BenTha'er-Horizons

Politics

Ruining Country

Well, I couldn’t have said it better. This article does a nice job of explaining why I think Obama is ruining the country. The tipping point is getting closer and I don’t know if we can recover. It all feels rotten underneath the surface and a “lollipop-like” facade of sugar sweetness above the surface. A sweet and tart mix that does not work and will turn sour before long.
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A Single Democrat

Here is a photo of one of the grabbier, aggressive “Democrats” of the group. This one made sure it got plenty of the bread from dinner the night before.
singledemocrat
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The Democrats

One should be able to detect that I am not a fan of the modern Democratic Party and what they stand for. I am very anti- when it comes down to it. Our friend Tim has labeled the six masked critters who come begging for handouts, “The Democrats”. How apt. They are looking for free dry pet kibble. I must admit they are cute to view but I am sure not too friendly if you got close. They stay hidden in the trees and shrubs until they can skulk out and grab their goodies.
BTW, we were headed home from the South today. Our plane trip was good and all on time.
thedemocrats
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Andrew Breitbart Quote

I always enjoyed and admired the person and spirit of Andrew Breibart. He tackled life and people head on, fearlessly. He challenged the norm and yet with good spirits. He certainly gathered friends and foe alike. He wanted people to be warriors to the truth on their own. I believe we still miss his presence in this stressed out world, semi-nightmare world we live in currently.
I bring this up because it was a good news day yesterday. I re-certified for ABVP feline for another 10 years. The hard work to pursue it instead of letting it lapse paid off. I got my new 60mm macro Nikon lens for my Nikon camera so I can film closeups better. How exciting to pursue! Here is a great quote from Breitbart to stick on my wall and remember.

“Walk towards the fire, don’t worry about what they call you. All of those things are said because they want to stop you in your tracks. But if you keep going, you’re sending a message to people who are rooting for you, who are agreeing with you. The message is that they can do it.”

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Fascism and Communism

Jonah Goldberg has written a number of articles and a book about the twin political beliefs, fascism and communism. In this article, he gives the argument again that a political theories, they are not opposites as many portray them. They are actually closely related with different economic arms to that particular political philosophy. I agree with his take on it though I am sure there would be plenty of heavy debate on that statement. His article can be found here. The current situation occurring between Russia, the Ukraine, and the Crimea demonstrates quite nicely how this operates in real time.
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Ukrainian Uprising

Since November 2013, the Ukrainian population has taken to the streets in Kiev to protest the President of the Ukraine turning away from ties with the European Union and moving ties toward Russia. Many, especially in the western part of the country feel closer to the EU, others in the eastern section are tied closer to Russia. This resistance has led to the President (former now) fleeing to Russia and abandoning his palatial home. Russia has asserted its power and position to the Ukraine by taking over the Crimea area and placing it under total Russian control. One article I had saved a few weeks ago about the Ukrainian resistance and uprising against police tactics discusses how the people fought back by using medieval tactics and weaponry. A discussion of this is found here.
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Portland Versus the Rest of Oregon

Surveys can often prove what you know in your “gut” to be true. So it is with the publicizing of a recent survey of Oregon residents. The survey compared the political views of Portlanders to the 3-county region and than rest of the state of Oregon. It confirmed that Portland was quite a bit more liberal in views than the rest of Oregon. In fact, the rest of Oregonians are pretty moderate, middle-of-the-road people. Much like I remember the state being when I was growing up..........very much on the independent side, “go our own way”. Linn County is pretty much a red county in voting, right up next to blue counties of Benton and Lane. To read a bit more about what this state is really like politically, check it out here.
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Income Inequality

It is becoming apparent that the mantra for this next year as we go toward the 2014 elections is going to be “income inequality”. I was raised in a family where my family was not rich, nor poor yet comfortable to live and work with what we had. We did not envy or begrudge anyone what they had. I am a big believer that people make choices in this world that help them or hold them back. I cannot expect others to make my choices or compensate me for poor ones. It is my responsibility. I cannot in the long run change the choices others make for themselves. In the long run, we all have to live with the consequences of those choices. Circumstances are unequal. Life would be pretty dull if we all were forced into “sameness”. Many strive for achieving something worthwhile or a greatness beyond. It will be interesting, also frustrating, to watch this message play out over the next few years. It has never been able to sustain itself to create the Utopia such believers wish to accomplish. I have to agree with the following statement of Matthew Continetti of the Washington Free Beacon............

“What the income inequality debate is about is not social justice but social rule. It is about power, about who wields it and to what purposes, and the slogans and statistics that appear in the papers are the weapons by which a caste of liberals organizes its political coalition and vanquishes its opposites.”

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The Zombie Effect

Every day it seems that the Democrats sink lower in what they do to support or promote their policies and beliefs. One has to credit them with being able to stick together trying to deliver the product or at least keep it from collapsing. Or maybe it isn’t something on the credit side. I read an article today by Mark Baisley where he talks about The Zombie Effect that spreads through the Democratic Party and its loyal supporters. An example follows of what he is talking about and is in a humorous vein incorporating the great Bob Hope.

This Zombie Effect was first documented in the 1940’s film The Ghost Breakers. Richard Carlson’s character describes the undead as, “It’s worse than horrible because a zombie has no will of his own. You see them sometimes walking around blindly with dead eyes, following orders, not knowing what they do, not caring.” In immediate response, Bob Hope quips, “You mean like Democrats?” (See the brief film clip by clicking here).

Enjoy the show!
female Zombie
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A Better Look

Politico has published a couple of articles that give a behind the scenes look at the President’s interactions with his Cabinet and many of the major generals in the armed forces. The articles do not paint a good picture and more a grim one in my estimation. It is disturbing to hear that approximately 200 generals have been released by this administration. They are trying to remake the military in the manner they desire, not as a ready and fighting force I am afraid. Political correctness is taking its role, front and center. I pray we are not attacked because I fear for who will be left to respond.
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President as Machiavelli?

What is effectual truth and is this what the President uses when he speaks to Americans?

In the essay, Mansfield discusses the Machiavellian discovery of “effectual truth.” What is effectual truth? In his 2007 Jefferson lecture, Mansfield put it this way: For Machiavelli, the effectual truth is the “truth shown in the outcome of his thought. The truth of words is in the result they produce or, more likely, fail to produce.” Consequences matter most. “Deeds are sovereign: When confronted by a necessity, Machiavelli advises, do not worry about justice, but act and the words to justify your action will come to you afterward.”

More about this can be found in this Washington Free Beacon article.
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Government Cronyism

As Obamacare rolls out and looking at the effects on both Bob and i, it is distressing to read articles about all the lobbying, interest groups, and back room deals that went into getting this law passed and forced on us. An article that gives one just a taste of what this entailed is found here.
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How To View Freedom

A great article today by David Horowitz on how the Democrats keep their people and message together and how the Republicans must go to a message that is said over and over again that they support freedom for the individual. We do not want to become lemmings that only do what the Pied Piper says we should do.
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Remembering Mom

The anniversary of my mother’s birth. We all still miss her very much. Too bad she is not here to laugh with us and keep us on the straight and narrow. She would certainly have her thoughts about all the politics and negative discourse between people of different beliefs.

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The Cargo Culture

Can we build big and dream for the modern future? We seem to be stuck in small time machinations. The government is into wasting time on micromanaging people and policies that they can’t see building a bigger, more modern future. We most likely will sink to a third world country stature. A better description of how we are slipping away from that uniqueness and ability to perform to the highest level and achieve greatness. From the Sultanknish blog, some very good insight.

That's modernity. It isn't glamorous. You can see it in black and white photos of men working on old planes. You can see it in the eyes of the astronauts who first went to the moon. You can read it in the workings of the men who built the longest suspension bridges, laid undersea cables and watched their world change. They were moderns and their time is done. They have left behind savages with cell phones who make decent tinkerers, but whose ability to collaborate falls apart in large groups.

The difference between savages and civilized men isn't that savages are dumb and civilized people are smart. Savages can individually be quite clever within their parameters and civilized folk can be quite stupid. It's the ability to extend that intelligence in groups that makes for a civilization.


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What is Faux?

We have had to listen to a drum beat of voices saying that those of us who had our individual health insurance cancelled that it was faux insurance. We are rubes, schlubs, and ignorant people who don’t know what is good for us in deciding our health care. Even though it has been around for awhile and we were satisfied with it. Certainly more satisfied than our premiums going up around 70%, deductibles which were already high almost doubling, and co-pays cut almost in half. We will be paying for insurance that will probably not help us and most likely economically hurt us.We have a government that lies to us and won’t accept responsibility. We lie for your benefit. Too bad, so sad. We lie since you are too stupid to know what you need. I hope this backfires on them and the Democrats suffer politically for this. For all the hurt they do to us, I hope it triples for them. We did not need to break 9 eggs to coddle 1. That is my mantra and I am so angry and frustrated on how this whole health care and insurance issue has gone.
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Misplaced Charter

Our country is going through a stressful time right now. As an earlier blog post mentioned, our President and his administration are doing their best to separate the people from the land and National Monuments. We can no longer go where we feel we should be able to access and visit. Mark Steyn touches on this topic a bit and how the President has broken an almost 900 year old portion of English law that an English king gave to his freemen subjects. This law was established two years after the Magna Carta was written, the basis of English law and our law too. He has rolled back the connection a supreme leader has with their people and the land. We are reversing to a despotic concept more in line with “divine right of kings”. The article can be read here. The only argument I have with it is that is says that Henry II gave the Charter of the Forest to English freemen in 1217. It was Henry III, the son of King John the king -who had to accept the basis of the Magna Carta due to his despotic rule over his noble subjects.
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Bring Out the Cones

It is disgraceful that our President and his administration are taking on goonish thug tactics to the American people during this current government shutdown. His hit squad of goons, the National Park Service, have gone around the country placing traffic cones in places to block tourists from visiting or viewing national sites. I have a photo from a prior trip to Wales of a statue of a Welsh statesman that someone put a traffic cone on his head. I think Barack Obama deserves to be stuck wearing a traffic cone as a dunce cap. I wish he would demonstrate some of that brilliance that he supposedly has and do something smart and good, not mean spirited. A further look at what the traffic cone is coming to symbolize.
Wales Cardiff humor2
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Political Storm

Yesterday was the start of an intrusion and nightmare for the future, Obamacare. Government involvement in our health insurance and therefore our health care. Both Bob and I are without our plans at the start of the year. I truly dislike what they have done here and can truthfully say that I hate it. On the same day, the government has shut down because of this program and trying to fund the government overreach. I blame the President and Democrats for where we are though the Republicans don’t improve their brand either. Washington DC is a mess and it spills over on us with the power grabs.
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More Middle East

Here are two more articles about how we have given away our standing and power in the Middle East. Some of it by choice with this administration, some of it by being oblivious to the consequences. Time will tell what was the wrong course and what was right. Read about here and here. We are in the process of a long withdrawal of influence in that deadly region of the world.
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Another Good Writing Bit

I have covered this person’s writing style before from their blog. It is well-done and they seem to always have an apt written illustration of the issue to start. This article discusses how we often believe we are clever and have been so smart in what we do. When it is often that our counterpart or opponent has been much more clever because they are so much more devious and good at it. The article discusses why we should have been working at the Syria problem long before we are playing catch up and trying to look good at it.
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Foreign Policy

A writer named Walter Russell Mead has a very good blog covering American domestic and foreign issues. He writes thoughtfully and offers great insight in many ways. He had a recent long piece about foreign policy that he divides into four different groups of “thought”……….Jeffersonian, Hamiltonian, Jacksonian, and Wilsonian. He describes their different beliefs and approaches based on current world affairs. It is an interesting read here.
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Comedy with Sad Seriousness

Over the past two weeks we have been subjected to foreign policy issues and retreats regarding Syria to where it is hard to tell if the Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello or all of them are in charge. All I know is that it smacks of the history around the Munich Pact in 1938. As Bob says, “Peace in Our Time”. One synopsis of the mess is written here. Another great analysis is covered here by the great Victor Davis Hanson in this interview with Hugh Hewitt.
HH: I am joined now to gauge reaction to the President’s speech from Victor Davis Hanson, eminent military historian and frequent visitor to my regular show. Victor, good evening, what was your reaction to the President’s speech tonight?
VDH: I was underwhelmed. I’d like to think everybody was. He wants to use force, but he doesn’t quite want to use force. It’s going to be substantial, but not very substantial. He really thinks it’s important to consult Congress, but he wasn’t going to do it. But then when he got in trouble, he was going to do it, and then when they were going to vote no against him, he postponed it. He really believes you always have to do it, but of course, he didn’t do it in Libya. And the winner of everything is Vladimir Putin. I mean, he’s Machiavelli. He’s absolutely, in a diabolical way, brilliant, because suddenly, a man with no aircraft carrier group, no Nobel Prize, no big economy, no democracy, is the moral superior to the President. He’s posing as a man who stopped a rash and immature Obama from killing people and breaking stuff. Meanwhile, he stole Bashar Assad. 99% of the people you kill, you don’t need WMD. You just keep killing them. And we’ll talk for the next month about WMD while this naïve in America keeps trusting us. It’s a win-win situation for everybody. And then Obama is reminded by Putin I prevented you from embarrassing yourself, because you would have been turned down by the Congress. He couldn’t have acted anyway. This way, you’ve got an out with my phony negotiations, which have already made you alter your presidential address. And next week, I’ll probably alter it again with a new idea.


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A Truly Great Phony

I have never been a fan of this particular President, even from the first campaign he ran. The primary reason over time that I feel is that he is a phony. I detest phonies and their ways. You cannot trust what they will say and follow through with. If their lips are moving, they are lying or laying on a lot of, for a kind word, baloney. A good article to start with is on Powerline and the to go deeper and read the link to Thomas Sowell’s piece. Great explanation of why phonies will stand out and eventually show their true nature.
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A Different Washington Post?

The Washington Post has sold to Jeff Bezos, the mind behind the “amazon” Amazon. The Graham family owned the Washington Post for many years, it was a family venture. They also owned Newsweek which I read for many years, every week and most every story. It changed as a magazine over time and became less interesting to buy. The family sold it some years ago and it does not exist now except online in the form of The Daily Beast. Katherine Graham, now deceased and the former matriarch of the family, is an interesting story when one reads the book on her. I have a fascinating one in my library. To get one opinion about how big newspapers can lose their niche and readers, there is an article by Ross Douthat who proposes it well right here.
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Banbury Tale

In starting a book last night, I saw the name Bambury in it. My mind switched to the thought of Banbury Tales or “feeding us baloney” or “outright lying”. I believe there is an increasing frustration and dissatisfaction with our government. Much of it centers on the fact that our elected leaders, especially the President, do not speak the truth often. Most of what we hear is misdirection or lies spoken as “the truth”. Sometimes the lies are blatant and the person speaking such Tales does not even care if it is called a lie. There appear to be no consequences for telling lies so it just escalates. It is like a little kid who did something wrong and stands there going “NaNaNa, you can’t touch me!” Because few care to do anything about it. The media won’t and that is so disturbing. We are losing our sense of right and wrong and ability to follow the rule of law. A post I came across this morning after I decided to write about this topic seems to touch a bit on this and point out how utterly worthless the media is in this day and age.
Postscript: Another article about truth and how lies creep into creating an ideological “truth” is also written about here.
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Creeping Bureaucracy

Or is the term better used as “creepy”. It is becoming more and more disturbing to see where our government is headed. There is much more of an appearance of autocratic, authoritarianism, statism, or dictatorial aspects to our relationship as U.S. citizens. I don’t know if there is a good sense or definition for people for the term statism which is used often. I think bureaucracy or “creeping bureaucracy” is better understood by me. It appears more and more that the political elite or focused in this country wants to determine how we live our lives and it must be in the manner they determine it should be done. Some appear to want to promote one party government and who are elected leaders should be versus letting the people make the choices. The choices will be made for us. It has been difficult to articulate though I think it was well done in this article by Kevin Williamson. The elite and the media are determining who our next President should be and setting it up so it is a given, or at least a given by those willing to turn over their beliefs and thought processes to “those who know best”. I refuse to be a celebrity-chaser and a low information voter who gives up my freedom without a care. I do care where we are going and that we have choice. Unfortunately, there are many others who will go willingly down the path of least resistance and will let their emotions rule versus evaluating information.
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A Warrior and Hero

They wake up every day wondering what the enemy or the rest of the world will throw at them that day. They stand on guard to protect us and their fellow comrades and warriors each day. Along with our American spirit, they allow us to practice our freedoms every day and be as stupid and silly as we need to be. They do what our country and government asks of them repeatedly. The epitome of such a warrior and a hero was Chris Kyle. If you object to war and killing, you might not like him at a distance. I am not one of those individuals. I respect the service of our military and the terrific sacrifices they make in our lives. He was a man who stood strongly behind his beliefs and lived his values. He supported his friends and comrades in arms with all he had. One can only deeply admire such a person. It is our loss to have him gone so early. May God let him rest in peace and bless his family. To know more about Chris Kyle, please read his story here.

chris_kyle_deployed.ashx
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Pinocchio Redux

We seem to be dealing with Sequestration politics lately and the worst of it is the exaggerations and Obamageddon “facts” out there.
This recent article by Dan Heninger of the Wall Street Journal covers how simple things are often made more complex by our current President.
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Rural America

An interesting article today on how rural America covers a large part of the United States yet they are becoming less and less relevant to government and the political arena. The larger cities and major government centers have control of the message and numbers. Rural Americans have to live at the whim and decisions of the metropolitan regions.
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Osama bin Laden Raid

Phil Bronstein wrote a fascinating piece for Esquire Magazine that describes the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. The article also focuses on the special forces units that do such daring work behind the scenes and how hard it is to re-assimilate back into a normal lifestyle.
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What Does It Matter Anyway?

Mark Steyn is one of my favorite people to read. He has a way of skewering people with a mix of subtle sarcasm contrasted with the truth. This article is a classic demonstrating how people’s lips are moving, yet what they seem to say is not back up by the reality of what they really do. It is all normal in our national seat of government. Sigh!
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Eradicate Cats?

Some fellow wants the people of New Zealand to make their current cat their last one. It is to protect the birds and native habitat. He is also fine with euthanizing them. I do not believe I will put him on my Christmas card list. You can read about this cat hater here.
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Us Versus Them

There have been a number of articles about how the administration wants to push more for a state of collectivism. We ALL work together to achieve our goals and do great things. I disagree that there is a collectivism theme. I think there is more an “us versus them” theme. Splitting into different interest groups and pitting those who count against the stupid, little people who don’t. It is sad and it is discouraging. We lose our liberty and freedom, our sense of who were are. One discussion of a similar vein is found here.
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Stuck on Stupid

Today is the inauguration ceremony day. This is the day of parades and parties in Washington DC, speeches and public involvement. I will not be viewing, celebrating, or participating in any manner. This is a day to me that demonstrates we really are “stuck on stupid” and picked a man who will reap on the American people what he sows in policies. I see a drift in totalitarian type government and a makers versus takers entitlement culture. Our constitutional freedoms are up for grabs as we go along. If we don’t know what the rules are, we will be adrift as a country in time and will only know the rules put down by the Leader-In-Charge. Scary thing. A number of articles came out today on how our economy and politics are being driven to look more European in nature. One such article is here, another here. Will many of the people living in the United States come to look like this.
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They Vote

I noticed an interesting blog about that had video showing how when some people were interviewed about the inauguration days before it happened (today is the official day), they could describe what the inauguration was like the night before. This is disconcerting because these people vote and their votes could count toward serious policy issues and changes in this country. Yet, they are not paying attention nor are aware of what is happening around them or just make it up. The blog piece is here.
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Guns and Tyranny

So much focus has been recently on guns--whether we need more control and more laws doing so or whether we should hold to our rights under the Second Amendment. I am not a huge gun person, especially handguns. I am known in the family to want less of their use for protection of myself or others. Yet, I am concerned about our rights under the Constitution and the impact of losing them slowly or quickly. It is easy, unfortunately, to see how tyranny can take over. Many do not understand that it can happen and scoff at the possibility. I saw this blog article that showed how not only it can happen here, it has happened here in some form or another. The most recent example is the man who posted the YouTube video about Mohammed. They came for him at night and he is quickly in jail for probation violation. Not the usual suspect for quick incarceration according to those in the legal field, yet there he sits.
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Energy costs and poverty

2011 seemed to be the year of the 99% versus the 1%. I am totally opposed to class warfare in any way shape or form or language. I did read this interesting blog article about what the poor and truly poor live with day in and day out. Almost all of us who live in the United States are in the global 1% based on this article’s premise. The poor survive on so very little in money and that when our leaders talk about how it is OK for energy prices to rise, they don’t think about how that rise can have such a true impact on the poor. It is not rhetoric but reality. Well written and food for thought, the article is here.
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Who is There?

Christmas Eve we caught the last showing of Lincoln in Albany. The movie had been on our radar to see though a 50 mile round trip to watch a movie takes up time. This was a well worth trip. Daniel Day-Lewis is close to the best actor out there. I consider someone is a good actor when they make me forget it is “Daniel Day-Lewis” on the screen and that I might be seeing Lincoln re-incarnated. He did that in spades. Lincoln was a humble man with a internal reed strength that holds against mighty forces that would break the average person. He did what was right despite the personal cost to him while using the political forces to work with him and less against him. As Lincoln in this movie shuffles down the White House hallway to met Mary for his last theatre show, I wanted to cry……..”Please don’t go, we need you!”. Who can we say about that in these times? Who can rise to the occasion that cares to heal our country and its divisions versus exploit them. I have not seen that leader yet in Washington DC.

Lincoln
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The Curley Effect?

I have often pondered what makes those who live in big cities tend to have a tribal or herd mentality different from those who live in suburbs or rural areas. What makes those who live in the Portland environs take in the “smug” behavior so they believe they are better than the rest of the people in the state. Here are a couple of articles, one on the Curley Effect and the other dealing more specifically with the urban/non-urban divide that have been in Forbes magazine. I don’t know if it totally addresses why well off “yuppies” seem to gather in Oregon’s cities with their young families. I think they like to live by others who “validate” their mind-set.
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Here Endeth the Lesson

This has been a tough and interesting week. Certainly, policies and values that are important to me and my family have not prospered as highly as I would wish. There is a lot of second guessing and a lot of snap judgements in the process.
To me, one lesson is clear. If you believe in something strongly, you have to fight for it. Don’t back down and don’t let the other guy intimidate you. Go for it, even if you might think it makes you “Untouchable”. Certainly Kevin Costner as Elliott Ness teaches that to Robert DeNiro as Capone. “Never stop. Never stop fighting until the fighting is done”.
Here endeth the lesson.
If we don’t learn how deeply we are in a financial hole as a nation, and soon, we will definitely be Mark Steyn’s “After America”. Or so it will be as written here.
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Media Is Lost

In this political season, politics will show up in this blog. I have to write again about my disappointment with the MSM and how they try to determine the narrative of what we should believe. If we do not choose not to do so, we are treated as uneducated idiots. I like to look at what they cover under what I term the “George Bush Rule”. If it would have been a story, or a major one, when George Bush was President then it should be covered under Barack Obama as President. Let the people see the information and decide. A good article and one that states how I feel about our Fourth Estate is covered here.
I have been very unhappy to have the Huffington Post take over and merge with AOL which is my email provider for so many years. After seeing a link to a page written by Dr. Peggy Drexler, I can see why I like it less and less. I will not link to the column in this blog. The premise is that the increasing social and economic parity of men and women is the proximate cause of equalizing rates of adultery across genders. I realized that overall the arch of the articles that HuffPo offers and promotes is a theme that whatever makes you feel good personally whether it hurts others is paramount. The doctor felt that since women have more choices, if it makes them feel empowered and better about themselves that they should do it even when they want to stay in their marriages. Everything is hunky dory, there really is no right or wrong in life. As we say in my family………Yeah, right.
Also, after the disgusting and disrespectful manner that Vice President Joe Biden acted in his debate performance the other night, I noted a list of recommended behaviors by a writer about how to not let your kids grow up to be Joe Biden-like. He certainly proved the point to me why Congress is stalemated. Why cooperate when your opponent treats us like this.
-Never exaggerate.
-Never point at another.
-Never betray a confidence.
-Never laugh at the misfortunes of others.
-Never give a promise that you do not fulfill.
-Never speak much of your own performances.
-Never make yourself the hero of your own story.
-Never fail to give a polite answer to a civil question.
-Never call a new acquaintance by their first name unless requested.
-Never attempt to draw the attention of the company constantly upon yourself.
-Never exhibit too great a familiarity with a new acquaintance, as you may give offense.
-Never fail to tell the truth. If truthful, you get your reward. You will get your punishment if you deceive.
-Never fail to speak kindly. If in any position where you exercise authority, you show yourself to be a gentleman by your pleasant mode of address.
-Never attempt to convey the impression that you are a genius.
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Windmills

One of the big pushes in the past 5 years has been to develop wind power. Certainly, the area around the Columbia River Gorge and wheat fields of southeast Washington State and northeast Oregon have been prime locations. A number of windmills have been going up in these areas. Often, they are wind farms in name. There has been a lot of controversy over their use. Certainly, a number of business people and companies have lost a lot of money in this energy field. The windmills seem to be produced primarily in China and their lifespan may only be 20-25 years for all the money they cost us. They are striking though and if not too clustered, they do have a look about them. It is interesting to see them at night along the Gorge because they are set with red, blinking lights to determine their location for planes and helicopters (I would assume). It is like seeing a long line of Christmas lights in the sky.
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Free Speech is Dying

Yes, I realize I can still write and post this blog without total fear that I will be arrested. I now cannot somehow push it so far though that I offend certain people or groups and risk their wrath. I certainly cannot show up the President and his administration or I risk some form of government retaliation. We have the President and the Justice Dept. going after the maker of a silly online video and having this person hauled into local law enforcement offices to intimidate him. As some have mentioned, Free Speech for Pussy Riot (in Russia) and none for Innocence of Muslims. We have the Joint Chief of Staff, General Dempsey, calling a pastor in Florida to not support the video and to remove it. Some have called for the prosecution of those who made this video. Our government announced the location and name of the maker of the video, creating risk to them and anyone living close by. There is nibbling around the edges on what can be said even if it is offensive. I can see our current government working toward hate crimes speech legislation if re-elected. I read this awesome letter today in a comments section of PJ Media. I think it sums up the concerns I have and many others of what this sort of behavior means to all of us.

September 14, 2012

General Martin E. Dempsey
Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Pentagon
Washington, D.C 20318

General Dempsey,

If at any time in the last 45 years someone had told me that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States would react to the assassination of an Ambassador, and three other Americans, on foreign soil, by placing a begging/threatening phone call to a private American citizen, asking that person to curtail his freedom of speech, I would have laughed. It would have been inconceivable to me.

That a Justice Department in a Democrat’s administration would identify, by name and street address, the maker of a film which Muslims hate…..yes, I would have expected that. That the Obama White House would apply political pressure to a private company in asking YouTube to investigate whether the published trailer violated terms of use……not surprising at all. But from a leader of the U.S. armed forces, who have acquitted themselves unselfishly and honorably through this long war against Islamic terrorists, such a craven and despicable action is surprising, and indefensible.

“Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say “what should be the reward of such sacrifices?” Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom — go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!” Samuel Adams

General Dempsey, may posterity record that you contemplated the desecrated body of Ambassador J. Christian Stephens, the bloody handprints of former U.S. Seals on the doorways of the undefended Missiony, the mortar fire and grenade scars, and…….phoned an American citizen asking him to desist from his criticism of Islam.

Samuel Adams also said: ‘Let us remember that “if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom.” It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event.’

General Dempsey, your offense is in some ways worse than the violence and destruction and murder visited upon our American embassies. Those who riot and murder are evil; they have determined to be enemies to the United States, and were long before some film was put on YouTube or some Koran was threatened with burning. But they do not have the three-thousand-year heritage of Western civilization and Judeo-Christian teachings, in which the value of the individual, of freedom and liberty, have been hammered out. You, educated at taxpayer expense at West Point, do. You are without excuse.

“The liberties of our Country, the freedoms of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have receiv’d them as a fair Inheritance from our worthy Ancestors: They purchas’d them for us with toil and danger and expence of treasure and blood; and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle; or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men. Of the latter we are in most danger at present: Let us therefore be aware of it. Let us contemplate our forefathers and posterity; and resolve to maintain the rights bequeath’d to us from the former, for the sake of the latter.”

I call upon you, General Dempsey, to resign your commission, to leave the active duty military, and to retire quietly to civilian life, where you can tend your vines or play with your grandchildren. Make way for military leaders who understand the nature of the enemy and the dire threat this enemy poses to civilization and to future generations.

Meanwhile, I and other ordinary Americans will do everything in our power to win back our country from those who hold our freedoms in contempt. It is most sad that we must hold the first line of defense not against those outside our borders but against our own fellow citizens who have discarded the Constitution in favor of a putative peace and temporary safety.

Do not believe for an instant that I do not appreciate the great strength, the breadth of influence, and the determination of the enemy. And I know it is most difficult to be a military leader in a country which does not love war (although I know well that soldiers value peace above others, having seen the carnage of battle.) But these truths, although fearsome, do not eradicate the duty of those who love liberty to fight for its survival.

In sorrow,
Ann Hilliard
Show Low, Arizona

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Troubled Horizon

There are a large number of anti-American protests in Islamic countries around the world today. Buildings and one embassy being set on fire, flags also burned, riots and agitation. There is much I could say in regards to this situation. I have a lot of anger and frustration at our government and main steam media. They are weak and useless. I am better off reading through reports on the internet or from over seas. Our media has abdicated their responsibility to report the news versus slant it to protect our current President. A President who has a credibility gap in my opinion. Maybe this bad boy rage will wear itself out before serious injury is done. We could see even worse problems develop. You cannot have a leader who is more worried about being re-elected than doing his job and doing the right thing. I keep crying out, We Deserve Better!
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Sad Day

Today was a very sad, yet frustrating day. Our ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, was murdered last night by rogue Islamists in Benghazi. Three other individuals were also slain. Much of this started with a video released by Zawahiri, now the number one person in Al Qaeda. With phrasing about the need for a response with Libya, the events started off with an attack on our embassy in Cairo. I believe this was a feint, a distraction, for the more significant attack in Benghazi. Zawahiri’s brother was an organizer of the attack in Cairo. This sort of behavior is the M.O. of Al Qaeda and radical Islamists. I am angry at our current administration for a number of reasons. The first is more of why with it being 9-11 and that is a day for focused threats, more care was not taken to protect our people and assets in such areas. I believe there was warning with this video. Who missed it? I said last night when it just was Cairo, everyone was treating it too casually and the media was totally not focused on reporting the problem. I am angry that the concerns are not taken more seriously and now our President is off campaigning while there is rioting in Cairo. What is wrong with us that we don’t speak up and say, “Enough, take care of business”. Meanwhile, a good man has given his life in service to our country. I salute him and his comrades who also lost their lives.
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Empty Chair Day

Clint Eastwood started a protest statement with his impromptu delivery at the Republican Convention. It has gone viral around the States to put out an empty chair to signify how the current President is not filling his responsibility chair. The Thayers do want to signify our protest of the current state of our country. Here is a logo for Empty Chair Day and our example of an empty chair. I asked Bob to put my clown doll out sitting next to it.

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On a less empty note, I have been working on our I DVD of the trip to the Maritimes. I have it fairly well done though I want to do some photo editing as I can and more touch up details. It does look good otherwise and nice to finally make headway when I felt I was stymied by things not working as expected.
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Early Moon

Here is an early morning look at the full moon as it sets over Binegar Butte range. It also gives a great look at our pasture and patch of Douglas Fir trees on the side hill._DSC5137
On another note, it is incredibly sad to watch the distress and heartbreak of this mother who lost her military SEAL son in war while our Commander in Chief(s) worry more about the impact of it going wrong for them than our soldiers.
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Ryan Express

I have long been an admirer of Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan. While I believe there are several good people who could have been nominated for Vice President, he is my personal favorite. Some of the best lines from his speech last night in accepting the nomination are:

"College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life."

"That money wasn't just spent and wasted, it was borrowed, spent and wasted. Maybe the greatest waste of all was time."

"The president is just throwing away money . . . and he's pretty experienced at that."

"Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?"

"These past four years we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House. What's missing is leadership in the White House"

"The man assumed office nearly four years ago. Isn't it about time he assumed responsibility?"

"President Obama is the kind of president who puts a promise on the record . . . and then calls that the record."
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Art From Waste

I am not overall artistic though I can certainly appreciate art and those who live it. There was an article recently that some individuals have been able to salvage the solar tubes from Solyndra, the bankrupt solar energy company in N. California. They have been able to use them in a way that does make them strikingly beautiful art. (VT)

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Brother's Keeper?

There are a lot of comments in this election season, especially from one side about fairness and social justice. How do we take care of the lesser of us. I am not of the persuasion that those who are well off are bad and do not offer support and charity to others. Possibly those who do speak so freely about this are less likely to help their own relatives when they are down. It is disturbing when the President is free to offer Other People’s Money or government dollars in such situations yet his own brother will not call on him for support because it is not available. Another instance of “Do as I say, not as I do”. (VT)
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"You didn't build that..."

I have tried very hard over time to keep political views personal or within the family. It is so easy to strain friendships and relationships over differences of opinion in this area. If you wish to avoid politics altogether, I would skip this post.

I do have to write though over what I feel are very disturbing, yet enlightening, comments by the current President where he recently spoke about those with an entrepreneur spirit in our country. I have heard the comments from his supporters that he meant “roads and bridges” in this speech. Hogwash! The recent actions where Welfare Work Rules can now be waived due to an Executive Order, not a change in law, puts it into context for me. Bob saw a sign in Halifax, Nova Scotia that said, “Who will be the workers?” One really does wonder where will be the workers to support all those who “truly didn’t build that”.

I built a small business, a veterinary hospital, from pure scratch. I had a baby and a small child when I signed a 7 year lease on a 1400 sq. ft. space and I had NO clients and patients. Who else carried the risk? I would have been stuck paying the landlord for rent if I failed, not the government, and not our current President. Was he there when I had to get up and check a patient at 1 a.m.? Was he there sharing the responsibility to keep a business functioning because you have 15 people’s livelihoods on your shoulders? I don’t think so. I have not been a fan of the current resident of the White House though I try to respect the Presidency. I often think he does not always respect it when he uses his office and thug tactics to pit different groups of Americans against each other. I just don’t remember this happening to such a degree in the past and am distressed to see what is happening. People are responsible for living with their choices in life. At least I believe so, though that seems to be less and less so now.

I do think Jon Lovitz hit it out of the park with this example of “You didn’t build that..” (VT)
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