How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words! — Samuel Adams, Letter to John Pitts, January 21, 1776

Good-bye Yellow Brick Road?

September 20, 2012   ·   By   ·   1 Comments

Yellow Brick Road

“When are you gonna come down
When are you going to land
I should have stayed on the farm
I should have listened to my old man

“You know you can’t hold me forever
I didn’t sign up with you
I’m not a present for your friends to open
This boy’s too young to be singing the blues.”

- “Good-bye Yellow Brick Road” - Elton John, Bernie Taupin. (Dick James Music, 1973)

How well I remember this song in the early 70s. As a young First Lieutenant in Germany, I thought I had the world by the tail. My whole generation thought they had the world by the tail. We had had our heads crammed full by our primary and secondary educators and parents about how they had given us the world on a silver platter, and that we had better not mess it up! They were concerned about sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, growing moral relativism, rowdy and mob-like behavior on campus and a growing dissolution in America. College campuses filled with liberal, Leftists and even openly communist professors were our turning minds away from the use of enlightenment reason and logic, and toward collectivism and emotions. But we were largely oblivious, life was exciting. We had a cause. I still do. Do you?

In those days, in a short my 24 year life-span, my world had lived through the Korean War, the dissolution of the British Empire, three Arab-Israeli Wars and a Suez Crisis, President Eisenhower’s steady, strong leadership, Bay of Pigs failure and the subsequent Cuban Missile Crisis, the Space Race, the Vietnam War, and the Slaughter of Israeli Athletes at the Munich Olympics. In 1973, we American Soldiers serving in Germany were called NATO’s Guardians on the Frontiers of Freedom. In truth, we knew that we were only a trip wire. We mostly thought that if the Soviets really decided to launch, we were only a speed-bump standing in their way to Belgium and Normandy. But we also knew that we would fight to the last man rather than wind up in some Soviet prison camp. Would our nation use our theater nuclear deterrent? Would the French Force de Frappe turn out to be another Maginot line? No one really knew. Nixon had retreated from Vietnam “with honor”… or so we were told. The legacy of LBJ’s “guns and butter” spending in Vietnam and on the failed Great Society spending was showing up in the markets, inflation, and investment confidence. The Watergate scandal was threatening to bring down a presidency. Heady days indeed!

Now, 40 years later, and less than a century after World Wars I & II, Korea, Vietnam and a 50 year Cold War [where the US lost a million American lives and trillions, in today's dollars], there are few in America and even fewer in Europe who seem really willing to stand up for free speech and freedom of religion. It is motivated by a fear of growing statism in America and Europe, and Islamic religious totalitarianism worldwide.

But this is not just about Islam. This is about a rapidly burgeoning American crisis too. The growing police-state-like actions of the Obama Administration against those who stand up for freedom of speech and freedom of religion and freedom of assembly ought to be of concern to everyone. In Europe, free speech is but a myth. Dutch Nationalist Geert Wilders was tried in a “show trial” as a criminal in the Netherlands for voicing anti-Islamic “hate speech.” There are many other examples of outrageous statism like this in Europe today, and there always have been. Even thirty years ago in Germany, “free speech” really only existed for the Left … even with the Soviet Union looking at them with feasting eyes. So today, this collectivism is still present. But today, it is being co-opted and manifested in Islamic religious totalitarianism. Today across Europe, no one dare speak out for full spectrum free speech, or dare to criticize Islam.

Ask now what has happened to the right of free speech, free religion and free assembly in the United States in the last twenty years. It is depressing to ponder. This present deplorable state of affairs did not simply spring up under President Obama. It has been a steady drip … drip … drip of erosion and encroachment, especially over the last four Presidents, but it really goes back to FDR and the earlier Progressives. There are numerous outrageous examples of federal government mistakes, and overtly deliberate actions against the citizenry. Here are a few notable examples in modern times:

  • Ruby Ridge mistakes under George H.W. Bush.
  • The shameful return of Elian Gonzales to Cuba and the disastrous Waco Raid under Bill Clinton
  • The implementation of draconian infringements on American freedoms in the name of security under George W. Bush.
  • The unhinged, Left-Anarchist interference with commerce encouraged by Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid
  • The mainstream media and the far Left’s desire to eliminate the right of free assembly and peaceful protest by the Tea Party.
  • The frightful abandonment of traditional American allies under Barack Hussein Obama and his appeasement with inimical foreign countries with incompatible ideologies
  • President Obama, who shares intentions about our nuclear arsenal with Russian leaders that he will not share with us.
  • Telling the current Republican presidential candidate that he must not must not criticize a deeply flawed foreign policy in the Middle East.
  • The increasing tendency to “round up” disagreeable citizens for questioning when government does not like their actions or opinions.
  • The Progressive leadership enforcing their ideology at the expense of the religious conscience and Catholic teaching, and hence all religious freedom through executive fiat.
  • The heavy hand of a Left-wing media that is no longer a Fourth Estate, but rather a propaganda arm for Left-wing politics and the protector of Barack Obama.

As regards Islam: Why are we so tolerant while Islam is not? Islam is not a “new kid on the block.” Islam and the teachings of Mohammed have been with us since the 7th Century A.D. [C.E is P.C. ] Islam is not a new, nine hundred years older than Protestantism. Islam is hundreds of years younger than catholic Christianity and thousands of years younger than Judaism, Hinduism or Buddhism. Is it not odd that after 1,500 years of existence that this religion has not learned to coexist with its fellow religions? While claiming to accommodate all religions, Islam proclaims itself as the Great Religion. Moreover, Islam seeks to destroy the modern USA and Israel, terming them the Big and Little Satan. Islam seeks to proselytize, convert, or kill all who will not submit. I you prefer to live a lowly existence, like a subterranean creature in Plato’s Cave, you can beg for mercy to be allowed to live in the pathetic state of dhimmitude. This is dangerous. After 1,500 years, a “World Religion” that does not respect basic human rights, or tolerate deviation in thought or practice is not great and is not a religion, it is a totalitarian ideology.

What has our citizen response been to the excesses by our American government that infringe upon their freedoms? What has been the citizen response to bending over backwards not to insult Islam at the expense of their own religious beliefs? We have rolled over. Sad to say, modern Americans seem to have a 24 hour, news cycle attention span, if they even pay attention. This is not what we were brought up to believe about America, is it? We have rolled over and given up freedom on a very large and broad scale in many areas for a sense of security. You say, “No, we have not.” O.K., think about these tests.

Test #1:

Tell the TSA you refuse to take off your shoes, or disrobe for their body-probing. Not only will you not get on the plane, you will likely go to jail! Why? Because Government chooses to invade everyone’s privacy searching for the few very isolated criminals and terrorists at the expense of your civil rights.

Test #2:

Take your soap box and go down to your Town Square. Climb up onto your soap box and loudly and caustically begin to criticize Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons, or Atheists. Do you think anyone who disagrees will harm you?


Now, while still on your soap box, speak out again in the same manner. This time, speak critically and caustically against Islam and Mohammed’s Teachings. What do you think would happen? Would you fear for your personal safety?


For this test, take up your pen, or sit down at your computer and write a scathing letter to the editor, or to a magazine, or an on-line commentary site. Speak to the notion of losing your freedoms to an encroaching government. Or, question the legitimacy of the President’s eligibility to be President of the United States according to our U.S. Constitution. Or, challenge the EPA tyranny for denying you your use of land. Or, challenge the abuse of power by the a government that raids the personal home of a citizen who posts a film mocking Islam on the Internet.

In the past did you even dream that government officials might “visit” with you for expressing your views?

Actually, this coercion is not new. It has been going on since the Roosevelt New Deal. Look it up: The National Recover Act of the New Deal. Read from multiple sources about this unconstitutional attempt to progressively collectivize American Agriculture and Industry. Read further about FDR’s subsequent rage and discover his attempt to pack the Supreme Court with additional justices sympathetic to his view in order to legitimize his reign of raw power.

So should we now question our path on the American Yellow Brick Road of Exceptionalism? Should we give into Marxist “historical forces” that Obama cites? Should we treat Barack Obama’s plan to “fundamentally transform America as a done deal? Should we listen to the media tell us that this election is over. Should we lower our expectations for the future? Should job creators close down and go in search of the John Galt Compound? Should the citizen swallow every new government program that is rammed through Congress without debate? Should Mitt Romney just shut-up, go home and concede to Obama Almighty? Should we give up, say we should have listened to our old man and go home to the plough? Or, should we stay on the American Yellow Brick Road? This may sound trite and elementary but we can indeed learn from the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion. Despite the dangers, they had had enough of the tyranny of the Wicked Witch and pressed on. The story has teaching points for living well.

First, how about striving to recover our Right-thinking Brain?

“I would not be just a nuffin’

My head all full of stuffin,’ my heart all full of pain

I would dance and be merry,

Life would be a ding-a-derry

If I only had a brain.”

Second, how about striving to recover our Patriot Heart?

“When a man’s an empty kettle,

He should be on his mettle,

And yet I’m torn apart.

Just because I’m presumin’ that I could be kind-a-human,

If I only had heart.”


Third, how about striving for courage and nerve? 

“Yeh, it’s sad, believe me, Missy,

When you’re born to be a sissy

Without the vim and verve.

But I could show my prowess, be a lion not a mou-ess

If I only had the nerve.”

Dear readers, there are no outside rescuers. We are our own rescuers. Western civilization and American exceptionalism are on the precipice of a cliff. At the bottom of the cliff there is no Brave New World, only an Old Dark Age. Put another way, there are no more rowboats coming to our aid. We either sink or swim. I don’t know about you, but I intend to swim as long and as far as I am able.

Note: Reader comments are reviewed before publishing, and only salient comments that add to the topic will be published. Profanity is absolutely not allowed and will be summarily deleted. Spam, copied statements and other material not comprised of the reader’s own opinion will also be deleted.

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William R. Mann is a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel. He is currently a political observer, analyst, activist and writer for conservative causes. He received his Bachelor of Science at West Point and a Masters in National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School. He currently resides with his wife in Pensacola, Florida.
William R. Mann
View all articles by William R. Mann
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  • WXRGina

    Wow, just wow, Bill. Thank you so much for this most excellent piece!

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