Monday, August 30, 2010


Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally at the Lincoln Memorial attracted huge crowds, with estimates up to 300,000+. The pictures are quite impressive. The rally was to benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a great organization that helps the families of fallen special forces with scholarships and counselling, as well as financial assistance to severely wounded special operations personnel.

The weeks running up to the event were filled with hysteria on the part of the neo-pravda media and particularly race-baiting huckster Al Sharpton, who had his own rally, "Reclaim the Dream" on the same day. He seems to feel that Beck was attempting to usurp MLK and the "I have a Dream" speech. This was not Beck's intent, as the actual event proves quite clearly. They acknowledged the importance of the day, and some spoke about MLK's speech and it's importance to the country, but ultimately the day was about loving and honoring our country and the troops who fight and die for us. According to some, Beck seemed to be stepping into Billy Graham's shoes, not Martin Luther King, Jr's.

The day seems to have utterly flummoxed the press. They simply don't know what to make of it. For weeks they have been lambasting Beck for his presumptions, his nerve in stepping all over MLK's dream and, of course, highlighting Sarah Palin's participation in an attempt to illustrate how ultra political and fringe-y the whole thing is. Apparently her mere presence made it a political event (what office is she running for, again?).

Because they could not attack the politics of the event (mainly because there wasn't any), they had to resort to their trusty favorite fall back position and point out the "predominantly/overwhelmingly white" audience. Interesting how none of them mention Sharpton's predominantly black audience for his rally. But that point isn't relevant or important. To hear the MSM report it, there wasn't a single minority face in Beck's entire rally, and besides, the few that were there were obviously confused/misled.

Today, the New York Times' Ross Douthat wrote an op-ed piece on Beck's rally titled "Mr. Beck Goes to Washington". This article is about as close to a grudging, backhanded compliment as a thing can be:
For a weekend, at least, Beck proved that he can conjure the thrill of a culture war without the costs of combat, and the solidarity of identity politics without any actual politics. If his influence outlasts the current election cycle, this will be the secret of his success.

The article was as fair a representation as one could hope for from the Times. No snarky comments (even though Sarah Palin was mentioned - a minor miracle in and of itself), and no mention of the overwhelming whiteness of the crowd that others are so fixated on. There was, however one paragraph that was a bit objectionable:
Similarly, one could call the rally a gross affront to the memory of King, who presumably wouldn’t have cared much for Beck’s right-wing politics. But one could also call the day a strange, unlooked-for fulfillment of King’s prophecies: 47 years after the “I Have a Dream” speech, here were tens of thousands of white conservatives roaring their approval of its author.

A "gross affront"? According to his niece, Alveda King, who spoke at the rally, Dr. King was a republican. Beyond that, as a reverend, he was a christian - a conservative christian - and as such, one would think that he might just embrace Beck's right-wing politics. One would also think that the good reverend would be happy that a huge crowd of "predominantly/overwhelmingly white" Americans who had gathered to celebrate this great country and restore the judeo-christian ethics at her heart would hail him as a hero and great American, whose teachings should be a guiding light for all Americans. What is so "strange" and "unlooked-for" about that? Isn't that what the dream was really about - the content of character, not the color of skin? One might wonder, however, at his thoughts on Sharpton's rally and march. Ms. King believes her uncle would have enjoyed Beck's rally (which is prompting critics to say she is "besmirching" his legacy), viewing it as an extension of his vision because it (via the Daily Caller):

“demonstrates the spirit of love and unity and peace.”

According to singer Lloyd Marcus:

“If Dr. King were alive today, he’d feel as if he stepped into the twilight zone,” Marcus said. “He’d feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, what happened to my dream? And, are you telling me that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and the likes of those guys now are running the civil rights movement? Oh, good Lord! What happened?’ He would be totally appalled.”

Sharpton has been at his race-baiting best. In his speech Saturday he said:

"They may have the Mall, but we have the message. They may have the platform, but we have the dream....
They want to disgrace this day, and we not giving them this day. This is OUR day and we ain't giving it away."

Which is more disgraceful - Sharpton's pitting the black community against the white in a shameless attempt to relive his glory days marching arm in arm through Washington while laying claim to a man simply based on his race - a man whose whole message was about surpassing identity politics - or a peaceful rally to honor not just Dr. King, but also the country he loved? Dr. King looked to the future - a future where race didn't matter. Rev. Sharpton's entire purpose in life seems to be a quest to highlight racial division and keep the country believing we have not moved past 1963. Unfortunately for him, race has nothing to do with it and his hystrionics merely illustrate how obsolete and out of touch he is.

This event was a defining moment in our history. There were many people who felt a vague discontent under the milder progressivism of Bush and Clinton, which became more pronounced when Barack Obama took office and embarked upon his quest to "fundamentally transform" America. It is this transformation that has people up in arms, and no matter who is driving the car, it is the inevitable transformative crash that is feared. This is not about race. This is a choice between wanting to restore this country to the judeo-christian ethics and values and dynamic free market system our founders put in place or fundamentally transforming it into an offshoot of the European Union, to freeze in time and slowly disintegrate into obscurity.

Sharpton and the media do not want to have that conversation and bring that choice to the fore, because they know they will lose. And so they bring the debate down to a level that they can get the upper hand on. Relevancy seems optional, at this point.

One final thought - isn't it amazing how those who have been squawking about tolerance for weeks now when it comes to the ground zero mosque are suddenly showing just how intolerant they really are? When it comes to Beck having a rally to stoke the fires of patriotism and love of God and country, suddenly the left is all about shutting him down and stifling his first amendment right to free speech. The intolerance over Beck's event has been overwhelming, from blatantly, transparently fraudulent and yet completely expected accusations of racism to outrage at his "usurping" MLK and his messsage of unity.

No hypocrisy here, move along, move along.

                                 Cross Posted at Sisterhood of the Mommy Patriots

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


 Today is primary day here in Florida.  There are two races that are particularly interesting, at least from where I sit in Central Florida, and one that I simply can't wait to be over.  The first is the Senate democrat primary pitting Rep. Kendrick Meek v. Jeff Greene.   The second is to determine which republican will be running against Rep. Alan Grayson in CD 8.   It's a pretty wide field (here's a rundown on where they stand on the issues), but the two front-runners seem to be Daniel Webster and Todd Long - at least, if the number of yard signs is any indicator. 

As an unaffiliated voter, I am not eligible to vote in the primaries so I'm playing the waiting game, hoping the primary voters make good choices.  The district 8 primary is more important to me than the senate primary right now, simply because we need someone strong to go against Grayson because Grayson most definitely must go.  Of the seven challengers, two seem to be leading the pack.  Todd Long came close to defeating Ric Keller in the '08 primary, so he has recent name recognition, and Daniel Webster has been in local and state politics for decades.  Both seem pretty strong,  Strong enough to beat Grayson?  God, I hope so. 

Which brings us to the Senate primary.  The democrat primary outcome is of the utmost importance to both Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio.  If Meek wins, Rubio will, at least accoording to polling so far, win the general election.  Crist has been peeling off democrats from Meek in preliminary polling, making Meek a weak candidate, but he's not attracting enough democrats to put himself over the top, thus splitting the democrat vote and handing Rubio the win in the three-way race. 

Jeff Greene seems to be damaged goods at this point, because of the stories that have been making the rounds about the wild parties on his yacht.  While there are plenty of allegations but no proof of drug use or any other illegal activities, the stories are rather unsenatorial (as are the racy pictures), and the references to the 145ft yacht and the ultra-rich celebrity lifestyle of billionaire Greene strikes a discordant tone in these tough times.  If Greene wins the primary, Crist will attract many democrats who are underwhelmed by Greene, which would push Crist over the finish line ahead of Rubio.

There is scuttlebutt that even if Meek wins, democrat groups, including the DSCC, will support Crist, as he seems to have a better shot of winning than Meek and has indicated that, as an independent, he would caucus with the democrats.  Personally, I think it is highly unlikely that the DNC would back Crist over Meek (at least out in the open).  First, Crist is unreliable, as his jump from republican to independent solely to save his political hide illustrates, and second (and more importantly), Meek is an african-american democrat congressman running for a seat in the Senate - a Senate that will be seeing it's only black member, Roland Burris, leaving office in January.  If the DNC were to throw their support behind Crist instead of Meek, they run the risk of bad blood with the Congressional Black Caucus and potentially alienate the black community in the vital swing state that is Florida. 

If, however, Jeff Greene should happen to win the primary (a slim chance, as he's down 10 points in the polls), definitely expect the DNC to back Crist.  There has already been a national democrat-run fundraiser for him - perhaps a little bet-hedging?  It will be interesting to see what happens if Meek wins.  Dilemma, dilemma!

Finally, there is the McCollum/Scott faceoff.  This has been a hotly contested primary, with attack ads airing ad nauseum.  The winner will face democrat Alex Sink for the governor's mansion.  This race in particular has been attack-oriented and there has been so much mud slung that many Floridians are feeling a little dirty from it all.  McCollum is the front-runner, but Scott is fighting to the finish.  With a little luck, the general election will be more civil.  There has been so much finger-pointing and lesser-of-two-evils style campaigning that it would be nice to actually hear what the various candidates would like to accomplish if they win, instead of merely demonizing their opponents.  The McCollum/Scott matchup was particularly virulent.  Frankly, with all of the attacks, neither one of them are very appealing right now.  Hopefully, once the winner is announced, we will learn what he stands for - that would be a refreshing change.

Remember the days when attack ads were the last ditch effort at the end of the campaign?  Ah, the good old days.  Where once that tactic was called "going negative" it is now simply called "campaigning".  Instead of lists of pros and cons for each candidate, we are inundated with lists of cons only.  Which is actually rather fitting, considering how ethically challenged recent politicians have been.  A list of "cons" indeed - it's known as a ballot.

Happy Voting!

UPDATE:  The results are in - Kendrick Meek and Daniel Webster are moving on to the next round.  As of this writing, Rick Scott is ahead with 47% of  the vote, with 54% of precincts reporting.  The race should be called in his favor soon.  The players are now set, so let the games begin!

Monday, August 16, 2010


I was on vacation when the financial regulation legislation was passed.  They were still debating it before I left, and I thought it was rather chiilling that Senator Dodd (D-CT) came out and said:

“No one will know until this is actually in place how it works. But we believe we’ve done something that has been needed for a long time. It took a crisis to bring us to the point where we could actually get this job done.”

That's right, Senator Dodd - never let a good crisis go to waste!  His rhetoric about not knowing how it works is chilling on two levels.  First, if Dodd -one of the alleged co-authors of the bill - doesn't even know how it works, we're really screwed.  Second, we've heard that "we'll know when it's passed" line before:

For those not up on the latest ObamaCare outrage, the rationing has begun.

As for FinReg (aka the Frank-n-Dodd law), the first victim to be revealed is a key one - transparency.  The FinReg allows the SEC to ignore FOIA requests from the public.  This is hardly surprising in a bill whose details would not be released until after it's passage, from an administration that touts transparency but doesn't seem to know what the term really means.  Remember the five day rule?  How about posting bills for 72 hours online before a vote?  Remember how that turned out?  How about the transparency of Obama's appointed officials - oh, wait, czars don't need vetting or congressional approval

None of these things bode well for the country, but many of them can be fobbed off with some lame excuse or another from Media Matters.  The neo-pravda media certainly won't pursue them, and in the progressive world, if the press doen't think it is important, it must not be. 

However, Obama's recent transfer of "ethics czar" Norm Eisen to an ambassadorship in the Czech Republic and scrapping the position altogether seems to be the final nail in the transparency coffin.  Most of the duties Eisen performed are being shunted off on White House Counsel Bob Bauer, a hyperpartisan lawyer who, in 2006 blogged (via the Washington Examiner):

"disclosure is a mostly unquestioned virtue deserving to be questioned." This is the man the White House has put in charge of making this the most open White House ever.

Most telling might have been Bauer's statements about proposed regulations of 527 organizations: "If it's not done with 527 activity as we have seen, it will be done in other ways," he told the Senate rules committee.

"There are other directions, to be sure, that people are actively considering as we speak. Without tipping my hand or those of others who are professionally creative, the money will find an outlet."
Ah, transparency - why bother regulating something and keeping an eye on things to keep people honest - they're just going to eventually find a way around it anyway!

After all, this is the White House that is circumventing White House visitor logs by simply meeting with lobbyists and other special interests at the coffee shop across the street.  When you add in the neo-pravda media's tendencies to pander and obfuscate for their chosen party, there is most certainly a serious problem brewing.

There has been a disturbing trend developing with Pelosi, Obama and Reid - it seems that whatever they claim, the exact opposite is generally true.  So far, Obama's eliminating the position of transparency czar, and thus the pretense of transparency, is the truest thing this administration has done so far. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010


The situation imvolving the proposed mosque at Ground Zero is untenable.  That it has managed to get as far as it has is hard to comprehend.  Ground Zero is sacred ground, hallowed by the deaths of thousands of people of all nationalities, who were killed in the name of radical islam.  There is no other way to spin that fact - 9/11 was perpetrated by islamic extremists.  Now members of that same religion are insisting on building a 'cultural center' within the blast radius of the cataclysm perpetrated by followers of their faith.

The proposed mosque is nothing less than an affront to American sensibilities.  At one of the meetings held over Cordoba House, one gentleman equated the proposition to building a tribute to the Japanese over Pearl Harbor.  Well put, sir.  Both sites are sacred without being religious, and this seems to be something people like Mayor Bloomberg and Mark Levine just don't understand.  

Therein lies the problem in the American supporters of the mosque.  They buy the line about how harmless the mosque is - do they think those in opposition expect them to build gun turrets and missile launchers instead of a pool?  For those of a more religious bent - of which the people building the mosque are - there is a far deeper meaning to the chosen site.  This building was damaged by landing gear from one of the planes on 9/11.  It was in the circle of destruction.  Ground Zero isn't just where the footprints of the twin towers sat, it's the radius showered by debris.  There should be no mosque, temple or church built in those parameters.  The religion of the site is the site.

The perpetrators of 9/11 were religious, the same religion as the proposed mosque. Throughout history, religious wars were capped off with the building of the conqueror's place of worship over the ruins of the defeated, such as the Hindu temple of Ayodhya.  This tactic is to signal supremacy and subjugation, much as the romans chopped down the sacred oak groves in their attempt to conquer the celts. 

The supporters are trying to take the religion out of this story, emphasizing the "cultural center" and downplaying the mosque as just a small part of a larger, benign thing.  But for people waging a religious war - and make no mistake, this is all about religion - this sends a very clear signal.  It wouldn't be surprising if the proposed memorial to 9/11 is planned to be a plaque set into the floor -  the shoe throwing incident of 2008 illustrated their fixation with disrespecting people using footwear.  It would be par for the course, really.  After all, the dedication ceremony for the center is slated for September 11, 2011.  Just a coincidence, surely.

Supporters cannot understand why so many people are so vehement about this mosque. It's not that they want to build a mosque - it's that they want to build it there.  With all of the liberal talk about consideration for the feelings of others, there is little concern for the families of the victims, nor for the nation as a whole.  9/11 is a scar on the psyche of the country and this mosque not only rips that scar open, it pours salt in the wound.   The web site for the Cordoba Initiative states that their mission is to "Improve Muslim-West Relations".  Really?  How, exactly, is forcing the construction of this center, in the face of overwhelming opposition from the american people improving relations?  Calling the opposition bigots isn't exactly a way to win them over, either.  They have a right to express their pain and opposition, and considering they are in the majority, if improving relations was really the goal, their wishes would be heeded.  Ever since 9/11, we americans have been lectured on tolerance and understanding towards those of the muslim faith  And yet, when we demand a little of the same involving a project the imams in charge must have known would have been met with opposition, we are called bigots and intolerant.

This is an affront to our nation.  It is wildly unpopular, deeply painful, and, unsurprisingly, our president just gave the okay on it, stating the government cannot infringe on their right to practice religion.  We do not want to take away their ability to practice their religion, we just want them to do it a respectful distance from the site of an act of war perpetrated in the name of their religion.  That's not too much to ask, and if the imam was so interested in outreach, moving the mosque would be a no-brainer. 

It's time for the concerned citizens of New York to file an eminent domain suit.  Gov. Paterson offered state lands as compensation to persuade them to move a few blocks further away from Ground Zero in order to strike a compromise - a compromise many in the opposition would have been content with.  The offer was refused out of hand.  Eminent domain strips property owners of their rights in favor of the common good, after reasonable compensation has been offered and rejected.  In the case of this mosque, invoking eminent domain is for the good not just of the community, but the country at large. Frankly, there should be a ban on building any and all new religious sites within at least a five block radius of Ground Zero, no matter the denomination.  For any religion, it would be an attempt to lay claim to the site, and it cannot be claimed by one because it belongs to us all.

Are there legal grounds to block the building?  Unfortunately, no, not really - Obama is technically correct.  But there are moral grounds, and isn't that what social justice is all about?  The morality of the law and it's application?  Compassion for the suffering?  What is eminent domain but taking something from someone to give to another based on the good of the community?  As the CNN poll shows so plainly, a vast majority of people are against this building.  Large swathes of the public will suffer emotional harm with it's creation.  If taking private homes and making them into shopping centers is considered in the interests of the public, certainly stopping the construction of such an emotionally devastating structure as a muslim mosque within spitting distance of Ground Zero is, too.

Besides, there's a certain poetry about using social justice to attempt to block the building of the mosque, isn't there?

Monday, August 2, 2010


I am currently on vacation in the beautiful Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania. It had been a very stressful late spring/early summer, as my sister has been dealing with a fairly major health crisis over the past couple of months. We decided to come up to visit as soon as she was up for vistors. It's gorgeous up here, and my kids have been overwhelmed by the mountains, which they have never seen before, and their cousins (whom they have also never seen before), of which there are seven. It has been a wonderful week, full of much-needed laughter, and we will be heading down to Philadelphia in the next few days to take in the sights and visit with other family. I'm looking forward to visiting the Constitution Center, as well as the old city and possibly even a day trip to New York if we have time.

My sister lives in a lovely little town nestled in the gently rolling, ancient Poconos, in a house that was built in the late 1800's. The people here are what our president would call gun-toting bible-clingers. Real salt of the earth people, many of whom are farmers. As we were driving along one of the curving, undulating main roads one day, I saw a sign by the side of the road that led me to believe that Mr. Obama's policies aren't well liked here:

It was most unexpected. The sign belongs to a local farmer, who is obviously unhappy with the way Obama and Co. are handling things. Needless to say, I feel quite at home up here!

Cross Posted at The Sisterhood of the Mommy Patriots