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Lest We Forget

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This column is the text of a Memorial Day address I was asked to give at the Field of Valor in Moorpark, California. May it again inspire us all to never forget.
War is hell. Sadly, war at times is necessary. Men and women die is those wars, and on days like today, we remember those who gave up all their tomorrows to keep us free to have so many more.

What must one say in a Memorial Day speech or any day of remembrance? President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was only 272 words long, and yet it has been treasured for over a century as one of the best speeches ever given.

Even now, our debt to the heroic men and valiant women who died in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our enduring gratitude. This is not Veterans Day, it’s not a celebration, it is a day of solemn contemplation over the cost of freedom and those who bore that cost.

I never served in the military. I was born at the end of World War II when my father was quartermaster of Tyndall field in Panama City, Florida. He was a major in the army air corp. My son and one of my grandsons have both served in the US Army. Thankfully, none of them gave up their lives in service to our land, but that may not be the case for some of you here today. it’s been said that as citizens of this great country, we need to regard all of our soldiers as our children, so that as our own beloved sons and daughters, we might feel deeply the loss of every last one of those who have died in service to our nation.

We not only remember; we honor them for their valor. In the words of General George S. Patton: “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived.” I think we must do both.

So many mothers and wives, husbands and fathers, extended family and friends go about life every day remembering loved one no longer with us. They are reminded by pictures on mantels and mementos of a life not fully lived. At some level they understand that their soldier chose a life of service and understood the potential of their own death. So today, we also honor you, the families of those who lost loved ones, for you bear a burden that only you can comprehend. We are grateful for the love and support you gave your soldier.

General Norman Schwarzkopf once observed: “It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.” With that in mind, may we not only remember those we honor today at this ceremony, but may we keep our soldiers who are deployed defending our freedom, and their families, in our thoughts and prayers.

There is no more fitting way to end this than with the treasured final words of Lincoln on the fields of Gettysburg in November of 1863. “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us-that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion-that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

Let us echo the line from Lee Greenwood’s patriotic tribute: “And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.” It’s been said that our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.

God bless our great nation. God bless and embrace those who gave their all and the families who pay the continuing cost for that sacrifice. Finally, God bless each of you for taking the time to remember.


Consider purchasing Dr. Paulson’s newly released ”Joy Comes with the Morning” course today! Get ready to enjoy the 31 short, recorded messages on your computer or smart phone. Each message is designed to expand and enhance your joy-filled faith experience whenever you need or want it. Visit tomeapp.com/joy to start bringing more Christian joy to your morning today. Contact him at [email protected].

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Dr. Terry Paulson is a PhD psychologist and author of The Optimism Advantage, They Shoot Managers Don't They, Speak Like a Pro, Meditations for the Trail, and The Dinner: The Political Conversation Your Mother Told You Never to Have. Since founding Paulson and Associates, Inc. in Agoura Hills, CA, Dr. Paulson has presented to such companies as IBM, 3M, Kaiser, Nationwide, SONY, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, and hundreds of hospitals, government agencies, and associations. Dr. Paulson is a past president of both the Global Speakers Federation and the National Speakers Association. He’s been inducted into NSA’s CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame, an honor given to less than 230 speakers worldwide. Dr. Paulson is a long-time conservative Republican who has spoken to numerous Republican groups. He currently is a regular op-ed columnist for townhall.com and politicrossing.com. Terry brings knowledge, tasteful humor, and a passion for conservative principles to every presentation. Dr. Paulson graduated with honors from UCLA and received his PhD in psychology and an MA in theology from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology in Pasadena, CA.



 
 
 

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Education

Leftists Know Little of History, Naturally

What starts as supposedly benign socialist movements prove to be anything but that

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We pause on this long weekend to honor the memory of U.S. military personnel, regardless of their political leanings, who died in service to our nation. Concurrently, it is increasing evident that ignorance is a key factor in being a Leftist.

You have to know little about history and be sufficiently gullible to believe that your own mainstream media is presenting fair and accurate information to you. You have to think that the politicians for whom you’ve voted have your best interests at heart and have the best interests of the nation at heart, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Those on the Left have perpetrated some of the great crimes that humankind has yet witnessed. A brief walk through recent world history reveals that what started out as supposedly benign socialist movements proved to be anything but that.

Hopeless and Headless

The French Revolution in 1789 was a revolt by the bourgeoisie joined by commoners against the aristocracy. Their battle cry was liberty, equality, and egalitarianism. Yet, the regime that followed the French heuristic aristocracy proved to be barbaric.

The slightest transgression or suspicion that you were somehow against “the people” meant that it was off with your head. It is estimated that tens of thousands of people faced the guillotine in France between the years 1792 and 1977 (astonishingly the last year of beheadings in France).

In Denmark in 1803, then Great Britain in 1807, and America in 1808, the slave shipping industry came to an end. While slavery lingered on in Great Britain until 1837 and in America until 1863, there were no further slaves shipped across the Atlantic. Leftists would prefer that you didn’t know this. They want you to believe that America was not among the leaders in ending the Atlantic slave trade.

Always: Socialism Fails Everywhere

In 1917, as Vladimir Lenin returned from exile in Switzerland to Russia, and the Bolsheviks took power, their claims of egalitarianism also proved to be hollow. These socialists displayed that some comrades were “more equal” than others.

To be in the Russian government was to be in the ruling class; all others were deemed to be subservient. Lenin himself coined the term “useful idiots” regarding people who went along with the regime, not questioning the lies, subterfuge, bribes, cronyism, and outright theft of property, always for “the state” and never to be yours, no matter how hard you worked for it.

In 1933, headed by Adolf Hitler, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party came to power. It was a socialist movement, not a conservative movement as many would have you believe today. They had no intention of conserving numerous aspects of German government and German society. These Socialists were hell bent on overturning what came before them, similar to contemporary American Leftists. One of their chief objectives was to eradicate the nation of Jews, gypsies, intellectuals, and other undesirables.

Then, from September 1, 1939, when Hitler invaded Poland under false pretenses, until the time that the Allies were able to storm the beaches in Normandy and make headway through continental Europe, he held Europe and much of the rest the world at bay. All this was under the banner of socialism.

In all, Hitler reigned supreme for 12 years. Finally, he was defeated in the Spring of 1945 and allegedly committed suicide.

Bernie’s Democratic Socialism

Today in America, voices proclaim that socialism or, as Bernie Sanders calls it, Democratic socialism, is the only appropriate, moral, and effective way for our nation to proceed.

These Socialist advocates don’t want you to know what the net result has been around the world, over the ages, of those governments and peoples who have installed socialism. Socialism by its nature dampens the human spirit, rewards a handful of elites, and otherwise cripples entire economies.

Many believe that Scandinavian countries to this day, such as Sweden, are socialists. Actually, they did try socialism for a while and found it to be such a disaster that they abandoned the pretense.

Leftist Fairy Tales

Are the historical events and occurrences discussed above presented in high school history classes, or covered in college history classes? In college depending on what course you take it’s possible. In high school, I have never encountered anyone who has covered this ground.

High school history books and history teachers will talk about the Bolsheviks and the Nazis but don’t mention that they were socialist-based movements. As such, students remain ignorant of this historical reality.

And, the less you know, the more likely you can become a Leftist.

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Military

Teaching Terrorists Everywhere that Taking Hostages Works

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Are you a conservative business person? Then check out the Red Referral Network and partner with Dinesh D’Souza by clicking the banner below: There was a time that they didn’t negotiate with kidnappers or terrorists. But obviously, things have changed, and, as one might expect, hostage taking has increased. Why? Because it works. It results in the release of convicted terrorists in custody and gets hours of media coverage for their cause.

Terrorists understand the West. Founded on Judeo-Christian values, the West puts a premium on each human life. Our respect for the individual is one of our strengths, but it clearly can cost us in facing terrorists. One cannot fault the families of anyone held hostage for fighting for their release and pleading and praying for their safe return. In the same situation, would not most of us do the same? Terrorists know that.

With the slow and steady drip of more hostages being released every day, the ceasefire continues to be extended and Israel remains constrained from their goal of eliminating Hamas from Gaza. With each passing day Israel is forced to face more restrictions in an effort to protect the innocent civilians. They are forced to deal with Hamas, give them supplies, and release dangerous captives back into Gaza.

As Hamas releases captives and the media covers the hostages’ heartwarming return home, Hamas is given the opportunity to present themselves as the “good guys,” releasing women and children to the appreciative eyes of the world. They inflate the numbers of Palestinian women and children already killed in Israel’s response. Hamas is finding that the repeated release will begin to soften the world’s view of their October 7th savagery,

While Israel is being forced to wait and watch the daily trickle of hostages being returned, they know full well that the supplies they’re bringing to Hamas will make their job to eliminate them more difficult. Weapons are being moved, fortifications are strengthened, forces are repositioned, and traps are being put in place to kill Israeli soldiers. Every day they delay their assault, their job is becoming more difficult.

The IDF and Israeli leaders are saying the right things. Getting the hostages returned is a welcome result. They know that having to release them by force would have put far more hostages and soldiers in danger. No doubt, many of the Israeli hostages now free might very well have died in the efforts to free them by force. Good has come, but at what cost to their ultimate aim?

What is rewarded gets replicated. In 2011, the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas, also known in Arabic as Wafa al-Ahrar, “Faithful to the Free,” resulted in the release of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,027 Hamas prisoners held by Israel. It took the release of a thousand terrorists to get one captured soldier. That was a deal Hamas loved. As Israel negotiates now, how many convicted terrorists will be returned to Gaza to release the remaining hostages held captive? Once again, taking hostages is paying off in the number of Hamas terrorists freed.

As the ceasefire is extended and only a few hostages are released per day, the exchange could easily take weeks. Hamas is counting on the international press and wavering Western allies to keep up the pressure on Israel. What they want is a permanent ceasefire, and if Israel caves in and agrees to this, the entire war will have been for nothing. Hamas will remain in power in Gaza, and Israel will be left with a military failure and the assurance that more attacks will continue.

Israel has promised to resume their goal of eliminating Hamas from Gaza once the hostage negotiations have been completed. But the anti-Israel media will be ready to savage Israel for even considering to resume the assault.

But resume they must! Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of a founding member of Hamas who went undercover as a spy for Israel, provides a warning the West should take to heart: “The danger is if Israel fails in their war in Gaza, which is a brutal war … it will inspire … savages [who will] blackmail superpowers and bring democracies to their knees. If Israel fails in Gaza, all will be next.”

Thankfully, Israel is used to being hated. They know what it is to go it alone if necessary. Netanyahu has promised to resume the assault and to take out Hamas leaders living in presumed safety abroad. Many of the Hamas fighters released in the hostage exchange will no doubt join the fight against Israel. Hopefully, many of them will die in their futile defense.

Terrorism must not win the day. Israel would be wise to put a time limit on when all hostages must be released. Provide a safe page for innocents until that deadline is reached. Some remaining hostages may die, but what assurance does Israel have that some hostages are not already dead. Israel must finish the job or an emboldened Hamas will be free to repeat their savage attacks. Evil must be defeated. God willing, it will be.
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