Sunday, July 29, 2012

Radio Reading

I'm a conservative talk radio addict, but over the years I've learned that's a good thing. In fact, listening to talk radio, I've learned quite a lot.

One of my favorite features in talk radio is the author interview. I'm a true sucker for these, because I often find myself so intrigued listening to the author that I purchase the book--and find myself learning even more.

Below are three books I've recently completed reading that I recommend to any American voter in this highly charged election season. Long-time readers will recognize the authors' names.

After America: Get Ready for Armageddon, by Mark Steyn

One of my favorite people to listen to, Mark Steyn has earned his link on my sidebar and his place as one of the most quick-witted and entertaining, not to mention insightful, pundits on the political scene today. I hear him almost weekly in his appearances as a recurring guest on Hugh Hewitt's radio show. His prior book, America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It (2006), was a fast and fascinating read that has proved eerily prophetic about our changing global demographics, particularly regarding the consequences of Islamic influence on Western culture.

After America (2011) is a bit more in-depth, a bit more grim in its conclusions pertaining to our nation's future as a global power. But it is delivered with Steyn's trademark wit and flair, and I found myself laughing out loud at several points even as I shivered at his prognostications.

When I first heard Steyn on the radio, I thought he was Australian. As I continued to listen weekly, I learned he was Canadian-born, United Kingdom-educated, and now a resident of New Hampshire. If you haven't yet heard Mark Steyn's unique style, I recommend a visit to YouTube; type in "Mark Steyn" and take your pick of dozens of examples of his speaking. Knowing how he sounds, and his talent for phraseology, will enhance your reading experience.

Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America, by Mark R. Levin

Mark Levin is a take-no-prisoners talk show host, one who is highly intelligent, extremely astute, and completely out of patience with the liberal agenda in America. Don't take my word for it; listen to his show sometime.

Ameritopia (2012) examines in depth such classics as Plato's Republic, Thomas More's Utopia, Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan, and Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto to explain just how much trouble we, as a nation, are mired in. An attorney who served as an advisor in the Reagan administration, Levin makes a compelling case for the dangers of what he calls "post-Constitutional America," which can only lead us to ruin. Ameritopia is a disturbing book, but one that takes hold of the reader and doesn't let go. It teaches us where we came from, where we are now, and--if we are not more careful with our hard-won heritage of freedom--where we are going.

The Brief Against Obama: The Rise, Fall & Epic Fail of the Hope & Change Presidency, by Hugh Hewitt

A practicing attorney and law professor, Hugh Hewitt hosts a nationwide radio talk show each weekday, 3:00-6:00 p.m. Pacific time. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a loyal listener since 2002 and a subscriber to the "Hughniverse," meaning I receive his podcasts and thus never miss a show. (As I mentioned at the outset, I'm an addict.)

Applying a courtroom approach, Hewitt uses extensive quotations from President Obama to open each of the 25 chapters in The Brief Against Obama (2012). Employing the president's own words, Hewitt then methodically and with legal precision exposes the president's statements as the complete failures they have been. Obamacare, the stimulus bill, green energy, unemployment, "the Fast and Furious" scandal, foreign policy failures--and unfortunately, much more--are all covered in depressing detail.

It's very difficult to dismiss the evidence when the president's own words serve as the preface to Hewitt's carefully documented debacle of shortfalls, broken promises, and outright falsehoods.

While different in background, style, and personalities, these authors all have very important traits in common: they know their subjects well, they are meticulous researchers, they write well, and they back up their writings with facts and sources. The end notes sections of each of the three books listed above are impressive and extensive. Unlike TV network news, nothing was pulled out of thin air.

Most likely, MSM honchos would love to pull these three insightful writers off the air. With solid information such as Steyn, Levin, and Hewitt have provided in these books--in thought-provoking and intelligent ways--good luck with that.

Radio. It's the new, much smarter, TV.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hometown News

It makes me proud that my hometown newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune, printed a detailed and scathing indictment of Barack Obama's presidency on their editorial page.

Judging from the comments (241 at last count), "Presidential busts: The worst of all: Barack Obama (2009-?)" is not a going over well with the California liberals. There's that familiar saying about the truth hurting, which certainly applies. But to respond to the umbrage, I prefer the blunt elegance of John Adams, our second president and one of the nation's Founders:

"Facts are stubborn things."

Saturday, July 21, 2012

For Aurora

Discovery Enterprise
Break, break, break,
         On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
         The thoughts that arise in me.

O, well for the fisherman's boy,
         That he shouts with his sister at play!
O, well for the sailor lad,
         That he sings in his boat on the bay!

And the stately ships go on
         To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,
         And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break
         At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
         Will never come back to me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dismissing the Dream

“If you’re one of the millions of Americans counted as part of the eight percent unemployed, you didn’t get there on your own. Somebody else made that happen. And he’s running for reelection.”
~    Nick Ryan,

I’ve read a large amount of outraged reactions to President Obama’s ridiculous statement that “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen,” Some commentators are suggesting that perhaps that one unscripted line, which gave America a frightening glimpse into the way this president really thinks, may cost him the election.

From their tweets to God’s ears.

But no one I’ve read has captured the essence of this blatant insult to small business owners the way John Kass of the Chicago Tribune has in today’s article, “Who else, Mr. President?”

Kass writes about his father and his uncle toiling on the small businessman’s treadmill in their little supermarket. He writes with a quiet passion for his father’s hard-earned accomplishments and a seething, understated scorn for this “leader” who doesn’t understand the country he is in the process of strangling.

There are a lot of people like John Kass in the U.S. In fact, I’m one of them. My husband had his own construction business for many years. He worked from dawn to dark, and most years our family barely got by. We never saw a dime of government money. Nor, more importantly, did we ask for or want any.

The president might ask if my husband used the roads. Yes, Mr. President. He drove all over Southern California. And we, the taxpayers, paid for those roads.

The president might ask if he had a good teacher. Yes, Mr. President. Pete had many good teachers in school. But none of them taught him construction. No, he learned how to build on the job, from a European immigrant small-business owner who had come to this country and become wealthy by working hard, taking risks, and living the American dream.

The days when such an achievement is possible are drawing to a rapid close under the confiscatory ways of an ever-expanding monster government. The American dream? The hard work is still part of it. It’s the endless possibilities that are gone.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Speaking Shorthand

The English language is being tweeted to death.

The social networking site Twitter has conditioned an entire generation to crunch expression into 140 characters or less, a process involving clever applications such as "gr8" to mean "great." That's quite a verbal mutilation to save two letters. Lately, I've seen "gr8" pop up in e-mails--at work.

I've written about the decline and fall of the English language before. I most likely will again. There's no place else for a writer/editor/English major/word lover/book reader to go in this depressing situation other than the blank page. Or, if blogging, the empty text box.

Who "pens" an essay today? Nobody does; not even I. (Yes, it's "I," not "me"--is anyone listening as I scream into the grammatical void?) Today, we all "key" it. Or "text" it. Especially if it's 140 characters or less. But brevity has always been a challenge for me. No wonder I'm not much of a tweeter.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

A Prayer Worth Saying

This prayer for the country is something I was drawn to share. It seems a fitting conclusion to the Independence Day holiday weekend.
Our God and God of our ancestors, we invoke Your blessing upon our country, on the government and leaders of our nation, and on all who exercise rightful authority in our community. Instruct them out of Your law, that they may administer all affairs of state in justice and equity. May peace and security, happiness and prosperity, right and freedom forever abide among us.
Unite the inhabitants of our country, of all backgrounds and creeds, into a bond of true kinship, to banish hatred and bigotry, and to safeguard our ideals and institutions of freedom.
May this land under Your Providence be an influence for good throughout the world, uniting all people in peace and freedom, and helping to fulfill the vision of Your prophets:
“Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war any more.”
“For all people, both great and small, 
Shall know the Lord.”

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Independence Day, 2012

 “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.”

~ Thomas Jefferson

This year in particular, Independence Day is the perfect time to reflect upon our history and to remember how many brave souls have defended our freedoms throughout the past 236 years.

And, since it's rarely taught in the classroom anymore, read the Declaration of Independence in honor of Independence Day. The modern relevance of the charges by the 13 original colonies against the British king are striking and alarming.

We in the United States today stand at a crossroads. I can only pray to the "Creator...Nature's God...divine Providence...Supreme Judge" named in our Declaration of Independence that we, as one nation under God, choose the right road going forward.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Read and Weep

If you haven't read it yet, this might be a good year to read the Declaration of Independence. As my previous post mentioned, we have traveled in a complete circle. Don't believe me? Go ahead, read the list of grievances against the British King. They bear eerie similarities to today's headlines.

Think about today's issues. The Federal government is refusing to enforce the laws to defend our national borders, in Arizona especially. The "Fast and Furious" scandal reveals an executive branch willing to sacrifice its own citizens to further its gun control agenda. The president, acting alone, makes "Czar" and recess appointments--while Congress is in session, not recessed. The unfolding nightmare of Obamacare delivers us into the hungry maw of an ever-expanding bureaucracy.

What were the colonists of 1776 upset about? The king refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

Hmmm...sounds like Arizona and immigration.

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world.      

Keystone Pipeline, anyone?

He also combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation...

Wow. Obamacare.

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent.

Yes. According to the Supreme Court, no less, that's most definitely Obamacare.

There's plenty more that's relevant in the Declaration, but I highly recommend you read it for yourself and see just how much trouble we're in today. It's enough to make an American cry.

The brave colonists who founded our country concluded that:  

A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.                  

How could the Founders possibly have foreseen President Obama?