Generation Brat: Melania Trump Addresses Baltimore Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness…”Yutes” Try to Shout Her Down By Booing

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WBAL.com reports that

Melania Trump on Tuesday defended the rights of teenagers who booed her when she addressed them in Baltimore, a city her husband, President Donald Trump, has disparaged as “rat and rodent infested.”She traveled there to urge hundreds of middle and high school students to avoid misusing drugs, saying that would make it harder for them to achieve their life’s goals. But her remarks drew a mix of boos and cheers, and the audience remained noisy throughout her five-minute address.

It is highly unusual for a first lady to be booed at a public appearance. Mrs. Trump released a statement hours after she had returned to the White House, defending the principle of freedom of expression while reaffirming her commitment to the issue that drew her to Baltimore.

“We live in a democracy and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the fact is we have a serious crisis in our country and I remain committed to educating children on the dangers and deadly consequences of drug abuse,” Mrs. Trump said.

The first lady has been using her prominence to spotlight programs she thinks can help young people, whether it’s to teach them to be positive online or to avoid drug misuse and addiction.

She went to Maryland to address the Baltimore Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness, appearing on behalf of her “Be Best” youth campaign, which includes a focus on the U.S. epidemic of opioid misuse.

Students simultaneously booed and cheered her introduction.

When the audience remained rowdy after she began to speak, she interrupted her remarks to say, “Hello, everyone,” before continuing.

The first lady said she wants to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic and help educate young people about living drug free.

“I am in this fight with you, and I am fighting for you,” she said, and urged anyone struggling with addiction to ask someone for help.

“I know each one of you has hopes and dreams for the future, whether it is college, joining the military, or playing a sport. Your future will be determined by the choices you make,” Mrs. Trump said. “Using drugs will only slow you down and prevent you from achieving those goals.”

Last night, as I was running down to the local Chinese Restaurant for some Chicken Fried Rice and Sween and Sour Chicken to bring back home to my bride, I heard on the car radio about what happened to our beautiful, classy First Lady.

It was then that I realized that something has been sticking in my craw lately. Maybe I’m just getting old.

HEY YOU KIDS…GET OFF OF MY LAWN!

Anyway, one of the things that is currently troubling me, is this unpleasant fact:

This current generation are a bunch of self-centered brats.

It’s not just the J.R. Ewing kind of selfishness, otherwise known as a thirst for money and power. It’s different than that. It’s more along the lines of adults, who have never grown up.

It is pervasive throughout American Society. It is taught in our homes, by parents who, wanting the best for their children, teach them, from the time that they are old enough to understand, to look out for number one. Then, these little darlings go to school, where they’re taught that morals, values, and ethics are situational things, and that they owe neither allegiance nor respect to no one, neither God nor Country.

This didn’t happen when I was school age. In Elementary school, we prayed every morning, sang “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning”, and said the Pledge of Allegiance, with our hands solemnly over our hearts.

In fact, by the time we were school age, our parents had already taught us to say “Yes, ma’am” and “No, ma’am” and “Yes, sir” and “No, sir”. If we didn’t, we were disciplined. To this day, the back of my legs faintly read “4…5…6” from my Mother’s yardstick.

Nowadays, in schools across the country, young boys and girls disrespect their teachers, rolling their eyes at them, and back-talking them. When the staff tries to discipline them, the parents come up to the school and chew them out for treating their little darlings so badly.

The young adults in this country, who were raised in such an ego-swelling, egocentric, lax environment, seem to be having trouble comprehending why they should give a..err..hoot ‘n holler about how their behavior effects those around them.

I, being the old fa…fogey that I am, am always attempting to explain to them that no man is a island. There are consequences for your actions, and, those consequences affect more than just you.

On May 18, 1800, Reverend Joseph McKeen, Pastor of the First Church of Beverly, gave a timeless warning, in a sermon given to the House of Representatives and the Senate of the State of Massachusetts…

Good example acts with the greater effect, because it reproves without upbraiding, and teaches us to correct our faults without giving us the mortification of knowing that any but ourselves, have ever observed them. We feel the force of counsel or persuasion much more sensibly, when we see that one does what he advises or requires us to do. But the best counsel from one, who obeys not his own precepts, nor practices upon the principles of his own advice, will generally be little regarded. We do not believe a man to be in earnest, who advises one thing, and does the contrary.

To resist the progress of irreligion, injustice, luxury, selfishness, and an impatience of legal restraint, is a duty imposed by patriotism.

…The love of liberty we inherit from our fathers; it is so “interwoven with the ligaments of our hearts”, that there can be little doubt of our enjoying it, and little danger of its being wrested from us so long as we are capable and worthy of it. But a capacity for enjoying it depends on a sound and healthful state of the body politic.

The more freedom we have, the more necessary is the aid of religious and moral principles to the maintenance of order and tranquility. When these are lost, or very much relaxed, severe restraints, which cannot always admit of those legal forms, that are essential to the security of liberty, become necessary; yet the people may retain a love of liberty, or rather an impatience of restraint, as the sensualist retains a passion for pleasure, after his constitution is so much impaired by excess, that indulgence would be fatal to him. Liberty, like the pleasures of sense, must be enjoyed with temperance and moderation, lest degenerating into licentiousness it prove destructive. There are none, it may be presumed, who will openly avow that political liberty is, or ought to be, a license for every one to do what is right in his own eyes; yet where the love of liberty is strong, and its nature not distinctly understood, there is too often a disposition to look with an indulgent eye on licentiousness, as only the extreme of a good thing, and therefore pardonable. But the difference between them is greater than some imagine: They are indeed so different, as to be incompatible in society. When one has an excess of liberty, he invades the rights of his neighbor, who is thereby deprived of a portion of the liberty which a free constitution promises him. Liberty in that case becomes exclusively the possession of the strong, the unprincipled, the artful, who makes a prey of the innocent, weak and unsuspicious. A state of things like this is a real despotism, and of the worst kind. It is a poor consolation to the plundered, abused sufferer to be told, that he must not complain; for his oppressor is not an hereditary monarch, acting by a pretended divine right, but only a fellow citizen, acting in the name of “liberty and equality”.

I believe that a lot of this selfishness, rudeness, and out of control behavior we see around us in Today’s America comes from a generation not “being trained in the way that they should go”. Without strong role models, Christian, Jewish, or otherwise, children have no one to model themselves after. If the parents are selfish themselves, or, enablers, guess what their precious little darling is going to turn out to be?

The precious little darlings of the last few decades, who were raised to be selfish, are now selfish adults.

Unfortunately, selfish children tend to grow up to embrace a like-minded political ideology. And, then, they vote for those politicians who offer money for nothing and all the free stuff their hearts desire.

In other words, they vote for the Democrats.

God Save the Union.

Until He Comes,

KJ

The Day After: The NFL Vs. America…”All This For A Flag”…A KJ Analysis

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It is the night of September 13, 1814.  The British fleet are bombarding Fort McHenry in the harbor at Baltimore, Maryland. Francis Scott Key, a 34-year old lawyer-poet, is watching the attack from the deck of a British prisoner-exchange ship. Key had gone seeking the release of a friend. They were told that they had to remain aboard the vessel until the end of the attack. When the battle was over, the following morning, Key had his telescope on the fort and saw the American flag was still waving. The sight of the tattered Stars and Stripes was so moving that he pulled a letter from his pocket and began to write the poem. This poem eventually became the national anthem of the United States – “The Star Spangled Banner”.

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight’
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

It does, sir. Regardless of a the actions of an ungrateful millionaires.

Speaking of the National Football League, Foxnews.com reports that

A defiant President Trump said Sunday afternoon that the outrage over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem “has nothing to do with race,” but rather is about “respect for our country.” 
 
Speaking on the tarmac in New Jersey before boarding Air Force One, Trump doubled down on his comments about the NFL and its players.

“This has nothing to do with race. I never said anything about race,” Trump said. “This has to do with respect for our country and respect for our flag.”

When asked if players who kneeled today should be fired as he suggested earlier, the president said, “I think the owners should do something about it. It’s very disrespectful to our flag and our country.”

Trump, however, noted that he “watched a little bit” of Sunday’s football games, and said, “there was tremendous solidarity for our flag and for our country.”

Top Trump administration officials defended the president’s comments over the weekend.

“I think what the president is saying is that the owners should have a rule that players should have to stand in respect for the national anthem,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told ABC News’ “This Week.” “This isn’t about Democrats. It’s not about Republicans. It’s not about race. It’s not about free speech. They can do free speech on their own time.”

Trump touched off a firestorm Friday night at a political rally in Alabama when he said: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now.'”

NFL owners and league Commissioner Roger Goodell were among the first to disagree with Trump’s remarks.

But by Sunday, the overwhelming response by players was of full display, with many kneeling or locking arms during the playing of the anthem. Three teams chose to stay in their locker rooms.

On “Fox News Sunday,” Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, argued that players indeed have a First Amendment right to kneel, “but NFL owners also have the right to fire those players.”

And he said he didn’t think Trump had “re-opened racial wounds.”

Short also appeared to defend Trump for tweeting Saturday that he’d rescinded Golden State Warrior Stephen Curry’s invitation to a White House event honoring his team’s 2017 NBA championship, after Curry suggested a day earlier that he wouldn’t go.

“He’s the one who injected politics into the invitation to come to the White House,” Short said. “That is what the president is reacting to. The president said fine, don’t come.”

Short and Mnuchin each seemed to try to frame the issue as something larger than Trump’s views.

Short argued that high school coaches across the country are getting punished for leading their players in prayer. 

“This is about respect for the military and first-responders in the country,” Mnuchin argued.

So where does this disrespect for Old Glory come from?

It starts at the top.

Let’s go back to 9/13/11, 2 days after America solemnly remembered the 10th anniversary of the worst attack ever on American soil by Islamic Terrorists.  James Robbins wrote the following story for The Washington Times, in which he illuminated a whispered conversation between the President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, and First Lady, Michelle Obama:

The internet was buzzing this week with video of First Lady Michelle Obama apparently showing extreme disrespect to the American flag at a ceremony in honor of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. As police and firefighters fold the flag to the sound of marching bagpipers, a skeptical looking Mrs. Obama leans to her husband and appears to say, “all this just for a flag.” She then purses her lips and shakes her head slightly as Mr. Obama nods.

And, it filters to the home.

Back in the 60s, President Lyndon Johnson (whose big hand I once shook, at his ranch, as a little boy, after his presidential term) and the Democrats, brought forth a plan, called “the Great Society”. It was decided, in order to ensure that everyone would have an equal opportunity in America, that Uncle Sugar would step in to fill in the gaps.

Two seminal pieces of legislation were passed.

First, the Civil Rights Bill that JFK promised to sign, before his assassination, was passed into law. This Act banned discrimination based on race and gender in employment and ending segregation in all public facilities.

It also helped to cement in stone, minorities’ loyalty to the Democratic Party, which continues to this day.

The second bill that LBJ signed into law was the sweeping ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ACT OF 1964. It created the Office of Economic Opportunity whose stated purpose was to attack the roots of American poverty. A Job Corps was then established to provide vocational training.

A preschool program designed to help disadvantaged students arrive at kindergarten ready to learn, named HEADSTART, was then established. Then came VOLUNTEERS IN SERVICE TO AMERICA (VISTA), which was set up as a domestic Peace Corps. Schools in impoverished American regions would now receive volunteer teaching attention. Federal funds were sent to struggling communities to attack unemployment and illiteracy.

What Johnson told Americans, as he campaigned in 1964, was that the establishment of this “Great Society” was going to eliminate the problems of America’s poor.

It had the opposite effect

The Great Society created a dependent class, which, instead of diminishing as it’s members joined the workforce, increased from generation to generation, relying on the federal government to provide their every need.

Uncle Sugar became Mother, Father, Preacher, and Doctor to generations of Americans. This “plantation mentality” continues to this day.

A few years ago, I worked at our county’s State Employment Center Office.

While at the Employment Office, I was able to observe Americans, both Black and White, down on their luck, struggling to find work and survive in this economy. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of “unemployed ” who came to this particular office were Black.

I saw Black American Families whose existence living on the Government Dole, had become generational.

It is these people whom Obama and the Democrats have hypnotized into believing that Uncle Sugar loves them, and is their only solution to surviving a stifling existence.

They are so, so wrong.

The strength and vitality of America does not come from the benevolence of a Nanny-state Federal Government.

As the greatest American President of my lifetime, Ronald Reagan said:

The nine words you never want to hear are: I’m from the Government and I’m here to help.

Being enslaved to the Government Dole steals one’s ambition. It takes away any impetus or desire to create a better life for yourself and your family, to challenge yourself to pick yourself up by your bootstraps and pursue the American Dream. It makes you reliant on a politically motivated spider’s web full of government bureaucrats who view you and your family as job security.

I watched American citizens trapped in this web of government bureaucracy, so numbed of any initiative that they once had, that they seemed offended that they actually had to prove that they inquired about three jobs that week in order to keep their “benefits”. Others seemed puzzled that they had to search through the state data base and pick out a job that they wanted to talk to an interviewer about receiving a referral to, and weren’t just simply handed a job when they walked through the door.

Instead of moving forward, by exercising the self-reliance that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached so well, these people I saw, were content on being “taken care of” by Uncle Sugar, as if being held down by their own poor, miserable circumstance, was a good thing.

I am sure that it would have offended you, Dr. King, to hear the tenants of Marxism, i.e., “sharing the wealth” and Class Envy, being “preached” to the same Black Americans whom you tried so mightily to raise up and inspire.

For the past several years, the results of LBJ’s “Great Society” have been the lead story in every television newscast, on every newspaper front page, and on every internet news/political website.

Dr King, I am sorry to tell you that racism and injustice is still going on in America. Unfortunately, it will not end any time soon, There are too many race-baiters profiting off of it.

Including, a Former President of the United States.

President Barack Hussein Obama is as responsible for what happened in Ferguson, New York, Baltimore, and what is still happening in cities like St. Louis, on college Campuses, and within football stadiums across America,  as any thug wannabe or “disenfranchised” millionaire taking an ungrateful knee.

However, he is not alone in his responsibility.

Also responsible are the black political leaders, who make their living and get their 15 minutes of fame by exacerbating racially divided situations. Their silence speaks volumes.

For example, by the Mayor of Baltimore, purposely giving carte blanche to the rioters to destroy her city by ordering the police to stand down, she, like the Roman Emperor Nero, lit the match that set her kingdom ablaze.

If Black Lives truly do matter, as Former NFL Player Burgess Owens said on Fox & Friends yesterday morning, it is the black community who are going to have to save themselves.

Let me tell you about our responsibility is, and every generation has done this throughout the history of our country, is to give our kids more hope than we had. My parents’ generation, my grandparents’ generation succeeded [in sowing hope]. That’s how they fought racism.

We have the greatest country and the most freedom today, and we have more people, particularly black Americans, who have less hope and that’s because they have very successful men telling them that they can do it but that black Americans can’t do it.

It’s really time for us to stand up as men and say: ‘Listen guys, this country gives us everything we want and if I did it, you can do it too.’ And stop the whole thing…if you wanna have demonstrations, demonstrate someplace else, but not against our flag that gives us the freedom to be the greatest people in the history of mankind.

With a nationwide illegitimate birth rate of 74%, black Americans, with help from Uncle Sugar, have succeeded in tearing apart the very thing that kept them safe and strong for decades: the Black Family Unit.

Until that Sacred Foundation, which taught individual responsibility to generations of black Americans, is restored, the violence and disrespect for others will continue.

I remember, as a 9-year-old in Memphis, Tennessee, watching my parents’ black and white television as the National Guard was called into action on the night that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.

I remember after that Civil Defense Announcement that President Lyndon Johnson come on national television to make the announcement of Dr. King’s death. I remember a feeling of helplessness and of fear, as a nine-year-old, that I had not felt before.

It wasn’t just the fact that we were living in Midtown Memphis, that made me afraid.

It wasn’t just the fact of the out-of-control violence itself, that caused my consternation.

It was watching my beloved Hometown on the verge of going up in flames.

And now, 48  years later, Memphis is the #2 Most Dangerous City in America, as ranked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and has borne witness to 145 homicides so far this year, the overwhelming majority of which were black Memphians killing one another.

Words can hurt or words can heal.

A President who was supposed to bridge the Racial Divide in this nation…instead, widened it.

And, with every divisive word he and the political activists whom he championed spoke, the chasm of Racial Divisiveness, which has created a gaping hole in the fabric of American Society, grew wider.

Words mean things.

The part of Dr. King’s magnificent speech about “the content of their character” has been purposefully ignored by the professional race-baiters, assorted politicians (but, I repeat myself), and now, “disenfranchised” Millionaire professional athletes, who seek to blame the country which gives them the freedom to earn exorbitant amounts of money for playing a game while dishonoring a symbol of our nation which brave American Men and Women have fought and died for.

Dr. King, your call for self-reliance has apparently fallen on deaf ears of some of those who have the financial means to help their blighted neighborhoods and the young people roaming their streets.

So, how can we expect these young people to respect OUR FLAG, when they have no respect for THEMSELVES?

To those of you read this today, who somehow believe that dishonoring OUR FLAG, makes you more enlightened than the rest of us, and it is your “right”, okay.

However, it is my right, as the son of an American Soldier, who stepped off a perfectly good boat, in a hail of gunfire, onto Normandy Beach to protect our American Freedom, to call you out because of your disrespect of Old Glory and the sacrifices made by those who cherished our nation’s flag.

Yes, children, including the NFL Players who showed their backsides to America yesterday by dishonoring our flag and Former First Lady Michelle Obama.,,

All this for a flag.  And, for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in its service.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Jerry Lewis and the MDA Telethon: A Metaphor for Modern American Society 2015

jerry-lewisSo, here we are, September 7th, Labor Day, 2015…and there is a huge gap in today’s television programming.

In what has become a metaphor for Modern American Society, a Labor Day Tradition of almost 50 years, has been tossed aside, having been deemed to have “outlived its usefulness”, shortly following the disrespectful and dishonorable discarding of its creator.

For 45 years, American families would, while spending time together, watch the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon. The telethon would begin on Sunday Evening and continue for 21 1/2 hours, ending on Monday evening at 5:00 p.m. Central. Co-hosted in later years by Ed McMahon and Norm Crosby, stars of stage, screen, and television would appear, alongside corporate executives, all there to raise money for “Jerry’s Kids”.

And, when I say “stars”, I mean STARS.

Jerry’s good friend, Sammy Davis, Jr. would come on every year, on Monday afternoon, and do a solid 30 minutes of entertaining., usually badgering Jerry, until he would come out and do a couple of songs with him, usually ending in a tap dance “challenge”.

Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton, would come on after that and bring down the house, with several high energy numbers, wearing his huge American Eagle Belt Buckle, and “TCB” Necklace, which Elvis Presley gave him as a sign of friendship and respect.

Speaking of the King, while Elvis did not appear live every year, usually, also sometime Monday Afternoon, Ed McMahon would say,

Jerry, we just received a call from Graceland.

Which meant that Elvis. known throughout my hometown of Memphis for his great generosity, had just phoned in a huge donation.

Perhaps, one of the most poignant moments in the history of the telethon came when  the Chairman of the Board, Francis Albert Sinatra, showed up. Frank told Jerry that he had brought a friend with him and asked him to come out. That friend was Jerry’s ex-partner, Dean Martin. The two had been estranged for years. Jerry became emotional. He hugged Dino, and, when everyone became silent, he asked,

So, you been working?

4 years ago, after 45 years of magnanimous service, raising untold millions for the MDA, the 85 year old Lewis was cruelly and unceremoniously dumped. In fact, the MDA did not even have the guts to tell Jerry Lewis that they dumped him!

In 2013, before the 2012 MDA Program, showbiz411.com posted this report about the results of the 201 trimmed-down “telethon”,

The 2011 telethon, shrunk to six hours from 21, was ghastly. When it was over MDA trumpeted that they’d made $61 million– up 4 percent from the prior year when Lewis was at the helm. MDA boasted it did better without Jerry.

Alas, it wasn’t true. MDA has just posted its 2011 federal tax form 990 on its website and this tells a much different story. MDA was only able to collect $31 million of that much publicized amount. Without Jerry Lewis to cajole or persuade or inveigle, exactly half the amount came in that was promised by the public. Whether people simply reneged, or never actually pledged that amount at all, remains to be seen.

MDA will argue this happens every year: the tote board total is never what actually comes in. But in 2010, MDA crowed about $58 million at the end of the telethon with Jerry; $48 million came in. In 2009, the first telethon after the recession, the shortfall was about $15 million–$60 million announced, $45 million arrived.

For last year, MDA lists gross receipts from the first non Jerry Lewis telethon at $30,683,816. The charitable contribution portion was 18,059,876 . This left a gross income of $12,623,940.

A 50% shortfall is unprecedented. Because of it, the Form 990 shows a running $30 million loss or more in all categories stated on the MDA return from the beginning of 2011 to the end. Net assets and fund balances seem severely depleted.

And public support dropped overall, not just with the Telethon. In 2010, MDA claimed it received over $174 million in gifts and grants (including the telethon). In 2011, there was a big drop: the number was only $157 million.

Even more disturbing: revenue less expenses left MDA in the red for 2011 at $19 million.

MDA’s now deposed CEO, the man who got rid of Lewis, Gerald C. Weinberg, still pulled down his nearly $400K a year salary in 2011, which he’d been making fo years. The top staff at MDA all make decent six figure salaries as well. Weinberg and most of that staff are no longer working at MDA.

To be fair: MDA divides up the millions that do come in to dozens of worthy hospitals, universities, research programs, and facilities. The halved $61 million is still a sizeable chunk for these donation-starved groups. However: without the bad publicity and the controversy around Jerry Lewis, MDA might have been able to collect a higher percentage of pledges which would have benefited these groups even more.

Something happened at MDA in 2011 that’s never quite been explained. They committed a kind of hari-kari, taking an established brand and flushing it down the toilet. On Sunday night, the so-called remnants of the annual telethon are down to three hours. Almost everything is pre-taped except for local cut ins. The acts have no relationship to the history of the MDA.

Because it’s taped, there will be no drama to see if they can top last year. Of course, last year doesn’t really exist since the actually collected $31 million is far below the amounts from preceding years.

In 2012, the MDA Program was renamed the “MDA Show of Strength”. It was scaled down to a 3 hour program, featuring mostly pre-taped segments.

This past May, the Muscular Dystrophy Association sent out the following Press Release:

MDA, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, today announced that the new realities of television viewing and philanthropic giving have made this the right time for the organization to move beyond its historic Labor Day telethon. It will discontinue production of a broadcast telethon effective this year.

Julie Rhoad, mom of two boys with muscular dystrophy, speaks from her heart to the 2008 Telethon audience about the tough challenges faced by MDA families. Host Jerry Lewis offers emotional support.

MDA plans to invest more in digital and mobile channels for consumer engagement and activation. The organization will continue to share the inspirational stories of MDA families on Labor Day and throughout the year via digital channels as part of an emerging year-round plan to revitalize its brand, connect with donors more frequently, strengthen family support, and attract and recognize sponsors in new ways.

“The decision to end our beloved telethon was not made lightly,” said MDA President and CEO Steven M. Derks. “In the last few years, the show was adjusted to reflect changes in viewership and donor patterns, and last summer’s Ice Bucket Challenge once again affirmed for us that today’s families, donors and sponsors are looking to us for new, creative and organic ways to support our mission.”

The first telethon aired in 1956 and has attracted America’s most famous celebrities over the years, none more prominent than the legendary Jerry Lewis, who emceed the event through 2010. For decades, the telethon was instrumental in raising awareness and donations to save and improve the lives of kids and adults fighting muscular dystrophy, ALS and other life-threatening diseases that severely limit muscle strength and mobility.

Frank Sinatra orchestrated one of the most surprising and touching moments in television history when he reunited estranged partners Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis on the 1976 Telethon.

MDA will transition from the television-based telethon, most recently named the “MDA Show of Strength Telethon,” to personal shows of strength, building on its rich tradition around consumer activation and compelling stories that inspire, entertain, and most importantly, incite urgent action.

“We have ambitious plans to leverage our history, the compelling stories of our families and our record of innovation — just like we did decades ago when we introduced the telethon and cause-marketing for nonprofit organizations — as we continue to use creative ways to connect with supporters and deliver more value for our sponsors, never forgetting the families who are at the very heart of our mission,” Derks said.

After MDA gave Lewis the Fickle Finger of Fate, they continued to insist

We honor Jerry Lewis, we admire the work he’s done for us, and we respect his decision to retire.

That particular quote came from Valerie Cwik, the MDA’s interim president, at the time. She replaced Gerald Weinberg, who was reportedly behind Lewis’s ouster and who stepped down as president, after 54 years with the organization.

She made the lame argument that the changes in the telethon were part of a necessary evolution in fundraising strategy, to put less emphasis on the once-a-year event.

It has to change because the American audience has changed. A 21.5-hour show doesn’t fit in a 140-character world.

I swear, “The Smartest People in the Room”. a.k.a., Modern American Liberals, screw up everything.

Okay. I know that Lewis had a reputation as an ego-maniacal pain-in-the-rear to work with, but, these were people’s lives that the MDA was messing with. It could have, and should have, been handled differently.

However, Jerry Lewis also devoted over half his life for “his kids”, visiting them in hospitals around the nation, with no cameras around, and calling and visiting Corporate CEOs and A-List Celebrities, getting them to help him raise money for those kids and adults struck down by these debilitating Muscular Disorders.

It showed no respect whatsoever.

What happened to Jerry Lewis, seems to be happening to American Society in general.

This lack of respect seems to be an epidemic in this country. In the workplace, I have noticed that there sure does seem to be a lot of  “millennials” who have no respect whatsoever for decorum, their co-workers, or authority.

Now, I may just be a 56 year old fuddy-duddy Cracka, but I have no desire to see your brand new shoulder tattoo in the business office, ladies…nor your neck tattoo with Pookie’s name on it, young Skillet.

And, when older folks in your place of business try to tell you how the world works, kiddies, you had better listen to us. We’re trying to help.

This is real life. You’re not playing “World of Warcraft” or “Final Fantasy”. People’s families depend on their paycheck. And, when you do not “pull your weight” at your job, you affect everyone’s incomes.

As the MDA learned the hard way, the “young and culturally hip” are usually not as reliable as the “experienced and professional”.

Of course, as it always has been…some folks have to learn things the hard way.

And, that’s when they find out that they are not as smart as they think they are.

Until He Comes,

KJ

A Matter of Respect: OUR Flag, OUR Veterans, OUR Country

 

 

 

veteranflagand wheelchairI worry about the future of our country…

Fox News reports the following story…

GAINESVILLE, Fla. –  The University of Florida suspended one of its fraternities on Friday after allegations that its members hurled drunken insults and spat at a group of disabled military veterans at a Panama City Beach resort.

The school said on Friday that it is charging the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity with obscene behavior, public intoxication, theft, causing physical or other harm, and damage to property.

he suspension came after the fraternity had already suspended operations itself and expelled three of its members after finding they had behaved inappropriately.

“I am personally offended and disappointed by the behavior that has been described to me,” Dave Kratzer, the school’s student affairs vice president and retired U.S. Army major general, said in a statement.

The situation occurred while the fraternity and veterans with the Warrior Beach Retreat were at the Laketown Wharf Resort last weekend. The veterans were there for an annual retreat meant to honor their service, and the fraternity had a social function.

Linda Cope, founder of the warrior group, says the frat members were urinating on flags and verbally abusive.

“They were urinating off of balconies, vomiting off of balconies. They could see the men and women below were there with the retreat. They had on hats and shirts with logos,” Cope said.

Members of Zeta Beta Tau from the University of Florida and Emory University in Georgia were attending their spring formals at the resort. Emory officials have said they are investigating, but so far there’s no evidence to implicate their students.

About 60 veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan were also attending a retreat that has been held twice a year for the past six years at the resort. Cope started the event in honor of her son Joshua, who lost both legs in Baghdad in 2006 when a roadside bomb exploded under his Humvee.

After the incident, Cope sent a letter to University of Florida President Ken Fuchs and described students spitting on veterans, throwing beer bottles over a balcony and ripping flags off their cars.

Local police did respond, but no criminal charges were filed.

The fraternity said it expelled three of its members Friday, and that it had hired an independent investigator.

And, in a related story

Protesters at a south Georgia college waved American flags Friday in support of a military veteran issued a criminal trespass warning in a flag flap last week.

Valdosta State University found itself mired in controversy when Air Force veteran Michelle Manhart took an American flag away from a group of student protesters trampling on it. The university fueled the furor when it sided with the students, saying they had a constitutional right to trample the flag in a protest over racism.

Manhart was among the participants in the 90-minute afternoon rally, which took place after Valdosta canceled classes.

The possibility of large numbers of people rallying on the outskirts of campus prompted the university to give students and staff the day off.

“That level of traffic and that many people will disrupt a lot of things in the city,” university spokesman Andy Clark said. “We’re, from an overall safety perspective, looking to close the campus down today so they can have a peaceful rally.”

Manhart said she took action to prevent the flag from being desecrated. Her confrontation with the students was caught on video and went viral.

The trespass warning against her bans her from all university activities, including graduation and football games. She is not a student.

Manhart, who once posed for Playboy, told Fox & Friends before the rally that she hopes the school lets her back on campus.

“I hope they lift the ban because I do support the college,” she said. “I always have and I will continue to support the college. And I hope that once things calm down maybe they’ll reconsider and lift that ban off of me.”

She said the students were wrong.

“To me it’s just a complete disrespect, to not only the men and women that are out there fighting for it but their freedom as a whole,” she said. “In my opinion they don’t have any respect for what they’ve been given and I just don’t think that’s right.”

Organizers of the “Flags Over Valdosta” rally said they expected as many as 4,000 people.

I have written a lot, over the last 5 years, about the Culture War going on in our country.

These two stories involve young “millennials”, and their Liberal enablers, showing disrespect for those who have fought for their American Freedom and the symbol of our country, the greatest nation on the face of the Earth.

These young people did not, all of the sudden, wake up one day, deciding to act like a bunch of horses’ arses.

There were convinced that it was, somehow, acceptable behavior to act in a disrespectful manner toward our veterans and our flag, components of a nation, which has supplied them with a cushy life.

These ungrateful little whelps, shielded from the vicissitudes of life by doting parents and the Nanny State Federal Government of Barack Hussein Obama (mm mmm mmmm), seemingly have no cotton-pickin’ clue as to the hardships which previous generations of Americans, including American Veterans suffered, so that they can spit on them and trample our flag, while recording their own stupidity on their IPhones.

The kids aren’t completely to blame.

Absent and indulgent parents have a lot to do with their disrespectful behavior.

Yesterday afternoon, I posted, on Facebook, a story from Former White House Spokesperson Dana Perino’s new book, in which President George W. Bush went to Walter Reed to reward a medal to a war hero, who was in a comatose condition. The young man opened his eyes, prompting the President to ask that the orders bestowing the medal on the young men, be read again, as he cradled the soldier’s head in his hands. The young man passed away 6 days later.

Most of those on Facebook reacted appropriately to that touching story.

However, there were some posters on one political page, who savaged the story, calling our Former President everything but a Child of God, completely oblivious, and not caring that they were, to all of the wonderful things he has done since he left office for our Brightest and Best.

I guess my point in writing today’s blog is…

If children are not taught respect for the things that matter, God and Country, they will not have any respect for anything, or anybody, else.

I want to leave you today with a question:

When did respect and patriotism become political?

Until He Comes,

KJ

 

 

“American Sniper”: Why America Is Supporting It

American Sniper“American Sniper”, the movie about American Hero, Chris Kyle, continues to play to sold-out crowds at movie theaters across America.

According to deadline.com,

With Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s American Sniper shooting down more box office records this weekend with an updated industry projection of $61.2M, another star-studded bomb went off at the B.O. following last weekend’s Blackhat debacle: Johnny Depp’s $60M R-rated comedy Mortdecai flatlined with an estimated $1.6M on Friday at 2,648 theaters, on track for a horrendous $4.6M weekend in eighth place – far below the $10-$12M that distributor Lionsgate was expecting for the OddLot co-production. Among Depp’s wide releases, that bow is lower than his 2011 Hunter S. Thompson adaptation The Rum Diary, which posted $5.1M and was also overpriced ($45M) in relation to its final domestic cume ($13M). It’s Depp’s fourth flop domestically after Alcon/WB’s Transcendence ($100M budget, $23M domestic B.O.), The Lone Ranger ($215M budget, $89M domestic) and Rum Diary (This is outside his ensemble work in Disney’s Into the Woods which is looking to take tenth this weekend with a projected cume through Sunday of $121.29M).

In fact…

Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper is proving both a big draw and talking point in Iraq and across the Arab world, where the film opened wide yesterday. In Iraq, where much of Chris Kyle’s story takes place, the film has reflected the bitter political divisions in the country. In capital city, Baghdad, the management of Iraqi Cinemas, which operates a four screen theatre there, pulled the film ahead of its scheduled bow Jan. 22 for fear of inciting protests and violence.  In the semi-autonomous north of the country in the Kurdish cities of Irbil, Suleimaniya and Dohuk, however, American Sniper has opened strongly, second only to Liam Neeson-starrer Taken 3.  To give  a sense of the complexity of politics in the country, Iraqi Cinemas actually operates the three screen theatre in Dohuk and had no problem releasing the film there, despite its own self-imposed Baghdad ban.

“The Kurds don’t like the Baghdadis that much so they have no big problem seeing them getting shot by an American,” said one film exec who operates theaters in Iraq. “So far, the film is working well for our screens in Kurdistan.”

In Lebanon, American Sniper opened uncut and at number one with over 3100 tickets sold on its first day alone, comfortably ahead of Taken 3 and local Lebanese hit Single, Married, Divorced.  

Former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin, recently posted the following on Facebook:

God bless our troops, especially our snipers.

Hollywood leftists: while caressing shiny plastic trophies you exchange among one another while spitting on the graves of freedom fighters who allow you to do what you do, just realize the rest of America knows you’re not fit to shine Chris Kyle’s combat boots.

May the epic “American Sniper” bring nothing but blessings to Taya and the children of this true American hero.

Thank you Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood for respecting the United States Military.

– Sarah Palin

There are several reasons for the popularity of “American Sniper”.

First, there is a reason that Hollywood has having more misses than hits, in the last several years.

The Liberals who run “Hollyweird” are totally disconnected from the average American’s belief system of ethics, values, and faith.

In other words, “Truth, Justice, and the American Way”.

All of the great movies and television shows my generation watched while we were growing up, reinforced those values.

One of the movies expected to be a blockbuster a while back, “The Lone Ranger”, cast Johnny Depp as Tonto, and rewrote the legend to center around him, instead of the title character.

The audience simply did not buy Captain Jack Sparrow as Tonto.

When Americans envision the crime fighting duo of the Old West, Americans see Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels. Two outstanding gentlemen, both on and off the television screen.

We knew that the Lone Ranger and Tonto would beat the snot out of the bad guys, and rescue the rancher’s daughter. We knew that James Bond would defeat SPECTRE and get the beautiful Bond Girl.

We smiled in admiration when we heard that Superman fought for “truth, justice, and the American Way”. We threw our rubber tomahawks at the trees in our front yards, just like “Daniel Boone”. We knew that John Wayne would rescue Dean Martin in “Rio Bravo”.

And, all the guys in the 1970s wanted a red Gran Torino with a white stripe down the side, like “Starsky and Hutch” drove.

Even though they “underperformed”, you want to know why  Americans go to see movies like “American Sniper”, the Captain America Movies, the Spider-Man Movies, the X-Men Movies, and  “Guardians of the Galaxy”?

They are throwbacks. They are entertaining. They are not dirty or vulgar. There is plenty of action with a great story line wrapped around it, and GOOD TRIUMPHS OVER EVIL.

We go to movies to be entertained, not to be lectured to by a bunch of snotty-nosed, America-hating, relative morality, situational ethics-loving Liberals.

Also, Americans have to deal with enough ugliness trying to survive under the harsh reality of America under Obama.

American Sniper shows very plainly that we can triumph against Radical Islam, the Political Ideology masquerading as a Religion, which Obama dares not call out by name.

Heck, as the article explained, “American Sniper” is even doing well in Islamic Nations.

Why? As President Ronald Reagan realized, all those decades ago, the followers of Mohammed respect strength, not weakness.

So, why are Americans flocking to see this movie in record numbers?

Americans are living vicariously through the late American Hero Chris Kyle.

Americans respect his legacy of heroism. That is why, when Former Professional Wrestler, and lunatic Jesse “The Body” Ventura sued Chris’ widow, Americans wanted to string him up in the middle of the Town Square.

As I have written several times, America is still a Majority Conservative Nation.

Look at an Electoral Map. America is a Sea of Red, with little Blue Enclaves, up in the Northeast and on the Left Coast.

Finally, the last reason that “American Sniper” is blowing the doors off at the Box Office, is the fact that average Americans are being forced to cut back on their Entertainment Budget.

Americans have to pick and choose very carefully the movies they go to, simply due to the high price of tickets, refreshments, and gasoline and Obama’s stagnant economy.

There is a reason that Redbox is so popular.

Americans can choose to view the movies they like to watch.

A while back, my bride and I made the mistake of renting “Noah”. Thank the Lord, we only paid $1.28 for it. Even at $1.28, it was still over-priced. But, I digress…

Hollywood needs to pay attention to which movies the American public is watching at home…and make more just like them.

Average Americans are more perceptive than Liberals think we are.

Until the Liberals in Hollywood (and New York City and Washington, DC) realize that, they will continue to fail.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Obama Popular With Only 15% Of Our Military

Obamacoffeecupsalute9232014Have you ever noticed that when United States President Barack Hussein Obama enters a room to address a group of the United States Armed Forces, a silence falls over those assembled?

Well… There’s a reason for that.

They don’t like him.

The Military Times reports that

In his first term, President Obama oversaw repeal of the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Then he broke with one of the military’s most deeply rooted traditions and vowed to lift the ban on women serving in combat.

And the commander in chief has aggressively sought to change military culture by cracking down on sexual assault and sexual harassment, problems that for years were underreported or overlooked.

Obama is an unpopular president in the eyes of the men and women in uniform. Yet his two-term administration is etching a deep imprint on the culture inside the armed forces. As commander in chief, he will leave behind a legacy that will shape the Pentagon’s personnel policies and the social customs of rank-and-file troops for decades to come.

For Obama’s supporters, the cultural changes he’s overseeing are on a level with President Truman’s 1948 order that desegregated the military and put it at the forefront of the national push for racial equality.

But to his critics, his moves amount to heavy-handed social engineering that erode deep-seated traditions and potentially undermine good order and discipline.

And for the troops in today’s career force, the wave of changes to deep-seated policies and attitudes can be jarring.

“It’s a very different Army than the one I came in to,” said Sgt. 1st Class Eric Rexilius, who joined the Army 21 years ago
is now a helicopter repairman at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.

“I personally don’t think it’s a bad change,” he said — while acknowledging that among his cohort of older career soldiers, “I’m probably a minority.”

“For most of my peers,” Rexilius said, “it makes them uncomfortable because it’s not what they are used to.”

The long-term effects of Obama’s social policies on the military remain unknown. But one thing is clear: He is a deeper unpopular commander in chief among the troops.

According to a Military Times survey of almost 2,300 active-duty service members, Obama’s popularity — never high to begin with — has crumbled, falling from 35 percent in 2009 to just 15 percent this year, while his disapproval ratings have increased to 55 percent from 40 percent over that time.

Back on November 12, 2007, then-Senator Barack Hussein Obama (D-IL) proclaimed,

I’ll be a President who ensures that America serves our men and women in uniform as well as they’ve served us, and that’s why I’m proud to have the support of these veterans advising me on the issues facing our troops and veterans.

After seven years of an Administration that has stretched our military to the breaking point, ignored deplorable conditions at some VA hospitals, and neglected the planning and preparation necessary to care for our returning heroes, America’s veterans deserve a President who will fight for them not just when it’s easy or convenient, but every hour of every day for the next four years.

An ounce of pretension is worth a pound of manure.

Obama is our Armed Forces Commander in-Chief (unfortunately). The responsibility for everything that happens to the men and women serving in our armed forces, in which some part of our federal government is involved, both during and after their service, falls on his shoulders and his alone.

Through his treatment of our Heroes as “ancillary” servants to be used for social experimentation and budget cutting, when he wants to use their money to further his socialization of America, Obama has placed our Armed Forces in an untenable situation.

Distinguished American Veteran, Former United States Representative Lt. Col. Allen B. West wrote the following, concerning Obama’s treatment of our Armed Forces:

Barack Hussein Obama cannot be seen as a Commander-in-Chief and I will never refer to him that way. His fundamental transformation of America means weakening our nation and leaving our Republic less secure. I can just imagine how appreciative and elated his Muslim Brotherhood friends are at this point, to include Turkey’s President Erdogan, as well as the mad mullahs in Iran.

Spot on.

I remember my ex-brother-in-law, Dave. My late step-sister met him at the USO in Memphis during the Vietnam War. David was a Polish Catholic from outside of Detroit, a Navy guy who received his training in the computers of the day, while in service to our country. When he got out, they got married and moved to Dearborn (now Dearbornistan), Michigan, where he got a job with Burroughs. I remember Dave, because he was always good to me, even though I was just a runt kid, 15 years younger than him. I remember him cleaning his service rifle, sitting on the living room floor of our house, and, making sure it was empty, allowing me to to hold it. At the time,I thought that was the coolest thing I had ever done.

I also remember John. John was a friend of my sister’s, who stayed with us, because of problems at home. As I have related before, my folks were the ones whom all my sister’s friends would talk to when they had trouble at home. John was great guy, as well, who wound up enlisting and serving in that “crazy Asian War”, as Kenny Rogers and Mel Tillis once referred to it in song.

I have related before about my own Daddy and my Uncles, and their service in World War II. I have also had friends that served over the years, and one who is still serving in the Air National Guard.

All of these men were/are Patriots. They enlisted out of duty to God and Country.

Our Brightest and Best, who wear the uniform today, are no less dedicated. They deserve to be treated with respect, not as pawns in a game of political expediency, whose rules including social experimentation, political correctness, and blatant disrespect by the Commander-in-Chief..

The greatest American President in my lifetime, Ronald Reagan, once said,

Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.

Reagan was a realist. He realized that, as President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt once advised, the best way to keep America safe, is to “Speak softly and carry a big stick”.

Unfortunately for us, we are presently suffering through a president who speaks like a wuss and carries a feather pillow, a Mexican Flag, and a prayer rug.

Until He Comes,

KJ

The Death of Country Music

Hee HawNobody saw him running from sixteenth avenue
They never found the fingerprint or the weapon that was used
But someone killed country music, cut out its heart and soul
They got away with murder down on music row

The almighty dollar and the lust for worldwide fame
Slowly killed tradition and for that someone should hang
They all say not guilty, but the evidence will show
That murder was committed down on music row

For the steel guitars no longer cry and fiddles barely play
But drums and rock ‘n’ roll guitars are mixed up in your face
Old Hank wouldn’t have a chance on today’s radio
Since they committed murder, down on music row

They thought no one would miss it, once it was dead and gone
They said no one would buy them old drinking and cheating songs
Well I’ll still buy ’em
Well there ain’t no justice in it and the hard facts are cold
Murder’s been committed, down on music row

Oh, the steel guitars no longer cry and you can’t hear fiddles play
With drums and rock ‘n roll guitars mixed right up in your face
Why, the hag, he wouldn’t have a chance on today’s radio
Since they committed murder down on music row
Why, they even tell the posse to pack up and go back home
There’s been an awful murder down on music row

“Murder on Music Row”. George Strait/Alan Jackson, 2000

On this Saturday Morning, right across  Stateline Road, from the home of Elvis Presley,Memphis, Tennessee in Northwest Mississippi, I sit here reflecting on Saturday nights, growing up with my Mother and Daddy.

Every family, to this day, have rituals that they observe like clockwork.

Our Saturday Night Ritual was to eat homemade hamburgers, spaghetti, or crockpot beans off of TV trays and watch Hee Haw, the syndicated country music variety show, out of Nashville, which starred Buck Owens, Roy Clark, and a “cast of thousands”.

The snotty folks up in the Northeast Corridor never could figure out what made that “hick show”, that lasted 25 years,  so popular.

After all, it was about traditional American Values, love of God and Country, respecting our American Musical Heritage, and featuring talented performers who wrote songs, sang, played their own instruments, loved and appreciated their fans, and actually behaved like average Americans.

Plus, they had the good grace and common sense to keep their private lives, private.

This week foxnews.com reported that…

The country star opens up about his past, present and future in an interview with Entertainment Tonight’s Nischelle Turner that rivals ABC’s country soap “Nashville” with its real-life drama. Herndon discussed everything from his former drug use, his failed marriages and his current relationship.

“I have an awesome relationship that I’ve been in for a good number of years,” Herndon tells ET in a new sit-down airing Thursday. “[I] love him very much and he loves me.”

Married twice before, Herndon reveals that both of his ex-wives were “absolutely” aware of his sexuality.

“I had a lot of people around me that I trusted at a time and I was like,’Hey, you know this about me but the world doesn’t. So I’m gonna need to call on your services for a little while,'” he confessed. “It was unfortunate that I had to do that, but I felt that’s what I had to do to have my career. Standing on some pretty solid legs today, so I get to tell my truth today.”

The news brings new meaning to the singer’s latest album, “Lies I Told Myself,” which was released in 2013. Today, Herndon reveals that the biggest lie he told himself is “that I couldn’t be gay in country music.”

“I’ve dreamed about being in country music since I was 6 years old,” he said. “It’s my life, it’s what I do, it’s who I am, and I went to great lengths to cover up that fact to be to be a country star.”

Rumors surrounding Herndon’s sexuality first surfaced back in 1995, when an undercover male police officer alleged that the star exposed himself in a park.

“I wish I had really great recall or memory about that,” Herndon said of the allegation. “I think I had been up for like 6 days doing drugs the night and the day was really a huge blur for me.”

Now fully clean and sober, Herndon is looking forward to a future with his partner of five years, joking with ET that he hoped a proposal might follow his big reveal. “God, I’m hoping he asks me right after this interview!” he said.

“I do want children one day, you know,” he added. “I do want to be married one day.”

But for now, Herndon says he’s thrilled to be seeing increasing levels of acceptance in Nashville.

“Traditionally in country music, we don’t see a lot of support for the LGBT community, but that’s changing so much,” he said. “Nashville is changing so much. I mean my goodness… Kacey Musgraves won Song of the Year for [the lyrics] ‘follow your arrow, wherever it points’ and two amazing songwriters that happened to be gay wrote that song.”

Herndon continued, “It gives me a lot of hope that that Nashville is ready for this. I get to be free today. I’m born again today, and I feel like I’m not gonna have any trouble sleeping tonight.”

Herndon’s story inspired fellow country singer Billy Gilman to come out as well.

“It was in that moment that I knew that I’d rather it be from me, than you reading it from somewhere else,” Gilman said in a YouTube video Thursday.

Actually, boys, y’all could have kept your lust for hairy-legged gents to yourselves. America ain’t New York City.

What is happening to country music reflects a lot about the culture we live in.   Artists who actually lived what they sung about like Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette, The Statlers, Jim Ed Brown, Porter Waggoner, Bocephus, Randy Travis, Jeannie C. Riley, and Elvis Presley have been replaced by fashion model wannabes and burned-out rock stars.

Please don’t get me wrong.  There is still a lot of great talent in country music.  Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, the Zac Brown Band, Toby Keith, Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, Clint Black, Carrie Underwood, and Rascal Flatts, among others, are very talented performers.

However, in our culture of fast lives, fast food, and instant gratification, superficiality sells.  That’s how we got stuck with Barack Hussein Obama (mm mmm mmmm).

It is easier and more profitable for a record company to sell someone who looks good and can sing a little, or release a country music album made by a fading rock star, than it is for them to market someone who is unbelievably talented and writes their own songs, but resembles your next door neighbor.

Remember the Kid Rock, Bruce Springsteen, and Van Morrison country music CD fiascos?  No?  I don’t blame you.  I wouldn’t admit it, either.

Can you imagine Hank Williams, Sr., Patsy Cline, or Buck Owens trying to get a record deal today?

I’m sorry Mr. Williams.  Your vocalization is way too twangy and you drink way too much.  “I Saw The Light”?  What kind of song is that?  A song about redemption?  Get real.  “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”?  Who Cares?  You’re just not marketable.

Miss Cline, we can’t use you.  You look like somebody’s next door neighbor.

Mr. Owens, what is the “Bakersfield Sound” that you’re talking about?  That won’t get any airtime in New York City.   “Act Naturally”?  That’s a song?  Next thing you know, you’ll tell me that the Beatles will want to record it.

Now you know why Toby Keith formed his own record label. 

The big recording companies like RCA Nashville and Arista are run like any other business.  Executives are transferred from other cities and other divisions within the company and are judged to be successful by the amount of revenue they generate.  The decision was made several years ago to turn country music into pop music.  Country music started the transition from Kitty Wells to Miranda Lambert and from George Jones to Kid Rock in an effort to claim a bigger share of the CD-buying public.  The disconnect arises when you take a genre that has traditionally sung  about God, America, family, and heartache and try to make it about fashionistas, MTV, and shallow people with situational morality and ethics. 

That dog don’t hunt.

Allow me to close with this video from Alan Jackson and George Strait, of the song featured at the beginning of today’s blog.  As you read earlier, they expressed the situation much more eloquently than I can.

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgiILl_F7O8]

Until He Comes,

KJ

In Defense of “Lone Survivor” and Our Brightest and Best: An Open Letter to Amy Nicholson From an Average American

Lone SurvivorPREFACE:  Yesterday, as I was surfing the web at lunch, I came across a headline from TheBlaze.com, which stated that Glenn Beck had challenged a LA Times Writer to say what she had written about the more popular movie in America, the heroic tale of the self-sacrificing Navy Seals, led by Marcus Luttrell, who, except for Luttrell, all gave their lives in the call of duty, to the face of the “Lone Survivor” himself, Marcus Luttrell.

The writer in question is Amy Nocholson, an unabashedly Liberal hack.

In order for you to complete understand the epic rant which I am about to unleash, I chose to reprint the article in question in its entirety. I hope you have a strong stomach.

SYNOPIS:  Based on The New York Times bestselling true story of heroism, courage and survival, Lone Survivor tells the heroic, patriotic tale of four Navy SEALs, led by Marcus Luttrell,  on a covert mission to neutralize a high-level al-Qaeda operative who are ambushed by the enemy in the mountains of Afghanistan and are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.. Faced with an impossible moral decision, the small band is isolated from help and surrounded by a much larger force of Taliban ready for war. As they confront unthinkable odds together, the four men find reserves of strength and resilience as they stay in the fight to the finish.

THE ARTICLE: 

Here’s a movie that’ll flop in Kabul. Lone Survivor, the latest by Battleship director Peter Berg, is a jingoistic snuff film about a Navy SEAL squadron outgunned by the Taliban in the mountainous Kunar province. After four soldiers — played with muscles and machismo by Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster — get ID’d by Afghan goat herders, they’re in a race to climb to the top of the nearest summit and summon an airlift before these civilians can sprint to the nearest village and alert local leader Ahmad Shah. It doesn’t go well. 

Berg’s flick bleeds blood red, bone-fracture white, and bruise blue. It’s based on the memoir Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by sole evacuee Marcus Luttrell (played by Wahlberg) — and that’s only a spoiler if you’ve ignored the title. Luttrell didn’t exactly write his book. Rather than sitting in front of a word processor, he was back in action in Iraq. Instead, the United States Navy hired British novelist Patrick Robinson, who, among other embellishments, upped the number of enemy Taliban fighters from 10 to 200. Hey, whatever, man. Those aliens in Battleship weren’t real, either. 

Lone Survivor’s problems are more complex than its Rambo-esque exuberance for machine-gun fire. The near-wordless second half is a deadly dubstep of bullets and snare drums punctuated with the occasional curse. Here’s 90 seconds of dialogue transcribed in its entirety: “Goddamn, this sucks!” “Fuck you!” “Fuck!” “Damn, fucking burns!” This doesn’t help advance the plot, which can pretty much be summed up as: Don’t die. And the film actually gets worse when the guys open their mouths.

These four men were heroes. But these heroes were also men. As the film portrays them, their attitudes to the incredibly complex War on Terror, fought hillside by bloody hillside in the Afghan frontier with both U.S. and Taliban forces contributing to an unconscionably high civilian body count, were simple: Brown people bad, American people good. When the guys debate whether to kill the three goat herders who’ve stumbled onto their hiding place — a dilemma that, morality aside, could have been solved if any of them had recalled that middle school logic problem about the fox, the chicken, the feed, and the too-small boat — Foster grabs an unarmed teenager by the face and insists, “That’s death. Look at death.” And when the firefight starts, he bellows, “You can die for your country — I’m going to live for mine.”

We’re meant to cheer, not that anyone in my theater did. But there will be audiences who do, and I’m not entirely sure I’m comfortable with what they’re cheering for. This is death. Look at death. 

Berg is no dummy. He’s done the right thing by refusing to whitewash these guys as saints, although three of the four are depicted as devoted husbands and fiancées, and the fourth gets to be Mark Wahlberg. And Berg is justified in hoisting these guys up as real-life action stars, building his case with an opening montage of actual Navy SEAL training footage in which screaming instructors winnow a pack of athletes into an all-for-one-one-for-all band of badass brothers who, when forced to float in freezing ocean waves, link arms and sing “Silent Night.”

They were ready for action. “We wanted that fight at the highest volume,” Wahlberg says, “the loudest, coldest, darkest, most unpleasant of the unpleasant fights.” OK, but did the local villagers whom we see get caught in the crossfire want that fight? Each, like Wahlberg’s Luttrell, had families and friends and a full life, and each gets dispatched without a second thought.

I’d like to think that, on some level, Berg is questioning the sense of a film — and a foreign policy — that makes target practice of our magnificent teams of hard-bodied, hairy-chested, rootin’-tootin’, shootin’, parachutin’, double-cap-crimpin’ frogmen, these soldiers who decorate their bunks with baby pictures of themselves next to an American flag and are so nobly eager to sacrifice their lives for each other and their country. But the ammo doesn’t stop blasting long enough for their deaths to have weight. Instead, Lone Survivor just reads like a quasi-political exaggeration of a slasher film: the cellphones that don’t work, the rescuers just out of reach, the killers chasing our victims through the woods.

What are we meant to learn from this waste of life? Who is even to blame? All Lone Survivor offers is the queasiest apology of the year. Grunts a battered Wahlberg to his even more-battered best buddy, “I’m sorry that we didn’t kill more of these motherfuckers.” Replies his fellow soldier, “Oh, don’t be f!@king sorry. We’re going to kill way more of them.”

KJ’S RANT…err…RESPONSE:

Exactly when did Liberals lose their cotton-pickin’ minds?

Well, I believe that this present-day Liberal ungrateful insanity can be traced back to the 1960s. During the days of the Vietnam “Conflict”, even though Adult Liberals were opposed to the war, they were respectful of our Brightest and Best. It was Collegians and under who acted like a bunch of idiots, disrespecting our Armed Forces, and traditional American Values.

As this generation moved through Adulthood, their children had children, and produced the mindless zombies we confront everyday, who classify themselves as Liberals or “Socially-Liberal Libertarians”.

Ms. Nicholson is one of those zombies.

Please note her use of the word “Jingoistic” This is a derisive word which has been in vogue with Liberals for a while now to describe the emotion which normal Americans feel, called “Patriotism”.

Liberals, such as Ms. Nicholson, are selfish, cravenly creatures. They do not seem to, nor care to understand that they live in the greatest country on Earth. They are too narrow-minded to fathom the sacrifices which brave American men and women have made and are making, on their behalf.

Just as an infant  knows that if they cry loud enough, some one will pay attention to them and give them what they want, so do Liberals understand that if they are anti-American enough in their statements and actions, then they will receive the attention that they so crave from the rest of the “smartest people in the room.”

Ms. Nicholson, believing in her own “superior intelligence ” and “moral superiority”, decided to do a hatchet job on this movie and the brave men who protected her freedom to denigrate them in print.

Ms. Nicholson is representative of those same effete snobs who believe that any movie, such as the Box Office Bomb “Redacted”, which attacked our Armed Forces, will be a sure-fire hit, and then, cannot understand why such a movie is welcomed by the sound of crickets in America’s movie theaters.

I have ranted before that there is a Culture War going on in our country…one between the effete Liberal slobs, located in the Northeast and on the Left Coast, and average Americans, like you and me, struggling to cope with the consequences of their stupidity, here in the Heartland.

You and I would never disrepect our Fallen Warriors, like this ignorant hack has. We were raised right.

The respect we have for patriotic men of courage, like the Lone Survivor, the Patriot, Marcus Luttrell, and all of our Fallen Warriors, is immeasurable.

Ms. Nicholson, you haven’t got a clue.

Until He Comes,

KJ

The War Against Christianity: Obama Vs. The Little Sisters of the Poor

American FreedomWhen I was a child, I was taught by my parents to respect others. Quite frankly, I was raised to be a Southern Gentleman.

Any slip in saying “Yes, ma’am” or “No, sir” was met by a swift correction by my mother.

That same respect went out to everyone, regardless of their religion. I suppose that it was because my folks were members of America’s Greatest Generation, as I have recorded before, who all pulled together in the dark days of the Depression, the terrifying days of Word War II, and the uncertain days of the Cold War, when there was a nuke hidden around every corner.

They had to work hard, and with one another, for everything they had, and, in doing so, they became determined that their children would be raised with American values, principles, and ethics.

A couple of examples that I remember of that “mutual respect”, centered around my Mother. When I was in Second Grade, around 1965, she came down with severe Diabetes. Her doctor was a wonderful, old Jewish gentleman, whom my Mother had worked the Front Desk for.  He made sure that she got the best of care in the hospital, because she was not only his past employee, but his friend, as well.

While I was visiting my Mother in St. Joseph Hospital, in Memphis, TN, in walked this big, Black man, wearing a suit, with a red liturgical shirt and collar. His name was Parker, and he worked the loading dock at the 20 story Sears Building in Midtown Memphis, where my folks worked. He was another friend of their’s.

I remember his big old smile, and soft gentle demeanor, as his huge hands enveloped mine and my Mother’s, as he led us in a prayer for her recovery.

Not to beat a dead horse, but, please remember, this was Memphis, TN, in 1965.

Blows your Southern Stereotypes all to Hades, doesn’t it?

But, I digress…

Anyway, I was sitting at my desk in my office at work yesterday, when a Bing Update flashed across the top of my computer screen that President Barack Hussein Obama, still blowing $4,000,0000 OF OUR MONEY in Hawaii on his Family Vay-cay and his Administration, were urging the Supreme court to ignore Justice Sotomayor’s unexpected temporary injunction, stopping the Administration from forcing Catholic Institutions to provide free Birth Control, including abortiafacients, under Obamacare.

Politico.com summarizes the situation…

On New Year’s Eve, Sotomayor granted the Denver nursing home a last-minute, temporary reprieve from the health care law requirement that health coverage for employees include contraception. She will now have to decide whether to keep the temporary order in place, dissolve it, or take the issue to the other justices, who could decide to review the whole case in the coming months.

Justice Department lawyers in their response Friday said that the Little Sisters for the Poor Home for the Aged uses a Christian health insurer that is recognized as a church under U.S. employment law — and is already exempt from the Affordable Care Act contraception requirement.

“Applicants have no legal basis to … complain that it involves them in the process of providing contraceptive coverage,” government lawyers wrote to the court.“This case involves a church plan that is exempt from regulation” under a 1974 labor law that predates the president’s health care law.

The Little Sisters, in their reply to the government’s brief on Friday afternoon, said that signing a piece of paper allowing contraception — even if it doesn’t result in contraception being handed out —is itself a violation of their religious protections. That certification is part of the current legal process for religious non-profits that object to providing the contraception.

No matter which path Sotomayor takes, the central questions on contraception and religious nonprofits could eventually work their way through the legal system and return to the high court through this case or a different one.

The court has already agreed to take two separate challenges to the contraceptive requirement, but they involve religious owners of for-profit businesses, not religious nonprofits like this Denver nursing home. Dozens of religious-affiliated groups, dissatisfied with the Obama administration’s attempts to address their concerns, have petitioned federal courts to eliminate the requirement.

Anything the court does in the Little Sisters case could also affect nearly 500 religious non-profits that work with the Little Sisters and others on the lawsuit.

In all, more than 90 legal challenges have been filed around the country. A Supreme Court decision against the contraceptive rule would undercut but not cripple the health law. The birth control rule is a small piece of the overall law, but it’s been another source of ongoing political controversy for President Barack Obama’s signature law.

The Obama administration argues that employer health plans need to include contraception to ensure that women and their babies are healthy. Opponents of the policy — notably, the Catholic bishops — say that the administration is requiring some businesses to forgo religious beliefs against the use of contraception.

The case brought by the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged falls into an unexpected loophole in the ACA’s contraception coverage.

Earlier this year, the Obama administration tried through regulations to accommodate religious-affiliated nonprofits over contraception. It allowed groups like the Little Sisters to tell their insurance company or third-party administrator that they objected on religious grounds. The insurer or administrator would then have to provide contraceptives to the employees at no charge.

The premise was that an insurer or administrator would not have the same objection to providing such products. But the catch here is that the Little Sisters’ administrator — the Christian Brothers Employee Benefits Trust — is also run by a religious order.

The Christian Brothers, who joined the Little Sisters on the lawsuit, qualify as a church under employment law known as ERISA. And under that law, if they don’t want to provide contraception, the federal government has no recourse to force them to do so.

So, why is the Obama Administration so desperately trying to make Catholic Institutions provide services which are diametrically opposed tho the tenents of their faith?

I believe that it is all about respect for Americans’ Faith.

With this Administration, more so than any Administration which has gone before, the insensitivity and, downright blatant opposition to the role of Christianity in American Everyday Life, has led to the heretofore unthinkable situation of the Department of Justice and the American Court System being used as a bludgeon to keep us “uppity” Christians in line, so that we do not interfere with the plans of a Secular All-powerful State.

Sound familiar?

The Obama Administration’s ongoing war with the Catholic Church over providing these services is just one example of a deliberate movement to isolate Christianity from American’s Everyday Lives and regulate our relationship and following of Jesus Christ to a 2-hour window on Sunday Mornings.

However, try as it may, this Administration may have Pyrrhic Victories, but in the long run, it will not succeed.

Y’see….I know how this thing ends.  I’ve read The Book.

Until He Comes,

KJ