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The African Grey Parrot, The Peace Dividend, Lady Liberty’s Scales And the Constitutional Republic Pendulum- Words to Consider

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Guest post by Tom Burbage

The title is another collection of words in a language most of us grew up in but which can have dramatically different interpretations across the panoply of human priorities. According to Webster, Language is the system of words or signs that people use to express thoughts and feelings to each other. So, why this grouping? 

African Grey Parrots are the most intelligent and smartest talking birds in the animal species. They attach to only one person. It is up to the owner to teach them because they shape their speaking ability.  They have no original thought capacity but can only repeat what they are taught.

The Peace Dividend has historically referred to a contraction of the Defense Budget following an extended time of strife and military action.  ‘Peace’ becomes a convenient excuse to promote budget priorities to shift from Defense, the primary responsibility of the U.S. Government, to other social or domestic priorities. It has taken a dramatic new turn today.

Lady Liberty has always been depicted as being blind to lawbreakers and her scales have always represented the delicate balance between innocence and guilt. Today, there seems to be a new welcoming of “thumbs on the scale”. 

The ‘Constitutional Republic Pendulum’ envisioned by the founding fathers created a system of checks and balances that would allow excursions but provide a self-correcting mechanism to bring the nation back to a central guidance that would sustain the value system of the Nation.

So, how do these words help define the challenge our nation faces today? Can they help increase awareness to the real precipice our nation rests precariously on? 

The real world follows the fundamental ‘Laws of Nature’ and often succumbs to the ‘Forces of Evil’ because our patriotic DNA trusts that others feel the same priorities we feel. ‘We trust but don’t verify’, to steal a theme from President Reagan. 

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The deciding factor often reflects two very human shortcomings. First is assume that our country is defined by the brilliance of the founding fathers and the patriots that came before us. They defined our lives and our basic understanding of the ‘culture of our nation’.  Second is an assumption of trust that our leaders will sustain that culture. That second assumption is very flawed.

In a way, we are becoming a nation of Grey African Parrots, who can repeat incessantly the mantra of ‘our trainer’. “If we say it often enough people will eventually believe it is the truth”. It is the new reality of trying to interpret the news. When was the last time you heard about the debacle of the withdrawal from Afghanistan? 

It is a two phased strategy. First, don’t talk about the bad news and rely on the erosion of facts over time and the short attention span of the American consumer. The combination will eventually make anything a non-factor. Distribute and preach a series of sound bites and the African Grey Parrots will repeat it to the point of extreme irritability. Second, talk about the opposite narrative, “the most impressive exit in history” is a recent one. No slight to the great work done by the USAF C-17 fleet. But how many are aware of the high-risk patriot elements that went back into Afghanistan to rescue the Americans left behind. Benghazi and Afghanistan are both great examples of creating narratives to hide reality.

The U.S. Defense Budget priorities are always preeminent in the top tier responsibilities of the U.S. Congress and the Defense Committees on Capitol Hill. The U.S. has been in a relatively peaceful time in our history, according to the main stream media. One of the laws of nature is that ‘nature abhors a vacuum’. A new infection has engaged our Constitutional Republic DNA. The “Squad and Far Left Agenda” has introduced another new challenge that was unforeseen by our forefathers. The Peace Dividend was intended to divert scarce resources to other secondary challenges, whether warranted or not. It was not intended to support the introduction of a new Marxist oriented ideology. In fact, who said we were at peace?  

Perhaps there is no more vulnerable icon in our nation than Lady Liberty’s Scales of Justice. She is fighting a clear assault on her ability to ‘balance those critical scales’. How does our system of justice excuse the destruction of cities, police elements and private businesses including the latest Smash and Grab and the Wild West recreated theft of trains delivering internet goods? We need to wake her up that there is a heavy thumb sneaking under her blindfold, poking her in the eyeand pressuring her scales. 

The Constitutional Republic Pendulum is an allegory that says our founding fathers built in a visionary mechanism with the separation of powers between the Legislative (Congress), Administrative (White House) and Judicial (Supreme Court)constructs. It assumed that the forces of evil could not subvert their intentions. Big money and the control of independent freedoms of expressions coupled with the new censorship dynamic of Social were not on their list of potential “foreign and domestic enemies”. If we let them, they will destroy us. They are defining the ‘Domestic enemy’ the founders foresaw. Left alone they will be the death knell of the Constitutional Republic. 

Saving our way of life will be dependent on understanding that there are three categories of patriots. First, ‘the activists’, willing to take a stand, often at great personal expense. Second, ‘the aware but not engaged’ who are confident that it is pendulum and someone else will step up and pull it back to the center. Third, ‘the apathetic’, that really don’t care and don’t want to get involved. It’s clear the last two underestimate the severity of the current situation. Can they be motivated to take a stand?

We must not become a nation of African Grey Parrots; we must protect assaults on any ‘Peace Dividend’ in a world of increasing threat; we must remove, with a vengeance, all thumbs in Lady Liberty’s eye and all the thumbs on her Scales and we must remove any corrosion on the Constitutional Republic Pendulum which seems to be rusting far in advance of the Laws of Nature. 

Mr Burbage is a Naval Academy graduate, former Navy Test pilot and industry leader. He is working with a group of like minded individuals concerned with the ongoing movement to fundamentally change the focus of our military and specifically our Service Academies.

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1 comment

Bryan Sams February 10, 2022 at 12:23 pm

Hello Tom,

About African Grey parrots,

I owned one for 24 years and also two Macaws as well.

I still have one Macaw left, a Beautiful Ruby Macaw

You are only partially right about their intelligence.

With over 40 years of Exotic Bird ownership and still counting!

They are not only very smart… but they can think on their own, solve complex problems.
And are highly interactive creatures by nature and with us.

Our Grey could not only could hold short intelligent conversations with both my wife and myself .

He would watch Tv and make comments on what was happening live on the screen and when the scenery changed his comments would change to exactly match what was happening in real time.

He would also tell us when he when he wanted to be put to bed and he wanted the TV turned off, he would throw fits of temper tantrums if we soon did not oblige him.

Many times I would negotiate with him to finish watching a TV program. Most times he would let us finish TV.

My wife and I seen this happen plenty of times.

My other Macaw at two years of age would frequently pick out a human snack package out of 4-5 different boxes or bags of chips and drag it to me, to open it for her to consume she still does this today at nearly 5 years old

And if you try to give her something other than what she picked out she will nip you on your fingers and drag the package to you that she wants for you to open and give it to her.

Time does not permit me to detail all the truly amazing and cool things our birds constantly demonstrate to us on a daily basis.

I will tell you that they mostly possess an intelligence level of a 10-14 year old with a play levels of a 1-3 year old, they are very affectionate and loving especially my Macaws and they love their showers too.

You should do some research on these truly amazing animals.

You will learn plenty.

Bryan Sams

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