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One of the wisest men I know, who was once described by a business associate as a man with “impeccable integrity,” my father, wrote this:

Today is my birthday, so I think I will do something I do not usually do.  I will blog. I had hoped…even believed…that I would get my greatest birthday gift ever, a new President.  But I learned a long time ago that we don’t always get what we want, at 62 I am old enough to know that.
I have paid close attention to politics since I was in college.  The first presidential election I was eligible to vote in was 1972, Nixon vs. McGovern.  I did not like McGovern’s policies and I couldn’t understand how this man, McGovern, who admittedly started with nothing when he entered politics ended up quite well to do, but that is another story.  At the time, I was young and idealistic and I thought the biggest disservice a President could do to the public was to lie to them.  In a democracy you need information to make proper voting choices, so lying to the public, to me, was worse than bad policies.  I voted for McGovern, it was a protest vote.
I knew Nixon was lying big time.  His Watergate lies hadn’t been exposed yet, but the evidence was overwhelming if you were paying attention.  I grew up in a very conservative neighborhood.  All my friends, and especially their parents, were behind Nixon.  I was the maverick. They were kind to me, but they couldn’t believe the President of the United States was out right lying to them.  I knew he was, and in fact he was.  That revelation to the country came after the landslide election victory that Nixon won, and led to his later resigning from office.  I mark that as a turning point in American society, the time when respect for authority suffered a great blow that it has never recovered from.
Indeed, now many people assume their government routinely lies to them, and I believe they are often right.  But there is something worse than a government that lies to the public, and that is a public that accepts the lies, either out of indifference, ignorance or too often, convenience.  Just recently we had a former President who had explicitly lied to the public on national television, then later to a court of law under oath, complain that we shouldn’t trust a man who would lie to us to become President.  The saddest part of that sorry episode is how few people paid attention or cared what he had just said.  Just more of the same.  Too inconvenient to hold him to account; he is after all a popular fellow and agrees with the majority’s world view, so what difference does a lie make?
I think that is where we are today, and I think that is one of the major reasons the biggest con man in American history has just been re-elected President of the United States.  A majority of the public no longer care much about the truth. To quote another great con man, “the truth is inconvenient.”  No, a majority of the public is happy to go along with the free lunch propaganda.  We are all Greeks now.A majority of the public and most of the media are all too happy to look the other way while great lies are told and honorable men have their reputations trashed because that is easier than telling the truth or addressing real issues.  My friends and their parents in 1972 looked the other way and we re-elected a liar whose lies had a profound impact on the morality of the entire country.Many in the government have been lying to us for years.  They do not tell the truth about how they spend our tax money.  They do not tell us the truth about who pays the taxes.  They use budgetary gimmicks or simply ignore accounting for it all together (off budget items).  That other great con man, Al Gore, lied to us about many things, but I think my favorite was the Social Security “lock box”.  We will soon be opening that lock box and the assets big Al promised us won’t be there.  The lock box is filled with slips of paper, mere promises from a lying government.

We just went through a campaign where one candidate simply made up false stories about what the other believed and a majority bought it.  Too much work for the press and public to actually pay attention, but then paying attention would be inconvenient to their world view.

We just went through a campaign where one of the most honorable men in our political history was willing to run the gauntlet of lies and distortions because he wanted to help his country.  He didn’t need the job.  He doesn’t need any job.  He didn’t need it for his resume; he already had one of the most impressive resumes of any man to run for President.  He didn’t need it for a cool address, he already owns one of the coolest houses on the planet.  He didn’t need it for his ego, so unlike the great vanity of his opponent.  He was a man who understood that his many and great accomplishments were not the most important measure of him.  He was the best kind of humble, he chose to be that way.  He was truly a man prepared and ready for this difficult time.

But the lies had it, the motion carried.  We were conned again.  The country just made a huge mistake because a majority is willing to accept being lied to by their government and press.  They say you can’t fix stupid, maybe they are right.

So do I think the Country is going to hell in a hand basket?  No, not yet.  We are blessed to live in the greatest country in the history of the world. Our economy is the biggest and provides the best standard of living to the most people of any in the world.  It will take a lot to wreck it.  It can be wrecked, and if we don’t eventually change course we will ruin it.

I feel most sad now for the people who are already struggling, who can’t find good work…whose homes and businesses are sinking.  The country has just chosen to make it much more difficult to fix our problems.  There is going to be a lot more pain before things get really better.  It didn’t need to be this way but if you are willing to be lied to and still want to believe in Santa Claus, then you get the government you deserve.

What will turn this around?  When it becomes more inconvenient to continue believing the lies and in the free lunch that Government Santa is supposed to bring.

The Soviet Union and the former Eastern European Block (not to mention innumerable banana republics) went through this already and died.  They sought to redistribute income and only redistributed poverty.  Santa really is make believe.  Their demise was prolonged and delayed through brute force, but they eventually collapsed.  Much of Europe is going through this now; but they are merely socialistic, not communistic so it will take longer to unfold.  It is only a question of degree.  We are perhaps a generation behind them, so we have more time.  But our time will come if we stay on this course.  If it does, I trust in the basic goodness and resilience of the people of this great country to get back on track.  It won’t be pretty, but I believe we will make it.  I believe we will still remain the greatest country in the history of the world and the greatest hope for mankind.

This is a great country, and that is no lie.

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A MUST read:  Mark Steyn’s “Dependence Day.”

A couple of choice excerpts:

When William Beveridge laid out his blueprint for the modern British welfare state in 1942, his goal was the “abolition of want,” to be accomplished by “cooperation between the State and the individual.” In attempting to insulate the citizenry from the vicissitudes of fate, Sir William succeeded beyond his wildest dreams: Want has been all but abolished. Today, fewer and fewer Britons want to work, want to marry, want to raise children, want to lead a life of any purpose or dignity.”

For Americans, the quickest way to understand modern Britain is to look at what lbj’s Great Society did to the black family and imagine it applied to the general population. One-fifth of British children are raised in homes in which no adult works. Just under 900,000 people have been off sick for over a decade, claiming “sick benefits,” week in, week out, for ten years and counting. “Indolence,” as Machiavelli understood, is the greatest enemy of a free society, but rarely has any state embraced this oldest temptation as literally as Britain. There is almost nothing you can’t get the government to pay for.”

Seriously though, you should REALLY read the whole thing HERE.

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I Live In A Circus

The latest madness from the Nannie state:  San Francisco is now banning happy meal toys.  Here’s the problem, here is where it becomes clear that there is a battle raging between do goodism and freedom, pure and simple.  What happens when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors realizes that despite the lack of toys, Happy Meals are still being sold and consumed…by children…DUN DUN DUN (sinister drum beat)?  Will they then ban all kids’ menu items that have more than X number of calories?  How about all meals that have more than X grams of sugar, or any trans fat at all?  Then, surely, they’ll move on to adults.  How would you like being fined for eating a doughnut?  What if doughnuts just flat out became unavailable…banned from the city?  Would a black market for doughnuts arise?  Where will it stop?  Will the madness ever stop?  Will they come into your kitchen demanding you “detoxify” your cupboards?  I am using absurdity to illustrate a point, but in all seriousness, where does it stop?  (Oh, yes, it will stop when we finally arrive at that perfect society where we all walk around like mind numb robots in perfect health and are completely incapable of making decisions for ourselves or providing for ourselves and our families.)

Liberals…ahem, progressives…know no bounds when it comes to their do goodism.  Hey, I’m not saying this stuff is good for you…or for your children…but where is the choice and accountability in this madness?  This is where do goodism turns into soft tyranny.  Tyranny and freedom cannot both reign; we need to go one way or the other.  We cannot continue to walk this tightrope, loosing one small freedom at a time, because eventually we’re going to fall off the rope as a society.  Parents are responsible for teaching their children healthy habits.  Feel free to educate those parents if you think they’re doing a shoddy job, but in the end…the choice is still theirs how they will raise their children.  And when the children become adults, the choice becomes theirs how healthily they live their lives.  But what if these children grow up used to the idea that the state determines what they can eat and what they can’t…can you imagine what kind of adults they will become?  Well, they’ll vote Democrat, that one thing is sure.

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I missed all the action.  The ironic thing is that I only had one kid at home at the time, and it all happened within blocks of my house!  Too bad I don’t have any pictures to go along with this post.  Oh well.  By the time I found out the happenings of the day, it had all died down.

I was driving down a main thoroughfare today after picking my son up from preschool and a pickup truck pulled up alongside me with a huge Mexican flag attached to the tailgate.  My son was like, “Look, it’s a flag from Mexico!  That guy must be Mexican!” Yes, apparently so…or is he an American?  I wonder how he would answer that question about himself?  I was actually a little peeved.  NO, I’M NOT A RACIST!  But, in light of what happened here in our town yesterday, I was annoyed by the blatant display.  And in fact, it turns out (although I didn’t find out until later) this guy was headed downtown to join the march on Morgan Hill, a bunch of Hispanic teens demanding respect after the incident at their high school yesterday.  “What happened” here yesterday you may have already heard about, as it has gone viral:  some boys from the high school just up the street from our house were sent home because they were wearing shirts with pictures of the American flag on them…and they refused to turn them inside out.  Normally, this wouldn’t have been a problem, but it was Cinco de Mayo…and some of the Hispanic students were offended by this display of American patriotism in America on “their” day.

The district, thankfully, sided with the boys and said they disagreed with the administration’s call.  The story obviously received national attention, and in response to both of these things about two hundred Hispanic students simply walked out of school today and marched down the street to the district office, and then to City Hall, in protest.  They said they were marching for “respect.”  Give me a break.  One teenage girl yelled at an innocent bystander pumping her gas, “you dumb white b**ch!” Respect indeed.

RESPECT is something that is earned.  To be respected is not a right.  Tolerance is another thing entirely.  I have tolerance for many people for whom I have little respect.  I respect the many generations of immigrants who suffered and sacrificed to come to this country, who contributed to this country economically, socially and culturally…despite being discriminated against.  My ancestors were obviously immigrants to this country, as most of yours were too, I’m sure.  I love that American culture is a reflection of that great “melting pot.”  The reason the melting pot analogy works so well, though, is because America has been made up of many different people with different cultural backgrounds who chose to come here and assimilate.  They “melted” into American culture.  That doesn’t mean that they gave up their cultural heritage, but it does mean that they became American citizens and thus pledged their allegiance to America.

I think it’s great that we can have a good time celebrating the many diverse cultures that have contributed to American culture:  St. Patrick’s Day, Mardi Gras, Cinco de Mayo, etc.  But there is something else going on here.  A refusal to learn English, a refusal to respect and pay allegiance to America, a refusal to become citizens, a blatant refusal to obey the law, being intolerant to the display of the American flag on “their” day?  Do these people want to be here or not?  If yes, then they should DO IT THE RIGHT WAY, and at least have the decency to respect the country they’re so desperate to occupy.  How are they somehow privileged to become the exception to obeying the immigration laws that already exist, to receive special treatment over immigrants who OBEY THE LAW?  The uproar yesterday and today was not about Cinco de Mayo.  It was about illegal immigration.  It was about the AZ law recently passed.  It was about political correctness.  It was about Hispanic students becoming offended because showing American patriotism is now somehow racist against them.

FYI, I respect immigrants who come and work here LEGALLY.  I welcome them, in fact…no matter what color their skin is or what country they come from.  I do not respect the students who marched on Morgan Hill today.  They just lost themselves a whole lot of respect.  And people who couch this whole illegal immigration debate in terms of race are completely missing the point, by the way.

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My seven-year-old posed this question the other day, totally out the blue:

“So, I’m still wondering…are we rich or are we poor?”

I told him we were neither.  “We’re in the middle.”  His younger brother excitedly exclaimed, “We’re in the middle!”  I thought to myself, actually we’re poor…but that’s not something a mother should tell her kids. Actually, we’re not poor…at least not compared to many, many people in this world.  It’s all relative.  Everything is relative.  But I feel poor.  We live in one of the most expensive areas in the country, which has a lot to do with the financial frustration I am feeling.  Our dollars do not go far here…not far at all.  If we had these same dollars and were living somewhere in the Midwest, or in Texas or Utah (in almost any “red” state, really), I would feel much better off.  We would, in fact, be much better off.  But we’re not. We are here, not because we want to be, but rather because the recession hit us personally in July 2008 and began a chain of events that are still unfolding for our family…the impact of which we will continue to feel for years to come.

I came across this U.S. News article (“7 Stressors Sapping the Middle Class”) the day after the above exchange with my boy.  There has been a lot of talk in the past several years about the “shrinking middle class.”  It’s a favorite line of politicians who want people to feel disgruntled and then look to them [the politicians] to help make things better.  Well, I feel disgruntled all right, but I blame the politicians. (more…)

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Weren’t we told that by electing Barack Obama our country could finally undergo “racial healing?”  Isn’t the “importance of electing the first African-American president” the reason that a lot of people gave for voting for Mr. Obama?  Personally, I never bought that and I still don’t.  I make my voting decisions based on voting records, political ideology, and whether the candidate typically displays good or bad judgment…you know, the things that actually matter, NOT race.  Race is, or should be, irrelevant…shouldn’t it? At least that would make for a truly “colorblind” society, which, ironically, the racially obsessed Left says they want.  Anyway, here’s an interesting story out of Alligator, Mississippi:

In a shock result in Alligator (population 220), Tommie “Tomaso” Brown, 38, defeated Robert Fava, the mayor since 1979, owner of the general store and once his opponent’s boss, by 37 votes to 27.

“They wanted a black mayor,” said a philosophical Mr Fava, 71. “Another Obama – I think that’s what brought it on. I ran on ’30 years of dedicated service’ and he ran on ‘Change.'”

Mr Brown was the first black man ever to stand for Mayor of Alligator and it took Mr Obama’s election to galvanise him into action. “Obama was a major influence on everybody,” he said, almost drowned out by the chirping of crickets in the sweltering afternoon heat. “He inspired me. I’m not going to take that from him.

“After 30 years, I didn’t think an African-American would be able to be mayor.  I didn’t think the position was open to me. When he won, I decided that I knew the changes that needed to be made here and I thought that I could make those changes.”

I am sincerely happy that Mr. Brown was able to draw inspiration from Barack Obama.  As far as the racial healing goes, though, I just don’t see it…

“Some youngsters ran into Mr Fava’s store to taunt him. ‘They was pulling down their pants, shouting, ’Kiss my black ass, because we got a black mayor’, swinging their things around and throwing stuff,” said Jennifer Green, 31, a black mother of 10.

As an aside, I think we can safely assume the new mayor is a Democrat.  The CHANGE he ran on?  Says former mayor and opponent Robert Fava, “He promised a swimming pool and a recreation centre.”  Says newly elected Tommie Brown, “I just want the people to be comfortable.  Small towns like this depend on government funding and that’s what we’re seeking.”

HUH.

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A friend recently informed me of the Second Amendment March, “a national event that will take place in April, 2010 in Washington, D.C. and other cities across America.” From the website:

“The mission of the Second Amendment March is to galvanize the courage and resolve of Americans; to petition our elected officials against establishing anti-gun legislation; and to remind America that the Second Amendment is necessary to maintain our right to self defense.”

The website also states that…

The right to bear arms is the one right that protects all others.

As long as guns are the topic, I can’t help but to link this fantastic essay, Why the Gun is Civilization, by Marco, the Munchkin Wrangler.

Marco argues that “human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force…and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.” It is an interesting argument, and one that makes perfect sense.  You can read the full essay for further explanation and enlightenment.  I love this:

“People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.”

I want to get a concealed carry permit and a smaller gun (I wouldn’t be comfortable carrying my husband’s 9mm Springfield that we already have for home defense…too big for me, I think).  I honestly hope I never have to employ a gun for self defense, but I am one who believes in the importance of being prepared.


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