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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Remembering Stan and Ken

  One of the best quotes I have ever heard came from former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts. He said, "Character is doing the right thing when no one is looking."
  Last week, we celebrated the lives of two people who have recently passed away. One of them was known to everyone. His name was Stan Musial. Stan was a St. Louis Cardinal all of his life. He was an amazing ball player. He played all of his 22 seasons in St. Louis. He played in 24 All Star games, 3,630 hits in his career, and a lifetime .331 batting average. Any student of the game will tell you those are some pretty impressive numbers.
  Stan was not just amazing on the field, he was amazing off the field as well. He and his wife Lil were married for 72 years. Unheard of in this day and age of prenuptial agreements and no fault divorce. Stan and Lil had 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. Stan also served his country, missing the entire 1945 season while in the Navy during World War II. Anyone who came in contact with Stan could tell stories of him going out of his way to give out an autographed baseball to anyone who wanted one, coming to say hello to a sick child, or even adult in the hospital. Stan was kind and generous to any and all he met, treated everyone with dignity and respect. Because that was the kind of man Stan was.
  The other person was not known to all. But he had many of the same characteristics that Stan did. Ken Jackson was not a famous man. He was not a ball player or a movie star. He was a nurse. When we first met, he worked on the Oncology floor of the hospital where I worked. Ken cared for terminally ill people. People who were not only enduring the chronic pain of cancer, but were also coming to terms with their own mortality. He also cared for their families, and tried to prepare them for life without their loved ones. Ken went on to have several different positions at the hospital. He worked in the Recovery Room, caring for people immediately following surgery. He helped shape the practice standards for the Nursing Staff. His final position was in Education. Giving newly graduated nurses, and those new to the hospital specialized training for which ever floor they would be working on. On one of his class evaluations, one of his students wrote, "He made me excited to be a nurse."
  Ken loved being a nurse. Like Stan being a ball player, it was who he was. Ken and his partner Terry were together for 20 years. Ken lost Terry in a car accident roughly a year and a half ago. Many who knew him well said he was just never the same. Like Stan, Ken went out of his way to help whomever he could. Not because it was convenient or necessary, but because it was the right thing to do.
  Stan Musial and Ken Jackson could not have been more different. They had different careers, certainly different lifestyles, different life paths. But people loved them for all the same reasons. For the men they were. For the way they treated their fellow man. For the level of excellence they demanded of themselves.
  Stan Musial will be remembered by millions of adoring fans. Ken Jackson will be remembered by all of the people who were touched by his skill and talent as a nurse. The memories of Stan and Ken remind us that it is not about who you love, but what you do when no one is looking.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Inauguration Blues

  I was at a meeting the other night, and saw a friend I had not seen in a while. When I asked how he was, he went on to talk about how he was still so demoralized and down since the election. He said he felt helpless, wanted to do something, but just did not know what.
  We talked for quite a while about many things. But I kept thinking about our first words about the election. If he was feeling this way, surely there were many others who shared those feelings. He also spoke of someone else he knew that still could not talk about yet another Republican loss of the White House without almost being moved to tears.
  The 2012 presidential election threw us all for a loop. For many Conservatives, Mitt Romney was less than an ideal candidate. But with a President whose record included an unemployment rate at around 8%, 16 trillion dollars in debt, with every indication that it will keep growing, and an overseas embassy attacked, and an Ambassador and four other Americans dead with no forthcoming explanation as to why, well, it is probably safe to say that we were fairly sure we had at least a fighting chance.
  Well, here we are, on the eve of the inauguration, and looming second term of Barack Obama. It's hard to compete with an entire generation of people who have been brainwashed by this administration, and their willing mainstream media prostitutes, that they don't have to work, they can get it all for free. It's a challenge to overcome Republicans in the House and Senate who, the day after the election, all but gave up, and seemed to be content with perpetual minority status.
  So what do we do? How do we snap out of this post-election funk so that it does not overtake our lives for the next four years? The answer may be different for all of us. But the most obvious answers may be, just when it seems like we should just give up, don't. Do not give up the fight. To paraphrase a famous (or infamous) American, many people for the first time in their lives, are truly afraid for their country. Freedom and liberty are worth fighting for, no matter what. Stay educated, stay informed, stay engaged, and by all means, stay in the fight! Make sure to gather with like-minded people. Whether it is a Tea Party group, a 9/12 group, or just your closest Conservative friends. Sometimes a Conservative support group is just what the doctor ordered. Although it is probably not covered by Obama care.
  If you think that blogging, writing, or blog talk radio is for you, by all means do it. Ronald Reagans and Andrew Breitbarts happen when you least expect them. Their spirits may, in the future, may be embodied by another person, or a group of people. But that spirit will come around again. It is inevitable.
  Do what you must to advance Conservatism. It really is up to us.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Shall Not Be Infringed

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

      Take a good long look at those words. They may not be around much longer. Behind a human shield of children who reportedly wrote letters to the President about the Sandy Hook tragedy, President Obama gave a news conference today, where he laid out a series of proposed gun regulations designed to prevent another school shooting like the one in Connecticut. In addition to these proposals, he also signed 23, count 'em, 23 executive orders, ranging from the CDC to do studies on the effects of violent video games on children and teenagers to the Department of Justice assisting Law Enforcement in tracking stolen guns. That last one has to be height of absurdity and hypocrisy! Three words come to mind, Fast and Furious.
  The proposed regulations, universal background checks, restoring the assault weapons ban, and banning high capacity clips and magazines were expected. But sweeping executive order is another thing entirely. This is just the first round in the more arrogant, more in your face Obama second term. After winning re-election, most Conservatives and maybe even a few borderline Liberals saw the writing on the wall and headed to the gun shop. Most common sense Conservatives have a pretty good idea just exactly how Barack Obama feels about the Constitution. He does not see the precious, noble document that protects our freedoms and liberties, that does not ask for our rights to be handed down from a Creator, but verifies that they are. No, Barack Obama sees an obstacle. A bump in the road if you will, to be gotten around. And the issuing of 23 executive orders without any input from a Congressman or a Senator, is exactly that. An end run. Getting around the obstacles. All 535 of them.
   This does not address the problem. None of these measures would have stopped Adam Lanza from carrying out his murderous rampage. His mother, Nancy Lanza, bought her guns legally. Adam Lanza was a mental case that no one addressed. His mother was afraid of him and was trying to get him committed. Too bad she did not start the process a few months before she did. But President Obama said nothing about the mental health care system today. And the people who will pay are responsible, law abiding gun owners.
  The response from the NRA was careful and measured. But make no mistake. They know what kind of a fight they are in for with this administration. They will need help from every corner of Conservatism. Barack Obama did invoke the name of Ronald Reagan today. But that was all part of the show. Liberals know that if they mention Reagan in an argument, more than likely, they will get the attention of Conservatives.
  This is just the beginning. It starts out slow, a small drip, a little incremental ism here, a little executive order there. It is the Patriots among us who must be geared up for the fight to preserve our Constitution. It is time we let Barack Obama know, he definitely has our attention.                                                     

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sandy Relief Bill = Hurricane Aftershock

  On Friday, January 4, Congress passed a $9.7 billion dollar relief bill for Hurricane Sandy victims. The bill is the first part of a total $60 billion dollar relief package.
  A lot of criticism has been launched at the Obama administration and Congress for their handling, or the lack of it, of federal aid for storm victims. The whole non-handling began when people went for weeks after the Oct. 29 storm, enduring freezing temperatures with no power. Some being forced from what was left of their homes. The rest of the relief package is scheduled to be voted on by Jan. 15. It was originally slated for voting during the fiscal cliff soap opera, but Speaker of the House, John Boehner pulled the bill, drawing some harsh words from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Rep. Peter King (R-NY), and a scathing attack by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who said he called Boehner 4 times and got no response. Christie blamed "toxic internal politics."
  So just what exactly is in the relief bill? There is allocation for $5.4 million dollars for repairing tunnels and other infrastructure. But there are other things like $150 million dollars for Alaskan fisheries, and $8 million dollars for the Department of Homeland Security to purchase new cars and equipment.
  As expected, a lot of storm victims are none too pleased, not only with the time it has taken for much needed help in repairing homes, etc., but the amount of money that has nothing to do with helping hurricane victims. Staten Island resident Scott McGrath, who has become a spokesman of sorts for Sandy victims, has called President Obama a "phony and a liar", for making sure to get a campaign photo-op immediately following the storm, and not delivering on promises of help in the form of federal assistance in a more timely fashion.
  There have also been more than a few comparisons of Obama's handling of hurricane Sandy versus George W. Bush's handling of hurricane Katrina. President Bush signed a $10.5 billion dollar relief bill just 4 days after Katrina. President Obama did not request funding Dec. 7, over a month later. Rep. King accused his fellow GOP colleagues of a bias against traditionally Democratic New York and New Jersey, but immediately following the storm,. there were rumblings that certain areas hardest hit by Sandy were becoming increasingly Republican, thus the slow federal response.
  One would hope that there were no campaign shenanigans in the wake of a tragedy such as this. But will having more Democratic support than Republican for the bill be a worry for Conservatives who might be a little jittery about their ability to govern in the House? They will no doubt attempt to get rid of some of the pork that is stuffed into this bill. In the end, it's not about politics and pork, it's about people.    

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ready To Start Anew

I guess I will start out by saying Happy New Year to everyone! Hope every body had a great, SAFE time last night, and hopefully you are not too badly hungover!
  I have been eagerly looking forward to 2013. I can't say 2012 was horrible, but I am so much more psyched for 2013. I have so much I want to do, so much I want get started working on, and so much I want to be involved in. 2012 was not so great for Republicans and Conservatives in a lot of ways. We lost the election, and most of us are genuinely concerned and frightened for the future of our country. Right now, it seems we are living every breathing moment of the whole fiscal cliff fiasco. We all know how important it is, but most people would probably tell you that it would have been solved long ago had we left it to the first 50 people listed in the phone book. You know, average Americans for whom the dollars and cents are very real.
  Most of us have most likely been a little reflective in the past few days. Maybe we have thought about loved ones that we lost in 2012, maybe there were things left undone, projects that we never got around to, or things we had vowed to be better at. When you think about it, getting a chance to make a fresh start every 365 days is not too bad a deal. Not only do we get a chance to start new good habits, it is a time to get rid of some bad habits and old baggage. A time to banish from our lives, all those things that do nothing but drag us down, get in the way, and just basically make us miserable. Sometimes it is easier said than done, but maybe, if the focus on what we want to accomplish is so great, none of those other things can creep in.
  This is going to be a very transitional, busy year for Conservatives. 2013 is going to be the time to clean house. We must make sure that every one of us is firm on what we believe, and why we believe it. We must make the Republican party a RINO free zone! It is going to take a lot of work, but the future of our nation depends on it. We must say what we think! Tell it like it is, and stop worrying about who is going to be offended! Somebody will be offended! But they will have to get over it! We are in a drastic position that may at times take drastic steps. We must make sure that the people we have elected to represent us, both at the State and National level do not decide that a spine is too much of a hassle to pack to take to Jefferson City or Washington D.C. with them. Not to stand up and fight must simply be deemed unacceptable any more.
  So be ready Patriots! 2013 has begun! Stand up, put your game face on, and strap yourselves in, it is sure to be one hell of a ride!