Friday, March 28, 2008

In Defense of Decency

This story is really worth the read. It not only epitomizes the true greatness of our American soldiers, but it serves as a truly touching reminder of human kindness and decency.

Boy’s Wish Comes True at Fort Sam Houston

By Phil Reidinger
Special to American Forces Press Service
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, March 27, 2008 – Gavin Cox could have traveled to any exotic locale or tried any profession in the world, but this 5-year-old with leukemia had just one wish: to be a soldier.

His wish was granted March 18 when he became a soldier for the day here.

“He could have chosen any activity during this break in his treatments, to include Disney World,” said Gavin’s father, Troy Heminger. “He wanted to be a soldier.”

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Candidate Who Cried Wolf

From Dick Morris:
Hillary simply cannot tell the truth. Here's her scorecard:

Admitted Lies

• Chelsea was jogging around the Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. (She was in bed watching it on TV.)

• Hillary was named after Sir Edmund Hillary. (She admitted she was wrong. He climbed Mt. Everest five years after her birth.)

• She was under sniper fire in Bosnia. (A girl presented her with flowers at the foot of the ramp.)

• She learned in The Wall Street Journal how to make a killing in the futures market. (It didn't cover the market back then.)

Whoppers She Won't Confess To

• She didn't know about the FALN pardons.

• She didn't know that her brothers were being paid to get pardons that Clinton granted.

• Taking the White House gifts was a clerical error.

• She didn't know that her staff would fire the travel office staff after she told them to do so.

• She didn't know that the Peter Paul fundraiser in Hollywood in 2000 cost $700,000 more than she reported it had.

• She opposed NAFTA at the time.

• She was instrumental in the Irish peace process.

• She urged Bill to intervene in Rwanda.

• She played a role in the '90s economic recovery.

• The billing records showed up on their own.

• She thought Bill was innocent when the Monica scandal broke.

• She was always a Yankees fan.

• She had nothing to do with the New Square Hasidic pardons (after they voted for her 1,400-12 and she attended a meeting at the White House about the pardons).

• She negotiated for the release of refugees in Macedonia (who were released the day before she got there).

With a record like that, is it any wonder that we suspect her of being less than honest and straightforward?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

In Protest of a War

It is interesting to note the different ways in which people try to make themselves heard and show that they are "involved." One may, for example, cease wearing an American flag pin on his lapel in a show of protest. Or, if especially outraged, one could throw his "hard earned" metals back to his government. Yet a third method of involvement is to go to the actual scene of the battle in the attempt to gain a firsthand knowledge of what is really going on.

I suppose what I am getting at is that there seems to be a stark difference between the Democratic and Republican party's methods of making statements. While the Democrats always choose to distance themselves from America as a form of protest, the Republicans always draw closer. While the Democratic nominees are talking about how messed up this country is; while Democratic leaders are telling Americans how bad they are, the Republican party calls for patriotism and true hope for the future.

While the Democratic leaders move away from America, the Republican leaders move closer. When asked why he was wearing a bracelet John McCain answered, "I wear a bracelet on my hand not only as a symbol of the sacrifice that a brave young man named Matthew Stanley made but that of 4,000 other brave young Americans who have served and sacrificed," McCain said "My prayers go out to those families every day, not just on the day that 4,000 brave young Americans have sacrificed."

Why is there this difference? Why is it that in order to show disapproval certain people feel the need to destroy that which they claim to want to protect? Finally, why is it that no matter what, no matter how bad the media makes our country out to be, and no matter how badly we are told we are "losing" there are still those who refuse to give in to defeat and continue to retain hope and optimism for their nation's future?

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Soldier

I was reading a thread from a forum I like and came across this eloquent and truthful message posted by Rhonda:

It's the Soldier, not the reporter Who has given us freedom of the press.

It's the Soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech

It's the Soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It's the Soldier, not the lawyer, Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It's the Soldier who salutes the flag, Serves under the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who gives the protester the right to burn the flag.

It is the Soldier

Yes, it is indeed the Soldier.
Check out Rhonda's homepage here for more touching tributes to our troops.

Five Years

On this fifth anniversary of the troop deployment to Iraq we must take a moment to stop and think about all that has been accomplished. We must recognize the selfless sacrifice of our soldiers in their mission to dethrone Saddam Hussein, a mission that has been accomplished. Our soldiers continue to remain in Iraq protecting the freedoms that are the basis of American society: free speech, the freedom to assemble, and a free press.

American forces continue to put their own lives on the line in Iraq to protect the safety and security of those back home. The loss of life suffered by the troops should not be exploited for political gain; it should not be plastered on the front pages of our newspapers, termed a "milestone," or posted on online news sites in cheery "interactive features."

It is important to remember the troops and to thank them for their determination and courage in protecting America. While the mainstream media and politicians continue to exploit tragedy in the hopes of achieving power, we should rise above that self-interested mentality. Whether it's with a care package, a card, or a simple "Thank You," we must remind our soldiers that there are people who really, truly care.

(Send a message to a soldier through America Supports You)

They Shot at Me!!! No, wait... um... did they?

"Everyone else was told to sit on their bulletproof vests," Clinton told reporters. "And we came in, in an evasive maneuver. ... There was no greeting ceremony, and we basically were told to run to our cars. Now, that is what happened."

Wait, that's not what Hillary wrote in her tell-all book. She can't figure out if she was shot at, but she wants the American people to believe that she can figure out complex economic and medical policies (not to mention an ongoing war)? Read the full story here.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Who Gives a Shiite?

Yesterday the left-wing media flew into a feeding frenzy at the idea that John McCain, the self-appointed authority on all things military, "misspoke." In his numerous statements, Mr. McCain said that "We continue to be concerned about Iranian taking Al Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back."

While McCain rescinded his comments, saying that he meant that Iran is training extremists, not necessarily al Qaeda, news outlets such as the New York Times and TIME Magazine continue to jump on his apparent confusion of Sunni versus Shiite terrorism saying "The United States believes that Iran, a Shiite country, has been training and financing Shiite extremists in Iraq, but not Al Qaeda, which is a Sunni insurgent group."

Although Iran has not yet been linked to the Iraqi Al Qaeda cells, it is not because one is Shiite while the other is Sunni. Iran is a known sponsor of HAMAS, the Sunni terrorist group that operates in the West Bank and Gaza and has connections to Al Qaeda. Sudan, a sponsor of the Sunni Al Qaeda, is known to sponsor the Shiite Hezbollah. In fact, in April 2007, Reuters reported that "Iranian intelligence forces are providing support to Sunni insurgents in Iraq, in addition to Shi'ites, to destabilize the country and tie U.S. forces down."

Admittedly, it is disturbing that McCain didn't immediately realize his error in stating an unverifiable idea. However, his idea is not far-out. Iran, like other sponsors of terror, tends not to care so much about who helps it achieve its horrible ends.

In an election where so much is at stake shouldn't our journalists be focussed on the issues instead of inadvertent slips-of-the-tongue?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

McCain in the Lead

From today's Reuters/Zogby poll:

The poll showed Arizona Sen. McCain, who has clinched the Republican presidential nomination, is benefiting from the lengthy campaign battle between Obama and Clinton, who are now battling to win Pennsylvania on April 22.

McCain leads 46 percent to 40 percent in a hypothetical matchup against Obama in the November presidential election, according to the poll.

Matched up against Clinton, McCain leads 48 percent to 40 percent.

Read the full story here

Monday, March 17, 2008

Someone Get Me a Map!

This puzzle of political double talk and confusing campaign "he said, she saids" has created a labyrinth so impenetrable that it is no wonder only 19% of Americans are satisfied with the direction of our country. Today, Hillary Clinton argued that she is the only candidate that will end the Iraq war. She rightly points out that former Obama policy adviser Samantha Powers remarked in a BBC interview that "He will, of course, not rely on some plan that he’s crafted as a presidential candidate or a U.S. Senator" thus further demonstrating the Obama camp's continued pattern of double speak on the campaign trail. (One must wonder in the light of three nearly simultaneous stories revealing that Obama's advisers and mentors do not share his proclaimed views - withdrawal from NAFTA, racial inclusion, and withdrawal from Iraq - if Mr. Obama is not really another politician vying for the most coveted trophy in American politics.)

Yet, Mrs. Clinton is not above this mantra, this continued theme, not of renewed hope and "change" but of talking down to the American people and to quote a one time presidential hopeful, of "playing on our fears." Although Clinton claims she will immediately withdraw troops from Iraq, she continues to straddle the fence. While she claims that she will "within 60 days of my taking office" begin to withdraw, she also has proclaimed a desire to leave special forces troops in the area, an idea that according to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D- Minn.) "people are practical about." In the same breath however, Clinton claims that McCain has declared that he will leave troops in Iraq for another 100 years, not noting that McCain was in fact also referring to special forces troops who would be used in much the same capacity as Clinton wants - to "engage in targeted operations against al Qaeda in Iraq."

While the rhetoric on Iraq has reached its peak, the action seems to be one sided. While the Democratic contestants are arguing about what they will or won't do, only one candidate has actually taken the initiative to go visit Iraq and view the situation with his own eyes. As CNN recently reported:

McCain, who was in Iraq on Monday on a congressional trip, told CNN's John King that Clinton "obviously does not understand nor appreciate the progress that has been made on the ground. She told Gen. [David] Petraeus last year when he testified that she would have to suspend disbelief in order to believe that the surge is working. Well, the surge is working.

"So I just think what that means is al Qaeda wins. They tell the world that. And we fight here again and around the Middle East. And their dedication is to follow us home. All I can say is that this will be a big issue in the election as we approach November because at least a growing number of Americans, though still frustrated and understandably so, believe that this strategy has succeeded," he added.

At the present time, only John McCain's actions really seem to match his words.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

One More Must See

I'll let you draw your own conclusions on this one.

Hear the Argument, See the Arguer

"He ain't white, he ain't rich, and he ain't privileged." Those are the words of Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's pastor and spiritual leader. I'm just wondering: when did a guy who makes nearly one million dollars annually become "not rich?" Watch the video here of Reverend Wright's outlandish statements calling Hillary "not white enough."

Although posting these videos may come across as simply political "mudslinging," it is important to note that these statements are coming from a man who is admired and respected by one of the contenders for the Presidential nomination. The fact is that while Obama may call Wright's statements "inflammatory at times" these statements are at the core of Wright's message to his followers.

We cannot ignore the connections of the Obama campaign to people such as Louis Farrakhan and Reverend Wright. We can not ignore the fact that Barack's wife publicly said that she has never been proud of America (or rather, now that her husband's political aspirations are being realized, she is "for the fist time in my adult life...proud of my country"). All this comes from the candidate who promises "change." Change for what? If it is to spread a message of America's failing's and wrongdoings, then this is change our country can do without. I am not advocating that we ignore our mistakes, I'm simply saying that the mistakes of this country are not what the country is about. Stop campaigning on a message of putting America in "time out" and start instilling home for the future.

While Obama himself has steered clear of making inflammatory remarks, we cannot ignore his past relationships with those less politically tactful than himself.

(Video courtesy of jca325 on YouTube)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Absolute Power...

As the old aphorism goes "absolute power corrupts absolutely." Which is why we don't give our public representatives absolute power. The founding fathers, in their wisdom and foresight, created a system of checks and balances; they created the ability for a public official to be impeached, and they created a system that would enable the citizen to "oversee" their representative's actions.

Today the New York Times reported a story concerning New York Governor, Elliot Spitzer, in which they quoted him as describing his behavior as "a personal matter." In his next sentence though, Mr. Spitzer apoligised "to the public to whom I promised better."

The distinction between these two statements is important to recognize. While Spitzer points out what is indeed true: his non-political actions are indeed "personal," they should not in any way be mistaken for "private." As governor of a people - the represantative not only in legislative matters, but in moral and ethical ones as well - Elliot Spitzer's personal actions must be made public.

The same holds true in fact, for any public leader or representative, and it does not matter if the act in question is as "mundane" as supposedly double-speaking about NAFTA or as closely personal as having an affair. It is important that the public continues to notice and to monitor the actions of their leaders, so as - as the Founding Father's wished - these leaders may not come to obtain absolute power. The nation's leaders must recognize and understand that they are being watched and that Republic, Democrat, or Independant, they are not above the law. The only way to ensure that our leaders understand this vital fact, is by constantly pointing ALL theirs misactions.

Sometimes these actions will appear to the public to be merely mistakes - the type of "slip-up" any person might make - and so the public will choose to forget the foley. Yet, there are times when the public will decide that the action under consideration is too great to overlook, and in that case they will decide that pressure must be exerted on their leader to regain control over him or her. It is the ability to do this that is the crucial key in ensuring a democratic republic that is America, and it is this element of "public review" that despite its critics, must be upheld and protected.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Our Prayers Are With You

Our hearts and prayers are with Yeshiva Merkaz Harav as well as the families and friends of those who are there. Full story and constant coverage as well as contact information at the Jerusalem Post.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

She's Baaaaack!

Wow! Yesterday's primaries were incredible. Sitting by my computer watching the polls close (I know, I have no life) I was pleasantly shocked and amazed to see Hilary pull ahead of Obama to take both Ohio and Texas. While Hillary has begun talk of a "ticket with Obama," Mr. Obama says that this talk may be "premature."

Not only will this constant power struggle keep some of the excitement going in the race for the Democratic nomination, but it serves to further demonstrate the extent to which the Democratic party is divided. With the Clinton and Obama camps constantly pointing out each others faults, the GOP will have no need of running a negative campaign; focusing on the issues and keeping things positive is what will help secure a Republican White House in November.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Starbucks Talk Saves Lives

Thought I'd post this (non-political) inspiring story I just read. It just serves to exemplify the type of kindness and caring that people are capable of.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Fighting for Votes

As the primary in Texas looms near, both Democratic candidates are campaigning hard to get the votes they need to win the nomination. Hillary has decided that her best strategy is to emphasize her position on national security. Obama too, says that he will be strong. Let me ask this: has either one of these two candidates ever been tested? Aside from fighting with each other over who voted against what war, have either Hillary or Obama ever displayed any plan to strengthen this country's security?

If you go to Hillary's website you will see no mention of any plan to protect this country. To the extent that she even mentions national security in an obscure speech, she dances around the issues placing blame and criticism at the feet of the Bush administration. After finding Clinton's site to be sorely lacking, I clicked my way over to Obama's. He at least has a link with the actual title "Homeland Security." Here he talks about -not security - but disaster relief. OK, so maybe he got his terms slightly mixed up. Looking for a different link that might have something to do with security, safety, protection, anything, I click on "Foreign Policy." Ah, here we go: "When I am this party's nominee...I will finish the fight against Al Qaeda."

I assume Senator Obama means when he is President, but minor details aside, how can he reasonably expect to simply end the fight against a terrorist organizations whose stated objective (one of them anyway) is to destroy America? Isn't it irresponsible to publicly declare that as President one will cease the attack on this country's most dangerous enemy? Obama wants to fight poverty climate change, and disease; all lofty goals to be sure, but in the place of protecting this country?? (Oh, and by the way, this section too does not actually mention national security - he just talks about the War in Iraq and making empty economic threats on Iran.)