Wednesday, March 20, 2013

MOLON LABE !

MOLON LABE.

     I've been seeing these two words more and more often. What do they mean, I asked myself? I set out to find an answer, as much for me as for you. Here's what I found:

     Molon Labe (Mo-lone Lah-veh) is Greek for "Come and Take". Simple enough. End of story.... or maybe not.

     Way back in 480 BCE the Greeks were about to be invaded by the Persians. Many thought that this was pretty much a "Done Deal" since the Greeks were oh, so outnumbered by the Persians.


     Along came King Leonidas from the City-State of Sparta. He tried to get his senate to commit their army to go to the aid of Greece but to no avail. They weren't having any of it. Instead, Leonidas assembled his personal bodyguard consisting of 300 of the best warriors and headed for a little place called Thermopylae (rhymes with Monopoly - except the 'Thermo' part.).

     Thermopylae was a convenient and much used pass at the base of the mountains that was bordered by the Aegean Sea. Uphill from the pass was a steep cliff. Downhill was a steep cliff plunging into the sea. In between was a narrow strip of land that barely allowed access as a road. A very tight fit and easy to defend.

     The 300 Spartans took a position at the entrance to the pass and waited for the Persians to arrive.


     A bit here about the 300: Men in Sparta were trained from childhood to be strong, tough warriors. They were able to get by and even thrive with very little but a shield and a sword. These guys were the S.E.A.L.S. or Delta Force or Spetsnaz of their time. Nobody messed with them! They were fearless and dedicated to their home and their King.

     So, the 300 waited at Thermopylae for the Persian army to arrive and arrive they did! The 300 Spartans were facing an army of 600,000 warriors led by King Xerxes (Zerk-seas). Because of the geography, the 300 were able to hold off the army of 600,000 for a full 3 days. How?

     Because the pass at Thermopylae was so narrow, the Persians could only front so many men to face the 300. They kept attacking and they kept dying. Day after day the 300 held their position. Xerxes saw what was happening and decided to send his "Immortals" to the front. 

     The Immortals were the Persian shock troops of the time. No army had ever stood up to the Immortals. The 300 did not budge. The Immortals were pushed back but not without cost. Some of the 300 were killed but the cost to the Persians was very high.


     When Xerxes saw that his 600,000 man army was stalled by a mere 300 warriors he made them a deal: "Throw down your swords and return to your homes and you will be allowed to live". After considering the offer, King Leonidas replied, "Molon Labe!". Come and take!  (If you want our weapons, come and take them from us!)

     The battle raged on and in the end the 300 Spartans were defeated and to a man, killed, but they held out long enough to allow the citizens of Athens to evacuate to a safer place and avoid death at the hands of the Persians.

     To this day there is a plaque at the site of the Battle of Thermopylae. It reads:


        " Go tell the Spartans, Travelers passing by, That here, Obedient to their laws, We lie!"


     Above the inscription, in Greek is the inscription: Molon Labe (in ancient Greek -above).

(The photos above are from the film, "300" starring Gerard Butler as Leonidas. It's a spectacular bit of cinema if you ever get a chance to see it, do so.)

     The 300 lost the battle but what an inspiring story of courage and dedication!

     So? What does all this have to do with seeing MOLON LABE printed here and there?

     Molon Labe has sort of become the de-facto motto of the pro-gun movement.

     Our government wants to disarm it's citizens. Citizens who own firearms legally protected by our constitution. Law abiding citizens who have exercised their Constitutional Rights to do so. These are the folks the government gun grabbers fear.

     The next time you see these words somewhere, you'll know (if you didn't already) what they mean and what they stand for. Use these words in your correspondence, in your e-mails, on your web sites, forums and blogs! Let your friends and associates know where you stand.

     As the Geezer I'm getting crotchety in my old age but I still have rights and I intend to exercise them for as long as I can - Molon Labe!

     Thanks for reading this!  Pass it on!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sequestration and Other Government B.S.

Well folks, the government is telling us that the country is facing Billions of Dollars in budget cuts as of yesterday, 2/28/2013.

We have been told that if the Republicans don't act the way the Democrats want them to that we will face any number of calamities from losing our police and teachers (who are not paid by the Federal Government, I might add) to losing a big percentage of our military and other critical Government services.


It's now the "day after" and the Republicans didn't act. Now we are told that well, umm, ahhh, the effects won't be noticed for months if at all.  This tells me that all these dire warnings were a bunch of crap and it all was a frantic scare tactic to pressure the Republicans to cave-in and comply with the President's demands.

What exactly is "Sequestration"? The word itself means 'To set aside or put in escrow'. In this instance, this is not actually a series of budget cuts but a reduction in the increase. Does that sound confusing? It confused me, too!

Let me give you a simple explanation of what a reduction of increase actually is:

Let's say that in July of any given year your boss tells you that he has examined his budget and that on January 1 of the next year, you will get a $10 per hour raise in your salary. Pretty good, huh?

Now it's December 30 and the boss takes you aside and tells you that he has re-checked his budget and he will only be able to give you a $7 an hour raise. Sorry! (Actually it's still pretty good).

That is Sequestration. Government funding is not a budget cut but a reduction in the expected increase.


All the angst and name calling and in-fighting that has been going on for the past several weeks is actually just so much B.S.

This is much the same as the hubbub over the so-called "Fiscal Cliff" which also amounted to a pile of crap shoveled our way by our beloved Government leaders.

Getting back to Sequestration and the "Budget Cuts of Doom". The amount of so-called budget 'cuts' is actually a drop in the bucket compared to the massive amount of spending done by our government.  Keep in mind that this isn't the government's money. It's ours. Yours and mine. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to know that my money is going for a good cause!

In order to absorb these 'cuts', that is to save the amount of money that these 'cuts' represent, all federal workers would have to clock out early from their jobs one half hour earlier for a period of ten days. That's it!


Our administration simply wants these controversies to occur so that there can be a lot of self righteous finger pointing and accusations toward the Republicans. Fearless Leader wants to demonize the Republican party so that come 2016, the country will be so against the Right that any Democrat candidate will be a shoo-in for the Presidency.

I was asked why I refer to the president as "Fearless Leader". It comes from the evil cartoon character in the old "Rocky and Bullwinkle" show. The Nazi-like head of the opposition government - the "Bad Guy". That's how I see Fearless Leader.

When he was elected in 2008, even though I did not vote for him, I was hopeful that my fears would be unfounded. He had a great opportunity to become one of the most revered Presidents in U.S. history but he seems to be on the road to becoming the most reviled.

Under his watch, he has led our nation to the brink of bankruptcy, he has gutted our military almost to the point of ineffectiveness, he has divided our nation like no other President in history. 

He has time and again violated his oath of office by issuing executive orders, some of which violate the Constitution of the United States. He is seeking to disarm our citizens, again in violation of the Constitution. 


He has raised taxes even though he promised he never would and he has foisted upon this nation his ill-advised Health Care legislation which is so expensive and restrictive that small and medium sized business owners have had to close down because they cannot afford to pay the additional taxes necessary to cover their employees.

The American economy is in shambles and every day, more and more Americans become unemployed. 


Finally he is in the process of instituting a program of un-manned drone flights to spy on and possibly attack American Citizens  on American soil. He has interviewed American Military leaders to find out if they could and would fire upon American citizens if ordered to do so. What kind of American President even DOES that?


I'm thinking that the only campaign promise that Fearless Leader intends to keep is the one where he promised to "Fundamentally Change" the United States. It certainly makes a person wonder how much worse it will get.

I personally believe (and this is just the Geezer talking here) that things will get much worse before they get any better. We are facing dark times in this country. We sit back and watch as our country changes and changes but we say, "Well, it doesn't affect me so I won't worry."

It reminds me of a story that my high school history teacher, Mrs. Adele Saxe, once told:

German-Jews, a father and his son, faced having to register as Jews in 1939. They were stripped of their firearms. The father said, "It can't get any worse".

Then they were forced to relocate to a Jewish Ghetto. "It can't get any worse" he said.

Then they were stripped of all their belongings. "It won't get any worse than this." he told his son.

The son was conscripted by the government as a slave laborer. "Son, it can't possibly get any worse than this".


One day the Father was loaded onto a box car. As his son closed the door on his father the old man said, "How bad can this be?"

Mrs. Saxe was Jewish and had spent time in a German concentration camp as a young girl. She knew exactly what she was talking about. All it takes is for one good person to do nothing!


When you ask yourself, "How bad can it possibly get?" Remember what the Geezer told you.

It's going to get worse before it gets better. Fearless Leader promised "Change"

Be careful what you ask for!

The Geezer