It’s Still Relevant

Had a, well, I’m honestly not sure how to describe it. Anyway, this happened to me at work today.

I was working Kosher when I noticed an older gentleman get in line at the Seafood counter, right next door to me. He was literally right next to my department. Anyway, what grabbed my attention was the fact that he was wearing a Korean War Veteran cap. I had rare moment where nothing vital needed to be done right away, so I took my gloves off, thanked the vet for his service and his sacrifice, and shook his hand.

At first, he tried to shrug it off, or at least downplay it. “That was a long time ago,” he said.

“It’s still relevant today, sir,” I told him, “It still matters.”

The instant the words left my mouth, the man’s demeanor changed. I don’t know exactly how to describe it: he was still smiling, but the look in his eye changed. They were filled with pain, sadness, grief.

“I still carry it with me,” he said. He held his hands over his heart, “I still carry it here.”

“I know it, sir,” I told him, “I know it, and I’m sorry.” At this point, I think we were both on the verge of breaking down in tears. I know I was. All I could think to say after that was “Thank you, again. Thank you so much.” I wanted to say, “I can’t describe how much I appreciate it,” but my words caught in my throat. I guess that was just as well, since by then he was at the front of his line and I finally had a customer in mine.

It didn’t occur to me until hours later that I never even thought to ask the man his name.

Even so, I meant what I said. His service to this country his sacrifice, for its people, even though it happened over sixty years ago, is still relevant. It still matters today. The same is true of all our veterans: from World War II to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, all of our veterans’ service and sacrifice are relevant. They still matter.

Never forget that. And never forget them.

Best-Selling Authors Cause of Budget Crisis!

At least, that’s what President Obama thinks/wants us to think. No, really, I’m not making this up:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/07/11/obama_warns_best-selling_authors_youre_not_off_the_hook.html

“We weren’t balancing the budget off of middle-class families and working-class families. And we weren’t letting hedge fund managers or authors of best-selling books off the hook. That is a reasonable proposition.”

You gotta be kidding me. What fantasy world is this guy living in? Actually, I know the answer: the same one I was when I first got the bright idea of wanting to be a writer. Most authors, even the best-selling ones, make roughly the equivalent of minimum wage off of each book they write. The millionaires like Clancy and J. K. Rowling are the very rare exception to the rule. And how’s this for hypocracy: Obama is also a NYT Best Selling Author. I wonder if he paid his fair share, of if he’s part of the problem too? [/sarcasm]

IMO, this proves it: Obama’s lost it. He’s taken a swan dive off the high dive into the very deep end of the pool.

For a real best-selling author’s opinion on the matter: check out this post by NYT Best Selling Author Larry Correia. It’s very entertaining and an excellent read, but then again, Larry’s stuff always is. That’s why he’s an NYT Best Selling Author after all.

….Our Sacred Honor

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. –Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

 

Memorial Day 2011

When you pick a spot in the shade to watch your town’s parade, remember the young soldier in the sun-baked desert whose brains were blown out by an insurgent’s bullet.

When the smoke from your grill blows in your face, remember the terror-stricken pilot whose cockpit was filled with fire and smoke as his Avenger TBF went down in the Pacific off of Midway.

When you bite down on that hot dog, remember the soldiers of the 77th Division, behind the German lines with no food and no chance of resupply.

When you dive into the pool, remember the scared young man from Philadelphia who was cut down on Omaha Beach.

When you enjoy the summer, remember the young boys who were freezing in the Ardennes, with Nazi Panzers closing in on them.

When you take a sip of your beer, remember the kid from Arizona, covered in his best friend’s blood at Khe Sanh.

When you fly home, remember the pilots who had their helicopters shot out from under them in Mogadishu.

When you hug your child, remember the mother who is burying her daughter at Arlington.

When you fight with your father, remember the young boy who only knows his father through some pictures and a headstone.

When you hand your wife her plate, remember the young widow who got a telegram that her Marine died on Iwo Jima.

When you get frustrated with your grandfather because you have to help him in and out of his chair, remember the crosses in fields scattered across Europe.

When you sit down, remember the Army Lieutenant who died at her desk in the Pentagon.

When your friends show up late, remember the man whose buddies’ names are carved on a wall of black granite in Washington D.C.

When you take a shower after it’s all over, remember the young men trapped below decks as their ship sank into the mud at Pearl Harbor.

Remember their sacrifice, and the sacrifices of all those who have fought, and bled, and died for this nation, and for you. Remember that your freedom has never been free, but has been paid for with the blood of young men and women like your, and like your children. Remember them on this Memorial Day, and when you say a blessing over your meal, remember to pray for them and their families.

Remember.

To all those who serve and and who have served, thank you. May God bless you and your loved ones now and forever more. And to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation, thank you for giving your tomorrows for our today. You shall never be forgotten.

Ding, Dong, Bin Laden’s Dead!

I’m sure you’ve already seen it all over the news, Facebook, the Blogosphere, etc., but I just have to say it.

Osama bin Laden is dead.

I’m not sure exactly where, when, or how he was killed. Most consistent report I’ve heard is that he was killed by some sort of special-forces or paramilitary team in a mansion outside of Islamabad, Pakistan. Personally, I don’t care where, when or how. All that matters to me is that he’s dead and gone. No more innocent people are going to die because of him, and for that, I celebrate this day.

I’m not the only one. CNN showed a crowd of I’d estimate upwards of 500 people outside the White House singing The Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America when the news finally broke. Images like that restore my faith in this country. We may disagree on politics, sometimes to the point of violence, but deep down, we are all still Americans.

However, not everyone feels as I do (and most of you probably do to) about this. A lot of my FB Friends are already chiming in that killing is wrong no matter what and who are we to rejoice in bin Laden’s death and we had no right to kill him, etc. ad-nauseum. Now, I disagree with those opinions (no duh), but I’m not going to debate them here. Not in a forum where they can’t defend themselves, and I’ll ask my readers to do the same.

That said, I hope the f***er’s just discovered that his 72 virgins are all wearing bacon bikinis, and that they only serve Pulled Pork in Hell.

American Pride

So Papa Raptor and I went to the Philadelphia Auto Show today, as is our annual tradition. There was the usual group of manufacturers (though Ferrari was conspicuously absent…) and as usual I drooled over the Aston Martins, Lambos, the Mercedes SLS, and the collection of antique cars on the first floor.

But only one car made me tear up…

She’s a one-of-a-kind Chevrolet Camaro, comissioned by General Motors as a tribute to our nation and to the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for it.

It was painted 100% freehand by Mickey Harris.

I walked around the car for I don’t know how long. Definitely longer than any other car I saw at the show. I finally had to tear myself away from it because if I hadn’t I would have started crying right there in the middle of the Philadelphia Convention Center. After we got home, I learned that Papa Raptor had teared up when he saw the car too.

For more on the car, check out this video:

This Camaro is without a doubt a moving tribute to our men and women in uniform.

To all those who serve, thank you for your sacrifice. May God bless you.

It Is The Soldier

It is the Soldier, not the minister who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.

-Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army.

Freedom is not, nor shall it ever be, free.

To all those who have served our nation in uniform, past, present, and future, thank you for your service and your sacrifice. God Bless You All.

God Is Too Busy

A United States Marine was taking some college courses
between assignments. He had completed 20 missions in Iraq
and Afghanistan . One of the courses had a professor who
was an avowed atheist, and a member of the ACLU.

One day the professor shocked the class when he came in.
He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, “GOD, if you are real, then
I want you to knock me off this platform… I’ll give you exactly 15 min.”
The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes
went by and the professor proclaimed, “Here I am GOD, I’m still waiting.”

It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got
out of his chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him;
knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold.

The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently.
The other students were shocked and stunned, and sat there
looking on in silence. The professor eventually came to,
noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked,
“What in the world is the matter with you? Why did you do that?”

The Marine calmly replied,
“GOD was too busy today protecting America ‘s
soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid
stuff and act like an idiot. So He sent me.”

The classroom erupted in cheers!

Moral: if you don’t know God, don’t make stupid remarks.

OORAH! God bless our soldiers. Especially the Marines!

Thanks to Mama Raptor for forwarding this to me.

Happy Late Birthday USCG!

Cannot Believe I forgot about this!

On August 4th, 1790, the United States Coast Guard was founded by Alexander Hamilton. The brave men and women who honorably serve in the Guard have been protecting our coast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year ever since.

It’s easy to overlook the Coast Guard, and the other branches of the Armed Forces often crack jokes about it, but no one ever laughs when they’re in the water and the only thing between them and certain death are the men and women in the white and orange ship or chopper that’s racing towards them.

And a little known fact about the Guard, but it’s actually seen combat before. Coast Guardsmen piloted the landing craft at Normandy, Iwo Jima, and Guam, among other places. Sure, the Amry and Marines might have taken the beaches, but the Guard put them there. Don’t believe me? Ask the Marines.

To all of the men and women who have served or are serving in the United States Coast Guard, words cannot express my gratitude. Thank you for protecting our coastlines and our waters, and for coming to rescue those in desperate need even at the cost of your own lives. I salute you all.