Category Archives: Heroes and Heroism

A Decent Human Being with a Gun

24 January 2017. Thomas Yoxall, age 43, tattooed and pierced, was driving West on Interstate 10 near Tonopah, Arizona. He saw a man (later identified as Leonard Penneles-Escobar) ‘savagely’ beating an Arizona State Trooper (Edward Andersson). Mr. Yoxall could not ignore the situation and stopped.

He called to the man beating the trooper, presumably to stop beating the trooper. The man kept beating the trooper and Mr. Yoxall fired his personally owned sidearm at the attacker, stopping the attack. While tending the trooper, Mr. Penneles resumed the attack on Trooper Andersson; Mr. Yoxall fired one more round, incapacitating Mr. Penneles permanently; Penneles died later from his wounds.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Girls and Boys; Mr. Thomas Yoxall is the sort of man to be admired and encouraged. Seeing a serious problem, he acted swiftly and surely. Victorious in the conflict, he declines the title ‘hero’ and says the aftermath of killing another human is difficult mentally and emotionally.

A telling comment, Mr. Yoxall says he was “…put there by God.” A good man clinging to his guns and his God.

Not much else to say.


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Filed under Civilization, Crime, Firearms and their use, God, Heroes and Heroism

How Much Do Your Mayor Have in Grapes?

If you have not heard what the Major of Jerusalem did concerning the knifer a day or so ago, you live a protected life.

Check out the reports. His Honor, the Mayor (if that’s the appropriate title in Jerusalem) wrestled the knife wielding man to the ground. Yes, his bodyguard was armed and present, but the Mayor was empty handed.

He’s on the ‘free beer’ if he shows up list.

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Filed under Civilization, Crime, Heroes and Heroism, Nation, Political Correctness, Politics, Uncategorized

The Different Between the Doctor (Who?) and God

I watched the season premiere of Dr. Who? and the debut of Peter Capaldi as the ‘new’ Doctor.  I really like Matt Smith as the Doctor.  Even a little better than Jon Pertwee, who was my favorite Doctor, but was moved to second with Matt Smith.  I think I will like the 12th Doctor (actually the 13th including the War Doctor); but the first episode is always a bit chaotic in terms of character development.

However, this began me thinking – always a dangerous business.  The Doctor – as all fans know – is a Gallifreyan.  He is extremely long-lived – he ‘regenerates’ periodically and very smart.  As such, the Doctor is a rather god-like character.  Sort of like Q from ‘Star Trek:  The Next Generation”.

However, I have noted some differences and distinctions between God and the Doctor.  I thought I’d share them.

God is Eternal, the Doctor is not.  The Doctor has been around for a very long time.  He is old, the result of many years lived.  He is probably older than most living things on Earth, trees included.  However, the Doctor is NOT immortal.  He mentioned his birth, his parents, his upbringing and so forth.  He expects to end his existence.  Indeed his last ‘regeneration’ was to be his last – until the script writer saved him with a plot twist.  But he makes no pretensions to immortality in the absolute sense.

God makes no mistakes.  God commits no errors; everything He does is correct and in agreement with His Divine plan.  Some folks claim God does make mistakes, but upon further investigation, they mean God does things the detractor doesn’t like.  The Doctor on the other hand admits making errors.  He usually learns from them, but still they are made from time to time.  In fact the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) admits to making ‘many’ mistakes and feels he must do something about it.  The Doctor can nearly always extricate himself from problems – sometimes ending in tragedy – but only after several mistakes or blunders en route.

God does not require a TARDIS.  For new or non-fans, the TARDIS is a device called ‘Time and Relative Dimensions in Space’.  It is his home and vehicle, all in one.  Due to a malfunctioning ‘chameleon circuit’ the device is always shown as a 1950s era British Police call box.  This device allows the Doctor to travel anywhere in time or space.  It is a neat bit of technology.  I would love to have such a device, preferably with instruction manual and a full time technician.  However, God does not need a blue box to get around.

The Doctor Who? series has been on television for over fifty years now.  There have been a number of script writers.  According to one wiki entry, there are eighty-nine different credited writers (some of whom are pseudonyms).  God writes all His own scripts.

Similar to the above, God does all His own stunts.

The Doctor is an Anglophile.  All the people who portray him are from the British Isles.  God is not quite so exclusive these days.  At one time, God favored the Hebrews, but He seems to have broadened His franchise since the time of Jesus.

There are other differences.  But this is offered as a somewhat light hearted view of the matter.


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Filed under Christianity, Doctor Who, Heroes and Heroism


As has been mentioned casually, your humble servant worked for twenty-two years as a uniformed officer of the U. S. Customs Service – and after a governmental re-organization, the U. S. Customs and Border Protection agency.  Part of my duties were to seek out, detect, seize merchandise – including contraband – imported contrary to law and apprehend those responsible.

Obviously I looked for smugglers.

I cannot remember the date anymore.  I should have noted the date and time, but I didn’t.  I remember it was after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  That makes it post 1991 at least.  But it was in the early 90’s as I recall.  It’s been a while.

I was working the day shift at the Port of Entry at Los Angeles World Airport in the Bradley Building.  I had a job ‘floating’, that is, moving from arriving flight to arriving flight, observing and questioning passengers to determine if any required further attention.  Not a serious morning; as I recall most of the flights were from Europe and nothing of consequence.

One young man was approaching and I approached him, asking for his passport and Customs form.  He had it very handy and presented them with a cheerful smile.  I asked him his business and he told me he was a representative of “Open Doors”.  My lightening fast brain started whirring as the memories in my head bubbled forth.  Okay, it might have been a squeal instead of a whir, a minor amount of smoke and one memory fell out of my ear.  But it was a good one.

“You’re one of the smugglers!”  I said with my winning smile.

The young man looked slightly ‘stricken’ for just a moment, then remembered where he was and the smile returned.  “Yes”, he said, shaking my outstretched hand and warming up, “We are.”

I asked the obvious question, “Is he here today?”  My interviewee immediately said, “Oh, yes…” looking about he said, “He’s over there by the front of the [examination belt], heading for the door.”  Oddly, he didn’t point; one acquires habits like that.

I looked where the gentleman directed and saw a very ordinary looking man in a business suit walking purposely toward the exit.  Without breaking stride, he turned and waved.  He knew someone was looking at him.

The man in question is  now identified as Andrew van der Bijl.  However, for many years – I first found out about him in the late 1960s, he worked under an the alias of ‘Brother Andrew’.  I was not then, nor am I now surprised when he made me in the Customs hall.  He was and is the most successful smuggler in the modern world.  (Possibly in the ancient world as well; such things are hard to evaluate.)  For over thirty years – closer to forty – Brother Andrew smuggled Bibles into Communist block countries and delivered to trusted Christian contacts.  He was never caught.

He’s still in the business, by the way.  Check out the website  – – for current details.  He co-wrote an autobiography in the middle 1960’s called God’s Smuggler, detailing his youth and career.  It reads like a James Bond novel, except no one gets killed and he doesn’t sleep with any women, let alone three or four.

Once, I was about thirty-five feet from shaking hands with Brother Andrew and I missed him.  I don’t feel too bad, the Soviets couldn’t get him in nearly forty years.


Filed under Bible, Christianity, Heroes and Heroism, Uncategorized

A Thought About Veterans’ Day

11 November, a day to remember those who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States, and, honor the memory of those who died while serving.

My great-grandfather and my great-great-grandfather both served in the same regiment (one of the Pennsylvania Volunteer regiments) in the Civil War. Both survived and went home following that conflict. Two of my uncles served in the Second World War – and survived. I served – rather modestly – during the Vietnam era. My two sons have both served more recently. We all came home reasonably unscathed. All of us lost people we knew and liked. They served as well, to the point of “… the last full measure of devotion.”

They are dead. Some died in combat, some of mis-adventure – both in service and civilian life – some simply of time and several of us are still alive. But we will eventually pass on into eternity; no mistake about that.

Death comes to all. Just understand that; everybody dies, sooner or later. In this, I must agree with some of the more ‘primitive’ cultures of Earth: The manner of death – the reason for death, dying in honor circumstances – is far more important than the mere fact of death. Facing one’s mortality is far better than hiding from it.

Which brings me to those who refused to serve.

During the Vietnam era, there were many who evaded military service – in fact, service of any sort. I’m not talking about a real conscientious objector, who for reasons of conviction could not harm another human being. I frankly do not understand the thinking of such, but I have known such people and respect them. The few I knew offered and served in other capacities – including my father in law who accepted military service as a medic, unarmed. (He too, lived to end his enlistment honorably and lives honorably now. Another man served in civilian life in medical service in lieu of active military service.

No, I’m talking about those who willfully evaded military service due to – and I frankly can think of no other concept – cowardice. They were unwilling to risk life and limb in the service of the United States simply out of selfish self-preservation. Cowards. Probably none of whom are reading this – as they refuse to face up to much of what I believe and prefer to hide from the truth of many things.

Sadly, our ‘society’ elected to encourage such behavior. The excuses were – and are – many. Most of the noblest sounding – and hollow – excuses being a revulsion for war and killing. As if those who served held some relish for war and killing; the standard lie the coward tells himself to excuse his cowardice.

The high (or low) point of this societal encouragement occurred when President Carter issued his infamous ‘amnesty’ for draft evaders on 21 January 1977. In doing so, President Carter dismissed the sacrifice of service of many Americans and desecrated the memory of every U. S. serviceman who died in service. His attempt to ‘heal’ U. S. society was done by belittling all the men and women who obeyed the law and honored their duty to the nation.

Duty. Now that’s a dirty word, isn’t it?

Since the day of President Carter’s betrayal of U. S. servicemen, the leftist faction of the U. S. has ceaselessly worked for the ideals of selfishness and betrayal of basic moral principles. That’s a bit of mis-statement; they had been working for such long prior and will continue such efforts far into the future. Among the moral principles denigrated is that of duty. One dictionary defines duty as “…something that one is expected or required to do by moral or legal obligation.” President Carter’s stance was to ignore the meaning of duty and replace it with ‘service to Leftist goals.’

Eventually, the left won the Vietnamese conflict by functionally surrendering to the Communist forces in South East Asia. This allowed the Pol Pot regime to murder millions of people in Cambodia and the establishment of the communist government in Laos. The withdrawal of the U. S. from Vietnam set the example of running from conflict – based on the premise that dying abroad as a U. S. serviceman was an unthinkable idea. Which stems from the root abandonment of any sort of moral conviction that might contravene self-focused survival.

Of course, this leads to the plight of the United States today. U. S. society – as defined by the leftist controlled ‘media’ – lauds the selfishness of the individual. Unless, of course, that ‘selfishness’ is expressed by a desire by those who work to enjoy the fruits of their labors. Voting to tax those who work to provide spending money to those who don’t somehow doesn’t qualify as ‘selfish’; that is – according to the grasping non-productive left – ‘fairness’.

Back to Veterans’ Day.

Will we honor those who have served the United States or not? How can anyone pretend to honor those men and women who have served – voluntarily or not – honorably while denigrating their service and sacrifice? How can anyone pretend to honor veterans and simultaneously work to destroy the foundational principles of the United States? If anyone wishes to honor veterans, they must also honor the principles of duty, self-sacrifice and service to God, country and others as well – even those who make more money.

As for the surviving draft-dodgers, I leave you with a slightly amended version of the words of Samuel Adams:

“If ye love [life at any cost] better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude [to cowardice] better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which [keep your miserable existence going]. May your chains [of cowardice and self-centeredness] set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen [who contributed to the current nature of unrest about the world and national failure].”

If you are one of those who ran from service and now regret your cowardice, good. Now act like you mean it and stand for decency and duty in place of comfort and security. If it means anything, I accept you. It’s not like I haven’t screwed up on occasion.


Filed under Christianity, Civilization, Heroes and Heroism, Political Correctness

I Lost a Hero

For a good long while, one of my personal heroes has been Dr. Stephen Hawking.

Not only has he outlived the hideous effects of motor neuron disease, but in doing so has established himself as a cosmologist and theoretical physicist of the highest order. He is the most important single scientist since Albert Einstein, and possibly since Sir Issac Newton. (Time will tell, of course. Such things require much evaluation to determine.)

However, as smart as Dr. Hawking shows himself, he shows a serious lack of intellectual ability in other matters. First, he is an atheist. The lack of intellectual ability demonstrates in that he recently published a theory – based largely on conjecture – which argues against the existence of God by ignoring some basic principles of physics (primarily the first and second laws of thermodynamics – conservation of matter/energy and entropy). The theory also postulates the existence of an eternal (which ignores entropy) ‘mega-universe’ which is uncreated and infinite. All this is to justify his denial of Almighty God. That’s a serious intellectual faux pas.

The second is more concrete: He has refused to travel to Israel under the willfully ignorant belief that the Islamic terrorists and hate-mongers firing explosives at Israeli schools, shopping malls and hospitals is on the same level as the Israeli government blowing up those Islamist terror bases from which the explosives are launched.

The formal excuse is the Israeli government ‘occupies’ land belonging to the Palestinians. This is silly on several grounds. Not the least reason is there are no such thing as ‘Palestinians’; no such country has ever existed. The modern area known as “Palestine” was created by the United Nations simultaneously with the nation of Israel in 1948. Since then, Israel has become a wealthy and productive state while ‘Palestine’ remains a pest hole who depend on Israel for all their electricity and clean water. The land ‘occupied’ by Israel is land ‘Palestine’ lost in warfare attempting to destroy Israel. Not to mention Israel has given much of that land back to ‘Palestine’

Back to Dr. Hawking. The inability to see the simple facts of what goes on in the middle east is a scary demonstration of willful ignorance. Much the same as the inability to recognize the existence of God.

I will probably continue to read Dr. Hawking’s books and articles. He is a reliable and well thinking scientist. But his monstrous inability to deal with reality cast doubt on his conclusions. He is no longer a hero.

Which actually makes me rather sad.


Filed under God, Heroes and Heroism, Islam, Political Correctness

Wondering What My Dog is Thinking

Her name is Blondie. She’s a Yellow Labrador-Pit Bull mix as far as I can tell.

We live in Nebraska. It is 2nd January 2013 here in the Central Plateau and at this hour, about 1930 and dark out, the temperature is around 28 degrees Fahrenheit. What strikes me as butt freezing weather. Not a good night for the likes of me to be out and about not protected by an automobile or other enclosed and heated device.

Blondie wanted a treat. (She probably wants another now, but she’s nearly as fat as I, so she isn’t getting one.) So I gave her a treat and then she wanted out. Into the 28 degree dark she goes. Why?

She stays outside for a bit. She eats her treat and wanders around in the back yard – full of cold and dark. She’s quiet, but quite ready to bark at anything she deems to be intruding on her territory. Then she casts her mind back to long ago and why she likes being outside in dark and cold…

She remembers when her kind were wolves. Not just wolves, but dire wolves. She remembers back to dark and cold times when her kind hunted and foraged for survival. She is cunning and determined and resourceful. She sniffs the night air and can smell other things in the dark. Other wolves – at least neighborhood dogs – and prey; some of the rabbits that live in the neighborhood. Possible enemies encroaching on her hunting territory – various cats out looking about and squirrels. Except the squirrels are diurnal and have the sense to be home in their nests by now.

She is no longer Blondie, but Bonecrusher a scout for the pack, and the best scout in all of dire wolfdom. She is fearless and unbeatable.

Then her feet get cold and it’s time to go back inside.

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Filed under Dogs, Heroes and Heroism, Speculation