Memorial Day 2018: “Freedom Is Not Free”

memorial-day-cemetery

Memorial Day isn’t just about honoring veterans, its honoring those who lost their lives. Veterans had the fortune of coming home. For us, that’s a reminder of when we come home we still have a responsibility to serve. It’s a continuation of service that honors our country and those who fell defending it. – Pete Hegseth

D-Day, also called the Battle of Normandy, was fought on June 6, 1944, between the Allied nations and German forces occupying Western Europe. To this day, 74 years later, it still remains the largest seaborne invasion in history. Almost three million troops crossed the English Channel from England to Normandy to be used as human cannon fodder in an invasion of occupied France.

Among the young men who stepped off those boats, in a hail of gunfire, was a fellow named Edward, whom everyone called Ned, from the small town of Helena, Arkansas. Already in his young life, Ned had been forced to drop out of school in the sixth grade, in order to work at the local movie theatre to help support his mother, brother, and sister, faced with the ravages of the Great Depression.

He was a gentle man who loved to laugh and sing, having recorded several 78 rpm records in the do-it-yourself booths of the day. And now, he found himself, a Master Sergeant in an Army Engineering Unit, stepping off a boat into the unknown, watching his comrades being mercilessly gunned down around him.

Ned, along with the rest of his unit who survived the initial assault, would go on to assist in the cleaning out of the Concentration Camps, bearing witness to man’s inhumanity to man.

The horrors he saw had a profound effect on Ned. One which he would keep to himself for the remainder of his life. While his children knew that he served with an Engineering Unit in World War II, they did not know the full extent of his service, until they found his medal, honoring his participation in the Invasion of Normandy, going through his belongings, after he passed away on December 29, 1997.

Today is a day of solemn remembrance, during which we honor our fallen heroes.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

This Day of Remembrance, honoring the sacrifices of our Brightest and Best is very personal to me.

On a night in 1966, a 7 year old was laying on his family’s den couch in Memphis, TN, watching his favorite TV Series “Batman” with a fever of 105, brought about by a severe bronchial infection. Tending to that sick child were 3 veterans of World War II: his Daddy, a Master Sergeant with the Army Engineers, his Uncle “R” (Robert), US Air Force, and his Uncle Perriman, a full-blooded Indian from Albuquerque, who was an Army Corpsman.

Those three veterans, now all gone, took turns putting cold washcloths under the child’s arms and on his forehead, until his fever finally broke, sometime during the night.

That child was me.

Growing up during the Vietnam War, I was privileged to have a brother-in-law who served in the Navy. I also knew a fella who served in the Army, a friend of my older sister’s, who stayed on our couch during high school often, after fighting with his family. And, I had a cousin who served then, as well.

Recently, in America, our Brightest and Best are being callously mistreated by an incompetent authoritarian centralized bureaucracy. One whose cavalier attitude toward them as being simply pawns, to be used to give their lives for a failed Foreign Policy and the morale-weakening Social Experimentation of Barack Hussein Obama and his Progressive Minions, led to our veterans dying, while they waited for the Medical Treatment, which they had been promised and so richly deserved.

For all of his photo ops and posing for the cameras, United States President Barack Hussein Obama viewed our armed forces as beneath him… assets to use when he needed to, in order to backup his failed foreign policy, and an ancillary service to trim, when it was time to cut the budget.

Obama’s actions were in stark contrast to our previous president, George W Bush, who, every year at Thanksgiving, would go and serve Turkey to troops stationed around the world, during secret trips that Main Stream Media would not even know about until the president landed at the base.

And, when Bush wasn’t doing that, he was secretly visiting our wounded warriors at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC, again, out of the limelight of the cameras.

Even though Bush is no longer president, he is still showing his respect for our wounded warriors. He has held picnics in their honor, visiting with them and dancing with our brave young ladies who were wounded in the service of their country.

But, I digress…

The actions of Obama and his Administration were not how a nation is supposed its wounded warriors.

I thank God that we have an American President, once again, who respects and honors our Fighting Men and Women.

These men and women are OUR FAMILY. They are not just numbers on some Federal Government Profit & Loss Database.

President Trump must fulfill his campaign promises to clean up the Department of Veterans Affairs and the malfeasance and abuses found within its hospitals.

Those who have sacrificed so much for our country deserve no less.

I was privileged to be raised by members of the Greatest Generation. The legacy that they gave to me of love of God, Family, and Country is a heritage that I hold very dear.

It is today that we pause to remember their sacrifices at home and abroad. Not only theirs, but the sacrifices made by our Brightest and Best, and their families, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13

May God bless them all and may He hold them in the hollow of His hand.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Memorial Day 2017: “Greater Love Hath No Man Than This…”

memorial-day-true-meaning-ftr

D-Day, also called the Battle of Normandy, was fought on June 6, 1944, between the Allied nations and German forces occupying Western Europe. To this day, 70 years later, it  still remains the largest seaborne invasion in history. Almost three million troops crossed the English Channel from England to Normandy to be used as human cannon fodder in an invasion of occupied France.

Among the young men who stepped off those boats, in a hail of gunfire, was a fellow named Edward, whom everyone called Ned, from the small town of Helena, Arkansas.  Already in his young life, Ned had been forced to drop out of school in the sixth grade, in order to work at the local movie theatre to help support his mother, brother, and sister, faced with the ravages of the Great Depression.

He was a gentle man who loved to laugh and sing, having recorded several 78 rpm records in the do-it-yourself booths of the day. And now, he found himself, a Master Sergeant in an Army Engineering Unit, stepping off a boat into the unknown, watching his comrades being mercilessly gunned down around him.

Ned, along with the rest of his unit who survived the initial assault, would go on to assist in the cleaning out of the Concentration Camps, bearing witness to man’s inhumanity to man.

The horrors he saw had a profound effect on Ned.  One which he would keep to himself for the remainder of his life.  While his children knew that he served with an Engineering Unit in World War II, they did not know the full extent of his service, until they found his medal, honoring his participation in the Invasion of Normandy, going through his belongings, after he passed away on December 29, 1997.

Today is a day of solemn remembrance, during which we honor our fallen heroes.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee. 

This Day of Remembrance, honoring the sacrifices of our Brightest and Best and the current mistreatment of America’s Veterans is very personal to me.

On a night in 1966, a 7 year old was laying on his family’s den couch in Memphis, TN, watching his favorite TV Series “Batman” with a fever of 105, brought about by a severe bronchial infection. Tending to that sick child were 3 veterans of World War II: his Daddy, a Master Sergeant with the Army Engineers, his Uncle “R” (Robert), US Air Force, and his Uncle Perriman, a full-blooded Indian from Albuquerque, who was an Army Corpsman.

Those three veterans, now all gone, took turns putting cold washcloths under the child’s arms and on his forehead, until his fever finally broke, sometime during the night.

That child was me.

Growing up during the Vietnam War, I was privileged to have a brother-in-law who served in the Navy. I also knew a fella who served in the Army, a friend of my older sister’s, who stayed on our couch during high school often, after fighting with his family. And, I had a cousin who served then, as well.

Today, in America, our Brightest and Best are being callously mistreated by an incompetent authoritarian centralized bureaucracy. One whose cavalier attitude toward them as being simply pawns, to be used to give their lives for a failed Foreign Policy and the morale-weakening Social Experimentation of Barack Hussein Obama and his Progressive Minions, lead to our veterans dying, while they waited for the Medical Treatment, which they had been promised and so richly deserve.

For all of his photo ops and posing for the cameras, United States President Barack Hussein Obama viewed our armed forces as beneath him… assets to use when he needed to, in order to backup his failed foreign policy, and an ancillary service to trim, when it was time to cut the budget.

Obama’s actions were in stark contrast to our previous president, George W Bush, who, every year at Thanksgiving, would go and serve Turkey to troops stationed around the world, during secret trips that Main Stream Media would not even know about until the president landed at the base.

And, when Bush wasn’t doing that, he was secretly visiting our wounded warriors at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC, again,  out of the limelight of the cameras.

Even though Bush is no longer president, he is still showing his respect for our wounded warriors. He has held picnics in their honor, visiting with them and dancing with our brave young ladies who were wounded in the service of their country.

But, I digress…

The actions of Obama and his Administration were not how a nation is supposed its wounded warriors.

I thank God that we have an American President, once again, who respects and honors our Fighting Men and Women.

These men and women are OUR FAMILY. They are not just numbers on some Federal Government Profit & Loss Database.

President Trump must fulfill his campaign promises to clean up the Department of Veterans Affairs and the malfeasance and abuses found within its hospitals.

Those who have sacrificed so much for our country deserve no less.

I was privileged to be raised by members of the Greatest Generation. The legacy that they gave to me of love of God, Family, and Country is a heritage that I hold very dear.

It is today that we pause to remember their sacrifices at home and abroad.  Not only theirs, but the sacrifices made by our Brightest and Best, and their families, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13

May God bless them all and may He hold them in the hollow of His hand.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Memorial Day 2016: All Gave Some. Some Gave All.

11181888_951956908181692_5591918853436467361_nD-Day, also called the Battle of Normandy, was fought on June 6, 1944, between the Allied nations and German forces occupying Western Europe. To this day, 70 years later, it  still remains the largest seaborne invasion in history. Almost three million troops crossed the English Channel from England to Normandy to be used as human cannon fodder in an invasion of occupied France.

Among the young men who stepped off those boats, in a hail of gunfire, was a fellow named Edward, whom everyone called Ned, from the small town of Helena, Arkansas.  Already in his young life, Ned had been forced to drop out of school in the sixth grade, in order to work at the local movie theatre to help support his mother, brother, and sister, faced with the ravages of the Great Depression.

He was a gentle man who loved to laugh and sing, having recorded several 78 rpm records in the do-it-yourself booths of the day. And now, he found himself, a Master Sergeant in an Army Engineering Unit, stepping off a boat into the unknown, watching his comrades being mercilessly gunned down around him.

Ned, along with the rest of his unit who survived the initial assault, would go on to assist in the cleaning out of the Concentration Camps, bearing witness to man’s inhumanity to man.

The horrors he saw had a profound effect on Ned.  One which he would keep to himself for the remainder of his life.  While his children knew that he served with an Engineering Unit in World War II, they did not know the full extent of his service, until they found his medal, honoring his participation in the Invasion of Normandy, going through his belongings, after he passed away on December 29, 1997.

Today is a day of solemn remembrance, during which we honor our fallen heroes.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee. 

This Day of Remembrance, honoring the sacrifices of our Brightest and Best and the current mistreatment of America’s Veterans is very personal to me.

On a night in 1966, a 7 year old was laying on his family’s den couch in Memphis, TN, watching his favorite TV Series “Batman” with a fever of 105, brought about by a severe bronchial infection. Tending to that sick child were 3 veterans of World War II: his Daddy, a Master Sergeant with the Army Engineers, his Uncle “R” (Robert), US Air Force, and his Uncle Perriman, a full-blooded Indian from Albuquerque, who was an Army Corpsman.

Those three veterans, now all gone, took turns putting cold washcloths under the child’s arms and on his forehead, until his fever finally broke, sometime during the night.

That child was me.

Growing up during the Vietnam War, I was privileged to have a brother-in-law who served in the Navy. I also knew a fella who served in the Army, a friend of my older sister’s, who stayed on our couch during high school often, after fighting with his family. And, I had a cousin who served then, as well.

Today, in America, our Brightest and Best are being callously mistreated by an incompetent authoritarian centralized bureaucracy. One whose cavalier attitude toward them as being simply pawns, to be used to give their lives for a failed Foreign Policy and the morale-weakening Social Experimentation of Barack Hussein Obama and his Progressive Minions, has lead to our veterans dying, while they wait for the Medical Treatment, which they have been promised and so richly deserve.

For all of his photo ops and posing for the cameras, United States President Barack Hussein Obama views our armed forces as beneath him… assets to use what he needs to, in order to backup his failed foreign policy, and an ancillary service to trim, when it’s time to cut the budget.

Obama’s actions are in stark contrast to our previous president, George W Bush, who, every year at Thanksgiving, would go and serve Turkey to troops stationed around the world, during secret trips that Main Stream Media would not even know about until the president landed at the base.

And, when Bush wasn’t doing that, he was secretly visiting our wounded warriors at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC, again,  out of the limelight of the cameras.

Even though Bush is no longer president, he is still showing his respect for our wounded warriors. He has held picnics in their honor, visiting with them and dancing with our brave young ladies who were wounded in the service of their country.

But, I digress…

The actions of Obama and his Administration are not how a nation honors its wounded warriors. The previous Administration certainly did not treat our heroes in this manner.

The men and women are OUR FAMILY. They are not just numbers on some Federal Government Profit & Loss Database.

This barbarism lies solely at the feet of President Barack Hussein Obama. He is the Commander-in-Chief. HE MUST BE HELD RESPONSIBLE.

Those who have sacrificed so much for our country deserve no less.

I was privileged to be raised by members of the Greatest Generation. The legacy that they gave to me of love of God, Family, and Country is a heritage that I hold very dear.

It is today that we pause to remember their sacrifices at home and abroad.  Not only theirs, but the sacrifices made by our Brightest and Best, and their families, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

May God bless them all and may He hold them in the hollow of His hand.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Thursday Night in Iowa: A Republican “Royal Rumble” Without the Front-Runner There (Physically, Anyway)

thWF5BU64KLast Sunday, the WWE staged it’s annual event, known as “The Royal Rumble” in which 30 combatants enter the squared circle, individually, every 3 minutes, and try to toss each other over the top rope, to see who will headline WrestleMania in a World Championship Match.

Last night’s Republican Presidential Candidates Primary Debate, with the notable absence of the Front-Runner, Donald J. Trump, was reminiscent of that wrestling event.

For those of you who did not watch the Trump-less Republican Primary Contenders’ Debate on Fox News Channel last night, MSN.com provides a detailed synopsis (from the Opposition Party’s point-of-view, of course)…

DES MOINES — The first Republican presidential debate without Donald Trump still took on a Trumpian tone at times, with the seven other top candidates here Thursday night voicing anger, talking tough and vowing to do away with political correctness.

But with the defiant GOP front-runner staging his own counter-program by rallying supporters a few miles away, Trump’s absence left a vacuum on the debate stage and fewer fireworks than Republicans had grown accustomed to.

From the opening question, it was mostly filled by Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), who has been locked in an intensifying duel with Trump for dominance in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, only four days away.

Cruz began by mocking Trump’s reputation for insults: “I’m a ‘maniac’ and everyone on this stage is ‘stupid,’ ‘fat’ and ‘ugly.’ And Ben [Carson], you’re a ‘terrible surgeon.’ Now that we’ve gotten the Donald Trump portion out of the way . . .”

From there, however, little more was said about Trump, few direct attacks were leveled at him and the overall atmosphere was notably calmer than in previous debate. That left Cruz as the top target as Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and other opponents sought to puncture the Texas senator’s appeal by trying to depict him as an inauthentic conservative.

“The truth is, Ted, throughout this campaign you’ve been willing to say or do anything in order to get votes,” Rubio said. “You want to trump Trump on immigration.”

Rubio and Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) both attacked Cruz for having once supported an amendment that would have granted legal status, not citizenship, to illegal immigrants — though Cruz maintains that it was a “poison pill” and that he has always opposed amnesty.

“He is the king of saying, ‘Oh, you’re for amnesty. Everybody’s for amnesty except for Ted Cruz,’ ” Paul said. “But it’s a falseness, and that’s an authenticity problem.”

Cruz was not the only candidate on the defensive on immigration, however. Rubio also came under fire for his role as one of the Gang of Eight senators who crafted comprehensive reform legislation in 2013.

After giving Rubio a backhanded compliment for being “charming and smooth,” Cruz hammered him for having aligned with President Obama and Democratic Senate leaders Harry Reid (Nev.) and Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.).

The Fox News Channel moderators tried to challenge both Cruz and Rubio by playing archival video footage of the two senators. After showing the Cruz videos, co-moderator Megyn Kelly asked: “Was that all an act? It was pretty convincing.”

In the absence of Trump, Cruz and Rubio had the most to gain or lose in Thursday night’s debate. The two are the second- and third-polling candidates in Iowa, and their strategies are predicated on being the last non-Trump candidate left standing to face off with the mogul in a long-slog primary season.

Both men emerged with scars.

Rubio appeared to struggle explaining why he advocated a hard-line immigration approach as a Senate candidate, then pursued comprehensive reform that included a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, then reverted.

Rubio said he does not support “blanket amnesty” and focused on the need to seal the border with Mexico and improve security there.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush used the exchange to portray Rubio — his onetime protege when Rubio was a Florida state lawmaker — as weak for having reversed positions on immigration. After noting that he supported Rubio’s work in the Gang of Eight, Bush said, “He cut and run because it wasn’t popular among conservatives, I guess.”

“You shouldn’t cut and run,” Bush said. “You should stick with it. That’s exactly what happened. He cut and run, and that’s a tragedy.”

Rubio countered by saying that Bush had reversed his own position on citizenship and legal status in a book he wrote.

“So did you,” Bush snapped back.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie used the back-and-forth over Senate votes and amendments to show the leadership differences between legislators and executives, and he repeated his call for a governor in the White House.

“I feel like I need a Washingtonese-English dictionary converter,” Christie joked.

Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who once led the polls but has seen his lead falter among heavy scrutiny of his policy knowhow, invoked his medical career as a credential for the White House: “I’ve had more 2 a.m. phone calls than everybody here put together, making life and death decisions.”

The immigration exchange was one of the few moments of direct confrontation onstage between the candidates. The debate lacked a central focus, with Kelly and her co-moderators, Bret Baier and Chris Wallace, asking many one-off questions that focused on the vulnerabilities of individual candidates.

In return, the candidates gave many of the canned lines that have become familiar on the campaign trail, avoiding taking big risks with the Iowa caucuses so close.

The seventh Republican debate of the 2016 campaign cycle was the first not to include Trump, the billionaire mogul whose bombast and showmanship dominated the previous events.

Trump boycotted the debate, escalating his feud with Fox and its star anchor, Kelly, because he believed he would not be treated fairly. He has long harbored disdain for Kelly because of her aggressive line of questioning during the first GOP debate in August, and he has argued that the network was taking advantage of his popularity with viewers to boost its ratings and thus its advertising revenue.

In her opening question, Kelly said, “Let’s address the elephant not in the room tonight.”

Trump staged a competing rally Thursday night on the Des Moines campus of Drake University, where he raised money for and honored veterans.

Much of the debate centered on foreign policy, with the candidates competing to show who would be the toughest commander in chief.

“You claim it is tough talk to discuss ‘carpet bombing,’ ” Cruz said. “It is not tough talk. It is a different fundamental military strategy than what we’ve seen from President Obama.”

Early in the debate, Cruz took fire on multiple fronts. Paul went after him for refusing to show support for a vote to audit the Federal Reserve and for not voicing strong enough opposition to the government’s surveillance efforts.

“I don’t think Ted can have it both ways. They want to say they’re getting some of the liberty vote,” Paul said. “But we don’t see it happening at all. We think we’re going to do very well in Iowa with the liberty vote.”

Rubio, as he has for months, portrayed Cruz as weak on national security.

“As already has been pointed out, the only budget that Ted has ever voted for is a budget that Rand Paul sponsored that brags about cutting defense spending,” Rubio said. “And I think that’s a bad idea.”

The closing days of the race have been nasty here in Iowa. The campaigns and allied super PACs are blanketing television and radio airwaves with attack ads, while the candidates have laced their stump speeches with sharp barbs.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is banking his hopes on the Feb. 9 New Hampshire primary, sought to position himself above the fray.

“We cannot fix things in this country — the Social Security, the border, balancing the budget, getting wages to grow faster — unless we lead as conservatives, but we also invite people in from the other party,” Kasich said. “We have to come together as a country. And we have to stop all the divisions.”

Kasich’s call for unity went unheeded, and he was a non-factor through significant stretches of the debate as other candidates sparred.

As in previous debates, the candidates harshly attacked Hillary Clinton and sought to position themselves as best equipped to lead the Republican Party into the general election against Clinton, whom they see as the most likely Democratic nominee.

“She is not qualified to be president of the United States,” Christie said, drawing loud cheers from the audience. “The fact is, what we need is someone on that stage who has been tested, who has been through it, who has made decisions, who has sat in the chair of consequence and can prosecute the case against Hillary Clinton.”

Bush made a similar pitch.

“This is an election about people that are really hurting,” he said. “We need a leader that will fix things and have a proven record to do it. And we need someone who will take on Hillary Clinton in November.”

So, what was the Front-Running Trump up to, while the rest of the candidates duked it out?

Again, MSN.com has the story (and, please remember, they are hardly non-partisan)…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Donald Trump opened a Thursday rally coinciding with the final GOP debate before Monday’s Iowa caucuses by telling supporters he would have preferred to be at the debate, but had no choice but to skip it after promising a boycott.

Angry over an escalating feud with debate host Fox News, Trump bowed out of the debate and held what his team called a “Special Event to Benefit Veterans Organizations” at a packed 775-seat auditorium at nearby Drake University instead.

“You have to stick up for your rights. When you’re treated badly, you have to stick up for your rights,” Trump told the crowd. “We have to stick up for ourselves as people and we have to stick up for our country if we’re being mistreated.”

Speaking from the stage at what felt like a cross between a televised fundraising telethon and a typical Trump campaign rally, Trump said his foundation already had raised between $5 million and $6 million for veterans since announcing the event. He said he’s putting up $1 million of his own money and read off the names of wealthy friends he said had pledged major contributions.

Trump repeated earlier statements that Fox “very much” wanted him to attend the debate and said he’d fielded repeated phone calls from the network during the day. Fox News Channel issued a statement saying Trump had offered to appear at the debate upon the condition that Fox contribute $5 million to his charities, which the network said was not possible.

Fox News says Chairman Roger Ailes, in conversations with Trump, “acknowledged his concerns” about a statement the network had made in the days leading up to the debate.

Trump has said he’s not worried about turning off voters who may be disappointed by his decision to skip Thursday’s contest.

“We’ve had other voters that love what I’m doing because they don’t want to be pushed around by the establishment,” said Trump, who is planning to participate in the next debate in New Hampshire.

It was unclear exactly which groups would receive money raised from the event and new website Trump launched for collecting donations: donaldtrumpforvets.com. Contributions to the site will go to The Donald J. Trump Foundation, Trump’s nonprofit charitable organization. The page says: “100 percent of your donations will go directly to Veterans needs.”

Trump representatives had been reaching out to various groups, in some cases inquiring about their programs and finances. Among those contacted were the Green Beret Foundation, which provides care to veterans, and Fisher House, which provides free or low cost housing to veterans and military families receiving treatment at military medical centers.

K9s for Warriors, which trains rescue dogs to be service animals for veterans, received a call from a Trump campaign representative asking if the group was interested in accepting funds from the event, according to executive director Rory Diamond. Diamond said the group is non-partisan but would be happy to accept any contributions.

Two of Donald Trump’s presidential rivals have taken the stage at a rally Trump is hosting to benefit veterans as he skips the Republican debate.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum attended the rally after participating in the early undercard debate for candidates whose poll numbers were too low to make it on the main stage.

Trump was joined at the event by two of his rivals, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Both took the stage at Trump’s event after participating in the early, undercard debate for candidates whose poll numbers were too low to make it on the main stage.

Santorum joked that he didn’t want his picture taken with the Trump campaign sign. He quipped that he’s “supporting another candidate for president,” but said he was happy to come out to support veterans.

Huckabee had earlier stressed his appearance should not be seen as an endorsement of Trump. He told the audience gathered at Drake University that he, Santorum and Trump may be presidential race competitors but said “tonight we are colleagues” in supporting veterans.

Every since I graduated high school in 1976, I have followed politics. I had to in college, because I was the News Director of the Campus Radio Station, with a staff of 20 students , who received class credit for producing a 5-minute newscast, once a week.

In 1980, I was privileged to cast my very first vote for the greatest American President in my lifetime, Ronald Reagan.

Since then, I have witnessed a lot of political chicanery, resulting in a lot of harm to the country which I love.

The Muslim-sympathizing, Alinsky-ite Marxist, who currently saunters down to the Oval Office every morning at 10:30 a.m. in his shirt sleeves, on his way to play golf, is the latest and most egregious example.

In every decade since the 1970s, the Media in this country has become more and more Liberal…and more and more subjective in their Editorial Policies and actual reporting.

With the advent of cable television and the 24-hour News Cycle, the Media had to step up their behind-the-scenes manipulation of events, in order to be competitive, and to secure the Cash Cow of their business, high viewership ratings.

What happened last night, was a result of an American Businessman, refusing to play the role of Pinocchio to one of these Modern-day Gepettos.

Per gatewaypundit.com,

FOX News and Google invited a radical Muslim activist, a Bernie Sanders supporter, a Black Lives Matter supporter and a Mexican illegal immigrant to the debate to confront Donald Trump.

Trump found out and, instead of stepping into a pile of…well, you know…he stepped around it, right into more FREE PUBLICITY, while raising money for our American Veterans, whom this Administration has treated so badly.

So, will Trump be hurt by last night?

Hardly.

As of this morning’s Drudge Report’s Republican Candidate Poll, Trump is far outdistancing the pack, with 65.59% of the vote. Sen. Ted Cruz has 16.63%, and Marco Rubio has 6.5%.

Not a scientific poll, I know, but, it could very possibly be a portent of things to come.

The best laid plans of mice and men oft’ times go awry. – Robert Burns

Until He Comes,

KJ

 

Memorial Day 2015: All Gave Some. Some Gave All.

11181888_951956908181692_5591918853436467361_nD-Day, also called the Battle of Normandy, was fought on June 6, 1944, between the Allied nations and German forces occupying Western Europe. To this day, 70 years later, it  still remains the largest seaborne invasion in history. Almost three million troops crossed the English Channel from England to Normandy to be used as human cannon fodder in an invasion of occupied France.

Among the young men who stepped off those boats, in a hail of gunfire, was a fellow named Edward, whom everyone called Ned, from the small town of Helena, Arkansas.  Already in his young life, Ned had been forced to drop out of school in the sixth grade, in order to work at the local movie theatre to help support his mother, brother, and sister, faced with the ravages of the Great Depression.

He was a gentle man who loved to laugh and sing, having recorded several 78 rpm records in the do-it-yourself booths of the day. And now, he found himself, a Master Sergeant in an Army Engineering Unit, stepping off a boat into the unknown, watching his comrades being mercilessly gunned down around him.

Ned, along with the rest of his unit who survived the initial assault, would go on to assist in the cleaning out of the Concentration Camps, bearing witness to man’s inhumanity to man.

The horrors he saw had a profound effect on Ned.  One which he would keep to himself for the remainder of his life.  While his children knew that he served with an Engineering Unit in World War II, they did not know the full extent of his service, until they found his medal, honoring his participation in the Invasion of Normandy, going through his belongings, after he passed away on December 29, 1997.

Today is a day of solemn remembrance, during which we honor our fallen heroes.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee. 

Today, in America, our Brightest and Best are being callously mistreated by an incompetent authoritarian centralized bureaucracy.

One whose cavalier attitude toward them as being simply pawns, to be used to give their lives for a failed Foreign Policy and the morale-weakening Social Experimentation of Barack Hussein Obama and his Progressive Minions, has lead to our veterans dying, while they wait for the Medical Treatment, which they have been promised and so richly deserve.

This Day of Remembrance and the mistreatment of our Brightest and Best is very personal to me.

On a night in 1966, a 7 year old was laying on his family’s den couch in Memphis, TN, watching his favorite TV Series “Batman” with a fever of 105, brought about by a severe bronchial infection. Tending to that sick child were 3 veterans of World War II: his Daddy, a Master Sergeant with the Army Engineers, his Uncle “R” (Robert), US Air Force, and his Uncle Perriman, a full-blooded Indian from Albuquerque, who was an Army Corpsman.

Those three veterans, now all gone, took turns putting cold washcloths under the child’s arms and on his forehead, until his fever finally broke, sometime during the night.

That child was me.

This is not how a nation honors its wounded warriors. The previous Administration certainly did not.

The men and women are OUR FAMILY.They are not just numbers on some Federal Government Profit & Loss Database.

This barbarism lies solely at the feet of President Barack Hussein Obama. He is the Commander-in-Chief. HE MUST BE HELD RESPONSIBLE.

Those who have sacrificed so much for our country deserve no less.

This matter is very personal to me.

 

I was privileged to be raised by members of the Greatest Generation. The legacy that they gave to me of love of God, Family, and Country is a heritage that I hold very dear.

It is today that we pause to remember their sacrifices at home and abroad.  Not only theirs, but the sacrifices made by our Brightest and Best, and their families, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

May God bless them all and may He hold them in the hollow of His hand.

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

 

 

President Barack Hussein Obama Vs. the Armed Forces of the United States of America

veteranflagand wheelchairYesterday, the hot news story of the day was the following…

Courtesy of Fox News…

The president announced that Shinseki would resign after they met at the White House and he received an update on an internal review of the problems at the VA. The review showed the problems were not limited to just a few facilities, Obama said, adding: “It’s totally unacceptable. Our veterans deserve the best.”

On the heels of those and other findings, Obama said, “Secretary Shinseki offered me his own resignation — with considerable regret, I accepted.”

He said Shinseki told him he did not want to be a distraction. “I agree,” Obama said. “We don’t have time for distractions. We need to fix the problem.”

The president had faced mounting calls from members of both parties to remove Shinseki; those calls accelerated after a damning inspector general report on Wednesday. Shinseki suffered another blow on Friday when Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., a former top VA official, called for her former boss’ resignation.

Shinseki’s departure is likely to calm the political storm, but only briefly. Congressional critics of VA leadership voiced support for the decision on Friday, but urged the administration to quickly get to the root of the problems with VA workers lying about patient wait times.

“VA’s problems are deadly serious, and whomever the next secretary may be, they will receive no grace period from America’s veterans, American taxpayers and Congress,” Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, said in a statement.

House Speaker John Boehner said the resignation “does not absolve the president.” The resignation also has not muted calls for the Justice Department to launch a criminal probe.

Boys and girls, do not expect President Pantywaist to do anything about this deplorable situation.

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.

As I wrote concerning the West Pint Cadets’ “icy reception” to Obama’s Graduation Speech, they recognized a BS Artist when they saw one.

And, just when you think that Obama and his minions have performed all the social experimentation on our Brightest and Best that they can think of, well, as Al Jolson used to say,

Wait a minute! Wait a minute! You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

The Huffington Post reported yesterday that

Pentagon officials have approved a policy that would allow a limited group of undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children to enlist in the military, opening up a path for them to eventually become citizens, The Huffington Post has learned.

The move, which has not been formally announced by the Obama administration, would affect some of the roughly 550,000 undocumented young people granted the ability to remain in the country under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, many of whom have pled with the government to allow them to enlist.

Immigrants in the country legally can enlist in the military, and through their service, they can receive expedited naturalization as U.S. citizens. More than 89,000 service members have gained citizenship since September 2002, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. But young undocumented immigrants, often referred to as Dreamers, cannot currently enlist, even if they have been granted work authorization and the ability to remain in the country under DACA.

The new change, under a Pentagon recruitment plan called Military Accessions Vital to National Interest, would allow some undocumented immigrants with critical language or medical skills to enlist in the armed forces — considerably limiting the number of Dreamers who would be eligible. Roughly 3,000 legal immigrants have enlisted through the MAVNI program since 2009, and now the program will be open to those who are in the country illegally.

Members of Congress have increasingly called for Dreamers to receive permission to enlist in the military. Those young people can apply for DACA to receive work authorization and the ability to stay in the country for two years, with the possibility to renew. Dreamers have to meet a number of qualifications for the program, including having come to the U.S. before the age of 16; having been under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012; and having attended or graduated from high school or received a GED. They do not qualify if they have been convicted of a felony, “significant misdemeanor,” three or more misdemeanors or are deemed a threat to security.

A measure called the Enlist Act, put forward by Reps. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), was recently blocked from receiving a vote as part of a defense spending bill in the House. The legislation would allow Dreamers to enlist in the military and eventually apply for citizenship. Although they didn’t allow a vote on the Enlist Act as an amendment, House GOP leaders said they were open to allowing a vote on the standalone bill in the future.

Normally, in order for an immigrant to join the United States military, they must first go through the immigration process of the USCIS (previously known as the INS) and then and then begin the enlisting process. Another requirement is that the Green Card and/or visa if the immigrant desiring to join the military must be valid for the entire period of their enlistment. Undocumented immigrants may not enlist in the U.S. military.

Then, there is the little matter of the Military Oath of Enlistment.

Federal law requires everyone who enlists or re-enlists in the Armed Forces of the United States to take the enlistment oath. The oath of enlistment into the United States Armed Forces is administered by any commissioned officer to any person enlisting or re-enlisting for a term of service into any branch of the military. The officer asks the person, or persons, to raise their right hand and repeat the oath after him. The oath is traditionally performed in front of the United States Flag and other flags, such as the state flag, military branch flag, and unit guidon may be present.

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

How can someone who has never pledged allegiance to the United States in the first place, after breaking our laws by entering the company illegally, be expected to take an oath swearing allegiance to a Constitution which does not apply to them?

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.

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

 

Secretary of State John Kerry Visits Vietnam to Talk…About Climate Change. This is “Smart Power?”

johnkerrycartoonSecretary of State John F. Kerry has returned to Vietnam. No, it’s not to negotiate or leverage some sort of accords which would strengthen the defense of our country. Oh, no. It’s much more important than that. Sec. Kerry has returned to the scene of his “heroism” to address the “problem of Climate Change”.

Yahoo News reports that

It is the first time that Kerry has returned to the Mekong since 1968 when he served as a young U.S. naval officer in Vietnam battling Viet Cong guerillas in a conflict that earned him three Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star.

“It is obviously amazing for me to be here today,” Kerry told students gathered on the banks of the Cai Nuoc river. “Decades ago, on these very waters, I was one of many who witnessed the difficult period in our shared history,” he said.

“Today on these waters I am bearing witness to how far our nations have come together and we are talking about the future. That is the way it ought to be,” he said. “As our shared journey continues, our eyes are firmly fixed on the future and not on the past.”

Dressed in casual khaki-green trousers, a blue-checked shirt and wearing sunglasses, Kerry is surrounded by aides and other officials on the boat but he is mostly quiet and introspective.

“It hasn’t changed all that much,” Kerry remarks at one point during the tour. The familiar smell of burning firewood in the air coming from villages takes him back to his time on the river.

At the small riverside community of Kien Vang, translated roughly as “the golden ant”, Kerry stops to take a walk, visiting a small convenience store where he buys candy for the local children. There he pets a dog and is reminded of a mutt he adopted while serving in Vietnam he named “VC” – short for Viet Cong.

Here he also inquires from Dang Kieu Nhan, deputy director of the Mekong Delta Development Research Institute, about water levels and how possible changes in water flows on the river will affect villagers.

His concern is not only the effects of climate change on the Mekong but also plans by China to build four more dams along the Mekong to generate power for its rising economy, projects that will have a disastrous downstream impact on Cambodia and Vietnam, according to environmental specialists.

In addition Laos is also proposing to build hydropower plants on the Mekong, while Cambodia has plants for two dams on the river.

Across the canal, Kerry addresses these developments in a speech to the students, while also pledging $17 million to a program to address the impact from potential climate changes.

“No one country has the right to deprive another country of the livelihood and eco-system and its capacity for life itself that comes with that river,” Kerry says.

“That river is a global asset, a treasure that belongs to the region, and so it is vital that we avoid dramatic changes in the water flow and sediment levels. Already we are seeing fisheries are experiencing threats to the fish stocks as a consequence of the changes taking place,” he adds.

Kerry says he will raise the issue when he next visits China “so that we can work together on it in an effective way.”

While the Main Stream Media and the rest of the Liberals are portraying Sec. Kerry as some sore of conquering hero returning to the scene of his past triumphs, there is a part of Kerry’s “Vietnam Experience” that they avoid talking about. And for good reason.

On September 19, 2005, Fox News  reported

John Kerry’s opposition to the Vietnam War led him to many places, including Paris, where he met with the North Vietnamese in 1970. Kerry said then, and says now, that the meeting was a part of an effort to learn more about U.S. POWs. But some question the propriety of a commissioned Naval officer meeting with the enemy at a time of war.

When Kerry testified before the Senate in 1971, he pushed for an immediate, unilateral withdrawal of U.S. forces. If that happened, he said he knew the North Vietnamese would return all U.S. POWs.

“I have been to Paris. I have talked with both delegations at the peace talks, that is to say the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government,” Kerry said.

Kerry referred to an eight-point withdrawal plan that was offered to the U.S. by Madame Nguyen Thi Binh, then-foreign minister of the Provisional Revolutionary Government. While on his honeymoon in Paris with his first wife Julia Thorne, Kerry met with Madame Binh at a meeting that included members of both delegations to the peace talks, according to Kerry spokesman Michael Meehan.

Explaining Kerry’s trip, Meehan said in a statement, “Senator Kerry had no role whatsoever in the Paris peace talks or negotiations. He did not engage in any negotiations and did not attend any session of the talks. Prior to his Senate testimony, he went to Paris on a private trip, where he had one brief meeting with Madame Binh and others. In an effort to find facts, he learned the status of the peace talks from their point of view and about any progress in resolving the conflict, particularly as it related to the fate of the POWs.”

Kerry’s meeting with Binh occurred while he remained a commissioned officer with the U.S. Navy. Kerry was, by then, a member of the Navy Reserve and not on active duty.

“We’ve had presidents who have served in the military. We’ve had presidents who have never served in the military. But we’ve never had an American president who met with the enemy in a time of war while a naval officer in reserve status. Inconceivable,” said John O’Neill, a key member of the anti-Kerry Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (search).

Some critics have suggested Kerry’s meeting might have violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice (search), which prohibits members of the armed services from meeting with the enemy at a time of war. Meehan told FOX News the code of military justice did not apply to inactive reserve officers and that Kerry “did nothing wrong.” Meehan also said that Kerry met with the North Vietnamese only once.

But historian Gerald Nicosia has written that Kerry met with the North Vietnamese twice.

Citing redacted FBI files, Nicosia said, “The files record that Kerry made a second trip to Paris that summer to learn how the North Vietnamese might release prisoners.”

Nicosia told FOX News that the FBI files contained a newspaper clipping about a speech Kerry gave in August 1971 saying that he had just returned from a Paris meeting with the North Vietnamese. Nicosia told FOX he discussed the article with Kerry’s authorized biographer, Douglas Brinkley, who told him that Kerry had confirmed he’d met with the Vietnamese in 1970 and 1971.

How Obama and Congress could have put this Lightweight in such a powerful position, boggles the mind. Of course, this same bunch thought that an ex-First Lady, with no Foreign Policy experience, in the form of Hillary Clinton, would make an excellent Secretary of State, too.

With a track record behind both of them consisting of Arab Spring, Benghazigate, the Syria Fiasco, and now, the Internationally -panned Iranian Agreement, as far as the position of Secretary of State is concerned, we’ve gone from Tokyo Rose to a combination of Benedict Arnold and Pee Wee Herman.

Kerry didn’t return to the scene of his war victories, He just went there to visit his “buds”.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Veterans Day 2013

Veterans Day

Veterans Day was formerly known as Armistice Day, and wasoriginally set aside as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which took place on November 11, 1918. In legislation that was passed in 1938, November 11 was “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.'” As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.

In 1954, after World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, changed the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill created three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Under this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the last Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on Oct. 25, 1971.

Finally on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on Nov. 11.

In my research for today’s blog, I came across a speech that explains the significance of this day, far better than I ever could.

On Veterans Day, 1985, at Arlington Cemetery, President Ronald Reagan said the following,

…We are gathered at the National Cemetery, which provides a final resting place for the heroes who have defended our country since the Civil War. This amphitheater, this place for speeches, is more central to this cemetery than it first might seem apparent, for all we can ever do for our heroes is remember them and remember what they did — and memories are transmitted through words.

Sometime back I received in the name of our country the bodies of four marines who had died while on active duty. I said then that there is a special sadness that accompanies the death of a serviceman, for we’re never quite good enough to them-not really; we can’t be, because what they gave us is beyond our powers to repay. And so, when a serviceman dies, it’s a tear in the fabric, a break in the whole, and all we can do is remember.

It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country, in defense of us, in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray haired. But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives — the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for our country, for us. And all we can do is remember.

…There’s always someone who is remembering for us. No matter what time of year it is or what time of day, there are always people who come to this cemetery, leave a flag or a flower or a little rock on a headstone. And they stop and bow their heads and communicate what they wished to communicate. They say, “Hello, Johnny,” or “Hello, Bob. We still think of you. You’re still with us. We never got over you, and we pray for you still, and we’ll see you again. We’ll all meet again.” In a way, they represent us, these relatives and friends, and they speak for us as they walk among the headstones and remember. It’s not so hard to summon memory, but it’s hard to recapture meaning.

And the living have a responsibility to remember the conditions that led to the wars in which our heroes died. Perhaps we can start by remembering this: that all of those who died for us and our country were, in one way or another, victims of a peace process that failed; victims of a decision to forget certain things; to forget, for instance, that the surest way to keep a peace going is to stay strong. Weakness, after all, is a temptation — it tempts the pugnacious to assert themselves — but strength is a declaration that cannot be misunderstood. Strength is a condition that declares actions have consequences. Strength is a prudent warning to the belligerent that aggression need not go unanswered.

Peace fails when we forget what we stand for. It fails when we forget that our Republic is based on firm principles, principles that have real meaning, that with them, we are the last, best hope of man on Earth; without them, we’re little more than the crust of a continent. Peace also fails when we forget to bring to the bargaining table God’s first intellectual gift to man: common sense. Common sense gives us a realistic knowledge of human beings and how they think, how they live in the world, what motivates them. Common sense tells us that man has magic in him, but also clay. Common sense can tell the difference between right and wrong. Common sense forgives error, but it always recognizes it to be error first.

We endanger the peace and confuse all issues when we obscure the truth; when we refuse to name an act for what it is; when we refuse to see the obvious and seek safety in Almighty. Peace is only maintained and won by those who have clear eyes and brave minds. Peace is imperiled when we forget to try for agreements and settlements and treaties; when we forget to hold out our hands and strive; when we forget that God gave us talents to use in securing the ends He desires. Peace fails when we forget that agreements, once made, cannot be broken without a price.

Each new day carries within it the potential for breakthroughs, for progress. Each new day bursts with possibilities. And so, hope is realistic and despair a pointless little sin. And peace fails when we forget to pray to the source of all peace and life and happiness. I think sometimes of General Matthew Ridgeway, who, the night before D-day, tossed sleepless on his cot and talked to the Lord and listened for the promise that God made to Joshua: “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

We’re surrounded today by the dead of our wars. We owe them a debt we can never repay. All we can do is remember them and what they did and why they had to be brave for us. All we can do is try to see that other young men never have to join them. Today, as never before, we must pledge to remember the things that will continue the peace. Today, as never before, we must pray for God’s help in broadening and deepening the peace we enjoy. Let us pray for freedom and justice and a more stable world. And let us make a compact today with the dead, a promise in the words for which General Ridgeway listened, “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

In memory of those who gave the last full measure of devotion, may our efforts to achieve lasting peace gain strength. And through whatever coincidence or accident of timing, I tell you that a week from now when I am some thousands of miles away, believe me, the memory and the importance of this day will be in the forefront of my mind and in my heart.

Thank you. God bless you all, and God bless America.

Until He Comes,

KJ

The Republican Civil War: Bold Colors Vs. Pale Pastels

Cartoon-Cruz-Vs-Establishment-600Three years after the now-legendary Grassroots Movement known as “The Tea Party”, the Republican Party is in a state of disarray and discontent, to put it mildly. The Republican Establishment, or Vichy Republicans, as I have dubbed them, are desperately clinging to the Washingtonian Status Quo: reaching across the aisle, and going along to get along, known non-politically as “caving in”, while pushing potential Presidential Candidates for 2016 whose platforms are so similar to those of their potential Democrat Opponents are to be virtually indistinguishable.

Oblivious of their past failures (i.e., Dole, McCain, and Romney), while pursuing their milksop Political Philosophy, the Vichy Republicans, or GOPe, as an internet friend has named them, cling to their mission to hold onto their cushy Seats of Power, by playing an old, tired political game.

Make no mistake, they will defend the Washingtonian Status Quo to their last breath, and savage anyone who threatens it, with the help of their allies from “across the aisle”, the Democrats and their minions in the Main Stream media. Look at how they have attacked Former Alaskan Governor and Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate, Sarah Palin., and now the Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.

They have called them both everything but Children of God.

However, they are not the first Conservative Republican Politicians to be attacked in this manner, in this generation.  That honor belonged to the greatest United States President in our lifetime.

On March 1, 1975, the Great Communicator and Future President of the United States, Ronald Wilson Reagan, spoke the following words at the 2nd Annual CPAC Convention. He may as well have been speaking yesterday.

I don ‘t know about you, but I am impatient with those Republicans who after the last election rushed into print saying, “We must broaden the base of our party” — when what they meant was to fuzz up and blur even more the differences between ourselves and our opponents.

It was a feeling that there was not a sufficient difference now between the parties that kept a majority of the voters away from the polls. When have we ever advocated a closed-door policy? Who has ever been barred from participating?

Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?

Let us show that we stand for fiscal integrity and sound money and above all for an end to deficit spending, with ultimate retirement of the national debt.

Let us also include a permanent limit on the percentage of the people’s earnings government can take without their consent.

Let our banner proclaim a genuine tax reform that will begin by simplifying the income tax so that workers can compute their obligation without having to employ legal help.

And let it provide indexing — adjusting the brackets to the cost of living — so that an increase in salary merely to keep pace with inflation does not move the taxpayer into a surtax bracket. Failure to provide this means an increase in government’s share and would make the worker worse off than he was before he got the raise.

Let our banner proclaim our belief in a free market as the greatest provider for the people. Let us also call for an end to the nit-picking, the harassment and over-regulation of business and industry which restricts expansion and our ability to compete in world markets.

Let us explore ways to ward off socialism, not by increasing government’s coercive power, but by increasing participation by the people in the ownership of our industrial machine.

Our banner must recognize the responsibility of government to protect the law-abiding, holding those who commit misdeeds personally accountable.

And we must make it plain to international adventurers that our love of peace stops short of “peace at any price.”

We will maintain whatever level of strength is necessary to preserve our free way of life.

A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.

I do not believe I have proposed anything that is contrary to what has been considered Republican principle. It is at the same time the very basis of conservatism. It is time to reassert that principle and raise it to full view. And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way.

Timeless Advice.

Here’s some from ol’ KJ, if I may be so bold: you members of the Republican Establishment need to climb down off of your bar stools at the Congressional Country Club, and travel outside the Echo Chamber of the Beltway, where actual, average Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, trying to provide for their families, while attempting to make a better life for their children and grandchildren.

Come on down to Mississippi and sit a spell and have some barbecue, sweet tea, and ‘nana puddin’ with us average Americans, instead of hanging out with Obama at the White House and partaking of Arugula and Wagyu Beef.

You want to know why Folks like Sarah Palin, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz are so popular with average, real-life Americans (as opposed to statistics in an anonymous poll)?

Check out the pictures from a week ago Saturday of the Veterans March on Washington. They were there, GOPe. Why weren’t you?

Until He Comes,

KJ