Friday, February 25, 2011

I Have not Forgotten, and I Will Never Forgive

It's not even September, but for some reason I just spent the last half hour or so perusing YouTube for various videos, and found myself gravitating towards several different 9/11 tributes that were made on various anniversaries paying tribute to the brave men and women who died trying to save the thousands that were victimized by fanatics from the Middle East. I've heard all the cliches regarding that day. It was my generation's Pearl Harbor Attack, etc. I tend to liken it more to the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, however. Why? Simply because more than be reminded of who attacked us and why we were retaliating against them, I tend to remember where I was and what I was doing on that fateful morning.

I was just turning 20 that year, and so I was still pretty stupid. Clueless, you might even say, though I thought I had a good handle on how things worked, like most people do at that or any age. And then, at six o'clock in the morning, Pacific Standard Time, I was informed by a customer using the drive through at what was then my place of work that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center, and that the attacks had been perpetrated by terrorists. I wasn't really listening at the time, so at best it struck me as odd. Planes crashing into the two tallest buildings in the world? On purpose? Such a thing had never happened before in my lifetime. Was it a misreporting of the situation? Was it pilot error? I didn't know at the time, and I came later to regret finding out. It's true what they say, you know? Ignorance really IS bliss.

That day, I think, was the day that my descent into the depths of all things political truly began. For the first time, I watched the president's State of the Union address. Never had I done such a thing, before, believing (rightly, it turns out) that those speeches were boring and pointless. I mean, we were still here, right? America still existed. That was about all I understood the state of our Union to be. Not this time. This time I knew instinctively that something was wrong, though the full extent of what that was still eluded me. Also for the first time, I thought about what the people in our military had gone through throughout the years, from the Revolution all the way up to the current quagmire that Afghanistan has turned into. These heroes, for they are nothing less, literally give their lives, whether they are in combat or not, to protect and defend the people of this country. One could not ask for a more noble sacrifice. Even the Bible states "greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for another." That defines what our military does daily the best, in my own humble opinion.

My own cousins, in fact, serve now in the United States Marine Corps. One an officer, the other two NCOs. I admire these three men more than I ever did when I was younger, and wish I could do what they do. Alas, that's not my lot in life, apparently. Nevertheless, I still find ways such as this to express my support for all things America, and it seems to satisfy that desire enough to allow me to get on with other things in life.

To this day, however, I cannot understand those who blame the military for our (indeed the world's) problems. Clearly they simply do not understand what it is to be in said military, or to be in combat overseas, away from family and loved ones, sometimes for years at a time, with only the occasional letter or care package from home to link that brave soul with his civilian life back home. I don't claim to understand what it's like to be a soldier, but I do know what it is to lose those you love, having suffered, as everyone does, the death of a close relative or two. Do they not understand that they owe these soldiers their very lives? It's thanks to people like those belonging to the Greatest Generation that we are able to go to work in peace and safety, and spend that off time with our family and friends without fear of a mortar attack or ambush from the side of the road.

And so I ask this simple yet poignant question: Have you forgotten? Do you not remember that horrific scene of Towers One and Two crumpling to the ground like two houses of cards? Do you not remember the anguish that those families went through, and are still going through? If not, I seriously recommend a trip down Memory Lane. I just took one, and though not a pleasant trip, it did remind me of why I started this blog in the first place.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thought Police. Coming to a State Near You

The Other McCain has a truly disturbing story on his site that I only just got wind of. Apparently a judge Kessler has decided that "it is a matter of pure semantics to say that someone who chooses not to purchase health insurance is not acting." As McCain says in the post, paging George Orwell.

This is truly frightening to me, and even though I know the law will have to reach the supreme court before the final decision is made, what really scares me is that there are people working in our federal courtrooms who can actually twist the meaning of our most important founding document so horrifically that someone can actually be lead to believe that making a decision through thought is the same as acting on that decision. If this ruling is not overturned eventually, the floodgates will have opened. What then stops the federal government from regulating absolutely everything we do at any given time for any given reason? Nothing, that's what. One of the comments on McCain's site does lend a bit of humor to the situation which helps keep things in perspective for me:

"As previous Commerce Clause cases have all involved physical activity, as opposed to mental activity, i.e. decision-making, there is little judicial guidance on whether the latter falls within Congress’s power."

Oh this could be SO much fun. Let's try it with other Constitutional provisions:

"As previous Eighth Amendment cases have all involved physical activity, as opposed to mental activity, i.e. thoughts, there is little judicial guidance on whether a punishment that makes someone feel bad can constitute cruelty."

"As previous Freedom of the Press cases have all involved physical publication, as opposed to mental publication, i.e. ideas, there is little judicial guidance on the scope of First Amendment exceptions such as libel apply to the general police power against Badthought."

"As previous War Powers cases have all involved physical activity, as opposed to mental activity, i.e. decision-making, there is little judicial guidance on whether the latter falls within Congress’s power."

"As previous Electoral College rules have all involved physical activity, as opposed to mental activity, i.e. decision-making, there is little judicial guidance on whether deem-and-pass can apply in this context." 

Legal Insurrection as well has something to say about this. Via the Other McCain:

Our thoughts are now actions. There literally is nothing the federal government cannot regulate provided there is even a hypothetical connection to the economy, even if the connection at most is in the future.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A new Twist for Motivation Monday

Usually this is the day that I post a little cheesecake in a shameless attempt to garner more traffic to the blog. However, today I think I'll try something a little different, and post a few things in the coming weeks that personally motivate me or that I find particularly inspiring. Also, in honor of the recently-celebrated hundredth birthday of Ronaldus Maximus, known to everyone else as President Ronald Reagan, I'm posting this:

May he Rest in Peace

Monday, February 14, 2011

End the Fed Becoming a Rallying Cry?

This is a decent article. Definitely worth the read:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Motivational Valentine

In recognition of the holiday, here's an old school pinup my better half found for me to post for all you loyal readers to enjoy.

Now not Smoking is Illegal? EPIC FAIL!

I really can't add anything to this analysis. Just that this is exactly why I don't trust politicians of any stripe unless they've earned that trust.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Candidates in 2012: My thoughts.

Many are speculating about the political landscape of 2012. Here are my thoughts on our current crop of potential candidates:

Paul Ryan: Hack Wilson goes into great length to defend this choice, and I must say his record does look promising. He's been a staunch defender of the constitution all through the health care debacle, for one, and his limited government philosophy is definitely appealing to me. I'll keep an eye on this one.

Mike Huckabee: I read his book on the 2008 presidential campaign and his run for the White House and while a lot of his policy ideas rung true with me, I have to say that his record as governor of Arkansas won't appeal to the lower taxes crowd, since he balanced his cuts in spending with a tax increase or two here and there. His stance on religious views is appealing as well, but honestly we don't even know if he'll run yet, so while I'll keep an ear open, I'm not too sure he'll be a factor in this year's run.

Mitt Romney: One word spells doom for this man and any potential bid for the White House in 2012: ROMNEYCARE!

Michelle Bachmann: If she does decide to run, this woman has an incredible chance to become Commander in Chief. Bachmann is a Tea Party favorite, hated by the far left for believing in things like the Constitution and limited government, has a sterling record of conservative policies, and is nice to look at to boot. I'll probably be labeled sexist for that last, but I don't care. Names don't hurt me anymore.

Sarah Palin: Potential abound for the girl from Alaska, but the far left will do everything in their power to make sure she loses the nomination, much less the general election. I'm hopeful that she runs, and if she does run I WILL vote for her should she receive said nomination.That said, I'll probably vote for whoever gets the GOP nomination, since I refuse to vote for Obama even on pain of death.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hook, Line, and Sinker

This is how easily the world seems to be buying the situation in Egypt as a real chance at democratic reform. I've already posted previously about how I believe, as well as many of my fellow bloggers, that this is a replay of Jimmy Carter's disastrous handling of the '79 Islamic Revolution, wherein the Shah of Iran, a tyrant and despot supported by the U.S., was overthrown and replaced by the Ayatollah and his mouthpiece, Ahmidenijad. Add to this our support of the corrupt Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai and, coupled with our support of Mubarak, a man who has tortured family members and willingly tortured innocent people for the crime of running against him for president, or has ordered the internet shut down throughout the region to prevent the spread of information. To be fair, that first was in part due to U.S. urgings. Nevertheless, that doesn't excuse our part in propping this guy up for thirty years. I've always seen the American flag as a symbol of freedom. I still do. I always will, because I know that at its heart, it always will be. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case with most Middle Eastern countries (in fact I think Israel is the only country in the Middle East that has a favorable opinion of us, or had one, anyway.)

The Middle East has been a powder keg for decades. Centuries, even, if you go back far enough and connect the dots. the pro-Western Shah was deposed by radical Islam, Iraq was under the control of radical Islam until George W. Bush sent in the big guns, and still could potentially crumble if things go bad. This, though, these riots breaking out first in Tunisia, then in Egypt, as well as in Jordan, Yemen, and who knows where else? This has the potential to change the balance of power not just in Europe or the Middle East, but in Russia and China as well. Already, the Russian Federation and the People's Republic are the two most powerful players in that area of the world. Now we have the Muslim Brotherhood fomenting rebellion and unrest in Egypt. Whether they're behind the other rebellions or not remains to be seen in my eyes, but if they are, they could very well be well on their way to accomplishing their goal of restoring a unified Muslim Caliphate, which would leave the Middle East under a form of government not seen since the Middle Ages.

Let's be realistic here. The people of Egypt do in fact have a chance at real democracy being implemented, but not as easily as the pundits in America seem to believe it is. We in this country seem to take freedom for granted. Like John Adams before us, we seem to believe that democracy is the rule because to us, it's the obvious thing to do. This is not the case in the Middle East. Before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, there was only one democracy that even came close to being a government of, by and for the people: Israel. Now Iraq is taking its first fledgling steps into that area of the political spectrum and it's proving to be a bumpy ride. Until that began, however, the idea of democratic government was, and still is, seen as downright blasphemous. Government by the people? It's laughable to them in large part because they still hold to the theory of the Divine Right of Kings. To them, the people don't choose the leaders, Allah does. And the leaders do not serve the people, the people serve the leaders. This is, obviously, a completely backwards idea in the eyes of many in the West.

If the situation in Egypt is to have any chance at improving in a way that serves the best interest of the United States and her allies, most notably Israel, then we have no choice in the matter. We must support the people of Egypt and let them know that we will stand with them against any tyrant, Muslim Brotherhood, Mubarak, or otherwise, We must, as John F. Kennedy declared in his inaugural address to the nation in 1961, "support any friend" and "oppose any foe to ensure the survival and the success of liberty." This seems to be somewhat lost on our president, however, who it has been pointed out, cannot even seem to utter the word "democracy" even as he throws out such buzzwords as "reform" and "freedom". Don't get me wrong, he should be mentioning those things as well, but it will all be for nothing if he doesn't use that all important D word while he still has a chance to do so.

Still, as I realized after watching a video at The Other McCain, I came to realize that this is just another attempt by the Obama administration to vote "present" and play both sides in the hopes of coming out somewhere in the middle. This will not bode well for our Dear Leader, as that is exactly the kind of stance that Jimmy Carter took when dealing with the Shah! History repeats itself boys and girls, and never exactly the same way. These events playing out now could have a significantly WORSE outcome than the Islamic Revolution did if my above analysis is correct.

Let's hope it's not, however. The last thing we need is a unified radical Islamic Caliphate consolidating power in the Middle East. If and when that does occur, it'll bring us one step closer to World War III.