Sunday, May 26, 2013

For Our Fallen Heroes

With Honor, Respect, and Gratitude
Photos from Google Images - "Soldiers Crying"

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Remember Not to Forget

As we start Memorial Day weekend, let's also pause to remember the innocent victims of the Boston Marathon bombers. The Richard family story is especially moving, as they are affected by so much personal loss and suffering from the atrocity. We heard much news about the tragic death of 8-year-old Martin, less about the terrible injuries to his family. Parents Bill and Denise suffered serious injuries. Denise has lost sight in one eye; Bill was burned, injured by shrapnel, and lost hearing.

Martin's sister Jane has undergone a dozen surgeries on her left leg, which was amputated below the knee. This week she left the hospital for the rehabilitation center, which is another long road for a 7-year-old girl.

As our 24/7 media constantly inundates us with new shiny objects competing for our attention, it's easy to forget what happened a scant few weeks ago. But we should all make the effort to remember attacks on our homeland and fellow citizens by the Islamist terrorists who are wholly dedicated to our destruction. It's the faces of the victims I would like to see filling TV screens, not those of the brutal, hateful murderers.
Martin Richard at the Bruins game - April 11, 2013.
He has less than 4 days to live.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

On Guard

"Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people." 
- John Adams, second president of the U.S.

"Unfortunately, you've grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices are also doing their best to gum up the works. They'll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices." 
- President Barack Obama, May 5, Ohio State University commencement speech

Memo to the president: Not so fast, Oh Great One.

Below are the Top Five Reasons why your college audience, as well as the entire U.S. citizenry, should pay close attention to those cautionary voices against tyranny:

1.  The IRS Scandal. You first read about it in the papers, did you? Sure. 

2.  The Benghazi 9/11/12 Terrorist Attack. Read the transcript of your remarks the next day and then tell us again how you called it "terrorism." Please. We're not stupid.

3.  The A.P. Phone Scandal. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. The implication is that you think you can get away with anything. That's probably because, so far, you have.

4.  The EPA Scandal. Less well-known (for the moment) but similar to the IRS mess in that it is equally abusive in rewarding friends and "punishing enemies," to use your terminology.  

5. The HHS Scandal. Soliciting contributions from the healthcare industry to fund Obamacare? Of course, I'm sure you knew nothing about it. You profess to have no connection with the U.S. government whatsoever, at least when it comes to your administration's proliferating scandals.

These are my current top five reasons to be on guard against tyranny. I'm staying in the moment and not even looking back at the squashed scandals of Solyndra, Fast and Furious, or your various executive actions to change existing laws on immigration, marriage, and gun laws.

Does pride really go before a fall? In your case, time will tell. Meanwhile, I think Americans are best served by being a bit suspicious of government. Lately there always seems to be something "lurking around the corner," as you say. If We the People stay vigilant, you can bet it won't be tyranny. Sorry to disappoint you.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Still Boldly Going

There's a new Star Trek movie coming out tomorrow. The occasion has me reflecting on the fact that I've been watching the Star Trek saga unfold since its very first television episode in 1966.

While some parts have been forgettable, most have been great fun. Every fan has their favorite spots in the series' seemingly endless timeline. I will always be especially fond of the original television show, even with its plastic monsters and bouncing cardboard boulders. To me, Captain James T. Kirk is the James Bond of space.

Many years later, my son was a devoted fan of the sequel series, appropriately titled The Next Generation. I thought Captain Luc Picard was wonderful, but a bit too calm and controlled. I prefer my starship captains dramatic and disheveled as they race up and down the decks to save The Enterprise. 

The fresh crop of J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies is a terrific reboot. Chris Pine nails the melodrama and swagger of Kirk, and Zachary Quinto was born to play young Mr. Spock. The familiar supporting crew members are equally well cast. As is my policy, I'm planning to see Star Trek Into Darkness at the multiplex. After all, "these are the voyages of the starship Enterprise," and I've been traveling along for 47 years. That's a lot of star dates along the space time continuum. Happily, both Star Trek and I seem to have lived long and prospered.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

That's My Mom

The photo is of my mother, in her mid-20s. Quite the "hottie," in today's lingo.

In the jargon of the 1940s, when they began dating, my father would have termed her "a tomato." Quite naturally, that probably is exactly what prompted his first interest in getting to know her a little better. Thanks, Dad.

Mothers are people, too. Consequently all moms have their flaws, faults, and undesirable traits. The trick to successful motherhood is to have a greater number of the positive characteristics to model to your children. To this day, in her nineties, my mother has strength, faith, determination, and an incredible ability to accept whatever trials life throws her way. I have learned much from her example in these areas, and her indomitable spirit still inspires me.

At my stage of life, I know how fortunate I am to have her here still, and I'm grateful to be able to offer her the annual homage--Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

Friday, May 10, 2013

"Sacrificed for Fiction"

Mark Steyn always tells the straight story, but I've rarely heard him so exercised and brutally direct as he was on Thursday in his weekly guest spot on Hugh Hewitt's radio show. The audio of his conversation about the Benghazi coverup with guest host Guy Benson is linked here, and it's worth listening to.

Excerpts of Steyn's remarks appear below. I've added emphasis to the statements that hit me like a gut punch because they are so true:

The …highest level of the United States government lied to the American people … about the death of this ambassador. That is a serious business. And the Democrats and Republicans alike, and ordinary citizens, need to think about whether they’re willing to go along with that lie, because to do so is to be complicit in it. And that’s not a healthy sign for a democratic republic. 

There isn’t actually a partisan element here. All the players involved in this are Democrats. Chris Stevens is in fact the poster boy for the Obama-Clinton view of the Arab Spring. He’s one of their guys…he was a personally courageous and brave man who was on the front line of the Obama-Clinton narrative about the Arab Spring. And they let him die, and then told lies over his coffin. And Democrats, liberals should ask themselves about that… They did that to one of their is now clear that the local militia…to whom the security of these guys was entrusted, were actually complicit in the attacks…He was there in Benghazi on a symbolic day at the personal request of Senator Clinton. In a sense, he not only died for the Obama-Clinton fiction, he was sacrificed for the Obama-Clinton fiction of the Arab Spring. This is absolutely disgraceful. I cannot conceive of how empty and dead you have to be inside to put Ambassador Stevens through that, then leave him to die, and all the nonsense we heard about oh, they couldn’t have got there in time? Oh, really?’s like a football match, is it? …you’ve got an end time, you know they’re all going to pack up and go home at 5:00 in the morning or whatever? They didn’t know how long it was going to last. They left him to die....

I understand there is partisan politics. I accept that. You want your side to win. You put your side’s interests at heart. But I personally could not do that knowing the truth. She called him Chris. Obama called him Chris. Chris…no Ambassador Stevens, no Mr. Ambassador, none of that, Chris, Chris, Chris like…they’re best buddies…. And then she tells the families of the dead that they’re going to get this video maker…to put him in jail. And all the time she’s doing that, she knows that is false… she got the phone call. The very compelling testimony from Mr. Hicks, the number two guy in Libya, he calls her, he has this conversation with her. Then later, he calls back to leave a message that Chris, Chris, as Hillary Clinton calls him, Chris, Chris, Chris, is dead.…She doesn’t call back poor old Hicks on the front line trying to hold down what’s left of the American presence in Libya? She doesn’t call him back that night. She doesn’t call him back the following day. This is a failure of leadership at the top.…she’s gone, she’s out of it. But if she were still in her job, honor would demand that she resign...I think there’s compelling evidence she actually perjured herself when she testified on this.

More scathing critique from Steyn's outstanding National Review article, "The Benghazi Lie."

Sunday, May 05, 2013

The Problem of Happiness

“All happy people are grateful. Ungrateful people cannot be happy. We tend to think that being unhappy leads people to complain, but it’s truer to say that complaining leads to people becoming unhappy.” 
 Dennis Prager

I'm in the midst of reading Dennis Prager's wonderful book, Happiness is a Serious Problem. Don't you just get the biggest kick out of that title? If you do, you'll enjoy the book's contents even more.

I've heard Dennis on his radio talk show many times over the years, so this book has been on my wish list for awhile. I'm--dare I say it?--happy I decided to treat myself to it. And, although I haven't completed it yet, I'm comfortable recommending it to anyone who is interested in what our nation's Founders so astutely called "the pursuit of happiness."

While reading the "Happiness" book may not make you happy, it will certainly help you to understand why you aren't happy. As with most issues in life, knowing is half the battle. Here's to your happiness.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Nowhere to Run

"truth will come to the length truth will out."
~ William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Translation for the Obama administration: Eventually, you're going to get nailed on Benghazi.

With additional arrests today in the horrific Boston Marathon bombing, the American public's attention is once again focused on national security. That is very good news for our country, but very bad news for a president who has been comfortably outrunning the clock on the September 11, 2012 Islamist terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

According to the president's spokesperson after being questioned, Benghazi "happened a long time ago." Less that eight months qualifies as a long time? That's a rather rapid fading of the memory of the four Americans who were murdered waiting for help that would never come. It sounds more like a complaint that this inconvenient story is preventing progress in moving along to the next Obama disaster. It is, as Charles Krauthammer noted, "the definition of chutzpah."

But all the president's stonewalling, ignoring, dismissing, and flat-out lying about Benghazi won't matter in the end. It may take years, but the truth will come out.