Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Regretfully Right

Mark Steyn called it, ten years ago, in his book America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It. In 2005, Steyn predicted with startling accuracy the perilous situation the world now finds itself in with radical Islamic jihadism.

If you haven't read it, you should. I read America Alone when the book was first published, and I enjoyed Steyn's sparklingly humorous writing style as much as I learned from the facts and research presented in its pages. It's disconcerting to see that modern history is unfolding quite similarly to what Steyn foretold over a decade ago.

Steyn's later book, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon was published in 2011. It is a lengthier, more in-depth, more concerning forensic of the dire consequences facing the world in the wake of American withdrawal. I read that book, also, and I'm sorry to say that Mark Steyn was correct again. We are today witnessing, actually living and dying in, the results of the USA "leading from behind." Unsurprisingly, it's neither a safe place nor a pretty sight.

No one knows what the future holds. But we can be reasonably certain that it will be much more difficult than it should have been, had we only heeded and acted upon obvious warnings.

Monday, October 03, 2016

History in Chains

Riga, Latvia
I stumbled across Jay Nordlinger's "Baltic Journal, Part I" and it captivated me. In one short paragraph, he sums up the hidden history of the Baltic states: Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia:
"Everyone in the Baltic states has a story — a story of parents and grandparents, if not themselves. Every family endured horrors — at the hands of Nazis, Soviets, or both. Often both."
I know these stories, and so do my children, because my husband's Latvian family escaped the Soviet devastation of their country following the Second World War. Very few people know this shadowed history, because it isn't taught anymore. What happened to the Baltic people should never be forgotten, but to the world's shame, it's as though the atrocities they suffered never even happened.

I'll be following Nordlinger's journey through the Baltic states with interest and appreciation.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Drop the Subject

Like millions of my fellow Americans, I watched the presidential debate on Monday night. Below are five topics I never want to hear mentioned again, in a debate or anywhere else:

1.  The "Birther" Issue

Where President Obama was born has absolutely nothing to do with the state of our disappearing jobs, the limping economy, improving the nation's border security, strengthening the military, or protecting us against radical Islamic terrorism. Mr. Obama's presidency will be history in less than four months, so this media-driven "controversy" is meaningless. Why are the presidential debates wasting precious time rehashing this boring nonsense?

2.  Personal Attacks

Donald Trump has a bad habit of calling people names. And? What's the point of pursuing this personal negative? We want to hear candidates talk about the issues and how they would handle them. We don't want to hear schoolyard trash. Is Hillary Clinton so flawless? She has been shown to have a bad habit of exposing national secrets to foreign enemies, then lying about it under oath. There is a nasty name for her behavior, too.

3.  Tax Returns

I'm less interested in Donald Trump's tax returns than I am in the 33,000 emails deleted from Hillary Clinton's home server. I wonder if she checked for messages from Trump before hosing her in-box. Maybe he emailed her his tax returns.

4.  "My Husband"

Who cares what happened under Bill Clinton's watch? The world today is a very different place, largely due to his inaction. You're the one running now, Madam Secretary. Do you need to ride his coattails to win? Can't a woman get the job done on her own? Forget the 1990s, let's get real-time. What's your plan, besides massive tax hikes and more job-killing regulations? Stop name-dropping and start getting specific about how you're going to engineer the financial gouging of hardworking Americans.

5.  Boasting

Mr. Trump, we all know you've got a healthy ego. The presidential debates are not the time or place to remind us. We don't want to hear how much people love you, how many endorsements you've acquired, how proud you are of your accomplishments. Just stick to the issues. Tell us again about your plans for tax cuts, keeping jobs here at home, rebuilding manufacturing, slashing regulations. You can brag after you've won the election--if you do.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ten Random Musings on Current Events

1. Immigration:
If you want to come live here, you need to prove to us that you're worthy of acceptance. We don't need to prove anything to you. This is our country.

2. Islamic Terrorism:
The radical Islamic terrorists want us dead. They will not stop attacking us. If we want to survive, we need to fight back with full power. I don't care if it hurts their feelings.

3. Police:
Do what they tell you to do. Do it immediately after they speak the words. If you do that one simple thing, you probably won't get shot.

4. Guns:
I've never shot a gun. But the Second Amendment protects a right that makes the USA unique. I think every state should have background checks and a waiting period. And do I really have to say, anyone on a terrorist watch list can't be allowed to own a gun.

5. Climate Change:
I agree, the climate is changing. All of the physical world is always changing; change is the only constant in nature. How much of it is our responsibility, I don't know. Neither do the "experts."

6. The Affordable Care Act:
Rather than saving me over $2,000 a year as the president promised, "Obamacare" cost me $2,300 at tax time. It's not affordable. Get rid of it and let the free market figure out health care.

7. Sitting Out the National Anthem:
So, you feel solidarity with "the oppressed." Take a look around the world and see if you could earn $119 million playing a game in any other country. Jackass. Excuse me--I meant, ungrateful jackass.

8. President Obama:
You had a golden opportunity to unite us. I was proud when a half-black man was elected--even if I didn't vote for you. Then I watched you divide black/white, rich/poor, gay/straight, Republican/Democrat. You completely blew your chance. But you're too conceited to know it.

9. Hillary Clinton:
Lies, lies, so many lies you probably don't even know what the truth is anymore. You're a criminal--a felon, actually. You may well become president, but you will be a dismal failure. You already are.

10. Donald Trump:
You could be dangerous; you might be a savior. No one knows how many supporters you have, because many won't admit it--out of either shame or fear. Traditional media hate you with a blind ferocity that prevents them from realizing they're helping you. You may well become president, and there's no telling where that will lead us.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

President "I, Me, Mine"

All through the day I me mine, I me mine, I me mine,
All through the night I me mine, I me mine, I me mine

 ~ George Harrison, The Beatles

So President Obama would consider black Americans not supporting Hillary Clinton a "personal insult" to "my legacy." Does this man never stop talking about himself?

Review any speech in his presidency. It is always about him.  It's not about the state of the country, or its future, or even the validity of his political philosophy. It's about him.

Now he's browbeating and bullying voters to cast their ballots in line with him. The president's overblown egomania grew tedious at least seven years ago. Please, oh Great One, give it a rest and let people make up their own minds who they'd like to be president. As shocking as it may seem, voters may not agree with you.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

September 11th ~ Fifiteen Years After

 Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.

~ Psalm 59:1 (KJV)

Saturday, September 03, 2016

A Saint for Our Time

Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen, for God speaks in the silence of the heart. ~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta

This weekend, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, confirming her as St. Teresa. It's a big day.

The Roman Catholic Church certainly has its woes. But it also commands continuing worldwide interest and attention, as noted in this NRO article by Kevin Williamson, himself a Catholic convert.

Even on the cusp of sainthood, Mother Teresa has her critics; don't we all? I sometimes wonder how much her detractors have done for the poor and needy among us. Then I realize that she was too busy doing her good work to care about what others thought or said. That's an important lesson in any era, but especially so in our own self-absorbed times.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Funny is Forever

"'Gregor Sampsa awoke one morning to discover that he had been transformed into a giant cockroach.'"
"Nah, it's too good..."
Bialystock & Bloom reviewing bad scripts - The Producers

Almost anyone who likes to laugh enjoyed at least some of comedic actor Gene Wilder's work. From The Producers, to Blazing Saddles, to Young Frankenstein and far beyond, Wilder's sometimes smart, sometimes silly humor was hard to resist.

The Producers is my favorite Wilder movie, but many of his films have become comedy classics over the decades. Gene Wilder died today at age 83; he had been suffering from Alzheimer's for several years. It's always sad when talented stars leave us, even if it is their time. Fortunately, we get to keep watching his movies.