John Livingston News

If not now, when? If not you, who?

There is a sign in the Army locker room at West Point with a quote from General George Marshall in WWII. It says, “I want an officer for a secret and dangerous mission. I want a West Point football player.”

Ideals like duty and virtue are no longer talked about in educational circles today. Critical Race Theory and privilege and wokeness are taught in inclusivity and sensitivity courses in our colleges—even at military schools like the Naval Academy and West Point. The implied duty in each quote to something and others greater than oneself has today taken a back seat to victimhood and “wokeness” If it weren’t for athletic programs at our institutes of higher learning I believe students would have little opportunity to learn these values much less practice them under real-life conditions.

What course of study requires students to get up at 5 AM, 4 days a week all winter long and lift weights and run before even going to class? These students come from all races and nationalities. By working toward a common goal, sweating and suffering side by side they learn to respect each other and themselves. And what keeps them together? What makes them not want to quit? Ans. They don’t want to let their fellow teammate down. Isn’t that the ultimate form of respect? You don’t learn that in sensitivity training. What class is this? Football.

On July 4th, 1881, Tuskegee Institute was founded by Booker T. Washington who brought with him an education philosophy he had learned in Hampton Institute in Virginia. Both schools utilized an academic work philosophy. Students went to class from 8 AM ’til 1 PM. After class, they were required to work on farms or manufacturing plants owned by the University for 4-5 hours a day. In later years athletes who practiced in the afternoon were required to make up their work times in the summer. The point is that work is the common denominator in establishing respect for oneself and for others. When you know how hard you had to work for a college education you value that education. When you know how hard another had to work for that same education you value him/her and their work in a way very different than a person values their college education when they get a student loan that they don’t have to pay off.

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The athletes likewise value themselves and each other because they recognize the sacrifice and work that goes into their education. This is one of many great lessons that athletics teach—the value of work and shared sacrifice. And no matter what the future holds for people who understand this great lesson—from Tuskegee in the Jim Crow era came many judges and chemists and doctors and bankers and businessmen who took their values into their communities and built great companies and made great discoveries—think about George Washington Carver’s discovery and patents on plastics, they always will have their own self-respect. They understand the value and work they have put into their own lives. They also value and respect others who have made those same sacrifices. At Tuskegee, there never has been a place for the “bigotry of low expectations” The pursuit of individual and team excellence lifts all boats

I see many of the values and virtues that are the underpinning of our society being lost in a world of ‘feelings and intuition”. Empathy and sympathy are replacing compassion—which is an action that requires effort. Saying you care about someone—as Billy Clinton used to say “I feel your Pain” accomplishes nothing. Passing a homeless person in the street and saying I paid my taxes and I am helping you does nothing. Compassion requires work and getting one’s hands dirty. Saying I am sorry because my great grandfather owned slaves accomplishes nothing. Virtue signaling is another form of false caring. Confessing that one is sorry for their whiteness accomplishes nothing. Did you make you white? God made you white. You never have to apologize for God? I guess if one were an atheist that wouldn’t matter. hmmmmmmmmm

If you want to understand how the next guy feels work in a lumberyard or a sawmill or frame houses, or be a cook or a waitress for a few summers. You would learn far more about diversity than sitting by the country club swimming pool waiting for your college loan debts to be forgiven.

I reread a book last weekend called THE JUNCTION BOYS about a 10-day summer practice session at Junction Texas that Paul Bear Bryant conducted his first year as head coach at Texas A&M, 120 boys started camp, and 32 came back—the rest quit. The conditions were brutal. I imagine few parents or the kids themselves today would put up with such conditions. But remember these were the sons of parents who had survived the Great Depression, The Dust Bowl, and WWII. 60 years later the accomplishments of those players—none of them great athletes or scholars is incredible. Judges, CEOs of fortune 500 companies, and governors, several geologists of international acclaim, chemists and physicists, and engineers. And 60 years later when asked they all said the most important part of their education at Texas A&M was the 10 days they spent at Junction. And the people that survived deeply loved and respected each other. When asked what was accomplished? They answered uniformly—”One Heart Beat”. It didn’t matter if they were white, Hispanic, or Native American. How many people teaching diversity classes at BSU / ISU / UI have the leadership skills to teach or demand—”One Heart Beat”? You don’t win a popularity contest or score high on a teacher evaluation form when teaching those kinds of tough life lessons.

Until we in this country are willing to all work and sacrifice, we will not have “one heartbeat”. AS long as politicians are willing to give away free stuff and forgive student loans, and place their own quest for power above their responsibilities of asking us to ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country” we will remain a lost tribe. The foundation for “inclusivity” should be shared values and shared work”. Anything else is “fluff”

It is time for Christian Conservatives to get back to the work of teaching and practicing virtues. We must take our country back from the “regressive” narcissists.

If not now, when? If not you, who?

“Fight Like Hell”

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5 replies on “If not now, when? If not you, who?”

Dr Livingston, with all due respect, I don’t think it is the “regressive” narcissist we have to worry about, it is the collectivists with all of their isms, whether it is Marxism, Socialism, Communism or Egalitarianism. Many don’t understand, this is a fight between individualists whose position is exemplified in the COTUS and collectivists whose ideas are grounded in such texts as “The Communist Manifesto” and “Das Capital”. We can’t really fight if we don’t understand who we are fighting. Saying we have to fight “regressive” narcissists doesn’t hit the mark in my opinion. I do like your commentary on KIDO. I am retired USAF and am sickened by the level of degradation the US military has seen in the last 40 years.

In addition, we must put military leaders in charge who understand the “Art of War” and how the elements of war must align with weapons procurement. Here is a letter I wrote to the President before the coup.

Dear Mr. President,
I would like to begin by offering condolences on the passing of your brother. May he rest in
peace and-as you said in your statement-may you and he meet again one day.

I write regarding some military issues. In light of your oft-stated concern for military
preparedness, and recent developments on the global stage, I write regarding the type of force that I believe would likely serve U.S. interests in twenty-first century foreign policy.

Of course, certain principles underlie the successful prosecution of military conflicts. Although
these principles have been modified-and restated—-over many centuries, they have not fundamentally changed. These principles include-among others-Mass, Objective, Speed, Maneuver, Simplicity, Morale, Economy of Force, and Surprise. The principles are followed, to some greater or lesser extent, by most conventional armies. Any military may emphasize some of these principles, and de-emphasize others, depending on time, place, and adversary. Irregular armies, armies that employ guerrilla tactics, and liberation movements, for example, may choose not to employ most of the principles, or change them as appropriate. For example, the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and the Viet Cong (VC) and Viet Minh
(VM) used predominantly irregular warfare in their wars with France and later the United States. Not until the climactic battles did the Vietnamese armies employ conventional methods of battle. When the NVA entered Saigon in April, 1975, hastening the fall of the South Vietnamese republic, elements of the VC marched alongside them.

Many of the above principles were originally enunciated in Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Not surprisingly, most of the principles are still used by the Chinese military, officially known as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The PLA is, of course, one of the world’s fastest growing, and modernizing militaries. The PLA and its associated industries produce sophisticated weapons systems, and in many cases in abundance, so as to overwhelm an adversary with sheer numerical superiority. All the above notwithstanding, China still relies overwhelmingly on Flexibility and Surprise. ln basic terms, flexibility is the ability to adapt rapidly and efficiently to changed conditions and tactics; surprise is the employment of action for which the adversary is unprepared; surprise often results from deception.

It is my concern that the PLA is building an arsenal for which we may be unprepared at some point in the near future. Our intelligence, not to mention the relevant literature on international military developments, suggests that the PLA is investing significant resources into intelligent, highly maneuverable, fast missiles. Although at this time, China’s missile technology may be repelled by the air defenses of the United States, it is also true that the PLA has recently displayed new and diverse high-tech weaponry, particularly missile technology. Employed in large numbers, for instance several thousand simultaneously, the defenses that defend our large slow-moving tankers, planes, and ships could be overwhelmed and our losses could be significant. Indeed, this is a contemporary example of the massing of forces to achieve success, such as happened at the Battle of Carrhae two millennia ago. At that battle, a numerically superior army of the Roman Republic was badly defeated by an army of the Parthian Empire, whose archers overwhelmed the Romans with massive barrages.

It has often been said that military establishments, in preparing for battle, prepare to “fight the last war.” In so doing, they neglect to address developments that took place between the previous war and potential future wars. This kind of thinking resulted in the belief that the fortified Maginot Line would deter or, in the event of war defeat, a German invasion of France; or the belief that bombing North Vietnam back to the Stone Age would achieve victory. Our failure to heed the lessons of military history could have long-lasting negative results, enabling China to achieve one of its overriding strategic aims: to supplant America as the dominant power in the Asia-North Pacific region. This may well affect the military budget and, to the extent that it is necessary to modify spending priorities in order to address the growing military threats from China, particularly the threats from the new missile technology described above, such changes need to be made.

Al from Ontario

Dear Al from Ontario
I agree with your analysis except that it was the “regressive”—progressive is wrongly used in this context, narcissists =”snowflakes” who put their own “feelings” about Mr. Trump’s mannerisms ahead of what was best for the country. The suburban vote flipped even while our side got a higher percentage of minority voters. Feelings were more important than the faculties of reason and logic. The virtue signaling was not signaling virtue but signaling ignorance of the dangers of collectivism and coercive interventions by those who themselves have no virtue—BLM/CRT/LGBT/Right to life/deniers of self protection or anyone of the “isms” you mention. Atheistic, utopian promises of equality and a better life never work out.

Dear Doctor Livingston
Let me first give you a breakdown of how I see those who are pushing the Marxist, anti-conservative agenda. I believe those people fall into two distinct categories, the Marxist ideologues and the useful idiots (Those who are seen to unwittingly support a malignant cause through their naive attempts to be a force for good). Not to be condescending to any American citizen, but it seems to me, the useful idiot is not capable of original ideas and only follows those who have a keen sense of how to manipulate the political narrative through emotions. Marxist ideologues are the movers and the shakers, the ones who have the charismatic power and the emotional levers with which they can mold the thought processes of useful idiots. So I would argue that we need to take back our country from those who know what they are doing, the Marxist ideologues, who, in many instances, themselves masquerade as useful idiots in order to disguise their true drive toward totalitarian collectivism.

Will collectivism or individualism, as personified in the COTUS, be the ideological foundation of America; that is the question which only God can answer. I hope we can share the message of conservatism with the uninformed because only a nation based on conservative principles can survive in my opinion. We owe it to those poor souls you and I have seen in SAMC and those from previous wars to get this right and reestablish a Constitutional America as bequeathed to us by our forefathers.

Dear Doctor Livingston
I do think these snowflakes, useful idiots, narcissists, or just plain dupes, are going to rue the day they chose to prioritize mannerisms over substance. It looks like Biden is letting the inflation Genie out of the bottle and for those who haven’t read the book “Dying of Money, lessons of The Great German Inflation” I would highly recommend that book. I am rereading it now and I am flabbergasted at the parallels I am seeing today.

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