Friday, December 31, 2010

No More Free Money

I read this in an online column yesterday.  It was submitted by a man in Waco, Texas, about government entitlements.  It’s a little rough around the edges but the point is well made – people shouldn’t get something for nothing.  Keep in mind I didn’t write the letter nor come up with the idea.  But I like it.

“This was in the Waco Tribune Herald, Waco, TX 18 Nov 2010 –

Put me in charge….

Put me in charge of food stamps. I'd get rid of Lone Star cards; no cash for Ding Dongs or Ho Ho's, just money for 50-pound bags of rice and beans, blocks of cheese, and all the powdered milk you can haul away. If you want steak and frozen pizza ..... get a job.

Put me in charge of Medicaid. The first thing I'd do is to get women Norplant birth control implants or tubal ligations. Then we'll test recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine and document all tattoos and piercings. If you want to reproduce or use drugs, alcohol, smoke or get tats and piercings .... get a job.

Put me in charge of government housing. Ever live in a military barracks? You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair. Your home will be subject to inspections anytime, and possessions will be inventoried. If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360 .... get a job and your own place.

In addition, you will either present a check stub from a job each week or you will report to a government job. It may be cleaning the roadways of trash, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you. We will sell your 22 inch rims and low profile tires and your blasting stereo and speakers and put that money toward the common good.

Before you write that I've violated someone's rights, realize that all of the above is voluntary. If you want our money, accept our rules. Before you say this would be demeaning and ruin their self esteem, consider that it wasn't that long ago when taking someone else's money for doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem.

If we are expected to pay for other people's mistakes we should at least attempt to make them learn from their bad choices. The current system rewards them for continuing to make bad choices.

Alfred W. Evans, Gatesville , Texas”

A bit harsh?  Maybe.  But how many more tax dollars will go to people who aren’t willing to earn it?  I have no problem helping people out who honestly cannot find a job, although some refuse to take a job that is “beneath their skill level.”  When I got out of the Air Force I worked three different part-time jobs to support my family and never once even considered taking money from the government.  These days it seems taking free money is the first choice for many people.
The administration’s infra-structure improvement program would be better served if people who are collecting free money, and are physically able, were made to work for it.  I like the suggestion about picking up trash on the roadways, painting and repairing public housing, etc.  Granted, there are many people out there who are still on unemployment and who need and want to work.  But there are also many who have been collecting money from the government without doing anything to earn it or pay it back.  Those are the ones who should be mad to work to “earn their keep” so to speak.
It’s an idea, anyway.  And it’s an idea that should be investigated by the government for implementation before any other government handouts are considered.  Of course, that’s just my opinion.  I could be wrong.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Held Hostage in a Plane?

I heard something interesting on the news yesterday morning and, being the good citizen I am and wanting information to be made public, I thought I’d pass the information on.  I understand it’s unusual for me to do that but hey - I like to keep people informed.
Many are aware that a Federal law passed this past summer that limited the time a commercial plane can sit, fully loaded with passengers, on the tarmac without taking off, to three hours.  This law was supposedly to stop passengers from being inconvenienced by airlines and keep the passengers from basically being held against their will inside a locked plane.
What wasn’t as well publicized was the penalty the airlines would face if they violated this new law and the possible consequences of said law.  The law states that airlines who keep people in the plane longer than three hours could face fines of up to $27,500 per passenger.  So basically, if a plane has 120 passengers on it, the airline could face a fine of up to $3.2 million.  But who does the money go to?  Why, it goes to the Federal government.  Will they (the government) be giving any of it to the passengers?  What do you think?
Most airlines, rather than face such huge fines, are canceling flights if they see their three hour time limit approaching.  I guess the government, in its wisdom, didn’t think about that.  An airline can keep people on a plane for 2 ½  hours then return them to the terminal and there will be no fine.  The passengers can try to sue the airlines but I doubt that will be very successful.  Many will be given alternate flights, and maybe even free air travel at a future date (although that is getting more and more rare) but the Federal government will be the only one who really stands to gain anything if the flight is delayed more than three hours without being cancelled.  It seems to me there are no real winners here, except maybe for the airlines, who have been told “Don’t do that anymore” without a real threat of penalty.
Three hours is too long to be sitting on a stationary airplane on the ground.  I understand the logistics involved in taking a plane back to the terminal, particularly at a busy airport.  But why should paying customers have to be punished because of a weather condition or an air traffic problem?  When you pay for a plane ticket you pay for the ride from point A to point B.  You get a schedule of your departure time and your arrival time and you’re required to abide by that schedule.  You even have to show up two hours early to make sure you get through the security checkpoints in time to make your scheduled departure time.
Yet sometimes you get on the plane, after having done everything correctly and abiding by the schedule you were given, and the airlines keeps you on the ground for hours.  They don’t serve free drinks or free food, you get no amenities, nor do you get, in the case of bad weather, a free ticket for future travel because the weather is out of their control.  So you pay the airlines, you fulfill all your requirements and you get held hostage in a plane on the ground and there’s nothing you can do about it.  And the airlines won’t do anything about it either.  And now the Federal government passed some useless legislation that doesn’t really do anything either, except maybe shorten the time you’ll be held hostage. 
So what’s the solution?  I’m thinking the airlines usually know if the weather, or any other problems, are there before they back away from the gate but to keep things running smoothly they move one plane so they can bring in the next one.  Airlines should be required to not board passengers unless they know the plane is going to depart.  That would solve most of the problems.  If a plane does leave the gate but can’t take off within the hour, it should be returned to a gate and the passengers allowed to deplane.  Paying customers should not be held hostage, period.  And if they are, the government should not be the beneficiary of any fines.  The money should go to the people.  I say instead of paying a fine to the government, the airlines should be required to reimburse the passengers for every hour they sit on the ground.  Full ticket refund for the first hour, twice that for the second and so on.  At least the passengers would get something for their inconvenience.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The New Pledge of Allegiance?

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the New United Nations and the struggle for new world order, and to the socialist doctrine for which they stand;  one government - one mindset, under secular humanism, inflexible, with equal income for commoners, forced equality of outcome and moral relativism for all.

Sound like an odd pledge of allegiance?  Sound like something you’d never hear in the United States?  Well, don’t be so sure.  If you pay attention to many liberals these days, this is exactly what they are trying to achieve, not only here in the U.S. but worldwide.  One world order; a socialist government in which everyone is equal (except the leaders, who are normally very wealthy and tyrannical and who rule with an iron fist); equal income for those who are not in positions of power; no religion, no God because that means people would be thinking for themselves and believe in something besides government; no one would be permitted to produce more than anyone else (equality for all) but then – no one would be permitted to produce less than anyone else; and everything would be about being moral and being fair to everyone, even as your government screws you right and left.

It amazes me how anyone would welcome this type of government, and/or even a communist government, but there are people in our society who want just that.  Several of them have even been placed in positions of power in the current administration, albeit, not for long in most cases. 

Van Jones, Obama’s choice for Green Job Czar, was forced to resign after his past involvement with Marxist and communist organizations was made public.  He’s an admitted communist who basically said he’d put his personal beliefs on hold until it was prudent to make them public again. 

Donald Berwick, Obama’s appointee to head Medicare and Medicaid, is a socialist who not only believes medical care should be run by the government but is a very vocal advocate of rationing care to save money. 

Anita Dunn, Obama’s choice for Communications Director, told a group of school kids that her favorite political philosopher -- someone she turns to most is Red Communist Leader, Mao Tse Tung (along with Chiang Kai-Shek.)  She eventually resigned from the position again, after these statements were made public.  But her husband became Obama’s chief counsel when she resigned.

Cass Sunstein, Regulatory Affair Czar wants your wealth, energy, guns, meat, radio, internal organs, email and internet to submit to Obama rule.  Mr. Sunstein is an advocate for censuring free speech to prevent people on the right from expressing their views in opposition to the left.  He wants to remove conservative talk radio from the airwaves and if that’s not possible, at least reinstitute the “Fairness Doctrine” to ensure the left has “equal time on the airwaves.”  Since left wing talk radio continues to fail nationwide, Sunstein wants to use the government to force radio stations to air left wing views, even if they (the radio stations) lose vital advertizing dollars which keep them on the air.

Mark Lloyd, FCC Diversity Czar wants to shut down all non-progressive media.  Lloyd praises Hugo Chavez’s “glorious revolution” in Venezuela, including his systematic takeover and closing of media outlets who opposed him.  He indicates he would like our government to do the same thing since about 90% of talk radio in the United States is conservative. 

I could go on.  There are others in the current administration who are either communists, Marxists or socialists but I think you get the picture.  At least, those of you who are reading this with an open mind get the picture.  Those who are in favor of the type of government I am describing don’t understand what the problem is. 

The Senate is now trying to do away with the method for the minority party to voice their opposition to something and stop it from going through.  The current rules say the Senate must have at least 60 votes for a majority decision and has the filibuster to enable those who are opposing a bill to voice their opinions and even stop something from going ahead.  It has worked for 200 years.  As you read this, Democrats are in the process of trying to do away with these accepted procedures in favor of a simple majority vote, 51 to 49, so they can push bills through without opposition while they hold the majority on the floor.  They do not want the minority to be able to challenge them on anything and are trying to “fix” things in their favor.  I wonder if they’ve thought it through, however.  If they push this through and approve it, then one day lose the majority, which is inevitable in the long run, they will have to live with the new rules they have made.  I suppose they think they’ll never lose the majority but I think they need to check history.

There you have it.  This is simply my opinion of where we could be headed if the right (or wrong) people remain in power.  Let us hope the new Congress makes good on their campaign promises (not looking good so far) and works to turn the government back in a conservative direction.  We can only hope it’s not too late.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Big Brother In Your Schools?

It has begun…  the systematic removal of freedom by the Federal government.
A few weeks ago the Chelsea Heights, Minnesota, school board voted to disallow “sweet, sticky, fat-laden and salty treats” in all district schools.  It seems they have a problem with obese children in their district.  According to a quoted recent study, 40% of the 4th graders in the St. Paul area, most of whom are poor and minority, are obese.  The school district says this move is an effort to assist with the President’s recent new law to fight childhood obesity.
St. Paul administrators say they're preparing for stricter rules that could soon be handed down through the $4.5 billion Child Nutrition Bill signed by President Obama last week.  The bill will disburse that federal money to school districts to provide healthier lunches to more students. In the next year, the federal government will write new rules that can determine what kinds of foods are allowed to be sold on school grounds, including in vending machines and at fundraisers.

The Federal government is going to give schools more money but in return it will now dictate what kids can and cannot eat.  Parents will no longer have a choice in what their kids will be eating in schools.  I know to some it sounds like a good thing that the government is looking out for our children and “just trying to make sure they’re healthy.”  But the important thing here is that the government is taking more and more control away from parents.  We are quickly turning into a nation in which the government tells us all what to do, when and how to do it and dictates the consequences if we fail to live up to their rules.  What will happen to children and parents if they refuse to comply with the government’s new rules in nutrition?  Are schools going to expel or suspend kids who bring a candy bar to school?  And who determines whether it’s a banned sweet or an approved, nutritional item?  How much salt is too much?  Pretzels are good for you but they have salt on them.  Will the schools serving breakfast serve eggs?  Will they be served without salt?  Who’s going to eat them that way?  Are we going to open concentration camps or re-education camps for dissenters?
Some think I’m over reacting but where does it stop now that it has begun?  Unless the new Congress, led by Republicans, overturns the health care law we will all have government run health care in a matter of a few years.  And if you look openly at most of the programs the government runs you see that most are failing or are on the brink of failing.  The Post Office is broke.  Medicaid and Medicare are nearly bankrupt, as is Social Security.  And this isn’t the fault of the Obama administration but the government in general.  Why then would be expect a government run health care plan (or a child nutrition plan) to be any different?
I, for one, am happy I don’t have any children in a public school because I would be one who would find out first-hand what happens if you defy the government.   No government official or agency would tell me how and what to feed my child.  That is my decision.  How much longer are Americans going to stand by and let the government make things in our daily lives illegal?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Death Panels Are a Myth... or Are They?

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revoked its regulatory approval of the drug Avastin to treat late stage, metastatic breast cancer.  Late stage breast cancer is defined as when the cancer has become invasive and has spread to other areas of the body, such as the lungs, liver, etc.  At this point, without effective treatment, death is imminent.
Avastin has been proved to not only shrink tumors in late stage cancer patients but in some patients, albeit rare cases, they actually disappear.  The FDA explained it was revoking approval of the drug for that use because it decided the drug does not provide "a sufficient benefit in slowing disease progression to outweigh the significant risk to patients."  Huh?
So let’s see if I have this right…  women with late stage breast cancer are facing certain death without aggressive and innovative treatment.  There is clear, clinical evidence that tumors shrink, and sometimes even disappear in at least half the patients who have been treated with Avastin.  But the FDA has decided they will no longer approve Avastin for use in breast cancer treatment because the risk to the patient is greater than the benefits to these dying women. 
Only in America can the government make, and justify, such a stupid decision.  The Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, a cancer patients' advocacy organization, and the U.S. National Comprehensive Cancer Network all want Avastin treatment to remain available for breast cancer.   In Europe, where health care rationing is prevalent, the European Medicines Agency, the equivalent of the FDA for the European Union, ruled last week that Avastin would continue to be available for breast cancer treatment there. 
The Obama administration and the Democrats in Washington, along with a select few “Republicans in Name Only” pushed the health care bill through and got it signed into law, against the will of the majority of Americans, all the while denying there would be “death panels” making decisions on medical care for Americans.  People on the left called us crazy for uttering those two words and Sarah Palin was vilified for it (and other things, of course.)  Yet this decision by the FDA was determined by an internal agency panel of 13 “experts”, only two of whom were breast cancer oncologists, and none of whom were breast cancer patients.  And while they didn’t come right out and say it, there is no doubt that the cost of treatment was a part of the decision.
Avastin treatment currently costs about $88,000 per year.  The FDA's decision means that Medicare and Medicaid will likely refuse to pay for the drug to treat breast cancer. These government programs do not pay for costly medicines that do not have FDA approval.  This in turn provides the legal foundation for private insurance companies to now refuse payment for the treatment as well.  They are not legally obligated to pay for costly therapies denied FDA approval and rejected by Medicare and Medicaid.  Of course you can bet those on the left will vilify the insurance companies for refusing to pay for it but why would they pay for it if the government run health programs won’t?  Curiously, Avastin is still approved to treat other forms of cancer.  So why is the government killing women with breast cancer?
This is only the beginning.  In September, the FDA and Medicare proposed a "parallel review" process that will allow the two agencies to coordinate market and reimbursement approval. Medicare is also increasingly opening "national coverage determination" reviews that allow a government board to decide if a therapy is "reasonable and necessary."  Death panels?  Call them what you want but when government panels decide what medical treatment people can and cannot have, what’s in a name? 

The bottom line is Avastin saves or extends the lives of many women with late stage breast cancer.  The alternative is death.  Shouldn’t it be up to those women whether or not the benefits are worth the risk?  They are, after all, the ones who are facing death.  Now the government has made that decision for them.  During the health care bill debate Congressman Alan Grayson once made a spectacle of himself on the House floor by saying “Republicans health care plan – die early.”  But it’s not a Republican administration that has decided to deny women this life saving drug, is it?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Night After Christmas...

This is something I wrote a long time ago but I thought I'd share it with everyone this morning.  It's a bit irreverent, maybe even disrespectful.  But it's all meant in fun and I enjoyed writing it.  Hope you all agree.

T'was the night after Christmas, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring; (the cat got the mouse).
The stockings, once hung on the chimney with care,
were now on the floor; the chimney was bare.
The children weren't nestled or snug in their beds.
They were playing football with helmets on their heads.
And I in my underwear and Seahawks cap
had just settled down on the couch for a nap.

When out on the street there arose such a clatter,
I jumped from the couch to see what was the matter.
I ran to the front door, tripped over the rug,
and landed on my face with a thud.
The moon shining down on that dark, dreary night
about halfway made up for the broken street light.
And I thought to myself as I rose from the floor
"Who's the idiot who put that rug by the door?."

When what to my wondering eyes should appear
but that man in the red suit, drinking a beer.
He was sloppy and dirty, covered with soot
from the top of his head to the sole of his foot.
There was mud on his clothes, on the hat and the fur,
and when he saw me, he said with a slur....

"Christmas is over. My job is done.
It's time for me to have some fun.
I'm going to Bermuda, away from the toys,
away from those ungrateful girls and boys.
I give them all presents and what do I get?
A cold and a sore throat from getting all wet.
The reindeer are eating my money away
and I only use them on Christmas Day.
Mrs. Claus told me not to come home drunk this year,
so I'm going to a bar to drink some more beer!

"Then Santa stumbled and fell in the snow,
and I heard him chuckle a soft "Ho, ho, ho".
"I guess I really do need to sit down,
but it sure is cold sitting here on the ground.".
When I invited him in, he was up in a wink, asking
"Say, you got anything in your house to drink?"
I offered him coffee and a place to lay down,
but he said "Not a chance, I'm going out on the town!
There's one night a year that I party like this,
and this is one night I'm not going to miss!"

Then licking a finger and picking his nose,
he belched twice and then - up the chimney he rose.
He slipped on the ice and fell from the roof,
and landed in the yard with an "OOF"
But he jumped up quickly and staggered away,
and I still can't believe what I heard to this day.
I heard him exclaim as he faded from sight
"I'd trade all my reindeer for a cold Miller Light!"

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Simple Holiday Greeting...

It’s Christmas Eve, one of the most special, wonderful and amazing days in the history of the world.  On this day, all those years ago, Mary and Joseph were arriving in Bethlehem, seeking shelter for the night, and Mary was close to delivering the baby Jesus, the Savior of mankind.  She knew who he would be and even had an idea what would befall him yet she trusted her God and bore the baby and the responsibilities that came with that baby.  For Christians tomorrow is the holiest of days, the day our Lord became flesh so he could sacrifice himself for all of us.
In recent years in this country Christmas has become a bad word to many and its incredible meaning has become something we can’t talk about in public.  These days you can’t even say “Merry Christmas” to people on the street because it’s not “politically correct.”  Of course, this really only applies to atheists and liberals.  Atheists don’t believe in God and therefore are offended by the mere mention of His name or anything that has to do with Him, such as Christmas.  (It’s funny but Christians don’t get offended when people wish us happy holidays without mentioning God.)  Liberals simply believe everyone must be secular in public so no one is offended by anything someone else says.  It’s truly sad, since even liberals who believe in God and believe in the true meaning of Christmas (there are a few) won’t risk offending someone by openly saying it.
In the spirit of the season and in fairness to all, I’ve got two Christmas greetings to post today.  I wish I could claim this as my own but it was actually a comment made by someone calling himself Tony_Seco, posted at the end of an article I read on Wednesday evening.  I think it’s great and had to borrow it.  Thanks Tony, whoever you are.

To My Democrat Friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or explicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2011 but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere.  Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To My Republican Friends:

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

May the joy of the Christmas season be with each of you, regardless of how you celebrate it.  God bless you all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Leaking Information is Good Except....

News flash....:  Julian Assange, the founder of Wickileaks, the controversial internet web page that has been systematically publishing classified and secret information obtained illegally from the US and other governments, is upset because the police in Sweden leaked some documents concerning sexual assault allegations against him and someone published them.

According to FOX News, in an aritcle entitled "Wickileaks Assange Turns on Friends and Foes", the Wickileaks founder is angry about the information leak and is letting people know it.

“Assange was understood to be particularly angry with a senior reporter at the paper and former friend, for “selectively publishing” incriminating sections of the police report, although The Guardian made clear that the WikiLeaks founder was given several days to respond.  Assange claimed the newspaper received leaked documents from Swedish authorities or “other intelligence agencies” intent on jeopardizing his defense.”  “The leak was clearly designed to undermine my bail application,” he said. “Someone in authority clearly intended to keep Julian in prison.”

How ironic that the man who is knowingly putting lives, banks, governments and even countries in possible jeopardy by releasing classified documents is now a victim of an information leak and he’s not happy about it.  It seems only fitting to me that Assange should have his most private information put out there for everyone to see.  After all, he is the one who believes the public has a right to know everything. 

I can’t really think of the proper words to describe how I feel about this but the words crybaby, whiner, and idiot come to mind.  Julian Assange believes in freedom of speech and freedom of information, except when it comes to him.  Even before his arrest on sexual assault charges he was hiding from public sight because he knew what he was doing was absolutely wrong.  Yet the man who supposedly embodies freedom of speech is now crying because information about him was leaked and published.  And I, for one, think it’s incredibly funny.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The 2012 Campaign Has Already Started

One of the headlines on AOL on Sunday said recent polls show 6 of 10 people would not support Sarah Palin for President in 2012.  Another headline said basically the same amount of people will support President Obama for re-election.  Interestingly, the polls were conducted by NBC and ABC, two television networks who have blatantly been in the tank for Obama since he declared his candidacy.  While ABC hasn’t come right out and admitted it, last year NBC did.
How can one believe in the honesty of a poll that is conducted by a television network who admitted they not only support the President but basically helped him get elected?  NBC, particularly MSNBC, likes to harangue FOX News for leaning to the right, all the while doing whatever they can, admittedly, to promote and build up the current administration, even going so far as to ignore things that should be reported so they don’t make the Obama administration look bad.
There is no doubt the networks who make up the main stream media, NBC, CBS and ABC, are left wing organizations who attack Republicans and conservatives on a regular basis.  They spent eight years vilifying George W. Bush and everything he did.  NBC is definitely the worst.  Jeffery Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, (GE also owns NBC Universal) and he and President Obama are personal friends.  (Although it’s been rumored that Obama’s proposed Cap and Trade taxes, which would definitely hurt GE, are definitely putting a strain on the friendship.) 
From Chris Matthews getting a “tingle” up his leg from listening to Obama speak, to the President making a joke that in the middle of this night, if he needs an answer to something he rolls over and wakes up Brian Williams and asks him, there is no doubt that MSNBC is a huge supporter and propaganda machine for President Obama. 
While ABC is not quite as bad, some of their anchors are also fairly blatant about their support for Obama.  Charles Gibson, who I always liked and admired, proved to be biased on the left, as did Dianne Sawyer.  Neither have had that same “tingle” that Chris Matthews seems to get on a regular basis (I’m thinking Chris has a secret) but they do seem to promote ignore, just as the NBC anchors.   The mainstream media does not report the news as it happens but rather, they report their version of it, with disparaging information about Obama left out, or they simply don’t report it at all.
Most unbiased polls, like Gallup and Rasumussen, show Obama’s popularity below 50%, some even close to 40%.  These polls seem to dispute the NBC and ABC ones, since more than half the country disapprove of the job President Obama is doing.  I believe Sarah Palin is probably not electable at this time, but I doubt the numbers are 6 out of 10.  At the same time there is no way 6 out of 10 are in favor of re-electing President Obama.  Given the numbers on the other polls, those numbers just don’t add up.
Why anyone would believe a poll, that shows Palin doing so badly and Obama doing so well, that is taken by NBC, ABC, CBS or even CNN, is beyond me.  When it comes to politics, those polls are about as reliable as a poll by the New York Times.  Personally, I believe the media push has already started for Obama’s 2012 campaign and they (the main stream media) will say anything to put the odds in his favor, even at this early stage.  Right now I’d be more interested in a poll about Hillary’s chances of beating Obama in the Democratic primary.  That would be the interesting one.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sarah Palin - One Man's Opinion (not mine)

There are many people who don’t like or even hate Sarah Palin, most of whom have no valid reason for it except that it feels good.  I’ve always thought there was more to the woman than just hot air.  Below is a list of her accomplishments as governor as written by an Alaska resident.  Choose to believe them or not but they happen to be true.  Remember, she was only governor for two years.  I’m not saying I think she’s ready to be President, I really don’t know the answer to that.  But really - what did our current President accomplish before being elected that makes him better qualified for the office?

By Dewie Whetsell, Alaskan Fisherman.  I’ve spent the last 45 of my 66 years in a commercial fishing town in Alaska.  I understand Alaska politics but never understood national politics well until this last year.  Here's the breaking point: Neither side of the Palin controversy gets it. It's not about persona, style, rhetoric or speech-making. It's about getting things done. Even Palin supporters never mention the things I'm about to tell you here.

1. Democrats forget when Palin was their Darling, because as soon as Palin took the Governor's office away from a fellow Republican and tough SOB, Frank Murkowski, she tore into the Republican's "Corrupt Bastards Club" (CBC) and sent them packing. Many are now residing in State housing wearing orange jump suits. The Democrats reacted by skipping around the yard, throwing confetti and singing, "la la la la". Name another governor that has ever done anything similar.

2. Now with the CBC gone, there were fewer Alaskan politicians to protect the huge, giant oil companies here. So she constructed and enacted a new system of splitting the oil profits called "ACES." Exxon (the biggest corporation in the world) protested and Sarah told them, "don't let the door hit you in the stern on your way out." They stayed, and Alaska residents went from being merely wealthy to being filthy rich. Of course, the other huge international oil companies meekly fell in line. Again, give me the name of any other governor with her courage.

3. The other thing she did when she walked into office is she got the list of State requests for federal funding for projects, known as "pork." She went through the list, and put 85% of them in the "when-hell-freezes-over" stack. She let everybody know that if we need something built, we'll pay for it ourselves. Maybe she figured she could use the money she got from selling the previous governor's jet because it was too extravagant. Maybe she could use the money she saved by dismissing the governor's cook (remarking that she could cook for her own family), or giving back the State vehicle issued to her, maintaining that she already had a car, or dismissing her State provided security force (never mentioning - I imagine - that she's packing heat herself). I'm still waiting to hear the names of those other governors.

4. Now, even with her much-ridiculed "gosh and golly" mannerism, she also managed to put together a totally new approach to getting a natural gas pipeline built which will be the biggest private construction project in the history of North America. No one else could do it although they tried. If that doesn't impress you, then you're trying too hard to be unimpressed while watching her do things like this while baking up a batch of brownies with her other hand.

5. For 30 years, Exxon held a lease to do exploratory drilling at a place called Point Thompson. They made excuses the entire time why they couldn't start drilling. In truth they were holding it like an investment. No governor for 30 years tried to make them get started. Then, she told them she was revoking their lease and kicking them out. They protested and threatened court action. She shrugged and told them that she knew the way to the court house. Alaska won again.

6. Obama wants the nation to be on 25% renewable resources for electricity by 2025. Sarah went to the legislature and submitted her plan for Alaska to be at 50% renewable by 2025. We are already at 25%. I can give you more specifics about things done, as opposed to style and persona. Everybody wants to be cool, sound cool, look cool. But that's just a cover-up. I'm still waiting to hear from liberals the names of other governors who can match what mine has done in two and a half years. I won't be holding my breath.

By the way, she was content to return to AK after the national election and go to work, but the haters wouldn't let her. Now these adolescent crybabies are obviously not scuba divers. And no one ever told them what happens when you continually jab and pester a barracuda. Without warning, it will spin around and tear your face off.  Shoulda known better.
You have just read some truth about Sarah Palin that sends the media, along with the Democrat party, into a wild uncontrolled frenzy to discredit her. I guess the media is only interested in skirt chasers, dishonesty, liars, womanizers, murderers, and bitter ex-presidents' wives. So, to Sarah I say "You go, Girl. I only wish those in Washington had your guts, determination, honesty, and morals.” I rest my case. Only fools listen to the media.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Follow Up To Don't Ask, Don't Tell

By a vote of 65 – 31, the Senate yesterday passed the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  While it won’t be official for 60 days after the President signs it into law, it means an end to gays and lesbians having to hide their true identities and means they will no longer be automatically discharged if their secret is discovered.  And while many on the right, including some of my good friends, disagree with me, I personally feel it’s about time.  I also don’t believe the “transition” will be as disruptive to the military as some might think. 
I can see how there could be problems if an openly gay man (or woman) makes a statement of his/her sexuality in Basic Training, where men and women are in the most tight quarters (in large groups) and showers are shared.  Heterosexual people might not be open to sharing a shower with someone they know is gay and is openly flaunting it.  But my guess is that won’t be much of a problem in Basic Training and after that, showers are basically private.  And while you can’t always pick your roommate in technical school and/or afterward, sharing a room with a gay person doesn’t mean they’re going to hit on your or rape you in the middle of the night.
I shared a room for about three weeks with a gay man when I was stationed in Germany.  It was fairly obvious he was gay but he kept to himself and never once was there a problem.  I also had several gay men who worked for me.  Eventually they were discovered and discharged but while they were there they were hard workers, dependable and loyal, to their duties and their country.  Never once did their sexual orientation interfere with their duties.
I find it interesting that only 8 Republicans voted to repeal the law although the names of those eight don’t surprise me at all.  Most of them have voted with the Democrats on many things, to the ire and disgust of their constituents.  However, the partisan vote in this election shows that many Republicans opted to take the “moral high ground” without truly understanding the big picture.
Gays and lesbians have been serving in the military since there was a military.  For most of these years they simply had to hide it and keep it quiet.  In the last 30 years or so it has become more commonplace for gays and lesbians to be out of the closet, while maybe not serving openly.  Many have been well known but simply left alone unless they did something that truly became a problem or an embarrassment to their unit.  That was the case when I was in.  Most of the gay men were known to all (not in the Biblical sense) but unless they became annoying or openly promiscuous, they were left alone.
The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is a long time coming and mark my words, with very few exceptions, it won’t change a thing as far as the military goes.  There will be some people, mostly hard-headed, macho men, who have a difficult time adjusting.  To the majority it will simply mean they don’t have to keep quiet about their friend because he now won’t be discharged for who he is.  Risking your life in service to your country shouldn’t be a heterosexual privilege only.  If you’re willing to die to protect the freedoms we have in America, why should we care who you sleep with?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Christian Thing To Do?

There’s a sad but interesting article In Politics Daily that talks about the suicide of Lizzy Seeberg, a 19 year old freshman at St. Mary’s College, a sister school to Notre Dame University.  It seems Ms. Seeberg accused a Notre Dame football star of sexual assault and got no positive response from any authorities.  Fifteen days after she reported the incident she killed herself.  The football player, who in the article was unnamed, wasn’t even questioned by authorities until five days after Lizzy’s suicide. 
Lizzy described being terrified by this man to the point that she froze.  He allegedly fondled her until his cell phone rang and it was at that point he threw her aside and she was able to get away.  She did the right thing by reporting the incident but nothing was done.  The accused ball player wasn’t even suspended from playing while the incident was investigated, and still hasn’t been.  In fact, the incident has basically been forgotten by authorities since Lizzy is no longer around to testify.  Interestingly, the football player had violent incidents in his background including throwing a desk at a high school teacher who took his phone away in class.
Lizzy said she received a threatening text message from another football player after she reported the incident to the police that said “Don't do anything you would regret. Messing with Notre Dame football is a bad idea.''
Sounds like a sad case of he said, she said, I suppose.  But Lizzy Seeberg is dead.  And there’s more to the story that makes it even worse.  It seems that twelve of Lizzy’s family members are Notre Dame alumni, including her 85 year old grandfather, yet the President of Notre Dame, Father John Jenkins, refuses to even meet with the family and talk to them.  Citing advice from the school’ attorney, he won’t read a letter they wrote to him nor will he make any statement to the family of this poor, dead girl.  There has been no school investigation into the allegations made by Lizzy against the two football players, the one who assaulted her or the one who threatened her later. 
The lawyer the Seebergs hired just to get Notre Dame to communicate with them reported back that the school's general counsel, Marianne Corr, had this message for them: "I hope the Seebergs know how bad this could get for them'' if they ever went public.
Notre Dame is a Catholic school, supposedly a Christian school, yet this is how they treat a family who has twelve alumni in its ranks?  You’d think they’d be more interested in helping out an alumni family, wouldn’t you?
The Seeberg family is still working and fighting to get some answers.  With the help of a good attorney, and maybe some decent police work, maybe they can get justice for Lizzy.  I can’t say she was actually assaulted, nor can I say for sure that’s why she killed herself.  But the fact that she made the allegations then committed suicide definitely makes the entire incident worth investigating.  And Notre Dame’s actions, ignoring the incident like it didn’t happen and refusing to cooperate with the family in any way, is disgraceful.  This family needs answers and the Christian thing for Notre Dame to do would be to cooperate with any and all authorities to find the truth.  Can I get an amen?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another Waste of Government Money?

In an interesting move it seems the state of Illinois may be the first to outlaw electronic cigarettes, the alternative to tobacco use by cigarette smokers.   Legislators and anti-smoking groups are working to ban the sale of these items citing “lack of FDA approval” as their reason. 
Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs for short, consist of a tube, a battery and some flavored liquid laced with nicotine.  It gives a smoker the satisfaction of nicotine intake without the smell or the actual smoke.  Those who inhale through it get a nicotine flavored water vapor which is supposed to be less harmful and certainly less odorous than regular cigarettes.  Some manufacturers say the e-cig’s intention is to help individuals quit smoking altogether, although the nicotine content would probably make that difficult.
What seems ridiculous about this entire move by the state of Illinois is…  everything.  Actual cigarettes have been scientifically proved to be harmful  and can cause heart disease and cancer.  Illinois doesn’t seem to be worried about the harm caused by cigarettes but rather the fact that to date no government agency has proved that e-cigs are not harmful.  It seems to me if the state was truly worried about its citizens’ health they’d work to stop the sale of cigarettes and all other tobacco products instead.  So why would e-cigs be the focus of their ban?
I can’t prove this but my guess is the manufacturers of e-cigs don’t contribute millions of dollars to political campaign funds as does big tobacco.  Banning tobacco sales in this country would cause politicians to lose huge campaign donations, therefore big tobacco is off limits.  Even the Presidential administration, which is currently working to control the foods we and our children eat with the stated intention of improving our health, hasn’t moved to ban the sale and use of tobacco.  Could that be because the President himself is (was?) a tobacco user and also received large donations from big tobacco during his 2008 campaign; and wants them again in 2012?  (Not that he is the only one, by any means.  He just happens to be in office right now.)
It’s often odd what causes politicians will take up and the reasons.  Banning electronic cigarettes, in this man’s opinion, is really an idiotic thing to do given the numerous other things that need attention in this country.  The politicians in Illinois have already said if the Food and Drug Administration approves e-cigs for consumer use they’ll reverse the ban.  It’s absolutely unbelievable to me that the people in Illinois are paying their legislators to work on a project that 1. Is a complete waste of time and tax money and 2. They’ll reverse if and when the FDA makes a decision.  Then again, it doesn’t surprise me one bit.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mandating Health Care Insurance Ruled Unconstitutional

On Monday, December 13, 2010, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson ruled that forcing individuals to purchase health insurance was in violation of the Constitution's Commerce Clause.  "Neither the Supreme Court nor any Federal circuit court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market," Hudson wrote. "In doing so, enactment of the individual mandate exceeds the Commerce Clause powers vested in Congress under Article I of the Constitution."
Judge Hudson is the first Federal judge to make such a ruling against the health care bill, signed into law in March of this year.  The case, filed by Virginia by state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, argued on the AG's website that "buying health insurance can be said to be an act of commerce.  However, if someone doesn't buy insurance, they are by definition not engaging in commerce.  This legislation greatly oversteps the Commerce Clause."
The White House responded to today’s ruling by saying they still believe mandating that people buy health insurance is Constitutional and legal.  The case will obviously be sent to the Court of Appeals for further adjudication, and most likely to the Supreme Court.  In the meantime, Republicans, conservatives and many independents are overjoyed by the ruling and see it as a victory over unfair and unwanted legislation and over an administration that forced a law down the throats of an unwilling populace. 
Some will say that forcing someone to buy health insurance is no different than forcing someone to buy automobile insurance.  In fact, they are completely different.  When you buy car insurance you are protecting other people from mistakes you may possibly make.  Driving is a privilege that comes with certain responsibilities.  One of those responsibilities is protecting other people from harm and/or financial loss.  You may choose not to buy car insurance but you will lose your driving privileges if you do.
When you buy health insurance you’re protecting yourself from financial loss.  Some people mistakenly believe health insurance is supposed to mean your health care will be free.  That’s because they don’t understand insurance.  Insurance is merely protection from catastrophic medical bills that you must pay for up front, even if you don’t use it.  If you buy the right plan, the so-called “Cadillac plan”, it will pay 100% of your medical bills but you will pay a higher premium for it.  Most health care plans cover a long list of medical treatments of various illnesses and accidents but they only pay part of the expense.  The rest is paid by the individual.  In other words, insurance is not normally a pay-all program but an assistance program.
People should not (and hopefully now will not) be forced to purchase health care insurance because the people they’re protecting (or not protecting) are themselves.  Some will say they are protecting the tax payers from financial loss but the fact is, our health care system is designed to provide everyone with health care coverage even if they cannot afford insurance.  And the law, as written, would require even people who can afford to buy the entire hospital to purchase health care insurance against their will.  Why should people who can afford to pay cash for all medical treatment be forced to buy protection they don’t need?  And if those people won’t be forced to buy insurance, why should anyone else?  You can’t force only certain individuals to purchase health care insurance, can you?
Judge Hudson says “No.”  And I have the utmost respect for him.  Let’s see what happens when the government appeals his decision. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tax Cut Extension Deal - Good or Bad?

For the last two years President Obama has been adamant about not allowing the “wealthy” to keep receiving the Bush tax cuts, set to expire on January 1st.  Even as recently as last month he and the Democrats reiterated their position that greedy, rich people need to shoulder more of the tax burden and anyone making less than $250,000 a year should be given a tax break.  It’s only those evil people making over $250,000, those nasty, rich people, who should be penalized for their success.
A few days ago the President apparently cut a tentative deal with Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts to everyone for another two years.  According to the President this will be good for the American people.  According to the left, this is simply putting hundreds of thousands more dollars in the bank accounts of those greedy, rich people (most of our politicians included) and “taking money away from the government.”
There are two things that concern me about the attitude of the left on this issue.  First, extending the Bush tax cuts won’t put more money into anyone’s bank account.  This is a spin put out by the left to make people vilify the rich even more.  Extending the Bush tax cuts will merely allow people to continue putting the same amount in those accounts.  No one is getting a raise or getting more money handed to them.  I’m not sure why that’s so difficult for some people to figure out.  Extending the Bush tax cuts simply means no one’s taxes are going to go up in January.  And while Joe Biden likes to spout that it’s “patriotic to pay taxes”, there should be a limit on how deeply the government can reach into anyone’s pockets.
My second concern is simply that.  When did the government get the authority to tell someone “You make more than your share of money so we’re going to take as much as we want to make sure you don’t get too greedy”?  That, my friends, is Marxist.  I have no problem paying a certain amount of taxes to the government for their operating expenses.  After all, they are serving us, the people.  (I’m actually choking on that statement but that’s what they’re supposed to be doing.)  But when did we, the people, give them the authority to take however much of our hard-earned money they want?  And why is it that our government spends way beyond its means, without consulting us, and then demands that the people, those of us who elected them, cough up the money to pay it back? 
The only tax system that would be truly fair is a flat tax, a set percentage of everyone’s income (except those below the poverty level) that is equal across the board.  Let’s use 10% as an example.  If everyone paid 10% of their income to the government in taxes, and the government curbed their outrageous, exorbitant spending, there would be plenty of money for them to operate efficiently.  There would be no loopholes in the flat tax plan, for anyone.  Whether you make $40 thousand or $40 billion you’d pay that 10% to the government.   What’s 10% of $40 billion - $400 million?  And that would be from only one person.  But it would be FAIR.
I do have one other concern about this “deal.”  Obama has done a complete turn-around on this tax cut extension.  That worries me.  Anytime a politician does an about face to make a deal you can bet there’s something shady in it.  Some Republicans, like Michelle Bachman (who I personally think is still trying to do the right thing) are saying “No.  This is not a good deal.  This is a spending/stimulus bill disguised as a tax cut extension.”  I don’t know all the details but I’m thinking if Obama flip-flopped, the Democrats don’t like it at all and some Republicans are saying it’s no good, it probably isn’t good in the long run.  I guess we’ll see what happens.  But, as Dennis Miller used to say on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update…  “That’s just my opinion.  I could be wrong.”

Friday, December 10, 2010

God's Work or the Devil's?

I read with some interest the story of the Westboro Baptist Church’s plans to stage a protest in front of the church before the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards.  This is the same group who stages protests at the funerals of our fallen military heroes claiming, among other things, that God kills soldiers because of homosexuality and other immoral behavior in America.  They often carry signs that claim “God hates fags“, or “God hates gays”, or “Thank God for breast cancer”, or “God hates _______” (fill in the blank).  They will protest anything and anyone they feel ignores God’s teachings.  Yet they seem to ignore many of God’s teachings themselves.  I find it interesting that they claim to speak for God while ignoring the Christian teachings that God is love and “Judge not lest ye be judged.”
Westboro Baptist is a small church in Topeka, Kansas, headed by a man named Fred Phelps.  The membership is reportedly made up mostly of Phelps’ family members.  Phelps himself reminds me of Julian Beck, the actor who played the ghostly preacher dressed in black in Poltergeist II.  The church has strong feelings against homosexuality and Jews and uses any platform to get their hateful message out. 
Claiming to be God’s messengers, these people display their hatred in public places; at military funerals, in front of Jewish synagogues, and in front of churches that don’t condemn homosexual behavior.  Churches don’t even have to condone homosexual behavior but if they don’t condemn it publicly they can find themselves a target of WBC.  I thought churches were supposed to be places of love where everyone was welcome to come in and learn about God’s love.  Apparently in the eyes of Westboro members, God hates everyone who doesn’t follow their teachings.
Now they plan to protest at the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards because she apparently questioned God in the last weeks of her life.  Mrs. Edwards relationship with God was between her and God, which is where it should remain.  But WBC plans to protest her and all others who question their faith.  They will carry signs that say “Thank God for breast cancer”, among others.  And the scary part is - I think many of them believe they are doing good.
As for Phelps, I think he’s a different story.  I personally believe the man is doing the work of the devil and that his followers are controlled, much in the same way those in Jonestown, Guyana, were controlled.  With so many family members in his church it wouldn’t surprise me to learn there’s some sexual deviance going on.  And often it turns out that those who protest homosexual behavior the loudest are hiding a secret themselves.  Remember Ted Haggard?
Either way, what these people do to other people emotionally is evil.  As if those in mourning over a dead loved one don’t have enough to deal with, imagine the emotional overload they suffer when people show up outside the cemetery holding up signs that say “Thank God for dead soldiers.”  There is a case against these protests in pending in the Supreme Court right now testing whether or not free speech protects the hateful acts of Westboro Baptist.  It will be interesting to see the outcome.  Hate speech is protected but defamation and deliberate infliction of emotional distress are not.  My solution would be a simple one.  Any military funeral should have a team of security personnel who would prevent WBC from getting to the cemetery or remove them from the area if need be.  I’m sure you could find thousands of volunteers for that detail.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rest Well Chad Wade

I will be brief today.  My heart is heavy with sorrow for the family of a man I never had the opportunity to meet, but wish I did.  For those of you who read this, please say a quick prayer for the family of this incredible young man.  They were all touched and inspired by his presence in their lives and are all devastated by his loss.
Corporal Chad Wade, a loving husband, a much loved son, a Marine, an exceptional American, a patriot, and hero, will be laid to rest today, December 9, 2010, after a memorial service that begins at 11am.  I’d like to dedicate my blog to him today and tell him my thoughts.
Chad - you served your country well, far beyond what was expected or required.  As an only child and with only 9 months left on your enlistment you volunteered to return to a war zone when you didn’t have to because your fellow Marines, your buddies, had to go.  I can think of no other act that better demonstrated your honor, your selflessness, and your dedication to your friends. 
You shouldered a heavy burden to protect and defend your fellow Americans, even those who would ridicule you for it.  You did it without questioning, without hesitation.  And from what I know of you, you would do it again in a minute if asked.  You made that ultimate sacrifice to protect a country, a people, and the friends you loved. 
It has been said a veteran is someone who, at some point in his/her life, writes a check payable to “the people of the United States of America” in the amount of “up to and including my life.”  In the Bible, in the Book of John, Chapter 15, verse 13, Jesus said “Greater love hath no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  Chad, you wrote that check to the people of America more than once.  You also wrote it to your fellow comrades-in-arms, your “other family.”  You gave them the promise of your life to protect and serve them.  You are now and always will be a hero for your unselfish gift to your country and your friends.  You more than lived up to the Marine motto of being “always faithful.”
You will be remembered Chad, throughout the lifetimes of many people.  It seems such a small thing compared to what you have done but I want to say thank you.  Thank you for your honor, your exceptional character, your selfless devotion to your country and its people, and your courage.  I salute you, Corporal Chad Wade.  It’s time for you to hand your burden off to another, like you, and rest.  There will be no more bullets fired at you, of which you were growing extremely weary.  May God accept you into his fold with open arms and reward you for a job well done.  Rest peacefully, Chad Wade.  Semper Fidelis.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Hero Died Last Week

A hero died last week.  It wasn’t on national television nor did it hit the talk show circuit.  Only a few hundred people even knew about it, I’m sure.  His death was noteworthy yet it will go virtually unnoticed by the world.
He wasn’t the type of hero you see on TV or in the movies.  Only his friends and family will remember his name and accomplishments in a few years.  By most people’s standards he didn’t do anything spectacular and didn’t get his picture on TV, except locally, where he lived.  And that was because of his death.  He merely did what he was supposed to do and did it well.  There are people in this country who would say he’s not a hero in any sense of the word because of that.  But they’d be wrong.
He didn’t wear a cape or have a big “S” on his chest.  He didn’t have a catchy nickname or some gimmick that made him stand out.  As far as I know, he didn’t even help little old ladies across the street, although I have no doubt he would have if the situation ever presented itself. 
This hero did wear a costume, of sorts, with a couple of flashy decorations on his chest.  It was a uniform rather than a costume and he looked great in it.  He was very proud of it and proud to have earned it.  He was a credit to that uniform and a credit to his country.
The hero I’m speaking of was a United States Marine.  Corporal Chad Wade, a husband, a son, a great American, and a United States Marine, died while serving the country he loved in Afghanistan last Wednesday.  Some of you know about Chad if you read my blog post on October 21st, just after Chad had departed for Afghanistan.  If you don’t know of him, he was the son and only child of my wife’s sister and best friend in the world.  He had nine months of enlistment left when he departed for Afghanistan.  He had already been there for one tour of duty and came home safely.  Because he only had 9 months left the Marines wouldn’t have sent him back.  He chose to go and serve out the last of his enlistment there rather than let his fellow Marines go without him.  Character and honor were only two of his qualities.
Chad leaves behind a young wife.  They never even had time to plan a family because he was gone most of the time.  Katie now has to face life as a widow at only 20 years old.  His mom, Tami, is about to face the most difficult thing she will ever face in her life.  Nothing in the world is as difficult as losing a child, particularly if he’s the only one you have.  I know this from experience.  Although she is being strong and she truly is so very proud of him, she’s in for heartache like she’s never experienced before.  And there’s nothing that can change that or make it any easier to deal with except time.
There are those who say, because they oppose the war (or any war), that Chad is not a hero but merely a pawn of the United States government.  To these people I would say “Shut the hell up!”  Anyone who volunteers their very life in service to our country, whether you agree with the war or not, deserves recognition and respect.  There are many who have not the courage or the convictions to ever voluntarily risk their lives for the protection and safety of others.  The war itself will be debated long into the future but those fighting it, simply because they were asked to do so by their country, are exceptional people.  Those who give their lives fighting it are heroes in every sense of the word.  And those who disagree are irrelevant.
Because my wife and I have only been married a short time, I never had the opportunity to meet Chad.  I have met his mother, however, and I know the person she is and therefore, I know the person he was.  It was obvious from Chad’s actions, and the path he chose, that he was raised correctly.  Tami, being a single mom for many of Chad’s formative years, did an exceptional job of raising him and teaching him what was important in life.  As I said, she was, and is extremely proud of her Marine.  She didn’t want her “Chadman” to go to war.  What mother ever wants her son to go to war?  But he was a Marine and he proudly did whatever was asked of him.  And regardless of her own fears, Tami respected Chad’s decisions and commitment to the Corps, as did his wife, Katie. 
Katie married Chad after he joined the Marines and after his first tour in a war zone.  She lived in fear every day but supported her husband and was equally proud of him.  They celebrated their first anniversary a month before Chad departed.
Every parent worries about the safety of their children, even their grown children, throughout their lives, even if it’s kept somewhere in the depths of their hearts.  It’s a completely normal thing for parents to do.  Parents of servicemen and women, particularly those in a war zone, have an entirely different set of worries.  I can only imagine what it must be like to have to worry about your child’s very life every minute of every day.  But it’s a very real fear and, unfortunately, often comes to fruition.  Chad Wade’s unfortunate death has created two new heroes, those being Katie and Tami.  Their strength, their support of Chad, and yes – their sacrifice to their country make them heroes as well.  Any parent or spouse of a military service member who supports that person no matter what the military asks him/her to do is a hero in my book.  And they deserve recognition as well.
Chad Wade is a hero.  I wish I’d have gotten the opportunity to tell him so and to thank him for his service and sacrifice to his country.  You will be missed Chad, maybe by more people than you ever knew.  At least one of those people will be me.  Thank you for your service and thank you for loving your country enough to offer that ultimate sacrifice so few are willing to make.  I’m terribly sorry you had to pay that price but I honor your memory.  And I promise I’ll never forget the hero I never got to meet.