Monday, May 31, 2010


Freedom is Not Free

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.

I heard the sound of TAPS one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That TAPS had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.

That poem was written by US Coast Guard Commander Kelly Strong in tribute to his father, a Marine who served two tours of duty in Vietnam. 

I personally like to think of Memorial Day as America's second Thanksgiving day.  It is a day that we give thanks for those who have died to make or keep us free.  From the brave militia members of the Revolutionary War whose blood was shed to create a nation of free people to the warriors of today in Iraq and Afghanistan who risk their lives to keep us safe and defend our freedoms, our debt to these brave men and women can never be repaid.  All we can do is offer our gratitude, remember them and their sacrifice and teach our children about those who selflessly fought for our hard-won freedoms. 

These men and women are the best of us, because they are able to reach deep inside themselves and do what is needed for the common good, even if it means sacrificing themselves for people they have never met.  As Commander Strong so aptly put it, freedom is not free.  It is paid for in blood and sacred honor.

There is a special place in Heaven for these brave souls, and a special place in our hearts, where they will live on forever.  We are only the land of the free because we are also the home of the brave. 

God bless them all.

Friday, May 28, 2010


When I first heard the news today that the White House has announced that former President Bill Clinton was the "high ranking White House official" who had approached Rep. Joe Sestak about taking another position in exchange for dropping out of the Specter primary, the comment that kept spinning in my head was "you sneaky b@$#@rds!"

Hours later, it's still what's running through my head. 

Forgive me for the Rahmbo-esque reaction, but, really - Clinton?  Come on!    It's like a soap opera with the dramatic, unexpected return of a former character who seems to stir up trouble wherever he goes.  Cue the cheesy organ music....

Clinton and Obama met yesterday to have lunch and get their stories straight.  While they were at it, they should have figured out why an unpaid advisory position in addition to regular congressional duties would be so appealing that Sestak would be willing to bypass a senate seat for it.  'Cause right now, it just doesn't add up, fellas.

The use of Bill Clinton as the fall guy is inspired, really, but ultimately a bad idea.  Did they figure Clinton would get around the 1939 Hatch Act (Sections 2  & 3) because he is no longer technicallly a paid federal employee?   How, exactly is Clinton a high ranking official in the White House anyway?  Wasn't that the phrase Sestak used on numerous occasions?  Or was he speaking in the past tense?  The problem is, Clinton was asked to intervene on behalf of Rahm Emanuel, so it still constitutes a bribe offered by the administration.  He's a great choice, though, because you have your fall guy, but no one needs to get fired or resign. 

It's very revealing that Rahm Emanuel is so important to the Obama administration that they are willing to throw a former president under the bus for him, isn't it?

Above and beyond all of that, why has it taken over three months to get this story out?  If it's so innocent and above board, why all the evasion?  Ten weeks of stonewalling for something that they are desperately trying to spin as unimportant just

The fact is, today the White House and Sestak confirmed a bribe was offered.  Even if it really was an unpaid advisory board position, that is still a powerful position and that means the offer had value.   

It's funny.  The one era in modern politics that hasn't been glossed over or altered has been the Watergate affair.  This is a period in our history that the left is very familiar with and loves to rehash.  You'd think they might have learned something from it - like that the coverup is sometimes worse than the crime.  Ring any bells? 

And quite frankly, if anyone in the world should know this, it's Bill Clinton.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Finally, the media and democrats are starting to ask questions about the response to the Gulf oil spill.  And it only took them......34 days.

The array of liberals stepping up to the plate is quite impressive, really.  CBS's Katie Couric, NBC's Brian Williams, ABC's Diane Sawyer, even Chris Matthews and James Carville.  Note how Carville still manages to blame BP, though:

"I think they actually believe that BP has some kind of a good motivation here," he said. "They're naive! BP is trying to save money, save everything they can... They won't tell us anything, and oddly enough, the government seems to be going along with it! Somebody has got to, like shake them and say, 'These people don't wish you well! They're going to take you down!'"

That's right, Mr. Carville, it's those mean old oil executives taking advantage of poor little Obambi.  He just doesn't know any better and is being hoodwinked by those big, bad oilmen. 


After literally decades of the left castigating the oil industry as satan incarnate, we are now supposed to believe that they think BP et al are our saviors when it comes to the worst oil spill in our history? A spill caused by their lax safety precautions and shortcuts, let's not forget.  And now we're supposed to buy that our far-left administration is putting all of their faith in the oil companies? 

And no, I'm not saying the government should be capping the well - that is not their area of expertise. But they certainly could be doing more to protect our shoreline and try to control the damage instead of dumping it all in BP's lap - let them concentrate on capping the well first.  Unfortunately, the well is only half the problem.  The other half is the damage to the shoreline, and this is something the  feds should be tending to.  This requires mass mobilization in multiple states, and so far there is nothing indicating that is happening.  The administration needs to step up and get in the game in more than a finger pointing capacity.

After all, BP wasn't alone in the "shortcuts", and there is supposed to be an action plan at the ready.  According to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (emphasis mine):

§4202 Strengthens planning and prevention activities by: (1) providing for the establishment of spill contingency plans for all areas of the U.S. (2) mandating the development of response plans for individual tank vessels and certain facilities for responding to a worst case discharge or a substantial threat of such a discharge; and (3) providing requirements for spill removal equipment and periodic inspections.

That law has been in effect for 20 years, and yet, in the Gulf region, there was a major shortage of boom that took weeks to be remedied.  Shouldn't there have been some sort of stockpile, considering the number of deep water oil wells in the Gulf?  There is legislation on the books that require federal and state readiness.  So why weren't they ready?   In all fairness, of course, that critique does not just rest solely on the Obama administration, it encompasses every administration since 1991, but why did no one check to see if there were booms while the rig was still on fire?  You know, a 'what if' scenario - also known as a 'contingency plan'.
At least there is some attention being paid to the issue now.  There are already accusations and hearings, but all of that political clap-trap needs to be put aside.  This is a major disaster, not a political football.

Time is of the essence, and they have now wasted 36 days.  Accusations and comparisons to Katrina and Bush's response time, etc., etc., etc. can wait.  Control and clean up first, point fingers later.  Chris Dodd's ham handed attempt to place the blame for this disaster at Bush's feet is not only laughable, it's a complete waste of time.  And with this thing, we just don't have the time to waste.

The fire raged for 4 days before the rig sank - four days that should have been spent prepping for a leak as well as fighting the fire.  When the oil started to creep towards shore, the administration should have responded to Gov. Jindal's requests to build artificial sandbars offshore of Louisiana's barrier islands.  Jindal finally was forced to give a presser where he announced that he was just going to do it, whether the EPA approves or not.  The damage dredging would do to the environment is minimal in comparison to the oil decimating the fragile marshlands.  The rewards outweigh the risks on this one, and hopefully Gov. Jindal's plan will work. 

What's really amazing is the deafening silence from the environmental community.  Hello?  Are you seeing what is happening?  Where is the outrage?  36 days.  Absolute radio silence.  They must be on an eco-retreat.  It seems that to these liberal organizations, it comes down to a choice between supporting the cause or supporting the politics, and politics seems to win out every time.  To these people, circling the wagons to protect politicians is more important than their precious environmental causes. 

Every time I see the live shot of the oil billowing out of that well, unchecked, it is like a knife to my heart.  As a Floridian, I lament the potential destruction of the coral reefs that encircle my state.  I have spent many, many happy hours snorkeling in that gloriously clear water and discovering the wonders of the reefs.  I think too about the lush wetlands that will take years, possibly decades to return to normal and the huge loss of wildlife, from fish to fowl and everything in between

If the administration and the press can't get concerned over wetlands and animals, how about the people and economies of the impacted states?  Louisiana was finally recovering from Katrina, but tourism and fishing are their main industries.  Both will be decimated by this disaster.  Those who take their living from the sea are, for the most part, private individuals, not large corporations.  This is not only going to have a major impact on the state's economy, it is also going to have a huge impact directly on the lives of private citizens who now have no means to (literally) put food on the table.

The impact of this event will not be fully understood until the well is capped.  With a lot of luck, the "Top Kill" method that is underway as I write will be successful.  Once the "damn hole" is plugged, then all efforts can turn to clean-up.  If it doesn't work, we're looking at another month before a relief well can be drilled.  Another month of oil gushing into the Gulf unchecked.  What a horrifying thought.

I have to say that I am utterly stunned by the lack of reaction on this crisis.  We are always the first to any disaster; it's who we are as a nation.  At least, that's how we were until about a year and a half ago.  Since then, we have responded admirably (and generously) with crises in other countries with lots of Presidential attention, money and press coverage.  Unfortunately the "response" (and I use that term loosely) by the White House and the press to domestic crises has been extraordinarily...underwhelming.  

Perhaps they should look upon this spill as what it is - a global disaster.  Water isn't stationary, it flows.  So, too, then does the oil within it.  Once it hits the Gulfstream, Gof forbid, it will impact the entire eastern seaboard and possibly Europe and West Africa.  Maybe the thought of all that oil and tar washing up on, say, Cuba might get their sympathy.   Or perhaps it should be framed as a chance for them to show the rest of the world all of the fabulous ideas they have for cleaning up the planet.  Or haven't they gotten any further in their plans than 1.) collect money to pay for eco agenda?

You'd think the feds would love to jump in here and make a big presence.  Think about all of the legitimate jobs they could create with clean-up efforts stretching over multiple states, if nothing else!  Let's not forget the major PR for, if not quick, at least a thorough response. 

Instead, they are using the opportunity to have hearings and push Sen. Kerry's (D-MA) newfangled Cap and Trade bill.  Can't let the crisis go to waste now, can we guys? 

Why fix a problem when you can just exploit it in order to pass an agenda and then drop it like a hot potato to move on to the next item on the checklist?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Whew, what a relief!  David Axelrod has come out and said that the White House has "investigated" the Sestak bribery situation and found nothing of merit.  The DOJ has also weighed in, and have decided there is no reason to appoint a special prosecutor.  Stunning developments, no?

Since the White House investigated themselves, there's surely no reason to continue to demand answers.  Nothing to see here - move along, move along.  After all, there's no reason to doubt Axe's word, now is there?  It's not like these allegations are felonies that are impeachable offenses or anything.  Really, nothing says above board and transparent like a secret internal "investigation" by the people accused of the wrongdoing. Just ask Penn State.  

What is curious is Sestak's continued insistence that there was a bribe job offer.  He throws the allegation out there now and again seemingly to keep interest going, but refuses to clear up the issue.  That strikes me as interesting.  This is, after all, a man who has bucked his leadership in persisting with his story.  He could have simply said that he "misspoke" and that it wasn't so much a bribe to back out of the primary as it was a "redirection" of his talents.

It's hard to figure his stance on this.  Did he mention it for purely selfish reasons in an effort to show his opponent in a bad light - as in, not even the administration thinks Specter had a shot in hell of winning so they had to clear the field as much as possible?  Or is it that he is more of a moderate who is setting up the far-left administration for a fall, without wanting to get his hands too dirty and thus risk alienating his base?  The fact that he keeps commenting on the subject, instead of the standard "no comment" gives weight to the set-up theory.  The problem is, he isn't really a moderate - he's voted with the party on most of Obama/Pelosi's agenda so far. 

As puzzling as this whole situation is, don't expect any answers for quite a while.  Axelrod's coming out personally on damage control is pretty indicative that there will be no legitimate investigations into this situation until there is a party change in congress.  Axe is the official stone wall of the administration.  His stepping in is meant to give the impression that this is the last word on the issue. 

Meanwhile, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has been trying to get the DOJ to appoint a special prosecutor, but the DOJ just released their response - an unequivocal 'no'.  Is it any surprise that they feel that a special prosecutor and an investigation is "not necessary"?  Did Rep. Issa really believe they would check this out?  This is the same DOJ that dropped charges against Black Panther members for one of the most blatant (videotaped) cases of voter initimidation in recent history, after all.

The administration has circled the wagons on this one, and for good reason.  According to Title 18 U.S.C. § 595 : US Code - Section 595, any person employed in any administrative position by the United States, or by any department or agency thereof who:

uses his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or the election of any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

This is a felony.  As a felony it is also an impeachable offense.  There is a reason why the DOJ is refusing to investigate.  For those who say some random low level administration official made the offer independent of the administration, take a moment to consider the job that many believe was offered.  It is a Cabinet level spot - Secretary of the Navy.  The only person authorized to give away those positions is the President.  Could it have been a rogue agent, like Rahm Emanuel or perhaps Axelrod himself?  Certainly, but the odds are good that their boss knew about the attempts, and quite possibly approved of them. 

Let's remember for a minute that Nixon faced impeachment because of his role in the cover-up, not the break-in itself.  This bribery scandal is far more aggregious, and it seems to have more direct ties to upper levels of the White House than Watergate did.  It has been ten weeks since the initial disclosure and there has been nothing but denial and stonewalling from the administration.  If there was truly nothing to the allegation, if Sestak was merely lying to make his opponent look weak and unsupported, why hasn't the administration attempted to prove that fact?  Maybe put pressure on Sestak to 'fess up by withholding election funds?  If, on the other hand, it's to save Sestak from looking like a liar and possibly losing an election, that means they are willing to risk throwing an entire administration, including the President himself, under the bus to save a senate seat.  That seems a little far fetched, doesn't it?

Since the DOJ has officially refused to investigate, the only other option right now it to try to persuade state attorney generals to investigate.  There may be a few takers on that one, if the number of AG's going after the health care bill is any indication, but don't be surprised if this has to be put on hold until the Republicans take the majority again.

Where is the modern day Woodward and Bernstein to blow this scandal wide open?  Oh, that's right - they probably voted for Obama just like the rest of the press corps.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


The public disagreement between the Obama democrat machine and the state of Arizona has reached a new low.  And that's really saying something.

First, other American cities decide to attack the economy of a fellow state during a recession.

The state responds to one particularly vehement city with a reminder that if they really want to boycott, they should go all in, reminding them of some other contracts they should consider cancelling.   The bluff is called and both sides end up retreating into their respective corners.

Then a foreign head of state is not just allowed to chastise us for our own laws, but he is given a standing ovation by our government.

But wait, there's more!  John Morton, head of ICE, steps in with his two cents on the matter, saying they may just refuse to process illegals from Arizona.  Because, after all, it's not like their refusal to enforce the laws in the first place put Arizona in their dangerous$2.7 billion per year predicament, right?

And now, like the sickeningly sweet cherry on top, the democrats have found a new gimmick to signal their disapproval.   Bracelets.

Yes, that's right, bracelets.   Apparently it's the thing for the season.  Eeeevrybody's wearing them in DC.  Expect bedazzled versions to pop up in Hollywood in 3...2...1....

How lame is this?  Well, waaaaaay back in 2009 Remy Albillar from the Arizona Daily Wildcat said it best:

But for all those “protesting X cause by raising awareness through X,” stop kidding yourself. Your commemorative, fashionable armband, pin, t-shirt or hat is not a legitimate form of protest. It’s an excuse to give yourself a pat on the back.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Megyn Kelly went on the O'Reilly Factor tonight to discuss the Arizona immigration law.  She not only read the law in question, SB 1070, she also read the federal immigration law as well as a few supreme court cases pertaining to the federal law. 

This isn't good news for the 24% who oppose the law, because she found that the Arizona law is much like the federal law, with the exception that it is even more strict as far as what the police can and cannot do than the federal statute.

ooops.  There goes that narrative!

No doubt her findings will get no press coverage whatsoever.  Even though 71% of Arizonans approve of the legislation, 55% of Americans would like to see their states adopt similar legislation, and Arizona governor Jan Brewer has enjoyed a 19 point jump in her poll numbers since last month, according to Rasmussen.  Check out Pew's polling numbers on the issue. 

Thankfully, our esteemed Congress didn't embarrass themselves in their ignorance.  Oh, wait

No doubt their cheering on a foreign head of state as he attempts to dictate immigration policy to them is standard procedure.  Doubtless, too, they will take his recommendation to reinstate the assault weapons ban under advisement.  If we're really, really lucky, maybe he will tell us what to do about Cap and Trade and Iran as well.  Dare to dream.

Perhaps someone in this administration will grow a spine and recommend Calderon get control of his own country before attempting to impose his views on this one. Things obviously aren't going well down there if one-third of the country are so desperate to get out that they are willing to run the gauntlet of a desert, coyotes (both animal and human), and border patrols. Let's face it - if Mexico wasn't such a disaster, we wouldn't have such a huge problem on our borders.

The fact that Obama and the democrats supported this pompous ass and his insulting behavior is nothing short of disgraceful. 


President Obama addressed the press today about the pending Wall Street reform legislation.  As he was speaking, a rodent of some sort scurried by. 

Photographic evidence that Washington really is teeming with rats.

Obama pretended he didn't know the rat. 

No doubt the rodent in question will be found under a bus somewhere next week.

As usual, no questions were taken.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Last night was primary night for Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Arkansas.  The good news?  Benedict Arlen Specter has lost his primary.  The people of Pennsylvania have spoken, and they are saying "enough!".  Was it his switching parties (again) in an obvious attempt to save his career, or was it his numerous gaffes during the campaign that sank him?  Most likely a combination of things.  Quite frankly, he was the poster boy for term limits for this election cycle.  Buh-bye, Arlen!

The democrats are crowing over their victory in Rep. Murtha's district, of course.  The voters are sending Democrat Mark Critz to Washington to fill Murtha's seat.  While the democrat establishment is over the moon on this victory, it's really a mixed bag if you take a closer look.  The thing is, Critz ran against Pelosi, against Obama and against ObamaCare.  So, is that really a victory for the democrat machine? Although a democrat won, it was still a vote against the current establishment.  No doubt that will be ignored and it will be spun as a victory for the Democrats and Pelosi.

In Kentucky, Rep. Ron Paul's son Rand won his primary.  This is a victory for the Tea Party, who heavily backed him against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's pick, Trey Grayson.  No doubt the democrats will label this as more proof that the "radical fringe" is taking over the Republican party.  This from the party that is shedding moderates like Evan Bayh  and Bart Stupak without a second thought while forcing the remainder to toe Pelosi's party line.

Arkansas is a wash - Sen. Blanche Lincoln technically won the primary with 45% of the vote to her opponent's 43%, but a 50%+ majority is required, so there will be a runoff.

All in all, it was a bad day for the party in power.  Even when they won, it wasn't really a win.  Which means the spin will be aggressive and vehement this week.

But, then, what else is new - they have been sounding more and more shrill as the weeks pass.  Pretty soon they will reach a pitch that only dogs can hear.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Today is Armed Forces Day.  This is a day to honor the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.  To those who serve, thank you. 

You are the face of the ideal modern soldier.  Never has the world seen a military to equal you.  Your fierceness, your determination, your ingenuity and strength are unparalleled.  Those traits are tempered by your caring and generosity, and the combination is unprecidented in the annals of history.

Our allies respect you and our enemies fear you. 

You are the heart and soul of America, and we thank you for your service.

Stay strong, stay safe, and God bless you all.


Elena Kagan will most likely be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice, but is she really what's right for the Court?  Is she even what President Obama said he was looking for?  Kathleen Parker says:

Obama said he wanted someone with a "keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the American people."

How can a woman with no real-world experience in her chosen field possibly know how law affects the daily lives of American people?  Let alone a woman who was raised on the affluent Upper West Side of  NYC and spent her college and working years in elite educational enclaves?  How is this woman in tune with, say, some guy in Wyoming who is having his ranch cut in half by the federal government to confiscate for use as nature preserves or wildlife habitats?  Perhaps we could start a new form of translation.  Instead of different languages, there would be cultural translations

In his eternal quest for social justice, Obama has lumped our Supreme Court in with the lesser courts.  The Supreme Court isn't supposed to be empathetic, it is supposed to interpret laws to decide if they adhere to the Constitution.  They are also not supposed to judge a case based on the benefits or losses to the single party petitioning them - their job is to judge based on the good of the country.  The Supreme Court doesn't indulge in case-by-case decisions.  That is the task of the lesser courts.  The Supreme Court merely keeps the country on a path directed by the Constitution in a rather black and white way.  Lesser courts can "tweak" the laws a bit into those grey areas.  If they tweak too much, though, the case heads back up to the Supreme Court to be redefined in a constitutional context.  Yes, you've strayed too far off the path, or no, you're still heading in the right direction.

His "empathetic court" seems more like a way to discard the Constitional guidelines by ignoring them or not referencing them anymore in favor of case-by-case style decisions.  It's an empathetic end run around the constitution.

Let's take the Arizona immigration law, for instance.  The odds are pretty good that the Court will find that the law merely allows state authorities to enforce federal laws (with additional corresponding state penalties), and that it's not unconstitutional.  Under an "empathetic court" the odds would be pretty fair that a lawsuit filed by an illegal immigrant would be heard and empathy gained on the basis of their "suffering" under the law.  Does it count as discrimination if you are discriminated against because of your illegal status?  An empathetic court might be inclined to think so.  

This sets up an interesting precedence, though.  Will we soon be letting other criminals off because, after committing a crime, they suffered such anguish at the thought of being caught that they were somehow traumatized by it?  We know you burned down that entire block, Bob, but we feel you've suffered enough having to live as a fugitive from justice for the past ten years, so we're just gonna let you go.  Don't forget to sign up for your free healthcare - you might want to get some therapy for that pyromania.  In the meantime, have this lovely brick of government cheese!

Should anyone be surprised that there is a history of Mr. Obama opposing former administration nominees for not having enough experience?  Finding video/audio of him attacking the former administration for things his own administration is now doing has become fairly routine these days.  It seems the only thing this administration is consistent on is hypocrisy:

Yes, Mr. President, absolutely. They all need to be more forthcoming.  Including Ms. Kagan and yourself.  Selecting a 'blank slate' was unacceptable for Bush, and it is unacceptable for you, too. 

 We don't need a justice with empathy, we need one with a good, working knowledge not just of the Constitution, but of the Federalist Papers and the Founding Fathers themselves.  This would endow them with a deeper understanding of what the founders meant when they wrote the Constitution.  A justice proficient in those things will be a justice who will serve the Constitution and the country well.

Unfortunately, progressives believe the Constitution is flawed and must be adapted to changing times.  The Constitution is NOT an "evolving" thing.  It was written to stand the test of time, not just a mere two hundred years.  Times change, yes, but that change is merely technology.  Human nature is unchanging.  The Constitution was written to protect this country and her people from the follies and machinations of man, not technology.   Protections that have never been more necessary than they are today.   Which is why the progressives are desperate to subvert the Court with empathetic justices like Kagan and Sotomayor.  It is our last line of defense against a rapacious government.

Let's not forget that President Obama was, according to the fawning media, a constitutional law professor.  As such, he should not only understand the authority of the document, but also how to get around it.  After all, isn't that what lawyers are all about?  Finding ways around the law? 

Friday, May 14, 2010


Today, the space shuttle Atlantis was launched for the last time.  Once again, I watched the spectacle from my front yard.  There was a great deal of sadness this time, though, because this is the third to last shuttle mission.  It's hard to believe that there will only be two more launches before the books are closed on this glorious chapter in our history.

It was with great excitement and a deep sense of patriotism that I watched the space shuttle Columbia launch on April 12, 1981.  I was just a child then, and my school suspended classes to allow us to watch the launch on tv.  I knew I was witnessing history, and I was filled with pride that my country did this wonderful thing.  Only a few things have ever made me as proud of my country as that wondrous event. 

I was never one of those kids who saw the launch and wanted to be an astronaut - I suffer from vertigo on a level with John "Scottie" Ferguson, so space travel has never been a major draw for me.  But I was so incredibly proud to be an American as I watched that shuttle soar into history.  It was a watershed moment for our country; a pinnacle of American ingenuity and can-do attitude.

As an American, I have taken great pride in the space shuttle program.  As a central Florida resident, whenever there was a launch, I made sure to run outside and watch at T minus 30 and counting.  It is thrilling to see the bright orange-red flames of the rockets blazing throught the sky, white vapor trail tracing an arc through the wild blue yonder  Night launches are truly things of beauty.  And the double sonic booms when the landing flight path went over our house were an exciting and fun reminder of the greatness of our nation. 

What other country can boast a space program like ours?  We may not have been the first into space, but we sure have kicked some international space-race butt since then, haven't we?

Unfortunately, the shuttle program is ending this year.  Today's launch was the last for Shuttle Atlantis.  There are only two more launches scheduled - Discovery on Sept. 16, 2010, and Endeavour in mid-November. 

The next phase for NASA was supposed to be the Constellation program, where the Bush administration and NASA had planned to go back to the moon, eventually establish a base camp there and then on to Mars.  President Obama, however, cut the funding for the program in his 2011 budget, citing private industry as taking up the slack.  The budget has not been passed as of yet, so funding is still in question, but Obama has indicated that the Orion capsule will be sent up, unmanned, to the space station as a sort of lifeboat or escape pod for future American astronauts.  How will they get up to the space station in the first place, without a shuttle?  Hitching a ride with Russia, to the tune of $55.8 million per astronaut.   

As a kid who grew up in the '80's, the end of the shuttle program is a sad prospect indeed.  The fact that we will now be reliant on the Russians to get us into space is nothing short of mind-boggling for someone who grew up during the Cold War.  While they are far from the "evil empire" of the 1950's through the '80's, they are still not exactly what could be called a close ally.  Forfeiting our place in the space industry and having to rely on the very country we have been competing against for all these years just doesn't seem right, somehow. 

After thirty years of the shuttle program, it was time to move on to the next phase of space exploration.  There was a great deal of sadness over the end of the shuttle missions, but the upcoming Constellation program helped mitigate that sorrow with it's promise of future space exploration.   The fact that the end of the shuttle program is now, effectively, the end of our dominance in space comes at a difficult time for our country. 

Many Americans are feeling as though they are losing their country; that it is being transformed into something far different from the vibrant, innovative world leader it has been for decades.  The loss of our shuttle program, a defining symbol of our benign power and scientific excellence, signifies, to some, the sun setting on our superpower status. 

With a little luck, in 2012 a new president will reinstate the Constellation program and we will regain our standing in the space industry and start making giant leaps for mankind once more.  In the meantime, all we can do is watch the skies when our shuttles launch on their last remaining flights and savor the pride they instill in us.

Farewell, Atlantis.  Thank you for your years of service, thank you for the advancements your teams of scientists, engineers and astronauts gave the world, and thank you for the pride and glory you instilled in our country. 

Cross Posted at Sisterhood of the Mommy Patriots

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Congressional Republicans, headed by Minority Whip Eric Cantor have started a new website called "You Cut" that allows common Americans to vote for what spending cuts you want to see Congress adopt.

This is an interesting idea, if it takes off. They are offering up five different spending programs for the chopping block each week. Whatever program earns the most votes from the public will be offered up for a vote in Congress the next week. No doubt they will get a lot of flack and ridicule from the left over this one, but I personally think it's great for a few reasons.

First of all, it's fascinating to see all of the ways that Congress is wasting our money (and how much is being wasted). You hear rumors about some of the crazy or unnecessary things our money is being spent on, but to see it in black and white on a Congressional website, well, it really puts it into perspective. If you have high blood pressure or ulcers, you might want to medicate yourself before you check it out each week!

Second, in a political climate where it often feels like the train is out of control and heading off the tracks, this offers a way to give Congress your two cents on a very important issue - spending. And not just spending in general, as we have been attempting to do with the Tea Parties - we're talking specific, targeted spending programs. President Obama created the deficit reduction committee, but it won't be coming out with anything constructive until December, and doubtless there will be more in the way of taxation instead of spending cuts in their recommendations. Increased taxation will only prolong our suffering - especially at the levels they will need to tax in order to make a dent in the deficit. The only way out of this hole is through spending cuts. Politicians hate spending cuts because someone always loses out and voters become alienated. Perhaps if the cuts are brought to them by popular demand, they will grow some spines and do what's necessary to save this country from financial ruin. Don't hold your breath, though. These are politicians we're talking about, after all.

Finally, there are major political ramifications to this. As I mentioned before, the left will attempt to ridicule the Republicans on this - after all, when they have no other defense, they always turn to derision. The odds of the democrats voting down these proposed cuts are very high, but they need to really think before they do so. Not only will they be voting down Republican introduced spending cuts at a time when they are trying to paint themselves as deficit hawks, but they will be voting down cuts that were presented to Congress by popular fiat. They are used to thumbing their noses at We the Peons in general, but this will be a direct dismissal of what the American people want. The big question is, will their unprecedented tone deafness go that far?

In order to submit your vote, you must give them an email address. That's it. No other personal information required. You can vote more than once (I voted first for the Welfare Non-Reform Program and then the Subsidized Union Activities), and you can vote online or via text. So check out "You Cut" on Eric Cantor's website. Let me know what you think, and, as they say in Chicago, vote early and vote often!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010


President Obama has nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

Prior to her job as Solicitor General, she was the Dean of the Harvard Law School.  She has little experience arguing cases and has never been a judge.  She has almost no paper trail, so it is difficult to nail her down on where she stands on almost all important issues.  Which is, most likely, her main selling point for the administration.  No skeletons in her closet, unlike most of his other appointees.

Her one skeleton is when she opposed military recruiting on Harvard's campus.  This doesn't bode well for her narrative of being a moderate as the press is trying to sell her.  It is particularly troubling as she would be replacing the one justice on the bench who has actually served in the military.  According to the Center for Military Readiness:

"It is unfortunate that President Obama has chosen to replace the only military veteran on the Supreme Court with extensive wartime experience with a nominee whose only significant record indicated deliberate hostility and opposition to laws protecting the culture and best interests of the American military."

 Her attempt to keep the military off the Harvard campus resulted in the feds threatening to revoke about $400 million in federal grants, and the issue went all the way to the Supreme Court, where not a single Justice supported her argument.

Even so, the press is attempting to paint her as a "moderate liberal".  But, then, that's also how they still prefer to project President Obama to the world, even though nowadays most people take that perception with not just a grain, but a boulder of salt.  Besides, there is no such animal as a "moderate liberal".  Moderate democrats, yes, liberals, no.  The very term "liberal" denotes far-left ideology, and there is nothing "moderate" about that. 

Let's consider, too, whether Obama would even nominate a moderate, when his track record so far has been one radical after another?  It's far more likely that she has just managed to keep her radicalism under the radar than that she is truly moderate in her views.

The fact that it is almost impossible to nail her down on a position should be the main indicator that she should not win appointment.  If she is unwilling to put her views and opinions on paper, there must be a reason.  Remember, too, that she has been a longtime associate of President Obama's.  Considering he refuses to associate with anyone who doesn't share his progressive world view, and most of his inner circle are pretty radical, this doesn't bode well.  She is only 50 years old, so if she wins the appointment, she will be on the bench for a few decades.  I don't know about you, but I'd rather have a candidate whose opinions were more transparent for such a position, considering she will be impacting the country for a long time to come.

As with literally 90% of the Obama Administration (including our esteemed Commander-in-Chief himself), she has little or no real world experience.  Combining that with her lack of a paper trail, some serious red flags pop up.

Above and beyond everything else, let's remember that a year and a half ago we elected someone we knew nothing about (or at least just an inkling, which was quickly derided as "paranoia"), including his political ideology, and who had no real world experience to speak of.  A year and a half later, we are realizing the folly of our ways (via American Thinker):

If anyone is surprised by Mr. Obama's incompetence, you have to wonder why. When he was running for the presidency, on what basis would anyone have assumed that he was competent? He had about the thinnest resume of anyone who had ever run for the office, with virtually zero executive experience. He really was the "hope" candidate, elected by voters relying on hope rather than evidence or common sense.

With any luck, whatever moderate/conservatives still exist in the Senate will decide to forgo the "hope" and demand a real nominee with a real track record and real experience. Unfortunately, our Senate is showing us that proof of radicalism means nothing, evidence has no weight in their deliberations, and common sense no longer has a place in our government.

Ultimately, the fact that she adores Obama and has spent the last 15 months or so vigorously defending his radical expansion of executive power should cause concern.  Since there are so few precidents that we can judge her on, we should examine each carefully, as well as her devotion to Obama and his agenda.  If there's one thing we should have learned from this administration, it's that ideology is far more important than ever before.  It seems obvious that she will strive to further his agenda while on the bench - and there are a lot of challenges coming to the Court in the next few years, so her contribution would be vital to his aims.

The Senate should demand a new nominee - one with a verifiable track record and at least a few years of practical, real world experience in a courthouse instead of a classroom.  Much like they did with Harriet Miers.

Monday, May 10, 2010


The floodwaters are receding, leaving devastation in it's wake.  A total of 30 people have died in Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi from the storms and flooding of the past week.  The attention of the country, however, has been focused on the Gulf oil spill and the Times Square terror plot.  It's past time to turn our attention to fellow countrymen in need.  Now that the waters are receding, the cleanup is starting, and these people need help.  FEMA is in crisis mode right now, but, unfortunately, the crisis is internal.   Hard to believe there is a government entity right now that is short on funds, but such is the case with FEMA. 

So now it's time for We the People to do what we do so well.  Help.  We are the most generous, compassionate country in the world, and now it's time to step up and show our  fellow citizens just how big our hearts are.  Times are tough, it's true, but money isn't the only thing that you can donate.

Help the people of Tennessee, if you can.  Their spirit is impressive (via CNN):

"We have no choice but to solve this problem, and we're going to solve it with enthusiasm and try to have fun doing it. We have some hurdles to cross, but we've already gotten across quite a few," Nashville resident Russ Hazelton told CNN. "We'll see what the next few days bring."

Here's how you can give:

The American Red Cross

The Salvation Army

Nashville Humane Society

Please give what you can, whether it be cash, clothing, food or donating blood.   I put in a link to the Humane Society because, as we learned from Katrina, disasters like this don't just affect humans, they affect our furry family members, too. 

There are plenty of local groups that are taking donations as well:

News Channel 9 has a donation hotline set up.

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has a donation center as well.

Please give what you can.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


The third Navy SEAL up on charges of assaulting a terrorist in custody has also been found not guilty.  PO 2nd Class Matthew McCabe is a free man, but even so, in the larger scheme, the enemy can claim a victory.

Three of our elite warriors, Navy SEALs, were taken out of the action on the say-so of a known terrorist.  The argument that it is an effort to rehab our troops' image in the wake of Abu Ghraib is hogwash.  The enemy sees actions like this as weakness, and weaknesses are to be exploited in times of war.  It's not about getting convictions, although that would be a nice little cherry on top for them, it's about taking people out of the game.  In this, they were extremely successful.

This will not be the last accusation of abuse - it's in the al Qaeda handbook.  And if the trials of these three SEALs have proven anything, it's that the ruse works. 

Hopefully our military will take these claims of abuse with a boulder of salt from now on.  There is a difference between holding yourself to a higher standard and allowing yourself to be sabotaged and undermined. 

It's a fine line, but there is no doubt that if any military in the world can walk that line, it's ours.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Violence erupted at immigration protests across the country this weekend, but of course the agitators got a pass from the mainstream media.  From California to New York, there were numerous cases of graffiti, broken wondows, and even violent attacks against anti-illegal immigration supporters.  Amnesty supporters hurt their cause with their behavior, but they seem oblivious to that fact.  Perhaps because even with all of that, their rallies are called "Mostly Peaceful" by the media, while the TEA parties have SWAT called on them.  They are, of course, emboldened by this. 

Every year it's the same - amnesty supporters, as well as marxists, anarchists and other socialist groups march and rally on May Day and by the end of the day, there is vandalism and even violence, as well as some arrests.  This year was no different, except, perhaps, for the vehemence in the wake of the Arizona law.  Here is the photo of the day (h/t What Planet Am I On):

That photo encapsulates the entire mindset of the left on this issue.  They do not agree with our immigration laws and thus are exempt from them.  I propose this sign as the official rebuttal to the TEA party's "Keep the Guvment out of my Medicare" sign.   Both signs are idiotic and cancel each other out.

Then there are those who feel that "America is a continent, not a country".   Apparently  it's quite confusing, but the country is actually called "The United States of America", and it is located on the North American continent.  This means that the country is a confederation of states that have united together to share their destiny as a single entity on the North American continent. Perhaps Mexico should simply petition for statehood - Puerto Rico could be #51 and Mexico could be #52!   Much as Brasil is a country in South America, the United States is a country in North America.  Otherwise, we would have had to name ourselves after the original thirteen colonies.  NorSouth Vircondelmarvarhodepencarogeormassland just doesn't trip off the tongue quite as easily, does it?

The accusations of having to "show your papers" is ridiculous.  Yes, they will have to show their papers when they are pulled over or stopped by the police.  Just like natural-born citizens and legal immigrants do every day.  Those "papers" are called drivers licenses, state id cards and green cards.  This disgusting attempt by the left to confuse the issue with correlations to Nazi Germany is insulting to the millions of Jews, Poles, Gypsies, Czechs and others who were slaughtered by Hitler and his henchmen during WWII.  To compare Arizona police making a legal stop which might or might not end with requests for proof of citizenship to the gestapo making Jews disappear via a trip to Auschwitz is nothing short of obscene.  Not to mention the all-out attempt to paint our police as racist, gestapo-like enforcers.  Note to the left: the police are not the bad guys.  The people breaking the laws - including the federal immigration law - are the bad guys.  Time for a reality check, people.  Arizona has merely given state authorities the same powers as federal authorities in the enforcement of a standing federal law.  No more, no less.  These claims of crimes against humanity are insane.  Racial profiling is specifically prohibited.

Immigrant rights are not civil rights.  Comparing the two is ridiculous.  The civil rights movement was necessary because legal American citizens were being discriminated against.  In the case of illegal immigrants, they are not legal citizens and so they have no rights in this country.  Period.

We already have laws on the books providing the legal entry of immigrants into this country - something that happens every day.  Those laws were enacted under the McCarran-Walter bill of 1952 and have been amended over the years, but the core of it requires legal emigration, the carrying of a green card at all times, and breaking the law can result in felony charges.  It is also illegal to harbor an illegal immigrant - a federal law our more liberal cities flout on a daily basis.  One "wise latina" at a D.C. rally doesn't want to see a Berlin Wall here in America.  Perhaps she is unaware that the US and Mexico are not the same country, as Germany was before the wall.  A wall between the two countries would merely, well, separate two countries.  Other countries are allowed to patrol and guard their borders, why can't we?

Why do these people feel entitled to be able to just walk over our borders and instantly become citizens?  What makes them so much more special that the millions of legal immigrants who jump through the federal hoops to become legal citizens every year? 

This whole argument boils down to a case of not agreeing with a law and feeling that is reason enough to ignore it.  It is just too easy to paint any resistance as racist.  What other laws should we be allowed to ignore?  How about theft - or should I call it "spreading the wealth around"?  No doubt that one should be ignored, too.

The clear fault for this mess is the federal government's refusal to enforce federal laws currently on the books.  Arizona did what the feds refuse to do - enforce the law.

The illegals and their supporters only hurt their cause with their offensive, violent tactics.  If you want to come here legally, we will welcome you with open arms.  Otherwise, just like every other country on the planet - including Mexico - we will enforce our laws and kick you out.

For those who "demand" legalization, go home and "demand" things from your own government.  If you want to be part of this country, come here legally.  If you break our laws and refuse to renounce your foreign citizenship, you have no right to change our laws. Go change your own country's government; leave mine alone.