Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Proud to be an American? Yes I am! And I thank God every day!

Few things make my blood boil more than when I hear a thankless foreigner of one of the many countries that America has protected from the horrors of war and the conquest of an evil empire, slander with disdain the United States of America. These, uneducated individuals show their complete ignorance of world history and the place America has played in keeping them free from the bondage of an aggressor who at the very least would require them to learn a new language.

I am proud to be an American! If there is ever a time when pride is an acceptable thing it is when declaring that pride to live in the greatest country god has ever given to man, the United States of America. My ancestors are from England, Ireland and Scotland. I also have ancestors of Cherokee Indian decent, but I am first and foremost and American! I am not some type of hyphenated English-Irish-Scottish-Cherokee Indian-American, I am a full-blooded American and although there are many wonderful countries throughout the world with similar ideals none is more blessed with freedom and the hand of Divine Providence than America and I proudly call it my home!

The United States of America is the leader in the world for new technology, Medical advancement (and yes, we DO have the BEST health care system in the world regardless of what some with a warped sense of understanding may think). We have defended the sovereignty of more nations than any other country in the world. We don’t conquer a country and then take its land; Iraq, Japan, Germany and the countries of the former Soviet Union are flying their own flags not the US flag.

The world leader in foreign aid is The United States of America. We also are the highest in charitable giving in the world. There are times when I, like many Americans, get so frustrated with ungrateful recipients of American charity that I would like to tell them to drink their oil and eat their sand. But we are too caring and too generous to make such as statement even when our face is being slapped and our hand is being bitten.

It is bad enough when a foreigner slams America but it is even more repugnant when an American who has reaped all the benefits of living in this great land tries to destroy it from the inside out. People like Michael Moore remind me of the hideous creature in the movie Alien that gestates inside the human body and then rips its way out destroying the body in the process. (Sorry for the graphic reference). People like this ungrateful loser receive all the benefits from a free capitalist country and then turn around and slam the capitalism and freedom that gave him the ability to profit from his American hatred! Is this not the epidemy of ignorance? Don’t you just wish we could send him to work in one of the sweat shops in China for a week and then see if he appreciates America? I know that many of you would want to give him a one-way ticket to China and truthfully I am one of you!

I recently re-read a wonderful Cover Story article printed in USA Today in 2002 by William J. Bennett called A Nation Worth Defending. He wrote about the lack of education of world and American history for our youth. He quoted the following statistics from a survey conducted by Americans for Victory Over Terrorism (AVOT), “Moreover, of the 55 highest-ranked colleges and universities in the nation, not a single one requires students to take a course in American history in order to graduate. Only three require a course in Western civilization. This is cause for alarm, but it should not come as a surprise. The recently released National Assessment of Education Progress reveals that 57% of high school Students are "below basic" in their knowledge of history. Just 18% of fourth-graders, 17% of eighth-graders, and 11% of 12th-graders score at the "proficient" level, the one at which the National Assessment Governing Board, the administrators of the tests, says all students should perform.”

He continued with more alarming statistics; “This historical ignorance is not merely of academic concern. It has real-world consequences. Returning to the AVOT poll, more than 70% of college students disagree--and 34% strongly disagree--that the values of the U.S. are superior to those of other countries. More than one-third disagree with the claim that, "Despite its flaws, the United States is the best country in the world." Eighty percent reject the claim that Western civilization, with its unparalleled achievements and human flourishing, is superior to Arab civilization. In what was perhaps the most-striking finding, one-third said that they would evade a military draft in the war on terrorism; another third would refuse to serve abroad; and just one-third would willingly go fight overseas.” I, like Mr. Bennett, believe that this lack of patriotism stems from a lack of education about America and our great history of the defense of humanity. Our children need to be educated with the truth about America, it is the greatest nation on the earth and any honest historian can state the facts that America has done more for the advancement of freedom and the sovereignty of individual nations than any other country in the world. Again, if there is an instance when pride is a good thing it is in being proud to be an American. Yes I am! And I thank God every day!

Mr. Bennett's article can be found online at: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1272/is_2690_131/ai_94384312/

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Like an Ostrich with its Head in the Sand

Remember when you were a small child and would cover your face with both hands so as not to be seen? Your parents would say things like "Where did he go?" or "Oh no! We can't see you anymore?" As a small child you thought covering your face not only kept you from seeing anyone but it also kept anyone from seeing you. You also thought covering your face kept you safe from harm. As you grew older reality took over and you soon understood that covering your face only kept you from seeing what was going on around you; you were not hidden from anyone but were still in plain sight. It was like the ostrich fabled to put its head in the sand to hide. (Another reality is that Ostriches don’t put their heads in the sand to hide. This was a myth attributed to the ancient author Pliny the elder who lived around A.D.23-79). Although the Ostrich does not put its head in the sand to hide it does attempt to be stealth by simply sitting on the ground. It is still the largest bird in the world and sitting on the ground even in the bushes does not do much to hide it. When you live in a nice town, a wonderful state or a free country you tend to ignore the politics around you that either enable these freedoms or inhibit them. Unfortunately, most people don’t get involved enough in their communities or their country because they are too busy living their lives and dealing with the day-to-day tasks necessary to maintain whatever measure of happiness or success they have attained. This is evident with the low voter turnout in the US at nearly every election whether local or national. How many of us are still hiding our faces with our hands or worse yet, putting our heads into the sand or just sitting on the ground to hide from reality or commitment? Most people quickly take their hands from their faces or pull their heads out of the ground when they discover that their personal liberties have been taken from them. Unfortunately, sometimes it is too late to do anything after the fact. The irony of the Ostrich is that it is not only the largest bird in the world but that it has the largest eyes and best vision among its kind. This means that if it stands tall, lifts its head high and opens its eyes wide it can see all around it at great distances and quickly discover any enemy far and wide that would do it harm. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with us being like the Ostrich as long as we utilize its most effective means of protection—its big eyes. Open your eyes and find out what is happening around you in your community, your state and your nation. Discover what you can do to protect your way of life, your liberty and happiness and then when you discover it go to the voting booth and cast a vote for the man or woman who sees things through your eyes!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Self-Imposed TERM LIMITS say something about the politician

I remember back in 1992 the voters in the State of Washington instituted term limits on their elected officials.  The state’s US congressman at the time Democrat Tom Foley was a powerful heavily entrenched career politician who had already served in the US House for nearly 30 years, decided that the voters in his state were wrong and he being a seasoned lawyer brought a suit against his state to overturn the new initiative. Hard to believe, but true!  What does this say about the attitude of an elected official who turns on his own constituents? It seemed surreal that any politician could be so callus and arrogant toward those who had elected him into office, time and time again, election after election for three decades! Was Mr. Foley an example what happens to politicians who forget why they are in office-to SERVE and represent the values, beliefs and needs of their constituents who elected them to office?

Mr. Foley was the Speaker of the US House, a position he achieved in 1986 when House Speaker Jim Wright (D) of Texas resigned his position in the midst of an ethics scandal. While in the House, Speaker Foley, consistently opposed efforts to impose term limits on the elected officials in Washington State. He won the support of the State’s voters to reject a term limits referendum in 1991 but just one year later in 1992 the voters decided that they had had enough and passed the initiate and term limits became the law.

One would think that an elected official would get the message of one’s constituents but this was not the case with Tom Foley.  He pressed on with his law suit challenging the constitutionality of a state law setting eligibility requirements on federal offices. The Federal courts sided with Mr. Foley declaring that states did not have the authority under the U.S. Constitution to limit the terms of federal officeholders. A victory for Mr. Foley?  I think not.  Now as Paul Harvey would say; “here’s the rest of the story.”

In 1994 just two years after the States voter approved term limits initiate Mr. Foley decided that he wanted to run once again for re-election. Now just imagine your are the sitting congressman and your constituents in record numbers voted to keep you from making a career out of your position you laughed at them called them ignorant, ill-informed law-breakers, you sued them in Federal court and now you smile at those whom you have conquered and tell them that you want to SERVE them once again for a 16th term. Does this even seem real?  Into the picture comes Republican challenger George Nethercutt of Spokane, Washington. Nethercutt was a well spoken and confident newcomer to politics.  His campaign focused on one simple line, "Foley against the People of the State of Washington." Nethercutt won the election making Tom Foley the first sitting Speaker of the House to lose his bid for re-election since Galusha Grow in 1862.

Term limits are a wonderful thing when they are self-imposed.  It is the recognition that lengthy service breeds entitlement.  It is the very reason that President’s Washington and Jefferson after both serving two terms would not run for a third.  They each new that the longer they served the greater the likelihood that selflessness could become selfishness. Even George Nethercutt promised the voters of Washington that he would only serve three terms but he served five and lost his bid for a sixth term! Obviously, the voters finally caught on that time.

There are two reasons that I support term limits. First is apathy. Apathy (a low voter turnout) usually keeps the incumbents in office.  It is when the voters look the other way and don’t vote that their freedoms are slowly taken from them.  Term limits are a good way to keep apathy from re-electing the same people year after year decade after decade.  The second reason I support term limits is because the incumbents have discovered another way to stay in office through re-districting.  They simply re-draw the lines in their districts to make sure that they only capture the people who voted for them.  This way regardless of the voter turnout they will be re-elected because the majority of the voters in their “new” district are the party-liners who voted for them the last time.

If more people would vote there would be no need for term limits. Ultimately the power should always be in the hands of the voters not the politicians.  The only power a politician should and does have is that that is given them in measure by those who put them in office. When that power is abused or worse, used against the very people who gave it, the voters MUST take it away.  And the best way to take it away is at the election both one vote at a time.  But until more voters exercise their God-given right to vote I will support term limits!

If you've Never FAILED you've never lived.

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