Topic: GOVERNMENT

(DEMOCRACY) THESE THINGS I BELIEVE

By Lynn Nofziger
Forwarded by JayPMarine

THESE THINGS I BELIEVE:

  • That government should butt out.
  • That freedom is our most precious commodity and if we are not eternally vigilant, government will take it all away.
  • That individual freedom demands individual responsibility.
  • That government is not a necessary good but an unavoidable evil.
  • That the executive branch has grown too strong, the judicial branch too arrogant and the legislative branch too stupid.
  • That political parties have become close to meaningless.
  • That government should work to insure the rights of the individual, not plot to take them away.
  • That government should provide for the national defense and work to insure domestic tranquility.
  • That foreign trade should be fair rather than free.
  • That America should be wary of foreign entanglements.
  • That the tree of liberty needs to be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
  • That guns do more than protect us from criminals; more importantly, they protect us from the ongoing threat of government.
  • That states are the bulwark of our freedom.
  • That states should have the right to secede from the Union.
  • That once a year we should hang someone in government as an example to his fellows.”


(DISASTERS) TAKING CARE OF OUR OWN

WEATHER BULLETIN
Name of originator unknown.
Forwarded by Woody Lindskog

Up here in the Northern Plains we just recovered from an Historic — may I even say a “Weather Event of Biblical Proportions” — with a blizzard of up to 24” inches of snow and winds to 50 MPH that broke trees in half, stranded hundreds of motorist in lethal snow banks, closed all roads, isolated scores of communities and cut power to tens of thousands of people.

George Bush did not come… FEMA staged nothing… no one howled for the government… no one even uttered an expletive on TV… Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards… no one asked for a FEMA Trailer House… no news anchors moved in.

We just melted snow for water, sent out caravans to pluck people out of snow-engulfed cars, fired up wood stoves, broke out coal oil lanterns or Aladdin lamps and put on an extra layer of clothes.

Even though a Category “5” blizzard of this scale has never fallen this early… we know it can happen and how to deal with it ourselves.

Everybody is fine.



(FLAG) SYMBOL OF FREEDOM

Forwarded by William Thompson

From the conduct of many people during public functions these days, one may wonder if the average person knows the rules, i.e., the law, (yes, there is a law) regarding proper respect for and display of the U.S. Flag and playing of the National Anthem.

Most of us learned this as a youth in school. All who served in the military know it because it is a fundamental part of daily military life and routine.

Since December 22, 1942 Public Law 829; Chapter 806, 77th Congress, 2nd session states the exact rules for use and display of the flag (36 U. S. C. 173-178) as well as associated sections (36 U. S. C. 171) Conduct
during Playing of the National Anthem, (36 U. S. C. 172) the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

Here are some applicable excerpts of that law:

United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 - The Flag

§4. Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: “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” should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.

§9. Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of flag

During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present except those in uniform should face the flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart. Those present in uniform should render the military salute. When not in uniform, men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Aliens should stand at attention. The salute to the flag in a moving column should be rendered at the moment the flag passes.

§301. National anthem; Star-Spangled Banner

The composition consisting of the words and music known as The Star-Spangled Banner is designated the national anthem of the United States of America.

Conduct during playing.
During rendition of the national anthem
When the flag is displayed:
All present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart; men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note; and
When the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed. [viz. with the right hand over the heart]



(FREEDOM) FREE SPEECH AT RISK

A Special Report from The Heritage Foundation

INTRODUCTION

Talk Radio, the Internet, Fox News, think tanks and grass-roots organizations - can you imagine where conservatives would be today without these institutions? But, these things did not always exist, and if many on the left have their way, conservatives will not have them available in the future.

For many years conservative ideas were shut out of the national dialogue. The three television networks - CBS, NBC and ABC - followed the liberal line of foreign policy, national defense, domestic policy, economics and social issues. There were few conservative commentators or columnists. The major universities were increasingly left-wing.

Beginning with Barry Goldwater’s defeat in the presidential election of 1964, conservatives began to think about how to reach the American people with conservative ideas. Slowly, over decades, conservatives built up alternative institutions to get around the blackout in the mainstream.

The Heritage Foundation and other think tanks were launched; they hired conservative experts who frequently could not get jobs in liberal-dominated universities, and began producing useful and principled policy ideas which have been adopted at a far higher rate than anything academia has produced.

Other conservatives learned how to use direct mail to reach conservatives with facts and ideas that the media shut out. Grass-roots conservatives were informed in this way about the handing over the Panama Canal, the Equal Rights Amendment, the abuses of the liberal Congress, and many more issues - and frequently changed the policy debates.

Conservative talk radio arose in the late 1980s, after the Reagan administration repealed the “Fairness Doctrine” that had discouraged broadcasters from putting controversial programming on the air. Cable television gave rise to Fox News, and with its success a demand for more conservative commentators on other television networks and cable channels.

More recently, the Internet has given conservatives the ability to get out enormous amounts of information to the public, to hold the mainstream media to account, and to talk to each other. The 2004 presidential election might have turned out differently had it not been for the instant analysis of Dan Rather’s fake memos that slammed President Bush right before the election, and the Internet-driven videos and ads that questioned Senator Kerry’s war record.

Many of these avenues are now under attack. Unless conservatives recognize the threats to their ability to communicate with each other and the rest of the American people, we could find the outlets we best make use of severely curtailed - while the Big Three networks, public broadcasting, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other liberal media continue on their way unharmed. This report lays out some of the imminent threats to conservative speech and communications.

THE FAIRNESS DOCTRINE

The Fairness Doctrine was a government rule from 1949 to 1987 that had the opposite effect of what its name implies. It was supposed to create fair and balanced broadcasting by compelling radio and TV stations to air both sides of controversial issues. In practice, it led to most stations avoiding controversial content altogether. And some presidential administrations used the rule to harass conservative broadcasters and even force them off the air.

The FCC repealed the rule in 1987. And immediately conservative talk radio sprang up - with Rush Limbaugh leading the way, followed by G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Reagan, Sean Hannity, and hundreds of others nationally and locally.

The left was taken aback. Here for the first time was a media phenomenon they did not control. Their attempts at duplicating talk radio’s success have flopped again and again, even well-funded, highly publicized efforts.

Unable to compete, they complain that conservative dominance in talk radio isn’t fair. So a number of leftists are waging a campaign to bring the government into the situation by reviving the Fairness Doctrine, which would enable them to force their way onto the airwaves.

The leftist media organization FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) has produced a position paper that complains of “the immense volume of unanswered conservative opinion heard on the airwaves.” They quote with approval a complaint from a lawyer that “Political opinions expressed on talk radio are approaching the level of uniformity that would normally be achieved only in a totalitarian society.”

A University of Michigan professor, Susan Douglas, has created a platform for “saving” America from conservatives. A key plank in her platform is recognizing “how important media reform is, particularly reinstating the Fairness Doctrine… We see the results of too much Rush Limbaugh and O’Reilly without any balance: voters who don’t have the facts.”

This if far more than a campaign by left-wing cranks. Two FCC commissioners have recently called for some version of the Fairness Doctrine to be imposed. Members of Congress have introduced bills to bring back the rule. One measure almost made it through attached to another bill until some alert conservatives noticed the trickery and removed it. But the bill was introduced this year and is in Congress now.

Defeated presidential candidate John Kerry praised the Fairness Doctrine, saying: “You would have had a dramatic change in discussion in this country had we still had a Fairness Doctrine in the course of the last campaign. But the absence of a Fairness Doctrine and the corporatization of the media has changed dramatically the ability of and the filter through which certain kinds of information get to the American people.”

A consortium of liberal media groups is aggressively pushing an Internet-based petition drive to restore the Fairness Doctrine or its modern equivalent. The boards and advisors of these groups represent a who’s who of influential liberals. They are united in a well-funded drive to bring back the bad old days when Washington decided who could say what on America’s airwaves.

And this time there are many who want to extend the Fairness Doctrine’s reach beyond the airwaves - to cable TV and satellite TV. Their main target is Fox News.

THE INTERNET

The Internet has significantly changed the way politics and policy-making are conducted in America. The mainstream media can no longer filter what citizens can learn, as a vast array of facts is at everyone’s fingertips along with commentators from left to right who interpret the facts and give their opinions.

This free exchange of information is looked on with horror by some, especially those in the mainstream media who fear losing their monopoly. And those in Congress who have succeeded in shutting down much political speech and grass-roots activity through the Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002 do not want the Internet to escape their grasp.

The Campaign Finance Reform Act is difficult enough to apply to traditional political activities. It was intended to get big money out of politics - which it tried to accomplish by limiting everybody’s political speech. But of course this is an impossible goal - there is too much at stake. In the 2004 elections big money was funneled to groups called 527s, such as the George Soros-funded groups America Coming Together (which spent $78 million) and the Media Fund ($54 million): and the conservative Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ($23 million). The Campaign Finance Reform supporters consider these groups a loophole and are moving to ban them, thus further limiting political speech.

Similarly, these supporters moved quickly to make sure that the Internet would not escape their control. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) gave the Internet a pass during the 2004 election. But the Campaign Finance Reform supporters went to court, and in September a judge ruled that the FEC had to issue regulations to Internet activities during election campaigns. These regulations will be in place for the 2006 election unless Congress makes it clear that is not its intention.

The Internet is still new and ever-changing. Regulations can not cover everything that goes on. Besides being an unwarranted limitation of political speech, the regulation makes it likely that many activities will be considered illegal and many ordinary people will be put at risk of huge legal expense, fines, and even prison.

Anything that helps a campaign can potentially be considered a contribution. Web sites link to campaign sites. Solitary individuals who publish blogs (web journals) praise candidates. College students, grandmothers and school teachers forward e-mails to their friends that might have originated from a campaign. If these things are considered contributions, ordinary citizens will have to file massive paperwork that Campaign Finance Reform requires - an expensive proposition not in the financial reach of the average person.

If it is unclear whether these are contributions, citizens will be fearful to act. And if they are not contributions, the same players could very well go to court again to specify more actions as falling under the Campaign Finance Reform Act, and citizens could find themselves guilty retroactively.

CONGRESS ATTACKS ON NONPROFITS

The Heritage Foundation and other think tanks, grass-roots foundations, legal defense groups, organizations that alert citizens to issues from education to immigration to tax policy, local and national charities, and all nonprofit associations are threatened by a move in Congress to vastly increase regulation of such groups.

It seems that some members of Congress believe that corruption is rampant among nonprofits, and increasing paperwork will solve the problem. There is no evidence that either of these propositions is true. The Heritage Foundation, like all nonprofits, had to file extensive paperwork at our founding to earn our nonprofit status; we produce reams of forms for the IRS every year. We, like other nonprofits, have had to undergo an IRS audit that was entirely unwarranted and cost us countless hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars, and went on five years before it was settled.

Most nonprofits are small and could not afford this additional burned; they will simply go out of business and stop serving the local needs that so many of them take care of. Small grass-root conservative groups may likewise be driven out of existence, and others that are badly needed will never come into existence.

The Heritage Foundation will have to take many dollars that should be used to further our mission of promoting free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense - and instead, spend the money on lawyers and clerks to fill out piles of new IRS forms.

SOLUTIONS

Threats to our freedom can be defeated when millions of Americans are alerted and speak out. This report can be copied and given out. It is available on the Internet [http://www.heritage.org/FreeSpeech/ ] and can be printed out or emailed to friends, colleagues, talk shows, members of Congress, and anyone else. The report also provides links to other articles on the issues discussed here, if you want more detail.

You can also write letters based on the information in the report to members of Congress, newspapers, Internet forums, etc. If you have a website or a blog you can report on it and link to it.

Citizen action has stopped threats to our freedoms before - and it can again. It is up to you.



(FTC) NEW BREED OF SCAM ARTISTS

ARLINGTON, Va. 3/15/2005 (AFPN) — Federal Trade Commission officials say “phishers” are a new breed of scam artists who send e-mails or pop-up messages claiming to be from a business or organization individuals would routinely deal with — an Internet service provider, bank, online payment service or even a government agency.

Phishing attacks trick people into passing personal information by luring them to false corporate Web sites or by requesting personal information be sent in a return e-mail.

These phony messages usually tell people that they need to 'update' or 'validate' account information, and may threaten dire consequence if they don’t respond. They then direct recipients to a Web site that mimics a legitimate organization's site. The purpose of the bogus site is to trick them into divulging personal information so the scam operators can steal identities and make purchases or commit crimes in the victim’s name.

With “phishing” scams occurring more frequently, federal Defense Finance Accounting Service officials said they want to assure customers that every precaution is taken to secure data - and that customers should be aware that the agency and its Web-based system, myPay, will not ask for personal or financial information by e-mail. Individual DFAS customers can enter the myPay Web site with a personal identification number to access the secure financial page to make changes to personal information.

The agency offers the following tips to help avoid getting hooked by a phishing scam:

  • Use anti-virus software and keep it up to date. Some phishing e-mails contain software that can harm computers or track activities on the Internet without the user’s knowledge.
  • Do not email personal or financial information. E-mail is not a secure method of transmitting personal information. If people initiate a transaction and want to provide their personal or financial information through a Web site, look for indicators that the site is secure, such as an image of a lock or lock icon on the browser's status bar or a Web site address that begins with https. Unfortunately, no indicator is foolproof; some phishers have forged security icons as well.

The myPay site combines strong encryption software and secure technology with the user's Social Security number, PIN and secure Web address or DOD-specific telephone numbers -safeguards against unauthorized access,. This combination prevents information from being retrieved by outside sources while information is being transmitted. The secure technology provided to myPay customers meets or exceeds security standards in private industry.



(HEALTH) JCS TO CONGRESS

REACTIONS TO GEN PACE’S TESTIMONY
From various sources

General Pace:

You and the other Joint Chiefs could serve your troops and your country much better if you would tell the President, DOD and Congress what they NEED to hear… not what they WANT to hear… even at the risk of having to resign your posts for showing the kind of backbone you once showed in war! Resigning would be more honorable than playing political Chess with actives and retirees as pawns.

Byron D. Varner, U.S. Navy (Ret)
Sarasota FL

————————————————

NEW TWIST

This is a new twist by the Chairman of the JCS, hitting a new low, who should be reminded that the military medical budget was taken from the line and given to the Assistant Secretary of Defense in 1992. At that time, the JCS handed the budget over without a whimper.

What the Secretary of Defense has to do is to ask the Congress, through the Defenses Budget submitted to the President, for the money to fund medical care, without any fees, due the military, both active and retired. This is part of the price to be paid for the medical care DOD and the Congress have promised members of the military, serving a full career with retired pay, for preserving the freedom of the United States.

What the President needs to do is to tell the politically appointed head of OMB to shut up and let this happen. The Congress has stated, with intent, they will oblige.

I can not believe that, for the first time in the history of the United States military, a Marine Corps officer would leave his troops on the battlefield and for what purpose.

General Pace, with all due respects and admiration sir, you need to stand up for your troops.

“Chesty” Puller, God Bless him , must be turning over in his grave…

Very respectfully,
Robert V Clements
Brig Gen USAF ret

—————————

DOD'S TRAP

The problem with SecDef's testimony and what the Department is requesting is that virtually all of their “re-balancing” effort is being done out of the wallets of a single beneficiary group - retirees and their families under age 65.

The trap DOD is in is that retirees 65 are the only group that they can do this to.

The 24-star letter signers won't let them do it to active duty families because it will hurt recruiting and retention.

Congress won't allow DOD to hit the over-65's with a premium beyond part B for TFL because it was Congresses way of fixing the “broken promise.”

So Rumsfeld is stuck. He has no where to turn but to those retired and their families who are 65.

Another interesting revelation in his testimony, and I do not believe he wanted it to be quite this transparent, is where he talks about employers telling people to go use their Tricare benefit. He acts as if this is wrong. What is wrong with people using the benefit they were promised, earned and are entitled to?

Harold M. Koenig, MD
Vice Admiral, Medical Corps
U.S. Navy, Retired
—————————————-

Dear Sir:

During my 23 years of active duty (1953-1975), I had always looked upon the JCS as the champions of the military men and women, who we could count on to stand up for us to DOD, Congress and the President.

I never imagined that you would turn your back on us and surrender to the demands of an increasingly uncaring government. We served with honor and self sacrifice… we fulfilled our contract with our government with the best years of our lives… and now that our service days are over it is most disheartening to see how we apparently have become a nuisance and a burden.

If our government and DOD need to save money, let them cut out some of the useless “pork” and waste, and not do it on the backs of those who made it possible for them to sit in their ivory towers and so casually talk about the expense of caring for the vet and military retiree. If we don't deserve that care… then pray tell me… who does ?

Ted L Cook USAF Ret.
———————————

Dear General Pace:

The price tag of war continues long after the last shot is fired.

Last night while watching C-SPAN I listened intently to your presentation regarding military health care issues and how they affect the budget of the military establishment. I was saddened to hear you fully supported raising Tricare premiums for former career military veterans and their families who have yet to reach eligibility to begin receiving Medicare.

General Pace, career military personnel and their families are the backbone of the military. During their long years of service they have made great sacrifices to our country and have served the military with distinction. The medical care benefit which was earned by their service should not be taxed further in order to pay for weapons systems.

I would suggest to you and others serving under you that you take the case of increased health care benefits to the Congress instead of trying to balance the budget of the U. S. Department of Defense on the backs of former career veterans. When a country calls its people to rally to the colors, it had better be prepared to pay for their service, in the short run and also the long run. To do otherwise is to risk disaster on the home front as well as the war front.

Sincerely, and comradeship,

PAUL L. BALAICH,
U.S. Army/US Air Force 3/46 - 8/68
Alamogordo, New Mexico



(HISTORY) EIGHT SIMPLE WORDS

By Jeff Edwards, from his website, with permission. [http://www.thedeckplate.com/ ]

“We hold these truths to be self-evident…” Of all the words in the Declaration of Independence, those are the ones that really sink home with me. If ever there was an example of brilliantly understated eloquence, this is it. But, in the rush to get to what they consider to be the meat of the message, most people hurry past that simple phrase without pausing to consider its meaning.

To me, those eight simple words speak volumes. They lay the groundwork for everything that comes after. The signers were proclaiming to King George III, and to the world, that the principles outlined in their declaration were so blindingly obvious that they required no justification or proof. ‘…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’

In an early draft of the declaration, Thomas Jefferson substituted the words ‘sacred and undeniable’ for ‘self-evident.’ In my opinion, the change in language was more poetic than substantive. The signers were making it plain that the words to follow were so clearly true that no rational person could possibly disagree.

Was it just political rhetoric? Or did the signers of the Declaration really mean what they were saying? Are men inherently endowed with certain rights? Are freedom, self-determination, and self-government the natural rights of all human beings?

The Founding Fathers struggled over those questions, long after their battle for independence was won. Our Constitution was signed in 1787, but slavery and involuntary servitude remained legal practices in the United States until the Thirteenth Amendment was formally ratified in 1865, at the end of the Civil War. Despite the noble intentions of the men who founded our nation, it took eighty-nine years to outlaw the practice of owning human beings as property in this country. It took another five years to guarantee men of all races the right to vote and exercise self government. It took still another fifty years to extend those rights to women with the Nineteenth Constitutional Amendment. In a nation that was founded upon the ideal of personal liberty, it took nearly a century and a half to guarantee freedom and self determination to every one of our citizens.

There are those who will point to the timeline of Human Rights in America as a sign that the dream of liberty failed at the start. I could not possibly disagree more. I see our struggles as proof that freedom is a living thing - growing and evolving as the minds and hearts of humans grow and evolve. A tiny dream that began with a select group of men has spread to encompass a nation of nearly three-hundred million people.

I’m not suggesting that the transformation is complete in our country. Until we’re free from injustices and inequalities, liberty will have plenty of room to grow in the United States. But I have every confidence that it will do so. Despite occasional detours and setbacks, the general trend in the U.S. has been toward freedom rather than away from it, almost from the outset.

What about the rest of the world? Freedom has taken root in other nations, sometimes with our assistance, and sometimes without. But it’s still not nearly as common as most Americans would like to believe. Only about a third of the human race currently enjoys most of the basic rights and protections guaranteed to American citizens. In other words, two out of three people on this planet are not entitled to due process, the right to vote, freedom of speech, freedom against unreasonable search and seizure, or the right to assemble.

To hear some people tell it, that’s not really any of our business. We should attend to our own affairs and leave the rest of the world alone. Maybe they’re right. Maybe we should keep our eyes focused inside our own borders and let the rest of mankind solve its own problems.

But, in my mind, that calls back the question raised by the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Are these truths really self-evident? Do human beings really have the right to be free?

Let’s assume for a second that the answer is no. Let’s stipulate, for the sake of argument, that freedom is the luxury of a privileged few, rather than an inalienable birthright of all people. If that’s the case, then the current state of human rights in this world may well be perfectly ethical. Perhaps some of us are supposed to enjoy the fruits of liberty while others languish in servitude or oppression.

If we accept that as a premise, then all that remains is to devise a reliable means of determining who is entitled to freedom, and who is not. What can we use as a suitable criteria? Money? Could we perhaps establish a threshold of income? Everyone above the line enjoys freedom, and everyone below it does without. Or perhaps we should consider genetics, or race. No one thought much of that idea when the Nazis tried it, but maybe there’s a better way to implement it. It might be simplest to leave the decision to geography and chance. If you’re fortunate enough to be born in the right country, you’re in the club. Otherwise you’re out of luck.

Those all sound like fairly dumb ideas to me, despite the fact that they’ve all been tried. Unfortunately, I can’t think of any good method of distinguishing free humans from non-free humans. I’m not saying that it isn’t possible. There may be a perfectly reasonable and equitable method for drawing the boundaries between the free and the oppressed.

Okay… confession time. That last bit was an outright lie. I don’t believe there can ever be a reasonable or equitable mechanism for depriving human beings of liberty. Perhaps it’s just the arrogance of an American citizen speaking, but I believe that the signers of the Declaration of Independence hit the nail on the proverbial head. These truths ARE self-evident. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness ARE the inalienable rights of all human beings.

And, if I am correct in that belief, then there are no legitimate criteria for depriving human beings of liberty. And that means that all supposed criteria are illegitimate by definition. Geography, race, money, and politics are all irrelevant.

It is the ethical responsibility of all free men and all free women to carry the torch of liberty into places of darkness. That’s my declaration. I couldn’t say it in eight words, and I have no illusions that my thoughts belong on the same page with those of Thomas Jefferson. I’m just a retired Navy Chief, an American, and a lover of freedom. Nonetheless, I stand by my declaration. And I hold this truth to be self-evident.



(HISTORY) AMERICA AT THE CROSSROADS

IT WILL BE THE DEATH OF LIBERALISM

By Raymond Kraft, lawyer and writer at rskraft@vfr.net [mailto:rskraft@vfr.net]
Forwarded by Gen Russ Dougherty USAF (Ret), via BGen Bob Clements, USAF (Ret)

Sixty-three years ago, Nazi Germany had overrun almost all of Europe and hammered England to the verge of bankruptcy and defeat, and had sunk more than four hundred British ships in their convoys between England and America for food and war materials.

Bushido Japan had overrun most of Asia, beginning in 1928, killing millions of civilians throughout China, and impressing millions more as slave labor.

The United States was in an isolationist and pacifist mood, and most Americans and Congress wanted nothing to do with the European war, or the Asian war.

Then along came Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and in outrage Congress unanimously declared war on Japan, and the following day on Germany, which had not attacked us.

It was a dicey thing. We had few allies.

France was not an ally, for the Vichy government of France aligned with its German occupiers. Germany was not an ally, for it was an enemy, and Hitler intended to set up a Thousand Year Reich in Europe.

Japan was not an ally, for it was intent on owning and controlling all of Asia. Japan and Germany had long-term ideas of invading Canada and Mexico, and then the United States over the north and south borders, after they had settled control of Asia and Europe.

America's allies then were England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Australia, and Russia, and that was about it. There were no other countries of any size or military significance with the will and ability to contribute much of anything to the effort to defeat Hitler's Germany and Japan, and prevent the global dominance of Nazism. And we had to send millions of tons of arms, munitions, and war supplies to Russia, England, and the Canadians, Aussies, Irish, and Scots, because none of them could produce all they needed for themselves.

All of Europe, from Norway to Italy, except Russia in the east, was already under the Nazi heel.

America was not prepared for war. America had stood down most of its military after World War I and throughout the depression. At the outbreak of World War II there were army soldiers training with broomsticks over their shoulders because they didn't have guns, and using cars with ''tank'' painted on the doors because they didn't have tanks. And a big chunk of our navy had just been sunk and damaged at Pearl Harbor.

Britain had already gone bankrupt, saved only by the donation of $600 million in gold bullion in the Bank of England that was the property of Belgium and was given by Belgium to England to carry on the war when Belgium was overrun by Hitler. Actually, Belgium surrendered one day, because it was unable to oppose the German invasion, and the Germans bombed Brussels into rubble the next day anyway, just to prove they could.

Britain had been holding out for two years already in the face of staggering shipping loses and the near-decimation of its air force in the Battle of Britain, and was saved from being overrun by Germany only because Hitler made the mistake of thinking the Brits were a relatively minor threat that could be dealt with later and turning his attention to Russia, at a time when England was on the verge of collapse in the late summer of 1940.

Russia saved America by putting up a desperate fight for two years until the United States got geared up to begin hammering away at Germany. Russia lost something like 24 million people in the sieges of Stalingrad and Moscow, 90% of them from cold and starvation, mostly civilians, but also more than a million soldiers. More than a million! Had Russia surrendered, then, Hitler would have been able to focus his entire campaign against the Brits, then America, and the Nazis would have won that war.

Had Hitler not made that mistake and invaded England in 1940 or 1941, there would have been no England for the United States and the Brits to use as a staging ground to prepare an assault on Nazi Europe.

England would not have been able to run its North African campaign to help take a little pressure off Russia while America geared up for battle, and today Europe would very probably be run by the Nazis, the Third Reich, and, isolated and without any allies (not even the Brits). The United States would very probably have had to cede Asia to the Japanese, who were basically Nazis by another name then, and the world we live in today would be very different and much worse.

I say this to illustrate that turning points in history are often dicey things.

And we are at another one.

There is a very dangerous minority in Islam that either has-or wants to have, and may soon have the ability to deliver small nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, almost anywhere in the world, unless it is prevented from doing so.

France, Germany, and Russia, have been selling these Islamic nations weapons technology at least as recently as 2002, as have North Korea, Syria, and Pakistan - paid for with billions of dollars that Saddam Hussein skimmed from the “Oil For Food” program administered by the United Nations with the complicity of Kofi Annan and his son.

The Jihadis, or the militant Muslims, are basically Nazis in Kaffiyahs. They believe that Islam, a radically conservative (definitely not liberal) form of Wahhabi Islam, should own and control the Middle East first, then Europe, then the world, and that all who do not bow to Allah should be killed, enslaved, or subjugated. They want to finish the Holocaust, destroy Israel, and purge the world of Jews. This is what they say.

There is also a civil war raging in the Middle East - for the most part not a hot war, but a war of ideas. Islam is having its Inquisition and its Reformation today, but it is not yet known which will win-the Inquisition, or the Reformation.

If the Inquisition wins, then the Wahhabis, or the Jihadis, will control the Middle East, and the OPEC oil, and the United States, European, and Asian economies - the techno-industrial economies - will be at the mercy of OPEC. Not an OPEC dominated by the well-educated and rational Saudis of today, but an OPEC dominated by the Jihadis.

You want gas in your car? You want heating oil next winter? You want jobs? You want the dollar to be worth anything? You’d better hope the Jihad, the Muslim Inquisition, loses, and the Islamic Reformation wins.

If the Reformation movement wins, that is, the moderate Muslims who believe that Islam can respect and tolerate other religions, and live in peace with the rest of the world, and move out of the 10th Century into the 21st Century, then the troubles in the Middle East will eventually fade away, and a moderate and prosperous Middle East will emerge.

We have to help the Reformation win, and to do that we have to fight the Inquisition, i.e., the Wahhabi movement, the Jihad, Al Qaeda, the Islamic terrorist movements.

We have to do it somewhere. We cannot do it nowhere. And we cannot do it everywhere at once.

We have created a focal point for the battle now at the time and place of our choosing, in Iraq. Not in New York, not in London, or Paris, or Berlin, but in Iraq, where we did and are doing two very important things:

  • We deposed Saddam Hussein. Whether Saddam Hussein was directly involved in 9/11 or not, it is undisputed that Saddam has been actively supporting the terrorist movement for decades. Saddam is a terrorist. Saddam is, or was, a weapon of mass destruction, who is responsible for the deaths of probably more than a million Iraqis and two million Iranians.
  • We created a battle, a confrontation, a flash point, with Islamic terrorism in Iraq. We have focused the battle. We are killing bad guys there, and the ones we get there we won't have to get here, or anywhere else. We also have a good shot at creating a democratic, peaceful Iraq, which will be a catalyst for democratic change in the rest of the Middle East, and an outpost for a stabilizing American military presence in the Middle East for as long as it is needed.

The Euros could have done this, but they didn't, and they won't. We now know that rather than opposing the rise of the Jihad, the French, Germans, and Russians were selling them arms. We have found more than a million tons of weapons and munitions in Iraq. If Iraq was not a threat to anyone, why did Saddam need a million tons of weapons?

And Iraq was paying for French, German, and Russian arms with money skimmed from the United Nations Oil For Food Program (supervised by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and his son) that was supposed to pay for food, medicine, and education, for Iraqi children.

World War II, the war with the German and Japanese Nazis, really began with a ''whimper'' in 1928. It did not begin with Pearl Harbor. It began with the Japanese invasion of China. It was a war for fourteen years before America joined it. It officially ended in 1945 - a 17-year war-and was followed by another decade of United States occupation in Germany and Japan to get those countries reconstructed and running on their own again - a 27-year war. World War II cost the United States an amount equal to approximately a full year's GDP - adjusted for inflation, equal to about $12 trillion dollars. World War II cost America more than 400,000 killed in action, and nearly 100,000 still missing in action.

The Iraq war has, so far, cost the United States about $120 billion, which is roughly what 9/11 cost New York. It has also cost about 1,000 American lives, which is roughly 1/3 of the 3,000 lives that the Jihad snuffed on 9/11.

But the cost of not fighting and winning World War II would have been unimaginably greater - a world dominated by German and Japanese Nazism.

Americans have a short attention span, now, conditioned I suppose by 30-minute television shows and 2-hour movies in which everything comes out okay. The real world is not like that. It is messy, uncertain, and sometimes bloody and ugly. It always has been, and probably always will be.

If we do this thing in Iraq successfully, it is probable that the Reformation will ultimately prevail. Many Muslims in the Middle East hope it will. We will be there to support it. It has begun in some countries, Libya, for instance. And Dubai. And Saudi Arabia. If we fail, the Inquisition will probably prevail, and terrorism from Islam will be with us for all the foreseeable future, because the people of the Inquisition, or Jihad, believe that they are called by Allah to kill all the Infidels, and that death in Jihad is glorious.

The bottom line here is that we will have to deal with Islamic terrorism until we defeat it, wherever that is. It will not go away on its own. It will not go away if we ignore it.

If the United States can create a reasonably democratic and stable Iraq, then we have an ''England'' in the Middle East, a platform from which we can work to help modernize and moderate the Middle East. The history of the world is the clash between the forces of relative civility and civilization, and the barbarians clamoring at the gates. The Iraq war is merely another battle in this ancient and never-ending war. And now, for the first time ever, the barbarians are about to get nuclear weapons. Unless we prevent them. Or somebody does.

The Iraq war is expensive, and uncertain, yes. But the consequences of not fighting it and winning it will be horrifically greater. We have four options:

1. We can defeat the Jihad now, before it gets nuclear weapons.

2. We can fight the Jihad later, after it gets nuclear weapons (which may be as early as next year, if Iran's progress on nuclear weapons is what Iran claims it is).

3. We can surrender to the Jihad and accept its dominance in the Middle East, now, in Europe in the next few years or decades, and ultimately in America.

4. Or we can stand down now, and pick up the fight later when the Jihad is more widespread and better armed, perhaps after the Jihad has dominated France and Germany and maybe most of the rest of Europe. It will be more dangerous, more expensive, and much bloodier then.

Yes, the Jihadis say that they look forward to an Islamic America. If you oppose this war, I hope you like the idea that your children, or grandchildren, may live in an Islamic America under the Mullahs and the Sharia, an America that resembles Iran today.

We can be defeatist, as many Democrats and liberals, peace-activists, and anti-war types seem to be, and concede or surrender to the Jihad—or we can do whatever it takes to win this war against them.

The history of the world is the history of civilizational clashes, or cultural clashes. All wars are about ideas - ideas about what society and civilization should be like - and the most determined always win. Those who are willing to be the most ruthless always win. The pacifists always lose, because the anti-pacifists kill them.

In the 20th Century, it was western democracy vs. communism, and before that western democracy vs. Nazism, and before that Western democracy vs. German Imperialism. Western democracy won, three times, but it wasn't cheap, fun, nice, easy, or quick. Indeed, the wars against German Imperialism (World War I), Nazi Imperialism (World War II), and communist imperialism (the 40-year Cold War that included the Vietnam Battle, commonly called the Vietnam War, but itself a major battle in a larger war) covered almost the entire century.

The first major war of the 21st Century is the war between Western Judeo/Christian Civilization and Wahhabi Islam. It may last a few more years, or most of this century. It will last until the Wahhabi branch of Islam fades away, or gives up its ambitions for regional and global dominance and Jihad, or until Western Civilization gives in to the Jihad.

Senator John Kerry, in the debates and almost daily, made three specious claims:

1. We went to Iraq without enough troops.

We went with the troops the United States military wanted. We went with the troop levels that General Tommy Franks asked for. We deposed Saddam in 30 days with light casualties, much lighter than we expected.

The real problem in Iraq is that we are trying to be nice; we are trying to fight the 1% of the population that is Jihadi, and trying to avoid killing the 99% of the population that is not a threat. We could flatten Fallujah in minutes with a flight of B52s, or seconds with one nuclear cruise missile - but we don't. We're trying to do brain surgery, not cut off the patient's head. The Jihadis amputate heads.

2. We went to Iraq with too little planning.

This is a specious argument too, for it supposes that if we had just had ''the right plan'' the war would have been easy, cheap, quick, and clean. That is not an option. It is a guerrilla war against a determined enemy, and no such war ever has been or ever will be easy, cheap, quick, and clean. This is not television!

3. We proved ourselves incapable of governing and providing security.

This, too, is a specious argument. It was never our intention to govern and provide security. It was our intention from the beginning to do just enough to enable the Iraqis to develop a representative government and their own military and police forces to provide their own security, and that is happening.

The United States and the Brits and other countries there have trained over 100,000 Iraqi police and military, now, and will have trained more than 200,000 by the end of next year. We are in the process of transitioning operational control for security back to Iraq. It will take time. It will not go without hitches. This is not television.

Remember, perspective is everything, and America's schools teach too little history. The Cold War lasted from about 1947 to 1989 - at least until the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. Forty-two years. Europe spent the first half of the 19th century fighting Napoleon, and from 1870 to 1945 fighting Germany.

World War II began in 1928, lasted 17 years, plus a ten year occupation, and the United States still has troops in Germany and Japan. World War II resulted in the death of more than 50 million people, maybe more than 100 million people, depending on which estimates you accept.

The United States has taken a little more than 1,000 Killed-in-Action (KIA) in Iraq. The United States took more than 4,000 KIA on the morning of June 6, 1944, the first day of the Normandy Invasion to rid Europe of Nazi Imperialism. In World War II the United States averaged 2,000 KIA a week for four years. Most of the individual battles of World War II lost more Americans than the entire Iraq war has done so far.

But the stakes are at least as high: a world dominated by representative governments with civil rights, human rights, and personal freedoms - or a world dominated by a radical Islamic Wahhabi movement, and by the Jihad, under the Mullahs and the Sharia.

I do not understand why the American left does not grasp this. Too much television, I guess.

The liberals are supposed to be in favor of human rights, civil rights, liberty, freedom, and all that. But not for Iraqis, I guess. In America, but nowhere else. The 300,000 Iraqi bodies in mass graves in Iraq? Not our problem.

The United States population is about twelve times that of Iraq, so let's multiply 300,000 by twelve. What would you think if there were 3,600,000 American bodies in mass graves in America because of George Bush? Would you want another country to help liberate America?

''Peace Activists'' always seem to demonstrate where it's safe and ineffective to do so: in America. Why don't we see liberal peace activists demonstrating in Iran, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, North Korea, in the places in the world that really need peace activism the most?

The liberals are supposed to be in favor of human rights, civil rights, democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, etc., but if the Jihad wins, wherever the Jihad wins, it is the end of civil rights, human rights, democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, etc. American liberals who oppose the liberation of Iraq are coming down on the side of their own worst enemy. If the Jihad wins, it is the death of Liberalism. Everywhere the Jihad wins, it is the death of Liberalism.

And American liberals just don't get it.



(HISTORY) EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD KNOW

Forwarded by Col. Robert Nikolewski USAF (Ret) via P38bob. No original source given

This is article is worth the time it will take to read it.

On the aluminum cap, atop the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, are displayed two words: Laus Deo. No one can see these words. In fact, most visitors to the monument are totally unaware they are even there and for that matter, probably couldn't care less.

Once you know Laus Deo's history, you will want to share this with everyone you know. But these words have been there for many years; they are 555 feet, 5.125 inches high, perched atop the monument, facing skyward to the Father of our nation, overlooking the 69 square miles which comprise the District of Columbia, capital of the United States of America.

Laus Deo! Two seemingly insignificant, unnoticed words. Out of sight and, one might think, out of mind, but very meaningfully placed at the highest point over what is the most powerful city in the most successful nation
in the world.

So, what do those two words, in Latin, composed of just four syllables and only seven letters, possibly mean? Very simply, they say “Praise be to God!”

Though construction of this giant obelisk began in 1848, when James Polk was President of the United States, it was not until 1888 that the monument was inaugurated and opened to the public. It took twenty- five years to finally cap the memorial with a tribute to the Father of our nation, Laus Deo. Praise be to God!”

From atop this magnificent granite and marble structure, visitors may take in the beautiful panoramic view of the city with its division into four major segments. From that vantage point, one can also easily see the original plan of the designer, Pierre Charles l'Enfant… a perfect cross imposed upon the landscape, with the White House to the North. The Jefferson Memorial is to the south, the Capitol to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the West.

A cross you ask? Why a cross? What about separation of church and state? Yes, a cross; separation of church and state was not, is not, in the Constitution. So, read on. How interesting and, no doubt, intended to carry a profound meaning for those who bother to notice.

Praise be to God! Within the monument itself are 898 steps and 50 landings. As one climbs the steps and pauses at the landings the memorial stones share a message. On the 12th Landing is a prayer offered by the City of Baltimore; on the 20th is a memorial presented by some Chinese Christians; on the 24th a presentation made by Sunday School children from New York and Philadelphia quoting Proverbs 10:7, Luke 18:16 and Proverbs 22:6. Praise be to God!

When the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid on July 4th, 1848 deposited within it were many items including the Holy Bible presented by the Bible Society. Praise be to God! Such was the discipline, the moral direction, and the spiritual mood given by the founder and first President of our unique democracy… “One Nation, Under God.”

I am awed by Washington's prayer for America. Have you never read it? Well, now is your unique opportunity, so read on!

“Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” Laus Deo!

When one stops to observe the inscriptions found in public places all over our nation's capitol, he or she will easily find the signature of God, as it is unmistakably inscribed everywhere you look.

You may forget the width and height of “Laus Deo”, it's location, or the architects but no one who reads this will be able to forget it's meaning, or these words: “Unless the Lord builds the house its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.” (Psalm 127: 1)

Perhaps you will send this to every child you know; to every sister, brother, father, mother or friend. They will not find offense, because you have given them a lesson in history that they probably never learned in school. With that, be not ashamed, or afraid, but have pity on those who will never see.



(HISTORY) LESSONS IN LIBERALISM

By Patrick J. Buchanan © 2005 Creators Syndicate Inc.
Forwarded by p38bob

In his 1935 State of the Union Address, FDR spoke to a nation mired in the Depression, but still marinated in conservative values:

“Continued dependence upon welfare,” said FDR, “induces a spiritual disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole our relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.”

Behind FDR's statement was the conviction that, while the government must step in an emergency, in normal times men provide the food, clothing and shelter for their families. And we did, until the war pulled us out of the Depression and a postwar boom made us, in John K. Galbraith's phrase, “The Affluent Society.”

By the 1960s, America, the richest country on earth, was growing ever more prosperous. But with the 1964 landslide of LBJ, liberalism triumphed and began its great experiment. Behind the Great Society was a great idea: to lift America's poor out of poverty, government should now take care of all their basic needs. By giving the poor welfare, subsidized food, public housing and free medical care, government will end poverty in America.

At the Superdome and New Orleans Convention Center, we saw the failure of 40 years of the Great Society. No sooner had Katrina passed by and the 17th Street levee broke than hundreds of young men who should have taken charge in helping the aged, the sick and the women with babies to safety took to the streets to shoot, loot and rape. The New Orleans police, their numbers cut by deserters who left their posts to look after their families, engaged in running gun battles all day long to stay alive and protect people.

It was the character and conduct of its people that makes the New Orleans disaster unique. After a hurricane, people's needs are simple: food, water, shelter, medical attention. But they can be hard to meet. People buried in rubble or hiding in attics of flooded homes are tough to get to. But, even with the incompetence of the mayor and governor, and the torpor of federal officials, this was possible.

Coast Guard helicopters were operating early. There were roads open into the city for SUVs, buses and trucks. While New Orleans was flooded, the water was stagnant. People walked through to the convention center and Superdome. The flimsiest boat could navigate. Even if government dithered for days - what else is new - this does not explain the failure of the people themselves.

Between 1865 and 1940, the South - having lost a fourth of its best and bravest in battle, devastated by war, mired in poverty - was famous for the hardy self- reliance of her people, black and white.

In 1940, hundreds of British fishermen and yachtsmen sailed back and forth daily under fire across a turbulent 23-mile Channel to rescue 300,000 soldiers from Dunkirk. How do we explain to the world that a tenth that number of Americans could not be reached in four days from across a stagnant pond?

The real disaster of Katrina was that society broke down. An entire community could not cope. Liberalism, the idea that good intentions and government programs can build a Great Society, was exposed as fraud.

After trillions of tax dollars for welfare, food stamps, public housing, job training and education have poured out since 1965, poverty remains pandemic. But today, when the police vanish, the community disappears and men take to the streets to prey on women and the weak.

Stranded for days in a pool of fetid water, almost everyone waited for the government to come save them. They screamed into the cameras for help, and the reporters screamed into the cameras for help, and the “civil rights leaders” screamed into the cameras that Bush was responsible and Bush was a racist.

Americans were once famous for taking the initiative, for having young leaders rise up to take command in a crisis. See any of that at the Superdome?

Sri Lankans and Indonesians, far poorer than we, did not behave like this in a tsunami that took 400 times as many lives as Katrina. We are the descendants of men and women who braved the North Atlantic in wooden ships to build a country in a strange land. Our ancestors traveled thousands of miles in covered wagons, fighting off Indians far braver than those cowards preying on New Orleans' poor.

Watching that performance in the Crescent City, it seems clear: We are not the people our parents were. And what are all our Lords Temporal now howling for? Though government failed at every level, they want more government.

FDR was right. A “spiritual disintegration” has overtaken us. Government-as-first provider, the big idea of the Great Society, has proven to be “a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.”

Either we get off this narcotic, or it kills us.



(HISTORY) THE WAY IT WAS

From Art Garland via p38bob

A STATEMENT FROM TEDDY ROOSEVELT

“In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.

“But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all.

“We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile.

“We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language…and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.” - Theodore Roosevelt 1907



(JUDICIAL) ACLU VS NAVY

ACLU TARGETS THE NAVY
By Terence P. Jeffrey, published by the Washington Times, 12-29-03

While many graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy have spent 2003 defending our nation in Iraq, in Afghanistan or on ships at sea, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union have been plotting an act of cultural terrorism against the Navy here at home.

The ACLU is targeting the voluntary lunchtime prayer that has been a tradition at the Naval Academy since its founding.

In the ACLU´s view, consenting adults have a right to do just about anything they want except say grace in a government cafeteria. Consensual sodomy, it believes, is a sacred right, while consensual public prayer is a sorry ritual to be crushed beneath the boot heel of big government.

True to its creed, the ACLU began maneuvering against the Navy in April, after the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the Virginia Military Institute to cancel its supper prayer.

Theoretically, VMI violated the First Amendment. “Congress,” it says, “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” In essence, the judges concluded that when Virginia allowed its cadets to say a nondenominational prayer it was the equivalent of Congress establishing a federal religion in the very corner of Virginia where Stonewall Jackson used to teach.

Although absurd, the appeals court decision was the predictable progeny of a long line of abominable Supreme Court decisions. That court banned prayer in public grade schools and high schools. The appeals court merely extended the principle to a public college.

That gave the ACLU an opening to attack the Navy.

Maryland ACLU Director Susan Goering sent the academy a letter. “We believe that when you have had a chance to review the 4th Circuit's opinion,” she said, “you will agree that the Naval Academy´s mandatory lunchtime prayer cannot pass constitutional muster, and will therefore cease the practice.”

Never mind that the prayer is not “mandatory.” What mattered was Miss Goering´s implicit threat to sue. But the Navy did not retreat. In August, it announced it would keep its prayer, and the ACLU went ballistic.

“We tried things the nice way, and they´ve told us to pound sand,” ACLU lawyer David Rocah told the Baltimore Sun. “If someone is interested in challenging” the prayer, he said, “we would be perfectly happy to talk to them about that.”

Republican Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina did not sit idle at such threats.” If the ACLU can´t be stopped now,” he told me, “tomorrow it will try to control what prayer is said in the foxhole. I have seen the federal courts take one right after another away from people of faith in this country, and I think it is time to fight.”

He introduced legislation to codify the authority of the military academies to offer “voluntary, nondenominational prayer” at academy events. Designed to send an unsubtle signal to any court that entertains an ACLU suit against the Navy, the proposal is likely to be included in next year´s Defense Authorization Act.

But will it stop a judge from banning the Navy´s prayer? I doubt it

The same federal courts that declared same-sex sodomy a right and banned the Ten Commandments from state buildings will not be deterred by an ordinary act of Congress. If the federal judiciary stays on trend, prayer will be banned at Navy, and the ACLU will set its sights on a bigger target perhaps banning military chaplains.

Must Congress surrender? No. Just as the Navy has faithfully defended our democracy, our democratically elected leaders must faithfully defend the Navy. The Constitution says Congress has the power to “establish” the lower federal courts and that the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall be set “with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.”

Explaining this language, Justice Joseph Story, who was appointed by President James Madison, said: “Of course, as the judicial power is to be vested in the supreme and inferior courts of the Union, both are under the entire control and regulation of Congress.”

If the ACLU files suit against Navy´s prayer, Congress should pass a law lifting the issue from the jurisdiction of the courts. Then, borrowing the words of ACLU lawyer Mr. Rocah, it should tell the ACLU to go pound sand.

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor of Human Events and is nationally syndicated.



(JUDICIAL) PUNISHMENT TO REMEMBER

Forwarded by RoyVee

Remember the guy who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe? And tried to light it? Did you know his trial is over? Did you know he was sentenced? Did you see or hear any of the judge's comments on TV or radio? Every American should know what the judge had to say.

Ruling by Judge William Young, U.S. District Court

Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say.

His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also admitted his “allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah,” defiantly stated “I think I ought not apologize for my actions,” and told the court “I am at war with your country.”

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below, a stinging condemnation of Reid in particular and terrorists in general.

January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid

Judge Young:
“Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you. On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutive with the other. That's 80 years. On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years, consecutive to the 80 years just imposed.

“The Court imposes upon you for each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 for the aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines. The Court imposes upon you the $800 special assessment. The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further. This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.

“Let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is all too much war talk here. And I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, where we deal with individuals as individuals, and care for individuals as individuals.

“As human beings, we reach out for justice. You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether it is the officers of government who do it or your attorney who does it, or that happens to be your view, you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not treat with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

“So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I know warriors. You are a species of criminal guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and where the TV crews were, and he said, “You're no big deal.” You are no big deal. What your counsel, what your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have, as honestly as I know how, tried to grapple with is why you did something so horrific.

“What was it that led you here to this courtroom today? I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask your self what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing. And I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you. But as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know. It seems to me you hate the one thing that is most precious. You hate our freedom - our individual freedom… our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose.

“Here, in this society, the very winds carry freedom. They carry it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that everyone can see, truly see that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discreetly. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed appeals will go on in their representation of you before other judges. We are about it.

“Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden, pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. Day after tomorrow it will be forgotten. But this, however, will long endure.

“Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice - justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged, and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

“See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. You know it always will.

“Custody, Mr. Officer. Stand him down.”



(JUDICIAL) CAN 50 STATES BE WRONG?

Forwarded by JayPMarine. Original Internet source not found.

Somewhere along the way, the federal courts and the Supreme Court have misinterpreted the U. S. Constitution. America's founders did not intend separation of God and state - as shown by the State Constitutions or Bill of Rights of all 50 states acknowledging God in the following Preambles:

1776 Maryland - We, the people of the state of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God or our civil and religious liberty in the course of His Providence…
1776 Pennsylvania - We, the people of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humble invoking His guidance…
1776 Virginia - Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator can be directed only by Reason and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and Charity towards each other…
1777 Georgia - We, the people of Georgia, relying upon protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
1777 Vermont - Whereas all government ought to enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on man.
1778 South Carolina - We, the people of he State of South Carolina, grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
1780 Massachusetts - We, the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe…
1792 New Hampshire - Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience…
1796 Tennessee - That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience…
1818 Connecticut - The People of Connecticut, acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to enjoy…
1820 Maine - We, the People of Maine acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity and imploring His aid and direction…
1842 Rhode Island - We, the People of the State of Rhode Island, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy…
1844 New Jersey - We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us…
1845 Missouri - We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness, establish this Constitution.
1845 Texas - We, the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging with gratitude the grace and beneficence of God…
1846 New York - We, the people of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings…
1848 Wisconsin - We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom…
1851 Indiana - We, the People of the State of Indiana, grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to chose our form of government…
1852 Ohio - We, the people of the state of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and! to promote our common…
1857 Iowa - We, the People of the State of Iowa, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him…
1857 Minnesota - We, the people of the State of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings…
1857 Oregon - All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences…
1859 Kansas - We, the people of Kansas, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges establish this Constitution.
1864 Nevada - We, the people of the State of Nevada, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom establish this Constitution.
1868 North Carolina - We, the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for our civil, political, and religious liberties…
1870 Illinois - We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy…
1872 West Virginia - Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God…
1874 Arkansas - We, the people of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government…
1875 Nebraska - We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom establish this Constitution.
1876 Colorado - We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of Universe…
1879 California - We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom…
1885 Florida - We, the people of the State of Florida, grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty establish this Constitution.
1889 North Dakota - We, the people of North Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain…
1890 Mississippi - We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work…
1889 Idaho - We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings…
1889 South Dakota - We, the people of South Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for our civil! and religious liberties establish this…
1890 Wyoming - We, the people of the State of Wyoming, grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties establish this Constitution.
1891 Kentucky - We, the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties…
1897 Delaware - Through Divine Goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshipping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences…
1889 Montana - We, the people of Montana, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty, establish this Constitution.
1889 Washington - We, the People of the State of Washington, grateful! to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution.
1896 Utah - Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we establish this Constitution.
1901 Alabama - We the people of the State of Alabama, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution
1901 Michigan - We, the people of the State of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom establish this Constitution.
1907 Oklahoma - Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of…
1911 Arizona - We, the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution.
1911 New Mexico - We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty…
1921 Louisiana - We, the people of the State of Louisiana, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy…
1956 Alaska - We, the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land…
1959 Hawaii - We, the people of Hawaii, Grateful for Divine Guidance establish this Constitution.

After reviewing acknowledgments of God from all 50 state constitutions, one is faced with the prospect that maybe… just maybe… the ACLU and the out-of-control federal courts are wrong.

“Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.” William Penn

God Bless America.



(JUDICIAL) SO BE IT

From jeg@azalea.net [mailto:jeg@azalea.net]. No original source given.

If the US government determines that it is against the law for the words “under God” to be on our money, then … So be it.

And if that same government decides that the “Ten Commandments” are not to be used in or on a government installation, then … So be it.

And if that same government decides that “Christmas Manger Scenes” are not to be used in or on a government installation, then … So be it.

And since they already have prohibited prayer in the schools, on which they deem their authority, then … So be it.

I say, “So be it,” because I would like to be a law abiding U.S. citizen.

I say, “So be it,” because I would like to think that smarter people than I are in positions to make good decisions.

I would like to think that those people have the American Tax paying Publics' best interests at heart.

BUT, DO YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE I'D LIKE?

Since we can't pray to God, can't Trust in God and cannot post His Commandments in Government buildings, I don't believe the Government and it's employees should participate in the Easter and Christmas celebrations which honor the God that our government is eliminating from many facets of American life.

I'd like my mail delivered on Christmas, Good Friday, Thanksgiving and Easter. After all … it's just another day.

I'd like the US Supreme Court to be in session on Christmas, Good Friday, Thanksgiving and Easter as well as Sundays. After all … it's just another day.

I'd like the Senate and the House of representatives to not worry about getting home for the “Christmas Break.” After all … it's just another day. They can just continue working and not take a break.

I'm thinking that a lot of my taxpayer dollars could be saved, if all government offices, services, employees would work on Christmas, Good Friday and Easter.

It shouldn't cost any overtime since those would be just like any other day of the week to a government that is trying to be “politically correct.”

In fact … I think that our government should work on Sundays (initially set aside for worshipping God) because, after all, our government says that it should be … just another day.

What do you think? If this idea gets to enough people, maybe our Supreme Court and elected officials will stop giving in to the minority opinions and ACLU morons, and begin, once again to represent common sense, and the majority of ALL of the American people.

SO BE IT.

Amen and Amen.



(NEW ORLEANS) A GEOPOLITICAL PRIZE

By George Friedman. Forwarded by p38bob

The American political system was founded in Philadelphia, but the American nation was built on the vast farmlands that stretch from the Alleghenies to the Rockies. That farmland produced the wealth that funded American industrialization: It permitted the formation of a class of small landholders who, amazingly, could produce more than they could consume. They could sell their excess crops in the east and in Europe and save that money, which eventually became the founding capital of American industry.

But it was not the extraordinary land nor the farmers and ranchers who alone set the process in motion. Rather, it was geography — the extraordinary system of rivers that flowed through the Midwest and allowed them to ship their surplus to the rest of the world. All of the rivers flowed into one — the Mississippi — and the Mississippi flowed to the ports in and around one city: New Orleans. It was in New Orleans that the barges from upstream were unloaded and their cargos stored, sold and reloaded on ocean-going vessels. Until last Sunday, [Aug 2005 Hurricane Katrina]New Orleans was, in many ways, the pivot of the American economy.

For that reason, the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815 was a key moment in American history. Even though the battle occurred after the War of 1812 was over, had the British taken New Orleans, we suspect they wouldn't have given it back. Without New Orleans, the entire Louisiana Purchase would have been valueless to the United States. Or, to state it more precisely, the British would control the region because, at the end of the day, the value of the Purchase was the land and the rivers - which all converged on the Mississippi and the ultimate port of New Orleans. The hero of the battle was Andrew Jackson, and when he became president, his obsession with Texas had much to do with keeping the Mexicans away from New Orleans.

During the Cold War, a macabre topic of discussion among bored graduate students who studied such things was this: If the Soviets could destroy one city with a large nuclear device, which would it be? The usual answers were Washington or New York. For me, the answer was simple: New Orleans. If the Mississippi River was shut to traffic, then the foundations of the economy would be shattered. The industrial minerals needed in the factories wouldn't come in, and the agricultural wealth wouldn't flow out. Alternative routes really weren't available. The Germans knew it, too: A U-boat campaign occurred near the mouth of the Mississippi during World War II. Both the Germans and Stratfor have stood with Andy Jackson: New Orleans was the prize.

Last Sunday, nature took out New Orleans almost as surely as a nuclear strike.

Hurricane Katrina's geopolitical effect was not, in many ways, distinguishable from a mushroom cloud. The key exit from North America was closed. The petrochemical industry, which has become an added value to the region since Jackson's days, was at risk. The navigability of the Mississippi south of New Orleans was a question mark. New Orleans as a city and as a port complex had ceased to exist, and it was not clear that it could recover.

The Ports of South Louisiana and New Orleans, which run north and south of the city, are as important today as at any point during the history of the republic. On its own merit, POSL is the largest port in the United States by tonnage and the fifth-largest in the world. It exports more than 52 million tons a year, of which more than half are agricultural products — corn, soybeans and so on. A large proportion of U.S. agriculture flows out of the port. Almost as much cargo, nearly 17 million tons, comes in through the port — including not only crude oil, but chemicals and fertilizers, coal, concrete and so on.

A simple way to think about the New Orleans port complex is that it is where the bulk commodities of agriculture go out to the world and the bulk commodities of industrialism come in. The commodity chain of the global food industry starts here, as does that of American industrialism. If these facilities are gone, more than the price of goods shifts: The very physical structure of the global economy would have to be reshaped. Consider the impact to the U.S. auto industry if steel doesn't come up the river, or the effect on global food supplies if U.S. corn and soybeans don't get to the markets.

The problem is that there are no good shipping alternatives. River transport is cheap, and most of the commodities we are discussing have low value-to-weight ratios. The U.S. transport system was built on the assumption that these commodities would travel to and from New Orleans by barge, where they would be loaded on ships or offloaded. Apart from port capacity elsewhere in the United States, there aren't enough trucks or rail cars to handle the long-distance hauling of these enormous quantities — assuming for the moment that the economics could be managed, which they can't be.

The focus in the media has been on the oil industry in Louisiana and Mississippi. This is not a trivial question, but in a certain sense, it is dwarfed by the shipping issue. First, Louisiana is the source of about 15 percent of U.S.-produced petroleum, much of it from the Gulf. The local refineries are critical to American infrastructure. Were all of these facilities to be lost, the effect on the price of oil worldwide would be extraordinarily painful. If the river itself became unnavigable or if the ports are no longer functioning, however, the impact to the wider economy would be significantly more severe. In a sense, there is more flexibility in oil than in the physical transport of these other commodities.

There is clearly good news as information comes in. By all accounts, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, which services supertankers in the Gulf, is intact.

Port Fourchon, which is the center of extraction operations in the Gulf, has sustained damage but is recoverable. The status of the oil platforms is unclear and it is not known what the underwater systems look like, but on the surface, the damage - though not trivial — is manageable.

The news on the river is also far better than would have been expected on Sunday. The river has not changed its course. No major levees containing the river have burst. The Mississippi apparently has not silted up to such an extent that massive dredging would be required to render it navigable. Even the port facilities, although apparently damaged in many places and destroyed in few, are still there. The river, as transport corridor, has not been lost.

What has been lost is the city of New Orleans and many of the residential suburban areas around it. The population has fled, leaving behind a relatively small number of people in desperate straits. Some are dead, others are dying, and the magnitude of the situation dwarfs the resources required to ameliorate their condition. But it is not the population that is trapped in New Orleans that is of geopolitical significance: It is the population that has left and has nowhere to return to.

The oil fields, pipelines and ports required a skilled workforce in order to operate. That workforce requires homes. They require stores to buy food and other supplies. Hospitals and doctors. Schools for their children. In other words, in order to operate the facilities critical to the United States, you need a workforce to do it — and that workforce is gone. Unlike in other disasters, that workforce cannot return to the region because they have no place to live. New Orleans is gone, and the metropolitan area surrounding New Orleans is either gone or so badly damaged that it will not be inhabitable for a long time.

It is possible to jury-rig around this problem for a short time. But the fact is that those who have left the area have gone to live with relatives and friends. Those who had the ability to leave also had networks of relationships and resources to manage their exile. But those resources are not infinite — and as it becomes apparent that these people will not be returning to New Orleans any time soon, they will be enrolling their children in new schools, finding new jobs, finding new accommodations. If they have any insurance money coming, they will collect it. If they have none, then — whatever emotional connections they may have to their home — their economic connection to it has been severed. In a very short time, these people will be making decisions that will start to reshape population and workforce patterns in the region.

A city is a complex and ongoing process - one that requires physical infrastructure to support the people who live in it and people to operate that physical infrastructure. We don't simply mean power plants or sewage Treatment facilities, although they are critical. Someone has to be able to sell a bottle of milk or a new shirt. Someone has to be able to repair a car or do surgery. And the people who do those things, along with the infrastructure that supports them, are gone — and they are not coming back anytime soon.

It is in this sense, then, that it seems almost as if a nuclear weapon went off in New Orleans. The people mostly have fled rather than died, but they are gone. Not all of the facilities are destroyed, but most are. It appears to us that New Orleans and its environs have passed the point of recoverability. The area can recover, to be sure, but only with the commitment of massive resources from outside — and those resources would always be at risk to another Katrina.

The displacement of population is the crisis that New Orleans faces. It is also a national crisis, because the largest port in the United States cannot function without a city around it. The physical and business processes of a port cannot occur in a ghost town, and right now, that is what New Orleans is. It is not about the facilities, and it is not about the oil. It is about the loss of a city's population and the paralysis of the largest port in the United States.

Let's go back to the beginning. The United States historically has depended on the Mississippi and its tributaries for transport. Barges navigate the river. Ships go on the ocean. The barges must offload to the ships and vice versa. There must be a facility to empower this exchange. It is also the facility where goods are stored in transit. Without this port, the river can't be used. Protecting that port has been, from the time of the Louisiana Purchase, a fundamental national security issue for the United States.

Katrina has taken out the port — not by destroying the facilities, but by rendering the area uninhabited and potentially uninhabitable. That means that even if the Mississippi remains navigable, the absence of a port near the mouth of the river makes the Mississippi enormously less useful than it was. For these reasons, the United States has lost not only its biggest port complex, but also the utility of its river transport system — the foundation of the entire American transport system. There are some substitutes, but none with sufficient capacity to solve the problem.

ollows from this that the port will have to be revived and, one would assume, the city as well. The ports around New Orleans are located as far north as they can be and still be accessed by ocean-going vessels. The need for ships to be able to pass each other in the waterways, which narrow to the north, adds to the problem. Besides, the Highway 190 bridge in Baton Rouge blocks the river going north. New Orleans is where it is for a reason: The United States needs a city right there.

New Orleans is not optional for the United States' commercial infrastructure. It is a terrible place for a city to be located, but exactly the place where a city must exist. With that as a given, a city will return there because the alternatives are too devastating. The harvest is coming, and that means that the port will have to be opened soon. As in Iraq, premiums will be paid to people prepared to endure the hardships of working in New Orleans. But in the end, the city will return because it has to.



(PEOPLE) 2005 MILITARY POLL

DISCONNECT CITED BETWEEN TROOPS, CIVILIAN LEADERSHIP
By Gordon Trowbridge, Military Times staff writer 1-3-06
Forwarded by YNCS Don Haribine USN (Ret)

From Congress to the White House to the Pentagon, the career-oriented heart of the military appears increasingly estranged from its leaders in Washington, according to results of the 2005 Military Times Poll.

The poll of active-duty subscribers to the Military Times also shows continued disdain for the media and a belief that the military's prestige may have slipped in the eyes of civilians.

Whether the numbers reflect the impact of controversies of the last year - or a longer-term trend of growing separation between political leaders and Americans as a whole, - they are likely to feed concerns about tension between the uniformed military and the civilians responsible for its oversight.

CLICK HERE for the rest of the story. [http://www.militarycity.com/polls/2005_gapside.php ]



(PEOPLE) VITAL DOCUMENTS

From BGen R Clements, USAF Retired

There are a few documents that people absolutely need to have at some point in their lives — a birth certificate may be the best example, but marriage or death certificates, and perhaps a divorce decree, could be other essential documents.

The fact is that in order to apply for Social Security benefits (and for a number of other reasons) you will probably need at least one of these documents, either the original or a copy certified by the state that issued it. Figuring out where to go to find the certified copies you need could be confusing - until now.

With the online resource you can find the addresses and phone numbers of the issuing offices as well as the fees for the documents you need. So even a person born in Alabama, married in California, divorced in Utah and retired in Florida can find everything he or she needs at the link below. Try it out! http://www.socialsecurity.gov/vitalstats.html [http://www.socialsecurity.gov/vitalstats.html]



(PEOPLE) SALUTING A GREAT AMERICAN

COLIN POWELL
A perspective from a retired civilian/military journalist, howellis@aol.com

Colin Powell is now home and comfy in private life after a lifetime of public service including some of the most outstanding military and diplomatic distinctions achieved in our country's modern-day history.

He has been in the top echelons of our Army as a General, and the top echelons of the President's Cabinet as a Secretary of State. And, most distinguishing in today's corrupt and devious world, his service in uniform and his service as a diplomat were of such unblemished and honored integrity it lifted our United States of America reputation beyond the criticisms heaped on others in the Bush Administration.

Colin Powell's honor and integrity endow him with admiration seldom lavished on a public figure by an America embarrassed, ashamed and disgruntled by the political shenanigans and military toadying we hear of or read of daily vis a vis television, the internet and print media.

I hope wherever he is or goes from here, he travels with the respect and in the best sense of the word - the love - of the men, women and young'uns of this country - and surely in others - who appreciate what he did for us, tried to do for us and may yet do for us as he too struggles for the preservation and perpetuation of this, the last great Democratic Republic on our tortured planet.

Thank you Mr. Secretary, Thank you, General Powell, God Speed, Sir!

Comments pro and con are welcome at howellis@aol.com and/or luftbrucke1@aol.com. Thank you. H.A.E.



(POLITICS) HISTORY YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

LIBERALS & CONSERVATIVES
Original source unknown. Forwarded by Col Donald Dorfman, USAF (Ret).

Division of the human family into two distinct political groups began some 12,000 years ago. Humans existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunter-gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains in the summer and would go to the beach and live on fish and lobster in winter.

The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups: Liberals and Conservatives.

Once beer was discovered it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early human ancestors were sitting around awaiting this invention they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to roast for barbecue at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement.

Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly barbecue roasts and doing the sewing, fetching and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement.

Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as girly men. Another interesting revolutionary side note: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men.

Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy and group hugs and the concept of democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.

Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare.

Generally, most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood, and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't fair to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink domestic beer. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Generally, Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, Criminal attorneys, construction workers, medical doctors, fighter pilots, police officers, corporate executives, war fighters, athletes, and anyone who works productively outside government. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America.

They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get MORE for nothing.



(POLITICS) SLIPS & QUIPS

SAY WHAT?!

Al Gore: “A zebra cannot change his spots.”
Alan Simpson: “There are a lot of things we do that are irrelevant, but that’s what the Senate is for.”
Barry Goldwater: (on women in the military) “Women are hard enough to handle now, without giving them a gun.”
Bill Clinton: “Being president is a lot like being head of a cemetery. You’ve got a lot of people under you and they don’t listen to you.”
Eugene McCarthy: “Being a politician is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game, but dumb enough to think it’s important.”
George Mitchell: “Although He is regularly asked to do so, God does not take sides in American politics.”
Gerald Ford: “You know all those Secret Service men you’ve seen around me? When I play golf they get combat pay.”
Henry Kissinger: “The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.”
Hillary Clinton: (describing Bill) “He’s a hard dog to keep on the porch.”
Hubert Humphrey: “To err is human. To blame someone else is politics.”
Jimmy Carter: “Your politicians will always be there when they need you.”
John F. Kennedy: “I have just received the following telegram from my generous daddy. It says, 'Dear Jack: Don't buy a single vote more than is necessary. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for a landslide.'”
Lyndon Johnson: “Being president is like being a jackass in a hailstorm. There’s nothing to do but stand there and take it.”
Orrin Hatch: “The only way we’ll get the French to help us is if they find truffles in Iraq.”
Ronald Reagan: “The most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”
Walter Mondale: “Political image is like mixing cement. When it’s wet you can move it around and shape it, but at some point it hardens and there’s almost nothing you can do to reshape it.”
William Weld: “You can lead a House to order, but you can’t make it think.”



(POLITICS) VETERANS PARTY OF AMERICA

By Jug Varner

When I started the Keeping Apace Website in 1999, my purpose was NOT political, nor is it now, although I confess that my stance against the insidious growth of the Ultra Liberal plague (that permeates America’s mainstream media, colleges and universitys and controls much of our public education) comes close. But, in essence, everything in our form of government is politically driven.

When the idea of a third major political party representing American veterans and their families first came to my attention some time ago, I had mixed emotions.

My main concern was that, despite the heroic efforts our veterans have given to the cause of freedom, people might mistakenly perceive this political party primarily as an ulterior motive for attaining veterans’ health care rights and privileges promised but never delivered by Congress. Also, getting enough veterans interested in joining such a party in large enough numbers to have any political clout seemed highly unlikely.

Veterans reflect the population as a whole. Some are Republican, some Democrat, some Libertarian or other political concept, and some are non-political. They are liberal, moderate, conservative, and extremists at both ends of the political spectrum. Thus, although great enough in number as a whole to be politically effective, the possible unwillingness of some veterans to leave their current party affiliations could conceivably reduce the high projected numbers needed to make a real impact.

As the old adage “Ten percent do all the work and 90 percent compalin about it” implies, it is difficult to get people in large enough numbers to become actively engaged in any effort that will bring about change. Also, military people had to be apolitical while on active duty (“ours is not to wonder why, ours is but to do or die”) and some are still so inclined.

My purpose in telling you all this is a lead-in to reproduction of excerpts of an E-mail letter from Robert Thompson, one of the founders of the Veterans Party of America. Before writing this, I called him and discussed generalities about his letter, and told him I would send him a copy of this article for his approval before I published it in Keeping Apace - which I have done.

Perhaps many of you have received his full letter and are already familiar with the new party concept. If not, you can contact him at the addresses listed below to find out more about it.

Those of you who have read my article in Jug’s Journal under GOVERNMENT, entitled (HISTORY) WILL THE FLOODTIDES COME? - or other similar articles about the decline and fall of great nations - know that America today certainly fits into the pattern of predicted decline, almost frightenly so. Perhaps there is serious merit in what Bob Thompson has to say about a quest for “three party” government.

Here are the excerpts. You can be the judge. And be sure to read the article that follows by Maj. Michael Weems, USAF (Ret.), a 100% Disabled Veteran:

Monday, March 28, 2005

“Every American patriot, private citizen, business person or members of the Media must take a stand.”

“Since the 1700s, it has been the sacrifices of the Veterans of this country that the rest of the population enjoys the rights and freedoms they have come to know and cherish. This is why we feel it is our duty, as American Veterans, who have been bound by oath to protect our nation from enemies both foreign and domestic, to form the Veterans Party of America, in honor of those heroic soldiers that “gave all” so that we could live in Freedom.”

“We realize that there are good Republican and Democrat leaders. Let us untie their hands by forming this third major political power and create patriotic leaders who will be a check and balance presence to insure that this country is not led farther astray. Once again we can provide the leadership that protects our nation from all enemies, foreign and domestic, and create a three party system of government that is truly responsive to its people, and will uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.”

“We offer our past record as proof of being proven leaders and victorious in our missions. We offer our leadership to all Americans to lead this nation back to the ideals of our founding fathers. We are not just forming another third party. Our mission is to create a three party system of government that will overhaul at growing out-of-control government that does not at all resemble the government that was established by our founding fathers.”

“To do this we need the support of every American who recognizes the downfalls and corruption of today's political system. We need the support of every who knows this is the only way true change can come about.”

“We are not facing just any war. We are facing a time in our nation's history where the people of this nation are witnessing first hand the constant erosion of the values, liberties, justices, freedoms, and the pursuits of happiness that were given to every American citizen by the Constitution of the United States of America.”

“Speaking of founding fathers, I quote this reminder by George Washington: ‘The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated, and appreciated by their nation.’”

“The fact that this country has turned its back on our military veterans is proof that the values for which those soldiers who gave their lives have been betrayed. We are now witnessing the very same betrayal directed towards the American people. We are witnessing a government out of control by the people… a government being controlled by special Interest groups, big businesses, and corporate corruption - which continue finding new ways to elude paying their fair share of taxes through various loopholes to a nation that has provided them the very freedoms to enjoy a successful business strategy.”

“Their huge inflated profits do not seem to be enough. The element of greed has taken hold. These giants are sending jobs overseas, instead of to Americans at home - thus undermining our nation's economic stability - and are being rewarded for doing so at the cost of the American dream. This outright theft of the freedoms this nation once knew and cherished comes at the price of its hard working and loyal tax paying citizens. For big business to conduct this on their own soil and erode the very fabric of our economic structure allows a very elite few to have control and power over all, placing our country in jeopardy. Now we are in the direct path of terrorists awaiting the financial collapse of a system that was once strong and steadfast. Our nation is protected by a Constitution that has been long since misinterpreted by corrupt politicians in the interest of political and financial gain.”

“It is high time to overhaul this broken and grossly unfair system. It is time, once again, to turn to our nation's Veterans for leadership. We must rejoin together as a nation ‘of the people, by the people, and for the people.’ We declared our freedom and independence some 200+ years ago, and again some ‘four score and seven years ago.’ We all came here in pursuit of a dream. Let us not abandon those principals. “

“We must hold our government accountable for it’s out of control actions and spending, and regain the definition and true understanding of the Constitution of these United States and place the power back in the hands of the people. We must regain the control through a system that enforces a check and balance structure that safeguards each and every man woman and child in this country. Let that system be the three party system of government that the Veterans Party of America strives to create.”

“We must provide a healthcare system that does not place American's future in jeopardy with overwhelming financial burdens to be paid to big business. We must not continue to place our future in the hands of a two-party system that thrives on one party giving the American people table scraps, knowing that the other party will offer them nothing more. The American people deserve better. We must return to the principals of our founding fathers, to allow honesty, integrity, and dignity back into the halls of our government.”

“We the American people must join forces, young and old alike. Let not our race or creed create barriers, but unite us as one to shift the power of our government back to the people of these United States of America. We are a nation of many cultures and ethnic backgrounds but our one common thread is that, as Americans, we stand for Freedom.“

“Let us bring jobs back to American soil. Let us show the world that we can not be bought or sold to the highest bidder. Let us show Terrorists that we shall not be intimidated by their threats and that we will fight to the bitter end for our beliefs.”

Robert C. Thompson
7115 Maxwell Ct.
Panama City, FL 32404-8458
Telephone: 1-850 871-0988
E-Mail [mailto:robert0931@comcast.net ]
Website [http://www.veteransparty.us/ ]

PAPER OR PLASTIC? THE VETERANS PARTY - A NEW CHOICE
By Michael H Weems, Major, USAF Ret), 100% Disabled Veteran
Written some time ago and forwarded to Keeping Apace after seeing the foregoing article published on this Website.

Last month I attended the birth of the Bay County Florida Chapter of the Veterans Party of America. I attended their initial meeting to see what their purpose and intent was, and having reviewed their published information on the issues and having met the good people of the party, I found myself drawn into the group.

Most Americans, at least those who are political, have at least thought about how a third political party would affect the balance of power in the halls of Congress. Many of us, disgusted with what we see from both parties in Washington, have thought “if only there was something we could do”. The more knowledgeable among us remember attempts at a third party, most recently we have had Ross Perot and Ralph Nader try this. Mr. Perot bailed out at the last minute, disappointing his faithful and giving the third party push a severe black-eye. Mr. Nader, although representing a good cause, just cannot generate the momentum required to be a viable political force. Many now think the very idea of a third party is impossible to achieve.

Perhaps they are right, but I believe in America, and believe her people want a real choice when they go to the polls. Right now it's “paper or plastic?”, but both bags hold the same thing, a political party who has sold their ideals for power, and who's main objective is re-election, not representing the people who sent them to Washington to look out for their best interests. With over 30,000,000 Veterans in our nation, and counting their families, friends, and people of like-mindedness, we have a voter base to pull from of half the nation’s population, maybe more.

The Veterans Party is a fresh attempt to create a new political party whose message is that We the People must retake our government from its corporate masters. Americans are a very generous people, but we send billions to other nations while we have children hungry right here, elderly without proper medical care, an overburdened under funded educational system, and our Veterans benefits are slowly eroded by our Congress. We love and respect our troops currently serving our nation, and are tired of them having to beg for the tools to do their job, or face the added danger of completing the mission with the handicap of obsolete or ineffective equipment.

While we call ourselves the Veterans Party, we seek to include all Americans who see a need for change in this country, and who believe in the ideas we set forth regarding the issues. If you are a patriot of this great nation, and want to see her regain her honor and status in the world we welcome your participation in the party. If you are tired of our government paying more attention to what goes on in the privacy of our homes than in the myriad of real problems our country is facing then we welcome you to a new choice. If you believe our children and elderly deserve to be treated with the love and respect they deserve, then we welcome you into a new paradigm.

Government is meant to be the servant of the people. Our Founding Fathers called it a “necessary evil” and warned us to be always vigilant for the signs of abuse of power. Patrick Henry once said “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” I, for one, believe that time has come, and if you think the same way we welcome you to a party who wants to take back the power that rightfully belongs to We The People.

It won't be easy to establish and grow a new party from the ground up, in fact if we achieve the goal of a viable party with real political power we will have changed the very fabric of our nation. The Veterans Party isn't here because it's easy, but because it's necessary, just as our Veterans have always stood up for our nation in times of trouble they rise again now. All the patriots of this land can and should stand with us, man or woman, young or old, without regard for race, creed, religion, or lifestyle choice, together we can make this happen.



(POLITICS) WORLD'S SMALLEST QUIZ

Forward by Bill Thompson

You need to be absolutely honest in selecting what you believe to be the most appropriate answer to each question on this brief quiz. If so, the result shouldn’t surprise you about where you stand politically.

CLICK HERE [http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz.html ].



(SCIENCE) NEW ELEMENT DISCOVERED

GOVERNMENTIUM
Forwarded by GeeVee

A major research institution recently announced the discovery of the heaviest chemical element yet known to science. The new element has been tentatively named “Governmentium”.

Governmentium has 1 neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 11 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of governmentium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete, when it would normally take less than a second.

Governmentium normally has a half-life of three to five years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause some morons to become neutrons thus forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to speculate that governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as “Critical Morass”.

You will recognize it when you see it.



(TAXES) MORE SCAMS

IRS WARNS OF PHONY E-MAIL

Marketing pitches masquerading as the 1099 forms detailing non-payroll income have been arriving in taxpayer mailboxes, while e-mails that appear to be from the Internal Revenue Service are really identity theft scams designed to collect personal financial information.

Government officials say they are currently seeing about one widespread IRS-themed e-mail scam a week, but Internet security experts expect them to escalate as the April 15 tax deadline nears.

Read the full story by clicking here [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/24/AR2006022401748.html?referrer=email&referrer=email ].



(TAXES) UNDERSTANDING TAX CUTS

By David R. Kamerschen, PhD, Professor of Economics, U. of GA
Forwarded by JerryDJay

Sometimes politicians, journalists and the liberal left exclaim; “It's just a tax cut for the rich!” and it is just accepted to be fact.

But what does that really mean?

Just in case you are not completely clear on this issue, I hope the following will help. Please read it carefully.

Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand.

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

  • The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
  • The fifth would pay $1.
  • The sixth would pay $3.
  • The seventh would pay $7.
  • The eighth would pay $12.
  • The ninth would pay $18.
  • The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
    So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20.” Dinner for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to eat their meal.

The restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so:

  • The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
  • The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
  • The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
  • The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
  • The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
  • The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,” but he got $10!”
“Yeah, that's right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than me!”
“That's true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!”
“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn't get anything at all. The system exploit’s the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start eating overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.



(WELFARE) UNNATURAL DISASTER

HURRICANE EXPOSES MAN-MADE DISASTER
By Robert Tracinski, TIA Daily 9/2/55
Forwarded by JayPMarine

It has taken four long days for state and federal officials to figure out how to deal with the disaster in New Orleans. I can't blame them, because it has also taken me four long days to figure out what is going on there. The reason is that the events there make no sense if you think that we are confronting a natural disaster.

If this is just a natural disaster, the response for public officials is obvious: you bring in food, water, and doctors; you send transportation to evacuate refugees to temporary shelters; you send engineers to stop the flooding and rebuild the city's infrastructure. For journalists, natural disasters also have a familiar pattern: the heroism of ordinary people pulling together to survive; the hard work and dedication of doctors, nurses, and rescue workers; the steps being taken to clean up and rebuild.

Public officials did not expect that the first thing they would have to do is to send thousands of armed troops in armored vehicle, as if they are suppressing an enemy insurgency. And journalists—myself included—did not expect that the story would not be about rain, wind, and flooding, but about rape, murder, and looting.

But this is not a natural disaster. It is a man-made disaster.

The man-made disaster is not an inadequate or incompetent response by federal relief agencies, and it was not directly caused by Hurricane Katrina. This is where just about every newspaper and television channel has gotten the story wrong.

The man-made disaster we are now witnessing in New Orleans did not happen over the past four days. It happened over the past four decades. Hurricane Katrina merely exposed it to public view.

The man-made disaster is the welfare state.

For the past few days, I have found the news from New Orleans to be confusing. People were not behaving as you would expect them to behave in an emergency—indeed, they were not behaving as they have behaved in other emergencies. That is what has shocked so many people: they have been saying that this is not what we expect from America. In fact, it is not even what we expect from a Third World country.

When confronted with a disaster, people usually rise to the occasion. They work together to rescue people in danger, and they spontaneously organize to keep order and solve problems. This is especially true in America. We are an enterprising people, used to relying on our own initiative rather than waiting around for the government to take care of us. I have seen this a hundred times, in small examples (a small town whose main traffic light had gone out, causing ordinary citizens to get out of their cars and serve as impromptu traffic cops, directing cars through the intersection) and large ones (the spontaneous response of New Yorkers to September 11).

So what explains the chaos in New Orleans?

To give you an idea of the magnitude of what is going on, here is a description from a Washington Times story:

“Storm victims are raped and beaten; fights erupt with flying fists, knives and guns; fires are breaking out; corpses litter the streets; and police and rescue helicopters are repeatedly fired on.

“The plea from Mayor C. Ray Nagin came even as National Guardsmen poured in to restore order and stop the looting, carjackings and gunfire.

“Last night, Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said 300 Iraq-hardened Arkansas National Guard members were inside New Orleans with shoot-to-kill orders.

” 'These troops are…under my orders to restore order in the streets,' she said. 'They have M-16s, and they are locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill and they are more than willing to do so if necessary and I expect they will.'”

The reference to Iraq is eerie. The photo that accompanies this article shows National Guard troops, with rifles and armored vests, riding on an armored vehicle through trash-strewn streets lined by a rabble of squalid, listless people, one of whom appears to be yelling at them. It looks exactly like a scene from Sadr City in Baghdad.

What explains bands of thugs using a natural disaster as an excuse for an orgy of looting, armed robbery, and rape? What causes unruly mobs to storm the very buses that have arrived to evacuate them, causing the drivers to drive away, frightened for their lives? What causes people to attack the doctors trying to treat patients at the Super Dome?

Why are people responding to natural destruction by causing further destruction? Why are they attacking the people who are trying to help them?

My wife, Sherri, figured it out first, and she figured it out on a sense-of-life level. While watching the coverage last night on Fox News Channel, she told me that she was getting a familiar feeling. She studied architecture at the Illinois Institute of Chicago, which is located in the South Side of Chicago just blocks away from the Robert Taylor Homes, one of the largest high-rise public housing projects in America. “The projects,” as they were known, were infamous for uncontrollable crime and irremediable squalor. (They have since, mercifully, been demolished)

What Sherri was getting from last night's television coverage was a whiff of the sense of life of “the projects.” Then the “crawl”—the informational phrases flashed at the bottom of the screen on most news channels — gave some vital statistics to confirm this sense: 75% of the residents of New Orleans had already evacuated before the hurricane, and of the 300,000 or so who remained, a large number were from the city's public housing projects.

Jack Wakeland then gave me an additional, crucial fact: early reports from CNN and Fox indicated that the city had no plan for evacuating all of the prisoners in the city's jails—so they just let many of them loose. There is no doubt a significant overlap between these two populations — that is, a large number of people in the jails used to live in the housing projects, and vice versa.

There were many decent, innocent people trapped in New Orleans when the deluge hit—but they were trapped alongside large numbers of people from two groups: criminals—and wards of the welfare state, people selected, over decades, for their lack of initiative and self-induced helplessness. The welfare wards were a mass of sheep—on whom the incompetent administration of New Orleans unleashed a pack of wolves.

All of this is related, incidentally, to the apparent incompetence of the city government, which failed to plan for a total evacuation of the city, despite the knowledge that this might be necessary. But in a city corrupted by the welfare state, the job of city officials is to ensure the flow of handouts to welfare recipients and patronage to political supporters—not to ensure a lawful, orderly evacuation in case of emergency.

No one has really reported this story, as far as I can tell. In fact, some are already actively distorting it, blaming President Bush, for example, for failing to personally ensure that the Mayor of New Orleans had drafted an adequate evacuation plan. The worst example is an execrable piece from the Toronto Globe and Mail, by a supercilious Canadian who blames the chaos on American “individualism.” But the truth is precisely the opposite: the chaos was caused by a system that was the exact opposite of individualism.

What Hurricane Katrina exposed was the psychological consequences of the welfare state. What we consider “normal” behavior in an emergency is behavior that is normal for people who have values and take the responsibility to pursue and protect them. People with values respond to a disaster by fighting against it and doing whatever it takes to overcome the difficulties they face. They don't sit around and complain that the government hasn't taken care of them. They don't use the chaos of a disaster as an opportunity to prey on their fellow men.

But what about criminals and welfare parasites? Do they worry about saving their houses and property? They don't, because they don't own anything. Do they worry about what is going to happen to their businesses or how they are going to make a living? They never worried about those things before. Do they worry about crime and looting? But living off of stolen wealth is a way of life for them.

The welfare state—and the brutish, uncivilized mentality it sustains and encourages—is the man-made disaster that explains the moral ugliness that has swamped New Orleans. And that is the story that no one is reporting.



(TREASURY) NEW MONEY

The following is from the U.S. Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing:

On March 2, 2006, the Federal Reserve banks began distributing the redesigned Series 2004 $10 notes to the public through commercial banks.

The notes will begin circulating immediately in the United States, and then be introduced in other countries in the days and weeks following, as international banks place orders for $10 notes from the Federal Reserve.

New money designs are being issued as part of an ongoing effort to stay ahead of counterfeiting, and to protect the economy and the hard-earned money of U.S. currency users. The new series began with the introduction of the $20 note on October 9, 2003, and continued with the $50 note issued on September 28, 2004.

For the full story click here. [http://www.moneyfactory.gov/newmoney/ ]



DESPITE DO-NOTHINGNESS, DEMS WIN

The following was written before the November elections:

From Investor's Business Daily
Forwarded by BGen Bob Clements USAF (Ret)

Thomas Sowell, the distinguished Stanford scholar, wrote on this page a week ago that there's a difference between the major parties: “The Republicans are disappointing and the Democrats are dangerous.” We'd like to take this opportunity to elaborate on his second point.

We and our allies are in a serious global war against fanatical, determined Islamic terrorists who have declared war on America and the free world. Their stated objective is to kill all the Americans they can, eliminate Israel, control and enslave women, and in time overpower and rule with an iron fist nations from Spain to the Far East. They intensely hate our freedom and successful way of life.

While Democrats in Congress always assert they “support our troops,” their political policies and actions have continually undermined our nation's fight to win the war on terror and defend America. Here is their national security record:

  • On missile defense of America - Democrats voted against it.
  • On the Patriot Act - Democrats voted against it.
  • On tapping foreign terrorists' phone calls to the U.S. - Democrats voted against it.
  • On tracing terrorists' money flow between foreign banks - Democrats voted against it.
  • On building a border wall to control illegal immigration and stop dope dealers, terrorists and criminals, Democrats voted against it.
  • On interrogating captured terrorists - 194 Democrats just voted against it.
  • On telling the world (and our enemy) about a timetable for withdrawing from and deserting Iraq - this is the Democrats' retreat and defeat plan.

Think that's bad? Here's the Democrats' national defense record for the last 40 years:

  • Democrat President Johnson misjudges the Gulf of Tonkin incident, pursues the Vietnam War until a liberal CBS TV announcer thinks we're losing and says we should quit. So we quit and lose. The victorious communists then kill 2 million innocent civilians.
  • Democrat President Jimmy Carter during the Cold War withdraws U.S. support for our longtime military ally, the Shah of Iran. Carter doesn't like his human rights treatment of Soviet spies in prison. The shah is overthrown, and Ayatollah Khomeini returns, seizes power and creates an Islamic nation. Opponents are killed, the idea of suicide bombers is introduced to the PLO, and Iran's oil wealth is used to spawn and support Hezbollah, a terrorist militia that killed 241 Marines in a Beirut bombing and that lately attacked Israel. Iranian radicals storm our embassy, taking 52 American hostages for 444 days. Carter fails in an amateurish attempt to rescue them. Eight military personnel and eight aircraft are lost in a desert foul-up.
  • Democrat Carter, self-assured and well-meaning but dangerously naive, was responsible for bringing into power an Iranian Islamic regime that's now creating nuclear weapons to wipe out Israel and blackmail the U.S. and Europe. Iran has further provided weapons and support to Shiite militia and death squads in Iraq and could provide nukes to al-Qaeda, with which it has a working relationship.
  • After the Soviets meet the inexperienced Carter, they invade Afghanistan. Then the communists capture Ethiopia, South Yemen, Angola, Cambodia, Mozambique, Grenada and Nicaragua. The Afghanistan invasion attracts young Osama bin Laden, who raises money and recruits other Muslims to fight the anti-Soviet jihad.
    After the Soviets leave, this band becomes al-Qaeda.
  • So Carter's glaring weakness in dealing with the communists and Iran leads directly to both the current terrorist nuclear threat of Iran and the birth of al-Qaida, a group of mass murderers that would never have been possible if the Soviet Union's Leonid Brezhnev had not been emboldened to invade Afghanistan after seeing an inept, appeasing American president, Carter.
  • Carter's ongoing, worldwide damage to America's future national defense does not end there. In 1994, civilian Carter goes to North Korea and negotiates an agreement that President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright buy into. The North Koreans use our money and help to secretly spend the next six years in researching and building nukes. Deceived again by a worthless piece of paper, Carter becomes America's Neville Chamberlain.

These Democrat policies and actions were not only incompetent and ineffective in defending the U.S. They also proved to be highly dangerous, creating the greatest threats to America's future security - a radical Islamic Iran and a North Korea with nukes, either one of which could hand weapons off to al-Qaida killers. And Carter is still out there giving us advice.

Ronald Reagan inherited from Democrat mismanagement a rapidly expanding communist enemy, 12% inflation (highest in 34 years), 21% interest rates (highest since Abe Lincoln was president), a depleted military and a serious energy crisis. Reagan's motto was “peace through strength,” not peace through retreat, weakness and accommodation.

He kicked communists out of Grenada and defeated them in Nicaragua, Ethiopia and Afghanistan. He supported those fighting against communist regimes. He attacked Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, who much later surrendered his nuclear weapons program after America's military captured the tyrant Saddam Hussein hiding in a hole in the ground.

For eight years congressional Democrats ridiculed and fought all of Reagan's defense and economic policies. They said he was dumb, stupid, too old and a warmonger who was going to start WWIII with the Soviet Union. Democrats were proved wrong on nearly every vital Reagan policy. His tax cuts set off a huge seven-year economic and technological boom, just as George Bush's broad tax cuts have done, creating millions of new jobs.

In the end, the Reagan-Bush administration defeated the 70-year-old Soviet Union, and communism disintegrated on the ash heap of history under Republican Reagan's relentless pressure and determination to build a missile defense system to make the Soviet nuclear arsenal obsolete.

The present terrorist threat to our security did not begin on 9/11, but in the early 1990s, after Democrat Clinton was elected in November 1992. In February 1993, terrorists bombed New York's World Trade Center. In October 1993, two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters were shot down in Somalia. Eighteen Americans were killed and 73 wounded. In response, Clinton withdrew our forces.

In January 1995, Philippines police uncovered a plot to blow up 12 American airliners over the ocean. In June 1996, Khobar Towers, which housed U.S. Air Force personnel in Saudi Arabia, was blown up, killing 19 U.S. servicemen and one Saudi and wounding 372 others.

In February 1998, bin Laden declared “war on America,” saying the murder of any American anywhere on the earth was the “individual duty” of every Muslim. In August 1998, Qaeda blew up U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 200 and injuring 5,000. In October 2000, 17 U.S. sailors were killed when Qaeda attacked the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden.

According to Michael Scheuer, a 22-year CIA veteran and head of the agency's bin Laden unit, the 9/11 Commission report confirms that the Clinton administration had at least 10 chances to get the Qaeda leader, but Sandy Berger, Richard Clarke or Clinton simply could not make the decision to act. The CIA knew where bin Laden was and the military had plans, but they were almost always called off at the last minute.

So when presented with 10 specific opportunities, Clinton's Democrat administration never took any action that was effective or produced any positive result. From Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s to the policies and actions they push today, Democrats haven't been just weak and ineffective in defending against America's enemies.

This year, two other forces are feverishly working to undermine this election and our war on terror. One force is made up of elite national media based mainly on the East Coast. On several occasions they have given our enemy vital defense secrets. They also disgracefully report and relentlessly repeat only bad news. Such dishonest journalism confuses and deliberately misleads the American public. The TV networks have lost 50% of their audience and still refuse to change their one-sided news coverage.

The other force is represented by terrorists who are desperately attacking as many people as possible in Iraq in the weeks leading up to our election. They believe they can intimidate us like they intimidated Spanish voters in the wake of the Madrid bombings and affect our congressional election in a way that will result in our quick withdrawal from Iraq. But quitters never win.

As difficult and complex as the war has been, America has a very strong economy - with over 95% of our population employed and 70% owning homes - plus freedom, opportunity and a standard of living that other countries can only envy.

We've also been protected against further terrorist attacks by a strong, competent and determined president.



DO YOU KNOW YOUR DOLLAR?

Forwarded by Slim Russell. No original source given, but the facts have been verified.

Take a U.S. dollar bill from your wallet and look at it carefully.

The design you see on most dollars in circulation first came off the presses in 1957. This so-called paper money is in fact a cotton and linen blend, with red and blue minute silk fibers running through it. It is actually material, overprinted with a special blend ink, then starched to make it water resistant, and pressed to give it that nice crisp look. We've all washed it without it falling apart.

On the front side, to the right of George Washington, is the United States Treasury Seal. At its top you will see the scales for a balanced budget. In the center is a carpenter's square, a tool used for an even cut. Underneath is the Key to the United States Treasury. That's all pretty easy to figure out, but what is on the back of that dollar bill is something we should know.

Turn the bill over and you will see two circles. Together, these circles comprise the Great Seal of the United States. The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men create a Seal. It took them four years to accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved.

In the left-hand circle is a Pyramid that symbolizes strength and durability. Notice the face is lighted, and the western side is dark. This country was just beginning. Its people had not begun to explore the West or decided what we could do for Western Civilization. The Pyramid is uncapped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished.

Inside the capstone is the all-seeing eye, an ancient symbol for divinity, signifying the importance of Divine guidance and refers to the many instances of Divine Providence during our Government's formation. It was Franklin's belief that one man couldn't do it alone, but a group of men, with the help of God, could do anything.

IN GOD WE TRUST is on this currency. The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means, “God has favored our undertaking.”

The Latin below the pyramid, NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM, means, “a new order has begun.” At the base of the pyramid is the Roman numeral for 1776.

Look carefully at the right-hand circle to see a slightly modified Seal of the President of the United States. It is on every National Cemetery in the United States, the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell, Florida National Cemetery, and is the centerpiece of most hero's monuments. This seal is always visible whenever the President speaks; yet very few people know what the symbols mean.

The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol for victory for two reasons: First, he is not afraid of a storm; he is strong, and smart enough to soar above it. Secondly, he wears no material crown. We had just broken away from the King of England’s rule. Also, notice the shield is unsupported. This country now stands on its own.

At the top of that shield is a white bar signifying Congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation. In the Eagle's beak is the banner, E PLURIBUS UNUM, meaning, “one nation from many people”.

Above the Eagle are the thirteen stars, representing the thirteen original colonies, and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away. Again, we were coming together as one.

That 13 is an unlucky number is almost a worldwide belief. You will seldom see a room numbered 13, or any hotels or motels with a 13th floor. But think about this: There were 13 original colonies, 13 signers of the Declaration of Independence, 13 stripes on our flag, 13 steps on the Pyramid, 13 letters in the Latin above, 13 letters in E Pluribus Unum, 13 stars above the Eagle, 13 bars on that shield, 13 leaves and 13 fruits on the olive branch and, if you look closely, 13 arrows. (And, for minorities there is the 13th Amendment).

In his talons the Eagle holds an olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace, but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in time of war, his gaze turns toward the arrows.

The average American does not know any of this… our children do not know this, nor do their history teachers know this! But, there has never been a better time to know and appreciate national symbolism. Too many veterans have given up too much to ever let the meaning fade. Many of them remember coming home to an America that didn't care. Too many veterans never came home at all.

Everyone has a dollar, so please do your part to make sure more Americans are aware of this national symbolism by sharing this article with everyone you know and asking them to pass it along to others on their mailing lists.

Don't allow the Liberals to take God out of America or our lives!



HOW WOULD YOU VOTE?

Question 1:
If you knew a woman who was pregnant, had 8 kids already, three who were deaf, two who were blind, one mentally retarded, and she had syphilis; would you recommend that she have an abortion?

Question 2:
It is time to elect a new world leader, and your vote counts. Here are the facts about the three leading candidates:

Candidate A:
He associates with crooked politicians, and consults with astrologists. He's had two mistresses. He also chain smokes and drinks 8 to 10 martinis a day.

Candidate B:
He was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college and drinks a quart of whisky every evening.

Candidate C:
He is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks an occasional beer and hasn't had any extramarital affairs.

Which of these candidates would be your choice?

(Decide first, then read on)

(scroll down)























Answers:

Question 1: If you said yes, you just killed Beethoven.

Candidate A : is Franklin D. Roosevelt,
Candidate B : is Winston Churchill,
Candidate C : is Adolph Hitler.

Pretty interesting isn't it? Makes a person think before judging someone. Remember, amateurs built the ark…professionals built the Titanic.



IN GOD WE STILL TRUST

A pass-along from Harry Riley
Forwarded by Floyd Sears, who commented:

A very moving and thought provoking video. It may take awhile for some to download, but is worth the wait. It is my observation that much soul searching is currently in progress in every community all across this great nation. We should always be prepared to do whatever is right about whatever is wrong and we shall prevail.

CLICK HERE [http://www.windomnet.com/web/nls/InGodWeStillTrust.wmv ].



SICK AMERICANS CONSUMED BY HATRED

A NEW LOW IN BUSH HATRED
By Jeff Jacoby, Monday, September 11, 2006

Six years into the Bush administration, are there any new depths to which the Bush-haters can sink?

George W. Bush has been smeared by the left with every insult imaginable. He has been called a segregationist who yearns to revive Jim Crow and compared ad nauseam to Adolf Hitler. His detractors have accused him of being financially entwined with Osama bin Laden. Of presiding over an American gulag. Of being a latter-day Mussolini.

Howard Dean has proffered the “interesting theory” that the Saudis tipped off Bush in advance about 9/11. One US senator (Ted Kennedy) has called the war in Iraq a “fraud” that Bush “cooked up in Texas” for political gain; another (Vermont independent James Jeffords) has charged him with planning a war in Iran as a strategy to put his brother in the White House.

Cindy Sheehan has called him a “lying bastard,” a “filth spewer,” an “evil maniac,” a “fuehrer,” and a “terrorist” guilty of “blatant genocide” — and been rewarded for her invective with oceans of media attention.

What's left for them to say about Bush? That they want him killed? They already say it.

Read the entire story at this Website [http://www.townhall.com/columnists/JeffJacoby/2006/09/11/a_new_low_in_bush-hatred ].

Copyright © 2006 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.



WHAT I AM

Note from Jug: Other than my penchant for blasting the “would-be mind controlling” Liberals, I don't normally push politics here, but I thought the following article was worthy of the space!

WHAT I AM
By George J. Esseff, Sr.
His paid advertisement in The Washington Post, October 20, 2004
Forwarded by AirBurd

In today’s America, ask a growing number of high school and college students; their teachers and professors; the self-anointed media elite and/or hard working men and women of all ethnicities, the question, “What is a Republican?”, and you’ll be told “… a rich, greedy, egotistical individual, motivated only by money and the desire to accumulate more and more of it, at the expense of the environment … the working poor… and all whom they exploit.”

I am a Republican… I am none of those things… and I don’t know any Republicans who are.

WHAT I AM… first and foremost, is a loving husband of some 52 plus years, the father of four and an American who’s proud of his country… and his country’s heritage.

WHAT I AM… is the grandson of immigrants who risked everything, including their lives and those of their children, to escape tyranny in search of freedom.

WHAT I AM… is a man who grew up during the Depression and witnessed, first hand, the effects of the Stock Market crash and the soup lines that followed. I watched as both my parents and grand parents, who had very little themselves, share what food they had with a half dozen other families, who had even less.

WHAT I AM… is someone who worked his way through college by holding down three and four jobs at a time and then used that education to build a better life.

WHAT I AM… is a husband who, at age 24, started his own business for the “privilege” of working 60, 70 and 80 hours a week, risking everything I had, including my health, in search of a better life for myself and my loved ones.

WHAT I AM… is a businessman whose blood, sweat and tears… and plenty of them… made it possible for me to provide a secure living, not only for my family and myself, but also for literally hundreds of my employees throughout the years. Employees, who in turn, were able to buy their own homes, raise their own families and give back to their communities and their country.

WHAT I AM… is a man who believes in God; a God who has blessed this country… and all for which it stands.

WHAT I AM… is someone who knows, if you doubt miracles exist in today’s world, you need only to look into the face of those who received them … and the eyes of those who give them.

WHAT I AM… is an American who’s proud that his President embraces a belief in God; proud of a President who understands, as “politically incorrect” as it may be, there is evil in this world and for the security and safety of all freedom loving people everywhere, it must be confronted… and it must be defeated.

WHAT I AM… is an American who takes comfort in the knowledge that our President refuses to allow decisions concerning the very safety and security of this nation, to be governed by the political whims of foreign governments.

WHAT I AM… is tired of hearing from leading Democrats who see only negativity in America; racism in her people; class warfare in her society and “political incorrectness” in her character.

WHAT I AM… is a former democrat who now understands that it is the soldier and not the reporter that guarantees us our freedoms of press, speech and dissent.

WHAT I AM… is a man who believes in the sanctity of life. A man who is repulsed by the pandering of the political left for votes, at the expense of the unborn.

WHAT I AM… is a husband and father who believes in the sanctity of marriage and the preservation of the family unit.

WHAT I AM… is a movie go-er who is repulsed by those insecure, socially inept, elementary thinking, ego-inflated “entertainers” who have appointed themselves “experts” in the fields of national security and geo-politics and then use their forum to attack this nation, its leaders and its actions… much to the delight and encouragement of our enemies.

WHAT I AM… is an American who understands the difference between “censorship” and “choice”. Evidently, these individuals do not, because when these same “celebrities” receive public ridicule for their offensive actions, the first thing they yell is “Censorship!”. What they seem incapable of understanding is… the right of free speech and those offended as well as those who offend share dissent equally. I support and will continue to support those films and performers whom I choose to … and refuse to support those I don’t. It is my right as an American… a right I will continue to enthusiastically exercise.

WHAT I AM… is a voter, tired of politicians, who, every time their voting records are subjected to public scrutiny, try to divert attention from their political and legislative failures by accusing their opponents of “attack ads” and “negative campaigning”… and the news media who allow them to get away with it.

WHAT I AM… is a Protestant who loves his God and his Faith… and who’s been taught to respect all religions whose teachings are based in love, peace and charity. As such, I am embarrassed and ashamed of those individuals, in both private and public life, whose decisions and actions are devoid of any sense of character or morals; individuals who are only driven by what’s best for them… rather than what’s right… often times at the expense of many… including our national security.

WHAT I AM… is a realist who understands that the terrorist attack that murdered hundreds of innocent Russian children could have occurred here, in our heartland. That’s why I sincerely believe America needs now, more than ever, a President who sees with a clear and focused vision and who speaks with a voice when heard by both friend and foe alike, is understood, respected and believed.

WHAT I AM… is eternally grateful to Ronald Reagan for having the bravery to speak out against Communism and the courage of his convictions in leading the fight to defeat it; and George W. Bush for the vision, courage, conviction and leadership he has shown in America’s war on terrorism amidst both the constant and vicious, personal and political attacks both he and his family are made to endure.

WHAT I AM… is a human being, full of numerous faults and failures, but a man nonetheless, who, though not always successful, has continually strived to do “what’s right” instead of “what’s easy”. A man who is challenging the religious leaders of all faiths, to not only preach to their congregations the fundamentals of “what’s right” and “what’s wrong”, but to also then hold them accountable for their actions in both the public and private sectors.

WHAT I AM… is disgusted with the Courts who, on one hand, call the murder of a pregnant woman a “double homicide” but then refer to the abortion of her baby as, “pro-choice”.

WHAT I AM… is someone deeply troubled by a political party which embraces a candidate whose primary “leadership” qualities center around his protesting of the Vietnam war and his labeling the honorable men and women who fought in it, (50,000 of whom gave their lives in that action), as rapists, and war criminals. That same political party then stepped forward this year to block the appearance of a true Vietnam war hero, retired Admiral and former United States Senator, Jeremiah Denton, (a man who spent seven years and seven torturous months in a North Vietnam prison), from speaking before an open session of the California legislature as part of that state’s 4th of July celebration. The reason Democrats gave for refusing to allow this American hero to speak before their state legislature was because of the “conservative” nature of his views. As an American, that troubles me deeply… as well it should

WHAT I AM… is a man who feels the need to spend, $104, 655.60,(tax paid) of his own money, to purchase this advertisement, in order to set the story straight. Some may say this money would have been better spent feeding the world’s poor. At the risk of sounding self-serving, as an American and as a Republican, for the last six decades of my life, I have done exactly that… and more. Following the examples of my parents and grand parents, I have used my earnings to feed the poor, shelter the homeless, provide housing for the elderly and medical care for the sick… and continue to do so… and I’m not alone in that work.

WHAT I AM… is someone who is paying for this announcement, at my sole expense, in hopes of opening the eyes of those led blindly by ill-informed elements of our great nation, who, through either ignorance, or malicious intent, repeatedly attack and belittle those of us who belong to a political party that holds true to the belief, “… the rights of the governed, exceed the power of the government”. For those interested, I am speaking only as a tax-paying individual who is in no way associated with The Republican National Committee, nor with any of its directors, or delegates.

WHAT I AM… is a man who understands, “the American way of life” is a message of self-empowerment for all.

WHAT I AM… is an American who is grateful that our nation gives each of us the opportunity of self-determination and the right to benefit from the fruits of self achievement.

WHAT I AM… is an American who wants to preserve that way of life for all who seek it.

WHAT I AM… is blessed to be an American… and proud to be Republican.

George J. Esseff, Sr.
george@esseff-foundation.org



WHY I VOTE

By James H. Reza

I'm sure some of you remember what occurred just a couple of years ago, when smiling Iraqis who voted for the first time in their lives, held up an inked thumb signifying that they had cast their vote to elect new Iraqi leaders to govern their country.

To many Americans who take voting for granted, and sadly, don't even bother to vote, the smiling faces of those Iraqis in the news probably didn't move them one bit.

I'm one of those individuals who only if I were in my deathbed, (which, thank God hasn't happen yet) I would probably then abstain from voting. Even if an election were held to vote for a dogcatcher, I would go to my polling place to cast my vote. As an American, I owe it by going to vote to those who have paid with their lives to give me that right to choose our elected representatives.

I still have vivid memories of blacks being hosed by firemen, beaten with clubs by policemen, and their churches being bombed for wanting to have equal access to a voting booth. Many blacks, as well as white Americans who sided with their plight, were killed here in the United States no more than 50 years ago. Many young blacks, and white folks as well, can't believe that that actually happened here in our country.

For whatever reason, the good and the bad side of this nation's history is not taught anymore in our schools. Thus, many Americans are ignorant of what transpired in our country not to long ago. However, for individuals like myself, those troubling times are still deeply embedded in my mind.

I still remember when and for whom I cast my first vote in 1960. I also remember that I had to pay to vote in my state of Texas. It was then called a Poll Tax. White co-workers would joke with me and tell me, “Well James, now that you paid your Poll Tax, you are a bonafide Mexican American, instead of a plain old Mexican.”

A few months ago, I wrote an article for a Hispanic website titled “Asleep at the Wheel.” I wrote it in disgust of illegal immigrants protesting while carrying Mexican flags on our streets, a bill sponsored by the Senate, which was going to allow illegal immigrants to work in our country, and later be granted amnesty. However, the Congress proposed a tougher bill that would seal our borders before the Senate's bill version would even be considered.

The Congress' bill infuriated Hispanics, which prompted thousands, if not millions, (Hispanics: legal or otherwise) to parade on our country's streets demanding to adopt the Senate's version of the proposed immigration bill. What I found almost laughable was that politicians, and egged on by the media, were running scared that there would be a backlash by Hispanics at the voting booths if their demands to not grant amnesty to illegals were not met.

Here are some interesting statistics I found in my local library for politicians and American voters of all stripes to ponder:

  • There are an estimated 39 million Hispanics in our country, or, 13% of the overall U. S. population.
  • In the Presidential Election of 2004 only 6.1% of registered Hispanic voters took to the polls.
  • In the Presidential Election of 2000, only 5% of the estimated Hispanic voters went to let their voices be heard at the polls.

Now tell me my fellow Americans, with those dismal voting patterns, who were the politicians really afraid of? If you are thinking that it was special interest groups you're getting warm.

However, it is my firm belief that our politicians in Washington were more afraid of the repercussions by businesses who hire and depend on illegal immigrants for their cheap labor, and who also fund their political campaigns with their money, than from Hispanic voters.

In my article, “Asleep at the Wheel,” I pleaded with American voters of both major parties, particularly white Americans (who by in large vote in greater numbers), that in this upcoming November election cycle we would let our voices be heard at the ballot box where it really counts, instead of wasting our time parading on our country's streets if illegal immigration was not controlled.

Folks, having written many articles for magazines and newspapers for many years, I was literally stunned by the response I received from my article on the Internet from Americans from almost every state. I even received some from the Ukraine and one from Iceland.

For about 3 months, I got on average, about 10 to 15 telephones calls per day to congratulate me, and from folks who wanted me to give them permission to have the article printed on their local newspaper. Many callers also informed me that they were going to send my piece to their elected city, state, and representatives in Washington.

Shortly thereafter, the letters started to pour in. Almost all were supportive of my stance on illegal immigration; however, my encouragement to Americans to vote was where I received much praise. Indeed, there were some letters and calls who called me everything but a zebra. Thankfully, they were few in number.

Some of the most interested letters and calls I received were from politicians. Some asked for permission to use my article on their mailers to send to their constituents in their respective cities and states where they were running for office.

As the weeks went by, I soon noticed that the stack of mail grew to about 2-1/2 feet high. Proudly I must confess, some personal letters were from our most visible and distinguished politicians: President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Senator Bill Frisk, Senator Barbara Boxer, to name but just a few.

Though I did not send my article to these noteworthy politicians, I assume that the folks who read my article on the internet must have done so. Which in essence got the attention of the politicians aforementioned, to incite them to write me about their stance on illegal immigration.

Finally my fellow Americans, though money is the driving force in Washington, politicians are extremely aware that without votes from us, all the money in the world won't help them get elected.

VOTE!

That's our American Way and our obligation to those who died to give us that freedom!

James H. Reza