Monday, June 29, 2009


Have you ever had one of those moments when something that you've done, over and over again, suddenly strikes you in a different way? Maybe this something strikes you as suddenly funny, or suddenly scary, or suddenly poignant. Well, that happened to me today. There I was, in Church (a gorgeous, brand-new chapel, by the way), singing a beautiful song that I've sung a hundred times before, when the words of the song struck me right in the heart with suddenly poignant meaning. It was the third verse of "America the Beautiful." You know the verse that goes,

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!

Maybe it was the spirit found in that beautiful, new chapel amongst the congregation was so strong; maybe it was that I love this Country; or maybe it was because two of my three children have chosen to serve "America the Beautiful" by risking their lives in foreign lands to protect her and her citizens; what ever it was, I lost it. The poignant words of that verse in that beautiful song touched me. Hard. It was so sudden that I managed to control the tears running from my eyes, but only barely. I couldn't sing; I was too choked up. I couldn't do anything but send a silent prayer to my Heavenly Father for all those heroes, including my two children, who "more than self their country love" and who serve in her Armed Forces. My God bless them all and bring them home safely.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Sevilla, my beautiful and brilliant daughter, leaves this weekend for a year-long deployment. She is my firstborn; the miracle with the eyes so big it seemed they were all you could see of her newborn face. For me, she is still the two-year-old who could carry on an fascinating conversation with adults or the gifted 5th grader who didn't think she needed to do her homework, because she got 100s on all the tests. For me, she is still the teenager who loved to dance and the young woman who could write an essay in less than an hour that was so impressive her instructor posted it for everyone to read.

For me, she will always be that baby, that little girl, and that teenager; yet I know that she has grown-up and has developed into a complex, fascinating woman. She is a wonderful mother to another gorgeous and talented little girl. She is a strong young woman with a poet's soul. She's my daughter and she's also my friend and I love her on so many different levels. I'm proud of her; what she's done with her life and what she's chosen to do with her future. Of course, I'd love to keep her home and safe, she is my child after all; but it is her choice to serve and I will support her in any way I can.

Sevilla, I love you. Stay safe. Mom

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Pig is a Pig is a Pig!

If it looks like a pig, smells like a pig, and sounds like a it a pig? I think ABC News' plan to promote the President's health care agenda, without offering any opposing views, looks, smells, and sounds like a pig....or in this case, a biased media outlet. Check out the story on the Drudge Report.

On June 24th, ABC News will air from the White House, and will later broadcast a "primetime special" on health care reform from the East Room of the White House. They also plan to air segments supporting health care reform on various other ABC programs. However, ABC News will not allow any opposing views on the health care debate on any of these programs. Why not?

In my view, ABC News relinquished any claim to objectivity or bias-free reporting during the election, but this move has "sealed the deal." By refusing to allow opposing views during an all-out blitz in favor of President Obama's health care proposals, ABC News is nothing less than a mouthpiece for the Democrats and liberal special interest groups. Ken McKay, the Republican National Committee's Chief of Staff, in a letter to ABC said that he finds

"it outrageous that ABC would prohibit our Party's opposing thoughts and ideas from this national debate, which affects millions of ABC viewers. In the absence of opposition, I am concerned this event will become a glorified infomercial to promote the Democrat agenda. If that is the case, this primetime infomercial should be paid for out of the DNC coffers."

Great suggestion! If the news is no longer objective reporting of facts, and objective analysis of those facts, it should be made clear to the public watching or listening to that news. Call a pig a pig and an infomercial an infomercial! Mr McKay goes on to make an excellent point,

"President Obama does not hold a monopoly on health care reform ideas or on free airtime. The President has stated time and time again that he wants a bipartisan debate. Therefore, the Republican Party should be included in this primetime event, or the DNC should pay for your airtime."

Absolutely! If, as it appears, ABC is using it's programming as an infomercial to "sell" the President's health care reform package to it's viewers, then the President's party should pay for the airtime and it should be made clear to the viewers that the programming is a "paid political announcement." After all, if its a pig, it should be called a pig!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Love Story meets Viva La Vida!

I have a cousin who lives on a 1/2 acre of happiness. Although she's my cousin, she's really the age of my kids and I didn't grow up playing with her, like I did some of my other cousins; but I love her nonetheless. She's a great person, a wonderful mom, and a really cool lady. Anyway, I hope she doesn't mind but I committed a bit of petty theft this morning. She had a post on her blog introducing this wonderful video found on YouTube. The video was produced by a person named Jon Schmidt, who arranged an absolutely wonderful song. He combined Taylor Swift's Love Story with Coldplay's Viva La Vida. The result is fantastic. Now I must admit, I love Taylor Swift's songs. I haven't heard a single one that I don't like. I also like some of Coldplay's music. But this arrangement combines the best of both. You gotta watch the video. Here it is:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Criminal or Terrorist?

According to this article on FoxNEWS, persons, non-citizens, who are detained on the battlefield (or other places...since who can determine where a battlefield really is in these times), are now read Miranda rights; just like they were US citizens. Not only is this just wrong, but it is extremely stupid, too! I agree with those who criticize this practice (according to the story, Republicans and terrorism experts); this is evidence of a shift a shift in how we see and define terrorism. At issue here is whether terrorism is an act of war or is it a criminal act.

Now this is not just a question of semantics. How we, as a Nation, define a particular act and person who has committed that act drives how we respond to that act. For example, if a citizen of another country shoots a soldier guarding the entrance to a US base overseas, is that person a terrorist or a criminal? If that person is captured immediately, should we interrogate that non-citizen to determine if there are additional threats to US personnel or US interests or should we interrogate her with an eye toward prosecution in a US criminal court for the crime she committed while giving her all the rights a US citizen would enjoy? I understand that it would be nice if we could do both. I believe that's what the Bush administration was trying to do, by labeling someone involved in aggressive actions towards the US as an unlawful detainee and giving them limited rights. The detainees were interrogated to see if they knew something that might stop future attacks or if they had information of value to intelligence; but they were also interrogated to see if they had evidence that would be useful in prosecuting others or themselves.

According to the article "Terrorism analyst Neil Livingstone called the move a 'dramatic shift' in policy." Mr Livingstone said, "[We're] going back to the bad old days that gave rise to 9/11 when we treated terrorism as though it were a criminal problem, not as a war or not as an attack on the United States. We don't want to have to make a legal determination every time we go after a terrorist whether we've got a good case or not, we should go after them as enemy combatants of the United States."

I agree with Mr Livingstone. Except for certain jobs, most of the members of our Armed Forces are not law enforcement specialists. They are warriors. They fight. They should not be made to collect evidence or investigate. I also agree with Representative Pete Hoekstra, a Republican representative from Michigan and the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, when he expressed concern about going backwards to treating terrorism with a law enforcement mentality. He was right on the money when he said, "I think it's a really lousy way to fight a war. ... This dramatically changes the way that our frontline forces work."

This dangerous shift in the underlying philosophy of how we treat and deal with terrorists is a regression to the Clinton-era policies that lead to the "firewall" between intelligence-gathering and criminal investigation that contributed to the failures that led to the successful terrorist attack on 9/11. Much of what this new administration has done concerns me....but this shift from prosecuting a war to prosecuting criminals represents a mistaken view that will make protecting this Nation so much more difficult. It's not just semantics!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Obama is "sort of God"

I wonder how anyone could believe there isn't any bias in the mainstream media, what with some reporters feeling "tingly" in their legs at the mention of President Obama and other reporters so effusive with their praise of the President, his policies, and his administration that it seems any objective reporting from those reporters has gone by the wayside. Anyone who has doubts that there is a "cult of personality" around President Obama, and that many in the mainstream press are card-carrying members, should check out this video of Newsweek Editor Evan Thomas:


This sounds like something I would do.....

Saturday, June 6, 2009

June 6th

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in his speech at Omaha Beach in Normandy, said that we have a "covenant with the dead of D-Day;" a covenant to see that freedom and tyranny will not prevail, and that today's Armed Forces are carrying forth the work to see that covenant fulfilled. I found that thought to be particularly poignant.

Many see World War II as a "good war." It's true that the enemy was easily defined and that progress (or the lack of it) was easily measured. Many saw the war, as President Obama said in his speech, as a competition between "visions of humanity;" with the Nazi view as one of subjugation, tyranny, and hatred of those who were different and the Allies' belief that people should live in freedom and liberty, free to chose their own destiny. D-Day veterans, who are passing on at a ever-growing rate, were able to face a storm of death to start the liberation of Europe from the those who espoused the view of totalitarianism. These men, this "band of brothers," are true heroes. We must never forget the bravery and sacrifice of these men and women. We must never forget to remember the significance of June 6th and D-Day.

So too, we must never forget that our men and women serving in the Armed Forces still fight those who's differing view of humanity would deprive men and women of their freedom and liberty; who's differing view of humanity would force men and women to live and worship a certain way; and who's differing view of humanity espouses hatred to those who do not think as they do. While the war we fight in these days doesn't necessarily have an easily defined enemy or easily measured results, the fight is just as important and just as real as the war that was fought so many years ago. The men and women of our Armed Forces are still fighting in order to fulfill that covenant which those who fought on D-Day, 65 years ago, bled and died for: to end tyranny and see that freedom prevails for everyone.