2009 letters to the editor

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S 371 (2/8/2009)

TO: Senator Johnny Isakson

TO: Senator Saxby Chambliss

Dear Senators:

I am writing you to ask you to support and cosponsor S 371, introduced last week by Senator John Thune (R-SD). S 371 is the Senate companion to HR 197, the “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2009,” which was introduced last month by US Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Rick Boucher (D- VA), and would provide national recognition for valid state Right-To-Carry licensees.

The bill would allow any person with a valid carry permit or license issued by a state, to carry a concealed firearm in any other state if the permit holder meets certain criteria. In states that issue permits, a state's laws governing where concealed firearms may be carried would apply within its borders. In states that do not issue carry permits, a federal standard would apply. The bill would not create a federal licensing system; it would simply require the states to recognize each other's carry permits, just as they recognize drivers' licenses.

 

CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY (4/26/2009)

Today (4/26/2009), Georgia will celebrate Confederate Memorial Day.

In 1874, Georgia officially designated a day to formally honor the lives of Confederate soldiers and the sacrifices they made. The date set for this purpose was April 26th, in recognition of the date in 1865 when General Joseph E. Johnston (who was in command of the Confederate troops from Georgia) surrendered, marking the end of the War for Georgia. Most Southern states celebrate Confederate Memorial Day, but not all of them on the same date. Florida joined Georgia in celebrating on April 26th, but other Southern states have chosen other dates for other reasons; e.g., North and South Carolina celebrate it on May 10th, the anniversary of Jefferson Davis’ capture; Louisiana and Tennessee celebrate on June 3rd, Jefferson Davis’ birthday; and Texas celebrates it on January 19th, General Robert E. Lee’s birthday (see attachment for a reproduction the Mort Kunstlen painting of “Lee At Chancellorsville,” and note the amazing similarity of the modern Georgia State flag to Lee’s circa 1863 Headquarters Flag!). Why do any of them celebrate a Confederate Memorial Day? Here are the words of Confederate Chaplain Randolph McKim, as inscribed on the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery:

“Not for fame, not for place or rank, not lured by ambition nor goaded by necessity, but in simple obedience to duty as they understood it, these men suffered all, sacrificed all, dared all, and died.”

Regardless of your opinion of the Iraq war, the same might be said of the 4279 American military personnel who have died there.

God Bless America, and protect her from her politicians!

 

TED KENNEDY RIP (8/27/2009)

Mary Jo Kopechne RIP.

 

NOMINEE FOR "EMAIL OF THE YEAR" (9/15/2009)

(Author unknown.) After being interviewed by the school administration, the prospective teacher said: "Let me see if I've got this right. You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning. You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride. You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job. You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the final exams. You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Spanish or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card.

You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps.

You want me to do all this and then you tell me. . . I CAN'T PRAY?"

A CRIME IN THE NAME OF RELIGION (9/16/2009)

In case it missed your attention … Muslims do not treat women right. According to the Global Gender Gap (GGG) report, the planet's ten-worst offenders are: Yemen, Chad, Pakistan, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Benin, Morocco, Turkey, Egypt and Oman. Of the ten, nine are Muslim-majority states. At the other end of the spectrum, the planet's best countries for women to live in are: Sweden, Norway, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Philippines, Germany, Denmark, Ireland and Spain. Not even one of the top-ten is a Muslim-majority state (the USA did not make the top-ten because we ranked 21/128).

TRUST BUT VERIFY (9/17/2009)

Today, 9/17/2009, is Constitution Day, the 222nd anniversary of the day the final draft of the Constitution was signed in Philadelphia. Fast forward, and the Federal Register of May 24, 2005, contains a notice of implementation of “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day” which announces that “pursuant to legislation passed by Congress, educational institutions receiving Federal funding [that’s virtually all of them!] are required to hold an educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution on September 17 of each year.”

As part of our job as good citizens (as well as good parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) we would do well to follow our 40th President’s advice to “trust but verify” everything from Washington, including just what kind of “educational programs pertaining to the United States Constitution” (if any!) are being foisted off on the children in what Vin Suprynowicz once called, “mandatory tax-funded youth propaganda camps.” (And before any of you gets your fur up over that last sentence, rest assured that I do believe that some public schools can not be tarred with the Suprynowicz definition – e.g., Brenda & I have two daughters and a son-in-law who work in such venerable institutions.) If you Google “Constitution Day Lesson Plans” you will get more than a million hits, so there is certainly no lack of material available. On the other hand, much of what is out there is revisionist history, claptrap, and bristles with value-laden linguistic constructions. One example: the National Constitution Center, http://constitutioncenter.org/ncc_progs_About.aspx , opens with the statement: “ The signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787, by the Founding Fathers is one of the most important and influential events in American history, establishing the many rights and freedoms We the People enjoy today[Emphasis mine]. The fact is, the Constitution does not establish any of our rights; rather, it protects pre-existing rights which, as Thomas Jefferson correctly set forth in the Declaration of Independence, come from God (we are endowed by our “Creator with certain unalienable rights … Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…”), not from the government. Any “right” the government establishes on Monday, it can disestablish on Tuesday. That is not the definition of “unalienable rights.”

Tread carefully, but I do urge you to check with the kids after they get home today, about the content of the “educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution” they participated in today.

 

RESPONSE TO A FRIEND'S "DON'T BUY THESE" EMAIL (11/26/2009)

11/29/2009 Letter To A Friend (Name Withheld),

Thanks for your recently forwarded e-mail, Subject: "Don't buy these," which advises addressees not to buy the “USPS New [Muslim design] 44-Cent Stamp,” claiming “Very deceiving design. Almost looks like a christmas (sic) tree.” etc. (BTW, that stamp isn’t really “new,” inasmuch as it has been around for eight or ten years.)

Don’t worry my friend, I won’t be buying any “Muslim design” stamps. This year, I’ll buy what I have been buying every year since 1978 when the theme of the Madonna and Child became the USPS “traditional” Christmas stamp. Incidentally, the USPS 2009 Christmas stamp features Madonna and Sleeping Child, a painting by Italian artist Giovanni Battista Salvi (1609-1685), more commonly known as Sassoferrato. The issuance of the stamp coincides with the 400th anniversary of the birth of the artist. You might want to store this info away in anticipation of any trivia contests at parties in the coming month!

Your e-mail also asks me to:

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of Pan Am Flight 103!”

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993!
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon !
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the military Barracks in Saudi Arabia !
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the American Embassies in Africa !
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the USS COLE!
REMEMBER the MUSLIM attack on 9/11/2001 !
REMEMBER all the AMERICAN lives that were lost in those vicious MUSLIM attacks!

Well, in fact, following is what I do remember, and unfortunately, I’m afraid many people do not remember – if they ever knew in the first place (and those who get all their news from the major media are in this category). Taking the items in the sequence in which they were listed in your e-mail:

1. “REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of Pan Am Flight 103!” The shoot down of the Pan-Am flight over Lockerbie Scotland, on December 21, 1988, which killed 270 people, including 190 Americans, was perpetrated by a group calling themselves the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution , who admitted they had destroyed the plane, and said they acted in retaliation for the US shoot down of Iran Air Flight 655 (IR655), a civilian Iranian airliner, on July 3, 1988, killing 290 innocent civilians (including 66 children) from six nations, by the US Navy guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes, which, at the time, was some 4 km inside Iranian territorial waters (even though six months is a rather costive response time, I can understand how annoyed I might be if a foreign Navy guided missile cruiser 4km inside our territoriaol waters shot down a civilian American airliner).

2. “REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993!” The first NYC WTC Attack, on February 26, 1993, was planned by a group of conspirators including Ramzi Yousef, and financed by al-Qaeda. Yousef mailed letters to various NY newspapers just before the attack, in which he demanded that the US stop supporting Israel and end interference with the internal affairs of countries in the Middle East (Yousef’s demand eerily echoes the admonitions of George Washington who warned us against foreign entanglements when he wrote, “The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible”; and Thomas Jefferson when he wrote, “Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations--entangling alliances with none.” (Is Yosef what God sent us for ignoring Washington & Jefferson?)

3. “REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon !” I remember the suicide bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon in April of 1983, in which seventeen Americans died, and I remember the bombing of the US Marine Corps Barracks in Lebanon a bit later, on October 23,1983, in which 241 servicemen were killed, and I remember the Embassy annex bombing on September 20, 1984, in which nine died, and I also remember that these events were seen by many as marking the beginning of anti-US Attacks by radical Islamist groups, motivated by American intervention in the Lebanese Civil War. (Why were we involved in the Lebanese Civil War? We didn’t have a dog in that fight!)

4. “REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the military Barracks in Saudi Arabia !” The attack on the Khobar Towers US Military complex in Saudi Arabia in June of 1996, which was perpetrated by members of Hizballah, was organized by a group of terrorists who wanted US troops out of Saudi Arabia. (See Washington & Jefferson admonitions in #2 above.)

5. “REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the American Embassies in Africa ! “ The bombings of our embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in August of 1998, in which 257 people were killed and over 4000 wounded, were linked to local members of Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist network, whose list of grievances against the US included our participation in the first Gulf War, military operations in Somalia and Yemen, and the US military presence in Saudi Arabia . (See Washington & Jefferson admonitions in #2 above.)

6. “REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the USS COLE!” The suicide bombing attack against the USS Cole in Yemen in October of 2000, was organized by al-Qaeda, and is generally regarded as having been a protest against US involvement in the Middle East. (See Washington & Jefferson admonitions in #2 above.)

7. “REMEMBER the MUSLIM attack on 9/11/2001 !” And finally, the motivation for the attacks on 9/11 were explained by Osama bin Laden himself in his “Letter to the American People,” which few Americans have ever read. The letter first appeared on the internet in Arabic, and was later translated and circulated by Islamists in Britain. In the letter, bin Laden lists his motives for why he attacked us, and early in his list he includes: “Your forces occupy our countries; you spread your military bases throughout them; you corrupt our lands, and you besiege our sanctities.” Basically, the man was saying (and, I believe, with good reason), “Yankee go home,” and I agree with him that we should. (See Washington & Jefferson admonitions in #2 above.)

In further support of this, see the article by Dr. Robert A. Pape, University of Chicago political science professor, known for his work on international security affairs, especially strategic air power and suicide terrorism, at:

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6755&print=Y . If you don’t want to read the whole thing, here are a couple of pertinent excerpts:

“Al-Qaeda's efforts to mobilize people to kill Americans are driven principally by a simple strategic goal: to drive the United States and its Western allies from the Arabian Peninsula and other Muslim countries.”

“Understanding that suicide terrorism is mainly a response to foreign occupation rather than a product of Islamic fundamentalism has important implications for how the U.S. government should conduct the war on terrorism.”

I agree with Pape, and I have been saying for years, and I still believe, that the main reason Islamic terrorists target western nations in general, and the US in particular, is because we are on their soil and in their hair, and they want us out. The preceding is some evidence to support this claim.

In other words, as it was put by commentator Lew Rockwell “It is not caving in to the bees to stop poking a stick into their hive.”

The last place any American died in a legitimate (Constitutionally declared) war to protect American freedom was on a WWII battlefield (see exception for Afghanistan anon). Since then, thousands of Americans have died, not only in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, View Nam and Korea, but also in Algeria, Lebanon, Panama, Somalia, and Rwanda; and today we have half a million American military personnel deployed in about 150 countries around the world in places like Albania, Algeria, Antigua, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia- Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote D’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia - Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad – Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, UAE, UK, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe (forgive me if I missed a country or two).

Most Americans can’t pronounce or spell the names of some of these countries, or find them on a map, or explain why we are there. Admittedly, many of these places have only a few Marines to provide security for our embassy personnel (a legitimate deployment), but in each of 30 of these places we have more than 100 US military personnel, and in a handful of these places we have more than 30,000 US military personnel.

I believe an exception can be made for our being in Afghanistan because we need to finish the job of destroying what remains of the Al Qaeda collaborators, leaders, and the infrastructure which supported the 9/11 Terrorists – and, although some Americans have forgotten this, Osama bin Laden is still on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List.

I pray every day for God to keep the troops safe, strong, and to bring them safely home (my most fervent prayer is for my grandson who is in the USAR, but who has not yet been deployed). I pray for the friends and relatives who mourn the casualties in Iraq: The MIAs, the 31,572 wounded, and the 4,369 Killed In Action (as of 11/28/2009). Regrettably, none of them (and none of the casualties in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Vietnam, Korea, Algeria, Lebanon, Panama, Somalia, or Rwanda) can be classified as warriors who have done anything to secure American freedoms. The 4,435 patriots who died during the Revolutionary war, the 15,900 who died on Okinawa, the 26,277 who died in the Argonne, etc., those Americans died for our freedom. The deaths of Americans who have been sacrificed in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc., were tragic and unnecessary because they did nothing to purchase or insure our freedom.

You may certainly disagree and hold that any American death is in defense of American freedom, but I stand by my opinion that some are, and some are not. E.g., I am yet to be persuaded by anyone that the deaths of the 19 Americans killed in the Battle of Mogadishu (Somalia, 1993), was, in any way, even remotely related to protecting our sovereignty or insuring our freedom.

I suspect our Founding Fathers, who inveighed against “Standing Armies” (see the Declaration of Independence), would despair at us having half a million troops stationed in about 150 countries around the globe. And I doubt if they would agree that the thousands of American deaths on foreign soil since the end of WWII, were necessary to insure that we could live and dwell in peace, happiness, and freedom. In the words of our 6th president, John Quincy Adams, “America goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

God Bless America, and protect her from our government officials.

 

 

 

GOOD FOR THE GOOSE, BUT NOT FOR THE GANDER (12/18/2009)

Last week, those who are receiving Social Security benefits noticed that tucked in with the Christmas cards and mail order catalogs the USPS delivered, there was a note from the Social Security Administration advising that addressees would not be receiving the usual COLA (Cost Of Living Allowance) increase in Social Security benefits because there was “no rise in the cost of living during the past year” (an argument for another day). What might have passed unnoticed is that the US House and Senate allowed the automatic pay raises ($4700 and $5300, respectively) for themselves to go through. Something we might all want to keep in mind next November when 1/3 of the Senate and all of the House is up for reelection.

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