Compliments To W. Henley, R. Kipling, T. Roosevelt & T. Paine

Happy 4th my fellow patriots!  This anniversary of our declared independence might seem a wee bit muddled due to the ugly circumstances these United States of America find themselves in.

Left-wing Jacobins,  anarchist Antifa hordes, BLM Marxists, and Iconoclasts of all stripes who all attempting to destroy “Our City on the Hill” and the last best hope for mankind. They are trying to plant the demon seeds of our own destruction from within the U. S. of A. only if we allow them.

Please let good old Gumshoe offer some reading recommendations that have given me much solace, counsel, and inspiration during my four years in the Marine Corps as well as my four decades plus in law enforcement. Perhaps these great readings will also offer you the same respite.  This is my hope for all of “you’ uns”.

First on my list is “Invictus” (Latin for “unconquered”) By William Henry Henley:

Out of the night that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be, for my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance, I have not winced nor cried aloud.  Under the bludgeoning of chance, my head is bloody but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears, looms but the horror of the shade, and yet the menace of the years, finds and shall find, me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishment the scroll,  I am the master of my fate:  I am the captain of my soul.

Next on my list is the good Rudyard Kipling’s “If”:

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming you; if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too; if you can wait and not be tired waiting; or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, or being hated, don’t give way to hating, and yet don’t look too good, nor talk to wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; if you can think—and not make thoughts your aim; if you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same; if you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap of fools, or watch the things you gave your life to broken, and stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, and lose, and start again at your beginnings and never breathe a word about your loss; if you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is nothing in you except the will which says to them “”Hold on”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch; If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; if all men count with you, but none too much; if you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run—yours is the earth and everything that’s in it, and—which is more—you’ll be a man, my son!”

Gumshoe now turns to one of my personal favorites by Teddy Roosevelt, “The Man in the Arena” taken from his speech, “Citizenship in a Republic”:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Lastly, Gumshoe will close from our fellow patriot Thomas Paine who signed his “nom de plume”—“Common Sense“ in his “The American Crisis” series of pamphlets:

These are times that try men’s souls.  The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.  Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.  What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.  Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods, and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.

Well, there you have it my readers; words to ponder, to live by and to definitely pass on to our next generation.

God bless all of us and especially, GOD BLESS AMERICA!


Danny Pitocco
Danny Pitocco
RETIRED (as a Detective with the Snohomish County Sherriff’s Department, Washington State), Danny has over forty years of law enforcement experience across city, county, state and federal levels of government, including service as a Special Agent for the DEA, US Department of Justice. He’s a decorated law enforcement veteran, and recipient of the "Detective of the Year" award for Snohomish County, Danny is a certified composite artist and has testified as an expert witness in the field of narcotics and modus operandi of particular crimes in state and federal courts in California, and has given testimony before federal grand juries. Danny served four years of active duty in the US Marine Corps and loves Jesus as his personal savior.

DO YOU HAVE THE "WRITE" STUFF? If you’re ready to share your wisdom of experience, we’re ready to share it with our massive global audience – by giving you the opportunity to become a published Contributor on our award-winning Site with (your own byline). And who knows? – it may be your first step in discovering your “hidden Hemmingway”. LEARN MORE HERE


  1. Danny —
    First of all, it is the 4th of July holiday weekend, so I want to thank you for your four years of service in the Marines.

    Three questions:
    1. In your world view, is it largely “the left” that is responsible for “planting the demon seeds of our own destruction”?
    2. How did a group whose goal is to stop the murder / killings of black men and women become associated with Marxism?
    3. What or who are “Iconoclasts of all stripes”?

    Thank you, Danny.

    • Thanks for your response Jeff and it was my honor to serve in the Marine Corps. Now to respond to your questions:

      1. Yes indeed Jeff, the recent events have been perpetrated by leftest groups who have “hijacked” legitimate and legal non-violent and peaceful protests. Antifa is a great example.

      2. The founders of the BLM have identified themselves as “trained Marxists”. Additionally, their stated goals are to destroy our system of government.

      3. Iconoclasts destroy statues rather than work within the democracy to legally remove them from the public square. Lately, they appear to be mostly young, white, affluent and college educated. Who elected them? Useful idiots led by anarchists my friend.

      Lastly my friend, there is no epidemic of police officers murdering blacks. Please look up the annual FBI report on officer involved shootings as well as officer assaults and fatalities. The numbers will reveal the truth and destroy the myth.

      Happy 4th!

    • Danny —
      1. “Antifa” is not technically a group just like “white supremacists” is not technically a group. There are people who identify with anti-fascist’s beliefs just like there are individuals who identify with “white supremacist’s” beliefs. But there is no structural organization, no identified hierarchy behind “Antifa” just like there is no single structural organization behind “white supremacists.” At best, white supremacy is a set of beliefs espoused by a number organizations. The same is true for Antifa. We do the discussion a disservice if we create groups for the purpose of verbally targeting them. What we should be focusing on is the unifying ideology and its underlying causes.

      That said, I agree with you that there are undoubtedly individuals on the left – and the right – who have attempted to hijack legitimate protests for their own narrow purpose.

      2. Narrowing the discussion of BLM to the founders negates why the mass of individuals peacefully protests under its banner. It’s hard to imagine that the bulk of people marching would consider themselves Marxists or be trying to destroy our system of government. The label of “Marxism” seeks to turn the attention of the discussion from the fact that people were actually protesting the recent deaths / killing / murder of Black Americans.

      3. I agree with you that the removal of statues without discussion of options is wrong. As I have written before, we’re missing an opportunity to talk about history and use the time as an educational lesson. But the removal is not limited to “iconoclasts” as we saw in Mississippi, New York City, and Princeton University this week alone when governing bodies voted to remove symbols / names deemed to be offensive.

      The use of the term “iconoclast” is interesting. Typically it defines someone who attacks a cherished belief or institution. These symbols of racism and oppression are anything but cherished by all, but that doesn’t mean they should be summarily removed without discussion.

      Finally, why narrow the discussion of “police officers murdering blacks” as not meeting the definition of being an “epidemic”? If it’s not an “epidemic,” does that not mean that police or killing / murdering blacks with increasing regularity is not a serious issue? How many deaths would it take for the situation to become an epidemic and thus to matter?

      What’s lost in many discussions these days are causal factors. Americans typically do not know their history very well, as so we get lost in discussing the events of the day rather than how we got to this point.

      Thanks for dialoguing.

    • Good points all my friend. The appearance of Antifa as a non-structural group is exactly their intent Jeff. Federal authorities are following their funding and you will soon see federal RICO charges.

      There are many good intentioned individuals peacefully protesting. However, where are they and the BLM leaders in the cities where black in black murders are at epidemic levels?

      Look up the BLM’s manifesto that will illustrate their goals. Further references, “Prairie Fire” (Weatherman Underground); “Rules for Radicals” (Saul Alinsky).

      Thanks again for our discussion with more to follow my friend.

    • Danny — Again, thanks for dialoguing. I would urge us all to focus on causation. I’m not championing Antifa by any means, but we need to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing. “Overthrowing the government,” as some would define it, is not a sufficient answer. We can’t counteract these extreme “organizations” until we understand why they exist. There is not a temporary weed-begone for extremists because the remnants will always pop up through the cracks in the concrete. Look what’s happening with the rise of Neo-Nazism in Germany. Groups like this, including White Supremacists, tend to start because their individual members feel marginalized – sometimes by immigrants, sometimes by other races. This is certainly the case behind BLM. OK, BLM “leadership” espouses Marxism. Why? Because they view what’s happening in America as a continuous class and race struggle. You certainly lived through the unrest of the 60s – Malcolm X, Black Power etc.. How much has really changed in 60 years? Attack the marginalization — and not just with vapid slogans. And don’t politicize programs that are designed to help. Johnson started programs that were largely undone by subsequent GOP administrations.

      Black on black murders are high because these people see no future for themselves and no way out of long-term poverty. We see this belief as early as middle grades.

    • Where do I begin Jeff. In my opinion, entitlements in the long run a form of financial enslavement. Once you become dependent on the government for your needs, you come to expect it and desire more.
      Rewarding single moms without
      requiring skills training only serves to keep them stagnant with no incentive to improve their lives.

      Charter schools are a must for disadvantaged kids, since public schooling is an embarrassment. A good education is the key for a better life.

      A complete nuclear family with a father and mother is the best social welfare program for their children.

      The majority of black on black crime as well as brown on brown crime is fueled by gangs involved in turf wars for the illicit drug trade.

      The failed philosophy of Marxist (communist) dictates a utopian paradise where all are equal (classless society) and that the government just fades away as unnecessary; “Animal Farm” in real life my friend. Dystopian at its best!

      Finally, ask any leftest what they really want or their ultimate goal. Crickets! To destroy is easy, but to build up is hard.

      Thanks again Jeff for our worthy discussion and fruitful exchange of ideas – now that is civil discourse at its best my friend!

  2. Great words by you (and others). Just want to share “Invictus” Redeemed….

    In the early part of the 20th Century, Dorothy Day responded to Henley’s manifesto with this poem that she titled,


    Out of the light that dazzles me,

    Bright as the sun from pole to pole,

    I thank the God I know to be,

    For Christ – the Conqueror of my soul.

    Since His the sway of circumstance,

    I would not wince nor cry aloud.

    Under the rule which men call chance,

    My head, with joy, is humbly bowed.

    Beyond this place of sin and tears,

    That Life with Him and His the Aid,

    That, spite the menace of the years,

    Keeps, and will keep me unafraid.

    I have no fear though straight the gate:

    He cleared from punishment the scroll.

    Christ is the Master of my fate!

    Christ is the Captain of my soul!