As we prepare to celebrate Christmas 2015, it might serve us well to recall a previous Christmas, one that occurred in 1777, at Valley Forge, Pa. The men who were seeking to break free of the British Crown and form their own--free--nation huddled in the snow there fearing that their Valliant effort might be for naught.
The general who was desperately trying to lead our shivering, rag-tag band of patriots to freedom from the tyranny of King George III, George Washington, went on to lead them, with a little help from his friends from France, to victory and the creation of what was to become a great nation.
The United States of America struggled against great odds, but it grew and prospered, and within time became the leader of the "free world."
Now, fast forward two centuries and nearly four decades, and witness the descendants of these great heroes, and the many other nations who sought, also, to live a better, more free life, stand on a precipice, facing the prospect of seeing their once free, prosperous, and powerful nation brought to its knees by ideologs, and misguided, self-serving citizens.
In this regard, Robert Tracinski, a senior writer for the Federalist web magazine, recently summed up the results of the Barrack Obama presidency.
(The Federalist is not to be confused with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison's The Federalist Papers.)
Tracinski observed that where once America was envied, respected, admired, and even feared; now, in less than one decade, it teeters on the brink of oblivion, despised, distrusted, and reviled by other nations that once respected it and looked to it for succor. All brought about by its own leaders.
Despite all the great leaps forward America has enjoyed, writes Tracinski, it now stands confused and misguided by self-serving ideologs and daydreamers, who steadfastly fail to see that the path down which they've tried to lead their country is a path to humiliation and destruction.
Despite the many victories America has enjoyed in the past half century, greed and blind ideology is plunging this once "Beacon on a hill" into a humiliating and painful end, much of it under the leadership of a man who has blindly, or mischievously, led us down a path of racial tension and division. He has prejudged racial issues, aligned himself with racial bigots and misfits, and turned a blind eye to instances of reverse discrimination.
His stimulus program has plunged us into financial debt. He has thrown away the taxpayers' money on a failed recovery effort, and his efforts at financial reform have created more problems than they have solved.
His ill-thought out "Obamacare" is bankrupting states and failing to produce any reforms in the healthcare delivery system.
Immigration reforms have failed, and have even produced a crisis situation on our borders.
His leadership--or lack thereof--produced a premature withdrawal from Iraq; and his failures to prepare for and react to the "Arab Spring" have allowed the ISIS monster to grow and flourish.
In another quarter, his inability to recognize and respond to the Soviet threat has placed America in a perilous position.
On top of all this, his leadership, or lack thereof, has morally discredited the U.S. in foreign eyes.
Under his leadership, our president has made America irrelevant in the eyes of the rest of the world. He has failed in Europe, he has failed in Asia, in the Middle East, and he has failed in China.
There aren't too many parts of the world in which has not proven to be irrelevant as a leader.
As he prepares to leave the office of the presidency after eight destructive years, Barrack Obama leaves the United States in the worst position it has ever experienced. Little, if any, good has come of this experience in American history. America has been plunged into a quagmire of fearful proportions, one from which it may never extricate itself.
Put that in your Christmas stocking!
Keep an eye on Santa's “helpers”
It's the yuletide season with Santa and all his helpers. But seniors should be wary of an increasing abundance of “helpers” at Christmas time, especially those whose goal it is to help themselves.
As our society becomes more sophisticated, the number of ways scammers can find to help themselves has reached staggering proportions.
Granted, the traditional ways of separating the innocent from their wherewithal at this time of year is vast, but there emerges each year new ways of separating the innocent from their wealth. As an example, the Christmas card has always been an integral part of the Christmas season.
But with the advent of the gift card Christmas card, thieves are now busy finding ways to tamper with the activation code on cards so as to be able to alter them in such a way as to use them to their own advantage.
If you're going to purchase one of these gift cards, make sure that it isn't one that's out on the rack, where everyone has access to it. Be sure that the card you buy is one that has been kept behind the counter; and be sure to get a receipt, as an added means of protection.
If you're going to be ordering gifts to be shipped to your home, be sure that you're home when they arrive; or be sure that someone is required to sign for your package. Insure that someone else doesn't pick up your purchase from your doorstep while you're away from home.
Websites have now become a source for scammers who defraud innocent customers, especially since we've seen such a rise in inter- national retailer websites. Be sure you know from whom you're purchasing your Christmas presents.
Many websites are cleverly designed to look like the real thing; but they're not.
At Christmastime, especially; don't trust anyone you don't know, and don't buy from any source with which you're not familiar.
Also, look for phoney product names that look like well known brands—but aren't.
Also watch out for “giveaways,” lottery winnings, inheritances from overseas; anything that looks too good to be true, usually it is just that.
Christmas should be a time for rejoicing; not for sorrow and regret.
The “Seniors Page” wishes one and all a Merry Christmas; but, don't trust anyone you don't know, and be wary of many whom you do know.