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

Friday, November 12, 2010

Looking foward to a UNited world?

President Barack Obama (I always feel like washing my hands after writing that!) traveled to India on a 10-day 'working vacation', taking in their national 'Festival of Lights' celebration, seeing the sights, and selling out a little more of the US before heading to Mayalsia, where he spent his formative years (6-10) studying the Koran. While there, he reminded the Malaysians that his efforts to improve relations with the Muslim world remain an "incomplete project."  May I humbly offer this suggestion, Mr. President? Get Muslims to quit trying to kill us and force their beliefs on the US and the entire world, and maybe our relations might improve dramatically.

What would we do without the United Nation? OK, stop laughing. No, seriously. I mean it. The ultimate Big Brother organizational wannabe has decided that it needs even more of our money (because most other nations know better than to give more than tokens from their own economies) to improve peoples' health around the world. I mean, the world is sick, and the big heads at the UN really need more of your money to throw at their problems. So you should just ignore that little UN report about how much healthier the world is now than it has ever been.

But what about the environment? The UN is looking for $100 billion annually and dreams of reams of regulations to "combat climate change" (Has anyone else noticed they no longer use "global warming" as an exuse since that term has been so thoroughly debunked?  Language is perhaps the slipperiest weapon ever). So now, we want to declare war on Nature itself?  And who knew that George Sorosthe Puppet Master himself - was on that UN panel? Wow, George, you really get around!

The United Nations has long been popularly portrayed as a medium for peace (I cannot recall them ever touting the organization as being in favor of national prosperity, although several of their top dogs have gotten very rich there). Unfortunately, it's record has been a dismal failure in almost everything it puts its hands on. Since its inception, what have been its military successes?  Korea? That war has never been declared over; there is merely an uneasy 'cease-fire' which is often violated by the North. Vietnam? The UN did more to obstruct than to cooperate with the US as we tried to forestall a North Vietnamese invasion of the South and work to block the spread of communism throughout Southeast Asia. The 1991 Gulf War?  It failed to put any real pressure on Saddam Hussein; and it was only after that failure of diplomacy that the US and Britain (and a smattering of others) went in to save Kuwait from a horrific invasion and occupation (whether it was worth the effort is another debate). And because that conflict left Saddam in place (because of the limit of the UN mandate), we had to fight that war all over again - this time to the finish.

There were a couple of places where we did see the blue helmets, though. There was the Bosnian War in which we interrupted a civil war between a nominally-Christian/secular population that was fighting against encroaching Islamic nationalism. The result was a fractured country, and we still have troops there maintaining the 'peace'. Then there was Somalia. Yeah; that went well. Not.

The fact is that while the United Nations may have been portrayed as a means to bring about the nebulous concept of world peace, it has always been little more than an extension of the global communist elite for the furtherance of their goals, with a little humanitarian window-dressing thrown in for the sake of bilking billions of taxpayer dollars from the working segment of nations stupid enough to fall for them (like the US).  Despite the dreamy rhetoric of "the death of communism" when the Berlin Wall fell, it never really went away; it just went underground. It did what it always has done - it hides in the background until an opportune time.

The truth is, communism never went away, it only went underground; and now, with Obama in office and despite (or because of) the recent socialist losses in Congress, it is reemerging with a vengeance. We no longer seriously prosecute sedition or treason, in part because the Left (occassionally with the Right's assistance) have gradually redefined and reduced what it means to be an American.

Gimme Shelter?  Speaking of communism, why are the Russians constructing nearly 5,000 new fallout shelters in Moscow? Do they know something we don't? In actuality, the world has been made less safe precisely because of the consistent weakening of US strategic deterrence over the past decade.  The fact that we now have a president perceived by many foreign governments to be intellectually weak in the area of international politics, shall we say, less than assertive in his defense of the United States, and having a narcissistic ego that is subject to manipulation. These and other factors add up to a period of increased vulnerability of the US, if not to direct attack, then certainly to blackmail or other form of coercion.

The good guys.  We just celebrated another Veteran's Day.  It's the annual opportunity to remember all the millions of Americans (and a few foreigners who appreciate this nation more than a few of our own people) who have, and continue to, stand squarely between our homes and families, and those who seek to conquer or destroy us. Even those fellow Americans who insult the military, ignore or dishonor the flag, impugn our heritage and insult our values can do so largely because of our military. It has protected us since the Revolution, and it is because of the young men and women who put on the uniform that we still have the liberty to be free, to be productive, to follow our dreams, or to be ignorant, self-impressed fools.

Since our inception as an independent nation, we have always had serious enemies and small-minded enviers whom, if they can't beg, borrow or steal all we have to offer, would just as soon ruin us altogether so that no one else could benefit.  Hmmm...again, that sounds like a lot of our own people).  Our military services have always stepped up to the tasks at hand, whether providing aid for disaster relief here and abroad, or putting their own lives and limbs at risk to fight intractable foes.  Isolated embarrassments are the bane of every nation's forces, and we've had our share, but on the whole, our military has conducted itself above and beyond what most other forces can legitimately boast of.  for example, contrary to rabble-rousers and outright liars, America typically doesn't go in for conquest, it fights for principle and for our national survival.  And while we are often ( and I believe, accurately) accused of being somewhat top-heavy in military brass, there is no doubt that we have produced some of the most notable and exceptional military minds in modern history. One of our biggest concerns now is to avoid an irresponsible government from abusing our assets - especially our troops - any more than they already have.

It is my humble opinion that many of the most patriotic Americans are that way at least partly because of their (or their family members') military service. While time in service is often a combination of long periods of boredom punctuated by brief periods of anticipation or sheer terror, it is also a crucible that aids many on the road to maturity and personal responsibility.

Sure, there are a lot of less-than-fun moments when you're in the military. But there are also many less-than obvious (mostly to those without military experience) benefits to US military life that only serves to enhance one's perceptions, love of country, respect for others, and readiness to step up to right a wrong. For one thing (and I say this only half-jokingly) it teaches you how to live for extended periods in close proximity to other people whom you might not ordinarily have gotten along with. It teaches you to settle the little disagreements and learn to get along for your mutual benefit. It teaches you to watch your buddy's back, and feel confident that he's watching yours. It pushes you past your self-imposed limits and shows you that you can accomplish more than you thought, be more self-sufficient and responsible than you thought you could be. It teaches you to respect others, even those less able than you, and to extend a helping hand. It teaches you how to subordinate your own selfish desires to the greater effort. It also teaches you that you are part of one of the greatest military traditions and forces of all time. It helps you to define, appreciate, and strive to live with honor. And of course, you get to occasionally shoot guns, throw grenades, blow stuff up, handle expensive, high-tech gear and go places you never expected (or wanted) to go.

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