(ACADEMIA) DISDAIN FOR THE MILITARY
For those of you who still don't believe the truth about the “so-called elite” academia separation from the world the rest of us know - particularly in its almost complete disdain for our military - this article by “one of its insiders” may serve as an eye-opener. It is only the tip of the iceberg of the ultra-liberal depths of all but a scant minority of those who administer and teach our young people in colleges and universities - not just in the Ivy League, but throughout America:
MY IVY LEAGUE SOLDIER
By Regina E. Herzlinger. From the Wall Street 4-2-03, forwarded by Larry Miller
It was a typical Cambridge, Massachusetts's dinner party.
The academic/professional guests were seated on damask-upholstered chairs perched on antique rugs, their charming, well-groomed images reflected in Chinese Chippendale-framed mirrors. They were onto a favorite topic - the
stupidity of W., Rumsfeld, and the war.
One, a hippie academic-turned-chef, was especially virulent. “This war won't accomplish anything. It is all about money. The Bushes are in bed with the oil industry. We are fighting to protect their interests.”
Do not get me wrong. This is not a tirade about the People's Republic of Cambridge. I heard identical remarks about Bill Clinton, William Cohen (then Secretary of Defense) and the military forays they waged. Only the setting differed. The speakers were businessmen and the ornate settings decidedly new - but the sentiments were identical.
The President and the Secretaries of Defense were dumb.
Their wars were stupid
Geez, I wish I were so stupid. Maybe my friends have the cunning, intellect, charm, stamina and emotional and physical discipline needed to become the
President of this huge, fractious nation; but I sure don't.
My husband broke into the conversation.
“This is not an academic discussion for us,” he noted. “Unlike most of his Harvard College 2000 classmates, our son Alex chose to serve his country as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Infantry. Stationed at Fort Drum, New York. He has just received deployment orders.”
It was as if he had switched on a flow of electricity. The tenor of the conversation changed entirely.
“I don't know anyone with a child in the military,” said the hippie. The other guests nodded in agreement.
“How do you feel about it?” he asked me.
“I was shocked when Alex told me of his decision to enroll in ROTC,” I said.
“Why don't you enlist when a noble war, like World War II, comes along?” I asked Alex. “The ROTC way you will serve at the whim of the President, no matter how distasteful you find the war.”
My then-18-year-old son calmly disagreed with me. “We need a standing military to preserve democracy,” he noted. “The military must serve the will of the country, not its own.” With this human face put on the war, the hippie's attitude changed. “Ask Alex if he wants me to cook him a meal when he comes home,” he said.
Alex's choice of ROTC at Harvard imposed substantial burdens on him. Harvard has no ROTC on campus. The faculty voted to ban it in 1969. On top of his academic work and beloved football team, Alex spent 10 hours a week at MIT's ROTC headquarters. His two burly roommates, football team buddies, recognized his load when they graciously gave him the only bedroom in their Leverett House quarters. Their show of support was hardly typical. I was among the few Harvard faculty present at Alex's ROTC graduation ceremony.
In 1957, 400 of 750 Princeton men served in the military. Last year it was three in a class of 1,000. The statistics are depressingly similar in other Ivy League schools.
Virtually all our friends noted them. When they asked about Alex's welfare, they said: “We do not know anybody else with a child in the military.”
One of the many horrors of the war in Vietnam was the inequity in our fighting forces, disproportionately drawn from minority groups and those with lower levels of education. Despite the vows to correct the problem, the widespread disdain in our elite academic institutions for the military has only exacerbated it. Absent broad representation from all strata of our society, the military, and the wars our soldiers fight, can remain a fantasy, virulently and easily decried.
But as Lincoln noted in yet another widely decried war fought predominantly by the lower classes, a house divided against itself cannot stand.
Ms. Herzlinger, the Nancy R. McPherson Professor at Harvard Business School, is a member of the U.S. Secretary of the Air Force's Scientific Advisory Board.
(ACADEMIA) FOOD FOR THOUGHT
By Russ Vaughn
I am so sick of the liberal left, both domestic and foreign, constantly berating America as being morally bankrupt and a plague upon mankind. To them, we are quite singularly responsible for all the evil in the world through our crass, greedy, capitalistic practices.
So, tonight, this unapologetic capitalist is watching Oliver North's War Stories and I'm seeing American sailors who survived the sinking of their ship and were imprisoned by the Japanese. A photo reveals their starkly emaciated condition upon their post-war emancipation, graphic evidence of the cruel deprivation inflicted upon them by the Japanese. A now robust surviving sailor tells Ollie he came out of that camp weighing 95 pounds.
I think about that for a moment and a kaleidoscope of such images that I have witnessed in my sixty-three years lights up my mind: innumerable accounts of the gross mistreatment of prisoners from many sources; the bone-visible survivors of Auschwitz and other German concentration camps; the human skeletons emerging from the Philippine hellholes the Japanese maintained; the skeletal denizens of the Soviet gulag, starved and worked to death for transgressions against the regime; American POW's, repatriated from North Korea and Vietnam. And, more recently, I recall the videos of bloated bellied African toddlers, starved by an uncaring, despotic government in Sudan.
But you know one image that isn't there? I delve deep into my mind trying to find even one example and I cannot find it. Can you guess what it is?
Try this: go back through all your experiences of the twentieth century and try to come up with one, just one, just one single image of a starving, emaciated prisoner in the custody of American troops or the American government. I'm not saying it may not exist, but if it did, don't you think some self-loathing, America-hating college professor would have revealed it to the world by now? Yes, mistreatment occurred on both sides during our civil war, but by the time I grew up, literally in middle America, in a small town in Oklahoma, attitudes had changed; the German POW's incarcerated in our local prison were well treated, well fed, and encouraged to be healthy contributors to our economy. They did.
And that, folks, says a hell of a lot about us, about you, about me, and about this great country, which together, we comprise.
Yeah, we may take some terror suspects into custody and interrogate them aggressively. We may imprison Taliban suspects in Guantanamo and deprive them of sleep and discomfit them in other ways in our efforts to glean battlefield intelligence from them. We may even have committed the horrible transgression of putting panties (gasp) over some terrorists' heads in Abu Ghraib. But guess what? None of them, not one single prisoner whom I've seen in the mainstream media's avalanche of news reports of our horrible transgressions, exhibits any evidence of being starved.
Nope - they all look amazingly well fed, don't they? There wasn't one single scarecrow in that pornographic pyramid of prisoners in Abu Ghraib. Nope, all those butts looked amazingly rotund and well fed, didn't they? Admittedly, they're kinda skinny by American standards, but there's not one human skeleton in the lot as far as I've been able to determine, not a single starvation induced, skin-stretching rib or jauntily jutting hipbone in evidence in any one of those pictures.
So what does that say, America, about our moral bankruptcy, our inhumanity and our lack of concern for our fellow man? Well, it tells this ol' Texas boy that all those pointy-headed academics, like that phony, overweight, cigar-store Indian, Ward Churchill, and all his loudly complaining, liberal supporters, don't have one single clue about the real evils that exist in this world. From their ivory castles, they hurl barbed charges against us, you and me, ordinary folks, proclaiming us the spawn of the Devil because we support that other devil, Karl Rove, who is out to put them all in chains. They are clueless, totally clueless; and they damned sure don't have a clue about the good fortune that has been visited upon them by their birthright to be citizens of this great nation, a nation that, in spite of all its faults, does not starve its prisoners.
There is no greater cruelty in life than that of depriving a living creature of food to the point of starvation.
Just think about that, all you pet-owning, America-hating Liberals, and then consider your political friends.
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
(MORALS) CHANGE IN AMERICA (1994)
I grew up in an era when teachers were in control of the classroom and if you got into trouble you could expect a lot worse when you went home — where parents were in control. Children, and adults alike, respected authority and those in authority respected this trust and seldom abused it. There was no television and we entertained ourselves by reading books that were not inundated with four-letter smut. “Damn” was the most serious four-letter word ever uttered in a movie when I was a teenager. Going to church and trying to practice what was preached was typical activity in most communities.
So, in what century did I grow up, you ask?
Admittedly, I am older than most who will read this - having served in the Navy through WWII, Korea and Vietnam, and having witnessed many changes taking place in the military, the government, and the American people. Change is inevitable, but I wonder at what point did our national morality start to change, and why?
Some say it began with permissive education back in the 50s. Others blame the beatniks, hippies, flower children, the Vietnam war, our materialistic society, etc., etc. I don't know, but for whatever reasons, it has manifested itself in epic proportions. A maze of moral and ethical problems permeate our society today, from the White House, Congress, Supreme Court on down to state and local governments, corporations, educational systems, and, yes, even our religious institutions.
Young people are products of their home life, school life, what they see on TV — and, especially, what they see parents, community leaders, and public officials do. Given today's standards of morality, are we really surprised that such noble institutions as our military academies have sexual harassment and cheating scandals, limited though they may be in number, despite the efforts of those in charge to instill a sense of honor and excellence?
Are we really shocked at the bawdy incidents of the Tailhook fiasco, when we see and condone rampant sex in movies and on TV? Was Secretary of the Navy Dalton wrong for expecting the top brass (who were aware of such misbehavior and did nothing about it) to shoulder some of the responsibility for it? It seems a miscarriage of justice that almost everyone involved came away with little more than a slap on the wrist while the Navy got another black eye!
What can we do to improve the situation? Maybe some of our bright, practical and principled young military people leaving the services will become educators, law enforcement officials, community leaders, or run for political office to give the pendulum a push in the other direction.
Maybe some of the individuals who think their one vote makes no difference will start voting their conscience instead of their party. Maybe more of our military and civilian leaders will begin leading by example.
If we cannot solve this problem of ethics and morality, how can we expect to alleviate problems of crime, violence, sexual misconduct, fraud, and all of the other problems that plague our society?
1906 IN REVIEW
Forwarded by rvee
What a difference a century makes!
U.S. statistics one hundred years ago.
- The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.
- Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.
- Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
- A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.
- There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads.
- The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
- Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee each had more people than California. With a mere 1.4 million people, California was only the 21st most populous state.
- The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
- The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents per hour — $200-400 per year.
- A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 per year… a dentist $2,500… veterinarian $1,500-4,000…and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
- More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.
- 90% of all U.S. doctors had no college education. Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many condemned by press and government as “substandard.”
- Sugar cost 4¢ per pound… eggs 14¢ per dozen… coffee 15¢ per pound.
- Women washed their hair only once a month using borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
- Canada passed a law banning poor people from their country for any reason.
- The leading causes of death in the U.S. were: pneumonia and influenza… tuberculosis… diarrhea… heart disease… stroke.
- The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.
- The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30.
- Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn't been invented yet.
- There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
- Two out of every 10 U.S. adults couldn't read or write.
- Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
- 18% of U.S. households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.
- There were about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.A.
Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.
BOY SCOUTS FIGHT BACK
By Julia Dunn, The Washington Times, Mar 7 2004
The northwest corner of Balboa Park in downtown San Diego is an oasis of pine trees, a pool, a tiny amphitheater, an archery range, a rifle range, an activity center for knot tying plus several campsites.
Ordinarily, the 15.6 acres that has been leased to the Boy Scouts of America since 1957 is a restful spot and an easy commute for residents who want a quick escape to parkland within city limits. The Boy Scouts have invested at least $5 million in the park, which is open to the public.
All this is now up for grabs because of a lawsuit seeking to remove the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) from their land. It is one of many battles nationwide affecting an organization serving one million boys ages 11 to 17 that in 2000 won a Supreme Court decision in Boy Scouts of America vs. Dale, allowing the BSA to ban homosexuals from scoutmaster positions.
In the past four years, numerous lawsuits have been filed against the Boy Scouts, at least 60 United Way chapters have withdrawn funding, and government officials from San Diego to Hartford, Conn., are saying the Scouts' exclusion of homosexuals should not go unchallenged.
The newest case, Boy Scouts vs. Wyden, is before the Supreme Court, which is expected to announce soon whether it will take the case. The Balboa Park case began four years ago when the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit on behalf of two couples: a pair of lesbians and an agnostic couple with Scout-age sons.
Although neither couple had ever visited the property, both claimed the Scouts' policies compelling boys to believe in God and shunning homosexuals made them feel excluded. The suit also said the city was violating the doctrine of separation of church and state with its 50-year, $1-a-year agreement with the Boy Scouts allowing it to lease the 15 acres from Balboa Park's total spread of 1,200 acres. When the lease was renewed in 2002, the Boy Scouts agreed to spend another $1.7 million during the next seven years to upgrade the park plus pay the city a $2,500 administrative fee.
Also at risk is less than an acre five miles away on Fiesta Island in San Diego's Mission Bay Park, where the Scouts built a $2 million aquatic center. But in July 2003, U.S. District Judge Napoleon Jones ruled the BSA is a religious organization and, thus, the city was violating the separation of church and state by leasing them the land.
The Scouts protested that their aim was not to advance religion but to support camping and water sports for boys. Their Web site says their goal is to “build in young people lifetime values and develop in them ethical character,” as well as “offer young people responsible fun and adventure.”
In January, the San Diego City Council, a co-defendant with the Boy Scouts of America and the BSA's Desert Pacific Council, bailed out, settling with the ACLU for $950,000.
The Boy Scouts since have filed suit against the city of San Diego for breaking the lease, claiming the city's refusal to lease to the Scouts on the same terms available to other groups violates the Scouts' First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of association, as well as their 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law.
On Feb. 24, the Scouts amended the suit, claiming that city employees are now harassing and mistreating the Scouts by photographing their vehicles and levying thousands of dollars of parking tickets against the Scouts.
“The San Diego case represents an ominous metamorphosis in the gay rights movement,” wrote Peter Ferrara, executive director of the American Civil Rights Union, in the Weekly Standard. “Gay rights used to represent the freedom for adults to do what they want to with their sex lives behind closed doors…. But what the ACLU seeks now is something quite different. It is pursuing the vilification and marginalization of those who hold to traditional morality.”
Martha Matthews, a staff attorney for the ACLU of Southern California, says the Boy Scouts wants it both ways. “I don't know of any other group with exclusionary membership policies that wants to receive public subsidies,” she said. “You can't do both of these things at the same time.”
Thursday night, the Justice Department's civil rights division filed a friend-of-the-court brief siding with the Scouts. “Quite simply, the Boy Scouts of America is not a church and canoeing, kayaking and swimming are not religious activities,” said R. Alexander Acosta, assistant attorney general. “Boy Scouts should not be prohibited from using public lands on an equal basis with other youth groups.”
All over the country, the Boy Scouts are being thrown out of public facilities that are open to other similarly situated groups — such as the Girl Scouts — as retribution, they claim, for the Dale case. Since 1975, the Boy Scouts have won more than 30 lawsuits challenging the Scouts' membership standards requiring Scouts to believe in God, be male and not openly homosexual. In the Dale case, the Supreme Court ruled the Boy Scouts are a private organization with a constitutionally protected right of freedom of association to set membership standards.
Scores of organizations sympathetic to homosexual rights began punishing the Scouts by withdrawing facilities, discounts and funds.
In Connecticut, the Boy Scouts for the past 30 years have been one of 900 charities on a list that Connecticut state employees could donate to via payroll deduction. Included on the list were many groups limited by religion: (Lutheran World Relief, Catholic Family Services, Jewish Family Services); by race (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), by sex (Girl Scouts) or sexual practice (Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund; Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective; Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays and the Stonewall Foundation, a homosexual lobbying group).
Several of these organizations, such as Stonewall, had gone on record to say their organizations would exclude as leaders anyone who opposed homosexual rights.
In May 2000, the state of Connecticut excised the four state Boy Scout councils from the employee list because of its stance on homosexuals.
The Connecticut River Council, which received at least $10,000 a year from the employee list, filed suit, saying it is not subject to the state's public anti-discrimination law because it is a private organization. It also said the state was denying its employees freedom of speech by not allowing them to contribute through the charitable-giving campaign.
“If you're a weirdo fringe loser, you can have all the free speech you want,” said BSA attorney George Davidson at a Feb. 3 speech to the Federalist Society. “The ACLU will fall all over itself to defend the American Nazis and the Klan. But woe betides any mainstream American institution that dares to buck the tide of political correctness. The ACLU and its fellow travelers of the thought police will seek to silence its voice through the litigation process,” he said.
The state said it is not forcing the Scouts to change its policy on its leaders, but nothing mandates it to cooperate with the Scouts. “No state facility may be used to further discrimination based on sexual orientation; no state agency shall be a party to discrimination,” said C. Joan Parker, assistant commission counsel for the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.
The Wyden case is similar, she said, to when the U.S. military — which has a “don't ask, don't tell” rule toward homosexual members — sought to recruit at the University of Connecticut law school in the mid-1990s. The state Supreme Court barred the recruiters, saying even to simply make space available and coordinate the military's visit would make the state party to discrimination.
Unlike the 2000 Dale case, wherein the New Jersey Boy Scouts were ordered to retain James Dale as a leader, Connecticut is not mandating the BSA accept or admit anyone, she said.
“The Boy Scouts cannot participate because it would cause the state of Connecticut to be party to discrimination,” Ms. Parker said. More than two-dozen other organizations, she added, were taken off the campaign list in 2000 for not submitting proof of a nondiscrimination policy. They included two YMCA affiliates, Catholic Family Services of Danbury, Conn., Prison Fellowship International and World Vision; the latter two are evangelical Christian groups.
She said the Scouts asked for a religious exemption in allowing them to stay on the campaign list, which was refused when the state of Connecticut declared they are not a religious association.
Second Circuit Court Judge Guido Calabresi, who upheld the state's decision in July, informed the Boy Scouts in a footnote to his ruling the state was free to make the BSA “pay a price” for its stand on God and homosexuals.
This infuriated the BSA. “If the state is entitled to … require charities to pay a price, the impact of that is bounded only by the imagination of public officials hostile to religion or traditional moral values,” Mr. Davidson said.
“Can a church group reserve a softball diamond or a picnic area at a park, or are they to 'pay a price' for having limited their clergy to males or having other policies not favored by elected officials? And to get a little more extreme, if an Orthodox synagogue catches on fire, does the state have to send a fire engine?”
The Boy Scouts said the 2nd Circuit's decision is one more case of “viewpoint discrimination” the Supreme Court has struck down in recent years in cases such as Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches School District, Good News v. Milford Central School District and Rosenberger v. University of Virginia.
However, there are 150 government charitable campaigns around the country and a dozen states that have the same nondiscrimination laws as Connecticut, and if the Supreme Court turns down Wyden v. BSA on this round, similar cases will pop up.
“In one form or another,” Mr. Davidson said, “it is a case the Supreme Court will have to take
The Boy Scouts say what is happening to them today — in losing the benefits of tax-exempt groups — can happen to other groups tomorrow.
In Portland, Ore., the United Way will cut off at least $150,000 per year starting in July for about 53,000 inner-city youths served by the Boy Scouts. Activities included soccer for Hispanic youths in Clackamas County and camp-outs, community service and a Soap Box Derby in mainly black northeast Portland. After homosexual rights activists pressured the United Way to dump the group, an Oregonian columnist criticized the agency for forsaking poor, minority young people.
“Boy Scouts may not accept gays,” wrote S. Renee Mitchell last April, “but it does a better job than many United Way agencies at reaching out to everybody else.”
The California Supreme Court in June ordered that any state judges volunteering with the BSA as Scout leaders remove themselves from cases involving homosexuals.
In Berkeley, Calif., an affiliate known as the Sea Scouts has been denied free berthing rights at the local dock since 1998 because of the BSA's position. Even though the Sea Scouts insisted it does not discriminate, but could not renounce BSA policy if it wished to keep its charter, Berkeley city officials said they were within their rights to cease treating the BSA like other tax-exempt organizations. An appeal is being processed with the California Supreme Court.
In San Bernadino County, east of Los Angeles, the ACLU in January 2003 sued the BSA's Old Baldy Council because the Scouts, it said, falsely claimed they would comply with state anti-discrimination laws in order to get a $15,000 federal grant. The case is still in District Court.
In 2000, in response to the Dale decision, the delegates to the National Education Association's annual meeting adopted a resolution calling on school boards “to establish policies requiring that all private organizations using school facilities have nondiscriminatory membership policies.”
In response, Congress in 2001 voted 51-49 to deny federal education dollars to school districts that discriminate against the Scouts.
As pointed out by then-Sen. Jesse Helms, the North Carolina Republican who sponsored the legislation, the “very same meeting places at schools remain open to over 800 Gay-Straight Student Alliance clubs.”
CAN MUSLIMS BE GOOD AMERICANS?
Can a devout Muslim be an American patriot and a loyal citizen? Consider this:
- Domestically, no. Because he is instructed to marry four women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34).
- Geographically, no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.
- Intellectually, no. Because he cannot accept the American Constitution, since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.
- Philosophically, no. Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran do not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot coexist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.
- Politically, no. Because he must submit to the mullah (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America, the great Satan.
- Religiously, no. Because no other religion is accepted by his Allah except Islam (Quran, 2:256)
- Scripturally, no. Because his allegiance is to the five pillars of Islam and the Quran (Koran).
- Socially, no. Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.
- Spiritually, no. Because when we declare “one nation under God,” the Christian's God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as our heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in the Quran's 99 excellent names.
- Theologically, no. Because his allegiance is to Allah, the moon god of Arabia.
Therefore, after much study and deliberation, perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously cannot be both good Muslims and good Americans.
Call it what you wish… it's still the truth.
If you find yourself intellectually in agreement with the above, perhaps you will share this with your friends. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country.
Pass it on. This war is bigger than we know.
CAN’T BLAME WHITE PEOPLE
Here are a few of the comments by Bill Cosby which stirred debate following his May 17th speech at a Brown v. Board of Education anniversary celebration in the nation's capital:
“People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education, and now we've got these knuckleheads walking around. . . . The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting.”
“I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was 2? Where were you when he was 12? Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn't know that he had a pistol? And where is the father?”
“People putting their clothes on backward: Isn't that a sign of something gone wrong? . . . People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn't that a sign of something, or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up? Isn't it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up . . . and got all type of needles (piercing) going through her body? What part of Africa did this come from? We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don't know a thing about Africa.”
“With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap, and all of them are in jail. Brown versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person's problem. We have got to take the neighborhood back. . . . They are standing on the corner and they can't speak English.”
“People used to be ashamed. . . . [Today] a woman has eight children with eight different 'husbands,' or men or whatever you call them now.”
“The idea is to one day get out of the projects. You don't just stay there.”
“We have millionaire football players who can't read. We have million-dollar basketball players who can't write two paragraphs.”
“We cannot blame white people…”
“The incarcerated? These are not political criminals. These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake and then we run out and we are outraged, saying, 'The cops shouldn't have shot him.' What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?”
Source: The Washington Post
See also this story that goes more into detail. [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/26/opinion/meyer/main619640.shtml ]
CHALLENGING JESSE JACKSON
By Columnist Mychal Massie, September 2006
Forwarded by Frieda-Lynn
Dear Rev. Jackson:
I read with interest your Sept. 12, 2006, article “Goodwill, unity, money have been squandered since Sept. 11,” which appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times.
I do not object, as such, to your poisonous screed directed at President Bush. I object to the substance that so freely flows from your mouth and that can best be likened unto that which is consistent with encopresis - albeit in your case, the malady can hardly be defined as involuntary.
You purport yourself to be a minister, a reverend, a so-called man of God - but a minister is a servant and a reverend is a member of the clergy, which means said individual is to be obedient unto the God he serves. If one serves the “god” of chaos, deceit, lies, whore-mongering, dysfunction, greed and resentment, then perhaps within ecclesiastical environs it can be said you serve well.
Apart from same being the case, you are antithetical of everything that can remotely be identified as a biblical servant of the true “Living God.” But I get ahead of myself.
In the piece you wrote, our military is “stranded in Iraq with inadequate training and inadequate direction,” on what did you base that premise? On what basis do you brand the finest all-volunteer military in the history of civilization as poorly trained and inept? Or was your statement an effluence based on an apriori moment designed to gain political points for the upcoming election?
You spoke of “catastrophic climate change, global pandemics and
unsustainable trade deficits” but you never make mention of the catastrophic zeitgeist that has wreaked havoc and “more economic damage” upon the community you self-servingly claim to represent.
You are never heard making reference to the “pandemic” level of black on black crime, black abortion rates, black single-parent homes (albeit you contributed to those numbers) and black criminal behavior, all of which threatens the future of blacks as a whole.
You wrote that the president, “instead of asking Americans to sacrifice to meet the challenge (of 9/11), called on them, literally, to go shopping.” You condescendingly wrote, “He allowed business as usual to go on in Washington.”
I ask you, how much more could Americans have sacrificed than watching their innocent family members and co-citizens perish? How much more sacrifice could the president have called upon the people to make? Or by sacrifice were you saying that the president could have called upon Americans to give more pints of blood or more supplies to charity groups that were immediately besieged with donations?
Perhaps you reasoned that ordinary people performing extraordinary acts of volunteerism and acts of mercy were not sacrifice enough. Or were you suggesting that President Bush should have ordered everyone to hide under their kitchen tables and quake in fear?
What part of the American spirit do you perceive wasn't grieving after those attacks? What do you believe the people of Washington and its metropolitan area experienced daily as they commuted past the final resting place of those aboard United Flight 77? What would you have done differently? How would you have displayed leadership?
In the article, you spoke of the 9/11 commission being nonpartisan. Does that include Richard Ben-Veniste and Jamie Gorelick? You derided the very intelligence tools that have prevented terrorist attacks on our soil since 9/11.
You intentionally and erroneously labeled domestic eavesdropping as warrantless wiretapping,” never mentioning that it prevented Lyman Farris
from blowing up the Brooklyn Bridge, was instrumental in protecting the Sears Towers and was key in uncovering the UK suicide bombers' plan to blow up 10 international passenger planes just one month ago.
You blame the president for bringing “discredit to the nation across the world.”
My question to you is, who brought discredit on the nation in 1979
when we had a president who betrayed a trusted ally and was unable to free Americans held hostage?
Who rought “discredit” on America in the years preceding 9/11, as the mongrel followers of a pedophile and false god bombed American interests around the world? Is President Bush to blame for the 1993 World Trade Tower bombings?
You referred to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as “ugly and dishonest.” I ask you, is that not a more appropriate self-description? You are the man who rubbed the blood of a fallen hero on your clothing and then lied, saying he died in your arms.
Shall we outline your financial dealings?
You claim the president's credibility is gone, when in truth it is you who has no credibility. President Bush is fulfilling the role of his office. But as a minister, can the same be said of you?
Are you fulfilling God's prescripts for the priestly office you claim to hold? How many people have you personally led to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ? How many people have you preached the salvation message to? What have you done to bring glory and honor to the name of Christ? Is that what you were doing as you paraded your pregnant mistress around the White House while supposedly ministering to a president taken with sexual sin of his own?
“Goodwill, unity, money” have indeed been squandered, but not since 9/11. They have been squandered on you and your morally depraved kind. You claim a title that should offer “hope,” but instead you offer fool's parsley.
My prayer for you would be, and is, that you would confess the error of your ways while there is yet time, because the “Living God” takes a dim view of those who intentionally lead his children astray.
Mychal S. Massie
P.S. I am available to debate you, anywhere, on the relative principles of your ersatz theology versus true Christianity.
Mychal Massie is a nationally recognized political activist, pundit and columnist. He is host of the widely popular talk show “Straight Talk.” He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, Comcast Cable and talk radio programming nationwide. He is a former self-employed business owner of over 30 years and a member of the conservative public policy institute National Center for Public Policy Research-Project 21.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
Forwarded by Wendeevee. No original source given
If the Earth’s total population were reduced to that of a small town with 100 people, it would look something like this:
- 57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 Americans (northern and southern), 8 Africans
- 52 women, 48 men
- 70 colored-skins, 30 Caucasians
- 89 heterosexuals, 11 homosexuals
- 6 people would own 59% of the whole world wealth and all of them will be in the United States of America
- 80 would have bad living conditions, 70 would be uneducated, 50 underfed, 1 would die, 2 would be born,
- 1 would have a computer, 1 (only one) would have higher education
When you look at the world from this point of view, you can see there is a real need for solidarity, understanding, patience and education.
Also think about the following:
- This morning, if you woke up healthy, then you are happier than the 1 million people that will not survive next week.
- If you never suffered a war, the loneliness of the jail cell, the agony of torture, or hunger, you are happier than 500 million people in the world.
- If you can enter into a church or mosque without fear of jail or death, you are happier then 3 million people in the world.
- If there is a food in your fridge, you have shoes and clothes, you have bed and a roof, you are richer than 75% of the people in the world.
- If you have bank account, money in your wallet and some coins in the money-box, you belong to the 8% of the people on the world, who are well-to-do.
- If you read this you are three times blessed because: Somebody just thought of you, you don't belong to the 200 million people that cannot read and… you have a computer!
As somebody once said: “Work as if you don't need money, love as if you've never been hurt, dance as if nobody can see you, sing as if no one can hear, live as if the Earth was a Heaven.”
DARKENING OF CIVILIZATION
Among his many varied interests, my son Gary Varner is a book lover, rare book collector, and former dabbler in rare book sales. He is also a self-taught computer genius on whom I rely when problems arise that I can’t fix - which occurs frequently. Obviously, he didn’t inherit his computer talent genes from me!
During the Christmas holidays he visited in Boston, New York City and New Hampshire, where he found great pleasure in its unrivaled access to literature and the New England experience in early America. I believe he was smitten in more ways than one.
Of his several web sites. one is a blog format http://inkmuse.com/imblog/ [http://inkmuse.com/imblog/] that often includes some meaty subjects worthy of passing along to my own readers. He included the following insert within his recent article, A Book Lover’s Lament - and I thought it so descriptive of what is happening to the America I knew in my younger years (oh-so long ago) that those of you who also are “seniors” will certainly find an appropriate and alarming description of what is unfolding in this darkening of civilization.
Some of you “juniors” might take note as well, and possibly try to do something about it before it is too late.
From THE HOUND, by John Usher, copyright 2004. Permission to reproduce is granted to all upon request with proper attribution.
Ever thankful to those who made the effort before us, with heartfelt apologies to those who are still in the fight and the few who support them — offered upon the closing of Avenue Victor Hugo Bookshop in Boston.
TWELVE REASONS FOR THE DEATH OF MALL AND INDEPENDENT BOOK STORES
Corporate Law (and the politicians, lawyers, businessmen and accountants who created it for their own benefit) — a legal fiction with more rights than the individual citizen, which allows the likes of Barnes & Noble and Wal-Mart to write off the losses of a store in Massachusetts against the profit of another in California, while paying taxes in Delaware — for making ‘competition’ a joke and turning the free market down the dark road toward state capitalism.
Publishers — marketing their product like so much soap or breakfast cereal, aiming at demographics instead of people, looking for the biggest immediate return instead of considering the future of their industry, ignoring the art of typography, the craft of binding, and needs of editing, all to make a cheapened product of glue and glitz — for being careless of a 500 year heritage with devastating result.
Book Buyers — those who want the ‘convenience’ and ‘cost savings’ of shopping in malls, over the quaint, the dusty, or the unique; who buy books according to price instead of content, and prefer what is popular over what is good — for creating a mass market of the cheap, the loud, and the shiny.
Writers — who sell their souls to be published, write what is already being written or choose the new for its own sake, opt to feed the demands of editors rather than do their own best work, place style over substance, and bear no standards — for boring their readers unto television.
Booksellers — who supply the artificial demand created by marketing departments for the short term gain, accept second class treatment from publishers, push what is ‘hot’ instead of developing the long term interest of the reader — for failing to promote quality of content and excellence in book making.
Government (local, state and federal) — which taxes commercial property to the maximum, driving out the smaller and marginal businesses which are both the seed of future enterprise and the tradition of the past, while giving tax breaks to chain stores, thus killing the personality of a city — for producing the burden of tax codes only accountants can love.
Librarians — once the guardians, who now watch over their budgets instead — for destroying books which would last centuries to find room for disks and tapes which disintegrate in a few years and require costly maintenance or replacement by equipment soon to be obsolete.
Book collectors — who have metamorphosed from book worms to moths attracted only to the bright; once the sentinels of a favorite author’s work, now mere speculators on the ephemeral product of celebrity — for putting books on the same level with beanie babies.
Teachers — assigning books because of topical appeal, or because of their own lazy familiarity, instead of choosing what is best; thus a tale about the teenage angst of a World War Two era prep school boy is pushed at students who do not know when World War Two took place — for failing to pass the torch of civilization to the next generation.
Editors — who have forgotten the editorial craft — for servicing the marketing department, pursuing fast results and name recognition over quality of content and offering authors the Faustian bargain of fame and fortune, while pleading their best intentions like goats.
Reviewers — for promoting what is being advertised, puffing the famous to gain attention, being petty and personal, and praising the obscure with priestly authority — all the while being paid by the word.
The Public — those who do not read books, or can not find the time; who live by the flickering light of the television, and will be the first to fear the darkening of civilization — for not caring about consequences.
Thus, we come to the twilight of the age of books; to the closing of the mind; to the pitiful end of the quest for knowledge—and stare into the cold abyss of night. - John Usher
This is a rerun of something you may have missed. This beautiful article arrived with no original source given. Searching for its origin through more than 700 Web articles relating to “Divine Plan,” I came up empty-handed. I found this article several times - some artfully presented with musical background, etc. - but none included the author's name. Despite not being able to acknowledge its source, this story may bring a tear of joy to your eye, so it is worthy of your time to read:
A PIECE OF THE DIVINE PLAN
At a fundraising dinner for a school that included learning-disabled children, the father of one of the school's students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended.
After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question. “Everything God does is done with perfection. Yet, my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is God's plan reflected in my son?”
The audience was stilled by the query. The father continued. “I believe,” the father answered, “that when God brings a child like Shay into the world, an opportunity to realize the Divine Plan presents itself. And it comes in the way people treat that child.” Then, he told the following story:
Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, “Do you think they will let me play?” Shay's father knew that most boys would not want him on their team. But the father understood that if his son were allowed to play it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging.
Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field and asked if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said, “We are losing by six runs, and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning.” In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.
At the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the outfield. Although no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base. Shay was scheduled to be the next at-bat. Would the team actually let Shay bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have ended the game.
Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman. Everyone started yelling, “Shay, run to first. Run to first.” Never in his life had Shay ever made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone yelled, “Run to second, run to second!” By the time Shay was rounding first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman for a tag. But the right fielder understood what the pitcher's intentions had been, so he threw the ball high and far over the third baseman's head. Shay ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. As Shay reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base, and shouted, “Run to third!” As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams were screaming, “Shay! Run home!” Shay ran home, stepped on home plate and was cheered as the hero, for hitting a “grand slam” and winning the game for his team.
“That day,” said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, “the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of the Divine Plan into this world.”
And now, a footnote to the story: We all send thousands of jokes through e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages regarding life choices, people think twice about sharing. The crude, vulgar, and sometimes the obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of decency is too often suppressed in school and the workplace.
If you are thinking about forwarding this message, you are probably thinking about which people on your address list aren't the “appropriate” ones to receive this type of message.
The person who sent this to you believes that we can all make a difference. We all have thousands of opportunities a day to help realize your God's plan. So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:
Do we pass along a spark of the Divine? Or do we pass up that opportunity, and leave the world a bit colder in the process?
You have two choices now:
1. Forget this. Or
2. Forward it to the people you care about.
You can see the choice I made - I sent it to you!
EDUCATION IN YESTERYEARS
Forwarded by Larry Miller
Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they had only an 8th grade education? Well, check this out. How many of you today could pass this 8th Grade final exam given more than 100 years ago?
The following was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, Kansas, and reprinted by the Salina Journal.
EIGHTH GRADE FINAL EXAM, SALINA, KANSAS - 1895
GRAMMAR (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph.
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of “lie,” “play,” and “run.”
5. Define case; Illustrate each case.
6. What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.
ARITHMETIC (Time, 1.25 hours)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50-cents per bushel, deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?
4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find the cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per metre?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.
U. S. HISTORY(Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.
ORTHOGRAPHY (Time, one hour)
1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication.
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals.
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u.'
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.
GEOGRAPHY (Time, one hour)
1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America.
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.
Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete.
This gives the saying “he had only an 8th grade education” new meaning, doesn't it?
It also shows how poor our education system has become… and, no, they didn't include the answers!
Wouldn't it be interesting to know how many high school teachers and other college graduates could get a passing grade on this exam today?
Probably not many!
ESPECIALLY FOR YOUTH
My Wish For The Younger Generation
By Paul Harvey
We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I'd like better.
I'd really like for you to know about hand-me-down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches.
I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated.
I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car. And I really hope nobody gives you a brand-new car when you are sixteen.
It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.
I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.
I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother/sister. And it's all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he's scared, I hope you let him.
When you want to see a movie and your little brother/sister wants to tag along, I hope you'll let him/her.
I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely.
On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don't ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.
If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one.
I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books
When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.
I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a boy or girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like.
May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole.
I don't care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don't like it. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he or she is not your friend.
I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandma/Grandpa and go fishing with your Uncle.
May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays.
I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor's window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Hanukah/Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.
These things I wish for you — tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it's the only way to appreciate life is written with a pen, sealed with a kiss.
FLY THE FLAG
Forwarded by Harold Green
Please join us in the FLY THE FLAG campaign and please forward this article (or a link to it) immediately to everyone in your address book asking them to also forward it.
As of today, August 30, there is only 12 days and counting to get the word out all across this great land and into every community in the United States of America. If you forward this to least 11 people and each of those people do the same, it can be done.
THE PROGRAM IS THIS:
On Monday, September 11th, 2006, an American flag should be displayed outside every home, apartment, office, and store in the United States. Every individual should make it their duty to display an American flag on this fifth anniversary of one of our nation's worst tragedy.
We do this in honor of those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain, and those who today are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms.
In the days, weeks and months following 9/11, our country was bathed in American flags as citizens mourned the incredible losses and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism.
Sadly, those flags have all but disappeared.
Our patriotism pulled us through some tough times and it should not take another attack to galvanize us in solidarity. Our American flag is the fabric of our country and together we can prevail over terrorism of all kinds.
- Forward this to everyone you know (at least 11 people). Please don't be the one to break this chain. Take a moment to think back to how you felt on 9/11 and let those sentiments guide you.
- Fly an American flag of any size on 9/11. Honestly, Americans should fly the flag year-round, but if you don't, then at least make it a priority on this day.
Thank you for your participation. God Bless You and God Bless America
FREE ENTERPRISE AND WORK ETHIC
Forwarded by Airburd. No original source, title, author given.
An unemployed father, desperate to support his wife and three kids, applied for a janitor's job at a large firm and easily passed an aptitude test.
The human resources manager told him, “You will be hired at minimum wage of $5.15 an hour. Let me have your e-mail address so that we can get you in the computer. Our system will automatically e-mail you all the forms and advise you when to start and where to report on your first day.”
Taken aback, the man protested that he is poor and had neither a computer nor an e-mail address.
To this the manager replied, “You must understand, to a company like ours, that means you virtually do not exist. Without an e-mail address you can hardly expect to be employed by a high-tech firm. Good day.”
Stunned, the man left. Not knowing where to turn and having only $10 in his wallet, he walked past a farmers' market and saw a stand selling 25 lb. crates of beautiful red tomatoes.
He bought a crate, carried it to a busy corner and displayed the tomatoes. In less than two hours he sold all the tomatoes and made 100% profit. Repeating the process several times more that day, he ended up with almost $100 and arrived home that night with several bags of groceries for his family.
During the night he decided to repeat the tomato business the next day. By the end of the week he was rising early every day and working into the night. His profits multiplied quickly.
Early in the second week he acquired a cart to transport several boxes of tomatoes at a time, and by the end of the month sold the cart to buy a broken-down pickup truck.
At the end of a year he owned three old trucks. His two sons had left their neighborhood gangs to help him with the tomato business, his wife was buying the tomatoes, and his daughter was taking night courses at the community college so she could keep books for him.
By the end of the second year he owned a dozen very nice used trucks and employed 15 previously unemployed people, all selling tomatoes. He continued to work hard.
Time passed and at the end of the fifth year he owned a fleet of nice trucks and a warehouse which his wife supervised, plus two tomato farms that the boys managed. The tomato company's payroll included hundreds of former homeless and jobless people. His daughter reported that the business grossed a million dollars.
Planning for the future, he decided to buy some life insurance. Consulting with an insurance adviser, he selected an insurance plan to fit his circumstances. Then the adviser asked him for his e-mail address in order to send the final documents electronically.
When the man replied that he doesn't have time to learn how to operate a computer and has no e-mail address, the insurance man is stunned, “What, you don't have e-mail? No computer? No Internet? Just think where you would be today if you'd had all of that five years ago!”
“Ha!” snorted the man. “If I'd had e-mail five years ago I would be sweeping floors at Microsoft and making $5.15 an hour”.
Which brings us to the moral: Since we received this story by e-mail, we're probably closer to being a janitor than a millionaire.
Forwarded by GaryVee with the following note:
Bob Parsons [http://www.bobparsons.com ], CEO of Go Daddy, recently published his 16 rules to live by. I think they are worth spreading, so here they are. Considering these are viable for both business and personal endeavors, adopting them could help ensure success, however you define that elusive term:
RULES FOR SURVIVAL
Get and stay out of your comfort zone. I believe that not much happens of any significance when we’re in our comfort zone. I hear people say, “But I’m concerned about security.” My response to that is simple: “Security is for cadavers.”
Never give up. Almost nothing works the first time it’s attempted. Just because what you’re doing does not seem to be working, doesn’t mean it won’t work. It just means that it might not work the way you’re doing it. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and you wouldn’t have an opportunity.
When you’re ready to quit, you’re closer than you think. There’s an old Chinese saying that I just love, and I believe it is so true. It goes like this: “The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.”
With regard to whatever worries you, not only accept the worst thing that could happen, but make it a point to quantify what the worst thing could be. Very seldom will the worst consequence be anywhere near as bad as a cloud of “undefined consequences.” My father would tell me early on, when I was struggling and losing my shirt trying to get Parsons Technology going, “Well, Robert, if it doesn’t work, they can’t eat you.”
Focus on what you want to have happen. Remember that old saying, “As you think, so shall you be.”
Take things a day at a time. No matter how difficult your situation is, you can get through it if you don’t look too far into the future, and focus on the present moment. You can get through anything one day at a time.
Always be moving forward. Never stop investing. Never stop improving. Never stop doing something new. The moment you stop improving your organization, it starts to die. Make it your goal to be better each and every day, in some small way. Remember the Japanese concept of Kaizen. Small daily improvements eventually result in huge advantages.
Be quick to decide. Remember what General George S. Patton said: “A good plan violently executed today is far and away better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”
Measure everything of significance. I swear this is true. Anything that is measured and watched, improves.
Anything that is not managed will deteriorate. If you want to uncover problems you don’t know about, take a few moments and look closely at the areas you haven’t examined for a while. I guarantee you problems will be there.
Pay attention to your competitors, but pay more attention to what you’re doing. When you look at your competitors, remember that everything looks perfect at a distance. Even the planet Earth, if you get far enough into space, looks like a peaceful place.
Never let anybody push you around. In our society, with our laws and even playing field, you have just as much right to what you’re doing as anyone else, provided that what you’re doing is legal.
Never expect life to be fair. Life isn’t fair. You make your own breaks. You’ll be doing good if the only meaning fair has to you, is something that you pay when you get on a bus (i.e., fare).
Solve your own problems. You’ll find that by coming up with your own solutions, you’ll develop a competitive edge. Masura Ibuka, the co-founder of SONY, said it best: “You never succeed in technology, business, or anything by following the others.” There’s also an old Asian saying that I remind myself of frequently. It goes like this: “A wise man keeps his own counsel.”
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Lighten up. Often, at least half of what we accomplish is due to luck. None of us are in control as much as we like to think we are.
There’s always a reason to smile. Find it. After all, you’re really lucky just to be alive. Life is short. More and more, I agree with my little brother. He always reminds me: “We’re not here for a long time; we’re here for a good time.”
The above Rules for Survival list is included with the permission of Bob Parsons and is Copyright © 2004-2006 by Bob Parsons. All rights reserved.
GRASSFIRE ALLIANCE VS. ACLU
By Steve Elliott, firstname.lastname@example.org, 5-10-06.
Forwarded by Don and Beth Waterworth
Just a few months ago, the multi-million dollar machine, known as the ACLU, strong-armed and raided the school budget for one of the poorest counties in the land.
A few years before, the ACLU had won a court order to have Ten Commandment monuments removed from three Adams County, Ohio high schools. It didn't matter that the monuments were unanimously approved by the school-board, and privately funded.
Once they were removed, the ACLU then had the audacity to return to federal court to demand that the school board (one of the poorest in the nation) cough up $80,000 for legal bills - and the judge agreed!
Another non-reported fact about the ACLU “shakedown” in Adams County was the fact the ACLU raised millions from the Adams County case - so they can fight similar cases - perhaps even in your town!
This is why Grassfire Alliance is taking action against the ACLU, and why we launched our nationwide petition to expose and ultimately defeat them. Our goal is to expose the kind of travesty and heartache they are bringing to the communities of our nation, and educate citizens to the real truth and motivation of the ACLU.
As part of plan to defeat the ACLU, we needed to find a legal organization dedicated to protecting the rights and freedoms of citizens, with a proven track record against groups like the ACLU.
We found the Liberty Counsel, one of the nation's foremost legal defense organizations established to preserve our First Amendment Rights.
As the ACLU founder Roger Baldwin said, “We [the ACLU] are for socialism, disarmament and ultimately for abolishing the state itself… we seek the social ownership of property… and the sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.”
This is the real ACLU, and we need you to help us enlighten a nation of people who have been deceived.
Please sign our national petition [http://www.grassfire.net/81/petition.asp?RID=2860832 ].
With your help, we can expose and defeat the ACLU so that they cannot terrorize Americans with their “storm-trooper” tactics.
See also this amazing information [http://www.earstohear.net/aclu.html ].
HONORING A BLACK HERO
From BG Grant Pyle via BG Bob Clements USAF
The Reverend Jesse Jackson and Bruce Gordon, the new president of NAACP, are planning a big event to honor a very special hero of the black community. This event is expected to draw 15,000 people and will probably be held in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Who is this Black American hero they are planning to honor?
Is it Colin Powell, the first black 4-star general, first black chairman of the joint chiefs, first black man to be Secretary of State, and first black man who could be President if only he wanted to be? No. It's not him.
Is it Clarence Thomas, the first black man to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States? Nope.
Is it Dr. Condoleeza Rice, Stanford professor and the first black woman to serve as Secretary of State? Nope, not her
Is it Guy Bluford, the first black NASA astronaut who flew for 8 days in space? Nope. Not him.
Is it Ron McNair, the second black NASA astronaut (who died in the space shuttle Challenger disaster)? Nope. Not good enough.
Is it Dr. Walter Williams, distinguished professor of economics at George Mason University, and another truly inspiring black American? Nope.
Is it Dr. Thomas Sowell, distinguished professor from Stanford University? No.
I could go on and on. There are thousands of truly amazing black Americans who deserve an honor like this…. so who is it that The Reverend Jackson and the NAACP plan to honor? Which black icon is going to draw 15,000 people to honor him?
It's none other than Stan “Kookie” Williams, the thieving murdering thug who founded the Crips gang - the coward who killed a little old lady with a shotgun blast to her face. This guy was so rotten and vile that they had to put him to sleep to get rid of him once and for all. That's who is being honored. That's the role model for our young people.
I'm sorry. I just don't get it. Can this really be happening?
I think we must live in an alternate universe. Our universe is upside-down, inside out, and left-to-right instead of right-to-left. Nothing here makes sense to me.
HOORAY FOR SOMEONE WITH BRAINS AND GUTS
Forwarded by Waterworth
Original author unknown
The story begins at Michigan State University with a mechanical engineering Professor named Indrek Wichman.
Wichman sent an e-mail to the Muslim Student's Association in response to the students' protest of the Danish cartoons that portrayed the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist. The group had complained the cartoons were “hate speech.” Enter Professor Wichman. In his e-mail, he said the following:
Dear Moslem Association:
As a professor of Mechanical Engineering here at MSU, I intend to protest your protest.
I am offended not by cartoons, but by more mundane things like beheadings of civilians, cowardly attacks on public buildings, suicide murders, murders of Catholic priests (the latest in Turkey), burnings of Christian churches, the continued persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt, the imposition of Sharia law on non-Muslims, the rapes of Scandinavian girls and women (called “whores” in your culture), the murder of film directors in Holland, and the rioting and looting in Paris, France.
This is what offends me - a soft-spoken person and academic - and many, many, many of my colleagues. I counsel you dissatisfied, aggressive, brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems to be very aware of this as you proceed with your infantile “protests.”
If you do not like the values of the West - see the 1st Amendment - you are free to leave. I hope for God's sake that most of you choose that option. Please return to your ancestral homelands and build them up yourselves instead of troubling Americans.
Cordially, I. S. Wichman
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
As you can imagine, the Muslim group at the university didn't like this. They're demanding that Wichman be reprimanded and mandatory diversity training for faculty and a seminar on hate and discrimination for freshman.
The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has jumped into the fray. CAIR apparently doesn't believe that the good professor had the right to express his opinion.
For its part, the university is standing its ground. They say the e-mail was private, and they don't intend to publicly condemn his remarks. That will probably change. Wichman says he never intended the e-mail to be made public, and wouldn't have used the same strong language if he'd known it was going to get out.
How's the left going to handle this one? If you're in favor of the freedom of speech, as in the case of Ward Churchill, will the same protections be demanded for Indrek Wichman? I doubt it.
Hey folks, send this to your friends and ask them to keep passing it around until the whole country gets it. We are in a war. This political correctness crap is getting old!
HOW'S YOUR DASH?
Forwarded by SuzyQ
The word “dash” has many meanings, most of them negative, but spirit, boldness, liveliness, enthusiam, etc., are the dash that applies in this beautiful presentation.
Click here [http://www.TheDashMovie.com ].
IMPORTANCE OF THE PLEDGE
The Pledge of Allegiance
By Senator John McCain, forwarded by JackMack
As you may know, I spent five and one-half years as a POW during the Vietnam War. In the early years of our imprisonment, the NVA kept us in solitary confinement or two or three to a cell. In 1971 the NVA moved us from these conditions of isolation into large rooms with as many as 30 to 40 men to a room.
This was, as you can imagine, a wonderful change and was a direct result of the efforts of millions of Americans on behalf of a few hundred POWs 10,000 miles from home.
One of the men who moved into my room was a young man named Mike Christian.
Mike came from a small town near Selma, Alabama. He didn't wear a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He later earned a commission by going to Officer Training School. Then he became a Naval Flight Officer and was shot down and captured in 1967. Mike had a keen and deep appreciation of the opportunities this country and our military provide for people who want to work and want to succeed.
As part of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some prisoners to receive packages from home. In some of these packages were handkerchiefs, scarves and other items of clothing. Mike got himself a bamboo needle. Over a period of a couple of months, he created an American flag, and sewed it on the inside of his shirt.
Every afternoon, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang Mike's shirt on the wall of the cell and say the Pledge of Allegiance. I know the Pledge of Allegiance may not seem the most important part of our day now, but I can assure you that in that stark cell it was indeed the most important and meaningful event.
One day the Vietnamese searched our cell, as they did periodically, discovered Mike's shirt with the flag sewn inside, and removed it.
That evening they returned, opened the door of the cell, and for the benefit of all of us, beat Mike Christian severely for the next couple of hours. Then, they opened the door of the cell and threw him in. We cleaned him up as well as we could.
The cell in which we lived had a concrete slab in the middle on which we slept. Four naked light bulbs hung in each corner of the room. After the excitement died down, I looked in one corner and sitting there beneath that dim light bulb with a piece of red cloth, another shirt ,and his bamboo needle, was my friend Mike Christian. His eyes almost shut from the beating he had received, he was making another American flag.
He was not making the flag because it made Mike Christian feel better. He was making that flag because he knew how important it was to us to be able to pledge our allegiance to our flag and country.
So the next time you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you must never forget the sacrifice and courage that thousands of Americans have made to build our nation and promote freedom around the world.
You must remember our duty, our honor, and our country.
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
IN GOD WE STILL TRUST
Forwarded by Don and Beth Waterworth
This song was presented at a Las Vegas Diamond Rio concert. They received an immediate, resounding, standing ovation, and continue to do so every time they perform it!
Everyone who loves America should be thrilled to hear this song!
Although Diamond Rio has never before done a statement song, they felt compelled to record “In God We Still Trust.” But guess what? Sadly, major radio stations wouldn't play it because it was considered politically incorrect. Consequently, the song has not been released to the public.
So, America, see what you think. If this offering speaks to your heart and you feel you want to share it with friends and loved ones, please do.
Regardless of our ethnic origins, let us cease being the silent majority and join together. Not as a particular political party, but as Americans!
Let us voice to the media and the powers that be, how we feel about having God erased from everything that is sacred to us.
If we don't do it, who will?
To listen to this beautiful song, turn up your audio volume and click on IN GOD WE STILL TRUST [http://www.plentius.biz/USA/In_God_We_Still_Trust ].
IT TOLLS FOR THEE
Forwarded by Jackmack. No source cited.
At about the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinboro, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic, some 2,000 years prior:
“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”
The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
From bondage to spiritual faith
From spiritual faith to great courage
From courage to liberty
From liberty to abundance
From abundance to complacency
From complacency to apathy
From apathy to dependence
From dependence back into bondage.
Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the most recent Presidential election:
Population of counties won by Gore 127 million, Bush 143 million;
Square miles of land won by Gore 580,000, Bush 2,427,000
States won by Gore 19, Bush 29
Murders per 100,000 population in counties won by Gore 13.2, Bush 2.1.
He adds, “In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of this great country. Gore's territory encompassed those citizens living in government owned tenements and living off government welfare,”
Olson believes the U.S. is now somewhere between the apathy and the complacency phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy; with some 40 percent of the nation's population already having reached the governmental dependency phase.
And, Olson adds, the last gasp of any country has been when marriage and the family have taken a back seat to other sexual interests — as witness Rome - one of the greatest and most-wide spread governments.
Another sign of the end, he says, is the lack of true spiritual interest where the God of the Bible and His ways are replaced by man's thinking and his own ways.
Wake up, Americans. The bell is tolling loud and clear and it tolls for thee.
JUST DO IT
Ocassionally I link to various sites to find worthwhile things to pass along to you. Normally I include links to various topics, but this one deserves a solo performance. It hits home about our “busy lives” and failure to “seize the moment.”
From http://www.lovethissite.com/ [http://www.lovethissite.com/] - A site worth frequent visits.
JUST DO IT
Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.
I got to thinking one day about all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back.. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.
How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word “refrigeration” mean nothing to you?
How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television?
I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, “How about going to lunch in a half hour?” She would gasp and stammer, “I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain.” And my personal favorite: “It's Monday.” She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.
Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches.. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!
We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Stevie toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.
Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of “I'm going to” “I plan on”… and “Someday, when things are settled down a bit.”
When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Roller blades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.
My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.
Now…go on and have a nice day.
Do something you WANT to… not something on your SHOULD DO list.
If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say?
And why are you waiting?
KNOW THE ENEMY
TO DIE FOR ALLAH
Forwarded by Charles F. Spicka, USAF (Ret.) Oceanside, CA, who adds, “I don't think anything can define the threat to our civilization any better than this video does. You will see what Israel and the world is facing.”
Everyone should have an opportunity to view this unpleasant video to help them know and understand the relentless enemy we face world-wide.
These articulate young kids have this concept thoroughly embedded and embrace it fanatically, as do most believers of their religion - one which vastly outnumbers Christianity.
How many American teenagers do you know who are this serious and knowledgeable about their religion… or any serious subject, for that matter?
VIDEO [http://www.standwithus.com/shahada.asp?style=blue ].
LETTER TO GOD
Forwarded by VADM Harold Koenig, USN Ret.
Why didn't you save the school children at
Moses Lake, Washington 2/2/96
Bethel, Alaska 2/19/97
Pearl, Mississippi 10/1/97
West Paducah, Kentucky 12/1/97
Stamps, Arkansas 12/15/97
Jonesboro, Arkansas 3/24/98
Edinboro, Pennsylvania 4/24/98
Fayetteville, Tennessee 5/19/98
Springfield, Oregon 5/21/98
Richmond, Virginia 6/15/98
Littleton, Colorado 4/20/99
Taber, Alberta, Canada 5/28/99
Conyers, Georgia 5/20/99
Deming, New Mexico 11/19/99
Fort Gibson, Oklahoma 12/6/99
Santee, California 3/5/01
El Cajon, California 3/22/01 ?
A Concerned Student
Dear Concerned Student:
I am not allowed in schools.
How Did This Get Started.?
I think it started when Atheist Madeline Murray O'Hare complained she didn't want any prayer in our schools. And we said, OK..
Then, someone said you better not read the Bible in school, the Bible that says: “Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbors as yourself,” And we said, OK.
Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem. And we said, an expert should know what he's talking about so we won't spank them anymore.
Then someone said teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. And the school administrators said no faculty member in
this school should touch a student when they misbehave because we don't want any bad publicity, and we surely don't want to be sued. And we accepted their reasoning.
Then someone said, let's let our daughters have abortions if they want, and they won't even have to tell their parents. And we said, that's a grand idea.
Then some wise school board member said, since boys will be boys and they're going to do it anyway, let's give our sons all the condoms they want, so they can have all the fun they desire, and we won't have to tell their parents they got them at school. And we said, that's another great idea.
Then some of our top elected officials said it doesn't matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs. And we said, it doesn't matter what anybody, including the President, does in private as long as we have jobs and the economy is good.
And someone else took that appreciation a step farther and published pictures of nude children, then stepped farther still by making them available on the Internet. And we said, everyone's entitled to free speech.
And the entertainment industry said, let's make TV shows and movies that promote profanity, violence and illicit sex… And let's record music that encourages rape, drugs, murder, suicide, and satanic themes. And we said, it's just entertainment and it has no adverse effect and nobody takes it seriously anyway, so go right ahead.
Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, classmates, or even themselves.
And, we have the mother with three kids driving her SUV 55 MPH in a 35 MPH zone in California and one of the little guys says, “Mom, you're breaking the la.” To which she replies, “Shut up and color.”
Undoubtedly, if we thought about it long and hard enough, we could figure it out. I'm sure it has a great deal to do with “WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.”
LIST TO LIVE BY
Wouldn’t life be great if everyone would use this as their daily guide?
From JayDJay via HarleyK, originator unknown
Deadliest weapon - The tongue
Greatest asset - Faith
Greatest Joy - Giving
Greatest loss - Self-respect
Greatest natural resource - Youth
Greatest problem to overcome - Fear
Greatest “shot in the arm” - Encouragement
Most beautiful attire - A smile
Most contagious spirit - Enthusiasm
Most crippling failure disease - Excuses
Most dangerous pariah - A gossiper
Most destructive habit: - Worry
Most effective sleeping pill - Peace of mind
Most endangered species - Dedicated leaders
Most incredible computer - The human brain
Most power-filled two words - “I Can”
Most powerful force in life - Love
Most powerful communication channel - Prayer
Most prized possession - Integrity
Most satisfying work - Helping others
Most worthless emotion - Self-pity
Ugliest personality trait - Selfishness
Worst thing to be without - Hope
LOST GENERATION CAN’T READ MAPS
From The Washington Times
By Randolph E. Schmid, Associated Press, May 3, 2006
Despite wall-to-wall coverage of the damage from Hurricane Katrina, nearly one-third of young Americans recently polled couldn't locate Louisiana on a map and nearly half were unable to identify Mississippi.
Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 fared even worse with foreign locations: six in 10 couldn't find Iraq, according to a Roper poll conducted for National Geographic.
“Geographic illiteracy impacts our economic well-being, our relationships with other nations and the environment, and isolates us from the world,” National Geographic President John Fahey said in announcing a program to help remedy the problem. It's hoping to enlist businesses, nonprofit groups and educators in a bid to improve geographic literacy.
Planned is a five-year, multimedia campaign called My Wonderful World that will target children 8 to 17. The goal is to motivate parents and educators to expand geographic offerings in school, at home and in their communities.
They will have their task cut out for them, judging by the results of the survey of 510 persons interviewed in December and January. Among the findings:
- One-third of respondents couldn't pinpoint Louisiana on a map and 48 percent were unable to locate Mississippi.
- Fewer than three in 10 think it important to know the locations of countries in the news and just 14 percent believe speaking another language is a necessary skill.
- Two-thirds didn't know that the earthquake that killed 70,000 people in October 2005 occurred in Pakistan.
- Six in 10 could not find Iraq on a map of the Middle East.
- While the outsourcing of jobs to India has been a major U.S. business story, 47 percent could not find the Indian subcontinent on a map of Asia.
- While Israeli-Palestinian strife has been in the news for the entire lives of the respondents, 75 percent were unable to locate Israel on a map of the Middle East.
- Nearly three-quarters incorrectly named English as the most widely spoken native language.
- Six in 10 did not know the border between North and South Korea is the most heavily fortified in the world. Thirty percent thought the most heavily fortified border was between the United States and Mexico.
Joining in the effort to improve geographic knowledge will be the 4-H, American Federation of Teachers, Asia Society, Association of American Geographers, National Basketball Association, National Council of La Raza, National PTA and the Smithsonian Institution among others.
“Geography exposes children and adults to diverse cultures, different ideas and the exchange of knowledge from around the world,” said Anna Marie Weselak, president of the National PTA. “This campaign will help make sure our children get their geography — so they can become familiar with other cultures during their school years and move comfortably and confidently in a global economy as adults.”
MILITARY SERVICE CAN OPEN EYES OF ELITE
By Kathryn Roth-Douquet, Page 13A of USA Today, Jan 18. 2005
Forwarded MSGT Jim Whittington, USAF (Ret.)
I recently went to a dinner party attended by Sen. Hillary Clinton. After the meal, an elegant Manhattanite seated beside me asked the senator about a military draft. “Without one,” the woman asserted, “they'll never get my educated and talented boys.”
I'm sure she's right. These days, people of means routinely reject military service.
Until a generation ago, the children of presidents, oilmen and bankers regularly saw service. Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Kennedy, Prescott Bush - all titans - had sons who served.
Today, 1% of those serving in Congress have a child in the armed forces - an institution that, according to military sociologist Charles Moskos, is bereft of “children of the privileged.” That's too bad. The real losers here are the young and privileged adults themselves.
I was, by many measures, a child of privilege, too. I came from a manicured suburb, attended expensive schools - Bryn Mawr, Princeton - and served as an aide in the Clinton White House. I've worked for charitable foundations, a white-glove law firm, and I still raise money for the Democratic Party. From these perches, the military seemed another world.
Then I married a Marine Corps officer and came to see the narrowness of the “us-and-them” view of military service. During my husband's six-month deployments - airlifting aid to East Timor, sorting through the fog of war in Baghdad - and from living with military people, I've learned what military service is about. As one who was weaned on the ideologies of the American left, I've been forced to reconsider some assumptions. I've come to believe that, even for the “haves” of society, the military offers much to admire and emulate.
If I could address the country's fortunate young who imagine themselves one day making a difference, this is what I would say: You expect to do well in life. No one you know is in the military. There's a war going on that you think was a mistake or, perhaps, a good idea gone wrong. You think military service is for people without money or skills - not someone like you.
Now, consider this proposition: Joining the military may make you a better person and profoundly inform your entire life. Military service nurtures belief, without irony, in the tenets that founded this country, and a love of country distinct from jingoism. Its every action expresses awe for the noble experiment of liberal democracy.
Service members provide the defense that is a precondition of our pursuit of individual happiness and common good. Service fosters a love of strangers and comrades you hope to keep safe. When this nation, through the voice of its elected leader, asks you to help protect our freedoms, your role has meaning. Answering the call is not a career move, but an act of the heart.
As long as there is an impulse to evil in this intertwined world, an impulse to take advantage, enslave, seize power from the weak; as long as our enemies embrace their cult of death; as long as those passions hold sway in whole regions, we need to be vigilant of our security.
Moreover, our military has become an arm of democratic hopes around the world. In the wake of the catastrophic tsunami in South Asia, it is the U.S. military that is providing the most effective relief. America's armed forces build roads and dams in Africa. They conduct diplomacy around the world the way that the State Department, with its tiny budget, simply cannot.
I ask political leaders - few of whom served in the military, many of whom will stand in this week's inaugural salute to the troops - to join me in this plea. Enlisting in the military won't make you richer, fatten your résumé or bring the material gains that dazzle society. It may make you better, though. And it will bring you closer to the heart of this country. True, there are some who do wrong in that role. You can be one who does right.
For your service, you will not only develop values and perspective, you will make this country fairer and stronger. Then in your middle age, you can be part of a new elite: a civilian leader who understands the armed forces. No country can prosper when its leaders lack wisdom on national defense. The service you provide later, as a wise leader, may do our country the greatest good.
Kathryn Roth-Douquet is an attorney and a former aide in the Clinton White House who produced presidential events.
OLD COWBOY’S ADVICE
Forwarded by AirBurd. No original source given.
Here's some homespun philosophy that makes a lot of sense - obviously learned from first-hand experience:
- Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
- Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
- Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a lot easier than puttin' it back in.
- Keep skunks and bankers and lawyers at a distance.
- Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
- Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.
- Do not corner something you know is meaner than you.
- It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
- You can’t un-say a cruel word.
- Every path has a few puddles.
- When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
- Don't judge folks by their relatives.
- The best sermons are lived, not preached.
- Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't botherin' you none.
- If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
- Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
- The biggest troublemaker you may ever deal with, watches you from your mirror.
OMITTING GOD FROM OUR HISTORY
From email@example.com . Forwarded by Airburd.
MESSAGE FROM AN APPALLED OBSERVER
Recently I visited the new World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. I got an unexpected history lesson. Because I'm a baby boomer, I was one of the youngest in the crowd. Most were the age of my parents, veterans of “the greatest war,” with their families.
It was a beautiful day, and people were smiling and happy to be there. Hundreds milled around the memorial, reading the inspiring words of Eisenhower, Truman and others engraved there.
On the Pacific side of the memorial, a group of us gathered to read the words President Roosevelt used to announce the attack on Pearl Harbor:
“Yesterday, December 7, 1941— a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked,” an elderly woman read the words aloud. “With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph.”
But as she read, she was suddenly turned angry.
“Wait a minute,” she said, “they left out the end of the quote. They left out the most important part. Roosevelt ended the message with so help us God.”
Her husband said, “You are probably right. We're not supposed to say things like that now.”
“I know I'm right,” she insisted. “I remember the speech.” The two looked dismayed, shook their heads sadly and walked away.
Listening to their conversation, I thought to myself, “Well, it has been over 50 years. She's probably forgotten.”
But she had not forgotten. She was right!
I went home and pulled out the book my book club is reading - Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley. It's all about the battle at Iwo Jima. I haven't gotten too far in the book. It's tough to read because it's a graphic description of the WWII battles in the Pacific.
But right there it was on page 58. Roosevelt's speech to the nation ends in: “so help us God.”
The people who edited out that part of the speech when they engraved it on the memorial could have fooled me. I was born after the war. But they couldn't fool the people who were there. Roosevelt's words are engraved on their hearts.
Now I ask: “Who gave them the right to change the words of history? Shall we hire a monument engraver to go to Arlington National Cemetery and engrave the missing words?”
People need to know before everyone forgets.
There are people today who are trying to change the history of America by leaving God out of it - but the truth is, God has been a part of this nation since the beginning. He still wants to be and He always will be!
PAUL HARVEY WISDOM
Woody Lindskog forwarded the following article by Paul Harvey
Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game.
So what's the big deal? It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire book of Acts. They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.
“But it's a Christian prayer,” some will argue.
Yes, and this is the United States of America, a country founded on Christian principles. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1. So what would you expect—somebody chanting Hare Krishna?
If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer. If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer. If I went to a ping pong match in China, I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha. And I wouldn't be offended. It wouldn't bother me one bit. When in Rome…
“But what about the atheists?” is another argument. What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer!
Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do. I don't think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world's foundations.
Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating; to pray before we go to sleep. Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying.
God, help us. And if that last sentence offends you, well… just sue me.
The silent majority has been silent too long. It's time we let that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard… that the vast majority don't care what they want. It is time the majority rules!
It's time we tell them, “You don't have to pray; you don't have to say the pledge of allegiance; you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right. But, by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away. We are fighting back… and WE WILL WIN.”
God bless us one and all… especially those who denounce Him.
God bless America, despite all her faults. She is still the greatest nation of all.
God bless our service men who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God.
May 2005 be the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions.
Keep looking up!
POPULATION E-X-P-L-O-S-I-O-N (1993)
Scientific calculations by those who study these things tell us that it took one million years for the world population to reach one Billion.
180 years later it reached 2 BILLION.
45 years later it reached 3 BILLION.
15 years later it reached 4 BILLION.
12 years later it reached 5 BILLION.
By year 2000 it should reach 6.2 BILLION
By year 2070 it should reach 22 BILLION, then double every 15 years thereafter.
They didn't include “Armageddon” factor, if it occurs during this time, but perhaps scientific minds don't put a lot of credence in Biblical prophesy. Nor are we certain they figured in the Y2K factor, either.
However, should their prognosis be correct, there's going to be a lot of folks taking up what we now consider to be crowded space.
REALITY FOR AMERICAN YOUTH
Excerpts from Bill Gates' speech to high school students
about things they did not and will not learn in school:
If you have teenagers in your house, print this for their required reading.
Rule 1 - Life is not fair. Get used to it.
Rule 2 - The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3 - You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
Rule 4 - If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
Rule 5 - Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping - they called it opportunity.
Rule 6 - If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
Rule 7 - Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Rule 8 - Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
Rule 9 - Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.
Rule 10 - Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Rule 11 - Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.
REWARD TO KILL AN AMERICAN
WHAT IS AN AMERICAN? A PRIMER
By Peter Ferrara, associate professor of law, George Mason University School of Law, Sep 25, 2001
You probably missed it in the rush of the news last week, but there actually was a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper there the offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.
So I just thought I would write and let them know what an American is so they would know when they found one.
An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan.
An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as Native Americans.
An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.
An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.
An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.
An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return.
When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!
As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. Americans welcome the best of everything…the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services. But they also welcome the least.
The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty, welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America.
Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. It's been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.
So you can try to kill an American if you must,. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung
And other blood-thirsty tyrants of the world. But, in so doing you would just be killing yourself because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place.
They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds that spirit everywhere is an American.
SAME PROBLEM - DIFFERENT APPROACH
Received from a friend on the Internet. Originator of the text not stated.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, this parody supposedly was the difference in the general action and reaction of the people in the Mississippi Gulf Coast to those in New Orleans:
MS Gulf Coast: We have a plan.
New Orleans: We got a plan, too.
MS Gulf Coast: We have trucks waiting on higher ground to move food, etc.
New Orleans: We got our trucks parked, too. In just 6 feet of water.
MS Gulf Coast. Police will be back on patrol as soon as we can move around.
New Orleans: Cops loot Wal-Mart.
MS Gulf Coast: Home owners begin clearing debris by themselves.
New Orleans: Who's gonna clean up this mess?
MS Gulf Coast: It'll cost me some savings to rebuild, but . . .
New Orleans: Where's the damn government with the debit cards?
MS Gulf Coast: We are partners with FEMA, but it starts here first.
New Orleans: Damn FEMA, why weren't they ready?
MS Gulf Coast: It was worse than I believed. I should have evacuated.
New Orleans: They didn't send anybody to get me.
MS Gulf Coast: Leaders: we have work to do, let's get started.
New Orleans: Leaders: let's go to Las Vegas and party.
MS Gulf Coast: We made a few mistakes, but we learned.
New Orleans: It was ____ (fill in the blank) who was at fault.
And you wonder why the Mississippi Gulf Coast didn’t get the news coverage New Orleans got? The media doesn't want to see a state with it's act together or watch people work to rebuild.
Whining, complaining and infighting… that's news, Baby!
Now do you believe and trust the news media?
No doubt this has been drifting around the Ethernet several years, considering the court ruling, but it is new to me. It supposedly occurred in Maryland, although I was unable to verify its origin and/or authenticity. But if it didn‘t happen, it should have!
They walked in tandem, each of the ninety-two students filing into the already crowded auditorium. With rich maroon gowns flowing and the traditional caps, they looked almost as grown up as they felt.
Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles, and Moms freely brushed away tears.
This class would not pray during the commencements — not by choice, but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it.
The principal and several students were careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one asked for blessings on the graduates or their families.
The speeches were nice, but they were routine… until the final speech received a standing ovation.
A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and silent for just a moment, and then, it happened. All 92 students, every single one of them, suddenly SNEEZED!
The student on stage simply looked at the audience and said, “GOD BLESS YOU, each and every one of you!”… and walked off stage.
The audience exploded into applause. The graduating class found a unique way to invoke God's blessing on their future with or without the court's approval.
SOME COMMON SENSE
By Samuel Thompson
Forwarded by JerryDJ
I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December.
I don't agree with Darwin, but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his theory of evolution.
Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. So what's the big deal? It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire book of Acts. They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.
“But it's a Christian prayer,” some will argue. Yes, and this is the United States of America, a country founded on Christian principles. And we are in the Bible Belt. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1. So what would you expect — somebody chanting Hare Krishna?
If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer.
If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.
If I went to a ping pong match in China, I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha.
And I wouldn't be offended. It wouldn't bother me one bit. When in Rome…
“But what about the atheists?” is another argument. What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer.
Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do. I don't think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world's foundations.
Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep. Our Bible tells us just to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying. God, help us. And if that last sentence offends you, well… just sue me.
The silent majority has been silent too long.. it's time we let that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard, that the vast majority don't care what they want. It is time the majority rules!
It's time we tell them, you don't have to pray.. you don't have to say the pledge of allegiance, you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right… but by golly you are no longer going to take our rights away. We are fighting back.. and we WILL WIN! After all the God you have the right to denounce is on our side!
God bless us one and all, especially those who denounce Him.
God bless America, despite all her faults… still the greatest nation ofall.
God bless our armed services who are fighting to protect our right to pray and
May this be the years the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions.
Keep looking up.
In God We Trust.
SPECIAL SONG TRIBUTE
BUMPER OF MY SUV
Forwarded by JayPMarine
Here is something special - a song written and performed by C&W artist Chely Wright, in honor of her brother, father and grandfather - as a tribute to all military service personnel who have served or are serving in Iraq and other areas in the defense of freedom.
STAY HUNGRY. STAY FOOLISH.
Forwarded by Jerry Johnson
This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots:
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
My second story is about love and loss:
I was lucky – I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation - the Macintosh - a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me – I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I retuned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
My third story is about death:
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.
This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue.
It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”
It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all very much.
STEIN’S LAST COLUMN
Forwarded by JayPMarine
For many years Ben Stein has written a biweekly column for the online website called “Monday Night at Morton's.” Morton's is a famous chain of Steakhouses known to be frequented by movie stars and famous people from around the globe. Now, Ben is terminating the column to move on to other things in his life. Reading his final column is worth a few minutes of your time. Read all of it or you will have missed the best.
How Can Someone Who Lives in Insane Luxury Be a Star in Today's World?
As I begin to write this, I “slug” it, as we writers say, which means I put a heading on top of the document to identify it. This heading is “eonlineFINAL,” and it gives me a shiver to write it. I have been doing this column for so long that I cannot even recall when I started. I loved writing it so much for so long I came to believe it would never end.
It worked well for a long time, but gradually, my changing as a person and the world's change have overtaken it. On a small scale, Morton's, while better than ever, no longer attracts as many stars as it used to. It still brings in the rich people in droves and definitely some stars. I saw Samuel L. Jackson there a few days ago, and we had a nice visit, and right before that, I saw and had a splendid talk with Warren Beatty in an elevator, in which we agreed that Splendor in the Grass was a super movie. But Morton's is not the star galaxy it once was, though it probably will be again.
Beyond that, a bigger change has happened. I no longer think Hollywood stars are terribly important. They are uniformly pleasant, friendly people, and they treat me better than I deserve to be treated. But a man or woman who makes a huge wage for memorizing lines and reciting them in front of a camera is no longer my idea of a shining star we should all look up to.
How can a man or woman who makes an eight-figure wage and lives in insane luxury really be a star in today's world, if by a “star” we mean someone bright and powerful and attractive as a role model? Real stars are not riding around in the backs of limousines or in Porsches or getting trained in yoga or Pilates and eating only raw fruit while they have Vietnamese girls do their nails.
They can be interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me any longer. A real star is the soldier of the 4th Infantry Division who poked his head into a hole on a farm near Tikrit, Iraq. He could have been met by a bomb or a hail of AK-47 bullets. Instead, he faced an abject Saddam Hussein and the gratitude of all of the decent people of the world.
A real star is the U.S. soldier who was sent to disarm a bomb next to a road north of Baghdad. He approached it, and the bomb went off and killed him.
A real star, the kind who haunts my memory night and day, is the U.S. soldier in Baghdad who saw a little girl playing with a piece of unexploded ordnance on a street near where he was guarding a station. He pushed her aside and threw himself on it just as it exploded. He left a family desolate in California and a little girl alive in Baghdad.
The stars who deserve media attention are not the ones who have lavish weddings on TV but the ones who patrol the streets of Mosul even after two of their buddies were murdered and their bodies battered and stripped for the sin of trying to protect Iraqis from terrorists.
We put couples with incomes of $100 million a year on the covers of our magazines. The noncoms and officers who barely scrape by on military pay but stand on guard in Afghanistan and Iraq and on ships and in submarines and near the Arctic Circle are anonymous as they live and die.
I am no longer comfortable being a part of the system that has such poor values, and I do not want to perpetuate those values by pretending that who is eating at Morton's is a big subject.
There are plenty of other stars in the American firmament… the policemen and women who go off on patrol in South Central and have no idea if they will return alive; the orderlies and paramedics who bring in people who have been in terrible accidents and prepare them for surgery; the teachers and nurses who throw their whole spirits into caring for autistic children; the kind men and women who work in hospices and in cancer wards.
Think of each and every fireman who was running up the stairs at the World Trade Center as the towers began to collapse. Now you have my idea of a real hero.
We are not responsible for the operation of the universe, and what happens to us is not terribly important. God is real, not a fiction and when we turn over our lives to Him He takes far better care of us than we could ever do for ourselves. In a word, we make ourselves sane when we fire ourselves as the directors of the movie of our lives and turn the power over to Him.
I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters. This is my highest and best use as a human. I can put it another way. Years ago, I realized I could never be as great an actor as Olivier or as good a comic as Steve Martin… or Martin Mull or Fred Willard — or as good an economist as Samuelson or Friedman or as good a writer as Fitzgerald. Or even remotely close to any of them.
But I could be a devoted father to my son, husband to my wife and, above all, a good son to the parents who had done so much for me. This came to be my main task in life. I did it moderately well with my son, pretty well with my wife and well indeed with my parents (with my sister's help). I cared for and paid attention to them in their declining years. I stayed with my father as he got sick, went into extremis and then into a coma and then entered immortality with my sister and me reading him the Psalms.
This was the only point at which my life touched the lives of the soldiers in Iraq or the irefighters in New York. I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others He has placed in my path. This is my highest and best use as a human.
Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that God will.
SUNDAY MORNING COMMENTARY
By Ben Stein, CBS Sunday Morning Commentary, December 18, 2005. Forwarded by Wm Thompson
Herewith at this happy time of year, a few confessions from my beating heart:
I have no freaking clue who Nick and Jessica are. I see them on the cover of People and Us constantly when I am buying my dog biscuits and kitty litter. I often ask the checkers at the grocery stores. They never know who Nick and Jessica are either. Who are they? Will it change my life if I know who they are and why they have broken up? Why are they so important?
I don't know who Lindsay Lohan is either, and I do not care at all about Tom Cruise's wife. Am I going to be called before a Senate committee and asked if I am a subversive? Maybe, but I just have no clue who Nick and Jessica are.
If this is what it means to be no longer young, it's not so bad.
Next confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.
It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, “Merry Christmas” to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution, and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it another way: Where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him?
I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.
Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her “How could God let something like this Happen?” (regarding Katrina)
Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, “I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”
In light of recent events… terrorists attacks, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.
Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school . The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.
Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with “WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.”
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell.
Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.
Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.
Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Are you laughing?
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
SMALL BOAT TO FREEDOM
A follow-up on the Houston Maritime Museum article
By Byron D. Varner
Cuban refugee Reinaldo Berre's connection with Jim Manzolillo and the Houston Maritime Museum had its origin in the 1950s. Jim was Caterpillar Tractor's Marine Engine Division representative in all of Latin America at that time.
Reinaldo at age 10, with models. Berre photo.
He continued his artistic pursuit into his teen years, publicly displaying and selling his models at a profit, and eventually enrolled at the University of Havana to study Architecture. When Fidel Castro came to power, however, Reinaldo was required to change his major to engineering because the new Communist leader said, in effect, “We don't need art, we need construction people.”
The disappointed student had no real interest in engineering and later dropped out of school. He took up work as an interior designer, restoring antique frames and furniture, but secretly continued in his artistic model building - his true passion.
Over the years, Cuban police hassled him at frequent intervals because he wouldn't hew to the “new order.” They suspected him of black market dealings and searched his house for U.S. dollars or other evidence of clandestine work. Occasionally, they put him in jail for short periods but released him for lack of evidence. Had they discovered the truth, he might still be behind bars today.
With their national economy rapidly deteriorating, few Cubans had money to spend, but the staff members at Havana's various foreign embassies did. Reinaldo showed them his fine work and made confidential deals that allowed him to build models to their specifications, with payment in U.S. dollars. They paid much less than comparable European artists would charge, yet it was good income for the young entrepreneur. He continued this secretive arrangement until he finally left his native land.
This English brig of 1700 was
the last model Reinaldo completed
for foreign embassy personnel
before he left Cuba
in 1998. Berre photo.
Reinaldo made several unsuccessful attempts to leave Cuba secretly by boat, despite the fact that Cuban Costal Patrol crews carried out a shoot-to-kill policy against Cuban men, women and children alike when they caught them trying to escape within Cuban territorial waters. He says that many have died in this inhumane manner.
His father and mother had hoped to escape, but his father died and his mother became physically unable to attempt the rigors of such a demanding ordeal. Nevertheless, she implored Reinaldo to keep trying because it was his only hope for the future. Thus, in 1998, with his wife and another couple, the attempt was successful and they somehow reached international waters undetected.
The open seas were almost too much for their small craft, however, and they suffered from sun, wind and nausea — but worse, they were without water during the last five days of the journey. Toward the final day they were even driven by desperation to try drinking their own urine to slake the excruciating thirst.
Almost in delirium, they sighted land on the horizon and gradually drifted to shore just before sunset. Summoning all their strength, they beached the boat, took their few precious belongings (mostly photos and family documents) and slowly walked inland until they came to a road. Several cars passed without heeding Reinaldo's frantic arm waving, but soon one stopped to pick them up. It was then they found out they had landed in the American Virgin Islands.
The driver took them to the local police station where authorities called the Coast Guard. They received food, drink, first aid, a hot bath and clean clothes, and were the Coast Guard cutter transported them to the U.S. Immigration Service in Miami.
Following the usual interrogation and documentation, INS officials gave them work permits and Renaldo found a suitable place to live in Miami's “Little Havana” area. He took odd jobs to earn money for food and rent and gradually was able to afford tools and supplies to resume the model building that would increase his income.
Reinaldo, telling about his plight, said: “We are so grateful to the American people and their government for allowing us to come here to live and work in peace. No one can imagine how precious freedom is until they have lost it.”
He and his wife had been living in Miami two years when a friend who knew about his models gave him something that changed his life again. It was a copy of the Houston Chronicle with a story about a man who owned a large collection of model ships. Under the man's photo was the name James Manzolillo.
Reinaldo was certain this was the same person he met when he was a young kid in Havana almost four decades earlier. The photo even looked much like the man he remembered from that single meeting. Noting that the article included a telephone number, he decided to call and find out for sure. The two had an exciting telephone reunion and, as Ray explained it, “We talked and talked, and before you know it I was here in Houston, just like something in the movies. Now I am crafting historic ships for display in the museum.”
Does he like it here? Everything but the weather!
Family is very important to his culture and he is sad that he may never see his mother again. She lives with his daughter, who also remains there, but he hopes someday to be reunited with her. It helps that his wife's brother lives in the Houston area, but independence is also a strong trait and Reinaldo does not want to impose on family members for financial aid.
He hopes to become an American citizen when his five-year residency is completed. He also hopes his volunteer work to help Manzolillo make the Museum a success will also expose his talent to many visitors and increase the opportunity for more commissioned model work.
“People sometimes ask why my models are priced more expensive than models they see in stores,” Reinaldo says, “but they do not understand what big bargains these are for the long time it takes me to build them. Even on the smallest ones I may work 45 days, and much longer than that on the big ones.”
From what this writer has seen, he agrees with Berre. These beautiful models truly are bargains, considering the rare artisan craft quality and Rey Berre's tender loving care in building them.
TELLING IT LIKE IT IS
A college student challenged a senior citizen, saying it was impossible for the older generation to understand his.
“You grew up in a different world,” the student said. “Today we have television, jet planes, space travel, nuclear energy, computers… “
Taking advantage of a pause in the student's litany, the geezer said,
“You're right. We didn't have those things when we were young; so we invented them! What are YOU doing for the next generation?”
TEXTBOOKS FLUNK TEST
By George Archibald, The Washington Times 4/28/04
Forwarded by MGen J. Milnor Roberts, USA (Ret.), WWII Veterans Committee
Social studies textbooks used in elementary and secondary schools are mostly a disgrace that, in the name of political correctness and multiculturalism, fail to give students an honest account of American history, say academic historians and education advocates.
“Secondary and college students, and indeed most of the rest of us, have only a feeble grasp of politics and a vague awareness of history - especially the political history of the United States and the world,” says Paul Gagnon, emeritus professor of history at the University of Massachusetts.
Most textbooks produced by a handful of giant commercial publishers, are exposing generations of children to cultural and history amnesia that threatens the very base of American free institutions and liberties, warn leading historians who are calling for better-defined, more rigorous state teaching standards.
Just 11 percent of eighth-graders show proficient knowledge of U.S. history on standardized tests - down from 17 percent in 2001, Mr. Gagnon noted in a recent study for the American Federation of Teachers.
“Less than half knew the Supreme Court could decide a law’s constitutionality,” he said in the Albert Shanker Institute study titled, Standards to Ensure a Civic Corps. “Only a third knew what the Progressive Era was and most were not sure whom we fought in WWII.”
Publishers acknowledge having buckled since the early 1980s to so-called multicultural “bias guidelines” demanded by interest groups and elected state boards of education that require censorship of textbook content to accommodate feminist, homosexual and racial demands.
The California State Board of Education was the first to adopt such guidelines in 1982, according to New York University research professor Diane Ravitch in her latest book, The Language Police. The California guidelines instruct textbook publishers and teachers: “Do not cast adverse reflection on any gender, race, ethnicity, religion or cultural group.” The board had informal “social-content standards” going back to the 1970s. Publishers followed with their own anti-bias guidelines, which banned words, phrases, images and depiction of people deemed unacceptable - such as “man,” “mankind,” “manpower” and “men,” said to be sexist. Also banned are “able-bodied,” “aged,” “babe,” “backward,” “chick,” “fairy,” “geezer,” “idiot,” “imbecile,” “Redskin,” “sissy,” suffragette” and “waitress.”
A handful of commercial publishers produce most elementary and secondary school textbooks which costs the nation’s taxpayers about $250 million per subject. These include:
- Glencoe, a subsidiary McGraw-Hill
- Reinhart & Winston, owned by Harcourt, Inc., U.S. Division of the Dutch publishing conglomerate Reed Elsevier Group
- McDougal Littell, owned by Houghton Mifflin
- Prentice Hall, a subsidiary of British-owned Pearson Education Inc., which also owns Scott Foresman, Addison Wesley, Silver Burdett, Ginn, and other school-textbook imprints.
All companies have developed their own internal checklists that dictate writing, graphics, photos and other textbook content.
A team of 16 academic reviewers in Texas, the second largest state market for textbooks behind California, last year found 533 factual and interpretive errors in 28 social studies texts submitted for adoption by the state board of education. The books were for sixth-grade world culture, seventh-grade Texas history, eighth-grade and high school American history, U.S. government and economics, and high school world history.
“For 351 of the 533 errors identified, publishers agreed to either revise statements to correct factual inaccuracies or to add clarifying statements to rectify ambiguity,” said Chris Patterson, research director for the Texas Public Policy Foundation in Austin, which commissioned the review.
For 35 percent of the noted errors, “publishers denied that the information was incorrect and stated that the reviewers misunderstood the textbook,” Mrs. Patterson said. “”However, in these cases publishers did not modify the text to ensure students would not fall victim to the same misunderstanding suffered by scholars and teachers who reviewed the texts.”
She said many textbook errors cited by the foundation involved “clear bias” - opinions presented as fact, content “not sufficiently objective or distortion through lack of substantive facts.
THINGS LEARNED ON THE INTERNET
From Wm Thompson
HISTORY OF THE MIDDLE FINGER
Well, now, here's something you may not have known until today!
Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future.
This famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as “plucking the yew”, or “pluck yew”.
Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, “See, we can still pluck yew!”
Because 'pluck yew' is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodentals fricative F', and thus the words are often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute!
It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as “giving the bird.”
It is still an appropriate salute that we can give to the French today
THOUGHTS TO LIVE BY
Forwarded by JayPMarine
Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can't make change correctly, is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.
Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day, is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.
Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking shopping progress, may be savoring this moment - knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this may be the last year they go shopping together.
Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those that are close to us, but to all humanity.
Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.
TO KILL AN AMERICAN
Forwarded by Slim Russell. No original source given
You probably missed it in the rush of news recently, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.
So an Australian dentist wrote the following to let everyone know what an American is… so they would know when they found one. (Good on ya, mate!)
An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek.
An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani, or Afghan.
An American may also be a Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.
An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim.
In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.
An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.
An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world.
The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.
An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need.
When the Soviet army overran Afghanistan 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!
As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan.
Americans welcome the best, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best athletes. But they also welcome the! least!
The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty, welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America.
Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. I've been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 other countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.
So you can try to kill an American if you must.
So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and every bloodthirsty tyrant in the history of the world.
But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself, because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.
COMMENT FROM READER:
Thanks for bringing this piece to our attention. It's excellent.
In an effort to return the favor, I would like to recommend the Laurie Roth website and radio program (she is somewhat like a female Michael Savage). In particular I think you would find her archived interviews very interesting. I believe the ones with Ibrahim Abdallah and Walid Shoebat are exceptionally important since both are former Palestinian Muslim terrorists who have become Christians and are now trying to warn us naive Americans about the very real danger/threat we face from this so-called religion.
And then you could always read Oriana Fallaci's book The Rage and the Pride on the same subject matter (she has a new book coming out in November called The Force of Reason). I also recommend Jacques Ellul's The Betrayal of the West (he was one of the greatest minds and polymaths of all time), Bat Ye'or's Eurabia, Serge Trifkovic's The Sword of the Prophet, anything by Robert Spencer & Daniel Pipes.
Craig Winn's books and WEBSITE [http://www.prophetofdoom.net ] are excellent as well.
That should keep you busy for a while!
Thanks again and keep up the good work.
TOO BAD IT WASN’T REAL
Forwarded by GaryVee
Web sites that debunk myths and rumors say that, while the dispute between the school and the parents was legitimate, no such message as the one below actually appeared on the answering machine. Evidently it was crafted by somebody close to the dispute and it found its way onto the Internet.
It is too bad that few, if any, school officials have the guts to set up an official answering message in this form. The sentiments expressed certainly have the ring of truth about today’s permissive parental society.
The story goes that the staff at Pacific Palisades High School in California, fed up with parental unhappiness with the school's crackdown on chronic absenteeism, retaliated by drafting the following message for the school's answering machine:
“To lie about why your child is absent, press 1.
“To make excuses for why your child did not do his work, press 2.
“To complain about what we do, press 3.
“To swear at staff members, press 4.
“To ask why you didn't get information that was already enclosed in your newsletter and several flyers mailed to you, press 5.
“If you want us to raise your child, press 6.
“If you want to reach out and touch, slap, or hit someone, press 7.
“To request another teacher for the third time this year, press 8.
“To complain about bus transportation, press 9.
“To complain about school lunches, press 0.
“But, if you realize this is the real world and your child must be accountable and responsible for his/her own behavior, class work, and homework, and that it's not the teacher's fault for your child's lack of effort, hang up and have a nice day.”
Editor's Note: Too bad it wasn’t real!
TROY CLAIMS UNCLE SAM ORIGIN (1994)
Did you ever wonder how the cartoon figure Uncle Sam originated?
Local stories vary. Some say he was a butcher who contracted with the government to supply meat to the Army during the War of 1812. Others say he was a government meat inspector. In any case, he stamped the meat with his initials, “U S,” for “Uncle Sam.”
Congress declared Uncle Sam Wilson the progenitor of America's national
symbol in 1961.
Wilson died in 1854 and is buried in Troy at the Oakwood Cemetery, but he has posthumously lent his name to a variety of establishments there: a parking garage, a natural foods store and a bowling alley, to name a few.
By Rabbi Aryeh Spero, Sep 7, 2005
Forwarded by Bill Thompson
In New Orleans, beginning Tuesday morning, August 30, I saw men in helicopters risking their lives to save stranded flood victims from rooftops. The rescuers were White, the stranded Black. I saw Caucasians navigating their small, private boats in violent, swirling, toxic floodwaters to find fellow citizens trapped in their houses. Those they saved were Black.
I saw Brotherhood. New York Congressman Charlie Rangel saw Racism.
Yes, there are Two Americas. One is the real America, where virtually every White person I know sends money, food or clothes to those in need — now and in other crises — regardless of color. This America is colorblind.
The other is the America fantasized and manufactured by Charlie Rangel, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who constantly cry racism! Even in situations where it does not exist, even when undeniable images illustrate love, compassion and concern. These three men, together with today's NAACP, want to continue the notion of Racist America. It is their Mantra, their calling card. Their power, money, and continued media appearances depend on it.
Often, people caught up in accusing others of sin neglect to undergo their own personal introspection. They begin to think they alone inhabit the moral high ground. It is high time these men peered into their own hearts at the dark chamber that causes this unceasing labeling of their fellow Americans as racist. They may find in that chamber their own racism — against Whites.
There is only one real America. Beginning Friday morning in Houston, thousands of regular citizens poured into the Astrodome offering water, food, clean clothes, personal items, baby diapers and toys, love and even their homes to the evacuees who had been bused in from New Orleans. Most of the givers were White, most of those being helped were Black. But there was Jesse Jackson, busy on TV, accusing the country of not putting Blacks — i.e., him — on some type of Commission he is demanding. Where was he early in the week? Not sweating with others from around the country who had scraped their last dollar to come help. With Jesse, its always about Jesse.
After decades of hearing accusations from Jesse, Al, Charlie, the NAACP and certain elitists about how racist America is, it would have been refreshing to hear them for once give thanks to those they for years have been maligning. These self-anointed spokesmen for the Black community lead only when it comes to foisting guilt and condemnation, and not when it comes to acknowledging the good in those they have made a career in castigating.
As a Rabbi I have a message I wish to offer to my fellow members of the cloth, Reverends Jackson and Sharpton: It is time to do some soul searching. Your continued efforts to tear this country apart, even in light of the monumental goodness shown by your White brothers, is a sin.
There are no churches in the world like the American churches. And there are no better parishioners and members of churches anywhere in the world. These churches are saving the day. Their members — infused by the special and singular teachings of our unique American Judeo- Christian understanding of the Bible — are, at this moment writing a historic chapter in giving, initiative, and selflessness They are opening their homes to strangers. They are doing what government is incapable of doing.
America works because of its faith-based institutions. It always has That is what makes it America.
So next time the ACLU tries to diminish and marginalize the churches saying there is no role for religion in American public life, that anmpenetrable wall must be erected separating the citizens from their faith, cry out Katrina.
Next time the ACLU goes to court asking that U.S. soldiers not be allowed to say Grace in the Mess Hall and that communities be forbidden from setting up a nativity scene, ask yourself: without the motivation of Goodness sourced in Faith, would people offer such sacrifice? Where else does this Brotherhood come from but the Bible which teaches Thou Shall Love Thy Neighbor as Yourself.
I saw brotherhood on Fox News, where 24/7 reporters used their perch as a clearing-house for search-and-rescue missions and communication between the stranded and those in position to save. In contrast, the Old-line networks continued with their usual foolish, brain-numbing programming. Those who always preach compassion chose profit over people.
The New York Times has utterly failed America. Its columnists could have used their talents and word skills to inspire and unite a nation. Columnists such as Frank Rich and Paul Krugman, however, revealed their true colors by evading their once-in-a-lifetime chance to help and instead chose to divide, condemn, and fuel the fires and poison the waters of Louisiana. In them, I saw no Brotherhood. The newspaper always preaching compassion verifies Shakespeare's “They protest too much.”
Similar elitists here in the Northeast and on the West coast have over the years expressed their view of the South as unsophisticated and Texans as cowboys. Well, the South has come through, especially Houston and other parts of Texas, whereas, as I write this on Labor Day, the limousine moralizers are lying on east and west coast beaches thinking they're doing their part by reading Times editorials and calling George Bush racist. How sanctimonious life becomes when proving you are not a racist depends not on living in a truly integrated neighborhood, but by simply calling others racist.
Like so often in history, facts trump platitudes. Reality reigns. Those who always preach brotherhood, thus far have acted devoid of it. Those who for decades have been accused by elitists of not having compassion are the ones living it. They are: the churches, the military, and the sons and daughters of the South.
Forwarded by Susan
Recently I purchased a burger and fries at McDonalds for $3.58. The counter girl took my $4 and I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies. While looking at the screen on her register, I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried.
Why do I tell you this? Because the evolution in our teaching of school subjects parallels the social mores of America. The following examples are a bit exaggerated and might be humorous if not so typical of what is happening in our liberal public education system and immigration:
Teaching Math In 1950: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?
Teaching Math In 1960: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?
Teaching Math In 1970: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?
Teaching Math In 1980: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20 Your assignment: Underline the number 20.
Teaching Math In 1990: A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers.)
Teaching Math In 2005: Un ranchero vende una carretera de madera para $100. El cuesto de la produccion era $80. Cuantos tortillas se puede comprar?
VEGETABLE OIL AND TOURS OF “DUTY”
By Lt. Col. Oliver North USMC ret for FOX Fan Central
Forwarded by Jean D. Beard
France - “Hanoi Jane” Fonda seems to have tired of her moniker. The wilted flower child who firmly established her place in American history when she mounted a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun has decided it's time to teach a whole new generation to blame America first.
If she actually goes through with her plans for a new protest movement she may well become known as “Jihadist Jane.” It has a better ring. More alliteration. Ms. Fonda says she wants to criss-cross the nation in a bus powered by vegetable oil, advocating the end of U.S. military operations in Iraq.
She's inviting the families of war veterans to ride along as props because, she says, the veterans she met while hawking her autobiography encouraged her to “break her silence.”
Unfortunately, her publicists won't give the names of any veterans slated to join her tour, and the only notable encounter she's had with a veteran recently ended with her wiping that wheelchair-bound hero's saliva off her face.
“I've decided I'm coming out,” she said. “It's another example of the government lying to the American people in order to get us into war.” She added that, “It's going to be pretty exciting.”
Maybe. Ms. Fonda recognizes that she carries “a lot of baggage” - and she wasn't talking about the stuff removed by her plastic surgeon.
One way Ms. Fonda can overcome the lack of enthusiasm for her “nationwide tour,” is to grant “exclusive access” to journalists who could help her tell her story. One suggestion would be to include NBC anchorman Brian Williams, who could put the tour and the war in historical perspective. After all, it was Mr. Williams' brilliant insight during a recent broadcast that revealed to the American public what they never previously knew - that the first few American Presidents were “terrorists.”
Another suggestion is to include former CNN correspondent Peter Arnett. Peter, who makes his home in Baghdad, would do a great job of explaining the war and its meaning - from the terrorists' point of view.
Another A-list guest Jane should include is Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll. It seems Ms. Knoll likes to crash the funerals of fallen heroes and hand out bumper stickers and yard signs. Liberals started this practice a few years ago when they turned the funeral of Senator Paul Wellstone into a foot-stompin', heart-thumpin', hand-clappin', barn-burnin', get-out-the-vote affair. But when Knoll showed up - uninvited - to the funeral of Marine Staff Sergeant Joseph Goodrich to assure the grieving family that “Our government is against this war, it crossed the line of decency…” making her a perfect candidate to join Jihad Jane.
Finally, Ms. Fonda needs to select an exciting itinerary. Herewith, are a few suggestions:
Jane, start in the South. Southerners are naturally hospitable. Take in the D-Day Museum in New Orleans. It's full of surprises. You like the canard that “Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.” Well, the Germans didn't attack us at Pearl Harbor, but we fought them anyhow. A bit of advice if I may: bring your own mechanic. Though the south has its fair share of farms, Cooter's Garage outlets, and NASCAR fans, no self-respecting mechanic is going to fix a broken down vegetable oil-powered bus.
Then, swing by a few sites in Texas to tell soldiers they're “fighting and dying for lies.” Fort Hood - home of the 4th Infantry Division might work. These soldiers that I covered for FOX News have already spent a year in Iraq - and they are getting ready to go again! They clearly need your help because they are re-enlisting at a phenomenal pace - the unit has already exceeded its retention goals for the entire year.
The Burn Unit at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston would surely have a few of the soldiers you claim to support; perhaps they'd be interested to hear your opinions about the low value of their disfiguring sacrifices.
CENTCOM, Fort Stewart, Camp Lejeune, and Fort Bragg, the home of our Special Forces, are all “must sees” along the way.
Finally, Jane, you'll want to finish in our nation's capital. When you get there, pick up Teddy Kennedy and Dick Durbin. I'd love to be a fly on the wall when they relate their historical analogies to the boys over at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center.
Be sure to visit the graves of America's heroes at Arlington Cemetery before making your final stop at a polished granite Wall on the National Mall. There, you will find inscribed the names of 58,249 heroes you spat upon when perched atop that VC gun.
Hopefully at some point during your Jihadist Journey, you will bump into Sergeant Christopher Missick of the 319th Signal Battalion. While in Iraq, Missick met hundreds of good Americans through his blog, “A Line in the Sand.” Home now, he and a fellow veteran are driving around the country - fueled by conventional gasoline to meet some of the patriots, his “Web of Support” who sent letters, packages, and prayers. He wants to personally thank them and “meet the heart of America.”
That's the kind of support the troops appreciate, not your caravan of craven critics.
Col. Oliver North is the host of FOX News Channel's “War Stories” Sundays at 8 pm ET.
WE, THE PEOPLE...
Forwarded by JayPMarine
No original source known
“We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other liberal bed-wetters.
“We hold these truths to be self evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require a Bill of Non-Rights.”
You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.
You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone — not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc.; but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.
You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful. Do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.
You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.
You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in public health care.
You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.
You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.
You do not have the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.
You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness, which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.
This is an English speaking country. We don't care where you are from, English is our language. Learn it or go back to wherever you came from!
You do not have the right to change our country's history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history, and if you are uncomfortable with it, TOUGH!!!!
Sensible people of the United States: Speak out… because if you do not, who will?
WHAT I HAVE NOT SEEN
By David Millican, Retired Pastor, McComb MS
Forwarded by Kay Wilson
An eyewitness of Hurricane Katrina in McComb briefly tells what he has seen… but don’t miss the part about what he has NOT seen!
WHAT I HAVE SEEN
The poor and the wealthy hurt by the storm
Black, white, Hispanic, oriental and Indian all hurt by the storm.
Christian people giving, giving, giving.
Churches going all out to minister in Jesus' name
Neighbors going door to door helping one another
Thugs and hoodlums going door to door looking for someone vulnerable.
Ice and water being fought over as police tried to keep the peace.
People coming up from New Orleans taking over empty houses because
shelters are full.
Out of town volunteers coming with food and staying for now a week still serving it.
The Churches all over this part of the country doing what Christians do in a crisis.
FEMA doing a wonderful job in getting help to us
The Red Cross doing a great job in the shelters.
The Salvation Army doing a great job in the community.
Four Hundred crewman from everywhere bringing power back to our homes, churches and businesses.
Lines at service stations a block to a mile long.
National Guardsman patrolling the streets of Mccomb along with Kentucky policemen protecting us from the hoodlums and thugs of McComb, Pike County and New Orleans (the most dangerous city in the world before Katrina.)
Drug dealers working outside shelters.
Doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel working tirelessly, even sleeping at the hospital to do the job that God called them to do.
WHAT I HAVE NOT SEEN
The ACLU setting up a feeding line.
People for the American Way helping in the shelters
The NAACP doing any work whatsoever
The American Atheist organization serving meals in the shelters.
Jesse Jackson directing traffic at the gas stations.
Operation Push doing anything at all.
Move ON Org doing anything except yelling how badly people are treated.
I could go on, but you get my message. Its the Christian people with love and compassion who do the work. The gripers in Congress should come on down and get in line to pass the water and the ice.
Are you listening Hillary, Chuck, Teddy, Dickie Durbin, Osama and all the sorry complaining loafers we call Senators and Congressmen. They don't have a clue as to what this life is all about here on the gulf coast.
Boy I feel better now.
David A. Millican
WHAT PRICE CHILDREN?
Forwarded by a friend. No original source known.
The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn't even include college tuition.
But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into:
- $8,896.66 a year,
- $741.38 a month
- $171.08 a week.
- That's a mere $24.24 a day, just over a dollar an hour.
Still, you might think the best financial advice is don't have children if you want to be “rich.” Actually, it is just the opposite. What you get for your $160,140:
- Naming rights. First, middle, and last,
- Glimpses of God every day.
- Giggles under the covers every night.
- More love than your heart can hold.
- Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
- Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
- A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
- A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites.
- Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.
For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to:
- carve pumpkins,
- play hide-and-seek,
- catch lightning bugs, and
- never stop believing in Santa Claus.
You have an excuse to:
- keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,
- watching Saturday morning cartoons,
- going to Disney movies, and
- wishing on stars.
- You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.
For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for:
- retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,
- taking the training wheels off a bike,
- removing a splinter,
- filling a wading pool,
- coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.
You get a front row seat to history to witness the:
- first step,
- first word,
- first bra,
- first date, and
- first time behind the wheel.
You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great-grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.
In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal boo-boos, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so that one day they will like you, love without counting the cost. That is quite a deal for the price!
So love and enjoy your children and grand-children!
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
From Marnie Johnson, Strawberry AR high school teacher. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Forwarded by Don & Beth Waterworth
We need to pay more attention to what is going on around us, and do the right thing by stepping up to the plate when action is needed. Too many children are coming up missing and too many people simply do not want to get involved.
Please watch this entire video [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/default.cdnx/id/11925653/displaymode/1157 ], then pass this article along to everyone on your mailing list (except back to me, of course).
YOU ARE BLESSED
Forwarded by Bill Thompson. No original source given.
- If you awoke this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who won't survive the week.
- If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 20 million people around the world.
- If you attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than almost three billion people in the world.
- If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.
- If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
- If your parents are still married and alive, you are very rare,
especially in the United States.
- If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
- If you can hold someone's hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder, you are blessed because you can offer God's healing touch.
- If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over
two billion people in the world who cannot read anything at all.
- You are so blessed in ways you may never even know.
Think about these blessings, be grateful for your good fortune and pass this along to someone you think would appreciate it.
“SCREW THE ACLU”
A photograph of Marines with heads bowed in prayer during a ceremony honoring their Corps birthday aroused the ACLU to take up verbal arms.
“These are federal employees,” says ACLU spokesman Lucius Traveler, “on federal property and on federal time. For them to pray is clearly an establishment of religion, and we must nip this in the bud immediately.”
What was wrong a photo of Marines praying? Except to those in the ACLU, absolutely nothing.
Asked what he thought about the ACLU charges, Colonel Jack Fessender, speaking for the Commandant of the Marine Corps said (cleaned up a bit), “Screw the ACLU.”
God bless our warriors who fight for Americans’ four freedoms… including religion!
This incident only shows how anti-American the ACLU has become in trying to remove God from everything and every place in America. Their ammunition is lawsuits and turmoil to intimidate.
Despite this minority opinion organization, may God continue to bless America – one nation under God!
“Lord, we beseech you to hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Give us the kind of strength and courage to match all of those who serve. Amen.”
If you agree with this message, send it along to those in your address book. And continue praying for our Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Coast Guard, and God’s guidance in our governmental affairs. Of all the gifts you could give any and all of them, prayer is the very best one. So please give it every day.