Category Archives: Constitution & History

The Lost Holiday

Merry Thanksgivoween

A couple of days before Halloween, I went into a grocery store and noticed they already had snowflakes painted on their windows. The frost is barely on the pumpkin before snowmen and colored lights greet us at every turn.

But wait—isn’t there another pretty important holiday in there somewhere?  The one with the guys in funny black hats with big buckles on them—you remember—the Pilgrims. What about those cute turkeys made out of hand prints?    Somewhere between feasting on candy corn at the end of October and the feasting on everything else at the end of the year, lies another feast.  This feast, in the earlier days of our country, had nothing to do with parades, football, food…and certainly not shopping.

Like so many things in history, this day has a colorful—and at least at one point in time—a controversial story. A feast wasn’t always part of the day…just the opposite, in fact.

When the Pilgrims at Plymouth Plantation first celebrated, it was after a treacherous beginning in this new land. Many of them had not survived that first winter of 1620 due to illness, exposure and hunger—and a disastrous experiment with socialism. The Patuxet Indians had once inhabited the same area, but had been wiped out by a plague. There was, however, a lone survivor of the Patuxets named Squanto, who had been captured by an English explorer in the early 1600’s and taken to England where he learned to speak English. Captain John Smith took him back to New England in 1614, but he again was captured and sold into slavery in Spain.

As Divine Providence would have it, Squanto was then bought and rescued by some local friars in Spain who introduced him to Christianity. He ended up back in his homeland by 1619 to find his people were gone. Squanto adopted a new tribe, the Wampanoag Indians, and this was the tribe the Pilgrims partnered with to learn to make their way in a new environment. Chief Massasoit introduced them to Squanto, due to Squanto’s ability to speak English well. He was able to help the Pilgrims adjust, and Plymouth Governor William Bradford credited Squanto as being “an instrument of God” in helping the Pilgrims.

By the time the harvest of 1621 rolled around, things were much better, so Governor Bradford declared a day of Thanksgiving to give God His due for a successful harvest and for their friendship with the Wampanoag Indians. On that day Chief Massasoit and 90 of his men feasted with the Pilgrims on the fruit of the land. They enjoyed such delicacies as deer, eels (yuck!), fish, berries, popcorn and yes—turkey.

It wasn’t until 1863, when our young nation was in the midst of a civil war that President Abraham Lincoln established that the last Thursday of November should be set aside as a day of thanksgiving and fasting—not feasting—to humble ourselves and seek the face of God for direction and repentance. That’s quite a difference from today’s Thanksgiving. The holiday remained on that last Thursday for quite some time— until 1939, in fact.

It was then that Progressive Democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (during his 3rd term in office) decided that there needed to be more time for shopping in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so bowing to complaints from retailers, he moved it to the 3rd Thursday. Leave it to a Progressive to take the focus off of thanking God for His many blessings to shopping and commercialism. It’s interesting how the Republicans are always the ones that are said to be focused on money and gain, while the Democrats (in the minds of some) are for “the little guy”.

Back when President Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving, so many people were against it that the new day became known as the “Democrat Thanksgiving”, while the traditional 4th Thursday was referred to as the “Republican Thanksgiving”.   Some states refused to celebrate it on the new date, while some followed suit. This confusion continued until 1941 when Congress declared that Thanksgiving should fall on the 4th Thursday of November.

So, I guess we can blame President Roosevelt for the insanity that became Black Friday, and the evolution of that in recent years to stores opening earlier and earlier to where many of them are not even closed at all on Thanksgiving Day.

If we really want to do this Thanksgiving thing right, we’ll take the feasting and thanksgiving of the Pilgrims and mix it with the prayer and humility of Lincoln’s time. Bringing these things into our own traditions would make us less likely to bypass this wonderful holiday. If anything, it can prepare us for the joyful celebration of Christmas and Christ’s birth to close out the old year, and usher in New Year’s Day with a new hope for the future.

  Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

harvest

Advertisements

Whiners and Warriors

It’s no wonder why some parents are reluctant to send their children away to college these days. College campuses are full of absolute chaos, as evidenced by the Yale Halloween costume controversy and the Missouri racial issues that resulted in the president of that school stepping down. College students seem mad all the time…angry at every perceived injustice. Students– aided by their left-wing professors and a 24/7 news cycle that feeds on the hash-tag-fight-of-the-day– are in a battle for everything.

Just a day after we remembered the service of our nation’s veterans, students across the nation walked out of classes to have their #MillionStudentMarch. They demanded to have a free education (because it’s a human right, don’t you know?), as well as a $15 minimum wage and student loan forgiveness. It was a collective large-scale temper tantrum with capitalism and traditional American ways being targeted for their “unfairness” and “injustice”.

One of the organizers, Keely Mullen, a student at Northeastern University, was interviewed on Fox by Neil Cavuto and it’s both painful and satisfying to watch. Mullen suggested that all these demands could be met if the “one percent” would just pay more taxes. When Cavuto calmly questioned her as to whether she or any of her peers would want 90 or 100 percent of their income confiscated through taxes once they become established, she hemmed and hawed and seemed pretty flabbergasted.

Mullen is a Marxist and is no stranger to far-left causes, so you would think she’d be better able to explain why she feels like things are so unfair for her and her fellow students. Lost in the coverage of the Million Student March is that she herself is part of the one percent whom she claims is “hoarding all the wealth” which causes so much distress for college students.   Her LinkedIn profile picture shows her up on a stage with a bullhorn and she describes herself as a “student pursuing opportunities in community organizing and anti-racism advocacy work”. She’s majoring in political science and Sociology, so she’s probably had more than enough opportunities to have the idea of “white guilt” drummed into her, along with all the usual anti-capitalist, anti-American garbage.

Northeastern charges around $45,000 a year for tuition, so Mullen can look forward to a pretty hefty debt load once she’s finally finished with her four years of studying community organizing and interning with the ACLU. She complained to Cavuto about how high tuition was and that it’s just not fair that students here in the US have to actually pay for a college education when other countries give it to their citizens for free. Well, Keely- other nations also tax their citizens into lifestyles that you and your friends would find very hard to live in. You may also want to stop and think for a minute:  Why do so many of them forego their free educations in their home countries to come to American universities?

I’d just like to know who twisted her arm and forced her to go to an expensive school, and major in two areas that almost guarantee unemployment after graduating? It’s not like she didn’t know going in what the cost would be—and why should her debt be forgiven? Many of us have had to struggle to pay off student loans years after our diplomas expired. She may want to think about the reasons why college is so expensive—high salaries paid to professors who can never be fired due to tenure; or the fact that the government is now in charge of student loans, so the higher the tuition, the more money that needs to be borrowed, and therefore more money rolling into the hands of the government. I’m sure she never gives a thought to those things when she’s out with her bullhorn making demands of her fellow Americans.

But in this country…at least for now…she has the right to speak. She has that right because of the First Amendment to the Constitution that so many people gave their lives to defend over the course of our history. One young active duty Marine had a different opinion on what the students were doing on college campuses this week, and took to social media to set them straight. Tweeting a selfie, dressed in fatigues and carrying a full load on his back, James Erickson said this: “I wanted money for school, so I marched too…#millionstudentmarch This one was about 25 miles…”

He didn’t even need a bullhorn.

The young and the restless- entitled students demand free education and debt forgiveness.

The young and the restless- entitled students demand free education and debt forgiveness during the Million Student March.

Scrapping Traditions

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Oct 15 2007 "These colors don't run"

How do you celebrate Veterans’ Day without those pesky displays of patriotism? Just ask the powers that be at Seattle Pacific University. In an effort to refrain from offending anyone…hmmm…it was announced that the Christian school would not have the presentation of the colors or the reciting of The Pledge of Allegiance during their chapel this week when they hold their Veterans’ Day remembrance.

After this news came out last Friday in the conservative student-run website The College Fix, the school—one day later—reversed their decision and now the Veterans’ Day service at the chapel will include The Pledge and presentation of the colors. The SPU Military & Veteran Support Group launched a Facebook campaign to get the word out about their school’s stance that “a few people” would be made “uncomfortable” if The Pledge were recited during a Christian service.

Of course, that makes no sense at all, given that our nation as founded began as a place where people (the Pilgrims) escaped to so that they could specifically practice Christianity and where they would be free to read the Bible without having to go through the Church of England (the King) and accept whatever interpretation came down from him. So, reciting The Pledge, especially during a Veterans’ Day service, would be entirely appropriate at a Christian university.

But that involves knowing history. Today’s college campuses are more interested in ridiculous speech codes and protecting students from “micro-aggressions”. Instead of being hotbeds of new and diverse thinking, most college campuses today are run by far-left professors and administrators who believe the only people that it’s okay to offend are Christians…and apparently the military. Many campuses today are filled with children in adult bodies who feel threatened and “uncomfortable” if they encounter beliefs that challenge their own.

The Constitution—when taught at all— is presented as a “living, breathing document” that should change with the times and be molded to the whims of whomever is in power. Students don’t learn any longer that our Constitution was meant to be a firm foundation of eternal truths upon which the strongest most influential nation in world history was built.

To even introduce the idea that displays of patriotism are inappropriate on Veterans’ Day—at a Christian university, no less—is a little ominous. People in a free society should expect that at some point, they may encounter something that will offend them. The chapel service at Seattle Pacific isn’t even mandatory for students, so anyone who thinks they would be offended by what happens there could just not show up.

But that would be too easy. It’s much better (in the minds of some) to strip away every patriotic vestige from true American holidays for everyone else…and give a slap in the face to those who served our country in the process.

 

 

 

#FirstAmendmentLoses

FotoFlexer_Photo

An Oregon couple recently found out what the going price is for dissent when “love wins”.  Apparently it’s about six figures:  $135,000 to be exact, as well as barring them from talking about their case publicly.  Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa declined to participate in a same sex “marriage” by supplying a wedding cake to 2 lesbians who had been regular customers, due to their belief in traditional or Biblical marriage.

The couple has until Monday, July 13th to come up with the entire amount or arrange a payment. The Klein’s bakery has since closed (they operate out of their home now), and Aaron took a job as a garbage collector in order to support his family. He stated, “Basically, the state of Oregon is saying we can kick you out of your house and make you homeless. They have no qualms about the fact that they’re doing this to my five kids as well.”

The incident goes back to early 2013 when the lesbian couple, Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer, asked if the Kleins would provide a cake for their upcoming “wedding”. The Kleins refused and supposedly “quoted Leviticus” to them. Instead of just looking for another bakery—surely there were others—the offended ones complained to Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). They waited several months to make their complaint to the agency which not only investigates human rights and discrimination cases, they also prosecute and judge them.

So here you have, as National Review writer David French says, an organization run by un-elected bureaucrats with little or no in-depth knowledge of the Constitution, deciding Constitutional matters. “In the administrative agencies of the deep state,” says French, “a single, highly ideological entity can function as rule maker, investigator, prosecutor, judge, jury, and enforcer”. French has followed this story at length and the implications it has for future religious liberty and other First Amendment issues across the nation since virtually every state has an agency like BOLI. French has described the close ties BOLI (via its commissioner Brad Avakian) has with pro-LGBT organizations in Oregon. Avakian, who ordered the Kleins to pay the money and not speak publicly, was making public comments about the couple before they ever appeared before him.

Some impartial judge. The Kleins never stood a chance. Avakian seems to be just another political hack with too much power that he plans to use to punish those he sees as enemies. As for the lesbian couple, they claimed that because the Kleins refused to bake their “wedding” cake, they suffered emotional damages that included (but were not limited to): “acute loss of confidence,” “doubt,” “excessive sleep,” “loss of sleep,” “impaired digestion”, “pale and sick at home after work,” “resumption of smoking habit,” “shock,” “stunned,” “surprise,” “uncertainty,” “weight gain” and “worry.”

This reminds me of the atheists who complained that the now-famous Cross at Ground Zero gave them indigestion. Not that I’m comparing lesbians to atheists, it’s just that it seems too easy in our lawsuit-crazed society to bring charges against people with whom you disagree—claiming maladies that are common to most people for any number of reasons. Why did the lesbian couple wait several months after not getting their cake to file their complaint against the Kleins? Could they have been preparing for the media attention that they had to know would come from a case like this? Are they looking to make a huge sum of money? Why do the Kleins have to pay them while they are still appealing BOLI’s decision? What’s going on in Oregon?

This case raises more questions than answers and it won’t be going away anytime soon. Last Wednesday, Aaron Klein, ignoring the gag order, said in an interview with The Blaze Radio, “I think every Christian better get ready for this because with the Supreme Court ruling, we’re going to have issues.” He said they never intended to discriminate against anyone (they had served this couple on previous occasions)—they just wanted to live out their faith.

Where’s the love now?  If love had really won on June 26th, the gay community would have gotten to work to mend fences and heal the open wounds with those who disagree with them.  Instead, there was more in-your-face, we-won-you-lost-so-get-over-it attitudes expressed throughout social media and elsewhere.

If love had won, the gay community (a very tiny minority of the American population) would have been working to change hearts towards their cause, not forcing acceptance onto the majority by conjuring up phony lawsuits and complaints to get courts and regulatory agencies to do their bidding.

Since when, in America, do we all have to believe everything exactly the same, or risk our livelihoods, financial futures and good names if our beliefs differ from that of the hashtag of the moment?

 

Land of the Free? (Guest Commentary)

**In this month where we celebrate freedom and independence, many Americans are feeling less free in their everyday lives. A recent Gallop poll found 79 percent of Americans were satisfied with their level of freedom. That was down 12 points from 2006. It’s clear something is very wrong with our perceptions of freedom and liberty. The following is an editorial my father wrote to his local newspaper, The Batavia (NY) Daily News. He wrote this prior to 2009, and it seems even more applicable now.

There were 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. Fifty-two of them were orthodox, deeply-committed Christians; the other four all believed in the Bible as the Divine Truth. These brave patriots put up their money, property and lives to build this new nation. They were hunted like wild animals; their homes were burned; their property confiscated; their families had to go into hiding and were mistreated if found. If caught, they would hang. Most were homeless, in very poor health and broke by the end of the war. These great patriots were statesmen, not merely politicians. I wonder how our ten percent [approval rating] Congress would act under similar events.

We are losing our freedoms every day. While Americans sleep, [they] wake up long enough to vote these same jokers back into office. From here, some of the worst are appointed to cabinet positions—that is like having the inmates run the asylum. For the readers over 50 [or 55 now], the ones who should remember when we were a God-fearing nation, everything was going our way. We became a great and powerful nation. People from around the world came seeking religious freedom and a better life.

Then in the sixties, we started down the slippery slope to where we are now. In 1962, the Supreme Court restricted prayer in public schools; in 1973 the court found that the so-called “right to privacy” includes unrestricted access to abortion. In 1985 the court overturned a state law setting aside a moment of silence for voluntary prayer in public schools. In 2000, the court overruled a Texas law allowing high school students to pray at athletic events. In 2002, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion because it contains the words “under God”. In 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the display of the Ten Commandments in a state courthouse was unconstitutional.

These decisions by a handful of unelected, imperious Justices are determined to control more and more of our private lives, erase our spiritual heritage and forever redefine us as a nation. The Constitution charges Congress with the responsibility to check the Federal Courts; they have totally abdicated that duty. Nationwide, we have high courts—an unaccountable arrogant judiciary appointed for life–determined to make us dance to their music.

P.S. :  “Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6,000 years may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fall, there will be anarchy throughout the world.”—U.S. Sen. Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Declaration of Independence and American Flag

Movie Review- “America”

AMERICA_DesktopWidescreenThe creator of one of the highest-grossing documentaries in box-office history has paired once again with an Academy-Award-winning producer to bring another unsettling scenario to the big screen as we prepare to celebrate America’s 238th birthday.

Dinesh D’Souza (2016: Obama’s America) and Gerald Molen (Shindler’s List) present viewers with the question: What if the United States of America had never been? In fact, the movie’s subtitle invites us to “imagine the world without her.”

The film first faces the critics of America head-on by breaking down the arguments that the radical left has made against this country: it was founded on racism, genocide, oppression and theft. These beliefs are behind their desire to see the country get taken down a few pegs—to a point where we’re no longer a leader in the world. D’Souza interviews those who hold these beliefs (and have passed them onto younger generations), like Ward Churchill. He was a college professor best known for his disparaging remarks about the victims of 9/11 shortly after that event. Sitting through this portion of the film gave me some idea of what it must be like to be a conservative student on nearly any college campus today, where history, economics and pretty much any other subject are presented from the point of view of the left.

This was really a strong point of the movie. By setting up the fact there’s been an effort among many in our society who wish to undermine the American idea—and backing it up with interviews—D’Souza shows us that not everyone who lives here or who was born here loves it here. This is important to establish up front, as he then goes one by one, refuting each claim made against America. He does this quite well using news clips and more interviews that give the story of America the balance it deserves.

America isn’t just a series of news clips and sit-down interviews, however. Dramatic re-enactments are used effectively throughout the movie to bring moments in history, and those who made history, to life. We see General George Washington commanding his troops; President Abraham Lincoln giving his last speech before being gunned down by an assassin’s bullet; former slave-turned-abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and the experience of one Vietnam POW at the Hanoi Hilton.

D’Souza and co-director John Sullivan (2016: Obama’s America) are skilled storytellers, as they bring the audience into the past, all the while making connections to today. Anyone who may not be familiar with the teachings of Saul Alinsky will come away from this film with a better understanding of who he was and how his radical views have come full circle in the current occupant of the White House, as well as the woman who hopes to follow him (Hillary Clinton).

While watching America, you get a sense of how important it is to learn American history, and how much has already been lost due to revisionism. After all, you can’t really know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been. D’Souza maintains that America is now at a crossroads. As other generations have had to step up to preserve and protect the nation at various points in time, it’s now up to us to restore America. As he says in the film, “We need another Washington or Lincoln or Reagan…but we don’t have them. We have us.”

America is a feast for history lovers, but it’s also got a great soundtrack. Stay through the end credits and enjoy an uplifting—and rocking—new version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by a group I’ve never heard of called Madison Rising. They call themselves “America’s most patriotic rock band” and it’s worth sticking around for a listen. You may even want to download it to accompany you on your Independence Day Weekend activities.

 

Historical Amnesia

Allied forces on their way to the French coastline on June 6, 1944

Allied forces on their way to the French coastline on June 6, 1944

“I was looking toward land and saw a large shell fall right on a landing craft full of men. I had been praying quite a bit through the night as we approached the French coast but now I began praying more earnestly than ever. Danger was everywhere; death was not far off. I knew that God alone is the maker and preserver of life, who loves to hear and answer prayer. We finally landed and our assault craft was miraculously spared, for we landed with no shells hitting our boat.”– Capt. John G. Burkhalter, Chaplain with the “Fighting First” division in Normandy, France in a letter to his wife, Mable

When Captain Burkhalter wrote those words to his wife 70 years ago, many of us readers and writers of blogs weren’t even born yet…some of our parents may not have been around either. It’s hard to imagine the horrific sights and sounds that greeted the soldiers and airmen who stormed the beaches of France on June 6, 1944. They were, as Capt. Burkhalter says later in his letter, “impressions made on my mind that will never leave it.”

For those who care to look, their words and remembrances of that day are easily found. But what if we don’t even know or care to know what happened on D-Day and why Americans died for a cause that they knew was bigger than them?

Evidence is all around us of the lack of knowledge the average educated American has of our own nation’s history. According to a recent study done by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), less than half of those surveyed knew who was president on D-Day (it was Roosevelt) and one quarter of us don’t even know that it happened during World War II!

This is sad news for a nation that expects to remain free. Anne Neal, president of ACTA, calls it “a slap in the face for all those who fought so valiantly for America’s freedoms.” She goes on to say that college students are graduating with little understanding of American history because courses in it are no longer required on most campuses: “We aren’t adequately preparing the next generation for the challenges of career and community with this apathetic approach to our national heritage. These college graduates are unlikely to understand the cost of maintaining our nation’s freedom.”

Capt. Burkhalter knew the cost because he saw it firsthand. So did Navy medic Virgil Mounts, who at age 16 (according to most accounts) was the youngest hero to die on D-Day. Hospital Apprentice Mounts, a Kentucky boy, was barely old enough to drive when he and fellow medic Frank Walden were attending to some wounded GI’s on the beach when enemy fire landed near them. Shrapnel tore through Beachmaster Mounts’ body and into Walden. The only difference in the stories of these two men is that one ended that day, while the other (Walden) lived to become an old man.

Contrary to the popular saying, ignorance is not bliss.  How long can it be acceptable when most people know more about who won the last Survivor competition than they do about their own history or how their government is supposed to work?  ACTA’s president is exactly right to say that this is a slap in the face to those who gave their lives in service to our nation.  No one can defend—or have the responsibility to defend– freedoms they don’t even know they have. It’s the reason why it was unlawful to educate slaves here in America…and why homeschooling was illegal in Nazi Germany…

Tyranny thrives on ignorance.

 

Bad Seeds Make Rotten Apples

ccs-apple2This wasn’t the post I expected to be writing about the Common Core State Standards today. But sometimes you hear something so alarming, it just can’t wait. Parents, please take note: if you aren’t looking at your children’s textbooks—especially their history books—you may want to start. That goes for their assignments as well.

Eighth graders in one Southern California school district are being asked to consider the issue that the Holocaust may be “a hoax”! Students at the Rialto Unified School District near L.A. were asked to write a paper on whether they believe the Holocaust happened or whether it was a hoax perpetrated by Jews to “influence public emotion and gain wealth.”

The Common Core-aligned assignment was 18 pages long and provided students with a list of “credible sources”. One of these sources claims Anne Frank faked her famous diary. Once a local paper exposed the assignment, the Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish groups made a fuss about it. The school district initially stood by the assignment, but as you can see from this press release issued Monday on their website, things have changed. They will also be having an “Emergency Board Meeting” this evening to discuss the issue.

Maybe they can discuss how such a question got in there in the first place. It’s hard to defend an 18-page assignment as a “mistake”. You can debate many things about history, but to plant the seeds of doubt into young minds that such a major and horrific event as the Holocaust may not have really happened is just plain irresponsible. The proof is on film, in the artifacts left behind and in the lives of those still alive who managed to survive it. Six million Jewish people were murdered (as well as many Catholics, disabled people, homosexuals and others) at the hands of the Nazis in the years between 1939 and 1945.

Revising history is nothing new, and the implementation of Common Core is only going to intensify these kinds of school assignments. Many schools across the nation have already abandoned teaching elementary school children how to read and write in cursive. This is not only a bad idea for them developmentally, but it’s taking from them the ability to read original documents as they were written. Not just The Constitution or Declaration of Independence, but the personal letters and journals that we’ve always used to help us to understand historical events. We learn history by reading the stories of people who came before us written in their own hands.

It’s long been par for the course for liberal/progressive school teachers and professors to bastardize the lives, beliefs and reputations of the Founders of this nation in order to separate as many people as possible from our history. To plant the seeds of doubt about America’s founding and its exceptional, unique role in the world.

What is the country going to reap tomorrow if these are the seeds being sown in today’s classrooms?

Wake Up! It’s Monday Again!

“One year like any old other year

In a week like any week

Monday lying down

Half asleep

People doing what people do

Loving, working and getting through

No portraits on the walls

Of Seventh Avenue”

-lyrics to “Tuesday” by Five for Fighting

In a couple of days, we’ll mark another anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania that took the lives of nearly 3,000 people.  It’s also the first anniversary of the attack on our embassy in Benghazi that left our ambassador there dead, along with three brave Americans.  That second incident could never have happened, I’m afraid, without some amount of forgetting about the first one by some people in very high places.  It appears now we may be on the eve of yet another war…this time, though, our brave soldiers will be sent to Syria to fight on the side of the people who took down those two massive towers—and left the lives of thousands changed forever.

Sure, we’re being told that this isn’t going to war, necessarily- just some very precise strikes at certain locations.  Does anyone really believe this?  Given the record of this president and his cohorts, how can we ever trust what they say?  These are the same people who blamed the Benghazi attack on a poorly-made You Tube movie by some guy no one ever heard of (who only recently got out of jail on supposedly “unrelated charges”).

They’re the same people who, to this day, refer to the deadly shootings at Fort Hood in 2009, as an incident of “workplace violence” instead of calling it what it really was.  Just for future reference, Mr. President and Mr. Eric Holder:  when someone shouts “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is greater”) while shooting American soldiers—or while flying planes full of people into buildings full of people—he or she is in full jihadi mode.  It’s called a terrorist attack.

They also ignored warnings from Russian intelligence about the two brothers who executed a successful attack at the Boston Marathon earlier this year where 3 people died and hundreds more sustained life-altering injuries.  At least that one they did see fit to call an act of terrorism, even though they had proclaimed last year that the War on Terror was officially over.  In fact, when Obama became president, he didn’t even want the phrase to be a part of the government’s lexicon, preferring to call the War on Terror an “overseas contingency operation”.  Political correctness gone wild.

Since then, he’s tried to fight multiple wars the PC way, by letting the enemy know in advance when we’ll be leaving the area, not even calling those who want to kill us “enemies” (or acknowledging that there are people who want to kill us), and neither defining nor desiring victory.   Only a horse’s behind could concoct such a motto as “Lead from behind.”

The words from the song noted above were written by John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting.  He captures very well the mindset of Monday, September 10, 2001.  I wouldn’t say we were a nation of innocence and naiveté back then, but compared to what happened on Tuesday and in the years since, it pretty much was an innocent time.

Maybe we’ve forgotten that there was once a time when people who took you to the airport or picked you up could actually go right up to the gate.  Or that getting on a plane didn’t involve removing any articles of clothing or being touched by a total stranger.  The Constitution of the United States has taken a brutal beating over the past twelve years (even before Obama) to the point that the Founding Fathers wouldn’t recognize it or the nation that still claims to be governed by it.

It’s easy and maybe even convenient for those of us who didn’t lose a loved one, either on 9/11/01 or 9/11/12 to allow our memories of these days to fade, only to look back once a year when we’re sure to see some retrospective on a cable news channel.

But for those who lost someone, they live with the results of terrorism every day.  They’d probably give anything for it to be Monday, September 10th  again, just to have one last chance to see, talk to or hug the one they lost.  Many of us haven’t forgotten them, but I’m not so sure about our “leaders”.  It took less than a dozen years to go from Never Forget…to Try to Remember.

 “The thing about memories

They’re sure and bound to fade

Except for the stolen souls

Left upon her blade

Is Monday coming back?

That’s what Mondays do”

Ground Zero in 2006:  Memorial wall listing names of victims of WTC attacks

Ground Zero in 2006: Memorial wall listing names of victims of WTC attacks

***NOTE:  You can listen to “Tuesday” by Five for Fighting HERE.  And watch my video tribute to the victims of 9/11/01 by clicking the “Remembering 9/11/01” photo that is always linked from this page.

Thin-Skinned Clowns

If you just landed from another planet in the last day or two, you might think that the biggest issues rocking America are the “inappropriate” antics of an unknown rodeo entertainer who performed at the Missouri State Fair over the weekend.

Rodeo clown Tuffy Gessling appeared at the state fair Saturday night, doing what comedians have done for decades—wearing a mask that looked like the current president and mocking him.  Under previous administrations, an entertainer poking fun at the president would be good for a few laughs and then everyone moves on.

But under this president, as always, things just don’t work that way.  Offended members of his party and some Republicans have made sure that they’ve gone on record to let anyone who’ll listen know how offensive and disrespectful they think this is.  Some are also pretty sure this was some sort of racist commentary on the part of the clown because as we all know, any jab of any kind made towards Obama is made only because he’s half Black.

Gessling over-estimated the ability of many people to take a joke when he appeared in the Obama mask Saturday night during the rodeo at the state fair (that receives state taxpayer funding).  As rodeo clowns do, he was taunting the bull, as he was being taunted by the stadium announcer.  Because the announcer and the clown were both wearing microphones, it’s a little hard to tell who was saying what when watching the video.  However, neither said anything that presidents of the past didn’t have said about them without any fanfare.

The outrage has been swift and predictable.  Missouri state fair officials have condemned Gessling’s actions, as have the Rodeo Cowboy Association who employed him but for some reason didn’t know who he was.  He has been banned for life from ever performing at Missouri’s state fair.  U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, (D-MO) called it a “shameful” stunt.  Another Missouri Democrat, Congressman Lacy Clay said the rodeo clown incident “showed an ugly face of intolerance and ignorance to the world.”  Republican State Representative Caleb Rowden took to Twitter to voice his disapproval: “I don’t agree (with) this (president) on many things. But he is deserving of respect and shouldn’t be the object of political stunts.  Out of line!”

Obama, the object of political stunts?  Of course not!  He should only be allowed to be the creator of political stunts.  Like the one where information was withheld until after the election about what was going on and where he was the night our embassy in Benghazi was attacked and four people died.  Then there was the one where the IRS was directed to give extra scrutiny to conservative groups prior to the 2012 election that kept them from being able to raise funds and voter awareness during the election season.  Those were hilarious. * (NOTE:  sarcasm intended- don’t want to offend anyone.)

Where was the outrage when George W. Bush was president and an off-Broadway play and an independent film were produced depicting his assassination?  I don’t remember Claire McCaskill or anyone else being offended by that.

Politicians from all levels of government disrespect the American people day in and day out.  They sign bills they don’t read that will change our lives (not their own) dramatically (Obamacare), and they spend our money on ridiculous things (take your pick).  They do whatever they want, regardless of what we tell them we want, and they do it without consequence.  If you’re going to be offended, be offended by politicians who think they know how to run your life better than you do.

..and if you’re a politician who doesn’t like being mocked, lampooned or called a clown— please choose another career path.

As for rodeo clown Gessling, he’s made no public statements as of now.  He’s probably looking for a place to exile himself with the likes of Paula Deen, George Zimmerman and others whose lives and livelihoods have been ruined by the cruel hand of political correctness.

***8/14/13 UPDATE:  Missouri state fair officials now want to require all future rodeo clowns to undergo sensitivity training!  READ MORE HERE.  Also, a Texas Republican Representative has invited the banished clown Tuffy Gessling to perform in Texas.  Representative Steve Stockman said, “Disagreeing with speech is one thing. Banning it and ordering citizens into reeducation classes for mocking a liberal leader is another…liberals have targeted this man for personal destruction to create a climate of fear.”

Hurray for Rep. Stockman and Texas!