Freedom is Not Free
I watched the flag pass by one day.
it fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.
I heard the sound of TAPS one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That TAPS had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.
That poem was written by US Coast Guard Commander Kelly Strong in tribute to his father, a Marine who served two tours of duty in Vietnam.
I personally like to think of Memorial Day as America's second Thanksgiving day. It is a day that we give thanks for those who have died to make or keep us free. From the brave militia members of the Revolutionary War whose blood was shed to create a nation of free people to the warriors of today in Iraq and Afghanistan who risk their lives to keep us safe and defend our freedoms, our debt to these brave men and women can never be repaid. All we can do is offer our gratitude, remember them and their sacrifice and teach our children about those who selflessly fought for our hard-won freedoms.
These men and women are the best of us, because they are able to reach deep inside themselves and do what is needed for the common good, even if it means sacrificing themselves for people they have never met. As Commander Strong so aptly put it, freedom is not free. It is paid for in blood and sacred honor.
There is a special place in Heaven for these brave souls, and a special place in our hearts, where they will live on forever. We are only the land of the free because we are also the home of the brave.
God bless them all.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Freedom is Not Free
Sunday, May 30, 2010
I am no fan of Bill Mahr. And yet again, he has reminded me why:
Let's see - we now have blatantly racist remarks about our president from liberal 'supporters' Bill Maher, Harry Reid and Bill Clinton. They have all made highly offensive, undeniably racist remarks, and every one has been dismissed by the left. I wonder how they will spin this one. Oh, that's right - it's comedy and he's a comedian, so we shouldn't hold him to the same standards as other people. Isn't that how David Letterman gets away with his offensive remarks?
If a conservative comedian (if there were any, of course) made a "joke" like this, they would be tarred, feathered and blacklisted. Luckily for Mr. Maher, he has no moral code and is a card carrying liberal, so he is in the clear. I personally find it sad that these far left idiots seem to think that a black man is only "authentically" black if he is a gun-toting, epithet spewing, 'gangsta' stereotype.
On the other hand, there are accusations of racial epithets uttered by tea party protesters - none of which have been captured on tape for verification, even though there were literally hundreds of people video taping the event in question - including the people who were allegedly called the slurs. These accusations have somehow become fact anyway, even with no real facts to uphold them, and are held up as proof that the tea partyers are racists.
No, no double standard here. Move along, move along....
Friday, May 28, 2010
Glenn Beck's show yesterday was about the correlations between the Wilson. FDR and Obama administrations. Wilson was a scary character who basically balled up the Constitution and tossed it in the trashbin with nary a thought to subtlety. FDR was cut from the same cloth, but was more finely tailored. He was more subtle, but also had the added economic crisis to play off of for social engineering purposes. Beck then goes on to show the far more subtle and finely tuned machinations of the current administration, from the flag.gov snitch website to his chummy relationship with the press.
The comparisons were compelling. Beck argued that Wilson, after America's entry into WWI, clamped down on American citizen's rights, from banning books to reading private telegrams to civilian spy rings such as the Boy Spies of America, the Liberty League, American Defense Society, Anti-Yellow Dog League and the Sedition Slammers. He imprisoned thousands of people for speaking out against the administration or the war. He partnered with the press to further his agenda; the press were considered "associates" not adversaries:
"The public man who fights the daily press won't be a public man very long."
Wilson was the first president to use the press to further a political campaign amd then his agenda while in office. He was the father of the current media/political relationship.
FDR, too, used war as his reasoning for the many programs he instituted, but he also used the Depression to vastly expand the government via social entitlements. He, like Wilson, also had a 'partnership' with the press and Hollywood, who were happy to supply the required propaganda to help with the war effort or depression-era agenda support. FDR was a master at building up patriotic fervor and channeling it to suit his plans and he used evey method possible to do so.
This brings us to the current administration and their attempts at yet again expanding the State. They are having a real problem with selling their agenda and instituting the same types of programs as Wilson and Roosevelt, even though they are smoother in their pitch and more subtle in their delivery. Considering their attempts at coordinating the NEA and the overwhelming support of the media, they should be far more successful in gaining support for their agenda than they have been so far.
It's puzzling, really, because is seems they have been planning for just this event - the domination of the left in the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives - for the past forty years. This was their golden opportunity to impliment their long-planned utopian agenda, but it all seems to be falling apart.. Why?
I believe it all goes back to the hippie culture of the 1960's, and people like Bill Ayers, Jane Fonda and the anti-war movement in general. Their attitude of anti-americanism and individual identity as opposed to national identity sowed the seeds for the pushback the party is experiencing today. Even after 9/11 there were those who found the excessive patriotism and resurgence of national identity to be off-putting. For the past few decades, we have been told that this is a fatally flawed country, and that even if you love it, you must still acknowledge it's faults and thus temper your enthusiasm.
FDR and Wilson, on the other hand, used the country's deep sense of national pride as a clarion call for the citizens to support the war efforts and social reforms they proposed as a united front. We were all in it together against a common enemy. They tapped into American patriotism. It is easier to gain a vast consensus if everyone has a common mindset and is focused on a common goal.
For the current administration, the spirit of individuality and anti-americanism that their party and supporters has encouraged over the past few decades is why they are having so much difficulty selling their agenda now. Our country has become so fractured by the hyper-partisan politics of the past 40 years that achieving consensus is next to impossible, let alone getting the support of a vast majority of the country a la Roosevelt.
We are more attuned to the loss of our rights and freedoms than ever before, and much of the credit for that change in mindset has to go to the liberals. Their liberalization of our society - the constant reminders of encroachments to our freedoms and the loose morality of the 'it's my body, it's my choice' mentality, in combination with their attacks against American exceptionalism and the push towards globalization has inadvertently created the biggest roadblock they currently face in implementing their agenda. Oh, the irony.
They are attempting to rally people with their calls for social justice, but it just isn't as compelling. Be it the times or human nature, appeals to help a nameless, faceless 'poor' may trigger a sympathetic reaction, but just doesn't stir the soul the way calls to patriotism and country does. And what this administration needs is a stirring of the electorate in support, or at least an understanding that this is all for the common good. They tried to do that with the healthcare bill, but their incessant class warfare tainted that debate and broke the country down along economic lines. They simply do not inspire a feeling of "we're in it together" which is so essential to garnering support for such sweeping change.
Over the past few decades, the liberal/progressives have turned a united country into snarling factions unable to relate to or empathize with each other. We briefly came together as a country after 9/11, united in our passion and love for our country, but they managed to tear us apart again shortly thereafter. Wilson and Roosevelt unified the country in their times of crisis, which is why they were so successful. The modern liberal/progressive party is stuck in divisive identity politics, and until they shun that mindset, they will always come up against a wall of opposition.
They are caught in a catch-22 and they don't even realize it. They have built up for this moment for decades only to have sabotaged themselves unknowingly from the start. Any hopes they had for putting through their agenda with the goodwill of an overwhelming majority of the American people is gone, at least for the forseeable future.
The big question now is, since they are not making much progress by 'finessing' the situation, will they eventually resort to forcing it? The rapid erosion of support has turned their political juggernaut into a limp to the finish, so, facing defeat in the fall, are they going to resort to sneaking in their agenda in the dark of night, behind closed doors in bills that no one is allowed to read? Or will they back off and bide their time and wait for a new resurgence so they can try again?
Considering the wealth of information literally at our fingertips, I personally think their wait will be a long one. By long, I mean possibly generational. The level of disillusionment with this administration is growing exponentially, and it is even hitting the younger generation, who once supported him wholeheartedly. This administration, like no other in recent history, is teaching them oh so vividly why the nine most terrifying words in the english language are "I'm from the government and I'm here to help".
Let's hope this time the lesson sticks.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I'm a classic movie buff, and one of my favorite stars is Bob Hope. I'm a huge fan of the "Road" movies with Bing Crosby. They're good, silly fun. Bob was truly a master of deadpan, and I found a funny little snippet to share with you:
Thanks for the laughs, Bob!
Today our debt surpassed $13 trillion.
Just let that sink in for a moment. $13 trillion. That breaks down to $117,975 per taxpayer.
So, faced with those staggering numbers, what is the next step for our esteemed Congress? Why, an additional $300 billion in unfunded spending, of course.
Whatever happened to Pay-Go? Seems like it's been added to the ever longer list of legislation that is being completely ignored by this adminsitration.
Our debt to GDP ratio is now at 90.3%.
Break out the souvlaki and the ouzo, 'cause at this rate, we will be Greece within the next year or two, if not sooner.
Monday, May 24, 2010
The Rand Paul tempest in a teapot that has been unfolding for the past week has been a case study in how to sabotage a perfectly good, potentially highly successful campaign. A textbook case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, if you will. It's also a perfect example of the pointless depths the media will sink to in order to control the debate. Paul's commendable attempt at being open and transparent in his views seems to have backfired on him.
Mr. Paul won his primary by a landslide, there is no denying that. As of last Thursday, he was leading his democrat rival for the Kentucky Senate seat by a 25 point margin. He seemed to be a shoo-in for the seat come November. Even better, he was chosen over a GOP sponsored pick by the Tea Party, giving them some real electoral muscle and sending a message to the establishment that the run-of-the-mill candidates just weren't up to snuff.
Mr. Paul, and the Tea Party by extension, was flying high after the election. But then he went on MSNBC and did an interview with Rachel Maddow. Ms. Maddow went after Paul over a video interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal back in April (skip to the 59 minute mark for his comments). In the interview, Paul was asked if he would have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Suddenly, with a single question, this incredibly promising candidate is battling for his political life.
How this issue is pertinent to what is going on the country today is anyone's guess, but they sure did strike gold, didn't they?
Let's just try to put his comments in context - something the left is always clamoring for - before we continue. He told Maddow (and the Courier-Journal) that he would have tried to change the legislation. NOT that he would have voted against it, attempted to filibuster it or try to repeal it. His problem with the legislation was that the corrective behavior on this issue, solely at the private level, should have been consumer based, not federal intervention. Economic pressure to bring about change, not governmental mandates. Those businesses that continued to discriminate against people because of the color of their skin should have been boycotted by their customers until they changed their ways. It goes to the heart of the debate over how much the federal government should be allowed to intervene in our lives.
Maddow's attempts to say that he somehow condoned the violence of the era was ridiculous, but it is also pertinent to Paul's opinion. Yes, people were beaten for sitting at a lunch counter. The reason this happened was because of institutional racism in the form of Jim Crow laws. Police were not required to intervene in these cases, and when they did, it was in support of the businesses in question. After all, the people who were originally in violation of the law were the protesters, who, by law, could not sit at the counter. Making the black community equal in the eyes of the law was necessary to stop the beatings Maddow was so focused on. Ms. Maddow seems to have amnesia as to the role the police, state and local officials had in segregation. Certainly there were business owners who thought the Jim Crow laws were perfectly proper and fitting. No doubt there were also those who did not, but they were helpless to do anything about it because of the laws protecting such reprehensible actions.
What Mr. Paul advocated was removing the biased laws and allowing human decency to do the rest. The problem with the left is, they don't give people the chance to do what is right. They feel people must be taken by the hand and "guided" down the proper path. And let's not forget that it was democrats (the "Redeemers") who ran the South and enacted the Jim Crow laws.
Boiled down, he feels that institutions do not have the right to be racist or biased, but people do.
This is about more than just the Civil Right Act, though. Ms. Maddow had an agenda for that interview - corner Paul and paint him as a racist. This is classic Alinsky Rule #13 - 'Pick the Target, Freeze It, Personalize It and Polarize It.' What better way to do that than imply that he is racist? It's the indefensible accusation, after all. Haven't we all learned over the past two years that that's what it's really all about with these people? Bring it back to racism, because once they manage to label you that way, you will always be fighting it. You have to give her credit - she's certainly tenacious. She even managed, at the end of the interview, to add this little gem:
Dr. Rand Paul, Republican nominee for the United States Senate in Kentucky, where he'll be representing not only his own views about how to live but what kind of laws we should have in America....
That's the sum-up of the whole exercise - the big, flashing 'danger' sign the liberal media is desperate to illuminate - be careful, you idiot voters, this
Let's not forget that Mr. Paul is a libertarian at heart. The reason the Tea Party embraced him was because of his inherent distrust of federal intervention. This is often a problem with the libertarian viewpoint. It sometimes runs the risk of being taken to the extreme - borderline anarchy - or is perceived that way. Those views, in this climate of a hyper-nanny state, are total apostasy.
On one hand, Mr. Paul makes sense - desegregating public buildings, institutions and programs is certainly within the milieu of the federal government, but forcing a private business owner to serve people is not. And no, I do not think that businesses should not serve people because of the color of their skin - but I do think they have a right to withhold service, no matter how reprehensible their reason for it may be. But that is easily countered, because it is also MY right to take my business to someone who doesn't espouse those policies. Which is Mr. Paul's point. The problem with Paul's rationale is that, in a society where racism was the norm and had been for generations, would anyone have boycotted the places that refused to serve the black community? In a perfect world, we would all hope that basic human decency would win out over something as appalling as racial segregation, but, unfortunately, the Deep South in the 1960's was anything but perfect.
In the meantime, Mr. Paul has inadvertently created a media feeding frenzy. After all, nothing says "racist" like someone who doesn't agree with the Civil Rights Act! This is really a twofer for the liberal media. Not only do they get a golden opportunity to sink a republican senatorial campaign, but they also get to take the tea parties down a notch, too. No wonder the media has been semi-orgasmic in their coverage of the "controversy".
They are using fear to sink a very popular candidate - as if there have ever or will ever be any attempts to repeal the Civil Rights Act. Puhleeze. This also has the bonus of sucking the air out of the room and leaving no space to talk about other things, like the administration's lack of response to the Gulf oil spill, government unions' role in the collapse of the European union, the rank hypocrisy of our president signing a freedom of press act ten months into a moratorium on press conferences on his part, unemployment back up to 9.9%, the stock market's most recent roller-coaster impersonation, or the president's outright demagoguery of the Arizona immigration bill.
Who really knows how damaging this will be to Paul come November? The Courier-Journal most certainly is working this angle as much as possible, as is most of the left-wing neo-pravda media. They are happy to paint Paul as a racist by implication and spread the fear to Kentucky's black community that if he is voted into office, there is a chance segregation will take hold again. It is fear baiting at it's most crass.
That Mr. Paul didn't see this coming when he was talking about a 46 year old law that has no relevance in today's politics is worrying. This is settled law that had no pertinence to the current debate, and bringing it up should have set off some alarm bells for him. A more savvy politician would have seen the trap for what it was, especially coming from far-left media like the Courier-Journal and MSNBC. Of course, the main reason he gained the Tea Party endorsement was because he wasn't an entrenched, career politician who parses everything he says and makes no stands on any issues, relevant or not. He is a principled man who doesn't pull his punches. Perhaps he has learned from this episode that politics is a contact sport, and, as with all contact sports, strategy is required. Sometimes that means pulling a punch or two to save your energy for the real battles.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Photographic evidence that Washington really is teeming with rats.
Obama pretended he didn't know the rat.
No doubt the rodent in question will be found under a bus somewhere next week.
As usual, no questions were taken.
Over the past decade or so, the far left have managed to create a climate of hate and disdain for America. It's one thing to bash a president or member of Congress - it's nothing new, really. Taken in present-day context, is it any wonder that the creator of the Democrat party, Thomas Jefferson (a slave owner, btw) hired a "hatchet man" to slander opponent John Adams and "steal" the election? And how did he do it? Called him a bunch of names and accused him of wanting to go to war with France. Amazing how the tactics haven't changed in 210 years, isn't it? But I digress. Somewhere along the way, the hyperbole mutated and it became fashionable to hate the country, too.
It's safe to say that a lot of this mindset has germinated in the fertile minds of our teenagers and young adults - planted there by their elitist, European-wannabe teachers and college professors. The media has also had a hand in this, as has the Hollywood propaganda machine. It is well known that conservatives in Hollywood have to keep their views quiet if they want to work.
It is, quite frankly, nothing short of a miracle that pro-capitalist, anti-government characters like Ironman's Tony Stark are permitted to be portrayed anymore. Even Captain America is emigrating to London. Good riddance. To be fair, since most of the movie revolves around WWII, the Captain America shoot in Europe makes some sense, but the kicker is that they made the final decision to do the filming there because of England's favorable tax incentives. Hard to believe that just a few decades ago, we had a "British Invasion" of artists coming to the US to escape high European taxation....
Those who love their country have been forced underground. Hollywood's liberal elites and their blackballing of conservatives is by far the worst case, but elsewhere in the country people look down their noses at those who are unabashedly proud of their country. One such person is actress Gwyneth Paltrow (via TownHall):
"At the moment there's a weird, over-patriotic atmosphere over there, like, 'We're number one and the rest of the world doesn't matter."
Yes darling, it's called patriotism. Just as the English love England, the French love France, the Swedes love Sweden, and on and on. Generally, those who don't like the country of their birth are free to leave at any time, as Ms. Paltrow has so graciously done. Apparently her disdain for America and it's citizens doesn't keep her from taking the money they spend on her movies. Hopefully she is paid in euros so she doesn't have to see all that awful patriotic symbolism on our greenbacks, which would no doubt be quite upsetting for her.
It is just amazing to me that those who love this country have to hide it, for fear of retribution. "Coming out" as a patriot seems to be as shocking and culturally unacceptable these days as coming out as a gay person was twenty years ago. Back then, coming out gay meant you were slandered as a freak or "unnatural", and there have unfortunately been some instances of hate crimes. Coming out as a patriot means you are a danger to society and not in your right mind, and there are also, unfortunately, instances of hate crimes. Just ask Kenneth Gladney. What really gets me is those who think patriots are treasonous or seditious.
There is a beautiful song called "American Heart" that has become the unofficial anthem of the Tea Parties:
The song's writer and singer, Jon David, had to hide his identity (Johnathan Kahn) because he also happens to be a Hollywood screenwriter/director. He finally came out of the closet and declared himself a conservative. Good for you, Mr. Kahn. Hopefully he will still be able to find employment in Hollywood after this.
Ah, Hollywood - the hypocritical center of the liberal universe.
Only in Hollywood can they rail against the blackballing and "political witch-hunts" of the 1950's while simultaniously seeing nothing wrong with blackballing conservatives today. But then, they are also one of the largest, most vocal anti-capitalism groups in the country, while simultaniously making obscene money in their purely capitalist endeavours. And let's not forget their love of corporation bashing - good thing they don't use corporate tie-ins, product placement or sell merchandise related to their movies.
And so Mr. Kahn's career is in jeopardy now because he dared to speak his mind and support his country. You might say he's suffering under Hollywood's own "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Since the liberals seem so fond of boycotting these days, perhaps it's time to remind Hollywood that they are really capitalists at heart and that punishing others for exercising their rights to free speech and bashing the country and people who have made them rich and famous can have repercussions.
Since summer is the movie industry's biggest moneymaking season, it's time to boycott Hollywood. Not just the movies, but the merchandise and DVD sales too. Instead of having to take out a second mortgage to plunk down a ridiculous amount of money for tickets, popcorn, drinks and candy, bypass the theater this summer. Dust off some pre-merchandising, pre-product placement classics like "George Washington Slept Here", "The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxer", "The Wizard of Oz", "The Long, Long Trailer", or even "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and introduce your kids to the golden age of Hollywood. Those are all great American movies, made at a time when being American was a point of pride, and Hollywood was actually a patriotic place.
It's no accident that the "Golden Age of Hollywood" ended when the liberal counter-culture took root.
Those classic movies have no explicit sex scenes, cursing or humor that would make you or your kids blush, and because they didn't use those cheap devices; they had to rely on good storylines to make a hit. It sure beats the rehashed dreck Hollywood is passing off as entertainment these days. More importantly, though, the image of America that Hollywood projected then was unabashedly patriotic, because those in Hollywood back then understood how lucky they were. Not just to be in movies, but to be in America, the land of opportunity.
So join Mr. Kahn and come on out of the closet. Be loud, be proud, and make 'em get used to it. And please try to support those artists who are brave enough to buck the system. With any luck, it will encourage more to do the same, and we'll have a counter-counter-cultural revolution!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Happy Armed Forces Day!
Today is a day to celebrate our armed forces - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. Thank you all for the vital job you do. May God bless you all.
You are the heart and soul of this country.
You have our deepest gratitude for the difficult job you do, and our utmost respect for the way that you do it. You comprise the finest military the world has ever known. You are brave, strong and determined, but you are also kind, decent and caring.
You are a force for good in the world and a source of pride for your fellow countrymen.
Thank you for your service.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Today, the space shuttle Atlantis was launched for the last time. Once again, I watched the spectacle from my front yard. There was a great deal of sadness this time, though, because this is the third to last shuttle mission. It's hard to believe that there will only be two more launches before the books are closed on this glorious chapter in our history.
It was with great excitement and a deep sense of patriotism that I watched the space shuttle Columbia launch on April 12, 1981. I was just a child then, and my school suspended classes to allow us to watch the launch on tv. I knew I was witnessing history, and I was filled with pride that my country did this wonderful thing. Only a few things have ever made me as proud of my country as that wondrous event.
I wasn't one of those kids who saw the launch and wanted to be an astronaut - I suffer from vertigo on a level with John "Scottie" Ferguson, so space travel has never been a major draw for me. But I was so incredibly proud to be an American as I watched that shuttle soar into history. It was a watershed moment for our country; a pinnacle of American ingenuity and can-do attitude.
As an American, I have taken great pride in the space shuttle program. As a central Florida resident, whenever there was a launch, I made sure to run outside and watch at T minus 30 and counting. It is thrilling to see the bright orange-red flames of the rockets blazing throught the sky, white vapor trail tracing an arc through the wild blue yonder Night launches are truly things of beauty. And the double sonic booms when the landing flight path went over our house were an exciting and fun reminder of the greatness of our nation.
What other country can boast a space program like ours? We may not have been the first into space, but we sure have kicked some international space-race butt since then, haven't we?
Unfortunately, the shuttle program is ending this year. Today's launch was the last for Shuttle Atlantis. There are only two more launches scheduled - Discovery on Sept. 16, 2010, and Endeavour in mid-November.
The next phase for NASA was supposed to be the Constellation program, where the Bush administration and NASA had planned to go back to the moon, eventually establish a base camp there, and then on to Mars. President Obama, however, cut the funding for the program in his 2011 budget, citing private industry as taking up the slack. The budget has not been passed as of yet, so funding is still in question, but Obama has indicated that the Orion capsule will be sent up, unmanned, to the space station as a sort of lifeboat or escape pod for future American astronauts. How will they get up to the space station in the first place, without a shuttle? Hitching a ride with Russia, to the tune of $55.8 million per astronaut.
As a kid who grew up in the '80's, the end of the shuttle program is a sad prospect indeed. The fact that we will now be reliant on the Russians to get us into space is nothing short of mind-boggling for someone who grew up during the Cold War. While they are far from the "evil empire" of the 1950's through the '80's, they are still not exactly what could be called a close ally. Forfeiting our place in the space industry and having to rely on the very country we have been competing against for all these years just doesn't seem right, somehow.
After thirty years of the shuttle program, it was time to move on to the next phase of space exploration. There was a great deal of sadness over the end of the shuttle missions, but the upcoming Constellation program helped mitigate that sorrow with it's promise of future space exploration. The fact that the end of the shuttle program is now, effectively, the end of our dominance in space comes at a difficult time for our country.
Many Americans are feeling as though they are losing their country; that it is being transformed into something far different from the vibrant, innovative world leader it has been for decades. The loss of our shuttle program, a defining symbol of our benign power and scientific excellence, signifies, to some, the sun setting on our superpower status.
With a little luck, in 2012 a new president will reinstate the Constellation program and we will regain our standing in the space industry and start making giant leaps for mankind once more. In the meantime, all we can do is watch the skies when our shuttles launch on their last remaining flights and savor the pride they instill in us.
Farewell, Atlantis. Thank you for your years of service, thank you for the advancements your teams of scientists, engineers and astronauts gave the world, and thank you for the pride and glory you instilled in our country.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Congressional Republicans, headed by Minority Whip Eric Cantor have started a new website called "You Cut" that allows common Americans to vote for what spending cuts you want to see Congress adopt.
This is an interesting idea, if it takes off. They are offering up five different spending programs for the chopping block each week. Whatever program earns the most votes from the public will be offered up for a vote in Congress the next week. No doubt they will get a lot of flack and ridicule from the left over this one, but I personally think it's great for a few reasons.
First of all, it's fascinating to see all of the ways that Congress is wasting our money (and how much is being wasted). You hear rumors about some of the crazy or unnecessary things our money is being spent on, but to see it in black and white on a Congressional website, well, it really puts it into perspective. If you have high blood pressure or ulcers, you might want to medicate yourself before you check it out each week!
Second, in a political climate where it often feels like the train is out of control and heading off the tracks, this offers a way to give Congress your two cents on a very important issue - spending. And not just spending in general, as we have been attempting to do with the Tea Parties - we're talking specific, targeted spending programs. President Obama created the deficit reduction committee, but it won't be coming out with anything constructive until December, and doubtless there will be more in the way of taxation instead of spending cuts in their recommendations. Increased taxation will only prolong our suffering - especially at the levels they will need to tax in order to make a dent in the deficit. The only way out of this hole is through spending cuts. Politicians hate spending cuts because someone always loses out and voters become alienated. Perhaps if the cuts are brought to them by popular demand, they will grow some spines and do what's necessary to save this country from financial ruin. Don't hold your breath, though. These are politicians we're talking about, after all.
Finally, there are major political ramifications to this. As I mentioned before, the left will attempt to ridicule the Republicans on this - after all, when they have no other defense, they always turn to derision. The odds of the democrats voting down these proposed cuts are very high, but they need to really think before they do so. Not only will they be voting down Republican introduced spending cuts at a time when they are trying to paint themselves as deficit hawks, but they will be voting down cuts that were presented to Congress by popular fiat. They are used to thumbing their noses at We the Peons in general, but this will be a direct dismissal of what the American people want. The big question is, will their unprecedented tone deafness go that far?
In order to submit your vote, you must give them an email address. That's it. No other personal information required. You can vote more than once (I voted first for the Welfare Non-Reform Program and then the Subsidized Union Activities), and you can vote online or via text. So check out "You Cut" on Eric Cantor's website. Let me know what you think, and, as they say in Chicago, vote early and vote often!
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Well, Patriots, our first official ballot box victory has been entered into the books. Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W-VA) has lost his primary. Yup, the guy couldn't even get out of the gate. Good job, W. Virginia voters! All other Democrat defeats were lost in special elections. This is the first primary loss for the November regular elections. With any luck, Benedict Arlen Specter will be next to suffer a primary defeat.
Mollohan was defeated by state Sen. Mike Oliverio, who campaigned against Mollohan's Obamacare vote and some ethics questions that still hang over Mollohan's head from 2006. An investigation was opened due to rapidly increasing wealth and questionable non-profits he was creating and funneling money to. He stepped down from a few committees, but no findings were ever released. Of course not - Nancy Pelosi took over and buried it. Can't risk losing a seat, can we, Nan? Mollohan views it as a victory, naturally.
What do you think the odds are that this will finally wake the democrats up to what is happening? MSNBC is already trying to blame Mollohan for running a bad campaign. That's right, guys, you keep telling yourselves it is just a poorly run campaign:
Mollohan was first elected in 1982. He ran a relatively lethargic campaign until recent weeks, when he began airing TV ads calling Oliverio dangerously conservative and bad for business and labor.
Let's see, he's a 28 year incumbent, had the hubris to think that he didn't need to participate in something as lowly as a primary, probably didn't kick it into gear until after his numbers started to plummit, never bothered to explain his positions or views and went instead directly to the smear campaign. Not to mention that right now, "dangerously conservative" just doesn't seem all that scary. Actually...has it ever? And, for the coup de gras, he invoked "labor". Too bad he doesn't realize that only place unions seem welcome these days is in the halls of Congress. Maybe you should have come home for your last few recesses, Congressman, and listened instead of lectured.
Perhaps this will finally get the message through that even fellow democrats are ticked off. One wonders how many of those Tea Party democrats are behind this. More than Mollohan and Congressional Dems expected, no doubt.
One corruptocrat down, forty or so to go!
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Happy Mother's Day, fellow Mommy Patriots!
I hope that your Mother's Day is blessed with lots of love and those wonderful little goodies made with our favorite little hands - those are the best kinds of presents.
For me, the path to motherhood was a difficult one. At the age of 22, I was diagnosed with endometriosis, and was told that I would never be able to have children. So I got a second opinion. And a third. And a fourth. And even a fifth. All the same prognosis.
But I refused to take no for an answer.
I endured operations, procedures, and experimental therapies. My husband endured me going through massive amounts of fertility drugs, bless his loving, infinitely patient heart. I left a path of destruction during the hormonal highs of those drugs and cried a river of tears with each unsuccessful cycle and heartbreaking miscarriage.
But finally, finally, we gave it up. We had taken all that we could take, and resigned ourselves to the fact that children were not in our future. It was an agonizing reality. And so I thanked God for the blessing of my beloved husband and let my dreams of motherhood go. We had each other, and that was blessing enough.
It was a heartbreaking decision to stop trying, but after four years of a hormonal rollercoaster that had left me depleted both physically and mentally and my husband yearning for the calm, rational woman he had married, it was time to move on.
And so we stopped the injections and the rounds of doctors and rejoined the world.
Six months later I was driving home from work, and I was upset because one of my co-workers had "accidentally" found herself pregnant. I cried on the way home, because of my jealousy and frustration over women who so easily found themselves in a situation that I just could not attain. The pain was still so raw that it was hard to breathe when I heard the news. But I kept it together and congratulated her with a happy smile - until the ride home, when it hit me like a sledgehammer and the tears came.
Why couldn't that be me? Why couldn't I be one of those girls who suddenly realized she was...oops... three months late? But then I took a deep breath, counted my blessings, and dried my eyes. What would feeling sorry for myself do? We'd done all we could do; it was in God's hands now.
That night I came down with a stomach bug. A few days later, still suffering, I had an epiphany.
I suddenly realized that I was...oops...three weeks late!
I could barely breathe. Could my stomach bug possibly be something more? I still had some EPT's under the sink and so I took a test. And another. And then I cried. With tears streaming down my face, I walked into the livingroom and handed my man one of the tests. He looked at it, looked at me, and told me to go to the doctor and have him do a test.
The next day, I went to the doctor. I came home in tears, and my long-suffering husband wrapped me in his arms and kissed me tenderly, bracing himself for more bad news.
"We're pregnant," I whispered, clinging on to him for dear life.
"What?" he sniffled, sure he had heard wrong.
"We're pregnant!!" I shouted, and then I covered his bewildered face in kisses and waited for the news to sink in.
I was put on strict bedrest and almost lost her twice, but eight months later I delivered our daughter, healthy, beautiful and the most perfect miracle I could have ever imagined. I cry now just writing about it. How is it possible to feel such joy without your heart bursting out of your chest from it?
Three years later, our second daughter was born; that pregnancy, too, was a complete surprise and an utter joy, and our family was complete.
For me, the trials and tribulations of motherhood happened before the children were born. Everything since has been a piece of cake by comparison (although we have barely dipped our toes in the teen years yet, so I might be overly optimistic in my thinking).
Sometimes, in my constant immersion in the political scene, I get that same sense of futility that I got towards the end of the fertility treatments.
When I do, I step back, take a deep breath, and remember that sometimes, when things seem the most bleak, hope waits just around the corner.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
No doubt you are aware of the five high school students who were sent home for wearing shirts with the American flag on them on Cinco de Mayo. Apparently some Mexican-American students were offended by the wearing of the American flag on American soil during a Mexican holiday that is not formally recognized as a holiday in this country, and so, naturally, the three students were punished for their "defiance" (Via NBC News):
"They said if we tried to go back to class with our shirts not taken off, they said it was defiance and we would get suspended," Dominic Maciel, Galli's friend, said.
My question about this whole tempest in a teapot is this - why are we now being forced to observe another country's independence day? What next, official observance of Bastille Day? Maybe a solemn (but drunken, no doubt) marking of the occasion of the Bolshevic Revolution?
"They said we could wear it on any other day," Daniel Galli said, "but today is sensitive to Mexican-Americans because it's supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it today."
For heaven's sake - the day, for a majority of Americans, is a day to eat Mexican food and toss back a few margaritas. No offense intended, but it's like St. Patrick's Day, except in spanish, with refried beans and tequila instead of corned beef and beer.
We here in America love to celebrate the 4th of July, and it is an important day for us, but we don't expect foreigners to solemnly observe this country's independence if they don't feel the urge - after all, it's not their country, what do they care? Just feel free to have a hot dog and a beer and enjoy the fireworks! And if you want to wear a t-shirt with the Mexican flag on it, go for it. The only thing we ask is that you don't denigrate our country on it's birthday - that's disrespectful. But wearing a t-shirt with a foreign flag on it? Puhleeze. What's the big deal? The kids weren't starting a fight, they weren't saying that Mexico was a horrible place, they were just quietly showing their support for their country. I do believe they are still allowed to do that under the 1st Amendment - at least for now.
The only Independence Day we need to celebrate in this country is the 4th of July, thankyouverymuch. At no time should there ever be a day in this country where American citizens are not allowed to show their patriotism by wearing Old Glory. Anyone offended by that should get over it.
Why is it that no one is mentioning that the kids were sent home for their own protection?
The boys said the administrators called their T-shirts "incendiary" that would lead to fights on campus.
All they were doing was sitting and eating their lunches. They weren't picking fights and talking trash about Mexico and Mexicans. They were merely wearing t-shirts and bandannas with an American symbol on them. They should be able to do that in this country without fear of violence.
One more thing - here is a little article from the St. Peter, MN Herald:
Beyond the historical significance, however, Cinco de Mayo provides a great opportunity for the entire community to recognize the strong ties of family, economy and culture that bind the United States and Mexico. This celebration is also a warm expression of friendship between the neighboring countries.
St. Peter has offered its hand of friendship to its “sister city,” Petatlán, México. On May 8th, representatives from Petatlán will be attending the Cinco de Mayo Celebration and will participate in a formal ceremony, along with Mayor, Tim Strand, acknowledging the sister city relationship.What the heck is that all about? Sister cities? A formal ceremony with the Mayor? Sounds rather "one people, one continent", doesn't it?
While we're at it, how about if Ireland and Massachusetts join up with sister cities, because there are so many Irish in the state. Then they can start forcing those citizens to observe Irish holidays. Hey, why not have every state in the union get adopted by a foreign country! It's all about the 'Global Community', right? What better way to 'integrate'?
Why is it, though, that WE are the only ones at risk of losing our national identity in all of this?
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
This weekend a naturalized American from Pakistan attempted to car bomb Times Square. Faisal Shahzad parked a Nissan Pathfinder, turned on the flashers, set the timer on the bomb and fled the scene. Thankfully his terror training in Pakistan did not teach him that some fertilizers don't explode, and the bomb smoked and popped, but didn't detonate.
Lance Orton, a t-shirt vender in Times Square noticed the smoke and called the police. The man is a hero and saved countless lives. Thank you, Mr. Orton, for seeing something and saying something. It's a lesson more New Yorkers could stand to learn.
Yet again we have dodged a bullet.
This has been a very active year for our radical enemies. So far they have only had one success, but they are certainly trying hard to change that. The question is, why so many attempts recently?
Could it be the new stance our government has taken towards our enemies? Perhaps they have taken President Obama's measure and found him to be more like Bill Clinton than George W. Bush. Clinton was very much a "paper tiger", but Bush, on the other hand, was a tiger with teeth. They must see Obama, with his bowing, scraping, apologies and payoffs as not just a paper tiger, but a paper tiger cub, naive to the ways of the real world.
When you consider that, in the past year and a half, there have been four major terror plots against us, you get a clearer picture of what might be coming down the pike. One plot succeeded, one never got off the ground, and two were failures only because of faulty equipment.
The Obama administration's foreign policies are giving the appearance of weakness to our enemies. His theory of appeasement = peace is fatally flawed. The left think that Bush's policy of carrying a big stick is what caused 9/11, in combination with the hatred of America that exists in some parts of the world. This, too, is a fatally flawed idea.
9/11 was the result of perceived American weakness, not an over abundance of strength.
What the left is missing is the mindset of these jihadis. We Americans are blessed to have, for the most part, quiet, peaceful lives with very little real violence in them. Middle Eastern peoples, however, are raised in sometimes brutal conditions. Until the US invasion, Iraq was a terrifying place, where lives were on the line on a daily basis. Where we look to our government for safety and protection, Iraqis and other Middle Eastern peoples feared their government. Death, even violent death, is a part of daily life. Those who are weak are subjugated or destroyed; those who are strong survive.
This is a question of ideology, not social justice.
The left are trying to create a new victim group that they can practice their social justice magic on. The new narrative involves painting these poor victims as desperate, destitute and delusional. The media are frantically grasping at straws to forward this narrative for their lefty taskmasters, and are proved wrong in their postulations over and over again.
They are supposedly desperate because they 'have no future'. Let's not forget that the elitists in our government equate a university degree with a bright future. Many common people in Middle Eastern countries don't even have a high school education, let alone college. Here's a clue, guys - it's not the lack of education so much as it is the opression that keeps them from realizing their dreams. And much of that opression comes directly from the ruling class, including the religious leaders (often the same thing).
Destitution was a favored theme for a while there, until Abdulmutallab burst onto the scene (or should I say 'fizzled'). Even so, although he was the wealthiest terrorist to date, the others were hardly poverty stricken. They were kept well by their radical patrons or held good jobs, but some lived austere lives in observance of their religion. Others, like Shahzad, were living the American dream. There is no set pattern here, and there has never been a clear link to economic destitution.
The attempt to paint terrorists as delusional has never been more apparent than in the case of Malik Hasan. "Secondary Trauma", Time Magazine? Really? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is now contagious, apparently. CNN's take of "Calm, cool and religious" seems closer to the truth, but even they bring forward a lame sort of "he was being bullied" defense. If he was so upset with the military as long ago as 2001, why didn't he get out? Probably because he was more of an asset to his radical brethren on the inside.
The media are desperate for a violent crime to pin on conservatives - especially the Tea Party - and their disappointment is becoming palpable. Mayor Bloomberg illustrates this point beautifully in his interview with Katie Couric:
“A home-grown?” she asked, to which Bloomberg responded, “Home-grown, maybe a mentally deranged person or somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill or something. It could be anything.”Although he was just spitballing, that sort of armchair quarterbacking does no one any good, and opens the door to more misguided accusations. It's interesting that his first thoughts on who might have done this would be an American with a grudge against ObamaCare. It's possibly due to early reports of a balding white man taking off his sweater on video - which might have been a ruse to make Shahzad think they were on to someone else. The fact that there has been no violence from the Tea Party means nothing; nor does the numerous cases of islamic violence - those were just isolated incidents, right?
The fact that almost every act of terror perpetrated on this country, with the exception of the loon who flew his plane into the IRS building (yes, that guy was delusional - read his writings and you'll agree), was executed by an islamic radical is apparently something that really bothers the media. Why can't those silly islamists play along and support the narrative? It's just so darned frustrating! One might even say it was cringeworthy.
It's not desperation, destitution, or derangement; nor is it based on race, position or nationality. It's about IDEOLOGY.
These radicals believe that what they are doing is holy and right. They take the most violent parts of the Koran and chose to live their lives by them. The left's belief that Islam is a religion of peace, like Buddhism, is untrue. There is as much about war as peace in that book, make no mistake. A majority of Muslims pursue the path of peace. but a sizeable group choose only the warlike elements to follow. They are our enemies, because they will not stop their campaign of terror until we are all either muslim or dead.
When the left, and expecially the current administration, finally understand that fact, then perhaps we might have a fighting chance. Until then, we are sitting ducks, because our esteemed leaders think money and maybe some pharmaceuticals should do the trick.
God help us all.