just a few parts in order to avoid importing anything from abroad where the parts would have cost peanuts by comparison. One of the largest carpets in the world was woven to decorate his monstrous hall – it was so heavy that it was impossible to unroll by hand.

The House of the People which now houses the Romanian Parliament (controlled by the largest party, the Social Democrats) is opened to the public for tours now. A cube of marble, quite ugly from the exterior, the building looks somewhat better on the inside. The Romanian people hate this building because of the heavy price they had to pay for it especially since they were never allowed inside, not even on the wide boulevards surrounding the building, avenues that went nowhere and larger than Champs Elysée.

This mammoth marble building, erected with the blood and sweat of starving and compliant Romanians, symbolizes the socialist oppression and repression that the equally miserable and poor proletariat rabble had to endure – how could 22 million people rebel successfully against such a totalitarian state ruling from this fortress?

At the time, could one of the poorest countries in Europe have afforded such a lavish structure when they lived like paupers, helpless spectators to their own downfall, actors, and “applauders” of their own demise at the hands of the Communist Party.

One of those interviewed in the BBC documentary, Gheorghe Arcudeanu (Show Director), a communist party sycophant, said, “He seemed like a good man. He enjoyed our shows. He thanked us for our work. It was a nice atmosphere for us.” Corneliu Vadim Tudor, a poet, another sycophant, describes Ceausescu as “a great statesman” who “will have his place in history.” He was right about that; he will have his place in the hall of infamy.

The spectacular theatrical shows remain on celluloid tape, but the nation who was forced to participate in them despised the Ceausescus. It was no surprise that he and his wife were summarily executed on Christmas Day 1989 after a two-day show trial.

History does not speak kindly of Ceausescu except in circles that advocate his communist party ideology. His Democrat Socialism robbed people of their pride, courage, wealth, land, freedom, and destroyed their souls, self-determination, and self-sufficiency.