Friday, August 17, 2012


There are things I dislike seeing in print, on TV or wherever. The current top contender is the six words seen on ads by law firms: "You may be entitled to compensation". If that isn't urging viewers/readers to grab someone else's property, I don't know what is.

Obama has a high likeability rating? Likeable? He invites the Supreme Court to his State of the Union address, then scolds them in front of the world. He invites Paul Ryan to a budget speech and criticizes him in front of the audience. Just two examples of behavior I do not consider likeable.

Many pundits are now saying that, in the long run, a presidential candidate's choice for his VP does not matter. Maybe they forgot Thomas Eagleton. But then, that all happened in 1972 - forty years ago. Unless you are nearing age 60, you could hardly know. George McGovern was the Dem's nominee for President. He chose Missouri Senator Thomas Eagleton as his VP pick. It was revealed that Eagleton had undergone some medical procedure that was perceived to be treatment for mental illness. It sank McGovern's candidacy. Could Joe Biden's endless stream of gaffes do the same for President Obama?

Speaking of George McGovern. After the liberal Senator's political career, he sank his savings into a restaurant/Inn. After struggles against going broke, he now offers the Conservative line that in today's regulatory climate it is almost impossible to succeed in a small business.

During the 2008 election cycle, I read Obama's book Dreams From My Father. I was struck by his consistent unfairness. In Hawaii, his white grandmother was frightened by an aggressive black panhandler. Obama took the side of the unknown panhandler, saying his grandmother's complaint hit him like a kick in the gut. As a community organizer in Chicago, when he was unable to persuade the City government to satisfy the complaints of his constituents, he demonized the City... even black mayor Harold Washington. Where was the City's side of the story? Now he touts fairness?

I was completing a political survey. The question was Do you favor a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution? I thought, You Bet, and checked the YES box. Then I thought again. What happens when the politicians near the end of a fiscal year and realize they have spent more than their tax revenue? The obvious answer is they will raise taxes, saying they must... The Constitution requires a balanced budget! I did not submit the survey.

Some are complaining that rich investors are paying a lower tax rate than some of us working slobs. But, do those investors set the tax rates? Hardly!. It was recognized that there was a need for wealthy people to invest in businesses, rather than tax shelters like tax-fee municipal bonds. So, the government set tax rates from business investment income lower to encourage that kind of investment. No one is complaining about the tax-free bonds. So, where's the beef?

Ask the next ten people you meet if the U.S. Constitution provides for a separation of church and state. Many, if not most... if not all... will say "Yes". Then hand them a copy of The Constitution and ask them to show you where. (Don't have a copy of The Constitution? Get one here. or there.)

Sometimes thinking gives me a headache!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I agree with FNCs superstar Bill O'Reilly often. Some times I strongly disagree.

Recently, Bill asserted that you must notify the FBI when taking flying lessons, but not if you buy a machine gun or a bazooka. That was such a foolish misstatement it has been thoroughly refuted by Doug Giles and others.

More recently, Bill said "Marriage is not a right protected by the Constitution." Well, Mr. O'Reilly, marriage is not an enumerated right in the Constitution. But, have you read the Ninth amendment? It states that "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

(Thank the Founders for the precious 9th amendment! Without it there surely would be books - no, libraries full of books - telling us all the things we could NOT do because those things were not enumerated in the Constitution!)

Then, Bill, take a look at the Tenth Amendment which says that powers "...not prohibited by it (The Constitution) to the states are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."  Since marriage is not prohibited by the Constitution, it automatically becomes a protected right. Further, if any states wish to prohibit same-sex marriage, that right is reserved to that state and is protected by the Constitution.

Or, if I personally believe only in traditional marriage, I as a "people" enjoy Constitutional protection for that right.

The Founders did not write the Constitution to be a complex legal document. They wanted it to be a document that could be read and understood by every citizen of the United States. And with great genius, they succeeded!

Sadly, they did not provide a way to make us read it! 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

We've moved!

Though the occasional odd post may yet appear here, most of the newly revived action has made the jump to the new Uncle Sam's Tavern. Please click here to join us, and tell your friends.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Remembering Bataan

The vast majority of Americans reading that headline will ask, "Remembering what?"

If you are interested, search "Bataan Death March" and learn what "Bataan" is all about. Americans charged with defending the Philippines just before World War II erupted, were ill-equipped and poorly armed. Still, they resisted bravely, proclaiming, "We're the Battlin' Bastards of Bataan; no mama, no papa, no Uncle Sam!"
With the pacific fleet destroyed at Pearl Harbor, America could not defend the defenders of the Philippines. They were indeed bastards, written off by their government.

In April, 1942, after delaying for four months the Japanese conquest of the Western Pacific, American and Filipino forces, 76,000 unarmed, starving troops, surrendered. We did not learn their fate until 1944, when Lt. Col W. E. Dyers, who had escaped the Japanese, reported to General MacArthur. Col. Dyers said,

"You might call it the Death March from Bataan, for that is what it was. The Japs marched us from Bataan to the first of our prison camps. At the start of that march, they beheaded an American Captain for having a few Japanese yen in his pocket.

"I saw Japs bayonet malaria-stricken American soldiers struggling to keep marching down the dusty roads that led to hell. I saw them flog an American Colonel until his face was unrecognizable.

"I saw laughing and yelling Jap soldiers lean from speeding trucks to smash their rifle butts against the heads of the struggling prisoners.

"I saw Jap soldiers roll unconscious American and Filipino prisoners of war into the path of Japanese Army trucks which ran over them."

How could anyone survive? In the late 1930s, when employment of any kind, for any wage was impossible to find, many poor boys joined the National Guard. Their patriotic choice (over the WPA and other welfare programs) to earn a few dollars for their families. Many were under age but officers neglected age verification because the boys were big, strong, and urgently needed to earn the few dollars the Guard offered. These boys were accustomed to deprivation. They had experienced long days working in the hot sun and going to bed hungry. They were tough. As clouds of war darkened, National guard units were activated. New Mexico alone had 1,800 such boys on Bataan when the Japanese attacked. 

More hell followed Col. Dyers' escape, and when the Japanese Government surrendered and the surviving American prisoners were released, we learned the details. So, how could we forget Bataan? Many have. Then, 23 years ago, a group of patriots began what has become a tradition: a Bataan Memorial March at the White Sands Missile Range, in New Mexico. Yesterday, March 25, was the date of the 2012 event. This year, 6,700 marchers participated. Teams came from military units all over the world. There were many college ROTC students. Some families marched, one with two boys, 9 and 10 years old.

Joanna and I helped at one of twelve watering stations set up along the route.
Joanna, in yellow T-shirt, filled thousands of cups with either Gatorade or water, which was quickly downed by dehydrated marchers finishing the 26-mile route.
 New Mexico weather offered a day of clear skies... a blessing and a curse. It was a beautiful day, but under our desert sun, temps soared into the 90s! Estimates place the still living survivors of the 1942 Bataan march at 61, and several were on hand to greet marchers at the finish line.
The Memorial march is well organized, with ample plans for any emergency. There were, indeed, some marchers who suffered severe leg cramps as they crossed the finish line. A few were carried off on stretchers!
At a lunch break, we visited with two U.S. soldiers who had driven 1,800 miles to participate in the march. After lunch, one remarked that they were going to try to leave. Joanna asked if they were concerned with traffic leaving the base. The soldier, a veteran of two tours in Iraq replied, "No, we're concerned about walking to the parking lot!"
We didn't march, buy we, too, were exhausted.

It was an exhilarating experience. To see so many young people having traveled so far, willing to endure blisters, leg cramps and total fatigue to honor and remember Americans who suffered so greatly seventy years ago.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

It's a Crying Shame

Seriously, people...we are trying to hire the best person to lead the free world. It's a pretty important which we should undertake with more rigor, and vigor, than any other job we do. What is really more important, in a big picture sense? What else do you do in your day to day life that literally impacts every single person in the whole world? Unfortunately, most voters don't think of it that way - like they are hiring someone for a critically important job. If they did, perhaps they would look beyond popularity contests and opponents' smears and do their homework. Ask yourself:

What are the qualifications for this job?

I have heard many people say they are supporting Rick Santorum because he shares their faith. Fine. Good. That's important. And what else, I ask? The answers are broad and very shallow. They don't know what else. They like his religious values. The fact is, Rick Santorum cannot win against Obama (unless this becomes a Carteresque election, in which case *I* could beat Obama). He doesn't EXCITE anyone...doesn't inspire passion. He is right on many issues, and is a good, decent and honorable man. But he is not compelling in any way. His range of experience is very narrow and his voting record abysmal. That very faith that his supporters embrace is going to be his downfall - rather than leading by example, he is already showing troubling signs of wanting to force the nation to support his world view. His faith seems to trump free speech when he vows to crack down on internet porn, and cloud his judgment on women's issues. He has a very bad habit of falling into liberal media traps...responding just as they hope he will, giving them ever more fuel for their frenzy. He will be destroyed by the media. It will be like the attacks on Sarah Palin, on steroids. They will eat him alive, and he has shown repeatedly that he does not do well under pressure. He will stammer and stutter and look like a petulant little boy, stomping his foot impotently. I shudder at the image.

Mitt also has a bad tendency of opening mouth and inserting foot, but Romney is at least more credible than Santorum, with a broad record of success in many diverse areas. He has the far superior organization, with extensive networks in very important places. He is the best equipped for the job, on paper. However, there is something missing in Governor Romney. I've not seen it quite put into words, and I can't either, exactly, but he is just not normal. A touch robotic, a little nerdy, he seems detached, there is no sense of urgency. One feels that he really doesn't comprehend the gravity of our situation. If he doesn't understand the problem, how can he possibly know the solution? Since he is the undeniable favorite, I keep trying to tell myself that he would be a much better President than he is a candidate, and I think this is actually quite possibly true. If guided by a strong, Constitution loving Congress, there is a reasonable possibility that he could be a very good President. Certainly our country would benefit from the morals and values that he and his family represent (the same is equally true for Santorum). There are some very good things about Mitt. Sure wish it felt like enough. Sadly, he has spent millions, not telling us how capable he is, but rather by attacking his opponents, nearly always dishonestly - words taken out of context, non-existent links between events invented - Romney has been the penultimate negative campaigner this cycle, and it has destroyed any sense of respect I had for the man. If you can't win on your own merits, why the hell are you in the race?

Then there's Newt Gingrich. Newt is a little too human, a bit too imperfect for many of us to accept. His verbal oops are legendary. It seems to me that he thinks out loud too a little too willing to say what's on his mind - to speak the truth, even when it hurts him. When caught off guard, he has a bad habit of evaluating possible answers out loud, and says all sorts of politically incorrect things. He comes across as being somewhat impulsive, which scares the timid among us. But he has a PhD in history, an obsession with governing and politics, and an in-depth understanding of the making of our nation. Like a certain young candidate for U.S House for whom I once worked, Newt Gingrich would approach leading this nation with a firm grasp of the original intent of the founders. It is my contention that this is critically important, even essential. How can we expect our president to uphold the Constitution if he doesn't know where it came from, the context in which it was framed?

Gingrich has the capacity to generate excitement. Remember the standing ovations during the debates? I have personally cheered for his responses on many occasions, and have had tears in my eyes on at least as many more. They say he's unelectable, but in the general election, on the same stage with President Hopenchange, he would pit his considerable substance against Obama's vacuous, empty rhetoric, and the result would be astonishing. He has the ability to light a fire under this nation not seen in many years, to wake up a people who have grown very weary with politics as usual.

He is brilliant, has spent years learning about the many issues that we face. He thinks outside the box, and is not overly devoted to party. He made enemies on both sides of the aisle when he was Speaker, all of whom have crawled out of the woodwork to attack him now for revenge, but he was the single most effective Speaker of the House we have had in my lifetime - balancing the budget, reforming welfare and getting people back in the workforce. They were excellent years, by nearly any measure. Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich found ways to be bi-partisan in the best possible way, and they had an enormous positive impact on our nation. And guess what? Both of them were screwing around on their wives at the time. Didn't really seem to hurt the outcome a bit.

Why, my fellow Americans, would we not want to give that kind of thinking another shot? We have the opportunity to elect one of the two men who made that happen, and instead, we are listening to his many, many enemies, most of whom are the crusty, corrupt old former politicians and cronies that we profess to despise. Have we lost our minds? We have a guy who's been there, done that, had a decade to review his successes and failures, and to observe the continuing decline of his country. It is near certain that he has spent every day since he left office thinking about how to get the job done, planning his strategies, formulating solutions. Certainly he is able to intelligently discuss virtually any subject that is addressed, and has his own unique brand of solution for each crisis. He not only knows the ropes, he knows the potholes and how to avoid them.

Are we turning away from this exceptionally well qualified man because he's had three wives? Take it from me...some very, very good men have had three wives - I know from personal's utterly irrelevant. Or is it because of the phony ethics scandal? The one the Democrats started because he was so enormously successful they couldn't stop him any other way? The one where he was later found, after an exhaustive investigation by the IRS, to have done absolutely nothing wrong?

I don't know what kind of President Newt Gingrich would one can ever know these things in advance. But he is boldly different, passionate and inspiring. His record is strong, positive and favors liberty. He has clear solutions on sooo many fronts...just watch a few hundred of his best YouTube videos. Yet, in this time of critical need, America is turning away from him. It's a crying shame.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Higher Education Indoctrination

In recent years, we have been bombarded with admonitions that success in America is nearly impossible without a college education. The Federal Government has taken many steps to facilitate that education with student loan programs, tuition grants, monetary support of institutions, etc.

Now, however, we are learning that graduates from a four-year college are without jobs, (or working at multiple menial jobs which do not require a degree) while saddled, on the average, with a $20,000 student loan debt. All the while, North Dakota reports that scores of high-paying jobs, requiring training in mechanical skills - not a college degree - are going begging.

Some now say a college education, excluding a post graduate degree in the sciences, is a waste of time and money. I wish that were the end of the story.

The truth is, many graduates from a four year liberal arts college not only have no skills, they have acquired a mindset destructive to the American way of life.

In my local newspaper (the Las Cruces, New Mexico Sun-News, March 11, 2012), there appeared the following Letter To the Editor:

  "New Mexico State University's College of Education is aggressively teaching future secondary teachers a liberal agenda. I am a graduate student working toward a secondary teaching license through the Department of Curriculum and Education at NMSU, where it is mandatory to take a course called Exploration of Education. The course description states this class is an overview of secondary schooling, but instead, it is a platform to promote the Democratic Party and to nullify the white American male, American culture and Christianity.
  "The front cover of one of the required textbooks depicts President George W. Bush next to a picture of a monkey with a similar facial expression while President Barack Obama is pictured giving a speech in front of the American flag.
  "Through the class, I have been taught the white male is the opposition, and everyone who is not a white male needs to band together in order to succeed against them. One textbook further defines the opposition as white, male, Christian, heterosexuals. In some of the readings, the American citizenship of white American males is negated by calling them White Europeans rather than European Americans. All other male groups are called Americans, such as African Americans rather than Black Africans.
  The United states of America is never exalted; rather, I have been taught our American culture is deplorable because we are a capitalistic nation who loves football and owns guns.
  It was conveyed that in order to embrace freedom of religion, I must first put down Christianity. This is what future secondary teachers are being taught at NMSU, under the guise of critical pedagogy, and all secondary education teachers must pass this class in order to be eligible to be a secondary teacher. I contend that if these ideologies are not adopted, then failure is imminent.  -Brenda Bullard, Las Cruces

As a one-time news reporter, I understand this is thus far unverified. But surely Miss Bullard would not lie, since her assertions are easily proved or disproved with a trip to the NMSU bookstore to peruse the referenced textbooks.

Bear in mind, meanwhile, that this instruction is being offered at a high cost to each student, made higher by the interest they will surely pay on a student loan, and a high cost to taxpayers. Collectively, we are financing the destruction of our America by creating a generation of anti-American thinkers.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Can we cut Rick a little slack???

In a moment of discussing a variety of weighty matters, someone popped Rick Santorum a question about women serving in military combat units. He responded with a lame answer - something involving emotion - and has caught a bit of heat. Dumb move for a political candidate. But let's think about this for a moment.

As a small boy, one of first social rules laid down for me was 'Don't hit girls'. Okay... most of the girls my age were a little smaller than me, and that seemed a reasonable restriction. After all these many decades, I have never hit a girl.

Small boys like to use coarse language and discuss gross subjects. The more disgusting, the better. Next rule: 'Don't use coarse language or discuss gross subjects in front of girls'. Small boys think farts are very funny... but, guess what, I grew up thinking girls never do anything so disgusting as to fart!

I was taught that if you walk along the sidewalk with a girl, you walk on the outside, shielding her from the traffic. If you come to a door, you open it and hold it open for her. If you are on a crowded bus where all seats are occupied, and a woman boards, you stand and offer her your seat. (I did that in Mexico once and a lot of people stared at me like I was crazy. But, this is America.) I was never given a reason for special treatment for girls, none was needed, it was just the way it was supposed to be.

I had four sisters, so I certainly knew that girls could be tough, smart and fully capable, but they are still girls. 
The rule was 'Be a gentleman - treat her like a lady'.

Now someone wants to give her a rifle and send her off to the bloody battle, denied the amenities of a civilized existence, forced to crawl through the mud while being shot at, keeping her rifle clean in case she has to shoot someone. Having to use a slit trench for a bathroom. Eat crappy G.I. food with no way to brush her teeth afterward. Being barked at by a non-com for the slightest transgression. Not the way it is supposed to be.

When I entered the Army, well over a half century ago, there were guys who were rejected, considered unsuited for military service. Today, there will be women also deemed unsuited for the role. But gender is not a factor in either case.

So, out-of-the-blue some dummy asks you if you think women should fill the boots of a combat soldier. You can't say they aren't smart enough, because you know damn well they are. You cannot say they are not physically fit for the tough stuff, because you know many of them are. You can't say they lack the mental toughness, because you know that, also, is untrue. And, certainly, you can't say 'because it just ain't supposed to be'! That is, if you hope to win your election. You can gibber like an idiot and say something about emotion... but that, too, could derail your political ambitions.

You could say it depends on the woman and those persons setting standards for combat soldiers, but that may require some thought, time for which politicians are not often allowed - and that may also be wrong.

And even if your brain knows its okay for women to be combat soldiers... your heart still insists that's just not the way it is supposed to be.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Is Obama non-partisan???

It wasn't that long ago when President Obama was taped at a West Coast fundraiser, accusing we peasants of "clinging to our guns and God".

 Well, now... the Administration certainly was not "clinging to their guns" when Fast & Furious was going down. Millions of taxpayer dollars were spent to purchase high-quality weapons to give free to Mexican drug cartels. We know, of course, that grateful druggies made use of those guns in killing at least one Border Patrol agent, hundreds - maybe thousands - of Mexican citizens, and perhaps a few of the Americans murdered while south of the border on some sort of humanitarian mission.

But, the Administration is most certainly clinging to its guns in the case of Syrian civilians begging for arms to protect themselves from their own government. Obama says 'no' to smuggling arms into Syria.

Is that Fair and balanced, or what?

Now we see that the Administration is not "clinging to God" as they walk all over the religious beliefs of American citizens. Does your conscience oppose the use of contraceptives? Doesn't matter, you may be forced to pay for contraceptives to be given free to persons with different beliefs.

So... in the aforementioned spirit of being fair, should we not expect from this president a show of strong support for God's followers in some coming issue?