Saturday, January 31, 2015

Agreeing With Michelle Obama - Who'd Have Thunk it?

It's not often I find something on which I can agree with First Lady Michelle Obama. Her school lunch program is pretty much a disaster, with kids throwing their lunches away rather than eating tasteless, unappetizing food. Her "Let's Move" initiative, a program to help reduce childhood obesity which I believe was well-intended, has mostly failed as well. There is no evidence whatsoever that more kids are getting more exercise just because the First Lady said they should.

In November of last year Mrs. Obama showed her true racial colors while being interviewed on a cable channel geared toward African-American audiences. She basically said that the candidate on a ballot, what they say or do, or what they stand for should not matter to African-American voters. Voting a straight Democrat ticket best serves the black community.

The first lady said, “That's my message to voters - this isn’t about Barack. It’s not about person on that ballot. Its about you. And for most of the people we are talking to, a Democratic ticket is the clear ticket that we should be voting on regardless of who said what or did this. That shouldn’t even come into the equation.”

Nothing like the First Lady of the United States telling black voters they need to be mindless sheep when it comes to their elected officials. 

So what do I, a Christian conservative, ex-military, pro-life, anti-illegal immigration, First and Second Amendment supporting American, who has been labeled by the Department of Homeland Security as a potential domestic terrorist because of those details, find with which to agree with Michelle Obama? 

Mrs. Obama has been working on projects designed to help and bolster America's veterans. Working with the Second Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, Mrs. Obama last year announced the Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge, a program 'in which more than 30 organizations are making commitments to provide a range of services over the next five years to veterans, including $62 million in existing commitments and $102 million in new pledges over the next five years.'

Mrs. Obama is also involved in a project called "6 Certified" with representatives from Warner Bros., National Geographic Channels and the Producers Guild of America. It was kicked off recently in Washington DC. Another participant in the announcement was Bradley Cooper, who played Chris Kyle in the movie "American Sniper."

'The initiative will allow TV shows and films to display an onscreen badge that tells viewers the show they're watching has been certified by the group Got Your 6, which derives its name from military slang for "I've got your back." To be approved, the film or show must cast a veteran, tell a veteran story, have a story written by a veteran or use veterans as resources."'

"We hope our country will welcome back our veterans - not by setting them apart but by fully integrating them into the fabric of our communities," Mrs. Obama said.

All good if you ask me.

In a surprising turn of events, and probably really ticking off liberals nation-wide, while speaking at this event, Mrs. Obama also defended the movie "American Sniper."

"While I know there have been critics, I felt that, more often than not, this film touches on many of the emotions and experiences that I've heard firsthand from military families over these past few years," she said.

I can hear Michael Moore's stomach growling with indigestion and heartburn just from hearing her say that. But she's accurate and I agree with her.  Anything to benefit veterans is OK in my book - regardless of who is leading the way. 

Imagine Michael Moore disagreeing with First Lady Michelle Obama and me agreeing with her. Who would ever have expected that? Certainly not me! I still don't like her much and her political views go against everything I believe. But on this she gets my approval.

Friday, January 30, 2015

NBC Correspondent Calls Chris Kyle A Racist

Yesterday, on NBC's Morning Joe, foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin (a former Al Jazeera reporter) made the statement that American sniper, Chris Kyle, was a racist who went on killing sprees in Iraq. 

MOHYELDIN: A lot of his stories when he was back home in Texas, a lot of his own personal opinions about what he was doing in Iraq, how he viewed Iraqis. Some of what people have described as his racist tendencies towards Iraqis and Muslims when he was going on some of these, you know, killing sprees in Iraq on assignment. So I think there are issues...

To his credit, host Joe Scarborough challenged at least part of Mohyeldin's statements:

SCARBOROUGH: Wait, wait. Killing sprees? Chris Kyle was going on killing sprees?

MOHYELDIN: When he was involved in his -- on assignments in terms of what he was doing. A lot of the description that has come out from his book and some of the terminology that he has used, people have described as racist.

The show's co-host, Willie Geist, pushed further than Scarborough.

GEIST: It (the movie) wasn't a commentary about the war. It wasn't about the politics of the war. It was a character study of what this guy went through. And you don't have to like him and all the comments about him calling Iraqis savages. He was calling the people he was shooting savages. He was calling people who he thought had IEDs, who he thought were going to kill his buddies, savages. He didn't - some people have seized on that term that he thought all Iraqis or everyone in the Middle East is a savage. That's just not what he said. It's not what he said. He was talking about the people he was fighting in the theater, calling them savages.

Mohyeldin's statements prove that ignorance has no bounds. Anyone with a working brain knows that neither Arab nor Islam is a race. Arab is a nationality and Islam is a cultural, religious and political system all rolled into one. 

The word "racist" is defined as: a person who believes that a particular race is superior to another. Chris Kyle didn't proclaim that any one race was superior to another. He labeled those he killed "savages." Who can blame him? Any mother who would hand her child a grenade with instructions to run toward American soldiers and attempt to kill them with it is a savage in my book. Anyone who will detonate a bomb, whether remotely or in person, and blow up innocent people in the name of their god is a savage. 

And for those who wish to pretend that Arabs are "brown skinned people," it's important to note that Caucasians evolved in the Middle East (near the Caucasus, East Arab Levant, north of Iran). The ''Caucasians'' include: Arabs, North African (Berbers), Iranians, north Indian Subcontinental people, Europeans etc. The predominant racial type in all those areas is Caucasian.

Certainly there are dark skinned Arabs just like there are dark skinned Muslims but that doesn't mean it's the rule. And a Caucasian killing an enemy that is also considered to be Caucasian is not racist - not even a little bit.

As for the "killing sprees," again Mr. Mohyeldin displays his ignorance. Chris Kyle's missions were not "killing sprees." They were missions sanctioned by his superiors. Most of his sniper shots, except for the extremely urgent ones, were pre-approved over the radio and in many situations he was given the green light to make the call himself. He was good at what he did and his superiors trusted him to make the right decision(s).

It's obvious Mr. Mohyeldin knows nothing about military operations, whether due to genuine ignorance or intentional ignorance. 

One could also suspect there is some cultural animosity in his words as well, given his Egyptian/Palestinian heritage. His bio says he was raised in Egypt and the United States but has lived extensively in the Arab world since adulthood. 

But that's probably just my right-wing, Islamophobic, racism showing...

The United States Does Not Negotiate With Terrorists...

It's true. We haven't negotiated with ISIS and made any concessions to gain the release of American hostages held by that group. And those Americans were eventually beheaded for the world to see. We haven't negotiated with other terrorist groups to prevent the execution of American hostages. So why did we negotiate the release of Army deserter (alleged) Bowe Bergdahl and trade five Taliban commanders for him?

The answer was given by White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz just the other day. It's simple. The Taliban, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the State Department since 2002, was re-designated as an "armed insurgent" by the White House so we could negotiate with them.

"America doesn't leave anyone behind," the President and his administration said. Nope - we don't leave anyone behind. Not even a soldier who ships his belongings home, tells his parents he is disillusioned with the war, leaves a note that he is leaving, leaves his weapon and gear, and goes wandering off through Afghanistan asking civilians if they know where he can find the Taliban.

No, we find guys like that and trade Taliban generals for him at the rate of 5 to 1. We tell the American people that he "served with honor and distinction." There is also an unfounded rumor that the swap included $5 billion to the terrorists as well. The President says this was simply a prisoner swap at the end of the war. But the war against terrorism isn't over, whether or not we pull our troops from Afghanistan. So when the backlash over the negotiations with the terrorist organization began (much to Obama's surprise) they simply said that the Taliban is not a terrorist organization but an armed insurgent, therefore the swap was legal and just.

If the Taliban is not a terrorist organization one must ask why the United States is offering a reward of up to $10 million for the capture of Taliban leader Mulla Omar, who is classified as a terrorist and "represents a continuing threat to America and her allies."

Personally, for the Bergdahl swap alone I believe President Obama should be charged with treason.

Current Pentagon spokesman, Rear Admiral John Kirby, last night defended the swap, and bringing everyone home, as something "we need to do for the families." And to an extent I can agree with him. Efforts to free an ordinary prisoner of war should be extensive, short of selling our own country out or paying his captors. But Bowe Bergdahl was no ordinary POW and this was no ordinary prisoner exchange. Bergdahl's father told Bowe to "follow your heart" when it came to staying or leaving the war. So they not only knew what he might do but encouraged it. I'm not too concerned about getting their boy back when his desertion was approved by his parents. The United States of America lost on this one, all the way around.

Rumors have been flying around all week about Bergdahl being charged with desertion. Admiral Kirby denied that to be the case saying there has been no decision made as of yet. There are also rumors that the White House is pressuring the Army not to charge Bergdahl with anything serious so this entire incident can be swept under the rug and made to disappear. Certainly that rumor is believable.

I believe if and when an announcement is made that Bergdahl is to be charged the White House will do what they normally do with news they don't like. They will release it late (after 5) on a Friday afternoon and hope the news agencies don't pick it up right away. But they needn't worry. The main stream (all Obama, all the time) media won't report much on it anyway. The only way anyone will learn about it is if they watch Fox, read the few conservative newspapers out there or listen to conservative talk radio. Nothing that makes the President look bad will be aired by the main stream media.

But then - they will do the same thing if Bergdahl is not charged. Most Americans will be angry if the White House succeeds in sweeping the Bergdahl incident under the rug. That information will be released late on a Friday as well, and ignored by the same news agencies. Interesting how that works.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

My Rant For A Thursday

Watching TV last night made me angry. I learned from it that contrary to what we've all known and believed for the last, oh... 14 or 15 years, maybe longer, that the Taliban is not a terrorist organization after all.

The Taliban has apparently been reclassified by the Obama administration as an armed insurgency, not a terrorist organization. It seems their attack and slaughter of 145 people in Pakistan in December, 132 of them school children, wasn't a terrorist act but an armed insurgency... against an elementary school.

ABC's Johnathon Karl was questioning White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz yesterday about the Jordanian government negotiating for the release of a pilot being held by ISIS and the Taliban came up.

KARL: I mean the Taliban is still conducting terrorist attacks. You can't really say the war has ended as far as they are concerned.

SCHULTZ: Well, I'd also point out that the Taliban is an armed insurgency, ISIL is a terrorist group. So, we don't make concessions to terrorist groups. We feel --

KARL: You don't think the Taliban is a terrorist group?

SCHULTZ:  I don't think that the Taliban, um, uh -- the Taliban is an armed insurgency

In June of last year a group of Taliban "insurgents," some wearing suicide vests, attacked the Karachi airport in Pakistan while disguised at police officer, killing 18 civilians and leaving 10 of the attackers dead.

But they're not terrorists. The Obama administration said so. I wonder, since Muslim terrorist groups are "not Islamic" according to President Obama, if the Taliban can remain Islamic now that they have been declared not to be a terrorist organization?

Last week, retired Generals Michael Flynn, Jim Mattis, Jack Keane, and others testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee concerning our strategies (or lack thereof) against Islamic terrorists and insurgencies in the Middle East. All of them said basically the same thing - you cannot win against an opponent you refuse to identify and you can't create an effective strategy to beat them unless you admit who and what they are. And since President Obama not only won't admit what they are but adamantly denies it, his lame actions against them are destined to fail. Intentionally or willful ignorance?

Yesterday, following an attack on Northern Israel by a Lebanon based Hezbollah group, it was learned that Hezbollah is using American made weapons, equipment and vehicles. How did they acquire them? Is the Obama administration arming more terrorist groups as they did ISIS? Everyone knows Obama wants Bibi Netanyahu gone, Israel brought under control, and the terrorist lead Palestinian government to expand in Israel. Is he helping them with cash and supplies? From the pictures it would seem so.

That's an American made Abrams M1 tank on the back of a transport vehicle in a Hezbollah convoy near the Norther Israeli border.

And finally, President Obama said recently “In our own lives Michelle and I have been strengthened by our Christian faith. But there are times when my faith has been questioned, by people who don’t know me. Or they’ve said I adhere to a different religion, as if that were somehow a bad thing.”

This seemingly innocent statement says so much about the man and his beliefs. It could also explain his actions.

True Christians are believers in Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior. Christians understand that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and that no man gets to the Father but through Him. (John 14:6)

If President Obama is a Christian and a true believer he knows this to be a fact. Yet his statement above indicates that if he happened to be a Muslim (which is what he has been accused of) that would be OK, which is completely contradictory to what the Bible teaches. Allah is not the one true God and Mohammed is definitely not Jesus, nor anything close.

If Obama believes his statement is he not demeaning and denouncing his professed Christian faith? Is it possible be a true believer in Christ and say that there is nothing wrong with other religions, even Islam?

It's not my place to decide whether or not President Obama's professed faith is real. That's between him and the one true God. However, based on his words and actions it's difficult for me to believe that his faith in Jesus Christ is genuine. His support for Islam and all things related to me seems very telling of his true beliefs and allegiances. 

But what do I know? I'm just a Christian conservative, Second Amendment supporting, pro-life, anti-illegal immigration, racist, ex-military, right-wing extremist. Well - according to the Obama administration, anyway.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

An Open Letter To Gary Sinese

Dear Gary -

On behalf of millions of Americans I would first like to thank you for everything you do for our service members, both active duty and veterans. You, Sir, have used your fame and good fortune to help others, specifically those who wear the uniform of the military of this great nation. You selflessly entertain the troops, even visiting them in war zones, and you stage events for our wounded warriors.

You even visit them in medical centers around the country. And you do it quietly, without fanfare and a big production. It's not only commendable - it shows your true character.

I have been a fan of yours since I first saw the movie, "Forest Gump." Lieutenant Dan was an extraordinary character and your portrayal of him was outstanding. You and Tom Hanks made a great team.

I tried to get interested in your "CSI New York" show. I really did. But at the time I was living in Miami and was a huge fan of David Caruso and the "CSI Miami" show. I still watch "CSI Miami" reruns whenever I find them on. For whatever reason I never got hooked on "CSI New York." I'm sorry. (If it's any consolation I don't like the new CSI either. Once William Peterson departed I stopped watching.)

Back to the present. Your TV and film work is great. You've got an ability to make characters come to life and you are definitely in the right career. Your band is also good and you use it to reach out to America's heroes in a way that draws attention not to the band but the the heroes themselves. Your cause is noble and honorable.

I read your recent comments to Howard Dean's rant about the movie "American Sniper." Dean once again proved what a raging loon he truly is and your comments were spot on. Dean has since apologized, at least to veterans, but he thinks everyone who took offense to his comments and told him so are "right-wing nut jobs." That would include you, I guess. Go figure.

Which leads me to my next point - thanks for standing up to Howard Dean publicly and challenging his comments. Even though he's not worth your time, many of us appreciate the fact that a celebrity such as yourself spoke out against his tirade. I do believe it made him think twice about his comments and retract at least some of it.

You are a good man, Gary Sinese. And a great American. You do for our heroes what many of us would like to do but don't possess the means. As I said - the things you do speak of your character and your heart. On behalf of many of my fellow veterans, thank you for what you do. I hope you continue to do it for many years - as long as you can still play that bass.

God bless you, Sir.

Does Chris Kyle Deserve The Medal Of Honor?

Since the movie "American Sniper" was released earlier this month there have been calls from various people on social media sites for Chris Kyle to receive a Medal of Honor for his service. And while it's wonderful that people believe Kyle deserving of such an honor (I'm sure he would be embarrassed but honored that people thought so highly of him) does he deserve the Congressional Medal of Honor?

There is no doubt that Chris Kyle was a patriot, a fine soldier, and one of the very best snipers in American history. And yes, he was a hero who saved countless lives by doing his job to the best of his ability. His fellow soldiers called him "Legend" because of his skills and stats. But is that worthy of a Medal of Honor?

There are certain criteria that must be met for a service member (or civilian attached to a military organization) to be nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor. In the Navy the requirements are written as follows:

In accordance with United States Code Title 10, Subtitle C, Part II, Chapter 567, the President may award, and present in the name of Congress, a medal of honor of appropriate design, with ribbons and appurtenances, to a person who, while a member of the naval service, distinguishes himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty—

(1) while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;

(2) while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or

(3) while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

Chris Kyle was a Navy SEAL sniper. He was a brave man who volunteered for four tours in Iraq. I have no doubt that given the opportunity he would have taken extraordinary measures to save a fellow SEAL or fellow service member. But did he? There is no evidence, at least public evidence, that he did. And since he left the service in 2009 and was never nominated for it one can probably correctly guess that the Navy didn't find he met the requirements for the award.

Some people want to give Kyle the Medal of Honor just because they think he deserves it. But the Medal of Honor is not something you get when you win a popularity contest. And it's not an award given for a successful book and/or movie about your wartime experiences. It's an award for bravery and self-sacrifice over and above the call of duty. Read that again: "Over and above the call of duty." And it needs to remain so.

Chris Kyle's remarkable job as a SEAL and a sniper, regardless of how many lives he saved or how many of the enemy he killed, was all part of his regular duties. 

During his 10 year stint in the Navy Chris Kyle earned two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars for valor in combat. Since he was never nominated for the Medal of Honor it is obvious the Navy did not believe he earned one according to the written criteria. And being nominated by civilians, as noble as it sounds and as good as their intentions are, isn't going to work. As great as he was at what he did, and as difficult as it will be for some to understand and accept, he did not live up to the criteria for the top military honor. We can all honor his memory, which would probably mean more to Chris than a posthumous medal anyway.

I have the utmost respect for Chris Kyle. Likewise, as an 8 year veteran of the Air Force I have the same respect for the honor and tradition of the Medal of Honor. It is awarded for a reason that is much more than just being good at what one does.

Rest in peace, Chief Kyle. You will not be forgotten anytime soon - not by my generation, anyway. Your story resonates in the hearts and minds of American patriots young and old. Thank you for everything you did for the nation and for your fellow service members. You may not have earned a Medal of Honor but you earned your accolades - at least in my book.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Obama Meddling In Israeli Election?

It's no secret that our President has disdain and possibly hatred for Israeli Prime Minister, and friend to the United States, Benjamin Netanyahu. Since Obama took office he has been trying, unsuccessfully, to get Israel to stop expanding their settlements on the West Bank and give more land to the Palestinians. Netanyahu has refused Obama's demands and it is very obvious that Obama isn't happy about it.

There were rumors last year that Obama wanted Netanyahu replaced by Israel’s popular finance minister, Yair Lapid, founder and leader of the Yesh Atid Party. The Obama administration describes Lapid as 'a moderate who could be helpful in pushing the Israeli government into accepting the framework to create a future Palestinian state.'

Obama has always taken sides against Israel in their dealings with the Hamas backed Palestinians - even condemning Israel's military response to repeated rocket attacks by Hamas last year.

It has been reported recently that President Obama not only is wanting Netanyahu out but that a team of five American campaign experts (including Jeremy Bird, the Obama campaign's national field director) has been dispatched to Israel to help run the campaign against Netanyahu. The group is being bankrolled by an American funded organization, “One Voice,” and while they haven't named any one candidate (yet) they will back their slogan is "Anyone but Bibi."

"One Voice" describes itself this way:

"One Voice is an international grassroots movement that amplifies the voice of mainstream Israelis and Palestinians, empowering them to propel their elected representatives toward the two-state solution. The Movement works to forge consensus for conflict resolution and build a human infrastructure capable of mobilizing the people toward a negotiated, comprehensive, and permanent agreement between Israel and Palestine that ends the occupation, ensures security and peace for both sides, and solves all final-status issues in accordance with international law and previous bilateral agreements. The 1967 borders form the basis for the establishment of an independent, viable Palestinian state, with permanent borders and any modifications to be agreed upon by both parties. The Movement recognizes that violence by either side will never be a means to end the conflict."

However, if you look at their web page it is very decidedly pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel, at least concerning this conflict.

Last week the White House, still fuming over Netanyahu's upcoming visit to the U.S. Congress without Obama's (unnecessary) approval, announced that Obama would not be meeting with Bibi while he is here because "Obama doesn't want to influence the upcoming Israeli election." I guess sending a team, that includes your own national field director, to Israel to campaign against Netanyahu isn't really trying to influence the election....?

Of course the Obama administration will deny any knowledge of the campaign team until it becomes national news, at which time he'll say he learned of it on TV. But there is not doubt in my mind that this team is sanctioned by the President himself and that he will do anything he can to help Netanyahu's opposition win. Obama wants a leader in Israel who either agrees with him or that can be pushed around. Netanyahu is neither.

I hope and pray that Bibi is re-elected by the sane and committed people of Israel, that right triumphs over wrong and that good triumphs over evil in your nation. The American people are still your friends, regardless of who is in the White House. Just keep reminding yourselves, as we must do, that Obama won't be President forever.

The Answer About Bowe Bergdahl Has Been Revealed

On the 17th of this month I posted a blog called "Where Is Bowe Bergdahl?" It concerned the fact that the Army had reportedly completed its investigation into whether or not Bergdahl should be charged with desertion in October but the report, as yet, hadn't been made public. It was said to be intentionally held until after the mid-term elections which, in itself, was suspicious. But the mid-terms have come and gone (with Obama and the Democrats taking huge losses) and the report still has not been published. It appears we now might have a clue as to why that is.

Last evening on the O'Reilly Factor, retired Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer, former Army intelligence officer and now with the London Center for Policy Research, said that according to three different sources Bergdahl is being charged with desertion.

"The Army has come to its conclusion and Bowe Bergdahl,” Shaffer said, “Sgt. Bergdahl will be charged with desertion. I have been told and confirmed by two other sources that his attorney was given what we call a charge sheet. A charge sheet is results of the investigation listing out the articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that have been violated. The key violation is desertion. And this is has been done. The decision has been made. Let me be very clear. As a corporate entity, the Army has decided that they want to pursue Bergdahl for this violation.”

At this point the American people - Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, independent - should be outraged by President Obama's actions of trading five top Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay for the return of one U.S. Army deserter whom Obama and his administration made out to be a hero. Obama welcomed Bergdahl's parents to the White House to make the announcement that he was coming home and felt up had his hands all over Mrs. Bergdahl in the Rose Garden. After the public display with the Danish Prime Minister at Nelson Mandela's funeral (that earned him a seat change ordered by his wife) you can bet Michelle wasn't too happy with her husband's antics with Bergdahl's mom. But that's another story.

Obama's National Security Advisor and Sunday morning talk show queen, Susan " Benghazi Was Caused By A Video" Rice, told the American public on yet another Sunday talk show that Bergdahl served his country "with honor and distinction." When questioned about the desertion allegations later she modified her comments she modified her comments without retracting them. "I realize there has been lots of discussion and controversy around this," Rice said. "But what I was referring to was the fact that this was a young man who volunteered to serve his country in uniform at a time of war. That, in and of itself, is a very honorable thing."

Volunteering to serve your country is an honorable thing - right up to the point where you abandon your post and your fellow soldiers and walk away to join the enemy.

Of the five Taliban commanders Obama returned to their respective units sent to Qatar to be monitored by the Qatari government, three are now fighting with ISIS and a fourth has returned to help lead the Taliban. In return we got a deserter who, if prosecution is successful, will be headed to Fort Leavenworth to serve time. Brilliant trade that was. Absolutely brilliant.

On Valentine's Day, February 14, 2013, President Obama said "This is the most transparent administration in history." He cites examples. “Every visitor that comes into the White House is now part of the public record. Every law we pass and every rule we implement we put online for everyone to see.” Except that every visitor to the White House is not public record and the promise he made was to put all bills online for public review before he signs them into law, not after. And he conveniently leaves out any references to the cover-ups and stonewalling of Fast and Furious, the IRS e-mails, the Benghazi attack, NSA spying on American citizens, and now the Bergdahl investigation. Obama's administration is about as transparent as a piece of lead in an X-ray.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the Bergdahl court martial. Will the Obama administration intercede in an attempt to make themselves look less traitorous? Will Bergdahl be convicted only to be pardoned by Obama? Or will the Obama administration simply move on, deny any wrongdoing and forget about it? My guess is the latter. But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

God Bless America

Perhaps it's because of all the negative comments being hurled by the left at the movie "American Sniper." Perhaps it's because as a Christian and a military veteran I am saddened watching my country change so much in the last six years - drifting ever more rapidly to a society that puts political correctness over right and principle, even at the risk of America's demise. Or perhaps I just woke up happy to be in this great nation that in many ways is unlike any other in history.

Whatever the reason, I woke up with the song "God Bless America" echoing in my head. I learned it as a child and can still remember the words. Do kids in school these days still learn that song and/or others that were patriotic staples when I was young? Frankly, I have my doubts.

Those of you who are my age (or nearly there) remember:

God bless America; land that I love.
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam...
God bless America, my home sweet home.

That's it. That's the entire song. But what a great request. There is no doubt that God has blessed our nation in the past. We started out as an assortment of colonies wanting religious freedom and freedom from the oppressive British government. As time moved on leaders were born - leaders who would eventually design and develop a government based on individual liberties and run by the will of the people. In the late 1770s we declared then, in a hard fought struggle, won our freedom from Great Britain. Thus the constitutional republic, the "United States of America," was born.

It took about 100 years for the USA to become the world's leading economic power. That occurred following the Civil War, between 1870 and 1900. The industrial revolution between 1820 and 1870 served to boost the USA's world standings to the top.

The United States fought wars against the evils in the world, helping to rid Europe of the scourge that was Nazi Germany and defeating an over-ambitious Japan on the other side. Funny thing about the United States - when we win a war we immediately begin helping our former enemies rebuild. We fight wars for principles, not territory or other spoils. And certainly not for oil, as some people pretend to believe.

My father served in the Army during World War II. He didn't see combat - he was a Chaplain's clerk stationed in Alaska, where he had experience dealing with German POWs. I was always proud of him but he wasn't really the inspiration for me to join the Air Force 30 plus years later. I joined for several reasons, none of which were blatant patriotism - at least until I got there.

I remember my first retreat ceremony in basic training, standing at attention in formation with hundreds of other young men and women as the National Anthem was played, followed by Retreat as the flag was lowered. The pride that welled in me at that moment, knowing I was a part of something special, something strong and great and American, has never left me. Even 38 years later, every time I hear the National Anthem in a public place my body automatically snaps to attention. I can't help it.

I served 8 years in the Air Force, at three different duty stations. My first two assignments were stateside, one in Colorado and one in California. The possibility of war was always there although there were no major conflicts during my service time - the biggest being the US invasion of Grenada in October of 1983. My last assignment was in Wiesbaden, Germany, from 1982 to 1985, where preparation for conflict was more openly practiced, mostly because of Islamic terrorism and the local Red Army Faction. In addition to the invasion of Grenada that year, also in October, Muslim terrorists blew up the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. Some of the survivors came to the hospital in Wiesbaden.

In June of 1985, Muslim terrorists (Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad) captured TWA flight 847 enroute from Athens, Greece, to San Diego. They held the passengers hostage, beating some and killing one U.S. Navy diver. They also separated those passengers with Jewish sounding names from the others. In August of that year the Red Army Faction exploded a car bomb on Rhein Main Airbase, about 20 miles from Wiesbaden, killing two airmen and wounding 20 others. I still remember watching a friend of mine, who was stationed at Rhein Main, unloading some of the wounded from the med-evac bus outside the Emergency Room that morning. Even though the U.S. wasn't involved in any major wars at the time, the threat to U.S. service personnel in Europe was very real.

I got out of the Air Force in 1985. I continued serving the country I love for another 22 years, as an employee of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a branch of the Justice Department, retiring after 30 years of total service.

I'm not telling this story to toot my own horn. I loved what I did, both in the Air Force and the Bureau of Prisons. My point is that I get really angry when someone, particularly some big mouth celebrity, bad mouths our military members, in some cases posthumously, having never done a thing to support and defend this great nation.

I get angry when our elected President puts down the very nation he was elected to lead, acting as if we aren't one of the most generous, considerate friends the rest of the world has ever had.

I get angry when the leaders of this nation and the rest of the free world feel the need to be so politically correct that they not only won't admit who our enemies are but go out of their way to appease them and deny the truth, even as the truth is catching up to us all.

I get angry when I see our President befriending (and monetarily supporting) those who would seek the destruction of the United States while alienating our allies around the world.

I get angry when I observe that our President, from all outward appearances, seems to be an anti-Semite who is all but turning his back on our strongest ally and best friend in the Middle East.

And I get angry when I watch the childish behavior that same President displays when someone does or says something he doesn't like, including news organizations. Say what you will about past Presidents but none of them, at least in my lifetime, ever made rude, disparaging public comments about those who disagreed with them.

In "The World According To Barack Obama," if it wasn't for Republicans, Fox News and George W. Bush, everything in his presidency would be wonderful.

To sum it all up I would like to see the next President be a God-fearing patriot with the courage to lead the world instead of apologize to and appease it. I would like to see a U.S. leader who ignores political correctness and tells it like it is, good or bad, both to the people of the United States of America and the rest of the world.

I would like to have a leader who will stand against evil - one who will prevent, by any means necessary, radical nations from attaining nuclear weapons to be used against our allies and one who will defend our allies however and whenever necessary. And I would like to have a President who builds and respects our military and understands that Ronald Reagan was correct - that "peace through strength" is still the best policy for the nation that leads the free world.

I can't help but wonder where we're going to find one of those....

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Childishness Of The Obama White House

Sometimes I can't help but wonder about the mental age of President Obama and some of his staff. When they don't get their way they either whine or react in childish ways, as if having a tantrum. Sometimes they even go out of their way to display their immaturity.

Case in point - the recent State of the Union luncheon for the media. Each representative of each network had a place card in front of his/her seat with their name and network on it, such as "Scott Pelley, CBS News." Then you get to the two anchors from Fox News, Shepard Smith and Bret Baier.

Both Smith and Baier had place cards with their names and Fox but without the word "News." 

“I sat next to Brian Williams, and we all have these place cards and his said, ‘Brian Williams, NBC News,’" Smith reported. "And across from me was David Muir, the new guy on ABC. It said, ‘David Muir, ABC News.’ And then, over next to the president, was Scott Pelley, and it said, ‘Scott Pelley, ABC News.’

And I looked at mine, and it doesn’t say anything about news. It just says, ‘Fox.’ And I looked at Bret Baier’s and it said, ‘Bret Baier, Fox.’

But all the rest of them got ‘news.’ I mean, I don’t care — lunch was great.”

Smith took the high road and didn't complain but this was a luncheon hosted by the White House - the President of the United States - and they're playing childish games with the one news agency that doesn't praise them daily?

Certainly critics of Fox say that Fox doesn't report news but makes things up. These comments come from news agencies that say Obama is a great President, unemployment is at 5% and the economy is booming. Who is it, again, who makes things up?

This isn't the first childish jab at Fox taken by the White House and/or the President. Mr. Obama has made numerous public statements against Fox since he was first elected in 2008. Fox doesn't coddle the President. They tell it like it is instead of pandering to Obama. And the President doesn't like it at all.

Besides whining about Fox News, President Obama also tends to have childish reactions to various things that happen, sometimes trying to be covert and sometimes not. During the 2008 primaries he was captured on that now infamous video giving Hillary Clinton the middle finger. 

In September 2014 it was reported that while meeting with his top military advisers concerning bombing ISIS, some of those military leaders were (correctly) tying ISIS to Islam. In his usual 'defense of Islam' mode the President became angry and said "Don't you dare paint all of Islam with the same brush," before storming out of the room. Some sources believe it didn't happen because it couldn't be specifically verified but since we have a President who himself says "ISIS is not Islamic" why would it be unfathomable that he would chastise his military leaders for acquainting the two? It fits in with everything Obama says about Islam.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu seems to be a favorite target for Obama's childishness. It's no secret that Obama doesn't like the man who would be our strongest ally. He's been trying to push Bibi around since they both took office in 2009. Netanyahu refuses to be bullied and that makes Obama angry. In 2010, during a visit to the United States, Mr. Netanyahu was left in a White House meeting room for over an hour while an irritated President Obama left the meeting to go eat lunch with his wife and daughters. 

In 2012, Obama refused to meet with Netanyahu during another visit to the United States. Netanyahu, being the gentleman he is, wanted to meet with Obama and then to meet with then-candidate Mitt Romney while he was here. But since Obama refused the meeting, Netanyahu decided not to meet face to face with Romney because he didn't want to influence the election in any way.

Apparently Obama paid attention to what Netanyahu did because this week, when it was announced that Benjamin Netanyahu had accepted an invitation from Congress to visit and speak to them, without the President's approval, the White House first responded there "will be a price" for the snub and announced that the President would not be meeting with Netanyahu while he's here. Then, when they realized how childish they sounded, they added "The President doesn't want to influence the upcoming Israeli election." Like Obama could do that.

There is a report out now that says the White House put out information saying that the head of the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad, Chief Tamir Pardo, has asked the United States not to introduce any new sanctions against Iran as U.S. negotiations fail continue in Iran's bid to gain nuclear weapons. The Israeli government and Pardo himself have denounced the report as false and call it retaliation by the Obama administration.

The fact is that Obama is once again angry at Netanyahu because both Boehner and Netanyahu left Obama out of the loop. And he's having a little temper tantrum. 

These are just a few of Obama's actions that show his narcissistic immaturity when dealing with things that make him unhappy. It's embarrassing for this American to watch an elected U.S. President act in such a manner for the world to see.

Friday, January 23, 2015

What Exactly Did The Founders Want?

Anyone who has studied American history knows that this nation was founded on liberty for its citizens following Judeo-Christian principles. Many of the founders were Christians, or at least believers in God, and they incorporated those beliefs into their writings, their politics, even into government documents.

God is mentioned four times in the very first official document of the United States of America - the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson penned the words but the committee consisted of Jefferson, Ben Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston. God was definitely a part of it. He is mentioned in the very first sentence:

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

The second reference to God comes in the first sentence of the second paragraph:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." 

The founders knew that our rights come not from man/government but from God and the new American government was intended to ensure those God-given rights were not infringed.

And the final two references to God are in the last paragraph:

"We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Certainly the founders intended God to be a part of the government of the new United States of America. The First Amendment clause about freedom of religion is there to prevent the government from declaring a national religion rather than to prevent religion from being a part of the government. And the infamous "separation of church and state" was never a part of any official legislative document. It was a phrase used by religious leaders in the beginning times of our nation to remind the government to stay out of church affairs and was once written by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to a church in New England. There is no such official, legal thing as separation of church and state.

Secularists today argue that because God himself isn't mentioned in the Constitution that He wasn't supposed to be a part of the government. However, that theory is blown away by President George Washington's actions. In the second paragraph of his first inaugural address Washington referenced God three separate times.

"Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station; it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States, a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes: and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States."
In the fourth paragraph Washington again referenced God:

"Since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained..."

Immediately following his inauguration he led the entire Congress a couple of blocks away to St. Paul's church for a worship service. There is no doubt the founders included God in our government.

The founders wanted us to have as many liberties as possible while adhering to the will of God. They also wanted us to be educated. 

Thomas Jefferson once wrote "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and what never will be." His meaning was simple. A free people cannot remain so if they do not educate themselves. Never was that more true in these United States than today - when only one third of the population votes for our elected officials and many of those really are uninformed as to for what and whom they are voting.

Our founders also knew that liberty and the free market go hand in hand for a free nation to be successful. Samuel Adams once wrote "The Utopian schemes of leveling, and a community of goods, are as visionary and impracticable as those which vest all property in the Crown. These ideas are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional." 

Adams knew that too much government control and regulating income and property equally was doomed to failure and would be no different than life under the British crown. And he was correct. Free market capitalism is what built this nation. Not until the Presidency of FDR did the American government adopt the economic teachings of John Maynard Keynes, the so-called "Keynesian economics," the theory that "in the short run, especially during recessions, economic output is strongly influenced by aggregate demand (total spending in the economy), usually by the government."

The problem with Keynesian economics is that the government simply continues to go further and further into debt while stimulus to the economy often is minimal and doesn't change anything. Beginning with George W. Bush in 2008, government "stimulus" of the economy put us more in debt than ever and the results were minimal. Obama did it again in 2009, 2013 and 2014, also with minimal effect. And while Obama likes to tout how our economy is improving steadily the truth is that its growth is still minimal. They lie about unemployment numbers which are, when those no longer looking for work are taken into effect, right around 12%. The 5% numbers put out by the Obama administration conveniently leave off certain details.

The founders wrote the Constitution to protect American liberties from leaders like President Obama. They divided the government into three branches to keep any one branch from having too much power.

President Obama doesn't much like the Constitution because it gets in the way of some of the radical, left-wing things he wants to do. Back in 2002, well before he was President, Obama said:

"The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf."
A man with that attitude shouldn't even be in U.S. politics, let alone the President of the United States. I defer back to the paragraph above about the uninformed voters. Look what they've given us. Twice.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

This Could End Badly...

I just read an article that said the FBI investigation into the Michael Brown shooting found no evidence that Officer Darren Wilson violated any of Brown's civil rights. Their report has been completed and forwarded to Attorney General Eric Holder (who gave his two-weeks notice months ago) but has yet to be approved, signed and published. I'm sure Holder, if he signs it, will do so under great personal duress. Once again one of Holder's witch hunts failed.

Anyone who has read the transcripts of the trial with an open mind understands that Officer Wilson was brutally attacked before shooting Michael Brown and that from all appearances Brown was ready and beginning to attack again when he was killed. The evidence and witness statements are clear but some will never believe what's in front of them.

If Holder doesn't sign off on the report I can't imagine what will happen. Will he assign another investigative team that is more in line with his thinking? Will he advertise nationwide, as he did in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case, for any and all information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of Darren Wilson? (That act was so shameful Holder should have been forced to resign immediately.) Or will it simply disappear into the archives of the Department of (in)Justice (under Holder) and be forgotten?

Many of you know that I spent my career working in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a branch of the Justice Department. I have never been so embarrassed by the DOJ as I have been since Eric Holder was appointed Attorney General. His obviously biased policies have been divisive and detrimental to the entire agency. If I hadn't been retired when he took over I would have done so as soon as I saw where the agency was headed.

Anyway - back to the report. If the report is signed and published will we see another round of rioting, looting and burning by the angry mobs who have kept up the lunacy for five months because they simply refuse to accept the truth? And if Holder signs off on the report - what does that say about the whole racist aspect of it? Will it mean Holder accepts the truth or will he be a traitor to his race if he signs it? Whatever will Al Sharpton do then?

In other news, I read another article this morning that was interesting and disturbing at the same time. It involved a man carrying a weapon under his jacket who was followed into a Walmart store in Florida, tackled, and held for the authorities. The problem was the man with the weapon has a legal concealed carry permit and the man who assaulted him attacked for no other reason than he happened to see the weapon.

The armed man was 62 year old Clarence Daniels. Mr. Daniels, who is black, was carrying a a holstered weapon under his jacket. When he got out of his car 42 year old Michael Foster, who is white, was able to see the weapon. Rather than call police or contact store security Mr. Foster followed Daniels into Walmart, grabbed him in a "chokehold" and took him to the floor, announcing to everyone that Daniels had a gun. Store security held both men there until the arrival of store security and police, even though Daniels told Foster over and over that he had a permit to carry the weapon.

When police arrived and checked Daniels' story Foster was handcuffed, arrested and charged with battery.

The most disturbing thing about the article was that it suggested two things that were purely speculative about the incident. First - it said that Foster racially profiled Daniels, which is why Daniels was assaulted. There is no evidence of that - merely the fact that Daniels is black and Foster white.

Second - it also suggested that if Foster had called police instead of taking matters into his own hands the police probably would have shot Daniels. There is no way to know if that's true or not but it seems no police get the benefit of the doubt these days that they'll do the right thing. And that's truly sad.

Perhaps Foster thought he was doing a public good deed by taking down an armed man, albeit without enough information to make a sound decision. Perhaps Foster is a racist who believes any black man with a gun is a threat to public safety. Unless he admits it only he knows the truth. But either way his actions got him placed in jail. And rightfully so.

The first rule of carrying concealed, besides being legally allowed to do it, is to ensure the weapon is concealed. In this case the gun was visible to someone who decided that action, ignorantly, that action was necessary. Perhaps Mr. Foster will think next time before he tries to be a superhero. Perhaps not. But he probably won't be playing superhero again any time soon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What A Difference A Few Months Can Make

On January 7, 2014, President Obama was interviewed by New Yorker magazine editor David Remnick. Among other topics was the subject of Islamic terrorism and ISIS.

"In the 2012 campaign, Obama spoke not only of killing Osama bin Laden; he also said that Al Qaeda had been ‘decimated,’ Remnick wrote. "I pointed out that the flag of Al Qaeda is now flying in Fallujah, in Iraq, and among various rebel factions in Syria; Al Qaeda has asserted a presence in parts of Africa, too."

President Obama responded: "The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a JV team puts on Lakers' uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant. I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian."

As the year progressed and we saw ISIS grow and conquer, gaining in size, strength, armaments, and territory. By September they had taken large areas of Iraq and Syria, had robbed billions of dollars from Iraqi banks, and had taken control of U.S. supplied vehicles and weapons. Suddenly they weren't JV anymore.

On September 7, 2014, Meet The Press host Chuck Todd sat down with President Obama in an exclusive interview and actually asked some real questions.

They talked about a strategy for dealing with ISIS and Obama remarked "...we're going to defeat them."

Todd mentioned that defeating them was "long way from when you described them as a JV team."

"Was that bad intelligence or your misjudgment?"
 he asked the President.

That's when the spin began. 

"Keep in mind I wasn’t specifically referring to (Islamic State)," Obama replied. "I've said that, regionally, there were a whole series of organizations that were focused primarily locally, weren’t focused on homeland, because I think a lot of us, when we think about terrorism, the model is Osama bin Laden and 9/11."

His denial of what he said was rather like several years of "If you like your doctor, if you like your health care plan, you can keep them." Then, in November of 2013, when millions of people were losing their current health care plans and their doctors because of the Affordable Care Act, the President changed his words to "What we said was you can keep (your plan) if it hasn’t changed since the law passed. Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed."

Also in September of 2014, President Obama spoke about his strategy (or non-strategy) of not fighting ISIS with boots on the ground. He specifically used Yemen as an example of what works and what doesn't.

"This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years," Obama said on September 10. "It is consistent with the approach I outlined earlier this year: to use force against anyone who threatens America's core interests, but to mobilize partners wherever possible to address broader challenges to international order."

On Tuesday, the Presidential palace in Sanaa, Yemen, was overthrown by rebels. The Yemeni government had been partnered with the United States in the fight against Al Qaeda offshoots within Yemen. Now that the government has been removed the likelihood of these terrorist groups taking control has exponentially increased. So much for Obama's strategy. It is working so well that our embassy in Yemen is currently being evacuated to avoid another Benghazi.

Back in September, when pressed by reporters about whether or not Yemen could be deemed a success, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Yemen is "a place where the American counter terrorism strategy that has been put in place by President Obama has succeeded in degrading the threat that those organizations pose to the United States. "We intend to implement an analogous strategy against ISIL."

Oops. President Obama was briefed on the occurrences in Yemen. A White House spokesman said "We strongly condemn the violence and those stoking it in an effort to disrupt Yemen's political transition. We will continue to support efforts to bring about a peaceful solution."

Yeah, I bet you do. Maybe you should tell the ousted Yemeni government "If you like our strategy you can keep our strategy...."

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The State of the Union

I said earlier today that I probably wouldn't be watching the State of the Union Address. I was wrong. I forgot to check with my wife. She wanted to watch it and it was on our favorite channel (Fox) anyway, so we tuned in. The following are comments based some notes I took during the speech.

First of all I must say that President Obama, in my opinion anyway, seemed less arrogant than usual, less bragadocious, and less confrontational. He did say a few things to and about Republicans but not nearly as many times as in the last five SOTU addresses. At least that's what I saw.

He started talking about how unemployment was down – conveniently leaving out that over 90 million people are not working in the country and that the actual unemployment numbers, counting everyone, is closer to 12%. He spoke of the economy and how he will cut taxes for middle class. He talked about child care and paid sick leave for everyone. I'm not sure how he's going to make that happen but it won't come free of charge.

Obama said everyone must do their fair share to help grow the economy. Yet under his leadership dependence on government subsidies has doubled. Nearly half of Americans are on some government subsidy at the present time.

Obama said something must be done so that women will earn equal pay pay for equal work. But White House records show he hasn't even accomplished that in the White House.

Of course, he called for increasing the minimum wage without telling people how those increases will actually effect the job market and consumer prices.

Obama has proposed two years of free junior college for everyone wthout bothering to state directly how the bill will be paid. He did talk about that eventually, which I will address later.

Obama said we need to pass programs and policies that will strengthen unions. After all – unions are part of the reason he is in office. But unions are trying to strongarm Americans out of work if they (those Americans) don't want to belong to a labor union.

Obama talked about better care for veterans. Following the VA debaucle last year it's about time he tried to improve the system but it's difficult to believe given that he once said vets should pay for their own -post war care because they're all volunteers.

Obama talked about reparing the infrastructure... again. He has been promising the repair of the infrastructure since he first began campaigning in 2008. He used it in 2012. And now we're in 2015 and he's still just talking about it. So what has he been doing wth that money?

Obama said we need to bring companies here to America and offer them incentive to come. But he never once said anything about cutting corporate taxes, the highest in the world, as part of that incentive. Those taxes are causing companies to leave our borders yet he refuses to cut them to bring them back.

And now - who pays for the free stuff? The President says we need to make the top 1% pay for free college and infrastructure. He wants to change the tax codes to reduce loopholes (which I can support and which will never happen) but he doesn't want to cut the great numbers of people on government subsidies. That was not even mentioned in his plan, even though it has been proved that when more people are working and paying taxes revenue goes up.

He talked about improving the economy and decreasing the deficit, once again leaving out that pesky detail of the national debt that has doubled under his administration.

Obama said we stand united with countries effected by terrorism, from Pakistan to Paris. He should have followed up with “Sure, I wasn't there but we were united.”

The President says that American policies against Russia have stopped Putin's aggression. American diplomacy, rather than force, has prevented Putin from attacking Ukraine. Oh, wait...

The President said that Republicans and Democrats need to come together and work for what's best for America – just before he made it clear that if Republicans introduce any legislation that changes anything he has done or is trying to do he will veto it.

The President says that diplomacy is working in Iran and that he will veto any sanctions that might be proposed by Republicans. Yup – that's working together all right.

The President said that since he took office in 2009 he hast taken careful and deliberate steps to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. He has been saying that every years since he first took office and has yet to do it. He has made progress lately – releasing five Taliban commanders back to the battlefield in a swap for deserter Bo Bergdahl and releasing others at various times last year and this year without Congressional approval. I believe he will accomplish his goal of closing Gitmo before he leaves office in 2017 – good or bad.

Obviously missing from the speech was any real substance on the war on terror - something may Americans feel is the top concern that our nation faces today. And true to form - he refused to call the terrorists anything related to Islam. I'm really surprised he mentioned ISIS instead of calling it VESIS - Violent Extremists of Iraq and Syria.

As I said earlier – his tone was more conversational and less aggressive this time. And I do believe he set a record for using the words “I” or “me” and instead replacing it with “you” and “we.” Whoever wrote his speech seems to have realized that bragging on himself the last few years wasn't going over well.

The last ten minutes or so of his speech he made some statements about what we as Americans can do together to make life better for all of us. And not all of his suggestions were bad. Unfortunately, it is really difficult to believe he means a word of it given his propensity for and history of lying. He has two years to prove he meant what he said but it won't take more than a few weeks to see if he follows through with his suggestions. I have my doubts.

Is There A Perfect Republican Candidate For 2016?

With the 2016 election a mere 22 months away people on the right are beginning to look at Presidential candidates more closely. Conservatives want the most conservative candidate possible. Ted Cruz is mentioned a lot. Others want a well known politician with a history. Enter Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush - the establishment Republicans' top choices. Many are leaning toward the libertarian corner and Rand Paul. Still others are interested in something new and different. For that we have Dr. Ben Carson. Several current governors have also been mentioned, though none seriously at the present time. Mike Huckabee is thinking about it and has the support of evangelical Christians. And of course, there are those who want Sarah Palin to run.

John McCain has mentioned that he might give it a shot, as has Lindsay Graham. Those are the only two that I have not seen mentioned in any sort of favorable way.

Conservative web pages and Facebook pages show Republicans and conservatives arguing with each other about who the candidate should be and why none of the others will do. They put down one candidate for not supporting one thing and put down another for supporting something they do not. Then they put each other down because their candidate is not supported by everyone. And the primaries haven't even begun.

So is there a perfect candidate?

Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin are the darlings of the conservatives at the present time. Romney and Bush are the darlings of the establishment Republicans, who believe that moderate Republicans who can sympathize with Democrats are the only answer. Paul and Dr. Carson are the darlings of Republicans who want conservatism but not complete conservatism. The governors, such as Scot Walker, Rick Scott, John Kasich, Chris Christie, etc., are not the most talked about as of yet since none of them have dropped a hat into the ring.

But who is the best? In 1980, Ronald Reagan won the Presidency by a surprisingly large margin by communicating his conservative message to the people. Who will be the new conservative voice on the right and be able to communicate the conservative message to the degree that Reagan did? Who will give conservatives and Republicans everything they want? The answer is... none of them.

Romney or Bush would be another four years of mostly the same thing we have now - just a little less left. Romney has business skills that would be great for the economy and is pro-life. But Romney is not a Reagan conservative. He wasn't really even a fan. In 1994, Romney was telling people "I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush" and the Contract with America was "not a good idea." In 2002, he said "I think people recognize that I'm not a partisan Republican, that I'm someone who is moderate, and that my views are progressive.” He also identifies with establishment Republicans rather than conservatives. Why then would conservatives vote for him?

By the same token, Jeb Bush is the most progressive, left leaning member of the Bush family. He is a fiscal conservative but that's pretty much where it ends. He supports Common Core and amnesty for illegals.

Rand Paul talks a good conservative game but does he walk the walk? Paul voted to confirm John Kerry as Secretary of State and Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary. (In contrast, Ted Cruz voted against them both.) Paul is not against a pathway to citizenship and, in fact, has stated his support of it as long as it is not labeled.

As early as last year Paul was quoted on his stance on immigration.“I didn’t use the word citizenship at all this morning,” Paul said. ”Basically what I want to do is to expand the worker visa program, have border security and then as far as how people become citizens, there already is a process for how people become citizens. The main difference is I wouldn’t have people be forced to go home. You’d just get in line. But you get in the same line everyone is in.”

While he didn't arrive in Washington for the vote, good ol' Rand Paul stated his support for Mitch McConnell as the Senate majority leader in opposition to the will of the people. He supports the President's plan to normalize relations with Cuba and is against making any changes to Roe vs Wade, saying that the law is here to stay. Not exactly what conservatives are looking for.

Ben Carson is a nice guy. He's well spoken, a brilliant doctor and neurosurgeon, and unafraid to say what he means - even in front of the President of the United States. Carson became a favorite of some Republicans when he criticized President Obama's health care law right in front if the President. But where is he on the issues?

Carson told Glenn Beck last year that he doesn't believe people who live in cities should not own semi-automatic weapons, saying that only those who live in rural areas should own them. He is not a fiscal conservative, saying in the past that insurance companies should be more regulated and that we should “remove from the insurance companies the responsibility for catastrophic health-care coverage, making it a government responsibility,” thus, giving the government a sanctioned share of health care anyway.

Carson has a somewhat progressive stance on free trade as well, saying we should have “a stiff tariff on products that are manufactured in other countries and are shipped here fully assembled, while reducing tariffs on products that will require assembly once they reach our shores.” He seems not to understand that our exporters would most likely face retaliatory tariffs and that American consumers would have to pay more for the products.

Carson also believes that the free market caused the economic meltdown in 2008. “We decided to deregulate during the 1990s, paving the way for the economic meltdown in 2008”. He also seems to favor a change to the First Amendment when it comes to free speech following a Supreme Court decision that protected the Westboro Baptist Church's right to protest military funerals. “I actually have some doubts about that legal decision, because the signs, obscenity, and noise infringe upon the rights of other Americans to assemble peacefully for the burial of one of their loved ones. If my right to free speech causes you actual harm, it becomes time to curtail my speech.”

Except "actual harm" is the key phrase. The Westboro church, while being one of the most vile organizations in the nation, hasn't actually hurt anyone - with the possible exception of hurting someone's feelings. But that is not harm as defined by the court.

Of the governors mentioned, Kasich and Jindal support Common Core and Jindal is criticized by Republicans in his own state for failing to keep his promises of cutting the size of the state government and its budget. Rick Perry gives educational benefits to illegal aliens. Even Scott Walker, the conservative governor of the now turned-around state of Wisconsin, has been criticized for signing his new budget that increases the size of his government and increases spending by 6.2%. And while Christie's outspokenness is a plus, his bromance with Barack Obama has left a really bad tasted in the mouths of most Republicans.

Now, let's get to the top two conservative favorites. Sarah Palin is a very conservative woman. She's much smarter than most people give her credit for and fairly politically savvy - except for that one little detail that will hurt her in any national election. She resigned from the Alaskan governorship under conditions that can and will be questioned by any opponent she might face. And rightly so. She was being sued for several things and opted out of the lawsuits by resigning. Right or wrong it looks bad and she will never win a Presidential election.

Ted Cruz is my first choice for President. A good solid conservative in his own right, he is also a brilliant attorney and has successfully argued nine times before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was also influential in helping draft the arguments in the Bush/Gore case before the Supreme Court, which Bush won.

Cruz seems to have everything going for him. But respected conservative economist and columnist, Thomas Sowell, isn't convinced.

“Senator Ted Cruz has not yet reached the point where he can make policy, rather than just make political trouble,” Sowell wrote. “But there are already disquieting signs that he is looking out for Ted Cruz — even if that sets back the causes he claims to be serving.”

“Senator Cruz’s filibuster last year got the Republicans blamed for shutting down the government — and his threatened filibuster this year forced several Republican Senators to jeopardize their own reelection prospects by voting to impose cloture, to prevent Cruz from repeating his self-serving grandstand play of last year,” Sowell wrote last year. “The Republicans need every vote they can get in the Senate — plus additional votes by defeating some Democrats who are running for the Senate this fall. It can be a very close call. Jeopardizing the reelection of current Republican Senators is an act of utter irresponsibility, a high risk with zero benefits to anyone except Ted Cruz — and the Democrats.”

Some Republicans/conservatives believe Ted Cruz is not a natural born citizen (he was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father) and have flat out stated they will not vote for him for that reason. In my opinion that's a ridiculous attitude to take so early in the game. IF Ted Cruz runs for President he will have been well vetted and the question of his eligibility will have been long solved. Cruz will not run if he's not eligible. If he does run and people choose not to vote for him based on their own belief of his eligibility they are only fooling themselves and helping the Democrat.

There is one thing I would like to remind people about Cruz, Palin, Romney, or any other Republican/conservative who might win the nomination. There are several things that, although they may be campaign topics, even promises, will never change. Abortion is one of those. Conservative candidates talk pro-life all the time but none will ever overturn Roe vs Wade. It's not going to happen. Likewise, same-sex marriage has come to the United States to stay. Politicians can oppose it on conservative/religious principles and say they will prevent it but in the long run they are going to lose that battle. A very important pending Supreme Court decision could speed it up or slow it down but it is going to happen.

And finally - regardless of who the Republican candidate is - if he/she wins, the illegal aliens currently in the country are not going to be rounded up and sent home. It's not going to happen. Ted Cruz says he's against a pathway to citizenship but Cruz isn't going to round them up. It would be nearly impossible to do and bad publicity world wide. 

Electing a conservative like Cruz as President would increase our chances of finally getting border security but the illegals are here to stay and the government will have to figure out a way to make them legal - regardless of who is in the White House. 

One other thing of which I will remind conservatives, particularly conservative Christians. Many evangelical Christians stayed home on election day in 2012 because Mitt Romney was.... (GASP...) a Mormon! They just couldn't vote for the man with whose religious beliefs they disagreed. Thanks, in part, to them we instead have a man who claims to be a Christian, but has proven over and over to be a Muslim sympathizer, in the White House. How did that work out for all of you who refused to vote for Romney because of his religious beliefs?

There is no perfect candidate. We have primary elections to help determine who the final candidate will be but in the end it comes down to whether or not conservatives want another far-left Democrat in the White House. I, for one, will vote for any Republican over the Democrat in 2016 - even if I have to hold my nose to do it. Preventing another Barack Obama (or worse) in 2017 is vital to the well being of this great nation!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ignorance Has No Bounds

This morning I read a couple of articles about liberal criticism of "American Sniper," the story of now deceased Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle. Kyle served as a SEAL sniper for six years and deployed four times to the Middle East. He is said to have the national record for number of kills.

Many liberal celebrities and pundits are going out of their way to criticize the movie and make Chris Kyle out to be a racist, hate filled man whose contribution to our nation wasn't all that it's been made out to be. And while it's not surprising they would do this,I would bet none of the critics have ever served in the military for any country.'s Laura Miller wrote “In Kyle’s version of the Iraq war, the parties consisted of Americans, who are good by virtue of being American, and fanatic Muslims whose ‘savage, despicable evil’ led them to want to kill Americans simply because they are Christians.”

Uber liberal Michael Moore called Chris Kyle and all snipers "cowards." Apparently he feels that what they do shouldn't be done to protect American lives. Not that anyone with a brain really cares about what Michael Moore says but he does have a following - for some strange reason. Michael Moore wouldn't lift a finger to protect this nation from anything, except maybe from conservatives. And in that case the only finger he'd lift would be his middle one.

Actor Seth Rogan compared the movie to the third act of "Inglorious Bastards." In all honesty that hardly even deserves mentioning but could it be that Seth Rogan is suffering from box office envy? His movie "The Interview," which was hyped by Sony saying that North Korea would attack the United States and blow up movie theaters if it was released, earned $2.8 million at the box office and another $15 million in DVD sales. "American Sniper" made $98 million its first weekend.

I suppose people who really wanted to defend Rogan could say movie goers stayed home from "The Interview" because they were afraid of the North Koreans. But no one, including them, would believe it.

Scott Foundas, of Variety Magazine, gave credit for the movie's success to the 'intellectual underachievers' with right-leaning political views. He wrote "much of the US right wing appears to have seized upon 'American Sniper' with... shallow comprehension."

Don't beat around the bush, Scott. Why not say what you really mean? "If you liked 'American Sniper' and think Chris Kyle is a hero you're simply uneducated or just plain ignorant."

Lindy West, of 'The Guardian, not only attacked Kyle but its director/producer, Clint Eastwood.

"How much, if at all, should Eastwood concern himself with fans who misunderstand and misuse his work?" West wrote. "If he, intentionally or not, makes a hero out of Kyle – who, bare minimum, was a racist who took pleasure in dehumanising and killing brown people – is he responsible for validating racism, murder, and dehumanisation? Is he a propagandist if people use his work as propaganda?"

Again, I would bet that none of the critics have ever served in the military and have no clue what that means. Killing the enemy to protect your fellow soldiers is not racist. Only self-righteous liberals can convince themselves that Islam is a race and/or that Americans kill them on the battlefield because of their skin color.

Sgt. Nick Irving, who served as a sniper with the Army's Third Ranger Battalion, took offense to Moore's words and destroys Lindy West's assumption that Americans are killing radical Muslims for their skin color. Nick Irving, among other things, happens to be black.

“Well, I don’t think he deserves the breath that I’m about to give, but I’ll just say, Michael Moore, he wasn't there in Afghanistan and the last time I checked, he’s never shot anybody with a scoped rifle. So I don’t think he deserves the breath that comes out of me right now for that statement.”

Sgt. Irving was asked if Moore should be thanking soldiers instead of insulting them. He was far more gracious in his answer than Michael Moore would have been.

“I don’t really care what he gives me, a thank you or not. A lot of good guys and a lot of my friends died, you know, for his right of freedom of speech. So I’m not really worried about what he has to say.”

Amen, Sergeant. Thank you for your service to our great nation and for putting your own life on the line in her defense. Please forgive the ignorance of some Americans who simply don't understand that the reason they are free to share their ignorance with others is because of heroes like you and Chris Kyle. You are valued and appreciated by thinking American patriots, regardless of what some on the left might say.