Wish I'd said that!

In recent decades, the ACLU has used its so-called "wall" to fight tooth and nail to prevent government sponsorship of the Pledge of Allegiance, memorial crosses, Ten Commandments displays, nativity scenes, Bible displays, and virtually every other acknowdgement of America's religious heritage.

At the same time, it is worthwhile to note that there have been some instances in which the ACLU has endorsed public displays of religion. For example, When New York City Mayor Rudi Giuliani threatened to cut taxpayer funding from the Brooklyn Museum of Art for displaying a painting of the Virgin Mary with cow dung and pictures of female sexual organs pasted all over her body, the ACLU was first in line to defend the display. U.S. District Court Judge Nina Gershon ruled that New York City's elected officials were not allowed to place conditions on the museum's funding.

In another instance, the ACLU offered its support to the taxpayer-funded National Endowment for the Arts, after the agency sponsored an art show featuring "Piss Christ" - an exhibit consisting of a crucifix submerged in a jar of urine.

In the ACLU's myopic world, it appears that the only permissible publicly-funded displays of religion are those which blatantly mock or disparage the Christian faith.

-- Indefensible: 10 Ways the ACLU is Destroying America, Sam Kastensmidt, 2006

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Real-world Heroes

The Year of our Lord 2009 has so far been marked with heroism, at a time when the American people are fed up with thieves, con artists and selfserving politicians (as if there is a difference) and in dire need of some sort of unselfishness.

First was the dramatic Hudson River crash landing by Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger in January. Sully's clam, coolheaded professionalism, aided by God's grace, saved the lives of 155 people and then all but hid from an admiring public.

Next was the episode with an American commerce ship successfully resisting an attack by Somali pirates; the crew who fought off well-armed intruders, the valiant captain who offered himself in trade for the release of his crew, and the Navy personnel -- especially the SEAL snipers who rescued Captain Richard Phillips with three clean head shots at three different targets on a bobbing lifeboat (with one pirate only visible through a window) in worsening weather. America has always been graced with heroes, most of whom would not call themselves that, and such is the character which sets some folks apart from the rest.

I'll (ugh...this is tough) give the President credit for allowing, if not ordering, the aggressive response to the situation. Frankly, I was concerned he was going to do a Carter and lead to yet another international embarrassment. But, hey, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

As you might expect, though, the liberal pundits are still clueless. Consider MSNBCs Chris Matthews (you know, the guy who got a "thrill" up his leg over Obama during the campaign), who thinks it was just dumb luck that 3 SEALS made 3 simultaneous head shots from a ship onto a small boat bobbing in the water more than 150 feet away, With the hostage almost directly in the line of fire. Yeah, right; just luck. NOT!

Tea, anyone? Another group of heroes I want to bring attention to is...hundreds of thousands of American people who get it. The Tax Day Tea Parties showed that more and more folks understand the country is changing for the worse, and are getting their game face on and doing something about it. At hundreds of rallies around the United States, organized by ordinary citizens, good people got together to show their willingness to participate, to express their frustration and fears, and to network with one another to correct the problems. The best part is that it was Americans of nearly every political bent: Republicans, Democrates, libertarians, independents and undecideds who want their country back. And -- unlike most liberal demonstrations -- every event was marked by a virtual absence of rude, crude or violent behavior. While they were at times loud, they were peaceful, respectful and enjoyable, in many cases even picking up their own litter afterward. It was truly the "God blessed" part of America, and a refreshing reminder of the character of those who founded this country.

While most politicians are part of the problem, a few are starting to speak out like real leaders instead of party hacks. Texas Governor Rick Perry recently gave a press conference where he reasserted States' Rights under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, berating the Obama malAdministration for trying to force states to accept 'stimulus' handouts, which come with a steep price tag.

As you might expect, most of the mainstream media didn't get it, and as they typically do, chose to insult the intelligence of the people standing up for what America used to stand for.

Who's listening to ya? The disenchantment of President Obama's fan base continues to grow as he has reneged on yet another of his left-wing campaign promises. This time the gripe is that he has decided to uphold the Bush Administration's policy of protecting eavesdropping programs. Libs are repeating his campaign pledges for "government accountability and transparency." I guess they haven't been paying much attention as he (I give him the "credit" in the same manner that the left gave George Bush blame for every problem) takes over corporations, encourages congress to violate private contracts, continues the government's drunken spending spree and hikes taxes, all while ignoring public outrage.

Honestly, I think I have to agree with Obama yet again (I can't stand this!!) While leftists and some libertarians want to dismantle our intelligence-gathering apparatus, the fact remains that we have real enemies who are determined to kill thousands and wreak havoc on our nation. And while I don't trust Obama as far as I can throw him, I believe we need to keep those options open, but used most judiciously. That's the problem with tools, whether they be hammers, guns or surveillance devices; they are no better or worse than the human character controlling them. That's why we need to be more discriminating in choosing all our leaders. We've allowed both parties to stack the deck so we don't have control over those choices any more.

Enemy of the State. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is standing by a report warning police agencies of "right-wing extremism," comparing angry Americans who are fed up with the mega-abuses of government to radical Islamic, cut-your-head-off terrorists. Anyone who recalls the tragedies of Waco and Ruby Ridge should understand why some Americans might fear their government, but that doesn't automatically mean anyone who expresses concern should have a target painted on them.

Frankly, there probably wouldn't be any need for "right-wing extremists" or Tea Parties if our leaders weren't leading us headlong into the ash heap of history for their own agrandizement. Secondly, according to Judge Andrew Napolitano (no relation; he's a legal analyst for Fox News) the report is poorly written, vague in its sources, and scary in its ramifications.

The Wow factor. I want to mention one more hero: not the type that risks life and limb or changes the world, but one grandma-type British lady who overcame a heavy presupposition of "ordinaryness" and went on to astound a very cynical audience with her hidden singing talent. I'd like to introduce you to Susan Boyle. Watch the judges' (and the audience's) reaction.