Poison Pero is RIGHT!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

A History of New Year's

Original Post @ Cojoweb

January 1st is considered New Years Day in today's society. But this is a fairly new concept because up until the time of Julius Caesar, the Romans celebrated the New Year in March because it was the first month in the Roman calendar. However, January 1 marked the time when the Romans changed their governmental figures and new consuls were inducted into office. And, they had games and feasting to help celebrate the new officials. But, they still used March 1 as their official mark of the new year and had a festival to their god, Mars (God of War).

It was Caesar who changed the Roman New Year's Day to January 1 in honor of Janus, (God of all beginnings and gate keeper of heaven and earth). Janus was always depicted with two faces: One looking back to the old year (past) and one looking ahead to the new year (future). One of the customs in the festival honoring Janus was to exchange gifts and then make resolutions to be friendly and good to one another.

When Constantine ruled the Romans and accepted Christianity as their new faith, they kept the Festival of Janus as the New Years Day ( Not March as before) and turned it into a day of prayer and fasting and not parties etc. It was a day for all good Christians to turn over a new leaf. However, the Romans may have accepted January 1 and Janus as the New Year, but many did not accept the turning over a new leaf, prayer and fasting part of it.

However, even in 1582, Great Britian and the English colonies in America still kept March for the beginning of the year. (Spring as a beginning?) It wasn't until 1752 that Britian (and it's colonies) adopted the new Gregorian calendar and January 1 as the beginning of the year. But many Puritans in New England felt Janus was an offensive pagan god and chose to simply ignore January 1 as a New Years Day. Instead they just made the entire month of January as "The First Month" of the months.

And, today no one really considers January 1 a fasting day. Ironically, for many it is a major day of feasting on junk food and watching football games on television.

How did New Year's Resolutions all begin?
Once again, we go back to the wild and crazy parties of the ancient Romans. :) They indulged themselves in alcoholic and sexual excess as a way of acting out all the chaos that they hoped a new year would get rid of. So, the New Year's festival was a way to start over. By purging yourself of all this so-called excess energy and confessing your sins, there was a hope that you would be much better in the next year ahead.

Now, the Puritans never did approve of all this New Year's hoopla. So of course they went for this religious renewal of cleanse, purge, fast, confess idea. So they encouraged young people not to waste the new year on foolish things but to use it as an opportunity to make a good change in their lives for the good. So, like some Christians, they made New Year's vows or pledges focused on overcoming their own weaknesses, to enhance their god-given talents and to make them better citizens to others.
The custom of making New Year's Resolutions came into vogue in the 20th century. But most of it was done with jest and an understanding that they would not be kept (for long anyway) since humans were naturally backsliders by nature to their naughty habits and ways.

The resolutions today are simply a secular version of the religious vows made in the past toward spiritual perfection. They are often made with good intentions and broken with a sense of humor and renewed annually.

The song, 'Auld Lang Syne,' is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the New Year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, it was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scotch tune, 'Auld Lang Syne' literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days."


'Auld Lang Syne'

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
And here's a hand, my trusty friend
And gie's a hand o' thine
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Jeff - RIP (Dec. 29-30)

The day of Jeff's death always brings out a lot of emotions for me - and many others I am sure...I still can't get over how young he was when he died, nor the way he perished.  But it is what it is.

I recently came across the picture above - a celebration we had with the family for Jeff's 30th birthday.  It was a great event, and one we need to repeat more often...We all had a great time, eating and doing shots in Jeff's honor, recalling the fun times we had with our son, brother, grandson, uncle, cousin, nephew and friend.  And we all cried it out when we realized it was time to go home - I don't think any of us had thought ahead to the reality of how painful it was going to be to end the event - realizing Jeff wasn't leaving with us.  That is what it is as well.

When looking at this picture, I remembered another thing, and that is us four are the last of our male line of Caruthers...Jeff was our last hope for another boy.  Unfortunately, he never had any children.  I'm betting he would have been a good father.  I know he wanted to be a dad, and to be a good one.  But it is what it is, and it wasn't meant to be.

Grandpa, my dad and I are far to old to be responsibly having any more kids - though I do root for grandpa finding a filly to take one last shot at it.  LOL!...And I'm also not going to count it if any of our daughters or granddaughters lose their mind and go trans - becoming a 'boy' carrying our name.  I hope us Caruthers die out without ever getting this nuts, but our country has lost its mind and maybe one of ours will opt to join the open-air-insane-asylum which is all around us.  I pray this is never what it is.

So, the picture you see above is truly the last of our branch of the Caruthers...It's too bad, but it is what it is.

I love and miss you, Brother...I think of you often - I hope somehow you know that this is what it is as well.


Sunday, December 24, 2017

A History of Christmas

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.' Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.' When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.' So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them." - Luke 2:1-18

I am not a Christian, but as a historian and someone who lives in the Western world I am thankful for the values which have sprung from the birth and death of Jesus Christ...Regardless of how I feel about him as a man - or as more than a man.

I hope you will read the article below.  It is an exceptional history of Christmas - from ancient to modern times, with a special section on Christmas in the U.S.

By:  Mark Alexander


Saturday, December 23, 2017

Greeting Cards for My Friends

To My Liberal Friends:  Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2017, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishes.

To My Conservative Friends:  Merry Christmas! And a Happy New Year!
**I don't know where these 'Greeting Cards' originated, but not even Hallmark has made two that are more appropriate.

Have a Very Merry Christmas...Or 'whatever-it-is' Liberals want to call it.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really alright,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me."

"My Gramps died at Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram' always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam,'
And now it is my turn and so, here I am."

"I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile."

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue...an American flag.

"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."

"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

CDR Jeff Giles, USN


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

'The Christmas Truce'

Think Christmas isn't special?  Well, what else could stop a World War?  Even if for only a day.

"On Christmas Eve, the soldiers in the field agreed not to fire on one another.  That night, on a front where five days earlier there had been savage fighting the guns fell silent."


Sunday, December 17, 2017

What REAL Americans Do During the National Anthem

I figured I'd jump into Christmas week on a super upbeat note...There is no better way to do this than seeing REAL Americans showing their respect and pride in our GREAT COUNTRY.

And nothing gives me more hope for the future of our country than to see THESE AMAZING YOUNG PEOPLE...They truly are our only hope for getting out of the mess we have spent over 50-years creating.

Thursday, December 14, 2017


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

U.S. National Guard's 381st Birthday

Yes, you read that correctly - 381st birthday...The National Guard was in existence before the American Revolution.

I could have put together a post honoring the Guard, or found a wonderful article on its history, but the video below is much better than anything I could have done or found...That said, I do recommend you go to the National Guard Home Page to get a history lesson.

When you play the video, listen to the words (even if it's not your favorite type of music), watch the images, and read the captions (the ones on the video, not the ads.  X-out of the ads)...The song and video give me the chills, and presents the National Guard in all its past, present, and future glory  

"Right here underneath my wing, you can rest your head."

"Hope and pray that you never need me, but rest assured I will not let you down."

"I walk beside you, but you may not see me, the strongest among you may not wear a crown."

"We'll always be ready, because we will always be there."

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Prager University: Just Say "Merry Christmas"

"We teach what isn't taught." - Dennis Prager

This semester of Prager University is presented by:  Dennis Prager

"Is all this elimination of the word Christmas important or not?  The answer is obvious:  It's very important.  That's why so much effort is devoted to substituting other words for Christmas." – D.P.

"The vast majority of Americans who celebrate Christmas, and who treat non-Christians so well deserve better.  So please say 'Merry Christmas.'" - D.P.

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Thursday, December 07, 2017


Wednesday, December 06, 2017

December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor Day ("A date which will live in Infamy")

NOTE: The Flag should be flown at half-staff on Pearl Harbor Day.

Luckily modern-day Liberals weren't Commander-in-Chief at the time

November 25, 1941 - A "war warning" was sent to commanders in the Pacific: Admiral Harold R. Stark, U.S. chief of naval operations, told Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, that both President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull thought a Japanese surprise attack was a distinct possibility.

November 26, 1941 – A Japanese task force left for Pearl Harbor: Admiral Chuichi Nagumo led the Japanese First Air Fleet, an aircraft carrier strike force, toward Pearl Harbor, with the understanding that should "negotiations with the United States reach a successful conclusion, the task force will immediately put about and return to the homeland."

November 28, 1941 - The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise departed from Pearl Harbor to deliver F4F Wildcat fighters to Wake Island.

December 1, 1941 - Japanese Emperor Hirohito signed a declaration of war and War Minister Hideki Tojo rejected U.S. proposals for a Pacific settlement as fantastic and unrealistic.

December 2, 1941 - Japanese Admiral Yamamoto sent his fleet toward Pearl Harbor.

December 2, 1941 - The Japanese First Air Fleet arrived at 43 N, 158 30' E, c. 3,200 miles NW of Pearl Harbor.

December 2, 1941 - Hawaii recon aircraft were ordered to search 400 miles, NW to S only.

December 2, 1941 - Roosevelt asked Japan to clarify its intents with regard to French Indochina.

December 4, 1941 - The U.S. Navy Department ordered Guam to destroy all codes and secret documents.

Dec. 6, 1941 - U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt made a final appeal to the Emperor of Japan for peace. There was no reply. Later this same day, the U.S. code-breaking service began intercepting a 14-part Japanese message and deciphered the first 13 parts, passing them on to the President and Secretary of State. The Americans believed a Japanese attack was imminent, most likely somewhere in Southeast Asia.


December 7, 1941 (early AM) - Pearl Harbor was not on a state on high alert. Senior commanders concluded, based on available intelligence, there was no reason to believe an attack was imminent. Aircraft were therefore left parked wingtip-to-wingtip on airfields, anti-aircraft guns were unmanned with many ammunition boxes kept locked in accordance with peacetime regulations. There were also no torpedo nets protecting the fleet anchorage. Since it was Sunday morning, many officers and crewmen were leisurely ashore.

7:55 A.M. (Hawaii time) - A Japanese force of 183 airplanes attacked U.S. military and naval facilities on Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands without warning. For 30 minutes, dive bombers, and torpedo planes struck airfields and naval vessels.

8:40 A.M. - After a 15-minute lull, a second wave of 170 planes launched another attack which lasted one hour.

Casualties to U.S. service personnel: 2,343 killed, 960 missing, and 1,272 wounded; 151 U.S. planes destroyed on the ground and all eight U.S. battleships at anchor in Pearl Harbor were either sunk or damaged. At a cost of only 28 airplanes shot down, the Japanese dealt the U.S. a staggering blow.

Escaping damage from the attack: The prime targets, the three U.S. Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers, Lexington, Enterprise and Saratoga, which were not in the port. Also escaping damage were the base fuel tanks...Coincidental??

Dec. 8, 1941 - The U.S. declared war on Japan.

Dec. 11, 1941 - Germany and Italy, bound by treaty with Japan, declared war on the U.S...The U.S. then declared war on Germany and Italy.

"A Date Which Will Live In Infamy" (Click Here to listen to FDR's address to Congress requesting a declaration of war against Japan.)
WHY DID JAPAN ATTACK THE U.S.?   The prevailing belief within the Japanese military and political establishment was eventually, with the then expected German defeat of Great Britain and Soviet Russia, the United States' non-involvement in the European war, and Japan's control of the Pacific, that the world power structure would stabilize into three major spheres of influence:

1.) The Empire of Japan would control East, Southeast, South Asia and the entire Pacific Ocean.

2.) The combined powers of Germany and Italy would control Great Britain, all of Europe, Western and central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

3.) The United States would control North and South America.

The expected result of the attack was to cripple the U. S. Pacific Fleet for a period of up to eighteen months, preventing aggressive action against imperial forces, with the fleet to later be drawn out into a final battle and destroyed. This goal eluded the Japanese as U.S. forces were acting aggressively in the South Pacific within 60 days and the fleet was fully effective within a year. There was never the kind of massive fleet battle that the Japanese hoped for, and the only one which even closely resembled such a battle resulted in a crushing Japanese loss at the Battle of Midway.

The attack was almost a complete tactical success. By a matter of chance, of the three Pacific Fleet carriers which would normally have been at Pearl that morning, two were at sea on exercises and one was on the U.S. west coast undergoing maintenance. Not knowing the location of these ships, which could have attacked his strike force, caused the Japanese tactical commander (Admiral Nagumo) to withdraw before a planned third strike, sparing the Pacific Fleet submarine force, important maintenance facilities and critical American fuel supplies.

The survival of the repair shops enabled rapid restoration of the fighting capability of the fleet. The carriers, which enabled the first blow to be struck against the Japanese homeland in the Doolittle Raid, proved to be decisive in the Battle of the Coral Sea, where the Japanese forces were turned back in their thrust toward Australia, and proved essential to U.S. success in the Battle of Midway Island, where naval aviation forces from U.S. carriers sank four Imperial carriers.

The attack against Hawaii was in fact the worst possible thing Japan could have done, given its goal of hegemony in the western Pacific. The war plans of the U.S. had written off the defensibility of the Philippines and projected, baring any direct attack against the Philippines or U.S. possessions, a strictly defensive posture against Japan, with the principle effort being directed to the protection of the western hemisphere (particularly the Caribbean and South America) against Germany and a strictly defensive posture in the Pacific to protect Alaska, Hawaii, and the Panama Canal.

The short-term goal of the Japanese was to obtain the oil supplies, rubber, and other strategic materials from the East Indian possessions of the Netherlands, Great Britain, and France. Given the isolationist temperament of the U.S. Congress at the time, it is questionable, even doubtful, the United States would have responded directly to the seizure of those foreign possessions.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a terrible event in American history, but should also be seen as the 'Beginning of the end of WWII.'

The entry of the United States into WWII was inevitable, and should have occurred in 1939, not the end of 1941...This two year period cost the U.S. much, but cost humanity even more, which is something we must always keep in mind.

As far as the tactical victory the Japanese produced at Pearl Harbor: Congratulations. It was a stunning victory, but it was a Pyrrhic victory they were able to enjoy for only a short period of time.

"War is all Hell," and Americans hate it for just that reason...That said, the rest of the world should always keep in mind the American people may be lax, but they are not to be abused. The Japanese brought War to the U.S. The eventual reality was the U.S. brought Hell to the Japanese.

The comments in blue are mine, but the rest of the information above is from many sources, but primarily from the sites below...I did make some alterations to the content - including commentary and combining information between the various sources.

Pearl Harbor Day Page
Naval Historical Center
Library of Congress Pearl Harbor Remembered


Sunday, December 03, 2017

PRAGER UNIVERSITY: JFK - Democrat or Republican?

"Give us five-minutes and we’ll give you a semester." - Dennis Prager

This Semester of Prager University is presented by:  Larry Elder

"I didn't leave the Democratic Party.  The party left me." – Ronald Reagan

"He was one of America's most popular presidents.  Handsome, charismatic, a war hero.  He believed a strong military was the best guarantor of peace.  He explained that cutting taxes was the best way to grow the economy.  He firmly opposed racial quotas, and was horrified at the idea of unrestricted abortions...When he was elected president in 1960, Kennedy's views were considered 'mainstream' in the Democratic Party...Today, if a Democrat advocated the positions on race, taxes, foreign policy, guns and abortion that our 35th President once did, he wouldn't be a Democrat.  He'd belong to that 'other party.'" – L.E.


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