Cain Pence
Where the pen of a poet meets the destiny of America....

When Men Battle in the Trenches
When men battle in the trenches,
Coaches plan, owners plot, quarterbacks lead offenses

Friday night lights, Saturday college glory, Sunday tradition
Man cave parties, cable package specials, big screen addition

Pads and tackles, helmets and hits, hardcore fans, smash mouth
Vikings and Packers, Steelers and Ravens, NFC North, AFC South

Scheming coordinators and pass down defenses
Interception and fumbles, touchdowns clear the benches

Wealthy owners, taxpayer funded stadiums and a glorious Super Bowl
Yet, these trophies are not the highest goal
Published October 16, 2017
By Military News and The American Legion
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The Personal and the Public, the Importance of Memorials
Nearly twenty years ago I graduated from Georgetown University. The colors of Georgetown are blue and gray because at the time of the Civil War many of her sons fought on both sides of the conflict. It was the hope of school fathers that the colors together would represent the Union of North and South. Fresh out of school I took a different course than my fellow graduates. Law school or working on Capitol Hill was not in my future. Instead, I took my Rand McNally Road Atlas and Michael Barone's Almanac of American Politics and set out to visit every congressional district in America. Without funding, the journey took me half a decade as I worked various jobs, and bummed gas money and a spare couch from everyone and their cousin. It was a great rite of passage and education for a young man interested in politics and American history.

Published September 2017
By Civil War News
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McGregor vs. Mayweather: Why the fighting spirit of the Irish and African-Americans is good for America
As the boxing and entertainment worlds start to focus on the upcoming McGregor/Mayweather fight, it is a good time to remind the nation of the virtues of boxing. Let us rejoice for a minute in the spirit of manly virtue. Millions will enjoy the spectacle of two strong men wanting to hurt the other very badly. Away with political correctness. Away with critics of boxing and violence. Hard to promote concussion awareness when the whole purpose of boxing is to literally hit your opponent so hard you knock some of his brain functions "out." Let us also not play the politically correct race card. Let's speak honestly about race and boxing. When it comes to boxing, not all ethnic groups are equal.
Published August 2, 2017
By Indianapolis Recorder 
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Minnesota: Yes to Immigration, No to Jihad
The cold tundra of Minnesota was a foreboding land to early settlers. French fur traders came to the bountiful lakes of the Northern Territory in search of hides and pelts. German and Norwegian farmers came for some of the richest farmland in the world. Flour mills in Minneapolis hired Irish and Polish workers and iron ore mines on the great Mesabi Range brought in Swedish and Eastern European immigrants. Today, many immigrants come from Mexico and Central America. They work in restaurants, at summer farms, and on roofing and construction sites. Programmers from India and Asia work in the many high-tech jobs the Twin Cities provide. Except for the proud Native American tribes, some of whom have become very wealthy from casino gambling revenues, all citizens of Minnesota are or were descendants of immigrants.
Published December 22, 2016
By American Thinker
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Want to understand the election? Read Shakespeare.
"All the world's a stage, and all men and women merely players: they have their entrances and their exits, and one man in his time plays many parts." — Shakespeare's "As You Like It"

Pundits will opine about angry working-class voters and pollsters will re-examine their flawed models. Left-wing writers will decry a racist and xenophobic Middle America and right-wing radio hosts will rejoice in the end of socialist President Obama and the defeat of crooked Hillary Clinton. Political science professors will discuss a United States of changing demographics and sociologists will dissect Americans' reactions to those changes.
Published November 15, 2016
By Washington Examiner
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Trump: Powerful message more important than the flawed messenger
He was easy to mock. He spoke in simple platitudes without the cadence of a trained politician. His words sounded more like a truck driver than a lawyer. He spoke of making America great again. And oh, how he was mocked.

The intelligentsia of both major parties wrote him off as a buffoon and a clown. The establishment media from the New York Times and Washington Post was merciless in its editorials and opinion pages as were more conservative outlets such as National Review and The Weekly Standard.
Published October 28, 2016
By The Hill
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The Hunt
Ritual as old as time, bond of ancient man
Link to past ancestors, food for clan
Rite of passage, male initiation
Passed down from all previous generations
Feat of courage, act of daring
Glory to the hunter, joy in sharing
Sustains life, provides clothes, nourishes with meat
Hides for warmth, bones for tools, oil and fat for heat

Published September 7, 2016
By Hunting Life
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The Sacred Red Rock
The sacred red rock, found in this special land
Was slowly shaped by Native hand
Upon the windswept prairie of Minnesota
Where once roamed freely wild buffalo and proud Dakota
Smoked before battle, offered in peace
Sacred across this land no man could lease 

Published August 23, 2016
By First People
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Shooting as a Sport Rather than a Crime
There exist two very distinct gun cultures in America. One is urban and often associated with gangs and drugs. The other is rural and often associated with hunting and sports shooting. The distinction is also largely one based on color: Urban gang culture is often black and brown, and rural hunting culture is mostly white. These very different gun cultures create the great division in American attitudes toward guns and gun control.

Caught between the urban gun culture often related to drug territories and turf wars, and the rural hunting culture where game killed in hunting is often used for food, are the millions of Americans who live in the suburbs and exurbs. Most suburbanites do not hunt their own food. Most do not belong to gangs or seek protection of drug territory. These millions of Americans see the nightly homicide reports and are troubled by gun violence.

Published July 11, 2016
By Washington Times
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The American Pioneer, Iron Will that Settled America
Covered wagon and loaded gun
Sturdy heart, furrowed brow, into the setting sun
Determined man and strong woman
Nebraska, Utah, California, Oregon
Trail of tears, Rio Grande
Mexican migrant, exiled band
Go forth into the unknown
Master the wilderness, settle a new town
Unafraid to conquer the wild
Proud settler, restless spirit, wandering child

Published July 1, 2016
By The Trapper
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LeBron James: For God, Country, Family, Team . . .
and Cleveland
It is wrong to look at sports victories as a panacea for all social ills. An NBA championship does not bring manufacturing jobs back to Cleveland, a Stanley Cup does not revive closed steel mills in Pittsburgh and a long-desired Cubs World Series win will not end gang violence in Chicago.

Yet, it is true that sports can teach us many of the greater lessons in life: loyalty, forgiveness, just rewards for hard work and commitment. Sports can also teach us the values we Americans hold most dear: racial harmony, strong families, dedication to God and country.

Published June 24, 2016
By Cleveland Plain Dealer
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Fairy Tales of the Night
Fairy tales of the night
The subconscious takes flight
Collective unconscious comes to life
Dream or nightmare, comfort and strife
Lost hope or things we will soon see
Regrets of the past or visions to be

Published May 29, 2016
By Lucid Dreaming Experience
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Prayer of The American West
Vast as the endless Texas plains
Wide as the Montana sky
Tall as a Colorado mountain
Grand as an Arizona canyon

Dear Lord, we pray that You
Who made the Western rivers
Mighty as the flowing Missouri
Who made the peaks of grandeur and
The veins of gold

Published May 1, 2016
By The Harvest News
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Classic Country New South
Titans, Cumberland, Vanderbilt, Steel guitar
Honky tonks, New lofts, Shady bar
Southern charm, Biscuits and gravy
Country farm, Volunteers from the Navy
Grand Ole Opry, Shiny modern shops
Down home cooking, Good ole boy cops

Published March 1, 2016
By The Nashville Key
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American Dream, American Tradgey
American Dream, American Tragedy
Hollywood Hills, Reality Comedy
Long Beach, Short skirt, Big Sur

La Jolla, Pay dirt, Cancer cure
Rodeo Drive, Malibu, John Muir
Mulholland Drive, San Fran, We're Queer
Spanish Mission, Bleached blonde, Missionary position

Published February 11, 2016
By North Coast Journal
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Watchman of the Wild
Soar above
Oh Eagle of America
Symbol of freedom, guardian of the wilderness
Winged watcher, witness of pioneer dreams
Hunter of prey, hope of patriots
Protector of rivers, provost of river men
Bird of beauty, beast of majesty

Published February 2, 2016
By World Bird Sanctuary
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Rugged  Beauty, Hearty Souls
Union man, Mountain man, Mothman
Loyal to country, earth and clan
Fox, bear, deer, tick
Huckleberry, hillbilly, blueberry, hick
Back roads, country roads, no roads
Stories shared, music played, tales told
Rugged beauty, hearty souls
Wild and wonderful, cool and coal 

Published January 23, 2016
By The Doddridge Independent
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Tale of the American Gun
Settled the East and Won the West
Rifle, shotgun, handgun, hunting vest
Winchester, Springfield, Colt, Remington
Normandy, Gettysburg, The Alamo and Lexington
Protector of home, hearth and family
Food for hunter, Defender of Liberty

Published January 20, 2016
By Gun Owners of America
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Ode to the American Railroad
The Mighty engine called the iron horse
Shaped a nation at its core
Brought gold from West and money from East
Powered by engines greater than a hundred beasts
It hauled the northern Minnesota rock
Upon its turning wheel
Shaping iron ore into Pittsburgh steel

Published January 14, 2016
By Lake Superior Railroad Museum
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Land of Taos and Trinity Site
Land of enchantment, mirror of light
Land of Taos and Trinity Site
Air, desert, mountain, wind, rain, atom
Indian, Hispanic, pioneer, cattleman, scientist, phantom
High plains, dark skies, old pueblos
Open land, Sangre de Cristo, new pesos
Art, silver, Pecos and gun
Cowboy, drifters, wanderer and sun

Published January 4, 2016
By Santa Fe New Mexican
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Prayer of the Eastside  Catholic
In the heartland of America, the mighty Mississippi runs deep
Upon her banks, pioneers and immigrants harnessed the falls of St. Anthony,
Turning water into electricity and wheat into flour.
With work came faith, with flowing water came finest wine
With bread came the Eucharist.
Sons of German farmers shaped stone and glass into St. Boniface
Proud Poles built the mighty church of The Holy Cross
Strong Slavs remembered St. Cyril and dedicated him a church
Descendants of French Voyageurs honored Our Lady at Lourdes
Daughters of Ukraine baked pierogis and shaped the beautiful St. Constantine
The fruits of Lebanon turned cedar wood into St. Maron's.

Published December 15, 2015
By Catholic Spirit
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BYU vs. Georgetown: Things more important than basketball
Once upon a time in American history there was an oppressed religious minority. Unable to educate their children at Ivy League Schools — long a bastion of elite Protestants — a group of Catholics led by America's first archbishop, John Carroll, decided to create America's first Catholic university. Along the banks of the Potomac River, located in the nation's new capital of Washington, D.C., Georgetown University came into existence.

Run by the Jesuit order of priests, the school was founded upon the principle of educating, "the whole person"— spirit and mind, body and soul.
In the 1980s and 1990s Georgetown University (I am a 1998 graduate) became nationally known for its men's basketball team. A national title under coach John Thompson (his son is the current coach) and such players as Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutumbo, Alonzo Mourning and Allen Iverson made the school a fixture in the NCAA Tournament.
Published March 12, 2011
By Salt Lake Tribune
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MN/WI, Dayton/Walker: A Tale of Two States
He was born into wealth and privilege. He graduated from Yale and married a Rockefeller. In his last job, he spent $12 million of the family fortune to get elected as a U.S. senator. He was called by a respected magazine "one of the worst senators in America." He is Mark Dayton, Minnesota governor and champion of the public-employee unions that donated so heavily to his campaign and recount efforts.

He grew up in a very modest home where his father was a preacher. He is the first Wisconsin governor in decades to not have a college degree. In his previous job, he refused tens of thousands of dollars in salary to help balance a bloated budget. He was hailed by many as an up and coming star as he took on the tough budget battles in Milwaukee County. He is Scott Walker, Wisconsin governor and a man called everything from the Midwest's Mubarak to Hitler by the public-employee unions he seeks to rein in.

Published March 4, 2011
By MinnPost
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