We surveyed several high school girls in Federal Way with a few simple historical questions like which came first- the Civil War or WW II.
See video of Texas Tech Survey.
One girl in our unscientific survey knew the Civil War came before WW II but had to think about it- a lot. She remembered Harriet Tubman from Black Studies and that jogged her recollection. The video linked above exemplifies the same kind of results we discovered in Federal Way
Most of the HS students in Federal Way get taught much about critical thinking and diversity- both very big with modern educators; history is just for senior year, or so the Federal Way high school students claim. Supposedly knowing the difference between an ad hominem argument and a priori reasoning is more important than knowing any facts.
The trouble with such sophistry is that you can use critical thinking to convince someone of anything. Or just persuade them into nihilism if you are working with a blank slate in the first place. Biases like honoring your parents, loving your country and rejecting the evils that were rejected as evil by your forefathers are safeguards against intellectual chaos and know-nothingism.
When kids have some experience and know some facts they can actually exercise the “critical thinking” process to assess shortcomings in what they receive from traditional wisdom. Critical thinking would be relatively harmless if it were not for the fact that many of the teachers have been so radicalized by diversity training, Black studies, Chicano studies, neo-Marxist analysis and other anti-American biases.
It is amazing that more kids are not going on shooting rampages. Taking God and the Bible out of schools doesn’t really help either.
There is a whole branch of feminism that is also Marxist. None of these “studies” come labeled as Marxist or radical but they all employ the critical thinking process to deconstruct everything we try to teach kids at home.
Since most of us were also educated into the new “Progressive” agenda, we need to use critical thinking to see through the agenda. Critical thinking can be good or bad; i.e., it is only a process and can be used to reach almost any conclusion. Especially when you eliminate any facts that are deemed to be biased just because they are traditional. On the other hand, innovative social ideas are deemed to be inherently progressive, modern and imminently worth entertaining with a dialogue that usually engenders more Progressive foolishness.
Most of the present diatribe is just an overwrought version of the truth my mom tried to teach me when I was in the process of chasing after radical ideologies and hanging out with radicals. I met all kinds of hippies and radicals around Old Town in Chicago. Now I am convinced my mom should go back and teach people like Hillary Clinton what my mom (who grew up in Park Ridge and went to Maine East where she met my dad who was from Des Plaines) taught me!
There really are people trying to steal what we received from our forefathers and we are starting to see the tragic results. They aren’t people like Khrushchev or some commissars in Red China. People like the Clintons, the Obama True Believers and even some Republicans are just as subversive as Chairman Mao ever was.
Many people now tell me our President is Islamic. I disagree and still think he is Communist or Socialist with a soft spot for all kinds of terrorists. To me, Communist and Socialist are academic distinctions. The way the Obama administration has encouraged the racial strife in Ferguson, MO and other places along with the Obama Administration’s anti-police rhetoric is a harbinger of violence to come.
The only possible distinction between Communism and Socialism is that Communists profess to believe in violent revolution. But they also resort to disguising their beliefs and will even profess to be Socialists, Progressives, Democrats or even Republicans if it suits their purposes.
Do you know who Saul Alinsky is?
A very famous Chicago Communist, Alinsky died many years ago. Nevertheless, Saul Alinsky is still somewhat famous because President Obama learned community organizing under some of the organizations that followed Alinsky’s strategies outlined in the book, Rules for Radicals.
Hillary Clinton wrote her college thesis about him and actually worked in Alinsky’s operations before she took off for law school at Yale!
Mrs. Clinton was recruited into Alinsky’s operations in her Methodist Church right in Park Ridge where I went to high school. She graduated the year I started so we were not at Maine South at the same time.
I read her senior thesis written while she was at Wellesley College. It is about Saul Alinsky’s life and community organizing srategies. Very interesting! It makes my case better than I could explain it in 20,000 words or more. See the link to the thesis above.
We now have leaders who have values that are as chaotic and dangerous as the values I rejected. I repudiated all of my leftwing and hippy beliefs after I received Christ as my Lord and Savior. It would be a good thing for our nation if some of our leaders would also repent!
But what of our children? The so-called critical thinking that has replaced traditional educational values rooted in traditional American heritage have left our students poorly prepared to question the premises of their teachers who teach that the United States is a nation of genocide and greed. No wonder things are coming apart and our leaders seem more like adolescent children having a food fight when so many important issues confront the nation.
Anyone that has read The DaVinci Code has already been introduced to the teachings of several secret societies that go by various names and coverings.
The Merovingian Bloodline is an esoteric doctrine and network of secret societies that have a pedigree relating back to a time before Charlemagne, during the time when King Dagobert II and his descendants were attempting to perpetuate the succession of the royal bloodline to the Frankish throne by claiming a genetic connection to Christ via Mary Magdalene.
Much of the supposed factual basis for these claims comes from material constituting various branches of Satanism, UFO “studies” and New Age religious teaching. There may still be powerful political and ancient family interests in Europe that are preparing to lay the groundwork for similar claims in order to reinforce and augment the claims of some future European strongman.
It seems unlikely that a European Union leader would directly make a claim to be descended from Christ. Insinuating a connection to an extra-terrestrial race is not that different than the European monarchies’ historical tradition of claiming quasi-divine status.
Whatever developments may occur in Continental Europe,“The DaVinci Code” and the so-called history book “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” from which Dan Brown obtained his blasphemous ideas have already created a predisposition in the popular imagination toward deception. The Bible teaches that God himself will send strong deception on those who are willfully ignorant of the things of God.
Holy Blood, Holy Grail is based on a pseudo-historical hoax. Written by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln, the supposed facts actually mine a wide vein of deceptions pertaining to the “Priory of Sion” in France that have allegedly been part and parcel of the European darkside for centuries. The exact origin of many of these fables is hard to determine because of the long time prevalence of secret societies in Europe that promulgate all kinds of disinformation!
Many New Age followers believe that a Messianic Avatar will soon make his/her appearance to initiate the Age of Aquarius and set up a government along the same Utopian principles articulated in Aldous Huxley’s novels. This Messianic-figure, sometimes referred to as “Matreiya” is already being promoted under the auspices of a UN-sponsored world religion that is a synthesis of world religious traditions emphasising humanity and human values at the expense of traditional orthodoxy.
The emphasis of such teaching is on feelings and occasionally supernatural manifestations of the “spiritual” that may lead to Spiritualist practices in our churches.
It is fair to conclude that the unwritten subscript of upcoming elections is really about whether we will continue to be governed by traditional concepts of rights and duties, checks and balances and the original meaning of the U.S. Constitution. Or will we embrace the New World Order managed by a coming Messianic leader that will perform miracles and legitimize unprecedented authority over the governments of the world by claiming ties to divine power originating from a humanistic supernatural vision of human destiny.
Once you understand the underlying spiritual issues, all the weirdness starts to make sense. And if it all seems harmless, remember that the Third Reich was ushered in during just such a time as this.
Margaret Sanger was an influential thinker who successfully advocated for laws that forced poor blacks and other groups of “defectives” to become sterlized against their will; Sanger was a forerunner to the racial theorists of the Third Reich- in fact, the Nazis quoted Sanger profusely.
Planned Parenthood has its roots in Sanger’s theories and that is why even crushing the head of a baby during birth (partial-birth abortion) is a procedure for which Pro-Death activists will fight vigorously.
We should shun anything that has to do with such deceptions and be very careful about subscribing to conspiracy theories. Nevertheless, the Scripture instructs us to expose the works of darkness and to be vigilant because the devil is constantly seeking to deceive the very elect.
The Law Office of Mark Knapp PLLC will present the Laws of Armed Defense in the Spokane area on Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 6:00 PM. The class at CenterPlace Regional Event Center in Spokane Valley will cover legal aspects that you need to know if you are preparing to own a gun for self-defense and is geared toward protection of yourself and other members of your family.
• What to consider if you plan to wear a pistol
for self defense;
• Legal training: before, during and after
confronting deadly force;
• When and how to deploy deadly force to
defend yourself or loved ones;
• Interacting with law enforcement when
carrying a weapon;
• Understand the psychology of stress under fire;
• Aftermath of the self-defense encounter.
Class taught by
CenterPlace Regional Event Center
2426 N. Discovery Place • Spokane Valley, WA 99216
February 5, 2015
$49/person or $79/two people signed up together.
Contact by phone or email with questions or to sign up in advance.
All preregistration and checks must be received by Feb. 1; any payments received after Feb. 1 shall be paid at the door with an additional walk-in fee of $10.00.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • 253-202-2081 •
Terror at Beslan by John Giduck discusses the terrorist attack on Russian school children. The author is a security professional with extensive law enforcement background and the book contains law enforcement related analysis related to the difficulties of handling a hostage situation (or multiple coordinated situations) where the hostage-takers have already determined that they want to cause maximum harm to children.
One very important point that is easy to overlook is how volunteers, many of whom were armed Russian civilians, made the job in Beslan more difficult for the professionals. One role that armed citizens like our local Armed Defense Training Association members can provide- in the event that terrorists ever get hold of a school- is to encourage parents and others at the scene to cooperate with the police. We should also be prepared to conduct surveillance of the environment outside the areas of police control.
The vicinity around the school, including the parents and media people that gather near the school, will almost certainly contain observers working with the terrorists inside the school. Additionally secondary attacks are often planned against first responders. The police will have their own surveillance detection in the area but they can’t see everything.
A few years ago, I attended a class on surveillance detection that was provided jointly by state, local and federal governments at Federal Way City Hall. Just being alert, calm and cooperative with the police helps a great deal. The anxiety and clamor from the public at large can add to the chaos of such a tragedy during rapidly changing situations!
Hopefully, if anything ever happens here, our local ADTA members will have enough credibility with law enforcement and the whole community that we can play a role by just telling anxious parents and other Federal Way residents why we all need to be cooperative, calm and vigilant.
Getting to know your local police so that they know you understand the dynamics of such a situation is important. The professionals need to understand that we are part of the solution and not potential problems like some of the volunteers at Beslan that kept shooting into the school from behind the police lines inadvertently killing some first responders!
I am convinced the U.S. will experience the kind of attacks experienced in Mumbai and Beslan.
Initially, the armed citizen may be the best chance of throwing the plans of the terrorists out of whack. One armed citizen stands little chance of surviving or even stopping the initial attack but, like the author says, there are worst fates than dying violently.
We need training based on realistic scenarios in order to train like we will fight if we knew our kids were going to be tortured and killed!
I heard a story on NPR about a NYC cop sent to a psych ward for blowing the whistle on the police administration in New York City. He had called attention to the City’s manipulation of crime data. The story is very well documented regarding NYC law enforcement’s policy of under-reporting serious crimes!
What do folks that live around Chicago think about the high rate of violent crime, including but not limited to gun violence, that still exists there? It seems like Chicagoans have just become numb. But most the rest of the nation is saying, “This is why we are not going along with Chicago-style gun control!”
Shameless manipulation of statistics in Rahm Emanuel’s blood-soaked Windy City?
Chicago Mayor Emanuel is bragging because the first three months of 2013 saw the Chicago murder rate go down to 70. Michelle Malkin points out that in 2012, Chicago racked up the nation’s deadliest death toll, with 506 of its residents murdered. The murder rate has simply returned to business as usual in 2013. Here are the first-quarter death toll breakdowns for 2009-2013:
Last year, there were at least 17 new laws enacted since Sandy Hook- all granting state residents more firearms freedom and demonstrating that most states continue to become less restrictive regarding firearms because crime rates go down when the people are enpowered to defend ourselves and our communities.
Only a few states are going in the direction of more restrictions. Does anyone really believe that if honest Americans disarm, cities like New York and Chicago will be safer? A good title for a movie would be, “WINDY CITY WITH THE BLOODY TATTOO”.
According to the Wall Street Journal on April 4, 2013: Arkansas eliminated prohibitions on carrying firearms in churches and on college campuses. South Dakota authorized school boards to arm teachers. Tennessee passed a law allowing workers to bring guns to work and store them in their vehicles, even if their employer objects. Kentucky shortened the process for obtaining licenses to carry a concealed gun.
Expanded gun rights in recent years have accelerated since Mr. Obama pledged to use the “full force” of his office to tighten limits after 20 children and six adult staffers were killed at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
On the other hand, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Washington, the people enacted I-594, which requires a background check for any transfer of a firearm, even if temporary. Law enforcement groups opposed it and now everyone is scrambling to figure out how to comply.
The initiative was drafted by liberal ideologues and has so many conflicting provisions that it seems unlikely that it is even enforceable. It would never have passed if politicians had to stake their careers on the outcome. Now they may have to try to save it by revamping major sections of the law before the courts rule that it is void for vagueness and un-Constitutional.
Woe to him that builds a town with blood, and establishes a city by iniquity! -Habakkuk 2:12
The City of Federal Way recently experienced a shooting in which a young man used a shotgun to kill his live-in girlfriend and then also gunned down three other people. The police believe that he killed the additional three people in order to prevent them from testifying against him. This terrible event made national news and has caused series of repercussions in the local community.
A perennial candidate who had already indicated he would not be running for mayor- announced that he will now run because public safety is suddenly a concern. This despite the fact that law enforcement officers arrived quickly and neutralized the shooter by shooting him dead. There is nothing to indicate that having any more officers would have resulted in a different outcome or that anything that the police could have done would have stopped the carnage.
One victim, a 62 year old man, ran into his nearby apartment unit and bolted the door to call 911. The killer blew the bolt off the apartment door and then blasted away at the victim who was frantically calling 911!
Rudi Alcott, the publisher of the Federal Way Mirror criticized Mayor Skip Priest, implying that he handled the aftermath of “the horrific events on April 21 irresponsibly” and that our city leaders were remiss in the way they handled an initial press conference:
“At this point, things started to break down. Where was Mayor Skip Priest during this initial press conference? Not only did he not speak, he wasn’t even present. While I will grant the fact that this was predominately a police-centered press conference, the mayor should have opened the meeting assuring the general public that all of us were safe, that this was an isolated event, and that there would be a follow-up meeting — and then turn it over to the police chief for the details.”
Alcott compared how our city’s leaders reacted to the violence in Federal Way to how the mayor of Boston responded to the Boston Marathon bombings. Apparently members of the press were invited to a public meeting at City Hall.
The fact that the media was not permitted to remain in the room throughout the entire meeting caused a certain amount of indignation on Mr. Alcott’s part:
“For the first time, I wondered whether the mayor’s office or the police department was running this city. Imagine the outrage in Boston had the city issued a statement that said “Only the people of the blocks that were cordoned off to capture the fugitives could attend the meeting. All the rest of you need to go away.”
The publisher was “appalled by this action” and personally apologized to all of the citizens of Federal Way for the city’s “ineptitude’ in the way the meetings were handled. Rudi, your apologies are appalling!
Alcott inveighed, “Accept the fact that you mishandled this and begin to move the city in a direction that will heal the community. Your entire community deserves this, in likely the greatest time of need that this community will ever face.”
Does the publisher of the Mirror really believe that Federal Way has faced the worst it will ever face?
I wrote a column in the Mirror that regularly warned about how the times are becoming more violent and that we are all at risk. The Firearms Lawyer column appeared in print for four years because it was controversial and controversy sells newspapers. Although newspaper publishers often print editorial material that does not express the views of the publisher, Mr. Alcott certainly must have recognized that the reason so many people were purchasing guns was not because things are expected to improve for the better.
In fact, the Mirror suddenly terminated the Firearms Lawyer column after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, because management at the paper had determined that there should be “no more articles calling for more guns.”
I have been accused by some of blaming victims of violence for not being armed. I must say, however, that the 62 year old man who tried to call 911 when a shooter began slaughtering apartment residents in Federal Way might still be alive if he had picked up a gun instead of a telephone after he bolted the door to his apartment. He was known as a guy that watched over the premises. He and two other men laid down their lives just by being present on that terrible day.
Bob Roegner also climbed on, stating, “All that changed with the Pinewood Village Apartment murders. Suddenly there were several issues to raise: domestic violence, gun availability, neighborhood safety, and police department staffing.” Roegner also offered up additional pratings about domestic violence and twaddled about the city’s failure to take away the perpetrator’s guns (the murderer had no legal prohibitions and the weapons were legally owned). Other less preeminent sources of political wisdom also pontificated that Federal Way is going down the tubes (a recurringly racist theme often appears that our city has become a ghetto).
Jon McIntosh, a local pastor, got it right:
“As a local church pastor and a police chaplain, I had the privilege of participating in this meeting. I could not be more proud of our leaders than I was that night. It is moments like these that demonstrate the levels of integrity and care that assure us of a strong future. If you are unhappy with how the meeting was conducted, you have that right. But please remember, that evening you weren’t the most important thing.”
The same edition of the Mirror contained a highly informative story about gangs in Federal Way and surrounding areas. What the story failed to emphasize is that many of the gangs are affiliated with the Mexican cartels and every major cartel conducts operations in the Seattle area, including South King County and Tacoma.
The fact that the cartels routinely kill law enforcement officers, journalists, prosecutors and judges in Mexico, makes it appear highly likely that carnage will spread North from the border. The cartels have only held back because they know their operations will suffer if the bloodshed occurring in Mexico is duplicated North of the border.
It is easy to criticize Mayor Priest. He might become peevish or just not give you an interview. And I have to agree with those like Jim Ferrell (who announced he will be running for mayor of Federal Way after all) when they complain that money spent on the anticipated Performing Arts Center should instead go for essential services like police salaries.
But, as far as I know, politicians in the United States don’t cut off people’s heads like the cartels and jihadists. Criticizing Skip Priest for how he conducts grieving in Federal Way is misplaced and a bit arrogant.
The big question is who are you going to trust when things get ugly? For example, someone in high places abandoned Ambassador Stevens and three U.S. security personnel in Benghazi. The hearings last week put the spot light on the ambassador’s desperate phone calls for help while Al-Qaeda targeted him to be tortured, sodomized with a bayonet and killed.
Everyone knew that September 11, 2012 was a day when the risk of terrorism was high and the warnings about Benghazi were clearly written for all to see. J. Christopher Stevens was one of their own but the ambitions of those in the political class dictated that his death and the lies that were told during the aftermath are not a real story in the eyes of many except to the extent that the controversy imperils the Obama administration.
Rather than publishing editorials advocating for gay marriage and carping about phony issues like the press not being able to do its thing and folks that need to grieve and heal, the Mirror publisher should have been asking how Federal Way residents can better prepare for possible horrifying events in the future. The worse things get, however, the more those in denial will hide the facts from their own eyes. When the press is in denial, we all get shielded from the facts!
Getting prepared was the dialogue we fostered in the community with the Firearms Lawyer column. The dialogue continues in these blog pages. The key is not more guns but good communication between leaders in government, law enforcement, churches and those that live and work in Federal Way.
Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to have firearms training and carry a gun along with you- just in case. The hand writing is on the wall and we are entering a new time in which the whole world is a danger zone. Yes, I am still encouraging our neighbors to get trained with firearms. We cannot say for sure what tomorrow holds.
There are definitely times when a gun is better than a telephone. The four dead residents of Federal Way might agree. Ambassador Stevens and his security team were outgunned. The U.S. amabassador could have gone down shooting instead of being taken alive. But there I go, blaming the victim again!
Francis Augustus Hamer (March 17, 1884 – July 10, 1955) is best known for ambushing Bonnie and Clyde in 1934. His reputation as a Texas Ranger would have made him a legend even if he had not ambushed Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker in Louisiana. Frank Hamer was born in Fairview, Wilson County, Texas. 1894 the family moved to Oxford in Llano County and Frank worked in his dad’s blacksmith shop.
In 1905, he captured a horse thief while he was working on a ranch in West Texas. Hamer was a cowboy on the Carr Ranch, between Sheffield and Fort Stockton when he captured the horse thief. Sheriff D. S. Barker recommended Hamer for a position with the Texas Rangers.
On April 21, 1906, Hamer enlisted as a Texas Ranger. Working primarily along the South Texas border, Hamer became known as an expert shot. Four of his five brothers also became Texas Rangers.
Hamer’s first stint as a Texas Ranger was with Captain John H. Rogers’s Company C. In his first assignment he put a stop to murders and riots in the Rio Grande Valley that, notwithstanding the efforts of federal troops, had been raging unabated for many months. He resigned in 1908 to become the Marshall in Navasota, Texas, a violent boom town in which “shootouts on the main street were so frequent that in two years at least a hundred men died.”
At the age of 24 years old, Hamer established and maintained order in Navasota. The town had seen over one hundred men killed in shootouts but the town became tame while Hamer was the city marshal.
In 1911, Hamer started working as a special investigator in Houston. Hamer was also an officer for Harris County before joining the Rangers again in 1915 and was assigned to patrol the South Texas border around Brownsville. The Rangers were dealing with arms smuggling, bandits and bootleggers along the Mexican border. Hamer left the Rangers and then returned again in 1921, transferring to Austin where he served as Senior Ranger Captain. In the 1920s, Hamer brought law and order to oil towns such as Mexia and Borger.
Frank Hamer hated corruption of any kind- even when other police officers were involved! In 1928, The Texas Bankers’ Association gave rewards to officers that set up certain petty criminals to be killed so that corrupt police officers could collect the rewards and pay finder’s fees. The police and the Bankers’ Association’s refused to cooperate with Hamer’s investigation. Hamer took such murder and corruption personally and wrote a detailed exposé of the “the bankers’ murder machine” which he handed out in Austin.
Hamer also provided a restraining influence during a Depression era race riot. The 1930 Sherman riot made Texas notorious for its racial animosity. The lynching of a black prisoner in Sherman started when George Hughes, a farm hand, admitted to raping a white woman. Hughes trial was scheduled for trial within a week and a mob gathered outside the jail every night.
Captain Frank Hamer, two other rangers and a police sergeant escorted Hughes to trial where a crowd packed the entire area of the courthouse. The crowd threw stones at the courthouse, forced the doors to the courtroom corridor and rushed toward the courtroom. Hamer and the other peace officers used warning shots and tear gas to break the crowd up on more than one occasion while Hughes was locked in the district court vault for safety. A rumor had been circulated that the Rangers had orders from the Governor not to shoot.
Nevertheless, Hamer used buckshot on the crowd and wounded at least two as they charged up the stairs of the courthouse. When asked by one of the rioters whether he would surrender the prisoner, Hamer replied,”Any time you feel lucky come on, but when you start up the stairway once more, there is going to be many funerals in Sherman.” This quieted the crowd for twenty or thirty minutes according to Hamer’s official statement. Judge Carter stopped the trial and planned a change of venue.
That afternoon, the lynch mob threw gasoline into the courthouse; the rangers attempted to rescue the prisoner while the mob prevented firemen from putting out the fire and cut their hoses. Soon only the walls and the vault remained. The mob battled National Guardsmen who were sent into Sherman by Governor Moody and tried to break into the vault. The mob succeeded in breaking open the vault and dragging Hughes’ dead body behind a car, then hanging it from a tree where they set it on fire.
The mob, estimated at 5,000 people, then proceeded to burn black businesses. Governor Moody dispatched more National Guard units and martial law was in effect from May 10 until May 24. Two men were convicted and sentenced to two-year terms and more lynching and riots ensued in Texas and Oklahoma.
Hamer spent 27 years with the Rangers. He hated political corruption as much as he hated murder and the other lawless activities that characterized Texas in the early Twentieth Century. He and forty other Rangers resigned to avoid serving under “Ma” Ferguson. In her first term as governor of Texas, Gov. Ferguson had proven that she was corrupt. At the beginning of her second term, she fired all the Rangers that remained and appointed replacements for them. Hamer retained a Special Ranger commission after retirement and he put it to good use.
Clyde Barrow’s gang shot and wounded two prison guards - one fatally- during a prison breakout in 1934. Barrow, Parker and associate Jimmy Mullens engineered the Eastham prison farm escape and freed Raymond Hamilton, Henry Methvin, Hilton Bybee and Joe Palme. The stage was now set for Frank Hamer to accept a commission to hunt down the Barrow Gang as a special investigator for the prison system.
Hamer, by then an accomplished detective and gunfighter, studied the way in which Barrow made a wide circle along certain state borders. In those days officers from one state were legally prohibited from chasing suspects across the border of another state. Midwestern banks were easy picking for a gang that outgunned the cops with fully automatic 30.06 Browning Automatic Rifles and fast cars. The Barrow Gang robbed banks in Oklahoma, Texas and Iowa with Hamer in hot pursuit.
The gang murdered two Texas Highway Patrol officers at Grapevine, Texas. Five days later Barrow and Methvin killed Constable Cal Campbell and kidnapped Commerce, Oklahoma Chief of Police Percy Boyd. Clyde certainly did not intend to be taken alive.
In mid-March Henry Methvin’s family contacted law enforcement in Louisiana. Sheriff Henderson Jordan and his deputy, Prentiss Oakley, joined Hamer along with former Ranger Manny Gault. Dallas County Sheriff’s Deputy Bob Alcorn and another Dallas County deputy, Ted Hinton, had previously been involved in an attempt to ambush Barrow and Parker, in November 1933. Hinton requested a BAR because he knew that the lawmen would be up against more than one BAR that Barrow had stolen from a National Guard armory and with which Barrow had already gunned down several peace officers.
According to Rick Cartledge in THE GUNS OF FRANK HAMER:
“Frank Hamer Jr., a distinguished lawman in his own right, gave a filmed interview in which he showed the nimble .35 that his father had bought especially to go after Bonnie and Clyde. As to the rifle’s ability to tear holes in a V8 Ford, Frank Hamer had an unimpeachable source - Clyde Barrow. Though Clyde and Bonnie escaped the Sowers ambush by Dallas County authorities in November of 1933, Clyde ditched his shot up car near the Ft. Worth Pike and commandeered a less damaged car to make good their flight to freedom. The abandoned V8 spoke volumes to the able lawmen of Dallas County and to the Rangers. Ted Hinton had hit the car 17 out of 30 shots with his Thompson submachine gun and hadn’t penetrated the car body. Veteran Deputy Bob Alcorn had chugged away with his hefty Browning Automatic Rifle and ripped some respectable holes all the way through the car. Hinton called his Congressman, got a BAR from the government and a back seat full of ammunition, and learned how to shoot the roaring automatic rifle.”
Lawmen and outlaws confronted one another at 9:15 a.m. on May 23, 1934. Hamer and his men engineered the moment of the ambush with help from informants. After 102 days of hunting Barrow, Frank Hamer and his posse were ready for Barrow’s gang when they stopped at the ambush spot on a road near Gibsland, Louisiana.
Deputy Oakley fired the opening burst from his Remington Model 8. A round in Barrow’s left temple laid him out dead. The posse may have fired as many as 150 rounds.
Hamer used a customized .35 Remington Model 8 semiautomatic rifle with a special-order 15-round magazine. The Model 8 was one of at least two Model 8’s used in the ambush. The rifle was modified to accept a “police only” 15-round magazine.
Cartledge provides some interesting comments that contradict the conventional belief that Hamer also toted a 1911 pistol in .45 ACP:
“Two months later, Frank Hamer opted for the Remington .35 as his hole puncher and he picked an interesting pistol to go with his quick-pointing rifle. To front for “Old Lucky", Capt. Hamer stuffed a blue steel Colt commercial automatic in his belt and it is this gun that is most interesting to this writer. I had long suspected that this Colt was not a .45 but one of the then new .38 Supers and I had three reasons for believing this. First, gangsters (Dillinger, Nelson, etc.) as well as lawmen had caught on to bullet proof vests and their resistance to .45 caliber penetration. Second, gangster use of the .38 Super to telling effect was known and thugs had even hammered the .38 Super into the extremely deadly machine pistol configuration. Two of these 22 round magazine equipped death machines were confiscated in a raid on John Dillinger’s apartment in St. Paul in April of 1933. These Supers belonged to Nelson and were assembled from kits made by the Monarch Gun Company of Hollywood, California by underworld gunsmith H. S. Lebman of Texas. Nelson killed Federal Agent Baum at Little Bohemia with a .38 Super machine pistol. The third reason springs from a fortunate experiment done by a friend of mine in 1939 on a dare. Joseph Pinkston in his excellent book, with Robert Cromie, “Dillinger, A Short and Violent Life” writes of the apprehension of Dillinger gang member Leslie Homer and of his advice given to Racine officers in November of 1933. Since Capt. Hamer was known to have followed the Dillinger case as a matter of professional curiosity, he may well have been familiar with Homer’s published remarks which were “If you want to give your coppers an even break with present-day gangsters, you want to equip them with the new Super .38 caliber. A gun of that type will shoot a hole right through any bulletproof vest ever made.”
The March, 1992 issue of Guns and Ammo’s “HANDGUNS FOR SPORT AND DEFENSE” magazine contains an interview with Frank Hamer Jr. who confirmed that his father’s Colt was a .38 Super.
At about 9:15 AM just after the thundering torrent of lead subsided, Frank Hamer, Sr. approached the 1934 Ford V8 with his 1911 style .38 Super drawn. He knew that if any members of the Barrow gang survived the fusillade, a .38 Super round would penetrate the vehicle’s heavy steel body and body armor, too, if necessary! Ted Hinton, in his book “Ambush“, declares that two of the Colt automatics at the ambush were .38 Supers.
There seems to be a consensus that Hamer carried a 1911 chambered in .38 Super when he ambushed Bonnie and Clyde:
For most of his career, Hamer carried an engraved .45 Colt M1873 SAA revolver with 4.75″ barrel (pp. HT110, OW86, W71) called “Old Lucky,” either in a holster on his right side, or, when he was no longer required to ride a horse, simply tucked into his waistband. When expecting a gunfight, he also took a .44 S&W Hand-Ejector revolver with 6.5″ barrel for backup. His favorite longarm was a .30-30 Winchester M1894 lever-action rifle.
However, for the hunt on Bonnie & Clyde, he replaced the S&W revolver with a .38 Colt Super Auto pistol (pp. HT108, W71) and the lever-action rifle with a .35 Remington Model 8 semiautomatic rifle (p. W72) with 20-round magazine extension (both weapons offering superior penetration against bullet-proof vests and the heavy Ford V8 sedans Clyde Barrow was partial to).
Hamer also owned many other guns. When the posse assembled in a hurry in a Louisiana hinterwald small town, three of the men could not bring their own long arms, and were outfitted from Hamer’s personal rolling arsenal – Gault got Hamer’s .25 Remington Model 8 semiautomatic rifle, Alcorn his .30-30 Winchester M1894 carbine, and Hinton his .30-06 Colt R80 Monitor machine rifle (a variant of the M1918 BAR which was the chosen armament of the outlaws).
See FRANK HAMER, TEXAS RANGER by Hans-Christian Vortisch.
After the Hollywood version of Bonnie and Clyde, Mrs. Frank Hamer and Frank Hamer, Jr., sued Warner Bros.-Seven Arts for the defamatory manner in which the movie depicted the famous lawman. In 1971, they received an out-of-court settlement.
In 1948, Hamer accompanied Gov. Coke Stevenson to the Texas State Bank in Alice, county seat of Jim Wells County in South Texas. Stevenson wanted to examine the tally sheets in the ballot box for Precinct 13; i.e.,fraudulent poll and tally lists for his opponent, then Congressman Lyndon Johnson.
Coke Robert Stevenson (March 20, 1888– June 28, 1975) was the only 20th century Texas politician to serve as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, as Lieutenant Governor and then as governor.
At about the age of sixteen Coke Stevenson began his career as the sole proprietor of a freight hauling business traveling back and forth across the rugged Hill Country of West Texas every week. The roads were poor and Stevens crossed several rivers with steep banks and few bridges. He slept under his horse drawn wagon in bad weather and studied accounting alone by the light of campfires often with snow and rain falling around him.
Over many lonely, weary years, he earned the absolute confidence of his neighbors hauling their goods to market. He eventually took a job in a bank and started the study of law the old fashioned way- reading law books in a nearby law office. His trial practice in Texas made him one of the greatest trial lawyers ever to try a case in a state known for famous trial lawyers.
His entrance into politics commenced when local leaders asked Hamer to catch a crew of rustlers that included the son of a prominent ranching family. After catching the rustlers, Hamer led a successful effort to organize his neighbors and several other counties around Kimble County to improve the roads so that merchants and farmers could get their products to and from places like San Antonio.
Stevenson succeeded W. Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel as governor in 1941 when O’Daniel resigned to take a seat in the U.S. Senate. Stevenson was elected to a full term in 1942, winning the Democratic primary with 69% and being unopposed in the general election. He was elected to a second term in 1944 and was the longest-serving governor in the history of Texas. He was a conservative Democrat who loved the Constitution and believed that the federal government needed to let states like Texas take control of their own destinies at a time when Truman and the national Democrats were desperately seeking a deal to force out state’s rights Democrats that were threatening to keep Texas out of Truman’s clutches.
The conservative ranchers and almost everyone else in Texas loved Coke Stevenson and what he stood for. Known as Mr. Texas, Stevenson represented a kind of independent thinking in politics that makes it now seem inevitable that he and his old hunting partner, Frank Hamer, would be destined to walk down the streets of Alice together under the hard stares of George Parr’s pistoleros most of whom were armed with rifles and shotguns.
In 1948, Stevenson led the Democratic primary with 39.7% to 33.7% against Lyndon B. Johnson. LBJ won the runoff by only 87 votes out of a total of 988,295. When Stevenson sent lawyers to Alice demanding to see the voting records (pursuant to Texas voting statutes) their lawful demands were refused. Stevenson and Hamer met the lawyers at the Alice Hotel and Hamer told them to take off their coats so that the well-armed gangs employed by the Duke of Duvall,George Parr, would know that they were unarmed.
Hamer also took off his own coat and displayed the weapon that he was still authorized to carry in retirement as a “Special Ranger” employed by the Texas Oil Company.
Hamer and Stevenson were both tall with big shoulders and carried themselves in a way that stated they meant business. The young lawyers following those two Texas legends saw groups of armed men standing all around the street. There were about five men directly in Hamer’s path wearing guns. A larger group stood in the doorway of the bank where Johnson’s cronies illegally kept the election records.
It was well known in Texas that Hamer had killed fifty-three men, been wounded seventeen times and left for dead more than once. A gunman had once jumped out to prevent him from testifying in a trial. Shot at point blank range, Hamer snatched the jammed gun out of the assassin’s hand when a second assailant started blazing away at Hamer. Hamer was still on his feet as one of the fleeing hit men turned to shoot. Hamer only had one good hand left but he dropped his opponent dead.
Such a reputation is in itself a most intimidating weapon and Hamer never slowed down as he approached Parr’s gunmen. “Git!”, he admonished and then, “Fall back!”. When he got to the next group, his fingers curled for the draw and poised just above the grip of his pistol. The gun men fell back but then they tried to follow Stevenson into the bank. Hamer stood in the doorway of the bank and a long confrontation ensued until finally Parr’s gunmen walked away.
The lawyers got to look at the records just long enough to make notes and it soon became apparent that Lyndon Johnson had engaged in a massive election fraud that was unprecedented even by the standards then prevalent in Texas where ranchers and political bosses were able to deliver blocs of voters to candidates willing to pay the highest price.
The Democratic State Central Committee proclaimed Johnson the winner of the primary by a 29-28 vote (then a deal was consummated in which state’s rights Democrats were run out of the convention) while Stevenson was granted an injunction by the federal district court. Thus, Johnson was off the ballot in the general election unless Johnson could do something quickly.
His lawyers argued about strategy for hours and Johnson finally turned to Abe Fortas who happened to be in nearby Dallas on business. Fortas advised them to make an argument to a Court of Appeals judge that they knew would quickly rule against Johnson- thereby avoiding the usual delays that occur when judges take cases under advisement- often for days and weeks- during which the deadline for getting on the ballot would be lost for LBJ. By doing so, Johnson’s legal team got the case in front of Associate Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black.
Black ruled that the federal district court lacked jurisdiction and that the question was for the Central Committee to decide. He ordered the lower court’s injunction stayed, and the ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court. In those days, Republicans had no possibility of winning a Senatorial race and the ruling ensured that Johnson was elected to the U.S. Senate from Texas.
Nevertheless, the brief opportunity to look at the election documents inside the bank was made possible by Hamer’s 200 yard walk down the center of Alice, Texas with his coat off. The testimony that the lawyer’s gathered- as a result of the names of voter’s that later testified they had never voted- and jotted down while in the bank- demonstrated, beyond any doubt, according to Robert Caro (the definitive Johnson biographer)- that Lyndon Johnson had personally conducted one of the most massive election frauds in U.S. electoral history.
Many of the accusations and dirty tricks that Johnson displayed have become standard protocol for modern day Democrats. Johnson went on to take the Senate seat that he stole from Stevenson and Stevenson retired to Junction, Texas.
Disenchanted with the Democratic Party, Coke Stevenson supported Republicans for the rest of his life, including John Tower for the Senate and Nixon and Goldwater for the presidency. Frank Hamer, on the other hand, retired in 1949 and lived in Austin until his death in 1955. He is buried in Austin. In his life he was wounded 17 times, left for dead four times and he killed between 53 and 70 people.
Back in 2009, Mexico’s powerful drug cartels and affiliated gangs were battling for control of Juárez and President Felipe Calderón sent 7,000 soldiers and 2,000 federal police into the urban warfare. The residents of Mexican war zones like Juarez were helpless as murder rates soared in Mexico, a nation where citizens that are not members of the police and armed forces are prohibited from owning guns,
At that time, Juarez had more killings per capita than Baghdad- approximately 165 deaths per 100,000 residents made it the murder capital of the world. That compared with 48 violent deaths per 100,000 residents of Baghdad.
But now the Islamic State is reportedly linking its operations with the cartels. Despite Obama administration denials and a lack of news from the mainstream media, the opportunities to recruit, share skills and attack U.S. military and law enforcement interests are undeniable. In Michoacán, so-called vigilantes have stood up to the Narco Terrorists with full automatic weapons. An armed citizenry is always in a more powerful position to resist violence.
Keeping and bearing arms makes citizens disciplined, vigilant and alert to danger whether it is from domestic political factions, criminal organizations or foreign enemies.
Mexico’s government and the U.S. waged war with the drug cartels by militarily occupying many areas within Mexico. They trained and deployed the Mexican army to states where drug-related violence was on the rise, calling the cartels a threat to national security. Jorge Tello, Mexico’s National Security adviser, stated that Mexico had done more to fight drugs and violence in Ciudad Juárez than any other place in Mexico. Now there are reports that ISIS may be targeting U.S. military interests just across the border near El Paso.
Extortion, drug distribution and beheading are all commonalities shared by the cartels and ISIS! Trained and equipped by the U.S., the Zetas left the Mexican government’s forces to provide security for the cartels and then started their own cartel They decapitated rivals and law enforcement officers. The Zetas are an example showing how easily joint operations with the Islamic State can morph into a new Islamic cartel just South of the U.S. border.
Many of the worst human rights violators around the world sit on UN committees that condone violence, call for banning guns in every nation and support terrorism. The best antidote to the tyranny of crime-related violence or political gangsters is a disciplined, trained and well-armed citizenry.
The FBI-NICS no longer issues denials for most non-felony convictions for domestic violence entered in Washington State. This is based on the 2013 case of Descamps v U.S. Up until recently, anyone that had been convicted of a Fourth Degree Assault determined to be domestic violence in Washington State was in a tough position because the NICS did not recognize a Restoration of Rights for Washington state non-felony domestic violence convictions. State and federal laws on the subject of domestic violence and gun rights are very technical and you should schedule a legal consultation in order to look carefully at any convictions that you think resulted from allegations of domestic violence.
Many Washington State citizens with misdemeanor DV convictions who had their right to possess firearms restored were seeing their rights denied by federal authorities. The intent of Congress has along been that a state court order restoring firearm rights should remove federal prohibitions on posssessing firearms.
“A person shall not be considered to have been convicted of such an offense for purposes of this chapter if the conviction has been expunged or set aside, or is an offense for which the person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored (if the law of the applicable jurisdiction provides for the loss of civil rights under such an offense) unless the pardon, expungement, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms.”
The FBI-NICS was taking the position that a Washington State court order restoring firearm rights to misdemeanants does not remove firearm prohibitions under federal law because the conviction does not result in the loss of civil rights.
Note that vacating a Washington conviction does not completely expunge or set-aside the conviction as required by federal law. Thus, restoring gun rights in Washington requires a Certificate of Rehabilitation and Restoration of Firearms Rights; merely vacating the conviction or expungement does not meet the requirements of Washington law nor will vacating a conviction satisfy federal criteria for restoration of the right to possess firearms.
If you have been convicted for felonies and Washington state restores your right to possess a weapon then the NICS will recognize Washington’s restoration of your gun rights and you will also be eligible for a Washington Concealed Pistol License. The federal government has now determined that conviction for a Fourth Degree Assault (DV) does not prohibit possession of firearms because the statute for that offense is too vague.
Nevertheless, there is still a need to obtain a restoration of firearms rights in order to satisfy state law requirements and federal interpretations of Washington State law related to firearms rights seem to change unexpectedly.
Note well: When answering the questions for a NICS background check: Question 11i on Form 4473 should be answered with strict accuracy: answer “yes” if, and only if, you have a conviction for an offense that meets the federal Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence definition pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(9).
Thus, you should state no regarding convictions for domestic violence if you only have a Fourth Degree Assault conviction that was entered in Washington State. All of those offenses listed in 9.41.040(2)(a)(i) fall outside the federal definition of Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence.
Assault in the Fourth Degree, Coercion,
Stalking, Reckless Endangerment,
Criminal Trespass in the First Degree,
Violation of the provisions of a protection order or no-contact order restraining the person or excluding the person from a residence.
See RCW 9.41.040
On the other hand, when applying for a Washington State Concealed Pistol License the answer would be yes to the offenses listed above but not necessarily for every conviction identified as DV on your criminal history. Thus, you will need legal advice from an attorney with very technical expertise if you have a domestic violence conviction in Washington.
“Instruct the Israelites to bring you clear oil of beaten olives for lighting, to cause the lamp TO BURN ALWAYS. Aaron and his sons shall set them up in the Tent of Meeting, outside the curtain which is before the Ark of the Pact, to burn from evening to morning before the LORD. It shall be a due from the Israelites FOR ALL TIME, throughout the ages.”
[Exodus (Shemot) 27. 20 - 21 Tanakh, Torah]
The following account of the Maccabean battles is primarily from the “Battles of the Battle”, by Chaim Herzog and Mordechai Gichon. The authors state that the purpose of the book is “to narrate the military history of the Bible in terms of modern military concepts and accepted terminology.” In the present essay we will suggest some examples as to how the Maccabean battles speak to principles of warfare over the centuries with special emphasis on the subject of how volunteer militia units stack up against professional armies.
There are issues of technology, intelligence and tactics but morale is also important. When a people suddenly confronts a foreign occupation force, what are the sources for building the quality of morale that it takes to face a determined and well-trained professional foe?
Herzog, who authored the chapters related to Maccabees, fought in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War as an officer in the battles for Latrun. He performed intelligence functions during World War II. From 1948 through 1962, Herzog was head of the IDF Military Intelligence Branch. He served as head of the Israeli Defense Forces again from 1959 to 1962 and retired with the rank of Major-General.
When the Revolt commenced in 167 BC, it had been four hundred years since any organized Jewish force had taken up arms. Bible readers will recall that when Israel became apostate by worshipping foreign “gods”, she was divided. The people of Yahweh were divided into two kingdoms- the Northern and Southern kingdoms- and then were separately taken into captivity. Cyrus, the Emperor of the Persians, a pluralistic society, sent the captive Israelites back to rebuild Jersusalem.
By the time of the Maccabean revolt, many centuries after Nehemia and Ezra had restored the Temple in Jerusalem, Alexander and his army had swept across Persia and Mesopotamia wielding Hellenistic culture.
The importance of Israel’s confrontation with Greek culture and philosophy in understanding the history of Israel cannot be overestimated. The Hellenistic mores, world view and policy objectives considerably outlasted Alexander’s lifetime.
Alexander divided his legendary empire among four generals. The Egyptian-based Ptolemies were rivals of the Seleucid Empire, based in Syria. Jerusalem and Judea were under the jurisdiction of the Ptolemies (a dynasty also descending from one of Alexander’s four successors). When Antiochus III wrested Palestine from the Ptolemies, he would have had a Jewish problem on his hands but followed a policy similar to the Romans who came later; i.e., a policy of allowing the Jews limited autonomy and religious tolerance.
Antiochus III reigned in a time when the power of Rome had not risen to the point where the Judeans constituted a threat to the Seleucids. When Antiochus IV came to power in 175 BC, Syria was faced with global threats to its trade routes running through Palestine; with the Ptolemies threatening in the south, and aggressive Romans, Parthians and Persians pressuring Syria’s other borders, Antiochus determined to enforce cultural uniformity.
The Seleucid authorities took over the priesthood and Hellenized the Temple worship in Jerusalem and a split occurred between Jews who compromised with the Greek culture and anti-Hellenist traditionalists, eschewing foreign culture and religion. The split became an open revolt at a time when the Syrian forces(Seleucid army troops) were retreating from a failed siege in Egypt (under impending threat of Roman intervention). The irate Antiochus Epiphanes ordered strong measures in Jerusalem. Syrian troops massacred the Jewish population there.
What followed came to be known by Jesus and present day Bible teachers as “the Abomination of Desolation”. The Temple of Solomon was relegated to the cult of Zeus and desecrated by sacrifices of swine. This set the stage for the appearance of an amazing breed of Jewish warriors that had not been seen since the ancient days of Israel’s Judges in before the advent of the Kingdom of Israel.
The Antiochus administration dispatched an officer named Apelles to the rural village of Modiin in order to suppress any Judaistic practices in the countryside. The means of ensuring that submission to Hellenistic culture was without reservation on the part of the Jewish underclass was to set up an altar and order Mattathias, the local Jewish priest, to sacrifice and eat the swine flesh. Mattathias refused.
When a more compliant fellow stepped forward, Mattathias went berserk with righteous indignation (like Samson or Jesus when he drove out the money-changers in order to cleanse the Temple from corruption, killing the traitor and Appelles. Mattathias and a handful of farmers took to the hills outside present-day Ramallah. The Judean terrain offered a mountain stronghold for the guerrilla force that was forming even as events propelled them onward.
The Maccabees organized a nationwide intelligence apparatus, refrained at first from aggressive operations and emphasized principles that went beyond mere cultural indoctrination. I imagine that there was school of sorts like Samuel’s School of the Prophets, wherein champions of the faith (see Hebrews 11 and the Books of Samuel) were studied along with Torah study (Five Books of the Law).
In Samuel’s time, the Philistines denied oppressed Israelites the fundamental right to sharpen their own farming implements; i.e., the Philistine instituted “gun-control” in the form of restrictions on edged weaponry. It is not easy to educate a people that have lived under oppression for so long that they have lost their identity as warriors and feel nothing but shame and conflict when law-givers like Moses or Samuel try to tell them, “This is who you are; your God destined you to be a warrior. Be strong and of good courage!”
In the beginning, the Maccabees may have been less than fifty able-bodied fighters out of a band of two hundred Jews that took to the Judean hills. Mattathias died in the first year of the revolt but designated Judas Maccabeus to lead Israel’s forces.
The Jewish farmers possessed weapons that were little more than slings and farming implements against a well-equipped, well-trained modern army by any standards- veteran Syrian soldiers reputed for ferocious cavalry charges, fierce infantry troops, chariots, elephants and well trained artillery engineers with machinery for launching large boulders- all the usual instruments and engines of classical warfare.
But the Seleucid training was geared towards conventional fighting. Sword, javelin, spear and arrow in the hands of large numbers of mercenaries soon gave way to a few committed fighters willing to hit their enemy, grab some weapons and then prepare to strike again. A few men operating with the advantage of surprise tied up many soldiers waiting to react defensively. The Jewish guerillas also had support from local populations and easily melted into the local landscape.
The rebels gradually assembled an arsenal of modern weapons- swords, bows, spears, maybe even some ballistas for throwing rocks and battering rams (if they weren’t too heavy to carry them into the hills after an attack). The Syrian troops were organized into tactical phalanx elements starting with the syntagma of 250 men, like a modern company. The conventional tactics are familiar to any student of shock troop warfare (evolved from the Grecian hoplite units) in which two armies press each other in a head on clash while skirmishers and cavalry protect the flanks.
The disadvantage of this kind of warfare against mountain fighters soon became apparent when Judas the Maccabee, Mattathias’ middle son, attacked Appolonius, who was advancing from Samaria to Jerusalem with 2,000 Syrian troops.
The Syrians entered a narrow passageway. Judas divided his fighters into four units that maneuvered Appolonius into a trap. Judas attacked two separate chiliarchiae of approximately 1,000 Syrian troops each from east and west. A chiliarchiae was being cut to ribbons in the defile while the other units kept pressing forward without knowing that they were about to be surprised from the rear.
Appolonius, in the second chiliarchiae rode forward and looked to see what was occurring in front. He took fire from both hillsides, thus, spilling out his life on that battlefield.
These events left the entire Seleucid force in a state of utter destruction four miles north-east of Gophna. The Maccabees 600 fighters added more weapons to their considerable arsenal.
The Syrian General Seron was determined to avenge the Maccabean exploit that occurred at Nahal el-Haramiah. Gen. Seron stayed near the coast and turned inland near Jaffa past the present day airport of Lod. According to 1 Maccabees 3:16, the General used a secondary route to Jerusalem that led through the same pass used by general Allenby when the British 90th Division advanced on Turkish held Jerusalem in 1917.
Any reader that reviews Biblical history along with the accounts of modern day warfare in Palestine, especially Israeli military history since 1948, cannot help but see many events that are proof that Yahweh still has his hand on Israel. One geographical location, such as General Seron’s route through Beth-Horon, can invite repeated conflicts over the centuries. The same route was chosen by Israeli forces in 1967 in order to take the Old City of Jerusalem.
The Battle of Beth- Horon comprised 4,000 troops (four chiliarchia) against 1,000 Jewish troops. Judas reminded his men that they were fighting for their homes, families and heritage- their heritage in Y-hw-h G-d (Hebrew mandates that the name of God (transliterated Jehovah in Anglo-Saxon texts) is unable to be pronounced; the exact pronunciation is consequently unknown. General Seron was the target of choice as he rode through the narrow passage at Beth-Horon. Seron made sure not to bunch his troops and thereby considerably diminished the possibility of another ambush.
As the Syrians worked their way up the hillsides toward Beth-Horon, perhaps a little more than a day’s march (fifteen miles by road from Jerusalem), Judas led the charge. He carried Appolonius’ sword and continued to do so from that time onward. Jewish militia men lay hidden on each side of the road to Jerusalem. They came out of the rocks with slings and bows and then closed in with swords chasing the surprised Syrians back toward the plains below.
Judah’s risky strategy of dividing his 1,000 men into four separate units destroyed the enemy’s plan to link up with the Syrian garrison in Jerusalem and to subdue the whole country from that command center.
Such lessons were similar to the experience of Americans later in history. Battlefields like New Orleans, where frontiersmen, pirates and Indians vanquished the most powerful army of the time, the veteran British regulars who had bested Napoleon in Europe and India. The Americans at the Battle of New Orleans had the long rifle, giving them a greater edge in technology, at least in terms of accurate firepower.
Back in the command centers of Antiochus, the news of Seron’s defeat caused the leaders to quickly change their plans by reassigning forces to use any and all means to search out and destroy the remnant of Judea and allot the land to aliens, a familiar experience for Israel and other conquered peoples dating back at least to the Assyrian occupation of the Northern Kingdom in 740 BC.
Thus, the stakes were high when three Syrian Generals bivouacked at Emmaus (present-day Imwas near Latrun). According to 1 Maccabee there were 40,000 Syrian infantry troops and 7,000 cavalry but 2 Maccabee estimates that the Syrian strength was higher. Judas was busy recruiting a force that mustered out at 6,000. He organized them as battalions (1,000 strong), companies (of 100 men), platoons of 50 and 10 man units. This is similar to the way modern armies are organized, according to Herzog. Judas somehow divided these units into four groups (1500 each), three of which were commanded by his three brothers.
Judas invoked the glorious heritage of Israel and the injunctions of the Law (Torah). As things shaped up, the two opposing camps were visible to each other.
The Syrian General Gorgias led his forces into the hills for a night attack (this was evidently a first for the conventionally minded shock-troops). The Israelis anticipated the night attack. When the Syrians launched their attack, the Maccabean camp was empty but Syrian scouts observed the Jewish rearguard in retreat and gave chase.
These actions say a great deal about the importance of intelligence, usually on the part of recon scouts who are trained to move under cover and report what they see with their eyes. We can deduce such a premise because of the fact that the Maccabean retreat was an elaborate deception intended to lure Gorgias into another defile. There Judas attacked the Syrian troops with units stationed in the defile during the night.
The Syrians anticipated Judas’ next move which was to attack the Seleucid-Syrian camp at dawn. The Seleucid forces were arrayed for battle, the element of surprise was lost. Judas attacked the western flank of the enemy phalanx, penetrated the phalanx and his men engaged the shock-troops in hand to hand combat. Another group of 1,500 Israelis attacked the remaining Syrians who were languishing complacently in the camp. Total confusion overtook the Syrians. The phalanx formation disintegrated early in the fighting, the troops guarding the baggage in the base camp were fleeing to the coast, as elephants, horses, camp followers, slave traders and soldiers screamed, stampeded and bled in the dust.
Gorgias turned to face the valley; the sight of the burning base camp panicked Gorgias’ forces and the Jewish troops went after them in hot pursuit. The recruiting got easier for Judas who now controlled the whole country with the exception of Jerusalem. The Jewish militia was now at 10,000 strong and, in addition to the great value of their other plunder, the amount of weaponry they seized put Judas’ Jewish militia volunteers in a strong position to lay siege to Jerusalem.
Lysias, a noteable within Antiochus Epiphanes’ own family, undertook to punish Judas’ audacity. The plan was to enter Jerusalem, avoid the mountains completely and operate from a secure fortress in Jerusalem called Acra. He traveled through Idumea (Biblical Edom), where the population was not friendly toward the Jews.
The Seleucid forces were at about 20,000 strong and, thus, outnumbered Judas’s men by about two to one. Again Judas picked the battle terrain, this time in an area that was carved up by wadis, the term for ravines and gully washes in that part of the world. And once again the Judean forces were divided into four groups but this time Judas had no illusions as to the possibility of splitting the enemy’s forces.
Judas’ guerilla forces disengorged from their hiding place in a ravine just as the Seleucids emerged from another defile. Jewish militia that Judas had held in reserve sealed the area along a half mile front as their brothers surprised their enemies from both sides. Imagine the dismay, humiliation and abject terror of that proud army and the carnage to which they were subjected! The Syrians lost approximately 5,000 men, mostly mercenaries of poor quality and Lysias performed a tactical retreat.
The Battle of Beth-Zur was a psychological and strategic victory for the rebels. Judas’ next objective was to rededicate the Temple. The Gentile people began a pogrom against the Jewish communities all over Syria. At the same time, Judas was entering Jerusalem, removing the offensive symbols of paganism from the temple and consecrating the restored Temple after rebuilding the altar. The Acra faced the Temple Mount.
The Maccabees contained the Syrian garrison within the walls of that mighty fortress as Judah evaluated the situation that was developing into a desperate holocaust for the Jewish communities outside of Jerusalem. Fortified Jewish towns were under siege and an expedition of Israeli special forces had to go to their rescue.
Now Judas’ ability to govern was on display, not only to the Seleucids but before Rome and all the world. Could Judas rescue his besieged brothers and sisters and still hold Jerusalem?
Dathema, sixty miles from present day Amman, Jordan, was the center of Jewish resistance. The enemy already had men scaling the walls of the fortified Jewish city. Judas successfully attacked the besieging forces from the rear, defeated a counter-attack and rescued his besieged countrymen in Trans-Jordan. He punished the hostile Idumeans (for helping the enemy)and burned the harbor and shipping at Jaffa in reprisal for the drowning of a Jewish community that had resided there.
The fortress of Acra now confronted Judas as his next big challenge. Judas’ forces possessed siege engines and in 162 BC they invested the citadel. This led to a protracted siege and Lysias returned with thirty war elephants and 30,000 troops, not including cavalry and chariot units. Judas’ militia had never faced elephants. War elephants bore turrets containing a driver and four fighters. The Maccabees were now fighting defensively and the psychological impact of the elephants cannot be overestimated.
Eleazer, Judas’ younger brother, made a daring foray to demonstrate that the elephants were vulnerable. He fought through the forces that protected the immense battle pachyderm platforms, gored an elephant’s underbelly and was crushed when the beast fell dead on top of him.
This battle of Beth-zechariah demonstrates the principle that civilian reserve militia cannot prevail in so-called set-piece operations against the inherent strength of trained regulars. The time and place need to be selected by the resistance leader with tactics that are appropriate to guerrilla warfare.
As a consequence of fighting the enemy on enemy terms, Jerusalem lay unprotected before Lysias. The besieged population of Jerusalem was low on food when Lysias was called away due to political conflicts within the royal family. Judah and Lysias negotiated terms guaranteeing religious freedom. Judas resolved, nevertheless, to fight on for total independence. The Seleucids themselves returned to slaughtering Jews, as soon as Lycias (regent over the Seleucid Empire) defeated Philip (Antiochus’ son). The guerrilla fighting was renewed in earnest.
Judas defeated the Seleucids at Nicanor (161 BC) and negotiated a treaty of alliance with Rome, thereby establishing Judea as an independent state recognized by Rome itself.
The new state of affairs set the Seleucid’s in opposition to Judean independence more firmly than ever before. The terms of the previous cease-fire granting religious freedom had lulled the Jews into a sense of false security. Therefore Judas was able to raise less than 3,000 “picked” militia members to fight 20,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry.
The Jewish volunteers melted away when the battle was joined, leaving Judas to fight on with 800 men against overwhelming forces arrayed against him. Judah raised the morale of his men and fought on valiantly, turning the tide several times before he finally fell in battle. The combination of bravery, moral force and outright inspirational leadership achieved victories that still have political and military ramifications to this day.
The events related by Herzog (merely summarized herein) and 1st and 2nd Macc, welded together the national character of the Jewish people like few other events in the history of that unique people. Had it not been for the Maccabean revolt, many of the events that characterize the New Testament Biblical narrative would be indecipherable.
In the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life there is reference to the Feast of Dedication which was celebrated in memorial to the restoration and consecration of the temple when the Maccabees entered Jerusalem. This is the holiday that we now call Chanukkah.
The following is an explanation of the spiritual significance of Chanukkah from a Messianic Jewish teacher:
The word “Chanukkah” in Hebrew literally means “dedication” in memory of the rededication of the Temple in 165 BC by Judas Maccabeus, after it had been polluted by Antiochus Epiphanes, the Syrian king. In 176 BC Antiochus tried to force the Jews to give up their faith and to adopt Greek customs. He persecuted the Jews who refused to do this.
Antiochus Epiphanes converted the Temple of the Lord to the worship of Zeus, and placed an image of Zeus the dominant Greek god (the abomination of desolation) in the Holy Place. He looted the Temple and ordered all Jews to bow down to the idols placed there. Then, he brought in a sow, and placed it on the Holy Altar in desecration of Almighty God’s Holiness. He brought waste and destruction - desecrated the vessels of the LORD in debauchery and drunkenness and put out the “Ner Tomid” ("Perpetual Light").
The Hasmoneans, the Maccabee family, led the Jews in a revolt. After several years of fighting, Judah and his men drove the Syrians out. On the 25th of Kislev (exactly 3 years after the defilement of the Sanctuary) in the year 165 BC they made their entrance into the Temple and rededicated it to the service of the Great God of Heaven.
In the Temple, the priests left a light burning in obedience to the command of the Holy One, but when they prepared to rekindle this light after the victory, they found that there was only enough oil to last one day.
This was a tragic discovery to the Jewish people for the Almighty’s command could not then be carried out. Search was made for the oil for this Lamp. The oil must be pure and prepared under the care of the high priest and sealed with his seal. No pure oil could be found nor could any be prepared before 8 days (7 days set apart to the Lord; the 8th day it became holy to the LORD). The small jug of oil bearing the seal of the high priest might suffice for only one day, but according to the Jewish people’s tradition the supernatural occurred, the oil lasted for the full eight days!
Thus, we see that military events put the hearts of a people on display before the world and before powers and principalities in heavenly places. Judas was a “hammer” (his name literally means “Hammer of God” in Hebrew- but correct me on this if I am wrong, Hebrew scholars), forging the will and the character of a nation. See also Charles Martel:
Effective intelligence networks along with flexibility of thought and the ability to shift tactics rapidly were important.
Taking the initiative decisively in order to decide the timing and terrain of the battle was just as important. Leadership was always an important element in the equation, of course. The leadership in Judas Maccabeus’ case conformed to Scriptural precedents for leadership toward which Judas steadfastly directed his followers. The account herein raises some important issues; further discussion should be forthcoming.
“A wise man scales the city of the mighty, and casts down the strength of the confidence thereof.” Proverbs 21:22
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We want to find out what disaster preparedness officials are doing at all levels of government, police and military. And what are the people doing at the grassroots? What do you think needs to be done? Are we safe under the current arrangements? Should we leave the job of keeping us safe to the government? Then why are the federal, state and local governments spending billions to tell we the people to get ready? Maybe we should start heeding the official advice and practice some local homeland security! All good government starts in the family and with neighbors.