Monday, May 28, 2007

I'm off for a few days ... away from computers and all. See you soon.

Memorial Day 2007: Message from the Fallen

Memorial Day is a marker on the calendar that says ... "The sacrifice stops here."

For those of us left behind by those who gave their lives in service to the nation, we are forever reminded that whatever we do, we can't do more than they have.

I love America, and I must admit that the sacrifice of the fallen has haunted me at times. Their sacrifice reminds me that I can always do more. As long as we have life and breath, we can never match what they gave.

They left us in myriad ways and wars ... in missions grandly planned and in missions ill-advised ... dying while pressing the attack and dying while in their sleep ... with their heroic deeds forever memorialized and with their actions completely forgotten.

Regardless of their particular circumstances, though, they gave their all. That's what matters today.

Their shattered families were left to repair what they could. Their young wives who swore they would never forget had to forget so that they could get on with life. Their children who used to bound downstairs to see Dad now wonder why a war was more important than them. Their parents buried them, these young people who not long ago graduated from high school with the world by the tail.

What is fair and right about their leaving and our staying? We who have breath can never do enough.

So I have often thought.

But I wonder what the fallen would say, if they could speak. Would they stake a claim as the most heroic among us? Would they wonder if the nation were worthy of their sacrifice? I don't think so.

If we could talk with our fallen comrades and countrymen, I imagine they might explain a side of their sacrifice that we haven't known.

Imagine this voice from beyond the grave, not haunting, but instead encouraging us to go on, with words like this:

I understand that you feel like you haven't given what I did. The truth is, you didn't. But your road is not mine, and we each have a way that we must go. It is not for all of us to pay the ultimate sacrifice for the nation.

And what do I think about my leaving this life and your being left behind, you ask? Well, though leaving this life was painful, for sure, it was a privilege and honor to serve my country and friends and to give my life in service to them.

Yes, my sacrfice cost my family and the people in my life dearly. And it did cost me my earthly life. But still, I gained. How? I gained because you know I loved you. You know because I gave you all I had. We can give no more than our lives. But that doesn't make me better than those left behind. Others were willing to do what I did, but they remained here on earth. But I had a special calling, an appointment with destiny.

But you do, too. Yours is to go on, to live your life in the freedom that we were sworn to protect. So, raise up a new generation that will be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to protect this nation and our way of life. Live your life each day in a way that honors God, whatever your specific calling. Remember that I gave my all for you. And I ask this not for my benefit, but for yours. If you remember the sacrifice that I made, then you will be able to summon the courage necessary to make the sacrifices you will need to make in order to protect freedom.

Now, go and live. Throw the ball with your kid. Hug your spouse. Call your friends. Be a good parent. Be a good citizen. Time is fleeting, so live in a way that you will have no regrets when this life is over.

And finally, thank God every day that you have to live as an American.

I'll remember them today and always.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Immigration: My Simple Take

Science ... the material is too hard for me. Math ... I am too lazy to do the work. Full-blown philosphy ... too much thinking.

Okay, so let's try "arm-chair" philosophy, with some sweeping generalizations and such.

Seriously, I think I've got something here on the immigration debate.

The proponents and opponents of immigration "reform" are lined up in their various camps based upon how they view America and its ideas and values.

Let me explain.

On the pro-"reform" side, we have big business and big government types. Big business says it needs, but really it wants, cheap labor. Meanwhile, the Hard Left/Big Government coalition sees a huge block of new voters.

The pro-"reform" camp doesn't think much of dimwitted patriots like me. The big business, blue-bloods chuckle their erudite chuckles at my simple-mindedness for thinking that this nation is a place worth preserving, at the expense of the market. To them, the U.S. is merely a market. The Left, meanwhile, sneers at me and my ilk, seeing me not only as thick-headed but also malevolent, for the Hard Left believes that America is the chief obstacle for redistributing the world's resources on the basis of the oligarchs' better judgment, er, need. To the Left, the U.S. is the obstacle.

So, the Left and the Blue Bloods are in bed together, united by their disdain for small-minded Americans who want to see their nation survive.

On the other side ... we have the "anti-reformers", if you will, people like me. These people want existing laws enforced before we create others. We believe that a nation must have a credible border, if it is to survive. We believe that America is a good place, a place where the rights of men are protected as well as any place on the planet.

We believe in playing by the rules. We believe in the power of individuals. We believe that individuals who play by the rules can and still do achieve great things here in America.

We believe in free enterprise; thus, we are skeptical of large bureaucratic institutions, including those that call themselves businesses. To us, free enterprise doesn't mean that business should be able to seek a profit while disregarding the nation's laws.

We don't trust the government on the border. We have heard it all, and the government's credibility reservoir on this subject was drained dry long ago.

And, finally, in the anti-"reform" caucus, we have room for honest liberals who see the importation of a permanent, uneducated underclass into the United States for the exploitation that it is.

We still believe in America.

So let me sum it up: The anti-"reformers" like me are united by their belief in American ideals, while the "reformers" (do words mean anything, any more?) oppose these same ideals.

To me, it's that simple.

See you on Memorial Day.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Debate on this post to end at 1700. Vote here.

Okay, I am stepping out this week as duty calls. In the meantime, behav ... never mind. Feel free to comment freely on anything that you wish, you know, just like you always do.

As I thought (and hoped) would happen, it looks like the Immigration "Reform" Package (thicker than the Bible and with much more commentators) will not be jammed through the Senate without debate as of 1700 today. That's good. I never thought I would say this, but ... let the Senators keep talking.

It seems to me that the longer you get the chance to look at truth, the better it looks. So, why can the proponents of the bill possibly protest? Is it an urgent matter of nat'l security requiring immediate action? True nat'l security matters tend to get gummed up in the "World's Greatest Deliberative Body. One wonders how they manage such breathtaking speed and trust on an immigration bill that hasn't even been read, much less comprehended. How do you say shenanigan in Latin?

Hey, you have to give the McDevil his due, as he is limbering up good for the primary run. Romney (who has a little Mass. flip-flopper in him, I tell you) is now a staunch anti-immigration guy. It seems he has been spending some time with Republican primary voters. But in any event, Romney was getting after McSenator's bill, and the hair-triggered one did not appreciate it one bit. Here is the report from The Corner:
The New York Sun’s Ryan Sager just asked McCain to comment on Mitt Romney’s public criticism of the immigration compromise. McCain responded, “Maybe I should wait a couple of weeks and see if [his position] changes.” McCain then got in a one-two punch that hit both Romney’s alleged exaggerations about his hunting experience and his employment of immigrants for landscaping work: “Maybe he’ll get out his small varmint gun and drive those Guatemalans off his lawn.”
No, this ain't beanbag. It seems McCain is not going to finish fourth ... or fifth ... for the Republican Nomination without a fight.

But you know, it looks like McCurse is trying to shine the light away from his dust-up with Sen. Cornyn. No, McC is not the brightest guy, cussing out my senator and all when Sen. Cornyn just wants a little light shed on the Immigration Scriptures.

I think McC is secretly trying to emulate Pres. Bush and VP Cheney, who were lauded in some Republican circles for taking on NY Times reporters and Patrick Leahy "big time". So, he tries to get ahead in with Republican primary voters by cussing out Republicans. Guy is genius material, I tell you. Maybe he can be Bloombergs' veep.

Well, I may reappear later in the week, but likely won't post until our annual get-together on Memorial Day.

See you soon.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Friday Quick Hitters ...

I realize it's Thursday, but a lot is happening/has been happening, and there is just not enough time to do a lot of it justice.

So, I will dispense with the usual fluff and pretending to write a very erudite post about a particular subject and just offer the following pithy but sloppy generalizations about some of what is happening out there:

1) Our three soldiers are still missing in Iraq. I fear we may not see them again, although I certainly hope and pray that we do. Nonetheless, I am confident that we won't see them in a forthcoming video playing checkers with the enemy. My prayers are with them and their families.

2) The new immigration bill is bad. How bad? Well, Lindsay Graham likes it. Every Republican who votes for it should consider it a resignation letter. By the way ... Remember when we had a Republican Congress that prevented such a bill from going to the President's desk, and some people threw the bums out because it couldn't get any worse? Good thing we fixed that problem.

3) Jerry Falwell has died. Some hated him for his stand for Christ. Others hated him for his politics. Others still hated him for his encouragement to Christians to get involved in the political process. Me? I had no problem with any of the foregoing objections to his life and ministry. In fact, Jerry Falwell's life was an inspiration to me, on many levels. I see that some danced on a mock grave of his to celebrate his death. But such actions merely serve to prove the existence of the sin that Jerry Falwell spoke of so frankly. I remember that he also graciously spoke of the remedy for sin. He will be missed.

4) As for the Republican Debates ... I think it's high time we get all the real candidates in there, so that we can root out the non-conservatives more effectively. Of the three "main" candidates, Romney looks to be the best conservative alternative. But this isn't saying much. My choice remains Newt. I am liking what I see and read about Fred Thompson, but I saw that he had a Kerry moment ("for it before he was against it") with Campaign Finance "Reform". Hmmm. Prompts more investigation. Then again, any candidate who slaps down Michael Moore with a big ol' stogie hanging out of his mouth merits a second look.

5) Ron Paul's views on 9/11 and national security are, unfortunately, not a bad joke. Having him at the debates is, however. Rudy's smack-down of Paul was nice, but was it so hard? That's the biggest hanging curveball in a debate since, well, Mondale was doing those things.

6) And speaking of Rudy ... his unequivocal support of abortion rights, civil unions and such, without a corresponding federalism defense (i.e., that the states should be able to decide these matters without federal intervention or oversight) means that, in effect, his candidacy for the Republican nomination is DOA. I like Rudy Guiliani. I like him very much, in fact, and I think he would be great on national security. But I also think that other Republican candidates would be comparable on this issue, and they would not also cause so many cultural conservatives to compromise on that which which we need not and cannot compromise. Funny thing is ... if Roe v. Wade were overturned, as it should be, and abortion were returned to the province of state legislation, Rudy would have a great shot at becoming president. But the case he and other pro-choicers hold as sacrosanct will forever keep a pro-abortion Republican from becoming president.

And finally ...

7) My blog friend Karen has a great photoblog: Photos by Seawitch, which is up for one of the Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards. So, Go vote for Karen. I did.

See you back early next week.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Moving on from Religion and back again ...

What is Obama thinking with the gaffe of the century ... "10,000 dead in Kansas"? Makes you wonder. He is toast. This gaffe shows not only what is, or rather, isn't there with Obama, but also what lies ahead. It won't be pretty when the lights get turned up. And people don't even know yet that his middle name is Hussein. It will get ugly.

It's fascinating to think about what makes some one say such a thing. Is it the syndrome of the guy who always has to have the better story? Is it something where an individual maybe wants there to be great problems to solve, so the problems are magnified? Did he just goof? But how do you get from less than 20 to 10,000, though? It's puzzling, to be sure.

In any event, it's a bummer to have the hugest gaffe of the election season occur so far from the election. Last year, we had Dean imploding in Iowa as Tom Harkin looked on silently (but obviously) wondering: "Where's the net, any way?" And then John Kerry was for the war before he was against it ... used Botox before he didn't ... and when all else failed, grabbed a football in front of the cameras.

Never underestimate in this video age the power of the "photo-gaffe".

Bonus "photo-gaffe": And then Kerry reminded us that he was a multi-sport star. All of this, of course, had the added benefit of reminding us that the Swift Vets were correct and his medals were clearly fraudulent. Frankly, I don't believe Kerry was even in Viet Nam, any more, because women were not allowed in the combat zone at that time.

Why do I drag out this old horse to beat it again, you ask? Well, for one thing, it still makes me laugh to see those pics of JFKerry. Also, it tweaks the Donks to bring it up, because they just know he would have won if he didn't insist on "playin' a little ball" on the tarmac.

Yet, in their anguish, the Demos forget that we did, of course, utilize the Rove Hack-o-tron in Ohio to great effect. That bothers them, too, to even joke about such a weighty matter, for they don't know if I am joking.

Okay, wheeling on back to matters of faith, via our old friend Cranky, I learned that Starbucks was at it again in pushing their secular, leftist thinking on unwitting customers. It appears that Starbucks put an offensive comment on their coffee cups "to promote thought", or some such nonsense.

Well, we learn the full scoop, including Starbuck's amazing apology via that wily ol' genius Wuzzadem.

Warning: Zarq gets loose at the end and calls a female barista a "mama canine".

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Google Ads Fired

That's it. I fired my one and only advertiser. It's just me, again.

Actually, it's always been me. This is and has always been a non-profit venture ... a labor of love. I do it because, well, you might say I do it for the same reason birds sing.

Google Ads did a couple of things to annoy me. First, they didn't pay. I guess it's the low-traffic deal. But also, instead of putting in ad content to match the interest reflected in the site (as they said they would), I got all sorts of things that I don't endorse out there.

The straw, if you will, was the nice little ad that succinctly inquired: "You gay?" To which I responded. "No. You gone."

So, it's just you and me again. No more advertisers and their ad dollars to cloud my judgment or pollute this pristine blog. Some day when I am a mega-blog-star, I will screen all of my own ads, you know, be the Paul Harvey or Rush of the blogosphere. Nothing but personal endorsements and such. But until then, we'll keep the money out of it.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Republican Party is Still Reagan's Party

More proof that Republicans are smarter than Democrats: Republicans started off their debates at the Reagan Library. It was a shrewd move, and a nice reminder to the R-Team -- Remember the last president who was a real conservative and finished strong.

But must we get started so soon on this interminable presidential campaign? I am sick of it already. And I like to follow politics. But I digress ...

The point of this post is it's title.

I've told you before, and I'll say it again: I like Pres. Bush. He has his flaws, as have been discussed here and elsewhere, ad infinitum. But I think he deserves credit for doing overall a very good job at fighting the war against Militant Islam worldwide in these extremely challenging times. But my fellow Texan is no Reagan.

What made Pres. Reagan unique was a fusion of several things: 1) He became president during a time of great national despondency and insecurity; 2) he attacked this national despondency and insecurity with personal optimism and a commitment to a his core conservative principles; 3) the smarter-than-the-world set loved to deride him, because 4) he held a child-like faith, first in God and then in America.

And the beauty was that the tension between 3) and 4) above made him even more influential. He was dumb as a fox, and his demeanor and simplicity won allies and encouraged friends. Oh, that we had more such "simpletons" in Washington now.

The media and the left knew him as merely The Great Communicator. He was that, but many failed to understand that he was great because of his ability to communicate ideas that were and are powerfully true.

As much as any one, he halted the nation's 20-year leftward drift. He challenged liberal dogma, with both conviction and humor. There was a goodness about him that belied the liberal characitures. He helped build back the nation's military. This is personal to me, because when I signed up in 1989, I was the beneficiary of this work.

He made conservatism mainstream, not just in the country as a whole but even on college campuses. I was on campus in 1984, when he won a majority of the students' votes at The University of Texas, a.k.a., the Berkeley of the South.

He defeated the Soviet Union without firing a shot. Yes, he did it. Others grab credit, but they are posing charlatans. He would never claim credit, but he is clearly more responsible than any other human.

Recall that it was the infinitely wiser, bureaucrat types such as then-National Security Adviser Colin Powell who pleaded with Pres. Reagan to relent in his demand that Mikail Gorbachev "tear down this wall". Against the advice of all of his inner circle ... all of them ... Pres. Reagan pressed ahead and the Berlin Wall is no more.

He was just dumb enough to believe in his principles. And his country. And they didn't fail him.

I love him, still. And I miss him.

Pres. Reagan brought together national security conservatives, cultural conservatives, and economic conservatives. He welcomed them all, and he encouraged them to welcome each other. I like this, as you probably know. In fact, this here blog is about serving the "Coalition of the Winning: Protecting National Security. Preserving Culture. Promoting Liberty." That's the Reagan legacy. This blog is part of the Reagan legacy.

Yes, he wasn't perfect, I know. Only Tom Tancredo is (humor alert). Indeed, Pres. Reagan wasn't an Elder of the Perfect Church. He was only the best president of the 20th Century.

Many of those who come now and claim to be following in his footsteps so obviously aren't. Take John McCain, for example. Please, do take him ... as in, take him away. Republican politicians like McCain defy the Reagan legacy in their policy proposals and speeches now, but they dare not take him on directly.

For the nation remembers. And Republicans remember. They want another Reagan.

Which is to say ... they want to win.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Red-on-Red on May Day? Say it is so.

Is al-Masri, the AQI leader, dead or not? Hard to say, at present. What does George Tenet have to say? That he knew that al-Masri would die at some point?

But seriously, here is a rundown. Getting al-Masri would be tremendous, of course. Whether he's gone or not, though, clearly some interesting things are shaking in Iraq. Apprently, we have some Sunni-on-Sunni, red-on-red taking place. Or are these now Sunni friendlies taking on AQ? That would be quite a development. In either event, if we have Sunnis taking on AQ in a meaningful way, then the Iraq War may indeed be heading in a positive direction.

Memo to hand-wringers everywhere: Bad guys always have to keep their heads on a swivel, that is, sleep with one eye open. This is especially true when you gas people, even purported allies who do not tow a sufficiently militant jihadi line.

Is it just me, or are those AQ fellows not very winsome?

But to the MSM and the Left, the AQ jihadis are like the Geico cavemen. If they weren't so misunderstood by Western technocrats and insurance adjusters, we'd see that they were really sensitive types with real feelings.

And if they are not lovable cavemen, America's jihadi enemies are granted superhero status by the MSM and knee-knockers everywhere.

But it appears evil has a hard time maintaining "coalitions of the willing". And when the unwilling are not unarmed, then the front lines shift.