Monday, October 29, 2012

A Hero's Family...

I just watched an interview with Charles Woods, the father of former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who was killed in the terrorist attack on our consulate in Libya - the same one that killed three others including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

I must say that I'm very impressed with Mr. Woods and his family.  Mr. Woods wants answers.  He's not pointing fingers or singling anyone out for blame.  He said he didn't vote for President Obama or John McCain in 2008 so it's not a political quest.  He simply wants to know why his son and the others couldn't get assistance from the United States - the military and/or the CIA.  He wants to know why he and others at the CIA compound were told to "stand down" when the calls for assistance came in.  Most important of all, he wants to know why those calls for assistance were denied even as the President and others were watching the attack take place in real time in the situation room at the White House.  I must say that I agree with him - I want answers too.

The Woods family, being Christians, are forgoing anger and hatred for Christian love and understanding.  They want answers, certainly, but they're not harboring hatred for those who made poor decisions, or for those  who lied about it afterward.  They just want answers.  That, in itself, makes them honorable.

I learned a couple of things tonight that impressed me completely.  First - Dick Morris, a Democrat and former member of the Clinton administration, has raised $350,000 on his website, "", for the college education of Tyrone Woods, Jr., the grandson of Charles Woods.  Secondly, and more poignant, Tyrone Woods, Jr., has enlisted in the Navy because he decided to follow in his father's footsteps.  His father got the chance to ask him why he was going to do that and he responded "America needs people who will serve and protect her.  If I don't do it, who will?" 

I watched the tears of pride in Charles Woods' eyes as he told this portion of the story.  I couldn't help the ones that formed in my own eyes.  What a wonderful, touching tribute to his hero father - a man who disobeyed orders and went to help fellow Americans who were under attack and saved several others before he finally was killed.  Honor apparently runs in the family.

President Obama - I call on you to come clean and tell the truth about Libya.  Your dedicated supporters would praise you for telling the truth and the mainstream media will never abandon you.  These grieving families need answers.  And you, Mr. President, are the only one who can produce them.  Only this time - tell them the truth.  Your lies about the attack and the aftermath have destroyed your credibility.  I can't believe anyone in the military would vote for you now.  If so - they are blind.

I'll tell you this - if you come clean and tell the truth, I'll respect you.   I won't vote for you but I'll respect you.  And these days, genuine respect is something you seem to need...

Admirals and Generals and Libya, Oh My!

I'm posting this for people to read and discern on their own.  This information has not been verified yet it seems to be very closely following the information we have already seen.  Even some of the liberal, main-stream media outlets have picked up on some of it but they will not report it honestly if it could in some way harm President Obama's chances of re-election.  In fact - they'll probably go out of their way to disprove it if they can.

What I find most curious (and disturbing) is the General and Admiral being relieved of command.  If these command officers attempted to take action to save the lives of Americans under attack, against the direction of the President, and they are being relieved of command because of it, then it means the President has not only lied about the entire incident but put his own political goals ahead of the lives of American citizens.  And if that's true it's not only disgusting but I believe it may be grounds for impeachment.

You can read the article and decide for yourself.  There are links included to give more information about each scenario.  Follow them to your own conclusions.

Where are Woodward and Bernstein when we need them.....?

Admirals and Generals Oh My… Are Being Relieved Of Duty

I will be updating this article as the information keeps coming in, so keep coming back to see if any new information has been posting.

I am not one to start rumors or spread them, but I find this very interesting considering the fiasco at Benghazi Embassy and our military being told to stand down. For the men and women in uniform, it mus
t have of been a hard thing to watch as former Navy SEAL’s are being murdered alongside our ambassador.

The stories that are now coming out;

Gen Ham was fired 30 seconds after deciding to intervene in Benghazi: I heard a story today from someone inside the military that I trust entirely. The story was in reference to General Ham that Panetta referenced in the quote below.

“(The) basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” Panetta told Pentagon reporters. “And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”

The Scuttlebutt;

The information I heard today was that General Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help/support as the attack was taking place. General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.

General Ham then received the order to stand down. His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.

The story continues that now General Rodiguez would take General Ham’s place as the head of Africon.

That is true to some extent. Stripes confirmed that General Ham will be replaced by General Rodiguez but no explanation was given:

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will nominate Army Gen. David Rodriguez to succeed Gen. Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command and Marine Lt. Gen. John Paxton to succeed Gen. Joseph Dunford as assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Thursday.

Both appointments must be confirmed by the Senate.

Rodriguez is the commander of U.S. Army Forces Command and has served in a “variety of key leadership roles on the battlefield,” Panetta said.

He’s “a proven leader” who oversaw coalition and Afghan forces during the surge in Afghanistan, and “was the key architect of the successful campaign plan that we are now implementing,” Panetta said.

It also seems an Admiral in charge of a battle group in the Mediterranean Sea will also be relieved for “inappropriate judgement”;

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Navy said Saturday it is replacing the admiral in command of an aircraft carrier strike group in the Middle East, pending the outcome of an internal investigation into undisclosed allegations of inappropriate judgment.

I find both these stories very odd since I am a former military member. I have never seen an Admiral of an entire battle Group relieved of his command in my 10 years experience. I have seen Commanders, but never Admirals.

UPDATE: Gateway Pundit has picked up on it

UPDATE: BlackFive has a little “back and forth” with a legendary Delta Force Operator who said;

Having spent a good bit of time nursing a GLD (ground Laser Designator) in several garden spots around the world, something from the report jumped out at me.

One of the former SEALs was actively painting the target. That means that Specter WAS ON STATION! Probably an AC130U. A ground laser designator is not a briefing pointer laser. You do not “paint” a target until the weapons system/designator is synched; which means that the AC130 was on station.

Only two places could have called off the attack at that point; the WH situation command (based on POTUS direction) or AFRICOM commander based on information directly from the target area.

If the AC130 never left Sigonella (as Penetta says) that means that the Predator that was filming the whole thing was armed.

If that SEAL was actively “painting” a target; something was on station to engage! And the decision to stand down goes directly to POTUS!

PJ Tattler has some more info

Hillary Clinton’s Lawyer allegely has documents that prove Obama held back security for the Embassy. She is witholding it incase Obama intends to throw her under the bus. If she decides to hold this from the American people, I will personally make sure the American people never forget that she put her career first before these Patriotic soldiers.

UPDATE: via GatewayPundit

On Friday former Assistant Secretary of Defense Bing West told Greta Van Susteren that if Obama gave the order to secure the consulate in Benghazi on 9-11 there would be a paper trail.

This morning on FOX News Bing West doubled down.  West does not believe there ever was a presidential order:

“In my judgement the audio track will show the White House knew that there was an attack going on. The real critical issue is the president says that he immediately ordered all available assets to help. The military would have put out an order from the president. There’s no question about that… What I’m asking is, “Show us the order!” Mr. President if you said use everything available and our military immediately sent out the order, simply show us the order. I have great reservations that there is no such order.“

Former Asst. Defense Sec. Bing West: There Was No Order to Secure Benghazi

Apparently Obama was also in the situation room when it was all going down, So he was directly involved.

UPDATE: I am trying to keep all the stories in one spot, so bear with me…

We have been hearing stories of Obama trying to pass the buck to different agencies. First it was the State Department, then it was the CIA and the military.

Michelle Malkin has info on CIA

CIA: We didn’t tell anybody not to respond to the request for help during the Benghazi attack

Also;  General Patraeus Throws Obama Under The Bus

UPDATE; Via National Review Online

Chris Wallace asked Virginia Senator Mark Warner, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on whether the American drones monitoring the Benghazi attack were armed.

I can understand how it would be politically embarrassing for the administration if it turns out those drones were armed and the weapons were not fired when those men, the Americans, were under attack for 7 hours. I can’t understand how it would give up valuable intelligence. Can you tell me directly, were the drones armed or not that were flying over Benghazi and were recording it in real time?

And he stonewalls:
Here's the shorthand of this story, General Ham was told to stand down. He said screw it and was going to send a QRF to aide the consulate in Benghazi. Roughly a min after this decision was made his second in command relieved him. An Admiral in Charge of the entire Battlegroup in the Mediterranean was relieved on the same night for "inappropriate judgement".

Here's the thing, now we can add the relieving of Generals and Admirals to the list of CIA assets that were on the ground being ordered to stand down 3 times. Which if they hadn't have gone out and relieved the consulate 30 more people would be dead right now. OH, almost forgot the firefight went on from 9:40 at night to roughly 4 AM. We had jets within 20 minutes, Ac130 within 1 hour and, Special forces and other ground assets within about 2 Hours. THIS IS NOT CONJECTURE, it is FACT. There was a LIVE FEED OF THE ATTACK, that much like the Osama Bin Laden raid was piped up to the situation room in the white house. Conclusion: someone watched people die, only one person has the authority to grant or stop a rescue mission in these situations. So there it is folks, take from that what you will.


Reports indicate two drones and an AC-130 gunship were in the area when Benghazi was attacked, yet their resources were not used.

This runs completely against the current explanation coming out of the White House, which is that Obama did everything he could once he learned of the attack.

You'll remember that in the second presidential debate, Obama said that as "soon as I was aware the Benghazi consulate was being overrun, I was on the phone with my national security team." The not-so-subtle intimation is that Obama was stepping up to the protect the U.S. personnel who were in Libya. And in the wakes of their deaths, which weren't "optimal," we have been assured that stronger action wasn't taken stronger because those options weren't available.

Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta gave us another version this same excuse, saying: "The U.S. military did not get involved during the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi last month because officials did not have enough information about what was going on before the attack was over."

There are three huge problems with the excuses Obama and Panetta are making.

1. It is now known that the U.S. had two drones in the area -- both of which were filming the attacks, sending back feeds in real time, and at least one of the drones may have been armed.

2. Reports also indicate a Specter gunship, probably an AC-130, was in the area for backup. The gunship could have swooped in and not only leveled the playing field in the match between 50 attackers vs a handful of security personnel, it could have thrown the attack decisively in favor of the security personnel.

3. The security personnel in Benghazi had painted a laser mark on the attackers outside the consulate. This mark would have made possible a response by the drones or the AC-130 routine had they been allowed to zero in on it. The member of the security team who was on the roof of the consulate, spraying machine gun fire down on the attackers, continually asked for backup from the AC-130. It never came.

Obama says he was doing everything he could, and Panetta says we didn't react more strongly because we weren't sure what was going on. Yet we now know two drones were sending back video of the attack in real time, and at least one of those drones may have been armed. We also know a massive AC-130 gunship could have been used for backup as well, but it was not. And we know that security was begging for backup and even marking targets with lasers for the drones and/or gunship so they could make quick work of the attackers.

Yet Obama chose not to respond, and that's the bottom line.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thank You Al Gore!

The internet is such a wonderful thing.  Not only can I see news, TV shows, movies, do research, and even find great recipes, but through the phenomenon of e-mail, if I choose, I can get all kinds of free stuff and even money!

It's true!  Every day I get e-mails that say I have won free stuff, that a check is waiting to be deposited into my account, that some foreign dignitary has died and his family wants to share their wealth with me, and once in a while I get one from someone who's trying to enter the country with too much money and he/she wants to give me some of it to attain entry.  Apparently they're stuck in the airport with too much money.  How bad would that be?!

All I really have to do to get any of this free money and merchandise is open the e-mail and give these very generous people a little bit of personal information.  Once I do that the item will be shipped to me or the money will be electronically deposited into my account!  It's that easy!!

Just yesterday I had two e-mails telling me I have checks waiting, another that says I have stimulus money unclaimed, one about VA benefits waiting for me, and I can get an endless supply of Viagra dirt cheap!  Last week I was offered a spot in the roles of "Who's Who" and a $1000 WalMart gift card for free. 

The only one I really have a problem with, however, is the occasional e-mail I get from senior dating sites.  Once I turned 50 I started getting those on a regular basis.  Being happily married I have no interest in sites like these but that's not the part that upsets me.  What upsets me is that someone has decided I'm old enough for a senior dating site!!

Yesterday afternoon I got a response to a request for membership and a free $1000 gift card from Sam's Club that I didn't even request!  How great is that?  They apparently knew (even if I didn't) that I might be interested in a Sam's Club membership and they want to send me free money to go shopping!  All I have to do is fill out a form with a little bit of personal information.

The ones I really like are the ones that say all I have to do to get free money put into my bank account is send them my account number and routing number.  How cool is that?  Just a few numbers and the click of a mouse and it seems I can get all the free money I want.  Earlier today I got an authorization for a pre-approved loan and a government grant that I didn't ask for.  That's  what I'm saying - these people are so generous they seek me out instead of me having to go find them!  And people say the world is a mean place!

I haven't taken advantage of these wonderful offers yet because we're financially comfortable and I'm not greedy.  I'm leaving them for other people right now.  But it's nice to know if I ever need lots of money that I can get it simply by answering a couple of e-mails. 

I'm a little disappointed this morning.  I haven't gotten any new offers of free money.  Normally by now I have at least 3 or 4 in my Spam folder.  I guess I'll wait - I'm sure they'll show up soon. 

So thank you, Al Gore, for bettering my life!  Who would have expected that old Al would  do something  nice for me?   (Yes, I know Al didn't really invent the internet but he took credit for it and it's always enjoyable to make fun of him!) 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Benghazi-gate Grows...

The controversy over the terrorist attack in Libya on September 11, 2001, continues to grow.  Yesterday, Reuters obtained copies of e-mails from the State Department that indicate the White House and the State department were notified of the attack on the consulate within 2 hours after it began.  There has been sworn testimony from State Department officials that the White House was informed that the attack was carried out by a terrorist group at least within 24 hours after it occurred.  And now there are reports that the United States had at least one drone in the area and that at least part of the attack was monitored via cameras on the drone.

Yet, for almost two weeks following the attack the President and Secretary of State, as well as our Ambassador to the United Nations, insisted the attack was spontaneous following a protest of a ridiculous video denouncing the Islamic prophet Mohammed.  The question is - why?

Here is my theory.

For months now the President has been saying that Al Qaeda has been decimated and that other terrorist organizations are scattered and largely ineffective in the Middle East.  The attack on our consulate in Benghazi pretty much tossed those declarations out the window.  The President had to come up with something that would explain the attack adequately while still protecting Obama's foreign policies in the Middle East that seem to be failing miserably.  He and his cronies saw the protests in Cairo and fabricated a story blaming the video for the attack, trying to convince the American people that the attack was the spontaneous result of protests against the video that simply got out of hand.  They knew it was not only untrue but basically ridiculous, yet they pushed the story over and over, never expecting overwhelming proof to the contrary to surface.

Even after the President finally admitted the truth about the origin of the attack (During the second debate he tried to say he declared it a terrorist attack on September 12th, another blatant lie.) he went to the United Nations a couple of days later and blamed the video six times.  Apparently he just wasn't ready to give up on the lie even though the entire country,  with the exception of die-hard Obamabots, knew the truth.  It seems once the lies are told the President will do anything and everything to maintain the "integrity" of those lies regardless of how it makes him look.  To borrow from the left-wing mantra from the Bush era...  "People died and Obama lied." 

There is another theory out there today that Ambassador Chris Stevens was working to supply American guns to the insurgents in Libya and that the terrorist organization that attacked the consulate got their hands on those guns.  Can you say "Fast and Furious Libyan Version"?   I have no idea if that's true but if it is, what better reason could there be for the President to lie about what happened?  He certainly can't stand another Fast and Furious type incident just weeks before the election.

Now, there are those that will say that even though e-mails were sent the President didn't see or read them so he didn't know what actually happened.  That theory could be absolutely true.  However, if it is true that people in Obama's State Department and the White House had the information within hours and did not tell the President - it was an abysmal failure within his administration.  And one that should show everyone the incompetence of the Obama administration.

What's truly interesting is the lack of main stream media investigation into this incident.  CBS has looked at it and asked a few questions but the only network covering it in-depth is FOX, which liberals refuse to believe because FOX is constantly vilified by their own, lying leader.  Regardless of the truth uncovered by FOX, the rest of the main stream media refuses to be journalists in favor of being campaign aides for the President.

The truth will eventually come out.  It always does.  We can only hope that President Obama is no longer President when it happens.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Weekend In Arkansas

Arden and I spent a long weekend in Mountain View, Arkansas;  population 2800.  It's in the North-central part of Arkansas, about an 8 hour drive from Fort Worth, not counting stops. 

Arden makes beaded jewelry and she attended the Arkansas Bead Cave Retreat at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View.  (Don't ask about the "Cave" because I have no idea why they call it that.)  The Folk Center is a beautiful setting just outside of the town with rustic buildings, cabin-like hotel rooms and plenty of space for me to wander around.  They have a village on the grounds that has various shops and they put on demonstrations of the arts, crafts and music of the region.  Just down the road is a genuine dulcimer shop, where they hand-make dulcimers.  This is Ozark country at its best.

The countryside was gorgeous.  As expected, Mountain View is surrounded by hills (not really mountains considering I lived in Colorado twice...) that are tree covered and the trees are changing colors.  Needless to say, the hills were beautiful and driving anywhere was very pleasant.

There were a few things I want to comment on that were interesting, to say the least.  First of all, we arrived at the Folk Center at about 7:30pm.  We were tired and hungry after 9 hours on the road but Arden wanted to check in with her friends and reserve her table for the retreat.  We then headed to the hotel office to get our room keys.  We decided to go get some dinner before unloading everything from the van so we wouldn't have to go back out once we were done.  It's a good thing we did that.

The staff at the hotel desk told us we needed to go to Tommy's Pizza, right off the square downtown.  They said it was not only the best pizza in town but the best pizza we would ever eat.  That's a pretty bold statement so we decided to see if it was true.  We followed the directions we were given and ended up driving out of town without seeing it.  So we turned around, drove more slowly and looked again.  Still nothing.  After passing the center of town again  we turned around in a parking lot and asked one of the locals, who was standing outside her shop, if she could give us better directions.  She told us it was actually not on the main road but on a side street and very easy to miss.  We followed her directions and almost missed it again but Arden happened to see the sign through the trees.  We turned around again and pulled into the parking lot only to discover Tommy's was closed.  Their hours are from 3:30pm until they close due to lack of business.  He had closed just about 10 minutes before we arrived.  It was 8:10pm.

We asked about places that were open and were told that most of the restaurants in town close at 8.  He suggested the fast food places so we drove up the main drag looking for something else.  Luckily, we found Pizza Hut open and since we had decided on pizza in the first place, we settled on that.  (Not that it's a bad thing - I like Pizza Hut.  But we were promised the "best pizza you'll ever eat" and we weren't going to get it  there.)

We ordered personal pizzas and we split a salad.  As we were eating, another couple came into the restaurant and they were turned away.  I asked one of the girls what time they close and she said "9pm."  So apparently we had just made it in time.

We returned to the hotel, unloaded the van, figured out the heat pump (it was dropping rapidly into the 40s which was cold for us) and went to sleep around midnight.  We slept late the next morning (since the retreat really didn't kick off until around noon) and just enjoyed being there.  We had coffee and a leisurely morning then went out to find Arden's friends and get something to eat.  Only one of her friends wanted to go and we went to a great Mexican restaurant right on the town square.  The building was as old as the town and had so much potential, with a huge outdoor patio in the front that seated at least 60.  The open ceilings inside looked up to a huge skylight and a large mural was painted on one of the walls.  The food was actually good as well but I wanted to speak to the manager about ways to improve the overall appearance and ambiance of the place....

I dropped Arden and her friend Betty off at their building and it was time for me to explore a little.  First off, I had to make some copies of some instructions for the class Arden was teaching on Sunday so I headed to the hotel office because in the information guide in the room it said they would make copies for 10 cents apiece.  The woman at the desk, who was at least 40, wasn't sure if they could make 30 copies for me so she asked the woman behind her, who said "Sure we can.  They're 10 cents apiece."  The woman at the desk got a calculator out and began punching numbers.  When she was done she said "30 copies at 10 cents apiece - that's $3.00." 

Now, I'm trying to be nice and not be judgmental but really - a calculator to multiply 30x10?  I realize math may not be her strong suit but still...  it took me by surprise.

It was about that time that I realized I had spent all of my cash the night before and didn't have $3 in my pocket.  I had to go into town to get cash so I asked if there was a place in town I could get copies made.  She said there was (same lady) and picked up the phone book.  She said she didn't remember the name of it and began thumbing through the white pages to find it.  Granted, the phone book for Mountain View isn't very big - it's a 5x8 book that's about half an inch thick.  But if you can't remember the name of something looking through the white pages can take forever.

She again asked the woman at the desk about it and that woman said "Yes - there's a place out on East Main Street that makes copies."  The woman I was speaking to put the phone book down and went to get a map.  I picked up the phone book, opened it to the yellow pages and looked up "Copies".  There is was - the name, address and phone number of the store.  Imagine.

I found the store on the map and thanked the woman for her assistance, then drove into town.  I stupidly passed the first couple of banks I saw, thinking there would be one on my side of the road.  I subsequently passed two others that were out of business.  As I neared the area where the store was I stopped at a Shell station thinking I could get some cash at the ATM.  Except there was no ATM.  I asked if there were any in the immediate area and the girl behind the counter said "If you go into town there are banks everywhere."  I asked if there were any banks or ATMs in the direction I was going.  She said "Not until you get to the next town." 

I thought about turning around to find a bank but decided at that point I would just pay with a card.  I found the store and they made me 30 copies - for only $4.71.  It would have been better just to get the cash in town and go back to the Folk Center.  Who knew?

The food in the Folk Center was dangerous.  They served everything buffet style and it was all excellent.  I believe I gained 9 pounds over the weekend, literally.  Each meal offered several choices and each choice was great.  To maintain their class schedules, they would adjust the meal times accordingly and it seemed the time between meals kept getting shorter and shorter.   On Saturday we finished breakfast at 9am and lunch began at 11:45.  How's a guy supposed to not gain weight when you're eating a buffet that often??  (Arden mentioned something about not putting so much on my plate but it didn't really make sense...) 

On Saturday morning we felt  adventurous and walked up to the restaurant for breakfast, pulling Arden's bag of supplies (on wheels) behind us.  It's about half a mile and all up hill, literally, probably about a 100 foot elevation.  We're in decent shape but we stopped a couple of times to catch our breath. 

On Saturday evening the girls have a tradition of a large pajama party in their beading room.  Everyone is supposed to wear some type of sleeping attire (PG rated) and bring what they want to eat and drink.  They sit around having fun and getting a bit crazy.  Arden wanted me to go along.  So at 7:45pm we went to the beading room for the party.  And yes, being a good sport and wanting Arden to be happy I was wearing pajamas and a robe.  When I walked into the room all the women began clapping and cheering.  (Did I mention I was the only man at this retreat?  I may have left that out...) 

So here I am sitting at a table with Arden, helping her count out beads for some kits that she's making, surrounded by about 40 middle-aged, pajama clad women who were away from home and drinking wine.  Needless to say, it wasn't boring.  One woman walked over to me, leaned down and said "You're a very brave man."  Some women at one of the other tables said to Arden "Please let your husband come over and see us."  It was an interesting evening and Arden was happy that I was there.  I, on the other hand, could have spent the evening watching the leaves change but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

Sunday morning we ate breakfast again (eggs, 2 types of sausage, bacon, biscuits and sausage gravy, potatoes, fruit...) then Arden had a class to teach.  I went back to the room and packed everything in the van then went into town again for a little while.  There is a disc golf course in town and disc golf just happens to be something I enjoy doing.  For those unfamiliar, you play it like regular golf but you use specially designed discs (like Frisbees) and instead of a green and a cup you throw it toward a basket.  It's great exercise, peaceful and usually free.  I played every day while Arden was in classes.  Then I went back to the restaurant for lunch.

Sunday lunch was a huge spread.  Rather than one buffet table they had three.  One was nothing but salads, the main one had ribs, chicken and all the vegetables, and the third held 4 different types of dessert.  As I said earlier - how's a guy supposed to not gain weight when you're eating a buffet three times a day??

After lunch we headed back home - not really wanting to.  Next year we plan to get there a day earlier and stay an extra day so we have time to explore the countryside together.  (Arden was busy with classes and/or putting things together for her own class so we didn't get to spend any time together just enjoying the area.)  The other women made it a point to let me know they wanted me to come back.  And there is actually one other man who usually comes.  He makes jewelry with wire.  But he couldn't make it this year.  I look forward to his being there next year - particularly for the party...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Partisanship Over Friendship...?

I heard from a buddy last evening that he had once again been "unfriended" on Facebook by someone who didn't approve of his criticisms of the sitting President.  This had apparently been a long-term friendship and the fact that the person did this stating political reasons was surprising to my buddy.  He said "He told me he'd been offended by my editorials that disrespect the president and are full of "propaganda from mainstream sources".  I have to say, I am really hurt."

I can sympathize with my buddy because I've been "unfriended" at least six times in the last couple of years by people whose political beliefs differ from mine.  In doing so, several of them have stated that they just couldn't deal with my views and comments about President Obama and one said she changed her opinion of me based on the fact that I listen to a particular radio show.  Some have even called me "unpatriotic" because I dare to disagree with their views.  To be fair to myself, my criticisms of the President are based on my observations of his words, actions and policies.  I try hard never to be disrespectful to the man or the office he holds.  And in the words of Hillary Clinton...  "I am sick and tired of people who call you unpatriotic if you debate this administration’s policies. We are Americans and have the right to participate and debate any administration."

I may be wrong but from what I've seen and experienced it's mostly people who support President Obama who are doing this.  I say "mostly" because there certainly are some Republicans/conservatives who state they want nothing to do with liberals in any way, shape or form, but they are few and far between.  And I've never heard of a Republican/conservative "unfriending" someone just because they support President Obama or because they criticize a Republican.

Here's how I see things...  A President, good, bad or indifferent, is in office for eight years at the most.  That's a small portion of the average human lifetime.  If someone is willing to destroy or end a friendship based on a person's views about a particular president, what kind of friend are they really?  If you think about it, it's immature and rather like grade school. 

I remember once, in the sixth grade, there was a girl who other kids suspected liked me.  You know -  "liked" me.  Finally, one day, someone put her on the spot and asked her, in front of me, if it was true.  She said "I don't like him because he doesn't like Bobby Sherman."  (I know - I'm aging myself big time with this one...)  Bobby Sherman was every girl's dream at the time and I, being a typical 12 year old boy, constantly put him down.  She decided that she could not "like" me because of that.  But she was 12 years old.  It's not much different than the people who say "I can't be your friend because you don't like President Obama."  To them I say "How about you grow up and join the rest of us in the world of adults?"

Last night I decided to take a survey.  I'm hoping people will participate but I'm not expecting much.  I'm really curious to know if my thoughts on this topic are correct so I'm posting the following questions to everyone, on both sides of the political spectrum.  I'm going to post just the questions in a separate window on Facebook to see what results I get.   The questions are as follows:

1.  How many of you have been "unfriended" by someone on the left because of your views about President Obama?

2.  How many of you have been "unfriended" by someone on the right because of your  views about President Obama?

3.  Have you ever "unfriended" anyone because of their political views?

I really hope to get honest participation.  I'd really like to see if this is a two-party phenomenon or if it's as one-sided as I believe it is.  Political division is greater at the present time than I've seen it in my lifetime.  And it could easily destroy our nation if we allow it to continue.  That said - it's not necessary to change your overall political views in order to reunite the nation.  But it is necessary to practice tolerance and to be able to disagree in an adult manner instead of hating each other over different views. 

Ever see those videos of foreign government leaders who come to blows in their meetings because of differing opinions?  I don't expect that to happen in Washington because our leaders can disagree without hatred.  But it seems the American people are having a problem with that...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Book Update

When I announced my book debut last month I said it should be available by January.  That was my mistake.  The editing process began this month and it will take about six months to complete the editing, review, re-editing, layout and design process and marketing.  So it will be more like April before it's available for purchase.  I apologize for the misinformation.  I apparently misunderstood what the publisher told me.

Once the website is up and running (still a few months away) you will be able to see more information about the book and may be able to purchase it early.  I will let you know when it is up and running.  Thanks to all who have promised to buy a copy.  Again, I'm very proud of the book and the story - even though I'd give anything never to have had a reason to write it.  I'm thinking Christopher would also be proud of it. 

I thought I'd share just a little bit of it to give you a taste of what's to come...

From "How Do You Say Goodbye?"

There is no easy solution for dealing with the grief one must endure after the loss of a child.  A single day can run the entire gamut of emotion, from happy memories to sad nostalgia; tears of joy to tears of unmatched pain and sorrow.  The most difficult thing to bear is that you never know from one minute to the next which it will be.  A song, a TV show, a book, the child next door, can re-open the wound and allow the pain to flood back in like the tide.  Not to mention the obvious special occasions.  Birthdays, Christmas, and of course, Mother's or Father's Day; these will only intensify the tremendous loss and rekindle the burning fires of anguish.

So what, pray tell, are we supposed to do?  How does one deal with this tragedy and remain fully sane and competent?

For some, talking about what happened, either with family or friends, can help with relieving the pent-up emotions while for others, expressing their feelings in writing may be an effective form of catharsis.  And of course there are therapists and groups specifically for this type of trauma.  There is faith in your God or a Supreme Being that may help some individuals.  But there is no therapy, no writing, no friend or confidant, not even a Supreme Being who can lift this heavy burden right away.  It takes time....  a long time.

Whatever course is chosen to work toward relieving the pain and overwhelming emotion that fill the soul, there are two things that invariably assist with the process.  The first - gather up the ones you love in your arms, hold them close and tell them you love them as often as you possibly can.  The second is probably the most viable and easy outlet of all.  I obtained this advice from my dear niece who lost her father not long ago.  Her words, so simple yet so profound, were the most helpful of all:

"Cry often.  It helps."

It's the best advice anyone has given me to date.

Glen Clark
December 2002

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Why The 2007 Obama Video Is Important...

In 2007, President Obama made a campaign speech to a mostly black audience at Hampton University.  The speech, while covered at the time by the main stream media with excerpts being showed on the news, has resurfaced in recent days in its  entirety.  It has generated new attention not because of what's been played on the news but for what was left out of the news broadcasts.  I'll explain.

First, while many will laugh this off as being irrelevant, I just laugh at it.  The President is an accomplished speaker.  He can read a speech from his teleprompter with perfect diction, perfect grammar and without an accent of any kind.  Yet, when he speaks to an African-American audience he seems to take on an accent that he apparently thinks makes him sound more like a brother.  And I'm not being disrespectful to the man - I'm not the only one who noticed it.  Hillary Clinton did the same thing during a campaign speech in Selma, Alabama, in 2007.  Why do Democrats think you have to change your accent for specific audiences?
One of President Obama's talking points during the speech was in reference to the Stafford Act and how it was waived in Miami after Andrew and waived in New York after 9/11 but was not waived when it came to New Orleans after Katrina.  What the President said was not only misleading but it was blatantly untrue.  Just 10 days before he made this speech the Senate voted on (and passed) a bill that gave New Orleans about $6 billion in aid with no strings attached.  The Stafford Act was waived and New Orleans got the money they needed.  The interesting thing was that President Obama was one of only 14 Senators that voted against the bill.  He left that little detail out of the speech.  He lied and said the Stafford Act was applied unfairly to the people of New Orleans (and hinted that it was because they were mostly black Americans) but forgot to mention that he didn't want them to get that aid in the first place.  Funny how that works, huh?

The other important thing in the speech, that by now everyone knows but about which very few really care, was Obama's introduction of his friend and pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.  Once again we have proof of what a liar the President is  (with all his denials of who and what Wright really is and what he stands for).  What's sad is that his supporters really don't care about the lies he tells.  They will vilify George Bush or Mitt Romney if they even say something wrong by mistake but when President Obama blatantly lies they brush it off as "All politicians lie during campaigns."  The double standard by which Obama is judged by the left is truly staggering. 

The video should be as relevant as any other actual vetting process that the President should have gone through.  The main stream media, if they were still journalists, would have put this information out there in 2007 and 2008.  But when  the mains stream media is part of the Obama campaign, the truth about  their candidate just doesn't come out except on the conservative network that liberals won't watch.  It's time to make journalism honest again and time to hold them responsible for dishonest reporting.  As someone I used to know once told me - "Not telling the whole truth is the same as lying...."

Monday, October 1, 2012

Freedom of Speech Held Hostage...

On September 11, 2012, a planned and carefully executed assault on our consulate building in Benghazi, Libya, left our ambassador and 3 other embassy staff dead.  The ambassador's body was dragged through the streets of Benghazi.

In Cairo, Egypt, also on September 11th, a large protest took place because of a video movie trailer that ridiculed Mohammed, the prophet of Islam.  In the days following, more and more protests began in Muslim countries around the world.  The video, made by two Egyptian expatriates who currently live in the United States, was a product of the American right of free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.

I start with these two items not to rehash the events of that day but to bring attention to the results, not only the results in Islam but in our own United States.

The reaction of Islam to the video ridiculing their prophet isn't really surprising.  Islam has proved itself to be fanatical time and time again, reacting with hatred and violence to anything and anyone they deem disrespectful to their religious beliefs.  They kill people who disavow them, particularly Christians.  They even kill their own  family members if those family members do anything that doesn't show proper respect to Islam.  Nothing they do surprises me anymore.

What truly surprised me - no, surprised is the wrong word - what truly astounds me is the reaction from our own government.  I won't say surprised because our current President has always shown a fondness and favoritism toward Islam.  He bends over backward (and bows forward) to appease them in so many ways that his reaction wasn't so much surprising as astounding.  What I mean is that he reacted in a way that actually threatens to curb our first amendment right to free speech. 

The Obama administration apologized to Islam for a video that ridicules Mohammed that was made in our great country where we have the right to ridicule anyone, even our own President.  Islamic leaders from across the globe are now calling for America's right to free speech to be censored so we can no longer say anything negative about Islam and many liberals in this country are actually thinking that might be a good idea.  In a speech to the U.N., the President defended our right to free speech but since he denounced and condemned the video and apologized for it (and basically for Americans' right to make such a video) on cannot help but wonder if his defense of free speech was genuine or simply an intelligent campaign move.  After all, condemning free speech in the name of Islam wouldn't exactly be a smart campaign move with the election a little over a month away.

There are some who liken Americans' criticism of Islam to yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater.  Their argument stems from the fact that sometimes people die because of criticism of Islam.  What they apparently fail to realize is that if we give in to Islam and outlaw the right we have to voice our opinion about it freely, we are being held hostage by Islam.  If we censor our freedom of speech because Islam says "If you say anything we don't like we will kill someone", we are allowing Islam to make rules for us to live by.  And I, for one, do not plan to live under Islamic rule.

Another problem I have with the administration's reaction is their statement that all religious beliefs should be respected.  He defends Islam yet ignores while also defending the right of some "artist" to have an exhibit in which a crucifix sits in a jar of urine.  Is that not offensive to Christians?  I know if offends me.  President Obama professes to be a Christian so  where is his outrage and condemnation of this very blasphemous and disgusting exhibit?  Wait - you say that's protected by the first amendment?  So apparently the first amendment only applies to ridicule or disrespect of Christians and does not apply to ridicule or disrespect of Muslims. 

You say that the government condemning art that ridicules Christians would be a violation of the first amendment - in particular a violation of the government endorsing one particular religion?  Well, by that standard wouldn't limiting free speech against Islam while allowing it against Christians be exactly that same violation?

Over the past weekend 22 Christian protesters were arrested for protesting against the health care law on the sidewalk outside the White House.  Apparently that sidewalk is an area where free speech has already been outlawed.  But I can't help but wonder if it had been Muslims protesting against that evil video if they'd have been arrested as well, or left alone?  After all, in Dearborn, Michigan, at a recent Arab festival, Muslims physically attacked a group of Christians who were protesting outside the festival and the police sided with the Muslims.  They did nothing when the Christians were assaulted with stones and bottles.
If there is truly going to be religious equality and tolerance then it has to be directed at all religions, not just toward Islam.  Since this President took office the United States has fallen all over itself to appease Islam and I'm getting pretty tired of it.  Americans have the right to disagree with anyone in the world - at least for now.  If the President wants to change that to appease Islam it's just one more reason to vote for the other guy.  And to those people who think it should be criminal to disrespect Islam - might I suggest you head over there and become part of their society?  Maybe a first-hand look at the "religion of peace" will open  your eyes.