John Livingston


In November of 2002, I sat down in the ICU at St. Al’s after a long night of operating and trauma call. I tried to read one of my “op Notes” from a surgery that I had done about 5 hours earlier. Though I dictated the note, the grammar, syntax, disjointed paragraphs, and sentences were hard to understand. Subsequent handwritten notes in the chart that I had written throughout the night were likewise almost incoherent.

After 30 years of practicing and studying medicine and surgery, my language and writing skills were embarrassing. I pledged to myself that from that day forward I would write 750 words a day in a journal. When I retired 12 years later some of those entries were reproduced in the Idaho Freedom Foundation, Idaho Politics Weekly, Gem State Patriot, and Redoubt News. I would especially like to thank Robert Neugebauer for his mentorship and encouragement. I hope that over the past 20 years I have learned to better express myself on paper. Thank God for spell check and the several writing tools I use to proofread. I would also like to thank many of the readers who have given guidance — both constructive and destructive, especially Launa Jutzy.

What I have learned is that words when used correctly have meaning. When they make us think and rethink our beliefs, they are powerful. Many times, they are used to evoke emotions and feelings and when used this way they are even more powerful. It is up to the reader to discern how best to process what we read. Most dangerous of all is when words evoke emotions that keep us from thinking. A letter, a post, an article in the end is really a conversation between the author and the reader.

The pictures in our minds that an author paints, comes from our own experiences. That is why different people can read the same words and come away with a different opinion about what the words mean. A shared experience, for example a common faith, will evoke a shared understanding of the words that an author creates. A faith in God and Biblical principles serves for many Christians as the predicate for understanding the words in our Founding Documents. It tells us where our rights come from and what those Natural Rights are. For non-believers and humanists and understanding of Natural Law Principles and origins can almost serve the same purpose — for example Ayan Rand was an atheist/ humanist who believed in Natural Law.

I found two quotes in The Wall Street Journal Weekend book reviews that made me both think and feel. They come from self-avowed “secularists”, that seem to speak to my own life experience. The first from CONVERSATIONS WITH STALIN by Milovan Djilas:

“Engineers of the human spirit gladly forget about conscience, all the more so because any appeal to conscience (or virtue — mine) would be dangerous to their own careers and fate”

Why do smart people go along with the crowd? Are they afraid for their jobs or their families or their professional careers? Conscience requires the application of virtue. These virtues are predicated for most Americans on Biblical and Natural Law Principles. To reject those principles for short term convenience only complicates the future of our children and grandchildren. Felicity, material security, are never substitutes for being honest to ourselves and to our individual and collective principles. The progressive “engineers of the human spirit” know how to manipulate our hearts and minds. They claim no predicate of conscience for their positions.

The second quote comes from a book by none other than Madeleine Albright — FASCISM A WARNING.

“Both Fascism and Communism have utopian aspirations… When economic and social conditions deteriorate the lure of a gifted pied piper can be hard to resist”

Both quotes make us think and feel. I wish I had the talent to create such sentences. We all can see that creating the illusion of fear and then telling the people that you are the solution to that fear — most of the time this fear is an illusion and not real, is almost always premeditated and purposeful. Covid, global warming, Y2K, George Soros creating chaos in our cities supporting organizations like BLM and prosecutors who don’t prosecute, a governor of our state and task forces and health boards of “experts” are political “pied pipers” who knowingly or unknowingly are trying to “engineer our human spirit”.

Here is one last quote from Rudyard Kipling:

“If drunk with sight of power we have,
And shouting have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the gentiles’ use,
And lesser men without the law
Have Mercy on thy people Lord”

My hope today is that the words I write will not only make the reader think and feel but inspire them to act… now. If not you who? If not now when? Thanks for reading, thinking, and feeling. MIGA

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