Morning Bell: Happy Memorial Day

Morning Bell: Happy Memorial Day

Posted By Conn Carroll On May 31, 2010 @ 9:00 am In First Principles, Protect America | 16 Comments

In honor of those who lost their lives while serving our country, we would like to share with you President Ronald Reagan’s 1986 Memorial Day remarks [1] at Arlington National Cemetery:

Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It’s a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others. It’s a day to be with the family and remember.

I was thinking this morning that across the country children and their parents will be going to the town parade and the young ones will sit on the sidewalks and wave their flags as the band goes by. Later, maybe, they’ll have a cookout or a day at the beach. And that’s good, because today is a day to be with the family and to remember.

Arlington, this place of so many memories, is a fitting place for some remembering. So many wonderful men and women rest here, men and women who led colorful, vivid, and passionate lives. There are the greats of the military: Bull Halsey and the Admirals Leahy, father and son; Black Jack Pershing; and the GI’s general, Omar Bradley. Great men all, military men. But there are others here known for other things.

Here in Arlington rests a sharecropper’s son who became a hero to a lonely people. Joe Louis came from nowhere, but he knew how to fight. And he galvanized a nation in the days after Pearl Harbor when he put on the uniform of his country and said, “I know we’ll win because we’re on God’s side.” Audie Murphy is here, Audie Murphy of the wild, wild courage. For what else would you call it when a man bounds to the top of a disabled tank, stops an enemy advance, saves lives, and rallies his men, and all of it single-handedly. When he radioed for artillery support and was asked how close the enemy was to his position, he said, “Wait a minute and I’ll let you speak to them.” [Laughter]

Michael Smith is here, and Dick Scobee, both of the space shuttle Challenger. Their courage wasn’t wild, but thoughtful, the mature and measured courage of career professionals who took prudent risks for great reward—in their case, to advance the sum total of knowledge in the world. They’re only the latest to rest here; they join other great explorers with names like Grissom and Chaffee.

Oliver Wendell Holmes is here, the great jurist and fighter for the right. A poet searching for an image of true majesty could not rest until he seized on “Holmes dissenting in a sordid age.” Young Holmes served in the Civil War. He might have been thinking of the crosses and stars of Arlington when he wrote: “At the grave of a hero we end, not with sorrow at the inevitable loss, but with the contagion of his courage; and with a kind of desperate joy we go back to the fight.”

All of these men were different, but they shared this in common: They loved America very much. There was nothing they wouldn’t do for her. And they loved with the sureness of the young. It’s hard not to think of the young in a place like this, for it’s the young who do the fighting and dying when a peace fails and a war begins. Not far from here is the statue of the three servicemen—the three fighting boys of Vietnam. It, too, has majesty and more. Perhaps you’ve seen it—three rough boys walking together, looking ahead with a steady gaze. There’s something wounded about them, a kind of resigned toughness. But there’s an unexpected tenderness, too. At first you don’t really notice, but then you see it. The three are touching each other, as if they’re supporting each other, helping each other on.

I know that many veterans of Vietnam will gather today, some of them perhaps by the wall. And they’re still helping each other on. They were quite a group, the boys of Vietnam—boys who fought a terrible and vicious war without enough support from home, boys who were dodging bullets while we debated the efficacy of the battle. It was often our poor who fought in that war; it was the unpampered boys of the working class who picked up the rifles and went on the march. They learned not to rely on us; they learned to rely on each other. And they were special in another way: They chose to be faithful. They chose to reject the fashionable skepticism of their time. They chose to believe and answer the call of duty. They had the wild, wild courage of youth. They seized certainty from the heart of an ambivalent age; they stood for something.

And we owe them something, those boys. We owe them first a promise: That just as they did not forget their missing comrades, neither, ever, will we. And there are other promises. We must always remember that peace is a fragile thing that needs constant vigilance. We owe them a promise to look at the world with a steady gaze and, perhaps, a resigned toughness, knowing that we have adversaries in the world and challenges and the only way to meet them and maintain the peace is by staying strong.

That, of course, is the lesson of this century, a lesson learned in the Sudetenland, in Poland, in Hungary, in Czechoslovakia, in Cambodia. If we really care about peace, we must stay strong. If we really care about peace, we must, through our strength, demonstrate our unwillingness to accept an ending of the peace. We must be strong enough to create peace where it does not exist and strong enough to protect it where it does. That’s the lesson of this century and, I think, of this day. And that’s all I wanted to say. The rest of my contribution is to leave this great place to its peace, a peace it has earned.

Thank all of you, and God bless you, and have a day full of memories.

Special Memorial Day Message From Governor Brewer

  Special Memorial Day Message From Governor Brewer

Today, each of us should take time to remember that every minute of every hour of every day we live in a free nation.

It is a freedom protected by the service of men and women in uniform, standing in foreign lands, isolated posts, always standing against the forces of fear and tyranny.

Because it is a privilege to express our gratitude to those whose sacrifices serve as constant reminders of the high price of liberty; as Governor of Arizona, I have proclaimed this day — May 31st, 2010 — “Arizona Memorial Day.”

We remember and honor all those courageous men and women of our armed forces who have risked and lost their lives to protect America’s interests, to defend our freedom, to preserve our values, and to advance the ideals of democracy. 

I have directed that in respect and recognition of these courageous men and women, all veterans of the United States Military Services, state and local government officials, educators, students, historians, and all patriotic citizens of this great state and nation are encouraged to observe Memorial Day, May 31, 2010 with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

God bless you and your families, God bless the memory of our fallen heroes, and may God bless Arizona and the United States of America.

 

Sarah Palin: Memorial Day, to Remember Past and Present Sacrifice

Sarah Palin: Memorial Day, to Remember Past and Present Sacrifice

Memorial Day, to Remember Past and Present Sacrifice
 Yesterday at 8:22am
“Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”
- General Orders No.11, Grand Army of the Republic Headquarters, May 5, 1868

This weekend, as we enjoy time with family and friends, we should stop and remember the meaning of this national holiday. Memorial Day is a uniquely American holiday that finds its origins in the aftermath of our Civil War, when our country searched for a proper way to commemorate the many who had fallen in the long struggle to end slavery and unify our nation.

Today, we remember all of those throughout our history and to this very day who gave their lives serving our country in uniform. Our prayers are especially with the surviving family members for whom everyday is memorial day, as they live on remembering their loved ones who died selflessly to protect the freedoms we hold dear.

And on Memorial Day, let us also remember all veterans, past and present, because everyone who wears the uniform and swears the oath is willing to make that ultimate sacrifice for America. So, in honoring them let’s keep in mind this version of a popular poem as we show respect for those willing to sacrifice all for our exceptional country:

“It is the veteran, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.

It is the veteran, who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag, and whose coffin will be draped by the flag.”

- Sarah Palin

(Enjoy this version of the poem recited by Fred Thompson.)

What is Memorial Day?

What is Memorial Day?

Posted By Paul Vallely On May 31, 2010 @ 12:14 am In FrontPage | 4 Comments

Memorial Day is a great and wonderful way to remember our patriotic heroes who sacrificed their lives to help us breathe the air of freedom. This day is observed with families and friends visiting cemeteries and memorials to pay homage to their loved and forgotten ones.

“Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.”
–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Memorial Day was first celebrated on May 30, 1868. It was observed by placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers during the first national celebration. Gen. James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which around 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who were buried there.

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. This date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

The alternative name of “Memorial Day” was first used in 1882. It did not become more common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967. On June 28, 1968, the United States Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved three holidays from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend. The holidays included Washington’s Birthday, now celebrated as Presidents’ Day; Veterans Day and Memorial Day. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971.

Red Poppies are a tradition inspired by a poem in 1915, “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance of those who have died serving our country. I tear at the sound of “Taps” played at ceremonies on Memorial Day. “We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them.” –Francis A. Walker.

It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the VETERAN, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the VETERAN, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the VETERAN, not the politician, Who has given us the right to vote.

I will tear up as well. We will be with our son, Scott, at his gravesite in Bigfork, Montana in memory of his service to our country.

Have a fun, safe, and memorable Memorial Day.

God Bless America and our great United States.

The Last Full Measure of Devotion

The Last Full Measure of Devotion

Posted By Rich Trzupek On May 31, 2010 @ 12:31 am In FrontPage | 2 Comments

 

While official observance of Memorial Day – then Decoration Day – began in 1868, the seeds of our national day of remembrance were planted five years earlier, in a small Pennsylvania college town during the fall of 1863 when a backwoods lawyer struggled to define the nature of sacrifice and dedication, utilizing a little over 250 hastily-chosen, but carefully-crafted, words to make his point. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address became the gold standard by which all tributes to fallen heroes and the causes for which they fight are judged. Nearly a century and a half later, no one has more clearly defined the character of this nation, or of the valiant warriors who risk everything in the defense of that vague ideal we call liberty, than the sixteenth president of the United States did on that distant day.

In the course of two minutes – a speech so brief that a photograph of the event could not be recorded for posterity with the cumbersome equipment in use at the time – Lincoln both clarified America’s mission and advanced a theorem describing our character, eloquently summarizing the ideals of a young nation that was then not yet a century old and defining the principles that would guide it guide it for a century more to come. Eighty-five powerful words formed the crescendo of that speech; eighty-five words that once resonated in the soul of virtually every American, but which now serve to define the deep divisions emblematic of the ongoing conflict for our nation’s soul:

“The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion…”

Actions, Lincoln said, speak far louder than words. What ultimately mattered is “what they did here.” Their work – their bloody work – was “nobly advanced” and in doing so “they gave the last full measure of devotion…” The vast majority of Americans in 1863 instinctively understood these tenets, just as they did in 1776 and the as they would in 1963. For almost two centuries the nobility, the devotion and the selflessness of those who defended America and who protected liberty was never a matter of debate, except in the most extreme and obscure, dusty corners of American thought. At Gettysburg, Lincoln brought this part of our national character into its sharpest focus.

But what of the rest of us: the civilians who form the preponderance of any populace? What of those of us who are protected by the noble few standing ready to give their last full measure of devotion? How might we honor these brave defenders of liberty?

Lincoln was the consummate American president, a principled pragmatist. In answering that question, Lincoln recognized both the need to defend representative government and the powerful forces aligned in opposition to doing so. The simple message that he delivered at Gettysburg powerfully reinforced the former and skillfully undermined the latter. Americans, he declared, are not so foolish as to risk – and ultimately give – the “last full measure of devotion” for anything less than a cause worth that ultimate sacrifice. If such sacrifices were to have meaning, then the public has an obligation not just to honor the causes that cost these heroes their lives, but to increase their own devotion to such causes. Anything less would dishonor those we had lost, tantamount to declaring that their sacrifices had been in vain.

For nearly two hundred years, no American would claim that anyone who fell in combat defending our nation had died in vain, much less to even suggest that doing so was anything less than honorable. Then came the dreadful decade of the 1960s, and all that went with it: disillusionment, self-doubt and despair. In military and geo-political terms, America was no longer the underdog, as we had been since the nation was founded. Liberals, who had previously not only supported our military efforts around the world, but who had in fact been responsible for getting us into most of our conflicts for idealistic (and honorable) reasons, soured on the idea that America could protect the downtrodden and spread liberty about the globe. After spending two centuries supporting America’s efforts to defend the notion of freedom against powerful would-be oppressors, the left took one look at the war in Viet Nam and concluded that we were no longer the underdog, upstart nation that King George, Santa Ana, the Kaiser and Hitler had sneered at. We were now the dominant power on the globe and, it followed, we must therefore now be an oppressor ourselves. And, if that point needed to be reinforced, there was also this: our sworn enemy – the only other super-power on earth – was a nation that had embraced the liberal dream of replacing capitalism with statism. For the left, by fighting in Viet Nam, not only was America flexing its newly-found muscle as bullies always do, we were putting the collectivist, socialist ideal in grave danger.

And so, what had been unconscionable in 1960 became common-place, and in some quarters fashionable, by 1970: the devotion and selflessness of those who served our nation in combat wasn’t merely questioned. We zoomed past self-doubt into something far more insidious. The combatants themselves were ridiculed, mocked and insulted. America abandoned honor in the sixties, and with it, lost her soul. The ideal that Lincoln had so eloquently expressed, that of taking increased devotion to a cause for which heroes had made the ultimate sacrifice, was replaced in liberal quarters by the notion that the warriors serving such a cause were as foul as the cause supposedly was itself.

Today, the left has backed off of that ugly mindset somewhat, but only somewhat. As our men and women in uniform put their lives on the line to fight fundamentalist, fascist extremists in Iraq and Afghanistan, this latest generation of noble American warriors have been transformed in progressive eyes from dangerous co-conspirators to unwitting dupes. To the left, those serving in the armed forces are merely that segment of our society that could not find a better job flipping burgers. The notion that these brave Americans might actually believe in their mission never occurs to the average liberal. Accordingly, no “increased devotion” is necessary on their part. There is only an exit strategy to pursue.

Here on the right, we see the valor of our troops in entirely different terms. Their devotion means that we must rededicate ourselves to ensuring the success of their mission. Their sacrifices require that we ensure those sacrifices are not in vain. Their courage demands our commitment. For, on this day, and every Memorial Day, there is only one reason that Americans willingly place themselves in harm’s way on distant shores: that we “shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Nothing less will – or should – do.

Memorial Day Salute

Memorial Day Salute

By Doug Powers  •  May 31, 2010 08:11 AM

**Written by guest-blogger Doug Powers

The word “sacrifice” is often used in a wildly exaggerated fashion (for some of us, it’s a “sacrifice” to lose cable for a day), but those who make very real and sometimes ultimate sacrifices are some of the reasons that the rest of us are in the enviable position of being able to consider something as trivial as losing cable to be a sacrifice.

Most of us have been touched in some way by the loss of these heroes — be they family or friends. Among them, for my family, is my cousin, Steve, who was killed in Vietnam.

There was a nice write-up in the Lansing (Michigan) State Journal yesterday about him that I wanted to share. Here’s just a snippet:

Sometimes in life, you get lucky enough to have a friend who makes all the difference. For Bob DiBlase of Haslett, that person was Steven Powers.

Growing up in Lansing, Bob admits he was heading down the wrong path. He was a kid with a chip on his shoulder who liked to brawl. Before school sometimes, he’d stop off on a well-known corner downtown and pick a fight with whoever was hanging out. That’s where Steven found him one day – all bloodied and scruffy.

They sort of knew each other already. Steven went to school with Bob’s older brother at Everett High School. “He grabbed me and said, ‘I’m taking you to a dance tonight. But you can’t go looking like that,’ ” Bob says.

So Steven took him to Holden-Reid, bought him some penny loafers and a button-down shirt and took him to the dance. The friendship took; Bob didn’t fight anymore after that.

“He was laid back and easy-going,” says Bob. “The girls drooled over him. We all turned into the ‘Beach Boys’ type. We were just having fun.”
***
Which is why it shocked the hell out of his friends when Steven enlisted in the Marines after high school. It was 1966. Everyone knew what was happening in Vietnam. But Steven was determined to go.

He was assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion of the 9th Marine Regiment, Third Marine Division. Public records don’t indicate when his tour started, but on May 14, 1967, he was wounded and received the Purple Heart.

He came home, healed up and was sent back to Vietnam. A few weeks later, he was killed.

The rest of the article is here. An interactive Vietnam Wall is here.

A very special thank-you as well to all those who are currently serving or have served so that we may remain free. From my family, that includes my father, an Air Force veteran; my uncle Steve, a retired Air Force Colonel, pilot and Vietnam veteran; and another cousin, Mike, who is a 1990 Air Force Academy grad who has served in the Middle East, Africa and Japan, among other places, and is still on active duty.

Freedom is a little like oxygen — it can be easy to take for granted until you start to lose it. A society that waits until it’s gasping and turning blue to realize that can’t remain free for long, so Memorial Day is an opportunity to take a deep breath and appreciate the fresh air we enjoy, thank these heroes, and to pledge to see to it that their sacrifices were not in vain. This is a valuable service that even those of us who never served can provide, and it’s the least we can do.

Today is the day we “officially” remember and thank all those who have given their lives in our country’s service, but, as Ted Nugent wrote in the Washington Times, we should strive to make every day Memorial Day.

**Written by guest-blogger Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

When Masculine Virtues Go Out of Fashion

When Masculine Virtues Go Out of Fashion

By Tom Hoffman

The culture war begun in the sixties has, in large part, been won by the left. Nowhere is this clearer than in the feminization of men. The virtues of manhood which had been extolled and celebrated throughout the middle ages right up to the 1950s have been completely expunged from academia and pop culture. The baby boom generation was the last to be taught the values of rugged individualism, risk-taking, courage, bravery, loyalty, and reverence for tradition. John Wayne epitomized the rugged individual who was committed to fighting “the bad guy,” but he was only one of a whole host of competing figures cut out of the same cloth. What happened?
Today, the Boy Scouts are fighting the last battle in a lost cause. Any man who stands up to the “women’s movement” is completely marginalized as a sexist and homophobe. These names have become just as stigmatizing as “racist” used to be. It is no wonder that women now are the majority of college graduates and are increasing their role in every institution from private enterprise to public service, including the military. Is this a healthy trend? The answer is clearly “no.”
Edward Gibbon chronicles the increasing femininity of the Roman Empire in his six-volume work, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. He catalogues the progressive decadence that rendered the once-proud republic into spoils for barbarian hordes. The consuls in the early republic, who were warrior-generals adhering to a strict code of honor, gradually gave way to the backroom emperors who were no more than brazen criminals and thugs. It is the same script in all noble human enterprise: The fabric which bred success is torn apart by the complacency of the successful. When warfare is demonized as violence and negotiation is raised to an art, the end is near. Today, we are there.
Today’s politics reminds me of the make-believe kingdom of Queen Herzeloyde. She was the mother of Parzival, the hero of Wolfram von Eschenbach’s 12th-century epic poem Parzival. This masterwork is widely touted as a literary cornerstone of Western civilization. It not only extolled the virtues of knighthood and chivalry, but it also exhorted men to overcome all obstacles on the path to individual greatness.
Parzival’s mother was married to a knightly king whose military campaigns against worldly evil kept him away from his kingdom for years on end. Herzeloyde is heartbroken to hear of her husband’s death and vows to keep her son sheltered from the knightly world. She sets up a royal court in the wilderness with a deadly sanction against anyone who would allow her son to come in contact with a knight. The boy grows up oblivious of the outside world until he confronts two knights in shining armor on horseback. His mother is distraught to discover that there will be no discouraging her son’s ambition to become a knight. She goes so far as to dress her son as a fool upon his setting out upon his adventure in hopes that he will be humiliated and return to her.
Academia, with the help of the media, has labeled all reference to manly virtue as patriarchal, sexist, and homophobic. Womanly virtue, on the other hand, is extolled. Caring, compassion, sensitivity, and understanding are virtues meant to blur the distinction between good and evil and drown out the call of manly conscience to “do the right thing.” Like a mother who refuses to see the evil in her son, the feminist professors cast all moral standards as relative and subjective. 
Exit the cowboy and enter the mama’s boy. Queen Herzeloyde would have no problem raising young Parzival in today’s schools, as devoid of examples of manly virtue and rugged individualism as they are. All reference to the service of a higher calling — to God and country — has been replaced by the call to community service with the emphasis on care and compassion for the downtrodden.
We now have a would-be queen named Pelosi who sits atop a vast bureaucracy dedicated to rooting out all reference to God and a higher calling while making sure that any reference to manly virtue, rugged individualism, and decency is stigmatized as “hate speech.” No nation has ever demonized manhood to its own reward. A nation that renounces violence, no matter how just the cause, signs its own death certificate — and for a violent death at that.

Report from Cochise County , Arizona

Report from Cochise County , Arizona

Being an avid AT reader, and living on the Arizona border in Cochise County , I thought I would provide those who wish to be informed some insight into the truth about the state of the U.S.-Mexican border — at least in this part of the state.
I moved to Cochise County after retiring from the Army in 2008 to take a position working at Fort Huachuca (pronounced “wa-choo-ka,” an Apache word meaning “place of thunder” and referring to the time after the summer monsoon season). Having lived here in 1991 for eight months while attending an Army school, I soon realized that the place had changed considerably in the eighteen years of my absence.
The first thing I noticed was how many border patrol vehicles were on the roads in the city of Sierra Vista . The Border Patrol has a large station near here in the city of Naco . There are far more Border Patrol vehicles in the area than SV police cars. They come in many forms — trucks for off-road work, trailers carrying all-terrain vehicles, pickups with capacity for carrying large numbers of people once apprehended, and even a staff car for the area chaplain. The Border Patrol presence has grown substantially, so one would think the border area was nice and safe.
Not so. Within a short time after arriving in southern Arizona while on my way to work, I noticed eight illegal immigrants on the side of the road. Fortunately, they were in the custody of capable and attentive Border Patrol agents. Unfortunately, they were less than a hundred feet from my daughter’s bus stop. She gets personal service to school now, as the school district refuses to enter the gated community in which we live. There is a nice wash, a valley into which the rainwater drains during the monsoons, which provides a nice route for the illegals to follow into the city, and therefore into their locations for pickup by the vehicles that will get them farther north. 
Later, after I attended a movie on a Friday night, a car passed by me in the next lane going nearly a hundred miles an hour. It took a few seconds before I saw the police behind — way behind — with lights and sirens, trying to catch up. Surprise, surprise — the next morning’s paper discussed a Mexican drug runner being caught by County Sheriff ‘s Deputies. On several occasions, the Border Patrol’s helicopter has flown low and slow over the neighborhood, rattling windows and shining its spotlight in our backyard. When this happens, I strap on my pistol, grab a flashlight, and look and listen. Fortunately, I haven’t found anybody within a hundred yards of the house — yet.
Working on a U.S. Army fort, one would think we were fairly secure from these threats. Just not true. Reading the Fort Huachuca newspaper one morning, I noticed an interesting part of the “community” page. It asked for volunteers to assist in cleaning up “dumps” on posts where the illegals would drop their supplies used to cross the border and change clothing. They do this in order to blend in and not look like they just spent a day or two crossing the border in the dust and heat of southern Arizona . The most frightening part of this is that Fort Huachuca is the U.S. Army Intelligence Center, where the Army trains its intelligence soldiers — analysts, interrogators, radio intercept specialists, and counterintelligence agents — for operations overseas. If we can’t secure the fort we use to train our intelligence soldiers, how can we secure anything else?
Much has been discussed about the new law in Arizona making it unlawful to be in Arizona in violation of federal immigration statutes. However, much less has been discussed about the shooting of rancher Robert Krentz. Robert was killed on his ranch on March 28, 2010. His ranch, on which the family began grazing cattle in 1907 (Arizona became a state in 1912), is a large, 35,000-acre area in remote Cochise County . It is so remote that the original Cochise, an Apache leader, used the mountainous terrain near it to hide from the U.S. Cavalry in the early 1870s. But much less is being said about the eight illegal immigrants and their load of 280 pounds of marijuana seized the day before Krentz was killed. 
So Arizona should be boycotted because its people would like to keep it safe? Somebody please explain the logic of that for me. It doesn’t take a bullet from a drug runner’s gun to make those of us down here near the border understand that this is drug-related violence — and Rob’s death proves it.
It also doesn’t take much more reading to see that the drug dealers are a huge problem with far-reaching capabilities. On April 27, 2010, a large drug bust took place here in Cochise County . Among those arrested was Angelica Marie Borquez, the secretary for the Drug Enforcement Division of the Cochise County Attorney office. Allegedly, Ms. Borquez was tipping off the drug runners to counter drug operations conducted by the county. She was so bold that she used the phone in the County Attorney ‘s office to make some of her calls. 
This isn’t a blatant effort by drug cartels to obtain control here in America ?
Many have already called Arizona residents racists. They are concerned that police will profile Hispanics and disproportionally harass them. But we understand something others in Washington , D.C. and San Francisco don’t seem to remember — we border Mexico . The fact is that most illegal immigrants coming across the border here are, well, Mexicans. Those of us down here facing the danger every day really don’t care what some Hollywood actor has to say about the issue. Nor do we care about what the Colombian government or the Latino music community thinks of it. We just want to stay safe.
This is not about race; it’s about facts. Use a few of these facts the next time somebody wants to engage you in discussion about the border. Tell him you learned these things from somebody who can see Mexico from his front porch.
 
T.J. Woodard is a retired Army officer who lives less than ten miles from the Mexican border. He carries a pistol even in his own house in order to be prepared to defend his family whenever necessary.

Memorial Day 2010 – More up and More down

Memorial Day 2010 – More up and More down

 

Posted by Hooah_Mac (Profile)

Sunday, May 30th at 9:05AM EDT

10 Comments

from the diaries by haystack

I have missed interacting with my Redstate family for the last 6-8 months.  Rest assured, I have been reading Redstate as often as I can and think of all of you often.

For the last 6 years of my life, each Memorial Day has had new and powerful meanings to me.  This year, tragically, is no different.  On Easter Sunday, our battalion lost a Soldier that I knew rather well, someone who had been with my unit for longer than I have.  He was not the first comrade in arms I have seen lost, but the first one that I had known for so long.

SGT Kurt Kruize   -   Father, Husband, Son, Citizen Soldier    

11 June 1974 – 04 April 2010

SGT Kruize lost his life in a motor pool accident while he worked late hours to ensure that Soldiers going outside the wire the next day had reliable vehicles for transportation and protection.  His sacrifice was no less than that of any other man or woman who has given their lives in the 230+ years that men have taken up arms in defense of Liberty and the Constitution of the United States of America.  He left behind a wife and four children.

Much has been discussed recently about American Exceptionalism, maybe a confusing concept for some, a difficult ideal to explain for others – SGT Kurt Kruize’s life and sacrifice together display the definition of American Exceptionalism in flesh and blood.

This Memorial Day is mixed – even as I sit in silent contemplation of SGT Kruize’s loss, I see more hope this year.  Over 4000 American service members have given the ultimate sacrifice here in Iraq.  This is my second trip here, and the differences are clear.  Our interaction with the Iraqi Army is continuous and an inseperable part of how we do business now.  Casualties are way down.  Three years ago, virtually every convoy suffered an IED attack, now most convoys see no action. 

Our Iraqi interpreters live on post with us in the same housing we live in.  Speaking with them gives me the greatest satisfaction about the job we have done here. I spoke at length one night with one man and learned about his hopes and dreams.  Under Saddam’s regime, he had no prospects because he was not from the right part of Iraq.  When Saddam was in charge, only those who came from Saddam’s home town of Tikrit or were somehow related or connected to Saddam’s family or the Ba’ath party could succeed.  Now, this man makes decent money as an interpreter, and he is saving it in hopes of buying a small shop in the future.  Does that not sound like our American dream? 

His main concern is the corruption in the governement (as if that waqn’t nearly universal to the human condition).  He views our American Democracy in almost mythical terms, as if as Americans we have some magical formula that allows us to rule ourselves.  He does, however, have hope for a future of self-rule for his country.  He also now has the desire and the will to do what he can to make it happen.

Our sacrifices are now paying dividends.  Our Commander-in-Chief for the majority of this conflict stood his ground and fought on when the going was tough.  As a result, those of us in uniform did the same.  Because of this, Iraq is free, terrorism has one less safe haven, and the Middle East is beginning to see what true freedom is.

On Monday, Americans will go to the lake or the park, they will eat hot dogs, bratwurst and hamburgers.  There will be parades, fireworks and concerts.  Please enjoy this Holiday which marks the beginning of summer.  Just remember that my fellow Soldiers and I will spend the day running convoys, kicking down doors, training Iraqis and doing whatever else Uncle Sam requires of us in this war zone.  As our Battalion Commander reiterated recently after an Explosively Formed Projectile attack missed killing two of our Soldiers by less than a second, “The enemy is still out there and he still gets a vote on what happens.”  We will gladly do our part for the country we all dearly love, and all that we ask is that you recognize our fallen, rejoice in the triumphs those sacrifices have bought, and never forget those of us still fighting.

SGT Kruize’s unit, the Forward Support Company, 367th Engineer Battalion’s motto – “First Up, Last Down.”

God Bless America
Army Strong

President Obama Skips Arlington for Chicago BBQ – Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam Thugs Skirmish with Secret Service and Press pool

ATLAS EXCLUSIVE: President Obama Skips Arlington for Chicago BBQ – Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam Thugs Skirmish with Secret Service and Press pool

UPDATED: SCROLL SCROLL SCROLL: UNCLEAR IF FARRAKHAN WAS THERE SKIRMISH BETWEEN  NATION OF ISLAM PARAMILITARY AND SECRET SERVICE AND PRESS POOL

How did the President of the United States spend his Memorial day weekend? Honoring the glorious dead by laying a wreath at Arlington cemetery? ? Not a chance.

It is unclear but he may have  pow-wowed with race baiter, Jew-hater Louis Farrakhan, a frequent visitor to the White House. Back in March, Farrakhan blamed the Jews for O’s woes.

“The Zionists are in control of Congress,” Farrakhan said  as he listed off a slew of Jewish economic advisers, adding that the “bloodsuckers of the poor” were rewarded with a bailout.

UPDATED: What is clear is that the paramilitary wing of the Nation of Islam, Fruit of Islam, skirmished with Secret Service and the White House press pool.

America is in trouble.

Jackie Calmes, a New York Times reporter who covers the White House, was in Chicago covering the President’s visit there this weekend. On Saturday night, she was one of the reporters who was assigned to the White House pool of reporters covering the President on his evening out having dinner at what appears to be, according to the Chicago reporters on site, the home of  Louis Farrakhan. The official line is that it was the home of Marty Nesbitt (treasurer of OFA — Organizing for America), but the house is “is tax exempt for being a religious institution.” The press pool van was parked nearby.  UPDATE: It appears to have been Nesbitt’s home.

Here is what Jackie Calmes reported on behalf of the press pool:

Sent: Sat May 29 21:08:47 2010
Subject: Pool Report 5

At 7:20 local time the pool was holding at Woodlawn and 49th, next to a large sandstone mansion that the Chicago reporters say is the home of one Louis Farrakhan. Our Secret Service agent allowed us off the bus (Air!) and as a dozen of us congregated on the sidewalk, inevitably some shoes touched grass. Immediately a polite man in jeans and Tshirt emerged to ask us to stay off the grass. Though this grass was the curbside city property, we obliged.
 Soon, however, he was pacing and talking on a cell phone. He went inside the mansion’s black wrought iron fence, crossed the well-landscaped yard, lifted a water bucket behind rose bushes and, voila!, a walkie-talkie. He was heard to refer to “the CIA” once he began speaking into it.

Soon he approached our agent, asking him to move the van and its occupants, though your pooler could not hear much else he said. But the agent said, “How is this a security breach?” And he asked if the house was a government property. The man said something else and at that point the agent stuck out his hand to shake hands and introduced himself as a Secret Service agent. He added, “Sir, I can assure you that we will do nothing to interfere with whatever is going on in there.”

  The man is back to pacing and talking on his cell, walkie-talkie in hand.

  A co-pooler searched the Internet for the address and found it listed on a Web site called NotForTourists and another called Taxexemptworld.com.
 Indeed, another pooler found a county Web site that confirmed this property is tax exempt for being a religious institution.

 Reinforcements arrived–three men in Tshirts reading “Wide or Die!” One surly man has been staring daggers at us. Asked if this is Minister Farrakhan’s house, he just stared at your pooler. Asked again, he said, “I don’t have no comment.”
  You should have the WH statement on top kill’s failure. At nearly 8 pm local time we are still holding while POTUS and family remain at the Nesbitts.

Sent: Sat May 29 22:07:24 2010
Subject: Pool Report 5a

 It’s 8:45 and nearly dark; your pool has retreated back inside the van. We’re outnumbered now by roughly a dozen Fruit of Islam agents for the Nation of Islam. As each casually dressed man arrives, he exchanges elaborate handshake/hug/double air-kisses with others. Two walked by your pooler chanting “Islam.”
  Several have filmed and photographed your poolers, the van and its license plates with their cell phones.
  One came and stood close to a couple poolers and OUR agent. He asked if he could help. No answer. He asked again. The man said no. The agent said, “Secret Service — Please move away from this group of people.”
  He did.
  Soon the agent asked us to go in the bus.
  We did.
  But several poolers, hearing the call of nature, are asking whether they might ask the Fruit about using their bathroom.
  Still holding. No pun intended.

And now, have a look at how mainstream media (AP) covered this story (and remember, AP feeds all the news outlets throughout the world. This is what they are hearing about, not Farrakhan.) The media is covering all this up.

Back in Chicago, Obamas enjoy weekend barbecue

APCHICAGO — President Barack Obama and his family are enjoying their hometown holiday weekend with barbecue Saturday night at a friend’s home.

The First Family, led by Obama and his mother-in-law Marian Robinson, left their residence in the Hyde Park neighborhood shortly after 4 p.m. They headed to dinner a few blocks away at the house of Chicago businessman Marty Nesbitt.

Obama was dressed casually in a pair of jeans, sandals and blue, button-down collared shirt. He was joined by wife, Michelle, and their daughters, Sasha and Malia, who was walking Bo, the family dog.

Also in attendance were Obama’s brother-in-law Craig Robinson and his wife.

The Obamas are in Chicago for the Memorial Day weekend. Earlier, Obama played basketball at the University of Chicago Lab School.

The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America

UPDATE: The Fruit of Islam, by the way, is the paramilitary wing of the Nation of Islam.

UPDATE: Byron York has nore now that the story has gotten out. Was Farrakhan there?

It might be assumed that an assurance from the Secret Service would be enough to satisfy any security-minded guardian of Louis Farrakhan.  But not in this case.  Calmes continues:

The man is back to pacing and talking on his cell, walkie-talkie in hand.

A co-pooler searched the Internet for the address and found it listed on a Web site called NotForTourists and another called Taxexemptworld.com. Indeed, another pooler found a county Web site that confirmed this property is tax exempt for being a religious institution.

Reinforcements arrived — three men in T-shirts reading “Wide or Die!” One surly man has been staring daggers at us. Asked if this is Minister Farrakhan’s house, he just stared at your pooler. Asked again, he said, “I don’t have no comment.”

At nearly 8 p.m. local time we are still holding while POTUS and family remain at the Nesbitts.

More time passed.  The men in T-shirts were joined by even more men,  from the Fruit of Islam, Farrakhan’s security force.  From Calmes:

It’s 8:45 and nearly dark; your pool has retreated back inside the van. We’re outnumbered now by roughly a dozen Fruit of Islam agents for the Nation of Islam. As each casually dressed man arrives, he exchanges elaborate handshake/hug/double air-kisses with others. Two walked by your pooler chanting “Islam.”

Several have filmed and photographed your poolers, the van and its license plates with their cell phones.

One came and stood close to a couple poolers and OUR [Secret Service] agent. He asked if he could help. No answer. He asked again. The man said no. The agent said, “Secret Service — Please move away from this group of people.”

He did. Soon the agent asked us to go in the bus. We did.

At that point, the Secret Service was badly outnumbered by the Fruit of Islam, who apparently believed that some sort of “security breach” had occurred.  Were Farrakhan’s men armed?  Were there more on the way?  The Secret Service agent called for backup.  From Calmes:

9:20 local time and our agent got reinforcements from three Secret Service agents. One shook hands with one of the 22 Fruit members we now can count from the van. After a short discussion the three Secret Service agents walked away again.

No word on when we get to leave. We’re guessing POTUS is watching the Blackhawks game at the Nesbitts’ home.

While this was happening, word of the standoff apparently got around as a result of Calmes’ pool reports (they were sent out piecemeal by email).  Someone who had read the reports got in touch with Farrakhan to let the Nation of Islam leader know that the people waiting outside were just covering Obama.  From Calmes:

The power of pool reportage! Standoff ends, apparently with help of intermediary in Detroit:

Your pooler got a call at about 10:15 local time from a pool report reader who identified himself as the Rev. Gary Hunter, a Baptist minister in Motown who writes and blogs for the Detroit Times. He said he had called Minister Farrakhan and his son and asked them to have the Fruit stand down.

“I told him you were good people,” Rev. Hunter said. “He said he didn’t know you all were just waiting for the president.”

As it happens, the Fruit of Islam indeed had mostly gone by then. The Rev. Hunter apparently is remembered by [White House social secretary staffer Samantha] Tubman, and he said he knows our frequent press rustler Ben Finkenbinder from past travels with Obama.

Anyway, at 10:33 we pulled away and we are at the Obama residence. Never saw POTUS at all.

And that was the end of it.  Some observers will make light of the whole thing — just a little misunderstanding with those weird Nation of Islam guys — but the fact that Farrakhan’s security force is close to the president’s home is likely a matter of continuing concern to the Secret Service.  And on Saturday night, the two forces ran into each other.

Weird Nation of Islam guys – it’s the paramilitary arm on the Nation of Islam. The whole story stinks. Did Obama see Farrakhan or not?

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