Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

May 31, 2010
Colorado, USA



In Our Youth Our Hearts Were Touched With Fire

May 31, 2010
Colorado, USA

The following is an excerpt from a Memorial Day speech by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. It was delivered at a Grand Army of the Republic post in Keene, NH on May 30, 1884. Holmes was a Civil War veteran and a Supreme Court Justice. He served three years with the 20th Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, going in as a LT, coming out as a brevet Lt. Col. Justice Holmes was wounded several times -- at Antietam, Fredericksburg, and elsewhere. This speech is famous for its "in our youth our hearts were touched with fire" phrase.

"Comrades, some of the associations of this day are not only triumphant, but joyful. Not all of those with whom we once stood shoulder to shoulder--not all of those whom we once loved and revered--are gone. On this day we still meet our companions in the freezing winter bivouacs and in those dreadful summer marches where every faculty of the soul seemed to depart one after another, leaving only a dumb animal power to set the teeth and to persist-- a blind belief that somewhere and at last there was bread and water. On this day, at least, we still meet and rejoice in the closest tie which is possible between men-- a tie which suffering has made indissoluble for better, for worse.

When we meet thus, when we do honor to the dead in terms that must sometimes embrace the living, we do not deceive ourselves. We attribute no special merit to a man for having served when all were serving. We know that, if the armies of our war did anything worth remembering, the credit belongs not mainly to the individuals who did it, but to average human nature. We also know very well that we cannot live in associations with the past alone, and we admit that, if we would be worthy of the past, we must find new fields for action or thought, and make for ourselves new careers.

But, nevertheless, the generation that carried on the war has been set apart by its experience. Through our great good fortune, in our youth our hearts were touched with fire. It was given to us to learn at the outset that life is a profound and passionate thing. While we are permitted to scorn nothing but indifference, and do not pretend to undervalue the worldly rewards of ambition, we have seen with our own eyes, beyond and above the gold fields, the snowy heights of honor, and it is for us to bear the report to those who come after us. But, above all, we have learned that whether a man accepts from Fortune her spade, and will look downward and dig, or from Aspiration her axe and cord, and will scale the ice, the one and only success which it is his to command is to bring to his work a mighty heart.

Such hearts--ah me, how many!--were stilled twenty years ago; and to us who remain behind is left this day of memories. Every year--in the full tide of spring, at the height of the symphony of flowers and love and life--there comes a pause, and through the silence we hear the lonely pipe of death. Year after year lovers wandering under the apple trees and through the clover and deep grass are surprised with sudden tears as they see black veiled figures stealing through the morning to a soldier's grave. Year after year the comrades of the dead follow, with public honor, procession and commemorative flags and funeral march--honor and grief from us who stand almost alone, and have seen the best and noblest of our generation pass away.

But grief is not the end of all. I seem to hear the funeral march become a paean. I see beyond the forest the moving banners of a hidden column. Our dead brothers still live for us, and bid us think of life, not death--of life to which in their youth they lent the passion and joy of the spring. As I listen , the great chorus of life and joy begins again, and amid the awful orchestra of seen and unseen powers and destinies of good and evil our trumpets sound once more a note of daring, hope, and will."

Source: In Our Youth Our Hearts Were Touched With Fire, An address delivered for Memorial Day, May 30, 1884, at Keene, NH, before John Sedgwick Post No. 4, Grand Army of the Republic.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day is tomorrow - remember why we set this day aside

May 30, 2010
Colorado USA

Watch the following video and remember why we are able to celebrate Memorial Day with picnics and lake trips and motorcycle rides across the USA. Remember and find some gratitude in your heart for those who serve our country and the call of freedom. (Yes,it is a Veterans Day speech but the message is the same - remember with respect.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

The President needs to pick a side

May 21, 2010
Colorado, USA

Dissident Daighter May 19, 2010 at the White House our President made a poor showing of leadership by allowing a foreign dignitary to openly trash the policies of one of this country's states and by intentionally misrepresenting the Arizona Illegal Immigration Law again.

It is perfectly clear: THE ARIZONA ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION LAW IS MODELED UPON THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SEVENTY YEAR OLD FEDERAL IMMIGRATION STATUTE which our President even now fails to enforce. RE: The Constitution - he [President] shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.

Obama, claiming to understand the frustrations of the people of Arizona, while stroking the over-inflated ego of the President of Mexico once again characterized the law as “misdirected”, and outright lied about the law’s intention -- again.

Obama -- We’re examining any implications especially for civil rights because in the United States of America, no law abiding person — be they an American citizen, illegal immigrant, or a visitor or tourist from Mexico — should ever be subject to suspicion simply because of what they look like.

Not only did he disrespect the state of Arizona and its citizenry, our spineless President stood politely by while Mexican President Filipe Calderon demanded that his people (you know those Mexican-Millions who are in the USA ILLEGALLY) not be forced to live in the shadow of American discrimination! No problem -- just take them home with you Filipe.

And get this! Congress gave Calderon a standing ovation! What!

Calderon -- with such laws as the Arizona law, which is forcing our people to face discrimination.

FYI: The Illegal Immigration Law (Federal or State) does not discriminate - it does not matter what ethnicity a person is - if that person (Asian, African, Mexican, Cuban, British, Scottish, Irish, etc...) is in this country without having gone through the proper channels - that person is here ILLEGALLY. If that person is here illegally then that person is intentionally disrespecting this country by disobeying the law of the land. If such is the case - that person should be discriminated against (to the full extent of the law) as well as any legal citizen or business or employer who promotes such unlawfulness.

LEGAL, ILLEGAL - there is no gray area here - it either is or is not. A person either is or is not - here - legally.

First of all, only the most dim-witted of people still believe the Arizona law authorizes racial profiling or targets specifically Hispanics or violates the civil rights of any individual, legal or illegal.

Second, if the President has read the Arizona law and is intentionally misrepresenting it to the people of the United States as well as the leaders of the world - that is a huge problem. I repeat -- the Arizona Law is modeled on Federal Law - does the President believe that Federal Law (a seventy year old statute, mind you) is discriminatory as well?

Third, if the President, like many people in his administration, has not read the ten page law and is engaging in uninformed speculative speech that damages the country in the eyes of its people and the world - that is an even bigger problem.

Either way - it's an out and out falsehood being perpetrated by the President against his own country and his own people.

I really could care less what Mexico, China or any other country thinks about Arizona or Arizona's laws. Qyite frankly, it is none of their business. I resent the President catering to the elitist snobs of other countries by apologizing for our country.


What the hell is going on here?

The President needs to pick a side. He either needs to support and defend this country - all of it - all of the time and the legal people of this country - all of them - all of the time and the laws of the land - all of the laws - all of the time or he needs to pack a bag and exit along with Calderon and his Mexican-Millions.

Yours in truth and light -- DD

WELL SAID! Response to President Calderon - Rep Tom McClintock (CA)

Source: Red, Obama and Calderon Trash Arizona State of Arizona, Senate Bill 1070 aka Arizona immigration Law

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Armed Forces Day

May 15, 2010
Colorado USA

I received this in an email yesterday and thought it fitting to share on Armed Forces Day. Please take a moment to spare a quiet thought of appreciation for our military and their families and friends. Fly the flag. Wear a flag on your lapel. And if you see a vet or a soldier today - give a nod, tip a hat, shake a hand. And teach your children respect for our armed forces. Explain why this is an important day.


Flag of Flowers Aerial photo courtesy of Bill Morson

Between the fields where the flag is planted, there are 9+ miles of flower fields that go all the way to the ocean. The flowers are grown by seed companies. It's a beautiful place, close to Vandenberg AFB. Check out the dimensions of the flag. The Floral Flag is 740 feet long and 390 feet wide and maintains the proper Flag dimensions, as described in Executive Order #10834. This Flag is 6.65 acres and is the first Floral Flag to be planted with 5 pointed Stars, comprised of White Larkspur. Each Star is 24 feet in diameter; each Stripe is 30 feet wide. This Flag is estimated to contain more than 400,000 Larkspur plants, with 4-5 flower stems each, for a total of more than 2 million flowers.

FYI: In the United States, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. It falls near the end of Armed Forces Week, which begins on the second Saturday of May and ends on the third Sunday of May. The day was created in 1949 to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches – the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard – following the consolidation of the military services in the Department of Defense.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Respect is not an entitlement

May 14, 2010
Colorado, USA

Charlie McMurtry, Archer City TX

Respect should be earned

I feel compelled to respond to Ms. Watson’s article of May 9 regarding the office of the President deserving respect. An implication is that Mr. Obama is also deserving of respect simply because he occupies that office. If I’m correct in that reading, I strongly disagree with her on that point. I argue that the office of the President of the United States warrants respect all right, but I believe that the individual in that office must earn the people’s respect. In my life, I have been in two positions, “offices” if you will, that warranted respect, one as a supervisor of men and the other as an educator. I’m not suggesting either position was nearly as important as the president of our country, because they were not. Even though each position warranted respect, I had to earn my co-workers’ respect in the former and my students’ respect in the latter. That respect was not an entitlement of either position, and I do not believe that Mr. Obama is entitled to our respect just because he is the president.

Ms. Watson asks why don’t the American people demand that everyone support and show respect to Mr. Obama as they have done in the past with some former presidents? I find it difficult to have respect for a man who travels the world apologizing for America’s behavior when we are, and have been, a country of freedoms, a country that time and again comes to the aid of other countries, and a country of opportunities for all our citizens for the duration of our existence. I have difficulty with his administration’s encroachment into the private sector of business against the majority’s desires. I have difficulty with his arrogance, his backroom deals, and this list could go on and on. If I were working for a company run by such a man, he would not have my respect either, and I would quit, so it is not about Obama. It is about people earning other people’s respect or they don’t; respect for the individual is not an entitlement of the position.

Source: Times Record News Letters to the Editor May 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Intellectual freedom - a distraction?

May 13, 2010
Colorado, USA

Dissident Daughter Information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment - WHAT!!! (scratching my head, stomping the floor, tempted to throw the remote at the TV where I first heard the "distraction" comment)

I repeat - WHAT!!!

President Obama told graduates at Hampton University recently that in the virtually unlimited access 24/7 multi-media of today's definitely tuned-in environment, information has become a distraction that is putting undue pressure on Americans and the country.

Interjection: Uh - I have to argue that a severe LACK of information (oh let's use the term NON-EXISTENT GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY) is likely the bigger culprit.

Obama said:
[snip]'re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't rank all that high on the truth meter. With iPods and iPads; Xboxes and PlayStations; none of which I know how to work, information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment. All of this is not only putting new pressures on you; it is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy.

Interjecting here: Last time I checked, my iPod only gives back what I put into it. I can safely say I am not getting subliminal information from the little stinker that I did not plan on getting from it. Better yet, I am not wearing a tin foil hat. I get mostly Clapton and whatever audio book I recently downloaded. I know XB and PS have lots of new features but are most gamers actually surfing for information via that medium as opposed to using their computers or phones? Nah - I think they are totally engaged in kill and be killed games.

It is rather odd to hear the President who fought so hard for his Blackberry to: 1) feign ignorance of how such things like iPods and iPads work and 2) condemn the plethora of information that may be accessed from multi-media devices and call it unhealthy for America. It is a given though - there is a good bit of "factual" information circulating out there in both audio and video format that politicians, including Obama, would rather not have subjected to the people's "truth meter".

Obama continued:
[snip] It's a period of breathtaking change, like few others in our history. We can't stop these changes, but we can adapt to them.

'Nother interjection: We CAN STOP CHANGE that is not healthy for this country or the freedom of the people - it is called the VOTE.

[snip] With so many voices clamoring for attention on blogs, on cable, on talk radio, it can be difficult, at times, to sift through it all; to know what to believe; to figure out who's telling the truth and who's not. Let's face it, even some of the craziest claims can quickly gain traction. I've had some experience with that myself.

Interjection: For certain, the President, the Speaker, almost the entire administration, not to mention those rascally purveyors of deceit in Congress have had a little difficulty with the readings on the "truth meter". For clarification see: Conservative Blogs, Fox News and Talk Radio (you know I tune in just to see or hear the liberal reaction when someone utters the four-letter word -- Beck, Beck, Beck, Beck, Beck...)

Obama continues:
[snip] What Jefferson recognized, like the rest of that gifted generation, was that in the long run, their improbable experiment - America - wouldn't work if its citizens were uninformed, if its citizens were apathetic, if its citizens checked out, and left democracy to those who didn't have their best interests at heart. It could only work if each of us stayed informed and engaged; if we held our government accountable; if we fulfilled the obligations of citizenship.

The success of their experiment, they understood, depended on the participation of its people - the participation of Americans like all of you. The participation of all those who've ever sought to perfect our union.

Interjection: WOW! Those last two paragraphs had to have hurt to say -- Did you hear that Tea Party Patriots? It is your duty to stay informed, engaged, and to hold the government accountable. The President, surprisingly enough, quoted Thomas Jefferson (who I am certain did a donut in his grave) during the speech: If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, Jefferson wrote, it expects what never was and never will be.

Is it me or are we getting mixed messages here? Are we getting too much information or not enough information or are we not getting the purified, homogenized, white-washed (oops! is that racist?) liberally-filtered information this administration would prefer we have?

All is good... stroke... all is well... stroke... we have everything and everyone under control... don't bother your silly little head with all those tiresome details... stroke... or the truth... stroke... stroke... stroke...

I don't know, it could just be me - but it sounds like the President does not trust college graduates or even regular ol' hard-working, multi-media-loving Americans to disseminate the information we actively pursue and absorb. It sounds like the President does not believe we can tell the difference between truth and fiction. It sounds like the President does not believe that his slyly contrived rhetoric can pass the "truth meter" test unless all other information from specifically targeted sources is called into question. It sounds like the President would like to control access to information (at least some information). Beck, Beck, Beck, Beck, Beck...

It sounds like intellectual freedom is under attack. My personal opinion on the matter is: IT IS. If this administration cannot control what you say, they will control the means and ultimately the venues utilized to say it. If this administration cannot control what you read, watch or listen to, they will seek to banish those sources of information by whatever means necessary.

Again -- If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be.
-- Thomas Jefferson

Duly noted Mr President -- knowledge, truth, information -- for all people -- real knowledge, unbridled truth and unlimited access to information and ideas is the path to freedom. Americans should demand nothing less.

Intellectual freedom is: the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular or (and here's the obama-bugga-boo) conspiratorial.

Just for the record: I maintain the right to choose for myself the information that empowers me.

I will leave you with a few wise words:

We must speak and debate openly and independently, without fear of rebuke from the government, if we are to maintain the exchange of ideas that supports intelligent voting, legislation, good government and ultimately, freedom. And the point of this government is in turn to protect our right to those very debates that support such exchange of ideas; they are the essence of liberty and the project of the American democracy. -- Judge Andrew Napolitano, A Nation of Sheep
The video

Source: Fox, President Obama Bemoans Modern Technology in a Commencement Speech Big, Obama to Grads: A Little iPod Is a Dangerous Thing Washington (full text of the speech), Obama to Grads: A Little iPod Is a Dangerous Thing The White, Remarks by the President at Hampton University Commencement

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How do you spell hypocrite? o-b-a-m-a

May 12, 2010
Colorado, USA

hyp·o·crite - [hip-uh-krit]
1.a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs. 2.a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

Dissident Daughter I know I am not the only person heartily annoyed by yet another hypocritical statement made by the President. Worse, I heard a snippet from a speech and it took me all of two seconds for a direct rebuttal to come to mind. I did not have to research it. I simply went to The White, looked at Obama's recent speeches and voila!

Speaking to graduates in Hampton, Virginia Obama said:
[snip] So, allowing you to compete in the global economy is the first way your education can prepare you. But it can also prepare you as citizens. With so many voices clamoring for attention on blogs, on cable, on talk radio, it can be difficult, at times, to sift through it all; to know what to believe; to figure out who's telling the truth and who's not. Let's face it, even some of the craziest claims can quickly gain traction. I've had some experience with that myself.

Speaking to a crowd in Ottumwa, Iowa (commenting on the recent illegal immigration law enacted in Arizona) Obama said:
[snip] ...this law that just passed in Arizona -- which I think is a poorly conceived law -- (applause) -- you can try to make it really tough on people who look like they, “might be illegal immigrants.” One of the things that the law says is local officials are allowed to ask somebody who they have a suspicion might be an illegal immigrant for their papers. But you can imagine, if you are a Hispanic American in Arizona -- your great-grandparents may have been there before Arizona was even a state. But now, suddenly, if you don’t have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you’re going to be harassed. That’s something that could potentially happen. That’s not the right way to go.

Agreed. The craziest claims can gain quick traction. The President blatantly and knowingly misrepresented the facts about the immigration law in Arizona. He intentionally distorted the facts. He talks about a truth meter in his speech to graduates on one day... and then pegs that meter when he spouts an untruth on another day.

FYI: The law which was misrepresented SB 1070 requires state and local police to determine the status of people if there is reasonable suspicion that they are illegal immigrants aliens. It orders law enforcement to arrest people who are unable to provide documentation proving they are in the country legally.

The law is similar to laws on the books in many states allowing law enforcement to ask any citizen (legal or not) for car registration, license and insurance documents during a routine traffic stop. (Granted, the penalty for being in this country illegally is somewhat stiffer than driving without insurance.) The law in most states allows any law enforcement official to demand your identification if you are disrupting the peace. Law enforcement can pull you over if they suspect you may be driving under the influence and once again, they can demand your identification. Even the liquor store clerk is required to ask for identification. Asking for identification is not a sign of prejudice -- it is asking for compliance with our laws. Just because one is of some ethnicity other than caucasian does not exempt one from complying with the law. If you are Irish or Swedish or Whateverish and your behavior is suspect, you better have ID buddy. Providing identification is a necessary evil in the USA... I do not like it sometimes but if you have ID, providing it to law enforcement officials should not be a problem. Should it? If you do not have it -- well, that is the gist of the problem, isn't it?

I, for one can appreciate this type of law as I was involved in a hit and run accident many years ago. I was hit by an illegal Mexican immigrant alien, driving a stolen vehicle. He escaped, disappeared and never faced the consequences of his actions. I want law enforcement to aggressively engage people breaking the law. Yes, I want law enforcement to take a hard look at anyone looking or acting suspicious in the ice cream store. The Arizona law does not allow law enforcement to accost people who are not breaking the law, although I might add, that if you are here illegally - you are breaking the law of the land. I do not care how long you have been here or how many generations of your family have been here. If you are not here legally - I repeat - you are breaking the law. Duh. There is a pathway to citizenship - stop whining and get busy with that.

But, I digress:

Reminder - his words - not mine: it can be difficult, at times, to sift through it all; to know what to believe; to figure out who's telling the truth and who's not. Let's face it, even some of the craziest claims can quickly gain traction. I've had some experience with that myself.

Do we really want to play the who told the biggest lies game? If you do - here's a good starting point. Obama Lies Directory

Engaging in truth talk - is an excellent, although from a political viewpoint somewhat novel idea. How about we start with that working from the top down?

The White, Remarks by the President at Ottumwa, Iowa Town Hall

The White, Remarks by the President at Hampton University Commencement