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Gettysburg National Park
By Dr. Jeff Sanders

I was at Gettysburg the other day. I had not been there in about 20 years.  It is an incredibly moving part of the American landscape.  Warren Wiersbe told me, "It was the greatest slaughter of teenagers in American history." Very true.  Some 53,000 men and boys killed, wounded or missing in just three days.  Wherever you go, you see monuments and statues dedicated to heroes, both Union and Confederate.  (Yes, the Lee statue at the Virginia Memorial still stands.)

I visited the "new" visitors' center.  The old one housing the Cyclorama painting of Pickett's Charge had been torn down and rebuilt almost ten years ago.  The new display of the Cyclorama is stunning.  The painting is restored, and you just gasp in amazement when you see it.  

I was not as impressed with the movie that visitors watch before they are allowed to see the painting.  Although it is technically well done, it definitely gives the impression that slavery was the sole cause for the war.  And Abraham Lincoln comes out looking like a staunch abolitionist who was crusading to free all the slaves.  (The film omits the fact that Lincoln was FOR the original 13th Amendment, which would have enshrined slavery in America as a permanent legal institution.)

The museum, however, was off the charts good!  It had many surprising displays, including the stretcher that bore the wounded Stonewall Jackson off the battlefield of Chancellorsville.  They also had the table on which his left arm was amputated.  Where in the world did they get that????  

The book store was great too.  I was glad that the National Park Service had not yet succumbed to political correctness there.  I saw numerous coffee mugs with pictures of not online Union heroes, but also Confederate ones as well.  So, history is not banned (yet) at Gettysburg.  Go see it while it's still there.

Saturday, September 30, 2017, 09:21 PM

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12 Years A Slave
By Dr. Jeff Sanders

I have finally gotten around to reading the book "12 Years a Slave" by Solomon Northrup.  I have only seen snippets of the movie on I know why it earned an Oscar.  The book is mighty compelling.  It is a tale of horror and survival.  Solomon Northrup was a free black man living peacefully and comfortably with his wife and children in Saratoga New York.  He was hoodwinked into joining some entertainers who promised him a pretty good salary for those days. Tragically, they drugged him and he wound up chained in a Washington DC...on Pennsylania Avenue.  

He was forced onto a ship from Norfolk to New Orleans.  Along the way he met a number of other slaves, male and female, old and young.  The tale of Eliza is without a doubt one of the most heartwrenching and horrifying tales I have read.  She is on board the slave ship with her two young children, Randall and Emily.  While they are on the auction block in New Orleans, little Randall is sold to a master, but Eliza is left behind with Emily.  The scene in the book absolutely destroys me.  Just when I thought it could not get worse (and undoubtedly it does later in the book and the movie) I read this about another master buying the mother, but unable to buy little Emily to go along.  (The man owning the two will not sell little Emily because he knows she will get a higher price when she gets older.)  

"I have seen mothers kissing for the last time the faces of their dead offspring; I have seen them looking down into the grave, as the earth fell with a dull sound upon their coffins, hiding them from their eyes forever; but never have I seen such an exhibition of intense, unmeasured, and unbounded grief, as when Eliza was parted from her child.  She broke from her place in the line of women, and rushing dwon where Emily was standing, caught her in her arms.  The child, sensible of some impending danger, instinctively fastened her hands around her mother's neck, and nestled her little head upon her bosom.  Freeeman [the slave owner] sternly ordered her to be quiet, but she did not heed him.  He caught her by the arm and pulled her rudely, but she only clung the closer to the child.  Then, with a volley of great oaths, he struck her such a heartless blow, that she staggered backward, and was like to fall.  Oh! how did she beseech and beg and pray that they might not be separated.  Why could they not be purchased together?  Why not let her have one of her dear children?  'Mercy, mercy, master!' she cried, falling on her knees.  'Please, master, buy Emily.  I can never work any if she is taken from me: I will die.'

Emily was taken from her.  

Friday, September 29, 2017, 08:20 PM

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The Best Thing That Happened at the Akron Marathon
By Dr. Jeff Sanders

The other day I ran in the Akron Marathon.  I ran the half (13.1 miles); my son ran the full (26.2 miles).  It was tougher than usual because of the heat.  Twenty thousand people ran in one of the most well-run events I have ever been a part of.  So many hundreds and hundreds of people from all over northeast Ohio participated in this great community event.  This year I saw something that touched my heart to the core.  

The leadership of the Marathon partnered with Akron Children's Hospital to set up 14 "Hero Stations" to introduce us all to hero-patients from the hospital.  These are 14 kids who are struggling mightily through dibiliatating diseases.  Some of the diseases are incurable.  The heroes ranged in age from 6 to 16.  As we were running, the kids were stationed in tents usually a few miles apart, with their parents and other adults nearby.  Those kids were carrying these blue foam signs that said on them "Press for Power".  As runners would run past they would give a fist bump or a high five to the sign held by the child, and of course the sign would instantly give the runner that extra bit of power to keep running!

The truth is, those kids were ministering to us.  Yes, I'm sure they loved watching the race and seeing all the people from every age, size, shape, ability or disability run those miles.  But they were ministering to us for sure.  I saw kids who knew only painful disease.  Yet they smiled.  They smiled and held up signs and cheered for us!  

If they can have they kind of unconquerable attitude, why can't we?  

Thursday, September 28, 2017, 08:05 PM

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ISIS in the Philippines
By Dr. Jeff Sanders

The Philippines is the only country in Asia in which the vast majority professes belief in the Christian faith.  However, their is a sizable minority of Muslims, living primarily on the southern island of Mindanao.  The Muslims there far outnumber the Christians, and consequently jihadists have found another foothold in another country.

As ISIS is squeezed out of Iraq by Iraqi, Kudish, and US forces, and out of Syria by Syrian, Russian, Krdish, and US forces...they have redeployed to other areas of the world.  Most notably to the Philippines!  For awhile they even captured some cities, holding Christians and even some of their fellow Muslims hostage.  President Duterte of the Philippines has launched a counter offensive in which territory is slowly being regained, but cities are being reduced to rubble by artillery and airstrikes.  In the city of Marawi, some 1,700 hostages have been liberated and over 600 jihadist-terrorists have been killed.

The battle is far from over as the Filipino Army slowly flushes out terrorists who had found a safe haven to build up their strength.

Friday, September 22, 2017, 08:49 PM

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Antifa and Fascism
By Dr. Jeff Sanders

If you could sit down with someone from Antifa and ask them "What is fascism?  What, historically speaking, has fascism believed for the last 100 years?", what would they say? As I have been scanning the videos of the numerous riots in which the Antifa are involved, it seems to me that the vast majority of these people do not have a good grasp of what fascism is, and is not.

Fascism, historically speaking, began in Italy during World War I and spread quickly throughout Europe afterwards (Italy, Spain, Portugal being the most notable among professing fascist states).  Although fascism is normally classified as "right wing" because of its hypernationalsm and racism, I see it as left wing due to the fact that the fascist governments of Europe despised capitalism, believed that a strong central government should control all industry and commerce (a major tenet of socialism), and enforce all decrees through a police state apparatus.  Historically, Mussolini, Franco, and their blood brother Adolf Hitler were actually socialists, having much more in common with the blood-thirsty Communists of Stalin's Soviet Union than with free governments such as Great Britain, France, or the US.

In a fascist state, all views that are opposing the official state sanctified views are met with brute force.  There is no freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, freedom of peaceful assemble to ask the government for a redress of grievances.  There is only the freedom of government thugs to beat you up if you differ from the party line, haul you off to prison or a concentration camp, and kill you.

What do we see of Antifa day after day?  People who want to peacefully dialogue, or people who justify their use of violence and vandalism in order to crush all who dare to differ with them?  Seems to me, that they are the very same brutes they claim to be against.

Thursday, August 31, 2017, 11:57 AM

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Past Posts

12 Years A Slave
The Best Thing That Happened at the Akron Marathon
ISIS in the Philippines
Antifa and Fascism
Who Are The Antifa
Mayweather vs McGregor
Flight 93 Memorial
Dunkirk--the Movie

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