Thursday, November 26, 2009
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.
So much to be thankful for. Semper Fi.
Friday, November 20, 2009
OBAMA VOTES 'PRESENT'
Word is now out on how the Present, er, I mean President of the United States arrived at what could be the most important decision of his term of office, regarding final justice for the most devastating invasion of the nation since the war of 1812.
To his Attorney General, Eric Holder. You know, the one who engineered the Marc Rich pardon. And released classified CIA memoranda on interrogation. That guy.
Once upon a time we had a president who was mocked by his opponents in the media elite for calling himself "the decider". What, one must ask, is wrong with a president articulating (however plainly) what we all should understand as his sacred duty? What was so strange about the distillation of presidential responsibilities into that simple word?
Apparently the current office-holder finds it a little alien to his 'style'.
Fox's Chris Wallace and another plain-spoken guy, Don Imus, set out the facts as we know them. [hat-tip/ Gateway Pundit]
Given a choice, an increasing number of Americans are thinking they'd prefer a president who thought of himself as the Decider. George Bush didn't always live up to the boldness of that title -- when the Iraq war was in the dumper for more than year, I took to calling him the 'Delegator-in-Chief', and it was NOT a compliment. But at the end of the day, with opinion from every quarter substantially against him, he made the hard decision to adopt the surge strategy. When push came to shove, he made the decision to shove. He did not vote 'present'.
His successor has a different approach. With him, it's always someone else's fault, he's always floating somewhere above the nasty business of political fallout. It's taken a few days, as the outrage has accumulated over the decision to try the terrorist leadership in civilian court, but Mr. Obama has finally found his sound byte: 'The Devil made me do it.'
Re: previous post -- had a brief exchange with Col. Bogdanos, emailing from Afghanistan. He doesn't anticipate being involved in the Greatest Show On Earth, when KSM comes to Manhattan.
It's definitely going to be work fit for a Marine.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Sorry to have missed this -- it's a few months old -- a piece in the Washington Post from August by Colonel Matthew Bogdanos USMC, devoted guardian of the Iraq National Museum and a genuinely nice guy, as I found on our brief acquaintance. He writes a reflection on the strength of the bond among those who put their lives on the line for the security of others.
It's not long -- read it all.
Post-deployment, we are also engaged. Despite countless other tasks after a combat tour and the need to begin preparing for the next mission, we pause to value what has occurred, trying -- not always successfully -- to reconcile the horrors of combat with the bond created during those horrors. Perhaps it is the dimly perceived recognition that together we are better than any one of us had ever been before -- better maybe than we ever would be again. Or the dawning awareness that if we store up enough memories, these might someday be a source of strength, comfort or even our salvation.
Take the simple act of goodbye, of wishing comrades in arms fair winds and following seas. Those who have seen action together are not morbid about it. Just serious. It is, after all, the nature of the profession of arms that goodbyes are frequent and often final. But there is also the recognition that each of us has our own life and family to go back to in the "world." And even if we do "keep in touch," it will never be with the same intensity, never again as pure as it was when I had your "six," (your six o'clock, your back) and you had mine.
And whisper a little prayer that, should the President's unutterably STUPID decision to try the mastermind of 9/11 in civilian court actually come to pass [I refuse to believe it cannot yet be derailed], Col. Bogdanos, in his capacity as an assistant district attorney for New York City, will be given the opportunity to get a piece of him.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
As our Nomad-in-Chief* wanders the globe in search of people to bow and apologize to, we are reminded that there is at least one place he has never set foot in, nor showed any inclination thereunto. It's called GITMO.
The staggeringly gifted Steven Crowder at PJTV (cat's Pajamas!) takes us on a little tour of what POTUS has missed. Watch the video here.
Monday, November 16, 2009
In case y'all forgot, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has proudly admitted to being the beheadsman of Daniel Pearl a couple of wars back.
Interestingly, Pearl's family has some objections to the judicial farce just announced by the Attorney General. Ya think?
'My name is Daniel Pearl... I'm a Jewish American.'
Case closed, apparently.
Lest we forget.
Tell us how low to go, Your Majesty
Make some more decrees, Your Majesty
Give us a kick if it please Your Majesty
Give us a kick if you would, Your Majesty --
Oh, that was GOOD,
President Ob[sequious]ama has followed up his non-stop verbal grovelpaloozas and periodic physical kow-tows with the latest instalment, Japanese model. Guess he was trying to make up to Emperor Akihito for all that humiliation suffered by his father Hirohito when he signed off on Japan's surrender to Douglas McArthur. Oh wait -- that never happened... Never mind.
Responding to Mr. Obama's reflexive desire to be the consummate internationalist, the College Republicans of University of Connecticut do a quickie historical review of how the leadership of the rest of the family of nations manages to keep its dignity in the face of the towering authority of the lil' emperor.
What we have here, ladies and germs, is a child, dancing in the world of make-believe -- if he could, he would wear an exotic costume and pretend to be anything other than what he is, in a perpetual Halloween fantasy.
Or, in a more substantial tradition, we have elected him to be the Boy Bishop, the Lord of Misrule, who in medieval times was a peasant child raised to artificial authority and permitted to remake the rules, as a festive game. It was a release valve within a highly structured society, and everybody had a good time. But the much-maligned medievals were smarter than us -- the Boy Bishop had sway for only a day or, at most, the Christmas season; and he misruled nothing more than a household or, at best, a diocese. And he knew the rules of the game. He did not try to enshrine heresy, or legalize felonious acts. He was a temporary Robin Hood who indulged his neighbours in a brief spell of treats and loosened tongues, tempered by some genuine religious duties to lead the people in prayer.
The medievals (and some of the 'Renaissanciers', at least in Spain) had another good idea about those in high office: the need for a court jester with full, unparalleled license to take them down a peg and remind them of their fallibility. Mr. Obama, not surprisingly, has appointed no Jester Czar to provide periodic jolts of human reality into The One's crystal palace of hubris. Too bad -- he'd be a busier fool than King Lear's. Poor Yorrick, etc.
There's at least one possible explanation as to why the President keeps abasing himself before foreign rulers: it's his veiled way of mooning his fellow Americans.
NOT A METROSEXUAL
Saturday, November 14, 2009
CONFESSED TERRORISTS WILL HAVE THEIR DAY
IN NEW YORK CIVILIAN COURT
When I was busy re-designing icons for an earlier post, I forgot one -- strangely enough, it's the first one I had thought of. That's because it took me only about the first six months of 2009 to arrive at the unlooked-for belief that, some time within the first half of the first term of the Obama presidency, there will be a serious and widespread public outcry on the following theme:
Let's round it up to a year, since the ceaseless self-regard of this president prompted him to open the first-ever "Office of the President-elect", complete with its own knock-off official seal in the ubiquitous poofter blue, just one year ago this week. [W.S.Gilbert gave us the anthem: "Bow, bow, to the President/god elect...."]
It has been a year of staggering hubris, Janus-faced politicking, kindergarten finger-pointing, the unmasking of radical ideology, and an administration for which the word "BANKRUPT" has a dozen different shades of meaning, all of them body blows to the American body politic.
But let it be recorded that the week of November 9 was a turning point for even this turncoat, tin-pot turd of a regime, for it was the coming together of events which exposed the president as pathologically detached from normal human sensibilities, as he:
--told preposterous lies about the grotesque unemployment levels he has created,
--played 52-pick-up with the whole spectrum of hands he has been dealt in the strategy for Afghanistan ("the right war", as he once had us believe),
--made a dead dog's breakfast of his response to the first mass terrorist attack on American soil since George W. Bush raised a bullhorn in the smoking ruins of the World Trade Center,
and, for his master-stroke,
--skulked out of town leaving his Attorney General to break it to the citizenry that the mastermind of that pile of smoking ruins will be deposited in Manhattan to launch the biggest legal farce since O.J. had a glove fitting.
My God, this man works fast!!!
I'll leave it to the man whose intelligence, integrity, and gift for the verbal slam-dunk stuffin' are making him the shining star of modern journalism, Professor Krauthammer, to lay out the case against the accused:
As they say in the vernacular, Mr. Obama has stepped in it -- so deep, so gaggingly putrid, that he will never get the stink off him, and is in grave danger of making himself unwelcome in any gathering, indoors or out. What's truly breathtaking is that he apparently continues to believe he smells like lilacs in springtime and always will.
What Mr. Obama has failed to grasp (despite being the most intelligent being to ever take over the oval -- blessed with Divine faculties which will cause the sea levels recede and the polar bears to play hockey) is that he got to where he is with the support of just a sliver over half the American voters who bothered to show up, and that a substantial portion of those (a minority, but not a small one) voted for a man who ran for office as a centrist, a healer, a post-racial, post-partisan mountain-top sage. On the other side of the scales, he also came into office with just under half the people wanting the other guy -- but many of those wishing him well enough, and hoping for smooth waters with "no-drama Obama" at the helm.
What Mr. Obama has failed to grasp is that support for him has done a significant tilt in the opposite direction -- it's just under half the country that supports him now, and just over half that gives him thumbs down. And it's not just that the latter wish they'd gotten that other guy (who on his worst day would have been a better president, beyond question), but that they feel deceived not only as to Obama's intentions and policies, but as to his competence and his character. A growing portion of these not only disagree with their president, they are repulsed and infuriated by him -- even as they are energized and exhilarated at their own positive activism against his plans.
What happened today, issuing from the Attorney General's office, was a dark-alley mugging, a Judas kiss, a cold and swift knife in the back. I believe that this hapless, clueless president has turned a corner today in his rapidly deteriorating relationship with his countrymen -- and what he will see, if he has eyes to see it, is a shadowy path ahead, bordered by a hissing gauntlet of restless shapes whose patience is on the wane.
Before he's home and dry, it's entirely possible that they may be hissing that word, "Resign."
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month a family of disparate nations pays tribute to those who have taken up arms to defend their homelands and protect their families. In the U.S. the day is for "Veterans", those who have fought and lived to tell the tales -- "Memorial Day" in the spring is devoted specifically to those who gave their lives.
Canada, England, and other nations upon whom the wholesale slaughter of World War I had such immediate and devastating impact, reserve the day of Armistice to remember the dead, and call it "Remembrance Day." It is usually a day so sombre that it really has no equivalent in the more optimistic culture of us Yanks.
This Remembrance Day I will dedicate my prayers to remembering someone I have never met but who is almost as real for me as any son of mine. Today I remember Captain Kyle Van de Giesen, Marine Corps helicopter pilot, who died at age 29 in a helicopter crash in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on October 26.
He leaves behind him a wife, an 18-month-old daughter, and a brand new son whose birth, yesterday, he did not live to see.
Kyle will spend this Remembrance Day in my heart because his career as a student at St. Anselm's College, recruitment under Captain Goedecke, summers at Officer Candidate School, graduation and commission on the St. A's quad, ultimate posting to a base in California, and deployment to the far side of the globe into a world of dust and enemies, runs parallel to that of Captain Cincinnatus, my own son -- age 29, Marine helicopter pilot, husband and father, for whom Kyle was a friend, a comrade, and a model.
At St. Anselm's, in Manchester, New Hampshire, where the two future Marines' paths crossed, Kyle was remembered at a service at the college war memorial, a quiet corner of the quad which was built during Kyle's years at the school, and which will bear his name inscribed among the generations of alumni heroes.
Kyle spent his first year at St. A's continuing his stellar record as a quarterback, but he then gave up football to concentrate on his studies. His impact on the fledgling college team was remembered on October 31, with his name and number emblazoned on the field. Kyle was laid to rest on November 6 in North Attleboro, Mass., amid an outpouring of sympathy and support from his entire community, withat least a thousand strangers lining the streets in silent respect for his funeral procession. Four days later, on the 234th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps, Kyle became a father again.
Despite the fact that I truly don't want to, I can't help but imagine what the Van de Giesen family is going through right now. Their celebration of the birth of the new baby is as much about courage as it is about joy. May God bless them in their time of need, have mercy on them in the moments of despair, and guide the nation for which Kyle gave his life, to reward his sacrifice with the victory that is within its reach.
Captain Kyle Rolf Van de Giesen
April 14, 1980 - October 26, 2009
Requiescat in pace.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Today marks the day that the wall, built for the unusual purpose of keeping people in as well as out, came tumbling down by force of sheer human free will, and no small amount of courage.
Take note, new heralds of post-modern socialism: the people of East Germany gave each other courage, they gathered quietly, they got just forceful enough, then through the first available crack they power-walked, they skipped, they danced, they laughed and smiled, and they made an orderly rush to FREEDOM.
It was kind of like a tea-party, though it had percolated up from decades of genuine starvation of every kind.
I remember it, as clearly as I remember the other landmarks of my baby-boom lifetime. Even clearer is my memory of Christmas 1989, when Leonard Bernstein conducted a concert of Beethoven's 9th Symphony in Berlin, played by musicians and choristers from all over the world (including both Germanies), with the lyrics of the famous Ode to Joy ("Freude") altered to be an Ode to Freedom ("Freiheit").
[warning -- the video ends abruptly! -- to avoid disappointment, buy the DVD!]
But the dancing, the pride, and the determination have much in common with the growing strength of the movement which stands between this Obama-captained Ship of Fools, and the perilous shoals towards which they're steering; and in the end -- count on it, Commodore -- there will be an orderly rush to freedom. And you and your personal "300" (do we have that many czars yet?) will be left standing at the gates, looking perplexed and bypassed by history.
Count on it, Madame Speakress (count 220 to 215!). Count on it, Lord Axelrod of Mordor. Count on it.
In the meantime, celebrations of real history go on in Berlin, but the Reader of the Free World is too busy to attend. FORE!
As Toby Harnden of London's Telegraph reminds us, it's a good thing that previous presidents found time to make a stopover.
[Big mo': slide forward to minute 1:15]
THE PRICE OF FREIHEIT IS ETERNAL VIGILANCE
And Col. Ralph Peters is beginning wonder whether we have the stomach, and the army, to be vigilant for even a couple of minutes.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
AT THE ENEMY WITHIN.
It is a difficult task to collect one's thoughts, to try and paint a picture from the trickle of news, and to formulate a response to the freakish nature of the massacre at Fr. Hood. I expect it will come into focus over the next week or so, despite the best of efforts of a perverse media establishment and the President they worshiped into office to spin and wring and mangle the data so as to steer us away from the obvious conclusions.
I have but one thought so early in the story: how delicious it is that a homicidal devotee of the one of the [if not THE] most misogynist cultures in human history was halted in his murderous tracks by a gun-totin', pants-wearin', ass-kickin', baby-makin', soldier-lovin'
Meet Sgt. Kimberley Munley.
Hear her roar.
Take your burqa, and shove it, Major Jihad, you tiny little man. She even took a through-and-through bullet of yours, but it didn't stop her from putting a stop to you. May you recover enough from the ass-whoopin' she gave you, just to up and die of shame.
SPEAKING OF TINY LITTLE MEN
The Procrastinator-in-Chief acquitted himself with his customary 'cool' -- that charming mixture of icewater in the veins and stumble-bum incompetence we have come to expect, as he mounted the podium after the massacre, and addressed the crisis as about (you should pardon the expression) bullet-point 4 in the notecards -- after due deference to our 'first Americans' (a new blended term for the multicultural lexicon) and their convention, and a friendly 'shout-out' to someone he personally had pinned the Presidential Medal of Freedom on only last August -- Dr. Joe Medicine Crow -- except the President called it the Congressional Medal of Honor. Honor, freedom, whatever...
After several minutes of this self-ingratiating b.s., Mr. Obama finally remembered to pull a long face and talk about the "tragedy" at Ft. Hood. Except it wasn't a tragedy -- tragedy would be if 13 people died in an avalanche. It was an act of jihadist slaughter, sir. The murder of our nation's defenders within what should be the safe confines of their own home base, in their own home country. And all you can say, little man, is that we shouldn't "jump to conclusions." Aw, go ahead, Mr. President -- jump.
Jump into that nice dark suit. Put away the nine-iron. Another photo op, comin' your way.
Another baker's dozen of The Best of Us -- requiescant in pace.