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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanks For The Small Stuff

  This is the week, the one week out of the year, that Americans take a day out of their completely impossible lives, to give thanks for their blessings. Most of us are thankful for a lot of the same things, our families, friends, still having a job, if we in fact, still do have a job. We are thankful for our health, and the health of our loved ones. We should absolutely be grateful for those things. But this year, I decided to go a different way. For those of you who know me, I know this is shocking. This year, I thought I would be thankful not just for the big things, but for some little things too. You know, those small little creature comforts that keep us off the ledge after a day that could not suck more.
  I don't watch nearly as often as I would like, but I am thankful for hockey. I have said many times that if I played, I am pretty sure that I would be an enforcer. I would not possess a tooth in my head, but I would be damn good at it. I am thankful for all of the great music on my iPod. Sometimes, I just gotta hear Ted Nugent, the "Peanuts" theme, and "Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" exactly in that sequence. I am thankful for warm summer days, when my car, a 2005 black Chevy Cavalier, is freshly washed and waxed. Having grown up with a dad who was a serious car guy, I see sheer beauty in shiny steel, just begging me to hop in and break a few speed limits.
  Since we are talking about Thanksgiving, we must of course talk about food. They don't call it comfort food for nothing. But not just the standard turkey and dressing. I think it is perfectly O.K. to give thanks for the perfection of an ice cold beer at a baseball game. Be thankful for your favorite cake on your birthday, or that one meal, whether it was something your Mom made you as a kid, something of your own invention, or a fast food favorite that you simply must indulge in every now and then. By all means, giving thanks for Jack in the Box tacos is acceptable.
  Thanksgiving means giving thanks for all of those completely stupid things our friends, family, and co-workers say and do to make us laugh uncontrollably. The best part being when someone else walks in, and there is just no way to explain what is so funny. I can think of a few, and you know who you are. A nickname of "Beckers", "what in the blue hell....?!", and "licking the taco", immediately come to mind. I wish I could explain, but I am laughing way too hard, and it would take way too long.
  Then there are those even smaller things. Your comfy clothes after a long day. A wagging tail attached to your dog who is always unconditionally glad to see you. O.K. Maybe there is just one condition, and it involves food, but it is a nice thought to entertain. Turning on the TV, and finding your favorite movie. Sure you have seen it 237 times, will 238 cause a break out of world peace? Probably not, so who is it hurting right?
  We are all thankful for the most important things and people in our lives. Being thankful for the small stuff does not make you selfish. It makes you human.
  Happy Thanksgiving from The Conservative Cauldron!  

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Moment In Time

  This week, America will mark the 50th anniversary of one of the darkest days in our history. Fifty years ago, to the day, John F. Kennedy, thirty fifth President of the United States, was assassinated. That Friday started out dark and rainy, but by late morning, the clouds had given way to a sunny fall day in Dallas. Kennedy was in Texas to bring together two factions of the Democratic Party. Liberal and Conservative Democrats alike had to at least give the impression of unity in order to snag the large number of electoral votes that Texas had to offer in 1964's presidential election.
  The whole world it seemed, had fallen in love with America's first couple. Jack Kennedy was young, good looking and, despite many who thought him too inexperienced, exuded the capability needed to lead one of the world's superpowers. Jackie Kennedy was one of the most glamorous first ladies the nation had seen in quite a while. She was beautiful, spoke several languages, and was always the height of fashion. As soon as Jackie was wearing it, every woman in America was wearing it.
  Those who were there on that awful day, know exactly where they were, and what they were doing. It would be another year and three months before this Blogger would make her debut, but from my husband, then a second grader who remembered the announcement coming over the public address system at his elementary school in the small town of Warrenton Missouri, to my mother, a young wife, who was busy with housework when CBS News, and a visibly shaken Walter Cronkite, broke into daytime programming with the first terrible sketchy reports.
  So many things began that day with the end of John Kennedy's life, and the end of "Camelot". The murder of a sitting President should have been a case with no mistakes, no stone left unturned, nothing left to chance. But in the fifty years since, it has become one of the most talked about murders, and possible conspiracy theories in American history. The Warren Commission, now looked at as just another government farce, wanted the public to believe that a drifter named Lee Harvey Oswald, a guy who had serious Marxist tendencies, had lived in the Soviet Union, brought home a Russian wife, and had a hard time keeping a job, had single handedly pulled off the crime of the century. Had he acted alone? Was  it the Russians? The Cubans? The Mob?
  But the events of that day go so much deeper. For many Americans, they can almost divide American history into pre-Kennedy and post-Kennedy eras. That day ushered in a new mentality, and it wounded the American psyche in ways that have never been able to be repaired. After Kennedy's death, the war in Vietnam escalated, and it brought out an ugliness in people. People who were quick to blame America, and looked to exaggerate each and every one of her flaws. The divide between Left and Right became wider, and the point at which words and actions crossed the line not only were pushed to the limits, but often became just plain unacceptable.
  What would John Kennedy think of the America that was born after his death? Many Conservatives  claim that Kennedy would be one of them today, citing his stance on tax cuts and the no nonsense way he dealt with the Soviet Union and Nikita Kruschev. But what would he think of the faction of Americans that are so quick to "blame America first"? The crowd who thinks that "fundamental transformation" is the best possible solution for a nation so unfair to 99% of its citizens? Would he scold them? Cheer them on? Or wonder what in God's name had become of a country he so obviously loved and gave his life for?
  John Kennedy, a man born of privilege, who could
 take advantage of everything America had to offer to a man of wealth and means, would most likely have this to say to the "blame America first" gang. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.         

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

T.E.A = K.K.K.??

  It is always fairly easy to figure out when the Left is out of arguments. The race card is whipped out of any given Liberal's pocket as quick as the knife thrower at the circus. It is the last resort, to go to, old faithful.
  Most Conservatives, be they individuals or groups, have had the race card flung at them. It is almost a badge of honor. But perhaps no group of people has been branded with this accusation more than the Tea Party. Since its inception in 2009 immediately following the election of Barack Obama, Liberals have made it their mission to paint this group of ordinary American citizens as crazed gun toting, bible thumping, right wing extremists, who also harbored tremendous hatred for the nation's first black President, and in general, just anyone who did not look like them. You know, white people.
  But Liberal Democrats expend almost as much energy covering up their own shady racial past as they do trying to convince everyone that all Tea Party supporters have sheets hanging in their closets. Should we take a look at some of those less than harmonious episodes in the life of the Democratic Party?
  Well, for starters, the Ku Klux Klan was founded by Democrats. Nathan Bedford Forrest, and five other disgruntled Confederate veterans, thought it a much better idea to terrorize, lynch, and generally make life in the South a dangerous proposition for newly freed slaves, who just wanted to live their lives, and enjoy the freedom that for so long was denied them.
  But African Americans are not the only ones to enjoy the Democratic Party's steadfast tolerance of, well, anyone who just doesn't look like them. Almost immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor which drew America into World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democrat, issued an executive order, commanding more than 100,000 Japanese Americans to report to internment camps. People who had done nothing more than be of Japanese ancestry. People who were hard working, law abiding citizens. And what did they get for their trouble? Being herded like cattle into "bleak, remote camps surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards". In short, humiliation.
  And in the most recent past, after a debate, candidate, now Lt. Governor-Elect, Democrat Ralph Northam refused to shake the hand of his opponent, E.W. Jackson, a Republican, and oh, by the way, African American. But perhaps the icing on the cake, who can forget, in their zeal to help the Democratic Party, the usual suspects at MSNBC, editing video tape of a Tea Party rally in 2010. The tape shows a man standing in the crowd at the rally, a rifle resting on his shoulder. They were so careful to edit out the crazy right winger's hands and face. Had their editing job been the least bit sloppy, the world would have seen that the entire picture was of a black man at the Tea Party event. Just another face in the crowd. But a face that Democrats could not afford to let
 be seen. It would mess up the whole narrative.
  More and more minority Conservatives are coming forth and making their voices heard, in the Tea Party and elsewhere. Maybe unfortunately for Liberal Democrats, they are students of history.