Thursday, April 30, 2009

History Repeats Itself...Again

Today, the 44th President of the United States of America marked his first 100 days in office while speaking at a town hall meeting in St. Louis. The following statements were quoted by several media outlets:

"Those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I'm not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around, let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we are going to stabilize Social Security.”

If a picture says a thousand words, then how great a vocabulary would be dispensed by watching the actual footage of the above mentioned quote? The video reveals the President's implied mockery in the mention of "folks waving tea bags" (which was accomplished with a bit of pantomime, i.e. mimicking dangling a tea bag) while the attending crowd laughed jovially at No. 44's charming sense of humor.

You know, for someone who claimed during his months of campaigning that he wanted to "bring people together", he sure has an odd way of demonstrating it. Call me crazy, but mocking nearly one million Americans who gathered together peacefully to voice their growing concerns about the direction their country is going...well, that's not really bringing them into the fold, now is it?

No. 44 spoke further regarding the protesters' grievances by stating:

"But let's not play games and pretend that the reason is because of the Recovery Act, because that is just a fraction of the overall problem that we've got."

Well, hallelujah! Ain't that the truth! Yes, while the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is a very large part of the's not the only thing that Washington has done wrong. And tea party protesters know that.

There's quite a bit that's wrong in Washington... Such as how long it's been since legislators actually listened to the wishes of their constituents. Or how long it's been since anybody in Washington actually READ the United States Constitution. (I have a sneaking suspicion that it's missing...perhaps we should consider putting photos of it on the sides of DC milk cartons. Maybe someone will find it and return it so that we may all rest a bit easier at night.)

This evening, as I perused the Senate Roll Call votes (which you can find by clicking here: I came across a rather fascinating amendment to the ARRA which would strike out an earmark granting $246 million to Hollywood production companies.

Let me say that again, because it bears repeating.

And I will even quote the verbiage in the descriptor line of the amendment, so as to not mince words:

"To strike the $246 million TAX earmark for HOLLYWOOD PRODUCTION COMPANIES"


Feel free to look it up yourself. It's dubbed "Coburn Amdt No 109" / SA 109 to SA 98 to HR-1 (American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009) and was voted on by the Senate on February 3rd of this year.

Now. Here's the outrageous part. That amendment which was intended to free American taxpayers of the burden of funding Hollywood production companies and their substandard propaganda-filled movies....barely passed. In the 111th Senate, only 52 -- I REPEAT -- only 52 Senators voted to strike the earmark. 45 Senators voted to LEAVE IT THERE!

I think my brain may explode.

When exactly did the American Taxpayer exclaim, boy I sure don't pay enough money already for crappy Hollywood could I possibly support these biased endeavors further? Hey, I know! Let us tax payers empty our pockets and just throw all our spare cash at Hollywood. That way they can make as many piss-poor movies they want and never have to worry about losing money on them. Yeah, that's a GREAT idea.

So, yes, No. 44, the Recovery Act is only a small fraction of the problem. Ridiculing Americans who love and wish to preserve their country is another fraction of the problem. Not representing the constituents who hired you to do your job is yet another fraction of the problem. And failure to keep our borders and national interests safe from attack, well No. 44, that's a heaping helping of that fractional pie. (We'll discuss border issues in an upcoming blog...assuming swine flu doesn't eradicate the human race from the face of the earth -- according to CNN and MSNBC we humans don't have's heading your way now! Quick! Grab the Lysol and face masks!)

Now, you may be wondering just where the title of tonight's blog fits into all this ranting. Well, let's take a brief trip back in time, some 232 years ago when our nation was little more than a collection of colonies controlled by a foreign tyrant king. A group of men put together a list of grievances against King George III to explain just why he was no longer fit to rule over them. Below I have included a few particularly interesting complaints listed in the document:

"The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world....

  • He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

  • He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

  • He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation.

  • For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent.

  • For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments.

  • He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us.

  • In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."
Uncanny, don't you think?

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." --George Santayana
The Life of Reason (1905) Vol. 1 Ch. 12

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"I'm not an extremist, I'm just extremely pissed off..."

Those words were spoken by my lovely and intelligent mother, who, I might add, has a gift when it comes to speaking her mind.

On April 15th of this year, she, my husband, and I loaded up my carbon-producing-environmentally-unfriendly SUV for a trip down to San Antonio for the Tax Day Tea Party. As we headed south on I-35 we tuned into Glenn Beck's morning talk show for a bit of educated entertainment, and learned of the domestic intelligence report which was originally intended only for the eyes of state and local law enforcement. That was when we first learned that a) we were extremists, b) we were a threat to national security, and c) that we would now be on a top secret government "watch list".

My mother shook her head and admitted rather casually, "I'm not an extremist...I'm just extremely pissed off." She's priceless, don't you think?

In those few words, she pretty much wrapped up how a lot of us felt on Tax Day: frustrated, ignored, and misunderstood. Most of the mainstream media that day downplayed the hundreds of thousands of Americans gathering together to peacefully speak up and defend our liberties. I suppose they thought if they didn't cover the story, we'd all just fade away like the runway fashions in last years Cosmo. It appeared Washington was employing the same strategy, after our current President admitted he was "unaware of the tea parties" going on in almost every major city across the nation. The only people listening, it seemed, were conservative and independent media outlets that provided live coverage of the events throughout the day.

However, it would seem that we caught someone else's attention.

We arrived in San Antonio after a nearly five-hour drive (including the 20 minutes we spent scouring downtown for available parking), parked the SUV, and paid the lot attendant. Then, after loading up our gear (cameras, matching T-shirts, and a 3 pound bag of M&M's that we were hoping to give to Mr. Beck), we embarked on the one mile hike to Alamo Plaza where all the events were scheduled to take place. From the distance we could hear Ted Nugent's electric guitar singing out our National Anthem, as well as a large crowd of patriots cheering him on. Our pace quickened in the hope that we might get a glimpse of Ted before his set was over... And that's when we saw it. A simple, unobtrusive white van parked around the corner from the Alamo with "Department of Homeland Security" written on the side.

They were listening.

We didn't wave as we passed by it, though all three of us were greatly tempted to do so. We joked about saving the DHS the trouble of trying to identify us via face recognition software over the coming weeks by simply walking up to the van, knocking on the windows, and introducing ourselves. But, considering the fact that government agents aren't widely known for their sense of humor, we decided against it. We simply acknowledged their presence, smiled at each other, and kept moving.

But they were there.

I wonder just what they were expecting to encounter that day (especially given the details of Nopalitano's highly inflammatory report released just prior to the tea party protests). Maybe they thought they would catch a few gun-toting, antigovernment, right-wing extremists. It is Texas, after all. Don't think you'd have to look too far and wide to find at least one of those wandering around. Perhaps they feared we would take advantage of the lack of mainstream media coverage and have open meetings to decide how and when to take down our government and create anarchy. Or perhaps they just liked Ted Nugent and sno-cones. Who knows?

While I'm not sure what they were looking for, I can tell you what they probably found. 1) Texas is warm, even in April, and especially in a van parked along a public street. 2) 20,000 people can gather together to voice their opionions to Washington without getting violent, causing destruction, or creating problems. 3) Ted Nugent still rocks. 4) Glenn Beck has quite the following. 5) People can disagree with their government and still be patriots.

In the two weeks that have passed since the April protests, tea party stories have all but waned in the media. It seems we have far more pressing matters to concern ourselves with now -- Air Force One fly-overs, the potential flu pandemic, Hugo Chavez's book of the month club selections... American patriots could quite possibly forget just what it was that drove us all into mass gatherings that day to speak our minds and be heard. While all these recent news stories are important in one way or another, let us not be distracted from our original purpose. Liberty. And justice. For all.

Our government is still spending our money without our consent. Constitutional rights are still slowly being eaten away at on a daily basis. New laws, acts, and legislative decisions are popping up all over the place that are not supported by the U.S. Constitution (does Washington really believe it can take over private businesses because they are a PERCIEVED risk to the economy?). New taxes are being presented in a new, deceitful manner under the guise of "environmental legislation" to promote a healthier planent. Cap and Trade, anyone? Who do you think will be footing the bill on that one?

Perhaps we should all continue to remind ourselves and each other just what had us all "extremely pissed off" two weeks ago.

Let's stay on track, America. Our future is depending on us.

Thursday, April 23, 2009



Yes, that's right. I'm back. Not that I ever really went away, mind you. I've been right here in the same place I always was, only things were just going so darn well and I had so many lovely distractions (engagement, wedding, wedded bliss, etc) that I found a way to briefly calm my outrage and just enjoy the symbiosis of a happy marriage. Instead of ranting wildly over all the ills of the world, I sat back with my cup of "frou-frou" flavored coffee and enjoyed watching the birds sing, the clouds dance across the sky, the Orion constellation come and go seasonally...all beside my wonderful, loving (he's truly a gift from above, I tell you) husband.

And then the world began to change...

Mind you, it didn't all happen at once. No. These changes snuck up on many people, who much like myself moseyed through life in our blissful ignorance. And these changes did not come without warning...oh, we were warned alright. But, as did many others, I thought, "Pshaw! That could never happen." We waved away those who, like John the Baptist crying out a warning to the masses in the wilderness, forewarned us of our impending doom. Yea, they told us, for the kingdom is at hand. And slowly, oh so very slowly, things did begin to happen. Then, in what could only have been a stroke of serendipity, some of us woke up. And were very, very ticked off.

Of course, we have only ourselves to blame, complacent and lazy fools that we were. We were tired of watching the news, the misery-laden reports making us all wish that we owned our own private island in Fiji or anywhere else far, far away. We gave up on reading the newspapers, because even the comic strips had lost much of their original lustre and the horoscopes and crosswords had become blasé. We opted out of talk radio on the way to and from work because we figured that listening to cheery music on our ipods would make the commute feel shorter and ease us better into our 9-5. Some of us had even mastered the art of intellectual escape, in similar fashion to Brent Leroy in a sweet Canadian TV show called Corner Gas. (Staycation: a vacation you take while staying's really quite relaxing. Learn this term, as I will be using it regularly.)

And somehow, we all lost touch.

I think the wake-up call for myself came around early February. I don't even know why or how it happened, but I slowly gravitated back to awareness, forsaking my ipod for news-talk radio and decreasing my staycation time so that I could catch a few snippets here and there of real news and commentary on TV. Like a two week old puppy, my eyes began to open, and, with the passage of a couple more weeks, clear sight was mine.

Now, before I continue this rant (at which point I will drop the veil of vague analogy and explain just what exactly I'm talking about), let me tell you something about myself that you should know. I always strongly believed that there were two things you never discussed openly with people for risk of starting an undesired debate: religion and politics. Everyone who feels strongly about either of those two topics will not suddenly be enlightened by the views of the other person, no matter how clear, true, or indisputable that person's talking points may be. Chances are, someone is going to get offended or riled up at some point, and some relationships, be they casual acquaintances or close friendships, will be strained. Religion...I still feel that's off limits. People believe as they will believe and I'm not an authority to tell them one way or the other who's right and who's wrong. I may know many things, but I don't know everything. Politics, however, is back on the table. I think one of the factors that led us to where we are now is that many of us felt that it was better not to debate politics in our social arenas. There was no healthy exchange of ideas and information. No challenging why people "yea" for this and "nay" for that. Maybe that's how this came's just a thought.

Tax Day was a pretty important day for many Americans this year. Important for some (myself included) who had to dig out the checkbook and pen to begrudgingly write a check to Uncle Sam. Important for others who, after putting off filing their taxes for fear of paying more into the system, discovered they had already overpaid and would receive a refund for once. And then, for at least a million Americans from coast to coast, important because it was the day we all chose to be silent no more, and gathered together to send our message to Washington. The message was clear. It was loud. It was non-violent. We declared: Stop wasting our money and stop taking away our liberties.

My husband, my mother, and I drove 280.6 miles to San Antonio to join other Americans in speaking out. We could have attended any of the local tea parties here in the DFW metroplex (and there were MANY), but we couldn't miss an opportunity to see Glenn Beck live and be part of what ended up being one of the most impressive tea parties in the country. San Antonio PD estimated the crowd at about 20,000 at its maximum, and the Police Chief was quoted as saying we were one of the best crowds he'd ever worked with. I agree with him completely. I've never been surrounded by so many good-hearted, considerate, and friendly people all at once. People made room for others to pass, helped complete strangers up and down large steps and generally looked out for each other. Being part of it all, I was deeply moved.

However, now is not the time for me to wax poetic on how that experience renewed my faith in my fellow man. I will tell you more in the very near future about my many noteworthy experiences at the SATP. But right now, it's time to get down to brass tacks.

Our country is rapidly moving in the wrong direction. What our founding fathers envisioned nearly 232 years ago is quickly becoming like a dream that fades upon waking -- slowly, slowly the details disappearing until one wonders if it was ever real at all. Liberties are being stripped from us, one by one, and unless we stand up and take back what our forefathers considered to be our "unalienable rights" they will little more than a footnote in a history text. Then history will become legend, and legend will become myth. (A little LOTR fun thrown in for those of you who recognise it.)

This country's founding fathers drafted a list of grievances against King George III of Great Britain, also known as the Declaration of Independence for those of you in Washington who seem to have forgotten, which included the following complaint: "For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent". On October 1, 2008 the US Senate voted 74 to 25 in favor of what has become popularly known as the "Bailout Bill". The House of Representatives approved it with a vote of 263 to 171 two days later. Americans from coast to coast contacted their representatives in record numbers, urging them to vote down the bill. They didn't listen. They passed the buck, so to speak, as a result of pressure from the very people who were responsible for the financial fiasco. And who do you think will be paying the more than $700 billion tab for Washington's decision? Taxpayers. You and me. People who work hard every day for an employer who would never reward them for throwing the company down the toilet. And that, my friends, is "Taxation Without Representation". Hallelujah. Where's the Tylenol?

Oh, yeah. And mainstream media, we DO know the meaning of that historic phrase. My question is: Do you?

So, here we all stand with at least two choices. We can sit idly by and watch our country slowly turn into something it was never intended to be (the United Socialist States of America, anyone?) and wait in line for our government to hand out to us whatever it deems us worthy to receive, assuming we are considered viable enough to treat medically should any of us develop a chronic or life-threatening disease. Or we can stand up, stand together, and reclaim the foundations of liberty and justice our forefathers put together after dusting themselves off from a bloody, bitter, and painful war to win their freedom from tyranny. (I'm referring to the Constitution and Bill of Rights, for those of you (again) in Washington who seem to have no recollection of that...) Those are your choices, folks. Feel free to take a moment to think about it before you decide. Should you need refreshment, I believe there's a fresh batch of Soylent Green on the table near the door. Help yourselves, comrades. There's plenty to go around.

In the mean time, I will be posting (frequently at first, and then likely tapering off as I get most of my pent-up rage vented before getting ticked off again).

Until next svidanya, my friends.