Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Good Man

"Let there be no more argument about what a good man should be. Be one."
- Marcus Aurelius

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Raleigh, North Carolina - Today, America is one of the wealthiest nations on the planet. One of the largest nations on the planet in population, and considered the strongest militarily. Often, when foreign wars are about to break out, a word from our commander in chief has stayed it. Our president is the leader of the free world, we are one of the freest nations on the planet. And all of this came from a small group of pilgrims clinging to the Eastern Seaboard, half of them dying their first winter, freezing and starving to death. Truly, Americans have much to be thankful for. Good night everybody, and a happy thanksgiving.

Andrew C. Abbott

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sherlock Holmes

“I submit for your inspection one John H. Watson: medical man, late British army surgeon, raconteur, journalist…. Knight of the Battered Tin Dispatch Box, valiant and loyal friend.”
One doctor created another. In 1887, around Christmas, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a doctor of small practice, published A Study in Scarlet. In it, Watson has just come back from the war, and has a wound. Living on army pay, he needs to find “comfortable rooms at a reasonable price.” A friend tells him he knows of someone who may wish to share a room, and takes the good doctor to meet him.
The man is highly eccentric (he comes into the story beating a dead body with a stick to calculate the effect of bruising after death), smokes, and plays the violin. His name is Sherlock Holmes, and the flat number is 221B, Baker Street.
The first book was not well received. It did not sell out, and got poor reviews. However, three later Doyle tried again, this time with greater success. Not long after, a series of twenty-four stories were ordered by Strand Magazine. (It was the Life of its time.) Soon, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were rushing all over London and the English countryside, Watson with his revolver, Holmes with his pipe, Holmes shocking people by telling them a great deal about themselves through deduction, Watson writing everything down. Some people did, and some whom I have met still do, think Holmes to have been real.
After twenty-three stories, Moriarty, the great criminal mind, the second greatest in London, second only to Mycroft, Holmes brother, decides that Holmes has “inconvenienced” him once too often. It is the story of The Final Problem. When it appeared, ending in the seeming death of Sherlock Holmes, himself and Moriarty, in a death struggle, falling over the abyss and into Reichenbach falls, over twenty thousand readers of Strand canceled their subscriptions immediately.
Three years later, Watson is visited by a book seller, who asks him if he would like some rare books, to hide a bare spot on the shelf, Watson looks at the spot, turns around, and sees Holmes throwing away his disguise.
Holmes had returned, having survived by landing on a ledge and going into hiding to escape Moriarty’s men, to capture Colonel Sebastian Moran. And so the adventures continue, the deductions go on, until Holmes goes on to retire, just before coming out of retirement one last time to save Britain from the Germans in World War I, in His Last Bow.

Andrew C. Abbott

Friday, November 22, 2013

50 Years

Greensboro, North Carolina – Fifty years ago today John Fitzgerald Kennedy, President of the United States, was shot and killed in Dallas Texas. I am told by those that were alive that it was a shock to the national system. Children who were in the second grade playing on the playground had it announced to them over the loudspeakers, and they still remember.
Today, fifty years later, it is the feature of newspapers, the subject of television specials, twitter and Facebook posts. Even foreign newspapers, such as The Guardian, stop to remember the man from Camelot, who lived just over 1,000 days in the White House.
Putting aside who shot him, where the bullets came from and went to, how many films were taken, what happened with the bag-man, whether the Irish Mafia was involved, or who Jack Ruby was, the real mystery remains to be how the nation remembers them
At his time, the Kennedy family was the height of good looks. “When knights and fair ladies roamed Washington” according to the book A Women Named Jackie. And even though we now know that much of it was fake, that he had back problems, his wife was not exactly the nicest person in town, (she once ordered passengers off of an airplane, according to one author, so she could have seats she had not booked) and they were drug abusers.
Still, the Kennedys still manage to hold their place. Such as when a video in tribute to a lesser member of the dynasty, Ted, was shown at the DNC Presidential Convention in 2012, and the president, when talking up his party during one his campaigns, stated “we are still the party of Lincoln, we are still the party of Kennedy.” There was even a nephew of Jack’s in congress until two years ago.
Even now that the dynasty is mostly broken up, the moon has been reached, the missiles have left Cuba, and Jackie is no longer around to flaunt her hair-do, the story continues to enthrall, which is why the book on them by Richard Reeves was called Camelot.

Andrew C. Abbott

Monday, November 18, 2013

World Unwar: Part 2

Greensboro, North Carolina – In the last several hundred years, our planet has gone through major revolutions in thought, in organization, and technology. We went suddenly from our fastest form of communication being a galloping horse, to being able to send messages to people on the other side of the world within seconds. The world has gone digital. Information is within reach of anyone. We can instantly find out when Queen Elisabeth I was born, and who won the super bowl twenty years ago. We can build skyscrapers over a hundred stories high; we can send a man to the moon and bring him back alive. 
And yet mankind still goes to war.
Like the monkeys in the jungles who crash each other’s brains in with sticks, we make war, just with more sophisticated sticks. It is an unfortunate reality. There are still those nations in the world who will not listen to reason. Who are ready to blow up their nearest neighbors to make points, and there are groups who kill to make statements. Technology has made mankind no better.
When wars end, their consequences do not. The boys do not all come home. The destruction takes years to clean up. In Europe, in some places, farmers must plough their fields with bombproof bottoms on their equipment because of the mines and undetonated shells and bombs that still lie there from World War I.
We must find ways to avoid war. Many nations, groups and individuals still have time bombs lying beneath the national physic. Old prejudices that this color is better than that, or that those of this denomination should all be run out of town or that if you speak a certain language you must be inferior. These are things that need to be talked through, if at all possible, with every other measure than war.
The reason this article is called World Unwar is because there are those that believe that World Peace is something only evil people would seek. Such as the Scriptural Antichrist. However, a call for world peace is not a call for a single one world government, it is something that Christ called for when he said that the greatest duty of man, after loving God, was to love his neighbor.

Andrew C. Abbott

Thursday, November 14, 2013

World Unwar: Part 1

“Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.”-John F. Kennedy.

Greensboro, North Carolina – In the year of our Lord 1914, World War I was begun by the free and un-free peoples of a planet called earth. They thought that it would forever end war. They thought that their actions, their bloodletting, their killing, their pounding each other until little but bloody pulp was left would help things. In Germany, of all young men who were between twenty and thirty, fifty percent were dead when it was over.
It smashed up thousands of acres of good farming land. Left massive craters and miles of trenches. Young men were blown into pieces so small they could not be found. Entire armies walked over the tops of trenches, almost every single one not coming back.
But the wars did not end. The began again in World War II. Again the world went to war with itself. Again big machines and men with guns pounded each other until all that was left was a bloody mess. This time the free peoples won, but they won a continent of rubble.
Since then, the wars have continued. Thousands of young men and women dying in different nation’s disagreements. In Syria today a civil war continues, in which, so far, we are otld over a 100,000 people have died. Many of the, civilians. No matter who is right or wrong, in the end, when all of the blood dries, when all of the ground settles over the graves, it is neither the good nor the bad that win, it is war.
There is nothing to cheer about when it is over. When those that survived the horror of war come home, the only glory is in the mind. Even in the “golden age” if knighthood, people were still dying. Behind those visors and shields, behind those war cries, were humans. When the colonials of the Napoleonic wars lined up, and marched at each other in their massive chess games gone real, they were still killing real people. Behind the explosions, behind the terror, behind the madness, behind the propaganda, there are people with lives, with families, people who were once children. They are people, and the human race is too small, and it’s mission too great, to lose even one of its members.

Andrew C. Abbott

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Time of Peace

Greensboro, North Carolina - Yesterday I was in Virginia, at Appomattox, where, in 1865, Robert E. Lee was brought to heel by U.S Grant, and finally forced to surrender the army of Northern Virginia. The surrender set of a string of surrenders from other Southern armies across the South, which ended, soon after, in the final laying down of arms and the beginning of peace.

I stood on the spot where Lee and Grant met, and shook hands. After the peace that was signed at Appomattox, after the Civil War was over, the young men had to finally go home and begin to rebuild their lives. The war had lasted nearly five years. It had killed thousands, and at last these boys were going home.

Union General Joshua Chamberlin, who ordered a salute from the men in Blue to the men in Gray as they surrendered, stated: "It was worth a pilgrimage to see."

Andrew C. Abbott

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Greensboro, North Carolina - More than two thousand years ago there were two resistance movements, both fighting the Roman army. One was in Britannica, the other was in Gaul, beyond the Rhine.

While the battles took place at different times, one primarily in the time of Julius Caesar, the other in the time of Augustus, they were fought with the same sort of tactics by the Romans, against the same sort of odds (greatly outnumbered) but with different success. In Britain, when the Romans landed among the black forests and rolling fields, they were met with only small resistance at first. Later, there were rebellions, and huge armies of screaming, howling, weapon wielding although maybe not clothes wearing warriors swept down on them. It did no good, and the occupiers stayed around until they wanted to leave.

Not too many years after the Romans invaded Britannica, in the steamy woods of the land beyond the Rhine, they met with disaster. Here, the people were also disunited, and at the very beginning, the Romans were able to keep them divided. But a young, Roman trained young man, named Arminius, came forth, united the people, and kept the Romans from advancing further at that time. It is said Augustus paced his palace, shouting at his dead general to give him back his legions.

During World War II, France was split between those loyal to their nation, and those that were, for all practical purposes, under the sway of the Germans. The French Resistance, although in the end it would number over a quarter of a million men, was unable to clear their land of the enemy alone, because it was a land divided.

Once a nation is conquered, such as when Britain was in 1066 by William the Conqueror, no matter how the resistance movements try, they are nearly always unable to do anything in the way of bringing back their country.

When scientific theories begin to lose followers, such as the ether theory did to Einstein's Relativity, they often soon disappear from the textbooks, and then from memory, no matter how many problems the new one may have, it has momentum, and dikes rarely stand very well once water begins to go over the top.

The best solution is not a plethora of resistance movements, it is better to have better defenses and then offences in the first place, such as the Gaels under Arminius, then to try to win back your country, such as the British under Boudica. Everyone has heard of Winston Churchill, the man who kept the German's out of Britain, not many know the names of the men who led the French Resistance, who tried to kick them out.

G. K. Chesterton said: "It is too late to cry out, when the hatchet is already in the air."

Andrew C. Abbott

Monday, November 4, 2013

To meet Fire with Fire

Greensboro, North Carolina – When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them…
There have been times throughout history when the schoolyard bullies grow up and take control of nations. And those bullies start to push those that are weaker than they are around. Sometimes they roll over without a fight, like some nations practically did in World War II, other times they fight tooth and nail until they drive the invaders or king or armies or whatever or whoever it is on top of them off until they can stand up and take their own place in the world again, like the Germans did two thousand years ago when the Empire of Rome thought it would expand its border that way, and found that they could hold only the ground they stood on, and not even that was very secure.
The weaker resisting against oppression has been around since the dawn of history. We can be very certain Able did not sit down and whine when Cain came after him in the field. When the Persians attempted to march through the pass of Thermopylae, to put of Greece under its heel, three hundred Spartans stood them off and killed thousands.
But Able died, and the Spartans lost the battle. In Adolf’s Hitler’s Germany, the theologian Dietrich Bonheoffer and a small group of dedicated men attempted to assassinate and bring down Hitler himself with the aid of some of nation’s highest men. The bombs failed to go off, or when they did, they failed to work properly. The group was discovered and broken up. Bonheoffer was hung.
There were at least small attempt at overthrowing the Russians Reds as they came to power, but those to broke down and collapsed. But the attempted coups against Nero worked. In fact, the coups were so well that year that Rome had four emperors. Resistance worked quite well for Alfred the Great, as he fought against the Danes, and there were quite effective resistance movements in World War II.
To be continued.

Andrew C. Abbott