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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

An American Hero Named Martha

You may think of the 1970's as 'old history' and of little significance, but step back in time with me and review episodes from the life of an American hero named Martha.

Martha Beall was born in 1918 Arkansas, the daughter of a cotton broker and teacher.  Delightfully friendly and extremely talkative, Martha made friends easily.  After college, her outgoing nature led to a short stint as a teacher and then to an administrative position at Pine Bluff Arsenal.  Her boss was Brigadier General A.M. Prentiss.

While working for General Prentiss, she met and married a young Army officer.  That marriage lasted about ten years but is not what catapulted Martha to fame. That came about with her second marriage, to a New York attorney named John Mitchell. Twenty years after their marriage John Mitchell became a member of Richard Nixon's cabinet, and Martha's 'extremely talkative' nature had found its purpose.

As Nixon's chicanery and shenanigans became darker and more secretive, Martha began calling newspaper reporters with insider information.  Nixon would later admit, 'without Martha, there would have been no Watergate scandal.'  Visualize, if you will, the heartburn an honest and outspoken woman could cause within a corrupt administration.  That was Martha Mitchell's legacy.

After she told reporters of being attacked and drugged by five White House aides led by Lea Jablonsky (Mitchell's secretary), Martha was referred to as 'delusional'  and 'hallucinating' by the White House press corp; it occurred so often that the 'Martha Mitchell Effect' became a well known psychiatric diagnosis.  The Oval Office 'leaked' a story about a 'drinking problem' in an effort to discredit her.   She became a pariah on Capitol Hill, a social outcast.  Her husband filed for divorce and gave her no settlement, despite nearly 20 years of marriage with children.

Martha Beall Mitchell's integrity never waivered.

Of course, John Mitchell was eventually convicted in the Watergate scandal; Nixon was drop kicked out of office.

Martha Mitchell was vindicated, but somewhere along the way, toward the end of the scandal, Martha developed an extremely rare bone cancer that would take her life in less than two years.  She did not consider it an accident of nature.

Did I mention the head of the FBI, Patrick Gray, was appointed by Nixon after the death of J. Edgar Hoover? That Gray was an 'outsider' with no FBI experience?   Or that Gray was directed by Nixon to interfere with the FBI's investigation of Watergate?  Dirty politics, many felt,  was behind Martha's curious diagnosis.  

Is anyone else thinking of the Clinton-era Vincent Foster case?  Or the derision faced by Ted Kennedy's first wife, Joan?  How about B. Hussein Obama's administration and its tendency to label critics as racist, unpatriotic liars?  

Obama said his administration would bring change, but it sounds like the same dirty politics to me.  How about you?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Where's Your Grit?

It's a sorry state of affairs when America is pitied and chastised.   Paul Ibbetson, former police chief,  asks a question few Americans could answer:  where is your grit?

America, where is your character, your pluck, your grit? If that question seems overly harsh and needlessly aggressive, then you are staring directly at the problem. This nation sits at the precipice of a fundamental, irreversible transformation that will make all too visible a new country that is incontrovertibly "one nation under a spineless, politically correct, brow-beaten, emasculated bunch of sheep."

Is that too harsh? If you believe my words are too offensive, that I should tone it down, possibly give contemplation to all opposing views from every potential angle, if not every position within the cosmos, then, you're actually staring at the real problem.

At a time when the country is faced with an administration that wishes to transform this country into a completely socialistic nation, Americans appear to be dangerously low on grit. Some would counter the statements I have posited, as to the lack of American character in an obvious time of need, with the examples of the growing number of Americans that are participating in town halls, and the growing TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Parties. I applaud and participate in these events with great spirit and enthusiasm; however, they will not be the final weapon to defeat the forces that truly wish to destroy this nation.

I am not idealistic, nor need I be to understand the predicament this country is in and the chasm that divides where we have been as a nation, from where we are now. It is true that there have always been those within this great nation that carry within their heart desires that run counter to the betterment of the nation. We know them as the socialist, the communist, the anarchist, and all others that share similar desires that run counter to the best laid plans of our country and its founding fathers.

The presence (if not the appearance today) of these jackals within the echelons of power and influence is not a product of a sudden massive influx of anti-American cohorts, but of the effect of a slow, yet progressive, erosion of our true national character. The growing masses that make up the groups of opposition fighting for the survival of the nation today in the TEA Parties, among others, could double - if not triple - in time, and may ultimately be victorious against the current threat of the Barack Obama socialist machine. While you and I work and pray for this to come to reality, the matter of American character will still lie before us, as does our ultimate destiny.

In this struggle for the short term survival of the nation, as well as our place within history, I must admit a more than ample amount of animosity at the predicament we find ourselves in as a nation, including the timidity by many to provoke our enemies to anger - even while we are battling with these same foes for the future of all we hold dear.

Has the quest for individual character, moral value and spiritual salvation been permanently replaced with the need to acquiesce to moral relativism, atheism, and the will of the group collective? I pray that this is not so, while knowing full well that if we as a nation were in proper form, there would be little concern about the few who would be offended by a nation that quests for the divine while denying the alternative, socialist bonds.

I submit to you that as surely as an administration as unbelievably atrocious as that of Barack Obama could never have come to fruition in a country that carried the same national grit of the past, that we are equally destined to repeat the same calamitous scenario in the future - if we do not find this country's true American character - and firmly hold on to it.

Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police, radio host, and author of the books 'Living Under The Patriot Act: Educating A Society,' and 'Feeding Lions: Sharing The Conservative Philosophy In A Politically Hostile World.'
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