THE SAPIENT SPARROW: conservatism for commoners

"What has always made the State a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven."–Holderlin

AN ALLY IN NEW ZEALAND

No, I have not fallen off the edge of the world.  I am simply teetering on the edge of it.  For the last couple of weeks, and in the near future, I am concentrating on a beloved family member who has just been diagnosed with advanced cancer.  Hence, my political research has taken a back seat to research on the “Big C”.  Believe me, I do wish with all my heart that I was doing more of the former and none of the latter.

Until such time as I can begin to regularly post again, I wanted to share another blog site with all of you.  There is so much research on the Left, its networks and ties into the current Administration that it should keep you enthralled for a long time.  Those of you that listen to Glenn Beck on the radio may have heard him mention the blogsite New Zeal that is run by Trevor Loudon out of Christchurch, New Zealand.  Trevor is an excellent political researcher and has a wealth of information on his site.  He helped with research for the newly released book, The Manchurian President, authored by Aaron Klein with Brenda Elliott  Check out all of his “Obama files”—I am still working my way through these.  He also maintains links, both Conservative, Left and Communist/Socialist, in order for the reader to do research from original sources.  Trevor also contributes to the sister site, KeyWiki , (also linked from his site), that is an encyclopedia of U.S. Left resources.  I have already linked to New Zeal from my blog here.  I highly recommend it.

Finally, in the words of General MacArthur, “I will return”.  I just cannot say exactly when.  Check back often, I might just surprise you from time to time with an entry.  After all, even in the battle with cancer, there are lulls now and again.  Please keep us in your prayers.  God bless you and our great Country.

Filed under: personal, Political Research, , ,

HOW ABOUT A NICE CUPPA TEA?


It is a beautiful day here, warm and sunny.  Our local Tea Party held its second annual Tax Day Tea Party today.  There were, perhaps, fewer attendees this year.  However, with the many competing Tea Parties in the area, as well as the huge gathering in Washington, D. C., that was to be expected.  Still, there were more than 1,000 of us.  No “crashers” turned up, just regular “extreme” folks.  One of these stood near me listening to one of the speakers.  Despite the warm day, he wore a red windbreaker jacket. An olive green baseball cap adorned his head.  With difficulty, since he was leaning on a cane, he still managed to applaud with gusto as the speaker made his points.  At the end of the speech, he turned.  It was then that I saw the applique on his windbreaker and the one on his hat.  “Guadalcanal”, read the patch on his sleeve.  “1st Marines”, read the one on his hat.  I stepped over to him.  “Am I in your way?” he asked.  “No,” I said.  Then, after taking a deep breath, (I am really much shyer than I seem), I asked him, “Were you on Guadalcanal?”  “Yes, Ma’am”, he said in that tough, clipped military way.  I grasped his large, soft hand and squeezed it.  “Thank you, and God Bless you always”, I said.  I couldn’t see his eyes.  They were covered with dark glasses, but nevertheless, I could see that he was both surprised and touched as he smiled and nodded.  It was good that my eyes were shaded too, as I felt tears begin to sting them.  I quickly turned and walked away knowing that I had just had the honor of touching a true hero, and, that if we have such heroes as he sharing “High Tea” with us, then we are unstoppable indeed.

Take heart, stand firm and soldier on.  I know one Marine that is doing just that.  Semper Fi!

REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER!

Filed under: personal, , , , ,

MAPQUEST-ARE WE THERE YET?

I have a lousy sense of direction.  When traveling, I arm myself with a map, two sets of written directions and a list of landmarks.  I still lose my way.  Exits beckon to me.  Road signs confuse me.  Assuring remarks like, “Trust me, you can’t miss it”, terrify me.  I can panic even when I am not lost.  So, maybe being “directionally challenged” has made it difficult for me to follow the maps produced by the Obama Administration.  Am I lost?  Or, as I see each landmark pass, am I simply panicked for no reason?

During the past year, Mr. Obama and his comrades have manufactured a lot of maps.  Maps for the economy, healthcare, energy, housing, jobs, education, climate change and National security.  Although attractive in presentation, they appear to lack crucial elements.  Large areas are marked, “Unknown Territory” and “There Be Dragons Here”.  Compass points are skewed—true North is always oriented leftward.  Roads meander aimlessly and often reach a dead-end at a deep gorge marked, “Bridge Out”.  Nevertheless, the urgent message is that these maps must be followed or we will be hopelessly lost.  (I think I hear, “Trust me, you can’t miss it”—excuse me while I shudder).  Where do these maps really lead?  Where are we going?

Here is the most exasperating aspect of these maps.  They include no avenue leading to factual, rational discussion of how they have been drawn.  If one points out that such-and-such a road does not correspond to reality, or that a particular feature does not exist, or that there is no bridge spanning that river the response is to criticize the critic.  The cartographers will not engage in a meaningful analysis of their efforts.  Nor do they have an attitude open to correcting their mistakes.  Instead, they defend their maps with twisted statistics, partial truths and downright lies.  In the end, they are reduced to reiterating that failure to follow their roads will lead to ruin.  Moreover, we are promised that pursuing these paths will lead to a utopia filled with human goodness.  The way will be “difficult”, it is said, but nothing really worthwhile is easy.  For my part, I fear that these map-makers are related somehow to the Pied Piper!

It seems to me that the inability to deal with facts and specific details in an honest manner should alarm us.  Not only does it signal bad charting, it indicates even worse leadership.  Those who will not clearly articulate what our destination is to be, nor explain in detail the roads that will take us there, are either ignorant, or worse, diabolical.  I mistrust these maps.  More and more I believe that they mark the way to totalitarianism and slavery.

I see an exit marked “2010”.  It is beckoning me.  It doesn’t appear on the map.  That’s why I’m taking it.

Filed under: personal, Uncategorized, , , , , ,

‘TIS THE SEASON

A couple of days ago, I posed a question that, in part, observed that the POTUS leads in the exact opposite direction that he proposes to go.  In this piece from biggovernment.com, the author asks, “Is it opposite day?”

Scare Tactics: Obama Says USA Will ‘Go Bankrupt’ if Senate Bill Not Passed

Nowadays, my strategy when listening to anything coming from the Left is to remember the famous words of Willie Wonka, “Strike that.  Reverse it.”  Then, surprisingly enough, they actually make sense.

Turning to the continuing fallout from “Climategate”, Icecap has reported that Russian climate data on temperatures was manipulated by the Hadley Climate Center.  A good, but fairly distressing, read.

Finally, since “’tis the season” for gift-giving, here is a list of books that make great presents for you, someone else and especially for your “Progressive” friends and family. HO! HO! HO!

Economics

Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek

The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes

Climate Change and Green Policies

Climate Confusion by Roy Spencer

The Deniers by Lawrence Solomon

The Green Crusade: Rethinking the Roots of Environmentalism by Charles T. Rubin

Red Hot Lies by Christopher Horner

Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death by Paul Driessen

U.S. Constitution and Capitalism and Socialism

Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin

How Capitalism Will Save Us by Steve Forbes

The 5000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen

Witness by Whittaker Chambers

U.S. Supreme Court

Men In Black by Mark Levin

My Grandfather’s Son by Clarence Thomas

Obviously, there are many great books out there.  However, these are the ones that I know first-hand from reading them myself.  Each has helped to broaden and shape my reasoning, as well as deepen my thinking beyond a “talking-points” mentality.  All are an antidote to the constant “Progressive” rhetoric of the current day.  It is not enough to be against a position, policy, bill, etc.  Not only do we need to know why we are against something, but also why we are for something else instead.  I highly recommend that you treat yourself, or someone you love who shares well, to one or two of these this Christmas to make it a merry one.  Remember, our New Year, with its promise of the 2010 elections is fast approaching!

Filed under: cap & trade, climate change, constitution, economy, healthcare, liberal activism, personal, POTUS, SCOTUS, U.S. GOVERNMENT, , , , , , , ,

ONE BRIEF SHINING MOMENT: George W. Bush @ SMU

Former President George W Bush

Yesterday, former President George W. Bush spoke at Southern Methodist University.  As he described the vision for the George W. Bush Policy Institute, it felt as if I had awakened from a nightmare to find a bright morning full of possibilities.  President Bush stated his goal of “continued public service” guided by the same personal values that guided his presidency, to wit, empowering the individual to take advantage of opportunities, free markets, personal responsibility, freedom and the dignity and value of the individual.  Furthermore, President Bush emphasized that the Bush Institute would be non-partisan, impact the real world, set goals and measure results.  He outlined four major areas in which the Bush Institute would work: education, global health, freedom and economic growth.

Previously, I might have not listened to this speech at all.  If I had, it would not have had the same impact on me. Yesterday, his words fell on my ear like rain after a particularly dry spell.  After ten months, (has it been only ten months?), of hearing tortured “Obamaspeak”, the same slick boilerplate speeches, the lectures on greed and profit, not to mention the tiring rhetoric that, predictably, ends up blaming “the Former Administration” for worsening conditions, Mr. Bush provided genuine and powerful images of America, great and prosperous again.  This was a speech of substance, not soaring rhetoric.  It was a speech that touched and moved my spirit.  It was the speech of an adult.  It was a speech that never once produced a “shout out”, or overused words like “robust”,  “transparency”, “sustainable”, “back from the brink”, “teaching moment”, “at the end of the day”, etc., etc., etc.

His themes kept catching both my attention and imagination: accountability, measurable outcomes, partnership instead of paternalism, not dictating strategies to others, and above all, freedom.  It fell to Mr. Bush to correct the glaring omission of the Obama Administration at Berlin with respect to the contribution of President Reagan in ending the Cold War.  Mr. Bush, with pride, told the story of how the words of Mr. Reagan encouraged and supported those who fought for freedom behind the Iron Curtain, and eventually allowed them to prevail.  As he described his “Freedom Initiative”, Mr. Bush built on this theme.  What emerged was the picture of internet technology reaching out to dissidents with the message, “as you stand, we will stand with you”.  Using the internet to effect the destruction of totalitarian regimes reminded me of the way that radio, the cutting-edge technology of its day, was used to reach behind the Iron Curtain through Radio Free Europe.  It was a good memory and a powerful one.

Next, President Bush turned to the “Economic Initiative” of the Bush Institute.  He stated clearly that it was “not the job of Government to create wealth, but to create the environment in which it thrives”.  He opined that as this Country moves through the current economic downturn it would be tempting to replace the free market private sector with the “blunt instrument” of Government regulation and control.  But in terms of economic growth, he said, “the problem is not too little government but too much”.  The “Economic Initiative” will focus on economic growth both at home and abroad.  Promoting free trade, as over against protectionism, and cheap, clean, abundant energy.

Finally, Mr. Bush spoke about the promotion of  “social entrepreneurship” and empowering women in all areas through these initiatives.  Before introducing his wife, former First Lady, Laura Bush, he made a last forceful statement, “I am convinced”, he said, “that the women in the Middle East will lead the move to democracy.  They will have an ally in the Bush Institute.”

For one brief shining moment, yesterday, I caught a glimpse of America—strong , prosperous, mighty, benevolent, God-fearing and just.  That is my America, not the one that apologizes, victimizes, coerces, begs foreign money, creeps relentlessly toward socialism, appeases dictators and gives its own, at home and abroad, platitudes and empty promises in the midst of their great need.  Until I heard Mr. Bush yesterday, I had not realized how much I missed his manner, his humor and his steady, unwavering belief in our purpose as a great people who have been immeasurably blessed by this Country.   God bless you, Mr. Bush for refreshing my soul.

In 2010, let us all resolve to find and work for those, who like President Bush will truly discharge their duties as our elected officials with integrity.  Let us find and work for those who share the kind of values delineated in this speech.  Let us find and work for those who share a vision for this Country in keeping with her founding principles.  Let us believe that in so doing, we will stretch one brief shining moment into
a lifetime of lifetimes.

Filed under: economy, education, healthcare, personal, , , , ,

TO ALL OUR VETERANS-THANK YOU

Anzio

In 2004, the WWII National Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C.  My Daddy, a veteran of WWII, did not live to see it.  He was aware of its creation and contributed financially to its erection.  It seemed to me that he believed that he had a personal stake in helping it to be built.  Daddy served in the 45th “Thunderbird” Division as a Combat Engineer.  He lan45th Division Thunderbirdded first in North Africa,  later in Sicily and soon after that in Anzio, Italy.  The war experiences of my father, a midwestern farm boy from a tiny community, shaped him forever.  I never tired listening and learning from the stories that he told about “the war”.

I would like to think that, had he lived, he would have been one of the first on the bus to Washington D.C. this year to see the WWII Memorial, his memorial.  I would also like to think that his reaction would have been like those in the video below.  Though I am sorry that Daddy, like many of his cohorts, never were able to see the WWII Memorial completed, I am overjoyed that many have.

Today, above all days, I offer my heartfelt thanks to those, like my Daddy, who sacrificed and continue to sacrifice their lives in defense of our freedom.  May God bless all of you who have blessed us so immeasurably.

Filed under: national defense, personal, , , ,

RED LETTER DAY: REPUBLICAN CHRISTIE WINS NJ GUBENATORIAL RACE

christie

If you stayed up until at least 11 p.m. last night, then you very possibly knew the outcome of the NJ Governor’s election before the POTUS did.  Reportedly, Mr. Obama did not watch the election returns last night, instead opting to watch an HBO special recounting his own victory in the Presidential contest of last year.  (Ahh, come on, that tidbit just begs for comments, doesn’t it?)

During his acceptance speech last night, Governor-elect Christie used the word “tomorrow” as a theme.  He assured us that his administration will immediately begin moving to organize, plan and prepare for its official installation, thus making the transition to governing as smooth as possible.  Responsible and proficient governing is indeed what I look forward to in New Jersey during the Christie tenure.  Therefore, my hope is that the Christie administration uses the next few months to create the strategies necessary to right the “Ship of State” that has been listing badly to port for more than a decade.  We need rapid, positive movement on jobs, taxes, energy (not the green kind), and economic growth.  In addition, I hope that our now Republican-led State will join an increasing number of other states to pass provisions to protect citizens against the negative effects of possible Federal health-care legislation, intervention and mandates.

The sparrows flocked together yesterday, made their voices heard and drove a hungry cat from our garden.  There are other prowling things out there.  Some much worse than a hungry cat.  None are very fond of sparrows, except as fodder.  Our work has only begun.  Mr. Christie articulated that well as he pointed to the tasks that would undertake “tomorrow”.  Now, “tomorrow” is “today”.  We will be watching, Mr. Christie, with high expectations.  Be what we believe you can be for New Jersey.  You may be our last hope.

Congratulations!  May God Bless you and yours.

elephant

Filed under: media, personal, POTUS, , , ,

A Time For Choosing (by Steve Lonegan)

vote republican

This letter from Steve Lonegan was forwarded to me by those on the NJ 9.12 list.  In the primary, I backed Lonegan after hearing him speak and answer questions at the Morristown Tea Party on April 15th.  Therefore, his words do carry weight with me.  Please read and digest what he says in his letter.  Then go and vote to defeat Corzine.

Steve Lonegan writes:

It’s been a long year. Many conservatives have been confused about what to do in the race for Governor of New Jersey. Some establishment Republicans didn’t help matters with things they did or didn’t do.

But that’s all in the past now. It’s in the past because we know who is counting on Jon Corzine to win. He was here today, in both Camden and Newark , and he said that Corzine was “one of the best partners I have in the White House…we work together. We know our work is far from over.”

That’s right. The radical national agenda of Barack Obama is hoping to get a boost from the election for Governor of New Jersey.

You know what that means. Last week, the most left-wing Speaker in the history of Congress unpacked her plan to take over health care – and with it 18% of the American economy. Coupled with the Obama “cap & tax” scheme, both these bills will destroy American competitiveness, drive-up costs, and amount to the largest collective tax increase ever.

It is time to say NO to Obama’s plans to Socialize Medicine and the way to say NO is by defeating Jon Corzine this Tuesday.

To defeat him, we have to vote for someone else. Chris Daggett supports abortion, same-sex marriage, and higher taxes. That’s not a choice conservatives can make.

To defeat Jon Corzine, the only choice is Chris Christie.

Something happened in New York this weekend that should help us sort out the conflicted emotions some of us still have. The Republican establishment put up a liberal to run in a Special Election in the 23rd congressional district in far upstate New York . The Democrats put up their own liberal and, this being a special election (without a primary), a Conservative Party candidate, Doug Hoffman, jumped into the race as well.

In the last two weeks, the Conservative moved from third to first place. The Republican, liberal Dede Scozzafava (who had been endorsed by the liberal Daily Kos blog), fell to third place. So she got mad, sulked, dropped out – and then endorsed the Democrat!

That is the difference between us and them. We have a set of principles to guide us, while they only have self-interest. And it is our principles that will lead us to the right choice on Election Day.

Conservatives know that Obama, Reid and Pelosi will use a Corzine victory to help them push through their radical national agenda. Conservatives not only can deny them that momentum by electing Chris Christie Governor, with a big enough margin, you and I could put enough pressure on Congress to stop Obama’s Socialized Medicine scheme once and for all.

On the other hand, a Corzine win in New Jersey will send a message that voters will support someone whose radical left-wing agenda is the same as Obama’s. You know the record: low income housing projects shoe-horned into our towns, radical left-wing spending programs that do nothing but provide paychecks to liberal ideologues and political hacks, government funded abortions, support for same-sex marriage, paid family leave, a red carpet for illegal aliens and an extremist anti-gun owner, anti-hunting mentality.

And higher and higher taxes…

Look, Chris Christie and I don’t agree on everything. And Chris isn’t Steve Lonegan. But Chris Christie isn’t Jon Corzine either. And on Tuesday, the choice is clear. Whether you are concerned about high taxes, pro-Life, marriage, gun rights, spending programs, illegal aliens or the threat of low income housing there’s a clear difference between the candidates and any conservative who doesn’t support Chris is cutting off their nose to spite their face.

The bottom line is clear: a Corzine victory will be a victory for Obama and his Socialist far-left allies. A Christie victory will be seen as a victory for conservatives. Let’s keep our eye on the ball here. Together we can take our party back, and we will. But on Tuesday let’s send Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and New Jersey’s stale and tired Democrat hacks a message by giving Chris Christie a big margin on Tuesday, as well as a big NO vote on Question One — the $400 Million Open Space scam.

On to Victory,

Steve Lonegan

P.S.: I’ve mentioned that I’m strongly supporting Chris’s candidacy. But I forgot to mention that Chris is strongly supporting you and I in our efforts to stop Question One. Please vote on Tuesday for Chris Christie for Governor, No on Question One, and for your state and local Republican candidates. Together, we will take New Jersey back. Thanks for taking the time to care about our state. Please stay in touch.

Filed under: personal, ,

ALL POLITICS ARE LOCAL

Seal of NJ

Typically, local issues are not something I write about here.  However, with the New Jersey election for Governor less than a week away, I want to issue a plea to all of the New Jersey sparrows out there to lend me an ear.  (The rest of you are free to skip over this post).

There has been a lot of chatter on the NJ 9.12 list about this election.  Some very well-meaning people argued that Christie is not conservative enough to garner their vote.  These believe that voting for Daggett is the way to register their disgust for both of the major parties.  Here is where I come down on this issue.

Personally, I believe that the times are too critical and dangerous for us to have the luxury of trying to make some sort of “statement” by voting for a 3rd party candidate that cannot possible win, and therefore, will be unable to represent us.  I think that, to some extent, the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and in Virginia are being observed by those in Washington with an eye toward their own future votes and their own futures in Washington period.

“You can’t always get what you want”, as the song goes, “but if you try, sometimes you get what you need”.  Right now, we need to focus on the big picture, which is to wrest power from the Democrats.  There will be time enough to weed-out and refine those, with an eye toward Conservative values, in the Republican party.  Remember that the way the Left came to power in the first place was through uniting people in their discontent.  To some extent the Left is fighting within their own ranks right now.  The way for us to take advantage of that, is to remain united ourselves.  Splintering over fine points is not going to put us where we want to be.

There is an old joke that goes, “How do you eat an elephant?”  The answer:  One bite at a time.  Perhaps that is how to re-create one as well, if I may stretch the metaphor a bit, incrementally.  I would rather have a Republican Governor and Republican majorities in Congress over whom we would likely have more influence in the long run, than throw away my vote on a 3rd party candidate that makes me feel good in the short run.  Been there. Done that.  Can’t expect different results by doing it again!

Follow the logic:  Corzine supports, agrees with and implements Obama policies.  So, a vote for Corzine is a vote of approval for Obama.  Voting for Daggett works in the favor of Corzine, putting the election of Christie at risk.  So, a vote for Daggett is a vote for Corzine.  Ergo, a vote for Daggett is the same thing as voting to support, agree with and continue to implement Obama policies in the state of New Jersey.

Sparrows overcome by acting together.  Beware, there is a cat is ready to pounce, let’s not be distracted by the one in the tree trying to tweet like a bird.  We must defeat the one that is prepared to devour us and avoid the one trying to make fools of us, only to devour us later.

Filed under: personal, ,

ALERT-DELAY AHEAD

After experiencing some technical glitches, I was unable to post at the end of last week. AND, since I am off next week to help my Mom with her final downsizing and move out of the family home, I will not be posting next week either.

Please check back on Monday, October 5th when we will be browsing Barak’s bookcase. Until then, straighten up and fly right, Sparrows!

P.S. While I’m away, take a look at the questions here about the various healthcare “reform” bills. Unless you register, you will be unable to actually “vote”, but the questions are well thought out and would be useful for you to include when communicating with your elected representatives. Also included at the site are links to related articles. Check it out; I believe it is worth your time.

Filed under: congress, healthcare, LEGISLATION, personal, U.S. GOVERNMENT, , ,

"His eye is on the sparrow, and He surely watches me." --Mrs. Doolittle, 1905

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