Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How the President Undermined Civil Liberties

Just look at how the president has destroyed our civil rights. A few examples, below, should suffice to make you understand we no longer live in a free and democratic country.

Bypassing congress, the president issued an Executive Order to try eight individuals, two of them citizens and the rest former residents of the country, as “enemy combatants” by military tribunals. The same “executive order” prohibited the courts, with their broader protections for the rights of the accused, from hearing habeas corpus petitions from the defendants, denying them a basic constitutional right—especially as the administration brought political pressure on the Supreme Court not to take the case. The eight were found guilty and sentenced to death.

In a blatant case of racial profiling, the president ordered the incarceration of American citizens who were of the same ethnic heritage as the “enemy,” without trial or recourse to the courts. The incarceration was indefinite, and they were not accused of a crime. Many also lost their property as well.

In a clear attempt to undermine the first amendment, the president urged Congress to pass, and signed into law, a bill that made illegal “disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language" about the government, flag or armed forces during war.

The president suspended the constitutional protection of habeas corpus for anyone deemed to be undermining the war effort, and ordered American citizens reported to be “enemy combatants” to be held, without trial, by the military, and to be tried by military tribunals for violations of the “laws of war,” without recourse to the protections of the civilian courts.

If you are wondering how even a dastard like George Bush got away with all of this without you knowing, it’s because you slept through history class. The first two examples were from the presidency of liberal icon Franklin Roosevelt, who ordered Nazi saboteurs tried by tribunals, and who also ordered the incarceration of Japanese Americans during the war.

The third example was from liberal icon Woodrow Wilson, during WWI. And the last was, of course, from Abraham Lincoln, who famously declared, “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.” The Civil War was a near-run thing, and without these measures the nation might have been lost and slavery extended for decades. Imaging the chaos of trying tens of thousands of confederate prisoners in federal court, with their captors required to leave the front to testify and under criminal rules of evidence!

Despite these abuses, we muddled through their administrations with our liberties intact. Despite the hand-wring in the press for the last eight years, it appears we have survived George Bush as well. Let us hope we can say the same after four years of President Obama.

Happy New Year from Gov. Rod

Just when Republicans were depressed, along comes "the Magic Governor" to lift our spirits. Here are two interesting, fun, must-read articles about Governor Rod Blagojevich (D-Blagobamaville).,0,1367315.column

All this story needs is David Duke endorsing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for "keeping the senate white."

Stay-tuned sports fans, that could be next.

Prediction: they cave and seat Burris.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Is Honor Dead

In mid-June, 1862, the 2nd Kentucky Cavalry, commanded by the famous Confederate raider, John Hunt Morgan, had an unusual visitor. Union Army Major W. A. Coffey arrived in a carriage to place himself in captivity. Seldom had a man gone to such lengths to surrender.
Coffey had been originally captured in May, when Morgan's men took a train behind Union lines. He emerged from the train with pistols blazing, but was forced to surrender when his ammunition ran out. Morgan had written him a special parole and freed him. Coffey could be released from his parole if the Union would agree to exchange him for one of Morgan's men, Lt. Colonel Robert Wood.

To redeem his parole, so he could return to service with the Union cause, Coffey first journeyed to Nashville, where Wood was a prisoner. The general there refused to release Wood, so Coffey traveled on to Washington, DC, to present his case to the Secretary of War. When the exchange was still refused, he stopped in Kentucky to visit his sick wife, then returned to Nashville, where he received a pass to cross through the lines.

Entering the Confederate area, he traveled first to Huntsville, then to Chattanooga and finally to Knoxville before he located Morgan, and redeemed his word of honor by turning himself in. He spent a long time as a captive in Richmond before he was exchanged. No one at the time thought this episode was particularly strange.

In our cynical age, we may find Coffey's voluntary return to captivity amazing--or at least quaint. One can imagine Illinois Governor Blagojevich and other officer holders in both parties sniggering at this story. But Coffey was a man of honor. He could be killed, but no one could take away his honor.

This is not to say there were not cads and scoundrels on both sides in that age. But there were also many men and women to whom honor was a living and vital concept.
When the Founding Fathers signed the declaration of independence, they pledged their lives and fortunes to the cause. They also pledged their "sacred honor." We would laugh at a politician who pledged his sacred honor to a modern cause. When's the last time someone mentioned honor in a conversation with you?

Today, the scouts, the military academies and the armed forces still teach the concept of honor--but who else? A few years ago a joke went around: a school with an honor system was a place where the teachers had the honor and the students had the system. Even the service academies have had their share of honor violations in recent years. The Marines developed their “core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment to teach in boot camp, because recruits from our society need values-education as well as military training.

When no one can be taken at his word, when self interest totally rules, when "buyer beware" is the general philosophy, will America be a place worth living in? Or a place worth defending?
Retired politicians are properly addressed, "The Honorable John Doe," even when they have traded their public office for a lucrative job lobbying their former legislative colleagues, often for special interests, perhaps even for foreign interests (contributing to Presidential Libraries).
The first definition of honor in my dictionary is "high public esteem, fame, glory." It's the second definition, "honesty or integrity in one's beliefs and actions," that we seem to have lost.

Try asking some teenagers to define "honor." Chances are they'll know about fame and glory; the high school "honor roll" and so on. Will they be able to articulate the second definition? ask your kids. Will they say they have personal honor? Or will they look at you like you're from Mars?

Restoring the concept of honor to a special place in American life will be very difficult. Honor requires sacrifice, because it means doing the right thing, rather than the easy thing, the profitable thing or the pleasurable thing. Those individuals who still care about honor must not only live it, but teach it. Even more difficult, they must demand it of the people they interact with.

Just as no one is perfect in any other area, there is no perfectly honorable person. But even if we don't always succeed, we must strive for honor. That is our duty. If honor dies in America, our nation is lost as surely as if it had been conquered by a foreign power.

The good news is that millions of Americans still lead honorable lives, even if they don't think about their honor. We must preserve this essential American trait, because like courage and duty, it is one of the foundations of human character without which this will cease to be the America we love. This threat to the American culture is more dangerous than any foreign foe we have faced--and you and I are the front-line soldiers. Honor demands we do our duty.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Leaders of the Democrat Party

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. Those who innocently believe that someone can walk successfully across the top of the cesspool of Chicago Politics, without even getting a tad stinky around the toes, are in for an interesting four years.

Who helps the poor?

Who would you suppose gives more to help the poor, liberals or conservatives?

Turns out liberals are only generous when giving away other people's money!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Sowell Christmas

I hope you are having as good a Christmas as I am, having received three books by the brilliant economist Dr. Thomas Sowell:

Applied Economics, A Conflict of Visions & Knowledge and Decisions.

I've been happily buried in the last one all afternoon.

While Sowell's writing skills, cognitive powers and mental discipline are far beyond mine, a Sowell book is great exercise for the mind. Reading one is better than a 3-credit college course for learning new things, new ways to look at and understand the world.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Great News-Obama Team Cleared!

Headline: Obama Report Finds No ‘Inappropriate’ Contacts with Blagojevich

This is wonderful news. Barack Obama conducted an investigation of his transition team and found no wrong-doing in the alleged efforts by Governor Blagojevich, whom Obama strongly endorsed for Governor in 2006, to sell Obama's barely-used senate seat. It would have been terrible for the country if the politicians from Illinois that Obama picked for his team had turned out to be, well, Illinois Politicians. Thankfully the news media can now move on to these other breaking stories:

Dick Chaney clears Scooter Libby of Wrongdoing

Nixon’s Ghost clears Nixon in Watergate Case

Pontius Pilate clears Roman Army in Crucifixion Case

What? You say the non-partial guardians of our rights in the press would never let political figures get away with investigating and clearing themselves?

Exactly: once upon a time, in a country far, far away. But times change. That was the old rule. Before some politicians sent shivers up the legs of "journalists."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Turning the Economy Around

As the economy grows worse, everyone, right down to President-elect Obama, seems to have a plan to turn the economy around. So, why not me?

Sure, I don’t have a lot of training in economics, but neither does Obama or most members of Congress. And there are economists supporting and opposing every idea that’s floating around.

So here goes:

My plan is built on some basic assumptions:

1. Investment drives job creation. Large companies or small businesses, all need money to operate, expand and create jobs.

2. People take the risk of investing money because they hope for a Return on Investment (ROI). Why put your money in a CD, instead of your safe deposit box? You want to get paid interest. Why take the risk of buying stocks or starting a business, when your money would be safer under the mattress? You want to make more money. No return—no investment. It’s promises of great returns (and low risk) that suck people into Ponzi schemes, like the Madoff Hedge Fund or Social Security.

3. Investors like the security of knowing what the rules are, of stability, and of a level playing field, reasonably free of corruption. One of the reasons many third world countries are so poor is that individuals and companies won’t invest there. There’s no guarantee your profits won’t be siphoned off by corrupt officials, or your factory “nationalized” or taxed out of existence.

Companies want to invest in new facilities in areas that have stable rules, with the opportunity to make good profits.

4. There’s a lot of scared money hiding out, not currently invested in the economy, because the market and everything else seems too risky. To turn the economy around, we need to get that money invested in job-creating enterprises again. And most experts think stocks are now under-valued.

5. Free trade increases wealth. After NAFTA passed, the number of jobs increased in both Mexico and the US-economics is not a zero-sum game. Unfortunate, the lost jobs were localized in specific industries, which howled, especially if they were unionized. The larger job gain was spread across the economy; people in those new jobs had no clue they were working thanks to NAFTA. Some of them doubtless joined the chorus against NAFTA for “sending US jobs overseas.”

Unfortunately, in a downturn, the political pressure is to put up trade barriers to “protect jobs!” Most economists believe the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Bill made the great depression longer and deeper. But even countries that recently promised at the economic summit to not do this are caving and putting up barriers. That will make things worse world wide.

To turn the economy around, President-elect Obama and the leaders of both parties in Congress should pledge the following:

1. To reduce the Capital Gains Tax to 5%, and to keep it there for at least five years. Job-creating money would flood back into the stock market, as savvy investors scooped up the bargains. With the market rising, more money would flood in, as other investors fearful of missing the market recovery jumped on board. Recapitalized companies could expand in good markets, creating jobs, which would increase economic demand. And those of us with 401Ks/IRAs would develop confidence in the future, thus be willing to spend more money now, driving demand—perhaps even in housing. (Bonus: government revenue from CG taxes goes up when the rate is reduced, due to increased economic activity—look it up.)

2. To tear down all tariff and trade barriers with all countries which are willing to establish free trade with the US. No exceptions. Call it the WWFTA. Investment would flow to where it was most efficiently used. And, BTW, the liberals have always been very concerned about the poor in the third world. Wouldn’t giving them jobs be a lot better than taxing Americans to pay for foreign aid, most of which goes into the pockets of the corrupt oligarchs? When the world’s economy booms, our economy booms.

3. Make America very business-friendly. That means killing card check, so the UAW, having built Ford, Chrysler and GM into the economic powers they are today, can’t go into pro-business states and drive the Toyota and BMW plants out of the country. Make the entire country a right-to-work state. Reduce the paperwork and regulation businesses have to jump through. Maybe George McGovern, who discovered how hard it is to run a small business in a highly-regulated environment—in his case a country inn after he retired from the senate—could head a task force for meaningful regulatory reform.

4. Stop welfare for corporations, from the Detroit bailout to farm subsidies. Let Detroit reorganize under bankruptcy protect to be able to compete—without bailouts, with Honda and Toyota. Let the market set the price for food, and more starving people could afford food around the world—or don’t liberals want to feed the hungry? The government would have more money to spend on infrastructure needed for the economy, like roads and bridges. (Obama’s plan there was good, right up until he picked a Republican member of the Illinois’ Political Combine to run it. Watch this closely for the touch of “The Chicago Way.”)

5. Limit lawsuits against business. Nothing would encourage small businesses like meaningful tort reform. Of course, with the League of Leftwing Lawyers in full charge of Congress this is unlikely to happen.

And the other parts of my economic stimulus plan fly in the face of everything the Democrats ran on. So we are as likely to see an economic recovery based on this as I am likely to see a personal economic recovery based on Governor Blago awarding me Obama’s vacant seat in the US Senate.

But that doesn’t mean that isn’t a great idea too.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Obama Feeds the Illinois Political Combine

Chicago Tribune Columnist John Kass reports:

"Obama selected outgoing Illinois U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Combine) for the post of secretary of transportation, putting LaHood in charge of Obama's planned trillion-dollar public works bonanza being sold as a jobs bill.

'Every dollar that we spend, we want it spent on projects that are there, not because of politics, but because they're good for the American people,' Obama said. 'If we're building a road, it better not be a road to nowhere.' Not because of politics?

What does the great reformer take us for, a bunch of chumbolones?

What Obama forgot to mention is that with LaHood in charge of the roads, they'll lead to one place: Bill Cellini.

Cellini, the Republican boss of Springfield who has been indicted in the Blagojevich scandal for allegedly shaking down the producer of the movie "Million Dollar Baby," is a strong LaHood ally. Cellini runs Sangamon County, and LaHood has enjoyed Cellini's political support.

They also joined to help oust the last true reformer in Illinois politics, former Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, the Republican who was denied an endorsement from his own state party after he brought federal prosecutors to Illinois with no connection to the bipartisan Combine that runs things here.Republican money man Cellini is not only the Chicago political connection to machine Democrats and Mayor Richard Daley's City Hall—and a Blagojevich fundraiser—he's also the boss of the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association.

They're the guys behind the guys who pour that hot sticky stuff on the roads, but don't get their cashmere sweaters dirty and drive black Escalades to the job site, before wheeling off for some osso bucco at Volare or other fine restaurants. They're interested in federal highways, aren't they?"

Read the entire column here:,0,2882820.column

John Kass is worth the subscription price for the Trib.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Poems for Vets

The Christmas Gift

There is a gift that comes
From those out on the lines,
It is not wrapped in bows,
But, oh, how bright it shines.

There is a Christmas gift,
A pearl beyond all price,
From those who ask for naught,
But make the sacrifice.

They risk their blood and bone
On endless weary tours,
For that is all that keeps
The evil from our shores.

You worship as you will,
You freely have your say,
And all that is a gift
From sentries far away.

There is a gift that comes
From troops who guard the line,
That lets us live in peace
And joy at Christmastime.

We say “Support the troops,”
But hardly pause to think
What honor really means,
Or how near looms the brink.

There is a Christmas gift
From those who hold the line,
And you and I, my friend,
Get nothing more sublime.

Copyright © 2007
Robert A. Hall
Former SSgt, USMC

A Veteran’s Christmas Wish

Each year when Christmas comes around again,
I pause on Christmas Eve to take a dram
Of whisky, and I think of absent friends,
And Christmas in a place called Vietnam.

I think of boys who never had the chance
To see their kids on Christmas Eve at play,
Their lives were spent that freedom might advance,
From Valley Forge right up through yesterday.

They fell at Belleau Wood and Normandy,
At Gettysburg, at Iwo and at Hue,
They gave their lives to keep our people free,
And never saw another Christmas Day.

So take a moment from your festive joys,
To think of soldiers who were young and true,
And say a prayer on Christmas Eve for boys
Who gave up all their Christmases for you.

Copyright © 2000
Former SSgt Robert A. Hall, USMC

Spell check notes: Scotch whisky has no “e.”
Hue (Vietnam) is pronounced “way.”

Friday, December 19, 2008

Response to my "War on Terror Reading List" post

Dear Robert,

Here are a couple of books you might like to review. Since 9/11 I have been speaking around the country on Saudi Arabian Wahhabi-Salafism and the origins of the ideology of al Qaeda, having spent much of my professional life living and working in the Middle East. I have also been actively supporting various civic organizations with a variety of speaking assignments. Below is some information on two books I co-authored over the past two years. I’m currently working work on a third book and film regarding the significance of the Iranian-Saudi standoff since the downfall of the Shah of Iran in 1979 and what the Saudis are currently doing in Pakistan, Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa to destabilize the region through Wahhabi-Salafist proselytization with money and missionaries. Our books address the origins of the ideology of al Qaeda and Saudi Arabian Wahhabi-Salafism and are an amplification of my series of lectures that culminated during my lecture at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in 2004. The webpage for our books is at I am also on the board of The Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, located in Washington, DC ( with a goal to bring significant reform to the Kingdom before it is destroyed from within by arch-conservative Wahhabi clerics.


B. Wayne Quist
Colonel, USAF, (Ret)

P.S. It is well documented that he Saudi government and wealthy Saudis have spent over $70-billion over the last thirty years to spread Wahhabi-Salafist Islam and the effort continues today, especially in Pakistan and the Horn of Africa, but even in Europe and here in the U.S. It can safely be said -- wherever there is a trouble spot in the Muslim world, you will find Saudi Wahhabi-Salafist money spreading hate-filled literature and building madrassas and mosques with strings attached. The largest destination for this money has been Pakistan. Saudi money financed the Pakistani nuclear weapons program launched by Benazir Bhutto's father, former Prime Minister Zulfikar Bhutto, and Wahhabi-Inspired Jihadists killed Benazir Bhutto last year because she was a woman.

New books by Colonel by B. Wayne Quist, USAF (Ret) and Dr. David F. Drake, Ph.D., University of Chicago.

“The Triumph of Democracy Over Militant Islamism,” PublishAmerica, 2006

“Winning the War on Terror: A Triumph of American Values, iUniverse, 2005

These books address the origins of the ideology of al Qaeda and Saudi Arabian Wahhabi-Salafism and are an amplification of Colonel Quist’s series of lectures that culminated at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, when he was featured as a counterpoint to former president Jimmy Carter. The books may be purchased through major bookstores or online through

Book Webpage:

The Triumph of Democracy Over Militant Islamism traces the origins of al Qaeda through the founding of the Saudi Arabian monarchy and the establishment of Wahhabism as its state religion. Vast amounts of oil in the Arabian desert converted an obscure, ultra-reactionary Muslim religious sect into a dangerous threat to Western civilization. Al Qaeda is a Saudi phenomenon, and America’s tangled relationships with Saudi Arabia are why al Qaeda attacked the United States on 9/11. Untangling those Saudi relationships was a central feature of American strategy for finding the right antidote to radical, Islamist terrorism. This required keeping bin Laden on the defensive by rapid deployment of American and Allied forces into al Qaeda’s safe haven in Afghanistan. Continuing the offensive by toppling Saddam Hussein made the Saudis understand the president’s enduring resolve to plant the seeds of freedom and democracy in the Middle East as the antidote to militant Islamism.


Winning the War on Terror: A Triumph of American Values
By Colonel B. Wayne Quist and Dr. David F. Drake
Published by iUniverse, Inc.

SYNOPSIS: Winning the War on Terror: A Triumph of American Values stresses why American success is vital to the Middle East and the future of Western civilization. Today we live in a rapidly changing and interconnected world, a truly remarkable historical era, with inter-dependent globalized economies and rapidly changing technological innovation. We are also engaged in a protracted and violent war against radical, militant Islam, a truly global struggle, but as George Will remarked in the Washington Post, there is no guarantee that civilization as we know it will survive, for in the long history of the human race, democracy and human freedom are relatively recent and short-lived concepts. While the West faces uncertainties in the struggle against militant Islam's armies of darkness, and while we do not yet know precisely how it will end, the West's flexible, democratic institutions and all-encompassing ideology of freedom can ultimately defeat radical, militant Islam.

Winning the War on Terror: A Triumph of American Values traces the origins of al Qaeda through Islamic history to the founding of the Saudi Arabian monarchy and the establishment of Wahhabism as its state religion. Billions in oil wealth converted this obscure ultra-reactionary Muslim sect into a dangerous threat to Western civilization. Al Qaeda is a Saudi phenomenon, and America's tangled relationships with Saudi Arabia are the reason for the al Qaeda attack on the United States on 9/11 and a primary but unstated reason that the United States reciprocated by invading Iraq in 2003. Untangling the American-Saudi relationship was the central feature of developing U.S. strategy for fighting the war on terror and formulating the Bush doctrine in the twelve months after 9/11. After invading Afghanistan, routing the Taliban, and chasing Osama bin Laden into remote areas of Pakistan, the U.S. entered into very tough negotiations to safeguard nuclear weapons from al Qaeda. Invading Iraq was undertaken to pursue al Qaeda, get the Saudis to cut off financing of al Qaeda, and obtain information about that terrorist organization. The invasion sought to keep the Islamist terrorists on the defensive, create a haven for democracy in the middle of Muslim world, and stop further attacks on America.

The authors believe that American success in Iraq is vital to the Middle East and the future of Western civilization and that American commitment to its values represents the only viable strategy. Although they recognize that we are engaged in a protracted, generational, and violent war against militant Islamist, Quist and Drake remain optimistic of where America stands in its global war on terror. They identify the principal importance to the moderates in the Muslim community of challenging the authority of Wahhabists and mainstream Muslim clerics, as Christianity did earlier in the Reformation. Only in an environment of political freedom can the West's actions combat the militant Islamists. Muslims must then take the next steps themselves. The West's greatest sin during the Cold War was ignoring Middle Eastern totalitarianism in exchange for free flowing oil to fuel its growing economies. The authors believe that victory in fighting the war on terror will be achieved through confidence in American values, knowing that political freedom is the antidote to al Qaeda's hate-filled ideology.


A riveting account of the history of Saudi Arabia and the source of al Qaeda's hate-filled ideology

Why most of the 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian Wahhabi-Salafism and its threats to Western civilization

Globalization and the "disconnected one third" of the world's people

How the Bush administration developed its post 9/11 strategy to counter "Bin Ladenism" and radical, militant Islamism

Why freedom and democracy are the only long-term antidotes to hate-filled "Bin Ladenism"
The Bush Doctrine and American strategy

Prospects for the future - seeds of hope, roots of change

Dr. James Forest, Terrorism Center, U.S. Military Academy at West Point: "The authors have assembled a useful synthesis of the history behind the threat posed by al Qaeda. Their analysis of the religious ideology that fuels radical Islamists, rooted in the socio-political history of Saudi Arabia, adds a useful dimension to our understanding of the current global security environment. This is also one of the first pieces of scholarship to draw solid connections between the struggle in Iraq and global Islamic jihad led by al Qaeda. The authors provide a balanced view of our successes, failures and challenges in Iraq, and how these impact our ability to successfully prosecute the global war on terrorism. In doing so, they add some new insights to the national debate about the Iraq campaign, and offer some hope that our struggle for global peace and security does have an end in sight.....I would recommend that West Point's library purchase this book."

Peter J. Bergerson, Ph.D., Professor of Public Affairs, Florida Gulf Coast University: "Readers will find this book a valuable resource to understand the origins of radical militant Islamic philosophy and how it became a jihad to threaten western society. Quist and Drake have provided a sober picture of an international deadly disease yet an optimistic picture of the future of U. S. national security interest as we enter the 21st century."

Reverend Ralph A. Baumgartner, Bishop's Associate, Saint Paul Area Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: "The novel argument...that [the authors] make is that the invasion of Iraq does serve the war against terrorism because it puts pressure on Saudi Arabia to change its behavior and to make reforms that lead to democracy."

Peter Huessy, Member of the Committee on the Present Danger and President, GeoStrategic Analysis, Washington, DC: "A key insight of this book reveals the network of killers motivated by a fanatical and twisted Wahhabist faith, sponsored by vast oil wealth and given sanctuary by rogue states. Another is that free institutions and due process will destroy these terrorists, an effort begun in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Political Science / General / Trade Paperback / Price: $19.95 / Size: 6 x 9
Publication Date: Aug-2005
Authors: Colonel B. Wayne Quist and Dr. David F. Drake
ISBN: 0-595-35776-8
252 Pages

Colonel B. Wayne Quist is a graduate of The National War College in Washington DC, published author and popular speaker on Saudi Arabian Wahhabi-Salafism and the ideology of al Qaeda, lectured at the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Forum. He can be reached at

Dr. David F. Drake is a published author, former Senior Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer of the American Hospital Association, taught at the University of Chicago where he received his Ph.D., lectured at Northwestern University School of Medicine. He can be reached at

Monday, December 15, 2008

Piper for President

When Sarah Palin was nominated for VP on the McCain ticket, my wife and I were much taken with 5-year-old Piper, watching her taking care of her baby brother Trig, and as she smiled and waved to the crowd on stage. Probably because we have an 8-year-old granddaughter.

(Yes, liberal friends, I know you hate Piper too. Along with the photo-shopped pictures of Gov. Sarah in a bikini, or nude, and the faked list of books she was supposed to want to ban, or the forged high school transcript showing she was only an average student, I saw the photo-shopped picture of Piper flipping off another kid that was circulated on the net by the left-wing haters. But shouldn’t five-year-olds be off limits for lies and venom?)

So I used my button making kit to make up buttons that say, “Piper Palin President 2048.” I mailed three of them to Gov. Palin.

Just received the following hand-written reply:

“Robert – Just received the buttons “Piper for President.” Wow, what a great gift. I’ll get them to Sarah and Piper tomorrow. I’m helping Sarah with her mail now as she’s 87 boxes behind! She get’s hundreds and hundreds of letters weekly. Again, Thanks. Chuck Heath, Sarah’s dad.”

I think it's cool--so you can hate Chuck & me too.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hopefully not needed soon...

A Marine’s Last Will and Testament
Former SSgt Robert A. Hall

I, Robert, an old Mud Marine, being of sound mind, do hereby create this Marine Codicil to my Last Will and Testament, through which I bequeathed all my worldly goods and possessions to those beloved of me in life. This Marine Codicil is to pass on the intangible gifts I received as a Marine, which were beyond the price men put upon worldly possessions.

I have attested to being of “Sound Mind.” That may be challenged by those who think that all Marines are crazy. We have enjoyed and magnified that reputation, of course, to bemuse our friends and intimidate our enemies. As a Navy Psychologist once told me, “The trouble with treating Marines is that if you cure them, they can’t be Marines!” But ours are really the soundest of minds, for the life of our free society depends on warriors. If you do away with us, our civilization commits suicide, surely the ultimate mark of insanity. If there comes a day when is no longer a Marine Corps, the American Idea will die soon after.

To all my Marine brothers and sisters, now and in generations to come, I leave the legacy of our Corps, stretching back to November 10, 1775. It was bequeathed to me by generations of Marines who served before me, who “grew gray in war,” and who gave me those priceless traditions “such as regiments hand down forever.” I have tried in my small way to add to its strength and burnish its luster. Go you and do the same.

To those Marines I served with, I leave my rich stock of Sea Stories, a few of which are even true, that you may embellish them and pass them on to other Marines, to awed members of our sister services and, sanitized for language, to civilians. I also leave you the gratitude of a brother, for you stood by me, cared for my in trouble, and inspired me with your deeds. The poet Alan Seegar, who was KIA in France on July 4, 1916, said it best, “Comrades, you cannot think how thin and blue, look the leftovers of mankind that rest, now that the cream has been skimmed off in you.”

To my Marine DIs, I leave a debt unpaid. The discipline and pride you instilled in me guided me long after I had to shed the uniform for the last time. Thanks to what you did in a few short months, I have had a great life. I’ve tried to make you proud of me every day, and to pay a bit on that debt through my service to my country and my fellow Marines, both in the Corps and in civilian life afterwards.

To my family I leave a few old photos, a few mementos and a service to country in which I hope you take pride as I have. However they serve, I hope future generations of our family find something larger than self to serve, worthy of their time and commitment. There is no happiness in serving the ever-greedy god of self, the root of our world’s troubles.

To our nation’s elected leaders, I leave the Core Values of our Corps: Honor, Courage, Commitment. Imagine if candidates for public office adopted our values as a campaign platform. Imagine candidates with the Honor to tell people the truth and to not trade their support on issues for campaign contributions or personal perks. Imagine elected officials with the Courage to do what was right for the next generation, rather than what was popular to win cheap votes for the next election? Imagine office holders with the Commitment to serve selflessly, live austerely, and do the right regardless of personal cost?

And to the Republic, the country I love, I leave my service. It was little enough payment on the debt every American owes her for the freedoms we have, for the life we live, and for the opportunities we and our loved ones have received in this land. When people thank me for my service, I say, “It was a privilege to wear the uniform of the Republic, and to earn the title Marine.”

I must go now, but I leave my country a new generation of Marines, standing watch out on the lines, putting their bone and blood between the barbarians and our free people, the few guarding the many with their lives. God grant it may ever be so.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Senate Candidate #5: Change we can believe in!

The Chicago Tribune today identified "Senate Candidate #5" as Congressman Jessie Jackson, Jr. Think I've heard the name. Wasn't he just involved as National Co-Chair of a major campaign to bring Change We Can Believe In to government? Can we buy a seat in the US Senate? Yes, We Can!

Here's the section on "Senate Candidate #5" from the Trib's original story about the arrest of the Governor Blagojevich:

.... Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has been the most aggressive in promoting himself as a contender for the Senate seat. As recently as Monday, Jackson met with Blagojevich to discuss the Senate post. Last week, Jackson told the Tribune that he had recently reached out to Blagojevich confidant John Wyma as well as the governor's patronage chief, Victor Roberson, to discuss the Senate job. The Tribune reported last week that Wyma has been cooperating with the federal corruption probe of Blagojevich.

Jackson did not respond to requests for an interview Tuesday, and his spokesman did not directly address questions about whether the congressman offered to raise campaign money for Blagojevich in exchange for appointment to the Senate seat. His office, however, did release a statement in which he denied any wrongdoing and vowed to aid the federal probe.The government affidavit refers to a "Senate Candidate 5" whose identity could not be confirmed. The candidate is described as someone who publicly is known to be seeking appointment to the Senate.

On Oct. 31, according to the affidavit, Blagojevich described an approach by an associate of Senate Candidate 5. "We were approached 'pay to play.' That, you know, he'd raise me 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made [Senate Candidate 5] a senator," Blagojevich allegedly said.Last week, according to the affidavit, Blagojevich told an adviser that he was giving greater consideration to Senate Candidate 5 because that person could raise money for Blagojevich if he ran for re-election and perhaps kick in "some [money] upfront" as well. And Blagojevich was recorded as saying that he was going to meet with Senate Candidate 5 in the next few days, the affidavit said.

Blagojevich allegedly told one of his fundraisers to pass a message to someone identified in the affidavit only as Individual D whom Blagojevich believed to be close to Senate Candidate 5: If Candidate 5 was to land the Senate seat, "some of this stuff's gotta start happening now . . . right now . . . and we gotta see it. You understand?"

Emanuel, the confidant of both Blagojevich and Obama, is not mentioned by name in the government complaint. But the document refers to a "president-elect adviser" concerned about the conduct of a special election for a new congressman in his 5th District .....

Soon the whole country will have Change the Illinois Way!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Illinois Gov Goes Down

The latest from the Land of Lincoln, Illinois, and Crook County, home of the next president and the Daley Machine.

“I have one US Senate Seat for sale. Only one. Don’t be left out. Place your bids, ladies and gentlemen. Sorry, no Republicans need apply. This is a special opportunity for loyal Democrats.”

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Inaugural Ball Tickets

By disadvantaged and “others down on their luck” I’m assuming he means Republicans. I’ll be watching for my tickets.

Seriously, nice gesture, but I’d think people down on their luck could use say interview cloths, resume and interview help, or maybe a week’s supply of chow more than a ball.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Quiz on politics, history and the economy

Out of 2,500 American quiz-takers, including college students, elected officials and other randomly selected citizens, nearly 1,800 flunked a 33-question test on basic civics. In fact, elected officials scored slightly lower than the general public with an average score of 44 percent compared to 49 percent.

Only 0.8 percent of all test-takers scored an "A."

It's scary that elected officials scored only 44% on this quiz. I missed two, but I didn’t like how they were worded. Most of the questions are very basic civic & history literacy. A few are about economic theory, and as I said, the wording can be confusing.

Anyone who can't get 50% shouldn't be allowed to vote, let alone graduate from college! I was embarrassed to miss two.

Can you pass the quiz?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Nuclear, bio terror attack now "likely"

A bi-partisan commission, Chaired by former Senator Bob Graham, D-FL & Former Congressman Jim Talent R-MO, has concluded that a terrorist attack with bio or nuclear weapons before 2013 is more likely than not.

This was the main issue for me in the recent election. I thought John McCain was more likely than Barack Obama to prevent such an attack. Already, the Democrats in Congress are calling for defense cuts to free up money for social programs. But if an A-bomb goes off in DC, the economy will go to 19th century levels (can you grow potatoes?). Civil liberties will be gone, as 98% of the public demands security over liberties. And the West will become so weak that efforts to resist the tyranny of Shari’a law, including subjugated status for women & non-Muslims, child marriages, the stoning of rape victims and honor killings, will make great advances around the world.

Which, of course, the terrorists know.

Ten terrorists armed with conventional weapons have just cost the Indian economy billions of dollars, while killing 200 people. Imaging five teams of four terrorists, easily brought in over our porous border, hitting a mall, a casino, an elementary school, a parade, the Super Bowl or a presidential inauguration. Five targets, all at once, spread around the country.

Now imagine what they can do to us with WMDs

In 1998, three years before 9/11, I published a column about what I called “The War on Terror.” It’s reproduced below. Note the highlighted areas. If I could see this in 1998, ten years ago, how come our elected officials couldn’t? Hint: They are more worried about the next election than the future welfare of the country. Both parties.

America’s War on Terror will be long, slow and cruel
Courier Post, August 28, 1998

Early in World War Two, a bitter joke went around Britain. Two Scottish soldiers, rescued from Dunkerque, are in a pub. “It’s going tae be a lang, lang war,” one Jock sighs.
“Aye,” says his mate, “especially if England capitulates and Scotland has to fight on alone.”
Our war against terrorism is going to be a “lang, lang war,” especially if our allies capitulate and America has to fight on alone.
The war is not new. It has escalated for years, as terrorists targeted Americans around the globe to serve their purposes. It grew out of the American defeat in Vietnam and the French defeat in Algeria. The third world learned that western powers with modern armies and advanced technology could be defeated, not on the battlefield, but by a long, slow, intensely cruel bloodletting that would break the political will of the people, without which a democracy cannot prevail.
That we are envied and hated in the world is no surprise. It has ever been the fate of rich republics. All terror needs is the conviction there is no atrocity that cannot be committed for the cause, no innocent blood, no act that is evil if it strikes at the enemy.
A man with a wild look in his eye, a pipeline to his god, and a weapon in his hand has ever been a danger. But the weapons now are explosives powerful enough to destroy buildings, snuffing out hundreds of lives.
Soon they will be gasses that can slaughter thousands, diseases that can kill millions. Perhaps even atomic bombs. And men like Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein will use them without compunction.
They believe they can humble America by breaking our will to resist. It doesn’t matter if it’s Vietnam, or the Clinton scandal or the troubles with Iraq, Americans always want to “get it over with.” Can we prevail in a struggle that may last decades? Can we cope with the frustration, the horror, the cost? Or will we surrender when the terror has stretched out long enough, as our enemies believe?
They may be right. Saddam has apparently backed Clinton and the UN down, faster than even I predicted, by playing brinkmanship perfectly. He’s now free to develop diseases that can wipe out entire cities. Coming soon to a location near you.
How will we prevail when the alternative is to be killed and do nothing or be killed and strike back, escalating the killing? How can we defend ourselves? What must we do to survive?
First, we need a new president. Clinton reacted strongly and appropriately to the embassy bombings. I do not believe he took action to divert attention from his scandals. But that people think so points up the importance of the much-maligned “character issue.” Could the embassy bombings have been timed to take advantage of his perceived weakness under self-inflicted wounds? We cannot have a president who creates that opportunity for our enemies.
If we are to rally in this war, we need a president—probably a series of presidents—who have served in the military, who understand the nature of war, and who have the moral authority to lead us in desperate times. Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey, who earned the Medal of Honor in Vietnam, and Republican Senator John McCain, a heroic POW in Hanoi, come to mind, but there are other Americans we can respect instead of snicker at.
Second, we must be willing to go after the leaders, to repeal the executive order against assassination. Somehow, the “Blame America” crowd convinced us it’s okay to drop bombs on his followers, but to put a bullet between bin Laden’s running lights would be immoral. What rubbish.
Third, we must be prepared to go after terrorists in countries we are not at war with, as Clinton has just done. TV news called the attack “unprecedented,” but it’s not. Nixon ordered the bombing of North Vietnamese soldiers in Cambodia to protect American troops, though we were not at war with Cambodia. Many believed this was immoral, that it was better to let American soldiers die than to kill their enemies when they were hiding over a line in the jungle.
Everyone who would rather have your family murdered than kill enemies hiding in a neutral country, raise your hand. Thank you.
Fourth, we must be willing to accept what’s called “collateral damage.” That is, innocent civilians will be killed, including children, when we go after terrorists. That’s the nasty price of war, created by those who attack us. And it will be on the evening news, with moralists condemning America.
Fifth, we must beef up the military, especially on equipment and special training for small groups of Marines and Army Rangers who can fight sharp, dirty actions against terrorists. Bombs and cruise missiles will not do all the bloody work. And we will have casualties, both military and civilian.
Sixth, we must increase our intelligence capabilities. The CIA must have the human assets—spies and assassins—to combat this plague for us. It will be war in the shadows, nasty and brutal.
Lastly, we must let it be known that any country that launches an attack with weapons of mass destruction, chemical, biological or nuclear, or any country who harbors a group who launches such an attack, can expect us to use nuclear weapons to destroy them.
And we must mean it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Why Canada loves Nancy Pelosi

Hint: she’s helped their trade position.