Ed Morrisey on Hot Air complains, "Silencing dissent and criticism is “necessary under the unique circumstances of the stimulus program”? Gee, what “unique circumstances” might those be? Perhaps the fact that it costs more than the Moon shot, and has yet to halt the economic skid. Maybe it’s the fact that most of the stimulus package doesn’t actually stimulate anything except doctrinaire liberal dreams and the pens that check off the items from the Democratic wish list.
Remember when the Left took to the streets to declare dissent “patriotic” during wartime? I didn’t have a problem with dissent then, but apparently the Left has a curious definition of “patriotism”. Now, suddenly, the federal government can silence their critics at will, not to protect critical national-security programs or keep from undermining a war effort, but to protect a Democratic president intent on seizing control of private industry across a wide swath of the nation. Suddenly, that kind of dissent threatens America."
It was this statement by Norman Eisen, special counsel to Barack Obama, that set him off: "First, we will expand the restriction on oral communications to cover all persons, not just federally registered lobbyists. For the first time, we will reach contacts not only by registered lobbyists but also by unregistered ones, as well as anyone else exerting influence on the process. We concluded this was necessary under the unique circumstances of the stimulus program."
A commenter was kind enough to include the dictionary definition of fascism. fascism: /ˈfæʃɪzəm/[fash-iz-uhm] –noun 1. a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.
I was reading through the kids' book-order forms, looking longingly at the Cinderella Princess Collection. Sigh. I have 4 boys at home, so I will not be ordering this book.
But that doesn't mean I can't reminisce. My favorite disney book was always Cinderella. I remember getting in trouble as a kid because my mother would find me after bedtime reading on the floor of my bedroom by the light from the hall with the door cracked open.
And the movie itself has a really beautiful love song. Great music and lyrics. So welcome to the lovely ladies of Ann's VGNO. Here is my musical tribute for the day:
So this is love, Mmmmmm So this is love So this is what makes life divine I'm all aglow, Mmmmmm And now I know The key to all heaven is mine My heart has wings, Mmmmmm And I can fly I'll touch ev'ry star in the sky So this is the miracle that I've been dreaming of Mmmmmm Mmmmmm So this is love
...gave me some insight into the recent CA voting.
"More than 80 percent of (my town's) voters opposed all four of the propositions dealing with funding; 58 percent voted in favor of the proposition saying elected officials wouldn’t get raises during budget deficit years," according to ocregister.com. You might guess I live in a conservative zone, and you would be right.
Here are web comment printed in the local paper. "grendelsmom wrote: The failure of these propositions now tears off the civilized veneer of our legislators. Without ample flow of our tax dollars, the dogs, in Sacramento, will be tearing at each others throats for scraps of credibility and revenue. topviet wrote: This is a lesson for politicians. ranchhand wrote: Simply stated, It is time for Arnold and his cast to be TERMINATED yourface wrote: All this debt and they still will not touch the unions.
Any my personal favorite: alleykat1 wrote: Hmm, I’m as liberal as they come, and I also voted NO on the budget “fixes.” What a joke!" <----a convert?
This was written by Matt on Resist Net: "My name is Matt and I am a right wing extremist. One of King Obama’s Court Jesters, Janet Napolitano, has designated me as such not too long ago. This, of course, is hardly the first time that the Orwellian Left has called patriots who love America “Extremist.” If you listened to these people you’d think a mad scientist cloned a mixture of Hitler, Hoover and Torquemada and got him elected president every time a Republican sat in the White House. Isn’t it sad to be so tightly wrapped? But then, as I looked back over the course of History, I realized that the Left was right (ha!) to label us extremists. We are. People who love Liberty and hate Tyranny are a threat to tyrants, obviously. But also lovers of Liberty are, by definition, extremist.
Of the two hundred and some countries on this planet, more than half are governed by Dictators whose main virtue is they aren’t as bad as Idi Amin. Not every country is that lucky, however. Most of Europe is free, but the Socialist Bureaucrats of Western Europe are strangling what Liberty remains in those parts. Political Correctness is disseminated by a thoroughly Leftist Dominated Media in most of those countries. If a bunch of Right Wing Extremist Libertarians don’t rise up and restore Western Europe to the great Christian civilization it once was, Old Europe has a generation or two before it joins the Third World, either as Socialist rust-belts, or under Sharia law, whichever happens first. Eastern Europe is free and does have some chance of remaining so. All thanks to America’s 40th President, who Leftists called a Nazi. And that was one of the nicer things they called him. Several countries on the Asian fringe have decent republican governments, but these are beach-heads on the great landmass of Asia, most of which is not free. Latin America pays lip-service to republicanism, and a few countries do better than that. However, behind our backs, Hugo Chavez has eliminated much of Venezuela’s freedom and used his petrodollars to illegally finance Left Wing rogues in nearly every country there. The freedom that Nicaragua enjoyed, after a long struggle and so much blood, is now a memory, that country being back in the hands of its once and future thug dictator, Daniel Ortega, who recently lectured our president on the evils of America. And our so-called President didn’t hesitate to kiss his rear. Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay and others are similarly ruled by Leftist thugs. Colombia, the one truly free country, is besieged by the Communist FARC who deal cocaine and commit horrible acts of terrorism to rival those of Osama bin Laden.
There is not a lot of Liberty left on this planet, and that which exists is under fierce assault by Neo-Marxists and Islamofascists. It is far easier to kneel to a tyrant than to think for oneself and be free. And mankind has a long history of taking that easy road. Thank God for the extremists throughout history who didn’t take it.
Who could argue that Leonidas and his 300 at Thermopylai were extremists? That is precisely why they are so admired, for their extremism in defense of Liberty. Their equivalent of the UN, the Persian empire, demanded earth and water of them. Totally reasonable, argued all the many who knelt to the Persian King. But Leonidas and many of his fellow Greeks knew that if you allowed someone to tyrannize you in small things, the day when they tyrannized you in greater things was not far off. Thus they rudely refused the Great King’s “reasonable” offer. If Leonidas had been a moderate and sent earth and water, who would remember him today? Many Greeks “medized” and submitted to the Persian King, such as Macedon and Thebes. Do we remember any of their great leaders who were oh-so-wise, oh-so-moderate and not at all extremist? Are they worth remembering?
Cato the Younger, aka Cato Uticensis, was held to be an extremist for resisting the Monarchical ambitions of Caesar. All too many sheep believed Caesar was SAVING the Republic.
The Dutch in the 16th century were a prosperous province of Spain. The Spanish had run up large debts and had wars against France to fight. They began taxing the Dutch, as well as demanding religious conformity of the Dutch Calvinists. Now the moderate, reasonable thing to do would have been to kiss the Spanish King’s ring, submit to his religious decrees and, naturally pay the ever growing tax burden. But the Dutch had to go and be extremist, fight for religious and political freedom. The Dutch Calvinists were very scary extremist people to the moderates who licked the boots of monarchs across Europe at that time. They formed the first modern Republic, treating women and commoners far better than anywhere else. This caused great offense. The fear grew when their fellow Calvinists, the Puritans of England, tried to turn England into the second modern Republic. To this day, the statue of their right-wing Christian extremist leader, Oliver Cromwell, stands outside Parliament, honoring the man who first made that body supreme to any King.
Likewise those rascally Sons of Liberty and the Minutemen of Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill were big time extremists. Moderates back in 1775 and 1776 wondered why they didn’t just pay their taxes and obey their King. Indeed, had there been a UN in 1776, they no doubt, most nations representing their Kings, would have condemned the rascally insurrectionists and demanded forthwith that they submit to their lawful sovereign, George III. And many Americans were indeed good Loyalists. In the North, most Patriots tended to be from the countryside. “The Country People” they were called. The Loyalists tended to be more of an urban cultural elite, the forerunners of modern Liberals, who follow 240 years of tradition in wanting Americans to submit to European and other Old World Dictators. New England’s “Country People” are the ancestors of the people in Utah, Montana, Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas and similar places. Together with George Washington’s southern Army they fought for America’s cause. And we Conservatives, their descendants, more of us by adoption than blood, ARE extremists. We’ve always been since we fired the shot heard round the world!
Janet Napolitano, a barking , running dog for a tyrant, is correct in labeling me as a right wing extremist. She, like her fellow monarchists, do fear lovers of Liberty. So do most of the Idi Amin wannabes around the globe. Yes, I am an extremist. In the tradition of Sam Adams. And I am frickin’ proud of it. It’s time for another shot heard round the world!"
Jeffrey Rosen of The New Republic writes, "But despite the praise from some of her former clerks, and warm words from some of her Second Circuit colleagues, there are also many reservations about Sotomayor. Over the past few weeks, I've been talking to a range of people who have worked with her, nearly all of them former law clerks for other judges on the Second Circuit or former federal prosecutors in New York. Most are Democrats and all of them want President Obama to appoint a judicial star of the highest intellectual caliber who has the potential to change the direction of the court. Nearly all of them acknowledged that Sotomayor is a presumptive front-runner, but nearly none of them raved about her. They expressed questions about her temperament, her judicial craftsmanship, and most of all, her ability to provide an intellectual counterweight to the conservative justices, as well as a clear liberal alternative.
The most consistent concern was that Sotomayor, although an able lawyer, was "not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench," as one former Second Circuit clerk for another judge put it. "She has an inflated opinion of herself, and is domineering during oral arguments, but her questions aren't penetrating and don't get to the heart of the issue." (During one argument, an elderly judicial colleague is said to have leaned over and said, "Will you please stop talking and let them talk?") Second Circuit judge Jose Cabranes, who would later become her colleague, put this point more charitably in a 1995 interview with The New York Times: "She is not intimidated or overwhelmed by the eminence or power or prestige of any party, or indeed of the media."
Her opinions, although competent, are viewed by former prosecutors as not especially clean or tight, and sometimes miss the forest for the trees. It's customary, for example, for Second Circuit judges to circulate their draft opinions to invite a robust exchange of views. Sotomayor, several former clerks complained, rankled her colleagues by sending long memos that didn't distinguish between substantive and trivial points, with petty editing suggestions--fixing typos and the like--rather than focusing on the core analytical issues.
Some former clerks and prosecutors expressed concerns about her command of technical legal details: In 2001, for example, a conservative colleague, Ralph Winter, included an unusual footnote in a case suggesting that an earlier opinion by Sotomayor might have inadvertently misstated the law in a way that misled litigants. The most controversial case in which Sotomayor participated is Ricci v. DeStefano, the explosive case involving affirmative action in the New Haven fire department, which is now being reviewed by the Supreme Court. A panel including Sotomayor ruled against the firefighters in a perfunctory unpublished opinion. This provoked Judge Cabranes, a fellow Clinton appointee, to object to the panel's opinion that contained "no reference whatsoever to the constitutional issues at the core of this case." (The extent of Sotomayor's involvement in the opinion itself is not publicly known.)"
Whether she is right for the job or not, Obama has thrown himself into campaign mode about this, launching a campaign-style commercial touting Sotomayor's upbringing. Bungalow Bill states, "The commercial shares the ‘uniquely American story’ which actually parallels Justice Clarence Thomas’s story. Once again we see the same talking points promoting Sotomayor without any substance as to any of her rulings. Why is Obama pushing so hard to get the American people to embrace Sotomayor which now includes a campaign style commercial? That’s easy. It’s clearly to raise awareness in the Latino community and cut off Republicans before the battle begins. It’s disgraceful.
What's even more disgraceful is that it's supported by ConstitutionalValues.org. Would ConstitutionalValues.org please explain what Constitutional value is represented by a judge who legislates from the bench?"
The CA state supreme court ruled to uphold the passage of proposition 8 by the voters of CA. Marriage will be between a man and a woman. Gays can have equal rights, but must call the union something else.
"Netanyahu understands that peace will only come to the Middle East when the Iranian Regime quits funding and supplying weapons to Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and the radical Islamists in the Middle East. When you solve the Iranian problem, you solve the Israeli problem.
Netanyahu met with a group of American bloggers back in 2007: Seated: Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Scott Johnson from Powerline in the background. Standing (l-r) Andrew Breitbart- Breitbart.com and The Drudge Report, Andrew's good friend Laurence Solov, Jeff Emanuel from RedState and myself (Gateway Pundit)."--from Gateway Pundit.
I hope the Israeli people know that the American people support them, despite what our leaders say. They need to do what they need to do to keep safe.
I have noticed more and more wonderful conservative blogs popping up on the web lately, or maybe they were there and just now I noticed. Some new, some old. Enjoy them! Here are links and profile notes from them.
Clifton B: I am a black conservative from a black conservative family. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and finally settled in New Jersey. Throughout my life I knew I did not share many of the common beliefs of other American blacks. For starters, I never took to the term African-American. I have meet too many real Africans who are now Americans, to ever with a straight face say we share something in common other than skin tones. Their history and culture is truly a unique and is a completely different experience from my own. My culture is distinctly American, from the way I speak, think, dress and act and you know what else? I love it! So for me, I will always be an American who just happens to be black. I put myself and my beliefs out here in cyberspace, to show my fellow blacks that there is something more. That one need not accept the false promise of the next social program, the belief in government as savior or the next Democratic candidate will right all wrongs. That true Hope and Change comes from belief in yourself, in a nation that allows dynamic movement if you are bold enough, smart enough and brave enough to make it happen.
Left Coast Rebel: "I am a 33 year old native San Diegan, business owner,investor and concerned citizen. I believe in the sanctity of the individual and am incensed by our country's march to socialism. This socialism is the child of both Republicans and Democrats, accelerating under the current regime. I support Ron Paul. I support the concept of an individual retaining the vast majority of his earnings. I believe in freedom in every area of an individual's life, as the Founders did. This is the essence of the pursuit of happiness, of capitalism. I am here to support this, and those that support this as well."
Conservative Scalawag: No profile notes, but I find that he posts mostly about second amendment (gun rights) issues. In fact, I am inspired by him to re-post a picture from LL's blog:
Jessica Wilkerson is a new blogger, and has boundless energy. She is one to watch. "I am a Conservative Mama, who loves her family & country, and who's willing to take a stand to protect both. By getting involved in the Community in small ways, I'm trying to make a difference in this crazy world of ours."
There are a TON more, as you know. I'll make more posts about them (you).
Here is an opinion article from Pravda.ru about the loss of American Capitalism. Sad.
American Capitalism Gone With A Whimper
It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.
True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.
Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.
First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their "right" to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our "democracy". Pride blind the foolish.
Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different "branches and denominations" were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the "winning" side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the "winning" side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America. The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America's short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.
These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?
These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more then a whimper to their masters. Then came Barack Obama's command that GM's (General Motor) president step down from leadership of his company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land of "pure" free markets, the American president now has the power, the self given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will. Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions. So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a "bold" move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK's Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our "wise" Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride. Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper...but a "freeman" whimper. So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set "fair" maximum salaries, evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses? Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert basking in his homosexuality (of course, amongst the modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well as that of the general West, homosexuality is not only not a looked down upon life choice, but is often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive. The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other words, divest while there is still value left. The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker. Stanislav Mishin
I know I just posted this pic a day or 2 ago. There was something I forgot to mention. The best part of this photograph is that it pictures true love. My grandfather died when I was 10, so I didn't get to know him all that well. My grandmother lived until I was 24, and I remember how she spoke about him. The longing. The fondness. The sentimentality. I remember Max the Bulldog, a stuffed animal that was given to Grandpa not long before he died. It became sacred. I learned that she slept with his (worn) t-shirt under her pillow. I remember them together, through the eyes of a child. I remember her cooking, and he *always* did the dishes. This was back in the late 60s, early 70s, and that was not all that common. I asked him why he washed the dishes every night. He said that if he didn't, there would be soap left on them, and he didn't want to eat soap. That surprised me at the time, and over the years I have come to believe that there was a deeper reason. He loved her. And he wanted to make her life easier. One quiet devotion, day after day after day. I remember the end of her days. She survived him by 14 years, and when her time came near, she was not afraid. She believed that she would be joining him soon, and that made her happy.
CA politicians have decided how to exact revenge against Californians for Tuesday's defeat at the polls. They are closing all the poison control centers. CA will be the only state without one, according to KABC 10.70am. The center receives about 900 calls per day. This will increase cost to the state by about 70 million in emergency room visits. And maybe cost some children's lives. This is part if the nuclear scenario. What a relief to hear that the CA teachers and other unions will not be asked to make any sacrifices. That would be awful.
I am determined NOT to let my negative feelings for a certain political figure who comes from the Chicago area to taint my memories of my original home town and birthplace. I must admit that I get a grim look, sometimes, as I look over my mug collection, and decide which one to use. But Darn it! There are a LOT of great people who live in that wonderful city. Among those my aunt, uncle, cousins, nieces and nephews. And the memory of my beloved grandmother remains with me always. She was a rock in the stormy seas of my childhood. I love Chicago.
The failure could affect those with GPS on their auto navigation systems, boats and cell phones.
"The Global Positioning System faces the possibility of failures and blackouts, a federal watchdog agency has warned the U.S. Congress. Mismanagement by and underinvestment by the U.S. Air Force places the GPS at risk of failure in 2010 and beyond. The problem: Delays in launching replacement satellites, among other things.
According to the Government Accountability Office report, "In recent years, the Air Force has struggled to successfully build GPS satellites within cost and schedule goals" as part of a $2 billion modernization program.
'If the Air Force does not meet its schedule goals for development of GPS IIIA satellites, there will be an increased likelihood that in 2010, as old satellites begin to fail, the overall GPS constellation will fall below the number of satellites required to provide the level of GPS service that the U.S. government commits to.'" According to PC World.
For Veronica Lee, who asked to see my coffee mug collection (mercifully small), here is the first. This scientific mug was purchased at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, on a visit there with my now 18-y-o son. All the boys (and girl) love that place. My favorite part is the "shake shack" where you go into an elevator-like device, press a button, and it starts slamming you back and forth ala-earthquake. The view off of my bedroom balcony is somewhat less than relaxing with the men working hard to install the deck railing, but it is nice to see progress.
There was a Chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Prof noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.
The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a new communist government.
In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, 'Do you know how to catch wild pigs?'
The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line.
The young man said this was no joke. 'You catch wild pigs by finding! a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in The last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat, you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.
Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.
The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America . The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc. while we continually lose our freedoms - just a little at a time. One should always remember: There is no such thing as a free Lunch! A politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it for yourself.
"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have. " - Thomas Jefferson
There is an old Chinese curse: May you get what you wish for. Our healthcare is far from perfect, but it is still better than the alternatives. Here are some statistics for you.
Percentage of people who wait more than 4 months for surgery: 23% in Australia 26% in New Zealand 27% in Canada 36% in United Kingdom 5% in US Heart surgery in the UK done 1/4 of the rate as done in the United States Dialysis patients wait 62 days in Canada for blood-vessel access - 16 days in the United States 1.8 Million people are waiting for hospital care or outpatient treatment at any given time in the UK 160 day waiting period for knee replacement surgery in Norway UK has 1/4 of CT scanners per capita of the US UK has 1/3 of MRI scanners per capita of the US UK provides only 1/4 of the rate of the US for coronary-bypass surgery US provides life saving kidney treatments at the rate of 9 times than the UK for people over the age of 85 (Can you say rationing?) Only one in ten adult Canadians have had a colonoscopy compared to one in three in the US Twice as many Canadian women have not had a mammogram compared to the US The rate of mortality is 25% higher in Canada than in the US for breast cancer, 8% for prostate cancer and 13% higher for colorectal cancer Approx. 8 million of the uninsured in this country make more than $75,000 per year
Data from the National Center for Policy Analysis. Data available at ncpa.org
I am getting tired of hearing liberal whiners' angst at splashing water in the face of terrorists. North Korean defector Bang Mi-sun shows her torture scars at a press conference in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. /Yonhap
For the rest of America- here's a report on real torture. The Chosun Ilbo reported:
There were gasps in the audience at a press conference by female North Korean defectors in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday when Bang Mi-sun rolled up her black skirt and showed the deep ugly scars in her thighs. The event was part of North Korea Freedom Week.
As soon as she was asked to recount her life in a North Korean concentration camp, Bang (55) stepped on a chair and roll up her skirt. Various parts of her thighs were sunken as if the flesh had been gouged out. She also walks with a limp.
Bang had formerly been an actress with the propaganda squad of the Musan Mine. She fled the North with her children when her husband starved to death in 2002, but soon fell victim to human traffickers. She was arrested by Chinese police and was sent back to the North, where she was tortured. In 2004, she escaped again.
Bang testified that one 21-year-old pregnant woman who had fled to China and been forcibly repatriated was killed when she refused to have an abortion. Forced abortions of half-Chinese children apparently aim to prevent the proliferation of "unclean" stock due to the North's archaic obsession with the national bloodline.
Takekaze says, "That's torture done by a regime that spits on every and all human rights. But wait... it's the Northies, they are commies. Commies are good, right? Bang Mi-sun and others are certainly wingnuts or something, or American spies, right? Or maybe, uh... I don't know... Bush paid Bang Mi-sun to lie?
Who knows what weird "theories" worshippers of mass murderers (also known as leftists) come up with."
Liberals practice moral relativism. American "torture", waterboarding, must be the same as torture practiced in other countries. This is wrong.
Yes, Mother's Day went well. Very well. In fact, I hesitate to brag about it. My daughter drove in from college. She and I went out Saturday night for dinner and had some nice girl talk. Sunday brunch with her brought more girl talk. Then we took all 5 older kids to the beach for fun in the sun. She drove back to college from there, and the boys and I went out to a local Japanese Teppan Grill that night. Boys LOVE it when they throw food in the air.
There was a nice post on Breastfeeding Moms Unite this past week that described how single moms of very young children sometimes miss out on Mother's Day festivities, because their kids are so young. That is true. I spent 11 years as a single mom. Now that my kids are older, everything has come full circle. Each stage of childhood brings new vistas. When children become adults, the scenery changes again, and still for the better. It is a pleasure reaching the point where you each value the other, forging bonds of friendship/love that last through time, though you may be separated.
I took a nice, long walk with the baby today. He fell asleep in his jogging stroller. Sweet little snorer. I have been walking a lot more lately. The weather has been perfect. There is a fragrance in the air here, in Southern California, that is heady. May brings profusions of Star Jasmine and Honeysuckle, that make my walks as sweet as a visit to the candy store.
The neighbors are forging ahead on their rebuild. Quite a change, if you recall the mounds of dirt and flat expanses of concrete.
More random thoughts:
I saw on The Steady Drip blog a post about keeping a positive attitude with regard to today's politics. This reminded me of a story from the day of the wildfire, and here is my comment: "I do believe in the power of positive thinking. Yet, this concept can confuse people. They start to believe that we must be "happy" all the time, and if they are not, they must take "happy" pills. Doing this at a time of national or personal crisis can be disastrous. For example, during the CA wildfire last year, my neighbor, who takes "happy medicine", was unable to pack or think about packing as the flames bore down upon our neighborhood. She said airily that she would wait for her husband to come home. The flames chased us out 15 minutes later. I prayed for her safety as I ran for my life with my kids and boxes in the car. So yes, I think we need to visualize success. We can and WILL get our country back. But we should not kick ourselves about feeling upset about present events. These are upsetting times."
I came across a comment on the Oathkeepers website that explained what they are doing in a nutshell. The comment is anonymous:
"Reasons why I will attend the Oathkeepers Muster:
1. To support the courageous Active Duty servicemen and women and Peace Officers who will be there affirming their oath to support and defend the Constitution.
2. To offer confidence to the American citizenry at-large, that we who have taken our oath to support and defend their Constitutional Rights, will in no way - shape - or form betray that sacred trust.
3. To place on notice, a warning to any officer who might give unlawful orders to his or her subordinates that would violate the Constitutional Rights of the American citizenry, that their actions will not be tolerated; that such orders constitute treason and that prosecution under such charges will be relentlessly pursued.
4. To draw a clear line whereby the government understands its limits, and if it were to violate such, will have broken the supreme law of the land, the Constitution.
5. To let all leaders of government (federal, state, local), military, sheriff and police departments know that there will be no co-operation whatsoever with any illegal or unlawful orders.
6. To remind anyone who would use government force to strip our American citizens of their Constitutional Rights, that history will not be kind to them; that they will be forever branded for the bullies, cowards, and traitors that they are.
I have been bothered by the GE-MSNBC connection for months now. I ran across this post and I think it is time to speak out against this corrupt company. "GE is the Marxist choice for corporation of the year. They received 160 BILLION in bailout funds but have no conditions imposed upon them by the Obama Administration. With the Banks, GM, Chrysler they all had to agree to let Obama run the companies, Obama installed CEO's limited pay and recently with Chrysler cut the advertising budget in half because Obama thinks he knows how much they should spend. Bonus's are eliminated or taxed to death but none of this happened with GE. GE along with Intel and GE subsidiary PMSNBC are all working on forced Government control of health records and the propaganda that will go along with it by that I mean PMSNBC must create 5000 propaganda messages a year extolling the greatness of Obama, the Democrats, Marxist Health Care, and this records nightmare. Members of the Obama Administration will be on the board of this records thing and vice-versa. This should be looked into by an attorney or someone smarter than I am as I believe this is actually Illegal, criminally illegal not just Unconstitutional with the Monopoly and Anti-Trust laws. This is creating a Mega Corporation that is completely protected and underwritten by the Government answerable to no one except the Obama Administration." Bungalow Bill's Conservative Widsom says, "We see Obama practice two different standards to bailout companies. I bet he hasn’t even considered cutting GE’s advertising budget, and they have taken far more than Chrysler. GE has received 20 times more in bailout money than Chrysler; yet GE continues to expand. (GE received $140 billion in bailouts compared to $7 billion to Chrysler.) If Chrysler owned a giant media company which included NBC News and MSNBC like GE does, I wonder how much different Chrysler would be treated? You betcha’ they would be treated differently. Clearly this double standard with General Electric shows how Obama favors GE because of its influence on the American people."
Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:
We have stuck together since the late 1950's, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has run its course. Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.
Here is a model separation agreement:Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a portion.
That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.
We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU. Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell (You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them).
We'll keep the capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street. You can have your beloved homeless, homeboys, hippies and illegal aliens. We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks. We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood.
You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us. You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.
We'll keep the SUVs, pickup trucks and over sized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find. You can give everyone health care if you can find any practicing doctors.
We'll continue to believe health care is a luxury and not a right. We'll keep The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the National Anthem. I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute Imagine, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing, Kum Ba Ya or We Are the World.
We'll practice trickle down economics and you can give trickle up poverty your best shot. Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag.
Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you ANWAR which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.
Sincerely, John J. Wall Law Student and an American
P.S. Also, please take Barbara Streisand & Jane Fonda with you.
It's the kids. I gotta say. They are great. My kids and I are planning a big beach trip on Sunday, Mother's Day. I can't wait. My daughter is driving in from college, my 10-y-o is here this weekend, and the others will be there too. It has been a while since I have spent time at the beach with my daughter. Here is a picture from the last time. She brings so much joy to my life. Can you see why?
The first wave of emigration has started. Those medical professionals who are spooked by Obama's Healthcare proposals have just received their passports in the mail. And they are leaving. I can't name names. But they are going somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere and they don't plan to come back. But this is so premature, you say. Are they nuts? Perhaps. But I can tell you that there is chaos and fear rampant in American hospitals today. Everybody is angry and scared. Many doctors are at their wits end. They have seen their reimbursements drop 40% in the past decade, with no let-up in astronomical malpractice insurance premiums. Some can take the uncertainty and persevere, hoping for the best. Some people just can't take it. And medical personnel are not generally the "stand and fight" kind of people. They don't even blog. The official term for this is brain drain. According to Wikipedia, "Brain drain or human capital flight is a large emigration of individuals with technical skills or knowledge, normally due to conflict, lack of opportunity, political instability, or health risks....Brain drains are common amongst developing nations, such as the former colonies of Africa, the island nations of the Caribbean, and particularly in centralized economies such as former East Germany and the Soviet Union, where marketable skills were not financially rewarded." A British legislator referred to this recently on a television interview. He noted that the U.K. health system was suffering from a lack of doctors. Now they can throw all the money they want into health care, and they do, but it is not much help in improving the system. The doctors are gone.
"SIX UNIMPORTANT THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY" in no particular order of unimportance...
1. Personal emails. Not group ones. A letter written from one friend to another.
2. Cool afternoon breezes off the ocean. 80% of the time where I live we get fresh ocean breezes around 4pm. You can open up the windows and the house is filled with clean air in no time.
3. Coffee mugs. Did I mention I collect these? I like to savor the memories of travel and loved ones as I enjoy a cup of tea or decaf coffee.
4. Godiva Chocolates. You can argue about different brands and countries of origin. Argue all you want. Just leave the Godivas for me!
5. Mother's Day craft projects my kids bring home from school. I can't wait to see them!
6. Chatting with my neighbors. Our neighborhood has grown closer since the CA wildfire. We used to be a typical CA neighborhood. Don't get to know your neighbors. They may be an axe murderer, or possibly annoying. Best not to go there. Who knew we had a neighborhood full of heroes and great hearts. I love to stand out there talking with them while the construction crews scurry around.
Can you believe it? I, myself, a 40-something-year-old American mother-of-6, joined the National Rifle Association. Not only did I join, but I paid in advance for an extra year of membership. Why? Because I feel that our rights as citizens of this country are under attack. And the Second Amendment to the Constitution is one of those VERY important rights that needs to be defended. I sent in my money.
Those of you who know me from way back are aware that I have studied Karate, Jujitsu and Judo, along with brief work with ancient types of Japanese weapons. While studying at those dojos, I was invited to trips to the shooting range, and took courses there, most memorably a combat pistol shooting course. It was educational and informative.
I believe strongly in gun safety. I also believe in Americans' right to defend themselves against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And, as a woman who has received death threats in the past from an Ex (a firearms expert), I have personally felt the comfort of having a firearm available for use in my home.
On another occasion, I remember sitting up all night long on the night of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, with a borrowed pistol in my lap. I waited alone in my apartment with my sleeping preschoolers in the other room, not knowing if rioting would come to my door. As it was, the riots did come close to my home. There was looting in the Burbank Costco, a store I frequented regularly. Above is a photo borrowed from a friend. This message was on the outside of someone's house in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.
For many years I believed the rhetoric of the gun-control proponents who said that banning assault weapons would make us safer. The reality is, that criminals will get the guns they want, including fully automatic weapons. Disarming law-abiding citizens only encourages the lawless. Many guns called "assault" weapons are simply semi-automatic rifles, which squeeze off one shot at a time.
The NRA has this to say about banning assault weapons: "In America, the burden of proof is not upon those who wish to exercise rights, it is upon those who wish to restrict rights, and there is no evidence that an “assault weapon” ban reduces crime. An irrational bias against guns, mixed with an assumed sense of intellectual, social or cultural superiority to gun owners, may seem to gun control supporters like sufficient grounds to ban firearms, but such notions are insufficient in a democracy."
"It's no longer funny. This is serious. What was initially a comedy of errors and gaffes is now becoming a serious threat to our security, our economy and our way of life.
Initially, I thought that this guy would float his trial balloons aimed at taking us to the left... test the waters, so-to-speak. He did. We watched. When nobody shot these balloons down, or stood up to the radical changes he proposed, he and Rahm became even more brazen.
Initially, I thought that regardless of his left-leaning motivations, he surely would not endanger the people of America or cause them undue hardships as a result of his desires? How wrong I was! This man...the administration couldn't give a damn about the people or their suffering, as long as it advances their agenda and creates a future throng of democratic voters who are addicted to the state. It's time for us to recognize that this President, his cabinet, his staff, his Supreme Court appointees all have a common interest and that interest has nothing whatsoever to do with the people of this country.
Until we wake up and see this charade, this façade called the administration of change, we will continue to dig a hole so deep that no manner of "change" will allow us to escape from the policy mandates this President will force upon us. Wake up America, or one day we will wake up and see an America that we no longer recognize or want to be a part of. Those of us who recognize what is going on will continue to speak out to make people aware and we will continue to be singled out by the administration; vilified if necessary, as they continue the process of steamrolling America to accomplish their agenda."
It is worth clicking the link to read the full text. I quoted only the end of the article.
President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Others Owe 1.2 Million Tea Partiers an Apology - The American People Deserve Better From Their Elected Representatives and Are Beginning to Demand It
Among the political class it has apparently become acceptable, and even fashionable, for American politicians from the President on down to mock the citizens they represent. In a development that can only further denigrate the discourse necessary to any effective democracy, politicians and the "serious" news media are now mocking citizens regularly and with impunity. Supported by mainstream journalists on MSNBC and CNN who themselves use sexual slurs on national television to mock and attack the same citizens, the politicians openly demonstrate their feelings of superiority in regard to those they were elected to represent. They now candidly express their disdain for a significant portion of the American population without threat of reprisal by the mainstream media.
On the morning of the April 15th Tea Parties, the American public was informed on national news by one of the President's economic advisers, Jared Bernstein, that the President was "unaware" of the tea parties taking place in over 850 cities across the nation. On April 29th, the President informed a town hall meeting in St. Louis that he has now become aware of the tea parties, but only from "certain news channels on which I'm not very popular." He referred to the one million plus Patriots who came out in legitimate and constitutionally protected demonstrations of free speech on April 15th as "folks waving tea bags around..." While he collects royalties (last year about $2.6 million) from his books, The Audacity of Hope and Dreams From My Father, the President has the audacity to imply that we the people have nothing legitimate to say about high taxes, wasteful spending and corporate bailouts. The President also seems to believe that it is appropriate to mock millions of Americans who are expressing their opinions publicly in a peaceful manner. "Perhaps he feels that by mocking the tea parties and the patriots who attend them, that he can marginalize them. But we know that real patriots cannot be marginalized, and that they will continue to make their voices heard in ever greater numbers," says Mark Meckler, Sacramento Tea Party Coordinator and Tea Party Patriots National Leadership Council Member.
This sort of condescending approach to the grassroots is a hallmark of politicians all across this land. We, the grassroots are mocked by the President as "folks waving tea bags around." Discussion of our legitimate complaints and concerns is avoided through the use of derogatory and condescending rhetoric. We've heard similar rhetoric from the Speaker Nancy Pelosi who says the tea parties are an "Astroturf initiative," and "contrived events backed by those who like tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans." Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL), called people who attended the Tea Parties "despicable" and "shameful," said they represent "corporate interests" and said the events were created only by "Republican lobbyists and politicians." At every level, the majority of politicians refuse to discuss the issues head on, and refuse to acknowledge the fact that a huge, non-partisan, grassroots movement has coalesced around limited government, fiscal responsibility and lower taxes. As politicians, they are simply interested in taking and spending more and more of our money, and in leaving our children with the burdens of their excess. And they mock, deride and oppose anyone who objects to what they are doing.
At this time, the President, and all other politicians who demeaned the tea party protesters, Speaker Pelosi (CA), and Rep. Schakowsky (IL) included, owe 1.2 million patriots an apology. If our politicians are truly interested in dialogue with the people they claim to represent, such a dialogue must begin with respect for the citizens of this country. That show of respect will begin when the politicians acknowledge that mocking and demeaning well-intentioned, peaceful patriots who love their country is the height of arrogance, and a terrible mistake. The American people deserve better from their elected representatives, and are beginning to demand it.
Conservatives have a bias in favor of protecting crime/terrorism victims, even if it means sometimes going too far in punishing the criminal..... Liberals have a bias in favor of protecting the criminal/terrorists, even if it means putting innocent people at risk. It is well known that people tend to favor those who they subconsciously identify with. Food for thought.
Thank you to Rural Red. Is the Obama Administration making threats?
"Lauria: Let me tell you it’s no fun standing on this side of the fence opposing the President of the United States. In fact, let me just say, people have asked me who I represent. That’s a moving target. I can tell you for sure that I represent one less investor today than I represented yesterday.
One of my clients was directly threatened by the White House and in essence compelled to withdraw its opposition to the deal under the threat that the full force of the White House Press Corps would destroy its reputation if it continued to fight. That’s how hard it is to stand on this side of the fence.
"So if voters differ so fundamentally with the president on the very essence of his program, why do they accord him high ratings? They are like the recently married bride who took her vows 100 days ago. It would be a disaster for her life if she decides that she really doesn’t like her husband. But she keeps noticing things about him that she can’t stand. It will be a while before she walks out the door or even comes to terms with her own doubts, but it is probably inevitable that she will." -- Dick Morris
Edited to add: A special welcome to Ann's VGNO!
Answer to the question of the day. Yes, I brought something to a potluck that nobody ate. As a child, one of my favorite salads was wilted spinach salad, served warm, with bacon and warm bacon grease was part of the salad dressing. The problem occurred when I took this dish to a New Year's Eve party, and it was a cold night and the salad was cold by the time I got there. The salad looked HORRIBLE, soaked in cold congealed grease. ICK. Even I didn't want it.