Gimme A Knife (Written By Gladius Maximus)

On December 16, 2012, I entered the world of blogging online and posted my first liberybelle diaries post.  It sure seems like an eternity ago, so I am going to repost some LB oldies in coming days, to give new readers an idea of who I am and what I believe.  I’ve used some material from others at times, with their permission to print in its entirety, so Gladius Maximus’ wonderful essay, “Gimme A Knife” sure hearkens to that American spirit Ian Tuttle touched upon.  Gladius is a Texan, a former US Army officer and a state judge.  He is also my son-in-law’s uncle and he performed my daughter and son-in-law’s marriage ceremony one fine Spring day in 2008.  The bluebonnets were blooming all along the country road heading to the small country church in Texas, putting kind thoughts about Ladybird Johnson and her “beautify America” campaign into my mind that morning , lol.  Surely, that was a miracle of sorts for conservative ol’ me.

Without further ado, from December 22, 2012,  here is Gladius Maximus:


Last Sunday the Pastor posed the question of what we would consider to be necessities in today’s life. He gave some statistics from an earlier, time, maybe 50 or so years ago, wherein there were only about 19 things listed whereas in the current time were listed about 98 items. I’m not sure of the exact numbers, but those are close. Wow, 98 items considered necessities for an American.

Well, me being me, when he said “necessities” I immediately began thinking of survival, as opposed to microwave ovens and hand-held devices. The first item on my list was a good knife as I figured with a good knife I could either build or kill my way into most everything else. With some effort, after reaching only about five essential items on my list, I quit the inventory and got back to the sermon. Since then, though, I’ve had a chance to reflect on that question and the meaning of it to our society.

It came to me that our inability as Americans to survive in meager circumstances, or put another way, our dependence on technology, gadgets and the government, is evidence of the decay of character in our society. By that, I mean, our inability to be independent, innovative and willing to put up with hardship reflects how truly weak we have become. Our lack of perseverance in the face of adversity is evidence of our impotence. Unless we are surrounded by what many in the world would consider sumptuousness, we don’t believe we can make it.

If we don’t get our water out of a tap from a government approved water system, where will we get it? If we don’t get our protein from the local mega-store, sliced, diced, shrink-wrapped and priced, how do we get it and process it? If the burners on the range don’t work, or if we at least can’t get charcoal for the grill, how do we cook it? Need vegetables? How do they grow? Where do we get seed? When our shoes wear out, what do we do? When it’s cold outside, how do we stay warm?

I understand that folks growing up in the cities don’t have some of the outdoor opportunities that some of us have, but I am convinced that there are opportunities to develop individuality, independence, self-confidence and other survival skills without having to spend a year in the Rockies on some kind of sabbatical. Survival is more a mind-set than a setting. Attitude is everything.

Being innovative and imaginative is essential whether you’re in downtown Houston or central Nebraska. Skills of observation and patience are not natural talents, but acquired skills; both are essential and both can be acquired through discipline. The ability to reason and employ a rational, decision making process is needed in order to survive and thrive. Again, that is an acquired skill. Determination, grit if you will, is a trait to be cherished, not erased.

Why do I address this idea of necessities and survival in this column? What, you may ask, does that have to do with Taking Back America?

Our nation was founded by independent free-thinkers who were able to craft in their collective imaginations the essence of liberty. That imagination did not come from a dependence on the Crown of England to provide for their every need, but a willingness to be innovative; a willingness to persevere in the face of scarcity; a willingness to survive. The lack of that spirit is at the heart of the troubles we now face in America.

Health care issues; let the government fix them. Poor education in our schools, the government will fix it. Lack of discipline in the schools, we will regulate that by the government, too. Economy is weak; the government will provide for us. Coffee too hot at McDonald’s, let’s file a lawsuit. Offended by someone’s callous comments, get legislation to make that a hate crime. Don’t want to pray in public, make sure nobody else can either through lawsuits and legislation. Too lazy to work, go on welfare. Too lazy to get job training, get welfare. Want to make the stupid decision to quit school; that’s ok, there’s welfare for that, too. Have babies out of wedlock because of dumb decisions; that’s ok, we will give you money, medical care, food stamps and tell you it is a personal decision (even though tax money from productive citizens supports your dumb choices).

Whatever the problems we may face, the government will take care of us; cradle to grave. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the problem.

We have lost our independent spirit. We have lost the ability to innovate. We have lost the desire to stand on our own. We no longer want to be self-sufficient. We no longer teach our children what discipline is and why it is important. In short, we have become a nation of parasites.

Fortunately, not all of us are parasites as there are still enough productive tax payers out there to support the rest who are, but the numbers are dwindling. The decisions being made in congress will continue the crippling of our society until finally, the parasites will be the majority. And, when the parasites are the majority, we will be finished.

As for me, though, I’ll take a good knife.



Filed under American Character, Culture Wars, General Interest, Gladius Maximus

11 responses to “Gimme A Knife (Written By Gladius Maximus)

  1. Kinnison

    …As Gladius knows, I have a VERY good knife. (An 8-inch Randall Mk.II fighting knife—one-off, special order, surgical grade stainless steel—made by Bo himself, before Orlando had a Disney World.)

  2. Kinnison

    If you want to read something fun about having a good knife, surviving and building a civilization with it, go find a copy of Robert A. Heinlein’s young adult book “Tunnel in the Sky”. The knife has a name, “Lady Godiva”, because she is most beautiful when she is naked…

    • Oh my, I will check into that. Thanks, Kinnison.

    • I am at checking it out right now. Sounds like something my oldest granddaughter would enjoy. And they even have it in kindle format. I rarely read sci-fi or futuristic stuff, unless it was required reading. I remember Bradbury’s “Dandelion Wine” and a few others, but Heinlein’s novel sounds interesting.

  3. Minta Marie Morze

    Great essay! Thanks Gladius, and Liberty for posting it.

    One of the problems I’ve had lately when it comes to survival ideas is that looking back on history, and seeing things such as the Ukraine Starvation under Stalin (one of the many accounts I remember reading is the short but revealing one at:

    Even with the best survival knowledge and a select set of “necessities”, at times things like survival can be impossible—and deliberately made so.

    Think of the superior ability a hostile government would have nowadays, in controlling an area in terms of geography, utilities, water and sanitation, and simply near-starvation food availability. Both the history of Ukraine and the condition of most Nazi death-camp survivors shows the extraordinary drive people have for survival, even in the most unspeakable conditions, but I imagine that the control the controllers would have with the capabilities of the 21st Century might test even the strongest resolve to stay alive.

    Incidentally, when I was a child in the 1950s, it was seeing the NewsReel images of the obvious incomprehensible (to a child) will to survival of concentration camp survivors that gave me a lifelong belief in the death penalty. Those who wantonly take from another human something so desperately held-on-to, so incalculably valuable, as life, should be executed relatively quickly after conviction.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Minta. I know you , Kinnison, Gladius will all think I’m a squishy, idealistic fool, but I have never supported the death penalty. The law speaks to our values, not the criminals’ depravity and I’ve just always felt that the law is a set of man-made remedies for human behavior and as such man is fallible, therefore our laws and their implementation likewise. And, because we’re fallible, our laws should allow the criminals, even once convicted, an avenue to a remedy, in case of an human error in the process. If the convicted is wrongfully convicted – there is no remedy if they’re dead. I know the chances of errors are very small and the crimes committed very vile and reprehensible – but our laws should reflect our better angels, not revenge. Stupid, I know, but that’s how I have always felt. My family told me I always am giving violent criminals too much leeway, because the ones who commit the worst crimes are animals. My family always told me they hope I am not on any juries, because I am too forgiving. I couldn’t do Gladius’ job – I would be trying to find help for most of the people coming before the bench, not administering the law. I prefer social work efforts, lol, not being tough.

      • Kinnison

        Say what you will about the death penalty it has one great advantage: It has a zero recidivism rate. And I will buy at least Texas’ law that if you commit a heinous crime and murder someone with at least 3 creditable witnesses present, no one is going to find you innocent on appeal and you should not be a burden upon the poor, long-suffering taxpayers at $50 to $60 thousand per year for the rest of your life, so you go straight to the head of the execution line. One of the few things I admire about Islam is that the penalty for murder, once someone is found guilty, is adjudicated by the family of the deceased. I think that’s fair… And instead of hiding them away from the general public, I think that executions should be done with witnesses. Let people see justice done in their name.

      • I respect your opinion Kinnison and Minta, I just don’t have it in my heart to ever cast a vote to execute someone. I get queasy killing flies and I admit it – I wimp out and try to get someone else to do the necessary dirty work whenever possible.

        And I know that all the evidence points that some evil is beyond changing, but I don’t want to believe that there’s no path to redemption for anyone. It just seems like a terrible thing to believe someone is trapped by evil and there’s no way back.

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