Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Death of Reagan Conservatives?

I know. I know that there are a great many of you who are disheartened out there in Conservativeville. I know that there is great disheartenment in the Conservative world, great discouragement, great disgust.

The battle is not lost. We live to fight another day. WE WILL ENDURE. We will endure because we have the ultimate weapon at our disposal, and that weapon is our minds.

We are not dead, nor are we a lost cause.

I told someone the other day that I never thought that I would live to see the day where I felt like I was the product of a bye-gone era. I am constantly amazed and bewildered by the general apathy among the twenty-somethings I know in regards to things political and to the work ethic. It very simply boggles the mind.

Yes, that's the word, and that's part of the problem. The mind.

I don't think that the upcoming generation really knows how to think.

A few years back I did a piece, which I posted originally here this past year, called Thought and Modern Man that dives into this issue. Sometimes a article is of such depth and magnitude (yes, I've been told I have a huge ego) that it needs to be reposted for emphasis, and I am doing so below.

I don't think conservatism is in it's death throes. We are taking a beating, true, but we are an ideology based in thought, and in reason, rather than based in feeling. Rationality and reason will always triumph, ultimately, over emotion; virtue based in the value of human achievement trumps virtue based in the sacrifice of self. Man alone of all animals is given the ability to reason and to function as a thinking being; we do not rely on sheer instinct for our survival. To rely upon instinct rather than thought is to offer ones self up for destruction.

So, to paraphrase the bard, "Read on, MacDuff," and take heart. While thinking men and women still live, so will live the ideology of conservatism to battle liberalism.

Thought and Modern Man

In the generations following the New Deal era of the FDR administration, and the free love culture of the flower child generation, we find ourselves today in a situation in which thought, reason, and rationality have found themselves having been replaced by feelings and emotions. Rational thought is no longer taken into account when one is dealing with the situations that face modern society, what has become more important than the reason behind what motivates the individual is not the thought process of the individuals mind, but the feelings that the individual experienced while in the process of performing an act, be it for the benefit or detriment of self or others.

Our society is driven now by feelings, speed, and convenience than by reason or thought. In our quest for convenience, we have made for ourselves, as a society, a culture of drones who work in jobs that require no thought, no reasoning skills, only the ability to press a few buttons with not words, but pictures upon them when ringing up a sale at a fast food restaurant. And somehow, the order the customer places invariably winds up to be incorrect even with the ease and convenience of having the job all but done for the workers running the machinery. It is only in the higher quality and higher caliber restaurants that one can find the service that is both well planned and the waitresses and waiters seem to take pride in their ability to remember a customers order with few mistakes, and the chefs able to complete an order on time without it not being prepared in a manner not to the customers ultimate satisfaction.

We have taken this fast food industry approach in regards to our fuel and transportation needs, as well. The garage with the attendant who is there to fill the gas tank of the customer, check the air in the tires, wash the windows, and check the oil is rarely to be found anymore amongst the quick marts, 7-11’s, mini marts, and such. Even the major fuel distributors in large cities have abandoned the full service gas station in favor of the convenience store, a place where the customer can fuel up their car, pick up a soft drink, a snack from the deli, a pack of cigarettes if (gods help them should the politically correct elitists see them) the customer happens to need a fresh pack. But woe unto the traveler who has a fan belt or radiator hose to break or rupture while on their journey, for the gas station is no longer an option, the driver will have to find an automotive specialist to do the repair work, after scheduling an appointment and having to wait for the wrong part to be sent, returned, and the right part to arrive. And please, don’t expect the staff at these stores to be happy to see the customer come in and do business; after all, someone owes them these jobs, but that doesn’t mean that there should be any work involved, or at least that seems to be the attitude of a great many.

Yet we love our modern conveniences, and rightly so. Technology has brought about such marvels as high definition television, high speed digital communications, and a great deal of other things for modern people to use for their personal enjoyment. It has improved modern medicine to the point where it is no longer a Stone Age practice of divination, but a science. Technology has also enabled the world of production to increase it’s output to a point unheard of during the industrial revolution, and has eased the workday of the modern factory worker considerably from the conditions of early factories, making the speed and efficiency of modern production a thing that modern industrialists should view with pride and a sense of accomplishment when running a line to produce their products. Yet government regulations have so choked the production industry, and taxation has so struck the profits of such industries, that corporations have begun to move their manufacturing outside of US borders in order to find cheaper labor, therefore insuring that the stockholders and owners of these companies can insure their profits, profits that are the expected right for the fruits of one’s labor.

Our government, while not exactly going to the same measures as the government in Atlas Shrugged, has, in the past century or so, managed to become something strikingly similar TO the government that exists in Atlas. The number of regulations and standards that exist today are enough to discourage the would-be ambitions of modern inventors from developing new products and then manufacturing them. What research IS done today is done by existing companies within their laboratories, but with contracts signed by the developers that any product of the researchers mind belongs to the company, a company that would just as soon pay a gifted chimpanzee, in many cases, as to pay for the worth of man’s mind, thus discouraging the brightest of researchers and developers to fall to a point of mediocrity, for they rest in the knowledge that their best efforts will be rewarded the same as the most ludicrous of others who surround them.

The root of this crisis of thought, this lacking of ideas and reason, can be traced to our public education system, in which competition for grades has become a thing of the past, but an atmosphere of making a student feel good even though he or she is not capable or willing to produce the same level of work as a student who gives entire devotion and dedication to study and success. The earliest examples of this are to be found in the elementary years, where children are taught that there are no differences in any of us, individualism is not important but is dangerous, and it is more important to do something for the benefit of everyone than to ever do something strictly because it is what the individual desires to do. Individualism is also broken down and destroyed in the middle and high school years with the introduction of the school uniform.

The ideal of rugged American individualism is in danger of becoming a thing of the past; however, we have not gotten to the point yet where the American people, and indeed, the people of the world, are beyond hope. The political system of the 1900’s needs to be revamped and retooled, as a large government is a thing of waste and a burden to the public for which it strives (pretends) to work. This is not the call for revolutionary activity, and I speak not with the fervor or vehemence of the extremist militia, but merely as a thinking man who sees that this could be accomplished by taking the existing system and returning it closer to a form of government as existed in the days before the administration of Woodrow Wilson, after which time a great many things have been introduced as legislation that are in direct violation of the wording, meaning, and spirit of the United States Constitution. It is time to abandon the notion Lincoln forwarded in the Gettysburg Address that all men are created equal, Lincoln was a racist, and all men are not created equally, for we each are created with our own unique gifts and talents. The application of these talents, or lack of application, is what identifies us as either productive citizens or as a burden to others.

The greatest sin to be committed by man is the sin of failing to think.

The Government of the United States has become, as was foretold in Atlas Shrugged, the welfare state, a term used by critics of today’s government. This term is not used loosely, however, when one considers farm subsidies, corporate subsidies, and the general welfare program itself, which is overrun with abuses that go unchecked by social workers whose caseloads are so full that they often cannot put a face to a name when filing their reports to the larger cogs of the wheels of a government that has overstepped it’s authority and purpose in its attempt to become both mother and father to the generations of welfare recipients who are stuck in a cycle of poverty that is supposed to be a temporary state, but winds up binding its members with regulations so stringent that the incentive to work is all but killed out of those who are able bodied and willing to do so, with threats of loss of benefits to those who make an amount that the government deems too much in any given month. This is not a system that is designed to help people, it is a system designed to make a generation dependent upon the government for support and livelihood.

So often in the news today, especially during election years, politicians running for office moan and decry the state of the government systems, and promise to do something for change, while offering no solutions, no remedies, no repeals of the over reaching fingers of the government and it’s numerous agencies which, while in theory are established to serve the common good, are nothing more than machinery that is fed by the tax system, robbing the individual of his or her income by imposing a tax system that is unfair and inequitable, in the name of fairness to all. The individual is better judge of what his income is spent on than the federal government, yet the politicians that are elected, while paying lip service to tax reform to their constituency, seldom do more than token efforts to maintain the status quo rather than to do what common sense and reason deem the only logical choice of action: the elimination of redundant government programs, the elimination of government waste, and the reduction or elimination of the income tax system.

With these thoughts in mind, I close this offering of the thoughts of my mind, after years of seeing these things come to pass, and having only recently discovered Ayn Rand’s works and her incredible vision.



Postscript: It’s been roughly five years since I first set these thoughts down as “record.” I find myself, in reviewing them, considering a few things in retrospect. I haven’t changed my mind on anything that was said that evening these years gone by now when I first wrote this piece; if anything, I’m more convinced in rereading over it now that I’m correct in my observations. At the time of the original writing, I was “teaching” history and government classes at a juvenile justice facility. Since that time, I’ve walked away from the public education system in absolute dismay at the overwhelming apathy of school administrations that are more interested in the bottom line (money) than in the education of our children and in ensuring that students have learned to THINK.

Mind you, I’m in no way, shape, or fashion opposed to making money. I’ve stated fairly recently to those I work with that I’m VERY mercenary in regards to my work, and will go where I can make more money when and if the opportunity presents itself. However, as John Galt made clear in the book Atlas Shrugged, my mind IS my own, and I will use it as I see fit, rather than being forced to use it without proper recompense for the fruits of my thought and my labor.

“Who is John Galt,” Rand asks in her novel. The man who set out to stop the engine of the world, and succeeded. If things continue on the course that we currently travel, as a nation, as a people, I think that we may see the answer to another question asked the other day of “Where is OUR John Galt?” As one who DID as John Galt did, one who walked away from a system that had no appreciation for my intellect or talent, one who walked away from a system that strives to squelch independent thought, I can truthfully say there was more than a little John Galt in me when I left the public education system. A move which opened the floodgates in the system where I worked and saw several others walk away as well, choosing to take employment where their minds and talents WERE better appreciated and recompensed.

"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of
another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

Check out my Random Thoughts, as well...

Once and Always an American Fighting Man



Sunday, January 27, 2008

Space: the FINAL frontier...

Sir Richard Branson is commercializing the space industry. His Virgin Galactic division has announced this week the design for a suborbital spaceliner that would carry passengers into the upper stratosphere of planet Earth.

Future thrill-seekers will ride a sleek spacecraft berthed under a massive, twin-boom mothership to the fringe of space in a design unveiled Wednesday by Virgin Galactic.

The SpaceShipTwo spacecraft and its WhiteKnightTwo carrier will begin initial tests this summer to shakedown the novel spaceflight system designed by aerospace pioneer Burt Rutan and his firm Scaled Composites.

"2008 really will be the year of the spaceship," said British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, who unveiled a 1/16th-scale model of the new spacecraft here at the American Museum of Natural History. "We're truly excited about our new system and what our new system will be able to do."

Perhaps this will be the precursor for future regular flights to the first international space station, or other such stations that may be used as a layover for connecting flights to lunar or Mars colonies.

In the earliest records of our history, man has relied upon the oceans and seas for his livelihood. Our earliest ancestors were fishermen and sea farers, braving the high seas in craft that by our modern standards are considered to be very crude, yet it was in these crude vessels that they circumnavigated our world, charting new lands, discovering new continents, and establishing routes for later travelers to wander, either for pleasure or commerce. Man fishes the seas, makes war and love at sea, farms the sea, and explores it for energy resources, such as petroleum or aquatic power. The seas have been and will be, for the foreseeable future, very important to the existence of the human race as a species.

But of course, it has not been an evolution of travel without risk. Since man put the first crude watercraft to water, there have been accidents. Through the centuries, mankind has lost members to the waters; many are the tales of ships lost at sea, of pirates treasures sunk in old hulks at the bottom of the Caribbean, stories like Moby Dick and the romanticizing of the wreck of the Titanic are an ever present part of our society today. Poetry has been written with the sea as its topic, books about ships at sea and their crews and adventures and misadventures, and at some point in time most small boys have daydreamed about sailing the high seas in search of adventures on distant lands, even in this century.

Millions of dollars a year are spent on oceanic research in modern times. Marine biology, geology, meteorology, and oceanography are but a few of the sciences involved in researching this vast and mostly unexplored part of our world. Tragedy accompanies this research from time to time, as it has accompanied the earliest days of the exploration of the seas. It has become something that is to be expected, even anticipated, on the high seas. There is even a certain tradition of death to go along with this, for every school child knows that the captain is expected to go down with his ship when it sinks. And yet when tragedies at sea occur, no one ever forwards the notion that oceanic research should be stopped, that it is too dangerous, and that it is too costly to continue funding. Our commercial bases, globally, are based upon moving freight across the high seas from one point to another, and it has been thus for so long that we accept and expect tragedy to follow ocean travel, therefore it is never even suggested that we stop our trade and travel on the seas in order to save lives or money.

How, then, is the exploration of space any different, when thinking on a universal level, than the exploration of the high seas? It is different because it is still a new concept, different because mankind is accustomed to the confines of his planet, different because it involves taking a step towards the unknown. It is different because religion has taught us that we are supposed to be earthbound creatures, and that the skies and the stars and the heavens belong to the gods, and we, for all of our technological advances and scientific thinking, are still by and large a superstitious species that can barely grasp the concept of what lies beyond the confines of this island Earth.

Our world is reaching a point of near crisis, yet we barely notice because we have grown comfortable listening to our governments telling us what to think about things through their mouthpieces in the media, who tell us where the problems are and we accept the things that we are told because we are conditioned to do so. The media doesn’t report to us the overpopulation of countries like India and China other than in the form or raw data and statistics, nor of the famines and plagues that cover the continent of Africa, other than as a side note that goes along with the latest happenings in Washington and in New York at the United Nations. We are presented with what is wanted to be seen, not an entire picture of things that are happening to us globally, as a people, as a race, as a species. While it is true that cures need to be found for the ills that torment us physically, and something needs to be done to resolve the starvation that accompanies overpopulation, we, the human race, must not limit our focus to things only of this planet.

Industry will, eventually, become a key player in space exploration, for one simple reason: it will become economically feasible to do so. Our world is limited in the amount of raw material that can be produced over a period of millennia, it takes eons for the earth to reproduce itself, through volcanic activity, and to recreate the ores, minerals, and metals which are important to the day to day lives of every man, woman, and child on this planet. The metal industry, indeed even the food industry, one day will be forced to look beyond our own limitations of atmosphere and gravity on this planet and seek answers beyond our borders of gravitational pull. Perhaps the cure for AIDS lies in the stars, or other viruses and diseases, in places we have not even dreamed of visiting. Geologists have assayed samples of materials taken from the moon and, in fact, from meteor fragments found here on Earth and collected in space travel, and have determined that these fragments, these small samples taken from debris from other worlds that have, for whatever reason, exploded, contain minerals and rocks of the same or similar composition to those we find here on our world. It is a commercial necessity, or will become one, that mankind explore space.

There is, of course, one other option we, mankind as a species, can make: the collective decision to allow ourselves to become extinct. Even with the colonization of the sea in underwater habitats and dwellings, eventually we will run out of room on this planet for us to survive. We can cave in to those who say that space exploration is too costly, too dangerous, and to those who say that we need to spend our research money on things planet side. We can ignore the beckoning of the stars for our exploration and simply remain a primitive planet in the backwater regions of our galaxy, and refuse to take our place among the stars. We can ignore whatever other peoples that might be out there awaiting us to come of age as a species and join them in their triumphs and tribulations, their confederations, their wars, their hopes for the universe and for whatever the future holds for all creatures who have ever looked to their skies and wondered what lies beyond their atmospheres. Or, we can reach up, reach out, and accept and embrace the change that will come with taking our species and trying desperately to evolve and change into something better than we are now. In the end, it is our choice, and our decision; do we dare defy the gods of our ancestors and seek out the unknown, or do we remain here, alone, isolated, and adrift in our orbit around a sun that will, one day, burn out and die?

In memory of the crews of Apollo 1, Challenger and the Columbia and their vision “to boldly go where no one has gone before” in their quest for our “last, best hope for peace,” and in salute to Sir Richard Branson for being visionary enough to venture into commercial space exploration...

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Resurrecting Camelot

It starts with the endorsement gained from the daughter of the late JFK. Caroline Kennedy has given her support to Barack Obama for the Democratic Presidential nomination, as recorded in her OP-ED piece at the New York Times:

OVER the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.

It continues with the endorsement of her uncle:

Senator Edward M. Kennedy will endorse Barack Obama
for president tomorrow, breaking his year-long neutrality to send a powerful signal of where the legendary Massachusetts Democrat sees the party going -- and who he thinks is best to lead it.

Kennedy confidantes told the Globe today that the Bay State's senior senator will appear with Obama and Kennedy's niece, Caroline Kennedy, at a morning rally at American University in Washington tomorrow to announce his support.

That will be a potentially significant boost for Obama as he heads into a series of critical primaries on Super Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Tomorrow's expected endorsement comes after a week of the Clinton camp taking hits from key Democrats for their campaign tactics, and the involvement of Bill stumping for wife Hillary.

This comes as a hard blow for Team Clinton, as they were hoping for the coveted Kennedy clan's backing. The Clinton's, one will recall by going back to the first Presidential campaign for Bill in the 90's, was based on the concept of his being the heir apparent for the JFK legacy. And thus the attempt was made. I'll refer back to my analogy from last night: JFK could be said to have ridden into office on the back of a gleaming white stallion, Bubba rode in on an Arkansas ridgeback mule. JFK was a charming, intellectual, appealing gentleman, Bubba was...a bubba. Jackie was the epitome of the first lady: classy, charming, and intelligent; Hillary was the antithesis of Jackie: brazen, brassy, bossy, and with an agenda of her own.

I dare say we are seeing the blooming of that agenda into fruit today.

I don't agree with Obama politically. I disagree with his views on the war, on our troop deployments, and a host of other issues. I will say, however, that I do find him to be a likable individual, and that goes a long way with winning the hearts and minds of the American public. Hillary has always been challenged with a likability deficit. Obama doesn't have that problem.

There is much back and forth about the involvement of Bill Clinton in Hillary's campaign. I've heard more than a few commentators on both the right AND the left making comments about how that Bill is not acting as a former President should. On the one hand, I can definitely agree with them, he's NOT acting in the manner of a former President. On the other, we have no precedent for which to determine this situation, other than the back and forth husband then wife then husband administrations of the Governor's Wallace in Alabama some years back. That's hardly the same thing, as former Governors are expected to slip into the sidelines and play the part of consultant and goodwill ambasadors instead of active participant as former Presidents are.

I don't think there is any doubt that all Bill Clinton has done is show that he himself is licking his chops hungrily at the prospect of returning to reside in the White House. His barrage of assaults on Obama, the bringing up of the race card (Bill DID run on the concept of being the first black President, after all. Obama will actually TAKE that title should he gain the Presidency, although he was leaving race OUT of the equation). It is obvious from South Carolina that this did nothing to help the Clinton campaign, but hurt her badly in Saturday's Democratic primary there.

The Kennedy clan endorsement means a huge boost for the Obama camp and a bitter blow for Team Clinton. It's almost like a Papal nod to a crown prince in medieval Europe. What remains to be seen, as with the Papalcy of Europe throughout the centuries, is exactly how much influence the Kennedy endorsement actually brings to the Obama camp today; how much power do the Kennedy's still wield. THAT is going to make a difference at the convention.

Until then, it's still looking to be a slugfest for both front running Democrats, with John Edwards in the background far enough behind so as not to have his hair ruffled by the wind of swinging punches.

All in all, it's going to be interesting.

Popcorn, anyone?

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Obama takes South Carolina? UPDATED: Caroline Kennedy Endorses Obama

Updates below.

I just walked in the door from work and turned on the news. South Carolina's polls have just closed and Fox News is declaring, based on exit poll data, that Obama has won a significant victory over Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.

I think the suggestion of Hillary's "inevitability" has just crashed and burned for certain.

Hillary Clinton has already departed South Carolina and is en route to Nashville to stump for Super Tuesday at a town hall event.

Hold on to your wallets, Tennesseans...

[UPDATE 9:00 pm CST]

Obama takes South Carolina by storm, and the speculations continue on whether former President husband Bill Clinton hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign by going on the stump for her. Notice, if you will, the use of the term "rout" used in so many media sources:

href="" target="_blank">Senator Barack Obama won a lopsided victory in the South Carolina Democratic primary on Saturday, drawing widespread support from a high turnout of black voters in the first Southern contest of the presidential campaign.

His chief rivals for the nomination, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards, were in a race for second place as returns continued to trickle in from the state’s precincts.

The rout for Mr. Obama, who trailed in polls here just weeks ago, reinvigorates his campaign after a series of second-place finishes behind Mrs. Clinton, whose campaign had sought to lower expectations for her performance in South Carolina.


Barack Obama routed Hillary Rodham Clinton in the racially charged South Carolina primary Saturday night, regaining campaign momentum in the prelude to a Feb. 5 coast-to-coast competition for more than 1,600 Democratic National Convention delegates.


Barack Obama crushed top rival Hillary Clinton in the South Carolina Democratic primary Saturday, in a decisive victory that could reinvigorate his campaign after suffering back-to-back losses to the New York senator.

Their front pages proclaims "Obama Routs Clinton in South Carolina."


A vast wave of support from African-Americans lifted Barack Obama to victory in South Carolina's Democratic primary. But his showing among white voters suggests an uphill battle in the upcoming primaries where blacks play less of a role.

Blacks accounted for a majority of voters in South Carolina, 53 percent -- the highest turnout among African-Americans in any Democratic presidential primary for which data are available. And a huge proportion of them, 80 percent, supported Obama, compared with 18 percent for Hillary Clinton and just 2 percent for John Edwards.


Bill Clinton's aggressive campaigning in South Carolina in the days leading up to the state's primary may have had a net negative effect among South Carolina’s Democratic primary voters, CNN exit polls indicate.

Roughly 6 in 10 South Carolina Democratic primary voters said Bill Clinton's campaigning was important in how they ultimately decided to vote, and of those voters, 48 percent went for Barack Obama while only 37 percent went for Hillary Clinton. Fourteen percent of those voters voted for John Edwards

Meanwhile, the exit polls also indicate Obama easily beat Clinton among those voters who decided in the last three days — when news reports heavily covered the former president's heightened criticisms of Obama. Twenty percent of South Carolina Democrats made their decision in the last three days and 51 percent of them chose Obama, while only 21 percent picked Clinton.

It should be noted before it is forgotten by public that Obama wasn't the one to pull out the race card. America's "First black President" and his candidate wife did that. It seems to me that it backfired for team Clinton in South Carolina.

One can only wonder what comes next from team Clinton out of their bag of dirty politics in the days before Super Tuesday. Personally, I'm expecting anything at this point in the Democratic Party race.

Maybe they'll blame it on a vast black-wing conspiracy?

On another note, Hillary is still leading in the number of delegates for the Democratic nomination. It will be interesting to see what happens to the Democratic Party if the popular vote rules in favor of Obama but the delegate vote supports Hillary.

Tighten up your cinch straps, ya'll, and hold on to your hats. Trails about to get a mite bumpy...


No sooner said than it happens. The first next bump.

Camelot has endorsed Obama.

Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.

Thus begins Caroline Kennedy's OP-ED at the New York Times.

Now, let's follow the thinking here. Bill Clinton rode in on an Arkansas razorback mule in the 90's trying to emulate the stallion riding entry of John F. Kennedy (hey, it's MY analogy, just laugh and nod your heads, damma). Now we see the DAUGHTER of the late President Kennedy endorsing the neoCamelot's opponent...


COULD this be the beginning of Camelot endorsing someone other than the former "heir apparent?"

COULD THIS BE the first death knell of the Clintonistas?

COULD IT BE POSSIBLE that one day Jimmy Olsen will look at Clark Kent and suddenly realize that a pair of glasses just aren't an adequate disguise? Ok, that last question popping into my head tells me that I've been awake for WAY too long.

More tomorrow.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Damned Thieves Partially Return Money to Victims

I love when the government starts talking about giving people money. I LOVE the concept of this freshly hatched "stimulus package" to boost the economy. I especially love it when government plays Robin Hood and tries to convince everyone that it's a good thing...

House leaders and the administration reached agreement today on a roughly $145 billion economic stimulus package that would quickly send payments to poor and middle-class workers while offering businesses one-time incentives to invest in new equipment and write off tax losses.

In formally announcing the deal this afternoon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. hailed it as a bipartisan effort that would help stimulate the economy by spurring consumer demand and creating new jobs.

Under the plan, as many as 117 million people would get rebate checks. Individual income tax filers would receive up to $600, working couples would get up to $1,200, and those with children would get an additional $300 per child.

"First and foremost, the stimulus package will put money in the hands of hardworking Americans," Pelosi told a Capitol Hill news conference. "This is a middle-class initiative to strengthen the middle class and to those who aspire to be in the middle class. It will be in the form of tax rebates and a child tax credit."

Right. We're supposed to think that $300 a head is going to strengthen the middle class? Bolster the economy? THIS WAS YOUR MONEY TO BEGIN WITH, AMERICA!

It blows my mind how that we allowed, as a nation, President Woodrow Wilson to totally and completely disregard the United States Constitution by empowering the Federal Reserve Bank to be the authority over our nation's economy. It further blows my mind how that our nation willing AMENDED the Constitution to include the income tax in 1913. Of course, I suppose I shouldn't really be surprised, after all, that was the era that gave birth to the Bolshevik movement, which was alive and well in American politics and economics as much then as it is today.

"From each according to his means, to each according to his needs."

Never have bought that, because it means that someone else determines what my needs are. That's MY call, not the call of someone else. Especially not someone in the government.

Take a moment, if you will, and consider the things you pay taxes on: income taxes, inheritance taxes, capital gains taxes, wheel taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, gift taxes, luxury item taxes, tobacco and alcohol taxes, firearms and ammunitions taxes, death taxes (yes, you can be taxed for dying), business taxes, fuel taxes, (in Tennessee) entertainment taxes...


I THOUGHT that this nation rebelled against England over taxes, did we not? Wasn't there a party in Boston Harbor involving tea? "No taxation without representation" has become "I am your representative, and I'm going to pay lip service to making sure you aren't overly taxed."

If Congress and the White House TRULY want to benefit the American people and promote true economic stimulation, they should begin working on eliminating government wastes, earmarks, pork projects, and begin working towards repealing the 16th amendment, or at least coming up with something that isn't overburdening any ONE segment of the American public.

Because the middle class is getting hosed. They always do.

Let me give the rest of you a little advice for what to do with your economic stimulus checks, when you get them. Are you listening? Look around and make sure no one is eavesdropping, this is going to be our little secret, okay? Take that money that the government is sending to you and go straightaway to the financial institution of your choice and invest it, or at least a portion of it, into an account where it will make you more money...

And then call your Congressman and tell them THANK YOU for playing Robing Hood with other people's money, stealing from the American People and then giving a little back so we all "feel good."

AND THEN, next time your representatives come up for reelection, DON'T DO IT. Put someone else in their office and demand that they work for the people, not for bigger government.

Oh yes, and one more twist of the blade. Some will be getting money back who don't pay INTO the income tax system...

Economic incentive my leathery arse.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Come with me if you want to live..."

It's no secret that I support Israel. I always have. I don't stand with the left in thinking that Israel should give up land for peace. They've done that all along and it never works.

I firmly and fully believe in the right of Israel to defend herself against the constant onslaught that they face. Every nation should have that right, no body of nations (re: the United Nations or the Arab League) should denounce a single nation for standing in defense of her citizenry.

NO OTHER NATION ON THIS EARTH would stand for years of attacks the way Israel has done and not go full throttle after their attackers.

That being said.

Remember the Terminator movie series? Arnold as a terminator cyborg from the future chasing after John Connor to kill him because he was the future savior of humanity in the first one, then sent back as a SECOND cyborg in the second and third movies to protect him from other terminator cyborgs. In the movies, the machines had risen to destroy humanity after becoming "self-aware" and determining that mankind had had our day.

Science fiction writers have often included the use of cyborgs and androids or other intelligent sophisticated systems in their writings. Be it the Robot from Lost in Space, Mr. Data from the Star Trek saga, HAL from 2001, or the Terminator himself (or my personal favorite, Tricia Helfer's Cylon character on the new Battlestar Galactica series), science fiction has blended the interaction of man and machine into our minds as common place in future society.

The future may be closer than we had expected.

Israel has announced plans to begin implementation of artificial intelligence systems into it's air defense network.

Israeli military leaders have begun early planning for a new, robotic defense system
, armed with enough artificial intelligence that it "could take over completely" from flesh-and-blood operators. "It will be designed for... autonomous operations,' Brig. Gen. Daniel Milo, commander of Israel's air defense forces, tells Defense News' Barbara Opall-Rome. And in the event of a "doomsday" strike, Opall-Rome notes, the system could handle "attacks that exceed physiological limits of human command."

Current air defense systems have automatic tracking systems that will allow the weapon to acquire a target and then a human has to make the determination to fire it. This sort of system would take the human element out of the equation and make the weapon totally automatic and rely on artificial intelligence to make the decision of when and if to fire, other than one incident in South Africa in October where 9 were killed in an accident involving an automated weapons system.

Or had it become "self-aware?"

Definitely something to ponder, I think.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Sunday, January 20, 2008

What part of illegal is so hard to understand?

I've long maintained that I have a huge love for the Mexican culture. Mexican food, the Spanish language, Mexican guitar music while drinking Corona beer on a Saturday night, listening to the coyotes yipping in the distance across the moonlight across the both the Kansas and Texas prairies.

The influence of Spanish culture on this country can be seen in the number of cities and towns across the United States bearing Spanish names. From Saint Augustine, the nation's oldest settlement predating Jamestown and Plymouth, to Los Angeles, San Antonio, Los Cruses, and so many, many others, the presence of Spanish exploration and settlement of this nation is unarguable.

That being said.

We cannot exist in this nation, as a nation, without the rule of law. We cannot exist as a nation without having some sort of way of securing our national borders and not allowing a steady stream of illegal border crossings, be it the large numbers of people coming into our country and staying, or fugitives fleeing justice to other nations who will not return them TO our nation for justice.

This past week we have seen two incidents that bring this problem back into the national spotlight, and the questions again arise of what to do about securing our borders. In the first case, highly publicized, we have the case of a young Marine, accused of murdering another Marine and burying her body in a fire pit in his back yard, who has become a fugitive from justice and has possibly fled to his native Mexico to escape American authorities.

A wide-ranging manhunt for Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean began last week, after authorities said he fled North Carolina and left behind a note in which he admitted burying the body of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, who had accused him of rape. Detectives later found Lauterbach's burned remains in a fire pit in his backyard.

Court documents filed this week by the FBI state Laurean told members of his Marine Corps unit he would flee to Mexico if it appeared he would be found guilty of rape. Laurean's wife also told authorities she believed he would head to Mexico if he was in trouble.

"We strongly suspect, but have not confirmed, that Laurean may be in Mexico," said FBI spokesman Richard Kolko in Washington. "We have a strong working relationship with law enforcement partners in Mexico and we're working with them to locate and apprehend him."

Laurean is a naturalized American citizen with family still living in Mexico, where it is believed he has fled to avoid prosecution in the United States. Mexican policy is that they will not extradite individuals sought outside their borders who are facing the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole. North Carolina, where Laurean is under investigation for the death of fellow Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, who is believed to have been pregnant with Lauren's child, does prosecute death penalty cases. Laureans wife, still in North Carolina, is said to be cooperating with the investigation.

This is just one incident. Controversial bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman escaped extradition to Mexico to face charges of illegally apprehending Max Factor heir Andrew Luster to California to serve his sentence for conviction of rape charges in 2003. Mexican law does not permit bounty hunters to enter Mexico and arrest fugitives, but the case of has been dropped by Mexico.

The other incident from this past week involves border enforcement itself, as once again U.S. Border agents have become involved in an incident along the U.S.-Mexican border, this time resulting in the loss of life of one of their agents.

Senior Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar was trying to stop a suspected smuggler who had illegally entered the country from Mexico when he was hit, according to Agent Michael Bernacke, a spokesman for the agency's Yuma sector.

The incident happened in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area about 20 miles west of Yuma at about 9 a.m. Saturday.

Bernacke said Aguilar was trying to place spike strips in the path of a Hummer and a Ford pickup truck on Interstate 8 when the suspected smuggler's vehicle hit and killed him.

Both vehicles fled into Mexico.

The FBI is investigating this situation. Aguilar leaves behind a wife and two children. Mexican authorities are said to be offering their full cooperation into the investigation of the incident. This incident is just one of several that can be found in headlines and newscasts across the country. Not a week passes that there isn't an incident involving illegal immigrants who have been involved in drunk driving accidents, homicides, burglaries, or rape cases, one very bizarre incident includes an illegal in Miami raping a puppy. I don't think this is what liberals have in mind when they say our strength is in our diversity.

We focus so much on Mexican illegals because of the high numbers of them in the United States. According to Census statistics in 2000, the number was around 8 to 11 million. More up to date estimates put the number currently around 18 million. While many argue that these people have come here to make their lives better, the question remains; are they? And what are they contributing to the American economy? The Christian Science Monitor released an article in March of 2007 showing the cost to the American people of illegal immigration. From the lack of taxes paid by illegal workers to their use of public resources, public education, and the like, illegal immigration is creating an artificial burden on the American economy that could be rectified by simply enforcing existing laws regarding the issue OF illegal immigration. Sanctuary cities and states create havens for people who have entered our country and their first act is a violation of the law simply by the manner in which they came into the country. States where immigration laws are being enforced are showing results, but the availability of sanctuary in other places simply displaces them further across our own country instead of giving them reason to go back to their own.

There are many proposals for how to deal with the problem of securing our borders and handling the issue of illegal immigration. One that is circulating the currently comes from actor turned radio talk show host Jerry Doyle, perhaps my personal favorite, which he calls his "legal immigration ten commandments." Another option would to be to adopt laws similar to those IN Mexico, where it is a felony to be an illegal immigrant:

At a time when the Supreme Court and many politicians seek to bring American law in line with foreign legal norms, it's noteworthy that nobody has argued that the U.S. look at how Mexico deals with immigration and what it might teach us about how best to solve our illegal immigration problem. Mexico has a single, streamlined law that ensures that foreign visitors and immigrants are:

# in the country legally;
# have the means to sustain themselves economically;
# not destined to be burdens on society;
# of economic and social benefit to society;
# of good character and have no criminal records; and
# contributors to the general well-being of the nation.

The law also ensures that:

# immigration authorities have a record of each foreign visitor;
# foreign visitors do not violate their visa status;
# foreign visitors are banned from interfering in the country's internal politics;
# foreign visitors who enter under false pretenses are imprisoned or deported;
# foreign visitors violating the terms of their entry are imprisoned or deported;
# those who aid in illegal immigration will be sent to prison.

Critics and skeptics argue that it's too late to do anything about the illegals currently residing in the States. Personally, I'm not so sure. President Eisenhower authorized the implementation of Operation Wetback in 1954, in which 1.2 million illegals were deported back to their home countries. I'm not so sure we'd have to go to such extreme measures today. If laws currently on the books were enforced, such as prosecuting employers who hire illegals, depriving them of government assistance which was set up for American citizens and NOT for those here illegally, I believe, as do many others, that with no resources, the flow of illegals coming into this country would drop dramatically, and we would see a sort of reverse migration of illegals returning to their own countries of their own accord.

The first step is to start enforcing the existing laws, rather than encouraging people to break them. Then, perhaps, we can get back to kicking back with a nice cold Corona and listening to the soft strumming of a legal Mexican guitar player under a moonlit sky on the Texas prairie while the coyotes yip in the distance...

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


On allegations of torture: BLAME CANADA! BLAME CANADA!

Torture has been an age old practice employed in gathering information and intelligence from ones enemies. It's roots go back as long as our history as a people, and the effectiveness of torture has been debated as long as there has been a practice of it.

Officially, the United States and Israel prohibit the use of torture as a means of gathering information from enemy combatants. Rumors and innuendos of torture of captive Islamic terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay have been debunked. Yet and still, the Canadian Foreign Ministry had distributed literature to it's diplomats listing both the US and Israel on a torture awareness training manual as part of a torture watch list.

The incident arose after a copy of the document had been forwarded to Amnesty International by lawyers who are working on a case involving allegations of torture of Afghan detainees by Afghan authorities after Canadian troops had delivered them into Afghan custody. Amnesty International has so far issued no statement on the matter.

The types of torture the document alleges the United States to be involved in include sleep deprivation, forced nudity, and isolation of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, where one Canadian is being held under suspicion of acts of terrorism. One could logically conclude, if isolation is a method of torture, that the entire corrections system of the United States would be involved in the implementation of torture by the use of solitary confinement of prisoners.

Canadian officials, meanwhile, have quickly denounced the document and have called for the training manual to be revised, under pressure from both the United States and Israel.

Canadian Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier said he regretted the embarrassment caused by the public disclosure of the manual, which also classified some U.S. interrogation techniques as torture.

"It contains a list that wrongly includes some of our closest allies. I have directed that the manual be reviewed and rewritten," Bernier said in a statement.

"The manual is neither a policy document nor a statement of policy. As such, it does not convey the government's views or positions."

Syria, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Iran, China, and Afghanistan where among other nations listed in the document.

The Canadian Foreign Ministry began it's work on putting together a training document after the US deportation of Canadian engineer Maher Arar to Syria in 2002, where he claims to have been tortured in a Damascus prison, after taking criticism for their handling of the incident.

If the "humiliation" of detainees at Abu Ghraig is torture, then I'm a Chippendale Dancer. Putting panties on their heads isn't torture. It's childish and ridiculous, yes, but I doubt very seriously it's going to leave anyone emotionally scarred for life. How many college frat boys have wandered around at beer swilling parties with their girlfriends panties on their heads? And they call that TORTURE?

Waterboarding, yes, I can see that as torture. But let me post this question: which is the more severe; waterboarding or beheading? Where is the outcry of the left at the beheading of captured westerners by the Islamic jihadists? Where is the outrage?

I'm sure that the detainees at Gitmo are feeling so very, very tortured and neglected by being encouraged to play baseball, being fed three square meals a day PREPARED IN A MANNER NOT TO OFFEND ISLAMIC HOLDINS, and being allowed to read the Harry Potter books and any other literature that they ask for. I'm SURE that they're TORTURED when we supply them with prayer rugs and copies of the Koran.

It's because of such BLATANT stupidity as this that I'm ALL FOR the idea offered by Stephen Kruiser to invade Canada. And when we GET there we're going to introduce them to FOOTBALL and BUDWEISER!

Torture my leathery arse.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

OH MY GOD can you SAY Griswalds?

Remember the Chevy Chase movie, Vacation? Chase and family take off across country in the family truckster to go to Wally World, pick up his wifes grandmother on the way, and she dies along the way. They carry her body on to Arizona and leave her, in the rain, at her son's house, and continue on to California for their date with the Moose.

In an amazing situation where life imitates art, an Arkansas family has done something similiar, and grandma made the trip with them, deceased for most of the journey.

From the Oregonian:

HILLSBORO -- An Arkansas family trying to fulfill an ailing grandmother's last request, arrived in Hillsboro early Sunday with the grandmother's body in the back of their recreational vehicle, police said.

The woman apparently died in Wyoming, and her family completed the trip.

The 79-year-old woman, who lived in Oroville, Calif., suffered from advanced kidney disease and wished to see her family before she died, Hillsboro Police Lt. Michael Rouches said.

Rouches said the woman's family picked her up in Oroville, drove her to visit family in Arkansas and were on their way to see other family in Hillsboro when she died.

The woman was last seen alive by the family about 3 a.m. Saturday near Laramie, Wyo., he said.

"We believe they were about 1,100 miles from Hillsboro when she passed away," Rouches said. "We believe they were in Wyoming. That's based on gas receipts."

Rouches said the woman's doctors told family members the frail grandmother might not survive the trip.

Hillsboro Police were called at about 9 a.m. Sunday.

Rouches stressed that the death was not a police matter, despite its seemingly unusual nature, because no law had been broken. Because it was not a police matter, Rouches did not release the woman's name.

I wonder if Christy Brinkley was driving along flirting with the father as they traveled down the highway?

Currently, police are investigating but at this point are not expecting to bring any criminal charges.

News from the weird and strange, brought to you by...

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


The Best Commercial Ever...

This was sent to me in email bearing the same title in the reference line of "The Best Commercial Ever." In watching it, I have to agree...

For those of you who subscribe via email, click here.

God bless our troops.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Nancy Pelosi Prioritizes

With radical Muslim extremists, rising fuel prices, a possible artificial recession looming on the horizon due to too much governmental regulation of the economy, the controversy of national health care initiatives, the global war on terror, and other such critical situations looming in the world, it's GOOD to know that Speaker Pelosi has her priorities straight on what's important.

It COULD be said that she's heading up the Capital Food Police. Speaker Pelosi has determined that the menu offered by the Capital deli's, snack bars, and such needed to be "greened up" for the sake of the environment.

From Politico:

The processed cheese has been replaced with brie. The Jell-O has made way for raspberry kiwi tarts and mini-lemon blueberry trifles. Meatloaf has moved over for mahi mahi and buns have been shunted aside in favor of baguettes.

A revolution is afoot at the deli counters, grills and salad bars of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Newly ascendant Democrats may have hit roadblocks on Iraq and fiscal issues, but they have revamped congressional menus, replacing fatty, pre-made foods with healthier, gourmet alternatives. The once dreary congressional cafeterias now abound with haute cuisine.

The menu transformation is part of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “Greening the Capitol” plan to make the House campus more environmentally friendly and socially progressive.

But there can be a downside to delicious. Not everyone is happy with the enhanced offerings. Many congressional employees have complained that as the food quality has increased, so have the prices.

“It’s a big jump from high school cafeteria to fancy-pants gourmet. I just wish my pay improved,” said Caryn Schenewerk, a staffer for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

A fruit and cheese side dish with two small wedges of brie and cheddar, six grapes, two saltines and one strawberry cost $4.95, for example.

Don't touch that pepperoni pizza, Jimmy, you don't know where it's been, and besides, it's not good for the environment.

Ok, I have to say this. I've GOT to say this. Meatloaf I understand (and love), but mahi-mahi? First of all, what the hell IS it? Secondly, what the hell IS it?

Oy vey.

Outstanding job, Nancy, keep up the good work. It's your continued focus on such pressing issues as this that make us so VERY proud of you and, indeed, our House of Representatives as a whole.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Monday, January 14, 2008

Benton County Animal Shelter Closed by Local Law Enforcement

In a series of events and controversy surrounding the County Animal Shelter, Friday's latest situation has resulted in the closure of the facility pending a criminal investigation.

Problems with the shelter have been ongoing since October, when the county's animal control officer, Jacqueline Marie Boyett, was arrested for simple possession of marijuana after local law enforcement officers received information that shelter employees were selling marijuana and prescription drugs on county property. Drug paraphernalia was also discovered in two county vehicles as a result of a K-9 search of the facility.

In a related incident the same day, another employee, Vanessa Walker was arrested for driving on a suspended license when she responded in a county vehicle in response to a call concerning an animal that had been struck by a vehicle.

Rumors began circulating in November that a number of puppies had died of poor living conditions and cold weather. Local veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Paschall stated that she was unaware of any deaths of dogs at the shelter due to anything other than parvovirus. County Mayor Jimmy Wiseman stated that the animals were well taken care of, fed and watered twice a day, and their pens cleaned on a daily basis.

Troubles with the animal shelter came to a head this past week, however, when a local woman, Tracy Merrell, received an anonymous phone call from someone who told her that her dog, which had been missing since November 15th, was at the Huntingdon, TN home of animal control officer Boyett, whom the caller claimed had been using the pit bull for stud services. Merrell drove to Boyett's home to discover her dog, Kid, tied in the back yard, at which point she contacted the Carroll County Sheriff's Department. The dog was returned to Merrell, and Boyett was relieved of her duties at the shelter.

All of this has led to the latest problem with the animal shelter, which has resulted in it's closure and the pending investigation and possible criminal charges that may reach as high as the seat of the county mayor. Camden Police Chief George Smith and a city investigator responded to a call from a concerned citizen that the animals at the shelter were not being cared for.

A concerned citizen's call to Camden police Friday afternoon led to the discovery of 12 dead dogs and other neglected animals at the Benton County Animal Shelter.

Camden Police Chief George Smith said Friday night that there will be charges. Police will talk with the prosecutor on Monday, he said. The investigation is continuing.

"I think it was just neglect," Smith said. "Who dropped the ball? I don't know. We're going to pick it up and pass it
to somebody, and whoever catches it is who we're going to charge."

Reports indicate that there were a number of cats being held in cages that were too small and that they were lying in their own waste, and that there were several bags of unopened food found on the ground outside the facility. Reports also indicate there was no food or water in the cages with the animals.

Dr. Paschall took a number of the animals into care at her veterinary clinic and is investigating the cause of death of the dogs found in the shelter. Others were taken to Jackson, TN, to the West TN Animal Rescue, Inc, facility to be cared for. Volunteers turned out over the weekend to clean the facility.

Protesters picketed the Benton County courthouse this morning demanding the resignation of Mayor Wiseman.

More on this story as it develops.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Leadership: From Battlefield to Counsel Chambers

When one of our own comes out and decides to run for office, we're more than happy to help them if they haven't jumped ship and joined the looney left (i.e. John Kerry and others like his Lurchness).

Our site, and others, have referenced Mark Miner's Boots in Baghdad site in the past, and will most likely continue to do so in the future. A lot of that is going to depend on Mark himself, and how much time he's going to have to dedicate TO his site in the coming months.

You see, Mark has decided to run for his County Commission seat in Saint Johns County, Florida on the Republican ballot. Drop by his site here and check him out.

Good luck, Mark, and keep us up to date on how your campaign is going!

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Conspiracy Theories Revisited

President John F Kennedy was assassinated by the Mafia. Or was it the CIA? The FBI? Cubans working for Fidel Castro? The KGB? Or was it even something Jackie had done because of his involvement with Marylin Monroe? Or it COULD have been Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone. A lot of it depends on who you ask.

Princess Dianna was killed by the Special Air Service under order of the Queen. Or was it an al-Qaeda operation? Or maybe the CIA? The Mossad? Or was it just an accident caused by a drunk driver at the wheel of her limo?

Benazir Bhutto was killed by al-Qaeda. Or was it the Musharref administration? Or the CIA?

Anyone seeing a familiar pattern here?

The more influential the leader, the more speculation there is on how they die when they die an untimely death. No matter what the truth is, it will be lost in a web of suspicion and controversy, rumor, and accusation. Benazir Bhutto joins the ranks of JFK, Dianna, Elvis Presley, and Jim Morrison in the arena of speculations and innuendo surrounding her death. Her family has called upon the United Nations to investigate. England's Scotland Yard has just recently finished their own investigation into her assassination.

BRITISH officials have revealed that evidence amassed by Scotland Yard detectives points towards Al-Qaeda militants being responsible for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Five experts in video evidence and forensic science have been in Pakistan for 10 days since President Pervez Musharraf took up an offer from Gordon Brown for British help in the investigation of the December 27 killing. Last week they were joined by three specialists in explosives.

Bhutto’s murder as she left a rally she had been addressing in Rawalpindi sparked an international outcry. Her body was flown home to be buried with no postmortem examination. Companions insist the cause of death - a bullet wound in her neck - was obvious.

Claims by the government that she had fractured her skull on the sunroof of her car while escaping the blast from a suicide bomb prompted fury from party supporters who insisted she had been shot before the explosion.

When footage of the incident clearly revealed a man waving a pistol in the crowd, the government was accused of a cover-up.

What IS clear is this: al-Qaeda claimed responsibility after the assassination. They aren't generally known to claim responsibility for an incident they weren't involved in.

Pakistan has been, and remains, a tinderbox waiting for the right spark to ignite it. Fortunately, so far, the death of Bhutto has not been that spark. It remains critical that Pakistan remain stable and that their nuclear weapons don't fall into the hands of radical extremists who would have no qualms or reservations about using them.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Friday, January 11, 2008

Ms. Magazine Doesn't Want You To See This Ad

I wonder why? In MY mind and MY way of thinking, I would have thought that this would have been EXACTLY the sort of thing Ms. would have wanted the young ladies of America to see.

Women in positions of leadership. Women out front taking charge. Women in key governmental positions. And Ms. doesn't see it as something positive that they can put in their magazine?

Needless to say, this decision is causing quite a bit of stir, NEGATIVE stir, probably more than RUNNING the ad would have caused.

From The Volokh Conspiracy:

The message, I take it, is pretty clear — "Feminists should like the way women are treated in Israeli life," coupled with the pretty strong implication of "... and look how favorably it compares on this score to Israel's enemies." Yet this is what the American Jewish Congress reports happened when the ad was submitted to Ms. magazine:

When Director of AJCongress’ Commission for Women’s Empowerment Harriet Kurlander tried to place the ad, she was told that publishing the ad “will set off a firestorm” and that “there are very strong opinions” on the subject -− the subject presumably being whether or not one can say anything positive about Israel. Ms. Magazine publisher Eleanor Smeal failed to respond to a signed-for certified letter with a copy of the ad as well as numerous calls by Mr. Gordon over a period of weeks.

A Ms. Magazine representative, Susie Gilligan, whom the Ms. Magazine masthead lists under the publisher’s office, told Ms. Kurlander that the magazine “would love to have an ad from you on women’s empowerment, or reproductive freedom, but not on this.” Ms. Gilligan failed to elaborate what “this” is....

Reproductive freedom. Does that translate into abortion? More:

Ms. Magazine has a long record of publishing advertisements rallying readers to support reproductive choice; opposing the Religious Right; highlighting the fragility of the pro-Roe v. Wade majority on the Supreme Court; charging that “Pat Robertson and his Religious Right cohorts don’t like individual freedom;” announcing support for the “struggle for freedom and human rights;” opposing the Bush administration’s campaign to fill federal courts with judges who “will reverse decades of progress on reproductive rights and privacy, civil rights, religious liberty, environmental protection and so much more;” as well as accusing the Bush administration of being “bent on rewarding big corporations and the rich, turning back the clock on women’s rights and civil rights, and promoting a U.S. empire abroad.”

“This flagship publication of the American women’s empowerment movement publishes ads that are controversial in the general culture but not so among its readership,” Ms. Kurlander said. “Obviously, Ms. believes our ad would enflame a significant portion of their readers.”

So it's a POLITICAL thing, then. HMMMMMMMMMM. More:

Mr. Gordon added, “What really amazes me is that just recently, in their Winter 2007 issue, Ms. ran a cover story with a picture of Congresswomen Nancy Pelosi with the heading in big letters: “This is What a Speaker Looks Like.” While Ms. has every reason to be proud of Speaker Pelosi and her accomplishments, as are we, the only discernable difference between Speaker Pelosi and Speaker Itzik apparently is that Speaker Pelosi is not Israeli.”

Well ISN'T that special. Nancy Pelosi can grace Ms. magazine and get big letters for her plastic molded face as she stands before Congress and fails to demonstrate any sort of leadership at all, but the women of Israel who are in similar positions somehow DON'T measure up to the HIGH standards of Speaker Pelosi and Ms. magazine.

Maybe they should have included something along THIS line and Ms. would have found it more acceptable:

One can only conclude that Ms. magazine is showing their anti-semitic sentiments. This is also the opinion of the American Jewish Counsel:

“What other conclusion can we reach,” asked Richard Gordon, President of AJCongress, “except that the publishers − and if the publishers are right, a significant number of Ms. Magazine readers − are so hostile to Israel that they do not even want to see an ad that says something positive about Israel?”

Wake Up America's very own Spree has also jumped into the fray. The following is her email to Ms. magazine in regards to their blatantly anti-semitic stand:

This story is becoming hot and this email as well the original story and PDF will be linked at my blog as dozens of others, as well as already being linked to around the blogosphere and the media, is about to become even hotter for MS Magazine.

Your refusal to print this ad, stinks of Anti-Semitism and as a Jewish American woman, I will be printing all your contact information for other Americans that despise Anti-Semitism to be contacting you about your apparent disregard for a legitimate ad with no reasonable explaination other than "there are very strong opinions" on the subject".

What subject praytell? The fact that three high powered positions in Israel are held by women?

Is that not something YOU are a proponent of?

Others already speaking on this subject and we have all JUST gotten started are:

PowerLine, Gateway Pundit, Volokh, PR Newswire , Blog for All and

Mine is being written now if you would like your response included, I will add it in, if it comes after I hit publish, i will consider adding it as an update.


Susan Duclos
Owner and Editor of Wake Up America Blog.

Want to have a say of your own to Ms. Magazine? Well, folks, I'm here to help with that. The following links can take you to Ms. or will allow you to email them yourself and LET THEM KNOW that this isn't going unnoticed. If you wish for us to include your comments to them here on our site, feel free to email with a forward of your message, and if they respond to you, forward us that and we'll post it as an update as well, or leave them as comments to the article.

AND last but certainly not LEAST...

Queries/ Ms . magazine
433 South Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills , CA 90212

Standing on the side of Justice,

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man

[Update] One of our contributors, Roger Gardner, has also written a letter to Ms Magazine as well as doing his own piece on Radarsite and Faultline USA:

Dear Ms. Kort --
Being a 70 year old male, I have not had occasion to read Ms. lately, although I have certainly heard of it. Today, however, I heard about Ms. in a somewhat different and quite disturbing context. I read several reports in well-known and respected conservative blogs about your refusal to run the Israeli ad in question. Your excuses for refusing to publish this pro-Israeli women's ad come off at best as disingenuous, at worst as downright deceptive.

Never before in recent history have women's rights been so blatantly and brutally suppressed and trampled on as they are being right this moment in the Arab/Muslim cultures of the Middle East. The only exception to this pervasive onslaught against women's equality is the tiny brave state of Israel. If ever women's advocates, such as Ms. and other such publications and organizations, who purport to be fighting for the rights of women, were needed in this great civilizational battle the time is now.

But where are you? Where are those powerful voices of protest that were so vocal and pervasive all during the sixties and seventies? Where are all those multitudinous angry demonstrations and those media-savvy bra-burnings now? Where are you now that we, the world, need you most?

The battle rages on and you are AWOL. And your silence is deafening. Now more than ever, when American women need to speak up on behalf of their downtrodden Muslim sisters around the world -- and even here in the United States -- not only do you choose to remain silent on the sidelines, you actually race to support the cause of our enemies. This kind of self-centered pettiness is totally incomprehensible to me -- and to many other rational and disgusted citizens across this country.

Is your political hatred of Bush and his foreign policies so great, so blinding, that it even causes you to turn against those very women for whom you claim to be speaking? How can you justify this cowardly betrayal of your constituents and your country?

If there is any hope at all of bringing about some sea change in that brutal male-dominant culture of the Middle East, it lies with Israel, and with your Muslim sisters and in their ability to stand up and fight against this wicked Islamic oppression. But they need your help. They need the help and support of women's orgs like yours. Yet, for the sake of making some misguided liberal political statements -- or perhaps expressing some not-so-subtle anti-semitism -- you have dishonored your mission and given aid and comfort to our enemies.

Have you no shame?

I intend to publish this email in the form of an article which I will then disseminate to as many websites as possible. If you reply with something other than your previous meaningless obfuscations, I will be happy to publish your response as well.

Roger W. Gardner

[Update] IHBAUM, via email sent me this, which was CC'd to as well.

Roger Gardner's letter says it all. I can't conceive of a more disingenuous, and therefore reprehensible, action on the part of this publication. Hypocrisy, Ms. is thy name -- how the mighty have fallen.

Continue to leave your letters in the comment section or forward them to me and I will continue to add them as updates.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The First Rubber Chicken Award of 2008...

...goes to Hooman Majd at Huffington Post for his accusations of the Pentagon fabricating the speedboat incident in the Straight of Hormuz Sunday morning.

Hat tip to Michael Goldfarb at Weekly Standard.

The Pentagon's version of the encounter in the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday morning, involving U.S. Navy warships and Iranian Revolutionary Guard patrol boats is, at the very least highly suspicious. On Tuesday, the Navy released video footage and an audiotape to back its claims that the Iranian boats acted in a threatening and provocative manner, but neither the video nor the audio are particularly convincing as proof that Iran had hostile intentions. The video, which shows what is claimed are Iranian boats speeding around U.S. ships, doesn't show any of the boats hurtling directly towards any of the navy ships, nor does it show what the Pentagon claimed the Iranians then did, namely dropped "white boxes" in the water.


They should call it "Puffington Post," because I DEFINITELY THINK they inhale over there.

I wonder if he thinks the crew of the Cole bombed their own ship, too, because they were upset with the dinning facility?

Here is the video:

I don't know about the rest of you, but to me, in my mind, fast moving little speed boats chasing around after battle ships after being warned to move off? I kind of had these images of commercial airplanes crashing into tall buildings running through my mind, watching it. I don't know what the sailors thought.

We're Proud to present Wake Up America's Rubber Chicken Award to Huffington Post's Hooman Majd, hereby to be known as Hooman Shu.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Republican Debate: CRY HAVOK! And Let Slip the Dogs of War...

There has finally, and thankfully, been an open and honest debate between the Republican Presidential candidates. Last nights debate on ABC can be said to have been the first open forum for true discussion and bantering between the candidates that we have seen in this Presidential race.

Charles Gibson moderated the debate by posing questions to the panel of candidates and allowing them to answer the questions and discuss them amongst themselves. It was the first real opportunity that the American public has been able to see them discuss and argue their points without getting the feeling that each candidate was trying to come across with the best sound bite.

Covering topics from foreign policy to domestic, the country was given the chance to see the personalities of each candidate come out as they addressed the issues and each other. There was an obvious animosity between Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, Ron Paul (who was told at one point by Romney, "We're going to miss you tomorrow night") was dismissed by several of the candidates on several of his statements as not being reasonable to accomplish, and Fred Thompson scored several "hits" on other candidates by pointing out their changes in positions during the progression of the campaign, particularly in regards to Iraq and the war on terror. The one candidate who seemed to be most at ease during the course of the evening was John McCain, who got his fair share of barbs in at Romney and gave a very clear position on his ideas regarding national health care.

The results of last night's debate? From this morning's Mason/Dixon poll among New Hampshire voters:

GOP race (400 likely GOP primary voters, conducted Jan.2-4, MOE +/-5%)
McCain 32%
Romney 24%
Huckabee 12%
Giuliani 10%
Paul 8%

A month ago (released December 9), the NH results were:
Romney 25%
Giuliani 17%
McCain 16%
Huckabee 11%

The results of the latest Zogby poll can be found here.

Fred Thompson has already conceded that he doesn't see his campaign as having much of a chance in the granite state and after tonight's FOXNews debate he will be heading to South Carolina (hat tip to Jay at Stop the ACLU), also taking the opportunity to have his say about the media and the rumor that he would be dropping out of the race after the Iowa caucuses.

Email subscribers click here to see the video.

John McCain seems now to be the favored win in New Hampshire for the Republican race. With a significant lead over Romney, it's little wonder he seemed so well at ease and enjoying himself during last night's first New Hampshire debate.

On the Republican side, McCain led the field by 32-24 percent over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. There, it was McCain who got a bounce, not Iowa winner Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas who still trails in third place and appeared to get no immediate traction from Iowa.

The new poll is hardly a prediction. If anything, it revealed an electorate in New Hampshire still very much up for grabs.

As is, actually the rest of the country, other than Iowa and Wyoming. The tides have shifted; Hillary Clinton is no longer the inevitable opponent of whomever becomes the front runner for the Republicans. It is very possible that it could and will be Barack Hussein Obama. The remaining Republicans have already, as seen last night, begun to turn on each other in the race for the White House.

Whatever the final results may be, it's sure to be a very interesting ride on the way. May the best candidate win, in order that the American people may be the ultimate winners.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Reshuffling the Deck

The Iowa Caucuses are behind us. New Hampshire and South Carolina loom on the horizon. Hillary Clinton was shown not to be quite so "inevitable," the little gray men didn't influence things for Dennis Kucinich, and another Arkansas Governor came out as the front runner of his party.

Iowa holds 7 electoral votes. New Hampshire holds 4 votes. It boggles my mind, and always has, why two states with such low impact on the elections hold such significance in the minds of the voters of the nation. Case in point, Wyoming, with 3 Electoral votes, held it's caucuses today, with Mitt Romney taking the Republican win. Where is the media coverage of Wyoming?

It is truly a case of the minority leading the majority, just by looking at the numbers aspect.

They do serve, however, as a good testing grounds for the rest of the campaign season. Candidates can take a look at these first states to hold their electoral process and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their individual campaigns. Some candidates can look into where they need to improve things, others will decide to drop out, as Biden and Dodd on the Democratic side have done in the wake of the Iowa Caucuses.

We move on with the process, now. The debates come back into play, if debates they can be called. The allegations of foul play begin, such as the rumor mill currently spreading whispers that the rumor of Fred Thompson planning to drop out after Iowa are traceable to the Romney camp (thanks, Jay.) We also see the shifting of attention to the front-runners who have come out of the Iowa process. ABC will host debates for the Republican party tonight at 7 pm EST, featuring Giuliani,Huckabee, McCain, Paul, Romney, and Thompson, but excluding Duncan Hunter. They will also host a debate for the Democrats 90 minutes later featuring Clinton, Edwards, Obama, and Richardson. but excluding Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich, who has filed protests at being excluded. It remains to be seen whether this will be an actual debate for either party, or another sound bite gathering, as the previous "debates" have been accused of having been.

FOXNews is going a different route tomorrow night, with a forum format for the Republican candidates at 8pm. The Seattle Times and Union Leader are both reporting that the New Hampshire Republican Party has pulled their support as a co-sponsor of the event because Fox has chosen to exclude candidates Hunter and Paul from tomorrow night's forum.

Party Chairman Fergus Cullen said he has failed in attempts to get Fox to include candidates Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter in Sunday's forum.

"Only in New Hampshire do lesser known, lesser funded underdogs have a fighting chance to establish themselves as national figures," Cullen said. "Consistent with that tradition, we believe all recognized major candidates should have an equal opportunity to participate in pre-primary debates and forums."

The question remains, and will be answered as the debates and the forum recommence, as to what topics will be covered for the candidates to discuss. Still to be seen, as well, as the deck is reshuffled and the cards redealt, is who will have the more impressive hair, Mitt Romney or John Edwards.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man