Friday, February 29, 2008
For Christmas our daughter bought her mother and I a gift subscription to Netflix the online service to rent DVD movies. I waited until football season and the early Presidential primaries were over before I signed up last week. On Saturday we ordered our first movies and they arrived on Tuesday in our home mail box. We are able to order two movies at a time ( Our daughter wanted my wife and I to have our own choice) and the first movies we ordered were the new Western "3:10 to Yuma" and "Becoming Jane" about the author Jane Austen. Well, Wednesday night we watched "3:10 to Yuma" and I enjoyed it very much. It's good to see Hollywood making westerns again. The movie had a good combination of drama and action. On Thursday I put it in the mail at the Medford Post office across the street from where I park my car at work. Apparently Netflix has a PO box at the Medfrod Post office and Netflix picks up their own mail there and then Netflix transports it to their distribution center for Oregon in Salem. In any case less than 24 hours later I got an email from Netflix that they had received it and were sending us our next pic "Marie Antoinette." They have a great selection of movies. I was able to find and put in my queue a Documentary on the life of Ayn Rand and a Showtime docudrama and her life as well. I have been looking for both DVD's for a long time at stores with no luck. You can even buy used DVD's from then as low as $5.99, which we did on Saturday ("The Holiday 2006)and it arrived last night. As Bogart said at the end of Casablanca "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." Thanks kid!
Picture above is from a scene at a cemetery in John Wayne's/John Ford's "The Searcher" where they are "laying to rest" the family of Ethan Edwards the character John Wayne plays.
(Reverend Clayton (Ward Bond)delivers a prayer at the Edwards' funeral for Aaron, Martha, and Ben]
Ethan (John Wayne): "Put an amen to it!"
Reverend Clayton: "I ain't finished yet."
Ethan(John Wayne): "There's no more time for praying! AMEN!"
Peggy Noonan (Reagan speech writer)
Bill Buckley lived a great American life. His heroism was very American--the individualist at work in the world, the defender of great creeds and great beliefs going forth with spirit, style and joy. May we not lose his kind. For now, "Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels take thee to thy rest."
David Brooks (New York Times Columnist)
Buckley’s greatest talent was friendship. The historian George Nash once postulated that he wrote more personal letters than any other American, and that is entirely believable. He showered affection on his friends, and he had an endless stream of them, old and young. He took me sailing, invited me to concerts and included me at dinners with the great and the good.
His second great talent was leadership. As a young man, he had corralled the famously disputatious band of elders who made up the editorial board of National Review. He changed the personality of modern conservatism, created a national movement and expelled the crackpots from it.
Rich Lowry (National Review)
He was a beloved figure who had entered American lore and, in that sense, belonged to all of us. But in the fond reminiscences, it shouldn't be forgotten what he hated. Buckley was an anti-Communist to the marrow of his bones, whose lifelong mission was to crush Marxist totalitarianism. In this, he was uncompromising, relentless, and -- this is what makes it possible to minimize it now -- successful.
Buckley's anti-Communism had many roots. His father, an oilman who did business in a Mexico roiled by revolution, was a committed anti-Communist. And Buckley's Catholic faith made him a natural foe of atheistic Marxism. But the deepest foundation of Buckley's anti-Communism -- and his politics generally -- was a belief that the individual is paramount and can flourish only in freedom.
Rich Lowry (Part II)
When writing a column about him today, I came across this passage in a speech about gratitude that seems very appropriate::
To fail to experience gratitude when walking through the corridors of the Metropolitan Museum, when listening to the music of Bach or Beethoven, when exercising our freedom to speak or, as happened to us three weeks ago, to give, or withhold, our assent, is to fail to recognize how much we have received from the great wellsprings of human talent and concern that gave us Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, our parents, our friends…We need a rebirth of gratitude for those who have cared for us, living and, mostly, dead. The high moments of our way of life are their gifts to us. We must remember them in our thoughts and in our prayers; and in our deeds.
When I met Bill, it was not like I was really meeting him. He was meeting me; but I wasn’t really meeting him. Because I knew him so well. Knew him so well through his books, all of which I had read, and through his television program, Firing Line. And he was the same, pretty much.
He was my friend long, long before I met him — one of my best friends, I’d say. He was my friend through his books. I simply drank them in, and they comforted me, educated me, thrilled me. I would tell him this frequently.
It was so, so weird — and so, so wonderful — to be able to know him. But, as I’d tell him, I always knew him.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
William F Buckley loved to sail and wrote several books about his trips across the Atlantic and on the the Pacific Oceans. Three and a half years ago, before his death, he wrote about the decision to sell his boat the "Patito ( picture above)in a magazine article. The following are a few quotes from that article:
A master and commander decides, after a lifetime on the water, that he will no longer go down to the sea
by William F. Buckley Jr.
*********I decided to sell my boat.Selling a boat one has spent happy decades on is, in a way, a fateful decision. It can be likened to a decision to stop skiing or playing the piano, if one has skied a lot or played the piano a lot. The sequence here is critical to the effort to explain a self-inflicted privation.***********
And then up there, up over the clouds, toward which you are gradually climbing, is the mountaintop from which, looking down over it all, you see for the first time ever the whole scene. And you have risked asking yourself that mortal question: Is the ratio of pleasure to effort holding its own? Or is effort creeping up, pleasure down? I mentioned giving up the piano. That actually happened to me, after a dilettante's lifetime of playing, even with nine (spotty) performances on stage as a harpsichord soloist. The fingers get rusty, the dividends are more laboriously achieved, the memory is shakier. One can putter on—or quit.***********
Piano playing (at normal speed and for normal lengths of time) is not a physical exertion; and as the master and commander progressively offloads the physical work at sea, exertion is minimal except when visibility attenuates, and wind and seas assert themselves. Then there is concentrated work and thinking to be done, and a measure of anxiety. But these aren't physically taxing, unless I have missed something that Freud et al. passed along. I resist the word "tedium," because sailing can have so many rapturous moments, and there are accompanying pleasures. When you are in a harbor, there may be four congenial people around the table, eating and drinking and conversing, listening to music and smoking cigars, the wind and the hail and the temperature outside faced up to and faced down. Here, in your secure little anchorage, is a compound of life's social pleasures in the womb of nature. So, deciding that the time has come to sell the Patito and forfeit all that is not lightly done, and it brings to mind the step yet ahead, which is giving up life itself.
To read the entire magazine article click on the title for a link.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
From the New York Times Obituary:
William F Buckley who marshaled polysyllabic exuberance, famously arched eyebrows and a refined, perspicacious mind to elevate conservatism to the center of American political discourse, died Wednesday at his home in Stamford, Conn.
Mr Buckley, 82, suffered from diabetes and emphysema, his son Christopher said, although the exact cause of death was not immediately known. He was found at his desk in the study of his home, his son said. “He might have been working on a column,” Mr. Buckley said.
When I was a teenager he was my hero. Most boys may age idolized Mickey Mantel or Johnny Unitas or John Kennedy, but John Wayne and Bill Buckley were my hero's. Up until last summer I had a large poster of Bill hanging in our family room.
I bought it in Berkeley California, of all places, on a spring vacation trip while I was a college student at Oregon in 1969. Back in those days Buckley's show on PBS, Firing Line, was one of the few conservative shows broadcast. I still remember when he ran for Mayor of New York and debated John Lindsey. Buckley pretended to be bored or sleeping while Lindsey was speaking. My mom thought he was rude but I though he was cool. Back then he was the conservative "young rebel." We YAF ers (Young Americans for Freedom) all wanted to be like him.In those days the conservative movement was fun... it's hard to explain how much fun we had as young conservatives in the early 60's before Kennedy was shot and Vietnam was lost. In the days before talk radio, Fox News, and the Internet we always had National Review and Bill was our leader.
I got to meet Buckley in 1968 or so when he spoke at Oregon State University. I drove a group of young YAF ers up from the University of Oregon in Eugene to a pre speech dinner with a small group of 20 or so conservatives and I was impressed by his kindness. After the dinner we had a front row seat for his speech.
Bill was a very traditional Catholic. I remember when Ayn Rand met him she told Bill Buckley that he was "too intelligent to believe in God." On days like this I hope Bill was right and Rand was wrong.
I feel old today. We will miss you Bill!
(click on the title for a link to the AP obituary)
Here is a great quote I just picked up at National Review on line.
As George Will once said, "before there was Ronald Reagan there was Barry Goldwater, before there was Goldwater there was National Review, and before there was National Review there was William F. Buckley." As conservatives — and as Americans — we are all standing on his shoulders
"He was our Samuel Johnson and Errol Flynn rolled into one. We "shall not look upon his like again." RIP."
Mona Charen in the Washington Post
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
As someone who has been very critical of mainstream media bias against Conservatives and Republicans and who has a strong dislike of Bill and Hillery Clinton I must say the media has turned against them with a vengeance and make no pretense of even handedness in their coverage of her campaign against Barak Obama. I almost feel sorry for her. They smell blood in the water!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
After our Saturday morning trip to Costco my wife and I went to a matinee showing of the movie “Vantage Point” at Medford’s Tinseltown. The movie is about an attempted assassination of a United States President in Spain for a Summit Conference on the War on Terrorism. The story is told over and over from the vantage point of a number of witnesses. The movie has not received very good reviews from the liberal professional critics but we enjoyed it very much. I think the reason the liberal critics did not like it is because it does it does not take an anti American point of view. This move is for the most part politically neutral and is an action movie that is very well done. Dennis Quade stars as a Secret Service agent and is the best part of the movie. Sigourney Weaver is very good as a TV news director. For more information click on the title for a link to the Internet Movie Data Base page for the movie. I give it 4 ****
Quote from online Register Guard newspaper late last night:
SALEM — The Legislature sent to the governor bills authorizing $200 million in bonds and the construction of a new University of Oregon basketball arena.
The House voted 46-10 and the Senate voted 22-8 Friday evening to authorize the bonds. The separate construction-authorization bill passed more handily: 51-5 in the House and 22-8 in the Senate.
With the Legislature’s work complete, the arena will require only Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s promised signature and final approval from the state treasurer and the Oregon Board of Higher Education.
On to Governor Kulongoski who said he will sign !!!!
Friday, February 22, 2008
Tonight the South Medford High Boy’s Basketball team clinched the South Western Conference title by beating Roseburg in Roseburg. South Medford has one regular season game remaining against the Grants Pass Cavemen next Thursday at South Medford. They will have a bye in the first round of the state playoffs and their first game of the playoffs will be at South Medford on Saturday March 8th. If they win that game they will go on to Mac Court at the University of Oregon for the 6A State of Oregon Basketball Tournament. Go Panthers!
Republican presidential front-runner John McCain suggested on Friday that he hoped retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro would die soon and said Castro's brother will be a worse leader.
"I hope he has the opportunity to meet Karl Marx very soon," McCain told a town-hall style meeting of about 150 people, referring to communist theoretician Marx who died on March 14, 1883.
How can you not like John McCain!
"We have lost intelligence information this past week as a direct result of the uncertainty created by Congress"
As I have written on the blog in the last few days, the Democrats in Congress have let the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) expire as of last Saturday night. This has put the United States at a disadvantage in the War against Terrorism and left us vulnerable to another 9/11 type attack. Today a letter was sent to Congress by those in charge of our safety saying that in the 5 days since the law expired we have already lost valuable intelligence on the terrorist who would do harm to this country. In part the letter says:
“We have lost intelligence information this past week as a direct result of the uncertainty created by Congress’ failure to act,” says an underlined passage of a six-page letter signed by Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey and Director of National Intelligence J. Michael McConnell.
To read the entire letter click on the title for a link.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Greg Byrne who got his start in Athletic Administration in Medford Oregon as a regional Rep for the University of Oregon Duck Athletic Fund (DAF) today was named as the Athletic Director at Mississippi State University. Greg made a lot of friends for the Oregon Ducks in Southern Oregon and his friends in Southern Oregon congratulate him on reaching his long time goal. Greg's father, Bill Byrne, was the Athletic Director at the University of Oregon in the 1980's before he went on to Nebraska and then Texas A&M. Father like Son! The following is the Press Release from Mississippi State announcing his appointment.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Greg Byrne, who has served since 2006 as Mississippi State's associate athletic director for development and external affairs, is the university's new athletic director. His appointment was approved Thursday [Feb. 21] by the state Board of Trustees, Institutions of Higher Learning.
The appointment will be effective no later than July 1, said MSU President Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong, who announced the selection following a six-month search that began last August.
"We promised to move expeditiously to fill this position with the best candidate possible, and with Greg we have done that," he said. "He brings both experience and respect to his new role at Mississippi State."
Longtime athletic director Larry Templeton, who has served since 1987 in the position, will become a special assistant to Foglesong until no later than June 30.
"Larry Templeton has spent his life committed to Mississippi State University, and we wish him well as he finally gets a chance to relax and step into the next phase of his life," said Foglesong.
He said he expects a seamless transition as Byrne moves into his new role.
"We're incredibly blessed to have Greg Byrne step into this position," he said. "He has been deeply engaged in MSU for the last two years, and he brought me a strategic plan that will enable us to move to the next level in athletics."
Foglesong added: "He comes from an athletic family, but he brings his own fresh ideas at a time when Mississippi State is making a new start in its athletics programs."
Byrne's father, Bill, is the athletics director at Texas A&M.
Greg Byrne has spent more than 15 years in intercollegiate athletics, serving prior to his MSU position as associate director of athletics for fund-raising and development at the University of Kentucky and in a similar role at Oregon State University. ( And the University of Oregon before that)
He holds a bachelor's degree from Arizona State University and is expected to receive a master's from Mississippi State by the end of 2008.
"This is an incredible leadership opportunity at a university that has incredible potential," Byrne said. "I'm looking forward to the challenges and to the future of Mississippi State's athletic programs."
"The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American People."
First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789
Matthew Spalding PhD of the Heritage Foundation has written:
From 1775 onward, when the Continental Congress appointed him military commander of continental forces, Washington personified the American Revolution. For eight years, General Washington led his small army through the rigors of war, from the defeats in New York and the daring crossing of the Delaware River to the hardships of Valley Forge and the ultimate triumph at Yorktown. Through force of character and brilliant political leadership, Washington transformed an underfunded militia into a capable force that, although never able to take the British army head-on, outwitted and defeated the mightiest military power in the world. And when the job was done, Washington resigned his commission and returned to his beloved Mount Vernon.
(To read the rest of Dr. Spalding's article on George Washington click on the title for a link)
Happy Birthday George!
Who are the two unnamed cowards that have attempted to smear Senator John McCain in the New York Times? This is how they are identified in the Times “news “story:
"In interviews, the two former associates said they joined in a series of confrontations with Mr. McCain, warning him that he was risking his campaign and career. Both said Mr. McCain acknowledged behaving inappropriately and pledged to keep his distance from Ms. Iseman. The two associates, who said they had become disillusioned with the senator, spoke independently of each other and provided details that were corroborated by others.”Exactly how broad is the term “associates”? Several former staffers from the 2000 McCain campaign have come forward today to say they never heard of Ms Iseman and told the New York Times there was nothing to the story back in December. But of course that did not make it into the "news" story! Howard Opinsky, McCains 2000 press spokesmen and Mike Murphy both said today they were not the New York Times sources and said there was no truth to the Times story. Mike Murphy is quoted as telling the Times: "[A] Times reporter called me late last year and I said I knew nothing about it," Murphy said in response to an e-mail from Politico. "I think [the] story is a huge pile of nothing that is an embarrassment to The New York Times."
So who are these cowards who hide in the shadows and defame an American hero? Come on out and identify yourself !
Email letter I recived today from the John McCain Campaign
Well, here we go. We could expect attacks were coming; as soon as John McCain appeared to be locking up the Republican nomination, the liberal establishment and their allies at the New York Times have gone on the attack. Today's front-page New York Times story is particularly disgusting - an un-sourced hit-and-run smear campaign designed to distract from the issues at stake in this election. With John McCain leading a number of general-election polls against Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the New York Times knew the time to attack was now, and they did. We will not allow their scurrilous attack against a great American hero to stand.
The New York Times -- the newspaper that gave MoveOn.org a sweetheart deal to run advertisements attacking General Petraeus -- has shown once again that it cannot exercise good journalistic judgment when it comes to dealing with a conservative Republican. We better get ready for more of the Democrats' attacks over the coming months as the Democrats pick their nominee, MoveOn.org starts spending their unlimited soft money, and the liberal media tosses standards aside in an attempt to stop our momentum. We need your help to counteract the liberal establishment and fight back against the New York Times by making an immediate contribution today.
John McCain has a 24-year record of serving our country with honor and integrity. He has led the charge to limit the money and influence of the special interests in politics and stomp out corruption. His life and his record prove just how preposterous the smear by the New York Times really is.
Objective observers are viewing this article exactly as they should - as a sleazy smear attack from a liberal newspaper against the conservative Republican frontrunner. Sean Hannity said, after reading the article three times, "It was so full of innuendo and so lacking of fact, and so involved in smear, I came to the conclusion that the goal here was to bring up a 20-year-old scandal." Washington attorney Bob Bennett, who was the Democrat counsel during the Keating investigation, said, "This is a real hit job." Joe Scarborough called the allegations "outrageous." Even pundit Alan Colmes -- not known for his conservative leanings -- concludes "this is a non-story."
Yet, it is there, right on the front page of the New York Times. It is now dominating the cable news coverage. We can only expect these sorts of baseless attacks to continue as we move into the general election cycle. We are going to need your help today, and your continued help in the future to have the resources to respond. We'll never match the reach of a front-page New York Times article, but with your immediate help today, we'll be able to respond and defend our nominee from the liberal attack machine.
Rick Davis, Campaign Manager
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tonight a missile launched from a United States Navy ship successfully struck a dying U.S. spy satellite passing 130 miles over the Pacific on Wednesday. The satellite had been in danger of hitting a populated area of the United States. Oh, how the liberals made fun of Ronald Reagan when he first proposed a missile defense to protect the United States from objects from space! Thanks Dutch!
UPDATE: " A clean kill"!
The New York Slime's hit piece on John McCain has just unintentionally united the Conservative Movement behind John McCain. It there is anything all Conservative agree on is their dislike for the ultra liberal New York Times.
There is a nice sports story in the sports section of today's Oregonian newspaper on the Singler family and South Medford High Boys basketball. One quote from the article:
The spotlight on the family's success is magnified by the intensity with which high school sports are treated in Medford.
The three television stations and one daily newspaper in town provide the athletes with widespread coverage, and the fans are among the most passionate in the state. On the day of last season's playoff basketball game at South Medford, fans began lining up outside the gymnasium at 10 a.m. Last week, people were turned away 40 minutes before tipoff for the rivalry game against North Medford because the gym had reached capacity.
"You can't beat the atmosphere," E.J. Singler said.
To read athe entire articl click on the title for a link.
"I don't seek the office out of a sense of entitlement. I owe America more than she has ever owed me. I have been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. I have never lived a day, in good times or bad, that I haven't been proud of the privilege. Don't tell me what we can't do. Don't tell me we can't make our country stronger and the world safer. We can. We must. And when I'm President we will."
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Michelle Obama proclaimed yesterday that for “the first time” in her adult life, she was proud of America, as she spoke during a rally to support her husband’s presidential bid. This from a lady who grew up on the south side of Chicago and then went to Princeton for her college education. From Princeton she went to Harvard Law School and then went to work for a prestegous law firm in Chicago. Now her husband is running for President of the United States. Sounds like the American Dream to me!
From today's Wall Street Journal Editorial
For the next 9/11 Commission, we nominate the first witness: Silvestre Reyes, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He's the man now telling everyone to chill out, take it easy, there's nothing to worry about, after his fellow Democrats last week scuttled a bipartisan compromise on warrantless wiretapping of al Qaeda.
"It is an insult to the intelligence of the American people to say that we will be vulnerable unless we grant immunity for actions that happened years ago," Mr. Reyes wrote in a letter to President Bush. By "actions" he means the cooperation with U.S. intelligence by private telecom companies after 9/11, for which the companies now face more than 40 lawsuits.
Mr. Reyes's letter is a political keeper -- all the more so because it is so divorced from intelligence reality. Nearly every other professional says that Friday night's expiration of the wiretap law will do significant security harm.
What we have here is a remarkable display of the anti-antiterror minority at work. Democrats could vote directly to restrict wiretapping by the executive branch, but they lack the votes. So instead they're trying to do it through the backdoor by unleashing the trial bar to punish the telephone companies. Then if there is another terror attack, they'll blame the phone companies for not cooperating.
Mr. Bush has been doing his part in this debate, but his political capital is waning. The Republican who needs to make himself heard now is John McCain. The Arizona Senator is voting the right way, but he seems curiously disengaged from a debate that plays to his national security strengths. The time to speak up is before the next 9/11 Commission.
To read the entire editorial click on the title for a link.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Last night the “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act” (FISA) expired because the Democrats who control the U.S. House of Representatives took a 12-day recess and refused to renew it before they adjourned. President Bush was willing to delay his trip to Africa to get the law renewed because he knew the importance of the law in preventing another 9/11 attack. The Democrats in essence said “no big deal and went on vacation. Today on Fox News Sunday Mike Wallace asked the Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell a career military man, the following question:
WALLACE: So just to summarize this, how — would you say that the country is in great — greater danger now of terrorist attack because this law has expired?
MCCONNELL: Increased danger, and it will increase more and more as time goes on. And the key is the — if you think about the private sector global communications, many people think the government operates that.
Ninety-eight percent of it is owned and operated by the private sector. We cannot do this mission without help and support from the private sector. And the private sector, although willingly helped us in the past, are now saying, "You can't protect me. Why should I help you?"
Chris, could I just read something I think is very important for the American people to know? This issue of liability protection — what I'm going to quote from is the Senate report when they debated the Senate bill for improving this law, if I could.
This is with regard to private sector immunity. "Indeed, the intelligence community cannot obtain the intelligence it needs without the assistance of these companies. Given the scope of the civil damage suits and the current spotlight associated with providing any assistance to the intelligence community, the community was concerned without retroactive immunity the private sector might be unwilling to cooperate with a lawful request from the government in the future without unnecessary court involvement and protracted litigation."
That's the issue. We go back into protracted litigation and debate, as opposed to being dynamic
God help us if there is another attack because we let FISA expire.Given a choice between the Trial Lawyers and their country the Democrats picked the Trial Lawyers who give them so much money!
Yesterday John McCain said it was "shameful" the U.S. House of Representatives ended a legislative session before reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which recently passed the U.S. Senate, and said the legislation was needed to combat terrorism.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Yesterday I received an email from one of our adult children advising us that our child was going to an Art Garfunkel concert this weekend. Of course, this is the Garfunkel of Simon & Garfunkel. It’s interesting that both of our adult children have become as big of fans of this group as their mother and I. Generally different generations each have their own music but Simon & Gafrunkel seem to span the generations at least in our family. Of course our children like groups and singers I have never heard of but we do have Simon & Garfunkel in common. When ever we go on a car trip together this is the one group we can all agree on The Beach Boys is another one.
I bought my first Simon and Garfunkel record in 1966 when I bought the 45 record of “I am a Rock” at Sprouse Rietz in Coos Bay. I can still remember shopping for records at the Pony Village Pay Less Store in North Bend Oregon in about 1968 and a guy I did not know, volunteered to me that there was nothing better than listening to the “Sounds of Silence” in his car on a new invention called the 8 track tape. I later started buying their albums. While a student at the University of Oregon I saw the Movie “The Graduate” with the wonderful Simon &Garfunkel soundtrack. While at Oregon I got to see the group live at a concert at Mac Court sitting on the middle upper balcony in about 1968 or 69. Since then the family has seen Art Garfunkel in live concert at the Ginger Rogers Theater here in Medford and also at the Britt Festival in Jacksonville. When they had their reunion tour a few years ago we drove to Portland for their concert at The Rose Garden. I still have all their record albums and have now updated so I also have them on CD.
Friday, February 15, 2008
President Bush says that "our country is in more danger of attack" because of Congress' failure to extend a law granting the government authority to spy on foreign phone calls and e-mails that pass through the United States.
The president says lawmakers have left for a 12-day recess without acting on the law. It expires at midnight Saturday. He said Congress should act quickly on the measure as soon as lawmakers return.
Democrats who are the "House leaders blocked a good piece of legislation that would give our intelligence community the tools they need to protect America from a terrorist attack. … [B]y blocking this piece of legislation our country is more in danger of an attack. … [T]he House leaders must understand that the decision they made to block good legislation has made it harder for us to protect you, the American people, and we expect them to get a good bill to my desk – which is the Senate bill – as soon as possible."
– President George W. Bush, 2/15/08
1. MYTH: The future security of our country does not depend on whether Congress provides liability protection for companies being sued for billions of dollars only because they are believed to have assisted the Government in defending America after the 9/11 attacks.
FACT: Without the retroactive liability protection provided in the bipartisan Senate bill, we may not be able to secure the private sector's cooperation with current and future intelligence efforts critical to our national security.
FACT: Senior intelligence leaders have repeatedly testified that providing retroactive liability protection is critical to carrying out their mission of protecting our homeland.
Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell: "Lack of liability protection would make it much more difficult to obtain the future cooperation of the private-sector partners whose help is so vital to our success." (Select Committee On Intelligence, Hearing, U.S. Senate, 2/5/08)
FBI Director Robert Mueller: "[I]n protecting the homeland … it's absolutely essential we have the support, willing support of communication carriers. … My concern is that if we do not have this immunity, we will not have that willing support of the communication carriers." (Select Committee On Intelligence, Hearing, U.S. Senate, 2/5/08)
CIA Director Michael Hayden: "These are very fragile relationships. We lost industrial cooperation, at CIA, with partners on the mere revelation of the SWIFT program in public discourse." (Select Committee On Intelligence, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 2/5/08)
FACT: According to the Director of National Intelligence, "we are experiencing significant difficulties in working with the private sector today because of the continued failure to address this issue." (Mike McConnell, Op-Ed, "A Key Gap In Fighting Terrorism," The Washington Post, 2/15/08)
2. MYTH: Even if the critical tools provided by the Protect America Act expire, the authorizations already in place to monitor terrorist communications will leave the Intelligence Community with all the tools it needs to continue current surveillance and begin new surveillance on any terrorist threat.
FACT: If Congress lets the Protect America Act expire without passing the bipartisan Senate bill, the Intelligence Community's ability to obtain vital foreign intelligence information, including the location, intentions, and capabilities of terrorists and other foreign intelligence targets abroad, will be weakened. The Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General warned Congress of this problem in their letter to Senator Reid on February 5, 2008, stating in no uncertain terms that "[e]xpiration would result in a degradation of critical tools necessary to carry out our national security mission." In particular, if the House permits the PAA expire:
The Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) would be stripped of their power to authorize new certifications against foreign intelligence targets, including international terrorists, abroad. This means that as terrorists change their tactics to avoid surveillance, we may not have the tools we need to continue tracking them.
The Attorney General and the DNI may be unable to issue directives to compel the assistance of private entities not assisting the Government now but whose assistance may be needed in the future to collect this foreign intelligence information about terrorists and other threats. This means that the government may be without a means of obtaining information essential to our Nation's security.
If a new target fell outside the scope of an existing certification or directive, the Government would be forced to go to the FISA Court to obtain prior court authorization for new collection to acquire the communications of terrorists and other foreign intelligence threats abroad. This means that our intelligence professionals would be operating under the pre-Protect America Act legal framework that resulted in dangerous intelligence gaps.
FACT: As the DNI has stated, expiration of the Protect America Act means "some critical operations … would probably become impossible." "Under the Protect America Act, we obtained valuable insight and understanding, leading to the disruption of planned terrorist attacks. Expiration would lead to the loss of important tools our workforce relies on to discover the locations, intentions and capabilities of terrorists and other foreign intelligence targets abroad. Some critical operations, including our ability to adjust to dynamic terrorist threats that exploit new methods of communication, which sometimes requires assistance from private parties, would probably become impossible." (Mike McConnell, Op-Ed, "A Key Gap In Fighting Terrorism," The Washington Post, 2/15/08)
3. MYTH: If any new surveillance needs to begin, the FISA court can approve a request within minutes. In the case of an emergency, surveillance can begin immediately and FISA approval can be obtained later.
FACT: Reverting to the outdated FISA statute risks our national security. FISA's outdated provisions created dangerous intelligence gaps, which is why Congress passed the Protect America Act in the first place.
FACT: FISA applications are lengthy, detailed documents that typically require many hours of preparation. Once the application is submitted to the FISA Court, there is no guarantee that it will be approved.
To obtain a traditional FISA Court order, the Government must establish probable cause that the foreign target is a "foreign power" or an "agent of a foreign power," as those terms are defined in FISA.
Satisfying this standard requires compiling detailed facts necessary to establish probable cause, which can result in significant delays.
Emergency authorizations under FISA also require probable cause and can create the same delays.
FACT: FISA's protections for people in the United States were never intended to apply to foreign targets located overseas. Changes in technology made the law dangerously out-of-date, and the Protect America Act temporarily fixed that problem.
FACT: Reinserting the FISA Court into our efforts to conduct surveillance of foreign terrorists overseas makes no sense. Not only are foreign terrorists not entitled to the protections provided Americans, returning to the old framework that requires court approval may reopen dangerous intelligence gaps.
4. MYTH: Accepting another temporary extension of the Protect America Act would not endanger our Nation's security.
FACT: Further temporary extensions of the Protect America Act would create uncertainty and unacceptable risks to our national security. Additional short-term extensions would not give our Intelligence Community the assurance it needs that critical tools under the Protect America Act will be available for years to come. Strings of temporary extensions would also leave our private partners uncertain about whether they would be subject to billion-dollar lawsuits by plaintiffs' lawyers only for doing the right thing and helping us defend the country.
FACT: The Protect America Act does not provide critical retroactive liability protection for companies that assisted in defending the country after September 11. Without this liability protection, we may not be able to secure the cooperation of companies in current and future intelligence efforts.
FACT: House members have had plenty of time to pass a good bill, yet the Democratic leadership is now blocking a vote on the Senate's bipartisan solution, which – if allowed to come to a vote – would pass with a bipartisan majority. The House has had six months to achieve long-term FISA modernization legislation under the Protect America Act. When it said it needed 15 more days to act, the President agreed to that extension. If Republicans and Democrats in the Senate can come together on a good piece of legislation, there is no reason why Republicans and Democrats in the House cannot pass the Senate bill immediately.
5. MYTH: The House already passed a carefully crafted bill to modernize FISA, and efforts to bridge the gap between the Senate, White House, and the House and pass this legislation are ongoing.
FACT: Unlike the Senate bill, the House bill was not coordinated with our intelligence professionals and it is does not give our intelligence agencies the tools they need to protect the Nation, including liability protection for companies being sued by trial lawyers for billions of dollars only because they are believed to have assisted in efforts to protect the country after September 11.
FACT: The House has known since November 15 that the House bill is not one the President can sign. On November 15, 2007, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy explaining that the House bill "falls far short of providing the Intelligence Community with the tools it needs" to collect effectively the foreign intelligence information vital for the security of the Nation and concluding that the Director of National Intelligence and the President's other senior advisors would recommend that the President veto that bill.
FACT: Even though it has known for three months that its bill was unacceptable, the House has failed to take the necessary steps to pass acceptable FISA legislation before the deadline it set to act.
FACT: The balanced and bipartisan Senate bill gives the Intelligence Community the tools it needs to protect the Nation and protects the civil liberties of Americans. This bill passed the Senate on a wide bipartisan, 68-29 vote. The House should act quickly to pass the Senate's bipartisan solution.
The University of Oregon Ducks lead by Head Basketball Coach Ernie Kent beat the Washington Huskies 71 to 58 at "The Pit" in Eugene before a crowd of 8,866. read the Register Guard report of the game by clicking on the title above. It's always a a good day when the Ducks beat the Huskies!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
There was a news story in the Medford, Mail Tribune today about the restoration of the home Abraham Lincoln would move to in the summer to escape the heat of Washington D.C. when he was President during the Civil War. The home is about three miles east of the White House. The government has restored it to how it was when Lincoln and his family stayed there. The news story had part of the quote below by Walt Whitman from his diary dated 12 August 1893
I see the president almost every day, as I happen to live where he passes to or from his lodgings out of town. He never sleeps at the White House during the hot season, but has quarters at a healthy location some three miles north of the city, the Soldiers' Home, a United States military establishment. I saw him this morning about 8.30 coming in to business, riding on Vermont Avenue. He always has a company of twenty-five or thirty cavalry, with sabres drawn and held upright over their shoulders. They say this guard was against his personal wish, but he let his counselors have their way. Mr. Lincoln on the saddle generally rides a good-sized, easy-going grey horse, is dressed in plain black, somewhat rusty and dusty, wears a black stiff hat, and looks about as ordinary in attire, etc., as the commonest man. I see very plainly Abraham Lincoln's dark brown face, with the deep-cut lines, the eyes, always to me with a deep latent sadness in the expression.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Tonight Obama and John McCain both swept their party's primaries in Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia. Hillary is going to have to make a stand soon but don't count her out. I still thing she will get the Democrat nomination but her margin for error is getting very small.
Tonight my wife and I went to the South Medford vs. North Medford boy’s basketball game at the South Medford gym. South won the game 80 to 62 in a game that was closer than the score. South and North Medford play three games this season and up until tonight they had each won on their own court. Tonight was the tiebreaker and whoever won the game would sit alone on top of the SWC (South Western Conference). It was a very physical game with players on both teams being injured. Congratulations South Boys on the win you played your hearts out.
UPDATE: OREGONIAN REPORT ON THE GAME:
MEDFORD -- The raucous South Medford crowd was momentarily silenced in the third quarter at the sight of senior Michael Harthun lying on the court in pain.
Then, in the enduring image of a physical and passionate night of basketball, Harthun walked off the court with a thick streak of blood running down the left side of his face from a cut above his eye.
"I thought we were in trouble," South Medford junior Mitch Singler said. "I didn't think Mike could see." (To read the rest click on the title for a link)
Dear fellow conservatives:
I'm writing to you soon after Mitt Romney suspended his campaign and Sen. John McCain addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference, not to calm you down, but to put McCain's campaign and career in historical perspective.
We all love history and understand that to ignore its lessons is to put our Republic in harm's way. As a student of 20th century history, I'm rereading Martin Gilbert's great biography of Winston Churchill. As Gilbert chronicles the life of Churchill, he recalls the discomfort Churchill caused his Tory friends when he joined the Liberal Party in 1904. Churchill, a man of principle, left the Conservative Party because of its apostasy on trade. The Conservatives turned protectionist early in the 20th Century, and Churchill crossed over to the Liberal Party. The vitriol it provoked was of legendary proportions.
Churchill was a well-known maverick. He was a pugnacious and provocative speaker who challenged many of the icons of British Parliament and certainly made a number of enemies in and out of his party.
Churchill had what he called his "wilderness years" in the late 1920s and early 1930s, but as the storm clouds gathered over Europe in the '30s, he became increasingly at odds with the government of Neville Chamberlain. He was even banned from talk radio (aka the BBC) in those days.
As war engulfed Europe and the Nazis terrorized the Low Countries and France, he was called back to service as prime minister of a divided war Cabinet. Gilbert's history of that event says:
"By nightfall on 10 May, 1940, Churchill was prime minister. He later wrote of how, when he went to bed that night, he was conscious 'of a profound sense of relief. At last I had authority to give directions over the whole scene. I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial.' Yet there was still some Conservative opposition to his emergence as prime minister; on May 11 Lord Davidson wrote to Stanley Baldwin: 'The Tories don't trust Winston. After the first clash of war is over it may well be that a sounder government may emerge.'"
Obviously historical parallels are never perfect, but I believe this one reflects the reality that, like Churchill, McCain's whole life has been but preparing him to be best able to lead our nation and prosecute this war on terror to a successful conclusion.
His courageous and perspicacious support for the surge in Iraq gives him a unique role to play in this trial, every bit as important as defeating Nazism and fascism. continued...The mistakes he alluded to in his CPAC speech reflect humility going forward that is encouraging to those of us like me, Steve Forbes, Ted Olsen, former Sen. George Allen and other conservatives who wanted to see in him a genuine desire to work with, and listen to, some of the original Reaganites.
As my friend and fellow Reaganite Bill Bennett wrote recently, "Sen. John McCain has a great deal to recommend him. He has a great deal more to offer the country, and it is our sincere hope that, as we move toward the general election, more and more people will see that. In the interim, it is our equal hope that Sen. McCain will take the next several months to build his support among conservative doubters within our party. We deserve that, too, so that - come September - we will all be confident we have nominated the right man."
Collectively, you have all pointed out some of his faults (and failures), but overall, McCain is a genuine American hero, an 82.5 percent conservative, according to the American Conservative Union, and a man whose courage and tenacity are well-chronicled.
You gave him your best shots and he took it like a man. Now, as he heads toward the nomination, I urge you to continue to be critical, but to do so in measured ways that will not damage his ability to win in November against those who would weaken our nation's defense, wave a white flag to al-Qaida, socialize our health-care system, and promote income redistribution and class warfare instead of economic growth and equality of opportunity.
With Supreme Court appointments to be made in the near future and attacks mounting on traditional family values, it's critical to our cause to have a candidate who can appeal to Reagan Democrats and independent voters who share our world view. The stakes are enormous, and I urge you to put the McCain candidacy into historical perspective and recognize that he isn't just a bulldog of the Senate, but that he can become the lion of the 21st century.
Editorial from today's Oregonian:
The Legislature should serve a swift assist to the UO's bid to build a new basketball arena Tuesday, February 12, 2008 There's a bright shining moment right after a home team's basketball player lets fly a three-pointer when all in the arena inhale . . . and wait.
Did the nitwit just make a terrible miscalculation? One based on unrealistic expectations? One clearly at odds with the odds?
Then the ball swishes -- nothing but net -- and all in the arena exhale . . . and cheer.
That up-in-the-air moment is where we are this week with the University of Oregon's proposal to build a spiffy new arena to replace sad sack Mac Court. The role now for the Oregon Legislature is clear. It must endorse the effort, then sit back and watch the ball make its way through the hoop.
The university wants to borrow $200 million to build its new arena. Yes, that's an awful lot of money. It's going to buy an awfully nice arena, maybe the best in the country. One perfect for point guards. Cool for convocations. Suitable for The Shins.
Pending approval by the Legislature, the money -- think of it as a 30-year mortgage -- would come from revenue bonds backed by the state. That's Wall Street talk for we-the-people serving as co-signers on the loan.
The university plans to pay off the debt with money from ticket sales, other arena revenues and general donations from the kind of boosters who bleed lemon and green.
Yes, the college's revenue projections appear rather rosy. Some consultants have indeed been known to provide the kind of numbers that clients paid them to conjure. But let's remember who will be first in line to make the payments should arena revenues fall short.
The collection agency's first stop will be Autzen Stadium. That's where the Ducks play football -- and make an awful lot of money. Those profits sustain an athletic fund that supports all sorts of university sports. Yes, that could include an underperforming basketball arena.
Doomsday scenario? That athletic fund goes belly up.
Enter Phil Knight.
The Sultan of Swoosh is smitten with the University of Oregon. As the latest in a long string of signs of his affection, he has pledged $100 million to an athletic endowment fund that would backstop any debt on the new arena. It is, in other words, highly unlikely the taxpayers of Oregon ever would be on the hook.
We can't make this much clearer. Whether you love hoops, hate hoops or are totally indifferent to giants in long shorts, you're still getting a great deal: a splendid new arena at a major state university that someone else is paying for.
To all those making this possible, the Legislature should promptly send two words: "Thank you."
(February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865)
Quotes from a column today by Paul Greenberg:
It is portentous, and a thing of state
That here at midnight, in our little town
A mourning figure walks, and will not rest,
Near the old court-house pacing up and down . . . .
He cannot sleep upon his hillside now.
He is among us:-as in times before!
And we who toss and lie awake for long,
Breathe deep, and start, to see him pass the door.
"Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight
(In Springfield, Illinois)"
National heroes are national touchstones. Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington, Abraham Lincoln. They are more than history; they have entered into myth. They have come to figure in our rituals, rhetoric, folklore, song, literature, even our dreams. And how each generation depicts a hero may say more about us than about him.....
To read the rest of this wonderful column click on the title for a link.
Monday, February 11, 2008
It’s hard to remember when I first fell in love with politics but if I had to pick a time it would have been the Sumer of 1960 during the Republican and Democratic conventions when I was in my early teens. The Republicans met in Chicago and nominated Richard Nixon and Henry Cabot Lodge. The Democrats met in Los Angles and nominated John Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson. I watched both conventions all day for four days each on NBC since that was the only network we received in Coos Bay/ North Bend, Oregon back then. My dad did not believe in Cable TV so we didn’t get the other networks, CBS or the upstart ABC. I had a part time job watering a neighbor’s lawn while they were on vacation so I got up early to do that job before the convention started. The “gavel to gavel” coverage was hosted by Chet Huntley and David Brinkley who also had the nightly 15 minute news broadcast "The Huntley Brinkley Report" on NBC. Back then the TV networks covered the entire convention proceedings.
Huntly and Brinkley sat in in a booth high above the convention floor and they had a low key approach to the convention. David Brinkley with his dry humor always enjoyed the “hoopla” of a convention. (i.e. the funny hats and confetti etc).I had a black and white TV (They were all black and white then) in my room so I spent each day sitting on my bed watching the conventions. Lipton Tea sponsored part of NBC's coverage of the Conventions. George Fenneman, Groucho, Marx’s, sidekick on “You Bet Your Life” was the pitch man for Lipton Tea and did live commercials. So I got my mom to get some so that I could drink iced tea while I watched the conventions. That was my summer of 1960.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
In the summer of 1960 I was a kid watching the "gavel to gavel" NBC TV coverage of the Republican Convention in Chicago. At that early age I idolized Vice President Richard Nixon and I knew he would be nominated by by the Republicans to run against John Kennedy in the Fall. As I watched the convention a Senator from Arizona, I had never heard of, took the podium and withdrew his name from nomination and told the conservatives in the Republican Party to "Grow Up" He said: "
We are conservatives, This great Republican Party is our historic house. This is our home.... I am a conservative. I am going to devote all my time from now until November to electing Republicans from the top of the ticket to the bottom of the ticket"
Four year later Barry Goldwater was the nominee of the Republican party and gave birth to the modern conservative movement.
Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh please take note!
This weekend Obama had a "clean Sweep" he won in Nebraska, Washington State, Louisiana, Maine and in the Virgin Islands!
Saturday, February 09, 2008
No Bonds for Oregon Basketball Arena, then no $100 million gift from Phil Knight....Legislature needs to approve Bonds!
RACHEL BACHMAN of The Oregonian Staff reports that:
Phil Knight's $100 million pledged donation to the Oregon athletic department expires June 1 and is contingent on the university securing state-backed bonds to fund its basketball arena project, according to a document signed by Knight.
The pledge terms add urgency to the Legislature's emergency session, during which UO officials are trying to secure $200 million in bonds to pay the entire design and construction cost of the arena. The Legislature's emergency session started earlier month and ends Feb. 29....
The document reads in part: "The Donors' obligations under this Agreement shall be contingent on the approval of the state of Oregon on or before June 1, 2008 for the issuance by the State of XI-F(1) bonds to fund the cost of design and construction of a new basketball arena for the University of Oregon."
The state issues XI-F(1) bonds for projects that are self-liquidating and self-supporting.
The agreement goes on to say that the Legacy Fund created by the donation is for use by Oregon's athletic department only, and that distributions of principal and interest will be handled by the athletic director.
It also helps explain why Oregon is seeking state bonds for the entire cost of the arena.
"The Pledge Amount shall not under any circumstances be used to directly pay any costs of planning, design or construction of a new basketball arena," the agreement reads.
Athletic department officials say they plan to pay the debt service on the arena's bonds with arena revenues. If those don't suffice, Oregon will use annual donations to the athletic department to help pay off the bonds, and replace that money in the operating budget with proceeds from the Legacy Fund.
Since projections have varied widely on how much revenue the arena will generate, the Legacy Fund has been a key assurance to legislators that the financing plan will work.........
(To read the news article click on the title for a link)
Under the Athletic Departments plan they will get Legislative authority to sell $200 million dollars in bonds to build the new basketball arena which will be paid off from revenue from the arena. If there is not revenue enough to pay off the bonds then the Athletic Department will use funds from other donors to the Duck Athletic Fund (DAF) and will supplement those funds from the $100 million dollar gift from Phil Knight which will act as a "safety net" for the Athletic Department. It should be remembered that the $100 million dollar gift in the form of an endowment will also be earning income from investment. Too bad some reporters and college professors don't understand the concept. They just get their salary each month!
Friday, February 08, 2008
Today I met former Oregon Quarterback Dennis Dixon one of the best players to ever put on an Oregon Duck uniform. Watching Dennis play football was a thing of artistry. The only other player I can compare it to was Gail Sayers of the Chicago Bears. During the Super Bowl I watched one of the QB do a fake handoff and I thought it was not even close to the artistry of Dennis Dixon.
Dennis was in town for the recruiting lunch of the Oregon Club of Southern Oregon held at the Rogue Valley Country Club. Over a 100 people showed up to see Dennis Dixon and Oregon Coach Mike Bellotti.
Coach Bellotti talked about the athletes that signed “letters of Intent” on Wednesday to play football for the University of Oregon Ducks. Mike showed a highlight video of each of the high school and junior college recruits and talked about each one. However, the highlight for me was to meet Dennis. I shook his hand and got him to sign a picture of himself on the cover of a game day program He was very friendly and a lot of fans were getting their picture taken with him. There were several young kids who came to the lunch and were thrilled to get his autograph as was I. Dennis got a big hand when he was introduced. I wish the best for Dennis and hope he has a long career in the pros. However he will always be one of my favorite Ducks! Here … Here …Dennis Dickson!
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Governor Romney’s Address to the Conservative Political Action Committee – February 7, 2008. A speech to remember in 2012 and in the years to come. Reminds me of the speech Reagan gave after he lost to Gearld Ford in 1976 at the Republican Convention in Kansas City! What a good Man!
I want to begin by saying thank you. It’s great to be with you again. And I look forward to joining with you many more times in the future.
Last year, CPAC gave me the sendoff I needed. I was in single digits in the polls and I was facing household Republican names. As of today, more than 4 million people have given me their vote for president, less than Senator McCain’s 4.7 million, but quite a statement nonetheless. 11 states have given me their nod, compared to his 13. Of course, because size does matter, he’s doing quite a bit better with his number of delegates.
To all of you, thank you for caring enough about the future of America to show up, stand up and speak up for conservative principles.
As I said to you last year, conservative principles are needed now more than ever. We face a new generation of challenges, challenges which threaten our prosperity, our security and our future. I am convinced that unless America changes course, we will become the France of the 21st century—still a great nation, but no longer the leader of the world, no longer the superpower. And to me, that is unthinkable. Simon Peres, in a visit to Boston, was asked what he thought about the war in Iraq. “First,” he said, “I must put something in context. America is unique in the history of the world. In the history of the world, whenever there has been conflict, the nation that wins takes land from the nation that loses. One nation in history, and this during the last century, laid down hundreds of thousands of lives and took no land. No land from Germany, no land from Japan, no land from Korea. America is unique in the sacrifice it has made for liberty, for itself and for freedom loving people around the world.” The best ally peace has ever known, and will ever know, is a strong America!
And that is why we must rise to the occasion, as we have always done before, to confront the challenges ahead. Perhaps the most fundamental of these is the attack on the American culture.
Over the years, my business has taken me to many countries. I have been struck by the enormous differences in the wealth and well-being of people of different nations. I have read a number of scholarly explanations for the disparities. I found the most convincing was that written by David Landes, a professor emeritus from Harvard University. I presume he’s a liberal–I guess that’s redundant. His work traces the coming and going of great civilizations throughout history. After hundreds of pages of analysis, he concludes with this:
If we learn anything from the history of economic development, it is that culture makes all the difference. Culture makes all the difference.
What is it about American culture that has led us to become the most powerful nation in the history of the world? We believe in hard work and education. We love opportunity: almost all of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants who came here for opportunity—opportunity is in our DNA. Americans love God, and those who don’t have faith, typically believe in something greater than themselves—a “Purpose Driven Life.” And we sacrifice everything we have, even our lives, for our families, our freedoms and our country. The values and beliefs of the free American people are the source of our nation’s strength and they always will be!
The threat to our culture comes from within. The 1960’s welfare programs created a culture of poverty. Some think we won that battle when we reformed welfare, but the liberals haven’t given up. At every turn, they try to substitute government largesse for individual responsibility. They fight to strip work requirements from welfare, to put more people on Medicaid, and to remove more and more people from having to pay any income tax whatsoever. Dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking and opportunity. Dependency is a culture-killing drug—we have got to fight it like the poison it is!
The attack on faith and religion is no less relentless. And tolerance for pornography—even celebration of it—and sexual promiscuity, combined with the twisted incentives of government welfare programs have led to today’s grim realities: 68% of African American children are born out-of-wedlock, 45% of Hispanic children, and 25% of White children. How much harder it is for these children to succeed in school—and in life. A nation built on the principles of the founding fathers cannot long stand when its children are raised without fathers in the home.
The development of a child is enhanced by having a mother and father. Such a family is the ideal for the future of the child and for the strength of a nation. I wonder how it is that unelected judges, like some in my state of Massachusetts, are so unaware of this reality, so oblivious to the millennia of recorded history. It is time for the people of America to fortify marriage through constitutional amendment, so that liberal judges cannot continue to attack it!
Europe is facing a demographic disaster. That is the inevitable product of weakened faith in the Creator, failed families, disrespect for the sanctity of human life and eroded morality. Some reason that culture is merely an accessory to America’s vitality; we know that it is the source of our strength. And we are not dissuaded by the snickers and knowing glances when we stand up for family values, and morality, and culture. We will always be honored to stand on principle and to stand for principle.
The attack on our culture is not our sole challenge. We face economic competition unlike anything we have ever known before. China and Asia are emerging from centuries of poverty. Their people are plentiful, innovative, and ambitious. If we do not change course, Asia or China will pass us by as the economic superpower, just as we passed England and France during the last century. The prosperity and security of our children and grandchildren depend on us.
Our prosperity and security also depend on finally acting to become energy secure. Oil producing states like Russia and Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Iran are siphoning over $400 billion per year from our economy—that’s almost what we spend annually for defense. It is past time for us to invest in energy technology, nuclear power, clean coal, liquid coal, renewable sources and energy efficiency. America must never be held hostage by the likes of Putin, Chavez, and Ahmendinejad.
And our economy is also burdened by the inexorable ramping of government spending. Don’t focus on the pork alone—even though it is indeed irritating and shameful. Look at the entitlements. `They make up 60% of federal spending today. By the end of the next President’s second term, they will total 70%. Any conservative plan for the future has to include entitlement reform that solves the problem, not just acknowledges it.
Most politicians don’t seem to understand the connection between our ability to compete and our national wealth, and the wealth of our families. They act as if money just happens–that it’s just there. But every dollar represents a good or service produced in the private sector. Depress the private sector and you depress the well-being of Americans.
That’s exactly what happens with high taxes, over-regulation, tort windfalls, mandates, and overfed, over-spending government. Did you see that today, government workers make more money than people who work in the private sector. Can you imagine what happens to an economy where the best opportunities are for bureaucrats?
It’s high time to lower taxes, including corporate taxes, to take a weed-whacker to government regulations, to reform entitlements, and to stand up to the increasingly voracious appetite of the unions in our government!
And finally, let’s consider the greatest challenge facing America—and facing the entire civilized world: the threat of violent, radical Jihad. In one wing of the world of Islam, there is a conviction that all governments should be destroyed and replaced by a religious caliphate. These Jihadists will battle any form of democracy—to them, democracy is blasphemous for it says that citizens, not God shape the law. They find the idea of human equality to be offensive. They hate everything we believe about freedom just as we hate everything they believe about radical Jihad.
To battle this threat, we have sent the most courageous and brave soldiers in the world. But their numbers have been depleted by the Clinton years when troops were reduced by 500,000, when 80 ships were retired from the Navy, and when our human intelligence was slashed by 25%. We were told that we were getting a peace dividend. We got the dividend, but we didn’t get the peace. In the face of evil in radical Jihad and given the inevitable military ambitions of China, we must act to rebuild our military might. Raise military spending to 4% of our GDP, purchase the most modern armament, re-shape our fighting forces for the asymmetric demands we now face, and give the veterans the care they deserve!
Soon, the face of liberalism in America will have a new name. Whether it is Barack or Hillary, the result would be the same if they were to win the Presidency. The opponents of American culture would push the throttle, devising new justifications for judges to depart from the constitution. Economic neophytes would layer heavier and heavier burdens on employers and families, slowing our economy and opening the way for foreign competition to further erode our lead.
Even though we face an uphill fight, I know that many in this room are fully behind my campaign.” You are with me all the way to the convention. Fight on, just like Ronald Reagan did in 1976. But there is an important difference from 1976: today… we are a nation at war.
And Barack and Hillary have made their intentions clear regarding Iraq and the war on terror. They would retreat and declare defeat. And the consequence of that would be devastating. It would mean attacks on America, launched from safe havens that make Afghanistan under the Taliban look like child’s play. About this, I have no doubt.
I disagree with Senator McCain on a number of issues, as you know. But I agree with him on doing whatever it takes to be successful in Iraq, on finding and executing Osama bin Laden, and on eliminating Al Qaeda and terror. If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.
This is not an easy decision for me. I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters… many of you right here in this room… have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming President. If this were only about me, I would go on. But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country.
I will continue to stand for conservative principles; I will fight alongside you for all the things we believe in. And one of those things is that we cannot allow the next President of the United States to retreat in the face evil extremism!!
It is the common task of each generation—and the burden of liberty—to preserve this country, expand its freedoms and renew its spirit so that its noble past is prologue to its glorious future.
To this task… accepting this burden… we are all dedicated, and I firmly believe, by the providence of the Almighty, that we will succeed beyond our fondest hope. America must remain, as it has always been, the hope of the earth.
Thank you, and God bless America.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Born February 6, 1911- Died June 5, 2004. He would have been 97 today.
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."Ronald Reagan
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Super Tuesday has come and gone and John McCain won. It’s time to rally to John McCain. Mitt Romney fought the good fight but it’s now time for him to withdraw from the race and endorse John McCain. Up until tonight I was supporting Mitt Romney but with the loss of California to McCain there is no way Romney can get the nomination. John McCain must reach out to conservatives in a meaningful way or he will not win in November. A McCain /Romney ticket is one way! Whoever he picks as his VP must be a conservative and NOT Mike Huckabee! If Romney is not picked he should go the route Ronald Reagan took after he lost the nomination to Gerald Ford in 1976. He must support the ticket and work for it. After the election he needs to stay in the public eye and could for example become a regular on FOX NEWS or other public forum and then in 2012 run again because even if McCain wins he will probably be a one term President. John McCain is a nation hero and will be a great President and will lead the fight against the Islamic Fascist.