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Thursday, September 16, 2010

We were all Americans, once

Nine years ago on September 11 I was not feeling very well and had slept in as I had a doctor’s appointment later that day.
I still vividly remember getting the call that woke me up to turn on the TV.
I will never forget the horror I felt as I watched the towers fall.
I will also never forget the pride I felt as I heard about the passengers of Flight 93 who decided they’d rather die on their feet fighting than let cowardly terrorists use them as a weapon.
Nor will I forget the anger which burned in my heart that day, and still burns today as I think about the people who died.
I remember the fierce pride in my country as I watched us all come together the next day. The frightening, wolfish smiles on the faces of my countrymen as President George W. Bush promised a crowd at ground zero that “the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”
How soon we forget.
On Sept. 12 we were united as a country in a way that we had not been since Pearl Harbor. The sleeping giant that is the American people stirred, and lifted his head. And as they did on that terrible day in 1941 the tyrants and dictators and evil men suddenly wondered what exactly they had done and quailed from that glare.
And then, slowly, with complicity from certain elements of the government on both sides of the aisle, and the media, the giant was placated. Lullabies were sung, backs were rubbed and gently, gently, the giant returned to sleep.
As I write this on Sept. 13, 2010, our nation is divided as at no time since the Civil War. We refuse to so much as consider opposing view points.
In congress our “leaders” reflexively oppose anything the other party proposes.
The media demonizes average Americans who dare to stand up and ask “why?” Or suggest they don’t agree with something the president is doing.
An Imam wishes to build a mosque in the shadow of ground zero, while nearly 10 years later the Twin Towers remain a hole in the ground.
In Florida, a pastor, in a move just as offensive, said he was going to burn the Quran on Sept. 11 unless the backers of the mosque back down.
So far, neither has happened.
I make no bones about my political leanings, I’m a common sense conservative and proud of it. I’m not a republican, however. I’m frankly done with both parties.
The direction I see the country going worries me, not so much the policies coming down from the top — although those are troubling — but the frightening division in this country.
We must find ways to come together. There are things we can all agree on — or at least I would hope so.
While I will not compromise my principles, I can agree with those on the left on a few things.
I want a cleaner environment. I want a good job. I want others to have good jobs and roofs over their heads.
While I may differ with the left on how those things might be accomplished, I would hope we could all agree those are things to strive for.
I have always thought, that if people of good intent find the places they agree, and sit down to discuss them they can usually find some common ground.
I want to pass this wonderful nation down to my children and grandchildren.
If we don’t start finding some common ground soon, I am very much afraid we’ll tear ourselves apart first.
Please folks, let’s try to get back to that unity we had on Sept. 12, 2001.
Let’s try to find that common ground.
There was a time when, whatever our political differences, we were all Americans first.
I pray we can find a way to be that again.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The nature of conservatism

I recently had the opportunity to explain a little about conservatism to someone who's leanings are a bit more to the left.
The individual had honest questions about conservatives' positions and really wanted to know why it is conservatives believe what they believe.
The conversation went a little like this ...
"Why is it conservatives say they are against government regulation but then want to ban abortion and stem cell research."
My response was fairly simple, if you believe life begins at conception then abortion is murder -- and murder is illegal.
I also mentioned that even among conservatives there is much debate on the issue. There is no firm "conservative" position on the topic.
As to the stem cell debate, this is a complicated issue much demonized by the media as a convenient club with which to beat the right about the head and shoulders.
President George W. Bush did not and could not ban stem cell research. What he did do was restrict federal funding to already extant lines of embryonic stem cells and prohibited funding further lines of embryonic stem cells because at the time it was necessary to create a human embryo simply to destroy it in order to get the stem cells.
Bush could not and did not prohibit funding to adult stem cell research which has yielded several therapies -- which embryonic stem cell research has not.
He also did not prohibit private funding to embryonic stem cell research.
Moreover, scientists have since found a way to turn adult stem cells into embryonic stem cells so there is no longer a reason to create embryos simply to harvest the stem cells.
And once again there is no hard and fast "conservative" position on the subject.
The problem is that for most people things like this get boiled down to a 30 second sound bite -- which really doesn't work well on issues this complicated.
It's worse on the MSM talk shows.
You'll have a thoughtful, reasoned conservative who actually understands the issue on one side, and on the other a liberal who may or may not understand the issue, but who is there mostly to make the conservative look evil.
The poor conservative will try to explain the complicated issue, in a logical fashion and try to do it in 30 seconds or less. Half way through the liberal will start to rave and foam at the mouth.
"Why do you hate disabled people, don't you know this will save them!?!?! YOU HATE MICHAEL J. FOX!!! WHY DO YOU WANT HIM TO DIE!?!?!"
The conservative, being a reasoned individual will return to his calm tone of voice and try to explain that embryonic stem cells therapies haven't worked but there are some promising lines of inquiry in adult stem cells, only to be interrupted by a screech of "WHY DIDN'T YOU WANT CHRISTOPHER REEVES TO WALK AGAIN!?!?"
The moderator should, of course, step in at this point and get his guest under control.
What usually happens, however, is something more along the lines of, "yeah, why do you want Michael J. Fox to die?"
By the time this is all over the poor conservative is often reduced to gibbering madness and the poor viewer is left either more confused about the issue or believing all conservatives are idiots.
Fortunately we have blogs like this one and Pajamas Media and the rest of the blogosphere where reasoned people can find the truth.
I shudder to think where we would be as a nation right now without the New Media.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Looney left just gets loonier

Much has been said about the so-called Ground Zero Mosque. Proponents note it’s an “Islamic Community Center” which just happens to contain a mosque. They complain it’s not on Ground Zero, but two blocks away. And they frame it as a first amendment issue.

Even the president weighed in, saying they had a right to build there, but then walked his comments back saying “I wasn’t commenting on the wisdom of building there.”

To be clear, the president is right, they do have a right to build a mosque on private property — regardless of where that private property happens to be.

However, Americans are rightly seeing this as a slap in the face — and a deliberate one.

To erect this “community center” just 600 feet from the place where more than 3,000 innocents were murdered by their coreligionists cannot be seen as anything but an attempt to declare victory.

It’s also one more indication of how far out of touch with the American people the left is.

Seventy percent of the population is against the construction of this particular mosque — note that phrase well — they are not against building a mosque, just this mosque in this particular place.

So, while the public is up in arms, outraged about this affront to the memories of murder victims, what is the left doing?

Well, Obama refuses to say building it there is a bad idea. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg seems to think it’s a capital idea and Speaker of the House and wicked witch of the west wannabe Nancy Pelosi wants to investigate the funding of groups who are opposed to the mosque.


It’s no wonder the democrats are in deep trouble in the polls.

Most people would look at polls suggesting you’re ticking people off and — change direction.

Not so the looney left. They look at polls which say the electorate is nearly apoplectic with them and think “These stupid peasants, who do they think they are? Don’t they know how much smarter than them we are?” And then continue on their merry way passing legislation a lobotomized squirrel could tell them wouldn’t work.

Meanwhile a vein continues to throb on the side of the collective head of America.

The thing that scares me about this political class is I’m not certain they will get the message even after November 2. This bunch, and I include most of the republicans in this as well, simply don’t live the same lives as the rest of us. They really believe it’s some sort of noblesse oblige to condescend to us peasants who are just not capable of taking care of ourselves.

Folks, November is coming, we have to send a message which cannot be mistaken. Pay attention to the candidates your local tea party is endorsing — then check them out yourself. Vote for the man, not the party. Find candidates who truly understand this country and do what you can to help them get elected.

This nation remains the last, best hope for freedom in the world. But as Abraham Lincoln said “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

This nation is more divided than at anytime since the Civil War. It’s time to start bringing it back together. That starts by getting those who would divide us along race, class, economic and political lines out of office.

All IMHO of course.