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Lessons Forgotten Print E-mail
by Paul D. Perry    Sun, Oct 9, 2011, 03:03 AM

Early in my career – right after some of the moisture dried behind my ears – I left a fairly large, well-known firm for a smaller one. I liked the higher pay with fewer meetings. The trade-off was, at the smaller firm, no one was getting paid to motivate me. It was a pay-on-performance kind of place, and after many ups and downs, that has turned out for the best overall.

That is the kind of decision you can make in a free society.

At the smaller firm, I met an older gentleman, all 6 foot 5 of him, who was both a World War II and Korean War vet. He was of that Scotch-Irish stock that is so common in Texas. Enlisting in the old Army Air Corps during WW2, he was too late to see combat. Sometime after V-J Day he was discharged. He went back to his small hometown and worked in a local bank. A few years later, as Communist-backed North Korea invaded South Korea, he enlisted in the U.S. Marines.

Sgt. Mack, as we called him around the office, was a little older and wiser than the average new Marine. He quickly earned his corporal’s stripe as we chased the Communist-dogma-inspired North Koreans deep into their own territory. Not much later, he advanced to sergeant. It was, after all, a war.

Unknown to our forces at the time, Chinese Communist forces infiltrated North Korea during the fall of 1950. Fortunately, Sgt. Mack and many other Marines, as well as elements of the U.S. Army, British Royal Marines and South Korean units, stopped the Communist 9th Army’s attempt to overrun us at a place called Chosin Reservoir in 35-below-zero weather.

Korea was the first large scale direct clash between U.S. troops and Communist forces. For years, we thought only Chinese and Korean Communist forces were involved. Since the fall of Communism in Russia, we now know that the Communist North Korean pilots were in reality, in many if not most cases, Russian Communist fighter pilots. In Korea, we were in direct battlefield contact with all the major Communist powers including the Russians.

Sgt. Mack cherished his freedom and earned his patriotism fighting Communists. He paid for it with his Purple Heart and the pain of his old frostbite that would return from time to time. He died in the 1990s.

Communism in its purist form not only demands that the state owns and controls all property, but also ultimately demands that it owns the individual citizen. What you do for a living, where you live, even what you say in public is all controlled by the state. For the most part, atheism is encouraged by those in power. Faith in a higher power is frowned upon. In effect, the government is to be the only authority.

Sometimes I fear that we are letting Communist thinking encroach too much into our system. Would we know it if it did, and how many would object?

In Communist countries, the media is controlled; its job is not to inform folks but to support the government. Journalists who do not comply may be punished or even killed.

Before settling into academia, a former journalism professor of mine worked for a U.S.-based media company and was sent into Communist-dominated Eastern Europe and Russia during what were called the Cold War years. I remember the day (sometime in 1981) that he lectured us on the fact that those who wrote for the media in those countries were not journalists in the American or Western European sense of the word but merely propagandists.

He reported that even saving newspaper clippings was not allowed, as the facts in news stories were often changed on a day-by-day basis to serve the interests of those in power. He knew of instances where old ladies had been sent to the Soviet/Communist version of a concentration camp, in Siberia, for wrapping their family dishes in old newspapers for storage purposes.

In Communist countries, the government owns you, right down to your old newspapers.

These facts should be taught in Civics and History classes in junior high if not in grade school, but evidently they are not.

Recently in Italy, Texas, parents were asked to buy shirts for their students in sympathy with a band program. The program had to do with Russian composers. Red shirts were ordered (the international color of Communism) with the words "RED" in capital letters stenciled in white over the red T-shirt. In the "D" of the T-shirt was the hammer and sickle, a symbol of Communism.

I have been told by an Italy school board member that the shirts were ordered from a UIL-approved catalog. How very sad on so many fronts. If that is true, this is far more than a local issue. Even Russia is no longer Communist. The Russian flag is now three-colored and no longer includes the hammer and sickle, the most hated symbol since the swastika of Nazi Germany.

Communist Gulags (concentration camps) and firing squads were responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of innocent people from Eastern Europe to Russia and China. Ironically in this case, teachers – as well as poets, political activists, the religious, and even old women who wrapped their dishes in newspapers – died at Communist hands or were beaten and starved, just short of death, in the lands of the hammer and sickle.

According to local reports, the offending Commie and possibly UIL-approved T-shirts are now gone, but how about the underlying problem? Italy, Texas, is a nice small town full of hard-working people. I’m almost sure we have no Communist teachers, so if this lack of historical literacy has taken root here, it probably has in other places, too. This is about more than T-shirts; it is about a dangerous philosophy and American apathy and ignorance.

If we do not even recognize the symbols, would we recognize the ideas?

Paul D. Perry        This article was originally published, in a slightly different version, in the Waxahachie Daily Light

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written by G S , October 10, 2011

One of the great events in world history was the triumph of individual over the regimented society, the defeat of Communism by the Free World. Still the siren lure of Socialism (we’re for the people) continues to seduce the unwary. It’s been a disaster wherever it’s been tried. Argentina, India, Greece, Portugal, etc. Between 1980 and 1997, the U. S. created 30,000,000 private sector jobs, the European Union created none. A move away from Socialism to a market based economy in China has lifted 200,000,000 people out of poverty. In the U. S. this neo-Socialism has given us Aid To Dependent Children (which virtually destroyed the family unit) and homeownership for those who can’t afford it (which was the root cause of the current economic malaise).

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