Sunday, May 03, 2009

Off to Afghanistan

When our kids were growing up we could have never imagined that they would be sent off to war.

The picture here is of my niece, her husband and their daughter. Both my niece and her husband are in the Navy. Rusty was deployed to Afghanistan last week; Liz is working in the hospital at Camp Lejeuene.

If you have a minute, here's a link to a story about the deployment of Rusty's batallion. A few prayers for his safety would be appreciated by all.

If you known me for a while, you know that my son, Allen, was deployed to Iraq for about a year in 2004. He left Iraq on Inauguration Day in 2005; the same day that he reenlisted in the Army National Guard for three more years. Al's enlistment was up late last year; and he plans to re-up again this fall.

From the beginning, this blog has been mostly focused on military matters, from a military mom's point of view. That will continue, and I'll post news about the 2nd MEB here from time to time. Let's hope and pray that there will be very little bad news and that this deployment will fly by.
Update: Here's a television news story with Rusty and Liz.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reading the Tea Leaves

Much has been said about the tea parties that were held on April 15th. Janeane Garofalo called the attendees racist. Several television anchors snickered about the "tea-baggers" apparently knowing the sexual meaning of the term. CNN's Susan Roesgen seemed to think that the protestors were a threat that she needed to quash herself.

Well, my husband and I attended the tea party event at the Minnesota State Capitol grounds. During the event, it was announced that there were between 8,000 - 10,000 people there. Who knows? It could have been more...or less... Almost all were pretty normal looking people. Like these:


Tea bags were a fashion accessory that were worn by men and women alike.

At the end of the event, people were invited to throw their tea bags into a large bin that was going to be presented to lawmakers at the capitol.

These two ladies don't look especially scary to me.

Are there some concerns? Sure. There did seem to be a lot of Ron Paul supporters, and so I would not want my presence to at the rally to imply support for Ron Paul if it was indeed his followers that really were behind the organization of the event. Also, there were a LOT of "Don't tread on me" flags. One has to wonder what type of folks have flags like that laying around the house.
For the most part, the crowd was quite mild. Some carried pretty creative signs. The motivation for most people's presence seemed to be out of control government spending. There were also many signs that displayed folk's feelings about guns and liberty.
Was this a historic moment? Probably not. But if the tea parties on July 4 grow by a factor of just two, they are going to be very hard to dismiss.




Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yes, they did!

You know, being a supporter of President Bush for eight years was a sometimes frustrating experience. It seemed that the entire journalistic world was against him, only being able to find flaws and never seeing the good. Slate.com still keeps track of current "Bushisms."

In the presidential campaign, there was a cone of silence about reporting on Barack Obama's flaws and so our nation plunged headlong, uniformed, into the election of a man whom they thought was the most gifted speaker in the history of the human race.

Well, the good folks in the U.K. are no longer star struck. From the Telegraph.co.uk, here's a top ten list of Obama Administration gaffes.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bien venidos a Venezuela

In the 1980's and early 1990's I worked in the finance department of an international heavy equipment manufacturer. One of our larger accounts was in Venezuela. I traveled there and found the country and people to be not that different from home. There was a healthy middle class, an entrepreneurial class, and all the rest. Over the years, I've watched as Hugo Chavez has gained and consolidated power, and observed warily the nationalization of the petroleum, cement, and steel industries. I've thought: "How sad for the people that I used to work with."

Amigos mios, bien venidos a Venezuela.

This morning, I read an article in the Washington Post titled: "President of Everything." I expected it to be a criticism of the power grab by President Obama's administration. The article even begins: "This is a presidency on steroids." This is something that you would have expected critics of the Bush administration to utter. But, no, opinionist Eugene Robinson thinks that a presidency on steriods is now a GOOD thing.

Here's some more from the article: "Now it's time for the administration to get to work. For his next act, Obama must set the parameters of a new presidential role that he did not seek but cannot avoid: managing the big chunks of the private-sector economy that are now more accurately described as semi-private at best. "

My heart sank as I read this paragraph, and it made me think of my old friends in Venezuela. You see, it's unavoidable (and not a bad thing in the view of this columnist) that big chunks of the American private-sector economy are now nationalized. Just like in Venezuela.

A lesson for today

If you read one article today, let it be this one by Ed Kaitz at American Thinker. It's titled: How Democracies become Tyrannies. I have to say that American Thinker is slightly reactionary, even for me. However this article rings true as it contrasts Plato's Republic to the rise of socialism in America, with inferences to our current President. It's a sober story and worth reading.

Cross posted at Fight On

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Silence is complicity

Cross-posted at Fight On:

This week, I've read two articles that are particularly chilling and I'm at a loss as to what to do.

The first is this opinion piece by former President Jimmy Carter. Found in The Washington Post and titled: "An Unnecessary War," the article starts thus:

"I know from personal involvement that the devastating invasion of Gaza by Israel could easily have been avoided. After visiting Sderot last April and seeing the serious psychological damage caused by the rockets that had fallen in that area, my wife, Rosalynn, and I declared their launching from Gaza to be inexcusable and an act of terrorism. Although casualties were rare (three deaths in seven years), the town was traumatized by the unpredictable explosions. About 3,000 residents had moved to other communities, and the streets, playgrounds and shopping centers were almost empty. Mayor Eli Moyal assembled a group of citizens in his office to meet us and complained that the government of Israel was not stopping the rockets, either through diplomacy or military action. "

The article then spends the next nine paragraphs explaining how Israel is totally to blame for the current hostilities in Gaza. If I have seen such a maniacal screed by someone of the stature of a former president of the United States, I cannot recall it. I have read Carter's writing in the past; this one has me floored.

My question is: "How do common citizens respond to things like this?" Do we simply whine about the crazy old man in the corner, hoping that no one is paying attention? Do we write the author and newspaper in order to try to set the record straight? Do we send emails to our friends in the media and ask them to write a rebuttal? At this point, none of this feels as if it's enough.

So, this blog post is one small way to not be silent.

The second article that absolutely stopped me in my tracks is a blog post from Melanie Phillips at the website of The Spectator. Very bad things are happening in Europe in regard to the rise of anti-Semitism. Ms. Phillips includes eye witness accounts of violent demonstrations in England. She ends her post with this:

"For silence is complicity, as once gentle, decent, civilised Britain changes before our horrified eyes into something very ugly indeed."

In a trip to Europe this summer, my husband and I visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. The visitors to the museum slowly and silently made their way through the different levels of the home, going from the normalcy of Anne's father's business that was run from the lower floors of the building to the betrayal of the Frank's, their friends, and the whole of the Jewish population of Europe in the 1940's.

I doubt that one person in that building on that day believed it could happen again.

I do believe that we are close to it happening again.

And we cannot be silent.