Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Rock 'Em Part 7

Rock 'Em VII: "E Plebmnista"

by Mike Vanderboegh

(The seventh and last of a series on why we should emulate the Sons of Liberty in responding to the Amnesty Conspiracy. It is fitting that I am writing this last essay with the Fourth of July upon us.)

"The fight is done when one is dead." -- Chief Cloud William, Guardian of the Holies, Speaker of the Holy Words, Leader of Warriors, in "Star Trek: The Omega Glory," first aired 1 March 1968.

"Some do not know the basic principles of this country..."

Well, against all my expectations and despite my worst fears, the Senate Amnesty Bill appears truly dead now. With no more "Night of the Living Dead" tricks up their sleeves, the Amnesty Conspiracists are finally leaving the inanimate corpse of their legislative zombie like fleas off a dead dog, muttering threats and insults at us as they depart. My previous "Rock 'Em" essays skirting the ragged edge of sedition (which advanced the theory that modern Sons and Daughters of Liberty should be chucking bricks through the windows of both political parties to get the attention of our would-be rulers) were not necessary. All it took to split enough boneless political chickens from the Coalition of the Greedy was Rush Limbaugh, the Heritage Institute, NumbersUSA and a melted down Senate phone system. Who knew it would be so easy?

Of course, no good deed goes unpunished. They'll be back on amnesty, rest assured. Too much is at stake for them not to try again. But next time they will first attack the means of our resistance, especially the talk radio switch board of our righteous rage. The New Mandarins will certainly try to cram the Fairness Doctrine down our throats, to choke our ability to talk back to our "betters." Heck, even Trent Lott will vote for that now. And if Hillary is elected, as seems likely, look for PATRIOT Act attacks on Internet freedom of expression. Also, never forget that, as I wrote in my last essay, the war goes on and the invasion proceeds apace. More and more grievanced Reconquistas will be recruited to vote, legally and illegally, slowly paring down the legislative numbers until their new masters decide to strike again, decisively this time.

"The fight is done when one is dead." This is how it has always been, with each succeeding generation of Americans called to fight, and defeat, the tyrants of their day. If you're looking for a victory party to celebrate the end of the war, it ain't happening. If you're even just looking for R&R from the great struggle for liberty in this country, there's no one to give you a pass. Just hunker down in your foxhole with your buddy on watch, and catch a few zees before the next assault. It is coming, you may depend upon it.

The only question is: Will there be enough liberty-loving Americans left to meet, and defeat, the next assault?

"In recent weeks, there has been much talk about immigration, but very little informed discussion about what it means to be an American--about what is necessary to make Americans. Yes, there needs to be a sensible policy for accepting new citizens, and for ensuring that those who come here do so legally. But what happens once they are here? I hear frequent conversations about failures in integration and assimilation, even among recent legal immigrants. This is not new. What is new is that America's own natural citizens increasingly have forgotten what it means to be American. Some do not know the basic principles of this country, and still others have embraced the ideology of multiculturalism and self-loathing to such a degree that they can no longer recognize, let alone proclaim, that ours is a great nation built on lasting principles. If we no longer understand or believe in that which makes us Americans, then there is nothing substantive to assimilate into. We become many and diverse people who share a common place, rather than E Pluribus Unum." -- Peter W. Schramm. "American by Choice: We must all learn what it means to be an American," The Weekly Standard, 28 June 2007.

"If we could prove that we shared in the idea."

If tyranny is an appetite, and it is, liberty is a way of thinking, believing, living and, most importantly, acting. This is what Thomas Jefferson meant by the phrase "preserving the spirit of resistance in the people." If you wish to remain free you must be prepared to suffer the burdens necessary to maintain that freedom. But first you must understand the principles of American liberty and freedom and internalize them so that they become as natural as breathing. We should be ashamed that Peter Schramm, a naturalized American citizen from Hungary, should have to remind us of this. In an earlier essay, Schramm explained how he came to this country, already an American:

"When the Communists took control of the country in 1949, they 'expropriated' my parents' little textile shop (about half the size of my current living room) and everything in it. Under this new tyranny, my parents were considered part of the dangerous 'bourgeoisie.' In that same year, the Communists sentenced my father's father to ten years hard labor for having a small American flag in his possession (by that time he had been a leader of the social democrats for some years). At his 'trial' he was asked why he had the flag. Was he a spy? He replied that it represented freedom better than any other symbol he knew, and that he had a right to have it." -- Peter W. Schramm, "Born American, But in the Wrong Place," Claremont Institute, (

Schramm's grandfather was packed off to the Hungarian version of the Gulag, returning a few years later, Scramm recalled, "looking like a victim of the Holocaust."

"Still, the first thing he wanted to know was whether we still had the flag. Of course, we did not. It had long ago been confiscated. But my father didn't want to break his father's heart and had somehow managed to secure another one. We took it out of its hiding place and, at that tender age, I learned the very adult lesson of the complexity of telling the truth. Seeing that flag somehow erased much of the pain and torment of my grandfather's years of imprisonment; it seemed to give him hope."

Shortly thereafter, when Peter was not quite ten years old, the Hungarian Revolt of 1956 flared briefly with freedom's promise before being brutally suppressed by Soviet tanks:

"Now, with the revolution failing, everyone expected that the Communist boot was going to come down harder than ever. But before we had more opportunities to experience it . . . (my father) came home and announced to my mother that he was going to leave the country whether she would come or not. Mom said, 'O.K., William. We will come if Peter agrees. Ask Peter.' 'But where are we going?' I asked. 'We are going to America,' he said. 'Why America?' I prodded. 'Because, son. We were born Americans, but in the wrong place.' He said that as naturally as if I had asked him what was the color of the sky. It was so obvious to him why we should head for America that he never entertained any other option. Of course, he hadn't studied American history or politics, but he had come to know deep in his heart the meaning of tyranny. He hungered for its opposite and knew where to find it. America represented to my father, as Lincoln put it, 'the last, best hope of earth.' I would like to be able to say that this made my father a remarkable man for his time and his circumstances. For, in many ways, he truly was a wonder. But this is not one of those ways. Among the Hungarians I knew­aside from those who were true believers in the Communnists­this was the common sense of the subject. It was self-evident tto them."

Yet as Schramm recently reflected:

"Born Americans, but in the wrong place? I've spent the better part of the last fifty years working to more fully understand these words. Mind you, everyone understood America to be a free and good place where one might prosper unmolested. But in saying that we were 'born Americans, but in the wrong place,' Dad, in his way, was saying that he understood America to be both a place and an idea at the same time. Fundamentally, it is a place that would embrace us if we could prove that we shared in the idea. We meant to prove it." -- Peter W. Schramm, "American by Choice: We must all learn what it means to be an American," Ibid.

This is the quintessential American immigrant experience. This is where WE came from. My Dutch and German ancestors came to this country WANTING to be Americans, believing already before they set foot on this soil in the IDEA of America. They learned English in record time, discarding often even the European pronunciations of their own names in order to be understood by others as AMERICANS as soon as possible. No one would have thought of the 18th or 19th Century equivalents of "Press One for English, Press Two for Spanish." And the seductions of the modern welfare state did not exist. Despite the charges of racism and nativism that our critics impute to us, this is what motivates most of us who oppose illegal immigration on cultural as well as legal grounds. It's not that the overwhelming majority of illegals are various shades of brown, it's that the majority of them (as demonstrated by opinion polls) DO NOT WISH TO LEARN ENGLISH OR TO BECOME AMERICAN CITIZENS, except as that qualifies them for participation in the benefits of the modern welfare state.

As we see in Europe, the first generation of immigrants are hard-working (even if resistant to cultural assimilation) whereas the second and third generations assimilate the worst aspects of the modern multicultural welfare state, adopting identity politics and a sense of grievance, forging their own Muslim version of Reconquista with demands for sharia law, first for themselves and then for everybody. And Europe, with universal abortion on demand and a birthrate at half that required for cultural sustainment of the native born, will within a generation leave "America Alone," as Mark Steyn has brilliantly observed in his recent book of that title. Yet what kind of America will that be if we do not ourselves preserve what it is that makes us quintessentially "American"?

"Liberty and freedom have to be more than just words."

You know, I grew up loving the Star Trek television series for, as corny a space western as it was, it more than occasionally hit on some eternal truths. Certainly I remember well the episode entitled "The Omega Glory" that first aired on 1 March 1968. I was not yet 16, but although I did not yet fully understand Kirk's admonition that liberty and freedom have to be more than just words, I remember them today quite clearly. This is a testament, if one were required, to the power of that medium. When I think that today's youngsters will be vividly recalling "American Idol" 40 years from now, I shudder from the horror.

For those of you who don't have cable, the episode revolves around a struggle on the planet Omega IV between two peoples, the Yangs and the Kohms. The Kohms are literate, iron-age village folk; a seemingly peaceable civilized people who are now on the losing end of an ancient war with the Yangs, a far more numerous, primitive, savage and free tribal culture. Another star ship captain, Tracey of the Exeter (whose crew has been wiped out by one of the more silly Star Trek plot devices) has intervened on behalf of the Kohms, thus violating the Federation's oft quoted (but most often honored in the breach) "Prime Directive" of non-intervention. (Personally I think that Star Trek was infected with more than a little "globalism" nonsense and that any future space "federation" will look more like the oppressive Mandarin bureaucracy of "Firefly" than that of the eternally optimistic Star Trek.)

Tracey has the Kohms imprison the Enterprise crew and he confiscates their weapons to use on the Kohm's enemies. Yet the Yangs have the advantage of fanaticism and numbers. They BELIEVE in the "Holy Words" and are willing to die for them. The Kohms, even with Tracey's help, are wiped out as an organized force, with Tracey and the few Kohm survivors falling back on the last village. Incredulous, Tracey tells Kirk, "They sacrificed HUNDREDS just to get us out into the open. And then they came -- and they CAME! We drained four phasers and they STILL came. . . we killed THOUSANDS and they STILL CAME!"

Kirk realizes that the Yangs worship freedom and that the name must be a corruption of "Yankees". Thus, as Spock finishes his thought, "Kohms. . .Communists. The parallel is almost too close, Captain. It would mean that these people fought the war that your Earth avoided, and in this case, the asiatics won and took over this planet."

The victorious Yangs flood into the village and their chief, Cloud William, proclaims "that which is ours is ours again; it will never be taken from us again." Into the scene steps the bearer of one of the Yang's "holies", their battle flag, a tattered, ancient Stars and Stripes. When Decker improbably convinces Cloud William that Kirk was "cast out of heaven" and represents "the evil one", the chief tests Kirk by demanding that he translate the Hoy Words that only a chief may speak, "E Plebmnista; norcom, forcom, perfectumum." Kirk, being a well rehearsed Canadian actor playing a corn-fed Midwestern boy turned spaceship captain, replies: "We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union . . "

Kirk reaches for the holy document and a Yang scholar objects, "Only the eyes of a chief may see the E Plebmnista!" Kirk replies, "This was not written for chiefs. . .These words, and the words that follow, were not just written for the Yangs, but for the Kohms as well." Cloud William resists, "But the Kohms . . " "They must apply to everyone, or they mean nothing!" Kirk insists.

Cornball? You bet. But why do I tear up even now, forty years later, at the scene? Because it strikes at those "mystic chords of memory" that Lincoln spoke of. It enunciates the eternal American IDEA.

"Because America is more than just a place, being an American citizen is different than being the citizen of any other country on earth. We Americans do not look to the ties of common blood and history for connection as people the way the citizens of other countries do. Rather, our common bond is a shared principle. This is what Lincoln meant when he referred to the 'electric cord' in the Declaration of Independence that links all of us together, as though we were 'blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh, of the men who wrote that Declaration.' Because ours is a bond of principle and not of blood, true American citizens are made and not born. This is why, odd as it may seem, we must all learn--those who are born here, and those who come here by choice--what it means to be an American. Regrettably, we are doing a poor job of passing this knowledge on to future generations. . . . the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress shows that 73 percent of twelfth-graders scored below the proficient level in civics, as did 78 percent of eighth-graders, and 76 percent of fourth-graders. To put this into perspective, 72 percent of eighth graders could not explain the historical purpose of the Declaration of Independence. This ignorance is tragic not merely because it indicates a deficiency in our educational system, but because with it comes a loss of our national identity. And so, I find it somewhat ironic and yet very fitting that fifty years after coming to this great country, I spend my days at an institution where my job is to teach college students and high school teachers what it means to be an American." -- Peter W. Schramm, "American by Choice: We must all learn what it means to be an American," Ibid.

We are in danger of becoming a society of Cloud Williams, genuflecting to the "holies" yet not comprehending what it is to be American, what it is to live free and most importantly how to remain free. Will our children's children then recite "E Plebmnista; norcom, forcom, perfectumum," with no comprehension of the real words, the real MEANING of our God-given American liberty. Will they forget the constitutional republic which is meant to secure that liberty with the blood and sweat and sacrifice of its citizens? Will they forget HOW to be free?

"We are Americans."

"We cannot forget who we are. We are Americans. This is a great nation. We Americans insist on holding to the connection between freedom and justice, courage and moderation. We think that equality and liberty have ethical and political implications, and, as we have shown time-and-again throughout our history, we are willing to fight and to die to make men free. We need to impart these principles to succeeding generations. We Americans correctly demand respect for our rights but, in getting that respect, we must continue to demonstrate that we continue to deserve it. We have to exercise our intelligence and develop our civic understanding so that we may preserve our liberty and pass it on, undiminished to the next generation. If government 'of the people, by the people and for the people' is to endure, its endurance can only come from the devotion of Americans--born here and away--who have been so made." -- Peter W. Schramm, "American by Choice: We must all learn what it means to be an American," Ibid.

So, here we are, given a momentary respite in the fight to remain free Americans. The fight is not over. It is never over. We did not need Sons of Liberty bricks to turn back the enemies of the Founders' Republic this time. Next time, maybe we will. Next time, or the next after that, we may need bullets. But if we are not to go gently into the bloody collectivist good night that the Amnesty Conspiracy presages, we must remember what is is to be free. We must remember what it is to be American. We must remember once more what it is that makes us Sons and Daughters of Liberty. And we must ACT.

Mike Vanderboegh
PO Box 926
Pinson, AL 35126

1 comment:

The Zombieslayer said...

It's not that the overwhelming majority of illegals are various shades of brown, it's that the majority of them (as demonstrated by opinion polls) DO NOT WISH TO LEARN ENGLISH OR TO BECOME AMERICAN CITIZENS, except as that qualifies them for participation in the benefits of the modern welfare state.

This is perfect. What the pro-illegal people try to do is brand anyone who is against illegal immigration as racist. It's starting to backfire.

By the way, we have some celebrating to do. We won this round.